The North Star Grassman and the Ravens [Bonus Tracks]

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All Music Guide - Brett Hartenbach
Following the breakup of the short-lived Fotheringay, Sandy Denny returned with her first post-Fairport solo album, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens. Produced with ex-bandmate Richard Thompson and longtime engineer John Wood, who would go on to produce the bulk of Thompson's work with Linda Thompson, the record consists of eight evocative Denny originals, along with the traditional "Blackwaterside" and a pair of borrowed rockers. There's a looseness and roominess to the sound, with acoustic guitar, piano, and Thompson's electric guitar leading the sparse backing from former members of Fotheringay, along with the occasional accordion, violin, pedal steel, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brett Hartenbach
Following the breakup of the short-lived Fotheringay, Sandy Denny returned with her first post-Fairport solo album, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens. Produced with ex-bandmate Richard Thompson and longtime engineer John Wood, who would go on to produce the bulk of Thompson's work with Linda Thompson, the record consists of eight evocative Denny originals, along with the traditional "Blackwaterside" and a pair of borrowed rockers. There's a looseness and roominess to the sound, with acoustic guitar, piano, and Thompson's electric guitar leading the sparse backing from former members of Fotheringay, along with the occasional accordion, violin, pedal steel, and strings. Songs such as "Late November," "John the Gun," and "Next Time Around" are among her best, while "Blackwaterside," featuring Thompson's guitar and accordion, continues to show her mastery of traditional music. Because her songs tend to lean toward the melancholy and are primarily on the slow to midtempo side, Denny had to look elsewhere for upbeat material. Choices such as Brenda Lee's "Let's Jump the Broomstick" and a ragged yet somewhat effective duet with Thompson on Bob Dylan's "Down in the Flood" are good ones, though both sound as if they were afterthoughts. Her best record was still a year away, but The North Star Grassman is a solid effort from Denny's sadly shortened solo career. [The 2006 reissue includes four bonus tracks.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/7/2005
  • Label: Ume Imports
  • UPC: 602498280218
  • Catalog Number: 9828021

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sandy Denny Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Buddy Emmons Pedal Steel Guitar
Alan Skidmore Saxophone
Jerry Donahue Guitar, Electric Guitar
Trevor Lucas Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
Roger Bell Saxophone
John "Rabbit" Bundrick Keyboards
Gerry Conway Drums
Dick Cuthell Trumpet
Pat Donaldson Bass Guitar
Barry Dransfield Violin, Background Vocals
Robin Dransfield Background Vocals
Dave Mattacks Drums
Tony Reeves Bass Guitar
Ian Whiteman Flute, Piano
Royston Wood Background Vocals
Mike Rosen Trumpet
Technical Credits
Sandy Denny Arranger, Composer, Producer
Bob Dylan Composer
John Wood Producer, Engineer
Harry Robinson String Arrangements
Richard Clapton Composer
Charles Robins Composer
David Suff Liner Notes
Traditional Composer
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