Saturday, April 21, 2007
Given Gram Parsons' habit of taking control of the bands he played with (and his disinclination towards staying with them for very long), it was inevitable that he would eventually strike out on his own, and his first solo album, 1973's G.P., is probably the best realized expression of his musical personality. Working with a crack band of L.A. and Nashville's finest (including James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums, Byron Berline on fiddle, and Glen D. Hardin on piano), he drew from them a sound that merged breezy confidence with deeply felt Southern soul, and he in turn pulled off some of his most subtle and finely detailed vocal performances; "She" and "A Song for You," in particular, are masterful examples of passion finding balance with understatement. Parsons also discovered that rare artist with whom he can be said to have genuinely collaborated (rather than played beside), Emmylou Harris; Gram and Harris' spot-on harmonies and exchanged verses on "We'll Sweep out the Ashes in the Morning" and "That's All It Took" are achingly beautiful and instantly established her as one country music's most gifted vocalists. On G.P., Parsons' ambitious vision encompassed hard-country weepers, wistful ballads, up-tempo dance tunes, and even horn-driven rhythm and blues. He managed to make them all work, both as individual tunes and as a unified whole. If it falls just short of being his greatest work (an honor that goes to The Flying Burrito Bothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin) thanks to a couple songs that are a bit too oblique for their own good ("The New Soft Shoe" may be beautiful, but who knows just what it's supposed to be about), this album remains one that is hauntingly and has only gotten better with the passing years.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Keith Christmas-Fable of the wings (Folk Rock 1970)
While Keith Christmas' second album was an improvement over his debut, there was still the sense that it was a stretch of his talents to fill an entire record with decent material. In its favor, it had some nicely integrated, varied arrangements that show more imagination than many other British folk-rock recordings of the early '70s: the jazzy piano-dominated vamp of "Waiting for the Wind to Rise," the lovely female backup harmonies on "The Fawn," the languid tempo of "Lorri," the gothic organ of "Kent Lullaby," the Mellotron-acoustic guitar-piano combination of "Hamlin," the rapid whirl of acoustic guitar picking on "Fable of the Wings." About half of the songs were mighty pretty, particularly "Hamlin" and the delicate "The Fawn." Christmas was good at establishing an attractively melancholy musical setting, but his rambling lyrics just couldn't hold up their part of the weight, and he was given to tracks that went on and on for way too long before fading, particularly on "Waiting for the Wind to Rise."
all music guide
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Popi Asteriadi w Lakis Papas-Another Sunday Gone (1969 Greek Acid Folk)