The Cedars, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1DD, United Kingdom

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“The Tale of Ale – Revisited”

Free Reed – Revival re:Masters – FRRR 19 - released 1st November 2015

This welcome release of a 79-minute ‘revisited and re-imagined’ CD performance of the 1977 classic Free Reed double-LP ‘The Tale of Ale’ brings the songs and stories of ‘The English and their Beers’ right up into the 21st century! The original 1977 release featured such notables as Peter Bellamy, The Dransfields, Roy Harris, Willie Rushton, Pam Gilder, and the inspiration behind all the original selections, Vic Gammon – and the eight creators of this re-imagined release tread humbly and lightly in their footsteps.

The Free Reed label burst onto the British folk scene in 1976, with a block release of ten ‘LPs’ (remember them?) featuring rising new performers, such as John Kirkpatrick’s ‘Plain Capers’ , The Old Swan Band and their ‘No Reels’, and stunning Double LPs – such as Peter Bellamy’s epic ballad opera ‘The Transports’- (which was voted 1977 folk LP of the year) – and a remarkable production of ‘The Tale of Ale’ – with over 40 songs and tales of ‘The story of the Englishman and his Beer’.

Free Reed went on to become the leading producer of fine CD Box-sets detailing the lives and music of leading British folk- and folk-rock artists, including Ashley Hutchings, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Steve Tilston, Dave Swarbrick and Fairport Convention – and the label now features over 30 CDs and Box-sets of the cream of the British Folk Revival, listed at

And now, a select group of well-known Derbyshire-based folk performers have revisited the classic ‘Tale of Ale’ and have re-imagined some of the original songs and stories, together with highly relevant new songs and tales about the rise of CAMRA; the assaults on ales and pubs by the Beerage and the ‘PubCos’; and the welcome rise of Micro Brewers and ‘Craft Beers’ – to create a true revisited classic!

So, who’s involved??

This wealth of music is performed by an elite group of Derbyshire’s finest, with Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham, Cupola (Sarah Matthews, Doug Eunson & Oli Matthews) and Peter Bullock, who in honour of the original 1977 performers, all wish to be known collectively as MUSICA INEBRIATA. The original and many newly-researched tales & readings are given by lifelong performers and researchers Roger Warren & John Titford.

This 79-minute ‘re-visited’ classic CD includes generous notes to all the songs and tales, and is released on the Free Reed label in early November 2015. It is featured NOW on the Free Reed sales web-site at -

And here’s the Order Form for your own Copy!!

More amazing offers from Free Reed are below

– so, ‘reed’ on!

Neil and the Free Reed Team

Free Reed Records & Music
The Cedars, Field Lane, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1DD
phone: +44(0)1773 824157 Mob: +44(0)7802 708389
Email: Website:

btw: Our early customers may remember that the Free Reed label started way back in the mid ‘70s with recordings of concertina players! – well – Neil Wayne’s legendary collection of concertinas and related instruments, music, tutors and over 9,000 classic pictures is now on line – with lots of new rarities - at – take a look! You can email your comments via Free Reed ( ) (or via Twitter @ConcertinaMuse)

Individual Box-set CDs and Books — now available!

Some of our great recording of the legends of British folk and Folk-Rock are beginning to reach the end of their life as Box-Sets - It’s simply not possible to re-print small quantities of our splendid outer boxes to create new stocks, without having the prices of the sets to zoom up to around £40, from the generous low prices of £20 we now offer you. The 6-CDs of the famed ‘Clare Set’ are also now available, including the 6-CD boxed set of all the Clare Concertina players’ 1970s’ recordings – see below!

However there’s an answer! – we can now offer individual copies of the four or five CDs that made up each set – PLUS copies of the fabulous books that were included in the sets, all at an attractive low price, both singly, or as a “4-CD-Plus Book” offer via the Free Reed website!

Box-sets that are now offered only as ‘CDs Plus Book” bargains are listed here -

Here’s the links to the various CDs and Books (where available):

The Swarb set - CDs & Books

CDs and books are all £4 each separately, or all 4 CDs and Book just £16 when ordered together!

D is for Duos -FRCD 41 -
C is for Collaborations - FRCD 42 -
E is for Extras- FRCD 43 -
S is for Swarb - FRCD 44 -
The Swarb Book! -  SWBK  (including ‘Merrie Melodies’ book!) -

Ashley Hutchings -“Burning Bright” - CDs & Book

CDs and books are all £4 each separately, or all 4 CDs and Book just £16 when ordered together!

Ashley's Almanac - A Hutchings History - FRCD 51 -
Dance and Drama - Ashley on-Stage - FRCD 52 -
Authored by Ashley - Produced by Hutchings! - FRCD 53 -
Authored by Ashley - Produced by Hutchings! - FRCD 54 -  
The Ashley Hutchings Story 150-page colour book! - AHBK -

Cropredy Capers - 25 Years of the Festival - CDs only

CDs are all £4 each separately, or all 4 CDs just £16 when ordered together!

Here are the Four CDs in the Cropredy CDs/Book/ DvD Offer (next page!)

Bruised & Beaten Songs - FRCD 29 -
Farewell 'Farewell' -FRCD 26 -
Blow Again - FRCD 27 -
The Winding Road - FRCD 28 -

-and here are pages of Special Offers on our award-winning Box-sets!...

Special Offer! – Our Revival Re;Masters CDs – any 4 for just £16!  See below!
More Special Offers...
Click on a cover image to buy individual CDs: Buy any FOUR CDs for just £16 (inc. Case!)


Free Reed: FCLAR-01 to 06
The definitive 6-CD archive of the

Free Reed is proud to release this lavish set of enhanced and remastered CD recordings of the entire classic series of 1970s LPs that documented the legendary players of Clare concertina music. All six original LPs, each with additional recordings from the original ’74 sessions, are now available, both as a luxury 6-CD box set “THE CLARE SET” (AnClar-07) – and as individual CDs with extensive booklets and extra tracks. The original notes have new articles from John Tams and Neil Wayne, who recorded these classic LPs in 1974, and have up to date information of the music of Clare, and the many festivals of Clare concertina playing and concertina tuition gatherings now so popular.

The Recordings now released in ‘The Clare Set’ are:

FCLAR 01 - THE RUSSELL FAMILY of Doolin, Co Clare – Miko, Pakie and Gussie Russell: recorded at O’Connor’s Bar, Doolin, 1974

The fame of the legendary Russell Brothers - Micho, Pakie and Gus - brought legions of music enthusiasts to Doolin, Co Clare throughout the ’60s and ’70s. The brothers had learned much from iconic Clare musicians such as Johnny Doran, Willie Clancy, and concertina players Martin Kiloughery and Paddy Murphy, and the trio were finally recorded in 1974 by Neil Wayne & John Tams for a classic Topic LP, now released here on CD as part of the Clare Set of archive recordings, with many extra tracks from the original 1974 Russells sessions.

FCLAR 02 - CLARE CONCERTINAS: Bernard O'Sullivan & Tommy McMahon – an unique duo of tradition bearers

In the 1970s, Cree-Cooraclare was very much ‘concertina country’. Such names as Bernard O'Sullivan, Tommy McMahon, Solus Lulls, Tommy McCarthy, Gerald Haugh, Sonny Murray, Michael Tubridy and Tom Carey were well known as concertina players from this area, many still active today. This record highlights the unique playing and ensemble style of two of these players - BERNARD O'SULLIVAN AND TOMMY MCMAHON: their huge repertoire embodies the best of the Clare tradition.

FCLAR 03 - THE FLOWING TIDE: Chris Droney. Classic Concertina repertoire of the All-Ireland champion

Chris Droney, a farmer from Bellharbour, near the Burren area of north Clare, came to the forefront of Irish music in 1956, when he won the Fleadh Cheoil All Ireland Championship at Ennis, with further All-Ireland concertina championships in 1959, 1960, and so on until 1967, when he retired “to give the others a chance”! Concerts in the USA followed, and Chris was much in demand for house dances all over Clare. Much of his repertoire came from his father, and his dance-oriented, driving style, free of over-decoration, is pure Clare playing. This CD release includes many extra tunes from the original Tams & Wayne 1974 recordings.

FCLAR 04 - JOHN KELLY. FIDDLE AND CONCERTINA PLAYER: The noted Co Clare source musician with fiddle and Concertina classics

John Kelly was born in the district of Rehy West, County Clare, and for over thirty years was a force in Irish music – he was a member of Seán Ó Riada’s Ceoltóirí Cualainn, of the Castle Ceilidh Band, and of Ceoltóirí Laighean, and regular musician at respected Dublin sessions.

John's fiddling is in the relaxed Clare style and his concertina playing is spikier, with subtle variations of notes, the occasional harmonic effect, and again that off-beat emphasis.

John taught at the Willie Clancy Scoil Éigse, and supported the Tradition Club held on Wednesdays at Slattery's just a few doors away from his Dublin home: he was recorded by John Tams and Neil Wayne January 1974 and by Tony Engle and Patrick Hayes in March & April 1975, and extra tracks are here included from these sessions.

FCLAR 05 - IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF COUNTY CLARE. Bernard O'Sullivan & Tommy McMahon: More classics and rarities from these west Clare tradition-bearers

This re-released recording from 1974 further highlights the unique playing and ensemble style of these two great players - BERNARD O'SULLIVAN AND TOMMY MCMAHON: Their repertoire was immense, and the younger Tommy (24 at the time of recording) had learned much from the playing of his friend and mentor Bernard O’Sullivan: they were neighbours in Cree-Cooraclare, and still played together until Bernard’s death in August 2006. We celebrate his memory in this sublime music.

FCLAR 06 - IRISH TRADITIONAL CONCERTINA STYLES: Rare tracks from many great Clare and Dublin-based players: Paddy Murphy, Solus Lillis, Gerald Haugh, Tom Carey, Sonny Murray, Sean O’Dwyer and more.

In this remastered CD release of the original 1974 recordings, we present classic examples of the playing of eight musicians, now from various parts of Ireland who play the Anglo concertina. Even by 1974, the instrument was regaining popularity amongst the newer generation of musicians, and items from two younger Dublin concertina players were featured on the original recordings.
Today, the richest store of traditional concertina playing is still to be found in County Clare, and at the time of recording, five of these musicians lived and worked in that county.

Special Boxed Set edition of
of CLARE CONCERTINA Archive recordings – also available!!
Free Reed AnClar-07 see

All 6 CDs of this important re-release of the Co Clare archive of traditional concertina players of Co Clare were released singly during 2007, but the entire 6-CD set, in a special Limited Edition display-case Case, is now also available at a special price.

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Free Reed Records & Music, The Cedars, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1DD, United Kingdom

Plain Capers Hammers, Tongues & A Bakewell Tart Mrs Ackroyd Superstar Fieldvole Music The Tale of Ale Masters of the Concertina Going Spare No Reels even more... Popular to Contrary Belief Ballads and Songs of the north of Ireland Ballads of Peter Bellamy Golden Grates Sailing to the Moon Micho Russell of Dunagore, Co Clare Concertina Workshop The Transports Bees on Horseback Old Swan Brand