Albums »Cruel Sister

cruel sister pentangleWhen Jim is doing a big clean and the repeated rotation of NY1 News all day has become unbearable, Cruel Sister by Pentangle is put on. Happily, rather than becoming associated with the act of cleaning, an act I abhor and am miserable at, these folky ballads call to mind the benefits of cleaning: the calm of cleanliness, the gleam of surfaces, the peaceful afternoons before guests arrive for a party.

It is possibly the only album that can make me think of both rural witches of long ago and Holly Hobbie. Perhaps this is due to tit being their most folky and a departure for the band with its additions of electrical guitar. This is no Black Sabbath, though, the electric element is woven subtly into the arrangements along with the glockenspiel, the dulcimer, hints of jazz, Jacqui McShee's ethereal voice, and virtuoso guitar playing care of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch.

Jansch has recently gained lots of attention from the music world as his genius is being rediscovered by artists like Pete Doherty and Devendra Banhart. He was also very handsome in his young days and I suspect he might make the hunk pages of Brix picks sometime soon.

If you want an introduction to his work with Pentangle, Cruel Sister is m favorite album. It's melodic and haunting and should be listened to in it's entirety, start to finish.

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Posted on May 19, 2008

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