Monday, January 06, 2014

Gene Dreams Again

Can you believe it's been five years ago this week that I began this project - the years have flown by, helped along at times by the accidental or surprising wonderfulness found in certain song poems, and perhaps dragged out by some of the lesser material I've shared, at other times!

Thanks to everyone who reads these postings, listens to/shares these tracks and/or offers up comments. It's been a great opportunity to share the wealth of my 17 years and counting of song-poem collecting (and, when the spirit moves me, to offer up something else from my 40 or so years of collecting records! Again, THANKS!


I find that it's been three full months since I featured a Gene Marshall record, certainly the longest that I've gone between postings featuring that golden throat majesty. And here's one which by rights (i.e. the quality of the lyrics) should be just another ho-hum song-poem release - and I wouldn't be surprised if some find it to be just that. But I think it rises a bit above the material, thanks to another stellar vocal performance by Gene, and, especially, a really engaging backing track by the Preview house band.

If you can get past the goopy backing singers at the start, you'll hear a nice, soulful track under Gene's strong reading of the lyrics to "I Had a Dream". The drummer, in particular, makes this track for me - in fact, I've often wondered who provided the frequently excellent drumming on these late '60's/early '70's Preview sides. The guitarist is also doing some really nice things, and I appreciate the piano fills here and there, too. All in all, a much nicer record than it could have been, due to the superior talents of everyone involved.



On the flip side, we have the rather bland stylings of Fred Flagg. Mr.Flagg turns up on a dozen or more Preview waxings, all of which appear to be from between 1968 and 1971, initially billed as Freddie, then Fred. "My Own Home State" has precious little to recommend it (is the statement that "I've Been Everywhere" really justified by listing about a half-dozen midwestern and southern states one has visited?).

But this record does remind me of ALL of the other songs about states and cities which are found on the song-poem 45's in my collection, and I think maybe I'll make a point of doing a song-poem travelogue (as long as the material is interesting), over the next several weeks.




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