Monday, January 31, 2022

Merry Clayton - Gimme Shelter (1970 us, impressive blend of rhythm 'n' blues, folk and classic rock, 2010 remaster)

Best known for singing on the Rolling Stones' classic song "Gimme Shelter," Merry Clayton is a powerful, gospel-influenced vocalist who's had a long and successful career as backup singer, solo artist, and actress. A member of Ray Charles' Raelettes in the early '60s, Clayton rose to fame singing backup on the Rolling Stones' 1969 anti-war anthem "Gimme Shelter." The song gained immediate popularity, eventually reaching the status as one of the best songs to emerge out of the Vietnam era. Clayton covered her own version of the song for her 1971 debut album, Gimme Shelter, and built upon her success, releasing several more albums and continuing to sing for artists like Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and many more. Raised in the church, she also sang in a gospel group with Della Reese and got into acting, appearing in film and on TV. Following her appearance in the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, Clayton was involved in a car accident that resulted in the amputation of her legs. Ever resilient, she recovered and in 2021 completed her return to the spotlight with the ebullient studio album Beautiful Scars.

Named Merry in honor of her birth on December 25, 1948, Clayton grew up in New Orleans in a religious, musically inclined family, the daughter of Eva B. Clayton and Reverend A.G. Williams Clayton, Sr. Beginning at the age of five, she sang with her siblings (including percussionist Sam Clayton) at her father's New Zion Baptist Church. After a family move to Los Angeles, the then-teenaged Clayton caught the attention of vocal group the Blossoms, members of whom took her under their wing and encouraged her to pursue a music career. Often mistakenly billed as "Mary," Clayton quickly found work singing backing vocals. In 1962, she made her recorded debut duetting with Bobby Darin on the song "Who Can I Count On? (When I Can't Count on You.)." Around the same time, she released the Jack Nitzsche-produced solo single "The Doorbell Rings." In 1963, she also recorded the original version of "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," which would become a Top Ten hit for Betty Everett the following year. 

More work followed, including a stint as a member of Ray Charles' backing vocal group the Raelettes. She also sang on tracks with a bevy of iconic performers, including Pearl Bailey, Phil Ochs, Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, and Carole King, as well as appearing on several tracks off Neil Young's debut album. However, it was her 1969 session on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" that solidified her reputation. Recorded during a late-night session with producer Nitzsche, the song heavily featured Clayton (who was pregnant at the time) throughout, including on the chorus, which found her harmonizing with Mick Jagger. Although never officially released as a single, "Gimme Shelter" helped land Rolling Stones' album Let It Bleed at number three on the Billboard 200 and became an iconic anti-war anthem of the Vietnam era. Regularly played at the Stones' live shows, it is largely considered not just one of the group's best songs, but one of the best songs of the '60s.

In 1970, Clayton followed her success with the Rolling Stones by releasing her debut solo effort, Gimme Shelter. Produced by Lou Adler, the album found her backed by a bevy of soul and funk musicians, including keyboardists Billy Preston and Joe Sample, guitarist David T. Walker, drummer Paul Humphrey, and others. Her version of "Gimme Shelter" peaked at number 73 on the Hot 100. That same year, she sang a version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" which was included on the soundtrack of director Robert Altman's film Brewster McCloud, and she contributed two songs to Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg's film Performance, which also starred Jagger. 
by Matt Collar
1. Country Road (James Taylor) - 3:45  
2. Tell All the People (Robby Krieger) - 2:54  
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon) - 5:47 - 
4. I've Got Life (Galt MacDermot, Jerome Ragin, James Redo) - 3:27 
5. Gimme Shelter (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 3:30  
6. Here Comes Those Heartaches Again (James Cleveland) - 3:03  
7. Forget It I Got It (Jimmy Miller, Gary Wright) - 2:53 
8. You've Been Acting Strange (Billy Preston) - 3:16  
9. I Ain't Gonna Worry My Life Away (Merry Clayton, Billy Preston) - 4:19  
10.Good Girls (Billy Page) - 2:43  
11.Glad Tidings (Van Morrison) - 2:40

*Merry Clayton - Vocals
*David Cohen - Guitar
*Gary Coleman - Percussion 
*Victor Feldman - Percussion 
*Paul Humphrey - Drums
*King Errisson - Congas 
*Lou Morrell - Guitar 
*Orville 'Red' Rhodes - Guitar
*Billy Preston - Organ, Piano
*Joe Sample - Organ, Piano
*Louie Shelton - Guitar
*David T. Walker - Guitar
*Bob West - Bass 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

The Mirage - Tomorrow Never Knows Singles And Lost Sessions (1966-68 uk, delicate swinging psych pop, 2006 release)

Although an unauthorized Mirage CD compilation (You Can't Be Serious) combining some of their singles with unreleased material made its appearance around 2000, this official anthology is preferable for its better sound quality and thorough liner notes. Tomorrow Never Knows -- The Pop Sike World of the Mirage: Singles & Lost Sessions is still not a complete document of the group, featuring just six of the tracks that appeared on their eight singles (some of which were issued under different names than the Mirage), though it does offer a whopping 17 unreleased cuts, some of which didn't show up on You Can't Be Serious. 

As a band obviously inspired by the Beatles, the Hollies, and to a lesser degree by the Who and the Kinks, the Mirage were more convincing emulators than most, though they still weren't as original or as inspiring as their role models. The best comparison might be to the Hollies as they were moving from British Invasion pop to psychedelia-influenced pop -- there's more ambition at work here than the average British Invasion group, but it's not nearly as far out or cutting edge as the Beatles and the Who were by the late '60s. If you're looking for comparisons, some of them are in-your-face; "You Can't Be Serious" can't fail to bring to mind "Nowhere Man"-era Beatles with a dash of the Hollies. 

Meanwhile, the demo of "Lazy Man" is a rip-off of "Rain"; although it was rearranged so that the similarity was far more subtle by the time it had been re-recorded for a 1967 single, the rearrangement in turn borrowed heavily from the Who circa "Happy Jack." There's also their brave interpretation of "Tomorrow Never Knows" for a 1966 single, and while that track has its novelty value as a cover of a Lennon-McCartney tune rarely done by other artists, its far more basic rock arrangement can in no way stand up to the brilliant psychedelic original. 

The Mirage's strongest suit was probably their slightly spooky, almost churchy story-songs, like "The Wedding of Ramona Blair" (the most famous of their official 45s among '60s collectors) and "Mrs. Buzby." These are strong enough to make this release of some interest to those who treasure that time when British Invasion pop/rock, mod, and psychedelia crossed to some extent, though the Mirage were more competent executors of those trends than innovators.
by Richie Unterberger
1. Tomorrow Never Knows (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:37
2. You Can't Be Serious - 2:00
3. Gone To Your Head - 2:05
4. I Want Love (David Hynes, Ray Glynn) - 2:24
5. Hold On - 2:22
6. Can You Hear Me (Dee Murray) - 2:58
7. One More Time - 1:59
8. That I Know - 2:19
9. The Wedding Of Ramona Blair - 2:14
10.Lazy Man - 2:23
11.Ebaneezer Beaver - 2:22
12.Mrs Busby - 2:33
13.I See The Rain - 2:07
14.Lonely Highway (Ray Glynn) - 2:45
15.Hello Enid - 2:12
16.Is Anybody Home - 2:44
17.What Do I Care - 2:11
18.How's Your Pa (Alan Longstaff, Kirk Duncan) - 2:59
19.Lazy Man - 3:02
20.See My World - 2:53
21.Katherine - 2:07
22.Ebaneezer Beaver - 2:03
23.Go Away (Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Tony Hicks) - 1:52
All songs by David Hynes except where indicated
Track 23 featuring Graham Nash

The Mirage
*Dee Murray Oates - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Hynes - Lead Vocals
*Ray Glynn - Guitar, Vocals
*Pat Hynes - Bass
*David "Dave" Hynes - Drums, Vocals
*Kirk Duncan - Keyboards
*Jeff Peters - Bass

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Friday, January 28, 2022

Morning Glory - Two Suns Worth (1968 us, fine paisley folk psych, 2007 edition)

A seemingly endless tidal wave of groups swept along the Californian coast in the wake of Jefferson Airplane in the late ’60s and Morning Glory is one of the more noteworthy bands who lived in the shadow of the great “White Rabbit”. The band cut their one and only record in May 1968. Produced by Abe “Voco” Kesh (best known for his work with Bay Area psychedelic rockers Blue Cheer) and engineered by John Cale.

The album is a solid, tightly arranged set of lysergic love which puts the stereo effect to head-swimming use while combining barrelhouse psych-organ, upfront drum fills and female-male harmonies, to ensure that trippy vibe keeps you guessing. And numbers as good as the haunting, Eastern-influenced psych-folk melancholia of “Jelly Gas Flame” and the dreamy pop of the harpsichord-led “I See a Light” ensure that this is one obscure vinyl artifact which is actually worth digging up.
by Alan Brown, 8 January 2008 
1. Need Someone - 4:28
2. I Cry - 2:34
3. Hey Little Girl - 2:22
4. Stone Good Day - 4:00
5. Even When I'm Up I'm Down (Danny NuDelman) - 5:20
6. Jelly Gas Flame (Danny NuDelman) - 4:38
7. I See A Light (Danny NuDelman, Gini Graybeal) - 3:12
8. Live For Today - 3:12
9. Point Of No Return (Larry Gerughty) - 5:02
10.So Glad Being Here - 3:37
All compositions by Bob Bohanna except where stated
Morning Glory
*Danny NuDelman - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals  
*Gini Graybeal - Lead Vocals, Cymbal, Tambourine
*Larry Gerughty - Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Vocals 
*Bob Bohanna - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals 
*Allen Wehr - Drums 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Matthew Fisher - Matthew Fisher / Strange Days (1979/81 uk, splendid silky rock vibes)

The self-titled album from 1979 is a superb album, full of heartfelt ballads. 'Anna', for example, combines the slightly folksy singer-songwriter image with big, bold, and slightly epic arrangements that give you the 'small man on a big stage' feel that would, for example, be so successful for the likes of Andrew Gold. In fact, you could draw comparisons between the two here.

Strange Days (1981) offers more power pop sensibilities with a lush production - and lots of double tracked vocals combined with the more new wave music fashion of the period. A higher energy suite of songs, in fact. This album doesn't quite have the dramatic focus of the earlier album but there is still much to like here with a suite of light and airy songs presented with lots of energy. In mastering terms, there is a touch of compression residing within the mids but the effect is quite subtle so that the effect is used more to emphasise detail than to intrude upon the whole soundstage.
Hi-Fi World, April 2018
1. Can't You Feel My Love - 4:19
2. Give It A Try - 3:34
3. Back In Your Arms Again - 3:31
4. Only A Game - 4:13
5. Why'd I Have To Fall In Love With You - 4:14
6. Looking For Shelter (Linda Fisher, Matthew Fisher) - 3:50
7. Anna - 4:40
8. Miss Suzie - 2:59
9. Just How Blind - 4:17
10.Running From Your Love - 4:21
11.Something I Should Have Known (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 4:17
12.Without You (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 4:29
13.Living In A Dream (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 3:34
14.Why Can't You Lie To Me (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 3:40
15.Only Yourself To Blame (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 3:27
16.Desperate Measures - 3:16
17.Can't Stop Loving You Now - 4:09
18.She Makes Me Feel (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 3:55
19.Take Me For A Ride (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 3:36
20.Strange Days (Chris White, Matthew Fisher) - 4:35
All compositions by Matthew Fisher except where indicated
Tracks 1-10 from 1979 LP "Matthew Fisher"
Tracks 11-20 from 1981 LP "Strange Days"

*Matthew Fisher - Multi Instruments, Orchestral Arrangements
*Rod Argent - Vocal Harmony
*Ron Asprey - Alto Sax 
*Steve Bingham - Bass
*Barry DeSouza - Drums
*James Dewar - Vocal Harmony
*Mo Foster - Bass
*Mick Grabham - Electric Rhythm Guitar
*Alan Jones - Bass
*Dill Katz - Bass
*Dave Mattacks - Drums
*Paul Westwood - Bass
*Peter Van Hooke - Drums
*Terry Popple - Drums
*Graham Preskett - Arranger, Orchestral Arrangements
*Tim Renwick - Guitar
*Henry Spinetti - Drums
*Dave Nevin - Vocal Harmony
*Val Stokes - Vocal Harmony
*Steve Stroud - Vocal Harmony
*Stephanie de Sykes - Vocal Harmony
*Clare Torry - Vocal Harmony
*John Verity - Vocal Harmony
*Pete Zorn - Vocal Harmony

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Badfinger - Wish You Were Here (1974 uk, glistening powerful rock, 2014 japan SHM and 2018 remaster and expanded)

Wish You Were Here was Badfinger’s second and last album for Warner Brothers, and as with their album, Badfinger, was originally released in 1974. This was to have been their breakthrough album. The reviews were great, and it had entered the charts with a bullet but  then it was pulled due to contract disputes with Warner Brothers, mismanagement of money by their manager, and other legal issues. The album disappeared off the shelves, their tour was cancelled, and an album that was to have been a classic was somewhat forgotten.

Chris Thomas was once again at the producers helm (as he was with their two previous albums Badfinger and Ass), and with this album he produced a rock masterpiece. It is interesting that in two short years he would be producing The Sex Pistols.

For this rerelease, Real Gone Music have added a previously unreleased song (“Queen Of Darkness”) and a number of outtakes and works in progress. But it is the original album that still holds up and is the main reason to purchase this new version of the album. Here Badfinger were firing on all cylinders. At this time, Badfinger were Mike Gibbins (drums), Joey Molland (guitar), Tom Evans (bass), and Pete Ham (lead guitar).

There is not a weak song on the album, and it features two incredible medleys: “Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke” and the brilliant “In The Meantime/Some Other Time”. These are cornerstones of this classic album. But really, all the songs are melodic, well produced, and show their excellent musicianship. The album is a rock album in the classic sense of the word, and is instantly accessible.

Wish You Were Here was the last album featuring the four members. 
by Aaron Badgley
1. Just A Chance (Pete Ham) - 2:57
2. You're So Fine (Mike Gibbins) - 3:03
3. Got To Get Out Of Here (Joey Molland) - 3:30
4. Know One Knows (Pete Ham) - 3:16
5. Dennis (Pete Ham) - 5:15
6. In The Meantime/Some Other Time (Mike Gibbins, Joey Molland) - 6:46
7. Love Time (Joey Molland) - 2:18
8. King Of The Load (Tom Evans) - 3:30
9. Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke (Pete Ham, Joey Molland) - 5:18
10.Queen Of Darkness (Tom Evans) - 2:38
11.Just A Chance (Pete Ham) - 3:18
12.You're So Fine (Mike Gibbins) - 3:04
13.Got To Get Out Of Here (Joey Molland) - 3:28
14.Know One Knows (Pete Ham) - 3:20
15.Dennis (Pete Ham) - 6:04
16.In The Meantime/Some Other Time (Mike Gibbins, Joey Molland) - 6:57
17.Love Time (Joey Molland) - 2:36
18.Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke (Pete Ham, Joey Molland) - 5:29
Bonus tracks 10-18 only on 2018 Real Gone version
*Pete Ham - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Joey Molland - Vocals, Guitar
*Mike Gibbins - Drums, Keyboards, Vocals On 
*Tom Evans - Vocals, Bass
*Average White Horns - Horns On "Just A Chance" And "Should I Smoke"
*Mika Kato - Japanese Spoken Words On "Know One Knows" 

1969  Iveys - Maybe Tomorrow
1970  Badfinger - Magic Christian Music (2010 remaster and expanded)
1970  Badfinger - No Dice (2010 remaster and expanded)
1971  Badfinger - Straight Up (2010 remaster and expanded)

Monday, January 24, 2022

Sleepy John - Sleepy John (1970 us, rough psych jam rock with heavy swirling organ coupled with fuzzed out guitars, 2004 release)

Hard-driving Lewiston, ID, rock quartet Sleepy John came together at the tail end of 1969, formed by David Lee (keyboards, vocals), Tom Williams (drums), Jim Bartlett (bass, vocals), and Frank Trowbridge (guitar, vocals). Lee and Williams had begun playing together all the way back in 1963 in the Lounj Men, a first band for both teenagers. Like a majority of the garage combos that popped up in that year, the appearance of the Beatles on the American scene was their stimulus and model, though they mostly played instrumental rock & roll on the order of the Ventures. When Lee's family moved to Boise in 1965, he met Trowbridge and, over the subsequent few years, the two formed a pair of beat outfits, the Wondering Kind and Destiny, until the threat of the military draft convinced the friends to relocate to Seattle.

Coincidentally, that very same month Williams, Jim Bartlett, and guitarist Clark Osterson had decided to move their band, Free, from Valhalla, ID, to Seattle as well. In a fortuitous bit of synchronicity, they found themselves bunking in the same boarding house as Trowbridge and Lee. Free found limited success in the summer of 1969 playing the regional open-air festivals, while Lee's new outfit, Silver Bike, worked the local club circuit. When Osterson decided to leave Free, Williams and Bartlett persuaded Trowbridge to return to Lewiston and start a new band. Silver Bike broke up at about the same time, and with Lee also joining the fold, the newly christened Sleepy John -- named after Tennessee "crying" bluesman Sleepy John Estes -- became a four-piece.

Having formed out of the ashes of several working bands, Sleepy John immediately drew from wellspring of developed original material, much of it in a straightforward hard rock vein, though with interesting strains of prog rock and country music, and some subtle satirical inclinations. Improvisation was the quartet's forte, and its communal Sleepy John House was a hot spot for area musicians who wanted to jam. This helped the group, by early 1970, to develop a distinctive sound and, using connections made during the members' previous stay in Washington, to earn key gigs in neighboring Spokane (to where they would eventually relocate), after which they landed steady work throughout the Northwest and Canada, opening for and sharing stages with Badfinger, the Zombies, Moby Grape, and the Mothers of Invention, among others. Frank Zappa was so impressed with their music that he requested Sleepy John to play several dates with his recent discovery, Wild Man Fischer. That spring and summer, the band also completed two separate recording sessions, laying down enough material for an LP's worth of their original songs, all engineered by their friend Paul Speer of fellow Idaho band Stone Garden. Those recordings went unreleased at the time but would eventually form the basis for the 2004 Gear Fab retrospective CD Sleepy John.

After a spiritual awakening and prior to the second recording session, Bartlett left Sleepy John to join the popular Christian band Wilson McKinley, a leader in the early-'70s Jesus rock movement. L.A. transplant John "Bosco" Jackson, who had gone to high school with the Turtles' Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman and played in a pre-Steppenwolf combo with John Kay, took over bass duties, and the band continued to sustain its regional popularity. It would last more or less into 1972, when the quartet slowly and quietly dissolved. Lee moved to Seattle and joined Stone Garden. Trowbridge formed Blind Willie with another bunch of expat southern Idahoans and had success on the Northwest rock circuit. Lee and Williams also hooked up again in the successful retro '50s revue, Louie & the Rockets, which eventually became the Unholy Rollers and then just the Rollers. With a revolving door membership -- including stints by Paul Speer and Trowbridge -- and pronounced comedic elements, the Rollers had a successful eight-year run throughout the United States and Canada before the onset of disco stalled its momentum.
by Stanton Swihart

Sleepy John interview by Klemen Breznikar
1. River - 5:34
2. Al Capa Strong - 4:59
3. Nothing - 5:00
4. Dragons - 4:17
5. Prelude To A Dream - 3:50
6. Seasons - 9:27
7. Losing My Plow - 2:13
8. Hard Workin' Woman - 2:54
9. I Just Happen To Be (In Love With You) - 3:40
10.Monday Blues - 5:36
11.You Say - 6:18
12.Trying To Fly - 3:26
13.Blue Sky - 3:43
14.Cowboy - 2:18
15.Searching For The World - 8:18
All songs by Jim Bartlett, David Lee, Frank Trowbridge, Tom Williams

Sleepy John
*Tom Williams - Drums 
*David Lee - Keyboards, Vocals 
*Frank Trowbridge - Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Bartlett - Bass, Vocals 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Darius - Darius II (1967-71 us, beautiful bluesy psych acid folk, 2002 release)

Second unreleased Darius album - it continues the story of the famous Chartmaker record. On the electric tunes Darius is again backed by the legendary “Goldenrod“ guys, and several other interesting LA guest musicians! This album includes Darius´ only 45 rpm (Hello Stranger/ I Don´t Mind) and cuts from acetates to become a 15 track collection of sunny psychedelic Westcoast emotions – ranging from beautiful folk over to 2 min. fuzz Rock´n´Roll tunes, psychedelic jams and perfectly arranged orchestrated stuff.
1. Don't You Get The Feeling Pt. 1 - 3:07
2. New Start - 2:56
3. I Don't Mind - 2:13
4. Summer Is Over - 2:43
5. Soul Proud - 2:45
6. 44th Floor (Bobby Jameson) - 3:15
7. Beauty - 7:08
8. I Just Don't Understand - 3:41
9. No One Like You - 2:39
10.Hello Stranger (Barbara Lewis) - 2:07
11.Best Girl - 2:39
12.For Now I Love You - 3:03
13.Warm - 2:35
14.Quiet Morning - 2:55
15.Don't You Get The Feeling Pt. 2 - 3:14 
All songs written by Robert Joseph Ott "Darius" except where stated

*Robert Joseph Ott "Darius" - Vocals, Guitar
*Jerry Scheff - Bass 
*Joe Osbourne - Bass
*Ed Green - Drums 
*Toxey French - Drums 
*Ben Benay - Guitar
*John Rhys - Guitar 
*Mike Deasy - Guitar
*Michael Henderson - Horn 
*Roy Catron - Horn 
*Ollie Mitchell - Horn  
*Larry Knectel - Horn 
*Armand Kaproff - Strings 
*Bill Krudsch - Strings 
*Bobby Bruce - Strings 
*Harold Dickrow - Strings 
*Israel Baker - Strings 
*Jesse Ehrlich - Strings 
*Leonard Malarsky - Strings 
*Nathan Gershman - Strings 
*Ray Kelley - Strings 
*Sid Sharp - Strings 
*Tibor Zelig - Strings

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Michael Angelo - Michael Angelo (1976-77 us, wondrous laidback folk psych, 2009 korean bonus tracks reissue)

A brilliant American musician Michael Angelo's self titled debut album has been acclaimed as a masterpiece of soft rock & psychedelic rock. Originally released on Guinn label in 1977, it is an exquisite panorama of folk, soft rock blended with psychedelic sounds. Michael Angelo also has a really nice voice and an impressive scope of musicianship, playing all of the instruments except drums all by himself with some real chops as a pianist and lead guitarist. His Gothic, minor key, nine-eight ballad 'Field of Lonely Eyes' suggests a scope of psychedelic songwriting of The Music Machine. The CD comes out with 7 bonus tracks. Should appeal to fans of The Shoes and similar melodic mid 70s poppy sound as well. 
1. Flight Of Pegasus - 4:00
2. Oceans Of Fantasy - 2:50
3. The World To Be - 2:29
4. Lost In The Pain - 2:59
5. Checkout - 2:47
6. Bon Jour Mr. VIP - 2:38
7. Journey (To Find Who We Are) - 2:33
8. Inner Reflections - 3:11
9. Field Of Lonely Eyes - 2:07
10.Future - 5:02
11.Sorcerer's Delight - 2:49
12.Nubian Queen - 3:05
13.January Came Too Soon - 2:33
14.Time Warp - 2:53
15.The Very First Time - 3:20
16.This Is The Night - 3:01
17.Love Is Too High - 2:39
18.Spirits Of Mercury - 3:10
19.S.O.S. Titanic - 3:47
Words and Music by Michael Angelo

*Michael Angelo - Vocals, All Instruments (except Drums)
*Frank Gautieri - Drums (Tracks 11-19)
*Eddie Branigan (Track 19)

Friday, January 21, 2022

Darius - Darius (1969 us, imaginatively arranged and produced psych folk, with flourishes of flamenco guitar, odd echo-tinkles, and some dynamic organ and bass hooks, 2001 release)

The legendary Darius album, originally released on Chartmaker Records in 1969; those original albums sell nowadays for at least 500$. Darius, the psychedelic "King", is an extraordinary songwriter, poet and singer with a remarkably sensitive voice. His identity was a secret for over 30 years, the detailed booklet-bio tells his story. His backing band are the fantastic musicians of Goldenrod, Jerry Scheff, Ben Benay and Toxey French, well known in the LA studio-scene (Doors, Elvis...). The ten original cuts catch the spirit of mystic-loner folk music and distorted garage-psych rock'n'roll on Sunset Strip Hollywood by the late '60s.
1. Shades Οf Blue - 2:16
2. Dawn - 2:23
3. Mist-Veiled Garden - 3:06
4. I'm The Man - 2:40
5. I Feel The Need Τo Carry On - 2:43
6. Dirty Funky Situation - 3:04
7. Blow my Mind - 2:36
8. Sweet Mama - 2:36
9. Ancient Paths - 2:31
10.Hear What i Say - 3:19
11.Don't You Get The Feelin' - 2:35
12.A Woman Like You - 2:29
13.Peace And Love - 4:44
All songs written by Robert Joseph Ott "Darius"
Bonus Tracks 11-13

*Darius (Robert Joseph Ott) - Vocals, Guitar
*Ben Benay - Lead Guitar, Arranger
*Mike Deasy - Guitar
*Jerry Scheff - Bass
*Toxey French - Drums

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Buckwheat - Pure Buckwheat Honey (1969 us, nice melodic soft psych, 2021 korean remaster)

California-based outfit that came along a couple of years after this band. Singer/guitarist/keyboardist Timothy Harrison Dulaine had spent time in New York City as a member of the band Clouds and working as a solo act.  He'd also attracted a friend/mentor in the form of A&R man/producer Robert Margouleff.  In 1968 he decided to form a band, bassist Charlie Bell, drummer Danny Casey, and lead guitarist John Govro.  Dulaine had played with Casey in Clouds, and he'd worked with bassist Bell in The Raggamuffins.  As Buckwheat the band's first big break came when they were hired as the house band at New York's famed Cafe Wha.  The resulting publicity attracted the attention of  Jeffrey Katz and Jerry Kasenetz's Buddah Records-affiliated Super K label which quickly signed them to a recording deal.  

Recorded at New York's Broadway Recording Studios with Margouleff producing, this really fantastic record from this completely obscure group – one of those lost treasures that slipped through the cracks of record company mishandling, but which really deserves to be discovered after all these many years! Buckwheat are an American group, but clearly draw some inspiration from the phrasing of British groups, and maybe a dash of Sgt Pepper music hall mixed with more psychedelic instrumentation – all handled here by the arrangements of John Corigliano, who you may well know from later fame in more serious music! Here, though, Corigliano does a great job of opening up the whimsy of the group's tunes, and coloring in the lyrics with this really wonderfully wide array of instrumentation, at a level that's way more than you might expect for a lost record like this. Titles include "Goodbye Mr Applegate", "Mr Simms Collector Man", "Yes", "Radio", "The Albert Hotel", "The Poor Widow & Her Gypsy Band", and "Wonderful Day".
for more information and details here: Tim Dulaine
1. Yes - 2:34
2. Radio - 3:05
3. Mr. Simms Collector Man (Charles Bell) - 2:50
4. The Albert Hotel - 2:43
5. Sunshine Holiday (John Govro) - 3:20
6. Goodbye Mr. Applegate - 2:42
7. The Poor Widow And Her Gypsy Band 3:06
8. Don't You Think It Would Be Better (John Govro) - 1:44
9. Purple Ribbons - 2:52
10.Wonderful Day (Charles Bell) - 2:58
11.Howlin' At The Moon - 2:29
12.Pure Buckwheat Honey - 4:24 
All compositions by Timmy Harrison except where stated

*Tim Harrison "Tim Dulaine" - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards 
*Danny Casey - Drums 
*Charlie Bell - Bass 
*John Govro - Guitar

Monday, January 17, 2022

New Heavenly Blue - Educated Homegrown (1970 us, fantastic melt of jazz blues baroque folk rock)

Back in 1963, when Peter Madcat Ruth was a freshman in high school, he began taking guitar lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. In 1964, his interest in guitar led him to an album by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Sonny Terry's harmonica playing inspired Madcat to pick up a harmonica and play along. He's been playing harmonica ever since.

In his early years of harmonica playing, Madcat practiced along with whatever blues albums he could buy or borrow. He also listened to the blues live whenever he could at places like the University of Chicago, and Chicago's Regal Theater. Too young to listen to the blues in bars, Madcat was a devotee of the Pervis Spann radio program on WVON, and the Big Bill Hill radio program on WOPA, which featured occasional live broadcasts of blues performances from bars on Chicago's South Side.

In 1966, Madcat met the legendary Chicago blues harmonica player, Big Walter Horton. Madcat was able to arrange to take harmonica lessons from him periodically over the next few years. As Madcat put it, "He's the man who opened my ears and mind to the amazing potential of the harmonica."

During high school, Madcat played harmonica with several local folk groups, and later with several blues bands. In 1968 he met bass player and trombonist Chris Brubeck, son of the late jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. The two met at a jam session and an instant mutual respect sprang up between them. Madcat told Chris to let him know if he ever needed a harmonica player. Shortly after this meeting, a surge of wanderlust sent Madcat on a two-year hitchhiking stint. He studied Spanish in Mexico, played in a jug band in Albuquerque, and worked in a day care center for the children of migrant farm workers in central California. He also spent a lot of time by the side of the road playing harmonica. In the spring of 1969, Chris Brubeck tracked Madcat down in New Mexico and invited him to join his rock band, New Heavenly Blue, in Michigan. For the next two years, Madcat played with the band summers and weekends while attending Lake Forest College in Illinois. In 1971, he left college and moved to Ann Arbor to work with the band full time.

Playing with New Heavenly Blue enlarged Madcat's musical experience. Many of the tunes the group performed were in unusual time signatures such as 5/4 and 9/4. The group recorded two LPs: EDUCATED HOMEGROWN on RCA Records and NEW HEAVENLY BLUE on Atlantic Records.

In 1971, Dave Brubeck wrote the cantata TRUTH IS FALLEN which featured New Heavenly Blue. TRUTH IS FALLEN was performed with various orchestras, among them the Rochester Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. New Heavenly Blue also played the music for a touring company performing Jesus Christ Superstar; Madcat played all of the saxophone parts on the harmonica.

When New Heavenly Blue disbanded in 1973, Madcat joined the Darius Brubeck Ensemble, a progressive jazz group led by Chris's older brother, Darius. This was a tremendous education for Madcat, who found himself playing harmonica with a horn section composed of clarinet, trombone, saxophone and harmonica. The Ensemble was often billed as opening act for the Dave Brubeck Quartet. At these concerts the performers from both groups would usually jam together on stage to close the show. Now Madcat was performing with such jazz greats as Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, as well as Dave Brubeck. In 1974 when the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, Dave invited Madcat to join the his new group: Two Generations of Brubeck which featured Dave, and his sons Darius, Chris, and Daniel. At the same time Madcat joined Chris Brubeck's new rock group, Sky King. In 1975, Sky King released the album SECRET SAUCE, on Columbia Records, and made an extensive U.S. tour.

And so for a few years Madcat spent almost all of his time on the road playing jazz and fusion rock with the various members of the Brubeck family. One night, Madcat played at New York City's Bottom Line Cafe with Sky King early in the evening, dashed uptown in a taxi with Chris between sets to play with Dave Brubeck at the Newport Jazz Festival (held that year at Carnegie Hall), and made it back downtown in time to do Sky King's second set at the Bottom Line.

With Two Generations of Brubeck, Madcat performed in concert halls and at music festivals in the U.S. and in Mexico, Canada, Germany, Austria, Holland, Australia, and New Zealand. Mexico was delighted with "El Gato Loco," and Germany hailed "die Verruckte Katze." Madcat recorded on three Dave Brubeck albums: TRUTH IS FALLEN, TWO GENERATIONS OF BRUBECK, and BROTHER THE GREAT SPIRIT MADE US ALL, all on Atlantic Records. He also appeared with the group on the Mike Douglas Television Show on CBS, and on a National Educational Television Special filmed at Dave Brubeck's home in Connecticut.

In 1977, after ten years in other people's bands, Madcat realized that the time had come for him to do his own music, on his own terms. For the next few years he returned to his folk music and blues roots, playing his music at colleges and coffeehouses throughout the Midwest. Often he performed as a soloist and on other occasions he would be joined with various back-up musicians, including drummer Danny Brubeck, and the amazing electric bassist Jason Boekeloo. In addition to performing his own music, Madcat accompanied many other musicians and played in an impressive variety of musical styles.

In 1984, Madcat released his first solo record called MADCAT GONE SOLO, and for the next few years continued to pursue a solo career, performing at night clubs, civic auditoriums, college campuses, and music festivals throughout the United States. It was also during this time that Madcat started performing children's concerts and school assembly programs.

In 1987, Madcat was an invited guest performer at the First World Harmonica Festival, held in England. Other guest performers included Larry Adler, Cham-Ber Huang, and Jerry Murad of the original Harmonicats. Two years later he was an invited guest performer at the Second World Harmonica Festival held in Trossingen, Germany. During the past thirty years, Madcat has led dozens of harmonica workshops for music schools, blues societies, and harmonica festivals in the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. These include "Blues Week" and the "Advanced Harmonica Class" at the Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops in Elkins, West Virginia, The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan, The Dixie Harmonica Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, the Detroit Country and Classic Blues Society, The Memphis Harmonica Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Bristol Harmonica Festival in England, the National Conventions of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, the First and Second World Harmonica Festivals, and the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival.

In 1990, Madcat teamed up with blues guitarist, Shari Kane, to form the duo, Madcat & Kane. In 1992, Madcat & Kane was voted one of six finalists in the Long Beach Blues Festival National Talent Search Contest. Their CD, MADCAT & KANE - KEY TO THE HIGHWAY, was released on the Schoolkids' Records label in December of 1993. In 1994 and again in 1995, Madcat & Kane was featured on the National Public Radio program, BluesStage, which was broadcast on over two hundred radio stations nation-wide. The second Madcat & Kane CD, UP AGAINST THE WALL, was released in 1999, and LIVE AT THE CREOLE GALLERY was released in 2009. Madcat & Kane toured extensively throughout the United States. They also performed in Canada, Spain, Brazil, Poland, and the Cayman Islands.

On August 23, 1997, Peter Madcat Ruth was named Harmonica Player of the Year by The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH). The award was presented to Madcat at the 1997 SPAH Harmonica Convention held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Romulus, Michigan. SPAH is an international, all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of harmonica music, and advancing the appreciation of this very versatile musical instrument. SPAH currently maintains a membership of over 3000 harmonica players from all over the world.

In 1998, Madcat again joined forces with his old buddy, Chris Brubeck. Along with guitarist Joel Brown, they formed the trio: Chris Brubeck's Triple Play. Triple Play has performed in concert all over the USA, and has performed with several symphony orchestras. In the year 2000, Triple Play released their first CD: TRIPLE PLAY, LIVE which was recorded live at Skidmore College. Their second CD: WATCHING THE WORLD was released in 2003. TRIPLE PLAY LIVE AT THE ARTHUR ZANKEL MUSIC CENTER was released in 2011, and TRIPLE PLAY WITH THE SINGAPORE CHINESE ORCHESTRA (recorded in Singapore) was released in 2014.

Also in 1998, Madcat hooked up with the Big Joe Manfra Blues Band of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That first tour was a great success, and between 1999 and 2014, Madcat returned to Brazil to tour with the band twelve more times. In 2006 the CD, MADCAT LIVE IN RIO, was released on the Brazilian Bluestime Records label. Also during this time, Madcat appeared on the Jô Soares Television Program (the Brazilian equivalent to the Tonight Show) three times.

From 2012 until 2020 Madcat fronted The Madcat Midnight Blues Journey.  This band featured Drew Howard on guitar and lap steel guitar, Mark Schrock bass, and Michael Shimmin on drums.  Our, recording, MMBJ@SOTE, was released in 2014.

Madcat's solo recordings include: MADCAT'S HARMONICOLOGY (1994), MADCAT'S HARMONICA & UKULELE PROJECT (2006), MORE REAL FOLK BLUES (2008).

In 2006, Madcat won a Grammy Award for being a featured soloist on William Bolcom's CD, SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE.

Madcat has also released two instructional DVDs distributed by Homespun Tapes: ANYONE CAN PLAY HARMONICA and THE INS AND OUTS OF RHYTHM HARMONICA.

In the year 2021, Madcat started playing music with The C.A.R.Ma. Quartet.  He also plays solo concerts, and as a guest artist with numerous other groups.
by Peter "Madcat" Ruth
1. Put Your Hand In The Hand (Gene MacLellan) - 2:50
2. Are You Blind? (Christopher Brown) - 3:05
3. Bright Day (Chritopher Brubeck, Stephen Dudash) - 3:44
4. For God Sakes, Elizabeth (Chritopher Brubeck, Montgomery, Darius Brubeck) - 3:49
5. The Coming Of The Rhino (Chritopher Brubeck, Montgomery, Darius Brubeck) - 7:05
6. Madcat's Shuffle (Peter McCord Ruth) - 0:32
7. Madcat's Shuffle (Peter McCord Ruth) - 0:25
8. Peace Compromise (Christopher Brown) - 2:54
9. Silver Eyes (Chritopher Brubeck, Stephen Dudash) - 2:20
10.Medley: My Heart's At The Cleaners/The Real McCoy (Gates, McCoy) - 1:31
11.Hymn (Christopher Brown) - 2:28
12.New Heavenly Blue (Chritopher Brubeck) - 9:25
13.Madcat's Shuffle (Peter McCord Ruth) - 0:40

The New Heavenly Blue
*Chritopher William "Zoltan" (Excalibur) Brubeck - Keyboards, Trombone, Guitar, Vocals 
*David R. "Mumbles" Mason - Lead Guitar, Viola, Acoustic guitar, Banjo, Vocals 
*Peter "Roscoe" White (Brutus) Bonistool - Drums, Percussion
*Stephen Ralph "Hotdog" (Chunky) Dudash - Violin, Guitar, Vocals
*Peter McCord "Madcat" (Mr Natural) Ruth - Harmonica, Ille, Spoons, Guitar, Mandolin
*Christopher Craig "C.C." (Mr. Paul Universe) Brown - Electric Bass, Double Bass, Piano, Guitar
*John Linenau - Trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Abstract Truth - Silver Trees / Totum (1970-71 south africa, impressive fusion of blues, folk, jazz, psychedelic and Eastern music, 2005 and 2009 bonus tracks remasters)

Abstract Truth - Silver Trees It’s difficult to imagine a more unlikely place for a fertile “head music” scene to emerge than South Africa in the late 60s. With racism and nationalism conjuring a cloud over social and artistic expression in a land isolated from the main stream of Western culture and commerce, it must have seemed that precious stones and metal were all the expedient West wanted from them. But natural forces respect none of these constraints, and the Summer of Love was a force of nature, a vibration that shook the world, with few places untouched by its promise of a passageway through the cosmic eye — Love, Peace and Understanding a possibility if you made the jump. A fertile sub-culture in South Africa did make the jump, creating a unique body of recorded psychedelia and progressive rock. But unlike that other Great Southern Land, Australia, not much escaped to the rest of the world. Unsupported at home, and unable to export their thing, the South Africa head bands generally winked briefly into existence, released what they could, and were gone. Almost.

Abstract Truth, September 1969 Totum provides a fair snapshot of the AT sound at this point in their evolution. One imagines a group of long-haired freaks jamming around a campfire on a beach near Durban; flute, acoustic guitar, tabla, sitar and sax riding a smoky, stoned jazzy groove through idiosyncratic reworkings of jazz, folk and blues standards by the likes of Donovan, Dylan, Gershwin, Mingus and Allison. The only band composition is the room-spinning, oddball freak-out “Total Totum/Acid Raga”, which isn't at all limited by only marginally competent sitar playing.

After many line-up shuffles, and the departure of Pavid to devote his energies to Third Eye full-time, Johannesburger Peter Measroch came in on keyboards and flute, and George Wolfhaardt left a Hendrixish trio in Cape Town to sign up to AT on bass, flute and drums (is three flute players in a band a record?). This is still 1970, but into the studio they go to record the classic Silver Trees (1970, SA EMI). Wishing to become more marketable and accessible perhaps, a full band sound is employed in the service of a suite of original compositions. Head concerns drive the opening track “Pollution”, which puts jazzy time signatures and flute up front, connecting the track to “Totum” somewhat, though it’s a tighter and more complex entity, transitioning to an African jive rhythm before the track closes out. George Wolfhaardt’s compositional skills are put to use on the following two tracks “All the Same” and “Original Man”, the latter being particularly cool, mining a vein of early Canterbury soft fusion-psych; another case in which the flotilla of flute action comes in handy. (“Original Man” is one of two tracks here that appear on the LPP compilation, the other being “Moving Away”) The title track is a hair-raising blend of gyrating bells, flutes, saxophones and zoned-out vocals forming a structured introduction to a free rock centre of the highest order. 

In classic improvised jazz fashion the introductory patterns return for a structurally perfect coda. The track shades early Caravan and Soft Machine, and that takes some doing. “In a Space” is a laudable attempt at replacing some of the dream-like jazz instrumental covers of their early work with an original equivalent. The sax and guitar solo-trading here is worth the price of admission alone, had it not been already paid by the title track. Just because they can, for the next track AT switch to astral folk for the gorgeous “Moving Away”, which has some nice neo-medieval harpsichord and a sax solo that blows through like a tropical breeze. What is intriguing with tracks like “Moving Away” is the unique way instruments from different traditions are arranged into a seamless psychedelic flow. “Two”, “Blue Wednesday Speaks” and “It's Alright With Me” all shuffle the kaleidoscope of genres, running strata of music together with both opalescent complexity and pellucid clarity of purpose. 
by Tony Dale
1. Pollution (Ken E Henson) - 3:12
2. All The Same (George Wolfaardt) - 3:12
3. Original Man (George Wolfaardt) - 3:33
4. Silver Trees (Mike Dickman, Peter Measroch) - 8:20
5. In A Space (Ken E Henson, Sean Bergin) - 3:35
6. Moving Away (Peter Measroch) - 2:57
7. Two (Ken E Henson) - 2:40
8. Blue Wednesday Speaks (Peter Measroch) - 3:56
9. It's Alright With Me (George Wolfaardt) - 3:10
10.Coming Home (Ben Tucker) - 6:33
11.Oxford Town (Bob Dylan) - 4:09
12.Fat Angel / Work Song (Donovan Leitch, Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown Jr.) - 10:02
13.Summertime (Du Bose Heyward, George Gershwin) - 5:15
14.Scarborough Fair (Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon) - 3:43
15.Parchman Farm / Moaning (Charles Mingus, Mose Allison) - 2:58
16.Total Totum (Acid Raga) (Ken E Henson, Sean Bergin, Robbie Pavid, Brian Gibson) - 5:15
Tracks 1-9 from "Silver Trees" LP 1970
Tracks 10-16 from "Totum" LP 1971
Totum 1971 (Shadoks 2009)
1. Jersey Thursday (Donovan Leitch) - 3:47
2. Coming Home (Ben Tucker) - 6:32
3. Oxford Town (Bob Dylan) - 4:09
4. Fat Angel / Work Song (Donovan Leitch, Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown Jr.) - 10:16
5. Summertime (Du Bose Heyward, George Gershwin) - 5:40
6. Scarborough Fair (Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon) - 3:44
7. Parchman Farm / Moaning (Charles Mingus, Mose Allison) - 2:57
8. Ain't Necessarily So / Take Five (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Paul Desmond) - 10:02
9. Total Totum (Acid Raga) (Ken E Henson, Sean Bergin, Robbie Pavid, Brian Gibson) - 5:10

The Abstract Truth
*Ken E Henson - Guitar, Vocals
*Sean Bergin - Flute, Saxophone
*Peter Measroch - Piano, Organ, Flute, Harpsichord, Vocals (Silver Trees)
*George Wolfaardt - Bass, Flute, Drums, Vocals (Silver Trees)
*Robbie Pavid - Percussion (Totum)
*Brian Gibson - Bass, Vocals (Totum)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The McCoys - Infinite McCoys / Human Ball (1968-69 us, spectacular psych brass blues rock, 2008 double disc remaster)

Formed in Union City, Indiana in 1962, this group was initially comprised of guitarist Rick Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums and bass player Dennis Kelly. Starting out as Rick And The Raiders, then The Rick Z Combo, the group later added organist Ronnie Brandon, becoming The McCoys soon after Randy Hobbs replaced the college-bound Dennis Kelly. The quartet became a highly popular attraction throughout America's Midwest and gained the attention of producers Feldman/Gottherer/Goldstein who brought them to Bert Berns' Bang Records. The group's very first release was a simple, hard driving tune called "Hang On Sloopy", which shot to the top of the U.S. charts and reached the Top 5 in the UK in the Summer of 1965. For a follow-up, the band chose a similar arrangement for a tune called "Fever", a remake of Peggy Lee's 1958 Top Ten hit. A series of successive releases in a similar gutsy style fared less well. "Up And Dow" stalled at #46 in March, 1966 before a cover of Ritchie Valens' "C'Mon Let's Go" made it to #22 in early June. That would prove to be the band's final appearance on the Billboard Top 40, as the next release, "(You Make Me Feel) So Good" quit climbing at #74 in July and "Don't Worry Mother. Your Son's Heart Is Pure" topped out at #92 in October. 1967's "I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance" could only get to #92 in early January and "Beat The Clock" just managed to crack the Hot 100 when it charted at #99 in mid-May. After one final release on Bang Records, "Say Those Magic Words", which failed to chart, the band was dropped from the roster. 

Looking for greater artistic freedom, the McCoys signed a two-album deal with Mercury Records in 1968. Their first LP, Infinite McCoys, proved their most adventurous outing to date. Produced by Derringer and featuring the Blood, Sweat and Tears brass section, it tackled the psychedelic trend of the day. Derringer's guitar work was brilliant and expressionistic, but hit records were still the name of the game, and only "Jesse Brady" scraped the bottom of the charts. With the landscape of pop music changing rapidly and the group no longer in demand for high profile tours, the McCoys became the resident band at Steve Paul's Scene in New York City. During that time they released their second Mercury album, Human Ball. More eclectic and jazz-based than the first, it featured frequent interplay between guitar and keyboards, and lengthy Hendrix-inspired jams by Derringer. Yet like its predecessor, it couldn't find an audience, and the McCoys were looking for meaningful work for the first time since their high school days.

After keyboardist Peterson departed, help came in the form of albino blues-rock legend Johnny Winter. Nightclub owner Steve Paul, who also managed Winter, put the two acts together when Winter needed a backing band. Playing with taste and fire, the group collaborated on 1970's Johnny Winter And, a title that left the McCoys apparently uncredited. The band played behind Winter in various configurations, both live and on four albums, but in 1973 the McCoys unofficially drifted apart. Various incarnations would pop up as a country bar band and an oldies act in the decades to follow, but they would no longer reach the commercial heights of their 1960s work or the artistic integrity of their 1970s backing sessions.

It was another story for Derringer, who joined Edgar Winter's White Trash and produced his number one hit "Frankenstein." "I always enjoyed working with Rick in whatever band it was," Edgar Winter told Dan Muise in Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer, and Trower: Their Lives and Music. "I thought he was great in White Trash.. . . A great strength of his is his versatility." Touring with Winter and cutting records on his own, Derringer emerged as one of the 1970s' finest lead guitarists, who played with skill and abandon. He was able to blend a solid career as a solo artist---launched with the1973 top 20 hit "Rock 'n' Roll Hootchie Koo"---with that of a successful producer and session player. He produced five of song parodist Weird Al Yankovic's most popular albums, effortlessly allowing the comedian to ape any pop or rock style he chose. He has continued to play live show dates, seldom straying very far from his roots. When the mood strikes him right, he'll play a monster rendition of "Hang On Sloopy," the song that first brought him fame.
by Ken Burke 
Disc 1 Infinite McCoys 1968
1. Faces (Robert Peterson, Randy Zehringer) - 4:08
2. Jesse Brady 4:34
3. Resurrection (Robert Peterson, Randy Jo Hobbs, Rick Zehringer, Randy Zehringer) - 6:06
4. Rosa Rodriguez (Rick Zehringer, Randy Zehringer) - 3:01
5. Hell (Robert Peterson, Randy Jo Hobbs) - 2:24
6. Genesis Through A Window (Robert Peterson) - 4:06
7. Song For Janie (Tim Buckley) - 2:56
8. He Likes It 3:48
9. Open Your Eyes 5:05
10.Eldorado (Rick Zehringer, Randy Zehringer) - 3:35
11.Melodrama 4:15
12.Union City Waltz 1:46
All compositions by Randy Zehringer except where stated
Disc 2 Human Ball 1969
1. Human Ball Blues (Robert Peterson, Randy Jo Hobbs, Rick Zehringer, Randy Zehringer) - 1:54
2. Only Human - 3:27
3. Epilogue - 1:43
4. All Over You (Bob Dylan) - 4:05
5. Daybreak - 7:41
6. It Really Doesn't Matter - 5:32
7. Love Don't Stop (Rick Zehringer, Randy Zehringer) - 3:23
8. Clergy Lies (Robert Peterson) - 4:51
9. Stormy Monday Blues (T. Bone Walker) - 6:32
All songs by Rick "Derringer" Zehringer except where noted

The McCoys
*Rick "Derringer" Zehringer - Guitar, Bass, Bottle, Celeste, Noise, Ondioline, Organ, Timpani, Voices, Whistle 
*Randy Jo Hobbs - Bass, Bottle, Cowbell, Laughs, Tabla, Temple Blocks, Whistle 
*Robert Peterson - Bottle, Harpsichord, Machines, Marimba, Organ, Piano, Tambourine, Vibraphone, Voices, Whistle
*Randy Zehringer - Bottle, Celeste, Drums, Hand Cymbals, Tabla, Tambourine, Timpani, Triangle, Vibraphone, Voices, Whip, Whistle
*Jerry Weiss - Horn, Trumpet 
*David Sackson - Strings, Viola
*Louis Stone - Strings, Violin
*Willard Suyker - Steel Guitar 
*Fred Lipsius - Alto Sax
*Louis Haber - Strings, Violin
*Dick Halligan - Horn, Trombone 
*Pete Drake - Pedal Steel 
*Seymour Barab - Cello, Strings
*Randy Brecker - Horn, Trumpet