Sefronia, released in May 1973, was Tim Buckley’s eighth studio album, and his first on DiscReet, a record label founded by Frank Zappa and his business partner Herb Cohen. There are, however, only two Buckley originals – Quicksand and Stone In Love – on an album whose 11 tracks are, in the main, a blend of collaborative writing and cover versions.
“A natural born musician”
Dolphins, the first cover song, is Sefronia’s stirring opening track, and was written by Buckley’s Greenwich Village friend, folk singer Fred Neil (of Everybody’s Talkin’ fame). Buckley had been singing Dolphins since his early teenage years and admitted that it had taken him a long time to get it right. There is also a lushly orchestrated version of Tom Waits’ gorgeous ballad Martha, featuring orchestral arrangements by David Blumberg, a man who had written string arrangements for Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.
Buckley also covered Sally Go ’Round The Roses, which had been a hit in 1963 for the Bronx-based group The Jaynetts. The final cover, I Know I’d Recognise Your Face, was co-written by Letty Jo Baron and Denny Randell, the man who produced Sefronia and played keyboards on the album. Elsewhere, I Know I’d Recognise Your Face, a routine pop song, featured neat interplay between Buckley’s baritone voice and the female backing singers Marcia Waldorf, Sharon Beard, Myrna Matthews and Lisa Roberts.