Meic Stevens - Rain In The Leaves

Meic Stevens

Collection of ultra-rare EPs recorded by Stevens between 1967-70
Sunbeam Records: 17 July 2006

Last updated: 26 November 2008

As an institution of Welsh music, Stevens is right up there with Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey - for those in the know, he's as important, too.

Rain In the Leaves, album cover

Tracklisting

  • Did I Dream
  • I Saw A Field
  • Yr Eryr A'r Golomen
  • Ble Mae'r Bore
  • Ond Dof Yn Ol
  • Tryweryn
  • Can Walter
  • Hwiangerdd Mihangel
  • Glaw Yn Y Dail
  • Lan A Lawr
  • Mwg
  • Rhedaf I'r Mynydd
  • Myfi Yw'r Dechreuad
  • Tyrd I Lawr I'r Ogof
  • Mynd I Bala Ar Y Cwch Banana
  • Nid Y Fi Yw'r Un I Ofyn Pam
  • Mae Gennyf I Gariad
  • Dim Ond Heddiw Ddoe Ac Fory
  • Can Mamgu

This 19-song collection brings together four EPs he recorded between 1967 and 1970, a couple in English, most in Welsh, but all a product of their time. Often given the epithet of 'the Welsh Bob Dylan', Stevens demonstrated his mastery of the folk and rock crossover that was happening at the time.

At their best, the EPs (Mike Stevens, Rhif 2, Mwg and Meic Stevens) sound haunting - Stevens' voice sitting easily with the acoustic guitar and harmonica that form the base to most of the songs. Did I Dream and I Saw A Field, the first two songs on the compilation, are two of the best tracks, with a beautiful simplicity.

But while much of Rain In The Leaves is acoustic-led and delicate, it's not all safe: There's a slight menace to Mae Gennyf I Gariad while Myfi Yw'r Dechreuad is a crazed, guitar-assaulting song that shows from where Super Furry Animals might have purloined a couple of their ideas. It's great fun.

As an introduction to an influential and important Welsh performer, Rain In The Leaves is perfect. It'll satisfy folk fans, yet isn't twee; it's varied and interesting. In a year when Bob Dylan has scored his first US number one album for 20 years, maybe it's time also for Meic Stevens to get a look-in.

Words: James McLaren


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