Bread, Love and Dreams The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha

Fans of late ’60s/early ’70s psych folk do not require much convincing as far as Bread, Love and Dreams are concerned. Though Edinburgh’s David McNiven and Angie Rew weren’t exactly at the vanguard of the ’60s UK folk movement, their three albums have generated a fair amount of interest over the years. Captain Shannon provides ample proof that this interest is justified. Followers of the genre know its pitfalls — painfully whimsical lyrics, self-indulgent Celtic-style breakdowns — but Bread, Love and Dreams lie on the "cooler” side of the spectrum, despite what this album’s title might have you believe. Songs like "Masquerade” sound more like the Velvet Underground than your typical folk act — a strong American rock influence tempers what might otherwise border on airy-fairy. Other tracks, featuring lovely boy/girl harmonies, strong melodies and the requisite silly lyrics, are just as good as any cult act from that time and place. Unlike some of their contemporaries, Bread, Love and Dreams weren’t trying desperately to emulate Fairport Convention or the Incredible String Band (although the record does feature Danny Thompson and Terry Cox of Pentangle). The duo brought a distinctive style to an established genre, and that’s more than you could say for most acts, then or now. (Sunbeam)