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.

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“Psyche I & Share Your Water”

:D Reissue | 2011 | Drag City | buy from drag ]
:) These Trails | google search | ebay search ]


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7 Comments.

  • Steve

    Damn, that’s a good song. Where do you come up with this stuff?!!!

  • Michael

    Yeah, that’s pretty great. Much better than the average rediscovered obscurity. I’ve never heard of them of course. Hope someone does another reissue sometime soon. Thanks.

  • poh

    The original vinyl signed by patrick crockett is on sale now on ebay!

  • markbar

    I was in Hanalei on Kauai when this album was written and produced. Not sure if it was recorded here but I believe it was recorded at Mike Sena’s studio in Kapaa if it was recorded on Kauai. What it does for me is bring me a distinct feeling of what it was like to actually be here on Kauai at the time. It really captures the moment from the eastern influences (hash and the eastern religions were big then) to the Hawaiian culture reflected in Pat Cocket’s input which is the guitar at minimum. Sowing seeds and watching them grow (Marijuana) The words evoke that time. An easy time of ethreal beauty and laid back easy going moments of beauty and love. The feeling of Aloha is captured as well as the cross pollination of cultures represented in the music. I was fortunate to find this album and had never really listened to it until today when I burned a copy for a friend. Boy does it transport me back to a time I never want to forget. I know Pat Cockett and didn’t know he was involved in this album until i searched for info and found this blog. He helped write the famous Hawaiian classic “Hanalei Moon”I love Kauai and thank God those times were captured so well. It’s North Kauai in the early 70’s captured for all time. What a time and place to be alive…

  • John Bush

    Coming out on Drag City in the next week or so…

  • todd

    And here it is: http://www.dragcity.com/artists/these-trails

    Available in CD, MP3 and FLAC!

  • I was there for all of this. “These Trails” was recorded in 1972 at Sinergia Recording Studio at 1229 Waimanu Street. For a time I lived in a shipping crate on top of the studio overlooking the Guitar & Lute Workshop. Pat Cocket and “Mars” Margret Morgan made the music, but it was David Choy’s project, and his arrangements and ARP synthesizer work were incredible. This album represents David’s genius. We were the ARP dealers for Hawaii, so we had the ARP 2500 modular and all the other ARP synths. Peter Coraggio, noted piano teacher and owner of Sinergia studio financed this record, and so few people ever heard it or appreciated it at the time. Now more than 40 years later they would all be so happy to know that people appreciate this music.

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