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


Friday, March 31, 2017

Sweet Stavin Chain - Sweet Stavin Chain (1970 us, sensational psych blues brass roots 'n' roll, 2016 korean remaster)

Geez, its amazing how many horn bands seemed to have been given a chance to record in the wake of Blood, Sweat and Tears late- 1960s commercial breakthrough. An eight man outfit, Sweet Stavin Chain were one of Philadelphia's contributions to the wave of late- 1960s/early 1970s horn-bands.

Signed by Atlantic's newly formed Cotillion subsidiary, the band's 1970 debut "Sweet Stavin Chain" was recorded in New York. Produced by Shel Kagan the set's professional, but not exactly boldly original. A mix or originals and cover material, tracks such as Take a Minute' (featuring a kind of cool meltdown guitar fade out), 'I Need Love' and 'I'm Tore Down' are more bluesoriented than BS’n’T, Chicago or other horn band contemporaries.

Lead guitarist Danny Starobin kicks in a couple of nice solos (check out the stinging run on 'I Need Love'), but lead singer John Bussell has a tendency to sing flat. It I had to pick a standout track, then it would probably be their 11 minute plus 'cover of T-Bone Walker's 'Stormy Monday Blues (Call It Stormy Monday'. The song also features a sax solo from King Curtis.

Lee Ving (born Lee James Capallero; April 10,1950) is an American musician most known for his role as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Los Angeles-based punk rock band Fear, and as an actor. Lee James Capallero was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the late 1960s, under the name Lee Ving, he joined Sweet Stavin Chain Blues Band in Philadelphia, playing with Michael Brecker and Eugene Busnar; they played shows with B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Cream among others. Later, Ving moved to New York and formed the band Daybreak. In the mid-1970s, he moved to Los Angeles and in 1977 formed Fear.

Ving has also sung for the band MD.45, which also featured Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Jimmy DeGrasso of Suicidal Tendencies. However, the 2004 re-release/ remastered record replaced his vocals with Dave Mustaine's. Ving has also sung country music in the outlaw country genre with the band Range War. Prior to Fear, Ving played in a six piece blues act named Easy Love.

Ving and his band Fear appeared in the 1981 rotoscope animated film American Pop, directed by Ralph Bakshi, lead singer Ving acted under the name Lee James Jude. Ving played a lead role ("Missoula") in Penelope Spheeris' 1987 film Dudes. As part of Fear he was featured in Spheeris' 1980 documentary on punk The Decline of Western Civilization.

Furthermore, he played the strip club owner in Flashdance (1983), Mr. Boddy in Clue (1985), and a small role in Streets of Fire (1984), among other roles in film and television. In 1983 he selfdeprecatingly played the over-thetop punk singer named 'Piggy' in the rock-and-roll comedy Get Crazy. In the Who's the Boss episode titled "Walk on the Mild Side", he played Jake Maguire. He also appeared in an episode of the short-lived Three's Company spin-off Three's a Crowd as a criminal in a police lineup.
CD Liner notes

1. Danny's Rock Song: Intro (Danny Starobin) - 0:47
2. Are You Lonely For Me Baby (Bert Berns) - 4:14
3. Take A Minute (Danny Starobin, John Bussell, Sheldon Ginsburg) - 6:57
4. I Need Love (Lawrence Williams) - 7:12
5. I'm Tore Down (Sonny Thompson) - 3:36
6. Stormy Monday Blues (Call It Stormy Monday) (T-Bone Walker) - 11:10
7. Teddy Bear's Picnic (Jimmy Kennedy, John W. Bratton) - 3:55
8. Danny's Rock Song: Finale (Danny Starobin) - 0:52

The Sweet Stavin Chain
*Mike McCarthy - Bass
*Bobby Blumenthal - Drums
*Greg Scott - Horns
*John Brunner - Horns
*Sheldon Ginsburg - Keyboards, Horns
*Steve Bernstein - Horns
*Dave Maxwell - Keyboards
*Vic Rose - Keyboards
*Danny Starobin - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Bussell - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Steve Sykes - Rhythm Guitar
*King Curtis - Tenor Sax

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ashton Gardner Dyke And Co - What A Bloody Long Day It's Been (1972 uk, extraordinary heavy prog jazz brass rock)

Though chiefly remembered for their UK No.3 hit, "Resurrection Shuffle", the careers of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke stretched back a long way before they achieved that sole international smash in 1971.

Bassist Kim Gardner (born 27 Jan 1946, Dulwich, London) began his musical adventures in 1961 in the Middlesex based R&B outfit The Birds along with future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, vocalist Alistair McKenzie, guitarist Tony Monroe and drummer Pele McDaniels.  They made three singles for Decca between 1964 and 1965, "You're On My Mind"/"You Don't Love Me", "Leaving Here"/ "Next In Line" and "No Good Without You Baby"/"How Can It Be" and also appeared in the horror movie, "The Deadly Bees" (as well as having a legal battle with the American Byrds) before splitting in late 1966 (though a further single, "Say These Magic Words"/"Daddy Daddy", was released, credited to Birds, by Reaction at the same time).  

Gardner then teamed up with guitarist Eddie Phillips, vocalist Kenny Pickett and drummer Jack Jones in The Creation and scored minor chart success with the singles "Making Time"/"Try And Stop Me" (Planet 116, No.49 July '66) and "Painterman"/"Biff Bang Pow" (Planet 119, No. 36 November '66) though their further singles, "If I Stay Too Long"/"Nightmares" (Polydor 56177) and "Life Is Just Beginning"/"Through My Eyes" (Polydor 56207), both failed to chart as did two other singles, featuring Gardner's old Birds colleague Ronnie Wood who'd replaced Phillips, "How Does It Feel"/"Tom Tom" (Polydor 56220) and "Midway Down"/"Girls Are Naked" (Polydor 56246).  With the band splitting in mid-'68, Gardner, along with Wood, Twink and Jon Lord recorded as Santa Barbara Machine Head before teaming up with Ashton and Dyke.

Organist/vocalist Tony Ashton (born 1 March 1946, Blackburn) began his career in North West England beat group The Executives, who, whilst he was with them, released two singles, "March Of The Mods"/"Why Why Why" (Columbia DB 7323) and "Strictly For The Beat"/"No Room For Squares" (DB 7393).  He was also briefly a member of The Collage Boys and The Mastersounds before, in March 1965, accepting an offer from Liverpool group Remo Four.  

The band's drummer was Roy Dyke (born 13 February 1945, Liverpool) who'd been with the group since 1961 and had released two singles prior to the arrival of Ashton, "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate"/"Peter Gunn" (Picadilly 7N 35186).  Together with bassist Phil Rogers and guitarist Colin Manley they played in Hamburg for almost two years and also released a single "Live Like A Lady"/"Sing Hallelujah" (Fontana TF 787) before splitting in early 1968, by which time Ashton and Dyke had met up with Gardner and the trio decided to form their own outfit.

Their first job was to provide backing on one of P.P.Arnold's tours after which, in late '68, they secured a deal with Polydor Records who released the single "Maiden Voyage"/"See The Sun In My Eyes" (BM 56306) plus the threesome's self-titled debut LP (583081) which included the single's A-side.  A heavy touring schedule throughout most of 1970 paved the way for their second album, "The Worst Of…", by which time they'd signed to Capitol Records (EST 563), which featured contributions from guests like George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Stan Webb and P.P.Arnold.   

Later in the same year, they released the single "Resurrection Shuffle"/"Hymn to Everyone" (CL 15665) which promptly shot to No.3 in the UK charts, spending over three months in the Top 75, as well as hitting No.22 in Germany and No.40 in America.  However, this proved to be their only UK hit as the follow-up, "Can You Get It"/"Delirium" (CL15684) failed to register (though it did hit No.44 in Germany). Likewise, their third album, "What A Bloody Long Day It's Been" (EAST 563) also failed to chart and so, after providing the soundtrack, alongside Jon Lord, for the U.S. movie, "The Last Rebel" (Capitol 062 80964), the trio disbanded in early 1973.

Tony Ashton had also worked with Green Bullfrog, Mike Hurst, Third World War, Tucky Buzzard and Jon Lord, whilst with Gardner and Dyke and he continued session work by helping out the likes of Family, Chris Barber, Jerry Lee Lewis and Longdancer.   His first solo single "You, Me And A Friend Of Mine"/"I'm Dying For You" (CL 15702), taken from "The Last Rebel" LP, had come out in early 1972 and he followed it in 1973 with "Celebration"/"Sloeback" (Purple PUR 109).  He also continued working with Jon Lord appearing on the single, "We're Gonna Make It"/"Band Of The Salvation Army Band" (PUR 121) and LP, "The First Of The Big Bands" (3507).  

He also released two further solo singles, "Resurrection Shuffle"/"Ballad Of Mr. Giver" (Oyster OYR 101) and "The Crezz"/"Somethin' Something" (Handkerchief Hanky 14) as well as working with Chicken Shack, John Entwhistle and Medicine Head before forming PAL with Lord and Ian Paice, releasing the 1977 LP, "Malice In Wonderland" (Oyster 2391269), and taking part in the Wizards Convention project.   Since then he's concentrated on producing though he did appear at the all-star Concert For Kampuchea in 1979.  Roy Dyke joined Badger and appeared on their LPs, "One Live Badger" and "White Lady".   He also worked with Chris Barber, Family and Medicine Head, as well as Pat Travers, and continued as a leading session drummer.  Kim Gardner joined Badger for their second LP and then worked with the likes of Mike Hugg, Chris Barber and Dwight Twilley before becoming a permanent member of Billy Burnette's backing group.
by Mark Brennan

1. It's Gonna Be High Tonight - 2:49
2. It's A Drag, I'm A Drag - 3:19
3. Still Got A Long Way To Go (Tony Ashton, Kim Gardner, Roy Dyke, Mick Liber) - 3:06
4. The Falling Song - 9:58
5. Ballad Of The Remo Four - 3:52
6. (The Old) Rock And Roll Boogie Woogie (Tony Ashton, Kim Gardner, Roy Dyke, Mick Liber) - 6:02
7. Got To Get Back To You - 3:44
8. What A Bloody Long Day It's Been - 4:08
9. Im Going To A Place - 4:00
All compositions by Tony Ashton except where indicated

*Edward Anthony Ashton - Keyboards, Vocals
*Kim Gardner - Bass
*Roy Dyke - Drums
*Mick Liber - Guitar
*Lyle Jenkins - Saxophone, Flute
*Dave Caswell - Trumpet, Horns
*John Mumford - Trombone, Percussion

1969  Ashton Gardner And Dyke - Ashton Gardner And Dyke
1970  Ashton, Gardner And Dyke - The Worst Of
1971  Ashton, Gardner and Dyke - Let It Roll / Live
Related Acts
1967-68  Remo Four - Smile
1964-66  The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel  
1964-66  The Birds - Collectors' Guide To Rare British Birds

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tim Hardin - The Millennium Collection (1966-68 us, outstanding folk psych, 2002 issue)

Hardin's best-known compositions -- "If I Were a Carpenter," "Reason to Believe," and "Lady Came From Baltimore" -- are all included. Hardin recorded for Verve Records, now part of the Universal catalog, in the 1960s, and seven tracks are drawn from his debut album, Tim Hardin/1, plus four from Tim Hardin/2 and one from the concert album Tim Hardin/3. 

There is nothing at all from Tim Hardin/4, an album of cover material, or from Hardin's later albums on Columbia and Antilles. The economics of song publishing probably limit albums in the series to 12 tracks, and in this case, since Hardin's recordings tend to be brief, that results in a running time of less than half an hour, which is skimpy for a CD, even a lower-priced one. But the collection presents the popular highlights of Hardin's career as a songwriter and gives a sense of him as a performer. 
by William Ruhlmann

1. Don't Make Promises - 2:27
2. Green Rocky Road - 2:19
3. Reason To Believe - 2:00
4. Smugglin' Man - 1:58
5. Misty Roses - 2:00
6. How Can We Hang On To A Dream - 2:04
7. It'll Never Happen Again - 2:37
8. If I Were A Carpenter - 2:44
9. Red Balloon - 2:36
10.Black Sheep Boy - 1:56
11.Lady Came From Baltimore - 1:51
12.You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie (Live) - 4:18
Words and Music by Tim Hardin

*Tim Hardin - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Gary Burton - Vibraphone
*Bob Bushnell - Bass
*Earl Palmer - Drums
*Buddy Salzman - Drums
*Jon Wilcox - Drums
*John Sebastian - Harmonica
*Phil Kraus - Background Vocals
*Walter Yost - Bass
*Artie Butler - String Arrangements
*Eddie Gómez - Bass
*Warren Bernhardt - Piano, Clavinet
*Daniel Hankin - Guitar
*Mike Mainieri - Vibraphone
*Donald McDonald - Drums

1969-70  Tim Hardin - Suite For Susan Moore / Bird On The Wire
1972  Tim Hardin - Painted Head (2007 japan remaster)

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Fusion Farm - Rush Job (1971-74 uk, astonishing rough 'n' roll, 2016 release)

We have heard about Fusion Farm for the first time from a well-known French collector who sent us the music. It took many years to locate the band and by coincidence the daughter of one of the band members found us via social media. So we could set up a deal. The album was originally released very limited on the S.R.T label (Grannie) with a hand-sprayed cover (very much like the original Tony Caro & John). Originals are very very rare and fetching high prices on the collectors market. This reissue also includes the tracks from the rare single "Fat Judy/Gypsy Mountain Woman".

They got radio plays and played a lot of shows in London and the surrounding cities before heading off to Europe and gigging constantly - Germany became a second home, in particular Frankfurt and Munich and they found favor playing at many US Army air bases.

They also played the 15000 capacity Frankfurt Festhalle supporting Bad Company and Black Oak Arkansas, who never showed up and a riot ensued and the venue was trashed! The band changed personnel several times but the core of the band and song writing team of Bob Bett and Normal Ley remained constant. The band split in 1979 to pursue other projects.

Great Psych tracks with snotty "Stooges" like songs, great guitars, drums, cool vocals and bass, some tracks are dreamy and some are very powerful British Underground tunes.

1. Loona Doona (Robert Bett, Nigel Hall) - 2:33
2. Mrs Speed (Robert Bett, Nigel Hall) - 3:27
3. Thursday 6th January (Norman Ley) - 2:58
4. Mean Moody Mable (Robert Bett, Nigel Hall) - 4:20
5. Fat Judy (Robert Bett, Norman Ley) - 3:08
6. Winter Sun (Robert Bett, Nigel Hall) - 3:51
7. Brick Shapes In The Sky (Robert Bett, Nigel Hall) - 4:07
8. Hollis Brown (Bob Dylan) - 7:28
9. Gypsy Mountain Woman (Robert Bett, Norman Ley) - 2:53

The Fusion Farm
*Norman Ley - Guitar, Vocals
*Robert Bett - Vocals
*Mick Hurst - Drums, Vocals
*Graham Thatcher - Bass
*Nigel Hall - Guitar, Vocals
*Alan Davies - Guitar, Vocals
*Dick Gardner - Drums

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wayne Kramer And The Pink Fairies - Cocaine Blues (1974-78 us / uk, tough edged street rock, 2016 edition)

This album features elements of two of the greatest revolutionary rock bands of all time. Wayne Kramer came to prominence as a teenager in 1967 as a co-founder of the Detroit rock group MC5 (Motor City 5), a group known for their powerful live performances and radical left-wing political stance. The MC5 broke up amid personality conflicts, drug abuse, and personal problems, which, for Kramer, led to several fallow years, as he battled drug addiction before returning to an active recording and performing schedule in the 1990s.

The Pink Fairies - on the other hand - are an English rock band initially active in the London (Ladbroke Grove) underground and psychedelic scene of the early 1970s. They promoted free music, drug taking and anarchy and often performed impromptu gigs and other agitprop stunts, such as playing for free outside the gates at the Bath and Isle of Wight pop festivals in 1970, as well as appearing at Phun City, the first Glastonbury and many other free festivals including Windsor and Trentishoe.

The first four songs were recorded live at Dingwall's in London in 1978, with Kramer, only recently out of jail, fronting the Pink Fairies. In imperfect but listenable fidelity, Kramer runs through Mose Allison's "If You're Going to the City," Bob Seger's "Heavy Music" (into which he wittily inserts a bit from James Brown's "There Was a Time," adapting the lyrics to refer to Detroit), the nine-minute "Cocaine Blues" (an interesting, autobiographical, mostly spoken account of the events leading to his mid-'70s prison term), and "Kick Out the Jams." 

Next are four run-of-the-mill hard rock studio tracks, also done in London in 1978, including covers of "Do You Love Me" and Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come," along with a couple of originals (one co-written with Mick Farren). Paul Carrack, presumably that Paul Carrack from Squeeze/Ace/Mike & the Mechanics/Roxy Music, is on piano. Finishing the disc off are two 1974 studio cuts, done in Detroit: "Get Some" is another Farren/Kramer collaboration (with lumpy, boxy bottom-end sound), and "Ramblin' Rose" was of course first done by Kramer with the MC5. 
by Richie Unterberger

1. If You're Goin' To The City (Mose Allison) - 3:13
2. Heavy Music (Bob Seger) - 5:47
3. Cocaine Blues (Traditional) - 9:33
4. Kick Out The Jams (Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Dennis Thompson, Rob Tyner) - 6:02
5. Do You Love Me (Berry Gordy, Jr) - 3:26
6. East Side Girl (Wayne Kramer) - 4:17
7. The Harder They Come (Jimmy Cliff) - 3:09
8. Too Late (Mick Farren, Wayne Kramer) - 3:24
9. Get Some (Mick Farren, Wayne Kramer) - 3:38
10.Ramblin' Rose (Fred Burch, Marijohn Wilkin) - 4:06

*Wayne Kramer - Vocals, Guitar
*Larry Wallis - Guitar
*Andy Colquhoun - Bass
*Dr. George Butler - Drums
*Paul Carrack - Piano, Vocals
*Melvin Davis - Drums
*Tim Shafe - Bass
*Alan Spenner - Bass

Related Acts
1969  MC5 - Kick Out The Jams (Japan SHM)
1970  MC5 - Back In The USA (Japan SHM)
1971  MC5 - High Time (2013 Japan SHM)
1971  Pink Fairies - Never Never Land (2002 extra tracks issue)

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Marc Brierley - Welcome To The Citadel (1966-69 uk, superb folk rock, 2014 remaster and expanded)

Life is lived in phases and periods. This CD package contains approximately three of the phases of my period as a recording and performing singer /songwriter, which spanned from 1965 to 1973... 

By the autumn of 1965, I had the beginnings of some personal songs which Austin John Marshall, music producer, film maker, graphic artist and husband of folk legend, Shirley Collins, felt were worth putting in front of Nat Joseph, the founder of Transatlantic Records and the guiding force of many aspects of the early 1960s British Folk/Blues revival.

Nat thought I had talent worth developing, and after two or three months of weekly live auditions of new material at his office, he suggested we record an initial F.P. Time For Love', 'Dragonfly', 'Arctic City', 'Rel's Song' and 'If You Leave Me Now' are the five tracks that resulted from that recording, which was carried out in a single live solo session in a large, bare room - not a studio - somewhere near Oxford Street, London, in June 1966.

Within months of completing this, however, my ears were ringing afresh with a whole raft of sounds from West Coast USA, brought to me by my friend Robin Lent. Lovin' Spoonful, Jefferson Airplane, Mamas and Papas, Grateful Dead, Mothers Of Invention, to name the essentials, had the effect of reorienting all aspects of my psyche, from more than the mere musical perspective.

Welcome To The Citadel was written, then, at a time when Flower Power, paisley patterns in the sky, golden haired girls tripping through sunlit cornfields, was the standard state of every day wakefulnes — or so it seemed. There was also a strong undercurrent of spiritual awakening in the air, which became muddled with drug culture, mythology and - yes — the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Thus, we have 'The Answer Is', a Zen/transcendental/Sufi sort of expression; 'Matchbox Men', a directly Tolkien-inspired fiction; 'Sunlight Sleepers* Song', Shakespeare's Puck, Peas Blossom "whispering soft, is love her name?" in the summer night's dream, or Ariel among the sights and sounds of the Tempest's enchanted isle.

And 'Welcome To The Citadel' itself, an epiphany of first experiences of altered consciousness. "Hand in hand we sat upon the docks to watch the tide come in..." - the embarkation on this first journey into the mind as flickering perceptions in the candlelight flood in and envelop us. Signals in silent assent — "communications tower" — speech as the means of thought transfer, no longer necessary.

Other  songs they were more self referral, in the way that Altman made movies about the movie industry. For , example, 'Autograph Of Time' is about the song writer and song writing under pressure {autograph of time = time signature), hence "the chorus well thought out, the line must alter...". I was constantly being pressurized to "write something more commercial". If only! "Even sacred pens must have to falter."

But even in the penury of writing and waiting through the winter of 1967/8, with a stream of failed promises about pending record deals or gigs, "Time itself is fun, you reply." And so we move on in time — skipping the beat where Hello, my second album recorded for CBS in 1969, should come  and picking up a couple of years later \n I had decamped to the fine City of Birmingham, home of some great musicians and bands, and some great friends. 'Don't Let The Bugs Bite' was demoed in London with my friend, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Billy Butler in a basement studio.

The remaining four songs on this set are part of a collection of previously unreleased material by Brierley Cross, written between 1970 and 1973 and / performed with my lifetime friend, maestro guitarist / Steve Cross. We rehearsed standing in front of our microphone "tree" in my living room, recording • into the Revox and playing it back at volume all throughout the long hot summer, with the windows  wide open onto the street below, until one day, the neighbours complained. These are the recordings, so if they seem a bit rough, blame the neighbours.
by Marc Brierley

The Transatlantic EP is the most dark and stripped-down of all the material on this collection, featuring just Marc Brierley's voice and an acoustic guitar. At times he sounds a bit like Jackson C. Frank, an artist with whom Brierley might very well have been familiar. Donovan's early recordings must have been a big influence as well. The EP is very much in the vein of the Transatlantic label's more well-known releases by the likes of Bert Jansch and includes Brierley's only instrumental guitar piece.

Two years after the release of his EP, Brierley's music had begun to drift in a pretty different direction. From the first song "The Answer Is," Welcome To The Citadel has a much lighter feeling. Brierley still sings and plays an acoustic guitar and is accompanied on the album by a full band, including a drummer and a bass player. Many of the songs are augmented by trumpet, violin or cello. The songs are a little more sophisticated and Brierley seems to have discovered his own voice as a writer and as a singer. His vocals have a lot more range, and on the reverby "Symphony" and the closing track "Thoughts And Sounds" he sounds a lot like Tim Buckley circa Goodbye And Hello. Lyrically, Brierley's penchant for absurdity becomes a bit more apparent on Welcome To The Citadel, with track titles like "Hold On, Hold On, The Garden Sure Looks Good Spread On The Floor." 
by Rob Hatch-Miller

1. The Answer Is - 2:23
2. Vagabond Of Sleep - 4:17
3. Matchbox Men - 3:25
4. Over The Hills - 2:05
5. Symphony - 2:51
6. Take Me For A Ride On Your Aeroplane - 2:04
7. Welcome To The Citadel - 4:34
8. Hold On, Hold On, The Garden Sure Looks Good Spread Out On The Floor - 3:38
9. Autograph Of Time - After All The Heat Was Hung - 1:35
10.Sunlight Sleepers Song - 1:26
11.Making Love - 1:22
12.Time Itself - 2:34
13.And Who Would But Think - 2:04
14.Thoughts And Sounds - 6:11
15.A Time For Love - 3:15
16.Dragonfly - 2:20
17.Arctic City - 1:45
18.Rel's Song - 4:20
19.If You Leave Me Now - 3:01
20.Stay A Little Longer Merry Ann - 2:49
21.Flaxen Hair - 2:58
22.Godspeed - 4:34
23.Phoenix - 3:16
24.Powers Of Glory - 5:14
25.Hear Me Calling - 2:21
26.Don't Let The Bugs Bite - 2:47
All Music and Lyrics by Marc Brierley except track #14 co-written with Terry Hiscock

*Marc Brierley - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Clare Lowther - Cello
*Mike Travis - Drums, Percussion
*Tony Reeves - Electric Bass
*Henry Lowther - Trumpet, Violin

1969-70  Marc Brierley - Hello (2014 bonus tracks remaster)

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Julie Felix - First, Second And Third-The Complete Three Decca LPs (1964-66 us, tremendous acoustic folk, 2008 double disc edition)

Although California-born, Julie Felix found herself in Britain smack dab in the middle of the folk revival in the mid-'60s, and with her serviceable voice and exotic good looks, she was soon a poster girl for the U.K. scene itself, releasing an album a year for Decca Records between 1964 and 1966, all three of which are collected here in this two-disc set. Felix wasn't Joan Baez or Judy Collins, however tempting it might be to make those comparisons, and her albums sound a bit like live sets tracked in the studio, with little embellishment, giving them at times a kind of a those-were-the-days documentary feel. Felix's faintly husky voice sounds fine but gets a bit generic, and the same could be said of her guitar playing, and she sounded pretty much like a thousand other female folk singers on the scene at the time trying their hand at "The Riddle Song."

But what Felix did have was a fine ear for recognizing a good contemporary folk song, and these three LPs are full of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Ian Tyson, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Donovan, and Bert Jansch, among others, as well as several selections from the Woody Guthrie songbook. Nothing here really sets the world on fire, but Felix rises well above the ordinary on versions of Jansch's "Needle of Death," Tyson's "Someday Soon," and a jaunty take on Donovan's "To Try for the Sun," and she's never less than pleasant on more traditional fare like "The Maid of Constant Sorrow" or "The Riddle Song." In the end, though, she's more of a flashback to a particular time and place than she is an enduring folk icon, which doesn't diminish what's here, but it hardly makes it essential, unless, of course, you really want to hear "The Riddle Song" one more time. A timepiece. 
by Steve Leggett

Sequenced back to back across this double-disc set are the self-titled solo debut and the imaginatively-titled The Second Album and The Third Album, which first introduced and, then, consolidated Julie Felix as a permanent feature on the British folk scene from the mid-60s onwards.

Recorded with pared-down production while Felix essentially lived in exile in the UK, these three Decca albums mostly showcase her as an interpreter of originals by the likes of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Donovan, Leadbelly and Peggy Seeger. As such, they reflect the sprit, sentiments and aspirations of the Civil Rights movement transplanted to mid-60s Britain. Though The Third Album was little more than a collection of outtakes from the first two, compiled by producer Hugh Mendl, it did include her hit version of Tom Paxton’s Going To The Zoo, arguably still her most recognisable song.

Following her sojourn with Decca, Felix moved to Fontana and, later, to RAK with Mickie Most. It’s these three albums that remain her most essential recordings.
by Grahame Bent

Disc 1 Julie Felix 1964 
1. Masters Of War (Bob Dylan) - 3:10
2. The Old Maid's Song (Harry Robinson, Julie Felix) - 2:38
3. Hey Nelly Nelly (Jim Friedman, Sheldon Alan Silverstein) - 2:35
4. Cu-Cu-Ru-Cu (Harry Robinson, Julie Felix) - 3:19
5. Tarry Town (John Allison) - 2:38
6. Aunt Rhodie (Harry Robinson, Julie Felix) - 1:34
7. Pastures Of Plenty (Woody Guthrie) - 2:46
8. Tell Old Bill (Harry Robinson, Julie Felix) - 3:12
9. Ship In The Sky (Woody Guthrie) - 2:07
10.Buttermilk Hill (Ronnie Gilbert) - 2:46
11.Sally Don't You Grieve (Malvina Reynolds, Woody Guthrie) - 1:44
12.Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan) - 3:37
13.The Riddle Song (Harry Robinson, Julie Felix) - 1:43
14.Plane Crash At Los Gatos (Woody Guthrie) - 4:42
The Second Album 1965
15.Someday Soon (Ian Tyson) - 3:00
16.Needle Of Death (Bert Jansch) - 3:33
17.The Young Ones Move (Dave Mudge, John Remsbury) - 2:37
18.Guantanamera (José Martí, Pete Seeger) - 2:46
19.The Road Makers (Dave Evans) - 1:58
20.I've Got Nothing But Time (Tom Paxton) - 2:46
21.Days Of Decision (Phil Ochs) - 2:34

Disc 2 The Second Album 1965
1. A Rumbling In The Land (Bob Dylan) - 2:32
2. You Won I Lost (Ian Tyson) - 2:36
3. When The Ship Comes In (Bob Dylan) - 3:08
4. Port Mahon (Sydney Carter) - 2:56
5. Space Girl (Peggy Seeger) - 2:37
6. Judge Jeffries - 1:58
7. The Last Thing On My Mind (Tom Paxton) - 2:29
The Third Album 1966
8. To Try For The Sun (Donovan Leitch) - 3:06
9. John Reilly (Bob Gibson, Ricky Neff) - 3:18
10.The Fox And The Goose (Traditional) - 1:57
11.What Did You Learn In School Today? (Tom Paxton) - 1:39
12.The Maid Of Constant Sorrow - 2:42
13.The Gallows Pole (Alan Lomax, Huddie Ledbetter, John A. Lomax) - 2:00
14.My True Love - 3:09
15.One Man's Hands (Alex Comfort, Pete Seeger) - 1:55
16.Going To The Zoo (Tom Paxton) - 2:30
17.The Spring Hill Disaster (Ballad Of Spring Hill) (Ewan MacColl, Pete Seeger) - 3:00
18.Mound Of Your Grave (Woody Guthrie) - 2:08
19.Come On Billy Home - 1:45
20.I Travelled All Over This World (Julie Felix) - 2:30

*Julie Felix - Vocals, Guitar

1966  Julie Felix - Changes (Vinyl issue)
1967  Julie Felix - Flowers (Vinyl release)
1972  Julie Felix - Clotho's Web (2009 remaster and expanded)

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gene And Debbe - Playboy The Best Of Gene And Debbe (1967-68 us, attractive charming sunny country folk)

Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville were a fresh-scrubbed pop duo from Nashville, TN, who sounded something like a twangier Sonny & Cher, or as if Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood had been stripped of their eccentricities (particularly Hazlewood's tumescent ego). Gene & Debbe's sole Top 20 hit was "Playboy" in 1968, and this collection from Sundazed features that tune as well as 21 other sides from the short-lived duo. While these songs were obviously aimed for the pop charts, there's no avoiding the fact this stuff was recorded in Nashville (and released on TRX Records, an offshoot of the powerful Acuff-Rose publishing concern) -- the keening pedal steel on "Torch I Carry," the banjo on "Lovin' Season," and the cheatin' song ethos of "Rings of Gold" all point to the act's Music City heritage, and producer Don Gant (who later recorded with the Neon Philharmonic) was clearly shooting for lots of charm rather than a significant share of hipness (as if the presence of a Dean Martin cover wouldn't make that obvious).

Still, Thomas and Neville sang well together, and the former brought some good songs to the table, especially the Dylanesque "The Sun Won't Shine Again" and the heartfelt "I'll Come Running." Playboy: The Best of Gene & Debbie collects everything they released during their two-year lifespan along with four songs that have never been heard before, and frankly this is more Gene & Debbe than anyone but an obsessed fan would want to own. But if you want to hear Gene & Debbe, this is clearly the place to go, and the typically excellent remastering and packaging from Sundazed show this material more respect than they'd likely receive from anyone else. 
by Mark Deming

1. Don't Try To Change Me - 2:15
2. Give Me A Sweetheart (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:06
3. Playboy - 2:56
4. Rings Of Gold - 3:08
5. Go With Me - 2:25
6. Truly, Truly True (Mickey Newbury) - 2:07
7. Love Will Give Us Wings - 1:57
8. I'll Come Running - 2:24
9. Any Way You Want Me (Mickey Newbury) - 1:53
10.Let It Be Me (Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, Pierre Delanoë) - 2:04
11.Two Of A Kind (Bob Montgomery, Earl Sinks) - 2:13
12.Torch I Carry (Ray Doggett, Y. Parker Wong) - 2:14
13.Lovin' Season - 2:36
14.Make A Noise Like Love (Bobby Bond) - 2:13
15.Memories Are Made Of This (Frank Miller, Richard Dehr, Terry Gilkyson) - 2:44
16.The Sun Won't Shine Again - 2:18
17.Loan Some (Bobby Dyson, Larry Lee) - 2:45
18.I'm Only Human - 2:15
19.Just As Long As That Someone Is You (Mickey Newbury) - 2:27
20.Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (John D. Loudermilk) - 2:27
21.What Did You Take Me For (Dewayne Blackwell, Rani Blackwell) - 2:44
22.Then I Cried - 2:56
All songs by Gene Thomas except where stated

*Debbe Neville - Vocals
*Gene Thomas - Vocals

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Steeplechase - Lady Bright (1970 us, excellent heavy groovy psych, 2006 reissue)

Us groovy heavy psych band, probably hailing from New York City, their music balances between Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly and Rascals. Drummer Joe Forgione and organ player Tony Radicello were  members of the  Philadelphia-based R 'n' B group the Soul Survivors.

Singer and guitarist Dean Parrish was the most  succesful as a solo artist, best known for the song, "I'm on My Way", which became famous, he also worked as a session musician with Jimi Hendrix and Santana in 1970, and played guitar with Bob Marley in 1972.

1. Wrought Iron Man (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish, Eddie Kramer, Bob Spinella) - 4:18
2. Shorty Stokes (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 3:49
3. Down On The Town (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 3:25
4. Talking Bout You (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 3:04
5. Lady Bright (Bob Spinella, Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 4:12
6. In The Valley (Bob Spinella, Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 2:37
7. Mary Clarke (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 4:20
8. Sea Shore (Tony Radicello, Bob Spinella, Dean Parrish) - 4:29
9. Never Coming Back (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish) - 3:23
10.Cherry Blossom (Tony Radicello, Dean Parrish, Eddie Kramer) - 2:54

The Steeplechase
*Bob "Bobby" Spinella - Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Electric Piano, Backing Vocals,
*Dean Parrish - Guitar, Vocals,
*Joey "Joe" Forgione - Percussion, Drums, Backing Vocals,
*Tony Radicello "Tony Alexander" - Organ, Bass, Vocals, Backing Vocals, 12-String Guitar
*Eddie Kramer - Piano, Vocals
*Kim King - Guitar
*Paul Fleischer - Horns

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Marc Benno - Marc Benno (1970 us, fascinating melt of blues, southern and classic rock, 2012 korean replica remastered edition)

Marc Benno was known through the Asylum Choir with Leon Russell in the end 1960s. He is still a Texas musician who actives as a blues guitarist, a piano player, a singer songwriter, etc ... in the United States.

He was born in Dallas in 1947. Thanks to the environment which managed the Texas State Fair's Music Hall Gardens, he always has a special good luck with music, as Benno met stars like Sam Cooke, Laverne Baker, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, The Drifters, Lloyd Price and so on ... in the backstage. He had special music talents.

When Benno headed to LA to further his career in the mid-1960s, he started his own music activity. As you know, he released two albums of the Asylum Choir with Leon Russell. He raised his career for his work which was including guitar session at LA. Woman album of The Doors and cooperating many musicians like Eric Clapton , Lightnin' Hopkins, Bill Wyman, Georgie Fame, Rita Coolidge, Eddie Murphy, etc...

In 1970, Benno contracted formally with A&M Records and at last he released his the first solo album, Geographic environment of the Southern United States is good for the blues musicians, elements of music taken to professional musicians form childhood, the natural talents and faithfulness, the musical wisdom and technology in learning collaboration with others, and the passion and love for music which only he knew all of them was made to one work.

As a Texas blues guitarist to play well, Marc Benno's the first album 'Marc Benno' will not be able to explain without his beautiful guitar as The Doors Album which was invited to work. Despite of soulful mood and distinctive sticky rhythm of easily attractive the Southern music his confident guitar without over and lack playing, piano : Booker T. Jones, bottleneck guitar: Ry Cooder, Gerry McGee, Jerry Scheff, Jim Horn etc... outstanding performances in several sessions. Rita and Priscilla Coolidge sisters's a fantastic chorus part everything is perfect breathing. Songwriting passed on the sweet melody and Marc Benno's light blues is not only the musical completeness but the worth as a masterpiece remembered in our heart.

After Ambush's recording, Benno formed a new band, Marc Benno & The Nightcrawlers, who were primed to become the next big thing, and went off on tour opening for Humble Pie and The J.Geils Band - getting star treatment on tour. One of the Nightcrawlers was a young guitarist named Stevie Vaughan(he'd start using Ray later).

During 1974-75, his childhood influences came full circle when he joined Lightnin' Hopkins' band as 2nd guitar player. Benno's career got an unexpected boost in 1985, when his song "Rock & Roll Me Again" won the Grammy for Best Score for a Motion Picture, he got a more popularity.

Until now, he was been working hard, writing songs, releasing albums. He has become a venerable blues's giant and musician. As if he may be similar to backstage's images of many music starts who met in childhood. But it is sure that he is already a great bluesman.
CD Liner Notes

1. Good Year - 3:03
2. Try It Just Once - 3:06
3. I'm Alone I'm Afraid - 4:16
4. Two Day Love Affair - 2:51
5. Second Story Window - 4:23
6. Teach It To The Children - 3:17
7. Fammily Full Of Soul - 2:59
8. Hard Road (Greg Dempsey, Marc Benno) - 3:39
9. Nuce Feelin' - 5:50
All song by Marc Benno unless as else indicated

*Marc Benno - Vocals, Guitar, piano
*Booker T. Jones - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ
*Ry Cooder - Bottleneck Guitar
*Jerry McGee - Guitar, Dobro
*Jerry Scheff - Bass
*Jim Horn - Saxophones, Flute
*Jimmy Karstein - Drums
*Sandy Konikoff - Hambone
*Rita Coolidge - Vocals
*Priscilla Coolidge - Vocals

1968  The Asylum Choir - Look Inside (2007 remaster)
1973  Marc Benno And The Nightcrawlers - Crawlin (with young Stevie Ray Vaughan, 2006 release)

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