Paul Johnson is still suffering from delusions of grandeur and is again banging on about our ‘world renounced’ interviews as if he actually believes it.
Meanwhile… back in the real world, it would be more appropriate to use the term ‘world renounced’ to describe that ‘Pretty Damn Cosmic’, fiddle player extraordinaire, Mr Ric Sanders. So, let’s do that then to introduce this year’s folking.com interview with Ric Sanders (interviewed by Darren Beech and Paul Johnson).
In the interview we talk about Ric’s 34th Year with Fairport, the call from Dave Pegg in April in 1985 to join the band to be part of the Gladys’ Leap album. We talk about the ‘Fairport Extension’ set, the New Forest Folk Festival and Maart’s inspirational heroic ‘Metal Matty’ performance last year.
We discuss ‘echo delay pedals’ and Ric’s musical background of Blues, Jazz and Rock. We move on to the new Ric Sanders Trio album Headspace with Vo Fletcher (Guitar and Vocals), Michael Gregory (Drums & Percussion), talk about the previous album Standing on the Corner and Graeme Taylor’s fantastic new studio where the new album was recorded.
The interview closes with a Home Service announcement that totally took us by surprise. Ric talks about his first album for Harvest EMI, when he recorded with Soft Machine and how that led up to working with John Tams on Rise Up Like the Sun.
The interview should start playing automatically, if not click on the play button below to listen.
In a lot of ways, it’s difficult to review an album by an artist to whom you feel emotionally attached. You struggle to maintain your credibility as a critic but it’s difficult not to make excuses for some musical stumbles.
Rejoice! Standin’ On The Corner, the new album by Ric Sanders’ Trio, is just as brilliant as one would hope. It’s so good, in fact, that it should make critics’ ‘Best Of’ albums for 2015. And it should certainly make any blues-jazz- and yes, folk lovers’ gift lists this holiday season.
Sanders, the virtuosic violinist from Fairport Convention, and band mates Vo Fletcher and Michael Gregory have joined together to reintroduce some of their favourite songs to modern music lovers.
The title track (not to be confused with the 1950’s pop hit ‘Standing on the Corner’) kicks off the album with an exuberant boom, finding Sanders in fine and fluid form as Fletcher joins in with sterling guitar work and vocals – including some fine yodeling! – all grounded by Gregory’s steady percussion. The joy and agility found in their musicianship clearly comes from their years of playing together in various bands.
“Vo and I met in Birmingham when I was about 18,” said Sanders. “He didn’t sing much in those days but we kept bumping into each other and playing. About 15 years ago, Vo and Michael and I started to get together somewhat regularly and play, just for fun.”
And that fun has turned into a triumphant reimagining of many blues’ songs some of which, including the title track, have been sited as contributing to the birth of rock.
“It is very much the blues end of country, the way we do it,” said Sanders noting the trio perfected their rendition of the Jimmie Rodgers-penned song during some of those informal just-for-fun sessions. “We started playing it at gigs and as soon as we started the audience started dancing and singing.”
It’s easy to understand why that – and the other tunes on the album – would bring people to their feet. The blues numbers on the album – mainly researched by Fletchers and Gregory – are a true blast of Memphis’ – and the Trio’s – best.
Even if you’re not a fan of the original ‘Mule Skinner Blues’ – written by Rodgers and George Vaughan – you’ll be hard-pressed not to love the rendition on this album that finds the trio in sterling musical form behind Fletcher’s lion-hearted voice.
But don’t think this is all high-spirited hi-jinx. The trio shows their softer side on such numbers as Mississippi John Hurt’s classic ‘Lewis Collins.’ And the bonus track of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” is just plain fun.
“Another essential thing we did was [record the album playing] all together,” said Sanders. “It’s really the only way you can record this stuff. Basically it is all live takes, warts and all.”
And listeners will hear that’s the perfect way to hear them.
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