Chris Darrow

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise [BGO]

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Former Kaleidoscope member Chris Darrow also passed through the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and paired with Jeff Hanna in the Corvettes, providing backup support to Linda Ronstadt, before getting his own shot at a solo career on United Artists Records in 1973. That resulted in two albums, Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise (1974), combined here after decades out of print. As his pedigree indicates, Darrow was a charter member of the Southern California country-rock contingent, but his solo albums reveal an artist still stuck in the self-effacing style of a sideman, even though he's the one singing. The vocals are low in the mix, as if he doesn't care for the sound of his own voice (a sturdy, if undistinguished baritone). The real ambition comes in Darrow's eclecticism; especially on the first 12 tracks that make up Chris Darrow, he flits from one style to another, whether it's a country-blues-rock sound reminiscent of Dickey Betts' contributions to the Allman Brothers Band ("Albuquerque Rainbow"), the old-timey feel of the Monroe Brothers ("We're Living on $15 a Week"), Hoagy Carmichael's novelty music of the '30s (a cover of "Hong Kong Blues"), or even Japanese ("Faded Love") and chamber music ("That's What It's Like to Be Alone") styles. Under My Own Disguise is a bit more stylistically consistent, but still leaves room for a cover of the Ink Spots ("Java Jive"), rag music ("Live or Die Rag"), and the blues ("You Can't Outplay the Blues"). All of this demonstrates Darrow's wide range and taste, although he seems reluctant to step into the spotlight, even on his own solo records, which may help explain why he never became as famous as, say, Gram Parsons.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:10 Amazon
2 03:10 Amazon
3 03:50 Amazon
4
feat: Steve Cahill
01:34 Amazon
5
feat: Steve Cahill
04:08 Amazon
6
feat: Steve Cahill
01:49 Amazon
7 03:52 Amazon
8 04:39 Amazon
9 02:34 Amazon
10
feat: Steve Cahill
03:20 Amazon
11
feat: Alan Stivell
03:27 Amazon
12 04:23 Amazon
13 03:34 Amazon
14 02:49 Amazon
15 01:44 Amazon
16 03:17 Amazon
17 04:10 Amazon
18 04:13 Amazon
19 03:11 Amazon
20 01:12 Amazon
21 03:42 Amazon
22 05:17 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick