Wednesday, June 12, 2013

fairport convention

Fairport Convention were searching for their own sound when they made their debut with this diverse collection of progressive folk rock.   The group started with bassist Ashley Hutchings and guitarist Simon Nicol, who met while playing together n the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra.  They would convene upstairs at a house called "Fairport" in Muswell Hill, North London where Nicol's family lived to practice, which led to the name of a group that they formed with Richard Thompson on guitar and Shaun Frater on drums.  After their first gig at St Michael's Church Hall, they found a new drummer when audience member Martin Lamble convinced them he could do better.  They soon added female vocalist Judy Dyble to the lineup and began playing around underground clubs in the London area.  Joe Boyd saw them and signed them to Island Records.  They added male vocalist Iain Matthews soon afterward and began work on their eponymous debut.  

Joe Boyd produced the sessions with Tod Lloyd at Sound Techniques in London that ran through covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jim & Jean, Emitt Rhodes, and an adaptation of a poem by George Painter, and some original material.  The album features Judy Dyble on lead vocals, electric and acoustic autoharps, recorder, and piano; Ian MacDonald (Iain Matthews) on lead vocals and Jew's harp; Richard Thompson on vocals, lead electric and acoustic guitars, and mandolin; Simon Nicol on vocals, electric 12 and 6 string, and acoustic guitars; Ashley Hutchings on bass guitar, jug, and double bass; and Martin Lamble on percussion and violin; with Claire Lowther on cello.  

While it evokes the psychedelic sound of groups like Jefferson Airplane, 'Fairport Convention' has a life all its own.  It never charted and wouldn't even be released in the US for two years.  It would be the only album the group recorded with Judy Dyble.

'Fairport Convention' 

full album:

00:00 Time Will Show the Wiser (Emitt Rhodes)
03:07 I Don't Know Where I Stand (Joni Mitchell)
06:53 If (Stomp) (Ian MacDonald, Richard Thompson)
09:42 Decameron (Paul Ghosh, Andrew Horvitch, Thompson)
13:27 Jack O'Diamonds (Bob Dylan, Ben Carruthers)
16:59 Portfolio (Judy Dyble, Tyger Hutchings)
19:01 Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell)
22:07 Sun Shade (Ghosh, Horvitch, Thompson)
22:54 The Lobster (George Painter, Hutchings, Thompson)
30:43 It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft (Hutchings, Thompson)
33:58 One Sure Thing (Harvey Brooks, Jim Glover)
36:51 M1 Breakdown (Hutchings, Simon Nicol)

Bonus Tracks
38:23 Suzanne (Leonard Cohen)
44:12 If I Had a Ribbon Bow (Hughie Prince, Lou Singer)
46:57 Morning Glory (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley)
50:10 Reno, Nevada (Richard FariƱa)

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