Iain Matthews was at his high during his Elektra years
Kasper van Noppen | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | 08/29/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Iain Matthews is still around performing and recording, but in my view his best period was in the early 70's, with albums like 'If You Saw Thru' My Eyes', 'Tigers Will Survive' and 'Vally Hi'. The Soul of Many Places is a collection from three albums Iain Matthews recorded for the Elektra label in the early 70's. The first one being a group effort by Plainsong (the underestimated, but still very impressive 'In Search of Amelia Earhart'), the other two solo efforts ('Vally Hi' and 'Some Days You Eat The Bear...'). This collection offers sixteen regular tracks and two never before released songs ('Poor Ditching Boy' and 'You Fell Through My Mind'). Iain Matthews has always been more a singer than a songwriter, and this collection shows his talents going through songs by Tom Waits ('Ol '55'), Michael Nesmith ( 'Propinquity') and Danny Whitten ('I Don't Want To Talk About It'). If you're not familiar with Iain Matthews' music, this is a very good collection to start with."
A Celtic Cowboy
David Kinney | San Francisco, Ca. United States | 03/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never cared much for British folk music, and I find English band's attempts at country music laughable for the most part,but there's always an exception that proves the rule and this guy might just be it. Matthews Southern Country was Iain's first post-Fairport Convention attempt at country music and the result was pretty tepid. By the time he began recording solo for Electra Records in the early seventies he seemed to have found his voice and his style.There are excellent cover versions here of Tom Waits, Jesse Winchester, and even the dreaded Steely Dan. Iain sails through them with ease and contributes several worthy songs of his own. The version of "Seven Bridges Road" here was lifted intact by the Eagles a few years later.Iain Matthews continues to enjoy modest success to this day and his musical output is never less than enjoyable, but he has never surpassed the music collected here on this highly recommended CD."