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The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Carroll described the band as "a remarkable rock and roll band, half ballads and half boogie, with a driving rhythm section fronted by two swell women, Toni Brown (a smart, crafty songwriter who could evoke sentiment without sentimentality) and Terry Garthwaite, who sings like an angel with dirty wings."
Californian folk-rockers' live cuts and studio rarities.
Joy of Cooking were one of the earliest female-led rock 'n' roll bands. Formed in Berkeley, California in 1967 by pianist and main songwriter Toni Brown, along with folk-singing guitarist Terry Garthwaite, their music was an ear-catching polyrhythmic amalgam of folk, rock, jazz, blues and gospel elements driven by the duo's interweaving vocal verve atop a freewheeling, innovative three-man rhythms section.
This double-disc package collects 17 previously unreleased studio recordings on one disc;
The second devoted to seven songs from a live 1972 Berkeley concert (possibly at Mandrakes) and highlighted by the two extended closing cuts: an invigorating Brownsville/Mockingbird medley and the congas-led hand-clapper Laugh, Dont Laugh.
Studio picks encompass an intimate, bare-bones version of Dylan's Love is Just a Four Letter Word, the contemplative Look Back, a shouting-out recasting of Ma Rainey's classic Dream Blues, the country-tinged weeper Ive Made Up My Mind and the Donovan-inspired, organ and tambourine enhanced Yatata. For whatever reasons, Joy never had much commercial success, but their pioneering role as serious musicians is undeniable and sonically indelible on this lovingly assembled project.
The live CD, in particular, is outstanding and the sound throughout is exceptional.
--Gary von Tersch--Record Collector, U.K.
These people were musicians first, last and still. They represent the best of their genre, their time. Forget most of the popular groups of the Woodstock generation. Get this CD and experience a real treasure.
--DeLane D. Wright (Tipton, Iowa USA)
Every friend for whom I played this "classic" has loved it!
--Lynne Shapiro (New Haven, CT USA)
I can't overrate this...this is an excellent album musically, whose content can be an inspiration for a lifetime.
--oren pri har (Jerusalem, Israel)
"Like the cookbook that gave them their name, the Joy of Cooking is still very useful on a daily basis."
"They could take a piece and stretch it out for 5, 8 minutes thanks to their sense of rhythmic interplay, and not make it seem like an exercise in ego the way a guitar solo might be, but, rather, a service for people having fun."
"Toni and Terry were the leaders of the Joy of Cooking, and pioneers in
defining the role of the serious woman musician."
...in their time, Joy of Cooking garnered considerable respect and was extremely influential...Their easy going style, which drew its inspiration from folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz, was delivered with exceptional competence and confidence, both on record and in live performance."
"Joy of Cooking is not just a good band, but an exceptional band."
--ELLEN WILLIS, the New Yorker
And a Joy of Cooking press link:
Also see Robert Christgau
Terry's 'spirit jingles' bring me to a place where I can be in touch with wisdom and power flowing through me. In our church, her music uplifts and connects us, allowing us to see ourselves in her creative mirror. Her songs are joyful invitations to participate in the life of the Human Family.
--Rev. Sara Vurek, FCC
"Liquid rhythms and vibrant vocalsmusically intriguing and vocally intenserepetitive, positive thoughts that really deserve to be contemplated."
"Her simply-phrased, foot-tapping songs are positively infectious... Great for groups that like to chant/sing or just absorb unpretentious spiritual sounds, the easy rhythms attract the body while uncomplicated melodies and harmonies convey spirit-centered messages."
"...I've a great deal of experience in this genre of affirmative chants, having written and produced a few albums of this nature with Louise HayTerrys new work is both refreshing and inspiring. She has taken a well-worn method--chanting--and tied it into imaginative, fun, and most importantly, relevant, messages of change."
--Joshua Leeds--New Age Retailer
Sacred Circles...displays a
diversity of musical influences with lyrics which focus on self
affirmation. Musically, if you can imagine a jazz/blues improvisation
floating above Native American percussion, then you have some idea of
how the album starts out. It works well as relaxing, ambient music and
I can see it being used effectively for meditation or a stretch class,
or perhaps functioning as soothing background for driving, homework, or
housework. Yet the chant-lyrics challenge the listener and are positive
mantras worthy of attention.
Terry has created something different here, a CD which contemplates the healing nature and inspirational possibilities of music.