Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
A flawed diamond, but still worthwhile
on 28 September 2010
Another reviewer said "supposing you only ever buy one folk album in your life, make sure it's this one".... Well, I followed this advice due to my interest in Davy Graham and this album now sits rather uncomfortably amongst my CD collection. What doesn't help is that I have never really understood what the term "Folk" actually means. But this album is a good showcase for the work of Davy Graham, and has provoked a lot of discussion. It's certainly a good "conversation piece" for guitarists.
Davy Graham is a phenomenal player, highly influential in many genres. My own musical tastes lie in Rock and Blues, so you should bear this in mind when reading my review.
This is a perplexing album and even at the time, it must have been controversial. Graham's playing is inventive and highly distinctive. Well recorded, too.
I wasn't listening to Folk music in 1964 so I don't know what the general standard of ability in UK folk music was, at that time. But I'm aware that Shirley Collins is a darling luvvie of the "Folk Establishment", whereas I am not "steeped in the Tradition"; -therefore I feel unable to comment on Ms. Collins' sense of pitch, empathy or even basic understanding of the songs being performed on the album.
If your interest in this album is mainly with Davy Graham's playing, may I suggest you acquaint yourself with Shirley Collins' work first, before committing yourself. But be reassured. This album was recorded using the "stereo" techniques of 1964, which means the separation between the channels is 100%. This means you can use the balance control on your stereo to accentuate the work of either performer- a feature I have found to be extremely useful.