Mellow Candle — The Virgin Prophet
(Si Wan Kissing Spell SRMC 4053, 1970/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01
As the CD liner notes state, Mellow Candle's Swaddling Songs is the holy grail of folk rock. There really is no other album that even compares in this specific genre (Fairport Convention, Spriguns, Pentangle etc.) Although the balance was a bit more rock by the time of Swaddling Songs, the band was initially much more folk oriented, as this CD attests. Much of this CD is previously unreleased demo sessions from 1969-70 with a four-piece drummerless line-up (guitar, piano, bass, vocals – although they all sing and at times there are drums). About 3/4 of this later appeared on Swaddling Songs and although they are noticeably different versions, they are similar enough to make the larger part of this CD somewhat redundant. However the rest of the CD consists of tracks showing up for the first time, including one where the male vocalist sings lead. Except for that track, the rest is quite comparable to the Swaddling Songs material, and makes a nice addition for the collector. Those unfamiliar should start with Swaddling Songs, it's an important reference point.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more