Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Blue Things Listen & See RCA Victor 1966
Here's another Kansas band that is one of best band s in a generation no one ever heard. Hays, Kansas' own The Blue Things.
Led by Val Stöecklein this group of Kansans was in the vein of the Byrds. Great original tunes, clever and well picked covers, the band could have easily been a national act. Unfortunately, the bands fan base only went as far as Texas.
The whole thing is puzzling, the group's sound is very accessible. It's folk-rock but very in line with the British Invasion sounds of the Beatles and the Searchers. They dipped their toes into pyschedelic sounds. And, their folk-rock feels natural, not forced like other bands doing the same thing.
The album is lost classic. You hear their version of Dylan's of "Girl From North Country" and have to think, this version should have been a huge hit. You hear the original tune, "Doll House," with chiming 12 string and clever lyrics and wonder why teenage girls weren't screaming for these guys. Their Dale Hawkins cover, "La Do Da Da" and Jimmy Reed cover "Ain't That Lovin' (You Baby)" are solid ravers. And while there is some expected 60's type filler, the album's consistency is superior to what most bands releasing on full length LPS during this time.
The band would split when Val left to pursue solo work. It's unfortunate, as the LP is so promising as are the singles that were released around the same time. Really great Kansas band, folk rock with a Midwest appeal and sensibility, no radicalism attached, just good music.
Ain't That Lovin' (You Baby)
Girl From North Country