The Hennessys folk group was formed in the mid sixties, its original members being Dave Burns, Paul Powell and Frank Hennessy. They quickly established a strong following around their native Cardiff and in 1968 went to live in the Republic of Ireland for a year where they "sharpened up their act" (and, so the story goes, their drinking).
It was while in Ireland that pressure came for them to sing a song or two in Welsh, to prove that they were different from the countless other folk and ballad groups which flourished at that time.
The Hennessys enlisted the help of one of Wales' finest folk musicologists, Meredydd Evans, and so began a long and fruitful friendship which saw the group including much more Welsh material in their repertoire.
This collection brings together a broad sample of the group's early recordings, and it includes examples of the singing and playing of Aloma Jones from Anglesey, who joined the group in the early 70's.
Above all, many of these songs hold special memories for two people in particular who helped shape the group's career in those early days. Derek Boote whose bass playing can be heard on most of the tracks and whose life was cut short so tragically, and Rhydderch Jones who translated so many of the group's favourite songs into Welsh and then spent hours and hours trying to teach the boys to sing them properly. Rhydderch is also gone, but will never be forgotten. The group itself not only survives but indeed continues to flourish with Dave and Frank keeping the partnership thriving, with the help of fiddle player Iolo Jones. We hope that you'll enjoy looking back at the early days and recapturing the first, fresh sounds of The Hennessys.