Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New blog site

I'm planning to open new blog site.
The title is "Tightrope Ride".
Do you know what I mean?

I am the Lizardson. I can do anything....

I have no time to digging new materials.
So, "Time Has Told Me" should be rely on visitor's help.
Please upload your stuffs for this blog and other visitors!

And see you soon at "Tightrope Ride" (Different concept).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

HDD Clash

The End is always near...
See you someday!!

Time Has Told Me [June 22nd 2006 - May 29th 2007]

by Lizardson

*HDD = Hard Disk Drive (250GB, 4000 albums)

I can't fix the problem and 4000 albums will never back again...
But I don't want to call it The End.
Please wait for my next action!!

Thank you so much!!

Mike Absalom

Posted first at Fat Pam...

Mike Absalom was a genuine oddity on the late-'60s/early-'70s U.K. scene, a singer/songwriter with a bent sense of humor that seemed to be driven as much by a heavy load of illicit pharmaceuticals as by a skewed worldview. Unlike the contemporary Syd Barrett, however, Absalom did not become an acid casualty. He recorded one album for Saydisc in 1969, a disc that escaped under the title of Save the Last Gherkin for Me, and he set out on a career of busking and living hand to mouth. Producer/A&R man Patrick Lyons (of Nirvana [U.K.] fame) found his attention engaged by Absalom's music when the singer/songwriter was playing for small change in a London Underground station, subsequently signing him to Vertigo Records.

Absalom toured throughout the U.K., playing the college circuit and small clubs throughout the early '70s. The Vertigo contract yielded a pair of albums, of which Mike Absalom (1971) seems hardly to have been noticed, despite a Roger Dean sleeve that doubled as a poster guide to Notting Hill Gate. 1973's Hector and Other Peccadillos garnered a little more attention, but not enough to prevent Absalom from vanishing from sight for some time.

Absalom eventually resurfaced in Canada, and currently lives in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Over the years he has expanded his repertoire considerably, performing Celtic music under the name of Mike Absalom & the Squid Jiggers, as well as a variety of harp music. He has become popular in western Canada for both the variety of his music and his continuing strange humor. ~ Steven McDonald, All Music Guide

susan and Krysia

susan said...
Only this afternoon I was standing in a kitchen in Brighton, UK telling a young girl about my dearest childhood friend, Krysia. I talked about the last time I had seen her in LA years ago, about her unbelievable voice, and so many of the transitions which, as a close close friend, I had seen or at least 'heard' her go through. I decided to try and connect with her again, only to learn of her death and I am writing this in the absolute freshness of this learning.
Krysia and I, born two days apart, were solid girlhood friends. Her vision,voice and visual artistry were beyond radiant- setting her apart from eveyone at school. She strode forth with absolute determination- I spent many evenings at her home in Milngavie where she lived with her loving, sometimes non-plussed parents. Later, on her solo album 'Krysia Kristianne' she sang of her father ' you should have been a painter daddy, a preacher and a poet too, but lately I've been watching you as the time goes slipping by and I try to reach the crying thing in you'. Only those who have heard her sing can imagine those heart felt worded perceptions cresting the curve of her inimitable singing. She saw that her father had never expressed the fullness of his soul, and she went out into the world to do otherwise- and how she did. Now Krysia's time has slipped by..her voice was like none I had ever heard, nor believe I ever will again. It feels bizarre to have been describing our time together in LA today- only to find news of her death a few moments later. She was a grand lass, trully undersung on the world stage in terms of her deep wisdom, voice and poetry of being. To you, Krysia, a whole song gone too soon, deepest love and thanks x x x

susan said...
Yup- Krysia was born on the 10th August 1953- and lived in her teens in Milngavie, nr Glasgow. People rightly talk of her being elfin and tiny-to this day I remember sitting in her parents living room, politely taking tea. It seemed as though she came from a magical realm, as did her parents. Her first performances were with the NAtural Acoustic Band, with Tom Hoy and Robin Thyne-they produced two albums and Krysia then made a solo one- music crafted jamming in various living rooms and at Mugdock castle on the moors near Milngavie. NAB toured with Ralph McTell and played the Albert Hall-which was a high point for them then. Her connection with Al Stewart came later and, although she may not have recorded with Robin Williamson, she certainly played with him- and often talked about this when I last saw her in LA. Krysia ran rich and deep like few others I have met.

Krysia Kocjan "Krysia"
RIP Krysia Kocjan

Monday, May 28, 2007


Simon Finn "Magic Moments" (2005): Lost-In-Tyme or Music Saves Lives

Thanks for this!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


"After The Break" 1979

Colin Irwin:
The gravest danger in the resurrection of Planxty was always that, in attempting to recreate the extraordinary verve and majesty of their original incarnation, they neglected natural current instincts and succeeded only in becoming a parody of their former selves. That they managed with ease to avoid this considerable pitfall alone makes this a great record.

Naturally there's no conceivable way that "After The Break" can manage the same impact as their bold debut LP, purely because "Planxty" came first and hit upon a blend that evidently inspired all those involved. If "The Well Below The Valley" and "Cold Blow The Rainy Night" fell short of it (albeit narrowly) then it was because that sharpness and charged sense of restrained dynamics had to a small degree dissipated. On several tracks here notably "The Rambling Suiler", "The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes", and two sets of reels, it's fully recaptured.

Yet the track that defiantly declares that they are looking ahead and not behind is "Smeceno Horo", a frantic Bulgarian dance tune that's proved so popular on gigs it even merits a "FEATURING SMECENO HORO" sticker on the sleeve. A joker in the pack, it's a complete departure from everything they've done before, even allowing for some of Andy Irvine's flirtations with Eastern European music in the past. Undeniably invigorating and infectious, it's nevertheless my least favourite track on the record, jarring in relation to the rest of the album, but I admire their resolve in tackling it. It comes over much more powerfully live.

The only other real quibbles are that Christy Moore (on "The Good Ship Kangaroo" and Andy Irvine (on "You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure") seem to take the understated vocal style perhaps a shade too far, or maybe the vocals are a fraction too low in the mix. But these really are details - the arrangements around both tracks are superb, the instrumental break tagged on to the end of "The Good Ship Kangaroo", the opening track, stirring memories of "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" and "Tabhair Dum Do Lamh", "The Rambling Suiler", a Scots moral tale of a colonel who dresses up as a beggar and pulls a farmer's daughter, and "The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes", a geographical guide to Ireland through the eyes of a fleeing murderer, are both vintage Planxty.

Matt Molloy and Liam O'Flynn are at the helm of the instrumental tracks (two sets of reels and one of double-jigs) and two things emerge. One is that Liam O'Flynn has become an even more accomplished piper than he was before, and that Matt Molloy's brief contribution on flute was greater than it actually appeared on stage. His blend with O'Flynn is mesmerising here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Barry Dransfield

The Lama Reviews:
I should warn you right away that Barry Dransfield's rare solo LP from 1972 is one of a dozen or less albums worldwide that has a "special" significance for me. I can't readily explain the reasons for this except to say that the particular angle that Barry hits you from on these haunting, evocative songs is the exact same angle from which I am open to receive statements about man, nature and the universe. On a purely objective, statistically verified level, something like Nick Drake's debut LP is perhaps a stronger testament from a similar position, but in the hi-fi room where the Lama rules, Barry comes out on top.

This is an odd bird no matter how you approach it. It's much rarer than the other Dransfield albums, due to the fact that just as the "Folk Mill" subsidiary was being launched, some A & R cokehead at Polydor decided that folk music was old hat, and thus the releases -- which also included the incredible "Moyshe McStiff" album by C.O.B -- were allowed to die a swift death in the marketplace. You have to feel for the artists hit by this bonehead "hardball" decision, especially as the folk scene was about to peak rather than disintegrate. In the case of Barry Dransfield he would never again make anything that comes close to the superb control, delivery and emotional commitment on display here. It is his masterpiece, and the only thing in the Dransfield brothers' checkered catalog that comes close to the tag "masterpiece".

Born out of an explicit ambition to further develop the semi-acoustic folk then popular in the Isles, Barry made several smart decisions when putting his solo debut together. One was to listen attentively when friends were pitching songs for him to cover. Hence we are treated to a number of truly marvelous tunes not covered by many others. It also seems that there was an unusually clear understanding of his own strengths and weaknesses as a performer at play, meaning that not only does almost every song fit beautifully into the total puzzle of the LP, but several of them sound like they had been written directly for Barry -- which was not the case. I bet that a good number of the lucky few that bought this LP when it came out figured most or all songs to be Dransfield originals, until they read the liner notes which reveal that just 1 of the 11 songs were written by the man himself.

So while the opening "The werewolf" sounds like a confession from the depths of Barry's own soul, it is in fact a cover of American folkie Michael Hurley, released some 6 years earlier. I would like to explain the remarkable mood this song creates, but I don't think I can. It's a beautiful melody, built on simple minor chord shifts from the fertile ground where trad and contemporary folk meet. The fable-like lyrics seem to me an examination of male sexuality in its purely instinctive, animal-like form, and the way Barry sings it balances perfectly the complex undercurrents at play; remorse, excitement, danger. It's just his voice and acoustic guitar, not even the trademark violin, and it's pure transcendence. He has never been famous for his vocal qualities, but here he delivers a performance that stands for hundreds of repeat plays.

Perhaps the most well known track covered on "Barry Dransfield" is the second one, which is David Ackles' "Be my friend" -- at least I am aware of other versions of it! Barry's superb vocals and heartfelt violin playing add an overtone of C.O.B-like sorrow to a track that may in lesser hands come off like a piece of Cat Stevensish sentimentality. Here it becomes a moving statement about the human condition, gaining strength from its directness, and I doubt you'll ever come across a better recording of this tune. Two brief jigs follow, nicely played and pointing towards another ocean than the melancholy waters of the LP openers. Incidentally, Barry was a real, old-school fiddle player, meaning that he held the instrument out from his chest, rather than between chin and shoulder like a classical musician. Apart from that, jigs & reels aren't my specialty, so I'll move on.

Barry's atmospheric voice is given plenty of room on "She's like the swallow", which is a cappella for the first minute or so, delivering a beautiful lyric reminiscent of a Shakespeare sonnet, before guitar and violin enter to support a repeat of the verse. The interplay between the string instruments is marvelous, and one can only regret that the track is cut short so quickly. That interplay is carried further on "Broken barricades", which explores the theme of war at sea so common to British folk, although it's used mainly as a metaphor here. Again, the song seems almost too short; the lamenting refrain in particular is irresistible.

Side 1 ends with a Dransfield original, and "Girl of dances" is one of the very best tracks on the album. Another instance of the remarkable consistency in sound and mood previously defined, Barry delivers a platonic love song that seems like a distill of the great numbers that have preceded it; the guitar and violin interplay -- the violin now doubletracked to create a rich, almost Arabian sound; the distinct yet moody minor chord changes; the soaring yet mournful voice; the timeless lyrics being equally valid for 1852 as 1972. Thankfully, this track is allowed to develop its full potential and clocks in at almost 6 minutes. This, along with "The werewolf" were chosen to represent the Polydor album on a Dransfield retrospective sampler, and rightly so. From beginning to end, side 1 of "Barry Dransfield" is absolutely flawless, in fact I think it's unbelievably great, its lingering theme a bittersweet celebration of life and all its ups and downs.

So all the duds are on side 2 then, right? Well, not really, but it can't match the 20 minutes that preceded it. There are a couple of tracks that showcase a more jokey, tongue-in-cheek side of the man, and undeniably make for excellent entertainment -- as in the case of "Lots of little soldiers", a clever satire on the hypocrisy of the arms trade -- but the highlight of the side is the beautiful "Lily's ballade" which is in the spellbinding melancholy style of side 1. The skillfully performed "Robin Hood and the peddlar" is a charming tall tale from the days of yore, reminiscent of the Dransfield brothers usual material, while the closing 4-minute commercial for Worthington beer unfortunately ends the album on the wrong note, lifting you from the elegiac churchyard mood into a public house comedy act. This is the one case where Mr Dransfield's judgment failed him, but apparently the number had a personal significance to him.

As a non-chartered, fantasy A & R guy I like to suggest various changes to the LPs I review even if the last copy shipped some 30 years ago, but I'm gonna forfeit this task for "Barry Dransfield" because any change to the Wordsworthian brilliance of side 1 is likely to be to its detriment, while a restructuring of side 2 would be a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the HMS Indefatigable. I'll take "Barry Dransfield" as it is -- an excellent contemporary folk LP with a first side of such extraordinary beauty that its greatness almost carries the whole of side 2 as well.

Notes on the reissue: The 2003 CD reissue on the Spinney label is a pretty good job. I think it would be hard to bring out more from a vinyl-sourced mastering effort than what they've done. On direct comparison it sounds slightly better in terms of clarity and dynamics than my CD-R copy which is burned directly from a vinyl orig. The Spinney liner notes state outright that the master tapes are LOST ("despite the loss of the master tapes...") and this is where it gets interesting. To begin with, it's NOT TRUE. At least the tapes were around in 1998-99, when a double CD compilation of the Dransfield bros was put together by the Free Reed label in England. Buried in the extensive liner notes to that double CD there was a reference to how such-and-such at Polydor managed to find the masters just as the compilation was being completed.

Now, the reason I know this is true is because I compared the 2 tracks from the Free Reed double CD with the current Spinney CD, and good as the Spinney sounds, the Free Reed tracks ("Werewolf" and "Girl of dances") sound obviously better -- they have the crystal clear quality you get from masters after a digital transfer. It took all of 10 seconds to tell the difference; you can hear Barry move his hand along the guitar neck after the very first line of "Werewolf", and on the Free Reed this sound is LOUD as day; a similar phenomena can be heard when he breathes in before the 2nd verse. No doubt about it: it's from tapes, these tapes exist, and the Spinney liners are incorrect. Other than that, Spinney distorted the colors of the sleeve a bit, adding a sepia-tone filter to what was a naturalistic photo. In fact on the CD back cover it looks like Barry is wearing lipstick and rouge, and while he was a modern, open-minded guy I don't think it's an accurate representation.

Since an orig may set you back some £400 I'd still encourage each one among ye to get the Spinney re, because as a listening experience it's quite alright, and the liner notes are highly interesting.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Amazing Blondel

"England" 1972

Amazing Blondel's fourth album is a gorgeous evocation of the England that seems to exist in so many of the land's loveliest folk songs, a peaceful world of picturesque farming folk, doughty fishermen, immortal sunsets, and halcyon summers. Just six songs convey this impression, all dominated by the side-long three-piece suite "The Paintings," which places into words and gentle orchestrations the impressions conjured by the imagery of "Seascape," "Landscape," and "Afterglow." Described by the band itself as "three pastoral settings for voices, flute, guitars and orchestra," it's an incredibly ambitious piece, but never so much that it loses sight of its intrinsic romance. Played alongside Roy Harper's "One of Those Days in England," it could set even the sternest expatriate's thoughts winging homewards. The shorter songs are less entrancing, with "A Spring Air" coming so close to TV ad theme territory that one can almost see the spring lambs bouncing through fields of freshly laundered shirts and sheets. The chanted "Cantus Firmus to Counterpoint," however, is a stirringly churchical piece, with just a hint of "We Three Kings of Orient Are" floating around the melody, while "Sinfonia for Guitar and Strings" is as well executed as its title suggests it ought to be. The finest moment, however, has to be the Gothic organ-led "Lament to the Earl of Bottesford Beck," whose own country churchyard tones take listeners straight back to the start of the album, and another 20 minutes spent with "The Paintings." ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide

A to Austr

When you're talking late 1960s British psych, arguably no other band did it better than A-Austr, a bizarre short-lived studio project put together by Holyground label manager Mike Levon and the inhabitants of his spontaneously organized hippie commune, which included Brian Calvert, Chris Coombs, and a young Bill Nelson (who would later achieve huge commercial success with Be-Bop Deluxe). Music on the album ranges from mid-1960s beat to freaked-out psych, glam-rock, proto-punk and even classically influenced proto-prog. The album starts with the melodic "Bird", sounding not unlike US psychsters Head Shop or the poppiest tracks on the first Byzantium album, but also incorporating an unexpected weird mid-section, obviously influenced by the soundtracks to 1950s comedy movies. "Bird" maintains the same crazy vibe all the way through. "Jude" and "Mini" are both catchy melodic tracks with hints to Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles or Something Else-era Kinks. "Thumbquake & Earthscrew" uses some odd sound effects and very primitive overdubs to a fantastic effect. Starting with a weird vocal line, it entangles the listener in a whirlpool of psychedelic reverb. "Between the Road" is on the other hand a raw and unpolished track, full of raunchy garage-like guitar riffs and out-of-tune falsetto vocals, predating the avant-punk sound for nearly a decade (in fact I'm oddly reminded of Pere Ubu here!). "Hawaiian War Chant" stands true to its title - it's their take on tribal psych, and though one can question the success of that short ethnic interlude, it sure sounds wonderful in the context of the album. "Essex Queen (She Dances)" is a relaxed psychedelic track, while "D Minor Minuet" (a brief solo-harpsichord tune) sets up the excellent "A Curse on You", which enriches the simple pop-psych formula with layers of female backing vocals, giving this song once again almost a soundtrack feel. Finally, "Grail Search" first sounds almost like the lost early T-Rex track, but turns into a typical period heavy-blues-rock piece in the chorus.
Overall, this is the amazingly diverse album, one could say maybe embarassingly diverse, but although I had some troubles with it in the beginning, I now come to think it's an absolute masterpiece. Having only a couple less impressive tracks (the extended soft-psych "It's Alright" being the obvious low-point), it can serve as an excellent gateway for anyone willing to dive into the world of British psych.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


These titles were first posted at grown so ugly.
And here is new links uploaded by Anonymous visitor.

Anonymous said...
Hi. Hope you will be interested in:

Robin & Barry Dransfield "The Rout of the Blues"
[Trailer LER 2026, 1970]

Dransfield "The Fddler's Dream" [Transatlantic TRA 322, 1976]


Principal Edwards Magic Theatre

"Soundtrack" 1969

There are whispers of Cherry Red Records releasing a luxurious Dandelion 45's (singles) Box Set with the participation of Clive & Shurley Selwood and many of the legendary label's artists? Whilst John Peel fans and music collectors alike wait with anticipation to see if the rumours are true, Cherry Red release two albums from the Dandelion catalogue to whet the appetite, both from the curiously spectacular, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre.
The multi-media PEMT cut a compellingly original swathe through a late-1960s music scene seemingly inhabited by wall-to-wall blues bands. Their first ever gig was witnessed by benefactor and producer John Peel. The legendary DJ promptly signed them to his Dandelion label. 'I guess he liked what he heard,' says guitarist and chief songwriter Root Cartwright.
A stand-alone single released before the first album, 'Ballad (Of The Big Girl Now And A Mere Boy)'/ 'Lament For The Earth', is included in this package as a bonus track.
'Soundtrack' hit the record racks in August 1969, the third Dandelion long-player to be released in short order following debut efforts from folksingers Bridget St John and Beau.

Sample pic: Click

Cities On Flame With Folk'n Roll

posted this Folk-Rock album at my blogand you as a Folk(Rock) freak might like it.

And also, I love your recent post of Magical Power Mako (5cd Box) & Pretty Things (live boot, 1969). That's incredibly great!!

Time Vaults

FB said...
Hi Lizardson, Thanks for all the work you've done so far, as a regular visitor it's been great to share a common passion for music! Also, can I invite you to check out my new blog, TIME VAULTS?

Thanks for your invitation.
Keep good works!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Saffron Sect

Anonymous said...
judging from what's going on here, and what sort of stuff you folks are posting on this blog, i'd recommend a current canadian group, the saffron sect. fans of this blog might just enjoy them.

Listen "Phosphorous Flash"

Thanks for your recommendation!

Friday, May 18, 2007


I got claim from original reviewer of Marc Ellington "Rains/Reins Of Change"(
Ralph M. Chapman, sorry about that. I immediately add your name to my post of:
Marc Ellington "Rains/Reins Of Change"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake

Poor Boy does not aim to be another nostalgic tribute that supposes to explore the chilling, sad beauty of Drake's songs, as an “icing on the cake,” or matching up Drake's rich musical ideas “in the musical cliches of the moment,” to quote Songlines label head and Poor Boy Producer Tony Reif. Reif wanted to elaborate on Drake's legacy, in order to suggest new perspectives and sometimes even abstractions of these songs, detaching the new interpretations from the bleak original versions, referencing them only briefly and stretching them into new terrains, but always honoring Drake's spirit.

Poor Boy was initiated five years ago after a tribute concert that was held in Vancouver, and this disc presents fourteen interpretations of Drake's songs by local musicians from the lively musical communities of Vancouver and neighboring Seattle, with one exception by Ian Masters (and his Friendly Science Orchestra), who resides in Japan. Some of the artists, like jazz vocalists Kate Hammett-Vaughan and Danielle Hebert or singer Jason Michas, confessed that they only became familiar with Drake's songs after they were asked to contribute to this project. Half of the songs in this tribute are performed by female vocalists, stressing the feminine side in Drake's writing.

The opening song, “Cello Song,” sets the atmosphere. The pure folky vocals of Aiko Shimada are backed by the guitars of Bill Horist, imitating Drake's odd tunings, with programmed pulsating percussion by Tucker Martine. Kate Hammett-Vaughan transforms “Clothes of Sand” and “Poor Boy” into dark jazz standards, abandoning the upbeat bossa nova of the original “Poor Boy” version, and backing pianist Chris Gestrin and bassist Simon Fisk suggest an instrumental free improvisation on themes of “One of These Things First.” Gestrin performs “Three Hours” with singer/songwriter Jason Michas, demonstrating again how Drake's distinct phrasing and the myriad musical influences that he absorbed can enable so many re-interpretations of his songs. The beautiful vocal duet of Robin Holcomb and Veda Hille on “Hanging on a Star” follows the fragility that Michas suggested. Clarinetist Francois Houle elaborates Holcomb and Hille's version of “Road” with a tasteful clarinet collage.

Tony Wilson arranged a 14-minute haunting suite suite with the only original composition here, ”For Nick,” integrating it with themes from Drake's instrumental “Horn,” backed tastefully by Francois Houle on clarinet, Brad Turner on trumpet, Jesse Zubot on violin, Peggy Lee on cello and Dylan van der Schyff on drums and percussion, culminating in a gentle funky performance of the short song “Know” by Danielle Hebert. Ian Masters' seemingly indifferent vocal delivery of one of Drake's soul searching songs, “Parasite,” with spooky background sounds created by Ishigami Kazuya, drains the song from its melancholic sentiment but floods it with unsettling feeling. Singer/songwriter Jesse Sykes performs a dreamy version of “River Man” and multi-instrumentalists Ian Moore and Eyvind Kang transform the original atmospheric “Black Eyed Dog” into an atmospheric Indian raga, with sitar, tremolo guitar and Randal Dunn's loops.

Sometimes it's too cerebral, leaving out other songs that seek such interpretations (”Time Has Told Me,” “Pink Moon” or even “Which Will”), but Poor Boy offers a thought-provoking perspective of Drake's legacy that clearly transcends his era and sometimes even his melancholic image.

01. Cello Song - Bill Horist & Aiko Shimada
02. Clothes of Sand - Kate Hammett-Vaughan
03. One of These Things First - Chris Gestrin & Simon Fisk
04. Three Hours - Jason Michas & Chris Gestrin
05. Hanging on a Star - Robin Holcomb & Veda Hille
06. For Nick/Horn/Know - Francois Houle 6 + Danielle Hébert
07. Poor Boy - Kate Hammett-Vaughan
08. Fly - Mike Dumovich
09. Parasite - Friendly Science Orchestra
10. Road - Veda Hille & Robin Holcomb / Francois Houle
11. Things Behind the Sun - Bill Horist & Sam Mickens
12. River Man - Mount Analog with Jesse Sykes
13. Black Eyed Dog - Ian Moore & Eyvind Kang
14. From the Morning - Mike Dumovich

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left: That Was Then, This Is Now
Nick Drake - Bryter Layter: That Was Then, This Is Now
Nick Drake - Pink Moon: That Was Then, This Is Now

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lal & Mike Waterson

"Bright Phoebus" 1972

Karl Dallas:
In my sleevenotes to The Electric Muse, I described this as "the definitive folk rock album" - a strange claim on the face of it, since there isn't a rocked-up Child ballad to be heard, and many of the songs owe more to styles like the French chanson, yet in 1972 I felt, and I still feel, that this album was what that misnamed genre was all about.

To be true, all the usual suspects are here: Fairport alumni like Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Maddy Prior and almost every other significant voice in the revival at that time, and of course Martin Carthy. And, of course, there are the superlative production skills of Bill Leader, whose seminal influence upon the revival has yet to be fully acknowledged. Like Ralph Peer in the rural deep south, Leader contributed to what we now consider as the sound of tradition in ways those who have followed his lead will never, probably, understand.

Yet, significant as it was, Bright Phoebus has not had the effect one might have hoped at the time. Partly, this is down to the vagaries of the record business. Bill sold his Trailer label to someone else when the economic pressures became too much for him, that person sold it on, and it disappeared from the shelves. Now, nearly thirty years later, it is available once again. And about time.

Where does one start? There IS the uproarious, unbuttoned, almost end-of-the-pier hilarity of Rubber Band, Magical Man (in which Mike Waterson's "I'm the original magical man", with its characteristic shake on second syllable of "orIGinal", never fails to raise the hairs on the back of my head), and of course, the title song, which should have become the anthem of the revival, if there were any justice (which there ain't, as we all know).

There are Lal's dark visions, often enlightened, as in the last verse of The Scarecrow, by a sudden blast of sunlight. For me, these are what I return to the album for most often, and for me the peak of them all is Red Wine and Promises, with its rejection of proffered love: "I don't need nobody helping me;/Don't need no bugger's arms around me." Rarely have I encountered a deeper understanding of the self-destructiveness that alcohol can bring to the over-indulgent. (This is the only track where it is not Lal singing, but her sister, Norma, and a wonderful job she does of it.)

Again, the sudden appearance - it is almost an intrusion - of Bob Davenport's unaccompanied voice on Child Among the Weeds is a remarkable coup de musique. Whose idea was this? Bill Leader's, I suspect, but whoever, it is a stroke of genius.

Have I anything bad to say about this album, with the consummate artistry of its accompaniments, especially when the acoustic guitars of Carthy and Thompson are playing in tandem, the fine ensembles, and the sequence of superb song after superb song? Well, I don't like the C&W-tinged Danny Rose, with its Döppler-shift police car sirens, very much, but others may hear it as the high point.

I don't have much time for league tables in music, and anyway, after thirty years it's probably not eligible, but if there is room in any kind of Folk Hall of Fame for it after all these years, then Bright Phoebus should have the prime place of honour. And if you buy only one album this year, whether your tastes be topical or trad, then this should be the one.

And, please, though Lal is no longer with us, couldn't you start singing some of these songs in public, Norma and Mike? They don't deserve to only be heard electronically.

Originally posted by our friend, Fat Pam

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ron Sexsmith

Yes, I know. But I can't stop posting him...

KCRW Radio Sessions [July 10th, 1997]

01. Intro
02. Average Joe
03. Interview 1
04. A Different Times
05. Interview 2
06. It Never Fails
07. Interview 3
08. Nothing Good
09. Interview 4
10. April After All
11. Interview 5
12. Everyday I Write A Book
13. Outro


Sessions at West 54th, NY [September 27th, 1997]

T01-07: Patti Smith (T.07 is missing)

01. Show & Patti Smith Introduction
02. Don't Say Nothing
03. Wing
04. Patti Smith Random Thoughts
05. Beneath The Southern Cross
06. About A Boy
08. Ron Sexsmith Introduction
09. First Chance I Get
10. Interview
11. Thinking Out Loud
12. Interview
13. Strawberry Blonde
14. Interview
15. Everyday I Write The Book
16. The Windows Of The World (w. Elvis Costello)
17. Thank You & Show Outro

Cover: Front, Back

TT The Bear's Place, Cambridge [September 30th, 1997]
w Bill Bonk, Don Kerr

01. Heart With No Companion (Leonard Cohen)
02. Clown In Broad Daylight
03. Strawberry Blonde
04. Pretty Little Cemetery
05. I Guess The Lord Must Be In NYC (Harry Nilsson)
06. Summer Blowin' Town
07. Words We Never Use
08. It Never Fails
09. Average Joe
10. In Place Of You
11. Tell You
12. Still Time
13. While You're Waiting
14. Martha My Dear (Beatles)
15. Honest Mistake
16. Galbraith Street
17. To Ramona (Bob Dylan)
18. From A Few Streets Over
19. Nothing Good
20. Spiderwebs (No Doubt)
21. Thinking Out Loud
22. Secret Heart
23. First Chance I Get
24. [Encore] Everyday I Write The Book (Elvis Costello)
25. [Encore] There's A Rhythm


Friday, May 11, 2007


"De L'Autre Côté de la Foręt" 1975

Tangerine were a simple folk quartet based out of France, distinguished by the luminous lead presence of Valéry Btesh and the ornate flute work of Marc Donahue. With the potential of four, count 'em four acoustic guitars at work and equally layered vocal harmonies, you know what you can expect, and this is where the band's undoubtedly excelled. Discounting a few instrumentals, half of the songs are sung in their native tongue, and the other half in English, with uncommonly minimal intrusion from accents.
De L'Autre Côté de la Foręt is another of the great unsungs. Though the album gets off to a decent if unremarkable start, we soon hit Btesh's "Méditations," which I'll go on record saying is one of the most beautiful songs I've yet come across in my explorations over the years under the broad prog umbrella, and that's simply not an overstatement. Picture Genesis circa Trespass transplanted to the rural countryside with a French Sandy Denny singing a melody that hypnotizes all in its path. If I need to say more, then as was once said elsewhere, "you'll never know." Though obviously less ambitious, "Direction Sud" is another tune from this band that has stuck with me through the years, an acoustic pop tune with stalwart harmonies and a beguiling chorus. Past these, there are additional songs ("Liberté," "It's Ending," "Listen") with other delicious melodies that solidify this album as a must-track-down for the latent or not-so-latent folkies of the prog community.

Granted, as can be discerned from the songs in English and the general style of the band, Tangerine drew at least some influence from the West Coast psych-folk scene that permeated the late 60s. In fact, this often seems more like an album that would have been made in 1968-69, rather than 1975. Even so, this album is a far cry from the posturing, make-love-for-Jerry narcissism that signals hippiedom at its worst. Say what you want about the lyrics, Tangerine never sounded less than sincere in their delivery, and many of the songs have that introspective touch that makes them genuine in their ability to reach and touch the listener.

"Memoire" 1976

More closely related to US roots and folk-rock, than their debut, this 1976 release by the French 'Fairports was recorded after the departure of vocalist Valéry Btesh. On offer is an excellent set of relaxed rural hippie-rock, sounding more like 1972 than 76! Most songs sung in English.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Titus Luxor "Cherry Tree"

Titus Luxor:
Hello, my name is Titus Luxor
If you have made it this far - welcome to my world!
OK it's low-fi, it was recorded in 1989 in my spare bedroom (a tiny box)
I never had very good equipment nor the talent to play/produce these songs as I would have liked.
Just a burning desire to make music.
I made several albums up to 1990 (there's one more after this) then I joined a friend's band for a few years
to get the 'playing live' thing out of my system.
Since then I have been pretty dormant.
Last year however I bought a brand new 16 track digital studio.
Ain't done much yet, but I'm planning a comeback album.
Amazing to think it is now 17 years since my last effort!
T.L. May 2007

Download link in comments.

Elyse Weinberg

"Elyse" 1968

Picked up for reissue in 2001 by Orange Twin Records and earmarked as a rediscovered psych-pop classic, this long-overlooked record is primarily composed of quietly plucked acoustic guitars, overlain with Elyse's Elyse Weinberg's hearty vocals, which bear some resemblance to other endearingly hoarse-voiced performers like Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge, and her fellow Toronto contemporary, Joni Mitchell. The air of psychedelia is fairly faint, springing up in the mystical traces of sitars that appear in songs like "Deed I Do" and in lyrics that refer to lovers with names like Sir John Velveteen. In its day, sometime in 1968, the record drew praise from many circles and even earned Elyse a spot on The Johnny Carson Show. However, subsequent records were left unreleased and Elyse faded into history. Elyse is lo-fi, in that the record itself is fairly straightforward musically and that, while the release is on CD, one can hear the crackle and hiss of vinyl, perhaps indicating that this reissue was not remastered from the original. However, given the tone of the music, the low-level record noises are a positive thing, adding to the overall feel of this record's vintage status. The quiet acoustics take a back-seat on "Spirit of the Letter," which is a full-on rock song, and somewhat surprisingly, largely better than many of the quieter songs. Perhaps the record's most noteworthy track is "Houses," a gorgeous song about the impossibility of trading places; beautiful on its own, its brilliance is amplified by featured guest Neil Young. The album-closer "What You Call It," and in some ways the album as a whole, brings to mind the longing tone of Jeremy Enigk's sans Sunny Day Real Estate effort, Return of the Frog Queen. — Karen E. Graves

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Greatest Show On Earth - The Going's Easy: Discos Ocultos

1. Click "Gigasize"
2. Enter the "code" below to download
3. Click "DOWNLOAD"

Monday, May 07, 2007


See more: plectrum34

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick

"Straws in the Wind" 2006

Whenever Martin Carthy, perhaps Britain's most influential folk singer/guitarist of the modern era, and Dave Swarbrick, the renowned fiddler, team up -- as they've done on and off for four decades -- folk enthusiasts applaud loudly. The 2001 release Both Ears & the Tail was in fact a 1966 recording, preceding both Carthy's stint with Steeleye Span and Swarbrick's with Fairport Convention, but Straws in the Wind is a new collaboration, their first since 1992's Skin & Bone, and it's a lovely one at that. It doesn't get any more traditional than this: all but a couple of the songs interpreted by the duo here were found in the 1959 Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, and, with the exception of guest guitarist (and the album's producer) Kevin Dempsey on one track, the Swarbrick-penned "My Heart's in New South Wales," the only instrumentation here is provided by Carthy and Swarbrick. With both musicians playing as brilliantly as ever, and Carthy's voice as expressive as it's ever been, this is a folk purist's dream. These are, by their very nature, songs of times past, echoes of a world that no longer exists. The pair treats the repertoire with all due reverence, but the undeniable intimacy they've established over the years allows for a little more feisty give and take than might have entered in during their more intense earlier years. ~ Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide

Saturday, May 05, 2007

John Martyn

"Live at Les Cousins" 1968

01 Back Again -
01 Dont Think Twice It's Alright
02 Goin Down To Memphis
03 Winding Boy
04 Woodstock
05 Traffic Light Lady
06 Would You Believe Me
07 Jelly Roll Baker

A bootleg copy.

Download (re-post)

Presented by FolkPhile #6

Colin Thompson "Three Knights" 1980

Here is a UK folk LP. Colin Thompson is very talented both as a singer and as a guitarist. The arrangements are rather unusual.

Comments from his current website:

"Karen & Colin from North Lincolnshire are continuing to gain a reputation as excellent performers. Originally a classical guitarist, Colin has combined elements of classical and traditional styles and the distinctive rhythms and decorations of Scottish pipe tunes which he has adapted for guitar. Karen has explored a range of musical genres from choral singing to punk rock.
Together they have created a refreshing sound, setting poetry to self-composed tunes, finding little known traditional ballads and performing well-known songs in an individual manner. This provides an interesting and varied repertoire of love songs, wicked tales, pirate ballads and much more, all underpinned by the couple's obvious love of their music and good-humoured banter."

It's good to see that Colin is still performing, now with his wife. The website URL is:

Thanks for all of the wonderful music! Thanks also to visitors who share their music.

New link:


Robin Williamson - Myrrh: Floodlit Footprint

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Graham Bond with Magick

"We Put Our Magick on You" 1971

Poor Graham Bond. The man was a musical wizz, though in the US, he is known only by those who turned onto him back in the 1960s or music freaks. And, even then, his name brings to mind his endless appetite for drugs, his devotion to Aleister Crowley (to the point where he was claiming to be the Great Beast's son), his erratic behavior (he was most likely bipolar), and his suicide (underneath the wheels of a train). 'Tis not fair. Graham was an innovator and inventor and one hell of a keyboard player. His Graham Bond Organisation was the rawest of the 60s Brit blues rock groups and their records are well worth looking for. We was a member of Ginger Baker's Air Force. He played with countless greats. In fact, it would take someone like Pete Frame to really do Bond justice or better yet a site dedicated to Bond.

The two songs here come from Bond's neglected We Put Our Magick on You LP, a record he made with the band Magick, featuring his wife Diane Stewart and African percussionist Gaspar Lawal. While all the songs on the album have mystical, magical or Crowleyite lyrical themes to them, there is nothing mystical or trippy about the music. Bond plays hard blues rock and funk. Forbidden Fruit is a raging funk jam as good as any Jimmy McGriff or Booker T. Ajama, sung and written by Gaspar Lawal, does Afro-funk gritty enough to be passed off as Afrobeat. And there are other goodies on this record, but I am gonna let you dig for them.

Presented by Anonymous

Christy Moore "Paddy on the Road" 1969

The older brother of Irish folk-pop singer-songwriter Luka Bloom (Barry Moore), Christy Moore is one of contemporary Irish music's best singer-songwriters. The former lead vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards. As a solo singer-songwriter, Moore has continued to add elements of rock and popular music to his well-crafted, tradition-based tunes and has been a major inspiration to such modern Irish artists as U2, Sinead O'Connor and the Pogues. Traditional Irish music had little influence on Moore's early music. Trained in old-time pop tunes and religious music, Moore was inspired as a teenager by the rock & roll of American artists including Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. It wasn't until he had moved to London, where he heard Irish folk songs sung in Irish ghettos, that he became aware of the musical traditions of his homeland. Acquiring an acoustic guitar and Irish drum (bodhran), Moore began busking in the streets. Moore continued to attract attention with his original, folk-like songs after returning to Ireland in the late 1960s. Moore's debut solo album, Paddy on the Road, was released in 1969.

Munroe "Celtic Folkweave" 1974
(Mick Hanly & Micheal O'Dhomhnaill)

Micheal O'Dhomhnaill:
Micheal started his musical career in the late-sixties. Having been brought up in Kells, Co. Meath, he spent most of his summers in Rann na Feirste (Rannafast) in the Donegal Gaeltacht, his father's native place. There he met Daitií Sproule and together they formed Skara Brae along with his sisters Tríona and Maighread. The teenage group released a much acclaimed self-titled album. His duo with Mick Hanly as Munroe produced the Celtic Folkweave album. Then followed a relatively short but highly influential period with the Bothy Band with extensive touring and the release of many great albums. The group consisted of Mícheál & Tríona, Donal Lunny, Paddy Keenan, Matt Molloy, Paddy Glackin/Tommy Peoples/Kevin Burke.

When the Bothy Band parted ways in the early eighties, Mícheál emigrated to the U. S. There he performed in groups such as Nightnoise with Tríona, Brian Dunning and Billy Oskay/Johnny Cunningham, producing many albums over a 15 year period. Puck Fair with Tommy Hayes and Brian Dunning and Relativity with Tríona and brothers Phil and the late Johnny Cunningham, R.I.P. He also played, toured and recorded with fiddler Kevin Burke resulting in two of the finest traditional albums, Promenade and Portland.

Harvey Andrews "Friends of Mine" 1973

Born May 7, 1943, in Birmingham, England, Harvey Andrews had been singing since childhood, but while at college he was turned on to American folk. He began singing at a folk club owned by the Ian Campbell Folk Group in 1964, and appeared on an EP with folk revivalist Martin Carthy in 1965. Andrews was a teacher through most of the late '60s, but in 1970 he released Places & Faces, his debut solo album. An appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival that same year heightened expectation for a follow-up, and Writer of Songs did quite well when it appeared in 1972. He spent the following year touring with the art rock band Focus, and also completed his third album. Andrews appeared on the BBC TV series The Camera and the Song during 1975, and also collaborated with guitarist Graham Cooper for the album Fantasies From a Corner Seat. He formed his own Beeswax label in 1982 to release his recordings and re-release selections from his back catalog. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide

Harvey andrews‏:
I see from your site you have my album "Friends of mine" up for download. Could I ask you to remove it please as I earn my living by selling this album for which I pay a royalty to the owners. it is an infringement of my copyright.

Emmet Spiceland "The First" 1968

In the mid-1960s, Donal Lunny, Brian Bolger, and Mick Maloney formed The Emmet Folk Group. The name Emmet-Spiceland came about when Mick Maloney left the band to join The Johnstons and Brian and Donal teamed up with Michael and Brian Byrne from Sheffield's Spiceland Folk shortly before winning the Wexford Ballad contest in 1967. (In the previous year the Emmet Folk had come second to The Johnstons). For a while the group was a quartet.

The Byrnes' father, Tommy, was a Feis Ceoil winner three years running in the Thirties. However, Brian Bolger left the band within a short time and they continued as a trio. The Wexford success led to a recording deal and in February of 1968 their Mary from Dungloe topped the Irish singles chart. Noted for their tight harmony arrangements, the band went on to success with their recordings of Baidin Feidhlimuid (1967) and Tá na Báid.

In 1969, Leo O'Kelly, who had been playing with the Tropical Showband from the age of 14 through 19, joined the band, replacing Donal Lunny who had reportedly "given up music to concentrate on his art." The trio did several tours over the next year, but their final tour (of the United States) featured Donal back in the band after Michael decided not to make the trip.

They broke up after the tour with Leo going on to form Tir na Nog in 1970. Meanwhile, Donal focused on making jewelry for a time until he was ask by Christy Moore to play on the landmark album, Prosperous. The musicians who played on the album would go on to form the legendary Planxty, at which point Donal gave up jewelry making for good.

Brian Byrne went on to achieve fame in the London production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Friends - Fragile: Prog Not Frog
Vertigo Mixed Andy Votel: A Pound for a Brown


Following Bothy Band titles are already posted here: The Celtic Circle
1975 - The Bothy Band
1976 - Old Hag You Have Killed Me
1977 - Out Of The Wind, Into the Sun
1979 - After Hours (Live in Paris)
1983 - Best Of The Bothy Band
1995 - The Bothy Band - Live in Concer


Heres the Bothy Bands first ever concert @ 320

Bill D:
Supposedly, this is the Bothy Band's first concert. It sounds like it, tight enough but quite there yet. Each cut was faded out during the applause so I edited out the gaps and spliced the applause. I hope it sounds better as the gaps were annoying. There's the odd "burp" and a few tunes are faded in/out which makes me think this is/was not an FM broadcast. It sounds too rough for that plus no announcer ever comes on. It has a little tape hiss and it is an old cassette so I give it an A- sound rating. I have not found anything, not even a mention, on the internet about ths recording.
My source states it is a SBD directly from Matt Molloy. I see no reason to disbelieve him.
If anyone has ANY info about this recording I'd love to hear it.
There is just the slightest touch of distortion now and then. The entire concert was recorded "hot". It in no way detracts from the enjoyment of this great show IMHO.

Paddy Glackin-fiddle
Triona Ni Dhomniall-harmonium/vocals
Michael Ni Dhomniall-guitar-vocals
Donal Lunny-bouzouki
Matt Molloy-flute
Paddy Keenan-pipes

Download 1
Download 2

Thank you, babbler!!
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