Monday, September 30, 2013

Junco Partners - Junco Partners (1970 uk, great hard blues rhythm and beat, 2007 reissue)

Junco Partners sprang from the same Newcastle music scene that launched Eric Burden and the Animals.  Formed in 1964 (the name came from a famous blues song), the original line-up featured singers John Anderson and Ronnie Baker, guitarist Charles Harcourt, bassist David Sproat, keyboardist Peter Wallis, and drummer John Woods.  

With The Animals breaking through to an  international audience, Junco Partners seemed groomed for similar success.  Immensely popular on the local club scene, in 1964 they packed up for Hamburg's infamous Star Club, but were turned back by German immigration officials who discovered they were too young to get work permits.  That setback seemed momentary with the band signing a recording deal that saw the release of their debut single.

Even though it was an intriguing mix of blues and more pop-oriented moves (imagine a mash-up of The Animals and The Zombies), the single did little commercially (# 60 on the UK pop charts), and the band returned to the English circuit where they spent the next six years opening for name bands and serving as a touring unit for a stream of American blues acts, including Freddie King and Howlin' Wolf.

By the time the band got a chance to finally record an album the line-up had shrunk to former Jackson Heights alumnus Charles Harcourt on lead guitar and vocals, Sargeant on lead vocals and keyboards, Sproat on bass, and drummer Woods.  Produced by Fritz Fryer, to my ears 1970's "Junco Partners"  was one of those albums that didn't immediately hit you, rather crept up on you and simply wouldn't leave you alone (kinda' like a bad woman).  

So here's what the band has to say about the collection: "The The Junco Partners Album was recorded in various big London studios for "Barclay" record label over a six week period in between touring in 1969 with Howlin Wolf, Freddie King and others. It was released in England, France and Germany after the band split up in 1970. At the time of recording, the band was a very slim four piece, renown for its dynamic live performances and gave its all to Bob Sargeant's songs.  But truthfully we still didn't capture the essence of what we were when we started out, or what we are now - "A bloody good blues band". However it did awakened Bob Sargeant's recording and producing prowess - he went on to produce number 1's on both sides of the Atlantic, including more than twenty top 20 hits and on reflection the songs are not that bad either."

Judging by these ten tracks I'd say their opinion was a bit on the modest side.  Anyone expecting to hear a standard collection of British guys doing lame blues covers was going to be in for a major surprise.  While material like their cover of Joe Cocker's Change In Louise' and the Sargeant-penned 'Am I Blue' underscored their longstanding blues fixation, the album was far more diverse than expected with credible stabs at progressive, psych, and commercial rock.  

Sargeant may not have been able to compete with the bluesy intensity of former lead singers John Anderson and Ronnie Baker, but he was actually quite good, occasionally sounding a bit like a gruffer Stevie Winwood and on tracks like 'Fly Me High' and 'Reprieve' he was magnificent.  Guitarist Harcourt also handled vocals on a couple of tracks and was also a strong presence.  As for the rest of the band, Harcourt was a real rarity - a rock guitarist who didn't play a single unnecessary chord, while the Sproat/Woods rhythm section was consistently superb - easy to see why American blues men wanted to work with them.
1.  The Minotaur - 4:21
2.  Fly Me High - 4:44
3.  Change In Louise (Joe Crocker, Chris Stainton) - 3:50
4.  Black Widow - 4:03
5.  Help Me (Charles Harcourt) - 3:43
6.  Natural Thoughts - 3:25
7.  Am I Blue - 4:21
8.  Reprieve - 3:45
9.  In The Morning- 4:10
10. Death By Fire (P. Rowan) - 5:28
All songs by Robert Sargeant except where stated

Junco Partners
*Charles Harcourt - Vocals, Guitar
*Robert Sargeant - Vocals, Keyboards
*David Sproat - Bass
*John Woods - Drums, Percussion

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Mountain Bus - Sundance (1971 us, outstanding psych with a west coast breeze)

Mountain Bus had its humble beginnings way back in 1962, when Ed Mooney. Tom Jurkens, and Stave Krator were students at Loyola University on the North side of Chicago. Mooney had a band called Moons and the Stars from 1962- 1964. Jurkens was in another group called Jurk & The Bushman in 1965 when, upon their dissolution that same year. Mooney and Jurkens formed a rock and blues band called Rhythms Children, enlisting the services of Steve Titra». Joe Wilderson, and Steve Krater to round out the group.

The band disserved m 1967 when Wilderson opted to leave for Canada to avoid the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War draft. The Chicago scene, like many other musically progressive areas of the country during this time, draw upon the increasingly popular and talented base of musicians coming out of the communal scene. Bill Kees. formerly of the bands ‘Fantasy' and "Hearts of Soul' fomed the band along with Mooney. Jurkens, and Krater and at this time, took the name "Mountain Bus", a tact and data point largely and conveniently ignored in the tad of 1971 (BE PATIENT, YOU LL GET TO THE GOOD PART IN A FEW MINUTES)

This incarnation of the band lasted until April of 1970, when Krater left for a two week honeymoon While he was gone. Lee Sims filled in for him; upon Kraters' return, their decision was made to go with both drummers. Both free and very low paying jobs haunted Mountain Bus for years; they had played to almost empty houses in and around Roger's Park and the Loyola campus since 1967 but as 1971 approached, they began to branch out around Chicago and played quite a few gigs at Alice's Revisited at Lincoln and Wrightwood. Their favorite place to practice for many years was a dungeon at 187 Wacker Drive. After a while, though, they couldn't stand the filth and rats anymore.

They had, managed to the secure the back room of a little king restaurant which greatly improved the aesthetics But Mountain Bus never made any great money during those days; the band members supported themselves with full-lime jobs just to constantly fund the band's activities, equipment, and, later on, legal costs. Some of the members worked at local record stores, one of which. Round Records, was owned by David Solomon. The store eventually ended up becoming the bands Headquarters and Solomon assumed the role as manager/bookings agent One of Solomon's colleagues, Al Krocky. also owned a record store.

At this time, record companies wers driving up prices to maximize their profits Al, however, saw an opportunity to start a record label which would sponsor local bands and put out records at much lower prices than the major labels were cranking them out at. in part caused by the mark-ups created by the record passing through three or four hands before getting to the general public Their plan was quite simple: Sell directly to the stores from the record label for the wholesale price of about $1.50 and retail the album for $2.98. instead of the standard $5.96.

The store would make just as much margin as before, but the records would be more affordable to the people. So Krockey, another record store owner named Steve Nakon. and Dave Lissner decided to form Good Records, a division of the "parent company" People's Art Corporation. In the Spring of 1971. Good Records struck up a deal with Streetervite Recording Studios for 60 hours of recording and mixing time for $3.500. After going through seven 16 track 2” reels of tape at $75.00Vreei. coupled with additional hours over the initial 60, the total biff came to about $4,500 Throw in a few more bucks for the album covers and design, and the project was finished.

The LPs were pressed at an RCA plant, while the tapes (both cassette and 8 track) were manufactured by Ampex Good Records had been busy establishing accounts in over twenty stales, banking on then philosophy that 1) because they were small, they could release only about four records a month, with each and every release really amounting to a major one and 2) Good Records was offering its musicians a larger slice of the revenue pie. at 25 per LP sold, versus the industry 'standard" of .22. The release of the LP started out slowly and then caught the attention of a lot of music critics both in Chicago and a few nationally. But then, suddenly, on 2 November, 1971, a temporary restraining order was served on Good Records.

People's Art Productions, and the band members themselves to keep them from using the name "Mountain" as part of an ugly, aggressive and methodical effort by Windfall Music In New York, which legally represented the band know as “Mountain" (Leslie West, Felix Papalardi. Corky Lang, Steve Knight) ' who had gained National attention since their appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. The lawsuit demanded that all record sales, promotions, air play, etc be halted, in that it was infringing on the established trademarks of Mountain, confusing and deceiving the general public, and diverting sales of Mountain's LPs , thereby causing "Irreparable toss" of their revenue stream.

But the real crux of this lawsuit was not that Mountain Bus had caused confusion with the Mountain name nor diverted one cent of Mountain's $1.5 million in revenues earned between July 1969 through October 1971; it was the plain and simple matter that the major record labels at this time (Columbia owned Mountain) were not going to allow nor put up with upstart companies like Good Records or any others that offered good quality music at an affordable AND lower price than the majors. The facts were simple 1) Mountain Bus had been together for over 4 years, two years longer than Mountain using their name 2) Mountain Bus was a local band, very few people outside the Chicago area had even heard ot them before the release of the LP and 3)Mountain Bus had never reaped any significant profits over these years- the band were paid very small wages and many of their performances were for benefits and other non-profit organizations.

Even more laughable was the 'Exhibit 3' used by Windfall to claim Mountain Bus had taken away business Mountain could have benefited from- A advertisement for Mountain Bus playing a Halloween benefit dance for the Parents School!! But this was serious business and a ton of money was thrown at this by Windfall.- they knew Good Records and the band couldn't sustain a long, drawn out legal battle Good Records had no reserve money with which to fight the lawsuit, and they went bankrupt. In its brief existence. Good Records had sold less than 3,5OO Mountain Bus albums m contrast to Mountain's 1.3 million. A record company founded with the express purpose of providing people with good quality music at reasonable prices was run nut of business And a great band broke up as a result of these bullying actions It was a loss for the public and a big gain for the record companies.

The negotiated settlement called for dropping of an charges in return for the band ceasing to use the name "Mountain" In any of their performances alter a grace period of June 1972. In addition, they had to commit not to encourage, participate in, nor condone any publicity, demonstrations, or other adverse activities regarding Windfall Music or Mountain (there had been quite alot of threats and negative publicity at Mountain concerts and in many of the local and National papers (Rolling Stone for one). In addition, the disclaimer which also appears on this Compact Disc was required wording on the LP and tape releases of Sundance In the end the real losers were the people which Good Records had intended to reach.

One wonders how many other great bands and music would have come out of this venture should Windfall Music have left well enough alone" Leslie West and Felix Papalardi insisted they knew nothing of the lawsuit when confronted with it by reporters and were purportedly upset about it, this of course then begs the question as to to why, if they m fact were so sympathetic to the plight of Good Records and Mountain Bus did they not themselves legally pursue Windfall over the bad press they personalty received over it?? The band known as "Mountain" officially broke up less than one year later. Leslie West is still active in the music business today; Felix Papalardi was shot and killed by his wife in 1984.

All members of the band Mountain Bus assisted In the preparation of this Compact Disc but many thanks go to Bill Keel and Ed Mooney and Craig Takehara for taking the time out and providing Gear Fab with photos, clippings, biographies, and. most importantly, the Master Tapes of these sessions. And special thanks to Good Records and their founding members who had a good idea back then and inspired many of today's small and independent labels to persevere and get the music out to the people!!" And another special note: There is amongst the music world another version of 'Sundance" on CD which has its origins in the country of France. No members of Mountain Bus nor People's Art Corporation participated in that project, nor ware they paid any fees, licenses, or royalties, as required by international Law.

This is the official and only authorized legal release for Mountain Bus!!!' Last Note: The live material contained herein was recorded at various live gigs throughout the Chicago area; the band at times were hoarse, tired, stoned, drunk, and in general, in a state of euphoria so common to these times. So please, understand that it captured the essence of the moment.
from CD Liner-notes
1. Sing ANew Song - 3:49
2. Rosalie - 6:33
3. I Don't Worry About Tomorrow - 3:01
4. Sundance - 7:12
5. I Know You Rider - 10:15
6. Apache Canyon - 2:50
7. Hexahedron - 9:10
8. The Bus Keeps Rolling - 3:46
9. Six Days On The Road - 3:39
10.(Meet Me) Down In The Bottom - 3:36
11.Ticket In My Pocket - 6:37
12.Young Man's Blues - 8:28
Tracks8- 10 previously unreleased live recordings from 1970
Track 11-12 previously unreleased studio recordings from 1970

Mountain Bus
*Bill Kees - Electric, Acoustic 12 String, Bottleneck Guitars
*Ed Mooney - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Tom Jurkens - Vocals
*Steve Krater - Drums, Percussion
*Lee Sims - Drums, Percussion
*Craig Takehara - Bass, Banjo

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1971  Sky Farmer - Amazing Grace

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sky Farmer - Amazing Grace (1971 us, fabulous psych blues jazz rock with female vocals)

Skyfarmer was created from the ashes of the Mountain Bus Band (a Chicago psychedelic blues rock band), which had gone down in flames in 1971 with the costs of defending it's Sundance LP against a lawsuit from the band Mountain, allegedly over the name Mountain in Mountain Bus. (This despite the tact that Mountain Bus was formed years before Mountain came into existence).

Lead guitarist Bill Kees headed for the hills of southwest Wisconsin after the demise of Mountain Bus. He hooked up with Stan Kane. Lee Buch, Jimbo Walsh. Kim Gitlis and fellow Mountain Bus member, bassist Craig Takehara to form the band Skyfarmer Skyfarmer was to become more than just an R&R band It was also a community. The band's main residence was in a large stucco house with a few outbuildings on an old tobacco farm (renamed Skyfarm by it's new inhabitants) located about 60 miles west of Madison.

Wisconsin In this quiet valley, they converted a two car garage into rehearsal space where (in warm seasons with the doors open) soft muiti reflective echoes would bounce back in lush, layered reverberations off me hillsides as the band rehearsed. As time went on, the outbuildings were converted into residences and soon the number of people living at the residence grew rapidly. As Bill Kees put it in an interview in the Wisconsin State Journal, "When I first came up here, I was looking to start another band.

There were a lot of small communes popping up out here, Skyfarmer became another. We were among many urban refugees coming out. and we all became part of the cultural landscape." Life at Skyfarm often took on "On Inn bits* Merry Prankster qualities. Craig and Elliott were at one time banned from the communal dinner table as the puns and jokes that emanated nonstop from the duo too often resulted in milk being ejected out of the nostrils of others at the table.

The band went through a seiies of transformations (personnel as well as musical focus) until it reached it's final metamorphism with Annie Hat (lead vocals), EHiott Delman (rhythm guitar), Ernest Mansfield (Flute, Sax. Keys) formally of the Mormos band. Bill Kees (lead guitar). Craig Takehara (Bass guitar) and Woody Sims (Drums) formerly of Mountain Bus. Another change was in band management from Kim Gitlis tn Skeets Millard (of the underground paper The Chicago Seed fame) who was to help the band expand from the local club scene. The resulting mix of influences created a unique sound and style and some quite original and eciectic music.

This was quite far a field for the Mountain Bus members who were coming from a hard rock/ blues background, as well as for the Mormos members who came from the folk scene in France. Skyfarmer played in an equally mixed assortment of venues. They developed a devoted tan base locally playing in local rural taverns and Community Halls while expanding out to a tour radius that included four states, playing a mix of dubs in cities and college towns Skyfarmer toured in a modified 64 passenger GMC school bus, which was in constant need of repair but somehow always managed to get the band to gigs.

The schedule evolved into as much as 2-3 weeks on the road and 1-2 weeks of local gigs, tending to the gardens and critters, catching up wrth the local scene and grooving on the natural beauty of the hills and valleys of rural southwest Wisconsin. This changed when the band won a long-term gig playing at the Goodman Theater's Chicago production of "The Tooth of Crime". The long absence of the band from Skyfarm caused some problems with trie folks left at home who after awhile felt a bit abandoned. After the band's run at the Goodman, it was back on the road again.

By this time, the rigors of the road were taking its toll and band members were getting married. I he band collectively started to break up. Lead guitarist Bitt Kees and manager Skeets MiHard started planning the next band incarnation which was to be a straight ahead rock band Unfortunately. Skeets was killed in an after gig road accident. The shock of his death and the destruction of the band bus and gear weighed hard on the band. Yet, the band played on until the last gig at "Amazing Grace* in Evanston, IL January 6th, 1975. In the last few months of gigs after the accident, Skyfarmer was joined by Rocko Jans (Keyboards) and Joe Habao TexkJor (percussion, of the Hassan Roland Kirk jazz band fame).

This added another layer of texture to the musical mix. The band's music was a balance between structured arrangements and improvisational jamming. It was understood that no jam would ever be played the same way twice. However, in the passage of time, themes would evolve and diveige. appeal and disappear or become transformed altogether. After the last gig, Annie Hat Joined up with Rocko Jans to form "Rocko and  the Hat" Craig Takehara and Woody Sims joined the "Jim Schwall Band", Elhott Delman had already joined the "Bonnie Koioc Band*, and Bill Kees moved on without Sheets to form the "Broken Winy Band" which continued to work the local club scene for a while, before moving to L.A. Skyfarmer started out playing original songs mixed with covers of rock and country tunes.

As time went on, original songs and extended freeform jams became the hallmark of the band. They would often times meet up with other road bands at truck stops after gigs, who would often express amazement that  Skyfarmer was able to play original music on the road and make a living at it. Of course Skyfarmer was not making very much money. This was subsistence living at best, but It was fun. In fact, it was family. The commercialization of underground rock music was well under way by this time and Disco and Glam rock were the new thing.

The Vietnam War was over, and so was the alternative lifestyle of the communes across the country. Richard Nixon had resigned the presidency in disgrace The innocence of the 50s and 60s had been lost. The great underground FM stations were disappearing and so was the psychedelic and eclectic music scene. But psychedelic music would live on, percolating underground, waiting to emerge again.
by Bill Kees 
1. Okcoch Farewell (Demo 1974) (Delman) - 4:23
2. Torch Poem (Live at Ruby Gulch, Champaign IL 10/31/74) (Cuomo) - 4:08
3. No Babe (Live at Amazing Grace, Evanston IL  1/6/75) (Delman) - 7:47
4. One Good Man (Live at Amazing Grace 1/6/75) (Delman) - 4:11
5. Playboy After Dark (Live at Amazing Grace 1/6/75) (Kees) -  19:23
6. Senortta (Live at Amazing Grace 1/6/75) (Delman) - 6:47
7. Out of Hand (Demo 1973) (Mansfield) - 3:11
8. Nobody's Wife (Demo 1973) (Mansfield) - 5:02
9. Mountain Bus (45' released 1973) (Kees, Delman) - 4:12
10.Working Man's Blues (Live at Minstrels, Chicago 1973) (M. Haggard) - 2:42
11.Band Introductions by Elliot. 2:22

Sky Farmer
*Annie Hat - Lead vocals (except 9, 10)
*Bill Kees - Lead Guitar
*Elliott Delman - Rhythm Guitar
*Craig Takehara - Bass Guitar
*Ernest Mansfield - Ftute, Saxophones, Keyboards
*Woody Sims - Drums
*Lee Buch - Vocals (tracks 7-9)
*Arm Linguist - Vocals (track 9)
Guest Musicians at last gig at Amazing Grace 1/6/75: 
*Rocko Jans  - Piano
*Joe Habao Texidor  - Percussion

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Message - The Dawn Anew Is Coming (1972 germany / uk, excellent hard progressive rock with some psych drops, extra track issue)

This was a German-British band led by Allan Murdoch. The story of Message is quite similar to that one of Nektar: in the early seventies they released some excellent, refined progressive rock albums, spanning from lyrical, melodic folk-rock over to heavy guitar outbursts. 

Their music was supervised by the well-known Bacillus recording team of Peter Hauke (label manager, producer) and Dieter Dierks (studio owner, engineer). The crew that recorded The Dawn A New Is Coming (1972). Only the rhythm section of this group was German! Taff Freeman from Nektar contributed with vocals and mellotron on one track. Overall, it was an excellent album with the title track and "When I'm Home" being the highlights - a very obviously British melodic progressive rock.
from "A Guide to German Progressive and Electronic Rock"
1. Changes - 3:39
2. The Dawn Anew Is Coming - 8:39
3. Evil Faith And Charity - 4:00
4. Heaven Knows - 9:48
5. When I'm Home - 7:40
6. Smile (Bonus Track) - 2:14
All compositions by Message, Lyrics by Tommy McGuigan

*Alan Murdoch - Guitars
*Tommy McGuigan - Vocals, Sax
*Billy Tabert - Vocals, Guitar, Spinet
*Horst Stachelhaus - Bass
*Gerhard Schaber - Drums, Vocals
*Taff Freeman - Vocals, Mellotron

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tina And David Meltzer - Green Morning (1969 us, brilliant acid folk tunes and crystal clear vocals)

Tina and I were under contract with Vanguard Records where we recorded two albums - Serpent Power and Poet Song - both produced by noted blues scholar, novelist and poet, Sam Charters. After the release of Serpent Power -- and a gig at the Fillmore for Country Joe and the Fish and Serpent Power's debut album, Tina quit the band.  She didn't like how she sounded on the record and didn't like singing for an audience she couldn't see.

Serpent Power reassembled as a working band which included Bob Cuff (of The Mystery Trend) on rhythm guitar, Jim Moscoso (kid brother of artist/poster maker/cartoonist Victor Moscoso), and myself as lead guitarist and vocalist. In our weekend gigs at The Coffee Gallery and Dino's & Carlo's (which became Keystone Korner in the 80's), the often included additional musicians like J.P. Pickens on amplified 5-string banjo, poet Daniel Moore on shenei (Chinese oboe), conch shells, miscellaneous bells and his friend Christian (nobody ever knew his last name) who was exploring the alto saxophone.

Besides regular gigs at the two North Beach venues we also did our share of benefits and weird gigs like playing off-nights at a strip club or for prototypical yuppies in a singles bar on Union Street. It should be mentioned that Serpent Power was more influenced by modal free jazz and spontaneous bop prosody than by the coverable pop tunes of the day. Our ears were tuned to Monk not the Monkees.

Our Vanguard contract was for two albums with an option for more. Since the band had developed into a performing and improvisatory unit, we had hope the second Vanguard albumcould be a document of a live performance at one of the clubs we worked at. Sam Charters came to check us out one weekend at Dino's & Carlo's, sat through a set, and when we met afterwards told us that what we were doing wasn't commercially feasible. 

Sam told us we'd have to rethink our second album. After working almost a year in this format, rejection brought the band members down. Everyone was bummed out. Soon the band dissolved: Jim went to join The Cleveland Wrecking Company, a funk band; I think Cliff stopped playing;  Clark found Susan, married and moved with her to the Berkshires to become a major voice in experimental writing; Daniel went to Europe and became deeply immersed in Sufism, changed his name, and continues working in that discipline; as for Christian, nobody knew where he went or what he's doing now. J.P. Pickens and his family became involved with various communes, he continued playing, creating junk sculptures, but was betrayed by methamphetamine and died too early.

 Poet Song, our second Vanguard album, was written for Tina as a showcase for her intimate and warm voice. Sam suggested that I read some of my poems and double-track guitar behind them. We recorded it at Sierra Sound in Berkeley where Serpent Power was recorded. Some string players from the Oakland Philharmonic -- including violist Tom Heimberg, an old Fairfax High School buddy-- were assembled at the studio by arranger Ed Bogas. I wanted to write songs almost exclusively for Tina, since I'd dominated our first album. The songs and orchestration were to sound more like art song, the antithesis of what Serpent Power was doing in the clubs.

Vanguard seemed pleased and held an option for us to do a third album. A mutual friend Chris Brooks introduced us to Vic Briggs who had been the lead guitarist with The Animals. Vic was now producing records for Capitol and liked Poet Song tremendously but thought he could produce a better album. He asked us to make a demo-tape for him to pitch to his bosses at Capitol.  

I wrote some more songs and Tina and I put together a tape using a clunky Sony tape recorder. (We managed to double-track vocal harmonies and guitar textures but, being technologically challenged, didn't realize they had to be mixed, which was moot since we didn't have the equipment.) Nevertheless, Capitol liked what their new British producer played and they gave the green light. We left Vanguard amicably and signed with Capitol.

The instrumental tracks were cut at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood. Our studio was down corridor from a big studio where Sinatra was in the process of cutting an album. Vic selected most of the musicians for the date including John Guerin on drums, Lyle Ritz on bass,  David Lindley played violin, Michael Rubini, piano. I hired bluegrass mandolinist Scott Hambly. 

The string section was added at another time. (During a session break, some of the A-List Hollywood studio musicians talked about their various investments, airplanes, real estate holdings, while Scott and I reminisced about his bluegrass band, The Ridge Runners, featuring Greg Lasser on the 5-string, who was part of my band, The Snopes County Camp Followers, with Tina, Joe Edmiston on gutbucket bass.)

Our vocal tracks were recorded in Wally Heider's San Francisco studio which, at the time, was state-of-the-art and was like entering onto a set in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Our engineer had just finished a long haul working on a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album. We felt like we were in the big time; super-stardom was just around the corner, glimmering like Las Vegas at night.

Cover photos were taken and liner notes were written by poet Kenneth Rexroth, a founding father of the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement. In a couple of weeks we received a tape of the mixed-down album and played it for anybody who stumbled into our home. Then there was an odd silence. Then there was a long-distance call from Vic who broke the news. He and four or five other producers who Capitol management had hired had been let go. Why? A corporate turn-over: a new management team was brought in and canceled all of the previous management's projects. Vic was out of a job; David and Tina would not become mega-stars but they did have a very expensive home tape. The songs you're about to listen to.
by David Meltzer
1. Heavenly City - 3:34
2. Let The Door Stay Open - 3:30
3. Hungry - 4:38
4. Luna Tune #1 - 0:43
5. Green Morning - 3:38
6. Shara - 1:40
7. Keep On Lovin' - 3:16
8. The Garden - 4:37
9. Child Ballad - 4:01
10.Luna Tune #2 - 0:53
11.The Angel - 2:45
12.Let The Light In - 1:45
13.Do You Think Your God - 5:17
14.It's Simple - 0:47
Words and Music by David Meltzer

*Tina Meltzer - Vocals
*David Meltzer - Guitar Vocals, Harmonica
*John Guerin - Drums
*Lyle Ritz - Bass
*David Lindley - Violin
*Michael Rubini - Piano
*Scott Hambly - Mandolin

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kaplan Brothers - Nightbird (1976 us, weird peculiar expressive lounge rock)

The ultimate lounge-rock extravaganza. A self-proclaimed 'electric symphony' that mixes Ennio Morricone with King Crimson as recorded by a Holiday Inn/bar mitzvah band from outer space. Crooner vocals soar on top of overly-elaborate keyboard arrangements as the music abruptly throws you from one intense mood into another in true psychedelic fashion. 

No ideas are discarded as the meaning of life unfolds in glitzy Z-grade fashion -- if there's a bad, cheesy move to be made, they'll go for it. These guys probably thought they'd made the greatest LP of all time, and in a way, I guess it is -- even regular folks with no interest in this scene are blown away by the Kaplans' unsurpassed pretense and lack of reality-checks. Must be heard to be believed, preferably on acid. 
Acid Archives
1.  Ode To Life - 3:06
2.  Vodka And Caviare - 3:33
3.  Epitaph (Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield) - 5:12
4.  Listen To The Falling Rain (John Claude Gummoe) - 3:53
5.  Life And Me - 5:09
6.  Love Is Life - 5:41
7.  Night Bird (Larry Andies) - 5:10
8.  Happy - 4:32
9.  He - 5:30
All songs by Ed Kaplan, Richard Kaplan except where indicated

The Kaplan Brothers
*Ed Kaplan - Percussion, Flute
*Richard (Dick) Kaplan - Guitar, Vocals
*Larry Andies - Bass

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Comfortable Chair - The Comfortable Chair (1968 us, pretty west coast sunny psych)

What little attention this West Coast sunshine-rock band's 1969 self-titled album The Comfortable Chair has gotten seems to stem from the fact that it was The Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison who discovered them, while his fellow bandmembers John Densmore and Robbie Krieger served as producers for their sole 1969 album on Ode Records

It seems unfortunate that they were never a big band outside of the 60s California circuit since their set is actually quite impressive in its own right. Featuring all-original songs (virtually every band member contributing to the writing chores), the self-titled album bounces all over the musical spectrum.

Lead singers Bernie Schwartz and Barbara Wallace are both quite good, navigating through the different genres without any trouble. Highlights include the opening rocker Ain't No Good No More, Let Me Through, and the sweet ballad I'll See You.

The band made its film debut in the Bob Hope - Jackie Gleason comedy vehicle movie How to Commit Marriage (1969) and really shines in the film as a psychedelic-hippie rock band associated with the young people in the plot of the story.

This fantastic group did a wonderful music video-style presentation in the film, performing their charming hippie anthem, A Child's Garden. Exemplified by Some Soon, Some Day and Stars In Heaven much of the set features a lazy, dreamy aura that's quite captivating.

They were a band heavily influenced by the likes of It's a Beautiful Day, Sweetwater and Jefferson Airplane. Their one and only now-highly collectible record album was released on CBS-Ode Records in 1969 
1. Ain't No Good No More - 2:35
2. Child's Garden - 2:38
3. I'll See You - 2:26
4. Princess - 2:43
5. Now - 2:56
6. Some Soon Some Day - 3:10
7. Be Me - 2:37
8. Loved It All - 2:26
9. Let Me Through - 2:19
10.Stars In Heaven - 3:00
11.Pale Night Of Quiet - 3:52
12.The Beast (Kali Yuza) - 3:26

The Comfortable Chair
*Bernie Schwartz - Lead Vocals
*Barbara "Baczek" Wallace - Vocals
*Gene Garfin- Clarinet, Percussion, Vocals
*Greg Leroy - Bass Guitar, Guitar
*Warner Davis - Drums
*Tad Baczek - Guitar

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Monday, September 23, 2013

High Tide - High Tide (1970 uk, excellent heavy rock with prog traces, 2010 bonus tracks edition)

In April 1970 High Tide started recording their second album to be released in July. The eponymous second album showed progress. Where the first album was dominated by Tony Hill’s guitar, on the second album the instruments are more balanced and give room to each other. Also the organ is added in some of the tracks. High Tide is more melancholic than its predecessor; it’s reminiscent of early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett. 

Despite its good reviews it didn’t sell more copies than the first album and High Tide lost its record deal with Liberty. Simon House left the band to join the Third Ear Band and in 1973 he joined Hawkwind. He was a member of Hawkwind until 1978 although he occasionally performed with Hawkwind afterwards. House was a member of David Bowie’s band and he also released some solo albums under the name Spiral Realms.

Tony Hill, Peter Pavli and Roger Hadden became involved with Rustic Hinge. In 1972 Roger Hadden suffered from mental health problems and was replaced by former Arthur Brown-drummer Drachen Treaker. Peter Pavli became a member of Michael Moore’s band Deep Fix and would also perform with Robert Calvert. 

In 1990 High Tide was revitalized with Tony Hill, Peter Pavli, Drachen Treaker, violinist Dave Tomlin and vocalist Sushi Krishnamurthi. They released the album Ancient Gates, but further plans were aborted when Drachen Treaker unexpectedly died. Tony Hill is still active in music performing and recording with his band Tony Hill’s Fiction.
by Erik Gibbels
1. Blankman Cries Again - 8:25
2. The Joke - 9:25
3. Saneonymous - 14:25
4. The Great Universal Protection Racket (Tony Hill) - 15:45
5. The Joke - 7:44
6. Blankman Cries Again - 8:25
7. Ice Age (Tony Hill) - 3:25
All compositions by High Tide except where noted

High Tide
*Roger Hadden - Drums, Piano, Pipes Organ
*Tony Hill - Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Organ
*Simon House - Electric Violin, Organ, Piano
*Peter Pavli - Bass Guitar

1970  High Tide - Precious Cargo

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Davy Graham - Large As Life And Twice As Natural (1969 uk, outstanding blend of blues raga folk psych rock, 2005 remaster)

This is Davy Graham's third adventure on an LP …and along roads that are folk, blues, jazz, Arabic, Indian-and one or two more things. Travelling with a guitar and also Danny Thompson, bass Jon Hiseman, drums, Harold McNair, flutes, and Dick Heckstall-Smtih, saxophones. Travelling like Baudelaire's travellers; 'who move simply to move'. The man himself is equally at home in Edinburgh ('a stately city'); Glasgow ('such warm acid'); or in Athens ('gold and purple in the evening. Smooth as marble hollow solid eyes of panthers. So exhausting for strangers.') But he is never at home in any one place for very long. And this seems to be in exact parallel with his music. For he cannot be pigeonholed: fortunately. 

He is a life-member on the roundabout of alteration. Like his deep-down blues, and you have to accept his setting of a 1000 year old Romeo and Juliet story. Go with him on a musical flight to Morocco ('Jenra' : pavilion'd in splendour) and the return journey will be via an extended raga. But always-I should add-in the company of originality. For after introducing North African music to Western guitar, he has now done the same for India. It's a bit like Dr Bannister running his 4-minute mile and then going off in search of another distance. All of which is quiet disparate, but also very thorough and exciting and satisfying. In the past few years Davy has played his folk at the Edinburgh Festival, his jazz in some of the best clubs in London, his Arabic interpretations in Tangier and his ragas to people who know Ravi Shankar's records. (Unlike those who have gone to India for a 3-week Sitar course, he has investigated the form of ragas.) So far nobody who has listened has found his music a disappointment. And certainly not the many who have brought his two previous LPs.

Following this later collection I know have no idea where his next stop will be. He might take a bicycle to Mexico or slip inside a carrier pigeon's message to Senegal. Or it could be Canterbury. At least I know it will be fascination though as his producer of records, apart from supervising the sessions, I have found myself becoming more and more an editor of the ideas, which zoom out from him like flying saucers, with there origins just as mysterious. He will sometimes break off in the middle of a 'take' that another guitarist might become a Faust for, to tell me about three points of recording and it is preserved there for everyone to buy-he rarely performs it before an audience again. "I have to avoid the cliche," he says. "I want to keep them on the move…"Well on behalf of those of us who have done cur best to keep up with him. I hope he does. 
by Ray Horricks,  Original LP liner notes 
1. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) - 6:02
2. Bad Boy Blues (Traditional) - 2:17
3. Tristano (Davy Graham) - 4:00
4. Babe, It Ain't No Lie (Traditional) - 2:27
5. Bruton Town (Traditional) - 3:59
6. Sunshine Raga (Davy Graham) - 6:19
7. Freight Train Blues (Fred McDowell) - 4:04
8. Jenra (Davy Graham) - 3:10
9. Electric Chair (Unknown) - 3:10
10.Good Moring Blues (Traditional) - 2:45
11.Beautiful City (Brownie McGhee, Rev. Gary Davis, Sonny Terry) - 2:28
12.Blue Raga (Davy Graham) - 5:23

*Davy Graham - Guitar, Vocals
*Dick Heckstall Smith - Saxophones
*Jon Hiseman - Drums
*Harold Mcnair - Flutes
*Danny Thompson - Bass

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Clifford T. Ward - Home Thoughts From Abroad (1973 uk, delicate vocal orchastrated folk mild rock)

Right in the middle of glam rock 1973 came a homely singer/songwriter from the small village of Stourport near Birmingham named Clifford T. Ward who took the charts by storm with a simple love song,  "Gaye",  telling the age-old story of a girl and how much she meant to him. 

This was like a breath of fresh air in the overproduced mid-'70s by its very nature. For here was a man who told simple stories, with beautiful melodies, played with the minimum of fuss. Hot on the heels of the single  - Gaye -  came his second album, Home Thoughts, which Ward was heavily involved with writing and producing, as well as playing keyboards. 

Home Thoughts opened with the lovely ballad  "Gaye"  and continued in the same vein as the single with piano backed ballads sung with clear, concise lyrics, reflecting Ward's homespun family thoughts, living as an ordinary man with a wife and three children, spurning the attention from the media, refusing to tour or play any live gigs that would take him away from his family, and also shying away from the pop press, interviews, and photographs, except when absolutely necessary. 

Clifford T. Ward had been working as an English teacher at a local school and it was here he developed his love of poetry and words, an asset he brought to his songs, especially  "Where Would That Leave Me"  and  "Time the Magician",   "Home Thoughts from Abroad",  and  "The Open University"  in which he namechecks his favorite authors, and  "Wherewithal",  a song he wrote simply because he liked the sound of the word. But for all the beautiful songs on Home Thoughts, the standout track is the hit single  "Gaye"  with its instantly memorable singalong melody. 
by Sharon Mawer
1. Gaye - 3:34
2. Wherewithal - 2:53
3. The Dubious Circus Company - 3:15
4. Nightingale - 2:19
5. Where Would That Lead Me? - 2:44
6. The Traveller - 5:18
7. Home Thoughts from Abroad - 3:17
8. Where's it going to End? - 3:32
9. Time, the Magician - 3:08
10.Give Me One More Chance - 3:40
11.Cold Wind Blowing - 3:07
12.The Open University - 2:19
13.Crisis - 2:19
All songs written by Clifford T. Ward

*Clifford T. Ward - Vocals, Keyboards
*Ken Wright - Drums, Percussion
*Derek Thomas - Guitars
*Terry Edwards - Bass
*Richard Hewson - Orhestal Arrangements

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Doug Sahm - Doug Sahm And Band (1973 us, great country folk blues rock)

Doug Sahm began his solo career in 1972, after the Sir Douglas Quintet finished its contract with Smash/Mercury and after Atlantic Records co-owner/producer Jerry Wexler convinced him to sign to his label. Wexler gave the Texas maverick the chance to cut a star-studded, big-budget album, shuffling him off to New York where Wexler and Arif Mardin helmed a series of sessions with an ever-revolving cast of musicians featuring Bob Dylan, Dr. John, David "Fathead" Newman, David Bromberg, and Flaco Jimenez, in addition to such Sir Doug stalwarts as Augie Meyers and the rhythm section of bassist Jack Barber and drummer George Rains (all but the latter were in the last incarnation of the Quintet, raising the question of whether the group was indeed finished or not, but such is the nature of Sahm's discography). 

This group cut a lot of material, which was whittled down to the 12-track album Doug Sahm and Band, released in early 1973. At the time, the record received a push from the label and was generally disparaged because of those very all-stars on whose back it was sold, but the years have been kind indeed to the album, and it stands among Sahm's best. Indeed, the heart of the album is not at all far removed from those latter-day Sir Douglas Quintet albums on Mercury, which isn't much of a stretch since Sahm never really strayed from his signature blend of rock & roll, blues, country, and Tejano, but the bigger band and bigger production give the music a different feel -- one that's as loose as the best Quintet material, but off-handedly accomplished and slyly freewheeling. 

Original reviews noted that there was an overtly country direction on And Band, but that's not really true on an album that has Western swing and rambling country-rock like "Blues Stay Away from Me" and the anthemic "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone" jutting up against pure blues in "Your Friends" and "Papa Ain't Salty," let alone loose-limbed rockers like "Dealer's Blues" and "I Get Off" or the skipping Tejano "Poison Love," fueled by Jimenez's addictive accordion.

These are all convincing arguments that the larger band allowed Sahm to indulge in all of his passions, to the extent of devoting full tracks to each of his favorite sounds -- something that was a bit different than the Quintet records, which usually mixed it all up so it was impossible to tell where one influence ended and another began. That's still true on And Band -- for instance, witness the brilliant cover of Willie Nelson's "Me and Paul," a country song goosed by soulful horns and delivered in a delirious drawl from Sir Doug -- but much of the album finds that signature Sahm sprawl being punctuated by style-specific detours where Sahm seizes the opportunity to stretch out as much as his guests seize the opportunity to jam with this American musical visionary. 

These are all characteristics of a jam session, which these sessions essentially were -- after all, on this album he only penned three out of the 12 songs -- but relying on covers also points out how Doug Sahm sounds so much like himself, he makes other people's tunes sound as if he wrote them himself. Again, that's something that was true throughout his career, but here it is in sharper relief than most of his records due to the nature of the sessions. And while it's arguable whether this is better than latter-day Sir Douglas Quintet albums -- or such mid-'70s records as Groover's Paradise or Texas Rock for Country Rollers for that matter -- there's no question that this is music that is vividly, excitedly alive and captures Sahm at a peak. It's pretty much irresistible.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. (Is anybody Going to) San Antone (Dave Kirby, Glen Martin) - 3:10
2. It's Gonna Be Easy (Atwood Allen) - 3:31
3. Your Friends (Deadric Malone) - 5:23
4. Poison Love (Elmer Laird) - 4:21
5. Wallflower (Bob Dylan) - 2:39
6. Dealer's Blues (Doug Sahm) - 2:58
7. Faded Love (B. Wills, J. Wills) - 3:55
8. Blues Stay Away From Me (A. Delmore, H. Glover, R. Delmore, W. Raney) - 4:48
9. Papa Ain't Salty (Grover McDaniel, T-Bone Walker) - 4:30
10.Me And Paul (Willie Nelson) - 3:34
11.Don't Turn Around (Doug Sahm) - 3:28
12.I Get Off (Doug Sahm) - 2:39

*Doug Sahm - Vocals, Guitar, Harp, Fiddle, Bass, Organ, Piano
*Bob Dylan - Vocals, Guitar, Harp
*Dr. John - Organ
*Ken Kosek - Fiddle
*Charlie Owens - Steel Guitar
*Willie Bridges - Baritone Saxophone
*Arif Mardin - Electric Piano
*David "Fathead" Newman - Tenor Saxophone
*Wayne Jackson - Trumpet
*Flaco Jimenez Harmony - Accordion
*Atwood - Vocals
*Andy Statman - Mandolin
*Augie Meyer - Piano
*David Bromberg - Dobro Guitar
*Jack Walrath, Martin Fierro, Mel Martin - Horns
*George Rains - Drums

Sir Douglas Quintet
1964-66  The Best Of ....Plus
1969/73  Mendocino

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Bodo Molitor - Hits Internacionales (1969 mexico, rough 'n' hard garage psych)

Globe-trotting artist Bodo Molitor may have been born in Germany, but heêll forever be associated with the psychedelic scene in Mexico. In addition to creating the zoomorphic art for his own bizarre album, he also created the psychedelic art for the Kaleidoscope album, for La Libre Expresion, and for his brother Reinholdês solo album. 

As for –Hits Internacionales”, it has all the ambience and psychedelic delirium of the time, full of devastating fuzz and wacked out rhythms. And then there is Bodoês raspy and savage voice. Impressive. As Antonio Malcara says in his book "Catologo subjetivo y segregacionista del Rock Mexicano", this LP and that of Kaleidoscope are the two most important and representative pieces of Mexican garage rock-psychedelia. Collectors offer thousands of dollars to be able to get an original copy of –Hits Internacionales” in good condition.
1. Sookie, sookie (Don Covey) - 2:16
2. Real real (N.Simone) - 2:17
3. She's a woman (McCartney) - 3:08
4. You don't know (Molitor, Costa) - 2:06
5. St. James Infirmary (Joe Primroge) - 2:30
6. Wen I was seventeen (Lonnie Donnegan) - 3:20
7. I wish i knew how (B.Taylor) - 2:37
8. A girl I knew (John Kay, Morgan Cavett) - 2:24
9. Don't le me be misunderstood (Benjamin, Marcus, Cadwell) - 2:31
10.Laziness (Molitor, Costa) - 1:37
11.The midnight hour (Pickett, Cropper) - 2:42
12.Try minnie try (Molitor, Costa) - 2:10
13.Hello, i love you (Morrison, Manzarek) - 1:56
14.You don't know (Molitor, Costa) - 2:09
15.St. James infirmary (Joe Primroge) - 2:33
16.A girl I knew (John Kay, Morgan Cavett) - 2:22

*Bodo Molitor - Vocals, Guitar
*Juan García Aragón - Guitar
*Jorge René González - Organ

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

George Kooymans - Jojo (1971 dutch, fabulous smooth rock, from Golden Earring's guitarist)

George Kooymans was the guitarist and co-founder of Golden Earring, the longest-lived and most successful rock group the Netherlands ever produced. Kooymans was born on March 11, 1948, in The Hague, and co-founded an instrumental rock 'n' roll combo, the Tornados, with childhood friend and bassist Rinus Gerritsen in 1961. Not long afterward, a British group of the same name had an international hit with "Telstar," and Kooymans and Gerritsen changed the band's name to the Golden Earrings, after a Peggy Lee song. In 1965, having adopted a British beat style, they became the first Dutch rock group to record a full-length album, Just Earrings, and landed their first hit in their home country, the Top Ten "Please Go" (co-written by Kooymans and Gerritsen). 

Three years later, they scored their first Dutch number one with "Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong," and followed it with another chart-topper, the Kooymans-penned epic "Just a Little Bit of Peace in My Heart." In 1970, Kooymans branched out into songwriting for other groups, penning Earth & Fire's Dutch hit "Seasons." Meanwhile, his main band shortened its name to Golden Earring and set about revamping its sound to keep up with the times, eventually settling on a straightforward, hard-rocking brand of AOR. Kooymans (like lead singer Barry Hay) made a brief detour into solo recording in 1971, cutting an album called Jojo that was released on Polydor. 

Hay and Kooymans co-wrote much of Golden Earring's material, including the international smash "Radar Love," which broke them in America in 1974 and remains an album rock radio staple. Golden Earring's overseas momentum slowed as quickly as it had picked up, but they continued to record prolifically in their home country. Punk and new wave forced them to retool their sound once again, and they returned to international prominence in 1982 with the album Cut and the U.S. Top Ten hit "Twilight Zone," a Kooymans composition that had actually been planned as a solo release at first. 

Golden Earring returned to a major label in 1990 and recorded a string of successful albums and singles that lasted right up into the new millennium. In 1995, Kooymans and Hay discovered female rock singer Anouk, and wrote material for her 1997 debut album, Together Alone, which made her a star in the Netherlands. Golden Earring celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2001, and Kooymans reached the Dutch charts in 2010 with On Location, recorded as part of a duo with American singer Frank Carillo. 
by Steve Huey
1. South Side Lady - 3:03
2. Day And Night - 4:12
3. Lay It On Me - 3:02
4. For Gail - 3:57
5. Lovin' And Hurtin - 2:37
6. Low Rider - 5:58
7. We're Just Marking Time (G. Kooymans, B. Birkman) - 3:34
8. A Drifter's Love - 3:58
9. Spending All My Time With You (G. Kooymans, B. Birkman) - 2:03
10.Don't Be Lonely - 3:34
All songs by George Kooymans except where stated

*George Kooymans - Guitar, Vocals
*Jan Hollestelle - Bass
*Hans Hollestelle - Guitar
*Louis Debij - Drums
*Frans Doolaard - Steel Guitar
*Paul Natte - Organ
*Cesar Zuiderwijk - Backing Vocals
*Eelco Gelling - Guitar
*Helmig Van Der Vegt - Piano
*Rinus Gerritsen - Organ
*Bertus Borgers - Sax

with Golden Earring
1966  Winter-Harvest
1968-69  Miracle Mirror
1969  On The Double
1972  Together
1973  Moontan

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Barry Hay - Only Parrots, Frogs And Angels (1972 dutch, great prog folk rock with blues drops, from Golden Earring vocalist)

Barry Hay is the lead vocalist of Golden Earring, one of the most popular Dutch rock bands of the 20th century. In addition to his decades of output with Golden Earring, he released solo albums from time to time. Born August 16, 1948, in Faizabad, India, he moved to the Netherlands at age ten. In 1967 he joined the lineup of Golden Earring (then known as the Golden Earrings), a Dutch rock band based in the Hague that had been founded in 1961 and that had made its recording debut in 1965. 

The Hay-fronted lineup experienced decades of international success. The band evolved stylistically with the changing times, most notably progressing from psychedelic rock during the late '60s to hard rock in the 1970s. Best known stateside for their 1973 rock radio classic "Radar Love" and their 1982 early MTV staple "Twilight Zone," Golden Earring were one of the first European rock bands to tour the United States and did so repeatedly over the years. 

While only moderately popular internationally, the band scored several chart-topping hits in the Netherlands: "Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong" (1968), "Back Home" (1970), "Radar Love" (1973), "Twilight Zone" (1982), and "When the Lady Smiles" (1984). As a solo artist, Hay released full-length albums including Only Parrots, Frogs & Angels (1972), Victory of Bad Taste (1987), and The Big Band Theory (2008).

Among these solo album efforts, Victory of Bad Taste spawned the minor hit single "Draggin' the Line," while The Big Band Theory, featuring the Metropole Big Band, was the most successful from a commercial standpoint, reaching number two on the Dutch albums chart. 
by Jason Birchmeier
1. Xeña - 8:41
2. Sometimes Three Times - 6:15
3. Oh Lordy I'm Gonna Try - 5:01
4. Roll Another Rock - 4:44
5. I Want To Be With You - 5:43
6. Did You Really Mean It? - 4:40
7. Once Upon A Time - 6:36
8. March-Xeña - 0:45
All song by Barry Hay

*Barry Hay - Vocals, Guitar, Sax
*Jan Hollestelle - Bass
*Hans Hollestelle - Guitar
*Louis Debij - Drums
*Frank Van Der Kloot - Guitar
*Ron Westerbeek - Organ
*Herman Van Veen - Violin, Vocals
*Patricia Paay - Vocals
*Robert-Jan Stips - Keyboards, Electronic Effects
*Jose Van Iersel - Vocals
*Gonnie Van Dijk - Vocals
*Cesar Zuiderwijk - Bongos
*Dick Vennik - Sax
*Snowflake Strings - Strings
*Harry Van Hoof - Organ, Harpsychord

with Golden Earring
1968-69  Miracle Mirror
1969  On The Double
1972  Together
1973  Moontan

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Family Tree - Miss Butters (1968 canada, sophisticated psychedelia, Rev Ola extra tracks edition)

It’s great to see an album like Miss Butters finally getting the reissue treatment it deserves. The Family Tree was the product of the genius of Bob Segarini, and their only album is a fantastic and interesting conceptual piece with tunes as memorable as any Broadway musical (only really cool).

This record is a must for any Nilsson fan, not alone for some of the similar feels, it was recorded at the same studio as Aerial Ballet, using the same arranger for orchestra parts, same producer, and Harry even wrote a track. A Nilsson album in spirit, but unlike anything he was capable of creating. The Miss Butters recording is superb in its production, the equal of any Beatles record, and soars with string arrangement, backing vocal, and complex song structure.

Previously, Miss Butters was presented in an unapproved stereo mix on vinyl. The CD reissue has remastered audio from the master tapes presented in original mono (and really, really nice sounding). This is a masterful reissue from Revola for a record that truly deserves it. Bravo.
by Brendan McGrath 
1. Birthday/ Dirgeday - 1:29
2. Melancholy Vaudeville Man - 2:02
3. Any Other Baby - 3:27
4. Sideshow - 3:21
5. Mrs. Mcpheeny (Has Flu In Her Chest And Has Needed A Rest For So Long) - 4:11
6. Butters Lament (Harry Nilsson) - 2:14
7. Simple Life - 3:38
8. Slippin' Thru My Fingers - 2:47
9. Nine To Three - 2:53
10.Lesson Book Life - 1:57
11.Nickelodeon Music - 2:04
12.Miss Butters - 4:18
13.Underture - 1:33
14.Keepin' A Secret - 2:19
15.Do You Have The Time? - 2:10
16.She Had To Fly - 1:49
17.He Spins Around - 2:36
All songs by Bob Segarini unless as else stated
Bonus Tracks 14-17

The Family Tree
*Bob Segarini - Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Trochim - Bass
*Jimmy De Cocq - Guitar, Keyboards
*Michel Dure - Vocals, Keyboards
*Vann Scater - Drums

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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Fraternity Of Man - The Fraternity Of Man (1968 us, impressive experimental psych blues folk rock)

The short-lived Fraternity of Man is undoubtedly best known for the pro-pot anthem "Don't Bogart Me," which showed up during an unforgettable scene in the genre-defining biker film Easy Rider (1969). The original quintet included an overhaul of the Lowell George-led Factory, featuring Martin Kibbee (bass), Warren Klein (guitar/sitar/tamboura) and Ritchie Heyward (drums/vocals).

George split and became a very temporary Mothers of Invention member, while the other three joined up with Freak Out (1966) era Mother Elliot Ingber (guitar). The personnel was completed with the addition of Lawrence "Stash" Wagner (vocals/guitar) and the band recorded its 1968 self-titled release Fraternity of Man.

Another Frank Zappa connection could be found in the guise of Tom Wilson, who produced the Mother's earliest studio efforts. As one might anticipate, there are several prominent musical dynamics carried over into the Fraternity of Man from its former incarnation. The stoner wake-n-bake anthem "In the Morning," as well as "Blue Guitar" and "Plastic Rat" retain the psychedelic garage rock that pervaded much of the Factory's sound.

The band's variation of Zappa's "Oh No" -- titled "Oh No I Don't Believe It" -- is a gassed-up rocker replete with Ingber's nimble lead fuzz fret work. Those decidedly more belligerent outings are contrasted by the intricate and Baroque qualities of "Wispy Paisley Skies" and the aforementioned steel guitar-driven "Don't Bogart Me."

However, the comfortable misfit rockers "Candy Striped Lion's Tail," "Field Day," or the slightly perverse R'n'B-flavored "Bikini Baby" are among the best sides on the album.The latter was revived on the utterly dismissible dash for cash EP titled X (1995).
by Lindsay Planer
1. In the Morning - 3:57
2. Plastic Rat - 3:44
3. Don't Bogart Me - 3:03
4. Stop Me Citate Me - 2:54
5. Bikini Baby - 2:08
6. Oh No I Don't Believe It (Frank Zappa) - 6:23
7. Wispy Paisley Skies - 2:20
8. Field Day - 2:59
9. Just Doin' Our Job - 2:22
10.Blue Guitar - 3:36
11.Last Call for Alcohol - 3:25
12.Candy Striped Lion's Tails - 4:24
All songs by Fraternity Of Man except where stated

The Fraternity Of Man
*Martin Kibbee - Bass
*Warren Klein - Guitar, Sitar, Tamboura
*Ritchie Heyward - Drums, Vocals
*Elliot Ingber - Guitar
*Lawrence "Stash" Wagner - Vocals, Guitar

1969  The Fraternity of Man - Get It On!

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