Release Date: Feb 19, 2013
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Folk-Rock, Pop/Rock, Country-Rock, Psychedelic/Garage
There's no more cliched declaration of vaguely anti-mainstream, middlebrow tastes than someone saying that they listen to "everything but country." But the relationship between counterculture and country music used to be quite cozy. Thanks to his influence on the Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons helped turn psychedelic rock fans on to the contemporary country sounds of the time, and country musicians returned the favor by introducing a stoner-friendly grooviness to their sound and image. (Check out Light in the Attic's fantastic compilation, Country Funk 1969-1975, to see how groovy things got.) Chris Darrow is a product of that union.
Darrow’s name might not be the most familiar to anyone but the most dedicated follower of country-rock, but his influence spreads far and wide. He cut his teeth with the bluegrass outfit The Dry City Seat Band with David Lindley; his later group Kaleidoscope counted Jimmy Page among its fans; he toured with the young Linda Ronstadt; and his session work included stints with Leonard Cohen and James Taylor. Artist Proof, first released in 1972 on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s label Fantasy, shared much of its DNA with Gram Parsons’ records of the time: emotionally charged Americana laments delivered with a tenderness and fragility.
Chris DarrowArtist Proof (Reissue)[Drag City; 1972/2013]By Joshua Pickard; January 23, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGEveryone wants to believe they’ve found that great lost album from whatever year and in whatever genre and from whatever band. People pride themselves on staying ahead of the curve and being the first to discover an album long relegated to the trash heap or some musty attic of some older relative. This sense of discovery has led to many of the great musical reclamations in the past decade, so I can’t fault people too much for feeling this way.
As a founding member of '60s L.A. psych-folk outfit Kaleidoscope (along with David Lindley), Chris Darrow played a significant role in defining the city's country-rock sound that blossomed in the '70s with the Eagles and Jackson Browne. What set Kaleidoscope apart from contemporaries such as the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers was musical experimentation that, at times, incorporated everything from Middle Eastern to avant-garde elements.