Finchley Brothers, The


Band members               Related acts

- George Faber -- vocals, harp

- Garrett Oostdyk -- guitar

- J. Michael Powers -- drums, percussion

- Larry 'Tabe' Tabeling -- bass

 

 

- none known

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Everlasting Tribute

Company: Golden Throat

Catalog: 200-19

Year: 1972

Country/State: Champaign, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00

 

Here's an album that nobody seems to agree on. Lots of name collectors rate this one as a classic (and price it accordingly). Others think it's over-hyped crap (though they still tag it with a high price). I'll tell you the truth lies in the middle ground. While it's not a "must own" psych classic, the LP still has plenty going for it. Curious? Read on.

First, here's what little I know about the band. Singer George Faber, guitarist Garrett Oostdyk, drummer J. Michael Powers and bass player Larry 'Tabe' Tabling originally formed in 1963. Based in Champaign, Illinois they spent the next five years playing college campuses and local clubs. 

Based on information obtained from the limited liner notes, the eight tracks were recorded at Chicago's Chess Studios and Golden Voice Studios (?) over a ten month period between September 1968 and June 1969. The tapes were shelved and only released three years later. Co-produced by guitarist Oostdyk and Genevra Shirley, the results were energetic, if rather raw (the band clearly didn't have the resources required for a great deal of post-production work). Musically "Everlasting Tributes"  was rather dynamic. Probably a reflection of their surroundings (Chess studios), much of the album sported a heavy electric blues feel ('Who's Been Talkin'' and 'Restrictions'). That may not sound like a promising description, but the results were actually surprisingly accomplished. Backed by Faber's growling voice and harmonica and Oostdyk's feedback soaked guitar leads ('Hooked'), it may not have been the year's most original offering, but these guys generated considerable energy. At the other end of the spectrum, tracks such as the fragile 'Swelling Waters', 'Outcast' (with another great guitar solo) and a cover of The Kink's 'I'm Not Like Everyone Else' offered up a more conventional, rock-oriented sound. (You probably already guessed, but this is one of those albums that sounds better with the volume cranked way up ...) Pressed in miniscule quantities, the set's rather rare and sought after. 

"Everlasting Tributes" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Who's Been Talkin'
2.) Swelling Waters
3.) Outcast
4.) I'm Not Like Everyone Else (Ray Davies) - 

(side 2)

1.) Hooked
2.) Once I was a Boy
3.) It All Ends
4.) Restrictions

There are some well made counterfeits on the market, as well as an illicit mid-1980s release by the French Eva label. 1984's "Practice Sessions" compiles the original LP plus three bonus tracks. 1993 also saw Eva reissue it in CD format.

Witness the following news clip from The Champaign News-Gazzette, at least two of the original members still perform in the Chicago area:

 

URBANA – In the 1960s, the Midwest knew them as the Finchley Boys. Tuesday, they were just three middle-aged guys with acoustic guitars and drums. But man, they made the jailhouse rock.  While most people spent Christmas Day with family, Jim Cole, George Faber and Michael Powers spent a good part of the afternoon at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. Tough crowd, but the veteran musicians had them laughing and clapping by the third song – Faber's rap version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

 

And a little more information about the band:

 

"The picture on the album cover was taken at the University of Illinois Experimental Dairy Farm in Urbana Illinois .  Garret ( Gary ’s) girlfriend, Genevra Shirley’s (Mary Shirley) father ran the farm.  She and her two sisters, Anne Shirley Faber and Jane Shirley owned and operated ‘In Stitches” clothing store and “Barnum Blues” jeans store in Champaign and Urbana Gary was from Chicago ; George was from Urbana (his dad owned the local mattress factory).  Anne Shirley married George after the birth of their son Leif Faber.  She was pregnant with their daughter Genevra Faber.  They were born in 1970 and I think either 71 or 72.  George and Anne later divorced.  George had a boa constrictor that he had moving over his body while he sang the last song of each performance.  Took a lot of their inspiration from the Yardbirds which they loved.  Mary Shirley died in January 2000 I believe."

 

Barbara Coy Brinegar February 2006

 

( I was an employee at In Stitches and a friend of Mary, Anne and Jane and the Finchley Boys).   


 

 

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