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THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Elektra (UK) 60835-2 The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter ● CD $15.98
Robin Williamson and Mike Heron reach the pinnacle of creativity on this, their third album. Their whimsical mixture of traditional folk, rock festival hippy-ness, and a sackful of exotic instruments coalesce into a charming and unique hybrid. They sing lines like "And steal your chrstalised ginger" and "We are the table cloth and also the table..." but generally the lyrics are better. What really makes their music special is the layering of the instruments in odd couplings. Dolly Collins adds flute organ and piano to a couple of tunes. The Minotaur's Song/ Witches Hat/ Waltz Of The New Moon/ A Very Cellular Song/ The Water Song, etc. (AE)

 
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Elektra (UK) 61547-2 The Incredible String Band ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 45 mins., recommended. Now available as a U.S. release. If any of the current flurry of ISB reissues belongs in every ISB fan's CD collection, this is probably the one. It's the first appearance of the band in 1966, with Heron and Williamson working for the only time with Clive Palmer, who left the band shortly afterward. There's some brilliant young songwriting here, along with rough-hewn, emotionally saturated instrumental and vocal work. You can hear Heron and Williamson feel around for their voices, Robin definitely finding his in Womankind, while Mike retained some strong Dylan influence on The Tree. The band had yet to begin exploring the more exotic instruments, sticking here with guitar, fiddle, flute and banjo, though there's a sitar buzz in Robin's guitar that may or may not have been intentional. Heron's liner notes reflect the happy, hopeful insistence infusing the lyrics some of the most singable of the ISB's prodigious output. (DC)

 
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Elektra (UK) 60913-2 The 5000 Spirits or The Layers Of The Onion ● CD $15.98
CD reissue of the second Incredible String Band album from 1967. Decked out in a fullblown psychedelic cover, reproduced here in miniature, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron's efforts captured many a curious shopper. They were still generally working within the 3 and 4 minute song limit, with a pronounced folk and blues influence although the lyrics are pretty quirky and there's plenty of the beloved sitar and flute of later years. Chinese White/ No Sleep Blues/ Painting Box/ The Mad Hatter's Song/ My Name Is Death, etc. (AE)

 
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Elektra (UK) 61549-2 Changing Horses ● CD $15.98

 
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Mooncrest 31 The Chelsea Sessions, 1967 ● CD $14.98
Available again at a reduced price. 13 previously unissued demos discovered in the vaults of Island records. Recorded just prior to their album "The 5000 Spirits" it includes demos of some of the songs that appeared on that album (First Girl I Loved/ Eyes Of Fat/ The Mad Hatters Song) along with songs they hadn't recorded elsewhere (Born In Your Town/ LOver man/ God Dog, etc.)

 
BERT JANSCH Big Beat CDWIKD 182 Young Man Blues - Live In Glasgow, 1962-64 ● CD $16.98
30 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended Intriguing and invaluable album of live recordings made at folk clubs between 1962 and 1964 of one of the most important and influential folk musicians of the 60s. These predate Berts' first Transatlantic recordings in 1964. Recorded by 14 year old schoolboy Frank Coia the sound quality is not the greatest but Bert's singing and brilliant guitar playing comes through fine. It is clear that the talent heard on his first albums was fully formed years before. The material is a mixture of originals, other contemporary songs and tunes and blues and jazz songs and tunes. Some of them were to later show up on his studio albums but there are also quite a few not recorded elsewhere. Includes Something's Coming/ When Do I get To be Called A Man/ Angi/ Meanest Man In Town/ Bottle It Up And Go/ Stagolee/ Finches/ Blues Run the Game/ I Am Lonely, I Am Lost/ Train On The River/ Gallows Tree and more. 12 page booklet has extensive notes in small type by Jansch biographer Colin Harper and includes some great pictures of Bert from the early/mid 60s. (FS)

 
BERT JANSCH Temple 2035 Sketches ● CD $14.98
On this album he is accompanied by a small group with Pete Kirtley/guitar, percussion & backup vocals; Danny Thompson/ double bass, percussion and chimes and others. Songs, mostly written by Bert, include new ones along with remakes of some of the most famous songs from early in his career. Includes Ring-A-Ding-Ding Bird/ Poison/ Needle Of Death/ Running, Running From Home/ Can't Hide Love/ A Woman Like You/ As The Day Grows Longer Now and others. Bert is in good voice and playing well and the old favorites sound fresh. (FS)

 
BERT JANSCH & JOHN RENBOURN Shanachie 99006 After The Dance ● CD $14.98

   
BERT JANSCH CONUNDRUM Kicking Mule 3909 Thirteen Down ● CD $15.98
Reissue of 1979 album, the only album by this short lived group featuring Jansch with Martin Jenkins/vocal, violin, flute & mandocello; Nigel Portman-Smith/electric bass; Fender Rhodes/accordion; and others. Mostly original compositions.

NIC JONES Shanachie 79090 Penguin Eggs ● CD $14.98
A year after recording this masterpiece in 1980 Nic Jones was involved in a near fatal car accident which effectively terminated the career of one Britain's most talented folk performers. Although he has recovered to a greater extent than was thought possible it is unlikely that he will ever be a professional performer again. Jones was superb - a warm distinctive singer, a brilliant and innovative guitarist and an excellent fiddle player. He also had an unerring knack for picking rarely heard songs (mostly traditional) that subsequently became folk club staples. The opening song Canadee-i-o features some of his most imaginative guitar playing, the almost jaunty performance of the tragic The Drowned Lovers has fine instrumental accompaniments by Tony Hall/ melodeon and Bridget Danby /recorders who appear on several other songs. You won't be able to resist singing along with the chorus on the beautiful The Little Pot Stove and Farewell To The Gold. The intense The Humpback Whale is a dazzling evocation of the life of the whaler while the lovely instrumental Planxty Davis shows a quieter side to Nic's music. Transfer to CD is excellent but it's unfortunate that Topic refrained from adding notes. An essential release. (FS)

 

 

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