Kevin Bryan reviews some more of the latest music releases.
Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band - No Roses (Talking Elephant). Shirley Collins had already been active on the recording front for more than a decade when she made the momentous decision to capture this seminal electric folk set for posterity in 1971, surrounding herself with the cream of the country’s traditional talent as she sought to breathe new life into a string of classic ballads. Shirley’s then husband Ashley Hutchings shared the production duties with Sandy Roberton as members of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Watersons provided the musical backdrop for the Sussex-born folk singer‘s peerless renditions of compelling ditties such as Poor Murdered Woman, Van Dieman’s Land and the epic Murder of Maria Marten.
Bobby Bare - The Travelin’ Bare/Constant Sorrow/The Streets of Baltimore (Cherry Red). Bobby Bare was one of the prime exponents of the Nashville sound, which represented a conscious attempt on the part of producer Chet Atkins and his cohorts to broaden country music’s commercial appeal by smoothing away the rough edges which had hitherto made the genre so appealing. This unchallenging approach to music-making brought Bare a string of hits during the mid-60s and Cherry Red’s CD re-
issue brings together three of the Ohio-born performer’s albums from this era, serving up polished renditions of everything from Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right to Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee in the process.
Alan Hull - Back To Basics (Talking Elephant). This live unplugged set was recorded at the Mean Fiddler and Blackheath concert halls in January 1994, uniting Lindisfarne’s creative mainstay with multi-instrumentalist Kenny Craddock in a stripped down celebration of the distinctive delights of his illustrious back catalogue.The title parodied the ill fated Back To Basics campaign which had been announced the previous year by John Major’s Conservative government, and the musical content offered a finely judged blend of solo material and crowd-pleasing Lindisfarne hits such as Lady Eleanor and the two closing cuts, Run For Home and the inevitable finale, Fog On The Tyne.
Little Bob Story - The Collection (Retro World). France’s contribution to the rich tapestry of rock hasn’t set too many punters’ pulses racing over the years , but the excellent Little Bob Story represent a noble exception to the rule. Hailing from the port city of Le Havre, their high energy brand of r&b influenced rock prompted favourable comparisons with the likes of Dr.Feelgood and the MC5 when rotund frontman Robert Piazza and his compelling cohorts first burst onto the scene in 1976, and this very worthwhile CD re-issue brings together the four albums that the band recorded for the RCA label during the late 70s and early 80s. Splendid stuff.