The locally based power-pop act the Choir had a hit right out of the gate in 1967 with its debut single, “It’s Cold Outside.” While the band would quickly implode after a couple of short years, it left a lasting impression.
The group opened for acts such as the Who and the Yardbirds and its members would wind up in bands like the James Gang and the Raspberries.
Due out on Feb. 16, Artifact: The Unreleased Album features ten songs that the band, which at the time included singer-organist Phil Giallombardo, singer-guitarist Randy Klawon, singer-bassist Danny Carleton, singer-drummer Jim Bonfanti and singer-pianist Kenny Margolis, recorded in 1969. Most of the songs have never been released.
The late Paul Hamann discovered the music that his father had recorded at his Cleveland Recording Studios. Ducky Carlisle remastered the tunes, and Tommy Allen mixed them — the duo represents the same production team worked on the Raspberries’ release Pop Art Live.
The disc opens with the Beatles-like “Anyway I Can,” a track that shows off the group’s remarkable vocal harmonies. Songs such as “If These Are Men” and the punchy “David Watts” possess a garage rock vibe thanks to some stellar drum work and groovy organ riffs.
The CD also includes rare photos and a set of liner notes with a “family tree” that shows the band’s various incarnations.