måndag 18 april 2016

SANDY DENNY/THE NORTH STAR GRASSMAN AND THE RAVENS ILPS 9165 (-71) UK

Often called Sandy Denny's first solo effort, but that's confusing in many ways. She had done solo stuff for Saga label in the sixties (see earlier posts) and since this emerged out of the collapsed recordings for "Fotheringay 2", with partly the same crew and two of the tracks - "Late November" and "John The Gun" - were slightly reworked leftovers from those sessions it could as well have been credited to the band. In spite of some uptempo portions I get a very wistful album, filled with melancholy and grief. Title track is a homage to her deceased sailor friend Paul Bamber and "Late November" built on a dream she had about former Fairport Convention drummer Martin Lamble, who died in a car crash 1969. I've seen some of the cuts on it have been called "fillers" and the whole album uneven, but I don't get that at all. Maybe the covers of Dylan's "Down In The Flood" or Charles Robins' "Let's Jump The Broomstick" isn't her finest moments, yet sung with so much feeling it fits. The traditional "Down By Black Waterside" beautiful and...I could go on homaging every single track, but you get the idea - I think it's a great album. Apart from band buddies there are contributions from US steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, bassist Tony Reeves (Colosseum, John Mayall) and drummer Gerry Conway (Steeleye Span, Pentangle) among others. Recordings were largely self-produced by Denny and the band with a sometimes unsmooth result. A couple of the recordings appears unbalanced or unadjusted, like rehersals or early takes, but that together with the excellent audio gives a transparency and closeness at least I find very connective. Issued and reissued on vinyl, cassette and CD through the years, some with bonus tracks. First US on A&M (SP-4317). Premiere UK had label as shown here, matt fold/out cover and custom blue island inner. (BRYF*) (FÄV*) (FÄHZ*)

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar