The Softly '70s

Duncan Browne, "Give Me, Take You" (Immediate; 1968).

Alun Davies, "Old Bourbon" (Columbia; 1972).

Alan Hull, "One More Bottle of Wine" (Warner Bros.; 1975).

Amazing Blondel, "The Lovers" (DJM; 1975).

Barclay James Harvest, "The Sun Will Never Shine" (Sire; 1970).

John Martyn, "Certain Surprise" (Island; 1977). eMusic

Colin Blunstone, "I Don't Believe in Miracles" (Epic; 1973). iTunes

Caravan, "Lover" (Repertoire; 1975).

Cat Stevens, "Bitterblue" (A&M; 1971).

Trees, "The Garden of Jane Delawney" (BGO; 1970).

Gilbert O'Sullivan, "Out of the Question" (Mamou; 1972).

Bee Gees, "Edge of the Universe" (Polydor; 1975).

Robert Wyatt, "I'm a Believer" (Thirsty Ear; 1981).

Gryphon, "Don't Say Go" (Transatlantic; 1975). iTunes

The Albion Country Band, "New St. George/La Rotta" (BGO; 1976).

Barry Dransfield, "Broken Barricades" (Polydor/Spinney; 1972).

Mike and Lal Waterson, "Bright Phoebus" (Trailer; 1972).

Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band, "The Murder of Maria Marten" (Mooncrest; 1971). iTunes

This is the last mix CD I made for a friend. It was mainly geared toward music I thought my friend might like that he may not have heard—so if your musical taste is like this man you've never met, there might be a few things here for you. Actually, I take that back: Everybody will like one thing on here—and, of course, it's worth sitting through the other 17, because I like it all. Here are notes on a few of them:

1. From a masterpiece of baroque harmony and pop arrangement, the Zombies-esque title track.

2. Alun Davies made only one album, spending most of his musical career as Cat Stevens' right-hand guitar player. I tried to cover this song, but it is too moving for me to sing.

3. Hull was the lead singer of Lindisfarne, who weren't very famous in America—I mention it in the spirit of musical nerdiness.

4. Blondel started as a Renaissance band with crumhorns and sackbuts, but then they jacked it in when the main medievalist agitator left and became '70s.

6. Martyn was one of those folkies who felt limited by the genre and did everything possible to avoid playing the acoustic guitar. This was his biggest album.

7. Post-Zombies Blunstone has some very high points. This is the perfect pop song.

10. "Oh, the rose that's there/Don't pluck it as you pass/For a fire will consume your hair/And your eyes will turn to glass."

11. I am going to steal this very persuasive groove, thus depriving Gilbert of even more royalties.

14. Did prog-folk ever happen? I'm afraid so. I love Gryphon. This was their only vaguely poppy single, so I tried to sneak it onto this mixtape in case my friend thought it was good, and I could press Red Queen to Gryphon Three (their epic instrumental album) upon him. No such luck.

17. The song that first persuaded me that music with mainly voices could be acceptable to the human ear.

18. A bona fide folk-rock classic, and the song that caused the formation of the Minstrel in the Galleries—the birth of Cloak Rock.

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John Wesley Harding & Friends: Songs of Misfortune plays Bagley Wright Theatre during Bumbershoot at 4:15 p.m. Sun., Sept. 4. $28 one-day pass/$45 two-day pass/$80 four-day pass; $8 ages 5–12 and 65 and over. www.bumbershoot.org.

 
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