McKendree Spring - "Spring Suite" (MCA 1973)
This American group was a bit different from other rock bands as they used no drums. If you can imagine a less progressive Cressida with electric violin instead of organ, a stronger folk-influence and without the drums, then you'll have a slight idea about what McKendree Spring sounds like. The two leading musicians in the band were singer and guitarist Fran McKendree and violinist Michael Dreyfuss. "Spring Suite" was McKendree Spring's 5th album, and probably their best. The songwriting is more distinctive than on earlier albums, and the addition of Moog and piano to the sound made it more interesting and varied. The record seems to have a very loose concept about thoughts and feelings that people goes through in the time from winter to spring. It opens with the instrumental "Equinox" that is driven forward by acoustic guitar, electric wah-wah guitar and of course Dreyfuss' violin. "Winter" is a pleasant and cosy song with nice lyrics and harmonies. "I Was Born" is a lot more energetic and dramatic, but slows down in the middle where the Moog gives it an almost spacey feel. The most beautiful song on the album is probably the mellow "The Madman" where Dreyfuss plays with his fingers on the violin instead of the bow. "The Girl" is a laidback, folky ballad where the band lets their American roots shine through. The same goes for the catchy "Today's the Day" and "The Storm". "Growing" features a beautiful violin-solo from Dreyfuss, and the album finally closes with the melodic and atmospheric "Spring".