Sandy Denny — 19 Rupert St
(Witchwoood Media WMCD 2053, 1967/2011, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-05-03This is about as intimate a performance as you can get. Sandy Denny visited friend and fellow folk singer Alex Campbell at his home at 19 Rupert St in Glasgow on 5 August 1967, and they spent at least part of the evening sitting around, drinking whisky, playing and chatting. The remarkable thing is that Carsten Linde, a Danish acquaintance of Campbell's, was also visiting and had a quarter-track tape recorder with him. In 2005, Dave Cousins heard a copy of it and set in motion a series of events that led to the tape getting transferred to digital and cleaned up for us all to hear. And while it's certainly not pristine studio quality, if you put on headphones and close your eyes, you are there in the room with a group of friends old and new, joking and singing and messing around with guitars. The flaws in the recording are due to the whisky, not the passage of decades on magnetic tape. Mostly you stick to songs you know, whether traditional or by other folk singers. Patsy Campbell, Alex's wife, jumps in on harmonies from time to time. They run through "Trouble in Mind," "The Midnight Special," "She Moves through the Fair," and others. Just a month earlier, Sandy had been in Copenhagen with the Strawbs and recorded a song of her own called "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" so she shares it with the group. After a while, the Campbells' two young boys are awakened by the noise and come into the room, so some kid tunes finish out the session. Even in this casual setting, Sandy's voice is riveting, capable of melting hearts at twenty paces. And since you're much closer than that, you have no chance of escaping the effect. This is probably not the best place for a Sandy Denny novice to start, but for those already familiar with her magic, 19 Rupert St is a treasure beyond price.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more