Various Artists – English Folk Dances (1974)

FrontCover1This album was produced by theEnglish Folk Dance and Song Society

The English Folk Dance and Song Society  was formed in 1932 when two organisations merged: the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society. The EFDSS, a member-based organisation, was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (no. 297142) in 1935 and became a registered charity (no. 305999) in England and Wales in 1963.

The Folk-Song Society, founded in London in 1898, focused on collecting and publishing, primarily folk songs of Britain and Ireland although there was no formal limitation. Participants included: Lucy Broadwood, Kate Lee, Cecil Sharp, Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth, George Barnet Gardiner, Henry Hammond, Anne Gilchrist and Ella Leather.

The English Folk Dance Society was founded in 1911 by Cecil Sharp. Maud Karpeles was a leading participant. Its purpose was to preserve and promote English folk dances in their traditional forms, including Morris and sword dances, traditional social dances, and interpretations of the dances published by John Playford. The first secretary of the society was Lady Mary Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis; Trefusis Hall in the EFDSS HQ, Cecil Sharp House, is named after her.

One of the greatest contributions that the EFDSS made to the folk movement, both dance and song, was the folk festival, starting with the Stratford-upon-Avon Festival in the 1940s and continuing with festivals in Whitby, Sidmouth, Holmfirth, Chippenham and elsewhere.

English Folk Dance and Song Society02

Since 1936 the EFDSS has published English Dance & Song at least four times a year. This has become the longest-established magazine devoted to folk music, dance and song in the country. English Dance & Song is aimed at stimulating the interest of the membership of the EFDSS, as well as the wider folk music and dance community.

Their regular scholarly publication is Folk Music Journal, published annually in December, which was formerly entitled the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society until 1965. The work continues the earlier journals of the two societies: Journal of the Folk-Song Society, 1899–1931;[9] Journal of the English Folk Dance Society 191431.
Recent developments
Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park, London, is home to the English Folk Dance and Song Society

In 1998, with the folk movement strongly supported by a number of other organisations and the seeds planted by EFDSS thriving, the EFDSS altered its strategy to focus on education and archiving, with its primary goal the development of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library as the country’s national archive and resource centre for folk music, dance and song.

English Folk Dance and Song Society (Inside)

In 2011 the society entered into a joint commission with Shrewsbury Folk Festival to create the Cecil Sharp Project, a multi-artist residential commission to create new works based on the life and collecting of Cecil Sharp. The project took place in March 2011, the artists involved being: Steve Knightley, Andy Cutting, Leonard Podolak, Jim Moray, Jackie Oates, Caroline Herring, Kathryn Roberts and Patsy Reid.

In 2013, EFDSS launched The Full English, an ongoing archive project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Folklore Society, the National Folk Music Fund and the English Miscellany Folk Dance Group. This free and searchable resource of 44,000 records and over 58,000 digitised images is the world’s biggest digital archive of traditional music and dance tunes.

As well as folk music, the EFDSS is home to a number of performance artists, providing a regular performance platform for acts including the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the Massive Violins and the Swingle Singers. (wikipedia)

JackArmstrong01

There is a huge variety of dance associated with English folk music, some of it quite alien to modern culture. Folk music was either written as song or for dancing, and the dances have deep roots in the social history of England, as well as offering an insight into agriculture, industry and cultural diversity. (musicworkshopcompany.wordpress.com)

And here are 15 songs from the past (recorded in 1958 and 1961; the musical leader was Nan Fleming-Williams), but we should never forgot, that this music inspüired a lot auf Britis Folk-Rock Bands like Fairport Convention and much miore !

Enjoy this trip in the past !

BackCover1

Tracklist:

McBain’s Country Dance Band:
01. Durham Reel 1.38
02. Waltz Country Dance 5.03
03. The Waves Of Troy 3.56
04. Haymaker’s Jig 2.40
05. The Road To California 3.48
06. The Steamboat 3.38
07. Margaret’s Waltz 3.01

Jack Armstrong And His Northumbrian Barnstormers:
08. Drops Of Brandy 2.58
09. Pins And Needles 3.13
10. The Sylph 3.13
11. The Triumph 3.05

The Country Dance Band:
12. The Rifleman 3.33
13. Wiltshire Reel 1.47
14. Dorset Triumph 3.12
15. Stoke Golding Country Dance 3-36

All songs: Traditional

LabelB1

*
**

LinerNotes

English Folk Dance and Song Society01

Pentangle – Reflection (1971)

FrontCover1Reflection was an album recorded in 1971 by folk-rock band Pentangle.

The album was recorded over a three-week period in March 1971, at a time when the tensions between the band members were high. Different band members were continually threatening to leave and attendance by Jansch and Renbourn at the recording sessions was dependent on their state of sobriety. (by wikipedia)

Pentangle were always great at creating musical fusions, and on this album, they once again came through. The opening song, “Wedding Dress,” is a fabulous meeting of Celtic, country, and, believe it or not, funk. It’s one of the few songs of theirs that actually rocks. The rest of the record is classic Pentangle, with Bert Jansch’s and John Renbourn’s acoustic guitars intermingling so well that it would make even Neil Young and Stephen Stills a little envious. Jacqui McShee, as usual, has some exquisite vocal moments, namely the previously mentioned “Wedding Dress” and an excellent reading of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Pentangle1971

This track shows how the group was further exploring new musical ground, this time with traditional American folk/gospel. The group’s rhythm section of Danny Thompson (upright bass/cello) and Terry Cox (percussion) — easily one of the most inventive on the planet — shines on every cut, creating solid ground for Renbourn, McShee, and Jansch to do their high-wire act on vocals and guitar. One of their finest all-around albums. (by Matthew Greenwald)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Terry Cox (drums, percussion, vocals)
Bert Jansch (guitar, banjo, vocals)
Jacqui McShee (vocals)
John Renbourn (guitar, vocals)
Danny Thompson (bass)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Wedding Dress (Traditional) 2.52
02. Omie Wise (Traditional) 4.23
03. Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (Traditional) 4.07
04. When I Get Home (Cox/Jansch/McShee/Renbourn/Thompson) 5.01
05. Rain And Snow (Traditional) 3.51
06. Helping Hand (Cox/Jansch/McShee/Renbourn/Thompson) 3.30
07. So Clear (Cox/Jansch/McShee/Renbourn/Thompson) 4.55
08. Reflection (Cox/Jansch/McShee/Renbourn/Thompson) 11.10

Labels

  • (coming soon)
    **

Pentangle1971_02

 

Martin Barre – MLB Celebrates 50 Years Of Jethro Tull (2019)

EPSON MFP imageAs the lead guitarist for Jethro Tull, Martin Barre has been joined at the hip to Ian Anderson since 1969, when he replaced Mick Abrahams in the group’s lineup. His playing has provided much of the energy that allows the band to soar on record and in concert amid the beauty of Anderson’s melodies and the complexity of his lyrics, and played no small part in helping the veteran band (some would say “dinosaur”) win the 1988 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album for Crest of a Knave. Anderson himself has been quoted as saying, “Without Martin Barre, Jethro Tull could not exist.”

Barre’s solo work was confined to his home studio until he assembled a band to play some charity gigs in the early 1990s. Since then, he has recorded a pair of albums that allow him to stretch out in directions that Tull normally doesn’t permit, and to put his instrument into new sounds, genres, and musical contexts. (by Bruce Eder)

MartinBarre03

Wot No flute? Well very little anyway.

What can I say about this, do we really need it, probably not, but news that he was releasing this certainly caught my interest and uncustomarily quite excited, momentarily anyway and touring this Celebration with additional members Clive Bunker and Dee Palmer in the band has certainly provided some long overdue publicity. Well the next question is is it any good?

SingleAlbum

Disc 1 Live at the Factory Underground (Studio?) is a band effort by that I mean Martin Barre, guitars, mandolin, mandola, flute and Hammond, Dan Crisp, vocals, guitar, Alan Thomson, previously with John Martyn on bass, Derby Todd, drums. Disc 2 are Studio tracks, tracks 1- 6 an Acoustic Set where his female backing singers Alex Hart and Becca Langford take centre stage on all tracks up to and including One White Duck and also Locomotive Breath, John Carter, Martins childhood friend with whom he made the Grand Union album takes on Waking Edge, Dan Crisp, Still Loving You Tonight and Slow Marching Band. Other participants are Paddy Blight, Double Bass, Josiah J, keyboards and Frank Mead, the albums flute solo on this disc on Home.

MartinBarre04

Disc 1 the Live set has Mr. Barre in full hard rockin’ electric mode, of course initially it’s hard not to make comparisons with the originals in fact it’s impossible, Dan Crisp’s vocals have come in for some criticism, and on first play on disc this seem justified but Martin has stuck by him and having seen him live a few times and with a little mental readjustment, the initial concerns have diminished. It’s not that he is a bad vocalist I just think singing Tull songs is not his natural style and in any event is nigh on impossible to emulate Mr Anderson in his prime but ultimately this album is all about Martin Barre and his interpretation of these songs, putting his stamp on them and keeping them fresh of which I must say in this department is an unqualified success. Having seen him play these tracks live his enthusiasm is totally infectious, he seems to be having the time of his life, in fact he and the band are an absolute joy to watch. How he has narrowed it down to these 13 tracks who knows because if one looks at his set lists Setlist.fm this is a very small portion of what he has being playing live.

LangsfordHart

After a rather tentative start with a jazz flavoured My Sunday Feeling, things pick up with For a Thousand Mothers and it all becomes clear what a crucial element he was in Tull’s classic sound. Hymn 43 has that wonderful chugging riff and then we come to Love Story where Dan Crisp earns some plaudits, this rendition is a little slower and grittier than the original and candidate for best on this disc and so it continues with perhaps an unusual choice in Sealion, Song for Jeffrey is rather lumbering but inherits a couple of hard rock riffs and guitar solo. Back to the Family gets heavy. I could go on, but what’s the point suffice to say although the songs are familiar to all, these versions have balls, played at full volume, the guitar work exceptional.

CrispThomsonTodd

Disc 2, I was a little shocked when I heard the female vocals, but then again not, having seen them do the acoustic set, and they carry the songs effortlessly, with some wonderful accompaniment. Life’s a Long Song, Cheap Day Return, Under Wraps and One White Duck are standouts. I won’t say the quality dips hereafter but it’s a hard to follow on from those girls, suffice to say that they take it down a bit with the remainder including the mandolin driven Locomotive Breath where the girls come on board again

If this album does anything it shows what a creative writer Ian Anderson is or was depending on opinion and what a classic guitarist Martin Barre is.

MartinBarre05

Of course if one is looking for reasons to knock this, one doesn’t have to look far, it would be easy to shred it for any number of reasons, it can’t match the originals, the vocals may not be to everyone’s taste (I suspect the most likely criticism), it’s a good but not great album, the anticipation was greater than the reality but taken for what it is, this Celebration of Tull as a rock band reignites music much of which the punters would never expect to hear live again, is reason enough to make this is a worthwhile exercise. If nothing else it’s an advert for people to go check out Mr Martin Lancelot Barre live. My only disappointment here is that there is no third disc. (by oldrock)

EPSON MFP image

Personnel:
Martin Barre (guitar, mandolin, mandola, flute, organ)
Paddy Blight (bass)
John Carter (vocals)
Dan Crisp (vocals, guitar)
Alex Hart (vocals)
Josiah J. (keyboards)
Becca Langsford (vocals)
Darby Todd (drums)
Alan Thomson (bass, vocals)
+
Frank Mead (flute on CD 2/09.)

EPSON MFP image

Tracklist:

CD 1 – Live at Factory Underground:
01. My Sunday Feeling 3.32
02. For A Thousand Mothers 4.34
03. Hymn 43 3.31
04. Love Story 4.11
05. Sealion 4.07
06. Song For Jeffrey 3.42
07. Back To The Family 4.05
08. Nothing To Say 5.44
09. Hunting Girl 5.35
10. Teacher 5.53
11. Steel Monkey 3.46
12. Nothing Is Easy 4.58
13. New Day Yesterday 4.50

CD 2 – Studio Tracks:
01. Wond’ring Aloud 1.53
02. Someday The Sun Won’t Shine 2.02
03. Life Is A Long Song 3.29
04. Cheap Day Return 1.30
05. Under Wraps 3.06
06. One White Duck 2.20
07. Still Loving You Tonight 4.54
08. The Waking Edge 3.17
09. Home 3.16
10. Locomotive Breath 4.09
11. Slow Marching Band 3.28

All songs written by Ian Anderson

CDs

*
**

Martin Barre talks about this album:

MartinBarre01

Jethro Tull – Songs Fom The Wooden Grammophone (1977)

FrontCover1In the late 1970s, Jethro Tull released a trio of folk rock albums, Songs from the Wood (1977), Heavy Horses (1978), and Stormwatch (1979). Songs from the Wood (1977) was the first Tull album to receive generally positive reviews since the release of Living in the Past (1972).

The band had long ties to folk rockers Steeleye Span (Tull were the backing band on Steeleye Span front woman Maddy Prior’s 1978 solo album Woman in the Wings as a way of repaying her for contributing vocals on the Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! album) and with Fairport Convention (Fairport members Dave Pegg, Martin Allcock, Dave Mattacks and Ric Sanders have all played with Tull at one point or another, as well as folk drummer Gerry Conway who became a Fairport member after playing with Tull). Although not formally considered a part of the folk rock movement (which had actually begun nearly a decade earlier with the advent of Fairport Convention), there was clearly an exchange of musical ideas among Tull and the folk rockers.[81] By this time, Anderson had moved to a farm in the countryside, and his new bucolic lifestyle was clearly reflected in his songwriting, as in the title track of Heavy Horses (1978), a paean to draught horses. (by wikipedia)

JethroTull1972

And here´s very beautiful bootleg (excellent soundboart recording !) from this period …and it was one of the most satisfying periods of Jethro Tull:

Track 1-9 recorded live in Southampton 19.Feb.1977
Track 10-11 recorded live in April 1979 during US-Tour
Track 12 is an A capella Version
Track 13 recorded during the session for a Burger King jingle in1979

Enjoy the magic of Jethro Tull´s trip into the UK Folk-Rock scene.

BackCover1

Personnel:
Ian Andson (vocals, flute, guitar)
Barriemore Barlow (drums)
Martin Barre (guitar)
John Evans (keyobards)
John Glascock (bass)
David Palmer (keyboards)

JethroTull1977_01

Tacklist:
01. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day 5.98
02. Jack In The Green 3.25
03. Thick As A Brick 14.19
04. Songs From The Wood 5.56
05. Velvet Green 7.12
06. Hunting Girl 5.11
07. Aqualung 8.47
08. Wind Up 3.21
09. Locomotive Breath-Pomp & Circumsances / Finale 5.33
10. Sweet Dream 2.49
11. Dark Ages 9.51
12. Dark Ages (Studio Outtake) 1.46
13. Wardrobe Whopper 0.32

All songs written by Ian Anderson

WoodenGrammophone

*
**

John Glascock

John Glascock (2 May 1951 – 17 November 1979)

More from Jethro Tull:

More

Trevor Lucas – Overlander (1966)

LPFrontCover1Trevor George Lucas (25 December 1943 – 4 February 1989) was an Australian folk singer, a member of Fairport Convention and one of the founders of Fotheringay. He mainly worked as a singer-songwriter and guitarist but also produced many albums and composed for the film industry toward the end of his career. He married three times, his first wife was Cheryl (1964 – ca. 1969), his second wife was fellow folk musician Sandy Denny (1973–1978), and his third wife was Elizabeth Hurtt-Lucas (ca. 1979–1989). Lucas died on 4 February 1989 of a heart attack in his sleep, in Sydney, aged 45. He was survived by Hurtt-Lucas, his daughter, Georgia Rose Lucas (by Denny), and his son, Clancy Hurtt-Lucas.  (b wikipedia)

Trevor Lucas was one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters Australia ever produced and although he was held in high regard in UK folk-rock circles, he remained virtually unknown in his homeland.
(Ian McFarlane)

TrevorLucas02

Lucas’ solo album will most likely come as a surprise to those who know his work from Fotheringay and Fairport Convention. It’s pure traditional British folk, featuring his guitar and deep vocals complemented by violin and accordion, without a trace of rock or folk-rock. It’s competent but standard fare, comprised almost wholly of traditional tunes (“Waltzing Matilda” being the most familiar) and not one Lucas original. “South Australia” puts a bit of a spin on the genre, as there are relatively few British folk-styled performances with lyrics about Australia, rather than the British Isles. This rarity is primarily recommended to Fairport fanatics curious about the roots of one of Fairport Convention’s second-line members; dozens if not hundreds of similar albums in the style have been made by other performers. (bomber-blog.blogspot.com)

LPBackCover1

Personnel:
Alf Edwards (concertina)
George Gibbs (bass)
Cyril Harling (fiddle)
Trevor Lucas (vocals, guitar)

Glossary

Tracklist:
01. The Overlander (Traditional) 2.33
02.  Waltzing Matilda (Traditional) 3.01
03. A Wee One (Traditional) 3.27
04. Lazy Harry’s (Traditional) 2.56
05. It’s On (Henderson) 2.42
06. South Australia (Traditional) 2.00
07. Shanties By The Way (Traditional) 2.04
08. The Shearer’s Dream (Lawson/Lloyd) 3.48
09. The Flash Stockman (Traditional) 1.51
10. Bluey Brink (Traditional) 2.57
11. On The Banks Of The Condamine (Traditional) 4.09
12. Bold Jack Donohoe (Traditional) 4.00

LabelA1

*
**

TrevorLucas01
Trevor George Lucas (25 December 1943 – 4 February 1989)

Bronco – Smoking Mixture (1973)

FrontCover1ABronco were an English five piece rock and country band, who were signed to Island and Polydor Records between 1969 and 1973. They released three albums during their existence, Country Home (1970), Ace of Sunlight (1971) and Smoking Mixture (1973).

Bronco were formed in August 1969 by Jess Roden following his split from The Alan Bown Set. They were signed to Island Records by Guy Stevens and, after initially recording tracks at Olympic Studios with him, recorded their first album, Country Home, at Island’s own Basing Street Studios during 1970, with the final mix being overseen by Paul Samwell-Smith. One of the album’s tracks, “Love” was included on Bumpers, an Island sampler album. The group similarly recorded their second album Ace of Sunlight at Basing Street (1971) which was produced by the band and Richard Digby Smith. Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward guested on their debut album Country Home. Trevor Lucas sang back-up vocals on Ace of Sunlight, and both Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople also guested on that album. In January 1971, Bronco appeared on BBC Two’s Disco 2.

Bronco01

Following a serious motorway accident between Cheltenham and Bristol (in which the group’s crew – Dick Hayes and Alan Stone – and drummer Pete Robinson and bassist John Pasternak were badly injured) and a later, ill-fated West Coast of America tour, Roden left the band after a final British tour with label-mates Mott The Hoople and John Martyn in the early 1972, to start a solo career. Guitarist Robbie Blunt soon followed and the remaining members drafted in Paul Lockey on vocals (who Kevyn Gammond knew from Band of Joy) and Dan Fone on guitar. This incarnation of Bronco signed to Polydor and released one album, Smoking Mixture.

John Pasternak

Bronco’s bass player John Pasternak died of a heart attack in September 1986. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant fronted a tribute event for Pasternak in December of that year, that featured Plant and The Big Town Playboys, and concluded with an ensemble band featuring Plant, Jimmy Page on guitar and Jason Bonham on drums.

Two Bronco tracks are featured on Island records compilation albums: “Love” appeared on Bumpers released in 1970 and “Sudden Street” was on El Pea (1971). “Time Slips Away” was included on the Island Records compilation Meet on the Ledge, released as part of Island’s 50th anniversary in 2009. (by wikipedia)

Bronco are renowned as one of the UK’s most unfairly neglected early ’70s bands. Smoking Mixture was their third and final LP, and originally appeared in 1973. A superb collection of laid-back rock. (forcedexposure.com)

BackCover1.JPG

Personnel:
Dan Fone (piano, guitar, banjo,harmonica, vocals)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar, vocals)
Paul Lockey (vocals, guitar)
John Pasternak (bass, vocals)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion, vocals)
+
Paul ‘Cosmic Charlie’ Gammond (tambourine)
Simon Lanzon (keyboards)
Royston ‘Aloysius Soul-Brother’ Williams (percussion)

+
unknown horn + string section conducted by Richard Hewson

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Attraction (Gammond/Ward) 5.11
02. Blueberry Pie (Gammond) 4.23
03. Southbound State Express (Gammond/Ward) 3.52
04. Steal That Gold (Gammond/Pasternak) 7.55
05. Strange Awakening (Gammond/Ward) 7.28
06. Tell Me Why (Gammond/Ward) 6.30
07. Tennessee Saturday Night (Gammond/Pasternak/Robinson) 2.56
08. Turkey In The Straw (Traditional/Gammond) 3.50
09. Zonker (Pasternak) 3.16

LabelB1.JPG

*
**

Booklet2

 

Fairport Convention – Across The Decades (2003)

FrontCover1Fairport Convention are a British folk rock band, formed in 1967 by Richard Thompson (guitar, vocals), Simon Nicol (guitar, vocals), Ashley Hutchings (bass guitar), and Shaun Frater (drums, percussion), with Frater replaced by Martin Lamble after their first gig. They started out heavily influenced by American folk rock and singer-songwriter material, with a setlist dominated by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell songs and a sound that earned them the nickname ‘the British Jefferson Airplane’. Vocalists Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews joined them before the recording of their self-titled debut in 1968; afterwards, Dyble was replaced by Sandy Denny, with Matthews leaving during the recording of their third album.

Denny began steering the group towards traditional British music for their next two albums, What We Did on Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking (both 1969); the latter featured fiddler Dave “Swarb” Swarbrick, most notably on the song “A Sailor’s Life”, which laid the groundwork for British folk rock by being the first time a traditional British song was combined with a rock beat.

FairportConvention01

However, shortly before the album’s release, a crash on the M1 killed Lamble and Thompson’s then-girlfriend, Jeannie Franklyn; this resulted in the group retiring most of their prior material and turning entirely towards British folk music for their seminal album Liege & Lief, released the same year, with this style being the band’s focus ever since. For this album Swarbrick joined full-time alongside Dave Mattacks on drums. Both Denny and Hutchings left before the year’s end; the latter replaced by Dave Pegg, who has remained the group’s sole consistent member to this day; and Thompson would leave after the recording of 1970’s Full House.

FairportConvention02.jpg

The 1970s saw numerous lineup changes around the core of Swarbrick and Pegg – Nicol being absent for the middle of the decade – and declining fortunes as folk music fell out of mainstream favour. Denny, whose partner Trevor Lucas had been a guitarist in the group since 1972, returned for the pop-orientated Rising for the Moon album in 1975 in a final bid to crack America; this effort failed, and after three more albums minus Denny or Lucas, the group disbanded in 1979. They played a farewell concert in the village of Cropredy, Oxfordshire, where they had held small concerts since 1976, and this marked the beginning of the Cropredy Festival (since 2005 known as Fairport’s Cropredy Convention) which has become the largest folk festival in Britain, with annual attendances of 20,000.[8] The band was reformed by Nicol, Pegg, and Mattacks in 1985, joined by Maartin Allcock (guitar, vocals) and Ric Sanders (fiddle, keyboards), and they have remained active since. Allcock was replaced by Chris Leslie in 1996, and Gerry Conway replaced Mattacks in 1998, with this lineup remaining unchanged since and marking the longest-lasting of the group’s history. Their 28th studio album, 50:50@50, released to mark their 50th anniversary, was released in 2017, and they continue to headline Cropredy each year.

FairportConvention03.jpg

Despite little mainstream success – with their only top 40 single being “Si Tu Dois Partir”, a French-language cover of the Dylan song “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” from Unhalfbricking – Fairport Convention remain highly influential in British folk rock and British folk in general. Liege & Lief was named the “Most Influential Folk Album of All Time” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2006, and Pegg’s playing style, which incorporates jigs and reels into his basslines, has been imitated by many in the folk rock and folk punk genres.[9] Additionally, many former members went on to form or join other notable groups in the genre, including Fotheringay, Steeleye Span, and the Albion Band; along with solo careers, most notably Thompson and Denny.[10] Hers ended with her death in 1978, though she is now regarded[by whom?] as Britain’s finest female singer-songwriter, and her song “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” – recorded by Fairport on Unhalfbricking – has become a signature song for herself and the band. (by wikipedia)

FairportConvention04.jpg

Across the Decades is an apt title for a band that’s as much an institution as anything. With more than 35 years under their belt, Fairport have a huge catalog to cherry-pick from for what’s essentially a best-of release. Be warned, however, that there’s nothing from the classic Sandy Denny/Richard Thompson lineup that helped invent British folk-rock. Instead, this picks up in 1971, although there are cuts from Denny’s second, mid-’70s stint with the band. However, the bulk comes from later on, although many of the names are familiar, as is a great deal of the material; the pieces are played with plenty of energy and skill — probably more skill than when some of them were first rolled out.

Booklet03A

But they stand the test of time, as do many of the songs, several of which are written in styles influenced by the tradition. Purists might well turn their noses up at some of this, and demand compilations that trawl all the way back in the band’s history, and, to be fair, there was a magic about some early lineups that’s not completely evident here. However, that’s not to decry any of this, especially at a budget price for a double-CD set. It’s not the perfect introduction to Fairport, but for those curious about the slightly later years, this is a good way to sample that. (by Chris Nickson)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Various Fairport Convention line-ups

Booklet02A.jpg

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. The Hexamshire Lass (Traditional) 2.37
02. Hens March Through the Midden/The Four Poster Bed (Traditional) 2.46
03. Sloth (Swarbrick/Thompson) 13.03
04. It’ll Take A Long Time (Denny) 5.31
05. Firs An Feathers (Swarbrick) 4.50
06. Cell Song (Mattacks/Nicol/Pegg/Swarbrick) 3.58
07. Who Knows Where The Time Goes (Denny) 6.29
08. Ballad Of Ned Kelly (Lucas) 3.46
09. The Deserter (Traditional) 4.31
10. Both Sides Now (Mitchell) 3.08
11. Walk Awhile (Swarbrick/Thompson) 4.09
12. Rosie (Swarbrick) 4.10

CD 2:
01. How Many Times (Thompson) 3.30
02. My Feet Are Set for Dancing (Lesurf) 4.03
03. Angel Delight (Mattacks/Nicol/Pegg/Swarbrick) 4.32
04. Red And Gold (McTell) 6.43
05. Open the Door Richard (Dylan) 4.59
06. It Takes A Lot To Laugh (Dylan) 5.44
07. I’ll Keep It With Mine (Dylan) 6.27
08. Tam Lin (Traditional) 7.58
09. Who Knows Where The Time Goes (Denny)
10. Doctor Of Physik (Swarbrick/Thompson) 3.50
11. The Naked Highwayman (Tilston) 4.44
12. Meet On The Ledge (Thompson) 5.31

CD2A

*
**

Tray1.jpg

Pentangle – Sister Cruel (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgCruel Sister was an album recorded in 1970 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the most folk-based of the albums recorded by the band, with all the tracks being versions of traditional songs. Whereas their previous album had been produced by Shel Talmy, and featured quite a heavily produced, commercial sound, Cruel Sister was produced by Bill Leader, noted for his recordings of folk musicians.

“Lord Franklin” is a version of the traditional ballad, also known as “Lady Franklin’s Lament”, which describes Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. John Renbourn sings the lead vocal and plays both acoustic and electric guitar.

“Cruel sister”, the song which provides the title for the album, is a traditional ballad (known in some versions as The Twa Sisters), telling the story of the violent rivalry between two sisters for the love of a knight.

The whole of side two of the album is taken up with an extended version of the ballad “Jack Orion”, previously recorded by Jansch on his own Jack Orion album. “Jack Orion” is a version of the Child ballad “Glasgerion”. The arrangement on Cruel Sister develops through several sections with different rhythms and instrumentation.

The album cover features engravings by Albrecht Dürer. The front cover displays his “The Men’s Bath” (Das Männerbad) (date unknown). The picture on the back cover is his The Sea Monster (Das Meerwunder), dating from 1498. (by wikipedia)

Pentangle01.jpg

Originally released in 1970, this was the fourth release from the British folk-rock group Pentangle and may qualify as their swan song. With only five songs, Jacqui McShee, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Terry Cox, and Danny Thompson create a dense, layered sound that is woven within the fabric of each song like a tapestry. Although known for their eclectic approach and love of jazz, here the group concentrates on traditional material like “A Maid That’s Deep in Love” and the 18-minute “Jack Orion.” A Pentangle fan will immediately note that John Renbourn is playing an electric guitar on “A Maid That’s Deep in Love.” This departure from purely acoustic doesn’t create a bigger Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span sound but is imbedded quietly into the song.

Jacqui McShee.jpg

What really sets both this song and “When I Was in My Prime” apart is McShee’s clear, vibrant vocals. On “When I Was in My Prime,” she sings unaccompanied, proving that her talent runs as deep as the better-known Jansch and Renbourn. The seven-minute title cut also features McShee singing an absolutely lovely ballad with darker undertones. Renbourn sings the enjoyable though straightforward “Lord Franklin.” The crowning jewel of this masterpiece is the epic “Jack Orion,” though one has difficulty imagining what possessed Pentangle to record a folk song that took up an entire side of an album. Jansch shares vocals with McShee on this multiple part song, and generous time is left for Renbourn to turn in a bluesy, then jazzy, electric solo. Cruel Sister shows Pentangle at their artistic height, combining all of their skill and inspiration to create a vital and enduring album. (by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Terry Cox (drums, percussion, dulcitone, vocals)
Bert Jansch (guitar, dulcimer, concertina, recorder, vocals)
Jacqui McShee (vocals)
John Renbourn (guitar, sitar, recorder, vocals)
Danny Thompson – double bass (1, 4, 5)

Pentangle02.jpg

Tracklist:
01. A Maid That’s Deep In Love 5.27
02. When I Was In My Prime 2.53
03. Lord Franklin 3.28
04. Cruel Sister 7.00
05. Jack Orion 18.36

All songs: Traditionals

LabelB1.jpg

*
**

GermanFront+BackCover.jpg

German labels

Stone Angel – Same (1975)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Stone Angel story probably begins in December 1972. Guitarists Ken Saul and Paul Corrick were rehearsing for a spot at the Great Yarmouth Folk Club Christmas party, but all they could come up with was a guitar duet version of ‘God rest ye Merry Gentlemen’. They invited singer Jill Child to join them, and worked on a couple of recently composed songs based on local legends, ‘Sanctuary Stone’ and ‘The Skater’. That first performance was so well received that the trio decided to continue, the following two years seeing them perform at clubs, concerts and festivals throughout East Anglia and occasionally further afield, while still doing the resident slot at their local club.
During the summer of 1973 a demo recording of some of their songs was made, on which Midwinter were joined by Dik Cadbury (of ‘Decameron’ and ‘Steve Hackett Band’ fame) on bass, and Mick Burroughes on percussion. This was never released at the time, and in fact the master tapes remained in a box in Ken Saul’s attic until they finally were issued by Kissing Spell in 1993 as the CD ‘The Waters of Sweet Sorrow’.

Midwinter came to an end with Jill’s departure to college, their farewell concert taking place back at the Yarmouth Folk Club on September 11th 1974. Some of their songs lived on, however, as a few months later Paul and Ken formed a new band, again including fellow musicians from the Yarmouth club. This new band had something of a rockier, more gothic, edge and a decidedly experimental approach to folk music: Stone Angel was born!

StoneAngel02.jpg

Stone Angel’s first public performance was at the Wymondham Folk Club in October 1974, then again at the Yarmouth Folk Club on December 20th 1974. The line-up consisted of Joan Bartle on vocals, flute, recorders and crumhorn; Mick Burroughes on bass and percussion; Paul Corrick on electric guitars and harpsichord; Dave Lambert on fiddle and mandolin; Ken Saul on vocals, guitars and dulcimer. Building on the reputation of Midwinter, they began to appear at numerous clubs and festivals around the area.
For a variety of reasons a decision was made to produce a self-financed recording, and this took place in February 1975. The band was assisted in this project by Eddy Green, who from time to time had deputised for various personnel in the live performances. Only three hundred and fifty of the projected five hundred albums were ever produced, and unfortunately these suffered from rather poor sound quality. A busy schedule followed, with the album being hawked around the live gigs, until the end of the summer when both Paul and Mick departed for university and art college respectively.

StoneAngel03.jpg

The resulting trio continued, but became entirely acoustic and more traditional in their choice of material, although still including ‘The Skater’ and ‘Black-sailed Traders’ in their set. The only recording from this period was a basic tape recording of a live concert in the village church at Filby, Norfolk, where Ken and Joan now lived. This too was to later be released on CD by Kissing Spell under the title ‘The Holy Rood of Bromholm’. After spells working in Botswana and Southampton, Dave Lambert emigrated to Australia, where he continued to play as a member of Adelaide-based band ‘The Legends’.

Ken and Joan carried on as a duo for a while, before becoming engaged in a slightly more serious project with early music. Then in 1985/86 they formed a new band with bassist Michael Wakelin and keyboard player Dave Felmingham, occasionally being joined on vocals by Carole Irwin. Reflecting their ‘middle earth’ tendencies, the name ‘Arkenstone’ was chosen, but after their second gig – a local version of Live Aid – so many former fans still referred to them as Stone Angel, that they decided to revert to the old title. Sadly, work commitments away from the area meant the band was short-lived. The next stage was to see a musical involvement with Broadlands Theatre Group, which entailed the composition and performance of original material for various productions. Around the same time, an article had appeared in the magazine ‘Record Collector’ with details of various privately released albums from the seventies, including the original Stone Angel LP. This was subsequently re-released on CD by Kissing Spell in 1994, alongside the previously unissued ‘ live’ recording and the earlier Midwinter album. All of this led to a renewed interest in the band, not only in the UK but also in Europe and the Far East.

StoneAngel04.jpg

With a handful of local traditional songs, some original compositions – some dating from the mid-eighties ensemble – and a few fresh ideas, the ‘new’ Stone Angel re-formed in 2000, chiefly to record a new CD, ‘East of the Sun’. This latest incarnation comprised of Ken and Joan Saul, Dave Felmingham, Andrew Smith, and a re-called Michael Wakelin. By the time the recording was finished, one of the additional musicians, oboe and cor anglais player Richard Danby, had become a permanent member of the band, while Michael’s work commitments necessitated a substitution on bass by Robert Futter. They were then joined by Jane Denny, contributing additional vocals and assorted percussion, and original seventies bass man Mick Burroughes. It is this line-up that produced the album, ‘Lonely Waters’.

Sadly, Richard Danby died in tragic circumstances just as the recording of “Lonely Waters” was nearing its completion. His contribution to the band was greatly missed, but it was decided not to try and replace him, and the album was dedicated to his memory. Due to other commitments, Mick left shortly after the album was released. The vacancy on bass was filled by long-time friend and associate, Geoff Hurrell.

Work then began on another rather different and exacting project with Broadlands Theatre Group – an epic community production of “Green Man”. After much deliberation and a few drinks in that other-worldly time between Christmas and New Year, ideas were made material. Pip Sessions wrote the script and the band wrote songs and arranged and adapted traditional material. In October 2005 “Green Man – a pageant of ancient mysteries” was performed for two nights in Filby Church with Stone Angel playing live in the context of the play. Soon after this, the CD “Circle of Leaves” was produced – all the music from “Green Man” linked together with words from the drama. It was a moment never to be forgotten, when the whole cast was recorded for the final track “The Promise”. A concert version was later put together and premiered again in Filby Church.

StoneAngel05.jpg

November 2009 saw Stone Angel celebrate their 35th anniversary with a concert at the Assembly House in Norwich. It was good to see fans and friends, old and new, from around the country – and indeed, the world – gather for this landmark occasion. Since then, Jane has departed for work and family reasons, leaving the remaining five-piece ensemble to record and release another new album “Between the Water and the Sky”. More recently (2014), the band celebrated their 40th anniversary with a short tour and another concert at the Assembly House in Norwich. In 2015 they marked the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Stone Angel album, recorded in February 1975. The story continues….. (taken from their website)

And here´s their debut album from 1975.

This, along with Midwinter’s “The Waters Of Sweet Sorrow,” is one of the all-time great underground UK psych/folk classics. Ethereal female vocals and acoustic guitars weave a melancholic cloak around the listener while lyrics evoke the mystery and magic of the British isles across the ages. Superb. (thousandfolded)

Or, in other words:

“One of the most remarkable acid folk albums…” (Record Collector)

CDBackCover1

Personnel:
Joan Bartle (vocals, flute, recorder, crumhorn)
Mick Burroughes (percussion, bass, jew´s harp)
Paul Corrick (guitar, bass)
Dave Lambert (violin, mandolin)
Vocals, Flute, Recorder, Crumhorn –
Ken Saul (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, recorder)

BackCover.jpg

Tracklist:
01. The Bells Of Dunwich (Saul) 6.04.
02. The Skater (Saul) 3.13
03. Pastime With A Good Company (Henry VIII) 1.12
04. Traveller’s Tale (Saul) 5.41
05. Black Sailed Traders (Saul) 5.04
06. Stone Angel (Saul) 3.39
07. Galliard / Merrie England’s Musicke Box (Traditional) 2.02
08. The Gay Goshawk (Traditional) 7.08
09. The Black Dog (Saul) 5.42
10. The Holy Rood Of Bromholm (Saul) 4.03

LabelB1.jpg

*
**

Stone Angel today:

StoneAngel01.jpg

Paul Brett – Guitar Trek (1980)

FrontCover1.JPGPaul Brett is one of my favorties acoustic guitar player from UK.

The final album of guitar virtuoso Paul Brett´s disk contract with RCA, “Guitar Trek” is by far the most obscure. It was met with a dearth of promotional effort, but it’s hard to know whether this was because Brett had already signed on to produce a K-Tel record, its predecessors were fracturing the cutout bins or their day, or it’s the least inspired of the three.

Nothing is missing from Brett’s technique, which is more focused on acoustic guitar in a rock setting, but most tracks do seem almost like placeholders for exhibits of the man’s awesome fretting power. His ability is such that he can overpower pieces that other guitarists might complement better. Here and there we find snippets of what was generally better developed on prior albums; for instance, “In Search of Aztecs” hearkens back to the suite “Interlife” while failing to capture the ensemble effect that really propelled the flow of those choice 16 minutes. “Alternative 12-string” at times approximates works like “Calypso” and “Silent Runner” off “Eclipse” but tries out too many concepts for its own good in under 6 minutes. Gershwin’s “Summertime” does not revive the magic of Brett’s prior adaptation of Brubeck’s “Take Five”, but perhaps it is just not as fresh or appealing a number to begin with.

PaulBrett02.jpg

The three tracks that work the best do so for different reasons – “Forever Autumn” succeeds as much because the Jeff Wayne composition is so brilliant as anything, but one must give substantial credit to Brett for treating it sensitively and imbuing it with his own identity, while leaving its spirit intact. “Even when the sun shines” expands upon the courtly folk of “Overture for Decadence” off “Eclipse”, but incorporates more rock aspects, consistent with the album as a whole. Finally, the closer “Blood on the Frets” actually parlays the guitarist’s prowess into the realm of country, bluegrass and rock and roll all at once, succeeding brilliantly. (by Keneth Levine)

For me, it´s another brilliant Paul Brett album …

PaulBrett01.jpg

Personnel:
Paul Brett (guitar)
Richard Harvey (keyboards, recorder)
John Joyce (guitar)
Tom Nichol (drums)
Paul Townshend (bass)
+
Alan Todd (guitar on 02.)

BackCover1.JPG

Tracklist:
01. Alternative 12 String (Brett) 5.48
02. Forever Autumn (Wayne/Osborne/Vigrass) 3.17
03. Before Tequila (Brett/Joyce) 3.11
04. Summertime (Gershwin) 3.55
05. The Bishop Went Down To Fulham (Brett/Joyce) 3.25
06. In Search Of Aztecs (Brett) 3.51
07. Even When The Sun Shines (Brett) 2.57
08. Jazz For The Late Night Wife Swappers (Brett) 3.25
09. Handbuilt By Robots (Brett/Joyce) 4.04
10. Blood On The Fretts (Brett) 2.40

LabelA1.JPG

*
**

More from Paul Brett, a real master of the acoustic guitar:

More.jpg