British Folk (and Revival)

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I heard a piece on NPR today about the revival of British Folk. They also spoke of the older original British Folk bands. Does anyone know of a list or website that has all the info about this? You know, lists the bands, shows a tree, and the revival bands as well as the original ones... Let me know! Thanks, Jay

Jay Boucher, Wednesday, 14 December 2005 23:04 (fourteen years ago) link

It's suprisingly hard to find good Brit folk revival (and folk revival revival etc) info... partially bcz folkies generally don't like to think too hard about their music bcz it wld disrupt some of their foundational myths.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 23:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Tricky one, I've no idea about a 'revival' of British folk - it seems to have been going pretty strong since the popularisation of folk clubs over the last half-century. It's interesting what Raw Patrick says about folkies' "foundational myths"... I often find that most folkies actually have quite a narrow minded approach to folk-ish music that does not fall within certain boundaries. A friend of mine who runs a local folk club sees 60s 'psych folk' type bands as some kind of hideous embarassment and not something to be imitated at any cost! Then again, he's quite happy to listen to the vomit-inducing Jim Moray's cheesy electronic folk excursions, since he's somehow endorsed by the folk "establishment" (Radio 3?).

FWIW - a few of my favorite original British folkies:
Shiley & Dolly Collins
John Kirkpatrick (early 70s stuff is great)
The Watersons
Andy Irvine & Paul Brady
A L Lloyd
Nic Jones (criminally unsung!?)
...and many more...

Rombald, Wednesday, 14 December 2005 23:35 (fourteen years ago) link

From the top of my mind, a British folk revival would include:

- Espers
- the return of Vashti Bunyan

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 23:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Perhaps:
- Feathers
- Faun Fables
- In Gowan Ring
- Colossus

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 23:44 (fourteen years ago) link

The English folk revival proper covers pretty much the whole of the 20th C., but I presume that what they were talking about on the radio is stuff a lot more modern than early Topic records recordings on 78. From the late 19th C. people begin trying to write down folk songs that are being lost as systems of local oral transmission are breaking down (even then the only people who knew some of these songs were the oldest people in the village.) But try discussing w/folkies that maybe there isn't a system of oral transmission anymore, or that folk, as is any music, is a social construct and not something that has existed forever, unchanging. They tend to get pissy, put it that way.

I would recommend these records as a way of getting into folk, or just for any reason whatsoever bcz they're fucking amazing:

Fairport Convention - Liege and Lief (Tam Lyn is amybe my favourite song ever.)
Steeleye Span - The Lark in the Morning (a two CD comp. of their first 3 LPs which is all you need by them - includes a transcendent version of When I Was on Horeseback. These LPs are also a big fave with Simon Reynolds)
Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band - No Roses (the only folk album to feature someone to have played on a damned LP)

They should all be able to be found cheaply.

Alasdair Roberts - Farewell Sorrow is an excellent modern LP and on Drag City/Rough Trade so easy to find for indie kids.

The show might've been talking about Spiers and Boden or Eliza Carthy, who're more part of folk music 'proper' or anyone though, so this may be of no help.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:30 (fourteen years ago) link

This would be a good book about the folk revival if the author could write, wasn't thick and it wasn't shit.

If anyone can point me toward good books on this subject I'd be very happy.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, Summerisle by Momus and Anne Laplantine is fucking great.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:40 (fourteen years ago) link

"As a long-time Momus fan I can hardly bring myself to utter these next few words - this album is by far his worst piece of work to date and I will not be listening to it again - EVER!!! I have never begrudged handing over my cash for a Momus album but this one will be going straight back to where I bought it for a refund." sez one satisfied Amazon reviewer!

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:42 (fourteen years ago) link

I dunno what Robald's talking about though bcz Jim Moray sounds groovy:

"English-rose front-man, Moray, laces the lyrics of folklore with powerful Matrix-styled guitars, film-score piano and a backing band which grinds together electric double bass and thundering drums. His presence on stage is something to behold. He looks scruffy on his website but he's beautiful in person.

Don't confuse this fresh indie approach with the folk rock of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span, but rather be surprised to sense impressions of Ben Folds greets Depeche Mode greets Evanescence. It's all here, whichever musical genre ticks your box, Moray can offer it up without confusion or the awkwardness of musical experimentations. He even played the piano with his arms crossed at one point."

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:47 (fourteen years ago) link

There is no doubt that British Folk from the 60s/70s is having a large influence on the Freak Folk/Free Folk/New Weird America scene.
No?

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:49 (fourteen years ago) link

No doubt at all.. the new stuff doesn't measure up though, it's mostly pretty wussy. A lot of the 60s/70s stuff is rhythmically pretty hot and heavy in a way that the newer stuff isn't.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 01:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Raw Patrick - good call on Spiers & Boden, I've seen them live a few times - always a pleasure.

Re: Jim Moray - I suppose the artists that provoke the strongest reactions are the most interesting... I like the idea that folk can be moved in new and strange directions, but what I've heard of Jim's music does nothing for me - the beats and sounds seemed a little clichéd and it all felt a bit MOR to me, I'm afraid. Shame, because I'd really like to like him! :(

Rombald, Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:09 (fourteen years ago) link

As an addendum - perhaps JM will cut loose a bit more on his second album? IIRC his first was done as part of a university music course, so he may have had to play a bit safer?

I don't know how helpful it will be to the original poster, but http://www.theunbrokencircle.co.uk/ might turn up some interesting stuff, although it's more concerned with psychedelic, odd and abstract folky stuff (oldies like Incredible String Band, Comus, Forest and new stuff like the 'New Weird America' thing).

Rombald, Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:17 (fourteen years ago) link

this is a pretty gd bk on the english folk revival:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0747553300/qid=1134640482/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_2_1/026-1867087-2774036

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 15 December 2005 09:55 (fourteen years ago) link

These LPs are also a big fave with Simon Reynolds

... and this is significant in what way exactly?

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 09:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I really like the Karine Polwart album.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:07 (fourteen years ago) link

The thing I don't really get is that the stuff which the young people seem to be calling new folk or wyrd folk or whatever doesn't really sound like folk to me, it sounds like folk-tinged singer songwriter material. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that, I like some of the stuff (especially King Creosote and some of his Fence mates). (NB this is an observation adapted from a theme taught to me in a pub one evening by Dadaismus, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I.)

The Eighteenth Day of May come closer than anyone else I've heard to that late 60s / early 70s British folk-rock sound. They're good.

Tim (Tim), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Folkies aren't generally very hip people, no matter what age they are. That's just the way it seems to be. That's in Britain of course.

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Lucky Luke and Espers are both rockin' the actual britfolk thing, Pentangle and Fairport Convention style, but the latter suck.

sean gramophone (Sean M), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:15 (fourteen years ago) link

I heard a song by each and wasn't enormously taken with eiter. I had it in my head that Espers were real actual Americans. Am I wrong about that?

Tim (Tim), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I think they're Americans, but they totally sound exactly like Fairport Convention, only with the occasional (disappointing) freak-out and much, much weaker songs.

Lucky Luke (from Glasgow) are great, though... go see them live and/or anticipate the next record.

sean gramophone (Sean M), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:28 (fourteen years ago) link

A lot of the 60s/70s stuff is rhythmically pretty hot and heavy in a way that the newer stuff isn't.

Okay, so we're talking about folk rock here right,rather than straight-up trad folk, which can hot and heavy enough in its own addled way? I would love it if I could stumble on some decent bands that were ploughing the same sort of furrow as peak-era Fairport or Trees or whatever and that didn't suck outright. I know it's sort of backwards looking of me, but there's a certain clanging and organic feel and texture and god damn guitar sound that I never really feel I can hear enough of. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. All I can think of right now that fit the bill in any way are Ghost and Acid Mothers Temple ca. La Novia. Certainly no British bands that I've come across.

X-posts: I don't mind Espers, but they seem rather too gentle for me. Lucky Luke I've heard of, but am yet to hear.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:32 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk/webpics/gm_logo_trans.gif

this is the place to go: http://www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk/

for all your brit-folk needs!

also worth looking out for, a new compilation called Strange Folk, with tracks from the aforementioned Vashti, Tyranosaurus Rex, Donovan, Espers, Incredible String Band, Lucky Luke (iirc) and loads of other ace people I can't remember cos i left it at home.

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:34 (fourteen years ago) link

To play that sort of stuff you have to be a really shit hot musician - I mean, Richard Thompson, Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, Martin Carthy etc etc. Prime time Fairport are like the Mahavishnu Orchestra in Arran sweaters.

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:37 (fourteen years ago) link

That is a fucking good way of putting it.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:39 (fourteen years ago) link

I wish more bands were interested in causing a ruckus rather than dancing round the bong like doe-eyed gnomes. I'm afraid we've left the bacchnalian part to Julian Cope and I think that's a fucking travesty.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Sorry, way too much coffee.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:50 (fourteen years ago) link

ISB are easier to do than Fairport/Steeleye... I know, I've tried

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:59 (fourteen years ago) link

These LPs are also a big fave with Simon Reynolds

... and this is significant in what way exactly?

-- We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (dadaismu...), December 15th, 2005 9:56 AM. (Dada) (later)

I just thought it was ILM law to mention Reynolds whenever possible.

I wish there were more songs like Tam Lyn by Fairport, i.e funky Black Sabbath. Swedish doom band Witchcraft get there sometimes.

most of the the wyrd-folk stuff is only surface level weird. The second Steeleye recording of The Blacksmith is so much more bizarre than any of them, and that isn't even what it's trtying to do - what an amazing arrangement it has. Modern wyrd-folk types too much like Colin Hunt types... "You do have to be mad to work here but it doesn't help" etc.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:04 (fourteen years ago) link

I just thought it was ILM law to mention Reynolds whenever possible.

You're right

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Who was it who came up with the term "Wyrd Folk" in the first place? What a shit genre term! It stinks of a decal job - of someone imposing their bullshit meaning/issues or wtfe on something that already existed. Fuck that shit. I mean really. Fuck it.

The message I'm getting from this thread is that newer musicans aren't up to the standard of older musicians in folk music? Obviously ppl like mattacks, dransfield, guys from gryphon, thompson etc are hard to follow (evidence on eg Fairport's ROCKING live album "House Full") but I had kind of thought folk would be a genre where powerful/expressive musicianship/group playing would still be at some sort of premium. Dissapointing if not so.

Anyway, "No Roses" by Shirley Collins/Albion band is fucking great, and should get more props, basically.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, little known album is the comp of Etchingham Steam
Band recordings - Shirley C and Ashley H's "unplugged" ensemble from the early 1970's. Unplugged so they could still do gigs even when there power cuts! Worth picking up, anyway, as is anything w/Shirley C singing on it, TBH.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Yer right there Pash, "No Roses" is the fucking business

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:30 (fourteen years ago) link

For me "The Murder of Maria Marten" is a strong contender for the best piece of music ever recorded. I ration myself, not listening to it too often because it's TOO POWERFUL.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Pashmina - No Roses is great, but don't you find the bass and drums on Albion Band and related albums (such as Morris On) somewhat... plodding and uninspired? Especially compared to Span or Fairport...
That said, I'll agree Maria Marten is absolutely incredible!

AFAIK the terrible term wyrd-folk was coined by Stone Breath's Tim Renner.

Rombald, Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Errrrrrrrrrrrr, bass and drums on "No Roses" - Hutchings (definitely) and Mattacks (probably)? Or Gerry Conway at least?

But, before I begin to sound like a prog rocker, you don't have to be a brilliant musician to play folk music - in fact, one of the reasons I got sick of that whole scene was its muso-ishness (especially, fiddle players who only want to play as fast and as twiddly as possible!). To play like Fairport you have to be pretty good tho of course!

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Pash, you have "Rise Up Like the Sun"?

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:37 (fourteen years ago) link

That's how I got into liking folk music! John Peel playing "Poor Old Horse" after he'd finished playing siouxsie and the banshees etc back in the late '70's.


Morris On I like, other Albions stuff I'm not mad on, really. Perhaps the drums are why? I haven't listened to any for a while.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Another album not much talked about but which I'm very fond: "Storm Force Ten" by Steeleye, 1978 edition

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Pash, you have "Rise Up Like the Sun"?

That's a good record that is. 'Lay Me Low' or whatever it's called just kills me. Totally tramples over any sort of aesthetic barriers I might have erected against that sort of soppy twaddle and stomps all over my jaded old heart. Sniffle.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, it's a heartbreaker that one... especially in conjunction with the "Ampleforth" tune. Then there's the "Gresford Disaster"! (Sniffles turned to floods by now)

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 11:48 (fourteen years ago) link

Also search Bert Jansch, Roy Harper.

Didn't really know there was any "revival" of British folk right now in terms of new bands playing it. I knew there was a revival of interest in the last few years, otherwise I wouldn't really know who Fairport Convention was, honestly.

I've often thought that 60s British folk revivalists treated folk music with much more respect and subtlty than their American counterparts did (who went for "simplicity" and "rawness"). This might also explain why I find Brit bands better at playing blues than their white American counterparts.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 15 December 2005 15:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Suspect the forthcoming, budget-priced 4 CD Anthems in Eden [An Anthology of British and Irish Folk 1955-1978] should be on your wish list for the new year. From Lonnie Donnegan to Comus is a weird ride....

ortho_bob (ortho_bob), Thursday, 15 December 2005 16:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Not to deny your 'Maria Marten' love, Pash, but I've always found that 'Poor Murdered Woman' slays me even more - it's not as weird, sure, but it genuinely affects me on a mental and physical level like little else I can think of (ie. it makes me want to cry).

myopic_void (myopic_void), Thursday, 15 December 2005 17:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm with you on that one, "Poor Murdered Woman", it's so journalistic and unsensational

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 15 December 2005 17:38 (fourteen years ago) link

And I might as well declare that I prefer the first Steeleye album to Liege and Lief. And Full House is also superior imo. S: 'Poor Will and the Jolly Hangman', there's little better. And I've really been getting into those Richard & Linda albums. 'Calvary Cross', ... whoah.

myopic_void (myopic_void), Thursday, 15 December 2005 17:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Espers sound NOTHING like Fairport Convention.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Thursday, 15 December 2005 17:56 (fourteen years ago) link

so wait, Espers are trying to sound like Fairport Convention who were trying to sound like Jefferson Airplane?

search: Shirley and Dolly Collins "Plains of Waterloo."

and sweet heavens, some forty posts in let me be the first to say the hallowed name of Davy Graham.

imbidimts, Thursday, 15 December 2005 18:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Espers sound NOTHING like Fairport Convention.

Have you seen them? Because they fucking do. Or did when they opened for Devendra in Edinburgh. But crap.

sean gramophone (Sean M), Thursday, 15 December 2005 18:19 (fourteen years ago) link

I've just ordered the 2 CD version of Bright Phoebus on German Amazon Marketplace. I own the single disc version, but want to get the deluxe set.

Duke, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:27 (one year ago) link

The seller says they have one new copy in stock for standard price

Duke, Saturday, 8 December 2018 21:28 (one year ago) link

C'mon "Shady Lady" and "Rubber Band" are amazing. Amazing how they made such a great song out of just effectively saying "you need more sun" repatedly. Maybe my second or third favorite.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 22 December 2018 12:46 (one year ago) link

RAG you are a mensch

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 22 December 2018 12:49 (one year ago) link

I ordered from a Barnes & Noble marketplace seller, just got randomly refunded and order cancelled : /

Someone must've gone to discogs

Ae$op Rocky (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:15 (one year ago) link

Of all my favorite genres, I have the least experience with folk music and I'm quite scared to find how deep it goes (but I guess even with other genres I like, you rarely get a sense of how big the whole picture is). This feels long delayed because I got into June Tabor about 15 years ago (see my Tabor thread revive) and only occasionally dip back in to folk.

How good a guide is the Electric Eden book? I guess it leans more towards the psychedelic side?

Are there any guides that go through European folk that has a similar enough aesthetic to british folk?

How did you guys find your way around?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 22 December 2018 17:05 (one year ago) link

About 20 years ago a friend gave me a stack of C90 cassettes of mostly Enlglish fold and folk rock. I had just gotten out of a lengthy relationship and, because I worked retail, would be mostly alone during the holidays and unable to travel back home. I was unfamiar with the genre but these tapes really resonated with me and I was grateful for the time my friend spent recording the tapes which even included some handmade cover art. I still have these in a box somewhere.

Silly Sisters and Tabor's Airs and Graces comprised one tape. Fotheringay and Triona another? Definietly Steeleye Span and some Sandy Denny and Fairport.

Anne Briggs The Time Has Come was reissued maybe a month later and that record really broke the genre open for me. I essentially followed the thread created by those records and would flip through issues of Dirty Linen when I came across them for other names and connections. I feel like I've really only scratched the surface and haven't even really begun exploring other European folk music.

sknybrg, Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:27 (one year ago) link

I learned about Shirley Collins, bought and read and listened to everything I could find, it led me to everyone else. Her stuff is still my favorite for Dolly's arrangements (Anthems in Eden with EMC of London in particular) and there is a huge family tree to explore from there. I was also really into the US/UK folk divide so I enjoyed all of the Lomax-recorded Child Ballads etc. Electric Eden is a good read and I would definitely recommend it.

European folk that is not UK/British folk is a total mystery to me but I would love to find an interpreter I love as much as I love Shirley & co.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:31 (one year ago) link

Yes! How could I forget that Shirley and Dolly For As Many As Will was on one of these tapes. I need to rummage through my closet and pull my cassettes out and revisit them.

sknybrg, Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:38 (one year ago) link

I remember seeing some intriguing but small RYM lists with Russian folk that looked like it should appeal to british folk fans. I guess French folk is fairly well known compared to a lot of countries.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:43 (one year ago) link

Véronique Chalot’s J'ai vu le loup is a good mix of French and British styles, a bit like Comus or Catherine Ribiero in places, but mostly gentle pastoral.

eva logorrhea (bendy), Saturday, 22 December 2018 22:52 (one year ago) link

Can't think of much European folk that sounds too similar to British/Irish folk music - Alan Stivell, of course, from 'Little Britain'.

Once in Rahul Dravid's City (Tom D.), Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:02 (one year ago) link

She’s Breton too

eva logorrhea (bendy), Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:08 (one year ago) link

I've been listening to Malicorne (amazing) and there's a lot of Scottish sounding stuff in there. I have heard that a lot of Scottish tradition comes from france though (I should know this, could have swore a music teacher told us that bagpipes and tartan were french).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:09 (one year ago) link

There's bagpipes everywhere - even England!

Once in Rahul Dravid's City (Tom D.), Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:10 (one year ago) link

Been topping up my amazon wishlist and Watersons - Yorkshire Garland isn't on CD.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:29 (one year ago) link

Malicorne is the one French folk group I am familiar with and the records I’ve heard I absolutely love. The droning quality is blissful to me. If anyone knows more about the French folk scene, I’m all ears.

Re Electric Eden. I haven’t read it but the library has a copy I should borrow. Sounds like a good winter read

sknybrg, Sunday, 23 December 2018 04:40 (one year ago) link

I read as much as google books would allow me of a folk/psych-folk book by Jeanette Leech called Seasons They Change - pretty absorbing.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 23 December 2018 18:53 (one year ago) link

I did a posts search for Malicorne the other day and found a lot of helpful info about French folk. I came at Malicorne more as a prog band but seemingly their early days were more in the classic folk rock mode.

I should watch BBC's Folk Britania again, that was very generous to give us a full 3 episodes because the other ones on metal, prog and synth only really skimmed the surface (although it was nice to see some less familiar faces). I didn't pay close enough attention to all 3 episodes when they first aired.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 23 December 2018 19:20 (one year ago) link

Electric Eden is a great read. Covers lots of ground - a lot of it probably familiar to many ILMers, but I'd definitely recommend it.

Duke, Sunday, 23 December 2018 19:22 (one year ago) link

https://rateyourmusic.com/genre/folk

Checking all the subgenre charts could take forever but there's a lot of interesting looking stuff there (Warsaw City Folk?). Cant find a Russian category oddly. Charts probably aren't particularly reliable outside of the traditions most familiar to us (Robbie Robertson at no2 of Native American, Okami videogame soundtrack at no1 of East Asian).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 23 December 2018 19:50 (one year ago) link

How good a guide is the Electric Eden book? I guess it leans more towards the psychedelic side?

Are there any guides that go through European folk that has a similar enough aesthetic to british folk?

How did you guys find your way around?

― Robert Adam Gilmour

electric eden is a great book but i found it unfortunately not very useful as a listening guide. rob young has a real gift for describing music in a creative and tantalizing way that i found in many cases the reality didn't hold up to.

rym charts have some good stuff in them but require extensive filtering to get rid of, say, strasserites.

errang (rushomancy), Sunday, 23 December 2018 20:16 (one year ago) link

here i stumbled onto this list copied from holy warbles, probably better to go with lists than charts as a general rule on rym

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/ceesar/holy-warbles/

errang (rushomancy), Sunday, 23 December 2018 20:45 (one year ago) link

I bought myself 'anthems in eden' on vinyl as a xmas present. Been digging the other Watersons stuff I got too; was the 'soul cake' song really creepy for people in the past, or is it just modern ears?

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:28 (one year ago) link

It reminds me of a Xmas Carol, which I guess must have been made in the same mode...but I can't remember which.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:30 (one year ago) link

"Christmas is Coming" has the same "if you haven't got a penny" bit

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:38 (one year ago) link

I can't quite remember what it was I was thinking of. We Three Kings is maybe similar in what seems to me like the 'flatness' of the tune?

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:44 (one year ago) link

Or maybe 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' - I have no clue about music theory, they just have something in common to my ears.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:46 (one year ago) link

I get you, I was also thinking about the Coventry Carol because of the eerie minor key vibe

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:50 (one year ago) link

It's kind of the old 'minor key = sad' kind of debate. Did the people at the time find these eerie and negative, or do we think they are because of associations we have.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:53 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5CZHHK2WQQ

I feel a wyrd Christmas coming on

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:57 (one year ago) link

I feel like there's something - maybe deliberate - that folk revival people were doing that generates a lot of the eerieness. Compare different versions of a standard like "Lord Bateman", Nic Jones's for example has a tune that's at odds with the lyric in adding this layer of melancholy to it

https://youtube.com/watch? v=wMI11GaHC00

https://youtube.com/watch? v=0C_wyEpaNP8

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:05 (one year ago) link

https://youtube.com/watch? v=wMI11GaHC00

https://youtube.com/watch? v=0C_wyEpaNP8

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:07 (one year ago) link

I'm in my cups listening to Bright Phoebus, which will probably be the tone of the holidays.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:07 (one year ago) link

gah, phone links

Driving Drone for Christmas (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:07 (one year ago) link

so this is the one that really sticks in my head and i find myself humming loudly in public.
got good seats for Shirley's roundhouse show early next year and really looking forward to it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mazxGlUoSQ8

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:40 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

I think "Winifer Odd" is the best demo on the second disc of Bright Phoebus. It has something a little different from the official version, maybe it's mostly the guitars?

I saw another two copies in Fopp and bought one for a friend. Surprised there's still a bunch sitting around in shops.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:43 (one year ago) link

nine months pass...

Listening to Once in a Blue Moon and Bed of Roses by Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight on this rainy November morning in the office. Lal's lyrics induce a pleasant vertigo, like being next in line for a roller coaster or when you get just a little bit of opiate and a chance to lie down.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 7 November 2019 16:38 (four months ago) link

i don't think i've heard that one ... will have to check it out.
i've been revisiting the Electric Muse comp in a big way over the past couple months — a really pleasurable and revealing listen.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 November 2019 16:52 (four months ago) link

It's two albums from the 90s that Lal Waterson recorded with her son... she sadly died while Bed of Roses was being recorded in 1998.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 7 November 2019 17:06 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Thanks for the heads up, I saw them in Fopp and picked them up.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 23 November 2019 15:48 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

I rewatched Olivier Assayas's Something in the Air last night and really took notice of Amazing Blondel's "Fantasia Lindum" (1971). Afterwards, was able to order it and another of their albums as a twofer CD.

clemenza, Saturday, 21 March 2020 15:01 (two weeks ago) link

from Post-Fahey etc. Pt 2 thread:
Just listened to John Rebourn's The Attic Tapes, out Oct. 16. They go back at least to '62---he died before getting all the dates, but his commentary is really fluent, analyzing some of the songs, without getting pedantic, and talking about how several of them came together, incl. ones whose (probable) sources were unguessed way back when he learned 'em: who knew "Can't Keep From Cryin'" was a Blind Willie, and it's one of several familiar titles who sound really different from any version I knew.
He also talks about finding traces of the UK songster Davey Graham in various cities, ideas that lodged in the heads of musos who may well have had no reel-to-reels, or anyway didn't need one to summon the bits that JR puts together here. Mind you, he does give Graham the writer's credit for the opening tightly loose bedsit version of "Anji"(that's from the box marked "1962").
Most are like that, as he says up front, with no thought they'd ever be heard---apprentice JR, but he's already got it, and the audio's a lot better than I expected: just whoosh on the hemp carpet, and You Are There. Ditto the live tracks, where you can tell he knew somebody was listening.
He's an okay-to-good singer, maybe more the former, but we also get a couple of nice jolts from Beverly Martyn, on young Donovan's Jansch-y "Picking Up The Sunshine." JR mentions her being on the cover of a Jansch LP...need to check out more of her stuff; I only know her from the album with hubbie John. She's even better on a tight blues. Though actually most of this is pretty concise--20 tracks in 60'48"---with no lack of atmosphere.
Also a couple guest shots from the Hurdy Gurdy Man, Mac Macleod (vocals and guitar only), and the grand finale teams JR with Graham himself, on "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out": jazzy-bluesy, duh, and rawther magical. What other Graham should I check out?
Oh yeah, audio and more info here:
http://www.worldmusic.net/store/item/TUG1089/
PS: speaking of Jansch, this also has an intriguing solo Renbourn version of "Courtship Blues," which Renbourn says is Jansch's first song--they hadn't met then, and the writer hadn't recorded it yet, but Renbourn heard it when Tom Paley came down from Edinburgh.
Wantin those Graham tips yall.

― dow, Tuesday, September 8, 2015 6:11 PM (four years ago) bookmarkflaglink

lots of davy graham releases i've yet to hear but...

the comp that came out on see for miles is a great place to start, picks and chooses from most of his decca albums. not sure if this has been superseded by a more recent collection or not.

favourite dg lp of mine: large as life & twice as natural. stretched out folk blues jazz raga (love the joni both sides now cover that kicks it off), cd reissue has good notes from john renbourn himself.

& if you don't want to hear him sing (i like his voice personally) the collaboration with shirley collins is a+

― no lime tangier, Tuesday, September 8, 2015

dow, Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:18 (two weeks ago) link

This was mostly good too:
Artist: John Renbourn & Wizz Jones
Title: Joint Control
Catalogue No: TUGCD1095
Barcode: 605633009521
Label: Riverboat Records
Release date: 9 September 2016

Wizz is among a host of performers appearing at a special John Renbourn Tribute concert on Thursday 22 September at Cecil Sharp House, London.

Riverboat Records is delighted and proud to be releasing Joint Control whose 13 songs wonderfully embody the fruits of that friendship, capturing the two great artists and consummate guitarists performing together live and in the studio. The album is all the more poignant because it represents the final recordings by John Renbourn, the final tracks made just days before his death on 26 March 2015 from a heart attack at his home in Hawick in the Scottish borders.

At the time of John’s death, Joint Control was almost entirely finished. The pair had been working together since the start of the year in a small studio, about an hour from John’s Hawick home. Alongside the sheer artistry of their playing you can’t but escape the warmth of the camaraderie permeating these performances. Most of the songs are drawn from a repertoire honed through their touring together since 2012; the only original composition, Wizz’s instrumental ‘Balham Moon’, was recorded at the insistence of John, who also gave it a title.

Of course, many of the songs date back to that extraordinary period of the 1960s when Wizz and John first met, reflecting the ideas and techniques that were shared by all the young British pickers and the influences which neither Wizz nor John would have hesitated to acknowledge - Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Josh White and Davy Graham.

The version of ‘Glory Of Love’ here is one of two performances taken from a brace of Edinburgh shows in 2014; it was learnt via a version performed by Big Bill Broonzy rather than the million-selling hit by The Five Keys. Broonzy’s ‘Hey Hey’ also fittingly opens Joint Control. The other song taped at these shows, ‘Great Dream from Heaven’, is from the repertoire of Bahaman gospel singer Joseph Spence. John was a great admirer of Spence’s work but the song was also a staple of Davy Graham’s set. “It was through Davy that we knew it,” recalled Wizz to Peter Paphides whose fine notes grace this collection. “We didn’t know much more about it than that, but then John researched it and went back to the roots of it a bit more.”

Joint Control is fundamentally steeped in the history of British folk music in the 1960s with many songs by Wizz and John’s contemporaries such as Al Jones and Archie Fisher. Another on the scene was Jackson C. Frank who first arrived in London in 1965; his most famous song, ‘Blues Run The Game’, was one Wizz had never got round to recording. It was only in more recent years that he started to play it, albeit it from Bert Jansch’s version.

Bert Jansch himself is appropriately represented on this album by no less than three performances each one bearing the hallmarks of his unique technique and great songwriting. The unreleased instrumental ‘Joint Control’ is an early example of the reflective, intricate filigree work that would dramatically bear fruit on 1966’s Bert & John album. It was actually recorded for Jansch’s It Don’t Bother Me the previous year but inexplicably left off the final selection. Masterfully interpreted here by John with Wizz, it makes it’s presence here all the more special and significant.

The anthemic ‘Strolling Down The Highway’ first appeared on Jansch’s debut which in the hands of Wizz and John - as eloquently described by Peter Paphides: “now sounds like a careworn validation of the bohemian aspirations parlayed by Bert and all the contemporaries for whom the guitar represented an escape route from the expectations of their forebears.” The other Jansch song, ‘Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning’, from his LA Turnaround album, always provided one of the most moving moments in Wizz and John’s shows together; Wizz would usually look skywards at the song’s close. In the wake of John’s death, this recorded version becomes even more heartfelt and moving.

As much as Joint Control is steeped in the celebrated history that its two participants shared, these genuinely historic recordings also sound utterly fresh and contemporary. John and Wizz had only rarely appeared on record together in the past. John produced (and played a little) on Wizz’s 1972 album Right Now, as well as on 2011’s Lucky The Man so we can be particularly thankful that these recordings were made. As Peter Paphides concludes: “Joint Control is a fitting testament to two musicians who never forgot the spirit of joy and exploration which made them pick up their instruments in the first place; two fires of more than fifty years standing. We’re very fortunate that they managed to capture it in time.”

should be tracks from this and The Attic Tapes here:
https://soundcloud.com/world-music-network/

― dow, Monday, July 4, 2016 5:18 PM (three years ago) bookmarkflaglink

Re "Glory of Love," John Martyn used to do a good extended version of it also.

― dow, Monday, July 4, 2016

dow, Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:23 (two weeks ago) link

Oh, here's what I said about it later:
Listening to that John Renbourn & Wizz Jones set, Joint Control, which I posted info about recently. Somehow not yet into the opening and closing instrumentals---though appreciating the latter's it-ain't-over-yet diligent picking-as-digging as an end---but the one in the middle, Jones's "Balham Moon," is pretty cool, and the singing x playing of the others also bring several cycling shades of blues-as-a-feeling vs. purism, even in the Renaissance Faire come-on, "Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning," JR's notes got thee pangs. Mostly, though, it's closer to the relatively expected sort of UK and American rare birds, "Buckets of Rain" aside. Distinct approaches, but very cohesive (think Renbourn plays most of the solos).

― dow, Tuesday, July 12, 2016

dow, Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

And this:

Listened to this---circle of friends on the living room carpet, late night but not too laid back---agreeable vocals, lyrics add roadmarks, guitars keep it moving through my attention (same label that put out those aforementioned posthumous Renbourns, the most recent a live set w Wizz):

JONES, BERRYMAN & JONES
Come What May
Artist: Wizz Jones, Pete Berryman &
Simeon Jones
Title: Come What May
Catalogue No: TUGCD1102
Barcode: 605633010220
Label: Riverboat Records
Release date: 26 May 2017
RIVERBOAT RECORDS PRESS RELEASE
Fellow acoustic guitar innovators and long-time friends Wizz Jones and Pete Berryman have
unmistakable styles that beautifully complement each other. With textured accompaniment
by Simeon Jones on saxophone, harmonica and flute this is an album of great song writing and
seamless musicianship.
Inspired by hearing Big Bill Broonzy and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Wizz Jones learnt his guitar licks from
the likes of Davy Graham and Long John Baldry whilst playing in the coffee bars of London’s Soho
in the late 1950s. He then followed the time-honoured buskers trail from the streets of Paris to the
markets of Marrakech during the early 1960s and returned to Britain with a unique acoustic guitar
style, an eclectic repertoire and a right hand worthy of Broonzy! Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and John
Renbourn have all named him as an important early influence and in May 2012 Bruce Springsteen
opened his Berlin show with Wizz’s song ‘When I Leave Berlin’.
Back in 1960 a be-suited reporter Alan Whicker had filmed a piece for the BBC’s ‘Tonight’ programme
reporting on the ‘beatnik menace’ in Newquay, Cornwall. It included two musical offerings from Wizz,
one of them a song in the style of Woody Guthrie called ‘Hard Times In Newquay’ (if you’ve got long
hair!). The youthful Wizz explained to Alan ‘All I’m interested in is playing the guitar and travelling.’
Unfortunately for the local councillors who spoke about how they were trying to expel the beatniks,
the latter had already had a profound effect on the local youth in the shape of Pete Berryman; Pete’s
first experience of live acoustic guitar was seeing the very same Wizz Jones, barefoot and busking on
the beach in Newquay.
Pete Berryman arrived on the music scene in the 1960s with the Famous Jug Band which also
featured Clive Palmer of the Incredible String Band. At this time, he also recorded with Ralph McTell,
Al Stewart and in 1971 his influential LP with John James,
Sky In My Pie, was released.
Simeon Jones often travelled with father Wizz during the 1960s and 1970s to Cornwall in a variety of
jalopy VW buses and Citroens as well as to numerous festivals in the UK and Europe. Avoiding the
guitar (perhaps sensibly!) he developed into a superb sax, harmonica and flute player and has been
playing since the 1980s a wide variety of music in sessions and on tours with countless blues bands.
The music on this album results from three musicians who have nothing to prove, getting together
for a few days and playing assuredly on a few songs and tunes they all love. There are original songs
from both Pete and Wizz along with Bert Jansch’s ‘Moonshine’ and Fran Landesman’s wonderful
‘Ballad Of The Sad Young Men’.
Wizz’s song ‘Alone In My Car’ perhaps sums up the overall mood; driving through the night, heading
for Cornwall, looking forward to playing some music with Pete and other friends. ‘Playing the guitar
and travelling’ – still doing it after all these years. Long may it continue - come what may!
For more information, visit www.worldmusic.net

― dow, Monday, May 1, 2017 5:08 PM (two years ago) bookmarkflaglink

booklet:

01 YOU’RE BLASÉ
(Hamilton/Sievier) pub Chappell Music Ltd
A song composed in 1933 and featured in a
stage musical called ‘Bow Bells’. Hearing this
on a cassette transcription from an old 78
rpm disc played and sung at the piano by that
old rascal Leslie ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson reminded
me of musical evenings when as a child at
home in Croydon, listening to the BBC, the
wind-up gramophone and my mother jauntily
playing the piano during the dark winters of
the 1940s.
02 SEE HOW THE TIME IS FLYING
(Tunbridge) Copyright Control
I make no excuses for revisiting this beautiful
Alan Tunbridge song yet again. There must be
so many generations who’ve yet to hear it!
03 POACHER’S MOON
(Jones) pub Year Zero Music
One cold night in November somewhere in
Germany back in the 1970s I was carousing
with the double bass master Danny Thompson.
‘That’s called a “Poacher’s Moon”, Wizz,’ he
said looking up at the Harvest Moon which
was briefly visible between the clouds. I
misunderstood and thought that a ‘Poacher’s
Moon’ meant a dark night with no moon,
hence the lyrics in my song. He then went
on to wax lyrical on his wild times on tour
with the guitarist John Martyn - up to their
waist in freezing water at midnight, fishing
in the Scottish Highlands. I just had to write
something to keep that vision in my mind!
04 A RED PAPER ROSE
(Berryman) Copyright Control
Pete’s imagining the story from another side.
05 BEWARE OF CHARMING FRIENDS
(Jones) pub Year Zero Music
I guess sometimes my songs get too personal!
06 THE BALLAD OF THE SAD YOUNG MEN
(Landesman/Wolf) Copyright Control
Davy Graham, a great inspiration to all
acoustic guitarists in the 1960s, recorded this
Fran Landesman poem on his second album
and I’ve always wanted to sing it.
07 ANOTHER CHRISTMAS WITH YOU
(Jones) pub Year Zero Music
Not to be taken too seriously. A blues riff that
came out of one of my favourite guitar tunings
– EADEBE.
08 COME WHAT MAY
(Berryman) Copyright Control
Pete’s letter to his daughter
09 MOONSHINE
(Jansch) pub Leola Music Ltd
It was the great Bert Jansch who presented
a nine-year-old Simeon with an old wooden
flute, thus starting him off on a never ending
musical journey. When I heard Simeon’s son
Alfie playing Bert’s song, naturally I persuaded
him to come into the studio to play on this
track.
10 SEA SONG
(Berryman) Copyright Control
Some maritime musings from Pete.
11 ALONE IN MY CAR
(Jones) pub Year Zero Music
Heading for my beloved Cornwall for the
thousandth time.
BONUS TRACKS:
12 THE KING OF ROME (BONUS TRACK)
(Sudbury) pub Cloud Valley Music
13 THE NEW MOON’S ARMS (BONUS TRACK)
(Lowe/Sanders) pub Lowe Life Music
14 ALBATROSS (BONUS TRACK)
(Green) pub BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd
MUSICIANS:
Wizz Jones: acoustic guitar, vocals
Pete Berryman: acoustic guitar, vocals
Simeon Jones: tenor saxaphone, flute, harmonica and
vocals
Guest Musicians:
Alfie Jones: acoustic guitar on track 9
Anne Sumner: vocals on tracks 8 and 11
Produced by Wizz Jones and Andy Levien
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Andy Levien at RMS
Studios, London, 2016
Track notes by Wizz Jones
Sleeve notes by Maggie Holland

Visit www.worldmusic.net to hear sound samples of all
albums on Riverboat Records.

― dow, Monday, May 1, 2017

dow, Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

Interesting background, Davey Graham, he was mixed race: Scottish and English, no, seriously, his mother was Guyanese and his father was Scottish. I saw him play once and he was pretty terrible, I'm sure I must have posted about it on here.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:30 (two weeks ago) link

I saw John Renbourn playing with Robin Williamson too, which was much better!

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:31 (two weeks ago) link

Ah, here we are...

Glad to say that I saw Bert Jansch (a few times), Davy Graham (which was, er, interesting) and John Renbourn live before they died, John with Robin Williamson... don't die yet, Robin!

― Betel-chewing Equipment of East New Guinea (Tom D.), Friday, 27 March 2015 07:51 (four years ago) link

Tom, curious about Davy Graham, what was the like? From what I've read he was an intense person

― kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 27 March 2015 12:27 (four years ago) link

Intensely fucked up on something or other - booze, pills, smack, who knows what. He basically couldn't play anymore but he couldn't play in a bewildering variety of styles and genres, Buxtehude to raga to calypso, his set must have covered about 6 centuries. At one point he brought a guy he was teaching to play guitar up on stage and, to be honest, it was a relief to have someone play without bum notes, fluffs, fumbles etc.

― Betel-chewing Equipment of East New Guinea (Tom D.), Friday, 27 March 2015 12:51 (four years ago) link

... that's all I could find but that's like 10 years after the gig and I'm sure I posted something about at the time. I remember turning up for the gig a bit early and seeing him stood on his own at the back of the venue, bolt upright and completely still, for an unnaturally long time.

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Saturday, 21 March 2020 21:44 (two weeks ago) link


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