Today’s selection is proof yet again that following musical obscurities down the rabbit hole often leads to good things.
Though I remember seeing Newbury Park’s LP show up in old finds lists back in the days of Soulstrut, it wasn’t until I became obsessed with the music of John Buck Wilkin that I set out to find myself a copy.
Though Wilkin was a fairly obscure (but excellent) artist in his post-Ronny and the Daytona’s years, his songs really got around, being covered by Bobbie Gentry, Odetta, and Bobby Vee among others.
Newbury Park appears to have been Southern California-based, recording two (increasingly) obscure albums for Cream and Creative Sound in 1971 and 1972.
They also appear to have had a Christian bent, which may be why they covered ‘My God And I’.
Their self-titled Cream LP is a great slice of sunshiney, well-produced pop, with an interesting selection of cover material (Wilkin, Lemon Pipers, Nilsson and Dorsey Burnette) alongside several group originals (which lean in a folkier direction).
The group’s version of Wilkin’s ‘My God and I’ replaces the weariness of the original with a kind of earnestness that changes the basic feel of the song.
Their version of the Lemon Piper’s ‘Green Tambourine’is very groovy indeed, with a subtly funky underpinning to an arrangement that replaces the psychedelicisms of the original with sunshine pop harmonies.
Though it never really rocks. if groovy harmony pop is your thing, you’ll probably find a lot to dig on this record.
I hope you like it, and I’ll see you all next week.
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