Richard Fariña, born in Brooklyn, New York, began his artistic career as a writer before getting involved in the Greenwich Village folk scene. He met and quickly married folk singer Carolyn Hester, going on to tour across the world with her whilst he worked on his novel. He also befriended a young Bob Dylan at this time.
However in 1962 he met another young folk singer by the name of Mimi Baez, sister of the well-known Joan Baez. By the summer of the next year he had divorced Hester and married Baez, and they moved to a log cabin in California to write songs together. They made their musical debut as Richard & Mimi Fariña in 1964 at the Big Sur Folk Festival, and were quickly signed to Vanguard Records.
In 1965 their first album came out. Celebrations For A Grey Day was an excellent debut, the two of them proving to be fine singers and musicians. A full seven of the thirteen original songs were instrumentals - Mimi played the guitar and autoharp, whilst Richard demonstrated his talents with the Appalachian dulcimer. There was also some instrumental backing in places from Bruce Langhorne on electric guitar and tambourine, Charles Small on piano and Russ Savakus on bass. Two songs in particular hinted at an innovative folk-rock direction - though they didn't have drums, the combination of electric guitar, bass and piano gave them a distinct rhythmic drive.
The album proved Richard Fariña in particular to be a very talenented songwriter. It introduced two of his best-known and most-covered tunes, "Pack Up Your Sorrows" and "Reno Nevada".
|> Reflections In A Crystal Wind (1965)
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