(Buying the albums sampled on “Picnic”).
Today, the final section from the notes, dated January 1993 and credited to David Suff and John Tobler, from the liner to the expanded CD.
“In 1976, Harvest decided to reissue the “Anthems in Eden” collection, and Shirley approached the company with a proposal that she should record a new set of songs to accompany the suite. The new “Amaranth” tracks were produced by Ashley Hutchings, Shirley’s husband at the time, and employed the services of many musicians who were to be involved with the Albion Dance Band. In addition, Christopher Hogwood, a former member of David Munrow’s ground-breaking Early Music Consort of London, was invited to play virginal. Hogwood had been a member of Dolly Collins’ Harmonious Sweet England Band on the original “Anthems” sessions. Pat Donaldson (ex-Fotheringay, the band launched by Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas) played bass, thus freeing Hutchings to work in the control room. John Kirkpatrick – noted English king of the accordion and a graduate of the Albion Country Band – added melodeon and button accordion on two tracks. At the time, Shirley Collins intended “Amaranth” to be her final recording and selected the new material to cover all aspects of the music she loves best.
“”Amaranth”, one dictionary suggests, is an imaginary flower that never fades, although horticulturalists may argue about the use of the word “imaginary”, as amaranthus caudatus (popularly known as love lies bleeding) appears in many volumes about flower gardens and their contents. Few singers of the English folk revival have attempted as much on record as Shirley Collins. The material collected here reminds us, once again, of the extraordinary combination of fragility and power that she was able to capture in an all too brief recording career.
“David Suff & John Tobler January, 1993”
Well done, chaps.
Next time, back to the main “Picnic” albums theme.