A Scratch in the Sky

A Scratch in the Sky

by The Cryan' ShamesThe Cryan' Shames


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On their second album, the Cryan' Shames shifted from the heavy British Invasion and Byrds influences of their debut into a more California sunshine pop-flavored sound, without abandoning their debts to the Beatles and the Byrds altogether. Never mind that they weren't from California; the harmonies, and sometimes the arrangements, have definite echoes of the Beach Boys and the Association. The Cryan' Shames were good harmony singers, and all but two of the songs on the LP are the work of group members Jim Fairs and Lenny Kerley. But the fact is that the songs aren't nearly as good as those of the Beach Boys, though there are definite nods to classics like "Wouldn't It Be Nice" in some passages, and not even as well-tailored for AM success as the Association's hits. As such groups go, though, they're above average and more wide-ranging, getting into some faintly Byrdsy and faintly psychedelic sounds on "The Sailing Ship," Revolver-influenced guitar work on "Mr. Unreliable," and pure gossamer harmony pop on "The Town I'd Like to Go Back To." Sometimes it seems like they can't make up their mind what to emphasize: "Sunshine Psalm" has a hard-driving verse that sounds influenced by the Byrds' "I See You," yet melts into light Association-styled harmonies in other sections. The cover of the Drifters' "Up on the Roof," which came out as a single, is way too MOR-slick, though. The 2002 CD reissue on Sundazed adds seven bonus tracks. Five of them are single versions of songs from the LP; the others are the 1968 non-LP soft rock single "Young Birds Fly" and the B-side "The Warm," a harmony ballad with more Beach Boys-Association influences.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/19/2002
Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
UPC: 0090771618726
catalogNumber: 6187
Rank: 50215

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cryan' Shames   Primary Artist
Isaac Guillory   Bass,Guitar,Accordion,Cello,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Toad   Autoharp,Vocals,Bells
Dennis Conroy   Percussion,Drums
Tom Doody   Vocals
Jim Fairs   Bagpipes,Bass,Flute,Guitar,Mandolin,Bass Guitar,Vocals
J.C. Hooke   French Horn,Tambourine,Vocals,cowbell
Lenny Kerley   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Tamboura
Jim Pilster   Tambourine
Dave Purple   Bass,Keyboards
Jerry Stone   Guitar
J. C. Hooke   French Horn,Tambourine,Vocals,cowbell

Technical Credits

Rod McKuen   Inspiration
Jim Gordon   Audio Production
Jim Fairs   Arranger
Jim Golden   Producer,Original Album Producer
Lenny Kerley   Arranger
Glen Kolotkin   Engineer
Bob Monaco   Producer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Gloria Stavers   Liner Notes
Don Hunstein   Cover Photo
Sandy Speiser   Cover Photo
Clark Besch   Liner Notes

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