Sandy Denny - The North Star Grassman & The Ravens

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Following the breakup of the short-lived Fotheringay, Sandy Denny returned with her first post-Fairport solo album, 'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens' in 1971. Produced with ex-bandmate Richard Thompson and longtime engineer John Wood, who would go on to produce the bulk of Thompson's work with Linda Thompson, the record consists of eight evocative Denny originals, along with the traditional 'Blackwaterside' and a pair of borrowed rockers. There's a looseness and roominess to the sound, with acoustic guitar, piano, and Thompson's electric guitar leading the sparse backing from former members of Fotheringay, along with the occasional accordion, violin, pedal steel, and strings. Because her songs tend to lean towards the melancholy, and are primarily on the slow to mid-tempo side, Denny had to look elsewhere for upbeat material. Choices such as Brenda Lee's 'Let's Jump the Broomstick' and a ragged, yet somewhat effective, duet with Thompson on Bob Dylan's 'Down in the Flood,' are good ones.åÊ

LP - 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl by Back to Black.