Sunday, 16 December 2018

Gary and Stu's ssw-folk 1971 Harlan Fare

Here's a complete change in direction again with a folk and singer-songwriter album in the typical late 60s early 70s style complete with acoustic guitars and some lush but tasteful orchestral makeup as was always applied in those days. Full names of the two artists involved are Gary Sulsh and Stuart Leathwood.  The former also performed in a band called Harlan County which made two albums in those days.  Confusingly this is almost the same as American Jim Ford's 1969 album Harlan Country, or maybe they just borrowed a lot from Ford.  I really don't care-- do you, as Melania would say, since the latter is so generically uninteresting.

The big highlight is the stunningly gorgeous single about a ship called Good Lady Fair:

As usual, I have to wonder if this miracle of songwriting got the credit it deserved back then.  And if not, why it couldn't become a hit on radio today to replace the usual idiotic playlist including Elton John's Candle in the Wind, etc.  Elements that make it a strong no. 1 hit: the slightly childish 'dada-dada' intro hook moving up in whole tones, the simple chords based on variations of 1-4-5, the expressiveness of the chorus sung in its high register and the way that section ends in A minor for a sustained note, creating an unresolved tension until we return to the wordless intro hook, and then of course the subject matter of the song similar to David Crosby's fantastic Wooden Ships about the freedom of sailing away, presumably to a better place.

Luckily it's not the only good song on this album, though certainly it's the only brilliant one.


  1. Harlan Fare:

    The less interesting US 1969 Harlan County album:

    I put a new lossless of Claude Perraudin's Rumeurs:

    Since Xmas is coming up soon does anybody have any requests?

    1. Sure! How about Fusion Transfusion - The Fusion Orchestra in Concert?

    2. Hi Julian, Since you asked for requests I will hazard another attempt to get a copy of the early Contact Trio LP "Contact" from 1972. If it's an issue of keeping it private I can surely do that as I'm only interested in hearing it. If it's not possible at this time I would still like to thank you for everything you've shared this and other years and hope you have a great holiday!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My friend, if you have anything from the Patchwork, Sonimage, Sonoton, or Flower/Flippermusic labels I will be eternally grateful.


  3. Sweet lil creeper here Julian :) Thank you!!
    love it
    ok Santa here's my wishlist :)

    -Nozomi Aoki & His Magnitude 8 - 1999 A.D. (1974)
    -Tadashi Goino Group - Messengers From The Seventh Dimension (1979)
    -Booth, Davis & Lowe - Prototype (1978)
    -Tim Dawe - Timothy & Mrs. Pickens With Natural Act (1976)
    -Pichnarcik - Sings Astrology (1976)
    -Mark Winokur - God Fearin' Man (1971)
    -Mark Winokur - Jesus Christ Super Stoned (1973)

    Hey ya gotta dream big ;)
    also keeps nearly forgotten potential treasures on the ole radar out there
    Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays bro!!!
    Thanks again my friend :)

    1. wow give me some time but I'll send out my elfs to see