Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Remixed reissue from ex-Incredible String Band member. previously released on Demon. Layers of overdubs have been stripped away to reveal an intimate acoustic album with Heron's vocals up front. Also includes bonus hidden ... more »
Remixed reissue from ex-Incredible String Band member. previously released on Demon. Layers of overdubs have been stripped away to reveal an intimate acoustic album with Heron's vocals up front. Also includes bonus hidden live track from an Incredible String Band reunion in Edinburgh. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.
Good Personal Words, Music, and Performances
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 06/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Ring Dance' in 1998 and `The Island of the Strong Door' in 1999 are two relatively recent Robin Williamson solo albums, both on his own label, Pig's Whisker Music. Unlike his fabled recordings with the Incredible String Band between 1967 and 1974, his duet albums with John Renbourn and ISB colleague Mike Heron, and his recordings for the German ECM label, these are all very personal performances. Virtually all the words and music were written by Williamson and most were written in the 1990s. One important exception is `Veshengro' on `Ring Dance' which was done by The Incredible String Band.
These are much more adult works than the typical ISB fare. And, they are just a bit less cerebral than the recordings of words by Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Henry Vaughan.
The biggest question you probably need answered is that if I am an Incredible String Band fan OR if I am a Robin Williamson fan, will I like these albums? The answer to the second of these two questions is certainly `Yes'. The answer to the first question is a lot harder. I am a long time ISB fan, having bought `The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion' when it was FIRST RELEASED ON VINYL as an LP! And, I bought every one of their other albums as soon as they came out. But, when I recently got these two albums for the first time, I was just a tad disappointed. They are not as difficult as the ECM collections, but they do seem just a bit self-absorbed. The ISB childlike innocence and charm is gone, replaced with `songs of experience'.
But, I have come around and find I enjoy these almost as much as I do the lesser ISB albums. For starters, Williamson's finest instrument, his voice, has maturity to it and there is a better match between words and vocal interpretation. The instrumental work is also of a uniformly high quality. This is good, as it makes up just a bit for the loss of the air of childlike joy.
If you had to pick one, `Ring Dance' may be just a little better for the new version of `Veshengro' and the musky sax accompaniments on `At Waverley Station'.
Her Eyes Like Nenuphar
P. Bryant | Nottingham, England | 04/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Which is a kind of giant waterlily, of course! Here's a splendid cd from the godlike Robin Williamson, co-creator of the Incredible String Band. It's one for String Band devotees since it resurrects two ISB songs which were never released, Ring dance and Fine Fingered Hand, and revives three other ISB period pieces, Invocation (from the then-unrereleased "U"), Veshengro from "Be Glad", and I See us Cross Great waters, which is a retitled I See Us All Get Home from RW's first solo album "Myrrh". This is the core of the album and they're all wonderful apart from Veshengro which really doesn't work. There ain't never been any songs so magical and delirious as these and Robin's other String Band works. I can't honestly say that I've been a fan of Robin's solo career, certainly not the storytelling and harping on (which accounts for most of it), and the occasional original-song albums like Ten of Songs never convinced me at all, but this one does. The non-ISB stuff is excellent (leaving aside the toecurling spoken word item My Enemy is Listening). Many say Songs of Love and Parting is Robin's best solo album, but I say Ring Dance is. 5 stars for Fine Fingered Hand alone. One star deducted for not including Won't You Come See Me."
Ring Dance is solid
P. Bryant | 01/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Ring Dance" is yet another recent release of Williamson's work and a good album it is too - but it's not totally convincing.It starts off well enough with the title song, which is the best on the album. Fine lyrics, great tune and the instrumentation adds to its power. After that, we find "Veshengro", a reworking of "Vishangro" as can be found on "Be glad ...". It shows a very different Williamson, but it's not an improvement. The other songs to come out of the closet are the never-released "Fine fingered hands" and "Invocation" from "U". Both are quite nice but not as convincing as I hoped they would be. "The Lady with the Book" is in fact a story (and a very good one), while the fine "I see us cross great waters" recalls the atmosphere of "Myrrh". "The lights of sweet St Anne" can also be found on "Wheel of Fortune" and it is a great "trad" folk song. Towards the remaining songs I feel quite indifferent - and that's saying a lot.On the whole, this is a solid album, but there's not enough Williamson magic to keep us enchanted and smiling. And that's just what we want, don't we ?Hans Wigman."