RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Classics II (Beeswing BSW015P)

Acoustic Classics IIThe latest batch of new solo, stripped back acoustic recordings from the Thompson songbook brings together material previously only available in band format or not on his solo releases. Fairport devotees will be particularly enthused by a version of the song that launched it all, ‘Meet On The Ledge’, a number that has lost none of its power or mystique over the years. He also visits 1969’s Liege &  Lief for the traditional-styled ‘Crazy Man Michael’, while, originally played on dulcimer and released as the B-side of ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’ before resurfacing on Unhalfbricking, ‘Genesis Hall’ continues to feature regularly in his solo shows.

The Richard and Linda years are represented by an achingly plaintive ‘A Heart Needs A Home’ from Hokey Pokey and the catchy folk pop sensibilities of ‘Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair’ off Pour Down Like Silver. Moving on to his second solo album, 1983’s Hand of Kindness, there’s a particularly striking and to the musical point revisiting of ‘Devonside’. The follow-up, Across A Crowded Room provides this collection’s opening track, the barbed ‘She Twists The Knife Again’, here in a brittle bluesy arrangement sung with an almost venomous pent-up intensity.

Moving to 1988’s Amnesia, there’s a resonant, brooding reading of the socioeconomics-themed ‘Pharaoh’ while 1991’s Rumor And Sigh, has one from each side; the almost hymnal-like fingerpicked ‘Keep Your Distance’ (a song the Byrds would have done brilliantly) and, closing proceedings here, ‘Why Must I Plead?’ A double album came along in 1996 with You? Me? Us?, the material split between the electric Voltage Enhanced and the acoustic Nude. From that first disc, ‘The Ghost Of You Walks’ now gets the bare bones treatment, allowing the lyrics greater prominence.

His last for Capitol, Mock Tudor was a thematic album divided into three sections, Metroland, Heroes In The Suburbs and Street Cries And Stage Whispers and it’s from the first of the three that comes the intricately picked troubadour styled ballad ‘Bathsheba Smiles’. For his tenth solo album, 2002’s self-financed The Old Kit Bag, Thompson signed to Cooking Vinyl and the resurrection in sales it brought is appropriately represented by ‘Gethsemane’. The final track to be reworked from a solo album comes with a powerfully delivered ‘Guns Are The Tongues’ from the conflict-themed Sweet Warrior.

A third volume, Acoustic Rarities, is planned for later in the year, presumably around the October tour, featuring some songs only existing as cover versions, in the meantime, this is another welcome opportunity to remind yourself of arguably the finest musician British folk rock has produced.

Mike Davies

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Classics II link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: www.richardthompson-music.com

‘Meet On The Ledge’ – live and acoustic:

A Newbie Cropredy Review (2014)

Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2014 Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2014[/caption]

I had heard of the Cropredy Festival before, and had even heard of Fairport Convention, but as I had grown up with British Heavy Metal and Rock, listening to such bands as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, AC/DC and the like, my experience of Folk music was limited. I remember taking a guitar to a chap in the Medway Towns for rewiring, and him telling me he would be travelling to Cropredy that summer as he always did and always had.

Chis&Johno_Croppers_14However, it was several years before I attended the festival at the village of Cropredy, near Banbury in Oxfordshire. I went with my wife Sue and a couple of friends; Paul Johnson of Folking.com and his partner Yvonne.

Paul had a press pass, and was kind enough to organise a guest pass for me before the event so I could help with the photos for the backstage interviews that Paul and Darren Beech, of Folking.com had arranged to do with Chris Leslie (of Fairport Convention) and Edwina Hayes.

Edwina Hayes
Edwina Hayes
Marillion
Marillion

I saw some famous people backstage (including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, who attends Cropredy regularly and Steve Hogarth of Marillion) which added to the excitement of the weekend.  My wife was particularly taken with Edwina Hayes, purchasing her CD, and I passed her message on to Edwina herself, who told me she would be spending time with friends near the bar that  evening and would be happy to sign the CD.

Cropredy 2014 Blackbeards Tea Party1Unfortunately, Hurricane Bertha had decided to visit Cropredy too, spoiling that plan and sending pretty much everybody, artists included, back to their tents and campers to dry out. I have been to festivals before, including Download in 2012, and was no stranger to camping in the wet, but despite the storm our field (the newly added Field 8, to cater for the sold out show’s additional camping) did not flood, although Bertha did her best to make striking camp as unpleasant as possible on the Sunday morning.

The concert area (Field 9) has a single stage and around the perimeter are the various food stalls and other emporia. The food prices were a little on the high side, but this was expected; the quality was good, although a pizza we bought could have been passed through the machine another time, and queues got longer as the time went on (which was not surprising due to the festival selling out). We sampled the very tasty Cropredy Hop ale too.

Chas & Dave
Chas & Dave
The Waterboys
The Waterboys

As for the music, it was mostly very good, and I enjoyed the Chas and Dave and Marillion sets, and the Australian Pink Floyd Experience (who I have seen before in Rochester in Kent). The Waterboys were excellent, as were Edwina Hayes and Blackbeard’s Tea Party.

 

Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention concluded the show, and theirs was a polished performance, ending with the traditional Meet On The Ledge, their second single, released in 1968.

I didn’t see every artist, but the general atmosphere was very pleasant. The place was secure, and despite warnings of thieves operating we saw nothing to trouble us. This festival is a family event, with plenty of young people and dogs too. We took Jack, the Giant Chihuahua, who enjoyed it as much as the rest of us.

Although Bertha did her best, we all had a great time and look forward to going there again.

Roger Sutton – 11th August 2014

Links

Fairport Convention’s website – http://www.fairportconvention.com/
The Chris Leslie Interview Cropredy 2014 – http://folking.com/the-chris-leslie-interview-cropredy-2014/
Cropredy 2014 Photo Gallery – http://folking.com/cropredy-2014-photo-gallery/

The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions: Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention bring you music taken from their incredible live session for BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe – this is ‘The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions: Fairport Convention’.

This amazing performance, featuring the folk classics ‘Meet on the Ledge’, ‘Walk a While’ and ‘Sir Patrick Spens’, was recorded on the 23rd of January 2013 and is now available to download and preview from the amazon link below. These recordings are part of the ‘Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions’ series and folking will be featuring  more sessions shortly for your listening pleasure. Continue reading The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions: Fairport Convention

Meet on the Ledge Release Long Shadows

MOTLCoverIt’s been a 10-year gap between recordings but fans of the folk veterans Meet on the Ledge will rejoice when they listen to the just-released “Long Shadows”.

Of course the folk harmonies and masterful instrumentation upon which MOTL built it’s well deserved legacy and following, are beautifully showcased and presented on its latest release. There’s no arguing that. Continue reading Meet on the Ledge Release Long Shadows

Counting Crows Announce New Album ‘Underwater Sunshine’ (COOKCD561) To Be Released April 9th

Multi-platinum American rock band, Counting Crows have announced they will be releasing their first new album in over 4 years on 9th April 2012.

Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) is a collection of songs, both familiar and obscure, interpreted by one of the most soulful and recognizable bands of the past two decades.

Underwater Sunshine is a testament of a band geek-obsessed with music. “There’s a million great songs written every day that you discover, and wish your friends could appreciate as much as you do,” says singer/songwriter Adam Duritz. “These songs come from bands young and old, stretching from the early 60s to last year. They’re all great and will hopefully be heard by a few more people now.”

Produced by Counting Crows and Shawn Dealey, Underwater Sunshine features tracks written by artists such as Big Star, Gram Parsons, Tender Mercies, Fairport Convention, Kasey Anderson and The Faces. Each rendition offers an entire spectrum of human emotion, delivered with the conviction and intense honesty the band is known for.

As their first independent release, it was the right time for the Crows to make this album. “If you wonder why we didn’t just write our own record, it’s simply because we wanted to do THIS one,” says Duritz, We now have the creative freedom to release albums like this and offer our fans more music than ever.”

In the spirit of becoming an independent band, the Crows will stream the new album, on demand in its entirety prior to release on radio station websites and other digital partners (here is the link to it – http://cltvdv.com/geo-filter/music-player/index.php).  They are also giving away a free download of their new song, “Mercy” on http://www.countingcrows.com/

The Crows also gave their fans the opportunity to design their new album package. Just as the band is interpreting songs from others, fans became a part of this unique album by visually interpreting the Crows. The winning designer is working with the band’s creative director to develop the rest of the album layout. The contest was ran by Creative Allies, and is proving to be their most successful contest to date. To find out more, go to: http://creativeallies.com/contests/314-Design-an-Album-Cover-for-Counting-Crows

Counting Crows will also partner with Indaba Music and Guitar Center to launch a contest in search of the best Counting Crows covers. After listening to all submissions, the band will select 3 winning tracks to be awarded various prizes.  For further info go to: http://www.indabamusic.com/opportunities/counting-crows-cover-song-contest

Underwater Sunshine track listing:

  1. Untitled (Love Song) by Romany Rye
  2. Start Again by Teenage Fanclub
  3. Hospital by Coby Brown
  4. Mercy by Tender Mercies
  5. Meet On The Ledge by Fairport Convention
  6. Like Teenage Gravity by Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
  7. Amie by Pure Prairie League
  8. Coming Around by Travis
  9. Ooh La La by The Faces
  10. All My Failures by Dawes
  11. Return of the Grevious Angel by Gram Parsons
  12. Four White Stallions by Tender Mercies
  13. Jumping Jesus by Sordid Humor
  14. You Ain’t Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan
  15. The Ballad of El Goodo by Big Star

Counting Crows hail from the San Francisco Bay area and consist of Adam Duritz (vocals), David Bryson (guitar), Charles Gillingham (keyboards), Dan Vickrey (guitar), Jim Bogios (drums), David Immergluck (guitar) and touring bassist Millard Powers. With over 20 million albums sold worldwide, including 5 Top 20 studio albums in the UK (3 of them charting in the Top 10) and all 5 hitting Top 5 on the Billboard 200, as well as eight Top 5 Singles in the US, Counting Crows success dates back to their 1993 debut release August And Everything After and the hit single “Mr Jones” (UK 28 & US top 5).  The band’s most recent accomplishments include a US #1 hit with the song “Accidentally In Love,” which was featured on the Shrek 2 soundtrack, as well as nominations in 2005 for a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for the track.  In 2004 the band released their first ever “Best Of” set Films About Ghosts which featured songs from every phase of the Counting Crow’s recording career and in 2006 a live record was released,  *New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall 2003, while the band ventured out on a summer tour. Their most recent album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (UK album chart 12) was released to critical and popular acclaim in March 2008.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.