Monday, February 5, 2024

Donovan - Live in Japan (1973 uk, wonderful acoustic folk rock, 2023 edition)


In 1973, Donovan toured extensively in connection with the release of the Cosmic Wheels album. He was especially popular in Japan, which was the source of one authorized live album, issued that year exclusively in that market. Cut at Budokan, comes from the tour accompanying the release of Cosmic Wheels. Apart from this Japanese live LP, and the earlier Epic live album from 1968, most concert recordings of Donovan date from the 1980s and 1990s. This set is the surest document of Donovan's appeal and shortcomings as a performer during his heyday, when he was selling millions of records. It is also of amazingly high quality -- the noises between songs lead one to suspect that the source is an audience tape.

As to the repertory, it's a fascinating amalgam of old and new, "Hurdy Gurdy Man"  mixing with  "Only the Blues," and other newer songs. Due to the fact that this is a solo acoustic show, one does get to hear these numbers stripped down to a solo guitar and voice, which essentially reinvents them for most listeners.
by Bruce Eder
1. Hurdy Gurdy Man - 3:18
2. Only The Blues - 3:22
3. Sadness - 3:00
4. A Working Man - 3:08
5. Your Broken Heart - 3:41
6. Universal Soldier - 2:47
7. The Dignity Of Man - 4:46
8. Hey Gyp - 2:29
9. Tinker Tune - 2:49
10.Living From The Love Light - 2:54
11.Josie - 3:20
12.Sailing Homeward - 3:25
13.The Ferrymans Daughter - 2:37
14.Live Is Merry Go Round - 3:51
Music and Words by Donovan Leitch except Track #6 by Buffy Sainte-Marie

*Donovan Leitch - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica

1965  Donovan - Fairytale (2001 expanded deluxe edition)

Mark Henley - Riversong (1976 us, beautiful folk country, 2006 korean remaster)

The 1976 debut album and only album by American singer-songwriter Mark Henley, an ultimate rare album that only a very small number of die-hard folk fans have been able to enjoy. Songs such as 'Places And Old Friends', 'Full Moon Of April', and 'Strawberry Moon' seem to convey the warmth of a leisurely flowing river, touching the listener's lips and filling them with anticipation of the warm autumn sunlight. As the singer himself explains in his commentary, this is a message of love and hope that does not change over time. 

Mary MacGregor, famous for 'Torn Between Two Lovers', an exquisite guitar ensemble with Michael Johnson, a simple and peaceful folk sound that combines acoustic sounds such as nylon guitar, steel guitar, mandolin, cello, violin, piano, harmonica, and conga. It is an album with a chorus of perfect harmony, and there is not a single song that is disappointing. If you want to lose yourself in the melancholy of fall, you should listen to this album. In addition, three rare songs that were almost impossible to find will be included as bonus tracks, making it an even more valuable gift. 
1. Everyone Tuesday - 2:40
2. Full Moon Of April - 2:59 
3. Mona Ray (Leo Kottke) - 2:47
4. Don't You Go Under - 2:15
5. After Saturday - 2:03
6. Give Me Time (Ted Sherman) - 2:25
7. Place And Old Friends - 2:49
8. Froggin' (Mark Henley, Michael Johnson) - 2:01
9. Riversong - 3:02
10.Strawberry Moon - 1:36
11.New Boots - 2:43
12.New Boots - 2:09
13.Song For The Birds - 2:23
Words and Lyrics by Mark Henley except where stated
Bonus Track 11 Single A Side 1977
Bonus Tracks 12- 13 Live recordings 1973

*Mark Henley - Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica
*Michael Johnson - Clasical Guitar, Hi-string Guitar, Vocals
*Ted Sherman - Banjo, Mandolin, Salt Box
*Gary Gauger - Percussion
*Selim Uzuner - Conga, Percussion
*Stubby Warren - Violin
*Steve Brinard - Vocals
*Mary MacGregor - Vocals
*Jeff Harrington - Piano
*Anthony Elliot - Cello