Reis­sue

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

VAR­I­OUS Milk of the Tree - an An­thol­ogy of Fe­male Vo­cal Folk and Singer-Song­writ­ers 1966-73 Grape­fruit/Cherry ★★★★ Red

There may be a bet­ter ver­sion of gen­der equal­ity now, but in the 1960s, there was both a shock­ing ab­sence of fe­male artists and, when present, shrewd ma­nip­u­la­tion by male man­agers and/or songs writ­ten by men try­ing to write from a fe­male view­point. That changed some­what with the ad­vent of sec­ond-wave fem­i­nism, and Milk

of the Tree aims to gather many ex­am­ples (60 in total) that ten­ta­tively, then more as­suredly, grap­pled with get­ting their voices heard. A trea­sure trove of singer-song­writ­ers (in­clud­ing Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Laura Nyro, Vashti Bun­yan, Sandy Denny), this su­perb project is equal parts rev­e­la­tion, rev­o­lu­tion and ladies climb­ing out of that deep canyon onto the free­way. cher­ryred.co.uk/la­bel/grape­fruit TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

WIL­LIE NEL­SON AND LEON RUS­SELL One for the Road (reis­sue) ★★★ Float­ing Word Records

In 1979, Bri­tish in­fla­tion was 18 per cent, Mar­garet Thatcher the new PM, the Soviet Union in­vaded Afghanistan, Sony launched the Walk­man and Wil­lie Nel­son and Leon Rus­sell re­leased One for the

Road. Those events are his­tory but this al­bum sounds re­mark­ably fresh on its re-re­lease, pro­duc­tion and per­for­mance losing noth­ing in the years. Rus­sell went the way of all flesh last Novem­ber, but Wil­lie sol­diers on, his ubiq­uity mak­ing no dent in his sta­tus as one of the all-time great stylists. Here, he shares the hon­ours with Rus­sell’s dusty coun­try gospel voice on a mix of Great Amer­i­can Song­book clas­sics, Nashville stan­dards and

Danny Boy. Alan Robin­son’s sleeve notes state: “Part party hearty, part tears in the whiskey, it stands as some­thing of a mi­nor gem in both of th­ese stel­lar artists’ body of work.” Hard to dis­agree. JOE BREEN

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