Dotti Holmberg

The Goldebriars' Story: Whatever Happened to Jezebel

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As the Goldebriars only lasted for a couple of years and never achieved much success, you might think it'd be stretching it to write a whole book on the subject. That's what the Goldebriars' Dotti Holmberg has done, however, and what would have been a pretty thin book makes for a pretty full CD-ROM eBook in this unusual release. Most of the CD-ROM (with text in both English and Japanese, incidentally) is indeed devoted to Holmberg's 200-page book, and it's a pretty entertaining, though not scintillating, memoir of her days on the edges of the dying days of the more wholesome wing of the early- to mid-'60s folk revival. It covers their entire career from early 1963 to mid-1965, and some might find it too heavy on trivial anecdotes for their taste, with plenty of memories of the pet animals they picked up on the road and their wooden idol mascot of sorts, "Jezebel." But there is a good deal about the Goldebriars' music, including memories of how their two rare Epic folk-pop albums were recorded; how they hit upon their unusual vocal harmonic blends; the tough times and laughs they shared on the road; and, perhaps most intriguingly to serious fans, recollections of what they cut for their third album (though it was unreleased), on which they went into a more pop/rock-oriented direction. (The sudden end of the group in June 1965, unfortunately, is discussed in a rather unsatisfying perfunctory manner.) It should be noted, however, that only about half of the book is devoted to the actual story, and that text is itself padded out with a lot of (admittedly interesting) photos and reproductions of memorabilia. Much of the remaining space is occupied by song lyrics, poetry, cartoons, excerpts from letters, and the like. Still, for the cult audience who cares, this is undeniably a valuable work, attractively assembled and clearly written, though of course you'll need to scroll through it on a computer rather than reading it the way one usually digests books. In addition, taking advantage of the CD-ROM eBook format, this also offers a couple of multimedia bonuses that'll excite devotees: a video clip of the group performing "Saro Jane" on Hootenanny in January 1964, and a 1966 solo recording of Holmberg, "Hopscotch," which was not included on the CD compilation of her 1966-1970 work (Sometimes Happy Times). [for more information, visit www.goldebriars.com]