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Love's Holyday

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 poets’.
They take their name from a real-life band of city musicians, known as Many
'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.

Ivan North.


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