November 17, 2010

The Etchingham Steam Band [1995]

Frustrated that a number of completed recordings remained unreleased and prompted by a suggestion from Martin Carthy, Shirely Collins and Ashley Hutchings formed an all acoustic band able to travel the club and festival circuit economically. For Hutchings this provided an excuse to purchase a huge acoustic bass and fill an interregnum between the Albion Country Band and the Albion Dance Band; for Collins, another opportunity to essay the traditional music of her beloved Sussex. 

The Etchingham Steam Band released no work during their brief span, and collected here are live tapes and studio takes from that 1974-75 period. Collins sings with gusto and the incipient creaks, cracks and wheezes highlight the honesty and humanity in her voice. Just three more years and she would be recording her last album and retiring from public concerts.

Oddi wrth y brawd
young collins

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