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CULPEPER'S ORCHARD

Eclectic Prog • Denmark


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Culpeper's Orchard biography
A Danish rock band fronted by Englishman Cy Nicklin, this foursome produced three albums in the early 70's, before disbanding but recorded another one under the shorter name CULPEPER in 77, but it does not sound much like their former albums. The debut was particularly successful both commercially and artistically, a very entertaining and professional effort, somewhere stuck between ZEPPELIN, TULL and BEATLES. The second album was more folky but saw two members leave after its release, leaving Nicklin alone at the helm and recording the third album, sometimes bordering country music.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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CULPEPER'S ORCHARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 47 ratings
Culpeper's Orchard
1970
3.27 | 22 ratings
Second Sight
1972
1.99 | 6 ratings
Going For A Song
1972

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Steamhouse
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Roger and Out
1972

CULPEPER'S ORCHARD Reviews


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 Going For A Song by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
1.99 | 6 ratings

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Going For A Song
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I suppose it is some sort of achievement, the rapid decline of Culpeper's Orchard. Rarely has a band gone through such a development and I would say that no band ever has survuved such a decline. Going from the ever so brilliant debut, to the "alrighty then" second and ending with this. It is depressing.

On "Second light" they emphasized their country-folk leanings, leaving some of the progressive elements behind. On "Going for a song" they left everything but their country-rock side. What is left is a collection of lacklustre songs recalling The Band and others of that pedigree. Now, there is nothing wrong with The Band and there is nothing wrong with country. It could be argued, even, that there is nothing wrong leaving the progressive train and embarking on a tram, or whatever. The real problem lies in the substandard songs and the lack excitement. This is really not exciting music.

All in all, this is not terrible but not very good music either. It is definately not prog and I think that the lack of success and change in direction lead to the band's demise. Pity, considering the excellence of their debut and the promise of the second.

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 Second Sight by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.27 | 22 ratings

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Second Sight
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When I first acquired the debut of Culpeper's Orchard I couldn't believe my ears. At the time (circa 1992) there was not even the remotest chance for me to find out anything about the band. The reissue I bought lacked not only general information about the band but the yyear aswell. Odd, one might say. I dare say that would not happen today. Internet was strictly speaking not in operation, which means that that particular well of knowledge wasn't only dried up, it had not yet begun it's flow. I took a guess based on sound and structure of the songs and concluded it was made back in 1971 or 1972. Pretty good guess.

While the first album is one of my Top5 albums and has been rated five stars by me, the decline seemed rapid for Culpeper's Orchard. The first album is flawless in my opinion. Their brand of hard rock, prog, folk and a slice of countryfied rock was and is superb. This, their second effort, is, while not bad, not all that good. In particular that is true when compared to the brilliance of album number one.

What is the matter, then? For the most parts the details that made up the tapestry of the first album are here. There's blues, hard rock, prog, folk and country all mixed up and presented in a fine fashion. The problem lies in the material. Soundwise it is an improvement on the first album, though I really appreciate the rough and raw sound found on that one. The material on "Second sight" is simply lesss urgent, less forceful and less intriguing.

The opening, "Julia", is a lovely folkstruck little thing I enjoy. It is pretty and the voice of Cy Nicklin is wonderful, as ever. "Keyboard waltz" is also a nice track and holds alot in common with the songs on ttheir debut. "Classified ads" is a hard rock stomper, which also holds similarities to their debut.

The main problem on this album really is "Late night woman blues". I have not quarrels with the blues but in this case it seems like an easy way out. Stretching out for 6.36 minutes it is really nothing more than a piece of bluesy jamming. It disrupts the flow.

"Autumn of it all" harks back to the debut, once again. A nice, little folky thing and one of the better songs on the album. It would really have suited the debut. "Mind pollution/Weather report" is the highlight, really. Nigh on 10 minutes long it is divided into two distinct parts. The opening folky one and the hard rock closing section. Really great song. Inspired and intriguing. The last track is the very countryfied "Satisfied mind" which sees them in some sort of CSN or Grateful Dead mode. Good one, especially as an ending song.

Overall one has to say that this album holds great musicianship but the problem is the material in itself, being really not that strong or intriguing as those tracks on the debut. I believe one has to judge each album on it's own merits and so I do. Even if I was to look at this album as one made by a band that never recorded another track the judgement would be the same. Nice but not that thrilling. I have struggled with this album over the years and every time I get the same experience and draw the same conclusion.

This is an album for those already into Culpeper's Orchard. I would not recommend this album anyone else. It's not bad, just not that special either. Three stars.

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 Culpeper's Orchard  by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.98 | 47 ratings

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Culpeper's Orchard
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by psychprog1

5 stars This is arguably one of the top 10 70s European (non-British) albums in any sub-genre of rock music. I am personally amazed by al its virtues (solid songwriting, energy and power without ever being too heavy or pompous, excellent vocals in English) and it gives me a very euphoric feel whenever I listen to it (especially flowing, fresh tracks like the excellent "Teaparty for an Orchard"), despite the fact that it also contains a few great somber tracks like "Gideon's Trap". It culminates with the high-energy, amazingly climaxing "Mountain Music Part 2". The album is vaguely "prog", more reminiscent of 1969-71 Vertigo British albums. Elements of Procol Harum, Jethro Tull or even CSNY are present, but the sound is original and very very pleasant.

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 Culpeper's Orchard  by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.98 | 47 ratings

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Culpeper's Orchard
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars "Nicholas Culpeper (1616 - 1654) was an English botanist, psychologist and astrologer. He is known for his work with herbs, for use against diseases and was against the doctors from his time. Lawyers and Priests used Latin as there Internal language to demean the normal citizen, who didn't understand that language. Culpeper's Orchard was formed in 1969, their name was made as a memorial for Nicholas Culpeper."

Culpeper's Orchard are: Cy Nicklin (lead vocals, rhythm & acoustic guitars, percussion), Neils Hendrikson (lead guitar, piano, lead vocals, harpsichord), Michael Friss (bass, organ, flute, two finger piano, percussion), Rodger Barker (drums, percussion). This album has a psychedelic (as you can see at the cover art) blues rock mixed with folk passages. You will find some folky banjo at the opening title. The second track, Mountain Music Part. 1, reminds me of Jethro Tull early albums like Stand Up, and suddenly falls into a Led Zepellin kind of hard rock domain with very interesting guitar riffs and solo by Neils Hendrikson. After the guitar rage, the track becomes slow, with acoustic background and another deep solo. Hey You People has a psychedelic prog vibe, with a little Beatles touch. A short song. Teaparty For An Orchard background organ and acoustic rhythm guitar chords are beautiful. Listening to this album you will find the guitar solos very Clapton'esque, bluezy and deep, and the lead guitar is always doing something! Ode To Resistance start as a simple folk song and surprises with a heavy heavy metal breakdown. The track goes on ranging between hard rock heavy riffs and folk parts. The guitar riffs and solos just rules (as the whole album riffs and solos)! The hard rock finalization part kick asses and the song continues in a quick folk ending, with strings and flutes in a very Jethro Tull way. Your Song & Mine is one of my favorites, the acoustic guitar picking rhythm has a great beat, and fits perfect with the electric guitar and bass. It's a hard rock track.The short chorus including piano is kinda boring imo, but it's very short, it does not change anything. Gideon's Trap is boring, but the guitar solo saves the track. Blue Day's Morning is an acoustic track. Pretty fingering guitar melody. So we have another Mountain Music, the Part 2. This second part is great as the previous one. The beggining sounds like a moody rock, but after a few minutes the track gets happier turning into a blues, with an interesting high bassline. The song back to the angry rock, but you will find a cool harpsichord at the guitar solo background this time. The ending of the track is just like Banjocul, the first track. My CD version features three additional tracks, including the live track Classified Ads (almost 10 minutes). All good tracks.

If you like prog folk like Jethro Tull and are looking for oldschool guitar heroes from the psychedelia era like Hendrix, Page and Clapton, you must try this one!

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 Culpeper's Orchard  by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.98 | 47 ratings

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Culpeper's Orchard
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A friend of mine asked me name, in my opinion, five best albums of all time. In order, at that. Well, "In the court of the crimson king" got the No.1-spot and Culpeper's Orchard came in as No.2. Alongside the Crimson debut this album ranks among my absolute favorite albums of all time.

I bought it in a recordstore with the basic selection of albums, ranging from the usual pop to the usual metal, but in the far corner there was a shelf with hard to get reissues with the likes of Leaf Hound, Kahvas Jute, Dr. strangely Strange and so on. And then there was Culpeper. The cover struck me immediately, of course. Such a magnificent piece of art. This purchase took place way before internet, so there wasn't any chance of me really finding out anything about the band, apart from the fact that they seemed to be danish and maybe with an english speaking singer. Anyway... I bought the album and I have never looked back.

The music is an interesting mix of hard rock, folk an Tull-ish prog, I'd say. The music is hard rock in a way thah Tull was at the time but retaining a personality of it's own. There are also the scent of late 60's folky rock-approach of, say, Grateful Dead in "Hey, you people".

From the opening "Banjocul" to the magnificent, omnipotent, powerful "Mountain musit Pt.2" the album never lets up. I find it to be the perfect mix between prog, hard rock and folk. Culpeper never sounded this good or this inspired again. The musucianship is great and played with a really rough edge, which I like. The atmosphere is english with danish topping and that is really great. Danish prog seems to me almost as good as the british, which I always prefer.

Amazing album and really one of the jewels in the crown if prog. There you have it.

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 Second Sight by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.27 | 22 ratings

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Second Sight
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars This folky prog band from Denmark had an English vocalist Cy Nicklin, who also was the main writer of music. I've read that the debut Culpeper's Orchard (1971) is partly closer to heavy prog and it's compared to e.g. early Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. There's some raw-ish rocking on this one too, but perhaps it focusses on more peaceful, blues and country flavoured folk-rock. I don't hear very much of prog, sad to say. The songs got less and less interesting towards the end... but oh wait, there were actually many bonus tracks that were all worse than the main album. Well, the majority of album tracks too made no notable impression on me. My favourite track is the ballad 'Autumn of It All' written by multi-instrumentalist Michael Friis. In it the acoustically oriented sound of the band is at its finest.

There are some nice vocal harmonies. Nicklin's (?) vocals remind me of R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, at least on 'Mind Pollution'. As in Le Orme album that I reviewed a moment ago, a nice cover painting that I - again! - have on a book cover too (the book is about John Bauer, the author of the painting). A funny coincidence... 2― stars for this uneven album, rounded up because of such marginal prog country.

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 Culpeper's Orchard  by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.98 | 47 ratings

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Culpeper's Orchard
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars Not a progressive rock masterpiece, but excellent rock all around. I think 1970's were still the beginning of the classic era so CULPEPER'S ORCHARD isn't out of place. The music is a mix of rock, folk, blues and probably other stuff as well, sometimes very guitar heavy and very remniscent of LED ZEPELIN for example. Highlight would probably be the two part eclectic "Mountain Music" with over 14 minutes in length but "Your Song & Mine" is a good rock out track as well. There are some needles fillers but they don't ruin it but sometimes bring a country music atmosphere in them (which is something that prevails at the end of their career allegedly).

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 Going For A Song by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
1.99 | 6 ratings

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Going For A Song
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by gr8dane

2 stars Culpeper's debut was a very solid 4 star album for me.Second Sight was a mellower album but still a fine album but 3 stars only.Now with this album Culpeper's Orchard took a turn and started playing a folkyish southern rock country style.It is a decent enough album,but it never really takes off,and just lolly gags along.Instrumemtation is fine and there is now a fair bit of slide guitar added to suit their new genre I suppose.

I do quite like the cover and you get song titles on the front cover,which I guess is the most unique thing about this album.

Though not listed here on Progarchives,there is another album from these guys under the band name Culpeper as opposed to Culpeper's Orchard.It was released in 1977 and was called 'All dressed up and nowhere to go'.This time around they are more jazz rocky canterburish,and is quite good.I would give that album 3 stars.

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 Culpeper's Orchard  by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.98 | 47 ratings

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Culpeper's Orchard
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by manofmystery

4 stars Sure, it might be hard to get a hold of the music of CULPEPER'S ORCHARD (Haven't been album to find their second album yet myself) but the fact their self titled album won't even appear when you search under Denmark on the PA Top Albums' page is an injustice! Find it and start rating it people! It's worth the effort because what you have here is a genuine prog rock band that delivers both the prog and the rock. Lyrical quality is top notch and Cy Nicklin and Neils Hendrikson deliever them with a strong and versatile voices. CULPEPER'S ORCHARD members are no slouches with instruments in hand either. Neils Hendrikson dominates the lead guitar while also contributing some harpsichord! But this isn't about the work of one great instrumentalist as all four members show great skill at their craft and work together in perfect sync. The highlight tracks on this album would be highlights for any rock band: Mountain Music (both parts), Teaparty for an Orchard, Your Song & Mine, and Gideon's Trap. Don't be scared off by the odd little opening track Banjocul, this is just a nice little acoustic opener to a fantastic rock album. Certainly and excellent addition to any collection! While not quite an essential I'd consider my prog collection forever incomplete if I somehow lost my copy. 4.4999999 stars really.

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 Second Sight by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.27 | 22 ratings

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Second Sight
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Second Sight is the second studio album from Danish band Culpeperīs Orchard. The album was released in 1972. Frontman and guitarist Cy Nicklin ( who is english and not Danish by the way) started Culpeperīs Orchard after leaving another experimental rock/ progressive rock band which he started in 1968 called Day of Phoenix. Before his days in Day of Phoenix he enjoyed moderate success with the Danish folk trio Cy, Maia and Robert which also hosted another one of the most prolific characters on the experimental Danish rock scene of the late sixties and early seventies namely Robert Lelievre ( who was French by the way). Robert was the mainman behind one of the most rare and expensive Danish releases ever: The original LP with Pan. Iīve seen that album a couple of times in second hand stores and it cost from 300Ģ to 350Ģ. Robert sadly took his own life on the 26th of August 1973.

Well that aside Cy Nicklin and his companions in Culpeperīs Orchard released their debut album in 1971. Itīs a pretty good album which reminds me a bit about the early Jethro Tull albums. Itīs a mildly progressive album and it is clear from the start when you listen to that album that Culpeperīs Orchard isnīt the most innovative band in the world. Itīs still a good rock album though.

The music on Second Sight hasnīt gotten anymore progressive than it was on the debut, but the quality is still high. The music is generally more mellow and there are lots of beautiful acoustic guitar playing, great singing and memorable melody lines. Like on the debut there is a considerable amount of blues rock influences but this time the folk tendencies are more obvious than before. The last song Satisfied Mind is even in country mode. The only slightly progressive song on Second Sight is Mind Pollusion / Weather Report that starts with a beautiful acoustic section while the second part of the song showcases the most hard blues rocking moments on the album. Great track that one. The rest of the songs are also good and because of the many folky acoustic moments Iīm reminded a bit of Led Zeppelin III ( and maybe a bit of Wishbone Ash).

The musicianship is good. Cy Nicklin is a great distinct singer and the instrumental interplay and soloing are really enjoyable.

The production is pleasant and well done. The louder rock moments are also produced well.

I enjoy this generally mellow and beautiful album but itīs not the most challenging album in this world. If you like bluesy and folksy rock music with a slight progressive touch this might be an enjoyable album for you. I think itīs a good album but not excellent and it deserves 3 stars.

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