Man & Myth is the title of Roy Harper's 22nd studio album. Released 47 years after his debut album, Sophisticated Beggar, it is his first studio release in 13 years.
Background to album release"I thought I had retired..." Harper explained in a Reuters interview. "...I was in one world, but the next world had found me, so I had to respond to it" he said. "That meant gathering my wits and going forward with a new record..." "I've written poetry, prose, essays and articles and gone through the motions of being Roy, but I didn’t have the will to make another album until recently..." said Harper. "...I was inspired to write again around 2009, by many of the younger generation finding me and asking, who are you?...".
Album promotionOn 18 July 2013 Mojo magazine's website featured the track "Time is Temporary" as their Track of the Day.
"Time is Temporary" is the sound of a man who is capable of contemplating his mortality as well as musing on coincidence, convergence and circumstance" said Harper. The track is "based on a thought... that maybe I will pass you in the street, or in a train, or a restaurant, and we'll look at each other and have the same sort of feelings, but never take it any further, never take the next step that both of us seemed to want to, so we'll never know what might have been".
In the run up to the album's release, Harper was interviewed by Laura Rawlings on her BBC Radio Bristol show on 15 August 2013. The interview closed with the track "Desert Island", from Harper's 1988 release Descendants of Smith, being played.
RecordingOf the seven tracks, four were recorded with Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in Echo Park. "Heaven Is Here", "The Exile", and "January Man" were recorded in County Cork. Pete Townshend plays lead guitar on "Cloud Cuckooland".
Track listingAll tracks credited to Roy Harper.
- "The Enemy"
- "Time Is Temporary"
- "January Man"
- "The Stranger"
- "Cloud Cuckooland"
- "Heaven Is Here"
- "The Exile
- Roy Harper – guitar, vocals
- Jonathan Wilson - banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar and backing vocals
- John Fitzgerald - bouzouki, Oud, bass guitar, guitar - engineering
- Pete Townshend – electric guitar
- Tony Franklin - bass guitar
- Jake Blanton - bass guitar
- Jason Borger - keyboard
- Fiona Brice - Strings and brass
- Gillon Cameron - Violin
- Bertrand Galen - Cello
- Richard Gowen - drums and percussion
- Justin Grounds - Violin
- Matt Gunner - Horn
- George Hart - Double bass
- Andy Irvine - Mandola, bouzouki
- James King - Alto saxophone
- Vicky Matthews - Cello
- Neal Morgan - percussion
- Gabe Noel - Cello, Double bass
- Tom Piggot-Smith - Violin
- Rachel Robson - Viola
- Bill Shanley - guitar
- Beth Symmons - Double bass
- Omar Velasco - clavinet and mellotron
Roy's undergoing a bit of a witchunt in the UK as we speak. Seems some woman is dredging up some old accusations of child molestation and is prosecuting Roy. Let's hope he retains his freedom to enjoy the release of this fine effort.
Keep out of Toys R Us, and stay away from the park! Later!