Tag Archives: English folk rock

Bert Jansch’s Just A Simple Soul

Bert Jansch was one of the most iconic and influential folk musicians to come out of the U.K. in the 1960s. It’s shocking that it’s taken until now for the release of a career retrospective, but very welcome indeed is … Continue reading

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The Rails’ Other People

Other People is The Rails’ second album, but the first to be widely circulated and promoted in the U.S. It was released in the U.K. in October 2017 but is being released in the U.S. for the duo’s first stateside … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Hand’s Wylding Hall audiobook

Liz Hand’s Wylding Hall is fucking brilliant. And it’s simply the best audiobook I’ve listened to, bar none, as her text is perfectly matched to what amounts to a full cast production in a way that’s rarely done. It is an oral … Continue reading

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Jack Cooper’s Sandgrown

Jack Cooper’s two-man band Ultimate Painting has made three albums and is working on a fourth, but in the meantime he has released his first solo album. Sandgrown is a song cycle that paints a sonic picture of his hometown, … Continue reading

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Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, 10-12 August 2017

(Please note: For various reasons I will not mention all the groups that played this year.) There is some dispute about when the first Cropredy festival took place. The most common view is that it was the farewell concert Fairport … Continue reading

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Jack Cooper’s Sandgrown

Jack Cooper’s two-man band Ultimate Painting has made three albums and is working on a fourth, but in the meantime he has released his first solo album. Sandgrown is a song cycle of sorts painting a sonic picture of his … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Acoustic Classics Vol. II

Richard Thompson follows up his popular Acoustic Classics release from 2014 with a second volume, aptly titled Acoustic Classics Vol. II. It’s a handpicked selection of some of his currently most popular songs from his solo acoustic performances, hitting all … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s Living in the Shadows Part 2, On the Edge of a Dream

This is the second installment of a massive archival re-release project of Scottish troubadour Bert Jansch’s latter-day studio recordings. This four-LP or -CD box collects Jansch’s three studio releases from the 2000s: Crimson Moon (2000), Edge of a Dream (2002) … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s Living in the Shadows (Part 1)

Bert Jansch, who died in 2011, was quite a prolific musician for quite a long time. I was a rather casual fan of his — well, actually I was an intense fan of one of his albums, and a casual … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s Moonshine

The year 1973 was not all that good a year for music, as far as I was concerned. There were a few bright lights, but mostly, the vibrant rock music of the late ’60s was morphing into bloated arena rock … Continue reading

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Pentangle’s Finale

Pentangle will always be an autumnal group for me. Probably because I first heard them when I visited the University of Oregon in the fall of my senior year of high school. And also maybe because I bought my first … Continue reading

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Pentangle’s The Time Has Come: 1967-1973 

By my recollection it was The Pentangle when they started. And then they lost the definitive article and were just Pentangle. Whatever they called themselves, they were like fish out of water at the time. My friends didn’t listen to them at … Continue reading

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Patrick Humphries’ Richard Thompson: The Biography

Biographies of musicians are always dangerous propositions. Too many are tell-alls that insist on concentrating on lurid details and scandal, to the point where the reader forgets that the book is about a musician. Others go the other way, and … Continue reading

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Oysterband’s Deserters 

Contrary to what the liner notes in the recent  Pearls from the Oysters  compilation suggest, the finest period in the Oysterband’s long and illustrious history was the 3-CD arc that began with  Deserters  and culminated in  The Shouting End of … Continue reading

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Brian Hinton & Geoff Wall’s Ashley Hutchings:  Always Chasing Rainbows 

It’s been several years since the publication of Ashley Hutchings: The Guv’nor & The Rise Of Folk Rock, the first volume in a trilogy of books covering the life and astounding career of AH. So rich and multi faceted is the … Continue reading

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Brian Hinton & Geoff Wall’s Ashley Hutchings: The Guv’nor & the Rise of Folk Rock

To some of us the subject of this book is, if not God, at least the musical equivalent to the pope. Name a group you like and have followed over the years, and there is a fair chance that Mr. … Continue reading

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George Berger’s Dance Before the Storm: The Official Story of the Levellers 

Chris Woods penned this review. What a pleasant surprise, a musical biography which I actively enjoyed reading! I’m afraid I’m old enough, and difficult enough nowadays, to find that many biographies of bands and artists contain more irritation content than … Continue reading

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Oyster Ceilidh Band’s Jack’s Alive, Oyster Band’s English Rock ‘N Roll: the Early Years (1800-1850) and Lie Back and Think of England

Ed Dale wrote this review. I stumbled onto the Oysterband several years back via a copy of Little Rock to Leipzig, received as a premium during a college radio station’s fund drive. This was blind good luck. The two CDs I … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Acoustic Classics

Richard Thompson’s style and competence as a solo performance have evolved a lot in just the past 20 years, and even more since he broke up with his former wife and singing partner Linda Thompson and set out on his … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Electric

Electric which someone calculates to be Richard Thompson’s 40th release, features the English folk-rock icon in a power trio setting, with plenty of power provided by drummer Michael Jerome and bassist Taras Prodaniuk, both of whom have been playing with … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Strict Tempo!

Lately, every time Richard Thompson issues a new recording, a spate of interviews appears in print and online media, conducted by writers of varying familiarity with his extensive oeuvre. Inevitably, one of more of them will ask him about his … Continue reading

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Fairport Convention’s 4Play 76/79

A not uncommon response when Fairport Convention is mentioned is to think of a band with regular line-up changes. However, that was really only the case in the first couple of decades of their existence. The remaining two and a … Continue reading

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Richard & Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out The Lights (Deluxe Edition)

What is left to be said about Richard & Linda Thompson’s swan song and masterpiece Shoot Out The Lights? It has garnered all kinds of honors in the nearly 30 years since its 1982 release, landing on more “best of” … Continue reading

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Richard & Linda Thompson’s Hokey Pokey

It’s probably going too far to say that Hokey Pokey is an overlooked gem in the Richard Thompson catalog. But this, the second of six studio albums released by Richard and Linda Thompson between 1974 and 1982, generally doesn’t receive … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Walking On A Wire, 1968-2009

What can you say about a musician whose career began more than 40 years ago and whose creative and physical energies are still going strong? If the artist in question is Richard Thompson, you needn’t say anything. Just open the … Continue reading

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Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Richard and Linda Thompson are among the most revered of musical couples in rock history, at least among fans not confined to music’s bland mainstream. That reverence is largely based on two albums: their first, I Want To See The … Continue reading

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The Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love

For their fifth full-length recording, Portland, Oregon’s The Decemberists have made a sprawling epic of a record, a grand concept album the likes of which hasn’t been seen much in 30 years or more: The Hazards of Love. Frontman, lead … Continue reading

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Linda Thompson’s Versatile Heart

Linda Thompson could be forgiven for a slight lack of thematic and sonic variety on her 2002 album Fashionably Late and she was, by reviewers and fans alike who were overjoyed at her first new recording in nearly 20 years. … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Sweet Warrior

Sweet Warrior is Richard Thompson’s best set of songs this millennium. I like it best, anyway, of his studio releases since 1999’s Mock Tudor. Starting with that album, all of RT’s recent releases have been “theme,” if not actual “concept” … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s ‘RT’ The life and music of Richard Thompson

“It’s good to be able to choose to look back.” — Richard Thompson, as quoted by Nigel Schofield in ‘RT’ A celebration of the life and music of Richard Thompson, the book accompanying the box set of the same name. … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s The Old Kit Bag

In these angst-ridden times, it’s appropriate that Richard Thompson subtitles his first studio release in nearly four years, “Unguents, Fig Leaves and Tourniquets for the Soul.” But one can rarely take anything about Richard Thompson at face value, except for … Continue reading

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Linda Thompson, Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR, October 5, 2002

“Thank you — that’s the last time I’m going to sit in a darkened room for 17 years,” said a smiling Linda Thompson as she returned to the stage for an encore at the end of her first live performance … Continue reading

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Linda Thompson’s Fashionably Late

Linda Thompson still has all of the qualities that made her one of the most striking voices in English folk-rock in the 1970s and ’80s. Her new CD, her first recording in 17 years, puts all that’s best about her … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Watching the Dark

Richard Thompson is often described as a cult figure, a description that Thompson himself defines as meaning that he does not have hit records and, as a result, does not make a fortune from his art. Even adepts of the … Continue reading

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Richard Thompson’s Mock Tudor

(This review was written by Gary Whitehouse and Dan Herman in September 1999.) Any new release by Richard Thompson is eagerly awaited by his minor legion of extremely loyal fans worldwide. But anticipation was especially high for Mock Tudor. It’s … Continue reading

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