Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hookfoot - Hookfoot (1971 uk, superb classic rock with blues folk and country traces, 2010 japan remaster)

Their first album, Hookfoot consisted of songs composed by Caleb, plus renditions of Stephen Stills and Neil Young songs. This first album was very innovative with Caleb switching between guitar and keyboards. It even included a great piano-based jazz instrumental ('Wim Wam') along with a killer tune ('Movies') that starts out with Quaye and Duck on acoustic and finishes with Wishbone Ash style double-lead electric.
1. Bluebird (Stephen Stills) - 3:51
2. Mystic Lady (Caleb Quaye) - 5:05
3. Movies (Ian Duck) - 4:50
4. Nature Changes (Caleb Quaye, Ian Duck) - 5:15
5. Wim-Wom (Caleb Quaye) - 3:19
6. Don't Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young) - 2:49
7. Coombe Gallows (Caleb Quaye) - 3:08
8. Crazy Fool (Caleb Quaye, Ian Duck) - 4:48
9. Golden Eagle (Caleb Quaye) - 5:37
10.Bluebird (Revisited) (Stephen Stills) - 4:09

The Hookfoot
*Caleb Quaye - Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
*Ian Duck - Guitars, Mouthharp, Vocals
*Dave Glover - Bass Guitar
*Roger Pope - Drums, Percussion
*Dicky Birds - Whistling

1969  Hookfoot - A Piece Of Pye (2010 japan Remaster)
1973  Hookfoot - Roaring (expanded edition)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hookfoot - A Piece Of Pye (1969 uk, splendid bluesy country rock, 2010 japan Remaster)

Vocalist multi-instrumentalist Caleb Quaye was the mastermind fronting the largely forgotten Hookfoot.  Quayle started his professional musical career as a member of Long John Baldry's backing band Bluesology.  When Baldry decided to disband the group in 1967 Quaye struck out as a solo act releasing an obscure 45 on Philips 'Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad' b/w 'Woman of Distinction'.

When the single disappeared without a trace, Quaye turned to sessions and live working, including supporting former Bluesology keyboardist Elton John.   His work with John led to a steady paycheck as a house musician signed to Dick James Music (DJM) which also happened to have signed Elton John to a recording contract.  It also introduced him to fellow DJM employees Ian Duck, David Glover, and Roger Pope.  Duck, Glover and Pope had a lengthy history themselves having started out as members of The Soul Agents, The Loot, and The Final One.  With all four working together in support of various Elton John projects, in 1969 Quaye convinced them to join him in forming a band - Hookfoot and were promptly signed by DJM.

‘A Piece of Pye’ is a collection of earlier songs like, the bluesy filler ‘S.B.W.’ [Sonny Bow Williamson] and the guitar heroics tour-de-force jamthat is ‘Shoeshine Boy’ – oh, dear Lord how well I remember that one blowing my socks off when I first heard it as a teenager! The remaining material on ‘A Piece of Pye’ was completely new to me – early recordings by the sound of it, all of them credited to guitarist Caleb Quaye. 

You Better Get On’, a showcase bluesy groover that sounds like it might’ve been the highlight of their live set at the time, up to the standard of the stunning ‘The Way of the Musician’ debut 45 released on Page One in France which unfortunately remains un-re-released to this day. It’s must be a contender for some future late 60s compilation, surely, just as Caleb Quaye's 'Baby Your Phasing is Bad' recorded immediately pre-Hookfoot is a something of a staple requirement.

There's a fair bit of other un-re-released still languishing on 'B' sides of various singles as well, including 'Heart to Heart Talking', 'Red Man', 'Freedom (Nobody's Shoes), 'Hookfoot' (the song the band became named after, apparently due to drummer Roger Pope's habit of hooking his wayward kit back towards him while playing) and 'The Opener' (original B-side of 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music' from Good Times a' Comin'). Plus, the live album that I must confess had a hand in releasing via the SPM label in Germany back in the early 1990s is also overdue for some reissue attention.
by Phil McMullen
1. A Peace One - 1:46
2. You Better Get On (Ian Duck, Dave Glover, Roger Pope, Caleb Quaye) - 7:16
3. Death Song (Ian Duck, Caleb Quaye) - 6:36
4. First Things First - 3:05
5. Wide Open Funky Spaces - 4:13
6. S.B.W (Ian Duck, Caleb Quaye) - 2:37
7. Shoe Shine Boy 12:13
8. A Peace Two - 0:55
All songs by Caleb Quaye unless as else stated

The Hookfoot
*Caleb Quaye - Guitar, Piano, Keyboards
*Ian Duck - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Dave Glover - Bass Guitar
*Roger Pope - Drums, Percussion

1973  Hookfoot - Roaring (expanded edition)

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Jukin' Bone - Whiskey Woman (1972 us, stunning hard blues rock, 2010 remaster)

In December 1966 Joe Whiting would go on to team with Auburn native the legendary Mark Doyle to form the "New Ridgewoods" and after adding  drummer Tom Glaister, bassist Barry Maturevity (a Ridgewood) and rhythm guitarist Chuck Baron plus changed their name to "Free Will". In the summer of 1967, Baron was replaced by John Dean and Bill Irwin added. In the spring of  1967 bassist Maturevitz was replaced by George Egosarian.

A year later Egosarian was replaced by John DeMaso. In 1969 Bill Irwin left and George Egosarian rejoined the band. Freewill zoomed onto the music scene first covering their home base playing  Lake Dances in Auburn, Fabins in Skaneateles, Jordan-Elbridge High School and at East High School (Auburn) where they were one of the first to play a concert at a sit down auditorium, rather than a gym. They exploded into the Syracuse market playing the Scene (Dewitt), Jabberwocky (SU Campus) and Country Tavern. 

Their music was based on British Blues playing Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall etc. They played the entire "Arthur" album by the Kinks and incredible melody by Spirit. We remember those famous Chuck Berry covers & Roy Orbison's version of "Candyman". They also performed  several originals as "Carry Me Home", "Ridin' With The Devil", and "Get That Shinning Sun". During this time period Free Will ventured to Connecticut recording several demo tunes in late 1969 . That session included the only recorded versions of the legendary songs "Are You Gone" and "State Police Googie" both originals.

With its lineup finally set in the fall of 1971, Free Will changed its name to "Jukin Bone."  Now with a recording contract with RCA Records the band entered Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland Studio in New York City in 1972  and recorded their first album for RCA "Whiskey Woman". Heavy guitar riffs, solid rhythm section and great vocals. It's worth noting that all tracks were recorded completely live with a small, invited audience. Unfortunately, the album went almost unnoticed, although the band got at least a chance to record their second album.
by Ron Wray, John D'Angelo, Pete Shedd
1. Jungle Fever (Joe Whiting, Mark Doyle) - 4:47
2. Candy Man (Fred Neil, Beverly Ross) - 4:30
3. Spirit In The Dark (Aretha Franklin) - 4:22
4. Can't Judge What You Miss (George Egosarian, Mark Doyle) - 4:14
5. Whiskey Woman (Joe Whiting, Mark Doyle) - 4:17
6. Going Down (Don Nix) - 3:54
7. The Hunter (Booker T. Jones, Carl Wells, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson, Jr.) - 3:59
8. Got The Need (Joe Whiting, Mark Doyle) - 3:02
9. Let Loose (Joe Whiting, Mark Doyle) - 4:18

The Jukin' Bone
*Joe Whiting - Vocals
*Tom Glaister - Drums, Percussion
*John DeMaso - Bass, Percussion, Vocals
*Mark Doyle - Lead Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*George Egosarian - Electric, Acoustic Guitars

1972  Jukin' Bone - Way Down East (2011 remaster)

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Jukin' Bone - Way Down East (1972 us, awesome hard blues rock, 2011 remaster)

The second and final album by these upstate New York blues-rockers was more polished than their live-in-the-studio, occasionally drunk debut, Whiskey Woman, but that's actually to the music's detriment. While the band can definitely play, laying biting slide guitar over a funky bass groove on "Nightcrawler," and howling out a roaring lust anthem on "Cara Lynn," they really don't benefit from too much slickness. Like Cactus or Black Oak Arkansas, they were best when they tore it up in down 'n' dirty fashion, as Whiskey Woman amply demonstrated. 

The addition of electric piano helps a little on the swampy, Creedence-ish "Mojo Conqueroo," and they whip up a hot 'n' nasty, shoutalong version of "See See Rider" that's not quite as deranged-sounding as their take on Roy Orbison's "Candy Man" from their debut, but it's pretty raucous. But by the time the acoustic "Yes Is Yes" comes along, the band's limitations are apparent. Recommended to absolute die-hard '70s hard rock cultists; everyone else can get by just listening to Free, Humble Pie, Cactus, and Black Oak Arkansas. 
by Phil Freeman
1. Cara Lynn (Joe Whiting, Mark Doyle) - 2:27
2. Way Down East (Joe Whiting, George Egosarian) - 3:10
3. Nightcrawler (John DeMaso, Joe Whiting, George Egosarian, Mark Doyle) - 4:32
4. Come On Home (Mark Doyle, Joe Whiting) - 2:25
5. Mojo Conqueroo (George Egosarian, Mark Doyle) - 5:51
6. See See Rider (Gertrude "Ma" Rainey) - 2:52
7. Can You Feel It (George Egosarian, Joe Whiting) - 3:11
8. Yes Is Yes (George Egosarian) - 2:52
9. Sayin' It Is Easy (George Egosarian, Mark Doyle) - 3:05
10.Johnny Lee's Mood (Bernard Besman, John Lee Hooker) - 5:07

The Jukin' Bone
*Joe Whiting - Vocals
*Danny Coward - Drums, Percussion
*John DeMaso - Bass, Percussion, Vocals
*Mark Doyle - Lead, Slide, Acoustic Guitars, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
*George Egosarian - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Kevin Shwaryk - Drums, Percussion (Track 8)

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Roy Buchanan - The Prophet (1969-71 us, solid blues rock, 2004 release)

In 1969 -- some three years before his self-titled debut solidified his stature as a pre-eminent string bender -- Roy Buchanan (guitar/vocals) signed with Polydor Records and began work on his first full-length platter. In 2004, three-and-a-half decades later, the audio archivists at Hip-O Select finally issued The Prophet: The Unreleased First Polydor Album (2004). Augmenting the 11-track running order that would have made up that disc, the single-CD package contains 30-plus minutes of previously vaulted outtakes, including tunes documented at an aborted March of 1971 session. 

Prior to garnering notoriety as "The World's Greatest Unknown Guitarist," Buchanan spent the '50s and early '60s as a support musician for a number of R&B outfits and served stints in both Dale Hawkins' and his Canadian cousin Ronnie Hawkins' respective combos. It was during a period that was marked by touring with the former that he first came to the attention of another rising performer named Charlie Daniels. By the late '60s the two crossed paths professionally as Buchanan was placed in the care of Daniels, whose recent roster boasted production credits for the likes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Because of Buchanan's reluctance to travel away from his regular club gigs in and around the Baltimore, MD/Washington D.C. area, Daniels was only able to corral him long enough for a handful of studio dates in Nashville, Tennessee. Accompanying Daniels (guitar/vocals/harmonica) and Buchanan are Bob Wilson (keyboards), Karl Himmel (drums), Ernie Winfrey (timpani/percussion), future Charlie Daniels Band mainstay Joel "Taz" DiGregorio (vocals), as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young associate Tim Drummond (bass). Although four of the songs surfaced on the excellent career retrospective Sweet Dreams: The Anthology (1992), when restored to the original lineup they are given additional context, further demonstrating the breadth of Buchanan's chops. Of those making their incipient showing here, highlights include the heavy "Funky Junky," as it packs a punch that lies between Derek & the Dominoes à la "Got to Get Better in a Little While" and harder rocking units such as the Joe Walsh (guitar/vocals) era James Gang. 

"Day and Age" propels forward with a double-time rhythm, while the tune "Billie Joe Young" resumes the exploration of the guitarist's penchant for jazzier improvisations. There are also some great licks on "Pain" and the dark and edgy "I Desire You." However, it is the initially discarded reworking of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday" and the all too brief "Jam" that may command listeners primary attention. The March of 1971 batch is worthy of equal (if not perhaps more) consideration as Buchanan emerges out from under Daniels' care as a masterful leader. "Roy's Bluz" burns with a simmering and scintillating groove, while the cover of Junior Walker's "Shotgun" immediately lays down the law with Buchanan's blistering opening flurry.

The medley pairing "After Hours" with "The Messiah Will Come Again" arguably outshines the two respective versions that subsequently appeared on the imaginatively titled Roy Buchanan (1972) and Second Album (1973). Those enthusiasts who thought they knew Buchanan's legacy will be nothing short of ecstatic to supplement what is quite possibly the single most crucial entry in his posthumous catalog. 
by Lindsay Planer
1. Funky Junky - 2:06
2. Black Autumn - 4:25
3. Day And Age - 2:51
4. There'll Always Be - 4:50
5. Billy Joe Young - 4:38
6. Story Of Isaac (Leonard Cohen) - 5:48
7. Baltimore - 3:31
8. Sign On The Window (Bob Dylan) - 3:42
9. Humbug Down On The River - 2:34
10.Pain - 3:27
11.I Desire You - 5:55
12.Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker) - 4:19
13.Jam (Roy Buchanan) - 2:19
14.Roy's Bluz (Roy Buchanan) - 7:10
15.Shotgun (Autry DeWalt) - 4:38
16.After Hours / The Messiah Will Come Again (Robert Bruce, Buddy Feyne, Avery Parrish, Roy Buchanan) - 6:53
17.Sweet Dreams (Don Gibson) - 5:20
All songs by Charlie Daniels exccept where stated

*Roy Buchanan - Guitar, Primary Artist, Vocals
*Charlie Daniels - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Joel "Taz" DiGregorio - Vocals
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Karl Himmel - Drums
*Bing McCoy - Piano
*Bob Wilson - Keyboards
*Ernie Winfrey - Percussion, Timpani
*Tom Zito - Drums
*Joe Bayliss - Organ, Vocal
*Don Monahan - Bass

1969-78  Roy Buchanan - Sweet Dreams The Anthology (double disc set)
Related Acts
1970  Charlie Daniels - Charlie Daniels
1972  Charlie Daniels - Te John Grease And Wolfman (2008 issue)
1973  Charlie Daniels - Uneasy Rider "Honey In The Rock" (2008 edition)

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

The New York Rock And Roll Ensemble - The New York Rock And Roll Ensemble (1968 us, marvelous baroque psychedelia)

Blending classical pieces and instruments with rock songs and instruments, the New York Rock 'n' Roll Ensemble earned the adoration of everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Eric Clapton. Their ambitious 1968 debut features She's Gone; Poor Pauline; The Seasons among others wonderful tunes.
1. Intro - 0:20
2. Sounds Of Time (Clifton Nivison) - 2:43
3. Began To Burn (Brian Corrigan) - 2:48
4. Monkey (Michael Kamen, Martin Fulterman) - 2:58
5. Trio Sonata No. 1 In C Major 2nd Movement-Alla Breve Fugue (Johann Sebastian Bach) - 1:29
6. She's Gone (Brian Corrigan, Michael Kamen) - 2:34
7. Poor Pauline (Michael Kamen) - 2:48
8. "?" - 0:30
9. Mr. Tree (Clifton Nivison) - 2:27
10.You Know Just What It's Like (Michael Kamen) - 2:58
11.Studeao Atlantis (Michael Kamen, Martin Fulterman, Brian Corrigan, Clifton Nivison, Dorian Rudnytsky) - 3:02
12.Pick Up In The Morning (Brian Corrigan, Clifton Nivison, Dorian Rudnytsky) - 3:26
13.The Seasons: Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer (Michael Kamen, Martin Fulterman, Brian Corrigan, Clifton Nivison, Dorian Rudnytsky) - 7:09

The New York Rock 'N' Roll Ensemble
*Dorian Rudnytsky - Bass, Cello
*Martin Fulterman - Drums, Oboe
*Michael Kamen - Keyboards, Oboe, Vocals
*Clifton Nivison - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Brian Corrigan - Rhythm Guitar

1969-70  New York Rock 'N' Roll Ensemble - Faithful Friends / Reflections
1971-72  The New York Rock Ensemble – Roll Over / Freedomburger

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Asylum Choir - Look Inside (1968 us, vital freaky exciting psychedelia, 2007 remaster)

Long before Leon Russell became the albescent bearded high-priest of gritty rock’n’soul, he was a session musician in Phil Spector’s LA stable backing acts as diverse as The Byrds and Herb Alpert. Around this time Russell met the young Marc Benno, a talented blues guitarist just up from Austin, Texas who had moved to LA to also take up session work. Benno had been crashing in a closet at Russell’s place where a veritable who’s who of the 60’s rock scene would hang out and jam. It was here that Benno met Eric Clapton and many of the other famous musicians with whom he would collaborate later in his career. Benno described it as being “in the right place at the right time.” Russell and Benno decided to formally join forces as “Asylum Choir” and released the first of two LP’s in 1968, Look Inside the Asylum Choir, on the Smash imprint.

Look Inside the Asylum Choir rightly earns the oft overused label “psychedelic” for tracks such as “Icicle Star Tree” or “Death of the Flowers” which are psychedelic pop in the classical late 60’s sense, however musicians as diversely talented as Russell and Benno couldn’t help but include R&B, soul, ragtime and jazz elements along with numerous diegetic sound-bites and ironic lyrics into an eclectic musical collage that assumes a psychedelia of a higher order. The lofty words of 40+ years worth of hindsight don’t change the fact that the album was a commercial flop, despite favorable reviews from the groovy critics of the time. Perhaps the greatest commercial misstep was a marketing one: the album was originally released with a closeup photograph of a roll of toilet paper on the front cover. While perfectly in line with the deeply tongue-in-cheek lyrical irony of the album, the ablutional image offended the much more delicate sensibilities of the day.

It is this pervasive irony that both sets this album apart as a smart if gentle critique of the contemporary 60’s culture and dates much of the lyrical content. Despite this the album is quite enjoyable and musically delightful. The jaunty opener, “Welcome to Hollywood”, with its punchy horns and bouncy beat lyrically sticks a pin in Tinseltown’s balloon in jubilant vocal harmony. This is followed by the relatively straight honkey tonk ode to “Soul Food” and is a strong hint at the musical direction Russell would take later in his career. With the third track, “Icicle Star Tree”, the album takes a left turn into the sunshiny technicolor terain of psychedelic pop. The dreamy melody complete with abstruse and surreal lyrics floats over alternating cascades of shimmering keyboard and soulful telecaster for an overall heavily lysergic vibe. The album keeps this mood with the elegiac “Death of the Flowers” which tells the poignant story of Elaine “who is visibly moved by the death all around her…” The first side of the album closes with “Indian Style” that opens with a sound collage of tribal drumming eventually giving way to the sounds of cavalry, machine gun fire and war. This wordless statement abruptly ends as the upbeat honkey tonk song proper kicks in, evolving the initial statement with ironic lyrics about the mis-appropriation and commodification of indian culture by the flower children.

The second side opens with a six minute musical hodgepodge entitled “Episode Containing 3 Songs: N.Y. Op. Land of Dog Mr. Henri the Clown” that has a number of memorable moments such as a 30 second bit of “Mr. Henri the Clown” that is reminiscent of Beck’s “The New Pollution” off of Odelay, and witty lyrics about a flea who has a “little flea-osophy on organized insanity.” The heavy theme of the next track, “Thieves in the Choir”, is anticipated by the dolorous peal of church bells. The song warns of “Magic policemen who don’t need a reason to color your eye.” In deliberate contrast to this subject matter the song ironically borders on ebullient as Russell sings about how he “figured out, good guys with bullets are really quite bad.” The swinging blues closer “Black Sheep Boogaloo” rips it up pretty thoroughly, punctuated by Zappa/Beefheart-esque interludes of self-referential weirdness.

Despite its poor sales at the time, Inside the Asylum Choir remains an enjoyable listen both as a period piece and as an interesting insight into the future directions of two musicians of the highest caliber.
by Thom Klepach
1. Welcome to Hollywood - 2:45
2. Soul Food (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Bill Boatman, James Markham) - 2:10
3. Icicle Star Tree (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Wally Wilson) - 3:03
4. Death Of The Flowers (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Greg Dempsey) - 3:15
5. Indian Style - 3:46
6. Medley: N.Y. Op./Land of Dog/Henri The Clown - 6:07
7. Thieves in the Choir (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Jerry Riopelle) - 4:04
8. Black Sheep Boogaloo - 2:29
9. Soul Food (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Bill Boatman, James Markham) - 2:19
10.Welcome To Hollywood - 3:03
11.Icicle Star Tree (Leon Russell, Marc Benno, Wally Wilson) - 3:07
12.Indian Style - 3:44
All songs by Leon Russell, Marc Benno except where indicated
Bonus Tracks 9-12 Mono Single Versions

*Leon Russell - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin
*Marc Benno - Vocals, Guitars

Related Act
1973  Marc Benno And The Nightcrawlers - Crawlin

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Marc Benno And The Nightcrawlers - Crawlin (1973 us, magnificent driftin blues rock with young Stevie Ray Vaughan, 2006 release)

The original recordings of the infamous Texas blues-rock band featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan on lead guitar, Doyle Bramhall on drums, Tommy McClure on bass guitar and Billy Etheridge on keyboards, performing classics written by Marc Benno and the band. Concentrating on Benno's songwriting talents, the band took on a sound of their own and became underground legends in the Austin music scene of the 70's. The album, which also features Stevie's first instrumental, was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood right before the Nightcrawlers went off on tour with J. Geils and Humble Pie. They returned from tour to find their label wasn't looking for another blues based project, and the album has sat unreleased until 2006! 
1. Last Train (Irvin Benno, Marc Benno) - 2:04
2. Coffee Cup (Irvin Benno, Marc Benno) - 3:19
3. 8 Ball (Marc Benno, Doyle Bramhall) - 6:22
4. Take Me Down Easy (Marc Benno, Doyle Bramhall, Gordon de Witty) - 3:23
5. Love Is Turnin Green (Doyle Bramhall, Tommy McClure) - 5:38
6. Hot Shoe Blues (Irvin Benno, Marc Benno) - 2:06
7. Crawlin (Marc Benno, Billy Etheridge, Stevie Ray Vaughan) - 3:23
8. Friends (Marc Benno, Johnny Perez) - 4:32
9. Whole Thang (Marc Benno) - 1:57
10.World Keep Spinnin (Marc Benno) - 2:51
11.Long Ride Home (Marc Benno, Stevie Ray Vaughan) - 3:11

The Nightcrawlers
*Marc Benno - Fender Rhodes, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Doyle Bramhall - Drums
*Gordon de Witty - Hammond B3, Moog Synthesizer, Organ
*Billy Etheridge - Keyboards
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Johnny Perez - Drums
*Lee Sklar - Bass
*Mike Utley - Keyboards
*Stevie Ray Vaughan - Guitar, Slide Guitar, Wah Wah Guitar

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks - Where's The Money (1971 us, splendid jazzy swing hippie folk)

Recorded live at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, "Where's The Money?" was originally released on Blue Thumb Records. It is now available on CD from MCA Records. The innovative LP cover has a fold-over flap at the top, and the album cover opens to reveal the song lyrics.

"Where's The Money?" introduced us to the best-known Hot Licks lineup, including Lickettes Maryann Price and Naomi Ruth Eisenberg. The album also features some classic Dan stage-patter ("You probably think it's easy being up here. Singing and everything, and playing. It's not. It's not easy. Thank you.").

Before they could release a second album of their patented good-time hippie acoustic swing, Hicks and his band parted company with Epic records. That their fresh start would be marked by the release of a live set may seem odd at first. But the album does in fact capture a certain intimacy missing from their studio debut. Songs that would remain staples of the Hot Licks repertoire for years to come are found in their most well-known versions here, including the title track, "I Feel Like Singing," "Shorty Falls in Love," and "By Hook or By Crook." The between-song banter even stands up to repeated listenings. It's not often that can be said about a live recording. 
by Brian Beatty
1. I Feel Like Singing - 3:05
2. Coast To Coast - 2:45
3. News From Up The Street - 4:57
4. Where's The Money? - 3:00
5. Caught In The Rain - 3:11
6. Shorty Falls In Love - 2:44
7. By Hook Or By Crook - 3:15
8. Reelin' Down - 3:21
9. The Buzzard Was Their Friend - 3:05
10.Traffic Jam - 3:29
11.Is This My Happy Home? - 3:53
12.Dis A Little Deeper - 3:22
All compositions by Dan Hicks

*Dan Hicks – Vocal, Guitar
*Maryann Price – Vocal, Percussion
*Naomi Ruth Eisenberg – Vocal, Percussion, 2nd Fiddle
*Sid Page – Violin. Mandolin, Occassional Harmony
*Jaime Leopold – Double Bass

Related Acts
1965-68  The Charlatans - The Amazing Charlatans
1969  Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks - Original Recordings (2001 japan remaster)  

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks - Original Recordings (1969 us, beautiful jazzy swing country folk, 2001 japan remaster)

Original Recordings was Dan Hicks' initial solo effort as well as the debut of his "Hot Licks." Unlike the overamplified electric jug band music that the Charlatans had been creating during Hicks' stint as their drummer and occasional vocalist, this new band performed a refreshing blend of jazz swing with country & western. Their understated performance style stood in stark contrast to the burgeoning heavy metal and acid rock that were en vogue as the '60s became the '70s. Featured on this album is a seminal version of the "Hot Licks" that were only together briefly. Included are John Weber (guitar) and Terry Wilson (drums) as well as vocalists Tina Viola Gancher and Sherry Snow. Both Sid Page (violin/vocals) and Jaime Leopold (acoustic bass) would remain with Hicks (guitar/vocals/spoken word) as core members of the band. 

Of the 11 original compositions on this disc, "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away" followed Hicks from the Charlatans, while "Canned Music," "I Scare Myself," and "Shorty Falls in Love" would be slightly reworked for their inclusion on the upcoming long-players Where's the Money? and Striking It Rich, respectively. Perhaps because of Hicks' background as a drummer, his sense of timing is a key element to his deceptively complex melodies. Likewise, this has a great deal to do with the success of the call-and-response vocals between Hicks and the female background vocalists he would dub "the Lickettes." 

Within these pastoral melodies and slightly askew lyrics is the somewhat out-of-sync and acid-tinged "It's Bad Grammar, Baby." In retrospect, the prominently distorted acoustic guitar lead overwhelms the track -- which would have otherwise fit nicely within the context of the remainder of the album. This might have had something to do with it being conspicuously left off the 2001 Sony/Legacy reissue Canned Music: The Most of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. Those who can locate a copy of these Original Recordings are urged to do so. For Hicks-ophiles or Dan-ophites, it is a vital entry into his canon. 
by Lindsay Planer
1. Canned Music - 4:05
2. How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away? - 2:39
3. I Scare Myself - 5:18
4. Shorty Takes A Dive - 3:11
5. Evenin' Breeze - 3:56
6. Waitin' For The "103" (Dan Hicks, Bob Johnston) - 3:44
7. Shorty Falls In Love (Dan Hicks, Bob Johnston) - 3:23
8. Milk Shakin' Mama - 4:09
9. Slow Movin' - 3:09
10.It's Bad Grammar, Baby (Dan Hicks, Bob Johnston) - 2:32
11.Jukies' Ball - 5:11
All songs by Dan Hicks except where noted

The Hot Licks
*Dan Hicks - Vocal, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Drums
*Jon Weber - Lead Guitar
*Sid Page - Violin
*Sherry Snow - Vocal
*Christina Viola Gancher - Vocal, Celeste, Piano
*Jaime Leopold - Bull Fiddle

Related Acts
1965-68  The Charlatans - The Amazing Charlatans
1966-67  Blackburn And Snow - Something Good For Your Head 

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The St. Thomas Pepper Smelter - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1969 peru, fuzzy garage psych)

St. Thomas Pepper Smelter was formed by Gerardo Manuel Rojas on vocals and tambourine, Beto Tataje on rhythm guitar and lead guitar, Juan Carlos Barreda on bass and vocals, Carlos Manuel Barreda on drums and backing vocals (all from the famous group Los Shains), and Freddy Macedo on keyboards. Their first single was a cover of ‘Purple Haze’ b/w one of their own compositions, ‘A New Summer.’ The band then began to record their only LP. That album contains twelve tracks—six written by the band, and the other half cover versions. 

The band’s music could be described as freak beat; in many ways, it is a preview of the garage /surf style of Los Shain’s, heading towards the heavy psychedelic rock of Gerardo Manuel & El Humo. At the time, St. Thomas Pepper Smelter simply called it “underground music.” Gerardo’s voice is soft in the band’s own songs, and aggressive on the cover tunes; his guitar style oozes fuzz. The foundation of bass and drums by the brothers Barreda is very powerful and strong; and the songs benefit from the layers of keyboard played by Freddy Macedo. 
1. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Doug Ingle) - 5:16
2. Pepper's Boogaloo (Gerardo Manuel Rojas, Beto Tataje) - 3:10
3. Strange Brew (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce) - 2:44
4. Words Of Pain (Gerardo Manuel Rojas, Beto Tataje) - 2:53
5. People In Me (Sean Bomniwell) - 2:57
6. Heart Teaser (Tim O' Brian, S. English, Gary St Clair) - 3:55
7. Can You See Me? (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:38
8. Answer (Gerardo Manuel Rojas) - 3:26
9. Betty Boom-Little Monster-Doggie And Peggie At The Witches Castle (Gerardo Manuel Rojas, Beto Tataje) - 3:39
10.Hey, Joe (Billy Roberts) - 3:50
11.Is My Guitar (Carlos Martinez) - 2:36
12.Raga Gag (Instrumental) - 5:21

The St. Thomas Pepper Smelter
*Gerardo Manuel Rojas - Vocals, Percussion
*Beto Tataje - Guitar, Vocals
*Juan Carlos Barreda - Bass, Vocals
*Freddy Macedo - Organ
*Carlos Manuel Barreda - Drums

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Holy Mackerel – Closer To Heaven (1973 uk, magnificent blend of classic rock folk and prog rock, Vinyl edition)

Holy Mackerel were formed in 1970 from the ashes of Kent-based psychedelic band Jason Crest. Three members of that highly regarded outfit - singer and chief songwriter Terry Clark, drummer Roger Siggery and guitarist Derek Smallcombe joined forces with local musicians Tony Wood and Chris Ware in an attempt to move towards a more contemporary rock sound. After a brief flirtation with the name Highway, the band settled for the more distinctive soubriquet of Holy Mackerel. They gigged incessantly, occasionally as headliners but often as support act to bands as diverse as Three Dog Night and the Sweet. As a result of their punishing live schedule, Holy Mackerel slowly established a considerable reputation on the thriving college and university circuit; indeed, the sheer volume of live work undertaken by the band ensured that they were financially secure enough to survive without the aid of a recording contract.

By 1972 Holy Mackerel were attracting capacity crowds in their own right, an achievement that did not go unnoticed within the music industry. The band finally accepted an offer from management agency General Artistes, who also handled unabashed pop acts like Vanity Fayre and Chicory Tip. Fronted by high profile entrepreneur Roger Easterby, General Artistes succeeded in obtaining a recording contract for Holy Mackerel from CBS Records.

The first of Holy Mackerel's four singles appeared on 27 October 1972 ('Rock-A-Bye' c/w 'New Black Shoes', CBS 8447). However, this was merely a taster for the band's eponymously-titled debut album which emerged three weeks later. 'Holy Mackerel' (CBS 65297) was a slightly tentative first step that bore the familiar hallmarks of a popular live band struggling to adapt to the differing demands of the recording studio environment. Nevertheless there were sufficient glimpses of quality to suggest that a second album might prove to be an altogether more substantial affair.

Shortly after the release of the Holy Mackerel album, Roger Easterby formed a new label entitled Santa Ponsa. Naturally enough Holy Mackerel were enticed away from CBS to become one of Santa Ponsa's first signings: the perils of a joint management and recording contract would only become evident at a later date. At the time a brave new world beckoned, particularly when Santa Ponsa quickly hit paydirt with the chart success of Guy Darrell's 'I've Been Hurt' (a mid-1960's recording leased with delicious irony from CBS).

Flushed with this early success, Easterby instructed Holy Mackerel to record a version of an old Bruce Channel song called 'We Got It Nailed Down' (Santa Ponsa PNS6). This track failed to register commercially when issued as a single in September 1973, as did the country chestnut 'Tennessee Waltz' (Santa Ponsa PNSI1) a few months later.

Undeterred, Easterby urged the band to proceed with the recording of their second album. They responded enthusiastically, with three members writing material of sufficient calibre to ensure that this album (given a working tide of 'Take A Deep Breath And Smile') would represent a quantum leap forward from their CBS debut. Holy Mackerel were already established as a crowd-pulling live act: with the aid of a supportive record company and some outstanding new material, surely this album would prove to be the vinyl breakthrough that they needed?

By the time that the album had been painstakingly pieced together in the studio, Santa Ponsa were floundering badly. Guy Darrell's unexpected hit had proved to be a one off rather than the start of something big: the label subsequently released a further two dozen singles without securing a second success. As a result, Easterby wasn't in a position to gamble with the release of an album without the financial safety net of a hit single. One of the more commercial tracks - Terry Clark's 'Ballad of Joe McCann', fortunately a better song than the tide would suggest - was selected as a single (Santa Ponsa PNS18) in early 1974. Its lack of success ensured that, by the time Santa Ponsa ceased trading later that same year, the second Holy Mackerel album had still not emerged.

Having lost both their management  and recording company in one fell swoop. Holy Mackerel's career was plunged into a protracted state of limbo. They briefly delayed the inevitable by electing to struggle on, although drummer Roger Siggery hailed out and was replaced by Dennis Elliott, who would subsequently join Foreigner. Terry Clark recorded a handful of solo singles under a variety of ludicrous aliases, the most notable being a version of 'Best Part of Breaking Up' credited to Eddie Fontana (Santa Ponsa PNS23 in October 1974). Overwhelmed by events. Holy Mackerel had slowly disintegrated by this stage: ironically the album that may have been their salvation remained unissued.

Twenty years later, 'Closer to Heaven' (which has been digitally remastered from the sole surviving acetate copy) is a fascinating but frustrating glimpse of what might have been. Perhaps the band were too eclectic for their own good, but their consummate mastery of various musical styles enabled them to mould a wide variety of disparate elements into a distinctive and fully coherent sound. Many rock bands of the era may have laid claim to the raging dual guitar onslaught of 'Judgement Day', but few would have been equally well-equipped to tackle the delicate beauty of 'Walk Through The Valley' without stumbling into mawkishness or parody.

Had "Closer to Heaven' been released at the time, the Holy Mackerel story may have had a rather differentending. This belated issue at least provides the band with a suitably impressive epitaph.
by David Wells, September 1993
1. Gemini (Derek Smallcombe) - 3:27
2. Ballad Of Joe McCann (Terry Clark) - 3:28
3. Burglar Man (Derek Smallcombe, Terry Clark) - 3:56
4. Blue Eyed Redeemer (Chris Ware) - 2:52
5. (Closer To Heaven On) Judgement Day (Terry Clark) - 4:11
6. Hard Times, Good Times (Terry Clark) - 2:57
7. Near You (Terry Clark) - 4:17
8. Walk Through The Valley (Derek Smallcombe, Terry Clark) - 2:51
9. Waterfall (Derek Smallcombe) - 7:46

The Holy Mackerel
*Terry Clarke - Lead Vocals
*Derek Smallcombe - Guitars, Vocals
*Chris Ware - Guitars
*Tony Wood - Bass
*Roger Siggery - Drums

1972  Holy Mackerel - Holy Mackerel (2015 reissue)  
Related Acts
1965-71  The Herd - The Complete Herd (2005 remaster, digi pack two disc set)
1967-68  Jason Crest - The Collected Works 
1971  Samuel Prody - Samuel Prody (2011 Edition)  

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ben - Ben (1971 uk, excellent prog jazz rock, 2003 issue)

Here are lengthy multi-part suites, excellent musicianship and an overall very appealing early 70's, very jazzy progressive rock sound with lots of flute, sax, keyboards and guitar. But closer inspection of the material on the album reveals that you've been cheated. All of the four tracks are made up of tiresome extended jams and solos that are built around themes and melodies.

‘Ben’ was the band’s only release on the progressive Vertigo ‘spiral’ label in 1971. It is packed with ambitious instrumental arrangements of inspired jazz-rock, performed by a talented five that represented the best of the Canterbury scene, the movement that flourished in the early 1970s. 
1.a.The Wooing Of The Child (Keith Jarret)
1.b.The Innocence Of The Child (Peter Davey)
1.c.The Interest Of The Youth (Gerry Reid, Peter Davey)
1.d.The Involvement Of The Man  (Peter Davey)
1.e.The Realization (Alex Macleery)
1.f.The Wooing Of The Man (Keith Jarret)
1.g.The Conclusion (Alex Macleery, David Sheen, Gerry Reid, Len Surtees, Peter Davey) - 10:05
2. Gibbon (Peter Davey) - 9:32
3. Christmas Execution (Peter Davey) - 7:21
4. Gismo (Peter Davey) - 11:50

The Ben
*Alex Macleery - Electric Piano, Harpsichord, Moog Synthesiser
*David Sheen - Brums, Congas, Percussion, Vocals
*Gerry Reid - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Len Surtees - Bass
*Peter Davey - Alto, Tenor, Baritone Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Edgar Broughton Band - Keep Them Freaks A Rollin' (1969 uk, amazing freak out blues psych rock, 2004 remaster)

A legend in its own lifetime, Keep Them Freaks a Rollin' was, as its subtitle makes plain, recorded live at Abbey Road Studios in 1969, as a possible first album by the then newly signed Broughton Band. However, the tapes were shelved in favor of a more conventional studio recording, and only one excerpt ever made it out, a harshly edited 45 of the closing "Out Demons Out," already established as the band's live tour de force. The full-length version, however, remained unheard and, like the rest of the show, it eventually faded into mythology. 

The tapes were finally resuscitated in 2004, to herald EMI's CD remastering of the full Edgar Broughton Band catalog. And, though 35 years had now passed, the primal energy and majesty of the Broughtons in full flight still burns through. Egged on by a studio full of friends and fans, the band recounts its entire period live show, with a churning "Smokestack Lightning" and an evil "Dropout Boogie" pinpointing the two influences that collided to create the Broughtons' own unique brew. "American Boy Soldier," still one of the most potent protest songs of the entire Vietnam era (and an equally valid component in the modern-day outfit's live show) is spellbinding and, at almost 15 minutes, spotlights the band's improvisational powers to perfection. 

And then there's "Out Demons Out," restored to its full ten-minute glory once again, and still capable of swaying the stoniest heart. Would history have been different had this become the band's debut album? Probably not -- and besides, what would have become of Wasa Wasa if it had? But still, any survey of the British underground through the early '70s would be woefully incomplete without an evening spent with this album and, alongside Hawkwind's Doremi Fasol Latido, the first Pink Fairies album, and Mick Farren's Carnivorous Circus, it remains the key to what that entire movement was all about. 
by Dave Thompson
1. Smokestack Lightning (Chester Burnett) - 10:43
2. What Is A Woman For? (Edgar Broughton) - 11:02
3. Yason Blues (Arthur Grant, Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 4:23
4. Refugee (Edgar Broughton) - 9:06
5. Dropout Boogie (Don Van Vliet) - 5:30
6. American Boy Soldier (Arthur Grant, Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 14:52
7. Momma's Reward(Keep Them Freaks A Rollin') (Edgar Broughton) - 6:56
8. Out Demon's Out (Arthur Grant, Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 9:56

The Edgar Broughton Band
*Edgar Broughton - Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Broughton - Drums
*Arthur Grant - Bass, Vocals
*Terry Yason - Harmonica

1969-73  Wasa Wasa / Sing Brother Sing / Edgar Broughton Band / In Side Out / Oora (2014 five discs box set)

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ultimate Spinach - The Box (1967-69 us, brilliand trippy acid psych rock, 2001 three disc box set)

Ultimate Spinach was one of the most well-known, and perhaps the most notorious, of the groups to be hyped as part of the "Bosstown Sound" in 1968. The name itself guaranteed attention, as one of the most ludicrous and heavy-handed "far out" monikers of the psychedelic era, even outdoing formidable competition such as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Although the group were competent musicians with streaks of imagination, their albums were generally poor third cousins to the West Coast psychedelic groups that served as their obvious inspirations.

Ultimate Spinach was produced by veteran arranger Alan Lorber, a main architect of the "Bosstown Sound." In September 1967, he announced a marketing plan in the top music trade papers to make Boston, in his own words (from his liner notes to Big Beat's reissue of Ultimate Spinach's first album), "a target city for the development of new artists from one geographical location." This automatically insured that Lorber and his groups would be the subject of some derision from the hip underground, since vital regional music scenes such as San Francisco psychedelia (which the Bosstown sound often seemed to be mimicking) have to happen on their own, rather than being manufactured. MGM was the label that released most of the Bosstown Sound groups, and it was through MGM that Lorber arranged to distribute two of the bands he produced, Orpheus and Ultimate Spinach.

On the first two of their three albums, Ultimate Spinach was utterly dominated by leader Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all of the material, sang the majority of the lead vocals, and played a wide variety of instruments, most frequently electric keyboards. Their self-titled debut, released in 1967, was a seriously intended psychedelic stew, with inadvertent comically awkward results. Bruce-Douglas' songs tended to be either dippily, humorlessly cosmic, or colored by equally too-serious fingerpointing at mainstream society. 

The music aped the songwriting forms and guitar/keyboard textures of West Coast psychedelic stars the Doors, the Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe & the Fish, but sounded like ham-handed pastiches. Bruce-Douglas created some sleek, weedy electric keyboard lines on tracks like "Sacrifice of the Moon," but was sometimes so imitative of Country Joe & the Fish's first album that he crossed the line into plagiarism, as on "Baroque #1," with its close similarities to Country Joe's "The Masked Marauder." There were more graceful touches in the occasional vocals by guitarist Barbara Hudson and a Baroque-classical tinge to some of the arrangements, and the album did actually sell fairly well.

Behold and See, also released in 1968, was similar to the debut album but a little more even-keeled. That wasn't all good news: there weren't any keyboard-dominated instrumentals to rival "Sacrifice of the Moon," Barbara Hudson didn't have any lead vocals (although guest vocalist Carol Lee Britt took some), and Bruce-Douglas' songwriting was still embarrassingly high-minded and pretentious. The mysterious Bruce-Douglas disbanded Ultimate Spinach after the second LP was recorded, leaving Lorber holding the bag, as a third Ultimate Spinach album had already been scheduled for release. 

An entirely different lineup was assembled for their third and last album, with only Barbara Hudson remaining from the one heard on the first LP. Also including Ted Myers (ex-Lost and Chamaeleon Church) and guitarist Jeff Baxter (later to play with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers), this version of Ultimate Spinach recorded III. The record was an undistinguished jumble of psychedelic, hard rock, and pop styles that sounded like the work of several different bands. 
by Richie Unterberger
Disc 1 Ultimate Spinach 1967
1. Ego Trip - 3:12
2. Sacrifice Of The Moon (In Four Parts) - 3:45
3. Plastic Raincoats/Hung-Up Minds - 2:55
4. (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess - 8:12
5. Your Head Is Reeling - 3:39
6. Dove In Hawk's Clothing - 3:53
7. Baroque #1 - 4:47
8. Funny Freak Parade - 2:34
9. Pamela - 3:10
10.Your Head Is Reeling (Mono Version) - 3:38
11.(Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess (Mono Version) - 8:18
All compositions by Ian Bruce Douglas
Disc 2 Behold And See 1968
1. Gilded Lamp Of The Universe - 3:04
2. Visions Of Your Reality - 5:50
3. Jazz Thing - 6:40
4. Mind Flowers - 9:38
5. Where You're At - 3:12
6. Suite: Genesis Of Beauty (In Four Parts) - 9:45
7. Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse - 5:58
8. Fragmentary March Of Green - 6:38
9. Mind Flowers (Mono Version) - 9:38
10.Fragmentry March Of Green (Mono Version) - 6:38
All selections by Ian Bruce Douglas
Disc 3 Ultimate Spinach III 1969
1. (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet (Richard "Popcorn" Wylie, Thelma Williams) - 2:34
2. Somedays You Just Can't Win (Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren) - 3:23
3. Daisy (Jeff Baxter) - 2:21
4. Sincere (Ted Myers) - 3:32
5. Eddie's Rush (Ultimate Spinach) - 6:52
6. Strange Life Tragicomedy (Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren) - 4:13
7. Reasons (Tony Scheuren) - 3:52
8. Happiness Child (Ted Myers) - 4:42
9. Back Door Blues (Ted Myers) - 2:56
10.The World Has Just Begun (Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren) - 3:20

The Ultimate Spinach
*Ian Bruce-Douglas - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, 12-String Bass, Electric Piano, Organ, Keyboards, Sitar, Vibraphone (Disc 1 And 2)
*Barbara Jean Hudson - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Vocals
*Keith Lahteinen - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (Disc 1)
*Richard Nese - Acoustic, Electric Bass, Feedback (Disc 1 And 2)
*Geoffrey Winthrop - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Feedback, Acoustic, Electric Sitar, Vocals
*Ted Myers - Guitar, Vocals (Disc 1 And 3)
*Russell Levine - Drums, Percussion (Disc 2 And 3)
*Carol Lee Brit - Vocals (Disc 2)
*Mike Levine - Bass (Disc 3)
*Jeff Baxter – Lead, Bowed, Steel Guitars, Vibraphone, Vocals (Disc 3)
*Tony Scheuren - Organ, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals (Disc 3)

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Edgar Broughton Band - Wasa Wasa / Sing Brother Sing / Edgar Broughton Band / In Side Out / Oora (1969-73 uk, outstanding rough acid freak rock, 2014 five discs box set)

The debut album by British free-festival favorites the Edgar Broughton Band almost literally re-created the spirit of their natural territory -- a muddy field full of sunbaked hippies -- with eight more or less epic tracks that, though their inspiration has long become the stuff of ancient history, remain essential listening to all but the most jaded ears. All maniacal cackle and frenzied riffing, the band's first single, "Evil," and the brutal bellowing of "Love in the Rain" are the most conventional numbers in that they were certainly written as crowd-pleasing stompers in the days before "Out Demons Out" established itself as the Edgar Broughton Band's all-consuming anthem.

More impressive, however, are the numbers which see the band stretching both their capabilities and their audience's expectations -- the lengthy opus "Dawn Crept Away," the evocatively titled "Death of an Electric Citizen," and, best of all, "American Boy Soldier." Ranking alongside Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" as British rock's finest contribution to the Vietnam War, it is a Mothers of Invention-esque piece that blends sneering spoken word with a delightfully doo wop-ish invocation of all that war really has to offer and all that its servants leave behind. "Shot down from my plane/Never be the same again/I was just 16 years old." As jaggedly metallic as it is theatrically ambitious, Wasa Wasa (an Eskimo phrase meaning "from far, far away") stands alongside early albums by the Fairies, the Deviants, and Hawkwind as a dramatic snapshot of a very special moment in time, as the whimsical hopefulness of the late '60s gave way to the chilled cynicism of the early '70s. And, while the band would certainly produce better songs over the next three years, they never again unleashed such a potent mood.
by Dave Thompson

Sing Brother Sing almost equals the psychedelic cohesiveness and insouciant air of the Edgar Broughton Band's debut album, but, even without doing so, it still stands as their second strongest release. All the songs on Sing Brother Sing wallow in a hippie-ish, kick-backed experimental blues-rock style, extenuated to perfection by Broughton's resonant grumble and vocal staunchness, and surrounded by chem lab mixtures of guitar and bass. The group's peculiar instrumental outputs give odd tracks such as "There's No Vibrations but Wait," "Momma's Reward," and the two parts of "Psychopath" progressive rock-type tendencies with a homemade wit, which would be the band's most daunting characteristic outside of Edgar Broughton's singing.

Although the Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa comparisons are unavoidable, the rest of Sing Brother Sing's facets and odd instrumental avenues emit a distinctness that remains the whole album through. The quaint but humorous English air that encircles "Officer Dan" and "Old Gopher" reflects Broughton's adept satirical approach, maybe without him even knowing it. Held together with elements of jazz, rock, and blues, the music on Sing Brother Sing is captivating because of its raw integrity, and in its refusal to adhere to structure, formula, or to travel a beaten path.
by Mike DeGagne

The most conventional of the Edgar Broughton Band's first (and best) three albums, 1971's Edgar Broughton Band finds the group dispensing with the no-holds-barred mania and theatricality responsible for such classics as "Out Demons Out," "Up Yours," and "Apache Drop Out" and concentrating instead on more musical endeavors. It's an approach that arguably captures the band at their very best at the same time as revealing them at their ugliest. The two-part epic "For Dr. Spock" conjures images of Gong, as it drifts closer to space rock than the Edgar Broughton Band had hitherto ventured, while "House of Turnabout" certainly restates the group's free-freak credentials with its rumbling percussion and scything guitars, a second cousin to the roars that punctuated Wasa Wasa and Sing Brother Sing.

The heart of Edgar Broughton Band, however, lies elsewhere. The lilting chant "Thinking About You," with its spectral reminders of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero," is certainly one of their most rancorous concoctions, while "Evening Over Rooftops" rides an acoustic guitar as pretty as its flowery lyric, but you know there's something rotten squirming just below the surface, even if you can never quite put your finger on it. The pure pop backing vocals, all "sha-la-la" and "doo-be-doo-be-doo," of course, only add to your unease. And, as that is merely the opening number, you can guess what you're in for over the rest of the album long before you actually get it.

The Broughtons' fifth album has never been as well-regarded as its predecessors, although that has more to do with timing than with the record itself -- by 1973, after all, the Broughtons' brand of post-hippie revolution was feeling just a little tired, particularly in the face of the glam scene that had emerged all around, and no matter how strong the songwriting and performances remained, there was still a sense of too little, too late. Which was colossally unfair. No, Oora isn't a patch on either Wasa Wasa or Sing Brother Sing. But it was an improvement on the previous year's Inside Out, and a handful of its contents -- notably "Exhibits from a New Museum/Green Lights" and "Roccococooler" -- could rub shoulders alongside any of the band's earlier, better-feted material. Indeed, the sheer diversity of Oora flies defiantly in the face of anybody hoping to pigeonhole the band with its past reputation, as Oora reveals a tight, concise, and extraordinarily melodic band whose members had clearly been listening to Neil Young as much as the Mothers of Invention, and weren't afraid to prove it.
by Dave Thompson
Disc 1 Wasa Wasa 1969
1. Death Of An Electric Citizen (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 6:09
2. American Boy Soldier (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 4:22
3. Why Can't Somebody Love Me? (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 5:05
4. Neptune (Steve Broughton) - 4:20
5. Evil (Edgar Broughton) - 2:36
6. Crying Band (Edgar Broughton) - 5:13
7. Love In The Rain (Edgar Broughton) - 3:47
8. Dawn Crept Away (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 13:59
 Disc 2 Sing Brother Sing 1970
1. There's No Vibrations, But Wait! (Edgar Broughton) - 4:13
2. The Moth (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 5:14
3. Momma's Reward (Keep Them Freaks A-Rollin) (Edgar Broughton) - 3:05
4. Refugee (Edgar Broughton) - 3:39
5. Officer Dan (Steve Broughton) - 1:38
6. Old Gopher (Steve Broughton) - 3:53
7. Aphrodite (Edgar Broughton) - 4:05
8. Granma (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 2:27
9. Psychopath (Edgar Broughton) - 6:51
10.It's Falling Away (Edgar Broughton) - 5:30
Disc 3 Edgar Broughton Band 1971
1. Evening Over Rooftops (Edgar Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 5:02
2. The Birth (Edgar Broughton) - 3:43
3. Piece Of My Own (Edgar Broughton) - 2:48
4. Poppy (Edgar Broughton) - 2:14
5. Don't Even Know Which Day It Is (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 4:21
6. House Of Turnabout (Edgar Broughton) - 3:08
7. Madhatter (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 6:16
8. GettingHard / What Is A Woman For? (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant, Victor Unitt) - 7:31
9. Thinking Of You (Steve Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 2:08
10.For Dr. Spock (Parts 1, 2) (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant, Victor Unitt) - 3:50
Disc 4 In Side Out 1972
1. Get Out Of Bed / There's Nobody There / Side By Side (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 3:42
2. Sister Angela (Edgar Broughton) - 0:42
3. I Got Mad (Edgar Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 3:46
4. They Took It Away (Steve Broughton) - 2:27
5. Homes Fit For Heroes (Edgar Broughton) - 4:19
6. Gone Blue (Edgar Broughton, Arthur Grant) - 3:14
7. Chilly Morning Mama (Edgar Broughton) - 4:33
8. The Rake (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton) - 2:43
9. Totin' This Guitar (Edgar Broughton) - 1:47
10.Double Agent (Edgar Broughton) - 2:55
11.It's Not You (Edgar Broughton, Arthur Grant, Victor Unitt) - 11:13
12.Rock 'N' Roll (Edgar Broughton, Victor Unitt) - 2:56
Disc 5 Oora 1973
1. Hurricane Man / Rock 'N' Roller (Edgar Broughton) - 6:15
2. Roccococooler (Edgar Broughton) - 3:11
3. Eviction (Steve Broughton) - 3:01
4. Oh You Crazy Boy! (Victor Unitt) - 2:44
5. Things On My Mind (Steve Broughton) - 3:41
6. Exhibits From A New Museum / Green Lights (Edgar Broughton) - 8:01
7. Face From A Window / Pretty / Hi-Jack Boogie / Slow Down (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant, Victor Unitt) - 10:29
8. Capers (Edgar Broughton, Steve Broughton, Arthur Grant, Victor Unitt) - 1:37

The Edgar Broughton Band
*Edgar Broughton - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Arthur Grant - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Broughton - Drums, Vocals
*Victor Unitt - Guitars, Vocals (On Discs 1, 3, 4 And 5)
Guest Personnel (Only on Disc 5 "Oora" 1973)
*Madeline Bell – Backing Vocals
*Doris Troy – Backing Vocals
*Lisa Strike – Backing Vocals
*Maggie Thomas – Backing Vocals
*David Bedford – Piano

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