Pros:I consider this one of the better albums of the genre.
Cons:This is currently not on CD, vinyl only.
The Bottom Line: A 1970s forgotten folk-rock group whose entire catalog belongs on CD. Check it out if you can find.
"I hope that it's only Amnesia. Believe me I'm sick but not insane."
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Amnesia, the second album by the Pousette-Dart Band was released in 1977 on Capitol Records with production oversight by Norbert Putnam. Their first record, Pousette-Dart Band was released in 1976.
Amnesia is one of the great lost records of the 1970s, a focused album of the hopeful and the aching heart, with musicianship among the finest of the folk/country rock genre.
Jon Pousette-Dart, the son of one of America's 20th century artistic icons [Richard Pousette-Dart, 1916-1992] fashioned his band around a sound of ringing acoustic guitars, solid harmonies, and songs that gave evidence to the remarkable resiliency of the human spirit, despite the perils of the male-female conundrum. All in 30 minutes.
The Pousette-Dart Band included John Troy (bass, vocals), John Curtis (guitars, vocals) and Kenneth Buttrey (drums). They were standout performers in the New England regional music scene, and favorites in the college concert circuits. For a time, they enjoyed national success and are still highly regarded by music nostalgists (myself included).
County Line: Great opening guitar lines and a Fender Rhodes too. Is he a heel with a story? Or leaving with a wounded heart?
Fall On Me: A song of "girl, wakeup, I'm here" from an interested observer. [It was recently used on an episode of ABC's popular Lost drama.]
Amnesia: One of their goofy rockers. What would happen if someone hit you over the head with their beer bottle? What if you liked it?
I Think I Know: Poignant ballad directed to the woman with an indecisive heart.
May You Dance: Mandolin courtesy of Curtis. A song of encouragement for those wounded by the day-to-day struggle. (Might as well dance, if I'm waiting for you to make up your mind.)
I Don't Know Why:Another nice guitar opening. If youre a screw-up you might as well admit now. Advice to follow.
Winterness: A favorite of mine. Something of a stream of consciousness tune about the past and present meeting up in one person/memory. A bit of melancholy does the mind good.
Who's That Knockin': A Curtis tune, and it's a trip. A spirited tale of the "knock on the door" and what if there's an angry lover behind it? What if it's a friend with a party in mind? Do you turn them down?
Listen to the Spirit: This is dedicated to Pousette-Dart's late father. A recollection of the father and a reflection on the son. Spirits entwined by a shared history.
Yaicha: This could be a simple lullaby or simple love song. Either way, it works. One of his best songs.
The band followed up Amnesia with 1978's 3, notable for one of the best-recorded covers of Stand By Me. 1979's release of Never Enough ended the band's run at Capitol. After years of touring and recording, they decided to take a break.
They reunited for 1994's Pousette-Dart on the Artist's Resource Management (ARM) label (which Pousette-Dart cofounded). In 1998, The Best of Pousette-Dart Band was released on ARM with EMI Music distributing. But that was pretty much it for the band.
A mostly solo record followed in 1998 too, Ready to Fly on ARM, later re-released as Put Down Your Gun in 1999/2000 with proceeds to a gun-control action group. It's a solid, surprisingly strong album in the country-rock genre.
Pousette-Dart continues to record, does a lot of work in the jingle/voiceover/acting area, but one wishes these guys would get together and let it all hang out again for a final go-round or some kind of sustained occasional get-togethers.
And, Capitol Records, in this age of really lame music, whether it be fake boy-band/girl-band excess or some American Idol machinations, would do music lovers a service by remastering and releasing the entire Pousette-Dart Band catalog.
Until then, if you can find Amnesia on vinyl, HEY, it still sounds good.
[This is part of an occasional series on "Blasts from My Past."]
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