Mojo (Publisher) - p.73
"[O]ver quietly swarthy backdrops, their hard/soft voices sing luminous melodies of 19th century female woes."
Personnel: Tim Hart (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, banjo, dulcimer, fiddle, harmonium); Terry Woods (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, mandola, mandolin, concertina); Maddy Prior (vocals, banjo, dancer); Gay Woods (vocals, autoharp, concertina, bodhran); Ashley Hutchings (electric bass); Dave Mattacks, Gerry Conway (drums).
Steeleye Span's debut album, 1970's HARK! THE VILLAGE WAIT--a "wait" being a medieval village band--is a landmark of British folk-rock, a folk supergroup equivalent to the legendary Masked Marauders. Ashley Hutchings formed Steeleye Span after he left Fairport Convention, following disagreements with Sandy Denny over the latter band's direction, Martin Carthy naming it in homage to an obscure folk tune called "Horkstow Grange." This lineup also includes singers Tim Hart and Maddy Prior--who would become the band's core--along with Fairport drummer Dave Mattacks and the highly regarded husband and wife team of Gay and Terry Woods.
Whether newly written, as with the Morris-style "A Calling-On Song," or familiar ballads, the songs are uniformly excellent, as are the performances. This lineup actually disbanded immediately upon completing the album and never performed live, but HARK! THE VILLAGE WAIT is regardless one of the finest British folk-rock albums ever.