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Cordelia's Dad


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Traditional folk, sometimes folk rock, rock

Status:

Most recent release, Double Live (live, 2011)

See also:

Cordelia's Dad's site

CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for Tim Eriksen's solo work

Comparisons:

Sometimes they sound as pure and stripped-down traditional as Martin Carthy, other times they rock like Boiled in Lead or the Oyster Band, and yet others they sound like early Fairport Convention. (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Mostly traditional, occasional covers of contemporary folk, own

General comments:

They have a split personality: one side is stripped down traditional material, and one is rocking, and actually for a brief time split into two bands calling their their more rock sound, Io, but What it is is a rock album under their Cordelia's Dad name ad Io doesn't seem to exist anymore. I prefer the simpler sound, but also enjoy their louder music. It's just that they're so wonderful at the quieter folk, while there are several other bands as good at the loud folk rock sound. Their stripped-down sound pulls off the dramatic and sometimes melodramatic traditional folk songs turning them into the kind of highly emotive, haunting songs they were meant to be. Lovely! (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

I'd never seen or heard them before, and I was suitably impressed. I don't really know what they are. They are from the northeast and play traditional and Appalachian songs, but in that sort of edgy punk/folk style of folks like The Oyster Band and The Men They Couldn't Hang. They even made hymns sound edgy. (c. 1998, neal)

I've heard them several times over the years and they never fail to put on an amazing concert. Their music is so edgy and involving it can't miss, especially live. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Comet or Spine if you like simple traditional arrangements, how can I sleep? if you prefer more rock-oriented folk. (Neile)

Recordings:


Cordelia's Dad

Release info:

1990—OKra Records; re-released by Omnium Recordings—OMM 2009D

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

High for lovers of traditional tunes played as folkrock.

Group members:

Tim Eriksen—vocals, bass
Tom King—guitar
Peter Irvine—drums

Comments:

Great folk/rock. Not as frenetic as some of their later rock pieces, and so is a little closer to their later stripped-down sound. Great, tense versions of such songs as "Scarborough Fair" and "Lowlands of Holland". Highly, highly recommended. (Neile)

how can I sleep?

Release info:

1992—OKra Records; re-released Omnium Recordings—OKCD 33019; OMM 2010

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of trad and American folk

Group members:

Tim Eriksen—vocals, bass, banjo
Peter Irvine—drums
Tom King—guitar

Guest artists:

Dave Schramm—lap steel on one song

Produced by:

Dave Schramm

Comments:

anyone with a modicum of interest in american folk music should go out and buy it right now. it features the wonderful "narragansett bay" and a version of "delia" that blows johnny cash's socks off. go get, go get. (woj@smoe.org)

Great mixture of more rocking and quieter tunes. Follow woj's advice. (Neile)


Comet

Release info:

1995—Omnium Recordings—OMM 2011D

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for lovers of traditional folk

Group members:

Cath Oss—voice
Peter Irvine—voice, drum
Tim Eriksen—voice, guitar, banjo

Guest artists:

Becky Miller—fiddle

Produced by:

Cordelia's Dad and Mark Alan Miller

Comments:

A wonderful collection of powerful songs and haunting harmonies. I like their other recordings, but this one is amazing. Somehow the addition of Cath Oss' harmonies gives this an added depth. Bare, straightforward traditional American music (with the exception of the powerfully rocking final track). The minimalist approach here is wonderfully effective. I love the way the lead singer and background singer's voices blend with or play off each other as the song demands. Solid and powerful. I admire this album especially for showing that simple can knock yer sox off. (Neile)

road kill

Release info:

1996—Scenescof Records—SCOF 1004

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

High for fans of trad. folk/rock

Group members:

Cath Oss—voice, bass
Tim Eriksen—voice, guitar
Peter Irvine— drum

Comments:

Cordelia's Dad are great live. This is a must-have if you like the band. (Neile)

Spine

Release info:

1998—Appleseed Records—APR1023

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

Must have for fans of traditional, edgy folk/rock

Group members:

Cath Oss—voice, bass
Tim Eriksen—voice, guitar
Peter Irvine—drums

Produced by:

Steve Albini

Comments:

This sounds pretty damn wonderful. It's very like Comet in overall sound. Delightful renditions of traditional American music. A must have for anyone who loves traditional music. Somehow this isn't as great an album for me as Comet and I'm not sure why, maybe I just don't like these particular songs quite as much but damn I love Cordelia's Dad's stripped down traditional American folk. There's nothing quite like it. (Neile)

Joy Fun Garden

Release info:

c. 1993?—Normal Records (Germany, limited edition)

Availability:

Unknown

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of Cordelia's Dad

Group members:

Tim Eriksen—vocals
Peter Irvine—frame drum, drum
Tom King—guitar

Guest artists:

Becky Miller—fiddle
Steven Maggs—bass

Comments:

A great collection of songs and well worth getting if you're a fan of Cordelia's Dad (how could you not be?) I miss Cath Oss' harmonies with Tim Eriksen's lead vocals, though—apparently this concert was recorded before she joined the band, so it was probably recorded sometime between how can I sleep? and Comet. (Neile)

What it is

Release info:

2002—>Kimchee Records—KC016

Availability:

See CDBaby's Cordelia's Dad page

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for indierock fans

Group members:

Tim Eriksen—middle voice, guitar, stuff
Peter Irvine—low voice, drums
Cath Oss—high voice, bass guitar, hero accordion

Guest artists:

Mike Heffley—trombone on 2 tracks
Laura Risk—fiddle on 1 track

Produced by:

Recorded by Mark Alan Miller, Steve Albinin, and Mastered by Jeff Litpon

Comments:

This is a mix of folk-based indierock/garagerock/post-punkrock songs, one powerful a cappella shaped-note tune ("Despair"), and a haunting ballad ("Hammer") and a traditional tune, "Dark & Rolling Eye". My favourite of the indierock tunes is the opener, "Camille's Not Afraid of the Barn". Truly unusual, wonderful, uniquely Cordelia's Dad. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-03-02 03:06:12.
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