Henry Paul was a rhythm guitarist and vocalist for the Outlaws. He left the group in 1977 after its third album. He formed the Henry Paul Band in 1978 and signed to Atlantic later that year. Grey Ghost is the band's debut, and it is drenched in Southern rock influences as well as those of '70s West Coast bands such as the Eagles. The opening cut, "So Long," combines folk, country-rock, and the over the top guitar punch of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, while "Crossfire" sounds like the Joe Walsh-era Eagles jamming with the Pure Prairie League and "Foolin'" has the Byrds' signature all over it. But to say that Paul and his band merely copied what was out there wouldn't be fair.
Grey Ghost is a fine album; the songcraft is tight and crisp, the lead and harmony vocals are crystalline, and the production is unobtrusive. But those twin guitar leads that sound like they come from the Allmans' "Ramblin' Man" are a bit derivative sounding. The title track is the best thing on the record. Written in 1977, it is an uncredited but undisguised tribute to the late Ronnie VanZant of Lynyrd Skynyrd, who had perished two years earlier in a plane crash: "And the autumn wind whispers through the tall and lonely pines/And the hour of fate is drawing close at hand/A free bird falling from the sky/Brings an end to another Southern man.
Despite the close harmonies and softer edges of the first half of the disc, the second half entrenches itself more in the raw Southern boogie and hard honky tonk rock that defines the genre, from "I Don't Need You No More" to "Lonely Dreamer," the crunchy "You Really Know (What I Mean)," and the closer, which reverts back to the more airy sound of side one with added percussion by ace Joe Lala, who guests. The only loser is the idiotic "One Night Stands." A hard rocker, even at the end of the 1970s they should have known better than this. Still, it's a small mark against one of the more obscure but worthy albums from the era. Wounded Bird Records has issued the band's four Atlantic recordings on CDs with excellent sound.
by Thom Jurek
1. So Long (Henry Paul) - 5:08
2. Crossfire (Max Paul Schwennsen) - 3:12
3. Foolin' (Dallas Moore, Henry Paul) - 2:52
4. Wood Wind (Henry Paul, Jim Fish) - 0:49
5. Grey Ghost (Barry Rapp, Henry Paul) - 6:48
6. I Don't Need You No More (Bill HoFfman, Billy Crain) - 2:42
7. Lonely Dreamer (Henry Paul, Jim Fish, Wally Dentz) - 3:55
8. One-Night Stands (Billy Crain) - 2:49
9. You Really Know (What I Mean) (Jim Fish) - 4:05
10.All I Need (Barry Rapp) - 4:10
The Henry Paul Band
*Henry Paul - Guitar, Vocals
*Barry Rapp - Keyboards, Vocals
*Billy Crain - Lead Guitar
*Wally Dentz - Bass, Harmonica, Vocals
*Jim Fish - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Hoffman - Drums With
*Joe Lala - Percussion
Starz' sophomore album, Violation, was quite similar to its predecessor. Jack Douglas was still the band's producer, and Starz continued to favor the type of slick, commercial hard rock that would be called pop-metal in the '80s and early '90s. This 1977 LP didn't establish Starz as major players in the pop-metal field; the New Yorkers did have a small following, although not a huge one. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable record.
Tracks like "Cherry Baby" and "Rock Six Times" are certainly decent. Most of the time, Starz vocalist Michael Lee Smith sings about the same things that Kiss and Sweet were singing about in the '70s; namely, all-night parties and wild young women in tight dresses. Starz's lyrics, as a rule, were meant to be fun, not profound, and while Violation didn't go down in history as one of pop-metal's all-time classics, it's worth hearing if you're a fan of the style.
by Alex Henderson
1. Cherry Baby - 3:47
2. Rock Six Times - 3:13
3. Sing It, Shout It (Brendan Harkin, Richie Ranno, Pieter "Pete" Sweval, Jeff Grob, Michael Lee Smith, Jon Parrot, Sean Delaney) - 5:10
4. Violation - 4:28
5. Subway Terror - 3:43
6. All Night Long - 3:28
7. Cool One - 3:41
8. S.T.E.A.D.Y. - 5:40
9. Is That A Street Light Or The Moon ? - 3:18
10.Do It With The Lights On - 3:34
11.Cool One - 3:22
12.Rock This Town (Richie Ranno, Brendan Harkin, Jeff Grob, Michael Lee Smith) - 2:47
All songs by Brendan Harkin, Richie Ranno, Pieter "Pete" Sweval, Jeff Grob, Michael Lee Smith except where indicated.
Bonus tracks 10-12
*Michael Lee Smith - Vocals
*Richie Ranno - Guitar
*Brendan Harkin - Guitar
*Pieter "Pete" Sweval - Bass
*Joe X. Dubé - Drums
It is 1978 and Climax Blues Band is at the peak of its powers during a happy golden era when rock bands rule. They had hit the charts the previous year with funky single Couldnt Get It Right and they get it right on again with shiny new album Shine On. It features marvellous performances from a classic Climax line up with Peter Haycock at the helm on lead guitar and vocals. Peter is joined by Colin Cooper, the deep toned vocal-meister and superb alto sax player.
They are boosted by a super tight rhythm section comprising Derek Holt (bass) and John Cuffley (drums). Climax romp through eight raunchy tracks, including Makin Love (released as a single and available here as a bonus track) and the stomping boogie Champagne & RocknRoll. A cover of Tony Joe Whites The Gospel Singer comes complete with soulful backing vocalists.
1. Makin' Love - 4:02
2. Mistress Moonshine - 5:16
3. When Talking Is Too Much Trouble - 3:34
4. The Gospel Singer (Tony Joe White) - 5:45
5. Whatcha Feel - 6:29
6. Teardrops - 4:16
7. Like A Movie - 4:14
8. Champagne And Rock 'N Roll - 3:28
9. Makin' Love (Edit) - 3:35
All song by Colin Cooper, Peter Haycock, Derek Holt, John Cuffley, Peter Filleul except track #4
The Climax Blues Band
*Colin Cooper – Vocals, Saxes
*Peter Haycock - Vocals, Guitars
*Derek Holt - Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
*John Cuffley - Drums
*Peter Filleul - Keyboards With
*Richard Jones - Keyboards
*Colin Fairley - Backing Vocals
*Pete Riley - Percussion
*Madeline Bell - Vocals
*Helen Chappelle - Vocals
*Liza Strike - Vocals
*Joy Yates - Vocals
This 25 song CD collection of a Larry's Rebels collection subtitled -- The Essential Purple Flashes of Larry's Rebels 1965-1969 -- is a useful companion to some previous collections, notably the 2013 disc A Study in Black/Madrigal which pulled two of their albums onto one disc.
With a very good synopsis of the band's story -- from the pre-Rebel schoolboy band the Young Ones (!) through to the post-Larry version simply billed as the Rebels -- by compiler and fan Grant Gillanders, this chronological account shows a damn fine band which was dab hand at adapting material by others for their own purposes.
Larry's Rebels had a residency at Auckland's Top 20 (where they were obliged to learn new songs to remain fresh) and later toured on the multi-act bill of Roy Orbiosn, the Walker Brothers and the Yardbirds. Their friendship with the latter -- which included Jimmy Page at the time -- was doubtless an influence on their subsequent hit Painter Man where you can clearly hear the Page sound in John Williams solo. (Williams briefly deputised with the Yardbirds in Hamilton when Page was to drunk to play.)
Starting as pop band influenced by the new sounds of Britain (the lightweight but nice This Empty Place and So Much in Love With You) they quickly adopted a tougher style (their covers of the Who's It's Not True and the Small Faces' Whatcha Gonna Do 'Bout It) and scored a huge Radio Hauraki hit with I Feel Good, a song which drummer Nooky Stott (still at school at the time) had heard on a shortwave radio station from Sweden.
Their version is a Kiwi classic (covered later by Citizen Band) because no one here had heard the original (by the Artwoods).
Songs like I'll Make You Happy, Painter Man and the more poppy Let's Think of Something in '67 -- the latter two here in NZ and Australian versions -- confirmed their reputation as a disciplined recording unit.
Scattered throughout these tracks are some originals although few reach the heights of their covers (Speak My Mind a noble exception), and ironically after Larry Morris left for a solo career in '69 the remaining members had a number one hit, My Son John, with singer Glyn Mason.
But their subsequent album Madrigal ("done in a bloody rush" says Viv McCarthy) wasn't their finest moment and the single Can You make It On Your Own disappeared . . . and the title seemed prophetic.
They broke up in January 1970, eight years after the Young Ones had formed and were playing Shadows' covers.
As Stott says in the liner notes, "I ended up living back home with Mum and Dad with 50 bucks in my pocket, a pair of drum sticks and a suitcase full of stage clothes."
But it had been a thrilling ride for both the band -- which also toured with Tom Jones, Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Easybeats in Australia and others -- as well as those in their enthusiastic audience.
Nice to read they used to sneak vodka into the Top 20 to add to their orange juice.
Didn't we all.
by Graham Reid, April 13, 2015
1. This Empty Place (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:37
2. So Much In Love With You (Ian Edwards) - 2:29
3. It's Not True (Pete Townshend) - 2:29
4. What Am I To Do (Doc Pomus, Phil Spector) - 2:27
5. Feel Good (Allen Toussaint) - 2:51
6. Whatcha Gonna Do 'Bout It (Ian Samwell, Brian Potter) - 2:12
7. Painter Man (Nz Version) (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:57
8. Let's Think Of Something (Nz Version) (Roger Skinner) - 3:19
9. Flying Scotsman (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 4:32
10.Shakin' Up Some Soul (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 2:56
11.Inside Looking Out (Eric Burdon, Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax) - 3:45
12.Speak My Mind (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 3:26
13.Dream Time (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 3:23
14.I'll Make You Happy (George Young, Stevie Wright) - 2:50
15.Painter Man (Australian Version) (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:56
16.Let's Think Of Something (Australian Version) (Roger Skinner) - 3:30
17.Fantasy (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 2:36
18.Coloured Flowers (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 2:49
19.Halloween (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 2:16
20.Everybody's Girl (Hans Poulsen) - 2:26
21.Mo'reen (Mark Lindsay, Terry Melcher) - 2:35
22.By The Time (John Williams, Larry Morris) - 3:33
23.My Son John (Doug Flett) - 2:14
24.Passing You By (The Rebels) - 3:08
25.Swing The Jingle (W. Senior) - 1:02
Here are slices of California '60s pop that never were at least not then. Guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist Sandy Salisbury of California almost - legends the Millennium wrote dozens of songs and recorded them demo - style on a sound - on - sound tape recorder in his California beach house before turning them over to his publisher, who did absolutely nothing with them because he was instructed by the band's producer and arranger, Curt Boettcher, to shelve them for further band productions.
What Boettcher essentially accomplished was keeping under wraps pop songs that would have - if "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" is any indication - landed Salisbury near the top of the pop heap. The sense of hook, the clean, gorgeous vocals, the sappy melodies, and the Baroque stylings of these songs make them all ready for pop heaven. This collection brings 17 such songs - and in some cases actual demos - together in a portrait of Sandy Salisbury as an equal of people like P.F. Sloan and John Phillips, if not Brian Wilson.
This is magical, beautiful, and yes, sappy pop music. It's lush, textured, and overly sentimental, as innocent as it gets, and as pretty as it gets. I can see someone like Beck freaking out over music like this - and he should. Falling to Pieces is for anyone interested in the glories of late - '60s through mid - '70s pop. This is the real stuff.
by Thom Jurek
1. Love Divided By Two (Sandy Salisbury, Keith Colley) - 2:08
2. All I Really Have Is A Memory - 2:21
3. Together In The End (Sandy Salisbury, Gary Usher) - 2:30
4. Sweet Sweet Cinnamon - 2:26
5. Every Minute Of My Life - 2:19
6. Spell On Me #1 - 2:53
7. The Best Thing - 2:21
8. Spell On Me #2 - 2:57
9. So Close To Heaven - 2:25
10.Falling To Pieces (Sandy Salisbury, Joey Stec) - 2:53
11.A Little Bit Of Love (Jill Jones, Sandy Salisbury) - 1:50
12.Bring Me On Back Home Again - 2:38
13.Butter Me Over With Cinnamon Sugar - 3:03
14.Candy Kisses (Sandy Salisbury, Joey Stec) - 2:21
15.Tommorrow (Sandy Salisbury, Joey Stec) - 2:23
16.Do Unto Others (Sandy Salisbury, Keith Colley) - 2:54
17.Here Comes That Feeling (Sandy Salisbury, Jill Jones, Keith Colley) - 2:23
18.Holly In The Summertime - 2:59
19.Back Where You Belong - 2:21
20.Cecily (Sandy Salisbury, Curt Boettcher) - 2:38
21.I Touched The Sun (Sandy Salisbury, Curt Boettcher) - 2:44
All songs by Sandy Salisbury except where noted
Michael de Albuquerque was born June 24th, 1947 in Wimbledon and was ELO's bass player and backing vocalist. He worked more as a backing vocalist during live performances than on the albums in addition to being a bass player from July 1972 to September 1974. His first appearance was with the "28 Choir" at the Royal Albert Hall, at the age of nine. He was educated in Worth Abbey, Sussex, and Downside School, Somerset, and his first professional appearance was at the Marquee in London in 1970.
Frank Ricotti (born 13 January 1949 in London England. was into a musical family and followed in his drummer-father’s footsteps by taking up percussion. Educational facilities were limited but fortunately Ricotti came to the attention of Bill Ashton, then a teacher in London. With Ashton’s encouragement, Ricotti was able to extend his studies (and, inspired by Ricotti, Ashton embarked on a project that eventually became the National Youth Jazz Orchestra). Although adept on most percussion instruments, Ricotti concentrated upon the vibraphone and also developed his talents as a composer and arranger. In the late 60s and early 70s Ricotti played and recorded with Neil Ardley, Dave Gelly, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Stan Tracey and Gordon Beck. By the late 70s Ricotti had become established as a studio musician; during the following decade he was deeply involved in the soundtrack music for a succession of popular British television series by Alan Plater, including The Beiderbecke Affair. Also in the 80s he was co-leader, with Chris Laurence and John Taylor, of Paragonne.
Michael de Albuquerque together with Frank Ricotti in 1971 recorded "First Wind" as Ricotti And Albuquerque. Michael who had written most of the material played the guitar on this album and was the lead vocalist. The album was very much influenced by blues and jazz, with a sleeve designed by Jane de Albuquerque, Michael's wife. In addition to his recording with Frank Ricotti, he also earned money as a session musician. Prior to and after the recording sessions for "ELO 2", Michael de Albuquerque recorded his first solo album "We May Be Cattle But We've All Got Names" which was released on RCA in 1973. He had written all the songs, played the piano, guitar, and co-produced the album. "Do Right" was released as a single, but unfortunately it did not make the charts.
1. Ratsa (Don't Know Why) (John Taylor) - 4:45
2. Lo And Behold (James Taylor) - 3:18
3. Go Out And Get It (Michael de Albuquerque) - 3:48
4. Don't You Believe Me (John Taylor, Michael de Albuquerque) - 5:12
5. New York Windy Day (Michael de Albuquerque) - 4:36
6. Bobo's Party (Melanie Safka) - 6:07
7. Didn't Wanna Have To Do It (John Sebastian) - 3:10
8. Old Ben Houston (Michael de Albuquerque) - 3:03
9. The Wind Has No Love (Colin Gleadell, Michael de Albuquerque) - 3:56
10.Give A Damn (Bob Dorough, Stuart Scharf) - 3:57
*Mike de Albuquerque - Guitar, Vocals
*Chris Laurence - Bass
*John Taylor - Electric Piano
*Frank Ricotti - Vibraphone
*Trevor Tomkins - Drums
They had it all -- songs that managed to be both rocking yet melodic (think a merger of Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Kiss), a hunk of a frontman, a pyro-heavy stage show the featured lots of shooting sparks, the same management as Kiss -- but for whatever reason, Starz just didn't hit the big time. The group's roots can be traced back to the early-'70s pop band Looking Glass, which scored a number one hit single, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" in 1972. And it was Looking Glass' rhythm section that would be transplanted to Starz -- bassist Peter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob (who went under the colorful name Joe. X. Dube upon becoming a member of Starz) -- who were joined by guitarists Richie Ranno and Brendan Harkin, as well as singer Michael Lee Smith (brother of '70s teen heartthrob Rex Smith).
Signed to Capitol Records, the label issued the self-titled debut from Starz in 1976, followed by Violation in 1977, Attention Shoppers! in 1978, and Coliseum Rock in 1979. Along the way, the group issued their share of arena-worthy anthems ("Detroit Girls," "Violation"), had some close calls with songs that should have been hit singles ( "Cherry Baby," "Sing It, Shout It"), opened for the era's biggest bands (Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Rush), and Ranno even guested on Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album. But Starz just didn't translate to the masses, and by 1980, they were kaput. In the wake of their split, the group retained a sizable cult following, as quite a few hair metal acts later in the decade were quite vocal about their Starz fandom (Poison, Cinderella, Bon Jovi).
A steady stream of releases from the vault appeared -- especially after the launch of the official Starz website -- including a live set recorded in 1978 that has been reissued several times over the years, Live in Louisville, which offers proof that Starz could easily stand alongside the era's big boys of rock (despite including some of the most ridiculous stage raps you'll ever hear on a live recording). The early 21st century saw all of the group's studio albums remastered and reissued via Rykodisc, which resulted in Starz reuniting for live shows -- something they've sporadically done ever since.
by Greg Prato
1. Detroit Girls (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval) - 4:01
2. Live Wire (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval) - 3:20
3. Tear It Down (Piet Sweval) - 3:10
4. Boys in Action (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval, Brendan Harkin) - 5:38
5. (She's Just a) Fallen Angel (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval, Brendan Harkin, Sean Delaney, Joe X. Dube) - 3:32
6. Monkey Business (Brendan Harkin, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval, Delaney) - 2:49
7. Night Crawler (Brendan Harkin, Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith) - 4:28
8. Over and Over (Michael Lee Smith) - 3:16
9. Pull the Plug (Brendan Harkin, Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith) - 4:43
10.Now I Can (Brendan Harkin, Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith) - 4:13
11.Sweet Jeremiah (Piet Sweval) - 3:15
12.Fallen Angel (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval, Brendan Harkin, Sean Delaney, Joe X. Dube) - 3:25
13.Detroit Girls (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval) - 4:02
14.Live Wire (Richie Ranno, Michael Lee Smith, Piet Sweval) - 3:57
Bonus Demo tracks 11-14
*Michael Lee Smith - Vocals
*Richie Ranno - Guitar
*Brendan Harkin - Guitar
*Pieter "Pete" Sweval - Bass
*Joe X. Dubé - Drums With
*Gary Coleman - Percussion
Irish Coffee’s singer-guitarplayer William Souffreau (b.1946.4.14) made his first steps for musical fame back in 1960 in a band he formed with some school friends: The Blue Jets. They played cover-songs of early rock & roll-classics and Elvis Presley songs. In 1963 or thereabouts he joined another Aalst outfit who called themselves The Mings.
This adventure lasted another three years as it was in 1966 when he was asked to join The Four Rockets as a second singer. This band was quite popular in the dance hall-circuit and thanks to a manager they played a lot of shows (even in France) while on some evenings they backed “Pop” (Lou Deprijck) . On their setlist were mainly rock & roll classics, The Shadows, The Beatles and The Stones with only very few self-written songs. In 1967 The Four Rockets managed to release a single (Mademoiselle / The Place Where She Lives) on the “Micro” label, while a second one was recorded but never saw the light of day, as the original tapes seemed to got lost.
Hugo Verhoye (b.1947.2.5.) came from a musical family and started playing balls & pubs in 1960 and by the time he was 15 he already had a band called The Rocking Stars. His next drumseat was with the Paul Lynde Quintet where he met Paul Lambert (b.1948.8.20 ~ d 1974.11.2) who was the organ player and via Josh Mondy he joined around 1966 the backing band for singer Rocco Granata called the Cardinal Show Quintet. This quintet was Hugo on drums, Paul on organ, William on guitar, Willy De Bisschop (b. 1948.1.20.) on bass and Rudy Van Impe on sax. Together they played a lot of shows for about three years till one day in 1969, after a show in Brugge Hugo got fired. Paul and William decided to quit also and start a new band with singer Dirk Diericks and guitar player Romain De Smet (ex The Mings).
They chose to name themselves Voodoo after analogy from The Voodoos (their only vinyl release was a 7” back in 1965), another Aalst-based band with singer Dirk and guitar player Romain, who played cover-songs in the dance halls since the early sixties.
Voodoo had quite quick an agreement with the owner of dancehall “El Gringo” in Hekelgem to play every saturday and sunday rock music over there. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic but a week before the premiere of this new band, guitar player Romain decided to leave to play somewhere else. As everything was already arranged and announced; finding a new guitar player seemed the only option. Hugo did remember he had seen a band with a good guitar player named “Willy Palma & The Raja’s”, who played Gun’s “Race With The Devil”. Although he was only 16, they decided to wait for him after school and to ask this kid Jean Van Der Schueren (b.1952.7.24), if he could learn some songs in a week.
They went along to his parents house, where they left him some records (one of them was Creedence Clearwater Revival) to study and play along with.
When after a few days the band got Jean to their rehearsal they were astonished, as he made much progress and had learned more songs than they expected, so Jean was in!
So the following months the band became much better and tighter as a result of this weekly playing and became very popular over there, as they played more heavy music than the other bands that were around at that time. Hugo: “if we should play all those songs now, without rehearsing, I’m sure we would know them all, as we played them so many times!” The Voodoos were then: Dirk Dierickx on vocals and guitar, William Souffreau on vocals and bass, Jean Van Der Schueren on lead guitar, Paul Lambert on organ and Hugo Verhoye on drums. By the end of the year the band was asked to play - for the first time outside their “El Gringo”- at a concert for local football team “Terjoden”. Irish Coffee played on this sunday-afternoon (as they had to return to their club to play that night) right before the well known band The Pebbles. Their manager Louis De Vries, who also managed Ferre Grignard & Mad Curry, was immediately convinced of their potential. They were snapped up by De Vries right there, who afforded them the opportunity to record a single, as long as they made own compositions. As there was another band called The Voodoos, he also changed their name without telling the band first, and so they had to adopt the new identity Irish Coffee.
1. Can't Take It - 4:05
2. The Beginning Of The End - 6:18
3. When Winter Comes - 4:50
4. The Show (Part 1) - 2:51
5. The Show (Part 2) - 2:59
6. Hear Me - 3:58
7. A Day Like Today - 6:51
8. I'm Lost - 4:32
9. Masterpiece (William Souffreau) - 3:04
10.Carry On - 3:10
11.Child - 3:40
12.Down Down Down (William Souffreau) - 2:59
13.I'm Alive - 4:11
14.Witchy Lady (William Souffreau, Luc De Clus) - 2:55
15.I'm Hers (William Souffreau) - 4:40
All songs by Jean Van Der Schueren, William Souffreau except where stated
*William Souffreau - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Jean Van Der Schueren - Guitar
*Willy De Bisschop - Bass Guitar
*Paul Lambert - Organ
*Hugo Verhoye - Drums
*Luc De Clus - Guitar (Track 14)
*Raf Lenssens - Drums (Tracks 12, 14)
*Dirk Dierickx - Backing Vocals (Track 9)
For most of the early '70s, the New Riders of the Purple Sage™ (yes, the name is trademark-protected) were the successful offshoots of the Grateful Dead. Although they never remotely approached the success or longevity of the Dead, they attracted a considerable audience through their association with Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart, whose fans couldn't be satisfied with only the Dead's releases -- the New Riders never reached much beyond that audience, but the Deadheads loved them as substitutes (along with Garcia's periodic solo projects) for the real article. Their initial sound was a kind of country-acid rock, somewhat twangier than the Dead's usual work and without the Dead's successful forays into experimental jams, but they later acquitted themselves as straight country-rockers.
Essentially, the New Riders of the Purple Sage (their name derives from an old country outfit, Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage, who in turn took the name from an old Western novel) were initially formed as a vehicle for Garcia, Lesh, and Hart to indulge their tastes for country music beyond the albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Their original lineup at early performances consisted of Garcia on pedal steel, Lesh on bass, John Dawson (born 1945) on rhythm guitars and vocals, sometime Dead contributor-member David Nelson on lead guitars, mandolin, and vocals, and Mickey Hart on drums. The New Riders quickly evolved into more of a free-standing unit, with Dave Torbert succeeding Lesh, and ex-Jefferson Airplane member Spencer Dryden on the drums, succeeding Hart. They also developed an identity of their own through Dawson's songwriting, which had an appealing command of melody and beat.
The group was a little shaky as a country-rock outfit, without the strengths of soulfulness or strong in-house songwriting of, say, Poco or the Burrito Brothers, but their association with Garcia and the Dead (Lesh co-produced one album) gave them a significant leg up in terms of publicity and finding an audience. High school and college kids who'd scarcely heard of Gram Parsons or Jim Messina but owned more than one Dead album, were likely in those days to own, or have a friend who owned, at least one New Riders album. That translated into many thousands of sales of the self-titled first album, which proved an apt and pleasing companion to Workingman's Dead and American Beauty with its mix of country and psychedelic sounds. By the second album, Buddy Cage had come in on pedal steel, replacing Garcia, and their sound had firmed up, helped by the fact that Dawson and Torbert were good songwriters.
Anyone who enjoyed the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead or American Beauty and wanted more, then or now, should get the New Riders of the Purple Sage's eponymous release and follow it with the Riders' next two albums. With Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart in tow, and Jefferson Airplane's Spencer Dryden playing what drums Hart didn't, plus Commander Cody at the piano, New Riders of the Purple Sage is some of the most spaced-out country-rock of the period. Even ignoring the big names working with John Dawson, David Nelson, and Dave Torbert, however, this is a good record, crossing swords with the Byrds, the Burrito Brothers, and even Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and holding its own. Maybe a few of the cuts (especially "Henry") are predictable at times, but mostly, New Riders of the Purple Sage was full of surprises then (the amazingly sweet, brittle guitars, in particular) and has tunes that have held up well: "Portland Woman," "Whatcha Gonna Do," "I Don't Know You," and "Louisiana Lady," not to mention the eight leisurely paced minutes of acid-country found in "Dirty Business." There are no added notes, but they'd hardly be vital -- the album is an open book.
The group's second album is pretty much definitive, especially in its remastered version from Columbia's Legacy division (issued in 1996), which has really crisp, loud sound. Joe Maphis' "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)" is a great opener, a honky tonk-style number featuring David Nelson's lead vocals and Nicky Hopkins' piano sharing the spotlight with Nelson's and John Dawson's axes. The guitars on Dawson's "Rainbow" are nearly pretty enough to be a Flying Burrito Brothers or Poco number.
Most of what follows is as good or better, especially Dave Torbert's "California Day" and "Contract," and Dawson's "Sweet Lovin' One." The one letdown is their cover of "Hello Mary Lou," a flat, dullish rendition that could be any bad country-rock bar band, and which isn't going to make anyone forget the numerous versions before and since -- they do somewhat better with Johnny Otis' "Willie and the Hand Jive." Powerglide is a fun record and offers one virtue that the Dead, in particular, sometimes forgot -- they know how to end a song. Jerry Garcia is present on banjo ("Sweet Lovin' One," "Duncan and Brady") and piano ("Lochinvar") -- Bill Kreutzmann and Nicky Hopkins also turn up -- but the best lead guitar work here comes courtesy of David Nelson and Buddy Cage, who plays the pedal steel.
by Bruce Eder
Tracks Disc 1 New Riders of the Purple Sage 1971
1. I Don't Know You - 2:28
2. Whatcha Gonna Do - 3:18
3. Portland Woman - 3:37
4. Henry - 2:38
5. Dirty Business - 8:19
6. Glendale Train - 3:01
7. Garden Of Eden - 4:34
8. All I Ever Wanted - 4:40
9. Last Lonely Eagle - 5:15
10.Louisiana Lady - 3:04
All songs by John Dawson
Disc 2 Powerglide 1972
1. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) (Joe Maphis, Max Fidler, Rose Lee Maphis) - 4:17
2. Rainbow (John Dawson) - 3:02
3. California Day (Dave Torbert) - 2:38
4. Sweet Lovin' One (John Dawson) - 2:56
5. Lochinvar (John Dawson) - 3:31
6. I Don't Need No Doctor (Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Jo Armstead) - 4:41
7. Contract (Dave Torbert) - 3:22
8. Runnin' Back To You (John Dawson) - 4:12
9. Hello Mary Lou (Gene Pitney, Cayet Mangiaracina) - 3:00
10.Duncan And Brady (Traditional Arranged By John Koerner) - 5:24
11.Willie And The Hand Jive (Johnny Otis) - 6:26
The New Riders Of The Purple Sage New Riders Of The Purple Sage 1971
*John Dawson - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*David Nelson - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
*Dave Torbert - Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Jerry Garcia - Pedal Steel Guitar, Banjo
*Spencer Dryden - Drums, Percussion Additional Musicians
*Mickey Hart - Drums, Percussion
*Commander Cody - Piano On
*John Dawson - Acoustic, Electric Rhythm Guitars, Vocals
*David Nelson - Lead Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin
*Dave Torbert - Bass, Vocals, Electric, Rhythm, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
*Buddy Cage - Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro
*Spencer Dryden - Drums, Percussion, Broom, Whistle, Whoopee Additional Musicians
*Nicky Hopkins - Piano
*Jerry Garcia – Banjo, Piano
*Billy Kreutzmann - Percussion
Mickey Jupp (born March, 1944) is a singer, pianist and composer, who grew up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The seaside resort was home to funfairs, clubs, pubs and Teddy Boys during the 1950s and porved a fertile breeding ground for English style rocknroll. Mickey began performing in 1963 with The Orioles, a pionneering British R&B group. Their line up include Dougie Sheldrake (guitar) Ada Baggerly (bass) and Tony Diamond (drums). They built up a fanatical following at Southern Clubs such as The Shades and The Cricketers, playing standards like Brand New Cadillac and Money. They toured with The Hollies, The Tremoloes, and Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, but were unable to secure a record contract. The final version of The Orioles included Mo Witham and Bob Scanling (guitars), John Bobin (bass) and Bob Clouter (drums) wwho replaced Tony Diamon in 1964.
The Orioles broke up in 1965 after Juppy, as he was invariably called, endured some personnal problems (he served a term of imprisonment). He returned to Southend three years later and put together his next band Legend, a musical project that eventually comprised mostly formet members of The Orioles.
The first version of Legend, formed in 1968, comprised Mickey Jupp (vocals, piano, guitar) together with Chris East (vocal, harmonica, 12 string guitar, Steve Geere (string bass and vovals) and Nigel Dunbar (drums). This line up recorded an eponymous tittled album Legend for Bell Records in one eight hour session that featured acoustic blues songs like “National Gas” and ”Twenty Carat Rocker”.
They followed that with one gig at Staines, Middlesex and broke up just before the album's release, the album stills sounds fresh today.
by Chris Welch
1. National Gas - 3:00
2. Heather On The Hill - 2:13
3. Tombstone - 2:14
4. Come Back Baby - 2:07
5. City - 2:12
6. Good Boy/Groovette - 3:19
7. Wouldnt You - 2:31
8. Doncaster By-Pass - 2:45
9. Twenty Carat Rocker - 1:59
10.Bartenders Blues - 2:54
11.Good Money - 2:32
12.Shinding - 2:25
13.National Gas - 3:04
14.Heather On The Hill - 2:29
15.Tombstone - 2:08
16.Come Back Baby - 2:07
17.City - 2:18
18.Good Boy/Groovette - 3:14
19.Wouldnt You - 2:31
20.Doncaster By-Pass - 2:46
21.Twenty Carat Rocker - 1:56
22.Bartenders Blues - 2:54
23.Good Money - 2:31
24.Shinding - 2:34
25.National Gas (Single A-Side Mix) - 3:05
26.Wouldn't You (Single B-Side Mix) - 2:31
27.Georgia George (Part 1 Single A-Side) - 2:12
28.July (Single B-Side) - 2:52
29.Foxfield Junction (Bonus Track) - 2:55
All Compositions by Mickey Jupp
Tracks 13-24 Mono Versons
Townes Van Zandt was a Texan by birth and a traveler by nature. His father was in the oil business, and the family moved around a lot -- Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, among other places -- which accounted for his sometimes vague answers to questions of where he "came from." Van Zandt spent a couple years in a military academy and a bit more time in college in Colorado before dropping out to become a folksinger. (Van Zandt often returned to Colorado in subsequent years, spending entire summers, he said, alone in the mountains on horseback.)
Townes Van Zandt wrote songs with an uncommon grace and poetic clarity, and he sang them with a voice that was at once straightforward, eloquent, and mindful of the arid beauty of his images. A decade after Van Zandt released his first album, there would be dozens of singer/songwriters following his example, but he was a rather unusual commodity when For the Sake of the Song was released in 1968, and the album's production and arrangements occasionally suggest that Jack Clement and Jim Malloy didn't always know what to make of what he brought them.
The 11 songs on Van Zandt's debut are all fine stuff (even the throwaway novelty "Talkin' Karate Blues" at least brings a chuckle), and the emotional force with which Van Zandt delivers "(Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria," "Tecumseh Valley," and the title tune belies the fact this was his first album. But on several tracks Clement and Malloy attempt to match the elusive mystery of Van Zandt's music with overblown accompaniment and deeply echoey recording, especially the cheesy chorus on "The Velvet Voices," the clichéd Western accompaniment of "I'll Be Here in the Morning," the tinkling keyboards on "Sad Cinderella," and the rattling percussion of "Waitin' Around to Die."
In spite of the occasionally misguided production, For the Sake of the Song remains a classic debut. These songs make clear that Van Zandt's genius was already fully formed, and as both a composer and a performer he was a man of rare gifts; even when the backing threatens to drown him out, his gifts come shining through, and For the Sake of the Song was an auspicious debut offering from a talent of the first order.
by Mark Deming
For those of us who discovered Townes Van Zandt late, after he'd already reaped the damages of his life, the image is seared into our collective memory. In his latter days, Van Zandt's impossibly thin frame had weathered to the point that he looked like the fates had left him alive out of spite. Years of travelling, hard living, and an addictive streak had taken their toll, but he never lost touch with the crucible of experience and emotion that had fueled his songs from the beginning. His last performances were reportedly so full of emotion that several ended short with Van Zandt wracked by pain and emotion.
Such wasn't always the case, a fact made plainly clear by Tomato's recent reissues of Van Zandt's early material. At the somewhat tender age of 24, Van Zandt eased onto the folk/country scene with songwriting wisdom beyond his years, as if he'd gotten the chance to look ahead at how the years would waste him and write from that perspective. Not everything Van Zandt wrote had one foot in the grave, but he was obviously attuned to the blues and even his songs about fresh love often carried the scent of impending heartbreak. Even at the beginning, he looked like a good wind could blow him across three counties, but his voice was strong and his songwriting possessed a pureness and clarity that he should have needed many more years to attain.
Right out of the gate with 1968's For the Sake of the Song, Van Zandt already held several signature songs in hand -- "Tecumseh Valley", "Many a Fine Lady", and "Waiting Around to Die", and the title track -- but it's a wonder he got the chance to record any more. For the Sake of the Song may be a product of its time, when a specific "Nashville Sound" was no less entrenched than it is today, but the arrangements on Van Zandt's first batch of songs are inappropriate at best, unintentionally hilarious at worst. Even without the benefit of hearing much better, much less cluttered versions of these songs, most listeners would agree that the production doesn't match these songs at all. Producer Jack Clement has since apologized for over-producing For the Sake of the Song, but "overproduction" may be an understatement. Van Zandt entered the studio with nimble picking, an Old World flavor by way of Appalachia, and a confident voice. Clement met him with harpsichords, flutes, martial drum beats, and a whole host of backup singers that would make the most overproduced Southern Gospel album hang its head in disgrace.
It's little wonder that Van Zandt began revisiting his best songs as soon as possible. His second album, 1969's Our Mother the Mountain, already finds him reprising "Tecumseh Valley". Gone is the brisk pace and percussion that sounds like horse's hooves (that someone thought fit this bleak tale of a prostitute dying cold and alone) in favor of the more restrained version we recognize today. More importantly, Van Zandt makes crucial lyrical changes. On the For the Sake of the Song version, the protagonist "took to walking" and many men chose to "walk that road beside her". On Our Mother the Mountain, she "took to whoring out on the streets with all the lust inside her . . . and it was many a man returned again to lay himself beside her".
The arrangement is still a bit spry -- especially in light of Van Zandt's stark live readings -- but it's a vast improvement. "Tecumseh Valley" is one of the saddest and most complete character portraits Van Zandt ever wrote, although it's upstaged by the song that precedes it. "St. John the Gambler" is more mythic and abstract than "Tecumseh Valley" but it's a heartrending portrait nevertheless, especially by the time Van Zandt sings, "she heard his laughter ride down from the mountain / And dance with her mother's tears / To a funeral drawn of calico / 'Neath the cross of 20 years". It's a perfect song -- one that'll make you lose several minutes of your life in a listening trance -- and one of the first instances where the strings that follow Van Zandt's songs are actually sympathetic to the subject and not a hindrance. Our Mother the Mountain also introduces "Kathleen", "Snake Mountain Blues", "Like a Summer Thursday", and the spooky title cut -- no slouches themselves.
by Andrew Gilstrap, 24 Mar 2003
Tracks Disc 1 For The Sake Of The Song 1968
1. For The Sake Of The Song - 4:45
2. Tecumseh Valley - 2:40
3. Many A Fine Lady - 3:52
4. Quick Silver Daydreams Of Maria - 3:41
5. Waitin' Around To Die - 2:22
6. I'll Be There In The Morning - 2:42
7. Sad Cinderella - 4:40
8. The Velvet Voices - 3:12
9. All Your Young Servants - 3:04
10.Talkin' Karate Blues - 3:01
11.Sixteen Summers, Fifteen Falls - 2:36
Music and Lyrics by Townes Van Zandt
Disc 2 Our Mother The Mountain 1969
1. Be Here To Love Me - 2:36
2. Kathleen - 2:45
3. She Came And She Touched Me - 4:00
4. Like A Summer Thursday - 3:00
5. Our Mother The Mountain - 4:13
6. Second Lovers Song - 2:12
7. St. John The Gambler - 3:02
8. Tecumseh Valley - 4:45
9. Snake Mountain Blues - 2:36
10.My Proud Mountains - 4:59
11.Why She's Acting This Way - 5:32
Music and Lyrics by Townes Van Zandt
Point Blank hails from Texas and has stayed one of the most underrated bands from the 70’s Southern rock scene. They released six albums between 1976 and 1982 before breaking up. The band made come back in 2005 and released new studio album in 2009.
Point Blank rose from the ashes of local Dallas/Forth Worth area band Southpaw and was officially formed in 1974 by guitarists Rusty Burns and Kim Davis, lead singer John O’Daniel, drummer Buzzy Gruen and bassist Phillip Petty. Their self-titled debut album was produced by ZZ Top affliated Bill Ham and introduced a band that was up to par with Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet.
Point Blank`s relationship with Arista Records ended after follow up album, Second Coming. With the success of their eponymous debut recording, Point Blank had a reasonable amount of momentum heading into the studio to record Second Season. But rather than rearrange or pepper things up a bit in the recording process, Point Blank pretty much stay the same as they did for their first record: a five-piece (they ditched the keyboardist) writing songs around crunchy blues guitar riffs that resemble a hybrid of British hard rock and Southern rock.
1. Part Time Lover (John O’Daniel, Kim Davis, Peter Buzzy Gruen, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 3:52
2. Back In The Alley (John O’Daniel, Kim Davis, Peter Buzzy Gruen, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 4:18
3. Rock And Roll Hideaway (John O’Daniel, Kim Davis, Peter Buzzy Gruen, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 3:14
4. Stars And Scars (Kim Davis, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 8:19
5. Beautiful Loser (Bob Seeger) - 4:03
6. Uncle Ned (John O’Daniel, Kim Davis, Peter Buzzy Gruen, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 3:49
7. Tattooed Lady (Kim Davis, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 4:12
8. Nasty Notions (John O’Daniel, Kim Davis, Peter Buzzy Gruen, Phillip Petty, Rusty Burns) - 3:20
9. Waiting For A Change (Rusty Burns) - 4:45
By the mid-'70s, Southern bands seemed be making a last stand for rock & roll, with two- and three-guitar lineups and not a keyboard in sight. The Outlaws' self-titled debut was released in 1975, a few years after the Allman Brothers Band's greatest glories and a couple of years before the untimely demise of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Outlaws latched onto their Southern heritage by way of Florida, threw in some harmony by way of the Eagles, and then wrote a number of songs that played to their strengths. The result was -- and is -- a good classic rock & roll album.
Several of the Outlaws' best songs are present here, including "There Goes Another Love Song," "Green Grass and High Tides," and "Song for You." Hughie Thomasson only sings lead on these three songs, but since two of them were the best-known Outlaw songs, it is his voice that is most associated with the band. It's fun to hear cuts like "Song for You" and "Knoxville Girl," which never received a lot of radio play. "Keep Prayin'," sung by Henry Paul and Billy Jones, is a fine piece of Southern boogie with high soaring harmony on the chorus.
Although "Green Grass and High Tides" has been played a million and six times on album-oriented rock stations, it nonetheless deserves mention. Created in the tradition of the Allman Brothers Band's "Dreams" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," the song still sounds fresh in the context of the album, and doesn't feel long at its nearly ten-minute length. The Outlaws' debut blew a fresh blast of rock & roll onto a scene increasingly dominated by synthesizers and dance music. It will leave the listener singing along and dreaming about the good ol' days.
by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
1. There Goes Another Love Song (Hughie Thomasson, Monte Yoho) - 3:04
2. Song For You (Billy Jones, Hughie Thomasson) - 3:33
3. Song In The Breeze (Henry Paul) - 3:08
4. It Follows From Your Heart (Billy Jones) - 5:22
5. Cry No More (Billy Jones) - 4:20
6. Waterhole (Instrumental) (Hughie Thomasson, Monte Yoho, Billy Jones, Frank O’Keefe, Henry Paul) - 2:06
7. Stay With Me (Henry Paul) - 3:31
8. Keep Prayin' (Frank O’Keefe) - 2:46
9. Knoxville Girl (Henry Paul) - 3:32
10. Green Grass And High Tides (Hughie Thomasson) - 9:51
*Hughie Thomasson - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Billy Jones - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Monte Yoho - Drums
*Frank O'Keefe - Bass Guitar
*Henry Paul - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals With
*J.D. Souther - Harmonies
"Paris" was the band that I started with Glenn Cornick after I left Fleetwood Mac. I had wanted to try doing some heavier rock , like Led Zeppelin was doing at the time. During the last six months of 1974 , while touring with FM , I had been spending a lot of my off time talking to Jimmy Robinson who was an engineer that we had met while working either at Larrabee Studios , or (more likely) the Record Plant studio in LA. I think it was Jimmy who suggested Thom Mooney , who he knew. (ex-Nazz and Todd Rundgren drummer). Glenn Cornick was also between bands , and since we knew each other pretty well (he had been married to an ex girlfriend of mine , Judy Wong) I asked him if he wanted to start a hard rock trio.
I think Glenn and I came up with the name "Paris". For one thing , I had lived and worked in the actual city of Paris (the French one , not Tennessee) and Glenn Cornick and I had first met when he was playing a gig there with Jethro Tull. Also , by the name Paris , we wanted to imply that , although this would be a "hard rock" trio , it would have a certain level of refinement and not just be" headbangers " Glenn and I both wanted to do something along the lines of what Led Zeppelin was doing. I personally wanted to rock a little harder than I had been able to do with Fleetwood Mac. Lucky for me, Fleetwood Mac was taking off at the time with the "White" album , which would contain their 1st ever # 1 single. That meant that there was a fair amount of interest in me as an ex FM member.
John Carter at Capitol records was the one who finally bit the bullet (after a couple of passes) and gave us a demo budget. Capitol liked the demo and Al Cory decided to sign us. That was about the last of the smart moves Paris ever made. We cut the record up at the Record Plant studios in Sausalito CA , a beautiful location by the bay, in the "pit" , which was a studio built especially for Sly Stone by the Record Plant owners, Chris Stone and Gary Kellgren. The "pit" was very unusual at the time ; it had no glass wall between the control room and the players space as was customary (and necessary because of leakage). The walls- floor to ceiling- were carpeted in bright maroon plush , and you could play or sing plugged in "direct" into the console while you were lying down.
The "pit" also had a couple of bedrooms with microphone jacks in the head boards , so Sly, or whoever was in the bed could do vocals while under the covers. It really was the height of '70's "over the topness"... Once I woke up and the clock said "2". I thought, "oh , I'm late , it's 2pm and we better get started". I peeked ouside for a minute, and realized it was 2 am , not 2pm. I had been asleep for 24 hours. Yes, there were lots of drugs at those sessions. I especially remember a Bayer aspirin bottle full of coke, that was constantly replenished ( from the album budget !!). And Gary Kellgren was a big fan of nitrous oxide , of which there were tanks aplenty.
Every so often a little opium would appear from somewhere. In 1975, Sausalito California was overrun with drug dealers. It was still considered fashionable and chic to do coke. If you didn't pull out your little bottle and offer some around, you were considered to be rude and ungracious. Half the time I didn't know what day, or what hour of the day, or even what month it was. Let me be clear here; Glenn Cornick never did drugs, that I know of. Neither did Thom Mooney. I was a bit more prudish than some of the real " heroic imbibers" ( who I won't name) . I was a "nothing till after the 5 o'clock cocktail hour" type of guy. Maybe that's one reason why I'm still alive... In retrospect , with Paris , I was in too much of a hurry . We probably should have let the band develop a little further , tour constantly, and find an audience.
As it happened, Hunt Sales came down with a case of Bells Palsy (which paralyzes your face muscles), and we had to go on a long break. In that interval, I wrote "French Kiss"...and Paris just sort of faded. If the 2nd Paris album "Big Towne 2061" had done a little better, and/or we had stayed on the road.... who knows.......?
by Bob Welch
On June 7th 2012, Bob Welch, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was 65.
1. Blue Robin - 2:28
2. Big Towne, 2061 - 4:33
3. Pale Horse, Pale Rider - 3:25
4. New Orleans - 4:18
5. Outlaw Game (Bob Welch, Hunt Sales) - 5:20
6. Money Love (Bob Welch, Hunt Sales) - 3:54
7. Heart Of Stone - 2:42
8. Slave Trader - 3:11
9. 1 In 10 - 3:01
10.Janie (Bob Welch, Glenn Cornick) - 7:28
All songs written by Bob Welch, except where noted.
What a beautiful album this is - the kind of lost MOR-folk classic we all hope to discover in the wake of Judee Sill, Vashti Bunyan, Linda Perhacs and their ilk. It's like some missing link between Sandy Denny and Karen Carpenter, or Ladies of the Canyon and Dusty in Memphis . Chicago's ultra-cool Numero label should be congratulated on unearthing it.
Catherine Howe was a Kate Bush before her time, an English girl with a pretty face and an artlessly pretty voice who through pure serendipity was paired with eccentric American producer Bobby Scott. Over two weeks in February 1971, the 20-year-old Howe and 33-year-old Scott worked together at Soho's Trident Studios to create this lush masterpiece. But barely had it been released when the label that released it - CBS subsidiary Reflection - went belly-up. Nobody got to hear What a Beautiful Place bar a few journalists and industry insiders.
Halifax-born Howe had touted songs around after her early training as an actress at London's Corona drama school. A chance encounter with Reflection's Andrew Cameron Miller led to 1969 demos and, eventually, the sessions at Trident. Classically-trained Scott, who had co-written the Beatles' 'A Taste of Honey' and the Hollies' 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', was instantly smitten by the wide-eyed wonder of the girl's songs and set to work writing the extraordinary orchestrations we hear on the album.
To these ears, the intricate strings and haunting woodwind - courtesy of the LSO, no less - on songs such as 'My Child' and 'On a Misty Morning' recall nothing so much as the spooky melancholy of Bergen White's brilliant For Women Only (1969). If you love pure female voices sailing over oboes and harpsichords, look no further. 'It's Not Likely' suggests a more ethereal Sandy Denny; 'Words Through a Locked Door' could be Dusty Springfield covering Joni Mitchell. 'It Comes With the Breezes' is a wafting samba for a summer night, the gallivanting title track a pastoral Laura Nyro. Gracing every track, moreover, are Scott's frenetically funky piano fills.
If What a Beautiful Place is a perfect artefact of its time, complete with a hazy cover image of Howe by the lake at Kenwood House, even then it was out of step with fashion. Happily, as the gorgeous bonus track 'In the Hot Summer' attests, Howe survived the disappointment of her debut's premature death and has recorded further albums.
by Barney Hoskyns
1. Prologue - 0:47
2. Up North - 4:06
3. On A Misty Morning - 2:34
4. Nothing More Than Strangers - 2:10
5. My Child - 2:36
6. Interlude - 0:45
7. It's Not Likely - 3:52
8. Words Through A Locked Door (Bobby Scott, Catherine Howe) - 3:49
9. What A Beautiful Place - 3:28
10.The Innocence Of A Child - 2:32
11.It Comes With The Breezes - 3:28
12.Epilogue - 0:51
13.In The Hot Summer - 2:57
All songs by Catherine Howe except track #8
Point Blank was formed in 1974 in Texas and toured with ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynard, Marshall Tucker and other Southern rock bands for two years before releasing their self-titled debut album in 1976. Following the release of their second album, Second Season, they become one of the most booked, and consistent touring acts in Southern rock history.
They would play over two-hundred concerts a year. They played with nearly every known Southern rock band and became close friends with many of them. They shared the same management with ZZ TOP and are still friends with them to this day. Before the release of their third album, Airplay, the bassist Phillip Petty quit and was replaced by Bill Randolph. The keyboardist Steve Hardin was brought in and they recorded his song, "Mean to Your Queenie", which the band plays at every concert. The Hard Way released in 1980 had a new keyboardist, Karl Berkebile and shortly after the vocalist John O'Daniel left the band and was replaced by Bubba Keith.
Around 1981 their music took a turn into album oriented rock (AOR), which is an album format with greater commercial appeal, and Mike Hamilton became the new keyboardist. Their next album, American Exce$$, produced the hit song, "Nicole" which charted at #20 on Billboard Magazine's rock tracks chart and at #39 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 1982 their final album, On A Roll was released but internal turmoil would cause the band to break up in 1983.
1. Free Man (James Burns, John O'Daniel) - 5:08
2. Moving (James Burns, Kim Davis, Peter Gruen, John O'Daniel, Phillip Petty) - 2:57
3. Wandering (James Burns, Kim Davis, Peter Gruen, John O'Daniel, Phillip Petty) - 5:19
4. Bad Bees (James Burns, Phillip Petty) - 2:31
5. That's The Law (James Burns, Kim Davis, Peter Gruen, John O'Daniel, Phillip Petty) - 3:41
6. Lone Star Fool (Kim Davis, John O'Daniel) - 4:18
7. Distance (James Burns, Kim Davis, Peter Gruen, John O'Daniel, Phillip Petty) - 5:12
8. In This World (Kim Davis, John O'Daniel) - 3:09
The Point Blank
*Rusty Burns - Guitar
*Kim Davis - Guitar
*John O'Daniel - Vocals
*Buzzy Gruen - Drums
*Phillip Petty - Bass