Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gay & Terry Woods

"The Time is Right" 1976

Gay and Terry's third and final album for Polydor was released in autumn 1976 and was electric folk with support from Fairport Convention's Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks and Andrew Bodnar and Steve Goulding from Graham Parker and The Rumour.

Dave Mattacks: drums
David Morrison: guitar
Gay Woods: dulcimer, conductor, vocals
Terry Woods: bass, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Dave Pegg: bass
B.J. Cole: guitar (steel)
Timi Donald: drums
Pat Donaldson: bass
Tristan Fry: vocals (background)
John Gillaspie: keyboards
Brian Golbey: violin

Download link in comments.

"Tender Hooks" 1978

Nick Clark:
Even in 1978, Steeleye Span were just a memory for Gay Woods and husband Terry. They had left after just one album and started The Woods Band using material they had written together. Unfortunately, after only the same output – one album, they disbanded and the husband and wife team was left to their own devices. After a time of living on their farm in Ireland they returned to the studio as a duo and enjoyed their most creative and successful musical phase. ‘Tender Hooks’ comes out of this mid-seventies time and given the styles around then, it is a wonder it was not a much bigger commercial success even than it was. In the same year as its release, Renaissance had a hit with ‘Northern Lights’ – a song not too dissimilar to some of the material on ‘Tender Hooks’.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to see why the album was so well acclaimed. The two had a wide repertoire of distinct musical styles to draw on, all of which were popular in that time and now make us folk of a certain age a touch wistful for what has passed. The album opens with ‘We Can Work This One Out’ – a song you will be singing long after the album is put away. It’s one of the most catchy and easy to listen to and the mixing on the album brings Gay’s voice to the front. It’s a very commercial sound. After that ‘Friends of Mine’ changes style with the emphasis on acoustic guitar. Likewise with ‘Full Moon’ it’s very much of it’s era. Terry takes vocals on ‘I’ve a Lady’ – a much more upbeat number and does it comfortably with backing vocals from Gay. ‘The Reward’ is much folkier and a bit like what you would expect nowadays – lovely vocals and a tune that stretches Gay and shows what a fine disciplined singer she had become.

Side two (on the old vinyl) commences with another bouncy opener ‘I Won’t Believe It’ featuring a banjo line from Terry extending the range of sounds on the album before another rockier number ‘Dreams Come True’ gives him a chance to up the tempo again. ‘Piece of Summer’ is much slower, another ballad from Gay and by this time the different pace of each track has made the record much more interesting. ’Lonesome Blue’ is just that. A solitary blues- inspired number with Terry’s guitar matching and playing off Gay’s lead vocal. The album closes with ‘Heart of Stone’. For me, this is the highlight of Terry’s performances on ‘Tender Hooks’, a great vocal to back up a superb guitar riff, presumably by guest musician Phil Palmer.

This is a Steeleye Span website, so how will ‘Tender Hooks’ suit Spanners fans? Well, it doesn’t equate to anything the band were doing at the time to my mind. It is, as I’ve said, very commercial, but I don’t consider that a bad thing. The assets Gay has brought to Steeleye, the strong and soulful voice and the new Irish slant are not present in force here. Her voice is good but it’s not called upon to sing material which would take her onto the level she has reached in the last few years since rejoining. It is much more constrained by the type of music. So don’t buy this album thinking it is Steeleye, it isn’t. However, I do recommend the record on it’s own merits. If it’s part of your past, it’s a long overdue transfer to CD anyway. If you buy it blind having not heard any of it before, you won’t be disappointed. It’s very much worth having. Beautifully crafted, some lovely songs and a great variety of genuine, well-played music that is in such short supply nowadays. A fine record!

Kate & Anna McGarrigle: piano, vocals
Martin O'Connor: accordion
Phil Palmer: guitar
Jim Russell: drums
Neil Toner: mandolin
Gay Woods: dulcimer, vocals, conductor
Terry Woods: bass, vocals, guitar, mandolin
Fran Breen: percussion
Keith Donald: saxophone
Pat Donaldson: bass
Jolyon Jackson: organ

Download link in comments.


Blogger Lizardson said...

Download "Time is Right"
Download "Tender Hooks"

07 December, 2006 01:43  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Thanks so much for these! "The Time Is Right" is a favorite track of mine from a compilation I think called "The Greater Albion Sampler" which I still have on cassette. I look forward to hearing more of their music.

07 December, 2006 02:39  
Blogger dom-phono said...

Hey there how you doing. I was looking for the following -
Vision Of Sunshine - S/T
Crow Johnson - S/T
Daniel Hecht - Guitar

Cheers dom

07 December, 2006 04:31  
Anonymous Bass said...

AMAZING BLOG!!! The energy you put in this work is incredible, thank you so much!
As dow-phone, I'd love to hear the Crow Johnson lp and If there's any chance to listen to the Barbara & Ernie "prelude to" lp, that would be fantastic...

07 December, 2006 08:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all those wonderful posts. I'm introduced to Gay & Terry Woods via first Steeleye Span album, Hark! The Village Wait. Wonderful stuff. They've been sorely missed from SS line-up ever since, in my humble opinion!
You're doing great job here with your blog! I'm listening to music you shared every day for month or so now and this stuff is simply wonderful.
Keep up with your good work!
If I can contribute somehow to your blog, I'd gladly do so!
Greetings from Croatia!


07 December, 2006 15:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you again for the great blog and express my appreciation for all the out of print English folk that you continue to make available for all of us.
I was especially overjoyed to find all the Nic Jones stuff you posted a few months ago as well as the Martin Carthy early albums.
Please keep up the great work and accept my ongoing thanks for sharing.

07 December, 2006 21:15  
Blogger blueunclechas said...

Thank you so much for your hard work on this blog. I have visited often and gleaned many fine albums. The selection is tremendous! If you happen to have COAST ROAD DRIVE-"DELICIOUS & REFRESHING" ROGUE-S/T STEVE YORK-MANOR LIVE I am looking for them. please put them on your blog or send me the link for them.
thanks again,

07 May, 2009 03:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it possible to get these two downloads again? Please!

29 November, 2011 07:23  

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