Oliver Knight is probably best known as collaborator with his mother, Lal Waterson, on their landmark albums Once in a Blue Moon (TSCD478) and A Bed of Roses (TSCD505). He has also had a long and illustrious career as a composer, musician, arranger and record producer / engineer.
In 1972 Mike & Lal Waterson released an extraordinary album of their original songs – Bright Phoebus – on Bill Leader’s Trailer label. This magical collection of very English songwriting as long been acknowledged a classic and one of the finest achievements of the British folk revival. Inexplicably Bright Phoebus was out of print for many years.
Performed by Norma Waterson, Dayteller, Maddy Prior, Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Blue Murder, Dick Gaughan, Linda & Teddy Thompson, Helen Watson, Billy Bragg & The Blokes, Martin Carthy, Christy Moore, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Christine Collister & Oliver Knight … Shining Bright was conceived to pay tribute To Mike & Lal’s remarkable songs, and it draws upon the songs recorded for Bright Phoebus, and on a further dozen songs written at the same time but not previously recorded. Shining Bright has fifteen new recordings by some of the folk world’s finest performers. The songwriting of Mike and Lal is held in such high esteem that soon we had a queue of performers eager to contribute to this collection.
“The Coen brothers did it for the music of the deep south, Ry Cooder ditto for Cuban music.and now Topic Records have done it for Lal and Mike Waterson, two of English folk’s most original and searingly creative singers/songwriters. This is a collection that bristles and shines. A collection to bask in. A glorious gathering” Irish Times
A Bed Of Roses was the second album from Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight. Another collection of luminous songs and riveting performances. Sadly, this was to be Lal Waterson’s last recording, completed just before before her death in 1998.
Mojo magazine has declared Lal Waterson “up with Nick Drake and Richard Thompson in the very front rank of English songwriters.”
Lal Waterson vocals
Oliver Knight guitars
Maria Gilhooley vocals
Charles O’Connor fiddles
Jo Freya saxophone
Alice Kinloch trombone
Jody Stecher mandolin
Ray Cooper “Chopper” ‘cello
Lal Waterson, an original member of The Watersons, and her son, guitarist Oliver Knight, have written some of the most captivating new songs to have been heard on the folk scene in many years. Other members of the Waterson clan often joined them on their records.
An entirely original collection of songs inspired by love, landscape, family and questing imagination.
- ‘Up with Nick Drake and Richard Thompson in the very front rank of English songwriters.’ Mojo
- ‘The most innovative English folk-related album of recent years’ The Independent
- ‘English as anything, poetic to a quite scary degree and harshly beautiful’ The Independent
- “One of those gems that deserves to be heard by a wider audience – a must-have.” ★★★★ Record Collector
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Mysterious Day is Oliver Knight‘s first solo project and, in truly typical fashion, it is a collaboration with others. The vocals on the album are handled by Christine Collister, Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson, Maria Gilhooley, John Tams and Barry Coope and additional instrumentation is provided by Chris Parkinson (piano & harmonica), Jo Freya (sax), Alice Kinloch (tuba) and Andy Cutting (melodeon). A long time in gestation, the album continues in the family “tradition” of highly original English composition which, although owing much to the folk tradition, is not beholden to it. He has written all the material except for Evona, written by Lal Waterson, Once In a Blue Moon, co-written with Lal Waterson and the traditional Go From My Window, arranged with Eliza Carthy. As well as producing and engineering the album, Oliver Knight played all guitars and arranged all the music.
Mysterious Day shows Oliver Knight to be a genuinely original songwriter whose style could be compared with that of Nick Drake.
“It’s hard to pick out a track that isn’t a highlight…a really refreshing album…File under fantastic” BBC Radio 2