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Various Artists — Folklore
(Fruits de Mer Friends of the Fish 63, 2023, 8")

by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-04-29

Folklore Cover art

As the first Fruits de Mer release of 2023, a celebration of the start of the label’s 15th year, and the high cost of manufacturing 7-inch vinyl EPs, Keith Jones turned to releasing a lathe cut instead, to give the music the chance to be on vinyl. Creating a lathe cut is a labor-intensive process, each copy is made sequentially from the source material. Therefore only 90 copies were produced, and only a few lucky people were successful in getting a copy. Fortunately for me, FdM sent me a CDr promo, so I am able to tell you about the music. Folklore is collection of four reinterpretations of UK folk classics from the 60s and 70s, covered by longtime FdM artists: Us and Them, Jay Tausig, Elfin Bow, and Kevin and Scott Robertson. Us and Them kick off the EP with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Trees’ classic “The Garden of Jane Delawney.” Britt’s multi-tracked vocals and Anders’ violin shed a new light on this 1970 song. I could be wrong, but I believe that the only other cover of this song was done by All About Eve in 1988, which pales in comparison to this rendition. The second track is US multi-instrumentalist Jay Tausig’s droning acid folk rendering of Fairport Convention’s “Matty Groves.” It takes a lot of chutspa to go up against Fairport Convention, but Jay pulls it off with his sinister reading of this traditional song, that slows down, down, down to the end. The third track, by Liverpudlian Elizabeth Kearney AKA Elfin Bow is a cover of Caedmon’s “Sea Song.” Elizabeth takes this progressive folk dance song, sloww it down a bit, performs it on piano, and imbues it with a Kate Bush vibe. The fourth and final song is a cover of Bert Jansch’s “Running from Home” by the Scottish duo Kevin and Scott Robertson. At 2:15, this last song is just too short as it envelops you with their vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar. Even though all 90 copies are long gone into the hands of collectors, you can still experience the music on YouTube. And in point of fact, Us and Them have included their cover on their forthcoming EP We Count the Evening Stars.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Jay Tausig, Us and Them, Various Artists, Elfin Bow (Elizabeth Kearney), Kevin Robertson

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