Saturday, April 28, 2012

No One Can Hear You Cry

I think I can just squeeze in another post before April ends! It's on my to-do list, so I better do it, right? I'm extremely strict about such things.... *snickers*

I've been really digging obscure 60s and 70s music again, so appropriately I'm posting a song from an old favourite: Susan Christie.

Susan Christie is yet another talented woman who is terribly obscure and hard to gather information on. I do know she was with a band called The Highlanders, but it was her solo recording of the novelty song 'I Love Onions' with which she gained some footing in the musical world.
She then made her first and only album: Paint a Lady. The album was released in 1970. Or it would have been, at least, had the record company not done what they did, which was limit the pressings of her album to a very small amount, because they had no faith in the commercial possibilities of her material. (I've heard there were only three vinyls made!)

I am amazed Paint a Lady ever got reissued. Amazed, but grateful, I must say. The album is brief, only eight tracks long. As far as I know, all the material is original except for her cover of 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'. Of course, this album does contain the nine minute 'Yesterday Where's My Mind?' An acid folk number that I must confess I've never made it all the way through. (It has a frightening intro!) Of course, I haven't tried to listen to it in years; I might be able to handle it better now. :P

Her songs are full of loneliness, which is quite apparent on my three favourites from the album: 'Rainy Day', 'Paint a Lady', and 'No One Can Hear You Cry'. Being a teenaged girl, perhaps that is why I love all three of these songs. I'm a sucker for a good song about, well, sad things.

The song 'Paint a Lady' is perhaps more indicative of what she is capable of, but I have a soft spot for the song 'No One Can Hear You Cry' so that is the one I'm posting. (But you'll notice I've included 'Paint a Lady' as a bonus on the playlist, if you want further listening!)

This post was actually surprisingly easy to write! I though it would take much longer. (Using the new Blogger was a pain, though.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Marj Snyder

As the song goes, "April, come she will"... and before I'm quite ready for her. As usual, I deliberated over what artist to make artist of the month, before deciding the only artist I felt like raving over was Marj Snyder.

Marj Snyder... I confess, I don't know much about her. She was a little-known singer-songwriter who released several albums in the 70s. Though few knew of her, those who did were blessed by her music.

The bio for her at states simply: "Hippy lady from California who loves that God." Ha! It's hard to tell whether or not it was a fan who penned that gem; but yes, Marj was from California and she loved "that God". (Read: she was/is a Christian.)
I can't state positively how many records she released, but I know for sure of two: her 1971 album, A Time of Peace, and her 1972 album, My Lifetime Now. (I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Marj was only 17 when A Time of Peace was released.)

I can't remember exactly how or when I came across the music of Marj Snyder. I think it was last summer, when I somehow stumbled across her song, 'God', which is from the album A Time of Peace. Her gentle style and beautiful, thoughtful lyrics grabbed my attention, and the more I listened to the song, the more I grew to appreciate it.
Sadly, except for the song 'God' and another song called 'I Am the Light', I've not heard any more from A Time of Peace. (Ah, the woes of loving obscure music!)

But semi-recently, I was able to find a download of her 1972 album, My Lifetime Now. While it does contain a regrettable foray into country music ('Knees Knocking') and Southern gospel ('For Those Tears I Died') and the inevitable 'Amazing Grace', My Lifetime Now is a fine album. (For the genre complaints, the songs themselves are alright, I'm just not a fan of those two genres.) My Lifetime Now is certainly a million steps above the cookie cutter "Christian music" of today.

I'm posting two songs today; the first is 'Chicago / Walk By My Window' from My Lifetime Now. (Which technically is two songs, but they segue into each other and they were put on the same track in the version I downloaded.) Unlike the rest of the album, they aren't religious. But they are pieces of her life wrapped in the packaging of lovely folk music, much like the second song, which is the aforementioned 'God' (a song of more religious nature, obviously - but definitely worth a listen, even if you're not interested in the spiritual side of life.)

(Supplemental links: Another favourite from My Lifetime Now is the song 'I'm Dying'. I love the pure anguish of this song, which you can listen to here, if you so desire.
Here is the blog I downloaded the song 'God' from and the blog I downloaded the album 'My Lifetime Now' from. Also, one of Marj Snyder's song is on the compilation Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies from the Canyon, which can be bought on amazon.)Link