The Upshot: A lost acid folk gem from 1974 finally sees the light of day.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Barry Thomas Goldberg began his musical journey with early power pop band the Batch, but that’s not how he’s earning his late life infamy. Instead it’s with Misty Flats, a twilight acid folk record recorded in 1974 in a two-day recording jag with outsider musician Michael Yonkers and unreleased until now.
In a way, that timelag was precipitous. Goldberg’s fragile, melodic, folk sounds most like Big Star’s Sister Lovers sessions, a sound for which the early ‘70s was not ready. Forty years on, that sound has been hugely influential, for good and ill. Pretty, heartworn tunes like “Never Came to Stay,” “Magic Cloud” and “Cry a Little Bit” and psychedelic howls like “Pop and Ice” and “China Doll” sound as contemporary as Chilton’s work does today. Yonkers stays low-key in the mix, avoiding the skronk of his own recordings and backing the songwriter up with supreme taste. The sparse, a couple-of-guys-and-a-microphone sonics could have been recorded in 2014 as easily as 1974, making the production timeless.
Goldberg may have to wait for Misty Flats to find its time, but at least now his casually hard work will be heard as contemporary.
DOWNLOAD: “Cry a Little Bit,” “Magic Cloud,” “Never Came to Stay”