Trader Horne


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1970)

- Judy Dyble -- vocals, autoharp, harp, keyboards

- Jackie McAuley -- vocals, keyboards, celeste, percussion, flute,

  guitar

 

  supporting musicians:

- Ray Elliott -- clarinet, flute, woodwinds

- John Godfrey -- bass, guitar

- Andy White -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 2  (1970)

- Jackie McAuley -- vocals, keyboards, celeste, percussion, flute,

  guitar

NEW - Safron Summerfield -- vocals (replaced Judy Dyble)

 

  supporting musicians:

- Ray Elliott -- clarinet, flute, woodwinds

- John Godfrey -- bass, guitar

- Andy White -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

- The Belfast Gypsies (Jackie McAuley)

- Judy Dyble (solo efforts)

- Fairport Convention (Judy Dyble)

- The Freaks of Nature (Jackie McAuley)

- Giles, Giles and Fripp (Judy Dyble)

- The Kult (Jackie McAuley)

- The Poor Mouth (Jackie McAuley)

- Safron Summerfield (solo efforts)

- Them (Ray Elliot and Jackie McAuley)

- Truth (Ray Elliot and Jackie McAuley)

 

 

 


 

Genre: folk-rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Morning Way

Company: Janus

Catalog:  JLS 3012
Year:
 1970

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2272

Price: $80.00

Formed in 1970, Trader Horne had an impressive pedigree.   Singer Judy Dyble had been a founding member of Fairport Convention and kicked around with an early versions of what became Giles, Giles and Fripp and King Crimson.  Singer/multi-instrumentalist Jackie McAuley had stints with Them, The Kult, and The Belfast Gypsies under his belt.

 

By 1969 the pair were collaborating, recruiting backing in the form of ex-Them member Ray Elliot, bassist John Godfrey, and drummer Andy White for Trader Horne.  The group's club dates caught the attention of Pye Records producer Barry Murray, who signed them to Pye's newly formed Dawn subsidiary.  That led to opening slots for headliners like Genesis, Humble Pie, and Yes.   

 

Produced by Barry Murray, I've seen 1970's "Morning Way" described as an acid-folk concept piece.  Personally I have no idea what that means.  Featuring a largely original collection of material, tracks like 'Jenny Mae', 'Children of Oare' and 'Growing Man' fit the folk description; baring a more than passing resemblance to Fairport Convention/Steeleye Span-styled English folk-rock.  I just didn't hear a great deal of acid in those performances.  Admittedly there were a couple of tunes where acid-folk seemed an apt description - 'The Mixed Up Kind', 'The Mutant', and the title track all had a lysergic edge to them.  As for the concept piece of the equation - if there was a unifying plotline, it was lost on my American sensibilities and ears.  Musically Dyble was probably the better known of the two singers, but I've got to tell you I found her voice to be fragile and occasionally irritating.  Accordingly, for me  the low points came on the odd blues cover 'Down and Out Blues' and the ballad ' In My Loneliness'.  She was far better when blending her voice with McAuley - check out 'Children of Oare'.  He may not have been as well known, but McAuley was the stronger singer - check out the single 'Sheena'.  

 

So here's the funny thing - I'm not a huge English folk-rock fan, but there was something that made this set quite calming and beguiling.   A great rainy Sunday morning set.

 

"Morning Way" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Jenny May   (Jackie McAuley) - 2:26   rating: *** stars

I'm okay with English folk music, but I can see where 'Jenny May' was simply too authentic for conventional rock fans.   About the most accurate thing I can say is that if you liked Fairport Convention, or Steeleye Span, you were liable to find the sweet melody and  the combination of McAulay and Judy Dyble's voices quite enjoyable.

2.) Children of Oare   (Jackie McAuley) - 4:03  rating: **** stars

Well, the opening and the refrain sounded like the Christmas carol 'We Three Kings', but when the main melody kicked in the combination of McAulay and Dyble's voices was mesmerizing.  Imagine Stevie WInwood and Traffic deciding they wanted to compete with Fairport Convention.  Shame they couldn't have found better wave sound effects.     

3,) Three Rings for Eleven Kings (instrumental)   (Jackie McAuley) - 2:13   rating: **** stars

I'm a sucker for harpsichord, so this fragile, renaissance flavored instrumental caught me from the opening chords.  Just be aware there's not a single rock element in this one.   

4.) Growing Man  (Jackie McAuley) - 4:04    rating: *** stars

Fans seem to favor the ballad  'Growing Man' and while I'll admit McAulay and Dyble's voices blended with an almost magical intensity on the chorus, the lyrics have always struck me as being way over the top -  Not sure why, but in a lot of places the song's referred to as 'Growning Man'.  

5. ) Down and Out Blues (Cox - Jackie McAuley, Traditional) - 4:33   rating: ** stars

Dyble clearly had a great voice, but there was something that just sounded strange hearing her cover this classic blues tune (which most folks will know by the title 'Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out').  Can't say I was particularly impressed  by the Ray Elliott flute solo.

6. The Mixed Up Kind   (Jackie McAuley) - 6:26   rating: **** stars

'The Mixed Up Kind' ended side one with one of the album's most conventional pop tune - take that description with a grain of salt.  Actually this one had a great melody that pushed the group in an acid-pop direction.  It also sported some of the most lysergic-tinged harpsichord you'll ever hear.  Great tune.  This is kind of cool - Dyble and McAuley backed by The band of Perfect Strangers, playing the tune at an November 2015 club performance.   After all these years, they were still surprisingly impressive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uluAA6nekk  

 

(side 2)
1.) Better Than Today
   (Jackie McAuley) - 3:11    rating: *** stars

Sweet, low-keyed pop tune with what sounded like a bossa nova rhythm.  I didn't even mind the flute solo on this one.  

2.) In My Loneliness   (Jackie McAuley) - 2:22   rating: ** stars

Her fans swoon over Dyble's voice, but on the ballad 'In My Loneliness' I found her performance kind of shrill and irritating.  Imagine a little girl version of Mary Hopkins, or Melanie ...

3.) Sheena   (Jackie McAuley) - 2:42   rating: **** stars

Unlike the rest of the album, 'Sheena' made no attempt to wallow in folk moves.  With a bouncy melody and a cool lead vocal from McAuley (love the way he slurred the name 'Sheena'), this was easily the album's most pop oriented tune, which probably explains why the song was tapped as a English 45:

- 1970's 'Sheena' b/w 'Morning Way' (Pye catalog number 7N17846)   YouTube has a brief clip of Dyble and McAuley performing the song at their 2015 reunion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bTlyDAqWag  

4.) The Mutant   (Goldmsith - Jackie McAuley) - 2:54    rating: **** stars

Acid-folk is one of those descriptors that usually leaves me shaking my head ...   'The Mutant' was one of those rarities in that the description seemed apt for this one.   Treated McAuley lead vocals, bizarre lyrics ("Monk in the glass house was breaking his fingers"), Traffic-styled flute, sweet backing vocals  ...   Another album highlight.   

5.) Morning Way   (Judy Dyble - Jackie McAuley) - 4:35   rating: **** stars

Up until 'Morning Way' I don't think I'd ever heard a song that started with psychedelic autoharp.   So ...  yeah, this was another one where the term acid-folk seemed appropriate.  It was also one of the album's best examples of how well Dyble and McAuley's voices blended.  Remember some of those Cream tunes that Jack Bruce handled the lead vocals on ?   Think 'Tales of Brave Ulysses' ...   This one's always reminded me of one of those songs.  

6.) Velvet to Atone  (Judy Dyble - Dyke - Martin Quittenton) - 2:26    rating: *** stars

Written by Dyble and Steamhammer's Martin Quittenton prior to Trader Horne being stood up, 'Velvet to Atone' was a fragile, almost jazzy, piano dominated ballad.  Dyble's fans will swoon over her vocals, but I found the performance kind of plodding.  Pretty, but not particularly memorable.  
7.) Luke That Never Was  (Jackie McAuley) - 4:56   
rating: *** stars

Ever attended a Catholic folk mass?   Well, that's what the folkie 'Luke That Never Was' reminded me of.  Admittedly the abrupt shifts from dark church organ to the breezy choruses were kind of strange, but this one actually did a nice job of showcasing Dyble's crystal clear voice,   McAuley was hard pressed to match her on this one.  

 

 

There was also a considerably more mainstream non-LP single:

 

- 1970's 'Comes the Rain' b/w 'Goodbye Mercy Kelly' (Dawn catalog number DNS 1003)

Shortly after the single was released Dyble quit to start a family.  She was briefly replaced by Saffron Summerfield (who sounded a lot like Sandy Denny).  

 

After the band called it quits McAuley released some solo material, recorded with The Poor Mouth, became an in-demand sessions player, and served as a sideman for Lonnie Donegan.  He's still an active musician.

 

As mentioned above, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the album's release, in November 2015 Dyble and McAuley came back together for a one-shot reunion at London's Bush Hall.

 

 

 

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