Ain't That Far From Boothill

The Boothill Foot-Tappers
4 Oct 1985
The Bottom Line

Obscure track on an obscure album

The Boothill Foot-Tappers was a British folk/ ska / bluegrass band that formed in 1982 and associated with the folk music revival in the United Kingdom. They had a minor UK hit single July 1984 with Get Your Feet Out of My Shoes. The band split up early 1986 after touring the UK to promote their album during the last four months of 1985.
Singer and DJ Wendy May claimed on Facebook that John Martyn features on their début album and this is correct. On the inner sleeve, John is credited for Guitars on the track Stand or Fall (B3), 'courtesy of Island Records'. Producer Dick Cuthell did percussion for the occasion.
It is not quite clear why John was approached for this project. He did meet Andy MacDonald probably, ten years before being signed to Go! Discs and Independiente.

track table
nr track written time comment
A1 Love And Affection Bob Marley 3:06 Ska - with an accordion
A2 Jealousy Chris Thompson 3:19 Rocky country - with the banjo. And an accordion
A3 Pride Takes A Fall Chris Thompson | S. Utton 3:48 Slower track - pedal steel guitar
A4 Nothing Ventured Chris Thompson 3:36 Hey you! More banjo. Hee Haw!
A5 Feelings Lloyd Winter 2:38 More ska mood
A6 Sunday Evening Chris Thompson 3:04 Sunset singalong - pedal steel
B1 Get Your Feet Out Of My Shoes Chris Thompson 2:19 Ladies hit single - line dance
B2 Have You got The Confidence For The Trick? Kevin Walsh 2:42 Barndance
B3 Stand Or Fall Chris Thompson 3:56 Calm reggae with a calm John
B4 What's The Matter Rob Jacob 2:53 More country - more pedal steel
B5 There's No Way (I Can Leave You Alone) Chris Thompson 3:13 Country! Banjo included
B6 Too Much Time Chris Thompson 3:49 Pedal steel finale

The album was produced by Dick Cuthell and mixed by Colin Fairley, except A2, B6 produced and engineered by Bob Andrews & Colin Fairley.
"Special thanks to: Andy Keating, Pete Brown, Neil (orange peel), Andy McDonald and everyone who's helped us."

Andy Strickland published this short annoucement in Record Mirror of 5 October 1985.

• The Boothill Foot-Tappers, on the brink of a massive 60-date UK tour, release their début LP on October 4. Ain't That Far From Boothill contains 12 tracks, including ail the band's singles to date, and is produced by the legendary Dick Cuthell, who also guests on the record. The band have announced that everyone attending their gigs will receive a one pound off voucher, redeemable on their LP.

So the official release date of the album is 4 October 1985, although and advert from the period claims 'Out now!' promoting an extensive tour starting 7 September.
Record Mirror also published a sympathetic review in the same issue.

The CD version was released 15 October 2008 and contained twelve bonus tracks and a booklet with the band's history.
CD: Cherry Red CDMRED 379
Track time 3:57

The Boothill foot-tappers were
Danny Heatley (drums)
Kevin Walsh (acoustic guitar, vocals)
Slim (Clive Pain) (accordion)
Chris Thompson (banjo, vocals)
Marnie Stephenson (washboard, vocals)
Merrill Heatley (vocals)
Wendy May (Billingsley) (vocals)
Lloyd Winter (double bass, vocals)

Guitar player Kevin Walsh explained the name of the band to Sounds in March 1984: "Boothill was a graveyard and I just see this country as a graveyard at the moment. But I don't see that as an excuse to sit back and feel sorry for yourselves so you might as well foot-tap all over it and have a good time!" Summarizing the band's mission on another occasion: "bringing a joyous noise to a country in a shit state".

Mold numbers
MERH 76 A // 1 ▽ 420 R 1 also encarved USE YOUR VOTE!
MERH 76 B // 1 ▽ 420 R 1

Production: Dick Cuthell
Engineer: Colin Fairley
Vinyl: Mercury MERH 76
CD: Cherry Red CDMRED 379 (2008)