Sonntag, 24. Juli 2016

Mimi & Richard Farina - Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)

Richard Fariña was a noted counterculture author and folksinger in the early '60s. Married for a time to folksinger Carolyn Hester, he was an early intimate of Bob Dylan, and in fact recorded a collectable album with Dylan (playing under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt) and Ric Von Schmidt in 1963. After marrying Joan Baez's sister, Mimi, he formed a folk-rock duo who released two acclaimed albums in the mid-'60s. Unlike folk-rock figureheads like the Byrds, the Fariñas were far more firmly rooted in folk than rock.
Their recordings effectively flavored their material (mostly written by Fariña) with jangling electric guitars and a rhythm section, ably assisted by such session players as guitarist Bruce Langhorne (who also played on Dylan's first electric recordings), bassist Felix Pappalardi, and harmonica player John Hammond. The Fariñas themselves also played guitar, autoharp, and dulcimer. Least successful with blues, they recorded some effective Appalachian-flavored material, and several excellent bona fide mid-tempo folk-rockers and ballads. Their best songs effectively balanced world-wise, sardonic observations with good-natured, melodic optimism.
The Fariñas' promising career ended prematurely with the death of Richard Fariña in a motorcycle accident on his birthday in 1966. His novel of the same year, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like up to Me", became a cult favorite. Since Richard Fariña's death, Mimi Fariña has sporadically recorded and performed as a solo act.

Richard & Mimi Fariña's debut effectively laid out their approach: Appalachian-like instrumentals that put the dulcimer to the fore alternate with strong contemporary folk compositions, which are by turns mournful and high-spirited. The world-weary "Reno Nevada" (a part of Fairport Convention's repertoire in their early days) is the duo's best song.

A note on the song "Michael, Andrew and James":
Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were members of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). On June 21, 1964, they traveled to Longdale, Mississippi to visit a church that had been bombed by the Ku Klux Klan. On their way back they were arrested by the sherrif, then released, and then shot by a mob and buried in a shallow grave. Their bodies were not discovered until two weeks later, on August 4th. Michael Schwerner had been a Cornell student (class of '61), which probably gave the tragic events an extra poignancy for Fariña. His song is a sequel of sorts to "Birmingham Sunday," which likewise commemorated the victims of a racist attack. In both songs Fariña called upon the folk trope of naming each victim to preserve them in our collective memory, a tradition older than the Homeric epics. Tom Paxton also wrote a song for them, called "Goodman, Schwerner And Chaney," on his album Ain't That News and Carolyn Hester wrote one called "Three Young Men" on At Town Hall, vol. 1.


SIDE ONE:

1. DANDELION RIVER RUN 1:42
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer
2. PACK UP YOUR SORROWS 2:58
Vocal--with guitar & dulcimer
(by Pauline Marden and Richard Fariña)
3. TOMMY MAKEM FANTASY 1:29
Instr.--autoharp & dulcimer
4. MICHAEL, ANDREW AND JAMES 5:07
Vocal--with dulcimer and guitar
5. DOG BLUE 1:42 (arr. by Mimi Fariña)
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer
6. V.
Instr.--dulcimer & tambourine (Bruce Langhorne)
7. ONE-WAY TICKET 3:24
Vocal--with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)

SIDE TWO:

8. HAMISH 1:47
Instr.--autoharp & dulcimer
9. ANOTHER COUNTRY 4:00
Vocal--with guitar & electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne)
10. TUILERIES 1:45
Instr.--dulcimer
11. THE FALCON 3:38
Vocal--with guitar
12. RENO NEVADA 3:07
Vocal--with guitar, dulcimer, electric guitar (Bruce Langhorne), piano (Charles Small) and bass (Russ Savakus)
13. CELEBRATION FOR A GREY DAY 3:47
Instr.--guitar & dulcimer

Mimi & Richard Farina - Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

3 Kommentare:

Bob Mac hat gesagt…

I already have this, along with every track the Farinas recorded. But for anyone who doesn't already have it, this is superb music. I've been listening to this album regularly ever since it first appeared in the 1960s and love it more with each listen. Highly recommended.

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for your feedback, Bob Mac. Best wishes!

ej hat gesagt…

Any chance you could repost this? I want to thank you for all the great music I have heard because of you.

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