STYLE: Jesus Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95628-16996 LABEL: Kissing Spell 9450 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Back in 1978, this Edinburgh-based Christian folk rock outfit recorded an album to mark the end of six years of making music together. Only 500 copies were pressed and, over the years, the eponymous release gained cult status resulting in original copies fetching hundreds of pounds by collectors who claimed 'Caedmon' to be a folk rock classic. Almost 30 years later, specialist label Kissing Spell (the same label responsible for the CD reissue of another group of Christian folksters, The Water Into Wine Band) re-released this gem. Recorded in a tiny home studio over two sessions on a shoestring budget, this is undeniably rough and ready stuff made all the more charming by its homemade nature and the band's obvious enthusiasm. Whilst comparisons to other folk rock acts such as Pentangle and Fairport Convention are inevitable, Caedmon go all out to keep things fresh by attempting to give a different feel to each track. For instance, the laid back groove of pianist and cellist Ken Patterson's "Maker Man" sits in stark contrast to the spellbindingly complex "Death Of A Fox" which features some nifty mandolin work from Simon Jacquet. The band's Jesus Music leanings are reflected in the likes of the progressive folk of "Ten Maidens Fair" which paraphrases the parable of the 10 virgins whilst "Beyond The Second Mile" tackles Jesus' "eye for an eye" rebuke complete with a tender performance from lead vocalist Angela Naylor and some memorable electric guitar from Jim Bisset. Other highlights include the evocative "Sea Song" and the joyously funky "Living In The Sunshine" which see the band work together as a unit to pull something rather special out the bag. The album is not without its faults - Naylor's vocals are often lost in the mix, for example. But there is much here which is not only fascinating Christian music history, it is exceptionally inventive Christian folk that easily stands up amongst today's music.
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