The first two albums from Brinsley Schwarz – back to back on a single CD! First up is the fantastic debut from Brinsley Schwarz – a group named after their guitarist and singer, but which also features tremendous work from a young Nick Lowe as well! Despite the single name in the lead, the sound here is a very strong group presentation – with vocals that are harmonized in a post-Simon & Garfunkel way, more towards Crosby
, & Nash
– acoustic guitar lines mixed in with interesting rhythms, and some wonderfully sophisticated songwriting, most of which is handled by Nick Lowe! The vibe is very different than Nick's later work – very personal and introspective – on titles that include "Shining Brightly", "Hymn To Me", "Mayfly", "Lady Constant", and "What Do You Suggest" – plus the more electric, extended track "Ballad Of A Has Been Beauty Queen". Despite It All is a beautiful little record from Brinsley Schwarz – an album that maybe didn't shake the world at the time, but which really stands with some of the best thoughtful work of the group's bigger contemporaries! There's a roots rock approach at the core, but the style is instantly in territory that's a lot more sophisticated – thanks to the songwriting skills of Nick Lowe, which keeps the British band from ever aping American modes too closely, even when they harmonize beautifully on vocals – ala CSN&Y, with a similar moody vibe! Titles include "Country Girl", "The Slow One", "Star Ship", "Love Song", "Piece Of Home", and "Old Jarrow".