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Happy The Man - Crafty Hands CD (album) cover


Happy The Man


Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 220 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars What can you say about a band that was asked by Peter Gabriel to be his touring band. The muscianship on this album is extraordinary. Being my first five star album review, (and there won't be many) this one has a soft spot in my heart. Back when it came out, I remember placing it on my turntable and being totally blown away. How can an American band in the late 70's make instrumental music (for the most part) this beautiful and exciting and actually have a record conract with a top-notch label? I was amazed. The album starts out with a bang, "Service With A Smile" is a classic three minute blast of pure prog. "Morning Sun", "Open Book" and "The Moon, I Sing" are sweet lush symphonic beauts. "Ibby It Is" and "I Forgot To Push It" are like city streets, horns blaring, jagged and loud. Incredible!! "Steaming Pipes" has some fantastic horn work. But for me, the one track that has vocals, "Wind Up Doll Day Wind" is THE song on the album. Stanley Whitaker's voice is not for everyone, I'll grant that. But on this song it works. Starts slowly setting you up for the fireworks. The song has my favorite sax work out of any other song I've ever heard, it's just all over the place (Frank Wyatt, you are awesome!) From the first to the last track, the talent of these guys show. Ron Riddle on drums is a monster, Frank Wyatt's horn work kicks booty butt, Kit Watkins keyboards are heaven, Rick Kennell's bass is the backbone, but Stanley Whitaker is what does it for me. Some of the most wonderful guitar work ever. He is, with a doubt, thee most unheralded guitar player this country ever had. If you ever get the chance to see HTM play live, you owe it to yourself just to see the man play that guitar. The passion with which he plays is awe-inspiring and his voice is even better than when this album was recorded. So, folks, you owe it to yourself to go out right now and purchase what is in my estimation the quinessential US prog album of all time. A super solid five star disc!
NJprogfan | 5/5 |


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