Just in time for Christmas comes one of the world’s most loathsome rock impresarios with something new! Well, if not exactly new, previously unreleased and mostly unknown. Yes, it’s MURRY WILSON & SNOW! The Break Away EP is a 4-track digital-only collection of songs recorded sometime in 1969 by The Beach Boys’ patriarch and a Midwestern vocal group that nobody knows anything about! Okay, we do know a bit: Once Murry Wilson was forcibly removed from his sons’ (Brian, Carl & Dennis) orbit the old guy decided to try and replicate the boys’ success with a new group he could manage (The Sunrays, three Top 100 singles and then nothin’), which soon petered out, leaving him to ponder his next move. And that was, try again. Sunray leader Rick Henn brought Murry a new singing group, Snow, consisting of apparently a number of Midwestern guys and possibly at least one gal and soon the group and presumably some studio musicians (if it’s anyone from The Wrecking Crew none of ’em are owning up to it) got together to make an actually pleasant little sunshine pop concoction. “Break Away” and “We’re Together Again” were associated with The Beach Boys and the other two, “Wilderness” and “Bless Me,” are otherwise unaccounted for in the greater world of pop k-nowledge. Regardless of whether we knew about Snow before now, it’s kinda fun to listen to – dare I say, delightful? – and to see how Murry Wilson remained determined to get what he felt were his just desserts for giving his boys, The Beach Boys, to us years after they gave him the boot.
2/5 (Omnivore OVDG-367, 2019)
Here’s a taste of the “legend” of Murry Wilson’s managerial (and fatherly!) finesse, followed by a fictionalized look created by cartoonist extraordinaire, Peter Bagge: