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.

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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.

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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)

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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)
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Paul ‘Cosmic Charlie’ Gammond (tambourine)
Simon Lanzon (keyboards)
Royston ‘Aloysius Soul-Brother’ Williams (percussion)

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unknown horn + string section conducted by Richard Hewson

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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Personnel:
Various Fairport Convention line-ups

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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

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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)

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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.

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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.)

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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)

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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

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Stone Angel today:

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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.

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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 …

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

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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

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

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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.

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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)

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

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Tracklist:
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

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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)

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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.

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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 !!!

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

Booklet1

Tracklist:
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

LabelA1

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

MrFox07.jpg

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

Lyrics