Mark Fry’s 1972 psych-folk masterpiece Dreaming With Alice has been getting a lot of play around these parts of late. Recorded in Rome over a three-day period in the summer of ’71, but never properly released unto the world, the physical LP is extremely rare with copies fetching for much as $4K. Throughout the album, songs weave in and out of short, reappearing dream state segments that venture through the visions of Fry’s highly psychedelic dream with Alice—a reference to the Louis Carroll’s Alice Through The Looking Glass. Here we share with you the dark, Eastern-tinged acid-folk number, “The Witch.” Do enjoy, friends.
A wise friend once hipped me onto the sounds of New Jersey hippy folk band Widsith and their back roads 1972 LP Maker of Song. It’s been a sunny day favorite ever since. A glance at the cover art shows a photo depicting two, very similar looking, long-haired mustached dudes leaning up against a dusty old barn with nothing else but a set of barrel staves and some mangy grass poking up from the bottom of the shot. While they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, records certainly aren’t books. Here, the music you find within sounds like the cover looks. It’s like the photo was taken moments after they emerged from recording in that very barn. Mics crackle like they’re caked with an inch of dust; fluttery, telecasted guitar lines dance around each other Blind Faith style; tales of the road are sung out in a Dino Valenti-kinda-Van Morrison style drawl. Every song is a gem here, friends.
Long thought to be a lost treasure of the private press world, a few years back Alithia records shed a bit of light on the mystery LP with a lovely reissued version. I haven’t seen it around many places, but it’s out there. Seek one out for yourself.
On July 26, 1972, the Grateful Dead performed the second of two shows at Portland, Oregon’s Paramount Theater. Coming just a week after Pigpen’s permanent departure from the band, the Dead were undergoing a series of major changes that would forever alter their sound. While Keith had been on board for nearly a year at this point, it was during this time that he was forced to step to the forefront, allowing him to become a greater part of the mould. This period marked the early stages of the transitional phase that propelled the band’s sound in a jazzier, more melodic direction—a sound that came into full view one year later on Wake of the Flood. The colossal “Dark Star” from this night finds the Dead in patient form, delicately exploring a 30 minute astral vision quest before drifting into the comforting arms of “Comes a Time.” I bid you safe travels.