Saturday, 5 June 2010

Spirogyra - Bells, Boots and Shambles 1973

Spirogyra are a British folk/prog band that recorded three albums between 1971 and 1973. Their final album, Bells, Boots and Shambles, appeared on Polydor in April 1973 and sold very poorly. The album was a highly stylized mix of psychedelic, flowery-folk/contrasted with some harsh socio-political overtones- and many dubbed post-production sound effects, most tracks blending into the next one.

All songs and male vocals are by Martin Cockerham, who writes very hummable tunes with biting lyrics. Some collectors fondly label it a "lost classic", since many people did re-discover it. Widely regarded today as one of the classics of British acid folk.

1. The Furthest Point
2. Old Boot Wine
3. Parallel Lines Never Seperate
4. Spiggly
5. An Everyday Consumption Song
6. The Sergant Says
7. In The Western World:
In The Western World / Jungle Lore / Coming Back / Western World Reprise

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Robin Scott - Woman From the Warm Grass 1969

Singer songwriter Robin Scott's debut LP was released in 1969 on the small independent label Heart Records. A nice mix of acoustic ballads and folk-rock with some psychedelic undertones, influenced by Bob Dylan as well as Syd Barrett. The album was backed by four members from the psychedelic band Mighty Baby. This is a nice gem of British acid folk.

1. The Sailor
2. Song Of The Sun
3. The Sound Of Rain
4. Penelope
5. The Day Begins
6. Woman From The Warm Grass
7. I Am Your Suitcase Lover
8. Mara's Supper
9. Point Of Leaving
10. The Purple Cadger

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mick Stevens - See the Morning 1972

Low-fi but genuinely extraordinary, this horrendously rare album came out on the legendary DIY Deroy label, and was the first in a run of acclaimed psych-out folk LPs by the other Stevens (not Druid Overlord Meic). The charcoal simplicity of the cover sketch can’t prepare you for what lies within. What was influencing this guy? Hard to tell – frantic bass playing, flamenco-style acoustic flourishes and electric wah-wah straight out of the Bag O’Nails circa 1967 combine to reveal a serious talent. Mick plays everything – impressively, even a coffee-pot (sic) – layering tight CSNY-style harmonies on top of his semi-classical acoustic on tracks such as ‘Catherine’, whilst introducing restrained yet awesome psychedelic electric guitar textures on the excellent closer ‘Salotan Cinonrever’.

- Dominic Stinton (Galactic Ramble)

1. Smile Again
2. Asher's Song
3. Beech Tree
4. Catherine
5. Burning
6. Joe's Kaph
7. Judianna
8. Song Of The Riverspirits
9. The Wheel
10. Salotan Cinonrever

Nick Garrie - The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas 1969

This album is a very interesting piece of pop psych in the very best tradition of the baroque songwriting of late 60’s. It first came out in France in 1969, under the production of Eddie Vartan, who managed to embody Nick's perfect songs into an orchestration with several common points to that in other great albums from the era coming from the UK (think of Billy Nichols, Duncan Browne or Bill Fay). Soon after the record came out, the AZ's label owner commited suicide, the label resting orphan and thus the release being unpromoted and undistributed sank in the dust of time.

Born to a Scottish mother and a Russian father, Nick Garrie began breathing at a young age the bohemian atmosphere that permeated European musical culture of the late Sixties, finding in music the perfect way to express his cosmopolitan and eclectic personality.

One of the most mysterious and sought after albums ever.


1.The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas
2. Can I Stay With You
3. Bungles Tours
4. David’s Prayer
5. Ink Pot Eyes
6. The Wanderer
7. StephanieCity
8. Little Bird
9. Deeper Tones Of Blue
10. Queen Of Queens
11. Wheel Of Fortune
12. Evening

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Various Artists - Codex Peppermintus

Now it is finally here. An exciting new collection of freaked out and wonderful songs, a perfect selection of ear candy for the sophisticated listener. This is the sixth compilation from the Peppermint Store blog.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows the blog and write so fine comments. Thank you. And don't forget to be nice to each other.

Peace out
Mad Hatter

1. Faraway Folk - Coming Back To Brixham 1970
2. Jackie McAuley - One Fine Day 1972
3. Pretty Things - She Was Tall, She Was High 1970
4. Tucker Zimmerman - A Face That Hasn't Sold Out 1969
5. Bill Fay - Omega Day 1971
6. Bridget St John - The Pebble And The Man 1971
7. Dr. Strangely Strange - Dark Haired Lady 1969
8. Spriguns - Laily Worm 1976
9. Loudest Whisper - Mannanan I 1974
10. Complex - The Way I Feel 1971
11. Pearls Before Swine - The Surrealist Waltz 1967
12. Just Others - A Ballad Of Lady Ann 1974
13. Motherlight - The Lens (short version) 1969
14. Incredible String Band - Air 1968

Download in comments!

Check out my previous compilations:
Peppermint Store -Vol 1.
In the Magic Garden of Peppermint Store
Wizard's Dream
Out of the Mad Hat
Songs of the March Hare

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Mary-Anne - Me 1970

Here is a great folk-psych album by the Scottish folksinger Mary Anne Paterson. Recorded in 1970 by Mary Anne and some buskers from a London tube station with whom she barely rehearsed, and never saw again.

The songs here, mostly traditional, are very pretty, with a nice echo-y quality on the voice, guitar and flute accompaniments running through the entire production. The standout track is her version of "Black Girl", a Leadbelly standard, that devolves into a hippie tribal voice and flute freak out.

Me is sure to appeal to all acid folk lovers, and will surely elevate Mary-Anne to where she belongs - alongside Vashti Bunyan and Anne Briggs in the pantheon of Britain’s leading folk singers.

1. Love Has Gone
2. C o u l t e r’s Candy
3. The Jute Mill Song
4. The Gentleman Soldier
5. Black Girl
6. Wandering So Far
7. Come All Ye Fair & Tender Maidens
8. Candyman
9. The Water is ide
10. Hallowed Be Thy Name
11. Reverie for Roslyn

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Gordon Jackson - Thinking Back 1969

Gordon Jackson’s rare 1969 LP can almost be called a lost Traffic album. Produced by Dave Mason, it’s a melodic distillation of folk, pop and psychedelia featuring the talents of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood. Also appearing are Jim King and Ric Grech (Family), Julie Driscoll, The Blossom Toes, Meic Stevens, Reg King and many others. A true lost classic.

Tracks1. The Journey
2. My Ship, My Star
3. Me And My Dog
4. Song For Freedom
5. Sing To Me Woman
6. When You Are Small
7. Snakes And Ladders

Folkal Point - Folkal Point 1972

Folkal Point's sole album is one of the most expensive and sought-after British traditional folk LP from the early '70s.

Some 500 copies of this record were pressed on the tiny Midas imprint (an offshoot of the only slightly larger Folk Heritage label), aproximately half of which were destroyed in a flood. That left around 250 for the band to sell at gigs. Though it seems unlikely that all those were sold, very few have turned up since.

Musically it's a likeable, gentle collection of well-known songs sutch as Scarborough Fair, Sweet Sir Galahad and You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, as well as some folk standards. Its main assets being Cherie Musialik's warm, tender voice, which like the best British woman folk singers of the late '60s and early '70s has a high, pristine timbre. The overall effect isn't as square as on many similar collections, though, with a wistful vibe and even hints of a darker, more psychedelic mood emerging on several occasions.

Tracks1. Twelve Gates Into The City
2. Scarborough Fair
3. Sweet Sir Galahad
4. Lovely Joan
5. Circle Game
6. Cookoo's Hollerin'
7. Edom O'gordon
8. Victoria Dines Alone
9. You Ain't Going Nowhere
10. Anathea
11. National Seven
12. Once I Knew A Pretty Girl

Friday, 8 January 2010

Honeybus - Story 1970

Honeybus cut three singles in 1967 and 68, written and fronted by Pete Dello who promptly quit after I Can't Let Maggie Go hit and embarked on a fascinating and complex solo career. Not to be outdone, the band re-grouped and cut three further singles and an album that almost never got released. The story goes that upon their split in early 1970, somebody at their label, Deram Records, heard the recordings and demanded that it be released. And hence it was, posthumously and to little fanfare in 1970.

Blending the kind of pure, crystalline folk-tinged baroque pop that had characterised most of their singles with flashes of psychedelia, country and bubblegum, the twelve songs that make up Story are uniformly stunning creations, played with skill and confidence, arranged for strings and woodwind and blessed with a sympathetic, understated production.

1. Story
2. Black Mourning Band
3. Scarlet Lady
4. Fresher Than the Sweetness In Water
5. He Was Columbus
6. Ceilings No 1
7. Under The Silent Tree
8. She's Out There
9. She Said Yes
10. I Remember Caroline
11. How Long
12. Ceilings No 2

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tomorrow Come Someday 1969

Here is the wonderful soundtrack of the long-forgotten local film Tomorrow Come Someday. Recorded in 1969 by Peter Howell/John Ferdinando's who also made the legendary Agincourt, Ithaca and Alice Through the Looking Glass albums. Like "Alice" only a handful of copies were made back then, and this is now a 1000+ mega bucks item.

The short film was given a limited release at the time, and the folk flavour throughout the soundtrack feature male and female vocals . Musically it offers gentle, whimsical hippie folk with hints of sunshine pop. Great stuff!


1. Title Theme
2. Someone Like You
3. March of the Civil Servants
4. Bluebottle Stripe
5. Setting Sun
6. On Location
7. Everything Has Its Place
8. Fishing
9. Tomorrow Come Someday
10. Love Theme
11. Honesty
12. Windfall Wood

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Sun Also Rises - The Sun Also Rises 1970

The husband and wife duo from Cardiff have captured moods by patterns of sound and words. Totally influenced by the Incredible String Band, the album offers whimsical, acoustic acid folk, with weird, disjointed hippie lyrics about a fantasy world of mythological beings such as fairies, elves and dragons. It’s a charming period piece.

Graham Hemingway/vocals,guitars
Anne Hemingway/vocals,dulcimer,glockenspiel,vibes,percussion

1. I Really Wanted You
2. Wizard Shep
3. Part of the Room
4. Green Room
5. Tales of Jasmine and Suicide
6. Flowers
7. Song of Consolation
8. Suddenly It’s Evening
9. Death
10. Fafnir and the Knights

Friday, 13 November 2009

Fairport Convention - Full House 1970

Full House, released in 1970, is the fifth album by folk rock group Fairport Convention and was their first album without a female vocalist, as Sandy Denny had left to form Fotheringay.

Despite these changes they produced another great album which was remarkably successful as a project. Like Liege and Lief, it combined traditional songs with original compositions. It was favourably reviewed in Britain and America, drawing comparisons with The Band from Rolling Stone Magazine who declared that ‘Fairport Convention is better than ever’. The album reached number 13 in the UK Chart and stayed in the chart for 11 weeks.

Dave Swarbrick - vocals, Fiddle, Viola, Mandolin
Richard Thompson - vocals, Electric Guitar
Dave Pegg - vocals, Bass Guitar, Mandolin
Dave Mattacks - drums, percussion, Harmonium, Bodhran
Simon Nicol - vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar, Electric Dulcimer

Produced by Joe Boyd

1. Walk Awhile
2. Dirty Linen
3. Sloth
4. Sir Patrick Spens
5. Flatback Caper
6. Doctor of Physick
7. Flowers of the Forest

Pearls Before Swine - These Things Too 1969

These Things Too was the third album by American psychedelic folk group Pearls Before Swine, and their first for Reprise Records. It was released in 1969.

By early 1969, the original line-up of Pearls Before Swine - which had only ever performed in the studio, never live - was disintegrating around its leader and mainstay, singer and songwriter Tom Rapp. Original members Lane Lederer and Roger Crissinger had left, and Rapp had married Dutch traveller Elisabeth (surname unrecorded), whom he had met in New York when recording the album Balaklava. Original member Wayne Harley remained in the group, but left shortly after These Things Too was recorded.

The group had now left ESP-Disk and joined Reprise, a major label, and Rapp and producer Richard Alderson recruited studio musicians to play on the album. Chief among these was Jim Fairs, formerly of garage band The Cryan’ Shames, who acted as co-producer and arranger as well as musician. Other musicians included violinist Richard Greene, later of Seatrain, and jazz drummer Grady Tate.

These Things Too has been described as Rapp’s ”dreamy” album, and it is generally less well regarded by critics than the albums which immediately preceded and followed it, Balaklava (1968) and The Use of Ashes (1970). Rapp stated that it was the first Pearls Before Swine album which reflected drug use in the writing of the songs.

The album sleeve showed a 15th century painting of Christ by Giovanni Bellini. The picture was removed from the version of the album issued in Germany because it showed Christ’s nipple exposed.

1. Footnote
2. Sail Away
3. Look Into Her Eyes
4. I Shall Be Released
5. Frog In The Window
6. I’m Going To City
7. Man In The Tree
8. If You Don’t Want To (I Don’t Mind)
9. Green And Blue
10. Mon Amour
11. Wizard of Is
12. Frog in the Window
13. When I Was a Child
14. These Things Too

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Mark Fry - Dreaming With Alice 1972

Released only as a local RCA pressing in Italy, Dreaming With Alice is a legendary rarity of the hippie folk-rock scene. It’s an LP that’s easy to like, with good songwriting and all the elements that genre fans crave - dreamy vocals, sitars, flute, stoned Eastern fantasies and wistful Donovan fairytale moods. Indeed, it sounds like a sliver of vintage, acid-fuelled Donovan expanded to an entire album. The gentle acoustic mood is wisely broken up with folk-rock jamming and even some hard-edged fuzz workouts, all within the aesthetic boundaries of this skilfully arranged yet pleasantly organic album.

1. Dreaming With Alice (verse 1)
2. The Witch
3. Dreaming With Alice (verse 2)
4. Song For Wilde
5. Dreaming With Alice (verse 3)
6. Roses For Columbus
7. A Norman Soldier
8. Dreaming With Alice (verses 4-5)
9. Dreaming With Alice (verse 6)
10. Lute and Flute
11. Dreaming With Alice (verse 7)
12. Down Narrow Streets
13. Dreaming With Alice (verse 8)
14. Mandolin Man
15. Dreaming With Alice (verses 9-10)
16. Rehtorb Ym No Hcram

Loudest Whisper - Children of Lir 1974

This psychedelic folk classic was recorded in 1974, and has gone on to become one of the rarest records ever issued in Ireland. It's hardly surprising, as it's a wonderful progressive folk concept album, with mystical atmosphere and mellow vocals. A glorious mixture of catchy melodies, soaring harmonies and biting acid guitar.

1. Overture
2. Lir’s Lament
3. Good Day, My Friend
4. Wedding Song
5. Children’s Song
6. Mannanan I
7. Mannanan II
8. Children Of The Dawn
9. Dawning Of The Day
10. Septimus
11. Farewell Song
12. Cold Winds Blow
13. Sad Children