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PROG FOLK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Folk definition

In the wake of the 60's, a Folk revival started on both sides of the Atlantic, and got quickly linked with a protest movement, not always, but often linked to more left-wing tendencies, which did not sit well with the authorities. BOB DYLAN, JOAN BAEZ, WOODY GUTHRIE, JOHN DENVER, BUFFY STE-MARIE, but also the FARINA couple Richard and Mimi for the US and SHIRLEY COLLINS and EWAN McCOLL (mentor of BERT JANSCH, JOHN RENBOURN ) for the UK and HUGUES AUFRAY in France. In Quebec, there was the "Chansoniers" phenomenon among which CLAUDE LEVEILLE and FELIX LECLERC were the most popular, waking up the sleepy "Belle Province" and stand up for itself from the English rule. The English part of Canada also brought up JONI MITCHELL, LEONARD COHEN (although he was from Montreal) and NEIL YOUNG.

As DYLAN turned electric with his Highway 61 Revisited album, much to the dislike of purists who yelled for treason, Folk Rock was born, opening the floodgates for younger artists to turn on the electricity. As DYLAN soon abandoned to style to create Country Rock with his next album, his British equivalent Scotsman DONOVAN stayed true to Folk Rock. In the US, THE BYRDS were the main promoters of the style by now, culminating with the superb "Eight Miles High" track with a lengthy (for the times) guitar solo of almost one minute. But countless other bands on the west coast, such as LOVE, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (and later its spin-off HOT TUNA), GRATEFUL DEAD, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, and TIM BUCKLEY all started in the folk rock realm. Even San Fran's SANTANA with its Latino traditional music and, on the east coast, NY's THE LOVING SPOONFUL had folk roots. Notwithstanding the immense popularity of SIMON & GARFUNKEL and their delicious harmonies, Folk Rock was appealing only to the rock public as the older generations turned their backs in folkies.

In the UK, following on their countrymen DONOVAN, many Scotsmen were very influent in exploring new grounds for folk rock: INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (led by Scots Palmer and Williamson) with their two highly influential albums "5000 Layers Or The Spirit Of The Onion" & "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" and THE PENTANGLE (led by other Scots Renbourn, Jansch and McShee and their superb bassist Danny Thompson) and its incredible fusion of folk, blues and jazz style were very instrumental in developing the style to the same extent as FAIRPORT CONVENTION and THE STRAWBS who by that time were still more conventional US "west-coast folk rock". The single artistes in folk rock became known as Folk Troubadours were also numerous and often presented a more progressive side of folk: AL STEWART, NICK DRAKE, ROY HARPER, TYRANOSAURUS REX (actually a duo of Steven Took and Marc Bolan) , JOHN MARTYN etc.

However, the real angular album that will lead to further change of Folk Rock is FAIRPORT CONVENTION's "Liege & Lief" album, that proved to be highly influential for another generation of groups: this album concentrated into electrifying seminal English traditional folk and retained that quaint Englishness taste. It is interesting to see that both leaders of FAIRPORT quit the band after this success to go their respective way: Sandy Denny to a solo folk songwriting career and Ashley Hutchings to a very traditional folk rock. By this time, most connoisseur were talking of Acid Folk, Psych Folk, and Progressive Folk, all having limited differences and no particularly drawn-out limits or boundaries, but all relying on experimental or groundbreaking adventures and good musicianship but not necessarily of an acoustic nature.

Groups like THE THIRD EAR BAND and QUINTESSENCE relied on eastern Indian music influences and, sometimes, medieval tones. Other groups like the weird COMUS, THE TREES, SPIROGYRA, FOREST, the superb JAN DUKES DE GREY (all listed in the ProgArchives) but also TRADER HORNE, TUDOR LODGE, FOTHERINGAY, MAGNA CARTA, TIR NA NOG (all of whom could also be in the ProgArchives) were out to break new ground but with less commercial success as their predecessor. By 1972, all of the glorious precursors bands were selling fewer records and had problems renewing themselves and a newer generation of groups was relying in a more Celtic jigs or really traditional sounds. Such as HORSLIPS, DANDO SHAFT, STEELEYE SPAN, AMAZING BLONDEL, ALBION DANCE BAND and SPRIGUNS OF TOLGUS. Although JETHRO TULL had some definitive folk roots right from the start, their only albums that can be regarded as Prog Folk are 77's Songs From The Woods and 78's Heavy Horses. Ian Anderson (another Scots) was very keen in acoustical traditional songs. Some Folk Troubadours such as TIM BUCKLEY and JOHN MARTYN started turning records more and more axed towards fusing jazz and folk (a bit in what THE PENTANGLE were doing) , others became more and more electric and they started to be referred to as Singer Songwriters especially those with country rock influences.

In Germany, HOELDERLIN (and their fantastic debut album), EMTIDI, OUGENWEIDE, CAROL OF HARVEST, WITTHEUSER & WESTRUPP were exploring German folk while KALACAKRA , SILOAH and EMBRYO were indulging with Indian music. In South America, most notably in Chile, LOS JAIVAS (very bent upon Andean Indian music) and EL CONGRESSO (more Spanish-Latino folklore) were using folk in their rock, so much that some press talked about them referring it with the hateful term Inca Rock. In Quebec, the progressive movement exploded with the cultural identity and the Chansoniers tradition and this was carried out with LES SEGUIN and HARMONIUM and so many more. In France, many groups were out for folk rock such as RIBEIRO ALPS, TANGERINE, and ASGARD. In Spain, Flamenco playing a dominant role as well as Basque folk, TRIANA, ITOIZ and HAIZEA were the head of the movement once the Franco regime fell apart after his death.


There is also a very important medieval music influences dimension in some groups as the term Medieval Folk was also mentioned for a while but apparently dropped by musicologists. Among the UK groups are obviously GRYPHON, GENTLE GIANT and THIRD EAR BAND, in France: MALICORNE and RIPAILLE and in Scandinavia: ALGARNAS TRADGARD and FOLQUE.


Hugues Chantraine

Current Team as of January 1, 2015

Bob Moore aka ClemofNazareth
Ken Levine aka Kenethlevine
Sean Trane

Prog Folk Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Prog Folk | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.63 | 2931 ratings
THICK AS A BRICK
Jethro Tull
4.34 | 2279 ratings
AQUALUNG
Jethro Tull
4.18 | 1238 ratings
SONGS FROM THE WOOD
Jethro Tull
4.21 | 277 ratings
ALTURAS DE MACHU PICCHU
Jaivas, Los
4.14 | 474 ratings
FIRST UTTERANCE
Comus
4.13 | 534 ratings
RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE
Gryphon
4.35 | 66 ratings
ERWARTUNG
Eden
4.15 | 275 ratings
HERO AND HEROINE
Strawbs
4.15 | 283 ratings
GRAVE NEW WORLD
Strawbs
4.18 | 188 ratings
MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT
Jan Dukes De Grey
4.18 | 173 ratings
ST. RADIGUNDS
Spirogyra
4.04 | 1080 ratings
STAND UP
Jethro Tull
4.43 | 37 ratings
LUCAS
Araujo, Marco Antonio
4.07 | 264 ratings
THE HAZARDS OF LOVE
Decemberists, The
4.16 | 105 ratings
BASKET OF LIGHT
Pentangle, The
4.14 | 116 ratings
BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES
Spirogyra
4.03 | 1007 ratings
HEAVY HORSES
Jethro Tull
4.02 | 1047 ratings
MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY
Jethro Tull
4.02 | 1279 ratings
A PASSION PLAY
Jethro Tull
4.13 | 106 ratings
EZEKIEL
Itoiz

Prog Folk overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Prog Folk experts team

SÓLO FUE UN SUEŃO
Omni
MOTHER TWILIGHT
Faun Fables
STONE ANGEL
Stone Angel
VALHEISTA KAUNEIN
Scarlet Thread

Latest Prog Folk Music Reviews


 Castaways And Cutouts by DECEMBERISTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.58 | 53 ratings

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Castaways And Cutouts
The Decemberists Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars THE DECEMBERISTS began their indie rock career in Portland, Oregon and gained attention with their lyrical focus on historical incidents and folklore as well as combining the musical elements of chamber folk, indie pop, baroque pop and rock. Their style sensibilities can be traced back to the 60s British folk acts like Fairport Convention and the Fairport Convention with a healthy cross-pollination of the indie rock and newer contemporary folk acts ranging from Modest Mouse to The Postal Service and even alt-country acts such as Uncle Tupelo. The music can range from upbeat and even guitar heavy progressive pop to country tinged lush ballads. Their debut release CASTAWAYS AND CUTOUTS is a vocal led journey written by vocalist Colin Moloy's who narrates the tales of the CASTAWAYS of the world such as Spanish gypsies and Turkish prostitutes.

One of the greatest assets of THE DECEMBERISTS is the fact that their music is so diverse. While mainly led by Meloy who is the lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter, there is also a heavy presence of keyboards by Jenny Conlee who employs ample uses of Hammond organ, accordion, rhodes piano and other synthesized effects. Also on the team is percussionist Ezra Holbrook, Nate Query on upright bass and Chris Funk who adds additional guitar parts including the pedal steel and occasional theremin. All of the these unique instruments add interesting atmospheres and crossover genre styles that give THE DECEMBERISTS their own unique sound. The differences between songs is quite pronounced. While "Grace Cathedral Hill" is more of a sorrowful tale of lament that is a lush country ballad, "The Legionnaire's Lament" is an upbeat pop rock track that utilizes distorted ska guitar techniques, energetic accordion, bass and drum interaction and a extra catchy pop hook.

CASTAWAYS AND CUTOUTS made an immediate impression and accumulated an instant fan base and the band found a unique niche that has been compared (unfairly) to Neutral Milk Hotel although as with any folk oriented bands, similarities can be heard. Although the debut is a much more stripped down affair from the second album on where the band would include more guest musicians adding a more extensive range of sounds, CASTAWAYS AND CUTOUTS focuses more on the strong songwriting and inventive genre fusion techniques led by Meloy. While not as popular as albums such as "The Crane Wife" or "The Hazards Of Love," the debut is a decent album in its own right with a stronger roots oriented feel to it. While i have to admit that Meloy's idiosyncratic vocal style that seems equidistant between country and folk with a little mopey indie rock thrown in for good measure, it ultimately has won me over and fits the mournful saddened feel of the album.

 Romancero by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.04 | 9 ratings

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Romancero
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars The dark forces of punk and new wave of the early 1970s were crowding out folk rock acts like GAROLOU, the resurgence of the genre under the auspices of bands like the POGUES and the WATERBOYS was still a few years off. It is thus not surprising that their third disk, released at the dawn of the 1980s, received less attention than its predecessors. It didn't help that it was also somewhat less inspired.

The compositions and arrangements are generally not as ambitious, but, if one explores more objectively, 3 tracks are prime prog folk, rivaling the best of earlier output: the heavy and atmospheric "Nicholas", the ominous epic "D'ou reviens-tu mon fils Jacques", and its apt successor "Le Condamne". Unfortunately none of them received their due, probably because the airplay outlets had vanished, and the album's most popular tracks, while thoroughly competent and, in the case of "Sur le Bout du Pont", quite refreshing, were concessions to the era, furthering the group's decline. I am also torn about the way in which the album ends, with the firing squad at the end of "Le Condamne". On the one hand, it's commendable that they continued to explore sober historical matters, but what a downer, especially when the album offers a good deal of lighter fare. Among these are the suave lightly jazzy "Dans Paris" and the live Cajun-tinged "La Danse de La Limonade". While the breadth of fare is eclectic, saving the best for last, where the best is so dire in subject matter, might not have been the canny choice.

"Romancero" proved to be the penultimate album of GAROLOU's initial run, and the last of interest to prog folk audiences. Guardedly recommended as a fling rather than an extended courtship.

 Lougarou by GAROLOU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.50 | 12 ratings

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Lougarou
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Having a rare distinction of two self titled albums with different names, GAROLOU, or LOUGAROU as they were initially known, hit the ground running with this 1976 release. The combination of muddy production and ragged arrangements offers rustic charms that were largely smoothed over on this album's highly accomplished successor, which means that both are sine qua non in the realm of Francophone prog folk of the 1970s.

This debut focuses on story songs that are both near and distant variations on traditional tunes, but nary a traditional instrument is used, with the group relying on with vocal harmonies and meters to convey connections to the past. The instrumental arrangements are decidedly rock oriented, with versatile and occasionally aggressive electric guitars, economical pianos, and occasional synths announcing their intentions. While every track has merit, the lengthiest are those that best fulfill the band's promise, namely "La Belle Francoise", the surprisingly hard rocking "La Partance" and the brilliant adaptation of "A La Claire Fontaine". In the latter case, the band parlayed a tune that everybody at the time and place knew by rote, yet effectively obliterated all memory of the original.

The shorter pieces are hardly less impressive, as young sibling Bobbly Lalonde contributes violin to the lively "La Vendee", with nimble plucking and sublime call and response vocals that rival the best of what TRI YANN was on about at the time. "Ah Toi Belle Hirondelle" might be my favourite of the lot, exuding a breezy mid 1970s ambiance, with an ultra catch riff and propulsive rhythm section that seems to presage the imminent arrival of DIRE STRAITS on the scene, although concurrent Laurel canyon artists and their ilk might be a more apt comparison. It's the sort of arrangement that might help warm a sub zero Northern Ontario night, if only by getting you out of your seat,

It is far from hyperbole to suggest that GAROLOU were the closest that any Canadian act came to attaining the highs of overseas Celtic prog folk artists of their day, which makes them pretty much essential if your wheelhouse boasts a Celtic cross.

The re-release business being what it is, you might have trouble finding this on CD, but I recommend it in any form you can manage, including as part of "Tableaux D'Hier" Volume 1, where only the final track, which happens to be one of the two weakest, is omitted. It's an album I never had much time for when it was current, having satisfied myself with the next album by these talented guys. Well, there is no time like the present to right old wrongs, and let the (were) wolves bay at your door for a spell.

 Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.95 | 11 ratings

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Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by fraanco3

5 stars First off, this is no ordinary reissue. Besides having the original album receive an incredible Steven Wilson re-mix, CD1 also includes 8 "associated recordings." Some of those recordings are unedited alternate versions of the originals. Newly revived, they become quintessential Jethro Tull.

The most jaw-dropping of those associated recordings on CD1 is Track 10, "Old Aces Die Hard." It will blow away any longtime Tull fan. Previously unreleased and recorded in '76/77, it is an amalgam of what would become "Dark Ages" and "Living In These Hard Times" intersecting with "A Passion Play" and the "Chateau D'isaster Tapes." At nearly 9 minutes, it feels like a whole new Tull mini-album that after repeated listens, only gets better. A true prog rock gem, "OADH" is a soft, loud, rocky, acoustic, weirdly complex and abstract thrill ride of 70s Jethro Tull. Seriously GREAT vintage Tull.

That track is followed by another previously unreleased original version of "Working John, Working Joe" with energy and instrumentation that totally eclipses the rather subdued version that eventually appeared on the "A" album.

And if the CD re-mix of SFTW and associates isn't enough, there is also a Wilson DVD surround sound re-mix of those tracks that is sublime. Oh yes, they also throw in the best songs from SFTW in their original Quad format and 4.0 surround. Why not?

But wait, there is more. 2 CDs worth of the full 1977 SFTW tour concert -- 112 minutes of the best live recording of JT that I have heard...a front row seat with Tull in their performance prime.

There is also a DVD of that same concert...great audio and video quality that is better than expected given the age of the original. Thank you Jakko Jakszyk for that production miracle!

A very cool, hard-cover 96 page booklet accompanies the 5 pieces of media, containing stories, lyrics, interviews, anecdotes, etc. Very professionally produced.

Five stars for this well engineered slice of prog rock history!

 Songs From The Wood by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.18 | 1238 ratings

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Songs From The Wood
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Lupton

5 stars After producing the classic Thick as a Brick album, Jethro Tull seems to struggle to come up with a strong follow- up.By the time of the alarmingly lacklastre Too Old To Rock And Roll Album released in 1976 their career seems to be on a downward spiral. Their next album 1977's Songs From The Wood was a stunning return to form and is my personal favourite by this band.

The opening title track is for me the definitive Jethro Tull track. With its richly harmonized a Capella opening, the song quickly develops into a stunning tour de force with its constantly shifting rhythms and ornate instrumentation. The musical backing continues to build and build as the song progresses in a most exhilarating manner. Jethro Tull have used this combination of additive rhythms and textural layering before but never as effectively as here and all in under five minutes.

The rest of the album does not disappoint.The next track" Jack in The Green" is a delightful acoustic song- essentially just Ian Anderson playing all the instruments. Cup of wonder is a wonderfully upbeat flute led track with a bouncy and complex rhythm. Hunting Girl gallops along nicely is probably the closest thing to straight ahead rock with some blistering guitar playing by Martin Barre.Ring Out Solstice Bells is quite a poppy number and was originally released on an EP the previous year.And that is just Side1.

Side 2 opens with Velvet Green which is a wonderful slice of Renaissance influenced progressive rock and incorporates a particularly complex instrumental section incorporating flute, portative organ and medieval drums.The opening harpsichord led passage is perhaps a little cod but really adds to the Early Music ambiance.Next to the Title track it is probably the most sophisticated track on the album.The following track, "The Whistler" is another whimsical and quirky upbeat song with a particularly complex and exhilarating whistle break coming after each chorus.Only "Pibroch" the penultimate track brings the mood down with a rather somber tale of a man being cheated on by his wife and at over eight minutes long is a tad long. Nevertheless, it is still highly inventive with Barre's guitar replicating the sounds of bagpipes long before the 80's band,Big Country tried to do the same thing.The final track is a fairly slight but upbeat song with yet another flute led instrumental section.

All in all this is a true masterpiece and arguably the most repeat listenable album they ever created. A solid 5 stars

 Dancing On A Cold Wind by CARMEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.78 | 57 ratings

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Dancing On A Cold Wind
Carmen Prog Folk

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I found this LP in a $1 bin at a local Eugene, Oregon record store, an original UK pressing on Regal Zonophone (unlike Fandangos in Space, this was never released in the States). Basically, much of the stuff in that bin being frequent thrift store staples: easy listening, '70s singer songwriters, and AOR acts. So it's a trip to see a Carmen LP sitting next to a bunch of James Taylor, America, Captain & Tennille, Dan Fogelberg and Linda Ronstadt LPs. I wondered why it was being sold for so cheap? The disc don't look warped. Side two did feature this unsightly fingernail scratch, so they thought they'd never sell it for going price. I brought it home and the darn LP plays at Near Mint, even that scratch you can barely notice it, if at all (I was expecting loud pops or even skips, given I only spent $1 and pleasantly surprised that didn't happen). The cover is a spoof of pack of Gitanes cigarettes. Funny how their labelmates Procol Harum had a cigarette pack spoofed on one of their albums, A Salty Dog spoofing Player's Navy Cut.

Being familiar with Fandangos in Space, it's really no surprise the music on Dancing on a Cold Wind is in a similar vein. Same unmistakable blend of flamenco and prog. The foot dancing from Roberto Aramal and Angela Allen really sounds great on this disc. I wasn't expecting John Glascock to crank up the bass to give it a full fuzz effect like he did on the opening cut, "Viva mi Sevilla". It's almost as if Jannick Top of Magma stepped in. Regardless, it's instantly recognizable as Carmen, even a revisit of "Bulerias" from Fandangos in Space is quoted. Angela Allen is one of the very few female Mellotron players out there (the other being Virginia Scott of Beggars Opera who put one to great use on Waters of Change, but not Keiko Kumagai of Ars Nova as she used early tron samples). Side two is taken up with a suite, which is clearly the most ambitious thing they ever did. There's even a brief flirtation with medieval music, but that's because Tony Visconti played recorder on that part (as he did with Gentle Giant and even David Bowie). Still a very good record, but it may be a notch below Fandangos only because it doesn't quite match that album's intensity, while there are some intense parts, there are more calm and relaxed parts. Finally glad to own the second Carmen album. So I'm with popular opinion: a notch below Fandangos but still worth it if you dig what this band does.

 777 by RED JASPER album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.63 | 13 ratings

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777
Red Jasper Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars

So, after the minor gap of eighteen years between albums, the Jaspers decided to take just a year to come back with the next one. Nick Harradence had only ever joined the band to help on the previous recording, and by now he had been replaced by Florin Werner on the drum seat. Sohelia came back to provide vocals on another song, and although there was no Pat D'Arcy, interestingly there was a guest appearance on guitar from Tony Heath, who just like Pat had been a member of the band for the 'Sting In The Tale' album, so there is a nice synergy and feeling of completeness.

As with the previous album, this is very much the 'new' Red Jasper with a very different musical approach to how they were in the Nineties, more "straight progressive" (if you get what I mean), but still with folky elements. I can't imagine another band performing a song such as "She Waits" as it starts with a very British almost "oom pah pah" feel before becoming a commercial rocker, and switches between the styles throughout. It is commercial, it is packed full of hooks, and such great fun! There are times when they do remind me somewhat of Credo, but given my incredibly long affiliation with that band I can't really say that is a bad thing. This album is a real grower, and Florin and Jon have already built up a strong relationship, with Jon having one of the lightest touches on bass that one will come across, with great effect. This partnership allows both Lloyd and Robin to build and throw melodies, solos and swathes of sound around: it certainly sounds as if the guys had a blast recording this, while D.C. is still there at the front providing this different theatrical vocal approach.

D.C. has told me to expect yet another album soon as the guys just can't stop writing music together, and with such a long gap in their history it really does seem as if they have never been away.

 The Great and Secret Show by RED JASPER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.78 | 29 ratings

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The Great and Secret Show
Red Jasper Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars A few years back I was thinking about Red Jasper one evening, and decided to google them to see what they were doing. Shortly thereafter I found myself having email conversations with D.C. (David Clifford), and we soon started talking about the potential for reissuing their albums on CD. I suggested that he talk to Peter Purnell at Angel Air, and a short while later I found myself writing the booklets, and the conversations turned to potentially a new album? Well, here it is, released at the beginning of 2015. Original frontman Davey Dodds had decided that he no longer wanted to be involved with the music scene, but in drummer D.C. they already had a replacement as by now he had been making a name for himself as a singer with Clive Nolan's Caamora company, and had one of the lead male role on the incredible 'Alchemy'. The rest of the gang were all on board for the journey, but as D.C. felt he was no longer a drummer they brought in Nick Harradence, who was drummer with Shadowland when the two bands toured together some twenty years earlier! It was obvious that Red Jasper were going to sound very different to how they used to, as D.C. is such a different singer, and Davey also used to provide mandolins and whistles, so could they carry it off?

Thankfully the answer to that is a very strong and emphatic "Yes"!! Musically they are a different beast, and have moved more into a neo-prog area, but it still contains the folkier elements for which they were known. The biggest difference, though, is in the approach and style of the vocals. Not only does D.C. sing in a higher register than Davey, but he is also more used to a theatrical style of singing, where there may or may not be good microphones and there is a need to project. As opposed to someone just using their vocal cords with not much effort, here he is putting his all into each song so that each one becomes much more of a performance. Of course, the Jaspers were also always well-known for the power of Robin Harrison's guitars, and he has lost none of the knack of enthralling listeners with either gentle notes or hard-struck power chords. This is particularly true on "The Time Is Right", where the use of a guest sax also adds an additional element. Interestingly, the sax player is none other than Pat D'Arcy who was in an earlier line-up of the band, and was with them when they released 'Sting In The Tale'. D.C's daughter Sohelia duets with him on "The Time Is Right", just as she did for the original live performances of 'Alchemy', and their voices work well together.

Jon Thornton (bass) and Lloyd George (keyboards) tie in with Nick and Robin in a manner that belies the truth that this is a band that hasn't performed for eighteen years. I mean, really? Somehow, I never saw them play live back in the Nineties, although Davey and I used to catch up every so often, and now they're back playing and I live on the wrong side of the world! But, this comeback album is an incredible statement, the Jaspers are back and long may this continue.

 A Hail of Bitter Almonds by CORDE OBLIQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.31 | 14 ratings

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A Hail of Bitter Almonds
Corde Oblique Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I was rather taken by Corde Oblique's previous album, The Stones of Naples, but on A Hail of Bitter Almonds I found the charms of their interesting folk-classical fusion beginning to wear thin. It's all very pretty, with a suitably talented set of vocalists summoned, but far from the bitterness promised by the album title there's a syrupy sweetness to everything that becomes increasingly cloying as the album progresses. There's an odd take on Radiohead's Jigsaw Working Into Place which shows imagination, but otherwise I found much of this album to be forgettable, though forgettable in a rather pretty way. Smooth, and perhaps a little too smooth.
 Swaddling Songs by MELLOW CANDLE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.84 | 67 ratings

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Swaddling Songs
Mellow Candle Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mellow Candle were a progressive folk rock band from Ireland, combining Celtic folk music with the sort of progressive folk that had been catching on across the border in the UK. Alison Williams' lead vocals are charming, and you can hear how groups this laid the foundation of the Clannad-spearheaded resurgence of Celtic folk in subsequent years, but whilst it is a pleasant and enjoyable listen, I don't think it's a fully-fledged classic; it's a four-star album that gets talked about in five-star terms thanks to its scarcity and the brief lifespan of the band. Still, even leaving behind an album that's this good is an achievement in itself.
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Prog Folk bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
0.720 ALEACION Mexico
3 DAFT MONKEYS United Kingdom
AALTO Finland
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL Lebanon
ACCOLADE United Kingdom
ACCOLADE United States
ADARO Germany
AFFORESTED United Kingdom
AFION Croatia
AGAPE Canada
AGINCOURT United Kingdom
AIGUES VIVES Germany
AKTUALA Italy
NICU ALIFANTIS Romania
ALMÔNDEGAS Brazil
ALVA Multi-National
AMANITA Italy
AMAROK Spain
AMAZING BLONDEL United Kingdom
AMBER United Kingdom
AN DRO Germany
ANACRUSA Argentina
IAN ANDERSON United Kingdom
THE ANGELS OF LIGHT United States
ANNAMY Sweden
APARECIDOS Multi-National
AQUAPLAN Finland
AQUARIUM Russia
DAN AR BRAZ France
MARCO ANTONIO ARAUJO Brazil
DAN ARBORISE United Kingdom
THE ARBORISTS Canada
ARIA PALEA Italy
ARMY OF BRIARS United Kingdom
ARTSRUNI Armenia
ASGARD France
ASHADA Japan
ASHTAR Brazil
ASI SOMOS Puerto Rico
ATMAN Poland
AUCAN Argentina
AVALANCHE Netherlands
AVE SANGRIA Brazil
AZAHAR Spain
BABADAG Poland
BABY WHALE Multi-National
BAMBIR / THE BAMBIR Armenia
BANDA DO CASACO Portugal
A BARCA DO SOL Brazil
BARR Sweden
TOMAS BATISTA Argentina
BAYON Germany
BEAT CIRCUS United States
BEDEDEUM Italy
BERNARD BENOIT France
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT United Kingdom
BLOPS Chile
BLUEHORSES United Kingdom
BOULE DE SON Canada
BRAN (BRÂN) United Kingdom
BREAD LOVE AND DREAMS United Kingdom
BRECHE Canada
PAUL BRETT United Kingdom
BRÖSELMASCHINE Germany
BUCIUM Romania
TIM BUCKLEY United States
VASHTI BUNYAN United Kingdom
C.O.B. United Kingdom
CAEDMON United Kingdom
CALIBAN United States
CÁLIX Brazil
CAMELIAS GARDEN Italy
CAN AM DES PUIG Multi-National
CANDIDATE United Kingdom
CANO Canada
CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO Italy
MARCELLO CAPRA Italy
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