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!


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.


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.


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.


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)


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)


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



Stone Angel today:


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.


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 …


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


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



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


Pentangle – So Early In The Spring (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgSo Early in the Spring is the ninth album by Pentangle.

Pentangle had become a bit like Steeleye Span by the 1990s, a legacy from which the key members, however high they might fly in their solo careers, would never entirely escape. Hence, Bert Jansch and Jacqui McShee cut this record with a new lineup featuring ex-Lindisfarne co-founder Rod Clements (electric guitar, mandolin), ex-Fairport Convention Gerry Conway (drums), and Nigel Portman-Smith (bass, keyboards). McShee’s voice has the purity, if not the power and range, that she displayed on the band’s classic sides, and Jansch and company can play as well as ever. And they still have an original approach to the folk repertory — “So Early In the Spring” is offered in a tempo that makes it lope along while McShee’s singing soars above it. The only drawback on the harder-rocking sides is Conway’s drumming, which is too prominent. McShee’s performance on “The Blacksmith” is laced with poignancy as well as virtuosity, and Jansch sings superbly on “Reynardine” — and when their voices join together on the last verse, the listener’s spine may tingle in pleasure.


Clements takes a fine, rippling solo on “Bramble Briar”; the group shows off its acoustic side on the cautionary folk number “Lassie Gathering Nuts”; and “Gaea” presents a more modern, pop-jazz sound, which was very much a part of the original group’s orientation. It would be nice to report that the epic “The Baron of Brackley” ended the album well, but it lacks enough invention to sustain its eight-minute length. Tony Roberts guests on flute and whistle for several tracks, adding another sound to this welcome mix of folk-rock. (by Bruce Eder)

Rod Clements (mandolin, guitar)
Gerry Conway (drums, percussion)
Bert Jansch (guitar, vocals(
Jacqui McShee (vocals)
Nigel Portman Smith (keyboards, bass)


01. So Early In The Spring (Traditional) 5.40
02. The Blacksmith (Traditional) 3.23
03. Reynardine (Traditional) 4.21
04. Eminstra (Clements/Conway/Jansch/McShee/Portman-Smith) 3.58
05. Lucky Black Cat (Clements/Conway/Jansch/McShee/Portman-Smith) 3.17
06. Bramble Briar (Traditional) 5.54
07. Lassie Gathering Nuts (Traditional) 5.03
08. Gaea (Traditional) 4.47
09. The Baron O’ Brackley (Traditional) 7.45




Mr. Fox – The Gypsy (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgMr. Fox was a septet formed in 1970 by Bob Pegg (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Carolann Pegg (then known as Carole Pegg) (vocals, fiddle). Contemporaries of Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, Mr. Fox was unusual in that they avoided relying on electric guitars and their music’s deep origins in the folklore of the Dales. Mr. Fox, whose other members were Alun Evans (drums), Barry Lyons (bass, dulcimer), Andrew Massey (cello), John Myatt (winds), Richie Bull (banjo), and Nick Strutt (multiple instruments), started out with a self-titled debut album on Transatlantic that generated a massive amount of enthusiasm and controversy, over their mix of traditional folk forms and experimental touches in the rhythms and other embellishments. They were serious rivals to acts like Steeleye Span for a time, especially upon the release of their second album, The Gipsy, which featured a smaller line-up and a more experimental approach to their material. Multi-instrumentalist Nick Strutt, in particular, was heavily showcased along with the Peggs on that album. This was to prove their last album, however, as the group splintered soon after. Bob Pegg and Carolann Pegg cut one album together on the Trailer label in 1971, and later emerged on separate solo albums on Transatlantic. (by Bruce Eder)


Mr. Fox’s second and final album was lively British folk-rock from the halcyon days of that genre. They lacked the one or two vocal or instrumental personalities that would have lifted them to the Fairport Convention/Steeleye Span/Pentangle level, but anyone who likes the early 1970s recordings of those bands will like this too. The group really shone when they favored the moodiest material and let a spooky drone come to the fore, as on the lengthy opener, “Mendle,” where the unnervingly shrill organ and Carole Pegg’s vocals established an uneasy yet seductive atmosphere. It should be said, though, that it was an admirably diverse album as well, with sparsely arranged numbers that sound much like gypsies of centuries-old vintage, more straightforward and modern folk-rock treatments of traditional songs, and the upbeat finale “All the Good Times,” where the Gridley Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra join in on the chorus.


Important note: although this was reissued as part of the apparent two-for-one CD of their two early 1970s albums on Transatlantic, that release is missing “Mendle” — a vital omission, as that’s the best track on The Gipsy. Don’t despair, however, as all of the songs, “Mendle” included, are on the 180-gram gatefold LP reissue of the album by Get Back in 2001. (by Richie Unterberger)

And we here again ,exquiste acid folk tunes and marvellous male/female vocals and harmonies including a composition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart !!!


Bob Pegg (vocals, organ, accordion, tin whiste, guitar, piano, bass drum)
Carole (Carolanne) Pegg (vocals,fiddle)
Alan Eden (drums, percussion, vocals)
Barry Lyons (bass, vocals, dulcimer, recorder, tambourine)
The Gridley Tabernacle Choir And Orchestra (on 06.)


01. Mendle (C.Pegg) 7.14
02. The Gypsy (Mozart/B.Pegg) 12.58
03. Aunt Lucy Broadwoo (B. Pegg) 2.22
04. House Carpenter (Traditional) 5.13
05. Elvira Madigan (B.Pegg) 4.20
06. Dancing Song (B. Pegg) 3.06
07. All The Good Times (B.Pegg/Traditional) 5.28



And this albums you can hear both Mr. Fox albums from the early Sevenies:


I got this rare item from Mr. Sleeve — and I had to say thanks again !


Dave Cousins – The Boy In The Sailor Suit (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Boy in the Sailor Suit is the second solo studio album by Dave Cousins.

Back in the early 1970s, I was a fairly strong fan of the Strawbs, an English progressive folk band. But over the years, I drifted away from prog and into jazz. Then with the advent of the internet, I began to get back into prog, discovering new bands and rediscovering some that never actually went away. The Strawbs are just one of those and along with that comes exploration into the solo work of Dave Cousins, the lyrical and compositional heart of that band.
Cousins’ work has never been for the masses. His distinctive voice is an acquired taste and the depth of his compositions are beyond the understanding of those who have Van Gogh’s ear for great music. However, the cognoscenti will find The Boy In the Sailor Suit to be a rare treat indeed.

Backed by his Blue Angel Orchestra, Cousins draws deeply from his seemingly bottomless well of talent. Almost fifty minutes of music take the listener all over the musical map from folk to hard rock and much that’s in between.


My favorites are: the fiddle-powered rocker Never Take Sweets From A Stranger; Mellow Moon, the dreamy sound of which evokes the South Pacific; the neo-psychedelic hard rock of Mother Luck; the old-time string band jazz of Wish You Were Here; Skip to My Lou, a square-dance number with ominous undertones; Lonely Days, Lonely Nights with its swinging fiddle-driven beat; and Hellfire Blues, a pulsating, swinging number featuring fiddle evocative of the late Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and a searing guitar that gives it some real blues sting.
The CD comes with a booklet containing lyrics and pictures and despite its relatively short duration, is worth every penny I paid. Whether you are an old Strawbs/Dave Cousins fan who has drifted away over the years, or are just someone looking for something new and interesting to listen to then consider getting The Boy In The Sailor Suit. Old fans will hear that Cousins has rarely sounded better than here and new fans will be scrambling to acquire his back catalogue. (by Kurt Harding)


Miller Anderson (guitar)
Dave Cousins (vocals, guitar)
Chas Cronk (bass)
Ian Cutler (fiddle)
Chris Hunt (drums)
Tony Attwood (organ on 09.)
Chris Ball (piano on 10.)
background vocals:
Elizabeth Tophill – Frances Tophill


01. Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (Cousins) 4.39
02. Mellow Moon (Cousins) 6.17
03. The Smile You Left Behind (Cousins) 3.05
04. Calling Out My Name (Cousins) 5.08
05. Mother Luck (Cousins) 4.14
06. Wish You Were Here (Cousins) 5.16
07. Skip To My Lou (Cousins/Conrad) 4.47
08. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights (Cousins/Conrad) 4.52
09. Bringing In The Harvest (Cousins) 4.34
10. Hellfire Blues (Cousins) 5.41





Ian Campbell Folk Group – Songs Of Protest (EP) (1962)

FrontCover1.jpgIan Campbell (10 June 1933 – 24 November 2012) was a Scottish folksinger. As leader of the Ian Campbell Folk Group, he was one of the most important figures of the British folk revival during the 1960s.

Born in Aberdeen, Campbell moved to Birmingham as a teenager, where he subsequently worked as an engraver in the city’s Jewellery Quarter. His father, David Gunn Campbell, was a trade union leader who was originally from Shetland. He fell under the influence of the Birmingham Marxist writer George Thomson and joined the choir of the local branch of the Workers’ Music Association, which was run by Thomson’s wife. In 1957, he formed a skiffle group, initially called the Clarion Skiffle Group, which performed politically-charged material including Fenian and Jacobite songs, and songs of miners, industrial workers and farmworkers. In 1958, the group changed their name to the Ian Campbell Folk Group and in 1962 recorded Ceilidh At The Crown, at the Crown Inn in Station Street Birmingham, their regular venue. It was the first ever live folk recording to be released on vinyl.

After disbanding the group in 1978, Campbell worked as an editor and television presenter for TV-am and as a community arts worker in Dudley. His sons Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell and Duncan Campbell have all been members of the Birmingham reggae group UB40. (by wikipedia)


Released in 1962, this contains six short songs with acoustic instruments and a mix of male and female singing, including some very nice harmony. The first song derives from an Aragonese folk song. The second song is an American song from some kind of pre-20th century Christian hymn tradition. The third song is Gaelic. The fourth song is from Hitler-era Germany (“Moorsoldaten”). The fifth song is from Yugoslavia and is said to be a “synthesis of folk song and mass-song”. The sixth song is English and apparently dates from the 14th century or earlier. The common theme in these songs is political and military struggles and stuff like that. I’m taking this information from the sleeve notes of the album written by musicologist Albert Lancaster Lloyd. This release could be considered a scholarly exercise in the “folk revival” of the 1950s as it was conceived to extend beyond British/English culture. Very good performances of very good songs. (by herkyjerky


Ian Campbell /vocals, guitar)
Lorna Campbell (vocals)
John Dunkerley (guitar, banjo, mandolin)
Dave Phillips (guitar)
Dave “Swarb” Swarbrick (violin, mandolin)


01. Viva la Quince Brigada (Traditional) 1.55
02. We Will Overcome (Traditional) 2.09
03. The Boys Of Westford (Traditional) 2.39
04. The Peat-Bog Soldiers (Esser/Langhoff/Goguel) 1.44
05. Domovina (Traditional) 2.13
06. The Cutty Wren (Traditional) 2.33




Ian Campbell (10 June 1933 – 24 November 2012)

Strawbs – Same (1969)


Strawbs is the debut studio album by English band Strawbs. (The Sandy Denny & The Strawbs LP All Our Own Work released in Denmark is generally not counted.)

Not initially issued in the US, US A&M did issue two singles (“Oh How She’s Changed” b/w “Or Am I Dreaming”, and “The Man Who Called Himself Jesus” b/w “Poor Jimmy Wilson”). (by wikipedia)

The Strawbs had done an album with Sandy Denny handling many of the vocals, and had also done quite a bit of unreleased recordings (now on the double CD Preserves Uncanned) prior to 1969’s Strawbs. This is still their first proper album, but their wealth of prior live and studio experience most likely helped make it sound more confident and fully formed than many a debut effort. The group distinguished itself among the burgeoning school of British folk-rockers by delivering bittersweet folk-rock with a storytelling flavor. Dave Cousins’ songwriting was on the sober and occasionally over-earnest side, but nonetheless the record was strong and alluring enough to immediately establish the Strawbs as one of the better first-generation U.K. folk-rock outfits. Some of Strawbs1969.jpgthese songs had been around for a while, as the presence of some of them on Preserves Uncanned and Sandy Denny & the Strawbs attests. However, the group took big strides from bare-bones folk-rock in the studio by dressing these in arrangements — sometimes with light recorder, choral backup vocals, and orchestration — that gave the Elizabethan melodies a pastoral, quasi-classical feel at times, without losing sight of an acoustic base. “The Man Who Called Himself Jesus” and “Where Is This Dream of Your Youth” are among their best and most ambitious songs, and even if the compositions can sometimes take themselves too seriously, the music’s never less than respectable. (by by Richie Unterberger)

Strawbs are best known as the literate prog band in the early seventies that achieved some US success, but before that, they started as a cute little London-based bluegrass three-piece, The Strawberry Hill Boys, before falling into the psych scene, like everyone else, and putting out a pre-prog series of stunning psych-folk albums, of which this debut is a fine example. David Cousins was quite proudly poetic, wordy and a bit pompous in his exploration of Romantic, mystical and gothic themes. But he pulls it off with aplomb! The music is usually acoustic, slow, ponderous, and augmented by cello and other strings, giving a pastoral, pleasantly dated feel.


There’s really not a duff track here, but it’s when sounding Brontë-esque and dark that the album’s at its best on songs like “That Which Once Was Mine.” Second guitarist Tony Hooper’s choirboy voice is featured beautifully on the symphonic “Oh How She Changed“. Cousins is at his worst in an overly long ballad based on a chess match (“The Battle”) but at his best when tripping out on the poppy “Where Is This Dream of Your Youth” and the Middle Eastern-music-influenced “Tell Me What You See in Me”. A longtime favourite of mine, this record doesn’t just transport me to 1969 with its mystical, misty vibe — it goes back way further! (by


Ron Chesterman (bass)
Dave Cousins (guitar, vocals)
Tony Hooper (guitar, vocals)
Nicky Hopkins (piano)
John Paul Jones (bass)
Richard Wilson (spoken words)
Norati and his Arab Friends – Arab string section on 05.)


01. The Man Who Called Himself Jesus (Cousins) 3.56
02. That Which Once Was Mine (Cousins) 2.50
03. All The Little Ladies (Cousins/Hooper) 2.19
04. Pieces Of 79 And 15 (Cousins/Hooper) 3.00
05. Tell Me What You See In Me (Cousins) 5.01
06. Oh How She Changed (Cousins/Hooper) 2.55
07. Or Am I Dreaming? (Cousins) 2.27
08. Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth (Cousins) 3.08
09. Poor Jimmy Wilson (Cousins) 2.38
10. Where Am I? / I’ll Show You Where to Sleep (Cousins) 3.27
11. The Battle (Cousins) 6.34





Much more great albums by A & M Records