Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Carolyn Hester Coalition - 1968 - The Carolyn Hester Coalition

The Carolyn Hester Coalition 
The Carolyn Hester Coalition

01. Magic, Man    2:10
02. East Virginia    2:58
03. Tomorrow When I Wake Up    2:27
04. Be Your Baby    2:32
05. Big City Streets    2:50
06. Half The World    3:13
07. Let's Get Together    2:38
08. Hey, Jay    2:46
09. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream    3:00
10. The Journey    2:30
11. Buddha (Was Her Best Man)    2:19

- Dave Blume - bass, keyboards, vibes
- Skeeter Camera - drums, percussion
- Carolyn Hester - vocals, guitar
- Steve Wolfe - lead guitar

Though she’s best-known for her prominent role in the folk boom that swept America in the early 1960s, and her involvement with Bob Dylan, Carolyn Hester also recorded two superb albums of psychedelic folk-rock in 1969, along with her band, The Coalition. Sunbeam is delighted to announce their long-awaited authorised reissues, produced with Carolyn’s full participation. Both come complete with booklets detailing the band’s history and featuring rare photographs, and are sure to appeal to all fans of high-class US psychedelia.

“It’s hard to find weak tracks on this album, whose sound is typified by an excellent laid-back fuzz-psych sound… opening cut ‘Magic Man’ is mind-blowing fuzz psych at its best” – Fuzz, Acid & Flowers

‘Fine West Coast-style hippie fuzz / folk-rock/pop, with Hester singing in a decidedly non-folky acid bubblegum style. Solid all through’ – The Acid Archives

Anyone into Hester's earlier incarnation as a folk singer is likely to find her decision to turn to a more happenin'/commercial sound disappointing.  On the other hand, anyone into this late-1960s psych-oriented effort is liable to find her earlier folk albums trite and dull.

The thought of a folkie turning to psych is probably a major turnoff to many folks.  That's unfortunate since once you get over Hester's little girl lost voice, 1968's "The Carolyn Hester Coalition" is surprisingly enjoyable.   With excellent backing from The Coalition (bassist/keyboard player Dave Blume, drummer Skeeter Camera and lead guitarist Steve Wolfe), material such as "Magic Man", the fuzz guitar propelled "East Virginia" and "Half the World" offered up some excellent psych/rock numbers.  Sure, Hester's folkie roots were occasionally on display ("Tomorrow When I Wake Up"), and on tracks like "Big City Street" she bore an uncomfortable resemblance to Lulu.  Luckily, those were the exceptions rather than the rule.   Besides, Hester deserved an extra star for the album cover's revealing blouse. 



  2. Fantastic - Two weeks ago I got a copy of "Magic, Man" from a various artists compilation and included it this weekend's show "In The Window" on (shameless plug) and today I find two complete albums - thanks man. This is the first site I look at every morning.