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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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