Young Bostworld gets a lot of traffic from folks visiting her big sister, the ten-years-running Meat Puppets site. It's not much of a stretch to guess that such visitors, hungry for band merch and guitar tabs, turn their nose up at the considerably less rocking offerings found here. Share blogs more firmly planted in the hearts of their readers rack up hundreds of download counts, while we're lucky if we get a couple dozen. And yet it's a shame to think that the only people taking advantage of albums by the Dovells,the Klowns or Frank Sinatra Junior are the occasional Googlers from Estonia who actually care about such great artists.
I'm sure our current feature will fare no better. We don't even know much about this record; it's just something we found during one of our periodic bin runs. We liked the cover photo, with its three pouting hotties dressed up in their little "country girl" outfits, and we recognized the title track from the Chet Atkins canon. And of course we like Anita Kerr, her her kitschy "sunshine pop," her prodigious work in the country field, and her ambitious easy listening crossover material. We even admire her later inspirational albums. So an Anita-produced album of country-pop instrumental versions of such chestnuts as "My Blue Heaven" and "Lulu's Back In Town" by a faceless studio group marketed as a fake female guitar trio struck us as easily worth a dollar.
"Yestergroovin'" sounds not unlike Al Caiola's "Living Guitars" series for RCA, or one of Tony Mottola's many albums recorded for Enoch Light's Project 3 label. That is to say (Puppets fans, beware), this is more turned on muzak from the space aged early 70s. A gently cooking rhythm section meets shimmering strings and tame yet inventive arrangements designed to be enjoyed at low volume by folks who like to have music on in the background. This particular album offers a nice mix of country guitars, baroque-rock orchestration and a breezy beat, rewarding attentive listeners with its virtuoso jazz touches.
Naturally, this album sank without a trace into the nondescript world of easy listening fodder from whence it was spawned. How did so many of these types of records come to be made? How many loss leaders did the home stereo market really need in order to keep its pump primed? Well, The Hot 100's loss is our gain. Used to be, you literally couldn't set foot into a thrift store without encountering a wealth of first rate mood music wrapped in gorgeous cover art, yours for the taking. Nowadays, you can just stay home and surf the blogs.