One particularly important aspect of a good record shop is the regular introduction of new stock, as it is always so disappointing when on visiting a shop all that is on offer is the same as you saw last time!
Of course this depends on whether new stock is available for the shop to display. As far as The Sound Machine goes, Neal travels the length and breadth of the country during the week looking at and hopefully purchasing collections. As a result there are a number of recently arrived vinyl 45s, LPs and CDs available on a regular basis.
So if YOU have records or CDs in decent condition you are looking to dispose of, have a look at the Wanted page on the website and give us a ring.
New stock of course means new curiosities and an area that always interests me is that of American labels especially where the album might not have been given a UK release and where they are largely not well known. Here are three I could not resist.
Bonnie Koloc – Bonnie Koloc (Ovation OVQD/1429) 1973
You won’t find many singer songwriters in my collection but I just had to have this one even though at the time I had no idea who she was. Typical thick card and a gatefold sleeve with lyrics printed on the inside. Great condition too. And to my delight a thoroughly enjoyable set of songs with a strong backing band. Most tracks are self-penned with just a few covers but all are interesting and beautifully sung. Apparently this was her third album and she was to make a good few more. I’ve not come across any others yet sadly but the first three are reputedly the best.
The Petals – Cadis Center (November Rain 1000NRLP2) 1994
Irresistible! A great cover with four latter day hippie types outside a dilapidated outbuilding and an album utilising a range of instruments including all the usual plus autoharp, trombone, banjo, viola and UFO noises! And what a band they are – superb psych/folk with Goddess and Old Blue Dress the standout tracks. A while later I found their fine first album Parahelion on vinyl whilst the brilliant third Butterfly Mountain (which I also have) was only released on CD. I would recommend any or all of these recordings if it sounds your type of music.
Heartwood – Nothin’ Fancy (GRC GA10008) 1975
Here is another genre I would not usually take an interest in – country rock. But the cover again drew me in. Heartwood are a 7 piece band and this album is nicely laid back with my favourite track Satan And Savior veering more towards rock than country. I’m not keen on the sound of pedal steel guitar and dobro myself but with seven members there is plenty of instrumental variety and some particularly good harmonica work. Altogether a pleasant listen.
About the Author
Mike Warth – Retired teacher and Education Officer, old rocker, lover of prog, psych and folk – the latter for which I sometimes take some stick. (Why?) Currently having a ball working in The Sound Machine, Reading – independent Record Store par excellence and working with Vernon Joynson on the ultimate update to Tapestry Of Delights to be published October 2014.