Up My Sleeve: Bradley's Weekly Vinyl

Ok, so Rachel has asked me to start posting regularly about my favorite records on this here blog. I would normally hesitate to get myself tangled up in someone else’s jank, but she is my wife. And, I figure if I’m going to get conned into writing something that other people might read it may as well be about the one thing I am truly passionate about besides her…… music. Although I don’t really consider myself a “vinyl collector”, per se, I do have a rather large stack of records. So, I guess this qualifies me to have an opinion about records and music in general. Vinyl has become my preferred medium for music for a multitude of reasons. I won’t, however, preach to you about the unique sonic qualities or the richness of the tone, and all the blah, blah, blah, blah. Mostly I love vinyl because it costs $0.50 at Goodwill, it comes wrapped in really cool artwork, and occasionally you find gems that have been largely forgotten for years. Not to mention it’s a tangible link to the both the artist who recorded the album and to the eras in which they were produced.

This week I’d like to share one of my favorites from my pile, “Later That Same Year” by Matthews Southern Comfort. You can Wikipedia the band if you are inclined to impress others with your extensive knowledge of obscure late 60’s/early 70’s British electric-folk music. Later That Same Year is an aural velvet painting filled with dripping pedal steel guitars, beautiful harmonies, and tasteful vibraphone work. I’ve spent countless hours awash in tranquil nostalgia listening to the original tracks “Sylvie” or “Road to Ronderlin”. I do, however, tend to favor this album on solitary summer drinking nights, so it may not be the effects of the music alone, but of course life doesn’t exist in a vaccum. One of the qualities of this album that truly endears it to me is Matthews’ treatment and seamless integration of selected cover songs. There is definitely that bitter-sweet Laurel Canyon vibe to most of the album, which stands to reason as a goodly portion of the songs were written by Matthews’ American contemporaries Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Al Anderson, and Jesse Winchester. I say, give this album a listen. Make sure it’s start to finish. Please try to enjoy a few drinks while doing so and if this can all be done in the country on a warm summer night under starry skies, all the better. Otherwise, you can just youtube it now. It’s pretty great all by itself.

Tell Me Why

Words and Photos By Bradley

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