Monday, October 29, 2012

Uncle Dog - Old Hat (1972 uk, blues rock with jazzy feeling, 2005 japan remaster)

Old Hat,album(Signpost Records – SG 4253) by Uncle Dog was released again Dec 18, 2005 on the Air Mail Music label. Prior to its reissue on CD by an imprint of the estimable U.K. progressive rock label Voiceprint, Uncle Dog's 1972 album, Old Hat, commanded a fair amount among collectors of '70s rock, due to the presence of Free's lead guitarist, Paul Kossoff, alongside Malcolm Duncan and Roger Ball, who would shortly become the Average White Band's horn section. 

Old Hat music CDs The problem is that although lead singer Carol Grimes has a fine bluesy voice -- she actually sounds a lot like a British version of the Joy of Cooking's Terry Garthwaite, no bad thing -- keyboardist Dave Skinner isn't much of a songwriter, and all of the tunes are basically amiable jams on tired old blues progressions. Old Hat songs One song is even called "Boogie With Me," for goodness sakes! (To be fair, Skinner does lay into some good organ lines on that song, its saving grace. Old Hat album ) This album isn't actually bad, but the album title is distressingly accurate. For die-hard fans of the boogie only, and maybe Smiths completists who want to know what producer John Porter (rhythm guitar and bass) was doing a decade or so before "Hand in Glove."

The times, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and "Mystery Train" (Junior Parker and Dylan) are crisp and invigorating. The first is characterized by a combination of country / New Orleans - slide guitar, honky-tonk piano, pampilleux shares of saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and the second by his exuberance, vitality, cohesion, prancing and playing feisty musicians his pace to cut stroke charleston, piano hutin boultinant and finally the vehement lined Carol victorious bestial confusing! 

The compositions are excellent, especially "River Road", beginning this duo album, a boogie woogie CCR, with beautiful of acoustic guitar, sax most smoking, and always this brazen piano, growling titillating Carol, hitting drummer stubborn and concise; "Old hat" also driven by the piano, towed by David, seconded by Carol with passion, one of those ballads that heckle you and invade the heart of a fierce and itching desire for space and freedom, and finally "We got time," which presents the full range of the genre with an organ and an emphatic sax, a guitar solo barbaric and twisted lyrics celebrating love - this wondrous love, limestone and myrophore! There, Carol does not sing, she opens roared, bubbling, expels his words with a force portentueuse grabs you and you empeint to sacred pleasures. 

It is the flagship of the cake, the other titles are warm in comparison, note all the same "Movie Time" gambillant, smelling the 30s, and "Boogie with me," a lonely spruce lament that nor gin, nor TV, nor his "collect" the console discs: two songs accompanies John "Rabbit" Bundrick on piano - yes! yes! the same one who became famous this year with Free and later know fame with The Who.
by Adamus67
1. River Road - 3:06
2. Movie Time - 2:36
3. Old Hat - 3:44
4. Boogie With Me - 2:51
5. We've Got Time - 5:35
6. Smoke (D. Skinner, J. Porter, J. Pearson, P. Crooks, C. Grimes) - 4:46
7. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - 3:44
8. Mystery Train (J. Parker, S. Phillips) - 4:32
9. Lose Me - 4:59
All tracks written by David Skinner unless as else stated

Uncle Dog
*Carol Grimes - Vocals, Percussion
*David Skinner - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Percussion
*Terry Stannard - Drums
*John Porter - Bass
*Phillip Crooks - Guitar
Additional Musicians
*John Pearson - Drums (tracks: 3, 5 to 7, 9)
*Sammy Mitchell - Side, Dobro Guitar
*John Rabbit Bundrick - Piano
*Paul Kossoff - Guitar

Related Acts
1970  Delivery - Fools Meeting

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Writing On The Wall - The Power Of The Picts (1969 uk, heavy psych with prog traces, Repertoire 2000 digi pack edition)

Writing on the Wall, from Edinburgh, Scotland is the epitome of an underground rock band. Their one and only album was entitled The Power of the Picts, released in 1969 on a label called Middle Earth (the band also happened to perform at the Middle Earth Club as well). 

The label only had something like five albums released between 1969 and 1970 before disappearing. The band consisted of vocalist Linnie Paterson, guitarist Willy Finlayson, bassist Jake Scott, drummer Jimmy Hush, and keyboardist Bill Scott. Anyway, since this album came out in 1969, it should come as no surprise that Writing on the Wall sounds like how many other prog rock bands sound like at the time: not having yet abandoning their roots, in this case, hard rock, blues, and psychedelia. You can tell these influences right away from songs like "It Came On Sunday" or the ever heavy "Ladybird". 

The real gems on this include "Mrs. Cooper's Pie", "Aries", and "Bogeyman". "Mrs. Cooper's Pie" is amazing, because with a title like that you might think it should sound some shitty song your mother sung to you in bed as a kid, but that's hardly the case at all! Basically, this is simply a wonderful, ingenious psych and prog number, with great Hammond organ work. "Aries" is the epic on this album, at over eight minutes, it really lets the band stretch out. 

You'll hear some spoken dialog with a uniquely Scottish accent, some unbelievably heavy guitar riffs, and parts of it sounding like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Plus there's a way cool jazzy solo as well. "Bogeyman" is a rather short number, and it starts off the most stupid way: a polka version of the famous Scottish song played on concertina (a song that everyone associates with bagpipes), but it's only 30 seconds, and the real song come in, and it's a totally amazing heavy bluesy piece that's the total epitome of underground. "Shadow of Man" starts off borrowing from Holst's The Planets, then it kicks in with Hammond organ and spoken dialog not unlike "Aries". "Ladybird" is another song, like "Bogeyman" that shows the band at its heavier side. 

Most of the rest don't stick out for me, a couple songs seem to drag on too long (particulary the last song, "Virginia Water"), but none of them are bad. "Hill of Dreams" is a rather mellow number, and also least bluesy, so it ends up sounding like many countless early '70s British prog rock bands. The CD reissue also contains two bonus cuts, "Child on a Crossing" and "Lucifer's Corpus", both were originally released as a single in 1969 on the same label The Power of the Picts was released on (Middle Earth). 

Unsurprisingly, these two songs are in the very same vein and could easily fit on the album. Oddly, the band won't be heard from again until 1973, when they released a single called "Man of Renown" and "Buffalo", but no followup LP materialized. After that the band broke up, with Linnie Paterson joining Beggars Opera for their 1973 album Get Your Dog Off Me (Beggars Opera being a prog rock band also from Scotland, although you should apparently only worry about their first three albums, 1970's Act One, 1971's Waters of Change, and 1972's Pathfinder). 

Willy Finlayson was later a member of the final verson of Bees Make Honey, and made a guest on Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Chance (1980) and was a member of Meal Ticket. The rest of Writing on the Wall, unsurprisingly, hadn't been heard since that band broke up. The Power of the Picts is recommended if you like the bluesy and heavy end of the early prog rock spectrum, although it falls short of being the long lost gem I hoped it was, it's still worth having. 
by Ben Miler
1. Bogeyman (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:45
2. Shadow Of A Man (B. Scott, J. Scott) - 5:57
3. Tasker's Successor (W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:42
4. Hill Of Dreams (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:08
5. Virginia Waters (Page, K. Bernand) - 5:56
6.  It Came On A Sunday (Robert Smith) - 4:18
7.  Mrs Coopers Pie (B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott) - 3:21
8.  Ladybird (J. Hush, B. Scott, W. Finlayson, J. Scott, L. Patterson) - 3:46
9. Aries (Unknown) - 8:06
10.Child On A Crossing (Robert Smith) - 3:30
11.Lucier Corpus (D. Cameron) - 5:43

Writing On The Wall
*Willy Finlayson - Guitar, Vocals
*Alby Greenhalg - Wind Instruments
*Jimmy Hush - Drums
*Billy T. Scott - Keyboards
*Jake Scott - Bass, Vocals
*Linnie Patterson - Vocals

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