Sunday, 20 May 2018

Danny Holien "Danny Holien" 1971 US Psych Folk Rock


Danny Holien  "Danny Holien" 1971 US Psych Folk Rock
Danny Holien “Colorado” 1971 on dailymotion
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6jwxkp

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“Colorado ” by Danny Holien

In 1972, Colorado was awarded the winter olympics by the IOC. However, soon to be Governor Dick Lamb lead a campaign the ended up in the Colorado voters turning down the games. The only time this has ever happened. Why did they do it? The peak of a growing environmental movement, the cost, and the fear that the games would lead to unchecked and out of control growth in the state. Well, did it work. Just check out the November 1996 issue of National Geographic and its article about the poster child of urban sprawl, Highlands Ranch, Colorado. So, in 1972 Danny Holien recorded this album on the short lived but great Denver based label Tumbleweed Records. In this song he sees it coming. “California come before ya/People are feeling the strain/Colorado will you follow/Letting it happen again/ People come from everywhere to see/your hills turn into a wonderland of play/ Colorado, By-ba-pa-by Ba-pa-by…” My mom gave me this record and said she loved this album back in early 70s Colorado. This record has a gorgeous gatefold sleeve with a window and picture of Holien sitting on a chair. You open it up and he is sitting in a red velvet rocking chair somewhere in the mountains near Evergreen. Apparently, he lived in an A-Frame up there. Mind you, Stephen Stills was up around Nederland in Gold Hill around this time forming Manassas. The guy who plays drums, percussion, and piano on this record is simply known as GaGa. Check out the story of Tumbleweed Records here. And what may I ask is astral flash?….~





In looking for a bit of background information about this album I came across an interview with a former artist on Tumbleweed records, the label that put this out in 1972. Tumbleweed was a small label based in Colorado whose intention was to try and recapture the fading folky optimism of the San Francisco hippie culture in the more serene climes of the Rocky Mountains. Tumbleweed had the very good fortune of having a massive amount of corporate money thrown at it by Gulf-Western who were looking for a way to profit from the burgeoning hippie-related scene. The label funneled the cash into two things: copious amounts of drugs and the recording of 10 albums, Holien’s being the second release. Unfortunately, Tumbleweed had either no business sense or money available for promotion, so the label and everything released on it faded into obscurity. 

Danny Holien’s album is a pretty standard folk-pop singer/songwriter album along the lines of James Taylor or Crosby, Stills and Nash. It has that ultra-laid back vibe that is typical for this kind of record and the songs themselves are as agreeable as you can imagine music produced by hippies, mountain air and THC can be. The arrangements are also pure 1971, with lots of countrified guitar, flute, and for the more pop-leaning tracks, strings. Actually, much of the material here sounds like the stuff found on mid-budget TV dramas during this period. In other words, innocuous. I guess the better tracks are the minor hit “Colorado”, “Strange One” and the “rocker” “Lino The Wino”, which ends with a reprise of hillbilly blues and freak-out noise atypical of the 39 minutes that preceded it….by…jbolavirus ….~



Credits 

Bass, Backing Vocals – Stephen Swenson 
Drums, Percussion, Piano, Backing Vocals – GaGa 
Flute, Saxophone – Peter Jukoff 
Guitar, Vocals, Composed By – Danny Holien 










Tracklist 
Colorado
Wella Wella Isabella
Red Wing
Hick
The Strange One
Satsanga
Labor Man
A Song Of Thanksgiving
Home
Lino The Wino
Joshua Brown 

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