The Folklords actually got their start sometime around early 1968 when guitarist Tom Martin and bassist Paul Seip, who had been aping sounds from across the pond with their mod cover band the Chimes of Britain, decided to move things in a much more westerly direction. As the renamed Folklords, they added Martin's wife Martha Johnson on vocals and autoharp and recorded an insanely obscure seven-inch for their own COB label ('Forty Second River' b/w 'Unspoken Love').
Release the Sunshine came out later that year on Jack Boswell's Allied imprint, but curiously slipped under the radar at the time, garnering absolutely no mention at all in any of the Canadian music publications of the day. What's more, Boswell's teenage son Craig was a last-minute stand-in after the band's original drummer went mysteriously AWOL from these recording sessions, thus forever forfeiting his own brief fifteen minutes of fame.
Though it is steeped - or mired, take your pick - in the sober, overly earnest folk traditions of the early sixties, Release the Sunshine thankfully manages to untether itself somewhat with some dreamy folk motifs and sweet harmonies that recall the very early, pre-Grace Slick Jefferson Airplane. Add to that Johnson's haunting vocals and delicately played autoharp and the results are some interesting, if hardly essential, psych-folk.
Collectors have parted with upwards of 500 dollars for those few surviving originals of Release the Sunshine, so Pacemaker's 2008 CD reissue, which was meticulously remastered from the original tapes and which includes both COB sides, is definitely worth searching for.
by Michael Panontin
Fourteen perfect examples of dreamy, sunshine-infused pop psychedelia with a folk ben, originally released by independent Canadian label Allied Records in 1968.
Leader Tom Waschkowski (credited on the album as Tom Martin). He graciously offered us a band history, lyrics, some terrific photos, and best of all, a rare pre-album single that the trio had self-released. This allows us to offer up as perfect a reissue of this album as humanly possible.
The Folklords “Release the Sunshine” is a captivating album, a notion shared by the many collectors world-wide who fight for original copies, which are few and far between.
1. Jennifer Lee - 3:30
2. Don't Hide Your Love From Me - 3:03
3. Child (Paul Seip) - 3:50
4. Unspoken Love (Paul Seip) - 2:15
5. Windows - 4:28
6. Forty Second River - 3:27
7. Pardon Me Judas - 3:17
8. Thank You For Your Kindness (Paul Seip) - 3:11
9. We'll Love Like Before - 2:23
10.Suzanne Marie (Paul Seip) - 4:07
11.Don't Look Back (Paul Seip) - 3:00
12.The Slave - 3:12
13.Forty Second River - 3:15
14.Unspoken Love (Paul Seip) - 3:01
All words and Music by Tom Waschkowski unless as else stated
*Craig Boswell - Drums
*Martha Johnson - Vocals, Autoharp
*Tom Martin “Tom Waschkowski” - Vocals, Bass
*Paul Seip - Vocals, Guitar
the Free Text