Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Folklords - 1968 - Release The Sunshine

The Folklords 
1968 
Release The Sunshine





01. Jennifer Lee - 3:20
02. Don't Hide Your Love From Me - 2:56
03. Child - 3:42
04. Unspoken Love - 2:08
05. Windows - 4:17
06. Forty Second River - 3:18
07. Pardon Me Judas - 3:10
08. Thank Your for Your Kindness - 3:)5
09. We'll Love Like Before - 2:20
10. Suzanne Marie - 4:00
11. Don't Look Back - 2:50
12. The Slave - 3:10


Craig Boswell (drums)
Martha Johnson (vocals, autoharp)
Tom Martin [aka Tom Waschkowski] (vocals, bass)
Paul Seip (vocals, guitar)




The first time I heard this collection I thought I was listening to a mid-1960s release from some unknown Southern California band.  Turns out I was wrong on both counts - the album was released in 1969 and these guys were from Toronto ...

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)  included with the download.

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