Tuesday, 24 March 2015

SPURNED CLASSIC! - Down In L.A. by Brewer & Shipley

Brewer & Shipley
Down In L.A.

A young girl sleeps 
and her dreams are laced with silver...

First off, sweet genius that's a magnificent cover isn't it...Mmm green and yellow...I really love this album. This is the sound of the West Coast in that great transitional year of 1968. Things haven't gotten too rural yet (these dudes probably had moustaches not beards), but in the aftermath of psychedelia something irrevocable has happened, the mystical has become implicit in the everyday, so even when you think you're just hearing these kinda traditional, simple harmony-laden folky songs, there's something about them that just feels different. The harmonies are delightful, the songs elegant and organic; acoustic guitars, a tinkle of harpsichord, wind chimes, some subtle orchestration and softly crashing cymbals, close your eyes and you're in Laurel Canyon with the sun in your eyes and the breeze in your fur. This is B&S's debut album, and I wish someone would reissue their 2nd and 3rd albums stat (Weeds and Tarkio?) as I bet they're all kinds of good too. Listen to Green Bamboo, it's great isn't it? You can totally imagine Peter Fonda listening to it by his pool, loving life. Down In L.A. captures that moment in time beautifully, folk-rock turning into roots-rock, kinda Byrdsy, kinda Buffalo Springfield, it is consistently brilliant. Before long things would get heavier, lengthier, or just more deep south, the whiff of the FSM marches and the coffee houses would be well and truly redundant, but you can still hear them a little here. It's a fugitive moment, but this album puts you right there.  

Now we beat on the drum
Aquarian dancers come...

Green Bamboo

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