1971's peculiarly-titled TEN MAN MOP OR MR. RESERVOIR BUTLER RIDES AGAIN is Steeleye Span's third album and the last to feature the band's founder, Ashley Hutchings, who left to form the Albion Country Band shortly after this record's completion. In fact, this is the only Steeleye Span album to feature the band's most beloved lineup: vocalist Maddy Prior, multi-instrumentalist Tim Hart, bassist Hutchings, guitarist Martin Carthy and fiddler extraordinaire Peter Knight.
One of Steeleye's more traditionally-styled folk albums, TEN MAN MOP features excellent rock-informed versions of such favorites as "Gower Wassail," "Four Nights Drunk," "Wee Weaver" and sets of jigs and reels that are marvelous showcases for Knight and Hart's remarkable instrumental abilities. Novices to British folk music may want to start with one of Steeleye Span's more pop-oriented albums--1975's ALL AROUND MY HAT is a favorite--but this album shows the group at the best of their abilities.
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