Back in the 1990s when I first became obsessed with relatively obscure ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll, one of the albums I was turned on to was “Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era.” It was a two-LP set that had been released on Elektra Records in 1972 and featured an assortment of psychedelic and garage rock singles from the mid-to-late ‘60s. The compilation was assembled by Lenny Kaye, who went on to become lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group.

In 1998, Rhino Records put out “Nuggets” as a 4-CD box set that featured the original 27 tracks on the first disc and added a whopping 91 more across the other three discs.

It was there that I discovered The Choir, a seminal garage rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, whose 1966 song “It’s Cold Outside” was included on disc three. “It’s Cold Outside” was always a standout track from that box set for me as I loved its infectiousness, which seemed to blend British Invasion-style R&B and Byrds-like jangle-pop with something like “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades or “Runaway” by Del Shannon.

Notably, The Choir, which was originally known as The Mods, featured three musicians — guitarist Wally Bryson, drummer Jim Bonfanti and guitarist/bassist Dave Smalley — who, along with lead vocalist Eric Carmen, later comprised the classic lineup for the highly-successful ‘70s pop-rock outfit The Raspberries.

It goes without saying that I was totally intrigued when I learned that Omnivore Recordings was planning to release “Artifact: The Unreleased Album,” a 10-track collection of extremely rare recordings that had been made by one of the final versions of The Choir in 1969 but had never been commercially issued.

I recently obtained an advance copy of the recently unearthed "lost" album by The Choir, which will be released Friday, and I’m happy to report that it’s quite good.

The material serves as the perfect bridge between The Choir recordings I was familiar with and the ultra-catchy pop songs made by The Raspberries shortly thereafter.

With the exception of a cover of The Kinks’ “David Watts,” all of the songs are originals written by members of the band and it’s pretty clear they were heavily influenced by the progressive strains of such post-British Invasion groups as Procol Harum. In other words, there’s a lot of trippy organ accompanying some nifty guitar licks and exquisite vocal harmonies.

The only direct link between The Choir members featured on “Artifact” and the classic Raspberries lineup is the drummer Bonfanti, who is joined on these recordings by guitarist Randy Klawon, bassist Denny Carleton, pianist Kenny Margolis and organist Phil Giallombardo.

As someone who’s always eager to find something new that’s actually old, I’d fully recommend The Choir’s “Artifact: The Unreleased Album.” It’s a neat little piece of hidden history that’s sure to be appreciated by garage rock buffs and power-pop aficionados alike.

But don’t take my word for it. Consider what The Raspberries front man had to say in the liner notes for the new release.

“I went to see The Choir when I was 16, and immediately wanted to join their band,” Carmen wrote. “They were a great group that had many lives and many members. This album was made by one of the last and final versions of the band. This recently discovered recording is sure to rekindle fond memories for the many fans of The Choir, including myself. Give it a spin, and enjoy a special piece of Cleveland rock history.”

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A closer look at some of this week’s area shows:

St. Maurice will perform at 10 p.m. Friday at The Upstairs Bar in Spartanburg. A fixture on the Upstate music scene for the past several years, the band churns out a boldly progressive sound that’s rooted in modern rock but also inspired by everything from blues and funk to R&B and hip-hop.

Perlino will perform at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Delaney’s Irish Pub in Spartanburg. Hailing from Myrtle Beach, the male-female duo offers a solid mix of folk-rock and alt-country.

Ken Ledbetter and the Paris Mountain Scoundrels will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday at Brickhouse Fresh Pizzeria and Grill in Spartanburg. The Greenville-based band delivers an impressive brand of pop-rock and cowpunk that seems to draw inspiration from the 1980s output of such bands as R.E.M. and Jason & the Scorchers.

The Jacob Johnson Group will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Peddler in Spartanburg. Led by its guitar virtuoso namesake, the band churns out an infectious assortment of quirky, jazz-laden folk-pop.

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Looking ahead:

Rock ‘n’ roll icon Elton John will bring his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia for a performance at 8 p.m. March 13, 2019. Tickets are $59.50-$224.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. For more information, call 800-745-3000 or visit www.livenation.com.