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Plain and Fancy

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


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Judee Sill - Heart Food (1973 us, wondrous folk with baroque and prog touches, 2013 japan remaster)

Judee Sill was a singer-songwriter from the West Coast, who recorded two remarkable albums in the early 1970s, before drifting off into obscurity and dying of drug use in 1979. Her output was necessarily limited: Judee Sill was released in 1971, followed by Heart Food in 1973. 

Still’s most famous song undoubtedly is “Jesus Was a Crossmaker,” a mysterious tale about sweet silver angels hovering over the sea while our Lord is hunting the Devil with a pistol by his side. Apart from the imaginative lyrics, the song also shows Sill’s ear for striking melodies, with unexpected leaps in pitch that somehow manage to make perfect sense.

There’s a strong religious strain in Sill’s music. Part of a long tradition that stretches from the Song of Solomon to Dante to Leonard Cohen, Sill blends religious with romantic images. Perhaps her most beautiful song, “The Kiss,” is a good example, with its focus on the “sweet communion of a kiss.” “The Kiss” also shows how daring she could be harmonically, with a stunning modulation in the bridges.

Some have compared Judee Sill to Nick Drake. Maybe there’s a resemblance in their understated singing style (Sill never uses vibrato), gently flowing tunes with poetic lyrics, and finger-picking/piano music accompanied by orchestral instruments. Yet it seems to me that Nick Drake was always reaching further inward, whereas Sill is desperately trying, sometimes failing, sometimes gloriously succeeding, to reach out.

Heart Food fittingly concludes with “The Donor,” a stunning tapestry of interwoven voices. Beginning with a simple piano melody, an angelic choir of voices soon takes over, with vocal lines branching out in all directions. Sill has the rare ability to turn great sorrow and despair into music of a transcendent beauty. Her final requiem climaxes in an outcry that sums up the religious intensity of her brief but unforgettable career in music: “Kyrie eleison! (Lord have mercy!).”
by Kasper Nijsen

1. There's A Rugged Road - 3:44
2. The Kiss - 4:36
3. The Pearl - 1:55
4. Down Where The Valleys Are Low - 3:52
5. The Vigilante - 3:50
6. Soldier Of The Heart - 3:34
7. The Phoenix - 2:37
8. When The Bridegroom Comes (lyrics David Omer Bearden) - 4:14
9. The Donor - 9:12
All compositions by Judee Sill 

*Judee Sill - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*David Bearden
*Lynn Blessing
*Gene Cipriano
*Vincent Derosa
*Doug Dillard
*Oma Drake
*Assa Drori
*Jesse Ehrlich
*Buddy Emmons
*Chris Ethridge
*Ronald Folsom
*Harris Goldman
*James Gordon
*Jim Gordon
*Bobbye Hall
*Gloria Jones
*Ray Kelly
*Bill Kurasch
*Leonard Malarsky
*Spooner Oldham
*Richard Perissi
*Bill Plummer
*Emil Richards
*Ralph Schaeffer
*David Schwartz
*Louie Shekton
*Carolyn Willis
*Tibor Zelig

1971  Judee Sill - Judee Sill (2013 Japan remaster) 
1969-74  Tommy Peltier Feat. Judee Sill - Chariot Of Astral Light

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Open Road - Windy Daze (1971-72 uk, fantastic folk soft rock with prog shades, japan remaster and expanded)

This short-lived quartet took their name from a 1970 album by singer-songwriter Donovan. When the group left Donovan for an independent career. Windy Daze continued the direction already pursued with their erstwhile mentor.

Produced by legendary rock producer, Tony Reeves (ex-Colosseum bassist), Open Road were the very first progressive group to be signed to the Greenwich Gramophone Company (a subsidiary of Chapter One Records) in 1971. 

Their music reflects feelings of anti-establishment prevalent amongst the young at that time, and was quite visionary in its approach. The members of the band consist of 'Candy' John Carr - Drums, Percussion and Vocals. Barry Husband - Acoustic and Lead Guitar, Bass and Vocals. Simon Lanzon - Keyboards, Piano, Accordion and Vocals and Mike Thomson - Bass, 12 String Guitar and Vocals. 

1. Mother Earth (John Carr) - 5:13
2. Secret Of Life (Barry Husband) - 4:33
3. She's My Sister (Mike Thompson) - 2:46
4. Mystic Woman (John Carr) - 5:28
5. Sweet Liquor Woman (Mike Thompson) - 3:59
6. Waterwheel (Barry Husband, Simon Lanzon) - 3:56
7. Boy, You've Got The Sun In Your Eyes (Barry Husband) - 5:21
8. Shimmers Of Sound (Barry Husband, G. Griffith, Simon Lanzon) - 6:52
9. Swamp Fever (John Carr) - 3:40
10.Lost And Found (John Carr) - 4:17

Open Road
*Mike Thompson - Bass, 12 String Guitar, Vocals
*John Carr - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Barry Husband - Lead Guitar, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Simon Lanzon - Keyboards, Piano, Accordion, Vocals

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Association - And Then...Along Comes (1966 us, beautiful sunny psych with folk tinges, 2013 japan remaster)

With the two smashes "Along Comes Mary" and "Cherish," the Association became one of the hottest new bands of 1966, the singles charting at #7 and #1 respectively. It was no surprise that their debut album, featuring both of those songs, was also a big success, rising to #5 and remaining their highest-charting LP ever, with the exception of their Greatest Hits compilation. The record also gave the Association the chance to showcase their versatility on material penned by both group members and outside songwriters, their complex multi-part vocal harmonies being the greatest unifying factor.

And Then...Along Comes the Association was actually preceded by a few singles as the group struggled to establish themselves as a commercial force. Covers of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings," both in 1965, were very much in the folk-rock style that had become a craze with the emergence of the Byrds and their chart-topping cover of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" in the middle of that year. With "Along Comes Mary," the group moved toward a more pop-rock sound, aided by a dynamite tune from non-member Tandyn Almer, and a new producer, Curt Boettcher.

Boettcher was himself making a transition from the folk scene, in which he'd performed as part of the Goldebriars (who released a couple of albums on Epic), to pop-rock. He was already familiar with the Association when he played on a demo of "Along Comes Mary" with the group's lead guitarist, Jules Alexander, who enthusiastically pitched the song to the rest of the band. "When we first started, Jules was not officially designated, but he was more or less the musical director," remembers rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Jim Yester. "'Cause he had been in a couple rock bands before, he had a lot better handle on harmonic structure, and was obviously the best guitar player. He, a lot of times, would line out vocal parts. He'd sit down and figure it out on the guitar and say, 'Okay, you sing this, you sing that.' And then we'd adapt it, and somebody'd say, 'Well, listen. How about this note instead?' But basically things started with Jules."

When Alexander brought a tape of the demo of "Along Comes Mary" home, Jim continues, "He says, 'Listen to this song, we gotta try this.' And he said, 'Jim, why don't you sing it?' It was very casual. 'We need a high voice.' 'Cause on the demo, Curt sang it, and Curt's a real high tenor as well. I think the only thing that was roughly the same was that vamp line -- that was Tandyn's whole trip. That and the chord changes. But it was just one single voice."

With its dynamic interplay between Yester's lead and the rest of the band's vocal harmonies, as well as an intriguing lyric that jammed about as many syllables as were possible to fit into individual lines of a pop song in 1966, the song took a few months to catch on nationally. By the time it did break into the Top Ten in the summer, And Then...Along Comes the Association was ready to capitalize on it. In fact, however, work on the tracks that ended up on the LP had begun some time before, when Boettcher produced five cuts with the group in Gary Paxton's Homewood Studios. Aside from "Along Comes Mary," these sessions yielded its B-side, "Your Own Love," and two other tracks that ended up on the album, "Remember" and "I'll Be Your Man" (the fifth, "Better Times," remained unissued until 2002).

The Association's "One Too Many Mornings" single had been produced by Barry DeVorzon, the president of their label, Valiant Records. But as Yester explains, "After the thing with Barry producing didn't work out, we begged him to let our friend Curt produce us. And he finally condescended, but with the stipulation that we use some studio musicians. So we did a combination of studio musicians and us. But they did the basic tracks, and then we did a lot of the sweetening and the lead guitar stuff, things like that."

As the Association's harmonies were along the lines of the sophisticated vocal arrangements used by Boettcher's former group the Goldebriars, and his future ensemble the Millennium, "it was a good match in that respect," concurs Jim. "We were very harmonically involved, and Curt was too. Also, he was very aware of the MFQ [the Modern Folk Quartet], which was my brother's [Jerry's] group. We were all into the MFQ; a lot of groups went to school on the MFQ in L.A. Everybody else made it, and they didn't. It's very bizarre." (Both 1960s albums by the Modern Folk Quartet, who also used sophisticated harmonies blending elements of pop, folk, and jazz, have also been reissued on CD by Collectors' Choice Music.)

The decision to make "Along Comes Mary" the single was, in a sense, ordained. "There was three or four of us that were involved with [the religious faith] Subud at that time," says Yester. "Roger McGuinn was also in it, [and] Cyrus Faryar from the MFQ. We convinced the record company that we were gonna take the five songs we recorded, and the elders of Subud did this thing called testing, where you would tell them the name of a song, and then they would kind of meditate and tell you yay or nay. We did that, and the two strongest reactions we got were from 'Along Comes Mary' and 'Your Own Love.' Actually, 'Your Own Love' got the strongest reaction from them. That song I wrote after I was in Subud for a while, that's kind of where it was coming from, so for me, that's why that reaction was [so positive]. But that's why those two songs were the first release. Then we went back to the record company and said, 'Okay, these are the two.' And they said, 'Okay.'"

To fill out the album, the group would record more material in a different studio, which like the first was run by noted producer, engineer, performer, songwriter, and general musical jack-of-all-trades Gary Paxton. "The first one [Homewood Studios], where we did the basics, the studio was an old garage, and the booth was in an old Greyhound bus," laughs Yester. "His second studio [G.S.P.], the studio was the downstairs, like the living room and dining room of a house, and the studio was in a bathroom upstairs. Very bizarre. But it had great sound." In addition, vocals were recorded at a more traditional Hollywood facility, Columbia Recording Studios.

Among the top sessions musicians in the support cast were guitarist Mike Deasy (who'd go on to play on other Association albums, as well as writing a song on their Insight Out LP), bassist Jerry Scheff, and percussionists Jim Troxel and Toxey French, with Boettcher contributing tone generator/oscillator. "Curt was very into a lot of outside instruments, and we were very up for experimentation, so we used a lot of different things," remarks Yester. "In fact, we were one of the first to sync two four-tracks  together to make an eight-track, using a VSO, variable speed oscillator, to match the speeds of the two tape machines. But by the time we went to finish the first album, Scully came out with the eight-track. When we were working at Columbia Studio A, that's what we were using."

As for the material selected for the album, as Yester notes, "most of those songs we'd been doing in concert for about a year or so anyway."  The Association LPs would feature a remarkably even spread of songwriting credits among the members, and all six save Brian Cole wrote or co-wrote material on And Then...Along Comes the Association. At this point Jules Alexander (then still performing under the name Gary Alexander, as he would until 1968) and singer-multi-instrumentalist Terry Kirkman "were probably a little more prolific," adds Jim. "But most of the time everybody had at least one or two songs on the album. We tried to have everybody included. We had a publishing deal where everybody shared in everybody else's publishing. It was very clever. We actually had [a] publishing deal before we had a record deal. Because we auditioned for Capitol, and they didn't sign us, but they wouldn't let us out of the building until we gave them a meeting with [the] head of their publishing. 'Cause they couldn't believe a group with six guys, and everybody wrote. And they were pretty decent songs."

The group did cover a couple of songs from outside sources on the album. "Don't Blame It on Me" was written by brothers Don and Dick Addrisi, who penned the massive 1967 Association hit "Never My Love." "Blistered" (later a hit for Johnny Cash) came from Billy Ed Wheeler, also known for writing the folk-rock classic "High Flying Bird," co-writing the Kingston Trio's hit "The Reverend Mr. Black," and co-writing "Jackson" (hit duets for the teams of Johnny Cash & June Carter and Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood), as well as scoring a big country hit on his own with "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back." The second big hit off the LP, however, would be a Terry Kirkman original, though it wasn't even planned as the follow-up to "Along Comes Mary."

As Yester tells it, "We were going to release 'Enter the Young.' The version that I remember was a DJ from Ohio started playing 'Cherish' off of the album, and it went right up the charts in his area. Either the record company said, 'wait a minute, let's rethink this,' or the other version is, [Association manager Patrick] Colecchio convinced the record company to release 'Cherish' instead." It was a wise decision; on September 24, 1966, the single began a three-week run as the #1 song in the nation.
by Richie Unterberger

1. Enter the Young (Terry Kirkman) - 2:04
2. Your Own Love (Jules Alexander, Jim Yester) - 2:02
3. Don't Blame It on Me (Don Addrisi, Dick Addrisi) - 2:03
4. Blistered (Billy Edd Wheeler) - 1:05
5. I'll Be Your Man (Russ Giguere) - 2:04
6. Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer) - 2:05
7. Cherish (Terry Kirkman) - 3:02
8. Standing Still (Ted Bluechel) - 2:04
9. Message of Our Love (Tandyn Almer, Curt Boettcher) - 4:00
10.Round Again (Jules Alexander) - 1:05
11.Remember (Jules Alexander) - 2:03
12.Changes (Jules Alexander) - 2:03

The Association
*Russ Giguere - Vocals, Guitar
*Brian Cole - Vocals, Bass
*Terry Kirkman - Vocals, Brass, Woodwinds
*Jim Yester - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Gary Alexander - Vocals, Guitar
*Ted Bluechel Jr - Vocals, Drums
*Jerry Scheff - Bass

1968  The Association - Birthday (2013 Japan remaster) 
Related Artist
1966  Tandyn Almer - Along Comes Tandyn (2013 digipack release)

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Bossmen - Personally Yours The Complete Anthology (1965-66 us, fantastic garage beat psych, 2014 release)

A treasure trove of rare mid 60s garage rock from the state of Michigan – the complete anthology of local legends The Bossmen! MI was soon to become a breeding ground for some of the most revolutionary rock of the 60s – and while The Bossmen aren't best remembered rockers of the region all these decades later – they really helped lay the groundwork! There's a raw edge, but a melodic style here that's quintessential 60s rock, if you ask us. Guitarist Dick Wagner would go on to play with fellow Michigan rock trailblazer Alice Cooper and other legends, but this earlier work with The Bossmen is really solid, and sounds great all these years later.
Dusty Groove

“I look back on the days of The Bossmen with a sort of reverence. These were my first days of recording my own original songs, entering the concert scene and learning the basic trials of making it in the music business. I get chills even today just thinking back on the two or three block line that formed every time we played our home town venue, Daniel’s Den. The Bossmen were the heroes and purveyors of the primal Rock energy for that angelic group of screaming youth. MAN… those were the days!” —Your Boss man, Dick Wagner
Dick Wagner (R.I.P. December 14, 1942 – July 30, 2014)

1. Take A Look - 1:58
2. It's A Shame - 2:39
3. Thanks To You - 2:44
4. Help Me Baby - 2:47
5. Here's Congratulations - 2:50
6. Bad Girl - 2:27
7. Wait And See - 2:46
8. You're The Girl For Me - 2:04
9. On The Road - 2:45
10.Tina Maria - 2:41
11.Baby Boy - 2:11
12.You And I - 2:08
13.Rainy Day - 2:59
14.Sunshine - 3:16
15.Little Girl - 2:25
16.Easy Way Out - 2:14
17.I Cannot Stop You - 2:44
18.Listen My Girl - 2:30

The Bossmen
*Dick Wagner - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Lanny Roenicke - Bass Guitar, Vocals, Trumpet
*Warren Keith - Piano, Vocals
*Pete Woodman - Drums

1969  The Frost - Frost Music
1969  The Frost - Rock and Roll Music
1970  The Frost - Through The Eyes Of Love

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fat Water - Fat Water (1969 us, fine psych with west coast breeze)

From Chicago, a mix of psych and heavy rock, with good organ and guitars plus the powerful voice of their singer, who was probably influenced by Janis Joplin. This outfit reportedly evolved out of The One Eyed Jacks from Champaign, Illinois.

The vocals are very much of the San Francisco scene of that time and bring the Airplane's Grace Slick immediately to mind. Musically, the vocals are matched with acoustic guitars and swirling organ which gives a country rock feel that flows easily from full tilt boogie to slow blues.
Stephane Rebeschini, Max Waller, Nick Kontogouris

1. I Can Be Happy (Lance Massey) - 2:51
2. Joshua (Steve Sperry) - 4:18
3. Amalynda Guinevere (Lance Massey) - 2:03
4. Gimme Your Sweet (Boris Schneider) - 2:20
5. Guitar Store Song (Lance Massey) - 0:56
6. Only For The Moment (Boris Schneider) - 3:11
7. It’s Not The Same (Lance Massey) - 3:10
8. Wayback (Lance Massey) - 1:31
9. Waiting For Mary (Boris Schneider) - 4:10
10.Mistress De Charmaign (Boris Schneider) - 3:05
11.Santa Anna Speed Queen (Boris Schneider) - 2:07
12.Gotta Get Together (Lance Massey) - 3:19

Fat Water
*Boris Schneider - Bass, Vocals
*Eve – Keyboards
*Lance Massey - Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Millio - Drums, Vocals
*Vicki Hubley - Vocalss

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Edwards Hand - Edwards Hand (1968 uk, elegant psychedelic baroque pop, with direction by George Martin)

In 1968 CBS abandoned the idea of a follow up album for the Picadilly Line and looked instead g for commercial success through singles. When the singles also failed to hit the charts CBS started to lose interest in the band and in the process they lost their direction, innocence and artistic drive. 

Adding a girl singer had confused things further and Roger Hand left the band in despair.  Rod Edwards soldiered on and the group went to Switzerland for an extended period to work and to get their act together. Unfortunately the hoped for new enthusiasm that was to be generated by the excursion did not materialise and a demoralised Picadilly Line returned to England before falling apart.

Sometimes, when all is lost, fate just steps in. The band's manager and friend Jon Miller had been working for Spencer Davis Management and on meeting American manager Lennie Poncher had given him a copy of the Picadilly Line album.  Rod and Roger were out of contract with CBS and since Lennie was looking for English acts he was immediately drawn to the band. 

Lennie not only offered them a US management deal but also immediately secured a record contract with CRT records, a new operation set up by the tape manufacturing conglomerate. Lennie was not typical of American managers. He was honest! He was also well respected in the business - with offices in both Los Angeles and New York .  He was a musician, he cared for music and had worked with a wide range of artists, including the US garage psych-pop legends The Electric Prunes and hip arranger David Axel rod (most notably on the infamous and highly ambitious Mass in F Minor and Release of an Oath albums). 

However he had also represented Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and Donovan. Immaculately dressed, witty and gregarious whilst just oozing credibility, he was the man with connections that Rod and Roger needed. Rod recalls a particularly hilarious time with Lennie in London "Lennie took us out to lunch at the Londonderry Hotel on Park Lane to discuss our future. 

After fifteen minutes when the waiter still hadn't appeared to take our order, Lennie took hold of the edge of the table cloth and with one swift action pulled it from the table so that cutlery, glass and plates went flying everywhere. Immediately a waiter came rushing over to see what the problem was and when he arrived at our table Lennie just calmly pointed at the menu and ordered the meal!" 

Lennie was only interested in the best and through the force of his personality secured the services of George Martin to produce Rod and Roger's new album. This was a unique scenario as they were to be the first group produced by George after the Beatles.  George must have been impressed by the songs as he immediately made the commitment to produce the band whilst he was still involved with recording the Beatles' White Album.

To their utter amazement, Rod and Roger found themselves scheduled at EMI studios in Abbey Road, St. Johns Wood under their new name Edwards Hand, a simple combination of their surnames.  As stated on the sleeve of their eponymous album 'musical direction1 was supplied by George Martin and as musical director George worked closely with the duo planning, pruning, orchestrating, recording and mixing the material. 

Rod Edwards described George Martin's involvement as crucial to the recordings "The album was very much a transition from the softer Picadilly Line material to a bigger orchestral George Martin sound.  At the time he was working on The Beatles' White Album - a lengthy sporadic process - and although he was very discreet he did play a rough mix from a work in progress tape of 'Dear Prudence". In addition to George Martin's involvement Edwards Hand were also fortunate to have the services of legendary engineer Geoff Emerick whose name was synonymous with all the Beatles' recordings. 

Rod described him as a consummate engineer "Recording the Beatles was just part of his repertoire. He had done everything, been everywhere and moreover had come from that peculiarly British school of excellent technical sound balance engineers.  He knew about sound and how to achieve it. You have to remember at that time you didn't just press a button and out comes the New York Philharmonic! 

The album was recorded on a four track machine which really focuses your mind!" Like The Picadilly Line album Edwards Hand's first vinyl output featured a dazzling array of musicians.  Not only had the duo managed to secure the most famous producer and arranger in the world they also attracted the cream of the UK session musicians. 

A veritable who's who of hip sidemen included Barry Morgan and Ronnie Verrall on drums, Danny Thompson on string bass, Vic Flick, Big Jim Sullivan, Colin Green and Alan Parker on guitars, Nicky Hopkins, Roger Coulam, Alan Hawkshaw and Mike Moran on Keyboards and Harry Stoneham on Organ. 

Such a wealth of talent under the direction of George Martin promised at the very least an album of the highest quality and unsurprisingly both Rod and Roger were overawed at the prospect of such an array of top class musical ability performing their compositions.
The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in the summer of 1969 and was released shortly afterwards on the fledging GRT label in the USA, Despite the ificfedible team behind it and the seeming commercial invincibility of the project the choice of label proved to be its Achilles heel.  The reviews were excellent and a buzz was in the air but GRT had moved too soon too fast and they lacked the depth of experience of a major label.

They did not have the promotion, the organisation or quite simply the men hitting the radio stations. Edwards Hand was an album truly deserving of exposure to a wider audience. In today's ipod world 'baroque pop' might well be the closest label of categorization for the duo's debut putting it on play lists alongside albums such as Kaleidoscope's Faintly Blowing, Fairfield Parlour's From Home To Home The Strawbs Dragonfly or Nirvana's All Of Us , Whilst not sharing any creative ideas with those contemporaries what it does share is an English cosy warmth and familiarity that breathes the fresh air of an earlier,  innocent and more carefree musical age. 

Sweeping pastoral string arrangements perfectly counterbalance a pop sensibility adding a certain air of mystery and romanticism.  At times the blend of pop orchestration and melancholy harmony gives the record a Franco-continental feel most evident on the opening 'Banjo Pier' - with its keyboard flourishes and swelling strings -and the haunting elegiac 'Days of Our Life'. At other moments, for example in 'Magic Car1, a harder edge struggles to break through the dense harmonies. 

Whilst the roots of the duo's music can be followed back to the twee beginnings of The Picadilly Line - most evident on 'Characters No. 1',  an infuriatingly catchy piece of swinging mockney - Rod and Roger's music seems to have evolved into a creation totally of it's time whilst also remaining I enchantingly timeless. 'If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind' is the only non-original composition on the record and is a beautiful song,  written and arranged by John Cameron, who had previously produced The Picadilly Line. 

The song has proven to be a particularly poignant footnote to Edward Hand's musical history.  Once again produced by George Martin it was to be a huge hit for Cilia Black in 1969 (and an even bigger one many years later for Agnetha Faltskog of Abba) yet tie irony is that Cilia's label EMI had an option to release the Edwards Hand alburn and the single but failed to do so, giving Cilia a clear run with her version.

Despite the fact that lyrically it works better from the male perspective, EMI could see that Cilia had the advantage of previous hits and a well known UK TV show to propel her recording into the public ear. In retrospect it is evident that the Edwards Hand version is by far superior.  Who knows what might have happened had it gained wider exposure? Unfortunately although Edwards Hand's album garnered critical acclaim in the USA, the GRT label folded almost immediately after release of the alburn taking the band's first steps at a career with it.  Edwards Hand missed their moment and the duos debut failed to even secure a European release. 

1. Banjo Pier - 2:46
2. Friday Hill - 2:37
3. Episodes, Being The First Part - 3:54
4. Close My Eyes - 3:15
5. House Of Cards - 2:13
6. If I thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind (by John Cameron) - 2:39
7. Characters Number One - 3:54
8. Orange Peel - 2:51
9. Sing Along With The Singer - 2:11
10.Magic Car - 3:15
11.Days Of Our Life - 5:37
12.Outta My Mind - 2:34
13.Last Night's Girl - 2:48
14.Loves A Game For One - 2:53
15.Goodbye Girl - 2:31
All songs by Rod Edwards. Roger Hand
Bonus tracks 12-15 recorded as The Handed Down in 1968, direct to acetate.

Edward Hand
*Rod Edwards - Vocals, Keyboards
*Roger Hand - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Guest Musicians
*Barry Morgan, Ronnie Verrall, Clem Cattini - Drums
*Danny Thompson V - String Bass
*Herbie Flowers, Mo Foster, Brian Hodges - Bass
*Vic Flick, Big Jim Sullivan, Colin Green, Alan Parker - Guitars
*Nicky Hopkins, Roger Coulam, Alan Hawkshaw, Mike Moran - Keyboards
*Harry Stoneham - Organ
Musical Direction by George Martin
Produced by George Martin

1967  Picadilly Line - The Huge World Of Emily Small
1970  Edwards Hand - Stranded (Japan remaster edition)

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Memphis Slim And Canned Heat With Memphis Horns - Memphis Heat (1970/73 us, outstanding electric blues rock, 2004 digi pack extra tracks issue)

Memphis Heat documents Chicago blues piano legend Memphis Slim's studio collaborations with the rock group Canned Heat in France on September 18, 1970, and July 11, 1973. The results are tasty indeed. Slim's voice and piano are well matched by Henry Vestine's electric guitar, Canned Heat's rockin' rhythm section, and (on six out of 13 tracks) the Memphis Horns, a solid wind quintet of trumpet, trombone, two tenors, and a baritone sax. Memphis Slim tried on a lot of different styles and instrumental combinations during the 1970s. 

His Canned Heat sessions have been both praised and panned over the years, a state of affairs that often revealed more about the reviewers than the music itself. A fair assessment should take into account the blues and rock scene of the early '70s, the pianist's artistic intentions as he capped a long and eventful career, and perhaps most importantly the positive effect that this music is likely to have upon any listener who loves a good jumpin' electric blues band. 
by Arwulf

1. When I Were Young - 2:43
2. Whizzle - 1:44
3. Boogie Duo - 3:01
4. Black Cat - 3:04
5. Down That Big Road - 3:02
6. Mr Longfinger - 7:03
7. Mother Earth - 3:15
8. You Dont Know My Mind - 6:29
9. Five Long Years (Eddie Boyd) - 5:05
10.Trouble Everwhere I Go - 3:50
11.Paris - 2:14
12.Five Long Years (Alternate) (Eddie Boyd) - 7:29
13.Menphis Heat - 3:55
All songs by Peter Chatman except where stated.

*Memphis Slim - Vocals, Piano
*Richard Hite - Bass
*Alfredo De La Barreta - Bass
*Adolfo "Pito" De La Parra - Drums
*Henry Vestine - Guitar
*James Shane - Guitar
*Joel Scott Hill - Vocals, Guitar
*Andrew Love - Tenor Saxophone
*Ed Logan - Tenor Saxophone
*Jack Hale - Trombone
*James Mitchell - Baritone Saxophone
*Wayne Jackson - Trumpet

1967-73  Canned Heat - The Very Best Of
1968  Canned Heat - Livin The Blues (Akarma edition)
1971  John Lee Hooker And Canned Heat - Hooker 'N' Heat

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Paul Butterfield's Better Days - Live At Winterland Ballroom (1973 us, superb tight blues rock, 2014 issue)

Heady work from Paul Butterfield's second great group – his mighty Better Days ensemble, heard here in a nicely unbridled live set from the early 70s! Paul himself is mighty great on vocals and harmonica – but the group's a very cohesive unit, too – with additional vocals and guitar from Amos Garrett and Geoff Muldaur, organ and piano from Ronnie Barron, and some mighty heavy drums from Billy Rich! The music seems to have even more punch than on some of Butterfield's studio sessions – blues rock, but with a little something extra

1. (Stuck In The) Countryside - 8:10
2. Buried Alive In The Blues (Nick Gravenites) - 3:48
3. Small Town Talk (Bobby Charles, Rick Danko) - 5:21
4. New Walkin Blues (Robert Johnson) - 6:18
5. Broke My Baby's Heart (Ronnie Barron) - 7:18
6. Highway 28 (Rod Hicks) - 4:41
7. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Percy Mayfield) - 5:21
8. He's Got All The Whiskey (Bobby Charles) - 14:11
9. Nobody's Fault But Mine (Nina Simone) - 7:57

Better Days
*Paul Butterfield - Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards
*Geoff Muldaur - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Amos Garrett - Electric Guitar, Vocal
*Ronnie Barron - Vocals, Piano, Organ
*Billy Rich - Bass
*Christopher Parker - Drums

Paul Butterfield's mosaic
1964  The Original Lost Elektra Sessions
1965  The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
1966  East West
1966  East-West  (2014 Audio Fidelity Hybrid SACD) 
1966-68  Strawberry Jam
1967  The Resurrection Of The Pigboy Crabshaw
1968  In My Own Dream
1969  Keep On Moving
1970  Live 
1970  Live Vol.2 
1971  Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin' (2015 Release)
1973  Paul Butterfield's Better Days
1973  It All Comes Back (Japan Edition)
1976  Put It In Your Ear (2015 Edition)

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