Ian & Sylvia


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Like all of Ian & Sylvia's post-1965 albums from the '60s, on first hearing, this is disappointing in comparison to their early folk albums, though it tends to grow on one and offer some satisfactions upon closer inspection. The duo recorded this in Nashville in early 1968, just as making albums in the city started to become in vogue among rock musicians. Some of the cuts have an early country-rock feel that did show them moving ahead artistically, though the pair were not among the most distinguished country-rockers. A couple of covers of songs from Bob Dylan's basement tapes, "Wheel's on Fire" and "The Mighty Quinn," got the most attention, and were the most country-rock-oriented of the tunes. Sometimes, though, it was devoted to originals that leaned more toward the dual harmonizing that was their forte, with mild rock arrangements. While such efforts in this vein as "Taking Care of Business," "Ballad of the Ugly Man," and "She'll Be Gone" were not among their most outstanding efforts, they were characteristically pleasing. Ian Tyson's "House of Cards" had an earnest foreboding not far in mood lyrically from "Wheel's on Fire," and like the cover of guitarist David Rea's "90 Degrees by 90 Degrees," had some subtle orchestration.

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