This label started releasing the most interesting relatively unknown items and recordings from the UK folkrock underground scene, in the beginning mostly from between 1968-1978. A few later recordings from related groups from that area were added as well. The few UK acid (rock and purely) Underground recordings I will not review here. These pages tends to give an overview of these folk related releases.
THE ACID FOLK ROCK AND FOLK RECORDINGS ALPHABETICALLY :
The fragility in it is very nice. So is the cello addition. Christian music. I like very much the title track.
According to 'Rockinworld' : "Reissue of extremely scarce Irish folk- rock LP. Rocked out trad. sound, many original songs, male & female vocals. Definitely a Spriguns-like sound."
Label comments : Caedmon's privately issued 1978 LP, has since it's rediscovery in 1992, been established as an expensive collectors item, rated as the best folk-rock album ever made, perhaps 2nd only to “Mellow Candle”. The sublime sound of Caedmon results from an unusual blend of styles, the fragile female vocals, admirable use of tension and atmosphere, savage fuzz-guitar, art rock leanings - everything from exquisite understatement to frantic show-off musicianship - a classic, by golly!
According to the Bruton Town list voting :
2 votes : ***** as essential, 2 votes *** as nothing special but still good
Nice hippie acid folkrock a few times with "naïve" Christian sounding female choir, piano additions, some orchestrations.
According to Greyhound's records this is a "Rare as hell concept folk rock lp from '73. originals were released on irish polydor & are valued at 400! cd taken from original masters & has 3 extra tracks." According to Laser's Edge this is an "Excellent Irish electric folk progressive that was originally released in 1973. This is a fantasy based conceptual work. The band features female vocals, great electric guitar, flute, strings, and of course, bass and drums. Fans of Caedmon line up for this one!"
Labels comments : "Hailing from Fermoy, Co Cork, Loudest Whisper proved their originality with the success of their first folk rock musical “The Children of Lir”. That was back in 1973. Today, after two more successful musicals, “Perseus” and “Maiden of Sorrow”, and some of the hit singles on this album. Loudest Whisper have established their own recording studio in Fermoy, “Studio Fiona”. Brian O'Reilly, founder of the group, and his brother Paud write all their own material. Drawing both influences from both American and European sources, Loudest Whisper successfully combine the best of contemporary folk and soft rock to produce a highly original sound."
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 2 votes **** highly recommended
CAEDMON LIVE (1978)***°
The live versions might be slightly better. Recording quality is not the best, but good enough.
According to the Bruton Town list voting :one vote as "**" limited appeal
DANCER - Tales Of The River Bank (?)**
Although the style is progressive, not folk, I have to mention this here because of the appearance of a Shide and Acorn member. I did not find it very special, but I need to give it another listen.
According to the label it is "Engineered by Tony Mcphee of Groundhogs fame, this never before released album finally sees the light of day. Featuring the then unknown Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) on keyboards and mellotron, the band split when Anthony decided to quit and go to film school immediately after the album was recorded. Managed under the same roof as Yes & Gentle Giant this album and the band were headed for the big time, and in the true spirit of Rock N Roll, it never did happen. A fascinating sleeve note recounts this marvellous and so far, untold tale of the injustices of this trechorous business, written by Mike Jollife, (Shide And Acorn) who plays guitar on this superb progressive album."
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 2 votes : ** limited appeal, 1 vote * best avoided
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 1 vote ***** essential, 2 votes *** nothing special but still good
Second Mellow Candle related group. Much more traditional. Published in South Africa. I especially like the "Mariner Blues" song. For more information see the "Mellow Candle -Flibberdigibbet-Eisthlin" Web Page
According to the Bruton Town list voting :
"My Lagan Love" : one vote *** nothing special, but still good
"Whistling gigs to the moon" :
1 vote ***** essential, 1 vote **** highly recommended, 2 votes *** nothing special but still good
This is another item I did not hear yet. I do have the Jumble Lane and Astral Navigations albums which are related. These are both good underground folk psych (both reissued but now deleted ? by Background).
According to the label this is for the "1st time on cd for the sister album to astral navigations. Features tracks by Chris Coombes & Light Years Away & Thundermother. Bill Nelson guests on guitar on 1 track. album has nice acid guitar & psyche keyboard moments throughout."
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 1 vote : ** limited appeal
GALLERY : The Wind that shakes the barley (1969-1972)***
The track " Queen of Hearts " I believe is incredibly beautiful, essential. For the rest it's a nice folk album.
Bruton Town Newsletter comments on this item :
"It is a beautiful record, released on MIDAS label in 1972. In my research I've found only one of the personnel names, the female voice, Barbara Seabourne. The record title is "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" (Kissing Spell KSCD9503-f) and some of you could instantly remember the Dead Can Dance late version of this beautiful traditional here included. On the KS version there is also a 20 minute bonus track that was recorded in 1969 (so the record notes).
Seems that this MIDAS label pressed also a record from a band named "Folkal Point" and two solo records from a certain Janet Jones.
The Gallery sound is not "acid" folk, but more traditional stuff, well clever done."
"The Gallery album is superb IMO. The label was set up by Alan Green who was also behind the Folk Heritage / Westwood labels. Gallery is phenomenally rare as an original LP (About £1000). Equally as rare is Folkal Point (Even the band only have one copy between them!!) Janet Jones did 2 for the label and both are more common, but excellent" Ian from Ammonite Records
"Actually the members of the band were Royce Seabourne : vocals; Barbara Seabourn : vocals, Dulcimer ; Mark Uttley : volins ; Steve Morrison : guitar ; Alan Morrison, Steve Morrison's brother played on many of their records/ performances when Steve was not available- including 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley'." (according to Ché Royce Seabourne)
according to the LP notes Brian Murray played also electric bass on the LP, Mark Uttley played also mandolin, and Barbara played also guitar.
GREEN MAN: What Ails Thee (1972) ?
I heard the LP once in a shop and it seemed at first hearing not very adventurous folk, but I cannot tell for sure.
The label introduces this album : "Songs and a large selection of jigs and reels. Like many great relationships, Greenman grew out of several chance meetings in and around the Bedfordshire Folk scene in the summer of 1972. The band was born at a local pub, "The Gate", at Swan Bottom. Female vocals, fiddle, sax, mandolin and electric bass. Features ex-members of Druid- who would go on to become Melody Maker winners in the 1974 Rock Finals."
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 1 vote : *** nothing special, but still good
LAST THING ON MY MIND & LOOSE ROOTS are both compilation albums.
1 vote : essential, 1 vote highly recommended 3 votes nothing special but still good
Very recommended pastoral folkrock. First Midwinter members formed also Stoneangel shortly after this recording. More information at the seperate "Midwinter - Stone Angel" Web Page
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 1 vote : essential, 1 vote highly recommended
MOURNING PHASE (1971)***'
Nice dual vocals Acid Folk item.
Comments of Greyhound Records : This is the "cd reissue of 'supposed' 'test pressing' from '71. cover alludes to contributions from sandy denny & eric clapton! combines electric & acoustic instrumentation with male & female vocals."
According to Rockinworld this is an "Issue of another fascinating UK acoustic & electric acid folk acetate of original songs. Tired of smiling upsidedown indeed!"
Kissing Spell : "The Mourning Phase demo-LP was discovered in 1992 and later sold for a 4-figure sum to a “collector”. It appeared to be a test pressing, dated 1971, with a hand-made cover. Lyrically interesting, the densely layered acoustic/electric music seems merely to serve as a vehicle for the love/hate relationship of, speculatively, the male and female vocalists. Cynical, misanthropic, (with and occasional cello), and a cover based on an impressionist painting. Mourning Phase is surely the archetypal home-made art-student LP"
" I have a vinyl reissue put out by Steve Smith in 1991. I think he was the original Kissing Spell owner. Anyway, there's very little info. No names/instrumentation, etc on this vinyl release. It's a man, a woman, and acoustic guitars, though. As I recall, there was some scepticism back in the early 90s that this was actually a 'lost' recording from 1971, due to the lack of info. The back cover places it from Summer 1971. It rates highly and rightly so, because the songs are well written, well performed, and goes from somewhat dreamy through to aggressive. Well, as aggressive as an acoustic guitar can get, anyway.Here's the flowery blurb off the lyric sheet:
"Mourning Phase is the lament of two star cross'd lovers, committed to vinyl during a short stay in Eden during July, maybe August, the summer of 1971...Only one copy of their record has survived, complete with a rather beautiful sleeve hand-drawn in coloured pencils by the Girl, thrown to the four winds during the winter of their discontent, the time of Mourning Phase's parting..For deeper insight into this sorrowful tale, listeners are advised to contemplate these lyric-sheets, wherein lines of revealing ambiguity await, manifesting the love/hate of our two protagonists. Their ambivalence toward one another may explain the occasional Freudian slip twixt singers, charmingly transcribed to vinyl for eternity...and never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo..."
All songs, lyrics, artwork c. Mourning Phase '71. Copyright Control courtesy of MCPS. This issue c. S. Smith '91.
my copy is # 70/250
And I thought I was the king of the run-on sentence. Anyway, not terribly informative, and as I said, suspicions were raised at the time. This was back before CD reissues were prevalent, and original vinyl was changing hands for megabucks." Mark (optimystical)
According to the Bruton Town list voting : 2 votes : essential, 2 votes : highly recommended
The record was re-released on Shadoks Records.
MOTHS : Heron's Daughter **°
I made a separate Moths webpage for the band with a few extra pictures (follow link on name)
PARAMETER : Galactic Ramble
I heard this record once. A bit mostly acoustic acid underground. It did sound ok, but without too much clear ideas. Therefore I did not take it.
Comments from the Bruton Town newsgroup :
"I do like the track on the Kissing Spell Comp (not "Emmeline", the other one),can't remember on which volume...
I haven't heard their album though, can't comment on their general output; I heard another track on the recent "Love, Peace & Poetry"comp,which wasn't that bad. The production values (if you can call them that...) add somehow to it, I find." Tony Dale
"Along with the Moths and that one Axe album and a couple other things, this is my favorite kissing spell release...
I think I agree with Tony's description of why it is appealing. Little hints of pastoral early Floyd recorded in secret in a small, empty room and flashes of a pink moon...just a wonderful, cobbled-together lo-fi feeling. Actually the album I have by Joshua (Life Less Lost? It's the one in an odd-shaped cardboard sleeve) has the same feeling to me, and that's why I love that so much. Sparse, distant, slightly sad with a peaceful glow and a smile. It sounds like music made for the joy of making it, with no pretense and no formula...just making it for themselves." Sarada (Stone Breath, etc.)
According to the Bruton Town list voting :
1 vote : highly recommended, 2 votes nothing special but still good, 1 limited appeal
According to Greyhound Records this is "extremely rare esoteric folk from 1967, the first ever holyground release, produced by mike levon & featuring chris coombes on guitar & harmonica. very sought after, newly remastered, essential !"
According to Rockinworld this is "Holyground label acidfolkrock, (not trad based), but a bit Americanized cool hippie folk and rock."