VariousDown & Out

Various - Down & Out album cover
Label:NTS (4) – NTSC2V
2 x Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Compilation
Genre:Folk, World, & Country


A1Brenda WoottonStars (UK 1968)2:28
A2Bob Hughes (8)High & Dry (UK 1976)4:09
A3Harry WallerMerely Gone (USA 1969)1:52
A4Jim LeedyMove Inside My Head (USA 1971)4:52
B1Franz Scheurer & Murray HinderFarewell (Australia 1978)3:10
B2Jack Lucking Death (USA 1972)2:37
B3David BudinI’ll Be Gone (USA 1967)4:10
B4Skip ProkopBlue Boy (USA 1977)4:34
C1Peter BerkowSometimes My Life (USA 1975)0:57
C2Bill ClintSometimes Angels Don’t Need Friends (Canada 1975)11:06
C3Dana WestoverFrom a Tower Window (USA 1972)3:54
D1Richard Kneeland (2)Present Your Errors (USA 1976)4:18
D2Richard Forestier Soupirs (France 1980)5:07
D3HooknortonHigh & Dry (UK 1977)5:24

Companies, etc.



Down & Out is a compilation of downcast folk recordings, compiled by NTS, predominantly taken from private press releases from the US and UK between 1968-1980.

Many of the artists who appear on Down & Out only released a small number of recordings, however some figures went on find wider recognition; from Jim Leedy, the outsider artist, professor and ex-soldier (who sadly died in December aged 91), to Brenda Wootton, the Cornish poet and folk bard who had a distinguished career in music.


  • PhillipAdams's avatar
    I wanted to like this more than I actually do. It's one for the crate diggers. Most of the names are new to me. 9 of the 14 songs are from North America, 3 from UK, one from France, one from Australia. Only 4 of the 9 NA LPs get a write up in Acid Archives.

    Also note, it plays at 45 rpm, so less than 1 hour total play time. No sleeve notes or any info added. Presentation could be much better and informative.

    It sounds good, but given the lo-fi recording of many of the songs, it's moot.

    It's like a low-budget version of the Wayfaring Strangers - Lonesome Heroes comp., but the acts on here are not as great musically as those on the Numero Group comps. It does have some interesting songs, no turkeys, so is definitely of interest, but don't expect to be blown away by anything on here, whereas the various Numero Group comps all have a few awesome tracks that move you. At least this obscure stuff is getting a second life, and I'm all in favor of that, so kudos to the compilers for taking the time and effort to put this out.

    I'd like to hear a comp with these obscure singer songwriters but from the more eccentric side of things. They mostly tend to focus on the Woe is Me, Life Sucks - it's like a cliche now that obscure SSWs from 1970s down on their luck that are getting recognized 50 years later must be borderline suicidal, terminal junkie, addicted to booze, etc. Maybe they weren't in reality, but listening to the records, you get the sense they had some problems (don't we all)?

    I'd like to hear a comp from the genuinely creative/poetic but crazy musicians. One record that's off the (current) radar in that realm is the 1st Rick Cormier LP - Our Mountain - the title song is kinda great in its own crazy way, and would make a great addition to an 'Eccentric Folk' type comp of still unknown records. The Christopher Montgomery LP has a few songs on side 2 that kinda get there, but nothing great - the lyrics are funny, though. I'm sure there are a ton of other examples that escape me (Peter Grudzien or Charlie Tweddle are the obvious stand-outs), but let's do something other than the super-depressive stuff, that makes you smile and laugh, rather than breathing out a sigh of relief and a 'that's a bit of an ordeal to listen to'.

    I really liked the Yee-Haw - the Other Side Of Country comp that came out 20 years ago. A more SSW version of that would be right up my street.


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