Gary Farr

Strange Fruit

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Farr, who had started recording in the mid-'60s as a journeyman British R&B/rock singer, showed signs of substantial growth by the time of this 1970 album. He was at this point writing most of his material, sometimes in a somber folk-rock-ish vein with echoes of the likes of Tim Hardin (without as much sentiment) or Roy Harper (without the craziness). Yet his talent did not quite cross the line from glimmers of promise to notable artistry. Some of this is run-of-the-mill bluesy rock in a sort of Band-like or sub-Rolling Stones Let It Bleed vein, and while the moody songs are nice and convincingly performed in his yearning voice, they're not outstanding. He would have done well to fully pursue the folkiest aspects of his work, as heard in such acoustic guitar-dominated tracks as "Down Among the Dead Men" and "In the Mud." The supporting players include three members of Mighty Baby and, in a little-known session appearance, Richard Thompson on lead guitar.

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