ROY BAILEY – Roy Bailey

Roy Bailey is a veteran folk singer who started his career in a skiffle group in the late 50’s before turning to folk in the 60’s and 70’s. This is his first solo album, from 1971, and for a debut by an unproven singer he managed to surround himself with a stellar cast of players, including Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, and Peter Knight. The style is very much in the traditional folk mould, and the songs are mostly old English folk songs from the Marrowbones and Seeds Of Love collections, with a couple of originals by John Kirkpatrick and Leon Rosselson. His socialist leanings come over in the choice of some of the songs but generally this is a good collection of traditional folk songs performed by some of our finest players. Kirkpatrick’s ‘Dust To Dust’ is a particularly moving a capella piece, and songs like ‘How Should I Your True Love Know’ and ‘A Fair Maid Walking’ are British folk at its very best. I have always liked ‘Poverty Knock’ and Bailey’s version is as good as any that I have heard, and ‘No Sir No’ is a memorably tuneful number with Rosselson’s understated guitar adding to the atmosphere of the song. Rosselson’s a capella ‘Palaces Of Gold’ fits in well with the others songs on here, and allows Bailey to bring the folk song into the 20th Century with telling lyrics. I had never heard of Roy Bailey before seeing this album, but I am glad that I tried it as there are too few traditional folk albums around at the moment, and while folk enthusiasts have probably known about Roy Bailey for years, this is a good CD for the novice to sample the genre.