- Album name: Second Thoughts
- Group name: McKendree Spring
- Year: 1970
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Decca Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Distinguishing characteristics: “G” written inside album cover, indicating that my father owned it
- Buy it on Amazon: $2.16
Level of familiarity before listening
I do not think that I’ve ever heard of McKendree Spring or this record.
What I expected
What it was actually like
This record had such a fascinating and unusual sound – folk rock, but also country, and a totally cool use of synthesizers, especially for its era.
McKendree Spring’s cover of Fire and Rain was at least as good as James Taylor’s original and I knew right away that this would sound different when I heard it seamlessly blending a country fiddle with rock style guitar, and some kind of synthesizer, without sounding “techno” at all.
Several of the songs sounded less like 1970 and more like ~2010, such as Friends Die Easy, a country rock song that started off with the synthesizer and had a sort of menacing sound with strong guitar, and Because It’s Time, a rock song that was quite lively, with great rhythm guitar.
Another modern sounding song was For What Was Gained, which started weak and had a folk rock sound, but quickly gained steam, and had some pretty good harmonica, before getting slow again at the end with the fiddle.
‘Lani also changed its sound, starting as a kind of Oompa Loompa country song, which is not something that I hear very often, with multiple fiddles, and then turned into a folk song with synthesizer backing. It definitely sounded weird, but was not bad at all.
Got No Place To Fall was a country rock song with a pretty strong country sound, that also had a shift in the fiddle and vocal styles, with a great guitar solo that led to a great fiddle solo.
Oh Now My Friend was folk rock, but with a whining electric guitar, and Susie, Susie was folk style, with country fiddle.
Cairo Hotel sounded most unlike the other songs and was the only one that I did not really like. The percussion was doing a lot, but the vocal style was very simple and boring.
4/5: would listen again
|↑1||Also, “Lani” is not pronounced like “rainy.” It is supposed to rhyme with “Bonnie.”|