Tom Carlile & The Craftsmen: Original Sounds
Tom Carlile would later see some success as a country artist, but this early LP is previously undocumented. Dating from circa 1968, it’s a vanity pressing with a certain amount of money poured into it, as indicated by the prestigious studios where it was recorded. I guess they didn’t have anyÂ doughÂ left for a proper artist to design the front cover, which is as strikingly crude as anything I’ve seen from the era. The music is an odd mix of Tom Jones blue-eyed soul croon, lounge drama, gospel, and 60s pop. The opening “I Believe In Miracles” collects all these elements into one highly energetic piece of music. About half the album (originals all through) is of no special merit, but the moody “Just The Same” is a rather appealing flirt with British beat. Side 2 opens with “I Saw The Light”, an infectious gospel-pop number with enough hit potential to get picked up by CBS — there’s even a British release of it. Tom Carlile and his merry men save the most interesting track for the last, and “The Man With No Name” is probably the main reason to check this LP out. An unexpected, early tribute to the anti-hero of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, this tune even utilizes sampled Morricone coyote howls while the appropriate western drama unfolds. The back cover is vague on details, but indicates a South Florida origin.