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Where The Working Boats Went


Life & Who…?




Shropshire Iron


Strawplait & Bonelace

For Festivals



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Grandson Of Morris On




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Graeme’s Songs &

Bedfordshire Songs



Barry’s Songs


For your E-Ceilidh or Barn Dance







CD tracks

Wixamtree WIX052

A celebration of 250 years of the British canals


It is the music from this CD which won us the

FATEA Tradition 09 Award  which…


“…is presented to the act that have traditional folk at the root of their sound and use it to inspire new songs, tunes and arrangements.”




…an intelligent collection of songs… The duo’s keen insight into their subject benefits from genially musical accompaniment making this a charming and often impressively memorable disc.

Graeme and Barry have a keen feel for their chosen subject, and their writing is intelligently crafted, appealing in melody and well-observed imagery… Such is the quality of these original songs, their overall memorability (and fine chorus quotient), that I can envisage a number of them filtering through into wider currency very quickly indeed… performances strike an ideal balance between enthusiastic drive and gentle sensitivity, being accomplished and warmly-sung with a style and manner of musical accompaniment (melodeon etc.)… that’s perfectly complementary, being simply and effectively managed and genuinely attractive. In short, this is a real winner of a disc.

Read the full review here.




…an affectionate and largely nostalgic portrait that's nevertheless sensibly tempered with realism. …intelligently crafted, perceptive and melodically appealing in the contemporary-but-sounds-traditional vein. They convince and charm us… These are compositions of quality and memorability, several of which I envisage quickly being taken up by other performers. Graeme and Barry's pleasing and accomplished performance style… Warmly-sung with attractive, simply-managed and wholly complementary musical accompaniment… their songs together form a delightful, stimulating and entertaining programme and a disc to treasure.

Read the full review here.

(near bottom of page)




…finely crafted music and song… This album has presence. Its charisma comes through its gentle yet perceptive lyrics, warm rounded voices, and masterful musicianship. …it's a damn fine piece of work. If you feel affection for the canals or just love folk music - then this is a rare masterpiece and you'll love it too.

Read full review here.




This CD is of a very high standard all round, and as well as musically excellent, it is accompanied by well-researched sleeve notes. The lyrics are thought-provoking, yet catchy enough to become firm session and club favourites.




For those who are interested in canals and their history, this is a must… periods brought to life via authentic, traditional-style songs… The songs’ lyrics tell an enthralling story and the songs are sung with verve. Enjoy the expert melodeon playing and some beautiful violin countermelodies to some of the gentler songs. There is a dance-y feel to the up-tempo songs.




The songs have a good mixture of tempos and rhythms… The addition of two original melodeon tune tracks, (very interesting with plenty of syncopation) further increases the variety of the listening. There is a very high level of musicianship from all three performers, and the songs are relevant and well crafted… The songs are performed in a way that compliments the subject matter and makes them very easy to connect with. Many of the melodeon tunes/accompaniments have a cheery “morris” feel, giving a great lift and adding to the atmosphere of celebration and the pride of the people who worked on the waterways.

So to sum up – a very good CD, whether you’re interested in the inland waterways or not, and if you get the chance to see the show, I would highly recommend you to do so, and you’ll probably see me there too.


Their songs are carefully researched and cleverly written, reflecting industrial history. …I am not known for offering praise where it is not due, but this is a collection of no less than seventeen excellent songs and tunes, mostly self-penned and several strong enough to enter the tradition. I would tip 'Carrying the Load' (Goodman), 'The Row between the Boaters' (Meek), and the evocative 'Until the Cut Runs Dry' (Meek) as three easily in this class. I'm going to learn 'em anyway. Their atmospheric rendition of 'Push, Boys, Push,' is a leg up from the old Boatmen's original version too. I defy the track 'Iced In' not to send shivers down the spine of anyone who has tried winter boating. It brings to mind David Blagrove's haunting ballad of the death of Tom Beachy on the Oxford canal, just fifteen miles from Banbury. …Life and Times would be an excellent choice of band for an IWA or Cutweb rally.

Read full review here and here.




…excellent songs, confidently delivered.




Barry and Graeme have been very diligent in their approach, as well as creative in their compositions. The singing is confident and clear and accompaniments, though simple and solid, allow considerable scope for variety, which keeps the theme flowing in a steady and pleasant way – in fact rather like the canals they describe.




The vocals are impressive - strong, precise and with excellent diction… The quality of the individual songs is steady throughout.   …if English folk music in its most time-honoured form floats your boat (sorry, couldn't resist) then you’ll love this…   In the 21st century, it's reassuring to know that the story telling tradition is in good hands, at least if Messrs Meek and Goodman have anything to do with it.




We can recommend the CD with the great songs!




…what a great cd it is





fab CD





…a terrific piece of work








CD tracks

Wixamtree WIX051

Songs of Bedfordshire history, customs, legends etc.



The songs on Charivari have connections with various parts of the county (of Bedfordshire); they deal with a healthy variety of subjects from those steeped in local customs and festivities, local “heroes”, local legend, historic local industries, and the Grand Union Canal. There’s also a song to accompany a local mummers’ play which reminded me a bit of Bob Pegg’s Rise Up Jock.


The unpretentious yet accomplished playing (guitar, melodeon and concertina with occasional fiddle courtesy of guest Debbie Chalmers) is affecting, eminently musical and suitably vibrant, well matching the solid singing style. The variety of styles between the individual songs is cleverly managed. The spirited tunes are common to the repertoire of local dance band Time of Your Life, in which the duo also play.


A very likeable release.




Well written and well researched. I wouldn’t wish any of the tracks off the CD. It would be great to hear more of Graeme Meek and Barry Goodman’s material popping up at singarounds.




…this rather good album. …their solid style and presentation demand attention. Strong vocal work is complemented by well-played instrumental accompaniments… there is a good old English feel throughout this collection of songs and tunes. The vocal tracks have a pleasant warm and melodic quality that never becomes dry or hard on the ear and the listener is left with a sense of well-being which comes from hearing music well-played and sung.




…this is a very polished CD – fine singing and playing with varied arrangements for finely crafted songs… if you write and perform this will give you a quality to aim for, do give it a listen you won’t be disappointed.




This pair would go down well at any folk do that I know of, and they have a long string of festival appearances to prove it. It’s a pleasure to recommend these strong singers with their unusual repertoire, good workshop potential, to listeners and festival bookers alike. I end with a salute to guest fiddle player Debbie Chalmers for her notable contribution.




This album is a fascinating attempt to bring the traditions, customs, practices and history of Bedfordshire to life and it is done in a very genuine and clear fashion breathing life into customs and folklore… These are songs that deserve a wider audience and they will hopefully receive one…




Once in a blue moon the postman brings a package containing a CD for review that you know is going to be outstanding – this is one of those. We get several packages a week but this one was an absolute pleasure to listen to. It was good to hear Graeme and Barry’s well-written and beautifully crafted songs providing an interpretation of the history and traditional stories and customs of Bedfordshire given a new lease of life. Why have we not heard more of Life and Times?


They play well together, the vocals are clear concise and full of emotion on all the tracks. This is a well put together album and full of English folk music at its best.




…we loved it…




Tradition at its finest


Do you want to understand the English folk music tradition? Then take some time to listen to Life and Times. This duo is Graeme Meek (guitars, bouzouki, vocals) and Barry Goodman (melodeons, concertina, vocals). Every time you listen to them you’ll know why there remains so much power and strength in English traditional folk music.


Their CD – Charivari – is a fine example of their art. The combination of their rich, warm English-accented vocals (not an American drawl in earshot) and sound musical foundation gives their performance a well-rounded unadorned feel that is becoming increasingly hard to find. Too often, frippery and overblown production is applied to folk music. Nothing like that happens here, the music is all you get and it’s worth every second. Little wonder that these two are well known for bringing the English musical tradition to the ears of school children – long may they continue.


There are elements of the folk world that want to tear down tradition and replace it with ‘new’ at the expense of realising where the ‘new’ came from. The music of Life and Times proves that although ‘new’ – in all its different branches - is good and healthy, tradition has much to give. For without their roots where would the branches be?


If you want to know where our musical heritage lives listen to Life and Times – it’s that simple.








LP tracks

Fellside Recordings FE071 (& FE071/c cassette)

Songs of The Industrial Revolution in 18th Century Shropshire



Barry Goodman, Greg Lindsay and Graeme Meek combine their considerable talents to produce an excellent LP that effectively captures the atmosphere of 18th century industrial life in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire.


I think Life & Times have a record to be proud of: good title, good songs, good content – good luck to ‘em!








LP tracks

Fellside Recordings FE043 (& FE043/c cassette)

Songs of Bedfordshire history, customs, legends etc.



The sheer diversity and creativity of Graeme’s songwriting should leave lesser tunesmiths in envy. Barry Goodman, once and for all, proves that you can get sensitivity out of a melodeon and Greg Lindsay’s flute is something else altogether… Don’t miss this one, it’s a rare goody.














…and an Australian Morris internet review of The Grandson of Morris On states:

Some of these newies are real corkers like Barry Goodman’s tune – “Four Up”, used for the Outside Capering Crew’s stunning version of “Bacca Pipes”. This tune seriously rocks! If you don’t play the box this tune will make you want to rush out and learn how to.


Click here to read more.