+ {Bermuda Triangle} + {Roger And Wendy}

Formed in Greenwich Village, New York City in 1966, ROGER AND WENDY (as they were then called) went from playing-for-tips coffeehouse gigs in a year-round residency at The Basement on MacDougal Street, to an elusive and mysterious psych-folk outfit; Roger Penney would play his “customised” electric autoharp and sing, Wendy would sing and play bass. The Penneys (or the Beckets as they were oft known) continued to perform in theatre and as a MAMAS & THE PAPAS-like duo, until the formation in 1969 of their “sunshine-FM” folk-rock quartet, EUPHORIA (alongside TOM PACHECO and Sharon Alexander).
Signed to MGM offshoot Heritage records, they released only one eponymous, Jerry Ross-produced LP, EUPHORIA (1969) {*5}, however, a single, `You Must Forget’, had minor success in Europe a few years later. Despite a plethora of concerts up and down the country, the group split, leaving the couple to try a different approach. From their base in Woodstock, ROGER AND WENDY finally delivered their own self-financed set, LOVE ROG + WEM (1972) {*5}, a Christian-folk record that comprised covers of songs by BOB DYLAN, JERRY JEFF WALKER, JAMES TAYLOR, et al.
Probably a tad late for the psych-folk market (around a decade!), BERMUDA TRIANGLE (1977) {*8}, was the project of Roger, Wendy and a female drummer/violinist, Sam. The album itself was a hotchpotch of directions, their sound very reminiscent of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, SANDY DENNY (Wendy’s high octaves could reach these standards) or anybody from a flower-power era long gone. With half a dozen Becket compositions on show (check out `Free Ride’ and `Standing Together’), there was the odd (very odd) but effective cover or two: The MOODY BLUES’ `Nights In White Satin’, AEROSMITH’s `Dream On’ and Ben & Bruno’s `Wind’; `Lark In The Morning’ was their sole trad-folk cut from the half-hour set.
BERMUDAS II (1984) was issued in very small numbers, a needle in a haystack to find was their subdued swansong, although a subsequent MISSING TAPES CD was relative compensation to their small but loyal fanbase. Never giving up, ROGER AND WENDY have constantly toured all parts of the globe and have finally released their own C&W/folk-biased sophomore set, ONE DAY AT A TIME (2006) {*5}. Roger, of course, has been cited and revered as the innovator, and indeed inventor of the electrified autoharp; it’s now the standard instrument that musicians buy from retailers.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Dec2016

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