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PROG FOLK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Prog Folk definition

In the wake of the 1960s, 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 "Chansonniers" 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 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, TREES, SPIROGYRA, FOREST, the superb JAN DUKES DE GREY but also TRADER HORNE, TUDOR LODGE, FOTHERINGAY, MAGNA CARTA, and TIR NA NOG 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 1977's Songs From The Woods and 1978'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, WITTHUSER & 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 CONGRESO (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 Chansonniers 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 CATHERINE RIBEIRO AND ALPES, 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
with hyperlinks and updates by Ken Levine December 2017

Current Team as of December 2017

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 | 2999 ratings
THICK AS A BRICK
Jethro Tull
4.34 | 2344 ratings
AQUALUNG
Jethro Tull
4.18 | 1275 ratings
SONGS FROM THE WOOD
Jethro Tull
4.27 | 180 ratings
ST. RADIGUNDS
Spirogyra
4.41 | 73 ratings
ERWARTUNG
Eden
4.21 | 291 ratings
ALTURAS DE MACHU PICCHU
Jaivas, Los
4.15 | 554 ratings
RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE
Gryphon
4.14 | 492 ratings
FIRST UTTERANCE
Comus
4.19 | 192 ratings
MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT
Jan Dukes De Grey
4.16 | 293 ratings
HERO AND HEROINE
Strawbs
4.15 | 296 ratings
GRAVE NEW WORLD
Strawbs
4.05 | 1114 ratings
STAND UP
Jethro Tull
4.20 | 88 ratings
I A MOON
North Sea Radio Orchestra
4.42 | 39 ratings
LUCAS
Araujo, Marco Antonio
4.15 | 121 ratings
BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES
Spirogyra
4.08 | 267 ratings
THE HAZARDS OF LOVE
Decemberists, The
4.03 | 1043 ratings
HEAVY HORSES
Jethro Tull
4.16 | 109 ratings
BASKET OF LIGHT
Pentangle, The
4.51 | 31 ratings
AVE SANGRIA
Ave Sangria
4.03 | 1081 ratings
MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY
Jethro Tull
4.77 | 20 ratings
SECOS & MOLHADOS
Secos & Molhados
4.02 | 1317 ratings
A PASSION PLAY
Jethro Tull
4.13 | 112 ratings
EZEKIEL
Itoiz
4.09 | 143 ratings
HÖLDERLINS TRAUM
Hoelderlin
4.07 | 152 ratings
WITHIN THE REALM OF A DYING SUN
Dead Can Dance
4.39 | 33 ratings
Y MURIÓ LA TARDE
Nirgal Vallis
4.02 | 216 ratings
FROM THE WITCHWOOD
Strawbs
4.16 | 64 ratings
THE TAIN
Horslips
4.35 | 33 ratings
UM HIMINJODUR
Tirill
4.03 | 159 ratings
GHOSTS
Strawbs
4.08 | 91 ratings
OBRAS DE VIOLETA PARRA
Jaivas, Los
4.01 | 168 ratings
STORMCOCK
Harper, Roy
4.12 | 70 ratings
THE COURAGE OF OTHERS
Midlake
4.08 | 84 ratings
OPEN SKY
Iona
4.37 | 29 ratings
HOJE HÁ CONQUILHAS, AMANHĂ NĂO SABEMOS
Banda Do Casaco
3.97 | 202 ratings
THE LAST BRIGHT LIGHT
Mostly Autumn
4.02 | 105 ratings
RAGNARÖK
Ragnarök
4.36 | 26 ratings
TALKING WITH STRANGERS
Dyble, Judy
3.98 | 145 ratings
THE CRANE WIFE
Decemberists, The
3.90 | 945 ratings
BENEFIT
Jethro Tull
4.58 | 17 ratings
THUNDER PERFECT MIND
Current 93
4.85 | 12 ratings
SECOS & MOLHADOS (II)
Secos & Molhados
4.04 | 71 ratings
STARSAILOR
Buckley, Tim
4.29 | 28 ratings
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Unruh, Steve
4.01 | 80 ratings
ALL MY FRIENDS
Jack O' The Clock
3.97 | 113 ratings
CANTOFABULE (CANTAFABULE)
Phoenix
4.67 | 14 ratings
SOFT BLACK STARS
Current 93
4.11 | 44 ratings
DURANTE O VERĂO
Barca Do Sol, A
4.21 | 31 ratings
THE USE OF ASHES
Pearls Before Swine / Tom Rapp
4.29 | 25 ratings
SYMPHONY FOR THE OLD WORLD
Flairck
4.33 | 23 ratings
BLUE CAMEL
Abou-Khalil, Rabih
4.75 | 12 ratings
DÚLAMÁN
Clannad
4.45 | 18 ratings
VÄTTARNAS FEST
Grovjobb
4.00 | 71 ratings
CAROL OF HARVEST
Carol Of Harvest
4.00 | 66 ratings
THE BOOK OF INVASIONS: A CELTIC SYMPHONY
Horslips
4.22 | 27 ratings
GUSLIAR
Pesniary (Pesnyary)
3.98 | 73 ratings
HOELDERLIN
Hoelderlin
4.00 | 63 ratings
REPETITIONS OF THE OLD CITY-1
Jack O' The Clock
4.17 | 30 ratings
CARNASCIALIA
Carnascialia
4.22 | 26 ratings
ŢURSABIT
Thursaflokkurinn
3.92 | 114 ratings
INTO THE LABYRINTH
Dead Can Dance
3.96 | 75 ratings
KEBNEKAISE
Kebnekaise
4.13 | 33 ratings
GEOFFROY
Emeraude
4.02 | 51 ratings
SOLID AIR
Martyn, John
4.16 | 30 ratings
CHEMINS DE TERRE
Stivell, Alan
4.23 | 24 ratings
NULA JEDAN
Thork
3.97 | 70 ratings
CEI CE NE-AU DAT NUME
Phoenix
4.07 | 38 ratings
AZAHAR
Azahar
4.02 | 47 ratings
LUNA
Faun
4.17 | 27 ratings
NIGHT LOOPS
Jack O' The Clock
4.32 | 19 ratings
ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES
Current 93
4.86 | 9 ratings
RODJENJE
Mlinarec, Drago
4.76 | 10 ratings
EDEN
Faun
4.76 | 10 ratings
MAGICAL RING
Clannad
4.26 | 21 ratings
MIRADAS
Canzoniere del Lazio
3.89 | 112 ratings
OUT OF THE COMA
Comus
4.73 | 10 ratings
CHRISTIAN LUCIFER
Leopold, Perry
3.85 | 175 ratings
DRESSED IN VOICES
Mostly Autumn
4.16 | 25 ratings
THROUGH THE GATES OF DEEPER SLUMBER
Smell of Incense
3.99 | 46 ratings
TUDOR LODGE
Tudor Lodge
4.09 | 31 ratings
S VREMENA NA VREME
S Vremena Na Vreme
3.97 | 50 ratings
CHALLENGING GRAVITY
Unruh, Steve
4.07 | 32 ratings
THE TRIALS OF VAN OCCUPANTHER
Midlake
4.26 | 19 ratings
L'HOMME-LOUP
Motis
4.25 | 19 ratings
II DEJANJE
Sedmina
4.09 | 29 ratings
TURN OF THE WHEEL
Tempest
3.88 | 99 ratings
FANDANGOS IN SPACE
Carmen
4.01 | 38 ratings
A BARCA DO SOL
Barca Do Sol, A
4.07 | 30 ratings
MAAÄET
Tenhi
4.31 | 16 ratings
BANLIEUES
Troisičme Rive
4.15 | 23 ratings
EULENSPIEGEL
Ougenweide
4.48 | 12 ratings
MACALLA
Clannad
4.81 | 8 ratings
RENAISSANCE
Faun
3.99 | 37 ratings
HONTZ GAUA
Haizea
3.84 | 128 ratings
THE SERPENT'S EGG
Dead Can Dance
3.83 | 138 ratings
THE SPIRIT OF AUTUMN PAST
Mostly Autumn
4.26 | 16 ratings
DANSES ET RYTHMES DE LA TURQUIE D'HIER Á AUJOURD'HUI (ANADOLU POP)
MoĞollar
4.00 | 34 ratings
BLESS THE WEATHER
Martyn, John
4.29 | 15 ratings
A HAIL OF BITTER ALMONDS
Corde Oblique
4.26 | 16 ratings
UNTAMED
Ill Wicker

Prog Folk overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

FRESH MAGGOTS
Fresh Maggots
II DEJANJE
Sedmina
GENTLE SOUL
Gentle Soul, The
HAUL AR YR EIRA
Pererin

Latest Prog Folk Music Reviews


 Blue Angel by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.75 | 31 ratings

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Blue Angel
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

2 stars The only place to go from here is up.

Well, that's what I said to myself the first time I heard this strange concoction from Dave Cousins and company. And I mean company, as in battalion. Or perhaps legion is the proper word. All I know is that back in 2003, Dave assembled the Acoustic Strawbs consisting of himself, Dave Lambert and Brian Willoughby, and remade an album by Cousins and Willoughby titled The Bridge with help from former Strawbs' members Chas Cronk , Richarard Hudson and Blue Weaver. He even threw in a lush remake of his solo epic song "Blue Angel" form his 1972 solo album tilted Two Weeks Last Summer with the great Mary Hopkin on backing vocals. And it doesn't quite work.

All the right ingredients are there but the recipe is missing. To put it plainly, if anyone thought that that Two Weeks Last Summer lacked a cohesive band dynamic, then that goes double fold for this album. It's way too over produced, contrived, and at times, lacking the spontaneity and organic feel for the music that's on offer. "Blue Angel" is actually better served with Blue Weaver's Mellotron flute and strings, but Dave seemed to be bent on this version being so markedly different form his original that this song's chorus of many sounds like a staid choir, while Willoughby seems to have been pushed to play something extra "Willoughby-like" to distinguish him form the rocking Miller Anderson who almost steals away the original song with his heavy and loud electric guitar lead playing. If you by chance happen to hear the "Blue Angel" version on the Strawbs' 40th Anniversary live CD set, the song is better served with the Mellotron of Weaver and the electric lead guitar of Willoughby this time playing a version of the song that's halfway between Dave's original version and the lusher studio remake. It has an organic feel and flow to it that puts both prior versions to shame. Chas Cronk playing bass and Tony Fernandez playing drums greatly helped to usher in a true band dynamic. Both Cronk and Fernandez were not on the studio remake, as ex Strawbs Rod Demick and Richard Hudson played on that track. To make matters more confusing, former member Rod Coombes also plays a few of the album's tracks! (Confusing isn't it? Remember that I said that Cousins employed a cast of thousands?)

The incredible Miss Hopkin seems too high gloss as a singer to partner with any of the Strawbs. Unlike Cathryn Craig, she can't reign herself in enough not to crowd Mr. Cousins' nasal rasp.

Blue Angel, the album, isn't all bad. "There Will Come A Day" is a stellar track, as is "The Plain' and, to a lesser extent, "Further Down The Road."But these three songs can't hold up the ten other subpar tracks that are included on this CD and force a two star rating. Don't fret. As I said, it all gets better from here on in.

 Painted Sky by STRAWBS album cover Live, 2005
3.75 | 16 ratings

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Painted Sky
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars The third in a series of albums from the mid 2000's Acoustic Strawbs trio featuring Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and a rejoining Chas Cronk replacing the recently departed Brian Willoughby. Recorded mainly to ingratiate the arrival of Cronk on 12 string acoustic guitar, bass and foot pedals, the group once again goes over past favorites, as well as a few new surprises such as a stellar all acoustic version of "The Antique Suite" first found on their live Just a Collection Antiques and Curios album as well as some very good versions of "Oh How She Changed", "Grace Darling", "Benedictus", and a decent version of "Autumn", This version of "Autumn" features some washes of synthesized bass peddles from Cronk but is not as good as the version found on the previous acoustic album "Full Bloom", or reprised on the stellar acoustic Strawbs' compilation album titled "Acoustic Gold" which has the added benefit of excellently remastered sound. 3 stars seems about right for this all acoustic offering from the venerable Strawbs as the previous acoustic albums "Baroque and Roll" and "Full Bloom" both seem much more essential and enjoyable.
 Gudrun by PIERROT LUNAIRE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.75 | 80 ratings

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Gudrun
Pierrot Lunaire Prog Folk

Review by nikitasv777

5 stars The band took their name from the famous classical composition by Arnold Schoenberg, who is known for his avant- garde approach to classical music incorporating atonality and developed the twelve-tone technique. Gudrun Pierrot Lunaire's - album sits as a wedge between several familiar styles without really conforming to the standards of any of them. Pierrot Lunaire surely belongs to Italy's most experimental and original prog bands. A lot of brilliant passages, and sometimes it reminds me a lot of Opus Avantra. Stylistically the album is a pretty complex one and they've succeeded with the compositions. Wonderful avant-prog featuring acoustic instruments like the piano, organ, electric & acoustic guitar, mandoline, tambourine, violin? A must for lovers of truly progressive music!
 Stormwatch by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 662 ratings

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Stormwatch
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars "Stormwatch" finds Ian Anderson and company not so much kicking and screaming towards the 1980s as lurching one step towards the future before falling two steps back to the past in wrenching ambivalence. The difficult circumstances at the time, with John Glascock ill and eventually passing on, only added to the fragmentation. We still get classy folk rock like "North Sea Oil", "Orion", and "Elegy", and a couple more extended proggy tracks, one which works - "Flying Dutchman" - and another which grates - "Dark Ages". The rest are mostly good but not up to the standards and focus of the last couple of albums, with a germ of what could have made them exceptional, but without the energy and self confidence to just do it. Interestingly, the bonus tracks are on par with the originally released material. Most tellingly, nothing here would rank in my top 20 TULL tracks. Overall, "Stormwatch" shows a classic 1970s band weathering turbulent times as best they could. They had their ups and downs after, but were never really this folk oriented again.
 Itziar by ITZIAR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.09 | 16 ratings

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Itziar
Itziar Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars I have often returned to the sole recorded output of Basque folk group ITZIAR in the hopes that I missed some nugget the first n visits that I would somehow unearth on listen n+1. Sadly, I still hear a rather dispirited and disjointed blend of ITOIZ and ENBOR that falls short of even the middling work by those bands in the late 1970s. The singer for whom the band is named has a pleasant enough voice in a JONI MITCHELL meets NEST (BRAN, PERERIN) manner, but tries to do too much with it and falls flat, and in general songs that start off as promising acoustic numbers either go nowhere or downhill at breakneck speed. "Harri eta Herri" is the worst of the lot, horrific acid folk with lead guitar that sounds like what used to be played in the nightclubs when the Flintstones went to the seedy part of town, and a back 40 that leaves a trail of scat in its wake. While a couple of tracks are decent, like the opener, chiefly for its lovely mid point acoustic guitar and flute combo, the only entirely pleasing number is "Haizearen Gogoa", which raises the bar via brilliant vocal harmonies. It's a shame they didn't choose this tactic more often. I can't really recommend this to anyone except maybe people who have to have every Basque prog album from the post-Franco renaissance, but even then, this should be well down near the bottom of a lengthy shopping list.
 Reunion by GAROLOU album cover Live, 1995
3.69 | 7 ratings

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Reunion
Garolou Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars In 1993, after the better part of the decade on hiatus, French Canadian Celtic rockers GAROLOU reunited for well received concert appearances. The live document of this period is "Reunion", from a 1994 concert at the Theatre de la Ville in Longueuil just off the island of Montreal. All the material here is culled from their first 3 and most popular albums, with the focus being "Lougarou" and "Garolou". A French language blend of STEELEYE SPAN with JETHRO TULL approximates the friendly sound of GAROLOU, but with generous infusions of their own personality.

The lineup is intact and the versions are generally quite faithful to the originals, including the lead guitar and synthesizer flourishes, but with a touch more energy and audience participation sprinkled about. As such, this offers a reasonable approximation of a greatest hits package. The main drawback is that, while in their early period the most progressive and most popular tracks were one and the same, by the time of "Romancero" a fault line had been gouged between the two. While the 3 tracks chosen from that album are all superior in the concert setting, particularly when younger brother Bobby Lalonde contributes fiddle, a few of the band's best songs are omitted. Still, for most who want one document of the best that GAROLOU can muster, this reunion makes for more than congenial company.

 Tha mi sgith/Suite sudarmoricaine by STIVELL, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Tha mi sgith/Suite sudarmoricaine
Alan Stivell Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars In between releasing 3 classic albums in the early 1970s, Brittany's Celtic harp revivalist was busily flooding the market with singles of high quality that presumably could not or would not fit on those albums. Interestingly, this one appeared in several forms, both with "Tha mi sgith" on the first side and others with "Suite Sudarmoricaine" as the headliner. Both would become popular in a live setting, but it's hard to find this version of "Tha mi sgith" other than on 45, which makes this unassuming issue all the more desirable.

While this interpretation of a traditional strathspey from the Outer Hebrides offers the usual blend of Stivell's benevolent vocals, fiddle, colourful lead guitar from Dan Ar Braz, and solid percussion, I've heard more captivating versions from the likes of SILLY WIZARD and Canadian band CLAN from many years ago, as "Hewing Bracken", with achingly morose lyrics.

For the trad arranged "suite" on the flipside, while it begins promisingly thanks to lively and Latin American styled guitars and flutes, once the vocals pierce the illusion the deflation is instantaneous. Normally repetition is handled craftily in Stivell interpretations, but here the shouted mouth music is beyond tedious. Surprisingly, this is the more popular of the two, and readily available on compilations.

"Tha mi Sgith" is this the sole reason to seek out this 45, but I'm going to recommend that you content yourself with one of the live versions, such as on "Olympia Concert", which is livelier and adds organ to the ensemble, rather than spend the rather lofty sums expected on eBay for a lesser product.

 Wind of Keltia/Pop Plinn by STIVELL, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Wind of Keltia/Pop Plinn
Alan Stivell Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Another ALAN STIVELL classic single from the early 1970s consisting of two tracks that never appeared on an original album, "Wind of Keltia" and "Pop Plinn" both became mainstays of his live set and appeared on countless compilations.

"Wind of Keltia" was an original composition he co-wrote with banjo player Steve Waring, and confirms his ability to expand the living tradition and not simply revitalize it. A languid ballad prioritizing his warm voice and clear English lyrics, its main accompaniments are his own harp and whistles. In the final movement, lead guitar joins in, likely from the agile hand of long time associate DAN AR BRAZ, but the pace is not altered, just the intensity. It ends in a harmonious interplay of strings and whistles.

The flipside, "Pop Plinn", is a rowdy instrumental in which electric guitar and organ predominate, and has all the trappings of early 1970s prog with a 1960s psychedelia hangover, making it a breezy listen. Time is allocated for his plucking prowess as well. This is an ideal live track as it shines the spotlight on the musicians as well as the ensemble, with a reassuring elasticity in the proportions.

While both tracks are classics, I think the availability of compilations, like the superb "Master Serie", which include both in their original forms, along with various concert performances. renders the 45 somewhat superfluous. Still if you want just a soupcon of the mighty wind blowing from Keltia, this could be all you need to feel refreshed.

 Ring Out, Solstice Bells by JETHRO TULL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
3.16 | 23 ratings

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Ring Out, Solstice Bells
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

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

3 stars While JETHRO TULL fans are almost certain to know of their final release as group titled "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album" in 2003 which unofficially saw the band brand turn into Ian Anderson solo projects, many including myself have not been aware of this other Christmas album that came out as a small little four song EP that emerged in 1976 in between the "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!" and "Songs From The Wood" albums. This is possibly because the short 11 minute and 55 second EP was only released once as a 7" Vinyl once in 1976 and yet again in 1979 but unbeknownst to fans across the globe, it did find a modern day pressing once again as the 40th anniversary 7" Vinyl format on the Rhino label in 2016 which even includes two unreleased Steven Wilson remixes titled "Magic Bells (Solstice Bells)" as well as the title track.

The two longest tracks on the EP, "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" and "Christmas Song" were recycled for the 2003 "JT Xmas Album" leaving only the short "March, The Mad Scientist" and more regularly timed "Pan Dance" to exist exclusively on this release. Musically speaking this is the typical progressive folk rock style that JETHRO TULL has implemented since their origins but as with the 2003 Christmas album, this one is rooted more on the folk side of the equation existing closest to the sounds heard on the "Songs From The Wood" album that followed the original release. While the titles may indicate more of a Pagan celebration rather than Christmas, it is more of a celebration of how the two are intimately intermingled with holiday traditions emerging in the former and shapeshifting to fit into the latter.

While the first three tracks are vocal oriented with Ian Anderson dishing out his baritone magic, the closer "Pan Dance" is an instrumental flute dominated track that makes me think of classics such as Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Since the inclusion of two of the tracks (which are the superior of the four) have been included on the 2003 Christmas album, it renders this little under the radar release as somewhat unessential for all except the completists of the world despite the other four minutes plus of music being quite pleasant tracks. While the album has been reissued it still hasn't made the impact of the fully developed album that came out in 2003. It's worth a quick spin on YouTube to experience the two tracks that lag behind in the 70s but overall i wouldn't go out of my way to track this down. Still though, not a bad way to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

BTW?. this exists with two covers. One with the beautiful artwork with what looks like Jesus Christ next to a live tree and a Christmas tree to the side and another that has no cover at all and merely shows the vinyl peeking through plain paper. By all means, if you do choose to seek this out, get the artwork edition!

3.5 but rounded down

 Tri Martolod/The King of the Fairies by STIVELL, ALAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Tri Martolod/The King of the Fairies
Alan Stivell Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars During his most prolific and influential period of 1971-1973, ALAN STIVELL not only released several albums and toured, but also offered a series of equally significant singles. Some of these were later supplanted by live renditions in popularity, but his original version of "Tri Martolod" remains one of his most beloved, a Breton tale of three sailors in dialog as they cross from Brittany to Newfoundland. It dates back to the 18th century and has since been covered by numerous artists in the Celtic world and beyond, but Stivell is generally credited with reviving the piece with an utterly stunning and riveting rendition.

The track begins with Stivell delivering the compelling melody on harp with other acoustic instrumentation before the dialogue begins, with each sung part intersecting with the next, repetitive motifs and vocal harmonies sealing the sense of wonder. Violin also swirls about as the song develops, and even some organ appears towards the close of the track to enhance the original themes.

The B-side is a rare studio version of a well known traditional instrumental "King of the Fairies", which generally appears in live form on most compilations. The lead instrument is the violin, with acoustic guitar backing, and later spirited lead guitar layered on top, building to a crescendo and a sudden end. The piece has been covered by many, including fellow prog folk pioneers HORSLIPS, but Stivell's might be the best of all.

With the A-side being one of Stivell's best ever pieces, and the B-side pretty rare in the form presented, this 45 is highly recommended, and would warrant 5 stars if no reasonable alternatives were present, but most will probably be happy enough with their presence in some form or other in one of Stivell's numerous compilations or live recordings.

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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
BIG LOST RAINBOW United States
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
CARMEN United Kingdom
CARNASCIALIA Italy
CAROL OF HARVEST Germany
GIAN CASTELLO Italy
PHILIPPE CAUVIN France
CHAC MOOL Mexico
CHALIBAUDE France
CHERCHE-LUNE France
CHIMERA Netherlands
CHRYSALIDE France
CIRCULUS United Kingdom
CLANNAD Ireland
CLOGS Multi-National
COMUS United Kingdom
CONGREGACION Chile
CONGRESO Chile
CONNIVENCE Canada
CONTRALUZ Argentina
CONVENTUM Canada
CORDE OBLIQUE Italy
DAVE COUSINS United Kingdom
CREMATORIUM Russia
CRYSTAL PHOENIX Italy
CRYSTAL THOUGHTS Greece
CURRENT 93 United Kingdom
DAEMONIA NYMPHE Greece
DANCER United Kingdom
DARNAKES Greece
DAWNWIND United Kingdom
DEAD CAN DANCE Australia
DECAMERON United Kingdom
THE DECEMBERISTS United States
DEMI-HEURE Canada
DETEKTIVBYRĹN Sweden
DIEGO DE MORON Spain
DODSON AND FOGG United Kingdom
DR. STRANGELY STRANGE Ireland
DULCIMER United Kingdom
DUN AENGHUS Multi-National
DUNWICH Italy
JUDY DYBLE United Kingdom
EDEN Germany
ELANE Germany
ELECTRIC DESERT Israel
ELFONIA Mexico
NANCY ELIZABETH United Kingdom
EMERAUDE France
EMTIDI Germany
ENBOR Spain
ENGEL (MIGUEL ANGEL DE LA LLAVE JIMENEZ) Spain
L' ENGOULEVENT Canada
RÓBERT ERDÉSZ Hungary
ERGO SUM Chile
ERROBI Spain
ESPERS United States
ETERNIDAD Argentina
LA FAMIGLIA DEGLI ORTEGA Italy
FARAWAY FOLK United Kingdom
FARPOINT United States
FAUN Germany
FAUN FABLES United States
FAVERAVOLA Italy
FAVNI (FAUNS) Germany
FEATHERS United States
THE FELLOWSHIP Italy
FERN KNIGHT United States
FIABA Italy
FIELDS BURNING United States
FIORI-SÉGUIN Canada
FLAIRCK Netherlands
FLIBBERTIGIBBET South Africa
FLOR DE LOTO Peru
FOLKLORE Australia
I FOLLI DI DIO Italy
FOLQUE Norway
FORENINGEN TIL LIVETS BESKYTTELSE Denmark
FOREST United Kingdom
FORSETI Germany
FRACTAL (CHILE) Chile
FRAGUA Spain
FRED United States
FRESH MAGGOTS United Kingdom
FUCHSIA United Kingdom
FUREKĹBEN Denmark
GAIA CONSORT United States
GALADRIEL Australia
GALAHAD Germany
GALLERY United Kingdom
GALLEY BEGGAR United Kingdom
GARMARNA Sweden
GAROLOU Canada
GENESIS DE COLOMBIA Colombia
THE GENTLE SOUL United States
THE GHOST United Kingdom
GJALLARHORN Finland
GLAZ France
GORGO Ukraine
GRAAL France
THE GREEN CHILDREN Italy
LARKIN GRIMM United States
GROVJOBB Sweden
GROWING DREAM Canada
GRYPHON United Kingdom
GUALBERTO Spain
GURNEMANZ Germany
GWERZ France
HAIZEA Spain
ROY HARPER United Kingdom
HAWK South Africa
HAZARI Yugoslavia
HEAVEN & EARTH United States
L' HERBA D'HAMELÍ Spain
HEXVESSEL Finland
HOELDERLIN Germany
HORIZONTE Argentina
HORSLIPS Ireland
IBIO Spain
ILL WICKER Sweden
ILOUS & DECUYPER France
BRIAN IMIG United States
IN THE LABYRINTH Sweden
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND United Kingdom
INDACO Italy
IONA United Kingdom
IRAKLIS Greece
ITHACA United Kingdom
ITOIZ Spain
ITZIAR Spain
IZUKAITZ Spain
JACK O' THE CLOCK United States
LOS JAIVAS Chile
JAN DUKES DE GREY United Kingdom
JESTER United Kingdom
THE JESTERDAYS Greece
JETHRO TULL United Kingdom
NIGEL MAZLYN JONES United Kingdom
JOX France
JUSTINE Multi-National
KAAMOS Finland
KADWALADYR France
KARNATAKA United Kingdom
CHRIS KARRER Germany
KATALENA Slovenia
KEBNEKAISE Sweden
KERRS PINK Norway
KING FISH CROW United States
KLADIVO KONJ IN VODA Slovenia
KOLIBRI Germany
KOLINDA Hungary
ATTILA KOLLÁR Hungary
KONTRABURGER Poland
KORMORÁN Hungary
KOSMOS Finland
BRUCE LAMONT United States
JÉROME LANGLOIS Canada
LAURELIE Belgium
LEAFBLADE United Kingdom
PERRY LEOPOLD United States
BENITO LERTXUNDI Spain
LI TROUBAIRES DE COUMBOSCURO Italy
LISA O PIU Sweden
LISKER Spain
LONG LIVE DEATH United States
LOT LORIEN Bulgaria
LOUDEST WHISPER Ireland
CLARE LOUISE France
LUCCI MARSOLA TATINI AND BURANI Brazil
LUMSK Norway
MADDEN AND HARRIS Australia
MAGDALENA Spain
MAGICFOLK United Kingdom
MAGMA Argentina
MAJA DE RADO & PORODICNA MANUFAKTURA CRNOG HLEBA Yugoslavia
MALICORNE France
BRIAN MALONE United States
MARLBORO MAN Hungary
JUAN MARTIN Spain
JOHN MARTYN United Kingdom
MARY JANE United Kingdom
MASHMAKHAN Canada
LE MATCH Canada
SHELAGH MCDONALD United Kingdom
ME AND MY KITES Sweden
MELIMELUM Argentina
MELLOW CANDLE Ireland
THE MERLIN BIRD Australia
MESSENGER United Kingdom
MIDLAKE United States
MIDNIGHT CIRCUS Germany
MIDWINTER United Kingdom
MIRANDA SEX GARDEN United Kingdom
DRAGO MLINAREC Yugoslavia
MOĞOLLAR Turkey
COLIN MOLD United Kingdom
MONSEIGNEUR Switzerland
MONTREAL Canada
MOONSTONE Canada
MORMOS United States
THE MORRIGAN United Kingdom
MOSTLY AUTUMN United Kingdom
MOTIS France
THE MOULETTES United Kingdom
MOURNING PHASE United Kingdom
MOVING HEARTS Ireland
MR. BROWN Sweden
MR. TOAD Israel
MUNDI DOMINI Canada
MUSHROOM Ireland
NIRGAL VALLIS Mexico
THE NOCTURNES United States
NOMADS OF HOPE Sweden
MICHEL NORMANDEAU Canada
NORTH SEA RADIO ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
THE NOVA PROJECT United States
NUEVO MEXICO Mexico
NUIT CALINE A LA VILLA MON REVE Belgium
NYA LJUDBOLAGET Sweden
GAVIN O'LOGHLEN & COTTERS BEQUEST Australia
O.W.L. United States
OBERON United Kingdom
OCTOBER PROJECT United States
OLOFERNE Italy
OMNI Spain
OPEN EYE BAND Finland
ORFANADO Italy
ORPHEUS GHOSTSONG United Kingdom
ORYZHEIN Canada
OUGENWEIDE Germany
P. G. SIX United States
PAN-RA Germany
PARADOX Poland
EMMANUELLE PARRENIN France
PARZIVAL Germany
PASTORAL Argentina
PATANGA Germany
JEAN LUC PAYSSAN France
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE / TOM RAPP United States
THE PENTANGLE United Kingdom
PERERIN United Kingdom
LINDA PERHACS United States
PESNIARY (PESNYARY) Belarus
PHOENIX Romania
PIERROT LUNAIRE Italy
PIIRPAUKE Finland
PLANKTON WAT United States
POSITIVE WAVE Finland
A PRESENÇA DAS FORMIGAS Portugal
PRINCIPAL EDWARDS MAGIC THEATRE United Kingdom
PROVIDENCE United States
PRUDENCE Norway
PTARMIGAN Canada
THE PUDDLE JUMPERS United States
QUICKSAND United Kingdom
QUINTAL DE CLOROFILA Brazil
QUINTETO ARMORIAL Brazil
RABBIT RABBIT (CARLA KIHLSTEDT & MATTHIAS BOSSI) United States
RADA & TERNOVNIK (THE BLACKTHORN) Russia
RAGNARÖK Sweden
RAMASES United Kingdom
RASPUTINA United States
REBEKKA Germany
RED JASPER United Kingdom
REIFROCK Germany
REVERIE Italy
RIPAILLE France
RITMIA Italy
ROGER RODIER Canada
BERNARDO RUBAJA Argentina
KARI RUESLATTEN Norway
RUJA Estonia
S VREMENA NA VREME Yugoslavia
SAD MINSTREL Italy
SAGA DE RAGNAR LODBROCK France
SAINT JUST Italy
SAKRE Spain
THE SALLYANGIE United Kingdom
SCAPA FLOW Finland
SCARLET THREAD Finland
NATE SCOBLE United States
SECOS & MOLHADOS Brazil
SECRET GREEN United Kingdom
SEDMINA Yugoslavia
SERPENTYNE United Kingdom
GILLES SERVAT France
SHANNON France
SHAVE THE MONKEY United Kingdom
SHIDE & ACORN United Kingdom
SHINE DIÓN Norway
SILMARIL United States
SINDELFINGEN United Kingdom
SINTESIS Cuba
JIMI SLEVIN Ireland
SMELL OF INCENSE Norway
SOFT HEARTED SCIENTISTS United Kingdom
SORNE United States
SPARIFANKAL Germany
SPIRES THAT IN THE SUNSET RISE United States
SPIROGYRA United Kingdom
SPRIGUNS (OF TOLGUS) United Kingdom
STACKRIDGE United Kingdom
VLATKO STEFANOVSKI Macedonia
ALAN STIVELL France
STONE ANGEL United Kingdom
STÓRSVEIT NIX NOLTES Iceland
STRANGE DAYS United Kingdom
STRAWBS United Kingdom
PEKKA STRENG Finland
STRING CHEESE United States
STRING DRIVEN THING United Kingdom
STUMARI Georgia
SUBURBANO Spain
SUBWAY Multi-National
SÜNDENFALL II Germany
SUPAY Peru
SUR PACIFICO Chile
SUSSITA Israel
SYNANTHESIA United Kingdom
TALAMASCA United States
TALITHA QUMI Romania
TAMALONE Netherlands
TAMARUGO Chile
TANGERINE France
TARENTULE France
TARUJEN SAARI Finland
LOU MAXWELL TAYLOR United States
TEA AND SYMPHONY United Kingdom
TEMPEST United States
TENHI Finland
TERRA MYSTICA Slovenia
BOB THEIL United Kingdom
THE THIRD ESTATE United States
THISTLETOWN United Kingdom
THOBY LOTH Finland
THORK France
THURSAFLOKKURINN Iceland
TIR NA NOG Ireland
TIRILL Norway
TORNAOD France
TRADER HORNE United Kingdom
TREES United Kingdom
THE TREES COMMUNITY United States
TREMBLING BELLS United Kingdom
TRI YANN France
TRIO DAG Yugoslavia
TROCARN Switzerland
TROISIČME RIVE France
TROISSOEUR Belgium
TUATHA DE DANANN Brazil
TUDOR LODGE United Kingdom
TUIMA Finland
TUNEFISH Germany
TURQUOISE Poland
TUSMŘRKE Norway
TYRANNOSAURUS REX (NOT T. REX) United Kingdom
U I BLUE United States
UDRAYA France
UNCLE DIRTYTOES United States
UNGAVA Canada
UNITED BIBLE STUDIES Ireland
STEVE UNRUH United States
UQBAR Argentina
US AND THEM Sweden
VEGA Spain
VIIMA Finland
VOICE OF THE SEVEN WOODS United Kingdom
RILEY WALKER United States
JUNE WALLACK Canada
WATER INTO WINE BAND United Kingdom
WATERTOUCH Sweden
THE WAY WE LIVE United Kingdom
LEAH WAYBRIGHT United States
WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) Germany
WITTHUSER AND WESTRUPP Germany
WOVEN HAND United States
WURTEMBERG France
WYRDGENES United Kingdom
GABRIEL YACOUB France
YAVANNA Germany
YGGDRASIL Germany
YOKE SHIRE United States
YOU AND I Hungary
ZAGUAN Spain
ZARTONG Armenia
ZAUBER Italy
ZEIT Italy
ZLYE KUKLY Israel
ZRNI Czech Republic
ZYWIOLAK Poland

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