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Albion Country Band

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Biography

After leaving Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, bass player Ashley Hutchings dreamt of a band that would play traditional British folk and Morris dance tunes with the energy and instrumental virtuosity of rock & roll continued with the Albion Country Band. Although the original group, featuring Royston Wood, Sue Draheim, and Steve Ashley, in addition to Hutchings, was together for less than two years, the ripples they brought to British folk music have continued to be felt. Their sole album, Battle of the Field, released three years after they disbanded, remains a much-cherished classic. With the band's resurrection as the Albion Dance Band in 1975, and later, as the Albion Band, Hutchings' dreams have continued to yield fruit. Hutchings initially assembled the group that became the Albion Country Band to accompany his then-wife, Shirley Collins, on her 1971 album No Roses. Inspired by the results, the musicians agreed to continue pooling their resources as the Albion Country Band. After providing accompaniment for Ashley on his album, Stroll On, and Richard Thompson on two tracks that were released on his 1991 cassette-only album, Doom and Gloom From the Tomb, Vol. 2, Hutchings and the Albion Country Band, joined by such top-notch British folk musicians as John Kirkpatrick, Martin Carthy, and Simon Nicol, recorded heir first band album in 1973. Financial difficulties caused Hutchings to disband the group before the album's release. With no band to promote the recording, Island held back the album's release until 1976. ~ Craig Harris

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