Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Shirley Collins, The Albion Country Band|
Genres: Folk, World Music, Rock
No Roses is Collins at her very best, featuring a truly impressive backing band in The Albion Country Band. It mixes her usual blend of folk-rock and sultry vocals and will be a welcome addition to the collections for fol... more »
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No Roses is Collins at her very best, featuring a truly impressive backing band in The Albion Country Band. It mixes her usual blend of folk-rock and sultry vocals and will be a welcome addition to the collections for folkseters everywhere!
Locked on, entering brain...
Edward Walsh | Dublin, Ireland | 10/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album has been with me since first released in or about 1971. It still holds fascination and the best songs resound with the inevitability of the great folk songs.
The opening song "Claudy Banks" which is one of those "will my love be faithful to me while I am at sea?" ballads and "I think I will test her!" has turned circles in my mind for years as I try to take in its simple but fascinating lyrics. It has a mesmerising tune, memorably introduced by a round of drums and Shirley's voice, before the full band launches into mid tempo electric guitar band, with an outro of crumhorns or the like.
The "Banks of the Bann" is a sad lament by a poor man not allowed by her cruel parents to marry his beloved. He goes down and his end is sad but there may not be a more beautiful melody in song.
"Just as the tide was a flowing" is like the folk song equivalent of "Wasn't born to follow" and is just as striking - complete with phasing in the break, of course!
"Hal an Tow" takes the coming of summer seriously (as one should), and sets out the old practices from a Cornwall town. It makes me want to go there.
"The poor murdered woman" takes an unsolved murder and a found body and clangs and builds inexorably through the process of discovery and sounding about, culminating in a promise of judgment to come at the last trumpet, even for those who have done these deeds and have been undetected in this life. Grim, perhaps, but also done with style and with a fine melody and singing.
I could go on, but each track holds luminous joy, and you should discover them for yourself. If you like the ballad tradition, be it English, Irish, Scots, or Appalachian, this album is for you. It also is one of the great "electric" folk and folk-style albums, the equal of "Unhalfbricking", Liege and Lief", "Henry the human Fly" and "I want to see..."
Grehan | Aquitaine and Oxford | 03/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the two or three* best records I have ever heard. I return to it again and again. Uplifting and sad and liltingly happy in equal measures. Shirley Collins' outstanding voice is strong and true. Listen to the melodic beauty that underpins the tragic sadness of the words on Banks of the Bann or Van Dieman's Land. History. You'll understand the fundamental English connection with traditional Irish and traditional American ballads. Such quality. Such depth and musicianship. And variety, and inspired innovation for it's time. Perfection.
* and . .
Stormcock - Roy Harper (beyond belief)"
No Roses is English Folk-Rock at it's most English
Peter Walenta | Long Island, New York USA | 03/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While browsing through the morass of electroncia, rave, Euro-disco, and trance material in the imported CD discount bin at Tower Records in 2006, I stumbled upon this gem of a record and what a find it is! English folk rock has intrigued and delighted me since the early 1970's when I turned on to Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Pentangle and Lindisfarne. I knew of Ashley Hutchings from his Fairport and Steeleye connections, but I had no idea who Shirley Collins was. Although Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior and Linda Thompson became the more famous ladies in English folk-rock, Shirley Collins could rightfully be dubbed the grand dame of English folk as she had been recording with her sister Dolly Collins since the early 60's. Only later did she lend her uniquely breathy and earthy English voice to the British folk-rock movement and never more beautifully than on 1971's "No Roses"; a record now faithfully re-issued by Castle Music/Sanctuary Records.
All of the songs are traditional with the exception of "Claudy Banks" that was penned by Ron and Bob Copper of Sussex. Each song is faithfully re-interpreted by Collins who was accompanied by essentially a who's who cast of the English folk-rock movement including most notably, her husband Ashley Hutchings, as well as Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol and Tim Renwick. The presence of electric guitars and bass is understated on these songs and in my opinion the electric instruments do not detract from these uniquely infectious folk melodies. A highlight that I found myself humming on the way to work is the album's opener, "Claudy Banks". Other standout tracks are "Van Dieman's Land and "Poor Murdered Woman". As other reviewers have noted, these are earthy and occasionally erotic tunes performed by and for 19th Century rural English peasants and working class folk. Dark themes of lost loves, treachery, murder, and thievery are the substance of these song stories. Sanctuary's re-issue of this long out of print or import available only album is superb. The sound quality is excellent but do note that Collins and Hutchings intentionally went for a spontaneous, loose and earthy sound that they largely achieved by recording live in the studio. Music Hound Folk writers gave "No Roses" their highest rating of 5 bones. The liner notes are very informative and contain excerpts of an interview with Shirley Collins. A sound like none that you will soon (if ever) hear on commercial radio, "No Roses" is a classic record of the English folk-rock genre that contains timeless tunes of rough hewn beauty. 5 Stars Plus!