Charisma Is Raptured (Rite 29556) 1971?
Charisma’s two custom lps are some of the most low-budget rock recordings I’ve ever heard. But the cheapness of the recording carmot mask the garage enthusiasm and strong song-writing of this teenage Florida band. Liner notes describe the sound as “Afro-jazz, pure folk, country, acid rock, and ballad”. Well I don’t know if tl1ere’s anything on here I’d quite call “Afro-jazz” or “acid rock”, but what I do hear I like: lots of primitive piano-based rock and folky cuts. You can’t help but love the opening track ‘Raptured’ with its churning energetic percussion and ultra—cheese organ (not to mention the technical glitch where it drags for a second, like a stuck tape). Lead vocals are shared by James Dudley (composer of nine of the eleven songs) and Marijean McCarty. The latter’s beautifully expressive voice brings me close to tears on stirring ballads like ‘Friend’ and ‘He And Me’. The bustling piano activity leaves a few impressions of early Elton John on tracks like ‘Levi’ (not the Elton song), ‘Walkin’ and ‘Roll Call And Then Some’. A cover of Jimmy Owens’ ‘Don’t Be A Loser’, the album’s only nonoriginal song, has some flm basement electric guitar jamming. Two more ballads close out the album: the piano-backed ‘Jesus Blvd.’ and the fragile electric-strummed melancholy ‘You’. Overall the folk-rock sound predominates, but the rock moments are there (“screaming crashing dissonance” the liner says) foreshadowing the group’s superb second release. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).
I have not acquired this album yet. Thank you Donald for the better (Fnt) cover and the rear cover photos.
01. Raptured 02. Friend 03. Levi 04. Alone No More 05. That Ain't The Way It's Supposed To Be 06. Walkin' 07. He And Me 08. Don't Be A Loser 09. Roll Call And Then Some 10. Jesus Blvd. 11. You