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Roger Rodier

 Roger Rodier - Upon Velveatur

Upon Velveatur
Columbia - 1972

Michael Panontin
Roger Rodier was originally a member of the Mike Jones Group, whose 'Funny Feeling', the b-side of their only single (Jet Records 1967), seems to have struck a chord with garage rock collectors after all these years. By 1972, however, the Montrealer had already released a couple of painfully obscure psych singles on the Pax label in the late sixties, one anglophone and the other francophone, before settling into the Andre Perry studios in Montreal to record the lush, velvety post-psychedelic relic Upon Velveatur.

A sort of Nick Drake-meets-Al Stewart, Rodier alternates from the fey, almost flaccid, folk of songs like 'The Key' and 'My Spirit's Calling' to more upbeat - and, it must be said, more satisfying - rock tracks like the electric and urgent 'While My Castle's Burning' and the gospel-tinged 'Am I Supposed To Let It By Again?'. The almost schizophrenic nature of the record is at times unsettling, but Upon Velveatur is still a welcome find from an all-too-often overlooked era.

(Upon Velveatur entered the digital world in 2006 when the Sunbeam label reissued it on CD with five bonus tracks, a non-LP b-side, 'Easy Song', as well as the aforementioned 1969 singles.)

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