IAN MENZIES & HIS CLYDE VALLEY STOMPERS
1959-60 WITH GUESTS FIONA DUNCAN & LONNIE DONEGAN
LAKE, 1997 LACD83, 18 tracks, 52 min
Roses Of Picardy, Beale Street Blues, Gettysberg March, Swinging Seamus, Ace In The Hole*, Sailing Down Chesapeake Bay*, In A Persian Market, There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight#, Mack The Knife#, The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise, Tres Moutarde, Just A Closer Walk With Thee#*, Yellow Dog Blues, Irish Black Bottom, Royal Garden Blues, The Fish Man, Salty Dog#, Scotland The Brave.
It was 1962, and as a birthday gift I had been given a record token, my first ever. My young aunt was keen for me to get a Cliff Richards single with it, but I had other ideas. There used to be a pop programme on ITV where a panel of 'experts' reviewed newly released singles. The only memorable character was a girl who worked in a Brummy record shop whose phrase for a potential top seller ('Oill give hit foive') became the catch phrase of a generation. Well, when the Clyde Valley Stompers 'Peter and the Wolf' was announced, the verdict was a two because Trad was starting to fade (it did make the top 20 though). Never mind what they thought, I liked it and so promptly spent my record token on the first record in what has become my jazz collection. The tracks on this CD are from a slightly earlier period 1959-60. Some tracks have surfaced on various Pye and Castle compendium albums in recent years, others have not been available since the original albums sold out. What are they like? Well, even after all these years, I still have a soft spot for the Stompers. Ok, what they played at their concerts tended to be more mainstream than what they recorded, and yes they were Trad rather than New Orleans, and you are right, the always seemed to record either in a tin shed, or with the echo chamber turned on, and I know the fast numbers tend to be a bit frantic. But they play happy, pleasant jazz that is nice to listen to. As a bonus you get a couple of tracks with fellow Glasweign Lonnie Donegan* on vocals, and that's not all, you also get (no not steak knives) that wonderful blues singer Fiona Duncan#. Fiona, who puts a growl into everything, and who I remember as being a bundle of energy whenever she was on stage. Good memories, and a good CD. Three of the tracks come from an LP that has graced my collection for many years and is showing the effects. Come on Lake Records, be good sports; issue another Clyde Valley Stompers CD and included the rest of the tracks from that LP so that I can finally put my scratched and battered copy to rest!
IAN MENZIES & HIS CLYDE VALLEY STOMPERS 1959-61
Lake LACD 126 2000 20 tracks 57 min
Polly Wolly Doodle, Bill Bailey, Savoy Blues, The Soldier's Dream, Ice Cream, Barnyard Blues, The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Il Trovatore, Battle Hymn Of The Republic, High Society, Prelude In C Sharp Minor Opus 3, Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue, 12Th Street Rag, Black Angus, The Big Man, Play To Me Gypsy, Trombones To The Fore, Taboo, Auf Wiederseh'n
This CD completes the issue of the Band's recordings for the Pye label. As such, I already had them in my collection, either on LP or pirated onto reel-to-reel tape. Given the deterioration of those media, it is with relief that I found that Lake has issued this CD. Although some of the tracks have a lot of echo and as a result sound a trifle thin, I have always enjoyed listening to the Clyde Valley Stompers, with especial delight when their vivacious singer, Fiona Duncan, steps up to the mike.
Fiona always gives a tune an 'edge' with her drive and enthusiasm. In many ways she reflects the Clyde Valley Stompers at that time in their existence. However, unlike Fiona Duncan, the Stompers could at times let their enthusiasm carry them beyond their capabilities, something that shews in their high-speed rendition of 'Battle Hymn' of the Republic. But, after listening to ' The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me' and ' Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue', I can forgive them anything. I am only too happy to own this CD, I am sure that you will be too.
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