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Monday, June 10, 2013

Demian - Rock Star Farm (1974 us, amazing hard experimental prog rock, 2013 Flawed Gems edition)



Great and completely unknown US hard-progressive from 1974. This is not a better-known Demian group from Texas (popular for their classic, heavy rock LP on ABC Records from 1971, ex-Bubble Puppy), but completely different band which recorded their album...in Austin! 

This privately pressed and now very rare concept album was issued in 1974 by local Starbust label. It contains an excellent and quite eloquent rock opera, with trippy organ work and very fine and strong vocals similar to early David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop,  little bit of Peter Hammill's dramatic way, and the theatrical approach of Arthur Brown. Musically, they encapsulate the aspects of Zappa's styles, and sometimes they sound  like "The Doors meets early Bloodrock". 

It´s an amazing record, with plenty of great hooks, and unusual psychedelic sounds and solid, hard rock music with a distinct, progressive tones. It´s a really hard to believe that this excellent LP was never reissued before!


Tracks
1. Prologue To The Dream - 1:02
2. Hot Ride And The Prayer - 2:59
3. Time Warp - 0:20
4. Nucleus Shane - 3:06
5. We Want The Witch Dead - 1:16
6. Where's My General ? - 2:47
7. The C'Zar - 0:59
8. The General / Leigh Ashford - 5:36
9. Snake Head - 4:27
10.Acid Queen - 2:29
11.No Mirror Tonight - 1:59
12.Leeches At The Fairground - 3:22
13.Rock Star Farm - 3:53
All Words and Music by Shane Skinner

Demian
*Shane Skinner - Vocals
*Craig Terrill - Keyboards
*William Lynd - Percussion
*Alanson Clark - Guitar
*Lloyd Harper - Bass

Rory Gallagher - Rory Gallagher (1971 ireland, 1st solo album, classic blues rock, japan mini lp remaster)



In 1971 Taste were on the brink of international success. They had built up a loyal fon base (which included John Lennon), played the legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Rock Festival and recorded two blistering albums, 
but to the surprise of both their fans and their contemporaries the band split due to musical and managerial differences Rory, keen to utilise this new found musical freedom, returned to London's Advision studios with engineer Eddy Offord whom Rory had worked with during the recording of the Taste album On The Boards. The resultant sessions became Rory's first solo album, the eponymously titled Rory Gallagher.

The album opens with a trademark Gallagher riff leading into 'Laundromat', a track written at the time of the Taste split when the group were residing in a bedsit in Earls Court which had a public laundromat in the basement. In typical Rory style he used this uninspiring subject matter to create a highly inspirational song. 'Just The Smile' shows Rory's folk roots with an acoustic and percussion sound influenced heavily by Pentangle, the late 60's early 70's British folk band that included Burt Jansch and John Renbourn. 'I Fall Apart1 is an engaging love song with a big melodic Stratoeaster guitar riff and a wonderful chord sequence. 

'Wave Myself Goodbye' is the first of two tracks featuring keyboard genius with Crane, who made his name playing with Atomic Rooster and Arthur Brown during the 7()'s and Dexys .Midnight Runners in the 80's. After Taste split I became tour manager for Atomic Rooster and when Rory needed a pianist Vince was my first choice. For this track he delivers a barrel-house piano feel to compliment Rory's acoustic blues guitar. 'Hands t:p' is a highly motivational song written post Taste. The track's positive lyrical message is delivered with lines such as 'hands up and reach for the .vAV and 'gel np you know if a lime' which act to counter the negativity Rory felt when the group disbanded. "Sinner Boy".

This powerful lyric about hitting rock bottom exposes Rory's compassion and understanding for his fellow exiled man. Listen out for the Telecaster slide playing and 'scatting'. Even at the tender age of 23 Rory's natural technical ability was incredible. 'For The Last Time' is reminiscent of another great Rory track 'On The Boards' and carries a message about his treatment during the demise of Taste. 'It's You' is an upbeat country influenced track enlivened by Rory's steel-slide guitar playing, which is underscored with his excellence on the mandolin (an instrument he had only recently mastered). 

I'm Not Surprised' - This is (he second track featuring Vince Crane on piano performing a Tats Domino' style accompaniment to Rory's raucous guitar riffs. Even at this early stage of his career Rory was keen to experiment with the music he created. He was never satisfied to follow trends or take the easy path and 'Can't Believe It's True' demonstrates the infliieiicc that Jazz had on him. On this track Rory plays alto saxophone which has been double tracked, capturing a jazz/folk feel that came from his admiration of artists like Erie Dolphy and John Coltrane. 

Recorded during the original sessions for llory Gallagher the final two bonus tracks, both available here for the first lime, see Rory paying homage to two of his blues heroes: 'Gypsy Woman' was originally recorded by .Muddy Waters whom Rory greatly admired and would eventually work with on Muddy's London Session album.  The final track is a cover of It Takes Time' first recorded by premier Chicago blues guitarist Otis Rush.
by Donal Gallagher, London 1999.


Tracks
1. Laundromat - 4:38
2. Just The Smile - 3:41
3. I Fall Apart - 5:12
4. Wave Myself Goodbye - 3:30
5. Hands Up - 5:25
6. Sinner Boy - 5:04
7. For The Last Time - 6:35
8. It's You - 2:38
9. I'm Not Surprised - 3:37
10.Can't Believe It's True - 7:16
11.Gypsy Woman (Muddy Waters) - 4:02
12.It Takes Time (Otis Rush) - 3:34
All tracks composed by Rory Gallagher except as else stated.
Bonus tracks 11-12

Musicians
*Rory Gallagher - Vocals, Guitars, Alto Sax, Mandolin, Harmonica
*Gerry Mcavoy - Bass Guitar
*Wilgar Campbell – Drums,  Percussion
*Vincent Crane - Piano

with Taste
1970  On The Boards (Japan SHM edition)
1971  Live Taste
1971  Live At Isle Of Wight

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