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Beau -- the stage name of the English singer/songwriter born Christopher John Trevor Midgley -- put out a couple of obscure albums on the Dandelion label in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These showed far more influence from American folk singer/songwriters of the mid-1960s -- such as Tom Paxton (of whom Beau was a big fan) and Phil Ochs -- than most such British folk records, though there was some similarity to the acoustic efforts of British singer/songwriters like Donovan, too. Beau's voice and melodies were very plain, though, and the records were also-ran footnotes of British folk-rock. Beau got his nickname from a French teacher in school, and started his musical career in the Leeds rock cover band the Raiders. When he was 19, he left the Raiders to work as a solo folk artist, accompanying himself on a 12-string acoustic guitar. After auditioning for Elektra in the late 1960s, he was picked up by Dandelion Records, which was founded by Elektra U.K. executive Clive Selwood with famed British radio announcer John Peel. Beau's self-titled debut came out in 1969 with acoustic arrangements featuring only his 12-string guitar, and its strongest and most dramatic track, "1917 Revolution," was actually a hit single in Lebanon (though nowhere else). For his second and final Dandelion album, Creation, Beau was given electric-band backing on some tracks by fellow Dandelion artists The Way We Live. A couple songs even had hints of weird psychedelia, though his songs remained plaintive troubadour folk, for the most part. Although Beau and The Way We Live recorded more material, it was never released, as Dandelion went out of business. At that point, Beau turned away from professional music as his primary career, though he did continue to perform and record under the name John Trevor. Incidentally, he'd already changed his stage name before Dandelion went bust, and one John Trevor track recorded during the Dandelion era, "Sky Dance," appears on the 1972 Dandelion sampler There Is Some Fun Going Forward.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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