Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Velvet Night - Velvet Night (1970 us, terrific misty shady psych rock, 2008 edition)

Don’t expect Velvet Night to comfort you to sleep.  This ain’t your father’s flower power.  This is deep, dark stuff, recorded at the very end of psychedelia, when things got serious, and yesterday’s flower children suddenly realized that the world wasn’t gonna change.  Velvet Night is dark.  Spooky even.  Eerie, doom-laden, brooding tracks that take their cue from the darker Steppenwolf stuff (Monster).

Recorded in 1969, these White Plains NY kids created a horror show of late psych, which they fully admitted to on “Freak Show,” a slow bluesy creeper with spirally spiderweb organ and the fantastic and sexy sorceress vocals of Lynn Boccumini.  The title track could be the theme to a biker gang horror film, like Werewolves on Wheels say, with an instantly catchy big guitar riff set to a spooky rhythm.

“Edge Of The Woods” is another creepy psych crawler, with frantic stutterstep fuzz riff, sweeping Hammond and wailing banshee backing vocals, like some dark Wagnerian opera on brown acid.  There’s also a ten-minute Cream medley, where they mash-up crude Vanilla Fudge-like versions of “I Feel Free,” “Sunshine Of Your Love” and “White Room” with one of the weirdest ambient tribal percussion takes on “I’m So Glad” I’ve ever heard.

If Ginger Baker were ever trying to raise ancient spirits from the dead, this is probably how he would’ve played it.  No doubt about it – the smoky purple reverse image cover tells you all you need to know.  This is music from the other side of the mirror.  Tales from the dark side.  This is one Wonderland Alice won’t be coming back from.
Unknown Soldier
1. Season Of The Witch (Donovan Leitch) - 7:02
2. Velvet Night (Jimmy Curtiss, Steve Kanyon) - 2:58
3. Freak Show (Jimmy Curtiss, Hillman, Phillips) - 3:45
4. Tribute - 9:16
.a.I Feel Free (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown)
.b.Sunshine Of Your Love (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown)
.c.White Room (Jack Bruce)
.d.I’m So Glad (Skip James)
5. The Weight (Robbie Robertson) - 5:06
6. Edge Of The Woods (Jimmy Curtiss, Steve Kanyon) - 3:24
7. Don’t Let Them Stand In Your Way (Vinnie Nisi) - 2:57
8. If I Were A Carpenter (Tim Hardin) - 5:05
9. I'm Sure He'll Come Most Anytime (Jimmy Curtiss, B. Strickland) - 2:37

The Velvet Night
*Lynn Boccumini - Vocals
*Doug Catuogno - Percussion
*Frank Chiaro - Bass
*Tony Faranda - Guitar
*Peter Fuino - Sax,Flute,Vocals
*Vinnie Nisi - Keyboards,Vocals

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