Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Reissue of 1976 album produced by Mike Batt withfull sleeve notes and lyrics. Nine tracks: 'London', 'TheBosnian Hornpipes', 'Orfeo/ Nathan's Reel', 'The TwelveWitches', 'The Brown Girl', 'Fighting For Strangers', 'SligoMa... more »
Reissue of 1976 album produced by Mike Batt withfull sleeve notes and lyrics. Nine tracks: 'London', 'TheBosnian Hornpipes', 'Orfeo/ Nathan's Reel', 'The TwelveWitches', 'The Brown Girl', 'Fighting For Strangers', 'SligoMaid', 'Sir James The Rose' and 'The Drunkard'.
Peyton McKean | 01/15/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was disappointed on first hearing this album and it took quite a few listens before it grew on me. I still have my reservations about it. It has a much chunkier bass, drums and guitar sound than the preceding "Hat" album. On the instrumental Sligo Maid, for instance, Peter Knight plays second fiddle(no pun intended)to Bob Johnson`s rocky guitar riff, which is a shame. The live recording of this track on "Gone To Australia" is a better version, with the fiddle playing taking pride of place. Another instance of this preponderance of guitar is on James the Rose which, to me, sounds like a straight rock song, which is all well and good, but Steeleye were capable of much more imaginative arrangements of traditional songs than that. The same might be said for Twelve Witches if it weren`t for the fact that the repetitive and uninteresting(by Steeleye standards) musical arrangement is saved by Rick Kemp`s brilliant vocals. London is a pleasant enough offering, jolly and jaunty. Maddy Prior is in great voice on Orfeo, at the end of which is a truly gorgeous violin solo, Nathan`s Reel, named after Peter Knight`s son, incidentally. Brown Girl is a sort of pop-sounding rendition of a traditional song. Not bad, but probably my least favourite track on the album. Again, it`s the uninspired and uninspiring arrangement, but Maddy sounds as good as ever. Tim Hart and Maddy sing on Fighting for Strangers (Tim the verses and Maddy the chorus) - great track with some interesting percussion from Nigel Pegrum mixed in. The last track on the album, The Drunkard, is something of a controversy amongst fans, because it was recorded `in real time` and before the song starts there is some spontaneous banter amongst the band members who then launch into an unscheduled and jokey performance of a few lines of `Camptown Races`. None of this is a problem for me, however. I think it adds a certain charm and character to the album. The Drunkard is a sad and moving traditional song, well sung by Maddy, and with some lovely mandolin and violin accompaniment. Anyway, it all comes down to individual taste. Fans who take exception to The Drunkard are probably the same people who consider James the Rose to be a classic, which I don`t happen to agree with. I almost forgot to mention The Bosnian Hornpipes, which is a brief a capella piece, the title of which I think is an example of the band`s sense of humour, i.e. it`s neither Bosnian nor a hornpipe. Short but sweet."