The Oxford Waits Beautiful Jo records EJOCD-54
The Oxford Waits am Charles Spicer (vocals, pipes and flute), Caroline
Butler (vocals, fiddle), Edward Fitzgibbon (Lute), Ian Giles (vocals,
drums), and Tim Healy (vocals).
The performers appear in period costume, and enliven concerts by street
ballads dame Was, airs and rounds as well as readings from diarists and
They take their name from a real-life band of city musicians, known as
'waits, 'who flourished in Oxford during the 17th century. Beginning and
ending with Christmas the CD includes 17th century songs, rounds, bawdy
ballads and dance tunes'. There are 27 tracks on the CD, so most are quite
short. Many of the songs are taken from that well know source of period
material - 'Pills to purge Melancholy'. There are many old favourites
here - 'Drive the Cold Winter Away', 'Three Ravens', 'Watkins Ale', 'Gossip
Joan' and my particular favourite 'Tomorrow the Fox' (I remember Pyewacket
doing a very good version of this song).
The tunes are mainly taken from John Playford's collection. 'Sellenger's
Round' and 'Jamaica' appear as songs and there is a fine instrumental
version of 'Hunsdon House',
The band is appearing at The Electric Theatre (Guildford) on wed 14th
October and at Farnham Castle on Sun 22nd November 2009.