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Pearls Before Swine - Tom Rapp: Familiar Songs CD (album) cover


Pearls Before Swine


Prog Folk

3.00 | 4 ratings

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3 stars Tom Rapp - Familiar Songs (1972)

This is the first album that would be released under folk guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tom Rapp's own name, instead of mentioning 'Pearls Before Swine' first. However, this album was released without informing Rapp, who would soon move to the Blue Thumb lable. It consists of what is said to be a collection of demo's of new songs and re-recordings of Pearls Before Swine songs. This isn't as problematic as it sounds, because the record doesn't sound like a demo at all and all songs have a sound that matches well.

Familiar Songs is often seen as a less important Rapp recording, because of it's re- recordings. Still, it has some nice things to offer and the new (more intimate) arrangements for some former Pearls Before Swine songs work really well. Especially the songs taken from 'These things too' could use re-recording. Some new tracks are 'Grace Street', the lively and rock'n 'Charley and the Lady' and the tad boring 'If you don't want to I don't mind'. All songs can be place in the realm of Dylanesque folk with a bit more intimacy and - without saying - the moving emotional/whimsical/folky vocal performances by Rapp.

Conclusion. A nice mild folk record with good renditions of Pearl Before Swine songs and the great vocals of Tom Rapp, but non-essential for most folk collectors. It's a bit hard to rate. Though I would only recommend it to fans of Pearls Before Swine/Tom Rapp, I can't say it isn't enjoyable enough for the three star rating.

friso | 3/5 |


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