Thursday, April 14, 2016

Various Artists - Follow Me Down: Vanguard's Lost Psychedelic Era (1966-70 us, superb acid folk garage psych, 2014 compilation)



Founded in the late 1950s, Vanguard Records quickly established itself as a stalwart folk and blues label, issuing Joan Baez, Odetta, the Weavers, Charlie Musselwhite, Buddy Guy and the Newport Folk Festival recordings. Many of these successes were unconventional, showcasing a daring A&R vision held by Sam Charters and Maynard Solomon, amongst others. Yet, alongside the label’s hits, these early visionaries signed, produced and released other challenging and genre-pushing records that came and went without a whimper or a prayer.

Charters and Vanguard scouted the cutting edge (and at times the cutting-cutting-edge) of music from the greatest counter-cultural scenes of 1960s America. From the East Village of New York to the Jabberwocky crazed-folk of Berkeley and the auto-factory clang and chop of Detroit, Vanguard schizophrenically strove to present to its audience new sounds and new grooves. And while the wild experimentation of John Fahey’s “Requia” and the crazed jams of Country Joe are still beloved by audiences and readily available, those records present only a small part of the story.

This compilation marks the first time the Vanguard label has gone through its archives to hand-select tracks from their best “lost” records and 45s. Many of the bands featured here only released one record, or a smattering of singles, before drifting into obscurity, although many of the artists went on to greater fame after their stint at Vanguard was done. And while they are stylistically varied, there lies a common thread of musical proficiency and integrity that represents the trademark of quality Vanguard strived to uphold…no matter how bombastic, fuzz-soaked or outer-worldly the music may have seemed.

Ultimately, this record isn’t about digging for “Nuggets” or “Pebbles”, but rather about mining gems from the Vanguard vaults. I invite you to “Follow Me Down” and discover the treasures that have emerged from the excavation. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
by Isaac Slusarenko
Artists - Tracks
1. The Third Power - Getting Together (Drew Abbott, Jem Targal) - 4:22
2. Erik - You Said/But I've Got My Way (Eric Heller) - 5:48
3. Listening - Stoned Is (Gilbert Moses, Michael Tschudin) - 4:43
4. The 31st Of February - A Nickel's Worth Of Benny's Help (Scott Boyer) - 4:24
5. Elizabeth - You Should Be More Careful (Robert Patterson) - 4:06
6. Jeff Monn - I Can Understand Your Problem (Jeff Monn) - 2:28
7. Listening - See You Again (Ernie Kamanis, Peter Malick, Walter Powers, Michael Tschudin) - 3:46
8. Circus Maximus - Travelin' Around (Bob Bruno) - 4:00
9. The Frost - Take My Hand (Dick Wagner) - 4:23
10.Notes From The Underground - Where I'm At (Mike O' Connor, Skip Rose) - 3:01
11.The Vagrants - I Can't Make A Friend (Trade Martin, Jerry Storch) - 2:35
12.Serpent Power - The Endless Tunnel (David Meptzer) - 13:16
13.The Family Of Apostolic - Saigon Girls (Garry Bonner, Alan Gordon) - 2:25
14.The Third Power - Persecution (Drew Abbott) - 3:26
15.Notes From The Underground - Why Did You Put Me On (Mark Mandell) - 2:42
16.The Hi-Five - Did You Have To Rub It In? (Ted Baron) - 3:08
17.The Far Cry - Hellhound (Jerey Whiting) - 3:44
18.The Frost - Big Time Spender (Dick Wagner) - 4:32

Related Acts
1970  The Third Power - Believe (2011 Bonus Tracks Edition)
1968  Erik Heller - Look Where I Am
1968  Listening - Listening
1967-68  Circus Maximus - Circus Maximus / Neverland Revisited
1968  The 31st Of February - The 31st Of February
1969  The Frost - Frost Music
1969  The Frost - Rock and Roll Music
1970  The Frost - Through The Eyes Of Love
1968  Notes From The Underground - Notes From The Underground
1965-68  Vagrants - I Can't Make a Friend (2011 remaster)
1967/69  The Serpent Power / Tina And David Meltzer - The Serpent Power / Poet Song
1968  The Far Cry - The Far Cry

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