The Canterbury Music Festival

Rain & Shine

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If you are looking for rare, you have come to the right place. The Canterbury Music Festival only had 150 copies pressed up of their 1968 release, Rain & Shine. The group was a protégé of the Tokens and released the record on the band's BT Puppy label. Unfortunately for the band, the label really had no distribution and their one shot at the big time slipped away. The music remained unheard until Air Mail Archive in Japan decided to reissue the album. The question that arises here is: Did they need to? Yes and no -- mostly no. Anyone who digs Beatles-influenced sunshine pop like the Blades of Grass or mid-period Chad & Jeremy will probably want to hear this, as a couple of the songs are quite good in a smooth pop kind of way similar to the Cyrkle. "Sunny Day" floats by nicely on a bed of strings that sound more Ray Conniff than Curt Boettcher, "Poor Man" is a haunting ballad with heartfelt vocals, and "Angelina" bounces like prime Association. The best track here is the bonus track "Pamela," which also sounds like a lost Association song and sports a naggingly melodic vibraphone line and some classic AM pop radio strings. Anyone who isn't a sunshine pop fanatic will wonder why Air Mail Archive bothered, as most of the tunes are pretty insubstantial and sometimes downright embarrassing (the sub-musical sitar-driven instrumental cover of "Son of a Preacherman," the silly "Super Duper Trooper," the cheesy dinner-music guitar instrumental "Girl of the Skies"). The sound quality of the disc is closer to bootleg than archival release, too. Unless you are a sunshine pop nut with a fat bankroll, you can rest easy with the knowledge that you aren't missing anything by not hearing the Canterbury Music Festival.

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