Clive Palmer

All Roads Lead to Land

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One thing about Clive Palmer -- he never fails to satisfy and surprise. A founding member of the Incredible String Band, and steeped in the ways of his native Scottish music, as well as that of his adopted home, France, he's always taken his music in strange directions. On this disc, for example, he ranges from playing Breton pipes on "Breigh," derived from a traditional song, to an instrumental version of the standard "Embraceable You." Along the way he covers almost every base in between, be it banjo on "Big City Blues," an iconoclastic love song with "Sands of Time," a chance to revisit his own "Paris" (in the company of saxophonist Peter Stacey and others), and even a trip through "Linden Lea," by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Palmer's banjo gets a fair workout in his unique style, and former bandmate Robin Williamson drops by to add a little fiddle. Handily falling outside any conventional genre, this is a garden of wonderful, sometimes strange delights.

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