Farewell Aldebaran [Bonus Tracks]

Farewell Aldebaran [Bonus Tracks]

by Judy HenskeJudy Henske


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Judy Henske was a major talent who never quite broke through to major stardom, in part because no one seemed sure of what to do with her. Henske's big, bold voice was a bit too strong for the pop charts in the mid-'60s, and while she had a loyal following among folk music fans, her broad sense of humor and theatrical style set her apart from her very earnest counterparts. (In retrospect, it seems she would have been the perfect star for the right sort of Broadway musical comedy.) In 1969, Henske and her then-husband Jerry Yester (who had been a member of the Modern Folk Quartet and the Lovin' Spoonful, and would go on to produce albums for Tom Waits and Tim Buckley) made an album together, Farewell Aldebaran, and it's one of Henske's very best works, a showcase that's as eclectic and audacious as she was. Farewell Aldebaran can be described as a fusion of folk music, psychedelia, and arty pop, though that only scrapes the surface of the album's stylistic complexity. The album leaps from the stomp-down primitivism of "Snowblind" and the playful pop of "Horses on a Stick" to the tongue in cheek religious satire of "St. Nicholas Hall," the austere beauty of "Three Ravens," and the grand scale sci-fi finale of the title cut, and every track on the album has a distinct personality of its own. What holds Farewell Aldebaran together is the strength of the songs and arrangements, where Yester brings together a striking range of sounds and moods, and makes imaginative use of mellotrons and early Moog synthesizers. Henske rarely sounded as nuanced and effective on record, mainly because Yester gave her musical landscapes that were big enough for her talent and personality. Farewell Aldebaran died a quick death in the marketplace in 1969, and it's not hard to see why -- as good as it is, this music was too eclectic and deliberately eccentric to find a place on radio, then or now. But the album has gained a cult following over the years, and with good reason; it's not difficult for anyone with open ears to find a place in their hearts for Henske and Yester's talent, wit, and musical daring. [In 2016, Omnivore Recordings gave Farewell Aldebaran a long-overdue reissue on CD, with remastered audio and informative liner notes. The Omnivore edition also included instrumental demos for five of the album's songs, and while they're instructive, they're ultimately best suited for the most passionate fans of this music. Given the album's rarity, the mere fact Farewell Aldebaran is finally available again in non-bootleg form is more than enough reason for discerning listeners to give it a listen.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/12/2016
Label: Omnivore Recordings
UPC: 0816651015566
catalogNumber: 101556
Rank: 143503

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Judy Henske   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals,Voices
David Lindley   5-string Banjo,Bowed Banjo
Paul Beaver   Moog Synthesizer
Roger Dollarhide   Background Vocals
Ray Brown   Bass
Solomon Feldthouse   Hammered Dulcimer
John Forsha   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar
Toxey French   Drums
Dick Rosmini   Acoustic Guitar
Jerry Scheff   Bass
Zal Yanovsky   Bass,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jerry Yester   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Harmonium,Harpsichord,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Background Vocals,Zither,Moog Synthesizer,chamberlain,5-string Banjo
Larry Beckett   Drums,Background Vocals
Joe Osborne   Bass
Gail Levant   Harp
Eddie Hoh   Drums

Technical Credits

Judy Henske   Composer
Paul Beaver   Programming
Herb Cohen   Executive Producer
Gary Brandt   Engineer
Cheryl Pawelski   Reissue Producer
Zal Yanovsky   Composer,Producer
Jerry Yester   Composer,Producer,Orchestration,Max
Barry Alfonso   Liner Notes

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