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It's A Beautiful Day - Marrying Maiden CD (album) cover

MARRYING MAIDEN

It's A Beautiful Day

 

Proto-Prog

2.68 | 35 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Marital differences

Any IABD album which does not include "White Bird" is it seems automatically deemed inferior and less interesting. This album was recorded just a year later, yet already the cracks are beginning to appear, with Linda LaFlamme being ousted in favour of Fred Webb. In fairness, this probably had as much to do with the status of the LaFlamme's marriage, as it did with any musical differences.

"Marrying Maiden" starts pretty much where we left off with the first album with "Don and Dewey". The violin playing of David laFlamme is though a bit more jazzy, with leanings towards Stephen Grappelli. The track, named after the US duo who inspired it, makes for an odd starter to the album both because of its jazz basis, and because it is not representative of what is to follow.

Once "Don and Dewey" is out of the way, the proto prog effectively ends, and we are into an album of country tinged shorter songs. "The dolphins" is a beautiful song with Val Fuentes adding some fine backing vocals, but it is much more in the way of band such as FAMILY DOGG or the MAMAS AND THE PAPAS. LaFlamme even slips in the odd yodel! "Essence of the now" continues in a similar style, Webb adding some fine organ playing to the song.

Things take an unfortunate turn with the obviously named "Hoedown", a hand-clapping banjo playing, violin fuelled burst of country pie. Fun I am sure, but totally out of place. "Soapstone mountain" returns to the Mamas and the Papas harmonised pop, but with a fine instrumental section where organ and guitar take centre stage.

There are distinct indications that bands such as BREAD were influenced by the music of IABD, especially in songs such as "Let a woman flow". "It comes right down to you" is a forties sounding jaunty sing-a-song which does actually work. "Good lovin'" develops into quite a heavy guitar driven number with echoed vocals and high pitched screams. The album closes with a couple of softer, laid back vocal songs.

The sleeve includes the notation "Produced in San Francisco..", a comment which is highly relevant to the album. "Marrying Maiden" is an optimistic album of west coast pop which draws in other influences but remains true to its foundations. There are fleeting moments of proto-prog, but they tend to be disguised behind the strong male/female harmonies. Good album though.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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