Forty years ago, Fontana released this lone effort by Greg Dempsey and Kathy Yesse. Dempsey had previously recorded several singles with The Gas Company, but here the California duo were backed by producer Leon Russell on keybards, along with legendary guitarist, Jesse Ed Davis, and super session bassist, Carl Radle, who would later work with Russell in Mad Dogs & Englishmen, as well as join Eric Clapton in Derek & The Dominoes (Radle died from drug and alcohol abuse in 1980 at the age of 37). The album is a criminally overlooked psych pop gem, featuring a dozen of Dempsey's light and fluffy confections, beginning with "I Love Her and She Loves Me" that throws the duo's whole arsenal of weapons at us right up front: strings, horns, and some tasty country licks from Davis surrounding the pair's soaring, occasionally bluesy vocals. Tender clarinet and mournful cello flourishes add a melancholic, "Lady Madonna" air to "Still Care About You," while Yesse's dreamy vocals evince a Mary Hopkins vibe, a la the contemporary hit, "Those Were The Days."
"Ladyfingers" is an upbeat, soaring singalong, a sunshine pop ditty that could have made some noise on the singles chart. Elsewhere, "Well Wired" gallops along at a ferocious pace before dropping in some wacky sound effects to show that the band was obviously enjoying themselves in the studio and Yesse delivers one of her best vocals on the swaying lullabye, "Hey, You, Wait, Stay." That's not to say the album is completely without its hippy dippy excesses. The seven-minute closer "John Flip Lockup" is as cumbersome as its title suggests and sounds uncomfortably like a rejected show tune from an Off-Broadway musical. The repeated refrain, "Na na na na 1968" and semi-political drop-ins like, "Whatever happened to the kids' money at Monterey" places the track firmly in and of its time, so we'll forgive their brief frivolities and take it with a grain of salt.
Sweet, effervescent pop that demonstrates that the Summer of Love hangover had subsided and musicians were ready to lighten the load and deliver bright, fun tunes unencumbered by the heavy burden of political, ant-war sloganeering (although the silly closer "John Flip Lockup" does toss a few digs at the Establishment into the mix). We are soothed by that lightweight pop that we were used to from the likes of Beach Boys, Mamas & Papas, Spanky & Our Gang, The Association, et. al. So if the recent political and economical nonsense has got you feeling blue, toss this on and I guarantee you'll forget all your woes and be grinning from ear to ear before you reach the end of side 1. Yesse later changed her name to Dalton and released another album of Dempsey-penned material on DiscReet. The album features Little Feat as her backing band, with arrangements form Van Dyke Parks and backing vocals from Carl Wilson, Clydie King and others. Originally released in 1973 as "Amazing," it was reissued the following year (with some track modifications) as "Boogie Bands and One Night Stands." I have the latter and it shows her moving in a more country rock direction, but is just as enjoyable as this long lost artefact from the 60's. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (15 October, 2008)