A singer/guitarist and folk-influenced songwriter, Barbara Keith’s curious career began when she was discovered at Greenwich Village’s famous Café Wha? Her first appearance on record was in 1968 when her backing vocals and one of her songs appeared on the self-titled debut from Kangaroo. Verve Records released the first of two self-titled albums in 1969 and whilst some critics fell in love with her debut LP, sales just didn’t reflect this.
Her second self-titled album, also released by Reprise in 1972, opened with a cover of Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower and coupled Keith with the producer/drummer/songwriter, Doug American drummer – with whom she latter married! This record also included some self-penned songs including Free the People, which was put out as a single and later covered by singer-songwriter duo, Delaney and Bonnie, as well as Barbra Streisand!
In a review written by Ronnie Lankford, her second album was described as “a fine effort highlighted by great writing and solid production and performed by an expressive, soulful singer“. However, Keith later said: “Somehow, even though there were some great studio musicians on that album… it didn’t feel like ME completely yet, and so we gave back the album advance money and quit.” As a result, Warner/Reprise failed to promote the record and it was quickly withdrawn. To this day Keith and Tibbles continue to write and perform together and in the 90’s they were joined by their son who became a member of their band!
Today’s song was released on single by Verve Records in 1969, Barbara Keith’s voice is so soulful! I love her vocals and can’t help but think what this song would’ve sounded like had it been straight soul record without those strings?..Check it out above.