John Andrews’ name pops up among a lot of RSTB faves, working as a member of Quilt and Woods, and playing on recordings from Widowspeak, EZTV, Kevin Morby, Olden Yolk, and Purple Mountains. For his latest work, Andrews has refined his folk into a canyon shaded West Coast pop album that’s got as much Denny Doherty in its veins as Joni or Graham Nash. The sunny psych-folk is tamed into a piano anchored album of bittersweet bliss. It’s a gem unto itself and should be high on the list to look out for in the coming weeks. Before that, though, I snagged John for a Hidden Gems pick and he’s fished out a damn good one in the way of John Williams’ sophomore LP. Check out how this one came into his life and how it’s impacted him.
“Please keep notice!!! Hippie warning! I discovered The Maureeny Wishful album on a forgotten psych folk blog in 2010 during the golden era of mediafire torrents,” recalls Andrews. “The only person I know who already heard of it is my drummer Noah Bond, but he knows every record. Otherwise, if I ever bring it up, people say ‘I never heard of it, I’ll check it out.’ Yeah, famous last words. Who knows if anyone ever checked it out because it’s still a mystery to most. Definitely a record for fans of early Bob Dylan, Jackson C. Frank & Bert Jansch.”
“It’s so loaded. The songwriting has depth but there are also so many catchy & accessible moments with simply an acoustic guitar. John Williams is singing, Big Jim Sullivan is playin guitar, and, none other than freaking JIMMY PAGE, plays guitar/sitar. I hope that last statement doesn’t turn you off, but it really is tasteful. 14 songs in 35 minutes. I don’t even know how that’s possible. The songwriting is so damn beautiful, it’s crazy to me that this record kinda slipped through the cracks and is mostly unknown. I’m pretty sure only like 500 copies of it were made. How was it not as popular as say, Donovan, or something like that? Especially since Jimmy Page was a part of it. I liked Donovan when I was a 16 year old stoner, but much of his music and puffy shirts have worn on me over time. This record sorta has the redeeming qualities of the ‘Catch the Wind’-era of Donovan folk songs.”
“The last 3 songs are some of my favorites. ‘And She is my True Love,’ ‘Five Verses For My Love,” and ‘Come on Train’ are such a pleasant way to close out the record. ‘I Know, You Know Too’ is another favorite. Wish I could travel back in time and ask Karen Dalton to record a cover of that one. I feel like she woulda done it right! I’ve never owned a copy of it. Been listening to it for 10 years on a burnt CD-R. While writing this I searched on Discogs and found an 80’s reissue. Just ordered it. Looking forward to finally owning it. Definitely a record to spin early in the morning with some coffee.”
Honestly, this is the first time I’ve heard of this one, and it only proves that this feature helps me find new music as much as the readers. It’s a lovely folk gem that certainly seems to have been pushed aside from its proper place due to time and circumstance. As John mentions, this one isn’t exactly easy to find, but there was an unofficial reissue that brings the price down out of the hundreds and into a more obtainable territory and barring that, it appears to be available digitally now was well in a more official capacity. Might pair well with a copy of Cookbook from the Yawns, which lands May 14th.
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