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Album Review

Canterbury Music Festival, The – “Rain & Shine ” – [Beatball]

ArtCrimes   8/27/2008   12-inch, A Library

The Canterbury Music Festival were a New York-based band that fell under the tutelage of early 60s group The Tokens (???The Lion Sleeps Tonight???), whose label BT Puppy released this mega-rare LP (150 copies in original pressing) in 1968. It???s now re-issued on vinyl by Korean label Beatball in an edition of 500, with a groovy full color poster and full lyrics in English and Korean. The mood here is a bit schizoid, reflecting not only the style of the three songwriters in the group, but also the Tokens??? own writers and a former Token, Stephen ???Brute Force??? Friedland, who had solid pop songwriting credentials working for Del Shannon and the Cyrkle. The overall tone is baroque pop a la Left Banke, with harpsichords and strings… pretty sophisticated stuff for a group that barely got this record out at all. Lots of attention to textural detail and Beach Boys / Beatles creamy harmonies, but bits of psychedelia appear via comically distorted guitar (see track 6, an inane rave-up titled “Super Duper Trooper”) and electric sitar (see track 10, which is a stylistically questionable cover of “Son of a Preacher Man” that would be more at home on a “60s Smash Hits Not By Original Artist” LP).

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