Media Condition: VG
Sleeve Condition: VG
Genre: Rock, Jazz, Funk, AOR
Notes: A solid 1980 copy. Discoloration from age on album cover, vinyl comes in original printed sleeve (yellowing on sleeve due to age). Plays nice and clean, more like VG+.
If you like: the easygoing sounds of yacht rock and early FM radio transmissions, but prefer unearthing private press masters and rarities–notably the likes of Ned Doheny, Rob Galbraith, Lesley Duncan, Pages, Ambrosia–look no further. You’ve hit the jackpot.
About: Dave Plaehn was born and raised in Iowa. Both his parents were singers and he played in a high school band covering The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Henrix, Bob Dylan and more. In college he played in a jug band, developing his singing and harmonica playing. After college, he moved to Madison, WI and joined with Tony Brown, Ted Wingfield, and Jim Cowan to form Tony Brown Band. He left Madison in the late 70’s and began focusing more on songwriting. His first album Smokin was released in 1980 with all original songs. His next release soon followed, as a blues/folk/jazz EP called Mouth Full Of Blues.*via Dave Plaehn
Why it’s worth your time: I first unearthed Smokin in a rather unremarkable digital browsing session a few summers ago–but the music made the circumstance remarkable and I can remember the moment clearly.
Sometimes the only appropriate time for introspective silence is in a car...or if you’re impartial to silence like me, the car is, instead, one of the finest settings to really hear music (and then get introspective, if you so desire). And if you’re like me, getting behind the wheel incites an immediate longing for the glory days of radio when you could land on a station and hear everything from – to –. That’s precisely where and why I found Smokin–sitting in my car in a forest preserve parking lot with my window down less than an inch, despite the rainstorm outside it, on an unseasonably cool Sunday afternoon in August, dreaming of Chicago’s bygone, late-70s-era WKQX. Upon hearing the bassline from “Not Bound to Loose”, it was clear to me that I found what I had longed for. I sat back quietly watching the rain and listening through the entire album without interruption before driving away.
Nearly a year later I stumbled upon the album again and won it in an Ebay auction. I waited for an August rainstorm in order to spin it and cracked open the window–as was only proper–and man, the album had somehow gotten better over that single year (and every consecutive year). I guess the cigarette Plaehn is holding on the cover never got stubbed out and only gets better with time.
A favorite track: For You (I’d Undo Anything)