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About James Smith

Guitarist and singer/songwriter James Smith recorded briefly in the second half of the '60s as a member of a band inexplicably known as Thorinshield. Despite similar pomposity to be found in the band names, this artist should not be confused with the British vocalist James Smith who came along shortly thereafter in the aggregations Asgard and Stonehouse. The only real British connection is Thorinshield co-partner Bobby Ray, the bassist on Donovan's 1966 Los Angeles recordings such as "Season of the Witch." The final third of Thorinshield was drummer Terry Hand, one of few musicians who needs his surname in order to play his instrument.
The trio created one album and a pair of singles, the songwriting team of Ray and Smith providing romantic dross such as "The Light That Love Brings" and "One Girl" as well as the far-out floss of "Prelude to a Postlude" and "Collage of Attitudes." In the manner of many rock & roll ensembles of this period, Thorinshield grew from folk rock into psychedelia, acquiring heavy production support from producers and arrangers such as "Teenage" Steve Douglas and Perry Botkin, Jr. respectively. After failing to chart, Thorinshield called it quits. "Well worth hearing, particularly if you can find it relatively cheap" is typical of the impressive critical retrospective on this group. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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