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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Way We Live - A Candle For Judith (1971 uk, fantastic acid folk rock from Tractor members, 2009 japan remaster with bonus tracks)

Titled for the name under which Tractor plied their trade around the time of their earliest recordings, The Way We Live is an astonishing collection of rarities, outtakes and more, serving up a stunning snapshot of this most versatile of early-'70s duos. The main attraction, of course, is a full reissue for the band's 1971 debut LP A Candle for Judith, an eight-track masterpiece that remains as electrifyingly original today as it was upon its release.

From there, the album moves on to two early-'70s oddities, "Watching White Stars" from 1972, and an alternate version of 1972's "Marie." Another 1970 cut, "One Eyed Mule," appears later in the set. But the majority of the remainder of The Way We Live tracks Tractor through their later years -- a 1977 single, "Northern City," and a clutch of numbers recorded during 2002-2003.

 What might astonish the casual listener, however, is the sheer consistency of the material, a feat that few acts, recording on either side of a 30-year hiatus, can muster. Tractor, however, pull it off, and the second half of The Way We Live emerges one of the brightest jewels in their entire catalog. The status of the first half, of course, is already assured.
by Dave Thompson

1. King Dick II -  3:15
2. Squares - 4:41   
3. Siderial - 3:51 
4. Angle - 1:24 
5. Storm - 5:24 
6. Willow -  6:28
7. Madrigal - 2:02 
8. The Way Ahead - 8:49 
9. Watching White Stars - 7:04
10.Marie - 3:56 
11.Stoney Glory - 2:09 
12.Let Earth Be The Name - 2:11 
13.Stairway To The Stars - 5:09 
14.Most Had Man - 2:37 
15.Northern City - 6:06 
16.The Big Dinner - 1:53 
17.Watching White Stars - 2:22 
18.One Eyed Mule - 1:35 
19.Easier To Say - 5:49   
All songs written by Jim Milne, Stephen Clayton

The Way We Live
*Jim Milne - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Organ, Vocals 
*Stephen Clayton - Percussion

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Guess Who - Live At The Paramount (1972 canada, gorgeous live album)

The August 2000 reissue of Live at the Paramount on the Buddha label has 13 songs, the whole 75 minutes of music from the first of two shows, and provides the best explanation of how the Guess Who endured as a major concert draw years after their biggest hits were behind them; when they were spot-on, as they were that night, they gave an exciting show.

Remixed and remastered properly, this is now a killer concert album, showing off the double lead guitar attack that was a hallmark of their live sound in blazing glory, energizing even familiar songs like "New Mother Nature," and Burton Cummings near the peak of his form with the band as a singer. Surprisingly, the songs that were left off of the original LP included several hits, both vintage ("These Eyes," "No Time") and relatively recent ("Rain Dance," "Share the Land"), though the highlight is "Sour Suite," which is a dazzling showcase for Cummings as a singer and pianist.

The remixing also helps the material that was on this album originally, pumping up the volume on the bluesy jam that opens "American Woman," which also sounds a lot better (and is worth hearing in the 15 minute jam version featured here). "Share the Land" comes off better here than its official version, set ablaze by Kurt Winter's and Don McDougal's guitars and a spirited vocal performance.
by Bruce Eder

1. Pain Train (Burton Cummings, Kurt Winter) - 7:00
2. Albert Flasher (Burton Cummings)  - 2:59
3. New Mother Nature (Burton Cummings)  - 4:26
4. Runnin' Back to Saskatoon (Burton Cummings, Kurt Winter) - 6:52
5. Rain Dance (Burton Cummings, Kurt Winter) - 2:53
6. These Eyes (Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings) - 4:29
7. Glace Bay Blues (Don McDougal, Blair MacLean, Gary MacLean) - 3:19
8. Sour Suite (Burton Cummings) - 3:58
9. Hand Me Down World (Kurt Winter) - 3:53
10.American Woman (Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Randy Bachman) - 16:53
11.Truckin' Off Across the Sky (Burton Cummings, Kurt Winter, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Don McDougal) - 7:21
12.Share the Land (Burton Cummings) - 4:46
13.No Time (Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings) - 6:06

The Guess Who
*Burton Cummings - Lead Vocals, Piano, Flute, Harmonica
*Kurt Winter - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Don McDougal - Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Jim Kale - Bass, Vocals
*Garry Peterson - Drums, Vocals

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Death - For The Whole World To See (1975 us, fantastic detroit power rock proto punk)

Detroit in the early 1970s was rife with raucous wild music of all kinds: the loopy, psychedelic funk of George Clinton's crew, the raging rock of MC5, the Stooges, the Frost, SRC, Bob Seger getting ready to crack the big time, the entire Motown scene, Grand Funk Railroad banging on the upper reaches of the charts, etc., it was all happening in various places in full view.

Music was one of the only places in the Motor City where notions of race and class became virtually invisible. And Detroit radio stations, albeit in off-hours, supported a lot of local music. The influence all these bands had on the local scene was tremendous, as was the influence of Alice Cooper, who'd begun making music in the city before hitting the charts after relocating to Los Angeles.

Enter the Hackney Brothers: guitarist David, bassist Bobby, and drummer Dannis (aka Death). These three brothers had been woodshedding in various funk and soul units until about 1973 when they began digging into the heavier sounds of the day, particularly the Stooges and Alice Cooper. They adopted their rather macabre moniker and began playing loads of parties and garage shows and the occasional ALSAC Teen dance bashes on Sunday afternoons.

In 1973 they recorded a demo that they gave away at shows that were becoming hot word of mouth affairs. They got it into the hands of producer Don Davis, who brought them into United Sound and cut the singles that have become, thanks to Drag City, released as For the Whole World to See, which finally saw release after 35 years in the can! The sound here is a whomping, woolly blast of garage rock in the grand Detroit tradition. The songs are beautifully written, raw but very tight, rhythmically compelling, guitar-drenched and feedback-littered but focused. Check out the band's best-known tracks such as "Where Do We Go from Here?" and the hyper-political "Politicians in My Eyes." Here ultra-sonic bass rumble, staggered kick drum and snare attacks merge with blistering shards of six-string mayhem.

This is proto-punk at its best. Period. Stop-start cadences meet overdriven power chords and slippery riffs and the primal testosterone energy that the very best of Detroit rock & roll brought to bear: frustration, rage, hedonism, and a Fuck You attitude. The feedback and distortion squalls at the end of "Politicians...." are the equal of anything that ever came from the era. Add to this the smoking party anthem "Keep on Knocking," the no-holds barred rave-up of "Rock 'n' Roll Victim," and the Hendrix-ian guitar blast of "You're a Prisoner" and you'll be left shaking your head in wonder and even awe.

The music on For the Whole World to See is not a collection of dead dog cuts assembled for a quick buck. In an era where "lost" albums and "classics" seem to come from every label on the planet, Death's meager 26-and-a-half minutes of recorded sound become a proper chapter in the secret history of rock. Yes, it's true that the hardcore collector crazies have been paying a fortune for the original singles, but it's the music that matters. This amazing record is more evidence of Detroit music's secret story. Fans of Bad Brains, Hendrix, Iggy and the Stooges, etc., take note. The word "classic" in this sense is not only accurate, it cannot be overstated.
by Thom Jurek

1. Keep On Knocking (Bobby Hackney, David Hackney) - 2:50
2. Rock-N-Roll Victim (Bobby Hackney) - 2:41
3. Let The World Turn (Bobby Hackney, David Hackney) - 5:56
4. You're A Prisoner (Bobby Hackney, David Hackney) - 2:24
5. Freakin Out  (Bobby Hackney) - 2:48  
6. Where Do We Go From Here??? (Bobby Hackney) - 3:50
7. Politicians In My Eyes (Bobby Hackney) - 5:50

*Dannis Hackney - Drums
*Bobby Hackney - Bass, Vocals
*David Hackney - Guitars

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pacific Gas And Electric - Live 'N' Kicking At Lexington (1970 us, fine classic blues rock, 2007 wounded bird edition)

It's a hard job to judge the historical significance of any band. Some used great studio skills to deliver a polished album to the world of music. Others shown more brightly feeding off the energy of a live audience. Despite five fine studio album releases, Pacific Gas and Electric is certainly in the latter category. In an era of Psychodelica, they steadfastly held to playing the Blues music they loved.

Casual fans will know them as a "One Hit Wonder", but those who knew their music knew PG&E to be the consummate live band, their delivery honed to a razor sharpness by years on the road and countless concerts. So it was in March of 1967 when Brent Block ended up at the house of guitarist Tom Marshall to get together for an informal jam session. Seems both young men, strangers to each other, were at the same party when Marshall overheard Block talk about his bass playing. Marshall invited Block to his home to see if there was any chemistry in their playing. What Block withheld from Marshall was the fact that he had only played bass once in his life. He certainly was a quick learner.

Musicians came and went. Charlie Allen was drummer, Guitarist Glenn Schwartz was a transplanted Ohioan. Canned Heat's drummer, Frank Cook, signed on as manager. He soon realized that Allen belonged out front, and took the drummer's seat for himself. Changes were afoot while recording the "Are You Ready" album in 1970. Tom Marshall had left the band he helped form. Glenn Schwartz announced he could no longer live the sinful life of a rockstar, returned to Ohio, and plied his skills with the All Saved Freak Band. Frank Cook handed his drumsticks to Ron Woods, and stayed on as manager. Brent Block went back to his natural guitar, and two talented midwesterners, guitarist Ken Utterback and bassist Frank Petricca signed on.

It was this lineup, Allen, Block, Utterback, Petricca and Woods, that toured in support of the band's biggest top 40 hit, Are You Ready. It was during this tour that they were asked to perform at the Federal Drug Rehabilitation Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Filmmaker Lawrence Schiller was there, making a documentary of the band's trip, and Columbia had tape rolling to record the two shows the band performed in Lexington, an indoor concert in the auditorium on the evening of August 8th, 1970, and an afternoon outdoor affair the following day.

When Schiller's film had trouble getting out of the box (it never went into national release, and was shown just twice in California before it was shelved), Columbia decided not to release the live album. This may have been a mistake, as it shows the raw energy and biting edge the band didn't display in the studio.

At long last, we finally get to hear the music that captivated so many fans and drove them to PG&E's live shows. Recorded in 1970 on analog tape machines, there's no studio enhancements, no electronic tricks, nothing to get in the way of the experience of sitting in the audience to hear one of the most talented "bands ever.
by Paul "Sabre" Sobieraj

1. Old Stop In "A" (Charlie Allen, Brent Block, Ken Utterback, Frank Petricca, Ron Woods) - 11:20
2. Are You Ready? (Charlie Allen, John Hill) - 6:25
3. Next Time You See Me (Earl Forest, William G. Harvey) - 2:38
4. Elvira (Frank Cook, Glenn Scwartz, Tom Marshall, Charlie Allen, Brent Block) - 3:16
5. 32-20 Blues (Robert Johnson) - 6:09
6. One More River To Cross (Daniel Moore) - 3:12
7. Motor City Is Burning (John Lee Hooker) - 12:40
8. Jelly Jelly (Trade Martin) - 16:30

Pacific Gas And Electric
*Charlie Allen - Vocals
*Brent Block - Guitar
*Frank Petricca - Bass
*Ken Utterback - Lead Guitar
*Ron Woods - Drums

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh II (1972-73 germany, great hard prog rock, remastered edition with bonus tracks)

Torsten Herzog and Willie Wagner left Kin Ping Meh in 1972. The band had already been expanded with Alan Joe Wroe (bass), Uli Gross (guitar, although he left again within months) and Gagey Mrozeck (guitar, ex-2066 & Then). 'No. 2' (1972) followed the path of its predecessor - it was filled with great quality heavy progressive rock.

Just like the debut album 'No. 2' was produced by the Hamburg team of Achim Reichel/Frank Dostal (Rattles) and recorded in the Windrose Dumont Time studios. Once again, Conny Plank was the sound engineer. One year later, Plank set up his own studio near Cologne and built his own monument by producing the first four Kraftwerk records. On 'No. 2', Kin Ping Meh followed down the path they had taken the year before - straight rock with no experiments, resulting in unspectacular, but highly powerful rock music.

All in all, the second Kin Ping Meh album seems to show them in an even more relaxed mood and offers not only catchy rhythms, but almost pop-like elements. The first two songs ('Come Down To The Riverside' and 'Don't Force Your Horse' are typical Kin Ping Meh rock. The next song, a cover version of the Beatles' 'Come together', ends on a well-done jam (the 'Together Jam'). And just like the debut album, 'No. 2' has its calmer moments as well ('Livable Ways' and 'Day Dreams').

The LP ends with the lively 'Very Long Ago' and 'I Wonna Be Lazy', written by Reichel and Dostal. As bonus tracks, this CD contains the single B-side version of 'Sometime' (1973, Zebra 2047002; the original version can be found on the debut album) plus the single A-side 'Sunday Morning Eve' (1973, Zebra 2047004)
by Matthias Mineur

1. Come Down to the Riverside (Werner Stephan, Uli Gross) - 3:12
2. Don't Force Your Horse (Uli Gross, Dr. Grossenmaier) - 3:46
3. Come Together (J. Lennon, P. McCartney) - 6:00
4. Together Jam (Kin Ping Meh) - 4:54
5. Liveable Ways (Uli Gross, Frank Dostal) - 8:02
6. Day Dreams (Werner Stephan, Uli Gross, Dr. Grossenmaier) - 7:32
7. Very Long Ago (Willie Wagner) - 2:55
8. I Wanna Be Lazy (A. Reichel, Frank Dostal) - 3:04
9. Sometime (Single Version) (Willie Wagner, Frieder Schmidt) - 4:33
10.Sunday Morning Eve (Gerhard Mrozeck, Uli Gross, Wroe) - 3:58

Kin Ping Meh
*Kalle Weber - Drums, Percussion
*Torsten Herzog - Bass, Vocals
*Frieder Schmidt - Organ, Piano, Mellotron 400, Vocals
*Willie Wagner - Guitar, Vocals
*Werner Stephan - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
*Uli Gross - Electric, Fingerstyle Guitar
*Gerhard Mrozeck - Guitar

1971  Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh (expanded edition)

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Cosmic Michael - After A While (1970 us, psychedelic rock)

"'I am a child of Woodstock nation, I've come a long way from my home...' So sings the one and only Cosmic Michael, on this the opening track of his second album released by the Bliss label in 1970. An album now high on serious psych collector wants lists too... Cosmic Michael.

Well, some regard him as a 'Godhead,' the ultimate spiritual hippy, with songs of love, freedom & peace, all delivered with just piano, vocals and kazoo(?)...A true guru... But, what of the music? I guess these days you'd call it loner psych, but back then the term 'freak rock' might have been applied to such a release.

After his eponymous, and equally enigmatic debut album released a year earlier, he'd witnessed the Woodstock festival, absorbed the vibe, and relocated to Los Angeles where he then recorded After a While, seemingly quite quickly...'I've seen The Who, and Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane they nearly blew my mind....' The nine tracks on After a While are stoned '60s DIY rock 'n'roll.

You can call it lo-fi or home made, but the message remains: Cosmic Michael preaches love and freedom, and he's a mean boogie-woogie player too. The songs run one after the other, as if part of one spontaneous recording -- the moment one ends, he's into the next, and so on. After a While is of its time, a snapshot of innocence when it was believed music could change the world, and maybe it will yet."

1. Woodstock Nation - 3:05
2. Shes My Girl - 3:54
3. Feel Free - 3:37
4. Rock Me - 5:20
5. After A While - 3:19
6. Shake It Loose - 1:29
7. Fine Spaces Of Time - 4:30
8. Let Me Be - 3:40
9. Truchin - 3:20

1969-70  Cosmic Michael - Cosmic Michael / After A While (2012 digi pack edition)  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mock Duck - Test Record (1968-69 canada, great psych jazz blues rock with west coast flavour)

Another adventure into the largely undiscovered talent of Canadian music. This time, we venture way out to the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Vancouver in the 60's was very active with many great yet unknown acts and Mock Duck was one of them. They played around Vancouver in several incarnations from 1966 until 1970, touting their acid/jazz/rock style of music in many local venues. "Test Record" was actually an acetate pressing made of tracks 1 through 5. To the best of everyone's knowledge, only 14 copies were ever pressed, making it perhaps one of the rarest records in Canadian music history. Tracks 6 and 7 were other recordings made on 19 & 20 October 1968 and are heard here for the first time since the live performance itself.

Mock Duck didn't only just rock; they breathed, they enjoyed playing their music....they lived it!! To this end, we have included here the 19:48 long "Jazz Mock" recorded on a Sunday afternoon in June, 1968 with members of Mock Duck #3. Regardless of its membership, Mock Duck were a driving force behind Vancouver's emerging cultural revolution in the 1960's. They opened for groups such as Fleetwood Mac, B.B. King, Country Joe & The Fish, and Steve Miller.

Their following was extensive and they packed the local venues like The Village Bistro, Retinal Circus, and Big Mothers. The played alongside other popular bands of the time including Spring, Papa Bears Medicine Show. The Seeds Of Time, and Hydroelectric Streetcar. Their performance at the Aldergrove Rock Festival was a very memorable one for all band members.

Today, Joe Mock, Rick Enns, Ross Barrett, and Glen Hendrickson all are still very involved in the music scene and with the exception of Joe, who now lives in France, they all still live in and around the Vancouver area.

I would like to personally thank Kurtis Vanel (aka Doug Gyseman) for use of the master tapes and for his vision in 1968 to record Mock Duck on his Reel To Reel Tape recorder; Rick Enns for being the easiest of the band members to track down and bring everyone together again and for the use of his photos, Joe Mock for use of his photos, memory, and other items; and Ross Barrett and Glen Hendrickson for their participation and assistance in this project.
by Roger Maglio

1. Home Made Jam/Introduction (Ross Barrett) - 12:44
2. Groundhog (Rick Enns) - 4:58
3. Hurt On Me (Kim Wilson, Steve Jordan) - 2:47
4. Sitting On Top Of The World (Chester Burnett) - 4:14
5. My Time, (Traditional) - 6:39
6. Fat Man (Joe Mock) - 6:39
7. Cross Cut Saw (Tommy McClennan) - 3:45
8. Easter Dog (Rick Enns) - 2:54
9. Funky Song (Joe Mock) - 4:43
10.Do Re Mi (Ross Barrett) - 3:02
11.Playing Games (Rick Enns) - 3:04
12.Jazz Mock (Joe Mock) - 19:48
Tracks 1-7 were recorded live at The Village Bistro, Vancouver, B.C. 19-20 October, 1968
Tracks 8-11 were recorded at R&D Studios in Vancouver in 1968 & 1969.
Track 12 was recorded on a Sunday afternoon in June, 1968

 Mock Duck #1-1966
*Steve Barrett - Drums
*Spense Sutton - Vibes
*Tom Hazelitt - Bass
*Joe Mock - Guitar, Vocals
*David Sinclair - Guitar

Mock Duck #2- 67-68 (track 12)
*Joe Mock - Guitar, Vocals
*Glen Hendrickson - Drums
*Lee Stevens - Bass, Vocals

Mock Duck #3- 68-69 (tracks 1-11)
*Joe Mock - - Guitar, Vocals
*Rick Enns - Bass, Vocals
*Ross Barrett - Sax, Flute, Keyboards
*Glen Hendrickson - Drums

Mock Duck #4-1970
*Joe Mock - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Verge - Bass
*Jack Velker - Organ
*Jeff Delgam - Drums
*Carl Erickson - Sax

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pacific Gas And Electric - Pacific Gas And Electric / Are You ready (1969-70 us, classic solid blues rock, remaster double disc digipack edition)

The history of Pacific Gas and Electric can be traced back to 1967 in Los Angeles. Self-taught guitarist Tom Marshall met bassist Brent Block at a party thrown by Block's former art teacher. The band they started was called "Pacific Gas and Electric Blues Band", one of the first, if not the first interracial band to hit the LA music scene. One of the early members was a drummer from the east coast named Charlie Allen. Charlie's vocal abilities were so great that he was relieved of his drum sticks, and became lead singer and front man, to be replaced on drums by Canned Heat's former drummer, Frank Cook, who had earlier signed on to manage the band.

By 1968, the band name was shortened to Pacific Gas and Electric, and included Allen, Cook, Marshall, Block, and guitarist Glenn Schwartz. They released their first album, "Get It On", that year on the Kent label (it was subsequently released on Big Orange and Power Records as well). Although it only reached #159 on the album charts, someone at Columbia Records was listening, as they signed the band to a recording contract shortly after their appearance at the Miami Pop Festival in December of 1968.

The band did countless concerts, often appearing with other big musical acts of the era. On April 25, 1970, racists in Raleigh, North Carolina heckled the band off the stage. When the members were driving away, they came under gunfire. Despite four shots hitting their van, no one was hurt.

It was at one P G & E show that writer and film producer Lawrence Schiller filmed his documentary "The Lexington Experience". Disagreements with the owners to the rights to the music caused the film to be shelved after only a few showings, and the only copies known to exist are in Schiller's vault. They made more movie history when they appeared in and provided music to the Otto Preminger film "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon" starring Liza Minnelli.

After 1972, the group's lineup became unstable, resembling more of a Charlie Allen solo project. One more album was forthcoming "...Starring Charlie Allen" in 1973 on the Dunhill label, featuring Charlie and a host of studio musicians.

This 2005 German remastered release contains  Pacific Gas and Electric's second and third albums, 1969's Pacific Gas and Electric and 1970's Are You Ready, were their two most popular LPs, and are reissued together as a two-CD package with historical liner notes (in English).

1970 Are You Ready
1. Are You Ready? (Charlie Allen, John Hill) - 5:46
2. Hawg for You (Otis Redding)  - 4:42
3. Staggolee (Charlie Allen, John Hill)  - 3:49
4. The Blackberry (O'Kelly Isley, Ron Isley)  - 5:31
5. Love, Love, Love, Love, Love (John Hill, Donald Cochrane)  - 3:51
6. Mother, Why Don't You Cry? (Charlie Allen)  - 5:06
7. Elvira (Charlie Allen, Brent Block, Frank Cook, Glenn Schwartz)  - 1:58
8. Screamin' (Brent Block)  - 4:27
9. When a Man Loves a Woman (Andrew Wright, Calvin Lewis)  - 4:31

1969 Pacific Gas and Electric
1. Bluesbuster (Charlie Allen)  - 2:55
2. Death Row #172 (Charlie Allen, Frank Cook, John Hill)  - 3:55
3. Miss Lucy (Charlie Allen)  - 2:28
4. My Women (Charlie Allen, Tom Marshall)  - 5:35
5. She's Long and She's Tall (John Lee Hooker)  - 6:18
6. Pacific Gas & Electric Suite Medley: The Young Rabbits/Constitutional S (Wayne Henderson, Brent Block, Tom Marshall, Glenn Schwartz)  - 16:41
7. Redneck (Joe South)  - 3:30

Pacific Gas And Electric
*Charlie Allen - Vocals
*Frank Cook - Drums
*Glenn Schwartz - Lead Guitar
*Brent Block - Bass
*Tom Marshall - Rythm Guitar
*John Hill - Piano, Organ

Guest Musicians
*Hustly Young - Steel Guitar
*Wilton Felder - Tenor Saxophone
*Wayne Henderson - Trombone
*A. D. Brisbois - Trumpet
*Freddy Hill - Trumpet
*The Blackberries - Background Vocals

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Baroques - Purple Day (1967-68 us, brilliant baroque psych rock, expanded edition)

If Leonard Cohen barged into an Electric Prunes recording after obliterating his mind in an all-night glue-sniffing binge it might have sounded something like this.

With song titles as preposterous as “A Musical Tribute to the Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon,” who knows what the famed RnB label Chess Records was thinking when they decided to sign Milwaukee’s The Baroques in 1967. They did manage to stir up a little controversy with their anti-drug (so they claimed) song, “Mary Jane,” but besides that it looks like Chess was stuck with a very strange, unmarketable record. And don’t expect an onslaught of spacey sound effects and weird noises a la the early Pink Floyd, this is a less overt type of psychosis that slowly but surely embeds itself under your skin.

The Baroques had a fuzz-guitar/keyboard-damaged sound that retained much of the garage intensity of ’66 while plunging into the experimentation that marked the latter part of the decade. Sure, there are traces of the Byrds and the Zombies, but by the time the Baroques have had their way with a pop song, it’s like the deformed bastard child of those bands hobbling around on one leg. As on “Rose Colored Glasses,” where Jay Berkenhagen’s odd, deep vocals bounce along with awkward (yet insanely catchy) riffs until settling into a gorgeous, harmony-laden chorus. “Nothing To Do But Cry” is an exceptional folk-rocker that’s dirtied up with some nice distorted jangling and raw power-chording. At times they veer into chaotic fits of noise that wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Scientists album (“Iowa, A Girl’s Name” “Musical Tribute…”). But what really sets them apart from other similarly-minded bands is the excessively glum atmosphere which pervades most of the album. The sludge-folk of “Purple Day” and “Seasons” may come off too monotonous for some, but there is something absolutely hypnotizing lurking in the uncommonly dark textures of these songs.

1. Iowa, A Girl's Name - 2:45
2. Seasons - 3:00
3. Mary Jane - 2:45
4. Rose Colored Glasses (Jay Borkenhagen, Jacques Hutchinson) - 2:40
5. Musical Tribute To the Oscar Mayer Weiner Wagon - 3:35
6. There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry - 2:55
7. Bicycle - 2:25
8. Purple Day - 2:45
9. Love In a Circle (Jacques Hutchinson) - 2:30
10.Commercials - 0:59
11.Iowa #2 - 3:33
12.Oscar Meyer #2 - 4:23   
13.Baroques Theme - 3:33  
14.Sunflowers -  2:23 
15.At The Garden Gate - 2:31  
16.Death Of An Onion - 2:06  
17.Flying Machine - 2:22  
18.Beckwith - 4:06  
19.Hand - 3:55  
20.Tangerine Sunset - 11:48  
21.I Will Not Touch You - 2:34  
22.Remember - 3:34 
All songs by Jay Borkenhagen except where noted.

The Baroques
*Rick Bieniewski - Bass (1966-68)
*Jay Borkenhagen - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar (1966-68)
*Jacques Hutchinson - Guitar (1966-68)
*Dean Nimmer - Drums (1966-68)
*Wayne Will - Guitar (1966)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind (1967 aussie, classic garage beat psych, 2004 remastered with bonus tracks)

The Easybeats came together in the austere Villawood Migrant Hostel in the major Australian city of Sydney during 1964. Englishman Stevie Wright, already residing in the country for some years, was singing as Chris Langdon with a group called The Langdells. The other four members of The Easybeats were new arrivals: Scotsman George Young (whose brother Alexander played in Tony Sheridan's Big Six, Liverpudlian Gordon 'Snowy' Fleet (formerly with the Mojos), Dutchmen Harry Vanda (guitarist with crack instrumental outfit The Starfighters) and Dick Diamonde.

By the beginning of 1965, The band had a manager, regular work in Sydney beat clubs and a recording contract with Albert Productions. Allowed creative freedom by sympathetic producer / mentor Ted Albert, the group developed a brash, fresh and exciting sound which quickly set them apart from the then current crop of 'cover/copy' acts around them. George and Stevie became amazingly prolific young songwriters: Stevie developing a knack for knocking out quick succinct lyrics and George having an exceptional capacity for melody and musical structure.

After impressing with their first bluesy single, 'For My Women', The Easybeats stormed to the top of the Australian charts in May 1965 with their second single, the dynamic 'She's So Fine'. This begun the ferocious phenomena of 'Easyfever'. It is not naA?ve to say that no incident of Beatlemania or Rolling Stone Fever anywhere in the world surpassed the absolute peak of Easyfever. Airports, television studios, theatres and hire cars were reduced to rubble, fans were hospitalised and general mayhem reigned whenever the band allowed themselves to be seen.

When a young fan magazine foolishly revealed the Young family's address, over three hundred girls from four local high schools descended upon the house that same afternoon. Twenty of them forced their way into the house, whereupon they ran amok, trampling a young Angus and, until stopped by police, seizing anything they could lay their hands on (including George).

Within less than eighteen months The Easybeats had racked up no less than 8 smash hits, some double a-sides. The killers included 'Sorry', 'Wedding Ring' and 'Women'. The overwhelming popularity of the band proved to Australian music that is was viable to write and perform original songs in an original style. It gave other artists a confidence in their own abilities.

By the end of 1966 The Easybeats saga was taking on almost fairytale proportions and the best was yet to come. Bravely they set off to conquer England and by November that year they had cracked the international top twenty with the sublime working class anthem 'Friday On My Mind' (since recorded by David Bowie, Peter Frampton and dozens of others). The band toured Europe with The Rolling Stones before returning to Australia in triumph for a national tour commencing in May 1967. George Young recalls, 'it was the highpoint of the group's career. We didn't come back with the standard excuses for failure. Australia had never any acts that had done it like that before. There was no bull, it was real'.

After being hailed as conquering warriors by their adopted countrymen (including the Lord Mayor of Sydney, who gave then a civic reception), The Easybeats headed back to England, this time without Snowy. He had decided to jump off the treadmill and yield his drummer's stool to Tony Cahill, from the ferocious Purple Hearts. Back in England George Young began to emerge as a creative genius on the level of a Ray Davies, Pete Townsend, Ron Wood or even a John Lennon. He began collaborating with Harry Vanda on vast, ambitious and often sumptuous studio works that are now recognised as staggering achievements (some featuring back up vocals by a young Olivia Newtown-John and Small Face Stevie Marriott). Unfortunately, a sad combination of events, including the banning of the visionary track 'Heaven & Hell', inconsistent musical style and lack of proper career direction rendered the group and their songs the best kept secret in London. By 1969 it was all over, crumbled in a stoned, confused haze.

The only other British top twenty hit had been 'Hello, How Are You?' and only loyal Australians gave chart success to the likes of 'Good Times', 'Land Of Make Believe', 'The Music Goes Round My Head' and 'Do You Have A Soul?'. In 1969, just as they disbanded, The Easybeats enjoyed a final American hit with St. Louis.

The split of The Easybeats allowed Vanda & Young to commence their production / songwriting / recording career in earnest. After releasing material under such bizarre names as The Marcus Hook Roll Band, Band Of Hope, Tramp, Moondance, Haffey's Whiskey Sour and Paintbox, the pair achieved international success as Flash & The Pan, scoring numerous British and European chart hits including 'Waiting For A Train'.

Apart from having their songs recorded by the likes of Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Suzi Quatro, the Bay City Rollers, John Paul Young and hundreds of others, they produced the first six albums for AC/DC.

The 2001 Australian Performing Rights Association awards saw Friday On My Mind named as the most influential Australian song of the past 75 years.

Describing the music of The Easybeats can convey only a glimmer of the magic it radiates, Not only is it the finest rock ever recorded in Australia but among the finest ever recorded anywhere. Throughout the world, Easybeat devotees are legion and all those who hear are instantly converted.
by Glenn A. Baker

1. River Deep, Mountain High (Barry, Greenwich, Spector) - 3:59
2. Do You Have a Soul (Edited Album Version) - 2:39
3. Saturday Night (Mono Single Mix) - 3:26
4. You Me, We Love (Different Mix) - 3:23
5. Pretty Girl (Mono Single Mix) - 2:17
6. Friday on My Mind (Mono Single Mix) - 2:42
7. Happy Is the Man - 2:42
8. Hound Dog (Leiber, Stoller) - 3:19
9. Who'll Be the One (Mono Single Mix) - 2:38
10.Made My Bed Gonna Lie in It (George Young) - 2:08
11.Remember Sam - 2:34
12.See Line Woman (Traditional) - 3:15
13.Woman (Make You Feel Alright) (Stevie Wright, George Young) - 2:36
14.Do You Have a Soul (Long Version) - 2:59
15.You Me, We Love (Different Mix) - 3:24
16.Lisa (Different Mix) - 3:13
17.All Gone Boy (Different Mix) - 2:32
18.Friday on My Mind (Mono Single Mix) - 2:42
19.Made My Bed Gonna Lie in It (Mono Single Mix) - 2:08
20.Who'll Be the One (Mono Single Mix) - 2:38
21.Saturday Night (Mono Single Mix) - 3:26
22.Heaven and Hell (Mono Single Mix) - 2:43
23.Pretty Girl (Mono Single Mix) - 2:17
24.Heaven and Hell - 2:42
All songs composed by Harry Vanda.  George Young except where indicated.

 The Easybeats
*Dick Diamonde - Bass Guitar
*Gordon "Snowy" Fleet - Drums
*Harry Vanda - Lead Guitar
*Stevie Wright - Lead Vocals
*George Young - Rhythm Guitar

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Troll - Animated Music (1968 us, marvellous psych rock, with baroque tinges)

Part of the whole Chicago late-60s psych scene alongside their similarly well-produced Dunwich stablemates H.P. Lovecraft, The Troll released a few near-hit singles before this album. Originally released on Mercury's Smash sublabel, this got not a whole lot of attention in its day...and that's sad, because there was a goodly bit of psychedelia that probably shouldn't have made it to the surface before this. It's quality, although one definitely can tell it's a 'period piece'. Still, if it's a fine 60s flashback you need, just drop this one on...

...and you're greeted with fine fuzz and ticktocking percussion from the start of side one, with "Satin City News". Now, it should be noted that the lyrics here tend toward a political and cynical bent...which is about par for much of the album. In amongst the psychedelia, there's a certain darkness on "Animated Music", although nothing that would tend to bum one out.

That same acerbic political tack continues on "Mr. Abernathy", with its classic trem-guitar and poppy horns. While the tale on this track is certainly one of American political scandal, etc, the fact, the sound throughout the very British. It's not the sound you'd associate with Chicago at all, really...but something more Abbey Road-ish, with tinges of early Floyd here, a dash of Moodies there, and lots of tape spooling around ala Sir George Martin's production methods circa "Sgt. Pepper".
by Lugia

1. Satin City News - 2:41
2. Mr.Abernathy - 3:28
3. Fritz Und Sweeney - 4:36
4. Everybody's Child - 2:54
5. Solitude - 0:31
6. I've Only Myself To Blame - 3:45
7. Professor Pott's Pornographic Projector - 2:59
8. Have You Seen The Queen - 2:21
9. Mourning Of The Day - 5:10
10.A Winter's Song - 4:00
11.Werewolf And Witchbreath - 5:18

The Troll
*Richard Clark - Organ, Vocals
*Richard Gallagher - Guitar, Vocals
*Max Jordan, Jr. - Bass, Vocals
*Ken Cortese (aka Ken Apples) - Drums
Guest Musician
*Skeep Bushor - Horns, Strings Arragment

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Various Artists - Maximum R 'n' B (1964-65 uk, fantastic garage beat 'n' blues selection)

The R'n'B craze that swept Britain in the mid-'60s changed the face of pop music forever. This legendary compilation -- unavailable for over a decade -- gathers together no fewer than 27 of its finest examples, culled from some of the rarest 45s of all time.

Originally released in 1964 and 1965 and featuring future legends including Ron Wood (The Rolling Stones), Ian McLagan (The Small Faces) and Twink (The Pink Fairies), the music is just as fast, heavy and exciting as the day it was recorded. The package comes complete with a detailed booklet offering histories and discographies of the acts involved, as well as rare pictures.

Artists include: The Frays, The Beat Merchants, The Sons Of Fred, The Fairies, The Primitives, The Wheels, The Others, The Groundhogs, The Bo Street Runners, The Muleskinners, The Sneekers, The Chasers, The Wranglers, The Stylos, David John & The Mood, The Betterdays, The Deejays, Nix Nomads, The Brand, The Sheffields, The Birds, The Toggery Five, and The T-Bones.

Bands - Songs
1. The Frays - Keep Me Covered - 2:37
2. The Beat Merchants - Pretty Face - 1:56
3. The Sons Of Fred - Ill Be There - 2:46
4. The Fairies - Ill Dance - 2:07
5. The Primitives - Help Me - 3:40
6. The Wheels - Gloria - 2:42
7. The Others - Oh Yeah - 2:54
8. The Groundhogs - Shake It - 2:05
9. The Bo Street Runners - Bo Street Runner - 2:14
10.The Muleskinners - Back Door Man - 3:49
11.The Sneekers - Bald Headed Woman -  2:31
12.The Chasers - Hey Little Girl  - 2:08
13.The Wranglers - Liza Jane - 1:56
14.The Stylos - Head Over Heels - 2:24
15.David John And The Mood - Pretty Thing - 2:18
16.The Betterdays - Dont Want That - 2:16
17.The Primitives - You Said - 2:20
18.The Deejays - Black-Eyed Woman - 2:39
19.The Fairies - Anytime At All - 2:19
20.Nix Nomads - Shell Be Sweeter Than You - 2:44
21.David John And The Mood - To Catch That Man -  2:10
22.The Brand - Im A Lover Not A Fighter  - 2:03
23.The Sheffields - I Got My Mojo Working - 2:36
24.The Wheels - Bad Little Woman - 2:50
25.The Birds - You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care) - 2:05
26.The Toggery Five - Bye Bye Bird - 2:31
27.The T-Bones - Hamishs Express Relief - 3:16

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Animated Egg - Guitar Freakout (1967-68 us, excellent garage, surf, fuzz, guitar leads)

In the 1960s, Jerry Cole was one of America's most prolific guitarists, turning his hand to surf music, rock, country, jazz and blues and playing on sessions for Brian Wilson and Phil Spector. He would replace less proficient group members at recordings, making the acts sound better than they were.

He was born Jerald Kolbrack in 1939 in Wisconsin and was raised in Chicago, which had a thriving blues scene. As Jerry Cole he joined the Champs, who recorded the million-selling instrumental "Tequila" (1958). A few years later, he and another Champ, Glen Campbell, decided to try their luck as session guitarists in Los Angeles.

Bobby Darin recommended Cole to Capitol Records and he made a succession of instrumental albums as Jerry Cole and His Spacemen, starting with Outer Limits (1963), a combination of surf and space-age music. Capitol tried Cole as a vocalist but it was decided his voice was not strong enough.

With such big names as Hal Blaine (drums) and Larry Knechtel (keyboards), Cole was part of the Wrecking Crew, Phil Spector's session band, and is featured on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby". He is heard on the familiar records of the Byrds ("Mr Tambourine Man"), the Dixie Cups ("Chapel of Love"), Them ("Here Comes The Night") and Paul Revere and the Raiders ("Kicks"). The producer Lee Hazlewood also used him for several Nancy Sinatra sessions, including "These Boots are Made for Walkin'".

As a studio guitarist, Cole had residencies in numerous television series including Shindig!, Hullabaloo, The Sonny and Cher Show and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. He made a score of low-budget, but still technically proficient, instrumental LPs which were sold in supermarkets under a variety of names. Cole worked on the road for Andy Williams for three years and Roger Miller for five.

In 1966, Brian Wilson recorded the backing tracks for Pet Sounds while the other Beach Boys were on tour, and Cole played on "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B". He was also used on the Beach Boys album 15 Big Ones (1976), which was around the time he was working with Phil Spector on Dion's mesmerising Born To Be With You.

When psychedelia was coming in, he recorded several albums in this style including The Animated Egg (1966). He played on the blues album Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and the Aloha From Hawaii television special with Elvis Presley, both in 1973, and worked as a studio musician with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

In 2006, Cole returned to surf music with the album Back to the Boards. Last year, he was recording again with Brian Wilson.
by Spencer Leigh

In January 2008 Jerry Cole heard The Animated Egg for the first time since he recorded it in Los Angels some forty years earlier " we made a damned good record" he said.  Five months later on May 28th 2008, he passed away, went on the big trip to meet again with his buddies in heaven's Great  Band.

1. A Love Built On Sand - 3:04
2. Inside Looking Out - 3:01
3. I Said, She Said, Ah Cid - 2:14
4. "T"omorrow - 2:33
5. Sure Listic - 1:49
6. Sippin' And Trippin' - 2:10
7. Dark - 1:54
8. Down, Down And Gone - 2:22
9. Sock It My Way - 3:26
10. That's How It Is - 3:28
11. Fool's Luck  (with The Generation Gap) - 3:17
12. What's Your Bag? (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:09
13. Boil The Kettle  (with The Projection Company) - 3:07
14. Light Show (with The Stone Canyon Rock Group) - 2:52
15. Expo In Sound  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 4:35
16. Free Form In 6  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:08
17. Our Man Hendrix (with The Projection Company) - 3:09
18. Red Eyes  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:58
19. Hard Times (with The Generation Gap) - 2:44
20. Tune Out Of Place  (with The Projection Company) - 2:25
21. Kimeaa  (with The Projection Company) - 2:48
All songs composed by Jerry Cole

*Jerry Cole - Guitars, 12-string Guitar
*Edgar Lamar - Drums
*Don Dexter - Drums
*Tommy Lee - Bass
*Glenn Cass - Bass
*Billy Joe Hastings - Guitar
*Norm Cass - Guitar
*Billy Preston - Organ

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yama And The Karma Dusters - Up From The Sewers (1971 us, great psychedelic protest folk rock)

Super political, rocking, anti-establishment communal band (c. 1970) put together as a result of the Kent State Massacre. As the Euphoria Blimpworks Band, fronted by Howard Berkman from morose garage punksters the Knaves, they played demonstrations and student strikes when they weren’t opening for blues royalty—or being the first band to play the yard at Cook County Jail.

They were inter-racial, anti-war, Stop the Bomb, free love hippies, the wildest of the wild kids. And this is the quintessential anarcho-hippie record, a surprisingly well-engineered indie effort which came inside home-made silk-screened jackets, with twisted, poetic lyrics (Dylan or Arthur Lee and Love? you decide), and funky, rocking bones—political, sociological, ecological, reflective and free-love sexy.

The Karma Dusters really cook on the up-tempo tracks, sounding at times like a cross between The Blues Project and Dylan’s band circa 1966, augmented by some dazzling violin. This excellent sounding master-tape reissue has two bonus tracks; it also has two booklets—one is for the outrageous and explicit Gonzo history of the band and their urban commune; the other is a wrap-around booklet for lyrics, all served up together in a Mylar plastic sleeve. You just know the FBI has a huge file on these punks. But do they have the album?

1. Don't Kill The Babies - 2:09
2. Like To Make It Back To Peurto Rico - 3:24
3. Kathleen - 3:33
4. Revolution - 3:10
5. C.T.A. - 2:43
6. I Want To Talk To You - 2:49
7. Reflections - 3:21
8. Snow Bitch - 3:07
9. Wouldn't It Be Funny - 4:02
10.Evolution - 2:38
11.Hello Big City - 4:24
All songs written by Howard Berkman

 Yama And The Karma Dusters
*Jack Sullivan - Bass (tracks: 1, 9) ,
*Neal Pollack - Bass
*Marion L. Favors - Congas, Percussion
*Al Goldberg - Drums, Percussion
*Howard Berkman - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals,
*Dick Larson - Piano
*Karen Manter - Organ (track 10), Piano (track 3)

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Buzz Linhart And Eyes Of Blue - Buzzy (1968 us, sightly raga psychedelic rock with blues and folk feeling)

A veteran of the New York coffee house circuit who went on to record with Jimi Hendrix, Buzz Linhart recorded this classic debut in London in 1968. Featuring backing from Welsh psychedelic favourites the Eyes Of Blue, it’s a superb collection of acid-influenced folk and pop, including the epic, sitar-tinged raga Sing Joy, and is sure to appeal to all fans of hippie singer-songwriting.

“Buzz Linhart came out of the legendary Greenwich Village coffee-house period of the early to middle 60s, when Tim Hardin, Fred Neil and John Sebastian (amongst many others) were finding themselves, influencing others, and being influenced (as often as not by each other). It was a period of hanging out, of song-writing, of soaking in everything from folk to blues to rock.

Like Fred Neil, who taught him a lot, Linhart has a strong, gritty, emotional voice. Like Hardin, his life has been racked with almost insurmountable personal problems, and his voice and lyrics reflect it. In 1968, after a long absence and with many of the personal problems apparently solved, he made some brief appearances in New York, where critical reaction was consistently favourable. He’s also much sought after as a sidesman on vibes” - Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia, 1969

Buzzy Linhart was born to musical parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 3rd 1943. He was already a multi-instrumentalist by the time he left high school, and after an unproductive stint in the US Navy, he gravitated towards Florida in 1962 (where he hooked up with Fred Neil), and then to New York. In Greenwich Village he roomed with John Sebastian and played in the same clubs as future luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin and David Crosby.

As well as playing folk, however, Linhart also developed an interest in Indian music well before it entered the mainstream, honing his raga skills in late-night jam sessions at legendary venues including the Night Owl and the Cafe Wha? After a quartet he’d formed, the Seventh Sons, didn’t work out (though they recorded a superb, visionary LP for ESP), he impressed hitmaker Mitch Ryder sufficiently to be invited to travel to Europe as his opening act. In London he hooked up with producer Lou Reizner (for whom he’d recorded some demos in New York, and who was now Mercury’s UK A&R chief) and soon arranged to cut his debut LP.

Buzzy was recorded in October 1968, with backing from Welsh psych-rockers the Eyes of Blue. As 16 magazine put it that November: ‘It’s finally beginning to happen for super-talented singer-composer Buzz Linhart. By the time you read this, he will have played (along with Mitch Ryder) the Royal Palace in Portugal, have done a tour of England, and starred for two weeks at Revolution, the Beatles’ new disco in London.’

Nonetheless, the album – a classy mixture of acid-tinged singer-songwriter fare and raga - did not fare well on its February 1969 release, prompting Linhart to return to the US. There he released a string of further LPs, as well as contributing to recordings by Jimi Hendrix, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler and others, and is still playing as much as ever today.

1. Yellow Cab (Tim Hardin) - 4:33
2. Willie Jean (Buzz Linhart) - 9:49
3. Step Into My Wildest Dreams (Buzz Linhart) - 5:44
4. Wish I Could Find (Buzz Linhart) - 3:23
5. Sing Joy (Dona Calles / Buzz Linhart) - 19:00
6. End Song (Buzz Linhart) - 3:10

*Buzz Linhart - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*‘Big’ Jim Sullivan - Sitar
*Keshav Sathe - Tabla
*Raymond ‘Taff’ Williams - Lead Guitar
*Ritchie Francis - Bass
*Phil Ryan - Organ, Mellotron
*John Weathers - Drums, Timpani

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ariel - Rock And Roll Scars (1975 aussie, exciting progressive hard guitar rock, bonus tracks issue)

The Time: October 1974; The Place: Festival Hall, West Melbourne; The Scene: I was 15 years old and had taken my first girlfriend to see Hush, the La De Das and Stevie Wright in concert. Four guys ambled on stage unannounced and plugged in. The bass player had an enormous walrus moustache. I recognised him and lead singer Mike Rudd from Spectrum, and this was their new band Ariel. I already knew and loved their hit from 1973 'Jamaican Farewell'.

They proceeded to play a set of dynamic hard rock, all nimble riffs and adroit time shifts framed by a series of loud and biting yet fluid lead guitar solos from Harvey James, and the intensity of it all made my head spin with excitement. I can't remember the actual songs they played, but the experience was such that I became an instant convert. When the Rock & Roll Scars album appeared in April 1975 I thought the title had a decadent ring to it and I bought it immediately.

Hard edged yet melodic songs like 'Keep on Dancing (With Me)', 'We Are Indelible", 'Men in Grey Raincoats' and 'I am the Laughing Man' gave me many hours of listening pleasure. I was always intrigued by the album's sub-title, almost inconspicuously noted on the bottom of the front cover: Before the Mutant.

Many years later Mike Rudd was to explain to me the significance behind that, and thus was revealed one of the great mysteries of Australian rock'n'roll. When Harvey James and John Lee had replaced original Ariel lead guitarist Tim Gaze and original drummer Nigel Macara respectively in early 1974, Rudd had begun rehearsing the band for album number two.

The new record was to have been an ambitious science fiction concept album called The Jellabad Mutant. Ariel demoed the new material but the EMI executives rejected the concept out of hand. Abbey Road Studios in London was already booked, but here was the band left without any songs! All of which is why the new album consisted mostly of re-recorded versions of old Spectrum and Ariel material, with only three new songs thrown in for good measure.

The EMI suits should have let the visionary Mike Rudd play out his grand concept and record the album he had wanted. But then again, we would never have had the Rock & Roll Scars album, would we? I'll leave you with that little slice of irony. Now, just turn the music up real loud and enjoy!
by Ian McFarlane
(Ian McFarlane is the author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop)

1. Keep on Dancing (With Me - 2:54
2. I'll Be Going / I'll Be Gone - 4:19
3. Rock And Roll Scars - 3:44
4. Real Meanie - 4:08
5. Men In Grey Raincoats - 3:22
6. Launching Place Part II - 2:24
7. We Are Indelible - 2:42
8. What The World Needs (Is A New Pair of Socks) - 3:16
9. Red Hot Momma - 2:36
10.Some Good Advice - 5:45
11.I Am The Laughing Man - 2:45
12.Yeah Tonight (Bonus Track) - 3:09
13.I Am The Laughing Man (Bonus Track, Alt. Version) - 2:57
All compositions by Mike Rudd

*Mike Rudd - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica
*Bill Putt - Bass
*Glyn Mason - Guitars, Vocals
*Harvey James - Guitars
*John Lee - Drums

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Federal Duck - Federal Duck (1968 us, soft-psych with jazzy feel and some upbeat mold-breaking tunes)

Federal Duck was the band I belonged to when I was a student at Haverford College back in the '60s. We were originally called the Stomp Jackson Quintet, and then the Guides (don't ask), but we came up with our new and final name one night when we were lying on the bank of the Haverford campus duck pond, and some ducks started waddling toward us in what looked like a purposeful manner, and as we watched them with increasing alarm -- an oncoming duck squadron in the moonlight -- the thought struck us that these ducks might be working for the government. And if you are wondering why that particular thought would have struck us, you did not experience the '60s.

We were one of many college bands formed in that era by young men with a sincere artistic desire to attract women of the opposite sex. We pretty much failed at that, but we did get hired a lot, because of a distinctive quality we had, which I would describe as "a low price." For as little as $100, or sometimes even less, you could have the Federal Duck perform at your dance, dorm mixer, fraternity party, pagan tree-worship ceremony, livestock neutering, whatever.

We would play anywhere, and we would play all night long, or until the police arrived, which happened sometimes, especially at the frat parties, where there tended to be a lot of spirited hijinks during that magical 45-minute interlude between the time the first keg was tapped and the time the last frat brother passed out in a puddle of his own bodily fluids.

The Federal Duck could play through pretty much anything, because we had a bulletproof repertoire consisting of songs containing three or fewer chords, one of which was always "E." If something distracting happened during a song -- say, a group of frat brothers suddenly appeared on the dance floor physically carrying a Volkswagen -- and you lost your place, you could always play an "E" chord, and the odds were good that this was also what the rest of the band was playing.

We did that for four years, and, although I am not proud of this fact, the Federal Duck was the single most memorable part of my college experience. I was an English major, and I studied some of the greatest works of literature the human mind has ever produced, and today I can remember virtually nothing about any of them, but I still know all the words to "Louie Louie."
by Dave Barry
(David Barry is A Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary)

1. Knowing That I Loved You So - 2:18
2. Easy Virtue Blues (Jack Bowers) - 2:44
3. Tomorrow Waits for Today - 3:04
4. Just Like the Snow (David Koteen) - 4:22
5. Bird (George Stavis, Jack Bowers, Ken Stover) - 5:56
6. Hello - 0:17
7. While You're Away - 2:01
8. Peace in My Mind - 2:57
9. Just a Band - 0:34
10.Friday Morning - 3:09
11.Dawn Comes Slow (Jack Bowers, George Stavis) - 3:05
12.Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues (Jack Bowers) - 2:11
13.Circus in the Sea - 3:33
All songs by George Stavis except where indicated

Federal Duck
*Ken Stover - Piano, Organ, Tuba
*Jack Bowers - Guitars, Dulcimer. Recorder
*George Stavis - Lead Guitars, (Vocal, on Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues)
*Huck White - Guitars, French Horn, Recorder
*Timmy Ackerman - Drums, Conga, Percussion
*Bob Stern - Bass, (Vocal, on Bird)
*Tony Shaftel - Vocal, Bass

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stone Country - Stone Country (1968 us, fabulous west coast psych, progressive country, blue-eyed soul and folk-rock, Rev Ola remaster)

Stone Country was a Hollywood, CA-based psychedelic country-rock outfit led by gifted singer/songwriter and guitarist Steve Young. Young, who grew up in the south, moved to New York City in the early '60s, where he became affiliated with the burgeoning Greenwich Village folk music scene. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and began working with Van Dyke Parks and Stephen Stills while still working his day job as a mailman.

He formed Stone Country in 1967 and soon thereafter the band was signed to RCA Records. After releasing several singles, RCA issued the group's only album, Stone Country, in March 1968, produced by Rick Jarrard, who also produced Jefferson Airplane and Harry Nilsson's Pandemonium Shadow Show. (Incidentally, Stone Country appeared as themselves in Otto Preminger's 1968 film Skidoo, which features a score by Nilsson).

The group disbanded when, in 1969, Young signed as a solo artist with A&M Records. His album Rock Salt & Nails featured cameo performances by James Burton, Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and Chris Hillman. In 1971, Young signed to Reprise, and eventually recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums in the country-rock style, his most well-known song being "Seven Bridges Road," recorded by Rita Coolidge, Joan Baez, and the Eagles.

Clark  a member of the New Christy Minstrels and the Good Time Singers before joining this band went solo and recorded for Imperial and Republic Records. Don Beck went on to join Dillard & Clark, while Denny Conway became a session drummer.

1. Love Pslam (Hildebrand, Lottermoser) - 2:31
2. 'Lizbeth Peach (Byrne, Ferrell) - 2:25
3. Magnolias (Young) - 4:19
4. Mantra (Hildebrand, Lottermoser) - 2:21
5. Everywhere I Turn (Dunn, Lottermoser) - 2:15
6. Woman Don't You Weep (Young) - 3:35
7. Time Isn't There Anymore (Brooks, Lottermoser) - 2:55
8. Life Stands Daring Me (Beck) - 2:25
9. The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (Brooks, Lottermoser, McCashen) - 3:04
10.The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) (Tex) - 3:19
11.Why Baby Why (Edwards, Jones) - 1:54
12.Angelica (Mann, Weill) - 3:08
13.This Wheels on Fire (Danko, Dylan) - 2:56
14.Million Dollar Bash (Dylan) - 2:18

Stone Country
*Dann Barry - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Young - Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Don Beck - 12 String Guitar, Banjo
*Dennis Conway - Drums, Percussions
*Richard Lockmiller - Rhythm Guitar
*Doug Brooks - Rhythm Guitar

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