skeith

Need recs on Pentangle/Fairport Convention

155 posts in this topic

I was listening to the marvelous John Barleycorn Must Die by Traffic the other day and it sparked a vague memory that I was exposed to either Pentangle or Fairport Convention in the late 60's/early 70's and quite liked some of it.

I am looking for the British folk music aspect, not electric stuff! Isn't some of it like John Barleycorn (I mean that particular track- not the whole LP, of course I love the whole LP)?

Can anyone make any suggestions for cds with some explanations as to what it would be sounding like?

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Well, Fairport is Folk-Rock. More or less, by definition, electric. But then John Barleycorn is electric, so I'm not sure what it is about "not electric stuff" that you're looking for. Anyway, I'm going to take a guess and say it's a particular vibe you associate with JB and vaguely associate with Fairport. In that case my recommendation would be _Liege and Lief_, which is their first "true" folk-rock fusion - and sort of relates to John Barleycorn in my head, in as much as you have the folk motif in John Barleycorn himself/the way the album is a packaged and likewise (though to a greater extent) in the treatments of folk songs on the Fairport album as well as the way it is packaged.

Anyway, for me, _Liege and Lief_ is one Fairport's classics, along with _Unhaflbricking_ (their previous record, more rockish) and _What We Did on Our Holidays_ (the one before that, simliar to _Unhalfbricking_ without reaching quite that standard). All three have Sandy Denny, a key element of classic Fairport and someone who'd actually started with a folk career.

_Full House_ is a pretty good record (it's the one after L and L); it lacks Sandy Denny, making it in a way closer to John Barleycorn (pared-down ensemble, playing well together) but continues in the Folk-Rock vein,

But I do think _John Barleycorn_ is kind of unique.

Simon Weil

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Thanks Simon and Michael for your recs,

Simon, yes the majority of the album John Barleycorn by Traffic is electric and not folkish at all, but the particular track of the same name is not electric - Sounds like just acoustic instruments to me. That is the sound I am looking for.

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OK, I get you. I still think _Liege and Lief_, because that has that (folkish)style of vocals. _Unhalfbricking_ and _What We Did_ probably wouldn't work for you, though _Full House_ ought to.

Maybe you want to look at more "pure" folk artists, people like Martin Carthy (who I admit not being very familiar with), for the acoustic approach.

I dunno.

Simon Weil

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Try Nick Drake's first two LPs - not purely acoustic but with a strong acoustic sound up front (his third album is wonderful but a very strange affair, better heard after the first two). Same era as 'Barleycorn'.

You might want to try something by Martin Carthy who normally plays in a very stripped down, acoustic format. Demon guitar player too. I'd strongly recommend 'Because it's there' from the late 70s. Or take a big leap and get the marvellous 'Carthy Chronicles' 4CD retrospective. Carthy had a huge influence on making traditional English music respectable to the 60s generation. Winwood and friends would have known of him and possiblly borrowed from him. Everyone else did! (it must be said that Carthy is an incredibly modest fellow and would simply point to the source singers who influenced him)

Robin and Barry Dransfield were taking the English folk world by storm at the time of the Traffic CD you mention. There's a very good 2CD compilation called 'Up to Now' that inhabits a similar sound world.

Sandy Denny's 'North Star Grassman and the Ravens' might also be of interest. And, of course, the great John Martyn LPs of the time - Bless the Weather, Solid Air and Outside In.

The run of Richard Thompson LPs from 'Henry the Human Fly' through 'I Want to see the Bright Lights Tonight', 'Hokey Pokey' and 'Pour Down Like Silver' are also quite similar.

Oh, and take Simon's advice on those Fairport titles he mentions. They are magical. Once again electric bands but with lots of acoustic high up in the mix.

I grew up with this music in the 70s and it still excites me today. Well worth investigating. There is a whole world there!

Edited by Bev Stapleton

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Since you mentioned John Barleycorn, you might want to look into the new Winwood CD. It's got some of the same flavor, yet more contemporary. Especially since it's basically a B3 trio jamming.

Also, I don't remember if Fotheringay was mentioned in those other threads, but I might as well throw it out here. It's a very nice Sandy Denny vehicle between Fairport stints.

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Thanks everyone for your recs which I intend to pursue.

What about John Renbourn's "Sir John a Lot"?

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'Fotheringay' is sublime!

Here's a list from AMG of artist who have recoeded versions of 'John Barleycorn' - there are different tunes. I think the Traffic version may be their own tune. The Fairport version uses the same tune as 'We Plough the Fields Scatter' (a very popular hymn in the UK; not sure if it is as well known in the States). Looking at the list Traffic probably got the song fom the Young Tradition, A.L. Lloyd, The Watersons or, possibly, Fred Jordan (a genuine 'folk' singer as opposed to professional or revival singer.) Or maybe the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs which was very influential at the time (I'm not sure if it's in it).

I'd be interested if anyone knows where Windwood got it from (he's credited with the arrangement)?

Alexander, Heather Wanderlust [94]

Armstrong Family Wheel of the Year: Thirty Years with the Armstrong Family [92]

Baker, Kenny [1] Baker 16 Down Home Country Classics [98]

Baker, Kenny [1] Baker/Sprouse Indian Springs [89]

Baker, Kenny [1] Baker/Sprouse Masters of the Folk Violin [1989] [89]

Baker, Kenny [1] Baker Masters of the Folk Violin [1995] [95]

Boggins Haxey English Customs and Traditions [00]

Bok, Gordon Bok/Brown And So Will We Yet [90]

Carthy, Martin Traditional Byker Hill [67]

Carthy, Martin Traditional Carthy Chronicles [01]

Carthy, Martin Traditional Child: Carthy [01]

Carthy, Martin Traditional Sweet Wivelsfield [71]

Crooked Horn Home Brew

Fairport Convention Traditional 25th Anniversary [94]

Fairport Convention Traditional A T 2/The Boot [00]

Fairport Convention Traditional Bonny Bunch of Roses/Tipplers Tales [92]

Fairport Convention Traditional Cropredy [99]

Golden Bough Traditional Celtic Music from Ireland, Scotland & Brittany [98]

Golden Bough Traditional Golden Bough [81]

Gordons [2] Gordon/Traditional Time Will Tell Our Story [02]

Jamison, George Shorelines: Irish Shores [00]

Jethro Tull Traditional 36 Greatest Hits

Jethro Tull Traditional Little Light Music [92]

Jordan, Fred They Ordered Their Pints of Beer & Bottles of Sherry [99]

Knights of the Occa Traditional John Barleycorn 2000 [01]

Laing, Robin Angels' Share [97]

Langstaff, John Water Is Wide: American and British Ballads Anthology [02]

Lloyd, A.L. Traditional English Drinking Songs [98]

Morton, Pete Traditional Mad World Blues [92]

Primitive Magic Benfield Miracle [97]

Renbourn, John Traditional Collected [99]

Renbourn, John Traditional Maid in Bedlam [77]

Revel Players Wild Mountain Thyme [93]

Revels Chorus Revels Celebration of Spring Summer & Fall [98]

Scum Eat Your Head: 80's Melbourne Punk [97]

Sprouse, Blaine Baker/Sprouse Indian Springs [89]

Steeleye Span Traditional Below the Salt [72]

Steeleye Span Traditional Collection [92]

Steeleye Span Journey [01]

Steeleye Span Present: Very Best Of [03]

Steeleye Span Traditional Spanning the Years [95]

Traffic Winwood 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection: Best of Folk [02]

Traffic Traditional Feelin' Alright: The Very Best of Traffic [00]

Traffic Traditional/Winwood Folk Routes [94]

Traffic Traditional John Barleycorn Must Die [70]

Traffic Traditional John Barleycorn Must Die [bonus Tracks] [01]

Traffic Traditional/Winwood Live at Santa Monica [72]

Traffic More Heavy Traffic [75]

Traffic New Electric Muse: The Story of Folk Into Rock [96]

Traffic Traditional Roots of Rock: 60's Folk [95]

Traffic Traditional Smiling Phases [91]

Traffic Traditional Troubadours of British Folk, Vol. 2: Folk into Rock [95]

Watersons Frost and Fire [95]

Wild Oats Traditional Weed 'Em and Reap [01]

Winwood, Steve Traditional 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steve Winwood [99]

Winwood, Steve Winwood Best of Steve Winwood [02]

Winwood, Steve Winwood Classic [01]

Winwood, Steve Traditional/Winwood Finer Things [95]

Wylie, Anne Traditional World of Irish Folk [96]

Young Tradition Galleries [68]

Young Tradition Galleries Revisited [79]

Young Tradition Traditional Galleries/No Relation [02]

Young Tradition Traditional Ticket to Transatlantic [97]

Young Tradition Traditional Young Tradition [1989] [89]

I've recommended it elsewhere but if you want something very strange and associated seek out 'Bright Phoebus' by Mike and Lal Waterson. All self-penned songs from musicians associated with unaccompanied traditional singing - a guest list drawn from the Fairports with Richard Thompson and Martin Carthy in major roles. Just as 'John Barleycorn' evokes a rural world where magic is part of the means of controlling nature, so these songs enter that slighly chilling world. The song 'The Scarecrow' will send shivers down your spine! Wonderfully done by June Tabor on her album 'Abyssinians.'

If you get a chance to sample some of this stuff try the lengthy Martin Carthy ballad interpretation - 'The Famous Flower of Serving Men' - I think this might be what you are looking for in your search for the world of John Barleycorn.

Edited by Bev Stapleton

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This might be of interest to some:

FOTHERINGAY ~ 2 FLED 3066

August 23rd, 2008 | Category: FLEDG'LING RECORDS

Fotheringay remain one of the great might-have-beens of British music. They lasted less than a year, and released just one album, but their disappearance robbed the early-’70s scene of a group of musicians capable of taking folk-rock to new heights of subtlety and musicianship. Now, the nine songs on that debut album; assumed for almost four decades to be their sole testament, are joined by the eleven that would have constituted a follow-up. Sadly the group broke up during the recording sessions for their second album. Incredibly all the tapes survived in various record company archives. 38 years later the surviving members of the group have mixed all the material to finally complete this remarkable album.

When originally released the debut album went straight into the Top Twenty in both Melody Maker and NME, and is now an acknowledged classic recording of British folk-rock. It is very, very rare that musicians get the chance to complete a project begun 38 years earlier. The second Fotheringay album has been eagerly awaited by all fans of Sandy Denny, British folk-rock and by fans of great music in general.

Sandy Denny – vocals, piano, 12 string guitar, harmonium

Trevor Lucas – vocals, electric & acoustic guitars

Jerry Donahue – lead electric, acoustic & alto guitars, backing vocals

Pat Donaldson – bass, duet & backing vocals

Gerry Conway – drums, percussion, backing vocals

track list:

1 Eppie Moray

2 Gypsy Davey

3 John the Gun

4 Bold Jack Donahue

5 Two Weeks Last Summer

6 Restless

7 Wild Mountain Thyme

8 I Don’t Believe You

9 Silver Threads & Golden Needles

10 Late November.

11 Knights of the Road

Release date : 29th September 2008

Barcode number : 5020393 306621

http://www.thebeesknees.com/?p=258#more-258

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Wow. Excellent.

Looking forward to THAT!

"John the Gun", "Late November", awesome ...

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Since Denny and Lucas are both dead, I assume the album was "finished" by the three surviving musicians? I look forward to this - am a fan of all things Fairport.

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Pentangle - Cruel Sister. The tune Jack Orion is brilliant.

Fairport Convention - Liege and Lief. The genius of Richard Thompson is proven at such a young age in the song Crazy Man Michael and his great guitar work all over that record.

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I only hope they catch the airy nature of the early 70s acoustic and don't overdo the production.

Most of the tunes turned up on later albums by Fairport or Sandy Denny. Two of the tracks - "Gypsy Davey" and "Two Weeks Last Summer" - were added extras to an early CD reissue of the Fotheringay album. I now see why the were not included in the 2004 reissue (though there seems to be a live version of the second) - both wonderful songs/performances.

I have a feeling that the version of 'Late November' on Sandy's first solo album might have been taken from those sessions but with additional overdubbing. 'John the Gun' is a great song, though I've never heard a version to top the one on that album with an amazing Barry Dransfield fiddle solo.

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Any of Davy Grahams early albums are well worth exploring. On a more recent note, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset are very good.

Edited by lilas

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Any of Davy Grahams early albums are well worth exploring. On a more recent note, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset are very good.

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset are as good as anything I've heard in the folk world - 'The Bairns' was my album of 2007.

Better still, they are part of an incredibly impressive wave of younger English singers/players in the folk field. There's been something building since the early 90s and it has really hit full force of late.

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fled-30661.jpg

This is a surprisingly strong album from start to finish. It really doesn't sound like a bunch of left-overs.

Well worth picking up for any Fotheringay/Denny/Fairport fans.

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fled-30661.jpg

This is a surprisingly strong album from start to finish. It really doesn't sound like a bunch of left-overs.

Well worth picking up for any Fotheringay/Denny/Fairport fans.

Whisked this off e-music myself.

Very nice indeed. The Lucas/Denny balance seems slightly more in the former's favour than the original album (he always sounds like Gordon Lightfoot to me...no criticism!).

'John the Gun' seems a bit overblown to me - I prefer the starker version that turned up on 'Northstar', and Barry Dransfield seems far more fitting than the sax on this version (Jerry's dad, swing star Sam Donahue, apparently!).

I've known 'Gypsy Davy' and 'Two Weeks Last Summer' for some time as they were included on a 90s CD issue of 'Fotheringay' - both performances as good as anything on the first album. Nice to here the tracks that have never appeared before (or not in my hearing).

A very worthwhile release, carefully compiled and engineered.

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"Late November" is a welcome addition. While not terribly different from the "Northstar" version, it's still nice to hear.

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"Late November" is a welcome addition. While not terribly different from the "Northstar" version, it's still nice to hear.

I suspect it is the same version without some overdubs - noteably Richard Thompson's guitar that answers Donahue's. The Donahue lines are identical.

Very useful as I was never completely sure which guitar was which...even though their styles are quite different (a problem I've also had with the final Sandy solo album which is so heavily produced that most of the instrumental playing comes across as quite anonymous).

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Just saw Richard Thompson solo last night. Great evening marred only by my learning shortly before the concert started about Dave McKenna passing away.

"Late November" is a welcome addition. While not terribly different from the "Northstar" version, it's still nice to hear.

I suspect it is the same version without some overdubs - noteably Richard Thompson's guitar that answers Donahue's. The Donahue lines are identical.

Very useful as I was never completely sure which guitar was which...even though their styles are quite different (a problem I've also had with the final Sandy solo album which is so heavily produced that most of the instrumental playing comes across as quite anonymous).

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I'm a fan of the 2 Trees LPs, GARDEN OF JANE DELAWNEY and ON THE SHORE. Very indebted to the Fairport aesthetic, but there's slightly more "rock" -- thus a little more shading and grit -- here than folk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trees_(folk_band)

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album_island_176721t.jpg

This new compilation might be of interest to anyone wanting to dip their toe into this marvellous little lake:

Disc: 1

1. Cocaine - John Martyn, Theo Johnson

2. She Moves Through The Fair - Fairport Convention, Joe Boyd

3. Withering Tree - Jimmy Miller, Traffic

4. Seven Black Roses - Al Stewart, John Martyn

5. A Sailor's Life - Fairport Convention, Joe Boyd, John Wood, Simon Nicol

6. The Ocean - Joe Boyd, John Martyn, Beverley Martyn

7. Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal - Dr. Strangely Strange, Joe Boyd

8. Living In The Past - Alexander Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, Terry Ellis

9. Matty Groves - Fairport Convention, Joe Boyd, John Wood

10. John Barleycorn (Must Die) - Chris Blackwell, Steve Winwood, Traffic

11. Banks Of The Nile - Fotheringay, Joe Boyd

12. One Of These Things First - Joe Boyd, Nick Drake, John Robert Wood, Robert Kirby, Paul Harris, Ed Carter, Mike Kowalski

13. Sir Patrick Spens - Fairport Convention, Frank Kornelussen, Jerry Boys, Joe Boyd

Disc: 2

1. Dirty Linen - Fairport Convention, Joe Boyd, John Wood

2. On The Road To Find Out - Cat Stevens, Paul Samwell-Smith, Del Newman

3. Late November - Sandy Denny, John M. Wood, Richard Thompson, Harry Robinson

4. Flowers Of The Forest - Joe Boyd, Mike Heron

5. Spring Season - Amazing Blondel

6. Time Slips Away - Bronco

7. The Man Who Cannot See Tomorrow's Sunshine - Claire Hamill, Michael Coles

8. The Siege Of Yaddlethorpe - Amazing Blondel, Paul Samwell-Smith

9. Dear Old Battlefield - Stan Schnier, The Incredible String Band

10. Dark Eyed Lady - Robin Williamson

11. Poor Ditching Boy - John M. Wood, John Wood, Richard Thompson

12. The Nutting Girl - John M. Wood, Morris On Band

13. Bushes And Briars - Sandy Denny, Trevor Lucas

14. Black Jack David - Mike Heron, The Incredible String Band

15. Sailing - Muff Winwood, Sutherland Brothers

16. Over The Hill - John Martyn, John M. Wood

17. Things Behind The Sun - Nick Drake, John Robert Wood

18. Haste To The Wedding/The Triumph/Off She Goes - Ashley Hutchings, John Kirkpatrick

Disc: 3

1. Hanged I Shall Be - Albion Country Band

2. Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail - John Martyn

3. Withered And Died - John Wood, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson

4. Spencer The Rover - John Martyn

5. Darlin' Cory - Bryn Haworth

6. The Sun Never Shines On The Poor - John Wood, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson, Simon Nicol

7. Stone - Ronnie Lane

8. Dimming Of The Day / Dargai - Richard Thompson, John Wood, Linda Thompson

9. Upton Stick Dance - Ashley Hutchings

10. Calvary Cross - John M. Wood, John Wood, Richard Thompson

11. I'm A Dreamer - Jerry Boys, Jerry Donahue, Sandy Denny

12. May You Never [bBC - John Peel 4/2/77]] - John Martyn, Tony Wilson, Mike Robinson

13. Meet On The Ledge - Fairport Convention, Glyn Jones, Robin Black

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