Portrait of Man (Mandala 69-52) 1969

 

 

Sophisticated collection of original songs presented in an electric ’60’s folk-rock style. I’d wager that the talented Backman was equally influenced by the satirical folk style of Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, as well the ’60s Catholic folk movement. Also has some of the vibe of John Fisher’s The Cold Cathedral. Nice psychy tripprd presence to moody minor-key tracks like ‘Jerusalem Road’ (from Luke 9:57-62), ‘Solemn 22 Or 23’, ‘High-Flyin’ Bird’ and ‘East And West’, all with soft hypnotic electric guitar accompaniment. Backman’s satirical wit works its way into cuts like ‘What Did You Learn In Church?’ (“a snapshot of non-Christian mis-education”), ‘You Can’t Legislate Morals’ (with delicious falsetto vocals from the “lily white mama”), ‘The Pills’ and the guitar backed poem ‘Reverse Creation’. Closes with cover of Wayfarin’ Pilgrim’. Features Backman on 12-string guitar, with assistance on percussion, bass and lead guitar. Totally creepy photo of the guy on the back — looks like he could be Anton LaVey’s assistant pastor or something (although I Must say that peace-sign necklace is pretty hip). Recorded at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Minnesota. (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition)

 

Tracks:

01 Portrait Of Man
02 Frog and Cricket
03 Jerusalem Road
04 What Did You Learn in Church
05 Solemn 22 or 23
06 River Is Risin’
07 High-Flyin’ Bird
08 You Can’t Legislate Morals
09 East and West
10 The Pills
11 Reverse Creation
12 Wayfarin’ Pilgrim

 

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