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Review: Ian A. Anderson, Time Is Ripe

Ian A. Anderson
Time Is Ripe
[Weekend Beatnik (2010)]

Not to be confused with the flute-playing leader of Jethro Tull, Ian A. Anderson, 63, has made his presence felt, from every angle, on the folk music of England. A spearhead of Bristol’s country blues scene of the 1960s, the Weston-Super-Mare-born finger-style guitarist and cockney-ed vocalist has gone on to become a record label owner (The Village Thing), music magazine publisher (“Southern Rag,” “Folk Roots,” and “fROOTS”), host of a BBC radio folk music show, as well as continuing as a performer, both as a soloist and with such groups as the English Country Blues Band, Tiger Moth, Blue Blokes 3, and the Hot Vultures. Though he’s mostly clung to traditional music, his 4-year foray into, what’s been called “psych-folk” or “acid folk,” that followed his more-traditional 1969 debut, represented some of the most interesting attempts to fuse British folk traditions with contemporary-minded lyricism. With original songs like “Hey Space Pilot” and “Shirley Temple Meets Hawkwind,” a science fiction and fantasy theme runs throughout the 20-track CD. Three previously unreleased tunes—“A Sign Of The Times,” “Edgar,” and “Baby Let Me Dance With You”—are included, along with a country blues interpretation of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.” While arrangements remain sparse, guests provide occasional spice. Steel guitarist Mike Cooper adds to “Singer Sleeps On As Blaze Rages,” and guitarist Ian Hunt adds melodic counterpoint to “Royal York Crescent.” Future Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers provides a backbone for folk-rocker “A Vulture Is Not A Bird You Can Trust.”

—Craig Harris (Chicopee, MA)

© 2010 DriftwoodMagazine.com, All rights reserved.

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One comment on “Review: Ian A. Anderson, Time Is Ripe

  1. Cockney-ed? Really? Sounds a bit like John Cale to me .

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