Right off the bat, the atmospheric changes to Tell Me Where the Summer Goes can't help but catch the ear, soft breezes from times past, when surfing, Chevies with fins, and the Village-just-before-giving-way-to-hippies-and-drugs seemed to be in a pleasant stasis. The indirect question in the title, though, presages hidden depths, nor does the follow-on Say Goodbye to Yesterday sacrifice the feel-good of the moment for a too easy satisfaction. Ya just have to "try to look past falling rain / turn to the light" and "live for tomorrow", ignoring the doom prophets and humbugs…but not totally. They're there for a reason but so are you, and the eternal Now tends to be a bit more important to life than the dead past. That seems to be Nik Everett's dominant philosophy, and he's either a 60s refugee or someone who should be.
The promo lit mentions Roy Orbison and The Beatles, but I'm favoring the Youngbloods, Donovan, and a cross between earliest America, Gordon Lightfoot, the Beach Boys (in Everett's Your Illuminating Love), and Elvis Costello in an early to mid-60s vibe reaching towards the 70s, the time when innocence was being slowly eroded as Ronald Reagan began dismantling California and his 80s presidency loomed, the full effects of which we now see. Everett clings to a day when hope was still possible and the prospect of not being just another dickless cog in corporate America was a graspable goal. No, he never says that directly but it lurks in every corner of Music…which, by the way, has a really cool engineering job halfway between a knowledgeable home confabulation and downtown professional. This keeps a modern rustic vibe alive even in the most psychedelic atmosphere (Game Changer).
Everett's a singer and multi-instrumentalist but recruited a buncha cats for sessions, The Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen among them as well as Eric Miller on a sweet pedal steel. The latter also plays mandolin, e-bow (welllll, you don't really play an e-bow, instead using it to get infinite sustain on a guitar, but who's counting?), lap steel, and some lead guitar. His contributions are quite noticeable, harmonically very agreeable to Everett's framework. This is the sort of music that floated through the spheres when Man, Help Yourself, and other ensembles were out and about, reliably staid in some ways, adventurous in others, but not capable of being pinned down, too gently progressive for that.
In fact, I'm listening to Say Goodbye to Yesterday again and could easily see Roger McGuinn jumping on it, either inside the Byrds or out. I'm also looking at Nik in his back cover photo and thinking "I know that guy!", but I don't. Intrigued by that reaction, I showed the snap to a few other people, and every one of them said the same thing "I knew that guy! Oh wait, no, I didn't, but, man, he sure looks like a cat I knew!", and that's the trick, I think: Nik Everett's a bit of a chameleon.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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