An ‘Irish Pub’, will be only a ‘pub’ in Ireland. An ‘English Breakfast’ will be only a ‘Breakfast’ if you’re in England, and ‘Acid/Psych Folk’ will only be ‘folk’ if it was created in the end of the 60’s/early 70’s. Ok, I guess you could call it alternative folk as well. In anyway, it’s a slippery definition.
Folk music has never been so popular, thanks Mr. internet, and old heroes gets a wider recognition then ever (Bert Jansch is opening for Neil Young), and totally obscure bands like The Sun Also Rises becomes the bread and butter for every psych head out there. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s great.
In the center of the UK movement of the so called ‘psych folk’, there was an interesting man called Ian A. Anderson (No, not the Jethro Tull dude).
Aside from being a musician and a session player (and today, editor of the folk magazine fRoots), he was also the man behind the underground alternative folk label Village Thing, home of the likes of Wizz Jones and Steve Tilston. Recently, the label had celebrated its 40 years anniversary, and a beautiful tribute album was released. The label lived a very short life, but the releases were just amazing, at least all of the releases I’ve heard.
Now, it’s time for Anderson’s own music to get a new recognition by the new audience out there, who wishes to hear how the authentic acid folk sounded like, years before the trend. 20 Tracks appears in Time Is Ripe, a collection of songs from four of Anderson’s albums between 70-73. Production is kept minimal, just a guitar and his voice. Songs are somewhere between the personal singer/songwriter and the general blues, very beautiful and interesting. The sound is great, as the tracks were uploaded from the original masters. In short – if you’re into the Wizz Jones/Tilston/Softer side of Jansch – this is an album you should have.
This reissue should be bought together with the new Village Thing compilation Ghosts From The Basement, with 20 tracks of your to-be-favorite artists.