This is the 9th installment of the My Kind Of Folk Restoration Project and the first of four Al Stewart sessions recorded for the program between 1968 and 1969. This particular session is also one of the crown jewels of this entire project. Al is accompanied here by members of Giles, Giles & Fripp (AKA 4/5 of King Crimson mk1: Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Peter Giles & Ian McDonald). All of these songs precede the officially released recordings, some by a year or more, and in many respects are superior performances. Listen to Al's vocal delivery on these songs or Robert Fripp's lead guitar contributions to "Old Compton Street Blues" and "The Room Of Roots" for the most obvious examples. Needless to say, these sessions are a notable discovery for fans of Al Stewart, but fans of Robert Fripp, the Giles brothers or Ian McDonald should be equally enamored with these previously uncirculated recordings from nearly half a century ago.
BBC sessions: My Kind Of Folk
BBC broadcast on September 18, 1968
Produced by Frances Line
Source: off air master reel
Lineage: master reel (transfer information unknown) -> AIFF 16bit/44.1k -> **editing/restoration -> wav -> flac
Al Stewart - vocals, guitar
Robert Fripp - guitar
Ian McDonald - piano
Peter Giles - bass
Michael Giles - drums
1 You Should Have Listened To Al 03:00
2 Manuscript 04:44
3 Old Compton Street Blues 04:40
4 Room Of Roots 04:33
5 In Brooklyn 04:02
My Kind Of Folk Restoration Project:
Welcome to this installment of the My Kind Of Folk Restoration Project, featuring many lost BBC “My Kind Of Folk” sessions. These aircheck recordings were discovered in a private collection and have not circulated before. An old friend in London well aware of my rabid interest in all things Sandy Denny, alerted me to this stash of tapes last year as he thought it might contain a new source recording of her. I said I’d be happy to investigate. A drive with the unedited (and in many cases, unidentified) AIFF files of approximately 90 reel transfers arrived shortly thereafter.
Primarily recorded and transmitted during 1968 and 1969 and long since wiped from the BBC archives, these sessions feature many of the key musicians from the 1970s U.K. folk/rock scene at earlier embryonic stages in their careers. To a lesser extent, American folk musicians are also represented, including an uncharacteristically serious Arlo Guthrie, Jackson C. Frank (of whom no live recordings have ever previously surfaced), and the earliest James Taylor recording to ever surface. Delightful surprises also turn up, including two sessions by the elusive Shelagh McDonald, and Giles, Giles & Fripp (4/5 of King Crimson mk1: Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Peter Giles & Ian McDonald) backing Al Stewart!
Thankfully, this project reconnected me with another old friend, kneesfudd, who has agreed to help restore and remaster these recordings. I benefited from his expertise on the subject matter decades ago and I admire his attention to detail, so we make a good team - not to mention we're both Fairport fanatics. We go back to the days of traveling to another state with multiple analog decks in tow and dubbing continuously until the blanks ran out. Due to both of our schedules nowadays, we don't anticipate a fast rollout, so expect this project to be rolling for the next several months, if not longer, as we’re addressing these sessions as free time permits.
**As great as these sessions are, the recordings are far from perfect . Many were over-saturated when recorded, some were over-saturated AND then under-recorded during transfer and they were all broadcast in mono. Nearly all of them require level correction, speed correction and have one channel that sounds superior to the other. They also suffer from various forms of distortion, not to mention we’re dealing with analog “off air” source tapes made with unknown equipment nearly half a century ago. Kneesfudd and I are addressing all of these issues, while consciously avoiding noise reduction, EQ or anything that further degrades these historic recordings.
Despite any issues, this is certainly a treasure trove of lost BBC sessions and there's a great deal to enjoy here. Please share them freely and help us spread them around to those who care. Alan Bershaw - 2017