Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Lark Rise to Candleford
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
2006 reissue of this extremely rare 1980 album by this English folk band led by Ashley Hutchings, formerly of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. Features musical accompaniment from Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, John ... more »
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2006 reissue of this extremely rare 1980 album by this English folk band led by Ashley Hutchings, formerly of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. Features musical accompaniment from Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, John Kirkpatrick, John Tams and Martin Simpson. Talking Elephant.
red dirt alien | Oklahoma USA | 08/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First released on LP in 1980, this CD reissue is long overdue and very welcome. Lark Rise was briefly issued on CD by Virgin in the early 90's but went out of print quickly; I was fortunate enough to find a cheap copy in a London V Megastore back in '93.
"Lark Rise" and "Candleford" were plays produced in 1978-79 by Keith Dewhurst, based on a trilogy of novels by Flora Thompson describing life in rural England around the turn of the 20th century - with the painful contrast of the devastation wrought by WWI. Music for the productions was arranged by Ashley Hutchings and John Tams.
An evolutionary biologist could consider Lark Rise a "transitional fossil". It is the only studio album that documents Hutchings' "National Theatre" phase, and features many of the musicians who would go on to form the excellent band Home Service: Grahame Taylor, John Tams, Bill Caddick, Michael Gregory and the late Howard Evans. It also features the last Albion Band appearances of longtime Hutchings collaborators Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick and Shirley Collins. (The Home Service CD "The Mysteries", also based on a stage production, serves as a fine companion piece to Lark Rise).
Musically, it is quite a mixed bag, and can seem a bit disjointed - a byproduct of excerpting musical interludes from a longer stage production. But all the hallmark Hutchings elements are present (acoustic and elecric trad balladry, original songs, dance music, spoken word), and the highlights are real gems, including Martin Carthy's spare interpretation of "Lemady" leading into a high-energy arrangement of "Arise and Pick a Posy", Bill Caddick leading a group a capella reading of "Abroad for Pleasure", and the brass-laden arrangements of "Battle of the Somme" and "Jacob's Well".
This album serves as a coda to Hutchings' "first" career as primarily an interpreter of traditional material. In 1982 he would resurface with "Light Shining", heralding an Albion Band era that focused more on original material and a long association with composer/songwriter/melodeon-concertina player Dave Whetstone and singer Cathy LeSurf. This album is now, I believe, the only Hutchings/Albion recording never to appear on CD, and unfortunately the rights issues show no sign of resolution."