Sunday, March 31, 2024

rep> Joe E. Covington - Fat Fandango (1973 us, fine melt of roots 'n' roll, psych, glam rock)

If you recognize the name Joe E. Covington at all, chances are that it’s a result of his late inning association with The Jefferson Airplane – he replaced Spencer Dryden in 1971, or for his work with The Airplane spin off Hot Tuna.  Though he only played on one Airplane album (19721’s “Bark”), that connection was enough to line up financing for his 1973 album debut – “Joe E. Covington’s Fat Fandango” on The Airplane’s RCA Victor affiliated Grunt label.  

Ironically Covington’s solo debut actually stretched back to 1967 when he released a one-shot single for the small Original Sound label – an early cover of The Who’s ‘Boris the Spider’ b/w ‘I’ll Do Better Next Time’ (Original Sound catalog OS-74). He’d also been a member of the Pittsburgh-based The Fenwicks and after quitting The Airplane  joined Peter Kaukonen’s Black Kangaroo.

While his attempts to sing in tune were only marginally successful, given the LP’s low-key charm, that problematic characteristic kind of faded into the background … c’mon, The Clash couldn’t sing to save their lives.  Calling the album eclectic was an understatement.  Apparently intent on showcasing his diversity, the album bounced all over the musical spectrum, including semi-competent stabs as soul (‘Your Heart Is My Heart’ and ‘Miss Universe’), 1950s rock (‘Moonbeam’), conventional rock (‘Hideout (A Crook’s Best Friend’), and even pseudo-psych (the trippy ‘Mama Neptune’ and the extended closer ‘Vapor Lady’). 

Luckily a strong and enthusiastic backing band in the form of keyboardist ‘Senator’ Patrick Craig, guitarist Stevie Midnight, and bassist Jack Prendergast kept things moving in the right direction.  The two previously mentioned soul-ish numbers were particularly good!  Slap them on some type of soul compilation and I’ll guarantee most folks would never be able to guess who the performer was.  The other standout track was the most commercial number – ‘Hideout (A Crook’s Best Friend)’ which went from straight ahead rock to a surprisingly engaging funk workout.  
1. Your Heart Is My Heart (Joe E. Covington, Jack Prendergast, Senator Patrick Craig, Mack) - 3:41
2. Country Girl - 3:27
3. Moonbeam - 3:47
4. Mama Neptune - 7:16
5. Miss Unaverse - 5:25
6. Hideout (A Crook's Best Friend) - 4:12
7. Vapor Lady - 8:08
All songs written by Joe E. Convington except track #1.

*Joe E. Covington - Vocals, Drums
*Senator Patrick Craig - Keyboards
*Stevie Midnite - Guitar
*Jack Prendergast - Bass

Related Acts
1968-69  Racket Squad - Racket Squad / Corners Of Your Mind
1972  Peter Kaukonen - Black Kangaroo (2007 bonus tracks edition)

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Saturday, March 30, 2024

Mick Grabham - Mick The Lad (1972 uk, fine guitar bluesy classic rock)

You’ve heard the name before. You’ve heard his guitar. Grabham is best known for his five years or so as the guitarist for Procol Harum, replacing Dave Ball during the recording of Grand Hotel, and continuing with them through the American tour that followed Something Magic. But prior to that he was a member of the excellent and interesting band Cochise, along with pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole (they released three albums from 1970-72) and going even further back into the 60s, he was a member of the British pop band Plastic Penny, with two albums to their credit (‘68 and ‘69). He also managed to record an excellent solo album post-Cochise.

In 1972 he recorded 'Mick The Lad' for UA Records with Pete Wingfield. Later that year he was invited to join Procol Harum and played on four Procol albums including their 1975 UK Top 20 single 'Pandora's Box'. Mick has since played as a guest and session musician with many major names. 
1. Sweet Blossom Woman - 3:10
2. Scraunchy - 2:33
3. You'll Think Of Me - 3:11
4. I Won't Be There - 2:18
5. Waitin' Round On You - 3:02
6. There's Been A Few Since Then - 4:03
7. Let It All Down - 3:51
8. The Two Fifteen - 2:46
9. Saga - 7:02
10.On Fire For You Baby (David Elliott) - 3:50
11.Diamonds (Jerry Lordan) - 3:03
12.Hit And Miss (John Barry) - 2:58
13.The Wanderer (Ernie Maresca) - 3:00
All titles by Mick Grabham except where noted
Bonus Tracks 10-13

*Mick Grabham - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*B.J. Wilson - Drums
*Caleb Quaye - Guitar, Piano
*Dee Murray - Bass, Vocals
*Dick Parry - Saxophone
*John Gordon - Bass
*Mike Storey - Piano
*Nigel Olsson - Drums, Vocals
*Pete Wingfield - Piano
*Jim "Hamish" Hall - Piano
*Ian "Biro" Byron - Drums
*John Gilbert - Vocals

Related Acts
1968  Plastic Penny - Two Sides Of Penny 
1969  Plastic Penny - Currency

Friday, March 29, 2024

The Rascals - Freedom Suite (1968 us, marvelous psych soul jazz vibes)

1968 was not a good year for peace and liberty. The Tet Offensive was a major setback for the forces fighting to keep South Vietnam out of the clutches of Communist tyranny; that same Communist tyranny imposed a ruthless clampdown on the Prague Spring; student radicals sparked a general strike that shut down the economy of France; Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; race riots raged throughout America’s cities; and George Wallace got 10 million votes for president (13% of the total) on a blatant segregationist platform. In the middle of all that, the Rascals put out a single that topped the charts for five weeks in the summer – not only for its musical virtues, which include a powerful, pushing beat, an exquisite horn line that whips the bridge into a frenzy, an organ line that appears at exactly the right time to complement the melody, and another great combination of Felix’s passionate lead and the Brigatis’ soulful backing vocals – but also because it distilled all the commotion into one simple phrase: ‘People Got to Be Free.’ As a statement of human dignity, it’s hard to top ‘It’s a natural situation for a man to be free,’ and the energy of this song, particularly Felix’s vocal (dig ‘we got to solve it individually, uh huh!’), shows that the enduring struggle for civil rights can move the spirit as much as good lovin’. I admit it: ‘People Got to Be Free’ is my all-time favorite song, so you’re not going to get an objective review from this website. The fierce joy embodied in this song – inspired by an abstract principle that actually makes lives better – moves me to tears sometimes, and never fails to give me goose bumps.

At the end of that tumultuous year, the Rascals put together an album to complement their hit single, and it follows through on the themes of the hit. With the true spirit of inclusiveness, they never point fingers or name names – in fact, they rarely even call out a problem without simultaneously calling out its solution. And because the group was working at the peak of their musical powers, it’s all gloriously uplifting.

The brilliant opener melds an orchestra playing the traditional melody of ‘America the Beautiful’ with overdriven organ and some spiffy martial drumming from Dino as Felix wails about the dichotomy between America’s ideals and the life some live: ‘People crying in the land of the free.’ But in typical Rascals fashion, he points out the positive alternatives: ‘A holy man once told me that you reap exactly what you sow / So I think I’ll plant some love and peace and wait for it to grow.’ What’s especially clever is the way the song plays off some of the catchphrases of the time, both conservative and liberal: ‘It don’t take law and order to make me understand / If the minds of men refuse to see our equality / Then it takes some demonstratin’ and a lot of faith in Thee’ and ‘We all don’t want a revolution / But to make all mankind see / There’s a better way of being here in peace and harmony’. Call me a hopeless romantic, but none of this seems dated at all – the whole world is obviously still working out how to live together, and sticking to the principles of America’s founding documents seems like a good way to reach that point. (OK, the part where they sing ‘If we lose the war on poverty’ is a little dated, but in a good way, because we won the war on poverty. If you don’t believe me, compare malnutrition and infant mortality rates from 1968 to today.)

Other tracks take on similar ideas: ‘Look Around’ has a wonderfully slinky beat and falsetto harmonies, but the lyrics are more topical: they address the 1968 election (‘Bigotry hate and fear / Got ten million votes this year’) and growing concerns about violence and social anomie (‘Violence on the TV screen / Guns and ammo magazine ‘ Hello’s a word for telephones / Bigger locks and smaller homes’). Nonetheless, the song still rings true because a lot of those concerns are still with us, and the Rascals’ solutions still seems sensible: ‘Love’s not a dirty word / That’s just the way it’s heard.’ ‘A Ray of Hope’ is an Impressions tribute, down to Felix’s high singing and the minimalist guitar licks, but especially in its declaration that ‘Most people got soul / If they wanna try’ and ‘I can’t imagine any greater need / Than to treat each other like we’d like to be’. When things get roiled up with some furious tom fills and Felix expostulating ‘Gotta get together, one by one’ it’s a gospel explosion of hope and joy and frustration all together, and it’s a beautiful moment.

Gene contributes ‘Me and My Friends’ with a pounding piano line and frenzied latin percussion, and while the lyric is a bit hippy-dippy in its only-the-young-know-the-truth attitude, its focus on togetherness (‘The time has come to take a stand for unity’) lends it a redeeming charm. There’s a long guitar/organ jam at the end that intriguingly doesn’t feature any lead playing, just warm overdriven feedback, not screechy but intense. It shows Felix as a keyboard innovator. ‘Heaven’ closes the album with a traditional soul-ballad 12/8 feel, but the melody and piano licks incorporate a country feel.  After all the tumult addressed in the previous songs, it’s a gentle ending with a refreshing climactic image: ‘Just open up the windows that are in your heart / And let the light shine, and your life will start.’

Naturally, the group sprinkles in some non-political songs, but they’re all grounded in the belief that respect and tolerance (and a little bit of love) are what we really need. ‘Of Course’ is built on a sinister electric piano lick (like ‘What’d I Say’ crossed with ‘I’m a King Bee’) and a heartbroken lyric. The tinkling celeste break is unfortunate, but the sax solo returns the song to its essence. Gene reprises his earlier ‘No Love to Give’ with ‘Love Was So Easy to Give’, but this time around both the lyrics and melody are improved, with a gentle waltz tune accompanied by a Little Italy accordion and a gently arcing tune and a wistful look at growing up. The chilling orchestration (right out of Bookends) is a fitting touch.

 Eddie only gets two vocals, but they’re both delightful. ‘Any Dance’ll Do’ grooves hard and lays out the Rascals philosophy as it applies to the dance floor: ‘You dance how you wanna, you fell what you wanna, you’re free as you wanna be!’ A thrilling trumpet line (check out the double-tonguing up the scale in the fade) is just one of the highlights of ‘Island of Love’ which also has Eddie’s silky delivery of some faintly ridiculous lyrics (‘you’re a touched-off rocket set to leave the ground’) and a fabulous performance from Dino, slightly swinging, then exploding all over the chorus.

The Rascals propounding a musical philosophy that love can change the world seems a little preposterous on the surface. But listening to these songs moves me to a better place, where the troubles of our day seem to melt into the beat. And maybe that’s the point – commiting yourself to love won’t change other people, but it will change you. This music makes me happy, and if it makes you happy too, then there’s two more people on the right side of the bed. Freedom Suite didn’t really change any minds (Richard Nixon was re-elected in a landslide a few years later) but it’s enough that this glorious music combined with a soaring, positively-oriented worldview, can still thrill the listener, moving both feet and heart. God Bless the Rascals!
by Steven Knowlton
1. America The Beautiful (Katherine Lee Bates, Samuel A. Ward) - 2:52
2. Me, My Friends (Gene Cornish) - 2:44
3. Any Dance'll Do (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 2:22
4. Look Around (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 3:04
5. A Ray Of Hope (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 3:46
6. Island Of Love (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 2:24
7. Of Course (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 2.43
8. Love Was So Easy To Give (Gene Cornish) - 2:45
9. People Got To Be Free (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati) - 3:01
10.Bai'm Blue (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:50
11.Heaven (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:26
12.Adrian's Birthday (Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish, Dino Danelli) - 4:50
13.Boom (Dino Danelli) - 13:49
14.Cute (Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish, Dino Danelli) - 15:17

The Rascals
*Felix Cavaliere - Organ, Piano, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Eddie Brigati - Percussion, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Gene Cornish - Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Dino Danelli - Drums
*Chuck Rainey - Bass
*Gerald Jemmott - Bass 
*King Curtis - Saxophone
*David Newman - Tenor Saxophone
*Richard Davis - Bass
*Charles Morrow - Horn Arrangements

1969  The Rascals - See (Japan remaster)
1971  The Rascals - Peaceful World (Japan remaster)
1972  The Rascals - Island Of Real (Sundazed issue)
1965-72  The Rascals - Anthology (double disc)
1967  The Young Rascals - Groovin'  (2007 remastered and expanded)

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Strapps - Strapps (1976 uk / australia, groovy hard rock, japanese issue)

This UK hard rock quartet was formed in 1975 by Ross Stagg (vocals, guitar), Noel Scott (keyboards), Joe Read (bass) and Mick Underwood (drums; ex-Quatermass), and were picked up by EMI Records the following year. Drawing their inspiration from Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and Uriah Heep, they released four albums over a five-year period. These met with very limited success, except in Japan, where they maintained a cult following. Strapps never graduated from support act status in Europe, which was a fair summation of their true potential. The band disintegrated in 1979, when Underwood joined Gillan. 

Strapps' self-titled debut LP had deep ties to Deep Purple: drummer Mick Underwood had been in Episode Six with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover in the late '60s (and would in the late '70s join Gillan's band), and the album was co-produced by Glover. Predictably, there's some similarity to the sort of hard rock Deep Purple had popularized by the mid-'70s, though the similarity's not too intense. Less predictably, there's a good deal of Mott the Hoople-ism going on here, though this glam rock-hard rock crossover isn't nearly as good as Mott in the song or vocal department, even if songwriter and lead singer Ross Stagg has a way of sing-speaking that recalls Ian Hunter. 

There's some kinkiness, and even traces of S&M, in the opening cuts "School Girl Funk" and "Dreaming," an epic ballad with strings in "Suicide," and -- also in the mold of Mott the Hoople -- more prominent piano than in much such British rock music of the period. It's not bad, but it's derivative and the songs don't have enormous staying power, consigning this to the lower tier for those who collect obscurities of the late glam era.
by Richie Unterberger
1. School Girl Funk - 4:27
2. Dreaming - 5:04
3. Rock Critic - 4:19
4. Oh! The Night - 4:40
5. Sanctuary - 4:00
6. I Long to Tell You Too - 5:21
7. In Your Ear - 3:23
8. Suicide - 7:03 
All titles by Ross Stagg

*Ross Stagg - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Joe Read - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Mick Underwood - Drums
*Noel Scott - Keyboards

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Relatively Clean Rivers - Relatively Clean Rivers (1976 us, imaginative, melancholic, mellow, exotically acid folk psych rock)

This album comes out of the mind of Phil Pearlman. Pearlman is a veteran of the American 60’s rock scene, being the brains behind such epic psych albums Beat of the Earth and the great Electronic Hole. Relatively Clean Rivers’ only album was released in 1975/76 though it sounds straight out of 1969. This album is extremely rare and has proven to be quite a controversial privately financed release.

Some feel this album is the second coming, with strong apocalyptic acid visions and wonderful musicianship. Others feel that it’s a solid rural rock record with strands of late period psychedelia. It’s important to note that Relatively Clean Rivers was name checked as an influence in a recent interview (via Record Collector magazine) with a Wilco band member concerning their latest album release. This Wilco band member called the record a 60’s guitar album that is “economic.” Regardless, RCR may not be the second coming but it’s still a great album from a period in rock (1974-75) that was thought to be void of such hidden country psych gems.

It’s really a quiet, flowing rural record that has many unsettling, strange moments. At first listen Hello Sunshine immediately stands out amongst the crowd. This song is pretty great, sounding like a stoned underground version of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Everything comes off very natural and the music never sounds forced or dishonest. Much of the record is predominately acoustic, though Journey Through The Valley has some strong electric guitar acid leads. Other tunes like the effects laden Babylon are very spacey and almost veer towards progressive rock. The album closes with the reflective A Thousand Years. It’s another strong composition with some eastern influenced acoustic guitar playing, lyrics with bizarre religious overtones and backward cymbals. Relatively Clean Rivers is not bound to be everyone’s cup of tea, though fans of rural rock should investigate this great private press release.
by Jason Nardelli
1. Easy Ride - 3:48
2. Journey Through The Valley Of O - 4:09
3. Babylon - 5:47
4. Last Flight To Eden - 2:41
5. Prelude - 0:29
6. Hello Sunshine - 3:33
7. They Knew What To Say - 3:20
8. The Persian Caravan - 3:47
9. A Thousand Years - 5:29
Words and Music by Phil Pearlman

Relatively Clean Rivers
*Hank Quinn - Drums
*Kurt Baker - Guitar, Vocals
*Phil Pearlman - English Flute, Guitar, Harmonica, Synthesizer, Vocals
*Hank Quinn - Drums (Track 8)
*John Alabaster - Conga (Track 8)

Monday, March 25, 2024

Ivory - Ivory (1973 us, magnificent prog space rock)

Ivory was formed in early 1972 as a backup band for the lead singer, Grant Gullickson. However, Grant was somewhat uncomfortable with being the star, and wanted more of a "band" concept. Grant had been in a very successful band while he was in college, called the Canoise. Grant's friend and producer, Tim Alvarado, had the idea to create an all-keyboard band, with no electric guitarist at all. Originally, it was going to consist of three keyboardists and a drummer, but it was soon clear that with the superb musicians Paul Bass on Hammond organ, and Brian Whitcomb on piano, the sound was full and complex. Jim Divisek brought a strong rock feel on drums, but also a focus on eastern rhythms and electronic music acquired during his studies at Cal Arts. Steve Pinkston joined the group after their first bass player did not work out. Later, Grant's brother Lance Gullickson joined the group, and brought expanded vocal harmonies and songwriting skills to the mix.

Ivory has generally been described as a progressive or "prog-rock" band. Certainly, one could hear echoes of Yes, King Crimson, and Procol Harum in their music. But there was also a bit of a jazz influence at work. Live, the group would often do instrumental sets of jazz standards like "Summertime" or "Milestones". Grant's singing onstage was vastly more dynamic than was ever captured in a recording studio, and the live interplay between the musicians was very intense.

Ivory recorded just one album, a self-titled effort on Playboy Records (#PB115), produced by Tim Alvarado. Most of the album was recorded at the legendary Record Plant in Los Angeles. Two different versions were released. On the second version, a Robbie Robertson tune replaced a Kin Vassey tune, in order to qualify as "Canadian content" under that country's airplay rules.
Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock
1. Morning Song (Grant Gullickson, Roger Kellaway) - 4:20
2. Prime Example (Michael Lanning) - 2:53
3. Take It Easy (Brian Whitcomb) - 2:59
4. Where Do We Go From Here (Robbie Robertson) - 2:27
5. Arrow Beach (James Divisek) - 1:28
6. Bringing Me Down (Grant Gullickson, Marian Brown) - 3:58
7. Bear Phaze (Stephen Pinkston) - 2:23
8. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce) - 3:29
9. I Want To Tell You (Grant Gullickson, Jim Bukey, Paul Bass) - 8:00
10.Time After Time (Brian Whitcomb, Grant Gullickson, Stephen Pinkston) - 3:05

*Grant Gullickson - Vocals
*Stephen Finkaton - Electric Bass, String Bass. Tuba, Hands
*Brian Whitcomb - Piano, Tack Piano, Melodica, Acoustic Whistle. Marimba, Celeste, Clavinet
*Paul Base - Organ, Accordion, Harpsichord, Calliope, Fender Rhoades
*Tim Divisok - Drums, Electronics, Percussion
*Marian Brown, Clydie King, Venetta Fields, Forrest, Orvis, The Ivoryettes, Wyatt - Backing Vocals

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Dr. John - Gris-Gris (1968 us, eccentric freaky dixie jazz swamp funk, 2017 remaster)

When Dr. John's Gris-Gris hit the rock underground in 1968, it wasn't certain whether its master of ceremonies had landed from outer space, or just been dredged out of hibernation from the Louisiana swamps.  The blend of druggy deep blues, incantational background vocals, exotic mandolin and banjo trills, ritualistic percussion, interjections of free jazz, and Dr. John's own seductive-yet-menacing growl was like a psychedelic voodoo ceremony invading your living room.  You could be forgiven for suspecting it of having been surreptitiously recorded in some afterhours den of black magic, the perpetuators of this misdeed risking life-threatening curses for having exposed these secret soundtracks to the public at large.

In fact Gris-Gris was recorded surreptitiously, but not in some New Orleans house of sin.  It was laid down in the famed Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, where Phil Spector had cut many of his classics.  It might have never come to pass at all had Dr. John and his co-conspirators not managed to wrangle some free studio time that had been originally earmarked for Sonny & Cher sessions.  The resulting album nonetheless sounded as authentically New Orleans as a midnight Mardi Gras stroll though the French Quarter.  Given the circumstances, that achievement was just as magical as anything the most powerful voodoo ritual could have wrought.

Gris-Gris was the first record credited to Dr. John, and to most listeners he seemed to have dropped out of nowhere with his mystical R&B psychedelia and Mardi Gras Indian costumes.  The album, however, was actually the culmination of about 15 years of professional experience, during which Dr. John -- born Mac Rebennack in New Orleans -- had absorbed the wealth of musical influences for which the Crescent City is famed.  Gris-Gris's roots reach back well beyond the dawn of the twentieth century, even as the album took in cutting-edge influences such as 1960s progressive jazz, and pushed into territory that no popular musician had ever explored in quite the same fashion.

"Gris-Gris" itself is a New Orleans term for voodoo, and the name Dr. John taken from a New Orleans root doctor of the 1840s and 1850s.  Also known as John Montaigne and Bayou John, he was busted in the 1840s for practicing voodoo with Pauline Rebennack, who may or may not have been a distant relative of our man Mac.  One of Mac's grandfathers sang in a minstrel show, and the latter-day Dr. John adapted one of grandpa's favorite tunes, "Jump Sturdy," into the track on Gris-Gris of the same name.  His onstage costumes and feathered headdresses, the source of shock and delight to audiences since the late 1960s, are similarly adapted from those worn by Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans, famed for the infectious tribal percussive rhythms and chants they perform in local parades.

By the mid-1950s Mac Rebennack, still in his mid-teens, was busy gigging around the New Orleans area, absorbing more contemporary influences from jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, and rock and roll.  In the late 1950s and early 1960s the multi-instrumentalist participated in a myriad of New Orleans R&B and rock records as a session musician, songwriter, and producer.  After battles with drug problems and the law, he moved to Los Angeles in 1965, joining an expatriate community of top New Orleans session dudes on the Hollywood studio circuit.  Rebennack scrounged for survival by playing on L.A. pop and rock sessions, getting much of his work with the help of arranger (and fellow New Orleanian) Harold Battiste.  Numerous recordings on which Rebennack played, sometimes as the featured artist, from the decade predating Gris-Gris have surfaced on compilations such as Medical School and Cut Me While I'm Hot .  Though of historical interest, and sometimes of considerable musical worth, these enjoyable but journeyman R&B/rock sides gave little indication of the idiosyncratic genius unveiled on Gris-Gris.

Ever since coming to L.A., Rebennack had hoped to make a concept album of sorts melding various strains of New Orleans music behind a frontman named Dr. John.  Mac actually wanted New Orleans singer Ronnie Barron to be the Dr. John character, but when Barron was (fortunately) unavailable, Rebennack took on the Dr. John mantle himself.  Harold Battiste, now a major Hollywood name as arranger for Sonny & Cher, got Dr. John some of the duo's studio time for free, and also helped get Mac a deal with Atlantic for an LP.  Had Atlantic known what was up it probably would have pulled the plug on the project.  However, the album was completed, with help from Battiste (who produced and played clarinet) and numerous side musicians.  These included transplanted New Orleans veterans like Jessie Hill (renowned for "Ooh Poo Pah Doo"), Shirley Goodman (half of Shirley & Lee of "Let the Good Times Roll" fame), saxophonist Plas Johnson, and Richard "Didimus" Washington, a percussionist who was particularly skilled at devising Afro-Caribbean rhythms and textures.  Two basses were used on some songs, which together with the army of percussionists (eight are credited) created an especially deep and thick rhythm section.

The opening track's title, "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya," was itself an indication of the record's homage to New Orleans eclecticism: the gris-gris voodoo, the gumbo (the regional stew made from numerous ingredients), and "Ya Ya," the title of one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the city (by Lee Dorsey).  Rebennack wasted no time in assuming his new identity, immediately declaring "they call me Dr. John, known as the Night Tripper," his half-sung growl a white swamp counterpart to Howlin' Wolf.  The snaky rhythms, soulful backup choruses, and ghostly echoing percussion set an eerie mood that if anything got spookier on "Danse Kalinda Ba Doom," its speaking-in-tongues ensemble vocals and middle eastern-by-way-of-New Orleans melodies establishing a quasi-religious ambience that permeated the record.  "Mama Roux," by contrast, was deep-fried soul-funk, Gris-Gris 's hit single-that-never-was.  It was back to the Bayou jungle, though, for "Danse Fambeaux," with its potion of Mardi Gras Indianesque chants, minstrel strings, impenetrable spell-casting lyrics, and mysterious melody.

The album's mischievous musical chairs were never as entrancing as they were on "Croker Courtbullion," with snake-charming flute and chants, Addams Family-styled keyboards (by Dr. John, who played all the keys on Gris-Gris), and free jazzy interplay revealing Rebennack's little-known admiration of musicians such as John Coltrane and Elvin Jones.  As if these weren't enough, there were also birdcalls and animal noises that sound like nothing so much as a futuristic mating of Professor Longhair and Martin Denny.  "Jump Sturdy" was a relatively brief, and quite infectious, marriage of vaudeville and funk.  The closing eight-minute tour de force, "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," would prove the album's most durable song, a creepy voodoo soup that both smoldered with ominous foreboding and simmered with temptations of sensual delights.

Atlantic executive Ahmet Ertegun was initially reluctant to release Gris-Gris, exclaiming, according to Dr. John's autobiography Under a Hoodoo Moon, "How can we market this boogaloo crap?"  Luckily, he relented, inaugurating an erratic career that saw Dr. John grow into an institution as a walking encyclopedia of New Orleans music.  For the most part, his subsequent recordings were far more grounded in blues and R&B, never matching the versatile adventurousness of his debut full-length.  Hard to find in its original form as an Atco LP, and only sporadically reissued since, Collectors' Choice Music is proud to make this classic available on CD for the first time in the United States. 
by Richie Unterberger 
1. Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya - 5:38
2. Danse Kalinda Ba Doom (Harold Battiste, Dr. John Creaux) - 3:46
3. Mama Roux (Jessie Hill, Dr. John Creaux) - 3:01
4. Danse Fambeaux - 4:58
5. Croker Courtbullion (Harold Battiste) - 6:01
6. Jump Sturdy - 2:23
7. I Walk On Guilded Splinters - 7:40
Songs written by Dr. John Creaux except where stated

*Dr. John - Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion
*Dr. Battiste - Bass, Clarinet, Percussion
*Richard "Dr. Ditmus" Washington - Percussion
*Senator Bob West - Bass
*Dr. John Boudreaux - Drums
*Governor Plas Johnson - Saxophone
*Dr. Lonnie Boulden - Flute
*Dr. Steve Mann - Bottleneck Guitar, Banjo
*Dr. Mclean - Guitar, Mandolin
*Mo "Dido" Pedido - Congas
*Dave Dixon - Backing Vocals, Percussion 
*Jessie Hill - Backing Vocals, Percussion 
*Ronnie Barron - Backing Vocals, Percussion
*Joni Jonz, Prince Ella Johnson, Shirley Goodman, Sonny Ray Durden, Tami Lynn - Backing Vocals

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Friday, March 22, 2024

Richard Torrance And The Eureka - Belle Of The Ball (1975 us, awesome classic rock with folk country blues shades, 2020 korean remaster)

Richard Torrance is a gifted singer / guitarist with more than forty years of performing experience in the music business. Born in the Midwest, he relocated to Southern California soon after graduating from high school, to pursue his dream of becoming a recording artist. He signed his first recording contract with Shelter Records, Leon Russell’s label, in 1972. He recorded three albums for them before moving on to his second contract with Capitol Records in 1975. His first of four albums for Capitol, “Bareback”, produced his song, “Rio de Janeiro Blue”. “Rio” has achieved international acclaim and has been recorded by several other artists, as well. 

Through the 1970s, he put together a band of Los Angles based musicians and did three national tours. Richard and his band opened for some of the most famous rock groups in the world, such as Little Feat, Kansas, Taj Mahal, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Seger, Chicago, The Beach Boys, REO Speedwagon, Loggins andMessina, The Kinks, Average White Band, Pablo Cruise, and Aerosmith, to name a few. After leaving Capitol records in 1979, Richard moved north to Ojai, California and focused on building a home recording studio, producing local talent and continuing to write music. He stayed there for over ten years, raising a family and touring the west coast.

In 1990, he traveled to Las Vegas to do a corporate event and met several musicians who encouraged him to relocate. After giving this serious consideration, he moved his family to Las Vegas and began a fourteen year stay. Richard performed in two major production shows, as well as playing in nearly every casino lounge. During his time in Las Vegas, he released two more CDs. First, a compilation of his previously released music titled “The Record Years” and second, a tribute to the victims of September 11, titled “The Red, White and Blues”. He also got an opportunity to travel to the American Virgin Island of St. Croix for a one month stay at a club called Big Beards. He absolutely fell in love with the people and music of the islands. This led to his next adventure in 1998, working for Royal Caribbean International and touring the Caribbean Islands. Over the next two years he visited sixteen islands and was able to meet and jam with local bands, deepening his love for reggae, calypso, and high energy island music. After returning to Las Vegas, he was compelled to leave the desert and relocate back to his roots.

In 2004, he moved back to his home town of Bismarck, North Dakota, Richard performed as a solo act as well as toured with various artists throughout the U.S. such as Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Within the first year, he released his most recent CD “The Stories They Tell”. He is currently performing as a single entertainer, singing songs from his ten CDs as well as playing with bands for private parties and corporate events. Still having that gypsy blood in him, he travels the tri-state area performing on a full time basis. His goal now is to play fun loving places for people who enjoy singing along, letting their cares go, and just having a good time. When you hear Richard, this will be your experience, too.

It was around 2010 when Richard and Jennifer Lyn met and began playing music together and performing locally. They were both very deep into the blues realm and spent many hours listening to the blues greats comparing notes on guitar riffs and lyrics. As their friendship grew, they started collaborating and experimenting with recording which led to working on two projects together. Their first project released in 2021, "Nothing Holding Me Down", which features overdriven guitars with dueling lead harmonies and classic rock undertones.  
Richard Torrance/official
1. The Jam - 4:10
2. Southern Belles - 4:28
3. That's What I Like In My Woman (Matthew Moore) - 4:23
4. North Dakota Lady (Gary Rowles) - 2:12
5. Side By Each (Jon Lamb) - 4:14
6. Hard Heavy Road - 3:17
7. Don't Let Me Down Again (Lindsey Buckingham) - 3:22
8. Singing Springs - 3:37
9. Lady (Gary Rowles) - 2:48
10.Lazy Town - 4:10
11.Sweet Sweet Rock 'n' Roll (Gary Rowles) - 3:43
All compositions by Richard Torrance except where stated

*Richard Torrance - Bass, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
*Dennis Mansfield - Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Vocals
*Duane Scott - Harpsichord, Keyboards, Percussion, Synthesizer, Vocals
*Gary Rowles - Dobro, Acoustic, Electric, Steel Guitars, Percussion, Vibraphone, Vocals
*John Lamb - Bass, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
*Richard Cantu - Bells, Congas, Percussion, Timbales, Tumba

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Richard Torrance - Eureka (1974 us, remarkable country folk classic rock)

Eureka” by Richard Torrance is a magical album. I know that I am not very objective, and that sometimes we abuse great qualifiers, overvaluing albums that are very good, but not special. This one is. From the feeling of freedom and natural connection that the artwork distills to songs solidly macerated in exquisite instrumentation. 

Singer-songwriter with his own personality, we find in his music echoes of the boogie funk of Leon Russell (his boss at the Shelter record label), the vocal harmonies of CS&N, the pop melodies of Seals&Crofts.

Like so many other American kids, Torrance “escaped” in the mid-60s from the most traditional America (in his case Bismarck, North Dakota) to live the Californian dream, gradually making a name for himself in the crowded Los Angeles scene.

In 1974 he began a recording career with “Eureka” that, although he will continue to produce albums that are super enjoyable to listen to.
by Albert Barrios, November 18, 2022
1. Ojai Road (Ken Weissman) - 2:03
2. I Just Don't Know - 2:27
3. Walking In The Rain - 2:53. 
4. Fire Child - 3:19
5. Traveling Minstrel - 3:16
6. Because Of You - 2:49
7. Ceremony - 2:58
8. Him - 4:32
9. Canyon Side - 3:50
All songs by Richard Torrance except where indicated

*Richard Torrance - Guitar, Vocals
*Gary Rowles - Guitar, Dobro, Vocals 
*Dennis Budman Mansfield - Drums 
*Monty Stark - Synthesizer Bass 
*Ken Weissman - Jew's Harp 
*Stephanie Black - Vocals
*Bill Lincoln - Guitar, Bass
*Joe McSwayne - Bass 
*Bill Cuomo - Keyboards 
*Eddie Tuduri - Drums 
*Duane Scott - Percussion 
*Elijah's Horns

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Alex Taylor - Dinnertime (1972 us, tight folk blues rock)

Alex Taylor's blues throat couldn't be more unlike his singing siblings, James, Kate and Livingston. As faraway from a sensitive singer/songwriter as could be, Taylor gives the blues treatment to classics like Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin'" as well as to songs by contemporary writing greats, from Randy Newman ("Let's Burn Down the Cornfield") to Bob Dylan ("From a Buick Six"), as well as by lesser-knowns like Jesse Winchester ("Payday"). With searing guitars and evocative organ at work, the record serves as a sampler of what was going on at Muscle Shoals and Ardent Studios in the early '70s and captures the Memphis soul sound of the era. This is his second recording for Capricorn.
by Denise Sullivan
1. Change Your Sexy Ways (Alex Taylor, Chuck Leavell, Jimmy Nalls) - 7:07
2. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield (Randy Newman) - 4:25
3. Comin' Back To You (Scott Boyer) - 4:15
4. Four Days Gone (Stephen Stills) - 3:56
5. Payday (Jesse Winchester) - 4:53
6. Who's Been Talkin' (Chester Burnett) - 4:45
7. Who Will The Next Fool Be (Charlie Rich) - 4:50
8. From A Buick Six (Bob Dylan) - 4:54

*Alex Taylor - Vocals
*Bill Stewart - Drums
*Charles Chalmers - Vocals
*Charlie Hayward - Bass
*Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Piano, Vibraphone
*Donna Rhodes - Vocals
*Earl Sims - Percussion
*Ginger Holladay - Vocals
*Jaimoe - Congas, Percussion, Timbales
*Jimmy Nalls - Guitars
*John Hughey - Steel Guitar 
*Johnny Sandlin - Bass, Moog Synthesizer
*Lou Mullenix - Percussion, Timbales
*Mary Holladay - Vocals
*Paul Hornsby - Keyboards, Organ
*Roger Hawkins - Congas, Percussion, Tambourine
*Sandra Chalmers - Vocals
*Sandra Rhodes - Vocals 
*Scott Boyer - Guitars, Vocals
*Steve Smith - Vocals
*Temple Riser - Vocals
*Wayne Perkins - Bass, Guitar, Slide Guitar

Related Acts
1970  Cowboy - Reach For The Sky
1971  Cowboy - 5'll Getcha Ten (2014 remaster) 

Monday, March 18, 2024

Dr. John - Babylon (1969 us, extraordinary avant garde jazz dixie voodoo funk, 2017 remaster)

Standing out as one of Dr. John’s most overtly political album, Babylon rings just as true as it did when it was first released in 1969, and it hasn’t lost any of its voodoo magic either. Originally cut in late ‘68, the album was influenced by dark themes such as the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the Tet offensive, and the Vietnam War.

While the lyrics can be clumsy at times, there are moments that shine through with a weight it still holds to this day, as on the album’s title track “No politicians/No higher religions/To guide you from the dark.”

While the lyrics can be heavy, the music is weightless and the brand of Weird that Dr. John specialized in. Loaded with electronic effects and unthinkable, otherworldly rhythms, the remastering further draws out and amplifies Dr. John’s legendary New Orleans sound of voodoo-funk with the occasional jazz influence; a smoky and sexy groove with the sharp edge of something sinister. A darkness in the almost trance-like chant of Dr. John’s delivery.

What falls a bit short is the music itself. There are times where it fades a bit too much into the background, gives up a bit too much of its power to the lyrics. As a result, some of the mysticism is lost and it’s difficult to establish a connection from one song to the next. Even so, Babylon still carries enough magic to make goose bumps crawl across your skin when the rhythm slows on a song like “Twilight Zone” and the lyrics “In the outer limits of a land unknown/In the twilight zone,” mumbled like a spell.
by Talia Boettinger
1. Babylon - 5:24
2. Glowin' - 5:40
3. Black Widow Spider - 4:15
4. Barefoot Lady (Dr. John Creaux, Harold Battiste) - 3:11
5. Twilight Zone - 8:17
6. The Patriotic Flag-Waiver - 4:57
7. The Lonesome Guitar Strangler - 5:36
All compositions by Malcolm Rebennack "Dr John Creaux"

*Dr. John - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Percussion
*Richard "Didimus" Washington - Guitar, Percussion
*Plas Johnson - Saxophone
*Moe Bechamin - Tenor Saxophone
*Alvin Robinson - Guitar
*Steve Mann - Guitar
*Al Frazier - Bass
*John Boudreaux - Drums
*Ronnie Barron - Organ
*Jessie Hill - Backing Vocals, Percussion
*Shirley Goodman - Backing Vocals
*Tami Lynn - Backing Vocals
*John McAlister - Quarter-Tone Piano, Gongs, Celesta

Related Acts

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The Hunt - The Hunt (1977 canada, tough symphonic prog rock)

Originally released on the Daffodil Records label in 1977, the debut self-titled album by Toronto rockers Hunt became an immediate hit in Texas of all places but was virtually ignored in Canada and the rest of the U.S. Formed from the ashes of the early-'70s band Dillinger, Hunt also featured drummer Paul Kersey who had formerly played with the Canadian hard rock stalwarts Max Webster. 

The music of Hunt on this debut features a heavy organ and guitar lead with elements of progressive rock in the form of synthesizers, strings, and even a flute on a number of songs. Sounding very similar to such popular bands of the mid-'70s such as Rush, Kansas, Styx, and even Jethro Tull in odd moments, the band showed potential to become international stars. The band even included a song sung in French on the album! Unfortunately, it was the late '70s and disco was dominating the charts and punk was beginning to take hold on the music scene; hard rock and heavy metal music were starting to lose popularity. 

Internal strife within the band lead to Hunt being reduced to a trio for the next album, Back on the Hunt, which was not to be released until three years later . This release by Unidisc is a straight reissue of the original album at a budget price and contains no bonus tracks. 
by Keith Pettipas
1. I Was Only Dreaming (Brian Gagnon, Paul Cockburn) - 4:25
2. A Song For A New Day (Brian Gagnon, Paul Cockburn) - 5:59
3. Little Miss Perfection (Brian Gagnon, Paul Cockburn) - 3:12
4. I Want To Be King (Brian Gagnon, Paul Cockburn) - 4:55
5. Faces (Jacques Harrisson) - 4:28
6. Billy (Brian Gagnon) - 3:39
7. Sent Me Away (Brian Gagnon) - 4:08
8. On Revient (Tout Le Temps)  (Jacques Harrisson) - 3:33
9. Sad Song (Brian Gagnon) - 4:15

The Hunt
*Brian Gagnon - Lead Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
*Jacques Harrisson - Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Flute
*Paul Cockburn - Guitar, Vocals, Bass
*Gerry Mosby - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Paul Kersey - Drums, Percussion

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Sun - Sun (1971-72 australia, impressive prog jazz blues brass rock, 2023 double disc digipak remaster and expanded)

The sole album by Sydney-based jazz rock band SUN, Sun 1972, is a feast for the ears. It has been a much sought after lost gem, now reissued on remastered CD for the first time since the original album release in October 1972. The musicianship is excellent, the songs are engaging and the icing on the cake comes with Renée Geyer’s gorgeous and emotive vocals.

Renée was 18 years old when the band recorded the album, and it’s immediately obvious that she already possessed a distinctive and powerful voice at such an early stage of her career. She had yet to assert herself fully as a stage performer but we can overlook that for now. She was able to handle the jazz mode of the music on her way to establishing her enduring reputation as the Queen of Australian funk and soul. R.I.P. Renée Geyer.

Rehearsal Tapes (1971-1972) issued on the ETT Imprint label. SUN existed between 1971 and 1974, with the core membership comprising Keith Shadwick (sax, flute), Henry Correy (bass), Garry Norwell (drums) and George Alamanza (electric piano). The group’s roots extended back to 1968 and blues band Spoonful (aka Spoonful of Soul), from Wollongong, NSW. By 1971, arch jazz enthusiast Keith Shadwick was steering the band in a more exploratory, adventurous avant-garde direction.

They covered material by the likes of jazz legends Nat Adderley, Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane and Max Roach, earning a reputation as Australia’s No. 1 jazz rock band. Members came and went, with Renée Geyer joining mid-1971. The group’s manager, jazz entrepreneur Horst Liepolt lined up a recording deal with RCA Records and with Liepolt producing SUN cut their debut album at Copperfield Studios, Ultimo. By that stage, the musicians were writing their own material, ranging from the jazz-rag stylings of ‘Silver Dollar Rag’, the lofty free-form jazz of ‘No Cherries for Henry’ to the rocky ‘I Really Want to Know’ and ‘Vendetta’. A standout is the progressively inclined yet laid-back ‘Message’. Here Renée sings in her most emotive, low and smoky tones, offset by delicate flute lines and haunting, echo-laden guitar work. 

The Bonus Material was captured and preserved on reel-to-reel tape by Ian Shadwick, Keith’s brother. They add a new dimension to the group’s recorded legacy, highlighting Renée’s astonishing singing technique and the sheer dedication and musical depth of the band’s craft. Highlights include an early arrangement of ‘The Message’, a jamming eight-minute version of Nils Lofgren’s ‘Try’, ‘When I Reach Out for Your Hand’, ‘S.S.’, ‘Sea of Tranquility’, ‘You are Only a Shadow’, ‘Darkside of Destruction’ and ‘Largesse’ all of which present moments of brilliance.
Disc 1  Sun 1972
1. Silver Dollar Rag (George Almanza) - 2:10
2. Message (Chris Sonnenberg) - 6:10
3. No Cherries For Henry (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry Norwell, George            Alamanza, Chris Sonnenberg) - 9:10
4. S.S. (Keith Shadwick) - 6:47
5. I Really Want To Know (Ian Smith) - 4:05
6. Largesse (George Almanza,  Henry Correy, Keith Shadwick) - 3:17
7. 3 1/2 (Keith Shadwick) - 6:32
8. Vendetta (George Almanza) - 6:20
9. Not The Time Now (Keith Shadwick) - 3:38
Disc 2 The Rehearsal Tapes Tapes (1971-72)
1. Silver Dollar Rag (George Almanza) - 2:36
2. The Message (Chris Sonnenberg) - 5:50
3. When I Reach Out For Your Hand (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry             Norwell, George Alamanza, Chris Sonnenberg) - 7:44
4. Blue Sun (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry Norwell, George Alamanza,         Chris Sonnenberg) - 18:16
5. Sea Of Tranquility (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry Norwell, George     Alamanza, Chris Sonnenberg) - 3:04
6. Try (Nils Lofgren) - 8:14
7. You Are Only A Shadow (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry Norwell, George        Alamanza, Chris Sonnenberg) - 3:21
8. S.S. (Chris Sonnenberg, Keith Shadwick) - 7:11
9. Darkside Of Destruction (Renee Geyer, Keith Shadwick, Henry Correy, Garry Norwell, George       Alamanza, Chris Sonnenberg) - 3:34
10.Three 1/2 (Keith Shadwick) - 6:24
11.I Really Want To Know (Ian Smith) - 3:25
12.Largesse (George Almanza,  Henry Correy, Keith Shadwick) - 3:17
13.Message (Chris Sonnenberg) - 5:11
Track #13 GTK live session, April 1972

The Sun
*Renee Geyer - Lead Vocals
*Keith Shadwick - Tenor, Alto, Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet
*Henry Correy - Bass
*Garry Norwell - Drums
*George Alamanza - Electric Piano
*Chris Sonnenberg - Lead Guitar

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Alex Taylor - With Friends And Neighbors (1971 us, exceptional folk blues rock)

1971 was the year of "Taylor Mania" with Mud Slide Slim & The Blue Horizon by James Taylor, Sister Kate's album on Cotillion, and the equally brilliant Liv by Livingston Taylor, on Warner Brothers. Alex Taylor's With Friends And Neighbors is a very good album, enjoying the glow of his sibling's excellent work, and emulating them on the first side. It's more pop than one would think, which all changes when you flip the disc over to hear the bluesy jams like on Greg Allman's "Southbound" on side two. 

Acoustic guitarist's Scott Boyer's "Southern Kids" is up there with some of James Taylor's finest work and with a plethora of guests from King Curtis to Sweet Baby James himself on "Night Owl," With Friends and Neighbors stands on its own as a very listenable and entertaining project. There's not one original by Alex, but he does allow his musicians to contribute, lead guitarist Tommy Talton penning "All In Line" while Boyer gets to include a second composition, "C Song" which ends side one. Bobby And Shirley Womack's "It's All Over Now" gets a fun reading, not as classic as The Rolling Stones or Rod Stewart And The Faces, this one is slowed down and funky but has its charm, and utilizes the same band as on brother Livingston Taylor's Liv album -- Bill Stewart on drums, Tommy Talton on lead guitar, Paul Hornsby on keyboards, Johnny Sandlin providing bass as well as producing the entire disc (Jon Landau was the producer on Liv). 

With the addition of acoustic guitarist Scott Boyer and Alex Taylor on vocals, With Friends And Neighbors is the bookend album to Liv that Sister Kate is to Carole King's Tapestry -- Kate Taylor having employed the musicians (and a couple of the songs) from King's classic 70s release. What the world needs is a Taylor Family Boxed set with all the work from Liv, Sister Kate, With Friends And Neighbors and any other material from the sessions that gave birth to this trio of exquisite recordings. It doesn't have the highs of a "Get Out Of Bed" which Livingston Taylor gave us, but it is consistent and highly enjoyable nevertheless. 
by Joe Viglione
1. Highway Song (James Taylor) - 3:17
2. Southern Kids (Scott Boyer) - 2:31
3. All In Line (Tommy Talton) - 2:50
4. Night Owl (James Taylor) - 3:20
5. C Song (Scott Boyer) - 2:10
6. It's All Over Now (Bobby Womack, Shirley Womack) - 3:41
7. Baby Ruth (Johnny Wyker) - 3:23
8. Take Out Some Insurance (Charles Singleton) - 4:18
9. Southbound (Gregg Allman, David Brown) - 8:30

*Alex Taylor - Vocals
*James Taylor - Guitar
*Scott Boyer - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Tommy Talton - Guitar
*Paul Hornsby - Keyboards
*Johnny Sandlin - Bass
*Peter Kowalke - Guitar
*Joe Rudd - Guitar
*Bill Stewart - Drums
*King Curtis - Saxophone
*Willie Bridges - Saxophone
*Ronnie Cuber - Saxophone
*Frank Wess - Saxophone
*Daniel Moore - Trumpet
*William S. Fischer - Conductor, String Arrangements

Related Acts
1970  Cowboy - Reach For The Sky
1971  Cowboy - 5'll Getcha Ten (2014 remaster) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Jeremiah - Jeremiah (1971 us, excellent power pop soft psych rock)

"Jeremiah" is an obscure set of McCartneyesque power-pop written and performed, for the most part, by David Brown. Other members include Seiwell and Spinosa, i.e., Spinozza, who were members of Wings. Bassist Karl Jarvi and lead guitarist Pat Walters had played in a number of North Carolina-based outfits including The Barons and the Paragons. Jarvi had also been in The New Mix with singer/guitarist David Brown. Seiwell, as mentioned, recorded a couple of albums with Paul McCartney and Wings. This is a nicely crafted album. For what it's worth, front-man Brown recorded a follow-up album "I Want To Be with You" in 1972.
1. Somewhere Someone - 3:24
2. Hey Now Baby - 3:40
3. Patience - 3:20
4. Sweet Rebecca - 3:48
5. Hey Baby Don't You Cry - 2:13
6. I Saw Your Picture In The Paper - 3:04
7. The Lady Lives With Me - 2:34
8. David Blue - 2:44
9. Roll It Over - 2:49
10.Lady Ellen - 2:08
11.So Many Ways - 3:01
All songs by David Brown

*David Brown - Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals
*Stuart Scharff - Acoustic Guitar
*Karl Jarvi - Bass 
*Russel George - Bass 
*Eddie Trabanco - Drums
*Denny Seiwell - Drums, Percussion
*Dave Spinosa - Lead Guitar
*Pat Walters - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Al Rosica - Piano 
*Kenny Asher - Piano 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Pocket Size - In One Or Another Condition (1970 denmark, remarkable garage psych, 2003 release)

A group from Copenhagen, active in 1969-1971. Lived in Pocket-House and performed in the basement. Everyone could attend their rehearsals and concert, released only one single.

In 2003, the Frost label found everything (that could be found) and released this compilation disc. Heavy psychedelic with organ and guitar. 
1. I'm So Sleepybake Your Own Cake - 6:52
2. I'm In No Hurry - 5:20
3. Futte (To The 'pocket-House'-Cat!) - 5:30
4. I Can't See The Sun - 3:32
5. Opus II - 5:08
6. You Just Do What You Want To Do - 5:06
7. Love Machine - 4:29
8. In One Or Another Condition - 4:13
9. Sorry Babelook At Your Beautiness Picture - 9:44
10.My Life Is Free - 5:59
11.A Song - 4:18
12.Magic Carpet Ride (John Kay, Rushton Moreve) - 18:02
All songs by Kaj Bruhn, Dan Johnsen, Niels Martinussen, Finn Tony Rasmussen except where stated

Pocket Size
*Kaj Bruhn - Vocals, Bass 
*Dan Johnsen - Vocals, Guitar 
*Niels Martinussen - Organ 
*Finn Tony Rasmussen - Drums