Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Music For A Polar Vortex, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying About The Weather And Just Listen To Records
Man, it's so cold out there, hitchhikers are holding up pictures of thumbs!"
I discovered Amazing Blondel a couple of years ago when a good number of their LPs turned up in a large collection of vinyl I had purchased. I had seen the name for years but had never heard a note.
Here is the headline from their All Music biography:
"A progressive rock trio with material from pre-19th century madrigals and chamber music, played using medieval or Elizabethan instruments."
The first few records might be exactly as described, I just can't recall as I had sold them all before sampling. But I still own 1973's "Blondel," which is reviewed briefly by Bruce Eder like this:
"The group -- reduced to a duo -- in its swan song for Island Records. The album lacks the panache of their previous albums, although it also has a smoothness that makes each track a very easy listen, and the antique sensibilities are beginning to give away to more modern songwriting techniques."
I can't agree that this LP lacks the panache of previous work as I have nothing at the moment to compare it to. But I did listen to this LP twice yesterday. It's not quite as adventurous as Fairport Convention or even Strawbs, for that matter, but there are moments that evoke both. I was also struck by how much the lead vocalist, either Eddie Baird or Terry Wincott, not sure which, sounds like Brendan Benson.
There are some truly beautiful moments on this record and now, of course, I am interested in the earlier, better-reviewed LPs that I had sold two years ago.