With jangling guitars, playful tambourines and lush harmomies in tow, folk rock sounds find favor year round, but the folk-rock vibe sounds especially splendid as the world wakes up from hibernation and all is in bloom again.
These four sides are unrelated other than in their overall vibe; after recent tragic events I just wanna focus on the GOOD things in life, and this music has an exceptional healing power.
If it was just for one song ("Needles & Pins") that is one of THE definitive folk rock statements, Jackie DeShannon would be a legend. The immense talents of this woman have ricocheted throughout a jaw dropping array of styles and she posseses the type of songwriting skills that are unparalleled. As The Byrds were first getting their act together and morphing from acoustic folkies into a self contained, electric band, they had an early champion in Jackie DeShannon, who enlisted the group to back her on this gorgeous track. No, it's not about the type of grass that folkies and folk rockers were so enamored of, but of the innocence of young love. David Crosby showcases his unique harmonies here, and already by 1965 the folk rock mold had gelled into a loping, swaying groove dotted with melodies and harmonies seemingly coming from everywhere. Allegedly, Jimmy Page wrote "Tangerine' about his love affair with DeShannon, and the two songs certainly make an appealing pair of bookends (Robert Plant was heard introducing 'Tangerine' in concert as being about 'love at its most innocent stages").
The San Francisco bay was a hotbed of folk rock, and (Autumn records recording artists) The Beau Brummels (in my opinion) stand side by side with The Byrds as the ultimate American folk rock groups, although limiting either group to such a label is unfair. With coffee house scenes dominating south in San Jose, north east in Berkeley, in the city of San Francisco itself and everywhere in between, the bay area folk scene begat practically every member of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & The Fish (and so many more) these countercultural types were tuning in, plugging in, and dropping out of the coffee houses, turning the volume up loud and rocking the walls of the old ballrooms. Formed on the peninsula just south of San Francisco, The Vejtables took a strong British Invasion influence and turned on to a folk rock sound before many of their local contemporaries in 1964. While they are perhaps best remembered for their (excellent) minor hit 'I Still Love You', I find this b-side to be perhaps their defining, jangly folk rock moment. While Tim Buckley's debut Lp from '66 can be criticized as being the sound of a young artist grasping for his own sound (most of the ongs were written by Buckley and collaborator/ friend Larry Beckett while they were still high school students), there are several lovely moments, including "Song Of The Magician" which is one of his greatest tracks. 'Grief In My Soul' is unlike ANY other track in Buckley's astounding catalog, and it flat out cooks! The performance is a very appealing blues-folk-rock workout highlighted by Buckley's incredible vocals and some superb group musicianship. Van Dyke Parks never hit the piano harder, and Mothers Of Invention drummer Billy Mundi shows off his Zappa-driven percision behind the kit.