Thursday, 1 November 2012

Five favourite electric folk LPs


[For an excellently written essay on what was 'electric folk' music, go to the Wikipedia - accessed today.]


In order of release:

1. Steeleye Span - Parcel of Rogues. It in 1973, when this album had just been released, that I heard on the radio "One Misty Moisty Morning" - and was smitten.

2. Ashley Hutchings and others - Morris On, 1972 (but I didn't hear it until a couple of years later). Electric Morris dancing and song! I borrowed an accordeon, so I was John Kirkpatrick; my friend Gareth got a bass guitar, so he was Ashley Hutchings - and that was the totality of our electric folk band...

3. Ashley Hutchings and John Kirkpatrick and others - The Compleat Dancing Master, 1974. A sequence of words and music about dancing from medieval (the time of Chaucer) to 19th century (Thomas Hardy) with a wonderful cast of actors and musicians. The perfect 'concept album'.

4. Steeleye Span - Commoner's Crown, 1975. It is very hard to choose (how can I miss out mentioning "Thomas the Rhymer" from Now we are six?) but I suppose this was the very best of Steeleye's albums, with "Long Lankin" as its summit; and I love "Bach goes to Limerick".

5. The Albion Country Band - Battle of the Field, 1976. A minor miracle of interlocking parts - including Martin Carthy at his uncompromising best in "Gallant Poacher" and the weirdly wonderful oboe of Sue Harris...

Ah, what an era. Short but deliciously sweet.