Dane Sturgeon, in California, in the year 1967, made a record of
totally american dementia, proudly ignoring almost everything that was
made after 1962 - one of the bizarre artifacts that this era seems to
have produced more often than we imagine (but we are slowly
A hybrid of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley after the army and Byrds if
they were from Texas, "Wild'n'Tender" is an absolutely unique album, in
the private press bizarre records that have been discovered lately,
like Y. Bhekhirst, Jerry Rayson or Mark Melanson - although not so
extreme musically as those. Nothing is unheard here, in fact several
of the melodies are reminding something familiar.
Take a good look of the cover - this well-shaved man with the private investigator's coat and the cowboy hat and this look in his eyes and you'll know a lot about this record: Dane Sturgeon is trying to give us the impression of the title (and the record) - he's trying to be wild and tender, both with his look and his songs (A-Side is the 'wild' side and B-Side is the 'tender' side, but they're not really so different). Dane surely believes in his music - that's why he's released this record on his Stur-Geon label. Wether he succeeds in his interpretation of what he calls "Righteous folk-rock" and "folk-rock in a stone groove" is indeed a question.
The opening "Ghost of Bardsley Road" starts with a crazy, manic laughter and we're waiting for Arthur Brown, but what follows is a tale about a 'ghost machine' that challenges the kids to race and kills them, sang in Ringo ballad style. In "Hurricane", over the 'oohs' and 'aahs' Dane sings about Stormie, the hurricane that swept El Paso. In "Queen Bee" we have another female force that kills her lovers. "What Comin'z Comin'" is the most modern song of the record: the music is in the San Francisco psychedelic style, while Dane in a falsetto voice sings about 'strawberry wine' and 'a maiden that wanders with love in her heart'. In "Whip of Love" we have flamenco guitar over a background of a baritone chorus, hand-claps and jangly, fuzzed rhythm guitars.
Acid archives review compares it with Del Shannon's mid-60s work and finds it terrific - I would add that it really is, as long as you keep in mind that this has almost nothing to do with what we call rock/psyche/acid music of the sixties.
Review by Rainy Day Sponge, link was provided by afroclonk.
At 31/8/2008 we received a mail from Yoga records, informing us that they were about to release the album officially in the next few weeks.