Sandy, Fairport and the Greenwich Village in the 60's

From: John Penhallow, August 1, 2010

While this topic may be more suited to a FC list discussion, Sandy joined Fairport while they were doing their US song covers before she awakened a interest in Trad English ballads and tunes in the others. Anyway, I've been researching the songs of Greenwich Village in the 60's lately following the release of another album of Greenwich Village covers "The Village" which follows on the very excellent (and superior) CD from 1999:

"Bleeker Street: Greenwich Village in the 60's" and Nancy Griffiths beautiful CD "Other Voices, Too" from 1998. When you look through the songs on these albums there's many from a Fairport -with Judy then Sandy- set list of 1967/8 -songs like: "Violets of Dawn", "My Back Pages", "Morning Glory", ""Lets Get Together, "I Still Miss Someone", add in a couple of more Dylan/Byrds Tunes like "Mr Tambourine Man", "Chimes of Freedom", "Eight Miles High" and the Lovin Spoonful's "Jug Band Music", and you're starting to build up a nice playlist for your ipod.

Tyger and Simon were also listening to albums by Phil Ochs, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton, Leonard Cohen, Richard & Mimi Farina, early Simon & Garfunkel forming their early collective musical tastes before they became FC. We all used to hang out at Danny & Richard Lewis's house just around the corner from Fairport, the house, to listen to these albums and really get into them. I've only met Richard Lewis once since those days - at the 1987 Cropredy I went to and he was living and working in Manchester or thereabouts.

So call me a nostalgic 61 year old musicologist if you like, but listening to these songs now, both the originals, Fairport's versions and the recent covers today -I really like these songs! They were happening in a parallel universe to the Beatles, the Stones, the Who and the Kinks rise to fame in the UK that we were swept up with as teenagers in the mid 60's. Anyway, if you don't remember the 60's because you weren't born or too stoned then do yourself a favour and start with the Fairport "Heyday" covers then collect some of the originals and seek out the recent covers and see how on the money Ashley was at picking some of the best songs that came out of the Village in the 60's. It makes for a great playlist.

Just thought I'd share this with you.

BTW, when Fairport and I parted company in '68 just after Sandy joined, I spent the "Thank You" money on a holiday in the States -stayed at Long Island with a friend and we did venture into the Village and spent just a few hours there -I don't remember too much about it but now my adult daughters love NY -my youngest is heading back to NYC for her 3rd visit in 6 years!
From: Jim Kauffman, August 1, 2010

Lovely testimonial, John. While you FC people were an ocean away, us Northern Ohio people were just six hours away from NYC, and we had our own club, La Cave. The Village artists didn't have many places to play outside of the city, and we were a car ride away. Most of the artists on your list played there, along with bands like the Velvet Underground.

La Cave had a unique booking arrangement. Headliners would play the entire weekend, Friday and Saturday nights, and a Sunday matinee. The matinee was often the highlight of the booking, because the artists really relaxed and stretched out.

There are many bootlegs floating around, but there's never been an official "Live at La Cave" release--probably because the house didn't record the shows. For a young man living in N. Ohio, La Cave was Greenwich Village West.
From: Stephen Shutt, August 2, 2010

Hi John,
I agree wholeheartedly about the wonderful, out-of-time flavor of the Fairport recordings collected on Heyday. Am sorry that the other titles you mention from the old setlists aren't represented on any recordings from the period I have heard.

Listening to the 1960s Fairport albums as a group, it's really extraordinary (to me) how quickly the band evolved from the kind of material you pinpoint here to the more expanded, quasi "psychedelic" or "acid" folk stylings of Liege & Lief. Unhalfbricking is kind of the middle point in some ways.

When Sandy came back for the Rising for the Moon period, the flavor was quite different-but still Fairport. I'm not astute enough today to try to articulate exactly how it had changed, but whenever I listen to this material (both the LP and various live and radio gigs) it is definitely an altered flavor. Still, songs such as "White Dress" and "Dawn" do carry forward some of the ethos and aesthetic of the 1960s years.

Just some stray thoughts-I was around then, but not at all a part of that world.

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