Bud Dashiell

Bud Dashiell

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(1919 - 1989) American folk musician-composer.
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music_emporium

music_emporium

December 30, 2015
Bud Dashiell modernized his repertoire a bit for this obscure late-'60s LP, but it still sounded like a hangover from the simpler early-'60s commercial folk boom, although better done than most such items, for what it's worth. The sound was simple and spare, the acoustic guitar backed by quiet standup bass and the lightest of drums. Dashiell's vocals had an attractively shy, at times almost jazzy quality. He occasionally ventured into work by newly emerging contemporary late-'60s singer/songwriters, covering Jesse Colin Young's "Lullaby," Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain," and, on the title track, Randy Newman's "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today." Much of the rest of the album, however, bore vestiges of a more passé troubadour folkie making moves toward middle-of-the-road all-around entertainment, occasionally singing in French, playing modified bossa nova for "Vereda Tropical," dusting off the moldy standard "Baltimore Oriole," and offering an interpretation of "Seasons in the Sun," six years prior to Terry Jacks' huge hit with that tune (although it had been done back in 1963 by the Kingston Trio). It's a modest and mildly likable album, but not an exciting or original one, and out of step with its times.
music_emporium

music_emporium

December 30, 2015
The times really had changed by 1968, when Dashiell released his final solo album, I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today (W/WS-1731). Instead of the record shipping out alongside LPs by The Kingston Trio (who disbanded in 1967) and The Chad Mitchell Trio (drawing a last breath as Denver, Boise & Johnson), it was marketed alongside Dashiell’s new Warner label mates The Beau Brummels, Harpers Bizarre, The Tokens and — in perhaps the most obvious evidence of a new musical day — The Grateful Dead.

Warner’s top folk franchise Peter, Paul & Mary were still touring, but even they had gone partly electric on 1967’s Album 1700 (on the satirical “I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music,” among others), and were in the final months of their own Act I.

But Dashiell knew his mind, what he enjoyed and what he wanted to do musically. He’d retained his artistic integrity, and — like Edmonson — was an intelligent man with a good sense of humor and strong opinions. Following popular tastes of the day had never been a big factor for either man, and Dashiell’s liner notes reflected that:

“Who is speaking for the people who don’t get glassy-eyed and snap their fingers and say ‘yeeaahhh, baby’ when one of the paisley crowd drops some obscure verbal hallucination? So many noisemakers have been telling the American people to ‘listen’ that the American people really have started to listen. There are a lot of noncompartmentalized people who like to listen, and I like to talk to them.”

Singers speak through the language of song, and this LP offered up ten tracks for listeners to chew on. The variety is good, with one number from his B&T days, a couple blues chestnuts, three foreign language tunes (two in French from the late, great Gilbert Bécaud) and three songs from younger composers (Randy Newman, Jesse Colin Young and Gordon Lightfoot). Dashiell’s version of “Seasons in the Sun” (with a very tasty guitar intro reminiscent of B&T’s “Raspberries, Strawberries”) predated the schmaltzy Terry Jacks version by six years, but both of them learned it — as Bob Shane used to say in concert — off an old Kingston Trio album (1963’s A Time to Think).