Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sea Train - SeaTrain (1969 us, fantastic psych rock with prog shades, vinyl edition)

This album was the next step by the group previously performing under the revamped "Blues Project" name and their "Planned Obsolescence" album of 1968. The Blues Project made serious changes after Al Kooper, Danny Kalb and Steve Katz left for other musical interests.

This original Sea Train album had some marvelous, haunting melodies, including two great instrumentals, "Pudding Street" and "Sweet Creeks Suite" (both Andy Kulberg tunes). Two other songs, "As I Lay Losing" and "Outwear the Hills," both surfaced on future albums. The band consisting of John Gregory (guitar, vocals), Donald Kretmar (sax, bass), Richard Greene (violin), Roy Blumenfeld (drums), Andy Kulberg (flute, bass) and Jim Roberts (lyrics) created a fascinating montage of country, rock, jazz and classical compositions.

The difference between Sea Train and other American bands were their lyrics. The group had a dedicated lyricist, Jim Roberts, whose words were more poetic than most bands of this era, focusing on personal experience and frail romance.

This is a vinyl transfer to digital copy, tried to fix the sound as better I could, artwork is from the 1986 CD release, sorry for this mixed up.
I don't know why it hasn't released a remastered CD version, the musical world is full of scams, how can they ignore this truly masterpiece.
1. Sea Train (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:07
2. Let The Duchess No (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:38
3. Pudding Street (Andy Kulberg) - 4:49
4. Portrait Of The Lady As A Young Artist (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:51
5. As I Lay Losing (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:54
6. Rondo (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:23
7. Sweet Creek's Suite (Andy Kulberg) - 3:55
8. Outwear The Hills (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:58

The Sea Train
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums, Percussion
*Richard Greene - Violin, Strings
*John Gregory - Guitar, Vocals
*Don Kretmar - Saxophone, Bass
*Andy Kulberg - Bass, Flute
*James T. Roberts - Lyrics

The Blues Project
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1967  Live At Town Hall
1968  Planned Obsolescence
1973  Reunion in Central Park

Free Text
the Free Text


  1. There is a semi-released song Caroline, Caroline that was recorded from a lineup of the band between the first two albums which not many people have heard but a pretty good song:

  2. I saw Seatrain at the Carrousel Ballroom in San Francisco in 1968, in a program that also featured Santana and Yusef Lateef (jazz flute). This album is one of the ten best albums in all rock'n'roll, in my opinion.
    The songs on the SEATRAIN album are as follows:
    (1) SEA TRAIN (4:09). The words begin, "Comin' on easy on the seatrain, walking under the fog again." Here the music is quiet, with a swirly guitar in the background, sounding somewhat like the beginning of H.P.Lovecraft's WHITE SHIP. But then there is a transition, at 45 seconds, where a burst of continuing energy begins and the onset of these lyrics, "I'm going under, and comin' on out, to see you again."
    (2) LET THE DUCHESS NO (3:40). This song is like a slow country & western song, except that it is in 3/4 time and contains a double-tracked fiddle and a flute.
    (3) PUDDING STREET (4:54). This is an instrumental, beginning with a jazzy descending riff on flute, then a swirly sounding part, and continuing with an aleatory guitar sounding like a darting fly.
    (4) PORTRAIT OF THE LADY AS A YOUNG ARTIST (3:42). The song begins like an easy-listening jazz piece. But then there is a transition, where a repetitive chisel-like sound from the keyboards, and a descending chord pattern. Once the tension is built up by the spiking, repetitive sound and the eerie descending chords, the lyrics start with, "She stays in a castle of her own making, fools in the courtyard with a jester or two." When I heard Seatrain perform this piece in San Francisco, it was played more thrashingly and percussively.
    (5) AS I LAY LOSING(4:57). This is such a beautiful song that it might be worthwhile to seek out another version of this same song, on Seatrain's Marblehead Messenger album, put out by One Way Records of Albany, New York. Here, the song is entitled "Losing All the Years," and the singer is Peter Rowan.
    (6) RONDO (3:24). The is a sad-sounding song, with just a singer, acoustic guitar, and electric bass.
    (7) SWEET CREEK'S SUITE (3:56). This is an instrumental, distinguished by a plethora of fine melodies and moods. One mood contains a wailing sax, as might be found on an early Elvis album, an amusing Venture's style surf interlude, and a part sounding like a cello playing creepy horror movie music. Sweet Creek's Suite segues without interruption into Outwear the Hills.
    (8) OUTWEAR THE HILLS (5:15). This song has an anthemic quality. Outwear the Hills has a great tune, on par with the final theme of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, which is repeated over and over in the Firebird Suite.

  3. thanx 4 share
    to tom brody for track by track breakdown