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Reviews: Three From Real Gone Music – Pozo Seco, Kenny O’Dell and Borderline

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Pozo Seco - Shades of TimeBetween 1966 and 1968, The Pozo Seco Singers released three albums on Columbia Records, notching up Top 40 hits “I Can Make It with You” and “Look What You’ve Done.”  The first two albums, Time (1966) and I Can Make It with You (1967) were released on CD by the Collectors’ Choice Music label; now, Real Gone Music has picked up the torch with a newly-expanded reissue of 1968’s Shades of Time (RGM-0112).  For this album, the group name was shortened just to Pozo Seco, and the trio of Don Williams, Susan Taylor (a.k.a. Taylor Pie) and Ron Shaw was reduced to a duo with the departure of Shaw (who had replaced founding member Lofton Kline).

Shades of Time, which made little impression on the charts, reveals a group that might have been too folk for the commercial crowd but too commercial for the folk crowd.  Yet Real Gone’s reissue, which doubles the album’s length with a full eleven bonus tracks, is worth a look.  Was the group hampered by its unusual name?  (“Pozo Seco” was derived from an oil field term used to describe an unsuccessful drill, or a “dry hole.”)  The cover artwork for the LP likely didn’t help, either.  With two small children cloaked in shadow, entering the woods, it’s far spookier than the light sounds contained within the LP’s grooves.  (In stark contrast, the back cover artwork showed a happy, smiling Williams and Taylor.)  And though Taylor and Williams were both songwriters, none of their own songs made the LP.

Shades of Time was Pozo Seco’s first collaboration with producer Elliot Mazer, though three tracks remained from sessions with producer Bob Johnston and group member Ron Shaw.  Mazer brought a Canadian quartet called The Paupers to support Williams and Taylor, and they lent Shades of Time a “band” feeling, largely devoid of string or horn sweetening.  Like Pozo Seco, The Paupers were managed by Albert Grossman (Bob Dylan, The Band) and they proved a good match for Williams and Taylor.

After the jump, there’s more on Pozo Seco, plus reviews of new reissues from Kenny O’Dell and country-rock trio Borderline! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 15, 2013 at 11:22