Elyse Weinberg recorded Greasepaint in 1969, but it was never released at the time. What a crying shame, as her voice, deeply rooted in the American country, is on particularly fine form here. Fellow performers include Neil Young and Nils Lofgren, my my. Available at last as a 180g LP (or CD), on the Numero Group label.
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- Greasepaint Smile by Elyse Weinberg
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 September 2015
Just when you thought there was nothing else left to be unearthed comes this record from late ’60s troubadour Elyse Weinberg, who mines the middle ground between Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
Produced by Neil Young engineer David Briggs and featuring a young Nils Loftgren on guitar, the album is one of those fully formed records that it’s quite hard to imagine wasn’t a huge hit at the time. ‘City of the Angels’ marries a Bob Dylan-eque verse with Jefferson Airplane-style chorus whilst ‘Houses’ has the acoustic dollop of Neil Young circa ‘Harvest’ (Young actually plays guitar on the track) but with a folky chorus that reminds me of Sandy Denny-era Fairport Convention.
What an unusual concoction this is: the honky tonk pastoral rock of the Band that can be heard in ‘It’s Alright to Linger’ exemplifies how this record sounds like a few different stars and styles of the era, yet the songs are quite stunning and after a few listens sound rather standard. Of course being the late ’60s/early ’70s, there’s a few guitar solos to sit through, but it’s the kind of record that somehow manages to help tie up a few loose ends of folk rock’s rich tapestry.
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