Schingle's Blog

July 23, 2017

JT Rankings #17

Filed under: Folk tales and songs — Tags: , , , , , , , , — schingle @ 4:04 pm

#17  Roots to Branches

In this listing, the fourth worst album made by Jethro Tull—and this one’s still a pretty darn good album.  An eclectic mix of their early/’70’s sound with a folky touch added to some Middle Eastern/Indian sensibilities brings out a very nice round of tone with lyrics that touch on modern conflict (“Roots to Branches”), personal tragic reflection (“Another Harry’s Bar”) and maybe even a love song (?) (“Rare and Precious Chain”).  “Roots to Branches” (1995) was an album that gave Tull fans hope that they still “had it.”  In addition to the standard flute, Ian Anderson also plays a bamboo flute to give a more authentic Central Asian feel and a well-rounded all around sound.  Anderson supplements his talents with the venerable Martin Barre on lead guitar, Doane Perry (now fully ensconced as a regular band member) playing drums/percussion, Andy Giddings on Keyboards (for the first time as a regular member, though he’d appeared on 1991’s “Catfish Rising”) and bass duties being split between the exiting Dave Pegg and Steve Bailey (on his only album with the group).  “Roots to Branches” is a fine eclectic mix of sounds with intelligent (as always) lyrics and a delightful overall listen.  As good as it is, the band obviously put out many that were better.

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