A music-obsessed, retired San Francisco lawyer, and author of the rock & roll memoir Jittery White Guy Music (available on Amazon)... picking a random album or song in his collection every day or so and sharing a few thoughts.
A beautiful, low-key, folk-pop album recorded and released shortly after the break-up of the Mamas & the Papas--alternatively titled simply John Phillips--it didn't get much attention at the time, but over the years has grown to be recognized as a key document of the early 70s Southern California singer-songwriter scene. Phillips was the erstwhile leader of the Ms & the Ps, who wrote most of their originals, so the songs are reliably solid, sticking largely to the band's folk roots, while downplaying their AM radio pop sound in favor of more rootsy Americana. Phillips mostly sang back-up with the band, but he's perfectly fine as a lead vocalist, just enough Dylanesque roughness around the edges to keep this from falling into a slick SoCal laid-back vibe. I definitely miss the harmonies of his old band here, but it's an enjoyable spin, slotting in comfortably alongside Neil Young's After The Gold Rush and David Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name.
"Let It Bleed, Genevieve" is a personal favorite, a shoulda-been-a-hit folk rock classic:
"Shady" (an outtake saved for a CD bonus track) shows a more sprawling, Dylan- (or Byrds-) influenced motif, shades of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'":
Sadly, the album doesn't currently stream, and I don't know if it's even in print. (I've got a CD version I picked up a few years back, which, as noted above, comes packed with bonus tracks.) Here's the original LP ripped to YouTube:
Post a Comment