Friday, March 31, 2023

Johnny Fuller And The Phillip Walker Band - Fullers Blues (1974 us, stunning electric blues, 2015 remaster)

Johnny Fuller was a West Coast bluesman who left behind a spate of 1950s recordings that jumped all kinds of genre fences with seemingly no trace of his Mississippi born roots. He was equally at home with low down blues, gospel, R&B, and rock & roll, all of it imbued with strong vocals and a driving guitar style. Although his Mississippi roots were never far below the surface of his best work, Johnny is usually categorized as a West Coast bluesman. 

Making the Bay Area his home throughout his career, Fuller turned in classic sides for Heritage, Aladdin, Specialty, Flair, Checker, and Hollywood; all but one of them West Coast-based concerns. His two biggest hits, "All Night Long" and the original version of "The Haunted House," improbably found him in the late '50s on rock & roll package shows, touring with the likes of Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon! By and large retiring from the music scene in the '60s (with the exception of one excellent album in 1974), Fuller worked as a garage mechanic until his passing in 1985.
by Cub Koda

Recorded in 1974, Fuller's Blues was Johnny Fuller's much-belated full-length debut, and it also turned out to be his last record. That's too bad, because it certainly illustrates what he was capable of achieving. He runs the gauntlet here, pulling out jumping R&B numbers and acoustic blues with equal aplomb. It's an exhilarating listen -- it's just too bad there weren't more like it.
by Thom Owens
1. Tin Pan Alley (Bob Geddins) - 3:26
2. Fools Paradise (Bob Geddins, Johnny Fuller) - 3:06
3. Strange Land (Bob Geddins) - 4:35
4. 1009 Blues - 4:13
5. You Got Me Whistling - 2:49
6. But Bruce (David Ii) - 3:03
7. Bad Luck Overtook Me - 3:02
8. Hard Luck Blues - 3:15
9. Crying Won't Make Me Stay - 3:02
10.Miss You So (Larry Chatman) - 2:55
11.A Good Letting Alone - 4:01
12.Mercy, Mercy - 3:01
All songs by Johnny Fuller except where indicated

*Johnny Fuller - Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals 
*Phillip Walker - Guitar
*Tony Matthews - Guitar
*Dennis Walker - Bass
*Zaven 'Big John' Jambezian - Harmonica
*Johnny Tucker - Drums
*Arthur Woods - Piano 
*David Ii - Tenor, Baritone Saxophone 
*Mike O'Connel - Trumpet 

rep> Killing Floor - Killing Floor (1969 uk, effective hard blues rock, 2007 limited edition)

Killing Floor came together in 1968 when singer Bill Thorndycraft and guitarist Mick Clarke met up in a South London blues band. After one unsatisfactory gig with the band the two decided to form a new unit together..Bill suggested the name Killing Floor.

Bill had already met drummer Bazz Smith while touring in Germany, and ads in the "Melody Maker" music paper brought responses from bass player Stuart (Mac) McDonald and pianist Lou Martin.

The band rehearsed hard in various South London pubs and rehearsal rooms, learning a repertoire of Chicago blues standards, but adding their own rock influences. Their first live performance was at London's "Middle Earth" with Captain Beefheart, and soon the band was playing at all the blues clubs of the time, including appearances at London's Marquee club with The Nice and Yes. Favourite venues included the Blues Loft in High Wycombe where they literally brought the house down..the footstomping of the crowd bringing down the ceiling in the room below! 

The first album was released in 1969 on the Spark Label, a subsidiary of the Southern Music publishing group, and licensed in the USA by Sire Records. It got good reviews and airplay, and the band played sessions for John Peel, Johnny Walker, Alexis Korner and other national radio shows. 

The band was very much a part of the developing "blues boom" of the '60's which created many great bands. Free's Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke jammed with the band while waiting for their own tour to begin, and Robert Plant witnessed their version of "You Need Love" sometime before Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was recorded. The band played concerts with Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and many other names of the time. 

In May 1969 the band was offered the chance of backing Texas blues legend Freddie King on his next U.K. tour. The package toured for three weeks, including concerts with Howlin' Wolf and Otis Spann. A further tour with Freddie followed a few weeks later, and a third tour was only called off after Freddie failed to receive his advance payment from the tour promoter. The band also backed up Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, the writer of some of Elvis Presley's early hits.

Towards the end of 1969 the frustrations of the music business proved too much and the band split, with various members finding new projects to follow. But after a while a four-piece Killing Floor came together again. Blues music at this time, having been the "in" thing for the last year was now moving out of fashion, and it was hard for Killing Floor to find work in the U.K. The answer was to go abroad, with frequent trips to Germany and Switzerland.
1. Woman You Need Love (Willie Dixon) - 4:47
2. Nobody By My Side (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:51
3. Come Home Baby (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:03
4. Bedtime Blues (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 7:27
5. Sunday Morning (Martin) - 1:00
6. Try To Understand (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:35
7. My Mind Can Ride Easy (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:26
8. Wet (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Martin, Smith) - 0:39
9. Keep On Walking (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:56
10. Forget It (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 5:30
11. Lou's Blues (Martin) - 2:37
12. People Change Your Mind (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Smith) - 8:20

Killing Floor
*Bill Thorndycraft - Vocals, Harp
*Mick Clarke - Lead Guitar
*Lou Martin - Keyboards
*Bazz Smith - Drums
*Stuart McDonald - Bass

1971  Out Of Uranus (Japan remaster)

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

rep> Lumbee - Overdose (1970 us, hard acid psych blues funky r 'n' b, Gear Fab edition)

The group Lumbee concentrated on excellent harmonies, which they practiced for weeks before adding the music. It paid off and their single release Streets of Gold went to No.1 in various parts of the states The album was called Overdose and the cover of the album as well as the title was very controversial . At the time, three greats in the music industry had succumbed to drug overdoses: Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison. 

The covers of their two albums Plant and See and Lumbee had children, which now almost seems a prediction of the future now that the children from the marriage of Willie Lowery and Carol Fitzgerald Lowery are quite successful in their music endeavors. Lumpee played with such greats as the Allman Brothers The late Duane AIlman even asked to play Willie Lowery is American Hag panted guitar at what v/as probably one of his last concerts before his fatal motorcycle accident. 

While the band hit the road and played lo sold out clubs and arenas management and company bickered amongst themselves, leaving the group to carry on without the proper guidance Lumbee is music comes from a diverse creation, and its members melted those diversities into a powerful sound that to this day is unique and hill of compassion that few groups ever acquire. When they played in Willie’s hometown Pembroke, North Carolina, a thousand Native Americans and older fans flooded the arena and it is a shame to this day that videos were not in place because it was truly history being made. 

They played with Iron Butterfly The Brooklyn Bridge, and Linda Ronstadt. just to mention a few While they remained team players, their management and company failed them and eventually the band fell into the hands of that disillusionment that grips bands even to this day A true celebration is that the music is still here on the scene and can now become a part of the legendary Woodstock era that will never come again as we Knew it. 

Once while the group was in New York recording Crimson and Roses, after being disappointed about not continuing their work with Joe Wizart in Los Angeles, they went to a dub called the Cellar That night they watched Van Morrison perform with a guy named Terry Reed from Canada. In the audience with them were Jams Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company Jimi Hendrix. Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, and The Turtles. Those are just the groups the band met personally. Had this group been able to continue on with the support it needed well the rest would have been history, as they say But, thank goodness, their sound has been revived tor you all to hear. 

Today the members of Lumbee are all still living and their whereabouts, at last check are:
Foris Fulford lives with his family in Long Island. NY after spending time in the military service, i met him in 1970 at Fort Bragg NC while playing with another band. He was the hottest drummer in the area at the time.

Ricky Vannoy now lives in Dunn, NC with his family and is the owner and operator of a coffee house. He also has a tattoo parlor. Ricky was always a good artist as well. He was the only guitar player I thought needed little or no practice to get rhythm or leads down.

Bobby Paul, last I heard, was living either Zebulon or Greensboro. NC. 
Carol Fitzgerald resides where it ail began, in Fayetteville NC. Carol came to the band while a student at Methodist College m the late 60's. Floating from band to band she was noticed for her theatrics and showmanship on stage. She contributed to the song writing and wrote many of her own. Carol and Willie were married in 1970. They divorced some years later but not before they had two talented sons that now flourish as musicians Carol and Willie are proud of the boysi achievements.

I am still, and will always be a music man I am in the studio everyday and continue my song writing and guitarist skills. Nowadays I am more into producing and arranging as well, and I am still very active in recording the music for a diversity of acts. My most memorable achievement since my Lumbee days is when I wrote the entire musical score for an outdoor drama for my native people Please enjoy the music of Lumbee!!
by Willie French Lowery
1. Tone Deaf - 3:44
2. Veronica High - 5:21
3. People Get Ready - 7:35
4. You Gotta Be Stoned - 2:56
5. Tone Deaf Jam - 3:50
6. Streets Of Gold - 6:56
7. Whole World Is Down On Me - 3:10
Words and Music by Willie French Lowery

*Willie French Lowery - Guitar, Vocals
*Forris Fulford - Drums
*Carol Fitzgerald - Vocals
*Bobby Paul - Bass
*Rickey Vannoy - Rhythm Guitar

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rep> Ram - Where? In Conclusion (1972 us, heavy prog with fuzz guitars and flute interplay, korean edition)

Ram is a  group that was based in New York City in the United States and was active in the early 1970s. Band members included brothers John and Ralph DeMartino as well as Bob Steeler who later played with Hot Tuna. 

Many reports state that a mellotron was the instrument used for the spacial and elecronic effects of Ram's music. Actually, they were the result of electronic flute and in some cases, tenor alto and soprano saxophones (sometimes played 2 at a time) by John DeMartino. The band produced one album on Polydor in 1972 entitled Where? (In Conclusion). The original vinyl is a sought-after collector item.

1. The Want In You - 4:23
2. Stoned Silence - 5:29
3. Odyssey - 3:43
4. The Mothers Day Song - 6:19
5. Aza - 20:57
.a.Spiral Paths
.c.Peril And Fearer
.d.Where? (In Conclusion)

*Dennis Carbone - Piano, Vocals
*John Demartino - Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
*Ralph Demartino - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Rodriguez - Bass, Vocals
*Steeler - Drums

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Melton Levy And The Dey Brothers - Melton Levy And The Dey Brothers (1972 us, strong blues country rock, Mike Bloomfield production, 2001 remaster)

Melton, Levy and the Dey Brothers' sole album has a bit of a come-down-from-the-reckless-heights-of-Haight-Ashbury vibe, but is a reasonably accomplished and pleasing record. It's got the characteristic San Francisco Bay Area blend of blues, country, rock, and good counterculture cheer, with a more laid-back, soul-influenced approach than Barry Melton had taken with his first band, Country Joe & the Fish. Everyone from the quartet contributes original material, with Melton, Rick Dey, and Jay Levy taking roughly equal shares of the writing credits.

It's easy to imagine this as suitable rustic rock to play on your escape from the big city of San Francisco to a more laid-back locale with similar progressive hippie ethos, but more space and less angst. A little bit of Melton's more radical past sneaks through on "Taxpayer's Lament," with its opening bursts of reverb guitar and anguished anti-war lyrics, in a vocal that falls between John Fogerty and Burton Cummings.
by Richie Unterberger
1. Ooh, Ooh, Ooh (Rick Dey) - 2:23
2. She Dances Through (Barry Melton) - 3:41
3. Closer (Barry Melton) - 3:32
4. Been So Fine (Jay Levy) - 3:30
5. Sweeter The Peaches (Barry Melton) - 2:40
6. S.O.S. (Barry Melton, Rick Dey) - 3:45
7. Highway 1 (Blair Hardman) - 3:06
8. Hold On To The Good Times (Barry Melton) - 2:58
9. Play Little Children (Jay Levy, Tony Dey, Barry Melton) - 3:06
10.Be With The One (Jay Levy) - 2:46
11.Newsboy (Traditional) - 2:30
12.Taxpayer's Lament (Barry Melton) - 3:33
13.Bye Bye Sequence (Rick Dey) - 0:39

*Barry Melton - Guitar, Trombone, Vocals
*Jay Levy - Keyboards, Vocals
*Rick Dey - Bass, Vocals
*Tony Dey - Drums, Vocals
*Rick Jagger - Percussion
*King Errisson - Congas
*Michael Bloomfield - Guitar, Producer, Slide Guitar
*Bruce Brymer - Drums, Vocals
*Carol Davis - Horn
*Ginette Melton - Vocals 

Related Acts
1965-71  The First Three E.P's
1967  Country Joe And The Fish - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die (2013 digi pack double disc set)
1967  Electric Music For The Mind And Body (2013 double disc remaster)
1968  Together  (2005 remaster)
1969  Live! Fillmore West
1969  Here We Are Again
1970  CJ Fish

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Light - Light (1978 ireland, excellent guitar rock)

These guys are an Irish band from the late 70's. The vocals remind of Rory Gallagher and the songs have a Thin Lizzy-ish quality with some nice dual harmony guitars.
Songwriting is in the same mold as Lizzy as well as is the pace of the album. Nice guitars on this one supplied by Jim Armstrong who was in Them and also Truth (the Chicago-based one).

Anyone who remembers THEM (with Van Morrison) between 1967 and 1968, and (without Van Morrison) between 1969 and 1971, or a Chicago-based band called TRUTH, cannot fail to recall the playing of one of the world's great rock guitarists JIM ARMSTRONG.

Following the demise of TRUTH in 1971, Armstrong retreated from the international scene to gig at a more relaxed pace in his native Belfast. There was some writing and recording work with Brian Scott and bertie MacDonald in 1973, to be followed by concert performances with an occasional band called LIGHT, which, also included George O'Hara and Albert Mills. 

The breakthrough came in March 1977 when the band came together to play regular sessions at Ireland's premiere rock venue, the POUND, at the invitation of Dermont Moffatt. The last fifteen months have seen LIGHT established as Ireland's finest rock band, possibly the best ever.
Liner Notes
1. The Break (Albert Mills, Jim Armstrong) 4:14
2. Harland The Wolf (Jim Armstrong, Bertie MacDonald) 6:47
3. Beatification Of A Sad Pussycat (Brian Scott) 4:59
4. The Hooker (Albert Mills, Jim Armstrong) 4:35
5. Lonely One (George O'Hara, Jim Armstrong) 3:06
6. Castles In The Sand (Jim Armstrong, Bertie MacDonald) 3:57
7. Summertime (George Gershwin) 4:58
8. Ray's Song (The Dance) (George O'Hara) 3:39

*Jim Armstrong - Lead Guitar
*Albert Mills - Bass, Lead Vocals
*Brian Scott - Keyboards, Flute, Backing Vocals
*George O'Hara - Guitar, Vocals, Lead Vocals (Tracks 2,5)
*Bertie MacDonald - Drums  
*Artie Thompson - Additional Percussion (Track 1)

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Howlin' Wolf - Message To The Young (1971 us, amazing electric acid blues, 2007 japan remaster)

Oft-considered his second attempt (after the Howlin Wolf Album he famously shunned) at offering the masses a psychedelic record, the sound on the record ranges from acid-rock, to blues, to funk, and back again. The title track on Message To The Young is exactly what the title suggests; Wolf s attempt at reaching the youth of the era in a beautiful spoken word ballad which can easily be summed up in two words Be Yourself .
1. If I Were A Bird (Morris Dollison) - 4:34
2. I Smell A Rat - 2:15
3. Miss James - 3:27
4. Message To The Young (Ralph Bass, Sonny Thompson) - 5:50
5. She's Looking Good (Roger Collins) - 2:40
6. Just As Long - 3:42
7. Romance Without Fiance - 3:22
8. Turn Me On - 4:32
All songs by Sarah Lewis, Sonny Thompson except where stated

*Howlin' Wolf - Vocals, Harmonica
*Sonny Thompson - Piano
*John Jeremiah - Organ
*Bryce Roberson - Guitar
*Jon Stocklin - Guitar
*Bob Crowder - Bass
*Tyrone Smith - Drums


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Skyhooks - Living In The 70's (1974 australia, solid power pop, glam rock, 2004 remaster)

One of the hallmarks of truly great albums is that they document the moment of their creation but sound as though they could have been recorded at any time; they transcend the era of their conception but record it perfectly. Skyhooks’ Living in the 70’s is such an album.

Straight ahead rock and roll with an eyeliner of glam, Living in the 70’s sheds a small but unblinking light on what it was like to be an inner-suburban post adolescent in Melbourne circa 1974. The opening lines of the album sum it up pretty well. I feel a little empty, I feel a little strange. Like I’m in a pay-phone, without any change.

Dislocated, disassociated, dissatisfied and slightly disillusioned, the songs on Living in the 70’s touch on the emergence of youth sub-culture that was just gaining a foothold at the time. The children of the sixties were waking up, and for the first time they had the guts not to listen to their parents or authority. It’s not the cry of an anarchist punk, but more the shout of I’m getting my ear pierced and I don’t care what you say! by a rebellious teenager. Mild, oh so mild, but still beyond what their parents were capable of. This album helped forge a youthful national identity.

Produced by Ross Wilson (ex Daddy Cool) and put out on the emerging Mushroom records label, the production is clean and crisp and captures the state of the songs much as they were when Skyhooks performed them live. Wilson reportedly fought for production duties on Living in the 70’s so that the content was not deliberately watered down to suit the mature taste of the times.

Filled with sex, drugs, and rock and roll, six of the ten tracks were banned by the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters, which dictated airplay on the commercial stations, but rather than hinder sales, the attraction of contraband was too hard for the kids to ignore and they sent the album to No. 1 on the Australian charts for 16 weeks.

In retrospect it seems hard to comprehend what all fuss was about, but in the political context of the times songs like Smut and You just like me ˜cos I’m good in bed were never going to be passed by the censors. The ambiguity that 1974 could give birth to the material, yet try to immediately abort it, was due more to the hangover of 20 consecutive years of conservative Government than anything else, but the country would quickly get over its headache and go in for another round of binge drinking at the party of which Living in the 70’s was the soundtrack. An Aussie classic!
by Chris (The Rising Storm)
1. Livin' in the 70's - 3:42
2. Whatever Happened to the Revolution? - 4:09
3. Balwyn Calling - 3:42
4. Horror Movie - 3:47
5. You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good In Bed - 3:44
6. Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) - 3:56
7. Toorak Cowboy - 3:47
8. Smut (Red Symons) - 5:15
9. Hey, What's the Matter? - 2:48
10.Motorcycle Bitch - 3:56
11.Broken Gin Bottle - 4:13
All songs by Greg Macainsh except where noted

The Skyhooks 
*Greg Macainsh - Bass, Vocals
*Shirley Strachan - Lead Vocals 
*Red Symons - Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin
*Bob "Bongo" Starkie - Guitar, Vocals
*Imants Alfred "Freddie" Strauks - Drums, Percussion
*Peter Sullivan - Vibes, Arp Synthesizer
*Greg Sneddon - Arp Synthesizer
*Liam Bradley - Vibes, Marimba, Xylophone
*Ross Wilson - Vocals
*Pat Wilson - Vocals

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

P.F. Sloan - Raised On Records (1972 us, wonderful folk rock)

Take a moment to consider a number of the songs written or co-written by Philip "P.F." Sloan: "Secret Agent Man," "Eve of Destruction," "Let Me Be," "Where Were You When I Needed You," "You Baby," "A Must to Avoid," "Another Day, Another Heartache."  Yet the songwriter, who died on November 15 at the age of 70, may be best known for the bittersweet, elegiac ode penned by his colleague and admirer, Jimmy Webb.  "I have been seeking P.F. Sloan," Webb's song begins.  "But no one knows where he has gone..."
by Joe Marchese

Raised on Records was a reflection of its times, with P.F. Sloan entering a mellower singer/songwriter phase, in tune with trends of the early 1970s. It almost seems as if Sloan has been influenced by James Taylor, and to a much lesser extent other low-key performers of the ilk like Cat Stevens - not nearly so much in his songwriting as in the laidback production. Sloan's underrated singing is good, and his writing is fair. By most singer/songwriter contrasts, this would be considered a respectable release.
by Richie Unterberger
1. Let Me Be - 2:47
2. The Way You Want It To Be - 4:05
3. The Night The Trains Broke Down - 4:19
4. The Moon Is Stone - 4:13
5. Raised On Records - 4:09
6. Springtime - 4:34
7. Como - 3:11
8. Sins Of A Family - 3:35
9. Turn On The Light - 3:03
10.Midnight Girl - 2:52
11.Somebody's Watching You - 4:16
Music and Lyrics by P.F. Sloan 

*P.F. Sloan - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*John Barbata - Drums
*James Barton - Dobro
*John Baylor - Vocals
*Barry Beckett - Organ
*Ben Benay - Banjo, Guitars, Ukulele
*Richard Bennett - Steel Guitar 
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Phyllis Brown - Vocals
*James Burton - Dobro
*Conte Candoli - Trumpet
*Evangeline Carmichael - Vocals
*Duane Eddy - Guitar
*Alan Estes - Congas
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Loren Farber - Vocals
*Mitch Gordon - Vocals
*Bobbye Hall - Percussion
*Ron Hicklin - Vocals
*Jim Horn - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
*Dick Hyde - Trombone
*Jackie Kelso - Guitar, Baritone Sax, Wind
*Larry Knechtel - Piano, Electric Piano 
*Robert Krantz - Violin
*Ida McCune - Vocals
*Mike Melvoin - Bass
*Mike Metzion - Bass
*Ollie Mitchell - Trumpet
*Michael Omartian - Accordion, Keyboards, Organ, Electric Piano 
*Joe Osborn - Bass, Drums
*Wayne Perkins - Guitar, Keyboards, Piano
*Sid Sharp - Strings
*Sally Stevens - Vocals
*Tony Terran - Trumpet
*Tata Vega - Vocals

1968  P.F. Sloan ‎- Measure Of Pleasure (2006 issue)

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Poobah - Let Me In (1972 us, superb hard rock, 2010 remaster and expanded)

In much the same way as you can throw a stone nowadays and hit a band riding along on the coat tails of some or other genre fad, be it stoner, doom, drone, sludge, emo or whatever, if you crack open enough rocks you will find the fossilized remains of a million albums from days gone by that have been long forgotten and discarded. In many cases these little gems are destined to remain languishing in obscurity but occasionally one will rise to the surface and gain a certain notoriety…look at Leafhound and Sir Lord Baltimore for example. It would seem that the guys at Ripple Music were talking a walk through the desert one day and tripped up on this cracking piece of wax from Poobah sticking out of the sand and decided to give it the kiss of life once more.

Unlike many of their contemporaries who have decided to ride the current wave of their newfound popularity and forge new line-ups to hit the road, it would appear that Poobah have never really gone away and have always been plugging away cranking out their proto metal psychedelic blues for nearly 40 years now chucking out albums and tearing up stages. It is, however, for this album that they seem to be the most well known with vinyl copies changing hands for up to $300 dollars on eBay. Well folks, save your cash for here is a spanking new, bells and whistles version that presents the original 6 track album and an incredible 12 bonus tracks all lovingly remastered by sonic genius Tony Reed from Stone Axe.

As with Leafhound and Sir Lord Baltimore, with whom Poobah share many of the common traits of early 70’s heavy rock, on first listen I was immediately hit with the “how the fuck did I miss theses guys?” vibe. Considering myself something of an aficionado of 70’s metal I am ashamed to say that Poobah completely fell short of my radar. This album is little short of incredible so how these guys aren’t living in mansions now and living fat off the royalties of a golden career I’ll never know.

Kicking off with “Mr Destroyer”, for 1972 this would have been the musical equivalent of being hit with a tazer (did tazers even exist in 1972?). Jim Gustafson’s thick, biting guitar is set to stun as the band blast through a tune that somehow bridges the proto punk of The Stooges, the psychedelic tones of Hawkwind and the drug addled minimalism of The Pink Fairies. Gustafson proves himself to be one of the unsung heroes of acid blues guitar playing while drummer Glenn Wiseman throws in some heroic fills. Next up the band do a musical 360 on “Enjoy What You Have” which is a stripped back, light and airy piece that revolves around a mellow repeated guitar line and spacey, breathy vocals…a real smoker’s delight!!!

Poobah dust off the blues on “Live To Work”, albeit under a layer of syrup thick fuzz guitar and Ritalin avoiding drums. The themes of dissatisfaction with working for “the man” ring as true 38 years on as they did when this was laid to tape (yes tape!!!). Brief and to the point it paves the way for one of the most memorable tracks on the album “Bowleen”. Showing that there is far more to Poobah than cranked amps and gut wrenching vocals this track possibly owes more to Syd Barratt era Pink Floyd than Deep Purple or Sabbath as it explores Eastern themes in the guitar lines and a steady, hypnotic beat. Gustafson still mages to throw in some radical shapes but tempers it alongside some sparse keyboards. Structurally this is pretty linear but it seems to work.

“Rock N’ Roll”, as the title suggests is a 12 bar blast through some deliciously filthy rock and roll that would make Little Richard shit his extravagant stage wear!!! Once again Wiseman excels with his Keith Moon meets Ginger Baker on a sugar rush skin work while Gustafson’s guitar sounds as though it’s pushing the Marshall to the point of tears. The album proper rounds of with some more bump and grind boogie with the title track. Gustafson takes centre stage again with some more finger bleeding axe work while Phil Jones works the bottom end with pure sex dripping from his fingers. Obviously the 70’s wouldn’t be what it was without a drum solo and hot on the heels of Bonham’s “Moby Dick”, Wiseman pitches in with his own tumble round the kit. Excessive? Maybe. Kick ass? Of course it is!!!

Of the bonus tracks we’re treated to some alternative versions of “Bowleen” and “MR Destroyer” and various studio and rehearsal outtakes that run the gamut from blasting blues jams such as “Blooey Gooey” to the psychedelic metal groove of “Make a Man Outta You” that isn’t a million miles away from the fuzzed up blueprint set by Blue Cheer 4 years previously. “Upside Down Highway” is 7 plus minutes of frantic bass and guitar heroics, Gustafson clearly enjoying the spotlight but taking his time to allow the drums and bass interplay to breathe. “Walk of the Bug” throws some more Blue Cheer style, ear-splitting, speaker bothering proto metal into the mix while “Going To Rock City” comes across as ZZ Top with a heavier dose of testosterone. Poobah bring the jam again with the Hendrix stylings of “Smoke” while “Passion For Freedom” lays down a bass and drum groove that would have Grand Funk Railroad creaming their flares and a vocal line that barely stays on the right side of a visit from the men in white coats.

This reissue is very much a labour of love from all involved. Ripple Music show their passion for quality with the general layout and commitment to unearthing a wealth of quality bonus tunes. Tony Reed has given the whole thing a beautiful warmth that brings it into the modern age without sacrificing the purity of it’s vintage origins and Poobah themselves obviously relish the opportunity to give their first born new life. If, like me, you’re keen to unearth the origins of this thing we all love called metal then by all means keep dusting off your Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple albums but please find a little space in your collections for Poobah.
by Ollie Stygall, 2nd October 2010
1. Mr. Destroyer - 6:01
2. Enjoy What You Have - 6:10
3. Live To Work - 2:55
4. Bowleen - 6:05
5. Rock N' Roll - 3:48
6. Let Me In - 6:41
7. Here's The Band - 0:20
8. Make A Man Outta You - 7:12
9. Upside Down Highway - 3:42
10.Walk Of The Bug - 2:51
11.Blooey Gooey - 1:07
12.Going To Rock City - 2:51
13.Smoke - 3:14
14.Mr Destroyer - 5:19
15.Passion For Freedom - 2:08
16.Aww, Not Now - 2:44
17.Bowleen - 3:31
18.I’m Crazy, You’re Crazy - 3:46
All songs by Jim Gustafson
Bonus Tracks 7-18

*Jim Gustafson - Lead, Acoustic, 12 String Guitars, Organ, vocals
*Phil Jones - Bass, Vocals
*Glenn Wiseman - Drums, Percussion, Screams
*Nick Gligor - Drums, Vocals (Tracks 8,10,18)
*Steve Schwelling - Drums (Tracks 9,11,13,14,15)

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Frame - Frame Of Mind (1972 germany, remarkable psych prog rock)

In retrospect, the German music scene in the early '70s was in some ways open to highly ambitious musicians. This is because not only the minor labels represented by Ohr, Pilz, Brain, etc., but also the major labels such as BASF and Philips opened their doors to them to some extent. If you think about it now, of course, it is true that major investments were not made... Frame, they released this work in 1972 with a relatively major Bellaphone on their back. If you look at the works contained in their album, they contain 8 songs in total, including major songs that are over 11 minutes long. 

Although the hard rock sound accompanied by the organ and melotron is the deepest on the other side, its experimental elements are often noticed, and you can hear performances close to the symphonic rock tendency accompanied by hard performances, so you can hear many kinds of music. It contains elements that will only delight fans. Even jazz-rock elements can be heard in some parts, but not enough to characterize their sound. If you look at the composition of the members, it's Andy Limburger - guitar vocals, piano). Cherry Hochdorfer - keyboard), Peter Lotz - bass vocals), Dieter Berker - vocals, percussion), and Wolfgang Clans - drums, percussion) are the musical core of the group. 

It is playing a keyboard instrument. You can enjoy their performances, and << a masterpiece that makes this album valuable.All Ireally want explain> has a large scale suitable for a long play time of over 11 minutes, and Cherry Hochdorfer's keyboard instrument performance, which is not strong but adds to the taste, along with Andy Lirnburg's savory guitar playing, is a dazzling sound based on technique. It's not, but it delivers a charming performance that remains in the heart. Of course, the guitar performance of Andy Kirnberger, who leads the first half, is also excellent. 

Overall, the sound they pursued can be evaluated as a performance that emphasizes the effort to keep the hard feeling while avoiding the rough sound, and to give a clean performance using keyboard instruments as much as possible.  
1. Frame of Mind - 4:08
2. Crusical Scene - 3:56
3. All I Really Want Explain - 11:15
4. If - 5:07
5. Winter - 5:35
6. Penny for an Old guy - 3:10
7. Childrens Freedom - 2:31
8. Truebsal - 0:18
All compositions by Andy Kirnberger, Cherry Hochdorffer, Peter Lotz, Dieter Becker, Wolfgang Claus

*Andy Kirnberger - Guitar, Vocals, Piano
*Cherry Hochdorffer - Organ, Piano, Mellotron
*Peter Lotz - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
*Dieter Becker - Vocals, Percussion
*Wolfgang Claus - Drums 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Sons Of Champlin - Welcome To The Dance (1973 us, nice funky jazz brass rock, 2001 edition)

The Sons of Champlin were written off after the commercial washout of their third album, Follow Your Heart, but they came roaring back two years later with Welcome to the Dance. The crucial difference for a band as committed to funky rhythms as the Sons was an all-new rhythm section: bassist Al Strong and drummer Bill Bowen had been replaced by David Schallock and James Preston, respectively, giving the band the sort of soul groove R&B fanatic Bill Champlin had always sought. Champlin brought in his strongest bunch of material since the Sons' debut, Loosen Up Naturally (1969), once again returning in his lyrics to themes of personal responsibility and encouragement. 

You've got to wonder how a guy who liked to sing lines like "It's up to us to rearrange" and "We can do it now" ever got tagged as a hippie, especially since his musical inspirations seemed to be James Brown for his vocals and Jimmy Smith for his organ playing. But guitarist Terry Haggerty confirmed the band's psychedelic credentials with his biting, often complex solos, and the songs tended to go off into jams after a couple of choruses. Welcome to the Dance was the Sons' best realized album yet, a good compromise between their need for coherent structure and their desire to play free. 

Had it not been sabotaged by record company machinations, it might have been the record that finally broke this long star-crossed outfit. (The 2001 CD reissue by the British Acadia label bands both of the medleys on the album, so that what was originally the third track, "Who/Heaven Only Knows," now makes up the third and fourth tracks, and the 12-minute, four-part "Welcome to the Dance" medley that was the seventh track is now tracks eight, nine, ten, and eleven.)
by William Ruhlmann 
1. Lightnin' - 4:09
2. For Joy - 3:43
3. Who/Heaven Only Knows - 6:22
4. Right On - 3:54
5. No Mo' (Terry Haggerty) - 2:58
6. The Swim - 2:54
7. Welcome To The Dance - 12:06
.b.Sound/Turn Around
.c.Healthy Woman
.d.Welcome To The Dance
All compositions by Bill Champlin except where stated

The Sons Of Champlin
*Bill Champlin - Guitar, Keyboards, Baritone Saxophone, Vocals 
*Terry Haggerty - Lead Guitar, Vocals   
*Geoffrey Palmer  - Bass, Keyboards, Saxophone, Tabla, Vibe Master, Vibraphone, Vocals
*James Preston  - Drums, Percussion  
*David Schallock - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Mark Usham  - Horn
*Philip Woods  - Horn 
*Michael Andreas  - Horn

1966-67  The Sons Of Champlin ‎- Fat City  

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Sidekicks – Fifi The Flea (1966 us, beautiful garage sunny beats)

The Sidekicks were a garage/pop rock band from Wildwood, NJ. First known as The Redcoats, the lineup consisted of John Spirt, Mike Burke, and brothers Randy and Jack Bocelle. Spirit and Burke co-wrote the band's 1966 hit, "Suspicions."
1. Suspicions (John Spirit, Mike Burke) - 2:34
2. Up On The Roof (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:37
3. You’re A Girl (David White, John Madara, Ray Gilmore) - 2:13
4. More (Theme from “Mondo Cane”) (Nino Oliviero, Norman Newell, Riz Ortolani) - 2:28
5. Not Now (John Spirit, Mike Burke) - 2:40
6. Ask Your Friend (John Spirit, Mike Burke) - 2:36
7. Fifi The Flea (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:37
8. Sight And Sound (Jimmy Wisner, Norma Mendoza) - 2:25
9. Out Of The Dark (Joe Renzetti, Neal Brian) - 2:27
10.He’s My Friend (John Spirit, Mike Burke) - 2:23
11.The Best Things (Bobby Lance, Fran Robins) - 2:01
12.Ollie Wong (The Same) (Jimmy Wisner, Norma Mendoza, Samuels, Bocutto) - 2:38

The Sidekicks
*Zach Bochelle - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Randy Bochelle - Bass Guitar
*Mike Burke - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Spirit - Drums