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Willie Weatherly - Come the Dawn (LP)

Willie Weatherly - Come the Dawn (LP)

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Condition: Used
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Genre: pop
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Come the Dawn
Company: Blake
Catalog: AW #14050
Year: 1977
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+
Comments: minor ring wear
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6192
Price: $20.00

Another anonymous and largely unknown release on the Album World label, 1977's "Come the Dawn" was released under the Blake moniker ... Unlike many Album World releases this set actually seems to have been a legitimate release. Weatherly's original brush with success apparently came when he won a role in the original 1969 Los Angeles stage version of Hair. Playing back-up to Ted Neely as the character Claude he spent two years with the production.

left to right: Weatherly and Red Shepard

That somehow saw him record an album for the Wildfire label with Album World/Blake apparently acquiring national distribution rights a couple of years later. The collection was produced, engineered, and arranged by Sam Weatherly. Most of the ten tracks feature a mixture of country-rock and singer/songwriter numbers. There wasn't anything particularly original across these grooves, though Weatherly had a decent enough voice and judging by songs like '' and '' had a knack for crafting pretty melodies. Curiously the best song on the album (;Come the Dawn'), sounds nothing like the rest of the album.

- 'Six Days On the Road' wasn't a half bad bar band rocker - imagine Arlo Guthrie deciding he wanted to cut a real rock song and you'd have a feel of what this one sounded like. Extra star for including a harmonica solo that actually served to improve a song. Weatherly should have recorded more stuff like this ... rating: *** stars
- Sounding absolutely nothing like the rest of the album (the vocalist even sounded different), 'Come the Dawn' was easily the collection's standout performance. Sporting a wonderful country-rock melody, this one recalled something The Byrds might have recorded during their Gram Parsons years. Instantly memorable and could have been a hit ... rating: **** stars
- Its hard to criticise someone for doing a Buddy Holly cover, but this version of 'Everyday' added nothing to the original - to my ears this one actually sounded like something Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band might have done. Not bad, just not particularly memorable. rating: ** stars
- Weatherly's cover of Ian Tyson's 'Red Velvet' was simply too country flavored for my tastes. rating: ** stars
- The lone side one Weatherly original, 'Born To Sorrow' was a decent slice of sensitive singer/songwriter material. With a pretty melody and lots of strumming acoustic guitars think along the lines of Jim Croce, Lobo, or early James Taylor and you'll be in the right aural neighborhood. rating: ** stars
- Hum, 'Denomination Blues' was the album's strangest song ... A weird mixture of sunshine pop and overtly Jesus music lyrics, I'm assuming it was meant to be funny, but you never know.
- Another country-rocker with a full band arrangement, 'Jesus Loves Me' was the other album standout. Great hook that climbed in your head and wouldn't let go. rating: **** stars
- 'Skank Blues' offered up a slinky slice of blues-rock with the album's best fuzz guitar solo. The barrelhouse piano did less for me. rating: *** stars
- 'Call Me Daddy was easily the album's best rocker with another slinky melody and Weatherly's best vocals. Very nice FM radio vibe. rating: **** stars
- 'Boone Apple Boogie' returned to country-rock with an emphasis on country. With a strange echo sound (it almost sounded like the track had been recorded in a bathroom stall), the track at least had some nice acoustic slide guitar going for it. rating: *** stars

Not exactly essential, but had a couple of surprisingly good performances and may be worth checking out if you can find it at the right price.

"Come the Dawn" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Six Days On the Road (Earl Green - Carl Montgomery) - 2:48
2.) Come the Dawn (Sam Weatherly) - 2:42
3.) Everyday (Petty - Hardin) - 2:04
4.) Red Velvet (Ian Tyson) - 2:58
5.) Born To Sorrow (Willie Weatherly) - 3:07

(side 2)
1.) Denomination Blues (Washington Phillips) - 2:12
2.) Jesus Loves Me (Willie Weatherly - Armond Coulette) - 3:42
3.) Skank Blues (Willie Weatherly) - 3:38
4.) Call Me Daddy (Willie Weatherly) - 4:52
5.) Boone Apple Boogie (Willie Weatherly) - 2:47

For anyone interested, Weatherly remained active in music, loves fishing for trout, and has a small website at:
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