Nick Garrie Discovery

This is my first LITG Blog, and in fact my first blog at all. I am happy to be here, and will keep this first one brief. My most recent discovery of an obscure and great record comes courtesy of The Big Takeover magazine, who did a piece in their last issue on Nick Garrie (Hamilton). The article had me running to get Garrie’s late 60s lost masterpiece record, The Nightmate of J.B. Stanislas. Wow. Think the soft, orchestrated pop of Bergen White running into more “serious” folk stuff by, say, Nick Drake, then having some encounters with the Baroque pop of The Left Banke, the left of center melodic singer/songwriter sounds of Harry Nilsson and . . . I could go on with the comparisons, but let’s just say this is a great record that the people of Rev-Ola have put back into the world for us. If you’re into sprawling, pyschedelic folk/pop from the late 60s, Nick is your man and this record will hit your sweet spot. My apologies if anyone on this site has already raved about this record.

Amazon has the record, and if you prefer to buy from your local shop, get them to order it if they don’t have it on the shelf.

Bonnie Dobson – self-titled CD (Rev-Ola)

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Ten years before recording this 1969 orchestral pop disc in Toronto, east coast folkie Dobson wrote “Morning Dew” in a fit of nuclear angst, then watched as half the singers on the scene made it their own. She revisits her standard here, alongside several similarly moody originals and covers of “Get Together,” “Everybody’s Talkin'” and lesser-known offerings like arranger Ben McPeek’s Indian-tinged “Bird in Space.” Dobson has a seductive, jazzy quality that works best on the more subdued tunes like the sweet, Francophone “Pendant Que,” but which gets lost in shrillness whenever the strings get too hyperactive. A pleasant offering, if over-produced and less personal than a songwriter’s self-titled album should have been.

The Four King Cousins – “Introducing” CD (El)

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Reissue of a 1969 harmony-pop disk on Capitol, produced by David Axelrod under the not-quite-anagramic Lex de Azevedo. The cousins King were music industry pros with a family TV show and the connections to get their nascent quartet a regular slot on John Davidson’s Kraft Summer Music Hall. Blonde, slick and resoundingly old-fashioned despite the matching mini-dresses on the cover, in the studio they brought their frosty, elevator-ready pipes to arrangements of Beatles, Boyce & Hart, Hamlisch, Bacharach-David and Nichols-Asher that veer from the tasteful to the mildly twangy and tuff. The best track is “God Only Knows,” where their ethereal ice princess sexiness really suits the material. Like an estrogenic Carpenters without the angst, these four twenty-somethings made music for people the sum of their combined ages.