The Cryan’ Shames
Today’s selection is proof yet again that you should always dig a little deeper.
I had always known of the Cryan’ Shames via their big hit cover of the Searchers ‘Sugar and Spice’ and its fantastic, fuzzed-out flipside ‘Ben Franklin’s Almanac’(which I’ve had on 45 for decades). I knew they had some albums, but never found them out in the wild, nor had I heard anything else about them.
So, a little while back someone posted a clip of the band covering the Byrds ‘She Don’t Care About Time’. I was very pleasantly surprised, and set out in search of their first album (also called ‘Sugar and Spice’) from 1966.
The album featured a bunch of covers (who didn’t record ‘Hey Joe’ in 1966?) and some very cool, very poppy originals, mostly written by the band’s guitarist/singer Jim Fairs.
The tune I bring you today is the shortest cut on the album (clocking in at 1:34) and the most interesting.
‘July’ is a fantastic piece of Byrds-esque folk rock with just the tiniest bit of psychedelic feel creeping in around the edges. The group harmonies are tight, and the jangly guitar, played over a rhythmic drone are very cool.
The coolest thing about the record is that they manage to add something interesting to all the covers, and the originals are all top notch.
The group (based out of Chicago) went on to record two more albums (the last after many of the original members had departed) and a number of 45s, breaking up in 1969.
Though some of their 45s are pretty easy to score, the albums are a little bit harder to find, but (especially in this case) worth it.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.