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Monday, October 1, 2012

Tudor Lodge - Tudor Lodge

Since their formation in 1968 and taken their name after a local pub, this obscure acid folk band’s sole self-titled debut album is considered one of the most rarest and must have albums in the history of record collecting and in the prog and obscure folk community in the Vertigo label that is one of the truest gems that any vinyl lover would sink their teeth into. It is a lost album that didn’t sell enough copies by the time it was released in 1971.

But it did get some good reviews and helped the band get some recognition, but my belief that it didn’t sell well was they just weren’t ready yet for another folk album and they just didn’t get it. And the second thing, they were completely ahead of their time and not enough marketing that they wish they could have gotten and would take a couple of years, years later to understand why this album stood the test of time to put their toes back in the water while giving the Acid Folk genre a small boost as if they were finally shaking hands to a younger generation on how this album made an impact on them.

However, it’s the artwork and the multifold-out textures of the band members done in a psychedelic way in black and white as it shows them in different formats with Lyndon Green looking to his left with psychedelic flowers with eyes watching him while John Stannard is smiling and imagine he is flying in a puzzle-like atmosphere while Ann Steuart is this angelic goddess that would be perfect as a poster on the wall in your room or in dormitories in colleges back in the early ‘70s. The music itself has a very rich and classical fantasy story-telling in an acoustic lukewarm crisp as if it was recorded in a tiny cottage in England going on throughout the night.

The Acid Folk genre has been overlooked and there a few reasons why the genre has been ignored in the folk community during that time period. At the time, some of the obscurity bands like; Forest, Spirogyra, Comus, and Mellow Candle to name a few were singing about tales from books, darkness, and sometimes the occult, (If you have seen the 1973 cult classic, The Wicker Man, starring the late great Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, and Christopher Lee, you get the general idea) would sometimes make the folkies cringe and turn away from it and they want another Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, or Pete Seeger and singing Protest Songs and about the Common Man.

Now does it say Acid Folk is horrible? No, but finally people are waking up to realizing how Acid Folk is no longer a dirty word and take inspiration from them. But dare I say there are some amazing centerpieces on Tudor Lodge’s album? You Bet! There’s the collaboration between the trio and the vocalizations on the Male/Female sounds work like a charm on the ‘60s vibe Folk Rock attitude with heavy guitar work on The Lady’s Changing Home while the lullaby gone wrong turned mythical scenery on Willow Tree makes it very orchestral from the string quartet including the jazzy ballad, Nobody’s Listening, the walking down to the yellow brick road with a dance on Would You Believe?, and the soothing Celtic touches on Forest about how the changes of the trees go through Spring, Fall, Autumn, and Fall make it a perfect scenery.

However, the closing, Kew Gardens, resembles The Sallyangie’s music and mystical beauty, that it makes you feel right at home enjoying a nice cup of tea. This is one of the most obscure albums that I’ve enjoyed listening to and played it five times already and it never lets me go and its one of the most listenable albums I’ve enjoyed and you need to buy this. A must have in the Acid Folk and Prog Folk album collections!

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