Quad 1970 / Out-Sider Music 2015
From Portland to Hollywood with a suitcase of blues: a rough diamond dusted off to reveal its shine.
It was a story of luck but no success: a band from Oregon went to LA where they stumbled upon a popular arranger who helped them land a deal with an MGM subsidiary who released their sole album, yet that slice of smoking rock didn’t make the quartet famous so their operation folded. End of story. What’s left, though, has stood the test of time to align itself alongside BS&T’s early oeuvre – lighter on panache but not on ambition, as signalled by the use of orchestra.
Some of the ten pieces on display have a time-stamped ominous portent which unfolds into a hopeful plea in “Moratorium Waltz” and the title track, where drummer Douglas A. Snider’s mellifluous roar and Richie Moore’s fluid guitar conjur up the gloomy atmosphere of 1970 only to blow it away in the “New Orleans Queen” runaway, if unhurried, boogie. So while a hazy eeriness permeates the cover of Donovan’s “Jersey Thursday,” sharpening the focus of its introspective lyricism, Tim Doyle’s Hammond in “Early In The Morning Rain” brings in a heavy, yet refreshing, breeze, and “Comin’ Back Home” wraps a funereal march into a flamenco-tinctured celebration of life itself.
Why such a promise faded into obscurity is a mystery but the rediscovery of this LP has been long-overdue. It’s that’s good.