Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sweetwater - Just For You (us 1970)

Sweetwater - Just for You (us 1970)

Formed 1968, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Sweetwater was a rock band originally from Los Angeles. They were the act scheduled to play first at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, although due to problems within the band, solo folksinger Richie Havens became the first performer. Sweetwater performed next, becoming the first band to play the festival.

* Albert Moore (flute),
* Alan Malarowitz (drums),
* August Burns (cello),
* Elpidio Cobian [aka Pete] (conga),
* Nancy Nevins (lead vocals),
* Alex Del Zoppo (keyboards),
* Fred Herrera (bass),
* Joe Bruley (guitar),
* Mike Williams (drums),
* Henry Arias (percussion).

A1. Just for You 8:35
A2. Day Song 2:12
A3. Windlace 4:35
B1. Compared to What 5:49
B2. Song for Romeo 2:35
B3. Without Me 4:13
B4. Look Out 3:19

An unusual rock group in both the size of their lineup (which numbered eight), the instrumentation employed, and the eclectic scope of their material, Sweetwater didn't quite get the first-class songs or breaks necessary to make them widely known. Lead singer Nansi Nevins was backed not just by conventional guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, but also flute (Albert Moore), conga (Elpidio Cobian), and cello (August Burns). Their self-titled debut album was the kind of release that could have only been the product of the late '60s, with the music flying off in all directions, and a major label willing to put it out. Sweetwater blended Californian psychedelia with jazzy keyboards and a classical bent, especially in the flute and cello, but did not cohere into a readily identifiable aesthetic, or write exceptional songs, although they were okay. Perhaps Reprise was willing to give such a hard to market and classify band a shot, figuring that in the midst of psychedelic rock scaling the charts that would have seemed unimaginably weird just a couple of years before, who knew what would sell now? Sweetwater was formed from a group of friends that jammed at coffeehouses in Los Angeles in the mid '60s. Harvey Gerst, who had written a Byrds song with Roger McGuinn ("It Won't Be Wrong"), was an unofficial member of sorts, sometimes acting as road manager and playing guitar. For their debut album they were produced by Dave Hassinger, who had worked, as recording engineer and producer, with the Rolling Stones, Electric Prunes, and the Grateful Dead. In the late '60s they opened for a lot of big-time acts, and played a bunch of festivals without breaking into the headliner ranks. In fact, they were the very first band to take the stage at Woodstock.
In December 1969, twenty year old Nansi Nevins was in a serious car accident in which she suffered severe brain trauma and damaged her vocal cords, putting her in a coma for weeks and necessitating physical therapy for years. Although she had recorded a couple of tracks on their second Reprise album, she was unable to rejoin the band, which had to stop touring and lost any career momentum it had developed. Producer Richard Perry tried working with them, but that didn't pan out well, although the second album was completed with other members of the band taking lead vocals. A more folk-oriented production, Melon, was their third and last album in 1971; they broke up in the summer of that year. The surviving trio of Nevins, keyboardist Alex Del Zoppo and bassist Fred Herrera reunited Sweetwater in 1997, and two years later -- to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Woodstock -- cable network VH1 produced and broadcast a film about the group, with Felicity co-star Amy Jo Johnson cast as Nansi Nevins; the picture sparked a considerable resurgence of interest in the group, and that same year Rhino released Cycles, a limited-edition retrospective of their work for Reprise.
~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi.
The recording of Sweetwater's second album was hindered by Nanci Nevins' injuries in a serious car accident, which for a time rendered her incapable of performing with the band, although she does sing on much of Just for You. A more serious problem was an overall lack of strength or focus to the material, which covers a lot of bases of 1969-1970 album oriented rock without staking a markedly identifiable patch of its own. The eight-minute title track is indicative of the band's strengths and weaknesses, as the song mixes Latin-influenced percussive grooves, gospel, jazzy flute and violin, and a dreamy Nevins-sung opening passage without really arriving anywhere in particular. At times the music's loose flow is a little similar to the Californian hippie rock of It's a Beautiful Day, especially when Sweetwater uses violin. But it's not as good as even that erratic standard, and the sole non-original manages to make Gene McDaniels' classic soul protest song "Compared to What" over into a blandly strained soul-rocker. A couple of briefer, gentle Nevins-led interludes ("Song for Romeo" and "Day Song") that go into more sparsely arranged, poetic singer/songwriter territory outshine the more ambitious, jam-prone surroundings.
~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi.

Read more:

You can find their 1st album here:

Download Link:
Sweetwater - Just For You (us 1970).rarSweetwater - Just For You (us 1970).rar (75.15 MB)


zappahead said...

great band who really should have opened woodstock...they would have been huge.....oh least they were loved by a few......thanks for the share cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hello can you repost this album? Thank you Charles

alfaios said...

NEW link posted. Enjoy!