In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now

Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Ro Ro - Meet At The Water (1972 uk, refined rural prog rock, 2009 korean remaster)

Warwick Rose started out as a bass player in early 1966 for the British Soul Survivors (no connection with the Philly US band with the same name) and he left the band before they changed their name to "Love Affair", he collaborated with Alan Ross (as the Ro Ro) for the 1972 "Meet At The Water", and later became a seller for medical insurance in Los Angeles.

Guitarist Alan Ross played on 2 of John Entwistle's solo albums in the early 70's, "Whistle Rhymes" and "Rigor Mortis Sets In". He was also part of Entwistle's touring band during that period. In 1973, he played guitar on Tim Hardin's album "Painted Head". That same year, he formed a band called Ro-Ro with bass player Warwick Rose and they released an album called "Meet At The Water" on the Regal Zonophone label. The album is now extremely hard to find and goes on ebay for anything between GBP 200 and GBP 300. By 1974, he formed the group "Ross" with former Indian Summer keyboard player Bob Jackson. The band's career seemed to take off when they landed themselves a contract with RSO Records.

They recorded 2 brilliant albums for the label, "Ross" and "The Pit And The Pendulum", released in 1974 and 1975. Eric Clapton, who was also an RSO artist toured the USA in 1974 and the Ross band was on the same bill. The band disbanded after two albums. In 1976, he appeared on the band Stars' self titled album. He released another 2 albums in 1977 and 1978, "Are You Free On Saturday" and "Restless Nights", this time for a small British label, Ebony Records under the name Alan Ross Band. In 1980, he appeared on an album by Wilson-Gale called "Gift Wrapped Set". In 1983, he played on Alexis Korner's album "Juvenile Delinquent". 

Alan's first album as a leader Ro-Ro: Meet At The Water has been issued on CD on the Big Pink/Beatball label in the form of a mini replica of the original gatefold album. The disc itself looks like the original vinyl record with what looks like actual grooves and the Regal/Zonophone label in the center. The style of the music is acoustic folk for the most part and contains little soloing on the electric guitar. 
by Walid Itayim, May 27 2010 

1. Goin' Round My Head - 5:08
2. Beautiful Lady (Neil Sheppard, John Weider) - 5:02
3. Something About Her - 4:45
4. Down On The Road - 2:31
5. Meet At The Water - 4:56
6. Mandala - 2:13
7. Give Me The Benefit - 6:00
8. June - 5:04
9. Wild Wild Woman - 4:08
10.Whole Fire Burning - 5:39
All songs by Warwick Rose, Alan Ross except where noted

Ro Ro
*Alan Ross - Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Recorder 
*Warwick Rose - Bass Guitar 
*Neil Sheppard - Backing Vocals, Keyboards 
*Rod Coombes - Backing Vocals, Drums, Percussion 
*John Weider - Guitar, Violin 
*Brian Rogers - Orchestration

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Tim Rose - The Gambler (1976 us, great classic rock with blues folk and country shades)

Tim was raised in Virginia, from which he gets his southern roots and where he learnt to play guitar, banjo, organ and bass. He started his professional career with the Big Three, which together with Mama Cass Elliott (whom he discovered working in a drug store) went on to become one of the critically acclaimed singing groups of the mid 60's. When the group broke up, Tim decided to make a solo career, Tim considers his most formatwe years were during the period he lived in Bleeker Street, above the Bitter End, in New York's Greenwich Village working the coffee bars and folk rock clubs. His friends and musical contemporaries who were all working the same circuit read like a Who's Who in music today - Steve Stills, Dave Crosby, John Sebastian, Scott Mackenzie, Felix Pappallardi, Janis Ian, Simon & Garfunkel, Don McClean, Al Cooper. David Clayton-Thomas, Harry Chapin, Eric Wiseberg among others.

Tim was discovered by Dave Rubinson of CBS Records, singing his particular brand of electric folk rock at the Night Owl cafe. He started working with producer Bob Johnston (later of Dylan fame) in Nashville. However, CBS weren't ready for the combination of Bob and Tim and Dave Rubinson, who until then had only been producing spoken word records, was persuaded by Clive Davis and Tim to produce an album with Tim.

The initial tracks included 'Morning Dew', 'Hey Joe' and 'Come Away Melinda'. These early recordings have become the cornerstone of Tim's career and were early influences on other artists such as Jimmy Hendrix, Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. In 1969, after several successful tours, which have included in his various bands musicians like John Bonham, Ainsley Dunbar, Eric Wiseberg, Elliot Randall and Andy Summers among others, Tim decided to live in New York, give up touring and concentrate on writing and making commercials.

He either wrote or appeared in over 200 commercials within the short period of three yea's. He later moved to Los Angeles where he continued with his writing and renewed his first love affair with airplanes and flying. In 1976 Tim moved to London, Irving off the Fulham Road close by Chelsea Football club. Here he met producer & songwriter Pierre Tubbs and they started working on this album also formed a band called Tim Rose & Fresh Air. This went well until the record company, a Dutch organization decided that they would have a change of management and chucked out all the acts the previous management had signed, including Tim. Tim hung around for a year or so but soon became fed up with waiting and sadly flew home to New York another life. This album was made with hope in the air and a great sense of fun, remember fun?
CD Liner Notes

1. I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Tim Rose, Rob Gold) - 3:00
2. He Was Born To Be A Lady (Pierre Tubbs, Alan David) - 4:11
3. Dance On Ma Belle (Tim Rose, Rob Gold) - 4:47
4. It'll Be Alright On The Night (Pierre Tubbs, Alan David) - 3:35
5. Runaway (Tim Rose) - 3:08
6. Moving Targets (Pierre Tubbs) - 3:38
7. The Gambler (Tim Rose, Rob Gold) - 4:59
8. Blow Me Back Santa Ana (Pierre Tubbs) - 3:45
9. Is There Something 'bout The Way I Hold My Gun (Pierre Tubbs) - 2:56
10.So Much To Lose (Tim Rose) - 3:14
11.Bowery Avenue (Tim Rose) - 4:16
12.Laurie (Pierre Tubbs) - 3:20

*Tim Rose - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
*Andy Summers - Guitar
*Snowy White - Guitar
*Pierre Tubbs - Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Vocals
*B.J.Cole  - Pedal Steel
*Raff Ravenscroft - Sax, Flute
*Lynton Naif - Keyboards
*Melissa Vardey - Keyboards 
*Theodore Thunder - Drums
*Stuart Francis - Drums
*Michael D' Alberquerque - Bass
*Robert C Siggins - Banjo
*Wilf Gibson - Strings
*Phillip "Peggy" Love - Percussion
*Dave - Percussion
*LIsa Strike - Vocals
*Jaqui Sullivan - Vocals
*Vicci Brown - Vocals

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Pacheco And Alexander - Pacheco And Alexander (1971 us, ecstatic party vibe folk psych country boogie rock, 2001 japan remaster)

Our story begins sixty miles South East of Boston, in the town of New Bedford, on November 4th 1946, the day Tom Pacheco was born, the eldest of a family of nine children. In the late nineteen thirties his father, Tony, a jazz musician had moved to France to work, but returned to America after World War II broke out. He soon found himself back in Europe, serving as a GI. Prior to the outbreak of war, Tony had worked in Paris with guitarist Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapellli, the violinist. When Reinhardt toured America in the early nineteen fifties, Tony met him again. In fact, that meeting is one of Tom’s earliest musical memories. It’s not unnatural because of his interests, and chosen trade, that Tony Pacheco, without using coercion, taught all of his children to play at least one musical instrument. Tom is the only sibling to have made a lifelong career of writing and performing songs, although, as we shall see, many of the Pacheco offspring possess considerable artistic talents. 

Concurrent with having his first guitar lessons at the age of ten, on classical and flamenco guitars, Tom would visit a nearby neighbour. She was originally from North Carolina, and introduced Tom to country music through the music of Patsy Cline and Hank Williams Snr. In his mid-teen years, through school friends he became acquainted with the music of Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. At the age of seventeen Tom left home to attend Dean Junior College in Franklin, Massachusetts. He subsequently moved on to Hofstra University on Long Island, New York and Greenwich Village became Tom’s base in the city. Commuting to University, come the evening Tom could be found performing in legendary Village clubs such as The Night Owl Café, The Cafe Wha, The Au Go Go and The Bitter End. A couple of years earlier, and already a confirmed fan of singer/songwriters, Tom had made occasional forays into Boston to see his heroes play at Club 47. At that time the club was managed by Jim Rooney. Performed by none other than Dylan, Tom clearly recalls hearing “Mr. Tambourine Man” for the first time at the Harvard Square venue. 

With a catalogue that consists of two singles, Tom led a legendary Greenwich Village band called The Ragamuffins during the mid-sixties. The initial line-up consisted of Tom’s brother Paul on bass, his cousin Larry Vera on drums, plus vocalist Sharon Alexander - who Tom had first met at Dean Junior, and guitarist Kenny Pine. John Hall, who later found fame with Orleans, was a band member for a while. Signed to the Seville label, and distributed by London Records, the first single was titled "Four Days of Rain" and the second "Parade of Uncertainty." In 1969 Tom recorded a self-titled album with his next band, Euphoria. The line-up consisted of, Roger and Wendy Beckett plus Tom and Sharon. Stylistically intended to be an acoustic folk recording, the label subsequently deleted most of the instrumental contributions by the band members and added strings. Pacheco was utterly disappointed at the end result. 

When Euphoria dissolved, Sharon and Tom worked as a duo for a time, mostly around Greenwich Village. While performing at The Gaslight they were approached by an A&R man from CBS who arranged for them to audition for, the then label head, Clive Davis. A few weeks later, the pair walked out of New York’s CBS building with a record deal. Pacheco & Alexander 1971, a twelve-track collection of songs penned by Tom, was produced by John Hall. By this stage, Hall had already recorded his first solo album, which had included three of Tom’s songs. Tom and Sharon’s album was not a commercial success and the pair drifted apart.
by Arthur Wood

1. White River Junction - 3:01
2. Anna Lee - 4:37
3. Milwaukee - 2:48
4. Morning - 4:28
5. The Night The Ice Age Came To Mobile - 3:18
6. Gather Your Children - 3:06
7. Lost On A Stormy Day - 3:38
8. White Buffalo - 2:26
9. Please Take A Stand - 2:50
10.Roll With The Flow - 2:49
11.Since I Was Born - 4:43
12.Turn Out Every Light - 2:15
All songs by Tom Pacheco

*Tom Pacheco - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Sharon Alexander - Vocals
*John Hall - Lead Guitar, Steel, Organ, Melodica, Vocals
*Richard Bell - Piano
*Harvey Brooks - Bass
*Brad Campbell - Bass
*Jim Colegrove - Bass
*Richard Davis - String Bass
*Paul Harris - Piano, Organ, Harpsichord
*Bill Keith - Steel
*Wells Kelly - Drums
*Ken Pearson - Organ
*Clark Pierson - Drums
*Denny Seiwell - Drums
*John Simon - Piano
*N.D. Smart - Drums
*Greg Thomas - Drums

Related Acts
1977  Bermuda Triangle

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Crowfoot - Crowfoot (1970 us, fascinating psych classic rock with west coast aura, 2017 remaster)

Born in Philadelphia, DaShiell lived on Oahu between the ages of three and fifteen, and took up guitar at the age of fourteen. He moved with his family to Florida in 1963, where he formed a band that played covers in the local Sugar Shack club. He then joined Doug Killmer's band The Sonics, which after the addition of drummer Rick Jaeger became The Beau Gentry in 1965; 

Originally, they played British Invasion songs, but turned more to original material as DaShiell began to write it. They were signed by manager Ken Adamany (who later handled Cheap Trick); he took them to the Midwest for a summer tour, and they continued to be based there for the next two years. In December 1968, they moved to Marin County, CA, in hopes of getting a record deal during the renaissance of San Francisco rock bands, but they eventually found success playing with others rather than in their own band. DaShiell also began working as a session guitarist, playing on A.B. Skhy's 1969 debut album, and going on to play in Harvey Mandel's band. He also played on Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky album, including the chart-topping title track, and went on to tour with Greenbaum and play on his next two albums. 

In 1970, DaShiell secured a record contract with ABC-Paramount for Crowfoot, but by then it was essentially a solo act. Nevertheless, he recorded a self-titled Crowfoot album, with Jaeger playing drums, that was released in the fall of 1970. A year later came Find the Sun, which found DaShiell backed by Sam McCue (guitar and vocals), Bill Sutton (bass), and Don Francisco (drums and vocals). Neither album succeeded commercially, and DaShiell went on to other projects. In the early 1990s, he reunited with Killmer and Jaeger for an EP under the name Mesenger that he released on his own Aerial View label. 

1. Winter Comes - 3:41
2. Love Is Everywhere - 2:35
3. You Won't Cry - 3:13
4. Lady Fair - 1:45
5. Maybe I Can Learn To Live - 2:50
6. California Rock'n Roll - 1:59
7. Dry Your Eyes - 3:08
8. A Falling Leaf - 3:51
9. No Don't Leave - 3:39
10.Dancing Lady - 2:43
11.Groove Along - 4:01
All compositions by Russell Da Shiell

*Russell Da Shiell - Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
*Rick Jaeger - Drums

Related Acts

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Jonathan Kelly - Jonathan Kelly (1969-70 ireland, amazing folk psych rock, 2017 korean remaster)

In late sixties Jonathan was becoming more and more popular in his native Ireland, but he knew that England was where the music was really at, The Beatles, Carnaby Street etc. Jonathan's last two singles had been released in Britain and so he decided that it was a case of "England here I come"

Britain was awash with talent in the late sixties and even some one of Jonathan's immense talent and fame in his native Ireland was not assured success and he made several trips across the Irish Sea and played many small gigs in and around London before he got his break. One night in 1969 he was playing in a restaurant when in walked Colin Petersen who was formally a member of the Bee Gees said "I knew when I saw and heard him that this was a talent which should be encouraged and developed". Colin became his Record Producer and Colin's wife Joanne became his personal manager. He released another single this time called 'Denver' but again this single failed to get into the top ten. A follow up single was released in 1970 called 'Make a stranger your friend' another antiwar song. This song had a catchy chorus and Jonathan's talents were recognised by many people in show business if not yet by the record buying public at large. A choir was formed to sing the chorus amongst those who turned up to join in were, Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones, Klaus Voorman, Madeleine Bell, Carl Wayne and Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, surely with a cast like this it would be a massive hit...but it wasn't.

Two more singles followed and 1970 was to be a good year for Jonathan, though by the end of it the success he so richly deserved would still not be his. The first of these singles was 'Don't you believe it' this is a very sought after single because Eric Clapton was invited to play slide guitar on the track, even Slowhand's presence wasn't enough to get it into the top ten though. The next single wasn't released under Jonathan's name but instead under the name of 'Humpy Bong' the song 'Don't you be too long' was backed with 'We're allright till then' both excellent songs. Jonathan was the writer of both tracks and played guitar on the single but this time the vocal duties were taken by Tim Staffell. Humpy Bong were short lived and never played any concerts although there was one appearance on Top Of The Pops. 1970 also saw the release of Jonathan's first album, simply titled 'Jonathan Kelly' This album included many of his singles as well as other unreleased songs, it is now a hard to find item and is the rarest of all Jonathan's albums.
by Gerald Sables

1. Denver - 3:03
2. Son Jon - 2:34
3. Tom Bodey - 3:14
4. Sailor - 2:40
5. Mrs Gilbert - 1:54
6. Don't You Be Too Long - 4:13
7. Don't You Believe It - 2:32
8. Julia - 3:29
9. That Grand Old Uniform Of Mine - 3:48
10.Another Man's Wife - 3:19
11.Daddy Don't Take Me Down Fishing - 2:45
12.Sunday Saddle - 2:36
Words and Music by Jonathan Kelly

*Jonathan Kelly - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Tony Ashton - Piano
*Kim Gardner - Bass
*Roy Dyke - Drums
*Billy Bell - Banjo, Steel Guitar
*Lesley Duncan - Backing Vocals
*Madeline Bell - Backing Vocals 
*Sue - Backing Vocals 
*Sonny - Backing Vocals
*John Barham - Orchestra Arrangements

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Nine Below Zero - Live At The Marquee (1980 uk, high energy rhythm 'n' blues pub rock, 2012 remaster with original album plus encore and video)

Nine Below Zero started off life as Stan’s Blues Band in 1977 and consisted of four South London lads who found inspiration in the Rhythm and Blues.  Led by Dennis Greaves (lead vocals & guitar) the band included his schoolmates Mark Feltham (vocals & harmonica), Peter ‘Pete’ Clark (Bass) and Kenny Bradley (Drums).

Graves was obsessed by the Blues.  But to form a R&B band in the late 70s was a bold, almost reckless, move.  This was the time when Punk was exploding, and had literally blown other music genres – like R&B and Progessive Rock – out of the water.  (I think I’m right in saying that Dr. Feelgood were probably the only well-known British R&B band at the time. They’d formed in 1971 and hailed from Canvey Island in Essex and were known for their driving R&B which had made them one of the most popular bands on the growing London pub rock circuit.)

Despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of Punk, the sharply dressed Stan’s Blues Band played in local South London pubs like the Apples and Pears, the Clockhouse, the Green Man and the Thomas ‘A’ Becket.  Playing six to seven nights a week they built up a loyal following.  Like Dr. Feelgood they went hell for leather and played at a frenetic pace.  Mixing original songs with covers at their gigs, they were soon playing all over London.

Stan’s Blues Band changed their name to Nine Below Zero (they were named after a song by Sonny Boy Williamson II) on the advice of former musician Mickey Modern.  He’d seen them play at the Thomas ‘A’ Becket (in the Old Kent Road, Southwark, South London) in 1979 and was so impressed that he offered to manage them.

In a bold – but completely justifiable – move, Modern decided that Nine Below Zero’s first album would be a live one.  And so with just one change of personal (Micky Burkey for Kenny Bradley on Drums) Live At The Marquee was released in 1980.  

The album was recorded at the well-known music venue, the Marquee Club (in Wardour Street, West London) on Wednesday 16th & Thursday 17th July and was billed as a live recording.  The admission fee was £2 with a reduced rate available for students & Marquee Club members.
by John Field 

This re-release is the latest on Universal’s ‘Re-present’ imprint. The album was originally released back in 1980 and became a huge success for the band. This remastered release sees the original 14 track album expanded to 21 tracks for the first time, taking in the whole show, also included in the package is a DVD featuring live footage from the night, so instead of having to imagine the sweaty crowd crammed in to the Marquee you can see them in all their glory.

Musically Nine Below Zero are a hard working rhythm and blues outfit who put their heart and soul into a performance. The guitar work of Dennis Greaves coupled with the fantastic harmonica work of Mark Feltham are the backbone of the Nine Below Zero sound and on tracks like ‘Tore Down’, ‘Hootchie Cootchie Coo’ and ‘Pack Fair & Square’ the guys demonstrate what rocking blues are all about.

This album may have been recorded 42 years ago, but it still sounds as fresh and as urgent as it did back in the day and with the remastered treatment and the inclusion of the DVD it makes a compelling package. The band are still treading the boards and no doubt still putting in quality performances proving that old blues bands never die, they just need a bit of a polish from time to time.
by David Wilson

1. Tore Down (Sonny Thompson) - 2:55
2. Straighten Her Out (Dennis Greaves, Mark Feltham, Peter Clark, Stix Burkey) - 2:30
3. Homework (Al Perkins, Dave Clark) - 2:28
4. I Can't Help Myself (Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier) - 2:20
5. Can I Get A Witness (Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier) - 3:21
6. Ridin' On The L'n'N (Lionel Hampton) - 4:32
7. I Can't Quit You Baby (Willie Dixon) - 6:03
8. Stop You Naggin' (Dennis Greaves) - 2:30
9. Hootchie Cootchie Coo (Hank Ballard) - 2:30
10.Wooly Bully (Domingo Samudio) - 2:47
11.Got My Mojo Working (Preston Foster) - 6:16
12.Pack Fair And Square (Big Walter Price) - 2:16
13.Watch Yourself (Walter Jacobs) - 3:56
14.Swing Job (Dennis Greaves, Mark Feltham, Peter Clark, Stix Burkey) - 2:26
15.Rocket 88 (Ike Turner) - 2:58
16.(Just A Little Bit) (Earl Washington, John Thornton, Piney Brown, Ralph Bass, Sylvester Thompson) - 2:20
17.Twenty Years Behind (Wilko Johnson) - 1:59
18.Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker) - 4:47
19.Is That You (Dennis Greaves) - 2:24
20.Keep On Knocking (Perry Bradford) - 5:25
21.Madison Blues (Elmore James) - 5:57

1. Tore Down
2. Homework
3. (Just) A Little Bit
4. I Can'T Help Myself
5. Can I Get A Witness
6. Hootchie Cootchie Coo
7. Is That You
8. Keep On Knocking

Nine Below Zero
*Peter Clark - Bass 
*Stix Burkey - Drums  
*Dennis (The Menace) Greaves - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Mark (The Harp) Feltham - Vocals, Harp

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Big Brother And The Holding Company Feat. Janis Joplin - The Lost Tapes (1966-67 us, classic west coast psych blues rock, 2008 double disc)

Before we all lived together we rehearsed every day in an old loft on Henry Street. Mouse and Suzi Perry lived there and while we practiced Mouse and Kelly would be doing posters for the weekend dances at the Avalon.  How they could work with a thousand people hanging around always amazed me. Coming and going was a loose knit group of people called "the Family Dog," many of whom were crazies from Detroit.  They were our audience and we were their band. James was from Detroit.  He said that his first job at fourteen was being a human hood ornament on his father's car in the "Thrill Show".  He would be mounted horizontally on the hood with his head out in front; the car was then driven at high speed through a wooden wall of fire.  The first time he was a little scared and moved ever so slightly just before impact and almost broke his neck.  Later he learned to keep his head perfectly straight and didn't feel a thing. 

Our first logo was the Indian God's Eye. Cindy, Peter's wife, made a little silkscreen and printed God's eyes on leather with our name.  They were just chunks and odd shaped scraps of shoe leather; we handed these out to our friends.  Then we went to putting our stickers and buttons. Everyone had buttons in those days. The stickers were square yellow things with the god's eye;  that was our idea of publicity. Our first interview was in the "Mojo Navigator", a very underground newsletter.  In it we put down the Fillmore; Janis said it was full of sailors looking to get laid. We agreed that the Avalon - where we played a lot was the more happening place. A week later Bill Graham - who had read the interview - threw Janis out of the Fillmore just as she was coming in up the front stairs. She was wired and was taken completely by surprise. It was a scene; both she and Graham screaming and cursing each other at top volume.  

Janis always started screaming when she was taken off guard. Janis had come out from Texas to join us in June. When she first started singing with the band, some of our hardcore fans did not like her. They saw her as a distraction from our unique "freak-rock" sound. From the rest of us, there was immediate acceptance - an instantaneous recognition that she was great and that we were all plugged into the same socket. It just was. But in those first few months some people actually said to us, "get rid of the chick". One day we all piled into a car, drove over to Marin, picked up a newspaper and looked up 'Houses for Rent'. That same day we found a big house in the little town of Lagunitas and rented it for three hundred a month.  It was a beautiful day. Everything seemed to work out right. Nothing could go wrong; God takes care of us perfectly. I'd taken psylicibin. 

The house was at the end of a road way back in the woods with no other houses around it.  On the big butane tank coming up the driveway someone had scrawled "God is alive and well".  Later another had added "In Argentina". Eventually the house became known as "Argentina". Peter and Cindy and their baby Lisa took one of the bedrooms upstairs, James and Nancy and their baby, Hongo, took the other.  Jam's had a lovely sunlit room like a porch which she decorated with plants.  Like the room she became her most peaceful and beautiful self during that time. I lived in a funky space in the back of the kitchen.  I liked that it became the favorite hangout. Sam and Rita moved into a tiny out in the back. They were always getting high and getting it on.  They were lovestruck, inseparable and on a never-ending honeymoon. Soon the inevitable conflicts began.  Peter and Cindy liked cleanliness, regular meals and a bit of order. Nancy and Rita were into drugs and staying up all night stringing beads and general anarchy. Nancy in particular was one of the original free spirits and believed in letting her son, as well as everything else in the house and the universe, run free.  Add to all this Mishka, James and Nancy's german shepherd - a big, neurotic, whining, barking animal that was constantly chewing or chasing something. You knew that it couldn't go on for very long. 

The Dead and Quicksilver were both living within two miles and we had one great rock and roll party there.  We cooked up a mess of food, bought a few cases of cheap wine and rolled a hundred joints from a big pile of grass that had been found growing in Nebraska or some place. The inner sanctum of the San Francisco rock scene showed up. Everyone jammed together; six or seven guitars all at once.  Probably a couple of hundred people came and went - all night and into the morning. At dawn people were all over the place,  coming down from this, waking up from that.  Someone had brought a goat with them; there was goat shit all over the house and it had eaten half of my bedspread. Big Brother, with all its wives, lovers, children and pets lived there together until the end of 1966. 

During that time we rehearsed almost every day and sometimes after dinner too. Getting better, tighterand more integrated as a band was ourtop priority.  By the time we simultaneously but separately all moved back to the city we had developed some musical muscles.  Also, we'd become somewhat of a family of brothers and sisters; despite the disputes and the different personalities,  we loved each other. Together, I think we felt more ready to take on the world. The music on this album is truly a record of that time of incubation and innocence.
by David Getz

Disc 1 
1. Bye Bye Baby (Powell St. John) - 4:10
2. Great White Guru (Chris Kenner, Arranged by David Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew) - 5:46
3. Women Is Losers (David Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew) - 5:09
4. Oh My Soul (Richard Penniman) - 2:34 
5. Amazing Grace (Traditional) - 11:30 
6. Caterpillar (Peter Albin) - 4:11 
7. It's A Deal (David Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew) - 2:13 
8. Hi Heel Sneakers (Robert Higgenbotham) - 3:36 
9. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (Bert Shefter, Igo Kantor, Paul Sawtell) - 2:22 
10.Turtle Blues (Janis Joplin) - 6:46 
11.All Is Loneliness (Louis Thomas Hardin) - 9:04 
12.Light Is Faster Than Sound (Peter Albin) - 6:26 
Track 2 "Great White Guru" is a free version of "Land Of The Thousand Dances"
Recorded Live January 1967, at the Matrix, San Francisco

Disc 2 
1. (Come On Baby) Let The Good Times Roll (Leonard Lee) - 2:37
2. I Know You Rider (Traditional) - 3:13 
3. Moanin' At Midnight (Chester Burnett) - 4:57 
4. Hey Baby (Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, Dave Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin) - 2:50 
5. Down On Me (Traditional Arranged by Janis Joplin) - 2:45 
6. Whisperman (Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, Dave Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin) - 1:46 
7. Women Is Losers (David Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew) - 3:48 
8. Blow My Mind (Jimmy McCracklin) - 2:34 
9. Oh My Soul (Richard Penniman) - 2:34 
10.Ball And Chain (Big Mama Thornton) - 6:43 
11.Coo-Coo (Peter Albin) - 2:30 
12.Gutra's Garden (Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, Dave Getz, James Gurley, Janis Joplin) - 4:36 
13.Harry (Dave Getz) - 0:37 
14.Hall Of The Mountain King (Traditional) - 6:51
Recorded Live July 1966, California Hall San Francisco

Big Brother And Holding Company 
*Janis Joplin - Vocals, Maracas
*Peter Albin- Bass, Vocals
*Sam Andrew - Guitar
*David Getz - Drums
*James Gurley - Guitar


Friday, December 17, 2021

Gary St. Clair - Gary St. Clair (1971 us, good classic rock with folk and spirituals touches, 2010 korean remaster)

Originally from Washington D.C., Gary St. Clair has been a musician, songwriter and producer for over 50 years.Husky, powerful and soulful vocals, with  female chorus by Clydie King, Vanetta Fields and Jesse Smith, featured in this 1971 album by the swamp rocker. 

Straight ahead hard rockin' numbers, delightful chorus that shines through the tight rhythm section. Some  ballad-like songs, sighing numbers. reminiscent of Eagles, folky shades filled with piano, and spiritual references, the final result leaves a pleasant taste.

1. Dr. Rock And Roll - 2:57
2. Song For Tomorrow - 3:23
3. Comin` On Home (Gary St. Clair, Tim O'Brien) - 3:13
4. Gospel Changes - 4:42
5. Jim Dandy - 4:40
6. Satisfy You (Gary St. Clair, Tim O'Brien) - 4:13
7. Little Brother (Gary St. Clair, Tim O'Brien) - 5:03
8. Somebody To Love (Gary St. Clair, Tim O'Brien) - 4:04
9. Shake A Hand (Joe Morris) - 6:03
All compositions by Gary St. Clair unless as else stated

Gary St. Clair - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Ralph Bryan - Guitar, Percussion 
David Bennett Cohen - Guitar, Dobro, Slide Guitar
Danny Conway - Drums
Oma Drake - Background Vocals 
Venetta Fields - Background Vocals
Stephen Hines - Piano
Carol Hunter - 12 String, Acoustic Guitars
Gloria Jones - Background Vocals
King Errisson - Congas, Percussion
Clydie King - Background Vocals
Josef Lamanno - Bass 
Tom O'Brien - Bass 
Jesse Smith - Background Vocals
Ron Starr - Saxophone
Mark Wickham - Guitar, Percussion 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Day Of Phoenix - Mind Funeral The Recordings (1969-72 denmark, brilliant psych folk prog jam rock, 2020 double disc digipak remaster)

Well, it’s happened again, as not for the first time I find myself confounded and astounded at the way the Esoteric Miners keep unearthing albums and bands which have somehow avoided exposure like so many agoraphopic moles! Now, I don’t mind admitting that, when it comes to useless knowledge about obscure 1970s recording artists, I tend to imagine that I have more than the average bear, but once again I find myself asking the question ‘Who in the name of heaven are these guys?’ Well, now I know. They were a Danish band, and as was the way with a small and somewhat incestuous scene over there at the dawn of the ’70s, had some crossover musician-wise with other bands such as Secret Oyster and Burnin Red Ivanhoe (both of whom I happily DID know about!). So once again nourished in the way of, well, esoteric musical knowledge, I plunged into this double CD to see what was going on in this new and fascinating area.

The first thing which I have to admit to finding odd is the name. I can understand if they didn’t want something as simple as Phoenix, but Day Of The Phoenix would have worked quite well as a more evocative title. Instead, they settled on Day Of Phoenix, which inescapably reminds me of a mis-spelt tourist brochure! Still, it makes you remember it (or would have, if I’d heard of it!), and it’s certainly not the worst band name ever. They released two albums and two singles during their lifetime and shifting line-ups, and these two discs have the lot. The first disc contains the first album Wide Open N-Way, from 1971, and a single consisting of two covers from the pens of Dave Cousins and Randy Newman, which sneaked out without much attention in 1969. No, it’s the album that we’re interested in here, and with good reason as it is without doubt a forgotten prog-rock gem. Of its five tracks, three are over ten minutes long, and if that doesn’t prick up the ears of an old prog-head then I don’t know what does. Incidentally, I have no clue what an N-Way might be, and the happily hippy lyrics to the title song don’t make it any clearer. I thought maybe it might be a Danish road, but I suspect it is far more interesting than that.

Anyhow, the music is a curious mix of jazzy, expansive proggy jamming and tighter composed sections, with some West Coast harmony vocals oddly evoking the likes of Crosby, Stills And Nash. Take for example the oddly titled Cellophane, Parts One And Two which opens the album (one could say that maybe it should have closed the record, so as to wrap things up, but perhaps we shouldn’t). It really does come closer than anything else I’ve ever heard to what might have arisen had David Crosby And Graham Nash joined Yes instead of Jon Anderson – and it’s actually really, really good. The nice, breezy vocals fit with the casual, unfettered instrumental excursions perfectly, and it’s almost a shame when the song eventually ends. 

The title track is next up, with comparisons to Yes being further underlined by the fluid yet very clean guitar tone of Karsten Lyng. The other epic is the twelve-minute Mind Funeral, giving its its name to this collection, which mixes more tricky musicianship and superb ensemble playing with lyrics such as ‘carry the coffin the size of a matchbox’ – and yes, I’m sure we all know people with minds which would fit that! It’s an unexpectedly great album, and whets the appetite for 1972’s The Neighbour’s Son, which followed it. The one real exception to this rule is the near-seven-minute Paradox, which illustrates firmly that they could still open up and confound expectations when they wanted to. They just, well, didn’t want to. The two sides of another single are cut from the same pleasant cloth.

This is a nicely designed package, and it certainly makes sense to collect the full output – and at least you get Paradox, which makes the second album worth the owning – but the reason you really need this one is Wide Open N-Way, which remains an astonishing illustration of just how much the freedom of the artistic times could create great music. A shame they didn’t follow it up in that same rich vein, but take it from me, they are well worth discovering. Unless everyone else already knew about them, in which case I shall hang my head. While listening to Disc One, naturally.
by Steve Pilkington, December 8, 2020

Disc 1 
1. Cellophane #1 / Cellophane #2 (Ole Prehn) - 13:12
2. Wide Open N-Way - 11:11
3. If You Ask Me - 4:53
4. Mind Funeral - 12:19
5. Tick-Tack (Ole Prehn) - 1:15
6. Tell Me - 3:02
7. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today - 2:28
All compositions by Ole Prehn, Karsten Lyng except where noted
Tracks 1-5 from "Wide Open N Way" 1971
Bonus tracks 6-7 from 1969

Disc 2
1. I'm Feeling So Lonely (Karsten Lyng) - 2:25
2. Magic Wind - 2:41
3. Drifting (Ole Prehn) - 1:56
4. Zombie - 3:37
5. Paradox - 6:34
6. It's A Long Way (Karsten Lyng) - 3:26
7. Turn Me On (Karsten Lyng) - 3:33
8. So We Meet Again - 4:38
9. Use Your Sense (Karsten Lyng) - 3:39
10.Our Love Has Ended (Karsten Lyng) - 2:56
11.Deep Within The Storm (Ole Prehn) - 3:26
12.Chicken Skin - 3:55
All songs by Ole Prehn, Karsten Lyng except where indicated

Day Of Phoenix
*Ole Prehn - Six, Twelve String Guitars, Vocals 
*Karsten Lyng - Lead Guitars 
*Erik Stedt - Bass, Piano, Saw 
*Hendrik Friis - Drums, Percussion 
*Hans Lauridsen - Lead Vocals (Disc 1, Tracks 1-5, Disc 2)
*Cy Nicklin - Vocals, Guitar (Disc 1, Tracks 6-7)
*Jess Staehr - Bass (Disc 1, Tracks 6-7)
*Peter Friis - Double Bass 
*Ulrik Jensen - Oboe
*Kenneth Knudsen - Piano
*Tony Reeves - Bass


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Deke Leonard - Kamikaze (1974 uk, awesome guitar psych rock, 2015 remaster with extra tracks)

Having released his debut solo album Iceberg in 1973, Deke Leonard formed a band of the same name to tour it. Original bassist Paul Burton was replaced by Martin Ace by the time Kamikaze was recorded, in typical fashion in between live dates promoting the first album. Another of Deke’s narratives describes the cover shoot. The tale involves searching for big cats, Jumbo jets, and being drenched to achieve the desired photographic intent, and so another chapter in Deke’s life on the road is written…

This record, not surprisingly, sounds more like a band than Iceberg, although oddly it is not as immediate as its predecessor. Kamikaze again features Deke’s penchant for good time rockers, kicking off with Jay Hawk Special. The addition of fiddle player Byron Berline on the initially bluesy Sharpened Claws playing a rumbustious jig’n’reel in the second half of the song lends it a downhome countrified feel, and as the song ends Byron’s fiddle carries on, a lone hoedown after everyone has gone home.

Deke’s vocal on the Quo-like rocker In Search Of Sarah And Twenty Six Horses bears an uncanny resemblance to Noddy Holder, something I had not considered before, but the resemblance is definitely there. You would think from the title that this song was inspired by a CS&N styled drug-fuelled haze, but the straight ahead nature of the music puts paid to that theory. Deke explains further in a convoluted tale involving a girl called Sarah Cheesewright and a book entitled Portrait Of The Artist And 26 Horses, another example of his way with a story. 

The personnel on the concluding track of the album proper Devil’s Gloves is a Man line-up in all but name, and points the way for the future, as Deke rejoined his natural home soon after the release of this album. The song itself is a charging energetic romp that crosses Deke’s R&B sensibilities with the soon-to-be new Man line-up’s taste for a different twist on funk rock, here driven by Terry Williams’ drums in tandem with Dave Charles’ congas.

The best of the bonus tracks is an early version of California Silks And Satins which would of course later appear on Man’s Rhinos Winos And Lunatics album. Co-written with former Help Yourself singer and songwriter Malcolm Morley, this first version is more electric and more strung out, and very “West Coast” in feel. Morley was another who joined Man’s new line-up a few months down the line.

Kamikaze and Iceberg before it showcase a songwriter in fine form, and as one of the bonus tracks here has it, Deke Leonard is definitely a joyful soul. If you’re a fan of Man you probably already have these two albums, but isn’t it about time you replaced those well worn vinyl copies with these pristine remasters?
by Roger Trenwith, 6th May 2015

1. Cool Summer Rain (Deke Leonard, Francis Leonard) - 0:32
2. Jayhawk Special - 4:17
3. Sharpened Claws - 7:20
4. Taking The Easy Way Out - 5:28
5. The Black Gates Of Death - 4:42
6. Stacia - 1:04
7. Broken Glass And Lime Juice (Deke Leonard, Francis Leonard) - 5:36
8. April The Third - 3:51
9. Louisiana Hoedown (Tom Riley) - 2:55
10.In Search Of Sarah And Twenty-Six Horses - 6:48
11.The Devil's Gloves - 5:16
12.She's A Cow - 3:34
13.California Silks And Satins (Deke Leonard, Malcom Morley) - 7:58
14.Joyful Soul - 3:28
15.Steel Painting Man (Martin Ace) - 4:21
All songs by Deke Leonard except where indicated
Bonus tracks 12-15

*Deke Leonard - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*Martin Ace - Bass
*Brian Breeze - Guitar
*Keith Hodge - Drums
*Dave Charles - Drums   
*Byron Berline - Fiddle, Mandolin 
*Tommy Riley - Drums 
*Lincoln Carr - Bass, Guitar 
*Micky Jones - Guitar 
*Ken Whaley - Bass 
*Terry Williams - Drums 
*Dave Charles - Conga Drums 

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