The Imagined Village

The Imagined Village

by The Imagined Village


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The Imagined Village

The Imagined Village is being hyped as "the most ambitious re-invention of the English folk tradition since Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief." Those are bold words indeed, and it would take a lot to live up to them, especially since Fairport didn't deliberately set out to re-invent the tradition -- they simply adapted folk songs to their style. This album draws on a number of talents -- Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy, Paul Weller, Afro Celt Sound System leader Simon Emmerson and Sheila Chandra, and a number of others. But the point about traditions is that they evolve. Sometimes there are sudden leaps, but you can't sit down and say "I'm going to reinvent this type of music." It's all well and good to try and define the new, multicultural England, but adding sitars and dhol drums to "Cold Hailey Rainy Night" isn't the way to do it, nor beats to "John Barleycorn" (and having Weller perform a verse isn't radical -- after all, Traffic did a sublime version in 1970). "Tam Lyn" retold as dub poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah might sound interesting, but it's really not a reinvention -- the bridge between worlds so important in the original has no magic here. The closest it comes to success are with the ceilidh tracks at the end, Billy Bragg's modernization of "Hard Times of Old England," and the duet between Sheila Chandra and Chris Wood on "Welcome Sailor," which is effective because of its simplicity. And that's' the key -- throwing in beats isn't really necessary. Often a less is more approach would be more effective (certainly on "Cold Hailey Rainy Night" where the voice alone carry ample power with any instruments and programming). Perhaps the tradition doesn't need to be remodeled into a one size fits all shape, and that being English can be celebrated by diversity, rather than trying to cram a multinational kitchen sink into an old English song. It's ambitious, but sadly, a bit of a failure.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2008
Label: Real World
UPC: 0884108014226
catalogNumber: 147

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Imagined Village   Primary Artist
Martin Carthy   Guitar,Vocals
Sheila Chandra   Vocals
Ian Anderson   Slide Guitar
Richard Evans   Bass
Benjamin Zephaniah   Vocals
Rod Stradling   Melodeon
Phil Beer   Violin
Jim Chase   Drums
Nigel Eaton   Hurdy-Gurdy
Ben Mandelson   Guitar
Paul Weller   Electric Guitar
Martin Russell   Strings,Keyboards,Nyckelharpa,Drones
Chris Turner   Harmonica,Jaw Harp
Chris Wood   Fiddle,Viola,Vocals
Simon Emmerson   Bouzouki,Guitar,Spoons,Cittern
Jim Barr   Double Bass
Ali Friend   Double Bass
Eliza Carthy   Fiddle,Vocals
Ben Ivitsky   Acoustic Guitar,Viola
Johnny Kalsi   Tabla,Shaker,Dhol
Timothy Whelan   Organ,Sintir
Carole Robb   Northumbrian Smallpipes
Kate Garrett   Harmonium,Vocals
Sheema Mukherjee   Sitar
John Copper   Vocals
Laurel Swift   Fiddle
Jon Brenner   Accordion
Billy Bragg and the Young Coppers   Vocals
Barney M. Brown   Cello
Colin Cotter   Banjo,Stomp Box
Andy Poore   Anglo Concertina
Mass   Synthesizer

Technical Credits

Martin Carthy   Arranger
Sheila Chandra   Arranger,Composer
Ian Anderson   Arranger
Billy Bragg   Composer
Richard Evans   Engineer,Bass Engineer
Benjamin Zephaniah   Composer
Rod Stradling   Arranger
Phil Beer   Engineer
Steve Coe   Composer
David Kenny   Engineer
Ben Mandelson   Arranger,Producer
Martin Russell   Programming,Engineer,Percussion Engineer
Chris Wood   Arranger
Simon Emmerson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Jim Barr   Engineer
Eliza Carthy   Arranger,Composer
Transglobal Underground   Composer
Jon Moore   Producer
Ben Ivitsky   Engineer,Executive Producer
Hamid Mantu   Programming
Timothy Whelan   Programming
Allyn Lee   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Mike Lindsay   Composer,Producer
John Copper   Composer
Sam Genders   Composer,Producer
Gloworms   Arranger
Mass   Arranger,Programming,Engineer,String Arrangements,drum programming,Percussion Programming

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