For over a decade, Cordelia's Dad has been on ongoing series of musical experiments. Beginning with an unabashed punk rock fury, and evolving into the tender, intricate acoustic songs of Spine, the common threads have been powerful harmony singing, haunting melodies, and insistent rhythm.
Founders Tim Eriksen and Peter Irvine, along with long-time member Cath Oss, have traveled throughout North America and Europe, melding their passionate interpretations of early American hymns, ballads, and fiddle and banjo tunes with their own contemporary pop music sensibilities.
Cordelia's Dad taps into deep veins of American experience and musical tradition, forging a sound that is just as surprising as it is familiar. The self-titled debut album was recorded in a three day frenzy with Tim O'Heir (Sebadoh, Throwing Muses).
Cordelia's Dad's first, eponymous album hints at the future direction of the band -- away from the electric, punk-fueled treatment of traditional songs and towards serious, non-ironic, traditional folk music performed sparsely on traditional instruments. And despite how their other albums are hauntingly good, this album captures raw, youthful energy of people discovering their raison d'etre. Here you will find energetic, electric, melodic-punk romps of songs up to hundreds of years old. The result is brilliant.
Lounge lizard guitar/bass treatment in "Loch Lomond" the redemption of "Scarborough Fair", the rollicking "Maui", throat-scraping stylings of "My Pretty Little Pink," the "Baby Song" could be a cover of DOA, for crying out loud...
The liner notes on all the 'Dad albums are good, but my favorite observation is on this one: "All these songs are about death, except for one, which is about going to Hawaii."
Folk music enthusiasts should perhaps pass up this album in favor of the later Cordelia's Dad albums "Comet" and "Spine" which have very traditional folk music and shape note singing. But punk enthusiasts looking for something beyond two minute crashes through sex, drugs, violence, 'n' politics should hear this band, and this is the album for them. Because this is sex, drugs, violence, 'n' politics BEFORE it got all lamed out in the twentieth century. This is a band which can really expand your horizons. Four stars because "How Can I Sleep", their second album, had to have five. Finally, contact the band directly to buy the albums -- they won't be printed again any time soon.
Great folk/rock. Not as frenetic as some of their later rock pieces, and so is a little closer to their later stripped-down sound. Great, tense versions of such songs as "Scarborough Fair" and "Lowlands of Holland". Highly, highly recommended.
This is their first CD, and my favorite. It's the hardest, I think, and the dirtiest. This is very hard to find, and I'm totally psyched that CD Baby had it. If you've never heard Cordelia's Dad, this is the best introduction to them, I think. Think heavy punk rock traditionals sung by one of the best singers you've ever heard, steeped in the tradition of shapenote (The lead singer worked heavily on the Cold Mountain soundtrack).
- customer review
I have been searching high and low for this CD for a long time.... PHENOMENAL CD!!! I can only say ... PEACEFULLY ENRAGING. It can take you to the highest highs and drop you to the lowest lows. It will rake your soul and put the pieces back together. Let it take you on a journey you will never forget.
Remember those Western movies and television shows from the 1950s? All the men wore neat, clean clothing and had clean shaven faces and called women "Ma'am" and tipped their hats. To me that is what a lot of modern arrangements of traditional music sound like: a sanitized view of the past. Beginning in the late 60s and continuing to the present day we have begun to more consciously impose a contemporary sensibility on our ideas about the past. Fairport Convention imposed rock and roll conventions on British trad music. In the mid 70s the Bothy Band revived the aggression in Irish trad music. In the late 1980s and early 90s Cornelia's Dad brought the stripped down sonic force of punk to American trad music. It sounds real to me.
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Tim Eriksen Music- All Rights Reserved.