In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Marsupilami - Arena (1971 uk, epic agile potent concept progressive rock, Won Sin and Esoteric editions)



After their debut album's release, Marsi toured and expanded by adding Mandy Riedelbanch on multiple wind instruments and found themselves relocating in Amsterdam, where they were playing a series of concert in the Paradiso theatre with the then-state of the art MC2 Lightshow. This is when they started to write and rehearse for their second album, with the assistance of an external lyricist Bob West. 

The album, recorded in London, was produced by future Camel founder Peter Bardens, and indeed you can hear some of Mirage's source of inspiration in Arena, including Latimer's flute, much reminiscent of Jessica Stanley. "Graced" with one of the ugliest ever prog artwork, Arena was an improvement on their debut, partly because the extra musician allowed the group to have much more possibilities, sonically and songwriting-wise.

So the aptly titled opening track Prelude does musically exactly that: it resumes the first album's progress and the band is ready to pick up things where they'd left it at. So with the following Peace Of Rome (we're in a concept, but I was never bothered to follow it too much without smirking at the pretentiousness, the worst offender being Triumvirate) is a very ambitious piece, exploring its themes over circus/arena crowd noises, and a touch of mellotron (that was missing in the debut album) and plenty of interplay time. 

The mammoth title track starts rather eerily, but in a second movement, it picks a mid-eastern them over tabla and drums, but in the next one, the ambitious and daring vocal passage turns close to ridicule, but saved from it by further impressive progressions until a sharp and raw end. At one point, you can hear Laverock's bowed guitar give an acetate cello sound.

The flipside starts on effects-laden narration as intro of the other epic of this album, Time Shadows. This tracks spends a considerable time in its first movement a piano/organ duo (overdubbing from Leary, certainly), before gradually intervening are Jessica's flute, Mandy's sax and Laverock's now jazzy guitar. After an insufferably long passage dishing out whatever lyrics the track had to offer, the group unleashes on a bass and closing lyric lines, before echoing keys and sax bring the track into a very Graaf-esque ending. Indeed you'd swear this is Jaxon, Banton, and Hammill closing this track. 

I'm not sure whether the closing Spring track is supposed to be part of the concept, for it doesn't get one of those pompous description like the first four tracks, but it's also a collectively-written track, that starts as a complete mayhem to slowly settle down in a dervish-like trance, with Fred's meandering scat vocals soaring over the rest of the band's great semi-raga, until the guitar and flute slowly deconstruct the group's unity (there is a superb double flute interlude that last until the organ breaks it up, announcing the piano and now double scat vocals. Fantasrtic stuff and definitely the group's best moment and it is quite accessible too. Much more than some of the more "baroque" passages that "doesn't click all the way".

One of the rare deceptions I have is that it seems that the new member Riedelbanch is only really present (or at least noticeable) on the album's flipside, which is a crying shame, because I think she made quite a difference. Arena is definitely an improvement on their debut album, but it is a bit like Gnidrolog?. Get both albums as they're equally good, even if this one will get more nods.
by Sean Trane 


Tracks
1. Prelude To The Arena (L. Hasson, B. West) - 5:23
2. Peace Of Rome (L. Hasson, B. West) - 7:01
3. The Arena (L. Hasson, B. West) - 12:55
4. Time Shadows (L. Hasson, F. Hasson, B. West) - 11:16
5. Spring (D. Laverock, L. Hasson, F. Hasson, R. Hicks, M. Fouracre, J. Stanley-Clarke, M. Reidelbanch) - 9:16

Personnel
*Fred Hasson - Lead Vocals, Percussion, Harmonica
*Dave Laverock - Electric, Acoustic, Bowed Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
*Leary Hasson - Piano, Mellotron, Tubular Bells
*Richard Hicks - Bass
*Mike Fouracre - Drums, Timpani, Percussion
*Jessica Stanley-Clarke - Flute, Vocals
*Mandy Reidelbanch - Tenor, Alto Sax, Flute, Percussion
*Bob West - Vocals
*Peter Bardens - Percussion

1970  Marsupilami (2008 Eosteric remaster)

Free Text

Friday, June 28, 2013

Baba Scholae - 69 (1969 france / uk, superb progressive experimental rock with jazz, blues and psych traces, 2012 AV release)



«69» of the Baba Scholae is a major album of the year 1969. It is a cult disc that never disappoints - quite the reverse, when, like me, you can listen to it in the very best conditions after decades of obscurity. Some legendary records lose their power once they are revealed and it becomes obvious that the fantasy of the music lover exceeded the realities of the work. 

This is not the case here: Jean-Yves Labat de Rossi, John Arthur Holbrook and their friends conceived a classic work worthy to be ranked with the Rock masterpieces of the period. But today - all nostalgia put aside - is the Baba Scholae album still as meaningful as it ever was? Unlike some other discs reminiscent of the famous "Madeleine de Proust" the album of Jean-Yves, John, Jules, Steve, Alan and Woody far surpasses even those very appealing legendary names of the 60's such as the Marquee, the Speak Easy, Zanzibar Productions and the Rock'n'roll Circus. 

This album that you can (at last!) hold in your excited hands takes us by surprise because it still affects us, here and now, as pristine as ever. The 21st century listener is perhaps even more capable of understanding this project than his 20th century counterpart because he can rely both on hindsight and 40 years of musical productions which his glorious predecessor could not enjoy. Terms such as "rock psyche" or "progressif impose too many limits to apprehend this Anglo-French opus. Jean-Yves Labat de Rossi and his "partners in crime" were far too young, proud and ambitious ever to want to imitate the groups of the late 60's who nevertheless brought out "instant classics" with disconcerting ease.  

Baba Scholae is a stubborn entity that aimed at going forward to explore new territories with a freshness that prevented them from falling into the pitfalls of the ironic post modern pastiche that weights down many contemporary discs. "If it does not exist, it must be invented" such seemed to be the watchword of Baba Scholae which could rely on the recklessness of the young that allows progress to be made without following established tracks. Pioneers are not conscious of being so and allow themselves to make creations which their successors would never dare to imagine once the "tables of the law" of rock had been set in stone. 

In this sense, without knowing it, Baba Scholae enters into the family of artists and cross current groups who, even if they are inspired by their environment and their times, are not their prisoners. Some names?: Frank Zappa, Devo, Brian Eno and the Flaming Lips, are explorers who, in their own way, like "the Enterprise" of Star Trek, have all sampled worlds where man had never previously set foot. Some proofs?: 1984-Melancolia Street is a folk song stamped with Saudade that would not be amiss amongst the present day renewals of this musical style. 

Half Day could have been a title of Gorky's Zigotic Mynci with its accents of the school of Canterbury revisited. Kaleidoscope is a timeless pop song, perverse in its structure, that would make the galaxy of artists of the Elephant 6 collective such as Olivia Tremor Control green with envy. Keep it "rythmique", with its mixture of folklore and hypnotic playful pop, is worthy of the great moments of post-rock. 

I must stop here - or I could go on for hours, but I am sure you have grasped the gist of my remarks. Like the greatest uncut diamonds in the history of rock, Baba Scholae "69" is an exceptional record which could remain buried for several generations without losing its lustre. Let us meet in 2050 when I have no doubt that the musicologists and critics of the future will reach the same conclusion.
by Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, July 2012


Tracks
1.1984 - Melancolia Street - 8.40
2. Half Day - 4.03
3. Will Meant Ciment - 2.10
4. Julius - 2.14
5. La Chasse Au Serpent A La Flute - 1.55
6. Go Down Sunset - 2.31
7. Telegram - 0.31
8. Song My (My Lai) - 3.29
9. Kaleidoscope - 2.02
10.Keep Rythmique - 4.04
11.Just Like George - 1.01
12.White Bird - 3.53
13.She's An Indian In Minor - 2.13
14.Song For A New Connection - 2.58
15.L'oeil Du Maitre - 4.44
16.1984 - Melancolia Street - 11.24
Lyrics and Music for all songs Labat de Rossi, Holbrook, Vigh, Baytis, Jones, Woodbine, Piat.

Baba Scholae
*Steve Baylis - Drums
*John Arthur Holbrook  - Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Alan Jones - Bass
*Jean-Yves Labat De Rossi - Flutes, Saxophone, Bombard, Keyboards, Vocals
*Jules Vigh  - Guitar, Melotro
*Woody Woodbine  - Lead Vocals

Caravan - Caravan (1968 uk, debut masterpiece, psych, early prog canterbury scene, japan SHM-CD remaster)



For their first album, Caravan was surprisingly strong. While steeped in the same British psychedelia that informed bands such as Love Children, Pink Floyd, and Tomorrow, Caravan relates a freedom of spirit and mischief along the lines of Giles, Giles & Fripp or Gong. The band's roots can be traced to a British blue-eyed soul combo called the Wilde Flowers. 

Among the luminaries to have passed through this Caravan precursor were Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper and Brian Hopper (pre-Soft Machine, naturally). By the spring of 1968, Caravan had settled nicely into a quartet consisting of Pye Hastings (guitar/bass/vocals), Richard Coughlan (drums), David Sinclair (organ/vocals), and Richard Sinclair (bass/guitar/vocals). 

Inspired by the notoriety and acclaim that Soft Machine encountered during the burgeoning days of London's underground scene, Caravan began a residency at the Middle Earth club. Additionally, the band was shopping a homemade demo tape around to local record companies. Before long, entrepreneur Tony Cox worked out a deal for them to record on the newly founded U.K. division of the Verve label. Caravan's self-titled debut is equally as inventive and infinitely more subtle than the Soft Machine's Volume One or Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Two of the album's best tunes -- the ethereal "Place of My Own" was backed with the dreamlike "Magic Man" -- were issued as the band's first single. 

Those tracks accurately exemplify the subtle complexities that Caravan would hone to great effect on later recordings. The same can also be said for album cuts such as "Love Song With Flute" and the extended nine-minute "Where but for Caravan Would I?" The latter title aptly exemplifies Caravan's decidedly less than turgid attitude toward themselves -- a refreshing contrast from the temperamental and serious Art School approach adopted by Pink Floyd and the Moody Blues. 

The mono and stereo mixes of the long-player are striking in their disparities. The stereo mix is at times opaque and virtually swallows the vocals most specifically on the tracks "Policeman" and "Grandma's Lawn." Otherwise, there are numerous additional nuances that discern the two. The single version of "Hello Hello" is also included as a bonus. This track was the follow-up 45 to "Place of My Own" and would appear in a slightly different form on their next LP, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You.   
by Lindsay Planer


Tracks
1. Place Of My Own - 4:01
2. Ride - 3:42
3. Policeman - 2:44
4. Love Song With Flute - 4:10
5. Cecil Runs - 4:07
6. Magic Man - 4:03
7. Grandma's Lawn - 3:25
8. Where But For Caravan Would I Be (R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, B. Hopper, D. Sinclair, R. Sinclair) - 9:01
9. Place Of My Own - 4:01          
10.Ride - 3:42
11.Policeman - 2:44
12.Love Song With Flute - 4:10
13.Cecil Runs - 4:07
14.Magic Man - 4:03
15.Grandma's Lawn - 3:25
16.Where But For Caravan Would I Be (R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, B. Hopper, D. Sinclair, R. Sinclair) - 9:01
17.Hello Hello (Single Version Bonus Track) - 3:12
All compositions by  R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, D. Sinclair, R. Sinclair except where indicated.
Tracks 1-8 Mono album
Tracks 9-17 Stereo album

Caravan
*Pye Hastings – Guitar, Singer, Vocals
*Dave Sinclair – Electronic Organ, Organ, Piano
*Richard Sinclair – Bass Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Richard Coughlan – Drum Kit, Drums
Additional Musician
*Jimmy Hastings - Flute

Free Text

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Herbal Mixture - Please Leave My Mind (1966 uk, fine blues garage beat)



Formed in London, England in 1966, Herbal Mixture consisted of Tony McPhee (guitar/vocals), Pete Cruickshank (bass) - both ex-members of John Lee’s Groundhogs - and Mike Meekham (drums). The new act’s name was inspired by McPhee’s interest in alternative medicine. 

Herbal Mixture secured a contract with Columbia Records, for whom they recorded two inventive singles. ‘A Love That’s Died’ married pop and psychedelia through McPhee’s fuzz guitar playing, while the atmospheric ‘Machines’ opens with startling effects, before progressing through contrasting moods heightened by further compelling guitar work. 

Herbal Mixture split up in 1967 having failed to achieve commercial success either on record or as a live attraction. In 1968 McPhee and Cruickshank were reunited in the Groundhogs. Please Leave My Mind compiles singles, demo versions and two previously unreleased tracks.  


Tracks
1. Groundhogs - Rock Me Baby (Little Son Jackson) - 2:29
2. Groundhogs - Shake It (C. Carter, J. Cruickshank) - 2:03
3. Groundhogs - Some One to Love - 2:38
4. Groundhogs - Hallelujah - 2:13
5. Groundhogs - I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Stone) - 2:08
6. Groundhogs - Over You Baby - 2:22
7. Herbal Mixture - Please Leave My Mind - 2:38
8. Herbal Mixture - a Love That Never Died - 2:43
9. Herbal Mixture - Something's Happening - 1:53
10.Herbal Mixture - Tailor Made - 1:56
11.Herbal Mixture - Over You Baby - 1:57
12.Herbal Mixture - Machines - 2:03
13.Herbal Mixture - Please Leave My Mind #2 - 2:39
14.Herbal Mixture - Tailor Made #2 - 1:58
15.Herbal Mixture - A Love That's Died #2 - 2:27
16.Herbal Mixture - A Love That's Died #3 - 2:29
All songs by Tony McPhee except where noted

Herbal Mixture
*Tony McPhee - Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Cruickshank - Bass
*Mike Meekham - Drums

Free Text

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Faine Jade - Introspection: A Faine Jade Recital (1968 us, wonderful trippy psychedelia, 25th anniversary silver series edition with bonus tracks)



One of the highly collectable LPs of the 1960s, Introspection: A Faine Jade Recital .  The Introspection LP comprises 10 songs that make up a minimalist psychedelic masterpiece. Using a few overdubs, the recording relies on the five-piece instrumental lineup behind Jade's decidedly Anglicized Long Island accent. 

The opening "Doctor Paul Overture" sets the stage for an album bursting with curiously of-center British-influenced psychedelic pop. "People Play Games" reveals Jade's hippie-era lyricism magic lanterns, scarlet scissors, and crystal cornucopia, while its percussive intro and jungle play-out suggests The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." "Ballad Of The Bad Guys" has a garage attack that benefits its title; A Brand New Groove" features a guitar riff that could have worked for the Rolling Stones; "Don't Hassle Me" proclaims the generation- gap chorus; "No-o-o! Don't you hassle me/ I'm trying to be young/ I'm trying to be free." 

The title track "Introspection" leans toward a catchy folk rock, while "Cold Winter Sun" allows Manzi to repeat a lick echoing "Than He Kissed Me" before launching into a clearly mismatched power trio vamp. Jade enshrines his Brit-pop-folk-garage rock influences in the imaginative "I Live Tomorrow Yesterday," an upbeat number that sounds like a hit single. "Grand Finale", a five-minute instrumental experiment, closes the LP with a layered mix of effects, backward tracking, and studio dissonance.

The brilliant psychedelic rock 'n' roll of Faine Jade passed through the orange-colored skies of 1968 like a pink and lavender comet, then was gone... Fortunately Jade left behind a wondrous album to detail his amazing, one-way voyage through the night skies. Introspection: A Faine Jade Recital details every deliciously enigmatic, Syd Barrett-inspired twist and turn of the short but sweet career of this mysterious artist. 

Since the hideously rare original LP now requires a mortgage from your bank, Sundazed, with the full cooperation of the artist, presents the perfect Faine Jade package, taken from the absolute master tapes with rare photos and liner notes based on a recent interview with Faine Jade, himself.

This 1994 CD 25th Anniversary Silver Series Edition (this copy is No #28) on Jade's Sandiland label was remastered from the first generation tapes by Faine himself. It also adds a few bonus cuts: backing instrumental demo tracks for a few of the songs, the previously unreleased brief instrumental "Piano Interlude," and a 1993 "reunion" performance. 


Tracks
1. Tune Up (Non-music Work) - 0:23
2. Doctor Paul Overture - 2:40
3. People Games Play (Faine Jade, Nick Manzi, Bruce Bradt) - 4:11
4. Cold Winter Sun Symphony In D Major - 3:14
5. I Lived Tomorrow Yesterday - 2:34
6. Ballad of the Bad Guys (1956 A.d.) - 4:23
7. Piano Interlude - 1:38
8. Introspection (Faine Jade, Nick Manzi, Bruce Bradt) - 3:36
9. In A Brand New Groove (Faine Jade, Jerry Simon) - 3:07
10.On The Inside There's A Middle - 5:39
11.Don't Hassle Me - 2:47
12.Grand Finale (Don't Hassle Me Part 2) - 5:30
13.Stand Together In The End (Theme From An Imaginary Beatles' ReunionOr Woodstock Reprise) - 4:18
14.Doctor Paul - 3:23
15.People Games Play - 3:40
16.Don't Hassle Me (Instrumental) - 6:00
All songs written by Faine Jade and Nick Manzi except where indicated.

Musicians
*Faine Jade - 12-String Hagstrum Solid Body Electric, Rhythm Guitar
*Nick Manzi - Guild Starfire Solid Body Electric, Lead Guitar
*Brian Cooke - Piano, Farfisa Organ, Hammond B-3, Keyboards
*Victor Muglia - Fender Electric, Bass Guitar
*Randy Skrha - Drums, Tamborine, Bongos, Percussion
*Bruce Bradt - Keyboards
*Kevin Chase - Electric Guitar

Related Act
1966-68  Bohemian Vendetta - Enough

Free Text

Tandyn Almer - Along Comes Tandyn (1966 us, impressive sunny psych folk, 2013 digipack release)



We recently lost another unsung genius from the cracks and crevices of 60s pop/psych. Tandyn Almer, who sadly passed in early 2013, would never become a household name, but you’ve definitely heard his work. Penning major tunes like “Along Comes Mary” for the Association, “Sail on Sailor” and “Marcella” for the Beach Boys, and countless other psych-tinged gems, Almer left behind a distinguished trail of well-crafted compositions. Luckily, and ironically (as I’m sure he would have enjoyed to see its official release), we have gained a new trove of lost work in Along Comes Tandyn, a collection of Almer’s demos from 1965-1966.

Originally written and recorded for Davon music, a small number of acetates labeled “The New Songs of Tandyn Almer” was circulated in order to shop his tunes to other recording artists. While some acts like The Sure Cure and Curt Boettcher’s The Ballroom took the bait, most of these tracks have remained unheard. The sound is definitely demo quality (all the better), the band generally led by a clangy electric guitar and sprinkled with bits of piano and harpsichord. 

The vocals soar with typical 60s harmony, the lyrics quite often along the same vein. You can tell Almer was a real musician’s musician, his tunes never compromise, always taking an unexpected turn and often for something quite complicated. Take a listen to the surprisingly hip “Everytime I Take You Back To Me” and just try to follow the changes; or check the classical piano work on “There’s Gotta Be a Way.” Even “Along Comes Mary” (not included here) ducks and weaves at every chance, delivering it’s punch where you’d least expect it.

Some of Almer’s other happenings of note include an interview in Leonard Bernstein’s Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution (a “serious” investigation into pop’s emergence as an art form), as well as a short-lived best friendship with Brian Wilson, allegedly ending in an enstranging three-way.  While not exactly loaded with clear winners (Face Down in the Mud” is a downright weirdo blues offering that would sound at home on FZ’s Only in it for the Money and some tracks sound a bit like psychedelic filler). 

Along Comes Tandyn is still an excellent comp of lost pop-psych with a satisfying garage sound. Essential for fans of complex pop, the full package includes excellent liners (with lots of information provided by Tandyn himself) and will turn anyone into a hardcore Tandyn fan. Count me a Fandyn.
by Brendan McGrath


Tracks
1. Find Yourself - 2:44
2. You Turn Me Around - 2:20
3. Anything You Want (T. Almer, G. Mekler) - 3:45
4. About Where Love Is - 2:11
5. Everytime I Take You Back To Me - 2:08
6. There’s Gotta Be A Way - 2:43
7. Alice Designs - 3:39
8. Face Down In The Mud - 4:09
9. Where Will They Go - 4:34
10.Escape - 3:27
11.Victims of Chance - 3:34
12.Bring Your Own Self Down (The Purple Gang) - 2:48
13.I Get High - 3:21
14.Menagerie of Man - 2:15
15.Sunset Strip Soliloquy - 4:05
Words and Music by Tandyn Almer unless otherwise stated.

*Tandyn Almer - Vocals, Piano

Free Text

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

John The Revelator - Wild Blues (1970-72 holland, heavenly overdriven wailing blues licks)



In the mid 60's bassman Tom Huissen lived in London at the time that the blues scene there exploded.He became pals with Peter Green and witnessed the first rehearsals of Pete’s then new band Fleetwood Mac.

Immediately after returning in Holland Tom started to form a blues band modelled after Fleetwood Mac. John the Revelator (after a song by the late great Son House) took off immediately and extensively started gigging the Dutch and European blues circuits that were thriving at the time.

In 1970 they won the prestigious Loosdrecht Jazz Concours. Record label Decca immediately offered them a recording contract, which resulted in the release of the legendary album Wild Blues. It was recorded at the Phonogram studio with producer Tony Vos, who had a great track record with bands like Cuby + Blizzards, Ekseption and the Oscar Benton Blues Band. At that time John the Revelator had grown into a seven-piece band. They had just two days to record the album and one evening to mix it. Most tracks were done in two or three takes, with a bare minimum of overdubs: just vocals and horns.

Wild Blues has since become a highly sought-after collectors’ item. This deluxe set presents the original album in its entirety, plus  extra songs. One Track Mind, all dynamically mastered from the original tapes. The gatefold sleeve features restored cover art, along with rare archival photos and liner notes.

John the Revelator is still alive and kicking and has been on the road now for 45 years. They play all over Europe and toured Australia. 


Tracks
1. John the Revelator - 0:46
2. I Can't Stop Lovin' You (Elmore James) - 3:02
3. Worried Dreams (B.B. King) - 5:41
4. Charlie's Drive Inn - 1:39
5. Talk to Me, Baby (Elmore James) - 5:01
6. Personal Manager (Albert King, David Porter) - 4:35
7. Wild Blues - 1:37
8. Bleeding Heart (Elmore James) - 4:42
9. No Woman - 3:12
10.Homework (D. Clark, Al Perkins) - 3:05
11.Yeah - 3:03
12.Rockin' Squirrel - 3:34
13.One Track Mind - 4:44
14.I Can't Stop Lovin' You (Elmore James) - 3:22
15.Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon) - 4:17
16.Worried Dreams (Instrumental) (B.B. King) - 4:50
All songs by John The Revelator except where noted.

Musicians
*Tom Huissen - Lead Vocals, Bass
*Frans Ten Kleu - Lead Guitar, Harmonica
*Fred Huissen - Drums
*Charles Van Der Steeg - Tenor, Baritone Sax (Tacks 1-14)
*Henno Van Donselaar - Alto Sax (Tracks 1-11, 14)
*Jos De Wilde - Slide Guitar (Tacks 1-14)
*Charles Van Den Heuvel - Piano (Tacks 1-14)
*Paul Dammers - Rhythm Guitar (Tracks 12,13,15,16)
*Hans Van Hemert - Synthesizer, Mellotron (Tracks 12,13)
*Hille Van Der Galien - Baritone Sax, Congas (Tracks 15,16)

Free Text

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rory Gallagher - Tattoo (1973 ireland, blues rock masterpiece, 2012 promo copy, digipack high audio quality remaster)




Returning quickly to the studio in the summer of 1973 with his Blueprint line-up, Rory was in a prolific and confident mood. Rehearsals for the album began at a rowing club in Cork city, which allowed Rory to develop the musical arrangements of his material at a leisurely, relaxed pace.

Tattoo’d Lady describes the fairground life style that had appealed to Rory since childhood and lyrically, he draws parallels between travelling entertainers and his own profession.

Rory was born, with a touch of irony, at The Rock Hospital, Ballyshannon. Rory rocked literally all of his life and this Cradle Rock is a rockin’ R&B cut that displays his exciting bottleneck style in full flight.

20:20 Vision features Rory on acoustic and highlights his fondness for Davy Graham’s acoustic style.

They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore has a real cool jazz feel which is underscored with unison guitar and piano and some brilliant harmonics.

Livin’ Like A Trucker was written at a time when the band were increasing their touring activity in America, this number could have been a tour anthem, during his career Rory racked up over thirty long U.S. tours.

Gerry, Rod, Lou and Rory really lock in on Sleep On A Clothes Line which has shades of a riff Rory could have written for Taste.

Who’s That Coming starts with Rory playing his acoustic dobro in slide mode, the riff blends into Rory playing electric slide empahsizing Rory’s ability to play different blues styles from Delta to Chicago blues.

A Million Miles Away became one of the most loved numbers in Rory’s repertoire, it showcases the deep, introverted side of his emotions.

Admit It has a real jack hammer riff and is the perfect vehicle for a stinging Rory solo, Lou Martin lays down some great piano on this rock number.

Tuscon, Arizona by Link Wray (a then Polydor stable mate) is a colourful, laid back country track featuring some captivating lap-steel guitar.
by Donal Gallagher


Tracks
1. Tattoo'd Lady - 4:34
2. Cradle Rock - 6:15
3. 20:20 Vision - 4:02
4. They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore - 4:05
5. Livin' Like a Trucker - 4:19
6. Sleep on a Clothes Line - 5:13
7. Who's That Coming - 7:09
8. A Million Miles Away - 6:55
9. Admit It - 4:19
10.Tucson, Arizona (Bonus Track) - 3:47
All songs by Rory Gallagher except track 10 written by Doug Link Wray.

Musicians
* Rory Gallagher - Guitars, Vocals, Harmonica, Saxophone, Mandolin
* Gerry McAvoy - Bass Guitar
* Lou Martin - Keyboards, Accordion
* Rod de'Ath - Drums, Percussion

1971  Rory Gallagher (Japan Mini Lp replica)
1971  Deuce (Japan Mini Lp replica)
1972  Live In Europe
1973  Blueprint (Japan Mini Lp replica)
with Taste
1970  On The Boards (Japan SHM edition)
1971  Live Taste
1971  Live At Isle Of Wight

Free Text

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Buffalo - Volcanic Rock (1973 aussie, loud, heavy, energy aggressive rock, Aztec digi pack issue)



God bless Aztec Music for re-releasing this. Volcanic Rock's first official release since 1973. Aztec have dug up the 32-year-old original studio tapes and have done a fantastic job on the remastering (some other reissue labels could take a lesson from Aztec ...yes, making your cd SOUND good is important !).

Fans of 1970s pre punk high energy rock need this album pronto!..It's loud, heavy and very aggressive!..Try and imagine the energy levels of Cactus, Black Sabbath, (early) Grand Funk, MC5, and Sir Lord Baltimore etc..add to that some very sinister hard rock riffling, Dave Tice's white version of Howlin Wolf voice, Pete Wells punchy bass styling sounding not too dis-similar to the sound that John Stax got on those early Pretty Things singles plus Jimmy Economou whose drumming recalls the great hit the entire drum kit style of John Bonham and Keith Moon (legend has it that Economou could also rival the two mentioned drummers in the partying department as well)

A Lot of Australian records from this era sounded weak and empty, possibly deliberately with thoughts of radio airplay. "Volcanic Rock" is probably the toughest album to come out in Australia during the early 1970s, certainly beating Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Lobby Loyde's Coloured Balls.

Buffalo's secret weapon was their ability to ignore the 12 bar blues/boogie that most hard rock bands of the time favoured and instead opt for creating powerful and sinister sounding hard rock riffs .

This is not to say this album is one-dimensional. For example "Freedom" is a slow heavy track which embraces the spirit of some of those pre rock 'n' roll voodoo blues records (while avoiding the standard 12-bar chord progression) and "Till My Death" is slightly psychedelic Hendrix sounding. It and "Shylock" will both blow your head off with high-energy rifforama.

In a era where Zeppelin , Deep Purple and Sabbath were having chart success it's a damn shame that the opening track on this album "Sunrise (Come My Way)" couldn't do for Buffalo what "Whole Lotta Love" , "Black Knight" or "Paranoid" did for their overseas contemporaries i.e. escalate the band to the worldwide stadiums.

As for the bonus tracks we get a 7" mix/edit of "Sunrise" plus a lo-fi but meaty live version of "Shylock" which despite lack of sound quality would still sending 99 percent of todays mall-metal kiddies running for mummy.

The packaging on this is also excellent: a great triple fold out cardboard cover with a fat 22 page booklet featuring a stack of vintage photos, posters and some informative liner notes from Ian McFarlane. 
by Steve Danno-Lorkin


Tracks
1. Sunrise (Come My Way) - 4:58
2. Freedom - 9:02
3. Till My Death - 5:38
4. The Prophet - 7:24
5. Intro: Pound Of Flesh (Baxter, Peter Wells) - 4:33
6. Shylock - 5:52
7. Sunrise (Come My Way) - 3:42
8. Shylock - 6:01
All tracks written by Dave Tice and John Baxter, unless noted.
Track 7 Single Version
Track 8 Live Recording - Sydney Spring Festival 1973, Hyde Park, Sydney

Buffalo
*Dave Tice - Lead Vocals
*Peter Wells - Bass
*John Baxter - Guitar
*Jimmy Economou - Drums

1972  Dead Forever

Free Text

Heavy Cruiser - Lucky Dog (1973 canada / us, strong heavy space psych rock with blues drops)



Neil took the band members from Mama Lion into a studio to demo some songs.They recorded half-dozen songs and a few days later, Mama Lion went on a tour and wound up in New York City to play Central Park with Billy Preston.

The engineer in LA made an acetate of Neil’s songs and sent it to Neil in care of Famous Music. The band went to a meet and greet at Famous Music and Neil played the acetate at the party. The head of A&R loved the music and bought it from Artie Ripp.

Neil called the project “Heavy Cruiser”. When Mama Lion returned to LA, Neil took the band back into the studio and they recorded a few more tracks to complete the “Heavy Cruiser” record.

Artie Ripp stopped the band from putting their names on the record cover because he didn’t want it to interfere with his main act, Mama Lion.

The same thing happened when Neil did more of his songs with the band and produced a second “Heavy Cruiser” album called “Lucky Dog” – band members’ names were left off the cover.


Tracks
1. Everytime I Hear Your Music - 2:41
2. Mirrors In Your Eyes - 3:55
3. Where You Gonna Run To - 3:06
4. Gotta Get Away - 4:23
5. Open Your Eyes - 3:38
6. You Really Got Me (Ray Davies) - 2:49
7. Freefall Glider - 5:34
8. Concrete Jungle - 3:44
9. Supergirl - 3:52
10.I'll Receive You - 3:11
All songs by Neil Merryweather except where noted

Heavy Cruiser
*Neil Merryweather – Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
*James Newton Howard – Organ And Piano
*Coffi Hall – Drums And Percussion
*Alan Hertz - Guitar

1971  Neil Merryweather And Lynn Carey - Vaccum Cleaner

Free Text

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chicken Shack - 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed And Ready To Serve (1968 uk, superb blues rock, debut album, 2013 extra tracks reissue)



When my brother Richard and I signed the Blue Horizon label with CBS Records we had nothing to offer them but Fleetwood Mac and the promise of a single featuring Aynsley Dunbar's band Retaliation. Derek Everett, who headed the A&R Department at that time, didn't show too much concern. "Blue Horizon is going to be a long term project for us.

When you've got something that you really believe in, we'll work with you on it". We had plenty of ideas of where to pick up product – it was just a matter of time and being in the right place at the right time. But everyone - including the veritable monkey's uncle - seemed to know what we were doing and what kind of material we were looking for. It was'nt long before those demo tapes started to appear by the sack load.

Now in the run up to our distribution deal with CBS I had been working with a band from Stourbridge - The Chicken Shack. They were first introduced to me by David Deacon- Yeats who had originally been the vocalist in the Shades of Blue along with guitarist Stan Webb. I was really impressed with the raw energy of this band and especially with Stan.

He reminded me a lot of Buddy Guy in his approach. There was another angle too – they had a girl playing piano. Christine Perfect. But prior to signing with Blue Horizon the band went through a few changes. As a trio they had spent some time working at The Star Club in Hamburg. That was with Stan, the ever present Andy Sylvester and drummer Alan Morley. It was around this time - 1965/66 - that I got involved with the band in a managerial capacity. It was an experience but I would have to say in all truthfulness not one I would wish to go through again. But a number of changes were made that proved to be for the better before I let go of the helm. 

Firstly, Alan Morley was replaced by American drummer/ vocalist Alvin Sykes. I must admit I cannot recall exactly how Al came to my notice. He was living in San Francisco and was leading his own band The Sound of Sykes. He was an excellent drummer and a very fine vocalist reminding me a lot of Little Junior Parker. My one real regret is that we did not get to record with him before he was forced to return to the States when a work permit was refused.  At this point, The Shack returned from Germany and immediately added Christine to the ranks once again and also took on a new drummer, Dave Bidvvell. It was this line-up that was featured on the band's first single release "It's Okay With Me Baby" (57-3135) and on their first album "Forty Blue Fingers. Freshly Packed And Ready To Serve".

It had been something of a surprise to many that the first Fleetwood Mac album had hit the charts but not many expected The Shack to emulate their stablemates with their first outing. But that's exactly what happened! The band and I chose the material for this album in an attempt to give the best balanced programme possible. Both Stan and Christine contributed two originals each and the remainder were taken from the various songbooks of Freddie King, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker. Once again, we added a small horn section featuring Dick Heckstall- Smith, Steve Gregory, Johnny Almond and Alan Ellis to add a little variation. 

It's remarkable how well this album stands up after such a long time. There's a real freshness and enthusiasm here which proved hard to better in the years to come. Nevertheless, Chicken Shack were to have their real moment of glory - a top 20 Chart entry with a cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" - but as far as their album releases go, this is my own personal favourite. International recognition soon followed. As with The Mac, The Shack found themselves continually on the road promoting themselves and their new product. They were a considerable draw on the club and concert circuit. Stan proved to be the epitome of the true showman and it was not uncommon for him to appear on stage via the street or car park towing a 150 foot cable behind him. 

He would wander off into the audience and sit himself on some young lady's lap or get himself a drink whilst still continuing to play. He knew how to hold an audience and once he's got them where he wanted then he would not let go. Meanwhile, the rhythm section would thunder on undeterred with Christine Perfect's mellow vocals and fine piano work acting as the ideal foil. Chicken Shack now had a new manager - Harry Simmonds. Ham had been working with Savoy Brown, which featured his suitar playing brother Kim and his invovement with Chicke Shack added a new impetus to the band's career. Who remembers those tours when Stan and the band backed Freddie King and Bobby Parker? I wonder how many of those who will read these lines will have been at one of those historic gigs? 

Who recalls the Nag's Head Pub in Battersea - now a corner plot boasting a Council flower bed and a wooden park bench. Who was at the Digbeth Town Hall to see Bobby Parker resplendent in a pea green mohair suit and sporting a pompadour hair-do complete with James Brown quiff? Who's got a bootleg tape of either of them? Not me, more's the pity. Those were days to remember and my heart goes out to those who were not around at the time. "40 Blue Fingers" is as close as we can get to the spirit of those times.
by Mike Vernon


Tracks
1. The Letter - 4:27
2. Lonesome Whistle Blues - 3:01
3. When The Train Comes Back (Christine Perfect) 3:31
4. San-Ho-Zay (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson) 3:03
5. King Of The World - 5:00
6. See See Baby - 2:23
7. First Time I Met The Blues - 6:24
8. Webbed Feet - 2:52
9. You Ain't No Good (C. Perfect) - 3:36
10.What You Did Last Night - 4:40
11.It's OK With Me Baby (C. Perfect) - 2:37
12.When My Left Eye Jumps (Willie Dixon, Al Perkins) - 6:28
13.Hey Baby (C. Perfect, S. Webb, Mike Vernon) - 3:43
All songs by Stan Webb except as else stated
Bonus tracks 11-13

Chicken Shack
*Stan Webb – Guitar, Vocals
*Christine Perfect – Keyboards, Vocals
*Andy Silvester – Bass Guitar
*Dave Bidwell – Drums
Additional Musicians
*Alan Ellis – Trumpet
*Dick Heckstall-Smith – Tenor Saxophone
*Johnny Almond – Alto Saxophone

Chicken Shack
1969  Chicken Shack - 100 Ton Chicken (2013 expanded edition)
1970  Accept (japan remaster and expanded)
1972  Imagination Lady
1973  Unlucky Boy (2013 reissue)
1974  Go Live "Goodbye Chicken Shack" 

Free Text
the Free Text

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jimmy Curtiss - Life (1969 us, amazing soul drenched, psych folk rock, original Vinyl release)



Jimmy Curtiss was born and raised in Queens, New York, the first time he appears as a member of a doo wop outfit The Enjays, who released three 7"45s around 1959/60. In the following year J.C.'s first solo single appeared on United Artists. Teen pop you'd call this innocent, clear, very melody oriented phase in US mainstream pop. Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Dion & The Belmonts were it's main exponents. I know of at least three singles Jimmy Curtiss released during this period of his career around 1961/62. His voice is already unmistakeable. Already then he wrote or co-wrote most of his material. "Five Smooth Stones" for example is a nice and highly original version of the Bible's tale of David and Goliath. According to Vernon Joynson (in "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers") he was a "phenomenal songwriter ... throughout", who even sold songs to Bobby Darin and Ellie Greenwich. 

Between 1967 and 1969 Jimmy Curtiss worked with a group called The Hobbits in New York. This was presumably more a studio project than a performing live band. Despite the band's name, apparently taken from the universe of Middle Earth, which was very popular in hippie circles at the time, Tolkien's creatures never appear in the songs of The Hobbits, even though the first album is called "Down To Middle Earth" and the last "Back From Middle Earth". There are three LPs and two singles by the Hobbits. 

In 1968 Jimmy Curtiss founded his own production company Perception. Ever since he produced bands and/or wrote songs for them. A 7"45 "Artificial Rose" by the Lost Souls from North Dakota appeared in 1968 on a tiny label called Dawn Records. The song was co-written by Mr. Curtiss and his old partner Ernie Maresca. Two examples for a pure bubblegum period in Jimmy C.'s career are the singles "Love, Anyway You Want It" by The Sweet Bippies (ca. 1969) and "Da-Da-Da-Da", The Changing Colours (ca. 1969). Can't tell you anything more about these bands. In 1968/69 J.C. also produced three singles and an album by the New York group The Bag, who self described their music as "psychedelic soul". 

The band came from the same New York based blue-eyed soul scene as The (Young) Rascals or The Soul Survivors. Through his younger brother I got in touch with Dan Mahony, formerly of The Bag, in the summer of 2003. Unfortunately Dan couldn't tell anything really new. As it seems he doesn't remember things very well. After a few e-mails to and fro I didn't hear from him again. But obviously he and the other guys in The Bag were also involved in the recording of the New Hobbits album. Dan is living in Ireland now, and it seems he's still working as a musician. The Bag album "Real" contains several really well crafted soul pop and polished r&b songs with a touch of psychedelia. 

Almost at the same time Jimmy Curtiss and one Steve Kanyon produced the only album by a New York psychedelic folk/rock group called Velvet Night. Besides strangely arranged cover versions of two Tim Hardin and a Donovan song, plus a Cream medley, there are songs written by Curtiss and Kanyon plus one credited to the band's organ player Vinnie Nisi. The record has a rather weird US underground psychedelic sound. Donovan's "Season Of The Witch" certainly comes less menacing than Vanilla Fudge's version, but still much heavier than the original. The Cream medley is rather strange. And Tim Hardin's "If I Were A Carpenter" sounds spherically esoteric. When Lynn Boccumini sings lead vocals, the band even sounds a bit like Jefferson Airplane. Of substantial interest are only the songs we do not know already in other and better interpretations. Again it becomes clear, that Jimmy Curtiss was able to sense atmosphere and specifics of a musical style in a unique way. As a songwriter he wasn't bad either as we do know already.

And the man always found a way to include his own compositions on the records he produced for others. So he did with The Jon Bartel Thing, a band from California, whose lone album was released by Capitol Records in 1969. A great record full of brass dominated, jazz influenced psychedelic pop. Co-producer here was Terry Philips, who worked on many projects of Mr. Curtiss. This album by The Jon Bartel Thing reminds me in some ways a lot of the first Blood, Sweat & Tears LP. An interesting fact by the way, J.C.'s partners Terry Philips and Jerry Vance used to write songs together with Lou Reed for the Pickwick company in the early sixties. "Why Don't You Smile Now" was one of these.         

J.C. - LifeIn 1969 Perception Productions turned into Perception Records. Now Mr. Curtiss had his own record label. The New Hobbits LP bears the catalogue number PLP-10. But with the number PLP-1 appeared - probably a bit later - the Jimmy Curtiss solo album "Life". I'm not sure about the year of release. There's no date on the cover or record. Though most likely it came out in 1969 still. On this record J.C. is miles away from the early doo wop 7"45s but also from the Hobbits' psych pop or from "Psychedelic Situation" for that matter. Folk, singer/songwriter pop, blues in nine songs. All of them written by Jimmy Curtiss alone or in co-operation with people like Marcia Hillman, who was a co-writer for The Hobbits already. 

The album's opener "Child Of Clay" had been a US TOP 40 hit for Jimmie Rodgers in 1967. This was J.C.'s biggest success as a songwriter. Unusual were the mostly critical and serious lyrics. Really thrilling sometimes. The musical arrangements with wah wah sounds, with strings set rather economically grab one's attention.  Perception LogoThe album cover is really anti commercial sporting a primitive black & white photo layout. It's message rather unclear. The meaning of life? - Whatever. Jimmy Curtiss' backing band made another album for Perception under the name of Albert. Drummer Howie Wyeth worked as a session musician for Bob Dylan and others. Together with the album "Life" there appeared a J.C. single on Perception.


Tracks
1. Child Of Clay (Curtiss, Matesca)- 5:57
2. Where Can I Hide (Curtiss, Green, Hillman) - 4:21
3. Franscesca (Curtiss, Wexler, Hillman) - 4:05
4. San Francisco Do You Remember Me? (Pollock, Curtiss) - 4:30
5. Lack 'O' Testicle Blues (Sell, Curtiss) - 6:33
6. Sunday Soon (Curtiss) - 4:57
7. You Can't Tell A Man By The Songs He Sings (Curtiss, Hillman) - 5:25
8. Johnny Get Your Gun (Curtiss, Pollock) - 3:35
9. He Was My Father (Curtiss, Hillman) - 4:45

Musicians
*Billy Elmiger - Bass
*Howie Wyeth - Drums
*Bob Abrahams - Acoustic Guitar Leads
*Jan Williams - Rhythm Guitar
*John Trivers - Bass
*Jerry Vance - Piano
*Jimmy Curtiss - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Wah Wah Pedal

Free Text

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Zoo - I Shall Be Free (1970 france, exciting jazzy progressive, brass psych rock, 2011 ARF issue)



The band was formed in 1968. The first self-titled jazz-rock album the band released in 1969: starting work in the studio on April 16, 2 days recorded 8 songs included in the album. In November of the same year, the band took part in the festival in Amougies (a place in the Belgian Walloon region), along with Pink Floyd, Colosseum, The Nice, East of Eden, Frank Zappa, etc. In 1970, before the release of their second album due to musical differences Joël Daydé left the band and Pierre Fanen, singer comes to the place of Englishman Ian Bellamy. 

The second album is recorded from June 12 to September 9, 1970, and later getting an opportunity to unwind in the two largest radio stations in New York - WOR-FM and WABC-FM. After the release of quite a successful Review third album, distributed in the UK and the U.S., because of the lack of international success of the group ceased all activity in October 1972.

Andre and Michel Herve later started the band ZOU (Zon Orchestra Unlimited) with their brothers Joel and Stephan. The violinist trombone player, Michel Ripoche, later issued two solo albums.  In 2009, Michel Hervé, along with the first staff member Joël Daydé and several new musicians reformed the band played a concert that was recorded as Live Tour Épisode 1: album live du groupe Zoo Tribute Original.
by Adamus67  


Tracks
1. City Breakdown (Iain Ballamy, Andre Herve) - 3:50
2. New Violins (Michel Bonnecarrere) - 3:35
3. Benjamin Sacramouse's Dream (Iain Ballamy, Andre Herve) - 3:28
4. Runaround Lucy (Iain Ballamy, Michel Bonnecarrere) - 3:49
5. Plaistown Place (Iain Ballamy, Michel Bonnecarrere) - 3:15
6. I Go Out Of My Mind (Iain Ballamy, Michel Bonnecarrere) - 4:00
7. I Shall Be Free (Iain Ballamy, Andre Herve) - 3:44
8. Luckie (Laura Nyro) - 2:37
9. Endless Words (Iain Ballamy, Andre Herve) - 4:41
10.Maggie Mae's Daughter (Iain Ballamy, Daniel Carlet) - 2:42

The Zoo
Iain Ballamy - Vocals
Michel Bonnecarrere - Guitar
Daniel Carlet - Saxophone, Violin
Christian Devaux - Drums
Andre Herve - Keyboards
Michel Herve - Bass
Michel Ripoche - Saxophone, Violin

1969  Zoo - Zoo (1st album)

Free Text

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lava - Tears Are Goin Home (1973 germany, spectacular progressive space rock)



Lava included - so it is at least in the booklet of the CD reissues to read - after its founding in 1971 to the attractions of the Berlin underground rock, although (or because) the group was rather rare concerts. Apparently, Lava a jam band, were at the forefront in the spontaneity and joy, not musical perfection and compositional sophistication. The group was thus a typical Krautrock formation, which in addition contemporary living together as a collective community. In 1973, the group with Conny Plank on their only album. Shortly thereafter, lava broke apart. 

"Tears are goin 'home" is stylistically not so easy to define, and not necessarily "Kraut typical ". Somewhere at the intersection of folk rock, psychedelic and space rock music from Lava is located. The title track offers purebred space rock a la Hawkwind, as you would expect it from a German band hardly typical for the genre somewhat monotonous and repetitive, full of swirling and crashing electric guitar sounds. Amazingly enough (usually located space rock productions not so sure to draw large variety of wealth) already moves the next piece in completely different musical realms. 

"Crimes of Love" is a slightly stoned rocker with beautiful flute use and behaviors approach wafting swirling organs, which would rather fit to a group of the late 60s of the U.S. West Coast, as a rock community from Berlin. Similarly, neo-psychedelic and folky-progressive, the disc goes on. Beforehand but you have to "Would you be better run" through a fairly shallow Tralala-folk song with gossip rhythm. With "All my love you two," a rocker with oblique iconic croak vocals (reminds me Malcolm Mooney, of the early Can) and psychedelic organ parts, but it will be interesting again. The remaining three numbers follow a similar style. Psychedelic-folky-bluesy, mostly reluctant carried forward jams are where messed rock the instruments more or less awake and tormented, rough vocal sound. The perfect soundtrack to a joint can revolve in a relaxed atmosphere!

The only album of Lava has partially somewhat amateurish acting, but quite independent music, but all in all to behave and something has got monotonous. A few more tilted and more experimental excursions, a little Rumpeln and Krachen had a good thing for the music. So the whole ripples - except for the first track - about his three-quarter-hour duration somewhat anticlimactic from the speakers (if the listener has not been previously prepared with appropriate mind-altering substances) always nice to hear the music .
by Adamus67


Tracks
1. Tears Are Goin' Home - 4:23
2. Crimes Of Love - 6:48
3. Would Be Better You Run - 5:19
4. All My Love To You - 4:20
5. I'm Just A Mad Dog - 6:00
6. Holy Fool - 5:17
7. Piece Of Peace - 10:08
All compositions by Thomas Karrenbach and Stefan Ostertag

Lava
*Thomas Karrenbach - Piano, Organ, Vocals
*Stefan Ostertag - Guitars, 12-String Guitar, Vocals
*Jürgen Kraaz - Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Flute, Vocals, Bass, Organ
*Christian Ostertag - Bass, Vocals, Solo Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Archer Weaver - Drums, Harmonica, Jewish Harp, Vocals, Vocals
*Peter Moses - Conga, Bongos, Percussions

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Steppenwolf - At Your Birthday Party (1969 us, classic third album, Japan SHM mini lp 2013 bonus tracks remaster)



The recording sessions for "At Your Birthday Party" started to show the wear and tear of the road on all of us. In addition, some band members for the first time, tried their hand at songwriting and I had run out of tunes to contribute. 

This album nevertheless includes some of my favorite Steppenwolf tracks such as "Happy Birthday", "Jupiter's Child" and "Rock Me". Nick St. Nicholas (who had replaced our original bassist Rushton Moreve) had an idea for a song titled "It's Never Too Late", which triggered me to work out the rest of the song. That one is an all time favorite of mine. Gabriel Mekler (our Producer) had his hands full trying to be fair to all band members and stay neutral to allow us to work out the difficulties on our own. 

The fact that the song "Rock Me" (which had been written for the soundtrack of the motion picture "Candy") had already been a hit single before it was included in the "Birthday album" may have reduced the impact of the album because the initial sales of the LP were not what we had hoped for, although over the years, it became quite popular with many of our fans.

The i-pod has grown up, and became a CD, well actually not only a CD, it grown taller and became a very large bean tree, which  spread its branches widely,  but what a pity, there has NO .log  file in it, but I don't care, this is music that's Rock 'n' Roll.
Thank you ALL MY FRIENDS for your support.
Marios

Tracks
1. Don't Cry (Gabriel Mekler) – 3:11
2. Chicken Wolf (John Kay, Michael Monarch) – 2:58
3. Lovely Meter (Gabriel Mekler) – 3:10
4. Round And Down (Michael Monarch) – 3:19
5. It's Never Too Late (John Kay, Nick St. Nicholas) – 4:07
6. Sleeping Dreaming (Nick St.Nicholas) – 1:07
7. Jupiter's Child (Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Michael Monarch) – 3:28
8. She'll Be Better (Jerry Edmonton, Gabriel Mekler) – 5:32
9. Cat Killer (John Goadsby) – 1:37
10.Rock Me (John Kay) – 3:45
11.God Fearing Man (Michael Monarch) – 3:55
12.Mango Juice (Jerry Edmonton, John Goadsby, Michael Monarch) – 3:01
13.Happy Birthday (Gabriel Mekler) – 2:16
14.Rock Me (J. Kay) - 3:41
15.Jupiter Child (J. Edmonton, J. Kay, M. Monarch) – 3:15
16.It's Never Too Late (J. Kay, N. St. Nicholas) - 3:10
17.Happy BirthdayIt's Never Too Late (G. Mekler) – 2:23
Tracks 14-17 Mono Single Versions

Steppenwolf
*John Kay - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Michael Monarch - Lead Guitar
*Goldy Mcjohn - Organ, Piano
*Nick St. Nicholas - Bass
*Jerry Edmonton - Drums, Vocals

1968  Steppenwolf / The 2nd 
1969  Early Steppenwolf (1967 Live, Japan SHM mini lp)
Related Acts
1968  John Kay and the Sparrow
1972  John Kay – Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes
1968  Mars Bonfire

Free Text

LYD - LYD (1970 us, rough heavy acid garage psych, Akarma digi pack edition)



A long time ago I had a CD Lyd (they formed in Los Angeles sometime in the late 60’s) issued by private publishing house, the disk instead of the titles were printed only track numbers (I thought that it would be a rarity for a long time) Just three or four copies of this band's acetate were cut originally, recorded at Pat Boone's studio in Hollywood in 1970,but it has been "reissued" several times since. Some surprisingly druggy stuff came out of SunWest! I wonder if there was a velvet painting of Jesus on the studio wall? These guys sound like a cross between Ladies W.C. and Betty... how to find inspiration for such music and album art?

The legend said that the band was massively using LSD and other psychedelic substances, to create a psycho garage...guitar psych with intense basement atmosphere, long fuzz excursions, and wasted junkie lyrics...opening track is unbelievably killer..lots of crunchy, fuzzy guitars.

The music on this release is a psychedelic "little garage" rock with fantastic guitar playing! Quite a surprise was the information that the by Akarma released album,LP delivered by the analogue of titles, lyrics and composition (I recommend this edition despite the fact that crackles is better than the private press). CD -21 minutes a very brief, but it is two brilliant track. ''The Time Of Hate And Struggle "(the best song on the album sensational composition, the essence of psychedelia), and' Need You" (not far behind for first track,especially a sensational commencement)  plate short, it is not a milestone in the history of music, but w/g me deserves attention (especially the first two tracks) that you can't miss!!! 
by Adamus67


Tracks
1. The Time Of Hate And Struggle (Desmark, Weisenberg) - 3:09
2. Need You (Desmark, Linerly) - 2:37
3. Stay High / Fly Away Is Still Ok - 3:57
4. Double Dare - 1:56
5. Think It Over Twice (Desmark, Linerly, Weisenberg) - 7:23
6. Trash Pad - 2:13
All compositions by Lyd except where noted.

Lyd
*Jack Linerly - Guitar, Vocals
*Frank Tag - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Rob Weisenberg - Bass, Vocals
*Chet Desmark - Drums

Free Text

Monday, June 17, 2013

Calliope - Steamed (1969 us, groovy hard rockin' psych, 2008 RDI issue)



Psychedelic band from Seattle, the driving force behind this short-lived outfit was singer/songwriter Danny O’Keefe, who later had one or two Top 20 hits (including Magdalena). They made a bit of a splash locally, but like a lot of Seattle bands, they seemed much better live than on record. 

It seems that bands from Seattle during that period did not get very good support from their record companies… obviously things have changed since then! Calliope’s first album is now a very minor collectable, and the second may have remained unissued. The Steamed album includes cover versions of Hello Hello (Lee Michaels), California Dreamin’ (with a very good psychedelic guitar solo), Hound Dog, Jimmy Bell (a traditional number), Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan), Nadine (Chuck Berry) and four originals - two by Goldsmith and two by O’Keefe.

John Simpson, who was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1973, had previously played with Scott Strong in The Bumps and may also be the guy who played drums in Christopher. Prior to joining Calliope, Scott Strong also acted as their road manager. Paul Goldsmith had earlier been in Emergency Exit, Clyde Heaton in The Dimensions and Luther Rabb later played with Ballinjack.
by Kevin Corazza


Tracks
1. Hello Hello (Lee Michaels) - 3:01
2. California Dreaming (J. Phillips) - 3:39
3. Rainmaker's Dreaming (D. O'Keefe) - 3:44
4. Hound Dog (J. Leiber, M. Stoller) - 3:05
5. Like A Rolling Stone (B. Dylan) - 5:48
6. Jimmy Bell (P.D.) - 6:45
7. I wanna thank you (P. Goldsmith) - 3:48
8. Nadine (C. Berry) - 3:58
9. How About You (P. Goldsmith) - 2:29
10.Atlas (D. O'Keefe) - 5:28

Calliope
*Paul Goldsmith - Guitar
*Clyde Heaton - Keyboards
*Danny O'Keefe - Bass
*John Simpson - Drums

Free Text

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rory Gallagher - Blueprint (1973 ireland, impressive classic blues rock, japan bonus tracks remaster)



In mid 72, bassist Gerry McAvoy's flat-mate, drummer Rod deAth, deputised for the late Wilgar Campbell and following Wilgar's ultimate departure Rod became a permanent replacement. After six years of working with the trio format, Rory looked to embellish his sound by introducing keyboards into the line-up. Rod who had been a member of blues band Killing Floor', recommended to Rory their piano player Lou' Martin - who ironically hailed from Belfast. 

The line-up clicked and remained together for some five years this recording being the blueprint. Originally released in early 73, the cover features the circuit board of a Stramp power-baby' amplifier which was custom designed for Rory in Hamburg. It was specifically designed to be compact enough to fit into the small luggage compartment of a VW "beetle" car a particular Rory favourite. 

Opening with Walk On Hot Coals which went on to became a Callager classic, allowed the musicians o really stretch out, particularly the ambicextrous Rod who wove drum patterns for Rory to overlay his blistering guitar work. Daughter Of The Everglades was inspired by a book that Rory had been reading and is amongst the more melodic compositions of his repertoire and highlights Lou's contribution to the band. Banker's Blues : over a barrelhouse style piano, Rory switches to acoustic twelve string guitar and rack mounted harmonica and demonstrates his ability to put a fresh-coat on a Big Bill Broonzy number. 

The opening "rocker-style" finger-clicking sets the tone for the demanding Hands Off. Buoyed by his own saxophone section, this shows Rory at his menacing best. Like many writers, Rory drew inspiration from old trains, and his slick playing on Race The Breeze gives a sense of frictionfree rolling freight. When asking hfc promoters what their next venture might Ire after his Irish tour, Rory was bemused to find that the promoter had booked the faith healer Finbar Nolan. Blues music being rich with lyrics of various supernatural powers inspired Rory to write Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. 

Unmilitary Two-Step : a brilliant, whimsical acoustic instrumental which is set to a Scott Joplin type tempo and is full of musical humour. If I Had A Reason: a soul-searching song with a waltz time country feel, features Rory on lap steel guitar and Lou on honky tonk piano. Stompin' Ground : a driving slide track of a prodigal's return. Following his rigorous touring Rory was much pleased to arrive home in Cork and lay back until the road would call him again. Treat Her Right: this track, like the former came to light in an unmarked box. Rory had always enjoyed performing this Roy Head favourite with the Impact Showband of ‘65 and had fun with his new band by treating this song to his blistering guitar style.
by Donal Gallagher

'Blueprint'  originally released in early '73, and contains "Daughter Of The Everglades" one of the most beautiful songs he ever wrote, the cover features the circuit board of a Stramp "power-baby" amplifier which was custom designed for Rory in Hamburg. It was specifically designed to be compact enough to fit into the small luggage compartment of a VW "beetle" car, a particular Rory favorite. 


Tracks
1. Walk On Hot Coals - 6:59
2. Daughter Of The Everglades - 6:09
3. Banker's Blues (Big Bill Broonzy) - 4:42
4. Hands Off - 4:27
5. Race The Breeze - 6:51
6. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 8:22
7. Unmilitary Two-Step - 2:45
8. If I Had A Reason - 4:27
9. Stompin' Ground - 3:27
10.Treat Her Right (Roy Head) - 4:00
All titles Composed by Rory Gallagher except where stated.

Musicians
*Rory Gallagher - Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica, Mandolin, Saxes
*Gerry McAvoy - Bass
*Lou Martin - Keyboards, Guitar
*Rod De'Ath - Drums, Percussion

1971  Rory Gallagher (Japan Mini Lp replica)
1971  Deuce (Japan Mini Lp replica)
1972  Live In Europe
with Taste
1970  On The Boards (Japan SHM edition)
1971  Live Taste
1971  Live At Isle Of Wight

Free Text