Obscure ’60s Canadian free-folk duo—of course—is rediscovered in this new century
Earlier this year, a hushed cover of “The Waltze of the Tennis Players” appeared on Philly folk singer Meg Baird’s debut
(helping land her a Paste
“4 to Watch” slot). Written by the obscure Canadian duo of Allan Fraser & Daisy DeBolt, it brought attention to the neglected act’s self-titled major-label debut, which saw release in 1971 and disappeared soon after. Reissued on CD by a dubious imprint (and taken from a vinyl copy), it reveals not just what Canadian country music might sound like, but that the couple’s singing voices are painfully artless. Fraser’s is a plank-thick drawl, DeBolt’s prone to yelps. And then there’s the wheezing fiddle work of Ian Guenther, which, on numbers like “Armstrong Tourest Rest Home,” is teeth-gnashing. The off-kilter combination works well on the woozy “Waltze,” but their cover of “Don’t Let Me Down” is particularly ragged.