In the late 50s singer-songwriter-guitarist Larry Murray moved from his home state of Georgia to California, where he joined bluegrass group The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers (which also later included Chris Hillman and Bernie Leadon). After his time with the Squirrel Barkers he went through several groups before teaming up with two other singer-guitarists, Dave Dawson and Rick Cunha. Together they became Hearts & Flowers, and performed in the folk clubs of L.A. throughout the 60s. Usually they worked as an acoustic trio, but at times they were joined by a rhythm section and moved into folk-rock territory.
They were signed to Capitol Records in 1967, and their debut album came out that same year. Its folk-rock style was really quite interesting, a perfect balance of pop and roots styles (the trio's folk, bluegrass and country backgrounds coming to the fore on certain tracks). It was mostly acoustic guitar based, with some flourishes of autoharp courtesy of Dave Dawson. Most of the material was made up of covers, including numbers by Donovan, Kaleidoscope, Tim Hardin, Hoyt Axton, Roger Tillison, Merle Haggard, and Goffin & King.
With superb vocal harmonies it really could have been successful, but sadly never really got much coverage. It remains today a truly under-appreciated and often forgotten 60s folk-rock gem.
|> Of Horses, Kids And Forgotten Women (1968)
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