The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dr. Strangely Strange

2-17-09 Dr. Strangely Strange

About a year ago, I wrote about Dr. Strangely Strange. Recently, my favorite album by them, their debut, “Kip Of The Serenes” has been re-issued by Hux Records in England. I contributed a photo to the booklet of the original UK cassette inlay card – but they got my name wrong in the ‘thank yous’.

In ’08, I wrote:

As a youth, I decided pretty early on that I liked to investigate new music by what record label it was on. One of the first labels I investigated was Atco Records – because they put pictures of their album covers on their inner-sleeves. Largely because of artists like Jethro Tull, White Noise, Traffic and Spooky Tooth…I became interested in Island Records in England. Their address appeared on the back cover of nearly all of their LP’s, so I wrote to them, requesting a catalogue, about 1970 or so.

I knew what a lot of the stuff was in the Island Records catalogue – but there were, of course, titles I had never seen, didn’t really know who / what it was etc. One of those mystery records was “Kip Of The Serenes” by Dr. Strangely Strange, Island ILPS 9106, 1969. It took a few years, but I got a beautiful copy of this LP, and I still have it – all these years later. Good thing too; the world’s only CD of it (that I was aware of) is mastered at an incorrect speed. It’s a long-ish album anyway, but when I put the disc in my player, it registered to be even longer than I remembered it being! Long story short: it’s mastered wrong, slow. (note: now fixed by Hux Records in England!).

Dr. Strangely Strange were / are an Irish folkie band (they’re all still alive, I think!). “Kip Of The Serenes” was produced by Joe Boyd and it’s as spiffy as your favorite Incredible String Band album (yes, I like it as well as “Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter”, even!).

For some reason, I never much got into their 2nd album, “No Heavy Petting” (on Vertigo Records). Didn’t even hear it, really – until ’07, when I got a kami (paper) sleeve CD of it in Japan. They get some help from their Irish friend Gary Moore on it. I am still warming to it, but “Kip…” will always be my favorite: very sweet 1969 psychedelic folk music from the British isles.

I recently obtained “Halcyon Days” (Hux Records), a 2007 CD of previously unreleased songs / recordings from the early 70’s – and it’s very good. There are 2 or 3 songs recorded in 2006 by the same guys – in “Kip Of The Serenes” mode, as the liner notes tell us. I’d love to see them play live – but I suspect they have never played live anywhere in the U.S.! And I’d want to see all of “Kip Of The Serenes” played live – complete with the sing-along of “Donnybrook Fair”.

They really are a charming band – and my close friends will tell you that I am not (generally speaking) into Irish artists very much! Oh, OK – one of them (Ivan Pawle) was British. The two Irish members of the group are named Tim – Booth and Goulding.

So, thank you for the music, gentlemen – I owe you a drink, if you are still drinking. My life was enriched by having the music of Dr. Strangely Strange come my way years before many other aspects of modern life did. I paid DSS the compliment of paying full price in a retail shop for their ‘new’ CD of “Halcyon Days”.

P.S. And I recommend everyone pay full retail for the new ’09 “Kip Of The Serenes” CD re-issue on Hux!



Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Sad! How in hades can one screw up "Ron Kane?"

8:24 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Perhaps if he was finalizing the booklet from memory and all of his communication with me was at home or something? I am not trying to defend the error, but...

I am very fond of this album, but I am bummed that they got my name wrong.


6:50 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

There's only one solution -- change your name! :)

Kip of the Serenes sounds like a GREAT record to check out. Irish psychedelic sounds heavenly!

6:50 AM  
Anonymous adrian whittaker said...

Hi all
It was me that got Ron's name wrong - I'm terribly sorry. Yes, I was finalising the booklet in a rush (it was the last page to be done) and I didn't have all the stuff with me!

6:08 AM  
Blogger Mr. Gaulke said...

Somehow this blogpost forced me to buy the reissue.

2:43 PM  

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