Salut! History

Turn it down, better still turn it off: Dylan went electric but Alan Hull, Bowie and McGuinn had unplugged moments

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Anyone who reads Salut! or Salut! Live will recognise Bill Taylor as a prolific and compelling writer. Example: he is up to nearly 50 slices of lockdown life from Toronto and more than half of these little treasures have been reproduced at Salut! from his Facebook pages.

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Fotheringay: 'Sandy Denny's finest moments' and how a lost album was rescued

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Image: Linda Fitzgerald-Moore

Eleven years is a long time, even in folk music. The article I reproduce below tells the story of the release of Fotheringay's 'lost' second album and dates from the end of 2008. I was living in Abu Dhabi and wrote this piece for The National, an English-language newspaper for which I was working and to which I still contribute. I researched and wrote the piece as a journalist; I am also, as any regular reader of Salut! Live will be aware, a fan.

I had largely forgotten about this feature until I noticed a day or two ago (the last week of April 2020) that members of the Sandy Denny and Family group at Facebook were nominating their favourites among the fabulous body of work left behind by a singer who possessed once-in-a-generation qualities. It was the idea of one of those members, Mick Donovan, and I posted a clip from the album, Denny's stunning version of Wild Mountain Thyme.

To my surprise, my post drew terrific feedback, more than 50 'likes' when I last looked. "She could have sung the phone book and it would have been beautiful," Mick wrote. "This has the bonus of being a lovely, lovely song." Another member of the Facebook group, Dave Pitchford, added: "Her work with Fotheringay was her best for me. I was fortunate to see the reformed Fotheringay a number of times. The music was an utter delight."

For all this great, much-missed artist's fans who stray to these pages, and in honour of Jerry Donohue, the former Fotheringay and Fairport Convention band member, who suffered a massive stroke in 2016, my original article appears below. Without Jerry, neither the album nor my article would have materialised and I thank him while hoping he has regained some of the quality of life that stroke took away ...

 

Jerry_Donahue_Wetter-Ruhr-Germany_2008Jerry Donahue: by Enamelhead - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, at Wikipedia Commons

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From Raglan Road to the shores of Normandy. Jim Radford's glorious D-Day tribute


Forgive me for being late with this but, come to think of it, the timing is right.

On French news this lunchtime, amid generous and impressive coverage of commemorations on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this song popped up. I realise the story may well be old news for some.

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Blues Run the Game: a starring role in The Old Man & the Gun

I noted with surprise today that I have not mentioned the late Jackson C Frank's gripping song, The Blues Run the Game, for three years (plus three days).

But yesterday, screening room number five at Picturehouse Central just off Piccadilly Circus resonated with the spellbinding mix of voice, guitar picking and song that makes this one of my all-time favourites. So why not share another listen?

The reason for my pleasant surprise at the cinema - actually one of two; I enjoyed A Star is Born much more than I'd expected to - is a dominant part of the trailer for Robert Redford's new film, The Old Man & A Gun, about the San Quentin jailbreaker Forrest Tucker. That suggests a great soundtrack. The film looks half-decent, too.

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Armistice 100: Eric Bogle, June Tabor and the right kind of remembrance

Over at the parent Salut! site, you will find a couple of reproduced articles of mine dealing with First World War anniversaries.

All I wish to do tonight, at the start of the weekend that marks the centenary of the Armistice ending the Great War, is to remind my few readers of two of the most powerful songs to be written about that conflict.

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Dipping into the Past: John Mayall's part in my journey from blues to folk

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November 2017 update: a former colleague, Bill Stock, wrote this at Facebook the day, prompting me to trawl through the Salut! Live archives and reproduce - from 10 years ago - the little piece that follows ...


"Met my all-time UK blues hero, the legendary John Mayall, at his gig in Southend tonight. Bought a couple of signed CDs before the show (see next photo) and told John I first saw him at Bishop’s Stortford, Herts in the late 60s.

What an amazing gig. After playing non-stop for nearly two hours he and his fab band were given a well-deserved standing ovation by fans. Bear in mind that Mr Mayall was called up for National Service, served in Korea and has been playing the Blues since the Fifties, he sounded as fresh and sprightly as ever. His multi-skilling abilities amazed me. On some numbers he played Roland or Hammond keyboards with his right hand, played a harmonica held again a microphone in his left hand while singing a few verses in between. He also played superb rhythm and lead guitars. No wonder he was made OBE for services to music. And at the end of the show John and the whole band met fans in the foyer to sign more CDs and programmes and pose for more photos. Brilliant."

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