donovan

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as donovan.

Devendra Banhart: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL)

Devendra Banhart: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL)

Widely credited as the figurehead of the neo-folk movement (which owes more to early jazzy folk-rocking Donovan than Dylan in its encompassing vision and musical ambition), Texas-born Banhart has delivered a series of fascinating albums notable for their diversity. Drawing on traditional folk, world music and trippy psychedelic styles (and...

JUDEE SILL (1944-79): The disappearing crayon angel

JUDEE SILL (1944-79): The disappearing crayon angel

There seem an alarming number of women musicians written out of popular culture: Doris Troy, Minnie Ripperton, Laura Nyro, Judy Henske, Mireille Mathieu, folk-rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill . . . And who these days even cites Janis Joplin either as an influence, or simply as someone worthy of serious critical or popular attention? These (and...

Shawn Phillips: Landscape (1972)

Shawn Phillips: Landscape (1972)

Back in the late Sixties/early Seventies, the American folk-rocker Phillips was known for two things: the astonishing length of his hair, and a soaring falsetto. And although he was moderately successful at the time -- bigger than a cult, not a chart topper -- he barely gets a mention in rock or folk encyclopedias today. That's...

Forbidden Joe: In Mourning for the Pride of Petravore (Forbidden Joe)

Forbidden Joe: In Mourning for the Pride of Petravore (Forbidden Joe)

The previous EP by this Auckland folk trio (and friends) was impressive but tantalizingly too brief to get a full picture of what they were and might be capable of. But the one song by Francis Dickinson prompted me to point to it as something rather special and hold out hope for more from her astute pen when the album rolled around....

Richard Walters: The Animal (Kartel)

Richard Walters: The Animal (Kartel)

Many singer-songwriters are prepared to essay their fragility in life and love, but few offer the sense they have some deep emotional strength to leaven the mix and lift their songs out of self-pity. This Paris-based Englishman is a rare one. He can push easily into a falsetto but, as with Jeff Buckley (whose style he otherwise doesn't...

Flip Grater: While I'm Awake I'm At War (Maiden)

Flip Grater: While I'm Awake I'm At War (Maiden)

New Zealand singer-songwriter Flip Grater has a rare distinction at Elsewhere: she's the only artist so far who has previously had music posted (here) as well as recipe (here) which she picked up on the road for her cookbook. This beautifully arranged album, produced by Tim Guy, delivers through understatement as Grater's vocals are soft,...

Brix E. Smith and Nigel Kennedy: Hurdy Gurdy Man (1991)

Brix E. Smith and Nigel Kennedy: Hurdy Gurdy Man (1991)

Tribute albums can be dodgy: some are fun, and the more obscure the artists the better they get. But you are wise to avoid the Joy Division tribute A Means to an End which features those household names Honeymoon Stitch, Girls Against Boys, Starchildren and godheadSILO. Or any of those to Tom Waits. But how can you resist an album of...

ALL MY LOVING, a film by TONY PALMER (BBC DVD)

ALL MY LOVING, a film by TONY PALMER (BBC DVD)

At the time when this film screened on television in 1968 -- after the Epilogue, the last offical programme every night in Britain in those days, as director Palmer notes in the interview footage added to the DVD edition in 2007 -- pop music was widely spoken of as the new classical music. It was in those day-glo days when classical music of...

BRUCE COCKBURN PROFILED (2010): Poet with a rocket launcher

BRUCE COCKBURN PROFILED (2010): Poet with a rocket launcher

Most people looking at the life of Bruce Cockburn come away saying the same thing: “You mean he made music as well?" Canadian singer-songwriter Cockburn has his biography punctuated by stories about being in Mozambique while snipers were out, getting drunk in Kathmandu, travels through nervous Central and South American...

IN FROM THE COLD; THE WORLD OF RICHARD BURTON, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint/Triton DVD)

IN FROM THE COLD; THE WORLD OF RICHARD BURTON, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint/Triton DVD)

The great actor Sir John Gielgud used to shake his head in wonder at the towering talent of Richard Burton and say that "he came from nowhere, from nowhere". Which isn't true at all, he came from a very significant somewhere -- and in this insightful, honest and probing documentary by Tony Palmer -- that place was writ large right...

Chris Thompson: Chris Thompson (Sunbeam)

Chris Thompson: Chris Thompson (Sunbeam)

Although it is common enough to acclaim great New Zealand bands from the late Sixties/early Seventies -- especially those with an acid-rock tinge -- as never quite getting their due internationally (Human Instinct, Ticket, the Fourmyula etc), the story of folk singer Chris Thompson has rarely been told. I have just the one album by him --...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris Thompson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson was one of the disappearing figures in the New Zealand folk scene who toured with Julie Felix, counted among his peers the likes of Bert Jansch and Davy Graham while he was in the UK, and recorded some fine albums which have disappeared into the ether. His has recently released a self-titled double CD of a lost album from the...

The Duke and The King: Long Live the Duke and The King (Shock)

The Duke and The King: Long Live the Duke and The King (Shock)

Hilarious. If there's another Austin Power movie and our spy gets dropped into the early Seventies in California -- the time of all those self-centred, earnest singer-songwriters in the Canyon -- then the formerly interesting The Duke and The King already have a few songs here which sound like pitch-perfect parodies of the style. Okay,...

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Midlake (LateNightTales/Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Midlake (LateNightTales/Southbound)

The Late Night Tales mix-tape series continues with this especially interesting and quite lovely collection put together by Midlake who had a Best of Elsewhere 2010 album with The Courage of Others (and were instrumental in John Grant's Queen of Denmark, also a winner that year). The chief feature here -- aside from the coherence of the...

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn – whose sole skirmish with chart success was Wondering Where The Lions Are in 1980 – is the Richard Thompson of Canada. And if you don't get the reference that's the point. Both are respected and influential folk-rock songwriters/guitarists, but their gifts go largely unacknowledged beyond admiring musicians,...

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