Great news for FLAC fans out there! 7Digital are offering lossless FLAC downloads of the new "Shoeless In The Desert" album as well as 320Kb mp3s! They're accepting pre-orders, and are playing samples of all the tracks as we speak...
It’s 46 years ago to the day – April 14th 1969 – that I recorded my first LP! It was an early start. I got up at dawn, grabbed the Harmony 12-string guitar that’s in front of me even as I’m tapping now, and set out on the 200 mile journey from Leeds to London in my old A35 van. Parked in the Marble Arch underground car park and made it to CBS Studios in New Bond Street for the 11am session. We recorded throughout the day, pretty well non-stop. Clive Selwood was there all the time, as was Mike Ross, CBS’s superb house engineer. I don’t know how Mike kept going – he’d just finished a through-the-night session with The Who and cleaned up the studio before I arrived! We finished up around 6pm, then I drove back to Leeds. It was a long day… So, it’s 46 years ago today that “1917 Revolution” was recorded. Just been listening to it again for old times’ sake. It’s still got a good sound… 46 years! Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself?
Following Guerssen/Sommer’s re-issue of
Beau’s “Creation”, Cherry Red are releasing “Shoeless In The Desert”. It’s a
download set of fourteen new recordings by the master singer-songwriter and
whilst sonically not embarking on new territory, the 12-string led album’s
subjects are as diverse as ever.
From conquest/imperialism of “Storm In The Eye
Of God”, there’s the dense thickets of imaginary of “The Oyster & The
Pearl” to the folk prettiness of “Masquerade “.
Beau’s guitar playing is as strong and nimble
as it was in the late 60’s attested by “This Is Your Dream”. Finishing with
“The Atheist Hymn” the song reconnects the listener with the subject matter of
1971’s “Blind Faith” from “Creation”. So with Beau’s musicianship and his
lyrical muses as strong as his work for Dandelion Records 45 years ago those
who love that material and bought “Creation” recently should definitely seek
out “Shoeless In The Desert”.
Many thanks to Flat Ed, the first DJ to play a track from "Shoeless In The Desert", due out on 11th May! Ed's Popcast 95 show for Radio Zenith in France ended with "Theatre Song". Check it out now on Mixcloud. Greatly appreciated, Ed!
Grateful thanks to Dmitry Epstein in Canada for his - the first! - review of my new "Shoeless In The Desert" collection. Available on Cherry Red Records from 11th May...
BEAU – Shoeless In The Desert Cherry Red 2015 Sharp yet smooth: most uncompromising song cycle from veteran observer. Trevor Midgley, artistically known as Beau, has been juxtaposing romantic notions with sociopolitical agenda from the very start of his career, from 1971’s "Creation" on to "Fly The Bluebird" from 2014. Yet its successor might be the crystallization of such an approach, with the same contrast approximating absolute – not absolution. Not for nothing the album’s title springs off the dramatic “The Oyster & The Pearl” which aims this wordly arrow not at the paupers but at the princes of today’s world. For every critical lash there’s a 12-string lace, though, so delicate in “Masquerade” where lyrical princess dwells, and in the Sibelius-based “Tree Of Life” searching the bright future behind the weapon-wielding present. As usual with Beau, parallels are drawn here on historic level, and the record starts with “Storm In The Eye Of God” that provides a new angle on the migration motives, while “America For Sale” pitches the pity for those who don’t value their own country. Still, “Guardians Of Their Own Truth” digs for the roots of faith deep into the dark ages, so yes, these pieces’ religious aspect is deceptive, as “Uncle Joe” hints, and is shattered to pieces in “The Atheist Hymn” which finds the ultimate, mathematically proven wisdom of one’s right to not believe. Quite haunting, its theme can’t fight the folk transparency of “This Is Your Dream” anyway, allowing the singer to whisper in your ear to chase the woes away. Here’s the pinnacle of that old juxtaposition – the spirituality of freedom. ***4/5
Very grateful to Jesse Jarnow from WFMU Radio's The Frow Show for playing "April Meteor" on Tuesday. I reckon New York City and New Jersey must all be Creationists by now! Really do appreciate what WFMU-FM 91.1 are doing...