The Blue Shadows

Lucky to Me

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The Blue Shadows' On the Floor of Heaven was such a spectacular debut that follow-up Lucky to Me almost had to be a disappointment. In brief: it's not. The sound still conjures up The Beatles at their Rubber Soul/Revolver pop peak fused to the Gram Parsons-influenced Byrds from their Sweetheart of the Rodeo phase, with The Everly Brothers hijacked on vocal harmonies. The main difference is this: while on the debut you could point to several tracks and say "here's the Orbison influence, that's just how Dave Edmunds would have tackled this," the influences are much more effectively integrated on Lucky. The heart and soul of the sound still reside within the Siamese-twin harmonies of co-vocalists Billy Cowsill and Jeffrey Hatcher. Cowsill, of course, is a veteran of the family singing group phenomenon; he and Hatcher are not related, but it would be difficult to imagine two voices resonating with more empathy and symbiosis. On the Floor of Heaven was such a seamless pop and country fusion that neither side of the radio band quite knew what to do with it. So, for Lucky to Me the group slants perceptibly to a tougher, rockish edge. Many of the songs have more bite, with an element of CCR-like choogle not previously there. In addition, stand-up bassist Elmar Spanier was put out pasture in favor of meatier, former Barney Bental rhythm guy Barry Muir. The result? Immediate, excited response from...country radio stations! One can only deduce, therefore, that the debut album was just too country for country radio. Go figure.