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Family Album

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Reseña de álbum

Recorded in 1979 but unreleased until 1982, Steve Ashley's Family Album is one of those joyous little albums that crept out during the five or six years when punk and the new wave occupied everyone's attention, and the rest could scarcely get arrested. The folk press lavished praise upon it, but it would take another decade, and a CD reissue on Road Goes On Forever, before the rest of the world caught up — by which time Ashley himself was only just re-emerging from a vinyl silence that had consumed most of the decade. Recorded with a Fairport-heavy accompaniment (and originally released on Dave Pegg's own label), Family Album is aptly titled; eleven songs amount to a virtual concept album, documenting the joys (and otherwise) of both raising and dealing with the responsibilities of family life. "Born to Rule" looks at things from the point of view of a tot (and makes evocative use of a few favorite nursery rhymes); "The Rough with the Smooth" gives granddad his voice, and there's even room for the family dog, a rough and raucous chant through the a cappella "Lost and Found," And, of course, the whole clan come together for "Family Love," an epic recounting of a trip to the seaside, with all the attendant misery and woes: "somebody has just blown off, but nobody will admit it." Jake Thackray could not have told the tale better, and Richard Digance could not have made it more believable. The songs themselves were conceived for a stage show, and it shows; there's a buoyant, all-together-now bonhomie to the album, even when the pace slows down for a handful of more reflective tunes (grandma's "Once in a While" is especially lovely). And the joy is contagious, not only for the strength of melody and lyric that are the album's most obvious calling cards, but also for the sense of togetherness that binds the songs — like a family — together.


Nacido(a): 09 de marzo de 1946 en London, England

Género: Intérprete/compositor

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Steve Ashley has influenced the evolution of British folk music for nearly four decades. A member of the short-lived Albion Country Band in the early '70s, Ashley has continued to perform in a variety of settings. In addition to leading his own bands, Ragged Robin and the Steve Ashley Band, he performed with a duo in the 1980s that he shared with future Fairport Convention multi-instrumentalist Chris Leslie. His harmonica playing can be heard on albums by Plainsong, Marc Ellington, Richard Thompson,...
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Family Album, Steve Ashley
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