Monday, June 29, 2015

Charlie Daniels - Charlie Daniels (1970 us, astonishing southern classic rock)



When Charlie Daniels released his eponymous debut in 1970, Southern rock was in its nascent stages. It had been a year since the Allman Brothers Band released their debut and Lynyrd Skynyrd wouldn't unleash its first record for another three years, so the genre was in the process of being born, and Charlie Daniels' debut plays a pivotal role in the genre -- not so much because it was directly influential, but because it points the way to how the genre could and would sound, and how country music could retain its hillbilly spirit and rock like a mother.   

Where the Allmans were firmly grounded in the blues, especially on the first two records, Daniels was a redneck from the start, and all ten songs on his debut were country at their foundation, even if some of it is country via the Band, as Rich Kienzle points out in his brief liner notes to Koch's 2001 reissue of the album. The Band connections derive from Daniels' time as a session musician for Columbia in Nashville, where he played on many country-rock albums, including Dylan's Nashville Skyline, but there's a heavy dose of hard rock, often via the Allmans' extended jams, on this record. Daniels simply wails on his guitar here, most notably on the six-minute closer "Thirty Nine Miles from Mobile," but, apart from the ballads, he doesn't miss a chance to solo. 

The heavy guitars give Charlie Daniels a real rock feel, and that vibe is continued through the loose rhythm section and a strong dose of counterculture humor, heard strongest on "The Pope and the Dope." That song also shows signs of Daniels' redneck sensibilities, which also surface in unpredictable ways throughout this wild, woolly album. He makes crude jokes, celebrates the South (particularly his home, "Georgia"), spits out bluesy leads, exaggerates his vocals, croons sweetly, and steals women. He's a redneck rebel, not fitting into either the country or the rock 'n' roll of 1970 with this record, but, in retrospect, he sounds like a visionary, pointing the way to the future when southern rockers saw no dividing lines between rock, country, and blues, and only saw it all as sons of the south. That's what he achieves with Charlie Daniels -- a unique Southern sound that's quintessentially American, sounding at once new and timeless. 

Once he formed the Charlie Daniels Band, he became a star and with Fire on the Mountain, he had another classic, but he would never sound as wild, unpredictable, or as much like a maverick as he does on this superb album. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine 
Tracks
1. Great Big Bunches Of Love - 3:23
2. Little Boy Blue - 4:10
3. Ain't No Way - 3:25
4. Don't Let Your Man Find Out - 3:00
5. Trudy - 3:50
6. Long Long Way (Back Home) - 4:00
7. Georgia - 4:15
8. The Pope And The Dope - 2:15
9. Life Goes On (Jerry Corbitt) - 2:00
10.Thirty Nine Miles From Mobile - 6:00
All songs by Charlie Daniels except where stated

Personnel
*Charlie Daniels - Guitar, Fiddle, Vocals
*Joel "Taz" Digregorio - Keyboards, Vocals
*Jerry Corbitt - Guitar, Vocals
*Billy Cox - Bass
*Ben Keith - Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Bob Wilson - Keyboards
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Earl Grigsby - Bass, Vocals
*Karl Himmel - Drums
*Jeff Myer - Drums

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band - The Red Day Album (1967 us, amazing beatlesque psychedelia, 2014 issue)



"It was the Summer of Our Contentment"-1967. The social cultural cliché founded on those heady times became, of course, "If you were actually there, in the 60's, then you probably don't remember it Well, the lads who made up "Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band" were most assuredly "there", and it may be said without qualification that they don't remember much of it.

"The Red Day Album" was recorded and mixed from a Friday night to a Sunday evening, sometime on a week-end after the release of "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" (June 1,1967). But, after considerable research and effort, no one can quite remember nor agree on just when or where it was all recorded. It is known that the first rough demo for their first single "No One's Been Here For Weeks," b/w "Common Attitude" (Tamm T-2024), was first recorded in a large studio named La Lou in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was subsequently re-recorded in Tyler, Texas sometime afterwards.

It was engineered and produced with the band by notable producer Robinhood Brians at Robin Hood Studios. Brians had already recorded hits with "The Five Americans" ("Western Union"), "John Fred and The Playboys" ("Judy In Disguise"), "The Uniques," featuring Johnny Norton, and would eventually cut the first four platinum albums by, "ZZ Top". The remaining tracks of "The Red Day Album" was essentially recorded and mixed in a single weekend.

Richard Orange was only around 15 years of age when he was spotted oh guitar and vocals by keyboardist Clay Smith whilst doing a "fill in", one-off gig wish another young band at a private party. Sometime later, Richard met Gary Simon Bertrand. Gary Simon's mother, "Gisele Carrinton", was also a cabaret owner from Paris, who had settled in Louisiana to continue her nightclub and cabaret ventures. "Edisun", as they came to be called, continued honing their craft in several of Gisele's nightclubs and cabarets.

Clay Smith had previously been with the band The Lost Cause". Kim Jarad Foreman was unique in that he was the only classically trained member of the band. "Thomas Edisun" would go on to win multiple "battle of the band" competitions and commanded larger and more adoring crowds.  

Before Richard Orange had reached his 18th birthday, "Edisun would release a self-promoted single on the Tamm label that received considerable radio airplay and attention while opening for acts like “The Vanilla Fudge", "John Fred and The Playboys", "Bubble Puppy", and "Peter Green and The Great Socioly".

Richard Orange would carry on his talent in “Zuider Zee”. He would write  his first international hit song fro Cyndi Lauper, which would then also  be featured in a Columbia Pictures release film. A year later Orange  would sign with Barry Gordy's Jobete/Motown in New York where  he continued to write as staff-writer for groups and artists varied as  "Starship" To Jane Wiedlin of "The Gogo’s” and Brazilian Pop  Star Deborah Blando and "Missing persons” Dale Bozzio.  Richard released his latest album, "Big Orange Sun" which was recorded and mixed in its entirety at legendary, Sun Records in Memphis.

"Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band" were a band :ahead of the  pack", if not perfectly aligned with the future with their own intimate brand  of "Ectodelic", "Beatlesque", pure, power-pop. They were a post “Sgt Pepper's" vision of rock-n-roll born of the psychotropic, anti-establishment." 
by Mars Russell
Tracks
1. (Intro) I'm Here (Richard Orange, Gary Simon Bertrand, Clay Smith, Kim Foreman) - 0:43
2. Red Day (Richard Orange) - 3:36
3. Have You Been To The Light (Clay Smith, Richard Orange) – 3:43
4. Common Attitude (Richard Orange) - 2:56
5. Hope (Richard Orange) - 6:43
6. No One's Been Here For Weeks (Richard Orange, Clay Smith) - 2:28
7. Walk Out With Your Heart (Clay Smith, Richard Orange) - 3:54
8. Champion (Richard Orange) - 2:31
9. I'm Here Right Here (Richard Orange, Gary Simon Bertrand) - 2:53
10.I'll Join The Army (Richard Orange) - 2:34
11.Merlin (Richard Orange) - 4:14
12.Breathe (Richard Orange, Gary Simon Bertrand) - 2:00
13.Alexander Graham Bell (Richard Orange, Gary Simon Bertrand, Kim Foreman,Clay Smith) - 3:26
14.Concord World (Richard Orange) - 2:10
15.Marigold (Richard Orange) - 2:19
16.Send Me Your Picture (Richard Orange) - 2:35
17.(Outro) Dream Me Up Snotty (Richard Orange, Gary Simon Bertrand, Clay Smith, Kim Foreman) - 0:43

Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band
*Gary Simon Bertrand - Drums, Vocals, Percussion, Kazoo, Timpani, Gong, Chimes
*Clay Dunham Smith - Electric Piano, Bass, Vocals, Harpsichord, Organ, Grand Piano
*Richard Orange - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar
*Kim Foreman - Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Organ, Electric Piano, Synthesizer
*Robert Sonnier - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Maracas, Tambourine (Tracks 4, 6)

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Downchild Blues Band - It's Been So Long / Ready To Go (1975/87 canada, amazing brass blues rock roots 'n' roll)



Significant music from a band's long career The 20 songs on this album are significant parts of Downchild's long history as a group that's often described as 'Canada's blues band*—an ongoing institution that still brings rockin' good times to stages across Canada, and, more frequently these days, in the United States as well.

The two albums from which these songs have been taken—neither of them previously released on CD—were recorded 12 years apart, but demonstrate the remarkable consistency that has marked the band's work since its foundation in the late '60s.

“It's Been So Long”, from which the first nine tunes are taken, was the band's return to the studio in 1987 after a five-year absence from recording—caused in part by the healing process necessary following the death of pianist Jane Vasey in 1982. Vasey had been with Downchild for nine years before she died, and her successors included Gene Taylor (who later left to join The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Mike Fonfara, heard here as a hired session man (on organ) and later to join the band on piano.

More horn-driven than previous Downchild albums, “It's Been So Long” marked the final appearance on record of Tony Flaim, who left shortly afterward, following a lengthy period as the band's singer. It also marked the first appearances with the group of Pat Carey on tenor sax; both he and Mike Fonfara, a decade later, are still proud to be Downchild members. Other participants on the sessions that produced the first nine songs on this album include Mike McKenna, the one-time co-leader of McKenna Mendelson Mainline, and currently leading his own band, Sidewinder, and drummer Sonny Bernard!, a veteran of the classic lineup of Crowbar.

The centre of the music that comprised It's Been So Long is, of course, Donnie Walsh himself; not only did he write almost all the tunes  he plays solid guitar throughout. He also offers some spectacular harp solos, particularly on Bop 'Til I Drop (for which there was a video featuring, among others, Ronnie Hawkins) and on Off the Cuff, a roaring instrumental that still has its place in Downchild's live performances. Speculation about the autobiographical content of both Bop 'Til I Drop and Don't Mind Dyin' is probably pointless, but there is little doubt that when the album was released on Stony Plain, it signaled an upturn in the band's fortunes—and was a welcome return after five years away from the studios.

“Ready To Go” was originally recorded in the summer of 1975 and released by CRT of Canada, a label under the direction of Ross Reynolds (now president of Universal Music in Canada) that had seen considerable success with the upfront marketing of music by the likes of Lighthouse and a variety of other Canadian artists. The tracks were recorded in RCA's Mutual Street studios in Toronto, the same space in which Moe Koffman had recorded Swinging Shepherd Blues and Stomping Tom Connors had cut such gems as Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud The band at the time was at the height of its popularity, touring across Canada playing for major crowds in clubs from Halifax to Vancouver.

Walsh was playing savage slide guitar (check The Slide for a sample), followed by the sort of harp instrumental that drove dancers into a frenzy (as on Do the Parrott, named after the studio's chief engineer). The band also had another star in Jane Vasey, the diminutive blonde pianist who romped her way through set after set with aplomb and a smile that melted hearts from coast to coast. Dave Woodward, later to move to the west coast to join the Powder Blues Band, was the horn player, while Jim Milne, one of the original members
when the band started in 1969, teamed with drummer Bill Bryans to form a solid rhythm section.

Bryans, of course, was later to go on to fame as the co-leader, co-writer and drummer of The Parachute Club, whose anthemic song Rise Up was one of the biggest Canadian hits of the '80s. Here, then, are two snapshots of Canada's best blues band, taken a decade apart—both illustrating perfectly Downchild's commitment to the music, their warm sense of humor, and the optimistic spirit the band still brings to its work.
by Richard Flohil
Tracks
It's Been So Long 1987
1. Bop'til I Drop - 3:17
2. Where Have You Gone - 3:37
3. It's Been So Long - 3:25
4. Who'll Do The Leavin' (Tony Flaim) - 4:05
5. My Baby, She's Alright (Tony Flaim) - 3:40
6. Don't Mind Dyin' - 4:22
7. Not This Time - 3:07
8. Bring It On Back - 3:07
9. Off The Cuff – 5:35
Beady To Go 1975
10. One More Chance - 2:21
11. Rock Me Baby (B.B.King) - 3:39
12. The Slide - 2:54
13. Do The Parrott - 2:41
14. Lazy Woman - 3:12
15. My Baby - 3:24
16. Caldonia (Fleecie Moore) - 3:10
17. My Aching Heart - 3:24
18. Downchild Snuffle - 3:50
19. Heart Fixing Business (H. Banks, A. Jones) - 3:52
20. Old Ma Bell – 3:11
All songs by Don Walsh except where stated

Downchild Blues Band
It's Been So Long 1987
*Don Walsh - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Tony Flaim - Vocals
*Mike Mckema - Guitar
*Dennis Pinhorn - Bass,  Vocals
*Paul Nixon - Drums, Vocals
*Sonny Bernardi - Drums, Vocals
*Pal Carey - Saxophones
*Bob Heslin - Trumpet
*Ray Harrison, Gene Taylor - Piano
*Mike Fonfara - Organ
Beady To Go 1975
*Don Walsh - Harmonica, Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Tony Flaim - Vocals
*David Woodward - Tenor Sax
*Jane Vasey - Piano
*Jim Milne - Bass
*Bill Bryans - Drums

1971  Downchild - Bootleg (2007 edition)
1973  Downchild Blues Band ‎- Straight Up (Vinyl edition)

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Steve Young - Lonesome On'ry And Mean (1968-78 us, amazing folk country blues psych rock)



Steve Young was born on 12th July 1942 in Newnan, Georgia. Genetically a mix of Native American [Cherokee on his father side] and European stock, Young was raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church but in later life openly embraced Zen Buddhism. In search of employment his parents moved around the southern states as Steve was growing up, and they lived variously in Georgia, Alabama and Texas. By the time Young graduated from high school in Beaumont, Texas he was already composing songs. Those songs were a marriage of folk, country, gospel and blues influences. Following graduation from high school, Young returned to Alabama where he quickly established a name for himself in local venues. During the early 1960’s he also spent time in Greenwich Village, arriving pretty much concurrently with the kid from Hibbing, Minnesota. Returning briefly to Alabama, Steve subsequently settled in California where he was a mailman as well as working with the then ‘unknowns’ Stephen Stills and Van Dyke Parks in the band The Gas Company. Although they received offers to make a recording, they rejected them all. Young went on to join the folk/country band Stone Country, and their only self-titled album on RCA Victor Records surfaced in 1968.

When Stone Country broke up, Young once again began working as a solo act and signed his first solo recording deal with Alpert and Moss’ A&M Records. The session players on this Tommy Li Puma produced label debut “Rock, Salt & Nails” – which took its name from a Utah Phillips’ song - included Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Bernie Leadon and Gram Parsons. The album was reissued in the U.K. by Demon Records during 1986. “Seven Bridges Road” [1971] was initially released by Reprise Records, and resurfaced two years later on the Blue Canyon label, and in 1981 on Rounder Records. While the foregoing versions all featured ten tracks, albeit that the latter reissue included a new recording of the opening, album title song, there have been a number of enhanced versions released in recent decades. In 1991 the German Big Ear imprint issued a fifteen track version housed in a galvanised steel box, while the Korean Beatball imprint issued a twenty-one track version during 2005. Young’s most covered song is “Seven Bridges Road,” with versions cut by Joan Baez, Rita Coolidge, Iain Matthews, Ricochet, Dolly Parton and more. The Eagles enjoyed a chart hit with a live version of the song during 1980.

The late Waylon Jennings cut Young’s “Lonesome, On’ry And Mean” and the song furnished the title of the Texan’s 1973 RCA Victor album which he co-produced with Ronny Light. “Honky Tonk Man” first appeared on Mountain Railroad Records and was reissued during 1984 by Rounder Records, while a CD version surfaced on the Drive label during 1995. During 1975 Steve appeared in the James Szalapski directed ‘new country’ music documentary “Heartworn Highways.” Young returned to the RCA Victor label during the mid nineteen seventies and cut the albums “Renegade Picker” and “No Place To Fall.” The latter albums were reissued as a 2CD set during 2000. As I noted earlier Rounder Records reissued “Seven Bridges Road” during 1981 and the same year the label released a new Steve Young recording “To Satisfy You.” To date “Look Homeward Angel” has only appeared on the Swedish label Mill Records as a vinyl edition, while the eight-song synth heavy collection “Long Time Rider” was initially released on cassette by the Nashville imprint Golden Chain, and three years later on CD by the German Voodoo label. The album was reissued once again, initially, as a 500 copy, numbered limited edition CD by the Melbourne, Australia label Afterburn Records during the Fall of 2008.

During the years Steve lived in Austin, he cut two albums for the now defunct local imprint, Watermelon Records. They were respectively titled “Solo/Live” – recorded live at Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant in Houston, Texas - and the Steven Soles produced studio collection “Switchblades Of Love.” Following a half decade long silence, in the States, Appleseed Recordings issued “Primal Young.” A mix of new Young compositions and cover songs, the album was produced by J.C. Crowley. Featuring new recordings of previously released material “Songlines Revisited – Vol. 1” was released by Starry Pyramid Records, while the six song “Australian Tour EP 2007” - a compilation of live cuts and previously released studio tracks - is self-explanatory by its title. Also a Starry Pyramid Records release “Stories Round The Horseshoe Bend” featured a November 2006 live performance by Steve at the Pioneer Pavilion in Youngstown, Ohio.

During his career Steve has variously lived in acknowledged music towns like Nashville and Austin, although he currently makes his home in California. Similarly he has toured the world, with concert appearances in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mongolia, Egypt, East Africa and more. Jubal Lee Young, Steve’s son is also singer/songwriter, and to date has released two albums “Not Another Beautiful Day” [2006] and “Jubal Lee Young” [2007] both produced by Thomm Jutz, who co-produced “Songlines Revisited – Vol. 1.”
by Arthur Wood
Tracks
1. Magnolias - 4:19
2. Woman Don't Weep - 3:36
3. This Wheel's On Fire (Bob Dylan) - 2:50
4. Rock, Salt And Nails (Bruce 'Utah' Phillips) - 3:42
5. Holler In The Swap - 3:49
6. Kenny's Song (Kenny Austin) - 4:07
7. That's How Strong My Love Is (Roosevelt Jamison) - 3.38
8. I'm A One Woman Man - 2:14
9. My Sweet Love Aint Around (Hank Williams) - 2:53
10.Seven Bridges Road - 3:22
11.The White Trash Song - 3:11
12.Lonesome On'ry And Mean - 3:30
13.Ragtime Blue Guitar 2:45
14.Long Way To Hollywood - 3:49
15.Montgomery In The Rain - 4:08
16.Ramblin' Man (Hank Williams) - 3:39
17.Honky Tonk Man (J.Hortorn, T. Franks, H. Hausey) - 2:16
18.Alabama Highway - 4:52
19.Renegade Picker - 3:09
20.Old Memories (Mean Nothing To Me) - 3.16
21.All Her Lovers Want To Be The Hero - 3:25
22.Dreamer - 3.40
All songs written by Steve Young except where indicated

Personnel
*Steve Young - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Dann Barry - Bass, Vocals
*Don Beck - Guitar
*Dennis Conway - Drums, Percussions
*Richard Lockmiller - Rhythm Guitar
*Doug Brooks - Rhythm Guitar
*James Burton - Dobro, Guitar
*Gram Parsons - Organ
*Gene Clark - Harmonica
*Dave Jackson - Bass
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Richard Greene - Fiddle
*Meyer Sniffin - Fiddle
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Pete Drake - Steel Guitar
*Weldon Myrick - Steel Guitar
*Josh Graves - Dobro
*Buddy Spicher - Fiddle
*Charlie Mccoy - Harmonica
*David Briggs - Keyboards
*Fred Carter, Jr. - Bass
*D.J. Fontana - Drums
*Bobby Thompson - Guitar
*Ray Edenton - Guitar
*Bob Moore - Guitar
*Dale Sellers - Guitar
*Pete Wade - Guitar
*Jerry Smith - Keyboards
*William Ackerman - Drums
*Jerry Carrigan - Drums
*Henry Strzelecki - Bass
*Paul Tannen - Vocals
*Ginger Holladay - Vocals
*Mary Holladay - Vocals

1968  Stone Country - Stone Country
1969  Steve Young - Rock Salt And Nails (2010 korean remaster)
1970-81  Steve Young - Seven Bridges Road (2005 remaster and expanded)

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Steve Hillage - Motivation Radio (1977 uk, brilliant solid prog rock)



Those in tune with being transported through music will want to station themselves near the speakers for Motivation Radio. Call it the "light side of the moon," this album draws the listener into its own astral plane with a glossy and gauzy sound similar to Pink Floyd without the darkness, or Alan Parsons Project without the dorkiness. The new age/space ideology isn't far removed from Gong's original alternate reality (remember the Octave Doctors?), spelled out best during the album's true point of transmigration, "Saucer Surfing." Hillage's guitar work is typically transcendent, Giraudy's keyboards a vital component (note the Doctor Who-isms of "Searching for the Spark"), and Joe Blocker's drums a frequent breath of change. Steve Hillage doesn't have the vocal presence to reach out to listeners; at best, he can meet them halfway. 

Motivation Radio works as well as it does because it draws listeners to that halfway point (and beyond), steering them with spiritual signposts and rewarding them with rapturous music. It's a remarkably smooth journey, more accessible than L, if equally cosmic. Again, it was an idiomatic cover tune, "Not Fade Away," that became the single; though an odd way to end the record, it wouldn't have made any sense in the middle. The rest of the record is a contiguous collection of music. So tune in and bliss out. 
by Dave Connolly 
Tracks
1. Hello Dawn - 2:49
2. Motivation - 4:10
3. Light In The Sky - 4:11
4. Radio - 6:13
5. Wait One Moment - 3:20
6. Saucer Surfing - 4:20
7. Searching For The Spark - 5:31
8. Octave Doctors - 3:33
9. Not Fade Away (Glid Forever) (Norman Petty, Glen Hardin)- 3:28
10.Leylines To Glassdom (Tonto's Version) - 2:52
11.The Salmon Song (Original Power Trio Backing Track) - 9:12
12.The Golden Vibe (Alternative Mix) - 2:50
Music by Steve Hillage, Lyrics by Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy, unless as else stated

Musicians
*Steve Hillage - Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals
*Joe Blocker - Drums
*Reggie McBride - Bass
*Malcolm Cecil - Synthesizer
*Miquette Giraudy - Synthesizer

1969  Uriel - Arzachel (2007 remaster, collectors edition)
1976  Steve Hillage - L (2007 remaster)
1978 Steve Hillage - Green (2007 remaster and expanded)
1979  Steve Hillage - Open (2007 remaster) 

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zephyr - Going Back To Colorado (1971 us, awesome blues jazz folk rock psych)



David Givens met Candy Ramey in Aspen, Colorado in the fall of 1967 while Candy was performing with a local jug band. Impressed by Candy’s performing abilities and charisma, David got a band together to play jobs in Aspen, and they quickly began rehearsing material with Candy while she was still in the jug band. Their paths crossed once with Tommy Bolin during a jam set up by a mutual friend, but they didn’t hook up with Tommy for real until later.

David and Candy married in 1968, then moved to Boulder and started working in a band called Brown Sugar. Tommy and John Faris arrived in the fall of 1968 with their band Ethereal Zephyr, which they had formed after Tommy’s return from a short stint away from Denver to Cincinnati. Tommy’s influences at the time were Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and a wide range of older rock and blues. He was very fond of Wes Montgomery’s guitar work, having worked on playing octave runs as far back as A Patch of Blue. Faris was well versed in music theory, and introduced Tommy to jazz greats such as John Coltrane. Also during this period Tommy was learning more about blues playing from Denver musician Otis Taylor, whose modern take on the blues and beyond is currently enjoying a high degree of respect in critical circles.

According to David Givens, Tommy jammed with Brown Sugar at a one of their regular Wednesday night gigs in Boulder at the Buff Room, and the results were so inspiring that within a few weeks they played again with Tommy, John Faris and an unidentified drummer. They then decided to break up their current bands and reform with a new drummer. Otis Taylor recommended Robbie Chamberlin, and a jam at the Folklore Center in Denver resulted with Chamberlin welcomed to the drum chair. With the firm lineup intact, they dropped the "Ethereal" from the name of Tommy and John’s band and became Zephyr.

In September, 1970 the band went into Electric Lady Studios in New York City to start recording their second album with famous engineer/producer Eddie Kramer at the helm. They were now signed with Warner Brothers, as Probe had folded. Kramer had worked with some of the top names in rock, such as Led Zeppelin and especially Jimi Hendrix, with whom Kramer had an extremely productive relationship. The sessions for the second album, Going Back to Colorado, were marred by Kramer’s distraction due emotional fallout following the death of Hendrix as well as a climactic romance with Carly Simon. The sessions for the album wrapped in October, and the album was released in January, 1971.

Going Back to Colorado was in many ways an improvement over Zephyr, in large part due to better presentation of Candy’s vocals, but it still wasn’t the commercial breakthrough that the band was hoping for. Both are extremely valuable and engaging documents, however, to fans of Tommy and of musical power and adventure. Going Back to Colorado is more song-oriented and polished, while Zephyr offers more raw exposure to Tommy’s guitar work.

Whatever difficulties Tommy faced during the recording of the album were mitigated by the important contacts he was making with important fusion musicians such as Jeremy Steig and Jan Hammer, who would soon play major roles in Tommy’s successful move into fusion.
by John Herdt
Tracks
1. Going Back To Colorado (Tommy Bolin, J. Tesar, Candy Givens) - 4:15
2. Miss Libertine (Candy Givens, David Givens) - 3:19
3. Night Fades Softly (David Givens) - 3:20
4. The Radio Song (David Givens) - 2:30
5. See My People Come Together (Tommy Bolin) - 6:06
6. Showbizzy (Tommy Bolin) - 2:30
7. Keep Me (Tommy Bolin, J. Tesar) - 4:20
8. Take My Love (John Faris) - 4:16
9. I'll Be Right Here (Tommy Bolin) - 4:26
10.At This Very Moment (Candy Givens) - 5:55

Zephyr
*Candy Givens - Piano, Vocals, Harmonica
*Bobby Berge - Drumss
*David Givens - Bass, Vocals
*John Faris - Organ, Piano, Soprano Sax, Flute, Vocal
*Tommy Bolin - Steel, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Vibes
Guests
*Paul Conley - Moog Synthesizer
*Eddie Kramer - Piano, Clavinet, Perscussion
*Paul Fleisher - Saxophones
*Buzzy Linhart - Vocals
*Gerard "Ginger Face" McMahon - Vocals
*Albertine Robinson, Eileen Gilbert, Tasha Thomas - Vocals

1972-75  Tommy Bolin - Whirlwind (2013 two disc set) 

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Moxy - Moxy (1975 canada, excellent heavy rock)



Moxy was built out of the remnants of two Canadian rock groups "Leigh Ashford" and non-recording act "Outlaw Music". Douglas "Buzz" Shearman fronted a number of bands before Moxy. Buzz formed "Sherman & Peabody" , while still in his mid-teens with Greg Godovitz (Fludd & Goddo) and Gil Moore (Triumph) . Buzz then Joined "Flapping" in 1969, but left when they moved from Hamilton to play with Ian Thomas as "Tranquility Base". Buzz then joined the already-established(1967) "Leigh-Ashford" in 1970 and recorded the bands first full length album "Kinfolk " in 1971.

Things were looking bright for the band as the album's first single, "Dickens", began gaining attention in the United States. They returned to Canada where they played the Strawberry Fields Festival in Mosport, Ontario. Buzz eventually hooked-up with other brief former "Leigh-Ashford" members guitarist Earl Johnson (King Biscuit Boy) and drummer Bill Wade (Brutus & Outlaw Music). Still called "Leigh-Ashford" and playing a mix of new and 'original' music make their first appearance together at Scarborough's notorious rock pit "The Knob Hill Hotel" in October 74. Bassist Kim Fraser soon departed after a few shows with Earl recommending Terry Juric ( Outlaw Music ).

With this new line up the group changed it's name to "Moxy" and in no time at all become regulars on the Ontario bar circuit, gaining a reputation as a no-nonsense, to-the-bones rock band. The first single released in November 74 "Can't You See I'm A Star" received heavy radio support in Toronto by CHUM (AM) . MOXY then sign a contract to record an album with Polydor Records of Canada™ . The quick signing was mainly due to the popularity and success of Leigh Ashford and Buzz's showmanship reputation. The independently produced album self-titled "Moxy", was recorded with the help of Mark Smith of "BTO", who acted as co-producer.

Tommy Bolin was a guest musician on the album, who had previously been the lead guitarist for the "James Gang" and would go on to replace Ritchie Blackmore in "Deep Purple". Tommy Bolin does all but two guitar solos, all rhythm guitar and the solos on "Sail On Sail Away", "Can't You See I'm A Star" and the ending of "Train" were performed by Earl Johnson. Earl was actually supposed to have done all the guitar parts, but got into a disagreement with the producer (Mark Smith) and was consequently tossed out of the studio. Tommy Bolin, being nearby, was asked by Moxy's manager Roland Paquin to fill in for Earl Johnson. Roland Paquin knew Bolin from when he was road manager for the "James Gang". Having heard the impact of the twin guitars, Moxy then needing a second guitarist, enlist Buddy Caine and quickly go from a bar band to headline concert attraction in Canada.

The debut album originally released in the spring of 1975 by Polydor for distributing only in Canada was picked up by many radio stations in the USA and was one of the most requested albums in Texas. As a consequence of the high demand in the U.S Moxy was picked-up by the larger Mercury Records label in the US and a national distribution deal was made and the album was reissued in 1976 worldwide. Both labels were owned by PolyGram at the time, they are now part of the Universal Music Group,a fantastic band, very heavy rock-based with a touch of Sabbatowskich riffach Purpli. The first album is a real buzz in the atmosphere of Truth And Janey and the first two (very underrated) album Yesterday And Today ... Guest star on the disc (like the on 2 LP) played Tommy Bolin.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Fantasy (Earl Johnson) - 5:42
2. Sail On Sail Away (Earl Johnson) - 4:53
3. Can't You See I'm A Star (Earl Johnson) - 3:37
4. Moon Rider (Earl Johnson, Buzz Shearman) - 4:27
5. Time To Move On (Earl Johnson, Buzz Shearman) - 4:10
6. Still I Wonder (Earl Johnson) - 4:18
7. Train (Earl Johnson, Robert Bonnell) - 4:39
8. Out Of Darkness (Into Τhe Fire) (Earl Johnson, Buzz Shearman) - 4:57

Moxy 
*Buzz Shearman - Vocals
*Earl Johnson - Guitar
*Terry Juric - Bass
*Bill Wade - Drums
With
*Tommy Bolin - Guitar
*Tom Stephenson - Piano

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Steve Hillage - Green (1978 uk, extraordinary prog space rock, 2007 remaster and expanded)



On Steve Hillage's 1978 release Green, the underground prog rock fan favorite issues more of his trademark thinking-man's music. Fans of mid- to late-'70s Pink Floyd will want to check this album out, since it possesses many of the same musical qualities, due to the fact that it was produced by Floyd drummer Nick Mason, along with Hillage. Although not as consistent as some of his other albums, it certainly has its moments. Hillage's recurring sci-fi influence is still felt in his music, especially on such tracks as "Sea Nature," "UFO Over Paris," and "Unidentified (Flying Being)." 

Hillage uses the same band that appeared on his Motivation Radio album, which helps make Hillage's twisted songs even better (like his other albums, the musicianship is top-notch). Besides comparisons to Floyd, the album's music is also similar to David Bowie's late-'70s experimental electronic phase (check out the track "Crystal City," with vocals almost identical to Bowie). Hillage fans will definitely not be disappointed with Green. 
by Greg Prato
Tracks
1. Sea Nature (Hillage, Giraudy) - 6:43
2. Ether Ships (Hillage, Giraudy) - 5:02
3. Musik Of The Trees (Hillage, Giraudy) - 4:53
4. Palm Trees (Love Guitar) (Hillage, Giraudy) - 5:19
5. Unidentified (Flying Being) (Hillage, Giraudy, Robertson) - 4:30
6. U.F.O. Over Paris (Hillage, Giraudy, Robertson, Blocker, Bynum) - 3:11
7. Leylines To Glassdom (Hillage, Giraudy) - 4:06
8. Crystal City (Hillage, Giraudy) - 3:36
9. Activation Meditation (Hillage, Giraudy) - 1:03
10.The Glorious Om Riff (C.O.I.T, Hillage) - 7:46
11.Unidentified (Flying Being) (Hillage, Giraudy) - 4:56
12.Not Fade Away (Glid Forever) (C. Hardin, N. Petty) - 7:26
13.Octave Doctors (Hillage, Giraudy) - 3:41
14.Meditation Of The Snake (Hillage) - 3:18
Tracks 11 and 13 Live At Glastonbury 1979
Track 12 Live At The Rainbow Theatre 1977

Personnel
*Steve Hillage - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Synthesizer, Production
*Miquette Giraudy - Synthesizer, Vocoder, Vocals
*Curtis Robertson Jr - Bass
*Joe Blocker - Drums
*Nick Mason – Drums, Production
Bonus Tracks Musicians
*Andy Anderson - Drums (Live At Glastonbury)
*Paul Francis - Bass (Live At Glastonbury)
*Dave Stewart - Rhythm Guitar And Glissando Guitar (Live At Glastonbury)
*Clive Bunker - Drums (Live At Rainbow)
*Colin Bass - Bass (Live At Rainbow)
*Christian Boule - Rhythm Guitar And Glissando Guitar (Live At Rainbow)
*Phil Hodge - Keyboards (Live At Rainbow)
*Basil Brooks - Synthesizer (Live At Rainbow)

1969  Uriel - Arzachel (2007 remaster, collectors edition)
1976  Steve Hillage - L (2007 remaster)
1979  Steve Hillage - Open (2007 remaster) 

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink (1971 uk, canterbury prog rock masterpiece, 2011 double disc deluxe edition)



There isn’t sufficient space here to give a full description of what has been collected on the three discs of this thoroughly deserved Deluxe Edition let alone explain just how good an album In The Land Of Grey And Pink is or its standing as one of the cornerstone albums of 70s prog and the Canterbury scene.

The in-a-nutshell list of ingredients is: what sounds like the 2001 remaster of the full album; Steven Wilson’s new mixes of the album in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound; a fascinating previously unreleased new version of Nine Feet Underground (completely different lead organ and sax tracks different vocal track on the second part – Dave Sinclair singing in place of Richard Sinclair); different versions and/or mixes of some album tracks and non-ITLOGAP songs including Frozen Rose and Aristocracy; five 70s radio-broadcast live sessions including Nine Feet Underground and the title track; video of Golf Girl and Winter Wine from contemporaneous German TV show Beat Club the latter previously unseen alone almost worth the price of admission given the scarcity of period footage around.

For many the jury’s still out on 5.1: clever for sure but is it what the artist intended their music to sound like? Whatever it’s here if you want it. And presumably with the right drugs you really can feel like you’re listening to the album from somewhere inside Dave Sinclair’s Hammond.

There’s nothing particularly radical in the new stereo mixes: it’s all quite subtle and unintrusive – a slight reduction in the presence of the guitars during the keyboard solo on the title track. Most noticeably the left-right dynamic has been tightened up with much less panning of individual sounds than there is on the original CD issue. On Winter Wine for example there’s less drifting of the angelic voices and the tinkling piano passage and the few seconds of wah-wah organ that used to pan back and forth rapidly is now anchored tightly in the centre; meanwhile the trombone at the beginning of Golf Girl has been moved in a touch from its original hard-right position.

Overall though there’s nothing in the new mixes that really stands out as being notably different from what fans will know and love which is what one would hope to be the case. And even though the album has been remixed rather than remastered (so no sound ‘polishing’ as such) there must have been some temptation given the studio technology voodoo available these days to ‘airbrush’ some things. But reassuringly the ‘pops’ when Dave Sinclair kicks in his wahwah pedal still pop and Richard Sinclair’s jarring bum-note (so wrong you can’t even call it jazz) 5’ 20” into Nine Feet Underground remains just as jarring – and now comes in glorious 5.1 surround sound.

With the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition one of prog’s pivotal must-have albums has just got even more indispensable.
by Paul Henderson
Tracks
Disc 1 The Original Album Released As Deram SDL-R 1 On 8th April 1971
1. Golf Girl - 5:01
2. Winter Time - 7:36
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) - 3:04
4. In The Land Of Grey And Pink - 5:00
5. Nine Feet Underground - 22:44
6. Frozen Rose (I Don't Know Its Name Alias The World) (New Mix By Steven Wilson) - 6:10
7. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) (First Version New Mix By Steven Wilson) - 3:36
8. Nine Feet Underground (New Mix By Steven Wilson) - 22:39
Bonus Tracks 7-8
Disc 2 Album Session Recordings, December 1970
1. Aristocracy - 3:15
2. It Doesn't Take A Lot - 3:14
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) (Extended Version) - 3:36
4. It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week ('Winter Wine' Instrumental Demo) - 7:48
5. Nigel Blows A Tune (First Version) - 5:55
6. Group Girl ('Golf Girl' First Version) 5:14
7. Love Song Without Flute - 3:33
8. In The Land Of Grey And Pink - 3:43
9. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) - 3:12
10.Nine Feet Underground - 14:27
11.Feelin', Reelin', Squealin' (Kevin Ayers) - 9:30
All songs by R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, R. Sinclair, D. Sinclair except where noted.
Tracks 7-9 Recorded For The BBC's 'Sounds Of The Seventies', 11th March 1971
Tracks 10-11 Recorded For John Peel's Sunday Concert At The Paris Theatre, 6th May 1971

Caravan
*Richard Sinclair - Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Pye Hastings - Electric. Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*David Sinclair - Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Harmony Vocals
*Richard Coughlan - Drums, Percussion
Additional Musicians
*Jimmy Hastings - Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Piccolo
*David Grinsted - Cannon, Bell, Wind

the journey of Caravan
1968  Caravan (Japan SHM remaster)
1970  If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (Japan SHM remaster)
1971  In The Land Of Grey And Pink (Japan SHM remaster)
1972  Waterloo Lily (Japan Mini LP)
1973  For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night (japan SHM remaster)
1974  Caravan And The New Symphonia (japan SHM remaster)
1975 Cunning Stunts (Japan remaster)

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Amazing Blondel - Fantasia Lindum (1971 uk, beautiful elegant harmony baroque folk)



The concept album rears its head -- and rears back about 500 years. While other progressive rock groups were doing album-length suites dealing with apocalyptic themes, Amazing Blondel were doing 20-minute multi-part pieces ("fantasia" is the best classical music term) depicting idealized love between man and woman, man and nature, and man and God. It all plays a little like the Strawbs' work of this same era without the sardonic edge, and is all achingly beautiful.
by Bruce Eder
Tracks
1. Fantasia Lindum - 20:13
.a Prelude and Theme
.b Song: Swifts, Swains, Leafy Lanes
.c Dance: Jig Upon Jig; Theme (Lutes And Recorder)
.d Dance (Galliard): God Must Doubt
.e Song: Lincolnshire Lullaby
.f Dance: Basse Dance Theme (Lute Duet)
.g Dance: Quatre Dance Pavan
.h Song: Celestial Light (For Lincoln Cathedral)
.i Dance: Coranto; Theme (Lutes And Recorder)
.j End
2. To Ye - 3:24
3. Safety In God Alone - 4:49
4. Two Dances - 1:56
.a Almaine (Edward Baird)
.b Bransle For My Ladys' Delight
5. Three Seasons Almaine - 3:32
6. Seige of Yaddlethorpe (Terence Alan Wincott) - 2:30
Music and Lyrics by John David Gladwin unless as else stated

Personnel
*John David Gladwin - Second Lute, Lead Vocals, Double Bass, Theorboe.
*Terence Alan Wincott - Recorders, Vocals, Piano, Crumhorn, Harpsichord, Harmonium, Other Woodwind
*Edward Baird - First Lute, Vocals, Glockenspiel, Dulcimer, Guitar
*Jim Capaldi - Drums

1973  Amazing Blondel - Blondel
1974  Amazing Blondel - England
Related Act
1969  Methuselah - Matthew, Mark, Luke And John

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day (1972 uk, brilliant prog jam rock, 2007 remaster with extra tracks)



This is generally considered by Man fans to be one of the band's best works. Produced during one of Deke Leonard's periods of absence, it saw Phil Ryan and Will Youatt welcomed into the fold. There had been a huge amount of touring going on around this time, much of it on the continent, and this is the period they really established a solid reputation as a live band, and evidence to back this up was clear in the form of the many live albums (and bootlegs!) that came out of this era.

There are just four tracks, which probably reflects the serious jamming that was going on while performing live, allowing space for individual soloing. Also, it made it easier to fit in the quieter passages, such as in C'mon, where there is some especially effective organ and electric piano form Phil. Keep on Crinting further explores this laid back groove, which at times takes on an almost pastoral feel. Mellow picked guitar, steady, simple drumming, and cool synth sets this mood, before giving way to more aggressive wah wah.

Bananas became an immediate favourite and remains one to this day. The studio version is pretty much an organ driven piece and though the guitars make their presence felt later on, the organ does give this original version a sound not really reflected in the way the song developed in later years when performed live.

Life On The Road I see as the weakest song on the album. If you like shuffles, fine, but to me it's pretty nondescript. It was part of the live set for a while, but I can't work out how this studio version could have been thought to have advanced Man's cause as being a major act.

The playing throughout is excellent. As already hinted, it's very keyboard driven, and not having Leonard on board meant there was not as much of a contrast in guitar styles as in other band versions. Terry Williams... simply does not know how to play badly. The easy, relaxed style of this album never seems to stretch him though, which is a bit of a shame.

Time to own up : this actually isn't one of my favourite Man albums. It sounds like the band had got carried away with their live successes, and came out of the studio with an album which might just as well have been recorded on stage. I don't think it's a coincidence that the cover photo is a live shot (unusual in itself for a studio album). There's not much wrong with the songs, but nothing really stands out as having been crafted, and no effort seems to have been made to take advantage of the sophistication of the recording facilities. Of course, when they came to Rhinos, I think someone had noticed this tendancy, and they perhaps over compensated. Whatever. Anyway, for me this is a bit of an underachievement - the material is there, but more effort could have been put into the presentation.
Tracks
1. C'mon - 11:03
2. Keep On Crinting - 8:18
3. Bananas - 9:28
4. Life On The Road - 7:14
5. Bananas (Early Instrumental Version) - 7:04
6. Rockfield Jam - 3:14
All compositions by  Clive John, Micky Jones, Phil Ryan, Terry Williams 
Bonus Tracks 5-6

Man
*Micky Jones - Guitars, Vocals
*Clive John - Guitars, Vocals
*Phil Ryan - Keyboards, Vocals
*Will Youatt - Bass, Vocals
*Terry Williams - Drums, Percussion

1969  Man - Revelation (2009 Remaster)
1969  Man - 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle (2009 Esoteric remaster)

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Amazing Blondel - England (1974 uk, brilliant orchestrated traditional folk)



Boasting an immensely talented line up consisting of singers/guitarists Eddie Baird, John Gladwin and Terry Wincott, The Amazing Blondel were easily as talented as fellow English folk-rock contemporaries such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. Unfortunately, over the course of five early-'70s American album, the band never managed to attract the attention lavished on their competition. Part of the explanation may stem from the fact the group remained devoted to acoustic English folk music, largely avoiding rock overtones, sticking almost exclusively to acoustic jigs and ballads until relatively late in their recording career. 

Gladwin and Wyncott actually started their musical collaboration in the rock band Methuselah (see separate entry). Following its break up the duo decided to continue their partnership as an acoustic duo. Subsequently joined by Baird, as The Amazing Blondel (the name drawn from Richard the Lionheart's favorite minstrel), the group was quickly signed by Bell Records (Chris Blackwell's Island Records acquiring American distribution rights). 

Co-produced by Phil Brown and the band, 1973's "England" saw the trio retaining their interest in English folk, though the set saw a shift to a more commercial sound. That said, with all three members contributing material (Gladwin credited with the majority of six selections) the results were frequently stunning. For us the highlights included Gladwin's beautiful side-long suite "The Paintings" and the group's stunning harmony vocals (check out "Seascapes"). Acoustic material such as "Landscape" and "Cantus Firmus to Counterpoint" was soft, warm and highly melodic. While you couldn't exactly call it rock and roll (thoughts of an evening in an Irish pub quickly come to mind), it made for a great choice to play on a cold winter night, or an early Sunday morning.
Tracks
1. The Paintings (Three Pastoral Settings for Voices, Flute, Guitars and Orchestra) (John David Gladwin) - 17:31
...a) Seascape
...b) Landscape
...c) Afterglow
2. A Spring Air (John David Gladwin) - 3:41
3. Cantus Firmus to Counterpoint (John David Gladwin, Edward Baird, Terence Alan Wincott) - 3:21
4. Sinfonia for Guitar and Strings (From the Suite For My Ladys Delight) (Edward Baird) - 3:11
5. Dolor Dulcis (Sweet Sorrow) (John David Gladwin, Edward Baird) - 3:25
6. Lament to the Earl of Bottesford Beck (Terence Alan Wincott) - 3:11

Personnel
*John David Gladwin - Vocals, Guitar
*Edward Baird - Vocals, Guitar, Dulcimer
*Terence Alan Wincott -  Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Mellotron, Bongos
*Adrian Hopkins - Clavinet. Orchestra Conductor

1973  Amazing Blondel - Blondel 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Crack The Sky - Animal Notes / Safety Ιn Numbers (1976-77 us, fine prog rock)



Coming as it did after Crack the Sky's critically acclaimed first album, the darker, more cynical Animal Notes was something of a shock. The grim lyrics are still expressed with a dash of humor, but on the first four songs, the laughs are through clenched teeth. "We Want Mine," the opening cut, is a demand from a third-world native for a share of the world's wealth, a demand he knows will be ignored. "Animal Skins," which may be the best track on the album, skewers organized religion with bitter wit, and "Maybe I Can Fool Everybody Tonight" is told from the viewpoint of someone who is sure that his success is undeserved. Not until halfway through the album is there any lighter material, in the form of "Rangers at Midnight," a goofy pseudo-soundtrack about the Mounties. 

The remainder of the album is lighter in tone but the lyrics are oblique; "Virgin...No" sounds fantastic, all stellar harmonies and guitar hooks, but the vague verses seem to have no relation to the upbeat chorus. After the bright throwaway pop of "Invaders from Mars," lyricist John Palumbo returns to the bleak outlook of the first half with the somber "Play On." Palumbo left the band halfway through their next album and recorded a solo album of pained, introspective material, and his career direction can be seen in most of Animal Notes.

It's generally a bad sign when the lead singer quits a band in the middle of an album, especially when that singer wrote every song on the band's previous two albums. It is therefore somewhat surprising that Safety in Numbers was not merely a good album, but one which rivals Crack the Sky's award-wining first release. Though departing leader John Palumbo contributed a few vocals before quitting the band, new singer Gary Lee Chappell and other bandmembers filled in nicely on a mix of Palumbo's songs and new tunes written by guitarist Rick Witkowski and various partners. 

The two songs written by Palumbo aren't even the best -- that distinction would have to go to "A Night on the Town (With Snow White)," a delightful piece that mixes styles from the 1920s and progressive rock in a way that is probably unique. There are other lyrical gems here too, including the grim title cut and the sarcastic concert favorite "Lighten Up McGraw." Palumbo's "Nuclear Apathy" is five minutes of good song stretched to eight minutes, though the splendid guitar work and inspired arrangement does much to redeem the error. Taken as a whole, Safety in Numbers showed that there was more to Crack the Sky than John Palumbo, and that the band was ready to carry on in high style. 
by Richard Foss
Tracks
Animal Notes
1. We Want Mine - 4:54
2. Animal Skins - 3:33
3. Wet Teenager - 3:32
4. Maybe I Can Fool Everybody (Tonight) - 5:57
5. Rangers at Midnight" (Including 'Night Patrol' and featuring 'Let's Lift Our Hearts Up') - 7:34
6. Virgin… No - 4:55
7. Invaders from Mars - 3:31
8. Play On - 4:10
Safety Ιn Numbers
9. Nuclear Apathyn - 8:32
10.Long Nights - 3:59
11.Flashlight (Palumbo, Joey D'Amico, Joe Macre, Jim Griffiths, Rick Witkowski) - 4:45
12.Prelude to Safety in Numbers (Macre, Witkowski) - 1:15
13.Lighten Up McGraw (Rob Stevens, Witkowski, Macre) - 5:08
14.Give Myself to You (Witkowski, Stevens) - 3:23
15.A Night on the Town (With Snow White) (Witkowski, Deborah Kucan) - 3:25
16.Safety in Numbers" (Macre, Witkowski) - 6:41
All songs written by John Palumbo except where stated

Crack The Sky
*John Palumbo - Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonies
*Rick Witkowski - Electric Guitar, Harmonies
*Joe Macre - Bass Guitar, Harmonies
*Jim Griffiths - Electric Guitar, Harmonies
*Joey D'Amico - Drums, Harmonies
*Gary Lee Chappell - Lead Vocals, Back-Up Vocals, Acoustic Guitar (Safety In Numbers)
*Rob Stevens - Piano, Minimoog, Oberheim Synthesizer (Safety In Numbers)
Additional Musicians In Animal Notes
*David Sackson - Concert Master
*"Singin' Mounties" - Vocals
*George Marge - Horns
*Robert "Chic" Diciccio - Horns
*Gotham City Swing Band - Horns

1975  Crack The Sky - Crack The Sky

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Flood - The Rise Of Flood (1970 us, awesome fuzz psych rock)



Flood were an act based in New York City, their sole album issued only as a promo on a private label in 1970. This garage flavoured psych album contains some killer fuzz guitars. This edition is transfert from a vinyl copy.
Tracks
1. Vacumn - 4:11
2. Idle Time - 4:28
3. Blessed Be The Young Children - 4:31
4. Pain - 3:58
5. Songbird Of Time - 3:30
6. Mr. Wickett - 6:18
7. Don't Take Me - 3:27
8. Hurting Time - 4:01
All songs by John T. Magazino, Fred Covino, George Cabating

The Flood
*John T. Magazino - Vocals, Conga, Tamborine
*Fred Covino - Bass, 2nd Guitar
*George Cabating - Acoustic, Electric Guitars
*Billy Carroll - Drums, Conga

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Czar - Czar (1970 uk, superlative heavy prog psych, 2007 remaster with bonus tracks)



The story of the making of the Czap lp started in 1969 when Tuesday's Children were asked by Philips Records to make an album. The line up of the band was then Mick Ware on guitar, Paul Kendrick on bass guitar, Bob Hodges on Hammond organ and Derrick Gough on drums. Tuesdays Children had already recorded a single for Philips which had been released on the Mercury label and staff producer Brian Shepherd was designated to work with the band.

The recording sessions started on the 17th January 1969, there were 12 in total, the final session being on the 27th February 1970. All the sessions took place at the Philips headquarters studio at Stanhope Place, near Marble Arch London.

Although Brian Shepherd was the nominal producer of the album, he did not attend many of the sessions and the two engineers, Dave Voyde and Roger Wake did the production in conjunction with the band. They are credited as 'Production Engineers' on the LP sleeve and whilst they looked after the technical side of the recording, it was left up to the band themselves to arrange the music in the way that they wanted.

The first songs that were recorded were covers, which included long version of the Byrds '8 Miles High'. After a couple of verses this went into a long improvisation section that included Mars from the Planets Suite by Gustav Holst. This had been a highlight of the live set but although this song was finished it was not included on the album, there are probably two reasons for this: the estate of Holst wouldn't let anyone release different versions of his music, and secondly, Philips wanted an album of original material.

One day in the spring of 1969 the band were round at Paul Kendrick's parents house in Leyton when Paul mentioned that he had written and recorded some songs. Both Paul and Mick Ware had bought stereo reel to reel tape recorders on which it was possible to bounce tracks which meant that you could multitrack, although there was significant loss of quality if you did it more than 4 or 5 times.

Anyway we sat and listened to Paul's songs and liking what we heard we decided to rehearse and record some of them. Armed with this original material we then went back into the studio and continued to record.

As 1969 progressed Paul wrote more songs which we recorded, Mick Ware was also busy and we recorded his song 'Today' later in the year. The band was also performing a lot, still as Tuesdays Children, and although some of the sessions were 3 hour mixing or vocal sessions, some of them were all nighters when the studio was not being used by anyone else, which gave us the freedom to experiment and also for me to use any of the hired instruments that were in the studio at the time ie. Mellotron, harpsichord, celeste.

We did perform all the songs on the album live, although I had to make do with just Hammond organ and electric piano on stage. One of our specialities was 3 part harmony vocals (we all sung except Derrick Gough), and we spent a lot of time in the studio on the vocals. Most of the vocals are double tracked, in those days you would lay down one vocal track and then sing another over the top of it which thickened up the vocal sound as the second track would be slightly out of synch. with the first.

Eventually we got to the end of 1969 and the band had completed most of the album, we had also decided to change the name and relaunch the band as 'Czar'. We felt that 'Tuesday’s Children' was too 'poppy' and as we were heading in a new direction, a new name was needed to go with the new music and image. the first gig as 'Czar' was at Londons' Marquee Club in Wardour Street on 17th January 1970, and although we still had a couple of gigs booked as Tuesday’s Children, after that we became known as Czar.

Unfortunately in January 1970 Derrick Gough decided to quit the band and we held auditions for a new drummer on 15th February 1970 at Bells Studios in Ilford, Essex.
by Bob Hodges
Tracks
1. Tread Softly On My Dreams - 6:42
2. Cecelia - 8:18
3. Follow Me - 3:23
4. Dawning Of A New Day - 6:12
5. Beyond The Moon - 3:47
6. Today (Mick Ware) - 8:01
7. Day In September - 7:39
8. Ritual Fire Dance (LP Outtake) (de Falla) - 7:39
9. Oh Lord I'm Getting Heavy (45 A-Side) - 4:03
10.Why Don't We Be A Rock and Roll Band (45 B-Side) - 3:38
11.(She's A) Lady Of Love (Demo) - 3:21
12.I'll Try Hard (Demo) - 4:15
13.Good Morning Sunshine (Demo) - 2:56
14.Oh Darlin' (Demo) - 2:41
15.I Laid It On The Line (Demo) - 3:28
All compositions by Paul Kendrick except where stated

Czar
*Bob Hodges - Keyboards, Vocals
*Paul Kendrick - Bass, Vocals
*Mick Ware - Guitar, Vocals
*Del Gough - Drums (1, 3-7)
With
*Alan From Hampstead - Drums (2, 8)
*Tony Mac - Drums (9, 10)
*Johnny Parker - Drums (11-15)

Related Act
1966-69  Tuesday's Children - Strange Light From The East

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