Amoeblog

Eighteenth Day of May on Rykodisc: retro Brit-Folk on the cheap!

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, September 29, 2008 10:14pm | Post a Comment
eighteenth day of may
On hearing the eponymous debut by the British contemporary folkies  Eighteenth Day of May, one would be harp-pressed to claim that it was not recorded during the classic era of British Folk-Rock. American flautist/vocalist, Alison Brice, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Richard Olsen and their British cohorts have crafted a bright slab of pastoral folksong, including a nod to their legendary forefathers, Pentangle, with their cover of Bert Jansch's Deed I Do.

As was the case with releases by Pentangle nearly 40 years earlier, Eighteenth Day of May is a mixed bag. A few of the songs lag a bit and the overall air is fairly edgeless, but the ensemble playing and forward drive is often quite beautiful and evocative of that classic generation that first folded their electric guitars and vintage amps into the rich history of traditional British folksong.

I won't claim that you will replace your Fairport Convention or Incredible String Band's marker in the CD rack with this album, but at clearance pricing, there is certainly enough sublimity to justify the expense, and then some.

White Bicycles: Joe Boyd's Extraordinary 60s

Posted by Miss Ess, January 9, 2008 06:54pm | Post a Comment
Joe Boyd's recently written autobiography, White Bicycles, is amazing.  I've previously professed my jealousy of Cameron Crowe's life, but I actually think Joe Boyd has overtaken Crowe in that race.  By far.

white bicycles joe boyd nick drake

Although he never won an Oscar (like Crowe), Boyd has had an extraordinary run in the music biz. He was always in the right place at the right time.  It's hard to even hit on all the amazing things he has taken joe boyd nick drake vashti bunyan producerpart in here-- there's just so many of them. He was one of the first to arrange and manage European Jazz and Blues tours.  He worked for Elektra and eventually formed his own production company called Witchseason.  He booked an extremely successful club night in London in the 60s that hosted Pink Floyd and The Move, among many others.  He went on to produce artists like Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention.

In one of my favorite passages in the book, Boyd describes the night atnewport folk festival 1965 bob dylan The Newport Folk Festival when he was a stage manager and Dylan went electric.  Reading that portion of the book made my heart race!  If for nothing else, it's worth buying White Bicycles just to read about this momentous occasion in rock history from a fresh viewpoint.  Boyd was truly a part of that evening and remembers it all!  He really must have kept a journal.  It answers some questions about who exactly was in a physical fight that night, who started what and if Pete Seeger did indeed cut the electricity with an axe.  There really was an axe there that night, and that's all I'm gonna say!

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