October Country


Band members               Related acts

- Eddie Beram - drums, percussion (1967-68)

- Caryle De Franca - vocals (1967-68)

- Joe De Franca - vocals (1967-68)

- Marty Earle - guitar (1967-68)

- Bruce Wayne - guitar (1967-68)

- Bob Wian - keyboards (1967-68)

   

 

 

- none known

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  October Country

Company: Epic

Catalog: BN 26381

Year: 1968

Country/State: Los Angeles, California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear; cover shows a little bit of age discoloration

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4

Price: $90.00

Cost: $66.00

 

We've always wondered why so many harmony-rich mid-1960s pop groups seemed to come out of Los Angeles.  Even more of a curiosity is why most of them vanished with little exposure or popular success.

Well, here's another one to add to the list.  

The children of a pair of ministers, the early-1960s' found brother and sister Caryle (aka Carol) and Joe De Franca following their parents across the country, singing in a succession of church choirs.  By 1966 the family was living in Southern California, where the siblings decided to  try to break onto the L.A. club scene as a folk act.  Within a couple of months they'd recruited a full fledged band with a line up consisting of drummer Eddie Beram, guitarists Marty Earle and Bruce Wayne and keyboardist Bob Wian.  A succession of dances and frat parties led to some minor success on the L.A. Club scene, notably providing backing support for better known outfits such as The Coasters and The Rivingtons.  Their real break didn't come until late 1967 when they were teamed with young, up-and-coming writer/producer Michael Lloyd.  Under Lloyd's wing, the band was signed by Epic, debuting with the Lloyd-penned and produced 1968 single 'October Country' b/w 'Baby What I Mean' (Epic catalog 5-10252).  Adopting the song title as their name, the newly christened October Country quickly released a sophomore single 'My Girlfriend Is a Witch' b/w 'I Just Don't Know' (Epic catalog number5-10320 ), which managed to generate modest airplay.  Epic subsequently decided to finance an LP.  

Anyone who enjoys "sunshine pop", the orchestrated, harmony rich material that makes bands such as The Association, Millennium, Orange Colored Skies and Sagittarius such a delight, will certainly find 1968's "October Country" a pleasure.  That said, in many respects this album is almost a Lloyd solo effort.  In addition to producing, arranging, writing all eleven tracks and providing much of the instrumentation (Lloyd reportedly rerecorded large portions of the album when the band failed to turn in what he considered to be up-to-par performances), Lloyd's distinctive creative fingerprints are found all over the album.  While neither of the De Francas is much of a singer, in the confines of this album they're individual vocal shortcomings don't really matter that much.  Surrounded by breezy melodies, complete with imaginative (and occasionally quirky) arrangements, material such as 'Painted Sky', 'Little Boy Smiling' and 'She's Been Away' just exudes a sense of joy and innocence that rock's seldom come close to recapturing.  Besides, anyone who enjoys playing spot-the-influence will have a field day listening to tracks such as 'I Wish I was a Fire' and 'Cowboys and Indians' ...  GREAT LP !!!

 "October Country" track listing:

1.) October Country   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:37

2.) Painted Sky    (Michael Lloyd) - 2:07

3.) Little Boy Smiling   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:20

4.) She's Been Away   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:54

5.) Good To Be Around   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:28

6.) I Wish I was a Fire   (Michael Lloyd) - 1:50

7.) Cowboys and Indians   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:14

8.) I Just Don't Know   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:23

9.) End of the Line   (Michael Lloyd) - 3:17

10.) My Girlfriends a Witch   (Michael Lloyd) - 2:05

11.) Caryle's Theme    (Michael Lloyd) - 1:51

 

Sadly the LP did little commercially.  Epic pulled one last single from the LP 'Cowboys and Indians' b/w 'I Wish I Was A Fire' (Epic catalog number 5-10373) and the band was history. 


 

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