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New Releases: March -> December, 2011
Folk Music
Sandy Denny ->
Gabriel & Marie Yacoub + Books + DVD

 

BOOKS



MUSIC FROM THE TRUE VINE Mike Seeger's Life & Musical Journey by Bill C. Malone ● BOOK $28.98
Hardback, 235 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping
A musician, documentarian, and scholar and one of the founding members of the influential folk revival group the New Lost City Ramblers, Mike Seeger spent more than fifty years collecting, performing, and commemorating the culture and folk music of white and black southerners, which he called "music from the true vine". In exploring Seeger's life and musical contributions, Bill Malone argues that Seeger, although not as well known as his brother Pete Seeger, may be more important to the history of American music through his work in identifying and giving voice to the people from whom the folk revival borrowed its songs. Seeger recorded and produced over forty albums, including the work of artists such as Dock Boggs and Maybelle Carter. In 1958, with an ambition to re-create the southern string bands of the 20's, he formed the New Lost City Ramblers and thereby helping to inspire the urban folk revival of the 60's. Mike Seeger was one of the folk revival's most influential figures, and Malone has presented a fascinating biography.

 
THE GREAT FOLK DISCOGRAPHY Vol. 1 Pioneers & Early Legends by Martin C. Strong ● BOOK $34.95
Paper, 627 pages, highly recommended. Counts as 12 CDs for shipping.
It's nice to see a book of this magnitude that concentrates solely on Folk music and, although I found occasional aspects of it a bit lacking, overall it is the best book of its kind available. The bulk of the book is dedicated to two sections--"North American Pioneers and Early Legends," and "Britain and Beyond"--with smaller segments for Cult artists, oddball collectables, lists of favorites and a brief overall history of Folk music. So in the American section, you get coverage from around The Almanac Singers to The Youngbloods, with the biggest entries for artists like Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, etc., as expected. A pretty wide swath of Folk is represented, with rural Blues acts like Pink Anderson and Rock bands like The Band included in the coverage. The English and beyond acts range from Amazing Blondel to The Young Tradition with appropriately large entries for the Likes of Fairport Convention and so on. Each of the entries includes bios, discographies, chart info etc., and make for good reading. Unlike other books of its type, there are no record cover or label reproductions included, which would have been nice. Overall, this is a quality addition to your bookshelf, especially if that said bookshelf already contains a number of Goldmine titles, Acid Archives and the like. (JM)

 

DVD


 
AMERICAN FOLK BOB DYLAN Sony DVD 14466 The Other Side Of The Mirror - Live At Newport Folk Festival ● DVD $14.98
83 mins, highly recommended Captures what are probably the three most important shows in Bob Dylan's career. This DVD features fantastic footage and sound from the shows that help make Bob Dylan a legend Not to mention one of the most controversial Rock & Roll performances of all time; Two songs Maggie's Farm, and Like A Rolling Stone played loud, proud and electric in front of a crowd that had mixed feelings about what they were witnessing (to say the least). You get to watch the scrawny Woody Guthrie disciple turn into the brash enigma, far better writers than I have been discussing and dissecting both personas for the last 40 plus years. Also featured are some clips with Joan Baez, including a brief but fascinating interview bit with her as she drives away from the festival, as well as an even briefer clip of Johnny Cash doing It Ain't Me Babe. It would be nice to see all of Johnny's performance; maybe we will be getting that as well soon. Certainly this is essential for all of us Dylan-philes out there, with great takes on North Country Blues/ With God On Our Side/ Mr. Tambourine Man, and much more. Bonus feature is an interview with director Murray Lerner. If you have a Blu-Ray player there is Blue-Ray version available (Sony 787462 - $24.98) (JM)

 
AMERICAN FOLK BOB DYLAN Sony 787462BR The Other Side Of The Mirror - Live At Newport Folk Festival ● DVD $24.98
Blue Ray edition.

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS


 
ENGLAND SANDY DENNY Island (UK) 533 405-8 The North Star Grassman And The Ravens ● CD $35.98
2CDs, 27 tracks, 96 mins, highly recommended
Sandy Denny's classic debut solo record gets the deluxe treatment that it so rightly deserves. After Fotheringay dissolved, Denny decided to try a solo approach and, thankfully, this wonderful record was the result. This is easily the most complete and worthy re-issue of the album. Not only do you get the full original album with five bonus tracks remastered and sounding fine, but you also get a second whole CD of bonus tracks. You get demo tracks like: Next Time Around/ Walking The Floor Over You (with Richard Thompson,)/ The Sea Captain, and Wretched Wilbur, etc. Then also BBC sessions from 1971 and 1972 that feature fantastic takes on Blackwaterside, and The North Star Grassman And The Ravens, among others. It's a beautiful package through and through with lots of extra goodies that Denny fans will eat up. (JM)
Disc1: The Sea Captain/ Down In The Flood/ John The Gun/ Next Time Around/ The Optimist/ Let's Jump The Broomstick/ Wretched Wilbur/ The North Star Grassman And The Ravens/ Crazy Lady Blues/ Next Time Around (Demo)/ Walking The Floor Over You (Duet with Richard Thompson)/ Lord Bateman (previously unreleased instrumental)/ If You Saw Thru My Eyes (Duet with Ian Matthews) Disc 2: The Sea Captain (Rare demo)/ The Optimist (Rare demo)/ Wretched Wilbur (Rare demo)/ Crazy Lady Blues (Rare demo)/ Lord Bateman (Rare demo)/ Late November (BBC Session - 1971)/ The Lowlands Of Holland (BBC Session - 1971)/ Blackwaterside (BBC session - 1972)/ The North Star Grassman And The Ravens (BBC In Concert - 1972)/ Bruton Town (BBC In Concert - 1972)/ Next Time Around (BBC In Concert - 1972)/ John The Gun (BBC In Concert - 1972)

 
ENGLAND SANDY DENNY Witchwood Media 2053 19 Rupert St. ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 34 mins, highly recommended
If you're not a big Sandy Denny fan you'll probably be put off by the rough recording quality and not infrequent instrumental fluffs. But if you're a fan, like me, you'll be overjoyed to hear some previously unissued recordings from this wonderful singer. Recorded in August 1967 at 19 Ruper Street in Glasgow the home of Scottish folk giant and mentor to Sandy, Alex Campbell, this features solo performances by Sandy, duets with Alex's wife Patsy and a couple of songs from Alex. Several of Sandy's songs here I don't believe she recorded anywhere else like the traditional The Leaves Of Life/ Willie Moore/ Balulow and John Martyn's Fairy Tale Lullaby and the performances are lovely with the gorgeous crystalline fragility of Sandy's singing coming through in spite of the rough recording. There is also a version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes which she had recorded a month earlier with the Strawbs. Sandy and Alex are obviously having a good time laughing and joking and Alex's pride in the talents of his protégé are evident. Lovely! (FS)

 
AMERICAN FOLK BOB DYLAN Columbia 84742 In Concert Brandeis University, 1963 ● CD $9.98
7 tracks, 38 mins, very highly recommended
A real treat for Dylan fans - a previously unknown live recording made at the Brandeis University Folk Festival on May 10th, 1963 - two weeks before the release of his groundbreaking "Freewheelin'" album. Four of the seven song appeared on that album - Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance/ Masters Of War (a particularly compelling and savage performance)/ Talking World War III Blues and his exquisite reworking of the traditional song Lord Franklin as Bob Dylan's Dream. Two of the songs Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues and Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues were recorded at the the Freewheelin' sessions but never made the final cut. The final song, the chilling Ballad Of Hollis Brown had been written in 1962 and appeared on his third album "The Time They Are A-Changin'" in 1964. Bob is in great form, sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Dylanologist Michael Gray. This won't excite your average listener but will be invaluable for Dylan fans both for the quality of the performance and for it's importance in being the last live performance recorded before he satarted heading for superstardom. (FS)

 
AMERICAN FOLK BOB DYLAN LeftField 501 Folksinger's Choice ● CD $18.98
11 tracks, 57 mins, very highly recommended
Cynthia Gooding was a performer in own right, having recorded for Elektra, but was best known for her radio show on New York station WBAI, "Folksinger's Choice". In March, 1961, Gooding hosted Dylan on her show, the transcription of which is preserved here. This fascinating document includes not only the earliest performances of The Death of Emmett Til/ Standing on the Highway, and Hard Times in New York Town, and some well chosen (and performed) covers from Hank Williams, Bukka White, Howlin' Wolf, and Woody Guthrie, but also some engaging stories from a clearly at ease Dylan. Although tall as these tales may (or may not) be, it's Dylan's way of telling them - not to mention Gooding's willingness to believe them - that makes the performance even more fun to listen to. As a document of very early Dylan-before even his first album had been released - this recording is invaluable as history; but more than that, it's also great to listen to. (GMC)

 
AMERICAN FOLK JOHN FAHEY Dust-To-Digital 21 Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You ● CD $86.98
5 CDs, 121 tracks, 5 hours 51 min, very highly recommended
Between 1958-1965, before he formed Takoma Records, John Fahey recorded for Joe Bussard's tiny and obscure Fonotone label. Fonotone was a one-man outfit, where Bussard issued 78 rpms as late as 1970. Each 78 was a one-of-a kind acetate cut on Bussard's own slightly off-speed disc cutter. A mere 95 copies makes up the total number of copies released of Fahey's first album, and all his Fonotone material (where Fahey often recorded as Blind Thomas) has been very tough to locate. This LP-sized box set collects the Fonotone material, including ultra-rare takes and even a few fragments. Fahey explores the country blues, murder ballads, gospel and country songs, and even plays the sitar.The 88-page hardback book includes essays by Glenn Jones and Malcolm Kirton, among others, and features a 1967 interview with Fahey, as well as label information, notes on every track, and rare photographs. By itself, the book would be enough to recommend this to Fahey fans. In all, this box set shines a well-deserved light on the often over-looked early career of one of the acoustic guitar's greatest and most eccentric and eclectic innovators. Hats off to Dust-To-Digital for saving this great music from eternal obscurity. A must have for any Fahey fan. (JC)

 
SCOTLAND RAY FISHER Folk Legacy 91 Willie's Lady ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 43 mins, essential
Ray Fisher is a member of a very talented family of singers - her brother Archie and sister Cilla are well known performers and although Ray is less well known she might very well be the best of them. Her voice has that incredibly melodious quality you hear in the best Scottish and Irish singers and the quiet intensity of her approach will send shivers down your spine. Most of the songs are traditional featuring Ray accompanied by her own rather basic but effective guitar accompaniment and include stellar renditions of fairly uncommon songs like The Red-Haired Man's Wife/ Are You Sleeping Maggie/ The Weary Cutters and others. These performances are enough to make this well worth your $16.98 but what makes it essential is the stunning Willie's Lady an amazing nine minute tale of treachery, murder and magic which Ray put to a Breton folk tune. On this track she is given some sublime fiddle accompaniment by Johnny Cunningham. Martin Carthy was so impressed by her approach that he also did a spectacular rendition of her version on his "Crown Of Horn" album. The booklet comes separately and has notes by Ray on the songs. Because of the separate booklet this counts as three CDs for shipping. (FS)

 
AMERICAN FOLK WOODY GUTHRIE Rounder 1167 The Live Wire, Woody Guthrie In Performance 1949 ● CD $18.98
18 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Travel back in time to 1949 with Woody Guthrie, towards the end of his most productive years, but still fiery and impassioned, singing and talking politics live at a community center in Newark New Jersey. These historic spools of live recordings were restored and transferred to disk so that we all can enjoy them. Accompanied by his wife Marjorie, who helped steer conversation, egging Woody on to let loose his feelings on a number of prescient issues in between performances of some great tunes. Black Diamond/ Tom Joad/ Columbia River/ Grand Coolie Dam, etc, fill out the song list, but the real joy of this is to hear Woody in such an intimate and animated way. The original release of this won the 2008 Grammy for historical recording. It is back in print again, in case you missed it the first time. Pretty essential release for Folk music fans. Includes historical notes by Woody and Marjorie's daughter Nora Guthrie, who has done a fantastic job here and with all of her efforts managing her father's legacy. (JM)

 
ENGLAND BERT JANSCH Spectrum (UK) 2075 Angie - The Collection ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, 77 mins, essential
Bert Jansch has influenced artists from Paul Simon, Donovan, and Nick Drake, to Neil Young and Led Zeppelin, to Johnny Marr and the Smiths, among countless others, and this collection does a fine job of illustrating why. Bert Jansch revolutionized acoustic guitar playing and his skillful fingers and lyrical sense make for amazing instrumentals as well as beautiful accompaniment to his and others voices. Sampling from Jansch's most prolific years 1965-1972-a seven-year period that saw Jansch perform on five solo albums, two collaboration LPs with John Renbourn, and six as a member of Pentangle-this collection does a fine job showing how much ground he covered in that short span of years. Whether it is his dynamic cover of Davy Graham's brilliant instrumental Angie, his hugely influential arrangement of the traditional Blackwaterside, the heartbreaking Needle Of Death, the Jazzy/ Donovan-esque A Little Sweet Sunshine, or the dramatic No Love Is Sorrow, each twist and turn along the road finds Jansch creating something new & special: beautiful music that has lasted decades and should be loved for generations to come. This is a fine introduction to his early career, he released a whole slew of fantastic material over the years, and so if you use this compilation as a jumping off point, you have a lot of great music ahead of you. Unfortunately I am writing this just days after Jansch has died, so listening to his music and writing this review was all the more bittersweet. The world of music has lost a true genius. (JM)

 
FRANCE MALICORNE Griffe 191252 Malicorne ● CD $17.98
11 tracks, 37 mins, very highly recommended
The first album by this fantastic French folk group originally issued in 1974 on the Hexagone label is now available again at a lower price. Malicorne were the most exciting and innovative group to emerge from the folk revival in France and one of the finest anywhere. Their approach to traditional songs and tunes was strikingly imaginative, using electric and acoustic instruments, ancient and contemporary instruments, weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds but always remaining faithful to the spirit of the original. The group was spearheaded by the magnificent singing of Gabriel and Marie Yacoub - Gabriel has a rich baritone voice full of emotion that is beautifully complemented by Marie's lovely fragile soprano. At times all the group sing and the result is spine chilling music with an almost medieval quality to it - in fact much of their music has an early music feel to it. At this time the group included Gabriel Yacoub/vocal, acoustic & electric guitars, dulcimer; Marie Yacoub/vocal, electric dulcimer, bouzouki, hurdy gurdy; Hughes de Courson/electric guitar, bass, crumhorn & percussion; Laurent Vercambe/violin, bouzouki, psaltery, harmonium and mandolin. On this first album they perform a beautiful collection of traditional songs and tunes from France and Quebec. While the singing and playing are not as multi layered as on their later albums the performances are all utterly superb. (FS)

 
FRANCE MALICORNE Griffe 191262 Malicorne 2 ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, 42 mins, essential
Available again at a lower price. As good as the group's first album was, their second from 1975 is even better - the vocals are stronger and more extensive use is made of harmonizations that bring to mind Gregorian chants. The instrumental arrangements are complex and multi layered but never overpower the vocals. The 10 minute La Fille Aux Chansons is a stunningly beautiful performance and the harmonies on Marions Les Roses are utterly spine chilling. This album is so perfect it's hard to believe that the group could do anything better but a year later they came out with "Almanach" - in my estimation the greatest traditionally based folk rock album of all time! (FS)

 
FRANCE MALICORNE Griffe 191272 Almanach ● CD $17.98
13 tracks, 49 mins, essential
Available again at a lower price. This 1976 album was the group's masterpiece. It consists of a series of 12 traditional songs, one for each month of the year, most of them with a magical theme. The singing led by Gabriel Yacoub and his powerful distinctive baritone is complemented by his wife Marie's fragile soprano and when the rest of the group join in on the vocal harmonies the effect is spine chilling. The instrumental work is spellbinding using acoustic and electric instruments and weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds to create powerful and tremendously beautiful music. All this comes over with crystal clarity on this CD. On Les Tristes Noces when the electric bass comes in to join Gabriel and Marie's unaccompanied vocals the sound reverberated through my spine! This album is one of the greatest folk albums of the 70s and quite deservedly won "Grand Prix" from the Academie Du Disque Francais. The beautiful cover illustration by Laurent Lesserre prepares you for the treasures within and the 12 page booklet has notes on all the songs by Gabriel (in French) and all the lyrics. An all time classic! (FS)

 
FRANCE MALICORNE Griffe 191282 Malicorne 4 ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, 41 mins, very highly recommended
Another classic Malicorne album available again at a lower price. For their fourth album the group added a fifth member Oscar Zdrzalik (electric bass & percussion) and started experimenting with synthesizers and other electronic instruments and writing original songs but never lost sight of the traditional music they were playing. The vocal and instrumental arrangements are quite simply breathtaking. This is music to listen to again and again. (FS)

 
THE OLDHAM TINKERS Pier PIERCD 504 That Lanacashire Band ● CD $15.98 $7.98
Charming collection of traditional and original songs about Lancashire by this excellet trio featuring Gerry Kearns/ vocal & guitar, Larry Kearns, vocal, whistle & mandolin and John Howarth/ vocal, banjo & whistle. This CD reissues their 1979 Topic LP of the same name along with four bonus tracks from the 1968 compilation "Owdham Edge." Includes Old May Song/ Nowt About Owt/ / Oh! That Lancashire Jazz Band/ Tribute To Owd Paddy/ The Crime Lake Boggart/ Canute, etc.

 
AMERICAN FOLK BETTY SMITH Folk Legacy 53 Songs Traditionally Sung In North Carolina ● CD $16.98
CD-R, 15 tracks, 48 min., very highly recommended
The McGarrigle sisters must have had this music in their record collection and their souls when they recorded their first two LPs. Smith is pure of voice as she accompanies herself on guitar or autoharp or dulcimer or psaltery. The songs speak of revenge, despair, murder, heartbreak, death (and other human preoccupations) with a starkness that is both beautiful and chilling. A recurring subject is the transitory nature of this existence and the getting ready for the afterlife (e.g., We'll Camp A Little While In The Wilderness and Where Will I Shelter My Sheep Tonight). Songs include the familiar Black Is The Color and Foggy Dew, as well as the less familiar Little Rosewood Casket/ Mary Of The Wild Moor/ Young Charlotte, and more. Not to be missed. (JC)

 
RICHARD THOMPSON Omnivore 8 Strict Tempo! ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, essential
Limited edition 30th anniversary reissue of the only all instrumental album released by musical giant Richard Thompson. His treatment of traditional fiddle tunes, hornpipes, reels and even Duke Ellington's Rockin' In Rhythm must be heard by all guitar freaks and folkies - his playing is masterful throughout, and the highly original arrangements range from somber to sprightly to wacky. This album was recorded at home in 1981, and Richard plays nearly all the instruments including electric, acoustic & Dobro guitars, bass, banjo, harmonium, mandolin, mandocello and hammered dulcimer! Dave Mattacks guests on one cut. Essential. (MB)

 
ENGLAND RICHARD THOMPSON Universal 533 290-9 Featuring Linda Thompson - Live At The BBC ● CD $86.98
Just arrived. Incredible three CD plus DVD set of mostly previously unissued music and videos made by the British Broadcasting Corporation of live performances featuring one of the greatest talents to emerge from Britain - singer, songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson. The first disc features 20 tracks featuring with his then wife Linda Thompson - one of folk rock's truly great vocalists. They perform acoustically and with a band including a full concert performance with a band following the release of their last album together "Shoot Out The Lights." The second and third CDs feature recordings by Richard solo or with one of his bands recorded between 1985 and 2009. The set includes four original compositions by Richard that have never been released before on CD and three versions of traditional songs not available elsewhere. The DVD features 18 live performances by Richard and Linda together and by Richard on his own filmed between 1975 and 1985 - only one that has ever been issued before. Includes 36 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes including new interviews with Richard & Linda. (FS)

 
AMERICAN FOLK VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 058 The Newport Folk Festival, 1959 ● CD $11.98
A snapshot of the American folk music scene in 1959 featuring recordings made at the Newport Folk Festival that was founded that year. Three CDs with 42 tracks featuring artists like Pete Seeger, Leon Bibb, Odetta, Joan Beaz & Bob Gibson, Barbara Dane, Earl SCruggs, John Jacob Niles, Frank Warner, Oscar Brand, Ed McCurdy and others.
JOAN BAEZ AND BOB GIBSON: Virgin Mary Had A Son/ We Are Crossing The Jordon River/ LEON BIBB WITH JOHN STAUBER & ERIC WEISBERG: Every Night When The Sun Goes Down/ Lonesome Traveller/ Sinner Man/ Times Are Getting Hard/ OSCAR BRAND WITH BILLY FAIER: Which Side Are You On?/ BARBARA DANE: Little Maggie/ Dink's Blues/ CYNTHIA GOODING: Jalisco/ Un Domingo/ FRANK HAMILTON: Lady Gay/ TOM MAKEM WITH PAT CLANCY & PETE SEEGER: Cobbler's Song/ Mountain Dew/ ED MCCURDY: Frankie And Johnny/ The Old Fisherman/ Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star/ When Cockle Shells Turn Silver Bells/ THE NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS: Beware, O Take Care/ Hopalong Peter/ When First Into This Country I Came/ JOHN JACOB NILES: The Hangman, Or The Maid Freed From The Gallows/ ODETTA: Cotton Fields At Home/ Great Historical Bum/ I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain-Water Boy/ Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho/ JEAN RITCHIE: Pretty Saro/ Shady Grove/ What're We Going To Do With The Baby-Oh/ Paper Of Pins/ MARTHA SCHLAMME WITH FRANK HAMILTON: Hey Daroma/ Que Bonita Bandeira/ There's A Hole In My Bucket/ EARL SCRUGGS: Cumberland Gap/ Earl’s Breakdown/ Flint Hill Special/ PETE SEEGER: Careless Love/ One Grain Of Sand-Abiyoyo/ The Bells Of Rhymney/ SONNY TERRY AND BROWNIE MCGHEE: My Baby Done Changed The Lock On The Door/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ FRANK WARNER: Old Racoon

 
IRELAND VARIOUS ARTISTS Traditional Crossroads 4284 Ballinasloe Fair: Early Irish Music In America, 1920-30 ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, 63 mins, very highly recommended
1998 release. Fabulous collection of Irish music recorded in the 1920s for Victor by a diverse selection of performers - mostly recently arrived immigrants along with a couple of performers born in North America. About two thirds of the tracks are instrumentals including solos (with piano accompaniment) on fiddle (Michael Hanafin, Michael J. Cashin), accordion (Frank Murphy), tenor banjo (Neil Nolan), flute (John Sheridan) and piccolo (Murty Rabbett) as well as and ensemble piece from the great Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band. There are a number of vocals including a fabulous rendition of Johnny Will You Marry Me by Murty Rabbett & Dan Sullivan - a song revived by several artists in the 1970s. There are also sentimental songs (My Gray Haired Irish Mother by John MCgettin, etc.) and vaudeville songs (One, Two Three by Packie Dolan, etc.). All in all a superb collection with superb sound remastered from original metal parts and extensive notes by Irish music expert and musician Mick Moloney. (FS)
MICHAEL CASHIN: Touhey's Favorite-Lamb On The Mountain/ PACKIE DOLAN & MELODY BOYS: A Drink In The Morn/ PACKIE DOLAN & THE MELODY BOYS: One, Two, Three/ The Lady Of The House-Ballinasloe Fair/ DINNY "JIMMY" DOYLE & LARRY GRIFFIN: Let Mr. McGuire Sit Down/ Tommy Murphy Was A Soldier Boy/ MIKE & CONNIE HANAFIN: Rodney's Glory/ JOHN MCGETTIGAN & HIS IRISH MINSTRELS: My Gray Haired Irish Mother/ FRANK MURPHY: Rakes Of Clonmel/ The Mason's Apron/ NEIL NOLAN: Miller's Reel-Duffy The Dancer/ The Boys Of The Lough-The Teetotaler/ The Floggin'-Miss McLeod's/ MURTY RABBETT: Molly Durkin/ Polkas/ Johnny Will You Marry Me/ The Donkey/ JOHN SHERIDAN: Killarney-Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms/ The Jackets Green/ DAN SULLIVAN'S SHAMROCK BAND: The Ricket's Hornpipe-Stack Of Barley

 
FRANCE GABRIEL & MARIE YACOUB Griffe 191852 Pierre De Grenoble ● CD $17.98
12 tracks, 37 mins, essential
After leaving Alan Stivell's band in 1973 and prior forming the great band Malicorne in 1974, Gabriel Yacoub and his wife Marie put out this album of traditional songs and tunes under their own name on Barclay. This gem is now available again on CD. Joining them are fellow Stivell alumni Dan Ar Bras and Alan Kloatr as well as other fine French musicians. As in Malicorne their approach to traditional songs and tunes was strikingly imaginative, using ancient and contemporary instruments (acoustic and electric guitars, dulcimer, hurdy gurdy, harmonium, psaltery, bagpipes, bouzouki, crumhorn, etc) weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds but always remaining faithful to the spirit of the original. Gabriel has a rich baritone voice full of emotion that is beautifully complemented by Marie's lovely fragile soprano. A number of tracks feature those spine chilling, almost Gregorian chant sounding, harmony vocals that were to become a trademark of Malicorne's sound. The material is consistently fine with the highlights being the beautiful title song which segues into a wonderful bransle and the powerful Le Prince D'Orange but it's all superb. You owe it to yourself to hear this! (FS)

 

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