Trace of a Feeling

Liner note

This third 2CD collection from The Palers’ Project presents forty-two further nuggets from the Procol cosmos, explored and fondly re-exploited by almost a hundred fans and musicians from all over the planet. In the couple of years since we launched From Shadow to Shadow – itself the successor to Lost in the Looking-Glass – fellow-travellers have been sending in a track a fortnight, on average: some gems have therefore been held over for a future outing. The title of the present excursion once again derives from a Keith Reid lyric, and again we trace the Harum oeuvre through all the band's albums so far, touching on Brooker, Fisher and Trower solo works in addition.

Listeners undertake this voyage of rediscovery with a delightfully diverse crew: a Beefheart alumnus, a Zombie descendant, and a teenage Grabham kinsman mingle with old hands from London's 60s and New Wave scenes; dedicated amateurs serve alongside a Grammy nominee ... and a current member of Procol itself. The approaches are as various as the players: some cover the revered blueprints using a sort of musical tracing-paper, while others rely on mere trace-elements to recreate ‘the feeling’ of the originals; nobody has kicked over the traces altogether, but there are myriad metamorphoses to enjoy, both musical and verbal.

The ‘monkey riding on my back’ in The Devil Came from Kansas calls to mind a man in William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1794) who ‘carried a monkey about for a show’. Just a few lines further on Blake has advice for anyone aspiring to reinvent or recapitulate works of genius: ‘let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.’ This candle in sunshine, like the salty dog and his ape, becomes a key ingredient in Ruthie Bosch’s album artwork: its searching symbolism deftly places us ‘strangers in cyberspace’ in our proper relation to the true constellation of Procol Harum.

Thanks and salutations ...
... to all the performers, and to Christine Ayre, Martin Clare, Chris Cooke, Richard Lamb, Sean Lynch, Jens Anders Ravnaas and John Wooff for help along the way; particular thanks to Jonathan Lane for mastering; to Rob Barnes for a generous auction subsidy; to Stilly McFaddon and Toof Commercial Printing in Memphis TN for kind donation of resources; to Richard Beck and Rick Greeson for nurturing the artwork through the presses; and to Ruthie Bosch for the original paintings and drawings which so perfectly capture, and enhance, the spirit of the project – Roland Clare, Mission Control

Compilation © 2006 : all rights of the producer and of the owner of the works reproduced reserved. Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited. MCPS

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