Mudcat Café message #2998604 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132501   Message #2998604
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
03-Oct-10 - 07:04 AM
Thread Name: What is psych folk...?
Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
Basically Psych Folk is music touching at any point upon the Folk Aesthetic with reference to the more expansive, improvised & ethnically inspired territories associated with Psychedia - although maybe less Lysergic acid diethylamide than Psilocybe semilanceata. So all of the above (I actually passed on the ISB's 'U' double CD reissue for 3 yesterday in Fop, much preferring my original vinyl; I went for Miles Davis' 'Big Fun' for 9 instead!) and more besides: Popol Vuh, early Kraftwerk (up to & including the very pastoral 'Autobahn', but try their third album 'Ralf & Florian' first) Peter Bellamy (especially on 'Merlins Isle of Gramarye' & 'Oak Ash & Thorn') Sarah Clitheroe (whose 1976 set of field-recorded supernatural Child Ballads 'Seven Years a Tongue to the Warning Bell' has yet to be equalled), Daevid Allen (his acoustic trilogy of 'Good Morning', 'Now is the Happiest Time of your Life' and 'N'existe Pas' is very worthy in this respect, but check The Owly Song for some of the finest pysch folk ever). Then of course there's Michael Hurley, and the Holy Modal Rounders school of things, which is an entire psychedelic folk cosmos of its own.

For my money, however, the acid-drenched freely improvised modal medieval alchemical Druid dronings of the Third Ear Band is psychedelic folk at its very highest. Coincidentally, I've just bunged a very rare Sounds of the 70s live set from July 1970 across to Luca Ferrari which you can access freely via the equally expansive (and potentially minbdblowing) but entirely official Third Esar blogspot Getto Raga. Last year I edited some images from hereabouts to the Third Ear Band's 'Eternity in D' from a 1971 live session. This features a more electric sound, but is still replete with the chilling improvised interplay between oboe & violin which typifies their particular (and peculiar) approach. Miles Davis fans will immediately spot the influence of 'Bitches Brew' (the basic riff is ripped off wholesale) but might tale heart that the bass player here is Paul Buckmaster who was a noted influence on Miles's thinking at this time. Check it out:

Today, Folk Police notwithstanding, the best of Pysch Folk might be found on John Barleycorn Reborn - A Discovery of Dark Brittanica - two further couble CD sets coming soon I believe...