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26 Jul 2017

Silverspring "You Get What You Take" 1980 US Prog Country Rock

Silverspring "You Get What You Take" 1980 US  Prog Country Rock


Never released on CD and heard online for the first time here, Washington, D.C.’s Silverspring is important group because they were early pioneers of the Americana genre. Other rock acts might have used fiddles first (the Band comes to mind), but Silverspring had a full-time fiddle player and mixed rock, Cajun, and country sounds.
What’s more, they may well have been an influence on Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose own music reflects some of the sounds on this album, their first and only release. Carpenter, as most people know, started her career in the D.C. area with an album called Hometown Girl that’s not too removed from this record.

What about this record, then? Silverspring pressed this independently own Hitt Avenue Records label. Guess they couldn’t get a recording contract making the same sounds that the aforementioned Carpenter, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and others made almost a decade later.
To compound the irony, this album is about 80 percent great, especially the tune “Bayou Baby,” which sounds like it could have been a hit for (wait for it!) someone like Mary Chapin Carpenter in the ‘90s. Bassist Sal DeRaffele composed most of the songs and unless my research is totally off, it looks like he didn’t participate much in music after this group disbanded.

The group, by the way, was named after a town just outside the D.C. city limits, Silver Spring, which I’m guessing is where some of them lived. It looks like the band was liked by critics, judging by this favorable write-up from that ran in the Washington Post in July, 1980. It’s amusing to read that now and see that the word “Americana” was right on the tip of the writer’s pen, only the name of the genre hadn’t been coined yet. I also found another praiseworthy article on the group from the University of South Carolina’s student newspaper, but the vertical layout makes it hard to read.

Other than that, Silverspring became a local footnote, overshadowed by more famous contemporaries like Root Boy Slim and the Nighthawks. That roots music scene (as it was called then) was in turn overshadowed itself by the '80s harDCore punk scene (Minor Threat, Government Issue). So consider this post a way to un-footnote Silverspring and give them a few paragraphs in the story of Washington, D.C. music………………..

A1 Mary Mary
A2 Twenty Flight Rock
A3 Bayou Baby
A4 Dry Your Eyes
A5 She’s Yours, She’s Mine
B1 Sweet Freedom
B2 Sweet Louise
B3 Bonton Roulet
B4 Lone Ranger
B5 Wheel Of Fortune

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..