When American Born singer/songwriter Irvin Mowrey came to London in the early 70’s “to check the scene out”, he ended up playing in the subway to pay his rent, and soon met a classically-trained local violinist named Malcolm Watson, fresh from concerts in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) with a trio. They jammed in the subway and started adapting Mowrey’s songs to a duo format. The duo’s sound was rather unusual, mixing an acoustic eerie violin with a 12-string guitar, mixed with a great voice and intriguing lyrics. They returned to the subway to play out the three songs and a radio-producer walked by and proposed them a live appearance on the radio. After that, the duo went to the Borders (next to Scotland) for a week and turned up with over 90 minutes worth of material, worked from existing songs from Mowrey.
Visa problems made that Mowrey had to leave England for France (Daevid Allen anyone?) and headed for Paris, finding an open stage show and clinching a gig two weeks later. Calling Watson to the rescue, the duo practiced in the Paris subway (Watson making more cash by playing classical music interludes between the duo’s repertoire), and wouldn’t you know it, a record producer walked by and immediately offered to record them in one of Paris’s best studios. The duo then naturally called themselves Subway and after recording toured with SupertrampBahendel and a few radio shows before disappearing, later briefly resurging as Busker.
Released in 72 on the Epic label with only 200 copies pressed, it seems that most were destroyed once the unsold copies were returned to the label. This made Subway’s only record one of acid-folk’s most sought-after rarity.
Both musicians now live in the USA, Watson playing in a jazzy/new age duo and Mowrey works for a computer game company and still writes the odd song. Musically the group/duo sounds like a quiet Comus, Jan Dukes De Grey’s debut album, Mormos’ first album (as well) and Spirogyra’s quiet moments. and
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