[Review] David Carroll and Friends from Fairport and Gryphon – Bold Reynold David Carroll and Friends

Bold Reynold” is an album by David Carroll and Friends (Gryphon’s Dave Oberle, Graeme Taylor and Brian Gulland plus Fairport Convention’s Chris Leslie and Dave Pegg, with Tom Spencer from The Professionals and The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and Lucy Cooper). Consisting of nine long tracks, it was released via Talking Elephant Records, and can be considered a hidden rarity that we have the pleasure of listening to and reviewing. The album opens with “The Last Leviathan” characterised by a long intro with dark and very dilated sounds, enriched by effects. As the song develops, Folk traits permeate the melodies of the track, with fine intertwining of arpeggios and a vocal with traditional imprinting, which expressively interprets the lyrics. A blend of dreamy melodies between Folk and Rock, with a dreamy and very involving atmosphere. The album’s shortest track “Follow Me Up To Carlow” features a traditional Folk sound, with an elaborate rhythm enhanced by percussion. The vocal parts alternate between solo verses and engaging choral refrains, embroidered on music enriched by strings, and a rhythmic and melodic sound, markedly personal. “Poor Murdered Woman” is a softer and more symphonic track, with a warm and expressive vocare and a deeper, more reflective sound. The rhythm is minimal and melodic interlacing is at the heart of the sound, giving the track an airy feel. Remaining on softer but more intricate sounds than its predecessor, “Banks of the Nile” features a dynamic and powerful female vocal. Percussion characterises the rhythm, while the melodies are purely traditional Folk, as is the instrumentation. Slow-moving, minimalist rhythms and percussive sounds characterise the structure of “She Moved Through the Fair.” Another long track that brings traditional sounds into a fresh, modern context, with choral vocals and fine string phrasing over dreamy guitar arpeggios. “High Barbaree” is a very energetic and engaging passage, more Folk than Rock, where the cheerful choral refrains engage the listener. The instrumental parts and the sound are upbeat and very rhythmic, making one want to dance. A ballad combining traditional Folk and Rock “Poor Man’s Sorrow,” returns to the male vocal, developing modern instrumental parts. Elaborate textures and phrasing between instruments allow the song’s intense theme to develop. The longest track on the album, “The Battle,” which is over eight minutes long, is another mixture of Folk and Rock with a melancholic atmosphere. The vocals are warm and expressive, and interpret the lyrics with passion, while the sound is linear and allows the atmospheres and settings at the heart of the track’s theme to develop. The concluding “Gentlemen of High Renown” returns to more rhythmic and engaging sounds and atmospheres, with an upbeat and carefree imprint. A Folk Rock record, with an imprint more related to traditional music, developing an intense and very varied tracklist. An album that is composed of engaging and rhythmic tracks to other more reflective ones, always keeping the intensity and the listener’s attention very high. Recommended for all lovers of 70s Folk Rock sounds, with long, elaborate tracks that enhance the band’s compositional and performing technique.


01. The Last Leviathan (07:27)
02. Follow Me Up To Carlow (04:22)
03. Poor Murdered Woman (07:06)
04. Banks of the Nile (06:22)
05. She Moved Through the Fair (07:24)
06. High Barbaree (05:12)
07. Poor Man’s Sorrow (04:59)
08. The Battle (08:02)
09. Gentlemen of High Renown (05:16)


David Carroll / Bouzouki, Mandolin, Acoustic, Electric and High-Strung Guitars, Appalachian Dulcimer, Uilleann Pipes, Vocals 
Brian Gulland: Bassoon, Contra Bassoon, Harmonium, Soprano Alto Tenor & Bass Crumhorns, Cor Anglais, Bass Clarinet, Church Organ, Whistle, Vocals 
Dave Oberle: Drums, Tubano Dancing Drum, Tablas, Bodhran, Vocals
Graeme Taylor / Electric Guitar, Engineer, Producer
Chris Leslie / Fiddle, Vocals
Dave Pegg / Bass
Lucy Cooper / Vocals
Tom Spencer / Banjo

Bold Reynold |Official Website|YouTube Channel|

Talking Elephant Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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