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Sleeve Notes for Shine On by Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham

Shine OnVocal and instrumental music, social and ceremonial dance have all played a role in Keith Kendrick's career which has spanned nearly five decades. He looks for the best ways to communicate the inspiration that has motivated him. He has a vernacular delivery, which maintains respect for the music and combines with vocal and instrumental skills to make his performances a pleasure to listen to. If you want an example of someone for whom folk music and life have become completely inseparable - a true folk musician - look no further than Keith. His repertoire when singing with Sylvia comprises mainly English traditional and traditionally influenced contemporary songs. Both have strong voices and compatible and complimentary styles of delivery and they produce a striking acapella harmony sound. They also accompany themselves and play lively dance tunes on three different systems of the only English invented musical instrument - the Concertina.  

"....breath taking harmony work that leaves the listener gasping............”


Keith Kendrick:      Lead vocal & Harmony vocal, English and Anglo concertina, Foot-

Sylvia Needham:    Lead vocal & Harmony vocal, McCann Duet concertina, Banjo/Ukulele

Pete Bullock:         Baritone Saxophone

Tom Miller:         Piano

Pierce Butler:         Drums & Top-Set Percussion

Keith Holloway:      Melodeon

Track Notes

1 Shine On
John Richards

This is a wonderful song, written by the amazing, especially for the late Johnny Collins to sing. It deals, in a very compassionate and hope-filled way, with the struggles of anyone finding themselves addicted to the demon alcohol and striving to get free. To everyone’s great sadness, Johnny tragically left us before he could get to record or sing it out and some months later, JR very kindly asked if we would give it a shot. Thank you John…here it is. We sing it as a kind of tribute to our long-time good friend, Johnny, and to help to throw a light on JRs great and prolific song-writing skills. We plan to do more from his ditty-bag.

2 Jack-in-the-Box/March Bluebeard

Two delightful polka-marches from an old Sheffield manuscript, handed to me by the late folklorist and fine singer Malcolm Fox some thirty odd years ago. My old ceilidh band ‘Ram’s Bottom’ recorded it all that time ago on their one and only LP recording ‘The Young May Moon’ and to be honest, the set has never left my repertoire, being such great tunes as they are. KK

3 The Christmas Hare
Roger Watson

This and ‘Gilliver’ (later on this CD) are a tribute (as my/our personal thanks) to the great Roger Watson for a debt that neither I nor anyone else can really ever repay for his talent and his immense contribution to the entire fabric of our folk revival over 50 plus years. One of the most quietly ingenious and generous men it’s ever been my privilege to know. Most people know by now that Roger, although, thankfully, still with us, is pretty much rendered unable to maintain his record of contribution due to severe ill health over the last 5 or 6 years but we hope that singing these songs will somehow filter down to some sort of income contribution for him somewhere along the process. The song, (which my old band the ‘Druids’ also recorded on their first album in 1971), we understand, is based on a story Roger’s mum told him as a small boy. It’s about a bus ride from Hucknall to Mansfield (taking in all the stops enroute) culminating in the driver’s triumphant acquisition of a fine piece of road kill for his familys’ seasonal dinner. We believe there may be SOME truth in the story – we’re just not sure which bits…Thanks Roger KK

4 The Old Ships Rolling Home

For a good ten years, myself and Ian Smith (ex Notts Alliance and Ram’s Bottom and now living in Spain with his lovely wife, Carol) toured pretty much all of the many shanty festivals that sprung up on the UK coast around the mid 90s and a very fine time we had till life changes and resulting relocations for both of us kind’ve brought it to a logistical end. This is one that Ian himself re-worked from original text and melody and one that he always sang and beautifully too. I always wanted to steal it and with his kind permission, I eventually did about fifteen years ago but, I’ve only sung it out three or four times…putting it on here should rectify that situation, I hope…KK

5 Silver in the Stubble
Sydney Carter

Written by the much celebrated (and deservedly so) Sydney Carter, another wonderful song-smith. A few years ago I wanted to learn some of his songs, so bought his song books and read them on a train journey to Glasgow. The result was that I later convinced Keith that we should put a show together to throw a light on the depth and versatility of Sydney’s song-writing. We have performed the show several times, including in America. At Sidmouth FF, although we didn’t know it, Sidney’s son Michael was in the audience - he introduced himself afterwards. Good job as well, I would have been so nervous to know he was there. Fortunately, he enjoyed the show and we made a friend. Silver in the Stubble is dear to Keith’s heart, or rather, chin. SN

6 Finest Captain on the Sea
Linda Woodruff

There are so many songs about the nasty sea captains that Linda Woodruff decided that it was about time we saw them in a different light. Tongue in cheek perhaps, but great fun. Linda goes to many of our local clubs, including the DHTMC that Keith and I help Paul Slater to run in Derby. Her songs always have a way of looking at things that make you giggle or go “Oh, yes. NOW I see”. SN

7 Bedlam

This wonderful version of Bedlam from Book 2 of ‘The Crystal Spring’ has been part of my personal repertoire since Barry Coope and I sang it in duo around the late 70s. We never recorded it sadly but, I did on my first ever solo recording ‘Me ‘Umble Lot’ using full accompaniment. More recently, we’ve revisited it here with Sylvia sprinkling her harmonic fairy dust over it and here we are again. Very, VERY good song. KK

8 Fruits & Flowers/Three Jolly Sailor Boys

Two more splendid polkas from that magical Sheffield manuscript – thanks again, Malcolm, wherever you are…also thanks to my current band BandAnglo for helping to enhance and fatten out the sound here good job!. KK

9 Giles Scroggins

We were inspired to record this song and the next after being invited by Nic Dow to take part in a series of performances to launch the book “A Southern Harvest” (Francis Boutle Publishers). This book is the publication in one volume of the Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts, originally edited by Frank Purslow and published by the EFDSS of both “The Foggy Dew”, where you can find Giles Scroggins, and “The Constant Lovers”. SN

10 Bonny Kate

I have been singing this song for quite a few years. Not your typical “damsel in distress” story. It is from “The Wanton Seed”. Apart from the story, I like it because of the unusual placing of what you might call the refrain. It is a repeat of the first line

11 Father Christmas
Linda Woodruff

Another song from Linda Woodruff. You have probably asked yourself, “Where does Father Christmas go in spring and summer?” Well, now we know because Linda found out and wrote a song about it. There will be more of her songs in our repertoire in the future. We won’t be able to help ourselves. SN

12 Standing in the Rain
Sydney Carter

Another Sydney Carter song which was not in our show originally. We, a couple of years ago, were honoured to be asked by Sir Steven Sedley to take part in a performance to commemorate what would have been Sydney 100th birthday. Martin Carthy sang this song that very night and we came home and learned it straight away. It is the third song on the CD to mention Christmas, but it’s not a jolly one. Sydney wrote this in the 1960s and, unfortunately, 50 years later, the message is still just as valid and needs to be sung. SN

13 Always Money for a War
Ian Robb

Another political, on the button, humdinger from the pen of that great British exile,. Written a couple of years ago in protest of the right wing, war funding characteristics of the then Canadian President, Stephen Harper. I tweaked it a little at Ian’s suggestion to fit with the UK political backdrop of 2015. Slightly out of date by the time this record comes out but, who knows, the next leader of the Tories may well be another David – that’s if they still exist by then…KK

14 Gilliver
Roger Watson

Roger Watson’s advice on how to look after your pit pony. Gilliver, or gillyflower here means “Wall Flower”. It originates from the Greek word for the spice known as clove. It’s also used for flowers that have the fragrance of cloves, the wall-flower being one of them. SN

15 Tip -Top Polka (Britannia Coconut Dance)

Possibly the two most delightful and infectious English dance tunes ever to exist – had to do it….thanks again to BandAnglo. KK

16 Van Dieman’s Land

Another re-visit from my first solo album, still an all-time favourite of mine.

17 I Am Christmas
John Conolly and Bill Meek

Absolutely belting anthemic song here by John Conolly and Bill Meek which literally personifies Christmas as a being. Just wonderful – Merry Christmas everybody, from us both… KK