Mudcat Café message #2459688 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #115069   Message #2459688
Posted By: Spleen Cringe
07-Oct-08 - 06:49 PM
Thread Name: 70s Folk Rock
Subject: RE: 70s Folk Rock
I think the problem with much post-70s folk rock is exactly as described by Redmax... they tried to update the sound and ended up sounding gimmicky and awful. I'd also agree with him in pointing you towards the continent: from France, La Bamboche, the aforementioned and truly wonderful Malicorne and if you can find it, stuff by bands like Sourdeline, Avaric and Tarantule. Further north, there is an album called "Dutch Rare Folk" you should get your hands on, and some interesting German stuff. PM me if you want more comprehensive details...

As for contemporary stuff that references 70s folk-rock without trying to replicate it (we could call it modern electric folk)... well, as I type I'm listening to a cracking e.p. called "The Fabric of Folk" by the Owl Service and Alison O'Donnell (ex of Mellow Candle, Flibbertigibbet etc). It's on Static Caravan Records. The Owl Service album, "A Garland of Songs", on Southern Records, is a beaut. Personally, I can also hear those folkrockin' influences in Pumajaw, especially the new album "Curiosity Box" on Fire Records and of course, on Alisdair Roberts' masterly "No Earthly Man" on Drag City. Even if you don't think the influences are there, they are still blindingly good records. Much rockier at times and, I suppose, more 'conventional' are Mary Jane, who have four albums out - I think "The Gates of Silent Memory" is probably my favourite (imagine a rockier Trees).

I think the problem of folk rock is that if your rock isn't good enough, your folk won't make up for it, and vice versa. Too much of what passes for folk-rock (and I do prefer the term 'electric folk' in some ways) is dull, bland and pedestrian. Folk-pubrock, if you will.

Mr Fox will always be my favourites, I think.

Now, if someone out their could marry up hauntingly sung traditional ballads with the ecstatic avant-rock bliss-outs of Godspeed You Black Emperor, I'd sign 'em up tommorrow! Seriously.

Meanwhile, if you mine the 70s seam too deeply, as represented by some of the reissues on Kissing Spell and other labels, you very soon get to some right old shite...