Friday, July 30, 2010

The Pousette-Dart Band - PDB Live 1977

Original artwork by Laurie Noel
Pousette-Dart Band
PDB Live 1977

(1977-11-15 - Sigma Sound, Philadelphia, PA and 1977-05-01 - Fairleigh Dickinson U., Madison, NJ)
Soundboard recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 128 kbps

OK, here's yet another great, under-appreciated band, from the '70's, another one of my all-time favorites. Primarily an acoustic rock band with a vibrantly unique sound and feel, featuring stellar vocals, songs, arrangements, and guitar-work (acoustic, electric, slide, banjo, mandolin), The Pousette-Dart Band had a freshness and vitality in their sound and style that still shines brightly today. The Pousette-Dart Band, from Cambridge, MA, formed in 1973 when guitarist-singer-songwriter Jon Pousette-Dart teamed up with bassist John Troy and multi-instrumentalist (guitars, banjo, mandolin, etc.) John Curtis. They released 4 albums for Capitol from 1976-1980. Their first two albums, Pousette-Dart Band (1976) and Amnesia (1977), in particular, are just fantastic, with virtually every track a gem (In fact, when they released a 'Best of' CD, they basically just put the entire first 2 albums on it along with a few additional tracks). Although they never had any national hits or became widely-known around the country, they were very popular around Boston and throughout the Northeastern US, where they toured extensively. They combine many musical influences and play songs in a variety of styles (pop, rock, folk, country, even gospel, reggae, etc.), but always have catchy melodies and a surprisingly infectious feel and sound. They had one song, 'Amnesia', that was a semi-hit, but there are easily a half dozen or more other songs from each of the first 2 albums that could've/should've been hits or at least gotten radio airplay (another of their songs, 'Fall On Me' also received some attention in recent years when it was featured on an episode of 'Lost'). From the breezy pop songs of 'What Can I Say?' and 'County Line' to the soulful ballads like 'Dancer' and 'Fall On Me' to the goofy, off-kilter charm of 'Amnesia' and 'Smile On Me' to the International influences of 'Halo' and 'What You Need', these guys just made bright, fun, quirky quality song after song. Although they broke up in 1981, Jon Pousette-Dart continued in music releasing some solo albums and John Troy went on to play in various other bands. They got back together for a reunion in 1991, and in more recent years have reformed again and are currently touring. Despite their relentless touring, there is very little live music that survived from this band. Here I have pieced together 2 incomplete shows (the only live shows from this era I could find) to make a representation of a full set from 1977. The 11-15-77 Philadelphia show was initially issued by Capitol as a limited edition promo-only disc that was sent to Radio stations but was never made available to the public (although the version I had seems to be incomplete). The other show, from FDU-Madison, NJ may have been from a radio broadcast. In these shows, they play a good cross-section of songs from their first 2 albums, along with a few characteristically unique and quirky covers, including a bluegrass tune 'Fox on the Run', a Taj Majal blues-rocker 'Corinna', and even a country gospel track 'Top 40 of the Lord'. I apologize for the low bitrate files, but these were the only Live PDB tracks I could find. If you have any interest at all in great '70's pop-folk-rock, I urge you to check out these Pousette-Dart Band tracks. If you like them (and I don't see how you couldn't), check out their other music. Although all 4 of their original releases are out-of-print, the 'Best of' collection (which contains almost all of the 1st 2 albums - just missing 1 track from each [and BTW, both those 'missing' tracks are also great and included in the live show here, 'What You Need' and 'Who's That Knockin?', so you can still hear them]) is still available. In addition, if you want to check out all of PDB's music, Jon Pousette-Dart maintains a web site ( for himself and the band, and all the PDB albums and Jon's solo albums can be listened to via streaming. This was/is a great band whose music deserves to be heard and enjoyed by a wider audience. So, please check them out. Believe me, you'll be glad you did.

01. What Can I Say
02. Fang's Rag
03. Winterness
04. Top 40 of the Lord
05. Who's That Knockin?
06. Smile On Me
07. Yaicha
08. Dancer
09. All Your Lonely Hours - What You Need
10. Halo
11. There's Been A Mistake
12. Freezing Hot
13. Fox On The Run
14. Corinna
15. Jam (incomplete)
16. Amnesia
17. County Line

Tracks 1-8 & 15 are from 11-15-77, Sigma Sound, Philadelphia
Tracks 9-17 (except 15) are from 05-01-77, Madison, NJ

New Link! (Updated 06/24/18)

Update!: cool new cover art (above), obtained from RockItaly, from original artwork by Laurie Noel. Thanks to Laurie for allowing us to use her artwork here. Full size front and back artwork for this set available at rock rare collection fetish:


infinite fool said...

Sounds good. I'm looking forward to checking these guys out. It's always cool to discover a new band - especially when it's an old one.

Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

Completely forgot about this decent band. Good find so thank you.

James said...

I grew up in NH and this group was big when I was and in HS. Great memories....

Land of the Sun said...

Used to see this band at Meredith Station and other clubs in NH and at festivals in NE. Great band and memories.

beaubrummel said...

Thanks for the new link much appreciated