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Fairport Convention - I'll Keep It with Mine CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention

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4 stars Legendary British folk rock band Fairport Convention released one album in 1968 with their original female vocalist Judy Dyble (who then made some recordings with the pre- King Crimson camp and founded the onetimer folk rock group Trader Horne) before she was replaced by Sandy Denny.

For me, Sandy Denny is one of the dearest voices in popular music. Her ethereal voice is warm and intimate like no one else's. [ Well, I once played 'Verdi Cries' (1987) by 10,000 Maniacs in a gathering of friends, and my friend mistook Natalie Merchant for Sandy Denny. Yes, Natalie's voice resembles slightly of Denny's, but is a bit higher and less soft and translucent. ] Fairport Convention did not only get a wonderful new vocalist -- and musician -- , for Sandy Denny also proved to be a gifted songwriter. In fact the second album What We Did On Our Holidays (1969) starts with Denny's 'Fotheringay', which is placed on the B side of this single. But first the A side.

'I'll Keep It With Mine' continued FP's habit of covering songs of various singer-songwriters -- the eponymous debut album had featured e.g. two Joni Mitchell songs. Perhaps better known of FP's Bob Dylan covers is the French- language 'Si tu dois partir' (= 'If You Gotta Go, Go Now') on their next album Unhalfbricking (1969). I'm not fond of that one, but Fairport Convention's version of 'I'll Keep It With Mine' with Sandy Denny's lead vocals sounds very nice. Although it's not as slow and ethereal as Denny's well known song 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes' (on Unhalfbricking), there is a similar air to it. Without a better knowledge one could presume the song to be written by Denny. It also was taken from What We Did On Our Holidays; the single version is shorter.

For her song 'Fotheringay' Sandy Denny was inspired by the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots (16th century), who was executed in the Fotheringay castle in 1587. I love this melancholic song, it's definitely one of the most beautiful folk rock songs ever written. Her voice is pure magic here, and the band supports her with a perfect delicacy, both for the playing and the backing vocals.

In 1970 Sandy Denny departed Fairport Convention and founded a short-lived folk rock group called Fotheringay. After their self-titled album Sandy Denny started her solo career which lasted till her tragic accidental death in 1978. R.I.P.

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Posted Saturday, March 13, 2021 | Review Permalink

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