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Seasons They Change: The Story Of Acid And Psychedelic Folk

Seasons They Change: The Story Of Acid And Psychedelic Folk [Kindle Edition]

Jeanette Leech , Greg Weeks
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A year-round companion for freak-flag wavers everywhere… Carefully researched and littered with interviews, Seasons They Change achieves the impossible in drawing together the myriad, disparate stands of a genre which, in its heyday, was usually dismissed as a blot on the landscape. It's only in hindsight that acid-folk is now recognised and appreciated in its own right. --Mojo, February 2011

The fascinating story of experimental folk music over the past 40 years is the subject of this excellent book by historian, DJ and writer Jeanette Leech… Jeanette's book is not only a history of the fall and rise of folk music but also sets the music in its wider social and historical context. --Choice magazine, February 2011

Labour-of-love survey of acid folk, from Davy Graham's altered tunings to Joanna Newsom's celestial harpings… a singular, exhaustive and, you feel, personal mission to tell the story of acid folk... an engaging celebration of music from the fringes, and all the tears and joy that go with it. --Record Collector, February 2011

Product Description

In the late 60s and early 70s the inherent weirdness of folk met switched-on psychedelic rock and gave birth to new, strange forms of acoustic-based avant garde music. Artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Incredible String Band, Vashti Bunyan, Pearls Before Swine, and Comus, combined sweet melancholy and modal melody with shape-shifting experimentation to create sounds of unsettling oddness that sometimes go under the name acid or psych folk. A few of these artists – notably the String Band, who actually made it to Woodstock – achieved mainstream success, while others remained resolutely entrenched underground. But by the mid-70s even the bigger artists found sales dwindling, and this peculiar hybrid musical genre fell profoundly out of favour. For 30 years it languished in obscurity, apparently beyond the reaches of cultural reassessment, until, in the mid 2000s a new generation of artists collectively tagged 'New Weird America' and spearheaded by Devendra Banhart, Espers, and Joanna Newsom rediscovered acid and psych folk, revered it and from it, created something new. Thanks partly to this new movement, many original acid and psych folk artists have re-emerged, and original copies of rare albums command high prices. Meanwhile, both Britain and America are home to intensely innovative artists continuing the tradition of delving simultaneously into contemporary and traditional styles to create something unique. Seasons They Change tells the story of the birth, death and resurrection of acid and psych folk. It explores the careers of the original wave of artists and their contemporary equivalents, finding connections between both periods, and uncovering a previously hidden narrative of musical adventure.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2930 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone Press (1 Nov 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #253,007 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on acid folk 28 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeanette Leech's "Seasons they change" is an excellent and enjoyable book about acid (or psychedelic) folk, and you may be surprised to find how many artists can be tagged "acid folk". She handles the subject in a sympathetic and gentle way and if her style is somewhat terse, this is quite likely due to space limitations - considering the 350+ pages (though personally I wouldn't object to a considerabe expansion).

It's obviously well-researched and apparently she's spoken to quite a few of the artists she writes about. And there are a lot of them. I rummaged through my collection and practically all of them feature in this book (which made me realise how much of an acid folkie I am!). From the pivotal Incredible String Band to Pearls Before Swine, from COB to Circulus, from Vashti Bunyan to Holderlins Traum, from Mr Fox to Stone Breath, they're all here (except for, puzzlingly, Faun Fables).

Leech sticks to the facts and embellishes these with quotes from those involved, and thus avoids unnecessary and unwanted notions. When she does ventilate opinions (for a large part in her assessment of who's important and who's less so) I generally agree with her. She bravely undertakes to bring a narrative thread to the multitude of facts, persons and times she brings up, and this is perhaps the area where she's least successful - but no blame there as far as I'm concerned. Additional editing should eliminate a few typos like "Quicksilver Message Service".

The physical aspect of the book is fine as well, excepting its binding - it takes some effort to keep it open.

A warning is due: this book is dangerous. It makes you want to look into artists you weren't aware of, which will certainly drain more money from your pocket. Otherwise, it's highly recommended, nay, quite obligatory for all who take interest in folk that's not solely "trad.arr".
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive 6 Jan 2011
A well researched history of the origins, life, death and resurrection of Acid and Psychedelic Folk. It's brought to life by a plethora of interviews specially undertaken for the book.

There's so much breadth, information and detail that I found it important to listen to Jeanette Leech's accompanying Spotify playlist. This complimented the reading experience and gave life to strands that I wasn't familiar with. Indeed, if she hasn't thought of it already, I suggest that she produce a series of sampler albums under the same 'Seasons of Change' banner.

A beautifully presented book, readable and informative.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally thorough history of acid folk 12 Jun 2011
"Cosmic Tumble Drier was founded by Jefferson Stoner, formerly bass player in Norwich-based prog rock outfit Jam Sponge, together with percussionist Mungo Zboing (formerly Paul Smith) and virtuoso violinist Amelia Molecatcher. After touring the university circuit for a couple of years, it was spotted by Ebenezer Hare and signed to his Majestic Hat Stand label. The group's first album, `The Wizard walks from East to West and back again' emerged in 1971. This delicate succession of moody, wafer thin folk was heavily influenced by traditional Celtic music and West Coast psychedelia, and sold 57 copies. This was followed by `All Hail to the Goddess of the Trouser' (1973), a rougher-edged, more dynamic composition introducing elements of blues and brass band music. However, the cracks were already beginning to show. At a performance in Milton Keynes, disagreements over the correct use of a Corby Trouser Press saw the band disintegrate: Stoner went on to play in a series of psychedelic folk groups, most notably Druidic Fridge and Toboggan Wheel Harmony Experience, while Molecatcher enjoyed some success with death metal outfit, Extreme Terror Donut. Zboing, meanwhile, dropped out of the scene altogether to fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming a traffic warden."

That's a paragraph taken from chapter 7 of `Seasons They Change'. No it isn't, I'm lying. I just made it up. However, it might as well have been.

Now, please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not taking the mickey. Well, alright I am, but only a little and affectionately. The truth is that this is a good book and I enjoyed it. It has many strong points, foremost amongst them that the author has done an incredibly thorough job of researching every aspect of alt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wide -ranging 3 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extremely interesting and well-written book, and provided me with a lot of new information and leads, and I've been listening to this kind of music since 1965. I'd certainly agree with what seems to be Leech's central view, namely that the key group in all this process is The Incredible String Band.Many of the groups are new names to me, and I'm starting to buy some, starting with Pearls before Swine's recent double cd reissue " The use of ashes"/ "These things too". Inevitably in a book of this scope there are omissions, and I find it surprising that Richard Thompson's post Fairport Convention work isn't mentioned nor is John Martyn's work and, given that this book tries to straddle the Folk/Psychedelic divide, I would personally have included my pre-eminent pychedelic group Country Joe and the Fish. Other names I feel should be included would be Robyn Hitchcock and Stan Ridgway. Nonetheless this is the best overview I've read of this fascinating area and is highly recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and stirs the memories
This is a useful and informative book which digs into the Acid Folk movement of the 60s and shows how its influences still exist today. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gary Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars Well seasoned ..
To research, explore and explain the whole story of Acid and Psychedelic folk is a monumental undertaking, but Greg Weeks has done a superb job in so doing and has produced a tome... Read more
Published 12 months ago by K. Todd
4.0 out of 5 stars The Money pit
At times the book does sound a bit like the Monty Python " Toad the wet sprocket" sketch where the band goes through a myriad of name and personnel changes. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bugs
5.0 out of 5 stars Birth Death & Resurrection
There's so much information in this book of 366 pages that its impossible for the newcomer to keep up. Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2011 by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book about crap music
I bought this book out of greed and by mistake (I saw "acid" and "psychedelic", and didn't pay an attention to "folk"). Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2011 by Golovanov Alexey
4.0 out of 5 stars An acid masterpiece
I finished this book in few days. It is like the encyclopedia of acid folk music from beginning to end. Read more
Published on 26 April 2011 by prog
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview, Omissions Notwithstanding
This is a most readable book and contains a great wealth of information on a vast time-scale covering all kinds of slightly skewed folk and folk-related music. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2011 by R. Turner
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