Friday, January 31, 2014

Cactus - Ultra Sonic Boogie (1971 us, stunning rough hard blues rock, live document, 2010 issue)



There aren't a lot of live Cactus recordings from the early '70s, so it's quite a revelation to have a concert recorded in 1971 at radio station WLIR's Ultra Sonic Studios (Long Island, NY) released courtesy of the folks at Purple Pyramid Records. In front of a crowd of a hundred or so, the classic line-up of Cactus (Carmine Appice-drums, Tim Bogert-bass, Jim McCarty-guitar, and Rusty Day-vocals) tore through a fiery set of songs from their first few albums, including some raucous solos.

The audio quality of this set is like a very decent bootleg, so don't expect pristine sound here, but crank it up and it will indeed do the trick. The band kicks off with a scorching version of "Evil", complete with plenty of slashing guitar work from McCarty and a rumbling, unaccompanied drum solo from Appice. It's one of their heavier, most beloved songs and they do a fine job on it here, with Day's powerful vocals rough & ragged and soaring over the top. 

The catchy and quite bluesy "Bro. Bill" comes up next, always one of their more charming tunes, and the rumbling "Oleo", complete with it's heavy blues riffs, slide guitar, harmonica, and beefy bass lines from Bogert, shows that at their core, Cactus were really a blues & boogie band with plenty of volume and fuzz. McCarty lays down a variety of tasty licks on the slow blues grind of "No Need to Worry", and the band even tackled their then newly released single "Token Chokin' ", a sing-along country blues number that was rarely if ever played live, so this obviously was a very special occasion. The extended blues/boogie romps "Big Mama Boogie (Parts 1 & 2)" are a lot of fun, showing Cactus at their playful, jamming best.

Any Cactus fan will surely be thanking the lucky stars that these previously long lost tapes were discovered. It's a great set, and by the time the CD is done you'll wish there was more. If you are looking for a great snapshot of where Cactus was as a live act circa 1971, this is it folks.
by Pete Pardo
Tracks
1. Evil - 9:55
2. The Band Introductions - 0:53
3. Bro. Bill - 6:28
4. Oleo - 11:44
5. No Need To Worry - 14:48
6. Token Chokin' - 3:53
7. Big Mama Boogie (Part I) - 7:36
8. Big Mama Boogie (Part II) - 4:38
9. Outro - 0:52
All songs by Cactus

Cactus
*Carmine Appice - Drums, Guitar
*Tim Bogert - Bass
*James McCarty - Guitar
*Rusty Day - Vocals

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Three Man Army - Two (1974 uk, great hard rock with prog shades, japan SHM remaster)



Three Man Army was a British hard rock band of the early '70s, playing period guitar-slanted music that sounded like warm-up fodder for bigger stadium acts. The constants in the lineup were Adrian Gurvitz and Paul Gurvitz, both of whom had been in Gun. After Gun expired, Adrian went to America to play with Buddy Miles, while Paul formed Parrish & Gurvitz. 

The pair reunited, however, to record the debut Three Man Army album, A Third of a Lifetime, using several different drummers (including Miles, Carmine Appice from Vanilla Fudge, and Mike Kellie from Spooky Tooth). Tony Newman, formerly of Sounds Incorporated and the Rod Stewart Group, joined for the next (and final) two Three Man Army albums. While there were rehearsals for a fourth LP, it was never started, as Newman left to join David Bowie's band and the Gurvitz brothers teamed up with Ginger Baker to record three albums as the Baker Gurvitz Army.  "Two" was their third and final studio album released in 1974. 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Polecat Woman (Baxter, Adrian Curtis, Hayes) - 3:52
2. Today (Adrian Curtis) - 6:18
3. Flying (Adrian Curtis) - 3:08
4. Space Is the Place (Adrian Curtis) - 6:20
5. Irving (Adrian Curtis, Paul Gurvitz, Tony Newman) - 4:17
6. I Can't Make the Blind See (Baxter, Adrian Curtis, Hayes) - 4:03
7. Burning Angel (Adrian Curtis, Paul Gurvitz, Tony Newman) - 3:32
8. In My Eyes (Baxter, Adrian Curtis, Hayes) - 5:07

Three Man Army
*Paul Gurvitz - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
*Adrian Gurvitz - Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Organ
*Tony Newman - Drums, Percussion.
With
*Ruby James - Vocals, Bells
*Doris Troy - Vocals, Background Vocals
*Madeline Bell - Vocals
*Peter Robinson - Piano

Related Act
1968  Gun - Gun
1969  Gun - Gunsight (Japan 2008 remaster)

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Glass Harp - Live! At Carnegie Hall (1971 us, awesome jam psych rock)



More than four decades ago, a teenaged guitar phenom named Phil Keaggy burst onto the music scene. Keaggy and childhood friend and drummer/guitarist John Sferra were joined by bassist Dan Pecchio in Glass Harp, recording three albums for Decca before dissolving the band in 1972 when Keaggy was only 21. The band has reunited briefly for several concerts over the years, but rumor has it that the final Glass Harp concert will be July 27, 2002 at the Creation West festival in George, WA. (Note: Happily, that turned out not to be the case, and Glass Harp has continued playing and recording.) To commemorate Glass Harp's legacy, we're looking at a special album in the band's history.

A major highlight for Glass Harp was opening for The Kinks at Carnegie Hall in November 21 of 1971. The concert was recorded, but for some reason remained buried until 1997, when Live! At Carnegie Hall was finally released. It could be disappointing to see that this recording has only five songs, but when you realize that Look in the Sky is over 10 minutes and Can You See Me checks in at just under 29 minutes, it should be time to rejoice.

This is a great CD for all Keaggy/Glass Harp fans, or anyone else who loves vintage early 70s extended jam sessions. The recording quality is excellent, and the band is amazingly good when you consider how young they were--Sferra was 19 and Keaggy just 20, but his patented volume swells and lightning licks are already evident.

The final song, Can You See Me, features solos by all three band members (Pecchio's is a flute solo) and incorporates the song One Day At A Time before ending up the set with Keaggy's uncompromising lyrics: "Jesus died for you and me/that we may live eternally/through Him there is a peace we can share."

Consider that Keaggy wrote those lyrics in 1970 as a brand-new Christian, a teenaged rising rock star about to record his first album, and you realize just how bold and uncompromising he was. He wasn't about to water down the message when he had the opportunity to play Carnegie Hall.
by Randy Brandt
Tracks
1. Look In The Sky (Keaggy, Sferra, Pecchio) - 10:16
2. Never Is A Long Time (D. Pecchio) - 3:33
3. Do Lord (Keaggy, Sferra, Pecchio) - 3:59
4. Changes (J. Sferra) - 6:27
5. Can You See Me (D. Pecchio, P. Keaggy) - 28:56

Glass Harp
Phil Keaggy - Guitar, Vocals
Dan Pecchio - Bass, Flute, Vocals
John Sferra - Drums, Vocals

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shanti - Shanti (1971 us / india, wonderful raga folk psych fusion rock)



Indian flavoured hippie folkrock in the mood of Grateful Dead or CSN. Adding instruments such as sarod, dholak and tablas to their regular guitar/bass/drums line-up Shanti created an exotic, rootsy aura, never mind the spiritual lyrics.

From San Francisco, this Californian-meets-India group played a very relaxed mystic blend of music, alternating instrumental cuts with vocal songs. Adding instruments such as sarod, dholak and tablas to their regular guitar/bass/drums line-up Shanti created an exotic, rootsy aura, never mind the spiritual lyrics.

Zakir Hussain also played with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead on his Rolling Thunder album.
Tracks 
1. We Want To Be Free (Mike Aydelotte) - 3:16
2. Innocence (Ashish Khan) - 10:45
3. Out Of Nowhere (Neil Seidel) - 3:29
4. Lord I'm Comin' Round (Mike Aydelotte) - 3:03
5. Good Inside (Gary Halpern) - 3:15
6. Shanti (Ashish Khan) - 14:51
7. I Do Believe (Neil Seidel) - 1:30

Shanti
*Aashish Khan - Sarod
*Zakir Hussain - Tabla, Dholak, Naal
*Neil Seidel - Lead Guitar
*Steve Haehl - Lead Vocal, Guitar
*Steve Leach - Vocal, Bass
*Frank Lupica - Drums
*Pranesh Khan - Tabla, Naal

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Goliath - Hot Rock And Thunder (1972 us, spanking hard rock with symphonic prog touches)



The long-lost band named Goliath may have been reared in the dreary industrial city of Terre Haute, IN, nestled in Chicago's armpit on the south shore of Lake Michigan, but their music was as extravagant and cosmopolitan as it came during the heavy rock heyday of the 1970s. True, "We're Not Afraid," which opened the band's only album, 1975's Hot Rock & Thunder, never quite gelled amid its disparate working parts (half Deep Purple Mark III funk-rock, half Emerson, Lake & Palmer excess), but the wonderfully named "Dead Drunk Screamin'" brilliantly contrasted its roaring power chords with soaring choired vocals reminiscent of vintage Uriah Heep. 

Goliath's occasional detours into barroom boogie (à la Ronnie James Dio's Elf) for the likes of "Tell Me You're Satisfied" and the title track proved somewhat less memorable, but the group's tight and energetic performances, combined with singer Jim Kitchen's booming delivery never totally disappointed, either. And side two was where the quintet really spread its progressive rock wings, as guitarist Paul Bays' unfettered six-string bombast and keyboardist Dave Wood's Baroque piano work and futuristic synthesizer parts jousted for supremacy across multi-faceted creations like "The Apocalypse," "Silver Girl" (boasting a tasty classical piano mid-section), and the more toned down semi-ballad "Ordinary Guy" (where the CD reissue's direct-from-vinyl transfer becomes glaringly obvious). 

All in all, and though anything but perfect, the sheer creative breadth displayed by Goliath on this LP, in spite of recording on a shoestring budget under God knows what dire circumstances, was really quite remarkable; and the fact that its songs often appear torn between the decade's first and second halves (the first simultaneously artsy and raw; the second marked by increased technology pointing toward AOR) actually heightens its idiosyncratic appeal, to the endless curiosity of subsequent generations of collectors, year after year, reissue after reissue. 
by Eduardo Rivadavia 
Tracks
1. We're Not Afraid (Steve Peters, Jim Kitchen, Bill Peters) - 5:12
2. Tell Me You're Satisfied (Steve Peters, Paul Bays) - 5:03
3. Dead Drunk Screamin' (Paul Bays, Steve Peters, Jim Kitchen) - 4:18
4. Hot Rock And Thunder (Steve Peters) - 3:05
5. The Apocalypse (Steve Peters, Bill Peters) - 6:04
6. Silver Girl (Dave Wood, Paul Bays) - 6:01
7. Ordinary Guy (Steve Peters) - 4:25

Goliath
*Dave Wood - Grand Piano, Moog, Clavinet, Vocals
*Paul Bays - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Kitchen - Lead Vocals
*Bill Peters - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Peters - Drums

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lorri Zimmerman - Lorri Zimmerman (1969 canada, powerful vocals, tender ballads and psych tinged rock)



One of the lesser-known femme-psych singers, Lorri Zimmerman got her start when she auditioned for a TV talent show called The Like Young and was extended an invitation to participate in an album the show released featuring several of the performers.

Two years later, in 1968, Lorri met up with a band called the Munks and the members performed under the moniker Sweet Loraine & the Munks for nearly a year before going their separate ways. She soon joined up with Life, a Montreal-based psychedelic band on Polydor that had some chart success with their single "Hands of the Clock." 

In 1969, the group disbanded and Zimmerman began making some demos for music publishers Chappell & Co. Ltd, which led to the recording of her only solo album for Crescent City, an obscure underground pop/rock record (with elements of psych) that remained an underground gem until it was reissued by Fallout Records in 2007.

Zimmerman went on to tour as a backing singer for Leonard Cohen before forming pop-rockers Toulouse in the mid-70s - but it’s this rare album that best showcasesher powerful, affecting voice.
by Jason Lymangrover
Tracks
1. Don’t Twist My Mind - 2:49
2. You’re The One - 2:14
3. Contemplation - 3:04
4. Bidin’ My Time - 4:16
5. Just To Say Goodbye - 3:40
6. Theme For An Imaginary Western - 4:41
7. Cause The World Is Mine - 3:18
8. Paint Me A Picture - 4:01
9. Love Me, Love My Children - 3:28
10. Children Of The Universe - 2:39

*Lorri Zimmerman - Vocals

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Philipa And John Cooper - The Cooperville Times (1969 south africa, wonderful folk baroque psych)



This South African psych-pop rarity was buried so far beneath the drifts of history that even the skilled archivists of the Shadoks label had a hell of a time digging up the original recordings for reissue. Recorded right in the psychedelic sweet spot of 1968 and released the following year, The Cooperville Times is the only album by brother-and-sister duo John & Philipa Cooper. It blends the pop and folk ends of the ‘60s U.K. psych spectrum, with John leaning toward the former and Philipa toward the latter as they alternate lead vocals (there's not a lot of two-part harmony on the album). 

All the hallmarks of the paisley-patterned era are here -- Baroque bits of harpsichord accompaniment, pastoral flute lines, tremolo guitar -- just the sort of touches guaranteed to make psych collectors foam at the mouth. And in a genre where obscurities sometimes tend to remain obscure for a reason, The Cooperville Times proves to be a quality piece of work, with John Cooper's songcraft standing apart from the pack. And while he's got a strong melodic sense with memorable hooks to spare, his lyrics are particularly meritorious; on the surface, they seem to delve into the trippy, canyons-of-your-mind territory so common to psychedelia, but a closer listen reveals that Cooper has a well-developed sense of poetic imagery, and a gift for surreal settings. 

When he sings about the "Man in a Bowler Hat," for instance, he's in keeping with the surrealist tradition of the legendary Magritte painting that is the song's namesake. And though he's an effective singer, things take a particularly striking turn when his sister steps up to the microphone; her haunting vocal style is very much in line with the work of contemporaneous U.K. psych-folk sirens like Jill Child of Midwinter and Alison O'Donnell of Mellow Candle. 
by James Allen

After the inclusion of two songs on “Astral Daze Volumes 1 & 2” some people began looking for the original of this forgotten album. After a few poor bootlegs this finally has been reissued carefully. It sounds very different from the general South-African scene, and sounds to have roots in the other English territories, especially the UK, varying from early Jefferson Airplane harmony folk-psych (one track) to English acid folk (some mentioned Ithaca). Many songs have certain lullaby-balladry with happy rhythms, some baroque arrangements of an instrument that sounds in between a piano and a harpsichord, lots of acoustic and electrified acoustic guitars and soft percussion. 

With just one track a bit rockier with electric guitar. Apparently Julian Laxton (Freedom’s Children) was involved in the recording even when nowadays he can’t remember the album, band or session. There’s some near-classical improvisation on violin with a gypsy association on “Gypsy Girl”. Some of the songs by the often more high toned, hippie-flavoured voice female singer sound much folkier, and remind of the Incredible String Band songs performed by Licorice McKechnie. The album is a real discovery and fits well amongst the classics of English acid folk/folk scene. The songs are all pretty short but are carefully arranged.
Tracks
1. The Mad Professor - 2:45
2. Gyspy Spell - 2:42
3. I'll Be More Than Satisfied - 2:08
4. Wild Daydreams - 2:35
5. Edge Of Eternity - 2:12
6. My Pair Of Spectacles - 2:26
7. Man In A Bowler Hat - 2:41
8. Singing In My Soul - 2:05
9. She's My Woman - 2:38
10.Broomstick - 2:33
11.Good Old Sun - 2:00
All songs by Philipa And John Cooper

Personnel
*John Cooper - Vocals
*Philipa Cooper - Vocals
*Julian Laxton - Guitar
*Ivor Back - Drums
*Werner Krupski - Keyboards
*Art De Villiers - Acoustic Guitar
*Bob Hill - Bass
*Francesco - Fiddle
*Rory Blackwell - Tambourine

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Ford Theatre - Trilogy For The Masses (1968 us, incredible boston hard psych with proto prog touches)



Ford Theatre is the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. And in these days of horrifyingly regular public murders, it's reasonable to ask what kind of name this is for a rock and roll group. A sick joke? Absolutely not. These six young men are deadly serious, and they chose their name because it corresponds in a way to what they are trying to create -- a vision of America in all its present chaos and agony. Harry Palmer, the leader, talks about it with the intensity of a man who feels he has got to be heard. "We're trying to get at the kind of desperation and searching that people are going through," he says. "This is as much a dramatic work as a musical one. We're trying to create a whole environment -- an ominous kind of environment." 

All the lyrics are in the second person, addressed to us. We're on the spot -- and there are very few of us who won't see parts of ourselves in these lines, or recognize the kind of tension that builds up in these long, corrosive instrumental breaks. The very least you can say about this album is that it's original, and fearlessly honest. And that's not nearly as common as some people think it is.
by Tom Phillips, Contributing Editor Jazz & Pop Magazine

Trilogy For The Masses opens with the Theme For The Masses, the main theme that connects the whole of the album together. Played in a form of lament, the track is rich in both strings and organ very similar to a style that would be utilised by many of the proto-progressive rock bands such as Procol Harum and The Moody Blues. The subsequent track, 101 Harrison Street is a clear indication of the times. Featuring a lengthy and mesmerising guitar solo accompanied by a hypnotic continuous rhythm, this piece of music is a sure sign of the psychedelic drenched times the band were living in. This was the year of Woodstock and the height of flower power, and one can easily envisage this track being played endlessly with one solo being meted out after the other.

Excerpt (From the Theme) resurrects the opening theme to then lead into Back To Philadelphia, a track that would also be utilised for the bands second album, Time Changes. Slow paced and laid back, this track in contrast to 101 Harrison Street, lays more emphasis on the guitar work rather than having the organ dominate the sound of the music. Both Sides One and Two are linked by the short echo-filled The Race.

A name that comes to mind after hearing From A Back Door Window (The Search) would be legendary group Love. Ford Theatre manage to exude a certain amount of power and anger without letting it get in the way of their musical arrangements and without compromising their ability to incorporate ear-catching choruses in their music. This lengthy track also manages to combine the two distinct musical touches that the band had expressed so far on the album, that of a more guitar orientated rock feel as well as that of the R&B organ dominated sound. Well, From A Back Door Window (The Search), has both these elements with an extremely pleasant organ solo coupled with lengthy guitar work. Once again the emphasis seems to be on the ambient that the instruments manage to create with their obvious psychedelic allusions capable of

Theme For The Masses resurrects its head in bringing the album to a close with Postlude: Looking Back, the only composition credited entirely to Harry Palmer on the album. Musically this track is strikingly different to the remainder of the album as it is devoid of the elaborate arrangement present on the album giving this pleasant track an almost country rock feel to it. This is one album from my record collection that somehow finds itself regularly on the turntable. There is something innocent and unique about the sound of the album that is hard to find in many albums from this era. Musically I feel that it is a gem and should appeal to all those who like what is often termed as proto-progressive rock.
by Nigel Camilleri 
Tracks
1. Theme For The Masses Part 1 - 2:52
2. 101 Harrison Street / Exerpt From The Theme - 10:29
3. Back To Philadelphia / The Race Part 1 - 4:39
4. The Race Part 2 / From A Back Door Window / Theme For The Masses Part 2 - 17:18
5. Postlude : Looking Back - 2:10
All compositions by Harry Palmer, Wally McGee

Ford Theatre
*Harry Palmer - Guitar
*Jimmy Altieri - Bass, Vocals
*Joey Scott - Lead Vocals
*John Mazzarelli - Keyboards, Vocals
*Robert Tamagni - Drums, Vocals
*Arthur "Butch" Webster - Lead Guitar

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

October Country ‎– October Country (1968 us, elegant sunny psychedelia)



October Country was a six-piece, Los Angeles-based harmony pop group. They are probably best-remembered for their association with producer/composer/songwriter Michael Lloyd. Lloyd was already an accomplished songwriter by age 13, signing a publishing deal with L.A. producer Kim Fowley, who later introduced him to entertainment mogul Mike Curb. Fowley hoped that Curb would use some of Lloyd's songs in the "teensploitation" films he was producing at the time. Instead, Curb gave Lloyd the opportunity to produce a handful of groups for his Tower imprint and its Sidewalk subsidiary, including one of Lloyd's own groups, the Laughing Wind. Lloyd was 15 when his first single produced by Fowley was issued in 1966 (a few years later this same group -- which featured Stan Ayeroff on guitar and Steve Baim on drums -- released several "songbook" albums, including the Cream Songbook, although they were credited to "the Rubber Band" at the time). 

Meanwhile, Lloyd's profile in the L.A. music community was in ascendance and brought him new opportunities. He was soon offered the chance to produce a We Five-ish folk-rock group, led by a pair of singing siblings: Caryle De Franca (real name Carol De Franca) and her brother Joe. The group had already performed on the Sunset Strip scene, where they backed groups like the Rivingtonsand the Coasters. They assembled at Columbia Records and, under Lloyd's supervision, recorded the Lloyd-penned "October Country." (After they left the studio, however, Lloyd overdubbed himself playing on many of the instruments, replacing their poorer performances). 

The group adopted the name October Country thereafter, and signed with Epic Records, which released that first single in late 1967. By the spring of 1968, the group's second single, "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," was released, followed a few months later by a third single, "Cowboys and Indians." A self-titled LP was released that same year, but the group's records failed to catch on outside of the L.A. area. Curb was nonetheless impressed with what he heard and gave Lloyd free reign of his Hollywood Boulevard Studios for the next six months, where he and two other musicians composed, performed, and recorded an entire album of similar Laurel Canyon-esque psych-folk for his Sidewalk Productions, this time releasing the material under the name the Smoke, a band featuring Lloyd and the other members of the studio group previously known as the Rubber Band. Meanwhile, in 1969, Curb and Lloyd produced bubblegum rock for a cartoon program called Cattanooga Cats, which featured a pop-punk version of "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," reputedly with Rupert Holmes (of "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" fame) on lead vocals. 
by Bryan Thomas
Tracks
1. October Country - 2:38
2. Painted Sky (M. Lloyd, J. Greenspoon) - 3:11
3. Little Boy Smiling - 2:24
4. She's Been Away - 1:54
5. Good To Be Round - 2:28
6. I Wish I Was A Fire - 1:53
7. Cowboys And Indians - 2:14
8. I Just Don't Know (B. Wian) - 2:23
9. End Of The Line - 2:17
10.My Girlfriend Is A Witch - 2:06
11.Caryle's Theme - 1:52
12.Baby What I Mean (F. Hamilton, E. Sheldon) - 1:51
13.October Country (45 Mono Mix) - 2:24
14.I Just Don't Know (45 Mono Mix) (B. Wian) - 2:11
15.I Wish I Was A Fire (45 Mono Mix) - 2:08
16.Cowboys And Indians (45 Mono Mix) - 2:39
17.My Girlfriend Is A Witch (45 Mono Mix) - 1:54
All songs written by Michael Lloyd except where noted.

October Country
*Caryle De Franca - Vocals
*Joe De Franca - Vocals
*Marty Earle - Guitar
*Bruce Wayne - Bass Guitar
*Bob Wian - Keyboards
*Eddie Beram - Drums

Related Act 
1968  The Smoke - The Smoke (2010 edition) 

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tarbaby - February (1973 us, excellent blues psych rock, 2010 Gear Fab release)



Tarbaby was a very popular local band in the early 1970's in and around the Tallahassee area. Pat Muth, Brewster Banks, and Wally Knoelke had their own style of music that was fresh, raw, and original. Lay back and listen to some of the best music to come out of the Florida panhandle in the early 1970's!!

Tarbaby released the "Bullseye" album in April, 1973 in Tallahassee, Florida. The three piece group played in and around Tallahassee and the Southeast with the song "Gotta Find Me a Woman" reaching into the top 20 in Panama City and the top 5 in Tallahassee. They performed with Eric Carmen and the Raspberries in Panama City and were the featured entertainment for the Coral Gables Junior-Senior prom at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida in June, 1974. 

Tarbaby pursued separate careers in late 1975. Since then Patrick Muth formed the Band "Crybaby" (1976-1960), and since 1980 has been playing under the name "The Cove Hotel Band" out of Panama City. Brewster Banks released 8 more albums under various names. Waliy Knoelke still plays the drums everyday.
by Pat Muth, Tallahasse, Florida January, 2010
Tracks
1. Have You Seen My Baby?  - :18
2. Swing - 4:37
3. Mustang Sally (Bonny Rice) - 2:52
4. I Need Your Love  - 3:11
5. Gotta Find Me A Woman  - 3:01
6. Bootleg (Fogerty) 3:36
7. So Long  - 2:59
8. My Back Door  - 2:52
9. Baked Tomato  - 4:35
10.New Song -  3:56
All songs by Brewster Banks and Patrick Muth, except where noted.

Tarbaby
Patrick Muth - Rythym  Lead Guitars, Harmonica, Vocals
Brewster Banks - Bass Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Wally Knoelke - Drums, Percussion, Trumpet

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Terry Reid - Superlungs / The Complete Studio Recordings (1966-69 uk, spectacular mix of psych, blues, funky, roots 'n' roll, two disc set)



A minor but interesting late-'60s British rock singer, Terry Reid could have been a lot more famous if he had been able to accept the slot of lead singer for the New Yardbirds in 1968. That slot, of course, went to Robert Plant, and the New Yardbirds became Led Zeppelin. Unlike Plant, Reid was also a guitarist, and the opportunity to head his own group no doubt played a part in his decision to gun for a solo career. Leading a guitar-organ-drums power trio, he recorded a couple of respectable, though erratic, hard rock albums while still a teenager in the late '60s. Some bad breaks and creative stagnation combined to virtually bring his career to a halt, and he never cashed in on the momentum of his promising start.

A teen prodigy of sorts, Reid had turned professional at the age of 15 to join Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers. His first couple of singles as a headliner found him singing in a sort of poppy blue-eyed soul vein. But by the time of his 1968 debut Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid, produced by Mickie Most, he'd switched to more of a hard rock approach. Most was also handling Donovan and the Jeff Beck Group at the time, and similarities to both of those acts can be heard in Terry Reid's first two albums -- proto-hard rock on the louder tunes, sweeter folk-rock on the mellow ones (Reid in fact covered a couple of Donovan compositions, although he wrote most of his own material). Reid's high voice was reminiscent of Robert Plant's, though not nearly as shrill, and his folky numbers especially are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's most acoustic early cuts.

Reid, oddly, was considerably more well-known in the U.S. than the U.K. His first album, very oddly, was not even issued in Britain, although it made the American Top 200. It's been reported that he at least in part declined Jimmy Page's offer to join Led Zeppelin owing to his contractual commitments to record for Mickie Most as a solo artist, and to perform as an opening solo artist on the Rolling Stones' late-'60s U.S. tour. He did influence Led Zeppelin's history in a big way by recommending Plant and drummer John Bonham as suitable candidates for the group's lineup, after Plant and Bonham's pre-Led Zep outfit (the Band of Joy) played support at one of Reid's early gigs. Reid felt confident enough in his solo prospects to also turn down an offer to join Deep Purple (Ian Gillan was recruited instead).

An opening spot on the Rolling Stones' famous 1969 tour of America seemed to augur even brighter prospects for the future, but this is precisely where Reid's career stalled, at the age of 20. First he became embroiled in litigation with Mickey Most, which curtailed his studio activities in the early '70s. After a couple of personnel changes, he disbanded his original trio, leading a group for a while that included David Lindley and ex-King Crimson drummer Michael Giles (this quartet, however, didn't release any records). He moved to California in 1971 and signed to Atlantic, but his long-delayed third album didn't appear until 1973. Reid would release albums for other labels in 1976 and 1979, but none of his '70s recordings were well-received, critically or commercially (though 1976's Seed of Memory did briefly chart). He's barely recorded since, though he did play some sessions, and The Driver appeared in 1991. 
by Richie Unterberger

Most of the contents of Super Lungs: The Complete Studio Recordings -- most especially the albums Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid and Terry Reid -- will be familiar to the singer's fans, and may dissuade people from picking up this double-CD set. That would be a shame, however, in view of the other material that is here -- starting with his work with Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, which opens disc one and dates from well before his solo debut, Reid reveals himself as an extraordinarily (jaw-droppingly good, in fact) soul singer, with range, power, charisma, and taste, even on those early sides, and the package is extended into genuinely uncharted territory with a half-dozen newly discovered, newly mixed outtakes from Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid, and two tracks from Reid's first recording session in 1966, "Funny How Time Slips Away" (which is almost worth the price of the double-CD set by itself) and "I'll Take Good Care of You." The sound quality is spot-on perfect, state of the art, the annotation by Peter Doggett is entertaining and informative, and the whole package is some of the best British-spawned soul and R'n'B that one can find. 
by Bruce Eder
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers – It's Gonna Be Morning (Bert Russell) - 2:57
2. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers – I'll Take Good Care Of You (Berns, Ragavoy) - 2:36
3. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers – Funny How Time Slips Away (W. Nelson) - 3:39
4. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers – Just Walk In My Shoes (Mastor, Miller) - 2:19
5. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers - Hand Don't Fit The Glove (Hubert Pattison) - 2:55
6. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers - This Time (Peter Jay, Terry Reid) - 1:49
7. Better By Far (Macleod, Macaulay) - 3:28
8. Fire's Alive - 2:54
9.Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (Sonny Bono) - 4:15
10.Tinker Taylor - 2:53
11.Erica - 3:50
12.Without Expression - 4:46
13.Sweater - 2:04
14.Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart (Roger Cooke, Roger Greenaway) - 5:00
15.Season Of The Witch (Donovan Leitch) - 10:08
16.Writing On The Wall / Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart, Terry Reid) - 10:11
17.When I Get Home - 3:38
18.Loving Time (Eric Leese, Terry Reid) - 3:38
19.Without Expression (2003 Mix) - 4:46
All songs by Terry Reid except where noted
Disc 2
1.Superlungs My Supergirl (Donovan Leitch) - 2:40
2.Silver White Light - 2:52
3.July - 3:30
4.Marking Time - 3:45
5.Stay With Me Baby (Weiss, Ragavoy) - 4:10
6.Highway 61 Revisited / Friends / Highway 61 Revisited (Bob Dylan, Terry Reid) - 7:57
7.May Fly - 3:39
8.Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace - 4:23
9.Rich Kid Blues - 4:12
10.Highway 61 Revisited (2003 Remix) (Bob Dylan) - 4:25
11. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers - Funny How Time Slips Away (First 'Demo' Version) (W. Nelson) - 3:55
12. Peter Jay And The Jaywalkers - I'll Take Good Care Of You (First 'Demo' Version) (Berns, Ragavoy) - 2:05
13.Ain't That Peculiar (Tarplin, Rogers, Robinson, Moore) - 4:22
14.I've Got News For You (Alfred) - 5:32
15.Summer Sequence - 2:01
16.Zodiac Blues (Keith Webb, Terry Reid) - 2:54
17.Penny - 5:58
18.Rich Old Lady - 2:07
All songs by Terry Reid except where stated

Personnel
*Terry Reid - Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Bonham - Flute, Hammond B3, Keyboards, Saxophone
*Brian Hayward - Trumpet
*John Paul Jones - Double Bass
*Johnny Larke - Bass
*Ian Saunders - Tenor Sax
*Peter Solley - Keyboards
*Keith Webb - Drums
*Peter Jay - Drums

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Pazop - Psychillis Of A Lunatic Genius (1972-73 belgium, fascinating progressive fusion rock)



Though their music was beyond the ordinary, they were never able to release an album during their short lifetime. Pazop was formed at the end of 1971 by vocalist and flautist Dirk Bogaert, keyboardist Frank Wuyts, violinist Kuba Szczepansky, bassist Patrick Cogneaux, and drummer Jacky Mauer. Wuyts and Szczepanski had just left progressive rock band Wallace Collection, Wuyts had previously been involved with Bogaert, Cogneaux, and Mauer had been in another short-lived prog band, Waterloo. Cogneaux had also been a member of Arkham, a group that included future members of Magma and Univers Zero, while Sczcepansky, a classically trained musician born in Poland, played in the Brussels Opera Philharmonic Orchestra for a couple years before turning to rock with Wallace Collection in 1970.

Even before they had decided on a name, the new group approached Wallace Collection's label, EMI, and though the record company did not sign the group, they offered them a two-day studio session to record a better demo. The four-song demo was in a style far more commercial than their normal sound, which had influences as diverse as Miles Davis, 20th century classical music, progressive rock groups like King Crimson and Caravan, and Frank Zappa. With the new demo Szczepanski and Mauer headed to Paris to hit up every record label there for a contract, but they had no success. They also finally came up with a name for themselves, Pas Op, Flemish for "Warning" but the spelling was soon changed to Pazop.

They finally got a contract with producer Luigi Oglival in March of 1972, who was able to get them signed to CBS and the Barclay label. The band went into the Herouville Studio in France in July 1972 to record the album Psychillis of a Lunatic Genius. The group also played several gigs at the Gibus-Club in Paris, which brought them some excellent press, as well as other shows in France and Belgium. Meanwhile, near the end of that year, Barclay rejected their album as being too non-commercial, and chose to release one of the earlier demos as a single instead, much to the group's chagrin. Oglival, who realized he wouldn't recoup the studio costs, dropped the band as well, reneging on his contract and even keeping the master tapes.

In 1973, the group was hired by pop musician Sylvain Van Holme to provide modern rock adaptations of various classical pieces by Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Mozart and Verdi. Van Holme decided to co-produce a new record by Pazop, and booked them at the Start Studio in Belgium in the late summer of 1973. Van Holme contacted several record companies, but again the album was not commercial enough. The group continued touring Belgium and France until July of 1974 before calling it quits. Their inability to get enough gigs and to release either of their LPs had left them financially and emotionally strapped, and they split up for more successful groups. Their master tapes sat in a desk drawer for years. Pazop's two albums, minus the four commercial demos, were finally released  by Musea. 
by Rolf Semprebon 
Tracks
1. Le La Loo Loo Le La - 2:29
2. Harlequin Of Love - 2:50
3. Crying For Disaster's Hand - 4:08
4. What Is The Further Purpose - 3:10
5. Swaying Fire - 3:32
6. Mirela - 2:10
7. Freedom Dance - 3:28
8. Lovelight - 4:06
9. Bami, Lychee, Si - 5:26
10.Harlequin Of Love (Second Version) - 3:08
11.Can It Be Sin - 6:54
12.And The Hermit Will Be The Master - 5:18
13.M.M.M. - 5:50
14.In The Army (Devil Likes Smoke) - 1:37
15.Airport Formalities And Taking Off / Stewardess And Breakfast - 6:18
16.It's The End - 0:44
Words and Music by Dirk Bogaert and Frank Wuyts

Pazop
*Dirk Bogaert - Flute, Vocals
*Patrick Cogneaux - Bass
*Frank Wuyts - Keyboards, Vocals
*Kuba Szczepanski - Violin

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tempest - Living in Fear (1974 uk, strong tight prog rock, japan issue)



Holdsworth and Williams left before Tempest’s second album "Living In Fear". Their replacement was more than a match for any musician. Ollie Halsall was a fine vocalist and keyboard player and it is certainly a measure of the rrtan that he replaced two musicians by himself.

The recruitment of Halsall was a slight move back towards jazz (ironically in view of Allan Holdworth's subsequent jazz-orientated career with Gordon Beck, Soft Machine, Gong, Bruford, and solo). He had begun his career in Timebox, a soulpop group featuring the brilliant vocalist Mike Patto, who cut several sides for Pye and Oecca, moving from soul to psychedelia (and often showcasing Halsall's excellent vibes playing). Weary of lack of success, they changed their name to Patto, and cut a string of equally unsuccessful but absolutely brilliant jazz-rock albums, wherein Ollie Halsall became a by-word for fiery jazz soloing with an avant-garde edge.

So "Living in Fear" was no less of an album that its predessor, but was a different beast. One again, Hiseman and Clark laid down complex rhythms over which Halsall laid down some startling textures. Unlike "Tempest", it is an album which has dated well. That is not to say that the first album sounds old, but rather to say that the second Tempest line-up achieved a kind of timelessness.

After a short but interesting career (like getting mobbed at the Venice Festival in '75. In recent years, he has played mainly jazz, and is still partially recovering from a heart attack suffered in 1988. Mark Clarke went on to work with Uriah Keep and Rainbow, while Ollie Halsall formed Boxer with Mike Patto, worked on Eric Idle's "The Rutles", and became more left field than ever. But we still have the music: "Grey and Black", "Funeral Empire", "Waiting For a Miracle", and "Brothers" still sounds great today!
by Andy Boot
Tracks
1. Funeral Empire (Halsall) - 4:25
2. Paperback Writer (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:30
3. Stargazer (Clarke, Bottomley) - 3:36
4. Dance To My Tune (Clarke, Bottomley) - 7:50
5. Living In Fear (Halsall) - 4:19
6. Yeah Yeah Yeah (Halsall, Hiseman) - 3:40
7. Waiting For A Miracle (Halsall) - 5:18
8. Turn Around (Clarke, Bottomley) - 6:12

Tempest
*Jon Hiseman - Drums, Percussion
*Mark Clarke - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Ollie Halsall - Guitar, Moog, Piano, Vocals

1973  Tempest - Tempest
Related Act
1967-69  Timebox - Beggin' 

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tempest - Tempest (1973 uk, great hard progressive jazz rock)



When Jon Hiseman split Colosseum in 1972. he resolved to take the rock aspects of his music to their logical conclusion. To this end he retained the services of Mark Clarke on bass/keyboards/vocals, who had been with him in the last Colosseum lineup; his rock intentions were signalled by the recruitment of Paul Williams on guitar/ keyboards/vocals, who had previously seen service in Juicy Lucy and Zoot Money's Big Roll Band. 

The fourth member of the new band was Allan Holdsworth on  guitar/vocals/violin. Holdsworth was a rock guitarist with jazz leanings (rather than vice versa), and in a sense this definition tells you the difference between Tempest and Colosseum. It was in this band that Allan Holdsworth came to critical attention, his only previous recorded outing being an album with the band Igginbottom's Wrench on Deram in 1969.

Tempest was an apt name for the band, as their eponymous debut album showed. With Hiseman drumming up a storm and Clarke adopting the wise approach of playing simply but strongly (a flash drummer and a busy bassist never go together), the foundation was laid for Williams and Holdsworth to wail and moan over a series of complex progressive compositions.
CD Liner-notes
Tracks
1. Gorgon (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 5:41
2. Foyers Of Fun (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 3:38
3. Dark House (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 5:00
4. Brothers (Hiseman, Holdsworth) - 3:35
5. Up And On (Edwards, Holdsworth) - 4:16
6. Grey And Black (Clarke, Bottomley) - 2:26
7. Strangeher (Clarke, Hiseman) - 4:07
8. Upon Tomorrow (Clempson, Hiseman) - 6:15

Tempest
*Jon Hiseman - Drums
*Mark Clarke - Bass
*Paul Williams - Vocals
*Allan Holdsworth - Guitar

Related Acts
1968  Zoot Money - Transition
1969  Igginbottom - Igginbottom's Wrench
1970  Juicy Lucy - Lay Back And Enjoy It

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Lee Michaels - Barrel (1970 us, fabulous funk rock with blues and psych shades)



Thumbing through dollar bins at record shops can be depressing, particularly when the pickings are slim. Plumbing the depths of milk crates jammed with forgotten vinyl, which no longer lie on shag carpets and basement floors, but in mounds that neglect their prior value, that reject what they once might have meant to someone, somewhere, upon their original release, is a real downer. Here lie bands without a myth, un-legendary singers, devalued albums that once topped the charts, last names written in faded Sharpie ink on moldy album covers. Indefinitely, these albums and their memories remain in $1.00 purgatory, doomed to a needle-less existence.

But one recent find dispelled the notion that happiness can’t be retrieved from the bottom of a barrel. Lee Michaels, a laidback rocker with soul from the West Coast, known for making his Hammond the core of his sound, released Barrel to little notice or airplay in 1970. (Michaels wouldn’t tap the mainstream until the following year with “Do You Know What I Mean?,” a corny-cool, organ-led tune which implores the listener for empathy over a girl who’s scrammed.)

And notice and sales really weren’t warranted. Among Barrel’s eleven tracks, only a few pass muster—Michaels’ cover of Moby Grape’s “Murder In My Heart (For The Judge),” “Mad Dog,” and “Didn’t Know What I Had” achieve brief moments of hallelujah-rock exaltation, thanks to Michaels’ skills as a keyboardist and rock vocalist with a gospel edge. The other songs, several of which attempt to address the war in Vietnam,” don’t do the trick, nor does the album’s weakling of a ballad, “Uummmm My Lady.”

Whereas the quality of the songs leaves something to be desired (Barrel was recorded at Michaels’ California ranch, which features prominently on the cover and jacket art), the spirit of the music-making doesn’t disappoint. Listening pleasure is drawn from the fact that Michaels, along with frequent drummer, Barry “Frosty” Smith, and guitarist Drake Levin of Paul Revere and the Raiders, don’t seem to be taking their jobs too seriously. 

The songs have a one-off feel, and the photo montage on the inside jacket is an awesome monument to stoner-slackerdom—one photo shows Lee feeding a pair of cheetahs on his back deck; another reveals a heavyset Frosty gesticulating, sporting spotted pajama pants. This makes the experience of Barrel not quite a joke, but it does give us license to laugh off its artistic flaws, and forget that overwhelming critical and commercial success are even legitimate criteria of how listening choices are made.  Barrel is not trying to be anything more than what it is, and this is a hallmark of all classic good-times music.

So if you find a copy of Barrel in a bin somewhere, don’t expect too much, but expect to be amused, bemused, and occasionally, moved. It might have meant something to some lost teenager from the ’70s before it wound up at the bottom of the heap.
by Meghan Roe
Tracks
1. Mad Dog - 3:45
2. What Now America (Lee Michaels, Sheffield, Eddie Shuler) - 3:25
3. Uummmm My Lady - 3:00
4. Thumbs - 4:05
5. When Johnny Comes Marching Home - 2:02
6. Murder In My Heart (For The Judge) (Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson) - 3:36
7. Day Of Change - 3:33
8. Think I'll Cry - 2:43
9. Games (Bobby Womack) - 3:10
10.Didn't Know What I Had - 3:14
11.As Long As I Can - 1:28
All songs by Lee Michaels except where stated

Musicians
*Frosty - Drums
*Drake Levin - Guitar
*Lee Michaels - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

1969  Lee Michaels - Lee Michaels

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The Beau Brummels - Beau Brummels' 66 (1966 us, wonderful folk psych, japan edition)




While they only had two big hits, the Beau Brummels were one of the most important and underrated American groups of the 1960s. They were the first U.S. unit of any sort to successfully respond to the British Invasion. They were arguably the first folk-rock group, even predating the Byrds, and also anticipated some key elements of the San Francisco psychedelic sound with their soaring harmonies and exuberant melodies. Before they finally reached the end of the string, they were also among the first bands to record country-rock in the late '60s.

The key axis of the band was formed by guitarist/songwriter Ron Elliott, who penned most of the Brummels' moody and melodious material, and singer Sal Valentino, owner of one of the finest voices in mid-'60s rock. Spotted by local DJ Tom Donahue in a club in San Mateo (just south of San Francisco), the group was signed to Donahue's small San Francisco-based label, Autumn Records, in 1964. With Sly Stewart (later Sly Stone) in the producer's chair, they made the Top 20 right off the bat with "Laugh, Laugh." The melancholy, minor-key original sounded so much like the British bands inundating the airwaves that many listeners initially mistook the Brummels for an English act. The follow-up single, "Just a Little," was another excellent, melancholy number that became their biggest hit, making the Top Ten.

The Beau Brummels made a couple of fine albums in 1965, dominated by strong original material and featuring the band's ringing guitars and multi-part, mournful harmonies. The best of their early work is nearly as fine as the Byrds' first recordings, yet the band was losing ground commercially, partially because Autumn, being such a small label, lacked promotional muscle. "You Tell Me Why" was their only other Top 40 hit, though "Sad Little Girl" and the Byrds knock-off "Don't Talk to Strangers" were excellent singles. The band also shuffled personnel a few times, and Ron Elliott was unable to stay on the road because of diabetes. Autumn was sold in 1966 to Warners, who made the lunkheaded move of forcing the band to record an entire album of Top 40 covers -- ignoring the fact that original material was one of the Brummels' primary fortes. 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (Lennon, McCartney) - 3:39
2. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) - 3:45                      
3. Louie Louie (R. Berry) - 2:06                            
4. Homeward Bound (P. Simon) - 2:40                        
5. These Boots Are Made For Walking (L Hazelwood) - 2:49      
6. Yesterday (Lennon, McCartney) - 2:34                              
7. Bang Bang (S. Bono) - 1:51                              
8. Hang On Sloopy (Russell, Farrell) - 2:48                        
9. Play With Fire (Jagger, Richards) - 2:53                        
10.Woman (B. Webb) - 1:58                                  
11.Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter (T. Peacock) - 2:35
12.Monday Monday (J. Phillips) - 2:48
                       
The Beau Brummels
*Ron Elliott - Guitar, Vocals
*Sal Valentino - Vocals
*Ron Meagher - Bass, Harmonica, Guitar, Vocals
*Declan Mulligan - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*John Petersen - Drums, Vocals
*Don Irving - Guitar

Related Act
1970  Ron Elliott - The Candlestickmaker

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lee Michaels - Lee Michaels (1969 us, remarkable organ drivin' groovy heavy psych)



One of the most interesting second-division California psychedelic musicians, keyboardist Lee Michaels was one of the most soulful white vocalists of the late '60s and early '70s. Between 1968 and 1972, he released half a dozen accomplished albums on A&M that encompassed baroque psychedelic pop and gritty white (sometimes gospel-ish) R&B with equal facility. A capable songwriter, Michaels was blessed with an astonishing upper range, occasionally letting loose some thrilling funky wails. In 1971, he landed a surprise Top Ten single with "Do You Know What I Mean," one of the best and funkiest AM hits of the early '70s.

But Michaels was really much more of an album-oriented artist, from the time he began recording in the late '60s. Michaels started playing music in Southern California, where he was in a band with future members of Moby Grape, the Turtles, and Canned Heat. By the time he signed to A&M, however, he'd moved to San Francisco, joining the management stable of Matthew Katz (which also included, at various times, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and It's a Beautiful Day). Michaels was unusual for a San Francisco act in that he relied mostly on an organ-based sound, especially after the first pair of albums, when for a time he played (live and in the studio) with the mammoth drummer "Frosty" as his only accompanist.

"Do You Know What I Mean," ironically, was a throwaway tune that Michaels wrote hurriedly. Though Lee himself didn't think much of it, the song was a first-rate blast of blue-eyed soul; around this time, the gospel influence that had often informed his sound came to the fore. His albums in the mid-'70s for Columbia, however, were both critical and commercial disappointments. Michaels moved to Hawaii for an extended retirement from the music business. In the early '80s he announced the forthcoming independent release of a new solo album entitled Absolute Lee, which finally saw distribution through One Way Records in 1996; however, little has been heard from him since.
by Richie Unterberger

One of the masterpieces of the period, Lee Michaels was essentially recorded live in the studio by only Michaels (organ/bass pedals) and Frosty on drums. It's a fabulous performance and one of the finest R&B/rock sets of the period. The first side is comprised of a medley of soulful workouts that come out sounding not unlike Led Zeppelin. Here, Michaels pulls out all the stops (literally) and showcases the organ as a bona fide rock instrument. Despite the lengthy drum solo, it's one of the finest sides of Los Angeles rock & roll. Michaels also reprises "My Friends," a song from his first album, to great effect. Lee Michaels is also home to the good-time, pro-drug anthem "Highty Hi," as well as an awesome cover of "Stormy Monday." A true party platter. 
by Matthew Greenwald
Tracks
1. Medley: Tell Me How Do You Feel/(Don't Want No) Woman/My Friends/Frost (Lee Michaels) - 20:27
2. Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker) - 5:12
3. Who Could Want More (Lee Michaels) - 3:44
4. Want My Baby (Lee Michaels) - 2:59
5. Heighty Hi (Lee Michaels) - 6:01

Personnel
*Lee Michaels - Bass,  Keyboards,  Vocals
*Bartholomew Smith Frost - Drums, Percussion

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Alvin Lee - In Flight (1974 uk, awesome roots 'n' roll blues rock)



Alvin’s second solo effort and only Alvin could make the magic happen on this recording. It was one Hell of a spectacular event, not only because of the gathering of the all star supporting players, but because for the first time Alvin became just one of the boys in the band. With nothing to prove he was playing for the love of playing and that’s what becomes apparent to the listener, it was a triumph of discipline over stardom. 

For Alvin to sing Don’t Be Cruel and really do it justice is a prime example of  his true talent. He plays his Gibson like a stradivarius and the notes and phrasing flow like silk and honey all over this recording, nothing hectic or over done, it’s all in good taste without the usual Alvin Lee haste. 

When Alvin learned to control his guitar and caress the numbers being played instead of his usual flying fingers assult that he has been known for over the years, that is what has propelled him into a higher artistic status. As the Billboard review has stated, his voice became just as important an instrument as the notes he was playing. 
Bonus τracks, Sombody Callin’ Me and Put It In A Box. Now here is something different and interesting and worthy of being included on this release.   
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Got To Keep Moving - 5:02
2. Going Through The Door - 4:21
3. Don't Be Cruel (Blackwell, Presley) - 2:39
4. Money Honey (Stone) - 3:05
5. I'm Writing You A Letter - 4:52
6. You Need Love Love Love - 5:24
7. Freedom For The Stallion (A. Toussaint) - 6:26
8. Every Blues You've Ever Heard - 5:24
9. All Life's Trials - 2:59
All songs by Alvin Lee except where stated
Disc 2
1. Intro - :53
2. Let's Get Back - 4:58
3. Ride My Train - 4:14
4. There's A Feeling - 4:02
5. Running Round - 5:38
6. Mystery Train (Phillips, Parker) - 4:42
7. Slow Down (Williams) - 3:38
8. Keep A Knockin' (Penniman) - 2:14
9. How Many Times - 2:04
10.I've Got Eyes For You Baby - 3:36
11.I'm Writing You A Letter - 4:18
12.Somebody Callin' Me - 6:26
13.Put It In A Box - 8:06
All songs by Alvin Lee except where noted
Bonus tracks 12-13 Not On Original LP

Personnel
*Alvin Lee - Guitar, vocals
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards
*Alan Spenner - Bass guitar
*Ian Wallace - Drums
*Mel Collins - saxophone
*Alan Spencer - Bass
*Neil Hubbard - Guitar
*Dylan Birch - Vocals
*Frank Collins - Vocals
*Paddie McHugh - Vocals

1973-74  Alvin Lee And Mylon Lefevre - On The Road To Freedom
2012  Alvin Lee - Still on the Road to Freedom

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fox - San Francisco Session (1969-70 us, stunning heavy blues psych rock)



An unreleased album from this post "Day Blindness" band, recorded in 1969/70. This album is a heavy bluesy psychedelic masterpiece of the highest order. It is virtually the second "Day Blindness" album with slight personal changes, but musically in a more heavy psychedelic direction. 

The lead guitarist Gary Pihl is well known today for being the guitar player of Boston. Here he plays an amazing psychedelic guitar and it reminds us in parts of the mighty Mariani's "Perpetuum Mobile" album. Superb bass guitar by Johnny V. Vernazza and crazy drums by Roy Garcia, who later went to play with the legendary band Gold (of Rockadelic Records fame!). 

Only one 45 single was ever released of those fantastic sessions on "Studio 10", and the single is mega rare these days.
Tracks
1. Susie S. Kalator - 6:33
2. Sun City - 6:19
3. I Can't Take It - 4:58
4. Keer On Livin' This Wax - 5:27
5. I Was Alone - 4:49
6. Geraldine - 6:28
7. Parckman Farm - 11:00
8. Baby, Please Don't Go - 6:52

Fox
*Johnny Vernazza - Bass
*Roy Garcia - Drums
*Gary Pihl - Guitar

Related Act
1969  Day Blindness 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Jeff Beck - Truth (1966-68 uk, classic heavy blues rock, 2006 remaster and expanded)



Despite being the premiere of heavy metal, Jeff Beck's Truth has never quite carried its reputation the way the early albums by Led Zeppelin did, or even Cream's two most popular LPs, mostly as a result of the erratic nature of the guitarist's subsequent work. 

Time has muted some of its daring, radical nature, elements of which were appropriated by practically every metal band (and most arena rock bands) that followed. Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren't all new -- Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions -- but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood's bass and Mickey Waller's drums, and Beck's blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out. Beck opens the proceedings in a strikingly bold manner, using his old Yardbirds hit "Shapes of Things" as a jumping-off point, deliberately rebuilding the song from the ground up so it sounds closer to Howlin' Wolf. 

There are lots of unexpected moments on this record: a bone-pounding version of Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me"; a version of Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River" done as a slow electric blues; a brief plunge into folk territory with a solo acoustic guitar version of "Greensleeves" (which was intended as filler but audiences loved); the progressive blues of "Beck's Bolero"; the extended live "Blues Deluxe"; and "I Ain't Superstitious," a blazing reworking of another Willie Dixon song. It was a triumph -- a number 15 album in America, astoundingly good for a band that had been utterly unknown in the U.S. just six months earlier -- and a very improbable success. 
by Bruce Eder
Tracks
1. Shapes Of Things (Jim Mccarty, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith) - 3:22
2. Let Me Love You (Beck, Stewart) - 4:44
3. Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson) - 4:40
4. You Shook Me (Willie Dixon, J. B. Lenoir) - 2:33
5. Ol' Man River (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II) - 4:01
6. Greensleeves (Traditional) - 1:50
7. Rock My Plimsoul (Beck, Stewart) - 4:13
8. Beck's Bolero (Jimmy Page) - 2:54
9. Blues Deluxe (Beck, Stewart) - 7:33
10.I Ain't Superstitious (Willie Dixon) - 4:53
11.I've Been Drinking (Stereo Mix) (Beck, Stewart) - 3:25
12.You Shook Me (Take 1) (Willie Dixon, J. B. Lenoir) - 2:31
13.Rock My Plimsoul (Stereo Mix Of Single Version) (Beck, Stewart) - 3:42
14.Beck's Bolero (Mono Single Mix) (Jimmy Page) - 3:11
15.Blues Deluxe (Take 1) (Beck, Stewart) - 7:31
16.Tallyman (Graham Gouldman) - 2:46
17.Love Is Blue (André Popp, Pierre Cour, Brian Blackburn) - 2:57
18.Hi Ho Silver Lining (Stereo Mix) (Scott English, Laurence Weiss) - 3:46

Personnel
*Jeff Beck - Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Rod Stewart - Lead Vocals
*Ronnie Wood - Bass Guitar
*Micky Waller - Drums
*Madeline Bell - Backing Vocals
*John Carter And Ken Lewis - Backing Vocals
*Clem Cattini - Drums
*Aynsley Dunbar - Drums
*Nicky Hopkins - Piano
*John Paul Jones - Bass Guitar, Hammond Organ
*Keith Moon - Drums, Timpani
*Jimmy Page - 12-String Electric Guitar

1969  Jeff Beck Group - Beck-Ola (2006 remaster and expanded)
1970  Jeff Beck - Rough And Ready (Japan remaster)
 with The Yardbirds
1963-68  Glimpses (five disc box set) 

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