Title - Please Re-Adjust Your Time [4CD]
Artist - Ian A. Anderson
For those not in the know, Ian A. Anderson is an English folk musician who was a luminary of the late 1960s country blues scene before becoming one of the pioneers of psychedelic/acid folk and founding the now collectable ďalternative folk labelĒ Village Thing in the early 1970s.
Releasing December 6th, 2021 via Cherry Tree / Cherry Red Records (UK), this first-ever 4-CD box-set entitled Please Re-Adjust Your Time Ė The Early Blues & Psych-Folk Years 1967-1972 documents all of Ian A. Andersonís seminal early albums Ė including lots of rare material.
Curated and supported by the artist, Please Re-Adjust Your Time captures an exciting time in British roots music. From gutsy acoustic blues to ground-breaking acid folk, the music sounds as vital today as it did half a century ago.
Disc One: Stereo Death Breakdown
1. GET IN THAT SWING
2. LITTLE BOY BLUE
3. (MY BABE SHE AINíT NOTHING BUT A DOGGONE) CRAZY FOOL MUMBLE
4. NEW LONESOME DAY
5. SHORT HAIRED WOMAN BLUES
6. HOT TIMES
7. STEREO DEATH BREAKDOWN
8. WHEN I GET TO THINKING
9. WAY UP ON YOUR TREE
10. BREAK íEM DOWN
11. THATíS ALRIGHT
12. BABY BYE YOU BYE
13. PUT IT IN A FRAME [Bonus Track]
14. STOP AND LISTEN [Bonus Track]
15. LOUISE [Bonus Track]
16. COTTONFIELD BLUES [Bonus Track]
17. BIG ROAD BLUES [Bonus Track]
18. TOM RUSHEN BLUES [Bonus Track]
19. FRIDAY EVENING BLUES [Bonus Track]
20. ROWDY BLUES [Bonus Track]
21. WEST COUNTRY BLUES [Bonus Track]
22. DONíT YOU WANT TO GO [Bonus Track]
23. THE INVERTED WORLD [Bonus Track]
First issued in 1969, Stereo Death Breakdown was credited to Ian Andersonís Country Blues Band, a moniker which hinted at the music therein. Eleven bonus tracks are drawn from Saydisc EPs (Anderson Jones Jackson, from 1967 and Almost The Country Blues, 1968) and Saydisc Matchbox albums (Blues Like Showers Of Rain, from 1968 and The Inverted World, 1969).
Fifty odd years ago, the original of this album almost appeared on Island Records, and therein lies a tale almost as interesting as the record itself. Ian A. Anderson, as he was then known, almost shared a name with Jethro Tullís frontman. The bandís management decided the label wasnít large enough for two Ian Andersonís and the newcomer was shuffled off elsewhere.
As an anecdote itís priceless, but so is this artefact of the British blues boom of the late 1960s. It was, perhaps, great hubris on Andersonís part to believe he could write blues songs equal to those of the greats (and he probably cringes these days over his humorous Short Haired Woman Blues), but in many ways they hold up well, and heís helped out by some excellent musicians - notably the great Bob Hall on piano, while Chris Turner turns in some stunning harmonica performances.
At times it all gets a bit jug band, but when the blues fully asserts itself, this is actually a good record - not just of its time, but good, period, with a standout vocal contribution from ďHarmonica" Annie Matthews on New Lonesome Day.
No oneís going to claim Anderson is a great blues singer, but he tries hard here, approximating a kind of Southern drawl and generally staying on key. But even if the technique isnít perfect, the feel is, and that counts for a great deal.
Recorded in 1969, and now with a rather wondrous 11 bonus tracks included, the excellent production has an odd way of sounding like a historical artifact that could have been recorded today. While the recordings that inspired this project come from scratchy 78s, Stereo Death Breakdown somehow captures the grit of the originals on a clean recording here from Cherry Red Records.
Thus, and even if the sound gets a bit monotonous after a while, the entire experience is a joy and thus all I can say is if you have the blues, chase them away by listening to Stereo Death Breakdown.
Disc Two: Royal Oak Crescent
1. THATíS NO WAY TO GET ALONG
2. PLEASE READJUST YOUR TIME
3. GOBLETS & ELMS
4. SHINING GREY
5. THE WORM
7. SILENT NIGHT NO.2
8. MR CORNELIUS
9. THE MAKER/ THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE / THE LAST CONJURING
10. GINGER MAN
11. WORKING MAN
12. GET BACK INTO TOWN (LIVE) [Bonus Track]
13. SLEEPY LYNNE [Bonus Track]
14. INTERNAL COMBUSTION RAG [Bonus Track]
The self-produced Royal York Crescent (1970) album was Ianís first on his new Village Thing label and here it is bolstered by three extra recordings from 1969, live at Farnham Folk And Blues Festival and from sessions at Chapel Studios, London.
To give you some insight into the world that he was creating for himself, from 1970, and with the release of Royal York Crescent (on his own Village Thing label), we he first began to use the name Ian A. Anderson (to avoid further confusion with the leader of Jethro Tull).
In 1973, Anderson formed Hot Vultures with his then wife Maggie Holland. From then on they phased out most of his previous self-written works, in favor of concentrating on an original English approach to American blues/old-time/traditional R&B material.
Luckily for fans of the former genre of music, Royal Oak Crescent is chock full of it. The album, which features 11 tracks which apart from two, were written by Ian) had not been released on CD for decades, simply because Ian refused to release the original tapes.
Which is why its inclusion here today in this brilliant box-set is enough to make it as perfect a collectorís piece as anything he has ever released for the public, in truth.
A long forgotten, highly underrated work of musical art, it opens on the free flowing folk/pop sensibilities of Thatís No Way To Get Along and the upbeat and jaunty box-set title track Please Re-Adjust Your Time, and backs those up with cuts such as the atmospherically short but sweet Goblets & Elms, the mid-tempo, beautifully strummed duo Silent Night No.2 and Mr. Cornelius, and the beautifully crafted songs such as both Ginger Man and Working Man.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios, A Vulture Is Not A Bird You Can Trust (1971) is now swelled with a quartet of additional sides, again from a studio tenure in Chapel Studios back in 1969.
Disc Three: A Vulture Is Not A Bird You Can Trust
1. ONE MORE CHANCE
2. BLACK UNCLE REMUS
3. POLICEMANíS BALL
5. THE SURVIVOR
6. WELL ALRIGHT
7. TIME IS RIPE
8. WISHING THE WORLD AWAY
9. ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS
10. NUMBER 61
11. BOOK OF CHANGES [Bonus Track]
12. ANTHEM (YOU CAN GO ON FOREVER) [Bonus Track]
13. MOUSE HUNT [Bonus Track]
14. GALACTIC WINGS (AND OTHER TALES) [Bonus Track]
Featuring supporting artists such as: Ian Hunt (guitar), Pique Withers (drums), Peter The Bass (bass guitar), Kipps Brown (keyboards), John Turner (double bass), and Keith Warmington (harmonica), this 1971 album (which housed 10 tracks, three not written by Anderson (Black Uncle Remus - Loudon Wainwright III; Well Alright - Holly, Allison, Mauldin, Petty; and One Too Many Mornings - Bob Dylan) has always been a hard to find slice of psych/acid folk that mixes traditional folk stylings with more contemporary lyrical concerns.
Opening on the joyously flowing, summerís breeze of One More Chance and the slide guitar work of Policemanís Ball, we also get along the way the playful, yet intricate guitar work of Edges, the lighter AOR fare of The Survivor, and it rounds out with, amongst other, the gently guitar stylings of the stunning Time Is Ripe (which also includes the title of the album within its lyrics).
The fourth and final disc is devoted to Ianís final Village Thing album, Singer Sleeps On As Blaze Rages (1972) which is joined by four extra songs, including three previously unreleased Ė the Hot Vulturesí demos recorded at Village Thing, Bristol, 1973.
Disc Four: Singer Sleeps On As Blaze Rages
1. HEY SPACE PILOT
2. MARIE CELESTE ON DOWN
3. SPIDER JOHN
4. A SIGN OF THE TIMES
5. PAPER AND SMOKE
6. PAINT IT, BLACK
7. PRETTY PEGGYO
8. THE WESTERN WIND
9. OUT ON THE SIDE
10. SHIRLEY TEMPLE MEETS HAWKWIND
11. BABY LET ME DANCE WITH YOU [Bonus Track]
12. DAN SCAGGS [Bonus Track]
13. LONDON BLUES [Bonus Track]
14. YOU CANíT JUDGE A BOOK BY THE COVER [Bonus Track]
Recorded at Village Thing, August 1972, produced by Ian A. Anderson, engineered by Maggie Holland (tracks 3, 14). and Rockfield, Sept 1972, produced by Mike Cooper and Ian A. Anderson, engineered by Ralph Down, Kingsley Ward and Pat Moran, (tracks 4, 8, 18) and featuring the musicianship of: Mike Cooper (National guitar), Les Calvert (bass guitar), Ian Foster (drums), and Pete Siddons (bouzouki), this final Village Thing release is also one of my own personal favorites of Andersonís.
It opens on the slide guitar work and gently rambunctious foot-tapping melodies of Hey Space Pilot and the dulcetly beautiful Marie Celeste On Down and flows evenly, much like a storytelling troubadour through other tracks such as the slightly sterner A Sign Of The Times, the upbeat and completely joyful Paint It, Black (Stones), the gently frenetic strumming style within The Western Wind, and the quite brilliantly-titled, and spiritually uplifting Shirley Temple Meets Hawkwind.
Subsequently, alongside his music career, Ian was founding editor of the popular folk magazine fRoots and a broadcaster who has presented shows on BBC Radio 2, BBC World Service and Jazz FM. Ian currently presents Podwireless Ė a monthly podcast dedicated to the world of folk, roots and Ďunpopí music.
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