Tom Parrott — “Autumn Time in Grenada”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 23, 2022


590) Tom Parrott — “Autumn Time in Grenada”

In honor of the fall equinox — it couldn’t have come soon enough! Tom Parrott (see #202) was a frequent contributor to Broadside (a key publication of the folk revival, founded in ‘62 — the year I was born, and published on a mimeograph machine). Michael says that Parrott “recorded two fantastic folk albums in the late 60s that are must-haves for fans of folk and psychedelic folk” and “this soft and melodious album [Many Windowed Night, from which “Autumn Time” is drawn] enchants.” “Autumn” is indeed enchanting, fantastic folk, with an emphasis on psychedelic.

[Tom Parrott] got his start . . . after moving to New York City where Broadside Magazine published his politically inspired folk music in the mid-1960s. After appearing onstage at a 1967 Carnegie Hall concert at the invite of Pete Seeger he was signed by . . . Folkways . . . . He recorded troubadour tales in the distinct, if not derivative, soft folk 60’s style using guitar, and harmonica with an electrictrified backing band. Parrott sang topical tales of the Vietnam war, psychedelicized disillusionment, drug addiction, child labor, slums, homelessness, and hard-travelin’ backed by an oft stellar backup band . . . . After building a reputation on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit and through touring, the Folkways label released 2 acclaimed, but obscure, full length solo albums in 1968.

Since the 1960’s Parrott has taught music at the University of New Mexico, and been in an assortment of loosely defined rock, country, folk, reggae, jug and blues bands including backing Allen Ginsberg on guitar, and as an early member of the Southwest regional fave Watermelon Mountain Jug Band. . . . In regards to his style of playing, Thom likes to quote Big Bill Broonzy who, when asked to define “folk songs” replied “I reckon all songs are folk songs, I never heard no horses singing any.”

I reckon that in the ‘60’s, all songs were psychedelic folk songs, since all the folks were psychedelic. On the other hand, if someone slipped something into the horse’s sugar cube . . .

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