heron-folk.jpgWhen we first posted on Heron, the obscure British folk group from the early 70’s, Jeff Thorpe wrote that after attempting to research the group (and coming up empty handed), that perhaps he was content to leave their biography a mystery and let the music speak for itself. In truth, even if one would like to dig deeper, when it comes to Heron it is not a matter of preference, but rather, a true lack of information. Aside from a few band members’ reflections – found on an otherwise completely sparse website – there is very little history to be found.

Upon Reflection: The Dawn Anthology, a compilation that is little more than the groups two records from the ealy 70’s into one package, is about all you can purchase without looking for something to possibly appear on eBay or through the bands website. Recently, we were lucky enough to track down one of the albums by its lonesome, abd listening to it as an individual document proves that the painfully overlooked group was crafting a remarkably unique sound that feels both new and yet very familiar. The record is Twice As Nice & Half the Price. An album in which songs of jolly demeanor (“My Turn to Cry,” a driving song with the heaviest drums on the record and sung like a smiley pop orchestration)are mixed into the record seamlessly between solo-efforts and quiet introspective works.

Two of the LPs most devastating tracks are both covers. The Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine” is reinvented to reflect the forlorn nature of the lyrics. Dylan’s “John Brown” can be added to the short list of tracks whose cover version is stronger than the original. A war-commentary originally penned in 1963 and mostly forgotten until it’s appliance in an “Unplugged” setting, it is sung here in a beautiful harmony that is far from perfect, with a jangling but not up-front piano. It’s this looseness that makes many of these tracks feel like old standards instead of originals. Jovial, yet sad songs that blossom with the raw emotion of single-takes. This is non-abrasive, “easy” folk of the highest caliber, allowing the listener to either get lost in its lyrics, the instrumentation, or the Sunday-afternoon delight. words/ b. kramer

Download:
MP3: Heron :: John Brown
MP3: Heron :: Something Inside
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Amazon: Heron – Twice As Nice & Half the Price (import)

+ Download your music DRM free via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
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3 Responses to “Heron :: Re-Revisited (1970)”

  1. Just managed to track down this album after hearing and reading your posts. These guys may be the most under-appreciated band I’ve ever heard. Like Fairport Convention meets the Band on the one hand, and on the other like a cross between Big Star and the Kinks! Thank you for enlightening me. It doesn’t look lik etheir webpage has been updated in a year or so. Can they be pushed into re-organising, I wonder?

    More like this!

  2. I stumbled across this site today. Flattery will get you everywhere… I’m a member of Heron and I can tell you we have no intention of being anonymous. We do exist on MySpace, YouTube and have 2 websites. Admittedly we don’t update much – but we were always more about the music than about the music business.
    If you track Heron down we’ll always respond to any email enquiries be it for info or to buy CDs.

    Keep in touch

  3. […] Sainte-Marie/Joni Mitchell-like vocalist several years ago around the same time I first encountered Heron. Not that the two are at all related, but Heron is another early ’70s entity I knew very […]

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