Jackie DeShannon

Laurel Canyon

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Laurel Canyon wonderfully captures the natural, idyllic vibe of its titular setting, the creative nexus of the late-'60s Los Angeles music scene. Swapping the polished pop approach of Jackie DeShannon's past hits for an appealingly rough-edged country-soul sensibility, the record celebrates a place and time that transcended the physical world to signify a virtual Garden of Eden for the flower-power generation. Featuring extensive contributions from pianist Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack and guitarist Russ Titleman, Laurel Canyon boasts a swampy, lived-in charm that perfectly complements DeShannon's sexily gritty vocals. Her soulful reading of the Band's "The Weight" anticipates Aretha Franklin's like-minded cover, but most impressive are originals like "Holly Would" and the title cut, which eloquently articulate the rustic beauty of their creator's environs. [RPM's superb 2005 reissue features eight bonus cuts, including several sublimely funky collaborations with Bobby Womack as well as the chart smash "Put a Little Love in Your Heart."]

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