Monday, February 28, 2022

The Buckinghams - Time And Charges / Portraits (1967-68 us, heartfelt vocals riding over lush horn arrangements, 2011 remaster)

Born and bred in Chicago, Illinois, the Buckinghams were one of the most successful groups of 1967. The band started the year off on a banner note, as they netted a No. 1 hit single with their first single “Kind of a Drag” — distributed by the regional USA label and appeared on their debut album of the same name.

By the time 1967 drew to a close, the Buckinghams scored 4 more Top 40 winners. And what an amazing feat that was, in light of the truckloads of incredible records arriving in the bins that fabled year. Revolution was in the air with acts like the Doors, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum, and Jefferson Airplane hawking psychedelic commodities. Although the Buckinghams traveled a different route than these bands, they were uniquely forward thinking in their own right.Shortly after Kind of a Drag sent the band into orbit, they relocated to the Columbia label, where they cut a pair of excellent albums, Time and Charges and Portraits. 

Released in the spring of 1967, Time and Charges opens up with “Don’t You Care,” which peaked at No. 6 on the national charts. Constructed of crooning horns, breezy boyish vocals and a plush finish, there was no way a tune this catchy could fail. The album also includes the band’s slinky, soul-drenched cover of Cannonball Adderley’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” that seized the Top 5 that summer. Flooded with engaging tempos, complex movements, and a strict anti-war message, “Foreign Policy” is an elaborate progressive rock piece, and a beautiful version of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “I’ll Be Back” exerts a nip of a jazz feel.

The tail end of 1967 saw Portraits land on the shelves. Featured among the prizes on the collection are “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)” and “Susan,” which reached No. 12 and No. 11 respectively. Both these tasty tunes represented the sound and style the public came to know and love of the Buckinghams. Sweeping harmonies, reminiscent of the Beach Boys, combined with brassy horn arrangements and potent melodies were the magical ingredients directing the popularity of the band. But as their albums indicated, the band was adventurous and as daring as the best of the bunch. Rife with stinging guitar leads and rattling rhythms, “Just Because I’ve Fallen Down” is a particular mind-blower heard on Portraits while the rest of the record involves a nice balance of pure pop and horn rock.

Blessed with great vocals, solid chops and the tunes to match, the Buckinghams were an A-Grade band. Filled with songs that are fun, imaginative, arty, thought-provoking and just plain good, Time and Charges and Portraits are satisfying on every conceivable level.
by Beverly Paterson, November 28, 2011
1. Don't You Care (Gary Beisbier, James Holvay) - 2:30
2. Pitied Be The Dragon Hunter (James William Guercio, Larry Dunn Fitzgerald) - 2:32
3. And Our Love (James William Guercio) - 2:47
4. Why Don't You Love Me (Gary Beisbier, James Holvay) - 2:28
5. You Are Gone (James William Guercio) - 3:28
6. I'll Be Back (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:32
7. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Joe Zawinul, Johnny Guitar Watson, Larry Williams) - 2:48
8. Remember (James William Guercio) - 2:25
9. The Married Life (James William Guercio) - 3:41
10.Foreign Policy (James William Guercio) - 4:16
11.C'mon Home (Marty Grebb) - 4:06
12.I Love All The Girls (Marty Grebb, B. Grebb) - 3:05
13.We Just Know (Carl Giammarese, Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb, Dennis Tufano) - 3:52
14.We Just Know (Reprise) (Carl Giammarese, Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb, Dennis Tufano) - 1:16
15.Inside Looking Out (Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb) - 3:22
16.Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song) (Gary Beisbier, James Holvay) - 2:49
17.Susan (Gary Beisbier, James Holvay, James William Guercio) - 2:56
18.The Mail (Marty Grebb) - 2:57
19.Big Business Advisor (Marty Grebb) - 3:01
20.Have You Noticed You're Alive (Dennis Tufano, John Poulos, Marty Grebb) - 4:40
21.Have You Noticed You're Alive (Reprise) (Dennis Tufano, John Poulos, Marty Grebb) - 1:47
22.Just Because I've Fallen Down (Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb) - 4:15
23.Any Place In Here (Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb) - 3:25
24.Any Place In Here (Reprise) (Dennis Tufano, Marty Grebb) - 1:32

The Buckinghams
*Marty Grebb - Keyboards, Vocals, Guitar 
*Dennis Tufano - Vocals 
*Carl Giammarese - Guitar, Vocals
*Nick Fortuna - Bass, Vocals
*John Poulos - Drums, Percussion 

Friday, February 25, 2022

The Cates Gang - Wanted (1970 us, elegant mix of r 'n' b country folk swamp rock, with brass section, 2021 remaster)

When Earl and Earnie Cate forned their first band in Springdale in the early 60;s, they called themselves the Del Rays. By 1970they were The Cates Gang, regulars this on the Dickinson Street and frat party circuit in Fayetteville, and MetroMedia label had issues their first album, "Wanted".

"Wanted" is a fine album that really puts is all together musically on "If You Got The Time (I Got The Love)", with some delicate but exciting rhythms "Song Man" and "Leavin' This Town", are also good, while message type songs like "We All Got To Help Each Other", and "When Will We Learn" have programming strength and could happen.
1. We All Got To Help Each Other - 2:35
2. God Gave Me A Woman - 2:35
3. Song Man - 2:22
4. Leavin' This Town - 3:00
5. Lead Me Anywhere - 2:36
6. When Will We Learn - 2:17
7. I'll Take You Back Again - 1:52
8. What's The Use In Lovin' You - 2:30
9. I've Made Up My Mind - 2:38
10.Help Me Work It Out, Woman - 2:22
11.If You Got The Time (I Got The Love) - 2:14
All songs by Earl Cate, Ernie Cate  

The Cates Gang
*Earl Cate - Guitar, Vocals
*Ernie Cate - Keyboards, Vocals 
*Terry Cagle - Drums, Percussion
*Billy Wright - Bass

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Tom Jans - The Eyes Of An Only Child (1975 us, marvelous soulful folk country soft rock, 2007 japan remaster)

"The Eyes of an Only Child" by Tom Jans was released in 1975. I loved that record and used to play it a lot, along with his eponymous debut LP on A&M, featuring his best known song, “Lovin’ Arms,” recorded by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, Dobie Gray, Frank Sinatra, Elvis and many others. I still have those two on vinyl, so I retrieved them, album covers, sleeves and all.

Jans was a songwriter and performer of some standing in the 1970s, a “folk” singer strumming an acoustic guitar, but he also played keyboards, plugged in and toured with a backup band. He was born in 1948. He was from California and had majored in English Literature at UC-Davis (graduating Phi Beta Kappa) before playing clubs in San Francisco and being discovered by Joan Baez and her sister Mimi Farina.

He and Farina toured for a year as a duo, opening for Cat Stevens and James Taylor. They made an album for A&M before he went his own way with the self-titled disc for A&M, recorded in Nashville, followed by The Eyes of an Only Child, produced in part by Little Feat’s Lowell George, with backing by marquee talent like Fred Tackett, David Lindley, Billy Payne, Jeff Porcaro, Herb Peterson, Valerie Carter and Jim Keltner. 

Jans was so versatile, and that might have been an obstacle in the biz at the time — not sounding the same on each cut. He could write a tender standard like “Lovin’ Arms” and an uptempo two-step like “Out of Hand” that honky tonk hero Gary Stewart (more royalty) made into a #4 country hit. Other keepers include “Gotta Move,” “Struggle in Darkness,” and “Green River.” Somebody should be playing these on the radio.
by Sean Mitchell, January 31, 2021
1. Gotta Move (Tom Jans, Lowell George) - 4:15
2. Once Before I Die - 3:15
3. Where Did All My Good Friends Go? - 4:50
4. Inside Of You - 3:05
5. Struggle In Darkness - 5:40
6. Out Of Hand (Tom Jans, Jeff Barry) - 3:15
7. The Lonesome Way Back When - 4:20
8. Lonely Brother - 5:45
9. Directions And Connections - 4:35
10.The Eyes Of An Only Child - 3:35
All compositions by Tom Jans except where stated 

*Tom Jans - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Piano
*Colin Cameron - Bass
*Valerie Carter - Vocals
*Sam Clayton - Congas
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
*Lowell George - Guitar
*Lovely Hardy - Vocals 
*Jim Keltner - Drums
*David Lindley - Electric Guitar 
*Harvey Mason, Sr. - Drums
*Jerry McGee - Electric Guitar 
*Bill Payne - Piano, Moog
*Herb Pedersen - Vocals 
*Jeff Porcaro - Drums
*Chuck Rainey - Bass
*Fred Tackett - Guitars
*Mike Utley - Organ

Monday, February 21, 2022

Willie Dixon - I Am The Blues (1970 us, superb influential blues backing by a solid lineup)

Originally released in 1970. "Entire genres of music would look and sound vastly different if not for the contributions of Vicksburg, Mississippi's Willie Dixon. A writer of songs such as 'Hoochie Coochie Man', 'Spoonful', and 'My Babe', among so many others, Dixon's songs have gone on to become standards of blues music, after being covered by legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, while these same songs served as inspirational templates for the evolution of rock and roll music. Along with Muddy Waters, Dixon is to this day considered one of the most influential figures to the development of the post-World War II music scene. Dixon originally began as a performer, but as his career as a songwriter and session musician took off he performed less and less, working behind the scenes more frequently. 

In 1970 however, he entered the studios to record a selection of his own tunes. The end result was titled I Am The Blues, and consisted of songs written during his time as a staff-writer with Chess Records, previously performed by the likes of Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, and Willie Mabon. Dixon was joined by a solid lineup of seasoned session veterans the "Chicago Blues All Stars", many of whom had performed as sidemen for the same singers he'd written for. A remarkable collection of new renditions of classic songs, straight from the original source.
1. Back Door Man - 6:13
2. I Can't Quit You, Baby - 6:45
3. Seventh Son - 4:19
4. Spoonful - 4:59
5. I Ain't Superstitious - 4:08
6. You Shook Me (Willie Dixon, J. B. Lenoir) - 4:18
7. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man - 4:52
8. The Little Red Rooster - 3:40
9. The Same Thing - 4:42
All somngs by Willie Dixon except where stated

*Willie Dixon - Vocals, Bass
*Walter Horton - Harmonica
*Lafayette Leake - Piano
*Sunnyland Slim - Piano
*Johnny Shines - Guitar
*Clifton James - Drums

Related Act

Friday, February 18, 2022

Fenton Robinson - Monday Morning Boogie And Blues (1972 us, imressive chicago electric blues)

Fenton was born on September 23, 1935 in Greenwood, Mississippi. Inspired by the blues he heard on the radio (especially T-Bone Walker), he moved to Memphis at age 16 and concentrated on playing music. He broke onto the Southern blues scene while still in his early twenties. His first single, Tennessee Woman, was recorded for the Memphis-based Meteor label. This young, upstart guitarist carved out a strong, devoted following from among the most demanding of blues audiences. He went on to record for Duke Records in Houston (and played lead guitar on Larry Davis' original version of Texas Flood) before moving to Chicago in 1962. In Chicago he recorded for singles for U.S.A., Giant and Palos Records (where he first recorded the famous Somebody Loan Me A Dime in 1967). Night after night, Fenton proved himself in club after club, eventually winning a regular gig at the legendary Peppers Lounge. 

The man's reputation didn't just rest on one great song, though. His classic recordings have inspired countless cover versions. Albert King, Elvin Bishop, Eric Burdon, Maggie Bell and Charlie Musselwhite have recorded Fenton's early hits. But even greater recognition came in 1969, when Boz Scaggs, along with Duane Allman, recorded the classic blues/rock version of Somebody Loan Me A Dime , and introduced Fenton to a whole new legion of fans.

Before hooking up with Alligator, Fenton wrote for Lowell Fulson and Larry Davis, and performed with Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, and many other blues legends. He toured with Charlie Musselwhite and worked the blues circuit with his own bands. In early 70's he signed for John Richbourg's Sound Stage 7/Seventy 7 labels, and in 1972 he recorded and released "Monday Morning Boogie And Blues", having a lot of problems during the recordings, but the result was a record of classic chicago electric blues straight to the point with a solid upbeat rhythm section.
1. The Sky Is Crying (Elmore James, Morgan Robinson) - 3:30
2. Smokestack Lightning (Chester Burnett) - 2:48
3. Little Red Rooster (Willie Dixon) - 3:03
4. Somebody Loan Me A Dime (Fenton Robinson) - 3:43
5. Moanin' For My Baby (Chester Burnett) - 3:16
6. Little Turch (Fenton Robinson) - 3:49
7. Don't Start Me Talkin' (I'll Tell Everything I Know) (Traditional) - 2:56
8. Let Me Come On Back Home (Allen Orange) - 3:27
9. Stormy Monday (Aaron T. Walker) - 2:45
10.Give You Some Air (Fenton Robinson) - 4:48

*Fenton Robinson - Vocals, Electric Guitar
*Tim Drummond - Bass  
*Neal Dover - Bass
*Karl Himmel - Drums
*Robert Tarrant - Drums
*Mac Gayden - Electric Guitar
*Mark Tidwell - Electric Guitar
*Troy Seals - Electric Guitar
*Ed Kollis - Harmonica 
*Sandy Kaye - Organ
*Bob Wilson - Piano 
*Bergen White - Horn Arrangements


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Contents Are - Through You (1967 us, profound lyricism tugging at the soft edges of psychedelia, 2007 bonus tracks release)

The wheels on the “big, blue” hippy bus went round and round as the Contents Are weaved their merry way across Iowa spreading the word of paisley protest. For four years during the ’60s, the Quad Cities-based quartet created a heady brew of subdued blues beats, catchy psych-pop and tripped-out folk that sugar-coated the hardcore messages which lurked beneath the 13 original tunes on 1967’s Through You. 

The Contents Are’s songs weren’t all filled with cotton candy clouds floating in a marshmallow sky but dealt with more serious issues including a very bleak view of modern democracy (“Peace At Last”) set to a tune that borrows from the Beatles “Dr. Robert”, a hook-laden wake-up call to the U.S. government (“In Trouble”) that, some would say, is still relevant today, and the ever-present nuclear threat (“If You’re Relaxing”). This previously hard-to-find (only 100 copies were pressed and sold at gigs) regional gem is bolstered by the band’s two excellent, and not quite so hard-to-find, singles. The best of these sides, “Future Days”, is a piece of moody, early psych-blues that sounds like it hails from the dark side of Haight-Ashbury and, even with the poor audio quality, is alone worth the price of admission to this particular band’s garage.
by Alan Brown, 15 May 2008 

“Rumours of a limited demo LP pressing from this renowned Iowa garagey-folk rock band remained unconfirmed until a copy popped up at a 2005 Austin Record Show. Curiosity grew into excitement as the album turned out to feature 13 band originals in a terrific melodic Beatles ‘65-66 style with a sprinkling of Byrds on top. In other words, an ideal sound for a ’lost’ 60s album, reminiscent of the Beauregard Ajax recordings from L.A. Drawing inspiration from the Beatles is usually an indication of both taste and cojones, and the Contents Are deliver a string of skillfully arranged 3-minute gems from the point where beat and folk rock turn into melodic psychedelia.” – Patrick Lundborg, The Acid Archives

The Contents Are’s debut album was originally issued in 1967 in an edition of just 100 copies. Hailing from Quad City, Iowa, these four young men recorded one incredible song after another, their ambitions well beyond that of the typical group at the time.This record, more rumoured than heard, lives at a wild nexus in American culture, simultaneously expansive and reflective, searching for answers in society through music and art. The great German label Shadoks first reissued this legendary set almost ten years ago, and we’re very happy to bring you a new deluxe edition of “Through You”, this time with the very special addition of the band’s two non-album 45s, originally released on the ROK label (these two singles are seeing their first ever reissue on vinyl; previously only available as CD bonus tracks, and well worth rediscovery). Let this record turn you on to new horizons.
1. Country Roads - 3:29
2. The Dream Of My Predictions - 3:13
3. Uni-Love - 3:13
4. Peace At Last - 2:07
5. In Trouble - 2:07
6. No Chance To Choose - 2:11
7. Tonight In Venice - 2:25
8. Unconcerned - 2:26
9. Don't Take My Freedom - 1:55
10.Recurring Changes - 2:47
11.No Need To Be Blamed - 2:53
12.If You're Relaxing - 1:52
13.Brother Abbot - 2:49
14.I Don't Know - 2:54
15.Direction Of Mind - 2:42
16. - 2:39
17.New Mexico - 2:15
All songs by Craig Hute

The Contents Are
*Dave Neumann - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Craig Hute - Guitar, Vocals
*Mick Orton - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Paul Staack - Drums, Vocals
*Larry Smith - Bass, Vocals

Monday, February 14, 2022

Lesley Duncan - Earth Mother (1972 uk, woderful folk soft rock, 2001 remaster)

Lesley Duncan (12 August 1943) was one of England's top session vocalists, Lesley Duncan sang on recordings by Elton John, the Dave Clark Five, Pink Floyd, the Alan Parsons Project, Michael Chapman, and Joyce Everson and the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar. Her songs have been covered by Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, and Long John Baldry. 

While her vocals and songwriting brought her respect from the British music press, Duncan was unable to break through as a soloist. Dropped by MCA in 1976 due to poor album sales, she continued to work with producer Tony Cox as a singles artist until 1986. Her last album vocal appearances came in 1979 with "If I Could Change Your Mind" on the Alan Parsons Project album Eve and in 1980 with "Hold on to Love" from the album Exiled by the Bob Mitchell/Steve Coe Mysteries. Duncan's early albums, Sing Children Sing and Earth Mother, were released on CD in the early 2000s. During her latter years Duncan continued to perform with Jimmy Horowitz on keyboards and Chris Spedding on guitar. She died from cerebrovascular disease at age 66 on March 12, 2010, on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. 
by Craig Harris
1. Times - 4:00
2. Queen To Your King - 3:50
3. Love Will Never Lose You - 3:02
4. Thunder - 3:39
5. God Is Real (In My Soul) (Traditional) - 3:29
6. Fortieth Floor - 4:42
7. Old Friends (Jimmy Horowitz, Lesley Duncan) - 4:35
8. Sorry Living - 3:59
9. If It's All The Same To You (Andy Bown) - 3:27
10.Earth Mother (Jimmy Horowitz, Lesley Duncan) - 6:47
11.By And Bye (Jimmy Horowitz, Lesley Duncan) - 2:17
All songs by Lesley Duncan except where indicated

*Lesley Duncan - Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
*Andy Brown - Bass, Acoustic Guitar 
*Barry DeSouza - Drums, Percussion
*Jimmy Horowitz - Organ, Piano, Flute
*Jack Rothstein - Strings, String Section Leader
*Chris Spedding - Guitar 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Boxer - Absolutely (1977 uk, fine classic melodic hard rock, 2015 reissue)


"Absolutely" was Boxer's and Mike Patto's final album.  Mike was the only member of the original lineup on the album.  Chris Stainton, who contributed on the "Bloodletting" from 1976, played most of the keyboards.  Tim Bogert's (Cactus, Beck Bogert & Appice et al.) creative bass playing is prominent throughout the album.  Adrian Fisher had the challenge of filling Ollie's shoes on guitar.  Adrian and Eddie were probably session players primarily.  Adrian played on a Sparks album that was produced by Muff Winwood, the producer of the Patto albums.

Of course, with the completely new band lineup, the "Absolutely" album is very different from the first two Boxer albums.  It moves away from the rawer, straight-ahead rock approach with a slicker production and more finessed instrumentation.  Mike's vocals are still in fine form -- he sounds great throughout the album.  While Adrian and Eddie are solid musically throughout the album, Tim Bogert's bass and Chris Stainton's keyboards perhaps dominate the musical side of things.  Tim Bogert's bass playing is particularly impressive, but it seems a bit too busy on some of the more simple tunes -- maybe too much of a good thing?

Mike collaborated with all the band members to write the album's material.  "Big Lucy", "Red Light Flyer", the Randy Newman-esque "Everybody's A Star...", and "No Reply" (despite the terribly out-of-place musical extravaganza after the first verses) are among the better cuts on the album..  Mike delivers a great vocal on "As God's My Judge".  "Rich Man's Daughter" is a remake of the version recorded by the original Boxer lineup for the 1976 "Bloodletting" album, which was not  released until two years later in 1979.

"Everybody's A Star..." was released as a single in the UK with "Can't Stand What You Do" as the flip side (Cat. # Epic EPC 5540).  A promotional single with a picture sleeve was also issued and contained the "No Reply" track.
1.Fool In Love (Tim Bogert, Mike Patto) - 4:06
2.Red Light Flyer (Mike Patto) - 3:31
3.Big Lucy (Tim Bogert, Chris Stainton, Mike Patto) - 3:51
4.No Reply (Chris Stainton, Mike Patto) - 5:21
5.Can't Stand What You Do (Tim Bogert, Chris Stainton, Mike Patto, Adrian Fisher, Eddie Tuduri) - 3:57
6.As God's My Judge (Chris Stainton, Mike Patto) - 3:12
7.Rich Man's Daughter (Mike Patto) - 4:05
8.Everybody's A Star (So What's In A Name?) (Chris Stainton, Mike Patto) - 2:34
9.Hand On Your Heart (Tim Bogert, Chris Stainton, Mike Patto, Adrian Fisher, Eddie Tuduri) - 4:46

*Mike Patto - Lead Vocals, Piano
*Chris Stainton - Keyboards
*Adrian Fisher - Guitars
*Tim Bogert - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Eddie Tuduri - Drums

Related Acts
1967-69  Timebox - Beggin'
1969  The Koobas - Koobas
1967  Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge (2009 japan SHM remaster)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Pancake - Roxy Elephant (1975 germany, remarkable twin guitar krautrock, 2003 remaster)

1975 Rock with two lead guitars, from Winnenden near Stuttgart. Their first LP out of three. With Kono Konopik on drums who went to Anyone's Daughter after Pancake.

Nyrvana Pancake were founded in 1970 at Winnenden, a town located close to Stuttgart. They released one of the best German psychedelic singles, nothing else more. After having shortened their name to Pancake, they released three LPs: Roxy elephant in 1975, Out of the ashes in 1978, and No illusions in 1979. Their style, as well as their line-up, often changed. The only one of the line-up who stayed until the end was Walter Negele. Drummer Günther Konopik left after their first LP. He went to Anyone's Daughter, where he remained for some years. Werner Bauer left the group too, to became the long time manager of Anyone's Daughter. Though on Roxy elephant there are no keyboards, one can clearly hear symphonic echoes.
1. Heartfire - 4:09
2. Rolltreppe - 1:12
3. Aeroplane - 13:30
4. End Of The Day - 1:26
5. Remember - 4:51
6. Long Life - 4:36
7. Harmony - 2:38
8. Roxy Elephant - 6:57
All songs by Walter Negele, Tommy Metzger, Hampy Nerlich, Werner Bauer, Günther Konopik

*Werner Bauer - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Günther Konopik - Drums, Percussions
*Hampy Nerlich - Vocals
*Walter Negele - Guitar
*Tommy Metzger - Guitar, Vocals

Monday, February 7, 2022

Noah - Brain Suck (1967-72 us, stunning heavy psych garage rock, 2021 expanded edition)

Noah was Salem, Ohio based hard psych rock group that recorded a concept album in 1972 that remained unissued in its time. Guerssen is releasing a 2LP/CD/Digital reissue of the Noah’s ‘Brain Suck’ album including bonus tracks of Sound Barrier [pre-Noah].

Formed in the late 60s in Salem, Ohio, out of the ashes of two garage bands, the Markees and the Sound Barrier (of the legendary ‘Hey, Hey’ 45 on Zounds), Noah consisted of Mark Scheuring (guitar and lead vocals), Larry Davis (drums), Paul Hess (bass and backup vocals) and Danny Hall (keyboards and backup vocals). In 1972 the band recorded in just two days a concept album titled ‘Brain Suck’ at Cleveland Recording studios with engineer/producer Ken Hamann (of Grand Funk Railroad and James Gang fame).

Noah’s music was dark and heavy, featuring killer Hammond organ, hard guitar and powerful vocals. This is truly a major find for anyone into hard psychedelia. In the words of Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave): “it conjures the heavy, doomy vibe of Blue Cheer’s “Fruit and Icebergs” suite; the bluster of Sir Lord Baltimore (but maybe with Keith Emerson on keys); and a biker ferocity found on the Fraction ‘Moonblood’ Lp. I’m also imagining Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, or Vanilla Fudge on some bad drugs with a Mothers-like malignance”.

The LP sessions were never released properly (in fact a truncated vinyl edition with some songs missing and late Sound Barrier demos added was released in 1995 by Al Simones on his Head Records label, without the band’s knowledge) so this is the first time that the ‘Brain Suck’ album is released as originally intended by the band. The Noah album project was mastered by Javier Roldon at Vacuum Mastering.
by Klemen Breznika
1. Brainsuck - 7:32
2. Avocados Grumbled - 5:18
3. Goodbye Earth - 7:25
4. Wish I Knew My Name - 5:56
5. Maybe You’ve Changed / Trouble / Still No Reason - 14:35
6. Why Should I Care - 3:31
7. We Wanna Be Free - 6:07
8. Nature’s Lament - 4:43
9. Hey, Hey 2:33
10.(My) Baby’s Gone 2:51
11.I Can’t Explain - 2:28
12.Greasy Heart - 3:23
13.Black Mother Nature - 3:25
All Songs written by Danny Hall, Larry Davis, Mark Scheuring, Paul Hess
Track 1-5 original LP "Brain Suck" 1972
Tracks 6-12 Singles and Unreleased Demos, 1967-1971

*Danny Hall - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Terry Davis - Bass, Lead Vocals 
*Mark Scheuring - Guitar, Lead Vocals 
*Paul Hess - Lead Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
*Larry Davis - Drums
*Chuck Jackson - Lead Guitar (Tracks 9-10)
*Pat Pshsniak - Lead Vocals (Track 12)

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Golden Earring - Contraband (1976 holland, high energy rock)

After pursuing a strict art rock style on To the Hilt, Golden Earring altered its style once more on the band's next album. Golden Earring replaced keyboardist Robert Jan Stips with guitarist Eelco Gelling and put aside its art rock pretensions for a hard rock sound dominated by the group's new twin-guitar attack. The result was Contraband, the band's strongest album since Moontan. It starts powerfully with "Bombay," an exuberant blast whose elaborate arrangement works in plenty of atmospheric country-styled shadings into an otherwise hard rock track. 

Other highlights include "Mad Love's Comin'," a dazzlingly atmospheric rumination on romance that transforms from a tense acoustic blues into a spacy mid-tempo rocker worthy of Pink Floyd, and "Fighting Windmills," a stately tribute to being an individual (a common theme of Golden Earring songs) that works a snaky, Indian-sounding guitar riff augmented by swooning strings into the song's midsection. "Con Man" is another worthwhile track, a tribute to the raffish character of the title that highlights the electrifying guitar interplay between Gelling and George Kooymans. Despite this high percentage of strong tracks, not everything on the album is this strong: For instance, "Sueleen" and "Faded Jeans" are solid tracks but lack the sense of dynamics and powerful riffs that fuel numbers like "Bombay." 

However, even these lesser tunes work thanks to lean arrangements and a consistently energetic performance from the band. In the end, Contraband is a worthwhile addition to any Golden Earring collection, and well worth a spin for fans of '70s hard rock in general.
by Donald A. Guarisco
1. Bombay - 3:52
2. Sueleen - 5:40
3. Con Man - 7:10
4. Mad Love's Comin' - 7:45
5. Fighting Windmills - 4:38
6. Faded Jeans - 5:07
7. Time's Up - 3:52
All songs written by Barry Hay, George Kooymans

The Golden Earring
*Eelco Gelling - Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Rinus Gerritsen - Bass, Keyboard
*Barry Hay - Flute, Vocals
*George Kooymans - Guitar, Vocals
*Robert Jan Stips - Piano, Keyboard, Moog Synthesizer
*Cesar Zuiderwijk - Drums
*Robert Jan Stips - MiniMoog, Piano, String Arrangements
*Neppie Noya - Percussion, Conga
*Patricia Paay - Vocals
1965 Just Ear Rings (2009 extra tracks edition)
1966  Winter-Harvest (2009 extra tracks issue)
1968-69  Miracle Mirror (2009 bonus tracks edition)
1969  On The Double
1969/71 Eight Miles High / Seven Tears

Noah - Noah (1970 canada, elegant psych pop)

Not to be confused with several groups called 'Noah' before or after, Dutch immigrant Barry "Buzz" Vandersel started his first band, Buzzy & The Belvederes at 14 years old. With himself handling bass and his cousins Peter and Marinus Vandertogt on guitars and drums, the Trenton, Ontario kids recruited Paul Clapper as lead vocalist and began playing around the local area through the mid '60s.

They were eventually noticed by manager Al MacMillan from Nimbus 9 Productions. The first thing he did was chang their name to Tyme And a Half. He had enough confidence in their writing he let them write their two singles that year, both dripping of flower power - "It's Been A Long Time" b/w "Magic Island," and then "Cassandra" b/w "It's Happening Here."

Jack Richardson took a personal interest in the band, and helped land them a deal with RCA Victor, who suggested another name change, and Noah was born. Their self-titled debut was on the store shelves in the summer of 1970. All the members had a hand in writing the songs, with Peter Vandertogt and Clapper handling the majority of it. "Summer Sun" became the first single under the new name, but Clapper wasn't happy with the direction the music was going - less poppy than previously, so he quit prior to the band setting off on the road to promote the album.

At the age of 23, Vandersel passed away in the fall of 1975, and members went on to other projects, or eventually got out of the business all together.
by Jaimie Vernon
1. Bury The Remains (Marinus Vandertogt) - 3:11
2. Sleep Sleep (Marinus Vandertogt, Paul Clapper) - 3:54
3. Try A Little Kindness (Marinus Vandertogt) - 2:54
4. Angela (Paul Clapper) - 3:12
5. Summer Sun (Paul Clapper) - 3:51
6. Sunday Mass (Barry Vandersel, Marinus Vandertogt) - 3:21
7. (Suite For An) Antique Lady (Marinus Vandertogt, Paul Clapper) - 4:07
8. One Way Street (Marinus Vandertogt, Paul Clapper) - 2:50
9. Oscar's Cellar (Marinus Vandertogt, Paul Clapper) - 2:26
10.I Wish You Love (Marinus Vandertogt, Paul Clapper) - 3:10

*Barry "Buzz" Vandersel - Vocals, Bass
*Marinus Vandertogt - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Vandertogt - Drums
*Paul Clapper - Vocals, Guitar

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Dewey Terry - Chief (1972 us, fun and funky stew of blues, soul and rock, 2018 edition)

DEWEY TERRY HELPED INVENT ROCK & ROLL, BUT ALL it's given him is a case of the blues. As the songwriting force that drove late-'50s Specialty Records duo Don & Dewey, he and partner Don "Sugarcane" Harris took command of the fledgling rock & roll idiom with high frantic style. Melding the gospel passion of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the soul grit of James Brown, the tortured blues of Guitar Slim and the lusty carnival rock & roll of Little Richard, they jammed it all into a reckless beat grinder, twisted the crank and delivered the final product with a howling force that could only have come from the streets of Los Angeles.

The Don & Dewey mix of heat, jive and unadulterated talent was a shock in its day. Not yet 21 when they started on Specialty, these cats were upstarts, hardcore; they not only wrote, played and produced all their songs, they both flat-out Screamed Into The Microphone. When they weren't hollering, they spoke in wildly poetic, almost indecipherable tongues (langga langga oli-oki changa-chang). They did the jungle hop with the beeb-a-lee bop, mammer-jammered at the hootenanner and got clean for their mama's papa's sister's brother's uncle's crazy child -- the one with the champagne eyes. They did it all, leaping from slam to simmer on perfectly vocalized close-harmony ballads that anticipated the glories of mid-'60s soul with blueprint accuracy. Hell, when Dewey went into a recitation, Don even urged him to "Go on, rap!"

Terry, a big, genial man with a clean-shaven howitzer shell of a dome, was born in Los Angeles on July 17, 1937, the son of a railroad man who gave the family a comfortable upbringing in nearby Pasadena. Terry always had a piano at home. "It was just a natural thing for me to do, play piano and sing," he says. "I started out playin' boogie-woogie. My mother had an old Victrola and lots of 78 records. I could always hear Count Basie, Duke Ellington, but what was so nice was that I could go out in my back yard where my mother raised chickens, stand up on a box and look over the chicken coops, and there was always a church caravan that came through on Sundays. You'd see a couple hundred people there, and I had the pleasure of seeing Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. At the time I didn't know who they were, but I knew they got down!"

From his mid-'50s teenage launch with local doo-wop sextet the Squires (whose "Cindy" on the indie
Mambo label remains a prized dusty), Terry was clearly a force on the rise. He and boyhood chum Don Harris soon departed the staid vocal group: "We became Don & Dewey because there were too many people in the other band to make any money," he says. "Don and I did a record called 'Miss Sue' and 'My Heart Is Achin'' on a label called Spot, and we had some managers out of Chicago who'd been shaping us for a couple of years, and that evolved into this record. And it got a lot of radio play: Hunter Hancock -- Hunting With Hunter -- he used to play my record all the time. Peter Potter's Platter Parade, and [fabled record shop] Dolphins of Hollywood was playing it, too."

That kind of exposure was invaluable, and with such instant local notoriety, Don & Dewey's supercharged sound only blossomed wilder. "The real stomp-down, knockdown blues things, we'd been doin' that the whole time," he says. "Rhythm & blues were changin'. That's when we learned to rock it. R&B was too slow, too methodical -- felt like, 'C'mon, baby, we don't want to hear that!' The thing is, at that time, most people found what we did quite harsh. They said the music was too loud, always told us to cut our amplifiers down -- they did not want you to wiggle and jiggle. But I think that contributed to our success, because -- well, the kids were doin' it anyway: rock & roll."

DON & DEWEY SWIFTLY ASCENDED FROM HIGH school auditorium dates to steady work at Billy Berg's, the Hollywood boīte that had for years featured the biggest names in jazz, and at the Royal Room at Las Palmas and Hollywood, where Specialty head Art Rupe wooed them in 1957, not long before Little Richard, after seeing Sputnik arc over the Australian stadium where he was performing, took it as a sign from God and quit rock & roll.

"We immediately signed with Specialty," says Terry. "They already had Little Richard, and we were billed as 'The Two Little Richards,' but at that time Richard was so hot that he was overbearing everything. And that label had Guitar Slim -- 'The Things I Used To Do.' He came out of Louisiana to do some recording, and he was playin' at the 5/4 Ballroom. I had met him at Specialty Records one day -- he came in a green car, with a green suit, about 30 crazed women, and the party was on! He was really the Charlie Parker of the time, with that Fender guitar, which at that time was very new. So I learned to play the Fender just like Guitar Slim. He didn't play with a pick -- I don't play with a pick. We were taught to play the guitar with our hands, because there is nothing like the human touch. That's the way we learned."

The exposure to Slim's cataclysmic brand of guitar blues was warped further by Terry into a mystic brand of volcanic rock & roll. Don & Dewey's cover of Los Angeles R&B stalwart Joe Liggins' "Pink Champagne" pushed it into such radical spheres that Specialty didn't release it for decades. Their career reached fever pitch as quickly as their music: "We started touring for the Gill Agency, who were located on Western Avenue, and they sent us to the Apollo Theater with Redd Foxx, the Dells, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Moms Mabley and Big Maybelle.

"We did the first concert over in Honolulu, with Chuck Berry and Pat Boone! Pat came in with his little white shoes and his sweaters, very nice man -- very young at the time. But we did those shows, and then my audiences changed -- they were no longer black audiences, they were totally white. Right after the Apollo show, the records started and things changed."

They rocked through the early '60s on bandstands all over the nation, participating in the 1964 second coming of a secular Little Richard, both on the road and on his comeback single, "Bama Lama Bama Loo." It peaked at No. 83 on the Billboard chart, then Don & Dewey, like the Treniers, another gloriously raw, rocking R&B band, began annual lounge engagements in Las Vegas, appearing at the Dunes for five straight years.

After Harris went tripping off with John Mayall and Frank Zappa, Terry saw several of his compositions revived with significant impact: "Farmer John," covered by Chicano rockers the Premiers, became an East Los anthem; the Olympics scored with "Big Boy Pete," and the Righteous Brothers began life as stone Don & Dewey clones, copping the pair's repertoire and stage moves and even charting with two Don & Dewey songs. In 1974, Terry's ballad "Leaving It Up to You" became the BMI-certified most-played song of the year, thanks to covers by R&B's Dale & Grace, pop's Donny & Marie Osmond and country's Freddy Fender. But much of that money went into wily Art Rupe's exploitative coffers; Dewey has fared quite badly, at times, in business -- as did everyone else on Specialty (in the mid-'80s, he joined Little Richard's picket line outside Specialty's Sunset Boulevard offices). Dewey Terry died at aged 65 on May 11 2003
by Jonny Whiteside
1. She's Leavin' Me (Dewey Terry) - 1:51
2. Big Boy Pete (Dewey Terry, Don "Sugarcane" Harris) - 3:25
3. Funky Old Town (Dewey Terry, Robb Kunkel) - 5:01
4. Suit For The Cat (Dewey Terry, Don "Sugarcane" Harris) - 4:41
5. Do On My Feet (What I Did In The Street) (Dewey Terry) - 4:42
6. Reef Ade (Dewey Terry) - 1:31
7. Well Known Man (Danny Holien) - 4:28
8. Sweet As Spring (Dewey Terry) - 3:48
9. De Blooze (If You Wanna Get Groovy Now) (Dewey Terry) - 5:35
10.Let Them Ol' Stars And Stripes Shine (Dewey Terry) - 3:39

*Dewey Terry - Piano, Vocals, Guitar, Electric Harpsichord, Organ
*Steve Swenson - Bass
*Bob "Jenks" Jenkins - Congas
*Ga Ga - Drums
*Danny Holien - Rhythm Guitar
*Ron Brown - Bass 
*Earl Palmer - Drums 
*Harvey Mandel - Guitar  
*Bob "Jenks" Jenkins - Congas 
*Ignatz Therbly - Percussion 
*Robb Kunkel - Guitar, Piano 
*John R. - Voice Actor 
*Jim Horn - Soloist, Saxophone 
*Jimmie Haskell - Vibraphone
*Eric Gale - Bass 
*Mel Brown - Guitar
*Cathy Caper - Chorus  
*David Haskell - Chorus 
*Debbie Brown - Chorus  
*Scottie Haskell - Chorus

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

126 - Graveyard Paradise The Complete 126 And Taboo Recordings (1966-68 norway, reflective folk beat, 2008 remaster)

Rock band started in Bodø in 1964 under the name The Blue Flames. Originally an instrumental group with Asbjørn Krogtoft (guitar), Gunvar Marken (guitar), Oddvar Hansen (bass) and Hans Erik Steffensen (drums). The latter was soon replaced by Roger Saksenvik, and inspired by the Beatles, they began to sing. The group was called The Fighters for a short period, before in 1965 they changed their name to 126. - with a full stop, so that it should be pronounced "one hundred and twenty-six". It was the group's supporters who began to pronounce the name with the English variant "one-two-six", which the band did not mind at all. The number combination was the group's vocalist and songwriter Asbjørn Krogtoft (Asa) who came up with: He had a girlfriend who lived in Håkon at streetnumber 26. Number 1 was for him,

1-2-6 signed up for a talent competition in connection with the Polar Circle Festival in Mo in 1966. They won this, and the prize was a trial recording for the record company RCA Victor . This resulted in the group's first single "Veto" / "Little You", which became a small hit in Bodø in the winter of 1966/67, but a flop in the rest of the country. However, the band came back strong six months later with single number two: "Graveyard Paradise". A strong Bob Dylan-inspired Asa had originally written the text as a poem in Norwegian, and it was one of many poems that made up the collection Epigon, intended for Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. The collection of poems never saw the light of day, but in 1990 - when 1-2-6 was to mark the group's 25th anniversary - most Norwegian stanzas were used in a remake of "Graveyard Paradise" with the subtitle "Cemetery of Eden".

"Graveyard Paradise" exploded like a bomb in August 1967. It attracted justified attention that a young Norwegian - 20-year-old Asa - could write such a reflective song, and even more so in well-formulated English. However, the composer himself was disappointed that so few record buyers understood the serious message of the song. For most of them, 1-2-6 appeared as pop stars, which is underlined by the album's success: "Graveyard Paradise" was a total of 15 weeks on the VG list, six of them in third place. 20 years later, it was chosen by Dagbladet's readers as the second best Norwegian melody of all time, only beaten by "Du ska få en dag i mårå". It is part of the story that the song actually had four verses, but that one was cut so that the song would fit better with the single format. The long version can be heard on the compilation album One Two Six (1995).

The group began work on an LP, two singles came out, before it's release. "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed" got the uncomfortable job of being the sequel to "Graveyard Paradise". An impossible task for a lightweight song, and it did not take long before both the group and the record company realized that they had opted for the wrong horse. "Elisabeth" was a far stronger song, and it managed to capture a place among the top ten on the VG list. The LP Curtains Falling was finally released in early 1968, but by then it was already 1-2-6 dissolved. After a very strenuous tour along the coast from Western Norway to Kirkenes, the decision was made on Christmas Eve 1967. The fans sat back with Curtains Falling- an LP full of experimental inventions and good songs, all twelve composed by Asa. There was a last single in the spring of 1968, recorded the autumn before while working on the LP. Ironically, it was entitled "1-2-6".

Asa had debuted as a solo artist at the end of 1967 with the single "Woman in black" / "Then she was just as pale" (with 1-2-6 as a backing band on the A-side), but instead of focusing on a solo career formed he band Taboo in early 1968. Taboo only managed to make two singles before they disbanded after six months. For a while, Asa chose schooling and family, and made his record career a hobby. (All four of Taboo's single songs are also on the CD collection One Two Six .)

In May 1990, the four members of 1-2-6 met in the studio to discuss the possibility of a reunion on the occasion of the 25th anniversary. Gunvar Marken had found the lyrics to a song that 1-2-6 had never recorded on a record - "17 Fool, Heh!" - and one led to the other: The group met in the studio to make five new recordings and then went on a nationwide tour. "Graveyard Paradise" turned out to be as relevant as in 1967, especially in its original Norwegian language costume. The new version was a combination of both Norwegian and English text. The back of this single was the charming "Spring -65", where Asa retold the story of the four young boys from Bodø who put everything into the music. Four of the five recordings made by the reunited 1-2-6 in 1990 were found good enough for the double CD collectionOne Two Six , which was published in 1995 and which contains the group's collected works.
1. Mirror For Sale - 2:01
2. That's Why I'm Here - 2:52
3. Veto - 1:52
4. Graveyard Paradise - 2:47
5. MES (Mailbox Execution System) - 3:11
6. Curtains Falling - 3:13
7. Elisabeth - 2:59
8. Sing And Smile - 2:54
9. Today - 2:59
10.Wake Up, Johnny - 2:07
11.Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed? - 2:53
12.We're Too Young - 2:36
13.The Rowboat Captain - 2:49
14.Theme From A Green Mailbox - 3:02
15.Little You - 2:46
16.I'm Jokin' - 2:10
17.I Don't Want Your Love - 2:18
18.1 2 6 - 2:17
19.I'm Poisoned - 2:43
20.Graveyard Paradise (Radio Session) - 3:59
21.Vampire Tango - 2:59
22.You're My Friend - 1:53
23.Queen Of Spades - 2:45
24.Fonebone Street - 2:18
25.Today - 2:39
26.The Rowboat Captain - 2:35
27.We're Too Young - 2:08
28.1 2 6 - 3:19
All songs written by Asa Krogtoft
Tracks 21-24 as Taboo

*Asbjørn "Asa" Krogtoft - Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Gunvar Marken - Rhythm Guitar
*Oddvar Hansen - Bass
*Roger Saksenvik - Drums