In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mayfly - Mayfly (1973 holland, marvelous progressive folk rock, rare korean remaster)



It takes a Korean label to reissue one of the best Dutch albums ever! Mayfly was a progressive folkrock unit from the town of Bergen. In the period '72-'74 they released a couple of singles and this utterly tasteful (and now highly collectable) LP through Ariola Records. 

The album includes beautiful tracks, with equally fine arrangements (Left Banke- and Montage-fans, check out the exquisite cello and violin parts!), s.a. the superb single 'Topless Bertha' and the wonderful 'Symptons Of Summer', which is also featured on the compilation 'Dutch Rare Folk'. A fascinating reissue!


Tracks
1. From Now On - 4:46
2. Symptoms Of Summer - 3:50
3. Dawn Of An Old Man's Life - 3:12
4. The Smell Of It - 3:09
5. Lemoncake - 4:15
6. The Stable - 3:08
7. Intermezzo (Onno Verburg, Arie De Geus) - 1:07
8. Secondhand Dream - 3:36
9. Blue Sofa - 3:01
10.She Leaveth Me - 3:09
11.Topless Bertha - 3:32
All Music written by Gustaaf Verburg, all Lyrics by Ide Min except where noted.

Mayfly
*Maarten Min - Vocals
*Gustaaf Verburg - 6-String Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Electric 12-String, All Lead, Slide Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Onno Verburg - 6-String Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Acoustic 12-String, Spanish Guitar
*Arie De Geus - Electric, Acoustic Violin, Electric Piano
*Rinus Groeneveld - Flute, Sax
*Huub Nijhuis - Cello, Bass Guitar
*Ide Min - Demo Recordings

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Them - Them (1970 us/uk, rude acid garage 'n' beat)



The complicated life of this legendary R 'n' B outfit was almost over when this, their penultimate album, appeared in 1970. Astonishingly, by then they were reduced to a duo consisting of original bassist Alan Henderson and US vocalist / percussionist Jerry Cole, with studio support said to have come from Ry Cooder and Jack Nitzsche. 

The music ranges from pounding psychedelia (‘I Keep Singing’) and snotty garage punk (‘Lonely Weekends’, a shameless rewrite of ‘Gloria’) to furious rock and roll (‘Jo Ann’) and even a country ballad (‘Take A Little Time’). As the original sleevenotes declared: “The THEM sound combines the typical British style with an air of mystery and an atmosphere of excitement… mythical, mystical, Oriental, African, electronic and computer rhythms included.”

Tracks
1. I Keep Singing (Jerry Cole) - 4:26
2. Lonely Weekends (Charlie Rich) - 2:32
3. Take a Little Time (Ron Joelson) - 2:13
4. You Got Me Good (Shawn Rudd) - 2:42
5. Jo Ann (Buddy Knox, Vance Smith) - 2:55
6. Memphis Lady (Jerry Cole) - 3:00
7. In The Midnight Hour (Wlison Pickett, Steve Cropper) - 2:39
8. Nobody Cares (B. Duncan, C. Garrett) - 2:47
9. I Am Waiting (M. Jagger, K, Richards) - 3:23
10. Just a Little (Ron Elliott) - 1:51

Them
Jerry Cole - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Drums
Alan Henderson – Bass

Themology
1965-66  The Wheels - Road Block
1967  Them - Now And Them
1967  Belfast Gypsies
1968-69  Them - Time Out Time In
1969-70  Truth - Of Them And Other Tales
1970-71  Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble

Jerry Cole acts
1967  The Id - Inner Sounds Of The Id
1967-68  The Animated Egg
1968  T. Swift And The Electric Bag - Are You Experienced?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spreadeagle - The Piece Of Paper (1972 uk, remarkable multi blended progressive rock, 2012 Flawed Gems issue)



It may hard to believe, but this is the debut album of this little-known comb. Released by Charisma records In 1972 the only album of this still highly underrated, British progressive band should appeal to fans of classic, heavy and quite melodic rock based on catchy but intense guitars, ever-changing moods rhythms and complex vocal parts. 

Spreadeagle offered a varied, imaginative, cheerful and well-arranged songs (very often in elaborate forms) in the vein of early Camel. Whisbone Ash, Public for Roman, Home and with a hint of early Santana. It has been remastered from the original analogue sounds, gives a high quality sound.


Tracks
1. How Can We Be Lost - 2:57
2. Brothers In The Sunshine (Sam Llewellyn) - 7:10
3. Nightingale Lane - 2:37
4. Piece Of Paper - 6:31
5. Nightmare (Andy Blackford) - 2:53
6. Eagles - 7:20
7. Scipio - 4:26
8. Talking To A Sailor - 2:30
All compositions by Tim Phillips except where indicated

Spreadeagle
*Andy Blackford - Vocals, Guitars
*Tim Phillips - Vocals, Guitars, Banjo, Piano
*Sam Llewellyn - Vocals, Bass, Percussion
*Jim Copley - Drums
With
*Jon Field, Nick & Shel - Additional Percussion

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Truth - Of Them And Other Tales (1969/70 us/uk, superb psychedelic rock from Them members)



Truth is one of the more obscure twigs on the amazingly vast tree that grew out of a 1964 Belfast hoodlum r'n'b act first (and last) known as Them. You've heard the great Van-era recordings, the even greater Belfast Gypsies recordings, the inconsistent but occasionally brilliant Texas-era recordings -- but prior to this CD you're unlikely to have heard this Chicago-based franchise, featuring guitarist Jim Armstrong and vocalist Kenny McDowell from the Belfast/Texas incarnations of the band, lured back to the US by a music biz impresario circa 1969. The ex-Themers teamed up with two local musicians and Truth was born, rehearsing like crazy and playing local Windy City gigs with some success. I'll refer to John Berg's very detailed liner notes for the full story and move on to the music.

The bulk of the 14 songs contained on the CD are 1969 recordings made for a movie titled "College For Fun And Profit" in which the band can actually be spotted in one scene. The remaining tunes come from a 3-track acetate recorded for a prospective Epic LP that never happened. According to Jim Armstrong "Truth was the best band I ever played in. There was no pulling in different directions". It's not hard to believe him, because that's what Truth sounds like -- skillful musicians delivering music that radiates warmth, harmony and synchronization. 

If this sounds a bit like vintage Grateful Dead then all the better, because there is a distinct similarity between the Dead of, say, "China cat sunflower", and the airy, good-natured guitarpsych of Truth. Not much is said about the band's influences in the liner notes but if I were to define them in terms of a pin placed on a wall-map of the USA, the spot would be Highway 1 halfway between LA and the Bay Area. There is already a pin there, marked Stalk-Forrest Group, and apart from the Dead that's one band that Truth remind me of.

Impressive credentials for sure, but Truth needn't be embarrassed in this company, because their music is faultless and at its best outright stunning. So very few bands manage to play music that allows space for the members full range of versatility without degrading into prog or fusion; Truth manage to do so and still deliver melodic, open-ended music. The opening "Music is life" is a program declaration as good as any; complex rhythms and bold chord shifts, yet as inviting as a Byrds 45 with McDowell's joyful vocals setting the tone for all that follows. "6 O'Clock Alarm" is your standard white-collar grind lament except with a 5-minute Garcia/Lesh-style jam in the middle, before the vocals pull you back to planet Earth.

I have to refrain myself from describing every track in detail but all of it progresses along the superb '69 Dead/Stalk-Forrest axis described above; an exquisite sitar track adds a foreign flavor, while the 10-minute revisit to the Texan Them's "Square room" shows just how good raga rock can be if done with serious intentions -- like a sequel to "East-West" by the Butterfields 3 years earlier. 

There is another great track called simply "HIGH!" which is how you feel when hearing it, and a take on "Circle round the sun" that suits the band very well. The CD closes with the 3 tracks off the aforementioned acetate, and they're just as swell, bringing in organ and flute and a slight British influence (think Traffic) to produce one of the very best tracks on the entire CD, the powerful "Castles in the sand" that is likely to blow anyone's head off. There is some very minor surface noise on the acetate tracks while the earlier recordings are crystal clear and can be played loud as fuck! 

Most of the unreleased 1960s-70s stuff that appears is disappointing and shows mainly why it wasn't released in the first place, but this Truth CD is the perfect antithesis of that cynicism -- just like Stalk-Forrest Group it's better than almost anything that WAS released at the time.
by Patrick The Lama


Tracks
1. Music Is Life - 4:13
2. 6 O:Clock Alarm - 9:14
3. Mysterios - 1:21
4. Music From Big Puce - 4:27
5. Country Funk - 0:39
6. Blackboard Words - 2:47
7. Sonic Sitar - 3:18
8. High! - 6:35
9. Archimed:s Pad - Square Room - 11:4
10.Getting Better - 5:27
11.Circle 'Round The Sun - 5:19
12.Ride The Wind - 6:37
13.Castles In The Sand - 7:18
14.October ΄68 - The Tears That You Cry - 5:23
All songs written by The Truth, except 11.Circle 'Round The Sun, which is Traditional.

Truth
*Jimmy Armstrong - Guitars, Piano, Sitar
*Curtis Bachman - Bass, Vocals
*Ray Elliot - Flute, Piano (tracks 12-14)
*Kenny McDowell - Lead Vocals, Harmonica
*Reno Smith - Drums

Themology
1965-66  The Wheels - Road Block
1967  Them - Now And Them
1967  Belfast Gypsies
1968-69  Them - Time Out Time In
1970-71  Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Diamondhead - Diamondhead (1972-73 us, hard funky rock with southern flashes, Gear Fab 2004 issue)



Bob Yeazel grew up in Denver, Colorado. At age  14 he decided to take up the guitar. After playing in a couple of local groups he ended up in the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band for a brief time. This is how he came to know Ron Morgan and Jim Greenspoon (later of Three Dog Night). His time in this band was brief Hut lead to the three of them forming Superband with Roger Bryant and Myron Pollack. This was also a short lived group that recorded one rare single. 

After this, Bob formed a band called Beast,  The group went over well, They toured the U.S. and Canada  and recorded two albums at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis NM with Roger Bryant playing Bass on the second. After Beast disbanded Jerry Corbetta asked Bob if he would like to join Sugaloaf. They had just recorded their first album and were about to embark on a tour. Bob accepted the offer and the result was some heavy touring  and the follow up LP “Spaceship Earth” which is finally receiving it’s due respect. 

When Bob Yeazel left Sugarloaf  he formed a band called Diamondhead. This group consisted of Peter Johnson on Piano, Dave Williams on Sax and Flute, Roger Bryant on Bass, and Galen Pew on Drums. Bob had previously been in Superband and Beast with Roger and Peter and Roger had just beem in the band Fat Emma. 

Diamondhead played a few gigs but concentrated mainly on the recordings contained herein. In early 1973, Diamondhead evolved into Brother Son after Roger and Galen left. Bob Mac Vittie, who had played with Bob in Sugarloaf replaced Galen on Drums, and Jerry Krenzer took over for Roger on bass. This release is a combination of nine tracks by Diamondhead and four by Brother Son.


Tracks
1. When the Blues Come Walking - 3:08
2. In the City - 3:11
3. Crazy Man - 4:28
4. Let's Have Some Fun - 3:00
5. Love in the Morning - 3:51
6. Strange Lady - 4:23
7. Lady of the Night - 6:28
8. No Name Singer - 3:59
9. Poor Man - 3:43
10.My Ship Is Coming In - 5:08
11.This Laid Back Life - 5:02
12.The One That Got Away - 3:52
13.This Is a Love Song - 3:46

Diamondhead
*Bob Yeazel - Guitar
*Peter Johnson - Piano
*Roger Bryant - Bass
*Galen Pew - Drums
*David Williams - Sax, Flute
*Jerry Krenzer - Bass (Brother Son)
*Bob MacVittie - Drums (Brother Son)
Additional Musicians
*Debbie ? - Vocals
*Jerry Corbetta - B-3
*Blind Blues Man - Harp

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Brave Belt - Brave Belt I / II (1970/72 canada, great classic smooth rock with country and blues shades)



Vocalist, keyboardist, and guitarist Chad Allen and guitarist Randy Bachman first worked together in bands like the Reflections and Chad Allen and the Expressions. In 1963, they decided to form another little rock group -- they became the famed Guess Who. By 1970, though the Guess Who were still alive and kicking, Bachman and Allen turned their attention to a new rock outlet, Brave Belt. Other members were bassist and vocalist Fred Turner and drummer Robin Bachman. After the completion of one album, and only a little work on a second, Allen left, and was replaced by guitarist Tim Bachman. Before a third offering was ready, Brave Belt folded into a new mortality, Bachman Turner Overdrive. 

Within a year's time of their formation, Brave Belt had released two excellent singles, "Rock and Roll Band" and "Crazy Arms, Crazy Eyes." The band, working under the Reprise Records label, also finished a self-titled debut album filled with hard rock that managed to be flavored with touches of country and pop. In 1972 there were two double-sided singles, and a second album, Brave Belt II. Some of the music from this second outing is much bolder and heavier. By 1973, Brave Belt melted away and left a new group behind named Bachman Turner Overdrive. 
by Charlotte Dillon


Brave Belt is an amazing band; the missing link between early Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive. Chad Allan contributes two very British-sounding compositions on side one, "I Am the Man" and French Kiss; the latter with country flavors, and the former as poppy as Kaleidoscope U.K. C.F. Turner slips in two appearances, and by the second Brave Belt disc he would become the vocalist. 

Chad Allan's contributions, not as dominant as they are here, was quickly evolving the band into BTO, Bachman Turner Overdrive. When Randy Bachman sings without the help of Chad Allan or C.F. Turner, specifically on "Waitin' There for Me," "It's Over," and "Anyday Means Tomorrow," it is that neo-falsetto voice he made so famous on "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" from the album Not Fragile. But it is Chad Allan who is the vocal star here with "Scarecrow," a fine example of psychedelia, superb production, and downright eerie guitar by Bachman. 

The cover photo, with two of the Bachman brothers and Chad Allan in the snow wearing fur coats, is misleading. This looks like a country-rock group. In actuality it's an amalgam of sounds from pre-Guess Who, validating Chad Allan & the Expressions (maligned by so many inferior albums flooding the market with the initial Guess Who hit, "Shaking All Over," and additional tracks culled from who knows where) and post-Guess Who B.T.O. "Wandering Fantasy Girl" is definite British rock again, while "I Wouldn't Trade My Guitar for a Woman" is the country music the front and back covers promise. "Holy Train" is more valuable music from Chad Allan, proof that his contributions are as essential as those of Randy Bachman. 

While the Guess Who were hitting with Share the Land, their former bandmates were being very creative. It's too bad this album did not get more attention, and it's even more tragic that Chad Allan didn't stay onboard for Bachman Turner Overdrive. 
by Joe Viglione


Tracks
Disc One - 1970 Brave Belt 
1. Crazy Arms, Crazy Eyes (Randy Bachman) - 2:44
2. Lifetime (Randy Bachman) - 1:53
3. Waitin' There for Me (Randy Bachman) - 3:17
4. I Am the Man (Chad Allan) - 4:03
5. French Kiss (Chad Allan) - 3:46
6. It's Over (Randy Bachman) - 3:05
7. Rock and Roll Band (Chad Allan) - 3:52
8. Wandering Fantasy Girl (Chad Allan) - 2:50
9. I Wouldn't Trade My Guitar for a Woman (Chad Allan) - 1:47
10. Holy Train (Chad Allan) - 3:05
11. Anyday Means Tomorrow (Randy Bachman) - 3:02
12. Scarecrow (C. Allan, R. Matheson) - 5:38

Disc Two - 1972 Brave Belt II
1. Too Far Away (Randy Bachman) - 3:38
2. Dunrobin's Gone (C. Allan, B. Ericson) - 3:10
3. Can You Feel It (C.F. Turner) - 2:36
4. Put It in a Song (Tim Bachman, C.F. Turner) - 3:34
5. Summer Soldier (R. Bachman, C. Allan, Rob Bachman) - 3:23
6. Goodbye, Soul Shy (C.F. Turner) - 3:45
7. Never Comin' Home (Randy Bachman) - 3:40
8. Be a Good Man (C.F. Turner) - 2:51
9. Long Way Round (C.F. Turner) - 2:15
10.Another Way Out (Randy Bachman) - 3:30
11.Waterloo Country (C. Allan) - 5:10
12.Hands And Faces (Bonus Track) (C. Allan, R. Matheson) - 4:14
13.Shakin' All Over (Bonus Track) (Johnny Kid) - 2:53

Brave Belt
*Chad Allan - Accordion, Guitar, Keyboards, Mandolin, Piano, Vocals
*Randy Bachman  - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Robbie Bachman - Drums, Vocals
*Fred Turner - Bass, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Wally Didduck - Fiddle
*Ronnie Halldorson - Pedal Steel
*Billy Mac - Drums

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Vagrants - I Can't Make a Friend (1965-68 us, awesome garage r 'n' b psych with young Leslie West pre-Mountain, 2011 remaster edition)



The Vagrants weren't the only band to come out of Forest Hills High School, later there was another Queens-based combo you might have heard of... The Ramones. Johnny and Tommy Ramone attended Forest Hills High School at the same time as most of the Vagrants. (Joey, who was a few years younger, was there shortly afterwards.) 

In 1965 Johnny and Tommy were playing together in a short-lived band called the Tangerine Puppets. "I try not to talk about it 'cause it was bad!" Johnny told me when I interviewed him in 1995. He was much more interested in talking about the Vagrants. "First I knew Roger Mansour, who was the drummer, and me and him used to be friends. He used to call for me in the morning and we used to go to school together. He was a great drummer, and I'd hear from him how he was going to get into the Vagrants. 

Larry West-whose real name was Larry Weinstein, who was Leslie's brother-he was the bass player. He'd be sitting there in the study hall 'cause he'd be on permanent suspension for having his hair too long. He'd be saying he was starting a band with his brother and how his brother's a great guitar player. And I'd ask other kids in the school about if they knew the good guitar player, and they'd go, 'No, he's just a fat kid. He's no good.' But Larry would always be saying how great his brother was. 

His brother was older, and he was just a dropout. Larry at this point was about 15,1 was about 16, and Leslie was about 18. Larry just sat there suspended the whole year 'cause all that mattered was the Vagrants and growing his hair-that was the important thing in his life. 

So they were starting, and as soon as I saw Leslie play I said, 'Wow, this guy's great!' He didn't play like he played later on, but he was able to play whatever cover he was doing and do it exact, from Beatles stuff to 'You Really Got Me.' Whatever he would figure out, he would play just like the record." "We were close with the Ramones," remembers Larry, "but I didn't even know what they were doing. I didn't even know they were starting a band." At that point, they weren't. After the Tangerine Puppets broke up it would be another nine years before Johnny picked up a guitar and formed the Ramones. "I would try and get into wherever I could [to see the Vagrants]," Johnny told me. "Sometimes you could get into certain clubs who wouldn't get so heavy with the [ID] proofing. There'd be a place in the city. 

I saw them at the Manhattan Center, Action House on Long Island, places like that. I must've seen them dozens of times "They went through so many different evolutions throughout the band ... Somewhere along the way they went away to Long Island to play some places, and that's when they came back and we started hearing more about the Rascals and Vanilla Fudge. The Vagrants came back and they were different. They were into more like the Rascals-type thing with the songs slowed down and doing sort of a soul type of thing, like 'Mustang Sally' type stuff. They were doing 'Good Lovin" stuff too. 

They kept doing covers of other people's songs, but they would be better than the Rascals and better than the Vanilla Fudge at doing the stuff. They just looked better, and Leslie's guitar playing was far superior to Gene Cornish of the Rascals or Vince Martell, the guitar player in the Vanilla Fudge." The band's image and presentation made a big impression on Johnny. "The band looked so good," he continued, "and Larry was becoming like a Jim Morrison ... just like permanently fucked-up with the leather pants and the long, wavy hair ... Leslie would become more and more flashy with the outfits he would be getting into. 

They'd just go through so many phases where everything would come in with the really loud colored clothes with these boas-these feathered things around him, y'know? Weird seeing some 350-pound guy looking like this!" "I only knew them then from the cafeteria in school," admits Peter Sabatino. "I saw them sitting there, y'know. They were new on the scene. I guess, because of the ego, I didn't pay a lot of attention to that, how upcoming they were. 

It's only through your interview that I realized they were emulating us and we were idols to them. Like Larry and I used to wear these motorcycle jackets back then, and I guess they picked up on that. Whatever they thought was cool with the Vagrants; they took for themselves."
 by Mike Stax


Tracks
1. Oh Those Eyes (Jerry Storch) - 2:36
2. You're Too Young (Richard Tyson, Alan Abrahams) - 2:05
3. I Can't Make A Friend (Jerry Storch, Trade Martin) - 2:34
4. Young Blues (Trade Martin, Ed Miller, B. Smith Jr.) - 2:16
5. The Final Hour (Bert Sommer) - 2:27
6. Your Hasty Heart (Bert Sommer) - 2:59
7. Respect (Otis Redding) - 2:15
8. I Love, Love You (Yes I Do) (Bennie Earl) - 2:38
9. Beside The Sea (Gail Collins, Felix Pappalardi, Bert Sommer) - 2:18
10.A Sunny Summer Ran (Felix Pappalardi, Bert Sommer) - 2:50
11.And When It's Over (Bert Sommer) - 2:19
12.I Don't Need Your Loving (Jerry Storch) - 2:53

Vagrants
*Roger Mansour - Drums
*Peter Sabatino - Vocals, Harmonica, Tambourine
*Jerry Storch - Organ, Vocals
*Larry West - Bass, Vocals
*Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Country Joe And The Fish - CJ Fish (1970 us, beautiful psychedelic folk rock, ACE remaster)



The film of the Woodstock Festival was prepared for release in the spring of 1970, they also appeared in and performed music for underground cult film Zachariah where Joe is the leader of a band of outlaws in the old west, carrying amplifiers on their horses and calling themselves "The Crackers." When Woodstock, the movie hit the theaters, "Fixin' To Die Rag" was in the middle of the film, with its lyrics spelled out, highlighted with a bouncing ball, including the "Cheer" and copious remarks about how many people seemed to be in the audience. 

So what a recording, some airplay and countless performance could not do, the film did instantly. It brought the band's anti-war message and the "get stuffed," we-don't-like-what-you're-doing-ness of the "Cheer" into movie theaters all over the world. In short, all of a sudden 5 years after its debut at a demonstration in Oakland it became an anthem.

At the same time, they released their last LP for Vanguard C. J. Fish which with a new keyboard player and rhythm section was produced by Tom Wilson. They retained, however, their primary composers Barry Melton and Country Joe MacDonald, keeping the sound and style of the original band. Most of the lyrics are thoughtful and bright; many are in rhyme as many of that time were. 

The overall timbre is interesting, being both joyful and sobering at the same time. Some bright spots in the material are "Hey Bobby," "She's a Bird," and "Hang On," which are delightfully Country Joe. Overall it's not a bad album and no Country Joe and the Fish collection is complete without it.


Tracks
1. Sing Sing Sing - 3:01
2. She's a Bird - 4:33
3. Mara - 2:57
4. Hang on - 4:08
5. The Baby Song - 2:50
6. Hey Bobby - 2:06
7. Silver and Gold - 2:47
8. Rockin' Round the World - 4:54
9. The Love Machine - 5:48
10.The Return of Sweet Lorraine - 3:46
11.Hand of Man - 2:50
All tracks written by Joe McDonald except 1 & 7 written by Barry Melton

Country Joe And The Fish
*Joe McDonald - Vocals, Guitar
*Barry Melton - Vocals, Guitar
*Mark Kapner - Keyboards
*Doug Metzner - Bass
*Greg Dewey - Drums

1967  Electric Music For The Mind And Body
1968  Together
1969  Live! Fillmore West
1969  Here We Are Again

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The Shadows Of Knight - Shake! (1968-69 us, mind blowing garage rock, Rev Ola 2009 remaster)



The Shadows Of Knight were formed in early 1965 in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights as The Shadows (completely unaware of Cliff and The Shads of course), by Jim Sohns together with rhythm guitarist Norm Gotcsh, lead guitarist Warren Rogers, bassist Wayne Pursell and drummer Tom Schiffour. Later in the year, Wayne Pursell departed to be replaced by Joe Kelley, who soon jumped over to lead guitar, and in December, guitarist Jerry McGeorge took the place of Norm Gotsch. 

With their classic lineup complete, The Shadows Of Knight built up quite a following in Chicago and surrounding areas, and became the undisputed rulers of the super-hip Cellar Club. It was at a showcase at the Cellar Club that they impressed Bill Traut and George Badonsky of the fledgling Chicago label, Dunwich Records, with their rendition of garage staple "Gloria". Them's version of "Gloria" had been a radio hit in some markets, but was losing airplay in others due to it's perceived sleaziness. 

Wasting no time, Traut and Badonsky got the band into the studio to cut their own version of'Gloria" and another song, the amazing "Dark Side". At the same time, the music business savvy Traut and Badonsky were well aware of Cliff and The Shads, and suggested a name change. Various suggestions were made, including The Tyme (which, I dunno, sounds rather early '80s to me!), all rejected by the band, who had built up a sizeable following as The Shadows and didn't want to confuse them with a name switch. 

At last, on the eve of printing the labels for the all-important debut single, Jim Sohns suggested The Shadows Of Knight, which he thought had a kind of British sound to it - very useful in those British Invasion-dominated years - and would be lot less trouble adjusting to for their rabid fan following. In their recording of "Gloria", The Shadows Of Knight replaced the jazzy backbeats of the original with a simple kid-friendly dance beat. To be honest, I've never been a fan of either version... both Them and The Shadows Of Knight had better things to come! "Gloria" was released on the 31st of January 1966 and immediately began to get blanket airplay on local Chicago radio stations. Reaction was swift and the record reputedly sold over 100,000 copies in it's first ten days of release. 

By the middle of April, the song had entered the Billboard Hot 100 where it climbed to number 10 within a couple of weeks. The Shadows Of Knight were now a hot commercial property and were quickly placed on the travelling hit roadshow of the time, Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars, touring the United States with The Outsiders, ? And The Mysterians and The Seeds. Wouldn't you just kill to have seen a bill like that? For the follow-up to "Gloria", the band chose a Bo Diddley song; "Oh Yeah", which also cracked the US Top 40, peaking at #39 in the Summer of 1966 and selling half a million copies. It was this song, in it's overdriven guitar glory, which introduced many a youngster to The Shadows Of Knight on the essential, original Nuggets compilation. Including me. 

In November of that year, Dave "The Hawk" Wolinski, former bass/keyboard session ace, took over for Warren Rogers, who had been drafted. They then released "Bad Little Woman", a cover of a song by Them's fellow Belfast band. The Wheels, an adventurous choice which reached the upper levels of the Billboard Pop chart. Then the group reached their apotheosis; a tune called "I'm Gonna Make You Mine", a total garage monster, and one of my favourites ever... we used to put on this song at the start of play at every Creation Records recording session. It's just one of those tunes. Anyhow, it had allegedly sold 100,000 copies in the first two weeks of release, when it was unfortunately banned by most radio stations because the lyrics were deemed "too suggestive". The objectionable lines were apparently "I believe in me, that's how I live, I'm gonna take, girl, and you're... gonna give, yeah I'm gonna make you... mine". I think it may have been the telling pauses that did it. 

Anyhow, after this crushing and stupid blow seemingly from Satan himself, the song stalled at #89 on the Billboard chart. For a comparable injustice anywhere you'd have to enter the sphere of international politics, to be honest. After the brilliant and horn-tastic "Someone Like Me" followed a similar undeserved road to chart oblivion scant months later, Traut and Badonsky then seemingly lost their minds, giving up the ghost with both The Shadows Of Knight And Dunwich Records, eventually apparently selling all the masters to their distributor, Atlantic Records, for the princely sum of $1... By the Spring of 1967, internal strife had begun to tear the group apart at the seams. Jerry McGeorge left, later to reappear in another Traut / Badonsky project, HP Lovecraft. 

Within weeks, Kelley and Schiffour had split too, going back to their roots with the Joe Kelley Blues Band, while "The Hawk" wound up with Bangor Flying Circus. At this low point, (and let's face it, you can't get much lower! I Jim Sohns pulled together an entirely new lineup, and looked hard for the next step... 

The new version of "Back Door Man" is a growling, lascivious tour de force of biker rock menace which makes for a vital link with The Shadows Of Knight's garage past and is a darn good listen to boot! People buying the album might have been disappointed to find that the version of "Shake!" on the album was not the rather wonderful single, but a cursory one, sounding like a demo. Included both versions here, as well as the other fabulous single sides. So there we have it, the lost chapter in the Shadows Of Knight story, put before you at last by Rev- Ola... does it get any better?
by Joe Foster, Glasgow January 2009


Tracks
1. Shake (45 Version) (J Levine, K Resnick) - 2:28
2. My Fire Department Needs A Fireman (J. Kasenetz, J. Katz) - 2:19
3. Run Run Billy Porter (K Resnick, J Levine) - 2:17
4. Follow (J Levine) - 2:06
5. Alone (J Levine, S Feldman) - 2:07
6. Times And Places (S Harris) - 2:10
7. I Am What I Am (J Sohns, D Baughman) - 2:43
8. Uncle Wiggley's Airship (D Baughman, J Sohns) - 3:57
9. I Wanna Make You All Mine (J. Sohns, S. Woodruff) - 2:38
10. Shake Revisited '69 (J Levine, K Resnick) - 2:56
11. I'll Set You Free (J Sohns, J Fisher) - 4:52
12. Under Acoustic Control (J Fisher, J Sohns, S Woodruff, K Turkin) - 0:17
13. Bluebird (S Stills) - 5:36
14. Back Door Man (W Dixon) - 3:56
15. From Way Out To Way Under (J Levine, J Katz, K Resnick, J Kasenetz) - 2:55

The Shadows Of Knight
*Jim Sohns - Vocals
*Joe Kelley - Guitar
*Jerry McGeorge - Guitar
*Tom Schiffour - Drums
*Warren Rogers - Bass

1966  The Shadows Of Knight - Gloria

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost And Found - Everybody's Here (1967-68 us, awesome texas psychedelic rock, 2009 Charly remaster)



Emerging from the same mid-60s Houston, Texas scene as label mates Thursday's Children and The Red Crayola, Lost And Found were formed in 1965 and originally called themselves The Misfits, consisting of Peter Black on guitar and vocals, Jimmy Frost on lead guitar, bassman James Harrell and - after a succession of drummers - Steve Webb. Part of the nationwide explosion of local bands springing up in the wake of the British Invasion (and America's immediate musical responses), the group busied themselves, with local appearances. They developed quite a following, often playing shows in Houston at the famed venue La Maison, where they became the house band alongside The Six Pents and Baroque Brothers.

Later, they also frequented Love Street, which opened in June 1967. A pivotal moment in Lost And Found/The Misfits' history came in early December 1965 when artist friend George Banks - who would later form the Flash Graphics company, producing most of International Artist's artwork - took Harrell and Black to the Jade Room in Austin to see the debut performances of the newly-formed 13th Floor Elevators, who were to have a huge influence on The Misfits' sound and approach to songwriting. The two groups' friendship, sparked at a La Maison show early in '66, would eventually lead to an introduction to the infamous International Artists label in Houston.

At some point early in their career, the group, minus Jimmy Frost, split to Los Angeles with buddies Euphoria, hanging out on the West Coast for a couple of months until poverty and general apathy forced a return to Houston. Their time spent on the West Coast, however, was not entirely wasted, as the emphasis on melody and memorable hooks so common to the City of Angels clearly seeped into the boys' songwriting, with elements of The Byrds and Love being most evident.

Upon their return, at the start of a six month residency at Scott Holtzman's Living Eye Club in Houston and later immortalized on their albuml, they attracted unwelcome notoriety as the first Texas group busted for LSD. However, the charges were supposedly dismissed, following confusion as to the drug's legality - it had only just been outlawed a month earlier in October '66.

As paranoia and suspicion were already rife in the conservative Texan atmosphere with regards to the "longhairs", it seems that one positive factor in the group's association with International Artists was that owner-lawyers Bill Dillard and Noble Ginther could potentially offer support with regard to legal matters, as they were already doing and would continue to do with the Elevators! Around this time, and possibly due to the negative associations with their name following the bust, the group finally became Lost And Found.

In August 1967, the group entered Andrus Studios in Houston to cut their one and only album, working with producer Lelan Rogers and engineer Frank Davis. Made up of mostly original material written by Harrell and Frost, except for a cover of the Elevators' 'Don't Fall Down' from that group's Psychedelic Sounds album, it's a strong debut, melding the influences picked up on their LA jaunt with more esoteric elements picked up from the Elevators, and their mystical quest for pure sanity. 

Strong vocal harmonies and guitar interplay abound, with Harrell and Webb laying down a solid foundation. The album's opening track 'Forever Lasting Plastic Words' successfully lays out the band's ethos - folk-rockesque melodies, matched with intelligent and meaningful lyrics. 

Standouts for this writoi include 'There Would Be No Doubt', with its echoing of the sentiments of the Elevators' 'Reverberation', the pure teen-rush-mania of 'I Realize' and the closing 7_ minute instrumental opus 'Living Eye'. The lattoi successfully combines elements of 'Eight Miles High' and 'Smokestack Lightning', highlighting the group's instrumental prowess, and giving an indication of their on-stage majesty.

Two blues tracks, the instrumental 'Zig Zag Blues' - dedicated to the founder of the Zig Zag cigarette rolling paper company- and '2 Stroke Blues' - NOT dedicated to 2-stroke oil and lawnmower engines, but a hymn to making sweet lovin'! - make it fairly clear that the group were no Butterfield Blues Band, but they're pleasant enough, and certainly contribute to the overall diversity of the LP. 

The afore-mentioned Elevators cover, 'Don't Fall Down', is interestingly re-structured, starting with the chorus, and working though a startlingly different arrangement to the original. 'Everybody's Here' is part stoned declaration, part Dylan parody, whilst 'Let Me Be' is a nippy little number, slightly marred by the group's failed attempt to emulate the Elevators' unique jug sound.

The album was released in late '67 as IALP#3 and was the first International Artists LP to be released in stereo only, housed in a suitably psychedelic George Banks-designed sleeve. The album had been preceded by a single release of two of its titles, 'Forever Lasting Plastic Words' backed with 'Everybody's Here'. The largely anonymous sleeve - no full band names or photos, justshadowy images - contributed to lA's aura of mystique, which was actually borne out of their complete paranoia over the contents of their catalogue! 

The back of the original album sleeve featured two short sleeve notes, both of which are reproduced in this booklet. The first, written by Lelan Rogers, praises Frank Davis' engineering skills whilst the second one, by George Banks, details his intended meaning behind the sleeve design. As with The Red Crayola's Parable Of Amble Land IP, each of the song titles has a brief excerpt from its lyrics added underneath it and which we have reproduced in the track listing at the back of this booklet.

Presumably these were included to summarise the meaning of each of the tracks. History indicates that, for the most part, International Artists were unable, or unwilling, to effectively promote any of their releases, their only two hit singles - the Elevators' You're Gonna Miss Me' in '66 and Bubble Puppy's 'Hot Smoke And Sassafras' in '69 - being as much down to chance and good fortune than to any promotion and marketing by the label. Lost And Pound's album was afforded the same lack of promotional nous, being held back from its intended release date to allow International Artists to promote the second Elevators LP, Easfer Everywhere.

The same fate befell their labelmates' The Golden Dawn's masterpiece, Power Plant, which was also recorded in the summer of '67 and held back for release until early the following year. As an aside, sonically-speaking the two IPs have a lot in common. It could be argued that by using the same studio, producer and engineer, similarities were bound to crop up; certainly, the slightly thin, demo-like quality of the production on both LPs sounds a little rushed, almost unfinished in places.

The fragile, somewhat whiny quality of the lead vocals also draws immediate comparisons, but it's clear Lost And Found had their own sound: OK, they wore their influences on their collective sleeve, but when your influences are that good - why not?! 

Further songs were demoed by the group in February '68 to provide material for a proposed second album which never saw the light of day. One of these songs, '25 MPH', eventually showed up on lA's 1980 Epitaph For A Legend compilation. What did appear later from the group in 1968 was a second single, this time produced by Fred Carroll, Lelan Rogers having left the label acrimoniously in February. 

This was an entirely different ballgame, the group this time being allowed to cut loose and do their own thing in the studio - allegedly, IA had toned down their previous recordings. Both songs - 'When Will You Come Through' and 'Professor Black', co-written with George Banks - burn with a peculiar intensity, especially the former, with its berserk squalling guitar, fuzzed-out bass and busy drums. It's almost as though the group, knowing that their remaining time was to be short, decided to throw all their enthusiasm, pent-up frustration and sheer "fuck you" attitude into the mix! Unfortunately, like the previous single and LP, it tanked, effectively stalling the group's career. Despair set in, and the group was close to collapse. 

International Artists had earlier booked them on a tour of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama with garage legends The Music Machine. When they returned, IA informed the group that they owed the label money; they had made nothing from the tour, nothing was happening with the album, so they finally split in the summer of'68.

There next emerged an unusual sidebar to the Lost And Found story. Still under contract from IA, Pete Black and James Harrell were reluctantly roped in to play about a dozen dates with Stacy Sutherland and Danny Thomas (subbing for the departed Roky Erickson and Dan Galindo) in a ersatz version of The 13th Floor Elevators, ostensibly to promote the release of the fake Elevators Live album in July of '68.

A weekend of shows in late August at The Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, with support from New Atlantis featuring Dan Galindo, was met with a degree of indifference, and overall disappointment: although the group was good, it wasn't the Elevators! 

The same line-up was booked to play The Vulcan again at the end of September and, after approximately ten more shows, finally called it quits. Pete Black and James Harrell both joined Endle St. Cloud, that group covering both sides of the final Lost And Found single on their 1970 International Artists LP, Thank You Very Much. The group later evolved into Potter St. Cloud, which included Steve Webb on drums. (MOLE)

This 2009 issue UK Strictly Limited Deluxe Edition 13-tracK CD album - One of the most influential independent record companies of its day, International Artists has gained cult status over the years, particularly amongst fans of prime American psychedelic and garage rock. 

Roky Erickson from the 13th Floor Elevators introduced Lost & Found to Lelan Rogers of International Artists, who promptly signed them up. They then recorded their one and only album, 'Everybody's Here', in the summer of 1967. 

This latest title in Charly's series of limited edition reissues of key IA albums comes expanded with the 3 Bonus Recordings: 'When Will You Come Through', 'Professor Black' & '25 MPH'.

Presented in a rigid digibook sleeve, complete with a 16-page bound-in illustrated booklet featuring an authoritative, contemporary overview of the band and its music by EIL's very own Matt Lambert, as well as reproductions of the album's two original notes!).


Tracks
1. Forever Lasting Plastic Words (James Harrell) - 2:14
2. Everybody's Here (Jimmy Frost) - 3:03
3. There Would Be No Doubt (W. West, P. Black) - 2:09
4. Don't Fall Down (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 3:15
5. Zig Zag Blues (J. Harrell, J. Frost, P. Black, S. Webb) - 6:02
6. Let Me Be (Jimmy Frost) - 2:48
7. I Realize (J. Harrell) - 2:31
8. 2 Stroke Blues (J. Harrell) - 3:09
9. I'm So Hip To Pain (J. Harrell) - 2:40
10.Living Eye (J. Harrell, J. Frost, P. Black, S. Webb) - 7:35
11.When Will You Come Through (Peter Black) - 2:26
12.Professor Black (G. Banks, J. Harrell, P. Black) - 2:47
13.25 MPH (J. Harrell) - 1:51

Lost And Found
*Peter Black - Vocals, Guitar
*Jimmy Frost - Guitar
*James Harrell - Bass
*Steve Webb - Drums

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Various Artists - Piccadilly Sunshine Part 7 (1966-70 uk, pop psych and lots of flavours)



This is getting better and better, part 7 is one of the most exciting pieces from this series, and it goes much further and beyond the british psychedelic scene from the mid to late sixties.

Every song that follows makes our light brighter, and our willing to push the start button again and again, well it's true now, these diamonds are for ever, just enjoy them....


Artists - Tracks
1. Loose Ends - I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore - 2:12
2. Peter Fenton - Small Town - 2:13
3. Paul Young - No, No, No - 2:25
4. Bobcats - Let Me Get By - 2:19
5. Chris Kerry - Seven Deadly Sins - 2:40
6. Situation - Time - 2:26
7. Magic Lanterns - Time Will Tell - 2:01
8. Mud - You’re My Mother - 2:30
9. Peeps - Gotta Get A Move On - 2:25
10.Pinkerton’s Assort’ Colours - Will Ya? - 2:10
11.The Act - One Heart - 2:36
12.The Koobas - City Girl - 2:23
13.Deuce Of Hearts - The Times They Are A-Changin’ - 2:24
14.Harbour Lites - Run For Your Life - 2:26
15.Monopoly - Gone Tomorrow - 3:05
16.Dead Sea Fruit - Seeds Of Discontent - 3:24
17.Barry Fantoni - Fat Man - 1:55
18. Rising Sons - Just A Little While Longer - 2:48
19.Barley Bree - Save Your Love - 2:25
20.Paul Young - You Girl - 3:01

The Piccadilly Sunshine flavours 
1968-70  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 1
1966-71  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 2
1967-70  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 3
1967-69  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 4
1966-69  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 5
1967-70  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 6

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Them - Time Out Time In (1968-69 uk, spectacular garage psychedelic rock, Rev Ola extra tracks edition)



After Van Morrison’s departure from the group in 1966, Them relocated to Los Angeles, California and released a string of worthwhile efforts.  The group completely revamped their image and sound behind Jim Armstrong’s accomplished guitar work and Ken McDowell’s vocals; the only hold over from the Van Morrison era was guitarist Alan Henderson.  Now And “Them” and Time Out! Time In For are by far and away the best LPs the post Van Morrison Them ever produced.  The liners from the Rev-Ola reissue written by notable British rock historian Jon Mojo Mills take it almost too far, stating “they mastered West Coast psychedelia like no other Irish band.  And quite why Van Morrison gets all the credit is beyond me.  Which songs are better?  Gloria and Here Comes The Night or Dirty Old Man and Time Out Time In?”

Let me get this out in the open right here: the psychedelic era Them is nowhere near as good as early Them, particularly Them’s first LP and the early singles with Van Morrison (I’m sure psych fans will take issue with this!).  Early Them was a hard edged British R&B group who was both innovative and revered in their day.  Van Morrison is a legend, however, and Them’s early work is considered some of the best pure rock n roll from that time frame (64-66).

That being said, this album is a pretty good psychedelic record though not the masterpiece dealers and rock critics make it out to be.  This is the kind of album you get after you’ve heard a few hundred or so classics and are thirsting for more UK psychedelia.  The musicianship is way above average, particularly Jim Armstrong’s guitar work.  Mean lean fuzz leads are painted all over this album.  

The opening cut “Time Out For Time In” is very good with jazzy time signatures and effective sitar work.   Some of the tracks are marred by dramatic vocal phrasing and pretentious lyrics but that’s a minor complaint.  Exotic numbers like “The Moth” and the lyrically bizarre “Waltz of the Flies” work best, employing a variety of instruments (mandolin) and strange sounds.   Another highlight, “Black Widow Spider,” is a classic sitar headswirler while the boys give a good blues psych reading of “I Put A Spell On You” (titled here “I Put A Hex On You”).

Once again, if you expect the unexpected and enjoy classic psychedelia, this record is for you.  It’s not the original Them but not many bands are.  The Alan Henderson/Jim Armstrong/Ken McDowell lineup was a very underrated group and while this LP may not be an essential purchase, the music is still very good and full of mysticism.  During this era, Them also had a good live reputation throughout the LA area and released some fine singles including the excellent garage punker “Dirty Old Man.”  Icing on the cake is the original vinyl album sleeve’s beautiful psychedelic collage.


Tracks
1. Time Out for Time In (Lane, Pulley) - 2:55
2. She Put a Hex on You (Lane, Pulley) - 2:24
3. Bent Over You (Henderson, Lane, Pulley) 3:17
4. Waltz of the Flies (Lane) - 2:23
5. Black Widow Spider (Lane, Pulley) - 4:33
6. We've All Agreed to Help (Them) - 2:20
7. Market Place (Lane, Pulley) - 3:01
8. Just on Conception (Henderson, McDowell, Harvey, Armstrong) - 5:07
9. Young Woman (Lane, Pulley) - 2:44
10.Moth (Lane, Pulley) - 3:23
11.But It's Alright (Jackson, Tubbs) - 2:42
12.Square Room (2nd Single Version) (Henderson, McDowell, Harvey, Armstrong) - 3:18
13.Dirty Old Man (2nd Single Version) (Lane) - 1:46
14.Corinna (Single Version) (Mahal, Davis) - 2:38
15.Dark Are the Shadows (Single Version) (Monda, Budnick) - 2:39
16.Dirty Old Man (Original Single Version) (Lane) - 1:57
17.Square Room (Original Single Version) (Henderson, McDowell, Harvey, Armstrong) - 3:37
18.But It's Alright (Original Single Version) (Jackson, Tubbs) - 2:43
19.Square Room (Single Edit Remix) (Henderson, McDowell, Harvey, Armstrong) - 3:20

Them
*Kenny McDowell - Lead Vocals
*Alan Henderson - Bass
*Jim Armstrong - Guitar, Sitar
*Dave Harvey - Drums
*Johnny Guerin - Drums (Studio Sessions)

Themology
1965-66  The Wheels - Road Block
1967  Them - Now And Them
1967  Belfast Gypsies
1970-71  Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble

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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Medium - The Medium (1969 canada, fantastic heavy psych with early prog tinges, Flawed Gems 2012 remaster)



The only album of this forgotten Montreal band was released on tiny Gamma label in 1969 and is usually considered as one of the very best Canadian albums from late 60' s psychedelic era. 

It mostly contained a trippy, instrumental music full of swirling organ and fuzz guitar parts, but there were also a space for atmospheric, dreamy ballads sung in a deep voice and for some distinctive, weird and 'jazzy' guitar solos... 

Anyway, it was a pretty complex and freaky album, which can be described as a stylistic combination of Vanilla Fudge, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, Aorta and C.A. Quintet. It has been carefully remastered from the original, analogue source and sounds really great!


Tracks
1. New Thing - 4:34
2. My Lady Lies Forever - 2:39
3. Give Me A Peace - 4:01
4. Two By Two - 2:35
5. The Mouse - 5:04
6. I'll Love Everyone At Last - 2:51
7. In Between - 4:41
8. Melon - 1:44
9. Stars - 5:34
All compositions by Jim Solkin

The Medium
*Robert Ellis - Vocals, Harmonica
*James Solkin - Organ, Piano
*Pierre Latrelille - Guitar
*Neil Malott - Bass
*Steve Blackwell - Percussion

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bear Mountain Band - One More Day (1971 us, splendid hard psych blues rock)



Originally issued by the private press (Predator Records, PR-1001). The group was established in Wickenburg (Arizona) is without question, one of the rarest American hard psych LPs, rarely appears for sale for over $600

A loud hardrock/heavy psych group with lots of fuzz guitar and gritty vocals. Local mountain air rocker with psychy west coast flashes on the excellent title track ‘One More Day’ and else where,more melodic numbers rural rock vibe, with a couple of extended jams showing good playing and a nice atmosphere all around.’Crotch Crickets’, has a really catchy heavy riff, other song that really stands out is ‘Crossroader’, which has some really memorable up-tempo, wah-heavy guitar playing is a real rock burner. ‘Mount’ also great instrumental track. The rest of the album is also a high standard bluesy hard psychedelic rock.
by Adamus67


Tracks
1. One More Day - 2:47
2. Crotch Crickets - 4:08
3. Somethin' to Say - 5:28
4. Aspen Jam (Cam Empens, Bill Richardson, Frank Ford) - 5:24
5. Bagdad Boogie (Bill Richardson, Bill Keisler) - 2:26
6. Crossroader (Bill Richardson, Cam Empens) - 3:53
7. Mount (Bill Richardson, Frank Ford, Cam Empens) - 4:48
8. Fallin' (Bill Richardson, Cam Empens) - 3:50
9. Tihsllub (aka Irondoors) - 2:24
All songs by Bill Richardson except where indicated

Bear Mountain Band
*Bill Richardson - Guitar
*Bill Keisler - Bass
*Cam Empens - Organ
*Frank Ford - Drums

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Carl Oglesby - Carl Oglesby / Going To Damascus (1969/71 us, fabulous protest folk rock with psych and country touches)



Carl Oglesby was born in Ohio. After graduating from Kent State University, he worked in Michigan as a technical editor for a defense contractor.

Oglesby was radicalized by the Vietnam War. In 1965 he was elected president of the Students for a Democratic Society, a group that organized opposition to the war. Oglesby went on to teach politics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College. 

He may be the ultimate politically hyphenated American: He's an anti-interventionist-New Left-humanist-libertarian. He's also a folk singer with two albums to his credit, an author, and one of the nation's leading experts on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Oglesby's background didn't hint that he would end up, as Murray Rothbard called him in 1992, a "longtime libertarian." Born in Ohio, Oglesby attended Kent State University and then worked in Michigan as a technical editor for a defense contractor.

His world turned upside down in 1965 when he became radicalized about the United States' growing military involvement in Vietnam. Later that year, he was elected president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a "New Left" group that organized student opposition to the Vietnam War.

As he traveled around the country, Oglesby came to realize that the United States' foreign policy wasn't just a matter of left (good) versus right (bad). In 1967, he wrote Containment and Change (with Richard Shaull), which argued that the libertarian, non-interventionist "Old Right" should be the New Left's best ally in opposing an imperialistic American foreign policy.

In 1971, Oglesby was a speaker at a "Left-Right Festival of Mind Liberation." The event, sponsored by the California Libertarian Alliance, was designed to lay the groundwork for a libertarian/New Left anti-war coalition. Oglesby made the case that "the Old Right and the New Left" were "morally and politically" united in their opposition to war, and should work together.

Oglesby also began speaking out against the alliance of big business and government -- what he called the "corporate state" -- and in favor of "radically humanist politics" that embraced decentralization and free association.

During those same years, Oglesby earned recognition for his musical talent. He released two albums, Carl Oglesby (1969) and Going to Damascus (1971), that were praised for their "psychedelic folk rock sound." The albums were re-released in CD format in 2003.

After the Vietnam War ended, Oglesby's innate suspicion of government led him down another career path -- investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He wrote three books: On the Trail of the Assassins (with Jim Garrison, 1988); Who Killed JFK? (1991); and The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories (1992). All three voiced skepticism about the government's "lone-gunman" theory.

In 1991, Oglesby again bridged the gap between his libertarian/left perspective and the liberty movement in a speech to the Massachusetts Libertarian Party. In it, Oglesby discussed secret American intelligence operations, including the U.S. Army's post-World War II "Gehlen Deal" that recruited former Nazis to spy on the USSR for NATO; the CIA's 1953 Operation Ajax that overthrew the government of Iran; and the FBI's Vietnam War-era COINTELPRO campaign against anti-war activists. Such covert operations, warned Oglesby, were indicative of an out-of-control "national-security oligarchy" that constituted "a secret and invisible state within the public state."


Tracks
1969 Carl Oglesby
1. Suburbs Of Eden - 2:56
2. Le Chinois - 4:04
3. Staring At The Sunshine - 4:18
4. The Prophet - 5:19
5. Black Panther - 4:45
6. Portait Of A Lady - 5:50
7. Dragon Song - 3:03
8. Cherokee Queen - 3:28
9. Lemon Light - 6:42
1971 Going To Damascus
10. Last Night I Saw The Sailor - 3:00
11. Till The Dance Is Mine - 4:28
12. Going To Damascus - 3:44
13. Play Volleyball Like A Man - 3:18
14. The Working Class Stranger - 4:29
15. The Lowly Beggar Girl - 3:02
16. Boarder Ballad - 3:59
17. The Lady With The Red Glass Eye - 3:28
18. The Wild E. G. And C. - 3:04
19. Light The Pipe - 4:49
Words and Music by Carl Oglesby

Musicians
1969 Carl Oglesby
*Carl Oglesby - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Richard Davis - Bass
*Seymour Barab - Cello
*George Edwards - Guitar
*Robert Fritz - Woodwind
*Elmer Gordon - Keyboards
*Tim Hauser - Guitar
*Mark Puleo - Harmonica
*Peter Psarianos - Guitar
*Vinnie Bell - Electric Guitar
*Norman Grossman - Percussions
*Bill La Vorgna  - Drums
*Joe Mack - Bass

1971 Going To Damascus
*Carl Oglesby - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*John Frangipane - Organ, Piano
*Bill La Vorgna  - Drums
*Joe Mack - Bass
*David Spinozza - Electric Guitar

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Them - Now And Them (1967 uk, perfect garage r 'n' b psych, 2003 rev ola edition)



They're a group with five distinct but not disjointed personalities. This is Them as I know them.

There's Kenny McDowell, who worried about stepping into Van Morrison's place as the group's vocalist. He's a worker on stage, shouting and whispering everything from blues to Indian ragas. Blues is his game and he plays it well. Off stage he's shy, but getting over it. Charming in that delightful Irish way, he blushes when complimented and calls every girl "Luv." You just can't help but love Kenny.

Towering over him on stage is Kim Armstrong, lead guitar player extraordinaire. A year ago Jim looked like a cross between Chad Stuart and Peter Asher; now he just looks tall. New Shankar albums to blow his mind, but then so do songs like "They're Coming To Take Me Away," so how can you win? He's basically an uncomplicated guy who likes to like and is easy to like. Keep your eye on this man; he's going to develop himself into one of our top guitarists. But it won't hang him up, 'cause things just don't hang Jim up.

And there's Alan, who resembles an iceberg in that only about ten percent of him is above the surface. He keeps a lot of him inside. What's on the outside looks a lot like Omar Sharif. It's a little difficult to earn Alan's respect, as it is with all of Them, but once you get it you have a loyal friend. But cross him once and you'll never have a chance to do it again. He's one heck of a bass player, but if you ask him he'll tell you Jim is the group's best guitarist. He can seem a bit rough at times, but he's learning the meaning of gentleness. Just don't let Alan frighten you.

Ray Elliott plays sax, organ, flute, etc., and is the world's largest living leprechaun, not necessarily in captivity. He's easy to love but impossible to understand. He calls his sax a typewriter and is capable of talking for hours without making sense to anyone other than himself, but that's Ray. And you'll just have to take him as he is, 'cause there's no way he's ever going to change. But why should he; he's enjoying himself. Ray doesn't trust people, but maybe he has a reason. We'll probably never know.

Move slowly around Dave Harvey and he may be able to keep up with you. Them's drummer, he's a low keyed Englishman who looks Spanish when his moustache gets too long. He once wore a watch that said five o'clock for three months, but in Dave's world it might have been five o'clock for three months. Jazz is his bag, photography his latest interest and girls his full time interest. He doesn't stand out in a crowd, but he's glad of that since crowds bother him. Dave's simply quiet, easy going and slow, at everything.

These are Them now and now is Them. They've been through some changes, bad times and good times and learned from all of it. It's going to happen for Them now. I think you'll like Them.
by Carol Deck


Tracks
1. I'm Your Witch Doctor (John Mayall) - 2:39
2. What's The Matter Baby (Joy Byers, Clyde Otis) - 2:46
3. Truth Machine (J. Armstrong, R. Elliott, D. Harvey, K. McDowell) - 2:10
4. Square Room - 9:59
5. You're Just What I Was Looking For Today (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:57
6. Dirty Ol' Man (At The Age Of 16) (T. Lane) - 1:48
7. Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out (Jimmie Cox) - 3:35
8. Walking In The Queen's Garden - 3:06
9. I Happen To Love You (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:48
10. Come To Me - 2:24
11. Walking In The Queen's Garden (mono single mix) - 3:04
12. I Happen To Love You (mono single mix) (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:54
All songs by Alan Henderson, Jim Armstrong, Dave Harvey, Ray Elliott and Kenny McDowell  except otherwise noted.

Them
*Alan Henderson - Bass
*Jim Armstrong - Guitar
*Dave Harvey - Drums
*Ray Elliott - Saxophone, Organ, Flute
*Kenny McDowell - Vocals

Themology
1965-66  The Wheels - Road Block
1967  Belfast Gypsies
1970-71  Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble

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