The Young Tradition were practitioners of a decidedly old tradition when compared with the folk-rock groups of their period. Their self-titled debut album showed the trio to be dedicated scholars, taking the trouble to unearth the most authoritative and authentic versions of the songs in their repertory. Founded during the early-'60s British folk revival, the Young Tradition started out as an unaccompanied duo of Peter Bellamy, an art student from Norfolk, and Royston Wood, a former teacher, advertising executive and driver from Surrey, who sang sea shanties at folk clubs and college concerts. Apart from folk music, their interests didn't overlap, Bellamy being a rock & roll enthusiast while Wood was a fan of orchestral and chamber music. Heather Wood, a former army officer cadet and London university student, who was no relation to her bandmate, joined them in 1965, and the resulting trio was signed to Transatlantic Records the following year, cutting two albums for the company over the next two years. Their sound was surprisingly stripped down as a trio, with only one guitar and three voices.