A Curt Boettcher songbook project

Curt Boettcher (1944-1987) was a songwriter, singer, arranger, and visionary studio control-freak who in 1966 produced the first album by The Association (featuring “Along Comes Mary” and “Cherish”). As thanks, the band fired him. Curt next began working with hand-picked sidemen under the band name The Ballroom. Those legendary sessions (unreleased until 1998) were adapted for Curt’s two major collaborative albums, THE MILLENNIUM: BEGIN (1968), and (with Gary Usher) SAGITTARIUS: PRESENT TENSE (1969), both on Columbia. The albums flopped commercially, but are durable, compelling late-1960s artifacts. The Millennium is monumental, standing apart from the period, a must-hear neglected masterpiece.

Boettcher’s star faded quickly and he died young (1987, age 43). Considered an avatar of “Sunshine Pop” avant la lettre, some of his material borders on fairytale-precious, but dark and bitter edges redeem each song. In the studio Curt created spectacular layered harmonies, revolutionized recording by stacking 8-track mixers, and achieved production clarity that was stunning for the era.

Beth Sorrentino has recorded a collection of songs associated with Boettcher. The album, produced by Sean Slade, sounds nothing like Curt, instead reflecting a brilliantly idiosyncratic take on the Boettcher legacy. Tandyn Almer, who composed “Along Comes Mary,” called Beth’s version “one of the best I’ve heard. Love her phrasing.” And journalist Dawn Eden, one of the foremost authorities on Boettcher’s life and music, acclaimed that “Beth has done a beautiful tribute, a true artistic accomplishment.”

The album (on Basta) will be released in the US on June 10, 2014.

Would You Like To GoAlbum Sequence:

01 Would You Like To Go (Boettcher/Alexander)
02 I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Boettcher)
03 The Island (Boettcher)
04 I’m Not Living Here (Boettcher)
05 You Know I’ve Found A Way (Boettcher/Mallory)
06 Baby, Please Don’t Go (trad. arr. Boettcher)
07 Another Time (Boettcher)
08 Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer; arr. Boettcher)
09 Prelude (Rhodes/Edgar)
10 The Know-It-All (Boettcher)
11 There Is Nothing More To Say
12 Wearing Levis (bonus track) (Boettcher)

All songs originally recorded by The Millennium, The Ballroom,
Sagittarius, The Association, and/or Curt Boettcher (demos), 1966-1969

Produced by Sean Slade
Solicitor & Overseer: Irwin Chusid
Engineer: Benny Grotto/Mad Oak Studios
Mastering: Sander van der Heide/The Saint of Sound,
Soest, Netherlands

Recorded at Mad Oak Studios (Boston) and Quarry Recorders (West Rockport ME), from December 2010 to May 2011

Beth Sorrentino: All vocals, all keyboards
Jeremy Moses Curtis: bass
Benny Grotto: drums (2, 8, 10), percussion (4, 6), guitar (2)
Irwin Chusid: drums (4, 9), percussion (2, 6, 8, 10)
Sean Slade: guitar (6, 12), percussion programming (1, 3)
Arrangements: Beth Sorrentino and Sean Slade

All Curt Boettcher compositions and shares of co-writes © Railroad Town Music (BMI)