Thursday, February 28, 2019

Petards - Pet Arts (1971 germany, great classic rock with prog shades)

1970 was a busy and exciting year for The Petards consisting of Klaus and Horst Ebert, Roger Waldmann and Arno Dittrich.  With 'Hitshock' they had released a successful album, they had performed in theatres of Bremen and the Ruhr area; they had performed in the legendary 'Olympia' in Paris and had played some 150 concerts.

The band was on the radio in 1970 no less than 800 times, and of course the band was on the top of the relevant annual polls of the music press everywhere! 
From November to December 1970 the band was back in the studio to record their fourth album. Their label Liberty had generously given them a double album, four LP sides had to be filled. No problem for the creative Ebert brothers, Klaus and Horst, who once again were responsible for writing all the songs. This time the band wasn't accommodated in Munich's Trixi Studio where the previous albums had been recorded. Instead, they stayed with sound guru Dieter Dierks in the trendy Dierks Studio in Stommeln. 

Siggi Loch was not present at the sessions, the band and Klaus Ebert in particular acted as producers themselves. The result was the band's most experimental album, a colorful kaleidoscope with strong psychedelic tracks. The songs got out longer and more unusual, the band didn't care about the radio compatibility of the earlier albums. They had fun and tested what was possible. A great album, which surely belongs to the best what at that time came out of German studios. 'Pet Arts' was released on March 31, 1971. 

At this time Klaus Ebert, the brilliant driving force behind the band, had already left the Petards and had moved to Hamburg as a producer for Metronome Records. The band had achieved a tremendous success until then, they had played hundreds of gigs, had recorded great records, but despite all their endeavors they hadn't made the big breakthrough. 

Klaus Ebert preferred the comfortable producer's chair to another uncertain career. A violent blow for the band, neither Ray King nor Bernd Wippich, who followed Klaus Ebert, could adequately replace him. Another album which the band recorded under Dieter Dierks at the end of 1971 was not even released by Liberty and was first issued by Bear Family Records in 1981 entitled 'Burning Rainbows'.

In 1972 that was the end, The Petards disbanded. On the 4th of March their 1,000-th performance was celebrated, on the 3rd of September 1972 the last gig of the band was held in the 'Western Saloon' in Wiesbaden. The Petards were history, unforgotten until today!
by Tom Redecker
1. Don't You Feel Like Me - 2:50
2. Good Good Donna - 3:45
3. Rainy Day - 3:58
4. Fowling - 2:43
5. Cowboy - 2:32
6. Willie's Gun - 3:40
7. Windy Nevermore - 4:08
8. Long Way Back Home - 5:40
9. Big Boom - 5:30
10.Too Many Heavens - 5:20
11.Flame Missing Light - 8:51
12.On The Road Drinking Wine - 2:33
13.Baby Man - 4:41
14.Spectrum - 7:30
15.Hello, My Friend - 3:50
All songs by Horst Ebert, Klaus Ebert

The Petards
*Horst Ebert - Guitar, Vocals
*Klaus Ebert - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*RĂ¼diger "Roger" Waldmann - Vocals, Bass
*Arno Dittrich - Drums

1967-71  The Petards - The Petards 

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Choir - Choir Practice (1966-68 us, marvelous garage beat folk rock)

There's apparently a modern-day Christian rock band called The Choir, but they're imposters stealing the name of a legendary legend. Which reminds me - "Backstreet Boy" is slang for "male prostitute." I don't know if the band members are aware of that, but I'm pretty sure that the mothers of every 13-year-old girl in America are going to be pretty upset when they read my review of The Choir and learn this sordid truth.

The original Choir was a one-hit wonder back in the late '60s with the hot pop Nugget "It's Cold Outside." As far as I can tell, they never had a chance to release a full album while the band was still around. However, the fine folks at Sundazed came across a bunch of old demos, outtakes and rehearsals and released it as an 18-song CD! Finally all of us old fellows local 151 behind the firehouse can get a whole big mess of great melodic guitar pop action without having to dig through hundreds and billions of scratchy old 45s in stores like Steve's Overpriced Piece Of Crap Records From The 60s.

See, ever since I was, oh let's say 5 years old, I grew up listening to my Dad's old 45s. GREAT 45s. The best that the 60s had to offer - huge piles of not just Beatles, Stones and Who, but Yardbirds, Nova Local, Count Five, Hombres, Turtles, Monkees, Hogs, Electric Prunes and -- yes -- the Choir. To be honest, it took quite some time for "It's Cold Outside" to grow on me. It's a very catchy uptempo song but was a bit melancholy for my young tastes. I preferred the awesome harmonica-driven "yeah yeah!" b-side "I'm Going Home." You must understand, now hear me, that I never really knew which sides were supposed to be side A and which were supposed to be side B, so I listened to all of them. No matter whether I liked them or hated them. I put them all in particular orders and listened to all of them in that order. And I wouldn't leave my room in the middle of a song. The record had to end before I would leave the room. And I would play with my Legos and pretend that the little men were Paul Revere and the Raiders and I was Mark Lindsay. Yes, some of this was certainly an early warning that a life of OCD was in the works, but it also helped establish a very important rule in my head -- MUSIC IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. I know it's just for fun and it shouldn't be taken seriously (lest one turn into Robert Fripp), but I ALWAYS loved to have music playing, and still do. I like music. It provides one of my five senses with very powerful stimulation.

So as a child of the sixties through my father's old 45s, Choir Practice came as kind of a disappointment. It's not that the band was a talentless one-hit wonder; that's not the case at all. There are lots of gorgeous 60s-style guitar pop songs on here, as good as anything by the Beau Brummels and even up to Byrds and Beatles standards at points -- however, the singer guy had quite a bit of trouble on a good quarter of these releases, warbling way out of tune in a mix that puts him in the front of a huge, huge room at the back of which plays the band very quietly so as not to disturb the cat.

Don't let this complaint dissuade you from take a spin the CD if you're a big fan of 60s garage rock/pop though. It's not just a hit single and a bunch of covers or generic filler. Songs like "I'd Rather You Leave Me," "When You Were With Me" and "I Only Did It 'Cause I Felt So Lonely" show the Choir to be a band of gifted melody craftsmen and awesome harmony vocalists, and the late-period stuff from '69 is really cool organ-heavy dark Iron Butterfly-type vibeage. When you consider that these are mere demos and STILL sound pretty darned impressive, it serves as just yet further pity that this band never got the chance to create a full-length album of their own.

As opposed to the Eagles - a thought that makes the whole situation just that much more depressing and tragic. 
by Mark Pindle
1. I'd Rather You Leave Me (Wally Bryson) - 2:06
2. It's Cold Outside (Dann Klawon) - 2:49
3. When You Were With Me (Unissued Version) (Wally Bryson) - 2:32
4. Don't Change Your Mind (Unissued Reherseal) (Dave Smalley, Wally Bryson) - 1:51
5. Dream Of One's Life (Unissued) (Jim "Snake" Skeen) - 3:27
6. In Love's Shadow (Unissued Demo) (Dann Klawon) - 2:41
7. I'm Slippin' (Unissued Demo) (Dann Klawon) - 2:52
8. Leave Me Be (Unissued Demo) (Chris White) - 3:43
9. I'd Rather You Leave Me (Unissued Reherseal) (Wally Bryson) - 2:32
10.Treeberry (Unissued Reherseal) (Jim "Snake" Skeen) - 2:22
11.Smile (Unissued Demo) (Dann Klawon) - 2:45
12.A To F (I Don't Want Nobody) (Unissued Demo) (Dann Klawon) - 4:48
13.I Only Did It 'Cause I Felt So Lonely (Wally Bryson) - 2:16
14.Don't Change Your Mind (Dave Smalley, Wally Bryson) - 2:05
15.Anyway I Can (Unissued) (Phil Giallombardo) - 3:50
16.Boris' Lament (Unissued) (Phil Giallombardo) - 2:51
17.David Watts (Unissued) (Ray Davies) - 2:34
18.If These Are Men (Unissued) (Denny Carleton) - 3:00
Tracks 6-8 as The Mods 

The Choir
*Dave Smalley - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Denny Carleton - Bass
*Kenny Margolis - Piano, Guitar
*Dave Burke - Bass, Vocals
*Jim "Snake" Skeen - Bass, Vocals
*Denny Carleton - Bass
*Dann Klawon - Drums
*Jim Bonfanti - Drums
*Phil Giallombardo - Organ

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Ace Kefford - Ace The Face (1968-76 uk, impressive swinging beat psych from Move fame, 2003 remaster)

Chris "Ace" Kefford played a major part in forming the Move in 1966 and was their bass guitarist until 1968. He shared lead vocals on some of the Move's records including the hit singles 'Night Of Fear' and 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' while his on-stage presence and charisma contributed much to the band's early success.

Ace Kefford's career in music began in the early 1960s when he played in various bands like 'The Jesters' who backed influential Birmingham vocalist Danny King and Ace later joined Carl Wayne and The Vikings. Ace Kefford was 19 years old when he formed The Move along with Trevor Burton, Roy Wood, Carl Wayne and Bev Bevan. Despite the band's success, Ace Kefford became a casualty of those crazy times and was forced to leave The Move after having a nervous breakdown in the wake of a package tour alongside The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Pink Floyd.

Since his departure from The Move, Ace Kefford has become easily the most enigmatic of the Brum Beat performers from that era. If the Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett was placed at one end of the scale and the Rolling Stone's Brian Jones at the other, then Ace Kefford was at the center - successfully traversing the tightrope that divides madness from extinction - although at a price that would devastate his mental health for years to come.

Despite getting involved in various projects after leaving The Move such as recording tracks for a solo album and forming his own line-up called 'The Ace Kefford Stand' that included legendary drummer Cozy Powell, Ace could not escape the demons that almost destroyed his life and alienated him from friends and family. Alcohol, drugs, suicide attempts and time spent in mental institutions were for many years, just "a day in the life" of Ace Kefford. Fortunately, Ace eventually came to grips with his illness and today leads a much calmer life while finally getting the recognition his talent deserves.

Prior to the release of Sanctuary Record's 'Ace The Face' CD, the only chance to hear any of Ace Kefford's post-Move recordings was the rare 'Ace Kefford Stand' or 'Big Bertha' singles from 1969 if you were lucky enough to find a copy. Electric Light Orchestra archivist Rob Caiger recently discovered the master tapes for Ace Kefford's unreleased 1968 solo album while compiling material for future Move/ELO re-issues. The tapes - long thought lost or destroyed - now form a major part of this Ace Kefford compilation.

While some of the tracks sound unfinished, Rob rightly decided they should be issued "as-is" so with the assistance of Ace Kefford himself - who oversaw all aspects of the CD's production - the original multitracks were re-mixed and digitally mastered to high quality audio for inclusion on this new compilation.

The "lost" Ace Kefford album was originally recorded with future T-Rex and David Bowie producer Tony Visconti who had previously worked with The Move as orchestral arranger on their 'Flowers In The Rain' hit single. While Visconti chose most of the songs to be recorded including the excellent 'Oh Girl' (an obvious choice for a single) and Simon & Garfunkel's 'Save The Life Of My Child' (which features guitar by Jimmy Page), Ace also recorded some of his own compositions.

Some of these such as 'Trouble In The Air' and 'Step Out In The Night' sound like Move demos and would have made worthy additions to the group's recorded catalogue at that time. Regrettably, Ace Kefford's song-writing efforts while in The Move were apparently not encouraged which gave Roy Wood almost a total monopoly as the group's composer until the later arrival of Jeff Lynne.

Other Ace Kefford compositions from his abandoned solo album, like the acoustically-inclined 'White Mask' and 'Holiday In Reality' convey a sense of intimacy reminiscent of Cat Stevens records. Ace Kefford's high-range vocal style has been compared favorably to the Spencer Davis Group's Steve Winwood who Ace claims was a major influence. Sadly, Ace suffered a breakdown during the recording sessions and walked out, thus forcing the album's cancellation. The inclusion of the improvised 'Happy Hour' - a light-hearted track likely never intended for release - gives the impression that at least some of the sessions were a good time for those involved.

As well as the lost Ace Kefford album, the new CD has recordings by the Ace Kefford Stand - a band put together by Ace and the brothers Dave and Dennis "Denny" Ball along with drummer Colin "Cozy" Powell from Young Blood. Dave Ball was lead guitarist with a West Midlands band called 'The Madding Crowd' and later joined and recorded with Procol Harum. Denny was previously bass guitarist for Danny King's Mayfair Set which had future Move member Trevor Burton in the line-up.

Cozy Powell fans will no doubt want to hear these tracks which feature excellent performances combined with Ace Kefford's distinctive vocals. Rob Caiger included their inventive and powerful arrangement of the Yardbirds 'For Your Love' as a stereo mix but perhaps the most telling track is the group's self-composed 'Gravy Booby Jamm' in which Ace's harrowing vocal proclaims "I lost my head again..." - stark contrast to when he sang "Get a hold of yourself now..." on the Move's I Can Hear The Grass Grow. 

In addition to the inclusion of their hard-to-find Big Bertha single 'This World's An Apple', Denny Ball contributed previously unreleased recordings from his private collection including a fantastic cover of Steppenwolf's 'Born To Be Wild'. The tracks all feature brilliant musicianship from Dave and Denny Ball which combined with Cozy Powell's powerful drumming, is reminiscent of Eric Clapton's 'Cream' at their best while also pointing towards an instrumental powerhouse which indeed they later became.

Another great addition to the CD are two ultra-rare tracks from Ace Kefford's aborted 'Rock Star' project from 1976. If any further proof was required regarding Ace Kefford's song-writing ability then this is it. The deeply personal 'Mummy' and 'Over The Hill' (turn the volume up to 11 for this one!) bring to mind classic-era Mott The Hoople or David Bowie - ironically the man who suggested to Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton back in 1965 that they should consider forming their own band.

The collection is completed by the addition of the Ace Kefford composition 'William Chalker's Time Machine' as recorded by the Brum band The Lemon Tree from early 1968. This track is considered by some to be the finest record The Move never recorded, although it was at least produced by Trevor Burton with the assistance of Amen Corner's Andy Fairweather-Low. Despite the publicity surrounding the release of the Lemon Tree record, the group were unable to manage a chart placing, although drummer Keith Smart later joined Roy Wood as a member of Wizzard.

Sanctuary Records' Ace The Face CD comes with a 10 page booklet filled with extensive notes and rare photos. The text also has Ace's own recollections about the songs he recorded for the lost 1968 solo album. To find out more about this great collection or to order a copy of the CD on-line, go to Ace Kefford's official website at which is maintained by Lynn Hoskins and has all the latest news about Ace as well as rare photos and music samples. 
1. Oh Girl (Richard Henry, Ted Fraser) - 03:01
2. Lay Your Head Upon My Shoulder (Richard Henry) - 02:28
3. White Mask (Ace Kefford) - 03:08
4. Step Out In The Night (Ace Kefford) - 03:17
5. Infanta Marina (Ace Kefford) - 03:14
6. Holiday In Reality (Ace Kefford) - 02:46
7. Trouble In The Air (Ace Kefford) - 03:43
8. Save The Life Of My Child (Paul Simon) - 03:09
9. Happy Hour ... (Ace Kefford) - 01:40
10.For Your Love (Stereo Mix) (Graham Gouldman) - 05:40
11.Gravy Booby Jamm (Cozy Powell, Dave Ball, Denny Ball) - 03:25
12.This World's An Apple (John Bromley) - 03:09
13.Born To Be Wild (Mars Bonfire) - 05:15
14.Daughter Of The Sun (Brian Potter, Graham Dee) - 04:31
15.For Your Love (Demo Version) (Graham Gouldman) - 05:44
16.Mummy (Ace Kefford) - 04:33
17.Over The Hill (Ace Kefford) - 03:09
18.William Chalker's Time Machine / For Your Love (Hidden Track) (Ace Kefford, Graham Gouldman) - 13:14
Tracks 10-11, 13-15 as The Ace Kefford Stand
Track 12 as Big Bertha
Tracks 16-17 as The Rockstar
Track 18 as The Lemon Tree

*Ace Kefford - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
*John Bromley - Piano
*Cozy Powell - Drums
*Jimmy Page - Guitar
*Dave Ball - Guitar
*Terry Biddulph - Bass
*Sean Toal - Drums
*Tony Ware - Guitar
*John Grimley - Guitar, Vocals

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Terry Brooks And Strange - Raw Power (1976 us, rough heavy psych acid space rock, 1984 Vinyl edition)

Terry is one of those guitarists who have made the solo his life goal, just like Randy Holden, Jimi Hendrix, Wilburn Burnchette, but not out of narcissism or anything like it just because the instinct of guitar genius allows them, when the muse strikes to improvise and create incredibly personal and unrepeatable weaving of sounds. (Have you ever heard Jerry Garcia or Duane Allman live repeat the same solo voice? It just doesn't happen!)

Terry forms his own band, The Strange, in a classical trio with Bob Griffin on base and Don Hastle on the drums. But when the time comes to sign a record contract, given his success with the public and the critics, he turns down a profitable RCA contract (which would have forced him to denature his sound) and accepts the offer made to him by the local label, Outer Galaxy, where he has ownership interests.

The result was Translucent World (1973), an extraordinary piece of work, unique, with pieces written by Brooks. They were stupendous because of his fluid guitar, almost impalpable, sometimes having an acid atmosphere, sometimes dreamy and ethereal, constructed by a truly unique and personal style that no one else has ever been able to imitate. To fully understand what I've just written, it's enough to listen to cuts like Some People Play Music, Of all Existing Things, Other People Feel Music and the seminal Mental Escape Into the Translucent Frequencies.

Despite the success decreed by music critics, three years go by before we hear a new Terry Brooks album. Raw Power, is another masterpiece, comes out in 1976 in the name of Terry Brooks & Strange. The record is made up of new compositions by Brooks (you'll take note of Love Me, Raw Power and Life Jam which makes up the entire second side of the record, more than twenty minutes of music that will really make you dream). The two records I've cited up to now were reissued in the eighties under the English label Psycho, whereas they've just been reissued by the Italian label Comet Records with an excellent re-mix (available either in LP or CD digipack, with a bonus track, they should be easily available in stores, at a good price and in a numbered edition). After that, another long silence ensues. The two records are sought after by vinyl maniacs and Terry finds himself being turned into the classic cult figure, with his regular bevy of fans perennially waiting for word of him. 
by Daniel Ghisoni
1. Fields And Fields Of People - 4:04
2. Are You My Friend - 4:06
3. To The Far Side Of Time - 3:34
4. Raw Power - 2:37
5. Love Me (Terry Brooks. John Linde, Ted Lead) - 3:10
6. Life Jam - 19:25
All songs by Terry Brooks except track #5

*Terry Brooks - Lead guitar, Vocals
*Bob Griffin - Bass
*Don Haste - Drums
*Donald L. Hall - Strings

1973  Terry Brooks And Strange - Translucent World (Akarma bonus track limited edition) 

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Barbara Massey And Ernie Calabria - Prelude To... (1971 us, glorious jazzy baroque folk rock, 2007 reissue)

Soul singer Barbara Massey and jazz guitarist Ernie Calabria paired up for this rare 1971 album. With Calabria having worked with Nina Simone and Harry Belafonte, among others, and Massey having sung backup for artists including Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, and Herbie Hancock, the pairing was an inspired one and resulted in this superb soul-jazz outing. Massey has a dry yet passionate and evocative vocal quality that often brings to mind Grace Slick. 

Fittingly, the duo takes on Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love," turning the Summer of Love anthem into a steamy and hypnotic soul-funk jam. Elsewhere, the duo touches upon such varying styles as folk, Latin, and psychedelic rock with cuts like "For You" and "Do You Know?," bringing to mind such similarly inclined acts as the Free Design and Bill Withers. Anyone who has even a passing interest in this kind of '70s cross-genre aesthetic will certainly want to seek out Prelude To.... 
by Matt Collar
1. Play With Fire - 3:31
2. Somebody To Love (Darby Slick) - 4:40
3. Prelude - 3:32
4. Listen To Your Heart - 5:15
5. For You - 3:37
6. Searching The Circle - 4:31
7. My Love And I - 3:00
8. Do You Know - 3:12
9. Satisfied - 3:44
All songs by  Barbara Massey, Ernie Calabria except track #2

*Barbara Massey - Autoharp, Piano, Vocals
*Ernie Calabria - Bass, Acoustic, 12 String Electric, Classical, Guitar, Electric Sitar
*Joe Beck - Guitar
*Keith Jarrett - Piano
*Ray Lucas - Drums
*Ralph McDonald - Percussion, Congas
*Bill Salter - Bass
*Grady Tate - Drums
*Sam Brown - Electric Guitar
*Eumir Deodato - Orchestra Conductor

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Human Instinct - The Hustler (1974 new zealand, solid guitar rock with various influences)

Back in Auckland, the Greer brothers started work on renovating Dave Henderson and Tommy Adderley's "Granny's" nightclub. Tommy only had one request according to Maurice: "Purple - ! want the place to be ail purple with ace curtains and lots of latticework, just like a typical Granny's place", Once refurbished the group again took over the residency and started work on the next album "The Hustler "at Stebbings Studio. A theme of 1930's gangsters and prohibition quickly emerged with Glen Griff writing a song about Mae West while unbeknown to him John Donoghue had written a song about gangsters called "Johnny Blade" so a theme of gangsters and bootleggers was quickly established which seemed very appropriate in mid - 70 s New Zealand where unlicensed clubs sold tickets at the door for liquor and venues were constantly raided by the police. 

Human Instinct and Underdogs bassist Neil Edwards recalls the scene at the time; yeah there was this guy called Happy Jack ( we called him that because he never smiled) he would roil up in his car with a boot full of booze, he would always park a few doors down from a club and send word to the patrons that he was ready for business and people would be ushered out in small groups so as not to cause too much of a kerfuffle'. It was always $5 a bottle (hip flask) which was a lot dearer than the bottle stores at the time, he would have boxes of whiskey, gin, bourbon, whatever you wanted, i remember one time there was a construction site on the corner of Queen Street and Wyndham St which had access to Durham Lane where Grannys was. and he would hide in there in his car as lie was always cautious of being caught by the cops, he would always have one eye on the booze, one eye on the dough and his other eye looking out for cops. $5 was a Sot of money in those days so quite often you would get people to chip in $1 each and we would share, we were young and skinny so you didn't need much to get pissed anyway'.
CD Liner Notes
1. The Hustler (Glenn Mikkelson) - 4:12
2. Mae West and My Gangster Hero (Glenn Mikkelson) - 4:25
3. Funky Monkey (Glenn Mikkelson) - 3:55
4. Johnny Blade (John Donoghue) - 3:25
5. Last Breakfast (Alan Gorrie, Mick Travis) - 3:37
6. Passing Lines (Gordon, Reilly) - 7:11
7. Gypsy Lady (John Donoghue) - 4:18
8. Nothing's Changed (Glenn Mikkelson) - 2:39
9. Stoned Mary (Glenn Mikkelson) - 6:14

The Human Instinct
*Billy TK - Guitar
*Martin Hope - Guitar
*John Donoghue - Guitar, Vocals
*Glen Mickleson (aka Zaine Griff) - Bass, Vocals
*Maurice Greer - Drums, Vocals

1970  Human Instinct - Stoned Guitar (2007 bonus tracks edition)
1971  Human Instinct - Pins In It 
1972  Human Instinct - Snatmin Cuthin
1975  Human Instinct - Peg Leg / The Lost Tapes
Related Acts
1972/75/80  Billy T.K And The Powerhouse - Move On Up The Unreleased HMV Tapes (2009 release) 
1972  Space Farm - Space Farm 
1967-69  The Underdogs - Blues Band And Beyond / Sitting In The Rain
1970  The Underdogs - Wasting Our Time

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Whalefeathers - Declare / Whalefeathers (1970-71 us, fascinating heavy psych prog rock, 2002 Akarma issue)

American psychedelic group who recorded two excellent albums for the tiny Nasco label circa 1970, which later became a widely known imprint amongst collectors of obscure underground blues-rock and psychedelia. Both of their released albums, Whalefeathers Declare and their self-titled second album, have been collectors' items of extraordinary value to LP hounds which were finally reissued on the Akarma label in 2001. Maybe it's telling of the sound herein to know that the group does a cover version of Skip Spence's "Omaha," a psychedelic gem from his time in Moby Grape. For the most part, Whalefeathers deal in heavy rock based around keyboard-driven psychedelia and hard blues-rock. 

On their second album, the standouts are a cover version of "World of Pain," originally by Mountain, and a rave-up on the blues standard "Don't Need No Doctor," while elsewhere they soak in instrumentals with electric keyboards and guitar distortion with no apparent direction. m Cincinnati, Ohio, this outfit used to gig frequently with Westfauster and played a heavy, very keyboard-dominated blend of music. Their albums have distinct psychedelic influences. Both albums are sought-after by collectors.
by Dean McFarlane
Declare 1970
1. Declare - Prelude (Michael Jones) - 3:53
2. Lost Dimension (Ed Blackmon) - 6:47
3. Know Thyself (Michael Jones) - 2:59
4. Imagine (Michael Jones) - 3:06
5. Omaha (Alex "Skip" Spence) - 5:48
6. Please Me For A While (Ed Blackmon, Michael Jones) - 5:20
7. Invention Sequence (Ed Blackmon) - 3:41
8. Love Cant Be Wrong (Michael Jones) - 3:46
Whalefeathers 1971
9. World Of Pain (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 8:36
10.I Dont Need No Doctor (Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson) - 3:26
11.Its A Hard Road (Back Home) (Lee Blanc) - 5:07
12.Bastich (Steve Cataldo) - 6:20
13.Pretty Woman (Andrew Charles Williams, Jr.) - 3:31
14.Shadows (Ed Blackmon) - 10:36

*Stephe Bacon - Percussion, Tympani, Rhythm Instruments, Vocals
*Ed Blackmon - Piano, Organ, Harpischord, Vocals
*Michael Jones - Guitar, Vocals
*Roger Sauer - Bass, Vocals (Tracks 1-8)
*Leonard LeBlanc - Bass, Vocals (Tracks 9-14)

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Autumn People - Autumn People (1976 us, soft prog rock, 2007 reissue)

This American progressive unit hailed from Arizona, but musically they were closer to European groups like Triumverat and Focus. Their lone self-titled album, originally released in 1976 and reissued by Radioactive, has a darker musical edge than either of those groups or American contemporaries like Kansas or Saga. Lyrically, however, it is every bit as cheesy as other mid-'70s prog rock as the frolicking elves of "Rock and Roll Fantasie" will attest. It's the mix of dark, complex playing filled with Mellotron, flute, fantastic drumming and slick guitar pitted against light, almost breezy melodies about weighty subjects like angels ("Gabriel"), outer space ("Moon's Dancing") and the devil ("Coffin Maker") that make this album notable. However the appeal of the Autumn People is more than likely limited to hardcore prog rock collectors and fans of private press oddities. 
by Wade Kergan
1. Rock And Roll Fantasie - 3:35
2. Feeling - 3:45
3. See It Through - 3:23
4. Never See The Sun - 2:56
5. Gabriel - 6:12
6. Ovoid And Cubical - 6:45
7. Moon's Dancing - 6:03
8. Interlude - 2:26
9. Coffin Maker - 5:24
All compositions by Larry Clark,  Cliff Spiegel, Danny Poff, Steve Barazza

Autumn People
*Larry Clark - Vocals, Guitar
*Cliff Spiegel - Bass, Vocals
*Danny Poff - Keyboards, Vocals
*Steve Barazza - Drums, Vocals

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