Lisa Kindred

I Like It This Way

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Lisa Kindred's debut was a solid folk-blues album, her strong, deep vocals backed by ex-Weavers/Rooftop Singers member Erik Darling on six- and 12-string guitar, as well as Vanguard session mainstay Russ Savakus on string bass. There's no mistaking Darling's "Walk Right In"-like runs at some points, in fact, especially on "Bring It With You When You Come," which seems like the cut here that would have been most apt to cross over into the pop market (which it didn't). Some light, often oddly echoing drums (by Teddy Somer) are on much of the material as well, taking this a little further afield from straight folk revival stuff, though the percussion has a bit of an afterthought feel about it. Perhaps it was done in the immediate wake of the birth of folk-rock, when some labels and artists were feeling the urge to tentatively expand their arrangements. This is pretty far from folk-rock, however, not only in the absence of any electric instruments, but also in the reliance on traditional material, including standards like "Candy Man," "Stealing," and "The Water Is Wide." Some more contemporary, more eclectic cover choices are injected with passes at Koko Taylor's "I Like It This Way," and Mose Allison's "If You Live Your Time Will Come." But the relative conservatism of most of the material proved to be the record's biggest drawback. Though Kindred's singing was sensual and assured, repertoires such as this were, even in 1965, on the verge of getting outdated, and a greater stress on original compositions and non-traditional folk-rock songwriting would soon make this approach completely outdated. Some of the ragtime blues come off as stodgy, but some of the better and moodier numbers, like "Reuben," "Out on the Western Plains," and "Baby, Did You Hear Me" have a stirring late-folk-revival feel. A pre-fame Don McLean, incidentally, makes a little-noted early appearance on record here, adding six- and 12-string guitar, fretted dobro, and backing vocals to a couple of tracks.