Monday, April 24, 2023

Overland Stage - Overland Stage (1972 us, wonderful prog folk rock harmonies with spiritual references)

Although it was released in 1972 by the major label Columbia, it disappeared without a trace.

Overland Stage was six-piece from Fargo, North Dakota. They moved to West Coast to record their self titled album.. Except for "To The Park" (recorded in Chicago), the album was all recorded at Columbia Studio in San Francisco, but the members must have felt something very different from the desolate atmosphere of their hometowns.

The back of the album has a brief band introduction beginning with "Six Jesus freaks playing rock and roll". Therefore, although it is classified as Christian music, the sound is more progressive folk rock with a light swamp color that reflects from  the lightness of the guitar and the coolness of the vocals and chorus. It also has a quirky feel, with effective use of conga and flute, and the occasional use of unique rhythms. 

I think songs like Stephen Stills' "Cherokee", which has a dry chorus and flute is like a desert drive, "It's Just Life", has an acoustic vibe  that fits with the flute, are their signature style. Ballads like "Will Leave Me" have a healing taste to Christians. "Don't You Believe", has a pleasant mellow repetition, and the groovy cover of Trilogy's "I'm Beginning To Feel It" is fab. In conclusion the feel is a warm minor wind blowing through the desolate land.
1. Salvation (Dave Hanson) - 3:24
2. Cherokee (Stephen Stills) - 3:53
3. She Will Leave Me (Julian Elofson) - 3:11
4. I'm Beginning To Feel It (Kevin McCann) - 2:58
5. Brother Moses (Dave Hanson, Julian Elofson) - 5:30
6. To The Park (Rick Johnsgard) - 3:08
7. After You Leave Me (George Clinton) - 3:15
8. Don't You Believe It (Dave Hanson) - 3:11
9. It's Just Life (Rick Johnsgard) - 3:55
10.Indian (Dave Hanson, Julian Elofson) - 4:49

Overland Stage
*Julian "Al" Elofson - Vocals, Congas 
*Don "Milker" Miller - Guitar 
*Rick "Banch" Johnsgard - Guitar, Flute, Vocals 
*Jim "Bink" Flint - Organ, Piano 
*Steve "Boobs" Babbs - Bass 
*Dave "Mort" Hanson - Drums, Vocals

Cochise - So Far (1972 uk, rough country classic rock, 2002 edition)

Cochise is one of those talented, early-1970s English bands that simply couldn't catch a break in the United States (not to imply they were commercial gangbusters in their native UK).   The band  was largely the brainchild of former Plastic Penny lead guitarist Mick Grabham.  When Plastic Penny folded Grabham started recruiting for a new band,  Formed in 1969 the original Cochise lineup featured the talents of former Bluesology singer Stewart Brown, pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, ex-Taste drummer John 'Willie' Wilson, and former Jokers Wild bassist Ricky Wills  Having played the college and club circuit, they found a backer in the form of Andrew Lauder who helped get them a contract with United Artists.

With another personnel change that saw former Creepy John Thomas Roy Otemro (aka Roy O'Temro) replace original drummer Wilson (who subsequently following by stints in Stud and Quiver (soon to be The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver), the band released a third studio set, 1972's "So Far". 
1. Cajun Girl (Roy O'Temro) - 3:28
2. Blind Love (David Elliott) - 4:38
3. Dance, Dance, Dance (Neil Young) - 3:58
4. So Many Times (Rick Wills) - 3:17
5. Diamonds (Mick Grabham) - 3:25
6. Thunder In The Crib (B.J. Cole) - 3:58
7. Up And Down (Roy O'Temro) - 5:41
8. Wishing Well (Mick Grabham) - 3:02
9. Midnight Moonshine (Mick Grabham) - 6:12

*Stewart Brown - Vocals, Guitar
*B.J. Cole - Steel Guitar
*Mick Grabham - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Rick Wills - Bass, Vocals
*John 'Willie' Wilson - Drums
*Roy O'Temro - Drums
*John Gilbert - Vocals