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Monday, April 16, 2012

The Blues Project - Live At The Cafe Au Go Go (1966 us, classy electric psychedelic blues rock, japan SHM double disc set)

Verve/Folkways and Howard Solomon, entrepreneur of the Cafe Au Go Go in New York's Greenwich Village, presented a four-day concert series called the "Blues Bag." The evenings of November 24 through the 27 at the Cafe Au Go Go proved to be one of the most exciting events during a busy weekend of folk and jazz concerts.

The Blues Project group topped a long show that was filled with talented and exciting performers. They not only held their audience, but they drew cries of "more, more, more" after each encore. Fortunately, Verve/Folkways decided to record all four nights. While electronic instruments are extremely difficult to record live, we have managed to capture all of the excitement these young men generated. The Blues Project's musical range is broad, due both to their versatility as musicians and the scope of their musical interests.

Their songs cover a wide spectrum: folk, folk-rock, hard rock 'n' roll, rhythm & blues and gentle ballads. Tom Flanders, the lead vocalist, has since left the band. He will be recorded by Verve/Folkways as a single in the very near future. The band has excellent vocalists in Steve, Danny and Al. This, plus their abilities to double on such instruments as the piano, organ, harmonica, vibes, flute and sitar, gives the Blues Project enormous potential.

The best way to end these liner notes is to quote Robert Shelton, The New York Times critic: "Nearly a score in number paraded to the Cafe Au Go Go for four nights in what was the most unusual and perhaps most rewarding program of the weekend. Thjs live recording session for Verve/Folkways Records was a study in the varied effects of the blues. "Of the electric bands at The Blues Bag', none impressed more than the Blues Project, possibly the most incandescent group in folk-rock today. [They are.] Sparked by the imaginative electric guitar of Danny Kalb; the volatile electric piano of Alan Kooper and the vocal sky-rocketing of Tommy Flanders."
by Jerry Schoenbaum

Disc 1
1. Goin' Down Louisiana (Muddy Waters) - 4:04
2. You Go, I'll Go With You (Willie Dixon) - 3:46
3. Catch The Wind (Donovan) - 3:04
4. I Want To Be Your Driver (Chuck Berry) - 2:26
5. Alberta (Traditional) - 4:11
6. The Way My Baby Walks (Andy Kulberg) - 3:11
7. Violets Of Dawn (Eric Andersen) - 2:52
8. Back Door Man (Willie Dixon, Chester Burnett) - 3:16
9. Jelly Jelly Blues (Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines) - 4:44
10.Spoonful (Willie Dixon) - 4:56
11.Who Do You Love (Ellis McDaniel) - 5:25
12.Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon) - 2:33
13.Parchman Farm (Mose Allison, Randy Cierley) - 3:32
14.Have You Ever Had The Blues? (Bill, Jennings, Juanita Lenoir) - 2:44
15.Alberta (Alternative Version) (Traditional) - 4:53

Disc 2 Mono Album
1. Goin' Down Louisiana (Muddy Waters) - 4:07
2. You Go, I'll Go With You (Willie Dixon) - 3:49
3. Catch The Wind (Donovan) - 3:07
4. I Want To Be Your Driver (Chuck Berry) - 2:30
5. Alberta (Traditional) - 4:17
6. The Way My Baby Walks (Andy Kulberg) - 3:15
7. Violets Of Dawn (Eric Andersen) - 2:58
8. Back Door Man (Willie Dixon, Chester Burnett) - 3:22
9. Jelly Jelly Blues (Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines) - 4:51
10.Spoonful (Willie Dixon) - 5:04
11.Who Do You Love (Ellis McDaniel) - 5:35
12.Bright Light Big City (Jimmy Reed) - 4:54
13.Who Do You Love (Alternative Version) (Ellis McDaniel) - 6:16
14.Violets Of Dawn (Studio Version) (Eric Andersen) - 2:56
15.Back Door Man (Studio Version) (Willie Dixon) - 3:18

The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Organ
*Steve Katz - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
*Andy Kulberg - Bass
*Tommy Flanders - Vocals

1973  The Original Blues Project - Reunion in Central Park

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Al Kooper - Naked Songs (1973 us, fabulous jazzy blues folk rock, japan remaster)

Naked Songs represents the other end of Al Kooper's early career from I Stand Alone. Where that first album was recorded very gradually at the outset of his solo career, soon after exiting Blood, Sweat & Tears, Naked Songs was a much more cohesive work (cut in New York and Georgia) from the end of his stay at Columbia Records.

Ironically, it was a contractually obligated album, but never one to throw away an opportunity, Kooper embraced soul, gospel, blues, pop, and even country music in the course of filling its two sides. Playing his usual array of instruments, including loud, note-bending blues guitar and gospel-tinged organ on "As the Years Go Passing By," he effortlessly switches gears to the smoother pop-soul sound of "Jolie," then straight country with a blues tinge on "Blind Baby."

John Prine's grim and uncompromising "Sam Stone" gets an extraordinary performance, but the real surprise is the presence of Sam Cooke's Soul Stirrers-era gospel classic "Touch the Hem of His Garment" -- the latter is one of a pair of Cooke songs (the other is "A Change Is Gonna Come") that one would not expect any white artist to try and cover, much less do well, but Kooper does it justice and then some, and this track alone is worth the price of the album.

The album benefits from the fact that Kooper had spent a good chunk of the prior year working with the Atlanta Rhythm Section (which appears here) as well as discovering Lynyrd Skynyrd. Naked Songs may have been intended mostly to get him out of his Columbia contract, but it proved a highlight of his career as well as his last new recording for four years. Naked Songs was reissued in Japan in 2003 in a mini-LP jacket format in state-of-the-art 24-bit digital audio.
by Bruce Eder

1. (Be Yourself) Be Real (Kooper) - 3:27
2. As the Years Go Passing By (Malone) - 6:04
3. Jolie (Kooper) - 3:49
4. Blind Baby (Kooper) - 3:07
5. Been and Gone (Peacock) - 2:37
6. Sam Stone (Prine) - 4:41
7. Peacock Lady (Kooper) - 3:23
8. Touch the Hem of His Garment (Cooke) - 4:04
9. Where Were You When I NeededYou (Kooper, Levine) - 3:12
10. Unrequited (Kooper) - 2:54

*Al Kooper - Bass, Flute, Acoustic, Rhythm Guitar, Gut String Guitar, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Patti Austin - Vocals
*Barry Bailey - Guitar
*Charlie Bradley - Engineer
*Charlie Brown - Rhythm, Slide Guitar
*J.R. Cobb - Acoustic Guitar
*Dean Daughtry - Piano
*John Paul Fetta - Bass
*Michael Gately - Vocals
*Eileen Gilbert - Vocals
*Paul Goddard - Bass
*Richard Greene - Fiddle
*Junior Hanley - Drums
*Robert John - Vocals
*Maruga - Drums
*Robert Nix - Drums
*Linda November - Vocals
*Albertine Robinson - Vocals
*Stuart Scharf - Acoustic Guitar
*Maretha Stewart - Vocals
*Tasha Thomas - Vocals
*Jimmy Wisner - String Arrangements

Related Act
1970  Al Kooper - Easy Does It
1973  The Original Blues Project - Reunion in Central Park
*For more Al Kooper (solo or collaboration works, please feel free to ask for)

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