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Culpeper's Orchard - Culpeper's Orchard  CD (album) cover

CULPEPER'S ORCHARD

Culpeper's Orchard

 

Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 74 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I feel 4.5 stars is the right rating for me but I'm bumping it up this time because this is one special album folks. They are from Denmark and this their debut was released in 1970. They were actually led by an Englishman named Cy Nicklin who was the vocalist and rhythm guitar player. His vocals are really good and one of the highlights for me. The music is a bit all over the place but hey it's 1970 so we get sixties sounding stuff, some hard rock, some folky bits and more. The thing is each song is so well composed and appealing to me. If there's one complaint it's too commercial sounding at times and although it doesn't sound like WISHBONE ASH's "Argus" at all it's very melodic like that with a bunch of really good tunes.

"Banjocul" is the less than one minute opener that is basically banjo and folky vocals. Kind of gives the wrong impression as to what will follow but Cy was really into Folk music as the following albums would show. "Mountain Music(Part 1)" is my favourite. Man what a hard rocking tune this is at times. Just love that lead guitar and mood. Lots of depth to the sound too with those upfront bass and drums. The guitar is lighting it up after a minute then a heavy rhythm section kicks in as the guitar lays the soundscape waste. Heavy stuff 2 1/2 minutes in. Love those vocals too. A guitar solo follows that goes on and on. Nice. It ends before 4 1/2 minutes as a calm takes over that is so beautiful with the softer vocals, organ, picked guitar and a beat. Almost CAMEL-like here. The guitar is back before 5 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Great song!

"Hey You People" is an uptempo 60's sounding tune with multi-vocals or double tracked. Love it! Such a feel-good song. It turns surprisingly heavy after a minute to the end. "Teaparty For An Orchard" is a top three for me. It opens with some heaviness as the vocals join in. Such a pleasant voice. I love when it settles down, so beautiful. I'm moved. The heaviness returns and I do like that melancholic chorus. Suddenly it turns experimental after 2 1/2 minutes, avant is the word. It kicks back in before 3 1/2 minutes with the guitar out front. Soon the focus is on the vocals around 4 minutes in before it kicks back in again. Organ too then it turns heavy again with vocals around 5 minutes.

"Ode To Resistance" has some gorgeous acoustic guitar to start as reserved vocals and flute join in. Suddenly heavy outbursts arrive before 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks in heavily before settling back like before but with drums this time. It's heavy again and more passionate vocals follow after 3 minutes. The guitar is lighting it up before 5 minutes. Flute follows as it settles some to the end.

"Your Song And Mine" is the other top three song for me. It opens with a heavy guitar line with drums and bass. Vocals join in too. I like this one a lot. It changes after 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals have a higher pitch then he goes back to those more serious vocals. Themes are repeated. Nice guitar solo starting before 3 minutes. "Gideon's Trap" opens with some rare piano before a beat with vocals and more joins in. This reminds me of THE BEATLES. We get a guitar solo after 4 minutes as the vocals step aside for the rest of the track.

"Blue Day's Morning" is a short track with acoustic guitar melodies and vocals throughout. I like it. "Mountain Music(Part 2)" ends the album and we get that same depth of sound as in Part 1 that I liked. Vocals come in singing "One grain of sand, one grain of sand in all this world". The guitar and vocals lead the way here. Check out the bluesy guitar solo that starts before 4 minutes. Another guitar solo starts before 5 1/2 minutes and goes on for a minute. The album ends just like it began with banjo!

I liked this from the first spin and while it's far from perfect this is solid from top to bottom and a lot of fun.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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