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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

American Blues Exchange - Blueprint (1969 us, fine heavy psych blues rock, Gear Fab release)

The American Blues Exchange, composed entirely of students  at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, was initially formed by Peter Hartman (bass) and Roger Briggs (guitar), based on a mutual love of blues and a desire to impress girls.  By early 1968, they were joined by Roy Dudley (vocals and harmonica) and Dale Reed (drums) and a working four piece band was formed. 

 Their repertoire drew heavily from the British blues groups such as Savoy Brown, John Mayall, Cream, Free, and also U.S. artists such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Jefferson Airplane, and Canned Heat. As a four piece band they played area coffee houses and fraternity parties through the Spring of 1968. When school resumed that fall they were joined by Dan Mixter (guitar and vocals)  and the new five piece group was formed which would remain together for the next 2 1/2 years, until the departure of Dale Reed forced the group's disbandment. 

During this time, ABE as they became known, played a steady stream of fraternity parties, college mixers, high school dances, clubs-all primarily on the weekends and mostly in the CT-Western MA area;  frequently stopping at a McDonalds along the way to chow down-hence the song "Big Max Revenge". For some unknown reason in 1969, it started to seem like a good idea to record an album of original material, as Roy was writing quite a few songs which they began to incorporate into their performances.  

So rehearsals resulted in nine original tunes over the next several months, and they then found themselves at Fiesta Studios in East Hartford (now The Gallery), where engineer Doug Clark and agent Dick Booth helped them record what they called "Blueprints". Also offering alot of assistance were fellow Trinity student and guitarist D.J. Reilert and Nancy Taylor, who made it all possible.  

The front cover is actually a fairly accurate blueprint of their stage setup as seen from above; Roger Briggs was then an engineering student and "volunteered" to do the cover art. So by late 1969, they had 1,000 LPs pressed, and Dan and Roger drove a death-trap of a VW bus down to Long Island in a mighty crosswind to pick them up (Roger remembers the return trip to be a bit slower from the weight of 40 cartons of LPs straining the small and old 4 cylinder engine) Sales of the LP were modest at best, with about 400 or so sold to fellow students, relatives, friends, etc. By the time the band dissolved, there were many hundreds left unsold, which were divided up amongst the band and most were given away through the years. 

Today, fewer than 10 sealed copies are in the possession of the band.  They are tickled pink that this reissue iis being done and want to express their thanks and appreciation to both their old fans and the new ones which are a by-product of this release.

1. On Solitude (Roy Dudley) - 3:32
2. Cold From Blues (Roy Dudley) - 6:00
3. Recorder Thing (Don Mixter) - 2:39
4. The Taker (Peter Hartman, Don Mixter) - 5:17
5. Burlington Letter (Roy Dudley) - 6:25
6. Ode To The Lost Legs Of John Bean (Roger Briggs, S. Melhun) - 3:22
7. Big Max Revenge (Roger Briggs) - 4:30
8. The True Son Confesses (Roy Dudley) - 4:59
9. Age Child (Roy Dudley) - 8:34
10.Steppin1 Out (Memphis Slim) - 3:15
11.One Sunny Day (D. Kirwah) - 3:11
12.Dust My Broom (Elmore James) - 4:20
Tracks 10-12 Live recordings

The American Blues Exchange
*Roger Briggs - First Guitar
*Dale Reed - Percussion, Harmony
*Roy Dudley - Vocals, Harmonica, Tambourine, Cwobel
*Don Mixter - Second Guitar, Recorder, Harmony
*Peter Hartman - Bass Guitar

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Various Artists - So Cold!!! Unearthed Mid 60's Sacramento Garage (1965-67 us, bumper bundle of classy garage)

Just an hour or so drive from Frisco proper, Sacramento was apparently a hotbed for punk thumpers. When farmboy energy stuffed itself into tight striped pants and set out to woo crowds at the local teen centers, magic often occurred. This then is a regional time capsule of some of that pre-hippy Central Valley magic, as potent (while maybe not as original) as what their peers were doing down on the Peninsula. 

Some of the standouts here are the Fugitives' snotty "Blowing My Mind," the Marauders' fuzz-laden "Our Big Chance," Sel-Sync's "Dirty Books," and Plague, Ltd's melancholy folk rocker "So Cold." Also included are sides by New Generation, the Heard (their "Little Miss Sadl" is pretty tight), the Opposite Six, the Brimstones, and Pilferage Humor.

Stuffed in the jewel case is a big booklet with lots of photos and flyers, a far cry from what some of those all-smoke-and-no-fire reissue labels call a proper release these days. Take a trip back to a California before the allure of hallucinogens and free love. 
by Erik Bluhm 

Tracks - Artists
1. Our Big Chance - Marauders - 1:48
2. Ball Of Twice - Gear One - 2:11
3. Dirty Books - Sel-Sync - 2:25
4. Blowing My Mind - Fugitives - 2:43
5. Empty Heart - Mods - 2:00
6. Doing What I Wanna Do - Plague, Ltd. - 2:21
7. I Don’t Mind You - City Limits - 2:35
8. I Want You - Squires - 2:56
9. The One In The Middle - 2:15
10. Since I Met You - Marauders - 2:14
11. They’re No Better - Plague, Ltd. - 2:27
12. We’ll Talk About Sunshine - New Generation - 2:227
13. Woman - Mods - 1:46
14. Feel A Groove - Gear One - 2:21
15. Little Miss Sad - The Heard - 2:14
16. Why Did You Lie? - Opposite Six - 2:20
17. You Don’t Have To Bring Your Toys - Squires - 3:27
18. Come On Now - Fugitives - 2:33
19. Woke Up This Morning - Gear One - 2:28
20. I Don’t Believe You - The Heard - 2:14
21. I’m In Misery - Brimstones - 2:20
22. Little Girl - Pilferage Humor - 3:27
23. Since I Met You (2nd Version) - Marauders - 2:09
24. So Cold - Plague, Ltd.- 2:42
25. Little Richard Medley - Gear One - 8:33
26. Route 66 - Marauders - 2:10
27. Alimony - Gear One - 2:58
28. Cold Hearted Woman - Brimstones - 2:17
29. She’s A Mod - Mods - 2:14
30. For Your Love - Unknown Band - 2:49

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