Tucker Zimmerman

Ten Songs by Tucker Zimmerman

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Though American, singer/songwriter Tucker Zimmerman was based in England at the time he recorded this debut LP in the late 1960s. Despite a mightily impressive support cast, it's rather awkward folk-rock that's reminiscent of some similarly tentative efforts by New York folkies of the mid-'60s to get into a more contemporary, mildly electrified bag. Though all of Zimmerman's accompanists were major musicians -- Rick Wakeman (organ), Shawn Phillips (sitar, electric guitar), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), and fellow American expatriate Tony Visconti (bass, six-string Spanish guitar), the last of whom also produced -- it feels like they're holding back, whether under instructions or because they're not wholly at ease with the material. Zimmerman has a declarative, tail-end-of-the-folk-troubadour-era vocal and compositional style that might bring to mind minor American artists of the era like Jake Holmes and Patrick Sky. Some of the more theatrical songs sound a little like the most Kurt Weill-esque material Judy Collins recorded in her Baroque folk-rock phase. Others (especially "Alpha Centauri" and "October Mornings," the latter of which is decorated by some nice Mellotron touches) are in the rough vicinity of early Tim Buckley-like haunting earnestness; and "A Face That Hasn't Sold Out" and "Bird Lives," uncharacteristically (for this album at least), see him try his hand at all-out ballsy blues-folk-rock. He's not close to being in the same artistic league as Collins or Buckley, though, and his songs, though wordy and ambitious, aren't all that articulate, falling into inchoate rage in "Children of Fear."

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