kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 03/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is nothing like their first ablum, which is a San Francisco classic. There's a little bit of the Psychodelic here, but this more of a folk flavored album, with a little blues grass mixed in. For instance, Hoedown is just what the name would suggest, a violin instrumental you could hear at a square dance. Some of the songs tend to be more rock influenced, but are still on the mellow side. The song writing is generally good with less of the arty pretensiousness of the first album.I couldn't decide on whether to give this three or four stars. There is nothing spectacular here, but there is nothing bad either. I hate using these kind of discriptions, but it is something to listen to on a lazy warm summer afternoon, just before falling into a nap.David LaFlamme never really lived up to the potential of the first album or maybe it was actually Linda LaFlamme that was the driving force of the first album. This second album, without Linda, went a different direction. The third album (Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime) is a collection of unremarkable rock songs, with a few instrumentals that try to capture the old sound. Their fourth album (Live at Carnegie Hall) is surprisingly good, but mainly because they focus on the older sound. The fifth album (Today) is bad and really isn't It's A Beautiful Day, with both Linda and David gone. David LaFlamme then put out two really bad solo albums. Even his versions of Hot Summer Day and White Bird aren't very good. I read back then that he didn't like the It's A Beautiful Day sound and wanted to get into heavy metal."
Not nearly as good as their first
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 01/19/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After their wonderful debut from 1969, Linda LaFlamme left replaced by Fred Webb. Here, the songs tend to be softer and shorter than on their debut, and also more eclectic. You won't find any rockers here like "Wasted Union Blues". There's a few stinkers on this album as well, like "The Dolphins", but some great songs like "Essence of Now", "Soapstone Mountain", and "Good Lovin'". The atmospheric "Let a Woman Flow" features some of the most ridiculous lyrics I have ever heard ("I let a woman flow to her own natural rhythm") and you know what's silly was they weren't trying to make the song funny. Still, aside from the lyrics, it's actually quite a pleasant song. "Don and Dewey" is in honor of the R&B duo by the same name (Don "Sugarcane" Harris was the violinist in that duo having played with the likes of Little Richard and Frank Zappa). Dutch prog rock band Alquin happened to do a lengthy cover of that song off their 1973 album The Mountain Queen. Two songs features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel, "Hoedown" and "It Comes Right Down To You", which have, not surprisingly a country-ish flavor, especially since the Dead did release two country-ish albums at the same time, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. It's strange that Marrying Maiden should be It's a Beautiful Day's best selling album even though it's not as good as their first. The music does have a rather dated sound, and the lyrics, just like their first, is still hippie fluff. I do like the back cover which features the band in what looks like a hippie's house. But be careful, just like the reissue of their first album, don't buy this album on the San Francisco Sound label because the money will go in the greedy hands of Matthew Katz and none of the band members will receive royalties for this."
One of the Best Albums
Joseph Albanese | New York, New York United States | 04/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the sharp opening bars of Don and Dewey to the end, this album is comprised of some of the best music.Listening to it, you get a firm essence of the late sixties - Haight Ashbury sound but with an added dose of sophistication and perfection.No one can possibly listen to ESSENCE OF NOW and not be hit by the haunting music and the lyrical, unforgettable words. This album stays with you for some time after hearing it and any serious rock or blue grass fan should have a copy for their library."
Timeless music that brings memories rushing back!
BENJAMIN MILER | 05/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of those "ride-around tapes" that was inserted into the deck each time that a car was "packed" on a friday or saturday night. Everyone had a favorite song. For instance, while some of my crowd couldn't wait for Hoedown to come on, I was always impatient for Soapstone Mountain!Ironically, while all of my friends (myself included) were more attracted to blues-based rock, this tape/album, with it's laid-back style, always managed to work it's way into the playlist on most nights."
Raven | Baltimore | 12/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I much as I appreciated their 1st LP, this 2nd release was a major improvement. IMHO
The sound is very indicative of where San Francisco and the rest of the Hip Music World was progressing to.
Once the CD craze got into full swing, this was one of my first to re-collect. The LP was definitely worn out. I have yet to purchase their 1st, although I'll eventually add it one of these days. One of my all-time favorites, over 30 years running, and I've yet to get tired of this classic!
Unfortunately, they peaked with this LP, although I wouldn't mind having Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime on a re-mastered CD, too.
For now, that LP is fine as well as their others."