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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Earth Quake ‎– Leveled (1977 us, high energy hard 'n' roll, Vinyl issue)

Earthquake's 5th effort "Leveled' is one of their best, this record features some nice originals ("Lovin' Cup" and especially, "Upstairs") and a solid version of Mann & Weil's "Kicks." 

1. Lovin' Up (K. Laguna, Earth Quake) - 2:53
2. Emma (Er. Brown, T. Wilson) - 4:10
3. Kicks (B. Mann, C. Weil) - 3:46
4. Trainride (J. Doukas, R. Dunbar, R. Bimler) - 5:58
5. Nothing Personal (J. Doukas, R. Dunbar, R. Bimler) - 3:36
6. Street Fever (G. Phillips, R. Bimler) - 4:14
7. Julie Anne (S. Miller, K. Laguna) - 2:59
8. Upstairs (J. Doukas, R. Dunbar) - 4:07

Eart Quake
*John Doukas - Lead Vocals
*Robbie Dunbar - Guitar, Vocals
*Stan Miller - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Nelson - Drums
*Gary Phillips - Guitar, Vocals

1976  Earth Quake - 8.5

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Earth Quake - 8.5 (1976 us, utter power rock, Vinyl edition)

Earth Quake started out as part of the mid-'60s band scene in San Francisco, where - originally known as Purple Earthquake -- they were more than a little bit unusual. 

Having recorded a pair of early-1970s albums for A&M, 1976's Kaufman and Glen Kolotkin produced "8.5" was the group's sophomore release for Beserkley.  The album gets off to a roaring start with the heavy metal 'Finders Keepers'. 

Powered by Doukas voice, most of the up tempo tracks are actually pretty good. "8.5" is not a bad record and the single "Hit the Floor" would have sounded good on the radio, if only it had been given a chance. Also, the Dennis Linde cover is quite nice.

1. Finders Keepers (Johnson, Bowen) - 3:59
2. Little Cindy (Gary Phillips) - 3:15
3. And He Likes To Hurt You (D. Linde) - 3:45
4. Savin' My Love (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas, Gary Phillips) - 7:11
5. Girl Named Jesse James (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas) - 2:59
6. Motivate Me (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas, Gary Phillips, Bimier) - 3:09
7. Hit the Floor (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas, Stan Miller) - 3:47
8. Same Old Story (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas) - 4:45
9. Don't Want To Go Back (Robbie Dunbar, John Doukas, Gary Phillips) - 3:31

Earth Quake
*John Doukas - Lead Vocals
*Robbie Dunbar - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Stan Miller - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Nelson - Percussion, Vocals
*Gary Phillips - Guitar, Vocals, Lead Vocals

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Food - Forever Is A Dream (1969 us, appealing melodious psychedelia with jazz and folk flashes)

Part of the legendary of most-collectible Capitol psych LPs (along with Gandalf. the Common People and Euphoria), Forever Is A Dream remains largely shrouded in mystery. 

Food are known to have come from the East Coast, and though their album was recorded in Chicago, they are thought to have originated in Gurnee, Illinois. Singer Steve White had already sung in a couple of garage bands when he joined, though in this case 'garage' may not be the correct term, as he once recalled Food rehearsing in a refurbished chicken coop. 

No sooner had they got a set together than a local producer named Ted Ashford (not a band member, despite being listed on the back cover) got involved. He hawked their three song demo around numerous labels, and eventually Capitol took the bait (they are said to have been signed by the A&R man who discovered Grand Funk Railroad at the same time, which perhaps explains Food's subsequent lack of exposure). 

Comfortably installed in Chicago's fashionable Chestnut Street neighbourhood, they set about making an album. White has said that he didn't rate them highly, but their songwriting and musicianship was demonstrably of an unusually high standard, and the label must have invested a considerable amount of money in the sessions, as it features complex orchestral arrangements by Ashford. The album perhaps suffered commercially as a result of its sheer variety - compare, for example, the fragile opening cut with the storming Naive Prayers, or the tender Lady Miss Ann with the experimental Fountains Of My Mind, or the soulful What It Seems To Be with the furious Here We Go Again, which closes proceedings. 

Certainly Capitol extracted no 45, and the band splintered soon after the LP's late-1969 release, though they did briefly appear in a party scene in a B-movie that year entitled The Babysitter (directed by cash-in supremo Tom Laughlin and featuring the credit 'Introducing the music of the Food'). The song playing in their sequence is not on the album, though, and the fact that it's sung by a woman suggests it's not them at all. 

White went on to a career acting in Bmovies (with the help of Ted Ashford), working with directors including legendary schlock merchant Herschel Gordon Lewis. Ashford, meanwhile, worked with the Grateful Dead and Country Joe McDonald, as well as composing for TV and film and playing in mid-70s country- rockers Heartsfield. 

The only other member who sustained a showbiz career was Barry Mraz, who became a leading producer and engineer, working with million- selling acts such as the Ohio Players, Styx and Bachman Turner Overdrive. None of them, however, can have anticipated the cult status their early collaboration now enjoys, and it is to be hoped that as its reputation spreads, their full story will one day emerge.

1. Forever Is A Dream (Ashford, White, Wukovich) - 6:51
2. Naive Prayers (Wukovich) - 3:47
3. No (Ashford) - 2:48
4. Lady Miss Ann (White, Wukovich) - 3:09
5. Fountains Of My Mind (Ashford, White) - 3:09
6. Coming Back (White, Wukovich) - 3:03
7. What It Seems To Be (White) - 6:03
8. Inside The Mirror (Wukovich) -
9. Marbled Wings (Wukovich) - 2:22
10.Traveling Light / Leaves (Ashford, White, Wukovich) - 6:23
11.Here We Go Again (White) - 3:23

*Steve White - Lead Vocals
*Bill Wukovich - Guitars, Vocals
*Ted Ashford - Keyboards
*Erick Scott Filipowitz - Bass
*Barry Mraz - Drums, Percussion

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Rising Sons - Rising Sons (1965-66/92 us, astounding blues folk rock garage tinged with Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Kevin Kelly and J.L. Kincaid)

No one knew quite what to make of this L.A. band in the mid-'60s, who unbelievably included Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, Kevin Kelley (later in the Byrds), and even Ed Cassidy (briefly) in the same lineup. 

They only managed one single on Columbia before breaking up in 1966, but they also got to lay down an album's worth of unreleased material, which was finally issued over 25 years later. 

Their languid, bluesy, folksy sort of sound anticipated future recordings by outfits like Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, and even the country-rock Byrds. 

Their lone single and unreleased album form the core of this 22-track reissue, which features imaginative rearrangements of standards like "Corrine, Corrina," an obscure Dylan cover ("Walkin' Down the Line"), rocking originals, a confident performance of Goffin/King's "Take a Giant Step" (later Mahal's signature tune), and nifty guitar interplay between Mahal and Cooder throughout.

Overall, it sounds a lot more like it belongs in 1967-1968 than 1965-1966. This archival release has value above and beyond historical interest. 
by Richie Unterberger

1.Statesboro Blues (W. McTell) - 2:23
2.If The River Was Whiskey (Divin' Duck Blues) (Sleepy John Estes) - 2:41
3.By And By (Poor Me) (C. Patton) - 3:31
4.Candy Man (Rev. G. Davis) - 2:04
5.2:10 Train (L. Albertano) - 4:09
6.Let The Good Times Roll (S. Goodman, L. Lee) - 2:43
7..44 Blues (Willie Dixon) - 3:22
8.11th Street Overcrossing (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 2:12
9.Corrin, Corrina (Traditional) - 2:55
10.Tulsa County (P. Polland) - 2:42
11.Walkin' Down The Line (B. Dylan) - 2:13
12.The Girl With Green Eyes (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 2:14
13.Sunny's Dream (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 3:01
14.Spanish Lace Blues (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 2:12
15.The Devil's Got My Woman (S. James) - 3:05
16.Take A Giant Step (G. Goffin, C. King) - 2:54
17.Flyin' So High (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 3:05
18.Dust My Broom (R. Johnson) - 3:03
19.Last Fair Deal Gone Down (R. Johnson) - 2:38
20.Baby, What You Want Me To Do? (J. Reed) - 2:54
21.Statesboro Blues (Version 2) (W. McTell) - 2:24
22.I Got A Little (Jesse Lee Kincaid) - 2:07

Rising Sons
*Taj Mahal - Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar, Piano
*Ry Cooder - Vocals, 6-string, 12-string, Slide, Bottleneck Guitars, Mandolin
*Jesse Lee Kincaid - Vocals, Guitar
*Gary Marker - Bass
*Kevin Kelley - Drums, Percussion

Releated releases
1968  Taj Mahal - The Natch'l Blues
1969  Fusion - Border Town

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goldenrod - Goldenrod (1969 us, rough hard psych jam rock, 2002 bonus tracks edition)

From Los Angeles, Goldenrod were part of the "Our Productions" crew, along with Mike Deasy, Lee Mallory and Curt Boettcher. As part of this talented group of people, they contributed to numerous albums and sessions in addition to those released as Goldenrod. Some of these included Tommy Roe, Darius and backing the Association on their first two albums. Much of this session work was done on a "conveyor belt" system; with all the instrumental tracks being cut at Gary Paxton's studio, and vocals for the more well known acts cut at Columbia. 

All three had earlier played with Ballroom with Boettcher and together with Mallory, they formed the basis of the original line-up of Millennium. Scheff contributed Dandelion Wine to the Millennium repertoire, but all three left when it looked like Millennium would turn into a 'proper' band rather than a studio project. Goldenrod are also thought to have backed Lee Mallory live. 

Apparently the group first met while they were recruited to back The Fifth Dimension and they all went on to become top L.A. session men; Scheff also went on to back Elvis Presley and Benay appeared in Fun Zone in the seventies. 

1. Descent Of The Cyclopeans - 6:04
2. The Gator Society - 12:36
3. Karmic Dream Sequence - 10:24
4. Standing Ovulation - 6:44
5. Descent Of The Cyclopeans - 7:29
6. Karmic Dream Sequence - 13:33
7. The Gator Society - 13:01
8. Standing Ovulation - 9:29
All compositions by Ben Benay, Jerry Scheff, Toxey Frenc
Bonus Tracks 5-8 mono versions

*Ben Benay - Guitar
*Jerry Scheff - Bass
*Toxey French - Percussion

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Richard Twice - Richard Twice (1970 us, magnificent psych folk rock, with special guest musicians)

“This is a virtually perfect pop album, the kind of thing that would have ruled the charts if the wind had been blowing the right way that month” – The Acid Archives

This glorious pop album, originally released in 1970 Named after the mysterious duo of Richard Atkins and Richard Manning, its beautifully-crafted songs and glorious melodies have assured it an ever-growing cult reputation.

 Featuring top-notch backing from musicians such as Drake Levin (Paul Revere & the Raiders), Larry Knechtel (Bread), Mark Tulin (the Electric Prunes) and Rusty Young (Poco), it’s bound to appeal to all fans of high-quality early 70s US pop-rock.

1. Generation '70 - 3:25
2. My Love Bathes in Silence - 3:03
3. 1:25 A.M. - 2:57
4. Your Love Like Heaven Be - 2:09
5. God Give Me Strength - 3:46
6. What Makes Me Love You Like I Do? - 2:42
7. If I Knew You Were the One - 4:42
8. The Finest Poet - 2:54
9. More or Less Nothing - 3:06
10.If I Were Strong I'd Move You Mountains - 3:16
11.She Catches Me Running - 4:23
All songs by Richard Atkins except 1:25 AM (Atkins, Manning)

*Richard Atkins – Guitars, Vocals
*Richard Manning – Guitars, Vocals
*David Cohen, Louis Shelton,  Drake Levin – Guitar
*Don Galluci, Lawrence Knechtel, Alex Hassilev – Keyboards
*Colin Cameron, Mark Tulin – Bass
*Malcolm Eisensohn, Ron Tutt – Drums
*Rusty Young – Pedal Steel Guitar
*Gary Coleman – Percussion

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kansas City Jammers - Got Good (If You Get It) (1969-71 us, awesome folk psych jam rock)

The band members first began performing together in 1969, while students at Ohio Wesleyan University. Upon Bob and Geoff's graduation in 19 71, they were able to devote themselves to full-time writing, recording, and playing on the local and regional scene. Jasey was a college senior at that time, and married to Syd, whose picture appears on the LP jacket.

This album was recorded in late 1971 and early 1972. As you will hear, the band members were heavily influenced by the big British Invasion bands as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Eagles. The Jammers' soaring harmonies and intricate lyrics were the result of these influences on the trio. As live performers, the Jammers were known for giving incandescent shows with a rough edge (think Stones and the Who) rather different from what is captured on their album. A play list of covers interspersed with their own very original music was often compiled in an idiosyncratic way in order to fit the perceived needs of the audience for whom they were performing. 

The Jammers' ability to "read" the audience and to play with passion insured that everyone present had a good time. One audience member was heard to say, "When I feel down, I want to come hear you guys play because you are always so upbeat." What more could a band want to hear?

A second Kansas City Jammers LP was recorded during the summer of 1972, followed by the single 'Give Me That Rock and Roll' in 1973; the single made it to number twenty on WCOL radio's playlist. 

Today, the band members have moved on to new careers, but still write and perform with other musicians. Bob has been practicing medicine for thirty years, and has a son and a daughter. He has laid down his drumsticks in favor of the guitar, and plays with an ensemble. Jasey has taught high school English for thirty-five years, and is the father of one son and three daughters. He co-wrote a hit song that was made famous by Eddie Rabbit in the 1980's. He performs with his wife and other local musicians in Ohio. Geoff is now a professor of social work and the father of two daughters. He is still writing songs but not performing, and is also the author of numerous books.

The album has long been a favorite of the fine folks at Void Records. The extensive list of bonus tracks includes the entirety of the band's (until now) unreleased second album.

Disc One
"In Your Ear"
1. For A Sign - 3:05
2. Live In Harmony - 2:35
3. Messiah - 3:50
4. For Father (Jasey Schnaars) - 3:58
5. Chess Piece - 5:06
6. Hairy Tongued Turtle (Bob Thompson) - 2:51
"And Out The Other"
7. Midnight Watch - 3:43
8. Driver (Trad. Arr. By Jasey Schnaars) - 4.54
9. For Marti (Jim Stockdale, Jasey Schnaars) - 3.34
10.Family Song (Bob Thompson) 2.53
11.Fall - 3:37
12.Dog And A Cat - 0:12
13.Fingers, Foot And Fade (G. Greif, B. Thompson, J. Schnaars) - 1:03
All songs by Geoffrey Greif unless as else stated.

Disc Two
1. Sing Me That Rock And Roll - 2:59
2. Wind In The Willows - 3:70
3. Rain - 2.53
4. Rock And Roll Out Of Crisis - 3:23
5. Syd's Song - 3.04
6. Radio Interview - 1:29
7. Peter Pan - 4:12
8. On The Side Of A Mountain - 3:53
9. Messiah (Live) - 4:02
10.All The Wars - 3:00
11.Backroad Woman - 3:10
12.Sunfighter - 3:14
13.I'm Your Hero - 2.51
14.Mustang Sally - 4.41

Kansas City Jammers
*Geoffrey Greif -  Piano, Fingers, Acoustic,  Electric Guitars
*Jasey Schnaars -  Bass, Harp, Foot, Acoustic Guitar
*Bob Thompson -  Drums, Harp, Fade, Acoustic Guitar

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Billy Cox - Nitro Function (1972 us, great heavy 'n' rough acid psych blues rock)

After the death of Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox found female guitarist, Char Vinedge (she began in the early 1960s as lead guitarist / singer  with an all-girl group The Tremolons and later with Luv'd Ones), who played guitar similarly to Jimi. Along with Robert 'Tarp' Tarrant on drums, he assembled the classic three-piece rock line-up and recorded this album, produced by Kenny Rogers brother, Lellan. 

Char was quite some guitaist, feedback here and there, swooping and soaring solos, fabulous. Even though not in Jimi's league, she was quite some six-string gunslinger, nevertheless. Char wrote all the songs except Message and You Got A Hold On Me, which are Billy Cox originals, Let Me Do What I Want To Do, which they co-wrote, and Ray Davies of the Kinks You Really Got Me.

It's a great album but it seems this will be Char Vinedge's only claim to fame. She was in a pretty much unknown American all-girl 60's band whose name escapes me, but it was a fuzz-box/feedback driven concern way before its time, so Billy got hold of the right woman for the job. Born in 1944, and billed on the album as 'The Electric Lady,' Char passed away in December 1997.

As far as I'm concerned it's a great rock/psych album which I wouldn't trade for anything; even though it's only around the 35 minutes playing time mark. The cover art is by Roger Dean. 
by Alan Burridge 

1. Message (B. Cox) – 1:03
2. 42-70 (Peace) (C. Vinnedge) – 4:55
3. Touch Me (C. Vinnedge) – 2:50
4. You Really Got Me (R. Davies) – 4:13
5. Portrait (C. Vinnedge) – 4:56
6. Powerhouse (C. Vinnedge) – 3:11
7. You Got A Hold On Me (B. Cox) – 3:12
8. Play Your Own Blues (C. Vinnedge) – 4:59
9. Not My Time (C. Vinnedge) – 3:53
10.Let Me Do What I Want To Do (B. Cox, C. Vinnedge) – 2:40

The Nitro Function
*Billy Cox – Bass, Vocals
*Robert Tarrant – Drums
*Char Vinnedge – Guitar, Vocals

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Travis Allan Band - A Place In Time (1982 us, heavy southern rock with psych guitar passages, 2013 reissue)

This is a remarkable rare private press, recorded in New Braunfels Texas between February and March 1982. Lead by singer / guitarist Tim Paul Catron who startet his career in the mid seventies releasing in 1976 the Single, “I’m Not Too Blind To See”. Later he joint Lady LucK for their 1978 LP "No Dice".

In the early eighties he formed the Travis Allan Band and went on to studio to record "A Place in Time". Tim P. has worked with such national artists as David Allan Coe, Johnny Paycheck, Earl Thomas Conley and Gary Stewart while living in Nashville for 6 years. 

Locally in the Texas area he has worked with a variety of bands with a variety of different sounds. The Emotions, Tp & The Emergency, The Lizard Kings, Texas After Dark and recently the largely publicized band, Kowboy. From classic country, new country, classic rock-n-roll to down home blues, TP has experienced and lived the circle of styles of music.

This album is a fine examble of his talent's versatility and his different musical influences, heavy southern bluesy rock mixed with fuzzed psych gutars. 

All an all a surprising good album that will keep you in tension from start to end.

1. A Place In Time - 2:52
2. Let's Do It Again - 3:58
3. Missing You - 7:12
4. Florida Whiskey - 4:48
5. Southern Blues - 2:12
6. Saturday Evenings End - 3:45
7. Last Time Around - 3:17
All songs written by Tim P. Catron

The Travis Allan Band
*Tim P. Catron - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
*Stephen Schertz - Drums
*Ron Stirm - Keyboards
*Craig Satterwhite - Bass, Drums, Keyboards

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Hydra - Rock The World (1977 us, significant southern hard rock)

There's more than one band and artist called Hydra, but this is the 70's Southern Rock band. They released three albums. 

Most songs on the album are merely decent to good, but the following trio of songs are really outstanding and to any fan of classic 70's Hard Rock they'd be a thrill.

'Wasting Time' is an entertaining Southern Rock tune with catchy vocals. What's immediately made clear by this song is that the band has a very capable singer in Wayne Bruce.

'Shame' is something special, as it's in fact Speed Metal avant la lettre but with a classic Hard Rock sound. Remember. This is 1977. It would be years before Metal bands would start experimenting with double bass drumming (so, kudos to Hydra's drummer for being one of the first). Metallica's 'Kill em All' lay half a decade in the future as well. So, it's very surprising to hear this kind of music being made in the 70's. It's a full frontal assault of fast drums and savage riffs and in a way it sounds like early Ted Nugent in overdrive.

The strongest track, certainly from a compositional point of view, is the surprisingly subtle ballad 'To the Willowed'. It's one of the most graceful ballads I have ever heard, and there's nothing syrupy about it. 

1. Rock The World - 3:55
2. Wasting Time - 5:57
3. Can You Believe - 3:30
4. Your Love Gets Around - 4:10
5. Shame - 3:27
6. To The Willowed - 5:02
7. Feel Like Running - 5:25
8. You're The One - 3:38
9. Diamond In The Rough - 5:21
All compositions by Wayne Bruce, Steve Pace and Spencer Kirkpatrick

*Wayne Bruce - Vocals, Guitar
*Spencer Kirkpatrick – Guitar
*Steve Pace - Drums

1974  Hydra
1975  Land Of Money

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hydra - Land Of Money (1975 us, hard southern rockin')

Hydra’s second essay titled "Land Of Money",  rolls on the same hard Southern rails as their debut, but having a little bit more tougher directions, bringing to mind the  bands like Bad Company not only as musical style but in vocals also.

Hydra comprise by excellent musicians,  playing remarkably their southern  hard rock crossbreed , there are of course references to Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The album was recorded in spring 1975 and released during the summer.

1. Little Miss Rock N' Roll (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick, S. Pace) - 2:33
2. The Pistol (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick) - 4:37
3. Makin' Plans (W. Bruce) - 2:32
4. Land of Money (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick) - 6:28
5. Get Back to the City (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick) - 3:31
6. Don't Let Time Pass You By (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick) - 4:50
7. Let the Show Go On (W. Bruce, S. Kirkpatrick) - 3:27
8. Slow and Easy (W. Bruce, Johnny Sandlin) - 3:44
9. Take Me for My Music (Will Boulware) - 2:57

*Wayne Bruce - Vocals, Rhythm ,  Acoustic Guitars
*Spencer Kirkpatrick – Lead,  Slide, Acoustic Guitars
*Orville Davis - Bass
*Steve Pace - Drums
*Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Synthesizer
*Will Boulware - Organ
*Bill Stewart - Percussion
*Johnny Sandlin - Percussion

1974  Hydra

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Hydra - Hydra (1974 us, great tough 'n' roll to southern edges)

The band began life in the late '60s, evolving from "Noah Mayflower" through "Osmosis" and finally becoming "HYDRA". They built a rock solid reputation as one of the top club bands in the south. 

In 1973 they signed a recording contract with Capricorn Records, for whom they recorded two albums - the self titled debut in 1974, and "Land of Money" the following year. 

In 1977 HYDRA became a three-piece band when Orville Davis left (with Wayne Bruce moving to bass) and they moved to the Polydor label, releasing their most sucessful album, "Rock The World". Unfortunately, this title has never been released as a CD and is, therefore, now also the rarest of their releases. Sadly, HYDRA had run it's course, and disbanded within months of the release. 

Although there have been occasional reunions HYDRA is currently inactive. However, it should be remembered that any band with a legacy and a reputation as rich and wide as theirs cannot be dismissed as defunct - you just never know when they might resurface. HYDRA continues to maintain a fanbase all over the world, and continue to discuss the possibility of writing and recording of new material. 

1.Glitter Queen - 4:02
2.Keep You Around - 5:16
3.It's So Hard (Music by Kirkpatrick, W. Bruce) - 4:45
4.Going Down (Don Nix) - 3:07
5.Feel A Pain (Will Boulware) - 6:24
6.Good Time Man (Words by W. Bruce, Steve Pace) - 3:23
7.Let Me Down Easy - 4:20
8.Warp 16 (S. Pace, S. Kirkpatrick, W. Bruce, Trip Burgess) - 4:20
9.If You Care To Survive - 2:54
10. Miriam - 7:42
Music by Spencer Kirkpatrick Lyrics by Wayne Bruce, exept where indicated

*Wayne Bruce - Vocals, Guitar
*Spencer Kirkpatrick – Lead, Slide, String Acoustic Guitar
*Orville Davis - Bass Guitar
*Steve Pace - Drums
*Dan Turbeville - Keyboards
*Randal Bramblett - Alto Sax
*Earl Ford - Trombone
*Oscar Jackson - Tenor Sax
*Todd Logan - Trumpet

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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Clefs Of Lavender Hill - Stop! Get A Ticket (1965-68 us, pleasant garage beat with sunny rays, 2010 Wounded Bird edition)

Best remembered for their folk-rock cult classic "Stop! Get a Ticket," the Clefs of Lavender Hill were led by singers/guitarists Travis and Coventry Fairchild, in reality Brooklyn-born brother and sister Joseph and Lorraine Ximenes. 

Settling in Miami in 1966, the siblings recruited bassist Bill Moss and his brother drummer Fred, late of the local band the Twilights (noted for their lone single, 1965's "She's There"), and soon issued their first Clefs of Lavender Hill single, the Thames label release "First Tell Me Why." However, Miami radio instead seized on the B-side, "Stop! Get a Ticket," given the song's irresistible Merseybeat-inspired approach. 

The record proved so popular across South Florida that it was licensed for national release by the Date label, surging as high as number 80 on the Billboard Top 100. The follow-up, "One More Time," rose to number 114 in the autumn, and the Clefs closed out 1966 with one more single, "It Won't Be Long." The record failed to chart, however, as did its successor, 1967's "Gimme One Good Reason" -- a full-length album was completed, but Date chose to cut its losses, shelving the LP and dropping the Clefs from its roster. 

The Moss brothers soon exited, and the Travis and Coventry continued on with bassist Frank Milone and drummer Steve Zaricki before dissolving in 1968. "Stop! Get a Ticket" was later included on 1998's Nuggets box set. The album finally saw the light of day when the tracks from it, along with the group's lone single, were released by Wounded Bird in 2010 under the title Stop! Get a Ticket. 
by Jason Ankeny

1. New Orleans (Frank Guida, Joseph Royster) - 2:29
2. You Don't Notice (T. Fairchild) - 2:32
3. Sunshine Superman (Donovan Leitch) - 2:59
4. Play With Fire (M. Jagger, K. Richards, C. Watts, B. Jones, B. Wyman) - 2:21
5. So I'll Try (Travis Fairchild) - 2:14
6. It Won't Be Long (J. Lennon, P. McCartney) 2:02
7. One More Time (T. Fairchild) - 2:36
8. Bang Bang (Sonny Bono) - 2:53
9. Will You Go Away (T. Fairchild) - 3:15
10.First Tell Me Why (T. Fairchild, Coventry Fairchild) - 2:15
11.Stop! Get a Ticket (T. Fairchild, C. Fairchild) - 2:22
12.Gimme One Good Reason Gimme One Good Reason (T. Fairchild) - 2:07
13.Oh, Say My Love (with Travis & Coventry) (T. Fairchild) - 2:54
14.Stop! Get a Ticket (Mono Single Version) (T. Fairchild, C. Fairchild) - 2:25
15.Stop! Get a Ticket (Stereo Single Version) (T. Fairchild, C. Fairchild) - 2:27

The Clefs of Lavender Hill
*Joseph Ximenes (Travis Fairchild) - Vocals, Guitar
*Lorraine Ximenes (Coventry Fairchild) - Vocals, Guitar
*Bill Moss - Bass (1966-67)
*Fred Moss - Drums (1966-67)
*Frank Milone - Bass (1967-68) (As Travis & Coventry)
*Steve Zaricki - Drums (1967-68) (As Travis & Coventry)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Travel Agency - The Travel Agency (1968 us, elegant pop psych early prog, 2012 remaster and expanded)

The Travel Agency formed in San Francisco and released their self-titled LP, produced by Bread's James Griffin,  on LA's Viva Records in 1968.

Drummer Frank (real name Francisco) Lupica joined  a little later, prior to the LP.  Lupica had previously been in Us, a Bob Segarini-led  garage band who'd recorded for the Autumn label in 1965  but whose sole 45 was not released due to a dispute over  arrangements between Segarini and the label they split soon after and Segarini went on to lead a succession of more successful  bands (Family Tree, Roxy, Wackers).

Side One is the stronger; the haunting and stately  neo-prog keyboard intro which blossoms into the poppy  What's A Man, strong fuzztone on Cadillac George,  and gentler love songs Lonely Seabird and So Much Love.  There are fast commercial rockers (Make Love and Old Man)  and catchy pop (That's Good). Perhaps because of this diversity  and the lack of band identity, thanks to the absence of  any member info or credits, the album was overlooked and remains underrated. 

Steve Haehl and Frank Lupica reappeared  a couple of years later in Shanti, whose eponymous  Eastern-influenced LP was released in 1971. Two tracks thereon  were composed by non-member Mike Aydelotte, aka Michael Sage  when he was in Travel Agency. Lupica went on to a solo career and,  billed as Francisco, performed one-man shows all over California  playing numerous exotic instruments including a self-built electrified I-beam; adorned with keyboards and other devices, he dubbed it  the Cosmic Beam. In 1976 he released his proto-new age LP,  Cosmic Beam Experience. 

In the same year he was musician and  composer for Tanka, a very short animated film about  Tibetan thank gas (images from the Tibetan Book Of The dead)  alongside former Shanti bandmates Ashish Khan and Pranesh Khan; 

in 1979 he was sound effects creator for Star Trek The Motion Picture; and in 1998 his music was used and sampled in the film The Thin Red Line. He played viola the Deep Song CD by Ranee Lee.
by Max Waller with thanks to Jeff Jarema.

1. What's A Man - 5:06
2. Sorry You Were Born - 3:08
3. Cadillac George - 4:42
4. Lonely Seabird - 3:21
5. So Much Love - 3:02
6. Make Love - 2:25
7. That's Good - 6:57
8. I'm Not Dead - 2:17
9. She Understands - 3:10
10.Come To Me - 3:16
11.You Will Be There - 2:16
12.Old Man - 2:12
13.Time – 2:35
14.Made For You – 2:09
15.Emit – 2:34
16.What's A Man – 3:08
17.She Understands – 3:07
All songs by Steve Haehl, Michael Sage, Frank Lupica
Bonus Tracks 13-17

The Travel Agency
*Steve Haehl - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael S. Aydelotte aka Michael Sage - Bass
*Francisco (Frank) Lupica - Drums

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Blind Ravage - Blind Ravage (1971 canada, tremendous classic rock with garage psych fuzzes, 2007 gear fab edition)

Blind Ravage was formed in September 1969 in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec. Jean (John) Charbonneau (guitar, vocals) and Bob Dufour (bass, lead vocals) had been working together along with drummer Danny Gorman doing gigs in various night clubs in and around Montreal They met with Andre Deguire (drummer, vocals) at one of those night clubs where he was backing up shows and singers. 

On account of Danny's departure, John and Bob asked Andre to join them. Andre had been gigging once in a while with Serge Fleury (organ, piano, vocals) who was doing R&B at the time and who knew Bob well, having played with him in the early sixties with a group called the Furys. That band had stormed Montreal's dance halls with Beatles and Stones material for many years. Serge was asked to join the group and this is how Blind Ravage all started. 

The guys did night clubs mostly in Montreal doing covers of Rod Stewart, Deep Purple, Spencer Davis, Led Zeppelin and other rock bands that highly influenced them when they decided to write their own material. So, they went on and produced an album on the Crescent Street label along with producer Ken Ayoub. Ayoub had produced earlier records with Bob and Serge at the time of the Furys. 

The album was released in 1971 and the single Loser b/w My Life was taken from that album. The band played various concerts in Quebec, Ontario and in the northeastern states such as New York, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire before dismantling in 1973. Bob, Andre and Serge came up with a progressive rock project Genesis type called Clockwork that became very popular especially in Quebec. 

They also came up with a single called Cybernaut b/w Mean Lady that was very YES oriented. They went on until late 1975. Later, Bob and John formed a country rock band called Mirage that lasted a couple of years. In the late seventies, the four musicians went their own ways but stayed close friends and performed together occasionally on special events. Andre passed away in 1997 and John died at the end of 2006. Bob and Serge have been mostly into blues over the past 20 years and still gig together once in a while.
by Serge Fleury,  Laval, Quebec, Canada,  May, 2007

1. Susie-Q (Dale Hawkins, Stan Lewis, Eleanor Broadwater) - 2:45
2. Tousaw - 3:43
3. Friday Fish - 4:13
4. Prodigal - 3:42
5. My Life (Andre Deguire) - 3:52
6. Strange Power (Serge Fleury) - 6:13
7. Cement Jungle - 3:44
8. Ruins - 4:02
9. Disaster - 2:28
10.Loser (Robert Dufour) - 2:39
All compositions by Robert Dufour, Jean Charbonneau except where noted

Blind Ravage
*Jean Charbonneau - Guitar, Piano
*Andre Deguire - Drums
*Serge Fleury - Organ
*Robert Dufour - Bass

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Owen B - Owen B (1970 us, exciting hard psych rock, 2011 Gear Fad release)

Owen-B started as a band called "The Wildlife" in the Mansfield, Ohio area. They were one of several garage bands from central Ohio that formed around the time close to the end of the first British invasion (1964-1966). Members in the original group included Bob Ross (bass), Charlie Barker (drums), Terry VanAuker (lead guitar), and John Kinkle (rhythm guitar). 

John Kinkle left the band shortly after formation to attend college and was replaced by Tom Zinser. Bob Ross and Charlie Barker had played together in an earlier band called "The Amboy Dukes" (no relation to the nationally known band of the same name). Terry VanAuker was from an earlier group called "The Collegiates" and Tom Zinser came from a group called Tommy Z And The Sleepers. 

The group also added Louie Basso as front man and lead singer. After less than a year of playing together in 1967, the group was signed to Columbia Records, but Columbia executives insisted the band drop Louie Basso as a contract contingency. He was replaced with Jim Krause, a former member of Tommy Z And The Sleepers. The band had one notable release called "This Is What I Was Made For" written by P.F. Sloan. 

The song achieved some regional success and charted #15 on the Columbus, Ohio radio station WCOL. After two more releases, the band left the Columbia label. In late 1969. Tom wrote "Mississippi Mama", a simple straight ahead rock and roll tune that the band decided to produce and record on their own dime, and then try to market it to a label. Wes Farrell, a fairly well known New York producer, offered to buy it and put it out on Janus Records. It reached #81 on the Cashbox chart in March of 1970. 

The follow up single "Never Goin'Home" also reached #1 locally and was even championed by Billboard magazine which stated "With the feel and flavor of the Credence Oearwater Revival hits, Owen-B should soon find himself high on the charts with this compelling and infectious rhythm outing. First rate performance and material combine to make this a sure hit". Despite this flirtation with major success, certain members of the band wished to pursue a more personal approach by releasing an album of originals. 

This lead to Bob Ross leaving the band. He was not replaced and Tom Zinser moved from Rhythm guitar to bass. Shortly before Ross left the band, Charlie Barker decided to go back to school to avoid the draft and was replaced by Bobby Tousignant (Avery), who had played drums for the Ohio based group The Music Explosion. It is at this point where the band personnel were as it appears on the Owen B album, which was recorded in Mid-1970.
by Tom Zinser

1. Share (Tom Zinser) - 0:52
2. Daily News (Tom Zinser) - 4:34
3. All We Are Asking (Tom Zinser) - 4:17
4. Mellow Meadow (Tom Zinser) - 8:00
5. Share (Tom Zinser) - 1:09
6. My Friends (B.Tousignant) - 4:11
7. Weekend {Tom Zinser) - 4:21
8. Leavin' It All Up To You (Tom Zinser) - 3:46
9. Out On Our Own (Tom Zinser) - 3:15
10.Thank You For Listening (Bob Tousignant) - 3:43
11.ZigZag Han (Tom Zinser) - 3:13
12.Mississippi Mama (Tom Zinser) - 1:59
13.Never Goin' Home (Tom Zinser) - 2:44
14.Nowhere To Run (Holland, Dozier, Holland) - 2:30

Owen B 
*Tom Zinser - Bass, Vocals, Piano, 12 String Guitar
*Bob Tousignant - Drums, Vocals, Conga
*Jim Krause - Harmonica, Vocals, Percussion
*Terry Van Auker - Guitars, Steel, Vocals

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Maglory Dengluch - The Maglory Dengluch (1969 uk, charming traditional folk jug band, 2010 Acid Archives reissue)

The Maglory Dengluch last flourished between 1968 and 1969.  Its origins were in a jug band in which Pete and Michael had been playing  ( called The Versatile Mind of Fred Probert ).  They were asked to join an impromptu band to sing Roddy McCorley, accompanying a play in Cambridge.  Kerry heard them and asked to sing some songs with them, and John came in to round out the line up.  Kerry came up with the name (a bastardisation of the Irish magairle deangluch, the translation of which is out there on the internet, so we won't elaborate!).  

We practised, pinching songs from groups active in Dublin, such as Sweeneys Men, the Johnstons, and Finbar and Eddie Furey, who were then little known in England; and recording the results on Michael's old reel to reel tape recorder.  Tape was at a premium in those days, and we never got down all our repertoire! We played at folk clubs, parties, festivals, and the odd concert (the highlight being as the warm up group for The Johnstons' one performance in Cambridge).  

The record was made by the long defunct Granta label, in one session, just before Kerry departed for the US, on a night otherwise famous at Cambridge for the Garden House riot!

1. Leezy Lindsay - 3:29
2. They'll Never Get Their Man - 2:32
3. Eileen Og - 3:05
4. Spend My Money Along With Sally Brown - 2:35
5. Flowers In The Valley - 4:48
6. The Medley - 4:44
7. Long Cabin Home In The Sky - 4:33
8. O'Carolan's Concerto - 2:20
9. Come By The Hills - 3:34
10.My Dearest Dear - 3:28
11.Summertime - 3:23
12.The Curragh Of Kildare - 4:59

The Maglory Dengluch
*Kerry Kehoe - Kazoo, Vocals
*Pete Crowther – Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica
*John Paterson - Guitar
*Mike Walsh - Banjo, Kazoo, Harmonica, Jug

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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Norman Haines Band - Den Of Iniquity (1971 uk, brilliant soulful heavy prog rock, Esoteric 2011 reissue)

Keyboardist/singer/namesake Norman Haines started his professional musical career as a member of the Birmingham-based beat group The Brumbeats.  Following The Brumbeats' breakup Haines became a member of Locomotive, which cur a couple of highly regarded singles and the album "We Are Everything You See" before collapsing.  Haines then recruited lead guitarist Neil Clarke, singer/bassist Andy Hughes, and drummer Jimmy Skidmore for the band Sacrifice.  

In 1970 the Parlophone label signed Sacrifice to a recording contract.  Apparently unhappy with the band name, Parlophone marketing executives unilaterally released the band's debut single 'Daffodill' b/w 'Autumn Mobile' (Parlophone catalog number R 5871) under the name 'The Norman Haynes Band' (no I didn't typo that).

While the single did little commercially, Parlophone decided to finance an album.  With Tony Hall in the producer's chair, 1971's "Den of Iniquity" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.  With namesake Haines and bassist Hughes responsible for the majority of material, the few detailed reviews I've stumbled across portrayed the album as having a dark progressive sound.  

Only partially true and not a particularly accurate description.  Propelled by the combination of Haines'  blistering voice and keyboards and Clarke's fantastic guitar, the results managed to combine razor sharp hard rock, blues-rock and more commercial moves. You're probably scratching your head trying to figure that combination out, but the fact of the matter is songs like the ominous title track, 'Finding My Way Home' and 'Everything You See (Mr. Armageddon)' (the latter previously recorded by Locomotive) should have held equal appeal to top-40 radio and free form FM audiences.  

Stylistically the biggest surprise was the pretty acoustic ballad 'Bourgeois'.  Written and sung by Hughes the track served to spotlight his folkie roots.  In contrast, side two found the band stretching out on a pair of largely instrumental blues-rock oriented numbers.  Less dynamic than side one, the 13 minute 'Rabbits' and 'Life Is So Unkind' served to spotlight the band's instrumental prowess, guitarist Clarke in particular getting a chance to showcase his first-rate playing.

With little support from Parlophone the LP didn't exactly burn up the charts, though part of the blame may have rested with the choice of art work.  The Heinrich Kley drawing was pretty stunning and some British retailers apparently refused to stock the album.

With the band calling it quits in 1972 Haines released a solo 45: 'Give It To You Girl' b/w 'Elaine' (Parlophone catalog number R 5960).  He was offered a spot in the newly formed Black Sabbath, but passed on it and then largely disappeared from the music scene though he appears to have returned to the fold fronting Norman Haines Blueskool.

1. Den Of Iniquity - 4:33
2. Finding My Way Home (N. Haines, Andy Hughes) - 3:25
3. Everything You See Mr.Armageddon - 4:35
4. When I Come Down - 3:56
5. Bourgeois (Andy Hughes) - 2:59
6. Rabbits (Neil Clarke) - 13:05
.a.Sonata (For A Singing Pig)
.b.Joint Effort
7. Life Is So Unkind - 8:21
.a.Moonlight Mazurka
.b.Echoes Of The Future
8. I Really Need A Friend - 3:44
9. Daffodil - 3:51
10.Autumn Mobile - 3:32
11.Give It To You Girl - 4:36
12.Elaine - 2:54
13.Rabbits (Single Version) (Neil Clarke) - 3:53
All compositions written by Norman Haines except where noted.

The Norman Haines Band
*Neil Clarke - Lead Guitar
*Norman Haines - Vocals, Keyboards
*Andy Hughes - Vocals, Bass
*Jimmy Skidmore - Drums, Percussion

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drnwyn - Gypsies in the Mist (1978 us, decent acid psych folk rock, private press, 2006 edition)

2006 reissue of the hard to find sole album by US duo Drnwyn. Wonderful record that has some very cool psychedelic moments (especially the track '' The madman and the angel'' ), and a good number of fabulous folk rock midtempos. 

There's drums, bass and lots of acoustic guitars in here, but also electric leads, keys, mandolin and multi- part vocals with some female chorus as well. But most important, very well- crafted songs from start to finish. This was a private release back in 1978, and a deep dive into acid folk- psych. 

1. Empty Bars - 4:55
2. Summer Sun - 4:36
3. Secrets Of The Past - 4:50
4. Brothers - 3:03
5. Move A Mountain - 5:02
6. Gypsies In The Mist - 6:27
7. Places Faces Pages - 5:26
8. The Madman And The Angel - 5:22
9. Something To Hang On The - 5:17
Music and Lyrics by David W. Hoag

*David W. Hoag - Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Synthesizer, Vocals
*John Volio - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Guest Musicians
*Randy Pregibon - Lead Guitar
*Kevin McIlvaine - Bass Guitar
*Larry Davis, Drums
*Greg Smith - Keyboards
*Nancy Fannin - Voclas
*Cheryl McIlvaine - Vocals

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Various Artists - The Electric Asylum Vol. 5 (1969-75 uk, rare exalted freakrock)

The folks at Past & Present dropped the words "acid" or "psychedelic" from the subtitle of the fifth installment in their Electric Asylum series, and with good reason -- while most of these twenty tracks are truly eccentric, these isn't much here that sounds at all lysergic. 

Instead, this disc focuses on UK hard rock, glam rock, early progressive rock, and a few tunes that defy convenient generic classification. Tracey Dean's "Boy On The Ball" might have been new wave if it had a harder guitar line and had been released in 1978 instead of 1974 (Dean's voice has the most furious quaver ever captured on tape), and the oddball spoken work track that's tagged onto track 13 takes the product of a freshman poetry seminar and runs it through enough studio trickery to make it sound like the voice of a cut-rate God. 

Elsewhere, the medley of "Gimmie Gimmie Good Loving" and "Gimmie Some Loving" by Biggles is hard stomping proto-glam, Hector could be the Bay City Rollers' next door neighbors on "Ain't Got Time," "The Obeah Man" from Iron Horse generates some impressive hoodoo groove, Matchbox's "Rod" is a boogie-flavored pop rocker overloaded with echo and curious synthesizer squealings, Slow Dog's "Walking Through The Blue Grass" suggests T. Rex on cough syrup, Mustard's "Good Time Comin'" is a brilliantly sludgy hard rock track, Now revel in some sweet guitar distortion on "I Wanna Be Free," and one can't help but wonder if Devo ever heard "Yeah!!" by Jets, which anticipates the sound of their Freedom Of Choice album without the socio-political angles.

 Even the lesser tracks are enjoyably curious in the manner of the best British rock of the mid-1970s, and this is compelling in a way the more psych-oriented volumes in this series were not (if only because this stuff hasn't been anthologized with the same alacrity as freakbeat). The Electric Asylum Vol. 5 is weird and wild fun -- lace up your paisley boots and check it out. 
by Mark Deming

Artists - Tracks
1. Tracey Dean - Boy On The Ball - 2:44
2. Colonel Bagshot - One Look In Her Eyes - 2:45
3. Biggles - Gimme Gimme Good Lovin/Gimme Some Lovin’ - 3:46
4. Iron Horse - The Obeah Man - 3:26
5. Dunno - Magic Beat - 2:06
6. Hector - Ain’t Got Time - 2:59
7. Baby - Heartbreaker - 3:25
8. Slow Dog - Walking Through The Blue Grass - 2:48
9. 13 Amp - Need A Woman - 2:53
10.Matchbox - Rod - 2:14
11.Life - Love Nest - 2:52
12.Now - I Wanna Be Free - 2:35
13.Squeek - Make Hay While The Sun Shines - 5:25
14.Dawn Chorus - Electric Garden.2:34
15.Jets - Yeah! - 2:38
16.Tracey Dean - Moonshiner - 3:29
17.Boston Boppers - Whirlwind Girl - 2:47
18.Barry Green - Papa Do - 2:23
19.Mustard - Good Time Comin’ - 2:36
20.Whistle - When The Lights Go Out On Broadway - 2:57

The Electric Asylum series
1970-74  Volume One
1969-73  Volume Two
1970-74  Volume Three
1970-75  Volume Four

other Past and Present compilations
60-70's  Floor Filler Killers / New Directions Vol. 3
60-70's  Mind Expanders Vol.2
1967-74  Psych Bites Vol.1
1968-74  Psych Bites Vol.2
1969-73  Up All Night

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