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AUTOSALVAJE - Autosalvaje


Sello: RCA


Originally known as The Northern Lights, bluegrass fanatic Thomas Donaher and multi-instrumentalist Darius Davenport started their musical collaboration in 1966. Relocating to New York City, by 1967 the line-up included ex-Ian and Sylvia guitarist Rick Turner and bassist Skip Boone (brother of The Lovin' Spoonful's Steve Boone). As The Northern Lights they rehearsed in the same spaces as The Lovin' Spoonful, garnering some attention when they opened for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at New York's The Balloon Farm and later, a concert at The Cafe A-Go-Go. Zappa took an interest in the group and is credited with suggesting a name change - "Autosalvage" coming from one of the song's in their live show. Boone's brother Steve and fellow Lovin' Spoonful band member Zal Yanovski championed the band, helping them score a recording contract with RCA Victor.

Released in early 1968, the Bob Cullen produced "Autosalvage" offered up one of the year's odder musical hybrids. One of the first albums to be recorded on eight track technology, the LP featured nine group-penned compositions, showcasing an interesting, if occasionally ragged mixture of the band's musical influences. Among other things, my ears detected elements of jug band, contemporary rock moves and perhaps a result of their recent work with the Mothers of Invention, a willingness to experiment in the studio - backward tapes, music box interludes, fuzz, feedback. The band-penned compositions showcased an odd mixture of country ('A Hundred Years'), Byrds-styled country-rock ('Rampart Generalities'), blues-rock ('Good Morning Blues'), garage ('The Great Train Robbery') and psych ('Auto Salvage'), with dollops of studio experimentation thrown in. It was common for multiple genres to co-mingle in a single performance - checkout the mix of jug band, country-rock and Celtic influences on 'Ancestral Wants'. The band's willingness to try new things made the album oddly endearing, if not particularly commercial. The whole album was worth a spin, but true highlights scattered throughout the set including the title track, 'Burglar Song' and 'Parahighway'. Apparently under the impression anything even remotely psychedelic would sell, RCA Victor did little to support the album. Big surprise when the album flopped and the band called it quits.

A1 Auto Salvage

A2 Burglar Song

A3 Rampant Generalities


A4a Our Life As We Lived It

A4b Good Morning Blues

B1 Ancestral Wants

B2 A Hundred Days

B3 Land Of Their Dreams

B4 Parahighway


B5a The Great Brain Robbery

B5b Glimpses Of The Next World's World



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