Fotheringay – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Fotheringay is the self-titled album by the group formed by Sandy Denny after she left Fairport Convention in 1969, and was the group’s only contemporaneous release. It was recorded in 1970 with former Eclection member and Denny’s future husband Trevor Lucas, with Gerry Conway, Jerry Donahue, and Pat Donaldson. The album includes five Sandy Denny compositions (one of which was co-written with Lucas), one song by Lucas, as well as two traditional songs and two cover versions: Bob Dylan’s “Too Much of Nothing” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel”.

When Sandy Denny departed Fairport Convention, insisting that she wanted to concentrate upon her own songwriting rather than pursue the band’s exploration of traditional English music, she never meant she also intended abandoning the folk idiom itself. Although all but two of the songs on this, her first post-Fairport project, are indeed original compositions, it is readily apparent that, like former bandmate Richard Thompson, her greatest talents lay distinctly within the same traditions as the poets and balladeers of earlier centuries, while the fact that fully one-half of Fotheringay itself would eventually join Fairport illustrates the care that went into the band’s formation. Even the group’s name resonates.

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“Fotheringay” was also one of Denny’s best-loved Fairport songs. Listening to the album, too, one can see and hear the mothership all over the show, from the tight dynamics of “The Sea” to the simple beauty of “Winter Winds” and on to the showpiece “Banks of the Nile,” a Napoleonic Wars-era ballad set firmly in the storytelling mold of “A Sailor’s Life,” “Tam Linn,” and the post-Denny Fairport’s own “Bonnie Bunch of Roses.” The presence of producer Joe Boyd and guest vocalist Linda Peters complete the sense of a family affair.

Where Fotheringay and Fairport drift apart is in the instrumentation — one of Fairport’s most-endearing talents, after all, was the sense of ramshackle adventure that the bandmembers brought to their recordings. Fotheringay was far more “musicianly,” Melody Makerpacking a perfectionism that comes close, in places, to stifling the sheer exuberance of the music. The overuse of Trevor Lucas’ distinctly mannered vocals, too, reveals the album in a disappointing light — great guitarist though he was, his voice offers nothing that you could not hear in any amateur folk club, any night of the week, rendering Dylan’s “Too Much of Nothing,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel,” and his own “Ballad of Ned Kelly” little more than makeweights. Such failings are completely overshadowed, of course, by the triumphs that are Denny’s finest contributions — the best of which close the album on a peak unheard since “The Sea,” back at the beginning of the cycle. “The Banks of the Nile” rates among the loveliest and most evocative performances of her entire career, while the hauntingly hypnotic “Two Weeks Last Summer” and a moody “Gypsy Davey” draw out an expressiveness that had similarly been in short supply elsewhere on the record. The end result is an album that, while every Denny fan should hear it, is best experienced sliced and diced across the various compilations that purport to tell the story of Fairport Convention. Bereft of the faults that never make those collections, Fotheringay deserves every kind word that has ever been sent in the band’s direction. [In 2004, Fledg’ling records released a remastered edition that included live versions of “Two Weeks of Summer,” “Nothing More,” “Banks of the Nile” and “Memphis Tennessee,” recorded at the 1970 Rotterdam Pop Festival.] (by Dave Thompson)

The only Fotheringay album to be released in vocalist Sandy Denny’s lifetime, the full-throttle folk album is a propulsive proposition. The eight minute long ‘Banks of the Nile’ is a sumptuous, atmospheric vehicle for Denny’s brilliant voice. (New Musical Express)

Without any doubt: A timeless classic of British Folk !

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Personnel:
Gerry Conway (drums)
Sandy Denny (guitar, piano, vocals)
Jerry Donahue (guitar, vocals)
Pat Donaldson (bass, vocals)
Trevor Lucas (guitar, vocals)
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background vocals:
Todd Lloyd – Linda Thompson

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Tracklist:
01. Nothing More (Denny) 4.36
02. The Sea (Denny) 5.31
03. The Ballad Of Ned Kelly (Lucas) 3.33
04. Winter Winds (Denny) 2.11
05. Peace In The End (Denny/Lucas) 4.02
06. The Way I Feel (Lightfoot) 4.45
07. The Pond And The Stream (Denny) 3.18
08. Too Much Of Nothing (Dylan) 3.54
09. Banks Of The Nile (Traditional) 8.05

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On the road again: Tenerife

I will stay for 10 days in Tenerife :

Tenerife  is the largest and most populated island of the seven Canary Islands. It is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometres (785 sq mi) and 898,680 inhabitants, 43 percent of the total population of the Canary Islands.

…maybe I´ ll find some interesting spanish records …

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Have a nice time and I will be back on February 13 …

I wih all readers of this blog … the best !

Mick Taylor – A Stone´s Throw (1999)

FrontCover1Michael Kevin Taylor (born 17 January 1949) is an English musician, best known as a former member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (1966–69) and the Rolling Stones (1969–74). He has appeared on some of the Stones’ classic albums including Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St..

Since leaving the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Taylor has worked with numerous other artists and released several solo albums. From November 2012 onwards he participated in the Stones’ 50th-Anniversary shows in London and Newark, and in the band’s 50 & Counting World Tour, which included North America, Glastonbury Festival and Hyde Park in 2013. The band decided to continue in 2014 with concerts in the UAE, Far East & Australia and Europe for the 14 On Fire tour. He was ranked 37th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash states that Taylor had the biggest influence on him.

After spending two years as a resident of Miami, during which time he played with a band called ‘Tumbling Dice’ featuring Bobby Keys, Nicky Hopkins and others, Taylor moved back to England in the mid-1990s. He released a new album in 1998 entitled “A Stone’s Throw.” Playing at clubs and theaters as well as appearing at festivals has kept Taylor connected with an appreciative audience and fan base (by wikipedia)

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Former Stone and John Mayall alumnus cuts loose on this 1999 session in the company of English stalwarts Max Middleton and Rabbit Bundrick. Taylor is a more than capable vocalist, and his playing as always walks the fine line between blues and rock bombast. Most revealing is the laid-back “Never Fall in Love Again,” a wistful change of pace from the stronger electric side of this very rock-oriented blues album. Other highlights include “Lost in the Desert,” “Late at Night,” and “Blind Willie McTell.” (by Cub Koda)

Mick Taylor gave so much to the Rolling Stones when he was with them. Some of their most beautiful, layered music happened when he was in the band, including perhaps their greatest guitar solo track, “Time Waits for No One” on ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’. Though I love all the Stones’ stuff, there is something extra in the Mick Taylor years. Whereas after he left, the Stones developed a lean sound, with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood practicing the ancient art of weaving, Mick Taylor did his own bluesy riffs on top of Richards. At times, it borders on symphonic.

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On this solo album, Taylor has put together a solid cadre of rock and blues musicians and produced a beautiful work that can be listened to over and over. I have only had it a few days and have already listened to it three times. There really is not a weak track on the album, which leans towards a rock/blues sound that highlights Mick’s blues guitar skills. It proves to anyone who has listend to the Stones from the Taylor years that Taylor wrote a few songs that ended up being credited to the Glimmer Twins instead. Eight of the ten songs are written by Taylor himself, demonstrating his wide-ranging abilities in the songwriter department. Too bad he never got the credit (or royalties) he deserved from his contributions in the Stones.

It’s the kind of album you can listen to any time. And I disagree with some reviewers about Taylor’s voice. It’s not great, but it’s got that smoky, rough sound that works with the blues, comparable to Clapton’s. It works with the material. (by R. Morris)

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Personnel:
Robert Ahwai (guitar)
Jeff Allen (drums)
Michael Bailey (bass)
Richard Bailey (drums)
Hillary Briggs (organ, synthesizer)
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (organ)
Lisa Daniel (background vocals)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
Kuma Harada (bass)
Andy Macintosh (saxophone)
Max Middleton (clavinet, piano)
Mick Taylor (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Secret Affair (Taylor) 5.18
02. Twisted Sister (Allen/Briggs/Taylor) 6.20
03. Never Fall in Love Again (Taylor) 4.20
04. Losing My Faith (Briggs/Taylor) 4.28
05. Morning Comes (Taylor) 3.40
06. Lost In The Desert (Taylor) 5.55
07. Blues In The Morning (Taylor) 6.33
08. Late At Night (Taylor) 6.45
09. Here Comes The Rain (Williams) 5:50
10. Blind Willie McTell (Dylan) 8.38

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Gwilym Simcock – Perception (2007)

FrontCover1When Chick Corea calls you a creative genius, you know you’re on to something. Praise like this is nothing new to UK piano whiz kid Gwilym Simcock, though. He’s won more prizes than he’s had hot dinners, but on this long-overdue first album he leaves room for his band to shine too.

Odd time signatures and rhythmic surprises are trademarks of Gwilym’s up-tempo pieces on Perception – inspiration he’s got from playing with Bill Bruford. Melodic lines fall over each other in “Sneaky” and rhythms criss-cross in “A Typical Affair”. Martin France’s stunning drumming ignites the fast passages on the album, and the pitter-patter of his percussion complements Gwilym’s impassioned playing, while John Parricelli’s guitar can be rocky-electric (on “Sneaky”), or warm and classical-sounding (on “Time and Tide”).

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On Gwilym’s slower tunes, like “And Then She Was Gone”, he becomes meditative and spacious. From a one-finger intro, thick layers of piano, bass, and drums build up, giving Stan Sulzmann’s sax just the canvas it needs to expand and soar. In “Affinity”, delicate, dexterous piano lines and chattering drums link in lacy patterns around a Latin feel, held together by melodic sax and Phil Donkin’s fine, singing bass.

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Gwilym was classically trained before becoming besotted by jazz, and it’s obvious in his solo pieces. His touch makes music into raindrops in “Voices”, as notes start on their separate journeys, jostle together, and order themselves into a quiet resolution. A live recording of “My One and Only Love” opens like a Beethoven sonata, the beautiful melody floating on effortless ripples of notes.

This album’s an ideal showcase for Gwilym Simcock. He plays solo, leads a trio and a five-piece, plays his own compositions and throws in a couple of imaginatively interpreted standards. Perception may have been a long time coming, but it’s a gem of a debut. (by Kathryn Shackleton , BBC)

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Personnel:
Ben Bryant (percussion)
Phil Donkin (bass)
Martin France (drums)
John Parricelli (guitar)
Gwilym Simcock (piano)
Stan Sulzmann (saxophone)
Written-By – Gwilym Simcock (tracks: 1 to 8)

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Tracklist:
01. A Typical Affair (Simcock) 8.16
02 Sneaky (Simcock) 6:13
03 And Then She Was Gone (Simcock) 5:56
04 Time And Tide (Simcock) 9:29
05 Almost Moment (Simcock) 3:55
06 Voices (Simcock) 3:12
07 Affinity (Simcock) 6:53
08 Message (Simcock) 8:00
09. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields/Kern) 8.26
10. My One And Only Love (live) (Wood/Mellin) 8.28

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Reviews

John Denver – Rocky Mountain Christmas (1975)

FrontCover1Rocky Mountain Christmas is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Denver, released in 1975.

His first Christmas-themed release, the album includes renditions of several traditional carols and popular Christmas standards; re-recorded versions of two songs from earlier Denver albums, “Aspenglow” from Take Me to Tomorrow and “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” from Farewell Andromeda; and the newly-penned compositions “Christmas for Cowboys” and “A Baby Just Like You”. (by wikipedia)

John Denver’s music always had a warm, home-spun quality to it, so it isn’t surprising that his 1975 holiday effort, Rocky Mountain Christmas, is a wonderfully low-key and friendly Christmas affair. Divided between classic carols and new numbers, such as the fine “Aspenglow” and “Christmas for Cowboys,” the album is an appealing, pretty record, perfect for late nights by the fireside. (by Rodney Batdorf)

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This is an excellent album and one of the best Christmas recordings made in the last 30 or so years. I remember watching John Denver’s Christmas specials when I was a kid and I really enjoyed the Christmas Carols he sang on them. It really made the season more enjoyable and I was able to remember back to my Christmas’s of youth.
My favorite song on the album is “Coventry Carol” it is an old English Carol and has that feeling of being in London during the 18th or 19th century. Another favorite is “Oh Holy Night”, and Denver sings it oustandingly. But every songs on this album from “Aspenglow” to “Dreamland Express” are wonderful to listen to over and over again during the Christmas season. (by Joe Owen)

John Denver’s folk music couldn’t hide the fact that he was a deeply spiritual man. The reverence with which he imbues Rocky Mt. Christmas is equally obvious, even when the songs have a more secular theme. The standards like “What Child Is This” and “Silent Night” are moving pieces of inspiration. However, “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” is a painful inclusion, whether it’s intended to be autobiographical or not. But hey, holiday memories aren’t always happy ones. “Aspenglow” is Denver’s tribute to his beloved Colorado, while his decision to throw in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” seems to have been a perfunctory one. It’s forgivable, though, especially after hearing his charm-laden “Christmas Song.” (by Steve Gdula)

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Personnel:
Hal Blaine (drums, percussion)
Samuel Boghossian (viola)
John Denver (vocals, guitar)
Jesse Erhlich – cello
Lee Holdridge (piano, celeste, harpsichord)
Pearl Kaufman (piano, harpsichord)
Dick Kniss (bass)
William Kurasch (violin)
Herb Lovelle (drums)
Steve Weisberg (guitar)
Sid Sharp (violin)
John Sommers (guitar, mandolin)
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Chuck Collazzi (guitar on 08.)
Harvey Estrin (flute on 04.)
George Marge (english horn, oboe on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Aspenglow (Denver) 2.13
02. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.16
03. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 1.43
04. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 2.10
05. Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas) (B.Danoff/T.Danoff) 2.37
06. Christmas For Cowboys (Weisberg) 2.29
07. Away In A Manger (Traditional) 2.06
08. What Child Is This (Traditional) 2.37
09. Coventry Carol (Traditional) 2.23
10. Oh Holy Night” (Traditional) 2.56
11. Silent Night, Holy Night” (Traditional) 3.29
12. A Baby Just Like You (Denver/Henry) 2.44
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13. Jingle Bells (Traditional) 1.07
14. White Christmas” (Irving Berlin) 2.20

“Jingle Bells” was originally released on Whose Garden Was This in 1970. “White Christmas” is a previously unreleased outtake from the Rocky Mountain Christmas sessions in 1975. ”

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Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mamma cry
Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mamma cry

Just last year when I was only seven
And now, I’m almost eight as you can see
You came home at a quarter past eleven
Fell down underneath our Christmas tree

Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mamma cry
Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mamma cry

Mamma smiled, looked outside the window
She told me, “Son, you better go upstairs”
But then you laughed and hollered, “Merry Christmas”
I turned around and saw my Mamma’s tears

VA – Christmas Party With Eddie G (1990)

FrontCover1And here´s a very special christmas sampler:

Eddie G. (“no relation to Kenny,” as his liner notes emphasize) is a Hollywood comedy writer who gained some notoriety for his annual made-for-friends Christmas tapes. In 1990, Columbia released one of his tapes on CD, and it remains among the finest Christmas compilations on the market. Highlights include such delights as Detroit Junior’s rockin’ “Christmas Day,” the Skeletons’ innovative blend of “Do You Hear What I Hear” with the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” (taking up where the Ventures left off on their Christmas LP), and terrific contributions from Foghat (yes, Foghat!), Louis Prima, and George Jones & Tammy Wynette, who are oh-so-fine on “Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus.” Devotees still long for volume two. (by Bill Holdship)

If there is a more entertaining Christmas compilation than this CD, I have not heard it. This is a party platter that includes international Christmas greetings and amusing comedy bits from old radio in between 17 tracks of R&B, blues, country, exotica, rock, novelty, and more.

Most tracks are unavailable elsewhere on CD. From the surf sounds of Untamed Youth to the strains of Monty & Marsha Brown’s “Cajun Christmas,” this is a nonstop Christmas party. (by Dennis MacDonald)

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Tracklist:
01. The Eddie G. Singers: Here Comes Eddie (West/Gorodetsky) 0.47
02. Detroit Junior: Christmas Day (Williams) 2.15
03. Eddie Lawrence: Merry Old Philosopher #1 (Lawrence) 0.54
04. Bobby Lloyd & The Skeletons: Do You Hear What I Hear / You Really Got Me (Regney/Shane/Davies) 2.05
05. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: Late Slap (West/Gorodetsky) 0.46
06. Augie Rios: Donde Esta Santa Claus (Parker/Greiner/Scheck) 2.50
07. Byron Lee & The Dragonaires: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 2.33
08. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: Eye Pokes (West/Gorodetsky) 0.44
09. Louis Prima: What Will Santa Claus Say When He Finds Everybody Swinging? (Prima) 3.08
10. Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns: All I Want For Christmas (Is A Little Bit Of Music) (Smith) 3.03
11. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: Five More Slaps (West/Gorodetsky) 0.54
12. Tony Rodelle Larson: Cool Yule (Larson) 2.28
13. Untamed Youth: Santa’s Gonna Shut ‘Em Down (Dickerson) 2.15
14. Eddie Lawrence: Merry Old Philosopher #2 (Lawrence) 0.54
15. Rufus Thomas: I’ll Be Your Santa Baby (Thomas) 4.00
16. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky:  I Hope He Stays In Germany (West/Gorodetsky) 0.27
17. Debbie Dabney: I Want To Spend Christmas With Elvis (Heartbreak Noel) (Kirschner/Darin) 2.11
18. Foghat: All I Want For Christmas Is You (Peverett) 3.35
19. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: Shemp Tribute (West/Gorodetsky) 0.37
20. The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Merry Christmas Darling (Wilson/Semiens) 4.23
21. Monty & Marsha Brown: Cajun Christmas (Brown) 2.47
22. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: Our 49th State (West/Gorodetsky) 0.22
23. Arthur Lyman: Mele Kalikimaka (Anderson) 2.12
24. George Jones & Tammy Wynette: Mr. And Mrs. Santa Claus (Montgomery/Frazier) 2.22
25. Solomon Burke: Christmas Presents (Burke) 3.12
26. NRBQ: Christmas Wish (Spampinato) 2.50
27. Billy West & Eddie Gorodetsky: A Final Try (West/Gorodetsky) 0.44
28. Eddie Lawrence: Merry Old Philosopher #3 (Lawrence) 1.11
29. The Eddie G. Singers: So Long Eddie (West/Gorodetsky) 1.03

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