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BFrank

Pentangle

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Two other strange and wonderful records of English Music, both by Shirley and Dolly Collins:

Anthems in Eden

Love, Death and the Lady

Both take traditional tunes from Britain but put them into arrangements with some of the leading classical early music experts of the late 60s including David Munrow, one of the trailblazers of period instrument performance in the UK.

It's like stepping back into a different world. Highly recommended to those with a taste for the odd and magical.

Shirley Collins is something of an elder stateswoman of UK folk - she went collecting songs in the Appalachians with Alan Lomax in the 50s, had a successful solo career and duet career with her sister and got tied up with the electric folk thing (she's the main voice on No Roses) to the point of being married to Ashley Hutchings for a while (until, according to her comments in interviews, he discovered actresses on his various theatre projects!)

I'm playing a great deal of this music at present with Spring coming on and can vouch for its ability to still move after 30 years.

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Look out for the 80s discs by Danny Thompson's band 'Whatever' that mixed jazz with British and Eastern European folk.

I have them all and love them, although the saxists are not quite my taste. But Danny's bass sound ..... it's one of the grandest bass sound I've ever heard! Wish Dave Holland had such a big sound.

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Martin Carthy is an excellent guitar player (and singer) who deserves attention as well.

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Martin Carthy is a demi-god in these parts.

Treat yourself to 'The Carthy Chronicles' 4 CD compilation and go to some very unusual places.

I finally got round to buying the last Waterson-Carthy disc yesterday - believe me, this band are now on a par with the much loved 'Watersons.' Eliza Carthy is turning into something very special.

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Finally grabbed Pentangle's first album. I never noticed how totally c-o-o-l this cover is. VERY trendy - 60's or 00's. The music is KILLER, btw. Gonna have to get "Sweet Child" soon, I think.

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Edited by BFrank

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A couple more strange but wonderful recordings from this bunch, early 70s era, this time from Ashley Hutchings and John Kirkpatrick:

Morris On - with Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks and Barry Dransfield. Electric Morris tunes with some songs. One of those records that turned my head around about what I might like in music. This was so different from my usually rock diet in 1973! I can still recall the odd looks I got when I got it onto the school record player one lunch time! The record was very influential in its time, reclaiming the Morris from the worthy but stuffy folk antiquarians. There's a nice follow up called 'Son of Morris On' and, more recently, a 'Grandson of Morris On' (which I've not heard).

The Compleat Dancing Master - a sort of follow up, perhaps the start of Hutchings interest in music and speech recordings. A sort of dash through English dance music from the Middle Ages to the early 20th C with brief gobbets from contemporary literature interspersed. Worth it for the William Prynne Puritan diatribe against dancing!

There is also a 4CD being prepared of The Watersons extended family. Hopefully this will be a largely unreleased collection.

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OK. OK. I'll explain ...

"Bells" - The second tune on the first album. Stunning!

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I just read a very entertaining book about Ashley Hutchings over the holiday - "The Guv'nor and the Rise of Folk Rock" by Brian Hinton and Geoff Wall (Helter Skelter). It only covers his career up to 1973 - basically Fairport, Steeleye Span and the early incarnations of the The Albion Country Band. A fascinating evocation of an era I lived through but on the other side of the pages of the Melody Maker and NME!

It's especially instructive about the live bands and music that never got to record. I'd dearly love to have heard a Shirley Collins band that went out in late 1971 with Hutchings, John Kirkpatrick, Royston Wood and Richard Thompson for a few dates in the English West Country. And the 'caretaker' Albion Band that had Hutchings, Simon Nicol and Richard and Linda Thompson (or Peters as she was then). Maybe the tapes will get out eventually! Recommended to anyone who enjos this music.

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