I’ve certainly said it before, but L.A.’s Forager Record are becoming one to watch in the reissue game. While most of the output has centered around dusted country, AOR, and loner folk, their latest acts as a kind of connecting of historical dots to pair up two musical kindred spirits. The label combines works from Roberta Vandervort and Sally Townes. Rather than go straight reissue on either of the artists’ records, the label creates a sidelong sampler for each, finding the connective tissue between the two in their embrace of slippery folk, AOR boogie, and soft rock splendor. Vandervort’s opening side culls songs from both her 77 Cottage Records LP The Singer and its follow-up Chameleon City. Her song’s are silken with a touch of post-disco funk, through she throws in a bit of salsa flair on “Hey Now.”
The flip side finds a more soulful delivery from Townes, who shares Roberta’s love for funk injections, but takes more of her cues from a trickle-down dose of ‘60s and early ‘70s soul, despite its late ‘70s issue. Like Vandervort, these tracks are culled from across multiple releases, primarily her two KRC Records releases, Just The Way You Are and Jack Rabbit. The production on Townes’ works bumps up just a bit, especially the kind of packaged, but blues slicked leads that appear on her tracks. Though both have songs that immediately jump out as radio hits that could have been given a wider push. Forager continues to mine the dollar-bin and private press obscurities that seem to have been swept under the rug, even after so many years of reissue mills digging out the gold. This one might not be for everyone, given a bit of the yacht rock sheen, but for those already in that pocket, this comp is gold.
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