NICK DRAKE Five Leaves Left

Poverty stricken students of 1968 rolled their own – not for them the cigarette temptations of a pack of 10 Embassy, no, their tobacco thrills came hand rolled, usually in Rizla papers which kindly reminded the participant that they were about to run out, with a yellow interleaf paper with bold red type stating ONLY FIVE LEAVES LEFT.

Nick Drake’s bucolic autumnal shades in his debut album of a similar name, heralded a new signing for Island Records: not traditional enough to be folk, not weird enough to be psychedelic, Drake avoided the pitfalls of what was expected and collaborated with producer Joe Boyd, orchestrator Robert Kirby and recording engineer John Wood to make a singular and almost unique record released to a largely indifferent media.

A few leaves fell in the right place and Nick’s reputation grew, despite his early death at 24 in 1976, escalating into the world-wide fame he enjoys today. Released initially only on vinyl and cassette, these formats became redundant with the dawning of CD and downloads – leaving a gaping hole that was filled by high collectors prices for original pressings and the inevitable poor quality bootlegs.

Island Records now complete the ReDISCovered vinyl set on Nick Drake with this boxed faithful replica of his debut album. As before, it was remastered from the original un-eq’d quarter inch master tapes by John Wood at Abbey Road Studios and pressed using wholly analogue processes onto 180 gsm virgin vinyl. The sleeve is an exact replica of the first edition of the album and is coupled with a period shop poster, lyrics to two of Nick’s songs and options to download the tracks in MP3, Hi-Res FLAC files or the new DFD (dubbed-from-disc) files for that authentic listening experience.

KEY FEATURES:
•         Mastered from original master-tapes at Abbey Road Studios by original engineer John Wood
•         Analogue Pressing onto 180GSM audiophile virgin vinyl
•         Gatefold sleeve, inner sleeve, paper labels
•         Original shop poster
•         Reprint of Nick’s handwritten lyrics to two songs
•         Digital download/ card- 3 Formats: lo and hi res plus Dubbed-From-Disc

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Ledfoot Gothic Blues Volume One

LEDFOOT a.k.a. Tim Scott McConnell was born in a trailer-park in Florida 1958. At the age of 15 he started to play biker bars around Florida and moved to New York when he was 17. He played all the famed underground clubs in NY such as legendary CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City and the Mud club.

In 1979 he joined the band The Rockats and signed a deal with Island Records and toured around the USA for the next five years.

In 1989 he started The Havalinas with Smutty Smiff (Rockats, 13kats) and Chalo Quitana (Cruzados, Bob Dylan, Social Distortion). The band signed to Elektra after a bidding war between the major companies and released THE HAVALINAS in 1990. They toured around USA extensively and did support gigs for Bob Dylan, Chris Isaak and Tina Turner. The Havalinas toured all over the world including three tours of Europe this helping to raise Tim’s profile this side of the Atlantic. In 1993 Tim Scott moved to Norway and the bands only release on Electra became their first and only album.

In Norway Tim signed with Warner Music who released the album DECEIVERS AND BELIEVERS in 1994. This album gave Tim heavy radio play in Norway and across Europe. In 1996 he recorded an album on Waterfall Records, the same year as Bruce Springsteen recorded Tim’s song High Hopes on the BLOODBROTHERS EP and DVD.

Ledfoot is the culmination of Tim’s 35 years of history and experience as an artist.

GOTHIC BLUES VOLUME ONE was recorded in the hours between nine and midnight one day in April 2011 giving the recordings a very heartfelt live sound.

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THEA GILMORE – Don’t Stop Singing

The prolific and ever-talented Thea Gilmore has announced details of a unique new collaborative album, ‘Don’t Stop Singing’Released on November 7 via Island Records & Mighty Village, the record brings together Gilmore’s songwriting and arrangements with previously un-scored lyrics penned by folk legend Sandy Denny. The seeds for this extraordinary project were planted, albeit somewhat inadvertently, twelve years ago, when a Denny biographer unearthed a collection of unscored lyric manuscripts amongst Denny’s personal effects (held in Australia by the Fairport Convention singer’s widower, Trevor Lucas). These ‘lost’ manuscripts continued to lie essentially dormant until late 2007, when Denny’s home label – Island Records – and the custodians of her estate began combing through her correspondence, as part of a BBC project. In doing so, they found the lyrics to twenty brand new and never-heard-before songs. Denny’s estate, willing them to reach a public audience, set about the unenviable task of trying to find the right artist to flesh out these words with music.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, a name which frequently came up in discussions was that of Thea Gilmore. Beyond the frequent and favourable comparisons that have been made between the crystalline vocals of Gilmore and her predecessor, there seemed to be a strong resonance of Denny’s legacy in Thea’s work. Bizarrely, it was as an intern at Fairport Convention’s Oxfordshire studios that a young Gilmore’s burgeoning career began. Here has followed a vehemently independent and prolific output, which has thus far seen Thea release ten critically-acclaimed studio albums in as many years (she is barely 30), and acquire fans such as Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez. Gilmore, though understandably daunted by the task of agreeing to make an album that was in some senses already written, agreed to take up the challenge.

‘Don’t Stop Singing’ is no mere exercise in hero-worship on Gilmore’s part. Thea has crafted an elegant, emotional score to accompany Denny’s unfinished songs, which effortlessly reflects the content of Sandy’s words, and shines new light on both artists involved. This is perhaps best demonstrated on the gorgeous, string-led opener, ‘Glistening Bay’, where the wistful wish to return to a far-off city acquires an emotional new resonance. And though this is a fundamentally tender record, it is not without colour: see the upbeat folk-pop of ‘London’, which features the accordion playing of John Kirkpatrick (a contributor on original Denny recordings).

Whilst the record certainly has Thea’s stamp on it, there is no mistaking the talent and unflinchingly personal narrative of Denny. This is a collection sewn together in equal parts by Denny’s awe of the natural world, the experiences of her marriage to Lucas and her well-documented personal battles. ‘Pain in My Heart’, for instance, details a conflict of love and fidelity, and even references occasions of stage fright. One of the album’s most poignant moments, ‘Long Time Gone’, portrays an artist ill at ease with travel, separation, and herself: “I’m in such a terrible state, and my city’s just like me / I can’t afford to live in this place / And I can’t afford to leave.”

And yet despite Denny’s lyrical demons, the title track of ‘Don’t Stop Singing’ proves to be prophetic: this is a record that points to the enduring value of artistry, made – in extraordinary circumstances – by two extreme talents. Says Thea-

“I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t know at least one Sandy Denny song. Growing up the 80s, in an impossibly rural corner of Oxfordshire, she was one of the voices who filtered through from my father’s record collection, and ‘Late November’, ‘Fotheringay’ and ‘Next Time Around’ were as embedded in my psyche as surely as the delights of Bros and New Kids On The Block were thrilling my alleged peers…

As I moved further away from my beginnings and as the world moved further away from 1978, Sandy began to assume the proportions of a reference point, a fountainhead even, for any girl who wanted to sing and write and who didn’t wish they’d been born American.

Who knows how she would have developed these fragments, poems, words without tunes, had she lived longer? I was pleased to be asked, by those who survived her and those who continue to curate her work, to develop them, pleased when the words began to carry me somewhere and to suggest places that they and I could go together, and pleased when musicians who knew her and worked with her gave me encouragement, urged me to make this record.

Would Sandy have liked to see these songs being finished by me and released to the world? I hope so, but I will never know and neither will you. I see some of her contemporaries receiving posthumous garlands, being lauded by new generations of listeners, and I wish the same on Sandy’s beautiful timeless music. If you are reading this and don’t own a Sandy Denny album, consider yourself urged to go buy one.

And hey, in the end, who cares where the time goes, the music stays.”

Artist Web Link: http://www.theagilmore.net/