Thursday, September 30, 2021

Dragonwyck - Chapter II (1973-74 us, fantastic psych rock, 2006 issue)

Their Doors-influenced style of psych rock was captured on a demo LP in 1970 which is now very collectible. A second demo LP was recorded in 1973 (including a couple of remakes of songs from the first LP). Then a 45 in 1974. More changes were in store, including gigs and recording under the names Flying Turns (the name of a thrill ride at the defunct Euclid Beach Park) and Fun (a Gentle Giant influenced period), before the band called it quits.

I was born in Venezuela. When I was a child, my parents moved to the industrial city of Cleveland, Ohio. In the 1960’s, Cleveland had some of the best radio in America. Plus we were able to receive CKLW out of Detroit. Almost all early rock and roll music was black. Great performances of 3 chord songs loaded with rhythm and attitude. After the Beatles, music became more intelligent, using chord patterns and harmonies no one had ever heard before. And it wasn’t just the Beatles. All British bands were so fucking great. It was the beginning of progressive music. Those two separate attitudes of rhythm and composition were my main musical influences when I was young.

The early 70’s was rock and roll heaven. There were a lot of great original bands and places to play. Cleveland was a factory town with hard drinking men and women who loved loud rock bands, and going out 3 or 4 nights a week to support them. Besides the night clubs, Dragonwyck toured with rockers Foghat, Golden Earring, The Edgar Winter Group and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It was a very exciting time for music, and for us being in the middle of it all.

It’s really hard to tell them without the context of the time. The 70’s was a decadent decade throughout the world. Everybody, EVERYWHERE was living outside of the walls of conformity that exist today. There was so much more tolerance and social freedom to misbehave. But to say that the 70’s was a drunken, drug induced fuck-fest, would be an understatement. It was a beautiful time.

‘Chapter 2’ was recorded at Audio Recording Studio in Cleveland. This was 1972 and the studio had an Ampex 16-track machine. The mellotron and moog synthesizer was just released at that time, so we bought one each and had a ball recording that record. We also put a lot of work into background vocals on that album. The “fun” album was anything but fun. It was interesting from a clinical point of view, and in 1974 we were one of the first bands to be using samples, albeit primitive tape loops. We did a lot of tape edits on that record, and from that point on, I never went back to recording effects more that musical performance.
Tom Brehm Interview
1. Kimberly (Tom Brehm) - 0:32
2. He Loves You (Bill Pettijohn) - 3:18
3. Fire Climbs (Bill Pettijohn) - 6:41
4. Relics (Bill Pettijohn, Tom Brehm) - 5:11
5. Freedom Son (Bill Pettijohn, Tom Brehm) - 3:57
6. Lady (Bill Pettijohn, Tom Brehm) - 3:47
7. Run To The Devil (Bill Pettijohn, Kenneth Staab, Tom Brehm) - 3:45
8. Dead Man (Bill Pettijohn) - 4:15
9. The Music (Bill Pettijohn, Jack Boessneck, Tom Brehm) - 3:14
10. Forever Only Last A Little While (Tom Brehm) - 4:40
11. Lovin' The Boys (Bill Pettijohn, Tom Brehm) - 3:14
12. The Music (Bill Pettijohn, Jack Boessneck, Tom Brehm) - 3:07
Bonus Tracks 11-12

*Tom Brehm - Guitars
*Mikey Gerchak - Bass, Vocals
*Jack Boessneck - Drums
*Bill Pettijohn - Vocals
*John Hall - Keyboards, Vocals
*Jerry Moran - Keyboards (Tracks 11-12)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Fuchsia - Fuchsia, Mahagonny And Other Gems (1975-78 uk, delicate baroque prog rock, 2005 release)


The first three songs on the album were recorded on a primitive 1/4 track in the wilds of Torquay, in the West of England. "The Band" and "Ragtime Brahms", Maddie's title for the track, were recorded about 9 months after the 'Fuchsia' album was released. With our musical progress on hold for the best part of a year, we were looking for a new record company to record & promote us. The third song is from the original Fuchsia demo acetate. The Mahagonny project was I suppose a second incarnation of Fuchsia. In 1975/76 I wrote a series of songs for a theatre show. 

The inspiration for Mahagonny came from two works by Bertholdt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and I believe came closest to realising the true potential of the string trio/rock band ensemble. Mahagonny was based loosely on The Threepenny Opera, and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. It was a story of urban decay and exploitation, a story told through 'black humour' and satire, of a society divided by wealth and poverty, as its protagonists go about securing their livelihoods in any way they could. The end comes as the masses eventually take up arms. Michael Gregory from Fuchsia played drums on the demos, while other players were friends I was working with at the time, or students from the Royal College of Music, London.

 I wrote and arranged the songs over about twelve months. We eventually recorded five demo tracks at 'Spaceward Studios', Cambridge, then mixed them at Majestic Studios, Clapham London. Being part of a theatre production, the aim was to secure Arts Council backing in the UK supported by a record deal. One major label was interested in signing but the deal was never done. Perhaps not too surprising as punk rock was emerging as the new 'big thing' in London. It was around this time that I recorded the next 2 songs with my good friend Bob Chudley in a small London 8 track studio. He wrote "Me and My Kite" on the Fuchsia album, and some other really good stuff, but never got the publishing deal he deserved. "I'll Remember Her Face, I'll Remember Her Name" was part of some music I recorded for a film around 1978. I love John's vocals.

Thanks to all the great people who made this music possible by contributing so much to these projects. Special thanks to my good mate Gianpaolo, at Night Wings Records.
by Tony Durant

After the premature ending of the Fuchsia experience, Vanessa played briefly with an unrecorded band called Touchstone, and Tony Durant went on playing for a while around London with Michael Day and Michael Gregory. Tony then joined the hard blues oriented Punchin' Judy led by 'leather-larynx' Barbara O'Meara (who previously sang with Old Nick, one 7" on Decca in 1971). Whilst the band had an album out on the Transatlantic record label it had all but disbanded. The only survivors from the recording sessions were Barbara, Keith Grant-Evans -ex-Downliners Sect- and Robin Langridge. So Durant and Gregory filled the gap and Punchin' MK2 toured England and Holland (where a single was also issued) and also recorded some interesting demos for an eventual second album but the album was never recorded. 

Tony, Michael, Robin and Keith became the de facto 'house' band for Transatlantic, helping out various new signings to the label. They became part of pop-reggae band Greyhound for a brief time, culminating in one excellent live performance for the Jimmy Saville Show in 1975. Tony recorded some great demos with Glenroy Oakley, the Greyhound vocalist and both Gregory and Durant played on 'The Mind Parasites' (Transatlantic, 1976), an Al Stewart sounding LP by Simon Boswell who later became a highly regarded soundtrack composer. Tony continued to write, and in 1974 began toying with the idea of writing some songs for a theatre show based on the two Brecht works. 

In 1975 Tony began work on the "Mahagonny" project. Five songs were recorded and these follow the three Fuchsia demos on the CD. Even if the musical direction was far from the first Fuchsia LP, you can clearly hear their shared heritage. Tony and Michael were joined in these recordings by friends Keith and Robin. The vocals were handled by Nick Pallett (from the late Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, the 'other' great Exeter folk-rock band) and Jan Pulsford. Jan's sister Angela (both are the elder sisters of Nigel, bassist with rock stars Bush, and Jan went on to tour with the Thompson Twins and write songs for Cindy Lauper) and a friend, Philida Ahearn, formed the string section. 

It's odd to note that, as happened with Jonesy's fourth album (also issued for the first time by Night Wings Records in 2003), it was again Richard Branson's Virgin who missed a good opportunity. 'Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Gems' kicks off with the two demos Fuchsia recorded after the first album was issued, when they were looking for a new label. They were out of luck, but the beautiful "The Band" and "Ragtime Brahms" show they still had huge potential. Then we hear a track from their first demo, probably the only surviving acetate, sent around the record companies by Tony and his mates, which secured them their original contract. The second track on the demo, "Shoes and Ships", was unfortunately too damaged to be recovered in its entirety, with a slightly different arrangement including a French horn part not included in the album version. 

Next up are the Mahagonny demos, followed by two great songs by Bob Chudley (who also co-wrote "Another Nail" on the first album). After having occasionally worked with Chris Cutler (his and Tony's old pal in psychedelic band Louise), this underrated songwriter continued to write without finding a publisher. Luckily, some of his songs were recorded with Tony, these demos being Bob's last venture into serious songwriting. Finally, as the icing on the cake, we've added a great folk-rock song, "I'll Remember Her Face", recorded in 1978 and sung beautifully by John Tams, then of the Albion Band (along with Michael Gregory and Pete Bullock). The song was composed with other incidental music for a film production called "The Golden Medallion".

1978 was a magic year for Tony. By chance he met Dave Warner, an emerging Australian punk songwriter, and they recorded some demos in London. At the same time he worked with an old Exeter University mate Steve Jamieson on his Zero Zero project. There was a lot of interest in this band around the London 'scene' and EMI provided some studio time. Zero Zero produced a good single but no follow up, even if an album worth of material was recorded. Meanwhile Warner's demos attracted some strong interest in Australia and Tony joined him in Melbourne for the first national tour of Warner's band - Dave Warner From The Suburbs. Tony produced the band's first album, 'Mug's Game' and it moved up the charts. When back in London, Pete Farndon of the Pretenders contacted Tony through some mutual friends, Aussie folk icons the Bushwackers who Farndon had previously been playing with in Australia. The Pretenders were then an unsigned band and Pete Honeyman Scott was considering leaving. Farndon was looking for a replacement but Pete made the right decision and stayed with the band. Tony flew back to Australia where Warner was riding a wave of success and based himself in Perth. The collaboration with Dave lasted for two years before Tony moved on into production, jingles and advertising. 

In the early '90's Tony moved to Sydney with a new Polygram publishing contract. The band, Cat's Crafty went on to produce some great music, but never signed a record deal and eventually folded. On a bibliographic note, it is interesting to know that Nick Pallett went on to sing with Contempt in '77 together with Howard Paul and Robin Langridge, who in turn played with Medium Medium, Karel Fialka, Michael O'Brien, Ivor Biggun, Annabel Lamb, Paul Roberts, Ofra Haza, Sniff'n Tears and joined for a while the reformed Downliners Sect, of course with Keith Grant-Evans. Keith deserves a page on his own, with a career that included lesser known bands like Magnet (led by Mick Cox of Eire Apparent and Van Morrison fame), Nasty (around 1970/72, with Dave O'List!), a collaboration with ex-Magnet Tony Kelly in 1972 and a band called Tarot in 1976. Today Keith is still playing with Downliners Sect, helped by Alan Brooks (from Punchin' Judy MK1) and Alan's old pal in the sixties band (Purple) Barrier, Del Dwyer. 
1. The Band - 3:21
2. Ragtime Brahms - 5:02
3. Ring Of Red Roses - 4:02
4. Prologue - 5:43
5. Pirate Jenny - 3:44
6. Mr. Munch's Interminable Lunch - 5:26
7. Drunken Meanderings - 4:22
8. Behind Innocent Eyes - 3:52
9. Absent Friends - 4:36
10.Mary Used To Play The Piano (Robert Chudley) - 2:15
11.I'll Remember Her Face - 2:32
All songs written by Tony Durant except where indicated
Tracks 1-3 as Fuchsia
Tracks 4-8 as Mahagonny
Tracks 9-10 as Robert Chudley
Track 11 The Golden Medaillion

*Tony Durant - Guitars, Lead Vocals
*Michael Gregory - Drums, Percussion
*Michael Day - Bass (Fuchsia, Robert Chudley)
*Janet Rogers - Violin (Fuchsia)
*Madeleine Bland - Cello (Fuchsia)
*Vanessa Hall-Smith - Viola (Fuchsia)
*Jan Pulsford - Vocals (Mahagonny)
*Nic Pallett - Vocals (Mahagonny)
*Robin Langridge - Keyboards (Mahagonny)
*Keith Grant-Evans - Bass (Mahagonny)
*Angela Pulsford - Violin (Mahagonny)
*Philida Ahearn - Cello (Mahagonny)
*Bob Chudley - Vocals, Guitar (Robert Chudley)
*Andrew Wilson - Keyboards (Robert Chudley)
*John Tams - Vocals, Accordion (The Golden Medallion)
*Pete Bullock - Piano (The Golden Medallion)

Monday, September 27, 2021

Fuchsia - Fuchsia (1971 uk, elegant prog folk rock, 2003 edition)

I was born in London, Palmers Green, (a first generation post war baby boomer!) and moved to South Africa when I was 6 months old. My family returned to England when I was 10. Then boarding school, Dover College, a middling English public school. I started playing drums at school, then guitar when I left school, and during the '60's found myself caught up in the progressive psychedelic music thing. From 1966 to 1968 I played in a band called Louise in south London, with Robert Chudley and Chris Cutler (later with Henry Cow), doing some pretty weird stuff, original songs ("Another Nail" resurfaced years later, while a recording of "Look at the Sun" could still exist somewhere!) and others with long free form sections in the middle...liquid light shows, all that kind of stuff. 

With the end of the '60's, the band was going nowhere and I felt a need to do something quite different, so I went to Exeter University to escape music for a while. Two weeks into University, and I had started writing music again, this time for a night of poetry based around Ferlinghetti's poems, on Goya's pictures of the Napoleonic wars of all things, and with a general anti war theme. I advertised for players and found a London Cockney piano player (Mick McGee) and ex colonial Dave Haskins on drums. From memory the bass player could have been Mick Day. It was a good night, which had me totally hooked into music again. Then I wrote and recorded some harder edged songs like "Ring of Red Roses", playing them at one of the Ottawa concerts in 1971, organised by Chris Cutler and featuring various luminary associates of his. I played this gig as a three piece with Chris Cutler on drums and Mick Day on bass. 

About the same period, I formed the Fuchsia band with Michael Gregory and Mick Day. I wanted to experiment with writing songs not to the normal pop format, rather a series of musical themes, which start at a particular, point and move on, without necessarily following the normal classic pop song format. Also I wanted to experiment making string parts an integral part of the song itself, rather than something added to embellish the song once written (this was pre Electric Light Orchestra, remember), so we were soon joined by Madeleine Bland (Cello), Janet Rogers (Violin) and Vanessa Hall-Smith (Viola). Also students at Exeter, the girls were from a purely classical background and wanting to do something different. It was a very adventurous project with great production difficulties in actually amplifying the strings for live performances, together with our relative lack of experience. 

We played a few gigs at the university, and recorded two songs, "Ring of Red Roses" coupled with "Shoes & Ships", at a demo studio in Torquay. A good friend in the industry, Paul Conroy, passed the demo on to Terry King, who signed us up to his new Kingdom Records label, distributed through Chrysalis Records. I think Terry was as impressed by the radically different approach to the music as he was by the fact that there were three girls in the band! We recorded the album in the early summer of '71 with David Hitchcock producing, and then went back to university, with the intention of doing a promotional tour for the album in the next holidays. The album was released with one ad in Melody Maker and some reviews in various papers, which were all very complimentory. That was the total extent of the promo it received. The proposed promotional tour disappointingly never eventuated, and after months in limbo, the project came to an end.... and a band that don't play together, don't stay together. 

We recorded another demo, ("The Band" and "Ragtime Brahms") but failed to capture a new record deal. I continued to play with the drummer and bass player, eventually ending up in London and playing round there. The Fuchsia concept revived itself in 1975, when I wrote a series of songs for a theatre show based on Brecht's Threepenny Opera, which to this day I feel was the best thing I ever did in terms of realising the true potential of the string trio/rock band ensemble. This was with various players from the London College of Music. There was some interest from Virgin records, but a miss is as good as a mile!! 

The rest is history. I played with Punchin' Judy with Greg, Robin Langridge and Keith Grant-Evans, (a true legend-Downliners Sect) and am still in touch with Keith today. This blues based band had a deal with Transatlantic Records and an LP to promote, so we played mainly university venues in England, and toured Holland.  The album was also issued (in 1972) in France too, this time by Kingdom label itself (cat. KV 6002). Fuchsia owed their name to the excellent Mervyn Peake's book Titus Groan. 
by Tony Durant
1. Gone With The Mouse - 4:59
2. A Tiny Book - 8:03
3. Another Nail (Tony Durant, Robert Chudley) - 6:57
4. Shoes And Ships - 6:14
5. The Nothing Song - 8:23
6. Me And My Kite (Robert Chudley) - 2:34
7. Just Anyone - 3:33
All songs written by Tony Durant except where indicated.
*Tony Durant - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Michael Day - Bass Guitar
*Michael Gregory - Drums, Percussion
*Janet Rogers - Violin, Backing Vocals
*Madeleine Bland - Cello, Piano , Harmonium, Backing Vocals
*Vanessa Hall-Smith - Violin, Backing Vocals

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Santana - Welcome (1973 us, fusion rock masterpiece, 2003 remaster with extra track)

The choice of “Welcome,” a John Coltrane composition from Kulu Se Mama, as the title tune of the new Santana album is a natural follow-up to Carlos’ album with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Coltrane pioneered the direct rendering of spirituality through music in performances like “A Love Supreme” and “Welcome,” and the recent resurgence of interest in his work by spiritually inclined rock musicians is scarcely surprising.

But Welcome covers more territory than Love Devotion Surrender, which was simply a series of ecstatic jams on Coltrane and Coltrane-influenced material. Unlike the latter album, it refers explicitly to its various inspirations. Carlos has apparently been impressed by Airto’s Fingers, Chick Corea’s Light as a Feather and recent recordings by Leon Thomas, Alice Coltrane and Lonnie Liston Smith. In fact, Welcome begins with an Alice Coltrane arrangement, and both Leon Thomas and Airto’s vocalist, Flora Purim, make brief appearances. None of these is integral to the album, suggesting an intended tribute to sources of musical enlightenment rather than an all-star session or a round of hip name-dropping.

The two outstanding qualities which have separated Santana’s music from that of its competitors—Carlos’ expressive abilities as a guitarist and the talents of the band’s various percussionists—are much in evidence throughout Welcome. The qualities which characterize the “new” Santana are the keyboard work of Tom Coster and Richard Kermode and the broad range of the material. As examples of the latter, “Yours Is the Light” is similar in both design and execution to Airto’s current style of hot, neo-samba percussion with jazz keyboard solos, while “Mother Africa” departs considerably from Herbie Mann’s original with a kalimba introduction, thundering Afro-percussion, and a boiling, post-Trane soprano saxophone solo by Jules Broussard. “Going Home,” the Alice Coltrane arrangement, is a sea of organ sounds: “Samba De Sausalito” is a meeting of Brazilian and Puerto Rican rhythmic thrusts with an extended electric piano solo by Coster riding over the top, and “Love, Devotion and Surrender” sets words to the theme of the Santana/Mahavishnu album and builds to an impassioned, gospel-inflected chorus by Leon Thomas.

Carlos himself has never played better. On “Flame” and “Welcome,” he displays a resourceful guitar adaptation of the flutter-tonguing techniques introduced by Coltrane on the soprano sax; there is now more content and less effect in his solos, without the slightest diminution of the delicate touch and bell-like tone which make his work so unmistakable. The rhythm section is at its loosest and best; veteran Afro-Cuban powerhouse Armando Peraza and the much younger Jose Areas interact beautifully, and Michael Shrieve is developing a bag of his own out of directions laid down by Airto and Elvin Jones. There is more use of suspended time, different rhythmic structures and percussive colorations, making Welcome the most rhythmically satisfying rock recording since Professor Longhair’s.

Conceptually, the album sprawls somewhat, due to the occasionally divergent pulls of its various inspirations. But Carlos’ devotion to the musical substance of the Coltrane legacy is admirable, and he seems less inclined toward the superficial treatments which marred Love Devotion Surrender. There may not be another “Black Magic Woman” here, but there is enough of the old Latin fire to satisfy the fans, as well as a promising expansion of sources and resources.
by Bob Palmer, January 3, 1974 
1. Going Home - 4:11
2. Love Devotion And Surrender (Carlos Santana, Richard Kermode) - 3:38
3. Samba De Sausalito (Jose "Chepito" Areas) - 3:11
4. When I Look Into Your Eyes (Maitreya Michael Shrieve, Tom Coster) - 5:52
5. Yours Is The Light (Maitreya Michael Shrieve, Richard Kermode) - 5:47
6. Mother Africa (Carlos Santana, Tom Coster, Herbie Mann) - 5:55
7. Light Of Life (Carlos Santana, Richard Kermode, Tom Coster) - 3:52
8. Flame-Sky (Doug Rauch, Carlos Santana, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin) - 11:33
9. Welcome (John Coltrane) - 6:35
10.Mantra (Carlos Santana, Maitreya Michael Shrieve, Tom Coster) - 6:11
Bonus Track 10

*Carlos Santana - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Kalimba, Percussion, Vocals
*Tom Coster - Yamaha Organ, Hammond Organ, Electric, Acoustic Piano, Organ, Marimba, Percussion, Strings Arrangements 
*Richard Kermode - Hammond Organ, Mellotron, Electric, Acoustic PianoMarimba, Shekere, Percussion
*Douglas Rauch - Bass 
*Michael Shrieve - Drums 
*José "Chepito" Areas - Percussion, Congas, Timbales 
*Armando Peraza – Percussion, Congas, Bongos, Cabasa
*Leon Thomas - Lead Vocals, Whistling
*Alice Coltrane - Piano, Organ, Farfisa 
*Wendy Haas - Vocals
*Flora Purim - Vocals
*John McLaughlin - Guitar 
*Joe Farrell - Solo Flute 
*Bob Yance - Flute 
*Mel Martin - Flute 
*Douglas Rodriguez - Rhythm Guitar 
*Tony Smith - Drums
*Jules Broussard - Soprano Saxophone 
*Greg Adams - Strings Arrangements 

1972  Santana - Caravanserai (2011 MFSL Ultradisc) 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Photos Of Ghosts (1973 italy, magnificent prog rock, 2010 remaster with extra tracks)


PFM were already Italy's premiere progressive rock band when Emerson, Lake & Palmer signed them to the British trio's own Manticore label in 1972 and turned to King Crimson alumnus Peter Sinfield to write English-language words (sung phonetically) for this, the Italian group's debut international release. 

A phantasmagorical creation, Photos of Ghosts is filled with lush melodies and rich musical textures, all wrapped around Sinfield's frequently surreal lyrics, which seem an extension of some of his better work from King Crimson's Lizard and Islands albums. In contrast to ELP's music of the same period, PFM's music still retains some loud echoes of psychedelia, and the music has a refreshingly airy, open sound, free from the thick, heavy-handed Germanic textures generated by most of the rival U.K. classical rock bands of the period -- this album can stand next to competing works by Genesis, Yes, et al. from the same period. 

Additionally, PFM were not only unafraid of doing songs that changed time signatures radically, but reveled and thrived in such unusual structures, as demonstrated by "Il Banchetto," the one song on the album transferred -- at least in terms of lyrics -- intact from the original Italian release. The phonetically sung English lyrics also take on a special eeriness on track such as "Promenade the Puzzle." Oddly enough, the group actually became a better rock band in the year following this release, with a shift in personnel and the addition of bassist Patrick Djivas, and subsequent releases rocked harder and better, but they never had a finer, more consistently rewarding body of music in one place to their credit than this album. T

he various CD editions have been a major improvement over the fuzzy, indistinct mastering (and accompanying poor pressings) of the original 1970s-era U.S. vinyl release. The 2010 CD re-release also features significant bonus tracks, consisting principally of early mixes and unaccompanied backing tracks from much of the album -- all of which bring the running time up past 70 minutes -- and reveal a wealth of inner detail and instrumental textures that were otherwise masked on the finished album, plus the single edit of "Celebration." 
by Bruce Eder
1. River Of Life - 6:59
2. Celebration - 3:51
3. Photos of Ghosts - 5:21
4. Old Rain (Flavio Premoli) - 3:41
5. Il Banchetto (Mauro Pagani, Franco Mussida, Flavio Premoli) - 8:34
6. Mr. 9 'til 5 - 4:09
7. Promenade The Puzzle - 7:30
8. Photos of Ghosts - 5:22
9. River Of Life - 7:07
10.Old Rain (Flavio Premoli) - 3:40
11.Il Banchetto (Mauro Pagani, Franco Mussida, Flavio Premoli) - 8:34
12.Mr. 9 'til 5 - 3:54
13.Celebration - 2:13
All songs by Franco Mussida, Flavio Premoli, Pete Sinfiled except where indicated
Bonus TrackS 8-13

Premiata Forneria Marconi
*Franz Di Cioccio - Drums, Vocal
*Franco Mussida - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Vocal
*Mauro Pagani - Flute, Violin, Windwood, Vocal
*Giorgio Piazza - Bass
*Flavio Premoli - Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Moog, Vocal

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Lindisfarne - Happy Daze (1974 uk, fine folk soft rock, 2008 remaster with bonus tracks)

This album was recorded by the Mk 2 line-up of Lindisfarne and, as such, reveals a widening choice of possible directions for them to follow. Tonight is a big, brash and joyous opener, much noisier than many of their original fans would have expected. After this, however, things settle into more familiar territory with an effective midtempo In Your Head and the gentle delights of Alan Hull’s The River. The latter, written some years previously, would have reassured some of the fans as Alan Hull and Ray Jackson represented the spirit that originally made the band stand out so delightfully.

From there on the album balances Alan Hull songs with more strident ones from new members Ken Craddock and Thomas Duffy, all of which reflect a band undergoing changes and partially feeling their way in their new clothes. Everything is well played and sung, with pleasing arrangements, but taken as a whole Happy Daze may well have confused as many as it satisfied. Market Square have added seven original Alan Hull demos, including Dingly Dell, as pleasing fare for Lindisfarne fans.
by Kingsley Abbott , 13 October 2008
1. Tonight (Tommy Duffy) - 3:25
2. In Your Head  (Kenny Craddock) - 3:08
3. River - 4:15
4. You Put The Laff On Me - 3:53
5. No Need To Tell Me - 2:22
6. Juiced Up To Lose (Tommy Duffy) - 2:48
7. Dealer's Choice - 2:57
8. Nellie (Kenny Craddock) - 3:51
9. The Man Down There (Kenny Craddock) - 3:50
10.Gin And Tonix All Round - 3:24
11.Tomorrow (Kenny Craddock) - 5:12
12.Dingly Dell - 3:55
13.Where Is My Sixpence? - 2:23
14.Do Not Be Afraid - 1:57
15.Smile - 1:49
16.Picture A Little Girl - 3:20
17.Doctor Of Love - 4:00
18.Alright On The Night - 2:19
All songs written by Alan Hull except where indicated
Bonus tracks 12-18 unreleased Demo by Alan Hull, recorded at Impulse Studios, Wallsend, in the late 1960s by David Wood.

*Alan Hull - Guitar, Vocals
*Lindsay Raymond Jackson - Vocals, Mandolin, Harp, Percussion
*Charlie Harcourt - Lead Guitar
*Thomas Duffy - Bass, Vocals
*Kenneth Craddock - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Guitar, Vibraphone, Vocals
*Paul Nichols - Drums

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Alan Hull - Pipedream (1973 uk, grandiose meditative, reflective, folk rock, 2005 remaster and expanded)

With half of Lindisfarne having scampered off to form Jack The Lad, Alan Hull's first solo venture, recorded with cohorts Ray Jackson and Kenny Craddock, was first released in 1973. Reissued to mark the tenth anniversary of Hull's death, Pipedream is by far his most self-assured work: the playing and production beingless folk-driven than on Lindisfarne's classic early albums.

Most of the tracks deal with real-life situations, around themes that permeated much of Hull's writing over the years -booze, relationships, politics - and this gives them an earthy colour. "Breakfast", a morning-after tale of waking up with your mistress, kicks off the album with an energetic humour. The similarly comic "Country Gentleman's Wife" was inspired by the posh housewives he met back in the 60s, as he cleaned windows in one of Newcastle's richer quarters. The story, he once explained, is one that could have happened, but didn't.

Hull was a conscious voice for the underdog and the working man and woman. "Money Game" and "Song For A Windmill" are paradigmatic of his peculiarly northern English take on the protest song: caustic fables of mill owners and brass in pocket. "Drug Song", which became a staple in Hull's live set until his death in 1995, was one of his personal favourites and one he considered (rightly) to be among his best. Although Hull admitted that it was written under the influence, it's neither pro nor anti drugs.

The beautifully cracked and broken "I Hate To See You Cry", which closed the original album, is now followed by some B-sides and tracks from a 1974 BBC session. "Dan The Plan" and "One More Bottle Of Wine" both surfaced on Hull's second solo set, Squire. After Pipedream, Hull never again articulated such pathos and passion.
by Rob Webb 2005
1. Breakfast - 3:39
2. Justanothersadsong - 2:54
3. Money Game - 2:48
4. STD 0632 - 3:07
5. United States Of Mind - 3:06
6. Country Gentleman's Wife - 3:36
7. Numbers (Travelling Band) - 3:56
8. For The Bairns - 2:27
9. Drug Song - 3:08
10.Song For A Windmill - 2:47
11.Blue Murder - 5:06
12.I Hate To See You Cry - 3:27
13.Drinking Song - 2:34
14.One Off Pat - 0:50
15.Down On The Underground - 2:39
16.Gin And Tonics All Round - 2:57
17.One More Bottle Of Wine - 3:12
18.Dan The Plan - 4:04
Music and Words by Alan Hull
Bonus Tracks 13-18

*Alan Hull - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Harmonium
*John Turnbull - Guitar
*Colin Gibson - Bass
*Ken Craddock - Piano, Organ, Harmonium, Electric Piano, Guitar
*Ray Laidlaw - Drums
*Ray Jackson - Harp, Mandolin, Vocals
*Dave Brooks - Saxophone 

Related Act

Monday, September 20, 2021

Various Artists - Shapes And Shadows (1968-72 uk, marvelous psych and other rare flavours, 2014 remaster)

Not content with co-writing some of the most cherished soft-pop hits of the 60s (It’s Not Unusual, The Last Waltz, There’s A Kind Of Hush), Les Reed also funnelled his largesse into establishing the Chapter One imprint. Shapes And Shadows dips an exploratory finger into the label’s archives to reveal that it was a typical independent operation of its era: hardly bursting at the seams with “psychedelic pop” per se, but certainly issuing material indicative of the provender that skulked around the chart perimeter during Chapter One’s momentary lifespan.

If it’s popsike ye seek, try Lifetime by The Bliss, borne on a zephyr of flute (courtesy of Harold McNair) and strings, not dissimilar to the Ramases of Glass Top Coffin. Thereafter, head straight for the Episode Six selections, famously featuring the pre-Purps Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. The rubicund melody and pillowy harmonies of Lucky Sunday establish a UK branch of The Association, while Gentlemen Of The Park is a comparably luscious genuflection at The Beach Boys’ altar.

We’re also partial to Spring Never Came Twice by Jason Cord – chest-beating balladry with a paisley cravat – and Big Bare Beat by The British Lion Orchestra: a blaring defector from Les Reed’s Girl On A Motorcycle soundtrack, replete with an inexplicable musique concrète interlude. 
by Oregano Rathbone, 05 November 2014
Artists - Tracks
1. Putney Bridge - What's It All About - 3:15
2. Episode Six - Lucky Sunday - 3:43
3. The Bliss - Lifetime - 2:45
4. Philwit And Pegasus - The Elephant Song - 2:45
5. Jason Cord - Spring Never Came Twice - 2:37
6. Episode Six - Mozart Versus The Rest - 3:00
7. Putney Bridge - Your Turn To Die - 2:36
8. Christopher - The Race - 2:24
9. Sad People - Turn Around - 3:08
10.The Matchmakers - Lover's Congregation - 3:14
11.The Californians - You've Got Your Troubles - 3:16
12.Episode Six - Mr Universe - 4:17
13.Christopher - Sharkey - 2:01
14.The March Hare - Cry My Heart - 2:57
15.Morning Glory - Marjory Daw - 3:07
16.The Bliss - Courtyards Of Castile - 2:56
17.Brother John - Brother John - 2:37
18.Sad People - Lonely Man - 2:39
19.Episode Six - Jack D'Or - 3:15
20.Putney Bridge - The Meaning Of Love - 2:54
21.The Matchmakers - Thank You Baby For Coming - 3:25
22.Morning Glory - Munday Street - 3:50
23.The March Hare - With My Eyes Closed - 2:49
24.Episode Six - Gentlemen Of The Park - 3:12
25.British Lion Orchestra And Les Reed - Big Bare Beat - 2:16
26.Tandem - Shapes And Shadows - 2:31

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Alamo - Alamo (1971 us, solid hard psych blues rock)

Memphis Tennessee not only reeled in country styled rock but also quivered under the savaging thunder of Alamo.The roots of Alamo go back to guitarist Larry Raspberry who played with the Gentrys in 1965 when they charted with “Keep On Dancing”. The strength of Alamo was largely due to the mountainous vox and grinding hammond of ex Cosmos Ken Woodley coupled with the gritty guitar breaks of Larry. Larry Davis played bass while drums was highly charged by Richard Rosebrough.The groups 1971self titled album powers forth with the massive opener “Got To Find Another Way” in the same energized spirit as Scotland’s Writing On The Wall or Germany’s Karthago.

This thunderous opener has Larry ripping the hell out of his axe with no prisoners taken. “Soft And Gentle” is a determined effort from the band to slow down with Larry sliding in a heavy toned Bloodrock manner. Ken Woodley reaps some great riffs on his hammond through “The World We Seek” with Larry not far behind on his gator growling axe. “Been Some Changes” also allows Larry to spit out some riveting leadbreaks that would have suited the likes of Grand Funk or Rare Earth while “Get The Feelin’” is a vibrant supercharge of percussion and bass where each member has his slice of solo.The group disbanded after the album and Larry formed Larry Raspberry & The Highsteppers while Richard Rosenbrough joined Lee Baker &The Agitators.
1. Got To Find Another Way - 4:36
2. Soft And Gentle - 6:59
3. The World We Seek (Ken Woodley, Larry Davis) - 3:36
4. Question Raised - 4:43
5. Bensome Changes - 3:34
6. All New People - 4:49
7. Get The Feelin' - 6:01
8. Happiness Is Free (Ken Woodley, Larry Raspberry) - 4:18
All songs by Ken Woodley except where noted

*Ken Woodley - Vocals, Organ
*Larry Raspberry - Guitar
*Larry Davis - Bass
*Richard Rosebrough - Drums, Percussion 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Rontheo - Rontheo (1976 canada / germany, fresh folk rock with psych drops, 2012 korean remaster)

If the unique Rontheo album has succeeded to stay in the top charts of collectors item records - still after 35 years - here are some good reasons for that. Firstly, it is the outstanding quality of its sound recording - not too many of the good folk musicians of the seventies have had the luck to get free access to a full 24-track recording studio for over an entire year.

The studio, located in the German town of Wiesbaden, had been provided by the prestigious and century-old music editor Breitkopf & Hartel. No other than the composer Peter Muhlbauer - also the editor's delegate producer - had written the fine vocal arrangements which give the album its unique and special character. Unfortunately. due to internal management issues, the company closed down its folk division after only 1,000 copies of the album had been printed and sold.

Ever since they met in 1974 at the fanmous "Steckdose" - a renowned folk club in Germany's Saarland - Rontheo have been touring and recording with different formations, such as Noah's Road Show, Jacara, Abbittibbi, The Groove Merchants and many others, sometimes together, sometimes apart, all over Europe, Canada, and the USA.

Presently, Ron lives in the Rocky Mountains in Washington State, where he plays with his band Franken Horse. Theo works with two other folk musicians, Jesse Ens and the country singer Bobby Dove; he lives in the Appalachian Mountains near Montreal, Quebec. 
CD Liner Notes
1. Music - 3:51
2. Live! - 4:09
3. Lady From Heaven - 2:54
4. Do It Again (Theo Busch, Walter Krennrich) - 3:28
5. By The Side Of A Clear Crystal Fountain - 3:46
6. Zyclus (Theo Busch) - 3:55
7. Although It's Fine - 4:45
8. Clouds Everywhere - 5:17
9. Tomorrow Will Know - 6:46
All songs by Ronni di Tomaso except where indicated

*Ronnie di Tomaso - Guitars, Vocals
*Theo Busch - Violin, Guitar, Percussions, Organ
*Yedz - Guitar

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Mike Fiems - I Would Drem (1974 us, impressive mixture of sunshine folk, 2012 japan remaster)

Wanting to “mellow” out in the early ’70s, Link Wray’s elder brother Vernon moved to Tucson, Arizona. There, he reassembled the infamous Wray brothers’ Three Track Shack, rechristening it his “Record Factory.” There, he recorded his classic, Wasted. In December 1973 and January 1974, he welcomed a Tucson-based songwriter named Mike Fiems into the Factory, where he served as the producer of Fiems’ I Would Dream. While the LP — recently posted in its entirety by the Tyme-Machine — shares a certain dusty sensibility with Wasted, also released on Tucson’s Vermillion Records in scarce quantity, I Would Dream is an entirely different beast than Wray’s busted heart record.

Mastered by a mysterious “Graybeard,” this is kaleidoscopic sunshine pop as played by sand-caked types. Fiems augments his natural child incantations with folk, soft rock and Sonoran country timbres. He plants his feet in two worlds, one wistful and one jagged. Opener “I Would Dream” sounds appropriately dazed, that is until Fiems curses and steers his sidemen — bassist Charlie Gould and guitarist/drummer Bill Kennedy — into rougher territory.

The lyrics, written by Fiems and his wife (or sister?) Coleen, are alternately naturalistic and doggedly rowdy. “The world is my woman, woman and my child,” Fiems sings on “My Lady,” with a piano that bears a resemblance to the elegiac barroom piano featured on Wray’s “Lonely Son.” Occasionally the record veers into theatrical territory: “Sing It” sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place in the hippie-fied Broadway musicals of the day. But mostly, Fiems mines a unique intersection between cosmic wanderings and rural grooves.
by J. Woodbury
1. I Would Dream (Colleen Fiems, Mike Fiems) - 2:13
2. I'll Be  Star - 4:07
3. Touch Me (Colleen Fiems, Mike Fiems) - 2:53
4. Seven Years (Colleen Fiems, Mike Fiems) - 3:55
5. Desert Sands - 3:42
6. Feelin Fine - 2:37
7. My Lady - 3:10
8. Life In The City - 2:54
9. I'm Here (Colleen Fiems, Mike Fiems) - 2:15
10.Sing It (Colleen Fiems, Mike Fiems) - 3:09
11.How Will It Be - 3:30
All songs by Mike Fiems except where noted

*Mike Fiems - Twelve-String Guitar, Acoustic, 6-String, Rhythm Guitars, Percussion, Bass, Vocals, Piano
*Bill Kennedy - Drums, Percussion, Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Charlie Gould - Bass, Lead Guitar (Track 9)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Gringo - Gringo (1971 uk, exceptional prog rock, 2012 remaster)

Gringo were formed in 1970 from the ashes of Toast and Utopia and played with Black Widow before they record their sole album. It was released through MCA in the summer of 1971 and then they shared the stage with Caravan and Barclay James Harvest. The self-titled album of Cringo is one of the best examples of the Canterbury prog scene without a trace of jazz and the peculiar, almost androgynous lead vocals of Synge fitting perfectly with those of the rest members. Off this magnificent album, two songs stand out, Cry the Beloved Country and I’m Another Man.

Although plans had been laid for a second album with Jon Hiseman as producer, the band split permanently in the summer of 1972 and the four members followed different paths. Synge (as Casey Synge) sang as a session musician in Leigh Stevens, Pilot, Lou Reed, Mott The Hoople, Cockney Rebel, Marsha Hunt and Maggie Bell, Henry Marsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals) was the founding member of Sailor, Simon Byrne (drums, vocals) released a solo album and John G. Perry (bass, vocals) did important things as a member of Aviator, Caravan, Spreadeagle and Quantum Jump while his debut solo album, the stunning Sunset Wading, is one of the most interesting and prominent records of the Canterbury prog scene.
Prog Rocks
1. Cry The Beloved Country - 5:55
2. I'm Another Man - 4:16
3. More And More - 4:43
4. Out Time Is Our Time - 5:06
5. Gently Step Through The Stream - 3:55
6. Emma And Harry - 3:56
7. Moonstone - 4:40
8. Land Of Who Knows Where - 4:06
9. Patriotic Song - 5:18
10.I'm Another Man - 3:39
11.Soft Mud - 3:16
All songs by Casey Synge, Henry Marsh, John Perry, Simon Byrne

*Casey Synge - Vocals
*Henry Marsh - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*John Perry - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Simon Byrne - Drums, Vocals

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Druid - Toward The Sun (1975 uk, fine prog rock, 2015 japan SHM remaster)

Formed in 1971 by old schoolmates Dane Stevens and Cedric Sharpley, along with local bass player Neil Brewer, Druid spent years playing clubs as a trio before winning a competition by Melody Maker for the best unsigned band. At this point they added Andrew McCrorie-Shand, a recent London College of Music graduate.

The Melody Maker prize included new instruments and a recording contract, and their debut album appeared in July 1975 among envious whispers by rival bands and music publications. The band had a difficult time shaking the charge of hype, and they were also charged in some quarters as being Yes soundalikes -- Starcastle in the U.S. was later to be tarred with the same brush. () - In fact, Druid was an opening act at a number of Yes concerts. The Yes comparison, though an obvious one, is not entirely accurate. While Dane's vocals are clearly styled after Jon Anderson, and Neil Brewer's bass has the classic pick-driven Rickenbacker growl associated with Chris Squire, the rest of the band departs from the formula; McCrorie-Shand's unadorned keyboard parts, for example, have little in common with the lavishly baroque flash of Rick Wakeman or the martial Hammond pounding of Tony Kaye.

With the release of their second album in the spring of 1976, the band distanced themselves from their production and Melody Maker connections. It couldn't make up for the weaker material on their sophomore effort, and the band finally called it quits. Cedric Sharpley was to find success soon afterwards, though, by joining up with a new and unusual band led by an strange fellow named Gary Numan.
by Paul Collins
1. Voices (Andrew McCrorie-Shand, Dane Stevens) - 8:14
2. Remembering (Dane Stevens, Neil Brewer) - 5:24
3. Theme (Andrew McCrorie-Shand, Cedric Sharpley, Dane Stevens, Neil Brewer) - 5:26
4. Toward The Sun (Dane Stevens) - 5:08
5. Red Carpet For An Autumn (Andrew McCrorie-Shand, Neil Brewer) - 3:09
6. Dawn Of Evening (Andrew McCrorie-Shand, Neil Brewer) - 10:03
7. Shangri-La (Dane Stevens, Neil Brewer) - 10:08

*Dane Stevens - Guitars, Vocals
*Andrew McCrorie-Shand - Keyboards, Choral Arrangements
*Neil Brewer - Bass
*Cedric Sharpley - Drums, Percussion

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Dragonwyck - Fun (1974-76 us, essential art prog psych rock, 2008 remaster)

This previously unreleased album from 1974 rounds off the World In Sound trilogy of Cleveland´s most celebrated 70s "art-psychedelic" rock groups. It´s Dragonwyck´s most professional piece of music and truly decent pioneering in combining 60s psych compositions with tape looping (comparable to the "Dark Side of The Moon" album) and symphonic elements: "Fun is what the name implies; hard work, a lot of sweat. Orchestrated rock that is orchestrated without an orchestra". Sure they were inspired by the conceptions of giants, like Genesis, 70s Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant or Yes and express a few Doors / Bowie-flashes to sound finally as a unique collage of detailed studiowork. 

Compared to the time when it was recorded it´s innovatively produced and became a great artistic statement with finally 10 original cuts (plus 2 bonustracks/8 p. colorbooklet). You´ll hear prog-psych and crazy symphonic perversions with weird vocals/voices, powerful guitars, violin and lots of keyboards. While the first album (WIS-1023) was minimalistic dark/heavy and strong Doors influenced, the second (WIS-1030) created more "British Invasion"-sounds a la Moody Blues or King Crimson, to make this third album the most variative and unexpected one.
Tasty Odds 
1. The Music (Jack Boessneck, Tom Brehm, Bill Pettijohn) - 3:04
2. One More Goodbye (Jerry Moran, Bill Pettijohn) - 3:53
3. He Loves You (Bill Pettijohn) - 2:45
4. I Shall Stay (Tom Brehm) - 3:54
5. Relics (Tom Brehm, Bill Pettijohn) - 4:17
6. Doncha' Cry (Jerry Moran, Bill Pettijohn) - 3:21
7. You Gotta Have Fun (Bill Cavanaugh) - 1:00
8. Ain't That The Way She Goes (Tom Brehm, Jerry Moran, Bill Pettijohn) - 2:59
9. A Dream For Me (Jerry Moran, Bill Pettijohn) - 3:30
10.Forever (Tom Brehm) - 4:22
11.Not Over: Flying Turns (Bill Cavanaugh) - 5:07
12.I Am You (Jon Simonell) - 5:05
Tracks 11-12 as the Flying Turns

*Tom Brehm - Guitars, Violin
*Tim Layman - Bass
*Scott Barnes - Bass
*Dale Flanigan - Drums
*Butch Roth - Drums
*Bill Pettijohn - Lead Vocals
*Jerry Moran - Keyboards 
*Peggy Cella - Vocals

Flying Turns
*Bill Cavanaugh - Guitars, Vocals
*Tom Brehm - Guitars, Electric Violin
*Jerry Moran - Keyboards 
*Jon Simonell - Keyboards, Vocals 
*Michael McBride - Drums 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Fenton Robinson - I Hear Some Blues Downstairs (1977 us, awesome electric chicago blues)

Fenton Robinson was heralded as one of the most progressive guitarists in Chicago as well as one of the true intellectuals on the scene–a Tolstoy and Kafka reader also known as ‘The Mellow Blues Genius.’ He was one of the first acts to be signed to Alligator Records, and his considerable talents as a singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter were well showcased on his second album for the label. 

"I Hear Some Blues Downstairs", which in addition to the catchy title track also includes a remake of the classic ‘As the Years Go Passing By,’ which Robinson recorded in its original version for Duke Records in 1959. Sidemen on the album included Bill Heid, Steve Ditzell, Larry Exum, and Ashward Gates, with a horns arranged by one of Chicago’s other most advanced guitarists, Reggie Boyd.
1. I Hear Some Blues Downstairs - 4:14
2. Just A Little Bit (Ralph Bass, Buster Brown, John Thornton, Fats Washington) - 4:34
3. West Side Baby (Dallas Bartley, Johnny Cameron) - 5:03
4. I'm So Tired - 3:53
5. I Wish For You - 3:13
6. Tell Me What's The Reason (Florence Cadrez) - 3:19
7. Going West - 3:43
8. Killing Floor (Chester Burnett, Howlin' Wolf) - 3:37
9. As The Years Go Passing By (Deadric Malone) - 4:48
All compositions by Fenton Robinson except where stated

*Fenton Robinson - Guitar, Vocals 
*Billy Brimfield - Trumpet
*Earl Crossley - Tenor Sax 
*Steve Ditzell - Rhythm Guitar
*Larry Exum - Bass
*Ashward Gates, Jr. - Drums
*Bill Heid - Keyboards
*Bill MacFarland - Trombone
*Reggie Boyd - Horn Arrangements

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Sam Apple Pie - East 17 (1972 uk, fine blues rock, 2005 remaster)

In 1970 they played the first Glastonbury Festival, after which Morley and Charles left to form Help Yourself and Steve Jolly to join Procol Harum offshoot Freedom. After several more line up changes, the band recorded their second album East 17 in 1973, with Sam Sampson and Bob Rennie from the first album supported by Andy Johnson and Denny "Pancho" Barnes on guitars, and Lee Baxter Hayes on drums.

They disbanded in 1974, but reformed the next year. During the hiatus, from mid 1974 to February 1975, the band members performed with Vincent Crane as Vincent Crane's Atomic Rooster. Further line up changes included bassist Gary Fletcher, who subsequently joined The Blues Band and drummer Martin Bell. The band continued into the late 1970s, changing its name to The Vipers, Gary Fletcher on GTA agency site Retrieved 11 November 29 (not to be confused with the new wave band of the same name) before disbanding.
1.Good Time Music (John Sebastian) - 3:48
2.Louise (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:59
3.Out On The Road (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:28
4.Route 66 (Bobby Troup) - 2:32
5.She's The Queen (Andy Johnson, Lee Baxter Hayes) - 4:36
6. Old Tom (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:04
7.Flying (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 5:27
8.Call Me Boss (Andy Johnson, Lee Baxter Hayes) - 4:38
9.Another Orpheus (Andy Johnson, Denny Barnes, Bob Rennie, Lee Baxter Hayes, Sam Sampson, Eckersley) - 4:58

Sam Apple Pie
*Sam "Tomcat" Sampson - Harmonica, Vocals
*Bob "Dog" Rennie - Bass
*Andy Johnson - Guitar
*Denny "Pancho" Barnes - Lead Guitar
*Lee Baxter Hayes - Drums

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Sam Apple Pie - Sam Apple Pie (1969 uk, great blues rock with brass section, 2003 digipak expanded and 2013 japan remasterd editions)

Formed in Walthamstow, London, where they ran their own club 'The Bottleneck Blues Club', Sam Apple Pie soon attracted a large live following, with a mix of goodtime blues and boogie, interspersed with humour. In October 1969 they played the Amougies festival, in Belgium, where Frank Zappa jammed with them. United Mutations (Zappa History) Retrieved 29 October 2009
They wrote all but one of the songs on their first album Sam Apple Pie (1969) which featured lead singer Sam "Tomcat" Sampson with Mike "Tinkerbell" Smith and Steve Jolly on guitars, bassist Bob "Dog" Rennie, Malcolm Morley on keyboards and Dave Charles on drums. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Hawk (Dave Charles, Mick Smith, Sam Sampson) - 4:06
2. Winter Of My Love (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 7:14
3. Stranger (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:26
4. Swan Song (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 7:12
5. Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle) (Joe Hill Louis, Sam Burns) - 2:23
6. Something Nation (Mick Smith, Sam Sampson) - 3:59
7. Sometime Girl (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:00
8. Uncle Sam's Blues (Andy Johnson, Dave Charles, Doug Renny, Mick Smith, Sam Sampson) - 2:36
9. Annabelle (Andy Johnson, Doug Renny, Sam Sampson) - 5:17
10.Moonlight Man (Andy Johnson, Mick Smith, Sam Sampson) - 7:17
11.Tiger Man (Joe Hill Louis, Sam Burns) - 2:23
12.Sometime Girl (Andy Johnson, Sam Sampson) - 4:01
Bonus Tracks Mono Single Mix 11-12

Sam Apple Pie
*Sam Sampson - Harp, Vocals, Whistle 
*Mick "Tinkerbell" Smith - Lead Guitar
*Dave Charles - Drums
*Andy "Snakehips" Johnson - Slide Guitar
*Doug Renny - Bass
*Andy Dark - Piano
*Steve Jolly - Guitar
*Harry Klein - Baritone Sax 
*Malcolm Morley - Electric Harpsichord, Piano
*Rex Morris - Tenor Sax

Monday, September 6, 2021

Fenton Robinson - Somebody Loan Me A Dime (1974 us, stunning electric chicago blues)

Fenton Robinson tirelessly strives to invent something fresh and vital whenever he's near a bandstand. The soft-spoken Mississippi native got his career going in Memphis, where he'd moved at age 16. First, Rosco Gordon used him on a 1956 session for Duke that produced "Keep on Doggin'." The next year, Fenton made his own debut as a leader for the Bihari Brothers' Meteor label with his first reading of "Tennessee Woman." His band, the Dukes, included mentor Charles McGowan on guitar. T-Bone Walker and B.B. King were Robinson's idols.

1957 also saw Fenton team up with bassist Larry Davis at the Flamingo Club in Little Rock. Bobby Bland caught the pair there and recommended them to his boss, Duke Records prexy Don Robey. Both men made waxings for Duke in 1958, Robinson playing on Davis' classic "Texas Flood" and making his own statement with "Mississippi Steamboat." Robinson cut the original version of the often-covered Peppermint Harris-penned slow blues "As the Years Go Passing By" for Duke in 1959 with New Orleans prodigy James Booker on piano. 

The same date also produced a terrific "Tennessee Woman" and a marvelous blues ballad, "You've Got to Pass This Way Again." Fenton moved to Chicago in 1962, playing Southside clubs with Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Otis Rush and laying down the swinging "Say You're Leavin'" for USA in 1966. But it was his stunning slow blues "Somebody (Loan Me a Dime)" cut in 1967 for Palos, that insured his blues immortality. Boz Scaggs liked it so much that he covered it for his 1969 debut LP. Unfortunately, he initially also claimed he wrote the tune; much litigation followed.

John Richbourg's Sound Stage 7/Seventy 7 labels, it's safe to say, didn't really have a clue as to what Fenton Robinson's music was all about. The guitarist's 1970 Nashville waxings for the firm were mostly horrific: he wasn't even invited to play his own guitar on the majority of the horribly unsubtle rock-slanted sides. His musical mindset was growing steadily jazzier by then, not rockier. 

One of the most subtly satisfying electric blues albums of the '70s. Fenton Robinson never did quite fit the "Genuine Houserocking Music" image of Alligator Records -- his deep, rich baritone sounds more like a magic carpet than a piece of barbed wire, and he speaks in jazz-inflected tongues, full of complex surprises. The title track hits with amazing power, as do the chugging "The Getaway," a hard-swinging "You Say You're Leaving," and the minor-key "You Don't Know What Love Is." In every case, Robinson had recorded them before, but thanks to Bruce Iglauer's superb production, a terrific band, and Robinson's musicianship, these versions reign supreme. 

His 1974 album Somebody Loan Me a Dime remains the absolute benchmark of his career, spotlighting his rich, satisfying vocals and free-spirited, understated guitar work in front of a rock-solid horn-driven band. Alligator issued Nightflight, another challenging set, in 1984, then backed off the guitarist. His 1989 disc Special Road, first came out on the Dutch Black Magic logo and was reissued by Evidence Music. Robinson passed away on November 25, 1997 at the age of 62 due to complications from brain cancer. 
by Bill Dahl
1. Somebody Loan Me A Dime - 2:59
2. The Getaway - 3:21
3. Directly From My Heart To You (Little Richard) - 4:21
4. Going To Chicago (Traditional) - 3:50
5. You Say You're Leaving (Big Joe Williams) - 3:18
6. Checking On My Woman - 3:26
7. You Don't Know What Love Is - 3:57
8. I've Changed - 4:26
9. Country Girl (Rudy Toombs) - 4:56
10.Gotta Wake Up - 4:28
11.Texas Flood (Larry Davis, Don Robey, Joseph Wade Scott) - 4:22
All songs by Fenton Robinson except where noted

*Fenton Robinson - Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Baldwin - Tenor Saxophone
*Cornelius Boyson - Bass Guitar
*Elmer Brown - Trumpet
*Tony Gooden - Drums
*Bill Heid - Keyboards
*Norval D. Hodges - Trumpet
*Bill McFarland - Trombone
*Mighty Joe Young - Guitar