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.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more