posted December 4th, 2012

Rock history from the 60's is filled with side trips and familiar names mixed with more trips involving even more names, sometimes less known. One of those names still owed a piece of your mind is California picker, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Chris Darrow. A founding member of the west coast Kaleidoscope, he pursued a solo endeavor after the release of their second album, A Beacon From Mars. A part of the glassy wave crashing across America through the 60s, Chris was hearing the echo of native sounds in his ears, bluegrass, country music, r&b, and earthy rock n roll. His ability on various stringed instruments led to his guest appearance on several sessions for Leonard Cohen's debut album, he joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, toured with Linda Ronstadt, John Stewart and Hoyt Axton, played on sessions with Gene Vincent and James Taylor, and was produced by the Monkees' Mike Nesmith as part of a group called The Corvettes.

An impressive resume, no doubt, and one needing to be stringed together like a web, set to catch in Chris' debut solo album, Artist Proof. A rich and powerful dose of California country rock, written almost entirely by Chris and played with grit and precision by a cast of players with equally impressive notches on their nightstand, Ed Black, Loren Newkirk, Arnie Moore, Mickey McGee, and John Ware-- Darrow's quoted as saying that the country-rock sound was created by bands, not individuals. Artist Proof is a coming together of young people testing their formative influences in the light of a new day, creating something different in the process, which is likely why the album feels so fresh! Back in print for the first time in 40 years and finally ushered into the digital realm, Artist Proof's debossed LP jacket has been carefully reproduced along with photos from Chris Darrow's archive, bringing back the time of a new feeling in American music in all its melodic, singular glory. Pre-order it soon, and saddle-up for the journey of discovery ahead!

Artists in this story: Chris Darrow