Fred Neil - Bleecker & MacDougal
Fred Neil is cemented in the halls of folk history with his mix of Leonard Cohen weight, Graham Parsons twang and Nick Drake introspection, but before he'd cement some of that softer reputation on his self-titled album in '66 he lay down a classic of folk-blues that
feels alive, sparked with Neil's backporch truck-stop delivery and clapboard shack diner tales that wound a direct line from the gravel top roads to the heart of the West Village without ever seeming disparate. The album helped break conventions of including electric instrumentation in folk at the same time other luminaries of the Village folk scene moved toward a rock oriented sound as well. Though with Neil, the integration of the instrument simply added texture, feeling like a natural extension of his 12-string folk rockers. More than anything this is an album whose influence can be felt reverberating through those who'd follow Neil down similar paths, with the album threading its fingers through the work of Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield and Tim Buckley in its wake. The real shame is that, while the album exists in a welcome reissue, no one has put it back in its place on vinyl. Perhaps 4 Men With Beards should put this one on their upcoming schedule. But, vinyl or no, this stands as not just an important high point in Neil's career but in those who'd touch on his weathered, but human, folk-blues as a touchstone to come. (Update: I stand corrected. Sundazed have an LP reissue that it seems they are only selling direct. Definitely pick that up.)


Support the artist, buy it HERE (dig) or HERE (LP).

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posted by dissensous at 9:06:00 AM


Blogger Kevin said...

I agree that this record deserves to be reissued on vinyl. I first heard this when I was working at Music Millennium back in 2002 when it was reissued on Collector's Choice. This guy that worked at the store said that his voice was so rich that listening to it was like drinking a cup of coffee. Anyway, thought I would drop by and say hi. I have been checking out your blog almost daily, and it's one of the best for finding out about all kinds of music, especially new garage and psychedlic rock.



11:30 AM  
Anonymous Smith said...

Four Men With Beards are horrible. Still haven't forgiven them their massive botch-job of the first four Scott Walker records.

Meanwhile, what's wrong with this: http://www.discogs.com/Fred-Neil-Bleecker-MacDougal/release/2108539

9:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Hi again. I realized that my blog link was listed incorrectly in my last message. It should be http://eclectic-grooves.blogspot.com.

If you check it out and like it, I would be really grateful if you would add me to your favorite links.



11:35 PM  
Blogger dissensous said...

Hey Smith,

Nothing wrong at all with Sundazed. I didn't realize they did it. Merely calling out 4 Men as they'd done several other Neil reissues lately. Weird that Sundazed only seem to be selling this direct. It didn't come up in many searches through major outlets. I'm adding this in as a link. Better than the digital one I had. Thanks!

9:20 AM  

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