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Fairport Convention - The Wood And The Wire CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.36 | 14 ratings

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4 stars One of the best later day Fairport albums by a country mile. Walk awhile with me and I'll tell you about it.

The Wood And The Wire is the first FC line up to feature multi talented Chris Leslie in a more dominant role as a songwriter. It also reunites the band with Fairport chum and ex Sandy Denny, Fotheringay and Cat Stevens drummer Gerry Conway, who took over permanently for the on again, off again Dave Mattacks.

The loss of multi instrumentalist Maartin Allcock (he spells his first name with two As) is immediately felt on this album as Leslie has resigned himself to being primarily a mandolin player who also dabbles on violin at times, and this brings a more folky acoustic sound to this already folk heavy band. However, Leslie is a terrific songwriter and almost every song penned by him for this album is top notch with the title track and Heart Of The Song being among his best. The band also adheres to their great ability of finding and interpreting other writers material as his been their practice through the Allcock years and Western Wind, a traditional song sung by Simon Nichol, has that extra something added to it that only Fairport could provide it.

It's worth noting that original Full House album members, Nichol and Dave Pegg, somehow impart the FC aesthetic into the band's new music and make it feel as if it's it part of a larger whole with past albums like the great Liege and Leif and relatively newer releases like the stellar eighties album's Red And Gold and Jewel In the Crown.

Unfortunately, this heavy reliance on acoustic folk arrangements would wear thin after a few albums, but for the time being, The Wood And The Wire is Fairport Convention at one of their zeniths. Fantastic. 4 stars.

SteveG | 4/5 |


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