Jay Bolotin is one of the great ‘what-if’s of the American songbook. A singer-songwriter contemporaneous with Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, Bolotin’s work is known to be admired by artists including Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. However, he has never had much success in getting his music released. Now this Delmore Recorings collection hopes to give Bolotin some long-overdue shine. Recorded in the first half of the 1970’s, the tracks of No One Seems To Notice That It’s Raining are spare, melancholy things. One wonders if Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy ever got wind of these.
Limited Vinyl LP £31.19 DE27LP
LP on Delmore Recordings. Edition of 1000 copies in deluxe linen old style tip-on jacket with 12-page saddle stitched book.
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- Limited edition
- Includes download code
- Only 1 copy left
CD £16.99 DE27CD
CD on Delmore Recordings.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Jay Bolotin is a new one on me. As a massive fan of mournful American singer-songwriters playing acoustic guitars (Van Zandt, Prine, Basho, Fahey, the list goes on ‘n’ on), I was immediately drawn to this hitherto-unknown figure. Bolotin is a Kentucky-born, Nashville resident that, in the 1970s, was writing wistful country songs in the vein of Dylan and Cohen, as well as those luminaries mentioned before. In fact, Cohen is the comparison that’s the easiest to draw with them both sharing a deep, unhurried drawl, a woody vocal timbre, as well as hints of flamenco playing. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of styles on this compilation, expecting a mostly one vocal, one guitar kind of deal, but there are hints at Moody Blues-esque psych on ‘Message to a Snowman’ and big-hearted Van Morrison-y country pop on ‘Don’t Worry About Winning What You’ve Already Won’.
There’s always something special about ‘forgotten’ recordings. They carry a kind of magic that’s akin to seeing a rare artefact or visiting somewhere off the beaten track. The titular track, ‘Nobody Seems to Notice That It’s Raining’, is possibly the stand-out moment on the compilation, with lyrics that deftly spin richly-imagined worlds out of fairly pedestrian language (something that Cohen was also adept at), as well as some superbly unobtrusive guitar playing.
All credit to Delmore Recording Society for compiling and releasing this superb compilation; it will hopefully allow Bolotin’s wonderful music to reach more ears than before.
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