utorak, 2. travnja 2013.

Susan Christie - Paint A Lady (1970) & Bearded Ladies

SUSAN CHRISTIE - Paint A Lady image

Imaš hit-singl, snimiš album, no šefovi Columbie kažu ti da to nije komercijalno i raskinu ugovor. Album se otisne u samo tri primjerka (1969.) a onda ga tek 2006. otkriju i objave na Finderskeepers. Nježni, čudni psihodelični folk. 
Finderkeepers su izdali i kompilaciju sličnih takvih otkrivenih dragulja nazvanu Bearded Ladies.

The late ‘60s, early ‘70s were such a creative period, it is sad to realize how many albums got shelved and passed unnoticed and given no chance. This album had a press of only three copies.
When Keith Darcy from Finderskeepers, had discovered the progfunky group Wool, he also checked out other things on which John Hill participated, he was amazed to find out how one movie track from ‘Riders of the Mark’ (1967) sounded like an exact sonic blueprint for Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, or how beautifully he arranged this private album from Susan Christie.
When I first heard this album, I was firstly reminded of the delicate arrangements of some of The Mamas and The Papas, as imagined as some solo release from a similar group. Not only the arrangements are tight and effective, well thought over and well produced with band arrangements and orchestral touches, but the songs are well chosen and attractive, Susan Christie has also great vocal qualities, a strong combination that deserves to be heard, and that makes repeated listens a real pleasure. “Rainy Day” has some beautiful dark melancholy in the voice and lyrics, while through the music this is uplifted to the acceptable human sweetness of what makes such feeling an ‘experience’ (so not bringing things down, but lifting it into musical pleasantness). 
Everywhere the arrangements are perfect, with the right emotionality made stronger by drums or rock added to the more lush orchestrations, (mixed with acoustic guitars,..)… Just now and then associations with a theatrical/filmic emotionality are made possible, as if highlighting a Morricone accompanied movie…and there’s also one real western song, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, again into the folk-poprock context.  
In the middle there’s also one longer track of over 9 minutes called “Yesterday, where’s my mind?”, with a more experimental introduction, in an ESP-LP LSD fashion, with trance spoken word, at first just rhythmically accompanied, with a bit of organ, before the narrator/singer and the organ goes a little bit crazy, as a free-er introduction that still leads to another real song.- rockasteria.blogspot.com/

Another killer release from the Finders Keepers camp, this was never before properly released - apparently the label thought Christie was a liability, too experimental for their mainstream sensibilities, and only three privately pressed vinyls ended up leaking out into the world. One of those ended up being the 'mother' from which this release was procured, and listening to it today it's easy to see why the label became so worried when they heard it. The cover has a nice quote from Stones Throw man Egon who says it sounds like a dusty old folk LP as produced by Madlib, and he's not wrong - there's something deep and totally smoked out about the record which sets it apart from other folk records at the time. Delving into the murky world of psychedelia we find Christie in a drugs haze on the nine-minute 'Yesterday, Where's my Mind?' or lazy hotwired funk on 'Ghost Riders of the Sky' - it's quite simply breathtaking the foresight of the woman as she crafted a record which seems so intrinsically connected with the sounds the hip hop/crate digging world fetishises so much now. Not only this though, but the album is frankly a darn fine listen - with enough narrative to hold your enjoyment for the entire ride. Really it shocks me that with all the current psych/folk music coming out we very rarely have anything that reaches such dizzy heights as this, we very rarely have albums that just seem to, well, get it right - here Susan Christie does exactly that, and all we have to do is lie back and take it in slowly. Beautiful! - boomkat

I was working as a jingle singer when Keith D'Arcy, a record company executive and avid collector of the weird and unusual, asked if I had anything in my basement. There was Paint a Lady, a record I'd made in 1971, but only three copies had been pressed. I gave one to him, and he contacted Votel. I hadn't thought about the record for years, because after I made it I started raising a family. But I'd always been proud of it - it was a new sound, sort of "folky-funk".
I had decided against being a normal singer because jingle work was easier to fit around the children. I sang about bladder control, detergents, diet Pepsi and Maxwell House coffee. But performance requires so much practice, the requirement to be available, to travel. I didn't perform live until last year, at the Lost Ladies of Folk concert. My son played with me, and you could sense he was seeing this different side of his mother. I was overwhelmed at the welcome I was given. I'm 65 now; to get that sense of something new happening now is really extraordinary.
- Susan Christie

Susan Christie is an American singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had a minor hit with the novelty song "I Love Onions" (written by Donald Cochrane and John Hill). The track, which peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966, is described as having a sound reminiscent of the 1930s, with Christie's "breathy" vocal backed by a chorus of kazoo players and male backup singers.
In Canada, however, the single fared much better, reaching #19 on the RPM 100 national singles chart on August 1, 1966.The tune was adapted as "I Love Funyuns" for a late 60's TV commercial for an onion-flavored snack food. The tune was later adapted for a Canadian television commercial as "I Love Turtles" in 1980.
Signed to Columbia Records, Christie recorded an album in 1970, Paint a Lady. Described as "psychedelic folk music", the album went unreleased by Columbia, which considered it to be non-commercial, and Christie was dropped from the label. The album, of which only three vinyl copies were ever pressed, languished in obscurity until 2006, when Manchester-based DJ Andy Votel received a copy and brought the album renewed attention and a CD release. SPIN magazine described the album as "funky free folk" filled with "[b]rilliantly original songs" and Christie as a "dark, strange songbird".
Christie participated in the 2008 "Lost Ladies of Folk" project spearheaded by Votel and his spouse, recording artist Jane Weaver, performing in concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and appearing on the compilation album Bearded Ladies. In 2010 Christie appeared as a guest artist on Weaver's album The Fallen By Watch Bird - wikipedia

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Bearded Ladies, Vol.1

1. Speck Mountain - Hey-Moon

2. Wendy and Bonnie - Paisley Window Pane

3. Magpahi - Horses

4. Emma Tricca - Martin and Me  mp3

5. Selda - Gesi Baglari

6. Lispector - Peachtree Street  mp3

7. Turid - Lat Mig Se Dig

8. Heather Jones - Coli Laith

9. Lights - Branches Low  mp3

10. Susan Christie - Rainy Day
11. Jane Weaver - All These Rivers mp3

12. Brigitte Fontaine - Le Goudron  mp3

13. Heaven and Earth - Refuge

14. Cate Le Bon - Disappear

Effervescent songbird Jane Weaver has joined forces with Finders Keepers to produce a B-Music certified canon of femme-folk, laden with finger picked meandering melodies, ethereal harmonies and wistful psychedelic leanings.
This bespoke globe-trotting decade spanning collection traces a line between the acid soaked protest rumblings of yesteryear and the forward looking/backward facing revivalists of today, as luminaries such as Wendy & Bonnie, Bonnie Dobson, Heather Jones and Susan Christie rub shoulders with the current cream of female songsmithery including Emma Tricca, Magphai, and Cate Le Bon. - www.finderskeepersrecords.com/

I don't know what's in the water over at Finders Keepers towers, but every single release that seems to be trit-trotting from the collective of labels lately has been totally unmissable. From Selda's shocking self titled album last year to this week's Voice of the Seven Woods, it's nail-bitingly intense stuff, and this bumper compilation put together by folky type Jane Weaver is no exception. Much has been made of the freak folk scene in the last few years with labels like Drag City launching acts such as Espers and Joanna Newsom onto the world, and Devendra Banhart standing up for all things freaky and strummed - it's almost come to a level of over saturation in fact, but that's what makes 'Bearded Ladies Volume One' so darn good. You see we really have a soft spot for female fronted folk fables, and Weaver has expertly placed together fifteen cuts here, old and brand spanking new which manage to be both wildly experimental and gorgeously heartfelt. There might not be so many huge names on here but that's kind of the point, this is the sort of compilation you can use to 'discover' music, to find your new favourite crush and that's the kind of collection the world needs. We've got tracks here from Selda, Brigitte Fontaine, Wendy & Bonnie, Bonnie Dobson, Susan Christie and Heather Jones next to more recent cuts from Cate Le Bon, Speck Mountain, Emma Tricca and Jane Weaver herself but far from sounding like there's a thirty year gap in between the recording the tracks flow into each other like they were meant to be heard in this way. Highlights here are far too frequent (I'd even wager that there isn't a duff track on here) but to pick out favourites I'd have to say that Speck Mountain's 'Hey-Moon' which kicks the compilation off is a winner, all hazy vocals and rattling percussion, and Lights' 'Branches Low' (which is produced by Espers' Greg Weeks no less) is a real gem. The amount of songs I've discovered on here and new artists is incredible, hopefully full albums will start to emerge from these guys and the older tracks remind me that I should really go on a re-issue hunt again pretty damn soon. Absolutely lovely in every way, and a massive recommendation. Essential Purchase! - boomkat

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