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Maddy Prior: Ravenchild

Maddy Prior: Ravenchild (Park PRK CD49)

Ravenchild
Maddy Prior

Park Records PRK CD49 (CD, UK, March 1999)

Produced by Troy Donockley and Nick Holland;
Engineered by Steve Watkins;
Recorded at Warehouse Studios, Oxford;
Mastered at Country Masters by Denis Blackham;
Maddy, Nick & Troy photos by Jay Alice Preece;
Graphics & artwork Chris Sands at Indigo Design, West Yorkshire;
Album coordination by John Dagnell

Musicians

Maddy Prior, vocals;
Nick Holland, keyboards, backing vocals;
Troy Donockley, uilleann pipes, electric & acoustic guitars, low whistle, tin whistle;
Terl Bryant, drums & percussion;
Nick Beggs, Chapman stick

Tracks

  1. Twankydillo (Roud 2409) (2.57)
  2. Bold Poachers (Roud 1686) (4.12)

With Napoleon in Russia

  1. Boney (1.51)
  2. Scorched Earth (4.21)
  3. Loot (5.00)
  1. Rigs of the Time (Roud 876) (4.06)

In the Company of Ravens

  1. In the Company of Ravens (3.09)
  2. Young Bloods (4.09)
  3. The Masts of Morrigan (3.42)
  4. Rich Pickings (4.32)
  5. Ravenchild (3.00)
  6. Dance on the Wind (3.57)
  1. Great Silkie of Sules Skerry (Roud 197; Child 113) (6.57)

Ravenchild

Review

Folk Album of the Month - Mojo 67, June 1999

Maddy marks the final severance of the Steeleye Span umbilical cord with an epic, part-thematic solo work.

Well, I'll be jiggered. Freed of all that rollicking folkery La Prior has dug deep into traditional mystique to emerge with an album of real depth and gravity. Inspired by, of all things, a wildlife TV series, a large chunk is devoted to a sequence of her own songs exploring myths surrounding ravens and wielding a grandeur that almost merits assesment as modern ballad opera. She's no stranger to dramatic themes, of course, but the war drums driving along Twankydillo and Nick Holland's enlightened piano accompaniment to Bold Poachers give notice of a fresher, more organic approach, end even invest more emotional strength to her singing. The raven section could have been embarrassing, but while it is outshone by the impressic set of neo-Napoleonic songs preceding it, inspired arrangements, graceful production (by Troy Donockley and Nick Holland) and Prior's own innate sense of mystique make it work remarkably well. Her best album in a long while.

Colin Irwin