Flow and Change - Review from Jam Magazine Italy


The first Fairport Convention singer is living a second youth: folk out of time

Time is a relative concept for Judy Dyble. She began at just 19 in the first line up of Faiport Convention for their self-titled first album in 1968 but when, shortly before the recording of the second album, she decided to leave, she was replaced by Sandy Denny, vocalist that would have gained huge acclaim over time.

And so Judy found herself in the little-envied category of stars that have shone for a single season, as had happened before to Signe Toly Anderson, replaced by Grace Slick in the Jefferson Airplane. And to say that the post-Fairport, for Judy, had been interesting, with the Trader Horne (the duo with the pianist of Them Jackie McAuley) and collaboration with Ian McDonald (her boyfriend at the time) and the trio Giles, Giles & Fripp, which turned into King Crimson when Judy felt, once again, the need for a change. A restless spirit, in short, seemingly destined to oblivion, especially when she became a mother and decided to leave music, apart for some impromptu appearance.

But the sacred fire of art, you know, can smolder even indefinitely. Here it is in fact flare up again ten years ago, when Judy had already passed the age of fifty. Since then, the artist has produced fairly constantly, releasing four albums including the acclaimed Talking With Strangers of 2008, recently reissued by Gonzo Records in expanded version.

After another aborted album (it would have come out in 2010 with the title Newborn Creatures, but the main collaborators of Judy, the German guitarist Markus Reuter and producer Lee Fletcher, erased all the vocals with the intention to publish the material in other form), Judy Dyble rolled up her sleeves and wrote down another handful of songs with the essential help of producer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Alastair Murphy, author of most of the music.

Flow and Change is a delicate and beautiful album, as Judy’s voice that, despite some minor tremor, remains moving and timeless, just like the rich arrangements of strings that accompany her in a basically folk path.

Special guests aren’t missing, like Mike Mooney of Spiritualized (who plays lap steel guitar in Black Dog Dreams, written with Simon House of Hawkwind), Matt Malley of Counting Crows (who duets with Judy in Letters) and Julianne Regan, the vocalist of All About Eve, who joins backing vocals on two tracks, for one of which, Head Full of Stars, she also wrote the music.

Acting as glue, the unusually subdued drums of Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson. Grand finale for The Sisterhood of Ruralists, almost 12 minutes long ride full of instruments, including dulcimer and accordion.