White Duck "In Season" (1972) released on CD - in South Korea

I have just learned that White Duck's In Season, the rare 1972 album on which John Hiatt made his recording debut, is now available on CD in South Korea. The distributor is Big Pink Music, which specializes in CD-sized album replicas of rare '60's and '70's singer/songwriter, country and folk LP's. It makes perfect sense that a label with that name and specialty would take an interest in White Duck, because the band bore some musical resemblance to The Band, as well as to the Flying Burrito Brothers, although their tone was more upbeat than either. This is the first time that In Season has ever been issued on CD anywhere. (Thanks to Perfectly Good Cigar: The Unofficial German John Hiatt Page for this information).

In Season was the second and final album from White Duck. (Their self-titled debut album White Duck from 1971 has also been reissued in South Korea by Big Pink, but Hiatt was not involved with that album -- and I do not recommend it). Hiatt's bandmates were Don Kloetzke, Mario Friedel, and Paul Tabet, who had previously been associated with a then-unknown Jimmy Buffett. Each of the four members made contributions to In Season as singers and songwriters.

Two of the album's songs belonged to Hiatt. "You Caught Me Laughin' " gives us an early glimpse of Hiatt's cynical humor, and musically it would fit in on one of the first two solo albums he would soon record (1974's Hangin' Around The Observatory and 1975's Overcoats). The other track, "Sail Away", shows an early example of the deeper Hiatt, as he apparently sings about the impending but unexpected end of a relationship. It's a top-notch track that withstands comparison to much of the singer-songwriter brilliance that Hiatt has continued to display in the four decades since. Sadly, Hiatt's talent has always been largely overlooked.

Although Hiatt's two songs are the high points of In Season, most of its other tracks are nearly as good. Kloetzke wrote and sang five of the songs; his weaker tracks are the album's only drawbacks. Kloetzke shines on "Thank You" and "A Girl Who", but sounds overly clownish on "Bull Island Boogie" and "Looney Tune". Hiatt is not credited with playing on either of those tracks, which may explain why they sound so much like outtakes from White Duck's lesser debut album.

In Season is a very likable country rock album, better than just the curiosity piece that you might expect.

White Duck "In Season" LP (Uni 73140) 1972; CD (Big Pink 334) 2014

Track Listing:

1. Carry Love -- (Don Kloetzke)
2. Firewater -- (Mario Friedel, Skip Rogers)
3. You Caught Me Laughin' -- (John Hiatt)
4. Thank You -- (Don Kloetzke)
5. Sail Away -- (John Hiatt)
6. Bull Island Boogie -- (Buzz Cason, Don Kloetzke)
7. Honey, You'll Be Alright (Do What Ya Gotta Do) -- (Paul Tabet, Mario Friedel)
8. Lazy Days -- (Mario Friedel)
9. A Girl Who -- (Don Kloetzke)
10. Again -- (Mario Friedel)
11. Looney Tune -- (Don Kloetzke)