Celebration of 20 years of Folk for MS, which began as a single charity concert. The album is called ‘Generosity’ because all tracks have been donated by some of the many who have given their time and music free.

This album celebrates 20 years of Folk for MS. The organisation was born from a one off fund raising concert which was so successful that it was decided to do another the next year and……. Over the 20 years more than £35,000 has been raised to help and support those with multiple sclerosis and the project has had the support of some of the best known names in the folk world, all of whom have given their services free. Just a few of them are on this album. We have tried to cover many aspects of the folk genre and to make the album varied and interesting to many tastes. All profits from this album will be going to Folk for MS.


1 Taking On Men Jez Lowe
2 I Once was a Fisherman Barry Dransfield
3 Jarrow Song Cockersdale
4 An Acre of Land Pete Coe
5 What’s the Use of Wings Artisan
6 The Rambling Sailor Dave Burland
7 Gift of A Brand New Day Harvey Andrews
8 The Blackbird Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman
9 Gilliver Roger Watson
10 Cape Cod Girls William Pint & Felicia Dale
11 Soap Starch Candles Tom & Barbara Brown
12 Stone By Stone Mike Nicholson
13 Adieu to Old England The Askew Sisters
14 Legacy Johnny Coppin
15 Absent Friends Vin Garbutt
16 This Place This Town Huw & Tony Williams
17 Loup Garou Tanglefoot
18 A Proper Cup of Coffee Cosmotheka
19 New Frontier Roy Bailey & John Kirkpatrick
20 Parting Glass The Wilsons

Taking on Men
Jez Lowe
Sample not available
I Once was a Fisherman
Barry Dransfield
Sample not available
Jarrow Song
Sample not available
An Acre of land
Pete Coe
Sample not available
What's the Use of Wings
Sample not available
The Rambling Sailor
Dave Burland
Sample not available
Gift of a Brand New Day
Harvey Andrews
Sample not available
The Blackbird
Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman
Sample not available
Roger Watson
Sample not available
Cape Cod Girls
William Pint and Felicia Dale
Sample not available
Soap Starch Candles
Tom and Barbara Brown
Sample not available
Stone by Stone
Mike Nicholson
Sample not available
Adieu to Old England
The Askew Sisters
Sample not available
Johnny Coppin
Sample not available
Absent Friends
Vin Garbutt
Sample not available
This Place This Town
Huw and Tony Williams
Sample not available
Loup Garou
Sample not available
A Proper Cup of Coffee
Sample not available
New Frontier
Roy Bailey and John Kirkpatrick
Sample not available
Parting Glass
The Wilsons
Sample not available

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

This album is a celebration of 20 years of the Folk for Multiple Sclerosis organisation and is an excellent compilation of performances from some of our top folk artists. All the artists have given their services free for the concerts held over the years and as a result over �35,000 has been raised for the project. All the profits from this album will also go into the fund of course.

Well that's the background, what of the content?

With people like Vin Garbutt singing Keith Hancock's 'Absent Friends', Jez Lowe and his 'Taking on Men', Artisan with Brian Bedford's 'What's the Use of Wings?' and Dave Burland's laid back version of 'Rambling Sailor' you can see there's some classic stuff on here!

It was also good to hear Barry Dransfield again singing 'Once I Was a Fisherman' and Cosmotheka with the impossible-to-sing-along-with 'A Proper Cup of Coffee'. Our friends from across 'the pond' are represented too with Pint and Dale's 'Cape Cod Girls' and the fantastic Tanglefoot with 'Loup Garou'.

Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman sing Dave's 'The Blackbird' which I think is one of the most lyrical songs he has ever written and Mike Nicholson gives a super rendering of 'Stone by Stone'.

The most esoteric track, I think, is from Huw and Tony Williams who sing 'This Place, This Town' which sounds more like something from the sixties pop scene than a folk song. Also sadly and somewhat ironically as we have only recently 'lost' him,  there is nothing by the late Johnny Collins who appeared in the first 1990 concert and in this year's concert thereby spanning the 20 years of the project.

There are others of course, too many to list here, of equal stature and talent in the 20 tracks of the album. The CD is appropriately completed with 'Parting Glass' sung by the Wilson family from Teeside.

There is something for everyone here and the money goes to a very good cause.

Just buy it - now!


Nick Passmore

WILD Goose offer a selection of songs from various albums and labels to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Folk for Multiple Sclerosis. Kicking off with Jez Lowe's Taking on Men, which he performed so memorably at Shrewsbury Folk Festival this summer, it includes contributions from the likes of Barry Dransfield, Pete Coe, Roger Watson, Vin Garbutt and Roy Bailey & John Kirkpatrick, along with younger artists like Tanglefoot and the Askew Sisters. All have generously donated their music to this project and performed at the annual concerts that have taken place over the years. Of Welsh interest is Tom & Barbara Brown's Soap Starch Candles and the CD ends with a rousing Parting Glass from the mighty Wilsons.

Taplas, December 2009/January 2010


Maggie Moore

"Generosity" is a compilation CD on the Wild Goose Label by various artists for "Folk for MS" This wonderful CD is a celebration of twenty years of fund raising which started off as a one-off concert. The organisation (FfMS) has raised more than �35,000 to help and support people with the widespread and most debilitating disease which is commonly known as MS.

The CD features 20 tracks, each one by a different artist who has played at one or another FfMS concerts over the years. If you would like to know more about the organisation itself and to see just what their funds have achieved and when their next concert is happening then do visit their website at www.folkforms.org

It would be much too lengthy and wordy to describe each track here. Suffice it to say, that all of the artists featured are very good at what they do, and each represents a unique aspect of folk music and musicianship. The great thing about a compilation CD of the calibre as this one, is that it gives you a brilliant and broad spectrum of our rich and wonderful tradition, and shows off the artists' talents superbly, with excellent recordings from each one. Of course there is the added bonus that should you find that any one track isn't quite to your taste, then the next one probably is!

Artists featured are :- Jez Lowe, Barry Dransfield, Cockersdale, Pete Coe, Artisan, Dave Burland, Harvey Andrews, Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman, Roger Watson, William Pint & Felicia Dale, Tom & Barbara Brown, Mike Nicholson, The Askew Sisters, Johnny Coppin, Vin Garbutt, Huw & Tony Williams, Tanglefoot, Cosmotheka, Roy Bailey & John Kirkpatrick, and The Wilsons.

Finally, the best thing of all about buying this CD is that you know you will be contributing to the funds of a really good and much needed organisation.

Well done FfMS! May you have another very successful 20 years!

Shire Folk

Jonathan Roscoe

Over the last 20 years the Folk for Multiple Sclerosis organisation has raised over f35,000 from a series of concerts. "Generosity" gathers together some of those artists who have given their services at those concerts for free. This includes some well known folkie names, such as Jez Lowe, Vin Garbitt, Roy Bailey and John Kirkpartick and others that are probably only well known at their local folk club, but that isn't to doubt the ability on show and the sincerity of the project.

Most versions of folk are on display here. From unaccompanied singing to singer-songwriter fare, from sea shanties to the overtly political, the tracks range from the so-so and the ho hum to the, in some cases, very good. Particular favourites of mine are "Cape Cod Girls" by William Pint and Felicia Dale and "Adieu to Old England" by the Askew Sisters, but everybody will find something to like here - that's the beauty of compilations.

Folk for MS was born from a one off fund raising concert and here they are 20 years later still going strong.


David Warwick

In 1990, an impressive line-up of performers, consisting of Vin Garbutt, Johnny Collins, Tim Laycock, The Berry Family and Footloose, performed a one-off fund-raising concert for Folk for MS, hosted by Roger Watson. As so often happens in these cases, it was such a success that they decided to hold another the following year, then another, then another, then � (repeat ad lib till it adds up to 19).  

This CD (aptly named Generosity: all the performers give their services, live and recorded,for free) is a compilation of 20 tracks from the many and varied artists who have given of their time in the years since, and helped raise over �35,000 for this extremely worthy cause.

If you were on the folk version of Desert Island Discs you could easily find eight of your all-time favourite tracks from this album. It may be unfair to start picking out my own favourites as it's an eclectic mix, and they're all spectacularly good; but here goes. Barry Dransfield: 'I Once was a Fisherman' (beautifully sung .. one of my favourite singers of all time); Dave Burland: 'The Rambling Sailor'; Roger Watson: 'Gilliver'; Johnny Coppin: 'Legacy' (an absolute delight); Vin Garbutt: 'Absent Friends'; Tanglefoot: 'Loup Garou'; Cosmotheka: 'A Proper Cup of Coffee' (not strictly folk but what the heck?); and Roy Bailey and John Kirkpatrick: 'New Frontier'.

I urge you not to buy this collection because all profits will be going to a good cause: the Folk for Multiple Sclerosis organisation; I recommend you to buy it because it's a fantastic sampler of some of the finest bands, duos & solo performers of the past twenty years.

Whats Afoot

Colin Andrews

This album, featuring 20 tracks donated by a wealth of talented and prominent folk artists, celebrated twenty years of Folk for M.S. All the profits from this album will go to this charity support of Multiple Sclerosis.

The problem with any composite album offering only one track from different performers is that one may already have the full album of those artists one particularly enjoys, be uninterested in those one dislikes and perhaps unwilling to sample the few singers that one may not have come across. I would urge folk club followers, however, to take a wider view and sample the rich variety of material offered on this CD.

Variety there certainly is, and the selection of tracks is taken from releases probably spanning at least the full twenty years of the charity's existence. Veteran (in the kindest sense of the word) performers such as Dave Burland and Barry Dransfield rub shoulders with the talented young Askew Sisters. Actually selecting a representative and appropriate track from the huge choice available must in itself have been a difficult task, since the disc doesn't appear to have a specific theme, but still achieves a good balance of serious versus light-hearted subject matter, traditional versus contemporary sources. In the latter category, the opening track, Taking On Men, is an excellent example of Jez Lowe's craft, with good lyrics and imaginative tune to match. For the traditionalists, Pete Coe gives an unusual version of An Acre of Land, with haunting melodic accompaniment. Tom & Barbara Brown, with Soap Starch Candles, and Cosmotheka's Proper Cup of Coffee raise a smile, while Jarrow Song, from Cockersdale, and New Frontier from Roy Bailey & John Kirkpatrick give more food for thought.

The Wilsons, with appropriately the final track, Parting Glass, were the only group with which I was totally unfamiliar, but it was good to listen to William Pint & Felicia Dale, and Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman who lived up to their reputation of which I'd heard. Harvey Andrews, Johnny Coppin, Huw & Tony Williams are all artists I can't recall having seen live, but they too all come over well with modern material. I'd reviewed Mike Nicholson's album, Stone by Stone, the title song of which he offers here, some time ago, and Gilliver is on the new album by Roger Watson reviewed elsewhere in this issue.

Who have I not yet mentioned? Only Vin Garbutt, another veteran of the folk scene, Tanglefoot, who have appeared at many festivals, and Artisan whose close harmony is a delight whether on traditional material, or as here, with What's The Use of Wings.

Have your own mini-folk festival and support a most worthy cause by purchasing a copy of this album. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

The Living Tradition

Graham Gurrin

Over the past 20 years annual Folk for MS concerts in Oxfordshire have raised more than �35,000 to help and support sufferers from multiple sclerosis. The project has had the support of some of the best known names in the folk world, all of whom have given their services free.

Twenty of them are on this album, all profits from which will go to the charity. And what a cracking set of acts ? the cream of two decades of the British folk scene. I'm only allowed 250 words so I'll just dip in to give you a flavour: Jez Lowe sings Taking On Men; Barry Dransfield with I Once Was A Fisherman; Harvey Andrews, Gift Of A Brand New Day; you can close your eyes and think of the clubs or festivals where you heard them sing the songs.

There is Artisan singing Brian Bedford's marvellous What's The Use Of Wings and Huw & Tony Williams doing their best XTC impression on This Place This Town. Everyone will have their unexpected gems, numbers they weren't aware of but will now pay more attention: mine are Loup Garou by Tanglefoot and A Proper Cup Of Coffee by Cosmotheka. The incomparable Vin Garbutt sings Absent Friends, and The Wilsons round things off nicely with The Parting Glass, taken from their latest album. This is a seriously good compilation ? even if it wasn't all in a good cause. Everybody wins!