Saturday, April 24, 2010


Following the release of Fairport Convention’s most successful album “Liege and lief,” lead vocalist Sandy Denny, who encouraged the band to discover their English folk roots, left the band – because she wanted explore her own songwriting skills. Her next project was named Fotheringay after the Northampton castle where Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587. Sandy had previously written a song by the same name and was released by Fairport Convention on their second LP, “What we did on our Holiday” (one of two LPs that was named “Fairport Convention” in the US).

Fotheringay included Sandy’s boyfriend (and later husband) Australian Trevor Lucas on guitar and vocals, Gerry Conway on drums, Pat Donaldson on bass, and American Jerry Donahue on lead guitar. Lucas and Conway had previously been in the folk-rock band Eclection, while Donaldson and Donahue were former members of Poet and the One Man Band. Although material was gathered to release a second album by the band, only the self titled album would be released during the lifetime of the band, Sandy Denny, and Trevor Lucas.

I got thinking about this album recently as my friend John Sellards just got a copy of the American vinyl release on A&M in perfect condition. I’d been telling him for some time that this is a recording that he needed to have as he is a Sandy Denny fan. I purchased my copy in 1973, but at that time I had to get the British import, as the local stores were no longer carrying the American issue, although it was still in print. I liked the album so much, that it was one of the 25 albums I took to college that fall. I left the remainder of my collection of about 150 albums back home.

Four years ago, I received a copy of the reissue CD with three additional cuts. The original album is as good as I remember it; however, as much as I liked Sandy Denny, my favorite cut of the album is Trevor Lucas’ rendition of the Gordon Lightfoot tune “The Way I Feel.” Since I have already featured this song, my second favorite also features Trevor Lucas with their rendition of Bob Dylan's "Too Much of Nothing."

After one year, Fotheringay disbanded and everyone but Donaldson found their way into Fairport Convention. Initially, Gerry Conway was a sideman on three cuts on the album “Rosie”; however, he has been a member since 1999. Lucas and Donahue were members from ’72 to ’75 and Sandy rejoined from 1974-75 and appeared on one live and one studio LP.

The LP in its Entirety

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