Woods Band / Terry & Gay Woods

Woods Band

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The Woods Band's only album sounds a good deal like early Steeleye Span, as might be expected since it was fronted by Terry Woods and Gay Woods, who had comprised two-fifths of the lineup that played on Steeleye Span's first album. Though the Woods Band lacked a singer on the order of Maddy Prior or an instrumentalist on the level of Martin Carthy, it's still a pretty good record, and it's not as if Gay Woods isn't a very good woman British folk-rock singer herself. Too, it's not just a Steeleye Span spinoff, with a considerably more rock-oriented sound than Hark! The Village Wait, the Steeleye Span debut album on which Terry and Gay Woods played. Split evenly between traditional tunes and originals (with Terry Woods the principal songwriter), tracks like "Noisey Johnny" and "Lament and Jig" are very much in the rocked-up jigs'n'reels format that was a cornerstone of British Isles 1970s folk-rock. However, "Dreams" (originally recorded as "Dreams for Me" in an acoustic folk arrangement by Terry Woods' band Sweeney's Men in the late '60s) is very much in the quality harmony folk-rock style of the Sandy Denny-era Fairport Convention. Gay Woods proves herself an able interpreter of the sad trad folk ballad on "January's Snows." More surprisingly, "Promises" is decent Band-like folk-rock with bluesy licks that owe much to the style of the Rolling Stones at their most laid-back; "Everytime" follows the same mood, but in a duller and overlong fashion.

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