Shawn Phillips

Contribution/Second Contribution

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Shawn Phillips' first two A&M recordings were released a year apart in 1970 and 1971, respectively. However, nearly three years passed between the sessions that birthed them. The sessions for Contribution took place in 1968, and the album was culled from what was proposed to be a much larger project. Second Contribution was the natural sequel, with a much more ambitious sonic palette. Musically, these two offerings give listeners a solid indication of the kind of eclecticism and artistic ambition Phillips was capable of. His songs range from standard country-ish folk-rock ("Man Hole Covered Wagon" on the former) to utterly detached, abstract psychedelic journeying ("Song for Sagittarians" on the latter), and each album has a throwaway track or two. But there is no denying that this two-fer has immeasurable value, reissuing the albums that not only introduced Phillips to an international audience, but remain favorites in his catalog. The remastering job on this particular set is a little dodgy, but it's the only game in town for procuring these on CD.

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