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Pic Nic


A recording of disarming delicacy, the only album by Pic Nic was released by the Hispavox label in the hazy year of 1968 after the short, one-year life of the five-piece, and it featured an innocent and touching cover which immediately invited people to find out what was behind it. The formation of the group began in 1966 Barcelona after the split of Brenner's Folk, a short-lived band created by the Venezuelan musician Vytas Brenner. They included most of the original members of what later would become Pic Nic, mainly guitarist Toti Soler, then 17, Jordi Sabatés and, of course, Jeanette. The rest of Pic Nic's line-up was completed by Isidoro "Doro" de Montaberry and Mexican Mario Alfonso "Al" Cárdenas. Jeanette (real name Janette Anne Dimech, born in London in 1951) was a child of the diaspora; her mother was from the Canary Islands and her father from the former Belgian Congo. From her native England the family had moved to the United States, where she would remain until she arrived in Barcelona as a 14-year-old, her tender voice carrying the echoes of Californian folk-rock. Rafael Turia, a radio man and neat interpreter of Donovan songs in Spanish for Discos Belter, introduced them to the Hispavox label. Their official story starts after their meeting with the Madrid record company. Producer Rafael Trabucchelli got involved and that was it. He changed their original name to Pic Nic and chose Jeanette as their vocalist. They recorded their first single, Cállate Niña/Negra Estrella (1967), which sat at number one on the charts for 10 weeks. After their equally-successful second single Amanecer/No Digas Nada (1968), they got working on what would be their only LP. The album possesses a rare pre-adolescent lyricism, and Trabucchelli's arrangements and production transforms their folk ballads into something never heard before, or since, in Spain. Besides the Vytas Brenner song "Te Esperaré," the covers of Peter, Paul And Mary's "Tiny Sparrow," Janis Ian's "Society's Child" and the only track sung in English, bluesman Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues," are remarkable and their renditions rival the originals. However, there's no better track than "Cállate Niña" to define the spirit of the album: a lullaby sung by two small girls after the death of the mother of one of them, it overflows with melody despite its simplicity, and its use of triangle, harmonica and a male backing vocal provide an absolutely ghostly quality. Jeanette would start a successful solo career two years later, covering songs written by Manuel Alejandro, José Luis Perales and André Popp. After that, Pic Nic never recorded another record. Includes an insert with liner notes in Spanish and English. Pressed on 180 gram vinyl in a limited edition of 1,000 copies only.