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Lazarus - 1971 Lazarus

ARTIST: Lazarus
ALBUM: Lazarus
LABEL: Bearsville
YEAR: 1971
CD REISSUE: 1995, Pony Canyon (Japan), PCCY-00817 * 2008, Rhino Records (USA), digital download only.


LINEUP: Bill Hughes - vocals, guitar, piano * Carl Keesee - vocals, bass * Gary Dye - vocals, piano, organ

TRACK LISTING: 01 Refugee * 02 Whatever Happened * 03 Looking Through * 04 Listening House * 05 Circuit Rider * 06 Warmth Of Your Eyes * 07 Blessed * 08 Eastward * 09 Memory Of A Stranger * 10 Doncha Cry * 11 Rivers

Lazarus are a band I've recently picked up, quite by accident, due to the inclusion of one musician: Bill Hughes. After hunting down a west coast album by Hughes from 1991 called 'Welcome To The Edge', I found his earlier career was quite markedly different. Lazarus are from that Woodstock era of the late 60's and early 70's. This is gentle lilting folksy styled rock with a hint of Christian overtones in the vein of Crosby Stills & Nash and early Poco and America. There are heaps of vocal harmonies and acoustic elements, making this a relaxing listen. Lazarus, originally named as Shiloh, were assisted by Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul And Mary fame) and Phil Ramone, who co-produced the album, with direction from Albert Grossman, and eventually signed with (then) new label Bearsville Records.

The Songs
None of the songs will set your chakras alight with passion and flame, but it's the sort of album to sit back and tune out to, if you like that folk/country rock sound from the 70's. There are no lead guitar solos nor is there any significant drum work to be had. Despite that, cruising to the likes of 'Refugee', 'Looking Through' and the majestic 'Eastward' was an easy task to do on a lazy weekend afternoon. Other notable tracks include the bayou flavour of 'Circuit Rider' and the bright melodies of 'Warmth In Your Eyes'. Interestingly, 'Blessed' has a Peter Paul And Mary familiarity, and complete with its Christian lyrics, Noel 'Paul' Stookey' would use the song for his own solo performance in years to come.

In Summary
The band would go on to record the excellent 'A Fools Paradise' two years later, and continued well into the mid 70's, while touring extensively throughout the U.S and Canada. main man Bill Hughes would go on to a busy solo career both as an artist and as a songwriter alongside partner Roxanne Seeman. Hughes passed away in 1998. 'Lazarus' is available as a digital download from, but if you're feeling lucky or looking for a challenge, try and track down the 1995 Japanese CD instead! Good luck!

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