Friday, November 03, 2006

Providence "Ever Since the Dawn" (US Prog-Folk 1972)

Providence was a six-piece music group originally from Boise, Idaho, but later based out of Portland, Oregon, USA, circa 19711974. The band was made up of six members: Bob Barriatua, electric bass, vocals; Bartholomew Bishop, lead vocals, piano, harpsichord, organ, autoharp; Jim Cockey, violin, glockenspiel, vocals; Andy Guzie, guitars, vocals; and brothers Tim Tompkins, cello, vocals, recorders, percussion, and Tom Tompkins, viola, vocals, occasional violin.

The style of the group was decidedly soft rock with dominant classical influences, particularly in contrapuntal instrumental interludes by their string trio and in broad vocal harmonies that followed strict rules of voice-leading.

Their greatest accomplishment came when The Moody Blues, seeking to expand the roster of their fledgling label Threshold Records, signed Providence to a recording contract. They managed one release, Ever Sense the Dawn (1972), before parting ways.

Live, Providence was an impressive unit that drew heavily on the combined power of Bob Barriatua's bass and Tim Tompkins' cello, the two instruments combining to create a rock edge that could be quite intense. Layered on top of that were Tom Tompkins' viola and Jim Cockey's violin. Andy Guzie's guitar work was often treated as a lyrical embellishment more than the blistering leads of his rock contemporaries of the period. Bartholomew Bishop's keyboards centered around piano, organ and harpsichord, rather than the Moog, ARP and other synthesizers then in common use among groups exploring a mixture of rock and classical influences. Because of their string trio, the group did not use the popular Mellotron (which the Moodies popularized in songs like "Nights in White Satin"), giving Providence a sound that was quite organic and more complex than that created by the Mellotron.


Blogger Vlasdance said...

thanks man...
i was looking this album for a long..
Keep up the good work!

03 November, 2006 02:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you post "Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy" of Nitty Gritty Dirth Band?
This blog is very interesting!

03 November, 2006 02:10  
Blogger google_ninja said...

Wonderful album man. Usually I hate highly produced music, but this is the second album you've posted (the first being Wizz Jones - Magical Flight) which has alot of polish and tons of instraments. Usually I find the whole "lets add strings" mentality makes the music sound mechanical and dead, but both these albums are quite alive.

Thanks for introducing me to yet another wonderful band. Keep up the good work!

03 November, 2006 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find Tim Tompkins music at, his website. His latest album, San Juan Chickens, is very good.
You'll find Tom Tompkins music at
They, Kevin and Tom's band Onomatopoeia, released a new album very lately, called "Some Assembly Required", with jazz/pop/classical influences. A must-have!
Check out these websites, Providence may have parted away but they still create, compose and perform.

03 November, 2006 17:23  
Anonymous Paul Ellis said...

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a great album and I've listened to an extremely scratchy version of it I transferred for years now... nice to get a cleaner version. I've never gotten tired of this album.

28 March, 2007 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa....I've been looking for this f' 30 years! Bart Bishop was my boyfriend back in 1980, and I remember him telling me about this album and how the band wound up on Threshold. According to him, he approached one of the members backstage at one of Moody Blue's shows and handed him a demo tape cold turkey. Bold move to say the least, but it paid off bigtime....the Moodies liked it so much, they signed 'em up. He was always proud of that, and he had every right to be!

25 April, 2008 14:09  
Anonymous TAD said...

Yr reviews R Xcellent! Looked up Providence, Gryphon, Albion Band, Mike Heron, Brewer & Shipley & others, all great stuff! Amazing that yr site should pop up on a search 4 more about Providence -- quite a long-shot! (Have owned their wonderful album since '77, found it in a 2nd-hand record store in Boise, Idaho 4 $2.19! ... Just read YESTERDAY on-line that Providence had a complete 2nd album recorded, "Heavenly Harmonies," but the master tapes were stolen & never recovered!)
We have some of the same intrests -- I have reviews of Providence, Gryphon, Nick Drake & other fairly overlooked stuff posted at my music-&-book-reviews website, -- please feel free 2 visit & comment. I'm trying 2 find some even-further-out stuff 2 review 4 my site -- tho many of the artists U list I've either heard or know by name or reputation, many I've NEVER heard of, & I've bn listening 2 off-the-wall stuff since about '71! More homework 4 me, I guess.... Thanx 4 the great info, & keep up the great work!
All D Best, --TAD.

22 February, 2009 06:58  
Blogger Record Exchange Manager said...

Great to see this. You know, Providence violinist Jim Cockey is living here in Idaho, and still composes music, and has cd's for sale. check out his website:

They are classically themed, and not bad composer music.

05 December, 2009 06:40  
Blogger furrball said...

Just found out today that Bartholomew Bishop passed away in October 2009, a little over a year after releasing his sole solo album ("Bartholomew Bishop," Peace Cymbal, still available at cduniverse). RIP, Mr. Bishop.

17 February, 2014 07:47  

Post a Comment

<< Home

2006 - - - - - - 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2015 - - - - - 5 6