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Old 12-22-2015, 08:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Prog Folk from the Anglosphere

´Twas in the heady years of the late ´60s that progressive rockers and folk musicians got together and spawned the sub-genre known as Prog Folk. This fertile union has sired dozens of artists and albums, but strangely, I didn´t find any MB threads specifically devoted to Prog Folk itself. In MB, we have a Prog section and a Folk section, so it looks as if the parents have divorced and now live in their separate houses. But what about the poor children? Where are all the artists, whose surname is Prog-Folk – where are they to live?

Well, I propose dividing them up like this: all the English-speaking Prog Folk family can live here in the Prog forum, where the emphasis might be on their progness. Meanwhile, any Prog Folkers who grew up in other countries can live with the other parent, in the World/Folk forum, where perhaps the stress might be on regional folkiness.

So I´m opening up twin threads in which people can share recommendations. This one for Anglophonic Prog Folk, and a parallel one for other countries:-

http://www.musicbanter.com/country-f...ml#post1662995

To kick things off, I´d like to post a track by a band I´ve recently come across. This is from the Trees´ excellent 1970 album, On The Shore:-


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Last edited by Lisnaholic; 12-22-2015 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Long before Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, there was this incarnation of David Bowie:



(Yes, I'm being predictable.)
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Does this count?



Some of Biota's more song-oriented stuff might be fitting as well.

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Last edited by grindy; 12-22-2015 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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(Yes, I'm being predictable.)
^ Haha! Only in one sense, because you are admirably loyal to your enthusiasms, but for me Cygnet Committee was a complete surprise. I haven´t heard it for years and didn´t think of Bowie as a prog folk Singer; good call, P_S !

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Does this count?
^ Of course, Grindy - I´m no genre-nazi! If you´re interested,here are a couple of opinions about this album:- http://www.musicbanter.com/country-f...-thompson.html

What is your own verdict on it?

That Biota track has a strange atmosphere. Thanks.

My turn to be predicatable, by choosing something by those one-time darlings of progfolk, Gryphon. This is from their 2009 re-union tour; a faultless recreation of a track from their 1973 self-titled debute album:-

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Old 12-22-2015, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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(Yes, I'm being predictable.)
If it's good, it's good, no matter what the self-regarding hipsters think.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lisnaholic View Post
^ Haha! Only in one sense, because you are admirably loyal to your enthusiasms, but for me Cygnet Committee was a complete surprise. I haven´t heard it for years and didn´t think of Bowie as a prog folk Singer; good call, P_S !



^ Of course, Grindy - I´m no genre-nazi! If you´re interested,here are a couple of opinions about this album:- http://www.musicbanter.com/country-f...-thompson.html

What is your own verdict on it?

That Biota track has a strange atmosphere. Thanks.

My turn to be predicatable, by choosing something by those one-time darlings of progfolk, Gryphon. This is from their 2009 re-union tour; a faultless recreation of a track from their 1973 self-titled debute album:-

Glad to see it got some recognition here.
I really like it. I'm not a folk fan, but it's weird melodies really make it stand out. His singing being somewhat askew also adds to my enjoyment. Really prefer something like that to more standard vocal styles, which I often find cheesy.


I suppose this is kinda folky, although it's a little too electric at times.

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Old 12-23-2015, 09:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Probably more Prog and Pop than Folk in this song. Still one of my favorite songs I found this year.
Renaissance - northern lights (hq) 70s
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if this qualifies more as prog folk or freak folk (or how different those two genres are), but Richard Dawson has become one of my favourites recently. His guitar style is like a refined Bill Orcutt, which is sort of primitive sounding but still very cohesive and interesting. He's also got a lot of Beefheart's fingerprints on his music, which is never a bad thing imo. Lyrically, I think that he's one of the best out there right now. I think of him as really singular, but if anyone can show me some similar stuff that would be great.



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Old 12-23-2015, 11:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sandy Denny - Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Sandy was in Fairport Convention, Strawbs, and Fotheringay. She also sang duet with Robert Plant on The Battle of Evermore from Led Zeppelin IV.
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Actually, I like you a lot, Nea. That's why I treat you like ****. It's the MB way.

"it counts in our hearts" - ʕººʔ
“I have nothing to offer anybody, except my own confusion.” ― Jack Kerouac.
“If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person.” – Aristotle.
"If you tried to give Rock and Roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'." - John Lennon
"I look for ambiguity when I'm writing because life is ambiguous." — Keith Richards ☮ 💖 ♫ ∞ ἰχθύς
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neapolitan View Post
Probably more Prog and Pop than Folk in this song. Still one of my favorite songs I found this year.
Renaissance - northern lights
^ Haha, yes - that song sounds about 90% Pop to me, Nea, although Renaissance have plenty of undeniably Prog Folk material too. I also have been discovering them this year, and was particularly drawn to one of their best-regarded tracks, Ashes Are Burning. I prefer the more complex, 11-min studio version, but this live clip is a good showcase for the powerful voice of Annie Haslam:-



( For the sake of completeness, here´s an old thread about Renaissance - but don´t expect anything very insightful from it:- http://www.musicbanter.com/prog-psyc...naissance.html )

Quote:
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I'm not sure if this qualifies more as prog folk or freak folk (or how different those two genres are), but Richard Dawson has become one of my favourites recently. His guitar style is like a refined Bill Orcutt, which is sort of primitive sounding but still very cohesive and interesting. He's also got a lot of Beefheart's fingerprints on his music, which is never a bad thing imo. Lyrically, I think that he's one of the best out there right now. I think of him as really singular, but if anyone can show me some similar stuff that would be great.
^ This was a completely new name to me, but I loved the guitar-playing and the unexpected opening lyrics. On YouTube I found his Final Moments of the Universe which has some great surreal lyrics. (In answer to your request for sim stuff, I guess you already know about Daniel Johnston, the guy who immediately came to mind as I listened to Nothing Important.)

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Sandy Denny - Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Sandy was in Fairport Convention, Strawbs, and Fotheringay. She also sang duet with Robert Plant on The Battle of Evermore from Led Zeppelin IV.
^ Yes, that´s a nice version of the song, and at last a mention of Fairport Convention, who are often considered the first and best of the prog or electric folk bands. It´s true that members Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchins and Richard Thompson later turned up in every English progfolk band that ever was; often greater things, imo, because I´ve found a lot of Fairport´s output to be rather disappointing. Instead of adding rock-band excitement, I thought Dave Mattock´s pedestrian drumming in particular had an overall stiffling effect on their songs. Perhaps that´s because at the time, I was hooked on the much sharper sound of Dando Shaft´s debut, An Evening With.... The problem with DS is that just one year later, with their second album, they´d already lost their special spark.



Anyway, many thanks for everybody´s recs so far. When I started this thread, I thought Prog Folk meant Yes but with flutes, so I have some rethinking to do if it is now going to include all your various ideas!
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