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Lazy Farmer

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Album Review

Lazy Farmer's sole album is solid and full-bodied (if conventional and unremarkable) British folk, with a repertoire heavily grounded in traditional tunes. Indeed, eight of the 12 tracks on Lazy Farmer are traditional in origin, while another, "The Cuckoo," is not exactly uncommon to the English-speaking folk world. With a quintet featuring four vocalists, two five-string banjo players, and two multi-instrumentalists in John Bidwell (flute, flageolet, guitar) and Jake Walton (dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, guitar), the band has a richer, deeper sound than many British groups with a similar style. Collectors might be most attracted to this by the presence of noted U.K. folk figure Wizz Jones, though he wrote just one of the cuts, the wistful "When I Leave Berlin," which is one of the set's highlights. The cover of Ralph McTell's "Standing Down in New York Town" makes one wish they'd put more contemporary songs onto the album; the only other non-trad item is Derroll Adams' "Love Song," an especially melancholy rumination that benefits from some very nice vocal harmonies and trade-offs.

Biography

Born: 25 April 1939 in Croydon, Surrey, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

With its many leaves and branches, the English folk scene is traceable to a few gnarly yet enduring taproots. Along with the Watersons and Davy Graham, guitarist Wizz Jones is one of them. While virtually unknown in America in this sorry age, Jones was paramount in influencing virtually every acoustic guitarist and folk scenester who came after him in the U.K. Jones began to play guitar seriously in the mid- to late '50s after being inspired by the literature of the Beat Generation, and American...
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Lazy Farmer, Wizz Jones
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