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Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus

Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus (Trailer LES 2076)

Bright Phoebus
Songs by Lal & Mike Waterson

Trailer Records LES 2076 (LP, UK, September 1972, reissued ca. 1985)
Trailer/Leader LESCD 2076 (CD-R, UK, October 2000)

Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus (Trailer LESCD 2076)
Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus (Domino REWIGCD102X)

Domino REWIGLP102 / REWIGLP102X / REWIGCD102X (LP / 2 LP / 2 CD, UK, August 4, 2017)

Lal & Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus (Domino REWIGCD102X booklet)

Recorded and produced by Bill Leader, Leader Sound Studios;
Production master by Nic Kinsey, Livingston Studios;
2017 reissue project co-ordination for Domino by Bart McDonagh and David Suff;
Re-mastering from the original master tapes by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering;
Liner notes by Pete Paphides;
Design by Matthew Cooper and Paul J. Street

See also Shining Bright: Songs of Lal & Mike Waterson.

Musicians

Mike Waterson, vocals [1-2, 5, 7, 10, 12], acoustic guitar [12];
Lal Waterson, vocals [1, 3-4, 6-10, 12];
Norma Waterson, vocals [1, 7, 10-12];
Tim Hart, vocals [1, 7, 10, 12], tambourine [1];
Maddy Prior, vocals [1, 7, 10, 12];
Bob Davenport, vocals [6];
Gordon Graham, Bernie Vickers, vocals [7];

Martin Carthy, acoustic guitar [2-12], vocals [7, 10, 12];
Richard Thompson, lead guitar [5, 7, 10, 12], rhythm guitar [1], acoustic guitar [2-4, 6, 8-9];
Ashley Hutchings, bass guitar [1, 5, 7, 9-10, 12];
Dave Mattacks, drums [1, 5, 7-10, 12];

Sammy Rimmington, clarinet [1];
Dennis Field, cornet [1];
Keith Nicholls, trombone [1];
Richard Gold, rubber band [1];
Bill Leader, jew's harps [1];
Clare Deniz, cello [3, 8];
Sue Harris, oboe [3]

Note: Martin Carthy wrote in the 2013 Telegraph article The English folk-music scene in Hull in 1973 that Anne Briggs “did a couple of choruses”. But Ken Hunt noted that, although Anne Briggs went along to the sessions, she did not sing on any recordings in her recollection.

Tracks

LP Side 1 / CD 1LP Side 2 / CD 1
  1. Rubber Band (2.59)
  2. The Scarecrow (3.49)
  3. Fine Horseman (3.33)
  4. Winifer Odd (2.41)
  5. Danny Rose (2.44)
  6. Child Among the Weeds (3.42)
  1. The Magical Man (2.49)
  2. Never the Same (2.57)
  3. To Make You Stay (2.16)
  4. Shady Lady (3.21)
  5. Red Wine Promises (3.06)
  6. Bright Phoebus (2.54)
LP Side 3 / CD 2: 1971 DemosLP Side 4 / CD 2: 1971 Demos
  1. Danny Rose (2.50)
  2. Fine Horseman (3.18)
  3. Winifer Odd (3.01)
  4. Child Among the Weeds (3.25)
  5. The Magical Man (3.01)
  6. Bright Phoebus (2.08)
  1. Red Wine Promises (3.04)
  2. Song for Thirza (4.27)
  3. The Scarecrow (3.49)
  4. Never the Same (2.38)
  5. One of Those Days (2.11)
  6. Jack Frost (2.50)

Video

Comments

Lal and Mike Waterson The Magical Man appeared on the seminal 4LP collection Electric Muse too. These are the sleeve notes for this track:

When Norma Waterson left to work in radio in foreign parts, after travelling for a living had nearly broken them, never mind their folk group, the Watersons took up regular jobs. But both Mike and Lal found themselves writing contemporary songs, which were recorded by Bill Leader for a remarkable album, Bright Phoebus. On this track with them are Norma, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings and Dave Mattacks. Having made their name as an entirely unaccompanied group, the Watersons had then gathered some of the finest musicians around them to produce the definitive contemporary folk rock album.

A note from Martin Jonas:

In 1972, Mike and Lal joined forces to record an album for the Trailer label, Bright Phoebus, which is most unlike anything else they ever did, as it features self-penned songs (of which there are none on any of their other albums) as well as an all-star instrumental backing band, including Richard Thompson and Ashley Hutchings.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the folks at Musikfolk for the scan when I didn't yet have the LP. Thanks also to Wolfgang Hell and Susanne Kalweit for some corrections to the lyrics.

See also Jon Wilks' Folk from the Attic blog Marry Waterson on Bright Phoebus: an album of myth and magic for all the family.