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27 Feb 2017

Tamalone “New Acres” 1979 Dutch Private Prog Rock

Tamalone “New Acres” 1979 Dutch Private Prog Rock
If JETHRO TULL had been more committed to the folk angle in their sound than just on “Songs for the Wood”, “Heavy Horses” and a few other glimpses, they would have sounded a lot like TAMALONE. I know I got things backwards, but hey, I’m a prog folk collaborator, accent on folk. 
At first listen this sounds much like a TULL clone, based on Cees van Aanholt’s Anderson-styled woodwinds and even his voice, but it’s less grating than that of the great Anderson. The guitars are more propulsive, reminding me more of MARK KNOPFLER, while even the driving rhythm section recalls DIRE STRAITS who were really the “it” group of the day. The first 3 tracks, “Triangle Tune”, and “Song for Ophilus”, are the highlights, with the remainder being somewhat hit and miss. In particular, “London Town”, “interpreter”, and the dreary “Epilog” lack any sort of character and distinction, even by the already established standards.  

While “New Acres” is a noble effort by a talented group, its derivative nature and dearth of truly engaging compositions prevents it from occupying prime territory. Still it is as good as anything along the periphery of this sub genre….by kenethlevine ……… 
Tamalone is a dutch band from late ‘70’s. Their music can be compared easely with Jethro Tull, both on voice and manner of interpretation. The album was released in july 1979 in only 500 copies, today is priceless item in everyone’s collection, specially for those who enjoy progressive music with a touck of folk.The comparations with Jethro Tull is made because the voice of Cees van Aanholt is sometimes one on one with Ian Anderson both in his vocal sound and the way that he sings, but finaly a pleasent voice who fits very well in the atmosphere of the album. The instrumental passages are not brilliant but is made with honesty and are good, sometimes they remind me Songs from the wood era of Jethro Tull. The flute arrangemts are close to Jethro Tull but with less improvised elements. The best pieces are the titled track , Interpreter. So, my rate is 3 stars, that’s mean a good album, and worth investigate if you listen to prog music. A forgotten bad of the late '70’s prog movement… b olariu …… 
'New Acres’ is a rather charming little album by an all but forgotten Dutch band from the latter part of the seventies. It’s also apparently the only thing they ever released, and has never to the best of my knowledge been legitimately reissued on CD although there is a Japanese mini of dubious authenticity floating around. The original vinyl was pressed to only 500 copies and fetches upwards of hundreds of dollars/euros. I saw a copy sell for $79 USD at auction a while back but it was apparently somewhat worn. There’s also a very rare 1971 Dutch single titled 'I Love You, I Leave You’ produced by Jan Akkerman and credited to the Tamalone who 'made his killer prog psych LP 'New acres’ in 1979’, but all indications are this Tamalone didn’t form until well after that and didn’t have the sort of connections needed for access to someone with the celebrity of Akkerman. 
Anyway, the debts to Jethro Tull circa 'Songs from the Wood’ are quite strong, obvious and undeniable. If the stories were a bit more English in nature and the flute a bit more prevalent I’d almost call it a tribute album. But while Ian Anderson is the voice and wind of Tull, flautist/vocalist/composer Cees Van Aanholt adds guitar to his repertoire and that tends to overshadow the flute for most of the album. The keyboards are also more noticeable here than on most Tull albums but include the same or similar mixes of organ and synthesizers that Tull employed in the same timeframe. 

For the most part the band seems to have taken the simple approach of emulating Anderson’s vocal phrasings (and folksy, sometimes bawdy lyrical style to a certain extent) as well as Martin Barre’s alternating heavy and soloing guitar style to yield a sort of 'lost’ Tull album that lacks the percussion skill of Barriemore Barlow and only hints at the range of Glascock’s bass prowess. In fact, other than flute the bass is the most noticeably missing Tull trademark on this album. 

The only song worth noting in my opinion is 'Song for Ophillus’ which, while Tullish in style and sound at least tries to come off like something that was recorded for a 1979 audience and not three (or five) years prior. Anderson pushed his luck releasing 'Songs from the Wood’ when he did given that style of folk rock was already in serious decline. Tamalone go even further by recording this as the seventies are winding to a close. Frankly the thing wouldn’t have had a chance even with a decent label and some promotion, neither of which was forthcoming. The band broke up in 1981. 

Singer Ester van der Hoorn (who doesn’t sing enough but also plays flute) appeared on a record for the Dutch pop band Paragon shortly thereafter, and bassist Ad van de Staak recorded a couple albums for Savage Kalman & Explosion Rockets (never heard of them myself so don’t ask me what sort of music they played). Otherwise I can’t find much of anything the members did post-Tamalone. 

A decent album that is highly derivative, but I can’t bring myself to fault the band for that since they were clearly Tull devotees and seemed to do a pretty decent job of parroting the band’s sound with nonetheless original compositions. So I’ll go with (barely) three stars and a mild recommendation if you can find the album or some form of a reissue anywhere….by ClemofNazareth ………….. 
“… Imagine Ian Anderson and some other members of Jethro Tull taking a vacation in some rural farm, just before recording Songs from the wood and suffering from a post Minstrell in the Gallery melancholic sickness. Image him attending occasional folklore shows and living in perfect harmony with the calmness and soul healing effect of the green pastures. Imagine the unexpected company of Mark Knopfler, while young, still searching and discovering his distinctive guitar sound, pre-Dire Straits. If you can picture this set, you either have listened to this album already or will have a pretty good idea of how it sounds like. 
New Acres has this real rural feeling, just like it was recorded to be listened while in voyage we cross the fields, the woods and the pastures of the most deserted parts of the country. It kindly mixes some folk acoustic sounds with the electric components of 70’s progressive melodic music. 
Cees van Aanholt sounds exactly like Ian Anderson, both in his vocal sound and (especially) the way that he sings. And also in his flute kind of play, though the flute parts are comprehensively less than the ones we listen in a Jethro Tull album. His acoustic guitar sounds simply delightful, setting a very harmonious structure upon which his voice blossoms. 
The most curious element here is, in my opinion, the electric guitar, which rhythms sound a lot like the earliest works of Dire Straits. Even some Jan van Hout solos sound just like a rough Mark Knopfler version, before Sultans of Swing. 
If New Acres and Triangle Tune seem like songs just out of Songs from the Wood. Good Earth’s Wine and Song for Ophillus have a more Heavy Horses sound to it. They all have very beautiful melodic lines, perfect to fill your soul with refreshing and anti-stress thoughts. 
In Moment of grief you will clearly discover the Knopfler’s rhythm and solo alike sounds. 
The use of female vocals, gently provided by Ester van der Hoorn add some originality to this band. They are very clear and beautiful, enriching songs like Interpretor and Answers. In Homage to Life, only the vocals and the flute approximate Tamalone to the Tullish sound that prevail throughout the rest of the album. This song is much more straight forward in the rhythm department, sounding a lot like early 80’s rock’n’roll. 
The acoustic Epilogue has a bitter mood musicality, though the lyrics are pretty much the contrary as they are about hope and strength to carry on. Which, for our displeasure, they didn’t. This is the only work released by Tamalone, leaving us the impression that they could have had a pretty good future, for this album is an enjoyable display of kind and calm sounds. 
The fans of the most light, relaxed and simple Jethro Tull songs will appreciate New Acres a lot. So will those who like uncompromising prog, with a very acute harmonious sense…”…by…gnosis……….. 

Another band who released one album and then vanished without a trace. This time, the band comes from the Netherlands. 

This six piece band has obviously heard about Jethro Tull. There has been a lot of bands who has tried to bottle the magic of Jethro Tull. Tamalone and this album is the closest to the real thing I have heard for a long time. The difference here is that Tamalone uses a lot more acoustic instruments than Tull did. They also use some female vocals now and then. The use of Hammond organs sets them a part too. 

Yes, they sounds like Jethro Tull. Nevertheless, their songs are really good and this thirty-seven minutes long album is really a feast for those who likes folk rock a lot more than I do. This is a hidden gem and a good album who deserves to be heard by a lot of people…….. 

Cees van Aanholt: Accoustic Guitar, flute, vocals 
Jan van Hout: Guitar 
Ad van de Staak: Bass guitar 
Paul Pijman: Keyboards 
Rob van Belkom: Drums, percussion, backing vocals 
Ester van der Hoorn: Vocals, flute 

1.New Acres [5:13] 
2.Good Earth’s Wine [3:11] 
3.Moment Of Grief [4:32] 
4.Interpreter [2:59] 
5.Triangle Tune [2:25] 
6.London Town [3:59] 
7.Song For Ophillus [5:50] 
8.Homage To Life [2:41] 
9.Answers [4:40] 
10.Epilogue [1:47] 
11.Total Time 78:12 

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