Bridget St. John – Ask Me No Questions, 1969

Peak British folk. Bridget St. John is most well known for the trio of excellent records she released between ’69 and ’72 on John Peel’s Dandelion label. This, her debut and the first in the series, is the most bare-bones and raw, with guitar that’s alternately sunny and somber. It’s also blessedly absent of the goofy optimism that made many of her peers less palatable (and, unlike many of its contemporaries, all the songs on it are self-composed). Her voice is remarkable not just for sitting in a notably low alto range, but for its consistency of non-expression, as if she preferred to let her androgynous bard quaver and her direct lyrics speak for themselves. The follow up to this record, Songs for the Gentle Man, is also worth seeking out, but it’s more padded out with instruments, and feels somehow less pure for it–I love how Ask Me No Questions is unabashedly moody, dappled with the occasional patch of sun (the eight minute long closing title track is dense with field recordings of birds and church bells). Perfect fall soundtrack.

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