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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mephistopheles - In Frustration I Hear Singing (1969 us, remarkable classic acid tinged psych rock, 2009 issue)

Taking its name from 16th century Faustian legend—Mephistopheles was the devil to whom Faust sold his soul—this six-piece outfit emerged from the psychedelic underground and recorded one album, the strangely titled In Frustration I Hear Singing. This 12-song lp, lost and found from the vaults of Reprise Records, is prototypical late ‘60s psychedelia, a musical exercise in odd song titles (“The Cricket Song,” “The Girl Who Self-Destroyed”), bizarre lyrical content (“Listen to the crickets/listen everyday/listen to the crickets/tell me what they say”) and awkward rock instrumentation (“Do Not Expect a Garden” features a trumpet; “Vagabond Queen” is saddled with a flute). 

Mephistopheles features an expert ensemble of skilled musicians with a strong sense of melody. The guitar work, especially on songs like “Dead Ringer” and the title track, is particularly impressive. Guitarist Fred Tackett has been a member of Little Feat since 1988. 

1. Take A Jet (Mephistopheles) - 2:37
2. Collections (Steven Simone) - 2:18
3. Dead Ringer (Steven Simone) - 3:17
4. Vagabond Queen (Fred Tackett) - 2:48
5. Do Not Expect A Garden (Steven Simone) - 3:46
6. In Frustration I Hear Singing (Fred Tackett) - 2:39
7. Make Up Your Mind (Fred Tackett) - 3:08
8. Searching In The Night (Fred Tackett, Gordon Grant) - 2:08
9. The Cricket Song (Daryl Burch, Fred Tackett) - 3:01
10.Sleeping Deeply (Steven Simone) - 3:20
11.The Girl Who Self Destroyed (Bob Siller) - 3:27
12.Elizabeth (Bob Siller, Gordon Grant) - 4:00

*Daryl Burch - Drums
*Gordon Grant - Organ, Piano
*Skip Mosher - Bass, Flute
*Bob Siller - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Steven Simone - Guitar, Vocals
*Fred Tackett - Guitar, Piano, Trumpet, Vocals

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Chambers Brothers - Feelin' The Blues (1970 us, wondrous rhythm and blues, 2012 remaster)

Musical siblings George Chambers (bass/vocals), Willie Chambers (guitar/vocals), Lester Chambers (harmonica/vocals), and Joe Chambers (guitar/vocals) were raised on rural gospel in their native Mississippi before switching over to folk and then soulful blues and R'n';B-fueled rock. The Chambers Brothers' recordings issued by the Los Angeles-based Vault label were nearly four years old when Feelin' the Blues hit the streets in 1970. 

The band's style had changed quite drastically from old-school blues, soul, and pop to the longer psychedelic jams heard on their international hit "Time Has Come Today." Although the mixture of live and studio selections gives the collection an odds-and-sods vibe, several of the performances are among the best of the Vault Records-era material. Somewhat contrasting with the album's title, the Chambers actually cover a wide spectrum of music on Feelin' the Blues. Their roots can be heard throughout the flawless interpretation of the sacred standards "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and the excellent "Travel on My Way." Similarly, the midtempo reading of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" offers the Chambers an opportunity to subtly return to their gospel origins with call-and-response backing harmonies. 

The proceedings are far from being pious, however, as the quartet harmonizes the chorus of "Too Fat Polka" during one of the instrumental breaks. Perhaps wishing to remove some of the sting from the real storyline, the reworking of "House of the Rising Sun" -- according to the spoken introduction -- is told from the point of view of the receptionist (huh?) at the infamous bordello. Had The Chambers Brothers decided on a more straightforward translation, the song could easily have been one of the album's best. Other tunes worth spinning include a version of Bobby Parker's "Blues Get Off My Shoulder" -- in a longer form than on 1968's The Chambers Brothers Shout! -- and the comparatively brief but effective update of the jazzy "Undecided." 
by Lindsay Planer

1. Girls, We Love You (Lester Chambers) - 3:25
2. I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) - 6:35
3. House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) - 6:05
4. Don't Lose Your Cool (Joe Chambers) - 1:48
5. Just A Closer Walk With Thee (P.D.) - 5:230
6. Blues Get Off My Shoulder (B. Parker) - 3:18
7. Travel On My Way - 4:05
8. Undecided (C. Shavers, S. Robin) - 3:06

The Chambers Brothers
*George Chambers - Bass
*Joe Chambers - Guitar, Vocals
*Lester Chambers - Harmonica, Vocals
*Willie Chambers - Guitar, Vocals

1967  The Chambers Brothers - The Time Has Come
1969  The Chambers Brothers - Love, Peace and Happiness

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The John Dummer Blues Band - The Lost Album (1973 uk, exceptional classic rock with blues stains, 2008 issue)

The John Dummer Blues Band's reputation as one of those groups that hung forever on the cusp of a major step forward, but never quite made it over the top, is one of those odd little injustices with which the British blues scene forever prickles. 

There is simply no way of judging why one band made it while another failed to crackle, but Dummer and company were unluckier than most and, by 1973, their fortunes had reached rock bottom. Vertigo, their home for two albums, was about to let them go as part of the company-wide purge that so devastated what had once been one of Britain's most visionary record labels -- and when the bandmembers returned to the studio, it was in the knowledge that they had one last chance to convince the bigwigs to keep them on board. They should have succeeded, too. The result is a pièce de résistance, a sparkling album that not only packs some of the band's best ever recordings, but also boasts one of their strongest ever lineups: organist Colin Earl and guitarists Dave Kelly and Pete Emery, a rhythm section of Ian Thompson and Pick Withers, and, on saxophone, the legendary Graham Bond. But somehow it all slipped through the cracks. 

Within a year, Bond was dead; this may well have been his last ever recording session, a manic four-day span that saw no less than 11 tracks kicked out, and then abandoned. Before that, though, Vertigo did indeed pass on the album, and attempts to land a U.S. deal via the Foghat connection (Colin Earl, of course) were doomed to failure. The tapes were shelved, the band broke up, and it would be 35 years before anybody ever thought to give them another listen. Now, however, they are where they belong, on the streets and still sparkling as brilliantly as the best of the Dummer band ever did. 
by Dave Thompson

1. LA Lady - 2:39
2. Sunny Wine Song - 3:17
3. Short Haul Line - 3:15
4. Reach For Me - 4:29
5. Goin' Home - 3:51
6. Bad Dream - 6:19
7. Good Rockin' Man - 4:01
8. Undying Love - 5:15
9. Who's Foolin' Who - 5:40
10.Stealin' - 2:31
11.Keep It In My Mind - 7:19

The John Dummer Blues Band
*Pick Withers - Drums
*Ian Thompson - Bass
*Dave Kelly - Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Pete Emery - Guitar
*Colin Earl - Keyboards
*Graham Bond - Saxophone
*John Dummer - Percussion, Vocals

1969  John Dummer Blues Band - Cabal / John Dummer Band (2010 remaster)
Related Acts
1965  The Graham Bond Organisation - The Sound Of '65 / There's A Bond Between Us
1970  Graham Bond - Holy Magick (Vinyl Edition)
1972  Bond And Brown - Two Heads Are Better Than One (2009 remaster)
1971  Spring - Spring (Akarma edition)
1972  Spring - 2 (Japan remaster)

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Circus - Circus (1973 us, remarkable blend of folk psych jam rock with west coast view and glam whisper)

Circus was originally formed in 1969 as "Sound Street" in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. They played bars and college dances in Central Wisconsin, specializing in their own particular variety ot blues and rock. Sound Street included Fred Omernik on keyboards. Wayne Kostroski on bass, Gary Konkol on guitar. Randy Glodowski on guitar, and Al Crowe on drums. 

Their blend of four-part vocal harmonies and double guitar leads were a featured attraction of the band In 1970. Circus signed with North Central Productions, later known as McMillan and Clary Talent. Circus hired Ray Cyr to replace Al Crowe on drums and moved to Madison. Wisconsin to expand their territory and investigate a recording career.

Soon the band was playing regularly at Madison bars such as Snoopy's Dewey's, and the Church Key. at times opening for regional and national acts such as The James Gang, Rotary Connection, Ben Sidran, the Siegel- Schwall Band, Ted Nugent, and Muddy Waters Circus played at the lola Rock Fest in 1971. which was Wisconsin's version of Woodstock, also referred to as "Woodtick Nation." Circus shared the stage at the lola Rock Fest with such national and international acts as: Ravi Shankar, Buddy Rich, Iggy Pop. Terry Reid, and Siegel Schwall Circus was also one of the first bands to consistently play at Milwaukee's Summerfest.

As their popularity grew. Circus began traveling to such locales as Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia,. Tennessee and the entire Midwest. Their venues included bars, colleges, military academies, band shells, a river boat, and auditoriums. In 1972 disaster struck when guitar player/singer Gary Konkol was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer, and Circus reluctantly had to replace him His death in 1973 left both an emotional and musical hole in the group Respected Wisconsin blues man Mike Richson joined the group in 1973, and Circus once again began their almost constant travels. 

Rocker Gunnar Antell replaced Mike Richson for a short period of time, as the band searched for the perfect musical combination Circus hired versatile Brett Peterson on guitar and recorded an album in 1973 at American Music Studios in Sauk City with Corky Siegel as a producer. The album was mixed down at Paragon Studios in Chicago, and was released in 1974. The band toured the country in support of the album, where it was well received in the South, West, and Northeast Jim Ash replaced Ray Cyr on drums in 1974, and Terry Knoll replaced Brett Peterson on guitar in 1975. 

With the new lineup Circus recorded a single at a studio in Schaumburg Illinois with the plan that the two original songs would form the basis for a second album The band continued writing originals and toured extensively A demo was recorded with an eye towards a second album At that same time. Circus continued opening for such groups as Styxx. B.B. King. Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Eric Carmen and the Raspberries. Hot Tuna. John Sebastian. Firefall. Bonnie Bramlett, and the Amazing Rhythm Aces

By 1976, Circus had been touring almost constantly for seven years. By this time, the band was managing and booking itself. Although some contacts were made, no one appeared immediately interested in backing a second album tor the band In November of 1976, the band decided to call it quits and played their last gigs at the University of Wisconsin and the Bronco Bar in Chanhassen. Minnesota.

Although the early lineup of Circus used guitar/organ based instrumentation, they began to experiment with synthesized sound in the early 1970's. They were one of the first Madison bands to add strings and brass to their arrangements, and their distinctive sound is still fondly remembered by many of their fans. From the sounds of the B3. Circus moved on to the Clavinet and the Moog. Their excellent vocals, high quality guitar and keyboards, ability to write both love songs and songs with humor and insight, and great stage presence ensured crowds wherever they played Virtually all of the songs you hear on this album were performed live by the band between 1973 through 1976. 

It is difficult to comprehend a twenty-minute version of "Old Age" unless one is standing in the crowd. Nevertheless, it was an experience, to say the least! "Fat Boogie Mama" was another crowd favorite, and served as an excellent counterpoint to Ray Davies' "Skin and Bones." Circus was a force to be reckoned with in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The national music scene didn't extend all the way to Madison, Wisconsin, however. But Circus played to enough audiences during their 300 gig/year, seven year career to touch many fans. Whether it was a bar full of 250 revelers or an auditorium with several thousand fans. Circus got their message across.
by Randy Glowdowski,Oregon, Wisconsin, December, 2000

1. Fat Boogie Mama (Fred Omernik) - 4:09
2. You to Me (Wayne Kostroski) - 4:21
3. Let Me Tell You (Randy Glodowksi) - 4:12
4. Skin and Bones (Ray Davies) - 3:53
5. Arrow (Randy Glodowksi) - 3:31
6. Travlin' Blues (Randy Glodowksi) - 2:45
7. Old Age (Larry Leishman, Duke Edwards) - 12:58
8. C'mon If You're Comin' (Brownie McGhee)
9. I'm Walkin' (Fred Omernik) - 3:19
10.Bar Room Wiggy (Randy Glodowksi) - 3:39

*Brett Peterson - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Banjo, Dobro
*Randy Glodowksi - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric guitars
*Fred Omernik - Vocals, Piano, Clavinet, Organ, Synthesizer
*Wayne Kostroski - Vocals, Bass
*Ray Cyr - Drums, Congas, Percussion

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Marshall Tucker Band - Way Out West, Live From San Francisco (1973 us, fantastic southern jam rock, 2010 remaster)

Of all the band's on Phil Walden's Capricorn label during the heyday of Southern rock in the 1970s, The Marshall Tucker Band came closest to The Allman Brothers in its ability to write memorable material and improvise with a real sense of adventure. Way Out West: Live in San Francisco 1973, forcefully illustrates the band's virtues.

MTB distinguished itself even further from its forebears by its eclectic mix of influences. Blues was no more or less important than country music, as evinced in the opening "Hillbilly Band," or traditional jazz, motifs of which become most apparent when Jerry Eubanks is playing flute or saxophone, as he does on "24 Hours at a Time." Vocalist/songwriter Toy Caldwell's lead guitar style mixed all those elements when he takes the spotlight as on "Every Day I Have the Blues" or when the group jams as a unit.

And it's these latter moments, here best exemplified by the way the sextet stretches out on "Take the Highway" and "Can't You See," that Marshall Tucker truly excels. Granted the group's interplay isn't as sophisticated as The Allmans—holding, as it does, too closely to chord change repetition—but its grasp of dynamics, grounded in the splendid rhythm section comprised of drummer Paul Riddle and bassist Tommy Caldwell (sibling of Toy), is impeccable. And the drive of MTB's collective motion never flags, thanks as well to George McCorkle's insistent rhythm guitar work.

As demonstrated on "Another Cruel Love," vocalist Doug Gray's voice is as much an attraction in the MTB sound as the songs and the jams. He not only adds a gospel element to this heady mix, as on "Ramblin,'" but his full-throated singing is no mere precursor or mere afterthought to the improvisational interludes; instead, it's a bona fide attention-getter on its own terms.

Recorded at famed rock impresario Bill Graham's Winterland, Way Out West was compiled and produced by Gray, who leads a realigned ensemble under the Marshall Tucker name today. It contains the bulk of MTB's debut album plus the highlights of the second album, A New Life (Capricorn, 1974), yet to be released at the time of this concert and, bereft of the sometimes superfluous production touches, presenting the group with an aggressive edge in its playing that's missing from its more relaxed studio work. The sleek sound production features just enough definition to highlight the distinctive instrumental lineup individually and collectively.

The Marshall Tucker Band never descended into the generic Dixie rock, even later in its career after the death of bassist Caldwell, when its approach became more conventionally structured. Live in San Francisco 1973 is a brilliant document of the group's glory days that will gratify fans and may even alter the preconceptions about Southern rock for those not inclined to hear the genre with open ears.
by Doug Collette

1. Hillbilly Band - 4:05
2. Another Cruel Love - 4:33
3. Take The Highway - 8:11
4. Can't You See - 6:29
5. See You Later, I'm Gone - 3:30
6. Ramblin' - 5:50
7. Everyday (I Have The Blues) (Peter Chatman) - 13:59
8. 24 Hours At A Time - 8:28
All compositions by Toy Caldwell except where stated

The Marshall Tucker Band
*Tommy Caldwell - Bass
*Toy Caldwell - Lead Guitar
*George McCorkle - Rhythm Guitar
*Paul Riddle - Drums
*Jerry Eubanks - Flute
*Doug Gray  - Vocals

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

String Driven Thing - Live On The Foxtrot Tour (1973 uk, fine prog folk rock)

The classic early 70s String Driven Thing line up of Chris Adams guitar and vocals, Pauline Adams vocals and percussion, Colin Wilson bass, and Grahame Smith violin (Hamill/Van der Graaf) recorded on the Foxtrot Tour with Genesis. String Driven Thing were signed to Charisma Records 40 years ago in 1972 already having issued one album.

In fact, their second Charisma album ( and third release in historic terms) The Machine That Cried - originally released 1973- has since been acclaimed not, merely, String Driven Thing’s masterpiece, but one of the finest progressive rock albums of the entire era – its reissue a couple of years back on the British Ozit label was widely heralded as among the most intelligent re-releases of recent years. They are back again with this new CD 40 years later on the anniversary of them signing to Charisma.

On Dec 12th 1972, as Pauline Adams of String Driven Thing passed through customs at JFK Airport, in her suitcase was a full length orange dress. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but the dress in question actually belonged to Peter Gabriel, to be worn at the climax of Genesis’ Foxtrot set which they were about to debut in New York’s Philharmonic Hall. For both bands, this was a first visit to the States, but whilst Genesis were classic Charisma Prog Rock, String Driven Thing were far harder to pigeonhole. Drummerless, and with a virtuoso lead violinist, they had just released their eponymous album to enthusiastic reviews and their first single “Circus” was already a turntable hit, so there was a real buzz in the city about both bands. On the night, the auditorium was packed and, unusually for a support band, the Thing were brought back for a rapturous encore.

Listening to this free blowing high octane set forty years on, it’s easy to see why. Fast forward six weeks, and the UK leg of the Foxtrot tour is due to start at London’s Rainbow, only in the interim, frontman Chris Adams has suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and is rushed to hospital, where Doctors recommend that he take four weeks rest to let his lung reflate. But unwilling to drop out of the impending tour, Chris elects for the alternative treatment which, in his words involved “watching a brace and bit being used to drill a hole through my chest”.

14 days later, and against doctors’ advice, the band took to the Rainbow stage and, although understandably not being quite at their best, in the following gigs, including Manchester Free Trade Hall where this recently unearthed recording was made, the band performed sets with such stunning energy that multiple encores became the norm. Just listen to the 16 minute version of Jack Diamond and Graham Smith’s incredible virtuosity as he swoops and weaves around the hypnotic groove of Chris’ guitar, Pauline’s percussion and Colin Wilson’s subtly syncopated bass, and I think you’ll agree with me that Ozit has rediscovered a lost masterpiece.

1. Let Me Down - 6:04
2. Then I Met The Lady - 6:21
3. My Real Hero - 4:13
4. Regent St Incident - 4:27
5. Circus - 7:57
6. Hooked On The Road - 4:49
7. Jack Diamond - 14:13
Music and Lyrics by Chris Adams

String Driven Thing 
*Grahame Smith - Violin
*Pauline Adams - Vocals, Percussion
*Colin Wilson - Bass
*Chris Adams - Vocals, Guitar

1968-72  String Driven Thing - The Early Years
1972/74  String Driven Thing / Please Mind Your Head
1973  The Machine That Cried (Japan remaster)
1975  Keep Yer 'And On It

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Brazda Brothers - The Brazda Brothers (1973 canada / slovakia, magnificent acid folk psych)

By the early 70’s Slovakia-born brothers Bystrik and Andy Brazda had relocated to Ontario, Canada in search of greener pastures. Shortly after settling down in their new home they began writing music together. Canadian owned Dominion Records released their first and only lp, The Brazda Brothers, in 1974. Rumour has it that the brothers laid the entire album to tape in a marathon six hour session at RCA Studios in Toronto. Marathon session or not, The Brazda Brothers is one of the finest psych-folk lps ever pressed to wax.

The first track, “Walking Into the Sun”, sets the warm and peaceful pace that permeates the album when a lightly strummed acoustic guitar gives way to a gentle soft-psych tune that comfortably slinks by–full of melodic, wistful vocals, crystal clear electric guitar, thumpy tubby drums, and a wonderful appearance by what sounds to be a calliope, but is credited as a Cordovox–the same keyboard that shows up frequently to add its unique touch to much of the record. Right off the bat it’s clear that the brothers had a vision to share and they do so in an innocent, heartfelt way. This homegrown feel sets their record apart from the pack, earning it a place at the table with other lost classics of the era.

“Share With Love” is an upbeat number that encourages the listener to consider the needs of their fellow brothers and sisters. With its reverb drenched guitar and minor key refrain this tune has an almost garage flavored folk-rock sound, and its slightly eerie vibe adds a different taste to the record and shows a different side of the brothers’ sound. Midway through the album the brothers turn the volume up a bit with “Gemini”. Complete with gloriously fuzzed-out electric guitar and an almost-boiling Hammond Organ that adds something exotic to the mix, this tune definitely delivers in the psych category and comes out as one of finest cuts on this collection. The entire song has a subtle Eastern-European vibe that becomes most apparent when the brothers harmonize on the refrain. On the next track, “Nature”, Andy dreams of a carefree life spent living in the country, singing “the sun will shine all day/Mother nature will be our neighbor”. Reminiscent of “Hello Sunshine” and other tunes off of the Relatively Clean Rivers lp, this song has a great late sixties soft-psych vibe as well as a catchy chorus, and continues the acid-rural-pastoral-folk vibe that begins with the album opener.

“Lonely Time” is a beautifully sad little gem that finds Andy again longing for the peace and serenity of a home surrounded by nature and the familiar faces of friends and loved ones. In 2008 Panda Bear of Animal Collective fame payed tribute to these Slovak brothers when he released a remix of The Notwist’s “Boneless” that uses the opening riff of “Lonely Time” to fine effect.

The only criticism of this album is that several of the songs, such as “My Little Girl” and “Nature” have a very similar sound. However, it’s hard for it to bother you when it’s such a great sound! In the end, the pure and honest nature of the album along with the wonderfull vibe trumps any criticism.

The Brazda Brothers is a great album that stands shoulder to shoulder with other similar sounding lost classics of the time such as Relatively Clean Rivers, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact, and Jim Sullivan’s UFO. With their laid-back attitude, sunny rural vibe, and unique voices, the brothers crafted the perfect album for a lazy summer afternoon full of good vibes. As you’ve already guessed, original copies are rare, and sell for a very pretty penny when they do pop up. Hallucination CDs out of New Jersey re-released the album on cd with a limited pressing of 1,000 copies, and Void Records has reissued the album on vinyl. Pick up a copy while they’re still available!
by D.A. Glasebrook

1. Walking The Sun - 3:00
2. 20th Century - 4:07
3. Blooming Flowers - 4:11
4. Share With Love - 2:44
5. My Little Girl - 2:54
6. Calm River - 2:38
7. Gemini - 3:39
8. Nature - 3:05
9. Civilization - 2:58
10.Soldier In The Battleground - 2:28
11.Lonely Time - 2:11
12.Your Kingdom - 4:11
All songs by Brazda Brothers

*Andy Brazda - Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Bystrik Brazda - Acoustic Guitar
*Vinston Dookie - Congas
*Fred O'Quinn - Guitar
*Vince Romano - Accordion
*Jim Skriboleit - Drums
*Mac Babb - Bass

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Quinaimes Band - The Quinaimes Band (1971 us, great rural psych classic rock with acid drops, 2008 edition)

US band formed and recorded their self titled album in New York City, musically the were a crossline between Byrds, Neil Young, Al Kooper, C. C. Revival and Steppenwolf.

Members were Kenny Pine (Fugs), Danny Mansolino and Mike Rosa (from The Myddle Class), Dave Palmer as vocalist who also played with The Myddle Class, he may have had the biggest success as an early vocalist with Steely Dan.

Jerry Burnham was band's fiddler he worked with acts like, The Strangers, James Taylor and the Flying Machine, Jake and the Family Jewels, The Fifth Ave. Band. Album included collaborations of some great session musicians such as Danny Kortchmar, Richard Greene among others.

1. Try Me One More Time (David Bromberg) - 3:37
2. Look To Yourself (Danny Mansolino, David Palmer) - 3:43
3. Green Rolling Hills Of West Virginia (Bruce Phillips) - 4:08
4. Visions Of Johanna (Bob Dylan) - 4:34
5. Don't Take No (Danny Mansolino, Dave Palmer) - 3:34
6. Love Brings The Best Out In A Man (Gus Andrews) - 3:30
7. Don't Knock (Roebuck "Pops" Staples, Wesley Westbrook) - 2:46
8. Tell Me What You See From There (Danny Mansolino, David Palmer) - 6:19
9. Queequeg (Danny Mansolino, David Palmer) - 4:09
10.Falling Star (Danny Mansolino, David Palmer) - 5:54

The Quinaimes Band
*David Palmer - Vocals
*Jerry Burnham - Bass, Fiddle, Vocals
*Danny Mansolino - Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Kenny Pine - Guitar, Vocals
*Mike Rosa - Drums
Guest Musicians
*Richard Greene - Fiddle, Violin
*Richard Grando - Saxophone
*Allan "Jake" Jacobs - Guitar
*Danny Kortchmar - Guitar
*Daniel Ben Zebulon - Drums, Congas
*Bill Keith - Pedal Steel Guitar

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Atlantis - Live In The Fabrik (1975 germany, exceptional tough blues rock, 2008 remaster and expanded)

"After three LPs, two singles and countless concerts in Germany and abroad German popfans' favorite child has gone at the age of almost three years. The cause of death were musical differences".

In an obituary the highly recommended rock band Frumpy said farewell in August 1972. But at the same time the musicians announced their comeback under a different name. And they kept their promise: Even before the last album "Frumpy live" was released, singer Inga Rumpf, keyboardist Jean-Jacques Kravetz and bassist Kart-Heinz Schott joined with drummer Curt Cress and guitarist Frank Diez. They founded a new band called Atlantis. In a letter to "Atlantis Scout" Inga Rumpf recalled the reasons for the new name.

"Dear Mr. Thorwald Franke, I have been very interested in the myth of the sunken continent. That is why I called my band Atlantis. I really believe that Atlantis lay near the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean 'behind the columns of Hercules', as Plato wrote. The sea bottom is at risk of an earthquake, and it is possible that Atlantis sunk because of a disaster. All the best, Inga Rumpf." (

Indeed, the legendary sunken continent has inspired the fantasy of numerous artists, writers, painters and film directors from the ancient days to present. Just like the Greek philosopher Plato (427 to 347 B.C.) many other authors like E.T.A. Hoffmann, Michael Ende and even cartoonist Walter Moers wrote about Atlantis. In 1962 Atlantis was mentioned in an episode of the Perry Rhodan series. In 2001 the Disney production "The Lost Empire" was launched, including a new version of Donovan's hit "Atlantis", a world wide hit originally released in 1968.

With a well known name like this the quintet had to deal with high expectations, but Atlantis could not only take on Frumpy: The new band even outnumbered the success of the predecessor. After finishing the debut album the new band toured Great Britain as a support for Procol Harum and Traffic - "Let's Get On The Road Again" was one of their songs. In spite of the success the line-up changed for the second album: Frank Diez and Curt Cress left the band, and Dieter Bornschlegel and Ringo Funk replaced them on guitar and drums. "It's Getting Better" was a motto in 1973. 

But while the popularity of the group increased, the struggles behind the scenes did not end. Jean-Jacques Kravetz left, Reiner Schnell joined for a short period and then Adrian Askew became the new keyboardist. Alex Conti replaced replaced  Dieter Bornschlegel on guitar. 

Surprisingly all those changes did not do any harm, Inga Rumpf stayed the undisputable centre of Atlantis. Looking back she says: "It was a continuous enhancement: In the beginning I played concerts in Germany with The City Preachers, with Frumpy I went to England and Atlantis toured America in 1975!".

The same year, on the peak of the career Atlantis released the double album "Live", recorded at the "Fabrik" in Inga's hometown Hamburg. The opening track is a kind of central thread for the music and the meaning: "Friends" was played ever since when Inga and her friends met again. This live recording proves brilliantly the development from the City Preacher to the "Rock 'n' Roll Preacher".
by Uli Kniep, December 2008

1. Friends (Inga Rumpf) - 8:29
2. Ooh Baby (Alex Conti, Inga Rumpf) - 3:54
3. Somewhere (Adrian Askew, Alex Conti) - 5:51
4. It's getting Better (Inga Rumpf) - 6:52
5. Waiting And Longing (Inga Rumpf) - 3:41
6. Brother (Inga Rumpf) - 5:34
7. Rock'n' Roll Preacher (Frank Diez) - 4:09
8. New York City (Adrian Askew) - 3:58
9. Mr. Bigshot (Adrian Askew, Alex Conti) - 5:53
10.Mainline Florida (George Terry) - 6:21
11.Godfather (Adrian Askew, Alex Conti) - 3:33
12.Going To The Country (Inga Rumpf) - 5:14
13.Rock Me Baby (Traditional) - 4:38
14.Leave It To The Devil (Adrian Askew) - 4:09

*Inga Rumpf - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
*Karl Heinz Schott - Bass
*Ringo Funk - Drums, Percussion
*Alex Conti - Guitar, Vocals
*Adrian M. Askew - Keyboards, Vocals

1972 Atlantis - Atlantis
Related Act
1970  Frumpy - All Will Be Changed (2008 remaster with extra tracks)
1971  Frumpy - Frumpy II
1972  Frumpy - By The Way

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Atlantis - Atlantis (1972 germany, remarkable hard blues rock, with prog, jazz funk tinges, 2008 digipack remaster with bonus track)

Atlantis was not only the name of the legendary island, the famous Greek author Plato mentioned, but also the name of a band formed by ex-Frumpy musicians Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott, in late Summer, 1972. The initial line-up included guitarist Frank Dietz and ex-Emergency drummer Curt Cress (later with Triumvirat, Passport). 

The band played a few live gigs in Germany before they recorded their debut in London's Island Studios. The US magazine, Cash Box, compared Atlantis with the Doobie Brothers and praised Inga Rumpf's blues-tinged voice. Shortly before the group went on a four week tour of England with Procol Harum, Traffic, Vinegar Joe and the Sharks, Cress and Dietz left and were temporarily supplanted by Udo Lindenberg and George Meier. After the tour, Atlantis recruited Dieter Bornschlegel (ex-Traumtorte) on guitar and Ringo Funk (ex-Jeronimo) on drums as new permanent members. 

Rumpf and Kravetz remained the artistical nucleus of the band. Said Kravetz: "Inga determines this band like Rod Stewart & the Faces, her voice makes our image." Atlantis' second album "It's Getting Better" was even more determined by Inga Rumpf's preference for black rhythms: "I always took a special liking in blues, jazz and soul music, and, since I'm writing most of the songs, this influence is decisive in our music."  Melody Maker "recommended" the second album and Sounds attested the band to be "the most English of all German groups". 

After the gig at the Paris' Olympia, Atlantis went, again, on a four week tour of England, which included a performance at the rock show, "Old Grey Whistle Test". During this tour, Kravetz left the band and had to be hastily replaced by Rainer Schnelle (ex-Family Tree). 

At the end of 1973, Atlantis was among Germany's three most popular German rock groups, according to a Musikmarkt poll. 

Half a year later, the line-up changed again. Schnelle and Bomschlegel were replaced by English keyboarder Adrian Askew and ex-Curly Curve guitarist Alex Conti. 

Both were featured on the third LP "Ooh Baby". Seven of the ten songs were written by Askew/Conti, while Rumpf only had three of her compositions on the album.  The result was a "spicy funk album" (Musik Express) with a "bunch of Germany's best soul" (Sounds). 

Atlantis was at its best on stage, which was proved by a double album recorded live at the Hamburg Fabrik from 1973 - 1975. 

In Summer 1975, Atlantis went on tour in the States, mostly as opener for Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the tour, guitarist Alex Conti was fired and went on to play with Lake. The new line-up was completed with former guitarist Frank Dietz and as second guitarist Rainer Marz. 

The rockier American influence was noticable on Atlantis' fourth LP "Get On Board", but the LP and the following tour failed to have commercial success. Concequently, Inga Rumpf and Karl-Heinz Schott announced their departure in January 1976. 

After the split, the album "Top Of The Bill" with unreleased studio recordings from December 1975 and March 1976 was released. On February 23, 1983, the original line-up reunited for a revival concert in the Hamburg Fabrik and received

1.Get It Up (Inga Rumpf) - 5:24
2.Big Brother (Inga Rumpf) - 5:07
3.Rock 'n' Roll Preacher (Frank Diez)  - 3:42
4.Maybe It's Useless (Jean Jacques Kravetz, Inga Rumpf) - 3:41
5.Let's Get on the Road Again (Inga Rumpf) - 3:33
6.Living at the End of Time (Frank Diez) - 9:07
7.Words of Love (Frank Diez, Inga Rumpf) - 4:52
8.Mainline Florida (Bonus Track) (George Terry) - 2:59

*Inga Rumpf - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
*Frank Diez - Guitar
*Jean Jacques Kravetz - Keyboards
*Karl Heinz Schott - Bass, Vocals
*Curt Cress -  Percussion, Drums
Guest Musicians
*Rainer Baumann - Guitar
*Rebop Kwaku Baah - Percussion, Conga
*Jackie Diez -  Background Vocals
*Carsten Bohn Bandstand - Drums
*Jean Roussel - Keyboards
*Claire - Vocals

Related Act
1970  Frumpy - All Will Be Changed (2008 remaster with extra tracks)
1971  Frumpy - Frumpy II
1972  Frumpy - By The Way

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