MORRIS ON : MORRIS ON (UK'72)
English Folk-Rock Supergroup
Morris On was a 1972 folk-rock "super-group" that left behind one self-titled album.Comprised of bassist Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span,Albion Band),guitarist Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention), drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention,Steeleye Span), accordionist John Kirkpatrick (Albion Band, Steeleye Span), and fiddler Barry Dransfield (the Humblebums,the Dransfields), the group had a deliberately less-polished, more authentically rough-hewn sound than either Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention, as though proper traditional musicians had suddenly gotten hold of electric guitars, basses, and drum kits.
A beautiful, authentically rustic album, without a trace of elegance, and hardly even an effort at smoothing over the rough spots. The music and the performances have a quiet power and dignity, and a raw, direct nature that is extremely appealing. The record opens up in haunting fashion with Barry Dransfield's fiddle on "Morris Call," and from there things get wilder and woollier, with some downright funny moments as well (check out the false opening on "Princess Royal").Shirley Collins appears as a guest vocalist on "Staines Morris" and "The Willow Tree," and The Chingford Morris Men do stick dances on two tracks as well. John Kirkpatrick's accordion, concertina, and harmonium are the dominant accompanying instruments. None of this was a threat to Fairport or Steeleye Span's success, but all of it is valuable to fans of either band, and the album does have a raw energy that Fairport began losing after 1972 — and "Cuckoo's Nest" alone is almost worth the price of the album, recalling the kind of funny, cheerfully lusty recordings of A.L. Lloyd and sparked by some of Richard Thompson's best playing from this period.
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