Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wizards From Kansas - Wizards From Kansas (1970 us, splendid rural psych folk rock with west coast breeze, 2007 digi pak remaster and 2012 expanded edition)

Truly The Wizards From Kansas are America’s finest horseman to gallop the spirited clouds of the Cherokee.The Wizards started their journey as Pig Newton launching their 1968 debut album Still In Kansas that pushed out a wah wah sapped version of Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and the speckled “Exchange Of Clouds”. Wizards From Kansas blew Bill Graham’s mind during their enduring gifted sets at the Fillmore East in the summer of 1970. These convincing live performances gave the group a recording break which put out their self titled masterpiece.

The lineup now slightly changed has John Paul Coffin playing some of the most exact lead breaks ever to slit the Stars & Stripes particularly on the galloping “Ride With The Witches” where the vox command of Robert Joseph Menadier and his fortified bass takes full charge and authority.The obvious strength of the group was ex Little Boy Blues drummer Marc Evan Caplan who rolls with an incredibly deliberate shuttle, often in jazz restrain. The songsmith behind the Wizards was twelve- string guitarist Robert Manson Crain who wrote six tracks while guitarist Harold Earl Pierce often helped out on vox when Caplan took percussion.

The Wizards were in the same esoteric drift as Clear Light or Emitt Rhodes without Coffin’s fiery breaks.The acoustic tranquility is crystalline as it flows through “Misty Mountainside” and even more meditated upon is the spaced version of Bill Wheeler’s “High Flying Bird” far more voluptuous than We Five or Judy Henske. A stimulating edge spits through Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Codine” influenced by the Quicksilver jam session with Blood Sweat & Butterfield Mark Naftalin on keyboards.
by Shiloh Noone
1. High Flying Bird (Billy Edd Wheeler) - 5:07 
2. High Mister (Harold Earl Pierce, M.A. Heiman) - 2:36
3. 912 1/2 Mass (Robert Joseph Menadier, Robert Manson Crain, T. Crain) - 5:00
4. Codine (Buffy Sainte Marie) - 5:56
5. Freedom Speech (Robert Manson Crain) - 3:42
6. Flyaway Days (Ronald Sandhauss) - 4:07
7. Misty Mountainside (Robert Manson Crain) - 3:38 
8. Country Drawn (Robert Manson Crain) - 2:22
9. She Rides With Witches (Robert Manson Crain) - 4:06
10.All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) - 4:04
11.Codeine (Buffy Sainte Marie) - 5:44
12.Clouds Of Exchange (Ronald Sandhauss) - 5:16
13.High Flying Bird (Billy Edd Wheeler) - 5:18
14.Country Dawn (Robert Manson Crain) - 2:36
15.Flyaway Daze (Ronald Sandhauss) - 4:34
16.She Rides With Witches (Robert Manson Crain) - 3:36
17.Misty Mountainside (Robert Manson Crain) - 3:23
18.River Road (Robert Manson Crain) - 3:35
Bonus Tracks 10-18 only on 2012 edition
Track 18 from reunion on 2010

The Wizards From Kansas
*Robert Joseph Menadier - Bass, Vocal
*Marc Evan Caplan - Drums, Percussion
*John Paul Coffin - Lead Guitar
*Robert Manson Crain - Guitar, Vocals
*Harold Earl Pierce - Guitar, Vocals
*Mark Naftalin - Keyboards

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Velvet Underground - Another View (1967-69 us, unique demos and unreleased material, SHM Japan release)

One objective part of me knows that these barrel scrapings are for fanatics and archivists. But another objective part of me knows that the barrel scrapings of a seminal, protean, conceptually accomplished band are their own reward. From the raw power of the instrumental Guess I'm Falling in Love to the dry lyricism of the instrumental I'm Gonna Move Right In, from the tight studio We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together to the intense early Rock and Roll, you don't have to know jackshit about the band to enjoy the music--on the contrary, you have to put aside your preconceptions. Because nobody experimented more successfully than these folks.
by Robert Christgau

1. We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together (Reed) - 2:56
2. I'm Gonna Move Right In - 6:30
3. Hey Mr. Rain - 4:56
4. Ride into the Sun - 3:20
5. Coney Island Steeplechase - 2:20
6. Guess I'm Falling in Love (Instrumental version) - 3:35
7. Hey Mr. Rain  - 5:16
8. Ferryboat Bill (Reed, Morrison, Yule, Tucker) - 2:10
9. Rock and Roll (Reed) - 5:18
All songs written and composed by Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker, except where noted.

The Velvet Underground
*John Cale - Viola, Bass Guitar
*Sterling Morrison - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Lou Reed - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*Maureen Tucker - Percussion
*Doug Yule - Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals

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