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Ragged Kingdom

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Ragged Kingdom
Ragged Kingdom


Twenty-one years after June Tabor and Oysterband collaborated on the classic 'Freedom And Rain' album they've reconvened to record the magnificent 'Ragged Kingdom'. June Tabor & Oysterband's 'Freedom And Rain' remains one of the finest collaborative albums of the past three decades. Bringing together the immense, individual talents of the sublime English folk singer Tabor and the raucous roots rebels Oysterband, it produced something quite new and enduring. When they reunited last year to perform at fRoots Magazine's 30th birthday party at The Roundhouse, they felt the chemistry spark again. And 21 years on, they've made the brand new 'Ragged Kingdom', a brilliant, belated follow-up that mixes the traditional with the contemporary in startling fashion. The trad. 'Bonny Bunch Of Roses' rubs shoulders with PJ Harvey's 'That Was My Veil'; a lush, acoustic version of Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' nestles beside the Scottish trad. song '(When I Was No But) Sweet Sixteen'. Stylistically, the participants have each grown even more in stature in the intervening years. June becoming an eclectic song interpreter, drawing inspiration from many sources, and Oysterband systematically re-exploring their own acoustic folk roots. Together, they bring all of this added artistic weight to the project yet with a deftness of touch. "The spark" says Oysterband's Ian Telfer "is we really feel we do something together which is different from what we do as separate acts. There is something in the combination of June's exquisite dark voice with the supple energy of Oysterband that greatly pleases us. June comes to recording fantastically well prepared: every nuance of meaning and feeling considered in advance and plotted in her mind. Then she stands in the studio and delivers one perfect take, like an act of Chinese calligraphy. Or maybe Chinese cooking: the work is all in the preparation. We deliberately left some of the tracks just a little raw: the current zeitgeist definitely favours sounding 'real', and that's just fine by us." Ragged Kingdom was recorded first at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth and then at Metway Studios, Brighton, with Oysters' regular producer Al Scott, Feb to April 2011. "What unites the material on Ragged Kingdom" Telfer continues "is finding the story in the song, and the exact drama in the story: pop songs are often story songs too, and we tried to find things where the story wasn't banal, which had some shading in them.' Love Will Tear Us Apar't is a great lyric, and so is 'The Dark End Of The Street'." "Glorious" Colin Irwin Mojo *****


  1. Name
  2. Bonny Bunch Of Roses
  3. That Was My Veil
  4. Son David
  5. Love Will Tear Us Apart
  6. (When I Was No But) Sweet Sixteen
  7. Judas (Was A Red-Headed Man)
  8. If My Love Loves Me
  9. The Hills Of Shiloh
  10. Fountains Flowing
  11. 1The Leaves Of Life
  12. Seven Curses
  13. The Dark End Of The Street
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