Mimi & Tom at The Bitter End, April 12, 1972: Three Reviews

From Variety, no. 266, Apr 26, 1972, p. 61:

Mimi Fariņa, sister of Joan Baez, and Tom Jans are a smooth folk-singing duo with easy audience communication, good material and good vocal and guitar form. Miss Fariņa is the widow of Richard Fariņa, writer-performer, who died a couple of years ago.

Their Bitter End gig is unusual since they've usually headlined Gaslight II in previous visits to Greenwich Village. Their friendliness, natural humor and tunes carry easily in both rooms. They open their set as they open their A&M album, with Jans' "Carolina," sung by Jans with Miss Fariņa supplying humming harmony.

Most of the other numbers, regardless of who starts, wind up as duets and their voices blend perfectly, even though they've been performing together for only a bit more than a year. Although most of their material are originals, they also score with Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," a country tune turning up more in other areas these days, and "You're 16," a rocker from the '50s, which is a fun selection.

Miss Fariņa and Jans both play six-string acoustic guitars. In their encore, however, they go to grand piano. Their being seated at the piano stool prompts a good example of their effective dry humor as Miss Fariņa says, "It feels strange over here. That's because I don't play the piano." Jans plays for the encore, another duet. This is an engaging folk team.


From Billboard Apr. 29, 1972, p. 37:

Mimi Fariņa and Tom Jans, of A&M Records, performed on April 12 in an attenuated folk style which was largely devoid of energy and substance. Although they generated some heat with Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," Fariņa and Jans were generally listless and unexciting.

Accompanying themselves on acoustic guitars, Fariņa and Jans sang "You're 16," poking self-conscious fun at the Ozzie and Harriet-type TV family situation comedy, rendered Fariņa's composition, "Reach Out," about a suicide whom she said was right to do away with himself (life is so awful, but try to hang on anyway, she advised to the audience), and "Letter to Jesus," probably Fariņa's best composition.

Singer-songwriter guitarist Christ Smither opened the program with an impressive set of blues tunes, several of which sparkled with rueful humor. Highlights included the title song from his latest Poppy album, "Don't Drag It On," a sad-sweet "Lonesome Georgia Brown," and a funny, raunchy "I Could Love You Like a Man."

--Dan Bottstein


[No citation available for the following article:]

BITTER END, NYC - Mimi & Tom prove how easy it is to put on a show by just being themselves. the A&M duo of Farina & Jans works on an emotional rather than a decibel peak. Not only do they get there just the same, they make the trip smoother and quicker for their efforts.

Their acoustic guitars feature intricate but not ego-tripping patterns of complex beauty which complement rther than compete with their melody lines. They have answered the question of what is meaningful folksong for the seventies by writing lyrics that are tender but not soft-soapy, concerned without preachin' the bajeesis out of you. The act is well-paced: mostly material form their fine "Take Heart" LP, one Richard & Mimi Farina remembrance (in this case, "Children of Darkness") and a salute to Johnny Burnette and Ozzie & Harriet ("You're 16"). They have even written themselves a "Hit!" in "Good God, I'm Feelin' Fine;" so when Mimi Farina and Tom Jans make it to the Top 40, don't be too surprised. They know just what they're doing, and we welcome it.

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