DINO VALENTE – Dino Valente

US folkie Dino Valente was recording as early as 1964, with a couple of tracks for Elektra and a co-writing credit on The Youngbloods’ hippie anthem ‘Let’s Get Together’, which was also covered by such luminaries as Jefferson Airplane, H. P. Lovecraft, and The Association. He was also a founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service - with their debut album featuring his ‘Dino’s Song’ - but before that he recorded this solo album of acid drenched folk, which emerged in 1968. Mostly just guitar and vocal, with a lyrical content of subjects beloved by late 60’s hippies, it is more than just folk, with some of the songs benefiting from the addition of an orchestral backing, or in some cases a light sprinkling of drums. Almost any track would give you an idea of the sound of the album, but opener ‘Time’ has something a bit special to it, while ‘Me And My Uncle’ is the most out and out folk song. The string backing on ‘Tomorrow’ enhances this touching love song, while ‘Children Of The Sun’ brings out an impassioned vocal performance. ‘New Wind Blowing’ and ‘Everything Is Gonna Be OK’ are just Valenti’s guitar and voice, and perhaps could have benefited from additional instrumentation, but in a way they seem to be leading up the final track ‘Test’, which is a suitably psychedelic instrumental to end the original album. The CD re-issue also treats us to two further songs from the sessions, ‘Shame On You Baby’ and ‘Now And Now Only’ both of which are guitar/vocal pieces which fit in perfectly with the rest of the album. Not really for fans of QMS, as their fiery guitar is noticeably absent, but followers of American folk would certainly find something to their taste on here.