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Chilliwack - Chilliwack (CD)




Red Fox Records





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Ex-Collectors (Canada)
Original release 1970
Re-issue 2002 Red Fox Records

Track Listings

1. Sundown (5:40)
2. Every Day (3:42)
3. Seventeenth Summer (6:04)
4. Ballad (5:00)
5. I Got You Fixed (3:49)
6. Rain-O (6:47)
7. Chain Train (7:02)

Total Time: 36:54


- Bill Henderson / guitars, piano, vocals
- Claire Lawrence / flute, saxophone, organ, piano, vocals (bass)
- Glen Miller / bass, guitars
- Ross Turney / drums

Still headed by guitarist Bill Henderson and multi-instrumentalist Claire Lawrence (whose flute and sax works are definitely making the difference), the group adopt a more west coast sound than in their previous incarnation, but also manage to sound like early Tull (on Sundown), sometimes slightly Amerindians (the chants and drum rhythms on Seventeens Summer, even if it allows for a Diddley passage) - maybe in homage to the ethnic mask on the artwork - and downright hippy-trippy and reflective (Ballad).

But the group still retained some typical 60’s twist such as the fuzzed-out guitars (Got You Fixed’s wild solo) with some bluesy elements (the lengthy Rain-O) and some cool soloing (the good guitar on the great closing track Chain Train) but almost getting lost (but not quite), yet still retaining the dreamy feel. The album slowly dissolves into a quiet flute and bass outro.

Please note that the Red Fox Cd-reissue of this album mentions 1972 as a release date, but this is wrong, the album being from 70. This ‚"debut‚" album is not quite of the calibre of their previous albums, and if less-inspired, there are still tons of moments that lets you see the band’s brilliance, and letting you hope for a better follow-up.

CHILLIWACK biography

Generally better known for their late 70’s AOR albums, this group was one of the earliest Canadian prog groups since they were directly descending from the 60’s group THE COLLECTORS which had released a mind-blowing debut album and an confirming second effort, before changing their name to CHILLIWACK, their hometown’s name in British Columbia. Both albums are included in the proto-prog section of the database. As the group had encountered some success in the late 60’s (both as an album but also a single’s band), the group felt they had to modernize their name, image and contracts. But in the essence the group remained quasi-intact and given the changing of the times, their first album under their new name became a bit looser and less structured. The music became more dreamy and sometimes involving long improvisation (but never becoming a jam band), bordering on the psychedelic prog with Claire Lawrence’s saxes and flutes giving loving caresses to your eardrums.

Gradually, as the key members will float away and leave the ship, the sound (which had a distinct west coast touch) shifted more and more towards typical late 70’s AOR with a slight country rock touch. The group will end its career in the early 80’s in the general indifference after a string of unremarkable (from our point of view) string of albums. The band went on to become Headpins with a huge ard rock sound.

So what will interest progheads in Chilliwack are the first few albums that are definitively wilder and looser, but still as worthy as their superb Collectors album (couldn’t resist that one ;-).