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FARAWAY FOLK

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Faraway Folk biography
FARAWAY FOLK began as a husband-wife pair of British folk singers (John and Shirley Turk) dating back to the 1950s. The two named the band after meeting fellow folk musicians John Hartshorn and Judy Whittington and securing a recurring gig at a local Brixham hotel, followed almost immediately with their first recording entitled appropriately ?Introducing?. The group?s first full-length release was recorded live at the same Bolton Hotel that summer, and the band left their day jobs to pursue music full-time.

By 1974 Hartshorn and Whittington had departed, replaced by then 17-year old bassist Bryony Smith, who toured and recorded with the group for two years before leaving himself; but not before appearing on the band?s most well-known release ?Seasonal Man?. Guitarist Adrian Morris was added to the lineup for the band?s remaining few years, but following a decline in appearances and general fading popularity of folk-based music toward the end of the decade the group disbanded in 1980. The Turks reunited with Smith for a short-lived run as country-tinged band CREAM COUNTY. John and Shirley Turk still perform as a regional act today.

FARAWAY FOLK are a mild representation of modern folk music with admittedly only flashes of progressive stylings; that said, their opus ?Seasonal Man? earns them recognition as one of the unfairly forgotten folk acts of the seventies.

>>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

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Buy FARAWAY FOLK Music


Seasonal ManSeasonal Man
Import
Hugo Montes
Audio CD$17.99
Shadow Of A Pig 7 Inch (7Shadow Of A Pig 7 Inch (7" Vinyl 45) UK Tabitha 1978
Tabitha
Vinyl$9.18 (used)
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FARAWAY FOLK discography


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FARAWAY FOLK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Time and Tide
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
On the Radio
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Especially for You
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
Seasonal Man
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Battle of the Dragons
1976

FARAWAY FOLK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Live at the Bolton
1970

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FARAWAY FOLK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Introducing.
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Faraway Folk
1979

FARAWAY FOLK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Time and Tide by FARAWAY FOLK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Time and Tide
Faraway Folk Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
3 stars Faraway Folk were a consummate British folk group who are little known outside the Brixham region of Devon England, and probably not even so much there. The husband- wife duo of John and Shirley Turk had been dabbling in traditional and sometimes contemporary folk since the fifties, but this was their first proper studio release with a full complement of musicians (they’d had a promo and a live release a couple years’ prior).

The songs here are a combination of traditional tunes and originals, all delivered with enthusiasm and full of charming multipart vocals. John Hartshorn and Judy Whittington filled out the group, but there are a number of guest artists who appear throughout as well.

The band’s opus would be the lightly acid-tinged ‘Seasonal Man’ released a few years after this one, delivered at the peak of the group’s creative output and just before they would lapse into a lengthy period of ever more mellow and mainstream output before fading into obscurity altogether. Despite the rather unremarkable album cover, the songs here are quite decent, but it would be a stretch to call them progressive. The instrumentation is certainly eclectic and folksy, ranging from acoustic guitar to mandolin, kazoo, string bass and bongos while the lyrics are heavily steeped in British traditional and regional themes.

A few songs stand out, particularly the toe-tapping (despite the title) “Sinner Man” with it’s three-part harmonies; “Got no Time” with a brief but engaging mild bluesy guitar riff; and a rendition of the traditional “Lowlands” that includes female vocals second only to Anne Brigg’s own heartbreaking version of that song.

This album will not likely appeal to hard-core progressive music fans, and may be seen as little more than a novelty for those who prefer a more modern sound (or for that matter those who prefer a traditional sound). These songs are somewhere in between, fitting for anyone who has a few Heron, Dulcimer or even Albion Band records in their collection. If that’s you then enjoy; for me I’m going to tag this with a rating just this side of three stars and a nod of appreciation to the Turks and company for their effort.

peace

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 Seasonal Man by FARAWAY FOLK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Seasonal Man
Faraway Folk Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
3 stars There is very little of Faraway Folk’s discography that I would classify as progressive folk; indeed, most of their music teeters between traditional arrangements/covers and sedate, rather boring contemporary folk. One exception is their final release ‘The Battle of the Dragons’ which can only be classified as silly and a bit narcissistic. ‘Seasonal Man’ is the other aberration for the band, a pleasantly charming mellow prog folk album featuring tasty fuzz guitar, easygoing female harmonies and just enough mandolin, banjo and harmonica to qualify it as a legitimate folk offering.

Band founders John and Shirley Turk have had a long (although only modestly successful) career in the folk music business. This is their most notable (but not only) band, and easily represents the apex of their creative output. John Turk lays down some pretty tight fuzzed licks on his Gibson throughout the album, something that is sadly scarce on most of the band’s other albums which instead feature a lot of acoustic strumming and lack the creative ambition he demonstrated here. As the story goes, the Turks spent most of 1974 tending to a friend’s studio, which left them ample time and access to recording equipment. The band responded by recording and releasing the now impossible-to-find cassette ‘Especially for You’ and this LP, both on the obscure RA label.

Like I said, this is laid-back music and not something that will appeal to fans of heavy prog or even many folk fans. Think Bread, Love & Dreams, Mellow Candle, Tír na nÓg or possibly some of the more laid-back work of the seventies folkers Nirvana and you’ll get a sense of the sound. The title track sets the mood beautifully with John Turk’s crisp fuzzed Gibson, Shirley Turk’s lazy harmonies and Bryony Smith‘s persistent rhythm. Adrian Morris adds a slight touch of harmonica here to fill some of the transitions, and the net result is a casual, moody tale of the coming winter (as a metaphor for change if I’m not mistaken). “Coming Back To Brixham” is the other song with exceptional electric guitar.

The band shows their British roots with a Renaissance-tinged “The Yule Log”, as well as “Cherry Tree Carol” later on the album; while “Sparrow” and especially “Portland Town” are more in the vein of traditional British folk as most of the band’s subsequent albums would be.

I wonder too if the band spent some time checking out the Pentangle or Comus in their spare time after listening to “Crow on a Cradle” and “Patterned Moon”, two slightly heavier tracks with somber lyrics and edgy enough to capture the imagination of any more than casual listener.

Finally the band offers a straightforward contemporary folk tune in “Summer's End”, full of rolling banjo licks, gorgeous three-part harmonies and a summertime love story for lyrics. A happy and fitting way to put an upbeat mark on the album.

This is a rather forgotten band and so a forgotten album; I think that’s unfortunate. A quick check on Google and anyone can see this is a band that lost its creative edge quickly as they aged past the early seventies and into their middle-aged years; I can picture them performing at small county fairs and old-folks’ homes well into the eighties. But this one album deserves some attention as their humble version of a magnum opus – a brief but noteworthy attempt to leave their creative mark before time and tedium would make that impossible later. Check this record out if you can find it. Easily three stars, and I might come back some time and make that four.

peace

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