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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Glass Harp - Synergy (1971 us, amazing guitar bluesy psych rock, 2015 remaster)

Synergy opens with two of Keaggy’s heaviest guitar statements on record: ‘One Day At A Time’ (which begins as a baroque acoustic melody before transitioning into hard rock), followed by the blistering Pecchio track ‘Never Is A Long Time’. ‘Special Friends’ and ‘Dawn Of A New Day’ also have convincing rock-and-roll energy. Some of Keaggy’s best songwriting is featured here, including the moody textured classic rocker ‘Song Of Hope’ (strongly propelled by Pecchio’s bass), the bright acoustic ‘The Answer’ (again revealing classical influences) and the lighthearted ‘Mountains’. The latter is one of the few Keaggy compositions that didn’t make it onto the later Song In The Air compilation.

Keaggy’s guitar drifts into dreamy spaced soft-psych realms on the beautiful mesmerizing Sferra ballad ‘Just Always’. Also on the quieter side is Pecchio’s ‘Child Of The Universe’. Very little outside help listed in the credits for this effort – and as the title suggests the album truly does capture the “synergy” of three members at their best. Comes in a very attractive gate-fold cover with lyrics and photo of the band in concert on the inside. 
by Ken Scott

1. One Day At A Time (Phil Keaggy) - 3:39
2. Never Is A Long Time (Daniel Pecchio) - 3:26
3. Just Always (John Sferra) - 5:02
4. Special Friends (Daniel Pecchio, John Sferra, Phil Keaggy) - 2:43
5. Coming Home (Daniel Pecchio, John Sferra) - 3:32
6. Song Of Hope (Phil Keaggy) - 4:23
7. Child Of The Universe (Daniel Pecchio) - 3:01
8. Mountains (Phil Keaggy) - 4:01
9. The Answer (Phil Keaggy) - 2:40
10.Dawn Of A New Day (Daniel Pecchio, Phil Keaggy) - 2:58
11.Look In The Sky (Dan Pecchio, John Sferra, Phil Keaggy) - 10:34
12.Never Is A Long Time (Daniel Pecchio) - 3:39
13.Do Lord (Phil Keaggy, Daniel Pecchio, John Sferra) - 4:19
14.Changes (John Sferra) - 6:23
15.Let The Bells Ring (John Sferra) - 6:47
Bonus Tracks 11-14 Live 1971
Bonus Track 15 Demo recording

The Glass Harp
*Phil Keaggy - Guitars, Vocals
*John Sferra - Drums, Vocals, Guitars, Tambourine
*Daniel Pecchio - Bass, Vocals, Flute
*Ralph MacDonald - Percussion,  Congas, Bells, Triangle
*Mary Smith - Vocals

1970  Glass Harp - Glass Harp (2014 remaster) 
1971  Glass Harp - Live! At Carnegie Hall
1972  Glass Harp - It Makes Me Glad (2005 remaster)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Salloom Sinclair - Salloom Sinclair (1969 us, magnificent folkish bluesy psych rock, 2013 korean remaster)

The second great album from the duo of Roger Salloom and Robin Sinclair – issued by Chess Records like the first one, but much more of the kind of album you'd expect to hear coming from the south – on labels like Capricorn, Ardent, or Enterprise! Like some of the best on those, the approach here is a mixture of rock and roots, served up with plenty of soul – recorded down in Tennessee with some great help from Charlie McCoy – whose harmonic and strong basslines really help shape the sound of the record, and who also produced the whole thing too. 

There's a few currents of psych around the edges, and the mixture of the two singers is great – on titles that include "Violence Blam Blam I'm Sorry", "Lesson At The Delicatessen", "Motorcycle", "One More Try", "I'm Comin Home Again", "Sleep", "Faith Has Been Given", and "Animal".

1. Lesson At The Delicatessen - 2:39
2. Motorcycle - 3:47
3. One More Try - 3:42
4. I`m Comin Home Again - 3:02
5. Violence, Blam Blam, I`m Sorry - 4:03
6. Animal - 5:22
7. Faith Has Been Given - 3:24
8. Let`s Be Right - 4:06
9. Exhaustion - 2:06
10.Sleep - 2:21
All songs by Roger Salloom except track #9 by Robin Sinclair

*Robin Sinclair - Guitar, Vocals
*Roger Sinclair - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*David Briggs - Piano
*Kenny Buttrey - Drums
*Mac Gayden - Electric Guitar
*Jim Isbell - Percussion
*Charlie McCoy - Bass, Guitar, Harp, Mellophonium, Percussion, Producer
*Wayne Moss - Engineer
*Iodine Muscatel - Tambourine
*Weldon Myrick - Steel  Guitar
*Norbert Putnam - Bass
*David Satterfield - Vocals
*Buddy Spicher - Cello, Viola
*Bob Wilson - Organ

1968  Salloom Sinclair And The Mother Bear - Salloom Sinclair And The Mother Bear (2014 korean remaster) 

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Merkin Manor - Music From Merkin Manor (1973 us, fabulous west coast psych rock, with fuzzed out jangly guitars and melodic, floating harmony vocals)

Provo, Utah in March 1967 was not like the many other American towns during this period. While the air was a buzz elsewhere with new sounds of garage, psychedelic, and hard rock music and long hair was becoming the norm amongst rebellious youth, the small town of Orem remained staunchly Mormon and Conservative. Rocky Baum and Ralph Hemingway were buddies in High School and from time to time, Ralph would vocalize tunes to Rocky's accompaniment. But there was something missing; They sorely needed a beat and other instruments to complete their sound. By the summer of 1969, they enlisted the services of Alan Newell on drums, Kent Balog on bass, and Doug Hinkins on lead guitar. And they needed a name: Rocky tells me this came from flipping through countless pages of an unabridged dictionary until the name “Merkin” jumped out at the band; Rod conveys quite a different story; the name was derived from an obscure offbeat movie,"Can Huronyomous Merkin Succeed with Mercy Hump?".

As in the case in any developing band, someone's parents house became the rehearsal hall for the band; in this instance it was Doug's living room. Despite all the antics that teenagers would go through (like a friend sticking his head in the bass drum to hear better), it wasn't long before they realized playing original music was much more exciting than copying the popular songs of the day. It was soon after this that their high school friend Rod Olsen assumed the part of manager, getting them jobs at the local schools, colleges, bowling alleys, etc. He also got the band more structured by providing them business cards, posters, flyers, promo tapes, and all the other things to promote a band.

It was obvious as things progressed that Ralph was the consummate entertainer. As lead vocalist, he became the conduit between the band and the audience. His rapport with the audience was outstanding and engaging. He had an uncanny ability to entertain(and shocking with the ad lib song about Mary Ellen walking under a bridge at a Halloween dance). Ralph would swing the mic over his head wildly never losing control.One time he had himself auctioned off as a door prize and dressed up inside a wrapped box wearing leotards and big lips!!

In 1970, Al was replaced by Kent's twin brother Gary to continue on as their drummer and Doug was replaced by Robert Barney as their lead guitarist. They then added a sixth member, Richard Leavitt, on keyboards through a want ad. Merkin was now emerging with a new and fuller sound, and the close bond between the Balog twins gave them a stronger foundation. It was becoming evident that Robert, though youngest & smallest, was the best musician and Richard had been trained as a classical pianist. It was at this time the bonus and previously unreleased tracks "Maybe Someday" and "Cry On My Shoulder" were recorded at Brigham Young University Recording Operations Department on a 4 Track system.

By 1971,Rod felt it was time to get them more exposure, and soon after embarked on a project to record them live, and send out tapes to potential producers and record companies. In late January that year, they were contacted by gay Young of Kommittee Productions and were on their way to Los Angeles for a recording session at Walden Sound Recorders in Redondo Beach. It was an exciting experience tor them; all the instruments, recording gear, and talented engineers, etc. Rocky recalls an engineer by the name of Rolf who did an outstanding job on special effects. The sessions were completed in just 4 days and the band did their best to minimize the drug intake. The first documented airing of the LP came soon after in San Francisco. Sundaze Music arranged a tour of Colorado which included stops in Vail,and Leadville.

New Year's Eve 1972 was the crowning moment of their trip;20 below outside, bikers, local, tourists, and even a few friends from Utah showed up-the place was packed! Rocky thinks someone may have slipped something into the kegs of beer, as everyone was dancing wildly and the girls were climbing onstage to dance with the band. The band returned to Utah and began playing the ski areas (Snowbird), local colleges and clubs. In February 1973 the Merkin Manor album was finally released. When the band reviewed the song writing credits, it became apparent that the other members were upset that Rocky was solely given this credit. 

To this day, Rocky believes he did nothing wrong; he had written the lyrics and melodies but never intended the other members to be left out. However the band's feelings were could not be changed, and Rocky was asked to leave the band. Rocky's pending prediction of this sentiment can be heard on Track 9 "We're all here together., through all this bad weather". The band played on for a few years under the name Merkin but broke up in 1974. Ralph, Kent and Gary started a new band, Robert started his own group. Rocky went back to school, Robert returned to the church, and Rod became a ski bum at a local ski resort. The final track on this record, "A Father's Song" was written by Rocky during the recording sessions but not included on the LP. Rocky recorded this in 1983 with "The Rocky Baum Project". It is a stunning recollection of his relationship with his father. Rocky put it very eloquently "A Father's Song" exemplifies some of the emotions that arose between fathers and their hippie sons during that very difficult time of social realignment.(i.e., long hair, loud music, differing political views, and recreational drugs).
by Roger Maglio, December 1997

1. Ruby - 3:39
2. Take Some Time - 3:52
3. Todaze - 3:48
4. Sweet Country - 3:54
5. Goodbye - 4:59
6. Watching You - 4:00
7. Kind Of Down - 4:00
8. The Right One - 3:22
9. Here Together - 3:37
10.Walkin' - 3:45
11.Maybe Somebody (Kent Balog, Gary Balog, Richard Leavitt, Robert Barney, Ralph Hemingway, Rocky Baum) - 6:43
12.Cry On My Shoulder (Kent Balog, Gary Balog, Richard Leavitt, Robert Barney, Ralph Hemingway, Rocky Baum) - 5:10
13.A Father's Song - 2:48
All compositions by Rocky Baum except where indicated

The Merkin Manor
*Kent Balog - Bass
*Gary Balog - Drums, Percussion
*Richard Leavitt - Keyboards
*Robert Barney – Lead Guitar
*Ralph Hemingway – Lead Vocals
*Rocky Baum – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Accolade - Accolade (1970 uk, splendid folk jazzy psych with prog shades, 2016 korean remaster)

Accolade were one of those short-lived late-'60s / early-'70s English bands that attempted to expand musical boundaries, completely eschewing electric instruments to mix traditional English folk with rock influences. They recorded two albums and one single before going their separate ways, but Gordon Giltrap remained for only this one album.

In one respect the band (bassist Eden Abba, woodwind player Brian Cresswell, singer / guitarist Gordon Giltrap, drummer Ian Hoyle and guitarist Don Partridge) was quite different from many of their contemporaries - namely they were brimming with talent.

Prior to their collaboration in Accolade, both Giltrap and Partridge had enjoyed some solo recognition. Giltrap had released a pair of critically praised solo albums, while Partridge (who was actually working as a busker ) enjoyed a fluke UK hit with the song "Rosie".

Unfortunately, Accolade's pastoral stylings guaranteed instant obscurity in the States. In fact, it's somewhat of a mystery how they even got their 1968 debut released by Capitol (a label hardly renown for its willingness to take a chance on cutting edge sounds). Produced by Don Paul, 1969's cleverly-titled "Accolade" is hard to accurately describe. Recorded with former Artwoods bassist Malcolm Pool replacing Eden Abba, the collection exhibits a smooth and calming sound throughout. Largely acoustic (though you don't really realize it), material such as "Maiden Flight Eliza" (featuring some weird Mamas and Papas-styled harmonies ), "Prelude To a Dawn", the bluesy "Nature Boy", the surprisingly hard rocking "Gospel Song" and "Never Ending Solitude" wasn't exactly mainstream rock, nor did it fall under the banner of Fairport Convention-styled English folk.

Imagine well crafted cocktail jazz with the addition of a touch of English folk and you'll get a feel for the LP. While that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, the result is actually a fascinating album. 

1. Maiden Flight Eliza - 2:44
2. Starting All Over (Gordon Giltrap) - 4:48
3. Prelude To A Dawn (Instrumental) (Brian Cresswell) - 3:14
4. Never Ending Solitude (Gordon Giltrap) - 2:37
5. Nature Boy (Eden Abba) - 9:40
6. Gospel Song (Gordon Giltrap) - 3:35
7. Calico - 3:08
8. Ulysses - 12:38
9. Go On Home - 2:41
All songs by Don Partridge except where indicated

*Eden Abba - Double-Bass
*Brian Cresswell - Saxophone, Flute
*Gordon Giltrap - Guitar, Vocals
*Ian Hoyle - Drums
*Don Partridge - Guitar, Vocals, Vibraphone

1971  Accolade - Accolade 2

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Salloom Sinclair And The Mother Bear - Salloom Sinclair And The Mother Bear (1968 us, awesome groovy bluesy folkish psych rock, 2014 korean remaster)

Salloom-Sinclair were the male-female duo of singer-songwriter Roger Salloom and vocalist Robin Sinclair. In 1968, they fronted Salloom, Sinclair & the Mother Bear, who had a Marshall Chess-produced late-'60s psychedelic album on Cadet Concept. Salloom-Sinclair's sole LP (also on Cadet Concept), 1969's Salloom-Sinclair, was recorded in Nashville and produced by esteemed session man Charlie McCoy. Unsurprisingly, the album was country-rock in flavor, unremarkably average save for Sinclair's Janis Joplin-like vocals on the more gospelish and bluesy numbers, and the devious blues-rock-psychedelia of the record's strongest cut, "Animal." 

Salloom-Sinclair and the Mother Bear is very much a 1968 period piece, a mix of blues-rock, psychedelia, and self-consciously hip literary wordplay. The band's most striking feature is the piercing, wavering voice of Robin Sinclair, who at her highest goes into Minnie Riperton-like stratospheres. Her singing is both impressive and, at times, irritating, often bearing a strong resemblance in approach to Janis Joplin's. At its most strident, sometimes, to pull in a more distant and obscure comparison.

The material (largely written, and sometimes sung, by Roger Salloom) is too often stuck in pedestrian aggressive bluesy and Dylan-ish poses, tinged with a little San Francisco psychedelic-styled freakiness. Salloom can really grate, too, when he gets in a Dylan-ish talking-blues state of mind. 
by Richie Unterberger

1. Be Born Again - 4:11
2. Conversations With Gentility - 3:16
3. Steals - 4:13
4. Griffin (Robin Sinclair) - 3:41
5. She Kicked Me Out Of The House Last Night - 4:17
6. Florida Blues - 6:43
7. Sitting On A Finger - 3:43
8. Marie La Peau - 8:29
All compositions by Roger Sinclair except track #4

*John Bolling - Bass
*Tommy Davis - Guitar
*Phil Montgomery - Drums
*Dick Orvis - Organ, Piano
*Roger Sinclair - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Robin Sinclair - Vocals

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Perth County Conspiracy - Perth County Conspiracy (1970 canada, beautiful trippy acid folk psych. 2018 remaster)

Taking their name from the Stratford, Ontario region of the same name, Perty County Conspiracy was centred around British immigrant Cedric Smith and American draft dodger Richard Keelan (ex of Spikedrivers). They gigged up and down the Toronto strip in the late '60s and released their debut album, Mushroom Music on the independent label, Rumour Records in '69.

A healthy dose of trippy acid/folk rock was served up, and thanks to the CBC, it was followed in the spring of 1970 with a self-titled promotional only album. By now guitarist Terry Jones, bassist Michael Butler, and George Taros on piano were added. Only 250 copies were pressed, and although mostly experimental folk with the occasional mandolin or ukelele and bongo drums, it also contained covers of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," and a folksy cover of Smokey Robinson's "If You Can Wait." But the music wasn't very audibly accessible, and the record was soon forgotten about by the radio station programmers.

Still, it fuelled them on to continue playing, and they eventually caught the attention of reps at Columbia. They were a hit with the live crowds and Perth County Conspiracy Does Not Exist was on the store shelves before the end of the year.

Nothing from the first two albums was re-recorded, and instead 40 minutes of new acoustic melodies with the occasional vocal harmonies made up the bulk of the John Williams produced album. "You've Got To Know" b/w "Listen To The Kids" was released as a single, but never really caught on. A few years later, the b-side did however make it to the Maple Music compilation series. The album also featured sampling from Shakespeare's "As You Like It," and a couple of endeavors that contained multiple segments, including the single "Fantasia" b/w "Listen To The Kids." Met with little fanfare, it was followed by "You've Got To Know" b/w "Keep of the Keys," and also featured an interpretation of English poet Christopher Logue's "Come To The Edge."

Recorded in the Bathhurst Street United Church in Toronto, their next outing was 1971's double album, Alive, with Williams returning as producer. Oddly, it was all new material, and Jones contributed to the writing this time. An edited cover of Dylan's "You Ain't Got Nothing" was put out as a single. But as usual, it didn't light the radio waves on fire. Other noteable cuts included the b-side "Uncle Jed," "Broken Wing," and the reflective "Stratford People."

Columbia dropped them by '72 but undaunted, the band carried on and eventually Bob Burchill came in on guitars to replace the departed Terry Jones. Now back on Rumour Records, they released another live album, What School Bus Tour? in the summer of '73. The band wasn't known for extensive engagements, but the record was a culmination of performances in Ottawa, Sudbury, and Winnipeg earlier that year. It again featured all new material, and Burchill's presence was immediately seen in the credits writing three cuts. It also featured a rendition of Arlo Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty," and a pair of tracks written by Milton Acorn.

Following the stand alone single, "Black Creek" in '74, their next album wasn't until a year later. Breakout To Berlin again featured all new material, and a German pressing with a different cover and under the title of Kanada was released.

Following the band's demise, Burchill released the ill-fated Cabin Fever on Rumour Records in late '75, then became a session player. Smith carried along on the Toronto scene for awhile, and hooked up with Terry Jones again for the album, Ten Lost Years And Then Some in '77, then made it on to a CBC compilation in '81 called Touch The Earth before turning to acting. Along with regular roles in the series Road To Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables, he also landed a spot in the X-Men franchise.

What School Bus Tour and Ten Lost Years were both released individually in 2008, but neither contained any bonus material. In the early '90s, band members started reuniting annually a coffee house in Stratford in support of the homeless. In 2011, the band's name was resurrected again when CBC Radio profiled them during its "Inside The Music" series.
by Michelle Dionne, Dawn Edwards, Jaimie Vernon

A true legend of the psych-folk rock genre, the very first album by Canadian band Perth County Conspiracy was conceived, recorded and designed to look and sound like the product of a commercial record label. But with only 250 copies produced the record quickly reached mythic status as the band went on to begin a commercial career with Columbia Records.

 A huge influence on later generations of Canadian artists, original copies are incredibly rare and change hands for hundreds of dollars. Defining the zeitgeist as the 60s became the 70s, the band sound has touches of Nick Drake, Donovan and Terry Reid as well as more acid folk influences. Standout tracks include a version of Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’, the trippy ‘Take Your Time’ and the smokey flute-led ‘So Many Things’.

1. Welcome Surprise (Richard Keelan) - 3:13
2. Take Your Time (Richard Keelan, Cedric Smith) - 3:23
3. If You Can Want (Smokey Robinson) - 4:31
4. Woman For All Seasons (Cedric Smith) - 4:15
5. Hurdy-Gurdy Man (Donovan Leitch) - 4:37
6. Mr Truthful Licks (Richard Keelan) - 2:49
7. So Many Things (Cedric Smith) - 2:53
8. Hindsight (Richard Keelan) - 3:41
9. Lace And Cobwebs (Cedric Smith) - 2:43
10.I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan) - 6:35

Perth County Conspiracy
*Michael Butler - Bass
*Richard Keelan - Vocals, Guitar
*Cedric Smith - Vocals, Guitar
*Terry Jones - Vocals, Guitar

1970  Perth County Conspiracy - Does Not Exist (Vinyl edition)  
1972  Perth County Conspiracy - Alive (Vinyl edition)
Related Act
1965-68  The Spike Drivers - 60's Folkrocking Psychedelia From The Motor City

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Alexander Lee Spence - AndOarAgain (1968 us, a warped blend of acid folk and far out psych rock, 2018 three disc hard sleeve set remaster)

Like a rough, more obscure counterpart to Syd Barrett, Skip Spence was one of the late '60s' most colorful acid casualties. The original Jefferson Airplane drummer (although he was a guitarist who had never played drums before joining the group), Spence left after their first album to join Moby Grape. Like every member of that legendary band, he was a strong presence on their first album, playing guitar, singing, and writing "Omaha." The group ran into rough times in 1968, and Spence had the roughest, flipping out and (according to varying accounts) running amok in a record studio with a fire axe; he ended up being committed to New York's Bellevue Hospital. Upon his release, 

Spence cut an acid-charred classic, Oar, in 1969. Though released on a major label (Columbia), this was reportedly one of the lowest-selling items in its catalog and is hence one of the most valued psychedelic collector items. Much rawer and more homespun than the early Grape records, it features Spence on all (mostly acoustic) guitars, percussion, and vocals. With an overriding blues influence and doses of country, gospel, and acid freakout thrown in, this sounds something like Mississippi Fred McDowell imbued with the spirit of Haight-Ashbury 1967. It also featured cryptic, punning lyrics and wraithlike vocals that range from a low Fred Neil with gravel hoarseness to a barely there high wisp. Sadly, it was his only solo recording; more sadly, mental illness prevented Spence from reaching a fully functional state throughout the remainder of his lifetime. He died April 16, 1999, just two days short of his 53rd birthday; the tribute album, More Oar: A Tribute to Alexander "Skip" Spence, featuring performances by Robert Plant, Beck, and Tom Waits, appeared just a few weeks later. 
by Richie Unterberger

AndOarAgain provides unparalleled access to what David Fricke calls “the most harrowing and compelling artifacts of rock & roll’s most euphoric era” across three dozen unheard tracks! In addition to the quintessential original album, AndOarAgain features nearly two hours of unheard music on the way to Oar–along with roads not taken–that both clarifies and muddies the enigma of how psychedelic legend Alexander “Skip” Spence determined the final state of his iconic masterpiece. The time: December, 1968. The setting: the Columbia Recording Studios at 504 16th Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Alexander Spence – a singer, songwriter, and guitarist commonly known as Skip, recently relieved of his duties in the San Francisco rock band Moby Grape after a descent into excessive hallucinatory-drug use and a psychotic episode with a fire axe – is recording Oar, his first album as a Columbia solo artist. It will also be his last. Made in six days spread over two weeks, then released six months later on May 19th, 1969, Oar will be Spence’s only complete expression of his experimental verve and musical facility, under his real name and creative control, before he recedes into rapidly deepening, ultimately conquering darkness. A half-century after its brisk, strange birth, Oar remains an apparent chaos of eccentric composition and overwhelming melancholy, wreathed in country-blues shadows and the smokey blur of Spence’s wounded-baritone singing. 

AndOarAgain, a 3-CD set including the seminal original album, the 1999 bonus cuts, and nearly two hours of unheard Oar; all packaged in a hardbound book-style jacket with rare photos and extensive notes from David Fricke! 

Disc 1 Oar
1. Little Hands - 3:43
2. Cripple Creek - 2:15
3. Diana - 3:31
4. Margaret-Tiger Rug - 2:16
5. Weighted Down (The Prison Song) - 6:25
6. War In Peace - 4:04
7. Broken Heart - 3:28
8. All Come To Meet Her - 2:03
9. Books Of Moses - 2:42
10.Dixie Peach Promenade - 2:52
11.Lawrence Of Euphoria - 1:29
12.Grey/Afro - 9:38
13.This Time He Has Come - 4:42
14.It's The Best Thing For You - 2:49
15.Keep Everything Under Your Hat - 3:06
16.Furry Heroine - 3:35
17.Givin' Up Things - 0:59
18.If I'm Good - 0:48
19.You Know - 1:47
20.Doodle - 1:03
21.Fountain - 0:34
22.To Think You And I - 1:14
All compositions by Alexander Lee Spence

Disc 2 Or
1. Little Hands (Take 2) - 3:43
2. Cripple Creek (Basic) - 2:08
3. Diana (Take 3) - 4:39
4. Furry Heroine (Halo Of Gold) (Alternate) - 3:29
5. My Friend - 2:52
6. War In Peace (Alternate) - 3:49
7. Broken Heart (Vocal And Acoustic) - 4:47
8. All Come To Meet Her (Alternate 1) - 2:17
9. I Want A Rock 'n' Roll Band - 3:13
10.Dixie Peach Promenade (Yin For Yang)  (Alternate) - 2:09
11.Lawrence Of Euphoria (Alternate) - 2:03
12.Mary Jane / Steamboat - 5:01
13.I Got A Lot To Say (Version 1) - 1:53
14.Diana (Alternate 1) - 2:41
15.War In Peace (Instrumental) - 3:29
16.Diana (Alternate 2) - 5:57
All Music and Lyrics by Alexander Lee Spence

Disc 3 More
1. Little Hands (Vocal Overdub) - 3:48
2. Diana (Version 2) - 1:13
3. Weighted Down (The Prison Song) (Rehearsal) - 1:13
4. The Shape You're In - 0:57
5. I Want A Rock 'n' Roll Band (Instrumental) - 1:50
6. It's A Hard Life (Version 1) - 0:36
7. I Got Something For You - 2:03
8. Diana (12 String Version) - 4:00
9. I Got A Lot To Say (Version 2) - 0:52
10.It Ain't Nice (Version 1) - 1:19
11.She Don't Care - 0:58
12.All Come To Meet Her (Alternate 2) - 2:16
13.It Aint't Nice (Version 2) - 1:07
14.It's A Hard Life (Version 2) - 0:38
15.All Come To Meet Her (Rehearsal) - 3:03
16.Diana (Overdub) - 4:04
17.War In Peace (Take 2) - 4:18
18.Broken Heart (Extended Master) - 4:38
19.War In Peace (Guitar Overdub) - 4:48
20.Diana (Basics) - 3:44
All songs by Alexander Lee Spence

*Alexander Lee "Skip" Spence - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums, Production

Related Act
1967  Moby Grape - Moby Grape (2007 remaster)
1967-68  The Place And The Time (2009 Sundazed release)
1969  Wow (Sundazed Issue)
1969  Moby Grape - Moby Grape 69' (2007 remaster and expanded)

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Marc Ellington - Restoration (1972 uk, exceptional folk country rock, 2011 remasters)

This is Marc Ellington's 4th album, recorded late 1972 and released early 1973, musically he moves around at the same levels as his previous releases, folk, country with straight Rock doses, cover versions of traditional folky numbers as well as modern numbers and smartly mixed them up with his own compositions,framed by excellent musicians (as always), and a great clear production.

1. A Good Love Is Like A Good Song (Casey Kelly) - 2:43
2. It's Love That You Need (Marc Ellington, Sandy Roberton) - 3:13
3. Coal Tatoo (Billy Edd Wheeler) - 2:57
4. Try (Marc Ellington, Sandy Roberton) - 2:25
5. You Ain't Going Nowhere (Bob Dylan) - 4:00
6. Let The Music Bring You Back (Marc Ellington, Sandy Roberton) - 2:29
7. Break A Window (Break A Heart) (Ian Matthews) - 4:26
8. Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer) - 2:51
9. Younger Girl (John Sebastian) - 2:44
10.Wild Mountain Thyme (Traditional) - 3:01

*Marc Ellington - Vocals, Guitar
*Jerry Donahue - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Pat Donaldson - Bass
*Dave Richards - Bass
*Dave Peacock - Bass
*Dave Hepburn - Bass
*Dave Mattacks - Drums
*Timmy Donald - Drums
*Phil Chesterton - Drums
*Barry De Souza - Drums
*Zoot Money - Piano
*Dolly Collins - Piano
*Tony Cox - Piano
*Tom Parker - Piano
*Simon Nicol - Acoustic Guitars
*Phil Pickett - Acoustic Guitars
*Andy Roberts - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Ian Whiteman - Organ, Piano
*James Ogilvy Forbes - Bagpipes
*Sue Draheim - Fiddle
*Phil Pickett - Mandolin
*Mike Deighan -  Acoustic Guitar, Banjo
*Ray Warleigh - Saxophone
*Ian Matthews - Vocals
*Longdancer - Vocals
*Mac Kissoon - Vocals
*Kathy Kissoon - Vocals

1969  Marc Ellington - Marc Ellington (2009 korean remaster)
1971  Marc Ellington ‎- Rains-Reins Of Changes (2004 remaster)
1972  Marc Ellington - A Question Of Roads (2010 korean remaster)

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Gene Clark - Sings For You (1967 us, fantastic folk psych country rock, 2018 digipak with unreleased material)

Gene Clark’s musical legacy is most certainly assured as a singer, songwriter and member of some exclusive company as an inductee to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a founder of The Byrds, and collaborator in groups such as Dillard & Clark, Gene Clark and the Gosdin Brothers, McGuinn Clark & Hillman and later as the duet partner of Carla Olson (The Textones).

His songs have been covered by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Iain Matthews, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Rose Garden, and Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes among many others. As well documented as Clark’s career has been, there have been remarkable discoveries over the years (see Omnivore’s Here Tonight: The White Light Demos for example), but now the Holy Grail of Clark’s post-Byrds career is finally about to see the light of day:

“For longtime Gene Clark fans and aficionados, the tracks on this remarkable archival CD are the stuff of legend. Since word first spread in the 1980s about the discovery of these 1967 recordings on a rare acetate in Liberty Records’ vaults, fans have come to regard Gene Clark Sings For You as nothing less than the Holy Grail of the singer/songwriter’s extraordinary body of work. Shrouded in mystery and the subject of much speculation and conjecture, few have ever had the opportunity to hear these forgotten gems from one of Gene Clark’s most prolifically creative periods. Until now.”
by John Einarson author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds’ Gene Clark (Backbeat Books)

In addition to the 8 tracks from the Gene Clark Sings For You acetate, recorded in 1967 after he famously left The Byrds, there are an additional 5 previously unknown tracks from a further 1967 acetate given to the band, The Rose Garden, for recording consideration. This new compilation also includes a previously unissued demo rescued from a tape in the collection of John Noreen, member of The Rose Garden. This demo of the song “Till Today” is Clark running through the song for the band who would cut it on their only album, the 1968 self-titled effort on Atco Records (also being reissued and expanded at the same time as Gene Clark Sings For You).

Released with the full approval and cooperation with both the Estate of Gene Clark and the band, The Rose Garden, Gene Clark Sings For You is produced for release by Grammy®-winner, Cheryl Pawelski with restoration and mastering by Grammy-winner, Michael Graves. Liner notes by John Einarson, author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds’ Gene Clark (Backbeat Books) and previously unseen photos.

1. On Her Own - 4:19
2. Past Tense - 3:41
3. Yesterday, Am I Right - 2:56
4. Past My Door - 4:26
5. That's Alright By Me - 5:48
6. One Way Road - 2:34
7. Down On The Pier - 4:18
8. 7:30 Mode - 5:59
9. On Tenth Street - 3:50
10.Understand Me - 2:36
11.A Long Time - 2:03
12.Big City Girl - 3:56
13.Doctor Doctor - 2:59
14.Till Today (Demo) - 3:44
All compositions by Gene Clark

*Gene Clark - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Alex De Zoppo - Piano
Other Musicians Unknown

1964-90  Gene Clark - Flying High
1964-82  Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (2016 audiophile double Vinyl set) 
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
With The Byrds
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Vanilla Fudge - Rock 'n' Roll (1969 us, jamming psych ballads with heavenly hash, 2013 remaster with extra tracks)

Vanilla Fudge started focusing more on their European exposure in 1969. Unfortunately, I don't have the many European itineraries from that year yet. Certainly the band was more popular in Europe and Australia than they ever were on the West Coast. In Italy the Fudge became the first Rock & Roll band to ever win the coveted Golden Gondola Award for their vocals at the Venice festival.

On February 2, 1969, the Fudge performed Shotgun live on the Ed Sullivan show. The band would also appear on other TV shows like the Beat Club and Dick Cavett throughout '69. The day following the Ed Sullivan appearance (Feb. 3), ATCO released Shotgun as a single with the original hard rockin' Good Good Lovin' on the B-Side.

On February 5th, ATCO released the classic 60's LP: Near the Beginning. It was the only Fudge LP produced by the band alone and the first LP without Shadow Morton. It boasted some of the most lovely symphonic and vocal arrangements the Fudge would ever record and the entire second side was the bone crunching Break Song, recorded live at the Shriner's Auditorium in Los Angeles. In just those four songs from that album, Vanilla Fudge successfully distilled all that was good, inspired and noble about the 60's era.

A helpful thought or Tangential Segue: "What is in opposition is in concert, and from what differs comes the most beautiful harmony." Heraclitus of Ephesus, circa 500 BC.

Near the Beginning was devoid of the black cynicism found on the Who's Tommy or the pessimism of Creedance Clearwater Revival's 1969 efforts. Nor did it pander to the political posturing of Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers or Cream's Farewell self indulgences. Where Led Zeppelin only had raw steel, Near the Beginning also had the astonishingly arranged Some Velvet Morning - a combination that would not be lost on Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The musical symmetry of the Fudge album was almost schizophrenic, and hence captured the fullest essence of those times. Psychedelia had given way to madness and overindulgence by 1969. Vanilla Fudge were one of the few bands who were still able to focus on the aesthetic and artistic mysteries which could combine both velvet and steel in an opus of obscure contrasts and uncanny harmonies.

Another US concert tour followed including: Feb 7th and 8th, Vanilla Fudge headlined on a bill that included Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago.

Another ATCO single: Some Velvet Morning was remixed as a single from the LP and released on the 29th of April. More European dates followed (I think. More to be added as I get them.).

On June 6th and 7th the Vanilla Fudge headlined another show at Chicago's Kinetic Playground. On June 20th, the Fudge appeared at the Newport '69 Festival in San Bernadino, Ca. The bill included Joe Cocker and Buddy Miles.

The Fudge performed at the Denver Pops Festival in Mile High Stadium which was held on the 27-29th of June.

Another ATCO single, Need Love was released on the 22nd of July. It was an original song off their forthcoming fifth LP that the band was still recording with producer Adrian Barber.

Three days later Vanilla Fudge were checked into the Edgewater Inn in Seattle with Led Zeppelin. Both bands had come to play at the Seattle Pops Festival scheduled for July 25-27th, at Woodenville, Washington.

Richard Cole, the Zeppelin Road Manager, identified a young woman named Jackie from Oregon in his book. He described her as tall, red headed, and sexually adventurous. Carmine Appice admitted in a radio interview that he was the one who brought Jackie up to the room which Richard Cole identified in his book as #242 at the Edgewater Inn. Notwithstanding Frank Zappa's song about the Mud Shark, Cole insisted that the whole affair involved a Red Snapper fish wielded by him and John Bonham, some rope from the Hotels front desk, and Mark Stein's 8mm camera. The rest is pure speculation.

Asked about the event in 1997, Vince Martell said: "Yeah, that was after one of the gigs we did up in that area... uh... Chicago, right? Oh this was Seattle, yeah, well, there were a couple of things going on in a few places. {laughs} It just basically came down to one of these crazy parties that Rock bands like to get into... indulging... and with female companions, and you end up with, you know, how crazy can everybody go?' And that went pretty crazy."

The summer was the beginning of the end for the Fudge. Sometime during it they recorded two versions of a Coca-Cola radio commercial with Jeff Beck, while Martell was sick in bed. Tim & Carmine wanted to form a "Cream" type band with Jeff Beck. During the fall's European tours, Vanilla Fudge decided to end the "magic".

Mark Stein, looking at why the Vanilla Fudge eventually broke up, told Keyboard Magazine in 1983: "... bands that featured soloists, That was the coming thing. We toured with Cream, and Carmine decided he wanted to be Ginger Baker, with a lot of drum solo's. Tim Bogert wanted to be Jack Bruce. We were being influenced in that direction, so we lost the team effort. That really started in late '68 and '69."

In 1997, with far more hindsight, Martell gave his own views on the band's breakup. In the Web Site interview conducted by Mr. Aaron Butler, Vince said: "We broke up because we had been together so much in the years of "67 to '70, that we had only two 2-week periods off. The rest of the time we were always going, we'd only have a couple of days here and there. After a couple of days off we would get back together on the way to the airport and everybody had things to say, but by the time we hit the airport nobody was talking. We had talked the old stuff out so much, and now we just finished talking the new stuff,,, that's kind of what did it... We were in Italy when we decided that when we came back to the States, we'd call it quits. And I was looking for the time off, so it was fine with me."

On the 3rd night of the Palm Beach Festival in Florida (Thanksgiving Weekend), Vanilla Fudge performed with Johnny Winter's Band and Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band. After the Joplin set, Janis called for a jam between the bands which went on for some time as the musicians traded palaces. That night Mark Stein and Carmine Appice backed Janis Joplin and Edgar Winter on sax. Vince Martell and Tim Bogert traded riffs with Johnny Winter... magical stuff to the very end...

Another remote tangent: The Fudge's music sought out the obscure through the 'harmonious wholes' of alternative & unfamiliar musical arrangements and 'patterns'. Previously 'unknown' forms of musical sounds, scales and arrangements applied to familiar themes thus revealed the 'unkown forms' lurking at the edge of all obscure & popular musical works. These 'unknown forms' proved immense, encompassing the 'greater mysteries', because what is 'unkown' is that which is 'unformed' and therein the 'unknown musical forms' create their own reality calling out to those who in turn performed or listened to it. Thus the unknown knew the 'known' and both gave life to one another at that ancient primal well William Blake called 'divine creativity'.(pax).

On September 25th 1969, Vanilla Fudge released their final LP, "Rock & Roll" which was produced by Adrian Barber. The final single by the Fudge wasn't released until 3 February 1970, and it was a remix of their Gospel rocker, Lord in the Country, from the Rock & Roll LP. On March 14, 1970, Vanilla Fudge played their final & farewell concert at Phil Basille's Action House. The Fudge disbanded and did not reunite until 1982, when ATCO released the Best of Vanilla Fudge LP in that year. In 1984, the Vanilla Fudge released a reunion LP called Mystery. In 1987 & 1988, the band did two reunion tours. Rhino records released their Fudge compilation, Psychedelic Sundae in 1993. On January 1997, Casey Butler founded the Vanilla Fudge Web page.

1. Need Love (Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Vince Martellt, Mark Stein) - 4:58
2. Lord In The Country (Mark Stein) - 4:33
3. I Can't Make It Alone (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 4:46
4. Street Walking Woman (Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Vince Martellt, Mark Stein) - 6:01
5. Church Bells Of St. Martins (Mark Stein) - 4:39
6. The Windmills Of Your Mind (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand) - 8:53
7. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (Rudy Clark) - 6:23
8. All In Your Mindneed Love (Single Version) (Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Vince Martellt, Mark Stein) - 3:04
9. Need Love (Mono Single Version) (Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Vince Martellt, Mark Stein) - 2:39
10.I Can't Make It Alone (Single Version) (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 3:37
11.Lord In The Country (Single Version) (Mark Stein) - 3:02

Vanilla Fudge
*Carmine Appice - Drums, Vocals
*Tim Bogert - Bass, Vocals
*Vince Martell - Guitar, Vocals
*Mark Stein - Lead Vocals, Keyboards

1967  Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge (2009 japan SHM remaster) 
Related Acts
1970  Cactus (Japan SHM remaster)
1971  One Way...Or Another (Japan SHM remaster)
1971  Ultra Sonic Boogie (2010 issue)
1970-72  Fully Unleashed / The Live Gigs, Vol. 1
1971  Cactus - Fully Unleashed / The Live Gigs, Vol.2 (2007 limited two disc edition)
1976  KGB - KGB (2005 remaster)

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