Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
A "twofer" if you will from progressive, folk rockers from Louisiana. This collection combines the albums "Years Before the Wine" (1974), "Agonistes" (the unreleased 1973 album), and bonus material/home demos that have not seen the light of day in years! Also contained is a 28 page booklet with extensive liner notes and photos!
"Third Estate's Years Before the Wine is an ambitious and intricate psychedelic concept album from 1974 about the French Revolution which blends warm Southern summer sounds (the band were from Baton Rouge, Louisiana) with baroque song structures. Never fear, the serious subject matter is no match for the strong songwriting and light, flowing music. Stunning vocals from Fae Ficklin on the title track are lovely, but even without them, this album would richly deserve its status as a psychedelic classic.
Stark, intimate production, with tasty fuzz guitar, backwards tape-loop soundscapes and beautifully treated acoustic guitar, puts one in mind ofthe Ithaca/Agincourt/Friends trilogy from England. The sound of exploration is evident everywhere, as the band spreads its wings, and glorious harmonies flow forth.
The previously unreleased album recorded as Agonistes (1973) shows that the later recordings were no fluke. It can stand alone as one of the most beguiling folk/psych albums we've ever heard. Additional bonus tracks include singles and home demos. Budget-priced double disc package includes a 28-page color booklet, with histories of both groups by band co-leader Robert Everett, as well as lyrics for all the songs included herein."
THE THIRD ESTATE were another in a fairly long line of brief collaborations resulting in obscure, private-label albums spawned from college campuses the world over in the late sixties and early seventies. In Third Estate's case the campus was Southeastern Louisiana University, and the music is rather difficult to classify. The 'band' (if it can even be called that) consisted of composer/vocalist/guitarist/bassist Robert Everett, composer/guitarist Chas Harrell, and drummer/percussionist Jerry Lang. This was less of a traditional band, and more of an on-going friendship between Everett and Harrell that involved other musicians when necessary, although the two of them had previously recorded unreleased material as THE ZEALOTS (later changed to AGONISTES).
The band's music is equally balanced between acoustic and electric guitar, with heavy emphasis on picking and strumming but also highly rhythmic and melodic compositions. The lyrical themes range from nostalgic to historical, with the primary theme of their one album being of an historical bent.
That album is the 1976 release "Years Before the Wine", produced with either 500 or 800 copies depending on who is telling the story, and with each cover hand-labeled and unique. The reissued 2006 (vinyl) album is accompanied by a single containing two other Everett compositions from 1968 and 1971, and the tracks on their album were recorded between 1973 and 1975, though not released until 1976. The stated theme of the album is a reflection on the French Revolution of 1789 in which the 'third estate' actually represented virtually the entire country outside of the clergy and nobility; but some of the lyrics on the first side are more introspective and poetic, and seem only vaguely related to those on the back side.
There is no record that the band toured or otherwise existed in any notable fashion after the release of their album. Everett, Lang and Harrell continued for a few years in different lineups of various regional cover bands, but all have moved on to other careers since. Today Everett is a professor of science at the University of Central Florida and is still records occasionally.
♦ Robert Everett: 6-String Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Piano, Organ, Maracas, Wind Chimes, Vocals
♦ Chas Harrell: 12-String Acoustic Guitars, 6-String Electric Guitars, Saws, Hammers, Vocals
♦ Jerry Lang: Drums, Guiro, Bells, Claves
♦ Fae Ficklin: Vocals
CD1: (Years Before Wine 1974)
1a. Years Before the Wine - Destiny (4:44)
1b. Years Before the Wine - Overcast (5:35)
02. Useless Things (3:34)
03. Look at Me (8:42)
04. Kings (2:32)
05. Puppet City (8:07)
06. Think It's Time (4:40)
07. The Third Estate (5:31)
CD2: (Agonistes Unreleased Album 1973)
02.Sing His Song
03.Think About That
05.The Sun and The season
07.Thought I Heard You Calling
09.Thought I Heard You Calling (Single 1973)
10.Sing His Song (Single 1973)
11.Years Before Wine (Demo 1973)
12.Teenage Love (Recorded 1968)
13.Brand New Day (Recorded 1971)
14.Death of A Musican (Recorded 1971)
1. Third Estate
2. Third Estate
3. Third Estate