Tonight I’m going to be listening to The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (1956) by A.L. Lloyd featuring Alf Edwards. A.L. Lloyd has been noted as an influential figure in the British folk revival during the 1950s and 1960s. I found out about A.L. Lloyd from my quick research on Anne Briggs, where it was mentioned that Anne Briggs was a musical influence on A.L. Lloyd. Lloyd’s discography has quite a bit of range in terms of the origins of the folk music he performs, including English, Australian, and even Albanian folk music, and spans from the 1950s until Lloyd’s death in 1982. This album, The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (1956), is one of the few albums from Lloyd that’s available on Apple Music, so I’m pretty excited to give it a listen. With that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Daughter, Daughter, Whistle (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with some really interesting concertina playing from Alf Edwards with a British folk sound, which is soon joined by some folksy vocals Lloyd. I really like the vocals from Lloyd, which have a really enjoyable unpolished folksy nature that makes it seem like I’m almost listening to someone from the 1800s singing. Super sweet track.
“The Seven Gypsies (feat. Alf Edwards)” starts out with a super sweet, and somewhat spacious and waltz-like British folk melody from the concertina. The vocals remind me a lot of the Scottish folk music that I’ve heard, while still retaining a sort of British element that makes it almost seem like the track was recorded somewhere along the border between Scotland and England. Super sweet track.
“The Maiden’s Lament (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with just Lloyd’s a-cappella vocals, which sing a somewhat sullen, very folksy melody. Oh wow, one of the lines from the track seems to introduce a bit of a Scottish-inflection. Wow, great track.
“The Husband with No Courage (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with a somewhat upbeat, folksy melody from the concertina, which seems to mellow out when Lloyd’s vocals come into the track. Oh wow, there are some really interesting pauses and dynamic feel in the pacing that gives a really dramatic sound to the folk tune. Super sweet track.
“The Trees They Do Grow High (feat. Alf Edwards)” starts out with a super sweet melody from the concertina that almost sounds as though you’re transported to some folksy, Shakespearian grove under a starry night in the olden days of England. Oh wow, the vocals from Lloyd and the melody from the concertina complement one another really nicely as they seem to ebb and flow alongside each other. Oh wow, there’s a little line played by the concertina that introduces a really sweet, folksy dramatic effect that I really dig. The track almost sounds like one that could have been used as an influence for The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Wow, great track.
“The Turtle Dove (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with some somewhat mysterious, folksy a-cappella vocals from Lloyd. The song sounds as though Lloyd is preserving ancient folk music through his recording. Oh wow, I really dig this one. Great tune.
“Reynardine (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with a really smooth segue from the previous song with some sweet, somewhat sullen, folksy playing from the concertina. I really dig the way the vocal lines in this track seem to carry on and breathe nicely alongside the concertina. Super sweet tune.
“The Soldier and the Maid (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with an upbeat folksy feel from the concertina, as though an old pub in the 1800s in England is about to break into a jig of some sort. Oh wow, Lloyd’s vocals have a really upbeat and folksy feel as well that seems to lend to that jig-like sound. Holy smokes, there’s a really sweet line between the vocals and the concertina at the end of each chorus that I’m really digging. Oh wow, I really dig the narrative feel of the vocals that seem to ebb and flow along with the story. Wow, great track.
“The Foggy Dew (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with some super sweet, folksy, a-cappella vocals from Lloyd again. Oh wow, the vocals seem to transport me to a foggy day in an old town in the 1800s in England, standing on a cobblestone path while a gentle fog rolls into view. Great track.
“The Maid on the Shore (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with the concertina and vocals from Edwards and Lloyd, which bring about an almost sea shanty-like feel. I should note here that Lloyd seems to have a few different albums of sea shanties. Oh wow, the track continues along really nicely with a sea shanty-esque folksy feel that I’m really digging. Super sweet track.
“Brigg Fair (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with some really sweet solo vocals from Lloyd, which almost have a sort of sullen, yet nature-esque folk sound that reminds me a lot of Molly Drake. Oh wow, Lloyd seems to reach higher vocal registries in this track, which almost bring a sort of lightheartedness to the song. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “The Bird in the Bush (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with a super sweet, yet solemn line from the concertina that segues in from the previous track very nicely. Lloyd’s vocals come in soon after, and evoke more of a sort of solemn folksy feel that seems to capture what sounds to be the essence of British folk music from the late 1700s and even early 1800s. Oh wow, there sounds to be a ton of emotion in the vocals and concertina as the song comes to a close. Great track.
“The Cuckoo (feat. Alf Edwards)” starts out with Lloyd’s solo vocals once again, and brings about a really sweet, somewhat solemn, traditional British folk feel that I’m really digging. This version sounds a bit different from the Anne Briggs version that I listened to last night, though both are vocal performances with no accompanying instrumentation. This track actually reminds me a bit of some Clive Palmer groups like C.O.B. and even The Incredible String Band. Great track.
“The Isle of Cloy (feat. Alf Edwards)” begins with a sweet, solemn, British folk melody played on the concertina, which is soon joined by Lloyd’s vocals that seem to add to that sweet and solemn style of the concertina. I really dig the way the lines from the concertina seem to be given a lot of room to breathe, while still seeming to flow really nicely with the vocals. Great track, and a great way to end the album.
Holy smokes, this album is pretty sweet. The music really seemed to encapsulate what my perceptions of the earlier 1800s in a small town near the sea in England might sound like, while also seeming to venture around Scotland at times as well. The movements within songs and between songs continued along a really pleasant folksy path throughout the listening experience, with the music seemingly ebbing and flowing between solo vocals and instrumental accompaniment from a concertina played by Alf Edwards, which added a really sweet, and at times dramatic, feel to the album that kept me listening more intently as the music continued. If you enjoy traditional English or even Scottish folk music, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.