Mix CD: The Acid Folk Vol. 5
This here blog never thought it would be posting another new Acid Folk compilation. After all, aren’t the four volumes already posted here exhaustive enough? But with May just getting start, who can resist? So, here it is: The Acid Folk Vol. 5. Perfect music for dancing ’round the May Pole, prancing around the village with the ‘Obby ‘Oss and generally going about your business on a May morning in May.
Actually, the most immediate inspiration for this compilation was Rob Young’s absolutely phenomenal book Electric Eden. Young’s 600-page survey of the “folk” influence on British music throughout the 20th century stood as a reminder of favourite tracks and an introduction to all sorts of weird and wonderful obscurities. If you have any interest at all in this stuff, you really need to get a copy of this book.
As with all of the mix CDs posted on this hear blog, The Acid Folk Vol. 5 is intended as a sampler. Most of the artists featured here have CD and/or vinyl re-issues in print. And if you’re looking for more compilations, Gather in the Mushrooms and the four-CD box set Anthems in Eden are both heartily recommended.
Here’s the full track-listing for The Acid Folk Vol. 5:
1. Shirley & Dolly Collins – “Go from My Window”
A particularly stirring performance from Shirley Collins MBE. A song in which sexual advances are successfully discouraged. Consequently, nobody gets murdered. Basically, British folk songs are like horror films – if anyone gets laid, someone’s gonna get murdered.
2. Bert Jansch & John Renbourn – “The Time Has Come”
A lovely Anne Briggs song from the Pentangle guitarists. Did Briggs maybe write this about Jansch? Anyway, more from all concerned later in the mix.
3. Steeleye Span – “Blackleg Miner”
For Carl Impostume.
5. Nick Drake – “Way to Blue”
Turns out this fellow was pretty good.
6. Richard & Linda Thompson – “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight”
Dig those synth-trumpet arpeggios! Showcasing the rockier side of 70s folk-rock. Speaking of which…
7. Roy Harper – “Male Chauvinist Pig Blues”
This Who-style romper barely even qualifies as folk-anything but what a tune! Why exactly does Harper’s magnum opus Stormcock (from which this song is not taken) only warrant literally about three sentences in Electric Eden?
8. C.O.B. – “Spirit of Love”
Led by Clive Palmer. He was in the original line-up of The Incredible String band but he didn’t do much, apparently. More of them later.
9. Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band – “Poor Murdered Woman”
Shirley Collins MBE, again. There’s no actual sex or violence in this song but y’know… it’s implied.
10. The Woods Band – “January Snows”
Gay and Terry Woods, who we heard earlier on Steeleye Span’s “Blackleg Miner”. This is a really great tune.
11. John Martyn – “Bless the Weather”
More typical of the earlier, acoustic Martyn than the echoplexed aqua-funk of his classic era. It’s all good, though.
12. The Incredible String Band – “Koeeoaddi There”
13. Heron – “Lord and Master”
Not featuring Mike Heron from The Incredible String band.
14. Anne Briggs – “Willie O’Winesbury”
Her finest performance? You might know this tune from Fairport Convention’s “Farewell, Farewell”.
15. Mr. Fox – “Mendle”
A genuinely peculiar band, without seeming to try quite as hard as certain other acts of the era. Not mentioning any names. Apart from The Incredible String Band, obviously.
16. The Pentangle – “Pentangling”
Freeform bass solo!
17. Fairport Convention – “A Sailor’s Life”
This track is pretty much the wellspring of all UK folk-rock. Incalculably seminal!
Download The Acid Folk Vol. 5