Albums

€63.99

Folk - Released September 28, 2018 | Real Gone Music

€69.99

Folk - Released June 30, 2017 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

€63.99

Folk - Released March 1, 2017 | Transatlantic

€63.99

Folk - Released August 8, 2013 | Transatlantic

There's something exciting about the first album of a band that goes on to greatness, and The Pentangle, by the group of the same name, is no different. Here, the listener witnesses the first studio work of a band struggling to get their essence down on vinyl. Of course Bert Jansch and John Renbourn's reputations as guitarists preceded the band, but the addition of bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Terry Cox gave the band an acoustic rhythm section like no other folk-rock group. Singer Jacqui McShee became the last piece of this intricate English puzzle, delivering high, expressive vocals that contrasted and merged so well with Jansch's deeper pipes. The group doesn't hold back on their first outing. On "Hear My Call" McShee offers a dreamy vocal, floating high above the bluesy guitars. The soaring vocal and firmly grounded rhythm highlight one another, creating a carefully layered sound that is present in all of Pentangle's best music. This dynamic works equally well in "Pentangling," with McShee and Jansch's voices combining light and dark shadows to concoct a strangely atmospheric harmony. The rocking and rollicking "Way Behind the Sun" is another standout, and the instrumentals "Bells" and "Waltz" are complex and lively. The album's spacious arrangements take full advantage of stereo, mixing instruments to different tracks so that the listener, for instance, can always hear Jansch's guitar on one side and Renbourn's on the other. This group, it seems, had it all. Equally comfortable with traditional songs, instrumentals, and originals, they made few missteps on their early albums. Like Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band, Pentangle specialized in updating British Isles' folk music. The Pentangle, re-released on CD in 2001 with seven bonus tracks, is a dazzling debut and a must-have for fans of English folk-rock. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
€63.99

Folk - Released March 1, 2017 | Transatlantic

€55.99

Folk - Released August 1, 2013 | Sanctuary Records

€63.99

Folk - Released August 1, 2013 | Sanctuary Records

Originals provides an extensive sampling of the work of the Dubliners, including 41 tracks on three CDs. Since all of those tracks are performed before an enthusiastic live audience, the effect is rather like attending a couple of sets by the group in a raucous Irish pub. The varied song list includes some spirited instrumentals as well as lots of singalongs that find the bandmembers and their listeners vocalizing on such notable subjects as sailing, drinking, and having sex. A special favorite is the a cappella "Monto," which concerns a red light district in Dublin that, the audience is assured, is not to be found on tourist maps. Other Irish-specific themes include "The Sea Around Us," which celebrates Ireland's status as an island, particularly with regard to the sea that separates it from Great Britain, and the show's closer, "Nelson's Farewell," which chronicles the dynamiting of a statue of the hated British military commander. The Dubliners remind their listeners that the shows are being recorded and ask them to sing along "for God's sake!" They do, and they make this a lengthy and enjoyable trip to Dublin with the group named for the city. ~ William Ruhlmann
€67.99

Folk - Released March 1, 2017 | Sanctuary Records

€63.99

Folk - Released March 1, 2017 | Sanctuary Records

€97.99

Folk - Released March 1, 2017 | Transatlantic

Like many large CD box sets, The Time Has Come is not quite a best-of or a rarities compilation, but something in between. That warning given, it also has to be added that as such things go, this four-CD, 65-track set -- drawn exclusively from their 1967-1973 recordings, and ignoring any reunion efforts -- is one of the best. For one thing, it does include quite a bit of rare material that serious Pentangle fans will want to have, including an entire disc of previously unreleased live, television, and film recordings from 1970-1973; a few more unreleased soundtrack bits and studio outtakes; and BBC sessions and B-sides that, while previously issued on CD, might not be in every Pentangle admirer's collection. Yet it doesn't lose sight of their strongest and most popular material. Most of their most essential songs are represented in either the familiar studio form or as a live/BBC/TV recording, although the absence of a few standout tunes like "Lyke-Wake Dirge" and "I've Got a Feeling" hurts a bit. The journey's also made more interesting by the inclusion of a few tracks from solo albums that John Renbourn and Bert Jansch issued during the 1967-1973 period. The devotion of the entirety of disc three to all 19 songs officially issued from their Royal Festival Hall concert of June 29, 1968 (12 of which were first released as part of their 1968 Sweet Child album, the remaining seven of which showed up on a 2001 expanded CD reissue of that record) might seem to give that material inappropriate weight. But even those tracks have been re-sequenced with (in the words of the liner notes) "much of the lengthy applause, between-song banter, and tuning up edited out," creating a more compact listening experience for those interested in re-experiencing the cuts in such a fashion. It's the rare material that the most ardent fans of the group will want to hear most, of course, and while the rarities are a little uneven in both performance and sound quality, they dig up some worthwhile oddities. Foremost among those are a couple extracts from their soundtrack for the obscure early-'70s movie Tam Lin, including a musical adaptation of "Tam Lin" that uses an entirely different melody than the much more celebrated version that Fairport Convention put on the Liege & Lief album. "The Best of You," also from Tam Lin, was Pentangle's deepest venture into pop/rock by far, and quite a nifty one, sounding rather like the theme to a '60s mod TV adventure series with its cinematic orchestration. "Pentangling," whose seven-minute length was bold enough when it appeared on their debut LP, gets stretched out to 20 minutes in the 1970 live version here, and while it's not entirely successful in that form, it's interesting to hear the quintet improvise at such duration. Also in the interesting-but-not-great category is the bluesy "Poison," a previously unreleased August 1967 outtake from their first studio session of a song that Jansch would re-record for his 1969 solo LP, Birthday Blues. Live early-'70s television versions of two songs never included on their official releases of the period in any form, Johann Sebastian Bach's Sarabande and the American shape-note hymn "Wondrous Love" (performed with the early music group the David Munrow Ensemble), are outstanding examples of their ability to take pieces from unlikely sources and make them their own. The main attraction of this sumptuously packaged box, however, is the exhilarating interplay between the group members as they blend folk, jazz, blues, and a little rock, pop, classical, and Indian music over the course of five or so years, whether on classics like "In Time," "Light Flight," "Basket of Light," "Travelling Song," and "Let No Man Steal Your Thyme" or less celebrated songs. Plus, the 56-page liner notes, dominated by Colin Harper's historical essay, contain a more detailed overview of the band's career than anything else that has ever been published. ~ Richie Unterberger
€167.99

Folk - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

There are few comprehensive, elaborately packaged box sets that actually warrant the price they command, but this 18-disc set by the late songwriter and guitarist John Martyn is one of them. The 17 audio discs contain every album he cut for the label, from his first solo recordings to his duet albums with first wife, Beverly, and all the steps in between until 1987's original version of The Apprentice, which sees first light here. (Chris Blackwell, Island's label boss, refused to release the album, claiming it wasn't the proper direction for him. Martyn took this as an invitation to piss off and declined to renew his contract. He self-financed a re-recording then released it himself in 1990.) There is also a DVD in the package. It includes four Old Grey Whistle Test appearances between 1973 and 1978, the complete Foundations concert -- as well as outtakes from it -- and an appearance on A Little Night Music in 1981. The 17 audio discs include beautifully remastered editions of each album, and dozens of unreleased, alternate, and outtake tracks. Some of the live material really rates highly in this box's treasure-trove department; in particular, there are two gigs: Live at the Hanging Lamp from 1972 on disc five, which took place between Bless the Weather and Solid Air, and disc ten's Live at Town Hall in Sydney, dating from 1977 between Sunday's Child and One World. For those who purchased the double-disc deluxe editions of his catalog records, the second discs are included here, so you may want to take that into consideration. That said, those who purchased 2008's Ain't No Saint -- prepared with full participation by Martyn just five months before his death -- will find little duplication here when it comes to scale. In addition to the music and video, the package itself is so utterly handsome it's almost an artistic fetish object. There are three 12"x12" gatefold sleeves inside a hard, thick, gorgeous cardboard slipcase. Two of these include the 17 audio discs, while the third contains the DVD and various ephemera: there are reproduced handbills, a tour souvenir booklet from 1978, press releases, and even a set list replica. It also contains a full-size, hardbound book entitled The John Martyn Album, which includes a family album of photographs from childhood on, a lengthy, in-depth, and authoritative historical liner essay by John Hillarby, more copious and rare photographs, and a scrapbook of press reviews of various concerts and records. Finally, there is a replica poster from the Live at Leeds gig. Ultimately, no matter how heated the exchanges between Martyn and his fans could be during concerts, the respect between audience and performer was total and it was loyal -- the same punters who would complain the loudest would be at the very next show. It is for these people, those who knew his true worth as an artist who The Island Years was created for and will appeal to most. ~ Thom Jurek
€83.99

Folk - Released January 22, 2013 | Arhoolie Records

€97.99

Folk - Released September 28, 2012 | EMI

Genre

Folk in the magazine
  • A folk journey
    A folk journey After Didn’t It Rain, the beautiful American blue-eyed blonde releases her second solo album on the label Yep Roc. This Too Shall Light is a sublime spiritual journey produced by the indispensable ...
  • We say Yes to Michael Nau !
    We say Yes to Michael Nau ! Michael Nau has well and truly taken off since his departure from Page France and Cotton Jones.
  • Olivia Chaney, folk pop full of grace
    Olivia Chaney, folk pop full of grace A graduate from England’s Royal Academy of Music and a seasoned singer, pianist Olivia Chaney had already received rave reviews with her 2015 first album The Longest River.
  • First Aid Kit, once upon a time in America...
    First Aid Kit, once upon a time in America... When they released The Big Black And The Blue in 2010, Johanna and Klara Söderberg were 20 and 23 years old respectively. The two Swedish sisters quickly made a name for themselves at the top of the charts thanks to their covers of songs by Fleet Foxes, Lorde, Jack White and even Black Sabbath… T...