When the Limeliters parted ways in 1963, Glenn Yarbrough pursued a solo career that included his biggest hit in 1965, "Baby the Rain Must Fall." The San Francisco Tapes: First Set captures him singing this favorite and a number of others to an appreciative audience at the Hungry I on August 9, 1965. There are familiar pieces, such as "Me and My Dog (Old Blue)" and "900 Miles," and rare cuts, like "Mermaid," all sung in Yarbrough's lovely tenor. There is also a pleasant patter between songs. Yarbrough introduces "An Acre of Gal to a Foot of Ground" as a commercial disaster and mentions that he was glad to finally have a hit with "The Honey Wind Blows" "because it made a hell of a lot of money." His appealing, guy-next-door persona goes a long way toward charming his audience. Unlike a number of folk purists, Yarbrough had no problem with including pop and even rock arrangements. There's electric guitar, drums, and lots of piano. The well-written liner notes provide a nice backdrop to the recording and give notice, once again, that there are a lot of good recordings sitting in someone's shoebox in an attic. With any luck, they'll see the light of day like The San Francisco Tapes: First Set.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.