Two discs 56,57 minutes each approximately. The (mostly) mono sound, digitally remastered, is very good-clean, yet it still retains the warmth of the original vinyl sound. The 19 page booklet contains song titles,composer(s), artists, and an overview of the Trident label, including information on the artists heard here. There's also a number of (small) period photographs of various artists on this set. The discs are snapped in a tri-fold plastic jewel case.
Thanks to (the late) Frank Werber, a man who put together THE KINGSTON TRIO (from my college alma mater Menlo College), and invested in a number of business ventures, we're now lucky to have this wonderful collection. The groups were all local musicians, some more well known (THE SONS OF CHAMPLIN, WE FIVE,THE MYSTERY TREND, and BLACKBURN AND SNOW) than others. But all these groups had (have) that particular sound now so identified with The Bay Area during the early 60's. However, due to Werber's losing interest in the whole music scene, the vast majority of these artists never achieved any real fame in the early days of the burgeoning music scene in The Bay Area. Werber passed on THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS ( he thought leader John Phillips was a pain in the a**) THE CHARLATANS (he thought the group to unkempt) and on the early JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (just to "out there"). But if he had put some energy into some of his signings, there was the distinct chance that some of these groups would have produced some good music.
Since most of these groups are unknown to most, suffice to say that all these tracks have a certain innocent charm, and are perfect examples of the beginnings of the music scene in the area during the mid/late 60's. A number of these bands were active (however briefly) in the region, and locals would've heard a few of these groups, but for the most part, they had very little impact. However, a number of them never really stayed together long enough to make much of an impact-usually because Werber didn't take control and guide his groups in a professional manner. Most of these tracks have never been released before now, but that doesn't take anything away from enjoying this music. The combination of bands and solo performers really adds depth to this set. Probably the most well known track is "You Were On My Mind", by WE FIVE, but there are other songs, that while they might not be as catchy, have a certain period charm, and make this set well worth owning. A number of groups make more than one appearance-such as WE FIVE, BLACKBURN AND SNOW, THE SAN FRANCISCANS, THE MYSTERY TREND, THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, THORINSHIELD, and THE SONS OF CHAMPLIN to name a few. But the "one-offs", artists who recorded a track or two and then disappeared are equally intriguing.
For collectors of 60's Bay Area music, and/or garage bands-this is a worthwhile purchase. On first listen there's seemingly not much here of any great value, but on hearing this set a couple of times, the first strains of a new music can be heard. For those who grew up in this era and area (like me), this music is a precursor to a full flowering of a new way of life and music (however brief), that would become so important. For those to young, or who didn't live in The Bay Area, this was a largely innocent (and sometimes strange-hear Ron Davies' "This Time") pop/folk-rock style of music that was just starting to flex its muscle, music that would eventually morph into the sounds we know as "the San Francisco Sound". The combination of folk-rock/pop/rock/ was the leading edge of an era of music that still retains its power today. Before all the "name" bands got serious and loud, and signed to major labels-there was the Trident label, that in the beginning, specialized in giving local artists a chance to record and "make it". Most of these artists disappeared, a very few went on to relative fame and fortune. But with this great collection we have a chance to hear what one man was recording at the beginning of a history-making period in music, in the S.F./Bay Area, before all the hype overwhelmed everything.