Somewhere In The Stars - Richard, Cam & Bert - Musik - DELMORE - 0795528003410 - 20. april 2024
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Somewhere In The Stars RSD 2024 edition

Richard, Cam & Bert

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Somewhere In The Stars RSD 2024 edition

"Richard, Cam & Bert seem to have grasped The Great Harmony. That is, ensemble singing that is at once sweet, precise, funky and a bit sardonic..."

-Mike Jahn / New York Times (1970)

"For a few years in the late sixties and early seventies Richard Cam & Bert ruled MacDougal St. walking a fine line between the increasingly commercialized demands created by groups like Crosby Stills and Nash and the fierce integrity of earlier folk performers, the generation to which Richard belonged. They managed this with great aplomb, producing original tunes of great integrity and obvious folkloric origins, as well as those which expressed the anarchic omnipresent psychedelia of the moment. They also never abandoned the idea of including some traditional material in their performances. But for the usual random application of luck they could have been very big."

Grungie O’Muck / Artist, Bluesman, Cover artist for their first album and contributor to this one.

Richard Tucker, Campbell Bruce, and Bert Lee coalesced as a trio in the spring of 1968, and by the end of that year had become regular performers at fabled Greenwich Village nightspots - The Gaslight, The Bag I’m In, Cafe Feenjon, among others. But mostly they were street singers, busking regularly in Central Park. Their only LP, Limited Edition, was released in 1970, and sold mainly at gigs and on the street. Somewhere in The Stars compiles earlier, previously unreleased recordings, when all three members were signed with Peer-Southern Music publishers as writers and began using their studio to make demos and experiment musically. Beautifully recorded by house engineer Charlie Mack (supervised by Jimmy Ienner), the demos capture a back room casualness and rustic, homespun quality. For me, listening to their songs and harmonies is like entering a world you always hoped existed but had never experienced.

Some of the songs were re-recorded the following year for Limited Edition, but many are heard here for the first time. Among them is the original demo for Richard Tucker's song, "Are You Leaving For The Country", which Karen Dalton covered on her seminal 1971 release, In My Own Time. Richard and Karen were husband and wife for much of the 1960s, performing as a duo (initially as a trio with Tim Hardin), and navigating their time on the Village scene while alternating living in a small mining town outside Boulder, Co. before splitting up in 1967. Also making its debut, is the only song Richard and Karen ever wrote together, the haunting "Sleeping In The Garden". Also contains two epic songs by Cam ("One Of These First Nights", and "Stockholm") not on their LP, but staples of their live performances, and noted in a gig review by The New York Times, and in a column by future A&R hero, Karin Berg, who was an early champion. Another rarity is the only cover of "Sweet Mama" by Fred Neil we’ve ever heard.

Campell Bruce came to New York in 1967 as lead singer with a band from Washington, DC, The Natty Bumpo. They’d recently signed a record deal with Phillips, but were falling apart. Cam landed in the Village with an acoustic guitar and first started playing and singing in the basket houses, and shortly thereafter at The Gaslight, as the "Cam Bruce Trio” (which included Collin Walcott). After opening for Mose Allison, Cam's hero, the trio went their separate ways, and Cam returned to regular solo gigs at The Flamenco, and the basket houses on Bleecker. Richard and Cam met up on that scene and quickly found a musical kinship as well as becoming best pals.

Bert Lee arrived in New York as a runaway the following winter, and began playing and sleeping wherever he could. His sometime accompanist, Ron Price, introduced Bert to Richard and Cam just as Bert’s own songs were garnering attention from publishers. According to Bert, “I arrived on the New York scene during a time of great change, and it was the notion of change that influenced me. All around me I saw there were two sorts of songwriters, on the one hand dedicated to the traditions that had inspired them, folk, jazz, the American songbook. On the other hand were songwriters influenced by the wave of experimentation that The Beatles were the perfect example of. Mixing genres, writing lyrics that weren't just about ordinary love and loss.

Richard Tucker was a country blues player, with a relaxed and melodic approach to the craft. Cam wrote something more akin to soul songs, with a hint of jazz in the changes. I was writing tunes that sometimes drew on classical structures with a tendency toward what I suppose would be known as prog-rock. But I was rather adamant about not being pinned down stylistically, and so I would write, for example, a song based on some complex classical chord structure, and then go right ahead and write a simple folk song, like Evelyn. Our band was popular locally, and it was this variety that made it distinct.”

Delmore is excited to present this unearthed treasure, fifteen years in the making. In the words of Richard Tucker, "Tap on your knee, roll on the floor; if you aint free, what's it all for?"

"The trio's singing, playing, and writing have all withstood the test of time. Believe me, because I was there. In 1969 R,C&B, myself, Charles John Quarto, David Bromberg, Ron Price, and Keith Sykes were just a few of that year's crop of song-slingers. We were young turks back then, out on the prowl in New York's Greenwich Village for record deals, gigs, and beautiful young women to sleep with and maybe even write a song about. I've lost the names and numbers of those lovelies and I'm not sure what happened to Ron Price, but Richard, Cam, and Bert are back! - Loudon Wainwright lll

Medie Musik     VINYL     LP   (Vinyl)
Antal plader 1
Udgivet 20. april 2024
EAN/UPC 0795528003410
Udgiver DELMORE
Genre Jazz
Mål 300 g   (Estimeret vægt)

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