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Eric Relph – Pretty Darlin’

Eric Relph
Pretty Darlin'
Style: Rock
Label: Evy Pollen Records Ltd.
Catalog Number: ER-1-2-49
Released: 1978, 70's
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What started as a “just for fun” side project from a little known guitarist has since become a rare and quite sought after 70’s private press, breezy psychedelic document of authentic 1970’s California rock. Written 5,000 feet up in a remote cabin in the high sierras, Eric Relph’s Pretty Darlin’ was a passion project album that found its way to Three Dog Night member Michael Allsup’s Santa Monica studio in 1978. The album was released to little fanfare, possibly due to the evocative cover by psychedelic SocCal artist Bill Ogden (known as the the godfather of surf realism), which led Relph to slip into musical obscurity and from releasing recorded music altogether. If the album as a whole seems forgettable to you upon first listen, we don’t blame you, it’s a jumbled and scattered array of hit or miss country licks, almost “Deadhead-like” jammers, and care-free flute powered soft rock. However, there’s no denying the immediate power of the opening stunner and title track “Pretty Darlin’”. Completely unlike the rest of the record, the song is stripped down and relaxed, a gorgeous and intimate serenade that showcases Relph’s sweetly soulful vocals, and is driven by liquid-like reverb guitars and an irresistibly breezy bongo groove. A perfect slice of surfy California soul that bears endless upon endless repeats and what makes its pricey admission fee well worth it for an original copy. Thankfully, for those inclined to listen without spending a hundred dollars, Numero Group has just reissued it digitally with hopefully, a proper LP reissue on the way.

– DM

Recommended – A1 Pretty Darlin’, A2 Oh Why, B4 Stoned Louis

Tags: AOR / Mellow / Private Press / Soft Rock
Tracklist:

A1 Pretty Darlin’
A2 Oh Why
A3 Spirit Train
A4 Forty Miles
A5 Treat Me Kind
B1 Gold Or Silver
B2 Down The Road
B3 Hands Off Baby
B4 Stoned Louis
B5 Ah Dey Aum

Credits:

Backing Vocals – Bill Manaserro, Jay Kessler, Linda Rogers, Mike Rosato, Sarah Miller
Bass – Bill Slater
Congas, Backing Vocals – Dave O’Neill
Cover – Bill Ogden
Drums – Ray Price
Engineer – Jamey Dell
Engineer, Producer, Mellotron, Backing Vocals – Michael Allsup
Flute, Bass, Backing Vocals – Eric Morton
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer – Eric Relph
Guitar, Piano – Bill Champlin
Lyrics By – Gladys Vincent (tracks: A3,B3)
Piano – Steve D’Avanzo
Slide Guitar – Danny Krieger
Vocals – Denise Keen (tracks: A5)

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