Folk Evaluation




« back to releases

Folk Evaluation proudly presents Milwaukee's best home-brewed pop of 1976: Sensation

Favorably reviewed in the Acid Archives and often compared to Lazy Smoke’s Corridor of Faces, this slice of Midwestern pop perfection combines classic songwriting, kitchen sink recording methods and a sense of teenage longing that will certainly appeal to fans of Donnie & Joe Emerson, Doug Yule-era Velvet Underground, and Paul McCartney’s own home-recorded 4-track experiments.

Budding Wisconsin songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Donald S. Fisher and Jeffrey L. Engel came together in the mid-1970s over a shared love of post-Beatles pop. As their collaboration bloomed they reached out to local recording company L&R Studios run by Jeff Rockel and John Loeper. Though sparse (at the time the studio essentially consisted of a 1/4” 4-track machine and some homemade effects boxes in a finished basement), the young engineers were happy to take on the project and help produce a full LP for the talented duo.

An unexpected knock at the door brought aspiring soul singer Tina Smith into the mix. A young singer looking to cut her first 45 , engineers Rockel and Loeper were particularly inspired to pair Ms. Smith with the “house band” Sensation. And thus was born one of the most far-out underground psychedelic-soul/folk-funk 45s to ever come out of Wisconsin (or anywhere, for that matter). Scarce originals of the single trade hands for $300+ on the rare occasion they do surface, and original copies of Sensation’s self-released 1976 LP regularly sell for $200, making it quite the expensive (and near-impossible) task to bring the pair home.


Twilight Nuages

But impossible and expensive no more! Folk Evaluation is proud to present the full Sensation album with bonus 45 rpm 7” featuring not only the band’s two jaw-dropping collaborations with Ms. Tina Smith but also two never-before-heard demos recorded shortly after the album was completed, all direct from the original tapes with audio remastered by Josh Bonati.

*First ever authorized reissue of this amazing private press collection of lo-fi, folk-rock power-pop from the songwriting duo of Donald S. Fisher and Jeffrey L. Engel.
*Exact repro, heavy duty tip-on jackets with gold foil de-bossed covers
* Bonus 45 rpm 7” containing Sensation’s two jaw-dropping and incredibly scarce collaborations with little-known Milwaukee soul singer Tina Smith PLUS two never-before-heard outtakes
* All audio remastered from the original tapes by Josh Bonati
* Edition of 500 copies includes insert with never before seen photos and full digital download.
* Distributed worldwide by Light In The Attic Records.


“Sensation is a fantastic ride in the arcades of American seventies pop music. Under the influence of Macca, these two cowboys - Donald S. Fisher and Jeffrey L. Engel - temporarily abandoned their ranch to survey the tracks of a recording studio, [finding the] time to collect an anthology of breezy melodies, nonchalant and heady. A beautiful album from end to end.” - The Strange Experience of Music

“1976 private press record out of Wisconsin that’s been a long time favorite of mine. Beatles-inspired rural folky AM soft rock kinda sound maybe like Stories, Looking Glass, Lazy Smoke, 60s Bee Gees or Wings but with that homemade edge and really charming McCartney-ish high vocals and bits of fuzz, woodwinds and other stuff that makes this two man band a winner in my book.” - Rockodrome Records