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The hippie groundswell of the late ‘60s left a lot of young people on the road to self-discovery in the new decade of the 1970s. Some were true “dropouts,” but there were also a number of artisans and talented people out there, footloose yet fascinated with the workings of the world and determined to make something of the pieces they’d been given. THESE TRAILS echoes back to us from Hawaii, and specifically the world of the nature cult there. Hawaii’s (comparatively) unspoiled wilderness bore great fascination to the gentle young people of the west coast back in those days. Musicians as diverse as The Beach Boys, Merrell Fankhauser, Sky Saxon, Dan Hicks and Ry Cooder all drew vibes and inspiration from the Hawaiian mystique and music—but These Trails gains distinction having been made by everyday-people-type inhabitants of the islands. Hiking, swimming and surfing were the auspices under which MARGARET MORGAN and PATRICK COCKETT first met. They were local kids, who’d grown up on the island of Kaua’i. They’d both been studying native Hawaiian music and their shared interests and island upbringing inspired them to write and play new music together. By the time this music got to tape, a greater environment had been created with the addition of DAVE CHOY’s ARP synthesizer, Uruguayan CARLOS PARDEIRO’s guitar and sitar, and the soft rhythm of ipu, Hawaii’s traditional percussion. The music of These Trails is a psychedelic bridging of folk musics that has a natural and melodic flow and a somber, spiritual air. These Trails was never really a band; it was an album of music. It wasn’t pressed in any great numbers and created only a few ripples locally when it was released in 1973. Nonetheless, it was a powerful expression that stands with up other recently-discovered heroes of the private-press world, such as Linda Perhacs and Gary Higgins, whose singular musical endeavors stand with the best of what the hippified 1970s had to offer. (STREET DATE - 6/21/2011)

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