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Rice, Larry “Sunshine” – “Here’s Sunshine” – [Time-Lag Records]

Thurston Hunger   7/9/2013   12-inch, A Library

Holy happy hippy trails. Nemo from the esteemed Time Lag label
hunted down this 1969 release for reissue. Richly recorded, Rice’s
voice is warmer than a campfire, and he’s surrounded by acoustic
guitars, marshmellow banjo and harmonica smoke. Earthy and folksy
at its core, but recorded in sparkling fidelity. Every breath of
Rice is caught, and his hollers get dipped in resonant reverb.
His lyrics come across like a marijuana leaf pressed in a rhyming
dictionary. He sings “The earth she is good to me” and means it,
at the time. The intervening decades may not have been as good
to Rice, but the extended liner notes inside make it sound like
he’s still shining on having taken his choices and hitchhiked
pass opportunities with their own traps. Does he still go by the
name “Sunshine?” The old Backbeat promotype and hype state “no
weird noises to pass for talent” but here at KFJC in 2013, we
can fix that easily enough with a mix of ringing oscillators
and electro-acoustic improv. I’d recommend the tracks where
electric bass snakes around with some minor menace. But mostly
this is one to glow on, once upon Northern California felt
like this. Or so they tell me…

-Thurston Hunger

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