Archive for May, 2009

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The Very Best of Sylvia Tyson (2001)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Sylvia Tyson
Release: The Very Best of Sylvia Tyson
Date: 2001
Label: Varese Sarabande
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

1. You Were on My Mind 2. I Walk These Rails 3. River Road 4. Pepere’s Mill – (with Lucille Star) 5. Driftwood 6. Gypsy Cadillac 7. Sound of One Heart Breaking, The  8. Denim Blue Eyes 9. Walking on the Moon 10. Night the Chinese Restaurant Burned Down, The
11. Diamond Love 12. Spring of ’45 – (with Quartette) 13. Bitter Pride 14. So Quiet Now 15. Sleep on My Shoulder 16. Blind Fiddler’s Waltz, The 17. Last Call 18. Sentinel Crow – (with Quartette)

Album notes
Personnel includes: Sylvia Tyson (vocals, autoharp, tambourine); Albert Lee (acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin); Andrew Hardin (acoustic & electric guitars, percussion); Rick Whitlaw (acoustic & electric guitars); Danny Greenspan (acoustic guitar, dobro); Nathan Tinkham (acoustic guitar); Fats Kaplan (pedal steel guitar, dobro, fiddle, accordion); Mike Holder (pedal steel guitar); Don Rooke (dobro); Dan Whiteley (mandolin); Oliver Schroer (fiddle); Chris Whiteley (harmonica); Gary Breit (piano, keyboards); John Sheard (piano, synthesizer); Victor Bateman (acoustic & electric basses); Denis Pendrith (bass); Bucky Berger (drums, percussion, tambourine); Randall Coryell (percussion); Colleen Peterson (background vocals).
Producers include: Sylvia Tyson, Tom Russell, Danny Greenspoon.
Compilation producers: Cary E. Marshall, Saul Davis, Sylvia Tyson.
Includes liner notes by Bill DeYoung.
Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch (DigiPrep, Hollywood, California).
Listen or buy here.

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Ian And Sylvia – Ian And Sylvia (1971)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: Ian & Sylvia (MGM)
Date: 1971
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

   Their weekly CTV series, ‘Nashville North,’ introduced in 1970, became ‘The Ian Tyson Show’ (with Sylvia only an occasional guest) in 1971 and continued until 1975. Ian and Sylvia made their last appearances as a duo in May 1975 at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. They have been reunited on occasion – eg, for a concert filmed 18 Aug 1986 by the CBC at the Kingswood Music Theatre, Maple, Ont, with Lightfoot, Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, and Murray McLauchlan as guests. Ian and Sylvia were inducted into the Juno Awards Hall of Fame in 1992.

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Ian And Sylvia – Greatest Hits (1969)

May 31, 2009
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Cover

 Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: Greatest Hits
Date: 1969
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

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Ian And Sylvia – Full Circle (1969)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: Full Circle
Date: 1969
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

   Ian and Sylvia originally traveled to Nashville in 1968 with the intention of recording with some of the best session musicians that could be found in one place. Whether acoustic or electrified, Music City has always been notable for the quantity of talented musicians that make Greater Nashville their home. Not surprisingly considering their own rural roots, Ian and Sylvia quickly became caught up in the new sounds coming out of north-central Tennessee. The “Nashville Sound” itself—characterized by a heavy use of “strings” as backup—permeated commercial country music during the 1960s, one of its chief promoters being RCA-producer Chet Atkins. While finishing up their recording commitment to Vanguard with 1968’s country-jazz fusion entitled Nashville, Ian and Sylvia incorporated some of these country influences into a new stage show, put together a country band dubbed the Great Speckled Bird, and began touring in 1969. The two albums they would later record for Capitol—Full Circle and Ian and Sylvia—each showcased the duo’s avant garde country western repertoire.

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Ian And Sylvia – Nashville (1968)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: Nashville
Date: 1968
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

   Recorded in Nashville in 1968, and released the same year on Vanguard, this album from the Canadian folk duo Ian & Sylvia Tyson includes a cover of the Danko/Dylan classic “This Wheel’s on Fire”. Their version is also available on CD, e.g. on the 2002 compilation IAn & Sylvia: The Complete Vanguard Recordings (Vanguard 4VCD 196).

   Sylvia Fricker was born on September 19, 1940, in Chatham, Ontario.  Her mother was a music teacher and the organist and choir leader in their church; her father was employed in the appliance section of a large department shore.  after graduating from high school, she worked for a jeweler in her hometown but, unhappy with the direction her life was taking, began venturing up to Toronto on weekends.  She had always enjoyed music, particularly the folk idiom, so she decided to pursue a career as a professional singer.  After a year of traveling back and forth to Toronto, she quit her job and moved.  She first met Ian while both were performing at a local spot called the Village Corner Club.  They formed their music partnership early in 1959 and, in 1964, their personal lives were joined by marriage.

   Despite their production of five more albums in the next few year, Ian & Sylvia were uncertain in which direction to take their music.  After deciding to utilize Nashville’s top-notch musicians by recording in Music City, they realized their commitment to country music — which came as no great surprise, for their musical roots were in country.  Although some “people really got uptight,” explains Tyson, “when we made the transition to country music,” they have never regretted their choice.  Out of the Nashville venture came another album for Vanguard, a subsequent LP on the MGM label, and the formation of a country band called the Great Speckled Bird.
(musicamericana.com)
Tracks:
1. Mighty Quinn  2. Wheels On Fire  3. Farewell To The North  4. Taking Care Of Business   5. Southern Comfort  6. Ballad Of The Ugly Man   7. Ninety Degrees X Ninety Degrees  8. She’Ll Be Gone  9. London Life  10. Renegade 11. House Of Cards

Listen or buy it here or here.

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Ian And Sylvia – Lovin’ Sound (1967)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: The Lovin’ Sound
Date: 1967
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

Review by Richie Unterberger
  The Ian & Sylvia records bridging their folk phase and country-rock period were always uneven folk-rockish affairs, and this one, which remains one of their least-known 1960s efforts, was not an exception. Peg down your expectations a notch, though, and it isn’t bad, and it’s perhaps their most pop-oriented venture into the folk-rock waters.
   Paul Harris (keyboards and orchestral arrangements) and Harvey Brooks (bass), both among the most active session players on mid-’60s New York folk-rock records, were both in the band playing on this release. Largely forsaking the traditional folk material that had dominated their first albums, the set was split between original material and covers of contemporary songwriters Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin, and Johnny Cash (session guitarist David Rea contributed “Pilgrimage to Paradise”). Still, the duo never adapted to rock music as well as most of their ex-folkie peers, and the sound of Lovin’ Sound is rather subdued and tentative.
  
   There are some good moody songs here, though, that grow on you, such as the title track (which would not have sounded unreasonable on AM radio) and “Trilogy.” The covers of Hardin’s “Hang on to a Dream” and “Reason to Believe,” as well as Dylan’s “I Don’t Believe You,” are well done as well. “Sunday,” written as a CBC TV theme, is uncharacteristically happy-go-lucky, with a trumpet-mimicking vocal chorus that leaves one with the impression that they were making fun of California sunshine pop; “Where Did All the Love Go?” and Johnny Cash’s “Big River” expressed their growing country leanings. As a lowlight, “National Hotel” was a cruddy goodtime-vaudevillian exercise that didn’t suit the pair at all.

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Ian And Sylvia – So Much For Dreaming (1966)

May 31, 2009

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Artist: Ian And Sylvia
Release: So Much For Dreaming
Date: 1966
Sylvia is from Chatham. Born Sylvia Fricker.

Line Up:
Ian Tyson (vocals, guitar, autoharp)
Sylvia (vocals)
David Rae (guitar)
Robert Bushnell (electric bass)
Al Rogers (drums).

   Ian Sylvia’s adjustment to folk-rock was sometimes fine, sometimes awkward, and this was another inconsistent, though generally worthwhile, effort. Highlights include “Circle Game,” one of the very first recorded covers of a Joni Mitchell composition. Tyson’s “Wild Geese” and “Child Apart” count as some of their better unheralded tunes, and the occasional muted orchestration worked well on “Circle Game” and the melancholy title track. On the other hand, the attempts at blues were abominable, the traditional ballads anachronistic, and some of the material (especially Fricker’s) undistinguished. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide.

   In the mid-1960s Ian and Sylvia began to move away from traditional folk toward an early synthesis of country music and rock. In place of guitar accompaniment (which had been supplied in turn by Monte Dunn, David Rea, and others) they formed a full band, the Great Speckled Bird, in 1968; the debut LP Great Speckled Bird is considered a classic of the country-rock genre. The change in style initially met with mixed if not hostile reaction but brought Ian and Sylvia before a broader audience – in 1970, for example, they appeared at the Atlanta Pop Festival and as part of the Festival Express, a rock festival that crossed Canada by train, stopping in several cities. They also performed at Expo 70 in Japan. (The Canadian Encyclopedia).

Listen or buy it here or here.

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