Sir Johnalot of Merrie Englandes Musyk Thyng and Ye Greene Knyghte
Following the tentative direction of ‘Another Monday’ I suppose this is in the half-and- half department. If not exactly hedging the bets at least a gradual easing in. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight sink a few on the Southside. But this time a real studio, Sound Techniques in Chelsea with engineer John ‘Wood. And one big production number featuring a cast of six or seven. Side A comprised mainly of jazzy/bluesy material, some with hand drum played by Terry Cox who together with Danny had been in Alexis’s band and moonlighted down at the Cousins and now completed the Pentangle line-up. And side B was more renaissancy/medievally sounding with folk tunes arranged somewhat in that vein.
Ostensibly quite a breakthrough, although for me they were ideas had been on the go for quite a while. Before my involvement in folk and blues in fact. Anyway, ‘Sir Johnalot’ caused a few ripples, influencing fledgeling new-agers and proto celtic- revivalists alike. Warner Brothers soon picked it up thus making it ‘underground’ and later Windham Hill took it on board thereby conferring full new-age status. I heard a story that it was William de Kooning’s favorite record. Or at least that he relentlessly subjected some of his followers to it side after side at an all day paint-in. So I like to think that it changed the course of western visual art as well. The musicians involved were all great players and included Ray Warleigh, Roddy Skeeping and David Munrow.
|The Earle of Salisbury
The Trees They Do Grow High
Lady Goes to Church
My Dear Boy