Yays & Nays
Band members Related acts
line up 1 ()
- Al -- lead guitar
- Bev -- vocals
- Dave -- vocals, bass
- Dawn -- vocals
- F.D. -- vocals, guitar
- Sue -- vocals
- The Shifters (Dave)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Yays & Nays
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor edge wear
Catalog ID: 1025
So 1968's "Yays & Nays" is one of the "holy grails" in hardcore vinyl collecting circles, with "experts" such as Hans Pokora raving about the album and giving it a five star rarity rating in one of his reference books.
The band's also pretty much a mystery. The brief liner notes didn't provide much in the way of biographical information. No production information and minimal performance data:
Al plays lead guitar, writes some groovy arrangements and goofs off a lot. Definitely dilygaf. As a wildd disc jockey, left managers talking to themselves and listeners mess mesmerized by his calculated insanity! SNAFU.
Bev has had several of her own singles released. Petite, cute and completely professional, she likes nothing better than to sing and sing and sing ...and then sing some more. Would you believe her Pekingese is named Sing!
Dave plays a whole lot of bass guitar. recorded several of his own creations with a group called the Shifters ... he was probably the shiftiest ! Sings harmony parts that make the little hairs in your ear stand up, look at one another and yell ... glory !!! [So there are a couple of groups with that name, I'm guessing he was in an Alabama-based outfit the released at least one single on the small Squire label.]
Dawn: cool, poised and velvet voiced. Might blow your mind with a word or a phrase. Free and easy onstage, her acting training comes through. Dawn digs living life to the fullest. Soulful and sexsational. Hubba Hubbah !!
F.D. plays 12 string and sings loud. Dubbed Fat Daddy when he first started singing folk material. Likes hot dogs with mustard, hot dogs with chili, hot fogs with mustard and chili, hot fogs with cheese, hot dogs with relish, hot dogs with ...
Sue comes from a musical family. Belts out her singing with zest and vigor. Speaking of high notes, she hits them higher than high., Everybody has their own kick going - right ? Wait, Sue cast her vote for individuality ... Viva !
Based on the interesting cover photo that shows the group poised in a Spanish moss infested swamp and the collection's overarching Southern vibe, I'm guessing they were from Southern Georgia, of Florida, but who knows. Anyhow, that gets me to the point this one isn't going to be for everyone. Yeah it is mega rare, but rare doesn't necessarily equate to good, or enjoyable. Anyone looking for garage or psych moves was liable to be thoroughly disappointed since those genres were far and few between across these twelve compositions. On the other hand, folks who were into more eclectic, or even outright weird sounds were probably going to get a kick out of the album. Exemplified by 'Easy Woman' there was a bit of folk rock here. The male/female vocal interchanges were engaging ('Take It Easy baby'), and the occasional Elvis-stylings ('If'), were entertaining, but overall you got the feeling they thought they were far hipper than they actually were. Still, the over-arching feel was folksy, including a couple of acoustic numbers that sound like they could have been borrowed from a Peter, Paul and Mary, or Weavers album.
& Nays" track listing:
1.) Gotta Keep Traveling (Ken Hicks) - 2:16
opener 'Gotta Keep Traveling' served to epitomize the group's weird sound -
imagine a Southern Baptist version of the Mamas and the Papas.
Clearly these guys were trying to be hip and happenin', but it was like
listening to a school choir trying to show off their counter-culture
credentials. Just not really there. At the same time the
results were so strange, you couldn't help but being engrossed. rating:
let's take a stab at conventional folk, complete with some horrendous French
lyrics ... at least I think they're sung in French.
The operatic backing vocals (I'm guessing it was Sue), were a
up with some nice twelve string guitar, the bouncy 'Some
Do, Some Don't" introduced F.D.'s Elvis wannabe vocal
stylings. Again, so weird it was actually kind of
heard those Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood albums ? Well,
'Contrary Mary' has always reminded me of one of them. The lead
singer (guessing it was F.D. again), sounded like he was going to run out of
steam any minute and when he hit the spoken word sermon, it was all you
could do to not start giggling. The chirpy female backing chorus
was just icing on the cake. Again, you could just feel these
guys trying to ooze cool. rating:
a folk-rock arrangement, 'Easy Woman' was probably side one's most
conventional and commercial track. The snide male/female vocal
interchanges on this were actually pretty cool, though the girls' high
pitched, semi-operatic delivery seemed way out of place here. In
spite of that comment, it was easily one of the album
Another one that reminded me a bit of a Lee Hazlewood track. In spite of the fact the leas singer had a challenging voice, the rocking melody was intriguing. rating: *** stars
the title didn't lead me to expect a conventional Peter, Paul, and
Mary-styled folk number, but in spite of the slightly risqué lyrics, that's
exactly what this one was. Rather dull and
a-la Elvis ... nice example of the men versus women theme that
cropped up from time to time. Totally goofy and another album
them versus us composition, 'Take It Easy Baby' sounded like they were
poking fun at the Lee and Nancy concept. So over the top, that
it was actually good. rating:
slice of acoustic swamp rock with F.D. sounding like he'd been gargling with
been to a Catholic folk mass ? Well, 'What
Women Do' sounded a lot like what I used to hear at those Saturday evening
masses. Lots of nice vocals but very folksy and I'm not sure
feminist would be all that thrilled with the Ken Hicks lyrics. rating:
Probably the album's most rock oriented number, almost had a Dylan-meets-Lee Hazelwood vibe ... nice way to end the album. rating: **** stars
If an original is out of your price range, the Spanish Groove label reissued the collection in 2010 (Groove catalog GROO021LP), though I can't vouch for it's legitimacy.
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