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An Introduction To

Compact Disc (Audio)
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An Introduction To
An Introduction To


john Tams is one of the most celebrated folk artists still recording and performing today, a 7-times winner at the BBC Folk Awards who has contributed to over 60 albums as singer, performer, arranger, writer, engineer and producer. John Tams has also been involved in many theatrical productions. His theatre CV includes work at The Old Vic, The RSC and The Globe to name a few. John was also a member of the original creative team that brought War Horse to the stage. He also worked with Steven Spielberg on the movie version, but he is best known maybe for his acting role as Daniel Hagman the rifleman in the popular TV series Sharpe with Sean Bean for which he was script associate, co-writing the music score. In 2000 John Tams released Unity, and nobody in the folk world could quite believe it was his first solo album. Tams had, after all, established himself as a key member of The Albion Band - recording one of their finest albums, Rise Up Like the Sun. Then rising out of the ashes of The Albion Band came Home Service, an eight-piece band, precursors of the current big band trend, strong on politics and exhilarating performances highlighted by a trademark English brass sound and powerful guitarist Graeme Taylor that hinged around Tams' uplifting singing and insightful songs. Home Service was one of the seminal folk-rock bands of the 80's, breathing new life into a genre that had dimmed since its 70's heyday. An Introduction to opens with two tracks from the group's classic third album, Alright Jack, released in 1986. Tams followed Unity with Home in 2002, and The Reckoning in 2005. Unity was a double winner at the 2001 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Album and Best New Song, 'Harry Stone (Hearts Of Coal)'. The Reckoning went one better with John Tams awarded Folk Singer of The Year, Best Album and Best Traditional track for 'Bitter Withy'. Tams undoubtedly deserved such accolades. His work is distinguished by a voice that always carries a strong emotional charge accentuated by his intelligent and imaginative song making and his obvious sympathy with the underdog, both past and present. He creates songs that not only stir the blood to stand up for your rights as in 'Unity' (Raise Your Banners High) and 'Harry Stone' but can also be tender or dramatic. Check out his spellbinding reading of 'Bitter Withy' or his compelling and moving re-making of 'A Man of Constant Sorrow'. Elsewhere here, we re-visit the music of Sharpe with 'Spanish Bride', and there's also just a hint of American country at times in John Tams work; 'You Don't Know Me Anymore' has an aching melancholy while 'The Ballroom' brings to mind the defining Americana of Ry Cooder's 70's and 80's recordings. We can only hope that John Tams may yet record another solo album but in the meantime this collection serves as a reminder of what we are missing.


  1. Name
  2. Alright Jack
  3. Scarecrow
  4. Whole New Vision
  5. From Where I Lie /Sheepcounting
  6. Unity (Raise Your Banners High)
  7. Spanish Bride
  8. Harry Stone (Hearts of Coal)
  9. You Don't Know Me Anymore
  10. Yonder (Down The Winding Road)
  11. The Traviller
  12. Red Gown
  13. Bitter Withy
  14. A Man Of Constant Sorrow
  15. The Ballroom
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