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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jack Grunsky - My Ship (1968 austria / canada, fascinating folk psych, 2012 korean limited edition)



Jack Grunsky's career as a singer-songwriter began in the mid 60's, spanning two continents and exploring a variety of musical genres from folk, pop, children's to jazz. In the past 20 years he has become one of Canada's leading voices in the children's music scene. His 12 self-produced recordings for children have received all of the most prestigious awards in children's media both in Canada and the US, including 3 JUNO Awards for Best Children's Recording (1993, 2000 & 2006). With his family concerts, symphony shows, festival appearances, school programs and keynote and music workshop presentations for early childhood educators, he has toured across Canada, US, central Europe and as far a-field as South Africa. 

His singing and performing began in high school in Toronto, where he played drums in the dance band or strummed guitar in his folk singing trio. After graduating, he moved to his native Austria, where his music began to flourish. In 1966, he formed the popular folk group, Externe Verknüpfung 'Jack's Angels', who signed a 4-album record deal with Amadeo Records in Vienna. The group was short-lived, but Jack continued to record three more solo albums for the label and had a number of songs climb the European pop charts. One album was titled ‘Toronto' and was produced in London, England, by blues legend Alexis Korner, which featured several tracks with slide guitar playing by Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones. 

Jack performed and toured extensively throughout most of central Europe. Production and session work included, composing and producing three musicals for Austrian National TV - ORF, and creating music for film and TV. He has collaborated with pop icon Udo Jurgens, and a host of other European artists. He has recorded with bassist Jimmy Woode, (Duke Ellington), and jazz pianist, Friedrich Gulda. He shared the stage with Joan Baez, and was a featured guest on numerous radio and TV specials. For two years he also hosted his own weekly half-hour radio show on Austrian National radio, called ‘Folk With Jack'. In 1970 Jack was signed to the progressive German label, Kuckuck Records of Munich, where he produced three more critically acclaimed albums of original songs. These have currently been reissued in CD box sets. One song was titled, ‘Back Home To Canada' which became the theme of a short film for Austrian TV and expressed Jack's strong desire to return to his musical roots in Canada.  


Tracks
1. I'll Live My Life Just Loving You (Peter Katzler) - 3:07
2. Julie Knows - 3:10
3. My Ship - 2:35
4. Good Moring Der Night - 2:39
5. In This Room - 3:23
6. I'm Turning Home - 3:00
7. Here I Come Again - 3:42
8. Train Station Blues - 2:52
9. Sally McGregor (Arthur Luber) - 2:35
10.These Hands - 3:20
11.South End Of The Town - 2:43
12.Raining In My Wine - 3:32
All copmpsitions by Jack Grunsky except where stated

Musicians
*Jack Grunsky - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Arrangements
*Peter Ketzler - Lead Guitar
*Herbert Katzler - Bass
*Hans Salomon - Arranged, Conducted (2, 5)
*Robert Opratko - Arranged, Conducted (1, 2, 4, 9)

1967  Jack's Angels - Our Fantasy's Kingdom (Vinyl issue)

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Telegraph Avenue - Telegraph Avenue (1971 peru, splendid latin psych jazzy folk rock)



Telegraph Avenue were formed in 1970, after lead guitarist Bo Ichikawa returned to Peru, after having stayed half a year in San Francisco, where he had been exposed to the vivid local hippie rock culture. On his return he assembled all kinds of American influences, in a very convincing powerful way, with songs in English, but with ideas for arrangements which were more typical for the best Peruvian bands from those days. 

The full arrangements are incredibly contrasting. Nowadays it would be hard to find any other example of so many arrangements without any overlapping or blurring note, which is a combination of basically bass, acoustic guitars, drums, vocals and vocal harmonies with lots of rather exotic percussion. It is because there were two percussionists in the band. The first percussionist is Walo Carrilo (drums, percussion, maracas, tambourine), who, before Telegraph Avenue, had been a bandleader from Los Holy’s. 

This previous, mostly instrumental group had been the earliest movement towards psychedelia in the mid ‘60s. They made one album called “Sueno Sicodélico”, in a conceptual psychpop style, as well as several singles. The additional percussionist is called Chachi Lujan (acoustic guitar, bongos, piano). The final member is the bass player Alex Nathanson (who also plays acoustic guitar, clavichord, piano). The styles of the songs are very varied, have bluesrock, Californian feelings, influences of soulrock and sixties flavoured styles. The “psychedelic” element is rather unique and can only be heard in the top Peruvian bands. 


Tracks
1. Something Going (Alex Nathanson) - 4:45
2. Happy (Bo Ichikawa, Chachi Luján) - 3:41
3. Sweet Whatever (Alex Nathanson, Walo Carrillo) - 2:47
4. Lauralie (Alex Nathanson) - 4:05
5. Sungaligali (Bo Ichikawa, Chachi Luján) - 4:05
6. Let Me Start (Bo Ichikawa, Chachi Luján) - 4:05
7. Sometimes In Winter (Bo Ichikawa, Chachi Luján) - 5:26
8. Telegraph Avenue (Bo Ichikawa) - 3:53

Telegraph Avenue
*Bo Ichikawa - Xylophone, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica , Guitar, Vocals
*Chachi Luján - Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Congas, Vocals
*Alex Nathanson - Acoustic Guitar, Clavichord, Bass, Alto Vocals
*Walo Carrillo - Maracas, Tambourine, Percussion, Drums, Vocals

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Climax Chicago Blues Band - The Climax Chicago Blues Band (1968-69 uk, spectacular blues rock, 2013 remaster and expanded)



Though the Climax Chicago Blues Band formed in Stafford, England, the band would likely have made any of the howling bluesmen from that storied Illinois city proud.  Part of the vanguard of the British blues boom that also included the original Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and even Led Zeppelin, Cream and the Rolling Stones, the Climax Chicago Blues Band made its rip-roaring debut for Parlophone in 1969 and began a legacy which continues to this very day, albeit with a wholly different line-up than the one that founded the band all those many years ago.  Esoteric Recordings, an imprint of the Cherry Red Group, has recently reissued the first three albums by the band in new expanded editions.

The self-titled The Climax Chicago Blues Band introduced the world to Colin Cooper (vocals/saxophones/harmonica),  Pete Haycock (guitar/vocals), Arthur Wood (piano/organ/celeste/harmonium), Derek Holt (rhythm guitar/organ/bass), Richard Jones (bass) and George Newsome (drums).   The sextet recorded its first album at Abbey Road under the auspices of budding producer Chris Thomas for George Martin’s AIR production company.  Geoff Emerick was among its engineers.  CCBB was recorded in just two days and largely based on the group’s well-honed live stage routine, blending original songs with covers including “Don’t Start Me Talkin’” by Sonny Boy Williamson, “How Many More Years” by Howlin’ Wolf and “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin.  Williamson and Wolf, a.k.a. Chester Burnett, were leading lights of the Chess Records-fuelled blues scene in (where else?) Chicago. 

 (“How Many More Years” would go onto inspire “How Many More Times” on Led Zeppelin’s debut, earning Wolf a songwriting credit decades later.)  And “The Entertainer” showed the versatile group’s prescience; just a few years later, Marvin Hamlisch would reinvent the ragtime tune for his Academy Award-winning score to The Sting.  The Climax Chicago Blues Band emphasizes the blues part of the blues-rock equation, though the heavier tracks like “And Lonely” certainly fit the bill for blues-rock.  Esoteric’s reissue premieres a full complement of seven bonus tracks including alternate takes of “Don’t Start Me Talkin’,” “You’ve Been Drinking” and “And Lonely” and outtakes of four other songs.  Another Sonny Boy Williamson staple, “Checking On My Baby,” and T-Bone Walker’s torrid “Stormy Monday” are among the tracks originally left in the vault and rescued by producer Mark Powell for this release.
by Joe Marchese


Tracks
1. Mean Old World (Big Bill Broonzy) - 3:52
2. Insurance (Waldense Hall, Charlie Singleton) - 3:49
3. Going Down This Road - 3:02
4. You’ve Been Drinking - 2:28
5. Don’t Start Me Talkin’ (Sonny Boy Williamson) - 3:18
6. Wee Baby Blues (Pete Johnson, Big Joe Turner) - 3:20
7. Twenty Past One - 3:08
8. A Stranger In Your Town (Colin Cooper, Lee Hazlewood) - 4:16
9. How Many More Years (Chester Burnett) - 2:58
10.Looking For My Baby - 2:50
11.And Lonely - 8:40
12.The Entertainer (Scott Joplin) - 2:44
13.Checking On My Baby (S. B. Williamson) - 3:24
14.Arthur's Boogie (A. Wood) - 1:35
15.Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker) - 5:36
16.Don't Start Me Talkin' (Take One) (S. B. Williamson) - 2:54
17.Anybody's Boogie - 0:58
18.You've Been Drinking (Take One) - 4:11
19.And Lonely (Take Five) - 5:33
All songs by The Climax Chicago Blues Band except where stated.

The Climax Chicago Blues Band
*Colin Cooper - Vocals, Harmonica
*Peter Haycock - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocal
*Arthur Wood - Piano, Organ, Celeste, Harmonium
*Derek Holt - Rhythm Guitar, Organ, Bass Guitar
*Richard Jones - Bass Guitar
*George Newsome - Drums

1970  Climax Chicago Blues Band - A Lot Of Bottle (2013 remaster and expanded)

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Gonn - Gonn For Good The Best Of Gonn (1966-67/90/96 us, tough raw garage rock)



Gonn formed in Keokuk in 1965 as The Pagans, by the summer of ‘66 founding members Craig Moore (bass) and Gerry Gabel (organ) had been joined by Gary Stepp (rhythm guitar) from Keokuk, Rex Garrett (lead guitar) and Brent Colvin (drums) from Fort Madison.

The band changed the name because Rex’s mom didn’t like it and it was time for a change. The name was the result of throwing words around and settling on the hip term “gone.” They psychedelicized the spelling in the style of the era as a tribute to a great band from Ottumwa, MADD, that GONN held in highest regard.

GONN quickly evolved into a heavily English and West Coast-influenced no-holds-barred garage band; taking their sound and attitude from the likes of the Yardbirds, Rolling Stones, Chocolate Watchband, Doors, and Raiders.

They quickly became known as the “Loudest Band In Town” both on and off stage. By that winter the band had recorded a song written by Craig and Rex that has become legendary — “Blackout Of Gretely”; issued on Bur1ington’s Emir Records with b/w “Pain In My Heart.”

In 1967 former Pagan guitarist Larry LaMaster rejoined the group and Colvin was replaced by 14-year-old drummer Dave Johnson. They went to Freddie Tieken’s Quincy, Ill., IT Studio and recorded their second single “Come With Me” b/w “You’re Looking Fine.”

During 1966-1968, GONN opened concerts at the Burlington Memorial Auditorium with such acts as The Trolls, Mob, American Breed and many others. The band packed teen centers, KC halls all over their corner of the world, traveling in the same 1951 hearse that was used for Craig’s aunt’s funeral!

The original lineup played the 1966 Iowa State Fair to a positive response and in 1967 they came in second to Echos V (Hall of Fame 1998). The band felt their ever-expanding hard-edged psychedelic approach was maybe a little more than the Fair judges could assimilate. GONN appeared for the last time at the state fair in 1968.

Although a working band for a short 2 — years, the group’s members were never out of touch, reuniting in 1990 for a Keokuk riverfront show. In 1996 six of the seven 66-67 members got together to record an entirely new album “Gonn With The Wind” and released a CD of all their 60’s recordings “Frenzology — Punks Along The Mississippi.

Over the years the band received an endless stream of fan letters from around the world. “Blackout” and their intended but never released single “Doin’ Me In” (issued on the Voxx LP) were covered by nuevo garage bands from California to Paris and Rome and beyond. In February of 1997, a six-piece GONN toured Europe for the first time with shows in Rome, Turin, Amsterdam, Paris and others.


Tracks
1. Don't Need Your Lovin' (Arnold Arr. by Aguilar) - 3:46
2. Death Of An Angel (Donald Woods) - 2:40
3. Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (Ed Cobb) - 2:34
4. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) - 3:24
5. Blackout Of Gretely (Rex Garrett, Craig Moore) - 4:35
6. Doin' Me In (Rex Garrett, Craig Moore) - 2:53
7. You're Looking Fine (Ray Davies) - 3:44
8. Come With Me (Rex Garrett, Craig Moore) - 2:09
9. Alabama Song (B. Brecht, K. Weil) - 3:07
10.Doin' Me In (Rex Garrett, Craig Moore) - 3:20
11.Oh Yeah (Elias McDaniel) - 2:59
12.Fellow Slave (Walt Stewart) - 2:50
13.When I Was Young (Burdon, Weider, Briggs, McCulloch) - 3:23
14.Head In The Clouds (Craig Moore) - 3:27
15.Pretty Girl (Craig Moore) - 4:32
16.The Wind (Craig Moore) - 6:09
17.Shame On You (Rudi Prodrudi) - 3:47
Tracks 1-5 Recorded 1966
Tracks 6-8 Recorded 1967
Tracks 9-11 Recorded Live in 1990
Tracks 12-16 From the 1996 LP "Gone With The Wind"

Gonn
*Rex Garrett - Guitar, Vocals
*Gerry Cabel - Vox Organ, Vocals
*Gary Stepp - Guitar, Vocals
*Craig Moore - Bass, Vocals
*Larry LaMaster - Guitar
*Dave Johnson - Drums

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jónas Einar - Gypsy Queen (1972 iceland, outstanding folk rock with prog shades, 2013 reissue)



Einar Vilberg started in the music business quit early, born in Reykjavik Iceland 1950. He started writing songs at the age of 14. Einars first appearance as a musician was as a singer in a school band called the "Beatnicks", (note the take off on the Beatles!!) In 1969 he flew to London England to cut his first record, (there where no recording studios in Iceland at that time) playing the role of songwriter and guitar player on a single called Insane world, an anti war project sung by one of Iceland’s most popular singer at that time.

Next year Einar provided songs and guitar playing on two more singles sung by prominent Icelandic artists. In 1972 after playing in different groups and doing some television shows Einar made the LP Gypsy Queen writing the lyrics and the songs. 


Tracks
1. On A Riverboat - 2:39
2. Sweet Lady -  2:26
3. I Just Want Your Love - 2:31
4. A Song For Christine - 1:25
5. Gypsy Queen - 3:56
6. Look At All Those People - 2:42
7. Freedom For Our Lovin' - 3:13
8. See The Sun - 4:09
9. Music Forest - 1:48
10.How Can We Know God Is Real? - 3:51
11.Lucky Day - 2:30
12.Gypsy Queen - 0:21
All songs written by Einar Vilberg Hjartarson

Jónas Einar
*Jónas R. Jónasson - Vocals, Flute, Accordion, Percussion
*Einar Vilberg Hjartarson - Vocals, Guitars
*Timmy Donald - Drums, Congas
*Sigurdur Arnason - Bass

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Monday, January 19, 2015

New York Rock 'N' Roll Ensemble - Faithful Friends / Reflections (1969-70 us / greece, amazing baroque folk psych rock, 2005 edition)



Over the course of their first three albums in the late 1960s, the New York Rock 'n' Roll Ensemble made their mark as one of the few bands of any era to comfortably integrate classical music and instrumentation into a rock format. Their 1968 self-titled debut had been co-produced by Shadow Morton (famous for his work with the Shangri-Las, Janis Ian, the Vanilla Fudge, and later the New York Dolls), and also showcased a quintet that could skillfully blend instrumental, compositional, and vocal input from five distinct and diverse musicians. The group's 1969 follow-up, Faithful Friends, solidified and expanded their assets while allowing themselves to take a stronger voice in the production.

Most of the songs on Faithful Friends were original compositions, and owed more to rock than classical music, with all five members contributing as songwriters.  The band also inserted brief classical pieces by Bach ("Trio Sonata No. 2 in G Major") and Thomas Morley ("Aria"), as well as a lengthier adaptation of Bach's "Brandenburg." On top of all this was a cover of one of Jimi Hendrix's less celebrated songs, "Wait Until Tomorrow." With the frequent incorporation of oboe and cello into the arrangements, and the group's oft-noted performances in tuxedos and tails, they didn't quite sound or look like any other act on the late-'60s rock scene—quite a feat, at a time when so many artists were trying to outdo each other in eclecticism or outrageousness.

The division of most of the lead vocals between keyboardist/oboist Michael Kamen and rhythm guitarist Brian Corrigan as an asset. "Michael had the more 'cultured' voice, with some early stage experience in musicals prior to the NYR&RE (also in early bands)," he notes. "He wanted badly to be the American John Lennon. Brian had [a] more bluesy voice, and could be more easily compared with Jagger. The combination was great for us and helped to set off the songs, and also helped us to remain slightly enigmatic and not so easy to cubbyhole (are they classical? Rock? Or what?)—which was both an advantage and disadvantage." Adds lead guitarist Clif Nivison (who also takes a lead vocal on "Lazy Man"), "No band I've been in since had people who could all sing lead and harmony. Michael and [drummer/oboist] Marty [Fulterman] could both hear oboe parts in almost all songs, and the cello is such a beautiful sound; it always adds color."

Of the original songs on Faithful Friends, perhaps the most familiar-sounding to the general rock audience is "Sing Lady Sing," due to its similarity to a different record that ended up getting much more exposure. "Buddy Miles took pretty much all the guitar lines that Michael and I wrote and used them in 'Them Changes,'" says Nivison. "It is the same song with a different vocal." As for the group's cover of "Wait Until Tomorrow," written by a musician with whom Miles was soon to (briefly) play, Clif explains, "Michael and I were great Hendrix fans. He heard us play his song at [the New York club] The Scene in 1969. He told us he really liked it."

It was original material, however, that was at the core of Faithful Friends, often blending rock and classical flavors into the same track without either element clashing with or overwhelming the other. Although the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble were happy with how their music was progressing, Faithful Friends, like their debut, was not a big seller, possibly because it was so hard to categorize. "I think the media was still having problems with us, our image, and our 'place' in the rock developments of that time," feels Dorian. "The West Coast was coming on strong—hippies, war resisters, the whole '60s thing was exploding all around and we were exploding with it. However, we still had our tuxedos and tails we wore playing live, and we were still often connected to the New York 'Beautiful People' scene—a difficult image that was becoming more and more of a burden. In fact, during the time of this record's release, we were breaking away from that, and so I guess we were getting mixed signals—very positive from our fan base, and more restrained from the new audience we were beginning to reach out to." The band's association with Atlantic Records was already on the verge of ending, but not before a third album of a very different sort, Reflections, emerged—a story told on Collectors' Choice Music's CD reissue of that unusual recording.

For their third--and certainly best--record the band recruited Greek composer and songwriter Manos Hadjidakis. The resulting REFLECTIONS plays like a film score--not surprisingly, given Hadjidakis's experience as a composer of just such works--with epic instrumental sweeps and passages of quiet melancholy. Many of the tracks, such as "Orpheus," "The Day," and "Kemal," incorporate the folk melodies of Hadjidakis's homeland while maintaining a baroque psychedelic touch. 
by Richie Unterberger


Tracks
Faithful Friends 1969
1. I'm Too Busy (Brian Corrigan, Martin Fulterman) - 3:05
2. City (Michael Kamen) - 3:18
3. Asking Too Much (Brian Corrigan, Michael Kamen) - 2:39
4. Trio Sonata No. 2 In G Major (Johann Sebastian Bach) - 0:53
5. Kite Song (Brian Corrigan, Michael Kamen) - 2:20
6. Wait Until Tomorrow (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:50
7. Sing Lady Sing (Brian Corrigan, Michael Kamen) - 3:17
8. Nel Cox (Brian Corrigan, Michael Kamen) - 2:53
9. Thinking Of Mary (Brian Corrigan, Dorian Rudnytsky) - 3:06
10.Faithful Friends (And Flattering Foes) (Martin Fulterman) - 3:10
11.Aria (Thomas Morley) - 1:05
12.Lazy Man (Clifton Nivison) - 2:47
13.Brandenburg (Johann Sebastian Bach, B. Corrigan, M. Fulterman, M. Kamen) - 5:20
Reflections 1970
14.Orpheus (Manos Hadjidakis, Dorian Budnytsky) - 2:37
15.The Day (Manos Hadjidakis, Brian Corrigan) - 3:42
16.Love Her (Manos Hadjidakis, Brian Corrigan) - 5:02
17.Dance Of The Dogs (Manos Hadjidakis) - 3:30
18.Kemal (Manos Hadjidakis, Martin Fulterman) - 4:32
19.Dedication (Manos Hadjidakis, Clifton Nivison) - 2:51
20.The Three Answers (Manos Hadjidakis) - 3:50
21.Street Song (Manos Hadjidakis, Brian Corrigan) - 3:23
22.Bitter Way (Manos Hadjidakis, Brian Corrigan) - 4:39
23.Noble Dame (Manos Hadjidakis, Dorian Budnytsky) - 3:31

The New York Rock 'N' Roll Ensemble
*Dorian Rudnytsky - Bass, Cello
*Martin Fulterman - Drums, Oboe
*Michael Kamen - Keyboards, Oboe
*Clifton Nivison - Lead Guitar
*Brian Corrigan - Rhythm Guitar
With 
*Manos Hadjidakis - Orchestral Arrangements (14-23)

1971-72  The New York Rock Ensemble – Roll Over / Freedomburger

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Crystal Syphon - Family Evil (1967-68 us, brilliant garage acid psych, 2012 Vinyl edition)



America’s great lost acid rock band.  Who knew California band Crystal Syphon had an album’s worth of material sitting in the can waiting to be heard by 60s psych rock fans?  This has to be not only one of the best reissues of 2012 but also one of the best archival classic rock discoveries of the year.

Crystal Syphon’s origins can be traced back to the Morlochs, a garage band who formed in 1965 and hailed from the San Joaquin Valley area.  As the years went by (and after several personnel changes) the Morlochs changed their name to Crystal Syphon.  Crystal Syphon played the S.F. live circuit with some of the era’s biggest names while the major labels expressed serious interest in this promising, up-and-coming group.  As the 60’s passed into the 70’s, no album or single appeared and the group members moved on to other projects, effectively putting an end to Crystal Syphon. Roaratorio did a superb job in assembling this excellent LP (vinyl only release), which was cobbled together from studio sessions, demos and live shows.  It’s arguably a fuller picture then any studio LP could give the listener, as all sides of the band are on full display, whether it be in the studio or on the live stage.

Does the music live up to the hype? You bet. The earliest tracks have a rawer sound than the later material, which is clearly influenced by big time S.F. bands Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.  “In My Mind,” recorded in 1968, sounds like a lost outtake from the first Quicksilver album.  The deep vocals and vibrating guitar tones strongly recall the mighty Quicksilver Messenger Service.  No matter, it’s an excellent track that could have easily made any psych compilation you care to name.  “Marcy, Your Eyes” and “Paradise” two of the earliest cuts from 1967, have thick garage fuzz, naive teen vocals, and cascading acid guitar work – outstanding.  The last 15 seconds of “Paradise” are especially great.

The guitarist starts playing eastern scales and just when you think they are about to explode into the most intense raga solo you’ve ever heard the song ends – what a clever trick!  Other highlights are the menacing acid rock of “Fuzzy and Jose,” “Family Evil” and “Winter Is Cold.”  These cuts are longer, slow paced and closer in sound to Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service – lots of acid guitar work, creative arrangements and spacey vocals.  “Try Something Different” is another earlier cut with a lilting folk-rock sound that recalls Buffalo Springfield in it’s guitar figures.

Every cut on Family Evil is worthwhile.  There’s nearly 50 minutes of great psych rock here – so not only a significant discovery but an absolute must own for any 60s rock fan.
by Jason Nardelli


Tracks
1. Marcy Your Eyes - 3:36
2. Paradise - 3:08
3. Have More of Everything - 5:25
4. Try Something Different - 3:42
5. Fuzzy And Jose - 7:33
6. Are You Dead Yet - 2:17
7. In My Mind - 2:43
8. Family Evil - 5:41
9. Fails to Shine - 5:46
10.Winter Is Cold - 7:01
All songs by Crystal Syphon

Crystal Syphon
*Tom Salles - Vocal, Guitar
*Jim Sanders - Vocal, Guitar
*Jeff Sanders - Vocals, Organ, Percussion
*Bob Greenlee - Bass
*Andy Daniel - Drums (1-4)
*Dave Sprinkel- Vocals, Organ, Percussion (Except #4)
*Marvin Greenlee - Drums (5-10)

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lincoln Street Exit - Drive It (1970 us, superb garage psych, 2010 remaster and expanded)



Dearest Brothers and Sisters
Make no mistake about this album, it is loud, heavy, alive and ready. Lincoln St. Exit was formed in June of 1964. Since then they lost one of their musicians, Paul Chapman(who died). The three original members, Michael Martin, Mac Suazo and Lee Herres, still remain with the group. Their music is influenced greatly by the American Indian culture of New Mexico.

This is evident in the hard-driving beat and hypnotic rhythm pattern that is maintained throughout the album. Their own personal feelings and the many hard times they have encountered along the way all come through in their music. As co-writer on some of the material, our view of the war is expressed in the two compositions "Man Machine" arid "Time Has Come Gonna Die".

We move from such gospel-orientated tunes as "Going Back Home" and "Soulful Drifter" to the down home sound of "Teacher Teacher" and "Dirty Mother Blues", the latter being so heavy it shakes all of your \ital organs Our snnga also deal with modern sexual mores, as in "Straight Shootin1 Man", "Got You Babe" and "Phantom Child". Lincoln St. Exit have been together for over six years, and they're going to make it.
God Bless The Exit.
As told to Mark Janowski by Tommy Bee

This is my cup of tea, one of my desert island records. Dirty, rough, Garage, Psych, Roots 'n' Roll, Folk, well it's everything abount Rock 'n' Roll in a magic cauldron, just give a spin and let yourself to enjoy a trip far and beyond...

Lincoln St. Exit were Albuquerque, New Mexico’s premiere garage/ psych band of the late 60′s, early 70′s. In early 1969 Lincoln St. Exit, Mike Martinez, Mac Suazo, RC Gariss and Lee Herrerra recorded in Clovis New Mexico at the Norman Petty Studios and the song "Soulful Drufter" emerged from the "Drive It" Album. The album was distributed by Mainstream Records.

Artists like Janis Joplin (Pre Columbia Records) and Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent’s group) recorded for the label at the same time.  Soulful Drifter gained radio station play and Exit had a hit record along the Great Lakes Area.  The airplay was enough to catch the ear of Motown records in Detroit.

At that time Motown was looking to increase it’s catalog of new artists on their new Rare Earth label and Exit filled the need.  Motown liked the group, a new sound, a new look and a new direction was needed.  So the idea was that they would return to their roots and create.  A new sound in music was born “American Indian Rock”. Under the management of Tom Bee the new sound emerged and the new Xit name was born.  The acronym was XIT for Xing of Indian Tribes came about because of some of the group’s ethnic background.

The first album for Motown was “Plight of the Redman” released in 1971.  It’s a history lesson from the beginning to end sung by member Mike Martinez and tells the story from the beginning of peace in the New World to their struggles with the white man in America and finally to the climatic end of the narrative speech by Mac Suazo.

XIT played many venues including the Whiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood and in 1972 the 8th International Music Festival in Venice Italy.  This festival was broadcasted to over 30 million people throughout Europe, along with countless concerts in cities and reservations across the United States and Canada.


Tracks
1. Man Machine - 4:02
2. Dirty Mother Blues - 6:55
3. Got You Babe - 3:06
4. Teacher Teacher - 2:45
5. Soulful Drifter - 2:00
6. Time Has Come Gonna Die - 4:06
7. Going Back Home - 3:03
8. Straight Shootin' Man - 3:00
9. Phantom Child - 3:14
10.The Bummer - 2:22
11.Sunny Sunday Dream - 2:58
12.St. Louis Mama (B-Side 1968) - 2:35
13.Whatever Happened To Baby Jesus (Parts 1 & 2 1968 Single) (Bonus Track) - 6:18
14.The Bummer (A-Side 1967) - 2:23
15.Sunny Sunday Dream (B-Side 1967) - 3:33
16.Who's Been Driving My Little Yellow Taxi Cab (A-Side 1966) - 2:16
17.Paper Lace (B-Side 1966) - 2:20
18.Half A Man (Bonus Track) - 3:00
19.She's Upon Her Way (Bonus Track) - 2:49
20.Open Doorway (Bonus Track) - 2:45
21.Orange Benevolent (Bonus Track) - 2:45
22.Forever Or Not At All (Bonus Track) - 3:48
23.Yellow Man Of Paris - 2:40
24.She's My Everything (Bonus Track) - 3:05

Lincoln St. Exit
*Michael Martin - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Mac Suazo - Heavy Bass Guitar
*Lee Herres - Drums And Percussion
*R. C. Gariss - Second Lead Guitar


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Various Artists - Searching In The Wilderness (1964-67 multinational, astonishing garage freak beat)



While this compilation might prove mighty hard to track down, it's one of the better anthologies of raw, rare mid-'60s rock, concentrating exclusively on bands from the U.K. and Europe (i.e., this is not a "garage" compilation in the classic sense). Some of these groups enjoy a cult reputation, especially the Dutch ones (the Outsiders, Q65, Cuby & the Blizzards, the Motions); most will draw blanks even on the faces of specialist record store owners. Still, if you like the R&B/mod of the Pretty Things or the Who and are looking for stuff in that mode that's less polished, this is a good place to land. 

The Red Squares' "You Can Be My Baby" is as good as the best London 1966 mod; the Buzz's "You're Holding Me Down" is one of British producer Joe Meek's hardest-rocking sessions; Jimmy Page plays a raunchy session guitar lead on Sean Buckley's "Everybody Knows"; and the Outsiders' "Won't You Listen" is one of the wildest, most unhinged beat/punk performances of all time. There's also a rare and basic unreleased mid-'60s song by the Kinks (who are identified as the "Muswell Ravens" on the cover), "All Aboard." 
by Richie Unterberger


Tracks
1. Namelosers - But I'm So Blue - 1:43
2. The Red Squares - You Can Be My Baby - 2:17
3. The Motions - For Another Man - 1:48
4. Sean Buckley And Breadcrumbs - Everybody Knows - 2:08
5. The Boys Blue, The You Got What I Want - 2:06
6. The In Crowd - Things She Says - 1:46
7. The Cherokees - Little Lover - 1:59
8. The Outsiders - Won't You Listen - 2:48
9. The Kinks - All Aboard - 2:48
10.A Passing Fancy - I'm Losing Tonight - 2:32
11.The Outlaws - Keep A Knockin' - 2:32
12.Q-65 - It Came To Me - 2:24
13.The Golden Earrings - Chunk Of Steel - 2:27
14.Cuby And The Blizzards - I'm So Restless - 2:00
15.The Snobs - Heartbreak Hotel - 2:44
16.The Buzz - You're Holding Me Down - 3:16  
17.Alan Pounds Get Rich - Searching In The Wilderness - 2:18

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Climax Chicago Blues Band - A Lot Of Bottle (1970 uk, splendid hard blues rock, 2013 remaster and expanded)



1970’s A Lot of Bottle found the band both pursuing and eschewing the more expansive direction introduced on Plays On.  Still signed to AIR, the group was shifted to EMI’s progressive-rock Harvest label, but the sound was once again more explicitly rooted in the blues, as on the debut record.  Yet, like Plays On, A Lot of Bottle was almost entirely written by the group, making room only for Willie Dixon’s “Seventh Son,” and Muddy Waters’ “Louisiana Blues.”  Chris Thomas returned, this time recording at AIR’s own facility.

A gentle acoustic opening song, “Country Hat,” showed one direction the band might have pursued, while “Brief Case” emphasized the saxophone in its arrangement.  “Alright Blue?” turns attention to the blues-drenched harmonica, and the Muddy Waters cover even takes in country influences.  “Reap What I’ve Sowed” was heavy guitar rock complete with a majestic Haycock solo.  Esoteric adds four previously unreleased tracks to the original album.  “Spoonful” paid homage again to Willie Dixon’s songbook, and three songs hailed from a 1971 show at London’s Blow-Up Club: “Flight,” Seventh Son” and “Reap What I’ve Sowed.”

The Climax Blues Band had its commercial breakthrough with 1975’s Stamp Album, and the central trio of Haycock, Cooper and Holt remained intact through 1983.  Cooper stayed with the band until his death from cancer in 2008, but a new line-up continues to maintain the spirit of the original group.  All three of Esoteric’s reissues of the band’s seminal early albums have been remastered by Ben Wiseman and annotated by Malcolm Dome.
by Joe Marchese 


Tracks
1. Country Hat - 1:57
2. Everyday - 2:25
3. Reap What I've Sowed - 4:36
4. Brief Case - 4:02
5. Alright Blue?/Country Hat (Reprise) - 4:16
6. Seventh Son (Willie Dixon) - 6:50
7. Please Don't Help Me - 2:557
9. Morning Noon And Night - 2:36
9. Long Lovin' Man - 3:36
10.Louisiana Blues (McKinley Morganfield) - 5:20
11.Cut You Loose - 5:24
12.Spoonful (AIR Studios, London, 1970) (Howling Wolf) - 6:37
13.Flight (Live At Blow Up Club 1971) - 7:07
14.Seventh Son (Live At Blow Up Club 1971) (Willie Dixon) - 4:19
15.I Reap What I Have Sowed (Live At Blow Up Club 1971) - 3:40
All song by The Climax Chicago Blues Band except as otherwise noted.

Climax Chicago Blues Band
*Colin Cooper - Vocals, Saxes, Harmonica
*Pete Haycock - Vocals, Guitars
*Derek Holt - Vocals, Bass Guitar
*Arthur Wood - Keyboards
*Anton Farmer - Keyboards
*George Newsome - Drums

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Various Artists - Shakin' in Athens (1964-67 greece, garage beat)



It’s very difficult to describe in only a few words the history of such a rich and underestimated pop-rock scene as existed in Greece in the sixties. This is especially true when this scene has been represented so poorly in the world of CDs, despite the glut of recent reissues. There have been a seemingly endless stream of compilations from the most obscure places on the planet, produced primarily, it seems, because those places are exotic and outrageous geographically, not because of the value of their music. 

The classic beat/garage scenes of the UK, Holland, Germany, etc. have been exhausted, with the best 45s out (again and again), and the fans of this music numbed by the saturation approach of most reissuers. Now the time is ripe for all fans of beat/garage music to focus on the Greek scene, which up until now has languished in the dark shadows that could only result from sunshine so bright. Those fans, (and hopefully you who are reading this are one of them) will discover a unique sound— not just faithful mimicking or the typical European imitation of the American garage sounds! It all started in 1965 with the release of "Geronimo Yanka" by Forminx, an arrangement of a traditional Finnish song. In one year, this single sold more than 60,000 copies (!) and became the national anthem of every Mod teenager in Greece. 

With Forminx (featuring future international superstar Vangelis Papathanasiou) now firmly established as the Beatles of Athens, other groups sprouted up from every neighbourhood, from every one of the many dark corners in Athens to try to make their mark. Many of these bands such The Idols contributing to the collection with two songs and including the most famous band member, Demis Roussos  with great international career later, with Afrotide's Child and as a solo artist,  The Juniors whose most members die in a car accident, while the remaining members - one week after the accident- played in a live show -in honor of deceased friends-  with a young English guitarist who was dressed in black and his name was..... Eric Clapton!!  

Noticeable is also the sound of the Zoo, a band that is rumoured that they were mostly students of American College of Athens,  while the Bluebirds for many of critics and not only- is the most important Greek Band of their time, having released 13 singles. But not many of the bands  were able to sign contracts with a label, except for the big names (Forminx, Olympians, Idols, Bluebirds etc.), the overwhelming majority of those groups were happy just to cut a single. After a few practice sessions, they would head for one of the very primitive local studios. These studios, tailored to record traditional Greek bouzouki music, supplemented their income by recording the wave of enthusiastic young musicians. 

Techniques were extremely primitive (cardboard egg holders nailed to walls for acoustic panels, etc.), and the pressings were very small (approximately 100-200 copies), but the excitement was real. If the single became a hit (!) the group would cut an additional 500-1000 copies (a rare occurrence). With such small pressings, imagine how difficult it is now, more than thirty years later, to find copies of any of these singles in good shape. Within the next couple of years, a very active and respectable scene managed to develop and flourish. It was an underground phenomenon (there were no magazines devoted to the music scene), fueled by imported music, and the relentless enthusiasm of Rock and Roll aficionados. 

Thanks to U.S. Armed Forces Radio (there were more than 5,000 American troops stationed in Greece), beat/garage fans were informed on a daily basis of the U.S. top ten. At night, on Greek radio, programs presented label showcases (Parlophone, EMI, etc.)— game shows that involved top ten songs, but also promoted independent Greek Rock and Roll groups. Occasionally, drawn by the prospect of Greek sunshine, European musicians visited and taught their Rock and Roll secrets to the hungry young musicians. 

The influence of British and American rock (via songs like "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and the Swingin' Blue Jeans' "Shakin' All Over") produced the "Shake," a dance like the Twist, which became hugely popular in Greece and Italy. Unlike the north areas of Europe, which embraced R & B, the Greeks and Italians along the Mediterranean preferred the stirring sounds of Rock and Roll. "Shaking" became a part of the local talk, and parents feared that their darling children might go and "shake at the disco" or "shake at the club," instead of studying to become doctors, lawyers, or architects. For roughly three years (1964-'67), it was "shaking" that dominated the club scene, and "shake" that dominated the music.

 This all but ended on April 21, 1967 when a junta took over the Greek government. Along with other political restrictions during the junta rule (1967-1974), they chased away all the long-haired Rock and Roll lovers, and concerts were prohibited (especially those with English lyrics). The Rolling Stones were allowed to come in 1967, but the concert was a disaster as fans nearly rioted in protest against the restrictions of the junta. The whole music scene collapsed. Certainly the development of Greek pop/rock music would have been very different if the political situation had not been repressive. But even under the pressure of those severe circumstances, many musical diamonds were created.


Tracks
1. The Knacks - Devil Doll - 2:36
2. Zoo - Go - 2:28
3. The Idols - Wanted by the Law - 2:44
4. The Crowns - You're My Only Love - 3:08
5. The Idols - He's the One - 2:37
6. New Hopes - I Found a Love - 2:36
7. The Blue Birds - Just Remember - 2:44
8. The Vikings - I'm Trying - 2:43
9. Olympians - Hopeless Endless Way - 3:00
10.Zoo - Six Miles From the Cage - 2:36
11.The Juniors - Miss Blue Jeans - 2:30
12.Phoenix - Senzamore - 3:09
13.Uptight - I Love You - 3:10
14.Nelli Manou - Crazy Girl - 2:44
15.The Blue Birds - Sweet Polly - 3:05
16.The Charms - It's My Life - 3:05

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds (1967 us, imressive radiant psychedelic space rock)



At first glance and hearing, The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds might seem like an anomaly in the Elektra catalog. When it appeared in 1967, the label was recognized primarily for its eclectic catalog of folk recordings, and starting around 1965 for its run of extremely important folk-rock records by Love, Judy Collins, Tom Rush, Tim Buckley, and others.  Just a couple of catalog numbers in advance of the album was the debut by the Doors, which would advance Elektra to a whole new level.

The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, however, was like none of those records. It was not so much the product of a group or artist as it was a collectively-hatched concept album, matching psychedelic mood music with spoken prose and all manner of exotic and electronic instrumentation. It was, as the subtitle boasted, "celestial counterpoint with words and music." And as the back sleeve instructed, in capital purple letters, it "MUST BE PLAYED IN THE DARK." Should there have been any doubt that it was serious, the astrological sign of each contributor listed on the back sleeve was announced, in parentheses, after each name, even for Elektra owner Jac Holzman. Artist Abe Gurvin and art director William S. Harvey concocted a suitably florid sleeve, with a mosaic of colors so bold and gaudy they nearly glowed in the dark, supplemented by huge wavy title lettering and a nocturnal backdrop.

Divided into 12 separate tracks, one for each astrological sign, it appeared just as both psychedelic rock and astrology itself were coming into vogue in the youthful counterculture. In some respects it was similar to other instrumental psychsploitation albums of the time, with a spacy yet tight groove that could have fit into the soundtrack of 1966 Sunset Strip documentaries, played in large measure by seasoned Los Angeles session musicians. In other respects, it was futuristic, embellished by some of the first Moog synthesizer ever heard on a commercial recording, an assortment of exotic percussive instruments, and sitar. 

The arrangements were further decorated by haunting harpsichord and organ, along with standard mid-1960s Los Angeles rock guitar licks. For those who took the astrology as seriously as the music, there was the dramatic reading of narrator Cyrus Faryar, musing upon aspects of each astrological sign in a rich, deep voice without a hint of irony.

Only a few of the musicians involved in the album were listed on the back cover, and much mystery has surrounded the conception and realization of the record in the ensuing years. As it happens, though, the album featured some of the creme de la creme of the Los Angeles session musician clique, as well as some notable contributors with strong ties to the early-1960s folk music that had been Elektra's backbone prior to 1965. In addition, there were precedents for albums not tied to a particular artist in the Elektra discography. 

Only two or three years before, the company had released a 13-volume series of Authentic Sound Effects, as well as records on how to play bass and blues guitar. The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds was not an accidental one-shot aberration from an out-of-control producer, but in fact instigated by Elektra founder and president Jac Holzman himself. 

Producing the album was Alex Hassilev, one-third of the Limeliters, the successful pop-folk group of the early 1960s who had recorded their debut LP for Elektra in 1960 (followed by numerous other ones for RCA). Hassilev had recently formed a production company with Mort Garson, who had arranged one of Alex's RCA albums (as well as doing some arranging for fellow Limeliter Glenn Yarborough). 

Elektra was the type of label to take risks that others might have dismissed as reckless. "Jac, being a very adventurous guy, sonically speaking, really believed in finding new things," enthuses Hassilev. "He bought the idea of doing a kind of electronic score for this project. And Mort assembled this group of musicians, including Paul Beaver. Percussionist Richards boasted a staggering array of credits. Over the course of his lengthy career he has worked with everyone from Henry Mancini, Dizzy Gillespie, and George Harrison to Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Linda Ronstadt, and Herb Alpert, as well as on over 1700 Movies.  It was the Moog that supplied the freakiest swoops and textures on The Zodiac, and the greatest challenge to capture on tape. "The Moog, while a wonderful instrument, had very unstable oscillators," explains Hassilev. 

 Filling out the personnel for The Zodiac on more conventional guitars, bass, and drums were top Los Angeles sessionaires, although unfortunately the precise names and details have been lost to memory. Hassilev is fairly certain that bassist Carol Kaye and drummer Hal Blaine--both at the very top of the list for rock, pop, and session calls in Los Angeles in the 1960s--comprised the rhythm section. Holzman thinks Blaine was on the date for sure; Cyrus Faryar remembers Bud Shank playing bass flute, and Mike Melvoin, who played on numerous jazz and pop sessions (including some harpsichord on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds), contributing keyboards. Kaye, who did uncounted sessions in the 1960s (including some others with Garson, and some other dates with Beaver), recently confirmed after listening to the record that it is indeed her on bass: "That's me on the whole thing. [The] double paradiddles, tons of slides, and the octave licks [are] typical of my playing." Garson, she adds, "was an extremely talented arranger. I can see his face now, sort of smiling here and there as if he was up to some mischief."

Once the music was finished, Moog and all, one more component would be needed to put it to bed. This was the spoken astrological narrative, written by Jacques Wilson, and voiced by Cyrus Faryar. Like Hassilev, Faryar was a young veteran of the early-1960s folk boom, having played with Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers (led by ex-Kingston Trio member Guard, and also including Judy Henske) and the Modern Folk Quartet. Also a session musician who played on some of Fred Neil's finest records, he was well known to Hassilev.   Over the years Faryar (who eventually recorded a couple of albums himself on Elektra in the early 1970s) came across admirers of The Zodiac and his narration in some of the most unexpected places. At one party he met the late Graham Bond, the brilliant but erratic British blues-jazz-rock musician noted for dabbling in the occult, who moved to the States in the late 1960s. 

For years afterward, Hassilev had a studio in Los Angeles and continued to produce, working on projects as diverse as albums by Hoyt Axton and Ananda Shankar (Ravi Shankar's nephew, who combined traditional Indian music with modern electronics), a single by Seals & Crofts, and commercials with Van Dyke Parks. He's still playing as part of the Limeliters, and still proud of The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds. "What I chiefly remember is that the recording of the music for me was just a joy," he summarizes. "Working with Cyrus was wonderful, and working with Jac was great too. Jac was there for all the sessions, supervising this whole project. In that period, he was the hands-on for everything."
by Richie Unterberger


Tracks
1. Aries - The Fire-Fighter - 3:17
2. Taurus - The Voluptuary - 3:38
3. Gemini - The Cool Eye - 2:50
4. Cancer - The Moon Child - 3:27
5. Leo - The Lord Of Lights - 2:30
6. Virgo - The Perpetual Perfectionist - 3:05
7. Libra - The Flower Child - 3:28
8. Scorpio - The Passionate Hero - 2:51
9. Sagittarius - The Versatile Daredevil - 2:06
10.Capricorn - The Uncapricious Climber - 3:30
11.Aquarius - The Lover Of Life - 3:45
12.Pisces - The Peace Piper - 3:19
Music by Mort Garson Lyrics by Jacques Wilson

Personnel
*Cyrus Faryar - Narration
*Paul Beaver - Moog, Electronic Instruments
*Emil Richards - Exotic Percussion
*Bud Shank - Bass Flute
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Carol Kaye - Bass Guitar
*Mike Melvoin - Keyboards

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Fever Tree - Live (1969 us, awesome heavy psych blues jam rock, 2011 Vinyl issue)


The never-released 1969 live effort from Fever Tree! Gulf Coast punk phenoms the Bostwick Vines see Cream and Hendrix and bring their tough interpretation of that combination to Hollywood, California. With three unique studio albums to their name, Fever Tree splinters after this live gig in Texas, but not before laying down one final testament to their evermore worth as swooning psychedelic rockers.

Sharpening their chops on the Gulf Coast circuit, followed by a high-profile opening night gig at Hollywood’s legendary Kaleidoscope, Fever Tree developed a keen sense of musical drama and dynamics. This versatility is in sharp display on the concert’s rendition of their underground radio hit “San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native).” For the rest, Live 1969 focuses on groovers, a perfect set-up for the gliding fuzztones of lead guitarist Michael Knust, the sonic organ of Rob Landes, the thick rhythms provided by E.E. “Bud” Wolfe III on bass and John Tuttle on drumsand the dynamic, driving lead vocals of Dennis Keller.

“Don’t Come Crying to Me Girl,” a song originally found on the band’s second album, levitates the band beyond any earthly confines. Elsewhere, the set moves between a soaring cover of Donovan’s “Hey Gyp,” their own power pop “Grand Candy Young Sweet” and a whirlng psych take on Wilson Pickett’s “Ninety-Nine and One Half (Won’t Do).” Playing as if their lives depended on it, Live 1969 captures a band at the height of its powers, forever preserved on this final audio testament. 
Sundazed


Tracks
1. Grand Candy Young Sweet (F. Davis) - 8:37
2. Ninety-Nine and One Half (Won’t Do) (E. Floyd, S. Cropper, W. Pickett) - 11:06
1. Don’t Come Crying to Me Girl ( R. Landes, S. Holzman, V. Holzman) - 8:15
4. Hey Gyp (D. Leitch) - 8:19
5. San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native) (Michael Knust, S. Holzman, V. Holzman) - 4:14

Fever Tree
*Dennis Keller - Vocals
*John Tuttle - Drums
*Rob Landes - Keyboards, Flute
*E.E. Bud Wolfe III - Bass
*Michael Knust - Guitar

1968-69  Fever Tree - Fever Tree / Another Time, Another Place
1969-70  Fever Tree - Creation / For Sale

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Max Frost And The Troopers - Shape Of Things To Come (1968-69 us, superb garage psychedelia, 2014 remaster)



Max Frost And The Troopers were a fictional group created for the 1968 hippie-exploitation movie, Wild In The Streets. Frost was actor Christopher Jones (passed away January 31, 2014), more interestingly, the Troopers’ drummer was a young Richard Pryor. Their role in the film was to gain voting rights for 14-year-olds. Frost is elected president of the USA at the movie’s climax, and he orders everyone over 30 into concentration camps, where they are forced to take LSD. His band’s songs were equally absurd semi-political rants (‘14 Or Fight’) save for one bona fide folk-punk classic, ‘Shape Of Things To Come’. Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, the song was actually recorded by a band called the 13th Power. However, it was released under the name Max Frost And The Troopers to capitalize on the movie’s success with the youth market, and eventually reached number 22 in the USA. 

1968, garage rock, psychedelic sounds, mind expanding substances and wicked colorful fantastic movies pointing at a probably strange future or dealing with the then current dissatisfying political and social situation or with the abuse of drugs were the hottest topics of the time. The Vietnam War had reached a preliminary peak in its progress, the atmosphere was full of either love or fury. A great time to create a movie about a future society of young people taking over the reign in the USA and the first step on their path to success was a rockband, MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS. Not much is known about the musicians who either participated on the soundtrack of the movie or on this sole album by MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS. The band name TROOPERS is based on the term "troops," the designation Frost was used in the film to refer to his friends and followers. 

What we get to hear on the new reissue of “Shape of things to come” at hand is both: the entire studio work of MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS plus the entire soundtrack album for the “Wild in the streets” movie and it is getting enormously colored and from time to time quite bizarre. The musical range goes from fuzzed out garage beat via soulful high energy rock numbers to a small quantity of acid freak outs. The compositions show a straight and accessible structure with a decent dance groove as it was usual in the contemporary pop music of the day. Some tinges of psychedelia like howling fuzz guitars, darker harmonies and swirling sitar lines were added for the good measure. 

All 19 songs here prove to be memorable pieces of late 1960s acid pop and despite the movie related revolutionary and political statements in the lyrics all tunes drive you into a state of sheer bliss when spinning the record. So if you are a fan of late 1960s acid pop and garage psyche in the vein of THE THIRD BARDO, THE SEEDS, THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK and THE MUSIC MACHINE, look no further ‘cause you’ve found the holy grail!
Captain-High


Tracks
1. Shape Of Things To Come (Mann, Weil) - 1:59
2. Lonely Man (Paul Wibier) - 2:36
3. Shine It On (Paul Wibier) - 2:34
4. It's Wrong (Barney Hector, Paul Wibier) - 2:17
5. Captain Hassel (Wibier, McClane, Martin, Beckner, Hector) - 2:25
6. Fifty Two Per Cent (Mann, Weil) - 2:30
7. Try To Make Up Your Mind (Paul Wibier) - 1:49
8. Let Your Mind Run Free (Paul Wibier) - 2:23
9. She Lied  (Dale Beckner, Stewart Martin) - 2:28
10.A Change Is Gonna Come (Paul Wibier, Dale Beckner) - 2:39
11.Love To Be Your Man (Mann, Weil) - 2:10
12.Free Lovin' (Guy Hemric, Paul Wibier) - 2:17
13.Les Baxter - Psychedelic Senate (Les Baxter) - 2:14
14.Fourteen Or Fight (Mann, Weil) - 2:46
15.Jerry Howard - Wild In The Streets (Guy Hemric, Les Baxter) - 2:43
16.The Second Time - Listen To The Music (Mann, Weil) - 2:48
17.The Second Time - Sally LeRoy (Mann, Weil) - 2:38
18.The Gurus - Shelly In Camp (Les Baxter) - 1:39
19.Paxton Quigley's Had the Course (Chad Stuart, Jeremy Clyde) - 2:00
Bonus Tracks 11-19

Musicians
*Paul Wibier - Vocals
*Davie Allan - Guitar
*The Arrows
*The Hollywood Wrecking Crew

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paul Revere And The Raiders - Special Edition (1982 us, good rock with early 80's tints, Vinyl edition)


The quintet of Paul Revere, Mark Lindsay, Drake Levin, Phil Volk and Mike Smith reunited for Dick Clark on national television in 1979 doing a medley of their biggest hits.

The punk rock and New Wave eras would see a wave of interest in the Raiders’ music; “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” was covered by The Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, and Liverpool band The Farm (although The Monkees’ cover version was better known than the Raiders’ original), and later “Just Like Me” would be covered by The Circle Jerks, Joan Jett and Pat Benatar). David Bowie covered “Louie, Go Home” and The Who took that song and changed the title and lyrics to “Lubie, Go Home”. “Hungry” was also covered by Sammy Hagar and the new waver David Edwards did a cover of “Kicks.” 

The Flamin’ Groovies tackled two Raiders songs (“Him or Me, What’s it Gonna Be?” and “Ups and Downs”) and The Morrells did a country-tinged arrangement of “Ups and Downs” as well. The Paisley Underground, garage rock revival, and grunge movements would all acknowledge the Raiders’ influence. “Kicks” was also covered by Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork of the Monkees as one of three new recordings included on their 1986 compilation Then & Now… The Best of The Monkees.

Revere continued with a relatively stable lineup through the 80’s and 90’s, featuring longtime members Omar Martinez (drums and vocals since 1972), Doug Heath (guitarist for the Raiders since 1973), and Ron Foos (Allison’s replacement in 1975). Occasional new record releases included the self-produced “Special Edition” in 1983, with Bradley on vocals, and “Paul Revere Rides Again”, released in 1983 through Radio Shack stores. They even recorded a home video for MCA Universal in 1996 titled “The Last Madman of Rock ‘N’ Roll”. On October 4th 2014, Paul Revere passed in his sleep last night at his home in Caldwell, Idaho. Revere was 76.


Tracks
1. Dead End Night (Foos) - 2:49
2. Do You Really Mind (Bradley, Foos) - 3:12
3. Magazine (Bradley) - 3:00
4. Don't Leave Me Tomorrow (Bradley) - 3:01
5. Somebody (Bradley) - 2:58
6. Louie Louie (Berry) - 3:20
7. Hungry (Mann, Weill) - 3:00
8. Steppin' Out (Lindsay) - 2:56
9. Just Like Me (Dey, Hart) - 2:28
10.Kicks (Mann, Weill) - 2:49
Tracks 6 and 10 recorded live in 1982 at Milwaukee Festival

The Raiders
*Paul Revere - Keyboards
*Michael Bradley - Guitar, Vocals
*Omar Martinez - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Danny Krause - Keyboards, Vocals
*Doug Heath - Guitar
*Ron Foos - Bass

Paul Revere And The Raiders
1963-65  Mojo Work Out (Sundazed issue)
1965-67  Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums (2013 double disc remaster)
1967  A Christmas Present... And Past
1968  Goin' To Memphis (Sundazed remaster)
1968  Something Happening  (Repertoire digipack remaster and expanded)
1969  Alias Pink Puzz (Sundazed remaster)
1969  Hard 'N' Heavy With Marshmallow (Sundazed issue)
1970-71  Indian Reservation / Collage (2009 remaster)
Related Act
1970  Mark Lindsay - Arizona / Silverbird

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Monday, January 5, 2015

The Unfolding - How to Blow Your Mind And Have A Freak-Out Party (1967 us, fascinating trippy acid psych)



Music inspired from weed, alcohol, or LSD is pretty different. Weed makes stoned kind of freak-out music, alcohol creates smoky kind of freak-out moments, while LSD keeps things clear, only adds elements that are supposed not to be there, or makes more from what is there. So, do I suppose that the Unfolding expresses some kind of LSD party ? Yes, something like that. It is in general much more British in sound than American, also because it has a certain humour, colourful, like a circus, showing lots of things, often several things at the same time. I can easily imagine with it, typical 70’s animation movies made of colourful collages, bringing us from one world into the next. 

I don’t think this is directly inspired by drugs, but the idea to create a rich world of expression surely is exploited (with humour, I repeat, with humour). The freak-out party has two sections, I say rooms for the party to visit. I would say that there is the room of the hopeful, the living, partying with the music from the A-side : the ‘Acid Rock’ part, and then there’s also a chill-out room, for the hopeless, or for the consciously or unconsciously dying, who get the music from “the meditation site”. All wannebees will get there their legal doses of oriental meditations.

The Acid-rockers have a Hendrix-typed freak-out rock track, with wonderful lyrics like “I need to get high in the sky I wonder Why”, a freakbeat track with ’60 harmony vocals, another danceable west coast psychedelia track, and then, there is a special track for the special guest of the evening, the sexy opera singer Flora, where, while she is singing, others smoke giant sacks of marihuana, and while their flute, I mean some flute is playing with the singer, I mean flutes along with her vocals, creating a Russ Meyer kind of soundtrack and fantasy, which is my favourite track  (and place?). Last track on this session is called “Love Surpreme Deal”, which is a psychedelic version with a marching-band-on-a-rolling-exercise-machine rhythm kind of folkrock, with a slightly unsteady rhythm, and a UFO sound in the background coming in here and there, ending with a real surreal circus ride. 

The chill-out side has plenty of varied food for meditations. “Prana” has all the yin yang yoga mishmash, sitars, and kundallinis, oohs and aahs, gurus and guiding rituals, and everything with number 7, leading to the next track and Buddha state with more spoken word on “Electric Buddha” with OMmmms, klingklangs bells, and background chitchats. And also the “hare Krishna’s” are there, who, like innocent fools repeat themselves, in a state of psychedelic, with the ‘nonsense of the children’, making a ritual, with additional bongos and boneheads and a funny organ drone. 

Last track, and final state for the end of the party is when hearing the parable, preparing yourself for a state of ultimate wisdom with flute improvisation : very entertaining. In all fun, everything on the record can be taken extremely serious. An entertaining album !

It's easy to organize a FREAK-OUT PARTY, all you have to do is relax your mind and let things happen. Digging wild psychedelic colors, swinging with way-out sounds, grooving on yourself, grooving on everything at once. LOVE.

To set the scene for the party, spray pop bottles or an old chair with DAY-GLOW PAINT in bright colors, then light the whole room with DAY-GLOW light (you can buy these in any hardware or art-supply stores). This will make everything glow with weird luminous psychedelic colors. Guaranteed to blow their minds right away.

You can really turn your guests on with a mind-blowing light show with two things you probably have in your house right now: a TV set and a see-through kaleidoscope (not the kind with colored glass in the bottom). First put a rock and roll record on the phonograph. Turn on your TV and make the image jump in time to the music by turning the vertical knob all the way to the left or right. Now point the kaleidoscope at the TV screen. This is a guaranteed TRIP. Now play the same record at another speed. YOU ARE NOW FREAKING OUT. Enjoy it.

TURN ON yourself and your guests to an ancient Indian chant which brings ecstasy and peace of mind. When the chanting begins on the A side of this record join in. It will really BLOW YOUR MIND, a guaranteed trip into another dimension of consciousness. George Harrison has said of this chant (International Times No. 13) "...saying Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Krishna...it's not the words you're saying, it's the sounds...sounds are vibrations and the more you can put into that vibration, the more you can get out...these vibrations that you get through yoga, cosmic chants...it's such a buzz, it buzzes you out of everywhere." 


Tracks
Acid Rock
1. I've Got A Zebra / She Can Fly - 5:14
2. Play Your Game - 2:50
3. Girl From Nowhere - 3:05
4. Flora's Holiday - 1:45
5. Love Supreme Deal - 4:53
Meditations
6. Prana - 5:29
7. Electric Buddha - 4:23
8. Hare Krishna - 3:24
9. Parable - 4:48

Personnel
*Gary - Drums, Vocals
*Peter - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Ken - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Steven Kapotvich - Narrator
*Victoria Sackville - Soprano Vocals
*Andrea Ross - Vocals
*David Dalton - Vocals

Free Text
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