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Plain and Fancy

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Betty - Handful (1971 us, rough psych biker boogie roll, Shadoks remaster)

Originally recorded in 1971 by California's long-forgotten Betty, Handful is an interesting and frustrating album, but not because of any of the songs on it. The ten tracks are standard for the time period and show that the musicians were competent if not particularly imaginative songwriters. Opener "Boogie with You" has a distinct roadhouse feel reminiscent of the Doors or Canned Heat. Guitarists Mike McMahon and Anthon Davis lay down some funky guitar licks accented by Tom Jordan's piano and an able rhythm section comprising Al Rodriguez on drums and Kerry Kanbara on bass. And the other nine songs on the album are variations on this theme.

"Blind with Shame" contains some poppy guitar hooks and a catchy chorus, and "Thank You" replaces the piano with an organ and blues riffs with Moby Grape-inspired metal chords. On "Lights Gonna Shine," the band travels the farthest afield by trading out the shouted lyrics and boogie sensibility of the other tracks for a more folk-oriented point of view. 

Listening to the album does pique an interest in the band that put them together, and in that regard Shadoks Music misses out. There was a huge opportunity here to track down the members of the band for interviews and have them put Handful into both an artistic and a historic context. It's nearly impossible not to wonder what became of Betty. 
by Mike Burr

1. Boogie With You (Anthon Davis) - 2:53
2. Blind With Shame (Anthon Davis) - 2:60
3. Just For Fun (Mike Mcmahon, Anthon Davis) - 4:01
4. High Rollin' On The Freeway (Lee Marks, Anthon Davis) - 3:33
5. River Bummin' (Lee Marks, Anthon Davis) - 3:35
6. Handful (Of Love) (Mike Mcmahon, Anthon Davis) - 3:19
7. Thank You (Lee Marks, Anthon Davis) - 4:09
8. Learn How To Boogie (Lee Marks, Anthon Davis) - 3:28
9. Harley Perdoo (Lee Marks, Anthon Davis) - 3:23
10.Lights Gonna Shine (Mike Mcmahon, Anthon Davis) - 3:05

*Al Rodriguez - Drums
*Mike McMahon - Guitar
*Kerry Kanbara - Bass, Vocals
*Anthon Davis - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Guest Musicians
*Tom Jordan - Keyboards
*Lee Marks - Chorus
*Ed O'Donnell - Chorus

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peraberg said...

Thanks for Betty

Marios said...


Kerry said...

1971 was a long time ago.

All of us band members are doing well. All have business and great families.

Kerry Kanbara

ano ka said...

thanks for this masterpiece!!

Chris Marks said...

Hi Kerry, I'm Lee Marks' son (Chris). My band is doing an album at Sound City, he mentioned this album was recorded there. Any chance you have pictures of the sessions? I'd love to post them on our band page, I think fans of the band would get a kick out of it :)

I can be reached at

Thanks! Hope you are well

Chris Hesse (Marks)