Sunday, July 1, 2007

Trees - On the Shore (1970/2007 Remaster)

This is an exceptional album and a remastered and expanded version is truly an exciting event! The original version of 'On The Shore' was released a year after Fairport's Liege and Lief, which was recently voted the most infuential folk album of all time. I've listened to both albums many times over the years but I think I return more often to Trees than Fairport. Sure, there's no Richard Thompson, and Celia Humphries' voice is not as expressive as Sandy Denny's and the writing skills of both those alumni from Fairport Convention went on to produce some breathtaking music.

However, I do believe that if Trees had stayed together for a few more albums they would now have a much higher profile and history would have accorded them a much greater respect.

The songs here are a mix of trad.-arranged and originals by the group, as on Liege and Lief. The instrumental sections are every bit as strong as, for example, Thompson and Swarbrick on 'Matty Groves' (just listen to the interplay here on 'Streets of Derry') and generally the music is heavier than Fairport's: I always crank up the volume as 'Polly On The Shore' comes to a close and one day I am sure my hi-fi will go up in smoke! It can of course be argued that without Fairport, Trees might not have existed, but they certainly deserve more recognition than they currently receive.

The extra disc in this set is exciting because so little material, apart from the original 'On The Shore' and their first album, 'The Garden of Jane Delawney', has been released. There is an Italian bootleg made by the final incarnation of Trees before they broke up in 1973 and that's about it.

But whatever the quality of the extra material, this package is worth every penny for the original album alone (assuming the remastering has been done effectively). Buy it! Tell them I said you could!

Line up
Bias Boshell / guitar, vocals
Unwin Brown / drums, vocals
Barry Clark / guitar
David Costa / guitar
Tony Cox / bass
Celia Humphris / keyboards, vocals
Michael Jeffries / harp

Track list
Disc: 1
1. Soldiers Three
2. Murdoch
3. Streets Of Derry
4. Sally Free And Easy
5. Fool
6. Adam's Toon
7. Geordie
8. While The Iron Is Hot
9. Little Sadie
10. Polly On The Shore
Tracks 1-10,Original Album,Remaster.

Disc: 2
1. Soldiers Three
2. Murdoch
3. Streets Of Derry
4. Fool
5. Geordie
6. Little Sadie
7. Polly On The Shore
8. Forest Fire (BBC Session)
9. Little Black Cloud (Demo)
Tracks 1-7 ,Remixed versions

Disc 1:

Disc 2:

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