Jan and Lorraine


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-69)

- Jan Hendin -- vocals, guitar, keyboards, kazoo

- Lorraine LeFevre -- vocals, guitar

 

  backing musicians:

- Nazir Jair Azbhoy -- tamboura

- Clem Cattini -- drums 

- Terry Cox -- percussion

- Takie Hendin -- backing vocals

- Rod Mirfield -- percussion

- Brian Odgers -- bass 

- Kaeshav Sathe -- tabla

 

 

- none known

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Gypsy People

Company: ABC

Catalog: ABCS-691

Year: 1969

Country/State: unknown

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small drill hole top right corner; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1 

Catalog ID: 218

Price: $120.00

Cost: $97.51

 

Can't say I've uncovered much about this short-lived duo composed of singer/guitarists Jan Hendin and Lorraine LeFevre.  What little information out there is contradictory.  Even the basic facts are hazy with some references saying they were American, others indicating they were British and still other works saying they were Canadian. 

 

Regardless, their sole album 1969's "Gypsy People" was recorded in London's IBC Studios with Anthony Browne producing and with backing from a rather impressive collection of UK musicians.  With both Hendin and LeFevre contributing material, the album offered up an engaging mix of folk, psych and world music moves.  Dealers continually drop the term 'acid-folk when trying to unload lame folk crap on unsuspecting collectors, but if you want to hear a true acid-folk LP, then this may well set the benchmark for such comparisons.  By themselves Hendin and LeFevre both had attractive voices and on material such as 'Bird of Passage' and the title track' they turned in some gorgeous harmony work that had a distinctive English folk-rock feel which occasionally recalled the likes of Sandy Denny, June Tabor, etc..  Actually, because of the distinctive middle eastern flavors found throughout the album, a better comparison might be to Magic Carpet's Alisha Sufit (interesting to note that tabla player Kaeshav Sathe played with Magic Carpet).  The pair also had pretty interesting tastes in outside music with the album including a pair of Perth County Conspiracy covers (Richard Keelan's rocking 'Break Out the Wine' and 'Don't You Feel Fine').  While there wasn't anything particularly commercial here (which is one of the attractions for me), the duo's willingness to experiment and take some substantial risks gave the set a unique appeal that should be of interest to a wide spectrum of collectors.  Personal favorites included the funky raga-influenced title track and the extended 'The Assignmnet Song-Sequence'.  Perhaps intended as their stab at commerciality, to my ears the only real mis-steps were 'Snow Roses' which was a little too operatic for my ears, 'Space 33' which featured a young girl on lead vocals, and the goofy music hall-styled 'Old Tyme Move'.  Ray Davies and Paul McCartney could get away with it on occasion, but not this pair.  Excluding those couple of minor let downs, it's surprising that this album isn't commanding much more attraction for collectors (and similar prices).


"Gypsy People" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Break Out the Wine   (Richard Keelan) - 

2.) Bird of Passage   (Lorraine LeFevre) - 

3.) Gypsy People   (Douglas Graham - M. Chapman) - 

4.) Foolin' Myself    (Jan Hendin) - 

5.) Old Tyme Movie   (Lorraine LeFevre) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Life's Parade   (Lorraine LeFevre) - 

2.) Snow Roses   (Lorraine LeFevre) - 

3.) The Assignment Song-Sequence   (Jan Hendin) - 

4.) Number 33   (Jan Hendin) - 

5.) Don't You Feel Fine   (Richard Keelan) - 

 

 

It's always a pleasure to get an email from someone associated with one of these classic albums:

 

Hi there, just found this rare album on your website. I can tell you a little bit about the making of this record, as I was the recording engineer. It was recorded at IBC studios in London in Portland place ,this was quite a famous studio during that period and earlier during the Second World War, when it had a license to broadcast. Hence IBC ( international Broadcasting Company )
The young girl vocal was the daughter of either Jan or Lorraine.


With regard to the sound we used four track machines, laying down the music track first,and then adding the vocals and sometimes extra instruments later, usually in the evening, in a very relaxed and low lit environment.


I do not know what happened to Jan and Lorraine, but they were great to work with. I recall being taken 

to eat sushi, and bearing in mind it was 1968/9, I had never eaten raw fish before !! Quite an experience,but the saki was great.


I still have a test pressing of this disc ,and as it is an acetate copy I have only played it once or twice in all these years. I attach a photo of it.


I hope this has been of interest.
All good things,

Philip Wade (January 2017)

 

 

 

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