So Far So Good
Island Records 9484
Coming out of the innovative folk from the British Isles in the late 60s, this Scottish musician was perhaps the first white artist to sign with independent label Island Records. This 1977 anthology houses cuts from the previous Island albums (1971 – 1975) and concludes with a rocking live cut from Martyn’s self-released classic Live at Leeds (1975). Other than the instrumental “Glistening Glyndebourne,” the album features vocal cuts by Martyn. Likely bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle) plays on all the dates, two from 1975 also featuring guitarist Paul Kossoff.
This collection provides an excellent overview of the Island years and showcases Martyn’s skills as a songwriter and a guitarist. The cuts are all teasers, informing the listeners of the quality of this artist’s work, and likely causing most to seek out each and every one of these Martyn albums from Island Records.
— winch (author of
LINK TO SELLERS
so far so good LP
Big Bill Broonzy
Last Session Part One
Recorded July 1957
Produced & Directed by Bill Randle
The first of three sets Verve released in 1959, all recorded July 1957. The day after the sessions, Broonzy would enter the hospital with lung cancer, and he’d be gone before the release of these albums.
Classic collection of acoustic blues, all good with several highlights including “Southbound Train,” “Joe Turner Blues,” and “I Ain’t Gon’ Be Treated This Way.”
Good Shit *****
First U.S. release by this folk guitarist from Scotland, half of the selections from Bert Jansch(1965), the others from It Don’t Bother Me (1965), this collection alternating between vocal cuts and acoustic guitar solos, the latter especially strong but the vocal cuts powerful as well, some of them strong enough to put a chill to your bones.
The cautionary tale “Needle of Death,” is as poignant as any drug song, ranks up there with Lou Reed’s song about the same subject matter, this one in sharp contrast to the celebratory drug songs of the 60s. Other highlights include the traveling tales “Running From Home” and “Rambling’s Gonna Be the Death of Me.”
While the selections come from two albums, they fit together like cars in a freight train, the instrumentals chiming like chains, the sequencing creating a musical journey, a train ride through various landscapes, occasionally slowing down to gaze at people along the way.
This clearly influenced much of the music that followed, not just folk singers but rock artists as well. It puts most of the competition to shame.
Paul Winter Consort
Producer: George Martin
Winter continues his move away from jazz with this set, sticking to a unigue folk sound and helping to lay down some firm foundations for what would become the genre called world music. While most of the Consort had already formed Oregon by this time, Winter fortunately managed to retain them for this outing. In fact, the Oregon members provide most of the material for this album, and fans of Oregon will want to check out this set. This isn’t perhaps as spontaneous or adventurous as much of Oregon’s material, but this was likely Winter’s finest offering.
While I never considered Oregon as a band influenced by the Beatles, the George Martin production and the heavy use of Eastern instruments on this set perhaps helps point out a very creative extension of the Fab Four’s work. This certainly offered the hippies and Beatles’ fans a much needed alternative to the post-Beatles singer/songwriter craze. This set has some weaker moments, but mostly it’s quite enjoyable, and fans of Ralph Towner will certainly enjoy his contributions.
The band included Paul Winter (sax), David Darling (cello), Paul McCandless (horns), Ralph Towner (guitars, keyboards), Herb Bushler (bass), Collin Walcott (percussion). Guests included Billy Cobham and Milt Holland on percussion.
— winch (author of…http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php