'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens'

Sandy Denny's classic solo album 'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens' is set to be re-issued with bonus material.

Although Sandy Denny had recorded solo material before, 'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens' is generally viewed as her solo debut. Leaving behind Fairport Convention at their absolute peak, the singer chose to pursue her own voice.

Writing a batch of new material, Sandy Denny blended folk tradition with a knowledge both of the blues and the rising West Coast phenomenon. The opening sequence of her four 'proper' solo albums, 'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens' was an impressive introduction from the singer.

Sandy Denny began work on the album in 1971, shortly after disbanding Fotheringay. Working with a host of greats from the British folk rock scene, the resulting album would be an impressive display of often nakedly autobiographical songwriting.

'Late November' is about the death of close friend and Fairport Convention band mate Martin Lamble, while 'Next Time Around' was inspired by former lover Jackson C Frank - who himself led a tragic life.

The new re-issue features four additional tracks on the main disc, while the second disc contains a number of demo versions, acoustic recordings and even a few BBC sessions.

Following on from last year's 19 disc box set, the new re-issue is a fantastic way to delve into Sandy Denny's output. Still gaining plaudits, former collaborator Richard Thompson remains fulsome in his praise.

“Many people would see Dusty Springfield as the great British female singer, and in pop/soul terms, I would agree" he said. "But I'd place Sandy higher, for her writing and her originality. She was an amazing singer, never less than passionate, who could go from very powerful to a whisper. I never heard her sing less than flawlessly."

Sandy Denny's album 'The North Star Grassman and the Ravens' will be re-issued on June 20th.

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