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Water Into Wine Band - Harvest Time CD (album) cover


Water Into Wine Band


Prog Folk

2.29 | 5 ratings

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2 stars Water into Wine went out with a whimper, not a bang, taking the stage for the final time at the 1976 Greenbelt Festival, a long-running Christian music and arts event that was just in its infancy at the time. The band had just returned from a modest American tour which I would guess they lost money on, and this (their second album) was pretty much being sold only at live shows. Add to this that by 1976 the Jesus freak movement was in serious decline, and guys like this were well on their way to becoming dinosaurs.

Musically the album is a little darker than their debut ‘Hill Climbing for Beginners’, and is made up mostly of the various acoustic guitars, a little bit of piano, and William Thorp’s as-usual stellar violin. The lyrics are less overtly proselytizing than the first record as well. While that record had a running ‘rapture’s coming – grab your hat’ theme running through it, by the time ‘Harvest Time’ came out the band seems to have come to a realization of – ‘well, maybe not today’. Instead, the band offers up a mix of homespun folk tunes like “Scottish Suite” and “Patience (is a Virtue)”, and a nearly side-long, wandering ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ sort of thing with the title track. There’s even “Moonglow”, a short jazzy number with male/female vocal duo just to throw one’s paradigm of the band completely off.

Unlike the band’s debut, which had a few interesting tunes and some actual spark in most of the arrangements; this one is pretty much uniformly bland. I think the band was musically spent at this point, and the lack of thematic or stylistic consistency on the album is probably a reflection of that. This album appears to be everything and the kitchen sink that the various members had left in their creative tanks.

The album rose to almost mythical status among vinyl collectors in the eighties and nineties thanks to is short pressing on a private label and small distribution. But Si-wan got ahold of it and released it on CD in 2000, followed by Kissing Spell. I’ve heard Radioactive released it as well but have never been able to confirm that.

This is not a particularly good record. It’s certainly not progressive in any sense, although there are some remnants of the band’s proggy and creative side on the title track and even a little on “Scottish Suite”. The rest is just filler. I have to say that this album almost defines what a two-star record is, so that’s what I’ll have to go with in rating it. For collectors and the infinitely curious only.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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