FOTHERINGAY – Nothing More: The Collected Fotheringay (Universal)

FotheringayBoxSetcoverFotheringay are perhaps less famous for what they achieved than for their unrealised potential. They released a single, ‘Peace In The End’ and ‘Winter Winds’, and an album which was probably one track too short – a reprise of Sandy Denny’s titular song would have rounded it out – and then broke up in the middle of recording a second album. Thus they became a legend.

The history of the band is a convoluted one. Their first choice guitarist, Albert Lee, rapidly became unhappy with the role he was being asked to fulfil and left to be replaced by Jerry Donahue joining the drums and bass combination of Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson alongside Sandy and Trevor Lucas. There is a feeling that Sandy’s management were not happy with her leaving Fairport Convention to form another band and wanted her to pursue a solo career. She was the only vocalist to guest on a Led Zeppelin album and won the Melody Maker female vocalist of the year award twice in succession. There was an inevitability about her future.

This box set begins with an expanded version of the eponymous first album. Its style was in some ways a return to her years with Fairport. There were covers of Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan, a bunch of songs written by Sandy and Trevor and the magnificent eight-minute ‘Banks Of The Nile’. It could have been Unhalfbricking all over again. The first song we hear is ‘Nothing More’, a portrait of Richard Thompson after Fairport’s motorway crash, and one of many Sandy songs that seem to come from a mythical world. You can believe that she did keep a unicorn somewhere. It’s followed by ‘The Sea’ depicting the disaster of a flooded London from another parallel world.

Lightfoot’s ‘The Way I Feel’ provides a counterpoint to Sandy’s lyricism with the final version giving prominence to Gerry and Pat’s rhythm section and Jerry’s lead guitar and Trevor’s ‘The Ballad Of Ned Kelly’ points in the direction of Fotheringay’s country rock tendencies, as does Dylan’s ‘Too Much Of Nothing’.

There are six demos and alternate takes fleshing out the disc, all titles from the completed work. Any other songs the band worked on may well have been pencilled in for Fotheringay 2 where they subsequently appeared.

By 2008 Jerry Donahue had completed the reconstruction of Fotheringay’s second album, adding guitar parts and, presumably, sequencing the record which, with the addition of six bonus tracks, forms the second disc of this set. It opens with ‘John The Gun’, a song later revisited by Sandy and Fairport Convention, and one of her most powerful and enduring. It’s followed by ‘Eppie Moray’, a traditional Scottish tale of attempted marriage. Trevor sings the main part but he sounds oddly subdued and the track really comes to life when Sandy takes over the narrative.

‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is lovely and it was at the height of its popularity at the time. The band’s performance stands the test of time but, with the benefit of hindsight, the song hasn’t. ‘Knights Of The Road’ was later taken up by Fairport and still sounded like a filler on Rosie but the trials and tribulations surrounding that record are the subject of another article.

That is followed by ‘Late November’ which later appeared as the first track on Sandy’s solo album The North Star Grassman And The Ravens – the first of several versions to be released. The Fotheringay rhythm track survived as the basis of Sandy’s solo version but Donahue’s lead guitar was replaced by Richard Thompson and Sandy re-did her vocals. ‘Restless’, another Trevor Lucas song, appeared on Rising For The Moon and ‘I Don’t Believe You’ sounds like a Lucas solo cut with a very Dylan-ish organ, uncredited on the 2008 release. Was that Sandy?

Wonderful as it was/is to have these tracks, they sound like the output of a band which had no stake in their future. The bonus cuts include three Joe Boyd mixes of the original tracks and I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I prefer these to Donahue’s – they seem to have the feel of the time whereas Jerry’s seem to bring the weight of years and experience to them. Still, you have to wonder if they knew which way the wind was blowing – Conway and Donaldson were experienced session musicians and I’d be prepared to bet that they were sensitive to atmosphere in the studio.

Also included are two versions of ‘Bruton Town’ – the second of which is by the new incarnation of the band with Kathryn Roberts, PJ Wright and Sally Barker fronting the original trio of Donahue, Conway and Donaldson.

The third disc collects together live performances and radio sessions. Some have already been anthologised but the majority are appearing on disc for the first time. It opens with ‘The Way I Feel’ from the band’s 1970 Rotterdam concert. Immediately we can feel the energy of the band at their best, with Donahue’s choppy guitar solo a highlight. ‘The Sea’ is more lyrical with Sandy sounding so much at ease and ‘Too Much Of Nothing’ is solid country rock giving both Conway and Donahue their heads. Muddy Waters’ ‘I’m Troubled’ was a song Fotheringay hadn’t recorded and they had a whale of time playing it as they did ‘Memphis Tennessee’, seemingly chosen spontaneously by Sandy. ‘Banks Of The Nile’ is pretty close to perfection.

The second part of the disc is a number of BBC sessions previously unreleased on CD. Prime among these is Sandy’s solo ‘The Lowlands Of Holland’ but I’d venture to say that these are amongst the best tracks that Fotheringay ever recorded as their experience of playing the songs met studio technology at just the right time. Can it now be said that they were better live?

Finally we have a DVD of four songs recorded for the German TV show Beat Club. Two of these, ‘Nothing More’ and ‘John The Gun’ were not broadcast and only ‘Too Much Of Nothing’ has been readily available.

So, everything Fotheringay ever did – as far as we know that is – together with rare photographs and sketches for sleeve art by designer Marion Appleton. It’s perfect but there is a sense of looking for what might have been but never was. Sadly, there is nothing more.

Dai Jeffries

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Artists’ website: http://www.fotheringay.com/

‘Gypsy Davey’ – the Beat Club recording:

Fotheringay – Nothing More: The Collected Fotheringay

FotheringayBoxSetcoverUniversal Music Catalogue: March 30th 2015

Universal Music catalogue is pleased to announce the release of the definitive Fotheringay collection, Nothing More: The Collected Fotheringay, scheduled for release on March 30th 2105. This four-disc set is the most comprehensive compilation yet of the group’s recordings, including hitherto unseen television footage, previously unreleased live recordings from a festival in Rotterdam (both from August 1970) and, for the first time, the official release of the seven existing tracks which Fotheringay recorded in session for BBC radio.

Fotheringay was the group formed by Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas in January 1970, just weeks after she left Fairport Convention on the eve of the release of the landmark Liege & Lief.  Denny and Lucas recruited drummer Gerry Conway who had played alongside Lucas in Eclection before adding bass player Pat Donaldson and guitarist Jerry Donahue.

Fotheringay played its first dates on a concert tour in March 1970, recording their debut album over seven sessions between 18 February and 14 April. Simply titled Fotheringay, it proved to be the group’s sole album during its lifetime, released by Island Records in late June.  Statistically, it was Sandy Denny’s most successful post-Fairport album, spending six weeks on the charts and peaking at No. 18. It featured some of her finest songs and best ever vocal performances on the traditional ‘Banks of the Nile’, and her own ‘The Pond and the Stream’, ‘Winter Winds’, ‘Nothing More’ and ‘The Sea’.  Three months later, Sandy Denny was voted Britain’s Best Female Singer in the prestigious Melody Maker Poll, a feat she repeated the following year.

Although preparations began soon after to record a second album, it was abandoned in January 1971 when Sandy Denny announced she was leaving the group. Fotheringay played its farewell concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 30 January.  It wasn’t entirely the end for Fotheringay. Following renewed interest in Sandy Denny and an unstoppable cult following in the decades since her death in April 1978, Jerry Donahue, Pat Donaldson and Gerry Conway carefully pieced together Fotheringay 2. They quite brilliantly assembled the aborted album from the 1970 master tapes and it was finally released some 34 years later. Fotheringay 2 was ecstatically received, not least for the inclusion of two more of Sandy Denny’s finest songs, ‘John the Gun’ and ‘Late November’ and superb arrangements, sung by Denny and Lucas, of the traditional ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, ‘Eppie Moray’ and Australian bush-folk classic ‘Bold Jack Donahue’.

Both albums have now been gathered together on Nothing More: The Collected Fotheringay, each bolstered by a generous selection of demos, rehearsal tapes, alternate takes and mixes. The third disc combines a recording from a festival in Rotterdam in August 1970 with previously unreleased BBC session tracks, including Sandy singing a breathtaking, unaccompanied ‘Lowlands of Holland’. The final DVD disc is the real Holy Grail for her fans. The four songs recorded by the group for the German TV show Beat Club effectively double the existing footage of Sandy Denny in performance. Two of these, ‘Nothing More’ and ‘John the Gun’ were never even broadcast at the time.

Nothing More comes in hardcover book format complete with rare and previously unseen photographs of the band plus previously unseen original sketches for the Fotheringay cover by Marion Appleton, Trevor Lucas’s sister.  The package includes a new essay by Mick Houghton author of a new Sandy Denny biography I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn, published by Faber & Faber on March 5th.

Fotheringay’s recordings sound better with every passing year and the group is finally emerging from under the shadow of Fairport Convention; the Fotheringay musicians all went on to have successful careers, particularly as session musicians with the likes of Cat Stevens, Joan Armatrading, the McGarrigles and Gerry Rafferty. Trevor Lucas would go on to produce Sandy’s last three solo albums, two for Fairport Convention (which he and Donahue joined in 1972, Denny re-joining in 1974) and Rock On by The Bunch which featured all of Fotheringay less than a year after the split. More than anything, however, Nothing More: The Collected Fotheringay is particularly welcome for including so many crucial recordings from Sandy Denny’s remarkable career that was so tragically cut short.

Full Track Listing

FotheringayDISC ONE – “Fotheringay” – Expanded

01: Nothing More ( 4:35 )
02: The Sea ( 5:30 )
03: The Ballad of Ned Kelly ( 3:31 )
04: Winter Winds ( 2:10 )
05: Peace In The End ( 4:02 )
06: The Way I Feel ( 4:44 )
07: The Pond and The Stream ( 3:16 )
08: Too Much of Nothing ( 3:53 )
09: Banks of The Nile ( 8:04 )
10: The Sea – Demo version ( 4:53 )
11: Winter Winds – Demo version ( 2:23 )
12: The Pond and The Stream – Demo version ( 3:07 )
13: The Way I Feel – Original version ( 4:04 )
14: Banks of The Nile – Alternate take ( 7:46 )
15: Winter Winds – Alternate take ( 2:28 )

Fotheringay2DISC TWO – “Fotheringay 2” – Expanded

01: John The Gun ( 5:06 )
02: Eppie Moray ( 4:44 )
03: Wild Mountain Thyme ( 3:50 )
04: Knights of the Road ( 4:10 )
05: Late November ( 4:37 )
06: Restless ( 2:46 )
07: Gypsy Davey ( 3:41 )
08: I Don’t Believe You ( 4:44 )
09: Silver Threads and Golden Needles ( 4:29 )
10: Bold Jack Donahue ( 7:37 )
11: Two Weeks Last Summer ( 3:49 )
12: Late November – Joe Boyd mix ( 4:31 )
13: Gypsy Davey – Joe Boyd mix ( 3:52 )
14: Two Weeks Last Summer – Joe Boyd mix ( 3:58 )
15: Silver Threads and Golden Needles  – alternative version (4:31)
16: Bruton Town – Rehearsal version ( 5:19 )
17: Bruton Town – 2015 version ( 4:44 ) First Time On CD

fotheringaybw

DISC THREE – Live

01: The Way I Feel  ( 5:05 )  – Live in Rotterdam  Previously Unreleased
02: The Sea ( 5:37  )  – Live in Rotterdam
03: Too Much Of Nothing ( 4:11 )  – Live in Rotterdam Previously Unreleased
04: Nothing More ( 4:55 )   – Live in Rotterdam
05: I’m Troubled  ( 3:02  )  – Live in Rotterdam
06: Two Weeks Last Summer   ( 4:47 )  – Live in Rotterdam
07: The Ballad of Ned Kelly   ( 3:56 )  – Live in Rotterdam Previously Unreleased
08: Banks of The Nile  ( 7:42 )  – Live in Rotterdam
09: Memphis Tennessee ( 4:12 )  – Live in Rotterdam
10: Interview / The Sea  – BBC Top Gear ( 6:15 )  Previously Unreleased
11: The Lowlands of Holland – BBC Folk On One ( 2:37 )  Previously Unreleased
12: Eppie Moray  – BBC Folk On One  ( 4:29 ) Previously Unreleased
13: John The Gun – BBC Sounds of The 70s  ( 4:48 )  Previously Unreleased
14: Bold Jack Donahue – BBC Sounds of  The 70s (  5:56 )  Previously Unreleased
15: Gypsy Davey – BBC Sounds of The 70s   ( 3:43 )  Previously Unreleased
16: Wild Mountain Thyme – BBC Sounds of The 70s   ( 3:53 ) Previously Unreleased

DISC FOUR – DVD – BEAT CLUB 28th NOVEMBER 1970

01. Nothing More  ( 4:50 )  Previously Unreleased – not broadcast)
02. Gypsy Davey  (  3:55 ) Previously Unreleased
03. John the Gun (  4:55 ) Previously Unreleased – not broadcast)
04. Too Much of Nothing  ( 3:42 )

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‘Too Much Of Nothing’. ‘Nuff said:

Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon: Deluxe Two-Disc Edition UMC/Island August 26th 2013

Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon Deluxe EditionFolking has just had word of the new deluxe edition of Fairport Convention’s fabulous 1975 recording, Rising For The Moon, an album that marked the only studio recording with Sandy Denny and the band members since her return to the group in 1974.

In 1969, the “classic” Fairport line-up recorded and released three albums (What We Did On Our Holidays, Unhalfbricking, Liege & Lief) all within a single year. At the end of that frenetic period, Sandy  quit the band to form Fotheringay, This again was short-lived as Sandy soon embarked on a distinguished solo career (some of these albums have also been released as Deluxe Edition series) before being drawn back into Fairport fold. She ‘officially’ re-joined in February 1974 during a four night stint at LA’s Troubadour club. A remarkable live recording of this legendary shows form part of this new release released and can be found on the second disc on this new edition of Rising For The Moon.

Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon Band PromoIt was 26 January 1974, when Fairport became the first rock band to play the Sydney Opera House, the Nine album line-up (featuring: Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks, Trevor Lucas, and Jerry Donahue) had been augmented by Sandy Denny, who was now married to Lucas.  The result was the ground breaking Fairport Live Convention album (released in America as A Moveable Feast) which confirmed how much the band had benefited from having Sandy back on board. Then only weeks later, Sandy was fully integrated into the band again and the LA Troubadour dates present a Fairport that was at the top of its game. As was often the case with Fairport’s luck in the seventies, the band’s perilous financial situation meant that they couldn’t afford to purchase the tapes from Wally Heider’s Mobile organisation. Over the years, odd selections trickled out but it was only on the 2010 definitive 19 CD Sandy Denny box-set that the tracks featuring Sandy were properly mixed to their natural audible glory. Now, with additional performances by Trevor Lucas and Dave Swarbrick included, fans can enjoy this brief but memorable line-up at its absolute best.

Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon Band ColourThe set list at the Troubadour is also unusual in that it was substantially different to the songs performed on Fairport Live Convention. In fact the recording features several songs that the band have never performed again including: Trevor Lucas’ ‘Ballad Of Ned Kelly’ originally on the ‘Fotheringay’ album, and ‘Down Where The Drunkards Roll’ (Trevor had sung background vocals on the original version on Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight). Sandy performs a passionate version of Dylan’s ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ and her own ‘Crazy Lady Blues’ performed here with an added verse and, dipping into the Fairport back-catalogue, with a haunting ‘She Moves Through The Fair’.

Further highlights include ‘Solo’ and ‘Like An Old Fashioned Waltz’ from Sandy’s third album, and a spirited cover of Dylan’s ‘Down In The Flood’. Swarb delivers an effortless version of the ‘The Hens March through the Midden’ and a spirited break-necked performance of ‘The Hexamshire Lass’. Sandy’s signature ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’ is there in all its majesty as well as a definite version of ‘Matty Groves’. The band also rocks out on ‘Six Days On The Road’ and ‘That’ll Be The Day’.

With Sandy back in the band, Island Records made a greater commitment to Fairport’s next studio recording and, to that end, Glyn Johns was brought in as producer for Fairport’s 10th studio album. Johns’ pedigree was impeccable: Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Who, the Eagles… and was emphatic that he wanted the new sessions to include only original material with no covers or traditional material.

The album was recorded at Olympic Studios in two blocks. The first sessions began in December 1974, but during a break in January, Dave Mattacks quit and was replaced by ex-Grease Band drummer Bruce Rowland, who played on the remaining tracks and stayed on for the tours following the album release in June 1975.

Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon Band MonoThe album included songs from all members of the band although seven of the album’s eleven tracks were penned in whole or partly by Sandy. Johns made them rehearse the new material, then sifted through to find the best and, on many levels, Rising For The Moon was indeed a triumph. Sandy is in fine vocal form; the band gels instrumentally and songs like the title track, ‘Stranger To Himself’ and ‘One More Chance’ (featuring blistering guitar from Jerry Donahue) are among Fairport’s best ever. Swarb’s ‘White Dress’ was sufficiently strong and was chosen as the album’s only 7” single.

Even Sandy – though happy with the finished album – recognised that the financial and personal strain it had put on the band made a split inevitable and by the end of 1975 guitarist Jerry Donahue and then Sandy and Trevor decided to leave the group. The original Rising For The Moon is now ripe for reappraisal whereas at the time it raised the question was it a Sandy Denny album or a Fairport album? Of course it’s both and, whichever way you look at it, it is one of Fairport’s and Sandy’s best and most underrated records.

Now enriched on this Deluxe edition by 21 additional tracks – including; a beautiful, previously unreleased performance of ‘White Dress’ (discovered in the LWT archive), an alternate mix of ‘Dawn’; a studio demo with Sandy and Trevor of ‘What Is True’; plus Sandy’s home demos of ‘After Halloween’, and ‘King And Queen Of England’, the latter written for the album but never recorded.

The album reviews at the time were largely positive. The Guardian judged the album “their best for six years… it ought to re-establish Fairport as a significant British band.” In the end it wasn’t to be; the rigours of touring and financial problems essentially drove the band to split. A truncated Fairport went on to record their final album for Island, Gottle O’ Gear, and in 1976, Jerry Donahue went off to work with Joan Armatrading; Trevor went on to produced Sandy’s 1977 album, Rendezvous; but within a year Sandy was dead and the folk scene lost its greatest heroine. Despite her solo success, the Sandy many of her admirers remember with most fondness is the lady who fronted Fairport Convention during their glory years. So here then, are the beautiful songs she wrote and the music she made with the band second time around.

DISC ONE

01: RISING FOR THE MOON  ( 4.08 )
02: RESTLESS   ( 4.01 )
03: WHITE DRESS   ( 3.44 )
04: LET IT GO  ( 2.00 )
05: STRANGER TO HIMSELF  ( 2.51 )
06: WHAT IS TRUE ?   ( 3.33 )
07: IRON LION   ( 3.27 )
08: DAWN   ( 3.42 )
09: AFTER HALLOWEEN   ( 3.38 )
10: NIGHT-TIME GIRL   ( 2.56 )
11: ONE MORE CHANCE   ( 7.58 )

BONUS TRACKS

12: WHITE DRESS ( 3:24 ) Live on LWT – 9/8/1975
13: DAWN – ALTERNATE VERSION ( 4:11 )
14: WHAT IS TRUE ? –  STUDIO DEMO ( 3:16 )
15: AFTER HALLOWEEN – DEMO ( 3:00 )
16: THE KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND – HOME DEMO ( 3:12 )

DISC TWO – LIVE AT THE LA TROUBADOUR

01: DOWN IN THE FLOOD    ( 3:13 )
02: BALLAD OF NED KELLY ( 3:59 )
03: SOLO ( 5:40 )
04: IT’LL TAKE A LONG TIME ( 5:35 )
05: SHE MOVES THROUGH THE FAIR ( 4:09 )
06: THE HENS MARCH THROUGH THE MIDDEN & THE FOUR POSTER BED (3:17 )
07: THE HEXAMSHIRE LASS ( 2:44 )
08: KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVENS DOOR ( 4:33 )
09: SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD ( 3:38 )
10: LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED WALTZ ( 4:19 )
11: JOHN THE GUN ( 5:10 )
12: DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL ( 4:14 )
13: CRAZY LADY BLUES ( 3:54 )
14: WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES ( 6:54 )
15: MATTY GROVES ( 7:05 )
16: THAT’LL BE THE DAY

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SANDY DENNY – Rendezvous Deluxe Edition

This is a re-release of Sandy Denny’s 1977 album re-packaged in a handsome gatefold sleeve with enclosed booklet and accompanying notes by Patrick Humphries. By the time she recorded “Rendezvous”, Denny had (more or less) deserted her ‘folk’ roots and even though it was produced by husband Trevor Lucas, another ‘folk music’ stalwart, a majority of the tracks are definitely a little heavy handed. At this time I’m sure she was probably under pressure by her record label to produce a commercially viable piece of vinyl but if that was the intended trajectory it failed quite spectacularly in my opinion. OK, so there are some good moments notably her cover of “Candle In The Wind” and on a more positive note for 2012 and in keeping with disks of this nature it’s the unearthed gems on the second CD that pay dividends for the hard-core fan. The bonus tracks (all fifteen of them) featuring interesting takes on some of the original album’s material make for not only a pleasant diversion but ‘must have’ if you are a complete-ist like me. Therefore we have “Full Moon” with its Swarbrick fiddle solo and a disconcerting but somehow hypnotic choral version of “All Our Days” and a paired-down piano arrangement of “Candle In The Wind” so, for me this 2-disk set proved a bit of a Marmite moment but possibly worth purchasing for the booklet and ‘out-takes’ alone.

PETE FYFE

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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/

Fairport Convention With Sandy Denny Live At Ebbets Field 1974

Fairport Convention With Sandy Denny Live At Ebbets Field 19743/16/2011 – Philadelphia, PA – Much to the excitement of Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny fans around the globe, Philadelphia’s ItsAboutMusic.com will release ultra rare recordings of the famed UK group recorded live at Ebbets Field in Denver, Colorado May 23/24, 1974. Produced and digitally remastered by Fairport Convention’s Jerry Donahue for ItsAboutMusic.com, the 1974 line-up of Fairport Convention on these recordings feature Sandy Denny (Vocals, Piano), Dave Mattacks (Drums), Jerry Donahue (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Dave Pegg (Bass,Vocals), Trevor Lucas (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar) and Dave Swarbrick (Vocals, Violin). This historical audio documentation catches the band at the height of their career performing to an ecstatic audience. Fairport Convention are an English folk rock band formed in 1967, who are still recording and touring today, and are considered “the most important group in the English folk rock movement”. Their critically acclaimed album ‘Liege and Lief’ helped launch the English folk rock movement. The vast number of personnel who have passed through band’s revolving door are amongst the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era, and have gone on to work with many significant bands. Since 1979 the group has hosted the Cropredy Festival, a large annual event held in England. Individually and collectively the members of Fairport Convention have garnered numerous awards recognizing their contribution to music and culture.

Fairport Convention was formed around 1967, and originally played a “harmony-and guitar-based folk-rock style” strongly influenced by Californian groups of the day like the Byrds. The line-up that recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968 featured Richard Thompson, Ian Matthews, and Simon Nicol on guitars; Ashley Hutchings on bass; Judy Dyble on vocals; and Martin Lamble on drums. Fairport Convention didn’t reach their peak until Dyble was replaced after the first album in 1968 by Sandy Denny, who had previously recorded both as a solo act and with the Strawbs. Denny has been touted as the best British folk-rock singer of all time. This incarnation of the band would record two well-received albums. When Ian Matthews left the band in early 1969, and Martin Lamble (still in his teens) died in an accident involving the group’s equipment van in mid-1969, Fairport regrouped, replacing Lamble with Dave Mattacks, and adding Dave Swarbrick on fiddle. Their repertoire became much more traditional, and electrified traditional folk numbers would dominate their next album, ‘Liege and Lief’ (1969).

This line-up didn’t last long and by the end of the ’60s Ashley Hutchings had left to join Steeleye Span (he was replaced by Dave Pegg). Sandy Denny also left the group to form Fotheringay with Jerry Donahue. Richard Thompson remained for ‘Full House’ (1970), but by the beginning of 1971 he too had departed, leaving Nicol as the only original member. Sandy Denny would actually return to the group for about a year and a half in the 1970s, prior to her death in 1978. Fairport Convention have continued on and off for the last 25 years, touring and performing frequently. To this day, the band is supported by a devoted fan base. Now with the release of ‘Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny – Ebbets Field 1974’, one important chapter of the band’s history is preserved for generations to enjoy. Here’s a magic recording of Sandy Denny, Jerry Donahue, Trevor Lucas, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks captured live!

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