Mastertone Studios, NYC, 1965... Amidst mounting friction with producer Paul Rothchild, Fred Neil walks out of the unfinished sessions for what was to be his debut album, Bleecker & MacDougal. Fearing Fred wouldn't return to the studio, his friend and guitar player Peter Childs invited him over to his apartment at 38 MacDougal. According to Childs, "The best chance to get Freddie back wouldn't be to try to persuade him verbally, but to get him over to the apartment for a bit of music-making.” What transpired on that afternoon was a legendary singer-songwriter and his long-time accompanist making music for themselves in a living room setting, a one-of-a-kind private performance, captured on Ampex reel to reel, and stored for over fifty years!
The apartment recordings at 38 MacDougal were beautifully detailed in Peter Lee Neff's 2018 Fred Neil biography, That's The Bag I'm In. Fred and Peter play songs that would later wind up on Bleecker & MacDougal ("Travellin' Shoes", "Country Boy", "Gone Again", "Candy Man", "Little Bit Of Rain"), a definitive "Sweet Cocaine", and two songs that don't appear on any other Fred Neil album: the traditional folk song""Once I Had A Sweetheart", and the African-American spiritual "Blind Man Standing By The Road And Crying". (Despite the biography mentioning that the latter recording cuts off before it ends, Delmore Recording’s tape magically has the complete performance in all its glory.) Fred takes the song on a personal and deep journey, and Peter Childs adds the most perfect musical touches. It's also the first appearance on a Fred Neil record of one of the many Spiritual songs that were often a part of his live repertoire.
* RSD Black Friday 2020 Exclusive Release
* Deluxe Stoughton tip-on jacket, booklet featuring a treasure trove of previously unseen images, and notes by Fred Neil’s son, Christopher Lasher.
SIDE ONE: “Little Bit Of Rain”, “Country Boy”, “Gone Again”, “Candy Man”
SIDE TWO: “Travelin' Shoes”, “Once I Had A Sweetheart”, “Sweet Cocaine”, “Blind Man Standin' By The Road And Cryin'”