The Rowan Brothers

The Rowan Brothers

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Released in 1972, the Rowan Brothers' eponymous debut arrived with a great deal of hype, including an ad featuring a quote from Jerry Garcia in which he stated that Chris and Lorin Rowan "could be like the Beatles. They're that good." Produced by Bill Wolf and David Grisman (credited as David Diadem), the first effort from the Stinson Beach, CA, duo never even came close to living up to such lofty praise. Though it can give a young artist a boost, this sort of hype can quite often be devastating, and probably hurt the pair in the long run. The Rowan Brothers is a mix of country-rock, folk, and pop tunes with cosmic ("the universe is nothing but a fantasy/of life's illusions throughout eternity") and hippie ("we'll put on our costumes, bring the music along/come on friends we'll sing a happy song") underpinnings, which are often trite and very much artifacts of the time. Although they may lack lyrical muscle, Chris and Lorin are capable of pleasant, catchy tunes that can be light and spirited or lush and pretty. Ignored at the time and somewhat dated today, The Rowan Brothers is another forgotten relic from the late-'60s and early-'70s San Francisco music scene.

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