Maragaret & Bob Fagan - Landmarks on the Journey

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Maragaret & Bob Fagan - Landmarks on the Journey

Margaret and Bob Fagan hail from the Blue Mountains and began their musical journey together in Canberra in the late 1960s. They are firm favourites at major festivals around Australia, both as a duo and as members of The Fagans.

Their strong blend of politically-edged traditional and contemporary songs combined with lyrical ballads and great choruses is guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Through a repertoire rooted firmly in the folk tradition, Margaret’s pure voice and Bob’s superb guitar playing ensure their popularity here and overseas.

This year they are celebrating fifty years of making music together with a new CD, Landmarks on the Journey

Margaret & Bob Fagan -
Landmarks on the Journey
CD review by Tony Smith
After 50 years performing
together, Margaret and Bob
Fagan have produced 13
significant songs from their
vast repertoire.
Only they can appreciate the
relative importance of the various
tracks in their lives, but these
songs represent an impressive
array and variety.
Together, they provide a
retrospective portrait of these
stalwarts of the Australian folk
The album is artistically and
technically of excellent quality.
Among those thanked by the
Fagans are sound recordist Andy
Busuttil and producer Llew Kiek,
designer Tim Rogers and fiddle
player Lindsay Martin, all people
atop their fields.
Although Margaret and Bob
arranged all the songs, they
acknowledge the assistance and
advice of Tom Bridges and Peggy
Seeger, as well as numerous
personal supporters.
There is also instrumental
support and harmonies from
family members Kate and James
and Nancy Kerr.
Among the tracks is Kate’s
song about four generations
of women ‘The Garden’, and
Nancy’s ‘Dolorite Skies’.
Other Australian songs include
Henry Lawson’s ‘Reedy River’ set
by Chris Kempster and Graham
Seal’s ‘The Country Knows the
Rest’, concerning a tragedy
during a miners’ strike in the
Hunter Valley.
There is also strong
representation of Irish music
with W.B. Yeats’ ‘Song of the
Wandering Aengus’ and nowhere
is the continuing strength of
Margaret’s voice demonstrated
more clearly than in ‘A Stor Mo
She is also very strong in the
lower register on ‘The Ballad of
Accounting’ and ‘The Garden’
and her concertina work is never
The CD sleeve has
comprehensive notes about the
provenance of each song, but
importantly in the context of this
album, about why each song
means so much to the Fagans.
The jacket has an appropriate
design with a clear suggestion of
rail travel.
In one picture, they are
approaching the camera and then
a later shot shows their backs as
they wander along the rails.
The concluding ‘track’, ‘New
Years Eve’, also implies that the
Fagans’ journey goes on and
their many fans will look forward
to this partnership continuing for
many years more.
Among the songwriters
acknowledged as major
influences are, Ewan McColl
(‘Ballad of Accounting’), Pete
Seeger (setting of Idris Davies’
‘Bells of Rhymney’) and Leon
Rosselson (‘We Sell Everything’),
all giants of the folk movements
in the English speaking world
since 1960.
Seeger particularly helped
stimulate the Fagans’ interest
in issues of social justice and
encouraged them to sing about
politics and power.
Bob covers songs about greed
and economics as mandolin and
concertina weave gently around
his robust voice.
These tracks do include
a song or two included for
sentimental reasons.
The Fagans obviously have
a soft spot for the ‘Bells of
Rhymney’, which has been with
them on the journey since Bob
sang it to Margaret during their
If you have ever experienced
a great concert, it is most likely
because the separation between
performers and audience has
disappeared and a unity has
This closeness is not easily
achieved on a CD, but a good one
like Landmarks Along the Journey
almost takes you to the concert
venue and certainly makes
you want to see these songs
performed live.
It is essential listening for
folkies who enjoy quality singing
of meaningful songs.

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 17 September, 2019.


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