Monday, October 5, 2015

40 Year Itch : Christgau Nuggets

Terry Garthwaite : What It'll Do


With fewer than 100 days left to celebrate the best music of 1975, I feel like we'd better play some catch-up. Here are a few mostly forgotten albums that made "The Dean's" list at the end of 1975.

   Following her years in Joy of Cooking, Terry Garthwaite released a funky self-titled album in 1975 Christgau gave the album an A-, writing "Garthwaite emerges as a kind of white, upbeat Esther Phillips, applying a gritty Dinah Washington cast to post-rock lyrics both metaphorical and incantatory. But she's more flexible, happier--her delight in pure sound suggests both scat improvisation and novelty nonsense"

Stoney Edwards, a rare black country singer, released Mississippi You're On My Mind in 1975 which Christgau also graded an A- writing "And though Edwards literally can't read or write, he makes up good songs and picks better ones...He touches all the bases without sententiousness or whoop-de-doo. Country soul indeed."

   Christgau originally gave session musician Randall Bramblett's debut album a B+ writing "A find. Transcending its well-connected professional genre, the slightly distracted passion of Bramblett's singing combines with his oblique fusion of Southern boogie, studio country-rock, and Caribbean polyrhythms to take the edge of privilege off his philosophical fatalism. His music is too warm and funny to sound self-satisfied, and the way he collects images around an aphoristic catchphrase is too open-ended to sound smug. Start with side two."

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