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Anne Lennox-Martin: Born to the Breed

Anne Lennox-Martin

1. Born to the Breed
2. Lady Eliza
3. Temporary Man
4. St James' Infirmary Blues 
5. Month of January
6. Do Your Duty
7. It Ain't Me Babe
8. Man For All colours
9. The Rising of the Women
10. Seventeen Come Sunday
11. The Crawdad Song
12. Unaccompanied
13. Poor Frozen Out Gardners
14. New Railroad
15. Stavin' Chain

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1. Born to the Breed
Composed by: Judy Collins, arranged: ALM Band. The wonders of being a mother; the loving and sharing of the early years and the letting go when it is time for the child to move on. Beautiful lyrics.
 
2. Lady Eliza
Traditional, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. A traditional song about the disgrace of a "lady" falling in love with a servant. The servant is killed by her father and she commits suicide. A well known theme so probably really happened at some time in the misty past. This version from the Child Book of Ballads is more commonly titled - "Lady Diamond".
 
3. Temporary Man
Composed: Anne Lennox-Martin, arranged: ALM Band. Written by Anne in a Hackney Squat in the 80's; a rocking number with acerbic lyrics, e.g. "Loving you is like a fairground site / Fun for a while then it closes for the night." Oh dear, not a particularly happy time, but a cracking tune.
 
4. St James' Infirmary Blues
Traditional, arranged Anne Lennox-Martin. Anne learnt this stunning version from a New York women's collective in the early 70's.
 
5. Month of January
Traditional, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. A poignant traditional song about the plight of women who become pregnant and are then abandoned by parents and lover.
 
6. Do Your Duty
Composed: Bessie Smith, arranged: ALM Band.. Probably written by Bessie Smith, this song came to Anne via Peter Bellamy and we think of it as our "Hot Club" number. It was recorded on an LP modestly entitled "Copulatin' Blues". Now who could be blue about that?
 
7. It Ain't Me Babe
Composed: Bob Dylan, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. The well known Bob Dylan song, here given an acapella harmony treatment by Anne and her daughter Elayna.
 
8. Man For All colours
Composed: Nick Parry-Jones, arranged: Bill Caddick. This song won a TV Competition in 1967. The series was called Songs of Grief and Glory. Anne remembered the song out of the blue but had no idea where it came from.Thanks to Peter Monk (Optical) from Essex, for the information.
 
9. The Rising of the Women
Composed: Chris Coe, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. Many women who grew up in the 50's and 60's found their loyalties torn when Women's Liberation and similar organisations were fighting for equality with men in every facet of life. It appeared that many of the most strident campaigners hated men. Women with loving husbands could identify with the cause but not always with "The Ladies" who were the mouthpiece for change. Chris Coe's song strikes a resonance for both men and women who remember those times.
 
10. Seventeen Come Sunday
Traditional, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. This version comes from the Baring Gould collection; performed acapella with chorus harmonies added by Elayna Martin and Genevieve Tudor.
 
11. The Crawdad Song
Traditional, arranged: ALM Band. Widely known songs often pick up verses from here, there and everywhere. Chris thinks he got most of these from George and Thaddeus Kay in Leicester in the late 60's - early 70's. Crawdad is a dialect name from west of the Appalachians and applies to fresh-water and sea-water creatures like little lobsters. You may know them as crayfish - whatever you call them, they're delicious.
 
12. Unaccompanied
Composed: Harvey Andrews, arranged: Anne Lennox-Martin. Written by Harvey Andrews in the early 70's, this song is a political statement about poverty, and the gulf between establishment and the workers.
 
13. Poor Frozen Out Gardners
Traditional, arranged: ALM Band. This song appears in Roy Palmers' book "A Touch on the Times" It seems there was little sympathy for the beggars who marched the street with a cabbage on a pole shouting "H'all froze out" during bitter winter spells. Some suspected that these men were just work-shy, and earned double a normal days wage by deceiving the public.
 
14. New Railroad
Traditional, arranged: ALM Band. Anne learnt this song from Jim Mageean while both were residents at the Dingles Folk Club in London. Obviously American it describes the fate of women who befriended the railroad crews.
 
15. Stavin' Chain
Composed: Lil Johnson? arranged: ALM Band. Probably written by Lil Johnson but certainly recorded by her in the early 30's, this celebrates a legendary character who helped create the American railroads. Apparently he was well endowed and enjoyed an excellent reputation with the womenfolk. This is another track from the appropriately entitled LP "Copulatin' Blues".
 
Reviews of Anne Lennox-Martin - Born to the Breed
 
Shreds and Patches - Summer 2004
 
For those who don’t know Anne’s history, she became well known on the scene working as part of a duo specialising in music hall songs, and damn good she was. After a break in her professional singing career (although never stopping singing!) she moved to Shropshire with new husband and new material.

Her tastes in music have always been eclectic, and this new band brings out the best in very varied material. This recording shows both band and Anne in full flight; lovely slide guitar work from Bill Caddick, sleazy jazz fiddle from Flos Headford, tasty guitar and mandolin from husband Vince Neads, and tasteful (honest!) percussion from Chris Bartram. All contribute backing vocals, as do her daughter Elayna and Radio Shropshire’s Gen Tudor.
 
Throw into the mix some lovely bass playing from All Blacked Up's Ray Archer, and the result makes a very enjoyable listen. With so much going on, it would be easy to forget just what a powerful unaccompanied singer Anne is, but you won't do that if you give this a listen. Lady Liza (more commonly called Lady Diamond) is a stunner, one of the biggest of the big ballads, and Anne’s treatment bringing out the darkness within it, whilst her treatment of Chris Coe’s The Rising of the Women has an almost hesitant uncertainty in its tone perfectly fitted to the song. Of the numbers she shares with the band the bluesy Do your Duty, New Railroad and Stavin’ Chain are wonderful. I was also taken with Man for all Colours, which has some lovely twelve string (I think!) playing behind a very poignant treatment of a very poignant song.