The D Beaver And Combinations sound can be described as Badfinger and The Beatles meets Kansas and early Ambrosia. If you’re looking for AOR, move on.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: D Beaver And Combinations
LABEL: TMI Records
SERIAL: TMI BTL1-011B
CD INFO: Discogs Info
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: D. Beaver – piano, organ, clavinette, ARP, accordion, lead vocals * Jimmy Jamison – lead vocals * Paul Allen Taylor – guitar, lead & backing vocals * Tommy Cathey – bass * Joel Williams – drums, acoustic 12 string * Carl Marsh – recorders, oboe, bassoon, octave bassoon * J.A. Spell – fiddle * Steve Spear – bass * Jimmy Tarbutton – guitar * David Mayo – lead & backing vocals, piano * Leo Leblanc – pedal steel * Reni Crook, Jackie Cook – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 I’m Gonna Show You * 02 Don’t Give Up * 03 Come Hear It * 04 Anthony Beechum * 05 Here It Comes * 06 Combinations * 07 Another Bad Year * 08 Anastasia * 09 Please Stand By * 10 I’ve Had Some Time * 11 The Wizard Of Menlo Park * 12 Get The Phone * 13 It’s Gonna Take Time * 14 42nd All Star Review * 15 Halfway * 16 I Wouldn’t Bet On You
Formed by Memphis song writer and keyboardist David Beaver, previously with Tennessee prog rockers Englewood and recording one rather bland album ‘Ship Of Fools’ in 1971, this record is often mistaken as a solo effort from Beaver, but apparently was a band effort.
As a group, D Beaver Combinations included a young local singer ‘Jimmy’ Jamison, who would eventually thrill and wow the majority of our readers in Target, Cobra and of course Survivor.
Jamison splits vocal chores with Beaver and guitarist Paul Allen Taylor gets a shot on one track making for a varied album with a lot going for it, although their labels parent company RCA virtually ignored the group and ‘Combinations’ sank without a trace.
Some gigging took place on a local level including an outdoor festival appearing under Memphis progressive legends Leviathan and power pop gods Big Star, but a second album was shot down when RCA dropped everything TMI Records related and the group was never to be seen again.
This is a terrific album plain and simple and shame on RCA for not giving it the push it deserved. For those of you wondering about Jamison’s contributions, he opens up the record with ‘I’m Gonna Show You’, but if you’re looking for a classic AOR tune you’ve come to the wrong place.
The D Beaver And Combinations sound can be described as Badfinger and The Beatles meets Kansas and early Ambrosia.
Songs like ‘Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Anthony Beechum’ have a distinct British pop psych sound while the baroque ‘I Wouldn’t Bet On You’ has enough of a Left Banke feel to make Michael Brown proud.
The album’s benchmark is ‘The Wizard Of Menlo Park’, a charming prog tune with pop sensibilities about none other than Alexander Graham Bell and if I hadn’t told you the guys were from Memphis, you would be forgiven for thinking they were UK born and bred. Marvelous stuff!
I have to thank Mr. Stephen Allen for turning me on to this album several years ago, but why this remarkable record has yet to see reissue on CD is a continual mystery. ‘Combinations’ is one of my ‘Deserted Island’ albums and for those who think American rock from the early 70’s is either ham-fisted or blue jean dull (a fair complaint), you need to give this record a spin.
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