Country singer Gene MacLellan made his first appearance on this site way back in April of 2006. Shortly thereafter I somehow misplaced that LP, but was recently fortunate enough to find a cheap copy of this one, entitled Street Corner Preacher, on eBay. Since then I've learned a bit more about the melancholy troubadour's life and times, and as it turns out MacLellan fought a lifelong battle against depression, a battle he lost in January of 1995 when he took his own life. The liner notes on this album state that at various points in his life he worked as an apple picker, potato harvester, dishwasher and mental hospital attendant in addition to his musical career, which included stints as a gospel singer and rock band guitarist. Still best-known as the guy who wrote "Snowbird" (a massive hit for Anne Murray and many others), his plaintive take on '70s-style country is long-overdue for a rediscovery.
Street Corner Preacher was produced and arranged by Brian and Trish Ahern, and recorded at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville and Eastern Sound in Toronto. Every song on the LP was written by MacLellan. The title track is a funky defense of those guys you see ranting about the end times on street corners, and Gene's take on "Isle Of St. Jean" is slower and groovier than The Rhythm Pals' sweeping version, but it's pretty good, too. "Face In The Mirror" is the lament of a drinker seeing his own face, alone, staring back from the mirror behind the bar at closing time, and "Hard As I Try" is a weepy lost-love ballad.
Isle Of St. Jean
Face In The Mirror
Hard As I Try