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GUEST,Guest Bright Phoebus reissued/Radio Documentary (83* d) RE: Bright Phoebus reissued 27 Mar 21


Track Listing

1 Rubber Band -Waterson 2:55
2 Scarecrow -Waterson 3:48
3 Fine Horseman -Waterson 3:24
4 Winifer Odd- -Waterson 2:47
5 Danny Rose Waterson 2:40
6 Child Among the Weeds -Collins, Waterson 3:40
7 Magical Man -Collins, Waterson 2:44
8 Never the Same -Waterson 2:54
9 To Make You Stay -Waterson 2:11
10 Shady Lady -Waterson 3:17
11 Red Wine and Promises -Waterson 3:02
12 Bright Phoebus Waterson 2:55

When the Watersons, exhausted from touring, decided to take an "undefined" break in 1968, siblings Lal and Mike went into the studio with some of British folk's most revered players and cut Bright Phoebus. Not content to stay true to their penchant for reinterpretations of traditional tunes, the pair unleashed what would become their only collection of original material, and one of the most sought-after recordings in the history of the genre. Beginning with the "Beatlesque" "Rubber Band," which features such oddball contemporary lyrics as "Just like margarine our fame is spreading," Bright Phoebus declares its intentions as the folk equivalent of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. However, it's not all "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," as evidenced by Lal's devastating -- and oft-covered -- tale of loneliness, drink, and regret, "Red Wine Promises," featuring a beautiful guest vocal by Norma Waterson. All of the players, Tim Hart, Maddy Prior, Ashley Hutchings, and even producer Bill Leader, work as a single organism to bring these unique and beautiful songs to life, and the ever-present dual acoustic guitar assault of Richard Thompson and Martin Carthy gives the recording a downright biblical base from which to expound on. There are psychedelic deviations ("Magical Man"), country-tinged romps ("Danny Rose"), and achingly haunting ballads ("The Scarecrow"), but it's the singularly perfect title track that provides the most goose bumps. It's a pagan campfire singalong that manages to both intrigue and inspire while simultaneously ripping your heart out for no apparent reason. That sentiment describes much of Bright Phoebus, and while its dark charms have been quelled for years due to licensing agreements and general mismanagement, the songs themselves have only grown in strength, waiting patiently for their inevitable day in the sun, and the well-deserved accolades of the masses.


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