Robin Williamson - Songs Of Love And Parting/Selected Writings 1980-1983 (Music CD)

Release Date: 15 February 2010
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Robin Williamson first came to prominence as a member of the Incredible String Band, continuing on his merry way with two more groups, before finally turning solo in the late '70s. One wonders what took him so long to do so, seeped as he was in the great bardic tradition, an occupation of one, not many. But perhaps like the journeyman of old, these bands served as the apprenticeship necessary before Williamson could embark on his own. In any event, Williamson exquisitely resurrected this ancient art first on-stage and then on record. Songs of Love & Parting dates from these early days and was originally released in 1981, a 13-track acoustic set of songs and poems subtly set to music. Now album is lovingly reissued on CD, accompanied by a lavish booklet that annotates each of the tracks, reproduces the lyrics, and includes atmospheric photographs that capture the setting and feel of a number of songs. And atmosphere is all important to this album, the evocative music capturing and enhancing the mood of the songs. Williamson supplies most of the instrumentation -- harp, bagpipe, guitar, whistles, and so on, with guests assisting with strings and horn as necessary. Dipping across Britain's rich folkloric tradition, feted native sons (both Keats and Dylan Thomas serve as inspiration), Irish poems, and Welsh legends, Williamson's songs peruse history, culture, and the rhythms of life and death, the ancient rubbing easily against Williamson's modern writings.
The reissue adds five more numbers from the early '80s, all strong pieces, but most with a tougher sound and a rougher edge, which may explain why they didn't make the album cut. Regardless, they make an intriguing addition to a sublime set. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
Release Date: 15 February 2010

1. Verses In Stewart Street
2. For Mr. Thomas
3. Fare Thee Well Sweet Mally
4. Return No More
5. Tarry Wool
6. For Threee of Us
7. Sigil
8. Flower of the Briar
9. Forming of Blodeuwedd
10. Gwydion's Dream
11. Verses At Balwearie Tower
12. Night At Ardpatrick
13. Parting Glass
14. Song of Mabon
15. Fair
16. Fair Dance
17. Edinburgh
18. Lammas

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Catalogue No: BGOCD849