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Tenth Solo Album is a Classic folk album from Peter Bellamy
on 20 June 2016
Out of all of the albums recorded by Peter Bellamy, this Tenth solo album is perhaps considered the most important of his albums. For many this is the Sgt Pepper of the Bellamy catalogue of albums. (the eighth album called Peter Bellamy does appear on CD along with the album Fair Annie on the double CD release Fair Annie. The ninth solo album called Tell it like it was, is not available on CD yet.) Personally I like all the albums just as much as each other but the idea of this album being of strong significance is well founded.
The Transports is an outstanding album from Peter Bellamy that was produced and released in 1977.
It stands out because it is a ballad Opera. A folk concept album if you like.
The album tells the story of Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes, a pair of English convicts transported to Australia in the 18th Century.
The story is based on an account of what happened to the two convicts sourced from a Norfolk historian Eric Fowler. His research shows that in 1783 Henry Cabell was sentenced to transportation for fourteen years for the burglary of a country house. And Susannah Holmes received a sentence for transportation for a different theft. They are sent to New South Wales after a three year imprisonment. (during which time they had fallen in love and produced a son) They were refused permission to marry. All the female convicts are to go alone in the first fleet to Australia but Susannah’s son is refused passage. A guard, John Sydney takes pity and takes the infant to London to appeal to the Home Secretary Lord Sydney. Sydney orders that Susannah and Henry be reunited, married and then sent together with their son to Australia. (they were not actually married until they got there though).
Eventually Henry becomes a constable in the new colony and enjoys success.
The album is written by Peter Bellamy. He gives new lyrics set to existing folk melodies. The tunes are great and the folk musical journey through the plot is a joy.
Another thing of significance about this album is that it contains a wealth of folk music musicians helping out. Each remain in character just like a normal Opera. The album features The Watersons, Norma Waterson and husband Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, A.L. Lloyd, June Tabor, Martin Winsor, Cyril Tawney and Dave Swarbrick and Dolly Collins.
There is no doubt that this is an important album in British Folk music and certainly a milestone recording. It is great that such a classic is available on CD and it is a must have for anyone interested in Peter Bellamy.