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Various - Feel The Spirit (Other Worldly Folk Music Gems And Psychedelics)

  by Andrew Carver

published: 7 / 7 / 2006



Various - Feel The Spirit (Other Worldly Folk Music Gems And Psychedelics)
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Intriguing compilation of lost folk rock and psychedelia from the late 1960's and early 1970's


'Feel The Spirit’ is a 16-track compilation by noted techno and house producer Mark Pritchard. It’s described as a collection of ‘Other Wordly Folk Music Gems and Psychedelics’, but it will probably appeal more to fans of the Cherrystones compilations and Andy Votel’s ‘Folk Is Not A Four-Letter Word’ (with which it shares a few artists, but no songs) than fans of work by Simon Finn, Comus, the Incredible String Band and Jan Dukes de Grey. Grabbing tracks from the late 1960's and early ‘70s it’s definitely an interesting listen. Fans of folk rock will find some tantalising music from unusual sources. A prime example is ‘Righteous Life’ plucked from Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66’s ‘Stillness’ (1971). A good call since the song is far more folk rock than Mendes’ usual boss nova. The same can be said for ‘Mr. Man’, from jazz combo Air’s self-titled 1970 debut. The trippy ‘Magician in the Mountain’ from Sunforest’s sole album 1969 fits the ‘psychedelic folk’ tag better than most of the selections on ‘Feel the Spirit’, and one can hardly quibble with the inclusion of a song from Donovan,. ‘Get Thy Bearings’ (from 1968’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’) is a fine track, but like many others it seems to have been selected because its bridge would make a nifty sample (that snappy snare, sax and thrumming bass make for a killer combo). One can imagine the funky beat and flute at the end of Heaven and Earth’s title track serving a similar purpose on a track by the Dream Warriors or De La Soul. Most of the songs also feature a strong female vocal with jazzy flourishes. Bonnie Dobson’s ‘Winter Going’ has a standout vocal performance. Its eastern touches and murderous lyrics also give it a singular flavour. Linda Perhacs’ ‘Chimacum Rain’ is also excellent, with spare, eerie music and a dreamy tumbling, multi-tracked vocal. Christine Harwood’s ‘Wooden Ships’ is also superb. The compilation does occasionally stroll into territory better described as vocal harmony than folk: Barbara and Ernie’s ‘For You’ and the Free Design’s ‘An Elegy’ belong to the same school of music as the Millennium, It’s A Beautiful Day and the Association. Appealing, but a little outside the compilation's bailiwick to my ears. Since I’m reviewing from a promo copy I can’t rate the quality of the liners (a vital part of any archival release, in my book), but the music is never less than intriguing.



Track Listing:-
1 Heaven & Earth- Feel The Spirit
2 Air- Mr Man
3 Sunforest- Magician In The Mountain
4 Hard Meat- Free Wheel
5 Fairport Convention- Autopsy
6 Donovan- Get Thy Bearings
7 Christine Harwood- Wooden Ships
8 Barbara & Ernie- For You
9 Bonnie Dobson- Winter's Going
10 Nancy Priddy- Ebony Glass
11 Vashti Bunyan- Rose Hip November
12 Linda Perhacs- Chimacum Rain
13 The Sound Of Feeling- Along Came Sam
14 The Free Design- An Elegy
15 Kathy Smith- End Of The World



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