Cassell Webb – Conversations At Dawn (1990)

FrontCover1Cassell Webb is a British-American musician.

Texas-born Cassell Webb has enjoyed a career that carried her from late 1960s psychedelia to country music and latter-day folk-rock to modern folk songwriting, classical music production and moved her across an ocean in the process. Her voice can sound ethereal or mournful and crosses genres as easily as Webb’s career has over more than 30 years.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, in the late 1940s, Webb began playing guitar at 14 and later gravitated to the psychedelic scenes in San Antonio and Houston. She became a member of the Children, a psychedelic outfit that was part of Lelan Rodgers’ stable of artists, appearing on their 1968 Rebirth album and several singles. She later joined Saddlesore, a Texas combo whose core members, Mayo Thompson and Rick Barthelme, were survivors from the Red Krayola (another Rodgers-managed act). They stayed together long enough to record one single (“Old Tom Clark”) on the Texas Revolution label before disappearing in the early 1970s.

Webb spent time in California and New York working as a session singer and acquiring some knowledge of production as well and then returned to Texas, where she spent the next few years working with such country artists as Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, and B.W. Stevenson. It was around the time she began writing songs that she also began her long association with songwriter/producer Craig Leon. Webb went to Europe CassellWebb01in the early ’80s, first to Holland and then to England, where she remained permanently and began her solo recording career. Initially signed to the Virgin owned independent label Statik Records, for which she recorded her debut album, Llano, she later joined the roster of Venture Records, an avant grade offshoot of Richard Branson’s Virgin Records label, through which she recorded Thief of Sadness in 1987. Webb’s most representative and popular album was her third, Songs of a Stranger, which was derived from her concert repertory of other writers’ music, including Jimmy Webb (“P.F. Sloan”), Nick Drake (“Time Has Told Me”), Townes Van Zandt (“If I Needed You”), and Phil Ochs (“Jim Dean of Indiana”).

Her subsequent two albums Conversations at Dawn and House of Dreams continued her development as a songwriter. The former was again recorded for Virgin Venture and the latter released on China Records.

Webb remains based in England, where her work on such radio programs as Saturday Sequence, coupled with periodic album releases and projects, such as the dance score Klub Anima (co-written with Leon), and singing and production work with artists such as Marillion’s Steve Hogarth and back ground vocal work on Blondie (band)’s “No Exit album have sustained her career in pop music.

She has worked consistently on the productions of Craig Leon, which since 1998 have been primarily in the classical field. Webb has also been a production assistant to Leon on television projects such as the 2009 documentary Orbit: Journey to the Moon, which aired on the U.S. Discovery Channel, and Bell’aria which aired in 2010 on U.S. PBS. Webb is also a producer on the 2012 PBS broadcast Quest Beyond the Stars as well as the creator of the story concept.

Her poetry has also been published by Pen & Ink of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Webb’s version of the Rolling Stones classic “Tell Me,” from her 1990 album Conversations at Dawn (which also included her covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Reason to Believe” and, in a nod to her own Texas psychedelic roots, the 13th Floor Elevators’ “Splash One”), has been included on the Connoisseur Collection’s Jagger/Richard Songbook CD.

More recent work has been appearances on the new re recording of Nommos and Visiting along with live appearances of those pieces in New York; Moogfest (Asheville, North Carolina); Saint Petersburg, Russia; Berlin, Germany; and Kraków, Poland from 2014 to date.

She has also co produced the album “George Martin: The Film Scores and Original Compositions” released in 2018 on Atlas Realisations/PIAS. (by wikipedia)

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Texas-born Cassell Webb has enjoyed a career that carried her from late-’60s psychedelia to country music and latter-day folk-rock to progressive rock/pop, and moved her across an ocean in the process. Her voice, which can sound ethereal or mournful and crosses genres as easily as Webb’s career has over more than 30 years. Born in Llano, TX, in the late ’40s, Webb began playing guitar at 14 and later gravitated to the psychedelic scene in San Antonio. She became a member of the Children, a psychedelic outfit that was part of Lelan Rodgers’ stable of artists, appearing on their 1968 Rebirth album and several singles. She later joined Saddlesore, a Texas combo whose core members, Mayo Thompson and Rick Barthelme, were survivors from the Red Krayola (another Rodgers-managed act). They stayed together long enough to record one single (“Old Tom Clark”) on the Texas Revolution label before disappearing in the early ’70s. Webb spent time in California and New York working as a session singer and acquiring some knowledge of production as well and then returned to Texas, where she spent the next few years working with such country artists as Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, and B.W. Stevenson. It was around the time she began writing songs that she also began her long association with songwriter/producer Craig Leon.

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Webb went to Europe in the early ’80s, first to Holland and then to England, where she remained permanently and began her solo recording career. Initially signed to the tiny independent label Statick Records, for which she recorded her debut album, Llano, she later joined the roster of Venture Records, an off-shoot of Richard Branson’s Virgin Records label, through which she recorded Thief of Sadness in 1987. Webb’s most representative and popular album was her third, Songs of a Stranger, which was derived from her concert repertory of other writers’ music, including Jimmy Webb (“P.F. Sloan”), Nick Drake (“Time Has Told Me”), Townes Van Zandt (“If I Needed You”), and Phil Ochs (“Jim Dean of Indiana”). Webb remains based in England, where her work on such radio programs as Saturday Sequence, coupled with periodic album releases and projects, such as the dance score “Klub Anima” (co-written with Leon), and singing and production work with artists such as Marillion’s Steve Hogarth have sustained her career in music. Her poetry has also been published by Pen & Ink of Ann Arbor, MI. Webb’s hauntingly lyrical version of the Rolling Stones classic “Tell Me,” from her 1990 album Conversations at Dawn (which also included her covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Reason to Believe” and — in a nod to her own Texas psychedelic roots — the 13th Floor Elevators’ “Splash One”), has been included on the Connoisseur Collection’s Jagger/Richard Songbook CD, alongside recordings by the Flamin’ Groovies, the Who, Mary Coughlan, Naked Prey, Melanie, Marianne Faithfull, and Ike & Tina Turner. (by Bruce Eder)

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And here´s her fourth album …. and it´s a real beautiful one:

This album has the aura of a great musical landscape (like Loreena McKennitt but without the Irish bells & whistles (thank god for that).
The centerpiece is “Darkness, Darkness” (one of many covers…) (Lillebol)
Cassell Webb has an amazing country voice, yet made a few albums on Venture that nudged psychedelia (not surprisingly given her 13th Floor Elevators past) and Americana before the term was contrived by the music press. One of the most under-rated singers ever, in my opinion – check this album ! (pkrpmusic)

This woman can enchant you … believe me ! And another highlight is of course her soft and gentle version of The Rolling Stones classic “Tell Me” from the Sixties.

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Personnel:
Andy Duncan (drums, percussion)
Craig Leon (guitar, keyboards, bass)
Cassell Webb (vocals)
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B.J. Cole (pedal steel-guitar on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Tell Me (Jagger/Richards) 3.51
02. A Song For Sophie Jane (Webb/Leon) 4.34
03. River Run (Webb/Leon) 6.26
04. Freedom’s Legacy (Smotherman) 4.09
05. Darkness, Darkness (Young) 5.12
06. You Take A Heart (Kaz) 3.30
07. Splash One (Hall/Erickson) 4.01
08. I Love The Wind (Vandiver) 3.40
09. In The Light (Webb/Leon) 4.33
10. Reason To Believe (Springsteen) 5.00
11. Bones And The Lady (Webb/Leon) 2.24

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