These Trails “These Trails”
These Trails was an acid folk group who released a very rare record in 1973. The lp was released by Sinergia and is probably one of the best Hawaiian lps along with Mu.
Prominent members of the group were Margaret Morgan (vocals, guitar and dulcimer), Patrick Cockett (guitar, slide guitar and vocals) and Dave Choy (arp synthesizer, recorder, arrangements and final mix). Margaret Morgan handles most of the lead vocals with Patrick Cockett occasionally chiming in. Morgan’s vocals are dreamy and ideally suited for this kind of organic music (acid folk). Comparisons that come to mind are Linda Perhacs, though Morgan’s vocals are more innocent and angelic and the music on this lp clearly betrays a Hawaiian influence. Many of the songs are relatively pop friendly; this isn’t difficult, challenging music that has to be listened to closely – ie folk guitar virtuousos spinning off long, complex guitar solos or intricate passages with finely tuned arrangements – it’s not that kind of record. The synthesizers give tracks like Of Broken Links an otherworldly sound, unlike anything you’ve ever heard. El Rey Pescador is graced by some light sitar touches and close harmony singing.
Each track stands out on its own but Psyche I & Share Your Water is a tremendous favorite. This 5 minute track begins with a calm, soothing folk feel highlighted by some fine acoustic guitar work. Eventually it descends into bad trip territory with ghastly vocals and spooky electronics – an outstanding track, very trippy and worth the price of admission alone. Garden Botanum is another strong hightlight that hits like a ray of Hawaiian sunshine, the arrangements are free and green with lots of interesting twists, the vocals are beautifully exotic. This lp is one of the most relaxing listening experiences I’ve ever come across, an album to savour. The songs are full of simple beauty and the power of the performances will never diminish over time.
If you’re looking for something different, These Trails could be the right tonic. It’s one of the hidden gems from the early 70s and has been reissued on cd but is somewhat hard to come by these days.
“Psyche I & Share Your Water”