Julie Felix – Clotho’s Web (1972)

LPFrontCover1Julie Ann Felix (June 14, 1938 – March 22, 2020) was an American-born, British-based folk recording artist who achieved success, particularly on British television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She later performed and released albums on her own record label.[

Felix was born in Santa Barbara, California to father of Mexican origin and mother of Native American and Welsh ancestry. She graduated in 1956 from high school in Westchester, Los Angeles. In 1964, the same year that she arrived in the United Kingdom, she became the first solo folk performer signed to a major British record label when she gained a recording contract with Decca Records. Within a decade she had a well-established career. In 1965, she was reportedly the first folksinger to fill the Royal Albert Hall, and was described by The Times as “Britain’s First Lady of Folk”.

In 1966, Felix became the resident singer on the BBC television programme The Frost Report, presented by David Frost. She hosted her own shows for the BBC from 1967 to 1970, including the series Once More With Felix (the first episode was transmitted on December 9, 1967). Among those featured on her show were the Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen and Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, who played the “White Summer” and “Black Mountain Side” guitar solo pieces. On May 1, 1967 she appeared on the German TV show Beat-Club; in September 1968 at the International Essen Song Days. She performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

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In 1968, Felix was caught in possession of drugs at Heathrow Airport, and her public image suffered. She was defended in court by John Mortimer, QC.

She had two UK Singles Chart hits in 1970, the first of several on the RAK label, produced by Mickie Most. The first was with the song titled “If I Could (El Cóndor Pasa)”, while the second, “Heaven Is Here”, was written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson of Hot Chocolate. In 1990, the album Bright Shadows was released.

On March 24, 2008, she appeared on a BBC Four programme in which stars of The Frost Report gathered for a night celebrating 40 years since Frost Over England; Felix sang “Blowin’ in the Wind”. She appeared at the Wynd Theatre, Melrose, Scottish Borders, on an annual basis in the 2000s

Felix lived in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England, until her death, still recording and performing, appearing on stage on her 80th birthday in 2018.

She died on March 22, 2020 after a short illness. (wikipedia)

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From the opening title track, with its arresting arrangement possibly masterminded by John Paul Jones, it’s immediately clear that this is an album to be taken seriously. At the time of its release, Julie Felix was already well established, having enjoyed ample BBC TV coverage for her easy folk song interpretations. By 1970, however, she was ready to move forward when she signed with Mickie Most.

The first 12 tracks here make up her Clotho’s Web album, which features all Felixpenned songs bar one. More importantly, it pulled in fuller instrumentation from the likes of Danny Thompson, Big Jim Sullivan, Davey Johnstone and the aforementioned Mr Jones, whose work with Most’s production helped make the resultant collection striking, atmospheric and highly convincing. Felix’s vocals are strong, confident and are placed well up front. Eight bonuses, mostly non-album singles, are added, making this a good value package. Worth the price of admission for the title track alone, which stands as one of the great folk-rock moments. (by Kingsley Abbott)

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Personnel:
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (keyboards)
Julie Felix (vocals, guitar)
John Fiddy (bass)
Stephan Grossmann (guitar)
John Paul Jones (bass)
*Big Jim Sullivan – Guitars
*Cozy Powell – Drums
*Danny Thompson – Bass
*Davey Johnstone – Guitar
*Dougie Wright – Drums

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Tracklist:
01. Clotho’s Web (Felix) 3.35
02. Windy Morning (Felix) 3.05
03. Fire Water Earth And Air (Felix) 3.06
04. Clickety Clack (Felix) 2.57
05. Beside The Still Fjord (Felix) 2:47
06. The Ballad Of San Andreas (Carter/Shakespeare) 3.22
07. Hills Of May(Felix) 1.55
08. Moonlight (Felix) 2.42
09. Happiness (Felix) 3.48
10. The Lean Years (Felix) 3.05
11. Summer On Fire (Felix) 4.36
12. Lady (Felix) 4.24
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13.Heaven Is Here (Brown/Wilson) 3.12
14.Soon (Felix) 3.28
15.Watching, Waiting (Felix) 2.22
16. Portrait Of A Mistress As A Young Girl (Felix) 3.51
17. If I Could (Felix) 3.12
18. Alone (Felix) 2.33
19. Snakeskin (Felix) 3.08
20. Moonlight (single version) (Felix) 3.01

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Inlets

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