Well, I was a kid when the Everlies were having their heyday and never got what all the hubbub was about, myself favoring more the Four Seasons, Gene Pitney, Johnny Rivers, and cats like that. Then the Dave Clark 5 came along, then Paul Revere and the Raiders, next The Who and the Vanilla Fudge, my hair started travelling to my shoulders, and all the more radio-istic fare quickly found itself trundled under foot. However, now that the Chapin Sisters are tackling these historically revered lads, I'm beginning to warm up to them…or rather, to their re-evocation under the Chapins' ministrations. The girls claim they were able to unearth a good deal more than was evident at first glance from the catalogue, and, on evidence of what's presented in A Date with the Everly Brothers, I'm in no way inclined to argue with them.
Take for instance the re-do of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant's Love Hurts, which found its most incendiary incarnation through Dan McCafferty and Nazareth but was greatly toned down by the Everlies precursing Simon & Garfunkel and demonstrating a good deal of sensitivity. The Chapins catch that emotional sympathy and guide it down a cobbled British avenue, injecting madrigal with a more angelic wistfulness and broader folkish baseline. Then there's Always It's You, which is nearly Gregorian! Quite surprising. Cathy's Clown gains a country dimension while Sleepless Nights finds the clever Rob Schwimmer injecting three layers of theremin to concoct a subtlety in the atmospherics that would have had Roy Orbison smiling and might yet catch Angelo Badalamenti's ear, maybe even Morricone's.
In retrospect, though, it's the investment of those country airs which really finds the Sisters' most tactical updating advantage. Thus, don't be too surprised when you find them androgenic in the liner photos, complete with blazers, vests, ties, white shirts, slicked-back hair, and even pompadours. Johnny Cash woulda loved this outing, as would have Loretta Lynn, and all the ducktailed pre-Boomers out there are going to find themselves reminiscing back to the days when the 50s were being dragged by their tighty-whitey T-shirts into the 60s, just before the Brits hit our shores.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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