Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bear - Greetings Children of Paradise (1968)

Produced by Appletree Theatre's John Boylan, Bear featured the talents of keyboardist Eric Kaz, singer Steve Soles and guitarist Artie Traum (backed on their album by Autosalvage bassist Skip Boone and drummer Darius Davenport). In spite of the cheesy cover and title (thank Mr. John's Palace of Fashion for the cover photo), 1968's "Greetings Children of Paradise" was actually pretty good. With all three prime members writing (Soles penning most of his material with brother Michael), the ten tracks were varied, including competent stabs at country-rock ("The Hungry Dogs of New Mexico"), fairly conventional pop ("Don't You Ever Want To Think About Them?"), rock, psych and even jazz ("What Difference?"). Soles had a nice voice (occasionally recalling Squeeze's Chris Difford - we're not kidding, check out "It's Getting Very Cold Outside"). (Actually, on reflection, the set's quirky charms actually compare nicely with Squeeze.) Sure, it won't change your life, but it's an album we keep in the occasional play pile. A commercial non-entity, the band quickly called it quits, with Kaz reappearing in a series of bands, including The Blues Magoos, American Flyer, Mud Acres (with Traum) and with a solo career (see separate entries). All three members also became in-demand sessions players. Taken from here

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1 comment:

Miles said...

lisa...

your essay has convinced me. i've admired all the names mentioned at some point in their respective careers, but oddly never knew that this existed. thank you.