Give Us a Break

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After three years of playing around central North Carolina and southern Virginia, local heroes Arrogance decided to stop waiting for some New York A&R man to get lost on the interstate and wander into the bar where they were playing; in 1972, they simply recorded their own album and began selling it out of the proverbial trunk of their car. Fans who had followed them from the beginning or caught one of their more raucous club shows might have been surprised at how soft the music was. This was Arrogance the folk-rock band, strumming acoustic guitars, playing acoustic piano, with a rhythm section that prominently featured conga drums. The musical touchstones seemed to be Buffalo Springfield and Poco, with specific echoes of Neil Young on "Searchin'" and the Allman Brothers Band on "To See Her Smile." Alternating singer/songwriters Robert Kirkland and Don Dixon seemed to have something of a Lennon/McCartney (or perhaps Stephen Stills/Neil Young) thing going, with Kirkland usually taking the more serious, earnest posture and Dixon a more light-hearted approach, exceptions being Dixon's soulful piano ballad "A Foreshadowing" and Kirkland's comic kiss-off country tune "I Can See It in Your Eyes." Another standout was Dixon's "Why Do You Love Me?," with its rollicking, honky tonk feel. But the two songwriters' styles were similar enough to allow Arrogance a group sound that certainly seemed to deserve national exposure, even on this relatively under-produced first effort.

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