The Ur-text for a generation acid folkies is Vashti Bunyan's Just Another Diamond Day. For the more lysergically disposed the touchstone is ISB's The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. Pre-dating both of these essential releases is Donovan's two LP box set A Gift From a Flower to a Garden. Released as two separate albums in the US, there is a strong case to be made in favour of the second disc, For Little Ones, as the earliest archetypal wyrd folk outing. All the familiar tropes are present and correct: low fi acoustics; homespun feel; Carrollian whimsy & childhood nostalgia; back to simple country life; washed out morning after drowsy. After all, Vashti Bunyan's mythical caravan journey North was bound for Donovan's Scottish commune.
Donovan is a pretty unique 60s icon: absolutely huge in his day - up there with The Beatles and Dylan, no joke; a rack of top twenty singles - yet whose reputation never really recovered after the end of the 60s dream. Unlike other names wrapped up with the era, such as ISB and a host of lesser talents, Donovan has never been rehabilitated or "rediscovered". Shaun Ryder's brief attempt in the early 90s - bless - doesn't count. This is probably owing to the fact that he never actually went away or stopped recording. If he had upped sticks in the early 70s and gone off to a mountain top somewhere, there's no doubt he would now be a very hip name to drop and his music reckoned for what it is: unique and irresistible. Cast away doubt and preconceptions and tuck in to some Starfish On Toast.
Oddi wrth y brawd