Feb 04, 2011

    Most people will be familiar with Roy Bailey as an excellent interpreter of other singers’ material. Through his singing, he has introduced me to the works of, most notably, Leon Rosselson, as well as amongst many others, Si Khan, Robb Johnson, Ray Hearne, the Fagans, Alistair Hulett and James Keelaghan, and more recently David Ferrard. What many may not be aware of is that he has also produced four albums aimed specifically at children of all ages. Tomorrow is the latest of these and is dedicated to two of his own grandchildren.

    Roy does not believe the material on a children’s record has to be childlike, and my experience in teaching certainly backs up his view that children enjoy a wide variety of songs. For many years the works of the previously mentioned singers could be heard echoing from my classroom. Tomorrow has the same variety as his previous albums with traditional songs sitting alongside more contemporary material.

  • On the net!

    Dec 08, 2010

    Apologies for copying the reviews on to this page but one or two people told me they had difficulty in finding them so I've added them here. Apologies to those of you who can find your way around with ease and confidence!

  • Below the Radar (on the net)

    Dec 08, 2010

    Roy Bailey - Below The Radar (Fuse Records) Well, Roy's "retirement" CD, Coda, was actually meant to be his last recording wasn't it?!… but then along came Sit Down And Sing… And then, as we all know, far from retiring into a frail shell, Roy's continued to stimulate and inspire us all through his passionate live performances, unflinchingly discovering and bringing onto stage (and thus into richly deserved wider circulation) great new songs that challenge and provoke in the best possible traditions of folk, confronting our preconceptions and beliefs for there are many lessons still to be learnt. So I guess a further release was inevitable! Hence the so-aptly titled new CD, which firmly casts the spotlight of destiny on folk songs which (in Roy's own brilliantly chosen words) "circulate unhindered by the formulaic demands of commercialism, their strength (lying) in their being outside the mainstream – from being below the radar". And let me say at the outset that it finds Roy on finest possible form: at 73, still singing with deep and natural compassion and a tremendous intensity and conviction. Roy's renewed vigour is the stuff of legend, but I could say it's right there in the grooves of this record for you to reach out and touch (Andy Seward has done a splendid job in capturing both the joy and strength of Roy's singing). And of course in his choice of songs: uncompromising and perennially relevant. Pride of place this time round goes to the four stunning songs from the pen of Seattle-based Jim Page, whose effective and resonant utilisation-cum-paraphrasing of borrowings from traditional and contemporary folk songs clearly strikes a chord in Roy (while also recalling the comparable skill of our own Ray Hearne). But Roy keenly embraces the sentiments of each and every song he sings, whether it's George Papavgeris's all-encompassing and life-affirming anthem Friends Like These or Ian Campbell's epic and darkly prophetic Old Man's Tale. Here Roy also brings us a contrasted pair of fine songs by David Ferrard: the charming love song Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight and the powerfully reflective album closer Visions Of Our Youth. Continuing Roy's own personal tradition, there's a song apiece by Si Kahn and Leon Rosselson (well, the latter's Leon's setting of Charles Causley's Timothy Winters), while "actual" tradition is represented by a lovely version of The Road To Dundee and a fine rendition of Handsome Molly, on which one of Roy's backing musicians is Martin Simpson, whose own recording of the song is considered a benchmark. Roy's other instrumental collaborators here - John Kirkpatrick, Andy Cutting, Donald Grant and Andy Seward - give of their very best, playing with spirit and commitment throughout in lovingly-contoured, full-toned yet light and sensitive arrangements. Every track is both memorable and relevant, a further demonstration of Roy's total integrity, and the whole set forms both a cause for celebration (of half-a-century of bringing folk music to a wide audience) and yet another high point in Roy's illustrious career.

  • TOMORROW (on the net)

    Dec 08, 2010

    Roy Bailey - Tomorrow (Fuse Records)

    Roy's always had a penchant for education, in the truest sense of the word. Education should be fun, and a child's natural enjoyment of, and willing participation in music, can be both a vital element and a useful tool. And not just to prove the point, Roy has always included a short sequence of children's songs in his live sets, which have appealed every bit as much to the adults in his audience!

  • BELOW THE RADAR - Reviews

    Jul 06, 2010

    i) '....an album so impeccable, it must surely merit consideration as the best thing he's ever done' (Colin Irwin, fRoots June 2009

    ii) '...one of the strongest albums of his long and illustrious career' (Mike Newman, Taplas June 2009);