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Here's a side to Michael Yonkers I hadn't heard before. You may have heard his fuzzy '60s proto-post-punk weirdness that has been unearthed on labels like De Stijl and hotly lauded in recent years, but in the '70s he also picked up his acoustic guitar and made some very different records. This one I have on my record player, 'Michael Lee Yonkers', was home recorded in 1971-72 and contains a mixture of his country songs and children's songs from that era.
It's actually incredibly charming stuff, loads of hushed guitar picking and Yonkers's crisp, rich voice calling out whimsical, affecting and incredibly likeable performances over the top. It really is like he's just chatting with you in places, it's brilliantly casual despite the constant lyrical flow which betrays the man's restless mind. It's quite funny hearing silly and carefree children's songs sharing LP space with tracks like 'Pigeon Falls' with its "I'm so happy drinking my can of beer" chorus - all the more amusing for the fact that the musical feel of the record changes very little between the kids' numbers and the more adult material. It's much more Randy Newmanesque than I expected, I like it.
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