The Sunshine Company
I hope the new week finds you well.
I have been in a pensive mood of late, thus filling my ears at every opportunity with the dreamiest mellowness that my collection has to offer.
One of the discs that I keep returning to, over and over again is ‘Bolero’ by the Sunshine Company.
I first got into the Sunshine Company while feeding my Curt Boettcher obsession.
The group had recorded a couple of excellent covers of his songs (especially their take on ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’), so I started grabbing their albums whenever I found them.
The groovy thing, is that in addition to the sounds I sought out specifically, I discovered that there was a lot to like about the Sunshine Company.
As their name might imply, they dealt in bright, sunshiney, harmony pop – like the amazing ‘Love That’s Where It Is’ – but were hardly limited to those sounds.
Forming in Orange County, California, the Sunshine Company – Maury Manseau, Larry Sims, Mary Nance and Merle Brigante – recorded three excellent albums for Imperial in 1968 and 1969.
Though their records often included polished, edging up on ‘easy’ arrangements, they also included healthy doses of folk rock and even things that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Jefferson Airplane LP.
The tune I bring you today comes from their third LP ‘Sunshine and Shadows’.
I grabbed this 45 while I was out digging, unheard, mainly because I dug the band, and I didn’t know the song.
When I finally had a chance to listen to the 45 I was blown away by the mellow, trippy vibe. The guitar reminds me a lot of the sounds on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Then Play On’ (which actually came out a year later).
‘Bolero’ is a beautiful song, with sublime guitar and bass interplay and rolling drums, making for a hypnotic blend that manages to be psychedelic without employing any of the clichéd signifiers of the genre.
It’s one of those records that I can listen to repeatedly and never get tired of.
As far as I can tell, none of the CD reissues of the Sunshine Company’s material are currently in print, so the best way to get their music is on the original vinyl.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.