TITLE: Farewell Aldebaran
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh…no. Not at all
LINEUP: Judy Henske and Jerry Yester with help from Zal Yanovsky and a bunch of studio players.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Married couple fuse their talents together to make a fascinating album that was lost to the public.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Judy Henske was a rising star in folk before she made some poor decisions about material (cabaret?) and Jerry Yester was a long-time producer, writer, and former member of the Lovin’ Spoonful. They had been married for a few years but never really collaborated until a suggestion from her manager that they combine forces to record an album.
Henske wrote lyrics and Yester put them to music and arranged the songs. And the result was an album that explored genres and instruments. From baroque pop to shanties to hard rock and space rock explorations, this album has it all. Yester adds in harmonium, an early Moog synthesizer, mellotron, and instruments such as the marxophone, a hammered dulcimer, a Chamberlain keyboard (on the choral setting), and a toy zither to the mix.
Henske’s voice was adroit enough to handle all of the changes. She can belt out a rock song, yet has a gentle quality that fits with the sunshine pop aspects of the tracks.
The eclectic nature of the album probably prevented it from being a hit, but this really should have found a home with sophisticated listeners. Alas, as sunshine pop and baroque psychedelia was on the way out, it didn’t find traction. It’s definitely something to explore in detail.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Yester and Henske then formed a band called Rosebud, which released one album that was conventional soft-country rock, then they split as a couple.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A+: It probably could only be recorded in 1969 or so, but it sounds timeless and really sucks you in with the arrangements and production. The more you listen, the more it opens up to you.