Fraser & Debolt

Here’s a blast from my past! During college my friends and I discovered an obscure Canadian folk album called Fraser & DeBolt. It was quickly apparent that this music was like nothing we had ever heard before. It was stylisticly original, spontaneous, dissonent, and emotionally appealing on many levels. Released in 1971, it became one of the most important albums no one has ever heard of. These reviews and liner notes are worth a read. [I hadn’t made the connection until now, but it also anticipated another favorite of mine, The Trinity Session by the Cowboy Junkies (also Canadian BTW).]

Update: Unfortunately the mp3 files posted on the F&D site back in 2007 are gone. I found their cover of the Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down, which gives you some of the flavor. [Song begins at 1:20 into the clip after a long intro.] There is also a reissue on CD (but read the comments for some concerns). Listen to these thirty second clips to get a good overview of the album. Daisy DeBolt continues to perform and record new music. “Eclectic” only begins to describe it! I prefer the earlier titles I Can and Soulstalking.

Cycling the Withlacoochee State Trail

The Withlacoochee State Trail stretches 46 miles through farmland, small towns, oak hammock, pine scrub, and bald cypress swamps. We rode from the Ridge Manor Trail Head to Floral City and back (approximately 34 miles, see detailed map). This route took us through a wildlife management area and state forest. The trail is well maintained and mostly isolated from car traffic.

At one point we were close enough to walk down to the Withlacoochee River. There was no perceptible current, but the water was clear. Cypress knees were in abundance and reminded me of a coral reef.

We saw two gopher tortoises (2) along the way. Both had sandy soil clinging to their backs. There were numerous small birds I couldn’t identify (warblers?) as well as a flock of wild turkey foraging at the wood’s edge.

Check out this gallery of additional photos from along the trail.