Πέμπτη, 22 Νοεμβρίου 2007

Bridget St.John - Songs For The Gentleman (UK Folk-1971 Dandelion Rec)

One of my favourite singers from the seventies,



There is another recording artist named Bridget St. John in Seattle, Washington, USA, who has since changed her stage name to "Sweet Punch" to avoid confusion with this Bridget St. John


Bridget St John is a singer with a distinctively deep and somewhat melancholy voice. She learnt piano and viola as a child in London, and guitar while a student at Sheffield University, from which she graduated in 1968. Her "To be without a hitch" / "Autumn lullaby" (1969) was one of the first two singles released by Dandelion Records, John Peel's label; Ask Me No Questions -- including the earlier single, and sparingly produced by Peel -- was the label's first LP. The follow-up, the more highly regarded Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin. Commercial success did not follow critical acclaim, and St John lay low for some time, reemerging in the nineties and (as of 2004) continuing to perform.


Bridget St John is a singer and songwriter best known for the three albums she recorded between 1969 and 1972 for John Peel's Dandelion record label. Peel produced her debut album Ask Me No Questions. She also recorded a large number of BBC and Peel sessions and toured regularly on the early UK college and festival circuit. Her popularity peaked in 1974 when she was voted fifth most popular female singer in that year's Melody Maker readers poll. An accomplished guitar player, she credits John Martyn (with whom she has been friends since college) as her guitar mentor. The second album Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin. She emigrated to Greenwich Village in 1976 and virtually disappeared from the public eye for over 20 years. She appeared at a Nick Drake tribute concert in New York in 1999, performing "Northern Sky" and "One of These Things First". She toured Japan in 2006 with the minimalist French musician Colleen. Aside from work under her own name, Bridget St John has also recorded with Mike Oldfield (on Amarok), Kevin Ayers and Robin Frederick. In 2007 she reunited with Kevin Ayers to record on his album The Unfairground in New York. They duetted on the song "Baby Come Home".
Bridget St. John is amazing!
It is said that way back in 1969 John Peel was so smitten with Bridget St. John's voice, and so shocked to discover she had no recording contract, that he founded the Dandelion label just to publish her songs. Listening to 'Songs For The Gentle Man' (actually her second and, I believe, her best album) you can immediately see why. She is often overlooked in the annals of British folk/rock and, until recently, it has been almost impossible to buy or hear any of her music. Now, thanks to timely reissues by Cherry Red, we can bask in her delightful music once more. Pastoral in style, pastel in hue, personal and emotional in content, Bridget invites us into her private world of intimacy and reflection and, quite frankly, we don't ever want to leave. With a deep smooth voice (she could in fact be Nico's less miserable sister) and a simple but skillful acoustic guitar style she serenades us with tales of endless summer and days at the beach, of being stifled by the city and longing for the countryside, of love and disappointment, and throws in a few covers for good measure. The overall effect of her music is folky and gentle, sometimes sparse but always atmospheric, with some quirky string and choral accompaniment, as well as a plethora of guest musicias (John Martyn, Ron Geesin, Richard Sanders, Tim Renwick, Andy Roberts, Rick Kemp, Dave Mattacks - to name but a few) and will be a valuable and essential addition to any collection of early British folk/rock.




Albums by Bridget St John
Top Gear (BBC) 1969 includes four tracks by Bridget
Ask Me No Questions (Dandelion) 1969

Songs for the Gentle Man (Dandelion) 1971
Thank You For (Dandelion) 1972
Jumblequeen (Chrysalis) 1974
Take the 5ifth (Road Goes on Forever) 1996


Bridget St John. She sings a lovely duet with Kevin Ayers on 'Baby Come Home' from his comeback album, 'Unfairground'.


She can also be found as guest vocalist on Phosphene and Friends' 7" single, 'See A Sign Defined', (the B side of which is an interesting version of Bridget's 'Ask Me No Questions'). This can be had for three quid, post free from www.pickled-egg.co.uk/


All her albums are now (2007) available on CD - some containing songs originally only released as singles, as well as previously unreleased 'live' material.


Buy the first 3 Albums Here



Live Perfomance By Bridget St.John with Mick Gaffney, today


Add To Facebook