Friday, December 6, 2019

Spirits And Worm - Spirits And Worm (1969 us wonderful psych rock with west coast breeze, 2001 issue)

Recorded at Ultra-Sonic Studios in Long Island, New York, this album is well worth searching out. Adrianne's powerful vocals are certainly an asset and although brass makes an occasional and unwelcome intrusion on the album it contains some fine guitar work, which on the title cut and Sunny Please Hold Me becomes quite psychedelic. Other highs include You And I Together and the final cut, She's So Good.

The legend goes that the album was pulled from distribution because the cover art (a couple of goats resting on a tombstone) was rumored to be satanic. A listen to the music, a collection of love songs with a Jefferson Airplane and Santana type sound, quickly disspells such associations.
1. You And I Together - 2:48
2. Every Little Bit Of Love (Carlos Hernandez, Tommy Parris) - 2:38
3. She - 3:18
4. Fanny Firecracker - 2:39
5. Sunny Please Hold Me - 3:42
6. Sprits And Worm - 2:59
7. All I Need Is A Little You - 4:02
8. She's The One - 3:03
9. You're Dynamite - 3:11
10.She's So Good - 3:56
All songs by Carlos Hernandez except track #2

Spirits And Worm
*Adrianne Maurici - Vocals
*Carlos Hernandez - Guitar
*Tommy Parris - Bass, Vocals
*Artie Hicks - Drums
*Alfred Scotti - Guitar, Vocals

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Mike Cooper - Places I Know / The Machine Gun Company (1971-72 uk, gorgeous, tender, moving folk country blues jazzy rock, 2014 remaster)

In the '60s, Mike Cooper was vital to folk and blues music in the UK. He established an important club for players of the genre and worked to get the Matchbox label up and running. He'd record for that label and other independent imprints. He put out his first album, Oh Really? in 1969 and its follow-up "Do I Know You?" in 1970. The latter of these two albums was the first to feature Cooper's own compositions. He was growing as a musician and as a songwriter, and people were taking notice. The Rolling Stones asked him to join the band, though he declined. That spot eventually went to Brian Jones.

Paradise of Bachelors, a label now officially at the forefront and exciting and crucial reissues of overlooked records, has now released reissues of Cooper's third and fourth albums and reveals a time in which the ever-shifting, ever-experimental musician was at his creative peak. In truth, Trout Steel's follow-ups, Places I Know and The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper, were originally released as separate albums. But Cooper initially intended them as one expansive double-album, and so Paradise of Bachelors presents them together here and, like Trout Steel, have reissued them on vinyl for the first time with Cooper's approval.

After Cooper worked out how to make records on his first few recordings, Trout Steel is his recorded coming out party. Part of the draw of the album is that it finds Cooper pulling free of the scene he helped strengthen. He had toured and played with the likes of Michael Chapman and Bert Jansch. And if those guys stretched folk and blues traditions in their way, Cooper doubled-down on their intentions with this record. It's certainly a record that has its straightforward charms. Opener "That's How" is a classic bittersweet ballad, all lush guitars and full bass shadowing them. Cooper's voice is honeyed but just rough enough around the edges. But if it's a direct tune, it also hints at big changes to come. The saxophone solo starts as traditional pop filling, but Cooper lets it run and it opens up into something closer to free-jazz vamping.

The free jazz movement was important to Cooper's expanding sound, and this first song offered just a taste of it amidst its straight-ahead structure and simple pleasures ("sunshine and wine," Cooper sings, "she knows they mean much more to me"). The album has other similar highlights that recall Cooper's blues-folk start. "Don't Talk Too Fast" certainly contains some of the bitter grin of Michael Chapman's work, though the guitar work gets complicated and tangled behind Cooper's strong vocal melody. Closer "Weeping Rose" is a beautiful bit of pastoral folk, and if the playing is complex, its effect is still sweetly direct. But the album's brilliance comes in the ways it breaks from traditional forms in freeing and exciting ways. "I've Got Mine" is both the most obvious and most striking example. 

Dusty guitars and shuffling drums set the pace, but they are overrun by a back-and-forth between strings and improvisational woodwinds. Thundering piano fills the space between, but the song seems to just continue to spread out, like a shadow as the sun moves, and it is by turns challenging and beautiful, earthen and ethereal. You can hear the influence of Pharoah Sanders on this song (and others). But if it is as transcendent as Sanders's best work, it is also more inviting than Sanders usually was. With Sanders, the awe came in watching someone else's spiritual musical experience. On Trout Steel, Cooper invites the listener into that transcendence, even evokes it within the audience.

As a double-album, Places I Know / The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper is more deliberate in its move from structure to experimentation. Cooper initially intended Places I Know as a sort of cover album, a way to pay tribute to his influences by putting them at the forefront of his sound. And so you get the hazy country sway of "Country Water", the shuffling blues-rock of "Paper and Smoke" or the front-porch intimacy and beautiful slide work of "Now I Know". Unlike other experimental and improvisational players, Cooper proves himself just as comfortable with defined song structure. These songs are still wide-open, but they also thump with immediacy and are deeply infectious. They represent a fitting ode to Cooper's predecessors but also confirm his own confident and impressive talents.

But The Machine Gun Co. is the most exciting music to be had in these reissues. Cooper was smart enough, or giving enough, to lead listeners into his musical world with more direct songs before hitting them with his more eccentric side. But after those great songs, the nine-minute "Song for Abigail" is both beautiful continuation and revelation. It starts with sweet guitars and organs warming the space behind Cooper's voice, and the song mostly holds its shape. But it's also playing with space all the way through, carving out crags in the song as it goes, so when the song finally does blow open into its skittering close -- full of frenetic, shuffling drums, brittle guitars, and unpredictable organ solos -- it feels like a natural evolution and not forced vamping. It owes as much to the careful studio work of Miles Davis's late '60s and early '70s records as it does to the more spiritual free-jazz stuff.

Cooper and his Machine Gun Co. Band, which comprised a number of brilliant improv players, are at their finest on the 15-minute "So Glad (That I Found You)". The title implies a simple and plainspoken joy that runs through all these recordings, even at their most lost and troubled, and this song puts that wild joy to song in all its glory. Organs and guitars squawk and squeak to life at the start, establishing the song's distant, malleable borders. At its heart, the song is a funky sunburst of sound driven by syncopated drums and sweet guitar hooks. But it's also filled out and set on a tilt by bizarre horn phrasings and dissonant fills. The song breaks itself apart into a chunky breakdown, where the organs and horns battle for attention over a lean beat that shows its cracks at all the right times. It is far and away the most experimental moment on either of these albums, as even the drums give way to saxophone and keys and if the song never quite comes back together, it also never loses its shape, crashing back to life in one more expansive burst at the end.

Trout Steel and Places I Know / The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper are both excellent records, but they also tell a vital story about a important musician in modern music. Cooper was not one to sit still. He would get more experimental and improvisational from here, eventually moving into electronic music as well. But these two albums capture Cooper at a pinnacle, where his newly honed songcraft and his knack for complicated sound and space met, clashed, and also combined in exciting and brilliant ways. Unlike many artists, Mike Cooper always knew you could never stand in the same river twice. And so these albums aren't about one part of the flow, frozen in time, but rather they show the results of Cooper letting things wash over him, letting songs and records change as they are being written and recorded. They are unpredictable and, yet, there is also something comforting and recognizable about these songs. These are reissues, but they may as well be new albums. They are as fresh as the latter and as lasting as the best of the former.
by Matthew Fiander
1. Country Water - 3:03
2. Three Forty-Eight (Blues For Or Against Andalusia) - 3:48
3. Night Journey - 5:09
4. Time To Time - 8:27
5. Paper And Smoke - 3:55
6. Broken Bridges - 4:38
7. Now I Know - 4:57
8. Goodbye Blues, Goodbye - 4:53
9. Places I Know - 2:25
10.Song For Abigail - 9:02
11.The Singing Tree - 5:36
12.Midnight Words - 3:27
13.So Glad (That I Found You) - 15:19
14.Lady Anne - 5:15
Words and Music by Mike Cooper

*Mike Cooper - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric, Bottleneck Guitars
*Geoff Hawkins - Saxophone, Melodica, Pipe
*Bill Boazman - Guitar
*Alan Cook - Electric Piano
*Jeff Clyne - Bass
*Johnny Van Derrick - Violin
*Laurie Allan - Drums
*Les Calvert - Electric Bass
*Tim Richardson - Drums
*Tony Pook - Vocals
*Gerald T. Moore, Jean Oddie - Chorus
*Norma Winstone - Solo Voice, Chorus
*Martin Nicholls - Trombone
*Martin Fly - Tuba
*Tony Coe - Tenor Sax
*Stan Sulzman - Alto Sax
*Bob Burns - Alto Sax
*Peter Civil - French Horn

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Hunger - Strictly From Hunger (1969 us, astonishing psych rock, 2018 three discs digi pak remaster)

Hunger arrived in L.A. from Portland in late 1967 as the Outcasts, a teenage cover band, but within a six months they had signed with a connected manager, played all over Los Angeles, embraced psychedelia and signed on to record an album of original music for the label their manager founded for them: Public! Records. They showed tremendous promise – and their producers invested heavily into a band that was going to be the next marquee act at the Whiskey A Go-Go, bringing in members of Strawberry Alarm Clock, including future Lynyrd Skynyrd star Ed King, to produce an album. But Hunger broke up before their album’s release and their entry in rock’s canon was shadowed for years.

This is the definitive Reserve Edition reissue of a late ‘60s psych–rock classic, overseen by Hunger’s band members John Morton, Steve Hansen and Mike Lane: the band’s preferred, unedited, fuzz-guitar heavy version of the album, restored and remastered from a rare test press. This is the first time that band’s vision for the album has been issued in full on vinyl. Contains an extensive booklet by Jim Cherry, Eothen Alapatt and Clark Faville that corrects many factual inaccuracies told over the record’s celebrated past three decades as one of rock’s holy grails. The booklet is filled with never-published photos from lead guitarist John Morton’s archive. Subscribers receive a bonus 2nd LP of the Public! Records version of the album, and a download card for bonus 7″ tracks.
Disc 1 Hunger
1. Colors (Mike Lane) - 3:35
2. Workshop (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, Bill Daffern, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 7:14
3. Portland 69 (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 5:36
4. No Shame (Artie Wayne) - 2:26
5. Trying To Make The Best (Mike Parkinson) - 7:38
6. Open Your Eyes (John Morton) - 3:46
7. The Truth (John Morton, Tom Tanory) - 5:32
8. Mind Machine (Bill Daffern) - 4:02
9. She Let Him Continue (Paul Hampton) - 4:59
Disc 2 Strictly From Hunger
1. Colors (Mike Lane) - 2:02
2. Workshop (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, Bill Daffern, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 4:15
3. Portland 69 (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 5:35
4. No Shame (Artie Wayne) - 2:26
5. Trying To Make The Best (Mike Parkinson) - 5:30
6. Open Your Eyes (John Morton) - 2:25
7. The Truth (John Morton, Tom Tanory) - 3:57
8. Mind Machine (Bill Daffern) - 3:30
9. She Let Him Continue (Paul Hampton) - 5:04
10.Trying To Make The Best No. 2 (Mike Parkinson) - 7:18
Disc 3 Singles And Bonus Tracks
1. Colors (Mike Lane) - 2:22
2. Workshop (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, Bill Daffern, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 4:30
3. Portland 69 (Mike Lane, Mike Parkinson, John Morton, Tom Tanory, Steve Hansen) - 3:15
4. Trying To Make The Best (Mike Parkinson) - 9:29
5. Open Your Eyes (John Morton) - 2:23
6. The Truth (John Morton, Tom Tanory) - 3:14
7. No Shame (Artie Wayne) - 2:21
8. Not So Fine (Mike Parkinson) - 2:28
9. She Let Him Continue (7" Version) (Paul Hampton) - 2:21
10.Mind Machine (7" Version Mastered) (Bill Daffern) - 2:33
11.Colors (7" Mono Version) (Mike Lane) - 2:01
12.No Shame (7" Stereo Version) (Artie Wayne) - 2:25
Tracks 7-8 as The Touch

*Mike Lane - Vocals
*Bill Daffern - Drums, Vocals
*Steve Hansen - Rhythm Guitar
*Tom Tanory - Bass
*John Morton - Lead Guitar
*Mike Parkinson - Vocals, Keyboards
*Ed King - Lead Guitar, Bass
*Gene Gunnels - Drums

1969  Hunger - Strictly From Hunger And The Lost Album (akarma edition) 
Related Acts
1967  The Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense And Peppermints (2011 sundazed issue)
1968  Strawberry Alarm Clock - Wake Up...It's Tomorrow
1968-69  Strawberry Alarm Clock - The World In A Sea Shell / Good Morning Starshine
1973  Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd (bonus tracks remastered issue) 
1974  Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping (24karat Gold CD and japan expanded edition) 
1975  Lynyrd Skynyrd - Nuthin' Fancy (japan extra tracks issue) 

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Friday, November 29, 2019

Bubba Fowler - ...And Then Came Bubba (1970 us, groovy rural bluesy folk psych rock, Vinyl edition)

Bubba Fowler began his career as a half in the duo, "The Avant Garde", along with Chuck Woolery, they were backed by session musicians on each of their three singles for the Columbia label. The duo debuted in late 1967 with "Yellow Beads," capturing a sweeping acoustic sound that crested with the follow-up, "Naturally Stoned," a minor classic of orchestral pop that reached number 40 on the Billboard pop charts in mid-1968. The more overtly psychedelic touches that distinguished the Avant-Garde's first two efforts were scrapped for their third and final single, "Fly With Me" -- when the disc barely dented the charts, the group dissolved.

Fowler then went folky and in 1970 Columbia issued his lone solo LP, And Then Came Bubba -- he later played guitar on Bob Dylan's Self-Portrait, Leonard Cohen's Songs of Love and Hate, and a handful of other sessions. Woolery, meanwhile, went on to much greater fame as a television game show host, helming Wheel of Fortune in its original daytime run as well as the long-running Love Connection, Scrabble, and Greed. He also founded MotoLures, a company that manufactured his signature line of fishing lures. 
by Jason Ankeny
1. Listen Big City - 3:04
2. Lousie (My Cajun Woman) - 4:00 
3. Joli Girl - 2:33
4. Sociological Bind - 3:56
5. Next Year This Time -  5:02
6. The Pounding Status Quo - 3:09
7. Lament #1 (Bubba Fowler, Bob Johnston) - 2:21
8. The Messenger Of Life (Bubba Fowler, Bob Johnston) - 3:08
9. Yellow Beads - 2:51
10.On Tomorrow - 3:38
11.Jenny Love - 2:34
All songs by Bubba Fowler except where stated

*Bubba Fowler - Vocals, Guitar

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Dave Chastain Band - Rockin' Roulette (1980 us, great twin guitars southern rock)

The Dave Chastain Band was in the mold of southern rock bands like the Allman Brothers. They sounded very much like the legends of the south on "Rockin’ Roulette." This was originally released in 1980.

"Sunshine" opens up the LP rather than the title track, which I thought was odd. "Rockin’ Roulette", which is one of the best songs on the album, should have been the opener but it ends up as the closer. Either way is fine with me, I thought that this LP offered consistently good songs throughout. Chastain was the leader and he provided some great lead and slide guitar along with great soulful rockin’ vocals. At times his leads could be explosive and others warm and rhythmic, much in the tradition of southern rock. 
by Keith Hannaleck
1. Sunshine (Dave Chastain, Steve Martinez) - 5:35
2. Gotta Get Away - 2:13
3. Highway Man - 4:37
4. Losin' You Blues - 3:17
5. Breezin' - 4:47
6. Down At Dee's - 3:47
7. One In The Sun (Ron O'Brien) - 4:23
8. Ballad Of William Quantrill (Bud Pruett, Don Mitchell, Mark French) - 2:53
9. Rockin' Roulette (Dave Chastain, Tom Jernigan) - 3:12
All compositions by Dave Chastain except where indicated

The Dave Chastain Band
*Dave Chastain - Lead, Slide Guitars, Vocals
*Tom Jernigan - Drums, Vocals
*Nip Beer - Keyboards
*Bud Pruett - Bass, Vocals
*Mark French - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Randy Wickert - Saxophone, Percussion
*Mo Abbott - Fiddle
*Bobby "Mongo" Harvey - Pedal Steel Guitar, Second Lead Guitar
*Bob Smith - Banjo
*Kris Lewis - Vocals
*Patsy Sullivan - Vocals

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Womb - Overdub (1969 us, trippy acid folk psych with prog elements, Vinyl edition)

This San Francisco-based band (probably originally from Sacramento, California, came together in 1967 and like every other mid-'60s band, headed for San Francisco) were sometimes prone to over-indulgent improvisation but they had their moments. Their second album is a trippy dreamlike late-night freakouts with spooky femme vocals.  "Flash" for example, a somewhat mystical, trippy piece of psychedelia,  “Love” is an experimental soft psychedelia with liberal lashings of woodwind.

The two last songs “Flying High” and ” Evil People”are eight and ten minutes respectively, and let the band really stretch out on songs that are alternately funky, jazzy and trippy, kinda like Grace Slick sitting in with King Crimson and a couple of guys from War,  an amalgam of psychedelia and progressivism with some nice interweaving guitar work. Both songs should not be missed.  
1. Taking A Long Walk (Roluf Stuart) - 3:06
2. Flash - 6:31
3. Two Levels - 4:20
4. Love - 4:28
5. Flying High - 8:00
6. Evil People - 10:26
All compositions by Greg Young except where noted

*Karyl Boddy - Piano, Guitar, Vocals
*Ron Brunecker - Drums
*Rory Butcher - Percussion, Vocals
*Christopher Johnson - Bass
*Roluf Stuart - Saxophone, Flute
*Greg Young - Guitar

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Beauregarde - Beauregarde (1971 us, sharp funky bluesy brass rock, with young Greg Sage)

Beauregarde was a Portland based professional wrestler who (by the sounds of it) totally kicked ass. For a start he used to ride a Harley motorcycle into the wrestling ring. Secondly, he sort of looks like a weird cross between Andre the Giant and Neil Young and on top of that he had his own band!!! This album was recorded in a day way back in the early 70's with Beauregarde's band that featured a 17 year old Greg Sage who would later go to own in The Wipers. The other cool thing about this record is that it's practically a soul record that doesn't mention wrestling at any point throughout. Musically this is a laid back homage to James Brown and Neil Young in equal measures with the heady mix of hammond organ and crazy horse style backing makes for a decent listen. 

Lyrically Beauregarde is full of naive charm and commonly brings a smile to my face. I'm quite taken by this record. He sings about the atrocities of war, burnt out rockstars, race relations and what it means to have soul. At times he's got a Neil Young tone, at others times he's not far from Ian Svenonious! Off course, your attention will inevitably be drawn to Greg's badass guitar playing. This guys got blues, soul, R&B, psych and good old Jimi Hendrix style licks totally nailed.
1. I Got Something - 3:06
2. Super Star Super Star - 5:28
3. If You Got Soul - 4:35
4. Tomorrow, Tomorrow - 2:47
5. Everybody Ball - 2:56
6. I'm Talkin' Time - 4:27
7. Testify - 2:40
8. Pass Away - 3:13
9. I - 3:19
All songs by Beauregarde

*Beauregarde - Vocals
*Greg Sage - Guitar
*Dave Koupal - Bass
*Jay Lundell - Drums
*Allen Robinson - Congas, Saxophone
*Omar Bose - Organ, Piano, Trumpet

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MU - The Last Album (1974 us, remarkable acid folk blues psych rock, 2003 edition)

Recorded in 1974, Mu's second album never saw the light of day because the band broke up soon after recording. Finally released as a limited Italian-only edition in 1982, the music transmits a delicate mix of soundscapes, in which elements of blues, folk and psych rock.

The front cover was the wonderful 'hair blowing in the wind, heroic pose' photograph showing Randy, Merrell and Jeff.  It's likely Jeff Parker took the shot which explains his absence although he plays bass on the album.

There is a picture of all four of them, smiling, outside their Maui shack on the inner cover, along with pictures of sheet music to Make A Joyful Noise and On Our Way To Hana, a map of the continent of MU and a psychedelic design incorporating Mu symbols (for a possible album cover?).  Mary Lee, who features on violin isn't pictured

The packaged in a solid card gatefold sleeve using the same front as the original vinyl; the back cover just gives track information. Inside there is a brief run through Merrell's career, plus the same illustrations from the vinyl's back cover.

It's always good to have extra tracks but as these cover such a spread of time they do not all fit so well with the original 14 tracks. The Interview with Lew Irwin (the Earth News interview), Daybreak Sunshine, Showering Rain and You're Not The Only One are contemporary with the Maui tracks and will be familiar to most fans already. Raga Bill and Oceans Of Intelligence are the closest in feel to the others and may also originate from around 1974/76 timeframe but are Merrell solo songs.

Red House was recorded live in 1991 and includes Nicky Hopkins on piano while All Along The Watchtower (credited to J. Hendrix - I wonder what Dylan thinks of that?) was recorded in 2002 along with Merrell's new partner Yoriko.
1. The Land of Mu - 1:53
2. Make a Joyful Noise (Jeff Cotton) - 2:44
3. Haleakala (Jeff Cotton) - 2:29
4. Blue Jay Blue - 3:20
5. Who Will Write this Song - 3:25
6. Too Naked for Demetirus - 2:31
7. One More Day - 2:31
8. On Our Way to Hana - 2:15
9. You've Been Here Before - 2:58
10.Waiting For the Sun - 2:41
11.In Mu - 3:04
12.You and I - 2:49
13.Drink From the Fountain - 4:43
14.End of an Era - 3:10
15.Mu Interview With Lew Irwin - 2:41
16.Daybreak Sunshine - 3:46
17.Showering Rain - 3:39
18.You're Not the Only One - 3:00
19.Raga Bill - 3:38
20.Oceans of Intelligence - 3:43
21.All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan) - 5:04
22.Red House (Jimi Hendrix) - 6:25
All songs by Merrell Fankhauser exceot where noted

*Merrell Fankhauser - Guitar, Vocals, Bass
*Jeff Cotton - Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Clarinet
*Jeff Parker - Bass
*Randy Wimer - Drums, Vocals
*Mary Lee - Violin
*Yoriko Hongo - Bass (Track #21)
*Art Dougall - Drums (Track #21)
*Nicky Hopkins - Piano (Track #22)
*Frank Parades - Bass (Track #22)
*Tim Fankhauser - Vocals, Guitar (Track #22)

1971-72/74  MU - The Band From The Lost Continent  
Related Acts
1964-67  Fapardokly - Fapardokly 
1968  Merrell Fankhauser HMS Bounty - Things 

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Happy And Artie Traum - Happy And Artie Traum (1969 us, excellent folk rock, 2010 korean remaster)

In 1967, Jane, Happy and their three children moved to Woodstock, NY, and Happy and his late brother, Artie Traum, formed a duet that, according to Rolling Stone, "defined the Northeast folk music style."Their performances at the 1968 and 1969 Newport Folk Festivals helped to gain them an avid following and a contract with famed manager Albert Grossman. This strong musical partnership lasted until Artie's untimely death in July, 2008.

In 1970 Happy and Artie recorded their first album for Capitol Records, "Happy and Artie Traum," which The New York Times called "One of the best records in any field of pop music." ‍They do a version of the Rick Danko / Robbie Robertson's song "Bessie Smith" (later released by The Band on The Basement Tapes) using the song title "Going Down to See Bessie" and changing the lyrics quite a bit here and there. Members of the Band have been present on some of the Traums' later work in the '80s and '90s. 
1. Rabbit's Luck (Artie Traum) - 3:27
2. Farmer's Almanac (Artie Traum) - 2:42
3. Going Down To See Bessie (Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson) - 3:28
4. Mama, It's Such A Long Ride Home (Happy Traum) - 3:03
5. Misty Dreams (Happy Traum) - 3:20
6. State Line (Artie Traum) - 2:19
7. Uncle Jedd Say (Billy Batson) - 4:23
8. The Hungry Dogs Of New Mexico (Artie Traum) - 4:19
9. Brave Wolf (Artie Traum) - 2:55
10.Trails Of Jonathan (Happy Traum, Artie Traum) - 3:29
11.Golden Bird (Happy Traum) - 2:54

*Happy Traum - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Artie Traum - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Ken Lauber - Piano
*Ferrell Morris - Percussion
*Tracy Nelson - Vocals
*Ken Buttrey - Drums
*Ken Buttrey - Bass
*Jerry Carrigan - Drums
*Buddy Spickard - Fiddle
*Bobby Thompson - Dobro Guitar
*Weldon Myrick - Steel Guitar
*Eric Kaz - Harmonica, Piano, Organ
*Wayne Butler - Saxophone

1971  Happy And Artie Traum - Double Back (2010 korean remaster) 

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Harvey Mandel - Righteous / Games Guitars Play (1969-70 us, beautiful after hours jazzy blues rock, 2005 remaster)

Many listeners’ first exposure to the unique, slithering guitar sound of Harvey Mandel came when the Rolling Stones’ “Hot Stuff” hit the airwaves in 1976. But Mandel’s story begins more than a decade earlier, when young white guitarists roamed Chicago’s blues clubs, learning to play at the feet of legends like Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Magic Sam. The release of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1965, with its back-cover exhortation to “play it loud,” and the group’s East-West in 1966 showcased the incendiary playing of one of those nascent guitar heroes, Michael Bloomfield, whose raw performances on both records spoke to a new generation of players.

Harvey Mandel was also on the Chicago scene, cutting his teeth sitting in with blues legends. “Bloomfield was more on the South Side, and I hung more at the club Twist City, which is the West Side,” says Mandel. Born in 1945, he was a few years younger than the Butterfield Band guitarist, but by his late teens he was consistently jamming with the likes of Buddy Guy. “I wasn’t legally allowed in a lot of clubs because I wasn’t 21, but the owners didn’t mind,” he says. “They would sneak me in and out, making sure no one fed me liquor so they wouldn’t lose their licenses.” Shortly after becoming “legal,” Mandel made his recording debut on Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band, with a singing tone already hinting at the sustain that would help define his sound.

To many suburban blues guitarists, Stand Back was almost as influential as the Butterfield records, but because it was released in 1967, Mandel’s emerging style was overshadowed by Clapton’s work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the arrival of Jimi Hendrix. Still, Bill Graham deemed the Musselwhite band worthy to share a bill with Bloomfield’s Electric Flag and Eric Clapton’s new group Cream at his San Francisco-based Fillmore West. “I ended up staying in San Francisco, because after that show the group disbanded and everyone went their own way.

There, the guitarist met Abe “Voco” Kesh (Keshishian), a radio DJ and producer for the Mercury/Philips labels. A fan of the Musselwhite band, Kesh had just produced a No. 1 record for Blue Cheer. This let him get Mandel a solo deal with Phillips without so much as an audition. His first solo record, Cristo Redentor, in 1968, contained many of the markers Mandel would revisit over more than a dozen records and almost five decades: funky grooves with strings and horns filling out the sound, along with psychedelic production techniques like guitars panning across the stereo spectrum and flipping the tape over to achieve backwards guitar effects. Even without recording tricks, Mandel’s distinctive licks seemed at times to be going backwards, creating the serpentine sound that earned him his nickname, “Snake.”

The next year saw the release of Righteous, cementing the eclecticism that would mark all of Mandel’s music, ranging from the clean tones on Cannonball Adderley’s “Jive Samba” and the funky “Poontang” to more distorted effects on the swampy “Love of Life” and the slow blues “Just a Hair More.”
by Michael Ross

‘Righteous’ has more intriguing strings-and-guitar pieces like the torrid and nimble ‘Jive Samba’ and ‘Summer Sequence’. The third disc ‘Games Guitar Play’ broadens the scope yet again, with side one featuring Russell Dashiel a rather good singer and Mandel bringing the blues quotient up with ‘Leavin’ Trunk’ and ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’, then on the reverse side more instrumentals including the pop-country title tune, a hit for Joe South and here played straight with a few dashes of slide guitar. A stealthy tread through ‘Capurange’ works well, as does a gorgeous reading of Horace Silver’s theme ‘Senor Blues’, at once biting but spring-heeled. This cat really IS a genius!
by Pete Sargeant
1. Righteous (Harvey Mandel) - 3:46
2. Jive Samba (Nat Adderley) - 4:22
3. Love of Life (Bob Jones, Harvey Mandel) - 7:36
4. Poontang (Bob Jones) - 4:04
5. Just a Hair More (Harvey Mandel) - 4:53
6. Summer Sequence (Ralph Burns) - 3:27
7. Short's Stuff (Shorty Rogers) - 6:09
8. Boo-Bee-Doo (Duane Hitchings) - 3:21
9. Campus Blues (Harvey Mandel) - 4:03
10.Leavin' Trunk (Sleepy John Estes) - 6:35
11.Honky Tonk (Bill Doggett, Billy Butler, Clifford Scott, Shep Shepherd) - 3:38
12.I Don't Need No Doctor (Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson) - 3:52
13.Dry Your Eyes (Russell Dashiel) - 3:09
14.Ridin' High (Russell Dashiel, Harvey Mandel) - 2:51
15.Capurange (Russell Dashiel) - 6:48
16.Senor Blues (Horace Silver) - 5:37
17.Games People Play (Joe South) - 4:55
Track 1-9 from LP "Righteous" 1969
Tracks 10-17 from LP "Games Guitars Play" 1970

*Harvey Mandel - Lead Guitar
*Eddie Hoh - Drums, Percussion
*Art Stavro - Bass (Tracks 1-9)
*Shorty Roberts - Trumpet (Tracks 1-9) 
*John Audino -Trumpet (Tracks 1-9)
*Michael Barone - Trombone (Tracks 1-9)
*Baddy Childers - Trumpet (Tracks 1-9)
*Gene Cipriano - Saxophone (Tracks 1-9)
*Victor Feldman - Percussion (Tracks 1-9)
*Stan Fishelson - Trumpet (Tracks 1-9)
*Plas Johnson - Saxophone (Tracks 1-9)
*Pete Jolly - Keyboards (Tracks 1-9)
*Bob Jones - Guitar (Tracks 1-9)
*Dick Leith - Trombone (Tracks 1-9)
*Lew McCreary - Trombone (Tracks 1-9)
*Ollie Mitchell - Trumpet (Tracks 1-9)
*Peter Myers - Trombone (Tracks 1-9)
*Jack Nimitz - Saxophone (Tracks 1-9)
*Earl Palmer - Drums (Tracks 1-9)
*Bill Perkins - Saxophone (Tracks 1-9)
*Howard Roberts - Guitar (Tracks 1-9)
*Ernie Watts - Saxophone (Tracks 1-9)
*Bob West - Bass (Tracks 1-9)
*Duane Hitchings - Organ (Tracks 1-9) 
*Larry Taylor - Bass (Tracks 10-17)
*Russell Dashiel - Guitar, Vocals, Organ, Piano (Tracks 10-17)

1968  Harvey Mandel - Cristo Redentor (2003 remaster and expanded)
1971  Harvey Mandel - Baby Batter (2016 remaster)
1972  Harvey Mandel - The Snake (2016 remaster)
Related Acts
1965-66  The Barry Goldberg Blues Band - Blowing My Mind ..Plus (2003 remaster and expanded)
1967  Charley Musselwhite - Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band
1968  The Barry Goldberg Reunion - There's No Hole In My Soul
1969  Barry Goldberg - Two Jews Blues (vinyl edition) 
1967-73  Canned Heat - The Very Best Of (2005 issue with previous unreleased track)
1970  Canned Heat - Future Blues (remastered and expanded) 
1971-72  Canned Heat - Historical Figures And Ancient Heads (extra track remaster issue)
1974  Love - Reel To Reel (2015 deluxe edition)

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