Natural Child Records and Tapes
I’m supposed to write a few words about the new Natural Child record… the thing is, every time I listen to it (and I’ve listened to it A LOT), I can’t keep my mind from wandering. I put it on at home, and I stare out the window and watch the sunlight dance across the ripples in the lake. I throw it on in the car and, if I’m not the one driving, I watch the streetlights streak past and get lost in the infinity of the road in front of me. When I listen to Okey Dokey on the job, I only appear to be productive, because really I’m wrapped up in the spellbinding melodies and have no conscious awareness of what I’m being paid to do. (It’s cool, I’m not a brain surgeon or anything.)
The point is, the album has pull. It achieves the transcendental state that the character in the song “Transcendental Meditation” never finds.
This record, released on their own Natural Child Records and Tapes, is without gimmick, without bravado, without any attempts at hipness, whatsoever. This band could have recorded these songs on the front porch of a country home. Band members on wooden steps, or sitting on porch swings, a bottle of whiskey and a plate of pot brownies at their feet. There’s a casual vibe, a family feel to the way they harmonize and the way their instruments finish one another’s sentences.
It’s rock ‘n’ roll at its most pure and, in so being, will conjure up all sorts of comparisons. You’ll hear early Rolling Stones on songs “Now and Then,” and the introspective beauty of “Self Centered Blues” will make you think of The Band. Shades of The Doors flow through on “Out of Sight” and you can even hear some Creedence Clearwater Revival throughout. All of those legends are flavoring their tea, yet the final cup tastes like none of them.
Natural Child are just a band, standing on a stage, not asking anything of anyone, and they’re playing some of the finest (and often, funniest) rock ‘n’ roll this side of the ’70s.