Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Folk is not a four letter word

Parchment's Son of God will feature on a new compilation CD, Folk is Not a Four Letter Word 2, to be released on November 20th. This is the second compilation of acid folk by Manchester-based musician Andy Votel, I understand.

Odd the way that song, from the Light Up the Fire album, has gained prominence.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Some time ago I came across a directory of Christian music bands which listed just two under the heading of acid folk, Parchment and Caedmon. I assumed they meant Caedmon's Call, a popular and talented US folk rock band. Pandora certainly include them in our Parchment radio station.

Now it turns out there really was a Caedmon. They are more obscure even than Water into Wine Band. They put out their single studio album in 1978 and then disbanded. It was released a year or two ago on CD by the acid folk label Kissing Spell, who also rereleased Water into Wine Band. There is also a live album. According to Kissing Spell it is perhaps "the greatest folk rock album ever".

The album is a work of art in every sense. 1978 is significant. The band consisted of a group of friends at Edinburgh University who played together for four years before being comfortable enough about their music to put out an album. That is a similar history to Water into Wine Band who were at Cambridge University. There was an album and two more tracks released separately on single.

Listening to it, I heard the influence of Wishbone Ash, the prog rock band of the 70s on the album. But there is also much pure folk and, if there is a theme, it is about the Celtic saints, Columba and Caedmon.

Of course by 1978 there was no market for this music, even amongst the captive Xtian audience, unless you were prepared to hack it around the folk festivals. This was Parchment's last year. So Caedmon should be seen as a project rather than an album or a band, reaching its apogee in a classic but little recognised piece of music. A work of art indeed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Our radio station

Now at last you can listen to the World of Parchment on our own radio station, based on

There's a couple of Parchment tracks and contemporaries such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Incredible String Band. There's a great deal of Judee Sill and other versions of great songs such as Pack Up Your Sorrows (the Joan Baez version). There are rarities such as Water into Wine Band and some obscure acid folk bands and modern groups of a similar ilk such as Caedmon's Call. There are influential songwriters such as John Lennon. And there's mandolin and sitar and acoustic guitar but as little blue grass as possible.