Jan & Lorraine

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About Jan & Lorraine

Much mystery surrounds Jan & Lorraine, a female duo who recorded an obscure folk-rock album, Gypsy People, in London in October 1969. Jan Hendin and Lorraine Le Fevre both sang (often in harmony) on the record, did the ensemble arrangements, and also wrote (working separately) most of the material. Too, Hendin handled electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and organ, and Le Fevre contributed acoustic guitar as well. In part because the LP didn't sound much like other British folk-rock efforts of the time, there was conjecture that Hendin and Le Fevre might have actually been Americans (and, in fact, it has been reported that the duo hailed from Detroit, Michigan when the album was recorded), despite the record being cut in London. And it does have a greater American influence to its mildly psychedelic late-'60s folk-rock than most British efforts in the genre, with stirring, slightly strident singing; some slight pop accents with a little similarity to the early work of Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention, and even the Seekers, though the resemblance isn't explicit; and some occasional exotic Eastern sounds on tamboura and tabla. The record's slightly moody and introspective, though pleasant (and sometimes a little loosely drifting) in feel, and one presumes that the "D. Graham/M. Chapman" songwriting credit for "Gypsy People" could signify a tune co-written by noted British folkies Davy Graham and Michael Chapman. A couple noted musicians who were definitely involved in the recording were Pentangle drummer Terry Cox, who contributed percussion, and top British session drummer Clem Cattini. The album was reissued on CD in 2006. ~ Richie Unterberger

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