HENDRICKSON ROAD HOUSE Hendrickson Road House (TP061)

Side One

1. Forget About You

2. Theatre King

3. Things I Never Had

4. Everybody’s Told You

5. Sunny Day Rain

6. Classical Misconceptions Part I & 2

 

Side Two

7. Tomorrow Your Sorrow

8. Helping Hand

9. That’s All There Ever Was

10. I Wondered If You Knew

11. Yesircantoo

12. The Seed That Grows

Recorded to showcase the prodigious talents of teenage singer/songwriter Sue Eakins, the Hendrickson Road House album was issued in 1970 as a limited edition pressing by the Ojai-based Two:Dot studio/label.  Widely regarded these days as one of the rarest vinyl artefacts to emerge from the late ‘60s Californian counterculture, the LP now sells for increasingly large sums of money on the rare occasions that copies surface.  Now available for the first time in more than forty years, this authorised reissue adds half-a-dozen fascinating bonus tracks, including alternative mixes of two of the album’s finest songs, only briefly available at the time as a 7” that was credited to Nibbus (a name the group briefly considered before settling on Hendrickson Road House).  With rare photos, interview quotes and the full Hendrickson Road House story, this is the definitive edition of a lost classic of the West Coast psychedelic folk genre.

“So good is this slice of acidic West Coast folk that it’s difficult not to go overboard.  Lost for 40 years and coveted by a handful of acolytes willing to exchange $1,000 for a copy, this is a
rediscovered gem so pure it makes all previous claims to that title look like uneducated sycophancy.  The sophisticated jazzy undertow (in places not unlike contemporaries Seatrain) and sparse, intelligent arrangements are bound together by a female vocal so delicious, it could be picked and eaten.  Opener “Forget About You” could be a template – pure, sparkly guitar and wispy, shuffling drums underpin that voice – but the coherence of the material belies its variety.  Intense harmonising on “Helping Hand”, prog-like time changes on ”Tomorrow Your Sorrow” and free-roaming jazz on “Yesircantoo” – the album is littered with unique and varied touches of class in all departments.  Whoever you are – or think you are – you need this record.”
(Record Collector)

“Originally issued on the tiny Californian Two:Dot label in 1970, this seriously rare folk-pop LP gets its first reissue here.  Originally recorded to showcase the talents of 19 year old singer/songwriter Sue Eakins (spelt Akins on the sleeve to encourage correct pronunciation), it was pressed in a tiny run and only came to any sort of prominence when private-press collectors began to hear of it decades later.  Having attracted the attention of studio owner Dean Thompson (whose set-up was in his garage in Hendrickson Road, Ojai), Eakins drew a band from the local Bohemian community and soon found herself taping the album – as well as helping to milk Thompson’s goats.  Musically her songs have an acoustic guitar base, filled out with mellow electric guitar, bass and drums, while her voice is soft and mellifluous.  Several tracks are languid, near-bluesy folk-rock (“Forget About You”, “Things I Never Had”, “Everybody’s Told You”), though there’s also skewed pop (“Tomorrow Your Sorrow”) and some haunting ballads (“Theatre King”, with effective overlapping vocal tracks reminiscent of Linda Perhacs, “Helping Hand”, with its lovely harmonies, and “Classical Misconceptions Parts 1 & 2”).  The only bummer is the crude jazz rock instrumental “Yesircantoo”, and it’s little surprise to learn from Eakins in the accompanying insert that it was only included when two of the backing musicians “whined, whimpered and flat-out begged for a chance to do a song from their group... it was recorded by their other band and had nothing to do with Hendrickson Road House”.  Even though it was taped in an amateur studio, the playing, singing and recording are of a professional standard, and though the album is in no way psychedelic (ignore any such hype you may have encountered), it does reflect the gentle, spiritual, slightly melancholy vibe prevalent in West Coast music of the time.  As such, this long-awaited reissue certainly won’t disappoint connoisseurs of the style.  Denis Blackham’s mastering is typically excellent, as are David Wells’ thorough notes, contained on an insert that also offers over a dozen rare photos from the time the album was made.” (Flashback)    

 

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