Sing It High, Sing It Low: Tumbleweed Records 1971-1973
by Various Artists
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- Released: May 12, 2017
- Originally Released: 2017
- Label: Light In The Attic
- $0.99 on iTunes1.Colorado - Danny Holien
- $0.99 on iTunes2.Sweet As Spring - Dewey Terry
- $0.99 on iTunes3.Turn Of The Century - Robb Kunkel
- $0.99 on iTunes4.Sunday Sherry - Arthur Gee-Whizz Band
- $0.99 on iTunes5.Rosewood Bitters - Michael Stanley
- $0.99 on iTunes6.Do On My Feet (What I Did On The Street) - Dewey Terry
- $0.99 on iTunes7.Hick - Danny Holien
- $0.99 on iTunes8.Plain Talk - Arthur Gee
- $0.99 on iTunes9.Abyss - Robb Kunkel
- $0.99 on iTunes10.Late Letter - Pete McCabe
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Audio Remasterer: John Baldwin .
Liner Note Author: Sarah Sweeney.
In the early '70s, as the collapse of '60s radicalism and the lingering dread of the Vietnam War and the Nixon Administration left a collective bad taste in America's mouth, many musicians sought to move away from hard rock into something more pastoral and introspective. While plenty of rock & roll heroes embraced soft rock and retreated to the mellow confines of Laurel Canyon, in 1971 Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk took things a step further. Ray, a veteran music executive and songwriter, and Szymczyk, a talented producer and engineer whose career was on the rise, left California altogether and set up shop in Denver, Colorado, where they launched a label, Tumbleweed Records. After talking their way into a financing and distribution deal with Gulf + Western/Famous Music, Ray and Szymczyk released a handful of well-crafted albums through Tumbleweed, while Gulf + Western/Famous demonstrated they had little idea of what to do with the product before pulling the plug on Tumbleweed in 1973. Sing It High, Sing It Low: Tumbleweed Records 1971-1973 is a ten-track compilation that presents some of the highlights from Tumbleweed's catalog, featuring selections from seven of the nine albums the label released. Most of what's here is cleanly crafted country-rock with a poetic edge, especially Danny Holien's "Colorado" (the closest thing Tumbleweed managed to a hit single) and Michael Stanley's "Rosewood Bitters" (years before he became Ohio's resident heartland rocker), though Dewey Terry's "Do on My Feet (What I Did in the Street)" is a tasty slice of easygoing funk and Peter McCabe's "Late Letter" is a moody meditation on the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. This is music that's very much a product of its era, though its earthy honesty sets it apart from much of the more hollow country-rock that would emerge later in the '70s (the irony being Szymczyk would later enjoy his greatest success producing that most polished of all country-rock acts, the Eagles). And Ray and Szymczyk had good taste in songwriters, or at least that seems to be the case judging from the samples of Robb Kunkel, Arthur Gee, and Peter McCabe heard here. Featuring a well-written and compelling history of the label from Sarah Sweeney, Sing It High, Sing It Low is an enjoyable overview of a forgotten chapter in early-'70s country-rock, though this story is compelling enough that the album really should have been longer. ~ Mark Deming
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