Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Euphonious Wail - A Euphonious Wail (1973)

Heavily influenced by San Francisco bands (Big Brother and the Trucking Company and The Jefferson Airplane quickly come to mind), the Santa Rosa, California-based A Euphonious Wail was roughly five years behind creative and popular tastes. Not that it seemed to matter given a financially struggling Kapp Records went ahead and signed the quintet to a recording contract. Built around the talents of drummer Doug Hoffman, keyboardist Bart Libby, singer Suzanne Rey, singer/guitarist Steve Tracy and bassist Gary Violetti, the band's self-titled 1973 debut teamed them with producer Brian Ingoldsby (Lowell Levinger of Youngbloods fame reportedly also helped out). While "A Euphonious Wail" had a couple of nice moments, for the most part the LP was surprisingly lame and uninspired. As lead vocalists Rey and Tracy had decent, if unexceptional voices (though Rey tended to screech in the higher registers). The same type of limitations were true of the band as songwriters (all but Hoffman contributing material). Taken individually guitar and keyboard propelled rockers such as 'Pony', 'We've Got the Chance', 'When I Start To Live' and 'F#' weren't bad, but stretched over an entire album, there simply wasn't much that really stood out. The band were even less successful when they tried slowing things down - check out the lame ballads 'Did You Ever' and 'I Want To Be a Star'. (The Michael Hawes cover drawing was interesting. Depending on how you looked at it you saw something completely abstract, or possibly obscene.) Needless to say, the album vanished without a trace, followed in short order by the band. [SB]

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thom from france said...

thank you very much for this record,now i love it.

your blog is great,still!

Anonymous said...

When the Who were in town, Pete Townsend had heard them and wanted to record them.
I went to school with a girl who dated the guitarist.
They weren't that bad, but, not that good as you mention, either ; (

Anonymous said...

My Mom followed these guys throughout the Bay area, and even loved one of them. Doug Huffman.
Montana would love to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I want to you for sharing yuour rarities, great blog.
Can you please re upload this file once more for the link it seems not working.

Rare Rocker

Pappy said...

I auditioned for these guys when they were preparing to record this album. They needed a guitar player but I was beat out by the much better and much more experienced Steve Tracy. (BTW a couple of errors: you have linked to a Wiki entry for the wrong Steve Tracy and it was Doug Huffman, not Hoffman.) I attended several of their rehearsals in the house they all shared together in the tiny Northern California hamlet of Freestone. They went to L.A. to record with (I believe) Richard Podolor producing but those sessions were scrapped and they re-recorded the whole thing over again with a different producer. After the album was finished they did a few showcase gigs that didn't go well and the band quickly fell apart. They probably made a mistake by not playing local gigs all along and placing all their hopes on this album. Doug Huffman was a great drummer who went on to play with Boston on the road. Don't know what happened to the others...

Ozzy said...

Thank very much for this record! Night out is such a huge piece of Rock!