Album Review

St. John, Bridget – “BBC Radio 1968-1976” – [Hux Records]

ArtCrimes   12/14/2011   B Library, CD

Singer/songwriter Bridget St John was a favorite of the late John Peel, who presented her on the BBC frequently… his voice resides here in numerous spoken intros. Stylistically, St John is not so traditionally-0riented as other British singers of the time; her influences instead draw from Donovan, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, and Buffy St Marie. Her voice is reedy and pitched much lower than most female singers of the time, and when she’s heard dueting with Kevin Ayers, he often sings a higher part than she. Her guitar playing is quite accomplished (nothing fancy, but very detailed and appropriate) and some tracks add backing from players associated with 10 Years After, King Crimson, Soft Machine and “Tubular Bells” — a little heavier company than perhaps you might expect. These tracks are all BBC recordings, some actually derived from over-the-air transmissions recorded non-professionally. The first disc contains the best sounding audio, with the second being quite lo-fi at times. St John released a few albums on Peel’s “Dandelion” label (you’ll find one of them in the KFJC B Library vinyl stacks). She now lives in the US and still is active, if only a bit. ( crimes )

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