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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Love Exchange - The Love Exchange (1968 us, beautiful garage sunny psych with west coast aura, Sundazed remaster plus extra tracks)

By 1967 manager of The Crusaders Barry Kaye, who was a real Hollywood creep, took every penny they made off of some real big gigs, persuaded The Crusaders to change their name to The Love Exchange, and moved to San Francisco, California.

By late November 1967 The Love Effect released a single "Swallow the Sun" (written by John Merrill) (backed by "Meadow Memory"), which is described as the band's "chief claim to fame", and "a nice folk-rock-psychedelic tune that's emblematic of the time with its trippily optimistic lyrics, garage-like Mamas & the Papas female-male harmonies, and swirling organ". "Swallow the Sun" was "a re-titled cover of 'Dark On You Now' (with some different lyrics) by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy", which had previously been recorded by Merrill's previous band, The Ashes. The song was anthologized on the Los Angeles portion of the Highs in the Mid-Sixties series, and also on the folk-rock volume of the vinyl Nuggets series on Rhino in the 1980s.

The Love Exchange's eponymous 1968 album Love Exchange was recorded in one day at Leo de Gar Kulka's Golden State Recorders Studios at Harrison Street, San Francisco, produced by Number One Productions of Larry Goldberg, who "put his name on our songs", and was credited with writing most of the songs, with the exception of "the appropriately melancholy and ghostly 'Ballad of a Sad Man' (written by bassist Mike Joyce)".

In an act of "psychsploitation", Goldberg took some of the LP's backing tracks and used them on a soundtrack album for a musical titled How Now, Dow Jones, credited there to the Floor Traders". These songs were "Step to the Rear" and "Live a Little", both with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music by Elmer Bernstein. The original soundtrack album "How Now, Dow Jones" was released by RCA Victor by January 1968.

In April 1968 Love Exchange was released without the two Broadway songs, and received a favorable rating by Billboard magazine The Love Exchange played often in Los Angeles, including gigs at the Pandora's Box and other Sunset Strip clubs, the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and at some festivals, but broke up after appearing at the Newport '69 Pop Festival in June 1969.

1. Get Out Of My Life, Woman (Alain Toussaint) - 2:28
2. Swallow The Sun (Jack Merrill) - 2:46
3. Flying High (Larry Goldberg) - 2:40
4. Meadow Memory (Larry Goldberg, M. Andrews) - 2:00
5. Saturday Night Flight 505 (Larry Goldberg, M. Andrews) - 2:25
6. Give Up On Love (Kenny Smith) - 3:00
7. Two-O-Tango (Walter Flannery) - 3:02
8. Ballad Of A Sad Man (Mike Joyce) - 2:48
9. Nothing At All (Danny Hutton, Larry Goldberg) - 2:35
10. Mrs. Ansel Griffith (M. Cooper) - 2:37
11. Boston (Fred Barnett,Walter Flannery) - 4:11
12. Live A Little (Elmer Berstein, Carolyn Leigh) - 2:12
13. Step To The Rear (Elmer Berstein, Carolyn Leigh) - 1:54
14. Get Out Of My Life, Woman - 2:26
15. Meadow Memory - 2:00
16. Swallow The Sun - 2:32
Bonus tracks 11-16 previously unissued.

The Love Exchange
*Dan Altchuler - 12 String Guitar
*Jeff Barnett - Drums
*Fred Barnett - Six String Guitar
*Walter Flannery - Organ
*Mike Joyce - Bass
*Bonnie Blunt - Vocals, Tambourine

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cykle - Cykle (1969 us, fine garage psych, Gear Fab release)

Cykle produced one album's worth of solid garage rock, and it certainly proves that the band was an enthusiastic bunch of musicians. Despite claims to the contrary, Cykle's music cannot be called psychedelia; instead, it's closer in sound to the garage punk that started to come out a couple years before the album was released, in 1969. 

Jimmy Sossamon came up with decent songs, and the band played the hell out of them. Cykle may have been somewhat derivative, but they could occasionally be thrilling, too, and their playing sometimes bursts with a teenage energy that makes the songs fun to listen to. Rave-ups like "If You Can," "Walkout," "Walkin' Through My Mind," and "It's Her" are exciting punkers full of scorching guitar along the lines of the Chocolate Watchband and the great, final raga-fied incarnation of the Vejtables.

This  Gear Fab reissue adds some recordings from Sossamon's pre-Cykle band, the Young Ones, who were certainly of their day, combining hints of the Beatles, instrumental party music, soul, and beach music. The album is filled out with a couple of songs Sossamon wrote for and helped record with the Rhodes Scholars. A distinct departure from Cykle, the Rhodes Scholars played straight pop/rock with full brass arrangements -- much closer to the sound of bands like Chicago and the Buckinghams -- and their songs were actually pretty solid, with quite a bit of commercial potential.
by Stanton Swihart 

1. Too Much Lovin' - The Young Ones (The Young Ones) - 2:12
2. Harbor Melon - The Young Ones (Trad. Arr. The Young Ones) - 2:49
3. Big Teaser - The Young Ones (Sossamon, Hayes, Warwick) - 1:55
4. It's You - The Young Ones (Warwick) - 2:14
5. If You Can - Cykle (Sossamon) - 2:40
6. Walkout (Of My Mind) - Cykle (Sossamon) - 2:13
7. Maiden Girl - Cykle (Sossamon) - 3:06
8. Walkin' Through My Mind - Cykle(Sossamon) - 2:30
9. A Little Faith - Cykle (Sossamon) - 2:49
10.It's Her - Cykle (Sossamon) - 2:01
11.Lesson To Learn - Cykle (Sossamon) - 3:14
12.In Love My Friend - Cykle (Sossamon) - 3:38
13.Do My Thing - Cykle (Sossamon) - 4:03
14.What You Do To Me - Cykle (Sossamon) - 7:26
15.In My Dreams - Jimmy Sossamon (Sossamon) - 2:45
16.In My Dreams - The Rhodes Scholars (Sossamon) - 3:49
17.What's On Your Mind - The Rhodes Scholars (Sossamon) - 2:17

The Young Ones
*Carlton Warwick - Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Johnny Hayes - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Baxley - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Jimmy Sossamon - Drums
*Dicky Britt - Organ

*Ralph Stephens - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Backup Vocals
*Ken Allen - Lead Vocals
*Jeff Hardin - Rhythm Guitar, Backup Vocals
*Grady Pope - Bass Guitar, Backup Vocals
*Rick Wilson - Organ, Backup Vocals , Lead Vocals ("It's Her")
*Jimmy Sossamon - Drums, Piano, Harpsichord, Vibraphone

The Rhodes Scholars - 1969
*Mike Emmitt - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Steve McCrae - Keyboards, Lead Vocals
*Bill Hartman - Bass Guitar, Trombone, Vocals
*Scott Beazley - Saxophone, Vocals
*Ray Purvis - Trumpet, Vocals
*Bob Whitfield - Drums, Vocals

The Rhodes Scholars - 1969 -1970
*Cleon Nally - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*John Wayne - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Steve McCrae - Keyboards. Lead Vocals
*Jimmy Sossamon - Drums

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Lynn Blessing – Sunset Painter (1969 us, adventurous fusion jazz with country folk flashes, Fallout issue)

Vibist Lynn Blessing is best known for his membership in the jazz-rock band Advancement, who recorded a single, self-titled album in 1969, and as a member of Bill Plummer's Cosmic Brotherhood and Gabor Szabo's studio band. Previously, however, he and Plummer were also an integral part of cornet master Tommy Peltier's Jazz Corps, one of the house bands at the famed Lighthouse between 1963 and 1967. 

Born Cicero, Indiana, 12/4/38, started playing drums at age 10, vibes at age 17, Blessing met Freddie Hubbard in high school and formed his first jazz group with him at that time (Blessing played drums). He also worked with Paul Horn, Martin Denny, Tony Bennett, and Fred Katz. Sunset Painter is Blessing's only date as a leader and was originally issued on Epic in 1969. Produced by Paul Horn, the LP also features pedal steel guitar whiz Sneaky Pete Kleinow, bassist Wolfgang Melz, drummer Mel Telford, and guitarists John Beck and Robert Hirth. Sunset Painter is deeply influenced by sounds coming from Los Angels and San Francisco at the time, particularly those of Laurel Canyon. 

As such, this is not a "jazz" record per se. It is a collection of almost entirely instrumental pop tunes, four of which were written by the rock icons of the day: "Mother Nature's Son," by Lennon and McCartney; "Pinball Wizard," by Pete Townshend; "Country Pie," by Bob Dylan; and "Child of the Universe," by Roger McGuinn. The rest were either self-penned or by the sidemen on the date; Melz and Hirth wrote one apiece. 

The sound is loose, breezy, laid-back, and full of Eastern tinges (acoustic guitars played like sitars with open droning lead and rhythm parts as on the title track with its shimmering 12-string, and Blessing's single-note melodies). Then there is "Mother Nature's Son" done country-raga style -- no kidding. The warm feel of the set offers the same feel as many of Gary McFarland's sides on Skye but is less pop-oriented and more psychedelic in texture. The opener, "Cosmic Cowboy," features Blessing on a pair of harmonicas playing one just behind the other, a popping electric bassline, and breakbeats skittering around the middle before Blessing's vibes enter, resembling something cut out of the hoedown section of Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid. 

The lithe openness on most of this recording is caught perfectly in "Anacalyspsis," where the pedal steel -- playing more like a slide guitar -- engages with Blessing's vibes, and the drums widen out in a slippery country stroll given dimension, texture, and depth by Blessing's solo and sophisticated melodic improvisation. And while it's true that the album is relatively brief, clocking in at exactly 38 minutes, it is a minor masterpiece. 

It's very much of its time and stands in stark contrast to so much of the jazz that was being recorded on the American side of the pond at the time. In some sense, it's not a jazz record, but neither is it a pop, or psych or folk or rock record either. It is all things at once and none of them, but its sense of order, focus, and attention to melody, atmosphere, and brevity make it a wonderfully focused listen. 

While Charles Lloyd was messing about trying out his singing in trying to bring the rock and blues sensibilities to his records, he might have tried hanging out with Blessing, who had the boundaries down and was interested in integration more than extrapolation. Fallout Records in the U.K. reissued this gentle treasure in 2007, and it is well worth seeking out as an experiment that succeeded aesthetically, even if it failed commercially. 
by Thom Jurek

1. Cosmic Cowboy (Blessing) - 3:27
2. Sunset Painter (Blessing) - 2:39
3. Mother Nature’s Son (Lennon, McCartney) - 2:24
4. Anacalypsis (Blessing) - 3:32
5. From Deep Within For Lynn (Melz) - 2:13
6. An Awakening (Hirth) - 5:14
7. Country Pie (Dylan) - 3:21
8. Pinball Wizard (Townshend) - 3:14
9. Emerald River (Sill) - 2:37
10. Child Of The Universe (Grusin, McGuinn) - 1:49
11. “Monk 136” (Hirth) - 4:22
12. Where There Is Grass (Melz) - 3:09

*Lynn Blessing – Vibes, Harmonica
*Wolfgang Melz – Electric Bass
*John Beck – Guitar
*Robert Hirth – Guitar
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow – Steel Guitar
*Mel Telford – Drums

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Glass Prism - On Joy And Sorrow (1970 us, amazing heavy psych, 2011 korean remaster)

Glass Prism's first album, 1969's Poe Through the Glass Prism, was one of the most unusual early concept albums of the psychedelic era. Despite some initial encouraging promotional push from RCA however, it and a single drawn from the LP, The Raven TEl Dorado," didn't make the national impact for which the band and their management had hoped. 

Glass Prism did get to put out another album on RCA, On Joy and Sorrow, but not under ideal circumstances, the group's momentum having been curtailed by business complications. Explains Glass Prism guitarist Tom Varano, 'We're pretty sure (our managers) Mort Lewis and Gene Weiss made a deal with RCA that when they released the album, if RCA would do everything possible, they would do everything possible on their end. Which means, they were gonna put us on tour with Blood, Sweat & Tears. That was gonna be a major tour." 

The tour was canceled, however, "and as soon as that broke off, RCA shut down their promotional campaign. It killed the whole thing. Because we were gonna be punished, along with Mort Lewis, for losing what was gonna help RCA to sell more records." Complicating the situation was Lewis's withdrawal from the music business, which to some degree is a mystery that's persisted to this day "He managed Dave Brubeck, the Four Freshmen, Simon & Garfunkel and Blood, Sweat & Tears, and we were his fifth act," says Varano. 'That was it. I met Paul Simon at his office, and Paul had listened to our stuff. 

I remember Paul saying, 'Hey, why don't you guys write your own words?'" he laughs, Poe Through the Glass Prism having been devoted to the band's adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe works to music. The following year Simon, continues Varano, "married Mori's wife. I'm pretty sure Mort probably had a breakdown. He never, ever again managed anybody. He went down to Florida. I could never reach him again by phone, ever. Gene Weiss went down to Florida, and could not get in touch with him; he was out on his yacht and wouldn't come in. And he never spoke to Gene Weiss again, according to Gene's wife, in all those years." In the meantime, however, "we were still performing. 

We still had to make a living, but it was really somewhat depressing because of what happened. We were still trying to communicate '••.in Lewis; It wasn't happening. I didn't know whether something was gonna still happen, whether we were gonna end up still having another shot. Gene called up one day and said, 'Oh, your record contract calls for a second album.' I said, 'Well, are we supposed to do something?1 He said, 'Yeah, you're supposed to record it. And you got eleven days to get ready.'" Taken aback, the band would have to get enough original material together almost on the fly. 'We were writing just a little bit, a few songs," notes Tom. 'We weren t doing any more Edgar Allan Poe stuff. 

That whole thing became depressing to us. We would still play 'The Raven' and maybe a couple of songs, 'cause people would ask for them. But we were sick and tired of it. Because of the way things worked out, it wasn't of interest. We were just playing copy music, and there were just a couple of original songs." Nonetheless, "Gene said, 'You have to record an album.' I said, 'We don't even have an album. We don't have songs.' So I went home and just wrote a bunch of songs, and we got together in rehearsals. Augie wrote a couple songs, and we just worked those out within a few days. 

When we got to the studio, we weren't ready; we didn't even have enough songs. We had to pull some stuff together in the studio. So you're hearing songs that were all written within a few days for the most part. There may have been one or two songs written on that album that were written before, but not many. We practiced for a few days, and went into the studio and recorded the songs. I don't even remember being in there for the mix." With RCA's diminishing interest in the band, giving Glass Prism more time to prepare and record their second LP did not seem to be a priority, "'cause we didn't have any notice. 

I just figured they could care less about the contract, 'cause they shut everything down. They stopped all the ads, they stopped doing everything. We had a great distribution situation; the first album went everywhere, that's why there were so many of those albums around. The second album, it was just part of their contract" - which likely accounts in part for why original copies of On Joy and Sorrow are so much more difficult to find than original copies of Poe Through the Glass Prism. Like Poe Through the Glass Prism, On Joy and Sorrow was recorded in just three days, though this time Glass Prism would use RCA's Studio A in New York, rather than guitar legend Les Paul's studio in Nyack. 

One day, Varano reveals, "Pat Boone was upstairs. He had a priest with him that would pray before he would go and record. He ended up leaving early that day, because he just couldn't get it right or something." Yet despite not being hatched under optimum conditions, On Joy and Sorrow did showcase the distinctive elements of Glass Prism's sound that had been introduced on the musical arrangements of their Poe adaptations. There was bassist Augie Christiano's husky soul-rock singing, balanced by songs on which drummer Rick Richards took lead vocals; B3 organ in the spirit of bands like the Spencer Davis Group (whose "I'm a Man" the band covered onstage), Procol Harum, and Vanilla Fudge; and Varano's versatile lead guitar, equally accomplished at fuzzy hard rock riffs and deft jazz-influenced picking. 

Most of the material was written by Tom, with Augie contributing "Maggie Don't You Hear Me" and "Renee," and organist/guitarist Carl Siracuse coming up with "I Laugh." "There are little pieces of each song, I guess, that were kind of interesting, but it never got developed," reflects Tom. "She (On Joy and Sorrow)' and 'She's Too Much' had the theme of the album, and we tried to write songs kind of around that, so we would keep within some kind of a focus. 'Cause we thought we were supposed to; that's what the first album was. I kind of like the song 'She (On Joy and Sorrow)' that Rick sings; the way the harmonies come in, it's a little different, it has some unusual chords in it. 'She's Too Much was going to be a single. 

It was kind of like a John Kay and Steppenwolf thing. But again, listening to it, it's like that really needed work to get it where it needed to be." Still, he adds, "I kind of like some of the ideas. 'Maggie Don t You Hear Me' is neat, kind of a rhythm and bluesy thing. The song that a lot of people like, which has two chords in it,'I Laugh,'was written in the studio. It was just, 'Let's fill the album.' It was also kind of a bluesy thing." The jazzy lick that kicks off "Here You Are," he says, has been sampled, as has the wah-wah guitar from Poe Through the Glass Prism's "Dream Within a Dream," and guitar from the same LP's "Hymn." 

As for Christiano's two songs named after girls, Varano confirms that both "Renee" and "Maggie Don't You Hear Me" are about real people. That was the Edgar Allan Poe thing, when you write about a girl, but you change her name," he explains. "Maggie"s about one of his girlfriends." Released by RCA with minimal promotion and no accompanying 45, On Joy and Sorrow would be Glass Prism's final record for the label. In retrospect, Varano muses, "we probably should have been sticking with the Edgar Allan Poe thing. We should have been going further with it, and that's what they should have been telling us to do. Because if it was working, why would you want to change it? I know Augie, that's all he ever wanted to do - just do more and more of it, as much as possible. 

He thought the second album should have been the same way. But we weren't prepared for that. Even though there were more songs [based on Poe's work] that I had written, I hadn't brought them to the group. When it was time to do the second album, nobody said, 'Do some more.' They just said, 'Come and do an album, do what you have.' All we had was a couple of songs that we were playing live - I think 'She's Too Much' was one of them - that were not even really related." But while Glass Prism's association with RCA had ended, the band continued, if not always under the Glass Prism name. 

Playing not just in the northeast Pennsylvanian region that was their base, but also New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, they shared bills over the course of their career with Procol Harum, Vanilla Fudge, Three Dog Night, and Guess Who. In 1971, with Carl Siracuse departing and Louie Cossa joining on bass and keyboards, they evolved into Shenandoah. The self-titled album they recorded was, in Varano's view, "a better album than the first two. We wrote all the songs; we actually figured out how to write our own words." But "it never got released. The guy who was producing, Seth Greenkey, could not get a deal. Almost had a couple deals that never happened." Two years later, in 1976, "we quit." In October 2007, however, this lineup reunited as Glass Prism to play a concert in Philadelphia at the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, naturally featuring material from Poe Through the Glass Prism. 

A reunion concert at the Scranton Cultural Center on June 7, 2008 was filmed and used for a recent 55-minute documentary on the band. On Joy and Sorrow: The Glass Prism Story. They're now working on a new studio album {details on their website, that will combine new material, a medley of classic rock tunes, and re-recordings of songs from Poe Through the Glass Prism. "Five of those songs are gonna be on the new album, and they're gonna be different," says Varano. "You're still gonna have the song, but you're gonna have some things that have happened. 

Like we've created an introduction to The Raven' that's a piece within itself. It's just a piano and bass; it's like a mood, it brings the song in, and the song itself is much more powerful. You can't change it that much, but we did. We changed it just enough." In addition, "we have a song on the new album that is about Edgar Allan Poe, as opposed to using his words." Summarizes Tom Varano when looking back at Glass Prism's RCA albums, "I think if you listen to the two albums, they're from a long time ago, written by young guys writing their first songs. They're simple. We would have progressed. 

We just did what we did, 'cause that's what we liked to do. We didn't really think that we could have done it any different at the time, although listening to it 40 years later, you say, 'oh wow, what about this, what about that, and where are the strings,' you know? You think of all these other different things. But that was the true band in 1969. "Really, it was the Poe stuff that caused the attention. Those songs were being developed based on the theme of the music. 'Can I capture what this guy's trying to say here?' As a musician, I like the fact that something doesn't sound like something else. And something happens maybe by itself."
by Richie Unterberger

1. She's Too Much (Lay Your Body Down) - 4:10
2. Extention 68 - 2:18
3. What Can We Do - 2:32
4. Who Loves Me - 2:13
5. Nothin's Wrong Song - 2:46
6. Maggie Don't You Hear Me (T. Varano, A. Christiano) - 3:53
7. She (On Joy And Sorrow) / I Want To Play - 4:22
8. Here You Are - 3:07
9. Renee (T. Varano, A. Christiano) - 2:01
10.I Laugh (Rick Richards) - 3:07
All songs by Tom Varano except where indicated.
*Note that by mistake the Korean label merged two songs together,
(She (On Joy And Sorrow) / I Want To Play),
that's why we have 10 songs listed, 
actually all 11 original songs are included.

The Glass Prism
*Tom Varano - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Carl Syracuse - Guitar, Organ, Vocals
*Rick Richards - Drums, Vocals
*Augie Christiano - Bass, Vocals

1969  Poe Through The Glass

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Big Brother And The Holding Company - Be A Brother / How Hard It Is (1970-71 us, superb psych blues rock, 2008 acadia reissue)

By 1970 Big Brother had evolved a very distinct sound which is nonetheless a bit difficult to describe. James Gurtey had moved over to the bass and Peter and I were playing guitars, along with David Schallock who had come to the band from The Sons of Champlin, Mr. Schallock was a fine guitar player and a sterling human being, and it was a real pleasure to have him in the band. 

Thus, with James, a guitar player, on the bass and then three other guitar players, the sound was very much in the treble range. Dave was a good guitar player and he mellowed out all that high end by playing very melodically in thirds with us on most of the tunes. Dave Getz was playing very cleanly at this point and he was taking risks too, propelling the band and having the courage and energy to get off into some new areas. Of course, this is my interpretation of the Big Brother sound of 1970, What the audience heard was something else. 

Here are some adjectives they used to describe what we were doing: energetic, rambunctious, raucous, reckless, rowdy, rebellious, brash, confident, viscera! and aggressive. We had a cleaner sound, our technique was better, we were trying some things that we hadn't tried before, so it was a good direction for the band. The cover of the "Be A Brother" album is revealing. 

All primary colors and there is that madman, limned by Bob Seideman who did that Blind Faith album cover with the girl and the hood ornament, and the madman is giving us the peace sign and grinning inanely. This is anti-Art and beyond technique, or below technique. The background is a sort of insane map of California, "Be A Brother" was the first album we did after Janis. We had learned to tune the guitars by this time and what we played in tune was more developed. 

There were some complaints, even in the band, that we weren't sticking to our roots, and that we were being a little too adventurous in our songwriting/ composing, I think it is a real shame that we didn't continue on after "How Hard it Is, the next album, and do several more along just this same experimental tack. "Keep On" is the first song on the "Be A Brother album," which is fitting because the feeling in the band at the time was that we were going to persist no matter what. "Through the valley of tears, child," we were going to go on and improve and do something worthwhile. 

We wanted to work with Nick Gravenites because he wrote songs of real meaning. I also had had the good fortune to meet Kathi MacDonald a year or so earlier when I had been volunteered to be her birthday present one fine sunny afternoon. We wrote a song together and I was astonished at how talented she was. Kathi knew more songs than anyone ! had ever worked with, but it was her voice, that razor sharp instrument, that made me want to get her into Big Brother. 

Kathi and Nick were quite a combination. Nick was a burly man who looked like a Chicago truck driver as drawn by R, Crumb in Zap Comix and Kathi was so slender she hid behind the microphone stand. We had Mike Finnegan in the band too. He had played with The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood and he also had his own band. Mike is now one of the main keyboard players in the Los Angeles recording scene and he plays with all the big guns down there but I always thought his singing was the best. 

Let's see, we had other side people on this album. We had Richard Green from Seatrain who played some marvelous violin. We had Janis Joplin. As far as I know, we were the first rock band to use Tower of Power as a horn section and it was an education to see them planning out the head arrangements for the tunes. They came into the studio with no charts or written music of any kind, sat over in a corner talked for a while about who was going to take a third or a fifth and then played their parts beautifully. 

The tune "Home On The Strange" features Peter Albin playing a lovely melody that reminds me a bit of his work on "Cuckoo/Sweet Mary" in the early Big Brother days. The melody is "I Wonder As 1 Wander," an ancient tune that long predated the John Jacob Niles version of it from the 1930s. I like the feel of this tune. In some ways it reminds me of "All Is Loneliness, a Moondog tune that we did on our first album. James is doing some interesting basswork and David Schailock is making everything musical. "Someday" is another song of hope. 

Another song that looks forward and tries to describe a better future. Another song that begins with a pattern in the guitars, echoed in thirds, and reechoed in the bass. "Sunshine Baby" is one of those dreams of unachievement of interruption, one of those dreams where you just can't quite slip free of the bonds that are holding you to earth, where you just can't quite make it to the stage. 

There's a feeling of desperation there, of being at the end of one's tether. "I've searched away the night time, Sunshine, just trying to get back to you." In April of 1970 we played at The Filtmore in San Francisco and Janis came onstage to sing a couple of numbers with us. She and Nick did a tune that became "Ego Rock. We asked Janis if she would come and sing a bit on our new album...noth ing elaborate, just some backup vocals and she came and celebrated a bit with us. She did some funny vocal work on "Mr, Natural." That's her cackling voice you hear back in the mix. Janis was amazed when I brought "Mr. Natural" into the rehearsal room, our living room, at Lagunitas, because the tune was much more worked out than the usual Big Brother tune.

 I worked out the two guitar tracks for "Mr. Natural" at the Chelsea Hotel in New York on one of the new Sony tape recorders while Danny Rifkin was talking to me nonstop about the prospects for his band The Grateful Dead. I was thinking that the Dead were fortunate to have someone like Danny on their side, because he never stopped thinking about how to get them to the next step. I think he and Rock Scully had a lot more to do with the Dead's success than people realize. in May of 1970 we played at The Bermuda Palms in San Rafael, California, and Janis was there with The Full Tilt Boogie Band. 

This was a very chaotic affair. Janis had too much to drink and she began a rant on the microphone that sounded like a parody of her usual self. This is the first time I felt scared for her. She seemed flabby and tired and at the end of her rope. Earlier that afternoon, she had told me, "I'm not going to die. I come from good, strong pioneer stock. I'm a survivor." This statement sent a chill down my spine. It seemed as If she were tempting the gods, and her talking like that didn't seem like a good idea at all. In July of 1970, we played at The Sports Arena in San Diego on the same bill with The Electric Flag and Janis and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. That was a strange engagement. 

Janis was very keyed up and she was hanging onto James Gurley for dear life, We all flew home on the same plane and Michael Bloomfield regaled us with an incredible story of how he taped two balloons full of warm water to the bathroom mirror and masturbated to them. Well, maybe you had to be there. One thing about Michael, he never held back! I had the same eerie, unpleasant feeling watching Janis on the plane as I did at the San Rafael engagement with her. She was tense because we were all together and she was obviously indulging too much for her own good. Janis was so full of herself that you could tell she was nervous and insecure about something. 

There was no hope of calming her down, but we tried anyway. This "Be A Brother" album came out in October of 1970, quite a month. I wrote a tune about James Gurley one day. James is from Detroit and he has a Detroit soul, funky, threadbare and a bit country. That funkiness is a strange admixture in the psychedelic zenmaster guru that James also can be, and I was trying to get some of this complexity into the tune that I called "Funky Jim." I brought it into the studio one day and Nick Gravenites completely appropriated it because he liked the idea so much. Nick actually knew James before I did, and he must have thought he had a prior claim, Anyway, the song came out well. Tower of Power added some horn parts, someone changed the spelling to "Funkie Jim" and we had another tune. 

Merle Haggard, who has a face to match his name, and who has a deep grained country soul, wrote a song called "Okie From Muskogee" that was intended to celebrate the downhome virtues and the American cleanliness of that city. Conservative elements on the American political scene fastened onto this song as a sort of anthem which became a kind of "Ballad of the Green Berets" for the home front. Ah, if we could only get back to Muskogee, all would be peace and light again. 

The problem was that in reality Muskogee, Oklahoma, not only had hippies down by the courthouse, it had a lot of them. In fact, people from Oklahoma, such as Mike Finnegan who was playing with us at the time told us that Muskogee was the center for countercultural activity at the time. Nick wrote 'Til Change Your Flat Tire, Merle," as a kind of riposte to the specious patriotism that Okie From Muskogee represented. Big Brother played in London recently and as I was coming off stage someone handed me a CD that had a hiphop/rave version of "I'll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle" on it, so the song lives on as a bow to the opposition. 

I have a tape of Big Brother playing most of the tunes on this album at the Terrace Ballroom in Salt Lake City June 1970 and it's good to hear that we actually did the parts live on stage with Nick, Kathi and Mike Finnegan. I say "actually did the parts" because often with the recording process there are vocal and instrumental overdubs that are impossible to play live. I was not sure if we could do the songs the way we recorded them, but we did do them that way in Salt Lake, Be a brother. Be a sister, Be the one who tries harder, to get it together, Thank you for listening.
by Sam Andrew, May 2002

1971 How Hard It Is
1. How Hard It Is (S. Andrew, D. Getz) - 4:21
2. You've Been Talkin' Bout Me, Baby (R. Rhrera, W. Hirsch, G. Garnet) - 3:25
3. House On Fire (D. Getz, L Rappaport) - 3:55
4. Black Widow Spider (S. Andrew) - 3:32
5. Last Band On Side One (S. Andrew, Roscoe) - 1:56
6. Nu Boogaloo Jam (S. Andrew, D. Nudelman) - 3:23
7. Maui (S. Andrew, Roscoe) - 3:25
8. Shine On (P. Albin, S, Andrew, D. Getz) - 5:24
9. Buried Alive In The Blues (N. Gravenites) - 3:57
10.Promise Her Anything But Give Her Arpeggio (D.Shallock) - 3:55
1970 Be A Brother
11. Keep On (S. Andrew, P. Albin, D. Getz, J. Gurley, D. Shallock) - 4:19
12. Joseph's Coat (N. Gravenites, J. Clpollina) - 3:08
13. Home On The Strange (Arranged/Adapted by P. Albin, S. Andrew) - 2:12
14. Someday (S. Andrew) - 2:15
15. Heartache People (N. Gravenites) - 6:34
16. Sunshine Baby (S.Andrew, P. Albin, D. Getz, J. Gurley, D. Shallock) - 3:28
17. Mr. Natural (S. Andrew) - 3:31
18. Funkie Jim (S. Andrew, P. Albin, D. Getz, J. Gurley) - 3:45
19. I'll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle (N. Gravenites) - 3:11
20. Be A Brother (N. Gravenites) - 3:03

Big Brother and the Holding Company
*Nick Gravenites - Lead Vocals
*Kathi Mcdonald - Lead Vocals (Tracks 1-10)
*Sam Andrew - Guitar, Vocals
*James Gurley - Guitar
*Dave Schallock - Guitar
*Peter Albin - Bass
*Dave Getz - Drums
*Mike Finnegan - Vocals, Keyboards (Tracks 1-10)

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Euphoria - Lost In Trance (1973 us, hard 'n' rough psych jam rock)

This very rare 1973 private press hard rock record in that Primevil, Magi, Wedge vein but even more primitive and down and dirty with filthy acid guitar like you love.

Euphoria formed Wiscons round 1973, showed amazing songwriting talent plus musical ability Classic midwest American heavy psych with somewhat biker vibe Raging agressive Fuzz-guitar leads  with great echoey-reverb effects ,true sledgehammer bass ,crunching drums ,very melodic tunefull vocals. A Must for all 70 s heavy psych enthusiasts. 

This is a heavy rock album with lots of fine guitar work, particularly on the title track, Lost In Trance, the most psychedelic cut, and Enchanted. All the songs on the album were written by lead guitarist D. Walloch.

1. Brotherhood - 5:00
2. Just for a Moment - 6:35
3. Lost in Trance - 6:32
4. Oriental News - 5:15
5. Enchanted - 4:51
6. Middle Asian Lament - 6:09

*Dennis Walloch - Guitar, Vocals, Lyrics
*Bryan Walloch - Drums, Percussion
*Laurie Walloch - Keyboard, Vocals, Bass
*Cara Olsen - Guitar, Bass
*Mike Walloch - Previous Drummer

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

East Of Eden - Another Eden (1975 uk, eclectic inclusive assorted rock, 2012 Flawed Gems remaster)

The music of the turn of the 60 - and 70-these can say almost anything, but certainly not that it was boring and uninteresting. The fifth album (and yes with hand at heart - last really good) recorded in February 1974 in Escape Studios, Smarden, Kent,but released a year later,only the German effort EMI Harvest.

In March 1974 the musicians finish work on a new album, in which he helped them to Jeff Beck.
-Martin Fisher - "Mr. Beck, lived closely, and came by the studio, in Kent, most days"
-Jeff Allen - "The engineer Tony Taverner also worked a lot with Jeff Beck who dropped in now and then when we were recording."

The session finishes a month later, in March 1974 (info from New Musical Express). But the group aren't content with their work :
- Joe O'Donnell - "At the end of the session, we put all the material for the development of the ... Colon Music. (?) But we were not satisfied with their work and release the LP is paused."
- Martin Fisher - "Actually, we were not happy with the album. Should write and record more material, more fine-tune it, but it was pressure from the label, although the album, in our opinion was not yet ready."

Recordings wander on the shelf, to be released officially on sale in 1975, the LP "Another Eden" EMI Harvest (C06297101). The team suspended operations, and individual musicians centered on their private activities.

This LP, however, only shows itself in Germany. Jeff Allen remembers edition of the album: "Another Eden. We did not have control over the release of the album. Decisive factor for the label. Did not have any bearing on the cover of which is" Nicky Debus. "Then it was my girlfriend."(Under the pseudonym, Nicky Debus, hiding Nicky Coleman, who in the mid-70s participated in numerous photo shoots for female nudes.)

New songs have been little to do with jazz-rock and oriental variations from the "Mercator Projected". But no one thought about it in the meantime to take care of the new  the corresponding music .
by Adamus67

1. Mandarin's Daughter - 3:45
2. Hey Zimmerman - 4:01
3. Kensington Cowboy - 3:06
4. Catalina Troubour - 3:55
5. What's Happening - 5:51
6. Summer Days - 3:32
7. Hey Baby - 5:00
8. Fancy Nancy - 3:43
9. Sin City Girls (UK Single A-side, 1973) - 3:37
10.All Our Yesterdays (UK Single B-side, 1973) - 2:47
11.Kensington Cowboy (BBC Session, July 1973) - 3:06
12.To Mrs. V (BBC Session, May 1971) - 4:39
13.Wonderful Feeling (BBC Session, May 1971) - 5:49
14.Brand New Day - 4:49
15.Wonderful Feeling - 4:12
16.Instrumental - 4:04
17.What Can I Do - 2:57
18.She Wants Your Love - 4:46
19.Instrumental Jig - 2:04
Bonus tracks 9-19
Tracks 14-19 Live in Germany 1972

East Of Eden
*Garth Watt-Roy - Guitar Vocals
*Jeff Allen - Drums
*Joe O'Donnell - Violin
*Martin Fisher - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Dave Arbus - Violin
*Davy Jack - Vocals, Bass
*Jim Roche - Guitar

1969  Mercator Projected (eclectic bonus tracks issue)
1970  Snafu (eclectic bonus tracks issue)
1971  East Of Eden - East Of Eden
1971  New Leaf 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jeff St John's Copperwine - Joint Effort (1970 aussie, groovy garage psych with blues and funky vibes, Radioactive edition)

Copperwine (aka Jeff St John's Copperwine) was formed by Jeff St John's in early 1969.  The band's first gigs were some low-key dates in Perth, before returning to Sydney. Copperwine soon commanded a rabid following in that city's fast-developing 'head' scene. Around the time of the new band's formation, guitarist Ross East was also invited to join the revised Masters Apprentices line-up by Jim Keays, but he turned it down, opting to stay with Jeff. 

Aided by East and Peter Figures, plus Alan Ingram on bass and keyboardist Barry Kelly (from Marty Rhone's Soul Agents), St John wowed punters at the Ourimbah "Pilgrimage For Pop", Australia's first major outdoor rock festival, held at Ourimbah, NSW at the end of January 1970. The band's dynamic repertoire mixed quality prog-flavoured group originals with powerful renditions of Sly & the Family Stone's funk classic "Sing A Simple Song" (a stage fave for many Australian acts of the time including Southern Comfort and The Affair), a storming version of The Temptations' psych-soul masterpiece "Cloud Nine" and Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home."

This body of songs was captured by producer Pat Aulton in superb that remains one of the most accomplished and musically adventurous long players of the time. The punningly-titled Joint Effort won considerable critical acclaim, but failed to generate significant sales. A similar fate befell the great single lifted from the album, "Cloud Nine" / "Days To Come" (Feb. 1970). An EP, Sing A Simple Song, which featured four selections from its parent album, came out in May 1970.

In retrospect, Joint Effort reveals at least three truths -- the album was one of Festival Record's most consistent sellers for many years, it's a fine artefact of what was musically going on with OzRock in this heady and fertile time, and it documents what a fine band Copperwine was and provided conclusive proof that Jeff is one of the best rock vocalists this country has ever produced.

The musicianship of the band, particularly that of East and Kelly illustrated the embarrassment of riches scattered among Australian groups at this time. Original band-composed collaborations on the LP include the reflective "Fanciful Flights" (compiled on Raven's 2-CD compilation Golden Miles: Australian Progressive Rock, 1969-1974), the jazz-tinged instrumental "Any Orange Night" and the ensemble piece "You Don't Have To Listen". The towering opening track, a surging, organ-driven cover of The Temptation's "Cloud Nine", showed off Jeff's commanding soul stylings, superbly backed by a power-drive performance from Copperwine that, frankly, puts the original in the shade.

Another single, issued on Spin in November 1970, fared extremely well. The smoothly confident, organ-led cover of Rotary Connection's "Teach Me How To Fly" (featuring a berserk guitar solo from East, and some very tasty bass-drums interplay) propelled the band to #12 in Melbourne and a very encouraging #3 Sydney chart placement. St John's dazzling vocal performance on this record is probably the main reason why.

An 'insane” (as Jeff puts it) schedule of touring, concentrated in the eastern states, sustained Copperwine throughout 1970-71. Noted soul-blues singer Wendy Saddington (formerly of James Taylor Move and Chain) joined as co-lead vocalist in May 1970 and made her recording debut with the band (without St John though) on the intriguingly laid-back, bluesy album Wendy Saddington and Copperwine Live, recorded at the Wallacia Rock Festival in January 1971. By this time, too, former Amazons and Dave Miller Set member Harry Brus had replaced Alan Ingram on bass. T

he Copperwine/Saddington live album was scheduled for re-release on CD as part of Festival's reissue program, but the entire reissue project was scrapped after the acquisition of Mushroom Records. Festival's rapid financial decline after 2002 led to its closure in late 2005, and the entire Festival-Mushroom archive was sold to the American-owned Warner Music group soon after.

Although Saddington had departed Copperwine by February 1971, the group continued to tour relentlessly, with Jeff at the helm. Another major event for the band in 1971 was its participation in the Hoadley's Battle of the Soudns. The group, with St John in ultimate form, put on a commanding show, performing a stunning version of the Leon Russell-penned "Hummingbird", but they finished third behind Fraternity and Sherbet.

"Hummingbird" (backed by Derek & The Dominos' Keep On Growing) became the next Copperwine single, which was released in August on Festival's new progressive subsidiary, Infinity and it was a moderate chart success. Early in the year they recruited Glyn Mason (ex-Chain, Larry's Rebels) and this line-up performed at the Mulwala Festival near Albury in NSW in April 1972. Soon after, Jeff split from Copperwine, but the band continued on for some time, with Mason taking over as lead vocalist.
 by Paul Culnane

1. Cloud Nine - 6:22
2. Sing A Simple Song - 4:25
3. Fanciful Flights Of Mind - 3:23
4. Any Orange Night - 7:26
5. You Don’t Have To Listen - 5:00
6. I’ve Been Treated So Bad - 3:09
7. Days To Come - 4:10
8. Reach Out - 5:22
9. Can’t Find My Way Home - 4:19
10.Train - 2:18
11.Remember - 5:54
12.Enviroment In Three Parts - 7:50

*Harry Brus - Bass
*Ross East - Guitar, Vocals
*Johnny Green - Guitar
*Barry Kelly - Piano, Clarinet
*Wendy Saddington - Vocals
*Jeff St. John - Vocals
*Peter Figures - Drums
*Alan Ingham - Bass
*Phil Wooding - Guitar
*Glyn Mason - Vocals, Guitar
*John Sangster - Vibes, Glockenspeil
*Billy Thorpe - Harmonica
*Doug Ashdown - 12 String, Dobro Guitar
*Elegio Sincic - Sitar
*Mick Parker - Flute
*Marilyn Murray - Vocals
*Obadia Loombogle - Harp
*Phil Wooding - Guitar

Related act
1971  Wendy Saddington And The Copperwine - Live

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seompi - A.W.O.L (1970 us, loud hard angry texas rock, Gear Fab release)

The year was 1970 and Dave Williams was done with his stint at one of Texas's finest barbed wire facilities. The same path that had landed Roky Erickson at Rusk Stale Hospital had put Dave behind bars. Five years earlier, Dave was a founding member of the Headstones, McAllen Texas's answer to teen angst driven rock music. Not content with being the usual 'cover’ band, Dave began to write original tunes and worked long and hard in rehearsal sessions to perfect them. 

After releasing legendary singles on the Pharaoh label and being courted by numerous major labels, the band called it quits in 1968. Dave formed the short-lived band The Meat" in 1969 just prior to his marijuana possession conviction that made him a guest of the State of Texas for the next year. Always an innovator, Dave formed SEOMPI as a three piece, 'no guitar* band, with Dave and Patrick Rockhill on bass, and Bill Reid on drums. Seompi was an acronym for 'Serf Expression On Musically Potential Instruments" and a synonym for 'loud’. 

This dual bass attack released their first 45 "Summer's Comirv On Heavy” b/w "Lay On The Floor' on the Black Star label and later re-cut it adding guitarist Mitch Watkins to the mix for a more accessible sound. Mitch was a phenomenal guitarist and stayed who with the band and can be heard on their other material on this CD. During 1971, the band moved to Austin which would remain their home base. They built a solid local following and were best known for their awesome sound system, loud playing, and Purple Tour Bus. 

Local soundman David Gardner worked closely with the the band, manning the soundboard lor their many live gigs which included opening for ZZ Top, Buddy Miles, Foghat, and Trapeze. Their sound system included the heavy duty Kustom triple 15" woofer, "Ice Box' style amps and later added an even more powerful Altec Lansing Sound System to allow for the vocals to catch up to the levels of the instruments. Dave also recorded many of the band's tedious rehearsals at which they would experiment with intricate time changes and 30+ minute songs. 

This was NOT your typical three chord heavy rock band. By 1974. Seompi was ready to call it quits. Just prior to their final demise Mitch Watkins had been replaced by Billy "Skirt" Rowe on guitar. Other band members included Lee Manley on drums. Mitch has gone on to have a very successful career in the "New Age" music field and has a large following in Europe. Drummer Bill Reid moved back to his hometown of McAllen where he remained close to the music biz by working in speaker design and manufacturing. Pat Rockhill could not be contacted to participate in this project but was last known to be on trie West Coast and out of the music business. 

Dave Williams continued to play in 'The Remaining Few* from 1974- 1978 with Lance Woodbum on guitar, and ex-Headstone Winston Logan on drums. Today, Dave plays with his band "Free Wine' and is looking forward to his final release from incarceration in the near future. His efforts have spanned a period of over 30 years and, represent some of the finest music the State of Texas can claim as their own. While he may not have received the recognition that some of his Lone Star brethren received, those who were lucky enough to see or play with Dave appreciate his awesome talent. Hopefully, with this release his music will live on and entertain future generations of music.

1. Summer's Comin On Heavy (D.Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:41
2. Slide, Slide (D. Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:22
3. Almost In The Hole (D. Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:36
4. Lay On The Floor (D. Williams, P Rockhill) - 3:11
5. Kittens (D. Williams, M. Watkins) - 3:56
6. Awol (Williams, Rockwell, Reid) - 5:59
7. A Question Of Nobility (Williams, Rockhill, Watkins) - 7:07
8. Voodoo Chile (J. Hendrix) - 7:02
9. Summer's Comin' On Heavy (D.Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:24
10.Slide, Slide (D. Williams, P. Rockhill) - 4:43
11.Almost In The Hole (D. Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:19
12.Lay On The Floor (D. Williams, P. Rockhill) - 3:09
13.And I Ain't Seen Him Since (D. Williams,  P. Rockhill) - 5:53
14.Do You Hot Know? (Williams, Rockhill, Watkins) - 3:40
15.Sticky Situation (Rockhill, Watkins) - 7:20
16.Elijah (Williams) - 2:55
17.What Is The Reason? (Williams, Rockhill) - 4:49
Tracks 5-17 previously unreleased

*Dave Williams - Bass
*Patrick Rockhill - Bass
*Bill Reid - Drums
*Mitch Watkins - Guitar
*Billy "Skid" Rowe - Guitar
*Lee Manley - Drums

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Spiteri - Spiteri (1973 venezuela, excellent latin jazz psych rock, 2010 Distrolux digi pack extra tracks edition)

In love with the British band Traffic and full of Latin American feeling, brothers Charles and Jorge Spiteri decided to move to London at the start of the 70s and try their luck as musicians. In that adventure they did all Kinds of things: washing dishes, studying cinema, flirting, drifting around and honing their instruments and songwriting style. The tracks that make up this album were born in the middle of the cold weather, poverty and the contact with the epicenter of London's rock scene. 

'Spiteri' - or 'the snake record', as it was known in Venezuela in 1973 - became a cult record for Venezuela's rock. They were Venezuelans recording in Europe and making fusion rock that hadn't been heard before: it was Venezuelan music but in a completely contemporary format, almost before its time. Jorge and Charles rubbed shoulders with Georgie Fame. Alan Price, Steve Winwood. Bob Marley. Osibisa and the whole UK underground Scene. They soon became the British answer to the Santana phenomenon.

35 years later, 'Spiteri' still sounds fresh. We can listen to this record and travel to a specific moment in rock's evolution, but we can equally appreciate how some of its elements could be taken up again, like a DNA that must be passed on. 

1. Campesina (Stelio Bosch Cabruja. Arranged Jorge Spiteri) - 5:26
2. Hey Tono (Jorge Spiteri) - 5:07
3. Monday Morning (Jorge Spiteri) - 4:34
4. Barlovento (Eduardo Serrano, Arranged Charlie Spiteri) - 1:53
5. Don't You Look Behind (Jorge Spiteri) - 2:53
6. No Time For Hesitation (O Mai O Mai) (Jorge Spiteri) - 2:28
7. Soul Inside (Joe Romero) - 8:30
8. Summer After Winter (Jorge Spiteri) - 3:14
9. Piroro (Jorge Spireri) - 2:45
10.Girl (Jorge Spiteri) - 3:33
11.Stop Now You' Re Wasting My Time (Jorge Spiteri, R Valera) - 4:14
12.Retorno #2 (Charlie Spiteri) - 4:40
13.I'm A Man (Winwood, Miller, Arranged Spiteri) - 4:22
14.Voz Charlie - 0:14
15.Piroro (Demo) (Jorge Spiteri) - 2:44
16.Knowing Someone (Jorge Spiteri) - 2:31
17.Girl (Demo) (Jorge Spiteri) - 4:43
18.Summer After Winter (Demo) (Jorge Spiteri) - 2:28
19.Voz Charlie - 0:46
Bonus Tracks 12-19

*Jorge Spiteri - Acoustic Guitar, Some Piano, Lead Vocals
*Charlie Spiteri - Congas, Lead Vocals
*Joe Romero - Electric Guitar, Timbales, Sax, Lead Vocals on 'Soul Inside'
*Chema - Bass Guitar
*Micho - Flute
*Bernardo Ball - Drums, Percussion
*Barry Kirsch - Piano

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wendy Saddington And The Copperwine - Live (1971 new zealand, fantastic blues rock, 2011 digi pak remaster)

Wendy Saddington's musical influences included the likes of Bessie Smith, Etta James, Mahalia Jackson, Odetta, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, and the raw blues from the Mississippi delta, along with the swanky soul coming from the American Stax, Atlantic and Motown labels. There was also something of the vulnerability of Edith Piaf in Wendy's pleading, bleeding vocal entreaties.

Saddington first came to notice in Melbourne psych-soul outfit The Revolution, before swiftly joining Adelaide's psychedelic/classically flavoured James Taylor Move around late 1967. Virtually all the members of this band went on to bigger and better things -- Peek, Tarney and Spencer all moved to the UK, where Tarney and Spencer became sought-after session players, writers and producers as well as forming their own successful band. 

Peek likewise became an in-demand session player in London and later linked up with renowned classical guitarist John Williams, and together they formed the enormously successful classical-rock fusion band Sky. As with most of Saddington's band collaborations, she had already left the band before any recordings were made.

Such was again the case when Wendy joined the emerging blues-rock ensemble Beaten Tracks, which she named (The) Chain, after the song by one of her heroines, Aretha Franklin's soul classic, "Chain Of Fools". Wendy spent around 18 months touring with Chain, and it was during this time that her passionate, earth-mother Joplin/Franklin vocal style came to prominent notice among promoters and punters alike. Also, her 'outlandish' appearance attracted magazines like Go-Set: a sad waif-like face, heavily mascara-ed around the eyes, framed by the hugest of afro 'do' this side of Jimi's Experience! Wendy favoured simple Levi's, with a basic shirt or cheesecloth kaftan top, copiously accessorised with love-beads and bangles.

During 1969 Wendy made a guest appearance on the short-lived ABC-TV program Fusions, an innovative 'in concert' series starring Sydney-based progressive band Tully. It's not known whether any tapes of this series have survived, but the recent rediscovery of a large number of episodes of the ABC's GTK series give hope that at least some of this series has sruvived.Circa 1969 Wendy also began writing a regular column in Go-Set., giving advice on love and relationships.

Saddington's next musical outing was with Jeff St John's highly acclaimed and well-established group, Copperwine, and it's here that we finally have an officially-released recording of her sublime vocal performances! Wendy joined the band in March 1970, just after the release of Copperwine's superb Joint Effort album, and she sang live as co-lead with St John for a concentrated touring regime through to February 1971. In January of that year, with St John temporarily away from the band, Saddington fronted Copperwine for their acclaimed performance at the Wallacia Festival on the central-coast of New South Wales.

An live recording of the event was released on Festival's new progressive subsidiary Infinity during '71, which showcased Copperwine's sympathetic backing sensibilities for Wendy's distinctive vocals. On such cuts as the funky opener, Nina Simone's "Backlash Blues", and her heartfelt reading of Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", Saddington continually astonishes with her sensual soul power. Another notable inclusion is Wendy's introspective and idiosyncratic reading of John Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows" (which Wendy introduces as a George Harrison composition!). 

Other highlights include "Five People Said I Was Crazy " (which, with its wild Ross East guitar solo, Barry Kelly's electric piano flourishes and Wendy's monumental banshee wail, certainly lives up to its title). The closing tour-de-force "Blues In A" completely satisfies the listener as a consummate combination of the music of one of Australia's premier all-purpose prog-blues bands of the time, with definitely one of our most unique and mesmerising blues-soul vocalists.

1. Backlash Blues (Nina Simone) - 4:16
2. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (B. Dylan) - 7:31
3. Tomorrow Never Knows (J. Lennon, P. McCartney) - 8:42
4. Five People Said I Was Crazy (Wendy Saddington And The Copperwine) - 7:35
5. Blues In 'A' (Wendy Saddington And The Copperwine) - 14:27
6. Looking Through A Window  (Warren Morgan, Billy Thorpe) - 5:58
7. We Need A Song  (Warren Morgan, Billy Thorpe) - 3:24
8. Looking Through A Window (Warren Morgan, Billy Thorpe) - 3:58
Tracks 1-5 recorded live at "The Odyssey" Music Festival Wallacia January 1971
Bonus Track 6-9 single infinity recorded July 1971

*Wendy Saddington - Lead Vocals
*Harry Brus - Bass
*Ross East - Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Figures - Drums
*Barry Kelly - Keyboards, Vocals

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Shawn Phillips - Contribution / Second Contribution (1970 us, brilliant psychedelic progressive folk with remarkable falsetto, 2009 BGO remaster)

Shawn Phillips shares with Tim Buckley and Van Morrison the passion for black music and a constant innovation in vocal techniques.

Texas-born, Phillips began his career as a folk-singer in California, where he recorded his early albums Favourite Things - I'm a Loner (Columbia, 1965), that included only three original compositions, and First Impressions (Columbia, 1966), which was a little bolder but basically also in the tradition of the New York folksinger. After living in England and Paris, Phillips settled in Italy. Sessions with Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi of the Traffic yielded the material for Contribution (A&M, 1970), a much more original work. 

First of all, the material was entirely composed by Phillips. Second, it included three lengthy songs (L Ballad, Withered Roses, Screamer For Phlyses) that looked more like jams. Third, Phillips mixed folk, rock, psychedelia, jazz, classical and Indian music. The opening Man Hole Covered Wagon was the only conventional song. Withered Roses was closer to a raga than to a ballad. L Ballade was virtually a classical sonata.

The pieces on Second Contribution (1970) were even more abstract, free-form, disjointed. Phillips was no longer restrained in his innovative use of the guitar and the sitar, and was even self-indulgent in his display of his three-octave vocal range. Orchestral arrangements by Paul Buckmaster enhanced the magic. The impressionistic power of Steel Eyes, The Ballad Of Casey Deiss (vibraphone, horns), Song For Sagittarians and She Was Waitin' For Her Mother was unique. 
by Piero Scaruffi 

Original Vinyl Album Liner Notes
The Shawn Phillips music. Kaleidoscopic and organic. Flowing. Living for a time. Incorporating every musical style from Bulgarian to quarter tone to African. But going its own way. Fulfilling one of the prerequisites of art -- It doesn't leave you feeling quite the same.
"If I had to describe my music in a few words, I would say it's about freedom -- the frequency of intensity that any individual being feels in a moment of unselfish experience."
"I'm trying to take a musical sound heard by the ear -- and then take the sound which continues from the ear to the mind -- and try and paraphrase that sound through electronics."
"I believe every bit of the music I play is within each individual already."
"My music is an attempt to move the inner self, in each individual who listens to it. I've tried to cover the beauty and the ugliness."
"It takes a musician to translate it from the mind into the mechanical."
"I want everyone who hears my music to experience the sadness, perplexity, the great thoughts, the grave thoughts, the joy, the freedom, the fullness of the experiences I've had, which in turn, were expressed to create the music."
"Some of my music tries to create a crisis in the mind of the individual who listens to it, and leave it to him to resolve it ... it requires both intellectual and emotional response -- the two tied together."
"In Mexico with Donovan -- my music began to come out. I threw off all the crap and I played with twice the energy and drive I ever had before. It was funny. I just suddenly came into harmony with all things."
"I'm in Italy standing on the outside looking in. But I'm not in a hermitage."
"No -- not a hermitage. But right in the middle of everything that's happening."
"It's all created for people."
"As my self arrived at harmony -- I don't like the word spiritual, but I guess that's what it is -- my music arrived there too. When I recorded the album, I told the musicians: I'm a man. I've created this much. You're men. I want you to put what you feel to it." 

1. Man Hole Covered Wagon - 4:34
2. L Ballade - 6:47
3. Not Quite Nonsense - 1:45
4. No Question - 3:37
5. Withered Roses - 8:18
6. For JFK RFK & MLK - 4:54
7. Lovely Lady - 4:56
8. Screamer for Phlyses - 6:09
Second Contribution
9. She Was Waiting for Her Mother at the Station in Torino ... - 4:54
10. Keep On - 3:21
11. Sleepwalker - 1:32
12. Song for Mr. C - 3:49
13. Ballad of Casey Deiss - 6:12
14. Song for Sagittarians - 3:43
15. Lookin' Up Lookin' Down - 3:55
16. Remedial Interruption - 1:56
17. Whazz At - 1:56
18. Schmaltz Waltz - 1:44
19. F Sharp Splendor (Paul Buckmaster) - 0:36
20. Steel Eyes - 4:18
All titles written by Shawn Phillips except where noted.

*Paul Buckmaster - Keyboards
*Jim Capaldi - Drums
*Candy John Carr - Drums
*Jimmy Coff - Percussion
*Adrian Gaye - Guitar
*Remi Kabaka - Percussion
*Chris Mercer - Saxophone
*Mox - Harmonica
*Shawn Phillips - Guitar, Sitar, Vocals
*Peter Robinson - Percussion, Keyboards
*Mick Weaver - Keyboards
*Steve Winwood - Keyboards
*Chris Wood - Wind
Second Contribution
*Paul Buckmaster - Keyboards, Orchestral Arrangements
*Harvey Burns - Guitar
*Anello Capuano - Guitar
*Jim Cregan - Guitar
*Barry Dean - Bass, Guitar
*Ann Odell - Keyboards
*Brian Odgers - Bass
*Shawn Phillips - Guitar, Sitar, Vocals
*Peter Robinson - Percussion, Keyboards
*Bruce Rowland - Drums
*Jerry Salisbury - Horn

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