The Growing Concern – Hard Hard Year

Although virtually nothing is known of Growing Concern, their only album (Mainstream, 1968) is an enjoyable piece of West Coast psychedelic pop. The opening track 'Hard, Hard Year' sets the tone for the album: it opens with melodic guitar work, which is joined first by bass, then by excellent keyboards; it also features beautiful female vocal harmonies from group members Bonnie MacDonald and Mary Garstki. 'Edge Of Time' features excellent lead guitar work, as does 'Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled'; 'A Boy I Once Knew Well' is a folky lament, which again features fine vocal harmonies, keyboards, and guitar work. Overall, quite a good blend of folk rock, pop, and psychedelia. The album is brilliantly recorded, and is of a consistently high musical quality. The band surely deserved a better fate than the obscurity to which they were consigned by the bizarre business practices of the Mainstream label.
Although formed primarily as a blues label, Mainstream Records released a number of interesting psychedelic albums in the late 60s. Some of the better of these include Bohemian Vendetta, The Jelly Bean Bandits, Orient Express, and The Growing Concern!

Pete Guerino (lead vocals, guitar),
Bonnie MacDonald (vocals),
Mary Garstki (vocals),
Ralph Toms (lead guitar),
John Pedley (bass),
Dan Passaglia (organ, vocals),
Ralph Williams (drums)

01. Hard Hard Year (L. Ramsford)
02. Edge of Time (Dan Passaglia)
03. Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled (John Pedley - Ralph Toms)
04. A Boy I Once Knew (John Pedley - Ralph Toms)
05. All I Really Want (Dan Passaglia)
06. Mister You're a Better Man Than I (M. Hugg)
07. What Kind of Life (Dan Passaglia)
08. Other Side of Life (Fred Neil)
09. I Know a Girl (Dan Passaglia)
10. Sit Down I Think I Love You (Stephen Stills)

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