The Beau Brummels “Triangle”

Triangle

The Beau Brummels hit it big in the early 60s with their hits “Laugh Laugh” and “Just A Little” which were produced by Sly of the Family Stone. As English as they tried to appear, they were an American rock band hailing from San Fransisco.

I wholeheartedly recommend that you check out their early material, especially a record called From The Vaults, but it’s their adventurous and refreshing 1967 Triangle that steals the show. Sal Valentino is the voice of the Brummels, a vox of raw power and vibrato, certainly a highly unique voice that matches an almost unclassifiable and surprising album. Triangle has everything: it’s a tightly produced country record that is rooted in rock; it’s straight and folky and underlined by psychedelic imagery.

The production always drew me in on these records. By records, I mean, if you like this one, you’re in luck because there’s also Bradley’s Barn, a sequel of sorts to Triangle that was recorded in Nashville with some exceptional picking and production. Sometimes modern music can sound over produced – Bradley’s Barn and Triangle are like that, but in an inviting, interesting way, rather than a glossy, manufactured way.

Merle Travis’ “Nine Pound Hammer” is masterfully covered on this record, the most inventive version I’ve heard and one that always catches bluegrass audiences by surprise. Songs like the excellent “Magic Hollow,” “The Wolf of Velvet Fortune,” and “Painter of Women” are songs you’ll never hear anywhere near a record deemed “country.” Other’s, like Randy Newman’s “Old Kentucky Home” and “Are You Happy?” are straight up good timers.

Pick this one up, it may take a little getting used to, but it’s well worth it. The Beau Brummels are a seriously underrated treasure. Note to Beau Brummel fans: you’ll be wanting this.

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“The Keeper Of Time”

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5 Comments.

  • phil_spector

    Bravo Bravo for your super Blog!!!
    and specially for this great text on one of the greatest band of all time.

    Just one question :
    Did you ever hear the album by the band named PAN (only one album in 1973 with Ron Elliott) ?

    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0xfrxqt5ldje

    i just can’t find it and maybe you know where i can ?

    thanks

    Phil

  • jack sterner

    I bought Triangle and Bradley’s Barn when they were both first released and they remain two of my favorite albums. I was very young when I started hearing songs from Triangle on the late night AM radio and was truly mystified and thrilled. I heard a lot of really good music in this way.
    Thanks Johnny Hyde.

  • Anonymous

    Phil,
    I picked up a copy of the Pan LP album on ebay. Apparently it was also released on CD at one time, but only in Japan or something like that. There is also a blog, I think it’s http://www.redtelephone66.blogspot.com, that has the album available to listen to. Here’s the direct link to the part of the blog with the Pan album on it: http://redtelephone66.blogspot.com/2009/06/pan-1973-columbia-lp.html
    Hope this helps.
    -Anonymous

  • Joshua Bonder

    Back to Triangle, it’s time this album was given the treatment that Bradley’s Barn recently received. The Beau Brummels have way too much incredible music from this time (the early Warners singles, unreleased tracks from the album sessions, etc.) that remain sadly unreleased or unavailable. I did see a video interview with Sandoval and Palao about the release of Bradley’s Barn, and they do drop the hint that Triangle will be receiving the same treatment at some point in the future. I’d love to know when that’ll be, as I’ll be anxiously waiting to get anything else from this brilliant period in Brummels history.

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