Friday, November 30, 2012

Ice - Iceman (1967-68 uk, lovely jazzy psych blends, Angel Air 2005 extra tracks release)



Some bands are deservedly obscure, some fall from grace into that state, and some just never really had the opportunity to be anything but; Ice fall into that latter category. This late-60s Brit band received a leg-up from the BBC, and even made the occasional TV appearance, but lack of label support brought Ice's spread to an abrupt halt. 

Ice Man finally brings together on CD all of the band's recorded output, but it's not much. A few singles, a clutch of demos, and that's that, but the collection is further bulked up by the inclusion of BBC live appearances, as well as three songs from Russell's Clump, a band which also boasted Ice vocalist Glyn Jones, performing at Sussex University. 

So does Ice deserve the cult status they've long enjoyed, or is it merely a matter of absence making the heart grow fonder? Ice Man proves without a doubt that it's the former, and leave you to wonder just where the band would have ended up with a bit more help from their label. And not merely in the chart stakes, but in the musical sense as well, for what strikes one immediately is just how eclectic and unique Ice were. The title track is a wonderful piece of psychedelia whimsy, but the group were also equally adept at vocal-drenched pop, delicate rock ballads delivered in a very English fashion, and more emotive R&B/soul-fired numbers. 

That latter styling came to the fore at the BBC across their Yardbirds-esque attack on the Beatles "Day Tripper," reinforced by their own number "Wide Blue Yonder Boy." Move into the demos and even more unexpected styles emerge. "Silver Lady," with its picked guitar, sidles up to C&W before flirting with Motown during the harmony laced chorus, while "Wait" gives its heart, but not its musical arrangement to Stax. 

And finally, you begin to see their label's problem, for how do you package a psychedelic pop/rock-R&B-soul band for the mass market, even if the group did boast a superb singer, phenomenally intricate arrangements, and a totally unique musical vision? They couldn't. Easier to just let them melt away, until all that's left is a pool of fond memories. But how wonderful that Ice Man has been excavated and brought forth on CD in all their glory. 
by  Jo-Ann Greene
Tracks
1. Ice Man (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 2:59
2. Whisper Her Name (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 3:38
3. Anniversary (Of Love) (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 3:14
4. So Many Times (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 2:11
5. Walk on the Water (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 2:09
6. Time's Fading Fast (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 3:23
7. Day Tripper (John Lennon, P. McCartney) - 2:07
8. Ice Man (Steve Turner, Chris Simpson) - 2:56
9. Wide Blue Yonder Boy (Glyn James) - 1:58
10.Open the Door to Your Heart (N/K) - 3:22
11.Like a Woman (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:18
12.Skyline (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 3:03
13.Wait (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:48
14.Monday (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:38
15.Tell Me (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 3:22
16.Silver Lady (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 3:10
17.Burning Burning (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:57
18.Two Hearts (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:43
19.Little Girl in Wonderland (Kris Johnson, Chris Simpson) - 2:37

Ice
*Glyn James - Vocals
*John Carter - Bass,Back Vocals
*Lynton Naiff - Hammond Organ ,Piano
*Grant Serpel - Drums
*Steve Turner - Guitars
Additional Musicians
*Kris Johnson - Guitars
*Mo Foster - Bass
*Linda Hoyle - Back Vocals

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Terence - An Eye For An Ear (1969 canada, mindblowing mixture of soulful pop psych 'n' garage, Fallout 2008 reissue)



Terry Black was the Fabian of Canada and covered buttloads of Barri Sloan songs in his pop career and  had six top 40 hits in Canada as a teenager, as well as recording the cult Black Plague LP in 1966. His parents moved him to Los Angeles and he was slated to play Elvis' brother in a movie, but the deal fell through. 

This album is an attempt to go heavy ‘n’ get cred, with lotsa Hendrix rip-offs and baritone over-the-top-soul vocals (think 'Wind Cries Mary' or the Ides of March 'Vehicle'). It's got blasting fuzz solos, swinging drum breaks, lots of organ whooshing, big time brass riffs here and there. 
Tracks
1. An Eye for An Ear  (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 3:39
2. Rap (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 3:17
3. Second City Song (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 2:52
4. Power (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 3:45
5. Exiles(Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 2:22
6. Fool Amid the Traffic (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 4:23
7. Priscilla (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 2:21
8. Lighting Frederick's Fire (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 4:29
9. The Emperor (Richard Gael, Eric Robertson) - 4:27
10. Does It Feel Better Now (Richard Gael, Patrick Riccio II) - 2:41

*Terence (aka Terry Black) - Vocals, Guitar

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Air - Air (1971 us, marvelous progressive jazz rock, 2008 DBK Works edition)



The green suburb of Great Neck Long Island, was the ideal environment to nurture a young band, in 1970 Some time that year, drummer, Mark Rosengarden invited us to rehearse in the guest house at his parents' home. Mark's dad. Bobby, a network TV bandleader, who later would play on the album, had created a great place for musicians. 

The "Little House' became the scene of AIR rehearsals almost every day for a year. Googie and I would drive out from the Bronx, in the afternoons, packing playpen and baby stuff, bringing our then two-year-old daughter, Eva. Our rehearsals were customarily open-attendance for young musicians in the neighborhood. We had a few "satellite" band members. Most of the material was composed by Googie, but everyone created parts. It felt as if we were creating mini epics. 

Visitors included guitarists Rick Derringer (Steely Dan. Johnny Winter), and Robbie Kogel (Todd Rundgren). Sometimes Mark's younger brother. Neal, would play flugelhorn. drums, bass, or guitar. There were candle-lit summer evening lawn parties at nearby places on the North Shore. Plenty of refreshments of all kinds were present. The band would set up on a tarp; and we'd get to test out our whole repertoire. The steady rehearsal routine ended when we became the touring band for flutist, Herbie Mann, traveling to Mexico, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. 

We had changed our rehearsal space first to a loft on Second Avenue, near the Fillmore East, and then to one on Mercer Street, in Soho. We recorded some early tracks at the old Atlantic Studios on 60th Street. The engineer was Gene Paul, nephew of guitarist Les Paul.

The main tracks were recorded at Mediasound (a converted church on 57th Street, in the building where Bela Bartok once lived) with engineer, Gerry Block. We augmented the band with percussionist, Dave Johnson; trumpeter, Randy Brecker; saxophonist, Mike Brecker. and trombonist. Barry Rogers. We are most favorably compared to Soft Machine, or early Genesis. Our greatest asset has always been Googie's uniquely beautiful voice.
by Tom Coppola, April 2008
Tracks
1. Realize - 3:48
2. Mr. Man - 3:14
3. Baby, I Don't Know Where Love - 4:32
4. Martin - 2:38
5. In Our Time - 5:10
6. Man Is Free - 4:26
7. Sister Bessie (Mark Klingman) - 2:34
8. Lipstick - 4:38
9. Jail Cell - 5:00
10.I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Billy Taylor, Dick Dallas) - 3:35
All songs by Carolyn Brooks except where noted.

Air
*Carolyn Brooks aka "Googie" - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord
*Tom Coppola - Organ, Piano
*John Siegler - Bass
*Mark Rosengarden - Drums
Additional Musicians
*Randy Brecker - Trumpet
*Mike Brecker - Sax
*Barry Rodgers - Trombone
*Dave Johnson - Congas, Timbales
*Robert Kogel - Guitar
*Bob Rosengarden - Vibes
*Jann Hammer,  Herbie Mann - Percussion

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Horse - Horse (1971 uk, terrific heavy psych)



 
Turn on the CD ... greets us whine ... wolf ... ? ... and sound the bells ... guitar riff on the canvas of the "shouted" are the words of the song. Sometimes there is a little strange laugh. Macabre atmosphere with a very specific topic, close to work Black Widow. I do not really like this kind of subject matter, but nevertheless it is a fact that at that time a rock band quite often reached to this topic. Next songs are attractive to the typical conventions seek early hard rock.
 
Admittedly, sometimes the whole is a bit "archaic" ("Gypsy Queen", "Journey") to some of the songs are worth special attention: "It's great the sun", "See the people creeping round "and" Sacrifice ". Plate for a specific audience? Certainly yes, but (in my opinion) far behind "the great forgotten," such as the Andromeda group. The more that connects the two teams a few biographical facts. Menu Links Horse ~ in englishJednym of them was a record deal with RCA, which was known for its publications so. music center.

In addition to Andromeda and Skip Bifferty, Horse was one of the first groups Rock,, promoted by the label. It is worth mentioning that R. Roach guitarist played before the creation of a group called London. London group bass player was Mick Hawksworth, who later became a member of the final composition of the Attack and The Five Day Week Straw People, which later evolved into Andromeda. Roach was briefly hired to concerts to the last, when her guitarist J.DuCann hurt his arm (Sweet Floral Albion -23). However, the early group Horse, by Roach'a, you should look for in 1967-1968. That's when, together with A.Hawkins' em founded the group, which later recorded as Horse discussed on this page LP. It included also, with 15 years Drummer - Steve Holley (in SFA-23 is given the wrong name-Holly), who played earlier in his own group called The Formula.
 
The fourth member of the Horse was Colin Standring, who plays bass guitar. He previously worked with groups: Kit and the Saracens & Jimmy Brown Sound (also worth mentioning that in both groups of piano playing ... Ken Hensley, who later became a member of The Gods and Uriah Heep). In the composition group, performed by the second half of 1969. After signing with RCA / Victor, during Christmas 1969, Horse proceed to burn. However, the drummer sits a new member of the team - Rick Parnell. The record appears in the spring of 1970 years'

At that time, the group toured a lot. In summer 1970, at a period of 2 months, Ric Parnell is admitted to the group Atomic Rooster, after the departure of her R.Palmera. In late August, Parnell returns to the Horse (in Atomic Rooster P.Hammonda replaced it). Group still performs, but mainly in Germany. In the spring of 1971 (probably in April) re moving away from the group Ric Parnell. In the years 1971-1973 once again becomes a member of Atomic Rooster and later Italian Ibis, Nova and the legendary Spinal Tap. In the 90's there in the hard-rock group Brown Ring.
 
To know in detail his future career, the current activity (2004) as well as his hobby suggest visit his official website. But let us return to the group Horse. In 1971, Colin Standring, who at that time also studied at Surrey University, it is expelled. Also leaves the group Horse. To 1977 has performed throughout Europe with various teams have met accidentally. In the years 1977-1981 he lived in Munich and from 1982 to today in Zurich. Currently there with a dozen or so Big Band Sound. However, the other two members of the group Horse, R.Roach and A.Hawkins formed a new group called the Saturnalia.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. The Sacrifice (Roach, Hawkins) - 6:13
2. See The People Creeping Round (Roach, Hawkins) - 4:21
3. And I Have Love You (Roach, Hawkins) - 3:09
4. Freedom Rider (Roach, Hawkins) - 3:18
5. Lost Control (Roach, Hawkins) - 2:22
6. To Great The Sun (Roach, Hawkins) - 4:04
7. The Journey (Trad.) - 3:54
8. Heat Of The Summer (Roach, Hawkins) - 3:59
9. Gypsy Queen (Roach, Hawkins) - 2:48
10. Step Out Of Line (Roach, Hawkins)
- 4:20

Horse
*Adrian Hawkins - Vocals
*Rick Parnell - Drums
*Rod Roach - Guitar
*Colin Standring - Bass

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Zerfas - Zerfas (1973 us, delicious artificial post psych flutter , Radioactive issue)



Brothers Dave and Herman Zerfas started their professional recording career as members of the Indiana-based band Jubal.  By 1973 the band had morphed into Zerfas, in the process recording an album that I'd easily categorize as a true lost classic.  Released by Moe Whittemore, Jr.'s 700 West label, 1973's "Zerfas" stood as one of those rarities - an album that came close to living up to the collector hype surrounding it and probably one of a handful of albums that I'd consider paying the asking price in order to own an original copy.  

Produced by Whittemore, Jr. with four of the five members contributing material, the album's gained a Beatlesque reputation over the years.  That's normally a mixed blessing and while not entirely accurate in this case, the Zefras brothers had clearly listened to their share of mid and late-era Fab Four.  The album's also regularly slapped with a psych label which I find somewhat misleading.  

I've listened to the album dozens of times over the years and while 'The Piper' is psychedelic and there are occasional psych studio effects including the opener 'You Never Win' which started with an interesting bit of backward tape manipulation before kicking into the tuneful organ propelled garage rocker, the bulk of the set has always struck me as being surprisingly commercial.  So what were the highlights?   Six of the eight tracks were exceptionally good.  With a dazzling fuzz guitar and inspired lead vocal from bassist Mark Tribby (who was supposedly reluctant to sing lead) 'The Sweetest Part' demonstrated the band were equally comfortable working in a country-rock arena.  

Apparently written during their Jabul days, 'I Don't Understand' started out with a slice of studio insanity before switching over to a pretty, if stark Badfinger/Emmitt Rhodes/McCartney-styled ballad.  The song was also worth hearing for what may have been the album's best guitar solo. With a killer melody, glistening group harmonies and a touch of studio experimentation (I've always loved the way the cheesy synthesizer snuck in) the side one closer 'I Need It Higher' found the band taking a stab at a more commercial sound.  You had to scratch your head and wonder how this one wasn't a major radio hit.  

Best of all was 'The Piper' which actually managed to mix pop, rock, psych, and progressive moves into a wonderful slice of music.  That left one track up in the air (the experimental 'Fool's Parade' - complete with 'mushroom soup' belches) and two tracks that were marginal - 'Stoney Wellitz' which sported a bouncy melody, but was plagued by a cheesy synthesizer and an irritatingly whiny lead vocal. Complete with ocean waves sound effects, 'Hope' was a mid-tempo piece that simply didn't make much of an impression on me one way or the other.  Those minor criticisms apart, as I said earlier, a lost treasure and one of the few LPs I'd even think about awarding 5 stars on my lame grading scale.
Tracks
1. You Never Win (David Zerfas, Herman Zerfas) - 5:14
2. The Sweetest Part / I Don't Understand (David Zerfas, Mark Tribby) - 8:39
3. I Need It Higher (David Zerfas) - 4:48
4. Stoney Wellitz (David Zerfas, Herman Zerfas) - 6:30
5. Hope (Bill Rice, Herman Zerfas) - 7:44
6. Fool's Parade / The Piper(David Zerfas, Herman Zerfas, Steve Newbold) - 8:39

Zerfas
*Bill Rice - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Steve Newbold  - Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Mark Tribby  - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals
*David Zerfas  - Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Guitar
*Herman (Brian) Zerfas  - Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Guitar

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Krokodil - An Invisible World Revealed (1971 swiss, great acid-laden guitar heavy psych prog and exotic instrumentation, extra tracks release)




The perfect album reminiscent to, Twenty Sixty Six & Then, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Huge, juicy, psychedelic sounds, a lot of groovy moves of guitars, solid rhythm section and the addition of even a sitar! And for the record, this is Swiss band.

If you never thought a harmonica could solo on top of a mellotron and sound as cosmic as the best guitar solos from early 70s,of original experiments and sonic juxtapositions prepare to be surprised.
Krokodil were constantly promoted by the labels they signed to as a Krautrock band, yet though they had the spirit of Krautrock in their veins, the truth was that they were Swiss! Naturally, Liberty tried to present them as the Krautrock answer to The Groundhogs.
 
Well, Krokodil did have blues origins, they really knew how to rock-it and had a flair for the experimental, so they did have the same sort of attitude as The Groundhogs. But, all that aside, Krokodil were innovators in their own right, not at all copyist, except for maybe their John Mayall type roots. Like most Swiss bands, Krokodil were an unlikely combo, mostly of German-Swiss extraction, with one Englishman: Terry Stevens. Early on, the quoted "Swiss Bob Dylan" Hardy Hepp seemed to be in control, his softer folk and blues mix, and Mojo Weideli's harmonica, gave them a more down-to-earth sound.
 
After Hardy's departure for a solo career, Krokodil really blossomed with the extraordinary AN INVISIBLE WORLD REVEALED, an album that took on all sorts of ethnic and fusion elements, becoming like a hybrid of Amon Düül II, Man and Third Ear Band, all mixed into that unique Krokodil style. Ethnic elements had figured in earlier Krokodil recordings, but not so much as here, where the sitar, tablas and flute are heavily featured. Krokodil had become the finest of Swiss Krautrock bands.
 
A change of label, to Bacillus, their next album GETTING UP FOR THE MORNING offered a similar blending of rock, blues and ethnic styles, though in a more condensed and song-based concoction. The double album SWEAT & SWIM, though it had a couple of duff tracks, also contained some of their best, not least so the 17 minute cosmic-ethnic trip "Linger" recalling the masterworks of AN INVISIBLE WORLD REVEALED.

On his records combined the blues rock sound of the sitar, harmonica and violin. It is thanks to an interesting instruments they managed to create a somewhat otherworldly, hypnotic oriental atmosphere. Krokodil - An Invisible World Revealed from the first sounds of Lady Of Attraction invite us to your climate lakes. Climate reminds a little of the first Hawkwind album, which has not yet been recorded in space. Acoustic sound, "from afar" vocals and rich instrumentation opens the album perfectly.
 
One of the most interesting tracks on the album is a fifteen-minute Odyssey In Om. If you like the sound of the first hypnotic CD Santana, George Harrison experimented with sitar or dreamlike flute or saxophone - beginning of the song is for you. After nearly six minutes there is hard rock guitar and harmonica along with the rhythm section and endow us a real departure. One of those brilliant moments when you can listen to the disc fragment without end. In addition, we have a lot of electric guitar and blues-based rock songs (Last Doors, Looking At Time), more or less zakradających towards psychedelic sounds, also feel the harsh climate of Crocodiles recordings krautrock.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Lady Of Attraction (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens, Weideli) - 4:21
2. With Little Miss Trimmings (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens, Weideli) - 1:42
3. Oddyssey In Om (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens, Weideli) - 15:19
4. Green Fly (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens, Weideli) - 4:23
5. Looking At Time (Terry Stevens) - 14:03
6. Last Doors (Walty Anselmo) - 4:00
7. Pollution (Walty Anselmo) - 3:04
8. Krokodil-Session Part 1 (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens) - 11:24
9. Krokodil-Session Part 2 (Anselmo, Durst, Stevens) - 11:42
10.Don't Make Promisses (Tim Hardin) - 3:58
11.Hurra! Allive (Walty Anselmo) - 3:04

Krokodil
*Duede Durst - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Walty Anselmo - Sitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Terry Stevens - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Mojo Weideli - Harmonica, Flute, Percussion

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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Left Banke - The Left Banke Too (1968-69 us, wonderful psychedelia with baroque touches, Sundazed 2011 remaster)



The Left Banke started at the top, launching its recording career with the 1966 debut single "Walk Away Renée," which became both a Top Five smash and an iconic pop classic. They followed it with the equally memorable hit "Pretty Ballerina" and the beloved LP Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina. Less well known, but no less noteworthy, is the band's underappreciated second act.

Although it largely escaped the public's notice upon its release in November 1968, The Left Banke Too is an unsung gem that remains close to the hearts of a dedicated cadre of fans. Recorded after the departure of keyboardist/songwriter Michael Brown, the sophomore disc finds his former bandmates—frontman Steve Martin, bassist/guitarist Tom Finn and drummer George Cameron—rising to the occasion to produce music whose ambition and expressiveness matches, and in some cases surpasses, that of the band's more prominent prior work.

The Left Banke's original lineup had combusted shortly after Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina's release, and the group split into two factions, with singers Martin, Finn and Cameron on one side, and Brown and his father, manager/producer Harry Lookofsky, on the other. The schism led to Brown (with help from songwriter Tom Feher, who had contributed to the first album, and singer Bert Sommer) releasing his own single, "Ivy, Ivy" b/w "And Suddenly," under the Left Banke name, and releasing it in April 1967 on the band's label, the Mercury Records subsidiary Smash. After Finn, Martin and Cameron hired lawyers and won back control of the band name, Smash withdrew support from Brown's single. But the resulting confusion over the competing Left Bankes resulted in a loss of commercial momentum from which the band would never recover.

The two factions temporarily reconciled in the spring of 1967 to record a pair of Brown/Feher compositions, "Desirée" and "In the Morning Light." Brown produced those sessions, with John Abbott (who played and arranged on the first album) as arranger and various New York session musicians playing most of the instruments.

Although The Left Banke Too showed their creative batteries to be fully charged, it wasn't long before the group's morale was sagging. The album was lost amidst a flood of new hippie acts, and the band—which toured with Tom Feher on keyboards and new guitarist Tim Hayden—experienced a new set of frustrations with its new management team, which Finn says kept them on the road, with little financial reward and no discernable career benefit to the group.

Although the trio disbanded, Steve Martin and Michael Brown reunited in the studio shortly thereafter to record one more single, "Myrah" b/w "Pedestal," which was released under the Left Banke's name in November 1969. In 1971, Martin, Finn, Cameron and Brown came together to record Brown's songs "Love Songs in the Night" and "Two by Two." The results were released under Martin's name, both as a single and on the soundtrack LP of the little-seen film Hot Parts, both on the Buddah label.

In the 1970s, Brown would record with Montage, Stories and the Beckies, while a 1978 Finn solo project would evolve into an abortive Left Banke reunion with Martin and Cameron; a set of demos from that project would see release in 1986, as Strangers on a Train in the U.S. and Voices Calling in Britain. In the years since, various combinations of Left Banke members, including Brown, have periodically reunited in the studio to work on new material, but the fruits of those efforts have remained unheard by the public.

Years of speculation regarding a Left Banke reunion came to an end in March 2011, when Finn and Cameron teamed with a group of New York musicians for a pair of shows in New York, marking the first Left Banke gigs in more than four decades and the first time many of the band's songs had ever been performed live. The reunion shows' rapturous reception underlines the ongoing fan interest in the Left Banke, and the fact that the songs from The Left Banke Too were as well-received as the more familiar hits demonstrates the high esteem in which this album is held by the band's admirers.
by Scott Schinder
Tracks
1. Goodbye Holly (T. Feher) - 2:55
2. There's Gonna Be A Storm (T. Finn) - 4:16
3. Sing Little Bird Sing (T. Feher) - 3:07
4. Nice To See You (T. Finn) - 2:40
5. Give The Man A Hand  (M. Potocki) - 2:54
6. Bryant Hotel (T. Feher) - 3:24
7. Desirée  (M. Brown, T. Feher) - 2:40
8. Dark Is The Bark (T. Finn, S. Martin, Caro, G. Cameron) - 3:27
9. In The Morning Light  (T. Feher, M. Brown) - 2:49
10.My Friend Today (T. Finn) - 3:05

The Left Banke
*Tom Finn - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*George Cameron - Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Guitar
*Steve Martin Caro - Lead Vocals, Drums. Tambourine, Guitar, Bass
*Michael Brown - Piano, Harpsichord, Clavinet, Organ, Vocals
*Tom Feher - Piano
Additional Musicians
*Linda Hills - Voice
*Marvin Potocki - Guitar
*Rick Brand - 5-String Banjo
*Hugh McCracken - Guitar
*Joe Mack - Bass
*Bobby Gregg - Drums
*Ralph Casale - Guitar
*Jerry Ciccone - Guitar
*Chet Amsterdam -Bass
*Paul Griffin - Keyboards
*Artie Schroeck - Drums
*Artie Schroeck - Vibraphone
*Marvin Stamm - Trumpet
*Ray Alonge - French Horn
*Ray Desio - Trombone
*George Young - Woodwind
*The Irving Spice Strings - Strings

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee...Pretty Ballerina (1966-67 us, wondrous psychedelia with baroque colours, Sundazed 2011 remaster)



Even in the heady musical atmosphere of 1967, the Left Banke's debut LP Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina stood out. The New York outfit's beguiling blend of classically-influenced songwriting, heart-tugging three-part harmonies and exquisitely textured arrangements resulted in music that embodied equal amounts of youthful innocence, autumnal melancholy and precocious musical sophistication.

The Left Banke perfected its singular sound on its iconic debut single "Walk Away Renée," a Top Five hit in its original release and an enduring pop standard in the years since, and on its equally affecting follow-up "Pretty Ballerina." The subsequent album that bore the titles of both singles was an equally impressive achievement, demonstrating remarkable depth and showing the band to be much more than a mere two-hit wonder.

The Left Banke's story is liberally strewn with bad choices, missed opportunities, interpersonal acrimony and squandered potential. But the negative aspects of the band's history are far less pertinent than the fact that, in their all-too-brief existence, the Left Banke created a consistently magnificent body of work that stands with the most original, inventive and emotionally resonant pop music of its era.

The members of the Left Banke were still in their teens in 1965, when Tom Finn struck up a friendship with Steve Martin-Caro, née Carmelo Esteban Martin Caro, who'd recently arrived in town from his native Spain. Finn and Martin had originally met on the street outside of Manhattan's City Squire Hotel, watching a mob of screaming girls awaiting the arrival of the Rolling Stones. They were soon joined by Finn's friend George Cameron and the Magic Plants' drummer Warren David-Schierhorst.

The budding band soon began visiting World United Recording, a modest studio at 48th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, where Finn's previous outfit the Magic Plants had recorded. There, they fell in with 16-year-old Michael Brown, a classically trained pianist and budding composer who was working at World United as an assistant and sometime session player. Brown was the son of the studio's owner Harry Lookofsky, a veteran jazz violinist who'd played on numerous sessions and recorded on his own as Hash Brown.

Since Brown had the keys to the studio, the quintet—with Martin on lead vocals, Cameron on guitar, Finn on bass, David on drums and Brown on keyboards—began convening there for late-night rehearsal sessions. Martin, Finn and Cameron quickly developed an organic vocal rapport, honing the distinctive three-part harmonies that would become a cornerstone of the Left Banke's sound. Brown's advanced musical skills increased the group's options considerably.

Soon, Brown's father took an interest in the nascent combo and became its manager, publisher and co-producer. Lookofsky's involvement would help to advance the Left Banke's early career, but his multiple roles (not to mention his status as father of the band's main songwriter) created conflicts of interest that would soon help to splinter the lineup.

The Left Banke began cutting tracks at World United in early 1966, recording such early tunes as "I've Got Something on My Mind" and "I Haven't Got the Nerve," both of which would end up on Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina. Aside from David's drumming and Brown's piano and harpsichord, the remaining instruments were played by session musicians. David was soon ousted from the band by Lookofsky after the drummer ran off to California with Brown; Lookofsky had the underage pair stopped by police at the airport and sent home. 
by Scott Schinder 
Tracks
1. Pretty Ballerina (M. Brown) - 2:38
2. She May Call You Up Tonight (M. Brown, S. Martin, Caro) - 2:21
3. Barterers And Their Wives (T. Feher, M. Brown) - 3:00
4. I've Got Something On My Mind (S. Martin, Caro, G. Cameron, M. Brown) - 2:49
5. Let Go Of You Girl (S. Martin, Caro, G. Cameron, M. Brown) - 2:55
6. Evening Gown (T. Feher, M. Brown) - 1:46
7. Walk Away Renee (M. Brown, T. Sansone, B. Calilli) - 2:44
8. What Do You Know (T. Feher, M. Brown) - 3:00
9. Shadows Breaking Over My Head (S. Martin, Caro, M. Brown) - 2:36
10.I Haven't Got The Nerve (G. Cameron, S. Martin, Caro) - 2:16
11.Lazy Day (M. Brown, S. Martin, Caro) - 2:23

The Left Banke
*Tom Finn - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*George Cameron - Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Guitar
*Steve Martin Caro - Lead Vocals, Drums. Tambourine, Guitar, Bass
*Michael Brown - Piano, Harpsichord, Clavinet, Organ, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Buddy Saltzman - Drums
*Harry Lookofsky - Violin
*Seymour Barab - Cello
*George Marge - Oboe
*Hugh McCracken - Guitar
*Joe Mack - Bass
*Al Gorgoni - 12-string Acoustic Guitar
*John Abbott - Guitar, Bass
*Warren David-Schierhorst - Drums
*Rick Brand - Guitar
*George "Fluffer" Hirsh - Guitar
*Al Rogers - Drums
*Jeff Winfield - Guitar

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Khazad Doom - Encore! (1968-70 us, impressive heavy psych melted with early prog, private press numbered edition)



Throughout the sixties and early seventies, a rock 'n' roll band from suburban Morton Grove, Illinois performed in and around Chicago. Even though they remained together about the same time as the Beatles dominated American pop charts, Khazad Doom (pronounced Kah' zud doom) never made it in the traditional sense. But artistically, over nine years, they forged a kind of music now called Progressive Rock.

After their split in 1972, during the eighties, the band achieved cult status when their promo album LEVEL 6 1/2 was reissued and distributed throughout Europe. Just one copy of the original LEVEL 6 1/2 vinyl rides the top of collectors' wish-lists and has traded for as much as $1,500 a copy!

In 1995, the limited edition retrospective CD called ENCORE! was burnt from Khazad Doom’s original tapes. It includes much of the band’s decade of output.

Like many so-called basement bands of the sixties, Khazad Doom employed various configurations, engaged in band battles, and sought the help of agents and recording gurus. Unlike other bands, Khazad Doom, influenced by the Beatles and other classically-based groups of the time, recorded frequently and included many original songs and rearrangements in its repertoire, hoping that would somehow help them progress along their path to stardom.

After the band performed around Chicagoland for several years, playing all original material and rearrangements, they pioneered writing and performing a decidedly non-rock genre when they introduced Stanley's Visit To Kerkle Morff, a moralistic fantasy that sounded right for Broadway, a full length feature cartoon, or a musical, more than a rock operetta. 

On a primitive recording set-up that shouldn't have worked, they recorded Stanley and a variety of other songs that still represent Khazad Doom at its best. Twenty-six years later that remastered recording makes up most of the ENCORE! limited edition CD, now sold out but still circulating among fans and collectors worldwide. The CD includes the best cuts from the LEVEL 6 1/2 project--The Hunters, "In this World," and "Narcissus."
Tracks
1. Cherry Town (As The Laymen) (Jack Eadon) - 3:12
2.  Love Wich We Share Among Us (As The Laymen) (Steve Yates) - 2:11
3.  The Prelude (Jack Eadon) - 12:18
4.  In The Den (Jack Eadon) - 4:32
5.  The Golden Yellow Meadow (Jack Eadon) - 6:56
6.  Narcsissus (Eadon, Sievers, Yates, Hilkin) - 5:05
7.  In This World (Steve Yates) - 2:42
8.  Nothing To Fear (Yates, Eadon, Dixon) - 2:44
9.  Excerpt From Uncle Gillroy/s Crazy Son (Jack Eadon) - 2:57  
10.Stanley/s Visit To Kerkle Morrf (Jack Eadon) - 12:26
11.Can/t Find Love Alone (Jack Eadon) - 2:50
12.Dirt (Jack Eadon) - 1:50
13.Paper Bus (Steve Yates) - 4:02
14.Frozen Faces (Steve Yates) - 3:38
15.Come With Me (1978) (Eadon, Sievers, Yates) - 4:14

Khazad Doom
*Jack Eadon - Guitar, Vocals
*Tom Sievers - Bass, Vocals
*Steve “Al” Yates - Organ, Vocals
*Steve “Crow” Hilkin - Percussion

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wildweeds - Wildweeds (1970-71 us, strong country rock with folk blues and roots 'n' roll shades, Akarma reissue)



It's the stuff of pop music legend: in the late 60s, a young band with a scorching style and a regional number-one song drifted into obscurity. Meanwhile the band's frontman, then-teenage Al Anderson, went on to a highly visible career that includes a decades-long stint with the hugely popular band NRBQ. Anderson moved on to become one of the most sought after songwriters in Nashville, and he's still going strong after 40 years of musical adventures.

This is the tale of The Wildweeds, a band that by all accounts was always slightly out of step with prevailing musical fashions. In retrospect, the band seemed to exist to set the stage for Al Anderson's future. But, as this new collection from Confidential Recordings, "No Good To Cry: The Best of The Wildweeds," reveals and affirms, the music that the group produced stands on its merits as an important contribution to the pop lexicon.

The influences which made the band seem in the minority musically are today acknowledged as masters of soul. True the Beatles and the Stones popularized and emulated crossover rock and roll artists like Chuck Berry. But The Wildweeds worshipped the likes of Ray Charles, The Impressions and Billy Stewart. Perhaps The Weeds were ahead of their time. Listening to "No Good To Cry: The Best of The Wildweeds," a compilation of the band's singles and unreleased material, shows just how fresh that take is today.

By the late 50s/early 60s, rock and roll had moved out of the south, and was not strictly the domain of the big cities any more, so this group of Windsor, CT boys was able to follow their musical ideals with impunity.

The Hartford area had a strong music scene. The young players typically shifted in and out of various combos. Bands with names like The Blues Messengers, The Altones, The Six Packs and The Futuras shaped them. The Weeds finally gelled in late 1966. Shortly thereafter, the name was expanded to The Wildweeds.

While the band was still in its early stages, Andy Lepak's father, Alex Lepak Sr., a professional musician and teacher, started managing them. He provided a stabilizing influence, paying them a salary and instilling in them strong ideals about their music. 

Wildweeds' sole album (they were no longer called "the" Wildweeds by the time it came out) was cut with assistance from top Nashville session men Charlie McCoy, Weldon Myrick, and David Briggs. This Akarma  reissue adds three non-LP tracks from 1971 singles.
Tracks
1. Baby Please Don't Leave Me Today - 2:14
2. Can't Sit And Watch Little Susie Laugh - 3:28
3. John King's Fair - 2:53
4. Belle - 1:45
5. An Overnight Guest - 3:34
6. Nobody's Here To Help Me Cry - 2:46
7. And When She Smiles - 2:30
8. Paint And Powder Ladies No.2 - 1:52
9. Fantasy Child - 2:35
10.My Baby Left Me (Arthur Curdup)  - 2:07
11.Don't Ask Me How How Or Why - 3:24
12.Mare, Take Me Home - 3:28
13.C'mon If You're Comin' (Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry) - 2:21
14.Ain't No Woman Finer Lookin'  - 3:15
15.Goin' Back To Indiana  - 2:48
All songs by Al Anderson except where indicated

The Wildweeds
*Al Anderson - Vocals, Lead, Rhythm Guitar
*Bob Dudek – Vocals,  Drums
*Al Lepak,Jr. - Bass
*Martin Yakaitis - Percussion
With Special Thanks To
*Charlie McCoy - Organ,Dobro,Harmonica,Vibes
*Weldon Myrick - Steel Guitar
*David Briggs - Piano
*Mac Gayden - Electric Guitar
*Jim Colvard - Bass Guitar

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Nektar - Sunday Night At London Roundhouse (1974 uk, spectacular progressive rock, Bellaphon double disc set)



Releasing a live LP with side A containing one and a half song from a recorded concert and side B containing three cuts from a jam that lasted several hours was not a very sensible thing to do in 1974. The LP was titled Sunday Night At London Roundhouse, and its release looked somewhat overdone between the steady flow of album releases the band had anyway in those days (ten sides of vinyl in three years). I never though it was a very good album; it was too short. Too short for a live album, and too short to show anything that the band could do when jamming. 

Nektar recorded their last date on the English 1973 tour (in support of their early 1973 album ...Sounds Like This, although the masterpiece that was following it, Remember The Future, was released two days before this concert took place) on November 25th, because the record company wanted a live album. Good idea, why not, although the band were more into their next studio album, of course. 

Early the following year, while recording the following studio album Down To Earth, the bass player's birthday was a reason to go jamming for a few hours having the tape recorded running - it was March 27th, 1974. A good reason! Besides the opener Desolation Valley, many of the music that followed was pure improvisation or at least unreleased material. And sometimes very unlike their usual sound. 

With recordings like that I could never imagine how a record company could take only two songs from the live concert for one side of a live album (Desolation Valley and A Day In The Life Of A Preacher including the birth of Oh Willie, the latter was even cut in half for the release) and making a very short B side with Oops - Unidentified Flying Abstract, Mundetango, and Summer Breeze from the jam session. I once wrote that the only reasonable thing the record company could do is release a double CD of the full concert and if necessary a multi CD set of the jam. 

Well, what do you know? They did almost exactly that! First, there is a double CD featuring the complete concert in wonderful stereo quality. Crying In The Dark / King Of Twilight is good, great to hear Cast Your Fate and especially Odyssey of which I knew only one other live version. Remember The Future and 1-2-3-4 are wonderful. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher is at last complete, and a special version indeed as it has the origins of what would become Oh Willie on the following studio album Down To Earth. It shows how the band could jam while in concert, it shows how tight the unit of these musicians was, and it shows the diversity in their musical ideas. With the following jam, titled Summer Breeze, the sound is going from dreamy to heavy agressive. I have always loved this contrast in the band's sound.

The album also shows that after ...Sounds Like This and Remember The Future, the band was letting in the guitar more and more, a little away from the somewhat psychedelic sounds of the first album and the title track of A Tab In The Ocean, though still being progressive. Well, with Down To Earth coming on, this is hardly a surprise. Playing A Tab In The Ocean live in 1976, it was like the band was saying they never stopped liking their earlier sound, but they were just exploring further. (It is beyond the scope of this review to go into the sound of the album after that, Recycled, but on there, the keyboards regained importance.)

Being more of a progressive rock fan than a rock and roll fan, the rock and roll medley show closer is less interesting, but what's 6 minutes on a 100 minute show, eh? But also being a fan of early blues and hard rock, songs like 1-2-3-4 and Odyssey are just marvellous! The emotion that is feeding the musicians results in such performances that is best heard live. With the band having reformed, I am very much looking forward to seeing them on stage! 

The other side of the original Sunday Night LP received the same "and now a proper CD release" treatment, resulting in a 41 minute disc. Significantly more than the 15 minutes on the LP. I guess these are the parts from the jam that were worth a commercial release. I am still curious to what the rest of the tapes hold secret, but I am more than satisfied with what is offered here.

It is starting with a song we all know, but you can hear and feel the band is more relaxed than in front of an audience. You can hear it on other recordings as well, but not as clear as here, how subtle a guitar player Roye Albrighton is.

The other tracks are all otherwise unreleased. One Mile Red and Summer Breeze were played in concert several times, though. The first definitely bears the Nektar signature on it. But the remaining tracks all have something surprising, making this release a very special one. Being in a relaxed environment obviously lets the musicians play looser tracks, almost jazzy as in We Must Have Been Smashed or Oops, although the latter was not that laid back. 

These CDs are a real treat for Nektar fans! Fans will have it already, it's not for them I write this. If you like Nektar and would like to hear how they sound live, get this Sunday Night album right away! Unidentified Flying Abstract is amazing for fans, but there are other albums to hear first if you want to get to know the band. 
by Gert Hulshof
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Crying In The Dark / King Of Twilight - 12:10
2. Desolation Valley - 8:58
3. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher Including The Birth Of Oh Willie - 19:50
4. Summer Breeze - 3:04
5. Cast Your Fate - 5:42
Disc 2
1. Remember The Future Part One - 18:47
2. Odyssey - Ron's On - 11:15
3. 1-2-3-4 - 12:31
4. Remember The Future Part Two - Let It Grow - 5:14
5. Woman - 6:09

Nektar
*Allan "Taff" Freeman - Keyboards, Vocals
*Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, Vocals
*Mick Brockett - Lights
*Ron Howden - Drums, Percussion
*Roye Allbrighton - Guitars, Vocals

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grace Slick And The Great Society - Conspicuous Only By Its Absence / How It Was (1968/71 us, west coast psychedelic rock, historical live recordings at Frisco's matrix club 1966, Collector's Item issue)



This double-LP/single-CD reissue combines both of the Great Society's live albums, Conspicuous Only by Its Absence and How It Was, and features "Somebody to Love" in its original slower, more menacing version. It also includes the Society's extended version of Grace Slick's "White Rabbit" along with several other haunting originals which strike an exhilarating balance between tight songwriting and psychedelic jamming. Based on his raga-tinged work here, guitarist Darby Slick (Grace's then brother-in-law) deserves a lot more recognition than he's ever received for his pioneering explorations of Eastern scales. 

Bassist Peter Van Gelder isn't far behind him in the innovation department, and makes significant contributions here on saxophone and flute as well, plunging into John Coltrane territory on the former -- and his work on "White Rabbit," by itself, is worth the price of admission. Additionally, Grace Slick's singing was already about 95-percent of what it would be with the Airplane when she came aboard the latter, and if you close your eyes and forget what you're hearing, there are moments when you'd swear you were listening to her work from Surrealistic Pillow, After Bathing at Baxter's, or Crown of Creation. 

What's more, the CD edition is very nicely produced, the engineers overcoming most of the sonic limitations of the original concert tapes that made the original LP versions sound so flat in spots. All of these attributes make the title of this release something of a misnomer -- far more than a "Collector's Item," this is a genuinely exciting glimpse into the birth of psychedelic music, and essential listening for any devotees of the latter, or the San Francisco sound in any of its manifestations; the Great Society might not have made it past 1966, but they left behind music here that was as solid, substantial, and enduring -- and worth hearing today -- as anything the Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and the Charlatans were doing at the time. (And if you do look for this CD -- which, amazingly, is still in print as of 2007 -- a lot of stores tend to file it under Grace Slick rather than Great Society). 
by Richie Unterberger and Bruce Eder 
Tracks
Conspicuous Only By Its Absence
1. Sally, Go 'Round The Roses (Lona Stevens, Zell Sanders) – 6:32
2. Didn't Think So (Grace Slick) – 3:23
3. Grimly Forming (Peter Vandergelder) – 3:53
4. Somebody To Love (Darby Slick) – 4:27
5. Father Bruce (D. Slick, G. Slick, J. Slick, D. Miner) – 3:31
6. Outlaw Blues (Bob Dylan) – 2:27
7. Often As I May (Grace Slick) – 3:43
8. Arbitration (Peter Vandergelder) – 3:58
9. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) – 6:15
How It Was
10.That's How It Is (David Miner) - 2:39
11.Darkly Smiling (Darby Slick) - 3:08
12.Nature Boy (E. Ahbez) - 3:10
13.You Can't Cry (David Miner) - 2:58
14.Daydream Nightmare (David Miner) - 4:34
15.Everybody Knows (Darby Slick) - 2:37
16.Born To Be Burned (D. Slick, J. Slick) - 3:13
17.Father (G. Slick, D. Slick, J. Slick, D. Miner) - 6:35

The Great Society
*Grace Slick – Piano, Vocals
*Darby Slick – Guitar
*David Miner – Guitar
*Jerry Slick – Drums
*Peter Vandergelder (Van Gelder) – Bass, Flute, Saxophone

1965-66 The Great Society - Born to Be Burned

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Mapleoak - Mapleoak (1970-71 uk/canada, fine classic rock melted with rural, blues and jazzy tunes, featuring Peter Quaife from the Kinks fame)



During the mid-‘60s, guitarist Stan Endersby was at the forefront of the Toronto music scene, playing with some of the city’s most experimental and musically inventive bands. As a member of The Tripp, Endersby worked alongside future singer-songwriter Neil Merryweather and pianist Rick Bell, who later played with Janis Joplin and The Band. 

Later, he travelled to England and led the Anglo-Canadian group Maple Oak, the band formed by ex-Kinks bass player Peter Quaife. The band issued a rare and now much sought after single for Decca and an album (recorded after Quaife’s departure) before the remaining members returned to Canada. 
Tracks
1. Son Of A Gun - 3:40
2. Hurt Me So Much - 2:17
3. Guitar Pickers - 3:20
4. Natural Joy - 3:44
5. Roses - 2:43
6. Bring Me Water - 3:12
7. Down Down - 3:48
8. Treetors - 5:13
9. Flying Circus - 2:04
10.Sail Away - 2:35
11.I Don`t Know - 4:24
12.All These Times - 2:13
13.Frankley Stoned - 5:03

Mapleoak
*Stan Endersby - Guitar, Vocals
*Martin Fisher - Keyboards
*Peter Quaife - Bass
*Mick Cook - Drums
*Gordon Macbain - Drums

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Great Society - Born to Be Burned (1965-66 us, classic west coast psych garage with young Grace Slick , Sundazed edition)



Before joining Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick sang lead and played various instruments for the Great Society, who were nearly as popular as Jefferson Airplane in the early days of the San Francisco psychedelic scene. Instrumentally, the Great Society were not as disciplined as Airplane. 

But they were at least their equals in imagination, infusing their probing songwriting with Indian influences, minor key melodic shifts, and groundbreaking, reverb-soaked psychedelic guitar by Slick's brother-in-law, Darby Slick. Darby was also responsible for penning "Somebody to Love," which Grace brought with her to Airplane, who took it into the Top Five in 1967. the Great Society broke up in late 1966.
by Richie Unterberger 
Tracks
1. Free Advice (Darby Slick) - 2:29
2. Someone To Love (Darby Slick) - 3:03
3. You Can't Cry (David Miner) - 2:32
4. That's How It Is (David Miner) - 2:27
5. Girl (David Miner) - 2:09
6. Where (David Miner) - 2:10
7. Heads Up (Grace Slick) - 1:17
8. Free Advice (Alternate Version #2, Darby Slick) - 2:06
9. Father Bruce (Grace Slick, Darby Slick, Jerry Slick, David Miner) - 3:07
10.Born To Be Burned (Darby Slick, Jerry Slick) - 2:05
11.Double Triptamine Superautomatic Everlovin' Man (David Miner) - 1:55
12.Love You Girl (David Miner) - 3:06
13.That's How It Is (Alternate Version, David Miner) - 2:22
14.Right To Me (David Miner) - 3:04
15.Where (Alternate Version, David Miner) - 2:13
16.Free Advice (Alternate Version #1, Darby Slick) - 2:09
17.Daydream-Nightmare-Love (David Miner) - 3:17

The Great Society
*Darby Slick - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Grace Slick - Vocals, Guitar,
*David Miner - Vocals, Guitar
*Jerry Slick - Drums
*Bard Dupont - Bass

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skin Alley - Skin Tight (1973 uk, fine progressive brass rock with some blues and glam shades)



After a live gig and a TV show in Memphis, we were introduced to Don Nix who had just been doing work at Muscle Shoals and with the Joe Cocker entourage.  He was keen to produce our next album and agreed to come to England to do this.  Hence the misinformation that we were an anglo-american band, no we were not, if anything, we were an anglo-polish band!

The resultant album was "Skin Tight" which was recorded at Chipping Norton and was done in a direct almost live-recording style, at that time unusual in England. Musically it was close to the work of many of the American bands we admired and certainly a hemisphere away from our first albumalbum.

After the release of this album we were forced to face the reality that there would be no money coming from our record deal and the live gig scene was going the David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and Marmalade way, so, reluctantly, we disbanded.
by Krzysztof Juszkiewicz
Tracks
1. If I Only Had The Time (Bob James) - 3:50
2. At A Quarter To One (Bob James) - 3:51
3. How Long (Nick Graham) - 3:28
4. Surprise Awakening (Nick Graham) - 4:14
5. Broken Eggs (James, Juszkiewicz, Knight) - 4:05
6. Maverick Woman Blues (Don Nix) - 3:55
7. The Heap Turns Human (Nick Graham) - 3:50
8. What Good Does It Do? (Bob James) - 5:02
9. Mr Heavy (Bob James) - 3:28
10.Instermental (Nick Graham) - 3:41

Skin Alley
*Bob James - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Nick Graham - Bass, Vocals
*Tony Knight - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Krzysztof Juszkiewicz - Piano, Organ, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Dave Coxhill - Baritone Saxophone
*Phil Kenzie - Tenor Saxophone
*Geoff Driscoll - Tenor Saxophone
*Martin Drover - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
*Bud Parkes - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
*The  Lounge Lizards - Brass

1970  Big Brother Is Watching You

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Tramline - Somewhere Down the Line (1968 uk, power blues rock, Repertoire 2008 digi sleeve)



Somewhere Down The Line' is the first of two albums by a group that was a contemporary of fellow Island Records' signing Free and created a similarly, powerful blues sound. Micky looks back on his early adventures with Tramline in an exclusive new interview with Repertoire’s Chris Welch for the informative liner notes: 'On the blues tunes we sounded like 60-year-old black guys from the Mississippi, which is odd when you’re only 17 and from North Yorkshire!'

Signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records (A&M acquiring US distribution rights), Tramline featured the talents of singer John McCoy, lead guitarist Mick Moody, drummer Terry Popple and bassist Terry Sidgwick. Produced by Blackwell, 1968's "Somewhere Down the Track" showcased the band's intense commitment blues genre. The only non-blues selection was a strange cover of Stephen Stills 'Rock and Roll Woman'.

Still in his teens, Moody was certainly a talented slide guitar player though the band's full hearted devotion to the blues didn't exactly give him a platform to showcase those talents. Similarly, as lead vocalist/harmonica player McCoy was a decent, if somewhat anonymous performer.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Harpoon Man (McCoy, Atanbridge, Butler, Wilburn) - 4:05
2. National Blues (Moody, Thomas) - 3:25
3. Sorry Sorry (Moody, McCoy, Sidgwick, Popple) - 9:00
4. Look Over Yonder Wall (Moody, McCoy, Sidgwick, Popple) - 4:39
5. Rock And Roll Woman (Stills) - 4:01
6. Somewhere Down The Line (Taylor) - 3:35
7. Mazurka (Popple, Sidgwick, Moody) - 2:45
8. Statesborough Blues (Taj Mahal) - 3:36
9. Killing Floor (Burnett) - 4:50

Tramline
*John McCoy - Harmonica, Vocals
*Micky Moody - Guitar
*Terry Popple - Drums
*Terry Sidgwick - Bass, Vocals

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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Rockets - The Rockets (1968 us, respectable west coast blended psychedelic rock pre Crazy Horse)



It's easy to see why The Rockets attracted Neil Young's attention. Listen to "Let Me Go," Danny Whithen's ambling blues/rock shuffle that appears five songs into this CD. Over a deceptively simple and hypnotic rhythm, Whithen's electric guitar begins a slow but determined build, erupting into fits and snarls and showers of sparks, never turning lo speed riffs but relying instead on the pulse and amplified grit of two or three notes. 

Neil Young's distinctive electric sound is, of course, a variation on this approach; it first caught the public's car on 1969's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album, on which Young exchanged this kind of staccato, rapid-fire note-play with Danny Whitten. By then, The Rockets had become Crazy Horse, and the chemistry that developed between the band members and Neil Young has served them well for more than three decades. Long may they run. The Rockets was released in 1968 on While Whale Records, the Los Angeles label that had turned the world on to The Turtles and "Happy Together." 

Four years earlier, Danny Whitten (guitar/vocals) and Billy Talbot (bass/vocals), as Danny & the Memories, had released a single called "Can't Help Loving That Girl Of Mine," but it hadn't clicked. Drummer Ralph Molina joined in '66, and the band re-located to San Francisco, where the gigs were good, and where their ranks swelled with the addition of guitarist brothers George and Leon Whitsell. On the spur of the moment, Talbot invited classical violinist Bobby Notkoff, who'd never played rock V roll but was eager to learn, to join the band. Complete, they headed back to L-A. to find their fortunes. 

Neil Young, no surprise, was one of their biggest fans, and enjoyed jamming with the band when he wasn't on the road or in the studio with Buffalo Springfield. Barry Goldberg, the organist in The Eleclric Flag, was recruited to produce The Rockets at Paramount Recording. He quickly discovered that the key lo The Rockets was letting them find their groove, which, contrary to the heaviest rock of the day, was often understated — as much about the spaces in between the notes as the notes themselves. 

The band showed solid potential. With Whitten's material taking up the whole of side one on the original album, and Leon Whitsell's fierce psychedelic blues on side two (check out the gritty "Pills Blues," a high point of the band's live show), The Rockets might have soared. But fate had other plans for them. Neil Young wanted a road band, and after Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere — on which he'd employed Whithen, Talbot, Molina and (on one song) Notkoff— he wanted them. And he wouldn't take no for an answer. 

The Rockets wasn't exactly tearing up the charts, so with the others' blessings, Danny, Billy and Ralph rode off into history as threequarters of Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Danny Whitlen died in 1972, at age 29, a casualty of the needle and the damage done. George Whitscll briefly took up the guitar chair in Crazy Horse, until Frank "Pancho" Sampedro joined in '75. The Rockets is a great little record, an embryonic peek into what was to come — and, in the case of Danny Whitten, a bittersweet reminder of what might have been.
by Bill DeYoung
Tracks
1. Hole In My Pocket (Danny Whitten) - 2:32
2. Won't You Say You'll Stay (Danny Whitten) - 2:49
3. Mr. Chips (Danny Whitten) - 2:19
4. It's A Mistake (Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot) - 1:51
5. Let Me Go (Danny Whitten) - 3:47
6. Try My Patience (Leon Whitsell) - 2:16
7. I Won't Always Be Around (Leon Whitsell) - 2:52
8. Pill's Blues (George Whitsell) - 4:02
9. Stretch Your Skin (Leon Whitsell) - 4:11
10.Eraser (Leon Whitsell) - 1:56

The Rockets
*Danny Whitten - Guitar, Vocal
*George Whitsell - Guitar, Vocal
*Leon Whitsell - Guitar
*Billy Talbot - Bass
*Ralph Molina- Drums, Vocal
*Bobby Notkoff - Violin

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tangerine - The Peeling Of Tangerine (1971 us, excellent hard psych jam rock, Gear Fab issue)



In the late fifties and early sixties Big Al was on of the local, (Latrobe, PA), musicians that had the privilege of playing with some of the greats of Rock and Roll His guitar showed up on the local stages with the likes of the Everly Brothers, Fabian, Bo Didley and Lou Christy. Big Al got his first Silvertone guitar when he was in high school It didn't take long for him to excel. He went from playing on the street corner by the Sun Drugs in the afternoon to his first group playing trie local seen in a matter of months. 

Within a year he was backing up some of the top names in the business Piano was Big Al's first instrument but the guitar won his heart. He also plays flute, percussion and trumpet. Big Al was the mam influence on who Tangerine was in the 60's and 70's. Crash |oined the group in the late 60's and even though he was raised with the 50's rock and roll he brought with him a taste of the English sound, the sound of his era. Crash also brought a new type of vocal harmony to the group With the use of minors and falsetto the new vocal sound was created. 

Crash shared lead vocals with Al for live performances Crash's first intro into music was also the piano but went rapidly toward the woodwinds Clarinet, alto, tenor and baritone sax, bassoon and oboe were all instruments Crash played in high school. But because of his big brother AL, he learned to play the guitar Congas came later after the group had formed. His first professional gig was with the "Fireflies" an East Coast group. Crash has since become an outstanding bassest, his current instrument with the Ferraro Brothers. 

Tangerine has evolved into the "Ferraro Brothers" band. They're new CD, "Run that by me again", was recorded back in 1997 in Fullerton CA. They are working on a new release that will be out hopefully in the summer of 2000 When the two are not playing Big Al has an accounting Office in Latrobe, PA And brother Crash is an operational consultant and travels across the USA. Both hope to finish out the decade by tounng and playing rock and roll They have both moved back to their roots in Pennsylvania several years ago, leaving Los Angeles behind. 

The new sound is a blend of 50's 60' and 70's music It consists of more vocal harmonies and a milder blend of instrumentation.
by Lynn "Crash" Ferraro, Latrobe, PA. June 1999

Tangerine - ''The Peeling of Tangerine'' CD Reissue of their ultra-rare and very hard rock psychedelic LP from 1971, recorded at the famous WRS Recording Studios in Pittsburgh, PA. Great guitar work throughout, plus a 13 minute long track which shows off the great talent this band possessed. Very much in the vein of early Iron Butterfly!!!

Led by the multi-instrumentalist Ferraro brothers Al and Crash (they mainly played guitar), Tangerine started playing together in the late '60s, but the group's sole album was released in 1971. In many ways, The Peeling of Tangerine is a stellar, accomplished album. More than anyone, the band recalls a slightly heavier Santana; the music is full of Latin chord progressions, salsafied and tribal drumming and percussion, and Al Ferraro's beautiful guitar work, as well as some of the dynamics of early '70s psychedelia and soul.

The band doesn't stake out their own musical ground and the songs are not altogether distinctive enough; more often than not, they sound like structureless (but not formless) jams passing for songs. In the other hand, those jams are often scintillating, with a slight mysterious lurch -- had they been honed in and further fleshed out, they had the makings of blazing tunes. Underused lead vocalist Al Ferraro is a blue-eyed soul shouter along the lines of Steve Winwood, and the band is capable of cooking.

The first side of the album recalls the Allman Brothers, but stripped down to a guitar trio. The sound could benefit from a larger palette of colors, and even the guitar isn’t amped up, maintaining a mid 60s surf tone throughout are mixed in their only album, psychedelic, hardcore, jazz - a bit of everything. The album opens very brief psycho-blues 'Come And See Me', where the guitar line in the chorus is remarkably similar to Love Potion # 9, most of the known performance in The Searchers. Next - jazz-rock 'The Hutch' with blues guitar line and 'Chain Gang', where too much obvious influence of jazz, rhythm and kept it to "float" bass riff, then Ches guitar, and bass, in turn, plays a solo. Heavy blues 'AJF' is an unjustly forgotten Latin-soul gem,built on a meditative guitar riff Feedback completes the first side of the plate.

The other side does plug in, and is made up primarily of a heavy jam in the Iron Butterfly, Blue Cheer mold The epic 13-minute final cut, "My Main Woman," perhaps summarizes both Tangerine's abilities and excesses best. The song contains gorgeous passages of snaking guitar lines, hyper drumming, and rumbling bass as well as joyous percussive parts, but those parts can go on far longer than taste would merit, thus losing the momentum and drive of the song for short spells before regaining its footing which was reminiscent of Iron Butterfly, where all the members are demonstrating their art of using tools (including solos on bongos).
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Come And See Me (Al Ferraro) - 2:44
2. The Hutch' (Al Ferraro) - 3:26
3. Chain Gang (Al Ferraro, Dennis Kostley) - 5:42
4. A.J.F. (Al Ferraro, Dennis Defelice, Crash) - 5:32
5. My Main Woman (Al Ferraro, Dennis Defelice) - 13:11
'The Hutch was written during a live performance at "The
Hutch" in Vienaa, West Virginia, Feb. 28 1971


Tangerine
*Al Ferharo - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Lynn (Crash) Ferraro - Congas, Guitar, Vocal
*Dennis Defelice - Bass
*Dennis Kostley - Drums

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