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Get To Know A Top 10: June 2018 Thread - Jimmy Dread

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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#31 | Posted: 06/01/2019 01:09 | Post subject: Reply with quote
dihansse wrote:
Funny, I thought we were on the June 2019 poll and was wondering why I already had missed so much reactions... until I discovered this was the June 2018 thread.
My memory is really not what it used to be Wink


Just added years to all the thread subjects going back to the beginning so that it will be less confusing for bumped threads going forward.
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Jameth




United States

#32 | Posted: 06/02/2019 03:11 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Frost And Fire

This was a picturesque rememberance of times past and another style of music that I had little exposure to (outside of FC, perhaps). I found a site which has catalogued The Watersons discography and provided full lyrics and the liner notes from the original LP (I’ll post a link below for anyone interested). That was something a Yank such as myself desperately needed, given the somewhat archaic language used. It meant spending longer with the album, but it made a for a more rewarding listen.

My favorite thing about this record is the fact that they collected these related songs and arranged them to present the passing of seasons and, ultimately, an entire year. It was a nice touch, and they really did a masterful job of breathing life back into a way of life that is mostly gone. You can smell the salt from the sea and feel the cold at your back as you carol.

I’ve had a passing interest in these old ballads collected by Child, Sharp, etc. for some time, and this was a good step down that path. I had listened to Anne Briggs just a few days ago (which I’ll have to revisit), and this album got me looking around for similar artists. John Langstaff is a great balladeer that I found, a baritone that sung solo either unaccompanied or with piano. He was American and did sing some American tunes, but mostly secular English ballads, as far as I can tell. I’m sure I’ll dig up more at some point. It’s just a fascinating style, and I’d like to learn more about the ballad structure and better survey some of the topics used (some of the ballads Langstaff sung were grim). There seemed to be many that you just don’t hear in song anymore.

Here’s the link for anyone needing help digesting this album:

https://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/index.html

Just Another Diamond Day

This was the only album on the list that I’ve previously heard. I thought it was phenomenal then, and even more so on second listen. Vashti walks such a fine line between banality and mawkishness, and manages to keep out of either the entire way. Except for “Lily Pond”...she zig zags on that tune.

Anyways, this is a one-of-a-kind record, and it’s a shame she (Briggs and Shelagh, as well) withdrew from recording. A few more albums like this would have been incredible, but I do have her latest two to check out.

————

This is a really tight race. Stargazer might still be in the lead, maybe not.
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Jameth




United States

#33 | Posted: 06/02/2019 17:04 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Visions Of The Country

Basho must have had great visions of the country from atop his perch on Mt. Olympus, because the man sounds like Zeus himself, regaling us mere mortals from on high in the clouds. I was foaming at the mouth to get to this album after learning of his connections to both Fahey and Ali Akbar Khan...I knew it was going to be special. But, I wasn’t expecting this; this is the kind of music you dream of finding. And at no point could I accept that I was listening to the performance of a mere mortal. His picking is excellent...his voice too...his hand at the keys...the man even whistles like he’s practiced for centuries.

Thanks for including this; what a fantastic record. It’s got a commanding lead, but I still have two albums to give a fair shake.
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Jameth




United States

#34 | Posted: 06/02/2019 23:23 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Songs For The Gentle Man

I may have heard this before and forgotten it, because I apparently had St. John confused with Buffy Sainte-Marie going into this. Lesson learned, I suppose.

This one was somewhat akin to Bunyan’s, but instead of Vashti’s sweet, pigeon-y cooing, we get Bridget’s smoky, Nico-esque contralto. The songs are really just as lovely, but I’d point out that St. John’s guitar technique and songwriting are superior. Great album.

Death And The Lady

Another gem. Mills has an incredible voice and does a fantastic job with these ballads. And set against Raven’s flamenco guitar, it’s a killer blend. “The Queen Of The Night” is especially gorgeous.

There’s a lot to get into with Raven, too. Apparently, he’s appeared on about 50 albums. Incredible.

—————

Okay! My rankings:

1. Visions Of The Country
2. Stargazer
3. Morning Way
4. Death And The Lady
5. Just Another Diamond Day
6. Bryter Layter
7. Frost And Fire
8. Bryter Layter
9. Teulu Yncl Sam
10. The Blue Trees

2-9 are fairly interchangeable. I can’t cast my vote for Visions Of The Country or see the results, so I’ll just assume that my pick won.

Great chart, Jimmy. I’m sure that at some point I’ll get around to listening to most or all of the other 90 albums...peace!
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