Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Sherwoods - Live (1968-69 us, raw texas punkadelic, collectables' release)

Chances are that unless you come from the area around Corpus Christi, Texas or got to hear one of their two singles on Smash recorded in 1969, you've never heard of the Sherwoods. They were a quintet who made some noise during 1968-69, enough to get signed by Mercury Records but not to get heard once their official records started coming out.

The Sherwoods were Michael Claxton (lead and backing vocals), Johnny Clary (drums, lead and backing vocals), David Franklin (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jim Frye (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals), and Kenny Blanchet (bass). Essentially a psychedelic punk outfit, not too far removed from the likes of the Moving Sidewalks (featuring Billy Gibbons) and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, their music featured lots of extended jams on guitar and alternately spaced-out, languid vocals and intense, R&B-inspired pieces. 

Their live shows were evidently very impressive, because it was one such performance in Austin that got them signed by Mercury, but only two of the three singles they cut were ever released, to no success. After two years together, the group broke up in early 1970 amid personal difficulties and members' problems with the Vietnam-era draft. Three members of the band remain active in music in the 1990s, Franklin and Frye in Feo Y Loco, and Blanchet in the Houston-based group the Hightailers.
by Bruce Eder
1. The Move - 4:10
2. I Know You Cried (Mike Claxton) - 2:21
3. Ride Baby, Ride (Mike Claxton) - 4:27
4. Wishes - 9:08
5. If You Could See As I See (Mike Claxton) - 2:13
6. The Wait - 5:30
7. I'll Be Gone - 3:49
8. Martha's Song - 5:37
9. The Game - 6:56
10.Mama Said - 4:08

The Sherwoods
*Michael Claxton - Lead Vocals
*Johnny Clary - Drums, Vocals
*David Franklin - Lead, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Jim Frye - Lead, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Kenny Blanchet - Bass

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hackensack - Up the Hard Way (1974 uk, solid hard blues rock, 2002 remaster)

In the dim but not so distant past, at a time when legends were forming, some rare monsters could be seen stomping through the undergrowth. One was unearthed in Hackensack—not the New Jersey backwater derived from the Algonquians’ stony ground but four English rockers, hairy and larger than life, who named themselves after a much-liked Thelonious Monk song. The surprises start here. First glimpsed in 1969 its origins and ancestry are obscure, but by ’71 founder Nicky Moore felt he had the right chemistry fixed and the critter stomped through the jungle of gigland to the astonishment of unsuspecting natives.

By 1972 they were playing well over 250 concerts a year non-stop across the land of the Mini Minor and Continental tundra. That year, Island released their first and only single, the non-album Moving On / River Boat. The vocalist says it tickled the European charts, and a German picture sleeve exists. The A-side was written by Mick Ralphs, who also contributed lap steel guitar, after ’Sack supported label-mates Mott The Hoople on their Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus tour a few months earlier. It was produced by Muff Winwood, older brother of Steve (both ex-Spencer Davis Group), who later produced Dire Straits’ debut (’78) and the first hits of Sparks. He was also working as A & R at Island, but it seems he was less than helpful with the next logical step of an album for Hackensack.

Like other very popular live acts in that era it was wondered if their incredible energy could be captured in the studio as evidence. The same problem beset many name-bands as different as Medicine Head, Strife, Quintessence and Groundhogs; some adapted their styles between concert and vinyl, like T. Rex and Pink Fairies, others (the most famous?) just reproduced the same sound in both environments without a second thought. Hackensack hoped their debut platter would be live, which wasn’t to be. The result would herald their demise. 

Initially scheduled by Island, who had the demos, Polydor eventually released the first and only album in 1974: Up The Hardway. Its striking red-sky cover of a knight pointing to a distant cliff-city, agreed by the band and award-winning the vocalist recalls, might first suggest prog or metal, but the LP is a tasteful mix of straight heavy boogie and ballads with quality vocals and guitar. The uninitiated listener today might imagine they have stumbled on a lost classic by hair-rockers who notched up millions thanks to their predominantly female audience. The line-up was Nicky Moore (lead vocals, guitar, electric piano), Ray Smith (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Martinez (bass), and Simon Fox (drums, percussion). Smith was soon better-known as Ray Majors, changing his name to avoid confusion with the guitarist of another Island band, Albert Lee’s Heads, Hands & Feet.       

The album opens with probably their signature tune, Up The Hardway, co-written by Moore and Majors, a grinding heavy slab of stoner rock, with a time-change solo mid-way in the 5.40. Nice guitar with effects also graces the seven-minute ballad A Long Way To Go, bravely followed by another slow number (Goodbye World), both exemplifying Moore’s soul-influenced voice. A driving rock ‘n’ roll cover of Lazy Cow, with female backing vocals, highlights the singer’s taste for jiving. Angels Theme/Goodboy Badboy (not Goodbye as on the CD, another Moore / Majors co-write) is pure Mountain without being derivative at all. Popular live, it’s delivered in a restrained but nevertheless thumping style here. Guitarist and singer swap roles for a more English sound on Blindman, Northern Girl is a bubbling slow rocker, done a little heavier live when extended into jam length round a borrowed famous lick. Hot Damn Home-Made Wine, a mixer in Brinsley Schwarz-like style, closes a fine set.

The eight songs aren’t adapted for 45s but explore ideas within their framework. The quirk in the mixture is that the only two covers, Lazy Cow and Hot Damn Home-Made Wine, are by Charles Hodges of Chas & Dave fame (or infamy depending on the colour of your gib). Hot Damn is on their collaboration with the novelty jazz singer Theresa Brewer’s 1973 LP, and Cow was later a 45 B-side of the duo’s in ’75. This oddity partly points to Moore covering songs he likes, continued to the present day, but also that Hackensack’s producer, Derek Lawrence, oversaw the chirpy pubsters including the Cow song. He is more famous for Deep Purple’s first albums and Jethro Tull’s debut single (as Jethro Toe) after working with Joe Meek. Perhaps it was Lawrence’s influence, as early Purple also did their fair share of covers too. "Up the Hard Way" is still one of those rarities that, once heard, is unforgettable.
by Brian R. Banks
1. Up The Hardway (Nicky Moore, Ray Smith) - 5:40
2. Long Way To Go (Nicky Moore) - 7:05
3. Goodbye World (Nicky Moore) - 6:16
4. Lazy Cow (Chas Hodges) - 3:50
5. Angels Theme / Goodboy Badboy (Nicky Moore, Ray Smith) - 6:19
6. Blindman (Nicky Moore, Ray Smith) - 5:21
7. Northern Girl (Nicky Moore) - 7:11
8. Hot Damn Home-Made Wine (Chas Hodges) - 3:50

*Nicky Moore - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Electric Piano
*Paul Martinez - Bass
*Ray Smith - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Simon Fox - Drums, Percussion
*Sue Lynch - Vocals
*Joy Yates - Vocals
*Jacky Sullivan - Vocals

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Goddo - Who Cares ? (1978 canada, hard rock with glam shades, 2000 remaster and expanded)

Frustrated with the direction Fludd was going, Scarborough, Ont native and local bass wiz Greg Godovitz formed Godo, a makeshift group with studio musicians that released a 45 on A & M that featured a cover of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” in 1975. When the song started gaining some momentum, he recruited ex Brutus guitarist Gino Scarpelli and drummer Marty Morin (ex of Truck) and made their way around the Toronto bar circuit.

As their act developed and an extra ‘D’ was added to the band’s name, they outgrew the surroundings and quickly made the rest of Ontario, and then central Canada part of their rounds, also dipping into the States occasionally while honing their chops. After Morin left and was replaced on drums by Doug Inglis, they were signed to a deal with Polydor, and released their self-titled debut in ’77. The only single was the ominous musical oddysey “Under My Hat.” Along with tracks like “Bus Driver Blues” (about Morin’s choice of preferred occupations instead of that of a rock star), “Let It Slide,” and “Let That Lizard Loose” let the world know they were a talented power trio with a fresh, straight-forward approach to recording, utilizing few overdubs which helped create the ‘raw sound’ they would later become known for in a near-unprecendented fashion.

They released WHO CARES? in ’78 and picked up where the debut record left off, but was a little heavier, and a lot bolder. Produced by Thomas Morley-Turner at Sounds Interchange in Toronto, clean cut riffs mixed with delicate harmonies showed Goddo was not a one-dimensional act, but took on a brasher approach than its predecessor. The lead single “Sweet Thing,” and tracks like “Oh Carole” – the ode to Rough Trade‘s Carole Pope, “Cock On” – his spin on the controversial Fludd album of the same name and “Drop Dead (That’s Who)” all made Goddo one of the most original groups of the time.
Canadian Bands with notes from Greg Godovitz
1. Tough Times - 2:18
2. Cock On - 4:02
3. You Can Never Go Back Anymore - 3:42
4. Drop Dead (Thats Who) (Gino Scarpelli, Greg Godovitz) - 2:44
5. Sweet Thing - 3:45
6. People In The News - 0:31
7. There Goes My Baby (Gino Scarpelli, Greg Godovitz, Doug Inglis) - 4:33
8. Oh Carole (Kiss My Whip) - 3:17
9. Once Again - 4:08
10.Too Much Carousing - 4:44
11.Injun Song - 0:19
12.Tough Times - 2:28
13.Greg Discusses 'Who Cares' - 3:00
14.Once Again - 4:50
15.Sweet Thing - 3:52
16.Tough Times - 2:04
17.There Goes My Baby (Gino Scarpelli, Greg Godovitz, Doug Inglis) - 3:47
18.Drop Dead (Thats Who) (Gino Scarpelli, Greg Godovitz) - 2:51
19.Too Much Carousin' - 4:28
20.Greensleeves (Traditional) - 1:06
21.Hitchcockian Outtake - 1:33
22.Zombat Greeting - 0:25
23.Thank You's - 0:48
All songs by Greg Godovitz except where stated
Bonus Tracks 12-23

*Doug Inglis - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
*Gino Scarpelli - Guitar, Percussion
*Greg Godovitz - Vocals, Bass
*Peter Schenkman - Cello
*Paul Irvine - Tenor Saxophone
*Martin Melhuish - Guitar
*Dr. John Bjarnason - Harmonica

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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Iron Claw - Iron Claw (1970-74 uk, superb rough heavy downer rock, 2009 remaster)

 A product of its time and environment in every conceivable way, Iron Claw is a now-obscure heavy rock group that was launched by a Led Zeppelin concert, which took its name from the first couplet of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man." They adopted the same earth-shaking primal stomp as Black Sabbath, but simply lacked the individuality and sheer talent common to all of those rock icons.

Hailing from the Scottish town of Dumfries, Iron Claw was founded in the summer of 1969 by bassist/vocalist Alex Wilson (he of the Led Zeppelin gig epiphany), guitarist Jimmy Ronnie, and drummer Ian McDougall, who initiated their trajectory by performing as a covers band tackling the heavy blues standards of the era, including popular numbers by Free, Taste, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, and many others. But it was a second revelation experienced by Wilson later that year, when a nascent Black Sabbath brought their sonic solar eclipse to the band's neck of the woods (The Dumfries Youth Club, to be precise), that would set Iron Claw on the intended stylistic left-hand path which came to be known as heavy metal. 

So after bidding a definitive adieu to their power trio ambitions, the threesome welcomed singer Mike Waller into the fold and, by the spring of 1970, had effectively become the world's first Black Sabbath tribute band by incorporating that group's entire first album into their set! However, during rehearsals, Iron Claw immediately began composing original material in the image of their heroes, bringing the year to a close with a couple of demo recording sessions whose fruits the band proudly presented to the members of Black Sabbath at their next Newcastle concert -- only to later receive veiled threats of legal action from the metal godfathers' management because of the glaring similarities. 

Message received, Wilson took advantage of the fact that vocalist Waller had just given notice to replace him with two new members -- Wullie Davidson (vocals, harmonica, flute) and Donald McLachlan (second guitar) -- and take Iron Claw's sound in a different direction, marked by escalating art rock pretensions (think Wishbone Ash, Barclay James Harvest, Gentle Giant). Around this time, an interested label also gave Iron Claw access to a recording studio for the purpose of recording new demos, but the end results captured in the winter of 1971/1972 were often rounded out by ancillary studio musicians, became virtually impossible to reproduce in a live setting, and were ultimately unattractive to their would-be corporate suitors, in any case. 

And so Iron Claw, left to its own devices once again, continued to struggle along in fits and starts, next losing drummer McDougall in mid-1972 (he was replaced by one Neil Cockayne) and then gradually expanding their jams to dangerous thresholds of indulgence over the ensuing years until finally reaching a breaking point in 1974. Absolute obscurity followed, and although the group came together for a one-off reunion show in 1993, the only reason Iron Claw's existence is even remembered is because a selection of their best 16 demos was assembled for release on CD in 2009 by Rockadrome Records. 
by Eduardo Rivadavia
1. Clawstrophobia - 5:21
2. Mist Eye - 4:16
3. Sabotage - 5:02
4. Crossrocker - 7:20
5. Skullcrusher - 6:04
6. Let It Grow - 2:52
7. Rock Band Blues - 4:21
8. Pavement Artist - 5:33
9. Strait Jacket - 5:07
10.Gonna Be Free - 3:49
11.Loving You - 2:41
12.Lightning - 3:47
13.All I Really Need - 3:23
14.Knock 'Em Dead - 3:01
15.Winter - 6:17
16.Devils - 5:34
All songs by Iron Claw

Iron Claw
*Alex Wilson - Bass
*Jimmy Ronnie - Guitar
*Ian McDougall - Drums (Tracks 1-14)
*Mike Waller - Vocals (Tracks 1-5)
*Donald McLachlan - Guitar (Track 6)
*Wullie Davidson - Vocals, Harmonica, Flute (Tracks 6-16)
*Billy Lyall - Keyboards, Saxophone (Tracks 7-14)
*Neil Cockayne - Drums (Tracks 15,16)

Friday, May 24, 2024

Complex - Complex (1970 uk, fine beat psych)

Complex is a super-rare and long-out-of-print holy grail private press classic. Revered by the almighty Acid Archives (they’ve got trophy photos of it staged next to bottles of fine Scotch!), as “one of the ‘Holy Trinity’ items of rare British psychedelia (the other two being Dark and Forever Amber),” Complex somehow sounds distinctly like mid-60s American garage rock – so much so that I find its 1970 record date quite hard to believe.

They tear open the album with a fire-breathing combo organ lead;  Funny Feeling is a 3-part tune revealing two factors of the Complex sound – intelligent and endearing compositions filtered through fuzzy, raw energy. Green Eyed Lucy’s vibrating bass guitar groove helps strike the balance between blues, soul, and unbridled teenage garage. Gratuitous guitar shredding on Witch’s Spell and “sensitive” boppers like Norwegian Butterfly, seemingly written to get the lead singer, whose confident voice is a sweet surprise, some groupie action.  Self Declaration features an epic Iron Butterfly-esque prog-organ solo and throughout the album a distinct and drastically lo-fi sound is present from start to finish.

Then there’s my favorite track – the unexpected, wildly out-of-place but somehow perfect Josie. It’s a surprise that this group of white suburban kids could pull off a convincing reggae dancehall number, but a joy to hear the squeaky combo organ bouncing along with the ragtag orchestra backing this weird little number.

Complex is a scary kind of record, the rarity and grungy sound are sure to dissuade casual listeners, but seekers will find the sounds much more accessible than the ghastly psychedelic cover implies. It’s really just an oldies garage record with soul; you can play it for friends without clearing the room! Begging for a reissue.
by Brendan McGrath
1. Funny Feeling - 2:51
2. Message From The Year 2000 (Steve Coe) - 2:43
3. Green-Eyed Lucy - 3:48
4. Josie - 2:34
5. Witch's Spell - 3:38
6. Norwegian Butterfly - 2:51
7. Self Declaration (Steve Coe) - 6:03
8. Images Blue - 2:55
9. Storm On Way - 3:59
10.Madamoiselle Jackie - 3:56
11.Live For The Minute (Steve Coe, Tony Shakespeare) - 4:01
12.Hush (Joe South) - 4:28
13.Images Blue - 4:27
14.Green-Eyed Lucy - 3:50
15.Norwegian Butterfly - 3:02
All tracks written by Steve Coe, Bob Mitchell except where noted
Bonus Tracks 12-15

*Steve Coe - Organ
*Brian Lee - Guitars, Backing Vocals
*Lance Fogg - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Tony Shakespeare - Lead Vocals, Drums


Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kate Taylor - Sister Kate (1971 us, beautiful warm folk soft rock, 2008 remaster)

The only sister of James, Livingstone, Hugh, and Alex, Kate Taylor’s 1971 debut album ‘Sister Kate’ was not just a great listen, it was also a significant recording in the development of the ‘70s LA sound epitomised by the production work of UK producer Peter Asher. It was only the second record to include the now legendary LA crew of musicians that included the likes of Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, and Danny Kortchmar. Despite being in at the ground level of what was then a new and exciting sound, Kate Taylor didn’t release another album until 1978 before dropping out of the music industry for over twenty years in 1979 after the release of her third album which was recorded in Muscle Shoals. She has released infrequent albums in the 21st Century culminating in 2021’s ‘Why Wait’ which is a reunion with producer Peter Asher and the LA musicians of the ‘70s and is also a celebration of that time and sound. 

Serendipity played a part in Kate Taylor getting to know Scottish musician and bassist Alan Thomson, who has his own impressive CV and provides backing for Kate Taylor’s US and European Tour. Alan Thomson’s cousin was John Martyn and he played bass with Martyn for the final thirty years of his career, he has also played with a whole host of musicians including The Hellecasters, Robert Palmer, Phil Collins, Hank Marvin, Bert Jansch, Dick Gaughan, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, Rick Wakeman, Amos Garrett, and many, many more. 
by Martin Johnson, September 29, 202
1. Home Again (Carole King) - 2:18
2. Ballad Of A Well Known Gun (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 4:42
3. Be That Way (Livingston Taylor) - 2:51
4. Handbags And Gladrags (Mike D'Abo) - 3:25
5. You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor) - 2:34
6. Look At Granny Run, Run (Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) - 2:49
7. Where You Lead (Carole King, Toni Stern) - 2:27
8. White Lightning (Jape Richardson) - 2:40
9. Country Comfort (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 3:39
10.Lo And Behold/Jesus Is Just All Right (James Taylor, A. Reid Reynolds) - 2:22
11.Do I Still Figure In Your Life (Pete Dello) - 2:19
12.Sweet Honesty (Beverley Martyn) - 6:31

*Kate Taylor - Vocals, Clapping
*Peter Asher - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Clapping
*John Beland - Guitar
*Merry Clayton - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Background Music
*Sandra Crouch - Percussion, Tambourine
*Oma Drake - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Background Music
*Abigale Haness - Vocals
*Gail Haness - Backing Vocals, Background Music
*John Hartford - Banjo
*Carole King - Piano, Vocals, Backing Vocals, String Arrangements, Background Music
*Danny Kortchmar - Guitar, Percussion, Conga, Backing Vocals
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Charles Larkey - Bass
*Bernie Leadon - Guitar
*The Memphis Horns - Horn, Horn Arrangements
*Wayne Jackson - Horn, Horn Arrangements
*Andrew Love - Horn, Horn Arrangements
*Joel O'brian - Drums
*Donna Prater - Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Linda Ronstadt - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Background Music
*Ralph Schuckett - Organ, Piano, Accordion, Keyboards
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*J.D. Souther - Guitar, Vocals, Clapping
*John Tartaglia - Strings, String Arrangements
*James Taylor - Guitar

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Jumble Lane - Jumble Lane (1970-71 uk, weird canva of folk jazz psych hard blues rock)

Although the album Jumble Lane [Holyground Records, 1971] is officially credited to Jumble Lane, no such band ever existed: the name describes a constellation of 23 musicians with diverse interests and directions, who had Bretton Hall College as their common denominator. The record was pressed in just 99 copies, with the original covers by Mal Williamson falling victim to an accident. Biff Byford does play the flute and participates in the composition of 4 tracks out of a total of 17 sessions at the time, of which 12 made it onto the original vinyl version (which is extremely rare and is rumored to have changed hands for up to 1,900 euros), while the rest remained unreleased until the 1993 CD reissue.

It was a whirlwind record, combining Rich Freeman's interests in Johann Sebastian Bach and John Dowland ("Prelude In D Minor/Allemande"), British folk ("Lyke Wake Dirge"), the echo of Joni Mitchell pre-Ladies Of The Canyon (covering "Gallery" by Marcia and Linda King) and the era's electric concerns around blues, American folk rock and guitars: we hear e.g. both an adaptation of the well-known one by B.B. King "Rock Me Baby" featuring Ric Jerrom, as well as original efforts like "Blues For Joanne" and "Frustration/Ends Away!", where we meet Byford again. A special touch is also "Girl From Gothenburg", presented as an instrumental composition by pianist Martin Snell, but in essence it is a renegotiation of the melody of the Swedish traditional song "Visa Från Utanmyra". 

The overall feeling is that it shows a wide variety of playing skills that are difficult to categorize.
1. Prelude In D Minor / Allemande (Johann Sebastian Bach, John Dowland) - 3:15
2. Girl From Gothenburg (Martin Snell) - 3:55
3. Flutelode (Biff Byford) - 1:56
4. Blues For Joanne (Ric Jerrom) - 2:05
5. Five In A Van (Chris Garfield, Martin Snell) - 4:14
6. Red Hot Daddy (Reprise) (Ian Ball) - 0:20
7. Frustration / Ends Away (Biff Byford, Chris Garfield, Liam Arthurs, Martin Snell, Nick Dew, Nick Mann) - 5:00
8. Little Frederique (Biff Byford, Rich Keys, Steve Channing) - 1:38
9. The Shipper / Rock Me Babe (Dave Holland, Melvin Jackson, Joe Josea, B.B. King) - 4:35
10.Organics / Red Hot Daddy (Liam Arthurs, Martin Snell, Nick Dew, Ian Ball) - 3:19
11.The Gallery (Joni Mitchell) - 3:37
12.Preserve (Biff Byford, Liam Arthurs, Martin Snell, Nick Dew, Rich Keys, Steve Channing) - 4:43
13.A Train Ago Last Saturday (Ric Jerrom) - 3:48

*Biff Byford - Flute
*Ric Jerrom - Vocals, Guitar 
*Steve Channing - Silent Slide Guitar, Guitar 
*Chris Garfield Lead Guitar,
*Liam Arthurs [Leom Arthurs] - Bass, Vocals
*Martin Snell - Piano, Organ, Glockenspiel
*Nick Dew - Drums
*Rich Freeman - Guitar
*Rich Keys - Mouth Harp
*Dave Holland - Piano
*John Millington - Lead Guitar, 
*Rob Clark - Bass
*Howard Wriggley - Piano, 
*Mike Brownrigg - Lead Guitar 
*Rob Rutherford - Jaws Harp
*Ian Ball - Vocal Kazoo Mouth Trumpet Ukelele
*John Davidson - Banjo,
*Graham Heaney - Jug Tea Chest Bass
*Pete Tidball - Guitar
*Tina Barnes - Washboard
*Marcia Phillips - Vocals, Guitar
*Linda King - Vocals

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Monday, May 20, 2024

Kala - After Quintessence: The Complete Kala Recordings (1973 uk, fine post psych prog classic rock, 2010 remaster)

"During the period spanning 1969-1972, Quintessence were one of Britain's most powerful and most popular live acts. Immediately after leaving Quintessence, vocalist Phil 'Shiva' Jones and guitarist Dave 'Maha Dev' Coddling had formed Kala. Beset by bizarre personnel issues, and in the hands of a record label which somehow found defeat in the jaws of what should have been a victory for all concerned, Kala nevertheless managed to release one overlooked gem of an album and a couple of blistering live tracks during its brief existence. 

The album features some titles which were in a similiar vein to Quintessence, with others nodding towards the popular boogie and country-rock of contemporaries like the Faces. Now exquisitely remastered by Ron Geesin, with two previously unreleased live tracks and two brand new vocal takes, this CD debut of Kala's complete works has been compiled with the full cooperation of Phil and Dave. The accompanying 16-page full-color booklet includes extensive liner notes by Colin Harper, an interview with the band, and recollections on each track by Shiva Jones."
1. Travelling Home (Dave Codling) - 3:19
2. Sun (Tony Hill) - 4:20
3. Thirsty Generation (Dave Codling) - 4:57
4. Pearl - 6:31
5. Meditations - 7:15
6. Still Got Time - 5:55
7. Hallelujah - 2:54
8. Honey Of Love - 5:24
9. Come On Around To My House - 4:42
10.Before You Leave (Mick Cox) - 9:46
11.Going Down Slow (Chester Burnett) - 3:56
12.Honey Of Love - 5:40
13.Meditations - 7:17
14.Still Got Time - 5:58
All songs by Phil ‘Shiva’ Jones except where noted
Tracks 1-8 from the 1973 LP Kala
Tracks 9-10 from the 1973 LP Bradley's Roadsbow: Live At The Marquee
Tracks 11-12 Live in 1973 (previously unreleased)
Tracks 13-14 feature new vocals from Phil 'Shiva' Jones (previously unreleased)

*Dave Codling - Guitar
*Sid Gardner - Bass, Vocal Harmony
*Phil Jones - Guitar, Vocals
*Johnnie Miles - Drums, Vocal Harmony
*Les Nicol - Guitar, Vocal Harmony
*Perry Sinclair - Guitar, Vocal Harmony
*Peter Arneson - Piano
*John Barham - Brass Arrangement, Cello Arrangement
*Paul Bennett - Vocals
*Chris Brown - Guitar
*Glen Charles - Drums
*Carol Grimes - Vocals
*Gary Roberly - Keyboards
*Dave Skinner - Piano
*Jack Stevenson - Percussion
*O.C. - Bass

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Davy Graham - Midnight Man (1966 uk, fantastic rockin' folk blues, 2005 remaster)

Graham went into a somewhat harder-rocking bluesy groove on this record, though a strong jazz feel was always present in the rhythm especially. More than any other Graham LP, this offers proof that the guitarist would have established himself as a major star on the folk circuit in the '60s -- if only his singing was better. As a guitarist, he's simply wonderful, combining folk, jazz, and blues styles into an invigorating, idiosyncratic style that can both swing and attain a delicate sadness. 

As an interpreter, he's relentlessly imaginative, breathing new vigor into overdone R&B standards, or devising fresh folk arrangements for Beatles and Paul Simon tunes. But as a vocalist, he's adequate at best; if he had even possessed the modest expressiveness of a Bert Jansch, the material would be that much more striking. Almost none of these tracks are available on Graham compilations, and this rare LP is definitely worth seeking by those who are familiar with some of his other '60s work. Especially excellent are the jazzy "Hummingbird" and the instrumental cover of Lalo Schifrin's "The Fakir," which blends the rhythmic drive of Charles Mingus with hypnotic raga-esque riffs. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. No Preacher Blues (Davy Graham) - 2:13
2. The Fakir (Lalo Schifrin) - 4:10
3. I'm Looking Thru' You (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) -2:01
4. Hummingbird (Davy Graham) -2:37
5. Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock) -2:57
6. Stormy Monday (Traditional) -3:37
7. Money Honey (Jesse Stone) -2:23
8. Walkin' The Dog (Rufus Thomas) -2:36
9. Fire In My Soul (Blind Willie Johnson) -1:50
10.Lost Lover Blues (Traditional) -2:03
11.Neighbour Neighbour (Alton Joseph Valier) -2:33
12.Jubilation (Junior Mance) -1:46
13.Rags And Old Iron (King Curtis, Oscar Brown Jr.) - 3:20
14.Jelly Roll Baker (Lonnie Johnson) -2:43

*Davy Graham - Vocals, Guitar
*Tony Reeves - Bass
*Barry Morgan - Percussion

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Harmony Grass - This Is Us (1969-70 uk, sunny bubblegum baroque beat, 2003 remaster with bonus tracks)

The sole Harmony Grass album, 'This Is Us' (1970), is arguably the finest UK soft rock release of the last three decades. Bandleader Tony Rivers was an enormous Beach Boys fan, and it was his enthusiasm for the California sound which defined his sonic template.

Until 1968, Harmony Grass traded as Tony Rivers & The Castaways, gaining a reputation as England's Beach Boys, and attracting the attention of UK pops' two most influential managers. In 1966 they signed a management contract with Brian Epstein and a singles deal with Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate Records.

As the 60's wore on, Rivers picked up any new American musical developments. The Castaways' 1967 residency at London's Marquee Club was used to hone an act which included versions of The Tradewinds' Mind Excursion, The Lovin' Spoonful's You Didn't Have To Be So Nice, and an uptempo Association-style rendition of Walk On By.

By late 1968 the name Tony Rivers & The Castaways was sounding dated, and their post-Epstein manager decided Harmony Grass sounded much hipper. The renamed group signed with RCA and issued Move In A Little Closer Baby in December 1968.

Although subsequent Harmony Grass singles flopped, the band released some gems, totally at odds with the formulaic fare that might be expected from a band stranded on the chicken-in-a-basket cabaret circuit by the end of the decade. Foremost amongst them was Mrs Richie (included on the This Is Us album), a self-composed song influenced equally by the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and (uniquely for a British band) Love.

Despite the lack of single success, RCA released This Is Us. Tony Rivers produced most tracks and wrote seven of them. The soaring harmonies of What A Groovy Day were on a par with the best of The Association. Of the other new songs, the atmospheric Byrds/Beach Boys amalgam I've Seen To Dream was a stand-out. Cover versions of Chatanooga Choo Choo, Tom Dooley and Spanky & Our Gang's Byrd Avenue blended seamlessly into the album.

After the album failed to chart, RCA decided Simon & Garfunkel's Cecilia might be the song to get Harmony Grass back into the charts. They released the single, relegating Mrs Richie to the B-side. Insulted, Tony Rivers departed the group. Harmony Grass carried on without Rivers, issuing a final single, the bubblegum styled Stand On Your Own Two Feet, and then got heavy, first as 'Grass' and then as 'Capability Brown'.

Tony Rivers moved into production for CBS and worked as a session singer on projects ranging from the budget cover version Top Of The Pops collections to Roger Daltrey's One Of The Boys album. In 1975 he became Cliff Richard's vocal arranger, staying with him until 1986.
1. Move In A Little Closer Baby (Arnold Capitanelli, Robert O'Connor) - 2:44
2. My Little Girl - 3:15
3. What A Groovy Day - 3:33
4. I've Seen To Dream - 3:12
5. (It Ain't Necesserily) Byrd Avenue (Michael Peter Smith) - 2:01
6. Chattanooga Choo Choo (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon) - 2:24
7. Good Thing (Arnold Capitanelli, Robert O'Connor) - 2:44
8. Mrs.Richie (Kenny Rowe, Tony Rivers) - 3:46
9. Summer Dreaming - 2:15
10.I Think Of You (Tony Rivers, Pat Thompson) - 2:10
11.Ballad Of Michael. 2:38
12.Tom Dooley (Traditional) - 2:21
13.What Do You Do When Love Dies (Donna Weiss, Mary Unobsky) - 2:49
14.Let My Tears Flow - 3:17
15.You And I - 4:13
16.Summer Dreaming - 2:04
17.Walk On By (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:04
All songs by Tony Rivers except where noted
Bonus tracks 14-17

Harmony Grass
*Tony Rivers - Vocals
*Tony Ferguson - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Kenny Rowe - Vocals
*Tom Marshall - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Bill Castle - Drums, Vocals
*Ray Brown - Bass
*Brian Hudson - Drums, Vocals
*Tony 'H' Harding - Lead Guitar, Vocals

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Friday, May 17, 2024

Greenwood Curlee And Clyde - One Time One Place (1972 us, spectacular psych folk rock, 2014 korean remaster)

An extremely rare piece of independent folk psych left in Minnesota in 1972. Three St. Paul natives: Richard Greenwood (vocals, sitar, guitar, violin), John Curley (vocals, harmonica, trumpet), Clyde Thompson (vocals, keyboards, guitar) and session members (drums, flute) , percussion, and bass), and features an acoustic sound with a natural live feel that has been compared to the early 70's British band Heron, as well as a laid-back acid feel.
1. Changes - 4:45
2. One Time One Place - 3:37
3. Little Willy - 4:18
4. Sitting At The Crossroads - 3:25
5. Wandering - 4:27
6. Kind Woman - 2:33
7. Brother Song - 6:50
8. One Little Man - 7:13
9. Christmas Song - 4:25
10.Together - 6:27
Music and Lyrics by Richard Greenwood, John Curlee, Clyde Thompson

*Clyde Thompson - Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals
*Richard Greenwood - Acousic Guitar, Violin, Sitar, Vocals
*John Curlee - Harmonica, Trumpet, Vocals 
*Chip Harding - Electric Guitar
*Jef Schroeder - Electric, Acoustic Bass
*Dave Cushing - Drums 
*Reid McLean - Flute
*Tony Paul - Conga Drums
*Bruce, Linda, Danny, Joyce, Beth, Jeanne, Tim, Toni - Additional Voices

Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Hello People - Fusion (1968 us, sensational sunny baroque psych, 2013 remaster)

Late-'60s concept band Hello People was put together by New York producer Lew Futterman. Basing his concept on French mime films, Futterman assembled a group of Ohio musicians to make up the group, dressed in full face paint and performing wordless mime routines between their songs during their live sets. The first lineup of the band consisted of guitarist and singer W.S. Tongue, bassist Greg Geddes, keyboardist Larry Tasse, drummer Ronnie Blake, guitarist Bobby Sedita, and flute player Michael Sagarese. Taking on stage names like "Goodfellow" and "Much More," the band was born and recorded its debut, self-titled album in 1967. 

The Hello People were one of the more interesting also-rans of their day, never really scoring a hit record but turning heads for a moment with their gimmicky mime motif, dressing in full face paint and performing wordless skits between songs while performing. A convoluted back story and one best ignored when examining Fusion, the second of eight LPs produced in the group's lifetime, and arguably their brightest moment. 

More or less the creation of New York producer Lew Futterman, the band reached out in several directions at once to cash in on various musical trends at the inception of their Summer of Love. Watching mimes tune in, turn on, and drop out may have been a little harder to swallow at the time, but with decades of hindsight, the various attempts at counterculture significance on Fusion are pleasantly comical, surprisingly inspired, and often weirdly deep. Beginning with the moody, Baroque pop of "White Winged Doves," the album switches gears with almost every song. 

The Free Design-esque flutes and social commentary of "Anthem" are bizarrely mismatched, and abruptly fade into the proto-prog horns of the instrumental "Jelly Jam," and then into the electric Dylan rip-off of "How Does It Feel to Be Free?" Beatles-via-the-Monkees pop, psychedelic folk, and rootsy road ballads round out the album's diverse ten songs, bringing together a vaguely conceptual album about fusing ideas and styles from a vaguely conceptual band. Buffered by nostalgia, the ten completely processed stabs at appropriating styles of the day hold some weight and feel enjoyably odd as tuneful reminders of strange days past. 
by Fred Thomas
1. White Winged Doves (Peter Weston) - 4:11
2. Anthem (W. S. Tongue) - 4:01
3. Jelly Jam (Bobby Sedita, Greg Geddes, Larry Tasse, Michael Sagarese) - 4:00
4. If I Should Sing Too Softly (W. S. Tongue) - 3:16
5. How Does It Feel To Be Free (W. S. Tongue) - 3:41
6. Pray For Rain (Peter Weston) - 2:53
7. A Dream Of Tomorrow (Peter Weston) - 4:18
8. Everything's Better (Bobby Sedita, Larry Tasse, W. S. Tongue) - 3:17
9. Come And See Me (W. S. Tongue) - 6:38
10.I Ride To Nowhere (Peter Weston) - 3:06

The Hello People
*W. S. "Sonny" Tongue "Country" - Vocal, Guitar
*Greg Geddes "Smoothie" - Bass, Vocal
*Bobby Sedita "Goodfellow" - Guitar, Vocal
*Larry Tasse "Much More" - Keyboards, Vocal
*Michael Sagarese "Wry One" - Flute
*Ronnie Blake "Thump Thump" - Drums

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Slapp Happy - Acnalbasac Noom (1974 us / uk / germany, essential avant garde prog rock, 2005 extra tracks remaster)

In the mid 1960s, so concerned were the Danish-American Blegvad family by the US’ nightmare political mood following the Kennedy assassination and the escalating Vietnam conflict that they upped sticks from prosperous mid-century Connecticut and relocated to sleepy Hertfordshire. It was there, at the fee-paying St Christopher School in Letchworth, that Peter Blegvad formed a band with aspiring musicians Anthony Moore and Neil Murray (who doesn’t appear again in this story but would later play bass for Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.) The teenage band, variously named things like Slap Happy and the Dum-Dums, went their separate ways as teenage bands tend to do. After a stint at a British art school, Anthony Moore moved to Hamburg in 1970. On arriving, two people would change the course of his creative life. One was Dagmar Krause, a Hamburg native who had already been a member of early alternative folk act The City Preachers and recorded the excellent psychedelic avant-rock album I.D. Company in 1970 with vocalist Inga Rumpf. Krause and Moore quickly became an item.

The other was Uwe Nettelbeck, a German leftist intellectual and critic who had begun acting as a middle-man between label PolyGram and the West German avant-garde. Nettelbeck had effectively assembled the membership of Faust and, admirably, convinced the label to finance a new studio for the group in a former schoolhouse in the village of Wümme on the outskirts of Bremen. Meeting Nettelbeck was fortuitous timing. Moore was developing a fierce interest in tape machine experiments, influenced by European avant-garde composers like Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer but also English pop experimentalists such as George Martin and Joe Meek. Through Nettelbeck, Polygram recorded three albums of Moore’s work – 1971’s Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom and the 1972 releases Secrets Of The Blue Bag and Reed Whistle And Sticks. “It was enough for PolyGram to throw up their hands in despair,” remembered Moore in a 2022 interview with Perfect Sound Forever website, “at that point, Uwe asked me if I couldn’t possibly make something a little more listenable.”

He phoned up his old friend Peter Blegvad, who was bored, lonely and studying in Exeter. Of course he wanted to get on the next plane to make an experimental rock album. His arrival at Wümme minted the three-piece act that would adopt the name of Peter and Anthony’s old school band. “Peter, Dagmar and myself were offered the use of the studio and as we were just a trio,” writes Blegvad in the liner notes to the new reissue, “it seemed a natural choice to ask Faust to become our rhythm section.” Jean-Hervé Péron, the bass player, Gunther Wüsthof, the keyboard and sax player, and Zappi Diermaier, the drummer, became, in effect, Slapp Happy’s rhythm section. 

"Acnalbasac Noom" was their second LP, recorded in 1973, and engineered by Kurt Grauner, in Faust's legendary Wumme studio. Like the first it was produced by Faust's Svengali Uwe Nettelbeck, using Faust as the Slapphappy house band. Unaccountably it was rejected by Virgin Records, who made the group re-record all the material with different musicians and another producer in their own studio. That version is still available through Virgin as 'Casablanca Moon' -- they straightened up the name too. As time has told, it is now universally accepted that Acnalbasac is the definitive version of this material. This rather overdue reissue, taking advantage of significant technological advances, has been completely re-mastered by Bob Drake from the original tapes. The CD also features a handful of extra tracks, including the single 'Everybody's Slimming' released to coincide with a one off concert at the ICA in the '80's." Bonus tracks: "Everybody's Slimming," "Blue Eyed William," "Karen," and "Message." 
by  Fergal Kinney, 15 September 2023
1. Casablanca Moon - 3:05
2. Me And Paravati - 3:31
3. Mr. Rainbow (Peter Blegvad) - 3:50
4. Michelangelo/The Drum - 6:30
5. A Little Something (Peter Blegvad) - 3:17
6. (Silence) - 0:14
7. The Secret - 3:25
8. Dawn - 3:36
9. Half-Way There (Peter Blegvad) - 3:08
10.Charlie 'N Charlie - 2:24
11.Slow Moon's Rose (Anthony Moore) - 3:08
12.(One Minute Silence) - 0:56
13.Everybody's Slimmin' - 4:12
14.Blue Eyed William (Peter Blegvad) - 3:37
15.Karen (Peter Blegvad) - 3:23
16.Messages (Dagmar Krause) - 2:13
All compositions by Anthony Moore, Peter Blegvad except where indicated
Bonus Tracks 13-16

Slapp Happy
*Anthony Moore - Keyboards, guitar
*Peter Blegvad - Guitar, vocals
*Dagmar Krause - Vocals
*Jean-Hervé Péron - Bass guitar
*Werner "Zappi" Diermaier - Drums
*Gunter Wüsthoff - Saxophone

Monday, May 13, 2024

Sonny Bono - Inner Views (1967 us, magnificent folk psych, limited remastered bonus tracks edition)

In the days when folk-rock first emerged from Sunset Strip nightclubs, Sonny & Cher were its King and Queen, with Top 10 hits like "I Got You Babe," "Baby Don't Go," and "The Beat Goes On" pulsing from transistor radios across the country. With the duo as hot as they would ever be, Sonny Bono recorded and released Inner Views, his first -- and only -- solo album. As it was in 1967, it remains today a singular listening experience. 

The opening track, the nearly thirteen-minute long opus grande, "I Just Sit There," is the perfect example of what listeners are in for. It employs a sitar as its lead instrument, quotes from both "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" and "A Day In The Life" within sixty seconds of each other, liberally uses faux-Dylanesque harmonica and organ stings throughout, rhymes "sturgeon" with "virgin" and thunders from your speakers with Sonny's own Wall Of Sound. They just don't make records like this anymore. As Sonny's Inner Views solo album is just 33-minutes long, we have filled out this CD with every Sonny Bono solo Atco single there ever was. 

From his first solo hit "Laugh At Me" (heard here in the mono single-lyric version, the stereo album-lyric version, and a previously unreleased original backing track recording session) through his cover versions of "Misty Roses" and "Cheryl's Goin' Home" to the shortened "radio friendly" re-edited single versions of many Inner Views tracks which Atco somehow thought might become big hits. Inner Views includes 16 tracks and a 20-page booklet with all of the album lyrics and with three essays about the album from varying perspectives. 

Every Atco release Sonny Bono ever issued solely under his own name is now in one convenient package. Inner Views has been out of print for three decades. It has been remastered from the Atco vault masters and appears on compact disc for the first time anywhere. Sonny Bono was shagadelic before shagadelic was a registered trademark. And with this absurdly comprehensive Rhino Handmade expanded reissue of Inner Views there is now 69 minutes of incontrovertible, permanently encoded digital proof. Inner Views is available as an individually numbered limited edition of 1,500 copies.
1. I Just Sit There - 12:45
2. I Told My Girl to Go Away - 4:21
3. I Would Marry You Today - 4:26
4. My Best Friend's Girl Is Out of Sight - 4:16
5. Pammie's On A Bummer - 7:52
6. Laugh At Me - 3:00
7. Tony (Brian Stone, Charles Greene, Sony Bono) - 2:22
8. The Revolution Kind - 3:26
9. Georgia and John Quetzal (Brian Stone, Charles Greene, Sony Bono) - 2:14
10.Misty Roses (Tim Hardin) - 3:08
11.Cheryl's Goin Home (Bob Lind) - 2:43
12.I Told My Girl To Go Away - 3:34
13.Pammies On A Bummer - 5:01
14.My Best Friend's Girl Is Out Of Sight - 2:38
15.Laugh At Me - 4:27
16.Laugh At Me - 2:49
All songs by Sonny Bono except where stated
Tracks 7,9 as Sonny's Group
Bonus Tracks 6-16

*Sonny Bono - Vocals


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Hallelujah - Hallelujah Babe! (1971 germany / uk, fantastic heavy jam psych prog rock, 2003 extra track remaster)

Well, back then (1969/70) I was on tour with the band “Missus Beastly”. This may mean next to nothing to you. "Missus Beastly" was a totally weird group that improvised psychedelic rock for hours when there was always enough of the stuff in the medicine cabinet. And we weren't just a sensation in Westphalia! We gave it to our fans every night - we didn't know what would happen and we didn't know that one of our friends would jump out of the window because he thought he could really fly. But that's a different film.

So, now I was standing in some dim city hall, only the lighting and sound crew were there and a funny drummer from England who was setting up his drum kit with dedication. He was part of "Amon Düül II", who had been headlining this small tour through small towns in southern Germany for over a week. Please don't ask me what city it was in, what time of day, or what time of year. I think it was spring 1970.

My buddies in the dressing room had just finished their blotting paper, so it was time for me to do my own private sound check all by myself. I rammed my Gibson into the Fender Showman and let it howl to celebrate the day, then transitioned elegantly into Jeff Beck's "Rock My Plimsoul." Then Keith Forsey, the English drummer for “Amon Düül II”, set up the eavesdroppers and simply joined in. The group's second English loanee, Dave Anderson, also picked up his bass and didn't let us down. An outsider would certainly have had the feeling that the three of us were having fun with music for the first time in weeks. And we had that.

At some point the two of us, Keith Forsey and me, Paul Vincent, decided to forget all the psychedelic Krautrock shit and do our own British thing. A mixture of Jeff Beck Group, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Cream and everything... That was our world.

Back then, I lived in Munich in my old rusty house, the VW Bully with the “Star Club” logo on it, somewhere on a quarry lake. In any case not far from Klara, Keith's Munich girlfriend from Hasenbergl. We always went to Klara's secretly to shower, my friend Woldy Fette, who had accompanied me from Lippe-Detmold to Munich, Keith, who had long since started working with Klara, and me.

Ambassador Music, our London producer, got us two really great musicians, keyboardist Pete Wood and bassist Rick Kemp, to record our songs with Keith on drums and me on guitar. By the way, Pete Wood had a small global career with Al Stewart ("Year Of The Cat") in the following years. And the good Rick Kemp also achieved some respect, at least in the British Isles, with his group “Steeleye Span”. The sound engineer who recorded the four of us in a small but nice backyard studio in London's Dalston district was a certain Robin Sylvester. I later found his name on a number of “Jethro Tull” records, well the world is that small...

Our LP was mixed in one of the finest London establishments, the Trident Studio, where such illustrious people as George Harrison came and went at that time. Imagine accidentally opening a studio door and accidentally finding yourself face to face with Marc Bolan, one of the gods you've always wanted to meet: "Oh sorry, wrong door!" "No problem!" And everything is completely normal. At the front counter you drink your cola with the top-class musicians, as if they were the nice guys from the parallel class. And your English is so good that no one thinks you're a Kraut, thank God, but rather an Australian or South African. Bingo. No more stupid Nazi jokes, just: The cigar goes around and it's just "Peace and Power to the Monkeys". And then, a few weeks later, we finally had the mixed tapes and had to go back to Germania.

The record company Metronome in Hamburg liked our band, turned out to be a generous association and promised us all kinds of support for the live promo, i.e. our band gigs. However, they first had to transfer all the money to Ambassador Music in London, because they were the official contractual partners.

When, during the disco fever, we the Munich musicians had the opportunity to go to L.A. in the wake of Giorgio Moroder, Keith went crazy and actually made a full career in America. He stopped playing drums, which is a sin, co-wrote the lyrics to "Flashdance/What A Feeling" with Irene Cara, produced Billy Idol, Icehouse and also did a few tracks with the guys from Simple Minds. But at some point his tracks were lost in the snow of Los Angeles and New York.

But I didn't like disco too much and preferred to stay in Munich with my wife and children, started writing chamber music on the side and recorded a few well-conceived LPs as a soloist, including one with German lyrics. 1973 "Makin' Our Own Sweet Music",  1975 "Vincent's Flying Rock & Roll Circus", 1981 "Sternreiter"

I played, arranged and co-produced several albums and tours for Udo Lindenberg from 1975 to 1980, which I thought was really great at the beginning, finally big halls, long tours, endless recording sessions, but towards the end it was easy couldn't stand it anymore.

For 28 years (from 1975 to 2003) I composed, produced and played for and with the Swabian blues bard Wolle Kriwanek and put together a band for him that could be seen and heard throughout Germany. Unfortunately, my friend Wolle died unexpectedly at Easter 2003. I've been writing film music since 1979 and have had great success with it: I won the German Film Prize in 2001 in the film music category!
by Paul Vincent, Mai 2003
1. Hallelujah / Signs Of Strange (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay, Wolfgang Fette) - 7:48
2. Z.I.P. (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay) - 4:33
3. The Winter Song (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay) - 6:28
4. English Rain (Paul Vincent Gunia) - 2:18
5. Mini Funk (Paul Vincent Gunia) - 0:47
6. Waterloo (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay) - 4:11
7. Friend (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay) - 6:46
8. Ode To A Little Knight (Paul Vincent Gunia, Keith Forsay, Wolfgang Fette) - 5:43
9. Jam And Toast (Paul Vincent Gunia) - 2:23

*Paul Vincent Gunia - Guitars, Vocals
*Keith Forsay - Drums, Vocals
*Pete "Funk" Wood - Keyboards
*Rick Kemp - Bass

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Thursday, May 9, 2024

Quintessence - Self (1972 uk, marvelous raga psych prog rock, 2008 bonus tracks remaster)

"Self" emerged a delight regardless, chiefly courtesy of the live second side that caught the band in full flight at Exeter University. Despite being just two songs long (""Freedom"" and ""Water Goddess""), the performance rolls back the years so effectively that the faintly workaday weight of side one is barely even relevant to the album's glory. There, of course, the band's customary blending of Indian mantra and jazzy heartbeats is as eclectic as ever, and the only downside is that the group has not really moved on from its original vision. 
by Dave Thompson
1. Cosmic Surfer - 3:49
2. Wonders Of The Universe - 4:13
3. Vishnu-Narain - 6:25
4. Hallelujad - 4:15
5. Celestial Procession - 1:20
6. Self - 3:08
7. Freedom  - 6:44
8. Water Goddess  - 14:26
9. You Never Stay The Same - 6:16
10.Sweet Jesus - 2:57
All compositions by Allan Mostert, Ronald Rothfield, Richard Vaughan, Jake Milton, Dave Codling, Phil Jones
Tracks 7,8 recorded live at Essex University, December 11, 1971
Bonus Tracks 9,10 from 45' single

*Allan Mostert - Lead Guitar
*Ronald Rothfield “Raja Ram” - Flute
*Richard Vaughan “Sambhu Babaji” - Bass
*Jake Milton - Drums
*Dave Codling "Maha Dev" - Rhythm Guitar
*Phil Jones "Shiva" - Vocals, Keyboards
*Simon Lanzon - Piano (Track 2) 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Sanctuary - Sanctuary (1971 us, magnificent jazzy psych art rock, 2022 remaster and expanded)

Reissue of a relatively obscure but rare US prog album from 1971.  Sanctuary was based out of Kansas.  They featured Erik Bikales on flute - he later went on to a popular career in the New Age genre.  This is anything but that.  Its a mix of original and cover tunes and frankly the covers are the most interesting part.  

Beginning with “All In My Dreams,” the flute’s light and colorful timbre captures the ear, serving as a clarion call for all to follow and creating moments of majesty, as music and message seamlessly transform into one. Sanctuary’s interpretations of Yes’s “Time And A Word” and Edgar Winter’s “Winter’s Dream” are not mere covers. They are bright and bold musical statements, refusals to submit to the negativity of the times. Their unique take on these compositions, as well as their own, provides the kind of bright eyed anthems their generation’s voice needed to compete against the backdrop of war and social upheaval dominating the headlines."
1. All In My Dreams (Roger Bruner) - 5:28
2. 1982A (Bill Champlin) - 3:58
3. Time And A Word (David Foster, Jon Anderson) - 4:54
4. Hard To Be (Roger Bruner) - 8:43
5. Winter's Dream (Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter) - 20:43
6. Things Get Better (Roger Bruner) - 6:40
7. Freedom Rider (James Capaldi, Stephen Winwood) - 5:32
8. Rainmaker (Harry Nilsson, Bill Martin) - 6:51
9. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Roger Bruner) - 3:46
Bonus tracks 6-9

*Eric Bikales - Keyboards, Flute, Recorder, Vocals 
*Roger Bruner - Guitar, Vocals 
*Dennis Loewen - Bass Guitar, Vocals 
*Norman Weinberg - Drums, Percussion, Vocals