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

Plain and Fancy

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

Nikos Kazantzakis

Monday, May 4, 2015

Big Foot - Big Foot (1968 us, awesome early prog, jazz brass rock, Vinyl edition)

Big Foot were formed in Los Angeles California in 1967 and consisted of Art Munson (guitar, vocals), Virgil Beckham (bass, vocals), Gerard Belisle (trumpet, trombone, vocals), Spencer Earnshaw (drums), David Garland (organ, trumpet, saxophone, vocals). 

Munson had previously been a back-up musician for the Righteous Brothers while the other members played in various groups in and around Orange County. One such group was the Soul Brothers which included Beckham and Belisle who while cruising the Sunset Strip, came up with the name Big Foot, after the ape-like creature that roamed the remote mountain areas of the Pacific Northwest. 

The band played the Los Angeles area which included gigs at the Whisky-A-Go-Go and the Pussy Cat-A-Go-Go in Vegas while entertaining recording contract offers.
by Jack Dominilla

1. I Keep Holding On (Gerard Belisle, Art Munson) - 3:26
2. Colors (Art Munson) - 3:57
3. Sarah Lee (David Garland) - 3:30
4. When Will It Hit Me (Gerard Belisle, David Garland, Virgil Beckham, Spencer Earnshaw) - 3:37
5. Living Again (Art Munson, Gerard Belisle, David Garland, Virgil Beckham) - 3:19
6. Take Me (Gerard Belisle, Art Munson) - 2:26
7. California Lights (Art Munson) - 4:59
8. Bring Another Day (Virgil Beckham) - 3:11
9. Teen Thigh (Art Munson, Spencer Earnshaw) - 2:44
10.Music Maker (Gerard Belisle, Art Munson) - 3:30
11.Let It Flow (Art Munson, Gerard Belisle, David Garland) - 3:21

The Big Foot 
*Art Munson - Guitar, Vocals
*Virgil Beckham - Bass, Vocals
*Gerard Belisle - Trumpet, Trombone, Vocals
*Spencer Earnshaw - Drums
*David Garland - Organ, Trumpet, Saxophone, Vocals

Free Text
Free Text II

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Prentice And Tuttle ‎- Every Loving Day (1972 us, wonderful folk rural rock)

This collectable record by Steve Prentice and Stephen Tuttle, is a fragile psych folk record with strong rural Americana feeling. 

Most of the songs were recorded in a small apartment in Boston, Steve had a job as a printer, and Stephen was working in a warehouse. They had their own equipment to record a number of takes after work and weekends.

Steve and Stephen met with John Gerbron and David Cain at the Knowles House to do a couple of songs. Tapes finished in early June 1972 at Stephen's house outside Philadelphia. About a thousand of copies were made.

...On the rare occasion I listen to this music it no longer feels like listening to myself. Too much time has passed. Just two young lads playing some songs. A few moments of creativity and heartfelt expression.
by Stephen Tuttle

1. The River Song - 3:13
2. Old Man Taylor - 3:07
3. This Downhill Walk - 2:27
4. Jacob's Tree - 2:32
5. It's Getting Mighty Cold - 3:10
6. Deep Blue Affection - 3:07
7. Like A Midnight Crier -  
8. Just How You Feel - 2:50
9. The Devil Be Your Lord - 2:40
10.It Isn't Going To Rain This Day - 2:53
11.Ring Them Bells - 3:16
12.Every Loving Day - 3:42
Words and Music by Stephen Tuttle, Steve Prentice

*Stephen Tuttle - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*Steve Prentice - Guitar, Vocals
*David Cain - Bass
*John Gerbron - Drums

Free Text
Free Text II

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Underdogs - Blues Band And Beyond / Sitting In The Rain (1967-69 new zealand, excellent rough blues rock)

The group was originally started in 1964 by blues fanatic Archie Bowie and guitarist Harvey Mann, both from Mt Maunganui but based in Auckland. They were a hard-core blues band playing mainly traditional American negro blues, which was a brave move in Beatles-obsessed New Zealand. This early incarnation of The Underdogs was the band without an audience. Tthey had to wait for the prevailing British rhythm and blues explosion to gain an audience in New Zealand, and in The Underdogs eyes, save us all from a world of continuous yeah yeah yeahs.

The British R&B invasion spearheaded by the likes of The Yardbirds, John Mayall and The Rolling Stones took hold and The Underdogs Blues Band soon flourished, as New Zealand quickly became a stronghold of the British style of R&B. The Underdogs were a tight musical unit and soon found themselves playing in some of the inner city dances and clubs. Musical divisions within the group started to surface over musical direction, which resulted in group leader and guitarist Harvey Mann taking drastic steps to ensure that his band all travelled in the same direction together. Harvey asked Murray Grindlay if he would like to join The Underdogs as he had just fired Mick Sibley, their singer, who had taken over from Archie Bowie. Drummer Ian Thomson stayed a while then left in protest while rhythm guitarist Tony Rawnsley found himself being replaced by his brother Lou. Thomson later moved to The Brew.

After the dust had settled, there emerged a new Underdogs incarnation that would become the most enduring and best known line-up, with original members Harvey Mann (guitar) and Neil Edwards (bass) now joined by Murray Grindlay (vocals), Lou Rawnsley (rhythm guitar) and Tony Walton (drums). Without missing a beat and using the recently released John Mayall and Eric Clapton Bluesbreakers album as their blueprint the new Underdogs settled in to a Galaxie residency late in 1966 where they played alongside The La De Da’s, The Action and The Pleazers.

Eldred Stebbing signed The Underdogs to his Zodiac label. The first single ‘See Saw’/‘Looking Back’ was released in early 1967, with the A-side, ‘See Saw’ showing a slight shift in direction from their blues roots into a more soulful direction. As Murray Grindlay explains, “we started [recording] closer to what The La De Da's were playing, which was a mixture of soul and British R&B, which was a lot more commercial than the hard core blues that that the previous Underdogs line-up had played.”  Later in the year the single would be chosen as a finalist in the 1967 Loxene Golden Disc Awards.

Shortly after the release of ‘Sitting In The Rain’, group leader Harvey Mann left the group, also to join The Brew (with Ian Thomson). Miffed that Harvey had left, the remaining members decided not to replace him, to show that they didn't really need him and carried on as a four-piece. Late in 1967 work started on their debut album, which included a cover of the Donovan song ‘Hey Gyp’ that became their next single and included possibly New Zealand’s first drum tape loop.

Edwards left after being kicked out halfway through the album recording sessions, as the group’s musical direction started to change yet again. Dave Orams joined the group on bass.  The group relocated to Wellington for a short period before returning to Auckland at year’s end. Early in 1968 Orams left to join Wellington group, Quincy Conserve and was replaced by George Barris.  

Shortly afterwards the group broke up. Tony Walton went on to join a new group Jigsaw that included as their lead singer, Glyn Mason who by year's end would leave Jigsaw to take over from Larry Morris in The Rebels. Chaz Burke Kennedy and George Barris were also members of Jigsaw.  Meanwhile Murray Grindlay and Harvey Mann joined The Australasian Blues Champions who rehearsed but never really got off the ground.  After little more than a month Murray and Harvey reformed the Underdogs in April 1968. Filling out this line-up was Lou Rawnsley and Doug Thomas on drums.

This line-up of the Underdogs managed to stay together for the rest of 1968. In early 1969 they released the single ‘There Will Come A Time’/‘Fine Jung Thing’. Lou Rawnsley left after the single’s release and was replaced by Chaz Burke-Kennedy from Jigsaw, but by late 1969 the group had disbanded again. Harvey Mann and Neil Edwards got together with Glen Absolum on drums in 1970 and yet again reformed the group. They released the 1971 Bob Gillett-produced album Wasting Our Time as Pig, Mann and Edwards for Pye Records before finally breaking up for good. In 2000 Ascension Records released the CD Blues Band and Beyond, which includes their entire Zodiac output, including their album, EP and singles.

1. Oh Pretty Woman (A.C. Williams, Albert King) - 3:26
2. Snowey Wood (John Mayall, Mick Taylor) - 3:06
3. Main Line Driver - 2:17
4. Mary Anne (Lou Rawnsley, Murray Grindley) - 1:59
5. Pauline - 3:07
6. Pretty Girls - 2:34
7. Yonder Wall (James Clark) - 3:45
8. All My Love (Otis Rush) - 3:39
9. Hey Gyp (Donovan) - 2:52
10.It Hurts Me Too (Traditional) - 3:14
11.Rubber Duck (Peter Green, Aunsley Dunbar) - 2:23
12.Cheating (Live) (Chas Chandler, Eric Burdon) / Everybody Needs Somebody (Bert Russell, Jerry Wexler, Solomon Burke) / Ride Your Pony - 4:02
13.See Saw (Irving Caesar, Don Covay, George Gershwin) - 2:37
14.Looking Back (Delaney Bramlett, Tony Joe White) - 2:11
15.Sitting In The Rain (John Mayall) - 3:08
16.Shortnin Bread (Traditional) - 2:50
17.Cheating (Live) (Chas Chandler, Eric Burdon) / Everybody Needs Somebody (Bert Russell, Jerry Wexler, Solomon Burke) - 6:47
18.There Will Come A Time (Frank Zappa) - 1:44
19.Fine Jung Thing (Mike Bloomfield) - 4:03

The Underdogs
*Harvey Mann - Lead Guitar
*Lou Rawnsley - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Mick Sibley - Vocals
*Murray Grindley - Vocals
*Chaz Burke Kennedy - Guitar
*Ian Thompson - Drums
*Tony Walton - Drums
*Doug Thomas - Drums
*Neil Edwards - Bass
*Dave Orams - Bass

1970  The Underdogs - Wasting Our Time
Related Acts
1971  Human Instinct - Pins In It
1972  Human Instinct - Snatmin Cuthin
1971-75  Headband - The Headband Collection

Free Text
Ftee Text II

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ginhouse - Ginhouse (1971 uk, great heavy prog rock, Mini LP Ltd Edition)

Ginhouse were a trio from Newcastle consisting of Stewart Burlison (bass, vocals), Geoff Sharkey (guitar, vocals) and David Whitaker (drums). They only recorded one album. Although Ginhouse had a strong live performance at the time - they supported bands like Yes, The Who and Fleetwood Mac - this album appeared to be their swan song; they disbanded in 1972. The first reissue on CD dates from 1993 on Green Tree Records, but it failed to reach the office of Background Magazine. Thanks to Esoteric Recordings this recently remastered reissue gave me a second chance to discover the music of this band.

When you listen to this album forty years after it has been recorded you can say that it sounds rather outdated. However, I guess that isn't a problem as long as the compositions have something to say music wise. Well, this is certainly the case and I often wondered why this band never made it to the top. Not all pieces these musicians recorded for their sole effort can be regarded as progressive rock. Mainly songs as The Journey, Portrait Picture and Fair Stood The Wind drew my attention all the way. On these tracks the keyboard parts played by producer Anders Henriksson push the music of Ginhouse towards a musical style strongly related to In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), the debut album by King Crimson. The combination of the lead vocals, which occasionally sound like the voice of Greg Lake, the acoustic guitar, organ and Mellotron flutes reminded me of several tracks from that album.

At the time Ginhouse were also influenced by the music of The Beatles which can be heard throughout the album. Therefore I wasn't really surprised to hear that they covered And I Love Her, one of the many Lennon & McCartney songs. They made a rather heavy version of this mellow acoustic song. Apart from the already mentioned influences I also heard touches of the hard rock scene that flourished in those days. Ginhouse's music isn't as heavy and loud as the music recorded by bands as Deep Purple or Black Sabbath, although the overall sound is clearly dominated by the electric guitars. Finally I heard some elements from psychedelic rock and folk music.
by Henri Strik

1. Tyne God - 5:33
2. I Cannot Understand - 4:19
3. The Journey - 5:57
4. Portrait Picture - 5:46
5. Fair Stood The Wind - 2:51
6. And I Love Her (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:12
7. Life - 4:30
8. The Morning After - 5:13
9. The House - 3:33
10.Sun In The Bottle - 5:16
All compositions by Geoff Sharkey except track #6

The Ginhouse
*Stewart Burlison - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Whitaker - Drums
*Geoff Sharkey - Lead Guitar, Vocals

Free Text
Free Text II

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Downchild - Bootleg (1971 canada, spectacular blues brass rock, 2007 edition)

"The blues is good news” -Anon, Sure is. Especially when the men playing the blues are faithful to the music's tradition. And in this day of blues-tinged rock, that isn't always the way things work out. The blues, a music created out of gin and troubles by black men in gritty bars, is more likely in recent years to be something produced by shrill-voiced English boys who whip around formidable amplifiers and whose natural habitat is a huge concert halt or a shiny sixteen-track recording studio. 

So much for that good old authentic feeling. Which brings us to the Downchild Blues Band. They're white at! right - Toronto white. as a matter of fact - but in their case/ color is only skin deep. Their feel for the blues has a quality that reaches back to the simplicity and touch of the black men who started it all. No electronic barrages for Downchild. No John Mayall "blues extension." No fooling around with the basic form. Downchild - the name derives, appropriately, from a blues by Sonny Boy Williamson - comes across with nothing more than the essential fun and sadness of the blues, with, if you please, a lot of reverence for the real thing. Donnie Walsh, the band's leader, guitarist and harp man, put Downchild together in 1 969. 

He had a minimum of musical experience at the time, but he was inspired by his collection of ancient 78s and 45s, records that preserved the music of the great Chicago bluesmen. With a repertoire drawn from the likes of jimmy Reed and junior Wells, plus a few Walsh originals, Downchild went into a series of Toronto bars bearing names like Forbes and Grossman's and the Dovercourt. All you need to know, about those places is that they exhibit a certain grittiness perfectly appropriate to the blues.

Downchild doesn't play loud but it does play real, and word about the band reached out to a steadily growing and passionately devoted following. And today the band, getting tighter by the gig, works a steady round of bar dates and concerts that are the last word in frantic informality. Sounds authentic? Sure does; and so was the making of this record. That happened at Sound Horn, which happens to have its studio in the second basement parking garage under Rochdale College in Toronto. The music was recorded on two-track stereo and it was mixed as it came through the board. 

Given the all-round primitive circumstances of the enterprise, the sound is amazingly fine. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that the engineers at Sound Horn brought as much love and patience to the venture as Downchild did. The second is that you just can't help coming up with something good and true when you play blues the way Downchild does. And, speaking of primitive, wasn't that the way Howiin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, those old blues masters, made their finest records? Yeah!!
by Jack Batten

1. Rock It (Don Walsh) - 3:58
2. Just A Little Bit (Roscoe Gordon) - 3:06
3. Down In Virginia (Jimmy Reed, Ewart Abner) - 3:36
4. That’s All Right (Jimmy Rodgers) - 4:55
5. Messin’ With The Kid (Mel London) - 3:23
6. Don’t You Bother My Baby (Don Walsh) - 4:07
7. Change My Way Of Livin’ (Taj Mahal) - 5:09
8. You Don’t Have To Go (Jimmy Reed) - 3:08
9. Next Time You See Me (Earl Forest, William G. Harvey) - 2:52
10.I’m Sinkin’ (Don Walsh, Rick Walsh) - 3:02

The Downchild
*Don Walsh - Guitar
*Rick (The Hock) Walsh - Vocals
*Jim Milne - Bass
*Cash Wall - Drums
*Dave Woodward - Tenor Saxophone
*Ron Jacobs – Tenor, Baritone Saxophones

1973  Downchild Blues Band ‎- Straight Up (Vinyl edition)

Free Text
Free Text II

Monday, April 20, 2015

Witness Inc. ‎- The Singles (1966-69 canada, fabulous garage psych beat, 2009 issue)

Saskatoon's Witness Inc. was formed in 1967 by singer Kenny Shields with high school friends Les Bateman on organ, Ed Clynton on guitars, bassist Allan Ayers, and drummer Dave Tupper. But before long Bob Walker had replaced Ayers and Derry Stewart had replaced Clynton. The band continued playing the prairie circuit when they caught the attention of Apex Records executives. They were taken to a local studio where they recorded several tracks to fuel their tours.

"I'll Forget Her Tomorrow," backed with "Girl Before You Go" were light-hearted pseudo-psychadelic numbers that did better than the follow-up "Jezebel," which featured "Not You Girl" as the b-side. Two more singles were released a year later, psychadelic covers of the Motown classics "Harlem Lady" b/w a haunting version of "I Put A Spell On You," and "Visions Of Vanessa" b/w "Another Side Of Her." Throughout the band's recording days, the only constants were Shields as the frontman and Bateman on organ. The revolving door continued, and the lineup featured Craig Kaleal replacing Tupper on drums, Bruce Dagenhardt briefly replacing Walker on bass, only to see Walker back in seemingly overnight. Steve Boddington replaced Stewart on guitars, only to see Stewart come back.

By 1969 the band was Shields, Bateman, Bruce Dagenhardt, Derry Stewart, and Bob Ego on drums. They recorded a cover of Allan Ayers' "So Come With Me" and "I've Got To Go" that year, but still only managed limited success outside the prairies and central Canada, although they did make a couple of trips to the east coast. Following a devastating car accident that fall that nearly claimed his life, Shields quit the band while undergoing extensive therapy and rehab. The band carried on, replacing him with Greg DeLaronde early in 1970. He too was replaced before long by Arnie Guzyk, who was also shown the door practically overnight. Meanwhile Don Johnson had been added as a second guitarist, and original guitarist Stewart was replaced by Terry Thomas.

Bateman, Ego and Walker relocated to Edmonton, where they hooked up with vocalist Ed Kilbride. They added Larry Chalmers and Bill Hardie on guitars, but other than a few appearances on a CTV variety show eminating from Calgary and Edmonton, failed to make a go of it. Confused yet? So was everyone else, and the band unofficially called it quits in early '71.

In 1975, Shields was back and reformed the band he'd started. This time the lineup was totally revamped, with only him as a returning member. The new twin-guitar attack featured Bob Deutscher and George Martin, Ken Sinnaeve was brought in on bass, Kaleal was brought back on the skins, and Daryl Gutheil was the new keyboardist. Before long though Shields got back in touch with Ego, who replaced Kaleal as the drummer. But times had changed, musical tastes in the buying public had changed with them, and Shields was unable to recapture the magic. He soon closed the book on Witness Inc, and formed Streetheart in 1976, which also featured Sinnaeve and Gutheil. Ego would go on to join Painter, Paul Hann and Mavis McCauley (ex of One Horse Blue) and do session work for a number of performers. He then reunited with Shields et al in Streetheart in 1979.

1. I'll Forget Her Tomorrow (Tommy Kaye, B. Wagman) - 2:06
2. Girl Before You Go (Dennis Tremmeer) - 2:08
3. Jezebel (Wayne Shanklin) - 3:14
4. Not You Girl (Ed Clynton) - 1:48
5. Harlem Lady (David McWilliams) - 3:12
6. I Put A Spell On You (Jay Hawkins) - 3:24
7. Visions Of Vanessa (Allan Ayers) - 3:40
8. Another Side Of Her (Allan Ayers) - 3:43
9. So Come With Me (Brass Version) (Allan Ayers) - 2:40
10.I've Got To Go (Kenny Shields, Allan Ayers) - 3:01
11.So Come With Me (Allan Ayers) - 2:38

The Witness Incorporation
*Les Bateman - Keyboards
*Ed Clynton - Guitar
*Dennis Tremeer - Bass
*Craig Kaleal - Drums
*Kenny Shields - Vocals
*Allan Ayers - Bass
*Dave Tupper - Drums

Free Text 
Free Text II

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Standells - The Hot Ones (1966-67 us, fantastic blend of garage folk psych beat, rare out of print issue)

Sure, part of it's being famous and making money and who doesn't like that? But these four guys honestly dig their music, their performances, their recordings - yes, their fans, too. They enjoy being a group. As a result, they have a rapport that's a little rare in show business, where ambitions and egos often get in the way and blow relationships. You might hear one of these guys singing lead on one song and another on the next. They do whatever s best for the arrangement and they're happy that way.

It's nice for the Standells; it's nice for their audiences, too. Or, to repeat an old proverb: "Sometimes good guys don't wear white; they just get along! Well, that's what makes the Standells' recordings of the Hot Ones so Hot! They've taken the big hits, like the Monkees' Last Train to Clarksville; Donovan's Sunshine Superman; the Troggs' Wild Thing; the Rolling Stones' 19th Nervous Breakdown; the Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City and their own Dirty Water and worked them out the way they sound best.

And they sure do! In most of the songs, they've done actual re-creations of the famous originals, though on a couple (the Beatles' Eleanor Rjgby and Los Braves' Black is Black) they have vocals replacing instruments (not to mention the budget-conscious carhorn vocals on Summer In The City...- ed).

Here, Dick happens to be singing most of the leads, but Larry does lead voice on the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon, with Tony featured prominently on the background; and Dave is featured - novelty fashion - on Sam the Sham's Lill’ Red Riding Hood, along with Florida DJ Mike Reineri's famous "Bertha Breadsacker" voice.
Original LP Liner Notes

The Hot Ones! album, first released in September 1966, was comprised of covers of then current chart hits. In addition to the newly recorded tracks, the LP recycled two cuts from the Dirty Water album; "19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Dirty Water". To avoid repetition, these two cuts have been omitted on this set, with additional unreleased tracks inserted in their place. "You Were The One" is a previously unreleased ballad recorded during the first Ed Cobb-produced Standells' session on March 5, 1965; the same session that yielded the legendary cuts "Dirty Water" and "Rari".

The unissued tracks "School Girl" (a Graham Gouldman composition) and Cobb's "Ten O'clock Scholar" (with its great 'Boettcher-esque' vocal lines) are both outtakes from the early sessions for the Try It album, recorded near the end of 1966. They feature new member John Fleck on bass.

The somewhat out-of-character "When I Was A Cowboy" (a Leadbelly song) and the megaphoned, Tony Valentino-penned "Don't Tell Me What To Do" were originally issued in 1967 as a rare Tower 45 (#312) and credited to The Sllednats. "Misty Lane" has previously made an appearance on a U.K. compact disc, erroneously credited to Tower label-mates The Chocolate Watchband, The track is, in fact, the Standells taking a shot at what would soon become a Watchband classic. 

While the C.W.'s version surely remains the definitive performance, The Standells' take is an interesting alternative, with its unique backing vocals and use of Tony's signature fuzzed guitar tone providing the intro lines. Lastly, we have our favorite 'lost' performance, "The Standells' Love Theme", a boozy, extended, afterhours studio jam, circa 1966. Perhaps intended at one time to be chopped to shards for use in an A.I.P, biker flick, we're proud to present the lengthy session in its ultra-cool entirety.
by Bob Irwin

1. Last Train To Clarksville (T. Boyce, B. Hart) - 2:43
2. Wild Thing (Chip Taylor) - J:5J
3. Sunshine Superman (Donovan Leitch) - 2:41
4. Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies) - 3:22
5. Lil' Red Riding Hood (R. Blackwell) - 2:43
6. Eleanor Rigby (J. Lennon, P. McCartney) - 2:73
7. Black Is Black (Hayes, Wadey, Grainger) - 233
8. Summer In The City (J. Sebastian, M. Sebastian, S. Boone) -2:J
9. You Were The One (Ed Cobb) - 2:29
10.School Girl (Graham Gouldman) - 2:18
11.Ten O'clock Scholar (Ed Cobb) - 3:00
12.When I Was A Cowboy (H. Ledbetter) - 2:39
13.Don't Tell Me What To Do (T. Valentino) - 2:56
14.Misty Lane (M. Siegel) - 3:10
15.Standells' Love Theme (Ed Cobb, B. McElroy) - 11:18

The Standells
*Dick (Jose Taco) Dodd - Drums, Guitar
*Larry Tamblyn - Piano, Organ, Guitar, Vocals
*Pave (Super Hick) Burke - Bass, 12-string Guitar
*Tony (Mr.Parmesan) Valentino - Lead Guitar

1966  The Standells - Dirty Water
1966  The Standells - Why Pick On Me
1966-67  The Standells - Try It

Free Text
Free Text II