Songs for Six Strings

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“Recorded live straight from the desk.”

When Ralph McTell’s first live album was reissued on CD in 1997, ‘Ralph, Albert & Sydney’ was subtitled  ‘Songs for Six Strings Volume 1’. Intriguingly, ‘Songs for Six Strings Vol II’ had been issued the previous year. Setting the tone for a hinted-at ongoing series, the Vol II CD insert bore the legend “Recorded live straight from the desk”.

But by 1999, when the desk recordings of Ralph’s Purcell Room concerts were released as ‘Travelling Man – The Journey The Songs’, the ‘six strings’ theme seemed to have been forgotten.

The hiatus was temporary, however, and the genre was revived when Roger Brown’s book of tab and notation transcriptions of Ralph’s songs and tunes was published as ‘Songs for Six Strings’ in 2002.

And the original idea was revived with the ‘Songs for Six Strings’ box set of six CDs of live performances, each CD representing one of the six strings of Ralph’s guitar. Issued annually from 2011 to 2016, each CD comprised six live takes from recent concert performances.


Songs for Six Strings Vol II
Live recordings from 1976-1995

CD – Released 1996 – Leola OLA15B2CD.


Ralph, Albert & Sydney – Songs for Six Strings Volume 1
Recorded in 1976 at the Royal Albert Hall & Sydney Opera House.

CD – Released 1997 – Leola OLA16E1CD.


Travelling Man – The Journey The Songs
Recorded in 1998 at the Purcell Room, London.

Double CD – Released 1999 – Leola TPGCD16.
Double CD – Repackaged – Retitled ‘Live at the South Bank’ – Released 2012 – Leola TPGCD16.


Songs for Six Strings
41 Songs by Ralph McTell in Guitar Tablature and Notation, transcribed by Roger Brown.

Book – First published 2002 – Limited signed edition – Leola and R M Brown.
Updated second edition.
Third Edition – Retitled ‘Streets of London and 40 Other ‘Songs for Six Strings”.

Songs for Six Strings
A box set of 6 CDs of live recordings from concert performances.

The box for the Songs for Six Strings CDs was initially issued with CD1.

CD1 – Songs for Six Strings 1st E – Released 2011 – Leola TPGCD E1.
CD2 – Songs for Six Strings 2nd B – Released 2012 – Leola TPGCD B2.
CD3 – Songs for Six Strings 3rd G – Released 2013 – Leola TPGCD G3.
CD4 – Songs for Six Strings 4th D – Released 2014 – Leola TPGCD D4.
CD5 – Songs for Six Strings 5th A – Released 2015 – Leola TPGCD A5.
CD6 – Songs for Six Strings 6th E – Released 2016 – Leola TPGCD E6.
Songs for Six Strings Box Set – Released 2017 – OLA6J45.