MARKHAM’S ‘DESERT ISLAND DISC’
I’M a massive procrastinator and so decisiveness is not my strongest point.
Choosing an album to take to a desert island? Well, that’s going to cause me some problems.
I was born in the mid-1950s and grew up with all the fine music from the 1960s and early 1970s. I was around when the Beatles arrived. They were my first love and I remember all their singles and albums from when they first came out.
I couldn’t imagine not picking an album from the Beatles, the Kinks, the Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, CSNY, or Pink Floyd. I was seriously thinking about, ‘The Village Green Preservation Society,’ by the Kinks, ‘Déjà vu’ by CSNY, or ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd.
However, for about seven years from 1996 my wife and I had a business buying and selling used CDs and also some vinyl in a shop and at flea markets. It was while we had the shop that I came across my choice of a desert island album.
The album is called Other Voices / Other Rooms by American folk singer Nanci Griffith who recently passed away.
It came out in 1993 and is basically her take on her favourite songs. As you can imagine it’s mainly a collection of folk songs and also some with a country and americana twist. So, she covered songs by Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom Paxton, Ralph McTell, Woody Guthrie, Janis Ian, Kate Wolf and others.
It’s a wonderful collection of songs from the 1960s and 1970s and she had the likes of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, Arlo Guthrie, Leo Kottke and others providing a supporting cast. Often with an album there may be one track or more that you don’t particularly like, but I love all the tracks on this album. Obviously being folk it’s a mood album and not the sort of thing you’d play if you wanted to do a spot of pogoing!
Nevertheless, it would be an ideal chilled out album for a desert island and if you haven’t heard it yet, I can heartily recommend it.