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Maddy Prior


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Contemporary, traditional, and neo-traditional folk

Status:

Most recent release, Seven for Old England (2008)

See also:

Maddy Prior's page

Wikipedia's entry on Maddy Prior

A Maddy Prior fan page

The Ectophiles' Guide pages for Maddy Prior's other projects: Steeleye Span, Silly Sisters, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, with The Carnival Band

Maddy Prior has also done two collaborative albums: Bib and Tuck (as Maddy Prior and the Girls, with Abbie Lathe and Rose Kemp, 2002); Under the Covers (as Maddy + Girls, with Abbie Lathe and Claudia Gibson, 2005)

Comparisons:

Steeleye Span, June Tabor, Martin Carthy

Covers/own material:

Own, covers, and traditional music

General comments:

Beautiful voice, well suited to what she does. (welsh@epcc.ed.ac.uk)

Maddy Prior has an unusual, unmistakable voice which is wonderfully suited to the laments and joys of traditional and traditional-sounding music. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

Maddy Prior's set was intriguing, and a fairly mixed bag. I've never listened to much Steeleye Span, and mostly know Maddy's voice from the one Silly Sisters disc that I own. On some tracks, she had a perfect blend of smooth and heart-rending to make for some powerful performances, but other times, everything seemed slightly off-kilter. I was a little surprised that the music was more experimental than I was expecting. She had a keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist (everything from Uilleann pipes to tin whistle to e-bow'ed guitar) who varied between traditional backing and wild experimentation, as well as providing solid back-up singing. The show was heavy from her new disc (Flesh & Blood), which is half covers, and half a song cycle based on chakra's and colours that will take a while for me to absorb. (The first song in the cycle is a riddle whose answer is: The Leek.) The medley of Todd Rundgren's "Hard Times" flowing into a dramatic reworking of Sibelius' "Finlandia" was a brilliant high point, and while the show was erratic, there were many high points like that. I was very proud to be able to recognize a Low D Whistle when it was brought out :) She played at least 2 Steeleye Span: "The Blacksmith" and "The Saucy Sailor", and closed with "Somewhere Along the Road", a beautiful ballad from the Silly Sisters's album No More To The Dance. (c. 1997, neal)

Recommended first album:

Probably Flesh & Blood

Recordings:

  • Woman in the Wings (1978)
  • Changing Winds (1978)
  • Hooked On Winning (1982)
  • Going For Glory (1983)
  • Year (1993)
  • Memento (compilation, 1995)
  • Flesh & Blood (1997)
  • Ravenchild (1999)
  • Ballads and Candles (2000)
  • Arthur the King (2001)
  • Lionhearts (2003)
  • The Quest (2007)
  • Seven for Old England (2008)

Woman in the Wings

Release info:

1978; reissued 1994—BGO Records—BGOCD215

Availability:

Available in the U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of Maddy Prior's other projects and English folk

Group members:

Maddy Prior—vocals

Guest artists:

Andy Roberts—guitar
Barriemore Barlow—drums
John Glascock—bass
David Palmer-keyboards
David Olney—bass
Martin Barre—guitar solo
Barry Booth—piano
Ian Anderson—flute
John Halsey—drums
Bob Gill—guitar
Sohna Anderson, Cherry Gillespie—backing vocals

Produced by:

Ian Anderson, David Palmer, and Robin Black

Comments:

This disc suffers some from the late '70s production (at least, that production style doesn't suit my tastes any more), but it still has Maddy Prior's delightfully distinctive voice. I would recommend her other discs above this one. (Neile)

Year

Release info:

1993—Park Records—PRKCD20

Availability:

Available in the U.K. and in the U.S. as an import

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of Maddy Prior's other projects and English folk

Group members:

Maddy Prior—vocals

Guest artists:

Nick Holland—piano, keyboards, Hammond, backing vocals
Richard Lee—Double bass
Rick Kemp—electric bass
Mick Dyche—acoustic guitars
Martin Loveday—cello
Liam Genocky—percussion
Andy Watts—shawms, recorder
John Dochary—bass, backing vocals

Comments:

The first five tracks form a cycle about the year. The following seven tracks don't seem to have a particular theme.

It's an incredible album. (JC214@aol.com)

It is indeed wonderful. Great album. But what struck me was the remarkable similarity of the opening strains of track 5: "Long Shadows" to Loreena McKennitt's "Dark Night of the Soul." I played them together several times and it is either an amazing coincidence, or Loreena (or possibly celloist George Kholler) heard Maddy's song and subconsciously incorporated it within. (mp@moonmac.com)


Flesh & Blood

Release info:

1997—Park Records—PRKCD38

Availability:

Available in the U.K. and in the U.S. as an import

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of Maddy Prior's other projects and English folk

Group members:

Maddy Prior—vocals

Guest artists:

Nick Holland—keyboards, backing vocals
Troy Donockley—uilleann pipes, electric & acoustic guitars, low whistle, tin whistle, cittern, backing vocals
Terl Briant—drums, percussion
Andy Crowdy—acoustic bass

Produced by:

Nick Holland & Troy Donockley

Comments:

Maddy Prior's voice is as strong and expressive as ever. The first six tracks are traditional and neo-traditional songs, and for me this is the most effective part of the album (it includes Sibelius' "Finlandia" with the melody line on bagpipes, which is quite something to hear!). The next section is seven songs/tunes called "Dramatis Personae", based on the chakras, according to the album notes. The tunes here are a little less distinctive than what preceeds it. The final track is a Rick Kemp composition. Anyway, this is among the best of her recent solo albums, especially the traditional tracks. (Neile)

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Entry last updated 2016-04-06 21:16:49.
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