What our staff has to say: “Easy contender for best folk record. Never gets old.” – Jon
Long overdue reissue and first-time available on CD as a domestic pressing, Vashti Bunyan’s lone 1970 solo release features contributions from British folk royalty including members of Fairport Convention and preeminent producer Joe Boyd. Vashti was recently heard singing alongside Devendra Banhart on the title track of Rejoicing In The Hands.
“Ejected from art school in 1964 for failing to choose between writing songs and painting, Vashti Bunyan was found by Andrew Loog Oldham singing her songs in London. She was given a Jaggers-Richards song to record as a single for Decca and a year later she released a single on Columbia. She went on to record further tracks for the Immediate Label, which remain unreleased. Vashti intended to leave the music business and the city behind for good when she started off for the outer limits of northern Britain in 1968 with a horse and a wagon, heading for the promised land.
“The songs were written over two summers and one winter of travelling. After a chance meeting that winter with Derroll Adams (noted Woody Guthrie era folksinger and banjo player) who told her not to “hide her light under a bushel,” Vashti took the songs of her journey to Joe Boyd. A year later he recorded Just Another Diamond Day, inviting Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band, and Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol (who also played on Nick Drake’s records) from Fairport Convention to accompany Vashti on some tracks.
“The album was released late in 1970 to little attention. The music was abandoned by the singer in favor of further horse journeys and complete obscurity. However, over the years all the recordings have succeeded in finding their own way to the notice of music collectors. The master tape of the album lay in a London warehouse for thirty years before being unwisely taken across the city in an underground train and getting wet in a raging thunderstorm, but has survived almost intact. The four additional on this edition are from well traveled old vinyl, acetate demos, and home recorded tape.” — Paul Lambden, CD liner notes