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Jim Moray


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Traditional folk and updated neo-traditional contemporary folk

Status:

Most recent release, Upceterea (2016)

See also:

Jim Moray's site

Wikipedia's entry on Jim Moray

Comparisons:

Marthy Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Bella Hardy, Jackie Oates (his sister), akin in theory (but not so very much in sound) to The Unthanks

Covers/own material:

Mostly traditional, but also own neo-traditional compositions

General comments:

Jim Moray is at the forefront of the new traditional folk movement. With his evocative voice and willingness to both hold on to traditional styles of ballad singing and to incorporate new styles of music to his sound (separately and sometimes in the same song), he is an impressive artist—new and old at the same time. Almost always a magical combination. We've both been fascinated by his techno-folk: traditional songs with new touches.
     There are only a few folk artists that I care about anymore since so much of it now is prettified and/or New Age-y or otherwise have all the rough edges filed off. I found Jim Moray's versions dramatic and interesting. The energy he approaches traditional music with is like Eliza Carthy's to me. Just delightful. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Sweet England and In Modern History are my favourites, though the A Beginner's Guide would probably be a good place to start. Really, I'd recommend anywhere except Jim Moray

Recordings:


I Am Jim Moray (EP)

Release info:

2001—Niblick is a Giraffe—NIBL002

Availability:

See Jim Moray's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of neo-traditional and traditional folk

Group members:

Jim Moray—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

The Hareem (Ruth Angell, Naomi Bates, Debbie Chalmers, Sam Graper, Anna Picken)—strings (3, 6)
Iain L. Masson—string conducting (3, 6)
Randy Fontaine, Neville Fontaine, Germaine Fontaine, Frank Fontaine—backing vocals (1)

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

This is a six-track EP. From the first track, "Lemady," it's clear that while this is traditional, the arrangements aren't waht we're used to hearing. It's a lovely round (and while the arrangement is likely very traditional, it's not the usual. While I like the sweeter ballads okay, my favourite tracks here are the aforementioned "Lemady" and the rocking "The Bonny Black Hare." Wonderful music! (Neile)

Sweet England

Release info:

2003—Niblick is a Giraffe—NIBL003

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of neo-traditional and traditional folk

Group members:

Jim Moray—vocals, guitar, piano, pedal steeling, programming, drums, bass, string conducting

Guest artists:

Laurence Hunt—drums (3, 5)
Jackie Oates—fiddle, vocals (5)
Robin Wilson—violin (1)
Ruth Angell, Debbie Chalmers, Anna Picken, Ian Power—strings (6)
Anna Picken—cello (1)
Leo Alterelli—horn (4)

Produced by:

Jim Moray, additional production on track 1 by Simon Emmerson and Mass

Comments:

I've been listening to Jim Moray's lovely collection of traditional ballads, Sweet England, trying to figure out why I keep hitting repeat. It's great music—the traditional songs, sung with great heart, and with electric and sometimes electronic backing. He has a lovely, evocative voice and the arrangements are great here. One of my very favourite releases of 2003. (Neile)

I heard the CD while in the basement of one of my fave places in Berwick Street. The tune was "Early One Morning" and I was intrigued by the take on it, so I actually made the effort to find out who was playing. I'm not much one for traditional folk, but I did like it. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

I have to gush a bit about Sweet England by Jim Moray—has anyone else discovered this? I'm absolutely crazy about it. I've been reading about this guy for a while—and finally ordered my copy which arrived yesterday and it is absolutely brilliant. I couldn't wait to get up this morning and play it again!! The guy is only 21 and the cd features trad English folk songs—highly produced and rocked up with some really interesting sequencing and beats. He's really put the "drama" back into these songs. Not your normal folk rock album—this is really different. It won the BBC folk album of the year last year.
     My background is in English folk but frankly with the exception of Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr/James Fagan I've been a bit uninspired lately. But this has got me excited about folk music again. Perhaps not one for the purists though (maybe that's why I like it so much???) (bronnyl@internode.on.net)


Sprig of Thyme (single)

Release info:

2003—Niblick is a Giraffe—NIBL004

Availability:

See Jim Moray's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Jim Moray fans

Group members:

Jim Moray—guitars, piano, mellotraon, programming, drums, bass, vocals

Guest artists:

Ryan Trebilcock—drouble bass (1)
Laurence Hunt—drums (1)
Jonny Race—additional guitar (1) Robin Wilson + Anna Picken—strings (2)

Produced by:

Jim Moray, additional production on track 2 by Simon Emmerson and Mass

Comments:

A three-track single, including "Early One Morning" (track 2 here) from Sweet England and "Fair and Tender Lovers", which appears on Jim Moray. "Sprig of Thyme" is the only one that doesn't appear elsewhere, but it's charming and any fan of Jim Moray's work—or of updated folk—will love it. (Neile)

Jim Moray

Release info:

2006—Niblick is a Giraffe (NIBL)—NIBL005

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended only for Jim Moray fans or fans of orchestrated folk

Group members:

Jim Moray—vocals, piano, guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, programming, percussion, orchestrations

Guest artists:

Rose Kemp—vocals (4)
Orchestra:
     Andrew Alphabet, Nic O'Connor, Jason White, Josh Roberts, Simon Stafford, Niall Foster, Jon Bridges—strings
     Patric Fiergaard, Alexander Greville—brass
     Jackie Oates—recorders

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

The Jim Moray a little more uneven for my taste than his first. A few of the tracks are too pretty for me—I'm not generally a fan of orchestration, and with traditional folk it tends to make it over-dramatic ot my ears. But the good ones are great. However, when these songs work, they really do. "Lord Willoughby" is a good example of one that really comes together well for my tastes. I'm less fond of tracks like "My Sweet Rose" and his version of Dowland's "Flow My Tears." As I said, this one is a mixed bag for me. (Neile)

Low Culture

Release info:

2008—Niblick is a Giraffe (NIBL)—NIBL007

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jim Moray—vocals, thumb piano, violin, bass, guitar, drums, mandolin, concertina, Hohner Pokerwork melodeon, double bass, programming, bass, Hammond organ, vocals samples, treatments, verse melodeon, verse violin, hi-hat, mellotron brass air organ, found sound

Guest artists:

Laurence Hunt—marimba, tambourine (1)
Dan Wilkins—kora (1)
Nick Cooke—melodeon (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9); castagnari and Hohner One-Row melodeons (4)
Martin Keates—hurdy gurdy (2, 5, 9)
Dorian Sutton—double bass (2, 3, 6)
Nick Wyke—violin (2, 9)
Beth Porter—cello (3, 6)
Emma Hooper—viola (3. 6)
Sue Lord, Emily Travis—violin (3, 6)
James Delarre—violin (4, 7, 9); backing vocals (4)
Jim Cornick, Rob Williams—trumpet (4)
Dave Byett—trombone (4)
Roy Bailey, James Fagan, Tim Van Eyken, Jim Causley, Matt Norman, Nancy Kerr, Jasper Future, Colin Oates—backing vocals (4)
Fiona Bradshaw—English border bagpipes (5, 9)
Bubbz—MC (5)
Benjamin Brunel—tenor saxophone (7)

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

I had lost a little of my interest in Jim Moray with his self-titled album, but this album totally restored my faith. A strong collection of songs well-arranged. I even like the rapping on "Lucy Wan." The album includes a good cover of Bella Hardy's "Three Black Feathers." Overall, a lovely collection of traditional and neo-traditional material, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this kind of music. The lively songs here are especially great, like "Rufford Park Pachers" and "I'll Go List for a Sailor." (Neile)

In Modern History

Release info:

2010—Niblick is a Giraffe (NIBL)—NIBL10

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jim Moray—vocals, drums, bass, guitars, piano, synthesizer, mellotron, mandolin, banjo, Hammond organ, bouzouki, hurdy gurdy, cittern,

Guest artists:

Saul Rose—melodeon (1, 2, 4, 8, 9)
James Delarre—hurdy gurdy (1, 2, 4, 9); violin (4, 9)
Laurence Hunt—marimbas (1)
Hannah Peel—vocals (2)
Jackie Oates—vocals (3); viola (8)
Eliza Carthy—violin (4)
Clive Deamer—drums (4, 8)
Charlie Jones—bass (4)
The Musicians of Opera North (4, 6, 7):
     David Greed, Peter Maslin—first violins
     Katherine New, Maria Vericonte—second violins
     Vivienne Cambell, Anne Trygstad—violas
     Andy Fairley, Zoe Lang—cellos
     Bob Ashworth—French horn
     Michael Woodhead—trumpet
     Robert Burtenshaw—trombone
Eddie Argos—vocals (5)
Nick Cooke—melodeon (8)

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

One of my favourite CDs of 2010. Jim Moray really shines on this album, and his own compositions shine here, too, and can stand against any of the traditional songs. "Bristol Harbour" and "Hard" are particularly good. Overall, it's a powerful collection and well worth checking out if you like traditional and neo-traditional music at all. Great stuff. (Neile)

Skulk

Release info:

2012—Niblick is a Giraffe

Availability:

See

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jim Moray—acoustic and electric guitars, piano, bass, drums, organ, keyboards, banjo, concertina, melodeon

Guest artists:

Daisy Palmer—drums (3, 9)
Tim Harries—double bass (1, 8, 9); electric bass (3)
Nick Wyke—viola, viola (6)
Mattt Downer—double bass (4)
Andy Cutting—diantonic accordion (4)
B. J. Cole—pedal steel guitar (4)
Jake McMurchie—saxophone (1, 8, 10)
Pete Judge—trumpet (9, 10)
Will Pound—hamronica (7)
Jackie Oates—backing vocals (2, 3, 4), 10); violin (2)
Neil Wooley, Phil Bassindale—backing vocals (10)

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

Another impressive album from Jim Moray. He includes several contemporary covers, which he manages to fit in amazingly well with the traditional material. One of his best albums. (Neile)

A satisying collection of updated folk ballads. As strong as his first album. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)


Upceterea

Release info:

2016—NIAG Records

Availability:

See Jim Moray's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jim Moray—acoustic guitars, electric guitars, piano, electric bass, drums, vibraphone, ukulelek banjo, lute, organ, vocals

Guest artists:

Matt Downer—double bass
Dave Smith
Paul James—English bagpipes
Jo Silverston—cello
Juliet McCarthy—cello
Anna Jenkins—violin, viola
Roger Huckle—violin
Tom Moore—viola
Nick Malcolm—trumpet
David Paget—Bb clarinet, bass clarinet
Imogen Triner—oboe
Liam Byrne—viola da gamba, lirone
Jess Morgan—harmony vocals
Maria Inês Santos—Portuguese transation, voice
Chris Hillman—pedal steel guitar
Sean Genockey—slide guitar
Laurence Hunt—shekere, caxixi, handclaps

Produced by:

Jim Moray

Comments:

Another fine, emotive album by Jim Moray. He's a wonder. (Neile)

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Entry last updated 2016-08-18 13:17:50.
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