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Park Taster

Park Taster (Park PRK CD37)

Park Taster
Various Artists

Park Records PRK CD37 (CD, UK, 1997)


  1. Steeleye Span: The Fox (3.04)
  2. Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band: The Jovial Begger (3.07)
  3. Steeleye Span: The Old Maid in the Garrett (5.55)
  4. Davey Arthur: The Galway Farmer (5.40)
  5. The Guitar Orchestra: Africa (4.59)
  6. Maddy Prior: Marigold / Harvest Home (4.07)
  7. Wild Willy Barrett: Jacko Diamonds (4.37)
  8. Steeleye Span: Lanercost (4.32)
  9. Maddy Prior & Rick Kemp: Bewcastle (5.45)
  10. Maddy Prior: Commit the Crime (3.35)
  11. Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band: The Boar’s Head (3.06)
  12. The Pentangle: So Early in the Spring (5.42)
  13. The Guitar Orchestra: A Pernod for the Bamboo Man (Aperitif) (3.59)
  14. Maddy Prior: Boys of Bedlam (live) (Roud V16366) (3.56)
  15. Maddy Prior: Wee Weaver (live) (3.15)


  1. According to the track list on the CD sleeve, track 8 is Lady Diamond. On the CD, however, is Lanercost from the same album, Back in Line.
  2. Park Record’s online entry for this CD lists a live version of The Rolling English Road as the last track instead of the Wee Weaver. I wrote a mail to Park Record and they told me it’s a typo; there is only this one version of the sampler CD.

Sleeve Notes

Steeleye Span: The Fox

From the album In Concert, PRK CD27

There are far too many theories about music. Steeleye Span know that well, both cognescenti and critics have debated long and hard on what they’ve created. The band themselves quite sensibly dismiss all this and maintain their music speaks for itself.

Here are Steeleye Span - in fact two different Steeleye Span - doing just that. One from the mid eighties remoulding earlier classics into finky Merrie England groove - immaculate bass from the soon to depart Rick Kemp, roaring guitar courtesy of Bob Johnson, two sparks to a flame which ignites on King Henry.

The other Steeleye, older, more measured, even stately, yet with fresh impertinence. Peter Knight’s carnival violin leading reels or echoing gothic classics with A Canon by Telemann. Maddy Prior - the voice, the constant - relating tales of vulpine trickery, false loves and dances in the beyond. A new backline already adept in those old ethnic rhythms kick on the pace. Play this with the volume up! Disturb the neighbours - why not? This is music. It will endure.

Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band: The Jovial Begger

From the album Hang Up Sorrow and Care, PRK CD31

This time, the team cross folk, classical and rock influence to songs and ballads from the 17th and 18th Centuries. Lute songs that sound as if they come from Nashville, ballads that cross Purcell with township rock ...

Steeleye Span: The Old Maid in the Garrett

From the album Time, PRK CD34

Definitely to be taken with a large pinch of salt, this is probably the first (and last) time that this song has been sung by women!

Time, in the Steeleye tradition, includes songs of Pagan goddesses, witches burning at the stake, under-age pregnancy, crows tearing at the flesh of dead deserted knights, love fantasy, good and evil - stories of mythological legends, traditional folklore and romantic fairy-tales.

FOLK ROOTS - “Time will sound good ten years from now, twenty even... it’s refreshing, sparkly and puts the name of Steeleye Span right back in the main frame.”
BIRMINGHAM POST - “is one of their best”
DAILY EXPRESS - “The Folk Rock Pioneers are back in vintage form”

Davey Arthur: The Galway Farmer

From the album Celtic Side Saddle, PRK CD26

A marvellous song from the pen of Steve Knightley. It truly captures the energy and excitement of a horse race, and shows the expectations many Irish have, and share, each year travelling to Cheltenham to race, and win!

Celtic Side Saddle has served to remind us all that Davey Arthur rightfully remains one of the foremost talents in Irish music.

The Guitar Orchestra: Africa

From the album Interpretations, PRK CD18

This album follows on from the plot of the debut Guitar Orchestra album in featuring music created entirely by the playing of real guitars to the exclusion of all other instruments apart from percussion. No voices... no keyboards... no synths... no midi.. just an orchestra of guitars playing unique interpretations of some classic tracks.

Maddy Prior: Marigold / Harvest Home

From the album Year, PRK CD20

DAILY EXPRESS - “The voice of Steeleye Span with her much acclaimed stunning solo album.”
FOLK ROOTS - “Her most complete release for ages”
In the New York times top twenty albums of 1994.

Wild Willy Barrett: Jacko Diamonds

From the album Open Toed and Flapping, PRK CD29

A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist with humour! Willy has the ability to play any stringed instrument you care to throw at him. Ukulele, piano, violin, egg-neck guitar! The list goes on. He is joined on this album by a Church Harmonium player/drummer playing pallet cardboard box/400 gallon diesel tank and heavy gauge corrugated iron and a blues harp player - it’s acoustic Roots meets Blues meets Folk meets Country!

Steeleye Span: Lanercost

From the album Back in Line, PRK CD8

The 1986 album with 3 extra tracks, including One Misty Moisty Morning and Spotted Cow live.

Maddy Prior & Rick Kemp: Bewcastle

From the album Happy Families, PRK CD4

Maddy Prior this time with her husband Rick Kemp, also from Steeleye Span. They live with their children in the wilds of Bewcastle Fells in Cumbria, and this location has no doubt been an inspiration for this wonderful collection of songs.

BOB HARRIS - RADIO 1 - “The album has a wonderful atmosphere.”
IAN WELLS - DAILY TELEGRAPH - “Happy Families contains some of the most impressive songs I’ve heard for a long time.”

Maddy Prior: Commit the Crime

From the album Memento, PRK CD28

The first Maddy Prior “Best of” taken mainly from her solo career. As always, Maddy’s distinctive vocal is instantly recognisable and a guarantee of quality.

Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band: The Boar’s Head

From the album Carols & Capers, PRK CD9

Maddy’s pure voice and the five member Carnival Band, playing medieval instruments, recreate tunes from the past five centuries. They exalt the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrate partying with great passion.

GUARDIAN - “Maddy’s voice is as true as a bell. It actually sounds as if there’s a celebration going on.”
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - “The Carnival Band is an accomplished bunch whose engaging use of classical, folk and other influences defies shorthand definition.”

The Pentangle: So Early in the Spring

From the album So Early in the Spring, PRK CD35

FOLK ROOTS - “So Early in the Spring is uppity, sprightly, serenity and quality all at once. And you’ve probably never seen the album - not surprising really, since originally the outcome of a continental deal in 1989 [with Hypertension Records - rz]. This Park Records version is the first British issue.”

The Guitar Orchestra: A Pernod for the Bamboo Man (Aperitif)

From the album The Guitar Orchestra, PRK CD6

Instrumental... multi-layered guitars... acoustic... electrical... soothing... screaming... solos... soaring... no keyboards... no synths... just an orchestra of guitars... with bass by Simon Edwards (ex Fairground Attraction)... and percussion by Hossam Ramzy.

What guitarists say:
PHIL MANZANERA (ex Roxy Music) - “A sensational guitar album guaranteed to give years of listening pleasure.”
BRIAN MAY (Queen) - “Very professional, well played, extremely pleasant”
DAVID RHODES (Peter Gabriel etc) - “An interesting concept, well put together... acceptable face of guitar heroics.”

Maddy Prior: Boys of Bedlam (live)

Recorded live during ’94 and will appear on an “In Concert” album at some time during the future.

Maddy Prior: Wee Weaver (live)

Recorded live during ’94 and will appear on an “In Concert” album at some time during the future.

[Note: This “In Concert” album was planned for 1997 but in fact became the studio album Flesh and Blood]