Bridget St. John - Jumble Queen LP
Label: Our Swimmer
Our Swimmer present this first-ever vinyl reissue from a UK songwriting hero. English singer-songwriter Bridget St. John grew up in a musical family in Surrey, beginning on piano, viola, and trumpet before picking up the guitar in high school. In the late 1960s she met the brilliant John Martyn who quickly became a fan and brought her music to a larger audience, which included the legendary DJ John Peel, for whose label Dandelion St. John recorded her first three albums.
Jumble Queen, St. John's fourth album, was originally released in 1974 on Chrysalis, following the dissolution of Peel's label. Featuring help from members of Jethro Tull, King Crimson alum Michael Giles, American guitarist Stefan Grossman, and, most surprisingly, founding Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, the album is heady, dreamy folk-rock that stands up alongside the singer's more well-known Dandelion albums. St. John's voice - best described as a more refined Nico - is the focal point here. Her breathy, earthen tones perfectly complement the lovelorn lyrical content. With a more subdued sound than the rock-heavy backing group might suggest, Jumble Queen is an essential bit of UK folk-rock and singer-songwriter brilliance. After this album, St. John moved to the States and all but left the music business, not releasing another album for more than twenty years.