Steve Noonan – S/T CD (Collectors Choice)

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On his 1968 Elektra debut, Noonan comes off like a chilly Apollonian antidote to Tim Buckley’s gathering Dionysian storms. Both singers have precise tenor voices they apply to ambitious folk-influenced art songs and a sort of sadly regal air, though Buckley had significantly greater control over the recording process when he was at Elektra, and generated more of a funk. On “Back Alley Dream Street Song,” you can almost hear producer Paul Rothchild (who took his name off the finished work) goading the artist into a Buckley impression, but maybe this was just the local folk-rock style for Orange County kids in the late sixties. Noonan was a high school pal and songwriting partner of Jackson Browne, then in his Nico-backing phase. The album features several solo Browne compositions alongside Noonan’s collaborations with Greg Copeland, including his minor hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Buy For Me The Rain.” Though a slight effort, there are some very pretty moments.

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