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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Various Artists - Brown Acid The Second Trip (1970-78 us / australia, stunning hard heavy rock, 2016 digipak)

Less than a year ago, Brown Acid was released into the wild and took the world by storm. Feedback was so positive from the First Trip, we've decided to provide our loyal listeners with a second dose. Not much has changed since the first volume, except, of course, the band names and the track titles.

Just like the first volume, you'll find a primo cross-section of obscure hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal, all from the 70s. All of of these tracks were recorded in small DIY studios, self-released in minute quantities, overlooked and lost to the sands of time. All of 'em are All-American, save one exception here, the stunning "Midnight Witch" by the Australian group Ash.

All of the original 45s these recordings come from have become serious collector fodder, some of them regularly trading hands for three-figures on the rare occasion that they even come up for sale.
CD Liner-Notes

Artists - Tracks
1. Ash - Midnight Witch (Doug Ford) - 4:06
2. Sweet Crystal - Warlords (Marq Apeck) - 4:30
3. Raving Maniac - Rock N Roll Man (Doug Frasier) - 2:10
4. Crossfield - Take It (Crossfield) - 4:33
5. Spiny Norman - Bell Park Loon (Gerry Diaz, Steve Brudniak) - 4:05
6. Glass Sun - Silence Of The Morning (Rick Roll) - 5:15
7. Volt Rush Band - Love To You (Calvin Rush) - 2:44
8. Buck - Long Hot Highway (Bruce Busboom) - 3:57
9. Iron Knowledge - Show Stopper (Gary Blaylock) - 3:33
10.Sonny Hugg - Daybreak (Rick Zehringer) - 2:56

1969-79  Various Artists - Brown Acid / The First Trip

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Family Of Apostolic - The Family Of Apostolic (1968 us, remarkable texture of hippie folk psych and art rock, 2014 hard sleeve remaster edition)

Apostolic was many things: a label, a collective, a state of mind even. But before all of that, it was a recording studio set up by New Yorker John Townley.

As a member of the Magicians, (you recognize that name from the Nuggets albums), Townley worked in some of the finest studios in the USA, but he felt he was on a conveyor belt. “You had to do the creation ahead of time, which is not my idea of a good time,” he says now. "You had all this stuff to play with, and you weren’t allowed to play with it.” When Townley came into an $85,000 inheritance he immediately invested in a loft building on 10th Street, New York, against the advice of, well, “everybody”. But there were fellow believers. Friends Matt Hoffman and Michael and Danny Weiss, heirs to the Weiss jewelry fortune, helped assemble the studio, which was built to bleeding-edge specifications and even had a 12-track recorder.

Soon, it was attracting likeminded souls such as Frank Zappa, whose Mothers Of Invention recorded several landmark LPs at Apostolic. But the greatest example of the output of this artistic community is the sprawling double LP The Family of Apostolic. A utopian album inspired by global cultures ranging from Pakistani folk songs to Scottish traditional music and Chinese opera, it was made by a cast of 19, bonded by a desire to create “primitive performance art” from surrealist happenings. "The idea of Apostolic was that the whole operation was a family,” says Townley. “Anybody could do anything if they participated.”

Despite the possibilities opened up by the studio and the chance to treat the desk as an instrument, The Family Of Apostolic is nonetheless a folk record at heart, and sounds downright spare in places. The experimentation was there in subtle ways, per Townley’s desire for each song to be “like just a natural happening. We were trying to get a very close, upfront, live feeling.” Released under a deal with Vanguard, the rambling album proved too difficult to market. Singles were released under different artist names, serving only to confuse the public more. Soon the studio was heading down the tubes, thanks in part to Jimi Hendrix’s multi-track studio Electric Lady opening two blocks away. And before long, the Apostolic dream was over.

The album remains a curate’s egg, but one filled with delights. Opening track Redeemer asks, "O say, are you a true believer?” By the time you’ve listened to our deluxe reissue, you will be.

1. Redeemer (John Townley) - 2:03
2. Zoo Song (Gilma Townley) - 2:37
3. Spring Song (John Townley) - 1:55
4. Down The Road (John Townley, Gilma Townley) - 2:37
5. Please Be Mine  (John Townley) - 1:47
6. Did You Like The Party  (Robert Berkowitz) - 2:33
7. Fiddler A Dram  (John Townley, Jay Ungar) - 2:54
8. Bubbling Brook (Instrumental)  (John Townley, Jay Ungar) - 3:25
9. I Won't Be Sad Again  (John Townley) - 2:10
10.Old Grey House  (Robert Berkowitz) - 3:00
11.Dholak Gheet  (Jay Ungar, Lyndon Hardy) - 4:02
12.Doin' A Stretch  (John Townley, Gilma Townley) - 3:15
13.The Lone Pilgrim  (Trad. arr John Townley) - 3:00
14.Water Music (Instrumental)  (John Townley) - 1:40
15.Grotesque Silly Bird  (Gilma Townley) - 5:52
16.Taking Me Home  (Diedre Heather Townley) - 2:34
17.O Splendour  (Arr. David Ames) - 1:14
18.Lilting Lil  (Gilma Townley) - 2:25
19.Mabel's Umbrage (Instrumental)  (Gilma Townley) - 3:59
20.Devil's Yard  (Gilma Townley) - 1:21
21.Personality  (John Townley) - 1:52
22.Saigon Girls (Instrumental) (Alan Gordon, Garry Bonner) - 2:24

*Gilma Townley - Bass, Drums, Fiddle, Harmonium, Organ, Piano, Tambourine
*John Townley - Banjo, Bass, Cover Art, Delruba, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Krummhorn, Mandolin, Photography, Piano, Producer, Rauschpfeife, Vocals
*David Ames - Clarinet
*Genie Ames - Organ, Vocals
*Richard Amster - Bass
*Bob Berkowitz - Organ, Piano
*Jerry Burnham - Bass, Drums, Vocals, Wind
*Cyril Caster - French Horn, Trumpet
*Lyndon Hardy - Tambourine, Vocals
*Travis Jenkins - Saxophone
*Peter Smith - Bass, Oud
*Ellson Standler - Flute
*Deirdre Townley - Harmonium, Vocals
*Jay Ungar - Mandolin, Violin, Vocals

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lisa Miller - Within Myself (1968 us, a vital missing piece to the great jigsaw puzzle of psych pop, 2010 remaster)

There's some sort of pop culture Rorschach test to be constructed around the question of whether a fan of esoteric '60s pop records would be intrigued or thoroughly repelled by the notion of an album of polished pop songs, with overtones of psychedelia and sunshine pop and starring a vocalist who was all of 11 years old when she did the recording sessions. But Lisa Miller wasn't an ordinary child entertainer; she cut some sides for Motown's VIP subsidiary when she was only eight, and by the time she turned 15, she was the voice of Mary Magdalene on the original recording of the Christian rock opera Truth of Truths (interesting casting, that).

 Miller's first album, 1967's Within Myself, is a surprisingly solid and ambitious album from a performer of such a tender age; Miller had a strong, rich voice and sang with a confidence and technique that would be the envy of many artists three times her age. Truth to tell, Within Myself hardly sounds like the work of a little girl, and the slightly gimmicky arrangements on songs like "Mechanical Man" and "Fool on the Hill" (the latter Beatles' cover featuring a truly egregious Moog synthesizer) seem to add a novelty element to the reminder that we're listening to an 11-year-old kid, as songs like "I'll Hit a Lucky Streak" (in which she imagines what dating boys will be like) or "Be Like A Little Child" make clear. Within Myself was produced by Kay Lewis and Helen Lewis (respectively, Lisa's mother and aunt), who also wrote most of the songs, and though a significant share of the material and the arrangements could be politely described as dated (and who suggested that an 11-year-old should cover "White Rabbit"?), the studio band is bold and dynamic on all tracks and Miller's vocals more than keep up with them. 

Canterbury Records, who financed the sessions and released Within Myself, went out of business within a few weeks of the album's release, and the majority of the small press run were used as promotional copies; it's hard to imagine how the album would have fared in the marketplace, given how mature and assured it sounds despite the artist's youth, but fans of vintage pop will find this a fascinating curio from a vocalist who didn't need the gimmick factor of her age to impress a listener.
by Mark Deming

1. To Sir With Love (Don Black, Mark London) - 2:35
2. Little Bird - 3:12
3. Mechanical Man - 2:58
4. Be Like A Little Child - 2:33
5. I'll Hit A Lucky Streak - 2:50
6. Utopia - 3:43
7. White Rabbit (Grace Slick) - 2:11
8. Fool On The Hill (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:28
9. Beggar Boy - 2:53
10.Within Myself - 2:39
11.Love Is - 2:41
12.The Loneliest Christmas Tree - 2:15
All songs by Kay Lewis, Helen Lewis except where stated

*Lisa Miller - Vocals

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Supa - Supa's Jamboree (1971 us, awesome classic rock with country folk traces, 2016 korean remaster)

Richard Supa! I can't say enough about him. Supa is a Brooklyn kid who got his basic training playing guitar in soul bands—often he was the white member -while IK- was attending the University of Miami. He dropped out of school in his junior year and headed hack to \ew York. There he became a member of the Rich Kids-one of those legendary Long Island bands like the Rascals and the Vanilla Fudge—and he stayed for nearly five years.

Over the next couple years, Supa wrote a lot of songs, put together a group that never jelled and spent several months playing one of the leads in the Broadway company of "Hair." Now he has himself a new group. Supa's Jamboree, made up of some very together musicians.

The result is an extremely tight album The musicianship is first rate. They have the power and control to start off quietly on a number and build to a rip roaring finish, one of the things the Stones do so well.

The material, all written by Supa, is varied and consistently good and the singing well that's really something to take notice of- Richard Supa is a singer to he reckoned with. My favorite. “Li’l Jessie”, a hard driver that really sums up the album.
by Phil Flamm

Richard "Richie" Supa (born Richard Goodman in Massapequa Park, New York) is an American songwriter and guitarist best known for his work with Aerosmith and Richie Sambora.

Richard Supa released several albums under his own name, including "Supa's Jamboree" (1971, Paramount 6009), "Homespun" (1972, Paramount PAS 6027), "Lifelines" (1976, Epic PE34277) and "Tall Tales" (1978, Polydor PD-1-6155). Richard's song "Stone County Wanted Man" which appeared on the "Supa's Jamboree" album, was recorded by Johnny Winter for his "Saints and Sinners" album.

A longtime friend of Aerosmith, he has made a number of musical contributions to the band and has offered moral support. He temporarily replaced Joe Perry when he left the band in 1979 until a replacement was found. Additionally, he helped co-write several songs, including the hits "Chip Away the Stone" (1978), "Lightning Strikes" (1982), "Amazing" (1993), and "Pink" (1997), among others.

Supa co-wrote most of the songs on Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora's second solo album Undiscovered Soul. He also wrote the song "Misery" for the album Missundaztood by Pink, on which Aerosmith's singer Steven Tyler  features, and Sambora also collaborated and co-wrote the song "My Interpretation" "Your Sympathy" and "Instant Martyr" from Mika's debut album Life in Cartoon Motion. He also co-wrote "Back on Earth" for singer Ozzy Osbourne.

Supa is now the Director of Creative Recovery at Recovery Unplugged Treatment Center where he uses music to help addicts in recovery.

1. Good Ol' Country Boo - 4:08
2. Zam Pam Poogee - 4:54
3. Burned - 3:22
4. Walk Through Country Sunshine - 4:40
5. Stone Country - Wanted Man - 3:46
6. Unwritten Words - 3:46
7. Li'l Jessie - 3:48
8. For Those Overcome - 5:41
All Songs by Richard Supa

*Richard Supa - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Liberty DeVitto - Drums, Percussion
*Ivan Elias - Bass
*Jonathan Hipps - Keyboards, Organ
*Dean (Ox) Doughtry - Keyboards, Organ
*Howie Emerson - Guitar
*J.R.Cobb- Acoustic Guitar
*Barry Bailey - Electnc Guitar
*Robert Nix - Drums
*Paul Goddard - Bass

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Concept - Invasion (1976-79 canada, exciting hard experimental prog space rock, 2008 remaster)

The Humanist Advent "Concept" brought up from its very beginning by Peter Riden to those days, surges with the released album titled "Concept's invasion".

Peter Riden, leading force of the Humanist Advent and mastering the process of recording the new L.P., is, besides his significant singing, heard on guitars and responsible for: "Concept's invasion", an open declaration of the up coming destiny of "Concept".

Then "Condensed Energy" stunts in its direct lyrical means. And the whole strength of the Humanist Advent Concept is transcribed through the play of the four members with "World of Conviction", on Riden'Star Music.

It has to be underlined at first that although almost every single informator avoided intentionally Peter Riden, some others attempting any discredit on his "Unlimited goals", few at least remained faithfull and honest to his "Concept" and who better than his very friends along with since over six full years. 

They are:
Pier Heiken, whose determination brought him up as one of the finest drummers you can find, so suitable for the group and add him some capabilities on keyboards and soft singing. Then comes Robert C. Schwelb, the keyboard specialist added to his very personal way to sing and a strong contribution on the album with pieces as: "Light to live, Love to give" and his significative "Conquest" as to remind up his publisher label "Conquest Music" related to BMI and PRO copyright.

Also is Marc Ulus playing some strings as bass, guitar, and windwood, meaning flute, sax. His fully six years with Concept, although he is the last acquirance amongst the group, are reflected through the combination of the introductive piece of the album: "What's good, What's bad" and the so called: "Oh! I would like" on the flip side. "Angelyric Music" is his very personal publishing named acquisition and seems to suit him well. So is his singing.

The album completely produced by Concept on their own label "Reveal", is the result of a long and precise work, and it brings a complete new dimension to what used to be music for specific groups, and Concept addresses itself to the whole of human being and beyond.
CD Liner-Notes

1. What's Good, What's Bad (Marc Ulus) - 3:16
2. Light To Live (Love To Give) (Robert C. Schwelb) - 4:40
3. Concept's Invasion (Peter Riden) - 5:06
4. Condensed Energy (Peter Riden) - 5:17
5. Conquest (Robert C. Schwelb) - 11:16
6. Oh! I Would Like (Marc Ulus) - 4:43
7. World Of Conviction (Peter Riden) - 7:02
8. Eliminate The Bill (Bonus) (Peter Riden) - 3:05
9. Pour Une Paveur (Bonus) (Marc Ulus) - 3:26

The Concept
*Marc Ulus - Bass, Guitar, Sax, Flute, Vocals
*Robert C. Schwelb - Keyboards, Vocals
*Peter Riden - Vocals, Guitar
*Pier Heiken - Drums, Keyboards, Vocals

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jimmy Campbell - Jimmy Campbell's Album (1972 uk, wonderful sensitive folk soft rock, 2009 remaster)

Jimmy Campbell's third and final album for Philips, 1972's Jimmy Campbell's Album was a contractual obligation and he spent just one day in a London recording studio laying down 12 songs. With only two microphones, Jimmy's vocals and acoustic guitar were recorded in one session. Musician Michael Snow had appeared with Campbell and Kinsley on Rockin' Horse's superb 1971 power pop-infused album "Yes It Is" and was commandeered by Jimmy's manager Hal Carter to bring these recordings up to release standard.

Snow cleaned up the original master tape and brought in arranger Ron Carthy, and the rhythm section of Billy Kinsley and Stan Gorman, to augment the recordings. Snow would also replace most of Campbell's erratic guitar playing with his own, as well as adding piano, organ, vibraphone and some occasional electric guitar. Campbell would later thank Snow for not "overdoing" the production.

Despite Snow's majestic efforts, the album still has a "demos" feel to it and is a rather subdued and patchy affair in comparison to the previous albums. Songs such as the sparse 'Snow Covered Street', 'Paris, You're In Paris' (which benefits from the overdub of a musette accordian), 'Something In The Wind' and 'It Never Rains But It Pours' do possess a certain ragged charm, but overall this album is recommended to dedicated fans only and is certainly not the place to start for a Jimmy Campbell novice.

The album also includes 'Salvation Army Citadel' (covered by both Sgt. Will Scruffham and Rolf Harris) and 'Baby, Walk Out With Your Darling Man' - a personal favourite of Jimmy's, written about his wife Yvonne, which was recorded to better effect by Rockin' Horse. There are certainly songs here that could have grown into something much better had they been fully realised.

Jimmy Campbell's Album sank with little fanfare or support from Philips and that was Campbell's career pretty much finished. He would continue to write songs and occasionally play with a house band at local Liverpool venues. The Swinging Blue Jeans recorded some of his songs on their 1979 album "Jump N' Jeans", but Campbell would never record for another record label. He passed away in 2007 after suffering with emphysema.

Esoteric mark Jimmy Campbell's musical legacy magnificently with these three sumptuous reissues. The booklets are packed with original artwork, photographs, memorabilia and detailed sleevenotes by Campbell expert Mark A. Johnston. 
by Jim Henderson 

1. By The Light Of A Lamp - 2:40
2. Salvation Army Citadel - 3:04
3. Snow Covered Street - 3:41
4. Paris, You're In Paris - 2:18
5. Darling Sweetheart - 3:11
6. April Morning - 2:41
7. Something In The Wind - 3:04
8. Maudie - 3:14
9. Baby, Walk Out With Your Darling Man - 4:29
10.It's Just Like A Girl - 3:03
11.It Never Rains But It Pours - 2:10
12.When You're Coming Home - 3:51
Words ans Music by Jimmy Campbell

*Jimmy Campbell - Vocals, Guitar
*Michael Snow - Piano, Organ
*Stan Gorman - Drums
*Billy Kinsley - Bass, Backing Vocals

1969  Jimmy Campbell - Son Of Anastasia (2009 remaster bonus track issue)

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