skeith

Need recs on Pentangle/Fairport Convention

155 posts in this topic

Don't know if these film clips of the original Fairport are well known:

http://www.eyeneer.com/video/countryfolk/fairport-convention/time-will-show-the-wiser

http://www.eyeneer.com/video/countryfolk/fairport-convention/reno-nevada

Remarkably good quality given the age. The camera angles are pretty restricted and Judy Dyble looks bored throughout (or maybe that was just serious musician insouciance). The version of Reno Nevada is especially worth it with some great early RT. It was their extended jamming piece of the time. 

 

 

 

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I was listening to the Sandy Denny box and something came on that sounded like Weather Report in the middle ages, where can I get more of that?

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Two excellent discs from the tag end of the year worth exploring:

Already Home

Mainly instrumental - both fiddle players with a bit of banjo. A little English and Americana, a lot of French and Swedish. How these two are so immersed in this music at such a young age amazes me.

Two Wolves

Lal Waterson's daughter. Lives and breathes the 'Witchseason' air of Lal, Nick Drake, Michael Chapman, early John Martyn. If you were bewitched by the first record by The Unthanks this might hit the spot.

Both on Spotify (in the UK at least). 

****************************

Should mention this one too:

From Here

Very much the folk record to be seen admiring at the moment; lots of bollox about punk-folk being bandied about. Despite all that it is very good. Weakened by being largely songs that have been done to death (though I'd imagine many people will be hearing them for the first time; I've no doubt established folkies moaned about exactly the same when I was getting excited about Liege and Lief) but scores with the marvellous Lahn-dun vocals. Nothing ploughboy here. 

Recent live review from The Guardian (finding space for them amidst their standard glut of articles on Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift):

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/dec/07/stick-in-the-wheel-review-kings-place-london

***************************

And by chance Froots have just announced the results of their annual steeplechase:

1. Stick In The Wheel From Here (From Here)
2. Anna & Elizabeth Anna & Elizabeth (Free Dirt)
3. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba Ba Power (Glitterbeat)
4. Sam Lee & Friends The Fade In Time (Nest Collective)
5. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Quaranta 40 (Ponderosa)
6. The Rheingans Sisters Already Home (RootBeat)
7.=Emily Portman Coracle (Furrow)
      Leveret New Anything (RootBeat)
9.=Simpson, Cutting & Kerr Murmurs (Topic)
      Vieux Farka Touré & Julia Easterlin Touristes (Six Degrees)
11. Mbongwana Star From Kinshasa (World Circuit)
12. False Lights Salvor (Wreckord)
13.=Olivia Chaney The Longest River (Nonesuch)
        Jackie Oates The Spyglass & The Herringbone (ECC)
        Songhoy Blues Music In Exile (Transgressive)
        Spiro Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow (Real World)
        The Unthanks Mount The Air (Rabble Rouser Music)
18.=Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal Musique De Nuit (No Format!)
        Blick Bassy Akö (No Format)
        Kandia Kouyaté Renascence (Stern’s)
        Tom & Ben Paley Paley & Son (Hornbeam)

http://www.frootsmag.com/content/critpoll/

Ignore the silly ranking. Lots of wonderful music there. (Bold ones are things I've also really enjoyed; underlined are things I've heard but have yet to really connect with).   

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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23 hours ago, A Lark Ascending said:

Two excellent discs from the tag end of the year worth exploring:

Already Home

Mainly instrumental - both fiddle players with a bit of banjo. A little English and Americana, a lot of French and Swedish. How these two are so immersed in this music at such a young age amazes me.

Two Wolves

Lal Waterson's daughter. Lives and breathes the 'Witchseason' air of Lal, Nick Drake, Michael Chapman, early John Martyn. If you were bewitched by the first record by The Unthanks this might hit the spot.

Both on Spotify (in the UK at least). 

****************************

Should mention this one too:

From Here

Very much the folk record to be seen admiring at the moment; lots of bollox about punk-folk being bandied about. Despite all that it is very good. Weakened by being largely songs that have been done to death (though I'd imagine many people will be hearing them for the first time; I've no doubt established folkies moaned about exactly the same when I was getting excited about Liege and Lief) but scores with the marvellous Lahn-dun vocals. Nothing ploughboy here. 

Recent live review from The Guardian (finding space for them amidst their standard glut of articles on Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift):

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/dec/07/stick-in-the-wheel-review-kings-place-london

***************************

And by chance Froots have just announced the results of their annual steeplechase:

1. Stick In The Wheel From Here (From Here)
2. Anna & Elizabeth Anna & Elizabeth (Free Dirt)
3. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba Ba Power (Glitterbeat)
4. Sam Lee & Friends The Fade In Time (Nest Collective)
5. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Quaranta 40 (Ponderosa)
6. The Rheingans Sisters Already Home (RootBeat)
7.=Emily Portman Coracle (Furrow)
      Leveret New Anything (RootBeat)
9.=Simpson, Cutting & Kerr Murmurs (Topic)
      Vieux Farka Touré & Julia Easterlin Touristes (Six Degrees)
11. Mbongwana Star From Kinshasa (World Circuit)
12. False Lights Salvor (Wreckord)
13.=Olivia Chaney The Longest River (Nonesuch)
        Jackie Oates The Spyglass & The Herringbone (ECC)
        Songhoy Blues Music In Exile (Transgressive)
        Spiro Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow (Real World)
        The Unthanks Mount The Air (Rabble Rouser Music)
18.=Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal Musique De Nuit (No Format!)
        Blick Bassy Akö (No Format)
        Kandia Kouyaté Renascence (Stern’s)
        Tom & Ben Paley Paley & Son (Hornbeam)

http://www.frootsmag.com/content/critpoll/

Ignore the silly ranking. Lots of wonderful music there. (Bold ones are things I've also really enjoyed; underlined are things I've heard but have yet to really connect with).   

Thanks, Bev. I tend to overlook folk when searching for new music, despite the fact that I have a lot of it my collection (particularly the Witchseason variety). The Marry Waterson is right up my street and I'm also enjoying the Rheingans Sisters. Not sure about Stick In The Wheel though. Sounds like it might appeal to bearded hipsters in Hoxton (as opposed to bearded hipsters in Cornwall).

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Always love The Unthanks!! Oh - and I like the Anna & Elizabeth album too.

I'll check out the Rheingans Sisters & Stick In The Wheel.

Edited by jlhoots

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13 hours ago, Jazzjet said:

 Not sure about Stick In The Wheel though. Sounds like it might appeal to bearded hipsters in Hoxton (as opposed to bearded hipsters in Cornwall).

Ian Anderson of fRoots has his projects and he's been pushing this lot for a few years. I was initially resistant - ever since the early 80s he's been presenting an interpretation that folk, punk and World Music are natural bedfellows and he tends to go over-the-top about anything that can be squeezed into that area. Initially the 'Artful Dodger' vocals sounded affected but after a few plays I really took to the record. There's a great self-written track about shop lifting which is almost a musical version of 'This is England'. The difficulty they'll have now is developing this approach rather than just repeating it with other folk songs. I'm going to see them on a moor in Derbyshire in a few months so it'll be interesting to experience them in the flesh.

I'm surprised this one didn't make the list, another favourite of mine from the end of the year:

   Ghazalaw

A Welsh singer and a group of Indian musicians. The music is based around the ghazal tradition but with some Welsh vocals and songs. Could have been sausages and custard but the whole thing is a delight. Would appeal to lovers of things like Shakti - no virtuosi instrumental displays but they same musical world.  

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O, good lord, listening to Marry Waterson for the first time.....I think I'm falling in love........

whilst I can hear what "witchseason" may mean as a sub genre, where's that term come from?

 

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1 minute ago, mjazzg said:

O, good lord, listening to Marry Waterson for the first time.....I think I'm falling in love........

whilst I can hear what "witchseason" may mean as a sub genre, where's that term come from?

 

It was Joe Boyd's stable of performers in the late 60s/early 70s. Back in that time there was always something a bit magical about the line at the bottom of things like the Fairport albums - 'A Witchseason Production'...I hadn't a clue what it meant at the time. Still makes me think of a world of plain record production - post-wall-of-sound psychedelia, pre multi-track recording (with the temptation to use every track available) - and recordings that seemed built from the acoustic up, still imbibed with that wonderful guitar sound of the 60s (Graham, Jansch, Jones etc).  

Waterson/Jaycock are magical live...lovely, warm personalities. I was so excited by their gig in Sheffield last week that I'm going to this in Scarborough in January:

12294921_567495143405133_737994674124631

Marry Waterson explained that Norma finds it hard to get around the country these days so they thought they'd get the audience to come to her. 

Scarborough should be a sight to behold in early January! 

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Interesting to see Kate St John on the bill. With Dream Academy she had a hit with 'Life In A Northern Town', a tribute to Nick Drake. Her solo albums are wonderful though, particularly 'Indescribable Night' and 'Second Sight', neither of which feature on her Wikipedia page for some reason. There's a beautiful song called 'There Is Sweet Music Here That Softer Falls' on 'Indescribable Night' that's well worth seeking out on Spotify etc.

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12 minutes ago, Jazzjet said:

Interesting to see Kate St John on the bill. With Dream Academy she had a hit with 'Life In A Northern Town', a tribute to Nick Drake. Her solo albums are wonderful though, particularly 'Indescribable Night' and 'Second Sight', neither of which feature on her Wikipedia page for some reason. There's a beautiful song called 'There Is Sweet Music Here That Softer Falls' on 'Indescribable Night' that's well worth seeking out on Spotify etc.

I will explore...thanks. 

I only know her from some of the Van Morrison albums she's been involved in. Though her website gives an indication of her interests:

Musical Director credits:

  • Rogues Gallery Sea Shanty shows in the UK in 2008 and Sydney 2010 with Lou Reed, Tim Robbins, Shane Macgowan, The Carthy/Waterson Clan, Todd Rundgren and many others.
  • The Folk Britannia Daughters of Albion series of concerts.
  • The Thompson 2008 family reunion Christmas show, A Not So Silent Night.
  • A Wainwright Family Christmas, Albert Hall 2009.
  • Way To Blue: a tribute to Nick Drake series of concerts with Joe Boyd.
  • An Evening of Political Song for Meltdown 2010, Festival Hall, curated by Richard Thompson. 

Right up my street! 

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1 hour ago, A Lark Ascending said:

It was Joe Boyd's stable of performers in the late 60s/early 70s. Back in that time there was always something a bit magical about the line at the bottom of things like the Fairport albums - 'A Witchseason Production'...I hadn't a clue what it meant at the time. Still makes me think of a world of plain record production - post-wall-of-sound psychedelia, pre multi-track recording (with the temptation to use every track available) - and recordings that seemed built from the acoustic up, still imbibed with that wonderful guitar sound of the 60s (Graham, Jansch, Jones etc).  

Waterson/Jaycock are magical live...lovely, warm personalities. I was so excited by their gig in Sheffield last week that I'm going to this in Scarborough in January:

12294921_567495143405133_737994674124631

Marry Waterson explained that Norma finds it hard to get around the country these days so they thought they'd get the audience to come to her. 

Scarborough should be a sight to behold in early January! 

Thanks Bev. I'd thought it might be Boyd related. Just snaffled a couple of tickets for her performance at Kings Place....in April. Now all I need to do is buy the album

Just don't take your swimming togs to Scarborough

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There's an excellent collection of the British underground folk scene, 1967 - 1972, Witchseason and beyond, titled 'Dust On The Nettles'. Some well known artists but quite a few obscurities and unreleased items. If I knew how to upload images of the right size here I would but anyway here's the track listing :

Disc One
1. LET NO MAN STEAL YOUR THYME – The Pentangle 
2. WILLOW’S SONG (FROM THE WICKER MAN) - Magnet 
3. COME ALL YOU TRAVELLERS - Wight 
4. LOVE IS A FUNNY THING - Spirogyra 
5. IMAGES OF PASSING CLOUDS – Gary Farr 
6. PEEK STRANGELY AND WORRIED EVENING - Synanthesia 
7. GLASS OF WATER – Bob & Carole Pegg 
8. WINTER IS BLUE – Vashti Bunyan 
9. WINTER IS A COLOURED BIRD - Comus 
10. THE SEAGULLS SCREAM – Chrissie Quayle 
11. STORIES OF JESUS – Clive Palmer 
12. AMANDA - Steve Peregrin Took’s Shagrat 
13. CURIOUS CRYSTALS OF UNUSUAL PURITY - Bridget St. John 
14. ROSES FOR COLUMBUS – Mark Fry 
15. TILL THE MORNING COMES – Dando Shaft 
16. BLACK GIRL – Mary-Anne 
17. THE GARDEN OF JANE DELAWNEY - Trees 
18. WEIRDSONG OF BREAKING THROUGH AT LAST - Principal Edwards Magic Theatre 
19. MINAS TIRITH – Oberon 
20. PRISONERS, VICTIMS, STRANGERS, FRIENDS – Paper Bubble 

Disc Two
1. PILGRIM – Gerald Moore
2. RIVER LANE – Melton Constable 
3. WAY OUT HERMIT - Moonkyte
4. ALL THINGS ARE QUITE SILENT – Steeleye Span
5. UPON REFLECTION - Heron
6. LOVE IS COME AGAIN - Parchment
7. STARGAZER – Shelagh McDonald
8. THERE ARE NO GREATER HEROES - Tony Caro & John 
9. VISIONARY MOUNTAINS – Joan Armatrading 
10. GLOW OF THE FIRELIGHT - Tuesday
11. SEARCHING FOR LAMBS – Warm Gold
12. SAMANTHA CAROL FRAGMENTS - Benjamin Delaney Lion
13. FOTHERINGAY – Fairport Convention
14. YOU KNOW WHAT HAS TO BE – Frozen Tear
15. MEANWHILE BACK IN THE FOREST - Hunt Lunt & Cunningham
16. FIRST GIRL I LOVED - The Incredible String Band 
17. HALFDAN’S DAUGHTER – The Moths
18. THE MUTANT – Trader Horne
19. MEETING BY THE MOONLIGHT MILL – Dry Heart
20. HIGHWAYS (MISTY MIST) - Tyrannosaurus Rex
21. GABILAN – Duncan Browne 
22. SAND ALL YELLOW – Kevin Coyne

Disc Three
1. GARDEN SONG – Bill Fay 
2. MUSIC OF THE AGES - C.O.B. 
3. A SONG FOR THE SYSTEM – Everyone Involved
4. THE COLOUR IS BLUE – Country Sun
5. SILENT VILLAGE – Wild Country
6. WELCOME TO THE CITADEL – Marc Brierley 
7. THE EVIL VENUS TREE - The Occasional Word
8. STANDING ON THE SHORE – Anne Briggs
9. KIND SIR - Agincourt
10. EAGLE – Mick Softly 
11. ROSEMARY HILL – Fresh Maggots
12. THE HAPPY KING – Music Box
13. ME AND MY KITE - Fuchsia
14. WIZARD SHEP - The Sun Also Rises 
15. SCARBOROUGH FAIR – Folkal Point
16. PRISONER – Marie Celeste
17. PATRICE – Simon Finn
18. GIRL OF THE COSMOS – Shide & Acorn
19. ELEGY TO A DEAD KING - Chimera
20. SILENCE RETURNS - Beau 
21. ORANGE DAYS AND PURPLE NIGHTS – Mother Nature

 

OK, here's the box set front cover.

Front.jpg

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Thanks Jazzyjet. The Fresh Maggots never did have a hit, did they?

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8 hours ago, A Lark Ascending said:

Ian Anderson of fRoots has his projects and he's been pushing this lot for a few years. I was initially resistant - ever since the early 80s he's been presenting an interpretation that folk, punk and World Music are natural bedfellows.  

take World Music out of that equation and he was certainly correct when it came to The Pogues. One of the finest songwriters backed by a very talented band of musicians. There was a young Irish folk group the Graun were raving about recently, referencing punk I seem to remember

I'm pleased to say I actually have one of the fRoots top 20 - Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal Musique De Nuit (No Format!). But I have to admit it was bought for me by someone who knows his World Music onions

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2 hours ago, Jazzjet said:

There's an excellent collection of the British underground folk scene, 1967 - 1972, Witchseason and beyond, titled 'Dust On The Nettles'. Some well known artists but quite a few obscurities and unreleased items. If I knew how to upload images of the right size here I would but anyway here's the track listing :

OK, here's the box set front cover.

Front.jpg

Yes, I bought that one back in October. A nice mixture of the unknown (to me) music - mainly interesting and enjoyable, occasionally a bit wet (not surprisingly). Sleeve notes are fascinating - mainly things that only came out in tiny print runs.  

39 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

take World Music out of that equation and he was certainly correct when it came to The Pogues. One of the finest songwriters backed by a very talented band of musicians. There was a young Irish folk group the Graun were raving about recently, referencing punk I seem to remember

I'm pleased to say I actually have one of the fRoots top 20 - Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal Musique De Nuit (No Format!). But I have to admit it was bought for me by someone who knows his World Music onions

Yes, there was a brief period in the 80s when 'folk' collided with punk/new wave rock and entered the mainstream for a while - The Waterboys, Billie Bragg etc. But you should see all the 'this year's big things' that vanished without trace! 

Anderson's a prickly fellow but his instincts are generally good and he's done an amazing job for folk/world/roots (choose your own label) music over the years. He runs (I suspect the trendy word is 'curates') a sequence of concerts at Sidmouth each year which highlight the up and coming or neglected over the established. I've seen amazing concerts in his sessions by the likes of Olivia Chaney, Jason Steele, The Long Hill Ramblers, Young Coppers (latest generations of the Copper Family), Mawkin, Tim Ericksen and others there. Stick in the Wheel were there this year but I was off somewhere else.  

The Irish group you are referring to is probably Lynched (missed them at Sidmouth too!). I've heard them on the radio and will get round to listening. Again I think the 'punk' thing is just a bit of labelling. They probably sound so because so much Irish/Scottish music since the 80s has disappeared into an Enya-ised mist of overproduced Celtic Twilightery. 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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They were the days, my cosy indiedom invaded by Aran sweaters and tin whistle players , O, how we mocked in our cloth-eared certainties :) I left the Waterboys behind when they released Fisherman's Blues and it all got fiddle-tastic. I remember buying the first Bragg mini-LP and being equal parts intrigued and bemused - he could pen a good line. dear old Kev and his Celtic Soul Brotherhood were better than not. The Men They Couldn't Hang (or similar) had a better name than songs I seem to recall. A bit later Les Negresses Vertes were fabulous

Lynched it is, thank you. I like them for their name before I hear any of the music

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By the time all that kicked in I was well into my Carthys, Tabors, Watersons and Kirkpatricks. The punk-folk all sounded like 'let's go out and get hammered' music to me. Which I suppose a fair bit of it was. If I'd been ten years younger I'd have heard it differently.

I did like Billy Bragg's songs but wasn't too keen on the voice. Shane McGowan had a huge amount of respect from across the folk world - Christy Moore was a big supporter and recorded a number of his songs. I do have a couple of Pogues records bought much later. But I don't play them much. I'm much happier with the three hour instrumental jam on Fairport's 'A Sailor's Life'!!!!

As ever, it's all about context.    

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6 hours ago, mjazzg said:

Thanks Jazzyjet. The Fresh Maggots never did have a hit, did they?

Difficult to imagine but you're probably right.

I can't recall whether I've shared this before but here's my Spotify playlist based on Rob Young's wonderful 'Electric Eden' book. Over 13 hours but some good stuff :

Electric Eden

Whoops, try this link instead :

Electric Eden

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Hopefully not too far off topic, I've been listening to Tom Russell: The Rose Of Roscrae.

Some great Irish & "cowboy" roots.

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9 hours ago, Jazzjet said:

Difficult to imagine but you're probably right.

I can't recall whether I've shared this before but here's my Spotify playlist based on Rob Young's wonderful 'Electric Eden' book. Over 13 hours but some good stuff :

Electric Eden

Whoops, try this link instead :

Electric Eden

I enjoyed that book. Liked the way it linked in the folk and rock music with the classical explorers of English folk song at the start of the 20thC.

Nice playlist - again, good to see RVW and co there. 

6 hours ago, jlhoots said:

Hopefully not too far off topic, I've been listening to Tom Russell: The Rose Of Roscrae.

Some great Irish & "cowboy" roots.

He has a strong following in the UK. In fact interest in Americana and what used to be called alt.Country runs parallel with the folk music world here. A lot of the venues that do folk music also serve that area. 

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9 hours ago, Jazzjet said:

Difficult to imagine but you're probably right.

I can't recall whether I've shared this before but here's my Spotify playlist based on Rob Young's wonderful 'Electric Eden' book. Over 13 hours but some good stuff :

Electric Eden

Whoops, try this link instead :

Electric Eden

listening now. This could be very educative for me, thanks. I must get around to reading that book

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5 hours ago, mjazzg said:

listening now. This could be very educative for me, thanks. I must get around to reading that book

5 hours in and still listening (not quite continuously but nearly). thoroughly enjoyable

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3 hours ago, mjazzg said:

5 hours in and still listening (not quite continuously but nearly). thoroughly enjoyable

Be interested to hear what you particularly enjoyed there.

****************************

A good way to hear a wide range of current (and some older) music is Ian Anderson's online radio programme:

fRoots Radio

http://www.frootsmag.com/radio/playlists/15/11/

75 minute monthly programmes that follow the same format (and many of the same tracks) as the download albums they put out every couple of issues - nice mix of British folk, European and wider world music and some Americana. I'm listening to November at present - have my eye on Nigerian band Tal National as a result! 

*******************************

On the subject of 'bedfellows', how about this for a festival:

ATP%20Stewart%20Lee%20c%202016_WEB_670x0

Evan Parker at Pontins! Book early!

Apart from the Parker, the Shirley Collins and the Kirkpatrick/Trembling Bells revisiting of the utterly wonderful 'No Roses' album immediately caught my eye. A bit too slanted towards the noise-rock for my taste but a brave venture. Typically Stewart Lee.  

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎17‎:‎12‎:‎24, A Lark Ascending said:

Be interested to hear what you particularly enjoyed there.

****************************

Of those I'd not heard before:

Watersons - Seven Virgins
Anne Briggs - The Time Has come
Mark Hollis - A New Jerusalem
Bill Fay - Til The Christ Come Back
Sheelagh McDonald - Stargazer
Tim Hollier - Streets Of Gold

for starters........it also confirmed that Pentangle are my favourite folk band

except for the Unthanks who I saw last night on their 10th Anniversary Tour. Career spanning set starting with unaccompanied duet from Becky and Rachel. They do seem to manage to scale up to quite big arrangements without losing the integral soul of a song - I think because the voices hold sway no matter what else is going on

 

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8 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

Of those I'd not heard before:

Watersons - Seven Virgins
Anne Briggs - The Time Has come
Mark Hollis - A New Jerusalem
Bill Fay - Til The Christ Come Back
Sheelagh McDonald - Stargazer
Tim Hollier - Streets Of Gold

for starters........it also confirmed that Pentangle are my favourite folk band

except for the Unthanks who I saw last night on their 10th Anniversary Tour. Career spanning set starting with unaccompanied duet from Becky and Rachel. They do seem to manage to scale up to quite big arrangements without losing the integral soul of a song - I think because the voices hold sway no matter what else is going on

 

Only know the Watersons and Briggs there. 

Pentangle are a band I had to learn to like and still find Jacqui McShee's voice a bit of a strain (not to mention Bert!)...too high! But there's some very good music there.

Glad you enjoyed The Unthanks. Utterly unique and still unspoiled despite the grand nature of some of their arrangements.

I listened to that Lynched record this afternoon - Cold Old Fire. It's excellent...not a trace of Celtic mist anywhere. Reminds me in places of the Dubliners or the very early Christy Moore records. Really strong accents, rough and ready (but expert) instrumentation, a mixture of serious and jokey almost music hall songs. And then on some of the tracks they drift off into these lengthy, almost minimalist instrumental arrangements, quite unlike anything I've heard on an Irish folk record. Shot to the top of my list of bands to catch live...they were everywhere in the summer.  

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