Oct 6, 2012


Stephen Whynott
From Philly to Tablas LP
Music is Medicine MIM 9001 (1977)

Copies of this can pop serious squats on the wallet, but be not discouraged: I nabbed mine for a 5-er. I'd be foolin' if'n I told ya you was gonna get mad plays offa the whole thing. You might have to do some scanning, but herein lyeth some truly lonesome spaces. Whynott caters largely in spooked but ultimately breezy cafe folk strolls with stoned and/or psych-ed brushwork. There's some winsome whimsy to be swallowed as well ("Oh Boy I've Won the Contest At Last"), and I'm afraid the good stuff isn't at the bottom of the glass. Typically, things fizzle before they pop on those numbers. But here and there he skirts gamelan (the opening passage of "Nine Day Sunflower") and, on the particularly puzzling "Snows Edge," even blunders into Perhacs county! Never does it advance as far as, say, John Palmer's Shorelines or anything by Bobby Brown, but I weren't just imagining the fellow feeling. They's all on facin' pages in the same unfathomable book that be 1970s small press folk.
Music Is Medicine (stone lost child label of First American) eventually made good on the sucky promises that peek over the yacht club event horizon of this LP, releasing things that square firmly with the "smooth jazz" tag. But ah the early days...! I guess.

Case you need a further push toward the shores of white male monomania, here's a solid nudge. As if it don't already take an eon to load this blog! (Note it is the only Whynott track up on the Tubes of Your):

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