When Leo Koster (Meppel, 1953) heard the first Byrds album in 1965 he was not so much impressed by their then familiar hitsongs, but mostly by the songs written and sung by Gene Clark, one of the founding members. It soon became clear that Gene Clark was a very original and prolific songwriter and a great singer who alas did not fit in with the great rock’n’roll machine. He stayed with the Byrds for just a year and a half and then went out on his own.
His songwriting remained strong, his voice remained warm and rich but his solo-career never really took of. Short stints with Dillard & Clark and the Flying Burrito Brothers, a string of excellent solo albums, a reunion album with the Byrds all failed to bring the success and fame he deserved. Substance abuse, fear of flying and unpredictable behavior limited his potential as an artist.
He died in 1991, only 46 years old, because of health problems.
Gene has written many songs and Leo Koster felt that a number of these songs were begging for re-interpretation.
So here is a mini-album that shows how songs like "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" and "Set You Free This Time" sound when they get a real rock treatment; what a great song "Echoes" is when you replace the full orchestra by a dobro and that even a song like "Boston" (which had only been recorded as a demo before the Byrds first album and never surfaced again since 1964) sounds great when played with dedication and drive.
On "For a Spanish Guitar", fiddle-legend Byron Berline lends a hand and on "Fair and Tender Ladies" Andre Sommer proves you don’t need to go to Nashville to find a great steel guitar player.
We hope you will enjoy this selection of songs and will come to see and hear them played live when Leo Koster and his musical friends take them to the stage in the fall of 2017.