While bands of today continue to explore, experiment, and try to change the way we listen to music, there’s something to be said about the untouched music of our past. Such is the case with the release of Blue Clouds from British rockers Tony, Caro & John also known as Tony Dore, Caroline Clark, and John Clark. The group first performed as a folk-rock trio, and self-released a rather primitive 100 copies of All On The First Day in 1972. This album, despite its sales numbers, solidified the trio as a coveted staple of British psychedelic folk music.
40 years later, Drag City decided to pick up where the trio left off, and released rare recordings from the trio between 1972-1977 as Blue Clouds, also as a joint collaboration with Gaarden Records and Galactic Zoo Disk. While you can still pick up and hear All On The First Day, Blue Clouds takes a deeper glimpse into the psychedelic folk band. The eleven song compilation is a mixture of folk, fantasy and a supernatural musical phenomena of the past.
Opener “Forever and Ever” has an immediate electric guitar punch to transport you back to the ’70s. Following closely is the folky “Bye Bye I Love You,” orchestrating a blend of soft lyrics, light guitar strums and a faint overlaying of airy flute throughout the song. From the mirror-deep vocals on “Sally Free and Easy,” to the harmonica-infused “Ton Ton Macoutes” or the grating guitar in the final “The Road to Avalon,” the album is somewhat of a mystery wrapped in psychedelic folk.
Blue Clouds is an organic and harmonious album, but when all is said and done, the only negative lies in the decades this musical masterpiece has been hidden from your vinyl collection.