Blue Merle and Bark Psychosis. I'll bet there are only a handful of folks out there who have ever heard of either one of these groups. And it's a shame. Let's start with Blue Merle. I like to describe them as Coldplay meets Mike Marshall & Darol Anger. The Coldplay comes from Luke Reynolds's voice, which sounds quite a bit like Chris Martin. Hey, I'm sure he didn't try to imitate him, it's just a fortunate coincidence for him. The music has a folksy, bluegrassy sound to it--reminiscent of Darol Anger's cd "Chiaroscuro". What's not to like? They write catchy songs and really swing at times. Unfortunately, the group put out just one studio recording "Burning in the Sun" in 2005 and a somewhat obscure live recording, and then broke up. The music world's loss.
The second group is Bark Psychosis. The grouo was formed in 1986 in England and and has a very modest discography. However they were so innovative and ahead of their time, one rock critic felt the need to invent a new term to describe them--"post rock". One listen to their music and you can see why. It could loosely be categorized as electronica, but that would be selling their music short. It's pretty and unlike anything I've ever heard. As close as I can get is to compare them with the best of Cinematic Orchestra and Yo La Tengo. They've put out a few discs over the years, the best being "Hex". Their music is engaging, sophisticated, and at times, romantic. I could easily envision any number of their tunes being utilized to great effect, in a soundtrack for a film. I've done some investigating, yet it remains unclear whether the group is still together or not. If anyone has an answer to this, please drop me a line.
To give you an example of the music of these two groups, I've posted a couple youtube videos. Their music is available from the iTune store and Amazon.
20 hours ago