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Owen Hand

Owen Hand's career in music was relatively brief -- he was active as a performer for just over four years, and left behind only two complete albums, but through that small output and short career he became a much-loved figure on the English folk scene. He was born in Scotland at the end of the 1930s, and while he may have had an interest in music as a boy, it had to compete with a lot of responsibilities and necessary distractions. Hand's mother passed away when he was 13 and he was forced to leave school and take a job as a mine worker. Hand didn't learn to play guitar until he was in the army in his late teens, but he soon got good enough to pursue a career. He made his public debut in Edinburgh in 1962, and founded the Three City Four a year later with Leon Rosselson, Ralph Trainer, and Marian McKenzie. He remained with the quartet for a year before choosing to embark on a solo career -- he was succeeded in the group, incidentally, by no less a figure than Martin Carthy. Hand made an initial solo appearance on record with the Decca release Edinburgh Folk Festival, Vol. 1 (Decca LK 4546) recorded in 1963, on which he performed "One Dime Blues." In 1964, he recorded his first album, Something New, for Transatlantic Records, which was a surprisingly ambitious mix of traditional and original material, and was well-received within the folk community. His second album, I Loved a Lass (1966), was even more successful, but he never had a chance to build upon it. His marriage broke up around the time of the album's release, and Hand later left England. He emigrated to Israel for a time, lived on a kibbutz for much of the next year, and then returned to Edinburgh, where he abandoned music permanently in favor of running a retail store. He never returned to performing for the remainder of his life, but his recordings remain among the most beloved parts of the mid-'60s Transatlantic catalog. Additionally, his friend Bert Jansch still performs Hand's "My Donal" as part of his repertory. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Anthems In Eden A Midsummer Night's Happenning

Disc 1

1. Hard Times Of Old England

2. Jack O' Diamonds

3. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

5. Sally Free And Easy

6. Anji

7. The Recruited Collier

8. Dirty Old Town

9. Three Ravens

10. Lyke Wake Dirge

11. Down On The Barge

12. Lord Randall

13. Who's The Fool Now

16. Coorie Doon

17. Socialism In Our Time

18. Girl From The North Country

19. Been On The Road So Long

20. The Wild Rover

22. Clive's Song

23. Reynardine

24. Bluesleeves

25. A Man's Man

Disc 2

2. Needle Of Death

3. The Summer Day Reflection Song

4. Think She Knows Me Now

5. Michael In The Garden

7. Children Of Hiroshima

8. I'm So Confused

9. My Name Is Carnival

10. Arctic City

11. Milk And Honey

12. Come Join My Orchestra

13. We Can Swing Together

14. One Man Band

15. Country Joe

16. Life And Life Only

18. The Fawn

19. Ophelia's Song

20. I've Seen The Movie

21. Northern Sky

Disc 3

1. Here We Come A-Wassailing

2. Cruel Sister

3. Dreams For Me

4. After The Goldrush

5. Fotheringay

7. It's Dark In Here

8. Marcie

10. January Snows

11. Rattlin' Roarin' Willie

12. The Astrologer

13. Meet Me On The Corner (Live)

14. Never Going Back

15. Knowing The Game

17. Late On Lady Day

18. Rain

20. Wanderer

21. The White Hare

22. When I Was On Horseback

Disc 4

2. God Dog

4. Winter Is Blue

5. Chloe In The Garden

6. The Tale Of The Spider And The Fly

7. Just Anyone

8. Luke That Never Was

9. Mr. Fox

11. Song To Comus

12. Captain's Log

14. A Witch's Guide To The Underground

15. Sun Symphonica

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