Friday, March 24, 2017

Mason Proffit - Movin' Toward Happiness (1971 us, amazing folk psych rural rock, 2006 edition)

Based in Chicago, Mason Proffit played a style of country-rock that owed less to the more pop-oriented style of L.A. bands like Poco than it did to the newly bluegrass-happy Grateful Dead of American Beauty and its emerging offshoot, the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Despite the pedal steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, and Dobro, the Talbot brothers, who led the group, were less about a new Nashville than about a fusion of the Old West with hippiedom. They lamented the plight of Native Americans in "Flying Arrow," and while they could pick a mean hoedown on "Old Joe Clark," their version somehow managed to express antiwar sentiments. 

They recognized the connection between the cowboy myth and the independent spirit of truck drivers, and they managed to mix it all in with a sort of primitive Christianity. In this, they were very much of their time. Mike Cameron's "Good Friend of Mary's" fit into the emerging Jesus cult that identified the Christian savior as a kind of proto-hippie, preaching peace and love while wandering the country in long hair and sandals, and the Talbots sang it with their warm tenor harmony in complete sincerity. Such music wasn't going to make it far out of the early '70s, but in 1971 it was perfectly appealing, and Movin' Toward Happiness managed to make the national charts despite being released on the band's own label, suggesting that they had the potential to appeal beyond a cult.
by William Ruhlmann
1. Michael Dodge -  2:58
2. Hard Luck Woman -  2:56
3. Children -  2:51
4. Hokey Joe Pony -  2:24
5. Flying Arrow -  3:30
6. Old Joe Clark -  4:02
7. Let Me Know Where You're Goin' -  2:29
8. Melinda -  3:40
9. Good Friend Of Mary's (Mike Cameron) -  2:46
10.He Loves Them -  3:33
11.Everybody Was Wrong -  5:20
All compositions by John Talbot, Terry Talbot

The Mason Proffit
*Terry Talbot - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*John Talbot - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Tim Ayres - Bass
*Art Nash - Drums, Percussion
*Ron Schuetter - Guitar, Vocals

1969  Mason Proffit - Wanted (2006 issue)
1971  Mason Proffit - Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (2006 isuue)
1973  Mason Proffit - Bareback Rider (2006 issue)  
1974  Mason Proffit - Come And Gone

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