In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

your pass in heaven is xara.

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Nikos Kazantzakis

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Raiders - Indian Reservation / Collage (1970-71 us, fantastic blend of country folk beat psych and classic rock, 2009 remaster)

Paul Revere and The Raiders has been a veritable army of musicians, whose major career began in 1963 and lasted through 1975. Paul managed the group's internal workings, Mark Lindsay lent his voice, writing and producer talents, and I managed the external affairs: Columbia Records, a television career, and touring. An ambassador of sorts.

From the 'essential' Raiders surrounding Paul and Mark, namely Phil Volk, Drake Levin, Mike Smith and Jim Valley, Paul created an entertainment machine that is still well oiled, with occasional new parts. Keith Allison, Freddy Weller, Charlie Coe and Joe Correro Jr. joined over time; others even later.

The '60s Raiders became television stars and Teen Idols. Dick Clark gave them television time on Where The Action Is and Happening (ABC-TV). They were Rock Stars with "Personality, and immense record sales followed. They dominated the teen magazines as well. Group photographer Gino Rossi's photos were popping up everywhere The Ed Sullivan Show,  Johnny Carson, The Smothers Brothers, plus many Specials followed, even a cameo role on Batman. 

By the mid '70s, Paul and Mark had seen a run of success that would be hard to duplicate by any other group, with millions of records sold, literally hundreds of television appearances, and tours to the biggest U.S. venues of the time. These two albums, Collage and Indian Reservation represent the culmination of The Raiders success, artistically and commercially, with Mark in the studio, and Paul on the road to make it happen. 

These albums represent what Paul Revere and The Raiders, in the beginning, never imagined could happen. We played our roles by ear, instinct, hard work and believability, and it worked.  However, the group ended its encampment in Hollywood by the end of 1975. 

The group dissolved and all went their way. Paul moved back to his beloved Idaho, I had moved to Spain, and Mark stayed in Hollywood for the time. Everyone looked for a new niche in music. Paul reformed his band in 1978 and is still on the road. Their era of rock-stardom would end, but memories of years supercharged with more success than ever imagined linger on, and the stories are still being told.
by Roger Hart  (Personal Manager at the time, and Consultant to Paul to date)

1. Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian) (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:54
2. The Shape Of Things To Come (B. Mann, C. Weil) - 3:24
3. Prince Of Peace (L. Russell, G. Dempscy) - 3:30
4. Heaven Help Us All (Ronald Miller) - 3:25
5. Take Me Home (Terry Melcher) - 4:10
6. Just Remember You're My Sunshine (Mike Settle) - 2:44
7. Come In, You'll Get Pneumonia (H. Vanda, G. Young, T. Cahill) - 3:12
8. Eve Of Destruction (P.F. Sloan) - 3:19
9. Birds Of A Feather (Joe South) - 2:52
10.The Turkey (Mark Lindsay) - 4:06
11.Save The Country (Laura Nyro) - 3:17
12.Think Twice (M. Lindsav, K. Allison) - 3:52
13.Interlude (To Be Forgotten) (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 2:47
14.Dr. Fine (Mark Lindsay) - 4:06
15.Just Seventeen (Mark Lindsay) - 3:51
16.The Boys In The Band (Mark Lindsay) - 3:11
17.Tighter (M. Lindsay, T. Melcher) - 2:10
18.Gone Movin' On (M. Lindsay, T. Melcher) - 3:01
19.Wednesday's Child (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 2:26
20.Sorceress With Blue Eyes (M. Lindsay, K. Allison) - 5:01
21.We Gotta All Get Together (Freddy Weller) - 4:57
22.Country Wine (E. Villareal, V. Watkins) - 2:31
23.Powder Blue Mercedes Queen (Mark Lindsay) - 2:55
Bonus Tracks 22-23

The Raiders
*Mark Lindsay - Vocals
*Paul Revere - Keyboards
*Freddy Weller - Guitar
*Keith Allison - Rass, Guitar
*Mike Smith - Drums (1-10. 22, 23)
*Joe Correro Jr. - Drums (11-21)

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)
Related Act
1970  Mark Lindsay - Arizona / Silverbird

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cargoe - Cargoe (1972 us, brilliant melt of power pop, southern, classic rock with prog traces, japan remaster)

Often associated with the Power Pop genre given to Ardent Label Mates Big Star, Cargoe projected more of a stylized artistic nuance to their songwriting and performing, with harmonies exhibiting a strong American/Southern Roots cultural influence.

The band recorded their Album CARGOE with Terry Manning producing at, John Fry's Ardent Studios. They scored numerous Billboard and Cashbox Top 100 listings, and reviews from 1970 through 1973, along with major radio play of their first single “Feel Alright” and follow-up “I Love You Anyway”. The band’s studio LP CARGOE was even featured, with Isaac Hayes Shaft, which won an Academy Award/Oscar that year for Best Original Song, in a Special Edition section of Billboard’s June 3, 1972 “The Deck is STAX” promotion.

The band began a west coast tour the summer of 1972, but was caught up in the distribution and bankruptcy label problems at Stax/Volt, who distributed the album and owned the masters. Distribution was sold to Columbia Records who failed to include Cargoe in their catalog, which meant that listeners who heard the hit couldn't actually buy the record. “Feel Alright” and their debut CARGOE LP fell off the charts instantly.

The same label troubles caused both Cargoe and Big Star to disband within a short time. Big Star went on to become one of the most beloved and influential bands of the entire decade, while Cargoe pretty much disappeared out of the popular memory.

Ardent Records contracts for distribution with Stax/Volt gave Stax ownership of the master tapes. When Stax went bankrupt in the mid-'70s, ownership of the masters eventually wound up in the hands of Fantasy Records Saul Zaentz, and no one's been able to get the tapes for domestic release.

It's certainly worth noting that after nearly 40 years of producing and engineering countless hit records including ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, George Thorogood, Celine Dion, Björk, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, and many others, Terry Manning to this day regards Cargoe as “the great record he helped make that no one ever discovered”.. 
by Frank Gutch Jr.

1. Come Down (Bill Phillips) - 3:59
2. Feel Alright (Tommy Richard) - 2:33
3. Horses And Silver Things (Tommy Richard, Max Wisley) - 2:49
4. Scenes (Max Wisley) - 3:46
5. Things We Dream Today (Bill Phillips) - 2:44
6. Time (Bill Phillips, Max Wisley) - 4:09
7. Feelin Mighty Poorly (Tim Benton) - 5:35
8. Thousand Peoples Song (Tommy Richard) - 4:13
9. Heal Me (Tommy Richard, Max Wisley) - 3:11
10.I Love You Anyway (Tommy Richard) - 4:02
11.Leave Today (Bill Phillips) - 5:14
12.Tokyo Love (Bill Phillips, Jim Peters) - 3:51

*Bill Phillips - Hammond B3, Rhodes, Grand Piano, Vocals
*Tommy Richard - Guitar, Vocals
*Max Wisley - Bass, Vocals
*Tim Benton - Drums, Vocals

1972  Cargoe - Live In Memphis! 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Michael Garrick Band - Home Stretch Blues (1972 uk, excellent vocal jazz)

Home Stretch Blues represents a high point in the Sextet's history. Within a few days our Trio also recorded 'Cold Mountain' (available on Vocalion CDSML 841 5) in the same studio behind Gloucester Place - and things felt good. We did both IPs in two 3-hour sessions. Kevin Daly, Harley Usill's producer for Argo, was encouraging and enthusiastic. 

We had our dear friend Don Rendell on some of the tracks, a truly inspirational presence. I brought in my home-made harpsichord in my Reliant three wheeler, and we were all surprised that it actually worked (the harpsichord that is: we weren't so sure about the three-wheeler). You hear it pinging away on Fire Opal and Blue Poppies. John Smith's poem Co/ours for Jan te Witt was the spark that ignited the suite (reproduced on page 6). We'd recently had a trip in two cars to the northernmost tip of Scotland (Thurso), four in a big Vauxhall, Trevor Tomkins and I in a mini-van - the "scout car". It was he who invented the service ranks you see on the cover. It was, for us, very funny because of the relationship between our real characters and the ranks he chose. 

Home Stretch Blues itself was born of those interminable hours on the motorway driving back at night from gigs, the rhythm reflecting the punctuation of the passing street lamps. With our bogus service ranks in place we built a fantasy of being marooned on King's Cross station after VE Day without a train in sight; hence the photograph (taken by Mick Rock) with clothing hired perfectly to fit courtesy of Argo Records. We had a tricky moment with Don, who refused to wear the Padre's dog-collar (in the end he wore his own shirt back to front), and Trevor who, as a US Army lieutenant, was spat at as he came along the platform. Sunday morning, too! We went straight from the photo-shoot to the BBC to record a "Jazz in Britain" programme. No one there so much as raised an eyebrow. We used to sing Tennyson's lullaby (in its original setting) "Sweet and Low" at junior school, together with "Golden Slumbers". 

No one writes such lovely things any more ("Golden Slumbers" is temporarily misplaced.) Epiphany began - like Troppo - with a bass figure of Dave Green's. It turned into a late arrival for the Jazz Praises Ball, but nonetheless we had great fun with it, especially the whoops. I imagine it's our little pranks in the middle of "serious jazz" that sometimes puzzles people. Don't worry about it - our hearts are in the right place. I've loved all the groups I've been involved in, but this one particularly. As Norma Winstone says, it was like a family.
by Michael Garrick 2006

1. Home Stretch Blues - 9:03
2. Sweet And Low (Garrick, Words By Tennyson) - 6:14
3. Epiphany (Garrick; Green) - 9:35
Fire Opal And Blue Poppies A Sequence Of Visions
4. Fire Opal - 4:16
5. Retribution - 3:25
6. Wishbone - 5:54
7. Blue Poppies - 6:18
8. Limbo Child - 4:18
All compositions by Michael Garrick except where noted.

*Norma Winstone - Vocals
*Michael Garrick - Piano, Harpsichord
*Trevor Tomkins - Drums
*Dave Green - Bass
*Art Themen - Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax, Clarinet
*Henry Lowther - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Violin
*Don Rendell - Tenor Sax 'Home Stretch Blues' And 'Epiphany' Only

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Crossroads - Southern Strutter (1979 us, good southern rock)

The Crossroads saw the first light, in the second half of the 70's, in Arkansas. In 1979 they released their first record, under the  title "Southern Strutter", this is precisely the tone of their music, sounds from the south with obvious influences, especially, by Lynyrd Skyrnyrd and Allman Brothers (post Duane Allman era, “Brothers and Sisters” etc.), there are times when the melodies have a lighter texture flirting with the mainstream.  Nice record, of the kind  that won’t dissapoint you, considering of the time it’s  released, just before the threshold of the 80’s.

1. Sowin' Our Wild Oates (K. Wheaton, J. Echols) - 4:26
2. Angel (J. Echols) - 3:57
3. Which Way From Here (B. Rogers, K. Wheaton, M. Taylor) - 3:07
4. Allison (K. Wheaton) - 3:53
5. Southern Strutter (K. Wheaton, J. Echols) - 3:55
6. Warm Day In The Winter (B. Rogers) - 3:48
7. Music On Our Mind (K. Wheaton, B. Rogers, M. Taylor, J. Echols) - 3:43
8. Soul Searchin' (M. Taylor, Bill Bradbury) - 3:47
9. Many Times (B. Rogers, K. Wheaton, M. Taylor) - 4:10

*Ken Wheaton - Lead Guitar
*Bobby Rogers - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Echols - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Mike Taylor - Keyboards, Vocals
*Wayne Winston - Bass
*Joe Laster - Drums

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stoned Circus - Revisited (1970 us, terrific acid psych rock, 2004 World in Sound release)

A long gone, forgotten by most psychedelic band from the Midwest. This is a remaster from the original tapes. Band was from Kansas City and this ten track album was recorded at Cavern Studios in 1970.

This is an outstanding piece of US psychedelia . The powerful sound with male and female lead vocals has a strong “Jefferson Airplane” feeling, feat. a magic B3 organ and stunning heavy guitars. Not to be confused with the “Stone Circus” that recorded for the Mainstream label. This material was unreleased and found in the archives of Cavern Sound Studios where the “Wizzards from Kansas” recorded.

Released  as limited LP version in 1994 which is long sold out. Songs include “Gotta find Way”, “Try Love”, “New World”, “Trust”, and a fabulous coverversion of  “Gonna Leave You”… Originally recorded in 1970 and for the first time on CD taken from the original masters including an 8p. with cool artwork, bio and photos. Highly recommended, reflects honest summer, peace & love feeling!

1. Gotta Find A Way - 3:39
2. Feel - 2:34
3. Try Love - 4:16
4. New World - 3:08
5. Trust - 2:24
6. Sweet Lovin - 2:45
7. Instrumental - 5:03
8. Gonna Leave You - 6:17
9. Corina - 2:24
10.Whole Lotta Love - 2:11

Stoned Circus
*Johnny Isom - Lead Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Nancy Lake Whedon - Vocals, Percussion
*Donna Kurtz Nugent - Drums, Percussion
*Ricjard Van Sant - Keyboards, Keybass, Vocals
*Joe York - Keyboards, Vocals
*Harold "Buddy" Haney - Bass, Vocals

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Transatlantic Railroad - Express To Oblivion (1965-68 us, sensational west coast psych)

Coming from the sixties' "fruity" Frisco bay area, they were often referred to as "the next great San Francisco music scene band" which is what they had remained too, supposedly because of "one band member's inflexibility". The seven songs on this album are more than enough a proof of their potential, so an explanation like this is the only reasonable one.

Transatlantic Railroad were some kind of an amalgamation of all the good, heard in the music of the local scene ... and wider. The set opens with the musical omnibus Camp Towanga, sounding like Moby Grape fronted by Greg Allman, along with his Hammond organ, with Peter Green steppin' in for a guitar solo during the '50s ballad-like middle eight, and it's followed with another Southern-jam, Fred Chicken Blues reminding of the Statesboro one.

Tahoma Street Song, recalls Quicksilver's best moments, Elephant is a quirky, Door-opening psych, with a 10 minute-looooong jam, Old English 800 is a very un-English "spoonful" of blues, their single's b-side Irahs explores the C&W segment of the American tradition (think Moby Grape's It's No Use) and, along these '67/'68 recordings, as a bonus, you get one of the 1966 efforts from their early 'Brummels-like phase, called Good Times, that could've easily pass as an unreleased studio track by the mentioned fellow S.F.folk rockers

1.Camp Towanga - 3:17
2.Fred Chicken Blues - 3:29
3.Tehama Street Song - 7:33
4.Elephant - 12:16
5.Old English 800 - 5:54
6.Irahs (Kent Housman) - 2:36
7.Good Times (Kent Housman) - 2:46
All Words by Kent Housman, Music by Transatlantic Railroad except where noted

Transatlantic Railroad
*Kent Housman - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Stephen Meyers - Lead Guitar
*Jamie Kindt - Bass, Vocals
*Ron Vanbianchi - Drums, Vocals
*Geoff Mayer - Organ

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Tennessee River Crooks - Tennessee River Crooks (1976 us, awesome southern rock)

In 1970, Jimmy Stewart and Larry Farrar (childhood friends) were playing in a band called Rat Salad, and was approached by Mike Hendrix about joining with some friends of his to play. From this meeting the band Hit and Run was formed with Jimmy, Larry, Henry Kelley, Mike Hendrix, Pat Michaels, and Bill Clayton. Their intent from the formation of this band was to play their own original music and Jimmy and Mike began writing separately and bringing their own music into the mix. 

Not long afterwards, Larry Farrar left the band to take a full time job and Ronny Waters then joined the band. After a short period of time, Pat Michaels and Bill Clayton, who was a vocalist for Hit and Run, left to pursue a solo career. Rickey Stewart then joined his brother in the band to play drums. The lineup in 1973 consisted of Jimmy Stewart on bass and lead vocals, Rickey Stewart on drums, and Ronny Waters and Mike Hendrix on lead guitars. It was during this period that the band changed their name from Hit and Run to Tennessee River Crooks and the band was based primarily out of Paris, Tennessee. 

The name Tennessee River Crooks was suggested by a friend of the band by the name of Jerry Crouch who worked the door for the band at various gigs. He always kept the money from the door in a Tennessee River Crooks cigar box, which was a cigar company based in Tennessee. In 1975, Larry Farrar rejoined the band and they started working on their first album, which was recorded between June and October of 1976. Mike Hendrix, who had left the band for a short period in 1975, came back and played on some of the cuts he had written. 

The album was recorded in Puryear, Tennessee, just a few miles north of Paris, Tennessee and was released in March of 1977 on an independent label called Sound Farm which was also the name of the studio where the album was recorded. In May of 1977, the band lost a dear friend and integral part of the band, when Ronny Waters was killed in New Johnsonville, Tennessee. 
by Jacques Dersigny and Luc Brunot

1. Waiting For A Better Day - 3:57
2. Song Of David - 3:59
3. Farmin' Man - 5:34
4. We Are All Brothers - 5:34
5. White Lightning (Mike Hendrix) - 3:47
6. Old Music - 3:56
7. Tennessee Land (Mike Hendrix) - 5:45
8. Life On The Road - 4:16
9. Hot Busch - 3:13
All songs by Jimmy Stewart except where noted

Tennessee River Crooks
Ronnie Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Larry Farrar - Guitar
Jimmy Stewart - Lead Vocals, Bass
Ricky Stewart - Drums, Vocals
Dianne Davidson, Honey Combs, Mike Hendrix - Vocals

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