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Saturday, March 9, 2024

Gillian McPherson - Poets And Painters And Performers Of Blues (1971 ireland, divine jazzy bluesy baroque folk rock, 2017 korean edition)

Gillian McPherson, was a folk singer from Northern Ireland who had her first (and only) major label release out*‘Poets, Painters and Performers of Blues’ on RCA.  She came out looking the part with long hair and long skirt.  She played a short set in a jazzy folk vein of which I can remember ‘They All Want Somebody To Blame’ with an emotive lyric and the album’s title track.  The set was received politely.  McPherson’s album was out of print for decades.

The session team on the record was the Mark-Almond band who were, coincidentally, the second show I went to, and included Tommy Eyre on keyboards who later went on to marry Scarlet Rivera of ‘Desire’ and Rolling Thunder fame. Gillie McPherson later moved to south-east France where she continues to perform and issue the occasional recording still in the jazz-folk zone.
Richard Parkinson, February 22, 2023

Just like the cool front cover photo, it is a very beautiful work that looks like it is being played on the waterside deep in the forest. Produced by Pentangle's Danny Thompson. Perhaps because of this, there's a cool, jazzy feel to the whole thing, which seems to play a role in the popularity of this work. The backing team is also gorgeous, with Marc Almond, Dave Cousins, Tommy Eyer, etc., and the string arrangements for some songs are done by Robert Kirby.

All of the songs are self-produced, the arrangement of the talented back team is also good. It's definitely a plain work compared to the top-class British female singer-songwriters, an irresistibly lovely album with an atmosphere that feels like it's a moss-covered arrangement of pop songs. 

1. Muff The Gong - 4:52
2. It's My Own Way - 3:19
3. Look What We've Got To Do - 3:52
4. They All Want Somebody To Blame - 4:36
5. Who's At The Deceiving End - 3:56
6. I Am The Runner - 3:19
7. Is Somebody In Tune With My Song ? - 5:04
8. We Can't Be The Last Line - 3:44
9. Flight - 3:40
10.Lazy Dreamer - 2:51
11.Poets And Painters And Performers Of Blues - 2:25
Music and Lyrics by Gillian McPherson

*Gillian McPherson - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Jon Mark - Acoustic Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Congas
*Dave Cousins - Acoustic Guitar
*Spike Heatley - Double Bass
*Tony Carr - Percussion
*Brian Spring - Drums
*Roy Babbington - Electric Bass
*Tommy Eyre - Organ, Piano
*Johnny Almond - Vibraphone, Flute, Tenor Sax
*Peter Halling - Cello