Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:27 AM
When Judy Dyble left Fairport Convention way back in the 1960s, many distraught music fans kept an eagle eye out in the music press to see to what she would turn her hand next. She was clearly wondering herself as on 1 June 1968 she put a "Musician Wanted" ad in Melody Maker. When Peter Giles responded by telephone, the call was answered by boyfriend Ian McDonald. This led to both of them working with Giles, Giles and Fripp, the ensemble which was to mutate into King Crimson. But a month later Judy and Ian's relationship was over and she left once more.
Jackie McAuley had been organist and guitarist with Them during their rumbustious Angry Young Them period, and when Van Morrison had split the band some of them including Jackie and his drummer brother Pat had kept going, attracting the attention of Los Angeles producer Kim Fowley. He christened them the Belfast Gypsies and recorded with them a spirited rewrite of Gloria called Gloria's Dream, as well as the psych beat track People! Let's Freak Out which they released under the pseudonym the Freaks Of Nature. Then Jackie had briefly formed a band with Paul Brady in Dublin, called Cult, and travelled across Europe and Morocco widening his musical horizons.
This disparate duo forged an unlikely alliance in 1969 when they formed Trader Horne (the name of John Peel's nanny, apparently). A single was released called Sheena, with a Judy Dyble song on the flipside, Morning Way, which became the title track of this, their only album. It was quite unlike anything either had done before, ethereal and whimsical and imbued with childlike wonder, with Tolkeinesque lyrics that tell of the Children Of Oare and of Three Rings For Eleven Kings, and a soundscape fleshed out with flutes, harpsichords, auto-harps and celeste. Assisting on the album are Ray Elliott, an ally from Them, on alto flute and bass clarinet, bass-guitarist John Godfrey who arranged much of the album, and from Twice As Much's band, Andy White on drums.
Most of the songs were written by Jackie McAuley, whose original intention had been to write a children's album, but Judy Dyble contributes both Morning Way and the beautiful Velvet To Atone, which she wrote with Martin Quittenton from Steamhammer. There is also a version of Bessie Smith's Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out (here titled Down And Out Blues), and all the tracks are knitted together with a recurring instrumental motif.
Another single followed the album: Here Comes The Rain backed with Goodbye Mercy Kelly.
Trader Horne were due to be launched at a festival set up specifically for the purpose, the Hollywood Music Festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where I first experienced the Grateful Dead. Typically, though, Judy had broken up the band (in what she called a "tantrum") shortly before and went off to get married to Simon Stable. The festival launched Mungo Jerry instead.
She also toured the Netherlands with DC and the MBs (Judy Dyble, Lol Coxhill and Phil & Steve Miller) before settling down as a librarian. Trader Horne continued briefly with Saffron Summerfield, before Jackie McAuley embarked on a solo career.
It is hard to imagine an album like this being made today, though at the time it could have sat in your album rack alongside Donovan, Trees, Vashti Bunyan or Keith Relf's Renaissance. The song Morning Way was included on a retrospective anthology called Paisley Pop, an umbrella title for a genre unrecognised at the time. Listen to this album and time travel to an unrecognisable world. By Laurence Upton.
1. Jenny May
2. Children Of Care
3. Three Rings For Eleven Kings
4. Growing Man
5. Down And Out Blues
6. Mixed Up Kind
7. Better Than Today
8. In My Loneliness
11. Morning Way
12. Velvet To Atone
13. Luke That Never Was