In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

It's Not Dark Yet

Plain and Fancy

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


Thursday, November 14, 2013

John Sebastian - Faithful Virtue, The Reprise Recordings (1969-76 us, wonderful folk blended with various tunes, three disc set)

This set is the final word on the '70s solo recordings of singer/songwriter John Sebastian. Compiled over three discs are all five of his LPs for the Reprise label: John B. Sebastian, Cheapo-Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live John Sebastian, The Four of Us, Tarzana Kid, and Welcome Back. Additionally, there is an extra half-hour of live material, most of which is issued here for the first time. 

As he had done with the Lovin' Spoonful, Sebastian's emotive and thought-provoking lyrics prove to be his strongest suit. "How Have You Been," "I Had a Dream," and "Rainbows All Over Your Blues" best reflect the continuation of the introspective musical and lyrical themes that he had first explored on tracks such as "Younger Generation" and "Darlin' Be Home Soon." However, the album was far from being acoustic and weepy. "Red-Eye Express," "What She Thinks About," and "Baby, Don't Ya Get Crazy" are up-tempo rockers featuring the likes of Dallas Taylor (drums), Harvey Brooks (bass), and Stephen Stills (guitar). 

Sebastian's second long-player -- Cheapo-Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live John Sebastian -- was issued to counteract the potential damage of a completely unauthorized live package released by MGM Records. The results are wholly fulfilling and feature a simple duo of Sebastian (guitar/vocals) and Paul Harris (piano). In addition to playing favorites such as "Nashville Cats," "Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind," and "Lovin' You," he also cooked up some vintage jug band blues on "Mobile Line" and a crowd-rousing loose aggregate of oldies including "In the Still of the Night" and "Blue Suede Shoes." 

The Four of Us returns Sebastian back to his folk/blues roots on "Well, Well, Well" and "Black Snake Blues." The extended title track is a picturesque travelogue of places and events between two couples approaching middle age. Although the album did not do well at the cash register when it was issued, it has retained an irresistible harmony and sense of charm. Tarzana Kid suffered much the same fate as its predecessor. This is doubly unfortunate, as it likewise features some of Sebastian's best studio sides, including his serene cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Sitting in Limbo," Lowell George's "Dixie Chicken," and again a return to his roots with "Sportin' Life." 

Tarzana Kid is an all-star affair with the likes of David Grisman (mandolin), Ry Cooder (guitar), and David Lindley (guitar), and teamed Sebastian back up with his former producer from the Lovin' Spoonful, Erik Jacobsen. As he points out in his riveting liner notes essay, the only reason that the Welcome Back album was issued was in support of the title track, which had become a chart-topping hit as well as the theme song to the television situation comedy of the same name. That point aside, there are a few outstanding pieces, including reworked versions of "Didn't Want to Have to Do It" and "Warm Baby." 

A real treat awaits listeners at the end of disc three, with no less than two vintage live sets. The first includes Sebastian's entire five-song performance from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The second is from Winterland Arena in San Francisco during the fall of 1969. For true fans, these recordings represent a grail of sorts. Faithful Virtue: The Reprise Recordings also includes a 48-page liner notes booklet with previously unissued photos and memorabilia. Additionally, there is a separate six-panel foldout poster that also contains all the lyrics from the five long-players. The North American release is limited to an edition of 3,000 and is available via the Rhino HandMade Internet audio salon.
by Lindsay Planer

Disc 1
1. Red Eye-Express - 2:57
2. She's a Lady - 1:45
3. What She Thinks About - 3:04
4. Magical Connection - 2:49
5. You're a Big Boy Now - 2:49
6. Rainbows All Over Your Blues - 2:27
7. How Have You Been - 4:12
8. Baby, Don't Ya Get Crazy - 3:00
9. The Room Nobody Lives In - 3:13
10.Fa-Fana-Fa - 2:48
11.I Had a Dream - 2:48
12.Mobile Line (Gonna Carry Me Away from the Bull Frog Blues) (Peter Stampfel) - 2:31
13.Lovin' You - 2:46
14.Fishin' Blues - 3:42
15.Younger Girl - 3:00
16.Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind - 3:03
17.Rooty-Toot - 2:52
18.In the Still of the Night (Fred Parris) - 2:43
19.Teen Angel (Jean Surrey) - 0:42
20.Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) - 1:49
21.Ballad of a Teenage Queen (Jack Clement) - 0:49
22.Nashville Cats - 2:56
23.Waiting for a Train (Jimmie Rodgers) - 2:49
24.My Gal (Steve Boone, Erik Jacobsen) - 3:16
25.Younger Generation - 3:31
26.Darling Be Home Soon - 4:12
27.Blues for Dad and JB's Happy Harmonica - 3:41
28.Amy's Theme - 1:49 
All songs by John B. Sebastian excpet as else stated.

Disc 2
1. Goodnight Irene (Lead Belly, John A. Lomax) - 4:50
2. Well, Well, Well (Traditional) - 2:20
3. Black Snake Blues (Clifton Chenier) - 2:29
4. I Don't Want Nobody Else - 3:17
5. Apple Hill - 3:09
6. Black Satin Kid - 2:39
7. We'll See - 2:05
8. Sweet Muse - 3:56
9. The Four of Us - 15:58
10.Give Us a Break - 3:41
11.Music for People Who Don't Speak English - 3:53
12.Sitting in Limbo (Gully Bright, Jimmy Cliff) - 3:27
13.Friends Again - 2:29
14.Dixie Chicken (Lowell George, Martin Kibbee) - 3:49
15.Stories We Could Tell - 3:14
16.Face of Appalachia (Lowell George) - 4:21
17.Wildwood Flower (A.P. Carter) - 1:42
18.Wild About My Lovin' (Traditional) - 3:05
19.Singing the Blues (Melvin Endsley) - 2:22
20.Sportin' Life (Steve Boone,,Zal Yanovsky) - 3:09
21.Harpoon (Ricky Sebastain) - 2:21 
All songs by John B. Sebastian excpet where indicated

Disc 3
1. Hideaway - 2:55
2. She's Funny - 3:34
3. You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine - 2:57
4. Didn't Wanna Have to Do It - 3:22
5. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - 4:36
6. Welcome Back song review - 2:50
7. I Needed Her Most When I Told Her to Go - 2:56
8. A Song a Day in Nashville - 4:00
9. Warm Baby - 2:34
10.Let This Be Our Time to Get Along - 3:12
11.How Have You Been - 7:19
12.Rainbows All Over Your Blues - 3:09
13.I Had a Dream - 3:23
14.Darling Be Home Soon - 5:50
15.Younger Generation - 3:35
16.Sitting on Top of the World (Lonnie Chatmon, Walter Vinson) - 3:39
17.Magical Connection - 4:11
18.You're a Big Boy Now - 4:17
19.I Found a Dream (Lonnie Johnson) - 2:50
20.Daydream - 3:32
21.Younger Girl - 1:58
All songs by John B. Sebastian excpet where noted

*John Sebastian - Vocals, Autoharp, Dulcimer, Guitars, Harmonica, Harmonium, Marimba, Native American Drums, Piano, Six String Banjo
*Kenny Altman - Bass
*Reinol Andino - Congas
*Jeff Baxter - Pedal Steel
*Richard Bell - Clavinet, Piano, Piano
*Blintzes - Vocal Harmony
*Harvey Brooks - Bass
*Ry Cooder - Mandolin, Slide Guitar
*David Crosby - Guitar
*Russell Dashiell - Guitars
*Buddy Emmons - Pedal Steel
*The Esso Trinidad Steel Band - Pans
*Phil Everly - Vocals
*Amos Garrett - Guitars
*Lowell George - Guitars, Vocals
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*David Grisman - Mandolin
*Bobbye Hall - Congas
*Emmylou Harris - Vocals
*Paul Harris - Harmonium, Keyboards, Orchestral Arrangements, Organ, Piano
*Milt Holland - Drums
*David Hungate - Bass
*The Ikettes - Vocals
*Reggie Knighton - Guitar, Vocal Harmony
*Ron Koss - Guitar
*Bruce Langhorne - Tambourine
*Gayle Levant - Harp
*Jon Lind - Vocal Harmony
*David Lindley - Fiddle
*Buzzy Linhart - Vibraphone, Voices
*Jerry Mckuen - Guitar
*Graham Nash - Vocal Harmony
*Ray Neopolitan - Bass
*Richie Olson - Clarinet
*Michael Omartian - Arp Synthesizer, Marimba
*David Paich - String Arrangements
*Felix Pappalardi - Bass
*The Pointer Sisters - Vocals
*Jeff Porcaro - Drums
*Greg Reeves - Bass
*Kelly Shanahan - Drums
*Peter Stampfel - Composer
*Stephen Stills - Guitar
*Stone Warblers - Handclapping, Instrumentation, Vocals
*Dallas Taylor - Drums
*Murray Weinstock - Piano
*Danny Weiss - Electric Harpsichord, Guitar

 with Lovin' Spoonful
1965  Do You Believe In Magic
1966  Daydream (Japan remaster)
1966  Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful (Japan remaster)
1967-68  You're A Big Boy Now / Everything Playing (2011 edition)

Free Text