Tuesday 17 December 2013

Denny. Sandy - The North Star Grassman and the Ravens (1971)

Sandy Denny.......... Her thirty-one years long life was like a shooting star. Bright and brilliant, but still far too short and unfulfilled. A life cut short by drink and drugs in 1978. So tragic, so tragic. Still so brilliant. When it comes to tragedies the scene has seen, she is up there along Janis Joplin, Alan Gowen, the fallen guys in Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jimi Hendrix.

The tragic is also that most people does not know the name Sandy Denny. So let me remind you that she was probably the best vocalist UK has ever seen, just there among the likes of Annie Haslam and Robert Plant. Her duet with Robert Plant on the Led Zeppelin evergreen The Battle Of Evermore from their IV album is a good example.

She is though most known for her work in Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and her solo albums including the posthumous boxes.

Her voice and her songs..... Truly brilliant. Her face and appearance also bore witness of a truly gifted, yet troubled musician. Very few, if anyone, has done folk music better than Sandy Denny, both solo and in her bands. Her voice just grabs your heart and never really let loose again. Sandy Denny...... one of the greatest ever vocalists in my view.

Her debut/second album The North Star Grassman and the Ravens is a good example of how great she was. It is a true folk music album with some orchestral instruments, piano, guitars, drums and bass. All of them with Sandy Denny's voice in the foreground with the instruments just backing up her and the melodies.

Her voice, her delivery and her conviction is shining through here. Not all songs are great and they are perhaps a bit too dominated by her voice. But this album is still a great album and one I really enjoy. It comes highly recommended.

4 points


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