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MARVIN, WELCH & FARRAR/SECOND OPINION

1 December 2015 CD Reviews


How do you carry the burden of being so well established because of another vehicle (in this case, The Shadows) that anything else you try pales into insignificance, at least in the eyes of a majority of the general public? Such was the case of Marvin, Welch & Farrar. Well, part of it may have had to do with the fact that they turned from electric gods into acoustic weaklings but, for me at least that’s where a lot of their charm lay. Okay, so the comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash are inevitable (M,W&F even said so themselves) and to some lesser extent, the band, America but if you give it a chance, particularly in 2012 where acoustic music is being heralded as the second coming, there may hopefully be re-awakened interest. This pair of albums reissued on CD for the first time, date from 1970-71. Now, far be it for me to be critical, but I’m not sure about the opening track “You’re Burning Bridges,” which apparently was met with approval from more knowledgeable scribes than me, but the intonation on the nylon strung guitar is what might politely be described as being a bit dodgy. The second track, “A Thousand Conversations,” however is a different kettle of fish, with its gently picked 12-string introduction and seductive string arrangement, which wouldn’t sound out of place on a BBC Radio 2 show. Collectively, Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and John Farrar could rock it out when they needed to, as can be witnessed on “Throw Down A Line” and surely a contender alongside the likes of the Goo-Goo Dolls for a Hollywood soundtrack. I just knew when I got this album I was going to be in for a treat, little realising just how much of a treat it really turned out to be-a bit like getting the purple wrapped chocolate in a box of Quality Street. If you’re into a slice of country-rock or just into great harmonies and guitar performances, then may I humbly suggest you start here?


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