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7 Aug 2016

The Growing Concern “ The Growing Concern “ 1968 US Psychedelic Rock

The Growing Concern “ The Growing Concern “ 1968 US Psychedelic Rock...recommended..!


Little is known of this band other than they issued one self-titled LP and supporting single on the Mainstream label in the spring of 1968. Members included Dan Passaglia (organ, vocals), John Pedley (bass), Ralph Toms (lead guitar), Pete Guering (guitar, lead vocals), Ralph Williams (drums), Bonnie MacDonald (vocals) and Mary Garstki (vocals).

Their album is excellent and features several tracks of note, including ‘Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled’, 'Edge Of Time’, and awesome covers of the Hollies’'Hard, Hard Year’ and Buffalo Springfield’s 'Sit Down I Think I Love You’. The entire record is characterized by seamless male and female vocal harmonies, excellent keyboard playing, and fine guitar work. ……

This self-titled album by The Growing Concern curiously first saw the light of day in 1969 on Bob Shad’s Mainstream label (Mainstream S/6108), an imprint more familiar to jazz and blues fans than devotees of psych/pop. Perhaps Shad thought he was going to repeat his commercial triumph with The Growing Concern.
However, the band was a different proposition altogether with its emphasis on beautiful vocal harmonies and fantastic guitar and organ work rather than the Joplin-dominated R'n'B of Big Brother, and consequently Shad only allowed the group into the studio on a single occasion, dropping them from the label after this, their eponymous debut. The album, which is brilliantly recorded, is of a consistently high musical quality and the band surely deserved a better fate than the obscurity that Shad’s indifference consigned them to.“ …..

Great West Coast (style) psychMainstream Records was a small independent label that specialised in jazz and soundtrack music. Sensing in 1967 that the real money was in rock (until recently restricted to 7’ singles rather than albums), they began looking for exciting new and unknown bands to sign. Among others, they signed two bands playing psychedelic rock and alternating male and female lead vocals. The first one was Big Brother and The Holding Company with Janis Joplin. The second one was The Growing Concern with Bonnie MacDonald and Mary Garstski. Their respective fates would take them to opposite directions. Growing Concern only recorded one album and finally disintegrated with various members shipped off to Vietnam to "make the world safe for democracy”. Ironically they lived longer than Big Brother’s star, Janis Joplin, who was destined to join the cursed “27 Club” along with Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. Their music is variously described as West Coast psychedelia (i.e. Jefferson Airplane) or Sunshine pop (i.e. Mamas and Papas). The former comparison would be accurate if it wasn’t for the vocal harmonies that remind of the latter group. The band had one male and two female vocalists that could harmonise very successfully. Bonnie MacDonald in particular had a sweet, melodic style better suited to folk rather than rock. The first track “Hard Hard Year” is a strong start, showcasing the beautiful female vocals and Dan Passaglia’s talent on the keyboard (some great Doors/Iron Butterfly style organ). Guitarist Ralph Toms shines on the second track “Edge of Time”, which has apparently been sampled by electronic music wizard DJ Shadow. Toms often skillfully combines the heavier style of The Yardbirds with the oriental scales that Roger McGuinn introduced in “8 Miles High”. Another group composition follows, with the melancholic message “Due to lack of interest, tomorrow has been cancelled”. Rather prophetic when you think about the future of the “flower power” generation which was then still on the rise. Melancholic “A Boy I Once Knew” and garagey “What Kind Of Life” are two more original compositions that are at least equal to the contemporary hits covered here -songs by Buffalo Springfield, Fred Neil/Jefferson Airplane and The Yardbirds (“Mister You’re A Better Man Than I” is, incidentally, a cry for tolerance that remains relevant today). …..

Growing Concern
*Pete Guerino - Vocals Guitar
Diniza Denizer Macdonald - Vocals
Maria Klimenko Garstki - Vocals
Alexander Nesynov Toms - Guitar
*John Pedley - Bass
*Dan Passaglia - Organ Vocals
Alexander Nesynov Williams - Drums

1. Hard Hard Year (L. Ramsford) - 4:25
2. Edge Of Time (Dan Passaglia) - 4:28
3. Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled (John Pedley, Ralph Toms) - 2:44
4. A Boy I Once Knew Well (John Pedley, Ralph Toms) - 4:24
5. All I Really Want (Dan Passaglia) - 2:20
6. Mister You’re A Better Man Than I (M. Hugg) - 4:50
7. What Kind Of Life (Dan Passaglia) - 2:58
8. Other Side Of Life (F. Neil) - 4:57
9. I Know A Girl (Dan Passaglia) - 2:36
10.Sit Down I Think I Love You (S. Stills) - 2:24

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..