Mellow Candle — The Virgin Prophet
(Si Wan Kissing Spell SRMC 4053, 1970/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01
As the CD liner notes state, Mellow Candle's Swaddling Songs is the holy grail of folk rock. There really is no other album that even compares in this specific genre (Fairport Convention, Spriguns, Pentangle etc.) Although the balance was a bit more rock by the time of Swaddling Songs, the band was initially much more folk oriented, as this CD attests. Much of this CD is previously unreleased demo sessions from 1969-70 with a four-piece drummerless line-up (guitar, piano, bass, vocals – although they all sing and at times there are drums). About 3/4 of this later appeared on Swaddling Songs and although they are noticeably different versions, they are similar enough to make the larger part of this CD somewhat redundant. However the rest of the CD consists of tracks showing up for the first time, including one where the male vocalist sings lead. Except for that track, the rest is quite comparable to the Swaddling Songs material, and makes a nice addition for the collector. Those unfamiliar should start with Swaddling Songs, it's an important reference point.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more