Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jo Ann Kelly - Jo-Ann Kelly (1969 uk, spectacular delta blues rock)



The rock era saw a few white female singers, like Janis Joplin, show they could sing the blues. But one who could outshine them all -- Jo Ann Kelly -- seemed to slip through the cracks, mostly because she favored the acoustic, Delta style rather than rocking out with a heavy band behind her. But with a huge voice, and a strong guitar style influenced by Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, she was the queen. 

Born January 5, 1944, Kelly and her older brother Dave were both taken by the blues, and born at the right time to take advantage of a young British blues scene in the early '60s. By 1964 she was playing in clubs, including the Star in Croydon, and had made her first limited-edition record with future Groundhogs guitarist Tony McPhee. She expanded to play folk and blues clubs all over Britain, generally solo, but occasionally with other artists, bringing together artists like Bessie Smith and Sister Rosetta Tharpe into her own music. 

After the first National Blues Federation Convention in 1968 her career seemed ready to take flight. She began playing the more lucrative college circuit, followed by her well-received debut album in 1969. At the second National Blues Convention, she jammed with Canned Heat, who invited her to join them on a permanent basis. She declined, not wanting to be a part of a band -- and made the same decision when Johnny Winter offered to help her. 

Throughout the '70s, Kelly continued to work and record solo, while also gigging for fun in bands run by friends, outfits like Tramp and Chilli Willi -- essentially pub rock, as the scene was called, and in 1979 she helped found the Blues Band, along with brother Dave, and original Fleetwood Mac bassist Bob Brunning. The band backed her on an ambitious show she staged during the early '80s, Ladies and the Blues, in which she paid tribute to her female heros. In 1988, Kelly began to suffer pain. 

A brain tumor was diagnosed and removed, and she seemed to have recovered, even touring again in 1990 with her brother before collapsing and dying on October 21. Posthumously, she's become a revered blues figure, one who helped clear the path for artists like Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block. But more than a figurehead, her recorded material -- and unreleased sides have appeared often since her death -- show that Kelly truly was a remarkable blueswoman. 
by Chris Nickson
Tracks
1. Louisiana Blues (McKinley Morganfield) - 3:32
2. Fingerprints Blues (Joe McCoy) - 3:27
3. Driftin' and Driftin' (Oscar Brown, Jr.  Warren "Pete" Moore) - 2:40
4. Look Here Partner (Jo Ann Kelly) - 2:36
5. Moon Going Down (Charley Patton) - 4:04
6. Yellow Bee Blues (Joe McCoy) - 3:48
7. Whiskey Head Woman (Tommy McClennan) - 1:52
8. Sit Down on My Knee (Jo Ann Kelly) - 2:43
9. Man I'm Lovin' (Hooker, Josea) - 2:44
10.Jinx Blues (Son House) - 2:31
11.Come on in My Kitchen (Robert Johnson) - 2:49

*Jo Ann Kelly - Guitar, Vocals

Related acts
1969  Tramp

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band - Apple Pie (1969 us, fine psych blues rock, 2nd album)



New York-by-way-of-Boston group the Apple Pie Motherhood Band were among the earlier psychedelic/heavy rock acts signed by Atlantic Records. Their self-titled late-'60s debut LP (also reissued on CD by Collectors' Choice Music) mixed hard rock jamming and shorter, more pop-folk-rock-influenced songs to, as keyboardist Jef Labes puts it, produce a sound "like the energy of an East Coast version of what was up in San Francisco at that time." Those qualities were also found in their second and final album, Apple Pie, though with a pronounced tilt toward a heavier hard rock/R&B direction. In part that was due to a changeover in personnel that saw one member of the lineup from the first LP leave, and three new musicians join the group.

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band had already gone through a couple of personnel changes by the time their first album was finished. Original lead singer Anne Tanzey, who sang lead on their first 45, departed before the LP, and replacement Marilyn Lundquist only lasted a little while, the guys in the band ultimately handling the album's lead vocals themselves. Before Apple Pie, rhythm guitarist Joe Castagno left, as he "basically wasn't very well suited to the road," lead guitarist Ted Demos explains. "He didn't like it a bit. He just decided that he wasn't cut out for that kind of lifestyle at all." Fortifying the lineup would be new singer Bruce Paine, along with guitarist Michael Sorafine and harmonica player Adam Myers. Producing was Tom Dowd, engineer on countless Atlantic Records sessions dating back to its origins as an R&B/blues label, and recently starting to assume more duties in the production chair.

"I came in when they had heard about me playing  in the basket houses in Greenwich Village, and they were looking for a singer," says Paine today. "They came down to the Cafe Wha? one night and saw me, and we met later. They basically said, 'Hey, you want to sing rock and roll?' I had been playing folk music up to that point, and it sounded like a good idea to me. I had just finished going round and round with RCA Records. Initially I had signed with RCA for a solo album, and the producer I was working with went independent. They wouldn't let me use him as an independent; they were giving me some old guy that was orchestrating stuff. So I was like, 'Okay, I want out of here.' They came at the right time with the right offer, and it was an instant love affair. Michael was pretty much doing the same thing I was doing, playing music around the Village. We had a whole crew of people that just hung out, and the band was kind of like, 'Come on along, why don't you join the band for a while? We're going on tour.' Michael had some really strong songs he had been writing, and they just said, 'Hey look, c'mon in. Let's make it two lead singers up front, and we like your material.'"

Adds Bruce, "Now Adam was a trip. We met Adam in Chicago when we were playing a place called Rush. Ted grabbed me one night after the show and says, 'Hey man, you gotta come meet this guy. There's this harp player I met the other night in a dryer.' I said, 'What do you mean, in a dryer?' He said, 'Yeah, he was tumble-drying himself and playing the harp.' And I said, 'Okay, I gotta check this out.' So there's some old railroad tracks back up behind Rush Street [where] we went looking for him. For some reason, Ted knew where to find him. And I heard this wailing harp coming down the tracks, just couldn't believe how good it was. So there's Adam. Adam I think took too much acid. He was out there from day one, from the moment I met him. We'd slap him on the back, 'play Adam,' slap him on the back, 'stop Adam,' and that was his participation. He did one tour with us and hung out in Vermont while we put together the second album, and of course he's all over it."

Though Jef Labes had written more of the band's original material than anyone else on the first album, he penned just one track on Apple Pie, "Super Music Man." Sorafine wrote two songs, "Orangutang" and "Grandmother Hooker," and co-wrote another, "He Turned You On," with a friend from outside the band, Don Henny. Other than Demos's "Gypsy," the rest of the record was devoted to R&B covers, including Willie Dixon's classic "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (originally popularized by Muddy Waters), Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," and the Temptations' "Get Ready." As Labes observes, "By the time we added vocal power with our new personnel, they brought with them lots of tunes, especially Michael, who years later and at the time, was a well-liked collaborator of mine. Consequently my contribution was much less on the second album, which was a strange series of sessions, and undoubtedly a misuse of the talents of Tom Dowd, the legend."

"He was tearing his hair out," says Paine about Dowd. "We were a bunch of acid freaks loaded to the gills trying to lay down tracks, and Tom was in the booth trying to make sense of it. I think at the same time, he was producing Aretha [Franklin] and Cream, and of course Cream was their own bundle of fun and games too. So by the time he got to us at nighttime, he was pretty stressed. It was amazing that the album got done. We were even more amazed that it got released. And when they released it, I think Tom left the mixing to one of his assistants, 'cause the mix wasn't anything close to what we had hoped or thought it would be."

"I wasn't really happy with the mix," concurs Demos. "But there were some things on it that reflected what I wanted to do at the time. I liked 'Gypsy' a lot, even though it never came together the way I wanted it to, for one reason or another. I brought in the violin player, who I'd been introduced to by this crazy friend of mine, who was a player from the New York Philharmonic. That was my sort of rude awakening that classical musicians don't necessarily improvise all that well. The results were kind of sketchy, but I liked that tune a lot; I was pretty happy with that."

Remarks Paine, "I liked 'Get Ready' a lot. The one thing I'm totally displeased about is we recorded 'Hello Stranger,' the old Barbara Lewis number [a #3 hit in 1963]. I heard it once on the radio. Never got a copy of it, never heard it since. They've lost it in the archives, and it was probably one of the best vocals I did in those days. I never got to hear the damn thing past one short clip on the radio."

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band, however, would not be together for long after Apple Pie came out, in part because of problems surrounding its release. "By the time this album was ready for release, [manager Marvin] Lagunoff had gone to war with us for moving to Vermont, settling on a farm, and booking our own dates at local colleges," says Labes. "Therefore, under his direction, the company held back shipment of the second Apple Pie album." In addition, Jef reveals, "Meanwhile, Ahmed Ertegun at Atlantic had the idea to do an album with a trio of amazing rock guitarists.  He chose for this project Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, and Ted Demos. Unfortunately for Ted, this idea got lost along the way."

Paine thinks the band must have broken up by the summer of 1969, considering his memory of the following incident: "I was walking down Bleecker Street [in Greenwich Village], and I saw a Volkswagen van with California plates on it. I walked up to the guy and asked him when he was heading to California. He said, 'Well, I'm going to San Francisco in an hour.' And I said, 'Wait a minute, I gotta go back to my hotel. Can I ride with you?' I think by June, I was in the San Francisco production of Hair."

Demos and Paine are still playing music together today, and even living in the same neighborhood, Paine working on a book titled Rock'n'roll Chronicles, aka Almost Conscious. Drummer Jack Bruno has toured and recorded extensively with Tina Turner and Joe Cocker, and Labes went on to play on several albums by Van Morrison in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as some of Bonnie Raitt's 1970s LPs. As for the Apple Pie Motherhood Band's legacy, Labes summarizes it this way: "We did in many ways embody the spirit and feeling of the movement for change of that period of drug enhancement, sexual freedom, and the politics of peace."  
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Orangutang (Michael Sorafine) - 7:30
2. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Willie Dixon) - 4:05
3. Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry) - 3:14
4. Grandmother Hooker (Michael Sorafine) - 3:02
5. Get Ready (William Robinson) - 4:24
6. Super Music Man (Jeff Labes) - 4:15
7. Gypsy (Ted Demos) - 3:22
8. He Turned You On (Michael Sorafine,  Don Henny) - 4:16

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band
*Dick Barnaby - Bass
*Jack Bruno - Drums
*Ted Demos - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Jeff Labes - Keyboards
*Adam Myers - Harmonica, Backing Vocals
*Bruce Paine - Vocals
*Michael Sorafine - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

1968  The Apple Pie Motherhood Band

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Uncle Dog - Old Hat (1972 uk, blues rock with jazzy feeling, 2005 japan remaster)



Old Hat,album(Signpost Records – SG 4253) by Uncle Dog was released again Dec 18, 2005 on the Air Mail Music label. Prior to its reissue on CD by an imprint of the estimable U.K. progressive rock label Voiceprint, Uncle Dog's 1972 album, Old Hat, commanded a fair amount among collectors of '70s rock, due to the presence of Free's lead guitarist, Paul Kossoff, alongside Malcolm Duncan and Roger Ball, who would shortly become the Average White Band's horn section. 

Old Hat music CDs The problem is that although lead singer Carol Grimes has a fine bluesy voice -- she actually sounds a lot like a British version of the Joy of Cooking's Terry Garthwaite, no bad thing -- keyboardist Dave Skinner isn't much of a songwriter, and all of the tunes are basically amiable jams on tired old blues progressions. Old Hat songs One song is even called "Boogie With Me," for goodness sakes! (To be fair, Skinner does lay into some good organ lines on that song, its saving grace. Old Hat album ) This album isn't actually bad, but the album title is distressingly accurate. For die-hard fans of the boogie only, and maybe Smiths completists who want to know what producer John Porter (rhythm guitar and bass) was doing a decade or so before "Hand in Glove."

The times, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and "Mystery Train" (Junior Parker and Dylan) are crisp and invigorating. The first is characterized by a combination of country / New Orleans - slide guitar, honky-tonk piano, pampilleux shares of saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and the second by his exuberance, vitality, cohesion, prancing and playing feisty musicians his pace to cut stroke charleston, piano hutin boultinant and finally the vehement lined Carol victorious bestial confusing! 

The compositions are excellent, especially "River Road", beginning this duo album, a boogie woogie CCR, with beautiful of acoustic guitar, sax most smoking, and always this brazen piano, growling titillating Carol, hitting drummer stubborn and concise; "Old hat" also driven by the piano, towed by David, seconded by Carol with passion, one of those ballads that heckle you and invade the heart of a fierce and itching desire for space and freedom, and finally "We got time," which presents the full range of the genre with an organ and an emphatic sax, a guitar solo barbaric and twisted lyrics celebrating love - this wondrous love, limestone and myrophore! There, Carol does not sing, she opens roared, bubbling, expels his words with a force portentueuse grabs you and you empeint to sacred pleasures. 

It is the flagship of the cake, the other titles are warm in comparison, note all the same "Movie Time" gambillant, smelling the 30s, and "Boogie with me," a lonely spruce lament that nor gin, nor TV, nor his "collect" the console discs: two songs accompanies John "Rabbit" Bundrick on piano - yes! yes! the same one who became famous this year with Free and later know fame with The Who.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. River Road - 3:06
2. Movie Time - 2:36
3. Old Hat - 3:44
4. Boogie With Me - 2:51
5. We've Got Time - 5:35
6. Smoke (D. Skinner, J. Porter, J. Pearson, P. Crooks, C. Grimes) - 4:46
7. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - 3:44
8. Mystery Train (J. Parker, S. Phillips) - 4:32
9. Lose Me - 4:59
All tracks written by David Skinner unless as else stated

Uncle Dog
*Carol Grimes - Vocals, Percussion
*David Skinner - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Percussion
*Terry Stannard - Drums
*John Porter - Bass
*Phillip Crooks - Guitar
Additional Musicians
*John Pearson - Drums (tracks: 3, 5 to 7, 9)
*Sammy Mitchell - Side, Dobro Guitar
*John Rabbit Bundrick - Piano
*Paul Kossoff - Guitar

Related Acts
1970  Delivery - Fools Meeting

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Writing On The Wall - The Power Of The Picts (1969 uk, heavy psych with prog traces, Repertoire 2000 digi pack edition)



Writing on the Wall, from Edinburgh, Scotland is the epitome of an underground rock band. Their one and only album was entitled The Power of the Picts, released in 1969 on a label called Middle Earth (the band also happened to perform at the Middle Earth Club as well). 

The label only had something like five albums released between 1969 and 1970 before disappearing. The band consisted of vocalist Linnie Paterson, guitarist Willy Finlayson, bassist Jake Scott, drummer Jimmy Hush, and keyboardist Bill Scott. Anyway, since this album came out in 1969, it should come as no surprise that Writing on the Wall sounds like how many other prog rock bands sound like at the time: not having yet abandoning their roots, in this case, hard rock, blues, and psychedelia. You can tell these influences right away from songs like "It Came On Sunday" or the ever heavy "Ladybird". 

The real gems on this include "Mrs. Cooper's Pie", "Aries", and "Bogeyman". "Mrs. Cooper's Pie" is amazing, because with a title like that you might think it should sound some shitty song your mother sung to you in bed as a kid, but that's hardly the case at all! Basically, this is simply a wonderful, ingenious psych and prog number, with great Hammond organ work. "Aries" is the epic on this album, at over eight minutes, it really lets the band stretch out. 

You'll hear some spoken dialog with a uniquely Scottish accent, some unbelievably heavy guitar riffs, and parts of it sounding like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Plus there's a way cool jazzy solo as well. "Bogeyman" is a rather short number, and it starts off the most stupid way: a polka version of the famous Scottish song played on concertina (a song that everyone associates with bagpipes), but it's only 30 seconds, and the real song come in, and it's a totally amazing heavy bluesy piece that's the total epitome of underground. "Shadow of Man" starts off borrowing from Holst's The Planets, then it kicks in with Hammond organ and spoken dialog not unlike "Aries". "Ladybird" is another song, like "Bogeyman" that shows the band at its heavier side. 

Most of the rest don't stick out for me, a couple songs seem to drag on too long (particulary the last song, "Virginia Water"), but none of them are bad. "Hill of Dreams" is a rather mellow number, and also least bluesy, so it ends up sounding like many countless early '70s British prog rock bands. The CD reissue also contains two bonus cuts, "Child on a Crossing" and "Lucifer's Corpus", both were originally released as a single in 1969 on the same label The Power of the Picts was released on (Middle Earth). 

Unsurprisingly, these two songs are in the very same vein and could easily fit on the album. Oddly, the band won't be heard from again until 1973, when they released a single called "Man of Renown" and "Buffalo", but no followup LP materialized. After that the band broke up, with Linnie Paterson joining Beggars Opera for their 1973 album Get Your Dog Off Me (Beggars Opera being a prog rock band also from Scotland, although you should apparently only worry about their first three albums, 1970's Act One, 1971's Waters of Change, and 1972's Pathfinder). 

Willy Finlayson was later a member of the final verson of Bees Make Honey, and made a guest on Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Chance (1980) and was a member of Meal Ticket. The rest of Writing on the Wall, unsurprisingly, hadn't been heard since that band broke up. The Power of the Picts is recommended if you like the bluesy and heavy end of the early prog rock spectrum, although it falls short of being the long lost gem I hoped it was, it's still worth having. 
by Ben Miler
Tracks
1. Bogeyman (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:45
2. Shadow Of A Man (B. Scott, J. Scott) - 5:57
3. Tasker's Successor (W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:42
4. Hill Of Dreams (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:08
5. Virginia Waters (Page, K. Bernand) - 5:56
6.  It Came On A Sunday (Robert Smith) - 4:18
7.  Mrs Coopers Pie (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:21
8.  Ladybird (J. Hush, B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott, L. Patterson) - 3:46
9. Aries (Unknown) - 8:06
10.Child On A Crossing (Robert Smith) - 3:30
11.Lucier Corpus (D. Cameron) - 5:43

Writing On The Wall
*Willy Finlayson - Guitar, Vocals
*Alby Greenhalg - Wind Instruments
*Jimmy Hush - Drums
*Billy T. Scott - Keyboards
*Jake Scott - Bass, Vocals
*Linnie Patterson - Vocals

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blackburn And Snow - Something Good For Your Head (1966-67 us, deftly combined folk, rock, country, and light psychedelic influences into a melodic blend, Big Beat remaster)



They hung with the Byrds, roomed with the Airplane and were as contemporary in sound and style as either of those groups when they got together in 1965, but the boy-girl folk-rock team of Blackburn & Snow has never had the kudos nor exposure they have so richly warranted until now. This, the second Nugget From The Golden State to be drawn from the legendary mid-1960s vaults of Frank Werber's Trident Productions puts the spotlight on the couple's marvelous unreleased recordings for the company.

Sherry Snow later went on to become one of Dan Hicks' Hot Licks, whilst Jeff Blackburn performed with Neil Young in the Ducks in the late 1970s, but in 1965 they were on the cutting edge of the San Francisco scene and remarkably innovative in both songwriting and harmony, concocting a poignant brew of country, folk-rock and esoteric pop. Something Good For Your Head was to be the title of their Trident album, and, had the record come out as planned in 1967, it would have surely made its mark.<

With Blackburn's strong material and Snow's clear, powerful voice, this release has the heady air of music history in the making. Songs like Yes Today, Takin' It Easy and Sure Or Sorry are surely amongst some of the most sensitive - and stunning - performances to come out of the entire West Coast mid-1960s milieu, but you are hearing them here for the first time. Politics and personality clashes meant the record was shelved, and Jeff and Sherry had parted, both professionally and romantically by the end of 1967.

The 20 tracks of Something Good For Your Head include both sides of the rare Verve singles Time and Stranger In A Strange Land, the latter inspired by Robert Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel and penned according to legend by Snow's one-time paramour David Crosby. Also included is their unissued sessions for Trident-.-everything from stark yet compelling demos like Some Days I Feel Your Lovin' to the rocking It's So Hard and a great uptempo version of Ray Charles' Unchain Your Heart.

Accompanying the duo on most selections are crack studio outfit the Candy Store Prophets, featuring Jerry McGee on guitar, later of the Ventures and one of the most respected country-style studio pickers of the era (lead guitar on the Monkees' Last Train To Clarksville for instance). The Prophets' performances alone lift the material into another dimension. Members of Country Joe & The Fish and the Grass Roots formed part of Blackburn & Snow's road band and they were also involved in the sessions.

Blackburn & Snow's Trident recordings have been legend amongst West Coast 1960s aficionados for many years, and this release, packed as usual with photos, memorabilia and an in-depth sleeve note makes a case for Something Good For Your Head as the great lost San Francisco 1960s rock album. You won't be disappointed.
by Alec Palao
Tracks
1. Stranger in a Strange Land (Samuel F. Omar) - 2:27
2. Yes Today - 3:24
3. Takin' It Easy - 3:23
4. Time - 2:56
5. It's So Hard (Jeff Blackburn, Randy Sterling) - 3:07
6. Do You Realize - 3:35
7. Sure or Sorry - 2:27
8. Unchain My Heart (Freddy James, Agnes Jones, Teddy Powell, Bobby Sharp) - 1:48
9. Uptown Downtown - 2:12
10.Some Days I Feel Your Lovin' - 3:09
11.Post-War Baby - 1:49
12.Think - 2:17
13.No Kidding - 1:57
14.I Recall the Day - 2:50
15.Everybody Brings Better Things - 3:18
16.Stand Here - 2:40
17.I Don't Want You Back Babe - 1:31
18.Stop Leanin' on Me - 2:15
19.Post-War Baby - 1:45
20.Pass This Way - 3:12
All songs by Jeff Blackburn except where noted.

Musicians
*Jeff Blackburn - Guitar,  Vocals
*Sherry Snow - Percussion, Vocals
*John Chambers - Drums
*Bill Fulton - Guitar
*Bob Jones - Guitar
*Bill Lewis - Drums
*Jerry McGee - Guitar
*Randy Steirling - Bass
*Tom Sullivan - Bass
*Steve Talbot - Bass
*Larry Taylor - Bass

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

United Empire Loyalists - Notes From The Underground (1968-69/90 canada, cool stoned psychedelic rock)



The United Empire Loyalists were a Vancouver B.C. band that originally consisted of Rick Enns (lead vocals, bass), Anton "Tom" Kolstee (lead guitar), Jeff Ridley (rhythm guitar), and Richard Cruickshank, later replaced by Glen Hendrickson (drums). In 1968 the band recorded the lone single "No, No, No," which was pressed in only 200 copies but sold well enough to attract a fan base and the attention of a local concert promoter who booked the band to open for the Grateful Dead. 

In 1968, since the UEL's were part of the Vancouver underground music scene, the release of a single was perceived as a commercial ploy by the band. Thus, they abandoned their commercialization and focused on songs consisting of long jams and experimental sounds. With a limited fan base of only a few hundred of Vancouver teens, the band started to make waves around the West Coast music scene. 

With some music pointers gleaned from their experience with the Dead, they managed to attract interest from Canada's National Television station the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). In 1968, as part of the Enterprise television series, the CBC filmed an hour-long studio performance of the band. This brought even more of a cult mystique to UEL and in1990, the band was reformed to again perform for the CBC in a documentary about the Vancouver '60s music scene. 

During the late '60s and early '70s the band went on tour throughout British Columbia, opening for such acts as Cream, the Yardbirds, Steve Miller Band, Country Joe & the Fish, Canned Heat, and many more bands both local and international. They became one of B.C.'s hottest groups, yet they never released another single or received radio air play. Notes From the Underground is the first compilation entirely devoted to the music of the United Empire Loyalists. 

The CD contains 13 songs taken from a variety of sources including some "live" club recordings from 1968, unreleased studio recordings from 1970, and songs that were originally featured on both CBC Television programs from 1968 and 1990. While the sound quality on some tracks, especially those recorded privately in 1968, is not great, these are some of the only recordings that still exist of this band. Noticeably missing from this set -- without explanation -- is the band's "commercial" single "No, No, No." Nonetheless, all but two on this set are originals written by the band members. 

With liner notes by Anton Kolstee that detail the history of the band, this CD is a fitting tribute to one of Vancouver's best kept secrets that is, for the first time, finally available for all to hear. 
by Keith Pettipas
Tracks
1. Otis (Enns, Kolstee, Cruickshank, Ridley) - 3:35
2. Hangin' Around (Enns) - 3:14
3. I Know You Rider  (1990 live) (Traditional) - 4:36
4. Lookin' And Searchin' (Enns) - 4:49
5. Lookin' And Searchin' (Enns, Kolstee, Cruickshank, Ridley) - 3:33
6. Wait A Minute Jim (Enns) - 5:13
7. It's Alright (Enns) - 3:01
8. Tired Eyes  (1990 live) (Enns, Kolstee) - 4:06
9. Buffalo Wiliie (Enns, Kolstee, Cruickshank, Ridley) - 5:52
10.My Chances For Living (Enns) - 2:30
11.Columbus (Enns, Kolstee, Cruickshank, Ridley) - 8:44
12.You Don't Love Me  (1990 live) (W. Cobb) - 4:06
13.Otis Redding Jam  (1990 live) (Enns, Kolstee, Hendrickson, Ridley) - 2:54

United Empire Loyalists
*Rick Enns - Lead Vocal, Bass
*Anton Kolstee - Lead Guitar, Background Vocals
*Jeff Ridley - Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
*Richard Cruickshank - Drums
*Glen Hendrickson - Drums

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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band - The Apple Pie Motherhood Band (1968 us, groovy bosstown psychedelia with baroque touches, produced by Felix Papalardi)



The Apple Pie Motherhood Band were a Boston-based aggregate combining a formative heavy blues base with equally earthy elements of psychedelia. With Atlantic Records staff producer Felix Pappalardi behind the console, the results were a reflection of the ever-changing pop/rock soundscape. 

Although the band' s lineup would remain in a constant state of flux, the ensemble credited here includes Dick Barnaby (bass), Jack Bruno (drums), Joe Castagno (guitar), Ted Demos (guitar), and Jeff Labes (organ/piano). Although Anne Tanzey, their original "chick" (a la Janis Joplin) singer had already split by the time they were recording this -- their self-titled debut album -- Marilyn Lundquist (vocal) was temporarily filling the vocalist's void. 

Her dulcet tones grace several songs -- particularly notable is the Baroque-flavored update of David Blue's "I'd Like to Know" and the trippy "Ice," which Lundquist co-wrote alongside Demos. The thoroughly explored reading of Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" is an obvious homage to British supergroup trio Cream who had previously reworked it into a blues-fused jam. Listeners can even catch Barnaby's note-for-note recitation of Jack Bruce's foreboding bassline during the waning moments of the fade. Labes' "Yesterday's New Song" is a minor-chord masterwork. 

The gentle and understated melody perfectly supports some of the Apple Pie Motherhood Band's best vocal harmonies -- recalling the Association or Spanky & Our Gang at their affective best. Barnaby contributes the catchy and concise "Barnaby's Madness," and while the psych-meets-punk vibe is an earmark of the unit's Bosstown Sound roots, to a certain degree, the best of the band can be heard on the seven-plus minute slice of psych medley that links the group-penned instrumental "The Ultimate" to a blue-eyed soulful interpretation of Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon's "Contact." 

The number was a return to the Apple Pie Motherhood Band's prototype C.C. & the Chasers -- whose single "Put the Clock Back on the Wall" b/w "Two & Twenty" were both from the Bonner/Gordon songbook. Labes' quirky "The Way It Feels" may well have been inspired by Sopwith Camel's vintage sounding "Hello, Hello," while his upbeat "Apple Pie" is layered in sweet, harmony-laden sunshine pop. 

Labes likewise penned the closer "Variations on a Fingernail" that propels forward with tricky rhythmic syncopation reminiscent of early Mothers of Invention melodies such as "Mother People" and "Oh No." The Apple Pie Motherhood Band would continue with a revolving door personnel for another year and release their swan song Apple Pie (1970) shortly before breaking up at the dawn of the following decade. 
by Lindsay Planer
Tracks
1. Born Under A Bad Sign (B. T. Jones, W. Bell) - 7:05
2. I'd Like To Know (D. Blue, A. Ranga) - 2:15
3. Ice (T. Demos, M. Lundquist) - 2:31
4. Yesterday's New Song (J. Labes) - 3:14
5. Barnaby's Madness (R. Barnaby) - 2:45
6. The Ultimate / Contact (D. Barnaby, J. Bruno, J. Castagno, Al Gordon, G. Bonner) - 7:10
7. The Way It Feels (J. Labes) - 2:27
8. Bread And Jam (D. Barnaby, J. Bruno, J. Castagno, T. Demos, J. Labes) - 3:14
9. Apple Pie (J. Labes) - 2:55
10.Variations On A Fingernail (J. Labes) - 3:15

The Apple Pie Motherhood Band
*Jeff Labes - Organ, Piano
*Ted Demos - Lead guitar
*Joe Castagno - Rhythm guitar
*Jackie Bruno - Drums
*Richard Barnaby - Bass

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Country Joe And The Fish - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die (1967 us, classic west coast protest acid folk psych)



The Fish's second album is quite similar to their first in its organ-heavy psychedelia with Eastern-influenced melodic lines, but markedly inferior to the debut, and much more of a period piece. There's more spaciness and less comic energy here, and while the bandmembers were undoubtedly serious in their explorations, some of these songs are simply silly in their cosmic naivete. 

To be crueler, there is no other album that exemplifies so strongly the kind of San Francisco psychedelia that Frank Zappa skewered on his classic We're Only in It for the Money. The weeping, minor-key melodies, liquid guitar lines, and earnestly self-absorbed quests to explore the inner psyche -- it's almost as if they put themselves up as a dartboard for the Mothers to savage.

For all that, the best songs are good; "Who Am I" and "Thursday" are touching psychedelic ballads. But more notably, the title cut -- whose brash energy is atypical of the album -- was a classic antiwar satire that became one of the decade's most famous protest songs, and the group's most famous track. 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. The Fish Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag (McDonald) - 3:44
2. Who Am I (McDonald) - 4:05
3. Pat's Song (McDonald) - 5:26
4. Rock Coast Blues (McDonald) - 3:57
5. Magoo (McDonald) - 4:44
6. Janis (McDonald) - 2:36
7. Thought Dream (McDonald) - 6:39
8. Thursday (Cohen, Hirsh) - 3:20
9. Eastern Jam (Bartol, Cohen, Hirsh, Melton) - 4:27
10.Colors For Susan (McDonald) - 5:58

Country Joe And The Fish
*Country Joe McDonald - Vocals, Guitar, Bells, Tambourine
*Barry Melton - Vocals, Guitar
*David Cohen - Guitar, Organ
*Bruce Barthol - Bass, Harmonica
*Gary "Chicken" Hirsh - Drums

1967  Electric Music For The Mind And Body
1968  Together
1969  Live! Fillmore West
1969  Here We Are Again
1970  CJ Fish

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Country Joe And The Fish - Together (1968 us, classic west coast folk psych)



Recorded amidst growing personnel conflicts, 1968's "Together" came off as the band's first major misstep. Artistically disappointing, the big difference seemed to reflect the fact McDonald's creative presence was largely absent. Given he'd served as chief songwriter on the first two LPs, the impact was nothing less than profound. While competent songwriters, neither Melton nor Hirsch were capable of making up the creative shortfall. Sure, there were a couple of memorable numbers; the hysterical group-penned "Rock and Soul Music", the psych-influenced "Susan" and the blazing "The Streets of Your Town" (one of the toughest rockin' numbers they ever recorded), were all worth hearing.

This album doesn't have the stony vibes you can hear at the end of the first two. Well, really it's that it doesn't have the dizzying musical adjustments of "Colors For Susan" or "Section 43," there are pieces that are kind of like that, though they aren't as good. On Together, the band composes the pieces all together instead of having Country Joe do most of the work, so the vibe is uneven, punctuated by brainy moments here and there. "Rock And Soul Music" begins the album, it's the Fish take on James Brown, with lots of great guitar and a silly background with screaming girls. "Susan" is a delicate tune with meandering guitar, it loses something over the tunes of similar tempo in the first two albums because it's not as musically weird. "Mojo Navigator" is David Cohen's or Barry Melton's voice (I think) over mediocre rock, maybe it's their take on Jim Morrison or something.

"Bright Suburban Mr. & Mrs. Clean Machine" is the Fish jab at straight America. The "Good Guys/ Bad Guys Cheer" is hilarious, "The Streets Of Your Town" is Barry Melton's song against New York City, America's most over-rated hangout. I can totally relate, having had a similar experience in September of 1984. Hmmm. Nostalgia for bad experiences in the '80s, that's got to say something. "The Fish Moan" is unimportant, "The Harlem Song" is a parody of good old-fashioned White racism," Waltzing In The Moonlight" is some boring hippie nonsense done to the cha-cha-cha, "Away Bounce My Bubbles" is almost like Gregorian chanting but is considerably less interesting, "Cetacean" is Bruce Barthol's attempt to compose a tune as stony as the ones on first two albums, he almost pulls it off but it gets mixed in with imitation Hollies or bubblegum-rock or something along those lines. We finish up with a good hypnotic Vietnam protest, "An Untitled Protest," a tune reminiscent of Phil Ochs' "White Boots Marching In A Yellow Land" (off the Tape From California album) though Ochs' lyrics are of course better.

Country Joe and the Fish were an (initially) agit-prop band with a good sense of humor, an elevated consciousness, and a solid subcultural background. For those reasons, I really want to sing with them on every track. On albums such as Together, however, their mediocrity really shines through as their most prominent feature on about half of the tracks. Everything on the album is innocuous, but there's nothing big here, though this album is good and I'll keep it. If there's anything of any force to recommend this album, it's that it was made during the 1960s, a period of musical history that put the others to shame with its creative spunk, while the political world of that time brought down the curtains upon a then-raging Keynesian idealism while the Soviet world brought down creative Marxism with tanks in Prague.

If you want to hear better political music, listen to Phil Ochs; if you want hippie music, find some Jefferson Airplane or Hendrix or early Joni Mitchell, or maybe some late '60s Miles Davis, if you're not the type to search for Greatful Dead bootlegs. If you want to hear something really creative, listen to late-period John Coltrane or late-period Eric Dolphy. If you're finished with all of that, and you're still looking for something new, you may wish to explore albums such as Together.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Rock And Soul Music (McDonald, Melton, Cohen, Barthol, Hirsh) – 6:51
2. Susan (Hirsh) - 3:28
3. Mojo Navigator (Denson, Melton, McDonald) - 2:23
4. Bright Suburban Mr. And Mrs. Clean Machine (Hirsh, Melton) - 2:19
5. Good Guys / Bad Guys Cheer / The Streets Of Your Town (Melton) - 3:43
6. The Fish Moan - 0:27
7. The Harlem Song (McDonald) - 4:19
8. Waltzing In The Moonlight (Hirsh, Melton) - 2:13
9. Away Bounce My Bubbles (Hirsh) - 2:25
10.Cetacean (Barthol) - 3:38
11.An Untitled Protest (McDonald) - 2:45

Country Joe And The Fish
*Country Joe McDonald - Vocals, Rap, Lead Guitar
*Barry Melton - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
*David Cohen - Rhythm Guitar, Organ, Lead Guitar, Organ, Piano
*Bruce Barthol - Bass, Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Gary "Chicken" Hirsh - Drums, Vocals, Bells

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

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mashmakhan - Mashmakhan / The Family (1970-71 canada, amazing psych jazz rock with prog touches, Black Rose 2006 edition)



Named after a type of hashish, the origins of Mashmakhan began in 1960, when singer/keyboardist Pierre Senecal first hooked up with guitarist Rayburn Blake. After adding Jerrry Mercer (ex of D'Arcy) on drums they played the Montreal B circuit for the next five years under several names, including The Phantoms, The Dominoes and Ray Blake's Combo.

By '65 they'd settled on the name The Triangle and had landed the backup role to r&b singer Trevor Payne, a Barbados native who'd go on to moderate success as a gospel/soul singer. They continued doing the local circuit for the next four years when record producer Bob Hahn approached them about a possible deal after catching one of their live shows. Not interested, Payne declined the offer but Senecal, Blake and Mercer packed their bags and moved to Toronto, signing with Columbia Records in 1970. Needing a bass player, they called on Brian Edwards, who'd played with them for a short time in the early days to rejoin the band.

Senecal either wrote or co-wrote all 10 tracks on the self-titled debut, released that summer. Their first single would actually be their biggest. "As The Years Go By" was certified platinum in Canada (100,000 units) in record time. It also hit big in the States, where it sold 500,000 copies and cracked Billboard's Top 40 on both sides of the border. But their biggest impact was in Japan, where the single sold a million copies, prompting them to travel to the Land of The Rising Sun, where they were met with crowds largely unprecedented since the landing of The Beatles. They returned home to finish work on their debut record. Recorded at New York's Columbia B Studios, the self-titled effort was released that fall.

Produced by Billy Jackson, the album was moody, psychadelic and ground-breaking, full of innovative for the time woodwinds and harmonies. Their second single, "Gladwin" hit the stores before year's end. Again it was met with rave reviews in Canada and Japan, but failed to meet the label's expectations Stateside. "Days When We Are Free" became the third single, released in early '71, again cracking the Top 40 in Canada and Japan, but again faltering in the US. Tapping in on the tail end of the 'free love generation', it also contained the tracks "Nature's Love Song", "I Know I've Been Wrong", the tribal underbeats of "Letter from Zambia" and "Nature's Love Song", the b-side to "Gladwin".

While working on the next lp, the band was asked to contribute to the National Film Board of Canada documentary 'Epilogue/Fieve' directed by William Pettigrew, "Children Of The Sun". The song was made the first Lorne Nehring, Brian Greenway, Allan Nicholls, Pierre Senecalsingle from THE FAMILY, released shortly after in the summer of '71. Next up was "Start All Over". Rooted deep in the members' soulful rhythm & blues influences with a psychadelic twist, it also contained the title track, "Come Again", the dreamlike 10 minute epic "The Tree", and "The Prince" - inspired by Antoine De Saint-Exup╬╣ry's book 'Le Petit Prince'. Though it was a hit with the band's already 'cult following' and they were selling out the concerts, it wasn't being as well-received in the stores.

Following another extensive North American tour, the band took some time off to re-evaluate the whole situation. The members drifted off to other interests, including Mercer joining Roy Buchanan and then The Wackers before going on to serve as the backbeat for April Wine.

Senecal kept Mashmakhan going and by mid 1972 had added Brian Greenway and Steve Laing, who both would later also join April Wine and drummer Lorne Nehring. Shortly after Allan Nicholls, who wrote Johnny Winters' single "Let The Music Play" and starred on Broadway in 'Hair' the year before, left his West Coast gig with 'Jesus Christ Superstar' to round out the new lineup.

Landing a deal with Canada's Aquarius Records - April Wine's label, they released the song "Ride Johnny Ride" but was met with mixed reactions. They got back to their roots, doing the Montreal scene again with a variety of other local groups, including Riverson, a group coincidentally featuring Blake and Edwards. Blake would then go on to play in the Lisa Hartt Band, then a moderately successful solo career. The reformed Mash meanwhile carried on through the spring of '73, releasing another track "Dance A Little Step" as a single. But sales were below what were hoped and lacklustre interest from the radio stations caused the end of the band later that year.
by Dave Buerster, Brian Greenway and Paul Leask 
Tracks
1970 Mashmakhan 
1. Days When We Are Free - 6:11
2. I Know I've Been Wrong - 4:47
3. As The Years Go By - 3:03
4. Shades Of Loneliness - 4:46
5. Afraid Of Losing You - 4:07
6. Gladwin - 4:23
7. If I Tried - 4:33
8. Happy You Should Be - 3:47
9.Nature's Love Song - 3:49
10.Letter from Zambia - 6:11
1971 The Family 
11.Children Of The Sun - 3:29
12.The Family - 5:10
13.The Prince - 5:13
14.Come Again - 4:36
15.Children Laughing - 3:34
16.Couldn't Find the Sun - 2:41
17.Start All Over - 3:43

Mashmakhan
*Pierre Senecal - Vocals, Keyboards, Sax, Woodwinds
*Brian Edwards - Bass, Vocals
*Rayburn Blake - Guitar
*Jerry Mercer - Drums

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Peacepipe - Peacepipe (1968-73 us, heavy raw bikers psych garage rock, Shadoks 2002 remaster)



Jon Uzonyi told me tonight that he still has his old 50 watt Marshall heads. He was quick to add that he doesn't use them anymore 'cause they're just too loud. "But I just can't bring myself to sell 'em." That sentiment pretty well encapsulates what remains of the dreams of many talented musicians that didn't happen to write "hit" songs. It also confirmed that my first impression of Jon was correct- that he was driven; the vapour of his conviction as evidenced on Peacepipe's Accent 45 was simply too strong to have evaporated from him completely. 

Initially, it was my hope that he had continued to record for a year or two beyond the single and might have a few demos laying around Of course, tracking him down in 1994 resulted in one of the great Rockadelic albums (Peacepipe: The Human Equation Featuring Jon Uzonyi, RRLP 18, 1995) when it was discovered that an entire album had been painstakingly assembled with legendary engineer Eirik Wangberg and was lurking in the dark recesses of his doset This recording was made with Jon's old friends Gary Tsuruda (drums) and Rick Abts (keyboards), who were the other two-thirds of Peacepipe, a trio that often used the less-druggy name Human Equation when they played live shows. 

This is the first ever release of the Peacepipe album on compact disc, taken from the original master tapes via 24-bit digital technology. There's a ton of great rock from California's underground scene. . that's a given But if you're after serious guitar pyrotechnics, you'll be hard-pressed to top this CD The hideously rare Peacepipe single (by far the best record released on Accent) is one of the most utterly possessed recordings of the late 60's Both tracks have a unique dark energy to them that is not easy to describe with words- but they are indisputably lysergic Jon is quite certain that the small pressing was distributed by label owner Scott Seeley via promotional channels and none were ever offered for sale in stores. 

To my knowledge, this 45 is still virtually unknown amongst collectors and has never been camped. Incidentally, Rick does not appear on these tracks, it's only Gary on drums and Jon on everything else! After gigging around Southern California and Arizona for a couple of years, the band split amicably to pursue non-musical careers Jon continued to experiment with both music and electronics (you may have noticed in the photos that his various electric guitars are all odd hybrids that he pieced together himself!) and eventually the bug to record had infected him again. "Actually, I think it was more about a need to close that chapter of my life. The three of us had invested a lot of time and energy in that band, and had made great strides artistically. I felt compelled to capture at least some essence of that for posterity, even if nobody else would ever hear it." He rang up Gary and Rick and the trio converged at Sound Recorders in Hollywood. 

Jon has high praise to this day for staff engineer Eirik Wangberg. "We never could have finished it without him. He knew exactly what I was trying to do, what sound I was trying to get. It was Eirik that did those wild mixes, the weird echoes on the vocals, and those crossfades like the point at which A Biker's Tune becomes Open Your Mind He was brilliant." (Collectors might be interested to know that Wangberg was responsible for The Oxford Circle's "Mind Destruction" 45, and the two amazing albums by Public Nuisance, available on CD from Frantic Records and on double vinyl from Shadoks Music) 

This recording was more about Uzonyi's opportunity to create a comprehensive document about Peacepipe, though- and it is his fiery, inventive guitars in their dense layers that render awe today. The trademark creepy Peacepipe sound is evident especially on Sea Of Nightmares (". if dreams of happiness lose their way, you die of sadness in the grave... I know that feeling...") and The Day The War Has Ended, an elaborate and stunning reprise of the A-side of the Accent 45. It is here that those artistic improvements really come into focus. 

There is softer material as well, some of which is excellent, but it's the overtly psychedelic hard rock in their repertoire that the band will be remembered for. Jon is still active in rural Southern California's music scene as a musician, sound engineer and audio technician He still builds guitars and amplifiers, and our conversations usually wind up over his workbench where be describes his deconstruction of an old Fender blackface amplifier for its parts or his discovery of a lost cache of American made power tubes He's still motivated by music. He tells me he really doesn't have the opportunity to play heavy rock anymore, but we both know that if that door opened, he'd dart right through it carrying an arsenal of fuzzboxes and wah-wah pedals... and he'd bring those old Marshalls with him.
by Clark Faville
Tracks
1. Sea Of Nightmares - 6:26    
2. Angel Of Love - 4:10    
3. I Can Never Take Your Dreams Away - 6:24    
4. Carry On Together - 2:43    
5. A Bikers Tune - 2:49    
6. Open Your Mind - 4:49    
7. The Day The War Has Ended - 10:08    
8. Love Shines - 3:12    
9. Keep A Smilin' Cari - 2:49    
10.The Sun Won't Shine Forever - 2:51    
11.Lazy River Blues - 3:39

Peacepipe
*Rick Abts - Keyboards
*Gary Tsuruda - Drums
*Jon Uzonyi - Guitar, Vocals

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Graffiti - Graffiti (1968 us, west coast psychedelia with high multi-part vocal harmonies)


 
Graffiti is it quite an interesting group with considerable ambition. Almost classical in spirit, melodies and fuzzy structure to the late sixties, the American psychedelic style, to make an album like Freeborn, Beacon Street Union and the Ford Theatre, but also psychedelic Beatles, and even The Pretty Things.

Graffiti released an obscure, self-titled LP on ABC in 1968 that was co-produced by Bob Thiele (more known for his work with many major jazz musicians), Eddie Kramer (most known for his engineering onJimi Hendrix records), and Jay Senter. Though accomplished in its musicianship and versatile in its stylistic focus, Graffiti lacked much in the way of enduring musical interest, blending some jazz, classical, pop, and blues influences into a generic, West Coast rock-influenced psychedelic sound that often employed high multi-part vocal harmonies.

Graffiti's sole album was in some ways typical of numerous obscure psychedelic one-shots on fairly big labels in the late 1960s: over-ambitious lyrics, a kaleidoscope of styles that butted heads as often as it blended, emulation of several passing psychedelic trends pioneered by bigger groups, and an absence of really good songs. All that said, as such albums go, it's better than average, though hardly noteworthy. That's kind of faint praise, but at least Graffiti were less ponderous than many such bands, with a sort of gossamer lightness to much of their material.

As for what kind of styles they mined, they're hard to pin down, though they're fairly influenced by West Coast psychedelia of the era, with some of the vocal harmonies so high that one can mistakenly think there was a woman in the group (there wasn't). Bits of jazz, classical guitar, blues-rock, psychedelic effects, and vocal harmonies both sunshine pop and Gregorian seep through from time to time as the band float through an ever-shifting melodies and styles. The songs and instrumental solos do tend to go on too long, however, and the songwriting isn't memorable.

But in general, in spite of this - or because of this, the drive entertaining, very positive with a number of interesting things. Good, good, vocals, guitar and cool sunshine melody - what do you need for a particular mood? Unique and rare release, no doubt belonging to an absolute canon of psychedelic rock.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Father Protector - 4:16
2. The Capture Of Me / Life Blood - 9:45
3. Jingle Jangle Woman - 5:10
4. New Life / Girl On Fire / Cold Water / Love In Spite - 15:15
5. Ugly Mascara - 5:19
6. He's Got The Knack (Bonus Track) - 2:41

Graffiti
*George Stuntz - Guitars
*Jon St.John - Guitar
*Steve Benderoth - Bass, Keyboards
*Richie Blakan – Drums, Percussion
*Tony Taylor - Vocals

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Ora - Ora (1969 uk, wondrous psych folk with a jazzy mood)



Beautiful British folk-psychedelia from 1969, UK original private pressed 12-track LP on the label: Tangerine (OPLOP 0025), also issued in Germany under the name Knick Knacks (Metronome SMLR 332) 1971,and reissued on Background (HBG 122/14) 1993.

Originally very few copies were pressed ensuring its status as an ultra rarity. Musically it features a number of whimsical, haunting songs and one piece of frenzied psychedelia entitled 'Whitch', the main reason behind this album's immense collectability. All tracks contain vocals, some feature just acoustic guitar and gentle percussion while 'Fly' this is based on a fast Take Five (Dave Brubeck) rhythm with electric guitar accompaniment and some good electric guitar leads.

Are You Seeing has some electric guitar leads, too, towards the end,some of the tracks - acoustic stuff in the spirit, the average between Donovan and Bolan (as, for example, 'Venetia II' general style Beatles psychedelic period), there is also some influence of jazz,noticeably out of the trend 'Witch' style guitar with hard, powerful percussion and echo effects.

 The other tracks are acoustic-based with gentle melodies. 'The Seagull and The Sailor',reminded of early recordings by Nico, 'The Morning After The Night Before' and 'Emma's Saga' (especially the latter) have a is the flavor of bossa nova, samba feel, with sparse guitar accompaniment and discreet percussion only. A very enjoyable drive. Overall this is a good album of beautiful songs.

The recent reissue LP Wah Wah Records(LPS 029LP)+ seven bonus tracks, of which 3 - alternative version[ James Rubinstein had in his personal archive]edition will be housed in a gatefold sleeve that will respect the original artwork concept, graphically adapted to this new issue following the directions of Ora leader James Rubinstein. James himself signs the inner notes so you get an accurate first person told history of the band who would later become the legendary progressive rock group Byzantium.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Seashore - 2:52
2. About You - 2:42
3. Deborah - 3:06
4. Whitch - 6:27
5. Venetia II - 2:10
6. You - 2:45
7. Fly - 3:45
8. Ladyfriend - 2:21
9. Are You Seeing - 2:56
10.Emma's Saga - 2:39
11.The Morning After The Night Before - 2:19
12.The Seagull And The Sailor - 3:19
13.Seashore - 4:12
14.No More Love - 3:20
15.Pomme (Chloe Walters) - 2:41
16.Deborah - 3:04
17.It Was An Easy Legend - 2:39
18.Fly - 3:46
19.Thank God - 4:44
All songs written by James Rubenstein except where noted.

Ora
*Mark Barakan - Guitar
*Julian Diggle - Drums
*James Rubenstein - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Robin Sylvester - Bass, Keyboards, Guitar
*Chloe Walters - Guitar
*Jon Weiss - Lead Guitar

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brigade - Last Laugh (1970 us, rough psychedelic rock, Shadoks release)



Official release of Portland, OR garage/psych bands, impossible to find independent record /homemade (BVRS 1066 - originals are impossible to find because only 100 copies pressed were made at the time and some even had the wrong record in)album. Hammond organ, full of dynamic and strong fuzz guitar solos, driving drums and amazing vocals,quintessence 1970 American independent record which deserves this offical reissue (Shadoks)

The story of the Brigade will ring bells of recognition from just about anyone who grew up in the '60s. Growing up in the north suburbs of Portland during this era, of course, The Brigade emerged from a context - in this case a very vibrant '60s music scene in the Pacific Northwest. The "Northwest Sound" in fact had two rival epicenters: the Tacoma/Seattle area and, 3 hours drive to the south, Portland, Oregon.

From the late '50s and on into the '60s, the region produced its share of wellknown acts: The Kingsmen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Don & The Goodtimes, The Ventures, The Fleetwoods, The Wailers, and The Sonics. Most of these bands initially focused on a white version of R&B, gradually moving into original songs that got regional radio play and occasionally broke out into the national "hitmakers" scene.

Other wellknown Northwest artists of the era included The Viceroys, The Dynamics, The Frantics (two of whom later re-emerged to form Moby Grape), Little Bill & The Bluenotes, Ron Holden, Merilee Rush & The Turnabouts and a handful more. But of course for every one band that made it into the studio, much less got airplay, there were another 50 bands caught up in the dream. Portland, with its near neighbors Salem and Eugene to the south, had the usual share of teenagers doing their musical thing.

Once they were ready to move out of the bedroom and garage, bands had numerous venues to show off their stuff: school dances, store openings, church events, private parties, plus a whole circuit of teen dance halls and armories. The idea was to have fun, meet girls and make a little money. Portland also offered an annual teenfair Battle of the Bands, affording the lucky winners some local press coverage, maybe some cash, musical instruments or amplifiers, and often the greatest prize of all, "a recording contract". Monster psychedelic rarity 1970. This record will be the crown jewel of your record collection.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Change in Me - 5:55
2. Love Day for Day - 2:33
3. Desert Song  (You're All Alone) - 5:53
4. Bad Town - 2:56
5. Self Made God - 4:06
6. Forever - 1:23
7. Circles of Life - 4:20
8. Everybody Is Laughing - 3:54

The Brigade
*Peter Belknap - Vocals
*Eric Anderson - Keyboards, Background Vocals
*Ed Wallo - Guitar, Background Vocals
*Dennis Steindl - Bass, Background Vocals
*Bob Anderson - Drums, Background Vocals

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Jody Grind - Far Canal (1970 uk, impressive heavy bluesy progressive rock, 2nd album, 2006 japan remaster)



Hinkley’s finest moment came with the second Jody Grind album Far Canal, launched in June 1970 next to Pete Gavin and future Hummingbird guitarist Bernie Holland who had started out in the early days with Bluesology, Patto and Ferris Wheel.The classical motif intro “We’ve Had It” spirals like a magician into some ejaculated riffs that make you realise this is no ordinary group. You have to hear the live track “Plastic Shit” recorded at the Roundhouse to understand the capabilities of this nuclear force. 

The lengthy workout on the instrumental “Red Worms And Lice” with Bernie’s guitar spurting like hot mercury balanced with the jazzy ”Ballad For Bridget” were astounding. Peter Gavin joined Heads, Hands & Feet and Vinegar Joe while Tim played sessions with Al Stewart, Snafu and Alvin Lee. Bernie Holland went on to play with Van Morrison. 
by Shiloh Noone
Tracks
1. We've Had It (Holland) - 5:07
2. Bath Sister (Hinkley) - 3:29
3. Jump Bed Jed (Holland) - 7:14
4. O Paradiso (Hinkley) - 7:32
5. Plastic Shit (Holland, Hinkley) - 7:19
6. Vegetable Oblivion (Holland) - 2:10
7. Red Worms And Lice (Holland, Hinkley) - 7:22
8. Ballad For Bridget (Hinkley) - 3:40

 Jody Grind
*Bernie Holland - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Gavin - Drums, Percussion
*Tim Hinkley - Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Vibraphone, Vocals

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jody Grind - One Step On (1969 uk, exciting progressive rock with jazz elements, 2006 japan remaster)



Jody Grind remain vastly understated in musical measure and lyrical overflow.Their story started in 1966 when a group called The News comprising guitarist Ivan Zagni, Andy Fields vox and keyboards, Harvey Platt bass and Denny Royal drums released two singles “The Intertainer” and “I Count The Tears”. The News even included at one time ex Chicago Line Blues Band vocalist Mike Patto which evolved into 

The Continentals with Andy Fields being replaced by Peter Miller and future Zagni looking for a more vibrant conduit. The connection came in 1969 with drummer Barry Wilson and ex Chicago Line Blues Band keyboardist Tim Hinkley, a veteran having played on Bo Street Runner’s “Ready Steady Win” formed the trio Jody Grind and launched their debut One Step On.

The album was a busy affair with Hinkley letting loose and providing the core of their improvised structures. The opening brass riddled trilogy “One Step On” was an austacious pounding with extremely fast leadbreaks by Zagni which included a very speedy rendition of the Stones’ “Paint It Black” featuring Renaissance bassist Louis Cennamo.The highlight was a heavy loaded bluesy lament called “USA”. David Palmer handled the arrangements for the debut that stands out like a mighty warrior, but sadly the swordsman were about to defect. 

After two viciously splendid singles, the Chuck Berry styled “Rock ‘n Roll Man” and “Paint It Black”. Zagni and Wilson were cajoled by ex Renaissance Cennamo to form Bogomas while later Zagni played with Elton Dean. Within six months the group depleted into Blue Whale with Ansley Dunbar keyboardist Tommy Eyre and Juicy Lucy/ Tempest vocalist Paul Williams.The group sessions included Robert Fripp but after their debut Aynsley departed for Frank Zappa. 
by Shiloh Noone
Tracks
1. One Step On - 18:46
..a.In My Mind
..b.Nothing At All
..c.Interation
..d.Paint It Black
2. Little Message - 4:42
3. Night Today - 5:04
4. U.S.A. - 6:40
5. Rock 'n' Roll Man - 4:35
All songs by Tim Hinkley and Ivan Zagni

Jody Grind 
*Tim Hinkley - Organ
*Ivan Zagni - Guitar
*Barry Wilson - Drums
With
*Louis Cenammo - Bass on 'Paint It Black', 'A Little Message', and 'Rock n Roll Man'.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mike Stuart Span - Children Of Tomorrow (1964-68 uk, great mod psych beat with sunny blue eyd soul and jazzy blinks, 2011 Grapefruit remaster)



 

They made precious little impact at the time, but Brighton based quartet the Mike Stuart Span have been lauded by collectors for at least a couple of decades now as one of the finest British psychedelic bands of the era.With their early 1968 single Children Of Tomorrow b/w Concerto Of Thoughts widely acknowledged as one of the best (and rarest a copy recently sold on eBay for in excess of £700) examples of the genre, their recordings have appeared on numerous illegal releases as well as a limited edition, band-authorised mid-1990s anthology. 

However, licensing restrictions ensured that a definitive, all-encompassing Mike Stuart Span compilation remained an impossible dream.Until now, that is, because Children Of Tomorrow represents the Mike Stuart Span motherlode. Featuring every MSS studio recording known to have survived, it includes their brace of mod-soul singles for EMI and their notorious but little-heard stab at pop stardom with Fontana together with that superlative psych-pop 45 on Jewel and a host of demos in a similar vein.

As a considerable bonus, we also feature a clutch of previously-unissued treasures: the only recording made by pre-MSS outfit the Mighty Atoms, a far more muscular radio session stab at Fontana A-side You Can Understand Me and two 1966 demos that effectively won the group their EMI deal. With previously unpublished photos and fresh quotes from band members Stuart Hobday and Gary Murphy, Children Of Tomorrow is the definitive Mike Stuart Span anthology.
Tracks
1 Come On Over To Our Place (Mann, WeiI) - 2:13
2. Still Nights (Hobday) - 2:07
3. Dear (Stevens) - 2:30
4. Invitation (D'Abo) - 2:14
5. Children Of Tomorrow (Hobmur Benmac) - 3:15
6. Concerto Of Thoughts (Hobmur Benmac) - 3:02
7. You Can Understand Me (Howard Blaikley) - 2:45
8 Baubles And Bangles (Hammond, Hazelwood) - 2:32
9. Second Production (Murphy, Bennett) - 3:41
10.Rescue Me (Smith, Miner) - 3:38
11.World In My Head (Hobday, Bennett) - 4:28
12.Time (Murphy, Bennett) - 4:08
13.Flames (Murphy, Bennett) - 5:02
14.Blue Day (Hobday, Bennett) - 6:12
15.Remember The Times (Hobday) - 2:48
16.Wanderin1 Eye (Hobday) - 2:35
17.You Can Understand Me (Howard, Blaikley) - 2:51
18.Follow Me (Lynch, Shuman) - 2:27
19.Workout (Hobday) - 3:02

Mike Stuart Span
*Stuart Hobday - Vocals
*Roger McCabe - Bass Guitar
*Gary ‘Roscoe’ Murphy - Drums
*Brian Bennett- Lead guitar, Vocals
with
*Garry Parsley - Trumpet
*Jon Poulter - Keyboards
*Dave Plumb - Tenor Saxophone

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