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.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Saraband - Close To It All (1973 uk, wonderful folk rock, 2018 korean remaster)

Saraband was a short lived folk band from Rochdale (England), released only album in 1973. They started  out as The Honeydew releasing one LP in 1970, befor changing their name to Saraband. 

Fragile female vocal well mixed with various acoustic instruments and male vocal harmonies.

This is their sole album, one of the first on the tiny independent Folk Heritage label, and, lacking any distribution network, it was only available at gigs or mail order.

1. Close To It All (Melanie Safka) - 4:55
2. Winter Song (Frank Harrison, Barbara Yates) - 4:44
3. This Moment (Mike Heron) - 7:14
4. Retrospect (Frank Harrison) - 3:43
5. I'm Your Man (Frank Harrison, Stuart Mawdsley, Barbara Yates) - 3:04
6. Black Jack Davey (Traditional) - 3:35
7. Peace Will Come (Tom Paxton) - 3:03
8. River (Frank Harrison, Barbara Yates) - 8:32
9. Herbie (Frank Harrison, Barbara Yates) - 3:55
10.All The Way To Richmond (Ed Welch, Tom Paxton) - 4:00

*Barbara Yates - Vocals, Tambourine, Recorder 
*Frank Harrison - Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin
*Stuart Mawdsley - Guitar, Vocals
*Dave Titley - Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Chris Bradley - Drums, Tambourine, Bongos, Cymbal, Mandolin, Bodhrán


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Johnny Winter - Johnny Winter And (1970 us, superb hard blues rock, 2018 japan xpanded)

After two late-'60s albums on Columbia, Johnny Winter hit his stride in 1970 working with Rick Derringer and the McCoys, now recruited as his sidemen and collaborators (and proving with just about every note here how far they'd gotten past "Hang on Sloopy"). In place of the bluesy focus on his first two albums, Winter extended himself into more of a rock-oriented mode here, in both his singing and his selection of material. 

This was hard rock with a blues edge, and had a certain commercial smoothness lacking in his earlier work. Derringer's presence on guitar and as a songwriter saw to it that Winter's blues virtuosity was balanced by perfectly placed guitar hooks, and the two guitarists complemented each other perfectly throughout as well. 

There wasn't a weak moment anywhere on the record, and if Johnny Winter And wasn't a huge commercial success, it was mostly because of the huge amount of competition at the time from other, equally inspired players, that kept numbers like the Winter originals "Prodigal Son" and "Guess I'll Go Away" as well as Derringer co-authored pieces such as "Look Up" from having the impact they should have had on FM radio. 
by Bruce Eder

This album contains—surprise!—no blues. It is Rock and Roll at its very best. Good, solid songs—a few of them instant classics. The singing is funky, full of raspy screams, pushing the music towards some sort of ultimate ... edge. The new band consists of three ex-McCoys, a dyed-in-the-wool Rock Band. They still are. And good musicians—especially Rick Derringer, the guitarist-singer who shares the limelight with Johnny Winter.

The soul of the album is the interplay between Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer. On stage, it's easy to see how it works. Derringer plays guitar straight from the groin: solid-snaky rock lines. The root. Winter seems to play guitar in a state of transported ecstasy, like the bare electric skeleton of rock dancing in the mind-juice river. The branch. Winter's guitar-imagination has greater scope than Derringer's. Winter's guitar builds on Derringer's, elaborating, decorating, getting slinky and sliding right out of your brain. All without ever losing the beat, the sexual thread of the music.

Together, they sound like Hendrix playing behind Clapton. In fact, the album will remind you of the best moments of early Hendrix and early Cream. "Am I Really Here" sounds much like Cream's "White Room." The vocal to "Rock and Roll Hoochiekoo" has the same slide-punch inflections as Hendrix's singing. There are more examples of Influences At Work Here, but Winter and Derringer are much too good to be mere imitations. They have learned; they have transcended their influences and come up with something all their own.

Playing in a rock context has improved Winter's playing (if you can believe that possible). He seems more down-to-earth, more believable. You can dance to it. In fact, you'd better.

The material is surprisingly good — especially Derringer's compositions. "Rock and Roll Hoochiekoo" and "Funky Music" are both sturdy good-time rockers, and would make fine singles. Winter's compositions, though intense and moving, tend to lack form. They sometimes, as on "Nothing Left," fall apart in your ear. But what the hell. This is fine stuff, by far the best thing Johnny Winter has done. And that's saying something.
by David Gancher
1. Guess I'll Go Away (Johnny Winter) - 3:29
2. Ain't That A Kindness (Mark Klingman) - 3:30
3. No Time To Live (Jim Capaldi, Stevie Winwood) - 4:37
4. Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo (Rick Derringer) - 3:33
5. Am I Here (Randy Zehringer) - 3:25
6. Look Up (Rick Derringer, Robyn Supraner) - 3:35
7. Prodigal Son (Johnny Winter) - 4:18
8. On The Limb (Rick Derringer) - 3:36
9. Let The Music Play (Allan Nicholls, Otis Stephens) - 3:16
10.Nothing Left (Johnny Winter) - 3:31
11.Funky Music (Rick Derringer) - 4:58
12.Guess I'll Go Away (Live) (Johnny Winter) - 4:42
13.Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo (Live) (Rick Derringer) - 4:57
Bonus Tracks 12-13 Live at The Fillmore East, October 3, 1970

*Johnny Winter - Vocals, Guitar
*Rick Derringer - Vocals, Guitar
*Randy Jo Hobbs - Vocals, Bass
*Randy Zehringer - Drums 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Keef Hartley Band - British Radio Sessions (1969-71 uk, outstanding blues jazz rock, 2013 release)

The history of rock and roll has produced innumerable drummers. A small number of them have become household names, Ringo Starr, Ginger Baker, Charlie Watts,John Bonham. How many though, have been talented and forceful enough to carve out a successful solo career, without the advantage of being in the public eye, via involvement with a big selling group? The answer must be, very few indeed. This article centres on one such drummer and band leader, Keef Hartley. His recorded legacy spans the era's of Merseybeat, R&B, The British blues boom, and prog rock,leaving a host of highly collectable records in his wake. Additionally, he's contributed his considerable talent to genres as diverse as folk, Jazz, Kraut-rock and one of the biggest selling albums of the 1970's.

To find the start of Keef's career, we must go back to his home town of Preston in Lancashire and the year 1962. At this time Keef was playing with a highly regarded local outfit, "The Thunderbeats". Whilst this name will be unfamiliar to most readers, it is worth a brief mention if only for the fact, that this group would be the starting point for other collectable artists of the next decade. Examples of these include David John and The Mood, Little Free Rock and Thundermother (who were to perform on one side of the extremely rare "Astral Navigations" L.P. released by Holyground in 1971). The Thunderbeats were to perform regularly around the NorthWest, even supporting The Beatles at Morecambe, however Keef was about to make his first move.

When a Liverpool promoter and club owner discovered Keef was keen to turn professional, he offered him the chance to join Rory Storm and the Hurricanes as permanent replacement for Ringo Starr. Keef didn't view his new band too highly, having seen them countless times on the same gig circuit. "Nah, I didn't rate 'em much. I always thought Rory was a bit of a prat, but I couldn't turn down the chance to earn a tenner a week, which was a small fortune in those days". So, Keef became a full time Hurricane, wearing Ringo's old luminous pink stage suit and playing gigs up and down the country. The group recorded only a handful of tracks during their six year existence, and Keef's part in them has never been properly documented before.

However he clearly remembers the day, when John Schroeder from Oriole records came to record the group in the Rialto Ballroom. "I was surprised to read in a back issue of Record Collector (Rory Storm feature, issue 99) that Brian Johnson played on the session, because that was certainly me. It was done very quickly as I remember. We came up did our set, and that was it, time for the next band." These recordings were to appear on the Oriole compilation "This is Merseybeat", and the track "Dr Feelgood",was lifted to become the first single by the group.

Keef's friendship with the producer Mike Vernon enabled him to play on many more great albums, some of which are highly sought after today. Joining friends such as Eric Clapton, Tony McPhee, Peter Green, Mick Taylor and John Mayall, he played on countless sessions for visiting American bluesmen, such as Champion Jack Dupree and Jimmy Witherspoon. This informal group of friends were to also feature (frequently uncredited for contractual reasons) on many other L.P's that Mike Vernon produced for Decca and later Blue Horizon.

The first tentative steps to a solo career were made following a call from Marshall Chess ( owner of Chess Records )to Mike Vernon and Neil Slavern. As Neil remembers, "Marshall was keen for Chess to keep pace with the move from straightforward R&B to a more progressive sort of blues. He'd heard the stuff Mike had produced and was looking for something similar. Keef quickly put a band together consisting of himself, Gary Thain, Paul Rogers and Paul Kossoff. They went into the studio and finished about 3 tracks. These were sent over to the States but nothing came of it."

Keef was keen to push on, and he began auditioning friends and newcomers for the new outfit. The nucleus of this was to be Peter (Dino) Dines on keyboards, Spit James (better known as Ian Cruickshank) on guitar, Gary Thain on bass, Keef on drums and Owen Finnegan on vocals. Things were beginning to gel. The Keef Hartley Band began to gig regularly and their Chicago based blues rock was getting a good audience response.

Of the original band members, Gary Thain went on to join Uriah Heep, but suffered an electric shock on stage from which he never fully recovered. Unable to continue with the band, he became addicted to heroin and died of an overdose at the untimely age of 27.

Peter 'Dino' Dines and Miller Anderson both joined Marc Bolan's backing group, which lasted until Marc himself died tragically in a car crash just before his 30th birthday. Dino then went on to work with Bolan tribute band T Rextasy before he died of a heart attack in 2004 aged 59.

Keef Hartley carried on playing, leading bands and doing sessions, but eventually found himself in constant physical pain from the drumming – a similar fate has befallen Ginger Baker – and had to wear a neck brace. He went into retirement from music in the 80's, working as a cabinet maker, and died of complications arising from surgery, aged 67, in 2011.

Miller Anderson has soldiered on to play a part in The Miller Anderson Band, Hemlock, Savoy Brown, Blood Sweat and Tears, Dog Soldier, T Rex, The Dukes, Stan Webb's Speedway, Chicken Shack, Mountain, and The Spencer Davis group, to name but a few. In July 2016 he released a new album of 12 original tracks called “Through The Mill” and doesn't show any signs of slowing down yet. Long may he run.
by Stevie King

1. Medley - Overdog - Roundabout - Just A Cry - Sinnin' For You (Miller Anderson, Henry Lowther, Owen Finnegan, Keef Hartley, Peter Dines) -25:12
2. You Can't Choose (Miller Anderson) -5:56
3. You Can't Take It With You (Miller Anderson) -8:00
4. Sinnin' For You (Miller Anderson, Owen Finnegan, Keef Hartley, Peter Dines) -3:20
5. Too Much Thinking (Owen Finnegan, Gary Thain, Peter Dines) -5:33
6. Interview With Keef Hartley -1:09
7. Me And My Woman (Gene Barge) -3:37
8. Waiting Around (Gary Thain, Keef Hartley, Miller Anderson) -2:24
9. Too Much Thinking (Owen Finnegan, Gary Thain, Peter Dines) -5:43
10.Just A Cry (Henry Lowther, Owen Finnegan) -3:40
11.Shadows Across The Wall (Miller Anderson) -4:36
12.To Whom It May Concern (Miller Anderson) -3:19
13.High Tide, High Water (Miller Anderson) -7:27
Tracks 12-13 as Miller Anderson Band
Track 1 recorded live on 25 March 1971
Tracks 2-3 recorded live on 12 November 1970
Tracks 4-7 recorded in studio in April 1969
Tracks 8-9 recorded in studio in October 1969
Tracks 10-11 recorded in studio in June 1971
Tracks 12-13 recorded live on 13 September 1971

Keef Hartley Band
*Keef Hartley - Drums, Percussions
*Miller Anderson - Vocals, Guitars
*Gary Thain - Bass
*Henry Lowther - Trumpet, Violin
*Mike Weaver - Keyboards
*Lyn Dobson - Tenor Sax, Flute
*Dave Caswell - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
*Lyle Jenkins - Tenor Saxophone, Flute 

Keef Hartley
1968-72  Not Foolish Not Wise
1969  Halfbreed (2008 Esoteric)
1969  The Battle Of North West Six  (2008 Esoteric)
1970  The Time Is Near (2008 Esoteric remaster)
1970  Overdog (2005 Eclectic)
1971  Little Big Band
1972  Seventy Second Brave (2009 Esoteric)
1972  Lancashire Hustler (2008 Esoteric)
Related Acts
1964-67  Tha Artwoods - Singles A's & B's

Friday, December 11, 2020

White Duck - In Season (1972 us, essential country rock, 2014 korean remaster)

Hiatt made his first recording as a member of White Duck, a likable if unspectacular country rock band. Hiatt was on board for the band's second and final album In Season in 1972. (Hiatt did not play on White Duck's paper-thin self-titled 1971 debut record). The four band members (Hiatt, Don Kloetzke, Mario Friedel, and Paul Tabet) each contribute songs as singers and songwriters. Hiatt's two songs are the record's high points. "You Caught Me Laughin' " sounds like the type of song that would turn up on one of Hiatt's first two solo albums; the other one, "Sail Away", sounds almost like vintage Hiatt. "Sail Away" would be deserving of inclusion on a Hiatt anthology.

The songs contributed by Mario Friedel are almost as good as Hiatt's. Nearly half of the songs are written and sung by Don Kloetzke (who has a white duck sitting on his lap in the back cover photo); the quality of his contributions is inconsistent. Kloetzke shines on "Thank You" and "A Girl Who", but he overindulges on "Bull Island Boogie" and "Looney Tune", two oddball novelty songs in which Hiatt is not a credited player.

Overall, In Season makes for very pleasant listening, and should be regarded as more than just a curiosity piece for Hiatt's fans. The music on this record alternately resembles that of the Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers, but is more upbeat than either.

1. Carry Love (Don Kloetzke) - 3:55
2. Firewater (Mario Friedel, Skip Rogers) - 2:47
3. You Caught Me Laughin` (John Hiatt) - 3:24
4. Thank You (Don Kloetzke) - 3:22
5. Sail Away (John Hiatt) - 3:34
6. Bull Island Boogie (Buzz Cason, Don Kloetzke) - 5:04
7. Honey You`ll Be Alright (Do What Ya Gotta Do) (Paul Tabet, Mario Friedel) - 2:36
8. Lazy Days (Mario Friedel) - 4:01
9. A Girl Who (Don Kloetzke) - 3:32
10.Again (Mario Friedel) - 3:03
11.Looney Tune (Don Kloetzke) - 2:42

White Duck
*John Hiatt - Guitar, Vocals
*Don Kloetzke - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Paul Tabet - Drums, Vocals
*Mario Friedel - Guitar, Vocals
*Lump Williams - Bass
*Steve Mendell - Bass
*Andy McMahon - Piano
*Doug Yankus - Guitar
*Doyle Grisham - Steel Guitar
*Skip Rogers - Background Vocals
*Buzz Cason - Background Vocals

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Tryad - ...If Only You Believe In Lovin` (1972 us, notable psych folk rock, 2011 korean issue)

Tryad's If Only You Believe In Lovin', originally released in 1971 as a private press. Ultra-deluxe LP reissue on the newly resurrected Del Val label -- obscure but legendary label previously responsible for early editions by The Brigade, The Bachs, Bent Wind, D.R. Hooker, Fifty Foot Hose, etc. Long overdue and much delayed reissue of this 1971 NYC private press few have heard and less have seen. Comparable to the best UK folk-fusion LPs of the era, this is like a Yankee version of Hunter Muskett's great Every Time You Move (1970) with co-ed vocals plus bass/drums/pedal steel/flute/keys accompaniment and East Coast haunted not West Coast hip, though you'll be reminded of a certain revered private from out there that wouldn't exist for another five years: Relatively Clean Rivers. 

"Low key but really cool. Hard to believe it's an NYC piece from '72 from a sonic aspect. There's a kind of innocence to overall heft that puts me in mind of very early Bay Area stuff, like the second We Five LP (1967). That same sort of psych-is-hanging-unnamed-in-the-background vibe. The only thing that really places it in the '70s is that pedal steel which has a definite post-Sneaky-Pete feel. Very cool." 
by Byron Coley

Tryad was a trio featuring Jim Lasko, Jesse Lanzillotti, and Norine Lyons. This 10 song LP ranges in influence from basic melodic folk with great harmonies on "Columbia Tavern" to west coast influenced country rock on "Something Sweet In Dying" to the acid folk feel of "Eulogy Raga"

When looking for an album, I usually check out the back cover as most people do, especially in the case of a new group, and ask myself what, if anything, does this group have to say. I like some indication that the album is worth listening to.

This is Tryad’s first effort, I listened and they have something to say, about people, about conscious freedom, about contemporary values.

Within their lyrics, Tryad reveals an intimate personal commitment, and the music gets it across with harmonies that are contrasted against the lack of harmony in our surrounding culture today.

Anyone for a chance at self-doscovering?
by Buffalo Dick Burch, Original Album Liner Notes

1. I`m Wonderin` How I Ever Got That Way - 4:04
2. Columbia Tavern - 4:10
3. Uptown Suburb Alley - 3:25
4. The Coming Time Of Gone - 2:34
5. Something Sweet In Dying - 3:06
6. Country Way - 3:15
7. Spider Song - 2:05
8. Don`t Talk To Strangers - 5:47
9. Northern Journey - 3:09
10.Eulogy  Raga - 4:54

*Jim Lasko - Rhythm, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Jesse Lanzillotti - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Norine Lyons - Vocals
*Mike Oxios - Bass
*George Davis - Keyboards
*Kevin Perau - Flute
*Steve Musso- Drums
*Walt Rehder - Pedal Steel