Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Beggar's Opera - Beggars Can't Be Choosers (1975 uk, pleasant glam rock with prog shades, 2007 digipak remaster)

Jupiter Records Germany / British Lion Music asked Ricky Gardiner to produce to 2 Beggars Opera albums. Ricky Gardiner asked Pete Scott/ Vocals and Virginia Scott/ Keys and drummers Mike Travis (ex Gilgamesh) and the legendary Clem Cattini respectively for the Sagittary and Beggars Can’t be Choosers sessions. 

These two albums were recorded at TW Studios Fulham Palace Rd, London and engineered by Alan Winstanley/produced by Ricky Gardiner. The songs for Sagittary were written by the Virginia Scott/ Colin McFarlane collaboration (Diana Demon Show project) and Ricky Gardiner wrote the songs for Beggars Can’t be Choosers. 

The final track Death on Beggars Can’t be Choosers is very expressive of the feeling at the time. I think we really sensed we were at the end of one phase in our musical lives and at the beginning of another. This was very quickly to prove to be true as Ricky Gardiner was soon to be playing and recording David Bowie and Iggy Pop!
1. I'm A Roadie - 4:41
2. Beggars Can't Be Choosers - 2:56
3. Hungry Man - 3:43
4. You're Not Welcome - 3:30
5. Young Blood Man - 2:52
6. Union Card - 2:34
7. We Must Love - 3:45
8. Keep Climbing - 2:54
9. Bar Room Pearl - 3:51
10.Death - 9:39
All titles by Ricky Gardiner

Beggar's Opera
*Ricky Gardiner - Bass, Guitar, Harmony Vocals
*Clem Cattini - Drums
*Pete Scott - Harmony Vocals, Lead Vocals
*Virginia Gardiner - Harmony Vocals, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synthesizer

Monday, April 29, 2024

Odin - Odin (1972 / germany / holland / uk, tough prog rock, 2007 bonus track remaster)

An international affair from the get-go, Honest Truth, boasting a British rhythm section and a Dutch guitarist, lit up German stages in the late '60s before calling it a day. Drummer Stuart Fordham and bassist Ray Brown promptly returned to their island home, but were coaxed back across the North Sea in 1971 by guitarist Rob Terstall and his new musical companion, German keyboardist Jeff Beer. Dubbing themselves Odin, the group's ferocious shows quickly caught the attention of the Vertigo label, which released the band's sole album, this 1972 self-titled set. 

From the opening track, the quartet's breathtaking musical skills are on display, with Terstall and the teenaged Beer trying to one-up each other's consummate solos. As diverse musically as they were nationally, the quartet incorporated an eclectic blend of styles into its set. The exhilarating "Life Is Only," for example, swings from storming organ-led prog to guitar-driven, Hendrix-riven funk-rock. In contrast, "Be the Man You Are" shimmers in effervescent folky fashion, while the lush "Eucalyptus" mixes surfy R&B-flavored guitar with lavish orchestral organ. Intriguingly, their cover of Quatermass' "Gemini" sticks close to the original, but still features some of Beer's best work, as does the album closer, "Clown." Both must have been absolutely lethal live, but it's the driving "Turnpike Lane" that probably brought the house down. 

With the album split between lengthy epic pieces and short sharp numbers, Odin offered a roller coaster ride across all that prog rock had to offer, and did it with amazing prowess and finesse. The band may have folded in frustration in 1975, but fans continued to search out this superb set. This reissue not only features the original sleeve's artwork, but also includes a poster to boot. 
by Jo-Ann Greene
1. Life Is Only (Jeff Beer, Ray Brown) - 10:48
2. Tribute To Frank (Jeff Beer) - 1:54
3. Turnpike Lane (Rob Terstall) - 3:42
4. Be The Man You Are (Ray Brown, Rob Terstall) - 2:43
5. Gemini (Steve Hammond) - 8:52
6. Eucalyptus (Jeff Beer) - 2:49
7. Clown (Jeff Beer, Ray Brown, Stuart Fordham) - 8:38
8. Oh No (Frank Zappa) - 13:51
Bonus Track 8

*Jeff Beer - Keyboards, Vibraphone, Percussion, Vocals
*Rob Terstall - Guitar, Vocals
*Ray Brown - Bass, Vocals
*Stuart Fordham - Drums, Percussion


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Conqueroo - From The Vulcan Gas Company (1967-68 us, tough blues psych rock)

The past few years has seen some really good late 60s/early 70s music released for the first time ever – Crystal Syphon, Uther Pendragon, Bleu Forest, The Troyes and finally, Texas’ Bob Brown with the Conqueroo. The Conqueroo were a well known psych rock blues band who released one sought after 45 on the Sonobeat label. Bob Brown had been floating around the Texas scene since the mid 60s folk/folk-rock revival before joining the Conqueroo in 1966/1967. His earliest music is available on the CD version of this album – both CD and LP are sold together as one package by Shagrat Records.

The bulk of this material comes from sessions cut between 1972 and 1973. The two most “produced” tracks, “Sycamore Street” and “Martha” bookend the album and would have made a fine single had they been released at the time. Both tracks are lost classics. In fact, all of the music featured on The Shoe Box Tapes is excellent roots rock with strong echoes of early Little Feat, the Grateful Dead circa 1970, the Band and early 70’s Bobby Charles.  The influences mentioned are just a reference point – Bob Brown with the Conqueroo made fresh, original music. Brown’s tremendous vocals (vocals which sound like a wild man from the backwoods) are his strongest asset but the lyrics are well written and the Conqueroo’s backing is attractively loose but still hangs in the pocket quite nicely.

Key tracks are as follows: Our Great King, a whimsical backwoods rocker with a soaring bridge and bizarre lyrics. Take Me to the Country, pure country-rock a la American Beauty with a cool, extended guitar break. The hard hitting roots rocker I See Red and the sensitive folk-rock tune Pioneer’s Wedding (which really reminds me of 69 era Moby Grape) are well worth a spin too. Also of note is the lone solo track (just Bob Brown and guitar) Don’t Ask Me. This track, clearly one of the record’s highlights, is a fine showcase for Brown’s underrated vocal talent.

If you are into unknown roots rock bands or classic country-rock, this album is a revelation. The Shoe Box Tapes isn’t just an archival release, it’s far more than that. Bob Brown’s talent is undeniable and its a true gift that this music has been made available after all these years – Thank You Shagrat Records. On about half the album, the rawest and most ramshackle of songs, (Our Great King, Take Me to the Country, I See Red, Fifteen Girls, Pioneer’s Wedding and On A Summer’s Evening) the group hit on something that’s truly magical.  An absolute must own.
by Jason Nardelli, July 22nd, 2016 
1. Passenger (Ed Guinn) - 5:10
2. Banana And The Cat (Ed Guinn) - 4:04
3. Words Are Not As Strange (Ed Guinn) - 6:09
4. 1 To 3 (Bob Brown) - 6:48
5. Walking Blues (Robert Johnson) - 2:47
6. Midnight Hour (Stephen Cropper, Wilson Pickett) - 3:01
7. I've Got Time (Ed Guinn) - 8:20
8. Get Out Of My Life Woman (Alan Toussaint) - 4:25
9. I Think About You (Bob Brown) - 3:09
Tracks 1,2,3 all recorded at Pacific High San Francisco 1968
Everything else recorded live from the Vulcan Gas Co 1967-1968

*Ed Guinn - Bass, Keyboards, Woodwind, Vocals
*Bob Brown - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Charlie Pritchard - Lead Guitar
*Alvin Sykes - Drums (Tracks 1-3), 
*Daryl Rutherford - Drums (Tracks 6,8)
*Gerry Storm - Drums (Tracks 1,5,7,9)

Friday, April 26, 2024

Katch 22 - Major Catastrophe. The Katch 22 Story (1966-69 uk, beautiful sunny folk psych freak beat, 2011 remaster)

Mike Eastman and Paul Bonner were pupils at the same school, in Wallington, Surrey, England, and formed a band together in 1964. They were joined by brothers Martin and Robert Godbold to complete the band's first line-up. Whilst playing at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London in 1966, they were spotted by record producer and songwriter, Tokenam Aw, who was born in Hawaii and later became their manager. They were signed to the Fontana Records label, and released their first single, "Major Catastrophe" / " Hold Me " . Both songs were written by Aw and produced by Harry Roberts, and recorded at Olympic Studios London in September 1966, and released in October the same year.

In June 1967 Robert Godbold left the band and was replaced by Paul Clifton. With this new line-up, the band recorded their second single on the Fontana Records Label, "Makin' My Mind Up" / "While We're Friends", released in October 1967. During this period they were regular support artists to many bands of the era, including The Small Faces, the Alan Price Set, The Animals, and more.

In November 1967 they turned full time professional, and went on their first Continental Tour with the Psychedelic 'La Fenétre Rose' package show supporting bands, Keith West and Tomorrow, Cat Stevens, Zoot Money and Dantalions Chariot, Spencer Davis Group, and The Soft Machine.

On return from this tour they made their first B.B.C Radio One recording at Maida Vale Studios for the ''David Symonds Show '' in December 1967. The first record release of 1968 was "'The Worlds Getting Smaller" / "Don't Bother", released in April 1968. Once again the songs were written by Tokenam Aw, the 'A' side arranged by Rex Morris, and the 'B' side by Arthur Greenslade, from the BBC Band, 'Arthur Greenslade and the G Men'.They became regular performers on sessions for BBC Radio One including, The ''Jimmy Young Show'' ''Joe Loss Pop Show'', “Dave Cash Show”, “Terry Wogan Show” etc.

Their next recording was their first Long Playing record on the Budget Label Saga Records, entitled ''Its Soft Rock and Allsorts, It's Katch 22'', it was recorded at Regent Sound Studios, and for the first time featured some songs written by the band themselves, particularly Martin Godbold, who wrote under the name of Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner and Mike Eastman. Released in May 1968, went on to sell somewhere in the region of 75000 copies, and became the BBC Radio One ' LP of the Week', on the ''David Symonds Show'', leading to the band becoming one of the most regular 'session bands' on many programmes from the time.

During 1968, 'Katch 22' continued to play as support band to many 'chart' bands of the time including, 'The Kinks', 'Bay City Rollers', 'Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders', etc., but were gradually gaining main band status in their own right, where they would have a support band. They also became session singers for other artistes in the Fontana stable, the first of which was backing vocals for 'Wayne Fontana', on his record "Never An Everyday Thing" / "Waiting For a Break In The Clouds", with musical arrangement by Mike Vickers of 'Manfred Mann'.May 1968. First ever Television Recording. ''Late Night Line-Up / Colour Me Pop'' BBC 2 TV. recorded at BBC Studio B White City, Shepherds Bush, London. One of the first ever television shows recorded in colour. The show was screened on Saturday May 18th. 

Due to the Radio popularity of the LP, 'Katch 22' were approached to play themselves in a discotheque scene in the Michael Klinger, film 'Baby Love', starring 'Diana Dors', 'Anne Lynn', 'Linda Hayden', 'Keith Barron', 'Dick Emery'. To coincide with the film and featured in it, were two Tokenam Aw penned songs "Baby Love"/ "Out Of My Life" with musical arrangement by the band themselves.

They continued to record many BBC Radio One Sessions for the many shows that featured 'live' music, mostly at the B.B.C's Maida Vale Studio, London W9, but also at the London 'Paris Studio', and 'Aeolian Hall'. They were also further in demand as session players, for many artistes, including the '''Hughie Greens, Christmas LP'''. 

Their own next single was entitled "Pumpkin Mini" / "100,000 Years", released in November 1968 with musical arrangement by Richard Hartley originally from the group Fire. Richard went on to write and arrange many film scores.

January - February 1969, 'Katch 22' were resident at the famous Star Club in Hamburg, following in the footsteps of the 'Beatles' and many other bands before them.

At the end of March 1969 Paul Clifton ( Bass Guitar ), left to join 'Cliff Bennet and the Rebel Rousers', and later that year in April 1969, Martin Godbold, (now calling himself Martin Wayne) left also to form a progressive rock band calling themselves 'Nimbus'. Paul was replaced by ex Portsmouth based band 'Cherry Smash' Bass Guitarist, John Curtis. 'Cherry Smash' were in the same management stable as 'Katch 22'. Martin was replaced by Keith Wilford, ex Newcastle-Upon-Tyne band, 'Sefton Wall'.

The influence of Keith's guitar playing and Johns driving bass style bought a new more contemporary sound to the band, and the new line-up played their first BBC Radio session in April 1969 for the "Dave Cash Live Show.''. 

In November 1969, they changed record labels to CBS Records and released a new single entitled "It's The Sunshine", written by Paul Bonner and Mike Eastman, and a 'B' side written by Lally Stott called "Mrs. Jones". John Curtis left in December 1969, to join 'Gary Moore', and was immediately replaced by Bryan Jackson.

The group also continued to tour extensively, playing on the University, and RAF and Naval base circuits. In January 1970, the band released a record under the pseudonym 'Westland Steamboat', entitled "Born Under A Bad Sign" / "Missouri Train". The two songs were written by Mike Eastman / Paul Bonner / and Stephen Shane, and the record was produced by Stephen  Shane.

In December 1970 Brian Jackson left the band, and Mike Eastman changed over from Guitar to Bass Guitar, and 'Katch 22' continued as a three piece with the line-up:- Mike Eastman Bass Guitar / Piano / Vocals, Paul Bonner Drums / Vocals, and Keith Wilford, Lead Guitar / Vocals. By this time Tokenam Aw had gone back to Hawaii and management and agency were taken over by ex Radio London DJ /Agent John Edward. In May 1971, they recorded their first BBC Radio One Session with the new three piece line-up, playing for ''The Jimmy Young Show'''. They played their last show as 'Katch 22' on February 5th 1972. The three remaining members went on to work with Harry Vanda and George Young, (ex 'The Easybeats' ), and later formed a new band called 'Paintbox'

After the success of the Cherry Red Album released in 2011, during 2014, original members Paul Bonner and Mike Eastman, got together again, writing new music and songs together. An album entitled "Classical Soft Rock" was the result, with eleven new songs released in January 2015..

They continue to compose together to this day, and in July 2015, the 1970 single "It's The Sunshine", was re-launched by Radio Mi-Amigo on the "Tony Currie Show", during the Pirate Radio Week in Harwich, and a new song was also written specially for the occasion called "Sing Me An Old Song ( Pirate Radio Memories )".

February 2016. A new album was released on their own label Rookwood Records, entitled "Drifting". The title track of the same name, was originally written in 1970 as the next single for CBS Records, but was never released. A further 10 new songs completed the album, including "Sing Me An Old Song". In August 2016. 'Katch 22' were recorded live in an interview on the 'Tony Currie Show' Radio Mi Amigo, in Harwich, during which they played four songs.

In November 2016. A live interview and performance was recorded for the 'Keith Skues Show' at the BBC Radio Norfolk studio in Norwich. The programme was broadcast on Keith's show in December 2016. The interview lasted an hour and a quarter and featured archive BBC Radio Club Live recordings plus music from their newer albums.

Many of the singles, are regularly featured on compilation CD Box - Sets, from the RPM label, and others, and are very collectable. 
1. Major Catastrophe (Tokenam Aw) - 2:28
2. Hold Me (Tokenam Aw) - 2:04
3. Makin' My Mind Up (Jack Dalton, Gary Montgomery) - 2:33
4. While We're Friends (Tokenam Aw) - 3:03
5. The World's Getting Smaller (Tokenam Aw) - 2:15
6. Don't Bother (Tokenam Aw) - 1:58
7. Pumpkin Mini (Tokenam Aw) - 2:31
8. 100,000 Years (Tokenam Aw) - 2:40
9. Out Of My Life (Tokenam Aw) - 2:28
10.Baby Love (Tokenam Aw) - 2:08
11.You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Bob Dylan) - 3:16
12.Fakin' It (Paul Simon) - 2:58
13.Pumpkin Mini (Tokenam Aw) - 2:38
14.Too Young To Be One (Eric Eismer) - 1:56
15.Walk Away Renee (Mike Brown, Rob Calilli, Tony Sansome) - 2:52
16.There Ain't No Use In Hangin' In (Thomas McAleese, William Campbell) - 2:09
17.Seldom (Tokenam Aw) - 2:42
18.Groovy Summertime (Keith Colley, Tom Bahler) - 2:37
19.Don't Listen (Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner) - 1:50
20.59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (Paul Simon) - 1:59
21.Windy (Ruthann Friedman) - 2:31
22.Open Up Your Eyes (Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner) - 2:22
23.Thoughts On A Rainy Day (Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner) - 1:54
24.Go And Say Goodbye (Stephen Stills) - 2:21
25.You've Got Somethin' (Tokenam Aw) - 2:36
26.Wishin' (Martin Wayne, Mike Eastman) - 3:20
Tracks 15-26 from "It's Soft Rock And All Sorts, It's Katch 22" released 1968

Katch 22
*Mike Eastman - Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
*Paul Bonner - Drums 
*Keith Wilford - Lead Guitar, (1969-72)
*John Curtis - Bass, (1969) 
*Martin Wayne (Martyn Godbold) - Lead Guitar, (1964-69) 
*Robert Godbold - Bass, (1964-67) 
*Paul Clifton - Bass, (1967-69)
*Bryan Jackson - Bass, (1969-70)

Thursday, April 25, 2024

James Talley - Blackjack Choir / Ain't It Somethin' (1977 us, gorgeous fusion of folk, country, blues, soft, jazzy overtones, honky tonk with greasy guitars)

Talley was born in Oklahoma, but his family moved to Richland, Washington when he was young. There, his father worked as a chemical operator at the Hanford plutonium factory. Realizing the hazards his father's employment presented, the family packed up and left for Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shortly after, his father passed from cancer that was no doubt acquired at the plutonium factory, which Talley later wrote a song about.

In 1975, an oddball country album called “Got No Bread, No Milk, No Money, But We Sure Got a Lot of Love” appeared in Nashville and made a big stir in music circles far beyond. Everything about it—from its unwieldy title to its eclectic take on traditional country to its cover photo of a scruffy young man and his pregnant wife and their toddler in front of a rural grocery store—set it apart from Music City’s generic product.

Whereas most country songs were set in Anywhere, U.S.A., this ambitious song cycle conveyed a keen sense of place. Written, produced and performed by a second-generation Okie named James Talley, the record took listeners to Mehan, a hamlet near Stillwater, Okla., and other spots “as far back in that country as you can stick a butcher-knife,” as Mr. Talley put it in the title song. Here was Og, a tobacco-chewing farmer, and blue-eyed Ruth, and an old railroad man who’s now the town wino—all kith and kin from Mr. Talley’s early years.

The got-no-bread title was barely a stretch. By the mid-1970s, Mr. Talley had gone broke making the self-financed album. By chance, his day job as a carpenter had him remodeling the Nashville home of Frank Jones, the head of Capitol Records’ country-music division; Mr. Talley gave Jones a copy, one of 1,000 he had custom-printed and -pressed featuring his young family on the cover. It led to a record deal, though his major-label album debut barely made a ripple in Music City. But rock critics, drawn to the songs’ progressive Woody Guthrie vibe, compared it to the elegiac, back-to-the-land imagery of The Band and hailed the album as a classic. Despite the hype, it was a commercial dud.

Three later Capitol albums earned more praise and expanded Mr. Talley’s cult following. Among his ardent fans were President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn, who invited him to perform at the White House. But a hit record never happened. Country music in the 1970s was going mainstream, so a backwater outlaw from the boonies—unless he was named Waylon or Willie—was a tough sell. By the end of the decade, Mr. Talley had disappeared from the record industry, his albums out of print.

His bracing songs tapped into a Woody Guthrie-like vision of America. The music industry turned its back. 
by Eddie Dean
1. Bluesman - 2:55
2. Alabama Summertime - 2:53
3. Everybody Loves A Lovesong - 3:20
4. Magnolia Boy - 3:16
5. Mississippi River Whistle Town - 4:30
6. Daddy Just Called It The Blues - 4:30
7. Up From Georgia - 2:44
8. Migrant Jesse Sawyer - 5:40
9. You Know I've Got To Love Her - 3:41
10.When The Fiddler Packs His Case - 3:20
11.Ain't It Something - 2:55
12.Only The Best (Jim Rooney) - 3:03
13.We Keep Tryin' - 3:17
14.Dixie Blue - 3:16
15.Not Even When It's Over - 2:35
16.Nine Pounds Of Hashbrowns - 3:00
17.Richland, Washington - 2:19
18.Middle "C" Mama - 2:04
19.Woman Trouble - 2:53
20.Old Time Religion (Traditional) - 2:42
21.Poets Of The West Virginia Mines - 5:34
22.What Will There Be For The Children - 2:52
Music and Lyrics by James Talley except where stated

Tracks 1-10 
*James Talley - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Byron Bach - Cello 
*Ralph Childs - Tuba 
*Rick Durrett - Piano, Tac-Piano 
*Dave Gillon - Electric Slide Guitar (Track 6) 
*Johnny Gimble - Fiddle, Mandolin 
*Josh Graves - Dobro 
*Doyle Grisham - Steel Guitar 
*Steve Hostak - Acoustic, Electric Guitar 
*Irv Kane - Trombone 
*B.B. King - Electric Lead Guitar (Track 1) 
*Mike Leech - Electric Bass 
*Andy Mcmahon - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ 
*Clark Pierson - Drums, Percussion 
*Billy Puett - Saxophone, Clarinet 
*John Sayles - Fiddle (Track 8) 
*Don Sheffield - Trumpet 
*Jerry Shook - Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica 
*Tommy Smith - Trumpet/Horn - 
*Kyle Tullis - Upright Bass 
*Reggie Young - Electric Lead Guitar Chord Fills (Track 1) 
*Clark Pierson - Harmony Vocal (Track 10) 
*Pebble Daniel, Marsha Routh, Mary Jo Talley - Background Vocals

Tracks 11-22 
*James Talley – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar 
*Ralph Childs - Electric Bass (Track 18) 
*Tommy Cogbill - Electric Bass 
*Rick Durrett - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Clavinette 
*Johnny Gimble - Fiddle Josh Graves - Dobro 
*Marty Grebb - Tenor, Alto Saxophones 
*Doyle Grisham - Steel Guitar 
*Steve Hostak - Acoustic, Electric Guitar 
*Mike Leech - Electric Bass (Track 11) 
*Charlie Mccoy - Harmonica 
*Billy Puett - Tenor, Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet 
*John Sayles - Miscellaneous 
*Randy Scruggs - Banjo 
*Jerry Shook - Electric, Acoustic Guitar 
*Greg Thomas - Drums, Percussion 
*Dave Gillon - Harmony Vocal  

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Various Artists - Swinging London A Trunk Full of 60's Pop Exotica The Accidental Genius Of Saga Records (1968-70 uk / italy / germany, fascinating beat psych, 2007 remastered sounds)

In the late 1960s and early '70s, the British budget label Saga recorded numerous albums designed to cash in on U.K. pop/rock-psychedelic trends. The LPs were quickie exploitation jobs, but as is often the case with such productions, some reasonably genuine stuff couldn't help sneaking through and finding status among serious '60s collectors decades later. This quite unusual compilation gathers 25 tracks that were scattered across numerous Saga releases, the common denominator being that all of them were plugged into British mod rock and psychedelia to some degree. It almost goes without saying that none of these songs were hits, and that very few of them are known even to veteran British '60s collectors, though some might be familiar with the Five Day Week Straw People, the Magic Mixture, and the Blackbirds (the last actually a German group whose material Saga managed to issue for the U.K. market). 

A few recognizable musicians do pop up here and there, even if the culprits most likely wouldn't mind having these relics buried deep within their résumés, including Mungo Jerry's Ray Dorset (here part of Good Earth), future Fairport Convention bassist Dave Pegg (as part of the Dave Peace Quartet), and original Fleetwood Mac bassist Bob Brunning (as part of Five's Company). As you also might expect, the actual music's not nearly as interesting as it is rare, since much of it's either heavily derivative and/or obviously trying to latch on to fashionable Swinging London-type grooves and the lighter side of psychedelia. Approached with the right level of expectations, however, that doesn't mean there aren't some fun or at least amusing moments along the way, if you're a fan of those genres and have at least a little irreverent humor about the styles' excesses and naïveté. 

A good number of the tracks are fairly groovy in different and sometimes off-the-wall ways. Those cuts would include the Blackbirds' downright creepy "She," with its horror movie organ and Dracula-like vocals; the Dave Moses Group's cool, Latin-tinged, organ-based go-go lounge instrumental, "Quite Fast"; Linda & Noel's quite accomplished slice of toy town psych pop, "Mr. Bantam's Fair"; New World's strange heavy psych adaptation of "Scheherezade"; Shake 26's hard-charging instrumental "Underground Set," which bisects mod rock and heavy psychedelia; Five Day Week Straw People's ridiculously echo-smothered "Sunday Morning" (not the Velvet Underground song!); and Magical Mixture's dreamy "Moon Beams," perhaps the one cut on the CD that can hold its own as a legitimate first-rate piece of U.K. psychedelic buried treasure. Others are just OK, or generic or even subpar, though sometimes in a manner that lovers of kitsch might appreciate. Stefan Granados' lengthy liner notes dig up more information about these obscure budget releases than anyone would have thought possible. 
by Richie Unterberger
Artist - Track - Composer
1. First Impression - Swingin' London Scene (John Britten) - 2:06
2. Five Day Week Straw People - Five Day Week Straw People (David Montague, Guy Mascolo) - 3:27
3. The Magical Mixture - I'm So Sad (Terry Thomas) - 4:13
4. Katch 22 - There Ain't No Use In Hanging On (Junior Campbell, Thomas McAleese) - 2:10
5. Good Earth - That's The Life (Colin Earl, Dave Hutchins, Ray Bowerman, Ray Dorset) - 2:40
6. Blackbirds - Girl I'm Wondering (Werner Breinig, Hubert Koop) - 3:00
7. Dave Moses Group - Quite Fast (David Moses) - 2:58
8. The Graham Walker Sound - Young Scene (From The Big Match) (Keith Mansfield) - 2:30
9. Katch 22 - Thoughts On A Rainy Day (Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner) - 1:54
10.The Magical Mixture - New Man (Terry Thomas) - 3:00
11.Underground Sound - Arcipelago (Gianfranco Reverberi) - 3:20
12.Dave Peace Quartet - Couldn't Bear The Sight (Dave Peace) - 2:20
13.Blackbirds - She (Werner Breinig, Hubert Koop) - 4:28
14.Five's Company - If This Is Love (Eddie Broadbridge) - 4:44
15.Family Affair - Someone Is Calling Your Name (Noel Cream, Viktor Fernando, Patrick Herbert) - 2:38
16.First Impression - All Lead Back To You (John Britten) - 2:20
17.Herbie And The Royalists - Lost Voyage (Brian Cooper, Denis Lascelles, Herbie Hunte, Ian Miller, Steve Field) - 4:42
18.Katch 22 - Don't Listen (Martin Wayne, Paul Bonner) - 1:49
19.Linda And Noel - Mr. Bantam's Fair (Noel Cream) - 3:31
20.The Graham Walker Sound - Crossroads (James Horner) - 3:23
21.New World - Scheherazade (Rimsky Korsakoff) - 3:15
22.Herbie And The Royalists - My Life Has Just Blown A Fuse (Brian Cooper, Denis Lascelles, Herbie Hunte, Ian Miller, Steve Field) - 3:05
23.Underground Set - Shake 26 (Gianfranco Reverberi) - 2:44
24.Five Day Week Straw People - Sunday Morning (David Montague, Guy Mascolo) - 4:21
25.The Magical Mixture - Moon Beams (Terry Thomas) - 4:06

Monday, April 22, 2024

Ted Neeley - A.D. 1974 (1974 us, marvelous soft rock)

Ted Neeley came to the public's attention when he played and sang the title role in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, both on-stage and onscreen, and then followed it up with a role in the original theatrical production of the Who's Tommy. A singer, drummer, actor, composer, vocal arranger, and record producer, Neeley was born September 20, 1943 in Ranger, Texas. He signed his first record deal in 1965, at age 22, with Capitol Records, releasing an album, the self-titled Teddy Neeley, on the imprint with his group the Teddy Neeley Five. 

Possessing a baritone singing voice that could rise octaves into a controlled, on-pitch rock-era scream when necessary, Neeley began taking musical theater roles in Los Angeles, which in turn led him to audition for the Broadway staging of Jesus Christ Superstar, and he was selected as the understudy for the title role, which he claimed for the L.A. stage version that had a run at the Universal Amphitheatre, then reprised for the 1973 movie. Neeley released a solo album, 1974 A.D., in, when else, 1974, then took the role of Billy Shears in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road. 

He continued doing musical theater, acting as well in various television dramas during the 1970s and 1980s, including Starsky and Hutch, and appeared as Curly in the NBC television movie production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Meanwhile, he performed live shows with his band Pacific Coast Highway. Neeley reprised his most famous role in the updated touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar in the 1990s, and did it again for a stripped-down version of the musical that toured from 2006 to 2010. 

He released a five-track EP, Rock Opera, in 2013, which included a version of the Who's "See Me, Feel Me," a duet with fellow Jesus Christ Superstar alum Yvonne Elliman on "Up Where We Belong," a take on the Bryan Adams hit "Do I Have to Say the Words?," a rendition of the Christmas classic "O Holy Night," and, thanks to some modern engineering tricks, a duet with the late Carl Anderson on "God's Gift to the World." 
by Steve Leggett
1. Rock And Roll Spirit (Bob Strauss) - 3:20
2. Another’s Lifetime (Wayne Berry) - 3:43
3. Spin Away (Alan O’Day) - 3:12
4. The Adventures Of A Boy Child Wonder (Phil Cody; Neil Sedaka) - 2:44
5. Rainbow (John C Allen) - 3:52
6. You Put Something Better Inside Of Me (Gerry Rafferty; Joe Egan) - 2:55
7. Look At You, Look At Me (Dave Mason; Jim Capaldi) - 3:47
8. It’s Not The Spotlight (Barry Goldberg; Gerry Goffin) - 3:36
9. You Are The Singer (Mike D’Abo) - 2:43
10.Mother (John Lennon) - 4:51

*Ted Neeley - Vocals
*Michael Omartian - Arranger, Conductor, Gong, Keyboards, Marimba, Synthesizer
*Ben Bonay - Guitars
*Barbara Carlson - French Horn
*Barry Fasman - Piano
*Chuck Findley - Trumpet
*David Duke - French Horn
*Dean Parks - Electric Guitar
*Fred Selden - Alto Sax 
*Jackie Kelso - Tenor Sax 
*Jim Gordon - Drums, Percussion
*King Errisson - Congas
*Lew McCreary - Bass Trombone 
*Mark Tulin - Bass
*Paul Hubinon - Trumpet

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sweet Lightnin' - Sweet Lightnin' (1972 us, bright delicate slight rock)

Sweet Lighting was a supergroup of very talented musicians who went on noteworthy careers.  The members of Sweet Lightning were singer/guitarist Pete Hewlett, guitarist Sid MGinnis, drummer Ron Foster, bassist Harry Turner and keyboard wiz Fred Delu.  Formed in 1969 they performed at Mancini's in the Rocks and the Staircase in downtown Pittsburgh.  In 1972 they signed with RCA to release the self titled album 'Sweet Ligntin'". Their cover of the classic tune “Dancing In the Streets was a hit single of Pittsburgh radio. The group disbanded in 1975.

Before forming in 1969 several members of Sweet Ligthning had already released singles on two major labels..Pete Hewlett at age 16 was the lead singer and guitarist of "Peter's Pipers" who released three Brit Pop singles on the Philips label in 1968.  Ron Foster and Fred Delu as members of  the Igniters / Jimmy Mack and the Music Factory released the single "Baby I Love You" on Atlantic Records in 1968.  Ron, Fred, and Harry Turner worked together in the psychedelic band the Marshmallow Steam Shovel before joining Sweet Lightning.

Sweet Lighting recorded the album “Sweet Lightnin' ” at Fox Studios in East Liberty. The music ranged from the jazz rock tune “Reo Deo” written by Harry Tuner, to the spirited rocker “Sometimes All Do”, to the Bryds/Buffalo Springfield influenced tunes “In the Morning” and “Remember Me” penned by Pete Hewlett. Pete shines on vocals, McGinnis shows his skill in solos, and Fred Delu lays down cool Fender Rhodes and Hammon B3 jams.  Their cover of the classic tune “Dancing In the Streets”, was arranged by Norman Nardini and backed with the hot horns of the Rhythm Kings. Sweet Lightning broke up in 1975.

Guitarist Sid McGinnis moved to New York City in 1974 where he began a career as a session player and touring sideman. In the late 1970's and early 80's he recorded and toured with Dire Straits, Carly Simon, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, Cher, Clarence Clemons, Melissa Manchester, John Mayhall, Ashford and Simson, and Barry Manilow. In 1984 Sid was invited for a one night stand as guest guitarist on the David Letterman Show. He's been on the show ever since.

Byrd Foster became known on the national blues scene in the 1970’s touring and recording with legendary blues guitar master Roy Buchanan.  He recorded five albums with Roy Buchanan as a vocalist, drummer, and song writer:    Leaving Buchanan's band Foster formed the Silencers who released two albums on (CBS/Precision).  In 1980 their single "Shiver and Shake" reached number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Early pioneers in music videos they were featured on the very first broadcast of MTV in 1981.  Foster recorded an album with the Iron City Houserockers  in 1983.  During the 1990’s and into the 2000’s Foster recorded with bluesmen Billy C, Wirtz, Sonny Rhodes, Ace Moreland, Eric Culberson, Smokehouse, and many others working at Kingsnake Studio.  Foster recorded on over 36 releases.  He was a much in demand session player and live performer who energized every band with his strong steady beat.

Pete Hewlett released a solo album "Sky High”on RCA in in 1975. He then recorded with Eric Carmen and the Euclid Beach Band of Cleveland International records. Sid McGinnis recommended Pete to Carly Simon.   Pete moved to New York City in 1979 to join Carly Simon’s band.  After touring with Simon he band a sought after vocalist touring and/or recording with with Billy Joel, Elton John, Joe Jackson, Amy Grant, Julian Lennon, Andrew Lloyd Weber, the Psyhedelic Furs, Beeb Birtles of the Little River Band, and more.  As a recording artist his discography includes over forty recordings.  Hewlett was a founding member of the CBS Recording act Novo Combo.  Hewlett won an Emmy Award for his work as host of the WQED TV show “Live From Studio A”.  

Fred with the help of Ron Foster went on tour with Roy Buchanon for two years.  Returning to Pittsburgh he has performed with the popular bands the Rhythm Kings, Pure Gold, Gary Belloma and the Blues Bombers, Chizmo Charles, the Billy Price Band, No Bad JuJu, and Jill West and the Blues Attack.

Harry Turner, who had been the leader and founder of the Marshmallow Steam Shovel band, owned two music stores. He ran "Sunshine Music" in downtown Pittsburgh and "Turner Music" on Oakland Avenue in Oakland.
Pittsburgh Music History  
1. New Life (Peter Hewlett) - 3:20
2. In The Morning (Peter Hewlett) - 3:48
3. Paths (Peter Hewlett) - 3:28
4. I've Got Friends Here (Ron Foster) - 3:03
5. Humming Bird (Leon Russell) - 4:38
6. Sometimes All Do (Peter Hewlett) - 3:10
7. I'm Not Sure (Peter Hewlett) - 2:40
8. Though You're Not With Me (Peter Hewlett) - 2:55
9. Reo Deo (Harry Turner) - 3:56
10.Remember Me (Ron Foster) - 3:19

Sweet Lightnin'
*Fred Delu - Keyboards 
*Ron "Byrd" Foster - Drums, Vocals 
*Peter Hewlett - Vocals, Guitar 
*Harry Turner - Bass 
*Sid McGinnis - Guitar

Friday, April 19, 2024

Lobby Loyde - Obsecration (1976 australia, astonishing hard guitar feast, 2006 digipak remaster)

Lobby Loyde was born John Baslington Lyde on 18 May 1941 in Longreach, Central Queensland, Australia. He passes away from lung cancer with his favourite black Gibson guitar by his side on 21 April 2007 at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Her mother was a classically trained pianist, and his father was a jazz trumpeter as a teenager he joined them in country town performances in outback Queensland. He attended Moorooka State School with young Billy Thorpe and both were, bullied in the Queensland state school system. Down the path, they would meet again through music and friendship.

Mick Hadley and Bob Dames both originally came from England and both decided to migrate to Australia in 1963. They both formed a rhythm and blues band The Impacts in Brisbane, Queensland with Scottish-born Fred Pickard including local musicians Barry Lyde from Stilettos and Adrian Redmond in 1964.

Lobby Loyde’s second solo album, Obsecration was released in May 1976 with Rainbird. One thing is certain his beautiful, at times heavy yet always unique psych-rock guitar work is the main feature throughout. With a solo single, Do You Believe in Magic? / Love Lost on Dream Tides in December 1975. Digitally remastered Obsecration is packaged in a 6-panel digipak and has 6-bonus tracks and many rare photos with liner notes. Re-issued on 28 August 2006 with Aztec Records.

Featuring an incredibly eclectic and diverse assortment of music, all up a magnificent album of guitar explorations and textures, a thematic collection of riffs, runs, rhythms and timing shifts taking the listener through a wide range of moods and styles. If anything, it lacked a commercial focus but as we’ve seen Loyde was well and truly beyond working within commercial considerations at the time. One thing is certain: his beautiful, at times heavy yet always unique psych-rock guitar work is the main feature throughout. 
1. Obsecration Parts A to D - 17:30
.a.Play My Guitar
2. A Rumble With Seven Parts And Lap Dissolve - 5:12
3. Rock And Roll Sunset - 1:58
4. Lobby Loyde Dreamtide - 14:42
5. Goin’ To Louisianna - 7:46
6. Congratulateonies - 0:47
7. Do You Believe In Magic - 3:58
8. Love Lost On Dream-Tides - 4:25
9. Gypsy In My Soul - 5:47
10.Too Poor To Die - 4:30
11.Desperate For A Quid - 2:21
12.Fist Of Is - 9:55
.a.At The Colosseum
.b.The Fist Falls
All compositions by Lobby Loyde
Tracks 1-6 from "Obsecration" LP 1976
Tracks 7-8 from 45' Single, 1975
Tracks 9-12 from Previously Unreleased from " Too Poor To Die" EP

*Lobby Loyde - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Bass 
*James D. Thompson - Drums 
*Graham Morgan - Drums 
*Janis Miglans - Bass
*John (Deysey) Dey - Keyboards
*Paul Dixon - Sax, Clarinet
*Andrew Fordham - Acoustic, Electric Rhythm Guitars, Vocals
*Mandu - Vocals 
*Art Redbourne - Guitar, Vocals 
*Cypra Helmer - Manic Voice Of Despair

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Milton Carroll - Milton Chesley Carroll (1972 us, great country swamp blues folk rock, 2018 korean remaster)

Great influence from Fred Neil, Milton Chesley Carroll is a minor folk/swamp rock singer-songwriter from Waxahachie, Texas. This debut work was recorded in New York after the single "Hippie From Mississippi" under the Name Chesley Carroll became a big hit on local radio stations. 

His funky, bluesy songs include covers of Elton John's "Country Comfort," Jesse Winchester's "Yankee Lady," and  "Love Of The Common People," written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkinsas well as originals that are as good as these. 

A soulful country blues masterpiece sung with husky vocals. ``Sweet Country Music'' written by Tony Lordi, who was a staff writer at RCA at the time, is also interesting. Eric Weissberg on dobro and steel guitar, which determined the swamp flavor of this album, guitarist Jerry Friedman who also wrote "Don't Cry My Lady", Pat Rebiliot on keyboards, Tony Levin on bass, Steve Gadd on drums, etc. A lot of people are participating in the session.
1. It'll All Come Down In Time (Cowboy Toni Lordi, Milton Carroll) - 3:55
2. Love Of The Common People (John Hurley, Ronnie Wilkins) - 3:46
3. Highway Song (Jorma Kaukonen) - 3:59
4. A Thousand Shades Of Grey (Milton Chesley Carroll) - 3:27
5. Country Comfort (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 3:20
6. Yankee Lady (Jesse Winchester) - 3:54
7. Don't Cry My Lady (Jerry Friedman) - 3:18
8. Sweet Country Music (Cowboy Toni Lordi) - 3:46
9. Potters Field (Milton Chesley Carroll) - 2:47
10.Seventh Son (Willie Dixon) - 6:12

*Milton Carroll - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Jerry Friedman - Acoustic, Electric Guitars
*Eric Weissberg - Dobro, 12-String Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
*Pat Rebillot - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ 
*Tony Levin - Bass (Tracks 1,4,7,10)
*Steve Gadd - Drums (Tracks 1,4,7,10)
*Bob Daugherty - Drums, Bass (Tracks 2,3,5,6)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Nine Days' Wonder - Nine Day's Wonder / Only The Dancers (1971/74 germany, excellent psych prog glam krautrock, 2003 remaster)

Walter Seyffer founded the group Nine Days' Wonder as early as 1966. Four years later the line-up was: Walter Seyffer (lead vocals, drums, percussion), John Earle (sax, flute, guitar, vocals, from Ireland), Rolf Henning (guitar, piano), Karl Mutschlechner (bass, from Austria!) and Martin Roscoe (drums, from the UK). They recorded their first album NINE DAYS• WONDER in the Dierks Studio, January 1971 with the Hauke & Dierks team. 

This was a fine example of more bizarre German progressive rock, clearly inspired by King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Traffic, Family and Deep Purple. They presented long, complex suites of heavy progressive riffing, jazz fusion, large amounts of free improvisation, neck-breaking shifts of tempo and general insanity on tracks like, "Morning Spirit" and "Stomach's Choise" A fine achievement, if a little difficult to get into. 

The original German issue of the album came in a green foam-rubber cover designed by Walter Seyffer. lt surely qualifies for the top ten list of the craziest sleeve designs ever made! John Earle's talented sax and flute work was particularly notable. When the original Nine Days' Wonder disbanded in 1972, he went to England and joined Gnidrolog (you can hear him on the classic album Lody Lake). Martin Roscoe drummed for a while in 2066 & Then. Seyffer joined Michael Bundt's band Medusa. In December 1972 this band suddenly turned out to be the new Nine Days' Wonder: Seyffer (vocals, percussion), Bundt (bass), Hans Frauenschuh (guitar), Freddie Münster (sax, keyboards) and Karl-Heinz Weiler (drums). 

In July 1973 they recorded WE NEVER LOST CONTROL, which, understandably, was totally different to the 1971 album: a ,straighter' progressive rock album comparable to other Hauke productions like Epsilon, Nektar or Message. In 1974, Nine Days' Wonder went through further changes, ended up as a quartet at last, consisting of Seyffer, Bundt, Rolf Henning (guitar, bass) and Sidhatta Gautama (drums). They recorded ONLY THE DANCERS in September 1974 in England with the guests Dave Jackson (sax, flute, from Van den Graaf Generator) and Steve Robinson (keyboards, ex-2066 & Then). This was much more a straight rock song oriented album, with tuneful and sophisticated compositions.
1. Fermillion (Walter Seyffer, John Earle, Rolf Henning, Karl Mutschlechner, Martin Roscoe) - 15:48
2. Moss Had Come (Walter Seyffer, John Earle, Rolf Henning, Karl Mutschlechner, Martin Roscoe) - 3:27
3. Apple Tree (Walter Seyffer, John Earle, Rolf Henning, Karl Mutschlechner, Martin Roscoe) - 6:45
4. Drag Dilemma (Walter Seyffer, John Earle, Rolf Henning, Karl Mutschlechner, Martin Roscoe) - 12:47
5. Long Distance Line (Walter Seyffer) - 5:21
6. Only The Dancers (Walter Seyffer) - 3:01
7. It's Not My Fault (Rolf Henning, Walter Seyffer) - 4:34
8. Frustration (Walter Seyffer) - 2:52
9. Hovercraft Queen (Michael Bundt, Walter Seyffer) - 3:40
10.Time Is Due (Walter Seyffer) - 5:40
11.The Way I'm Living (Walter Seyffer) - 5:41
12.Moment (Michael Bundt, Walter Seyffer) - 8:01 
Tracks 1-4 from "Nine Days' Wonder" LP 1971
Tracks 5-12 from "Only The Dancers" LP 1974

Nine Days' Wonder
*Walter Seyffer - Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Effects
*John Earle - Vocals, Tenor, Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Guitar
*Rolf Henning - Guitar, Piano
*Karl Mutschlechner - Bass
*Martin Roscoe - Drums
*Martin Lil - Viola
*Rolf Henning - Guitars
*Michael Bundt - Bass
*Siddartha Gautama - Drums
*Steve Robinson - Keyboards
*Walter Seyffer - Vocals
*David Jackson - Wind
*Steve Robinson - Keyboards

Monday, April 15, 2024

Rhubarb's Revenge - Confessions Of A Big Lanky Dope (1973 us, fine basement folk psych, Gear Fab release)

The band that could not decide on a name. Or a favorite beer. The 1973 long player created by founding members, Greg Shuss, Chris Breetveld, Rob Rothschild, Rich Larsen, Bil DiMartino and contributing quests Mike Rothkopf, Mick Parmenter and Shotzie the wonder hound, is today considered highly collectable. That is, in fact, an understatement. In fact Phone Calls have been received inquiring on the whereabouts of desired copies of "The Album-Rhubarb's Revenge or Confessions Of A Big Lanky Dope (Pink Grass Records LPS827). 

Released in fall of 1973, this record is an eclectic mixture of bizarre originals and classy covers of The Move, Kinks, Zombies and Byrds, all recorded at Chris Breetveld's home Pink Grass Studios in Kendall Park, New Jersey USA One hundred copies were pressed. Another hundred copies were rumored to have been chopped up, rolled up, and smoked by the members of the band. Recorded mainly on Sony 2 track reel to reel decks and bounced tracks between these machines to stack up (meaning: make even worse) the performances. This was a year before their beloved Teac 4 track came into being. Thereafter it was holy hell on music as we knew vit With an impreciseness never before allowed out of a house, a musical sensibility that can only be described as flaccid, and a complete ineptitude for playing even basic musical parts these friends would gather almost every evening, after Shuss and Rothschild finished their second shift jobs, at studio du Pink Grass Passing by Breetveld's parents watching the 11:00 news, dad Jim would invariably greet the lads with "Happy New Year, boys!" each1, as handfuls of beer were carried into the addition room at the far end of the house from the other bedrooms-allowing the boys to experiment and howl late into the night. 

Secluded back in Pink Grass, the tape deck would be fired up and the "c'mon lads, pick up something and let's make some noise!" could be heard faintly through the Kendal Park evening stiffness with only the rare, occasional interrupting knock on the door at 3AM and the "you've got to be fucking kidding!" speech from Mom or Dad Breetveld in ps So anyway, after months of recording all kinds of stuff, Mr. Breetveld St. announces that the family was going to INDIA for a five year stint related to his UNICEF position. (See Peter Ustinov or Danny Kaye bios). "Well, geee thought the group. how can we all have copies of at this marvelous shit we been recording since Chris is taking the tape deck and all the tapes with him? Hmmmm. Let's see how much it will cost to have 5 or10 copies pressed onto vinyl for all to enjoy." It turned out to cost the same to press 100 as it would for 10, So, What The Heck? Thusly, a classic, limited edition was born, although several songs had to be trimmed to fit the time limitations of LP Happily, mor most of these deleted pieces are back, included on this re-issue as bonus tracks. The first music biz person to turn down the band was a chap in Denmark St, London who was the publisher for Marc Bolan and T-Rex and other notable acts at the time. It was Chris' first stop on the way to India to spend a week in London, last week of August 1973. Following the lyrics of the Kink's song. "Denmark Street (terally), he first found Tottingham Court Row (just 'round the comer from old Soho..") and very excitedly shopped" the test pressing he brought with him. The next morning said chap handed the acetate back with sweat pouring down his face, simply saying "I don't think this is exactly what we're looking for Thank you very much and good luck. And then ran into the bathroom (the WC) In New Delhi, where the first actual band with Breetveld performed under the name "Porky Roadapple, the Indians were similarly perplexed with this new American music.

Back in the States, the Road Apples continued experimenting with new beers and ways to avoid both employment and the draft. Success abounded, except for Rich Larsen who teamed up with an exchange student (Saddam somebody) and joined the Navy Returning to the US of A eleven months later, the Breet re-teamed with Shuss, Rothschild and the "Italian Scallion Dino D. Martino for some 'serious' recording. The breathtaking Send Money resulted from the new recordings. This time it was all original compositions with only one or two covers. Lucky for the covers Copies of "The Album" continued their individual journeys around the world and back to this day. Record collectors began calling Breetveld and Shuss who were very busy with their latest scam, The Breetles, the over-the-fab-four power-pop sensation. Offers started coming in for original copies of "Rhubarb's Revenge from all over. Explaining that they were "scattered to the wind" or "doing time in Folsom" was not enough to satisfy the need for this jaw breaking record. Finally, a deal was made with Gear Fab to bring this twenty six year old regional classic back to life. 

Here, you have it and don't come crying because it didn't include the Big Lanky Dope beer can opener, popular in the seventies before pop-tops Other Road Apples classics include (besides the progressive rock out-there absurdity, "Send Money 1974), the pop & whack of "Pet Waint (1976), and Chris' rock opera/musical/ last ditch bid for attention, "The Panchilla Gorilla (1979) the story of two guys (Seed & Chillum) search for the perfect "high". That album was recorded on a Teac 4-track at home and in a "real" 8 track studio. Can You tell the difference? Go To: www.interactive.net/s/breetles.html to check out The Breetles and for more on Rhubarb's Revenge, Road Apples and all Pink Grass related stuff.
by Clark Dick, March 15, 1999
1. Intro - Man To Man (Rich Larsen) - 3:05
2. Time Of The Season (Rod Argent) - 3:45
3. Victoria (Raymond Douglas Davies) - 3:37
4. Mr. Spaceman (Roger McGuinn) - 3:00
5. Words Of Aaron (Michael Rothkopf) - 6:05
6. Lonely (Jeff Lynne) - 1:07
7. Tomorrow Begins Today (Christopher Breetveld) - 4:55
8. When I Feed My Prize Hog (Christopher Breetveld, Gregory Shuss, Michael Carlos Parmenter) - 1:04
9. Nice Spot In The Dark (Christopher Breetveld) - 6:20
10.Avon Girl (Christopher Breetveld, Gregory Shuss) - 3:44
11.2000 Man (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger) - 2:56
12.Prize Hoggies #2 (Christopher Breetveld, Michael Carlos Parmenter) - 1:13
13.Ohio (Neil Young) - 3:14
14.Road Apple Jammies (Christopher Breetveld, Gregory Shuss, Michael Carlos Parmenter) - 1:11

Rhubarb's Revenge
*Christopher Breetveld - Guitars, Drums, Piano, Bass, Flute 
*Gregory Shuss - Piano, Vibes, Noises
*Robert Rothschild - Drums, Congas, Refrigerator
*Richard Larsen - 12 String Acoustic Guitar, Bass
*Michael Rothkopf - Acoustic Guitar
*William Dimartino (Dino) - Drums, Pasta
*Michael Carlos Parmenter. Voice 
*Rene Roques - Acoustic Guitar, Violin 
*Halbert Horatio Ketofsky - Bass, Sax 
*Stephen Stein - Voice
*Christopher Zaic - Lead Guitar 
*Funky Eddie - Percussion

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Various Artists - Sometimes I Wonder (The Psychedelic Pop Sound Of President) (1967-71 uk, splendid beat psych, 2004 remaster)

Whilst it could never lay claim to being a front-runner of the British psychedelic movement, President Records was nonetheless quick to respond to changing musical tastes when it was launched into the heady midst of swinging London in 1966. In keeping with other independents at the time, President's autonomy allowed it to experiment freely with new artists and saw the label expand into areas which nowadays might be termed Psych Pop. And whilst it's true that President's major successes both at home and abroad were with artists like the Equals, Dorothy Squires and the Symbols, many of its more left-field releases are now beginning to enjoy the recognition which eluded them first time around.

Currently enjoying something of a revival on the collectors' circuit, UK Psych Pop has never been more popular. Eagerly awaited by fans of the genre, Sometimes I Wonder has been carefully compiled with collectors in mind and draws together the cream of President's Psych Pop recordings, most of which have never been released on CD up until now. Comprising both single cuts and rare album tracks Sometimes I Wonder takes the listener on a magical mystery tour through the President vaults, via its offshoots Jayboy and Gemini. Here then are 27 gems by the likes of the Explosion, Rhubarb Rhubarb, Chords Five, Pure Gold, Barbara Ruskin, the Exception, Rick Price & Mike Sheridan, all ranging in eccentricity from the melodic day-tripper pop of the Symbols' Again to the all-out psychotic reaction that is the She Trinity's Climb That Tree.

Expertly compiled by David Wells and bursting with rare memorabilia and photographs, Sometimes I Wonder is essential listening for all Psych Pop devotees.
Marmalade Skies
Artists - Title - Composer
1. Hat And Tie - Finding It Rough (Chris Thomas, Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 2:50
2. Rhubarb Rhubarb - Rainmaker (Peter Smith, Phil Chilton) - 2:40
3. The Explosive - Cities Make The Country Colder (Tom Northcott) - 3:11
4. Chords Five - Some People (Graham Gouldman) - 2:12
5. The Exception - Don't Torture Your Mind (Roger Hill) - 2:46
6. The Symbols - Again (John Milton, Mick Clarke) - 1:57
7. The Explosive - (Who Planted Thorns In) Miss Alice's Garden (Tom Northcott) - 2:39
8. Sheridan And Rick Price - Lightning Never Strikes Twice (Mike Tyler, Rick Price) - 2:37
9. The Gass Company - Nightmare (Bill Hurd) - 2:54
10.The Cape Kennedy Construction Company - The First Step On The Moon (R. Kelton, Barbara Ruskin) - 4:40
11.Rhubarb Rhubarb - Moneylender (Peter Smith, Phil Chilton) - 2:40
12.The Symbols - (The Best Part Of) Breaking Up (Pete Andreoli, Phil Spector, Vini Poncia) - 2:48
13.The She Trinity - Climb That Tree (Al Hodge, Dick Bland, Richard Leigh, Roger Dell, Steve Cotton, Tony Priest) - 3:35
14.The Exception - Woman Of The Green Lantern (Alan James Eastwood) - 2:49
15.Sheridan And Rick Price - Sometimes I Wonder (Mike Tyler, Rick Price) - 2:41
16.Barbara Ruskin - Pawnbroker Pawnbroker (Barbara Ruskin) - 2:13
17.Pure Gold - Fairground (D. Reid, Kerry Minnear) - 2:34
18.Brian Poole And The Seychelles - Send Her To Me (Alan Dickinson, Chris Hayward, John Bosher, Phil Dillon) - 2:40
19.The Seychelles - Baker's Daughter (Alan Dickinson) - 3:02
20.Rick Price - Daisy Farm Park (Rick Price) - 2:30
21.The League - Hey Conductor (Sonny Flaharty) - 2:34 
22.Yellow Taxi - Anna Laura Lee (Barbara Ruskin, Len Praverman) - 2:25
23.The Exception - Jack Rabbit (Alan James Eastwood) - 1:55
24.The Explosive - Step Out Of Line (Russ Harness) - 3:05
25.Rick Price - Talking To The Flowers (Jacqueline Ertel, Terry Slater, Venetia Stevenson) - 2:22
26.Sheridan And Price - Lamp Lighter Man (Mike Tyler, Rick Price) - 2:56
27.The Cape Kennedy Construction Company - Armageddon (D. Baker) - 4:29

Friday, April 12, 2024

Sid Bradley - Child Of The Sea (1971-79 us, fantastic power pop guitar rock with paisley underground scent, 2021 release)

Lost and found studio recordings (1971-79) by US singer-songwriter Sid Bradley including some of the sought-after 45 sides released with his band Erik in the early '70s plus fabulous previously unreleased tracks. Pro-sounding sound, ranging from fuzzed-out psychedelic hard-rock to psych-pop and proto-power pop. 

A phenomenal and versatile songwriter (he has written hundreds of songs) Sid Bradley started to play in garage bands like The Cavaliers in the '60s and by the early '70s he was part of Erik, a group responsible for a couple of self-produced 45s, Child Of The Sea/Nothing Is Easy and Sometime In Your Life/Rebel Woman. These 45s were usually used for promo purposes and it was typical of Sid to load a few record boxes into his car and travel hundreds of miles, visiting all the radio stations, trying to pitch his music to the DJs. This one-man marketing operation actually worked fine, as Sid's music was played in radio stations across the eastern US, Canada, England, and even Germany. And some of his songs were reviewed in Billboard, Record World or Rolling Stone. 

You may be familiar with the hard-psych sounding "Child Of The Sea" as it has been included on several psych comps and it was also part of the Lodge 49 soundtrack. The flip, "Nothing Is Easy" wouldn't sound out of place on any Rubbles volume. "Rebel Woman" is now considered a proto-metal cult classic and it was recently included on the Brown Acid series. After the demise of Erik, Sid continued recording his songs using different musicians. 

Most of these tracks remained unreleased until a few years ago, when Sid, encouraged by the interest on his old Erik 45s, decided to remaster them and put them available on several digital only albums that caught the attention of mags like Shindig! Guerssen Records now present a selection of those tracks. Master tape sound and insert with liner notes by Sid Bradley and Paul Osborne (Shindig!); also includes download code."... a gifted singer-songwriter with a love for late '60s songcraft and the more muscular powerpop of '70s contemporaries like The Raspberries" 
by Paul Osborne 
1. Child Of The Sea - 2:22
2. Rebel Woman - 2:57
3. Rows On Rows - 4:29
4. Grab All The Night - 3:14
5. Don't Go Away - 2:57
6. I'll Be Going - 2:30
7. Nothing Is Easy - 2:51 
8. To Be Your Friend - 2:36
9. Azure Blue - 2:56
10.Waiting For The Sun - 2:21
11.Meant For You - 3:33
12.Victory - 2:31
Words and Music by Sid Bradley

*Sid Bradley - Vocals
*Mike Frakes - Drums
*Kelly Fowler - Guitar
*Chris Reese - Bass
*Rick Howard - Bass
*Jeff Wahler - Bass
*Don Lockridge - Guitar 
*Kenny Hayden - Drums 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

West Bruce And Laing - Why Dontcha (1972 canada / uk / us, power trio, hard bluesy classic rock, 2012 remaster)

Bassically, this is Mountain with layers of Cream in between. When Mountain crumbled, Jack Bruce replaced his former Cream associate Felix Pappalardi in the middle of Leslie West and Corky Laing. West, of course, was one of rock’s best guitarslingers and a solid blues vocalist to boot, but a strange sight to behold. The best that can be said of Laing is that he’s a better singer than Ginger Baker and a better drummer than Peter Criss. Add to that one eccentric English heroin addict, and you’d think that Why Dontcha would be ripe for disaster. Instead, the album continued Mountain’s winnings ways, entering the US Top 40 and generating enough interest for a followup and a live album.

Now, my interest in the trio really begins and ends with Bruce. West clearly has a boatload of talent, but the only song of his that connects with me on a deep level is “Love Is Worth The Blues.” The songs from Jack Bruce, on the other hand, are never less than interesting. I thought Harmony Row was brilliant if a bit strange, and the same genius is evident on “Out Into The Fields” and “Pollution Woman.” Bruce’s bass playing continues to be completely over the top–a holdover from the days of wine and Cream. He comes off the hinges at the end of “Third Degree,” and you don’t know whether to be amazed or appalled.

Honestly, without the Pappalardi connection, Bruce probably wouldn’t have set foot on this mountain. But he did, and gained a great guitarist in the bargain. Or, from another perspective, Mountain gained an erratic but entertaining star to pin on their power trio pedigree. Either way you look at it, West, Bruce & Laing is too interesting a combination to ignore. The end result is sort of CCR meets Cream without an obvious hit in sight, but with enough energy to make up for it.
by Dave Connolly, September 7, 2018
1. Why Dontcha - 3:04
2. Out Into The Fields (Pete Brown, Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Corky Laing) - 4:41
3. The Doctor (Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Corky Laing, Sue Palmer) - 4:29
4. Turn Me Over - 2:45
5. Third Degree (Eddie Boyd) - 5:16
6. Shake Ma Thing (Rollin Jack) - 3:14
7. While You Sleep - 3:24
8. Pleasure (Pete Brown, Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Corky Laing) - 4:02
9. Love Is Worth The Blues - 4:12
10.Pollution Woman (Pete Brown, Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Corky Laing) - 4:28
All titles by Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Corky Laing except where stated

*Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals (Tracks 1, 3, 6, 7, 9), Dobro (Track 7), Violin Guitar (Tracks 7, 9), Acoustic Guitar (Track 10)
*Jack Bruce - Bass, Vocals (Tracks 2, 5, 6, 8, 10), Piano (Tracks 2, 5, 6, 7, 8), Harmonium (Track 2), Organ (Track 2), Harp (Track 4), Acoustical Bass (Tracks 4, 7), Backing Vocals (Track 6), Choir (Track 7), ARP Synthesizer (Track 10), Acoustic Guitar (Track 10)
*Corky Laing - Drums, Vocals (Track 4), Rhythm Guitar (Track 7)

1971  Jack Bruce - Harmony Row (Bonus tracks edition)