Clover

Clover

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Clover's self-titled debut album, recorded (like their follow-up) before Huey Lewis joined, is competent but rather pedestrian early-'70s-San Francisco Bay Area-bar band rock. Though it leans strongest towards country-rock, there's a good amount of R&B and blues informing the proceedings, and they go straight country on "No Vacancy," which isn't that far from some of Gram Parsons' recordings. You can also hear strong echoes of labelmates Creedence Clearwater Revival in the extended treatment they give to "Wade in the Water." It's doubtful anyone needs to hear an average bar band go through "Shotgun" on record, though, and the country-rock tracks are usually laid-back and forgettable, though "Could You Call It Love" is a pretty, gentle, harmony-laden number. In fact, this sounds very much like a band you might have seen billed second or third after the Grateful Dead in the early '70s: non-threatening, rootsy, but in tune with placid Northern Californian vibes. And it was, of course, as a backing band (for Elvis Costello) that Clover would ultimately become most well-known, though that was a few years down the line.

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