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The Folklords

The Folklords - Release the Sunshine

Release the Sunshine
Allied - 1968

Michael Panontin
This one was scraped right off the bottom of the sixties dustbin. The Folklords are a sort of tripped-out We Five who recorded this lone LP for the Allied label, home to the likes of the Plastic Cloud, Reign Ghost and the Nihilist Spasm Band. They actually got their start with an insanely obscure seven-inch for the COB label ('Forty Second River' b/w 'Unspoken Love') in 1966 or '67, with both songs finding their way rerecorded onto this disc. The vaguely psychedelic Release the Sunshine came out a year or so later, but curiously slipped under the radar at the time, garnering absolutely no print at all in any of the Canadian music publications of the day. And supposedly, drummer Craig Boswell, the teenage son of Allied owner Jack Boswell, was a last-minute stand-in after the band's original drummer went mysteriously AWOL from these recording sessions, thus forever forfeiting his own brief fifteen minutes of fame.

Release the Sunshine is steeped - or mired, take your pick - in the sober, overly earnest folk traditions of the early sixties, but this collection of dreamy folk untethers itself somewhat with sweet harmonies that recall the very early, pre-Grace Slick Jefferson Airplane. Singer Martha Johnson's haunting vocals and a delicately played autoharp touch things up a bit. Collectors have parted with upwards of 300 dollars for those few surviving originals of Release the Sunshine, so Pacemaker's CD reissue, meticulously remastered from the original tapes, must certainly be a welcome treat.

An interesting, if unessential, document from the nether reaches of the folk realm.


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