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Fotheringay - 2 CD (album) cover




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3.48 | 10 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Posthumous release from Fotheringay's legendary unreleased second album, recorded in 71, by which time they band had all but separated. This first issue comes with an uncommitted artwork, but excellent liner notes and cool pictures under the patronage of Fledg'ling Records. Actually Fotheringay had recorded their first album under Joe Boyd's directions, following Denny's departure of Fairport and her falling in love with Aussie Trevor Lucas (Eclection) but the musicians had not had time to gel as a group. When they hit the road, they found themselves a schizophrenic group, with Denny's pure folk & folk rock composition and her lover's country-based song, and the least we can say is that they clashed. With boyd back to the US of A, the group tried to record a second album, but didn't reach the end of it, before breaking up on musical incomprehension.

The least that can be said is that this second album is the worthy successor to their sole album, even if it was unfinished, (Donohue doing a fantastic job on the voices that were recorded live), but this album suffers the same schizophrenia that pervades through their debut album: it is torn between folk rock and country rock. There are some really excellent tracks (usually those written or arranged by Denny), such as the dramatic John The Gun with its sac solo (courtesy of Donohue's brother Sam), the traditionals Eppie Moray and Wild (not so ;-) Mountain Thyme and Gypsy Davey, the impressive Late November (Sandy's voice is at its top, despite the rehearsal tapes conditions), while BJ Donahue would've appeared to be the highlight of the album with its extended running time with its almost 8- mins (the only one of the album over 5 minutes), but fails to peak instrumentally. So the closing Strawbs classic Two Weeks Last Summer gets the highlight spot.

As expected, tracks from Lucas such as Knights Of The Road (including twin lead guitars, one sounding like a lapsteel), Restless, the obligatory Dylan cover Don't Believe You (can't myself ;o(((), Silver Threads And Golden Needles (I guess as close to the artwork's subject) are much less interesting, relying on country instrumentation and typical barnyard beats.

Overall this album is just as good as the historical album, sharing the same strengths and flaws and those liking the debut simply must have this one. For my part, just like the debut, the intrusion of country (due to Trevor Lucas) is simply too much (both artistically and in terms of %age of tracks) to make any of Fotheringay's albums essentials.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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