wear; edge and corner wear
This one drove me crazy for the
longest time. Several years ago I found a copy of the album at a yard sale, only to discover the sleeve contained the wrong LP. Aaaghhhhhh !!!
Making this an even stranger story, several years later while on a business trip
to California I found a copy of the album sans cover. Yes, three years and 6,000 miles finally produced a match !!!
All that effort and I have to admit I don't know much about this Los Angeles-based trio. Drummer Terry Hand had previously played in a number of surf bands and released a couple of singles as a member of Everpresent Fullness.
Bassist Bobby Ray was a sessions player probably best know for his work with Donovan.
Singer James Smith
remains a complete unknown to me.
First a quick warning - the first time I heard this LP it didn't do much for
me. Luckily, I was willing to give it a couple of spins, in the process discovering a
mid-1960s album with more than its share of pleasures. Produced by Steven Douglas (always wondered if it's the same guy who did the Aerosmith albums), 1967's
"Thorinshield" showcased material
entirely penned by Ray and Smith. Musically the set's hard to peg, though if you enjoy the sunshine pop characterized by Curt Boettcher and groups like
Sagitarius, it's something you'll want to check out.
Tracks such as 'Wrong My Friend', 'Here Today' and 'Life Is a Dream' offered up a highly commercial mix of folk-rock,
radio friendly pop and soft psych influences. Today I guess you'd
label it 'sunshine' pop. The combination of great harmonies (check out
'Pleasure Time'), coupled with slightly acid tinged atmosphere (nice backwards guitar on
'One Girl'[) and attractive orchestration ('Prelude To a Postlude'), make it
quite impressive and when it call comes together like on the song
'Daydreaming' it's simply stunning. Sure it's hardly the year's most original debut, but
it is well worth hearing, particularly since you can still find it relatively cheap.
"Thorinshield" track listing:
1.) Life Is a Dream
(Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:03
2.) Brave New World (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:21
3.) Wrong My Friend (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:21
4.) Here Today (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:42
5.) Pleasure Time (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:21
6.) The Best of It (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:25
(Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:48
2.) Light That Love Brings (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 4:14
3.) Prelude To a Postlude (Bobby Ray - James Smith)
4.) One Girl (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:16
5.) Collage of Attitudes (instrumental) (Bobby Ray - James Smith) - 2:00
completists Philips pulled 'The Best of It' b/w 'Life Is a Dream' as a
single (Philips catalog number 40492).
One last non-LP single 'Family of Man" b/w 'Lonely Mountain Again' (Philips catalog number 40521) and the trio seem to have called it quits.
Hand briefly reappeared as a member The Moon and several decades later was a member of Rocket
Science before dying in 2004.
Ray cut a hard to find solo LP for Johnny Rivers Soul City label.
Smith continues to performer at local L.A. clubs.
So out of the blue I got an email from Terrence Tally. Turns out that
Mr. Tally knows James Smith (aka Jimmy Guitar Smith). Not only does he
know Smith, but a couple of years ago he made a documentary on Smith -
"Blue Minded." Mr. Tally was kind enough to send me a copy
of the documentary along
with some new music Smith had recorded. Haven't had a chance to check
the documentary out, but the CD offered up a mix of okay niteclub jazz and
more entertaining blues-influenced numbers. As Mr. Tally mentioned, 'his
current music is nothing like the 60's sound of Thorinshield, but he
certainly has a gift, but one that will probably go unrecognized."
Listening to the CD, Smith's voice is a little deeper (though quite
pleasant), while his guitar remains ever tasteful. I'd certainly pay
to see him in a small club.
to Terrence Tally