Neil Adam & Judy Turner | Collaborations

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Folk: Celtic Fusion World: Celtic Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Neil Adam & Judy Turner

Neil Adam and Judy Turner have been playing on the Australian folk/acoustic scene for more than 20 years. 'Collaborations' is a selection of mostly songs from their many recordings over that time, and features artists from Scotland, Spain, and Australia.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Jeweller's Art
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
4:10 $0.99
2. Where Cold Night Is Falling Fast
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
5:34 $0.99
3. Underground Mutton and Quandong Jam
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:46 $0.99
4. Deeper Blue
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
5:52 $0.99
5. Al Grassby's Grandfather
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
5:00 $0.99
6. The Lea Rig
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:13 $0.99
7. Elvis Blues
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
5:43 $0.99
8. Les Trois Grands Luthiers
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
5:01 $0.99
9. The Homecoming
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:59 $0.99
10. Paths of Victory
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:36 $0.99
11. Murray River Red Cliffs
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:41 $0.99
12. The Pickers' Train
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:15 $0.99
13. Bird in a Cage
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
4:03 $0.99
14. Telling Tales
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:54 $0.99
15. Old Grey Fergie
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
3:37 $0.99
16. Let Me Die in My Footsteps
Neil Adam & Judy Turner
4:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Collaborations. What a pleasure it has been to revisit all these recordings from our past 20 years of collaborating with musicians of all kinds and backgrounds. As I selected, I realized I was choosing a much as for the story and the memory, as for the songs. So here are the stories.

1. A Jeweller's Art: 1999: The first major collaboration of these twenty years worthy of great mention is our relationship with Hugh McDonald, of Redgum fame, a band known to every Australian over a certain age. Hugh recorded and encouraged us in every way on every recording between 1994 and 2016 when he was too ill to continue. His passing is something we will never cease to regret and our friendship is sorely missed but happily recalled. Most of these songs were recorded by him and with him. This is a song written after I met a jeweller in Ballarat whose business had failed in a recession, but whose joy in his work continued unabated. From our second CD 'Telling Tales'.

2. Where Cold Night: 2016: Chris Stout, Scottish fiddle player and composer of note, first met Judy in Tasmania in about 2000 when he was in Australia touring with his incredible band from Shetland Fiddlers' Bid. The friendship has continued both in Scotland, on our many tours there, and here in Australia. It took another musical form when Chris wrote this tune, when we were all in Shetland together in 2015, for the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club. I wrote the words, we shared the vocals, and the song was recorded at Hugh's in Kew, Melbourne and in Belfast. String arrangement for members of The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club by Chris Stone. From The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club recording Homecoming.

3. Underground Mutton: 2000: for non-Australians, or younger Australians, Underground Mutton was a 1930s depression slang expression for rabbit. The story comes from the life of Jack Lockett, who died as Australi's oldest man at the age of 111 in 2011. He told the story of walking our from the family farm in the depression with his dad earning money in farms where they could and living off the fat? of the land wherever they could find it. This album saw the start of the collaboration with Bruce Packard and Jonathan Jones, on double bass and percussion, and this relationship ran and ran. For years, the four piece were on the bill at most Australian festivals. Jonesy, in between gigs with Eric Bogle’s band, drove up and down the highway between Melbourne and Canberra like a man possessed. Bruce was at primary school in Canberra with Judy, so the story starts early! Judy taught herself to play mouthharp for this track. Does nothing stop her?

4. Deeper Blue: 2006: New Dogs Old Tricks was our family band. Our family, some almost family, and the Packard family, Gus Rigby, who has had a great career since as a sax, guitar and bass player (to mention a few), is Judy’s son. The beautiful sax playing on this track was done when he was 16. The piano on this track is a 1970s Yamaha Electric Grand which sound engineer Harry Williamson had in the corner of his studio. What a magnificent sound.

5. Al Grassby’s Grandfather: 2000: I met Al Grassby, renowned left wing politician of the Whitlam era, at Jamberoo Folk Festival. He told me the story of his family, one lazy alcohol fuelled evening. His grandfather was a kind of Spanish gun running pirate who had led a life gun running between Spain and Latin America, when fishing became too boring,until he was kicked out of both and came to Australia. The song was written, and then we met Felpeyu, on tour from Asturia in Spain, on the same bill at a few festivals that year. What a great bunch of people. This track was recorded live in one take by Paul Petran at the ABC Radio studios in Melbourne. Igor Medio played bouzouki, Carlo Redondo shared the lead vocals in Spanish with Kavisha. He and Igor translated the lyrics into Spanish. It was a brilliant day, and the recording was one of the most joyous things we have ever done. How tragic to receive the news some time later that on their return to Europe, Igor and Carlos died in a car crash. Vale, Igor and Carlos. We continue to miss them, but their prominence here is a great testimony to their musicality and joie-de-vivre. Judy had no language in common with the two lovely Asturian fiddle players, but that didn’t stop them arranging a beautiful string part. Xuan Nel Exposito played an exquisite accordion part. It was a joy spending time with them.

6. The Lea Rig: 2016: Jess Foot is a professional orchestral oboe/cor anglais player. She is one of the most musical people I have ever met and had the joy of playing with. Her other musical joy is fiddle playing. She has played with Judy and me for some years, and the solo on this Robert Burns song is just beautiful. Recorded with our other frequent collaborators, The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, in an arrangement put together by Judy. We have the happiest memories of playing this during a concert in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

7. Elvis Blues: 2008: Judy’s daughter Bec Rigby has a voice to die for. She was singing with New Dogs before she was 15. Here she and I share a duet on a Gillian Welch song. I remember her bringing the house down at Wellington Festival in New Zealand. Bec now sings with Melbourne band The Harpoons.

8. Les Trois Grands Luthiers: 2002: I learnt this Scott Skinner tune from Derek Hoy, fiddle player with Jock Tamson’s Bairns, one of Scotland’s best known traditional bands. He and I played a lot in our youth, and when he came to visit us in Australia, we dug this tune out and played it on the verandah. Soon after we recorded it with The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club. Another magnificent person who left us too soon.

9. The Homecoming: 2016: the tune to this is a strathspey I wrote for my cousin’s husband, Joe Wilson. The words draw a comparison between the linnets (small brown birds with a magnificent voice) returning to Scotland as crop sprays on the fields of the south of Scotland are not allowed to be so poisonous, and the human population of Scotland growing as the move towards independence begins to increase for the first time in 200 years.

10. Paths of Victory: 2008: Dylan wrote this pastiche of an old Baptist hymn called Palms of Victory, in the early 60s. The family band dug it out, dusted it off, and put it together with a tune written by Gus Rigby, who this time was playing the flute. Just because he can. Pria Schwall Kearney, a long time compadre, plays chunky, fiddle. Bec sings the lead. Honestly, I think this is great. I can’t think why we didn’t make a million! Actually, I can. All the children got obsessed with rock music and went off in other directions.

11. Murray River Red Cliffs: 1999: In the mid 90s, I was asked to write a suite of songs to celebrate the town of Redcliifs in northern Victoria. I met Mary Chandler, a local poet. She wrote these words about the Murray River, which Judy and I set to music and arranged. I love Judy’s arrangement, and Mary’s words. And I also enjoyed singing that harmony line.

12. The Pickers’ Train. 1995: Macca, who runs Australia’s largest single audience radio show Australia All Over, picked up on this song and played it every week for a year or so. Completely by chance, I had struck a chord (sorry!) by writing about pickers moving to the fruit growing areas of Victoria for the grape harvest, and people were ringing Macca every week up with their own amazing stories of fruit pickers. Which only encouraged him to play the song again and again! I had met Dickie Murphy, a grape grower from Merbein, near Mildura, and he told me a thousand stories of his picking experiences. A few of those stories I slammed into rhyme and into this song. In another collaboration which has gone on now for more than 20 years, we continue to occasionally appear on Australia All Over with Macca on Sunday mornings. He is a great supporter of Australian acoustic music.

13. Bird In A Cage; 2008: Again, Bec sings like a bird, and I found this song in a old book of American folk songs which Judy inherited from her father. Judy plays a gorgeous viola solo. Harry’s piano again.

14. Old Grey Fergie: 1995: One of the greatest characters and musicians I have played with in Melbourne is Louis McManus. Before he became too ill to play, his extraordinary mandolin and fiddle playing was luckily recorded for posterity all over my first album Aussie Lullaby, also featuring on The Pickers Train above. Louis once got a call at his house while he was in bed one morning. He picked up the phone and said What do you want? Who is this? The voice said This is Ry Cooder and I was wondering if you would like to play with me ? I have a tour of Australia coming up. Louis shouted a few short epithets into the phone, as he assumed one of his friends was having him on, and slammed the phone down. Ry Cooder rang back later, and Louis reconsidered.

15. Telling Tales: 1999: Judy and I met up with a friend who told us that she was just beginning to tell people the story of the sexual abuse she had suffered as a child inside her family. Such a strong woman. She asked if I might feel moved to write a song about it. I wrote this song, we pored over the lyrics together till she was happy with them, and she invited us to perform it in a concert in her house, to which she invited many friends, and the money raised went to a charity for victims of sexual assault. Kavisha Mazzella shared the vocals with me, and Hugh insisted on having the harmony vocals up loud: two voices singing at equal volume. The recording was a very moving experience. It has been a great privilege to record with Kavisha. Another extraordinary memory.

16: Let Me Die in My Footsteps: 2008: Another Dylan song, this one from 1961 and the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis Bob says Blow the US Government, I won’t build a bomb shelter in my garden and hide in it: if I have to die, let me die standing up and walking. The original version sounds very different, we have slowed it right down, and this time the vocals are shared with long time harmony singing and mandolin playing compadre Peter Dwyer. And Judy arranged a lovely solo and string part for the Fiddle Club again.

17: The Roads and The Miles to Dundee : 2002: Judy and I asked Eric Bogle, perhaps Australia’s best known folk singer, if he would care to delve into his family history and sing his favourite Scots song with The Fiddle Club. He kindly agreed, and chose his mother’s favourite song, The Roads and The Miles to Dundee. Judy played mouthharp and arranged the strings, Hugh and I played guitars and shared the harmonies. We met up at various festivals and performed it live. The one that sticks in my memory was the Port Fairy Festival where, for the first time, we sang it together with the Fiddle Club. Eric had rehearsed and recorded the song with Hugh and me, but he had never sung live with the 30 fiddles behind him. I remember when the strings came in after the first verse, Eric was suddenly so moved he couldn’t speak, tears came to his eyes, and we had to run round the chord sequence again before he could restart. When he got himself back together, he sang it beautifully there, and sings it beautifully here.



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