1. Lilac Tree
  2. Orange
  3. Rainbow
  4. 2 Sorrows
  5. Every step of the way
  6. Folksinger
  7. On the brae
  8. Country shuffle
  9. Peculiar man
  10. Rowan berries
  11. Posey Rorrer
  12. New found light
  13. O so far removed

Label : Floating World

Release Year : 1999

Length : 54:11

Review (AllMusic) : An unexpected and low-key return to action by British folk-rocker Martin Stephenson several years after the dissolution of his old band, the Daintees, 1999's Lilac Tree is a surprising return to form. Generally, this sort of comeback album tends to be a bare-bones acoustic affair, but Lilac Tree actually harnesses more electricity than any of the Daintees records managed; in fact, the opening "Rainbow" is a Neil Young-style mix of howling feedback and pedal steel guitars, and the noisiest track Stephenson has ever recorded. Adding more of a blues influence to his characteristic folk songs, along with the newfound electric edge, Lilac Tree is filled with dark-hued tales with religious symbolism and an emphasis on guilt and recrimination, although the tone is lightened with joyous tunes like "Orange" and the simple pleasures of "Working in My Garden," not to mention the playful, singalong ready "Bluebottle Theory." Along with 12 of his own tunes, Stephenson also performs sensitive, perceptive ../covers of songs by three of his contemporaries, Tom Owen, Gary McCourt, and Washington Phillips. Lilac Tree might be difficult to find, but it's well-worth seeking out, not only for committed Martin Stephenson & the Daintees fans, but anyone with an interest in progressive U.K. folk-rock.