Monday, 2 January 2017

The Baroques - Purple Day 1967/68 @320 (CD)

A minor psychedelic band with a mixture of interesting and generic material, the Baroques recorded one LP for Chess in 1967, when the blues/R&B/soul-oriented label was considering breaking into the rock market. Popular only on a regional level, the Milwaukee group (originally called "The Complete Unknowns," until someone probably realized how dangerously self-fulfilling it could be) was dominated by the morose compositions and low, odd vocal range of singer-lead guitarist Jay Berkenhagen who also played keyboards; the other members were Rick Bieniewski on bass, Jacques Hutchinson on guitar and vocals, and Dean Nimmer on drums. With a slight garage feel, their unusual, occasionally oddball material was built around electric (sometimes "baroque") keyboards and fuzz guitar riffs, which occasional detours into uplifting folk-rock and freak-out jamming. They lucked out in 1966 with the Berkenhagen-authored single "Mary Jane," which engendered considerable local controversy over whether it was or wasn't a drug song: it wasn't, but the dispute over the lyrics got them labeled as a psychedelic act, and boosted their live popularity. The album never sold, however, and the group disbanded in 1968. They won't appeal to many listeners besides psychedelic specialists, but they recorded some idiosyncratically worthwhile stuff, most of which has been reissued on small collector labels.(R. Unterberger

Fine psychedelic garage pop. It's a pity that the band don't got more attention then in the sixties.
But like a famous man once said: the right time at the right place...or forget it.



1 comment:

  1. Drummer Dean Nimmer was one of my professors at art college in the seventies.
    Thanks for posting this!