See also FANCY

"Keep America Beautiful Get A Haircut" (SJPCD013)

Ray Fenwick is another of those super-session men who appear on million-selling records yet are not themselves household names. Over the years, Fenwick has been a member of The Tee Set, Fancy, Forcefield and The Spencer Davis Group...Originally released in 1971, 'Keep America...' was Fenwick's concept, based around his perceptions of the United States at that time.

An all-star line-up joined him for the project, including Mick Grabham, B.J.Cole, Eddie Hardin, Peter York, Dee Nurray, Nigel Olsson and many more. Opener, 'Stateside', berates America's war in Vietnam as a bass-heavy riff reinforces the message. Elsewhere, acoustic guitar plays a large part, with that early 70s earnest delivery much in evidence. 'The Dream', a lengthy instrumental, allows Fenwick to lay down the kind of guitar work which helped secure his reputation while a Byrds influence is noticeable on the bonus tracks, further displaying the man's versatility.

Steve Caseman, Rock 'N' Reel

Ray concentrates more on songs than on guitar histrionics and the album is all the better for it. Some of the songs are blues-tinged, while others are acoustic, but the result is one that will be enjoyed by those who are into thought-out Seventies song-based rock. The reissue comes complete with a Pic CD, good sleeve notes and photos.


Now this is important stuff so I want all you musos and anoraks to take notice, ‘cause this is for you... Buy this, because if ever there was a musician’s musician (and I’m well aware that can be a front for being totally crap in an extremely clever way) it was the very wonderful Ray Fenwick, he of among others, "The Spencer Davis Group", "Ian Gillan Band" (mid-late 70s) and "The Guitar Orchestra".

This hails originally from 1971 and is completely brilliant - it would be completely brilliant even if it didn’t have a shed-load of "bonus tracks" not on the original (and extremely rare) LP. The musicianship was never in doubt, but Fenwick was never better and more versatile than on "Keep America Beautiful..."

He’s ably assisted in his trip through the more dubious side of life Stateside by Mick Grabham and B.J.Cole among others and the whole package flows wonderfully well. It may superficially appeal only to the anal retentive among us, but I assure you that this, and indeed the majority of Angel Air’s output, deserves your attention as both important in the general scheme of things and because it really is musical Nirvana. Need I say more? (Maxwell)

"The Modern Dance" Issue 24