Sunday, September 24, 2006

Archie Fisher (Scottish Folk)

"Archie Fisher" 1968
"Orfeo" 1970

Although Archie Fisher is a legendary figure in the Scottish folk music world -- everybody's favorite singer and an enormously influential presence both musically and philosophically -- he has remained largely unknown to the greater pop music mainstream. While the mainstream's a poorer place for that, one gets the idea it suits Archie Fisher just fine.

Fisher was born into a family of semi-professional musicians and learned to play the guitar at a young age. Fisher and his sister Ray formed a skiffle group in the mid-'50s, as most musically inclined young Britons did around that time. Eventually, the siblings formed a vocal duo, releasing their debut album Far Over the North in 1963. In the tradition of the Coppers and the Watersons, Archie and Ray joined with their parents and sister Cilla and her husband Artie Tresize to form the Fisher Family. Playing both traditional material and Archie's own compositions, the Fisher Family were fixtures on the British folk circuit through the mid-'60s and released the album The Fisher Family in 1965. The family group split up in 1966 when Ray married and moved to London and Archie began his solo career.

Fisher's first album, Archie Fisher, was released in 1968. Around that time, Fisher also began his decades-long association with the BBC; Fisher wrote original songs for BBC documentaries on subjects like rural island communities in the Hebrides, and also appeared on radio and television music programs with regularity. Eventually, Fisher began working regularly with the BBC as a producer of radio documentaries and features; in the '80s, he inherited the series Traveling Folk, which he now produces and hosts, from the previous presenter Robin Hall. Fisher's recorded output, for someone with such a long and prolific career, is surprisingly sparse, consisting of a handful of solo albums and a live duo album with Canadian fiddler Garnet Rogers. Fisher has been much more active both as a live performer at festivals and concerts around the world (he directed the much-respected Edinburgh Folk Festival from 1988 to 1992) and as a producer for other artists, including several albums by the duo of Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy and the phenomenal group Silly Wizard. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

13 Comments:

Blogger vinylhed said...

Brilliant stuff. The First album is a classic.

Cheers Lizard

25 September, 2006 00:29  
Anonymous gusdeco said...

Thanks for another nice post.

25 September, 2006 07:04  
Blogger greg davis said...

thanks for Orfeo. ive been trying to find that for awhile.
more orchestrated and lush than the s/t record.

archie's version of Reynardine on the s/t record is one of the best folks tunes from that era, hands down.

26 September, 2006 03:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for two great albums. Do you have the album with the title witch of the westmoorland?

All the best

Frank

04 January, 2007 06:57  
Anonymous jean luc godard said...

Great, great, great, great, great, REALLY GREAT!!!!

12 July, 2007 15:42  
Blogger The Irate Pirate said...

thanks. i like the rawness of the first album, but there is also something compelling to the song Orfeo, which works despite having a full string section (which i usually hate). It's kind of similar to Phil Ochs's Pleasures of the Harbor.

04 March, 2008 16:40  
Blogger itr said...

RS says:
An error has occured:
File not found.

Please, re-repost.

13 May, 2008 03:03  
Blogger Lucas said...

PLEASE REPOST!

i need these albums to live . .

25 July, 2008 04:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great music, Lizardson!

15 August, 2008 00:51  
Anonymous Ian said...

Many, many thanks for the Archie re-ups. You've made this lad very happy!

Ian

15 August, 2008 08:17  
Anonymous paco del valle said...

Thank you so much for sharing another master piece with us.
The arrangement in Orfeo reminds me to a film soundtrack specially Orfeo and others have flair to Burt Bacharach melodies like in Just in Passing.
Last Time I Saw Esau Shaw is like an hybrid between Geogie Fame , Donovan and George Baker(little green bag) songs. Completely agree with Greg Davis about Reynardine is one of the best blends ever made between western and Indian folk music.

11 September, 2008 20:54  
Blogger yuyu said...

Thank you so much for sharing another master piece with us.
The arrangement in Orfeo reminds me to a film soundtrack specially Orfeo and others have flair to Burt Bacharach melodies like in Just in Passing.
Last Time I Saw Esau Shaw is like an hybrid between Geogie Fame , Donovan and George Baker(little green bag) songs. Completely agree with Greg Davis about Grenadine is one of the best blends ever made between western and Indian folk music.

11 September, 2008 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can ye nay help us? Y'see I had downloaded these two fine albums I had been searching for when my hard drive up and stopped working! I miss these two and the older Bonny Lass Cam' O'er The Moors (with Ray Fisher) most of all. I can nay afford to buy all these old vinyls (I paid a pretty penny for Fate O' Charlie let me tell you, and it was a reissue of all things when it finally came). Will some kind folk help us out here (and put Fisher in the title of any message so I know it's not some body part's enlarging you're after)?

rebjan_ca@yahoo.com

31 August, 2009 08:07  

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