Wednesday Night Music Byte
Lynnrockets recently watched the film Julie & Julia about a thirty year old New Yorker who decided to cook every dish in one of Julia Childs’ cookbooks and to blog about it. It was a novel idea so we decided to copy it. No, we will not be cooking in the usual sense (that could start a fire). Rather, we will adapt the recipe a day concept to our nightly music bytes. From now to infinity (didn’t somebody else coin that phrase?) we will post a music video and brief description of the artist or song in a sort of alphabetical order as culled from Tom Moon’s wonderful reference book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (A Listener’s Life List). The book describes both whole albums (remember those) and individual songs from all music genres that are essential listening. Do yourselves a favor and purchase this book. Where the book deals with an individual song, we will post that song, but when an entire album is the subject, we will exercise judicial discretion and post a single song therefrom. So what do you say, let’s get cooking…
Fairport Convention Liege and Lief – “Matty Groves” (1969)
To appreciate how far Fairport Convention took British folk, cue up its version of the traditional murder ballad “Matty Groves”, one of several groundbreaking reworkings of old tunes on the band’s exquisite Liege and Lief. It starts as a relatively conventional yarn, with vocalist Sandy Denny retelling how a cheating wife met a violent end. As the tale winds down, guitarist Richard Thompson steps out of the shadows. He doesn’t immediately assert himself; instead he picks up Denny’s sense of tragedy and incorporates it into what becomes a guitar epic. What follows, over the next four minutes, is not folk and not rock, it’s more like an instrumental treatise on honor and betrayal offered by a shrewd student of human nature. The rest of the album is equally captivating.