Now this is obscure.
I bought this because it was a US pressing and $1. I was expecting jazz rock. I'm not sure why, maybe it's their dress.
What is known and none of this is certain is that the band were California based.
Okay, a little more, this album and two singles were released in 1969 on the Dot label. Singers / guitarists Mike Collins and Roger White were credited with writing all of the original material.
Well, apart from some after facts.
The band disbanded after this album though (at least) Collins and White joined / formed a band called Feather with John Townshend (later of the Sanford Townshend Band) who released an album in 1970, "Friends By Feather" (Columbia), which followed up on a couple of singles released on smaller labels. Collins and White, again, wrote most of the songs.
Both albums, were produced by J.R. Shanklin.(who worked with Nilsson in the mid 60s).
Collings and White subsequently became part of the Loggins and Messina recording and touring band (that fact is very loose). Roger White toured with Gene Clark in the mid-70s (that is established).
The music is of it's time but I like the time and highly influenced by what was happening around them. There is nothing wrong with that. Some bands have been cult favourites with the same philosophy.
There is nothing particularly individual here but it is hard to dislike this album as there are quite a few good songs amongst the musical schizophrenia. The overall sound is rustic country but there are nods to hippie music, Baroque pop, old school garage, soft psych, and just plain pop.
It may be musically ambitious but it could also be described as giving the people what they want by giving them as many familiar sounds as possible. I'm probably wrong but I suspect the members don't have roots in any of the American traditional musical idioms tackled.
But that's no a bad thing because every song the band tackles is convincing though they lack that one song to make them cult favourites. The name also, "Catch" at the time may have been a good idea but on the digital highway trying to find a band called "Catch" with a self titled album of the same name is not easy. The more famous "America" I imagine suffer the same problem.
All songs written by band member Mike Collins and Roger White unless noted.
Tracks best in italics)
- Amber – very nice. A bit like Crosby Stills and Nash or The Byrds with deeper (voiced) harmonies. Very nice and a couple of years ahead of it's time.
- Come Near Me – country rock with a light jovial bounce and few authentic country roots but nice nevertheless with a catchy melody.
- Storm – country rock over tones overlaid on (horn) pop with a little bit of fuzz guitar not dissimilar to what Paul Revere and The Raiders were doing around this time.
- City Ditty – a trip to back to ye olde world music with the ragtime circus atmosphere popular at the time. Hints of Lovin Spoonful and Sopwith Camel.
- The Dandelion And The Butterfly – more horn and sting big pop and a Left Banke feel.
- Live – shades of Country Joe and the Fish tough with big horns..
- I'm On The Road To Memphis – covered by Buddy Alan and Don Rich on their "We're Real Good Friends" album (Capitol, 1971). Buddy Alan was Buck Owens son and Don Rich was Bucks lead guitarist. Country rock sounds like The Beau Brummels or Paul Revere and the Raiders on their country rock excursions.
- Something Golden – hmmm, plain pop
- Crash And Burn – fuzz guitar mayhem and a little out of place with the other songs but a standout track.
- Nine Roses – the obligatory long song. Eight minutes. Moody and not too bad.
- Just A Closer Walk With Thee – (trad arranged Collins, White) – a traditional gospel song done by everyone. Dating to the 30s the original was made by the Selah Jubilee Singers in 1941 but is associated with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who recorded her own version on 2 December 1941. Red Foley's 1950 recording was one of the first religious hits in Country music. This one has a New Orleans feel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_a_Closer_Walk_with_Thee
Quriky, and interesting … I'm keeping it.
I'm On The Road To Memphis
Crash And Burn
- Arranged By – Catch, Dave Blumberg (who had ' has worked at Motown with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and others as well as with The Fifth Dimension, Trini Lopez and many others (tracks: A4), Ken Kotwitz (tracks: A3, B2, B4)
- In South Africa the album was called "Groovy" and had a different sleeve. https://www.discogs.com/Catch-Groovy/release/7890263
- A band called Catch they released a privately pressed album in 1972, "Caught Live at the Golden Hawk". That Catch seem to be a different band out of Des Moines and have a female singer.
RIP: The great, legendary Scotty Moore.