In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

It's Not Dark Yet

Plain and Fancy

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


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Mckendree Spring - Get Me To The Country (1975 us, wonderful folk rock, 2017 korean remaster)

McKendree Spring is a progressive folk-rock band, active mainly in the early 1970s.The band consisted of Fran McKendree (vocals and guitar), their first bass player was Larry Tucker (shown in the picture) then Fred Holman took over bass, Dr. Michael Dreyfuss (electric violin, viola, Moog, Arp, Mellotron), Martin Slutsky (electric guitar).

A change of motivation, line-up and outlet (Pye Records) was needed; Hollman was also duly replaced by Chris Bishop and drummer Carson Michaels. This move came on the self-descriptive “Get Me To The Country” 1975, their best-selling set to date (reaching No.118) and a record that cloned the peaceful, easy feeling of the Eagles.

1. Hold On (Bob Livingston, Ray Wylie Hubbard) - 4:43
2. Easier Things Have Been Done (Fran McKendree) - 4:21
3. She'd Never Leave Chicago (Chris Bishop) - 3:13
4. Meeting In Paris (Fran McKendree) - 3:17
5. Give It Some Time (Chris Bishop) - 4:40
6. So Long Daddy O (Fran McKendree) - 3:23
7. I've Been On The Mountain (David Kent) - 3:16
8. Get Me To The Country (Chris Bishop, Michael Dreyfuss) - 3:33
9. The Hustler (Fran McKendree, Martin Slutsky, Michael Dreyfuss) - 3:26
10.Give All You've Got To Give (Bryn Haworth) - 5:37

The McKendree Spring
*Fran Mckendree - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitars
*Chris Bishop - Bass, Vocals
*Dr. Michael Dreyfuss - Violin, Viola, Synthesizer
*Martin Slutsky - Electric Guitar
*Carson Michaels - Drums, Chinese Bells, Tree Gong, Vocals
*Howard Wyeth - Organ
*Valerie Rosa - Vocals

1969  McKendree Spring - McKendree Spring (2009 remaster and expanded) 
1970  McKendree Spring - Second Thoughts
1973  McKendree Spring - McKendree Spring 3 

Free Text
Text Host

Friday, December 20, 2019

Wayne Berry - Home At Last (1974 us, excellent folk country soft rock, 2017 japan remaster)

Wayne Berry is a singer-songwriter from Nashville, TN who was mostly active in the 1960s and 1970s as a country/rock artist. Besides recording a handful of singles and one album as a solo artist, he was also a founding member of the folk rock band Timber, who released two albums in 1970 and 1971. After releasing his only solo album, 1974's "Home at Last", Berry, together with George S. Clinton—who was also a member of Timber and later became an award-winning film music composer—formed a band named the Volunteers, who recorded one eponymous album in 1976. Over the years, Berry's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Glen Campbell, Tom Rush, Johnny Rivers, David Soul, and Steppenwolf. In the mid to late 1970s, Berry began writing religious music for different artists and retired from the popular music business. Today, Wayne Berry is a Worship Ministries Pastor at Springhouse Worship & Arts Center in Smyrna, TN.

1. All I Needed - 3:17
2. Another's Lifetime - 3:23
3. Indian Woman From Witchita - 3:22
4. Snowbound - 3:47
5. Welcome Home - 4:21
6. Dixie's Pride - 3:31
7. Black Magic Gun - 4:17
8. Ballad Of Jonah - 3:31
9. Gene's Tune - Blond Guitar - 4:14
10.Lovers' Moon - 4:18
All songs by Wayne Berry

*Wayne Berry - Vocals, 12 String, Acoustic Guitar
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitars
*James Rolleston - Bass, Vocals
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Jeff Baxter - Guitar, Steel Guitar
*William Smith - Organ
*David Paich - Piano
*David Briggs - Piano
*Jimmy Johnson - Guitar
*David Hood - Bass
*Roger Hawkins - Drums, Percussion
*Peter Carr - Guitar
*Reggie Young - Guitar
*Barry Beckett - Organ, Piano
*Ben Cauley - Flugelhorn, Trumpet
*Ronald Eades - Sax
*Harvey Thompson - Sax
*Charles Rose - Trombone
*Harrison Calloway - Trumpet
*Joe Osborn - Bass
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Weldon Myrick - Steel Guitar
*William Smith - Organ
*David Paich - Piano
*Norbert Putnam - Bass
*Kenny Buttrey - Drums
*Billy Sanford - Acoustic Guitar
*Weldon Myrick - Dobro
*Johnny Gimble - Fiddle
*Charlie McCoy - Harp
*Jackson Browne - Background Vocals
*Jeanie Greene - Background Vocals
*Ginger Holladay - Background Vocals
*Mary Holladay - Background Vocals
*Ned Doheny - Background Vocals

Related Act
1970  Timber - Part Of What You Hear (vinyl edition) 
1971  Timber - Bring America Home (2009 extra tracks issue) 

Free Text
Text Host

Monday, December 16, 2019

King Harvest - Dancing In The Moonlight (1972 us, elegant soft classic rock)

They scored only one real hit, but the magic of King Harvest's infectious invitation to go "Dancing In The Moonlight" has secured the song a regular rotation on many oldies stations. The members of King Harvest were all students at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in the '60s when they began playing, partly to pay their way through college. David (Doc) Robinson, Eddie Tuleja, Ron Altbach and Rod Novak played all over the Northeast, developing a reputation that even helped them score a gig in the balmy Virgin Islands.

Things changed in 1969. Altbach went to Paris to study classical piano and the rest of the band drifted off to other pursuits. For three years the players performed film music and did what one member once called "bizarre stage shows". How bizarre? They were a vaudeville rock group called Nik. They played as the Chicago Beau Blues Band. They were even a country band for a time, working as E. Rodney Jones & The Prairie Dogs.

In 1972 the band cut "Dancing In The Moonlight" in Paris. Then they took another break. Two members cruised the Mediterranean on a tuna boat. A couple went to Switzerland. Meanwhile, tiny Perception Records in the States had secured the release rights to "Dancing" and promoted it into a hit. That inspired King Harvest to regroup and return to this country to tour, promoting the single and subsequent album, named after "Dancing In The Moonlight".

After one album for Perception and an unsuccessful follow-up to "Dancing In The Moonlight" called "A Little Bit Like Magic", the band dropped out of music for the most part, spending a little time touring, playing favorite places like Oleott, New York and fishing, racing sailboats on Lake Ontario and occasionally working on some new songs.

In 1975, King Harvest reappeared with those new songs. This time they were on A&M Records, doing an album called "King Harvest". Produced by music veteran Jeff Barry - who had written numerous hits and produced the likes of Andy Kim for his own Steed Records - the album was a pleasant mix of 70s pop styles. But even with the help of musical friends like Mike Love and Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, Pete Cetera of Chicago and jazz ace Charles Lloyd, The group was unable to harvest any hits for A&M.
by Mark Marymont

1. Lady, Come On Home (Ronnie Altbach) - 2:45
2. Motor Job (Eddy Tuleja) - 2:47
3. Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Tony Joe White) - 5:32
4. Dancing In The Moonlight (Ronnie Altbach) - 2:40
5. She Keeps Me High (Eddy Tuleja) - 4:00
6. Think I Better Wait Till Tomorrow (Ronnie Altbach) - 3:00
7. The Smile On Her Face (Ronnie Altbach) - 2:55
8. You And I (Ennio Morricone, Ronnie Altbach) - 2:38
9. Marty And The Captain (Ronnie Altbach) - 2:17
10.I Can Tell (William Bell) - 4:45

King Harvest
*Ron Altbach - Keyboards
*Eddie Tuleja - Guitar
*Rod Novak - Bass, Saxophone
*Dave "Doc" Robinson - Keyboards, Bass, Lead Vocals

1975  King Harvest - King Harvest (Vinyl edition)

Free Text
Text Host

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Animals - Animalism (1966 uk, essential rhythm 'n' blues roots rock, 2014 remaster and expanded)

As with many of their 1960s contemporaries, the Animals were beholden to blues, gospel, and r&b;, even as they combined those rhythms with prevailing rock sounds. Like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, they idolized Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley, among other black American performers, and the Animals even shared a stage with Sonny Boy Williamson. Singer Eric Burdon also had the voice to sell the sound: sandpaper-raw, effortlessly loud, and, like Mick Jagger, intimately lewd, as if every lyric contained some potential double entendre.

On their 1966 album Animalism, they indulge their white-soul jones more heavily than ever before, and the songs-- mostly covers-- volley between the derivative and the inventive. On Animalism, amid near-complete turnover of the original lineup, the Animals play up their r&b; chops on blues and soul covers, and Burdon continues to try to match his heroes by pushing his performance over the top. His voice is undeniably strong-- and this type of approach certainly had a particular appeal 40 years ago-- but his soulman affectations sound practiced, imitative rather than instinctual. 

Burdon oversells these songs, especially on Sam Cooke's "Shake" and the slow, simmering version of "Hit the Road, Jack", and his vocals on "Rock Me Baby" make the song's innuendo all too obvious. Strangely, on "The Other Side of Life" he takes a slightly different tack, aiming for a sound between Elvis and Jim Morrison, but he winds up sounding smaller than the former and smarter than the latter. It should be no surprise that his best performances-- also his most restrained-- are on the originals "Outcast" and "Louisiana Blues". Burdon's vocals sound more spontaneous and individual, perhaps because he doesn't have an example to mimic on these songs-- or maybe because modern listeners have no other examples against which to measure his performance.

Balancing out Burdon's vocals, the Animals prove a powerful band, despite the fact that nearly half of them were new replacements. They're rock solid, but unlike their singer, they rarely showboat. Together they put the real soul in these songs. Hilton Valentine lays down some bluesy riffs on "Smoke Stack Lightning", but he's best when trading off with organist Dave Rowberry on "Rock Me Baby" and "All Night Long", forming a rowdy call and response. It's the rhythm section, however, that shapes the songs and allows the band to move so agilely around Burdon. Bassist Chas Chandler and drummer Barry Jenkins (a sturdy replacement for original member John Steel) put the shake in "Shake", pushing a swampy beat to its breaking point, and Jenkins' high hat and snare drive the up-and-down stomp on "Lucille". This type of playing doesn't go out of style.
by Stephen M. Deusner

1. All Night Long (Frank Zappa) - 2:50
2. Shake (Sam Cooke) - 3:16
3. The Other Side Of This Life (Freddie Neil) - 3:31
4. Rock Me Baby (B.B. King, Joe Josea) - 5:26
5. Lucille (Albert Collins, Richard Penniman) - 2:21
6. Smokestack Lightning (Chester Burnett) - 5:13
7. Hey Gyp (Donovan Leitch) - 3:49
8. Hit The Road Jack (Percy Mayfield) - 3:20
9. Outcast (Ernie Johnson, Edgar Campbell) - 2:38
10.Louisiana Blues (McKinley Morganfield) - 2:42
11.That's All I Am To You (Otis Blackwell, Winfield Scott) - 2:12
12.Going Down Slow (James B. Oden) - 6:24
13.C.C. Rider (Ma Rainey, Lena Arant) - 3:56
14.A Love Like Yours (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr) - 3:00
15.Shake, Rattle And Roll (Charles E. Calhoun) - 3:06
16.Tobacco Road (John D. Loudermilk) - 4:20
17.Roadrunner (Ellas McDaniel) - 2:49
18.When I Was Young (Eric Burdon, Vic Briggs, John Weider, Barry Jenkins, Danny McCulloch) - 3:03
19.A Love Like Yours (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr.) - 2:44
20.Connection (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 2:25
21.It's All Meat (Barrie Ernest Jenkins, Danny Mcculloch, Eric Victor Burdon, John Weider, Victor Briggs) - 2:09
22.San Franciscan Nights (Eric Burdon, Vic Briggs, John Weider, Barry Jenkins, Danny McCulloch) - 3:03
23.All Night Long (Frank Zappa) - 2:40
Tracks 13-17 Live In Germany, Jan 1967
Tracks 18-20 BBC Sessions 30th Jan 1967
Tracks 21-23 BBC Sessions 15th Aug 1967

*Eric Burdon - Lead Vocals
*Chas Chandler - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Rowberry - Organ, Piano
*Hilton Valentine - Guitar
*Barry Jenkins - Drums
*John Steel - Drums
*Frank Zappa - Guitar, Bass
*William Roberts - Harmonica
*Larry Knechtel- Organ
*Don Randi- Piano
*Carol Kaye- Guitar
*John Guerin- Drums
*Vic Briggs - Guitar, Piano
*Danny Mcculloch - Bass Guitar
*John Weider - Guitar, Violin

1964-67  The Animals - The Complete French EP (ten disc edition) 
1967  Eric Is Here
1967  Winds of Change (2013 Double SHM CD)
1968  The Twain Shall Meet (2013 Japan SHM)
1966-68  Roadrunners! Rare Live And Studio Recordings
1974-75  The Eric Burdon Band - Sun Secrets / Stop 

Free Text
Text Host 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Freeborne - Peak Impressions (1967/2010 us, psychedelic masterpiece, 2013 expanded, 2007 digipak remaster and collector's item Vinyl reissue)

The Freeborne were a youthful Boston-based psych outfit whose five members, despite their tender years, all had considerable experience of playing a wide range of styles in earlier combos. Adapting their name from the movie Born Free and discovering the freewheeling creative delights of LSD, they signed to Monitor in early ’67 and concocted a set of highly psychedelic originals which were laid down at A&R Studios in NYC. Peak Impressions sold only modestly, probably because of a dilatory campaign of live appearances to support it. 

After the lukewarm reception afforded it the original Freeborne folded, though later incarnations with fewer or no original members did tramp the second-division concert circuit for a few years afterwards. Inexplicably, given their obvious talent, only guitarist Bob Margolin seems to have had an appreciable later career, playing in Muddy Waters’s backing band through most of the 70s and subsequently with blues-based outfits under his own name. There’s precious little documentation on the band anywhere, but the excellent It’s Psychedelic Baby website features an informative career interview with Margolin which includes insights into the Freeborne.

I was expecting this one to be good, having read complimentary accounts of it in both Fuzz Acid And Flowers and The Acid Archives. I was even more impressed when it arrived and the CD remaster proved to have been archived by Smithsonian Folkways whose estimable moniker now adorns the Digipak. And this is indeed an impressive collection. It’s notable for the virtuosity of the musicians whose ages ranged from just 17 to 19 and yet three of whom were precociously-talented multi-instrumentalists: and we’re talking orchestral hardware here – pianos, harpsichords, cellos, trumpets, flutes and recorders – not just standard rock frontline. 

It’s also remarkable for the variety and creativity of the material; one reviewer commented that there seemed to be too many ideas to fit into a single album, and I can see his point. Youthful enthusiasm ensured that nothing was left out and nothing left understated, and most tracks move through bewildering sequences of keys, metres, instrumentation and vocal stylings that give their definitively psych outlines a distinctly progressive edge. This is one to listen to right through several times to get the whole effect.

The lyrics are mostly generic trippy psych nonsense, but the music is invigoratingly original. Leading off with a soulful piano riff, the opening “Images” offers Byrdsy harmonies, pulsating bass and rippling guitar scales before switching into a baroque piano and trumpet waltz. “Land Of Diana” prefigures 70s prog, starting as a jazzy 5/4 and shifting into a bluesy shuffle after distinctly proggy organ and guitar episodes. “Visions Of My Own” sets a homely acoustic guitar and trilling flute against what sounds like a chorus of PDQ Bach’s infamous Dill Piccolos before mutating without warning into a military snare-drum march. “Peak Impressions And Thoughts” is all Piper-era Floyd with swirling Farfisa, spiky Syd-style guitar, fluid bass and crashing cymbals building to a furious final crescendo. “Yellow Sky” is definitive Britsike with wah-ed guitars, churchy keyboards and lots of tempo changes. 

The most conventional track, “Hurtin’ Kind Of Woman”, is a soft blues shuffle with jazzy guitar and energetic Hammond work comparable with the best of Brian Auger. Despite the multifarious musical landscapes visited here, only on the last two tracks does the band outstretch itself, with the ridiculously sombre harpsichord and cello, sub-Beach Boys harmonies and cod-poetic spoken voice outro of “A New Song For Orestes” and the unnecessarily lengthy and self-indulgent cod-classical piano/trumpet cadenzas and duet of the closing “But I Must Return To Frenzy”.

1. Images (Nick Carstoiu, Mike Spiros) - 3:38
2. Land Of Diana (Mike Spiros, Nick Carstoiu) - 2:56
3. Visions Of My Own (M. Spiros, N. Carstoiu, B. Greenglass) - 4:10
4. Sadly Acknowledged (J.Babbitt, M. Spiros) - 1:27
5. Peak Impressions And Thoughts (Dave Codd, N. Carstoiu) - 6:56
6. Yellow Sky (J.Babbitt, M. Spiros, D. Codd, N. Carstoiu) - 2:23
7. Hurtin' Kind Of Woman (Bob Margolin) - 4:24
8. Inside People (Dave Codd) - 2:50
9. A New Song For Orestes (Dave Codd) - 3:37
10.But I Must Return To Frenzy (N. Carstoiu, M. Spiros) - 9:06
11.Images (Nick Carstoiu, Mike Spiros) - 3:40
12.Land Of Diana (Mike Spiros, Nick Carstoiu) - 3:15
13.Visions Of My Own (Mike Spiros, Nick Carstoiu, Barry Greenglass) - 4:08
14.Sadly Acknowledged (Extended Mix Without Sound Effects) (Joan Babbitt, Mike Spiros) -1:18
15.Yellow Sky (Joan Babbitt, Mike Spiros, Dave Codd, Nick Carstoiu) - 2:20
16.But I Must Return To Frenzy (Nick Carstoiu, Mike Spiros) - 8:49
17.This Is It (Dave Codd, Nick Carstoiu) - 4:22
18.Take A Lick (Dave Codd) - 3:12
19.Lew's Blues (Bob Margolin, Dave Codd, Nick Carstoiu) - 7:05
Bonus Tracks 11-19
Tracks 11-16 Alternate Mono Mixes
Tracks 17-19 Freeborne / Reborne 2010

*Lew Lipson - Drums, Percussion
*Nick Carstoiu - Guitar, Recorder, Cello, Piano, Vocals
*Bob Margolin - Lead Guitar
*Mike Spiros - Organ, Piano, Chimes, Trumpet, Percussion
*Dave Codd - Harpsichord, Percussion, Bass, Vocals
*Tom Halter - Trumpet (Tracks 17-18)
*Aaron Smith - Drums (Tracks 17-18)

Free Text
Just Paste

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Blues Image - Open (1970 us, outstanding blues psych classic rock, 2004 remaster)

When Blues Image launched into their 1970 chart smash, "Ride Captain Ride," the smoking lamp was always lit. But, with their subtle use of Latin Rhythms -- featuring tantalizing fretboard work by Mike Pinera and the addictive conga drums of Joe Lala -- this Tampa, Fla. combo proved themselves anything but a one hit wonder on their out of nowhere classic, Open. This 2004 reissue adds historical liner notes with quotes from guitarist Mike Pinera and percussionist Joe Lala.

1. Love Is The Answer - 2:35
2. Running the Water - 2:37
3. Clean Love - 7:49
4. La Bamba (Traditional) - 2:26
5. Consuelate - 1:15
6. Ride Captain Ride - 3:46
7. Pay My Dues - 3:49
8. Fugue U - 0:50
9. Parchman Farm (Mose Allison) - 2:49
10.Wrath of Daisey - 1:31
11.Take Me - 7:35
All songs by Mike Pinera, Malcolm Jones, Joe Lala, Skip Konte, Manny Bertematti except where noted

Blues Image
*Mike Pinera - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Malcolm Jones - Bass
*Joe Lala - Percussion, Vocals
*Skip Konte - Keyboards
*Manny Bertematti - Drums
*Kent Henry - Guitar

1969  Blues Image - Blues Image / Red White and Blues Image 
Related Acts
1970  Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis (2010 japan SHM)
1972  Ramatam - Ramatam (2004 edition) 
1974-75  Thee Image - Thee Image / Inside The Triange (2014 remaster edition) 

Free Text
Text Host