Between Debt & Fortune / Various
'Authentic stuff with a little edge to it' Tykes' news 'Stunning' Mick Peat 'Folkwaves' BBC radio Derby 'a singer to listen out for ... an excellent album' Roy Harris - Tradition magazine Ruth Price and Sadie Greenwood are sisters who were brought up in Dewsbury West Yorkshire. They have both been heavily influenced by traditional song from a very early age. Ruth and Sadie sing mainly unaccompanied songs from a wide repertoire, which includes songs from their family tradition and the North of England, songs which they have learned from the family's associations with North America and some contemporary material. Over a number of years Ruth and Sadie have attended many folk festivals throughout England. They are both heavily involved in morris dancing, and have sung in pubs and folk clubs whilst at festivals. For the last 2 years their spine tingling sibling harmonies have become increasingly in demand at folk clubs and festivals. Ruth was born in Toronto Canada to Bill and Wendy Price, both from West Yorkshire, she still retains her Canadian citizenship. Ruth's dad Bill Price was a professional folk singer and musician, he released two LPs 'The fine old Yorkshire gentleman' (1972) and 'I sing as I please' (1978), he died in 1980. Ruth sings several of the songs he collected and researched. Ruth's mum Wendy wrote the tunes for some of Bill's songs that Ruth sings. Bill and Wendy ran Dewsbury folk club and organised the West Riding Folk Festival. Ruth was raised in West Yorkshire and the future direction of her life was established by her early immersion in the folk world. Ruth began playing the English concertina at the age of eight and for many years had lessons from Nellie Power of the Heckmondwike Marching Concertina Band. After graduating from university in Birmingham Ruth settled in Peterborough where she has been heavily involved in both English and Irish traditional music. Like her mother Wendy, Ruth is a morris dance musician, her concertina playing contributes to the distinctive sound of the Witchmen's band. She spends most weekends between May and September at Folk Festivals around England. Ruth has for a number of years been singing mainly traditional songs which had been passed down to her, she also sings songs that have been more recently added to her repertoire. Ruth and her sister Sadie have been singing together all their lives, at first for their own pleasure, and then as interest in their singing grew, at various folk clubs and festivals. When Ruth decided to record Between Debt and Fortune Sadie asked if she could sing harmony on some of the songs that they had been singing together since childhood, Ruth was delighted. The songs Rothwell debtor's prison - 1:40 From the singing of Ruth's Dad, Bill Price. The song was noted by Captain Armitage in the 'annals of the Wakefield House of Correction'. Ruth's Mum, Wendy Price, wrote the tune. Old Maui - 3:37 Another song from Ruth's Dad's singing, about whaling trips to the North Pacific which might take up to three years. Polly Vaughan - 3:40 Ruth heard this on an Anne Briggs CD. A traditional ballad, probably of Irish origin. Sometimes sung as Molly Bawn. The keeper - 3:33 From Tony McCarthy's book 'Bawdy British Folk Songs' (ISBN 7234 04925) lent to Ruth by 'uncle Gus' Gomersal. Shrinking violet - 4:30 Written by American singer Jane Voss, Ruth heard her sing it on a visit to the USA in 1981. This was one of the first songs Ruth and Sadie sang out together. The cuckoo - 3:29 A great song about nothing in particular, seemingly made up of floating verses often heard elsewhere. Me husband's got no courage in him - 4:20 A wideley sung traditional chorus song. Ruth Doesn't know where she first heard it but it's pretty obvious what it's about. The Manchester Cornstalk - 4:08 Another one from Ruth's Dad. A hunt song from the Home Valley Beagles. He learned it from Rosa Barnes of Batley, West Yorkshire. Greenwood sideo - 2:43 A version of 'Cruel Mother' which Ruth learned from the singing of Lisa Null, who used to visit from the USA in the late 1970s. Fisher lads of Whitby - 3:16 A press-gang song from Ruth's Dad. He found it as a broadsheet and Ruth's Mum wrote the tune. The North East coast was a rich ground for the press-gangs during the Anglo-French wars. I will guide thee - 3:07 Ruth can't remember where this came from, but almost certainly American. A spiritual chant which was everyones favourite during the recording sessions. Fortune's wheel - 2:53 A Scottish exile balad that Ruth's Dad learned from Louis Killen. Ruth and Sadie's voices and harmonies are exemplary, they are superb exponents of quality song, this CD should not be missed.