Chris Darrow

Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise [Everloving]

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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 and replicated here in a package containing two LPs, two CDs, and a 48-page photo book. 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 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 - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
03:36 Amazon
2
02:50 Amazon
3
01:46 Amazon
4
03:18 Amazon
5
04:10 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
04:15 Amazon
2
03:11 Amazon
3
01:15 Amazon
4
03:43 Amazon
5
05:18 Amazon
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