Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nevermore: Plattsburgh 62 & Beyond
Genres: Pop, Rock
'62 Garage Rockers morph into '67 Sunshine Popsters
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anytime you get a chance to tap into someone else's maniacal collection of anything - pinball machines, barbwire samples or, in this case, original garage-rock music, you're in for a treat. This 2-CD set chronicles the recordings of Michael Brassard and Stephen Blodgett as they worked their way through a number of East Coast '60 and '70s rock bands. The set opens with Brassard's 1958 debut on WDEV radio, playing and whistling his acoustic original "Rovin' and then proceeds through a full disc of early-60s frat-stompers, garage rock, doo-wop rooted ballads, surf-tinged guitar, and oddball studio freak-outs, all punctuated by bits of contemporaneous radio continuity.
Unlike many garage rock comps, this isn't the sound of '65, it's the sound of '62. The British Invasion had yet to happen, and some of the country's rawest music was emanating from corners like Vermont. Michael Brassard, both before and with the Ravens, was apparently quite a sponge for musical styles, equally at home with twangy guitar rockers as with talking folk-blues. Using Plattsburgh, New York's Rollerland as a studio (where The Ravens waxed the skatetastic "Moonlight Couples Only"), Brassard and friends had the freedom to try just about anything that came to mind. The Ravens were a solid garage rock band in the Pacific Northwest vein, and Brassard and Blodgett wrote many catchy original songs.
The second disc in this set moves from the garages of 1962 to the trippy sunshine pop of 1967. It's difficult to connect the two discs, as the second set's harmonies, string orchestrations, and psychedelic lyrics (e.g, "I Could Hear the Grass Growing") are more akin to the works of Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher than The Kingsmen styled work of Mike & The Ravens. Variously credited to Fire & Brimstone, The Camel's Hump, The Front Burner and others, the common thread is again Michael Brassard and his former Raven bandmate Stephen Blodgett, and like their earlier garage rock, they wrote many memorable original tunes.
A more concise sampling of The Ravens finished garage rock sides can be found on Bacchus' companion single-disc volume, "Heart So Cold: The North Country '60s Scene." This 2-CD collection provides a view of the underlying studio catalog from which the commercially released sides were sprung. The evolution of Brassard and Blodgett, and their second wind of '60s psychedelia is all worth hearing. Disc two finishes out with pop, folk and country sides waxed from the '70s through 2004, showing the flame still burning. Sound quality on disc 1 is highly variable; disc 2 is more consistent mid-to-hi-fi. Both discs include generous helpings of previously unreleased works. [©2005 hyperbolium dot com]"