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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Folsom, Robert Lester - 1976 Music And Dreams
Folsom, Robert Lester - 1976 Music And Dreams

ARTIST: Folsom, Robert Lester
ALBUM: Music And Dreams
LABEL: Abacus Records
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2010, Riverman Music (South Korea), BTR0051 (with bonus tracks)


LINEUP: Robert Lester Folsom - lead Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, hammond b3, piano * Hans Van Brackle - acoustic & electric guitar * Van Whiddon - fender rhodes, acoustic piano, hammond b3, background vocals * Sparky Smith - bass * Don Anderson - drums * Jay Tobin - arp, elkin strings, electric grand piano, percussion * Bob Jones - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Music And Dreams * 02 Ginger * 03 Biding My Time * 04 April Suzanne * 05 Weeping Willow Tree * 06 Untitled * 07 My Stove's On Fire * 08 Spanish Lady/ Brown Eyed Lady With Blonde Hair * 09 A New Way * 10 Show Me To The Window * 11 Jericho * 12 Please Don't Forget Me


A record I've heard rumors about for at least ten years but never been able to locate let alone afford; Georgia musician Robert Lester Folsom is finally getting his due among fans of obscure 1970's American pop thanks in part to reissues of his sole album from the weirdo label Mexican Summer and South Korea's Riverman Records and I couldn't be happier. From his web site biography, Folsom was a member Abacus; an obscure covers band playing the South Georgia club circuit with Folsom in the lead role, sprinkling his originals in the repertoire whenever and wherever possible and after recording some demos, the decision was made to go solo. With Abacus backing Folsom, 'Music and Dreams' was recorded and pressed in a micro-pressing of 850 copies and while the title track received some minor airplay on local radio, the LP sadly languished in obscurity.

The Songs
Like an old Polaroid snapshot drenched in hazy mid-70s sunshine, Folsom's music is often compared to Todd Rundgren and while his vocal timbre is similar, I'll go with America and soft rock gods Bread. Yacht rock, Dad rock, whatever you want to call it- Folsom had an ear for a good hook and this album's chock full of 'em. 'Music and Dreams' unlike a glut of private-pressed platters from the same period sounds very much like a major label effort, due mainly to Folsom's songwriting skills, a seasoned band in Abacus and an unusual amount of time and effort put into the recording. The title track's a beauty and had it been released as a single to a wider market, could have taken Folsom out of obscurity and into the limelight with the likes of Dan Fogelberg and Seals & Crofts. 'April Suzanne' is as haunting as it is brilliant and my personal favourite with a delicious Fender Rhodes solo backed by sensitive George Harrison-esque guitar. Beautiful stuff and the up-tempo 'My Stove's On Fire' with its big fat chorus is a winner as is the two part America-ish 'Spanish Lady/ Brown Eyed Lady with Brown Hair' crammed with lofty melodies that sound like a lift from the 'Holiday' album. I mentioned Fogelberg and 'A New Way' captures the late songwriter's early style to perfection while 'Jericho' is a hands-down masterpiece of Summery period pop and in hindsight it's a wonder an album this good went un-noticed for over thirty years.

In Summary
A big recommendation from this scribe, the Riverman CD reissue is the one to find featuring a proposed post-album single as bonus tracks. Of the two songs 'Blues Stay Away' and 'Warm Horizons', the former gets my vote as a nice little power pop nugget hinting at Big Star. With well-received reissues and re-kindled interest Folsom has begun performing again, even making his way to New York to appreciative crowds. Let's hope we hear more from this late blooming pop genius in the future.

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