Tony, Caro & John

One of the numerous acts (i.e. FOREST, DR. STRANGELY STRANGE et al) that basically cloned the sound of psych-folk icons The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND. The harmony trio of TONY, CARO & JOHN formed in 1970 from ex-London university graduates Tony Dore (vocals, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter), his wife-to-be Caroline (vocals, kazoo, etc.), plus the former’s old Derby schoolmate and Sheffield uni grad, John Clark (bass).
Recorded by the latter on a small Ferrograph tape recorder in some hippie commune in London, the limited-edition ALL ON THE FIRST DAY (1972) {*7}, was surprisingly well produced, each tree-loving, apocalyptically-inspired vignette delivered with a certain degree of ISB flavour; additional personnel included Simon Burnett (electric guitar), Rod Jones (keyboards), Jonny Owen (harmonica) and Julie Dore (vocals). Well worth its £350 collector’s tag price (before its CD re-release), the set spread a sense of squeaky innocence all the way from opener `The Snowdon Song’. However, it’d be tracks such as the BEATLES-esque `Eclipse Of The Moon’, Tony & John’s JANSCH-ish instrumental `Snugglyug’ and the salty AL STEWART-ish `Sargasso Sea’, that marked TC&J out on their own. The album’s highlights were arguably the acoustic `There Are No Greater Heroes’ and `Morrison Heathcliff’ (the best songs HERON & WILLIAMSON never wrote!), while Caro got her chance courtesy of `Waltz For A Spaniel’. Incidentally, the aforementioned CD re-issue added outtakes, including the glorious prog-like 6-minute title track, not on the original vinyl. Like too many one-off folk counterparts, the exercise was short-lived, with all three finding day jobs after a stint as Forever And Ever (also a track on the CD).
Further offerings from the vaults (1972-77), came via the outtakes, rarities and live archival LP, BLUE CLOUDS (2012).
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Feb2017

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