Thursday, November 25, 2010

John Renbourn - So Early In The Spring (1979 England) [2006 Remaster] @320

2006 reissue of this 1979 album by one of Britain's greatest folk performers. 12 tracks including 'To Glastonbury', 'Lindsay' and the title track.

01. So Early In The Spring 4:05
02. Lindsay 2:39
03. The Mist-Covered Mountain Of Home/The Orphan 3:21
04. To Glastonbury 3:17
05. The English Dance 2:57
06. The Bank Of Sweet Primroses 4:08
07. Blues Run The Game 4:05
08. Great Dreams From Heaven 3:58
09. Peacock Rag 2:25
10. If You Haven't Any Hay 2:32
11. The Young Man That Wouldn't Hoe Corn 3:51
12. Buckets Of Rain 2:51

John Renbourn: guitar and vocal


Friday, November 19, 2010

John Renbourn - Sir John Alot Of Merrie England (1968 England) [2002 Castle Remaster] @320

An instrumental album (originally called Sir John Alot of Merrie England) featuring John Renbourn with his Pentangle bandmate Terry Cox on percussion and Ray Warleigh on flute. Originally released in England in 1968, the same year that Pentangle started to record, Sir John Alot was steeped largely in English folk music. Highlights include "The Trees They Do Grow High" (aka "Long A-Growing"), solo guitar miniatures such as "Lady Goes to Church," the epic "Morgana," with its sharply nuanced tempo and timbre changes, and the sprightly "My Dear Boy." Some parts of this album are surprisingly contemporary sounding, such as the bluesy "Transformation," which sounds like "What'd I Say" transposed for acoustic guitar and African drums; "White Fishes," which veers dangerously close to quoting George Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things"; and "Sweet Potato," which sounds like a folk-rock song without words, even as Renbourn quotes "Satisfaction" at one point.

01 - The Earle Of Salisbury
02 - The Trees They Do Grow High
03 - Lady Goes To Church
04 - Morgana
05 - Transfusion
06 - Forty Eight
07 - My Dear Boy
08 - White Fishes
09 - Sweet Potato
10 - Seven up
11 - The Earle Of Salisbury (Alternative Take 4)
12 - Transfusion (Alternative Take 2)
13 - Forty Eight (Alternative Take 1)

John Renbourn: Guitar
Terry Cox: Finger cymbals, African drums, Glockenspiel
Ray Warleigh: Flute


Monday, November 15, 2010

John Renbourn - The Lady And The Unicorn (1969 England) @320

This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes and early classical music. The oldest are probably the English dance tune 'Trotto' and the Italian 'Saltarello', to which I have added a drone accompaniment, tuning the guitar to DGDGCD. 'Lamento di Tristan' and 'La Rotta' are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They too are without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel.
The three part conductus 'Veri Floris', composed during the Notre Dame period, is a setting for the words 'Under the figure of the true flower which the pure root produced, the loving devotion of our clergy has made a mystical flower constructing an allegorical meaning beyond ordinary useage from the nature of a flower".
This is followed by the triple ballade 'Sancuer-Armordolens-Dameparvous' of Guillaume de Machaut.
'Bransle Gay' and 'Bransle de Bourgogne' are from the danceries of Claude Gervaise, composed in about 1550. The first is played on solo guitar but the second uses flute, fiddle and has a second guitar line added. The anonymous 'Alman' is taken from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is followed by 'Melancholy Galliard' by the English lutanist John Dowland. The sequence concludes with the 'Sarabande' in B Minor by J. S. Bach.
The album ends with two short guitar pieces, 'The Lady And The Unicorn' and an arrangement of the sixteenth century song 'Westron Wynde', and arrangements for flute, viola and guitar of two folk songs: 'My Johnny Was A Shoemaker' and 'Scarborough Fair'.
I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted on more recent instruments.

01. Trotto / Saltarello
02. Lamento Di Tristan / La Rotta
03. Veri Floris / Triple Ballade
04. Bransle Gay / Bransle De Bourgogne
05. Alman / Melancholy Galliard
06. Sarabande
07. The Lady And The Unicorn
08. My Johnny Was A Shoemaker / Westron Wynde / Scarborough Fair

John Renbourn: guitars and sitar
Terry Cox: hand-drums and glockenspiel
Don Harper: viola
Lea Nicholson: concertina
Tony Roberts: flute
Ray Warleigh: flute
Dave Swarbrick: violin


Sunday, November 14, 2010

John Renbourn - A Maid In Bedlam [2004 Remaster] (1977 England) @320

A superb collection of traditional songs and Renaissance dances, it features the sublime voice of his Pentangle mate Jacqui McShee.

01. Black Waterside
02. Nacht Tanz / Shaeffertanz
03. A Maid In Bedlam
04. Gypsy Dance / Jews Dance
05. John Barleycorn
06. Reynardine
07. My Johnny Was A Shoemaker
08. Death And The Lady
09. The Battle Of Augrham / 5 In A Line
10. Talk About Suffering

John Renbourn: Guitars, vocals
Tony Roberts: Vocals, flute, recorders, oboe, piccolo
Jacqui McShee: Vocals
Sue Draheim: Fiddle, vocals
Keshav Sathe: Tabla, finger cymbals


Friday, November 12, 2010

Chimera - Obstakel (Netherlands 1981) @256

Their second album, called ‘Obstakel', was recorded shortly after their successful debut album. The atmosphere of this album is different from the first one. The, more or less, acoustic sound was replaced by a rock oriented sound. “Obstakel shows how we developed as a band. Don’t forget, we never intended to become a folk band and we liked several kinds of music. Actually, one of the things we wanted to achieve was to break away from traditional folk music. We started using a synthesizer and drummer Hans de Lange joined us. One of the things we wanted to try was using contemporary lyrics, so we asked the Dutch poet Bertus Aafjes if we could use one of his poems.”

“I do not really think the two albums differ all that much. Our method of working remained the same: we looked for something we liked and familiarized ourselves with it. Although the atmosphere is different because of the synthesizer and drums, we were in fact just developing our ideas. On the A side of Obstakel we play solid folk rock, while on the B side we explore the limits of our possibilities and creativity. We had so many ideas and it seemed as if we were in a hurry to use them all at once.”

During the recording of Obstakel, the band started to write their own lyrics; a new phase in their development. These songs were meant for the third album, which was never recorded. “After Obstakel, we were even more successful. We were asked for many concerts, both in Holland and Germany, and an international tour was our next step. But none of us were professional musicians and we (Bas and Marry) had two young children. So in 1982 we decided that our children came first and we stopped with the band. We gave our last concert at the famous Rotterdam folk festival that same year. It was a hard decision for us to make as we loved what we were doing, but we wanted to take our responsibility as parents.”

01 - De stalknecht
02 - De stinkzwam
03 - De klem
04 - Wachten
05 - De waardin
06 - De laatste brief
07 - La rotta

Ruud Schotting: Electric Bass
Kees Mook: Violin
Bas Verkade: Vocals, Guitar, Dulcimer 
Koos Leezer: Vocals, Guitar, Dulcimer, Organ [India], Mandolin, Tin Whistle 
Marry Verkade: Vocals, Guitar, Flute, Recorder, Percussion
Hans de Lange: Drums & percussion


Le Vent Du Nord - Les amants du Saint-Laurent (Canada 2004) VBR~256

Album kindly offered by our friend Trialuser(123)

Their second album, Les amants du Saint-Laurent, was also nominated by ADISQ in 2005 in addition to being chosen album of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. 2005 was also the year that saw the group being rewarded as North American traditional artist of the year in Austin, Texas. Their show was nominated for an OPUS award and was named Show of the year by the American radio-concert series Bound for Glory. The group also appeared on the top-ten charts of a few radio stations, as high as #1 on CIBL Montréal and #5 on BBC3 in the UK, ahead of such well-known artists as Youssou N’Dour and Peter Gabriel.

01. Les amants du Saint-Laurent
02. La semaine du paysan
03. Marguerite
04. Train de vie
05. Du haut du balcon
06. Nous sommes si bien à table
07. Le bon buveur * Le reel du quatrième
08. C’est une jeune mariée
09. Gigue à trois
10. La valse à huit ans
11. Cré mardi * La turlutte du rang des Sloans
12. Le retour du fils soldat
13. De la chambre à la cuisine

Simon Beaudry: Vocals, bouzouki, guitar
Nicolas Boulerice: Vocals, electroacoustic hurdy-gurdy, piano, piano accordion, snare
Benoit Bourque : accordion diatonique, mandolin
Olivier Demers : Violin, guitar, foot-tapping, mandolin, vocals
Patrick Graham : tambourine, shaker
François Marion : bass et bass violin
Daniel Roy : flageolets


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

John Renbourn - The Hermit (1976 England) 2004 Remaster Castle @320

Renbourn's first post-Pentangle (or nearly post-Pentangle) solo album, joined briefly by fellow guitarist Dominique Trepeau and featuring further contributions by John James, is one of his most beautiful recordings, and also among his most spare guitar instrumentals. Some of the material is drawn from lute and harp sources, and it is ear-opening to hear some of the more familiar pieces among the latter (such as "O'Carolan's Concerto") transcribed for guitar, but Renbourn isn't above adapting themes from television commercials, either. The mood of much - though not all - of this record is one of serious introspection, as Renbourn stays generally within a classical guitar mode. He has fun with the material, and the CD booklet also includes musical transcriptions of some of the tunes on the record, for the benefit of Renbourn's fellow guitarists.
- Bruce Eder (AMG)

01 - The Hermit
02 - John's Tune
03 - Goat Island
04 - Old Mac Bladgitt
05 - Faro's Rag
06 - Caroline's Tune (duet with Dominic Trepeau)
07 - Three Pieces By O'Carolan:
     (a) - Lamentation Of Owen Roe O'neil
     (b) - Lord Inchiquin
     (c) - Mrs. Power
08 - The Princess and The Puddings
09 - The Bicycle Tune
10 - Pavanna (Anna Bannana)
11 - Medley:
     (a) - A Toye
     (b) - Lord Willoughby's Welcome Home (duet with John James)
Bonus tracks:
12 - Luckett Sunday
13 - New Nothynge (duet with John James)
14 - Luke's Little Summer
15 - Minuet In D Minor (duet with Stefan Grossman)
16 - From The Bridge (duet with John James)

All tracks (1976) except tracks 12, 14 & 16 (1977); track 13 (1985); track 15 (1986)

John Renbourn - Guitars


Sunday, November 7, 2010

John Renbourn - The Black Balloon (1979 England) @320

This album is one of John's 'medieval' style albums, with 13th and 16th century pieces mixed with a couple of Renbourn tracks. The songs are all credited as being 'traditional arranged Renbourn' - but at least The Pelican and The Black Balloon are certainly not traditional.
The flute is played by Tony Roberts, the tabors by Stuart Gordon.

01 - The Moon Shines Bright
02 - The English Dance
03 - Bourree I and II
04 - Medley- The Mist Covered Mountains of Home-The Orphan-Tarboulton
05 - The Pelican
06 - The Black Balloon

John Renbourn: guitar
Tony Roberts: flutes
Stuart Gordon: Tabors


John Renbourn - The Enchanted Garden (1980 England) @320

THE ENCHANTED GARDEN, the John Renbourn Group's follow-up to A MAID IN BEDLAM, is a delight. Although Renbourn's typically exquisite six and 12-string guitars are at the forefrontof the arrangements, it's ex-Pentangle singer Jacqui McShee's angelic voice that first arrests the listener. Although less well known than Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, or June Tabor, McShee is every bit their equal.The flute, woodwind, and reed coloring that Tony Roberts adds to these eight tracksenhances the proceedings without becoming overbearing. Subtle hand percussion and tabla also underpin many of the songs. A blend of early music and traditional British balladry, THE ENCHANTED GARDEN is
endlessly fascinating, with a breathtaking guitar tour de force in the opening "Pavane Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie/Tourdion".

01. Pavane "Belle, Qui Tiens Ma Vie" / Tourdion
02. The Truth From Above
03. Le Tambourin
04. The Plains Of Waterloo
05. The Maid On The Shore
06. Douce Dame Jolie
07. A Bold Young Farmer
08. Sidi Brahim

John Renbourn: guitar and vocals
Tony Roberts: flute, clarinet, glockenspiel, recorder, vocals, wind, whistle, recorder, cornemeuse
Jacqui McShee: vocals
John Molineux: dulcimer, mandolin, vocals
Kesh Sathie: percussion
Glem Tommy: drums
Keshaw Sathe: cymbals, tabla
John Monineux: dulcimer, fiddle, mandolin, vocals, whistle, spoons and psaltery

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