The Carousels — Sail Me Home, St. Clair
(Sugarbush Records SB037, 2017, LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-27
Scottish Band The Carousels return to Sugarbush with their second album of West Coast country rock, proving that you don’t have to use a lot of studio effects and overload eardrums to be psych. Sail Me Home, St. Clair continues on from their first album Love Changes Like the Seasons with eleven more upbeat acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and pedal steel guitar laced songs with charming vocal harmonies invoking the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo. However, what the cover art has to do with the music is beyond me. Given the album title and the three masted schooner I would have expected sea chanties instead of psych-folk love ballads. By and large, the album is full of fun happy time music, some making you want to bob and weave along with the band, even when the song is about breaking up and moving on. In addition to the standard lead, rhythm, and bass guitars, and percussion, The Carousels throw in violin on a couple of songs, plus harmonium, harmonica, banjo, and organ. And along with the love ballads there is the waltz “Here in Time” and the closing track "Man out of Me” that shows The Carousels getting a bit experimental with reversed loops and processed voices. If you enjoy music that evokes Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, or The Byrds at their country best, this album is for you.
Related artist(s): The Carousels
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