In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mountain - Climbing! (1970 us, impressive heavy rock with melodic sensibilities, 2013 blu spec edition)

In the early ‘70s, the transition of rock as a form of expression towards the mass market entertainment industry swept aside in its wake a large number of musical pioneers – pioneers such as Mountain, the missing link to heavy metal’s beginnings, among others. The rock behind the mountain is none other than Leslie West, one of history’s most influential guitarists who the gods have only looked down kindly upon the one time, when he was courting a certain queen from Mississippi. Having recently turned 71 (born in October 1945), his biography may not take up that much space in the encyclopaedias, but that great song can still often be heard on the radio. Maybe his mistake was arriving at the right place, but at the wrong time in the history of rock.  

Climbing! , Mountain’s debut album in 1970, was in fact the ex-guitarist of The Vagrants’ second record, with whom he had already made a name for himself - both for his imposing frame and his unusual technique. He recorded his first album, a sublime slice of blues, by himself – tracks which convinced record producer Felix Pappalardi that this giant of a man was the perfect candidate to take over from Cream, another of his creations. It wasn’t long before a contract with Atlantic Records was laid on the table to be signed.   

Back then, Clapton was god and West was set on sounding like him, exactly like him. This was going to be a dream come true for the 25-year-old New Yorker. To keep him company, Pappalardi had brought in Steve Knight on the keyboards and Laurence ‘Corky’ Laing on drums. Before he knew what had hit him, West found himself up on stage at Woodstock and about to become legend.  

He took full advantage of the opportunity handed to him and surprised all and sundry with a record that didn’t just follow in the stellar path of the legendary trio, but was much grittier. That said, Pappalardi ensured that a piece by Jack Bruce was on there, even though it wasn’t one of the composer’s best efforts. The one-hit-wonder that Mississippi Queen would prove to be aside, songs such as Never in My Life (very popular back then), with their heavy, hypnotic riffs, were the early signs of hard rock’s coming of age. On Side B, back when you had to turn a record over and that pause in the proceedings actually mattered (not like with today’s CDs and USBs), the psychedelic hues present were more along the lines of progressive rock. At times it’s quite impossible to not think of Rush.  

Apart from the elaborate and perfectionist work of West, also of note is the music played by Knight on the piano in Boys in the Band – almost the only chance that the keyboard player got to shine in an album ruled by West’s Gibson Les Paul Jr., a guitar that he is famous for, along with the Electra Plexiglass that he used to fool around with during his early concerts.  

However, the hidden gem that can be found in Climbing! is the acoustic beauty, To My Friend, and the only song that West wrote entirely on his own. A fine example of just how well this maestro of the six strings can play.

1. Mississippi Queen (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West) - 2:32
2. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 5:08
3. Never In My Life (Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Leslie West) - 3:53
4. Silver Paper (Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, George Gardos, Leslie West, Steve Knight) - 3:19
5. For Yasgur's Farm (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Gary Ship, George Gardos) - 3:23
6. To My Friend (Leslie West) - 3:38
7. The Laird (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 4:39
8. Sittin' On A Rainbow (Corky Laing, Gail Collins, Leslie West) - 2:23
9. Boys In The Band (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 3:43
10.For Yasgur's Farm (Live) (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Gary Ship, George Gardos) - 4:19
Bonus Track #10

*Leslie West - Guitars, Vocals
*Felix Pappalardi - Bass Guitar, Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Corky Laing - Drums, Percussion
*Steve Knight - Organ, Mellotron

1969-73  Mountain ‎- Setlist The Very Best Of Mountain Live (2011 release)
Related Acts
1965-68  Vagrants - I Can't Make a Friend (2011 remaster)
1969  Leslie West - Mountain (Japanese edition)
1973  Back Door - 8th Street Nites
1976  The (Blues) Creation With Felix Pappalardi - Live At Budokan (rare double disc japan issue) 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Prentice And Tuttle - Prentice And Tuttle (1971 us, acoustic bluesy folk, 2011 korean edition)

First record from this duo, recorded while they were still in high-school.  This two young Boston based folk duo released this strong rural inspired beautiful folk album. The album is nowhere near as well known as the slightly more produced "Every Loving Day", but it will appeal to the same people, and just may well be a better album. 

It’s a distinctive and well-written collection of 14 short songs, starkly arranged in the best tradition of 1962 Greenwich Village (they even cover a Fred Neil song) and with an old-timer kind of world-weary feel. Some pianos and acoustic 12-string guitars give the album some variety despite the simple arrangements. This is not “pretty” folk, but it is melodic nonetheless. It doesn’t get much more “real” than this album. Highly recommended to any fan of folk/loner folk.
Acid Archives

1. Drink Away Your Blues - 2:25
2. Lisa - 3:25
3. Don`t Make Promises (Tim Hardin) - 2:40
4. Nothing To Say (Stephen Tuttle) - 3:14
5. Chase It Away (Steve Prentice) - 1:45
6. Hello Hobo - 2:28
7. Granny`s Bacon - 3:27
8. You Couldn`t Tell (Stephen Tuttle) - 3:09
9. Mr. Sandman - 2:32
10.Don`t Cry For Me (Stephen Tuttle) - 2:27
11.A Friend - 2:25
12.I Go Crazy - 1:59
13.Only Good Nights - 2:46
14.Don`t Go To Sleep Maria - 0:41
Music and Words by Stephen Tuttle, Steve Prentice excpet where stated

*Stephen Tuttle - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Steve Prentice - Six, Twelve String Guitars, Harmonica, Vocals
*David Cain - Bass
*John Gerbron - Drums
*Andy Robinson - Piano

1972  Prentice And Tuttle ‎- Every Loving Day 

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Friday, February 7, 2020

The Amboy Dukes - Journey To The Center Of The Mind (1968 us, outstanding hard garage psych, 2018 japan remaster)

In early 1968 the Dukes went on to studio to record their second album "Journey to the Center of the Mind", it was released in April 1968, on the local "Mainstream" label. 

The title track, which Nugent wrote the music for Steve Farmer's lyrics, was released as a single and climbed the U.S. pop chart to number 16. Despite its apparent drug related theme, Nugent himself claims to have "never smoke a joint...never done a drug in my life. I thought 'Journey to the Center of the Mind' meant look inside yourself, use your head, and move forward in life".

This raw heavy acid psych gem was recorded amidst a whirlwind of lineup changes, many of them due to Nugent’s commandeering of the band and then firing everyone who, lyrics notwithstanding, struck him as a wee bit too pro-drug for real life. 

At this point in time, the Nugent was an ambitious but interesting guitar player who was excessively hairy and liked jumping on top of things (moving cars, battle of the band judge tables, speaker cabinets, etc.). After his raging tours and hits of the late 70s, he quickly turned into a conservative caricature with a remarkable talent for being simultaneously entertaining and vile. 

1. Mississippi Murderer - 5:12
2. Surrender To Your Kings (Ted Nugent) - 2:53
3. Flight Of The Byrd (Ted Nugent) - 2:50
4. Scottish Tea (Ted Nugent) - 4:01
5. Dr. Slingshot - 3:09
6. Journey To The Center Of The Mind - 3:33
7. Ivory Castles (Steve Farmer) - 3:21
8. Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than An Orange (Steve Farmer) - 2:26
9. Missionary Mary (Steve Farmer) - 2:35
10.Death Is Life (Steve Farmer) - 2:09
11.Saint Philips Friend (Steve Farmer) - 3:33
12.I'll Prove I'm Right (Steve Farmer) - 1:39
13.Conclusion (Steve Farmer) - 1:59
14.You Talk Sunshine, I Breath Fire - 2:45
All somgs by Ted Nugent, Steve Farmer except where noted

The Amboy Dukes
*Ted Nugent – Lead Guitar
*Greg Arama – Bass
*John  Drake – Vocals
*Steve Farmer – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Palmer – Drums
*Andy Solomon – Organ, Piano, Vocals

1967  The Amboy Dukes (2007 bonus track remaster)
1969  The Amboy Dukes - Migration (korean remaster)

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Tony Joe White - Black And White (1969 us, remarkable swamp rock, 2012 japan remaster with extra tracks)

Tony Joe White grew up in rural Louisiana and was nicknamed “the Swamp Fox” due to his ability to write songs that conveyed the humidity, idiosyncrasies and tensions of the US south.

The best known of these was Rainy Night in Georgia, which gained global recognition not through his own version but via a cover in 1970 from Brook Benton, followed by a number of other popular interpretations over the years, by artists from Ray Charles to Randy Crawford and Rod Stewart.

In fact his swamp songs proved surprisingly universal, and were recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley and Tina Turner to Dusty Springfield and Rory Gallagher. When his career was flagging in the 1980s, Turner brought his song Steamy Windows to wider attention as a Top 20 hit in various countries, and also used three of his other compositions on her highly successful 1989 album, Foreign Affair.

White was born into a farming family, the seventh son of Virgie (nee Andrews) and Charlie White, in Oak Grove, a small town in north-eastern Louisiana, and he grew up harvesting cotton and corn. A keen interest in music, especially the blues his African-American neighbours played, found White, upon graduating from high school, playing Texan honky-tonks where he recalled “the beer bottles would get to flying”.

In 1967 he was working as a dump truck driver for the local authority in Marietta, Georgia, and while doing so heard Bobbie Gentry’s groundbreaking 1967 hit Ode to Billie Joe. This inspired him to write songs about southern life and one of the first was Polk Salad Annie, a wry rocker about “a girl that I swear to the world/ would make the alligators look tame”.

White guessed he had something and, in late 1967, drove to Nashville. There he parked up and walked into the first music publisher’s office he came across. They asked him what kind of music he made and he replied, “well, it’s kind of swampy”. Directed across the road to Combine Music, the publisher of Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson, its head, Bob Beckham, recognised in White a maverick talent. Beckham suggested that Monument Records, the label that had made Roy Orbison famous, should sign White – and they did.

While his 45s initially failed to chart in the US – although Soul Francisco was a hit in France – White was certain that Polk Salad Annie had potential, as southern audiences loved the song. For almost a year the single’s momentum built as local radio stations played it, but it took a major Los Angeles radio station to add it to their playlist for White to get his break – Polk Salad Annie reached No 8 on the US pop charts in July 1969, his only US Top 40 hit. Presley, recognising a kindred spirit, began performing it in concert. White capitalised by releasing his debut album, Black and White, in 1969.
by Garth Cartwright, Sun 28 Oct 2018  

When "Polk Salad Annie" blared from transistor radio speakers in the summer of 1969, the first thought was of Creedence Clearwater Revival, for Tony Joe White's swamp rock bore more than a passing resemblance to the sound John Fogerty whipped up on Bayou Country and Green River. But White was the real thing -- he really was from the bayou country of Louisiana, while Fogerty's bayou country was conjured up in Berkeley, CA. Plus, White had a mellow baritone voice that sounded like it had been dredged up from the bottom of the Delta. Besides "Annie," side one of this album includes several other White originals.

The best of these are "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," a song about race relations with an arrangement similar to "Ballad of Billie Joe," and "Soul Francisco," a short piece of funky fluff that had been a big hit in Europe in 1968. "Aspen, Colorado" presages the later "Rainy Night in Georgia," a White composition popularized by Brook Benton. The second side consists of covers of contemporary hits, with the funky "Who's Making Love" and "Scratch My Back" faring better than the slow stuff. Dusty Springfield had a minor hit with "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," and White's songs were recorded by other performers through the years, but "Polk Salad Annie" and the gators that got her granny provided his only march in the American hit parade. 
by Jim Newsom

Tony Joe White, singer and songwriter, born 23 July 1943; died 24 October 2018

1. Willie And Laura Mae Jones - 4:57
2. Soul Francisco - 1:57
3. Aspen Colorado - 2:50
4. Whompt Out On You - 2:25
5. Don't Steal My Love - 3:52
6. Polk Salad Annie - 3:46
7. Who's Making Love (Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher, Don Davis, Raymond Jackson) - 3:14
8. Scratch My Back (James Moore) - 3:03
9. Little Green Apples (Bobby Russell) - 4:01
10.Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb) - 2:53
11.Look Of Love (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 3:24
12.Georgia Pines (John Adkins, Buddy Blue) - 2:58
13.Ten More Miles To Louisiana - 2:23
All compositions by Tony Joe White except where noted

*Tony Joe White – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*David Briggs: Piano, Organ
*Jerry Carrigan – Drums
*Norbert Putnam – Bass
*Chip Young – Guitar
*Jimmy Isbell – Drums

1969  Tony Joe White - ...Continued (2012 japan remaster) 
1970  Tony Joe White - Tony Joe (2013 Japan remaster) 
1969-2004  Tony Joe White - Collected (2012 three discs release)

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Jericho - Jericho (1971 canada, gorgeous bluesy hard classic rock 2019 korean remaster)

Has classic rock radio made a bad name for itself because the music doesn’t wear well with age, or is it because they keep playing the same old shit? In a perfect world, classic rock gems like Jericho would no longer be neglected by the airwaves and listeners would abound in new sounds from a previous era. Just imagine your local classic rock station slipped in one cut off this record, in place of the usual barrage of Zep and Skynyrd repeats; there could easily be a demand for this sweet sounding, authentic-as-it-gets, yet unissued and unplayed recording.

Jericho members Frank DiFelice, Denny Gerrard, Fred Keeler, Gordon Fleming hailed from Canada and recorded this one-off at the famous Bearsville studio in Woodstock, with engineering and production by Todd Rundgren. These guys were a part of the same scene as Jesse Winchester and The Band, sharing Rundgren as producer and art director Bob Cato between this and Stage Fright, and the music falls right in line, albeit with a harder edge.

They bust down the door with “True Fine Girl,” sounding like the Band on steroids with overdriven organ and screeching guitars notching a next-level sound. “SS #4” even sounds a little like hard rock “Cripple Creek,” but the key here isn’t loud guitar rippin but a loose knit down-home groove. There are nasty prog moves and killer Clavinet shredding on “Cheater Man;” Gordon Fleming really steals the show on keys, often overshadowing the guitar leads a rare feat for keyboardists. “Baby’s Gone Again” is a blues that shuffles harder than Cream and “Backtrack” is a killer Edgar Winter style instrumental with gnarly parts played thru Garth Hudson’s own Leslie speaker and Clav. I’m a sucker for “Goin’ To The Country,” a goofy, stoned country groover with wowy Moog bass replacing the “jug” line. The vocalist shines on this little number vocals are really great all the way through, actually that definitely stands out from the rest.

One track, “Make It Better,” would score a minor hit, but Jericho would be largely forgotten, unissued since its original release. I do find that this record tends to push a little too hard; it’s kind of relentlessly hard-rockin. But it deserved much more than it got. 
by Brendan McGrath 

Fred Keeler passed away on June 14th, 2019

1. True Fine Girl (Fred Keeler) - 2:43
2. The Road I Never Took (Gordon Fleming) - 3:17
3. Lonely As Me (Fred Keeler) - 2:35
4. Cheater Man (Fred Keeler) - 2:21
5. Baby's Gone Again (Fred Keeler) - 3:02
6. Goin' To The Country (Fred Keeler) - 3:24
7. Fool Killer (Mose Allison) - 3:49
8. Intro: Into My Blue Heaven/Backtrack (George Whiting, Walter Donaldson, Denny Gerrard, Frank De Felice, Fred Keeler, Gordon Fleming) - 4:27
9. Make It Better (Fred Keeler) - 3:23
10.S.S. #4 (Gordon Fleming) - 3:48
11.Do You Want Me (Fred Keeler) - 3:24
12.Can't Seem To Make It Happen (Gordon Fleming) - 5:40

*Frank DiFelice - Drums
*Denny Gerrard - Bass, Vocals
*Fred Keeler - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Gordon Fleming - Organ, Piano, Accordion, Vocals
*Todd Rundgren, Rhythm Guitar, Harmony Vocals

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Glass Menagerie - Have You Forgotten Who We Are? The Anthology (1968-69 uk, a precious glimpse of beat psych rock, 2019 digi pak remaster)

When guitarist Alan Kendall (ex-Kris Ryan & The Questions) and bass player from Nelson John (Megs) Medley left the backing group of The Truth (singers Frank Aiello and Steve Gold, who had reached number 27 in the charts in 1966 with the Beatles song Girl) they teamed up in August 1967 with three ex - members of Burnley band The Raging Storms: Lou Stonebridge (from Bury), vocals, Keith O’Connell, organ, and Bill Atkinson, drums.

Inspired by the new wave of progressive/psychedelic rock, they were initially a covers band, playing material by Blood, Sweat and Tears, Leonard Cohen, The Doors, Traffic, Lovin’ Spoonful and Jefferson Airplane. They quickly developed into an excellent group with a strong following, and in 1968 they signed with the John Gunnell agency, gained a recording contract with Pye Records, and moved to London. Soon after, organist Keith O’Connell left to join Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band, and Lou Stonebridge took over on organ as well as vocals.

In 1968, three singles, produced by John Schroeder, were recorded for Pye: She’s A Rainbow/That’s When I Start To Love Her, You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice/Let’s All Run To The Sun and Frederick Jordan/I Said Goodbye To Me.

Although these were all excellent singles and enjoyed decent radio airplay, they were not hits, despite Glass Menagerie building up a national following via gigs, broadcasts on John Peel’s popular Top Gear BBC radio show and regular appearances at venues like London’s Marquee club.

In 1969 the John Gunnell agency amalgamated with the Robert Stigwood Organization and Glass Menagerie signed with Polydor Records and producer Chas Chandler. Two singles were recorded in 1969 – Have You Forgotten Who You Are/Do You Ever Think and Do My Thing Myself/Watching The World Pass By – and also an LP, but the singles were not hits and the LP was not released.

At the end of 1969, disillusioned by lack of success, Alan Kendall and John Medley left the band, the latter to return to his home town of Nelson. Tony Dangerfield, ex–Screaming Lord Sutch, was recruited on bass, and the band continued as a three-piece. After a tour of Europe with John Mayall in early 1970, Glass Menagerie broke up.

Lou Stonebridge worked with Paladin, with whom he recorded two albums, Paladin (1971) and Charge! (1972). He then joined McGuinness Flint, recording with them Rainbow (1973) and C’est La Vie (1974). He later worked with The Blues Band, The Dance Band and the Dave Kelly Band, and as a writer, producer and session musician.

Alan Kendall joined Cliff Bennett’s group Toe Fat and appeared on the LP Toe Fat Two. In 1971 he replaced Vince Melouney in the Bee Gees, and with Blue Weaver and Dennis Bryon from Amen Corner he was part of the Bee Gees Band that recorded Saturday Night Fever and received a share of the group’s earnings for the album. He remained with the Bee Gees, on and off, until the death of Maurice Gibb in 2003.

Bill Atkinson joined Mogul Thrash, a jazz-rock band formed by ex-Colosseum guitarist James Litherland. Personnel included Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan, later of The Average White Band, and bassist John Wetton, later of King Crimson, Roxy Music and UK. They recorded one album in 1971 and disbanded. Atkinson returned to Nelson and, with Glass Menagerie colleague John Medley, formed a heavy rock band called Thunderbird Sabden. He died in 1992.
by Geoffrey Wills

1. She's A Rainbow (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger) - 2:20
2. That's When I Start To Love Her (Alan Kendall, Lou Stonebridge) - 1:52
3. You Didn't Have To Be So Nice (John Sebastian, Steve Boone) - 2:24
4. Let's All Run To The Sun (Alan Kendall, Lou Stonebridge) - 1:53
5. I Said Goodbye To Me (Harry Nilsson) - 3:29
6. Frederick Jordan (John Medley) - 3:14
7. Have You Forgotten Who You Are (Lou Stonebridge) - 3:47
8. Do You Ever Think (Alan Kendall, Bill Atkinson, John Medley, Lou Stonebridge) - 3:34
9. Do My Thing Myself (Lou Stonebridge) - 2:23
10.Watching The World Pass By (Lou Stonebridge) - 3:41
11.She's A Rainbow (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger) - 2:47
12.Somebody To Love (Darby Slick) - 2:49
13.Run Out Of Time (Lucky Peterson, Paul Butterfield) - 2:56
14.Love Me Two Times (Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger) - 2:14
15.Dear Mr. Fantasy (Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood) - 5:31
16.I Said Goodbye To Me (Harry Nilsson) - 2:45
17.I Can't Quit Her (Al Kooper, Irwin Levine) - 2:30
18.Putting It Off Till Another Day - 2:43
19.Chequebook Girl - 2:38
20.Life Is Getting It Togethe - 5:58
21.She Came From Hell - 4:01
22.Have You Forgotten Who We Are? (Lou Stonebridge) - 5:08
23.Do You Ever Think (Alan Kendall, Bill Atkinson, John Medley, Lou Stonebridge) - 3:33

The Glass Menagerie
*Alan Kendall - Guitar
*Lou Stonebridge - Vocals, Organ (1968-69)
*Bill Atkinson - Drums
*Keith O’Connell - Organ (1968)
*John “Megs” Medley - Bass (1968-69)
*Tony Dangerfield - Bass (1970)

Related Acts
1970  Mogul Thrash - Mogul Thrash (2011 extra tracks reissue) 
1971  Paladin - Paladin (2007 remaster)
1972  Paladin - Charge! (2007 remaster)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Chris Stainton Glen Turner - Tundra (1976 uk, awesome classic rock, 2014 remaster)

Tundra was the result of Chris Stainton's blossoming solo exploits that had followed in the wake of his association with legendary singer Joe Cocker. There was a hallowed preserve of Sheffield musicians who had cut their musical teeth in the late 1950s skiffle boom before relocating to London, some of which became more famously known as the Grease Band. The Grease Band backed Cocker on his debut outing Marjorine for Regal Zonophone in 1968 although it was actually the work of Cocker, Stainton and an assembled cast of session players including Jimmy Page, Albert Lee and Clem Cattini. Stainton's role within the band fast became pivotal to Cocker and they would both recruit a professional line-up which included another notable figure in Tommy Eyre who, with sufficient interest from RCA in 1971, eventually recorded an LP with Riff Raff and Vertigo's Juicy Lucy. 

Ironically, Stainton replaced Eyre on keyboards after the release of Cocker's debut LP vacating bass for new recruit Alan Spenner. Stainton and Spenner had also collaborated with Henry McCullough in Spooky Tooth in 1970 for their Last Puff LP. The Grease Band would go their own way after Joe Cocker established himself as a solo artist with A&M in 1970, although Stainton kept a close distance appearing in production credits. Meanwhile, Stainton was busily preparing and moving within the ranks of the Grease Band. Ex Bluesology guitarist Neil Hubbard and Henry McCullough (Eire Apparent) were enrolled into what, by 1972, would be the Chris Stainton Band, before a negative review of their appearance in Madison Square Garden prompted a call on Joe Cocker who re-joined to front the band. Sessions with Cocker back at the helm were promptly arranged resulting in A&M's release of Something To Say. The LP was a self-evaluating portrait of Cocker's uncompromising honesty with Stainton providing a reliable shoulder for support. 

Released in Cocker's name only, the album had it's detractors who commented on Cocker's voice giving way at times and it may have played a part in Stainton and Cocker's decision to finally part company, but Stainton was always looking to create something more fertile as he had done from the start with freakbeat hopefuls, Made In Sheffield back in 1967. Stainton immediately absorbed himself with session work and set about forming his new band with Jimmy McCulloch (One In A Million, Stone The Crows), future Motorhead bassist Mickey Feat (soon replaced by Glen Turner) and trusted ex-Herd member and session drummer Henry Spinetti. Spinetti's old friend Charlie Harrison would quickly replace the departing McCulloch who opted to join McCartney's Wings. Harrison had recently completed a stint with Coast Road Drive and had previously played alongside Spinetti in Judas Jump. With Turner now switching to guitar, the revised line-up set about writing and recording enough material for their LP which would eventually arrive in 1976 somewhat delayed! 

It was prompted by a lone single having appeared two years earlier on Decca's Goodear imprint featuring They Don't Know b/w Love Is All You Have To Do neither of which made it onto the LP. Rather notably, Tundra was issued in the USA as Glen Turner's Tundra. In the intervening years Stainton worked with old mates Alan Spenner and Neil Hubbard of the Grease Band for their forthcoming Amazing Grease LP and the trio's other outlet Charge with Smiley Dejonns of Afro-rockers Assagai. Meanwhile, Stainton and Turner's Tundra project was failing to attract sufficient interest and Stainton parted with the band favouring more session work. His departure from the band signalled Glen Turner's adoption of Tundra with Goodear issuing their last single on 5th September 1975. Stainton's session work was proving to be a promising move with inspiring artists such as The Who, Jim Capaldi and Bryn Haworth calling on his talents aside from more obscure acts such as Druick and Lorange (with Neil Hubbard), Chris Jagger and Boxer (Mike Patto).

Prog Temple's retrospective analysis of this band's brief, but valid existence emphasizes Chris Stainton's convictions and illustrates the missing links in a vital part of British rock music history. Names such as Joe Cocker, Jim Capaldi, Bryn Haworth, Mike Patto and The Who offers only a glimpse of the iconic wealth surrounding one man's career and a band that was clearly striving for something more than cheap rewards.
CD Liner Notes

1. Say You Don't Want It (Glen Turner) - 6:06
2. Double Crossed (Glen Turner) - 3:42
3. Dancers Dilemma (Chris Stainton) - 1:52
4. Flat On The Ground (Glen Turner) - 5:06
5. I Want To Tell You (Charlie Harrison) - 4:42
6. Calling Of The Wind (Glen Turner) - 2:54
7. Get It Free (Chris Stainton, Glen Turner) - 4:36
8. Temperature Cold (Glen Turner) - 3:19
9. Dead Of Night (Glen Turner) - 2:49
10.What Else Can I Say? (Peter Cetera) - 5:42

*Charlie Harrison - Bass, Vocals
*Henry Spinetti - Drums, Percussion
*Chris Stainton - Guitar, Keyboards,
*Glen Turner - Guitar, Vocals

Related Acts
1968  Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends (2015 SACD)
1970  Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs And Englishmen (2005 two disc set)
1970  Judas Jump - Scorch (2009 Retro issue)
1974  Coast Road Drive ‎- Delicious And Refreshing (2013 korean remaster) 

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Paupers - Magic People (1967 canada, superb psych rock with west coast breeze, 2019 japan remaster)

In 1967 the great band from the North released their debut record. The Paupers, along with the Guess Who, were one of the first Canadian bands to capitalize on the British Invasion. They started releasing singles in 1965 with a lineup consisting of Denny Gerrard (Bass), Skip Prokop (Drums), Bill Marion (Guitars) and Chuck Beal (Guitars). Prokop and Marion handled all the songwriting chores on their first clutch of singles.

Their early sound was a classy mixture of roots music, blues and folk-rock (think early Byrds or Lovin’ Spoonful crossed with the Blues Project circa 1965). The band began rehearsing 14 hours a day, honing their setlist and evolving into one of the tightest bands around. They hit the hip Yorkville District of Canada, playing to packed out venues daily and in return this gained them immense popularity.

Rumor has it that the Paupers blew the mighty Jefferson Airplane off stage one night. In 1966/1967, Bill Marion exited the band for reasons unknown, prompting the Paupers to recruit Adam Mitchell. Mitchell (guitar and vocals) proved to be an excellent songwriting partner for Prokop, and at this point the band set out to create their debut lp.

Magic People has a good mid 60’s sound and is anchored by the band’s folk-rock leanings. There are a trio of good psychedelic sunshine pop fuzz rockers on the record. These songs, Magic People, It’s Your Mind and Think I Care, are highlighted by Prokop’s distinct drum patterns, special guitar effects, and great raga soloing. The only dud on the album is One Rainy Day, which is a jaunty good time Lovin’ Spoonful rocker. The remaining six songs are good to great folk-rockers, that recall the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Beau Brummels.

The catchy You and Me feels like a throw back to a 1965 Byrds or Brummels folk-rock sound. Tudor Impressions is excellent, reflective, and abstract, including horns, sparkling accoustic guitars and a Beach Boys-like harmony pop ending. Black Thank You Package and My Love Hides From Your View have a great outsider feel. Black Thank You Package has a distinct, exciting intro and a catchy chorus while My Love Hides is an absolute haunting masterpiece of acid-folk.

Later on in the year the band would play at the seminal Monterey Pop Festival. Everything that could go wrong for them did. Band members took doses of acid that were way too strong and had equipment/sound check problems. Thus, it was the beginning of the end for the Paupers, a group of individuals who had began with so much promise. In 1968, beneath all the internal turmoil, the Paupers were able to squeeze one more lp out. Ellis Island is a little mini psychedelic gem and fans are strongly urged to check this great album out as well.
by Jason Nardelli

1. Magic People - 2:45
2. It's Your Mind - 5:21
3. Black Thank You Package - 3:12
4. Let Me Be - 3:10
5. Think I Care - 3:56
6. One Rainy Day - 2:15
7. Tudor Impressions - 4:15
8. Simple Deed - 2:47
9. My Love Hides Your View - 3:18
10.You And Me - 2:39
All songs by Adam MitchellSkip Prokop.

The Paupers
*Dennis Gerrard - Bass
*Skip Prokop - Drums, Bass Guitar
*Adam Mitchell - Rhythm Guitar, Drums
*Chuck Beal - Lead Guitar

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Badger - White Lady (1975 uk, fabulous soulful art rock, 2015 remaster)

By 1974, Badger was reduced to Kaye and Dyke, who reconstructed the group along somewhat different lines with the addition of Paul Pilnick, late of Stealers Wheel, on lead guitar, Kim Gardner (of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke) on bass, and ex-Apple alumnus Jackie Lomax on vocals. In essence, it became Lomax's group, and he pushed the band away from progressive rock and into soul in a serious way; Badger's second album, White Lady, was made up entirely of songs co-authored by Lomax, and produced in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint's studio. The change in direction would have been difficult enough to pull off under the best of conditions, but stability wasn't one of Badger's long suits at this date -- the group had split up before White Lady was even issued, leaving bewildered fans of both the old sound and new to ponder what had just happened.

Pilnick later returned to the orbit of Stealers Wheel's Joe Egan and Parrish went on to cut a solo album, while Lomax signed with Capitol for two solo albums and Dyke passed through bands behind Pat Travers and jazz veteran Chris Barber. Tony Kaye was a member of Detective and later passed through a re-formed version of Badfinger before re-emerging with Yes in the 1980s, and even got to sing a little on the Union album. Finally, a quarter century after it was recorded.
by Bruce Eder

1. A Dream Of You - 4:15
2. Everybody - Nobody - 3:17
3. Listen To Me - 4:56
4. Don't Pull The Trigger - 4:02
5. Just The Way It Goes - 4:45
6. White Lady - 4:47
7. Be With You - 3:37
8. Lord Who Give Me Life - 3:04
9. One More Dream To Hold - 4:01
10.The Hole Thing - 6:09
Music by Jackie Lomax, Lyrics by Robert Ashley

*Jackie Lomax - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Paul Pilnick - Lead Guitar
*Tony Kaye - Keyboards, Mellotron, Moog
*Kim Gardner - Bass
*Roy Dyke - Drums
*Bryn Haworth - Slide Guitar
*Barry Bailey - Slide Guitar
*Jeff Beck - Lead Guitar
*Allen Toussaint - Piano, Organ, Congas, Vocals, Horn Arrangements
*Carl Blouin - Baritone Saxophone, Flute
*Alvin Thomas - Tenor Saxophone
*Lester Caliste - Trumpet
*John Lango - Trombone
*Mercedes Davis -Backing Vocals
*Joan Harmon - Backing Vocals
*Teresipa Henry - Backing Vocals
*Bobby Montgomery - Backing Vocals
*Jessie Smith - Backing Vocals

Related Acts
1969  Jackie Lomax - Is This What You Want? (2010 extra tracks reissue) 
1969  Ashton Gardner And Dyke - Ashton Gardner And Dyke 
1970  Ashton, Gardner And Dyke - The Worst Of 
1971  Ashton, Gardner and Dyke - Let It Roll / Live
1972  Ashton Gardner Dyke And Co - What A Bloody Long Day It's Been 

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Bare Sole - Flash (1969 uk, spectacular garage psych heavy blues rock, 2015 mastered from the original tapes)

Bare Sole had been formed in 1969 from the ashes of another local beat outfit, The Combine, headed by lead guitarist Richie Foster, drummer Ron Newlove and Dave George on rhythm guitar. Richie Foster and Ron Newlove had emigrated from an early sixties band called The Mariners who at one point featured a young Mick Ronson (ironically, Ronson was balancing a day job as a local council gardener and up-andcoming guitarist). However, both Foster and Newlove's involvement in the evolving line-up of the band was short-lived and by 1968 were going out under the name of The Combine. Playing a strict diet of chart and Motown cover material, the band were joined by Brian Harrison on bass guitar leading to the eventual line-up of and change of name to Bare Sole. 

A steady stream of gigs and capable and enthusiastic management gave the band a selection of impressive support slots with visiting headline acts such as The Move, Status Quo, Family and the Small Faces (at this stage, fronted by Rod Stewart). Venues such as The Bridlington Spa and Skyline Ballroom proved a valuable platform on which to show the visiting bands what Hull had to offer. Confidence for the band and their manager grew after several complimentary returns from the bigger bands and studio time was eventually arranged at Fairview studios. The band's manager even brought  in the talents of a Jamaican songwriter Ira George Green who would compose Woman-a-Come for the band. The song's popularity within the band earned it a second version with Fairview's Keith Herd applying a dominant organ backing as he would with the R&B workout Ain't Nobody Here. Songs such as Jungle Beat and Flash illustrated Bare Sole's taste for fuzz and wah-wah pedals impeccably and was thankfully, nothing short of indulgent. Let's Communicate displayed the loose structure of the band's approach and attitude that seemed to mirror those of acts found across the pond, in particular The Litter and Country Joe and The Fish. 

The overall result of their brief session at Fairview and thus their entire recorded history is marked by an arrogant contempt for anything current and progressive, an attitude that can be easily forgiven for it's youthful drive and enthusiasm. Jungle Beat in particular captures the band at its most energetic and anarchic best with overdriven fuzz leads and an exceptionally enthusiastic Ron Newlove on drums. The only sadness being in all this, is that none of the recordings were ever committed to vinyl at the time or even made it out of Hull and in particular, Fairview studios. The band's manager endeavoured to push the band and help to secure a record deal sending a demo tape to Decca records in London.

Unfortunately, the band were denied an audition for the label which by 1 970 was unwilling to invest in a band that clearly had no intentions of keeping up with the changing music fashions of progressive London. Their sound was possibly too raw and primitive for the sophistication of Decca's fancy West Hampstead studios or that of De Lane Lea. Immediately before their tape was returned, the band were packing their bags for a tour of American air bases in West Germany, but as well as a rejected demo, drummer Ron Newlove was about to marry his long-term girlfriend which ultimately led to his decision to quit the band during the tour. Newlove and the band returned dismayed and after a brief and fruitless existence with a newly recruited drummer, the remaining members of Bare Sole inevitably split up and returned to their day jobs in mid-1970.

Although Bare Sole had lasted just over a year, they had narrowly carved themselves into the history books thanks to the Fairview recording session in 1969 and the survival of it. Keith Herd had the foresight to hold onto the original tapes and managed to salvage most of them from further deterioration 39 years later! This celebratory edition of Bare Sole's brief recorded legacy brings to life their music and concludes another chapter in the history of British popular music. As well as this vinyl spotlight, Bare Sole have also surfaced on Front Room Masters, a double-CD archival set of 42 tracks recorded at Fairview studios from 1966-1973. Their notoriety has been further documented in the British Music Archive alongside other Hull and East Riding bands such as The Mandrakes, Rats, Gospel Garden and Roger Blooms Hammer together with numerous nationwide acts.
by Greg Smith (British Music Archive) 2015 Very special thanks to: Keith Herd, Ron Newlove, Richard Foster, Dave George and Brian Harrison (RIP).

1. Let's Communicate - 4:49
2. Flash - 4:27
3. Woman A Come (Ira George Green) - 3:19
4. Ain't Nobody Here - 2:08
5. Jungle Beat - 4:22
6. Sole Blues - 5:08
7. Woman A Come (Version 2) (Ira George Green) - 2:21
All songs by Richard Foster, Dave George, Brian Harrison, Ron Newlove except where stated

Bare Sole
*Richard Foster - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Dave George - Lead Guitar
*Brian Harrison - Bass
*Ron Newlove - Drums

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Byzantium - Seasons Changing (1973 uk, elegant silky prog rock, 2013 edition)

Originally issued in 1973, "Seasons Changing" was their third and final album release, and found them blending concise pop-rock songs and ballads with a lengthy three-part suite. Dreamy and atmospheric, and featuring some notable early use of synthesizer as well as guest appearances from BJ Cole on pedal steel, and Frank Ricotti on percussion.

1. What A Coincidence (Robin Lamble) - 3:55
2. My Season's Changing With The Sun (Mick Barakan) - 2:37
3. Show Me The Way (Chas Jankel) - 4:03
4. I'll Always Be Your Friend (Chas Jankel) - 4:08
5. October Andy (Mick Barakan) - 5:22
6. Something You Said (A Trilogy)  (Jamie Rubinstein) - 20:42
.a.Something You Said
.b.I Can See You

*Robin Lamble - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Jamie Rubinstein - Guitar, Vocals
*Mick Barakan - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Chas Jankel - Guitar
*Stevie Corduner - Drums, Shaker, Maracas
*Frank Ricotti - Congas, Cabasa
*B.J. Cole - Pedal Steel Guitar
*David Hentschel - Synthesizer
*Robin Sylvester - Synthesizer

1972  Byzantium - Byzantium (2013 reissue) 
1972  Byzantium - Live And Studio
Related Act
1969  Ora - Ora (2016 double disc edition)

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Dave Lewis - A Collection Of Short Dreams (1978 ireland, marvelous multi blended rock, 2018 korean remaster)

The third solo full-length by the former lead singer of Irish psych legends Andwellas Dream, is actually a diverse album, like the title reffears "A collection of short dreams", from the funky "Let's Stay Right Here Forever", to the groovy "Papa Boy" wich also appears on his previous album.

The passionate blues "Whole Lotta Something", the country rock tune "Lucy Took A Ride",  the jazzy "Beautiful Woman" and the smoothy guitar "Open Up Your Heart", songs are flooded by his soulful voice.

1. Let's Stay Right Here Forever - 4:11
2. Late Show - 3:29
3. Go All Out To Get It - 2:53
4. Papa Boy - 4:08
5. Whole Lotta Something - 5:29
6. Lucy Took A Ride - 3:35
7. Beautiful Woman - 4:43
8. Open Up Your Heart - 3:57
9. A Woman Like You - 6:04
All songs by Dave Lewis

*Dave Lewis - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Jamie Brantley - Guitar
*Bruce Dees - Guitar, Vocals
*Andy McMahon - Keyboards, Vocals
*Felix Krish - Bass
*Steve Brantley - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Brantley - Percussion
*Preston Heyman - Drums, Percussion
*Maggie Ryder - Vocals

1970  David Lewis - Songs Of David Lewis (2009 bonus tracks remaster)
1976  Dave Lewis - From Time To Time (2018 korean remaster)
Related Act
1969  Andwellas Dream - Love And Poetry (2009 Sunbeam extra tracks edition)
1970  Andwella - World's End (2006 japan remaster)
1971  Andwella - People's People (japan remaster issue)

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