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Friday, January 4, 2013

Linn County - Fever Shot (1969 us, splendid west coast psych blues rock, 2007 Foot Print issue)

In the 1960s, several regional music scenes developed in cities across the United States and caught the ear of a national audience. The music revolution that took place in San Francisco was for real. The times they were a-changin. The 60s counterculture revolution that was taking place in the Bay Area made it ripe ground for a musical phenomenon to develop.

The birth of the hippie scene, the advent of underground FM radio which gave non-Top 40 music a chance to be heard, and several venues (Fillmore, Avalon, Matrix etc.) willing to booking up-and-coming local talent all made the Bay Area a fertile place for groups to grow and develop. The Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin and The Jefferson Airplane are a few of the best-known bands that emerged from this creative environment.

Although they never enjoyed the same national fame, Linn County was one of the most musically sound, in-demand and highly admired outfits in the Bay area, especially by other Bay area musicians. To trace the roots of Linn County's genealogy, one must venture back to their early days to the home state of Iowa when they were known as the Prophets.

An unusual late-'60s band that combined horn-embellished soul-rock with more interesting material utilizing jazz-colored arrangements and somewhat spacy songwriting. There were few parallels for this kind of thing at the time, other than perhaps the only slightly less obscure Insect Trust.

In 1968, the band signed with Mercury Records, moved to San Francisco, California, and changed its name to Linn County. They released their first album Proud Flesh Soothseer in 1968 and toured, performing with bands and people such as: Albert King, Led Zeppelin, Sly & the Family Stone, Eric Burdon & the Animals and Ten Years After. They never became too well known.

Futher albums followed in 1969 and 1970. The band broke up after Clark Pierson left with Janis Joplin. The solo album released by band member Stephen Miller in 1970 includes 4 tracks recorded by the final Linn County line-up.

1. Girl Can't Help It (B. Troup) - 4:10
2. Elevator Woman (J. L. Williamson) - 4:04
3. Too Far Gone (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 2:40
4. Suspended (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 8:18
5. Fever Shot (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 6:15
6. Lonely Avenue (J. Frederick, L. Branch) - 7:21
7. Ground Hog Blues (S. Boy Williamson) - 4:38

Linn County
*Stephen Miller - Organ, Vocals
*Larry Easter - Saxophone, Flute
*Dino Long - Bass
*Ray 'Snake' McAndrew - Drums
*Fred Walk - Guitar, Sitar

1968  Proud Flesh Soothseer

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  1. Thank you very much, my friend. Discovered your blog a few days ago and I love your collection! Keep them comin'!

  2. It's hard keeping up the pace with you guys! Thank you again Marios & Larry for this second Linn share. Excellent!!

  3. Although Linn County has never had a national fame, in his state of Iowa, they had the status of the prophets. It is unusual for a 60 team that combined rock with soul-tinged jazz arrangements of colors and curious lyrics. The second album - not as good as its predecessor,less psychedelic, but dynamic mix of blues-jazz-rock, is best known for the title track 'Fever Shot' this track was a FM underground classic. They covered Little Richard's 'Girl Can't Help' It and 'Too Far Gone' may have been picked as a single but outside of the title track, I found the album to somewhat dull but then again I may have been put off by the scratchy album that it skipped on a couple of the songs off that album.

    Brain: I agree with you, the pace is impressive!
    Thx Marios & Larry!

  4. I loved the other Linn County album you recently posted, although the last few tracks, closely blues-based, didn't hold up to the rock originals preceding them IMHO. Hope the present album trends more towards the latter than the former!!!

  5. Thanks for the chance to hear this interesting and little known band.