Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ian Matthews - Valley Hi (1973, mp3 download)

So I finally finished downloading this album from Amazon today and I gotta say this is a really excellent Americana album, in spite of it being released some 20 years before that term came into use.

Ian Matthews--or as he has returned to the original spelling of his name, Iain--was a member of the 60s group Fairport Convention. This album shows heavy influence from American folk-rock and country, although Matthews himself was born and raised in England. Three of the songs were written by him, with other songs written by such as Jackson Browne ("These Days"), Steve Young ("Seven Bridges Road"), Randy Newman, Michael Nesmith and Don Gibson. One of the most country-sounding songs is "Shady Lies," which is interesting because it was written by Richard Thompson, another Brit.

This album is from 1973, and it may seem pointless to even bother mentioning such an old album, but hey, it's new to me and that what counts. Favorite tracks are "Old Man at the Mill," "These Days" (better than Jackson Browne's original, in my opinion), "Seven Bridges Road" (vastly superior to the Eagles' version), and "Propinquity" (by Michael Nesmith). Nesmith also produced and played guitar on this album.

I've already burned this one to audio CD for listening in the truck. Amazon doesn't have any hardcopy versions of this for sale new, although there are used and collectible versions. They do, however, have it as a digital download for a reasonable price.

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