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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Neutral Spirits - Neutral Spirits (1972 us, raw garage acid psych, Gear Fab release)



The short-lived garage combo Neutral Spirits played around the small communities surrounding Decatur, Tennessee, throughout the early 1970s, and, like most such bands, would have been all but forgotten if not for a fortuitous trip into the recording studio. Mike Gable and Mike Henry both picked up guitars at early ages, and after meeting and talking music at high school, the two began practicing them together. 

Henry's older brothers Calvin, an accomplished saxophone player, and drummer Rex, both school marching band members, soon began jamming along, and the Neutral Spirits -- named, like a lot of teenage garage combos, after a random search through Webster's dictionary -- were born. After weeks of nightly rehearsals, they began to play out, taking gigs at private parties, fund raisers, pizzerias -- even backing the Henrys' mother in church -- and doing the usual talent shows, eventually becoming a regular on the local Battle of the Bands circuit. 

Finally, with additional member Mickey Debusk, also a high school buddy, on second guitar and vocals, they landed a plum job as the Saturday night house band at a local skating rink, and as crowds surged, an increasing number of requests came in for a Neutral Spirits recording. With the connections Calvin Henry made by playing on several gospel sessions, and with mostly Mike Gable original songs in tow, the quintet traveled to Melody Studios in Atlanta in 1972 and recorded their lone, eponymous LP, which was thereafter sold at all their live shows, and from a stand at the local IGA grocery store. 

The band continued playing for several years after until dissolving upon the marriage of one member and the matriculation to college of another. 
by Stanton Swihart

Tracks
1. Flying- 3:04
2. Power City - 6:50
3. Look What You Done to Me - 4:36
4. Speak Freely - 2:39
5. Scenic Void (Debusk) - 2:03
6. Holding On - 2:26
7. Can't Leave It This Way (M. Henry, C. Henry) - 3:21
8. I'm Calling Chicago - 2:18
All songs by Mike Gable except where noted.

Neutral Spirits
*Mike Gable - Vocals, Guitar
*Mike Henry - Guitar,  Vocals
*Calvin Henry - Saxophone
*Rex Henry - Drums
*Mickey Debusk - Guitar, Vocals

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The Elders - Looking For The Answer (1971 us, pleasant funky psych rock, Gear Fab release)



The Elders were a great band from the Dayton, Ohio area thai formed out of Ihe ashes of Jerry & The Others . Their only recorded legacy came as one of the cuts on the album "WONE". The Dayton Scene (Prism PR-1966). which showcased the top twelve groups from the ONE-sponsored three-day Daytontan battle of the bands in 1966. The song was titled "Don't Cry To Me" and was penned by guitarist Robert Budeliney.
by Roger Maglio


Tracks
1. Looking For The Answer (R. Skinner, L. Bari) - 5:01
2. Too Late To Change (P. Smith, G. Neal) - 4:11
3. Sissy Strut (Modeliste, Neville, Nocentelli, Porter) - 3:58
4. Fort Lauderdale (P. Smith} - 0:59
5. 25 Miles (Starr, Bristol, Suqua, Hatcher, Russell, Wexler) - 3:32
6. By The Size Of My Shoes (Weiss, Williams) - 3:15
7. Everybody Say Yeah (To The Call, Freedom For All),(Budeliney, Neal, Bari) - 3:21
8. Hip Hug Her (Cropper, Jones, Jackson, Dunn) - 3:25
 9. Your Mother Chews Tobacco (Smith) - 1:04

The Elders 
*Jerry Behring- Bass
*Rod Budeliney- Rhythm Guitar
*Ron Skinner- Drums
*Pat Smith- Keyboards

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Blues Project - Live At Town Hall (1967 us, substantial wide influenced psych blues rock, japan SHM remaster)



The Blues Project came together in NYC's Greenwich Village in 1965. The original quintet was guitarists Danny Kalb and Steve Katz, bass and flautist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld and vocalist Tommy Flanders. Session musician Al Kooper joined after the band failed a COLUMBIA audition. Although his keyboard skills were limited, Kooper contributed respectable vocals and good original songs.

In 1966, they recorded “Live At Cafe Au Go Go” and “Projections” for the Verve Forecast label. By early '67 when work began on “The Blues Project Live At Town Hall” (FT/FTS 3025), Kooper had left the group (Katz followed him later in the year).

There's only one cut here actually recorded at Town Hall. The balance is other "live" a performances at  Stony Brook College, plus studio tracks with added applause. Kooper's "No Time Like the Right Time," the group's only charting single, is a studio take augmented with applause that's reminiscent of the Animals. "Mean Old Southern" rolls as fast as an express train at full throttle. The extended "Flute Thing" opens with organ and flute playing in unison.

"I Can't Keep From Crying" is a fairly standard rocker. "Love Will Endure" features Katz's baritone vocal. It's another simulated "live" recording. "Where There's Smoke" is a decent Kooper leftover. The album closing "Wake Me, Shake Me" nicely illustrates how Blues Project sounded in-concert: tight, intense and improvisational.
by Annie Van Auken


Tracks
1. Introduction / Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 11:19
2. I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 6:00
3. Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:50
4. No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 3:06
5. Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:37
6. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:45
7. Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 9:19
8. Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 10:28
9. Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 5:34
10.Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:39
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 2:50
12.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:24
13.Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:31
14.Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 8:36
15.Lost In The Shuffle (John McDuffy, Joel I'Brien) - 2:55
16.Gentle Dreams (Steve Katz, Andy Kulberg) - 2:39
Tracks 8-16 Mono versions

The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Organ, Vocals
*Steve Katz - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
*Andy Kulberg - Bass

Other Blues Projects
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1968  Planned Obsolescence
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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Zoot Money - Transition (1968 uk, organ drivin' sunny psychedelic soulful jazz rock, 2009 Righteous Psalm reissue)



Bournemouth isnt particularly well known for its music. A renowned retirement zone where Tolkein used to holiday and eventually, er, retired to, it's cavernous NIC venue plays host to major tours but the sleepy coastal town has more in common with bath chairs and bowls than wild psychedelia and mod grooves. 

However, back in the '60s, it was 'swinging' and at the centre of the local scene was Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, a jazz, R&B and blues-inspired combo powered by the eccentric behaviour and tuneful keyboards of Zoot Money who'd, by 1964, drafted in future Police guitarist Andy Summers. Zoot, was a local scenester whose move to London became legendary through his tight trousers which occasionally split in a pre-PJ Proby moment. 

Zoot Money was already an enigma. Later, through the '70s, Money would go on to play with The Majik Mijits featuring Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriot, The Electric Blues Company, various incarnations of The Animals, Grimms, jazz rock fusionists Centipede as well as alongside Geno Washington, Spencer Davis, one time Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor, Kevin Ayers and a host of others. But In the mid-'6Os the whole world was turning upside down and Zoot was similarly rotating. The early Big Roll Band albums had provided some groovy blue-eyed soul and a few Ray Charles-like sounds before, in 1966, Zoot embarked on a solo project which would become “Transition”. 

Featuring the same players who were in the  Big Roll Band, he began recording this unique set which touched on soulful ballads, uptempo mod material and included a track called 'Soma' which was written by Andy Summers and featured him on sitar. An exciting mix of sounds, “Transition” route to the record shoo was truncated to say the least. 'Soma' had inspired Summers and Money to new tangents of music. It pushed the boundaries and encouraged Hie band to wig out further and, in a state of psyche-pop bliss, they decided they were so far uut of the Big Roll Band sound that they should change their name to Dantalian's Chariot and don the patchouli oil of the day. 

They would eventually play shows with the likes of Pink Floyd and their sole album 'Chariot Rising' featured a couple of the tracks from Transition in stranger incarnations and became a cult classic in the process, as it failed to ignite and turned their existing mod following off. After the Dantalion hiatus, 'Transition' was finally released on the Direction label and, by that time, the mods had embraced the psychedelic bug and the album slipped into obscurity and indeed became one of those buried treasures that is  talked of but seldom actually even seen. Finally, this lost gem has belatedly made K to CD. 

Remastered from the original quarter inch tapes, with all of Its glorious sweeping sounds, aching vocals and  groovy upbeat tunes intact, it's the epitome of cool. A year after its initial vinyl release, Zoot's 'Welcome To My Head' proved to be another out there experience that again gained cult status for its inventiveness but failed to garner sales – the right music at the wrong time again. Zoot Money is one of the great heroes of long lost eccentric English music. 'Transition'- from the bizarre sleeve down - is one of his finest moments
by Dave Henderson


Tracks
1. Let the Music Make You Happy (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 2:37
2. River's Invitation (P. Mayfield) - 3:55
3. Soma (Andy Summers) - 6:23
4. What Cha Gonna Do? Bout It (Doris Payne, Gregory Carrroll, Rex Garvin) - 3:35
5. Stop the Wedding (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 3:57
6. Deadline (P. Mayfield) - 3:15
7. Recapture the Thrill of Yesterday (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:53
8. Problem Child (T. Wine, C. Bayer) - 2:23
9. Just a Passing Phase (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:00
10.Coffee Song (Raymond Smith, Tony Colton) - 2:49

Musicians
*Zoot Money - Organ, Vocals
*Andy Summers - Guitar
*Paul Williams - Bass Guitar
*Nick Newell - Saxophone
*Johnny Almond - Saxophone
*Colin Allen - Drums

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Various Artists - A-Square Of Course The Story Of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records (1967-70 us, rough garage psych pearls)



Jeep Holland’s Ann Arbor label and agency A-Square was the flashpoint for the late 1960s Detroit rock revolution. “A-Square (Of Course)” features historic recordings by luminaries MC5, Thyme, Scot Richard Case and Frost, plus the rarely-heard Prime Movers, with a young Iggy Pop on lead vocals.

From Del Shannon through Mitch Ryder and Motown and its many offshoots and imitators, Michigan’s rock’n’roll past is tremendously rich – but without a doubt, it is the “high energy” Grande Ballroom era of the MC5 and Stooges that has captures the imagination of the rock fan. Detroit’s rock scene of the late 60s was part of the grass roots rock milieu, clustered in towns like Flint, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, East Lansing and, significantly, the college town of Ann Arbor, forty miles west of Detroit. This was the place that music fanatic Hugh “Jeep” Holland established his set up. Jeep traditionally does not get the credit he deserves in his stewardship of Detroit 60s rock’n’roll between 1965-70 but to a large extent, he was the region’s first tastemaker.

Jeep’s passion for music began early. It was inevitable that after moving to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan, he began to help local musicians first in management, and then by recording them on A-Square. The Rationals were his first and the most significant band and he helped them to transform into the accomplished and soulful hitmakers of Respect. Holland was a control freak, mentoring his acts with an almost Svengali-like zeal. But while groups like the Rationals and the Thyme acquiesced, others like the Scot Richard Case and the Prime Movers openly baulked at being manipulated in such fashion. 

Like any maverick, Jeep’s motives were misunderstood, his efforts taken for granted. As the Detroit scene began to explode in 1968 and 1969, with the crowds swelling and the gate receipts ever more lucrative, Jeep struggled to maintain control over his business activities. Lacking the cut-throat acumen mandatory for survival A-Square inevitably crumbled. By 1971 he had fled to Boston, departing in a welter of bounced cheques and bad debts.

I first contacted Jeep about reissuing the A-Square material in late 1997, and he was enthusiastic. Jeep wanted to work with Ace – he told me, “you guys do our music better than we do”. My Ace project at that time was the Zombies box set “Zombie Heaven”. True to form, when I mentioned them his instantant response was “ah, Chris White!”, the hallmark of an music expert. Sadly, Jeep died shortly afterwards and his estate passed to his brother Frank, who valiantly sorted through a houseful of papers, comics and assorted junk. When I eventually had the opportunity to survey the material, I was amazed at the sheer quantity of Michigan-related rock’n’roll memorabilia: Jeep had saved everything.

“A-Square (Of Course)” is thus a long overdue tribute to Holland’s stewardship of Michigan rock. It features most of the single sides issued on the label, plus unreleased productions and tracks by acts that Jeep managed or booked. These include the double-whammy firebrand of the MC5’s Looking At You / Borderline (released on A-Square without Jeep’s knowledge); rare cuts by the Frost, Up and Scot Richard Case, the latter the mod-ified early incarnation of SRC; and last but not least, a live I’m A Man by the Prime Movers, sung by a youthful Iggy Pop. The packed booklet depicts just a small fraction of the mountains of memorabilia in the Holland collection. Wherever you are Jeep, I hope it makes you proud.
By Alec Palao 


Tracks - Artists
1.I'm So Glad - Scot Richard Case - 2:52
2.Looking at You - MC5 - 2:50
3.Somehow - Thyme - 2:50
4.Stranded in the Jungle - Apostles - 3:13
5.Get the Picture - Scot Richard Case - 2:14
6.No Opportunity Necessary, NoExperience Needed - Thyme - 2:58
7.She Is a Friend - Rain - 3:10
8.Easy Way Out - Bossmen - 2:13
9.Time of the Season - Thyme - 2:44
10.Midnight to Six Man - Scot Richard Case - 2:18
11.Tired of Waiting for You - Apostles - 3:03
12.Borderline - MC5 - 3:19
13.I Found You - Thyme - 3:00
14.Who Is That Girl - Scot Richard Case - 2:52
15.Get Down - Half-Life - 2:32
16.I'm a Man - Prime Movers - 3:54
17.Love to Love - Thyme - 2:12
18.Just Like an Aborigine - Up - 4:18
19.I Cannot Stop You - Bossmen - 2:43
20.Very Last Day - Thyme - 3:10
21.Cobwebs and Strange - Scot Richard Case - 2:36
22.Listen My Girl - Bossmen - 2:28
23.Window Song - Thyme - 3:09
24.Mystery Man - Frost, Wagner - 3:36
25.I Found a Love - Thyme - 2:54

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Truk - Truk Tracks (1971 us, strong heavy psych rock, 2008 Retro Disc remaster)



Truk hailed  from Oklahoma, and played a high energy  Hard Rock magma punctuated with stunning heavy organ, there is a good cover of Gun's " Yellow Cab man", some acoustic melodic passages and few little  glamour glimpses.

Truk obviously had a pretty strong affinity for the trailblazing trudge of titans like Cream, and the powerful, messy drunken genius of early Guess Who.It's the kind of record where the drums and electric guitar crunch buries the sound right into the middle of your chest when it's played loud enough.

The sound was surely found at a dime-a-dozen in '71, but they sure don't make them like this today! 10 tracks, including "Country Woman", "Got To Find A Reason", "Pretty Lady", "Yellow Cab Man", "Silence Ending", "Max", "Sun Castle Magic" and more."

In 1973 Glenn Townsend resurfaced with Johnny Rivers and later Willy Daffern played with the reformation of Captain Beyond.  Truk Traks  Album cover picture shot at the East-West Truck Terminal in Orange County during a strike by the Teamsters.  The L. A. P. D.  was called by the security dude, who was not told we had permission to shoot the pictures.  

"Dewey Martin produced Truk and later became a mechanic. In the late '70s he also played sessions on a Hoyt Axton album. Buddy Emmons kept on recording hundreds of country sessions, Harvey Kegan rejoined Doug Sahm and Augie Meyer, and Steve Lefever became a session man, notably with Alexander Harvey.

Tracks
1. Country Woman - 4:29
2. Got To Find A Reason - 3:02
3. Pretty Lady - 3:56
4. Winter's Coming On - 2:46
5. Sun Castle Magic - 5:12
6. Yellow Cab Man - 3:01
7. Five Is Together - 3:41
8. You - 4:02
9. Silence Ending - 2:43
10.Max - 3:52

Truk
*J. Martin (Moby) Anderson - Bass, Vocals
*Danny Cornett -  Drums, Vocals (original drummer)
*Bill (Willie) Daffer -  Drums, Vocals (on last 4 songs cut--lead vocal on Winter's Coming On)
*George Michael (Mike) Graham - Lead Vocals
*James Patrick (Pat) Graha - Organ, Vocals
*Glenn Ray Townsend - Guitar, Vocals

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Majic Ship - The Complete Recordings (1967-70 us, great hard garage psych, Gear Fab issue)



'50s singer Johnny Mann discovered Majic Ship, and the Tokens produced their first single, so it would be logical to assume that the band gravitated toward straight pop, and, in fact, many of their earliest recordings did veer toward a sort of garage-pop hybrid that was, at best, pleasant. One Tokens-produced side, "Green Plant," on the other hand, hinted that the hearts of the members of the band lay in heavy rock grounded in the garage-psych aesthetic. When it came time to record their self-titled debut album in 1969, the music was much more in that vein. 

This Gear Fab CD collects all of Majic Ship's official recordings, including early singles and demos, and, as such, stands as the band's definitive document. Majic Ship prominently featured Gus Riozzi's organ and Mike Garrigan's distinctive hard rock holler, and was only a few steps removed from fellow New Yorkers Vanilla Fudge. Like that band, Majic Ship also made use of popular songs by other artists, and although much of the material came from in-house, two of the most interesting songs on the collection are covers of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" and a medley of Neil Young's "Down by the River" and Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." The real starting point on the CD is "It's Over." It is here that the band began to display the heavy, nearly over-the-top rock sound that would characterize their only album. 

The music verges on bombast (and occasionally falls into it) but on the whole is held in check by the band's pumped-up energy. "Sioux City Blues" is a pure punker in the "Green Plant" mold, with buzzsaw fuzz guitars and shouted vocals, while "Life's Lonely Road" and "Free" are superb hard rockers. The band also show a prevalent soul influence on songs such as "On the Edge" and "And When It's Over," spicing up the usual heaviness with some brass touches and a Rascals-like straightforwardness. The band even uncovers the soul inflections in "To Love Somebody." The brightest spot on the album, though, is the epic take on "Down by the River." They invest the song with a power that only begins to peter out around the nine-minute mark when it morphs into "For What It's Worth." 
by Stanton Swihart


Tracks
1. Night Time Music (Santarpia, Vetere) - 2:43
2. Mustang Sally (Rice) - 3:51
3. On the Edge (Majic Ship) - 4:13
4. Hummin' (Hayes, Porter) - 3:00
5. It's Over (Garrigan, Nikosey) - 2:19
6. Green Plant (Margo, Medress, Siegel) - 2:28
7. To Love Somebody (Gibb) - 3:13
8. On the Edge (Majic Ship) - 2:50
9. And When It's Over (Sommer) - 2:13
10.Sioux City Blues (Garrigan, Polimeni) - 3:29
11.Wednesday Morning Dew (Garrigan, Nikosey) - 3:04
12.Life's Lonely Road (Garrigan, Nikosey) - 2:50
13.We Gotta Live On (Riozzi) - 3:56
14.Where Are We Going (Nikosey) - 2:33
15.Free (Garrigan, Polimeni) - 4:18
16.Down by the River/For What It's Worth (Young / Stills) - 11:26
17.Nightmare (Nikosey, Polimeni) - 2:38
18.Too Much (Buckman, Garrigan, Polimeni) - 4:07
19.Cosmo's Theme (Riozzi) - 3:46
20.Blow Me Away (Garrigan, Nikosey) - 4:33

Majic Ship
*Gus (Cosmo) Riozzi - Bass, Organ, Vocals
*Rob Buckman - Drums
*Philip Polimeni - Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Mike Garrigan - Vocals
*Tommy Nikosey - Rhythm, Acoustic Guitar

1970  Majic Ship (2005 Gear Fab  less tracks version)

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pride - Pride (1970 us, mellow folksy psyche with latin drops, Wounded Bird issue)



A lost treasure from David Axelrod – an obscure 1970 rock project, and one that's almost even hipper than his work with the Electric Prunes! The style here is rock, but the sound is very much in an Axelrod mode – quite spacious, and with this wonderful undercurrent of funk – bubbling up beautifully from the drums, and given plenty of room between the guitars in the mix, which appear to be both electric and acoustic. 

There's some slight Latinesque tinges in the guitar – very much in keeping with the barrio image on the cover, yet different than other Chicano rock of the time – and the whole album's got a really poetic feel, with lightly flowing lines that almost remind us a bit of Tim Buckley at points, but with a definite Axlerod twist. Titles include "A Hope", "The Truth", "In The Wilderness", "Proud Sorrow", and "Song Of The Pirate". 


Tracks
1. Proud Sorrow - 3:10
2. A Hope - 3:05
3. Death of Juan Diaz - 3:20
4. Truth - 2:49
5. In the Wilderness - 2:34
6. Worthless Pleasures - 2:55
7. Returning Home - 3:40
8. Song of the Pirate - 2:53
All songs by David Axelrod and M.T. Axelrod

Pride
*David Axelrod - Composer, Producer
*M.T. Axelrod - Composer
*Nooney Rickett - Vocals
Musicians
*Lou Morrell - Guitar
*Don Randi - Keyboards
*Carol Kaye - Bass
*Earl Palmer - Drums

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The Blues Project - Planned Obsolescence (1968 us, brilliant psychedelic blues rock painted with baroque folk touches)



My friend Scoop used to be a big jazz critic. He was syndicated. Down Beat begged him for pieces. He had his own radio show. Scoop sat on panels and judged young talent at festivals. His tightly written, well-documented report on jazz behind the iron curtain was praised by Time. Even the musicians themselves respected his opinion. Praise from Scoop meant something for a jazzman's career. No more. Blame The Blues Project. And blame Jennifer, his teenage daughter, who talked him into taking her to the Cafe Au Go Go to hear them. 

At the time, most people around jazz were very up-tight over rock. "Those kids only know three chords in one key, they can't keep even elementary time and they are dreadfully out of tune," Scoop had written only a few weeks previously, without ever having heard live rock. Rock, you see, was taking the audience from jazz, and it was feared and resented. So imagine Scoop's surprise. He came away terribly excited and wrote an article about it that very night. "Not only might there be an entire new school of jazz starting through rock, but it might also pave the way to an exciting amalgam of jazz, folk, electronic, baroque and God knows what else— a popular music of unprecedented quality. 

There is no denying the energy, enthusiasm and honesty of The Blues Project. Their sound is so refreshing. To be frank, I am becoming tired of the old 'mainstream' jazz formula. Here is something else: young music with open end possibilities. The Blues Project swings in an improvisational format and they continually strive towards personal expression. But the most exciting thing is the young, exuberant audience. Maybe jazz has become complacent. I realize this is unorthodox coming from a jazz critic, but I like rock and roll, at least as played by The Blues Project." Well, it hit the fan. Fan mail turned to hate. "I see you've sold out. How much did they pay you to write that?" wrote a reader from LA. 

An unsigned letter from Dallas began, "People like you should be electrocuted. Critics should be more aware of their responsibilities. In my book you are a complete fink." Fellow critic I. M. Hipp published a rebuttal; "I'm sick and tired of Mr. Scoop telling us how wonderful The Blues Project is. I for one prefer intelligent music..." And so on. It was the first time his judgments had been  questioned and it threw Scoop badly. But he followed his instinct anyway and arranged an interview with Danny Kalb, the original leader of the group. Kalb's intelligence and lucidity impressed him as much as the music. 

"There are immense possibilities for synthesis in the kind of music we are playing," Kalb said. "It has a potentiality and even the reality right now of being both a high and a low art. The danceability makes it accessible to everybody, and the juke box has been opened to poetry. There is almost no limit." Scoop pursued it despite the scoffers; he would convert them. He began paying close attention to the new rock releases. He heard the Coltrane licks in Eight Miles High by the Byrds and wrote about them with high praise. In an interview, Hugh Masekela told him he was fed-up with the snobby, provincial jazz world and Scoop quoted him, agreeing. 

He wrote a no-star review of a George Shearing release in Down Beat, concluding: "The Blues Project is closer to jazz than this music." People ought to listen, not categorize. Quality is quality regardless. Why was the Establishment so defensive and prejudiced? He hammered home his point in column after column. "The Blues Project is playing some of the most exciting, contemporary and just plain musical music of our time, no matter what name it is called by. While 'serious' composers wrestle with electronics intellectually, while jazz players struggle with 'new concepts' of time and melody, the truly valid sounds of our time are coming from rock, which is improving all the time. It will get much better. And The Blues Project is leading the way." Their first album sold 22,000 copies before the first ad ran in Cash Box. And Underground music - music which thrives without benefit of Establishment support - was born. 

The Project proved the potency of the "coffee house" market; that word-of-mouth could be enough to sell quality and originality. Now the Project is completed. The work has been done. The guys are going on to other groups, new challenges. This will be their last album together. But years from now when people talk - and they will - about individual members of the Project, perhaps retrospective critics will conclude that, like Picasso, some of their best work was done during their Blues period. 

The music has, of course, gone everywhere Scoop predicted, and further. Leonard Bernstein has come out in praise of rock, as has Miles Davis. Scoop has been vindicated. His column is now called "Scoop on Pop" and its syndication has doubled. But he cannot go into a jazz club without fear of salty stares or hostile remarks. And he's lost most of his old friends. Like I said, blame The Blues Project. 
by Michael Zwerin (for New York's Village Voice)

Tracks
1. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of (R. Clark) - 4:31
2. Calypso (Andy Kulberg, J. Roberts) - 3:46
3. Frank And Curt Incensed (J. Gregory) - 3:26
4. Turtledove (Ar. Andy Kulberg) - 3:24
5. Mojo Hanna (A. Williams, B. Paul, C. Paul) - 3:26
6. Nairt Aes Hornpipe (J. Gregory) - 2:06
7. The Endless Sleep (J. Reynolds, D. Mance) - 3:53
8. She Raised Her Hand (Andy Kulberg, J. Roberts) - 3:39
9. Dakota Recollection (R. Blumenfeld, R.Greene, J. Gregory, D. Kretmar, A. Kulberg) - 12:27

The Blues Project
*Andy Kulberg - Flute, Bass, Piano
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums, Percussion
*John Gregory - Guitar, Vocals
*Donald Kretmar - Bass, Sax
*Richard Greene - Violin, Strings

Other Blues Projects
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Various Artists - Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults (1969-74 europe, nefarious delights of psych and prog amorphus hybrid, Psychic Circle release)



The Psychic Circle label makes another entry into the uncrowded field of reissues of British and European rarities from the early progressive rock era with Blow Your Cool, which collects twenty 1969-1974 tracks that have never before appeared on compilations. We are talking rare and obscure here; when the most well known bands on a comp are the Rattles, Mogul Thrash, Dream Police, and Egg (though a stray item by blue-eyed soul hitmakers the Foundations finds its way on as well), it's material not apt to even be in the collection of the prog rock specialist. 

The trademarks of early prog (and late psychedelia bleeding into prog) are all here, in diverse colors: complex riffs and tempo turnarounds, earnest vocals that can verge on the ostentatious, lyrics with a cosmic tinge, occasional hints of blues and boogie, and heavy (and at times lumpy) guitar-organ blends. 

Some notable names to go on to bigger and better things pop up here and there, like future Average White Band singer/guitarist Hamish Stuart (in the Dream Police's "Much Too Much," which is much too derivative of the Jeff Beck Group's version of "Shapes of Things"); Atomic Rooster drummer Ric Parnell (in the Italian group the Tritons); John Wetton (in Mogul Thrash); and early Procol Harum member Bobby Harrison (in Freedom). 

Some of the more interesting cuts tend to be those that veer away from stereotypical prog rock, like Ferris Wheel's "Can't Stop Now," with its flute and sweet, airy female vocals; Paul Ryder & Time Machine's "If You Ever Get to Heaven," which is vaguely reminiscent of early T. Rex; Egg's "You Are All Princes," which sounds like Kingdom Come with a less flamboyant vocalist than Arthur Brown; and Swegas' "What 'Ya Gonna Do," a very spot-on British imitation of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago's horn-rock. 
by Richie Unterberger


Tracks - Artists
1. To Live - Paradise Hammer - 3:38
2. Turn Me Loose - Freeman - 2:42
3. Major Barmy From The Army - Primitive Man - 2:30
4. I'm Gonna Be A Rich Man - Foundations - 3:54
5. Much Too Much - Dream Police - 2:58
6. Drifter - Tritons - 3:42
7. Sleeping In The Kitchen - Mogul Thrash - 2:48
8. Can't Stop Now - Ferris Wheel - 3:35
9. Blow Your Cool - Triangle - 3:10
10.She's A Bad, Bad Woman - Zior - 3:43
11.Devil's On The Loose - Rattles - 2:53
12.Freedom - Freedom - 5:12
13.Sly Willy - Bluebeard - 3:27
14.If You Ever Get To Heaven - Ryder - 3:10
15.Love Me - Variations - 2:38
16.You Are All Princes - Egg - 3:46
17.Mrs. Davis - Jess And James - 4:39
18.I Believe In You (Fire In My Body) - Bedlam - 3:53
19.What'ya Gonna Do - Swegas - 2:51
20.The Scene - Cosmic Dealer - 2:47

More Psychic Circle compilations
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2

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Blood Sweat And Tears - More Than Ever (1976 us, bold jazz rock with soul touches, bonus tracks issue)



More Than Ever was the last studio effort by the re-formed, reconstituted Blood, Sweat & Tears, with David Clayton-Thomas back in the lineup and the whole group invigorated after coming off of a successful international tour. For the first time since its second album, the group -- with only drummer Bobby Colomby left from the original lineup and Bob James producing -- sounds bold, enthused, and fully positive in its approach. 

The sound is a little more R&B oriented and less rocking than the older lineup, which actually makes a better fit overall -- Thomas' singing style is a bit dated, from a tradition of '60s blue-eyed soul that seems fine, but which was really out-of-place amid the disco boom of the second half of the '70s. The group's obvious enthusiasm -- there's not a lot here that sounds like it wasn't played with joy -- and the smooth mix of R&B, jazz, and gospel influences coupled with the larger-than-life sound of the production (the ten-man band is joined by 13 guest musicians and eight backup singers, among them Patti Austin and Gwen Guthrie) helps put over some very solid material. "They," "I Love You More Than Ever," "You're the One," and the soaring, haunting "Heavy Blue" are highlights of a pretty strong album. 

Nothing here is remotely as revelatory as anything on Child Is Father to the Man or as startlingly fresh in a pop vein as the Blood, Sweat & Tears album, but it's a good 40 minutes of listening. The pity is that the Columbia Records art department couldn't muster as much inspiration on its end as the musicians did on theirs -- one can only wonder who got paid for coming up with the "idea" of using an enlarged copy of the album label as the front cover art. But bad art aside, this record is not only one worth finding -- it's one worth keeping.
by Bruce Eder

Tracks
1. They (Clayton-Thomas, Smith) - 6:29
2. I Love More Than Ever (Landon, Lenier) - 5:28
3. Katy Bell (Foster, James) - 4:29
4. Sweet Sadie The Savior (Austin) - 4:24
5. Hollywood (Clayton-Thomas, Modeliste, Nesmith, Neville, Nocentelli, Porter, Reid, Smith) - 3:36
6. You're The One (Clayton-Thomas, Lennon, Ono, Smith) - 4:56
7. Heavy Blue (Willis) - 5:26
8. Saved By The Grace Of Your Love (Palmer, Smith) - 4:20
9. (Bonus tracks: Medley, Recorded live, Oct 12, 1980 at the Street Scene - Downtown, LA) God Bless The Child (Arthur Herzog Jr., Billie Holiday) - 2:58
10.Lucretia Mac Evil (Carole King) - 1:11
11.Hi-De Ho (Carole King) - 5:32
12.And When I Die (Laura Nyro) - 1:35
13.Spinning Wheel (David Clayton-Thomas) - 1:11
14.You're Made Me So Very Happy (Berry Gordy Jr., Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson) - 3:02

Blood Sweat And Tears
*David Clayton-Thomas - Vocals
*Bobby Colomby - Drums
*Don Alias - Percussion
*Larry Willis - Keyboards
*Dave Bargeron - Trombone, Tuba
*Forrest Batchell - Trumpet
*Mike Stern - Guitar
*Tony Klatka - Saxophone, Trumpet
*Bill Tillman - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
*Danny Trifan - Bass
Additional Musicians
*Bill Eaton - Vocals
*Jon Faddis - Trumpet
*Frank Floyd - Vocals
*Dave Friedman - Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Percussion
*Eric Gale - Guitar
*Lani Groves - Vocals
*Gwen Guthrie - Vocals
*Bob James - Keyboards
*Chaka Khan - Vocals
*Steve Khan - Guitar
*Gary King - Bass
*Arnie Lawrence - Alto Saxophone
*Ron McClure - Bass
*Hugh McCracken - Guitar
*Yolanda McCullough - Vocals
*Zachary Sanders - Vocals
*Marvin Stamm - Trumpet
*David Taylor - Trombone
*Richard Tee - Keyboards
*Sidney Weinberg - Oboe
*Eric Weissberg - Banjo, Dobro, Guitar
*Patti Austin - Vocals
*Vivian Cherry - Vocals

The Blood Sweat And Tears
1968  Child Is Father To The Man
1973  No Sweat
1974  Mirror Image
1975  New City

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Friday, May 25, 2012

The New York Rock Ensemble – Roll Over / Freedomburger (1971-72 us, excellent classic rock with funky psych traces, rare Collectors' Choise edition)



An apocryphal tale says Juilliard Music Conservatory-trained musicians Michael Kamen, Marty Fulterman, and Dorian Rudnytsky decided in the late '60s in New York that they could make bigger bucks as rock stars than as classical musicians. The results of this legendary experiment were inconclusive. Forming the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, they broke with tradition on their first two albums -- 1968's self-titled debut and Faithful Friends the next year -- by using classical music instruments in rock songs and using rock instruments on classical pieces. 

This fusion, daring at the time, impressed legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein so much that he invited the group to appear at one of his Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. For their third Atco release, Reflections, they collaborated with Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis, best known for scoring music for the movie Never on Sunday. Rhythm guitarist Brian Corrigan departed after the third album, and pedal steel guitar player Hank Devito joined. 

The band then shortened its name to New York Rock Ensemble and switched to Columbia. Released in 1971, Roll Over was their most overtly rock album to date and their biggest seller, although they fell well short of Led Zeppelin on the Billboard charts. The band dispersed after Freedomburger, although Rudnytsky, Fulterman, and Corrigan had one final shot with Flattering Foe.... Devito surfaced years later as a stalwart player in the bands of Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash. Only Kamen fulfilled the original trio's objective of successfully melding classical and pop music to make big bucks. 

After being music director for David Bowie's Diamond Dogs tour, he went on to a thriving career scoring films. After his score for Brazil gained him wide exposure, he hit the mother lode composing music for the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon series. In 1991, Kamen earned an Academy Award nomination for "(Everything I Do) I Do it for You," the Bryan Adams monster international pop smash hit from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Kamen has also worked with Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Liona Boyd, Sting, Rod Stewart, Metallica, Kate Bush, Belinda Carlisle, the Chieftains, the Cranberries, Roger Daltrey, Eurythmics, John Mellencamp, Jim Croce, and many others.
by Mark Allan

Martin Fulterman, changed his name to Mark Snow and relocated to Los Angeles in 1974. Mark's musical soundtrack composition career began in 1975 with the TV series, Starsky and Hutch and has taken off since then. However he is best known for his work on The X-Files and Millennium, he has made music for many other programs. He took piano lessons at age ten and by the time he was twenty he played both oboe and percussion.


Tracks
1. Running Down the Highway (Nivison) - 3:27
2. Gravedigger (Fulterman, Kamen) - 4:51
3. Law and Order (Fulterman) - 3:35
4. Fields of Joy (Fredricks, Kamen) - 3:46
5. The King Is Dead (Nivison) - 4:09
6. Don't Wait Too Long (Kamen) - 3:04
7. Anaconda (Frederick, Kamen) - 3:22
8. Beside You (Fulterman, Kamen) - 3:47
9. Traditional Order (Rudnytsky) - 6:07
10.Ride, Ride My Lady (Rudnytsky) - 2:44
11.More Like the Master (Kamen) - 3:23
12.Magic Lady (Nivison) - 2:44
13.I'm Sending a Friend to You (Fulterman, Kamen, McClure) - 2:34
14.Kiss Your Future (Barber, Kamen, Nivison) - 2:40
15.A Whiter Shade of Pale (Brooker, Reid) - 3:36
16.Willow Tree (Kamen) - 2:30
17.Shuffle (Nivison) - 1:57
18.Barrell Full of Wine (Rudnytsky) - 2:35
19.Carry Me Up (Kamen) - 3:41
20.Roll Over (Nivison) - 3:09
21.Raise Your Barriers (Fulterman, Kamen, Nivison) - 2:54
22.Goodnight Irene (Leadbelly, Lomax) - 2:52

The New York Rock Ensemble
*Michael Kamen - Keyboards, Oboe, Arp, Synthesizer, Vocals
*Μartin Fulterman (Mark Snow) - Drums, Oboe
*Clifton Νivison - Lead Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
*Dorian Rudnytsky - Bass Guitar, Cello, Piano, Trumpet, French Horn
*Hank DeVito – Pedal Steel Guitar (only on “Roll Over”)

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Alex Chilton – Feudalist Tarts (1985 us, sophisticated funky blues rock, Big Time Vinyl edition)



1985's Feudalist Tarts was Chilton's first studio release since 1979; after spending most of the 1970s as one of the few rock acts from the Deep South who displayed almost no visible R&B influence, Chilton belatedly embraced the pleasures of vintage soul music after moving to New Orleans and giving up alcohol, and Feudalist Tarts is dominated by covers of Slim Harpo's "Ti Ni Nee Ni Noo" and Carla Thomas's "B-A-B-Y," with bare-wired originals like "Lost My Job" along for good measure. Cut in a single day, Feudalist Tarts is a bit rough around the edges, but Chilton's guitar playing is solid, and the band of veteran Southern studio players give Chilton as good as he gets (if not better). 
by Mark Deming


Tracks
1. Tee Ni Nee Ni Noo / Tip on In (Slim Harpo) - 5:20
2. Stuff (Alex Chilton, Rene Coman) - 5:05
3. B-A-B-Y (David Porter, Isaac Hayes) - 2:59
4. Thank You John (Willie Turbinton) - 3:13
5. Lost My Job (Alex Chilton) - 3:06
6. Paradise (Alex Chilton) - 2:23

Musicians
Rene Coman - Bass, Vocals
Nokie Taylor - Cornet
Doug Garrison - Drums
Alex Chilton - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Fred Ford - Baritone Saxophone
Jim Spake - Tenor Saxophone

1970  Free Again: The 1970 Sessions 
1967-70  The Best Of Box Tops

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Spencer Davis Group - Autumn '66 (1966 uk, classic 3rd album, mod beat with soul feeling, 2007 japan bonus tracks edition)



Autumn '66 was the third album from the Spencer Davis Group. It includes the chart-topping Somebody Help Me which had reached number one in the UK charts in the Spring of 1966. At this stage, the group was not writing much original material. However, the seventh single When I Come Home marked the songwriting debut (with Jackie Edwards) of Steve Winwood, the outstanding talent in the band.

Many of the songs on Autumn '66 are covers of standards. Take This Hurt Off Me was also covered by The Small Faces, When a Man Loves a Woman is the Percy Sledge song and is ideally suited to Steve Winwood's soulful voice. Indeed Steve Winwood shows that he ranks alongside Steve Marriott and the Action's Reggie King as England's top soul singers at the time.

Autumn '66 is another transitional album like Revolver, the Small Faces (Immediate) or Aftermath in that it represents a crossroads in the career of the band. In this case, it represents a move away from the band's roots in blues towards a more commercial sound as shown in the single Somebody Help Me. There is also a move away from the blues harmonica towards more tracks featuring Steve Winwood's Organ playing. What is clear though is that the band enjoyed making this record.

Midnight Special is a standard that Spencer Davis used to play on street corners across Europe during his days as a student. On the Green Light is a studio improvisation, the green light being the recording light. Together 'Til The End of Time starts the album on a slow note and it represents an excellent showcase for Winwood's vocals. Dust My Blues is another standard and there is also a Yardbirds version of this.

The album finishes with the single Somebody Help Me. This helps to confirm the fact that the Spencer Davis Group made some excellent singles. It ranks alongside Gimme Some Lovin' and Keep on Running.
Making-Time


Tracks
1. Together 'Til the End of Time (Wilson) - 2:54
2. Take This Hurt off Me (Covay, Miller) - 2:48
3. Nobody Knows You When You'reDown and Out (Cox) - 3:55
4. Midnight Special (Traditional) - 2:17
5. When a Man Loves a Woman (Lewis, Wright) - 3:11
6. When I Come Home (Edwards, Winwood) - 2:00
7. Mean Woman Blues (Demetrius) - 3:17
8. Dust My Blues (James, Johnson) - 2:39
9. On the Green Light (Winwood) - 3:09
10.Neighbour, Neighbour (Valier) - 3:22
11.High Time Baby (Davis, Winwood, York) - 2:44
12.Somebody Help Me (Edwards) - 2:03
13.Gimme Some Lovin' (Davis, Winwood) - 3:00
14.Blues in F (Winwood) - 3:28
15.I'm a Man (Miller, Winwood) - 2:58
16.I Can't Get Enough of It (Miller, Winwood) - 3:45
17.Waltz for Lumumba (Waltz forCaroline) (Winwood) - 4:21
18.Somebody Help Me (US Version) (Edwards) - 2:00
19.Gimme Some Lovin' (US Version) (Davis, Winwood) - 2:56
20.I'm a Man (Stereo Mix) (Miller, Winwood) - 2:39

The Spencer Davis Group
*Spencer Davis - Guitar, Vocals
*Muff Winwood - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Winwood - Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Pete York - Drums

Spencer Davis Group
1965  Their First LP 
1966  The Second Album

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The Birds - Collectors' Guide To Rare British Birds (1964-66 uk, splendid mod freak beat with Ron Wood)



The Birds were a popular rhythm and blues band in England during the mid-1960s, although they recorded fewer than a dozen songs and released only four singles during the two years they were active. Starting out with a hard R&B sound, they later began infusing it with Motown-style vocal harmonies.(1) The best-known former member of the Birds is Ronnie Wood, who went on to join The Faces and later The Rolling Stones.

Several members of the Birds grew up in the same neighbourhood in Yiewsley, West London, and began playing together in 1964, while still in their teens. At first calling themselves The Thunderbirds, they started out playing local clubs and a neighbourhood community centre, but they soon expanded to a larger club circuit. When they were hired to play on the same bill as Chris Farlowe, whose back-up band was also called The Thunderbirds, they shortened their name to The Birds – a decision which would have significant ramifications later.

When the young band made their first television appearance, they caught the eye of Decca record company executives. The ensuing recording contract resulted in their first two singles, "You Don't Love Me" and "Leaving Here." The Birds seemed destined for stardom with their loud rhythm-and-blues-based music, receiving equal billing with The Who at some shows.

The Birds recorded their last single for Decca in late 1965 and after which they moved to Reaction Records, whose director, Robert Stigwood, suggested they change their name to "The Birds Birds", to distinguish themselves from the American band. Their planned debut album was postponed due to a contract dispute, and ultimately abandoned.(citation needed) 

In 1966, the band did a cameo appearance in the horror film The Deadly Bees, performing their song "That's All I Need", which would later be seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
By 1967 the group had disbanded, Lemmy, who was a great fan of The Birds, also recorded "Leaving Here" with his band Motorhead. He was inspired by their version of the song.

This Collection is an astonishingly lively and exciting collection, coming from a band that scarcely sold any records in their own time and are known today for their name and their lineup, but not their music. 
The stuff here is as crunchy and grinding as the early Who material, and if the band's own songwriting isn't as distinctive, the style of the performing is more appealing. 

The songs range from some hot Ron Wood originals ("You're on My Mind," "Next in Line," "That's All I Need") to covers of obscure Motown songs and Pete Townshend material. Think of the Kinks from "Long Tall Sally," the Yardbirds from "A Certain Girl," or the Who from "The Good's Gone" and that's the dominant sound here -- curiously, their cover of Townshend's "Run Run Run" starts out as though it's going to turn into "My Generation." Ali MacKenzie sounded like a punkier Roger Daltrey, and Ron Wood's playing was a delightful compendium of rhythm fills and angular blues licks that must've been devastating on-stage. 
by Bruce Eder


Tracks
1. You're on my Mind (Ron Wood) - 2:49
2. You Don't Love Me (E. McDaniel) - 2:06
3. Leaving Here (Dozier, Holland, Holland) - 2:41
4. Next in Line (Ron Wood) - 2:45
5. No Good Without You (Mickey Stevenson) - 2:39
6. How Can It Be? (Ron Wood) - 2:58
7. You're on my Mind (Demo) (Ron Wood) - 2:26
8. You Don't Love Me (Demo) (Ron Wood) - 2:31
9. Say Those Magic Words (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer, Pomus, Shuman) - 3:15
10.Daddy Daddy (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 4:09
11.Run Run Run (Unissued Track) (P. Townshend) - 3:33
12.Good Times  (Unissued Track) (Michel Polnareff) - 3:22
13.Say Those Magic Words (Alternate Version) (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer, Pomus, Shuman) - 3:17
14.Daddy Daddy (Alternate Version) (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 4:07
15.La Poupee Qui Fait Non  (Unissued Track) (Michel Polnareff) - 3:37
16.Run Run Run (Alternate Version) (P. Townshend) - 3:03
17.Daddy Daddy (Backing Track) (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 3:59
18.Granny Rides Agian  (Unissued 1966 Single Track) (Ron Wood) - 4:45

The Birds
*Ali Mckenzie - Lead Vocalist
*Tony Munroe - Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Wood - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Kim Gardner - Bass
*Bob Langham - Drums
*Pete Hocking, Aka Pete Mcdaniel - Drums
*Clem Cattini - Drums On "Granny Rides Again"

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Byrds - Preflyte (1964 us, astonishing psychedelic folk rock, 2012 Retro World double disc release with extra material)



The Byrds came along at a time when American rock needed a shot in the arm which would raise the music to the levels attained by the British groups and allow it to meet the emerging head culture. The Byrds did it; but the subtlety and aversion to gimmick that is found in their music and in themselves doomed them as a sleeper group, always popular and musically influential, but denied the superstardom conferred on more pretentious, melodramatic personalities by an industry geared to the Image. That they have survived at all (in whatever form, despite their own internal storms) is one of those joyous accidents for which we should all be grateful.

This album was recorded in August, 1964, at the very beginning of the Byrds' career and prior to their contract with Columbia. Slightly rough and sounding a bit dated, it still overflows with that unique unschmaltzy beauty and lyricism that has been the Byrds' trademark. Four of the eleven songs appeared on Mr. Tambourine Man, and they sound like less focused takes of something that later became masterful and transporting. But place this music in perspective: suppose it had been released in late 1964. Aside from the first two or three albums by the Beatles or the Stones, there was absolutely nothing out as good, as aurally visionary, as unpackaged as this.

By the time the Byrds were released to the public, several other groups — the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Spoonful — were working toward the same shift in the system, and few people realized what an innovation the Byrds were, both spiritually and musically. They took the basic lessons of the Beatles and the Stones, filtered them through Dylan and the less pretentious aspects of the folk scene, and came up with a big, new, visionary sound. 

Propelled by the ringing grandeur of McGuinn's electric twelve-string and Hillman's incredibly advanced bass playing, they created a stately, transcendent sound of magnificent brilliance, lifting listeners into bold new realms of dream, turning the stoned hordes from preachy, flatulent folk music to the vibrant new and old sounds of rock. And the Byrds' influence, in the years that followed, on everybody, from the Beatles to the Velvet Underground, is simply an undiminishing fact of life.

Preflyte: an album marking the beginnings, but an album of fine and fascinating music as well. Gene Clark's songs abound, and though Clark seemed for the most part a formula composer, all his songs had a certain lovely feeling that seldom palled. Declasse influences like Johnny Rivers turned to lucid, beautifully methodical harmonies in Clark's mind. She Has a Way, for instance, utilized the Spanish Harlem Incident guitar lead and early Beatles composition, but like everything else the Byrds have ever done, it glided effortlessly over the puerility and crass, mindless imitation which dominated the scene in '64, to emerge as a shining, deeply felt piece of music.

Preflyte recalls the inception of a genius outfit that has contributed more to rock than anyone else on this side of the Atlantic. Even if you're not a hardcore Byrds freak, I hope you'll buy this album for that reason. At this late date, they deserve all we can give them.
by Lester Bangs, October 18, 1969


Tracks
Disc One
1. The Reason Why (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:38
2. You Won't Have To Cry (Electric Version) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:17
3. She Has A Way (Version #4) (Gene Clark) - 2:29
4. You Showed Me (Electric Version) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 1:53
5. Here Without You (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:28
6. Don't Be Long (Jim McGuinn, Harvey Gerst) - 1:58
7. I Knew I'd Want You (Electric Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:14
8. Boston (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:15
9. Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away (El. Version) (J. McGuinn, G. Clark, D. Crosby) - 1:59
10.For Me Again (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:39
11.It's No Use (Version #2) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:20
12.You Movin' (Version #3) (Gene Clark) - 2:08
13.Please Let Me Love You (G. Clark, J. McGuinn, H. Gerst) - 2:25
14.The Airport Song (Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) - 2:03
15.Mr. Tambourine Man (Electric Version) (Bob Dylan) - 2:25
16.She Has A Way (Version #3) (Gene Clark) - 2:33
17.I Knew I'd Want You (Electric Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:31
18.Boston (Instrumental Track) (Gene Clark) - 2:15
19.You Showed Me (Instrumental Track) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:06
20.The Times They Are A-Changin' (Instrumental Track) (Bob Dylan) - 2:26


Disc Two
1. The Only Girl I Adore (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:26
2. Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away (Acoustic Version) (Gene Clark) - 2:01
3. You Showed Me (Acoustic Version) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:04
4. I Knew I'd Want You (Acoustic Version) (Gene Clark) - 2:18
5. You Won't Have To Cry (Acoustic Version) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:21
6. Mr. Tambourine Man (Acoustic Version) (Bob Dylan) - 2:14
7. Willie Jean (Hoyt Axton) - 2:08
8. Come Back Baby (Ray Charles) - 2:26
9. Jack Of Diamonds (Traditional, Arranged David Crosby) - 1:46
10.Get Together (Dino Valenti) - 2:34
11.She Has A Way (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:23
12.Here Without You (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:29
13.For Me Again (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:32
14.It's No Use (Version #1) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 2:17
15.You Movin' (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:10
16.Boston (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:09
17.She Has A Way (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:32
18.You Movin' (Version #2) (Gene Clark) - 2:12
19.The Reason Why (Version #1) (Gene Clark) - 2:31
20.It's No Use (Version #3) (Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark) - 3:38
21Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Demo, Previously Unreleased) (Gene Clark) - 2:02
22.You Wont Have To Cry (Prev. Unreleased) (J. McGuinn, G. Clark) - 2:22
23.You Showed Me (Demo, Previously Unreleased) (J. McGuinn, G. Clark) - 2:06
24.I Knew I’d Want You (Demo, Previously Unreleased) (Gene Clark) - 2:19
25.Mr. Tambourine Man (Demo, Prev. Unreleased)  (Bob Dylan) - 2:14
26.Shes The Kind Of Girl (Demo, Previously Unreleased) (Gene Clark) - 3:02
27.I’m Just A Young Man (Demo, Previously Unreleased) (David Crosby) - 2:07
28.Everybody Been Burned (Demo, Previously Unreleased) ( David Crosby) - 3:02
Tracks 7-10 (of Disc Two) were recorded prior to the formation of The Byrds and are performed by David Crosby with backing musicians Tommy Tedesco (electric guitar), Ray Pohlman (electric bass) and Earl Palmer (drums).

The Byrds
*Gene Clark - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Clarke - Drums
*David Crosby - Guitar, Vocals
*Chris Hillman - Bass, Mandolin, Vocals
*Jim "Roger" McGuinn - Banjo, Guitar, Vocals

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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Blues Project - Projections (1966 us, psychedelic blues folk rock masterpiece, 2013 japan SHM two disc remaster)



The Blues Project can be defined by those who know and understand music in different and interesting ways. I describe it as a work of determination! Take these five young musicians and their struggles of this past year; they made it without the aid of a 'single on the charts' and despite the economics of an almost unbroken law that says, "no hit record, you don't survive." But with these young men, you find that there is an exception to the rule. 

The struggle has not been an easy one, and it is far from over. But— they are going to 'make it!' Witness their exciting performances at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich  Village.... the three times they played at Central Park this past summer to SRO crowds. These are the dates that made possible the healthy 'underground' movement, the ever-growing grapevine that has led them to dates in San Francisco and concerts in colleges that included Rutgers, Boston U., Kent, Ithaca, Brandeis, Hobart, CCNY, Grinnell, and others. People are subscribing to the music and the originality of the Project. 

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was asked by a number of students, "When will The Blues Project be coming over?" It would not be surprising to find students in Europe and Asia asking the same question. The word is out, it is inevitable that whatever roads the words travel, the group, its music, and its station wagon will be sure to follow. Expect them to appear anywhere. 

They have something to say. The world wants to listen to music—wants love and hope...and this is what The Blues Project is projecting— Love, Hope and a determination to make their sounds meaningful and lasting.
by Sid Bernstein (sometime 'round 1966)


Tracks
Disc 1
1. I Can't Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 4:48
2. Steve's Song (Steve Katz) - 5:20
3. You Can't Catch Me (Chuck Berry) - 4:35
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) - 12:19
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 5:16
6. Cheryl's Going Home (Bob Lind) - 2:33
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 5:59
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) - 7:12
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) - 3:29
10.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:19


Disc 2 Mono Album
1. I Can't Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 4:26
2. Steve's Song (Steve Katz) - 4:58
3. You Can't Catch Me (Chuck Berry) - 4:17
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) - 11:34
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 5:19
6. Cheryl's Going Home (Bob Lind) - 2:38
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 6:02
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) - 7:18
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) - 3:33
10.When There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:34
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 2:44

The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Keyboards, Vocals
*Steve Katz - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Andy Kulberg - Bass, Flute
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums

Other Blues Projects
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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