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


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Taj Mahal ‎- Giant Step / De Ole Folks At Home (1969 us, magnificent electric acousttic blues folk, 2017 japan remaster)

Along with Ry Cooder, Taj was a founder of the legendary Rising Sons, and went on to release two stripped down delta-blues classics in 1968. Giant Step, released concurrently with a raw collection of solo recordings called De Ole Folks At Home in 1969, would be his third, and personal favorite to many.  It’s the title track’s delicate, sparse mood I can’t stuff in my head enough. Taj transforms the Monkees hit, composed by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, into a relaxed and gorgeous rural roamer – his muddy vox rolls all over the changes, miles beyond blues. And though Giant Step isn’t completely free of the old I-IV-V, just let the feedback harmonica moan from Give Your Woman What She Wants hook you in, the toe-tapping Cajun feel to You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond take you along, and overpowered drive of Six Days On The Road stamp it down, then see who cares about chord progressions anymore.

The most fun comes from inventive production touches: childish piano tittering on Good Morning Little School Girl, metronomic banjo rapping on Farther On Down The Road (one of two originals on the record and an easy classic), ace country guitar leads all throughout provided by Jesse Ed Davis, here accompanying Taj for the third and final record before embarking on his own solo career (releasing three solid records and sessioning with plenty of the greats). The final track, Bacon Fat, is a pretty standard blues originally penned by The Band, and here mostly a drawn out jam affording everbody last licks.

The album is actually 2 in 1, accompanied with De Ole Folks At Home, an acoustic solo set with Taj providing old-time steel-body slide picking, clawhammer banjo, harp, and hambone on traditional and classic numbers like Cluck Old Hen and Fishing Blues, as well as several originals. It’s like pulling up a hot seat on Taj’s front porch, who would pass? An excellent pairing, this record is essential on its own and along with Giant Step you can’t refuse. Downhome grooves, raw authentic performances, a plain fun record that got me rethinking the blues. “Take a giant step outside your mind.”
by Brendan McGrath, September 2nd, 2009 

1. Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie Anymo' (Jesse Ed Davis, Taj Mahal, Chuck Blackwell, Gary Gilmore) - 1:04
2. Take A Giant Step (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 4:18
3. Give Your Woman What She Wants (Joel Hirschhorn, Taj Mahal) - 2:32
4. Good Morning Little School Girl (Bob Love, Don Level) - 3:46
5. You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond (Buffy Sainte Marie) - 4:59
6. Six Days On The Road (Carl Montgomery, Earl Green) - 3:03
7. Farther On Down The Road (You Will Accompany Me) (Jesse Ed Davis, Taj Mahal, Chuck Blackwell, Gary Gilmore) - 4:41
8. Keep Your Hands Off Her (Huddie Ledbetter) - 2:17
9. Bacon Fat (Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson) - 6:47
10.Linin' (Huddie Ledbetter) - 1:43
11.Country Blues #1 (Taj Mahal) - 2:40
12.Wild Ox Moan (Ruby Pickens Tartt, Vera Hall) - 2:48
13.Light Rain Blues (Taj Mahal) - 3:24
14.A Little Soulful Tune (Taj Mahal) - 2:40
15.Candy Man (Rev. Gary Davis) - 2:58
16.Cluck Old Hen (Taj Mahal) - 2:34
17.Colored Aristocracy (Taj Mahal) - 2:08
18.Blind Boy Rag (Taj Mahal) - 4:14
19.Stagger Lee (Harold Logan, Lloyd Price) - 3:26
20.Cajun Tune (Taj Mahal) - 1:59
21.Fishin' Blues (Henry Thomas, Jay Mayo "Ink" Williams) - 3:11
22.Annie's Lover (Taj Mahal) - 3:34

*Taj Mahal - Vocals, Harmonica, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar
*Jesse Ed Davis - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Organ
*Chuck Blackwell - Drums
*Gary Gilmore - Bass

1968  Taj Mahal - Taj Mahal (2017 japan reissue) 
1968  Taj Mahal - The Natch'l Blues (remastered with bonus tracks) 
1965-66/92  Rising Sons - Rising Sons 
Related Act
1970  Jesse Davis (japan edition)
1972  Ululu (2003 japan HDCD remaster)
1973  Jesse Ed Davis - Keep Me Comin' (Japan 2017) 

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Jerry Yester - Pass Your Light Around (1964-7? us, wonderful folk soft rock, 2017 remaster)

Though having been a member of the New Christy Minstrels and Modern Folk Quartet, and a replacement for Zal Yanovsky in the Lovin’ Spoonful, Jerry Yester is known mostly for his behind-the-scenes work as a studio musician, arranger and producer. His album with then-wife Judy Henske, Farewell Aldebaran, and a follow-up collaboration as Rosebud, are both highly revered, but did little to establish Yester’s name commercially. A pair of 1967 singles on the Dunhill label were his only commercially released solo material, but he wrote and recorded at a variety of Los Angeles studios throughout the 1970s, and fifteen of those pieces are collected and released here for the very first time.

These are finished studio recordings, not songwriter demos, and their artistry, quality and polish are undimmed by the decades they’ve spent on the shelf. Yester’s collaboration with lyricist Larry Beckett yielded a wide range of material, with the former responding musically to the latter’s words. The material covers pop, folk, bubblegum, country-rock, baroque and more. The lyrics, which were often inspired by real-life events, are filled with yearning, period detail and allegorical depth. The overdubbed harmonies of “Brooklyn Girl” show what Yester could accomplish on his own, and the backing of the Manhattan Transfer’s Laurel Massé on “Dance for Me, Anna Lee” shows off the artistic circles in which he traveled.

Yester repurposed a few of his earlier melodies, borrowed a few from Bach, and for the vocal intro of “Brooklyn Girl,” he deftly lifted the hook from “Stop! In the Name of Love.” The latter’s production of beautifully layered harmonies and harmonium combine to suggest the Tokens singing a Left Banke song. There are several songs of unrequited infatuation, and Beckett’s lyric of marital dissolution, “The Minutes,” echoed Yester’s split from Judy Henske. Although several of these songs were recorded by a reformed mid-70s MFQ, the originals remained on Yester’s shelf until now. It’s surprising that no one spotted the commercial possibilities of “All I Can Do Is Dance” or the FM potential of an album. Liner notes by Barry Alphonso and photos by Henry Diltz fill out a very special package.

1. Pass Your Light Around (Larry Beckett) - 2:29
2. My Dusty Darling - 2:20
3. Brooklyn Girl - 3:01
4. The Whiskey Moon (Larry Beckett) - 2:38
5. Showboat - 3:27
6. The Sun Is Like A Big Brass Band (Jerry Yester, Larry Beckett, Johan Sebastian Bach) - 2:08
7. Corn Cracker - 3:04
8. Dance For Me, Anna Lee - 2:56
9. With A Hickory Pole - 2:58
10.Seesaw - 2:57
11.The Minutes - 2:56
12.The Rose - 3:00
13.Across The Persian Gulf (Jerry Yester, Larry Beckett, Johan Sebastian Bach) - 2:11
14.All I Can Do Is Dance - 3:59
15.Hip Toad - 2:07
Compositions by Jerry Yester, Larry Beckett except where stated

*Jerry Yester - Lead Vocals, Piano, Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonium, Bass, Organ, Autoharp, Synthesizer
*David Vaught - Bass
*Don Heffington - Drums, Percussion
*John Seiter - Keyboards
*Peter Klimes - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*John Forsha - Electric, 12 String Guitars
*John Tuttle - Violins
*Larry Brown - Guitar
*Laurel Massé - Vocals

Related Acts
1969  Judy Henske And Jerry Yester - Farewell Aldebaran 
1971  Rosebud - Rosebud (2017 remaster and expanded)
1965  Do You Believe In Magic (2016 Blu Spec Bonus Tracks Edition)
1966  Daydream  (2016 Blu Spec Bonus Tracks Edition)
1966  Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful  (2016 Blu Spec Bonus Tracks Edition)
1966 The Lovin' Spoonful - What's Up, Tiger Lily (2008 japan remaster) 
1967-68  You're A Big Boy Now / Everything Playing (2011 edition and 2016 Blu Spec Bonus Tracks Edition)
1969  Revelation: Revolution '69
1968  Zalman Yanovsky - Alive And Well In Argentina (2010 remaster and expanded)

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride (1971 us, fantastic blues soaked hard rock, 2013 japan blu spec remaster)

Mountain's follow-up to the very successful Climbing! is another tour-de-force of heavy rock styles, mixed this time even more effectively with an increased sense of experimentalism. Columbia/Legacy has once again put together a nice little remaster package here, with liner notes from Leslie West and Corky Laing, photos, and vibrant sound.

The hard rock sounds of "Don't Look Around" start the CD off in head-banging fashion, with West's throaty growl and rampaging guitar riffs backed by the rhythm section of Laing and Felix Pappalardi, and contrasted by the lush Mellotron notes from Steve Knight. The epic title track is an early 70's classic, featuring melodic vocals from Pappalardi, huge pounding guitar parts from West, and Knights cascading keyboards. West assaults the listener with stinging lead lines and churning rhythm guitar on the rocking "You Can't Get Away", and angry song that just screams to be played live, and "Tired Angels" features some wicked pentatonic licks (listen to this song and hear where Michael Schenker and Uli John Roth might have gotten some inspiration) and layers of organ and piano from Knight. 

"The Animal Trainer and the Toad" is a funky but heavy blues-rocker, while "My Lady" has a hint of psychedelia as well as good early 70's pop. The CD ends with the metal-meets-prog of "Travellin' In The Dark (To E.M.P.)" and the electric blues of "The Great Train Robbery", highlighted by some nasty slide guitar from Leslie West. The bonus track on this reissue is a live version of "Travellin' In The Dark (To E.M.P.)", that suffers a bit from the bass and organ being way too high in the mix, but is neat to hear nevertheless.

While not the out-and-out ball-buster that Climbing! is, Nantucket Sleighride is a great follow-up, and an important album in hard rock history that cemented Mountain as a force to be reckoned with and Leslie West a bona-fide guitar hero. 
by Pete Pardo

1. Don't Look Around (Leslie West, Sue Palmer, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 3:47
2. Taunta (Felix Pappalardi) - 1:00
3. Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 5:55
4. You Can't Get Away (Leslie West, Gail Collins, Corky Laing) - 3:28
5. Tired Angels (To J.M.H.) (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 4:42
6. The Animal Trainer And The Toad (Leslie West, Sue Palmer) - 3:29
7. My Lady (Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 4:36
8. Travellin' In The Dark (To E.M.P.) (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 4:27
9. The Great Train Robbery (Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 5:50
10.Travellin' In The Dark (To E.M.P.) (Live) (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 5:10

*Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals
*Felix Pappalardi - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Steve Knight - Organ, Handbells
*Corky Laing - Drums, Percussion

1969-73  Mountain ‎- Setlist The Very Best Of Mountain Live (2011 release)
1970  Mountain - Climbing! (2013 blu spec edition) 
Related Acts
1965-68  Vagrants - I Can't Make a Friend (2011 remaster)
1969  Leslie West - Mountain (Japanese edition)
1973  Back Door - 8th Street Nites
1976  The (Blues) Creation With Felix Pappalardi - Live At Budokan (rare double disc japan issue) 

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Seeds - Raw And Alive The Seeds In Concert At Merlin's Music Box (1967-68 us, superb punkadelic, 2014 double dsic remaster)

Sky Saxon and the Seeds were an aggregation who, at their peak, understood how to unleash the unbridled cathartic power of rock’n’roll in their live performances. Their swansong album “Raw & Alive: The Seeds In Concert” is a remarkable encapsulation of this gift. Its contents were not recorded “live” on location, although that had been the original intention and, apart from added crowd noise, there is no studio trickery or editing of the performances. The record really is the Seeds “raw” and it delivers the sense of chaotic excitement their audiences have long enthused about. It remains a fitting tribute to the power of the original Seeds quartet.

At the start of 1968, the Seeds needed help, especially after the disappointing reaction to their “Future” and “Seedy Blues” albums. They had fired voluble manager Lord Tim Hudson and were playing fewer and fewer dates, as Sky now preferred to hold stoned court at his Malibu crash pad. A long-playing record showcasing their strength as a live act was mooted. The original plan was to record in the studio in front of a small invited audience, but the dynamics of a true Seeds show were lacking and the results were scrapped. Disc 2 of our reissue contains this performance as it went down. It is a fascinating document, featuring different arrangements of some Seeds classics and a wholly unreleased song, ‘Hubbly Bubbly Love’.

The band tried again in April 1968, this time without an audience but in the same warts-and-all “live” mode. The selections were a combination of singles, classic album cuts and some new material including the spooky ‘Forest Outside Your Door’ and ‘Mumble And Jumble’. The experimental ‘Night Time Girl’ featured a prototype Vox guitar/organ combination, and the fuzz-tinged rocker ‘Satisfy You’ was a real return to form. Once completed, the tracks were overlaid with the sort of frenzied screaming that might have  been heard at the Seeds concerts a year before, but was now in increasingly short supply. Hearing the undubbed original renditions, as presented on Disc 1 for the first time, suggests this fake applause was probably unneccessary, such is the power of Sky, Daryl, Jan and Rick on these essential cuts.

The deluxe remastered reissue of “Raw & Alive: The Seeds In Concert” comes in a gatefold digipak that contains a fat booklet crammed with full details on the making of the album and dozens of photos of the Seeds in action during their heyday.
by Alec Palao

Disc 1
1. Introduction By "Humble Harve" Miller/Mr. Farmer - 3:58
2. No Escape (Jimmy Lawrence, Jan Savage, Sky Saxon) - 2:27
3. Satisfy You (Sky Saxon, Jan Savage) - 2:04
4. Night Time Girl - 2:33
5. Up In Her Room - 9:56
6. Gypsy Plays His Drums (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 4:35
7. Can't Seem To Make You Mine - 2:40
8. Mumble And Bumble (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 2:27
9. Forest Outside Your Door (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 2:41
10.Pushin' Too Hard - 2:53
11.Introduction By "Humble Harve"/Mr. Farmer - 4:07
12.No Escape (Jimmy Lawrence, Jan Savage, Sky Saxon) - 2:30
13.Satisfy You (Sky Saxon, Jan Savage) - 2:07
14.Night Time Girl - 2:31
15.Up In Her Room - 9:56
16.Gypsy Plays His Drums (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 4:40
17.Can't Seem To Make You Mine - 2:38
18.Humble And Bumble (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 2:30
19.Forest Outside Your Door (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 2:42
20.900 Million People Daily All Making Love - 4:55
21.Pushin' Too Hard - 2:56
All songs by Sky Saxon except where noted

Disc 2
1. Introduction By Gene Norman - 2:51
2. Mumble And Bumble (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 2:21
3. Gypsy Plays His Drums (New Mix) (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 4:44
4. Mr Farmer - 4:01
5. No Escape (Jimmy Lawrence, Jan Savage, Sky Saxon)2:44
6. Satisfy You (Jan Savage, Sky Saxon) - 2:04
7. Can't Seem To Make You Mine - 2:52
8. Two Fingers Pointing On You - 3:17
9. 900 Million People Daily All Making Love - 8:56
10.Forest Outside Your Door (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 3:26
11.Hubbly Bubbly Love - 2:15
12.Up In Her Room - 7:39
13.A Faded Picture (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 6:50
14.Fallin' (Sky Saxon, Daryl Hooper) - 7:22
15.Pushin' Too Hard (New Mix) (2:49
16.Wdgy Spots - 0:55
All songs by Sky Saxon except where stated

1965-93 The Seeds - Pushin' Too Hard (2007 double CD compilation)
1966 The Seeds - The Seeds (2012 remaster and expanded
1966-67 The Seeds - Web Of Sound / A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues (2013 double disc) 
1967 The Seeds - Future (Vinyl edition)
1967 The Seeds - Future (2013 double disc digipak)
1986  Sky "Sunlight" Saxon And Firewall - Destiny's Children

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Mountain - Climbing! (1970 us, impressive heavy rock with melodic sensibilities, 2013 blu spec edition)

In the early ‘70s, the transition of rock as a form of expression towards the mass market entertainment industry swept aside in its wake a large number of musical pioneers – pioneers such as Mountain, the missing link to heavy metal’s beginnings, among others. The rock behind the mountain is none other than Leslie West, one of history’s most influential guitarists who the gods have only looked down kindly upon the one time, when he was courting a certain queen from Mississippi. Having recently turned 71 (born in October 1945), his biography may not take up that much space in the encyclopaedias, but that great song can still often be heard on the radio. Maybe his mistake was arriving at the right place, but at the wrong time in the history of rock.  

Climbing! , Mountain’s debut album in 1970, was in fact the ex-guitarist of The Vagrants’ second record, with whom he had already made a name for himself - both for his imposing frame and his unusual technique. He recorded his first album, a sublime slice of blues, by himself – tracks which convinced record producer Felix Pappalardi that this giant of a man was the perfect candidate to take over from Cream, another of his creations. It wasn’t long before a contract with Atlantic Records was laid on the table to be signed.   

Back then, Clapton was god and West was set on sounding like him, exactly like him. This was going to be a dream come true for the 25-year-old New Yorker. To keep him company, Pappalardi had brought in Steve Knight on the keyboards and Laurence ‘Corky’ Laing on drums. Before he knew what had hit him, West found himself up on stage at Woodstock and about to become legend.  

He took full advantage of the opportunity handed to him and surprised all and sundry with a record that didn’t just follow in the stellar path of the legendary trio, but was much grittier. That said, Pappalardi ensured that a piece by Jack Bruce was on there, even though it wasn’t one of the composer’s best efforts. The one-hit-wonder that Mississippi Queen would prove to be aside, songs such as Never in My Life (very popular back then), with their heavy, hypnotic riffs, were the early signs of hard rock’s coming of age. On Side B, back when you had to turn a record over and that pause in the proceedings actually mattered (not like with today’s CDs and USBs), the psychedelic hues present were more along the lines of progressive rock. At times it’s quite impossible to not think of Rush.  

Apart from the elaborate and perfectionist work of West, also of note is the music played by Knight on the piano in Boys in the Band – almost the only chance that the keyboard player got to shine in an album ruled by West’s Gibson Les Paul Jr., a guitar that he is famous for, along with the Electra Plexiglass that he used to fool around with during his early concerts.  

However, the hidden gem that can be found in Climbing! is the acoustic beauty, To My Friend, and the only song that West wrote entirely on his own. A fine example of just how well this maestro of the six strings can play.

1. Mississippi Queen (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West) - 2:32
2. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 5:08
3. Never In My Life (Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Leslie West) - 3:53
4. Silver Paper (Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, George Gardos, Leslie West, Steve Knight) - 3:19
5. For Yasgur's Farm (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Gary Ship, George Gardos) - 3:23
6. To My Friend (Leslie West) - 3:38
7. The Laird (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 4:39
8. Sittin' On A Rainbow (Corky Laing, Gail Collins, Leslie West) - 2:23
9. Boys In The Band (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 3:43
10.For Yasgur's Farm (Live) (Corky Laing, David Rea, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Gary Ship, George Gardos) - 4:19
Bonus Track #10

*Leslie West - Guitars, Vocals
*Felix Pappalardi - Bass Guitar, Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Corky Laing - Drums, Percussion
*Steve Knight - Organ, Mellotron

1969-73  Mountain ‎- Setlist The Very Best Of Mountain Live (2011 release)
Related Acts
1965-68  Vagrants - I Can't Make a Friend (2011 remaster)
1969  Leslie West - Mountain (Japanese edition)
1973  Back Door - 8th Street Nites
1976  The (Blues) Creation With Felix Pappalardi - Live At Budokan (rare double disc japan issue) 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Prentice And Tuttle - Prentice And Tuttle (1971 us, acoustic bluesy folk, 2011 korean edition)

First record from this duo, recorded while they were still in high-school.  This two young Boston based folk duo released this strong rural inspired beautiful folk album. The album is nowhere near as well known as the slightly more produced "Every Loving Day", but it will appeal to the same people, and just may well be a better album. 

It’s a distinctive and well-written collection of 14 short songs, starkly arranged in the best tradition of 1962 Greenwich Village (they even cover a Fred Neil song) and with an old-timer kind of world-weary feel. Some pianos and acoustic 12-string guitars give the album some variety despite the simple arrangements. This is not “pretty” folk, but it is melodic nonetheless. It doesn’t get much more “real” than this album. Highly recommended to any fan of folk/loner folk.
Acid Archives

1. Drink Away Your Blues - 2:25
2. Lisa - 3:25
3. Don`t Make Promises (Tim Hardin) - 2:40
4. Nothing To Say (Stephen Tuttle) - 3:14
5. Chase It Away (Steve Prentice) - 1:45
6. Hello Hobo - 2:28
7. Granny`s Bacon - 3:27
8. You Couldn`t Tell (Stephen Tuttle) - 3:09
9. Mr. Sandman - 2:32
10.Don`t Cry For Me (Stephen Tuttle) - 2:27
11.A Friend - 2:25
12.I Go Crazy - 1:59
13.Only Good Nights - 2:46
14.Don`t Go To Sleep Maria - 0:41
Music and Words by Stephen Tuttle, Steve Prentice excpet where stated

*Stephen Tuttle - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Steve Prentice - Six, Twelve String Guitars, Harmonica, Vocals
*David Cain - Bass
*John Gerbron - Drums
*Andy Robinson - Piano

1972  Prentice And Tuttle ‎- Every Loving Day 

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Friday, February 7, 2020

The Amboy Dukes - Journey To The Center Of The Mind (1968 us, outstanding hard garage psych, 2018 japan remaster)

In early 1968 the Dukes went on to studio to record their second album "Journey to the Center of the Mind", it was released in April 1968, on the local "Mainstream" label. 

The title track, which Nugent wrote the music for Steve Farmer's lyrics, was released as a single and climbed the U.S. pop chart to number 16. Despite its apparent drug related theme, Nugent himself claims to have "never smoke a joint...never done a drug in my life. I thought 'Journey to the Center of the Mind' meant look inside yourself, use your head, and move forward in life".

This raw heavy acid psych gem was recorded amidst a whirlwind of lineup changes, many of them due to Nugent’s commandeering of the band and then firing everyone who, lyrics notwithstanding, struck him as a wee bit too pro-drug for real life. 

At this point in time, the Nugent was an ambitious but interesting guitar player who was excessively hairy and liked jumping on top of things (moving cars, battle of the band judge tables, speaker cabinets, etc.). After his raging tours and hits of the late 70s, he quickly turned into a conservative caricature with a remarkable talent for being simultaneously entertaining and vile. 

1. Mississippi Murderer - 5:12
2. Surrender To Your Kings (Ted Nugent) - 2:53
3. Flight Of The Byrd (Ted Nugent) - 2:50
4. Scottish Tea (Ted Nugent) - 4:01
5. Dr. Slingshot - 3:09
6. Journey To The Center Of The Mind - 3:33
7. Ivory Castles (Steve Farmer) - 3:21
8. Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than An Orange (Steve Farmer) - 2:26
9. Missionary Mary (Steve Farmer) - 2:35
10.Death Is Life (Steve Farmer) - 2:09
11.Saint Philips Friend (Steve Farmer) - 3:33
12.I'll Prove I'm Right (Steve Farmer) - 1:39
13.Conclusion (Steve Farmer) - 1:59
14.You Talk Sunshine, I Breath Fire - 2:45
All somgs by Ted Nugent, Steve Farmer except where noted

The Amboy Dukes
*Ted Nugent – Lead Guitar
*Greg Arama – Bass
*John  Drake – Vocals
*Steve Farmer – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Palmer – Drums
*Andy Solomon – Organ, Piano, Vocals

1967  The Amboy Dukes (2007 bonus track remaster)
1969  The Amboy Dukes - Migration (korean remaster)

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Tony Joe White - Black And White (1969 us, remarkable swamp rock, 2012 japan remaster with extra tracks)

Tony Joe White grew up in rural Louisiana and was nicknamed “the Swamp Fox” due to his ability to write songs that conveyed the humidity, idiosyncrasies and tensions of the US south.

The best known of these was Rainy Night in Georgia, which gained global recognition not through his own version but via a cover in 1970 from Brook Benton, followed by a number of other popular interpretations over the years, by artists from Ray Charles to Randy Crawford and Rod Stewart.

In fact his swamp songs proved surprisingly universal, and were recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley and Tina Turner to Dusty Springfield and Rory Gallagher. When his career was flagging in the 1980s, Turner brought his song Steamy Windows to wider attention as a Top 20 hit in various countries, and also used three of his other compositions on her highly successful 1989 album, Foreign Affair.

White was born into a farming family, the seventh son of Virgie (nee Andrews) and Charlie White, in Oak Grove, a small town in north-eastern Louisiana, and he grew up harvesting cotton and corn. A keen interest in music, especially the blues his African-American neighbours played, found White, upon graduating from high school, playing Texan honky-tonks where he recalled “the beer bottles would get to flying”.

In 1967 he was working as a dump truck driver for the local authority in Marietta, Georgia, and while doing so heard Bobbie Gentry’s groundbreaking 1967 hit Ode to Billie Joe. This inspired him to write songs about southern life and one of the first was Polk Salad Annie, a wry rocker about “a girl that I swear to the world/ would make the alligators look tame”.

White guessed he had something and, in late 1967, drove to Nashville. There he parked up and walked into the first music publisher’s office he came across. They asked him what kind of music he made and he replied, “well, it’s kind of swampy”. Directed across the road to Combine Music, the publisher of Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson, its head, Bob Beckham, recognised in White a maverick talent. Beckham suggested that Monument Records, the label that had made Roy Orbison famous, should sign White – and they did.

While his 45s initially failed to chart in the US – although Soul Francisco was a hit in France – White was certain that Polk Salad Annie had potential, as southern audiences loved the song. For almost a year the single’s momentum built as local radio stations played it, but it took a major Los Angeles radio station to add it to their playlist for White to get his break – Polk Salad Annie reached No 8 on the US pop charts in July 1969, his only US Top 40 hit. Presley, recognising a kindred spirit, began performing it in concert. White capitalised by releasing his debut album, Black and White, in 1969.
by Garth Cartwright, Sun 28 Oct 2018  

When "Polk Salad Annie" blared from transistor radio speakers in the summer of 1969, the first thought was of Creedence Clearwater Revival, for Tony Joe White's swamp rock bore more than a passing resemblance to the sound John Fogerty whipped up on Bayou Country and Green River. But White was the real thing -- he really was from the bayou country of Louisiana, while Fogerty's bayou country was conjured up in Berkeley, CA. Plus, White had a mellow baritone voice that sounded like it had been dredged up from the bottom of the Delta. Besides "Annie," side one of this album includes several other White originals.

The best of these are "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," a song about race relations with an arrangement similar to "Ballad of Billie Joe," and "Soul Francisco," a short piece of funky fluff that had been a big hit in Europe in 1968. "Aspen, Colorado" presages the later "Rainy Night in Georgia," a White composition popularized by Brook Benton. The second side consists of covers of contemporary hits, with the funky "Who's Making Love" and "Scratch My Back" faring better than the slow stuff. Dusty Springfield had a minor hit with "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," and White's songs were recorded by other performers through the years, but "Polk Salad Annie" and the gators that got her granny provided his only march in the American hit parade. 
by Jim Newsom

Tony Joe White, singer and songwriter, born 23 July 1943; died 24 October 2018

1. Willie And Laura Mae Jones - 4:57
2. Soul Francisco - 1:57
3. Aspen Colorado - 2:50
4. Whompt Out On You - 2:25
5. Don't Steal My Love - 3:52
6. Polk Salad Annie - 3:46
7. Who's Making Love (Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher, Don Davis, Raymond Jackson) - 3:14
8. Scratch My Back (James Moore) - 3:03
9. Little Green Apples (Bobby Russell) - 4:01
10.Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb) - 2:53
11.Look Of Love (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 3:24
12.Georgia Pines (John Adkins, Buddy Blue) - 2:58
13.Ten More Miles To Louisiana - 2:23
All compositions by Tony Joe White except where noted

*Tony Joe White – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*David Briggs: Piano, Organ
*Jerry Carrigan – Drums
*Norbert Putnam – Bass
*Chip Young – Guitar
*Jimmy Isbell – Drums

1969  Tony Joe White - ...Continued (2012 japan remaster) 
1970  Tony Joe White - Tony Joe (2013 Japan remaster) 
1969-2004  Tony Joe White - Collected (2012 three discs release)

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