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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".


Tracks
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

Personnel
*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


Tracks
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. 


Tracks
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

Accolade
*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


Tracks
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

Musicians
*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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