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Gordon Ellis & Steel

Looking Forward Thinking Back

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally recorded in the early part of the 1970s. Unfortunately, by the time it was done, the label for which it was being recorded had failed. That meant that the tapes sat unreleased until now. That makes me this essentially a time-capsule, capturing the soft rock sounds and moods of that period of time so well. Had this been released when it should have been, I'll bet a lot of this would have been all over the radio. It was such a slice of that moment. The thing is, it still sounds great today. If you liked the folk and country influenced soft rock of the early 1970s, give this a try. You'll fee like you've discovered a long lost treasure from that era - because you have.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Tequila Tequila
The guitar picking on this tune is so cool. The tune has a folk sound that seems tied to a lot of the soft rock of the early 1970s. This is fun and classy. It has country music in it along with some Latin elements.
Good Times
This piece is a lot more closely tied to the pure 1970s soft rock. It's a pleasant piece that's still built around a lot of folk music. The country and Latin elements are gone here, though. I can definitely make out some hints of The Beach Boys here, but also Simon and Garfunkel.
Cry for You
A slower and mellower piece, there is a lot of country music in the guitar work on this piece. Yet the same folk and soft rock elements are at play in large quantities, too.
I Still Love You
More energetic, this is another old school soft rock number. The vocal harmonies are cool, and the guitar brings some more country music to the tune.
My Little One
They really bring the country home to roost on this piece. It still has some folk music in the mix, but it's all delivered with a lot of back-porch twang.
And I Wanna Make Love
This one is also built pretty thoroughly around the country end of the spectrum. It reminds me of some of the more country based stuff that Crosby, Stills and Nash did at times.
Thinking of You
I like the mellow folk based sound that starts this cut. The tune works out from there in style. I particularly like the vocal arrangement on this tune. It still has some country in the mix, but not at the same level as the last tune.
Don't Wait Till the Morning
Folk and soft rock merge on this piece. It is a mid-tempo song that works well. Then again, everything here works well. This is a satisfying closer to the set. Here is what I said about this song when it was included on a compilation disc (Spaced Out: Story of Mushroom Records) that I reviewed, " This folk rocker is classic in sound. It really is set in precisely the kind of sound that was such a big thing in that era. At times I'm reminded of Dylan, but it also has elements of The Band and the mellower side of the Byrds. Then again, both of those acts have ties to Dylan."
 
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