Album Review

Bolotin, Jay – “Jay Bolotin” – [Locust Music]

ArtCrimes   4/6/2010   12-inch, Country

In the category of “lost albums,” the release of jay Bolotin’s 1968 recording more than fills the bill. He was briefly contracted to record this LP in New York City, but the 18 year old Kentucky native had some culture shock on the way (as discussed in the LP’s insert, written some 40 years after the LP finally was released in 1970). Coming a few years too late for the folk boom and just a couple of years too early for the singer-songwriter craze to come, Jay Bolotin’s LP will perhaps bring to mind better known artists like Leonard Cohen (although Bolotin has none of Cohen’s verbal grace, only a bit of his vocal tonality), the earliest of Jackson Browne’s albums, the tasteful ensemble work of Lovin’ Spoonful, and the non-comedic works of Arlo Guthrie. These aren’t folk songs as much as they are confessionals, windows into his troubled young mind, trying to grapple with what seemed to be “real life.” The arrangements are spare but intelligent, with lead guitar that never takes over but is certainly of structural importance in each song. Bolotin is still around, working as an artist and composer of film music, and was surprised as anybody to find there was interest in his earliest work. (( crimes ))

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