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These Trails - These Trails CD (album) cover

THESE TRAILS

These Trails

 

Prog Folk

3.95 | 2 ratings

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Logan
Forum & Site Admin Group
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4 stars These Trails are made for walking.

These Trails released just one album, which was a very limited, private pressing release in 1973. It wouldn't be until considerable years later that it got any significant attention, albeit this is still an obscurity. An obscurity that I find charming. While I place this roughly in the acid folk category, most of it is not really psychedelic. It's a mix.

I thought about doing a full track breakdown, but instead I'll mention some that may be of particular interest. While the initial highlight for me was the weird, psychedelic "Psyche I & Share Your Water", which starts off so beautifully, then turns so strange, the rather more conventional "El Rey Pescador" I find so utterly gorgeous that were I to make a mix album with but one song from this album, that would be my choice. It features the terrific vocals of Carlos Pardeiro, who clearly comes across, and was, a professional singer. Such beautiful guitar work, and that addition of sitar gives it something of a Spanish music meets raga quality. "Garden Botanum" is another of the stranger tracks, and the synths give it an unusual off-kilter feel. And tracks like "Hello Lou" and "Waipou" are wonderful.

While I wouldn't so much describe it as folk-rock, I think that the way the synthesizer is incorporated gives it more Prog appeal (of the electronic Prog, Dionne- Bregent ilk). Mostly I would recommend it to those who can appreciate both Acid Folk and sunshine folk,

I think it can fit alongside various acid folk acts in the archives such as Linda Perhacs ( Parallelograms), Vashti Bunyan, Shelagh McDonald, and various acid folk or acid folk related ones outside of it. It has some of Joni Mitchell's qualities, and in parts it reminds me of Comus' To Keep From Crying, which is hardly a bad thing in my estimation. While the mix of Hawaiian music, Spanish, hippyish folk, electronics, chamber folk , and psychedelia is quite unique, certainly to my collection, for those who like this, I would recommend listening to the wondrous Extradition's Hush as well as Linda Perhacs Parallelograms , Additionally, I would suggest that it has something of a "The Wicker Man" (1973) soundtrack (a favourite of mine) vibe to it, only more so if "The Wicker Man" took place on a lovely, breezy, laid back Hawaiian island and was more luau than sinister sacrifice. Still, I rather sense something slightly sinister lurking under the surface of this hippyish album, and perhaps a pig was sinisterly sacrificed for that luau (I'd rather think they were vegans). But that may merely be a product of my disturbed psyche.

If I have a quibble, a minor one, the vibrato of Margaret Morgan can be a little too distracting, but I absolutely love this album. Not that ratings matter much methinks, but five for me, and four for PA purposes (although I would not claim that it is an "excellent addition to any prog rock collection". I would say that it's likely to be an excellent addition to well rounded folkies who like Hawaiian folk music, hippy stuff, and acid folk -- how odd that that is not an option for the rating. I would sooner recommend this to folkies than proggers, and to those into gentle, pastoral music rather than thrash metal, as one might expect of a folk album. This is an essential album in my collection that I have returned to again and again.

Logan | 4/5 |

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