Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Oct 22nd 2010 12:30PM by Kenneth Partridge
Jason Persse for AOL
This never happened. After his one professionally recorded album, 'Music and Dreams,' sold only in the triple digits, Folsom moved to Florida and became a house painter, his vocation ever since. Fortunately, everything old eventually becomes new again, and since there's evidently room at this year's CMJ for artists whose music references time periods other than the synth-pop '80s and girl-group '60s, Folsom was able to make up for lost time and perform his lost classics Thursday night at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thursday's showcase was sponsored by Mexican Summer, the label that recently unearthed and reissued 'Music and Dreams,' and thanks to some late starts by the imprint's other acts, Folsom and his band made their New York City debut around 11PM -- a choice timeslot, considering the room was filled with folks there to see Tamaryn and get their CMJ-mandated daily dose of shoegaze.
In addition to the sonic archeologists at Mexican Summer, Folsom has a fan in Animal Collective's Panda Bear, with whom it's rumored he might collaborate. By the look of it, Folsom is ready for his indie-rock close-up. Thursday night, he wore black Chucks, skinny-enough jeans and a sparkly silver golf cap, an accessory one can imagine him rocking in any of Brooklyn's hipper neighborhoods.
So why should Panda Bear or anyone else care about a soft-rock also-ran who's spent the last three decades swinging paint brushes? For starters, his songs sparkle, and amid all the mellow dad-rock moments, there are enough trippy bits to satisfy the Animal Collective set. With the help of his five backing musicians -- three old-timers plus a couple of young-buck alt-country dudes thrilled to have cast their lots with a true original -- Folsom instantly brought back an oft-overlooked time in rock history.
Musicians in the mid-'70s were coming down from the psychedelic high of the previous decade and embracing rootsier sounds, and Thursday night, on such tunes as 'Jericho,' 'Spanish Lady' and 'Music and Dreams,' Folsom brought in elements of Neil Young and the Eagles, as well as the aforementioned Frampton and some of the day's lighter rockers. He sings sweet ballads but also plays a mean Fender guitar, and on what proved a deceptive opening tune, he let a roadhouse-boogie verse melt into a spaced-out psych-rock chorus.
"It's disco time!" Folsom said before playing 'My Stove's On Fire,' released as a single back in the '70s. In fact, it's less a Bee Gees banger than it is a Doobies-style funk-rock tune: 'Listen to the Music' paired with a melody reminiscent of 'The Loco-Motion.'
By the final song, Folsom had worked up the kind of sweat that usually comes after eight hours on a ladder.
"Down in Florida, it gets really hot, and we have to take a lot of showers," he said. "I may have to take a shower tonight."