Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Folklords "Release the Sunshine" (Canadian Folk Psych 1969)

This is nice 60’s psychedelia from Toronto with an acoustic feeling, also thanks to a lot of use of autoharp rhythmic strumming, which is one of their own specific elements, which I don't know from anywhere else. Another really original element is their sweet harmony vocals, with lead and dreamy vocals, and of course the crafty songs.

Bad Cat Records:
Featuring a line-up of drummer Craig Boswell, singer/autoharp player Martha Johnson, singer/bassist Tom Martin (aka Tom Waschkowski), and singer/guitarist Paul Seip, these guys made their debut with the Jack Boswell produced "Release the Sunshine". Propelled by the group's painfully earnest performances and Johnson's ever present autoharp, musically this is definitely a period piece; though as I mentioned to my ears it sounds more like 1966 Southern California than 1969 Toronto. On tracks like 'Don't Hide Your Love From Me' and 'Child' the recipe is surprisingly appealing, though stretched across twelve songs their world weary seriousness started to become a downer man ... To give you a feel for their sound, imagine The Mamas and the Papas with Donovan sitting in. That comparison is underscored by Martin's likeable voice which occasionally recalled that of the late John Philips. Certainly not a perfect comparison and I'm sure some folks will object. While the prime sound is folk-rock, on a couple of tracks including 'Forty Second River' they took a stab at a pseudo-psych sound with impressive results. Also credit to drummer Boswell who injected enough of a rock feel into the performance so as to keep them from slipping into coffee house league. A couple of ripping fuzz solos certainly would have helped ... Oh, before I forget 'Pardon Me Judas' and 'The Slave' offered up a couple of stabs at Dylan. By the way there are no writing credits. Also, I'm not sure if it came before the LP, but there's also a single: 'Jennifer Lee' b/w 'Pardon Me, Judas' (Allied catalog number 6358)

Sample pic: Click


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this album. my wife will never understand my love of unique music. how can i listen to the screams of scat/jazz by the likes of magma to the gentle whimsy by the likes of this. its not peter, paul & mary it pushes the envelope w/ some dark imagery but surfing on a music of such gentleness is a wonderful listening paradox.

07 November, 2006 20:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martha Johnson went on to play in the very successful Martha & The Muffins, they had a big hit with "Echo Beach". this lp is great. One of my favourites on Allied...

10 November, 2006 16:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is NOT the Martha Johnson that went on to play with Martha & The Muffins. This has long been a urban myth.....

24 December, 2006 01:43  
Anonymous arbor said...

thanks for this, looking forward to it

19 March, 2008 07:50  

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