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Drake, Bob

Legendary Lore Of The Holy Wells Of England

Drake, Bob : Legendary Lore Of The Holy Wells Of England (Recommended Records)

A unique exposition of an 1893 text by Robert Charles Hope exploring the legends of England's "holy wells", the water of which was purported to have healing properties, adapted to atmospheric songs by Drake and performed on a 1940 Hammond model BC organ and a Challen upright piano; delicate and descriptive songs that detail the legends and the hope they inspired.

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product information:

UPC: 752725045124

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: RERCTA-027
Squidco Product Code: 32924

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack
Written, performed, and recorded by Bob Drake, between May 2021 and June 2022. Recorded June and July 2022 at La Borde Basse, Caudeval France.


Bob Drake-organ, upright piano, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"Bob Drake was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 6, 1957, and spent his youth in Watseka, Illinois. There he taught himself how to play guitar and drums, but after hearing Yes's Fragile in 1972, Drake decided he wanted to be a bassist and bought himself a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar, which he still uses today. Henry Cow also had a big influence on him: "[T]hey were doing something I felt was a lot closer to what I was imagining I'd like to do - 'complex' intricate songs and arrangements, noisy things going on which fit organically in the music, and less emphasis on 'perfect' studio overcooked impersonal perfection."

Drake experimented with recording techniques and "warped rock", but soon found that no one was interested in "new and strange music" in his rural Midwestern home town. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1978 where he worked for a while as a sound engineer on B horror movie sets. He also spent time recording local underground bands and playing bass guitar and drums with some of them. Drake put an advertisement at a local music store requesting a guitar player "into Henry Cow, Yes ...", and met up with experimental rock guitarist and composer Mike Johnson. Drake and Johnson played in a few cover bands before forming Thinking Plague in 1982. By 1990 Thinking Plague had recorded three albums and established a name for themselves in progressive circles.

In the late 1980s the Denver music scene "just evaporated" as musicians seeking "greener pastures" moved elsewhere. Drake, "flat broke" at the time, moved to Los Angeles where he found a job as a recording engineer. There he established a name for himself working with several mainstream artists like Ice Cube, Tina Turner and Engelbert Humperdinck. During this time he also formed an alternative rock group, Hail with ex-Thinking Plague's singer Susanne Lewis, and joined Dave Kerman's avant rock group, the 5uu's. Hunger's Teeth, the 5uu's' third album was praised for its "challenging music" and "production values", and made Drake a "sought-after engineer and collaborator".

Drake released his first solo album, What Day is It? in 1994. It was a limited edition (1,000 copies) self released record that Drake pressed himself. He later made five more solo albums, which were all released on ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler's UK independent record label, Recommended Records. In 1994 Drake and Kerman moved to an old farm house owned by Cutler and Henry Cow's sound engineer EM (Maggie) Thomas in Caudeval, southern France. They converted it into a studio which they called Studio Midi-Pyrenees. Later Drake worked closely with Cutler on a number of projects for Recommended Records, including the remastering of several albums and box sets, for example The Art Box (2004) and The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009). He also joined Cutler's avant-rock band The Science Group in 1997, in which he played and engineered/produced the group's two albums.

Drake continued to work on and off in the 2000s with Thinking Plague and the 5uu's. In 2007 he formed his own group, Bob Drake's Cabinet of Curiosities to perform material from his solo albums live on stage. The group comprised Drake (guitar, vocals, violin, banjo), Kerman (drums), David Campbell (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) and Jason DuMars (soprano/alto saxophones, keyboards). They played at NEARfest in Pennsylvania in June 2007 with guests Olivier Tejedor (keyboards) and Lynnette Shelley (vocals)."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. The Legendary Lore Of The Holy Wells Of England 2:38

2. Alton - The Holybourne 2:42

3. Holywell 2:47

4. Elmer's, Clement's, And Harold's Wells 2:38

5. Blow Wells And Jackson's Green 2:47

6. Alford, Tommy Tack, And The Bishop's Wells 3:29

7. The Alum Well 1:57

8. Carlisle Catherdral And Castle Sowberry 3:51

9. Dupath And Saint Euny's Wells 3:32

10. Ricot Park 2:50

11. Two Saint Cuthberts 4:42

12. Robin Hood's Well 2:59

13. Watton Abbey And The Lady Well 3:08
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Highly intriguing experiment in atmospheric, minimalist exposition using texts drawn from The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England (pub. 1893). Bob Drake takes a professional detour to explore an intriguing byway with this atmospheric, uncharacteristic, stripped down, highly intriguing (and I think highly successful) experiment in minimal exposition.

There are thirteen chapters - for voices, organ, piano and cathedral - on texts drawn directly from the 1893 edition of The Legendary Lore of The Holy Wells Of England: Including Rivers, Lakes, Fountains And Springs, by the English antiquary and inventor of the folding umpire's chair, Robert Charles Hope. Hallucinatory, educational, intriguing, mysterious and almost certainly efficacious to the elevation of the spirit - not to mention some serious compositional heft.

This is a unique musical object and whomsoever likes to take the road less traveled, this was meant for you."-Recommended Records

Related Categories of Interest:

Recommended Records
Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Drake, Bob
Piano & Keyboards
Song Based Music
Unusual Vocal Forms
New in Rock Forms
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