genre: prog folk
quality: lossless (flac, cue, log, scans)
time: 43'25" size: 275 mb
The Third Estate were another in a fairly long line of brief collaborations resulting in obscure, private-label albums spawned from college campuses the world over in the late sixties and early seventies. In Third Estate's case the campus was Southeastern Louisiana University, and the music is rather difficult to classify. The 'band' (if it can even be called that) consisted of composer/vocalist/guitarist/bassist Robert Everett, composer/guitarist Chas Harrell, and drummer/percussionist Jerry Lang. This was less of a traditional band, and more of an on-going friendship between Everett and Harrell that involved other musicians when necessary, although the two of them had previously recorded unreleased material as THE ZEALOTS (later changed to AGONISTES).
The band's music is equally balanced between acoustic and electric guitar, with heavy emphasis on picking and strumming but also highly rhythmic and melodic compositions. The lyrical themes range from nostalgic to historical, with the primary theme of their one album being of an historical bent.
That album is the 1976 release "Years Before the Wine", produced with either 500 or 800 copies depending on who is telling the story, and with each cover hand-labeled and unique. The reissued 2006 (vinyl) album is accompanied by a single containing two other Everett compositions from 1968 and 1971, and the tracks on their album were recorded between 1973 and 1975, though not released until 1976. The stated theme of the album is a reflection on the French Revolution of 1789 in which the 'third estate' actually represented virtually the entire country outside of the clergy and nobility; but some of the lyrics on the first side are more introspective and poetic, and seem only vaguely related to those on the back side.
There is no record that the band toured or otherwise existed in any notable fashion after the release of their album. Everett, Lang and Harrell continued for a few years in different lineups of various regional cover bands, but all have moved on to other careers since. Today Everett is a professor of science at the University of Central Florida and is still records occasionally.
The Third Estate deserve a place in the ProgArchives for there one album that despite being obscure and brief, still represents all that makes progressive music so appealing and distinctive as compared to mass-produced 'popular' music.
01. Years Before the Wine - Destiny 4:44
02. Years Before the Wine - Overcast 5:35
03. Useless Things 3:34
04. Look at me 8:42
05. Kings 2:32
06. Puppet City 8:07
07. Think itґs time 4:40
08. The third estate 5:31
a. The authority
b. The overthrow
c. The procession
Robert Everett / 6-string electric guitars, 6-string acoustic guitars, bass, wind chimes, piano, organ, maracas, feedback & effects, vocals
Chas Harrell / 12-string acoustic guitars, 6-string electric guitars, saws & hammers, vocals
Jerry Lang / drums, guiro, bells, claves
Fae Ficklin / vocals (1,2)