Blue Winds Only Know

Dick Campbell

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Blue Winds Only Know Review

by Richie Unterberger

Dick Campbell is most known for his mid-'60s album Dick Campbell Sings Where It's At, one of the most outrageously blatant imitations of Bob Dylan ever recorded. It's something of a shock, then, to hear this collection of 16 tracks that, according to the liner notes, was "recorded in various publishers' offices and recording studios in Hollywood between 1969 and 1971" -- for not only is it not Dylanesque, it's in a far milder, poppier singer/songwriter style, Campbell favoring the softer and higher range of his voice. Much of it has a faint Beach Boys-crossed-with-California-folk-rock feel, which is unsurprising as much of the material was written by Campbell with Gary Usher, who worked in various capacities with the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and other folk-rock/surf/hot rod/sunshine pop acts. There's an under-produced air to most of the cuts, some of which feature nothing or little more than Campbell and acoustic guitar; that demo-like production can be appealing, but also makes much of this disc sound underdeveloped. The tunes are pleasantly pretty but on the bland side, with a low-pressure energy that sometimes verges on the sleepy.

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