be oblique, for much of the time overtly religious in tone, and if I'm totally honest I'd express a reservation about the last few songs, the final two (and the bonus track Doxology) in particular, which don't. Yet even within the satire, the righteous ridicule of figures of pomposity or authority, there's often also an almost painful degree of compassion, and a healthy tolerance and acceptance of other human beings. Alchemy included such quintessential Third Ear workouts as Ghetto Raga and Mosaic alongside shorter essays such as the altogether folkier Lark Rise, while there was even a guest appearance by John Peel, pinging a jew's harp through Area Three. Inspiringly and aptly taking its title from essay on ecotourism in hindi Tolkien, this new offering is a triumph, with no sense whatever of him being lost in, or in any way overshadowed by, the considerable and fully-fledged talents of illustrious musicians from the bluegrass stable. On Again!) with a sizeable array of bonus material in the shape of previously-unissued studio recordings from 1970, a different (mono) acoustic version of his first LP, singles (including the French version of La Di Da/Le Cygne Noir plus sundry demos and alternate versions.
So, plaudits all round for making it sound more like a Grand Old Opry radio session by a bunch of mates gathered together to share their mutual love of the genre without feeling any need to reinvent the wheel. Org David Kidman April 2007 Trees - On The Shore (Expanded Edition) (Sony) This has to be one of the candidates for reissue of the year! The intervening years have seen the band touring extensively and much feted across the world; their sound, with its intense and rather sultry guitar work, grinding and often unpredictable rhythmic elements and wild vocals, has found a great deal of unexpected crossover appeal. But when you do, there's always the memories, the photo album - this album. Maintaining the switch between piano and guitar, Let Her Go is an early version of one of my favourite songs,. Tortora's voice could do with a little more edge. This is funky and has plenty of attitude. I can't resist focusing on a few more highlights: the seriously beautiful Old Thames Side, the deep-toned yet sweetly ingratiating wheedling of Precious One, and the gunmetal-grey premonition of A Solitary Life (a "life of small horizons" up there in Muswell Hill).
Searching for clues to the band's originality leads us to its genesis, an almost accidental coming-together through a network of friends. Recorded in Hollywood under the supervision of John Chewel, producer of Five Blind Boys of Alabama (so a man who knows a thing or two of bringing the most out of the basics it teams Thompson with long time cohort Danny Thompson on double bass. Throughout the album, the musicians' gently dynamic performances have a seasoned feel that belies their youth, and that comment applies equally to the tight ensemble work and to the individual contributions of the players.
Others come from the repertoires of Kildare fiddler Muintir U Chatháin, Séamus Ennis, Michael Coleman and Clare whistler Micho Russell, so there's no overt bias towards Sligo-sourced tunes here! By the time the band came to record On The Shore, however, even those remarkable features had moved on apace, the songs of innocence swiftly becoming songs of experience if you like, with an astonishing assuredness and maturity extending to all aspects of Trees' art. Gethsemane is a powerful opener with its images of "headstones.crypts and tombs" and "war-whoops and secret signs in the trees" as it details loss of innocence and a crushing of spirit (a striking reference to army bullying) to a driving classic Thompson guitar and surging. In 1983 Tiger Moth unleashed on the unsuspecting world a landmark single (a for-its-day somewhat iconoclastic rendition of Speed The Plough then in 19 there followed two LPs which increasingly took their cues from tunes from world sources (ie. All of these are sincere and genuinely respectful, and some are quite inspirational too. Almost as strange, but somehow rather more musical, is Kaiser's Twin-Peaks-style playlet Days Of Our Lives (Zappa meets Rawlinson's End, anyone?). Taylor recommends that you listen to it 'in a dark room, with a candle or t definitely horizontal.' I'm more inclined to think it will have you spinning in the sunshine. And continental Europe are not easily accessible for. So, listening to the entirely fitting memorial that's represented by this handsome six-discs'-worth of Jake's recordings, of course we're doing more than just "gather a bud or two" in his memory.