Deathfolk, blues, psych-fi, English trad and world twang!
Includes 7 tracks that are previously unissued or new to CD.
This first ever compilation to range across his entire musical career highlights a startlingly varied recorded output, which will probably surprise both newcomers and those who only know of some of it. 21 tracks from 50 years playing and recording solo and in 6 bands (Ian Anderson’s Country Blues Band, Hot Vultures, The English Country Blues Band, Tiger Moth, Blue Blokes 3 and The False Beards) sourced from numerous album and radio sessions. From psych folk originals to world roots, with influences from blues, old time, English traditions, European and African musics.
Inspired by ancient folk blues records, Ian A Anderson (no, not that one!) was caught up in the late 1960s blues boom, mentored by Alexis Korner and supported by radio DJs like John Peel. Following a series of indie-label EPs, his first proper album Stereo Death Breakdown came out on Liberty/UA in 1969 to coincide with a national tour on which Ian Anderson’s Country Blues Band supported blues legend Mississippi Fred McDowell.
But then, performing regularly in key venues of the day like London’s celebrated Les Cousins and the Bristol Troubadour, he took a sideways swerve into what now gets called ‘psych folk’. He released 4 solo albums of original songs and tunes, 3 of them on Bristol’s legendary Village Thing label, and appeared at the very first Glastonbury festival.
By the mid-’70s he’d returned to folk, blues & roots material, but with his own English accent. His duo Hot Vultures with Maggie Holland (3 albums) toured extensively internationally as well as on the UK college circuit and early folk festvals such as Cambridge. People from the emerging punk scene like a pre-Clash Joe Strummer could be found alongside folk fans in their audiences. They were among the few ‘70s UK folk artists to have an LP released in the USA.
Entering the 1980s, he teamed up with some notable English traditional folk musicians in The English Country Blues Band (2 albums), noisy dance band Tiger Moth (2 albums) and its world music influenced big-band recording offshoot Orchestre Super Moth. Then, for most of the ’90s, he took a long break from live performances while he concentrated on broadcasting, producing records by world music artists, and other music-related activities.
Everything changed again in the 21st century. From 2004-2006, Tiger Moth re-formed for festivals like WOMAD, Sidmouth and The Big Chill. Then, following a command performance for folk legend Shirley Collins, Blue Blokes 3 (an impromptu trio with PiL’s Lu Edmonds and 3 Mustaphas 3’s Ben Mandelson) were invited to make an album, and toured nationally. After this he and Mandelson continued recording and live dates as the duo The False Beards, and in 2016 Hot Vultures re-united for a successful summer tour.
Re-enthused, in 2017 Ian decided to try a few solo gigs again for the first time in 45 years, “to scare myself.” They actually turned out rather well, so he’s continued, including returning to first principles with the entirely solo acoustic release Deathfolk Blues Revisited.
released January 4, 2019
Musician friends who feature along the way on the album include (alphabetically) Keith Christmas, Chris Coe, Lu Edmonds, Bob Hall, Sue Harris, Maggie Holland, Ian Hunt, Al Jones, Nic Jones, John Kirkpatrick, Ben Mandelson, John Maxwell, Jon Moore, Mox, Hijaz Mustapha, Geoff Nicholls, Dave Peabody, Bob Rowe, Martin Simpson, Rod Stradling, Abdul Tee-Jay, Chris Turner and John Turner.