Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fred - Fred (1971)

The Fred album encapsulates the band's 1971-1973 period. Gathering together the 45 and seven unreleased tracks, Joe DeChristopher recounts the history of the band within the lavish heavy-duty gatefold.
BO FOX drms
KEN PRICE keyb'ds
MIKE ROBISON bs, gtr, vcls
DAVID ROSE keyb'ds, violin, gtr, vcls
GARY ROSENBERG lyrics, perc
PETER EGGERS drms, piano
DeChristopher had met Price in 1967 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. and joined Price's band, Still At Large. Over the next three years the band picked up other students and evolved into Fred. Classmate Gary Rosenberg was the band's No. 1 fan, a college radio DJ and sometime poet - he occasionally performed with them on stage and became their lyricist. He was also their guide to other sounds around, introducing them to the likes of Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa and The Mahavishnu Orchestra whose songs they would cover.
In 1970 the band graduated (or left) BU and moved into a couple of farms near Lewisburg. They continued to perform at local clubs and schools. The first recordings, which make up the bulk of the LP, were done the following year and their debut 45 was released. In 1973 occasional member Peter Eggers joined the band permanently and marked the end of their formative chapter, with the departure of Gary Rosenberg. The liners announce that later recordings are forthcoming.
There's some fine fuzz solos and acidic leads with occasional wah-wah but despite being tagged as psychedelia elsewhere, there's a strong aura of mellowed, slightly trippy, pastoral rock that's coming from folk roots and gently drifting off in a prog/hippie direction. The violin adds to the non-urban vibe but is more like Curved Air than Mahavishnu.
1 Four Evenings 6:40

2 Soft Fisherman 6:32

3 Salvation Lady 6:01

4 By the Way 6:46

5 I'll Go On 4:27

6 For Fearless Few 3:47

7 A Love Song 4:37

8 Booking Agant Blues 4:33
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