SWAMPWATER - ST (1971 Byrds style sealed original, with drill hole) LP

12.00 (in)
0.15 (in)
12.00 (in)
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A great swamp-pop/country rock release from 1971 by this group with ties to The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda Ronstadt — they were her pre-Eagles, post-Stone Poneys band — housed in an elaborate fold-out & die-cut sleeve and notes from Arlo Guthrie. Breathtaking harmonies that, at times, approach The Louvin Brothers, and superlative songcraft. I've never been to the bayou, but I can't imagine getting closer than 'Ol' Papa Joe.’ 'Mama Lou,' meanwhile, sounds like a cajun-style inspiration for Bob Seger's ‘Main Street.' The album ends with a ferocious fiddle stomp that gives way to a few seconds of 'The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down.' The vocalist ends the album saying "that's all folks". It's a line that proved sadly prophetic, as it marked the end of the band for a decade and a half. It's good enough to make even the most cynical city-slicker feel at home on the front-porch.

"Theirs was a brand of well-sung Cajun rock, straight out of the Louisiana bayou (except for the harmonies, which would've done credit to the Byrds). They had no prior equivalent in rock music, and the group's singing was considered so unusual that they got a fair amount of session work just singing backup to other acts, including Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, and Odetta. It was Guthrie who finally lured them away from Ronstadt in 1971. Swampwater did a second self-titled album for RCA with Herb Pedersen added on guitar and vocals, and then went their separate ways. While the Eagles, Firefall, and other country-rock groups made regular runs up the charts and embedded themselves in the popular consciousness, Swampwater was largely forgotten except in Los Angeles and by dedicated early Ronstadt fans. After the breakup, Gib Gilbeau joined the Burrito Brothers, and John Beland performed on a number of session dates before going solo.” —AllMusic