Saturday, April 30, 2022

Moloch - Moloch (1969 us, solid acid blues rock)

Moloch was a lynchpin of the Memphis psychedelic scene of the late ’60s. Moloch emerged from the fertile musical scene in Memphis, Tennessee, in the year 1969. Formed by guitarist Lee Baker - guitar, backing vocals, Phillip Durham - drums, backing vocal, Fred Nicholson - keyboard, Steve Spear And Gene Wilkins - vocals, toured alongside the MC5 and the Stooges and were offered the opportunity to make an album for the local company Stax in 1970.

Moloch’s self-titled album is a combination of rock, hard blues, psychedelic acid-washed guitar solos, and blue eyed soul. But despite the band members’ abbreviated time together, Moloch remain influential in the Blues world, and, even more so in Memphis lore. In his liner notes, Bob Mehr writes, “the legacy of the band is bigger than a single song. Over the decades, the LP became a totem for guitarists and blues seekers alike, for whom Moloch remains godhead.” Mehr goes on to praise the band’s late guitarist, Lee Baker, declaring that “Baker’s work continues to exert a profound influence on a generation of Memphis guitar players. The Moloch LP served as a touchstone for the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and the Hold Steady’s Steve Selvidge, among other acolytes.”

Recorded in the legendary Ardent studio with producer Don Nix - producer of Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddy King, Albert King, Delaney & Bonnie, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers and others, and often credited as one of the leading architects of "Memphis Sound ", although most of the songs were written by Nix - including the original version of Goin 'Down, which later became a hit re-recorded Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Deep Purple, Pearl Jam among others the sound is unmistakable , And brings influences from the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Blue Cheer, as well as blues musicians such as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sleepy John Estes and Bukka White - all of whom Baker had previously played in the legendary Memphis Country Blues Festivals of the late 60's. The album was a triumph, but could not sell, which led the band to separate in 1971.
1. Helping Hand - 3:20
2. Maverick Woman Blues - 3:04
3. Outta Hand (Don Nix, Gene Wilkins) - 2:50
4. Same Old Blues - 2:57
5. Going Down - 2:57
6. She Looks Like An Angel - 4:13
7. Gone Too Long - 4:30
8. Dance Chaney Dance - 2:53
9. Mona - 2:06
10.People Keep Talking - 2:48
11.I Can Think The Same Of You (Don Nix, Gene Wilkins) - 2:44
12.Night At The Possum - 6:00
All songs by Don Nix except where noted

*Lee Baker - Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Spear - Bass
*Phillip Durham - Drums
*Gene Wilkins - Lead Vocals
*Fred Nicholson - Organ

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Friday, April 29, 2022

Pollution - Pollution (1971 us, stunning blend of blues rock, experimental, funk, gospel, psychedelic soul)

This is Pollution's second effort, (they won the grammy contest for the best cover art) featuring the soul singer Dobie Gray, and Táta Vega (born Carmen Rosa Vega), Dobie and Tata both appeared in the L.A. Cast of Hair. 

The album is an infectious mix of blues rock, psychedelic soul, funk (close to Lydia Pense & Cold Blood). A musical discovery that is more than worth listening to. Highlights Ballad of a Well Known Gun (written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin), Dry Dream, Underdog (by Sly Stone) with the impressive vocals of singer Tata Vega and the song Lo and Behold (written by James Taylor).
1. Travelin' High (With The Lord) (Christiaan Mostert, John Sargent) - 3:21
2. This Feelin' Won't Last Long (James Quill Smith) - 3:49
3. Ballad Of A Well Known Gun (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 4:43
4. Do You Really Have A Heart (Paul Williams, Rodger Nichols) - 3:31
5. Dry Dream (Christiaan Mostert, James Quill Smith) - 3:45
6. Underdog (Sylvester Stewart) - 3:59
7. River (James Quill Smith) - 4:17
8. Lo And Behold (James Taylor) - 3:52
9. Mother Earth (Lewis Simpkin, Peter Chatman) - 7:04

*Táta Carmen-Rosa Vega - Lead Vocals, Choir Leader, Percussion
*Dobie Gray - Lead Vocals, Percussion
*James Quill Smith - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*John Lambert - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Christiaan Mostert - Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Richard Lewis - Trumpet, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Dennis Kenmore - Percussion, Backing Vocals
*The Church Of What's Happening Now Choir - Choir

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Edgewood - Ship Of Labor (1971 us, exceptional classic rock with psych and prog sense)

Edgewood were from Memphis, Tennessee and were around long enough to record an album called \’Ship Of Labor\’ so they may have made some waves back in their hometown. \’Ain\’t Had No Lovin\’ is laid back west coast style hippie rock circa early 70s and in places goes a bit jazzy which of course reminds of Spirit.

Edgewood recorded one and only album for TMI Records (it stands for Trans Maximus Inc) and was the name of Recording Studios run by Steve Cropper. The record label lasted from 1971-1973.
1. Ain't Had No Lovin' (Steve Spear, David Beaver, Pat Taylor, Jim Tarbutton, Mike Blecker) - 4:42
2. Why Don't You Listen (David Mayo, David Beaver) - 4:37
3. Burden of Lies (Pat Taylor, David Beaver) - 3:51
4. Ship of Labor (Steve Spear, David Beaver, Jim Tarbutton) - 6:34
5. Unconscious Friend (Joel Williams) - 3:15
6. Medieval People (David Beaver) - 3:45
7. We Both Stand to Lose (Reni Crook, Wayne Crook) - 4:45
8. What You See (Steve Spear, David Beaver) - 3:03
9. Silent (David Mayo, Wayne Crook) - 7:03

*Pat Taylor - Vocals, Guitar
*David Beaver - Vocals, Keyboard
*David Mayo - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Jim Tarbutton - Lead Guitar
*Steve Spear - Bass
*Joel Williams - Drums, Percussion

Related Act

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Pollution - Pollution II (1972 us, slpendid blues jazz brass rock)

Pollution was the brainchild of guitarist and songwriter James Quill Smith (aka Smitty), who appears to have organized the band and wrote a good deal of the songs they recorded. With most of the rest of their material written by other members of the group. 

Tha band released three albums, the 1969 "Heir: Pollution" for Capitol records, and two more simply named "Pollution I" and Pollution II" 1971 and 1972 for Prophesy Records. Their manager was Max Baer Jr., son of the onetime World Heavyweight champion and the actor who played Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies. This didn't appear to help their career as much as one might expect since, by all accounts, he was a lousy manager. He did better as a movie producer having put out some profitable gems like Macon County Line & Ode to Billie Joe.

Prophesy Records, which issued both of these albumes, was distributed by Atlantic that only had a few releases including a couple Kraut rock bands, a Clifton Chenier album & Quincy Jones' soundtrack for The Hot Rock–odd selection to say the least. Interestingly, Pollution I won a Grammy for it's cover (done by Gene Brownell). It's a good cover but I like the one for Pollution II better. On the other hand, I prefer the music on the 1st one. The music on both releases is soul-inspired rock with horns and occassional nods to country rock.

After Pollution disbanded, James Quill Smith became a member of  Three Dog Night in 1974 after Joe Schermie and Michael Allsup left to form S.S. Fools. He left them in 1975 and was replaced by Al Ciner. Turning to the big screen he appeared in the 1992 movie A Private Matter that starred Aidan Quinn and Sissy Spacek.

Very active in the music industry, he performed with artists such as Dr, John, Billy Joel, Roger McGuinn and Sylvester & The Hot Band to name a few and was the guitarist in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers from 1977 appearing on many of his album releases from that time onwards. In 1999 he released Down to Earth with his James Quill Smith Band.

He suffered a stroke in 2007 which ended his career and he passed away in Lawrenceville, Georgia in 2018 when he was 74 years old.
1. Hospitals (James Quill Smith) - 3:42
2. Vegetable Soup (James Quill Smith) - 4:26
3. Polly (Christiaan Mostert, John Sargent) - 3:23
4. The End (Chris Mostert, Dennis Kenmore, James Quill Smith, John Lambert, Richard Lewis) - 3:14
5. How Does It Feel (James Quill Smith) - 4:55
6. Why (James Quill Smith) - 3:21
7. Sharecropper's Blues (James Quill Smith) - 3:42
8. Allen P. Ader (Christiaan Mostert, John Sargent) - 4:30
9. Just The Way (Bodie Chandler) - 3:14
10.Foolhearted Woman (Alan Brackett) - 4:31

*Chris Mostert - Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards, Backing Vocals 
*Dennis Kenmore - Percussion, Backing Vocals
*James Quill Smith - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica 
*John Lambert - Bass, Backing Vocals 
*Richard Lewis - Trumpet, Keyboards, Backing Vocals 
*Joe Lala - Congas
*Jerry Jumonville - Saxophone
*Terry Furlong - Guitar
*Ronnie Baron - Piano
*Mike Reiley - Vocals

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Chamaeleon Church - Chamaeleon Church (1968 us, beautiful bosstown psychedelia, feat. Ted Mayers and famous actor Chevy Chase, 2009 remaster)

Psychedelic pop band Chamaeleon Church is best remembered as the launching pad for a pre-Saturday Night Live Chevy Chase. The group formed in Boston in 1967 after singer/guitarist Ted Myers, an alumnus of the Lost, met multi-instrumentalist Tony Schueren through mutual friends in another Bosstown Sound band, the Ultimate Spinach. After recruiting another Lost alum, Kyle Garrahan, to play bass, Chamaeleon Church (so named -- and, presumably, misspelled -- in honor of the Myers/Schueren composition "Camillia Is Changing") completed its lineup with Chase, whom Myers met while recording in New York. At the time Myers was under contract as a songwriter to N.Y.C. producer Alan Lorber, who agreed to produce the fledgling band's debut LP -- Chamaeleon Church later renounced the end result, issued on MGM in 1968, claiming Lorber's soft psych production ethos compromised their original vision.

The band dissolved soon after a brief tour that included an appearance on the ABC television special What Gap? Myers and Schueren next reunited in the Ultimate Spinach, with the latter also collaborating with Chase on some sketch comedy pieces for The Groove Tube. Myers later worked at Rhino Records, while Schueren went on to join the staff of the National Lampoon, appearing regularly on their Radio Hour as well as on the Grammy-nominated albums The Missing White House Tapes and Goodbye Pop. Chase, of course, joined the original cast of the landmark NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, becoming the program's first breakout star -- he left after one season to pursue a film career, appearing in comedy classics like Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Fletch before his career nosedived thanks to a series of painfully unfunny features. He also hosted his own notoriously short-lived late-night talk show.
by Jason Ankeny
1. Come In To Your Life (Ted Myers, Anthony Scheuren) - 2:16
2. Camillia Is Changing (Ted Myers, Anthony Scheuren) - 4:11
3. Spring This Year - 4:15
4. Blueberry Pie - 3:30
5. Remembering´s All I Can Do - 4:00
6. Flowers In The Field - 2:33
7. Here´s A Song - 2:02
8. In A Kindly Way - 3:05
9. Tompkins Square Park (Ted Myers, Anthony Scheuren) - 3:02
10.Picking Up The Pieces - 2:15
11.Off With The Old - 4:20
All songs by Ted Myers except where indicated

Chamaeleon Church
*Ted Myers - Vocals, Guitar
*Anthony Scheuren - Vocals, Guitar, Electric Bass, Harpsichord
*Kyle Garrahan - Vocals, Electric Bass, Lead Guitar, Piano
*Chevy Chase - Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Organ, Keyboards

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Grass Roots - The Complete Original Dunhill ABC Hit Singles (1965-73 us, truest essence of the band these hook filled singles in that glorious, original sound, 2014 mixed and mastered)

The first serious Grass Roots compilation since Rhino's Anthology: 1965-1975, Real Gone's 2014 The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles isn't as comprehensive as that 1991 double-disc set, running 24 songs to its predecessor's 36, but that still leaves plenty of room to be thorough. 

Every one of the group's charting singles between 1966 and 1973 are here, beginning with "Where Were You When I Needed You" -- their first Top 40 hit in 1966, climbing all the way to 28 -- and ending with "Love Is What You Make It," which topped out at 55. "Mamacita," a 1975 single for Haven, isn't here but their first Dunhill side, a cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Jones (Ballad of a Thin Man)" is, along with a censored version of their breakthrough hit "Let's Live for Today," two inclusions which underscore the group's folk-rock roots, but the band's hot streak really began with "Midnight Confessions," a piece of snazzy blue-eyed soul that opened up a run of AM pop nuggets that ran until 1972. 

All of these are here, and while the big hits "I'd Wait a Million Years," "Temptation Eyes," "Sooner or Later," and "Two Divided by Love" are the group's best, the Grass Roots' bench is deeper than this suggests, thanks in part to some nifty songs by Harvey Price & Dan Walsh, the authors of "Temptation Eyes" (these include "Baby Hold On" and "Heaven Knows") and Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter ("The Runaway," "Anyway the Wind Blows"). This is state of the art turn of '70s pop, and Real Gone finally gives it the showcase it has long deserved with this fine compilation. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. Mr. Jones (Ballad of a Thin Man) (Bob Dylan) - 2:54
2. Where Were You When I Needed You (Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan) - 3:00
3. Only When You're Lonely (Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan) - 3:12
4. Let's Live for Today (Uncensored Version) (Ivan Mogol, Norman David Shapiro) - 2:48
5. Things I Should Have Said (Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan) - 2:22
6. Wake Up, Wake Up (Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan) - 2:49
7. A Melody for You (P.F. Sloan) - 2:54
8. Midnight Confessions (Lou Josie) - 2:47
9. Bella Linda (Steve Barri, Lucio Battisti, Barry Gross, Ivan Mogol) - 2:54
10.Lovin' Things (Artie Schroeck, Jet Loring) - 2:46
11.The River Is Wide (Billy Admire, Gary Knight) - 2:40
12.I'd Wait a Million Years (Mitch Bottler) - 2:39
13.Heaven Knows (Harvey Price, Dan Walsh) - 2:27
14.Walking Through the Country (Dennis Provisor) - 3:02
15.Baby Hold On (Harvey Price, Dan Walsh) - 2:38
16.Come On and Say It (Warren Entner) - 2:29 
17.Temptation Eyes (Harvey Price, Dan Walsh) - 2:33
18.Sooner or Later (Mitch Bottler, Ted McNamara, Andeneyi Paris, Ekundayo Paris, Gary Zekley) - 2:36
19.Two Divided by Love (Marty Kupps, Dennis Lambert, Brian Potter) - 2:45
20.Glory Bound (Steve Barri, Harvey Price, Dennis Provisor, Dan Walsh) - 2:37
21.The Runway (Dennis Lambert, Brian Potter) - 2:51
22.Anyway the Wind Blows (Brian Potter) - 2:52
23.Love Is What You Make It (Harvey Price) - 2:54
24.Let's Live for Today (Censored Version) (Ivan Mogol, Norman David) - 2:45

*Creed Bratton - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Rick Coonce - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Warren Entner - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Rob Grill - Bass, Vocals
*Dennis Provisor - Keyboards 
*Terry Furlong - Guitar
*Virgil Weber - Keyboards
*Reed Kailing - Guitar
*Joel Larson - Drums
*Ben Benay - Guitar, Harmonica
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Joe Osborn - Bass
*Larry Knechtel - Keyboards
*Mike Deasy - Guitar

1967-68  Grassroots - Let's Live For Today / Feelings 
1969  The Grass Roots - Leaving It All Behind  (2010 edition)
1972-73  The Grass Roots - Move Along / Alotta Mileage

Friday, April 22, 2022

Redbone - Wovoka (1973 us, awesome rythm 'n' blues vibes)

The fifth "Redbone" album is the most famous one. I think this is totally deserved, it mixes songs with much indian roots and rythms with very "pop" arrangements. The result is real great. And we still have those strange and atmospheric tunes ("Liquid truth" or "23rd and Mad") aside their most popular hit ever: " Come and Get Your Love".

The appearance of Come and Get your Love in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie in 2014 will add to the legend of this album. This is the album were Butch Rillera replaced Pete DePoe. They both are playing on it.
Redbone's official 
1. Wovoka (Pat Vegas, Lolly Vegas) - 3:01
2. Sweet Lady Of Love (Lolly Vegas) - 3:03
3. Someday A Good Song (Pat Vegas, Tony Bellamy) - 4:13
4. Liquid Truth (Lolly Vegas) - 5:04
5. Come And Get Your Love (Lolly Vegas) - 5:01
6. Day To Day Life/Chant Wovoka(Pat Vegas, Tony Bellamy) - 2:43
7. Clouds In My Sunshine (Pat Vegas) - 4:45
8. 23rd And Mad (Lolly Vegas, Pete DePoe) - 6:49

*Lolly Vegas - Lead Guitar, Electric Sitar, Leslie Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Bellamy - Rhythm Guitar, Wah Wah Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Pat Vegas - Bass, Fuzz Bass, Vocals
*Butch Rillera - Drums, Background Vocals (Tracks 1,3,7,8)
*Peter DePoe - Drums, Background Vocals (Tracks 2,4,6)
*Joe Sample - Piano, Vibraphone
*Sherry Williams - Background Vocals
*Eddie Caciedo - Percussion
*Johnny Lopez - Background Vocals

1970  Redbone - Redbone (2006 edition)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Redbone - Potlatch (1970 us, remarkable native groovy funk rock, 2004 bonus tracks remaster)

Their first of six Epic releases is a strong follow-up to the self-titled debut the same year. The album-opening "Maggie" is a perfect example of their distinctive sound, a funky, highly rhythmic itch that gets under your skin. The limitations of Lolly Vegas' singing means the all-native California quartet is more adept on faster numbers, although "Alcatraz" is a touching ballad with a seldom-heard Indian perspective. The segue on "Chant: 13th Hour" from tribal chanting to Redbone-style funk predates Robbie Robertson's similar experiments by more than 20 years. 
by Mark Allan

Redbone was a Los Angeles-based group led by Native American Pat and Lolly Vegas. They hit paydirt in 1974 with the million-seller 'Come and Get Your Love.' Lead singers Pat and Lolly Vegas had previously worked under their own names, appearing in the 1965 film It's a Bikini World prior to forming Redbone. Their first success as Redbone came in 1970 with 'Maggie' on Epic. This reissue of their 1970 debut adds 2 bonus tracks 'Maggie' and 'New Blue Sermonette'.
1. Maggie - 5:10
2. Light As A Feather (Patrick Vegas) - 1:59
3. Who Can Say - 2:54
4. Judgement Day - 2:33
5. Without Reservation (Lolly Vegas, Patrick Vegas, Tony Bellamy, Pete DePoe) - 4:15
6. Chant: 13th Hour (Patrick Vegas) - 5:42
7. Alcatraz (Patrick Vegas) - 2:38
8. Drinkin' And Blo - 2:20
9. Bad News Ain't No News At All (Patrick Vegas) - 3:14
10.New Blue Sermonette - 3:30
11.Maggie - 2:46
12.New Blue Sermonette - 3:31
All songs by Lolly Vegas except where stated
Bonus Tracks 11-12

The Redbone
*Lolly Vegas - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Bellamy - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Patrick Vegas - Bass, Vocals
*Pete DePoe - Drums, Percussions

1970  Redbone - Redbone (2006 edition)
1972  Redbobe - Already Here (2011 bonus tracks reissue)

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Ro-D-Ys - The Golden Years Of Dutch Pop Music / A'n'B Sides And More (1966-70 holland, fantastic baroque folk mod beat psych, 2016 double disc remaster)

Even relative to some other mid- to late-'60s Dutch groups (like the Outsiders, Les Baroques, and Q 65), the Ro-d-y-s have a fairly low profile beyond their native Holland, even to collectors of 1960s Continental European rock. But the group did release quite a few records on the large Philips label between 1966 and 1969, including nine singles and two LPs. Stylistically, they favored, like many Dutch groups, a very British-influenced sound with a slightly raw and sardonic edge.

At various points, their songs (all written by lead singer and guitarist Harry Rijnbergen) incorporated prominent streaks of mod rock, soul, and late-'60s British pop-psychedelia, the lyrics often informed by archly phrased anti-establishment youth viewpoints. Some idiosyncratic Continental influence also seeps in with some of the unusual choices of instrumentation within rock arrangements, including xylophones, whistles, bicycle bells, bagpipes, and accordions. When the Ro-d-y-s broke up at the end of the 1960s, some of the members, including Rijnbergen, were in another Dutch band, Zen. 
by Richie Unterberger
Disc 1
1. You Better Take Care Of Yourself - 2:24
2. Wheels, Wheels, Wheels - 2:03
3. Take Her Home - 2:33
4. Only One Week - 1:59
5. Just Fancy - 2:59
6. Gods Of Evil - 3:04
7. Nothing To Change A Mind - 2:28
8. Stop Looking On A Deadlock - 2:49
9. Sleep Sleep Sleep - 3:04
10.Show Me By Candlelight - 2:30
11.Anytime - 3:10
12.Dr. Sipher - 3:15
13.Ungorgettable Girl - 2:52
14.Everytime A Second - 3:28
15.Earnest Vocation - 4:55
16.Isn't It A Good Time - 2:13
17.Winter Woman - 4:25
18.Looking For Something Better - 2:57
19.Get Me Down - 2:53
20.Wayfaring Stranger (Traditional) - 3:28
21.Take Me Down To Riverside - 2:48
22.Let Me Try To Cry - 4:05
All compositions by Harry Rijnbergen except where noted
Tracks 19-22 as Zen
Disc 2
1. Tomorrow - 2:30
2. Hitch-Hiking - 2:34
3. Bad Babe - 2:10
4. My Woman Has Got Loose - 2:33
5. Waiting For A Cloud Burst - 3:33
6. When You Hear This Song - 3:16
7. Just Go On - 2:51
8. Destination - 3:00
9. I Still Got You - 2:00
10.Let's Try - 2:25
11.Wrong Shoe - 2:10
12.Flowers Everywhere - 2:52
13.Love Is Almost Everywhere - 3:10
14.Robinetta - 3:01
15.No Place Like Home - 4:21
16.Easy Come, Easy Go - 2:36
17.Look For Windchild - 2:35
18.Let It Be Tomorrow - 2:14
19.Peace Ants - 3:52
20.Rock 'n' Roller (Niels Lingbeek, Harry Rijnbergen) - 4:34
21.Mysterious Ways (Niels Lingbeek, Harry Rijnbergen) - 4:21
All compositions by Harry Rijnbergen except where stated
Tracks 20-21 as Harry Rijnbergen

*Harry Rijnbergen - Guitar, Vocals
*Joop Hulzebos - Guitar, Keyboards
*Wiechert Kenter - Bass, Trumpet, Vibraphone
*Bennie Groen - Drums 
*Dick Beekman - Drums
*Annet Hesterman - Vocals
*De Schuyt - Organ
*Jan Vennik - Saxophone

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Billy Thorpe - Million Dollar Bill (1974 australia, wonderful blue eyed soul funky rock)

Billy Thorpe was born in 1946 in Manchester England. His parents, Bill and Mabel Thorpe and he emigrated to Australia in 1955, arriving in Melbourne and then settling in Brisbane, Queensland. He performed as a ten-year-old under the pseudonym Little Rock Allen. Six months later, after he was heard singing and playing guitar by a television producer, Thorpe made regular musical appearances on Queensland television, brandishing his trademark stock whip. He toured regional venues with Reg Lindsay in 1961, and national venues with Johnny O'Keefe and with Col Joye. By 1963, as an experienced singer and musician, he decided to relocate to Sydney

After more line-up changes Thorpe dissolved the Aztecs early in 1975, as a solo artist he recorded Million Dollar Bill, which reached the top 40, with its top 50 single "It's Almost Summer"; and Pick Me Up & Play Me Loud in 1976. Both albums showed another change in style, being a mix of Adult-orientated Rock, funk and country. In December 1976, he relocated to Los Angeles in the United States, although he returned to Australia periodically to tour with varied line-ups of the Aztecs.

Thorpe suffered from chest pains at his home on 28 February 2007 and was taken by an ambulance to St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney around 2:00 am AEDT after having a massive heart attack. He remained in the emergency ward in a serious condition and went into cardiac arrest around half an hour later; hospital staff unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate him. His family was by his side when he died at 60 years of age. Thorpe is survived by his wife Lynn, and daughters Rusty and Lauren. His manager Michael Chugg said the death was a "terrible tragedy", as Thorpe had just finished recording a new album Tangier and was very happy after a recent acoustic tour. He was posthumously appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 11 June 2007, with the citation, "For service to the entertainment industry as a musician, songwriter, producer, and as a contributor to the preservation and collection of contemporary Australian music".
1. Back On The Streets Again (Gabriel Mekler, Trevor Lawrence) - 4:54
2. Drive My Car (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:28
3. I Really Miss You (Billy Thorpe) - 4:20
4. It's Almost Summer (Billy Thorpe) - 3:01
5. Do The Best You Can (Billy Kristian) - 4:25
6. Theme From Million Dollar Bill (Billy Thorpe) - 4:55
7. Mama Told Her (Catherine C. Williamson, Gabriel Mekler, Trevor Lawrence) - 3:21
8. Standin' Too Close To The Fire (Billy Thorpe) - 6:06
9. Don't Need No Protection (Chris Jagger) - 3:41

*Billy Thorpe - Vocals, Guitar
*Gil Matthews - Drums, Percussion
*Billy Kristian - Bass
*Warren Morgan - Keyboards
*Jack Hotop - Fender Rhodes
*William Motzing - Synthesizer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Vocal Arrangements
*Peter Dawkins - Bongos, Producer
*Kerrie Biddell - Vocals
*Janice Slater - Vocals
*Alison Maccallum - Vocals
*John Lyle - Violin
*Julie Batty - Violin
*Klara Korda - Violin 
*Della Woods - Violin 
*Frank Coe - Violin
*Alice Waten - Violin 
*R. Ingram - Violin 
*Gordon Bennett - Violin 
*Phillip Hartl - Violin
*David Pereira  - Cello
*H. Gyors - Cello
*Robert W. Miller - Cello
*Vanessa Butters - Cello
*Frederick Mckay - Cello
*L. Kuring - Cello
*“Boof” Thompsen, 
*Mike Cleary - Trumpet
*Mike Bukovsky - Trumpet
*Ed D’Amico - Trumpet 
*Keith Dubber - Trumpet
*Tony Buchanan - Saxophone
*Don Wright - Saxophone
*Bob Mcivor - Trombone
*George Brodbeck - Trombone
*Ken Herron - Trombone
*John Fetter - Guitar
*“J.C.” Trevisano - Congas 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Omega Plus - How To Kiss The Sky (1969 france, heavy psych blues rock, 2002 hard sleeve issue)

"How to kiss the Sky" is the first trace of Claude Egel on record before he became a member of Magma. Omega Plus is the group formed by Claude Engel who is not content just to play - and very well too - guitar or flute but also gives a very good show as a vocalist. Released in '69, Omega Plus's album was influenced by Cream but its music also contains a foretaste of Magma on the B side which features a long piece full of electric energy, folly and a frenzied rhythmic beat. Claude Engel gives a fabulous display of his talent as a guitarist on this track.
by Francis Grosse, Bernard Gueffier

This trio led by Claude Engel made a legendary album . Just 1,000 copies were pressed in 1969. Side one had 5 short songs with English lyrics, ranging from heavy progressive blues-rock to largely acoustic songs (comparable to Cream and Blind Faith). Claude Engel's voice is also quite similar to Jack Bruce's. The other side had a long live track named "Voyelles", based on a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, including a recitation. This is the primal scream of "zeuhl" rock, in a very raw and rudimentary form that quite a few will interpret as vaguely planned three man jamming. Overall the album is undoubtedly historical, but not entirely satisfying for all that.
by Dag Asbjornsen
1. Unfaithful Woman (Claude Engel, Gerard Levy) - 3:46   
2. Spanish Feeling (Claude Engel, Gerard Levy) - 2:46    
3. Wild Cult (Claude Engel, L. Rambler) - 3:11    
4. Which Colour? (Claude Engel, Gerard Levy) - 2:15    
5. Do You Need Sugar? - 0:40   
6. Voyelles (Claude Engel, lyrics from a poem by Arthur Rimbaud) - 16:28    

Omega Plus
*Claude Engel - Guitars, Vocals, Flute, Recorder
*Gerard Levy - Bass
*Marcel Engel - Drums, Vocals

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Out Of Focus - Four Letter Monday Afternoon (1972 germany, enormous jazz prog rock, 2010 double disc remaster)

Out of Focus' third album was their magnum opus, where all the stops are pulled out and the group, with the addition of a horn section and bongos, was at their most inventive. As a natural progression from the earlier two records, Four Letter Monday Afternoon has even longer instrumental sections, as well as far more variety. 

The double album opens with the sidelong track "L.S.B.," which is either a misspelling of LSD or stands for "Love S Burning." This track starts off with an imposing martial beat before evolving into a more typical funk groove with over-the-top brass, before this collapses into a brief bit of free jazz and explosions, then a pastoral flute solo, and then more of the powerfully swinging jazz-rock. "Tsajama" goes more in a Magma direction, with weird vocal chanting and an intense bass-driven sound, whereas "Black Cards" is more wistful, with bleak lyrics and haunted flute. Of the only two short tracks, "Where Have You Been" is a bitter folk song, with a far more sparse instrumentation of acoustic guitar and not much else, and the CD bonus cut, "When I'm Sleeping," is the only slightly conventional song on the album. 

The second CD (sides three and four of the original album) contains the three parts of a single piece, "Huchen 55," each segued to the next by a multi-tracked flute solo. This mostly instrumental improvisation is all over the place as the group gets even more free-form than usual. Though the less-focused "Huchen 55" is not quite as strong as much of the material on the first disc, it is still a compelling piece with some fascinating parts. Four Letter Monday Afternoon was an ambitious project and it succeeds wonderfully. 
by Rolf Semprebon
Disc 1
1. L.S.B - 17:37
2. When I’m Sleeping - 4:04
3. Tsajama - 9:23
4. Black Cards - 9:38
5. Where Have You Been - 5:35
Disc 2 
1. A Huchen 55 - 9:19
2. Huchen 55 B - 14:32
3. Huchen 55 C - 24:18
All compositions by Remigius Drechsler, Hennse Hering, Moran Neumüller, Klaus Spöri, Stephen Wishen

Out Of Focus
*Remigius Drechsler - Guitars, Tenor Saxophone, Flutes, Stylophone, Voice
*Hennse Hering - Organ, Piano
*Moran Neumüller - Soprano Saxophone, Vocals
*Klaus Spöri - Drums
*Stephen Wishen - Bass
*Hermann Breuer - Trombone
*Peter Dechant - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Grand Roman Langhaus - Bongos
*Jimmy Polivka - Trumpet
*Ingo Schmid-Neuhaus - Alto, Baritone Saxophones
*Michael Thatcher - Organ

Friday, April 15, 2022

Apocalypse - Apocalypse (1969 germany, awesome psych rock, 2003 remaster)

Second album released in 1969, by this band from North Germany. Unlike their debut, on their sophomore album they developed and refined their music toward psychedelic rock without denying the psych pop roots. The tracks became longer, the instrumentation many sided (great sitar in 'Let die'). Intelligent compositions with great vocals make this underrated album a true gem. 
1. Life Is Your Profession - 5:48
2. Let It Die - 6:09
3. Patricia - 9:26
4. Milkman - 4:50
5. Try To Please Me - 2:52
6. Pictures Of My Woman - 3:43
7. Linda Jones (Gerd Müller-Schwanke) - 3:40
8. Blowing In Blow (Gerd Müller-Schwanke) - 7:17
9. Reflections Of A Summer (Gerd Müller-Schwanke) - 4:34
All songs by Enrico Lombardi, John Leslie Humphreys except where stated
Bonus Track 9

*Jürgen Drews - Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Enrico Lombardi - Vocals, Bass
*Bernd Scheffler - Vocals, Drums
*Gerd Müller-Schwanke - Vocals, Guitar 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Elephant's Memory - Take It To The Streets (1970 us, a powerful rock package with blending horns, piano, guitars and protest lyrics)

More cohesive than their RCA release in the mid-'70s, the New York underground band who worked with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and David Peel finds themselves on Metromedia, the label which had hits with Bobby Sherman, unleashing eight originals written mostly by drummer Rich Frank and lead vocalist/tenor saxman Stan Bronstein. Guitarist David Cohen contributes to a couple of tunes, with pianist Myron Yules and guitarist Greg Peratori also involved in the songwriting, but it is Frank (listed on the credits as Reek Havoc) and Bronstein who are the major forces behind this well-known-but-not-often-heard group. 

Clearly it was Lennon's participation on an early disc and not the band's notoriety which made them almost a household name, but one hit record could have changed all that. There is no hit here, but there is some experimental rock that Frank Zappa should have snapped up for his Straight Records. A bubblegum label could only move this if they were called Crazy Elephant and had something akin to "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'." Rather you have the antithesis, "Mongoose," followed by "Power" and the revolutionary "Piece Now." 

The technical proficiency is traded in for angst and lots of rock & roll attitude. "Piece Now" could very well be MC5, and the music on all three of the first tunes is dense and noteworthy. "Tricky Noses" ends side one with a flurry of bullets stopping a country-ish protest song, making the point quickly and with uneasy ease. Away from their famous friends, the seven-piece group is at least interesting here, with "She's Just Naturally Bad" sounding like Blue Cheer when they abandoned the sonic onslaught for laid-back folk-rock. 

Flashes of Dylan and Lou Reed make their way onto the tune. Pianist Myron Yules delivers the only song that Rich Frank and Bronstein aren't associated with, "I Couldn't Dream," a light Paul McCartney-style throwaway number."Damn" gets things somewhat heavy, a nice counterpoint to side one's "Power." This is where the band shines, solid ensemble rock with riffs and lots of not-so-quiet energy. For collectors who need anything by anyone ever associated with the Beatles, the Elephant's Memory's collection is not to be forgotten. "Ivan" is smooth New York rock a few years before Lou Reed would enter his Coney Island Baby phase, but definitely sounding like it could fit on that epic. Take It to the Streets is a true rock & roll artifact and holds some surprises worth rediscovering. 
by Joe Viglione
1. Mongoose (David Cohen, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 4:53
2. Power (Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 5:59
3. Piece Now (Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 4:56
4. Tricky Noses (Rick Frank) - 0:51
5. She's Just Naturally Bad (David Cohen, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 6:06
6. I Couldn't Dream It (Myron Yules) - 3:21
7. Damn (Guy Peritore, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 4:36
8. Ivan (Rick Frank) - 4:03

Elephant's Memory
*Stan Bronstein - Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Lead Vocals
*Rick Frank - Drums
*John Ward - Bass, Vocals
*Guy Peritore - Guitar, Vocals
*David Cohen - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Myron Yules - Trombone, Piano, Vocals
*Mike Rose - Guitar

1969  Elephant's Memory - Elephant's Memory

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood - Jerry Hahn Brotherhood (1970 us, groovy mix of roots and lyrical psychedelic sounds with fantastic guitar licks)

Jerry is one of the most celebrated jazz guitarists of his generation, and a major name in the 1960s and 1970s for his de facto contribution to the emerging fusion movement.

He began playing the guitar at age 7. At age 11 he began playing professionally with the Bobby Wiley Rhythmaires, appearing daily on Wichita's first television station, KEDD.

At the age of 21 Jerry moved to San Francisco. In 1964 he joined the John Handy Quintet, recording two albums for Columbia Records including the critically acclaimed "Live at Monterey." In 1967 he recorded his first album for Arhoolie Records, "The Jerry Hahn Quintet," with Jack DeJohnette on drums. In 1968, he joined the Gary Burton Quartet with Roy Haynes and Steve Swallow, recording three albums and touring the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan.

By 1970 Jerry Hahn -who had paid his dues working with John Handy, the Fifth Dimension and Gary Burton-, wanted to get a band together that would reflect a myriad of musical influences--- jazz, blues, rock, gospel, country etc. One of the best parts of the early 1970's was the great amount of experimentation that was going on among bands in general. A very fertile period indeed. As a matter of fact, one could easily make the claim that this here record was one of the very first true fusion albums to hit the scene.

Jerry also began to write a monthly column for Guitar Player magazine entitled "Jerry Hahn's Guitar Seminar" which continued for five years. In 1971 Paul Simon called Jerry to record on his first solo album, "Paul Simon."

In 1972, Jerry went back to Wichita, Kansas, where he became a full-time member of the Wichita State University faculty and established the degree program in jazz guitar. He received a Doctor of Music degree from Berean Christian College in Long Beach, CA in 1983.

His formidable book and CD Complete Jerry Hahn Method for Jazz Guitar for Mel Bay Publications has been in publication since 1986.

After 15 years at WSU, Jerry relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he joined the Bennie Wallace Quartet, recording and touring the United States, Europe and Japan. The move sound track for White Men Can't Jump features Jerry's guitar playing.

In 1992 he moved to Denver, Colorado, where he taught at the Colorado Institute of Art and performed, toured and recorded with Ginger Baker, the drummer with the band "Cream."

In 1995, Jerry joined the faculty of Portland State University and developed the curriculum for the Jazz Guitar program. In addition to teaching all of the jazz guitar students, coaching guitar ensembles and jazz combos at PSU, Jerry continued to perform, record, tour and conduct clinics at universities and schools.

Recent engagements include the Iridium Jazz Club and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City with the original John Handy Quintet. His latest recordings include "Hahn Solo" and "Jazz Hymns" on Migration Records, and self-published "Hahn Songs" in 2010. Jerry has returned to Kansas to be with family and work on new publications and recordings.

Jerry Hahn, the innovative and dedicated musician, continues to be one of the favorites of a younger generation of guitarists.
Meet Jerry Hahn
1. Martha's Madman - 3:23
2. Early Bird Cafe - 4:19
3. One Man Woman - 7:00
4. Ramblin' (Ornette Coleman) - 5:27
5. Dippin' Snuff (Jerry Hahn) - 0:27
6. Time's Caught Up With You - 3:11
7. Thursday Thing - 2:48
8. What I Gave Away - 2:20
9. Comin' Down (Jerry Hahn) - 5:43
10.Captain Bobby Stout - 5:24
All songs by Lane Tietgen except where noted

The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood
*Jerry Hahn - Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
*Mike Finnigan - Vocals, Organ, Piano, Harmonica
*George Marsh - Drums
*Clyde Graves - Bass

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Out Of Focus - Rat Roads (1972 germany, sensational jazz prog krautrock, 2002 remaster)

The sprawling double LP Four Letter Monday Afternoon is generally considered the best effort from these jazzy Krautrockers. Rats Road, issued 30 years later, consists of recordings from those same sessions that had to be left off the original release because of lack of space, with material nearly as strong. Like Four Letter, this finds Out of Focus expanded to an 11-piece and stretching out on long jams with loose, funky rhythms and lots of lengthy instrumentals on various brass, keyboards, and guitar. In fact, this record is even more instrumental, with only two tracks with vocals, the energetic "I'd Like to Be Free" and "Tell Me What I'm Thinking Of," the latter which also appeared as a bonus track titled "When I'm Sleeping" on the CD reissue of Four Letter Monday Afternoon. 

Though Rats Road never gets into the more experimental realms of Four Letter pieces like "L.S.B." and "Tsajama," there is still a lot of creativity here, from the wild rhythms of "Table Talk" and "Straight Ahead" to the quirky structures of "Rats Road" and "Climax," as Out of Focus combines rock and big band jazz fluidly into something quite extraordinary. The CD, like many others from the Garden of Delights label, also contains a 32-page booklet with some history of the band and photos. 
by Rolf Semprebon
1. I'd Like To Be Free - 7:15
2. Table Talk - 12:03
3. Rat Roads - 5:16
4. Fallen Apples (Remingius Dreschler) - 2:18
5. Straight Ahead (Remingius Dreschler) - 4:39
6. Tell Me What I'm Thinking Of - 3:58
7. Climax - 12:47
8. Kitchen Blues (Moran Neumüller) - 0:31
9. Good-Bye Honey (Remingius Dreschler) - 0:59
All compositions by Remingius Dreschler, Moran Neumüller except where noted

Out Of Focus
*Peter Dechant - Guitar
*Remingius Dreschler - Guitar
*Hennes Hering - Keyboards
*Moran Neumüller - Vocals, Sax, Flute
*Ingo Schmid-Neuhaus - Saxophone
*Klaus Spöri - Drums
*Stephan Wiescheu - Bass
*Hermann Breuer - Trombone, Keyboards
*Grand Roman Langhans - Percussion
*Jimmy Polivka - Trumpet
*Michael Thatcher - Keyboards