Fledg’ling Records is dedicated to releasing the very best folk and folk-rock from the British Isles and beyond. Fledg’ling began as an independent label in 1995 – previously some titles were released under the Hokey Pokey Records imprint. The label has grown quickly to establish a reputation as one of the finest in Britain. Our releases have collected praise worldwide.
The Fledg’ling catalogue contains material drawn from the past sixty years of recording – performances unified by their beauty and honesty. Quality is a trademark of Fledg’ling records – most releases are compact discs featuring careful re-mastering, detailed sleeve notes and previously unpublished photographs.
2015 sees Fledg’ling celebrate our first 21 years as an independent and idiosyncratic record label. The SANDY DENNY and SHIRLEY COLLINS box sets garnered terrific praise around the world, as have our series of CHRIS McGREGOR releases and we are currently preparing our one hundred and fifth release. We never imagined that the label would grow to be one of the leading specialists in folk and folk-rock music from England. Many thanks for all your support.
Here in the Fledg’ling archive we are very excited to announce the reissue of some wonderful albums from our early catalogue.
In the late 1990s Fledg’ling was fortunate to make some mesmerising recordings with two great friends and absolutely magical singers – Christine Collister and Helen Watson.On August 24th 2018 we will release a pair of 2CD sets uniting two classic albums from each of these great musicians.
“Christine Collister has a glorious soaring, smouldering, sensuous white soul voice”
Christine’s first solo studio album – Blue Aconite – was recorded in 1996 and features an extraordinary selection of songs interpreted by British folk-rock’s first lady of soul. Songs from Anna McGarrigle, Lal Waterson, Gillian Welch, Richard Thompson and Christine Collister. 1998’s The Dark Gift Of Time is a truly remarkable album, extending the template with songs from Elvis Costello, Bruce Cockburn, Tom Waits, Robert Wyatt and Nick Drake. Guest musicians include Richard Thompson, John Surman, Danny Thompson, Jacqui McShee and B J Cole.
“If folk music can have torch singers, Collister is a blazing beacon.”
“An intellect can be sensuous. Helen Watson’s is.”
Helen Watson’s Somersault from 1997 is an intriguing, magical collection of her jewel-like original songs and a gorgeous reading of the Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham classic ‘Out Of Left Field’. The album presents a previously unrecorded side of her music. Doffing, first released in 1999 saw one of Britain’s most distinctive and acclaimed voices pay tribute to some of her favourite songs and songwriters. An extraordinary album, from an idiosyncratic reading of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train’, through the exuberant high jinx of the Maddox Brother’s ‘I Want To Live & Love’ to the deep soul of Paul Kelly’s ‘Personally’ and the beautiful acapella take on Springsteen’s ‘Ain’t Got You’.
“What a fabulous voice and a unique cocktail of music.”
Colleagues in Daphne’s Flight – Helen and Christine co-wrote songs, contributed vocals, guitar and emotional support to each other’s albums. Helen co-produced Blue Aconite with Christine. One reviewer, a little over-excited by all the links posited a powerful argument that these albums were part of a complex sequence. We are really not sure about that, but we are absolutely certain that these four albums are central to the story of Fledg’ling records.
FLED 3108 HELEN WATSON ~ Somersault / Doffing
FLED 3109 CHRISTINE COLLISTER ~ Blue Aconite / The Dark Gift Of Time
Each 2CD set is packaged in a stylish eco-friendly digifile sleeve with new sleeve-notes by Christine and Helen.