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Traditional Folk c1971

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Still Gannin' Canny

Now Available

In 2016 after more than thirty years, Canny Fettle re-formed and went into Simpson Street Studios in Newcastle to work with Ian Stephenson to produce a new album. You can hear the results above and purchase copies either above (digital), through digital music platforms like iTunes, or in Physical CD Form (with included digital album) from BANDCAMP (link below)

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also featuring Canny Fettle

Trip to Holland

A new live album produced from remastered recordings from Holland in 1976. Released in 2021.  

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also featuring Canny Fettle

Trip to Harrogate

Originally released on LP in 1977 on the Tradition Records label, this album of tunes from Joshua Jackson manuscript featured members of Canny Fettle amongst others. It was re-released by Fellside Recordings in 2000 and is available both on CD (direct from their website, link below) and from all good online music stores in digital form.

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also featuring Canny Fettle

Varry Canny

The first Canny Fettle LP was released in 1975 on the Traditional Sound Recordings Label (now part of Fellside Recordings) and featured the first incarnation of the band, including Steve Turner on Banjo, Mandola, Mandolin and vocals.
Work is underway at Fellside Recordings to re-master from the original tapes and this album will be available in digital form from all good online music stores, within the coming months.

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featured tune book

Over To You - by Dave Howes

David Howes, had only just completed the last of his three volumes of tunes before he died on the 9th of December 2014. These books had been distributed only small scale to a handful of people he knew personally. The tunes came, in Dave's own account, unbidden and spontaneous, seeking to be played and written down. The first volume of fifty tunes published in 2010 was followed by Volume 2 of fifty tunes in 2013 and Volume 3 of over 100 tunes in the weeks immediately before his death. This prolific rate of tune writing is in itself admirable but when the tunes possess such a unique and characteristic appeal, the feat is a rare phenomenon. This compilation is therefore aimed at facilitating the playing on the Northumbrian smallpipes, and other melody instruments by transposing the tunes into suitable keys while at the same time ensuring a fitting legacy to Dave in his wish of making the tunes more readily available on a non-commercial basis to all interested musicians.

Nick Hopkinson and Gerry Murphy, May 2015

For copies – email


Canny Fettle had its origins in the Manchester area in the late 60s when fellow students Bob Diehl, Gerry Murphy, and Anthony Robb joined with Royton singer John Williamson to form a group. They were influenced at this time locally by Harry Boardman and from further afield by Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick and of course the High Level Ranters. Indeed Bob D and Gerry splashed out the whole of the years’ student folk club’s budget to hold a High Level Ranters’ concert.

David Hillery set Gerry and Anthony on the road to playing the Northumbrian smallpipes and Harry Boardman adopted Bob D often as his accompanist. In the early 70s Gerry and Bob D joined with Bob Morton, a Geordie from South Shields and Steve Turner, a local Mancunian, to form the successful Canny Fettle band which lasted for nearly a decade. Highlights of this time were the records of Varry Canny, Trip to Harrogate and Room for Company as well as accompanying Harry Boardman and David Hillery on various recordings. They toured and performed at folk clubs and festivals in the UK and Europe including venturing as far afield as Thurso (with Nic Jones), Loughborough (with Joe Hutton and Willy Atkinson) and the Netherlands and Germany (with Tommy Peoples and the Bothy Band). Folk club and concert highlights included the Singers Club, accompanying the Irish singer Dominic Behan, as well as a BBC North West television series on various local history topics.

By the early 80s the group had effectively disbanded, Steve was already pursuing his solo ambitions and professional careers took the two Bobs and Gerry to live in various parts of the globe. However throughout the years, the three continued in their own ways to play music; Bob M and Bob D in various dance bands such as the Village Band and Hugh Ferguson’s Dalriada Scottish Dance Band, as well as touring internationally with the Corryvrechan Scottish Dance team; Bob D played in Holland in “Vidlin Voe” with Peter Urwin, Gilles & Saskia Michels and Huib Haringhuizen; and Gerry in Basel, Switzerland, in an instrumental group, Early Grey, playing both Northumbrian and French music with Beat Weber and Guido Helmig. However, they still maintained contact with one other—Bob M keeps a guitar in many of his ports of call—and recently decided to record a selection of new and old songs as a tribute to the many people who influenced them throughout the years and endowed them with the joy of music. This is above all what they collectively hope to pass on.


as featured on "Still Gannin' Canny"

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Bob Diehl

Bob Morton

Gerry Murphy

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Canny Fettle Discography

(as a group, solo, and as accompanists)
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