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'This is all about revival and reinterpretation, relishing the material and adding individual character to the ineffable songbook of the rightly much lauded Ms Denny.
Wow, just wow.'

Banks Of The Nile

It Suits Me Well

For Nobody To Hear

Farewell, Farewell



No End

One More Chance

White Dress

Sleeve notes

The Banks of Nile (trad)
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the epic Banks of the Nile, was discovered at Cecil Sharp House on a cylinder recording made in the early 20th Century. Sandy knew the Young Tradition's version and it appeared, with her modifications, on Fotheringay's 1970 album.
Our reading of this traditional song tinkers a little with the arrangement, with Sally and Marion trading verses, but essentially stays true to Sandy's sentiment in the powerful lyric of the wastefulness and woe of war.

It Suits Me Well (Denny)
Originally released on Sandy in 1972 and re-released on No More Sad Refrains, a great example of storytelling in song form. We have approached this one quite simply, recording Marion’s lead vocal and Gemma’s piano live together to give a natural flow around which to weave other instruments.

For Nobody (Trad)
An outlier from her Trevor Lucas-produced solo album #2, which featured a brass section arranged by Crescent City legend Allen Toussaint. The band approaches her jazzy creation with another New Orleans influence - a slower, swampy Little Feat kind of groove. Sally's lead vocal follows suit with its jambalayal inflections, channelling Bonnie Raitt as PJ’s slide guitar shamelessly wears Lowell George’s hat!

Farewell, Farewell (Thompson)
Originally sung by Sandy on Fairport Convention's seminal Liege and Lief album, Farewell Farewell’s world-weary lyrics, by a young Richard Thompson, are set to the traditional Scottish tune Willie of Winsbury. PJ’s understated vocal lends the words a poignant reminder of age, regret and “the long and winding road to oblivion.”

Autopsy (Denny)
A total re-think was the approach with Sandy's song Autopsy, stripped down to the bare essentials by producer Mark Stevens, aided by his brother Mike, and with Sally taking liberties with the melody. The band then piles in to create a menacing, cinematic groove, overlayed with Sandy’s spoken words, spoken by Marion. Very different to Fairport's rendering on 1969's Unhalfbricking. You have been warned!

London (Denny/Gilmore/Stonier)
The catchy, upbeat tune belies the lyrics that tell of homesickness and longing for her lover whilst away touring the USA. Our version tips the hat to the original, which is from Thea Gilmore's album Don't Stop Singing - with Sandy’s lyrics posthumously set to music by Thea back in 2011. The band throws the song around, with the jaunty bounce that Thea has composed, on top of which Sally's voice puts a brave face on her lamentations.

No End (Denny)
It's the depths of winter and a travelling man visits an artist friend who has become disenchanted with art - a story of friendship. The lyrical setting is so very English, like a Constable painting but set in modern times - the 1960s - a black and white TV screen following the snow plough as it carves a path down the motorway. The song is a gentle reminder of how we can live solitary lives and get lost in our thoughts without realising. In No End those thoughts are disturbed and dispelled by the arrival of an old friend. The two talk into the dawn and the companionship encourages the painter to think again. Sandy is saying that it's the friendship that has ‘no end'.

One More Chance (Denny)
The final track from Rising For The Moon demonstrates Sandy’s masterful way with words - calling for metaphorical doves and olive branches for help in the terminal stage of her relationship. What should they do now? Are they doomed to part? Should they cry out in anguish, hoping for reconciliation once more? With Gemma’s soaring lead vocal, the imploring and questioning lyric is complemented in the arrangement by her stark piano developing a thematic musical idea from what was already there in Sandy’s version - truly a gift of a song.

White Dress (Swarbrick)
We have been asked countless times at gigs to play this song, a waltz written for Sandy by Dave Swarbrick and released on Fairport’s Rising For The Moon. English brass ensemble meets Nashville pedal steel guitar. Dave Cousins, Strawbs’ vocalist, guitarist and banjo player - “I met Sandy Denny at the Troubadour in Earl’s Court in late 1966. I dropped in late one night to hear an angel singing. Sandy was sitting on a stool, wearing a white dress, a straw hat and playing a Gibson Hummingbird. When she came off stage I introduced myself and asked if she fancied joining a group. ‘Who are you?” she said. ‘Strawbs,’ I replied. ‘OK’ she said. I went to the pay phone and called Tony Hooper to tell him we had a girl singer.”

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