Meltzer, Tina and David

Band members               Related acts

- Ed Bogas -- violin, viola, guitar, bass

- Jean Cunningham -- flute

- Tom Heimberg - viola

- Don Irving -- guitar

- Sally Kell -- cello

- David Meltzer -- vocals, guitar, mandolin

- Tina Meltzer -- vocals

- Don O'Brien -- sax, woodwinds

- Krebe Ritter -- French horns

- Nathan Rubin -- violin

- Earl Saxton - French horns



Serpent Power (David and Tina Meltzer)





Genre: folk-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Poet Song

Company: Vanguard

Catalog: VSD-6519

Year: 1969

Country/State: San Francisco, California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: small cut out notch top right corner

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4797

Price: $100.00

Cost: $45.50


Tina and David Meltzer were the mainstays behind the short-lived, but quite talented Serpent Power (see separate entry).  Unfortunately, anyone expecting to hear "Serpent Power, Part 2" is going to be massively disappointed by this 1969 set.  


Produced by Sam Charters, "Poet Song" offered up an odd mixture of spoken word poems and artsy folk-rock material.   While marketed as a duo, the album largely served as a showcase for David.  In addition to writing all 15 selections  (both the poems and songs), he was also credited with lead guitar and handling about half of the vocals.  Tina clearly had the better voice, so it shouldn't come as a major surprise to discover she was responsible for most of the highlights. Those included the martial 'I'm So Willing' (kind of a proto-feminist ballad, 'Hymn To Love' and 'Pure White Place' (the latter sounding like an early Jefferson Airplane outtake).  I'm not a big poetry fan so the six spoken word segments didn't do much for me, though they're all mercifully brief - 'Confessin'' the longest clocking in at 2:27.  Rock and hard core psych fans should probably steer clear of this one, though 'folk-psych' collectors will find it interesting.

"Poet Song" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm The Early Morning Racer (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 1:39

2.) I'll Forget You   (David Meltzer) - 3:44

3.) The Bath (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 0:33

4.) I'm A Lover   (David Meltzer) - 2:51

5.) Ravel Blues   (David Meltzer) - 4:38

6.) The Blackest Rose (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 0:55

7.) It Is For You   (David Meltzer) - 1:50

8.) Lullaby   (David Meltzer) - 2:54


(side 2)
1.) I'm So Willing   (David Meltzer) - 4:15

2.) Lamentation For Hank Williams (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 1:09

3.) Hymn To Love   (David Meltzer) - 3:18

4.) Confessin'  (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 2:27

5.) Pure White Place   (David Meltzer) - 4:34

6.) Poem For My Wife (poem)   (David Meltzer) - 1:01

7.) For Tina   (David Meltzer) - 2:28


I'm aware of at least two other Meltzer projects.  The pair actually recorded a follow-on set for Capitol, though the project was shelved prior to release.  Working with David Meltzer, Swizz collector Raymond Dumont finally released the set some 30 years later.  While I've never heard "Green Morning" it's supposedly quite similar to "Poet Song".


There's also a mid-1990's children album featuring Tina.  Released by Folkways, "Faces" is supposedly quite good for the genre, though again I've never heard it.





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