MAC MACLEOD - The Incredible Musical Odyssey of The Original
Hurdy Gurdy Man
The story of Mac MacLeod is indeed a fascinating one. In 1963 he was a folkie frequenting the folk clubs of London. In '64 he busked around Torquay with John Renbourn, then he met Donovan who later wrote 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' for him before deciding to record it himself. After a tour of Sweden, which included a car crash which hospitalised him for a spell, he returned to the UK to join the Other Side. After that was The Exploding Mushroom, and then on to Finland to form the highly regarded Hurdy Gurdy. Deported to Britain he tried to keep Hurdy Gurdy going, but they folded, and after recording some demos with the newly formwed Argent he put together Soft Cloud with Mick Softley and then the sitar-drenched Amber. Well if all that whets your appetite then you can find examples of all these bands (except Soft Cloud who never recorded) on this CD, and although it is something of a mixed bag in the variety of styles on here, overall it is a great way to follow one man's musical journey through the 60's. Highlights for me are The Other Side's beat version of 'Like A Rolling Stone', the gentle folkiness of 'London Town', the hard rock of Hurdy Gurdy's 'Tick Tock Man', and most of the Amber material. Also included are four new recordings which include two Donovan covers, and while this collection might not appeal to everyone as the net is cast so wide, there is a wealth of enjoyable material on here so it might be worth a listen.