Thursday, August 31, 2006

Upcoming?

For upcoming titles, please click Upcoming? at side bar.
I'm planning to pick up & post from the list.


If you have comments, please add them at there.
Andy Roberts "Home Grown" (UK Folk)
[B&C reissued version 1971]


Cover left: Japanese reissued CD 2005, complete version.
Cover right: B&C reissued version 1971.

The album, on which Andy Roberts was backed on some tracks by Mighty Baby, had been recorded under a production deal with folk-rock svengali Sandy Roberton. Initially, Sandy's productions appeared under license to RCA, but somewhere between 1970-71 his allegiance switched to B&C/Pegasus. Consequently, in June 1971, Andy found himself in a slightly embarrassing position of talking it up all over again:

'For some reason I don't fully understand B&C have decided to re-release Home Grown,' he explained to Sounds. 'At least, I couldn't have understood it at all if they'd just re-released the album as it was, but we've remixed some and re-recorded some of it, and changed some of the tracks which didn't quite work the first time. So in effect this is an almost different album. It's certainly better than the original one and bears more relation to me as I am now - but it's still 18 months old, vintage Roberts. To confuse the issue still further, there's an album going to be released in the States which will also be called Home Grown because apparently they like the title, but that one will only have three tracks from the original album, and four or five totally new ones which haven't been released here yet…'

In between the two UK Home Grown releases, Andy - who had fingers in all sorts of overlapping artistic pies at that time (recording and performing with The Scaffold, Grimms, and Ian Matthews - with whom he would form Plainsong in 1972) - has endured a brief, ill-fated experience as a member of a band called Everyone. The band's van had crashed with one fatality and financial ruin, although an eponymous album - half of it written and fronted by Roberts - subsequently trickled out, to little fanfare, on Charisma. Having briefly considered quitting music altogether, his interest was revived by working on what would be released later in 1971, on Pegasus, as Nina and the Dreamtree - like Home Grown, a work with an atmosphere all its own though much more luxuriantly produced and yet still, today, an under-appreciated classic. ~COLIN HARPER - RECORD COLLECTOR

Track List:
1970 RCA version: Click
1971 B&C version: Click
Keith Cross & Peter Ross "Bored Civilians"
(UK Prog-Folk 1972)


Keith Cross was previously the guitar wizard in T2. On this 1972 album he teams up with Pete Ross and accompanying musicians which include Jimmy Hastings (Caravan), BJ Cole and members of Brinsley Schwarz. The result is a fantastic, luscious mixture of lyrical folk-rock and harmonious rock music that doesn't disappoint particularly on the cover version of Fotheringay's "Peace In The End".

Personnel included:
Keith Cross (Bulldog Breed, T2)
Peter Ross (Richard Thompson, Hookfoot)
Peter Arnesen (If, Ian Hunter, Rubettes, Daddy Longlegs, Hollies)
B.J. Cole (credited as Brian Cole)
Jimmy Hastings (Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield & The North, National Health)
Nick Lowe (Brinsley Shwarz, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, solo)
Dee Murray (Elton John Band)
Chris Stewart (Spooky Tooth, Frankie Miller, Joe Cocker)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Heron 1st & 2nd (UK Folk)

"Heron" (1970)

During the post psychedelic era for folk music many bands fused together delicate melancholia with a simple folk basis. Heron like Waterfall, some Magna Carta and Dulcimer fall into this area. Some would say that it derives from Simon and Garfunkal but this seems to be less story based than their music and more introspective. Heron bring guitar, banjo and keyboards such as acoustic or electric piano to provide a fairly unique, gentle sound that seems to work late at night or early in the morning as a kind of slightly sad background music. Looking back we might place it closest in intent to the music Nick Drake wrote and performed so definitively. If the music doesn't scale the heights of that unique artists then in truth not much actually does but this is not to dismiss the merits of the music here. The songs are performed live in one take and when listening to the album the listener can hear the call of birds in chorus throughout the songs and especially in segues between them. This further emphasizes the aforementioned ambient aspect and gives the music a naturalistic element that they could not have planned. The songs are fairly consistent, often beautifully written but slight and seeming on the edge of falling into silence at any moment. As the songs achieve and maintain a certain quality, sometimes with dialogue at the start and end it is difficult to pick out individual songs. 'Car Crash' seems desperately sad, 'The Wanderer' (compiled on the Lammas Night Laments CDrs) has a fantastic McCartney styled melody framed by electric piano. Indeed Paul McCartney's simpler songs with The Beatles are a key influence throughout the album and especially 'Blackbird'. The instrumentation varies by introducing harmonica or accordion instead of piano on some songs but these are slightly different shades of the same painting. 'Lord and Master' is particularly nice and seems to have echoes in modern folk artists like Cara Dillon. 'Goodbye' is simple and has lyrics which bring out the sadness even more. 'Minstrel and King' is like McCartney performing Amazing Blondel. While on the whole the album and it's bonus tracks don't add up to a classic, it would be a shame if it was lost or underappreciated and it is well worth investigating further.


"Twice As Nice & Half The Price" (1971)

This second Heron album from 1971 was originally released as a double album at the price of one; hence the title.
The album shows a greater variety of musical styles than the 1970 debut album. Still it's the acoustic folk-style that's predominant, mixed with some more rocking tunes. Most of the album was recorded out in the open outside a Devon country cottage, which gives the album an unique atmosphere.
Their songwriting is even more convincing here than on their debut. Their have 2 excellent songwriters in Gerald T. Moore and Roy Apps ( who is still with the band ).
Here on their early records it's Moore who is shining the most. His songs "My Turn to Cry", "Minstrel and the King", "The Devil" and "Big A" are simply outstanding. Roy Apps' strongest contributions here are probably "Take Me back Home" and "Your Love and Mine". Another favourite out mine is their charming version of Woody Guthrie's "The Great Dust Storm".
A shame that a lot of people are not aware that the band is still together and recording fine new material from time to time, released on their own Relaxx label.
Roy Apps has once stated that the album probably ought to have been cut down to a single album; maybe . . but it would have been extremely hard to pick out the tracks that would have to go!
Also highly recommendable!!
Barry Dransfield "Unruly" (2005)

An overview by Shirley Collins

I have been a great admirer of Barry Dransfield's work for many years. I love the beauty and individuality of his voice, the integrity of his singing and the virtuosity of his violin and cello playing. But my appreciation grew when Barry told me recently that he couldn't read music and that he was self-taught. Some people may feel that this is a hindrance for a singer and musician, but I believe it gave Barry a head start; every song that he sings, every tune that he plays learned in the time-honoured way of the folk-singer by word of mouth, or by ear. In Barry's case, you could add that he had learned by heart. He is also a noted restorer of violins and I think of him too as a restorer of songs and tunes. In every performance there is clarity of intention and execution, an intelligent understanding of, and an instinct for, the music, which I feel is exceptional. Barry is a truly English original. 'Unruly' is a solo album with all accompaniments played by Barry, with all the arrangements his own and all the recordings made by him.

He has lived in East Sussex for many years now, and to a great extent this has influenced his choice of material. The first song, 'Haul away', is a graceful and reflective song about the Hastings fishermen, sounding as fresh as if it had just been fished from the English Channel. The words, written by Barry, are set to the Largo from Telemann's Trumpet Concerto in D.

There are three songs from Sussex traditional singers: 'The Grand Conversation', learned from Gordon Hall and sung in homage to him, is a tour de force. Napoleon Bonaparte, about whom this powerful song was written in the early to mid 19th century and is a figure who still commands some affection among the singers of traditional songs in England. There is strength, energy and fire in Barry's singing and the thrilling addition of three cellos gives this epic ballad a further heroic quality, driving it along. 'The Constant Lovers', from the late Ron Spicer of West Hoathly, mines the melancholy seam that runs through English music. Barry treats the song with tenderness and compassion, transcending its sentimental theme and enhancing the beauty of the tune by his arrangement of it. The third Sussex song is from the redoubtable Copper Family of Rottingdean. 'Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy', is taken at a fair old lick, evoking cheerful and fond memories of Bob Copper.

There is a lovely Canadian song, 'The Star of Logy Bay', dignified and plaintive and a beautiful and deceptively simple song called 'Harps in Heaven', the words by Mary Webb, taken from her novel Gone to Earth, set to a tune of Barry's composition.

And then there are two songs from Handel, the German composer whose music has entered the nation's soul. Barry treats them both as if they were folk songs, and glorious they are too. 'Silent Worship' is a straightforward and ardent [though hopeless] declaration of love, commandingly sung, sounding authentic and modern at the same time. I think only Barry could have carried this off. He has given the song a stately setting for two cellos and four fiddles. 'Where'er You Walk' is sung simply and directly, straight down the line, making a wonderful connection to the original – the singer a conduit between our age and the music of two and a half centuries ago.

And finally the tunes, showing the sheer dazzling talent of his playing; 'Glory' an English tune learned from Steve Cooke of Hastings, linked with a tune from 'The First Mystery Sonata' by Heinrich Biber, the 17th Century German composer; 'An Culin/Tamlin Reel' two Irish tunes; 'Chapel Kethick/Sleep Sound in the Morning' a Scottish air from another self-taught fiddler, William Marshall and a reel from Shetland. Most remarkable of all, 'Mittel Jigs' taken from a treasured possession of Barry's a hand-written book of dance tunes put together by William Mittel of New Romney, Kent, dated 1799. These three dances are the stars in a heavenly crown. Barry captures the essence of late 18th century music, so perfectly paced are the tunes and so spirited and vivacious his performance. These jigs have an authentic feel, played as they are with such authority, understanding and sheer joy by a man steeped in the music he loves.
Vin Garbutt "The Young Tin Whistle Pest" [Live]
(UK Folk 1974)

Born Vincent Paul Garbutt, 20 November 1947, South Bank, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England. Having served a six-year apprenticeship with ICI, Garbutt decided to go to Europe in 1969. While there he managed to earn his living by singing and playing in bars. When he returned to England, he continued performing in a full-time capacity as a singer/songwriter, guitarist and whistle player. Garbutt has a distinctive voice and commands a huge following on the folk circuit, both at home and abroad. His albums have been well-received but many feel that live performance show Garbutt at his best. His combination of jigs and hornpipes, played on tin whistle, are backed by songs of strong insight. One example of this is "The Chemical Workers Song", from The Young Tin Whistle Pest, written by Ron Angel of the Tees Side Fettlers, a group in which Vin played a major part diring the early stages of his long career.
And also, this live album includes fine trad songs and tunes such as "My Love's in Germany" and "The Lover's Ghost", there are very strong self written tracks.

Sample pic: Click

Complaint received from Vin Garbutt himself...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

V.A. "The Acoustic Folk Box" (4CD Set)

The Acoustic Folk Box presents a masterful overview of folk music from the British Isles, encompassing some 40 years of history and dozens of artists. Each of the four discs covers an era, the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, and carries over an hour of music. Basically, The Acoustic Folk Box begins with the British folk revival of the 1960s and follows echoes that reverberate into the present. Many of the artists are well-known to general audiences (Martin Simpson, Richard Thompson, and June Tabor), while others (Shirley Collins, Anne Briggs, and John Renbourn) are perhaps less known than one might hope, especially in the United States. Where to begin? First of all, there's Alexis Korner and Davy Graham's lovely duet "3/4 AD," perhaps the mother of all fine British fingerpicking, and fellow picker Bert Jansch's definitive version of "Angi." Briggs offers a chilling version of "She Moves Through the Fair," leaving little doubt where Sandy Denny drew her inspiration several years later. These discs also remind listeners that a number of folk-rockers never plugged in, or at least continued to experiment with acoustic music. The Incredible String Band remains one of the most enigmatic late-'60s bands, and "First Girl I Loved," with its off-center lyrics and unabashed romanticism, reminds one why. Pentangle creates a rare depth in "Let No Man Still Your Thyme," exploiting the rich possibilities of a full acoustic sound. A number of prominent women make memorable appearance over the course of The Acoustic Folk Box. Collins appears twice, first with Graham on the lovely "Reynardine" and again on the evocative "Bonnie Boy." Tabor delivers "Lay This Body Down" with her resonate vocals before returning with fellow Silly Sister Maddy Prior for "Blood and Gold/Mohacs." And there's no shortage of contemporary talent, with up and coming young artists like Eliza Carthy, Billy Bragg, and Kate Rusby. The Acoustic Folk Box may not be the last word on acoustic folk music from the British Isles, but it comes pretty darn close. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., All Music Guide
Silly Wizard "So Many Partings" (Scottish Folk 1980)

Generally considered the world's finest performers of traditional and contemporary Scottish music -- and with good reason. Silly Wizard's music is at once driving and sensitive, powerful and poignant, at times hypnotic, often humorous, with sensitive group interplay and virtuoso-level musicianship, particularly from brothers Phil (accordion, keyboards, whistles, guitar, vocals) and Johnny (fiddle) Cunningham. Their repertoire includes centuries-old instrumental dance music along with traditional and contemporary narrative ballads: tales of joy and woe, of men and women, of time and travel, of love and loss. Silly Wizard is not just another folk music group; they rank with the greatest creators and performers from any country from any time.

Several members of the group, particularly the Cunningham brothers and vocalist Andy Stewart, have made solo and duo recordings and have performed and recorded with other artists, primarily Scottish traditionalists. These recordings are also well worth investigating, but get the Silly Wizard stuff first. ~ Niles J. Frantz, All Music Guide

1. A Scarce O'Tatties/Lyndhurst
2. The Valley Of Strathmore
3. Bridget O'Malley
4. A.A. Cameron's Strathspey/Mrs. Martha Knowles
4. /The Pitnacree Ferryman/The New Shillin'
5. Donald McGillavry/O'Neill's Cavalry March
6. The Highland Clearances
7. Miss Catherine Brosnan
8. Wi' My Dog And Gun
9. Miss Shepherd/Sweeney's Buttermilk/McGlinchey's Reels

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ralph McTell "Not Till Tomorrow" (UK Folk 1972)

In signing Ralph McTell, already known for his song "Streets of London" and his critically acclaimed fourth album, You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here, Reprise/Warner Bros. probably was hoping for a rival to Cat Stevens -- a British folk-rock artist who could cross over to America -- as well as a complement to homegrown superstar James Taylor. And there were moments on McTell's Reprise label debut Not Till Tomorrow when he sounded a little like each of them, especially on "First Song." But the album revealed an artist uncomfortable with his growing renown, unlikely to spend much time in the States, and more interested in local concerns. Pulling back from the string settings that had characterized the ambitious You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here, producer Tony Visconti (who had contributed some of those string charts) recorded McTell alone with his acoustic guitar or piano, adding only occasional instrumental colorings. And McTell, who had turned You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here into a concept album with big subjects, turned inward and wrote about much smaller matters, many of them pastoral English topics like "Nettle Wine" and the childhood reminiscence "Barges." All in all, his American record company would have been justified in concluding that he was too English to have stateside appeal and not likely to want to go after it anyway. Not Till Tomorrow was McTell's first album to chart in the U.K., presaging a commercial rise that would culminate with the singles success of a re-recorded "Streets of London" in late 1974. In the U.S., the album passed unnoticed, and though McTell remained contracted to Warner Bros. until the end of the 1970s, the label never again released one of his albums in America, an injustice both to the artist and his potential audience. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
Arlo Guthrie "Alice's Restaurant" (US Folk 1967)

Although he'd been a fixture on the East Coast folk circuit for several years, Arlo Guthrie did not release this debut album until mid-1967. A majority of the attention directed at Alice's Restaurant focuses on the epic 18-plus-minute title track, which sprawled over the entire A-side of the long-player. However, it is the other half-dozen Guthrie compositions that provide an insight into his uniformly outstanding -- yet astoundingly overlooked -- early sides on Warner Bros.. Although arguably 100 percent factual, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" -- which was recorded in front of a live audience -- is rooted in a series of real incidents. This decidedly anti-establishment saga of garbage dumps closed on Thanksgiving, good ol' Officer Obie, as well as Guthrie's experiences with the draft succeeds not only because of the unusual and outlandish situations that the hero finds himself in; it is also his underdog point of view and sardonic delivery that maximize the effect in the retelling. After decades of refusing to perform the work in concert, he trotted it back out in the late '80s, adding fresh perspectives and side stories about the consequences that the song has had, such as the uncanny role that the track played in the Watergate tape cover-up. In terms of artistic merit, the studio side is an equally endowed effort containing six decidedly more traditional folk-rock compositions. Among the standouts are the haunting "Chilling of the Evening," which is given an arrangement perhaps more aptly suited to a Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell collaboration. There is a somewhat dated charm in "Ring-Around-a-Rosie-Rag," a sly, up-tempo, and hippie-friendly bit of jug band nostalgia. "I'm Going Home" is an underrated minor-chord masterpiece that is not only reminiscent of Roger McGuinn's "Ballad of Easy Rider," but also spotlights a more sensitive and intricate nature to Guthrie's craftsmanship. Also worth mentioning is the first installment of "Motorcycle Song" -- which was updated and discussed further on the live self-titled follow-up release Arlo (1968) -- notable for the extended discourse on the "significance of the pickle." None of the performances on this disc were used in for the Alice's Restaurant (1969) film. ~ Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

Sunday, August 27, 2006

FIVE RECORDS LEFT
The Young Persons' Guide to Nick Drake















No review.
Just listen these 5 official albums.
Ralph McTell "Eight Frames A Second" (UK Folk 1968)

McTell was raised in post-WWII London with his mother and a younger brother as Ralph May. His father left home when he was two. He began to show musical talent when he was seven, when he began playing harmonica. When skiffle bands became all the rage in England, Scotland and Ireland, McTell began playing ukulele and formed his first band. Later in his teens, he began playing guitar.
At the College Jazz Club in London, McTell first heard Ramblin' Jack Elliott sing Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues." Elliott's performance proved to be a revelatory experience for the shy, young, impressionable McTell. He took his earliest cues from the great blues and folk singers: Elliott, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell. He took his adopted last name from blues singer McTell, and his songwriting inspiration from the writings of Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. After a few years hanging around London, he took off to travel along the south coast of England and the rest of Europe, where he made his way around hitchhiking and busking. While busking around Europe, he met his wife Nanna; shortly thereafter, they had a son.
McTell tried a conventional career as a teacher, but continued playing the folk clubs around London. He began a long tenure at Les Cousins in the Soho section of London and there he began to make a name for himself. A music publisher was so impressed by McTell's early songs that he secured a recording deal for him. His first album, Eight Frames a Second, was released on the Transatlantic label in 1968. With a gentle voice, superb guitar playing skills gleaned from his days as a ukulele player, and a level of modesty that showed through on stage, McTell began incorporating his own songs into his live shows, which were mostly blues in those days. By July 1969, McTell was booked at the Cambridge Folk Festival and in December of that year was headlining his first major London concert at Hornsey Town Hall. By May 1970, McTell completely sold out the Royal Festival Hall and was booked to play the Isle of Wight Festival alongside Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. He made his first U.S. tour in 1972 and returned to London to sell out the Royal Albert Hall in 1974, the first British solo act to accomplish such a feat in 14 years.

01. Nanna's Song
02. The Mermaid And The Seagull
03. Hesitation Blues
04. Are You Receiving Me?
05. Morning Dew
06. Sleepytime Blues
07. Eight Frames A Second
08. Willoughby's Farm
09. Louise
10. Blind Blake's Rag
11. I'm Sorry - I Must Leave
12. Too Tight Drag
13. Granny Takes A Trip

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Oberon "A Midsummer's Night Dream" (UK Folk 1971)

It's not often that a really scarce album is very good but this is a real UK folk rock gem. Released in 1971 in an edition of only 150 copies, Oberon's Midsummer's Night Dream is not only one of the rarest folk-rock records to ever see the light in the UK but is also considered one of the top works in its genre. Decorated with lilting female vocals mandolins, dulcimers, whistles electric and acoustic guitars and other instuments old and new this is a magical album. Since it is very unlikely that you are one of the lucky fellas who owns an original, you can't let this gem slip from your hands.

Review by Man Erg:
This is the only release from these ex Radley College, Oxford students starts with a Pentangle-esque version of the traditional, 'Nottanum Town'. Slow in pace with male/female vocals interweaving around each other, the song takes on a lilting,drifting journey accompanied by flute and violin.

The next track, 'Peggy', is a Jansch/Renbourn-ish solo acoustic guitar piece that is summery and languid and a sort of introduction to the next song, 'The Hunt'. Male vocals dominate this jazzy piece. The violin solo is very Stefan Grapelli/gypsy in style. In other words Folk/Jazz/Hot Club de Paris. The guitar on this track is especially beautiful. Again, jazz chords are the order of the day;not to dis-similar to Richard Thompson's on the first Fairport album track, Sunshade.

'Syrinx' is next up. A version of the piece written by Claude Debussy.

Gerswin and Heyward's 'Summertime' from Porgy and Bess gets the next tribute treatment. IMHO, It's probably the weak point of the album. Jan Scrimgeour's breath control on this is not good. The track's saving grace is probably the violin solo, which,once again revisits The Hot Club de Paris.

'Time Past, Time Come' is a beautiful instrumental that involves bass,flute, violin and acoustic guitar. From Summertime into autumn,you can almost see the leaves turn to gold,red and amber whilst listening to this. Utterly sublime.

'Minas Tirith.' Imagine if Dave Swarbrick and Ian Anderson had played with Pentangle, well this, I should imagine is what would have transpired. Robin Clutterbuck's vocals are a dera-ringer for those of Bert Jansch's. The problem that I have with this track is the drum solo. Not a very well executed one at that. There are a few,very audible mis-hits. In it's defence,time and money in the studio may have put paid to any re-takes. The song then resumes with jazzy flute and guitar. For all of the previous comparisons with regard to the sound of this track, the nearest I can think of is Giles, Giles and Fripp!

The final track, 'Epitaph', sounds uncannily like Sandy Denny's ;Who Knows Where the Time Goes? ' Robin Clutterbuck plays and sings beautifully in what is a fitting end to a very curious but albeit,beautiful album

1. Nottanum Town
2. Peggy
3. The Hunt
4. Syrinx
5. Summertime
6. Time Past, Time Come
7. Minas Tirith (Parts I & II)
8. Epitaph

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fat Pam

Let's welcome Fat Pam and his blog!

Now he posted...
Meic Stevens - Gwymon (Wales Acid Folk 1972)
Mike Absalom - Mike Absalom (UK Folk 1971)
Number Nine Bread Street - S/t (UK Folk 1967)

Also check That Was Then, This Is Now blog for:

Jackie Leven (John St.Field) - "Control" (Great UK Acid Folk 1971)

Kissing Spell

Holyground Records: "The Works" series

Volume 01. Last Thing On My Mind: Lost-In-Tyme blog
Volume 02. Number Nine Bread Street: Fat Pam blog
Volume 03. A To Austr
Volume 04. Astral Navigations: The Orange Cornflake Zoo blog
Volume 05. Gagalactyca: Lost-In-Tyme blog
Volume 06. Jumble Lane
Volume 07. Blue Epitaph "Ode": Lost-In-Tyme blog
Volume 08. Gygafo "The Legend Of The Kingfisher": 8 Days In April blog
Volume 09. Chick Shannon And The Last Exit Band "Tears On The Console"
Volume 10. Loose Routes 1
Volume 11. Loose Routes 2
Volume 12. Bill Nelson "Electrotype"


Jumble Lane (UK Acid Psych 1971)


Originally released on the fabled Holyground label - and recorded in 1971 by students who later went on to work with Bill Nelson and other Holyground acts - only 99 copies of this album were made. Consequently this reissue will be much sought after by collectors. Mixing elements of folk and jazz into a progressive and sometime psychedelic stew, this is an interesting release that lives up to its reputation.

*Bill Nelson appears: Astral Navigations, Gagalactyca, Be-Bop Deluxe... etc.

01. Prelude In D Minor Allemande
02. Girl From Gothenburg
03. Flutelode
04. Blues For Joanne
05. Five In A Van
06. Red Hot Daddy (Reprise)
07. Frustration Ends Away
08. Little Frederique
09. The Shipper, Rock Me Babe

10. Organics Red Hot Daddy
11. Gallery, The
12. Preserve
13. Train Ago Last Saturday (bonus)
14. Lyke Wake Dirge (bonus)
15. One By One (bonus)
16. Flower Never Opens (bonus)
17. Acid Free (bonus)

Scientists decide Pluto's no longer a planet


MSNBC-Space News
Capping years of intense debate, astronomers resolved Thursday to demote Pluto in a wholesale redefinition of planethood that is being billed as a victory of scientific reasoning over historic and cultural influences. But the decision is already being hotly debated.

Officially, Pluto is no longer a planet.

"Pluto is dead," said Mike Brown, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology who spoke with reporters via a teleconference while monitoring the vote. The decision also means a Pluto-sized object that Brown discovered will not be called a planet.
Pluto "Pluto" (UK Hard-Rock 1971)

Pluto, although not necessarily one of those bands who spring immediately to mind as having been a seminal influence on the weaving of rock music's tapestry, nevertheless remain an excellent, if little-known and much underrated band, whose only album (originally released on the Dawn label back in November 1971) has, during the latter half of the '90s, become a much sought-after item in the ever-expanding underground/progressive sector of the record collectors' market. Conceived initially by guitarist Paul Gardner and taking their name from the Disney cartoon character, they were formed in North London in 1970. The key members were Gardner and Alan Warner, two highly experienced campaigners from widely disparate musical backgrounds, their full personnel comprising Paul Gardner (guitar/vocals); Alan Warner (guitar/vocals), Mick Worth (bass); and Derek Jervis (drums).

1. Crossfire
2. And My Old Rocking Horse
3. Down And Out
4. She's Innocent
5. Road To Glory
6. Stealing My Thunder
7. Beauty Queen
8. Mister Westwood
9. Rag A Bone Joe
10. Bare Lady

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Third Ear Band "Magic Music" & "Live"
(UK Raga-Rock 1990, 1996)











"Magic Music" (Materiali Sonori MASO CD 90016, 1990), recorded in the studio except for the live 1989 14-minute 'Third Ear Raga', introduced Neil Black's microtonal MIDI violin and the soprano sax and flute of Lyn Dobson (formerly with Soft Machine). Dobson brought a flowing, often lyrical free jazz dimension to the existing ethnic pulse; Sweeney affixed the label "free ragas".

*Not to be confused with the Magic Music (aka New Age Magical Music, Blueprint BP257 CD, 1997)

No date(s) or venue(s) given for the previously unreleased performances on "Live" (Voiceprint VP 157 CD, 1996), though the Sweeney/Carter/Dobson/Black line-up suggests the festival gigs of 1989, prior to Magic Music of 1990. Live features pulsating versions of 'Sun Ra Raga', 'Third Ear Raga' and 'Behind The Pyramids' (here titled 'Pyramid Song'), all from Magic Music, and 'Live Ghosts' from Live Ghosts (1988). 'Hymn To The Sphynx', new to me, is a promising jazz influenced raga, yet marred by fade-in/fade-out editing. Most powerful is the version of 'Egyptian Book Of The Dead' from the 1969 debut Alchemy - an engaging collision of ethnic, free jazz and noise improvising with Dobson's fiery soprano in fine fettle.
Mick Hanly "A Kiss In The Morning Early" (Irish Folk 1977)









From Mick Hanly's Official Site
------He returned home to Ireland in '77 to record a brace of albums for the Mulligan label, 'A Kiss In the Morning Early' and 'As I Went Over Blackwater' with the cream of Irish traditional musicians, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Matt Mooloy (now with The Chieftains), Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Peter Brown and Declan Sinnott (Mary Black Band). After the release of his debut solo album, Mick regularly embarked on Irish and European tours with *Andy Irvine (Sweeney's Men, Planxty...) who was forging ahead following the demise of the ground breaking Planxty. ------
[Photo: Andy Irvine(left) & Mick Hanly(right) @ Folk Club Basel, Switzerland in Feb. 1977]

1. Farewell Dearest Nanny
2. Merchant's Daughter
3. My Johnny was a Shoemaker
4. Song of repentance
5. Rosemary Fair
6. A Kiss in the Morning Early
7. An tSean Bhean Bhocht
8. Verdant Braes of Green
9. Cod Liver Oil
10. Reluctant Pirate

Mick Hanly: Vocals, Guitar
Paddy Glackin: Fiddle
Triona Ni Dhomhnaill: Harpsichord
Donal Lunny: Bazouki
Rick Epping: Concertina, Harmonica
Peter Brown: Pipes
Matt Molloy: Flute
Produced by:
Donal Lunny and Michael O' Domhnaill


Download (re-post)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ramases "Glass Top Coffin" (UK Symphonic Prog & Folk 1975)

Three years had elapsed since Space Hymns mesmerized all who encountered it, a period during which Ramases' own career stood still, even as his former backing band went on to glory as 10cc. Indeed, it was the reflection of their fame that brought Glass Top Coffin the media attention it did receive, although few listeners lured in by the link would have been expecting this.
A very different album from its predecessor (despite packaging in an equally captivating sleeve), Glass Top Coffin relies on orchestration for its punch, conjuring images of a downbeat Moody Blues as Ramases and Sel trade vocals across some almost heartstoppingly melancholic pastures — "Long Long Time" and "Only the Loneliest Feeling" paramount among them. But there are also moments of spellbinding joy — the duet between the Mona Lisa (yes, the painting) and an onlooker trying to solve the riddle of her expression ("Mona Lisa Now") is magnificent, while the mantric "Stepping Stones" harks back to the proggier elements of Space Hymns, without losing sight of the distance between them. Balancing these jewels are a couple of songs that, in any other hands, could be construed as sure-fire commercial hits — the punchy "Sweet Reason" and the flowing "Saler Man," while the title track seems to take every instinct that was bottled up elsewhere on the album and unleashed it in one breathtaking roar. It is this variety and versatility that still holds Glass Top Coffin in good stead today — unlike Space Hymns, it has scarcely dated, and the greatest regret is that there would never be a follow-up. ~ All Music Guide
Paul Siebel "Woodsmoke and Oranges" & "Jack-Knife Gypsy"
(US Folk-Rock 1970, 1971)











Despite the undeniably high quality of his songs -- which have been covered by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Ian Matthews, and Waylon Jennings -- Paul Siebel is far from being a household name. Within folk circles and among songwriters, however, his two albums -- 1970's Woodsmoke and Oranges and 1971's Jack-Knife Gypsy -- are legendary.
Siebel was born in 1937 in Buffalo, NY. Inspired by Hank Williams and Hank Snow, he taught himself to play guitar while in his teens. By the early '60s, after serving in the military, he began playing folk clubs, eventually moving to Greenwich Village, where he found support in the coffeehouse circuit. In 1969, a collections of demos he made with David Bromberg caught the attention of Elektra Records owner Jac Holzman, who offered a him a modest recording deal (reportedly he was only given enough money to finance four three-hour recording sessions). The resulting album, Woodsmoke and Oranges, was met with critical praise from the media, including Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the attention, the album and its equally praised follow-up, Jack-Knife Gypsy, sold disappointingly little. Aside from a live album released in 1981, Live at McCabes, Siebel hasn't released an album since. ~ Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide
Plainsong "In Search of Amelia Earhart"
(Ian Matthews' Band 1972)

In just under three years, Ian Matthews split from Fairport Convention, went solo, formed Matthews' Southern Comfort - with whom he scored a number one U.K. hit - left the group at the height of its popularity, recorded three more records on his own (only two were released at this time) and in early 1972 started Plainsong, his fourth band in five years. And while his track record led one to believe that Plainsong may be just another short stay, the subsequent album, In Search of Amelia Earhart, proved to be worth the venture. Ian Matthews was of course the obvious draw, but Plainsong seemed to be formed as more of a collective effort, with lead guitarist Andy Roberts, who shares the lead vocal duties, the other focal point in the band. On the other hand, Matthews, whose folk and country-tinged tunes set the tone for the record, is the only member to contribute original material. Included among these is the thematic "True Story of Amelia Earhart," which along with the haunting "For the Second Time," leads a pack of five Matthews compositions that range from good to excellent. Elsewhere, Paul Siebel's heartbreaking "Louise," the dulcimer and harmony driven Appalachian gospel of "I'll Fly Away," and Roberts' readings of the playful "Yo Yo Man," Jim & Jesse's "Diesel on My Tail" and the mournful 1939 tale of "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight" are all highlights. Its title and artwork, along with notes by Charles Goerner on the flight and disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Frederick Noonan, gave In Search of Amelia Earhart the feel of a concept album, even though the title is nowhere to be found on the outside jacket and there are only two songs related to the subject contained within. It wasn't really a surprise when a follow-up, though recorded, failed to materialize, with the band parting ways on less than amicable terms, and Matthews going on to record two more records for Elektra. Still, In Search of Amelia Earhart fits nicely alongside the rest of his terrific early-'70's catalogue. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide

01. For the Second Time
02. Yo Yo Man
03. Louise
04. Call the Tune
05. Diesel on My Tail
06. Amelia Earhart's Last Flight
07. I'll Fly Away
08. True Story of Amelia Earhart
09. Even the Guiding Light
10. Side Roads
11. Raider

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eric Justin Kaz "If You're Lonely" (US SSW 1972)

Singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboard player Eric Kaz has had a journeyman's career in American popular music. In the mid-'60s, he played piano in Children of Paradise, a group featuring folk performers Happy and Artie Traum. He was a member of the pop/rock group the Blues Magoos from 1969 to 1970, after which he was signed as a solo artist to Atlantic Records and made a couple of albums includes "If You're Lonely" in the early '70s. While his performing career did not take off, his songs were recorded by such prominent performers as Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt. He was a founding member of American Flyer in 1976. The group made two albums, after which Kaz teamed up with Craig Fuller, also a member of American Flyer, to make a duo album for Columbia in 1978.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tir Na Nog

Q. by Anonymous
Hi all together!I need your help to identify a particular song I heard in the radio in 1973 (!!!). As far as I can remember it must have been a new record release at that time.
Fortunately I could record 1 and a half songs on my tape deck, so I ask you now kindly to listen to these songs. You find them here:

anonymous1.mp3

It is a very fine sort of folkrock.
Please listen - maybe you can help me to find what I try to since more than 30 years...
Thanks
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A. by Wolfgang

This song resp. these songs are "Love Lost / Most Magical" (the first pass into the second) from the lp "Strong in the Sun" by "Tir Na Nog", which I have in vinyl and I haven't listen to since many years. It's rockier than the first two records, which I prefer as a whole album. /

You can listen sample tracks of:
Tir Na Nog "Tear & A Smile(1972)/Strong In The Sun(1973)"
at CD Universe or Leookelly.com

Thanks, Wolfgang
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Also D/L whole album of self titled album "Tir Na Nog"(1971)
here: Lost-In-Tyme




If you visitors have any Tir Na Nog or Leo O'Kelly album, please paste links of them at "Recommend?" section. Thanks
Shelagh McDonald "Album" (UK Folk-Rock 1970)

Joni Mitchell meets early Fairport Convention? Judee Sill jamming with the Pentangle? The first album by Scotland's Shelagh McDonald has that sort of cross-cultural appeal. It's not easy to remember what different paths folk-rock had taken in the U.S. and the U.K. until one listens to this album and how skillfully it combines intimate, confessional songwriting with a traditionally bent musical inclination. McDonald's voice is a clear, lovely soprano with some of Joni Mitchell's phrasing but none of her more piercing affectations and a bit of Sandy Denny's richness and warmth. The arrangements are mostly in the low-key and largely acoustic style, with drums on most of the songs but a handful of solo piano and voice tracks. (The oddest arrangement choice has to be the buzzing noise in the last half of a swell cover of Gerry Rafferty's "Look Over the Hill and Faraway" that sounds like a young Thurston Moore is sitting in.) There's a slight jazzy tinge to some of the songs, akin to the Pentangle's experiments in folk-jazz fusion, as on the spirited "Waiting for the Wind to Rise." The highlight, though, is the lovely "Ophelia's Song," which appears once in a full-band version featuring an old-timey clarinet and a full string section and later in a stark solo guitar version; both are sublime. The Mooncrest CD adds eight bonus tracks from the demo sessions for McDonald's second and final album, Stargazer, including a remarkable early demo of that album's title track and a pointless version of the Doobie Brothers' "Jesus Is Just Alright." ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

01. Mirage
02. Look Over The Hill And Far Away
03. Crusoe
04. Waiting For The Wind To Rise
05. Ophelia's Song
06. Richmond
07. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
08. Peacock Lady
09. Silk And Leather
10. You Know You Can't Lose

11. Ophelia's Song
12. Jesus Is Just All Right *
13. Book Of Rhyme *
14. What More Can I Say *
15. The City's Cry (Version 1) *
16. The City's Cry (Version 2) *
17. Rod's Song *
18. Stargazer (False Start) *
19. Stargazer *
*Bonus Track

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Deleted Links

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Free Design "First 3 albums"
(US Sunshine Pop, Soft Psych, Folk)





The commercial failure of the Free Design remains one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of pop music -- with their exquisitely celestial harmonies, lighter-than-air melodies and blissful arrangements, the group's records were on par with the work of superstar contemporaries like the Beach Boys, the Association and the Cowsills, yet none of their singles even cracked the Hot 100. The Free Design originally comprised siblings Chris, Bruce and Sandy Dedrick, natives of Delevan, New York whose father Art served as a trombonist and arranger with Vaughn Monroe; when Chris moved to New York City in 1966 to attend the Manhattan School of Music, he recruited Bruce (now living on Long Island) and Sandy (a teacher in Queens) to form a folk group, and soon the trio emerged as a popular attraction on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit.In time Chris began composing original material for the Free Design to perform, and with the assistance of their father, the siblings cut a demo, ultimately signing with producer Enoch Light's audiophile label Project 3. The title track from their 1967 debut LP Kites Are Fun was also their first single, cracking the Top 40 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart but reaching only number 114 on the pop chart -- somewhat amazingly, it was the Free Design's biggest hit. Another Dedrick sister, Ellen, joined the group after graduating high school, making her debut on 1968's You Could Be Born Again. "2002--A Hit Song," from 1969's Heaven/Earth, satirically addressed the Free Design's continuing inability to make a commercial impact, but still the group's chart woes continued, and with their next effort, 1970's Songs for Very Important People, they targeted a new audience -- children. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
Boys Of The Lough "Farewell and Remember Me"
(Irish, Celtic Folk 1987)

A fun-loving approach to Celtic music has made the Boys of the Lough one of folk music's most influential groups. In the three decades since they were formed, the Ireland-based band has been instrumental in the evolution of traditional Irish music.
The Boys of the Lough initially came together in 1967 as a trio featuring Cathal McConnell (who had won the all-Ireland championship in flute and tin whistle in 1962), Tommy Gunn, and Robin Morton. When Gunn left two years later, McConnell and Morton recorded their first album, An Irish Jubilee, as a duo. After meeting Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and singer/guitarist Mike Whelan at the Folkirk Folk Festival in 1971, the two duos agreed to pool their resources.
The group continued to experience numerous personnel changes. In 1972, Whelan was replaced by guitarist and vocalist Dick Gaughan, who was replaced a year later by Northumbrian cittern, banjo and mandolin player Dave Richardson. Among the six albums recorded by this lineup were two live albums.
In 1979, original member Robin Morton left the band and was replaced by Richardson's brother, Tish, on guitar. Tish Richardson remained with the group until 1983, when he died in an auto accident, and was replaced by British guitarist Chris Newman. Uilleann pipes, tin whistle and mouth-organ player Christy O'Leary, who had previosuly played with De Dannan, was added at the same time. In October 1997, Newman and O'Leary were replaced by accordion player Brendan Begley and guitar, mandocello and piano player Garry O'Briain. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

Personnel of "Farewell and Remember Me":
Cathal McDonnell (vocals, flute, whistle)
Christy O'Leary (vocals, Uillean pipes, whistle)
John Coakley (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, bodhran)
Aly Bain (fiddle)
Ron Shaw (cello)
Producers; Peter Harris, Boys Of The Lough.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mellow Candle related...
Flibbertigibbet "My Lagan Love"
(Unreleased Live & Studio Recordings 1978)


*cover is "Whistling Jigs to the Moon" (1978)
Flibbertigibbet was formed in South Africa by two former members of Mellow Candle: vocalist Allison Williams (née O'Donnell) and guitar and mandolin player David Williams. Their origainal album "Whistling Jigs to the Moon" was an extremely rare South African-only release for many years until its eventual CD release on Kissing Spell and subsequently Si-Wan Records. Originally released in 1978, this recording never garnered much interest outside of Johannesburg's folk community as local music was largely ignored in that country. Their style was very similar to Mandy Morton and the early drummerless Steeleye Span period. Despite being based in Johannesburg, most of their repertoire originated from Ireland and the U.K. As the Williams' interest and proficiency in Celtic music increased, their songwriting reflected that growth as "The Black Cap," "Episodes," and the title track indicate. Otherwise they arranged traditional folk songs in a quasi modern folk style that predominantly incorporated bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle, and bodhran but occasionally included synthesizer, piano, and electric guitar. ~ Dave Sleger, All Music Guide

And here, "My Lagan Love" is their unreleased studio rarities and live takes.

01. My Lagan Love
02. Once I Had A Sweetheart
03. Medley: Fog In The Morning
...../The Jolly Beggarman
04. Blackwaterside
05. The Jolly Jack Tar
06. Mobile Line
07. Bilbo's Song
08. Medley: Drowsy Maggie
09. Medley: Solder's Joy/Donkey Reel
10. Take Your Fimgers Off It
11. Bonny At Morn
12. The Matelot
13. Seventeen Come Sunday
14. Pretty Polly
15. Medley: My Daring Asleep/Young May Moon
16. The Jolly Tinker
17 .Reynardine
18. Ye Jacobites
19. Gleantain Glais Gaoth Dobhair
C.O.B. (Clive's Own Band)
"Moyshe Mcstiff And The Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart"
(UK Folk 1972)


C.O.B.'s second album was, like its first, a mighty rare and little-heard item, though its rep has risen slightly since then due to its reissue on CD (though that itself is hard to find). It's not much different than the debut, either, and can't fail to remind seasoned British folk-rock listeners of a more normal Incredible String Band, though the connection's legitimate since C.O.B.'s Clive Palmer was a founding member of the ISB. There's a plaintive, almost hymn-like feel to this muted British folk-rock, which is much folkier than rocky. There's also a tinge of acid-folk in the use of some relatively exotic instrumentation for a folk-rock record, including balalaika, dulcitar, tabla, banjo, and harmonium-like organ. "Eleven Willows" gets a little closer to Pentangle-Bert Jansch territory, and Genevieve Baker's nicely haunting background singing on that track makes one wish she'd been given a more prominent role in the band's vocals, which are merely adequate, on the whole. The 1999 CD reissue on Lotus adds two bonus tracks from a non-LP 1972 single, "Blue Morning" and "Bones," which are more rock-oriented than the songs on the album, particularly the reggae-fied "Blue Morning."
Bread Love & Dreams (UK Folk 1969)

In the late 1960s many folk artists were still almost entirely endebted to the traditional acoustic form, this band though would record three albums of which this is the first which moved away in turns into the more progressive area of extended concept song forms. This album has the innocent hall marks of a debut band for the era, much of the song writing is wide-eyed but being with a label like Decca they had the opportunity to expand from simple arrangements straight away. The first song 'Switch Out The Sun' is a naive club folk type song enlivened by strings, 'Virgin Kiss' is similar. Although the arrangement on 'The Least Said' is fairly pedestrian we are introduced to fantastic female vocals, an innocent delicate lead with a haunting siren backing. 'Falling Over Backwards' is a more stark sustained mood song with those siren vocals that remind sometimes of some of the ghostly early Pink Floyd, the mood is lost a little by being swamped in strings but this does have a strangeness and similarity to The Incredible String Band. 'Lady Of The Night' is a gorgeous stately ballad that is a fragile and precise as Trees' 'Garden of Jane Delawney'. There is a lot of mid-tempo strummed ordinary folk mixed with strings for a couple of tracks. 'Until She Needs You' repeats the formula of 'Lady Of The Night' to quite devastating effect. 'Mirrors' has a clear psychedelic influence with it's raga-dream like vocal and finger-bells opening before leading into a rather ordinary song. 'Poet's Song' is different again with a stunning delicate celtic folk song led by soaring flute, a style that was still embryonic at the time of this songs recording but here perfectly realised. 'The Yellow Bellied Redback' is a confused spoken story song with more than a hint of hippy whimsy about it. The last song is a terrible uptempo chugging road blues that doesn't suit the band at all. So we have like many debut albums a very mixed bag. There is a lot that is ordinary and pedestrian here but when it is good the tracks mentioned it sparkles with a rare touch and for these tracks it is well worth picking up for the collector. This isn't acid-folk for much of the album but the few tracks of quality shine brightly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Delivery "Fools Meeting" (UK Canterbury Scene 1971)

Although this band was originally based in London, it is seminal to the Canterbury progressive/psychedelic family tree, as all of the members save for vocalist Carol Grimes fanned out to various Canterbury groups upon its untimely demise. Delivery was formed as a R&B band by two boyhood chums, guitarist Phil Miller and drummer Pip Pyle, during the English blues boom of the late '60s. The band usually backed visiting American blues acts with a fluctuating lineup until singer Carol Grimes joined.

Soon acquiring a record contract, things seemed to be going well for Delivery until its label rushed the band through its recording sessions, then delayed the album's release for months. Upon the release of Fool's Meeting, the record company attempted to promote Grimes as a solo act, the English equivalent to Janis Joplin. The company also fed silly rumors to the press such as Grimes making a habit of eating gravel!

Despite favorable reviews, the band fell apart due to poor record sales and lack of steady financial backing. Grimes went solo and the rest of the members joined various Canterbury-related groups. Pip Pyle became Gong's drummer, Phil Miller became a founding member of Matching Mole with Robert Wyatt, pianist Stephen Miller joined Caravan, bassist Roy Babbington joined the Soft Machine, and Lol Coxhill played saxophone with Kevin Ayers. In 1972, the Miller brothers and Pip Pyle attempted to reform Delivery with Caravan bassist Richard Sinclair. Stephen Miller declined joining the band, and with Dave Stewart as keyboardist, the reformed Delivery instead took the name Hatfield and the North. Delivery's sole album has recently been reissued. ~ Jim Powers, All Music Guide

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Strawbs "Preserves Uncanned"
(Early demos & outtakes 1966-68)

A double CD of 38 previously unreleased songs (one is unlisted on the sleeve) dating from 1966-68, prior to the recording of their proper debut album. Most of these are demos, and many would surface (sometimes in altered form) on future Strawbs and Dave Cousins albums, although quite a few were never officially rerecorded. Its appeal isn't just limited to Strawbs specialists -- it's good, versatile (if slightly derivative) late-'60s British folk-rock, recalling Fairport Convention and (to a lesser degree) Pentangle in its eclecticism, though the Strawbs were no match for the Fairports in the vocal department. Most of the songs are Cousins originals, including tuneful, almost poppy harmony numbers and wordy tracts that take their lyrical cues from Bob Dylan and Ray Davies; the traditional folk tunes and bluegrass instrumentals, though indicative of the group's multi-faceted talents, are less interesting. Self-penned compositions like "October to May," "Martin Luther King's Dream," "Where Is the Dream of Your Youth," and "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus" are among the best (not to mention lyrically ambitious) songs Cousins has ever done; "All I Need is You" and the Beatles-ish "And You Need Me" are among the poppiest. Good sound quality, and detailed liner notes by Cousins himself. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
Ron Sexsmith (Canadian SSW 1995)

The earnest work of boyish Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith won acclaim not from only critics but from fellow performers like Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and John Hiatt -- some of the same artists, ironically enough, who initially inspired Sexsmith himself to become a musician. Born in 1964 and raised in the Niagara Falls area, he started his first band at the age of 14, and within a few years earned his first regular gig at an area club. Influenced by Pete Seeger, he began making the rounds on the folk circuit, but soon decided to focus his attentions on becoming a songwriter.

Ron Sexsmith is so anti-cool that this may actually be one the coolest albums you hear. The Toronto singer/songwriter's appearance matches his music perfectly -- hair falling in tousled bangs over doe eyes and baby face; one of those guys who always got beat up in high school and couldn't string two words together in front of a real live girl without stammering. A wide-eyed innocent, Sexsmith's eponymous release marries the wonder of Jonathan Richman with the darker atmosphere of a Daniel Lanois. Superficially, the songs are so sparsely childlike that you're tempted to wonder if Sexsmith is either a master of affectation or some kind of idiot savant. ~ Roch Parisien, All Music Guide

01. Secret Heart
02. There's a Rhythm
03. Words We Never Use
04. Summer Blowin' Town
05. Lebanon, Tennessee
06. Speaking With the Angel
07. In Place of You
08. Heart With No Companion (Leonard Cohen)
09. Several Miles
10. From a Few Streets Over
11. First Chance I Get
12. Wastin' Time
13. Galbraith Street
14. There's a Rhythm
15. Almost Always (Japanese bonus track)

Friday, August 11, 2006

grown so ugly

Let's welcome ejg and his grown so ugly blog!

His 1st post is...
Meic Stevens "Ghost Town" (LP rip)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Riverman "Nick Drake Tribute Act"

Riverman is a UK-based act who perform the songs of Nick Drake. It consists of Mike Bethel and Paul Witcomb, who are two Birmingham-based musicians - both with long and varied histories of music-making. Being both keen Nick Drake fans, they formed Riverman early in 2005 as a response to a growing demand to hear Drake's music.

01. River Man
02. Fly
03. Joey
04. Man In A Shed
05. Parasite
06. The Thoughts Of Mary Jane
07. Clothes Of Sand
08. At The Chime Of A City Clock
09. Fruit Tree
10. Black Eyed Dog
11. Way To Blue
12. Time Has Told Me *
13. Riverman *
14. The Thoughts of Mary Jane *

*Live at Tanworth-In-Arden 30/7/05

Download (re-post)

The Trees

The Christ Tree (US 1975)

In reviewing the album it is not my intent to denigrate any religion or belief but I think that most people would accept there is a point where devotion crosses over into obsession, where the people concerned are unable to focus on any other aspect of their lives and lose touch with reality. This has been shown in countless tragic examples such as the mass suicide-murder of Reverend Jim Jones commune in the late 1970s. Listening to this album the performers have clearly crossed a line. On the cover we have the commune in ceremonial dress, with ecstatic looks on their faces which gives some indications of where we are going.

The album merges Indian sitar, harp, guitar, pump organ, koto, dulcimer and massed vocals. The instrumentation is accomplished and often stunningly beautiful weaving intricate patterns that bring together eastern and celtic, religious and folk music into a cohesive style. There are countless instruments listed on the sleeve from around the world which give the album a broad sonic palette with excellent production to give a sound that is fairly unique. The instrumental sections are heart warming and have only recently been matched in the 90s by Stephen Bacchus who is highly recommended often in a similar fusion of world wide styles into a fantastic whole.

Vocally it is so intense that you will either love or hate them, there is no compromise here as these are the songs of the completely obsessed sounding like hippies who left behind the drugs and became devoted. However they have thought about vocal arrangements with groups of vocalists swooping in and out, dropping to a soloist then building up to huge crescendos. You could make the case that this either is or isn't folk music, however it's so strange that I don't imagine it will ever find another home (apart from modern cultists who rediscover the album). Those who imagine The Wicker Man soundtrack is about as strange as it gets would fell propelled to a whole new level here, often you just sit back and think 'these people are demented' almost as though it's beamed to them from elsewhere...

Lyrically if you're not exactly sympathetic to Christianity unless you can look past this then it will be an uncomfortable listen as the songs are either parables of their own disturbed making or psalms. However taken at face value or ignored it becomes hypnotic and entrancing, it really is a wild and strange journey, it's intensity even becoming unsettling and scary at points. If the massed sound and vocals of the US band The Polyphonic Spree have interested you recently then they will sound like pre-school listening when you hear this. In fact they share a vocal technique of using ever building fast repetitive wordless vocals 'na' na' na' Na' Na' NA' NA' that really are quite disturbing. Last track Psalm 46 is a peak and is quite amazingly beautiful, eventually seeming to reach the state of bliss they have sought throughout this album

Sample pic: Click

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hiroshima (August 6th, 1945)

Peace...
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