LINDA PERHACS-I’M A HARMONY RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EDITION.
Linda Perhacs-I’m A Harmony Record Store Day 2018 Edition.
The Linda Perhacs story is a case of what might have been for the seventy-five year old singer-songwriter who nowadays, is regarded as the true Queen of psychedelic folk. Linda Perhacs career began in 1970, when she released her debut album Parallelograms on Kapp Records. Sadly, Parallelograms which nowadays, is regarded as a psychedelic folk classic, failed to find the audience it deserved and Linda Perhacs turned her back on music, and nothing more was heard of her until 2014.
That was when Linda Perhacs returned with her much-anticipated sophomore album The Soul Of All Natural Things in March 2014. By then, Linda Perhacs music had started to find a wider audience amongst a new generation of musicians and record buyers. This audience grew over the next three years when Linda Perhacs returned with her third album I’m A Harmony which was release in September 2017.
Eight months later, and Linda Perhacs third album I’m A Harmony has just been reissued for Record Store Day 2018 as a limited edition 2-LP set by LA-based Omnivore Recordings and features four previously unreleased tracks from Linda Perhacs. This reissue of I’m A Harmony is the latest chapter in the story of Linda Perhacs, the Queen Of Psychedelic Folk.
Linda Long was born in Mill Valley, which lies just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in 1943, and by the time she was six or seven, she was a gifted and prodigious child who was able to write quite complicated compositions. Sadly, as is often the case with gifted children, Linda Long’s teachers didn’t realise she was a gifted child, but this didn’t stop Linda Long from enrolling in the University of Southern California.
At the University of Southern California, in San Francisco, Linda Long decided to major in dental hygiene, which allowed her to combine work and study. Her course also allowed Linda to explore the new world that was taking shape around her.
By then, a rainbow nation were flocking to San Francisco to be become part of the new counterculture that promised a different future. Linda Long was able to witness this firsthand and embraced the art and music that was part of the new counterculture. For Linda Long, this was creatively stimulating and would change the course of her life.
Having graduated from University of Southern California, Linda Perhacs began working with a periodontist, but also immersed herself in the various philosophies that were growing in popularity. Essentially, she taught her to mediate and rid herself of negative energy, which not only helped her, but her patients. It may also have helped Linda Perhacs develop as songwriter.
Away from work, Linda Perhacs and her sculptor husband used to enjoy walking in the city’s public parks. It was during these walks that Linda Perhacs was first inspired to write songs, which was something she hadn’t done since she and her husband moved to Topanga Canyon.
By then, Linda Perhacs hadn’t written songs for a while. Throughout her University days, Linda hadn’t been involved in making music despite her love of music. Things changed when she moved to Topanga Canyon, which was full of artists and musicians, and was the perfect place for an aspiring singer-songwriter. With an environment that inspired her, and the sense of hope that was prevalent during the second half of the sixties, this marked the cultural blossoming of Linda Perhacs.
What also inspired Linda Perhacs was her travels. She spent much of her time travelling up the Big Sur coastline, right through Mendocino, the Pacific Northwest and to Alaska. This was her road trip. So was a trip to Chimacum, on the Olympic Peninsula and these journeys were what inspired Linda Perhacs to write songs. Linda Perhacs stresses that her journeys inspired her, and drugs played absolutely no part in stimulating her creativity. Her songs come from her experiences in life.
This includes the colours, patterns and shapes that she’s seen ever since she was a child. They’re a phenomenon that many people experience, and these colours, patterns and shapes inspired Linda Perhacs who soon, would be one step nearer releasing her first album.
Linda Perhacs was, by now, working in the office of a Beverley Hills’ periodontist, where she first met film soundtrack composer Leonard Rosenman and his wife Kay. When they arrived in the office, Linda Perhacs would ask them about their forthcoming projects. Then one day Leonard said to Linda Perhacs: “I can’t believe that clinical work is all you do?” That was when Linda Perhacs told them about her music and played a tape of one of her songs. These were songs she’d recorded during her travels. Leonard Rosenman took the songs home to listen to them, and the next day, Linda Perhacs was offered a record contract.
This came as a shock to Linda Perhacs. When she handed Leonard Rosenman the tape she thought that he was wanting to hear a glimpse of the type of music younger people were making. Linda Perhacs never expected him to offer her a recording contract, never mind offer to produce her debut album. However, Leonard Rosenman knew that Parallelograms was a very special track which he referred to as “visual music composition.”
Leonard Rosenman who had been a composer all his life, had never been able to write “visual music composition,” but Linda Perhacs a new and up-and-coming singer had managed to achieve this. He explained that Parallelograms was different from the other songs she had had written. Each of the component parts of Parallelograms were interactive to the composer as three-dimensional sound. It’s akin to sculpting with ice, where the result is essentially a type of light and dance. For Linda Perhacs, this was the way that she had always written. However, now Linda Perhacs was going to take this one step further and record what became Parallelograms.
Parallelograms would eventually featured eleven tracks, including ten written by Linda Perhacs, who joined forces with Oliver Nelson to write Hey, Who Really Cares? For the recording of her debut album Parallelograms, Leonard Rosenman took charge of production.
When recording of Parallelograms began, Leonard Rosenman and Linda Perhacs were aiming to sculpt a series of soundscapes full of textures, colours and shapes. The music Linda Perhacs wanted to record would be “softer and ethereal.” To help Linda Perhacs achieve this, Leonard Rosenman puts together a band that featured some top musicians.
This included Shelley Mann and Milt Jackson on percussion. The rhythm section included Reinie Press on electric bass and Fender guitar and Steve Cohn on lead and 12-string guitar. John Neufield played flute and saxophone, Leonard Rosenman electronic effects and Tommy harmonica. Brian Ingoldsby was tasked with using an electrified shower hose to create horn effects on Parallelograms, which was no ordinary album. Instead, it proved to be a truly groundbreaking album.
Before the release of Parallelograms, it was hoped that the critics would realise the importance of Linda Perhacs’ debut album. She was a truly talented singer, songwriter and musician who had discovered her musical soul-mate in producer Leonard Rosenman. He was an ambitious, innovator who wanted to push musical boundaries to their limits on album that Leonard Rosenman described as “visual music composition.” Intrigued, critics investigated Parallelograms.
They discovered a beautiful, understated and enchanting album. From the opening bars of Chimacum Rain, right through to the closing notes of Delicious, Linda Perhacs breathed life, meaning, beauty and emotion into Parallelograms which was an absolutely captivating album that left the listener spellbound. That wasn’t surprising, as Parallelograms featured hopeful, captivating, ethereal and dreamy music which was also ambitious and innovative as genres melted into one.
Parallelograms was a flawless fusion of Americana, country, folk, pop, psychedelia and rock. There’s even a twist of ambient, drone pop, experimental music and jazz during this was potent and heady brew that should’ve launched Linda Perhacs’ career.
Sadly, when Parallelograms was released, Linda Perhacs’ psychedelic folk classic wasn’t the huge commercial success it should’ve been. This wasn’t helped by the record company’s failure to promote Parallelograms, an Linda Perhacs like so many other hugely talented artists, failed to enjoy the commercial success and critical acclaim her undoubted talent deserved. This was a huge blow for Linda Perhacs who after the commercial failure of her debut album Parallelograms returned to her job as a periodontist.
Meanwhile, music industry insiders and the those that had bought Parallelograms awaited Linda Perhacs’ sophomore album. A year passed, and there was no sign of the followup to Parallelograms. By then, Linda Perhacs had returned to her job as a dental nurse, and had settled back into her life pre-Parallelograms. Two, then three years passed, and still, there was no sign of another album from Linda Perhacs. Three years became five, and five became ten, and by then, fans of Linda Perhacs had all but given up hope that she would release another album.
Nothing was heard of Parallelograms until the nineties, and by then, a new generation of record buyers discovered the album which was regarded as a cult classic. With each passing year, iinterest in Parallelograms grew and somewhat belatedly, critics reappraised Linda Perhacs’ debut album, realising that it was a seminal, lost classic. Parallelograms was the album that should’ve been the start of a long and successful career for Linda Perhacs.
She was still working as a dental hygienist, but by then, Linda Perhacs had admitted that much as she loved music, she didn’t seem to have the drive required to make a career as a musician. That was a great shame as Linda Perhacs was blessed with an abundance of talent. That had been apparent on Parallelograms, and Linda Perhacs’ long-awaited comeback album.
Having spent her career working as a dental hygienist, Linda Perhacs decided to make her musical comeback. She had spent a lifetime observing people and the world, which meant that she had a wealth of material for her not just her sophomore album, but a series of albums. However, first things first, Linda Perhacs had to get round to releasing the follow to Parallelograms, which became The Soul Of All Natural Things.
The Soul Of All Natural Things.
Forty-two years after the release of her seminal debut album Parallelograms, Linda Perhacs was working on her long-awaited and much-anticipated sophomore album The Soul Of All Natural Things. She had already written four new songs, The Soul Of All Natural Things, Intensity, Prisms of Glass and Song Of The Planets. Linda Perhacs was also writing new songs with a new generation of musicians who were fans of her music. This included Chris Price who she wrote Children with. They also cowrote River of God, Freely, Immunity and Song of the Planets with Fernando Perdomo, who wrote Daybreak with Linda Perhacs. These ten songs would later become Linda Perhacs sophomore album The Soul Of All Natural Things.
It was recorded at the Reseda Ranch Studios, Reseda in California. between September 2012 and April 2013, with Chris Price, Fernando Perdomo and Linda Perhacs taking charge of production. When the recording began, they were joined by various guest artists, including Julia Holter and Ramona Gonzales. Once The Soul Of All Natural Things was completed, Linda’s long-awaited sophomore album was scheduled for release in March 2014. After a forty-four year absence, Linda Perhacs was back.
By then, a new generation of critics were already familiar with the story of Linda Perhacs ‘ debut album Parallelograms, These critics penned critically acclaimed reviews, and hailed Linda Perhacs the comeback Queen.
Although forty-four years have passed since Linda Perhacs released her debut album Parallelograms, she’s picked up where she left off on The Soul of All Natural Things. Accompanied by some of the best young musicians Los Angeles has to offer, they played their part in a flawless fusion of classic rock, folk, pop and psychedelia. There’s even diversions via ambient, experimental, jazz and drone pop during what’s another captivating and innovative album from Linda Perhacs.
Just like on Parallelograms, Linda Perhacs proves to be a versatile vocalist as her vocal veers between tender and breathy to elegiac, ethereal and emotive. Sometimes, there’s a fragility and sense of confusion, frustration and melancholia in Linda Perhacs’ voice, while other times, her vocal becomes impassioned, hopeful and hurt-filled. Then on Immunity, Linda’s vocal is louder, stronger and full of sincerity. Just like on other tracks this allows her to breathe meaning into the lyrics. Meanwhile, Linda Perhacs is accompanied by a choir of lysergic angels who add cascading harmonies, while crystalline guitars and lush strings join with the rest of her band who play their part in the sound and success of The Soul Of All Natural Things.
The music on The Soul Of All Natural Things veers from bewitching to beautiful, to cinematic and cerebral. Other times, the music is powerful and spacious, but has an intensity. However, for much of The Soul Of All Natural Things the music is dreamy, ethereal and lysergic. That’s not unlike the album that started Linda Perhacs’ career, Parallelograms.
After the release of The Soul Of All Natural Things critics and record buyers wondered what the future held for Linda Perhacs? Would she return with a third album, and if so, when would it be ready for released? All would soon become clear this time, as Linda Perhacs kept her fans informed about the progress of her eagerly awaited third album I’m A Harmony.
I’m A Harmony.
Three-and-half years after the release of long-awaited and comeback album The Soul Of All Natural Things, Linda Perhacs was on the comeback trail again when she released album I’m A Harmony in September 2017. Recording of I’m A Harmony had been slow going, and some of Linda Perhacs’ were wondering when she and even if she was going to return with a new album?
What many of her fans didn’t realise, was that seventy-four year old Linda was still working as a dental hygienist and in her spare time, was writing and recording I’m A Harmony. This was the reality of life as a musician in 2017.
When Linda began work on I’m A Harmony, she was joined by some familiar faces and also, a number of new names. Among the familiar faces were a number of well known songwriters, vocalists and producers including Fernando Perdomo, Julia Holter and Chris Price. They were joined by Pat Sansone of Wilco and The Autumn Defense who would co-produce I’m A Harmony with Fernando Perdomo and Linda Perhacs. They were joined by other songwriters, vocalists and producers who were all new names.
Among the new names who joined Linda Perhacs when work began on I’m A Harmony were Pat Sansone and John Stirratt of The Autumn Defense and Wilco; Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche of Wilco and Devendra Banhart who adds a soliloquy on We Will Live. They’re joined by John Pirrucello, James Haggerty, Leddie Garcia, Greg Wiezorek and vocalists Michelle Vidal and Durga McBroom. This all-star band would record the eleven songs that became I’m A Harmony.
Unlike her two previous albums, where Linda Perhacs wrote of the songs on her own, she cowrote the eleven songs with various songwriting partners. This included Crazy Love with Pat Sansone and Wash My Soul In Sound with Mark Pritchard. Linda Perhacs wrote I’m A Harmony, Take Your Love To A Higher Level and One Full Circle Around The Sun with Fernando Perdomo, and the pair cowrote Winds Of The Sky, We Will Live and Eclipse Of All Love with Chris Price. He and Linda penned The Dancer with Julia Holter who cowrote Beautiful Play and Visions with Linda Perhacs. These eleven songs would form the basis for I’m A Harmony.
Recording took place at Reseda Ranch Studios, Reseda in California and Tiny Door Studios in Nashville, with additional recording taking place at Julia Holter’s studio and The Session Rooms. This was where Linda Perhacs was joined by her band and guest artists as they began recording I’m A Harmony. It was co-produced by Linda Perhacs, Fernando Perdomo and Chris Price. They were augmented by Julia Holter on Beautiful Play, and she was joined on I’m A Harmony by was Chris Price who also does additional production work on Eclipse Of All Love. Mark Pritchard was also drafted in and did additional production on You Wash My Soul In Sound. Each of these producers played their part on I’m A Harmony, which was eventually completed and scheduled for release in autumn 2017.
When I’m A Harmony was released, it received the same critical acclaim the greeted the release of The Soul of All Natural Things in March 2014. I’m A Harmony which received plaudits and praise from critics on both sides of the Atlantic saw the Queen of psychedelic folk make a welcome comeback.
Opening I’m A Harmony is Winds Of The Sky, which features guitarist Nels Cline. His plucked guitar and washes of synths accompany Linda’s whispery vocal, before the rhythm section, cooing harmonies and percussion enter, as the dreamy arrangement floats along. Soon, reverb has been added to Linda Perhacs’ tender vocal adding to the atmospheric, lysergic sound. Later, it’s all change as the arrangement builds as the rhythm section power the arrangement along, and are joined by cascading harmonies and an acoustic guitar. They’re joined by a searing guitar which cuts through the arrangement and provide the backdrop for Linda Perhacs’ elegiac vocal as the Queen of psychedelic folk picks up where she left off on The Soul of All Natural Things.
A plucked guitar sets the scene for elegiac harmonies on We Will Live that set the scene for Linda Perhacs’ hopeful vocal on this beautiful ballad which meanders along with Julia Holter adding cooing and cascading harmonies. They join the acoustic guitar and provide the perfect accompaniment for Linda Perhacs’ heartfelt, hopeful vocal, Later, Devendra Banhart adds a soliloquy which provides the final piece of this beautiful, melodic and memorable musical jigsaw.
Julia Holter joins Linda Perhacs on I’m A Harmony and adds keyboards, backing vocal and shares the lead vocal, and together they create a dreamy choral vocal. Adding a contrast is the dark ominous sound of the keyboards, galloping drums and later, almost eerie harmonies while a jazz-tinged saxophone is sprayed across the arrangement as the arrangement becomes busy, urgent and almost chaotic as it veers in direction of free jazz. Later, it becomes understated as the ethereal vocals take centre-stage. Still, there’s one more surprise as Linda Perhacs adds an emotive and tender vocal to this eight minute opus.
From the opening bars of The Dancer, Linda Perhacs’ delivers a slow, tender vocal on this cinematic song. Soon, she is painting pictures against an understated arrangement that features an acoustic guitar, percussion and washes of synths. The band take care not to overpower Linda Perhacs’ vocal as she tells the story of mysterious and enigmatic character The Dancer, which is one of the highlights of I’m A Harmony, and features one of the best vocals on the album.
As Crazy Love unfolds, an acoustic guitar sets the scene for Linda Perhacs’ breathy vocal, and soon, a weeping slide pedal steel has joined the shuffling, understated arrangement. They provide the perfect accompaniment for Linda Perhacs with the less is more approach proving successful. Midway through the song, the arrangement builds and Linda Perhacs’ vocal soars above the arrangement as she breathes life and meaning into the lyrics. When her vocal drops out, it’s briefly replaced by an acoustic guitar, then when she returns her vocal veers between understated and occasionally powerful and deliberate. By then, the rhythm section, acoustic guitar and weeping pedal steel have joined Linda Perhacs as the song heads towards its crescendo. As it does, Linda combines emotion and enthusiasm on this hook-laden song which is another of the finest moments on I’m A Harmony.
Drums and keyboards combine with Linda’s ethereal scatted vocal on Take Your Love To A Higher Level, which soon becomes a soliloquy, before she’s joined by an acoustic guitar and delivers an emotive, impassioned vocal. Soon, the rest of the band enter and the arrangement builds. By then, it’s obvious that something special is unfolding as the arrangement becomes understated with drums, keyboards and guitar accompanying as Linda Perhacs almost pleas “Take Your Love To A Higher Level” in this beautiful emotional roller coaster.
Multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone joins Linda on Eclipse Of All Love. Not only does he play drums, keyboards, guitar, percussion, adds backing vocals and shares the lead vocal. Before that, he plays the keyboards and becomes a one man rhythm section. This provides the accompaniment for the two cascading vocals that sit well together. Later, a chirping and crystalline guitar takes centre-stage, before Linda Perhacs’ and Pat and deliver a slow, deliberate and rueful hurt-filled vocal.
With just an acoustic guitar for company as One Full Circle Around The Sun unfolds, Linda Perhacs delivers a vocal that veers between tender and emotive. Later, Linda’s vocal is full of hope as she sings: “life can be a prayer of love, a prayer you leave behind, to give the hope that we need, to help the world to survive.” As this beautiful, thought-provoking ballad draws to a close there’s joy in Linda’s voice as she sings: “with One Full Circle Around The Sun, how amazing you’ve become.” This is a reminder if any was needed Linda Perhacs’ talents as a singer and songwriter.
There’s a dreamy sound to Beautiful Play as Julia Holter adds harmonies and an acoustic guitar accompanies Linda Perhacs’ tender, elegiac vocal. Meanwhile, the arrangement literally floats along,as keyboards and guitars combine with harmonies. They frame what’s another vocal masterclass from the Queen of psychedelic folk, Linda Perhacs.
Visions is another of the longer tracks, and lasts just over seven minutes. Straight away, there’s a lysergic sound as breathy, cooing and elegiac vocal floats above a spartan arrangement. It gives way to a picked guitar and drums played with hand. They’re joined by shimmering keyboards and Linda Perhacs’ vocal. Reverb has been added, and sometimes, the vocal becomes dubby. Soon, cooing harmonies join the glistening keyboards as the arrangement meanders along and gradually reveals its secrets and surprises. This ranges from percussion, a weeping guitar, a dubby vocal, drums and chirping acoustic guitar. They’re all part of a carefully crafted psychedelic folk epic.
A lone acoustic guitar opens You Wash My Soul In Sound closes I’m A Harmony, and sets the scene for Linda’s vocal during this filmic song. So do the harmonies that join the acoustic guitars and provide the understated backdrop for Linda Perhacs’ tender, heartfelt vocal. The spartan but beautiful and effect arrangement allows Linda’s vocal to take centre-stage, where it belongs. It’s one of Linda’s finest moments on I’m A Harmony, and ensures the album ends on a high.
When Omnivore Recordings reissued I’m A Harmony for Record Store Day 2018 as a limited edition 2-LP set, the eleven songs were spread across three sides of this double alum. This presented a problem, what to put on side four? Fortunately, Linda Perhacs had the solutions to this problem. previously unreleased tracks and demos.
Side four opens with Smile (I’ve Come To You) which features Fernando Perdomo, which gives way toUgly Girl which was recorded by Augustin and features Linda Perhacs. She Was Like A Bird is an unfinished demo that features Chris Price, while the phone demo of Once More Round The Sun offers a fascinating insight into this early version of the song the closed I’m A Harmony. The unreleased tracks and demos make the Record Store Day 2018 reissue of I’m A Harmony a must have for fans of Linda Perhacs. It’s also the perfect way to discover a truly talented singer-songwriter, Linda Perhacs who is enjoying something of Indian Summer.
Three years after the release of her long-awaited and much-anticipated sophomore album The Soul of All Natural Things in March 2014, Linda Perhacs picked up where she left off on I’m A Harmony which was originally released in September 2017, but was reissued for Record Store Day 2018. I’m A Harmony finds the Queen of psychedelic folk joined by a talented band who play their part in what can only be described as flawless genre-melting album where Linda Perhacs and her band combine elements of folk, pop and psychedelia. There’s also elements of ambient, avant-garde, experimental, free jazz and jazz on I’m A Harmony which Linda Perhacs co-produced with Chris Price and Fernando Perdomo.
They’ve played their part in Linda Perhacs’ much-anticpated third album I’m A Harmony veers between ambient and atmospheric to bewitching to beautiful, to cinematic and cerebral, right through to elegiac and ethereal. Other times, the music on I’m A Harmony is melodic and memorable and other times, poignant and powerful. I’m A Harmony marks the return of the Queen of psychedelic folk with a genre classic in-waiting I’m A Harmony, which is a fitting follow to Linda Perhacs’ two previous flawless cult classics, Parallelogram and The Soul Of All Natural Things.
The three albums that Linda Perhacs has released showcase a truly prodigious singer, songwriter and musician, Linda Perhacs, who could’ve and should’ve enjoyed a long and successful career. Alas, fate conspired against Linda Perhacs, when her debut album Parallelograms wasn’t promoted didn’t received sufficient promotion. As a result, Parallelograms failed commercially and Linda returned to her work as a dental nurse. The dream it seemed was over.
It was later in her career that Linda Perhacs reflected that maybe, she hadn’t been the most driven musician, which was a great shame, as she was a and is still a hugely talented singer-songwriter. That was apparent on her debut album Parallelograms and the long-awaited and much-anticipated followup The Soul Of All Natural Things, which was released forty-four years after Parallelograms, in 2014. Three years later, and the Queen of psychedelic folk returned with her third album I’m A Harmony.
By then, a lot of water had passed under the bridge since 1970 and the release of Parallelograms, but Linda hadn’t lost her mojo. That was far from the case. Just like Parallelograms and The Soul of All Natural Things, I’m A Harmony is anther flawless album of timeless music from Linda Perhacs which is a reminder, if any was needed that Linda Perhacs had the talent to become one of the leading lights of the Laurel Canyon scene. Especially if Parallelograms had been released on a major label. Maybe then Linda Perhacs’ career might have been very different? However, Linda Perhacs seems to be content with her life, and it’s a case of no regrets for the Queen of psychedelic folk.
Linda Perhacs whose now seventy-five and still continues to combine her life as a dental hygienist with her music career. Despite that, Linda Perhacs has managed to release a triumvirate of flawless, cult classics during what was a truncated career, including I’m A Harmony which is a reminder of the Queen of psychedelic folk as she continued to enjoy a musical renaissance.
Linda Perhacs-I’m A Harmony Record Store Day 2018 Edition.
- Posted in: Ambient ♦ Avant Garde ♦ Electronic ♦ Experimental ♦ Folk ♦ Folk Rock ♦ Free Jazz ♦ Improv ♦ Indie Pop ♦ Pop ♦ Rock
- Tagged: Chris Price, Fernando Perdomo, I’m A Harmony, Julia Holter, Linda Perhacs, Omnivore Recordings, Parallelograms., Ramona Gonzales, The Soul Of All Natural Things