Lay a Little Lovin' On Me
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Robin McNamara's album, titled after his big 1970 hit "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me," appeared on Jeff Barry's Steed label and features that singer from the Broadway show Hair along with his cast members. The 45, as well as its non-LP B-side "I'll Tell You Tomorrow," were both co-written by the singer and his producer, with songwriter Jim Cretecos helping out on the title track. That radio-friendly bubblegum confection brightened up the summer of 1970, but it is not indicative of the adult contemporary sound on the rest of this very listenable disc. The music on the Lay a Little Lovin' on Me LP is actually a better reflection of the hip Broadway shows of the day. Neil Goldberg's "Now Is the Time" would fit just as well on the Godspell album, so different from the number 11 hit from July 1970, which no doubt inspired the likes of Richard Mondo, aka Daddy Dewdrop, and his irreverent 1971 novelty tune "Chick a Boom" — a frosty little bubblegum number like "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me." McNamara is a credible songwriter on his own and it is a wonder he didn't land a couple of other hits, but it's more a wonder that he faded so quickly from the musical landscape. He did show up on radio station WMEX in Boston, allegedly ripping his shirt off like some Hair promo for DJ John H. Garabedian (famous for discovering the hit "Maggie Mae" for Rod Stewart ) and appears as a musician on a Monkees compilation, but he just didn't reap the rewards promised by this very sophisticated endeavor. Side one ends with a tune co-written with Ned Albright called "Lost in Boston," a fun little ditty mentioning Fenway Park that's a lot like McNamara's solo composition "Beer Drinkin' Man." Albright and Bob Dylan cohort Steven Soles co-write a very the Band-ish "Together, Forever," and they were responsible for "All Alone in the Dark" from the Monkees 1970 disc Changes. Jeff Barry was a co-producer of that Monkees event and this album's engineer, Mike Moran, showed up there, as well, giving McNamara's 11-song collection a certain value for the fans of that TV show. There are some great lost moments here, unexpected on a disc that became popular by putting the cast of a Broadway show on a tune appropriate for the Partridge Family. "Got to Believe in Love" could have changed the perception as it fuses the gospel of "Hang in There Baby" and "Glory, Glory" with the pop that brought this LP to the attention of the masses. This is a solid effort all the way around.