Local Song CDs
General review comment and CD details

'Roly resolutely cranks down the volume in his characteristic style, has adapted the songs with sensitivity, wit and an unforced Blaydon dialect. He sheds new light on old tunes'.
Judith Murphy - Northern Review, volume 14/2004

'He has a warm voice that really puts over the passion and humour in the songs'
The Crack Magazine - March 2016

'Roly is dedicated to his Tyneside roots, presenting the songs as they should be sung'
Living Tradition Magazine - Issue 113, April/May 2016

'We've always felt there's a subtler, gentler, sadder side to these songs, and a wittier one too, that didn't quite find it's place. Now we have a recording that really satisfies us. It has the wit; it also has that more haunting, delicate side we've never found before in a collection of Tyneside songs'
UA Fanthorpe & Dr RV Bailey (UA chose my song 'Keep your feet still' (Canny Tyneside CD) as one of her selection on Radio 4 Desert Island Discs in 2004)

'A new venture in performing the folk songs of the North East comes from Roly Veitch, native of Blaydon. The result is a gentle sound, his own warm singing voice accompanied by expert, light guitar playing. What is distinctive about his style is the new settings for the tunes, more harmonically adventurous than the usual chord patterns, but sounding a treat'
Bill Griffiths of the Durham & Tyneside Dialect Research Group

'A lovely recording with many old favourites on it'
Kathy Secker - BBC Radio Newcastle

'As a broadcaster I have played many tracks from Roly's albums and they always bring a positive response from listeners at home and abroad. His deep affection for the North East and its people shows in everything he does'
Gary Hogg - Radio Tyneside

A CANNY TALE by CROWLEY'S CREW (released October 2017)
Available for purchase from Amazon - click here.

Roly Veitch - vocals, guitar, banjo, uke (with overdubs)
Stewart Hardy - fiddle (tracks 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 16)

The songs on this CD tell of some of the history of one small but significant area of Tyneside and of the miners, keelmen, blacksmiths and industrialists who created their own remarkable legend here. Also it was the location of a certain famous horse race meeting.
Blaydon, Winlaton & Stella together have a rich history ranging from very early coal mining at the very beginnings of North East mining to Crowley's Ironworks, which was, by the early 1700s, probably the biggest integrated industrial operation in Europe with 1500 blacksmith workers. It was a forerunner of the Industrial Revolution and a model for possible future social welfare schemes. Then came industrialists Joseph and son Joe Cowen, both businessmen but committed leaders of working men and Joe (The Blaydon Brick) became an internationally known left wing radical, republican and activist with unwavering conviction. Then of course Blaydon had its famous horse race meeting leading to the song 'Blaydon Races', THE Tyneside anthem, which is known worldwide. The races ended their days at Stella Haugh, site of a great battle between the English and Scots back in 1640. Finally there was the modernisation of Canny Old Blaydon in the late 1960s/early 1970s when the Victorian era shops and terraces were replaced by a modern town. The older residents remember the old town with great fondness. All in all its quite a canny tale.
The songs on the CD tell individual stories but listened to in running order give an evolving story of some of this history and the insert booklet with the CD gives a potted history as related to the songs. I hope that because of the sheer richness of the history the album may be of interest to people beyond the local area that it relates to.
Composers - Winlaton Hopping (John Leonard) & Blaydon Races (George Ridley). The other songs and lyrics are all composed by Roly Veitch except Winlaton Rapper Song, Keel Row & Down by the Riverside (melody used on last chorus of The Spike) are traditional songs of unknown authorship.
My thanks to the great folk fiddle player Stewart Hardy who came in on the recording session and played on six of the songs.
PS. The song 'Canny Old Blaydon' was first recorded on my 'Gan Canny' CD but this version has a new melody, a quicker tempo and revised lyrics.


Track Listing - -
1 - Winlaton Coal
2 - Crowley's Crew
3 - A Keelman's Lament
4 - The Lead Road
5 - The Blaydon Brick
6 - Winlaton Hopping
7 - Winlaton Rapper Calling On Song
8 - A Legend Evermore
9 - Blaydon Races
10- Coffee Johnny Wore a White Top Hat
11- The Battle of Stella Haugh
12- The Spike (Down by the Riverside)
13- Canny Old Blaydon
14- Three Cheers for Blaydon Co-op
15- The Keelman's Way
16- The Keel Row


WHEREVER YE GAN by ROLY VEITCH (released 2015)
Available for purchase from Amazon - click here.

Roly Veitch - vocals, guitar, banjo & uke

For this CD I went back to my own favourites of the well known Geordie repertoire. To some extent it is a reworking of my original 'Canny Tyneside' CD but with new recordings (all done during 2015), changes to some of the arrangements, more variation (some banjo & uke as well as guitars) and a few changes to the choice of songs. The following review was in The Crack magazine in March 2016 - 'Roly Veitch gets his jaunt on for this collection of traditional local songs that take in everything from 'Wor Geordie’s Lost His Penker' to 'The Lambton Worm', along with one of my personal favourites, 'Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny'. Utilising guitar, banjo and ukulele he keeps the toe-tapping vibes turned up to the max, and he has a warm voice that really put over the passion and humour in the songs. Does 'The Blaydon Races' get another run out, though? But of course it does and it’s sounding as good as ever in Veitch’s capable hands.'

Track Listing - -
1 - Wherever ye gan you're sure to find a Geordie - MP Thornton/JG Robson
2 - Wor Geordie's Penker - trad.
3 - Cullercoats Bay - JG Robson
4 - Keel Row - trad.
5 - Ma Bonny Lad - trad.
6 - Wor Nanny's a Mazer - T Armstrong
7 - Water of Tyne - trad.
8 - Lambton Worm - CM Leumane
9 - Morpeth Rant / Hesleyside Reel - W Shield/T Elliot
10- Pitman's Lament - N Turnbull
11- Bonny at Morn - trad.
12- Alang the Roman Wall - N Turnbull
13- I've got a little whippet - E Boswell
14- Keep your feet still Geordie hinny - J Wilson
15- Bobby Shafto - trad.
16- Blaydon Races - G Ridley
17- Canny Tyneside - JG Robson


GAN CANNY by THE BLAYDON ACES (released 2012)
Available for purchase from Amazon - click here.

Roly Veitch - vocals/guitar/banjo
James Birkett - guitar/banjo (solo guitar features on Tr. 6 & 11)

This recording was made with my pal James Birkett, a fine guitarist. James has accompanied me at concerts. It features James with two gorgeous guitar solo pieces together with a few songs I've not recorded before plus fresh versions of some of my own favourites of the repertoire, for example a slower than usual version of 'Blaydon Races', a calypso version of 'Wor Geordie's lost his Penker'. The following review was in The Crack magazine July 2012 - 'The Blaydon Aces have come up a glorious celebration of Tyneside with a selection of songs synonymous with the region. Veitch’s vocals really draw you in (augmented by some sterling guitar and banjo work from the pair) and the familiar nature of some of the songs are given impetus by some original arrangements. For example, ‘Wor Geordie’s Lost His Penker’ has a lovely calypso feel. Tremendous stuff. GM'
One song on this CD, 'Canny old Blaydon', has been reworked on my new 'A Canny Tale' CD where I've given it a quicker tempo, a new melody and revised lyrics.

Track Listing - -
1 - Keep your feet still Geordie hinny - J Wilson
2 - Wor Geordie's lost his penker - trad.
3 - Sair fyeld hinny - trad.
4 - When this aad hat was new - trad.
5 - Wherever ye gan you're sure to find a Geordie - JG Robson
6 - *Bonny at Morn - trad.
7 - Bobby Shaftoe - trad.
8 - Canny old Blaydon - R Veitch
9 - Blaydon Races - G Ridley
10- Billy Boy - trad.
11- *Water of Tyne - trad.
12- The Lambton Worm - CM Leumane
13- Gan Canny - R Veitch
14- The row between the cages - T Armstrong
15- Big River - J Nail
16- Fog on the Tyne - A Hull
* - J Birkett guitar solo pieces


CANNY TYNESIDE by THE BLAYDON ACES (released 2002)
Available for purchase from Amazon - click here.

Roly Veitch - vocals/guitars

Since my teenage years I've taken an interest in our local dialect songs. Being Blaydon born the song 'Blaydon Races' started it off, then I began to learn some of the well known repertoire just for my own interest. I listened to other artists such as Alex Glasgow and Denis Weatherley. Then in 2002 I recorded this CD using my own arrangements for two guitars plus voice. The CD received a lot of nice comment then quite a lot of local radio airplay (including some radio interviews about it). In 2004 one song, 'Keep your feet still Geordie hinny', was played on Radio 4 Desert Island Discs at the request of poet UA Fanthorpe. This was a total surprise. Then my version of 'Blaydon Races' was played for a short while at St. James' Park home of Newcastle United FC which was quite an honour. The encouragement from this experience spurred me on to do more with the repertoire, record further albums and do concerts (often helped by a long time pal James Birkett, a fine guitarist).

Track Listing - -
1 - Wherever ye gan you're sure to find a Geordie - MP Thornton/JG Robson
2 - Canny Tyneside - JG Robson
3 - Wor Nanny's a Mazer - T Armstrong
4 - Ma Bonny Lad - trad.
5 - Keep your feet still Geordie hinny - J Wilson
6 - Pitman's Lament - N Turnbull
7 - Cushie Butterfield - G Ridley
8 - The Ha'penny Woods at Bedlington - JG Robson
9 - Cullercoats Bay - JG Robson
10- Alang the Roman Wall - N Turnbull
11- Pot Pies and Puddens - JG Robson
12- The Weshin' Day - T Wilson
13- The Neighbours doon belaa - J Weams
14- My Cheviot Hills - JG Robson
15- The Lambton Worm - CM Leumane
16- The Howty Towty Lass - JG Robson
17- Water of Tyne - trad.
18- Blaydon Races - G Ridley


GEORDIE ROOTS by THE BLAYDON ACES (released 2003)
Currently unavailable

Roly Veitch - vocals/guitars

Following on from my Canny Tyneside CD I began working on more of the local songs, some perhaps a little less well known.
I used the same formula again - voice with arrangements for two guitars. Also for the first time an instrumental medley - track 8.

Track Listing - -
1 - Tyneside's where I come from - E Boswell
2 - The Keel Row - trad.
3 - Cappy the Pitman's Dog - W Mitford
4 - Aa hope ye'll be kind te me dowter - J Wilson
5 - Geordie haad the bairn - J Wilson
6 - The row upon the stairs - J Wilson
7 - The Cliffs of old Tynemouth - DR Leitch
8 - Redesdale Hornpipe/Morpeth Rant/Hesleyside Reel - W Shield/T Elliot
9 - Wi me pit claes on - E Boswell
10- Dance ti thy Daddy- W Watson
11- The Paanshop bleezin' - JP Robson
12- I've got a little whippet - E Boswell
13- Not much left - R Veitch
14- The fiery clock fyece - R Nunn
15- Bonny at Morn - trad.
16- Blaydon Races - G Ridley


To listen to sample tracks from these CDs follow my YouTube channel click here.

Some songs are repeated on the CDs, particularly 'Blaydon Races' which is on all of them but there are no duplicated recordings anywhere. All song repeats are contrasting versions either with fresh arrangements, different instrumentation, varied tempos or re-recorded modifications of existing arrangements.
All the CDs are licenced with MCPS.


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