October 30, 2012
For every impacting, big time album ... you know there's a dozen more released at that same time, by musicians from the same community. San Francisco's a good example of a city with a few big fish (Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead) and many smaller bands that influenced the city's musical path but rarely get their dues. Cue up the Charlatans' only album! What a beautiful find.
Members Mike Wilhelm and Dan Hicks would go on to more visible success with the Flaming Groovies and Hot Licks, respectively. But this band is widely credited as starting the Haight-Ashbury style of dress, counter culture and music. What's amazing to our ears is how informed, talented and DEEP the love of American music was with young pickers at the time. In the Charlatans' music, you can hear Son House, Carl and Jerry's boogie woogie, Jimmie Rodgers and Bakersfield, too. But the veil that both accentuates and masks that melting pot of influences is definitely youth, psychedelia, revolt and attitude. Here's a rockin' Robert Johnson cover!