Talking Elephant

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Dancing Tunes

‘Dancing Tunes’ is a selection of traditional songs from Jamaica and the Caribbean as collected by Walter Jekyll and recorded by Louise Bennet, the celebrated singer, folklorist and activist for Jamaican dialect. While these songs are regarded as uniquely Jamaican, they were all written and sung in English, or the Jamaican street dialect known as Patois. Full of wit and irreverent humour, if anything these songs demonstrate that folk music is first and foremost about telling stories and entertaining each other using song and dance a very human practice! Of course, with ‘Dancing Tunes’, the band have imparted their own unique take on the songs, re-interpreting, blending and referencing some of the English tunes which no doubt added to the original mix. Working alongside dub producer Paul ‘Lush’ Morris of Nucleus Roots, on this album Edward II have purposely recreated a British urban dub sound, using drum machines and beats intertwined with the live performances and instrumentation that has always been part of the bands unique style. Edward II are an English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles. Back in the nineties the band was signed to Cooking Vinyl Records and Rhythm Safari in the US. They worked extensively across the globe touring world music, reggae and folk festivals on almost every continent before finally calling it a day in 1999. Despite the constant touring the band always remained close friends and, in 2016, came back together to record and perform a new repertoire of songs born of the Industrial Revolution (specifically of their home town Manchester) known as the Manchester Broadsides. ‘Dancing Tunes’ finds Edward II still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies, the band continue to amaze audiences across the UK and Europe.

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1. Banana Boat Song
2. Linstead Market
3. Cordelia Brown
4. Dry Weather Houses
5. Long Time Gal
6. Hold Em Joe
7. Yellow Bird
8. Shake My Papaya Down
9. Island in the Sun
10. River Bank Coverly