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


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Joey Gregorash - North Country Funk (1971 canada, amazing classic rock with folk psych tinges, 2014 korean remaster)

A native of Winnipeg, Joey Gregorash grew up in a musical family, where his first interest was the violin, which his father played. But as he got older, his interests turned more to rock and roll and the drums, fuelled by seeing The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

As the drummer and eventually the lead singer, he formed The Mongrels with childhood friend John Nykon in 1965. They became one of the province's hottest bands, recording a string of singles for local label Franklin Records, including "My Woman" and "Sitting In The Station" written by Randy Bachman. Their first album followed a year later, which resulted in another pair of singles, and then one more for RCA/Victor in 1970, and they even got a mention for "Funny Day" (also penned by Bachman) by Dick Clark on "American Bandstand."

1968 also saw Gregorash's debut as a TV host. After seeing his performance on the weekday afternoon program "Music Hop," Bob Burns of CJAY-TV in Winnipeg saw his potential, and offered him the job of hosting a show of his own called "Young As You Are." This led to two other programs after its demise - "Teen Dance Party," and then "Joey and the Hits."

But looking for new musical direction, he left The Mongrels and formed the short-lived group Walrus, but by 1970 opted instead for a solo career. He signed with Polydor who released a pair of singles - "Stay" and "Tomorrow Tomorrow." The flip-side to "Stay" - "I'm Easy Come Easy Go" was then released as a single on its own before the end of the year. All three combined to give him hits on the pop, country, and adult contemporary charts, with "I'm Easy Come Easy Go" peaking at #25 on the country chart, while "Tomorrow Tomorrow" reached the same plateau on the AC chart.

Seeing promise, they shipped him off to Memphis to do some studio work with producer Ron Capone at Stax Volt Studios. His debut album, NORTH COUNTRY FUNK, was released in the spring of '71, and the lead-off first single, "Jodie," shot up the pop charts, settling at #3. The single was also a hit in Japan, Australia, Germany, and along with the traditional marketing of releasing the 45, a Latin American-only 7" 33 RPM was also released, which also contained the b-side "The Key," as well as two tracks from The Mongrels, "Tomorrow Tomorrow" and "It Won't Last Long."

The follow-up, "Don't Let Your Pride Get You Girl" didn't fare as well as "Jodi," but the third single, a shortened version of his five-minute cover of Neil Young's "Down By The River" (a song that almost didn't get recorded and featured Bobby Manuel from Isaac Hayes' band on lead guitar) became his first US hit. Although it failed to make the top 100 south of the border, it was a top 40 hit at home, and did time in the top 20 in pockets throughout the Maritimes. His cover of the song also earned him a Juno Award the following spring for Outstanding Male Performance. His trip to the podium made him the first native Manitoba solo act to win a Juno, and he was also nominated for Best Male Vocalist, but lost out to Gordon Lightfoot by a single vote.

Although nothing peaked as high as "Jodi," his follow-up album a year later, TELL THE PEOPLE, still produced moderate cross-chart hits. "My Love Sings" peaked at #16 on the pop chart, while "Take the Blindness" and the title track both charted on both the pop and adult contempary charts. The album also contained a re-released version of "Down By The River." He embarked on a cross-Canada tour that kept him on the road for the better part of the next year, making stops in the US, as well.

He continued recording for the next few years, releasing a string of singles - "Liza," "You've Been Wrong," and "I Know We'll Make It Together," although none made the top 40 on either the pop or AC charts. He left the music business later in the decade and became a radio commercial writer, winning 14 national and international awards for individual jingles and full-blown promotional campaigns in the first few years alone.

As the '80s progressed, Gregorash turned his attention to other areas of broadcasting, hosting a pair of morning shows on local Winnipeg radio. In 1986 he hosted a family noon hour TV show called "S'Kiddle Bits," which led to a kids' album entitled S'KIDDLE BITS BOP N' ROCK. A couple of years later he then hosted a new program called HI NOON, in which country living and music was the focus. Although it only ran for one year, he counted Jann Arden and Garth Brooks as his guests. Although he was in talks with The Nashville Network, this was during the emergence of CMT Canada, and a possible show that had been pitched to TNN ended up getting scrubbed...

He returned to music in '86 after scoring a deal with Attic, releasing the TOGETHER album the next year. Ironically it was then that he finally received a gold record for the song "Together (The New Wedding Song)." It went down in the annals of history as a staple at weddings and is considered by critics to be one of the greatest wedding songs ever written. The song's melody was actually taken from "Tomorrow Tomorrow" from 1968, and the lyrics weren't written until the mid '70s, and was also first released in 1983 as a fundraiser for a local charity. The single's b-side was another ballad entitled "Love Will Keep It Together," originally released in '84 as a single on its own.

He spent the '90s returning to commercial writing and promotions, where he continued to win national awards. He also remained on the stage, performing now and again. As a side project, he invented a Guess Who covers band called Sham Alien and The Dispersions for a tribute album, and also contributed to a local charity album with a knock-off of "Together," called "I Just Want To Play Hockey," written when the Winnipeg Jets announced they were leaving for Phoenix.

Continuing in the '00s as a freelance performer and promotions/commercial writer, Gregorash also began studying Bel Canto voice stylings, winning rave reviews as a tenor with an impressive vocal range, in the styles of Pavarotti and Bocelli.

1. Jodie (Joey Gregorash, Norm Lampe) - 2:53
2. Down By The River (Neil Young) - 5:14
3. Night Ride To Memphis (Joey Gregorash, Ronald Risko) - 2:48
4. Make A Better Place (Joey Gregorash, Ronald Risko) - 3:03
5. The Key (Ronald Risko) - 3:07
6. Don't Let Your Pride Get You Girl (Joey Gregorash, Norm Lampe) - 3:38
7. Freedom Means Love (Joey Gregorash) - 3:33
8. Bye Bye Baby (Joey Gregorash, Ronald Risko) - 3:34
9. Sugar Ride (Joey Gregorash, Ronald Risko) - 3:13
10.Dollar Bill (Joey Gregorash) - 2:26

*Joey Gregorash - Vocals, Guitar
*Dick Hedlund - Bass, Vocals
*Dick Bortolucci - Drums, Percussion
*Bobby Manuel - Guitar
*Bob Sabellico - Guitar
*Ron Risko - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Marvelle Thomas - Keyboards

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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (1968 us, masterpiece, two disc set remaster and expanded)

Recorded in Nashville, Sweetheart of the Rodeo was indeed a huge bust for the once-massively popular band, peaking at a dismal Number 77 on the album charts, and yielding not one hit single. A classic example of a timeless album that nobody appreciated at first, the record is a real treasure. Every track, save for Parsons’s two compositions, is a cover of either a contemporary song or an arrangement of a traditional country piece. 

The Byrds had always been known by some as Bob Dylan’s unofficial cover band (they recorded 12 Dylan songs between 1965 and 1968), and although Dylan was holed up in Woodstock, New York, recording his now-legendary Basement Tapes with The Band, he made two demos from those sessions available to McGuinn and Hillman, and they rank as some of the greatest covers of Dylan’s material ever recorded. Featuring some incredible pedal steel guitar by session musician Lloyd Green, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” has a deceptively sunny feel, as it masks some of Dylan’s most foreboding lyrics to date: “Strap yourself/To the tree with roots/You ain’t goin’ nowhere.” Meanwhile, the equally dark “Nothing was Delivered” features a tiny hint of rock in its stirring, 4/4 chorus, as it bursts to life with those vocal harmonies The Byrds were known for.

The cover of The Louvin Brothers’ “The Christian Life” is beautifully done, its lyrics incredibly square for a Sixties rock star to sing, but it’s delivered with full sincerity (“Others find pleasure in things I despise/I like the Christian life”). McGuinn goes on to sing terrific renditions of “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, Merle Haggard’s “Life in Prison”, and Woody Guthrie’s ballad “Pretty Boy Floyd”, while Hillman sings on “Blue Canadian Rockies” and the traditional hymn “I Am a Pilgrim”, but it’s Parsons who steals the show. Parsons’s smooth country croon, injecting a heaping dose of heartbreak into “You’re Still on My Mind”. However, it’s his own songs, “One Hundred Years From Now” (sung by McGuinn and Hillman), and especially the gorgeous “Hickory Wind”, that stand out the most, the latter a stunningly beautiful look back at his own childhood in the South.

Of course, with this edition, it’s all about the bonus tracks, and this album is loaded with them. Aside from the McGuinn/Hillman arrangement of the traditional folk song “Pretty Polly” and some previously unreleased takes of “All I Have are Memories” and “Blue Canadian Rockies”, the focus of the tracks for the most of the set is on Parsons. On the first disc, after the album portion, it’s rounded out by a helping of non-album tracks that were originally unearthed on the 1991 Byrds box set: the more rock-oriented J.T. Hardin song “Reputation”, which Parsons had been performing solo since 1966, as well as Parsons’s original vocal takes of the propulsive “Lazy Days” (a Parsons original that didn’t make the album), a terrific version of “The Christian Life”, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and “One Hundred Years From Now”.

Disc Two starts off with selections from Parsons’s International Submarine Band, including the straight-ahead rock songs “Sum Up Broke” and “One Day Week”, from their 1966 debut single for Columbia, and the country road song “Truck Drivin’ Man”, released the same year by Ascot records, which artfully swipes the melody from “Act Naturally”. Three of Parsons’s best songs from the ISB’s 1967 album Safe at Home are included: the sprightly country tunes “Blue Eyes” and “Strong Boy”, as well as the stupendous “Luxury Liner”, a flawless blend of rock and country that was years ahead of its time. The rest of the tracks on the second disc are all previously unreleased demos and outtakes, and while it gets a bit repetitive, as several takes of the same songs are included, there are some real revelations, the best of them all being an alternate take of “Hickory Wind”, which features just Parsons’s voice, and no harmony vocals, making it all the more spare and emotional.

By the time Sweetheart of the Rodeo came out in August 1968, Parsons had already left The Byrds, angry about a scheduled tour of South Africa, not to mention his bitterness at having most of his lead vocals taken off the album. By the end of that year, Hillman would leave the band as well, going on to form the Flying Burrito Brothers with Parsons. In 1973, after two classic albums with the Flying Burrito Brothers and two more phenomenal solo albums, Parsons overdosed on morphine and Tequila, passing away at the age of 26. 

He might have only been in the Byrds for an incredibly short time, but the importance of what Gram Parsons accomplished with that band is still felt today, as Sweetheart of the Rodeo had a direct influence on countless artists, including The Eagles, R.E.M., and Wilco, not to mention the entire alt-country community from the past decade. It’s never too late for new listeners to discover Parsons’s work for themselves, and this exhaustive edition of the classic album gives both longtime fans and curious newcomers a detailed, rewarding look at one of the most important albums in rock history.
by Adrien Begrand 

Disc 1
1. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (B. Dylan) - 2:38
2. I Am A Pilgrim (Traditional) - 3:42
3. The Christian Life (Charlie Louvin, Ira Louvin) - 2:33
4. You Don't Miss Your Water (William Bell) - 3:51
5. You're Still On My Mind (Luke Mc Daniel) - 2:26
6. Pretty Boy Floyd (Woody Guthrie) - 2:37
7. Hickory Wind (Bob Buchanan, Gram Parsons) - 3:34
8. One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons) - 2:43
9. Blue Canadian Rockies (Cindy Walker) - 2:05
10.Life In Prison (Jelly Sanders, Merle Haggard) - 2:47
11.Nothing Was Delivered (Bob Dylan) - 3:24
12.All I Have Are Memories (Kevin Kelley) - 2:48
13.Reputation (Tim Hardin) - 3:09
14.Pretty Polly (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 2:55
15.Lazy Days (Gram Parsons) - 3:28
16.The Christian Life (Charlie Louvin, Ira Louvin) - 2:29
17.You Don't Miss Your Water (William Bell) - 3:49
18.One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons) - 3:01
19.Radio Spot: Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Album - 0:58

Disc 2
1. Sum Up Broke (Gram Parsons, John Nuese) - 2:13
2. One Day Week (Gram Parsons) - 2:16
3. Truck Drivin' Man (Terry Fell) - 2:34
4. Blue Eyes (Gram Parsons) - 2:47
5. Luxury Liner (Gram Parsons) - 2:53
6. Strong Boy (Gram Parsons) -  2:01
7. Lazy Days (Alternative Version) (Gram Parsons) - 3:18
8. Pretty Polly (Alternative Version) (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:37
9. Hickory Wind (Alternative Version Take 8) (Bob Buchanan, Gram Parsons) - 3:40
10.The Christian Life (Rehearsal Take 7) (Charlie Louvin, Ira Louvin) - 3:26
11.The Christian Life (Rehearsal Take 8) (Charlie Louvin, Ira Louvin) - 3:05
12.Life In Prison (Rehearsal Takes 1, 2) (Jelly Sanders, Merle Haggard) - 3:16
13.Life In Prison (Rehearsal Takes 3, 4) (Jelly Sanders, Merle Haggard) - 3:16
14.One Hundred Years From Now (Rehearsal Takes 12, 13) (Gram Parsons) - 3:58
15.One Hundred Years From Now (Rehearsal Takes 14, 15) (Gram Parsons) - 3:59
16.You're Still On My Mind (Rehearsal Take 13) (Luke Mc Daniel) - 2:53
17.You're Still On My Mind (Rehearsal Take 48) (Luke Mc Daniel) - 2:38
18.All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental Take 17) (Kevin Kelley) - 3:13
19.All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental Take 21) (Kevin Kelley) - 3:07
20.Blue Canadian Rockies (Rehearsal Take 14) (Cindy Walker) - 2:59
Tracks 1-6 performed by The International Submarine Band

The Byrds
*Roger McGuinn - Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Vocals
*Chris Hillman - Electric Bass, Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Gram Parsons - Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Organ, Vocals
*Kevin Kelley - Drums
Additional Personnel
*Lloyd Green - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Clarence White - Electric Guitar
*John Hartford - Banjo, Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar
*Roy Husky - Double Bass
*Earl P. Ball - Piano
*Barry Goldberg - Keyboards
*Jay Dee Maness - Pedal Steel Guitar

1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1971  The Byrds - Live At Royal Albert Hall
1973  Byrds - Byrds
1973  Roger McGuinn - Roger McGuinn (2013 Edition) 

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shiloh - Shiloh (1969 us, amazing country folk rock with "the Eagles" Don Henley, 2014 korean remaster)

In the  mid sixties Richard Bowden, Don Henley, Jerry Surratt and Freddie Neese formed a band called the Four Spreeds. Freddy Neese replaced by Joey Brown and they change their name to Felicity around 1965, In 1969 Joey Brown left Felicity and Richard Bowden took over the guitar duties from him. Mike Bowden, the cousin of Richard Bowden came in to play the bass.

Later the same year Felicity wanted to augment their line-up by adding another guitarist. When they attended a concert by a group called Foxx they found the musician they were looking for: The guitarist of Foxx was a guy who also played a pedal steel guitar. This was exactly the person they were looking for, so they asked that musician, he was a certain Al Perkins, whether he was interested in joining Felicity. Perkins came over to jam a little bit with the group and he really liked the group's approach to music. So he decided to join. Now Felicity changed their name to Shiloh.

Shiloh had been formed at a time, when the members were still at college. When they were out of college they were in the lucky situation that the popularity of their group already was big enough to earn a living out of music. They were able to concentrate on writing and performing. In 1969 they met Kenny Rogers, who encouraged them to go to Los Angeles. There they recorded an album, which was produced by Kenny Rogers. Out of the recording sessions they released two singles. The first single, presenting two tracks that were not included on the later album, was a regional hit but the album and the second single were unnoticed by the record buying public.

In April 1971 Shiloh disbanded. Don Henley explained the reasons for the break up: We had no work, we had a bad management and the record company didn't do anything for us. Al Perkins replaced Sneaky Pete Kleinow in the Flying Burrito Brothers and Jim Ed Norman became a producer. Soon after the Shiloh break up, Richard Bowden, his cousin Mike Bowden and Don Henley together with Glenn Frey from the Longbranch Pennywhistle formed the Linda Ronstadt Band.

1. Simple Little Down Home Rock 'N' Roll Love Song For Rosie (Michael McGinnis) - 3:30
2. I'm Gone (Don Henley) - 4:55
3. Left My Gal In The Mountains (Traditional) - 3:08
4. It's About Time (Richard Bowden) - 2:06
5. Swamp River Country (Jim Norman) - 5:13
6. Railroad Song (Traditional) - 4:02
7. Same Old Story (Don Henley) - 2:41
8. Du Raison (Jim Norman) - 3:13
9. Down On The Farm (Richard Bowden) - 2:25
10.God Is Where You Find Him (Don Henley) - 5:55

*Richard Bowden - Guitar, Vocals
*Don Henley - Drums, Vocals
*Michael Bowden - Bass
*Jim Ed Norman - Keyboards
*Al Perkins - Pedal Steel Guitar

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Nick Garrie Hamilton - The Lost Songs (1968-2002 uk, wonderful baroque folk psychedelia, 2006 remaster)

Nick Garrie is renowned in psychedelic collectors' circles for his 1970 debut, The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas, a Baroque pop masterpiece effectively buried by nonexistent distribution and promotion. Born June 22, 1949, in Yorkshire, England, to a Russian father and Scottish mother, Garrie spent the majority of his adolescence at a French boarding school. He began writing songs while attending Warwick University, but his interests primarily lay in surrealist literature and poetry and he did mount a performing career until 1968, playing bars and restaurants while backpacking through the south of France.

After playing several high-profile Amsterdam gigs, Garrie returned to St. Tropez, where he signed to cut an LP in Brussels. The project remains unreleased, and in late summer of 1969 he finally returned to Warwick to resume his studies. A few months later a friend of his mother arranged for Garrie to meet with the Paris-based label DiscAZ, which extended a contract offer. After recording the never-released single "Queen of Spades" with American-born producer Mickey Baker (of "Love Is Strange" fame), he teamed with producer Eddie Vartan to begin work on The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas. Against Garrie's wishes, Vartan hired a 56-piece symphony for the sessions, and the artist (if not the record's admirers) later bemoaned the detrimental effects of such lush orchestration on his delicate, uncommonly literate songs. Far more damaging, DiscAZ president Lucien Morisse committed suicide within days of releasing The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas, guaranteeing the album never even left the starting blocks.

A crestfallen Garrie returned to school, abandoning the music business for several years. Under the alias Nick Hamilton (a nod to his mother's maiden name), he resurfaced in 1976 with "Un Instant de Vie," a collaboration with Francis Lai, but again retired from performing to manage a ski resort in the Swiss Alps. Oblivious to the growing notoriety of The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas, he retained the Nick Hamilton name for his 1984 comeback effort, Suitcase Man, recorded with former Cat Stevens sidemen Alun Davies and Gerry Conway. The album topped the Spanish pop charts, and earned its creator an opening slot on Leonard Cohen's Spanish tour later that year.

When the Stanislas track "Wheel of Fortune" appeared on Phil Smee's influential psychedelic pop obscurities compilation Circus Days, the legend of Nick Garrie grew, and with so little concrete information on his career the fanzine 117 published a fabricated biography as a prank. However, the gag was lost on many and the bio was accepted as fact in many quarters, further muddying the waters. While operating a ballooning company, he released a second Nick Hamilton LP, 1994's The Playing Fields, and in 2002 -- after returning to France to teach at a comprehensive school -- released Twelve Old Songs. Finally, in late 2005 the British reissue label Rev-Ola released The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas to much critical acclaim, adding the "Queen of Spades" single as well as several unreleased Belgian demos for good measure. 
by Jason Ankeny

1. Cambridge Town - 2:26
2. Stone And Silk - 3:19
3. Close Your Eyes - 2:49
4. The Nightmare Of J. B Stanislas - 5:01
5. Can I Stay With You - 2:38
6. Wheel Of Fortune - 3:44
7. The Street Musician - 3:29
8. Back In 1930 - 3:13
9. Little Prince - 3:09
10.Smile (N. Garrie, Francis Lai) - 3:10
11.Freda M Garrie - 2:15
12.All Of The Time - 3:29
13.Chateau D'Oex Blues - 3:11
14.I'm On Your Side (N. Garrie, Peter John Vettese) - 5:02
15.Deeper Tones Of Blue - 2:59
16.Wild Wild Hair - 2:45
17.Love In My Eyes (N. Garrie, Francis Lai) - 3:25
18.Bungles Tours - 2:54
19.When The Cold Wind Blows - 4:21
20.I Dream Of Africa - 2:29
All songs by Nick Garrie Hamilton except where noted

*Nick Garrie Hamilton - Vocals

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wally Tax - Love In (1967 holland, fabulous orchestrated jazzy folk tunes, 2012 edition)

Wally has sung. Wally has sung very well, with his whole personality. Mysteriously, he hits something deep within. Bert Paige has written the arrangements. Bert has written very well. He feels exactly what it's all about, as though he were no more than 18. And what an expert! Albert Kos has engineered. Albert has engineered very well. He knows the technical possibilities and uses them. You look and he has done it already, precisely in the right mood. It's terrific to work with such men. Thanks, lads!' – 
by Tony Vos, producer

In the summer of 1967, at the height of The Outsiders' success in Holland, Wally Tax decided to record a solo album. Far from containing the heavy R’n’ B that his band specialized in. Love In showcased a softer side to the singer, consisting of string-laden ballads with birdsong between the tracks. Its title was inspired by an American-inspired Love-In that had taken place in Amsterdam's Vondelpark earlier in the year, attracting 40,000 people, and it was produced by saxophonist Tony Vos, who also worked with Cuby and The Buzzards, Ekseption and other local acts.  Tax later commented: "I am a romantic, and I love the orchestra; I loved recording those romantic songs." 

The LP was released in Holland that September, and on the 30th the American trade publication Billboard announced: 'Phonogram has released an LP by Wally Tax, the lead singer with The Outsiders, who signed for Philips last year. The album is selling well in Holland and Belgium and a single from the LP, Let's Forget What I Said, entered the Dutch Top 20 this week. The album will be released in Germany by Philips.' The German issue, which appeared in October, had some slight differences to the Dutch issue: its sleeve was laminated, Tax's name on the front was in purple and not red, and the notes on the back cover were by the writer Heike Doutine, and not TV producer Rob Touber (whose contribution to the Dutch issue Tax was unhappy with). 

Sales were mediocre, but Tax - who passed away in 2005 - stood by the album in subsequent years, stating in 1987 "I loved doing these songs. They had been in my heart for such a long time when Philips said "You can do 'em". I loved it (still proud of 'em). The other Outsiders were opposed, but since I never let somebody tell me what to do, I told them to play with me or go f*ck themselves."
CD Liner-notes

1. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - 2:33
2. Let's Forget What I Said - 3:33
3. The Dream - 2:38
4. I'M Not Important to You - 2:22
5. Last Night - 2:03
6. You Didn't Call Me - 2:48
7. I'Ve Been Too Good to You - 2:53
8. Feeling So Fine - 2:26
9. I'M Not to Blame - 2:59
10.Standing at the Crossroads - 2:41
11.Can't Forget About You - 2:56
12.The Games We Play - 2:37
All songs by Wally Tax

*Wally Tax - Vocals, Guitar

With The Outsiders
1965-68  The Outsiders - Thinking About Today Their Complete Works (2013 remaster)
1965-69  The Outsiders - Strange Things Are Happening The Complete Singles 
1966-67  The Outsiders - The Outsiders
1968  The Outsiders - CQ (remaster and expanded)
1967-94 The Outsiders - Singles A's And B's
With Tax Free
1970  Tax Free - Tax Free

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Dr Feelgood - Malpractice (1975 uk, superb boogie 'n' roll, 2014 japan SHM remaster and expanded)

Dr. Feelgood's second album and their American debut, Malpractice was represented a major step forward for the group -- for starters, it was in stereo. Add to that the fact that the quartet had refined its sound, so that it was a match for what the Rolling Stones had generated on their debut album, and you had the makings of a classic; Lee Brilleaux's lead vocals and his and Wilko Johnson's guitars crunch and slash their way through 11 songs, starting with a Bo Diddley number; they turn "Rollin' and Tumblin'" into a rock & roll piece, and also turn in a brace of memorable originals, most notably "You Shouldn't Call the Doctor (If You Can't Afford the Bills" and "Don't Let Your Daddy Know," both by Johnson. 
by Bruce Eder

1. I Can Tell (Ellas Mcdaniel, Samuel F. Smith) -  2:46
2. Going Back Home (Mick Green, Wilko Johnson) -  4:00
3. Back In The Nigh -  3:18
4. Another Man -  2:55
5. Rolling And Tumbling (McKinley Morganfield) -  3:12
6. Don't Let Your Daddy Know -  2:57
7. Watch Your Step (Bobby Parker) -  3:23
8. Don't You Just Know It (Huey Piano Smith, Johnny Vincent) -  3:49
9. Riot In Cell Block No. 9 (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) -  3:40
10.Because You're Mine (Wilko Johnson, Nick Lowe, Sparks) -  4:54
11.You Shouldn't Call The Doctor (If You Can't Afford The Bills) -  2:36
12.She Does It Right (Stereo Version) - 3:25
13.Boom Boom (Stereo Version) (John Lee Hooker) - 2:47
14.The More I Give (Alternative Stereo Version) - 3:29
15.Roxette (Stereo Version) - 3:00
16.One Weekend (Stereo Version) - 2:19
17.That Ain't The Way To Behave (Stereo Version) - 3:56
18.I Don't Mind (Alternative Stereo Version) - 2:38
19.Twenty Yards Behind (Alternative Stereo Version) - 2:16
20.Malamut (Wilko Johnson, Mick Green) - 4:34
21.Casting My Spell On You (Alvin Johnson, Edwin Johnson) - 2:30
22.Comin' Home Baby (Ben Tucker, Bob Dorough) - 2:24
23.Dr. Feelgood (Harry Smith) - 2:22
24.I'm A Hog For You Baby (Olympic Studio, January 6th 1976) (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 3:10
All songs by Wilko Johnson except where noted

Dr Feelgood
*Lee Brilleaux - Guitar, Harmonica, Lead Vocals
*Wilko Johnson - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*The Big Figure - Drums
*John B. Sparks - Bass
*Bob Andrews - Piano, Keyboards, Saxophone

1974  Down By The Jetty (2014 Japan SHM edition)
1976  Dr Feelgood - Stupidity (2014 Japan SHM edition)

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Outsiders - Thinking About Today Their Complete Works (1965-68 dutch, pioneer raw garage psych, 2013 remaster double disc digi pack gatefold sleeve)

The Outsiders’ recording career lasted merely three years, but in that time they recorded and released close to fifty songs, every one of them an original composition; few other groups during that era could lay claim to such a track record. It’s a body of work that has only grown in stature. Created largely without the filter of commercialism, without the intervention of producers and publicists, the Outsiders’ music was pure and uncompromising. It was the authentic sound of five teenage kids from East Amsterdam striving for a sound of their own, thinking about today, without a passing care for yesterday or tomorrow.

Thinking About Today includes every track released by the group during their original lifespan, from their raucous ’65 introduction, You Mistreat Me, to their violent but unfailingly catchy swansong, 1969’s Do You Feel Alright. Along with all their hit singles and B-sides, the set also features their self-titled album and the legendary CQ in its entirety, along with some rare mono and stereo mixes. Dynamically remastered from the original tapes, and packaged with previously unseen photos and full liner notes by Mike Stax, Thinking About Today is the definitive document on one of the era’s greatest unsung bands.

Chapter 1
1. You Mistreat Me - 1:58
2. Sun’s Going Down - 2:39
3. Felt Like I Wanted To Cry - 2:50
4. I Love Her Still, I Always Will - 3:27
5. Lying All The Time - 3:14 
6. Thinking About Today - 2:45
7. Keep On Trying - 2:57 
8. That’s Your Problem - 2:35 
9. Touch - 3:12 
10.Ballad Of John B. - 5:55 
11.Monkey On Your Back - 3:44 
12.What’s Wrong With You - 3:18
13.Story 16 - 6:30
14.Tears Are Falling From My Eyes - 3:29
15.Ain’t Gonna Miss You - 1:54
16.I Wish I Could - 4:01
17.Afraid Of The Dark - 3:18
18.Teach Me To Forget You - 3:12
19.Filthy Rich - 2:40
20.I Would Love You - 2:47
21.Don’t You Cry - 2:21
22.Won’t You Listen - 2:49
23.If You Don’t Treat Me Right - 2:10
24.Summer Is Here - 3:25
All compositions by Ronnie Splinter, Wally Tax 

Chapter 2
1. I’ve Been Loving You So Long - 3:21
2. I’m Only Trying To Prove To Myself That I’m Not Like Everybody Else - 2:30
3. Don’t You Worry About Me - 3:25
4. Bird In A Cage - 3:03
5. Cup Of Hot Coffee - 3:18
6. Strange Things Are Happening (Frank Beek, Wally Tax) - 2:33
7. I Don’t Care (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 2:41
8. You Remind Me (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 2:45
9. Misfit (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:03
10.Zsarrahh (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:25
11.C.Q. (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:27
12.Daddy Died On Saturday (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:01
13.It Seems Like Nothing’s Gonna Come My Way Today (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 1:50
14.Doctor (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 4:42
15.The Man On The Dune (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 2:06
16.The Bear (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 1:03
17.Happyville (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 2:26
18.You’re Everything On Earth (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:06
19.Wish You Were Here With Me Today (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 1:54
20.I Love You No. 2 (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:13
21.Prison Song (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 5:37
22.Do You Feel Alright (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:26
23.Daddy Died On Saturday (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:01
24.Touch (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:12
25.Bird In A Cage (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 3:05
26.Wally’s Answering Machine (R. Splinter, W. Tax, F. Beek, L. Bush) - 0:16
All compositions by Ronnie Splinter, Wally Tax unless as else indicated

The Outsiders
*Wally Tax - Vocals, Guitar, Balalaika, Flute, Harmonica
*Ronnie Splinter - Lead, Rhythm, 12String Guitars, Bass, Vocals
*Appie Rammers - Bass
*Tom Krabbendam - Rhythm Guitar
*Leendert "Buzz" Busch - Drums
*Frank Beek - Bass

1965-69  The Outsiders - Strange Things Are Happening The Complete Singles 
1966-67  The Outsiders - The Outsiders
1968  The Outsiders - CQ (remaster and expanded)
1967-94 The Outsiders - Singles A's And B's
Related Act
1970  Tax Free - Tax Free

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Judee Sill - Judee Sill (1971 us, beautiful tender baroque folk, 2013 japan remaster)

Judee Sill’s self-titled debut hit the shelves in 1971, the first release on David Geffen’s Asylum Records. Unjustly lost amongst the sands of time, and out of print for many years until it’s reissue a few years ago, Judee Sill is one-of-a-kind, an essential album, a defining example of West Coast canyon country, a hauntingly beautiful record by an extremely delicate soul and one of the 70’s most talented singer-songwriters.

Sill had been playing musical instruments of various kinds since her troubled childhood on the West Coast, which she spent dreaming of being a singer, a songwriter, and a star. An even more troubled young adulthood spent dabbling in hard drugs, armed robbery, and prostitution had landed her stints in reform schools and jail cells. After a near fatal overdose and a brush with the law that left her kicking heroin in a county jail cell, as well as the death of her brother and mother, Sill–who was increasingly drawn to metaphysical topics and occult, religious imagery–began taking her songwriting seriously. 

Her first big break came after landing a gig writing songs for Blimp Productions in Los Angeles when The Turtles decided to record a version of her song “Lady-O.” It was immediately clear to those around her that Sill had developed a lyrical style as distinctive as her achingly beautiful crystal-clear-as-a-mountain-stream singing voice. The time was ripe for Sill to make her “country-cult-baroque” vision a reality.

Opening with Judee’s fingerpicked guitar and a lone French horn, “Crayon Angels” is a beautifully evocative song, an honest prayer for heavenly hands matched with a gently breezy pastoral vibe perfectly suited to Judee’s delicate voice. Next up, “The Phantom Cowboy” lets Judee’s dirt road roots show through a little more while introducing the archetype of a traveling mystic ridge rider that appears frequently throughout Judee’s body of work. “The Archetypal Man” has even more of a laid-back Topanga-folk vibe with weeping pedal steel combined with baroque orchestral flourishes. “The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown” is an absolutely beautiful tune that kicks off with just Judee’s softly reassuring voice and lilting guitar, perfectly expressing Judee’s belief in the possibility of goodness in the world. 

The lushly orchestrated “Lady-O” goes miles beyond The Turtles recording of the song, showing just how unassumingly evocative Judee’s vocal delivery can be. Similarly, Judee’s performance of “Jesus Was A Cross Maker” is the definitive version of the song, which is perfectly suited to her crystalline vocalizations and the gospel piano inflections that she learned while leading the church choir as a teenager in reform school. Produced by Graham Nash, the song was a last minute addition to the album, obviously in high hopes of a hit.

“Ridge Rider” further fleshes out Judee’s vision of a bohemian saint who rides the rough road to salvation despite its perils, complete with tasty pedal steel and the sound of hoof beats carrying along the chorus. “My Man On Love” is an enchanting folk song full of Christian imagery. “Lopin’ Along Through the Cosmos” plods along at a pace just a bit slower than the rest of the album as Judee again pleads for the gift of peace. “Enchanted Sky Machines”, a song about salvation by UFO, quickly picks up the pace, beginning with another groovy gospel piano part that’s soon accompanied by brassy horns and upbeat drums. The beautifully orchestrated “Abracadabra” closes the album on a tender note and a major key.

Despite it all, Judee Sill didn’t sell as well as the troubadour and her friends had hoped. Nevertheless, she soldiered on to record and release 1973’s Heart Food, an equally outstanding album, which made even greater use of both her gospel influenced keyboard playing and her talent for orchestral composition. Sadly, Heart Food sold even fewer copies than the first album and Judee’s life began to gradually deteriorate. After a handful of auto-accidents in the late seventies Judee once again began turning to codeine, cocaine, and heroine in an attempt to numb the pain she suffered from so greatly.  Judee’s life was cut tragically short the day after Thanksgiving 1973 1979, when she died after overdosing on codeine and cocaine. She was 35 years old.

Who knows what heights Judee and her music may have reached had she lived long enough for more people to pick up on her gentle genius? Both Judee Sill and Heart Food rank right up there with the best from giants like Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Sandy Denny, and Carole King, as well as releases by other unsung souls like Collie Ryan, Karen Beth, and Vashti Bunyan. Forty years later there still isn’t anything than can truly compare.
by D.A. Glasebrook

1. Crayon Angels - 2:35
2. The Phantom Cowboy - 1:40
3. The Archetypal Man - 3:35
4. The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown - 3:10
5. Lady-O - 3:10
6. Jesus Was A Cross Maker - 3:20
7. Ridge Rider - 4:28
8. My Man On Love - 3:23
9. Lopin' Along Thru The Cosmos - 3:00
10.Enchanted Sky Machines - 2:40
11.Abracadabra - 1:54
Words and Music by Judee Sill

*Judee Sill - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Clydie King, Rita Coolidge, Venetta Fields - Background Vocals
*Don Bagley, Bob Harris - Orchestration
*David Crosby - Guitar
*Graham Nash - Organ

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tiffany Shade - Tiffany Shade (1967 us, fantastic psychedelia, 2014 issue)

In the fall of 1967 The Tiffany Shade-Bob Leonard (born May 27, 1945) – piano/ vocals, Michael Barnes (born May 21, 1948) – lead vocals/guitar, Tom Schuster (born Feb.1, 1949) – drums and Robb Clarke Murphy (born Sept. 26, 1944) – bass/vocals, entered the studios of the Cleveland Recording Company located at 1515 Euclid avenue in Cleveland, Ohio and recorded their first and only album of original material together. After two days and two separate eight hour long recording sessions, the band ended up with 10 songs (9 originals and 1 cover tune) for Bob Shads’ recently formed Mainstream record label.

In the 40 years since its’ original release on December 11, 1967, The “Tiffany Shade” album (Mainstream release #56015), like several other Mainstream releases from this time period, has gone on to become one of the most highly sought after and valuable record albums of the psychedelic era. This was the bands only release and on the rare occasion that it appears on EBay and rare record websites the LP sells for anywhere from $150.00 to $350.00 depending on it’s condition.

1. Would You Take My Mind Out For A Walk (Michael Barnes) - 2:20
2. An Older Man (Michael Barnes, Robert Leonard) - 3:04
3. Sam (Robert Leonard) - 5:20
4. Jaguar City Blues (Rob Murphy, Robert Leonard) - 2:07
5. A Very Grand Love (Robert Leonard) - 2:47
6. Come Softly To Me (Barbara Ellis, Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher) - 3:04
7. No Reality (Michael Barnes) - 4:01
8. One Good Reason (Michael Barnes, Robert Leonard) - 2:20
9. A Quiet Revolution (Michael Barnes) - 2:06
10.Not Worth The Pain (Michael Barnes) - 3:05

Tiffany Shade
*Bob Leonard - Piano, Vocals
*Michael Barnes - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Tom Schuster - Drums
*Robb Clarke Murphy - Bass, Vocals

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Wailing Wall - Wailing Wall (1970 us, awesome heavy southern psych rock, 2006 reissue)

Wailing Wall was formed in El Paso, Texas by guitarist Mike Cancellare who up until this time had been playing in a straight blues trio. Mike recruited David Rutledge to play drums and was searching for a bass player when friend and fellow musician (and my brother) Doug Adams recommended me to round out the rhythm section. We started out playing some blues tunes but knew we wanted to expand our sound so Doug was asked to step in as "front man" and Wailing Wall was ready to roll. 

We made our "bread and butter" money by playing at Ft. Bliss/White Sands and other Military Bases Teen and Officers Clubs which were booked by Mike through one of his connections. This was during Viet Nam and things were a bit strained between the young people and the Military brass ("Can you boys tone it DOWN a little?"). The Gl's would always come up and talk to us during the shows they seemed really desperate for some kind of connection to the world outside Army life. At these gigs we played mostly cover versions and tried to sneak in an original when we could.

Our mainstay "creative" gig was at a place called "The Free-Holy" (frijole, get it?) across the Rio Grande River in Anapra, New Mexico. When The Free-Holy first opened, we had just gotten our 4-piece version of the band up to speed, and were lucky enough to be one of the bands on opening night (another Mike connection, I think). Our debut was in front of several hundred of the "hippest" people in the area. We became regulars there and had pretty much a free hand to work out our material in front of a receptive audience. The club, a pretty old adobe building, was run by an interesting individual named Mario, who also let us practice there on evenings when they were closed.

We tried to play out as much as possible. We played around the campus of The University Of Texas at El Paso a lot. We even crossed the border and played gigs in Juarez, Mexico. We played anywhere and everywhere south of the border. Bullrings, Rodeo Arenas and even in the middle of a Soccer field. The only bad part about those gigs were bringing our gear back to the U.S. where, naturally, the Customs Agents made us unload EVERY BIT of our equipment from the van and then repack it again. These were the days when long hair = drug smuggler.

As our popularity grew we got to open for some national acts that made the odd stop in El Paso. Since a "big group" came to El Paso only once every few months, opening for these acts was a big deal for us. We opened for Steppenwolf, Bloodrock, The Chambers Brothers, Johnny Rivers and even Doc SeverinsonH! Some of these shows were at the El Paso County Coliseum which was essentially a big cow barn for Rodeo shows. We also played at UT El Paso Stadium and New Mexico State University's Special Events Center in Las Cruces.

Our first venture out on the "road" found us playing gigs in San Antonio and Austin that Doug had landed for us. Around this time we hooked up with a local character named Larry Gorley who fancied himself as a promoter in the vein of his mentor. Bill Horn (ZZ Top fame). Larry took us on a long and winding road (or rather, he came with us while we drove!) to the Celebration Of Life Music Festival in the swamps of Louisiana. The show was highly unorganized and when Larry saw how pitiful the situation was he high tailed it back to El Paso. We spent most of the day hanging out in our tent and standing in a river trying to keep cool while surveying the scores of naked girls with sunburned boobs. Most of the stoned out hippies slept off their hangovers and we waited for our chance to play. We finally did get to play on one of the "side stages" so we can truly say that we played the "Celebration Of Dog Shit" as David called it.

A serious chunk of our creative work was done at the Upper Valley recording studio of Kenny Smith. Kenny recorded us in a smallish building out behind his house. All work was done on an Ampex 3-track tape machine. As we progressed from just a "live recording documentation" of the band, we got more into layering. I think we got a pretty good sound for a 3-track. The music found on this CD is a result of those sessions. 

I can't remember why we called an end to the band I'm guessing it was due to the chaotic nature of the times personalities in and out of the band and things like that. Mike has since gone on as the leader of a blues trio in South Central, Texas and plays a variety of music from Freddy King to Cream to Stevie Ray Vaughn ... Mike was always the one who could talk up the girls. After Wailing Wall David joined what was to be a long- lived local group called Moon Pie Daince Band. He is living in El Paso and still writing music. My brother Doug lives in Novato, California and works in several bands including his own Middle Eastern Influenced "Light Rain" which you may be familar with from their "Dream Dancer" and other LP releases. He also played a short stint in one of the incarnations of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage. I currently live in Mill Valley, California where I have a small recording studio in my home and I still make music, mostly for my own pleasure.
by Darrel Adams

1. Scissor Tailed Swallow - 3:19
2. Country Of The Goose - 9:28
3. Flying (Doug Adams) - 4:57
4. Hot Summer’s Night - 2:55
5. Mad Rapper (Doug Adams) - 5:39
6. Dark House, Crazy Nights (Doug Adams) - 5:00
7. I’m Running Low - 6:01
8. Meet My Dreams - 3:12
All songs by David Rutledge except where indicated.

Wailing Wall
*Mike Cancellari - Guitar
*Doug Adams - Vocals
*Darrel Adams - Bass Guitar
*David Rutledge - Drums

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Neal Ford And The Fanatics - Good Men (1965-68 us, outstanding rough garage psych, 2013 release)

In mid-60s America, every major city had at least one rock’n’roll band that ruled the town. Such top-dogs enjoyed a rabidly partisan audience that packed the teen centres, populated the fan clubs and pushed their records to the top of the local charts. In the major metropolis of Houston,Texas, that group was Neal Ford and the Fanatics.

Led by Ford and featuring talented writers Lanier Greig, Jon Pereles and Johnny Stringfellow, the Fanatics ruled the roost at Houston clubs such as the Catacombs and, once they signed to Nashville indie Hickory in late 1966, seemed destined for national stardom. History has identified such local kingpins as garage bands, simply because of their grass roots appeal. But the Fanatics were a well-oiled professional machine, capable of putting on a memorable show and backing it up with vocals and chops that raised the band far above the calibre of the suburban hop or teen club. Despite the British elements to their music – Kinks chording, Zombies moodiness – theirs was very much an American sound. Lead vocalist Neal Ford had a professed love for vintage rock and R&B, but the group’s real strength vocally was the three-part harmony of Ford, Pereles and bass player Dub Johnson. When allied to the classic organ and fuzz-driven “Vox” sound of the group, it was an unbeatable combination.

Texas has a well-deserved reputation for some of the most acerbic 60s rock on record, but the state also produced a fair tranche of acts such asDallas’ Five Americans who excelled in the commercial pop of the time. The Fanatics straddled the fence. Their songwriting and playing abilities alone made them somewhat above-average, but the band was also willing to experiment. Some of this slipped out – ‘I Will Not Be Lonely’ is one of the earliest British-influenced Texan garage discs, and their Yardbirds-psych opus ‘I Will If You Want To’ seems in hindsight to have been an audacious move. But once they became regionally successful with ‘Gonna Be My Girl’ and a much more lightweight formula, the group’s releases stopped representing anything more than the commercial dictates of the record company.

Thus the standing of Neal Ford & the Fanatics for many years largely resided within the rosy glow of Houston nostalgia, but the truth is that, buried in tape vaults, record company archives and the personal stash of their former manager, lies enough evidence to demonstrate that in the studio, the Fanatics could more than match their repute as a live act.

“Good Men” is a long-overdue survey of their best recorded moments, and runs the gamut from expertly produced and performed commercial pop and folk-rock to freaky psychedelic experiment and the gnarliest of 60s punk. It features several of the Fanatics’ popular singles for Hickory, cuts from their lone album for the label, as well as fantastic earlier sides released on the Houston indies Gina and Tantara. Every track is drawn from master tape, well over half have never appeared on compact disc before, and several are unissued killers that add immeasurably to the group’s reputation.
by Alec Palao 

1. Good Men (Are Hard to Find) (Lanier Greig) - 2:58
2. I Will Not Be Lonely (Neal Ford, Jon Pereles, John Stringfellow) - 2:46
3. Don't Tie Me Down (Neal Ford, Walter Johnson, John Stringfellow) - 2:21
4. Gonna Be My Girl (Jon Pereles) - 2:43
5. Better Slow Down (Neal Ford, John Stringfellow) - 2:50
6. I Can't Go On (Neal Ford, Lanier Greig) - 2:28
7. I Will If You Want To (Neal Ford, Lanier Greig) - 2:10
8. Woman (Rod Argent) - 2:36
9. Movin' Along (Jon Pereles) - 2:03
10.The Seasons - 2:13
11.Bitter Bells (Neal Ford, Walter Johnson, John Stringfellow) - 1:52
12.Save Your Affection - 2:10
13.Baby, You're Gonna Cry (Neal Ford, Jon Pereles) - 2:23
14.For You (Neal Ford, Lanier Greig) - 2:21
15.Nothing Left to Do (Jon Pereles) - 2:41
16.Pain (John Cravey, Neal Ford) - 2:37
17.I Have Thoughts of You (Jon Pereles) - 3:26
18.One Times One Ain't Two (Mickey Newbury) - 2:45
19.Shame on You (Neal Ford, Walter Johnson, John Stringfellow) - 2:14
20.That Girl of Mine (Jon Pereles) - 2:19
21.Night Time (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) - 3:12
22.(I've Got A) Brand New Girl (Neal Ford, Lanier Greig, Jon Pereles) - 2:37
23.Little World Girl (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:23
24.Lucille/I'm Down (Albert Collins, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Richard Penniman) - 2:50
25.The Jones (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:49
26.KTRK Jingle/Every Night a New Surprise (Steve Ames, Lanier Greig) - 3:06

Neal Ford And The Fanatics
*Neal Ford - Vocals
*Lanier Greig - Keyboards      
*John Cravey - Drums
*W.T. Johnson - Bass Guitar
*Jon Pereles - Guitar, Vocals
*Johnny Stringfellow - Guitar
*Steve Ames - Keyboards
*Dennis Senter - Keyboards

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

US 69 ‎- Yesterdays Folks (1969 us, awesome trippy colorful psychedelia, 2014 issue)

US 69 were psychedelic rock group from the Hartford Connecticut area with tripped-out jazz undercurrents and rough funky edges.

They started out as the Mustard Family, and changed their name to US ’69 before the release of any of their material. Signing with the Buddah label, US ’69′s album Yesterdays Folks from 1969. 

The band combines a great mix of eastern-influence music with sitar along with psychedelic, jazz, rock, soul, and funk. Just let your senses loose, and the feeling will go up much higher, after every spin. 

1. I'm On My Way (A Patch Of Blue) (Bill Durso,  Alan Bushman) - 6:14
2. Yesterday's Folks - 3:18
3. I'm A Nobody - 2:31
4. African Sunshine - 7:28
5. I Hear You Talkin' - 2:57
6. Miss Goodbody - 3:25
7. Never A Day Goes By - 4:54
8. 2069: A Spaced Oddity - 10:22
All songs by Bill Durso except where stated

US 69
*Bill Cartier - Drums
*Bill Durso - Vocals, Guitar
*Bob DePalma - Saxophone
*Don DePalma - Piano, Trumpet
*Gil Nelson - Bass, Flute

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ronnie Lane And Slim Chance - Ooh La La An Island Harvest (1974-76 uk, wonderfully eclectic mix of country, rock, folk and blues, 2014 two disc hard paper sleeve edition)

The story goes that Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance were formed after he walked into a bar after the last ever Faces show in June of 73 and shouted at Marc Bolan asking if he had an opening for an unemployed bass player.  Bolan did not take him up on the offer and he retreated to his farm in Wales to begin putting together a new band called Slim Chance. The sound was mainly acoustic driven over flowing with warmth and quality and revealed the heart and soul of one of Britain’s most under rated songwriters. During his time with The Faces, Lane’s talents shone with songs he penned like ‘Just For A Moment’, Ooh La La and ‘Debris’.

Eschewing the rock sound of his era, Lane created a personal organic sound, propelled by melody and mandolins, violins and squeeze boxes, the sound that conjures up the sun at dawn and the beauty of the fading afternoon horizon.

Lane would record four solo albums with Slim Chance plus albums with Ronnie Wood, Mahoney’s Last Stand & Pete Townshend Rough Mix. In 1976 he briefly joined a re-formed Small Faces but quit after two weeks and again teamed up with Steve Marriott in 1981 to cut an album called the Magic Mijits album.

Contracting MS in 1982, he kept going and in a massive showing of affection by his musical contemporaries a benefit show for MS charity was put together featuring Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Charlie Watts, and Andy Fairweather Low and raised millions for the charity.

Ooh La La: An Island Harvest looks at Ronnie and Slim Chance’s time with Island Records where Ronnie released two albums – Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance and One for The Road.  This collection features highlights from those albums as well as covers of classic tracks delivered in the inimitable “Plonk” style.  Tracks such as ‘Tin and Tambourine’ , ‘One For the Road’ and ‘Burnin’ Summer’ showcase Ronnie’s beautiful melodies and imaginative lyrics.  

It is easy to see why Lane was and still is admired by so many.  The collection also unearths some previously unreleased alternate takes of classic Ronnie compositions such as Ooh La La, The Poacher  and Anniversary.  Also included is the BBC concert Ronnie performed in 1974 which features Faces classics as well as a rip roaring version of How Come and a cover of Gallagher and Lyle’s I Believe In You who were part of the original Slim chance line up and incidentally perform alongside Ronnie at this concert.

Ronnie passed on June 4th, 1997 at the age of 51 . He had stars in his eyes and love in his smile.
by Paolo Hewitt

Disc 1
1. Ooh La La (Alternative Studio Take, Take 4) (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) - 3:18 
2. Don't Try And Change My Mind - 3:06 
3. One For The Road - 4:47 
4. Buddy Can You Spare Me A Dime (Alternate Studio Version, Take 5) (Jay Gorney, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg) - 4:10 
5. Steppin' And Reelin' - 6:26 
6. Harvest Home (Charlie Hart, Ronnie Lane) - 5:52 
7. 32nd Street - 4:36 
8. Give Me A Penny - 3:01 
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter) (Alternate Studio Take) (Fred E. Ahlert, Joe Young) - 3:10 
10.You Never Can Tell (Take 1) (Chuck Berry) - 6:59 
11.Back Street Boy (Jam Version) - 4:57 
12.Snake - 3:30 
13.Burnin' Summer - 4:07 
14.Anniversary - 3:00 
15.Country Boy (Alternate Take) (Marshall Barer, Fred Brooks) - 3:34 
16.What Went Down (That Night With You) - 3:29 
17.Tin And Tambourine (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane) - 4:12 
18.Little Piece Of Nothing - 2:26

Disc 2
1. The Poacher (Take 2) - 3:51
2. Street Gang (Ronnie Lane, Ruan O'Lochlainn, Steve Simpson) - 4:08
3. Nobody's Listenin' - 3:57
4. Stone - 4:10
5. G'morning - 4:02
6. Bottle Of Brandy (Isaacs Family) - 2:50
7. Single Saddle (Arthur Altman, Hal David) - 2:03
8. Lovely - 3:29
9. Ain't No Lady (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane, Ruan O'Lochlainn) - 4:26
10.Blue Monday (Dave Bartholomew) - 4:09
11.Anniversary (Alternate Mix) - 3:07
12.Last Orders (BBC In Concert) - 4:26
13.Done This One Before (BBC In Concert) - 3:58
14.Flags And Banners (BBC In Concert) (Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart) - 4:06
15.Tell Everyone (BBC In Concert) - 3:40
16.How Come (BBC In Concert) - 3:55
17.I Believe In You (BBC In Concert) (Bernard Gallagher, Graham Lyle) - 4:53
18.Debris (BBC In Concert) - 6:29
19.Ooh La La (BBC In Concert) (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) - 3:48
All songs written by Ronnie Lane unless as else noted.

*Ronnie Lane – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Steve Simpson – Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, Keyboards, Harmonica
*Graham Lyle - Banjo, Twelve String Guitar, Guitar Bottleneck, Mandolin
*Benny Gallagher - Bass, Guitar, Accordion
*Steve Bingham - Bass
*Ken Slaven - Fiddle
*Kevin Westlake - Guitar
*Bruce Rowland - Percussion
*Jimmy Jewell - Saxophone
*Bill Livesey - Keyboards
*Ruan O'Lochlainn – Organ, Piano, Saxophone
*Charlie Hart – Violin, Keyboards, Piano, Accordion
*Brian Belshaw – Bass
*Glen LeFleur – Drums
*Jim Frank – Drums
*Charlie Hart – Violin, Keyboards, Harp, Whistle
*Brian Belshaw – Bass, Vocals
*Colin Davy – Drums
*The Tanners Of Montgomery - Vocals

1965-69  Small Faces - The Immediate Years (four discs box, 1st edition)
1967  Small Faces - Green Circles / First Immediate Album (rare Sequel release)
1968  The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (2006 three disc box set)

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