Al Jones

Alun Ashworth Jones

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This is a mightily expanded reissue of the 1969 album Alun Ashworth-Jones, containing everything from that rare LP, in addition to two 1969 songs that showed up on the 49 Greek Street compilation; nine live solo acoustic tracks from 1969 that were planned as part of a second LP that was not released at the time; and five studio solo acoustic tracks from 1971, again planned for a second LP, again shelved until the release of this CD. The chief attraction of the disc is the Alun Ashworth-Jones LP itself, which is beguiling, melodic, mild period British folk-rock. While it doesn't stick in the memory as much as what Donovan, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, or Nick Drake recorded during the same era, it's a fair bet that fans of those acts will enjoy it. It has a similar mix of minstrelsy folk, a hint of blues, and imaginatively varied, understated backing from violin, flute, and some rock instruments. He rarely rocks out, but when he does, on the cut "Sarah in the Isle of Wight," the result is probably the most memorable song. The bonus tracks (and there are no less than 16 of them) don't measure up to the Alun Ashworth Jones material. The two 49 Street Greek cuts are pedestrian bluesy rock; the 1971 acoustic numbers are reasonable, but would have benefited considerably from the sort of embellishments given to the 1969 LP; and the 1969 live recordings are largely dedicated to acoustic rock & roll oldies covers that might have been fun on a club night, but are neither too original nor too well-executed. Still, you might as well have everything on one package, and at a running time of 74 minutes, it's certainly a good value.

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