Friday, April 23, 2010

The 31st of February - The 31st of February(1968)

The 31st of February made an obscure album for Vanguard in the late 1960s that was typical of many LPs of the time that didn't make an impression. There was a little bit of folk-rock, a little bit of psychedelia, and a little bit of pop. Ultimately it didn't have a lot of significance, without memorable original material or a consistent or interesting style, though the playing and singing is competent, and the mood usually reflective. All of their members, though, went on to projects that made a more lasting commercial impact. Butch Trucks became drummer for the Allman Brothers; Scott Boyer played in Cowboy; and bassist David Brown went to Santana.
The 31st of February consisted of Charles Scott Boyer (vocals, 12-string guitar, songwriter), David Brown (bass guitar, tenor saxaphone, songwriter) and Butch Trucks, Jr. (drums, songwriter). Recorded at Henry Stone’s studio in 1968 and produced by Steve Alaimo and Brad Shapiro. They first recorded at Henry Stone’s original upstairs eight-track studio.

1. Sandcastles

2. Porcelain Mirrors

3. Broken Day

4. Wrong

5. The Greener Isle

6. Cod’ine

7. A Different Kind Of Head

8. Pedestals

9. Free

10. A Nickel’s Worth Of Benny’s Help

11. Pick A Gripe

12. Cries of Treason

13. In The Morning When I’m Real
While there's nothing particularly objectionable about the 31st of February's sole album, there's nothing exciting or memorable about it either. It's average late-'60s pop-psychedelic/folk-rock, dominated by the songs of either Scott Boyer or David Brown, though they also cover Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Cod'ine," Jackie DeShannon's obscure "The Greener Isle," and the Dan Penn-Spooner Oldham-Chips Moman collaboration "Sandcastles." Light, reflective folk-rock is the primary color, slightly more downbeat than upbeat (heard to its best effect on "Porcelain Mirrors" and the lugubrious "Cries of Treason"), with a faint Baroque tinge to some of the arrangements and the occasional orchestration. There's a bit of California psychedelic freakout as well on "A Nickel's Worth of Benny's Help," though again this doesn't get too far out or interesting.
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