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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cream - Goodbye (1969 uk, classic heavy blues psych rock, 2010 SHM remaster)



After a mere three albums in just under three years, Cream called it quits in 1969. Being proper gentlemen, they said their formal goodbyes with a tour and a farewell album called -- what else? -- Goodbye. As a slim, six-song single LP, it's far shorter than the rambling, out-of-control Wheels of Fire, but it boasts the same structure, evenly dividing its time between tracks cut on-stage and in the studio. 

While the live side contains nothing as indelible as "Crossroads," the live music on the whole is better than that on Wheels of Fire, capturing the trio at an empathetic peak as a band. It's hard, heavy rock, with Cream digging deep into their original "Politician" with the same intensity as they do on "Sitting on Top of the World," but it's the rampaging "I'm So Glad" that illustrates how far they've come; compare it to the original studio version on Fresh Cream and it's easy to see just how much further they're stretching their improvisation. 

The studio side also finds them at something of a peak. Boasting a song apiece from each member, it opens with the majestic classic "Badge," co-written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison and ranking among both of their best work. It's followed by Jack Bruce's "Doing That Scrapyard Thing," an overstuffed near-masterpiece filled with wonderful, imaginative eccentricities, and finally, there's Ginger Baker's tense, dramatic "What a Bringdown," easily the best original he contributed to the group. Like all of Cream's albums outside Disraeli Gears, Goodbye is an album of moments, not a tight cohesive work, but those moments are all quite strong on their own terms, making this a good and appropriate final bow. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Tracks
1. I'm So Glad (Skip James) - 9:08
2. Politician (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 6:17
3. Sitting On Top Of The World (Walter Vinson, Lonnie Chatmon, Arr. Chester Burnett) - 5:01
4. Badge (Eric Clapton, George Harrison) - 2:45
5. Doing That Scrapyard Thing (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 3:14
6. What A Bringdown (Ginger Baker) - 3:56
Tracks 1–3 Recorded Live At The Forum, Los Angeles, 19 October 1968

Cream
Jack Bruce – Bass Guitar, Piano, Organ, Vocals
Ginger Baker – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Eric Clapton – Guitars, Vocals
With
Felix Pappalardi – Bass, Piano, Mellotron
George Harrison (Credited As "L'Angelo Misterioso") – Rhythm Guitar

1966  Cream - Fresh Cream (SHM remaster)
1967  Cream - Disraeli Gears (SHM remaster)
1969  Jack Bruce - Songs For A Tailor
1971  Jack Bruce - Harmony Row

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Freedom - Freedom (1970 uk, fantastic hard psych)



Freedom's album 'Freedom' original released on vinyl in 1970. This is the follow up album to 'At Last' and is the 2nd album from the power trio of Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders and Walter Monagham and has been a long sought after item by collectors. Roger Saunders struggle with cancer in early 2000 came to a sad end and the British Rock scene lost an excellent and underrated guitarist.

'Freedom' shows a more mature, rehearsed group where a lot of emphasis was put on vocal harmonies. "We all sang" Harrison said. "We were all lead vocalists so though we were a three piece band we had a pretty big sound". If anyone should find a certain USA West Coast Influence on this Freedom album, Harrison would agree. "That was what we were aiming at I suppose. We were touring a lot in US at that time, supporting Jethro Tull and then we returned to the UK touring with Black Sabbath and Curved Air". Freedom disbanded in 1972 with Bobby forming Snafu.


Tracks
1. Nobody (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 3:57
2. In Search Of Something (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 6:23
3. Dusty Track (Roger Saunders, Walt Monaghan) - 7:55
4. Man Made Laws (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 3:25
5. Ain't No Chance To Score (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 5:41
6. Pretty Woman (Williams) - 5:39
7. Freedom (Bobby Harrison, Walt Monaghan, Roger Saunders) - 5:12
8. Frustrated Woman (Bobby Harrison, Walt Monaghan, Roger Saunders) - 4:59

Freedom
*Bobby Harrison - Vocals, Drums
*Roger Saunders - Guitar, Vocals
*Walt Monaghan - Bass, Vocals

1969 Nero Su Bianco / Black On White
1973-74  Snafu - Snafu / Situation Normal

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Aaron Lightman - Aaron Lightman (1970 (us, delicate orchestrated baroque folk psych, Fallout edition)



“Aaron Lightman is a young singer-composer-actor from Philadelphia. Although in his twenties, his child-like appearance and slight build (100 pounds soaking wet on a good day!) tend to make people think he is much younger. Realising that we are all children in an ageing world, his songs are like his appearance. They take delight in simple things: a misty dawn, merry-go-rounds, rainy afternoons, a young girl’s hair, summertime, squirrels and the sea. Some of these songs were brought to the attention of the producers, who were looking for a vehicle to unite their classical background with popular music. The result is this album; a modern cantata utilising a chamber orchestra instead of a vocal choir; a flow of undefinable music telling a story that need not start or finish in any specific time or place or travel along a precise linear road; the thoughts and voice of one man as he journeys through the timeless flowing of the mind to discover his humanity” 
1970 Original Liner Notes 

Aaron Lightman is likely more well known in contemporary times than when he was an active musician. Hailing from Philadelphia, his slight and short build portrayed him as a much younger person, with a supposed childlike appearance and slight hundred-pound build, which also typified his singing style. Lightman's voice itself was described as a cross between the Gibb brothers from the Bee Gees and Donovan Leitch. 

Owing no small allegiance to the '60s psychedelic era, Lightman's music was very orchestrated, similar to certain songs of the Beatles or the Moody Blues in a melodic baroque pop vein. He co-wrote songs with Dean Christopher and with producer Ron Frangipane, who also worked with Melanie, Janis Ian, the Monkees, John Lennon, Dusty Springfield, and the Rolling Stones. The Poppy label, distributed by MGM, issued his eponymous debut album in 1970, and the single "Down to the Sea" b/w "Now Is the Time." He worked with string players Gene Bianco, George Ricci, and Gene Orloff; drummer Al Rogers; flutist Romeo Penque; and acclaimed jazz woodwind player Phil Bodner. 

Lightman's record does not seem to have attracted much attention when it was first issued, but upon its reissue in 2008 by the Fallout label, Lightman enjoyed renewed interest.
by Michael G. Nastos


Tracks
1. (Interlude) Out Of The Morning - 18:17
.I..(Interlude) They Call Me Traveler
.II.(Interlude) None For Me
2. On Monday Me - 2:14
.I..(Interlude) I Have A Little Friend
.II.(Take 74 Interlude)
3. Little Girl (Interlude) - 11:21
4. The Morning After - 6:10
.I...(Interlude) Down To The Sea
.II..Something Simple
.III.Fragrances
5. (Interlude) Now Is The Time - 3:23
Words and music by Aaron Lightman

Musicians
*Aaron Lightman - Vocals
*Hugh MacCracken - Electric Guitar
*Romeo Penque, Irving Horowitz, Phil Bodner, Joe Grimm, Leon Cohen, George Berg - Woodwind
*Don Currado, Joe De Anglis - French Horns
*Al Rogers - Drums
*Joe Mack - Bass
*Ronald Frangipane - Harpsichord
*Sal Di Troia - Solo Classical Guitar
*Max Ceppos, Irving Spice, David Rothschild, Joe Mallen, Manny Green, Gene Orloff, Lou Stone, Arrianna Brun - Violin
*David Saxon, Seymore Burman, Harry Lefkowki - Viola
*Seymour Babarb, George Ricci, Charles MacCracken - Cello
*Gene Bianco - Harp

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gerry Lockran - Wun (1972 india / uk, amazing blues rock with classic tinges)



Gerald Cranston Frederick Loughran was born on the 19th July 1942 in the Yeotmal province of the central plains of India. He was the youngest of eight children, having three brothers and four sisters.

Gerry's forefathers emigrated from Ireland to India around 1800. Gerry's father's lineage included English and Indian as well as Irish, while his mother was born of a Scottish father and Indian mother.

Gerry spent the earliest years of his life growing up on the family farm, however, was also sent away to board at the Wynberg Allen Memorial School in Mussoorie, a small village in the Himalayas. Music was an important part of Gerry's early life - his father played violin and his brother David played the guitar. 

However, after the death of his father, Gerry's family emigrated to England. Running the farm, as well as continuing to bring up a young family proved to be extremely difficult for Gerry's mother, especially in the face of the rapidly changing political climate in India.

round April 1965 Gerry changed the spelling of his surname from Loughran to Lockran for stage purposes. His British live schedule at this time also included a package tour called 'Kings of the Blues' with Long John Baldry, Alexis Korner and Duffy Power. 

The Half Moon pub in Putney, South West London, presented Gerry with his first major opportunity to run his own folk and blues club. It was on August 6th 1965, that Gerry, together with his old friends Cliff Aungier and Royd Rivers, first opened 'Folksville', a folk and blues club at the Half Moon. This music venue continues to thrives into the year 2000 - 35 years after being started by Gerry, Cliff and Royd!

Other young performers who played live at 'Folksville' were: Ralph McTell, Wizz Jones and Martin Carthy. Indeed, Ralph, Wizz and Martin would still play live at the Half Moon during the 1990s. 'Folksville' also booked American blues legends, including Champion Jack Dupree, who remarked to Gerry after hearing his opening floor spot, that he was the closest thing he had ever heard to Big Bill Broonzy! 

However, Gerry needed to develop his career further by recording and releasing records. 

In 1966 Gerry secured a recording contract which resulted in the release of his first LPs Hold 'On-I'm Coming!' , featuring Danny Thompson on double bass.

Gerry followed this release with 'Blues Vendetta' in 1967, which featured his powerful fingerpicking style on self -penned compositions like 'Guitar Boogie' and 'Jason's Blues' (written for his three year old son). In 1969 'The Essential Gerry Lockran' was released and Gerry also featured on 'The Blues at Sunrise' compilation with Redd Sullivan and Dave Travis.

Gerry continued to write, record and release records up to the end of his career in 1981. 

In 1968, Gerry, Bobbi and young Jason moved to East Molesey, Surrey where they remained for the rest of Gerry's life.

n 1970 Gerry and Bobbi's second son, Jethro, was born. Young Jethro and his older brother Jason were immortalised in Gerry's song 'Jonas and the whale', recorded on Gerry's 1976 LP 'Rags to Gladrags'.

In the early 1970s, Gerry's career took a further turn when he started being managed by Nigel Thomas, who also represented Joe Cocker, The Grease Band, Rod Stewart and The Faces, Chris Stainton and Juicy Lucy.

During 1972 and 1973 Gerry toured the US, Canada and Europe as part of huge package tours featuring these artistes. After years of performing at the small clubs and pubs of the folk and blues circuit, Gerry was suddenly playing an opening set in front of crowds of tens of thousands of people.

The US and Canadian tour headlined by Joe Cocker lasted three months and involved 40 concerts at venues, including Madison Square Gardens in New York and The Forum in Los Angeles. This was followed by a two month European tour through France, Holland, Italy, Germany and England.

Being under the same management as Joe Cocker, The Grease Band, Rod Stewart and The Faces also resulted in Gerry recording two LPs, featuring a stellar cast of accompanying musicians.  These included: Ronnie Wood, Mick Ralphs, Henry McCulloch, Neil Hubbard, Alan Spenner, Philip Chen, Pete Wingfield, Mel Collins, Bruce Rowlands and his old friend Cliff Aungier, amongst others. 

These LPs, 'Wun' (released in 1972) and 'Rags to Gladrags' (released in 1976) represented a new direction for Gerry. His self-penned compositions came to the fore including introspective and family-inspired songs such as 'Father to your children', 'My brother', 'Temptations' and the chilling elegy 'She was a very good friend of mine' (written about his late mother).

However, the association with Nigel Thomas was not to last and Gerry soon discovered new audiences on mainland Europe, where he concentrated his live work from the mid 1970s.  After six years struggle he suffered a fatal heart attack on 17th November 1987. He was survived by his wife, Bobbi, and two sons, Jason and Jethro.


Tracks
1. Father To Your Children - 4:17
2. Maybe Not Up - 2:56
3. Tired Neal Groans - 2:43
4. She Was A Very Good Friend Of Mine - 4:33
5. Stop On The Red - 3:55
6. Summertime (Gershwin, Heyward) - 6:27
7. That's Alright Mama (Crudup) - 3:04
8. Twice Are - 1:59
9. Sooner Or Later - 2:44
10. Woman Lover Blues (McGhee) - 2:10
Words and Music by Gerry Lockran except where stated.

Personnel
*Gerry Lockran - Vocals, Guitar
*Israel Zacota - Guitars
*Bryn Haworth - Guitars
*Chris Stewart - Bass Guitar
*Rod Dawes - Harp,Acoustic Guitar
*Bruce Rowland - Drums,Piano
*Mick Ralphs - Guitars
*Junior Kerr - Guitars
*Andy Pyle - Bass Guitar
*John Large - Keyboards
*Ron Berg - Drums
*Chris Mercer - Saxes
*Nick Pearson - Guitar
*Ron Wood - Slide Guitars
*Neil Hubbard - Guitar
*Alan Spenner - Bass Guitar
*Cliff Aungier - Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
*The Mario Warner Four - Vocals

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Chameleon - Rising (1973-78 us, exceptional hard prog rock, 2013 release)



It was 1969 when Mike Huey introduced his friend, Spencer Clark, to his brother Rick Huey, and the three of them started a "garage band" called Evolepoh. In 1970, Craig Gysler joined the band, now renamed Lorien, and they started composing original tunes and working toward playing live shows.

In the Spring of 1972, Spencer (lead guitar, lead vocals, song writer) - , Mike (drums, backing vocals, artistic promoter, lyricist) - , and Craig (keyboards, rhythm guitar, lead vocals) -  were  about to graduate high school, although Rick (bass, backing vocals, song writer-uri-diculous) -  had graduated two years prior. Soon the boys were landing opening spots with MC5, Captain Beefheart, and The Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent) -  at a local Houston venue called "of Our Own".  They were not yet in their Progressive Zone, but were listening to and influenced by bands such as King Crimson, ELP, Peter-Gabriel-Era Genesis, and Yes.

By 1975 the band had changed their name to Chameleon, and were playing gigs around Houston and surrounding Texas cities. Widely known and praised as a Progressive Rock band, they shared the stage with other notable Houston bands such as Eeze (later known as Automatic) - , La Paz, The Electromagnets with Eric Johnson, Heyoka, One Hand Clapping, and Oz Knozz. Chameleon rehearsed 4 or 5 nights a week out at Spencer's place west of Houston, (a converted barn) -  and that is where they fine-tuned their progressive style.

Mike left the band in 1978, and Marty Naul from Oz Knozz joined as drummer, backing vocalist, director, and "crazy-Ass Insane Chauffer") -  Chameleon began to increase the vision of being a Prog Rock band, and recorded the now famous "Barn Tapes" during this period.

By 1981, the band Chameleon had run its course, and although the five spirits of Spencer, Craig, Rick, Mike and Marty that comprised the band's soul went their separate ways, all of the recordings they left behind are still here, fully restored and presented to you now for enjoyment and remembrance.
CD Liner-notes


Tracks
1. Texas Cyclone (Craig Gysler) - 9:41
2. Follow Your Love (Paradise Lost) (Craig Gysler, Spencer Clark) - 3:57
3. Pilot Thoughts (Spencer Clark, Mike Huey) - 7:24
4. Brave New Way (Spencer Clark, Craig Gysler) - 4:08
5. Drool Away (Spencer Clark) - 4:36
6. Pass Thru The Columbian Mountains (Spencer Clark) - 6:43
7. Everyday Everyway (Spencer Clark, Craig Gysler) - 5:56
8. Mirkwood Forest (Craig Gysler, S. Clark, Mike Huey, Rick Huey) - 6:53
9. In The Heart (Craig Gysler) - 5:26
10.Saturate (Spencer Clark, Craig Gysler) - 4:49
11.Midnight Matinee (Spencer Clark) - 5:29
12.Life Positions (S. Clark, Craig Gysler, Rick Huey, Marty Naul) - 9:26
13.In My Own Way (Craig Gysler) - 3:14

Chameleon
*Spencer Clark - Guitars, Vocals
*Craig Gysler - Keyboards, Vocals
*Mike Huey - Drums
*Rick Huey - Bass, Vocals
*Marty Naul - Drums (1978-80)

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Raiders - Indian Reservation / Collage (1970-71 us, fantastic blend of country folk beat psych and classic rock, 2009 remaster)



Paul Revere and The Raiders has been a veritable army of musicians, whose major career began in 1963 and lasted through 1975. Paul managed the group's internal workings, Mark Lindsay lent his voice, writing and producer talents, and I managed the external affairs: Columbia Records, a television career, and touring. An ambassador of sorts.

From the 'essential' Raiders surrounding Paul and Mark, namely Phil Volk, Drake Levin, Mike Smith and Jim Valley, Paul created an entertainment machine that is still well oiled, with occasional new parts. Keith Allison, Freddy Weller, Charlie Coe and Joe Correro Jr. joined over time; others even later.

The '60s Raiders became television stars and Teen Idols. Dick Clark gave them television time on Where The Action Is and Happening (ABC-TV). They were Rock Stars with "Personality, and immense record sales followed. They dominated the teen magazines as well. Group photographer Gino Rossi's photos were popping up everywhere The Ed Sullivan Show,  Johnny Carson, The Smothers Brothers, plus many Specials followed, even a cameo role on Batman. 

By the mid '70s, Paul and Mark had seen a run of success that would be hard to duplicate by any other group, with millions of records sold, literally hundreds of television appearances, and tours to the biggest U.S. venues of the time. These two albums, Collage and Indian Reservation represent the culmination of The Raiders success, artistically and commercially, with Mark in the studio, and Paul on the road to make it happen. 

These albums represent what Paul Revere and The Raiders, in the beginning, never imagined could happen. We played our roles by ear, instinct, hard work and believability, and it worked.  However, the group ended its encampment in Hollywood by the end of 1975. 

The group dissolved and all went their way. Paul moved back to his beloved Idaho, I had moved to Spain, and Mark stayed in Hollywood for the time. Everyone looked for a new niche in music. Paul reformed his band in 1978 and is still on the road. Their era of rock-stardom would end, but memories of years supercharged with more success than ever imagined linger on, and the stories are still being told.
by Roger Hart  (Personal Manager at the time, and Consultant to Paul to date)


Tracks
1. Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian) (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:54
2. The Shape Of Things To Come (B. Mann, C. Weil) - 3:24
3. Prince Of Peace (L. Russell, G. Dempscy) - 3:30
4. Heaven Help Us All (Ronald Miller) - 3:25
5. Take Me Home (Terry Melcher) - 4:10
6. Just Remember You're My Sunshine (Mike Settle) - 2:44
7. Come In, You'll Get Pneumonia (H. Vanda, G. Young, T. Cahill) - 3:12
8. Eve Of Destruction (P.F. Sloan) - 3:19
9. Birds Of A Feather (Joe South) - 2:52
10.The Turkey (Mark Lindsay) - 4:06
11.Save The Country (Laura Nyro) - 3:17
12.Think Twice (M. Lindsav, K. Allison) - 3:52
13.Interlude (To Be Forgotten) (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 2:47
14.Dr. Fine (Mark Lindsay) - 4:06
15.Just Seventeen (Mark Lindsay) - 3:51
16.The Boys In The Band (Mark Lindsay) - 3:11
17.Tighter (M. Lindsay, T. Melcher) - 2:10
18.Gone Movin' On (M. Lindsay, T. Melcher) - 3:01
19.Wednesday's Child (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 2:26
20.Sorceress With Blue Eyes (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 5:01
21.We Gotta All Get Together (Freddy Weller) - 4:57
22.Country Wine (E. Villareal, V. Watkins) - 2:31
23.Powder Blue Mercedes Queen (Mark Lindsay) - 2:55
Bonus Tracks 22-23

The Raiders
*Mark Lindsay - Vocals
*Paul Revere - Keyboards
*Freddy Weller - Guitar
*Keith Allison - Rass, Guitar
*Mike Smith - Drums (1-10. 22, 23)
*Joe Correro Jr. - Drums (11-21)

Paul Revere And The Raiders
1963-65  Mojo Work Out (Sundazed issue)
1965-67  Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums (2013 double disc remaster)
1967  A Christmas Present... And Past
1968  Goin' To Memphis (Sundazed remaster)
1968  Something Happening  (Repertoire digipack remaster and expanded)
1969  Alias Pink Puzz (Sundazed remaster)
1969  Hard 'N' Heavy With Marshmallow (Sundazed issue)
Related Act
1970  Mark Lindsay - Arizona / Silverbird

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cargoe - Cargoe (1972 us, brilliant melt of power pop, southern, classic rock with prog traces, japan remaster)



Often associated with the Power Pop genre given to Ardent Label Mates Big Star, Cargoe projected more of a stylized artistic nuance to their songwriting and performing, with harmonies exhibiting a strong American/Southern Roots cultural influence.

The band recorded their Album CARGOE with Terry Manning producing at, John Fry's Ardent Studios. They scored numerous Billboard and Cashbox Top 100 listings, and reviews from 1970 through 1973, along with major radio play of their first single “Feel Alright” and follow-up “I Love You Anyway”. The band’s studio LP CARGOE was even featured, with Isaac Hayes Shaft, which won an Academy Award/Oscar that year for Best Original Song, in a Special Edition section of Billboard’s June 3, 1972 “The Deck is STAX” promotion.

The band began a west coast tour the summer of 1972, but was caught up in the distribution and bankruptcy label problems at Stax/Volt, who distributed the album and owned the masters. Distribution was sold to Columbia Records who failed to include Cargoe in their catalog, which meant that listeners who heard the hit couldn't actually buy the record. “Feel Alright” and their debut CARGOE LP fell off the charts instantly.

The same label troubles caused both Cargoe and Big Star to disband within a short time. Big Star went on to become one of the most beloved and influential bands of the entire decade, while Cargoe pretty much disappeared out of the popular memory.

Ardent Records contracts for distribution with Stax/Volt gave Stax ownership of the master tapes. When Stax went bankrupt in the mid-'70s, ownership of the masters eventually wound up in the hands of Fantasy Records Saul Zaentz, and no one's been able to get the tapes for domestic release.

It's certainly worth noting that after nearly 40 years of producing and engineering countless hit records including ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, George Thorogood, Celine Dion, Björk, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, and many others, Terry Manning to this day regards Cargoe as “the great record he helped make that no one ever discovered”.. 
by Frank Gutch Jr.


Tracks
1. Come Down (Bill Phillips) - 3:59
2. Feel Alright (Tommy Richard) - 2:33
3. Horses And Silver Things (Tommy Richard, Max Wisley) - 2:49
4. Scenes (Max Wisley) - 3:46
5. Things We Dream Today (Bill Phillips) - 2:44
6. Time (Bill Phillips, Max Wisley) - 4:09
7. Feelin Mighty Poorly (Tim Benton) - 5:35
8. Thousand Peoples Song (Tommy Richard) - 4:13
9. Heal Me (Tommy Richard, Max Wisley) - 3:11
10.I Love You Anyway (Tommy Richard) - 4:02
11.Leave Today (Bill Phillips) - 5:14
12.Tokyo Love (Bill Phillips, Jim Peters) - 3:51

Cargoe
*Bill Phillips - Hammond B3, Rhodes, Grand Piano, Vocals
*Tommy Richard - Guitar, Vocals
*Max Wisley - Bass, Vocals
*Tim Benton - Drums, Vocals

1972  Cargoe - Live In Memphis! 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Michael Garrick Band - Home Stretch Blues (1972 uk, excellent vocal jazz)



Home Stretch Blues represents a high point in the Sextet's history. Within a few days our Trio also recorded 'Cold Mountain' (available on Vocalion CDSML 841 5) in the same studio behind Gloucester Place - and things felt good. We did both IPs in two 3-hour sessions. Kevin Daly, Harley Usill's producer for Argo, was encouraging and enthusiastic. 

We had our dear friend Don Rendell on some of the tracks, a truly inspirational presence. I brought in my home-made harpsichord in my Reliant three wheeler, and we were all surprised that it actually worked (the harpsichord that is: we weren't so sure about the three-wheeler). You hear it pinging away on Fire Opal and Blue Poppies. John Smith's poem Co/ours for Jan te Witt was the spark that ignited the suite (reproduced on page 6). We'd recently had a trip in two cars to the northernmost tip of Scotland (Thurso), four in a big Vauxhall, Trevor Tomkins and I in a mini-van - the "scout car". It was he who invented the service ranks you see on the cover. It was, for us, very funny because of the relationship between our real characters and the ranks he chose. 

Home Stretch Blues itself was born of those interminable hours on the motorway driving back at night from gigs, the rhythm reflecting the punctuation of the passing street lamps. With our bogus service ranks in place we built a fantasy of being marooned on King's Cross station after VE Day without a train in sight; hence the photograph (taken by Mick Rock) with clothing hired perfectly to fit courtesy of Argo Records. We had a tricky moment with Don, who refused to wear the Padre's dog-collar (in the end he wore his own shirt back to front), and Trevor who, as a US Army lieutenant, was spat at as he came along the platform. Sunday morning, too! We went straight from the photo-shoot to the BBC to record a "Jazz in Britain" programme. No one there so much as raised an eyebrow. We used to sing Tennyson's lullaby (in its original setting) "Sweet and Low" at junior school, together with "Golden Slumbers". 

No one writes such lovely things any more ("Golden Slumbers" is temporarily misplaced.) Epiphany began - like Troppo - with a bass figure of Dave Green's. It turned into a late arrival for the Jazz Praises Ball, but nonetheless we had great fun with it, especially the whoops. I imagine it's our little pranks in the middle of "serious jazz" that sometimes puzzles people. Don't worry about it - our hearts are in the right place. I've loved all the groups I've been involved in, but this one particularly. As Norma Winstone says, it was like a family.
by Michael Garrick 2006


Tracks
1. Home Stretch Blues - 9:03
2. Sweet And Low (Garrick, Words By Tennyson) - 6:14
3. Epiphany (Garrick; Green) - 9:35
Fire Opal And Blue Poppies A Sequence Of Visions
4. Fire Opal - 4:16
5. Retribution - 3:25
6. Wishbone - 5:54
7. Blue Poppies - 6:18
8. Limbo Child - 4:18
All compositions by Michael Garrick except where noted.

Musicians
*Norma Winstone - Vocals
*Michael Garrick - Piano, Harpsichord
*Trevor Tomkins - Drums
*Dave Green - Bass
*Art Themen - Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax, Clarinet
*Henry Lowther - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Violin
*Don Rendell - Tenor Sax 'Home Stretch Blues' And 'Epiphany' Only

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Crossroads - Southern Strutter (1979 us, good southern rock)


The Crossroads saw the first light, in the second half of the 70's, in Arkansas. In 1979 they released their first record, under the  title "Southern Strutter", this is precisely the tone of their music, sounds from the south with obvious influences, especially, by Lynyrd Skyrnyrd and Allman Brothers (post Duane Allman era, “Brothers and Sisters” etc.), there are times when the melodies have a lighter texture flirting with the mainstream.  Nice record, of the kind  that won’t dissapoint you, considering of the time it’s  released, just before the threshold of the 80’s.


Tracks
1. Sowin' Our Wild Oates (K. Wheaton, J. Echols) - 4:26
2. Angel (J. Echols) - 3:57
3. Which Way From Here (B. Rogers, K. Wheaton, M. Taylor) - 3:07
4. Allison (K. Wheaton) - 3:53
5. Southern Strutter (K. Wheaton, J. Echols) - 3:55
6. Warm Day In The Winter (B. Rogers) - 3:48
7. Music On Our Mind (K. Wheaton, B. Rogers, M. Taylor, J. Echols) - 3:43
8. Soul Searchin' (M. Taylor, Bill Bradbury) - 3:47
9. Many Times (B. Rogers, K. Wheaton, M. Taylor) - 4:10

Crossroads
*Ken Wheaton - Lead Guitar
*Bobby Rogers - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Echols - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Mike Taylor - Keyboards, Vocals
*Wayne Winston - Bass
*Joe Laster - Drums

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stoned Circus - Revisited (1970 us, terrific acid psych rock, 2004 World in Sound release)



A long gone, forgotten by most psychedelic band from the Midwest. This is a remaster from the original tapes. Band was from Kansas City and this ten track album was recorded at Cavern Studios in 1970.

This is an outstanding piece of US psychedelia . The powerful sound with male and female lead vocals has a strong “Jefferson Airplane” feeling, feat. a magic B3 organ and stunning heavy guitars. Not to be confused with the “Stone Circus” that recorded for the Mainstream label. This material was unreleased and found in the archives of Cavern Sound Studios where the “Wizzards from Kansas” recorded.

Released  as limited LP version in 1994 which is long sold out. Songs include “Gotta find Way”, “Try Love”, “New World”, “Trust”, and a fabulous coverversion of  “Gonna Leave You”… Originally recorded in 1970 and for the first time on CD taken from the original masters including an 8p. with cool artwork, bio and photos. Highly recommended, reflects honest summer, peace & love feeling!


Tracks
1. Gotta Find A Way - 3:39
2. Feel - 2:34
3. Try Love - 4:16
4. New World - 3:08
5. Trust - 2:24
6. Sweet Lovin - 2:45
7. Instrumental - 5:03
8. Gonna Leave You - 6:17
9. Corina - 2:24
10.Whole Lotta Love - 2:11

Stoned Circus
*Johnny Isom - Lead Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Nancy Lake Whedon - Vocals, Percussion
*Donna Kurtz Nugent - Drums, Percussion
*Ricjard Van Sant - Keyboards, Keybass, Vocals
*Joe York - Keyboards, Vocals
*Harold "Buddy" Haney - Bass, Vocals

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Transatlantic Railroad - Express To Oblivion (1965-68 us, sensational west coast psych)



Coming from the sixties' "fruity" Frisco bay area, they were often referred to as "the next great San Francisco music scene band" which is what they had remained too, supposedly because of "one band member's inflexibility". The seven songs on this album are more than enough a proof of their potential, so an explanation like this is the only reasonable one.

Transatlantic Railroad were some kind of an amalgamation of all the good, heard in the music of the local scene ... and wider. The set opens with the musical omnibus Camp Towanga, sounding like Moby Grape fronted by Greg Allman, along with his Hammond organ, with Peter Green steppin' in for a guitar solo during the '50s ballad-like middle eight, and it's followed with another Southern-jam, Fred Chicken Blues reminding of the Statesboro one.

Tahoma Street Song, recalls Quicksilver's best moments, Elephant is a quirky, Door-opening psych, with a 10 minute-looooong jam, Old English 800 is a very un-English "spoonful" of blues, their single's b-side Irahs explores the C&W segment of the American tradition (think Moby Grape's It's No Use) and, along these '67/'68 recordings, as a bonus, you get one of the 1966 efforts from their early 'Brummels-like phase, called Good Times, that could've easily pass as an unreleased studio track by the mentioned fellow S.F.folk rockers


Tracks
1.Camp Towanga - 3:17
2.Fred Chicken Blues - 3:29
3.Tehama Street Song - 7:33
4.Elephant - 12:16
5.Old English 800 - 5:54
6.Irahs (Kent Housman) - 2:36
7.Good Times (Kent Housman) - 2:46
All Words by Kent Housman, Music by Transatlantic Railroad except where noted

Transatlantic Railroad
*Kent Housman - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Stephen Meyers - Lead Guitar
*Jamie Kindt - Bass, Vocals
*Ron Vanbianchi - Drums, Vocals
*Geoff Mayer - Organ

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Tennessee River Crooks - Tennessee River Crooks (1976 us, awesome southern rock)



In 1970, Jimmy Stewart and Larry Farrar (childhood friends) were playing in a band called Rat Salad, and was approached by Mike Hendrix about joining with some friends of his to play. From this meeting the band Hit and Run was formed with Jimmy, Larry, Henry Kelley, Mike Hendrix, Pat Michaels, and Bill Clayton. Their intent from the formation of this band was to play their own original music and Jimmy and Mike began writing separately and bringing their own music into the mix. 

Not long afterwards, Larry Farrar left the band to take a full time job and Ronny Waters then joined the band. After a short period of time, Pat Michaels and Bill Clayton, who was a vocalist for Hit and Run, left to pursue a solo career. Rickey Stewart then joined his brother in the band to play drums. The lineup in 1973 consisted of Jimmy Stewart on bass and lead vocals, Rickey Stewart on drums, and Ronny Waters and Mike Hendrix on lead guitars. It was during this period that the band changed their name from Hit and Run to Tennessee River Crooks and the band was based primarily out of Paris, Tennessee. 

The name Tennessee River Crooks was suggested by a friend of the band by the name of Jerry Crouch who worked the door for the band at various gigs. He always kept the money from the door in a Tennessee River Crooks cigar box, which was a cigar company based in Tennessee. In 1975, Larry Farrar rejoined the band and they started working on their first album, which was recorded between June and October of 1976. Mike Hendrix, who had left the band for a short period in 1975, came back and played on some of the cuts he had written. 

The album was recorded in Puryear, Tennessee, just a few miles north of Paris, Tennessee and was released in March of 1977 on an independent label called Sound Farm which was also the name of the studio where the album was recorded. In May of 1977, the band lost a dear friend and integral part of the band, when Ronny Waters was killed in New Johnsonville, Tennessee. 
by Jacques Dersigny and Luc Brunot


Tracks
1. Waiting For A Better Day - 3:57
2. Song Of David - 3:59
3. Farmin' Man - 5:34
4. We Are All Brothers - 5:34
5. White Lightning (Mike Hendrix) - 3:47
6. Old Music - 3:56
7. Tennessee Land (Mike Hendrix) - 5:45
8. Life On The Road - 4:16
9. Hot Busch - 3:13
All songs by Jimmy Stewart except where noted

Tennessee River Crooks
Ronnie Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Larry Farrar - Guitar
Jimmy Stewart - Lead Vocals, Bass
Ricky Stewart - Drums, Vocals
with
Dianne Davidson, Honey Combs, Mike Hendrix - Vocals

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Condello - Phase I (1968 us, smart multicolor psychedelia, 2007 RDI remaster)



Formed in Arizona but based in California, Condello's Phase One album has some fine moments. it's sometimes like listening to some psychedelic comp because of the way it jumps from popsike to fuzz-driven garage stomps. 

Mike Condello did it all in four decades in the music business: serve as music director for two local Phoenix TV shows (Teen Beat and The Wallace & Ladmo Show), lead his own bands like Hub Cap and the Wheels, parody the Beatles with Commodore Condello’s Salt River Navy Band, and even play with luminaries like Keith Moon, the Tubes, and Jackson Browne. 

In 1968, he also led his own band - which released the psychedelic masterwork Phase 1 on Scepter Records. Featuring a young Bill Spooner (pre-Tubes) on guitar, the album flows and trickles through your mind with more saturation than Lucy and her diamonds in the sky- picking up a few nuggets, boulders, and pebbles in the emergent violet haze. 

Sadly, Mike Condello committed suicide in the 90s after suffering from severe depression.


Tracks
1. Crystal Clear (Ray Trainer) - 3:29
2. Oh No (Michael Condello) - 2:40
3. Guess I Better Go (Ray Trainer) - 2:34
4. Charming Sitter (Michael Condello) - 2:42
5. All You Need (Ray Trainer) - 4:01
6. Keep It Inside (Michael Condello) - 3:09
7. Dr. Tarr Professor Fether (Michael Condello) - 2:49
8. The Other Side Of You (Ray Trainer) - 4:12
9. See What Tomorrow Brings (Michael Condello) - 3:29
10.He'll Keep Waiting (Michael Condello) - 2:30
11.It Don't Matter (Ray Trainer, Michael Condello) - 4:43

Personnel
*Michael Condello - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitars, Organ, Piano, Celeste
*Ray Trainer - Bass, String Bass, Vocals, Flute, Organ
*Dennis Kenmore - Drums
*William Spooner - Guitars, Vocals

Related Act
1969  Warren S. Richardson Jr. (2008 RDI remaster)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Monte Dunn And Karen Cruz - Monte Dunn And Karen Cruz (1969 us, bright smooth baroque folk psych)



"Monte Dunn was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. When Tim Hardin and Richie Havens recorded their most recent albums, they called him in to play guitar. This is not unusual as, for almost a decade, Monte has been working live and in session with Tim, Ian and Sylvia, Peter Paul and Mary, Sonny and Cher, Fred Neil, Jack Eliot, Bob Gibson, and quite a few others. It was unusual that he'd never struck out on his own. 

Now, with his wife and partner Karen Cruz, an album has been made and, instead of having his name on the back cover, it's headlining the front. Their music ranges from the earthy, to light baroque, to country. Karen Cruz was born in New Orleans, and spent most of her earlier years as a model, dealing blackjack, selling real estate, and painting portraits in order to finance her travels throughout Europe and the Near East, before she turned to music. Now the mother of two children, Pam and Jesse, she writes only when she has something to say. 

As Monte remarked: "She's carried some of her songs longer than she's carried some of her children". Karen wrote most of the songs, and they collaborated on a few of them. The music of Monte Dunn and Karen Cruz is the result of a very pure desire to communicate love and the realities of a life lived to the hilt - a simple statement above the chaos and confusion of artistic survival in a materialistically demanding society.

The sincerity and beauty of their words and music suggests an honest solution to our complicated and often distorted society"
Original press release, 1969

And then one day I met Karen and all we could do was be together. Music was already so important to both of us. Karen sang with bands, in clubs, folk-sang, then started composing, and I picked wherever I could, making a living and loving my music and my woman. I played for Ian & Sylvia, Sonny & Cher, Tim Hardin, Jack Elliott, Buffy St. Marie, Peter Walker, Peter Paul & Mary and others live and on record. But Karen's music captivated me like nothing I had ever played. Children and music, revolution, a thousand contradictions, joys, pain, life as we've been living it together, our music
by Monte Dunn, 1969

My personal thanks to the Westchester County Jail for providing the space and atmosphere necessary to enable me to write 'Outside Looking In'. My personal thanks to the world for providing the space and atmosphere necessary to enable me to write 'Lullabye'
by Karen Cruz, 1969


Tracks
1. Never In My Life (Karen Cruz) - 3:05
2. Order To Things (K. Cruz, M. Dunn) - 2:05
3. You Don't Smile Much (Karen Cruz) - 2:45
4. Loving You (K. Cruz, M. Dunn) - 3:30
5. Self Satisfaction (K. Cruz, M. Dunn) - 2:15
6. Outside Looking In (Karen Cruz) - 2:00
7. Lullabye (Karen Cruz) - 3:25
8. So Much Loving (K. Cruz, M. Dunn) - 2:00
9. Tip Of My Mind (Karen Cruz) - 3:50
10.Yellow Cab (Tim Hardin) - 3:55

Musicians
*Monte Dunn - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Mandolin
*Karen Cruz - 12 String, Classic Guitars
*Russell George - Acoustic Bass
*Eric Weissberg - Electric Bass, Fiddle
*Gary Chester - Drums
*Gene Estes - Vibes
*Stan Free - Celeste
*Russ Savakus - Bass
*Paul Griffin - Harpsichord, Piano
*Doug Davis - Cello
*Robert Bruce - Violin
*Bob West - Bass
*Donald Macdonald - Drums
*Warren Bernhardt - Piano, Clarinet
*Bruce Langhorne - Bass
*Hal Elaine - Drums
*Lyle Ritz - Bass
*Lazlo Roitch -  Tambourine

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brewer And Shipley - Down In L.A. (1967-68 us, marvelous psychedelic folk rock with country drops, 2012 bonus track issue)



From the beginning Down In L.A. never got its due when staff songwriters Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley immediately split L.A. after recording the album for A and M.  The newly formed record label figured their songwriters had left the music business altogether. A year later Brewer  and  Shipley, now signed as recording artists by Buddah Kama Sutra, released their classic folk-rock Weeds album on their new label. 

Their debut album came about because A and M Records recognized that two of their staff songwriters had a unique sound of their own and green-lighted them to record an album including some of the songs they had sold to other artists.  The Down In L.A. album has sometimes been unjustly mislabeled a collection of demos.  The fact is, the album was professionally produced and recorded with some of the best studio musicians in the country, the now famous ‘Wrecking Crew.’  

These were not demo tapes.  Leon Russell, Jim Messina, Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, and Jim Gordon were among the great supporting musicians supplying their talents.  As mentioned, several of the songs on the album were originally recorded by other artists when Michael  and  Tom were working solely as staff songwriters for A and M; but, as is usually the case, the songwriters’ interpretations of their own songs were superior to the other artists’ covers.  A good example is Brewer  and  Shipley’s version of Tom Shipley’s “Time  and  Changes,” which has a different feel and still sounds good by today’s standards, while the four 1967-68 covers of it by other artists all sound dated. 

While I love to hear Brewer  and  Shipley perform their songs with just acoustic guitars, I also love the production on Down In L.A. with its light orchestration and full rhythm section that still lets Brewer  and  Shipley’s, now trademark, intertwined acoustic guitars take center-stage.  It has a great sound, albeit different than their subsequent albums.  This is one of those albums where all the songs just seem to fit in mood, tone, and sound, like a Rubber Soul, an After The Goldrush, or a Tea For The Tillerman.  All those albums had songs that fit together and created an overall mood for the album.  

Down In L.A. fits in that ilk. Because Down In L.A. was the only album recorded on A and M, none of these songs ever made it to Brewer  and  Shipley’s Buddah compilation CDs, but there are more than a half dozen songs that could have legitimately been included on any label-neutral best-of compilation.  Truly Right, Time  and  Changes, and Keeper Of The Keys were good enough to be covered by other artists, and other songs from the album like the beautiful Green Bamboo, Dreamin' In The Shade (Down In L.A.), An Incredible State Of Affairs, and the haunting I Can't See Her, are equally worthy of inclusion on a Brewer  and  Shipley anthology.

If asked to pick their favorite Brewer  and  Shipley album, most fans would understandably pick Weeds or Tarkio.  If asked to pick my favorite, I would have to stop and think about whether it would be Down In L.A. or Weeds.   Down In L.A. is a great album that has its own beautiful and unique Brewer  and  Shipley sound, and after almost 44 years, this lost classic album has finally been released on CD. 
Bil/bard Magazine October 26, 1968


Tracks
1. Truly Right (Mike Brewer) - 2:46
2. She Thinks She's A Woman - 3:26
3. Time And Changes (Tom Shipley) - 2:05
4. Small Town Girl - 2:10
5. I Can't See Her - 2:50
6. Green Bamboo - 3:10
7. An Incredible State Of Affairs - 3:10
8. Keeper Of The Keys - 3:24
9. Love, Love (Brewer  And  Shipley, K. Brewer) - 3:12
10.Dreamin' In The Shade - 2:10
11.Mass For M'lady - 3:17
12.Keeper Of The Keys (Bonus Track, Mono Mix) - 3:23
All songs by Mike Brewer, Tom Shipley unless otherwise stated.

Musicians
*Mike Brewer - Vocals, Guitars, Percussion
*Tom Shipley - Vocals, Guitars, Percussion
*Nick Decaro - Strings, Horns
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Milt Holland - Percussion
*Lyle Ritz - Bass
*Jim Messina - Bass
*Joe Osborn - Bass
*Russell Bridges - Electric Piano, Organ
*Mike Melvoin - Organ
*Lance Wakely - Elecdtric Guitar, Harp

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hollins And Starr ‎- Sidewalks Talking (1970 us, amazing laid back psych, acid folk rock, 2011 mini LP limited edition)



Chicago-based duo Chuck Hollins and David Starr only made this one album, which originally appeared in 1970 on the Ovation label. All we know about them is what the original ads for the album said: "David Starr learned piano when he was three, began composing when he was four. At twenty-one he was playing flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Chuck Hollins picked up a guitar one day and just started playing.... by the time he left Northwestern with his Creative Writing degree he was turning his poetry into music." 

Others have said: "Unique blend… with a lovely dreaming, drifting vibe" – the Acid Archives; "Many diverse influences from pop-psych, mystical mellow passages, quasi-classical touches, delightful ethereal flute, trance-like vocals and fuzz guitar… there is much to appreciate on this largely undiscovered gem" – Fuzz, Acid & Flowers. The deluxe mini-LP sleeve CD edition has four bonus tracks, including a "hidden track" with some rare sound effects plucked from the vaults, and it is limited to 1,000 copies. 

The sole album by Chuck Hollins and Dave Starr, their only known recordings, is a treasure trove of strong melodies and dreamy vocal stylings an album sure to appeal to fans of acid folk, popsike, and even those who like jazzy funk. Listening to it is a rich, rewarding experience. This is a perfectly produced and arranged record, an ode to the free mind, structured by intelligent considerations. And as another person has said, "No wonder it has been sampled by DJ Shadow." Ovation said at the time of its release, "Classical artistry rock and sidewalk poetry." All true. Very cool. Hip, mellow, and stoned.


Tracks
1. Talking To Myself (Chuck Hollins) - 2:28
2. Krishna Dov (Dave Starr) - 1:54
3. Cry Baby Cry (Chuck Hollins) - 3:25
4. Twin City Prayer (Dave Starr) - 1:39
5. John Hurt (Chuck Hollins) - 2:16
6. Hard Headed Woman (Dave Starr, Chuck Hollins) - 9:10
7. Home? (Chuck Hollins) - 3:37
8. Vivace (Dave Starr) - 3:00
9. Lovable (Chuck Hollins, Dave Starr) - 3:54
10.Digress (Chuck Hollins, Dave Starr) - 2:50
11.Stayin High (Chuck Hollins, Dave Starr) - 2:27
12.Sidewalks Talkin (Chuck Hollins) - 3:35
13.Feelin Good (Dave Starr, Chuck Hollins) - 3:16
14.Feelin Good (Single Version) (Dave Starr, Chuck Hollins) - 2:53
15.Lovable (Single Version) (Chuck Hollins, Dave Starr) - 3:18
16.Hard Headed Woman (Outtake) (Dave Starr, Chuck Hollins) - 9:10
17.Sound Effects - 3:33

Personnel
*David Starr - Vocals, Flute, Piano
*Chuck Hollins - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Ross Salomone - Drums
*Ed Shedowski - Trumpet
*Ron Steele - Guitar
*Bob Surga - Guitar, Bass
*Warren Kime - Trumpet
*Jim Atlas - Guitar, Bass
*Bobby Christian - Percussion
*Pat Ferrara - Guitar

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine (1968 us, wonderful sunny psych, first Repertoire issue)



In 1968, for one brief, DayGlo moment, a Tristate band was the biggest thing in rock 'n' roll.The Lemon Pipers - singer Ivan Browne, guitarist Bill Bartlett, keyboardist Bob Nave, bassist Steve Walmsley and drummer Bill Albaugh - were top of the pops with the sunny psychedelia of "Green Tambourine."

The band had evolved from two local groups - Ivan & the Sabres and Tony & the Bandits - when the Bandits (which included Bartlett, Nave and Albaugh) fired Tony and stole Ivan.

The newly christened Lemon Pipers were a fixture in Oxford clubs and Cincinnati's underground rock palace, the Ludlow Garage, owned by young hippie entrepreneur Jim Tarbell. Fame beckoned in a major-label contract with Buddah Records. Firing their bassist, the group hired Walmsley and headed for New York.

A year after the Summer of Love, major labels were packaging the new psychedelic rock for pop radio. One result was a candy-colored confection called "bubblegum rock." The masterminds were K&K - producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. Along with the Lemon Pipers, they were also responsible for the Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Company.

It's what Nave, a jazz-influenced organist who became one of the Tristate's leading jazz DJs, calls "the duality of the Lemon Pipers." "We were a stand-up rock 'n' roll band, and then all of a sudden, we're in a studio, being told how to play and what to play." Live, they were a blues-rocking, jam band. On record they did fuzz-toned anthems like "Jelly Jungle (of Orange Marmalade)."

The bubblegum fad soon lost its flavor. Browne quit and moved to California, where he still lives and performs. Back in Oxford, some of the other guys formed a band called Starstruck, which got a lot of notice for its rearrangement of an old Lead Belly blues called "Black Betty."

K&K heard about it, drafted Bartlett for a new band, Ram Jam, and quickly recorded "Black Betty." One-hit-wonderhood struck Bartlett twice and the song lives on, most recently on the soundtrack to Johnny Depp's Blow.

Bartlett has stayed active, though he's been focusing on boogie-woogie piano lately. Walmsley plays bass around Oxford. Nave occasionally plays organ with Greg Schaber & High Street. Albaugh died in 1999.
By Larry Nager


Tracks
1. Rice Is Nice (Paul Leka, Shelley Pinz) - 2:16
2. Shoeshine Boy (Leka, Pinz) - 3:19
3. Turn Around Take a Look (Bill Bartlett) - 2:42
4. Rainbow Tree (Laguna, Mizrahi) - 2:16
5. Ask Me If I Care (Ehrmann) - 3:03
6. Straggling Behind (Lemon Pipers) - 2:32
7. Green Tambourine (Leka, Pinz) - 2:22
8. Blueberry Blue (Leka, Pinz) - 2:19
9. Shoemaker of Leatherwear Square (Leka, Pinz) - 2:00
10.Fifty Year Void (Lemon Pipers) - 5:41
11.Through With You (Bartlett) - 8:31

The Lemon Pipers
*Bill Albaugh - Drums
*Bill Bartlett - Lead Guitar
*Ivan Browne - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
*R. G. Nave - Organ, Tambourine, Fog Horn, Toys
*Steve Walmsley - Bass Guitar

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Cynara - Cynara (1970 us, spectacular hard prog psych with jazz elements, 2011 kismet edition)



Michael Tschudin is taking his new group, Cynara, on me road to play rock clubs and music festivals free as a trailer for his debut record for Capitol. The free dates are part of Capitol's over-all promotion campaign for Cynara, as well as part of Tschudin's plan to get as wide an audience as possible 'into the group', and to give the group a chance to 'get it together'. 

Among the free dates played by Cynara are Ungano's in New York and the upcoming Harmony Music Festival in Atlantic City beginning Tuesday. Touring with Tschudin, who composed the songs for Cynara's first Capitol LP, are Jeff Watson (lead singer), Cal Hill (bass), Les Lumley (guitar) and Chip White (percussion). The album, which was produced by Tschudin and Capitol A&R staffer Ken Cooper, is the first all-New York production to go into release. 

It's scheduled for an August 24th shipment. Tschudin, who has studied with Rudolf Serkin and E. Power Biggs, and who says that "Johann Sebastian Bach is my greatest teacher," has three one-year options with Capitol and a guarantee of two album releases a year. Capitol's New York office will be keeping tabs on Cynara as they go into the free situations, and the company's men in the territory will be alerted to make these dates pay off in potential album sales' 
Bil/rd, August 1st 1970


Tracks
1. Life Stories - 5:55
2. Hello You - 3:56
3. Stoned Is (Gil Moses, Michael Tschudin) - 4:07
4. Religious Song - 5:20
5. Mermaid Song - 7:59
6. Lullaby For CIA - 11:21
All songs by Michael Tschudin except where noted.

Cynara
*Jeff Watson - Lead Vocals
*Cal Hill- Bass
*Michael Tschudin - Keyboards, Drums
*Les Lumley - Guitar
*Chip White - Percussion
Guest Musician
*Elvin Jones - Drums

Related Act
1968  Listening - Listening

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Bruce Hamana - Hamana (1974 us, brilliant west coast psychedelic guitar flashes with a bit garage feeling and folk drops)



It's really funny and weird together, how come some real masterpieces have been lost in the vortex of time. Perhaps poor planning? Wrong promotional choices ? Who knows. Bruce Hamana, son of Original Hopi tribe living in Oraibi (area of Arizona state), grew up there, went to school at Phoenix Indian High School where he participated in various bands like "The Electric Indians”, "Velvet Egg", "No N'd", and finally "The Mocassin Grapevine".

After finishing High School, Bruce went off to college in Ohio where he had a scholarship for pre-law, was one of only two Indian boys in the college. Although that he tried to stick it out, he failed, so after two years went back to Oraibi.

Later he went to California where he played drums in a band for a year, soon after came in urge to record an album, which released without commercial  success, but as a bright, shinny, colorful work, with great voices and arrangements, Bruce played most of the instruments, wrote all the songs and produced the album. The value of the original album press is more than 700,00$US

According to Bruce Hamana:
"This album "Hamana" was recorded in 1974 and is an accumulation of songs that I had written between 1965 and 1974.1 was brought up both in my native ways and was also living in the white man's world. I choose to write music more in the contemporary modern day living than stick to the native American themes that most musician friends were doing that time.

I purchased a four-track reel to reel tape recorder, recorded and overdubbed my own vocals, bass, drums, guitar and took that recording to Ray Boley who owned Canyon Records. I had been playing with several bands but did not teach any of my music to the groups. These songs have yet to be played by a professional band. I would like to thank "World In Sound" for reviving my songs for everyone. This gives me enthusiasm to keep writing. I would like to invite you into my small world of music, as music is the universal language. My people, the Hopi still practice and respect the traditional customs today. We pray for peace and prosperity for the whole world."


Tracks
1. The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth - 2:32
2. Why Can't I Understand - 3:36
3. Be Free With Me - 2:43
4. I'll Remember Your Smile - 3:10
5. On The Road - 2:14
6. One Night - 3:04
7. Future Goodbyes - 2:54
8. Show Me - 4:22
9. Message To Crystal - 3:37
10.Shine On (Bonus Track) - 5:33
11.Peace Is Within You (Bonus Track) - 5:33
All songs written, composed and produced by Bruce Hamana

*Bruce Hamana - Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Various Instruments

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Curtis Knight - Down In The Village (1970 us, outstanding hard psych, 2012 remaster)



This singer-guitarist was born Mont Curtis McNear in Fort Scott, Kansas on May 9th 1929. According to later publicity material, however, 'Curtis Knight was born in 1945, half black, half Blackfoot Indian. He lived on an Indian reservation until the age of eight. 

He was inspired to write songs at a very early age by his mother, who wrote poetry as well as songs and music. After high school Curtis went to California, where he was able to broaden his musical scope. Then a 3000 mile bus ride took him to New York City, where he met an agent, started a group and began to build up a club circuit on the East Coast. It was in New York that Curtis was introduced to Jimi Hendrix.

Their rapport was immediate and they started playing together the first day theymet. This meeting was in 1965, by which time Knight had also put in a stint with the latter-day Ink Spots, issued several solo 45s, formed a band in Harlem named The Squires, and signed a contract with the independent producer Ed Chalpin. Chalpin also signed up Hendrix, and made several recordings of the two performers, which became lucrative when Hendrix rose to stardom as of late 1966. 

The extent to which Knight influenced Hendrix has never been established, though by the time Down In The Village was made, Knight was clearly in thrall to his alleged former protege. After Hendrix's September 1970 death, Knight moved to London and penned a biography of him, as well as making another album with a band named Zeus (including guitarist Eddie Clarke, later to join Motorhead). 

As well as being a musician, Knight was a highly-rated table-tennis player, described by one online source as 'a penholder with pretty good touch who liked to add a lot of spin to pushes and blocks'. By the 1990s he was running a limousine business, and moved to Holland in 1992, where he continued to record and play until his death on November 29th 1999.
CD Liner-notes


Tracks
1. Down In The Village - 3:17
2. Lena - 3:51
3. Friedman Hill - 3:00
4. See No Evil - 3:38
5. Beautiful World, Beautiful People (John Mazzola, Curtis McNear) - 3:03
6. Goin Up The Road - 3:57
7. Give You Plenty Lovin'(Curtis McNear, Harvey Vinson) - 9:45
8. Eenee Meenee Minee Mo - 3:53
9. Hi-Low - 3:30
10.Goodbye Cruel Worlde (John Mazzola, Curtis McNear) - 2:16
All songs by Curtis McNear except where stated

*Curtis Knight - Vocals, Guitar

1974  Curtis Knight Zeus - The Second Coming  (2009 Lemon remaster)

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Peter Bardens - Heart To Heart (1979 uk, magnificent prog jazz fusion rock, Japan remaster)



Keyboardist Peter Bardens’ legacy with renowned prog band Camel included seven albums in six years before he decided to abandon the ship of the desert in 1978. Camel’s symphonic influences can be traced through numerous neo-prog bands that would follow in their wake but in the meantime Bardens was looking for an alternative method of musical expression that would showcase his writing abilities as much as it did his keyboard talents. His first port of call however was to play on the 1978 album Wavelength by Van Morrison who Bardens had previously performed with in the 60’s as a member of Them.

Bardens was no stranger to solo albums having released The Answer and Peter Bardens in 1970 and 1971 respectively, shortly before teaming up with Andy Latimer, Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward to form Camel in 1972. Both of those albums however had been very much in the R&B style whereas Heart To Heart draws upon his experiences within Camel with more melodic pop-rock tunes (an area that Camel themselves were gravitating towards in the late 70’s) and prog-fusion instrumentals.

To realise his ambitions Bardens brought on-board a fine supporting cast with diverse musical pedigrees that saw legendary session players Mel Collins (saxophone, flute) and Peter Van Hooke (drums) rubbing shoulders with relatively newcomers Stan Scrivener (bass) and teenager Gus Isadore (guitars, vocals). Bardens wrote and (along with Norman Mighell) produced all the material on Heart To Heart and in addition to keys provides the lead vocals as he had done on the earlier solo outings.

The delightful Julia opens the album in surprisingly restrained fashion with Bardens’ dulcet vocal tones having a certain charm, sounding not unlike his old band-mate Andy Latimer. It’s an agreeable ballad with engaging harmonies and lilting electric piano. In a similar vein but altogether better still is Raining All Over The World which in its own unassuming way contains one of the most attractive melodies ever penned by Bardens. A rich and fluid piano and sax arrangement elevates the song into Bruce Hornsby territory. 

Doing The Crab is vintage swing jazz with scat vocals and although its skilfully and smoothly executed is not really my cup of jazz tea. More on the money is the fusion instrumentals Jinxed and Slipstream, both centred around lively synth noodling. The former brings the Canterbury scene and Hatfield And The North in particular to mind whilst the latter has perhaps a more Transatlantic feel about (Harold Faltermeyer anyone?). The mood continues in a more relaxed tempo with the appropriately titled After Dark which showcases Isadore’s jazz guitar sensibilities as well as a superb organ solo from Bardens to close.

With its catchy repetitive chorus, Slow Motion is the nearest the album gets to a potential single although its smooth delivery was perhaps too subtle to set either the charts or airwaves alight. The short Tune For Des sees Bardens’ chiming keys effects tumbling like falling water leaving the superb title track and instrumental Heart To Heart to end on a proggy Camel flavoured high.

Heart To Heart was pretty well dismissed on its initial release which is a shame because it demonstrates Peter Bardens forging a strong musical identity so soon after his departure from Camel. Thankfully this re-mastered reissue allows the albums many subtle delicacies to shine through. Bardens would continue to pursue his solo career as well as appearing with several other acts which included the occasional guest showing with Camel before his life was tragically and prematurely cut short in January 2002. 
by Geoff Feakes


Tracks
1. Julia - 3:54
2. Doing The Crab - 3:05
3. Slipstream - 6:10
4. Raining All Over The World - 4:27
5. Jinxed - 4:22
6. After Dark - 4:31
7. Slow Motion - 3:56
8. Tune For Des - 1:52
9. Heart To Heart - 4:51
All compostiotions by Pete Bardens

Musicians
*Pete Bardens - Keyboards, Vocals
*Mel Collins - Saxophone, Flute
*Pete Van Hooke - Drums
*Stan Scrivener - Bass
*Gus Isidore - Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Shade – Vibraphone

1970  The Answer (2010 esoteric remaster with extra tracks)
1971  Write My Name In The Dust (Japan remaster)
1973  Camel - Camel

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