Cold River Lady

Better Late Than Never

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Better Late Than Never Review

by Dave Thompson

Not, sadly, some long lost relic of the mid-'70s prog act that rose to a modicum of attention through the patronage of songwriter Pete Brown, but a much later (1991) reunion project, again overseen by Brown. And if that's the bad news, wait until you hear the good. Always a remarkable proposition in concert, where their folky influences were neatly packaged with a decided eye for West Coast esotericism, the studio allowed the band to spread out even further, to create a record that could have been recorded in their prime, even though they certainly weren't. But the bulk of the original band's 1976 lineup is intact, with vocalist Helen Hardy still in magnificent form, and Brown's production is nothing if not sympathetic, both to the group's earlier strengths and to its modern capabilities. The result is an album that bridges two very distinct musical eras, and emerges as timeless as Cold River Lady always were.

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