Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Pentangle "The Pentangle" (1968)

Why are these guys not given the acclaim that tends to go to Fairport?  My assumption would be that the tragic death of Sandy Denny and the ongoing career of Richard Thompson have elevated the profile of Fairport.  At the time, Pentangle were clearly as good, if not better than their better remembered peers.  Two top notch guitarists, a stellar vocalist, and the best rhythm section in folk rock.  Absolutely brilliant stuff.

Richard Thompson "Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, vol 1" (1985)

Originally created as a bonus for fan club members, this is by definition non-essential.  It is outtakes & live recordings from the late 70s/early 80s.  Given the plethora of live RT currently available, this is even less essential.

John Renbourn Group "Live in America" (1981)

This is a brilliant exploration of the group's take on English folk music.  The vocals of Jacqui McShee make this practically a Pentangle album.  And the use of percussion shows the connection between the music of England and North Africa. 

The Dubliners "Best of the Dubliners" (2002)

There's a bit more grit here than you might expect, given the recordings' 1960s origins.  The boys all sound as if they've had one or two pints and are ready to have a good time.  It walks right on that edge of being too mannered and a wreck.  I assume that for the time, these recordings would be analogous to what the Pogues were doing in the 80s.