Bands and albums like this should have no right whatsoever to exist in the current tines when individuality and musicianship no longer seem to be important in terms of the music industry, but I am so glad they do. Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York, in the late Nineties the band is based around singer and guitarist Joziah Longo, and he has long been joined by multi-instrumentalist Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, mandolin, flute) and guitarist Sharkey McEwen. The 2022 line-up which released this album also features RJ McCarty (bass, keys, sax), Bob Torsello (bass), and Matthew Abourezk (drums), while they also have some guests such as Waterboys co-founder Anthony Thistlethwaite.
This album takes the mindset of Woodstock-era psychedelia, throwing in elements of Dylan, Bowie, ISB, Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, Country Joe and early Fairport Convention, then combining that with wonderful songs and performances to really take us back in time. Who cares this album should have been released 50 years ago (when they would have been huge stars), as we have it now and for that we need to be eternally grateful. This is their sixth album but is the first I have come across, which of course means I now have another five to discover (although this is the only one on Talking Elephant), and I can certainly see why they were asked to grace the hallowed Cropredy stage last year. Longo’s vocal style combined with the songs and arrangements invites the listener right into a very special world indeed, and having seen photos of the band I can only imagine their live performances are both chaotic and righteous. It was recorded in five different studios across two countries and took four years, but it never seems disconnected in any fashion as this is a warm and delightful slice of a time gone by. Folk, singer-songwriter, psychedelia, Sixties, Woodstock, all wrapped in 14 songs and is a delight from beginning to end.