Sunday, December 31, 2006

May your Holidays be filled with joy and may you have a New Year that fulfills all your dreams and brings you health, happiness and love. And may we all enjoy PEACE in the new year!
Brittle Days: A Tribute To Nick Drake (1992)

01. The Changelings - River Man
02. Loop - Pink Moon
03. No Man - Road
04. The Walkabouts - Cello Song
05. Shelleyan Orphan - Joey
06. Scott Appe - From The Morning
07. The Times - Fruit Tree
08. Martyn Bates - Know
09. The Swinging Swine - Voice From The Mountain
10. Nikki Sudden & The French Revo - Time Has Told Me
11. Tracy Santa - Fly
12. Cilve Gregson - Northern Sky
13. Scott Appel - Hazey Jane I
14. R Stevie Moore - River Man
15. No Man - Pink Moon

Download link in comments.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Loudest Whisper "Maiden of Sorrow" 1975

Irish folk rockers best known for their 'Children of Lir' concept album. This live recording from 1975 continues in a similar vein and is a stage of another folk tale set to music complete with choirs etc. complex muisc for lovers of a rootsy electric folk rock sound with male and female vocals. Simialr to Fairport, The Trees, Steeleye Span, Mellow Candle etc. (Freak Emporium)

The History:
The Loudest Whisper story begins in rural Fermoy, Co. Cork, in the early 60s, when a group of teenagers encountered the music of the Beatles, and decided to form a beat group, the Wizards. The band's initial line-up comprised Brian O'Reilly and Michael Clancey on guitars, John Aherne on bass and Jimmy Cotter on drums, with all four members sharing vocals.

O'Reilly recalls that initially the band was "banging on chairs and playing acoustic guitars", since electric guitars and amplifiers weren't available in Fermoy before 1968. In­deed, musical purists frowned upon all guitars, as Brian notes: "In traditional sessions in those days, they didn't like guitar­ists joining in - that crept in slowly".

The folk dimension that would later characterise Loudest Whisper's work was absent from the Wizards' music, which consisted mainly of Beatles, Hollies and Spen­cer Davis covers. Later, the band discovered Cream, Hendrix and the blues, and their music took a heavier turn. Sometime around 1969 or 1970, they changed their name to Loudest Whisper.

By this time, the band had also undergone some line-up changes. Jimmy Cotter had left for Dublin "which for us, might as well have been a foreign country," notes Brian, and a fan of the band, Brendan "Bunny" Nelgian, was brought in as his replacement, despite never having played drums before. Later, Brian's brother Paud joined as a guitarist, quickly switching to drums, at which point Neligan became the band's lead vocalist.

Rehearsals began in the summer and The Children Of Lir premiered in Fermoy on 7th January 1973. Ron Kavanagh, a singer and guitarist who had also joined the band, took the lead role due to his fine voice and acting ability, whilst the band played themselves, and around 50 other performers were involved. The size of the orchestra, which included five guitarists, was as much for practical as artistic reasons - no stage microphone available, so the band needed to make as much noise as possible.

1974 proved to be a year of intense activity. Fuelled by the reaction to The Of Children Lir, O'Reilly had written another musical, Perseus, inspired by the Greek legend, and this was staged with an outstand­ing vocalist named Geraldine Dorgan playing the lead role. Simultaneously, the band embarked on a recorded adaptation of The Children Of Lir at Polydor's request (despite the show not having been a Loudest Whisper project per se), and prepared to release “William B" as their debut single.

With Tir na N'og's Leo O'Kelly as producer, sessions for The Children Of Lir went famously despite Kavanagh leaving the band ( for a prolific solo career) midway through. Vocals were shared by Neligan, Kavanagh, Kelly and Geraldine Dorgan, and the sound was fleshed out by a string and a children's choir.

The finished recording was a masterpiece of the progressive folk genre; melodic, mystical and dynamic by turns. Singling out highpoints is difficult, but "Mannanan 2" shows just what a gritty edge the band possessed in those days, and "Wedding Song" displays Dorgan's wonderfully rich voice to excellent effect, despite an obvious nod to "California Dreaming" in both the chord progressions and vocal arrangement.

Neligan left the band shortly after the LP's release, and Brian O'Reilly took over the bulk of the lead vocals. Geraldine Dorgan also joined as vocalist and electric guitarist, despite the reservations of some band members about having a female colleague. She also featured heavily in O'Reilly's third and final 70s musical, The Maiden Of Sorrow, staged in 1975.
Amazing Blondel "Fantasia Lindum" 1971

Ground and Sky review
Amazing Blondel's third album sees the group continue with their mellow twin lute, woodwind and close harmony style, but start to experiment a little with song format. The band had obviously settled into a comfortable niche by this time, the trio still using much the same instrumental techniques, but sounding much tighter. They also felt less keenly the need for external aid, with the only guest musician being Jim Capaldi, who plays a military snare on "Siege of Yaddlethorpe."
A glance at the track listing may lead one to believe that the twenty-minute title track is a fully blown progressive epic. In reality, it's a series of short songs and instrumentals linked together by the occasional use of a recurring theme. This track is not all together arranged in an ad hoc manner, however; it flows together well enough, with its last song, "Celestial Light," being a suitable climax before a subdued restatement of the main theme leads to a gentle finish.

The remaining tracks are all strong. The three penned by Gladwin are typical Amazing Blondel fair, while the two dances by Baird offer perhaps the closest thing to an authentic Elizabethan sound and "The Siege of Yaddlethorpe" like something from a Military Tattoo.

This is another fine release by Amazing Blondel, not offering much substantially different from Evensong, but perhaps exploring musical possibilities a little more, and having a little more quality to the overall song writing.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Davy Graham "Large As Life and Twice As Natural" 1968

Original sleeve notes by Ray Horricks:
This is Davy Graham's third adventure on an LP …and along roads that are folk, blues, jazz, Arabic, Indian-and one or two more things. Travelling with a guitar and also Danny Thompson, bass Jon Hiseman, drums, Harold McNair, flutes, and Dick Heckstall-Smtih, saxophones. Travelling like Baudelaire's travellers; 'who move simply to move'. The man himself is equally at home in Edinburgh ('a stately city'); Glasgow ('such warm acid'); or in Athens ('gold and purple in the evening. Smooth as marble hollow solid eyes of panthers. So exhausting for strangers.') But he is never at home in any one place for very long. And this seems to be in exact parallel with his music. For he cannot be pigeonholed: fortunately.

He is a life-member on the roundabout of alteration. Like his deep-down blues, and you have to accept his setting of a 1000 year old Romeo and Juliet story. Go with him on a musical flight to Morocco ('Jenra' : pavilion'd in splendour) and the return journey will be via an extended raga. But always-I should add-in the company of originality. For after introducing North African music to Western guitar, he has now done the same for India. It's a bit like Dr Bannister running his 4-minute mile and then going off in search of another distance. All of which is quiet disparate, but also very thorough and exciting and satisfying. In the past few years Davy has played his folk at the Edinburgh Festival, his jazz in some of the best clubs in London, his Arabic interpretations in Tangier and his ragas to people who know Ravi Shankar's records. (Unlike those who have gone to India for a 3-week Sitar course, he has investigated the form of ragas.) So far nobody who has listened has found his music a disappointment. And certainly not the many who have brought his two previous LPs.

Following this later collection I know have no idea where his next stop will be. He might take a bicycle to Mexico or slip inside a carrier pigeon's message to Senegal. Or it could be Canterbury. At least I know it will be fascination though as his producer of records, apart from supervising the sessions, I have found myself becoming more and more an editor of the ideas, which zoom out from him like flying saucers, with there origins just as mysterious. He will sometimes break off in the middle of a 'take' that another guitarist might become a Faust for, to tell me about three points of recording and it is preserved there for everyone to buy-he rarely performs it before an audience again. "I have to avoid the cliche," he says. "I want to keep them on the move…"
Well on behalf of those of us who have done cur best to keep up with him. I hope he does.

01. Both Sides Now (Mitchell)
02. Bad Boy Blues (Trad.; Arr. Graham)
03. Tristano (Graham)
04. Babe, It Ain't No Lie (Trad.; Arr Graham)
05. Bruton Town (Trad.;Arr Graham)
06. Sunshine Raga (Graham)
07. Freight Train Blues (McDowell)
08. Jenra (Graham)
09. Electric Chair (Unknown)
10. Good Moring Blues (Trad.; Arr. Ledbetter)
11. Blue Raga (Graham)
Cyril Tawney "Down Among the Barley Straw" 1976

This album is subtitled Seduction Songs from the Baring-Gould Manuscripts.

01. Down Among the Barley Straw.
02. Rambleaway.
03. The Ragged Beggarman.
04. The Squire and the Fair Maid.
05. The Hostesss Daughter.
06. A Nutting We Will Go.
07. Bird in the Bush.
08. Strawberry Fair.
09. The Cottage On the Hill.
10. The Bold Dragoon.
11. The Bold Trooper.
12. The Miraculous Hen.
13. The Barley Rakings

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"The Tree People" 1979

Aquarius Records:
Not to be confused with Doug Martsch's amazing nineties outfit, the Treepeople, -these- Tree People are equally amazing, but are a whole different proposition.
This disc was originally released as a super limited lp way back in 1979 and managed to quietly disappear. Now, here we are nearly three decades later, and whattaya know? There's a whole movement of modern free folk, 'freak' folk and the like, and if you didn't know better, pretty sure we could pass this off as some strange super limited cd-r by some modern folk revivalists. But keen ears would certainly be able to tell. This is so entirely original (especially for the time) and genuine sounding. Mostly acoustic guitars, flute and vocals, the Tree People had two distinct sounds, the first, a lilting melancholy moonlit folk, like Cat Stevens or Van Morrison, a gorgeous lazy drawl, rich and lustrous, over simple folk and fluttering flutes, dreamy and gorgeous, sounding like some lost folk classic one minute, a strange "Girl From Ipanema" style shuffle the next. But even at it's sweetest and softest, the record seems to always have a hint of melancholy, sometimes even a trace of ominous foreboding. Which definitely gives the songs a subtly dark undercurrent. The majority of the record however is spent in full on hippy jam mode. Very Comus-like at times (especially on track two, "Sliding"), wild steel string excursions, dense tangles of fingerpicked melodies and aggressive strummed riffs, with a definite raga like vibe, all over a smattering of hand drums and tablas, a glorious drifting buzzing steel string dronefolk, that just sounds so incredibly timeless. Elsewhere, the same jams evolve into more tranquil acoustic dreaminess, with the flutes floating over sweet lilting melodies, but even then, the songs will be peppered with sudden bursts of buzzing slide guitar, or brief squalls of atonal fingerpicking. SO cool. And considering the current love of all things freaky and folky, it's sort of amazing that stuff like this was already being made 27 years ago!
Obviously, fans of the current crop of modern folk troubadours will find this absolutely essential, Devandra, Vetiver, Espers, Newsom, whatever your particular poison, the Tree People will fit in frighteningly well. Hard to say whether it speaks to the prescience of the Tree People, or just to how much these modern bands have actually been 'borrowing'. Either way, this is absolutely essential.
Packaged in a super deluxe Japanese miniature gatefold style cd sleeve, with a printed obi, and extensive liner notes in English and Japanese!

Stephen Cohen: guitar, voice
Jeff Stier: percussion, recorder
Rachel Lademan: flute
James Thornbury: bass

For more about The Tree People, check Stephen Cohen's own blog:
"The Tree People chronicles"
V.A. "John Peel Presents Top Gear" 1969

Very rare, and very odd, compilation of performances broadcast by Peel on the BBC's Top Gear show in late 1969. Bridget St. John, the gentle-voiced folk singer who would record several albums for Peel's Dandelion label, has four tracks, including covers of John Martyn and Joni Mitchell songs. Experimental composer Ron Geesin has three items that, unsurprisingly, recall the most out-there passages of late-'60s Pink Floyd, whom Geesin worked with for Atom Heart Mother. The Welfare State's one offering is similarly avant-garde, and Sweet Marriage weigh in with a couple of pretty faceless progressive rock numbers; there's also an experimental treatment of "John Peel's Voice," and the "Top Gear Signature Tune." The juxtaposition of wildly different underground styles, as well as the rather unimpressive quality of the music itself, limits the record's appeal almost exclusively to hell-bent collectors. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Welfare State:
Art college freaks from Bradford, Yorkshire, represented by a single track on the John Peel Presents Top Gear album (BBC REC 52S) issued in 1969 and comprising selected sessions from his "Top Gear" radio show. The track in question is Silence Is Requested In The Ultimate Abyss and features backward vocals, hypnotic rhythms, psychedelic noise and a lyric, recited rather than sung, which seems to concern a body being seared and broken. The electronic treatment, under the direction of David Vorhaus, is by White Noise whose album An Electronic Storm (Island ILPS 9099) will be known to some. This mixture of "alchemists, an earth goddess, facts (?), monsters, perspex lutes, poets and freaks" - to quote Peel from the sleeve notes - is weird but interesting.

01. John Peel's Voice
02. Sweet Marriage - Mort
03. Bridget St. John - The River
04. Ron Geesin - Agitation in Anticipation of Offspring Part W
05. Bridget St. John - Song To Keep You Company
06. Welfare State - Silence Is Requested In The Ultimate Abyss
07. Bridget St. John - Night In The City
08. Sweet Marriage - Titania
09. Ron Geesin - Agitation In Anticipation Of Offspring Part X
10. Bridget St. John - Lazarus
11. Ron Geesin - Agitation in Anticipation of Offspring Part Y
12. John Peel - Top Gear Signature Tune

Sample pic: 1, 2

Download link in comments.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Finally, John have finished putting up his own blog!


Welcome to the Heavenly Grooves Blog spot. Here you will find a variety of genres (rock, folk, blues, psych, British beat, prog, etc...) all with one commonality - Jesus Christ. Whether you think the artists were demented, deceived or inspired I hope you enjoy the music. I will be posting several albums a week so check back often.

Welcome, John!
Robin Williamson & Clive Palmer "At the Pure Fountain"
Live 1999

Some thirty years after they last recorded together, Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer have rekindled their musical partnership. The two founding members of the Incredible String Band have picked up where they left off with the String Band's first album- in fact, they have reprised some of the repertoire from that period that somehow transcends time and fashion and sounds as fresh and exhilarating at the end of the century as it did back then. As Joe Boyd commented at the time of signing them to Elektra Records: "They were taking Scots songs that hadn't necessarily made the trip over the Appalachians and playing them as if they had." At The Pure Fountain finds Robin and Clive continuing their world music journey assisted by Paula Gardiner: double bass, Phil Tomkins: violin, Maggie Tomkins: accordion, Peter Stacey: soprano and tenor sax, Lawson Dando: keyboards, Gina Brown: keyboards, Bina Williamson: vocals.

Hector Christie's review here: The Living Tradition
John Renbourn & Robin Williamson "Wheel Of Fortune"
Live 1993

This live album, recorded in partnership with Robin Williamson (who plays Celtic harp, rhythm guitar, and whistle) at the Old Town School of Folk Music, is the most beguiling of Renbourn's albums, not a bad achievement 30 years into his recording career. The sound is excellent, the repertory consists almost entirely of traditional folk songs (there are two modern originals by Archie Fisher and Randy Weston) arranged by Renbourn and/or Williamson, and it's all fresh and bracing. Williamson takes the lead vocals on four songs, Renbourn on three, and the other four are instrumentals, with one dazzling piece of storytelling ("Finn and the Old Man's House") to musical accompaniment. Renbourn's contribution is slightly understated in these surroundings, although when he sings, his voice achieves great expressiveness and power. This is also a good showcase for his playing, and the running time, at more than an hour, is generous. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ron Sexsmith "Blue Boy" 2001

For his fourth studio album, Ron Sexsmith abandoned the increasingly baroque textures of Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake's keyboard-dominated production to work with producer and fellow world-class songwriter Steve Earle (along with Earle's usual studio partner, Ray Kennedy). But if you're expecting the results to be a straightforward singer/songwriter affair, think again -- Blueboy is a stylistically diverse, sonically full-bodied affair, and while it's hardly a full-on rock record, it's certainly Sexsmith's most immediate and forceful set to date. Between the soul horns on "This Song," the reggae accents of "Never Been Done," and the cool jazz arrangement on "Foolproof," Earle's production brings a variety of different flavors to these songs, and while most fall into a smart pop mode not unlike Sexsmith's earlier work, the album's subtle but inventive textures draw the listener's focus into the songs, rather than the arrangements. Earle and Kennedy have also done a fine job capturing the nuances of Sexsmith's vocals, which boast a greater depth than on most of his earlier outings in the studio. But the best reason to listen to a Ron Sexsmith album is always his songs, and Blueboy offers another 14 pieces of evidence that this man ranks among the most gifted singer/songwriters working today. Balancing a youthful charm with a strikingly mature perspective, Sexsmith sings about the stuff of ordinary people -- life, love, and fate -- with a perceptive intelligence, emotional depth, and subtle and compassionate wit that's truly one of a kind. Anyone who has heard his work knows that Ron Sexsmith is a superb songwriter, and Blueboy suggests he's learned how to make records just as strong as his material. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide


Smile (pre Queen) "Gettin' Smile" 1969
Released in Japan as 6 tracks mini-LP (1982)

Smile were a London based rock band for about 18 months in the late 1960s. The band Queen was formed out of its ashes. Formed by Brian May (later guitarist for Queen) in 1967, it included Tim Staffell as singer and bassist. It later included drummer Roger Taylor, who also went on to play for Queen.

Roger Taylor joined the group on drums in response to an advertisement which called for a "Mitch Mitchell/Ginger Baker" drummer. He had previously been both drummer and vocalist as frontman for a group known as Reaction. With a manager, roadie, logo designed by Staffell and paid gigs, the group was now becoming professional. They also used the promotions agency Rondo for publicity.

While Staffell and May both studied at Imperial College, their first gig there was on 26 October 1968, as a support act to Pink Floyd, playing mostly variations of covers with wild tempo changes and extreme dynamics. By the end of that year, Taylor had dropped his dentistry course, while May was still enrolled in astronomy.

The group's biggest public performance was on 27 February 1969 at the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child. Held at the Royal Albert Hall, May, Taylor and Staffell performed as a trio on guitar, drums and bass respectively. Keyboardist Chris Smith had been fired the day before, according to Staffell. (According to Chris, he was only briefly in the band and left of his own accord due to wanting to try different styles).

Around this time Freddie Mercury was living with all three, and supported them behind the scenes. However, without a place for him in the band, he continued playing in other groups such as Ibex, later known as Wreckage.

1. Doing Allright (May/Staffell)
2. Blag (Taylor)
3. April Lady (Lucas)
4. Polar Bear (May)
5. Earth (Staffell)
6. Step On Me (May/Staffell)
The Story "Tale Spin" 2006

The Story is a father/son duo consisting of Martin Welham of the classic folk/psych band Forest and his son, Tom. The pair have been touring recently across the English countryside (Somerset seems to be home base these days) and, following an initial unveiling on a split-LP with US folkies Whysp "Tale Spin" marks both their debut full length as well as the first original (i.e., non-reissue) release on Sunbeam. Opening with their theme song, "The Story" is a rolling acoustic gem, full of gorgeous harmonies that leaves me with a laidback Moody Blues taste in my ears. The Welhams mix things up by adding banjo, piano and some strings and winds to "Hope and Pray," another harmonic beauty in the style of CSNY, Help Yourself, or early Brinsley Schwarz.

Welham senior's "Walking the Wall" is a nostalgic recollection of youthful experiences that could equally be directed at both his son and his former bandmates, while junior's youthful exhuberance injects a lightweight, good time poppy groove to his "Anyway" and the backwards guitars and soaring harmonies imbue his "Strange World" with just the right air of mystery.

So, these tale spinning Welhams offer up a whistful collection of melodic folk pop that will appeal both to senior's old cronies with Forest, COB, Fresh Maggots, and Help Yourself LPs in their collection along with junior’ new breed of folkies like Espers, 6 Organs of Admittance and In Gowan Ring. - Jeff Penczak
Daniel Patrick Quinn "Ridin' The Stang" 2005

The Unbroken Circle:
Artists such as Daniel Patrick Quinn give hope to a music industry which seems confused about the future and often exhausted. There is a generation of emerging artists such as this who are young but use on-line labels to distribute their music on their own label. They are therefore able to make music unrestricted by commercial considerations and stay true to their own inspirations and creative development. If they sell small quantities, this does not matter as they produce the albums when ordered and can take their time to develop as they like.

Daniel’s music is that rare thing - personal and unique in an industry which searches for such artists but then seeks to remove the very individuality that attracted them. On his previous album "Severed From The Land" and on this new one Daniel is able to fuse a sense of the ancient with a desire to progress. His music brings together traditional melodies, folk song and interest in landscape supported by electronic and drone instrumentation that produces a new music, beyond folk or ambient and into personal exploration. He is forming "The Rough Ensemble" to play his pieces live later this year which will be essential to see.

This is the kind of new ethnic music for imagined places that Brian Eno and Jon Hassell thought about. However the location of recording is East Lothian and the imagined place is the British landscape with the untold history and myths sitting within. It transcends any sense of the pseudo-archaic and instead produces a radical, authentic sometimes bawdy musical tapestry that evokes the landscape and our existence upon it. Daniel is only twenty four but is able to bring forward a sense of continuity, community and experience over ages in music entirely created by him which is both welcome and astonishing.

We start with "Northern" which combines hovering swirls of droning electronics, violins and finger clicks creating a positively vibrant opening swell of music. He then begins to intone in his dry northern English accent about the land and place. "those clear summer days, the first after the rain has gone, you can see for miles…." and "looking so precisely modelled, carefully contoured like there was some definite thought that went into these hills… the cars look tiny from up here". It's a wonderful combination of music and voice, like Mark E Smith of The Fall joining a communal fireside improvisation led by John Cale. Daniel talks about specific places, recognisable, talking as he travels "metal bridge in the last house before Rockcliffe Marsh and out to the Solway, past the boat house, I wonder who lives there? Over the border go towards Moffaft…"

"there are few signs of human habitation, where the hills lend an ancient aspect to your days, may the road rise to meet you".

It's beautiful, to this reviewer more moving in its informal observation than most poetry, words from the people about their own places. Next track is "The Burryman" which features Duncan Grahl speaking with Daniel and others about the South Queensferry leaf-costumed "green" man known as The Burryman covered in spikey burrs. Here the music is softer, accordion and violin woven into melodic repetitious electronics. Duncan speaks in his broad accent about the burryman going in the pubs and factories taking a drink. It's a relaxed dialogue over the music with lots of joking and laughs amongst those present. The listener feels as though they are sat in the pub, a fire roaring listening to this impromptu communal tale. Then Duncan talks about "Lammas" time, the time of change into harvest which connects to our own "Lammas Night Laments" music series nicely. "The Burryman is a hero… the children of the village are all scared to look at the Burryman, they just peek through their hands you know…." As the song progresses and the Burryman moves towards his duties the music grows with the calls and invocations of the group to encourage him on.

Our third piece is "Make Hay!" an instrumental that combines analogue synthesizers sounding like early Kraftwerk before their robotic phase and combining this with a haunting folk refrain. As it evolves the piece takes on a filmic quality as though Ennio Morricone was working with Ashley Hutchings. On pieces such as this, Daniel's music works as "circles" of repeating and evolving phrases. Their simplicity working as a strength allowing the central melodies to embed themselves into the listeners mind. We are soon then into "Clock House" which continues from the last track as an instrumental but this time more pensively with delicate guitar melodies over rumbling bass guitar and the accordion/violin drone.

After the subdued quality of the previous track the next arrives like a breath of clear early morning air, intoxicating and mixed to sound huge with banks of sustained keyboards and a bright melody. Daniel speaks his intro "they lived down here and they moved on" at the start of the track, "Channelkirk and the Surrounding Area". His voice is hypnotic and full of small laconic inflections, I could listen all day. This piece is quite amazing in it’s beauty, uncompromising, genuinely mysterious and raw. This is where the hope for the music industry lays, at the heart of this music which fuses the old and that yet to come.

"Rough Music" starts with a moody, mysterious minor air and the lyrics more strident "well if I was minded about these guys, mind I'd like to see the bastards locked up". It feels like a manifesto, a statement of rejection and defiance to targets unknown. The spoken refrain of "Ridin' the Stang" seeming both a promise and threat as it is menacingly intoned.

"Over and Over" continues the moody instrumental quality at first before an electric violin and guitar come in with a lighter melody, lifting the piece but retaining the tension. Surging layers of synthesizer weave into the music taking it from the land to an almost cosmic level of exploration, music that is beyond influences and into new realms of its own. It is clear as we listen that Daniel is not so much interested in preserving the land as it was, but in exploring it now, changed but still pivotal to our lives, our footsteps weaving new layers of history over the old.

All too soon we have reached the eighth and final track called "The Ennerdale Fence" which is a kind of hazy, dreamt communal folk song. It has an insistent beat but vocals that fade in and out with the drone reaching a raga like intensity. The instruments fuse into surging union with electric guitars ringing out over the top. Somehow it seems to fulfil the forgotten promise of a uniquely British psychedelic music created on Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" and then forgotten for decades. But here, here we have it reborn. British melodies, folk and the surreal combine once more into music that reaches outside time and into the heart of this land as a brief fuzzed electric guitar squall leads back to our summer slumbers.

Like all the most inspired and inspirational music, Daniel's transcends its influences and genres expressing an aspect of musical creation not heard elsewhere. Recommending this music does not really do justice to how quietly essential it is. I found it connected with some instinct and shared memory deep inside, an element of British experience that none of us can express but many feel. Music from and about the land and our communities, Daniel's music simply demands to be heard.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Serenity "Piece Of Mind" 1972

Freak Emporium:
Beautiful and little known album from New Zealand released in 1972. It's a classic piece of acoustic and electric progressive hippy folk rock that is reminiscent of Magna Carta but with a US West Coast feel. A superb dreamy blend of cool trippy, summer folk rock sounds with a pop edge. Now on CD from Kissing Spell!

Serenity were a Christchurch based pop/folk trio around for a short time in 1972. They released a good album that year called "Piece Of Mind" and from that album came two singles, "Where Is The Lord"/"Millions" and "Pig"/"Sandelmaker", all on the Down Under label.
"Big Lost Rainbow" 1973

It is not hard to figure out why record labels wouldn't touch Big Lost Rainbow and why it stood no chance of gaining a widespread audience at the time of its 1973 release date. The album runs completely counter to the pompous hard rock that was plastered all over the airwaves at the time and is far too subtle and mature for mass consumption. Although their initial gig was played before a crowd of 10,000, Big Lost Rainbow were not cut out for the arena. Their music requires a much more intimate setting and response, and their sole album is a surprising musical delight constructed out of elements of folk, jazz, and classical music, all of which expose gorgeous, supple melodies, mostly composed by lead vocalist and guitarist Ridley Pearson. The album brings to mind the best aspects of soft early '70s folk-pop, but unlike much of that genre, there is a genuine sorrow (as opposed to anger) threaded throughout the music; a sorrow, perhaps, brought about by the changing times but one that is not the least bit cynical. It is, instead, a sort of celebratory sentimentality. The songs are all exceedingly strong. Big Lost Rainbow infuse the music with an uncanny emotional resonance whether they are expressing joyous or melancholy sentiments. The opening cut, "Sail" (written by Otis Read), is powered by harmonies nearly equal to those of Crosby, Stills & Nash, while "Oh! Idaho" is a lilting, upbeat tune that soars with scatty harmonies a la Seals & Crofts. Even the upbeat songs, though, are not exactly bouncy. The album is entirely drum-less, so acoustic guitar, piano, bass, and cello are all up front with Pearson's vocals, which sound like a gentler, more somnolent Jonathan Edwards or James Taylor. When the mood is slowed down, the songs are incredibly touching. "Slow Rider" has a hint of the Bee Gees in their most heartbreakingly fragile and evocative melodic moments. And the gorgeous "Allegiance of Apathy," the one song included from the group's 1992 reunion, offers not only evidence that the members still have the magic but also a perfect, poignant closing for the album. Overall there is a tender, communal hippie vibe to the album, very sunny and optimistic without descending into silliness and entirely avoiding jadedness. There is a sense of lost innocence and the process of growing wiser, as if the band is singing a lullaby to the wistfulness of youth. From beginning to end, Big Lost Rainbow is romantic and lovely. ~ Stanton Swihart, All Music Guide

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nick Drake

"John Peel session"
Recorded at Yalding House, London, August 5th, 1969.

Time of No Reply
Three Hours

Download (re-post)

"A Stranger Among Us - Searching For Nick Drake"
(BBC Documentary 1998)

Google Video: Part.1, Part.2
AVI format: Part.1, Part.2

Thank you, Sins We Can't Absolve!

Mason Proffit

Recommended by Sean MacNair...

"Movin' Toward Happiness" 1971

Based in Chicago, Mason Proffit played a style of country-rock that owed less to the more pop-oriented style of L.A. bands like Poco than it did to the newly bluegrass-happy Grateful Dead of American Beauty and its emerging offshoot, the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Despite the pedal steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, and Dobro, the Talbot brothers, who led the group, were less about a new Nashville than about a fusion of the Old West with hippiedom. They lamented the plight of Native Americans in "Flying Arrow," and while they could pick a mean hoedown on "Old Joe Clark," their version somehow managed to express antiwar sentiments. They recognized the connection between the cowboy myth and the independent spirit of truck drivers, and they managed to mix it all in with a sort of primitive Christianity. In this, they were very much of their time. Mike Cameron's "Good Friend of Mary's" fit into the emerging Jesus cult that identified the Christian savior as a kind of proto-hippie, preaching peace and love while wandering the country in long hair and sandals, and the Talbots sang it with their warm tenor harmony in complete sincerity. Such music wasn't going to make it far out of the early '70s, but in 1971 it was perfectly appealing, and Movin' Toward Happiness managed to make the national charts despite being released on the band's own label, suggesting that they had the potential to appeal beyond a cult. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

"Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" 1971

Though this album sank without a trace when it was released, time has been kind to Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, and it is now hailed as a work of genius. Justifiably so, since every track is proof of a band with wonderful instincts for melody and how to frame a musical idea. Mason Proffit was an ensemble that played a blend of music that was more country than rock, with occasional folk and blues influences to make things interesting. Though a few of their songs were straightforward love songs and celebrations of country virtues, many were uncommonly sophisticated for 1971. The song "Jewel" is a pure tearjerker, a sad tale of a young black woman who is used and abandoned by a wealthy white man. The tragic story is set to a weeping steel guitar and is sung in a voice that sounds anguished, and it is a marvelously affecting track. The title track and "Eugene Pratt" are noteworthy for their gentle insistence that something is wrong with the society in which we live, and something should be done about it immediately. Other bands were experimenting with country-rock but never achieved this subtlety and grace, and there was a whole genre of protest music which lacked those same two attributes. The fact that both were in the same package, but were ignored at the time that they were released, is just a darn shame. This band's catalog cries out for a re-evaluation and re-release, starting with this album. ~ Richard Foss, All Music Guide

"Rockfish Crossing" 1972

Mason Proffit earned a major-label contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1972 after its second and third albums, Movin' Toward Happiness and Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, both made the charts in 1971 despite being released on small independent labels. Warner probably thought it was getting in on the country-rock trend already receiving national exposure via the Flying Burrito Brothers on A&M and Poco on Epic, and it might well have worked out that way. Rockfish Crossing, the group's Warner debut, was an accomplished blend of country and rock on which the Talbot brothers, who led the band, sang pure harmonies on folk-rock songs, played convincing country hoedowns, covered country standards like "You Win Again," and even included some timely social consciousness in "Were You There," with its references to My Lai and Wounded Knee. They dressed up in Western gear on the album cover like 19th century desperadoes, Civil War soldiers, and buffalo hunters. It's hard to say why this appealing and apparently trendy package wasn't successful, but Rockfish Crossing, unlike its two predecessors, didn't sell well enough to make the charts, much less expanding Mason Proffit's following. The country-rock hybrid was a delicate mixture, one not really perfected until the Eagles did it a little later. (Neither the Flying Burrito Brothers nor Poco actually sold records in significant quantities.) It may be that Mason Proffit, despite earlier indications, simply fell between the stools of being too country for the rock audience and too rock for the country audience. But the group's music was an accomplished blend of the two styles. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

"Bare Back Rider" 1973

Mason Proffit's second major-label album and fifth album overall was similar in construction to its predecessor, Rockfish Crossing. Once again, the Talbot brothers and their supporting players turned in a combination of effective originals that touched on subjects from romance to politics with some enthusiastically performed country covers, notably a version of "Setting the Woods on Fire" that sounded like a deliberate attempt to impersonate Jerry Lee Lewis and featured a furious kazoo solo. The political element came out in "Black September/Belfast," with its reflections on Northern Ireland and Vietnam. You'd have thought that music this impressive could get a hearing, but Mason Proffit appeared at a time when music fans were more polarized than musicians, not only by music but by politics and culture. Despite the band's evident affection for traditional country music, their left-wing political stance and status as hippie rock musicians meant they could never be accepted in Nashville. And their music was too overtly country for them to score a pop hit. Thus, they were doomed to appeal only on the country-rock-oriented Los Angeles club scene and to some music critics. Bare Back Rider did a little better than Rockfish Crossing had, even scraping into the charts for a couple of weeks, but that wasn't the level of success a major label expected, and Mason Proffit was forced to hang up its spurs. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
Tir na nOg "Spotlight: BBC Recordings 1972-1973"

by danimik:
As a callow youth, I saw a duo perform in Cardiff. though there were but two of them, the energy and enthusiasm, the talent and musicianship they brought to the stage that night was awesome. Vigorous, tuneful, thoughful, sincere, poingnant by turns, by the end of the end of the set, I had become a huge fan.
I bought their lp's when the came out. Then I bought their cd's as they became available, and as I moved my collection steadily away from vinyl. All beautifully crafted, delicate, where the value of silence was given as much weight as any of the notes. Yet, superb as they all were, somehow, they failed to capture that enthusiasm, that energy I had heard on stage that night.
This cd brings it all back for me. Perhaps it isn't technically their most gifted production. Perhaps it is a little ragged in parts.

But it brings all the memories riding back from the first note to the last.

Eleven of these tracks were recorded for BBC Radio One, the other two recorded live at about the same time. All of them a well worth a listen, if you like intelligent acoustic music, with thoughtful lyrics, strong melodies, super voices and great musicians.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Eternal Savings and Trust Company "Wind and Spirit" 1972

Very Rare Massachusets Female/Male vocal Hippie Jesus Folk Rock with garagey electric Guitar, exotic percussion and spacey female vocals, using electric instruments and flute, percussion, harmonica.

01. Don't Fool Yourself
02. Day Of The Lord
03. Maranatha
04. Living Water
05. Karin
06. Ocean
07. Set Me Free
08. Wind And Spirit
09. Freedom In The Spirit

Download link in comments.

Thank you, John!
The Damascus Road "A Glimpse of Freedom" 1977

Story of Damascus Road
by original member Steve Schalchlin:
We began as a group when I was going to Jacksonville Baptist College in Jacksonville, Texas. We were both singing for a hometown cable channel raising money for kidney machine a lady in town was needing. They sang a Gospel song and I sang "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" by the Beatles. (?)

As we matured (i.e. someone gave us a Love Song album), we shed our quartet clothes overnight and began writing songs that we could relate to. We were very young as writers, though, and had no other bands in the area to get inspiration from, so that's why our album veers so wildly from one style to the next. We had no artistic focus, really. Our "best friend" was Tom Autry, whose album you also have on the list. We played gigs together.

Most of our ministry (and we were a ministry -- Tommie Helm, the leader of the band, would preach when we held revivals) took place in East Texas, Louisiana, and -- well, West Texas. Texas is pretty big, so we were always in our van. The biggest concert we did was a July 4th celebration which drew in thousands of young people from all over the state. We set up on a mountaintop in East Texas. It was a fantastic event every year.

Tommie even hand lettered a "Declaration of Dependence" upon God which looked liked the Declaration of Independence, and we all signed it.

We never made any money, of course, despite five grueling years of playing and singing. For me, I learned to sing and to write. The songs on the "Glimpse of Freedom" album were among the first I ever wrote. (I wrote and sang the easy listening ones you hated.)

Toward the end of the band, though, just as we were getting really good and even headlining area festivals (on top of groups like Petra, etc.), we had to break up. I had a crisis of faith and told them that I could not go on because to do so would have been hypocritical. One thing our band had going for it was absolute integrity to the Word in our personal deportment.

It, unfortunately, left the band high and dry. I was the main songwriter and driving artistic force. They tried to hold it together, but couldn't. I think even Tom Autry joined for awhile. Finally, they broke up. The twins, Johnnie and Tommie Helm still live in Jacksonville two doors down from each other.

I personally drifted for years and years, playing in cover bands and doing a little theatre, first in Dallas and then around the country. Soon, I landed in NY and then LA, where I became Managing Director of The National Academy of Songwriters.

I currently have a musical playing in New York called, "THE LAST SESSION," which is about a band reunion in a recording studio. Though it confronts sensitive issues like AIDS and homophobia, it seems to be very popular among conservative church groups as it is among those who oppose Christian conservatism.

Tommie Helm (leader, back-up vocalist and evangelist)
Johnnie Helm (Tommie's twin brother, lead vocals and lead guitarist)
Steve Schalchlin (keyboards, lead vocals)
Dennis Byram (drums, lead vocals)
Pat Asher (bass guitar, back-up vocals)

Download link in comments.

Thank you, John!

Friday, December 22, 2006

South African Rock

From Brian Currin, owner of Ramases website...

Brian Currin:
You seem to love late 60's, early 70's Folk and Prog .... are you aware of the South African Prog Rock scene from that era?
Freedoms Children, Abstract Truth, McCully Workshop, Otis Waygood, Third Eye, etc, etc ....

Please take a look at The South African Rock Encyclopedia if you get a chance....

A great starting part is 'Astral Daze', a compilation I co-produced....

Retro Fresh (scroll down to 'Astral Daze')


Thanks for the info, Brian.

Robin Williamson

"Winter's Turning" 1986

Winter's Turning is British folksinger Robin Williamson's album in tribute to the coldest season of the year. Featuring a few holiday-themed songs as well as several traditional folk ballads and traditional numbers, Williamson delivers an album that captures the icy thrill of the snow as well as the emotions it brings. Anyone looking to find an album that reflects the winter and all that it brings may want to give this album a listen. ~ Bradley Torreano, All Music Guid

Sample pic: Click

"Ten of Songs" 1988

Ten of Songs is a delightful introduction into the storytelling side of Robin Williamson. These ten original pieces may not all be stories, per se, but Williamson's approach to each casually ebbs and flows between speaking and singing. His delivery evokes the Celtic heritage of sung ballads and story songs-traditions that have fascinated Williamson since his earlier days in the Incredible String Band. An electric guitarist, bassist, and drummer join Williamson on such riveting tracks as "Skull and Nettlework." Elsewhere, though, Williamson plays his usual array of acoustic instruments, including harp, guitar, cittern, and whistle. Listeners fond of Williamson's musical storytelling should also investigate his double-disc Gems of Celtic Story set.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Presented by Keef...
Time Machine: A Vertigo Retrospective

The sheer collectibility of anything on the Vertigo label is one of those peculiar quirks that few people, collectors included, can truly quantify. True, Vertigo was blessed with one of the most compulsive label designs ever devised: a black-and-white swirl that can, indeed, induce vertigo in anyone who looks at it for too long. True, too, the label prided itself in giving voice to talents who might otherwise never have been heard, and wrapped almost every Vertigo album in the kind of ambitious packaging normally reserved for supergroup concept conceits. And one can also be impressed by the label's insistence on defying even the most remote limits of the period's (the early '70s) commercialism, with a clutch of albums that seriously could not have been expected to sell more than a handful of copies apiece. But it is astonishingly unlikely that any single set of ears can truly take as much pleasure from, say, the first album by Affinity as they do the second by Black Sabbath, or who could slip from Keith Tippett to Jade Warrior without undergoing some kind of major cultural dislocation. Which means, of course, that there are a lot of unplayed LPs lying within any sizable Vertigo collection — and a lot of tracks on this collection that will have you reaching for the fast-forward button after less than a minute. Persevere! Although the three CDs here certainly wander across the Vertigo show, the compilers have done a masterful job. Eschewing some of the more defiantly outré contributions to the catalog (mainly the seriously jazz/freeform-shaped ones), Time Machine instead portrays a label that cared dearly for what modern ears would term the "cutting edge" of the early-'70s British prog-folk-post-psych circuit: Colosseum, Juicy Lucy, Clear Blue Sky, Warhorse, and Doctor Z are all here, cut through with a few glimmers of genuine chartbusting inspiration — Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Alex Harvey, Rod Stewart. Inasmuch as most Vertigo albums are now considered rare (reissues from the likes of Akarma and Repertoire notwithstanding), Time Machine is most readily likened to a glimpse inside the most fabulous bank vault in British rock history. But it is also a reminder of a time when the new release sheets were not put together by money-mad automatons, all hoping to make the next round of American Idol. Most of these guys wouldn't even have made the qualifiers for Hit Me One More Time, and more power to them for that.

Disc: 1
01. Colosseum - The Kettle
02. Juicy Lucy - Who Do You Love?
03. Clear Blue Sky - My Heaven
04. Manfred Mann's Chapter Three - Traveling Lady
05. Black Sabbath - Behind The Wall Of Sleep
06. Cressida - To Play Your Little Games
07. Gracious! - Introduction
08. Affinity - Three Sisters
09. Bob Downes - Walking On
10. May Blitz - I Don't Know
11. Nucleus - Torrid Zone
12. Rod Stewart - Handbags And Gladrags
13. Gentle Giant - Nothing At All
14. Ben - The Influence

Disc: 2
01. Dr. Z - Evil Woman's Manly Child
02. Jade Warrior - Borne On The Solar Wind
03. Patto - The Man
04. Juicy Lucy - Thinking Of My Life
05. Jimmy Campbell - Half Baked
06. May Blitz - For Madmen Only
07. Tudor Lodge - The Lady's Changing Home
08. Beggars Opera - Time Machine
09. Colosseum - Bring Out Your Dead
10. Warhorse - Mouthpiece
11. Uriah Heep - Lady In Black
12. Freedom - Through The Years
13. Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Midnight Moses
14. Magna Carta - Lord Of The Ages

Disc: 3
01. Atlantis - Living At The End Of Time
02. Ramases - Life Child
03. Beggars Opera - Mcarthur Park
04. Nucleus - Song For The Bearded Lady
05. Gentle Giant - Pantagruel's Nativity
06. Gravy Train - Ballad Of A Peaceful Man
07. Ronno - Powers Of Darkness
08. Status Quo - Paper Plane
09. Ian Matthews - Little Known
10. Vangelis O. Papathanassiou - Let It Happen
11. Jade Warrior - Mwenga Sketch
12. Aphrodite's Child - The Four Horsemen
13. Black Sabbath - Spiral Architect
Presented by Keef...
Blodwyn Pig "Getting To This" 1970

A quirky detour of late-'60s British progressive/blues rock, Blodwyn Pig was founded by former Jethro Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams, who left Tull after the This Was album. Abrahams was joined by bassist Andy Pyle, drummer Ron Berg, and Jack Lancaster, who gave the outfit their most distinctive colorings via his saxophone and flute. On their two albums, they explored a jazz/blues/progressive style somewhat in the mold of (unsurprisingly) Jethro Tull, but with a lighter feel. They also bore some similarities to John Mayall's jazzy late-'60s versions of the Bluesbreakers, or perhaps Colosseum, but with more eclectic material. Both of their LPs made the British Top Ten, though the players' instrumental skills were handicapped by thin vocals and erratic (though oft-imaginative) material. The group were effectively finished by Abrahams' departure after 1970's Getting to This. They briefly reunited in the mid-'70s, and Abrahams was part of a different lineup that reformed in the late '80s; they have since issued a couple of albums in the 1990s. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

01. Drive Me Abrahams
02. Variations on Nainos Abrahams
03. See My Way Abrahams
04. Long Bomb Blues Abrahams
05. The Squirreling Must Go On Abrahams, Pyle
06. San Francisco Sketches: Beach Scape/Fisherman's Wharf/Telegraph Hill Lancaster
07. Worry Pyle
08. Toys Abrahams
09. To Rassman Berg
10. Send Your Son to Die Abrahams
11. Summer Day [*]
12. Walk On the Water [*]

Sample pic: 1, 2
Presented by Bobby...
Over The Hills & Far Away: The Music Of "Sharpe" 1996

I can't remember where I found it and it's only @128 but it's listenable. Of the tracks with vocals the main vocalist is John Tams who was also a leading character of the series (Daniel Hagman) He was also with The Albion Band at one time.
One again many thanks for the download of Vin Garbutt I first heard him through a lecturer at a college I worked at when I lived in England.

Thank you, Bobby!

The Sharpe series on television and video has been a great success. This music from the series includes some songs that have been passed down from the era itself, as well as original music by John Tams (Rifleman Daniel Hagman in the series) and Dominic Muldowney. The notes include the words to the traditional songs. This is rousing and poignant music at its best, and is a worthy addition to your music collection.
The Albion Band "Rise Up Like the Sun" 1978

Rise Up Like The Sun is an folk album released in 1978 by the Albion Band. It features the flowering of a collaboration between John Tams on vocals and melodeon and Ashley Hutchings on electric bass. This is not the first album on which they worked but it remains the most fulfilling for listeners. To build the sound Hutchings brought in two of this former compatriots from Fairport Convention, Dave Mattacks on drums and tambourine, Simon Nicol on vocals, electric guitars and acoustic guitar. In addition another ex-Fairporter, Richard Thompson contributed songs and backing vocals. Having assembled the principal contributors and an ambiance that encouraged thier friends to drop in, Hutchings gave Tams the freedom to act as the project's musical director. They were joined by Philip Pickett on shawms, bagpipes, curtals and trumpet, Pete Bullock on synthesiser, piano, clarinet, sax, and organ, Michael Gregory on drums, nackers, and tambourine, Ric Sanders on violin and violectra, Graeme Taylor on electric and acoustic guitars. Kate McGarrigle, Julie Covington, Linda Thompson, Pat Donaldson,Martin Carthy, Andy Fairweather-Low, and Dave Bristow make guest appearances.

The reviews for Rise Up Like The Sun were mostly positive, although opinion was divided on some tracks, such as "The Gresford Disaster". For many, though, the outstanding track of the whole album is "Poor Old Horse", building up from a single fiddle over 6 minutes to a massed choir with high voices ( Kate McGarrigle, Julie Covington and Linda Thompson) and gravelly guitars. 'Poor Old Horse" was released as a single in 1978 and named as "Record of the Week" by the BBC's Simon Bates, but made no impact on the charts.
In music magazine surveys, this album often appears among the top three English folk-rock albums of all time, alongside Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief and Shirley Collins' No Roses.
John Tams and Graeme Taylor went on to form The Home Service. Philip Pickett became one of Britain's most respected scholars of medieval music. Ric Sanders went on to join Fairport Convention and both Nicol and Mattacks returned to the Fairport fold.

Pete Bullock - synthesiser, piano, clarinet, baritone saxophone, organ, wind
Michael Gregory - drums, nakers, tambourine
Ashley Hutchings - electric bass, vocals
Dave Mattacks - drums, tambourine, synthesiser
Simon Nicol - vocals, el guitar, ac guitar, dulcimer, keyboards, vocals
Phil Pickett - shawms, bagpipes, curtals, trumpet, wind
Ric Sanders - violin, violectra
John Tams - vocals, melodeon, keyboards
Graeme Taylor - electric guitar, acoustic guitar

Martin Carthy - guitar, vocals
Richard Thompson - guitar, vocals
Linda Thompson - vocals
Julie Covington - vocals
Pat Donaldson - vocals
Andy Fairweather-Lowe - vocals
Dave Bristow - keyboards
Kate & Anna McGarrigle - vocals

Produced by Joe Boyd & John Tams

1. Ragged Heroes (John Tams):
Written as a way of announcing that the songs and tunes would be a rallying-call for English folk music. Towards the end, Martin Carthy's counter-melody makes for interest harmonies.
2. Poor Old Horse (Traditional sea shanty):
Usually called "The Dead Horse". First collected in 1917. The song was sung at the end of the first month on board ship. Sailors would make a horse figure from rags and tar, hoist it to the yard-arm, then cut it loose and let it drift out to sea. The verse about "Sally in the garden" seems to have drifted in from a different unrelated shanty.
3. Afro Blue/Danse Royale (Santamaria/Anon medieval):
An instrumental track combining latin-jazz (John Coltrane, 1963) on violin, with a medieval French dance tune on bagpipes. Only the folk-rock band "Gryphon" had ever attempted anything like this before.
4. Ampleforth/Lay Me Low (Trad/Trad):
A fiddle tune followed by a hymn from the American non-conformist New Lebanon Church of 1838.
5. Time To Ring Some Changes:
Richard Thompson did not record his song until "Small Town Romance" (1984). Although he was present on the "Poor Old Horse" track, he isn't on this cut.
6. House In The Country (Stewart):
The travelling Stewarts of Blairgowrie wrote this song about the difficulty of finding a place to live. It acquired extra resonance during the 1990's when it was sung to highlight the problem of homelessness among the young.
7. The Primrose:
Several tunes with this title originate in the 1880's. The one that survived was first recorded by Jimmy Shand in the 1950's and by Oscar Woods in 1968. The first half uses John Kirkpatrick's version and the second half uses Rod Stradling's version.
8. Gresford Disaster:
On September 22, 1934 265 colliers died at the Gresford mine in North Wales. Ewan MacColl sang this song on" "Shuttle and Cage" (1957).

Message from Kevan Bundell

Kevan Bundell said...
If you like "Presence" please take a look at Ivor & Kevan's web site where you can see what we've all done since. There have been CDs from Veronica, Paul, and Ivor & Kevan - including most recently "Stood on the Shore" from Ivor & Kevan, released December 2006 - Please see :

Presence - Presence

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Matthews Southern Comfort

"Matthews' Southern Comfort" 1970

This is a transitional album for Matthews. Having recently exited Fairport Convention, this record pays tribute to that period of his career in both material ("A Castle Far") and in the choice of musicians who back him (many of them from Fairport Convention). At the same time, songs like "A Commercial Proposition" indicate where Matthews is headed on 1971's Later That Same Year. ~ Jim Worbois, All Music Guide

Ian Matthews - vocals
Gerry Conway - drums, congas, tamborine
Ashley Hutchings - bass guitar
Richard Thompson - electric and acoustic guitars
Roger Coulam - piano, hammond organ
Gordon Huntley - pedal steel guitar
Pete Wilsher - fuzz steel guitar on "Colorado springs"
Simon Nicol - electric guitar
Dolly Collins - flute organ on "The castle far"
Pol Palmer - flute
Marc Ellington - finger symbols

Sample pic: Click

Download link in comments.

"Second Spring" 1970

With this album, Matthews' Southern Comfort is a real band and, in addition to Matthews, also includes Roger Swallow (ex-Marmalade) and Marc Griffiths (ex-Spooky Tooth). Though there is really nothing that makes this a memorable record, it's still quite a nice record overall. If you already know his work on Elektra, Mooncrest, or even Later That Same Year, it would be well worth your while to search this record out. ~ Jim Worbois, All Music Guide

Ian Matthews - vocal
Carl Barnwell - guitar
Mark Griffiths - lead guitar
Andy Leigh - bass
Ray Duffy - drums
Gordon Huntley - steel guitar
Tom Paley - banjo on "Ballad of Obray Ramsey"
Roger Churchyard - fiddle on "Jinkson Johnson" & "Southern comfort"
Martin Jenkins - mandolin on "Southern comfort"

Sample pic: 1, 2
"Julie Covington" 1978

On the heels of her 1977 U.K. hit -- a cover of Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed" -- Julie Covington went back into the studio with producers Joe Boyd and John Wood to record 11 more tracks for what would be her self-titled second album. Boyd helped put together a stellar cast to support Covington -- including Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Ian Matthews, and Trevor Lucas from the various incarnations of Fairport Convention, as well as Steve Winwood, John Cale, Andy Fairweather-Low, and a collection of top-shelf session players. When it came to material, he was also helpful in gathering a fine collection of songs for Covington to wrap her powerful, theater-honed voice around. Boyd brought Thompson's "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" and Sandy Denny's previously unreleased "By the Time It Gets Dark" to the project, while Covington added the Weill/Brecht composition "Barbara's Song" from her days in the theater, to a list that included tunes from Kate Bush, Steve Winwood, and Kate and Anna McGarrigle. There's a slight commercial sheen to the music that gives the Thompson and Denny tracks a certain accessibility ("Bright Lights" was the first single), while "Barbara's Song" fits naturally with Andy Fairweather-Low's dancehall shuffle "Dancing in the Dark," or John Lennon's "How." On the other hand, Tom T. Hall's rocking "I Can't Dance" is stiff and not really well-suited to Covington, while Anna McGarrigle's "Dead Weight" seems forced and a bit rushed, lacking the subtle venom and dark humor of the original. Reissued in 2000, Julie Covington...Plus, which is a nice mix of folk-rock and pop, adds the bombastic "Only Women Bleed" along with a respectable cover of Little Feat's "Easy to Slip" to the original 1978 release (Julie Covington). Both songs were previously only available as a single. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide

Julie Covington: vocals
Richard Thompson: guitar, mandolin, vocals
Ian Matthews: vocals
Trevor Lucas: 12 string guitar, vocals
Simon Nicol: rhythm guitar
Steve Winwood: organ
John Cale: piano, clavinet
Willie Weeks: bass
Neil Larsen: keyboards
Chris Spedding: roland synthesizer
Russ Titelman: acoustic guitar
Andy Newmark: drums
Ray Cooper: percussion
Plas Johnson: saxophone
John Kirkpatrick: accordion
Greg Prestopino: vocals
Andy Fairweather Low: vocals
Gary Travers: vocals

Produced by Joe Boyd & John Wood

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nick Drake Bootlegs

Christmas Gift for you...

"Tanworth-in-Arden" 1994

01. My Sugar So Sweet (trad.)
02. Get Together (Dino Valenti)
03. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
04. If You Leave Me (Pretty Mama) (trad.)
05. Courting Blues (Bert Jansch)
06. Strollin' Down The Highway (Bert Jansch)
07. Blues Run The Game (Jackson C. Frank)
08. Winter Is Gone (trad.)
09. Here Come The Blues (Jackson C. Frank)
10. All My Trials (trad., duet with Gabrielle Drake)
11. Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time (Bob Dylan)
12. Cocaine Blues (Luke Jordan)
13. Milk And Honey (Jackson C. Frank)
14. Summertime (Gershwin/Heyward)
15. Black Mountain Blues (J.C. Johnson)
16. Rain (Nick Drake)
17. Bird Flew By (Nick Drake)
18. To The Garden (Nick Drake)

Sample pic: Click

Get it from De musica alterque

"Tanworth-in-Arden II" 2000

Cover Art by Lizardson

01. Fly (same as Time Of No Reply version)
02. Place To Be (fingerpicked version)
03. Hazey Jane 1
04. Parasite
05. Poor Boy
06. Things Behind The Sun (instrumental)
07. Black Eyed Dog (instrumental)
08. Guitar instrumental
09. Electric guitar instrumental
10. Voice From The Mountain (fragment)
11. Piano instrumental
12. Guitar instrumental
13. Piano instrumental
14. Piano instrumental
15. Time Has Told Me
16. Saturday Sun (take 1)

Sample pic: Click


"The Complete Home Recordings" 1996

01. Come Back Baby
02. Geth Together
03. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
04. If You Leave Me (Pretty Mama)
05. Courting Blues
06. Strollin' Down The Highway
07. Blues Run The Game
08. Winter Is Gone
09. Here Come The Blues
10. All My Trials (trad. - Duet With Gabrielle Drake)
11. Tomorrow's Such A Long Time
12. Cocaine Blues
13. True Song
14. Summertime
15. Black Mountain
16. The Season Of The Rain
17. The Reasons For The Seasons
18. To The Garden
19. Princess Of The Sand
20. Joey Will Come
21. The Seasons
22. Been Smoking Too Long
23. Nick Drake Interview (Source unknown)
24. John Martin Interview about Nick Drake (Saturday Live 25/5/85)

CD Cover: Front, Back


"The Ultimate Rarities Volume 1"

01. Blossom Friend (The Seasons)
02. Saturday Sun (take one)
03. Saturday Sun (take two)
04. Saturday Sun (take three)
05. Mayfair (takes one and two)
06. Mayfair (take three)
07. Mayfair (partial)
08. To The Garden (take two)
09. Untitled
10. Get Together
11. Been Smokin' Too Long
12. Don't Think Twice It's Alright
13. If You Leave Me (Pretty Mama)
14. Courting Blues
15. Leaving Me Behind
16. My Sugar So Sweet
17. Strange Meeting II
18. Strolling Down The Highway
19. Blues Runs The Game
20. Winter Is Gone
21. Here Comes The Blues
22. All My Trials
23. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
24. Cocaine Blues
25. True Song
26. Summertime
27. Spoken Intro
28. Old Black Mountain
29. Morning Monologue


"The Ultimate Rarities Volume 2"

Cover Art by Lizardson

01. The Reasons For The Seasons
02. Day is Done
03. Thoughts Of Rain
04. Fly
05. Fly (Alternative take)
06. Joey
07. Place To Be
08. Hazey Jane
09. Parasite
10. Parasite (Alternative take)
11. Instrumental I
12. Instrumental II
13. Three Hours
14. Strange Meeting
15. The Reasons For The Seasons (Alternative take)
16. To The Garden
17. Joey (Alternative take)
18. Thoughts Of Rain (Alternative take)
19. You And The Blossom

Sample pic: Click


"Time Has Told Me" 2000

Side A (Disc.1):
A1. Get Together (Dino Valente)
A2. Been Smoking Too Long (Robin Frederick)
A3. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
A4. If You Leave Me Pretty Mama (Traditional)
A5. Courting Blues (Bert Jansch)
A6. My Sugar So Sweet (Blind Boy Fuller)
A7. Strolling Down The Highway (Bert Jansch)
A8. Blues Run The Game (Jackson C. Frank)

Side B (Disc.1):
B1. Winter Is Gone (Traditional)
B2. Here Comes The Blues (Jackson C. Frank)
B3. All My Trials (Traditional - Duet With Gabrielle Drake)
B4. Tommorrow Is A Long Time (Bob Dylan)
B5. Cocaine Blues (Luke Jordan)
B6. Milk And Honey (Jackson C. Frank)
B7. Summertime (George Gershwin/Dubose Heyward)

Side C (Disc.2):
C1. Black Mountain Blues (J. C. Johnson Or H. Cole)
C2. Nick's Monologue
C3. Strange Meeting I/Bird Flew By
C4. To The Garden
C5. Joey
C6. Rain

Side D (Disc.2):
D1. Blossom
D2. Time Has Told Me
D3. Saturday Sun (First Take)
D4. Thoughts Of Mary Jane (Arranged By Richard Hewson)
D5. Day Is Done (Arranged By Richard Hewson)
D6. Fly (Second Take)

Side E (Disc.3):
E1. Place To Be
E2. Hazey Jane I
E3. Parasite (First Take)
E4. Parasite (Second Take)
E5. Brittle Days I
E6. Brittle Days II

Side F (Disc.3):
F1. Poor Boy
F2. Time Has Told Me
F3. Work In Progress 3
F4. Voice From The Mountain
F5. Brittle Days III (Variation)
F6. Far Leys
F7. Brittle Days III
F8. Work In Progress 7
F9. Impromptu Sound Check
F10. Black Eyed Dog (Guitar Track, Alternate Take)
F11. Rider On The Wheel (Guitar Track)

Sample pic: 1, 2

Download part.1
Download part.2

"Second Grace" 2001

01. Day Is Done
02. Blossom Friend
03. Mayfair
04. Mayfair
05. Mayfair
06. Joey
07. Joey
08. Leaving Me Behind
09. Instrumental
10. Instrumental
11. Three Hours
12. Betty's Blues
13. Fly
14. Fly
15. Hazey Jane
16. Parasite
17. Saturday Sun
18. Saturday Sun
19. Saturday Sun
19. Place To Be (Incorrectly labelled "Saturday Sun")
20. Strange Meeting No. II
21. Bird Flew By
22. Thoughts of Rain
23. To The Garden
24. Early Morning Dialogue

CD Cover: Front, Back


BBC Radio Documentary

''Kaleidoscope: feature on Nick Drake''
BBC Radio 4 on 20th December 1997
Presented by John Watson

''Lost Boy: In Search of Nick Drake"
BBC Radio 2 on 22nd May 2004
Presented by Brad Pitt


These are reuped here:
2006 - - - - - - 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2015 - - - - - 5 6