Forgotten series: The Everpresent Fullness – Fine and Dandy: The Complete Recordings (2004)

Although the mystical name suggests a psychedelic consciousness, this Southern California act actually specialized in jugband-styled folk rock.

Founded in 1965, the Everpresent Fullness were something of a supergroup, as former Belairs guitarist Paul Johnson, bassist Steve Pugh from Davie Allan and the Arrows, and drummer Terry Hand, who played in the pre-Turtles band the Crossfires, ranked among its members.

Gigging regularly throughout the state, the Everpresent Fullness kept mighty busy amid the fertile scene. The band signed a deal with the local White Whale label, which seemed promising in the beginning, but soon proved to be the crack in the egg that restricted exposure.

A pair of singles were issued in 1966, and despite the sad reality they caused little commotion, the Everpresent Fullness were commissioned to lay down an entire album. The good news is the album was recorded, but due to a shortage of cash it wasn’t released until 1970, long after the band split up. And if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the pants, by the time The Everpresent Fullness landed in the stores, the stripe of music the band peddled was deemed rather quaint.

But as the years wore on, interest increased in the group and Fine and Dandy: The Complete Recordings (Rev-Ola Records), a well deserved anthology became available.

The Everpresent Fullness freely confessed they were huge fans of the Lovin’ Spoonful, and such an influence is consistently obvious. In fact, the group even cut a cover of John Sebastian’s bright and bluesy “Wild About My Lovin’,” while the knee-slapping, toe-tapping vaudeville oriented “Fine and Dandy” also nicks multiple methods and measures from the band that believed in magic.

Fired by frisky rhythms and bobbing hooks, “Darlin’ You Can Count On Me” sparkles with classic folk pop procedures, “Leavin’ California” is a fast paced blues rocker and the equally hard-hitting “The Rovin’ Kind” gushes and rushes to an impressive showcase of hauntingly delirious harmonies.

An exuberant treatment of Buddy Holly’s “Lonesome Tears” dials in as another highlight here, and then there’s a couple of cool instrumentals, including the spunky “Yeah!” and an inspired rendition of Richard Farina’s “Doin’ A Number” that moves at lightning speed.

Shaped of honking harp work, ringing guitar chords, concise arrangements and clear and crisp vocals, Fine and Dandy: The Complete Recordings paints a prized portrait of a surefooted and polished band that knew how to combine traditional music structures with a contemporary bite and achieve the sound they desired. If warm and organic tunes, pronounced by a happy-go-lucky vibe paddle your canoe, you’ll definitely appreciate the musings of the Everpresent Fullness.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.