Friday, December 12, 2008

Brenda Wootton - Carillon (1979)



This month I'm presenting another lp courtesy of a listener, in this case Dave (AKA Jukebox, AKA cathaven) who kindly recorded his vinyl copy of this rarity and sent it my way.

Brenda Wootton is a Cornish folk singer who recorded about a dozen albums between the late-60s and the early-80s. A number of the songs have a pop sensibility more than a pure folk sound, but her excellent voice and good selection of material make the pop songs (like Apple Wine) work as well as the folk numbers. On some of her releases, she sings in Cornish and sometimes Breton (both are Celtic languages, about which I know very little) but all the songs here are in English, although some originate in Cornwall nonetheless.

I first discovered Brenda Wootton through the ├Żlowek scavel-cronek blog, which has, between African lps and Jackie Chan soundtracks posted 4 of her releases so far. If you like this record, I recommend you take a look at his postings (and even if you don't you should check out his great blog).

You can listen to this one here.

Thanks again to Dave and if anyone else out there has some recordings of vinyl lps that have never made it to CD that you'd like to share drop me a line. I'm hoping there will be another folk post coming at the end of the month: Orriel Smith's hauting 1963 album A Voice in the Wind.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hilton Valentine - All in Your Head (1969)




Here's one I can't believe never made it on CD, or if it did I can't find any record of it. Not even some limited, edition Japanese paper sleeve issue. I know it didn't sell well at the time of its release but it's really an excellent record full of introspective, semi-psychedelic, beautiful pop songs and some great guitar work. Unfortunately I'm a little pressed for time and so probably won't be able to do it justice--suffice it to say if you like the music here, then you'll REALLY like this one.

Hilton Valentine was born in 1943 in North Shields, Northumberland, started playing guitar in a skiffle band (The Heppers) moved on to a more rock'n'roll/R&B sound with The Wildcats and ended up the lead guitarist for the Animals, one of the finest & (as Valentine notes) most poorly managed bands of the British Invasion.

He left the Animals in 1966 when they became Eric Burdon & the Animals and, except for some supporting gigs (on the Keith Sheilds' single Hey Gyp & another single by Natasha Pyne) didn't record again until this 1969 solo release on Capitol/EMI. He then went on another long recording hiatus & didn't release another solo outing until It's Folk 'N' Skiffle recorded under the name Skiffledog, which you should definitely check out (you can listen to samples at the link I just gave). You can see his whole discography here.

Valentine is still performing today, as Skiffledog and along with Eric Burdon and his Web site has more info. You can see a recent performance on Youtube.

Hilton Valentine is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and deserving of many other accolades and honors (whether he's gotten or not). But then again, this record deserved to be a hit, so music, like life, ain't always fair.

Here's a tracklist:
1. Listen
2. Everything Returns to Me
3. It's All in Your Head
4. Little Soldiers
5. Eyes of a Child
6. Sitting in the Sun
----
7. Is There Anything but Love
8. Land of Children
9. Run, Run, Run
10. Peace
11. Girl from Allemagne

This is now available on CD, so the link is down.