Travelling Through the Storm Prior to his untimely death last December, Alan Scott-one of Australia’s leading folk song collectors and himself a wonderful singer in the old bush style-had recorded some 50 songs in the National Library’s fully-equipped recording studio. These recordings formed part of a major cooperative project between Alan, his friend folklorist and poet Keith McKenry and the library to produce high quality studio recordings of important but often little-known Australian bush songs and poems. Alan’s songs and Keith’s recitations now form part of the library’s extensive Oral History Collection. They are progressively being made available to the public as compact discs on the independent Fanged Wombat label, distributed nationally by Larrikin/Festival. The second in their series of albums, Travelling through the Storm, has now been released. Like its predecessor, Battler’s Ballad, it presents an engaging collection of 24 remarkable Australian songs, poems and tunes, few of which have ever been available previously on a commercial recording. Performed simply and directly, with humour and sensitivity, they are a delightful introduction to the musical and poetic traditions of the Australian bush. A 20-page illustrated booklet accompanies the album, providing detailed background notes on all of the items. It also contains a biographical memoir of Alan Scott, and several fine photographs of Australian traditional musicians from Real Folk by well-known folk song collector John Meredith. The album is also enhanced by a pen drawing of Alan and Keith, completed just a few days before Alan’s death by artist and folklore collector Ron Edwards.
About the artist: A slightly crazy performance poet, Keith has been delighting festival audiences for over 25 years. In concert, he interweaves original verse with bush poetry, presenting an amalgam of history, humour, and social comment that defies stereotype. This year Keith is launching his new book ‘Australia’s Lost Folk Songs’, and giving a theme presentation on The Folklore of Prejudice. He is also providing both beginner and advanced workshops on performance poetry and recitation.
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