In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now

Plain and Fancy

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


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Redeye - One Man`s Poison (1971 us, marvelous swamp folk rock, 2013 korean remaster)

Redeye's  second album "One Man`s Poison" released in 1971, is an extension of the first, with swamps and west coast folk-rock elements, but with more laid-back and mature music than the debut work. 

Includes the hit single  ‘Redeye Blues’, was issued in the spring of 1971, although it was banned in many radio markets owing to its lyrical content - some programmers objected to the song’s story-line about a person getting stoned and then unable to find his drug stash. 

Nevertheless, the single charted at number #78. The group was unable to follow it with another hit and split up in 1972.  

1. I`m Going Blind - 2:48
2. Red Eye Blues - 2:51
3. The Seeker - 3:20
4. I`ll Get Better - 3:16
5. The Making Of A Hero - 5:02
6. You Don`t Need It - 2:58
7. Walter Why Knott - 2:22
8. Someone - 3:02
9. Beginning To End - 2:39
10.Cold In The Night - 3:21
All songs by Dave Hodgkins

*Douglas "Red" Mark - Vocals, Guitar 
*Dave Hodgkins - Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Kirkham - Bass, Vocals
*Bob Bereman - Drums, Percussion

Related Acts

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Steampacket - The Steampacket (1965-66 uk, awsome r 'n' b)

Because their ranks included a future superstar, the Steampacket have received more attention than they really deserve. Featuring vocalists Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, and Julie Driscoll, as well as organist Brian Auger, misleading reissues of the group's demos bill the act as "the first supergroup." That's simply not the case. They were an interesting conglomeration, and innovative in the respect of featuring several singers. But their true status is as a short-lived footnote, and not one that rates as a highlight of any of the principals' careers.

Though the Steampacket played gigs at small venues around London as early as 1962, the nucleus of the band formed in mid-1965, after the demise of Baldry's backing outfit, the Hoochie Coochie Men. Baldry envisioned a soul-type revue, each singer taking the material for which he or she was most suited. Management by Giorgio Gomelsky (who also handled the Yardbirds and several other interesting British groups) and a supporting slot on the Rolling Stones' summer 1965 British tour seemed to promise a bright future.

Their professional activities were complicated by the fact that Baldry and Stewart retained separate managers for their individual careers. Additionally, Baldry was already signed to United Artists as a solo act, thwarting Gomelsky's plans to record the band. This led to disputes between the different managers, and the Steampacket broke up before they managed to enter the studio.

Officially enter the studio, that is. Gomelsky did record some tapes with the band at a rehearsal at the famous Marquee club in London. These have been reissued numerous times since the 1970s, and show the band to be a competent but hardly thrilling soul-rock outfit, anchored instrumentally by Auger's jazz blues organ. Stewart moved on to the Jeff Beck Group, the Faces, and solo stardom; Baldry moved into middle-of-the-road pop, landing some British hit singles in the late '60s. Auger had recorded as a backup musician on Baldry's mid-'60s solo records, and his Brian Auger Trinity group continued working with Julie Driscoll, reaching the U.K. Top Five in 1968 with "This Wheel's on Fire." 
by  Richie Unterberger

1. Can I Get A Witness (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr.) - 3:36
2. The In-Crowd (Billy Page) - 3:42
3. Baby Take Me (Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Jo Armstead) - 2:12
4. Baby Baby (Unknown) - 2:26
5. Back At The Chicken Shack (Jimmy Smith) - 3:52
6. Cry Me A River (Arthur Hamilton) - 2:46
7. Oh Baby, Don't Do It (Unknown) - 3:28
8. Holy Smoke (Unknown) - 3:28
9. Lord Remember Me (Unknown) - 4:18

The Steampacket
*Long John Baldry - Vocals
*Julie Driscoll - Vocals
*Rod Stewart - Vocals, Harmonica
*Brian Auger - Keyboards
*Rick Brown - Bass
*Micky Waller - Drums 
*Vic Biggs - Guitar

Related Acts
1970  Brian Auger And The Trinity - Befour (SHM 2013 remaster with extra tracks) 
1970 Brian Auger's Oblivion Express (2013 Japan SHM edition)
1971  A Better Land (2006 japan remaster)
1972  Second Wind (2006 japan remaster)
1973  Closer To It (2006 japan remaster) 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Redeye - Redeye (1970 us, beautiful folk soft rock with vocal harmonies, and even occasional jazzy-styled guitar segments, Big Pink 2013 remaster)

Prior to forming Redeye, singer/guitarist Douglas Marks obtained a bit of glory with the Sunshine Company and the Grains Of Sand. Active from 1967-68, this Los Angeles band parented a moderate amount of airplay with radiant Mamas and Papas-styled songs such as “Happy” and “Back on the Street Again.” The Sunshine Company released a trio of enjoyable albums, as well.

In 1970, Redeye – which also included rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dave Hodgkins, bassist/vocalist Bill Kirkham and drummer Bob Bereman – secured a contract with the Pentagram label. By the end of the year, the band notched a No. 27 nationwide hit single with “Games” that also appeared on Redeye’s self-titled debut album.

Listeners are guaranteed to experience a dose of deja vu (pun intended) when hearing “Games,” as the high-pitched harmony blend coating the bright and buoyant track are hijacked straight from the Crosby Stills Nash and Young songbook. A repetitively catchy chorus of “Yeah, you know” calls for a sing-a-long fest, while a clanging cowbell and an energetic jam rock with strength and substance.

Although “Games” sounds too close to comfort to CSNY to give Redeye a unique identity, there is no denying it is nattily crafted and sports plenty of appeal.

Riding the success of “Games,” Redeye toured and shared bills with the likes of the Byrds and Cactus. Things certainly looked good for the band, but their next single – the funky blues-oriented “Red Eye Blues” – failed to make much of an impact. Breaking up in 1972, Redeye’s short-lived popularity is rather a pity because they definitely had what was required to juggle commercial characteristics with edgier aspects.
by Beverly Paterson

1. Games - 3:05
2. Empty White Houses - 2:44
3. Mississippi Stateline - 4:00
4. Green Grass - 3:10
5. Down Home Run - 2:18
6. Dadaeleus` Unfinished Dream (Bill Kirkham, Dave Hodgkins) - 2:46
7. Oregon Bound - 3:15
8. Your Train Is Leaving - 2:46
9. 199 Thoughts Too Late - 2:30
10.Collections Of Yesterday And Now (Dave Hodgkins, Douglas Mark) - 4:31
All songs by Dave Hodgkins except where nored

*Douglas "Red" Mark - Vocals, Guitar 
*Dave Hodgkins - Guitar, Vocals
*Bill Kirkham - Bass, Vocals
*Bob Bereman - Drums, Percussion

Related Acts

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Bonnie Koloc - After All This Time (1971 us, gorgeous jazzy folk psych rock, 2015 korean remaster)

"After All This Time", Koloc’s debut album, released in 1971 by local label Ovation Records. At age 25, Koloc was already the doyenne of the north-side folk scene, having left behind her studies at the University of Northern Iowa in the late 60s and come to Chicago to pursue music. Her warm, clear voice and friendly stage presence helped her quickly line up performance time at venues such as the Earl of Old Town and the Fifth Peg. After All This Time includes a cover of “Jazzman,” by folk-scene comrade Ed Holstein, and her version got a lot of airplay on Chicago radio in the ensuing year.

“It was an exciting time,” Koloc tells me via her manager, David Koppel. “The record release for my first album was being held at the Old Town School of Folk Music with Studs Terkel as master of ceremonies, which was an honor in itself.” Terkel had been a fan of Koloc’s work from the beginning, and would later invite her onto his WFMT radio show several times. 
by Salem Collo-Julin, January 6, 2021

1. Don't Leave Me - 4:05
2. After All This Time - 3:47
3. New York City Blues - 4:19
4. Devil's Nine Questions - 4:36
5. Another New Morn' (Bonnie Koloc, Ron Scroggin, Stu Heiss) - 3:57
6. Rainy Day Lady - 3:40
7. Jazz Man (Ed Holstein) - 3:31
8. Victoria's Morning (Ed Holstein) - 4:49
9. Got To Get What You Can - 3:20
10.One Sure Thing (Jean Glover, Jim Glover) - 4:58
Music and Lyrics by Bonnie Koloc except where indicated

*Bonnie Koloc - Guitar, Vocals
*Ron Scroggin - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Allen Barcus - Piano
*Norman Christian - Drums
*Stu Heiss - Guitar
*Phil Upchurch - Bass
*Lizzie Scroggin - Vocals 
*Sid Simms - Bass

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Joey Stec - Joey Stec (1974-76 us, elegant folk classic soft rock, 2011 japan remaster)

Joey Stec will be a familiar name to fans of The Millennium, a Southern California group who were the brainchild of producers' Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher, and Keith Olsen. The group's album, Begin (Columbia 1968) is an obscure classic of the period, as well as being one of the most expensive albums recorded by Columbia at the time. Joey Stec was one of the main members of that band, and his own self-titled album is, in its own way, a classic of the period that it was done in as well. 

Released in 1975, The Joey Stec Album is loaded with great pop-rock hooks ("Do You Know"), introspective ballads ("No Knowing," which recalls Neil Young's work from this period) and delightful, joyous singing, songs and performances. Unlike many records like this from the mid-70's, this album actually has retained its freshness, and that alone is an incredible feat. Masterfully produced by the great Jimmy Miller (Traffic, Rolling Stones, etc.), the album features stellar guest performances by such heavyweights as Bobby Keys, Jim Gordon, Cale Radle and others. In fact, this album can accurately be described as a poppier version of The Dominos, crossed with the Beatle-esque pop sensibilities of groups as Badfinger and Big Star. Mostly, though, it sounds like Joey Stec, which is a wonderful thing in itself. Absolutely delicious. 
by Matthew Greenwald
1. Do You Know (Joey Stec, Warner Schwebki) - 3:22
2. Happier (Than I've Ever Been Before) (Joey Stec) - 3:38
3. I Wish It Would Rain (Barret Strong, Norman Whitfield, Roger Tenzabene) - 2:58
4. No Knowing (Joey Stec) - 3:37
5. Give My Love To You (Joey Stec) - 3:16
6. Easy To Love (Joey Stec) - 2:56
7. Back Again (Albert R. Morris, Joey Stec) - 2:48
8. Standing Here Alone (Joey Stec) - 3:34
9. Then (Joey Stec) - 2:31
10.Even Angels (Art Delgudico, Joey Stec) - 3:04
11.Desire (Joey Stec) - 3:44
12.Turn Back The Page (Joey Stec) - 3:37
13.Tired Out Soul (Joey Stec) - 4:27
Bonus Tracks 11-13

*Joey Stec - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Organ 
*Nancy Casta - Vocals
*Art DelGudico - Electric Guitar
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Bobby Keys - Baritone, Tenor Saxophone
*Joe Lala - Percussion
*Jimmy Miller - Vocals
*Albert Morris - Vocals
*John Nuese - Rhythm Guitar 
*Carl Radle - Bass
*Peggy Sandvig - Keyboards, Organ, Piano 

Related Acts
1967-68  The Millennium - Pieces (2013 Blu Spec)
1968  The Millennium - Begin (2013 Blue Spec edition)
1966-68  Sagittarius - Present Tense

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Freedom North - Freedom North (1970 canada, nice brass psych rock with some fuzzy tones, 2018 korean remaster)

In 1969, Donald K. Donald introduced Franki Hart (The Sirocco Singers, Riverson) to Bill Hill (J.B. and the Playboys) and suggested they join forces with members of Montréalband The Munks (Rick St. Jean, Rene Boileau, Del Desrosiers and Eddie Kaye) to form a new group called Freedom. In 1970, Freedom went into the studio to record an album for Aquarius Records. The line up was Bill Hill (lead guitar), Franki Hart (vocals/piano), Rick St. Jean (vocals/guitar), Les Leroux (bass) and Eddie Kaye (drums). Ron Dann added pedal steel guitar, and Rayburn Blake (Mashmakhan) guested on the song “Doctor Tom” on acoustic guitar. 

The album was released on Aquarius under the name Freedom North and was produced by Bill Hill. From Montreal, Quebéc, Freedom’s “Doctor Tom” was released on Aquarius in May 1970 and peaked at #17 on the RPM Top Singles chart in August of that year. The song was released in the US on the Wand label under the name Freedom of Choice. Freedom North toured extensively in Eastern Canada, often with other Montréalbands such as Mashmakhan and April Wine and, as well, performed in concert in Montreal, Toronto and New England. This line-up would include Graham Lear (drums) and Bob Burgess (bass). After the band split up Kaye, St. Jean and Leroux all ended up as part of Don Graham’s band Graham County in 1971; Franki Hart would perform solo in Quebéc throughout the 1970s under the name Frankie Hart and was the backing vocalist on The Wackers’ 1973 LP ‘Shredder’. She also made a guest appearance as part of the Wackers’ 40th anniversary reunion in Toronto in 2011. 
by Frankie Hart and Don Graham

1. Ordinary Man (Rick St. Jean) - 3:17
2. Take A Look At Me (Allan Nicholls, Bill Hill) - 3:16
3. Losing You (Bill Hil, Eddy Kaye, Franki Hart, Les Leroux, Rick St. Jean) - 2:24
4. Seems To Me (Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean) - 2:42
5. Lonely Man (Bill Hill, Les Leroux, Rick St. Jean) - 5:33
6. Dr. Tom (Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean) - 3:45
7. Hey Carmen (Robert Boileau) - 3:17
8. Gone Forever (Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean) - 3:13
9. Sorry (Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean) - 2:46
10.Vancouver (Bill Hill, Rick St. Jean) - 2:39

Freedom North
*Bill Hill - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Rick St. Jean - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Franki Hart - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Eddy Kaye - Drums
*Les Leroux - Bass

Related Act

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Nektar - ...Sounds Like This (1973 uk, remarkable prog rock, 2005 double disc remaster edition)

For Nektar, 1973's double set "Sounds Like This" was a pivotal moment. Roye Albrighton, (guitar, lead vocals), Allan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards, vocals), Derek "Mo" Moore (bass guitar, vocals) and Ron Howden (drums and percussion), had been touring and recording solidly for nearly four years, ably assisted by Mick Brockett's elaborate light show. Forming in Hamburg in 1969, Nektar quickly established themselves as a major live attraction in Germany. Signing to Bacillus records in 1970, the band had recorded the superb albums "Journey to the Centre of the Eye" and "A Tab in The Ocean" and were now looking to spread their music outside of Germany. 

The first overseas territory to be receptive to Nektar's music was Britain. Andrew Lauder, head of the UK division of United Artists records had become aware of the band thanks to the members of Welsh band Man recommending the group highly. As a result, the next album to be recorded by Nektar would also secure a British release. "Sounds Like This" was conceived as a way of capturing the live power of Nektar in the controlled surroundings of a recording studio, without employing the use of overdubs and as a vehicle to record of die older material written by the band in their formative months. The first sessions for “Sound Like This" took place at Dierks studio in Stommeln on 12th October 1972. In front of a small invited audience Nektar performed a lengthy set of music which included versions of "Good Day". "A New Day Dawning" (written by the band in 1969), "Wings", an extended jam of "Cast Your Fare" which featured a riff utilised in "Mr. H", later included in "A Day in the Life of a Preuhtr" and"Da Da Dum". In addition several pieces were recorded that in hindsight proved to be the birth of several major compositions in the later Nektar canon. "Sunshine Down on the City" was a twelve minute long opus that included sections of music that later appeared in "Remember the Future Part Two" and "A Day in the Life of a Preacher", whilst "It's All in Your Mind" was a twelve minute tour de force that also contained passages that would later feature in the bands magnum opus "Remember the Future". 

Despite the excellence of these recordings, no final mixes were made, as both producer Peter Hauke and Nektar felt the performances, (with the notable exception of "Wings"), whilst passionate and energetic, could be improved upon. Therefore the decision was made to enter the studio on February 8th 1973 to record a further "live in the studio" session. By this time "A Day in the Life of a Preacher" had evolved into a full thirteen minute long concert highlight and was captured for the first time on multi-track tape. Additionally, newer and more polished versions of "Good Day", "New Day Dawning", "WhatYa Gonna Do?" and "Cast Your Fate" were recorded. Nektar also took the opportunity to revisit both sides of their 1972 single "Do You Believe in Magic?" and "1-2-3-4" along with the Ron Howden showcase "Odyssey". 

This time the fruits of the recording sessions were deemed productive and the sessions were duly mixed and released in June 1973 under the title "Sounds Like This" in Germany and the UK. The interest generated by the first British Nektar release resulted in the first UK concert dates by the band and laid the foundations of the recording of the next Nektar album, "Remember the Future" at Chipping Norton studios in Oxfordshire. This work was to be their breakthrough album in the USA, reaching number 19 on the Billboard chart and was declared "album of the year" in Germany by the magazine Musik Express. Nektar's star was truly on the ascendant.
by Mark Powell

Disc 1 Original LP
1. Good Day - 6:43
2. New Day Dawning - 5:01
3. What Ya Gonna Do? - 5:24
4. 1-2-3-4 - 12:43
5. Do You Believe In Magic? - 7:15
6. Cast Your Fate - 5:44
7. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher - 12:55
a. Preacher
b. Squeeze
c. Mr. H
8. Wings - 3:45
9. Odyssey - 14:26
a. Ron's On
b. Never Never Never
c. Da-Da-Dum
All compositions by Roye Albrighton, Allan Freeman, Ron Howden, Derek Moore

Disc 2 Bonus Tracks
1. Good Day - 7:10
2. New Day Dawning - 5:36
3. Sunshine Down On The City - 13:02
4. Da Da Dum - 6:30
5. What Ya Gonna Do? - 6:50
6. It's All In Your Mind - 12:48
7. Cast Your Fate Jam - 20:25
8. Wings - 3:54
All tracks written by Roye Albrighton, Allan Freeman, Ron Howden, Derek Moore

*Roye Albrighton - Lead Vocals, Guitars
*Allan "Taff" Freeman - Keyboards, Vocals
*Ron Howden - Drums, Percussion
*Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, Vocals

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Free - Fire And Water (1970 uk, excellent classic rock, 2008 double disc deluxe edition)

Free's 3rd album was a huge success, reaching #2 in the UK charts and #17 in the American, making it the most successful Free album. This is largely due to the album containing the hit single "All Right Now" which they later played to a crowd of over 600,000 people at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival, which generated them huge publicity, originally released in June 1970 and has now been expanded with 23 bonus tracks.

Disc One contains the original album digitally remastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road plus 3 songs recorded in session for the BBC plus 4 songs recorded live for John Peel's Sunday Live in Concert programme for the BBC.

Disc Two gathers together 16 alternative versions of songs from the album including a previously unreleased version of Fire and Water and previously unreleased versions of All Right Now recorded for the video.

"While it may seem excessive to close the set with three versions of the same song we felt that these are so good, and all quite different performances, that it would be absurd not to let you hear them and simply leave them languishing in the vaults."

Disc 1
1. Fire And Water - 4:03
2. Oh I Wept - 4:31
3. Remember - 4:29
4. Heavy Load - 5:23
5. Mr Big (Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke) - 6:00
6. Don't Say You Love Me - 6:05
7. All Right Now - 5:37
8. Fire And Water - 3:05
9. Mr Big (Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke) - 5:07
10.All Right Now - 5:29
11.Remember - 4:50
12.Mr Big - 6:37
13.Don't Say You Love Me - 5:55
14.All Right Now - 5:09
All songs by Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers except where stated

Disc 2
1. Fire And Water - 3:44
2. Oh I Wept - 4:32
3. Remember - 4:30
4. Don't Say You Love Me - 6:26
5. All Right Now - 3:4
6. All Right Now - 4:16
7. Fire And Water - 2:26
8. Fire And Water - 4:13
9. Fire And Water - 4:13
1. Don't Say You Love Me - 5:56
11.Mr Big (Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke) - 5:56
12.All Right Now - 6:25
13.Mr Big (Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke) - 5:26
14.All Right Now - 4:28
15.All Right Now - 4:30
16.All Right Now - 4:46
All songs by Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers except where noted

*Paul Rodgers - Vocals
*Paul Kossoff - Guitar
*Andy Fraser - Bass
*Simon Kirke - Drums

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Free - Heartbreaker (1973 uk, superb hard bluesy rock, 2002 remaster with bonus tracks)

Sometimes the best albums come from the worst of situations. In 1972 Free had been through a lot. After they failing to capitalise on the success of Alright Now and reinvent themselves as swaggering rockers with Highway, the band returned to their soul roots to craft an emotive, melodic epitaph for a band they all knew was on the verge of implosion.

Where Paul Kossof was intelligible enough to play guitar he does so with tear jerking abandon, hearing but never heading Rodger's please for sobriety on opening numbers “Wishing Well” and “Heartbreaker.” It's Rodgers who gives the album it's soul and binds the lost guitarist and newcomer John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards (who contributes the solid numbers “Common Mortal Man” and “Muddy Waters”) into the semblance of a working band.

The singer graces all eight tracks with, well, hearbreaking emotion. By the last two tracks it all comes to a head with the elegant prayer for mercy “Easy On My Soul,” and “Seven Angels,” embodying the shared desire of all involved to break away from the train wreck the band had become. Any classic rock historian will tell you that Free recorded many more tracks in their latter days than feature here.

There are eight tracks here for a reason; this was an era before CDs when quality counted more than quantity and creating a seamless work was all. It's this attitude that makes Hearbreaker the most gripping and emotive work Free ever committed to tape.

1. Wishing Well (Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi, Paul Kossoff, John Bundrick) - 3:43
2. Come Together In The Morning (Paul Rodgers) - 4:38
3. Travellin' in Style (Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi, Paul Kossoff, John Bundrick) - 4:01
4. Heartbreaker (Paul Rodgers) - 6:12
5. Muddy Water (John Bundrick) - 4:15
6. Common Mortal Man (John Bundrick) - 4:06
7. Easy on My Soul (Paul Rodgers) - 3:44
8. Seven Angels (Paul Rodgers) - 5:03
9. Wishing Well (US mix) (Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi, Paul Kossoff, John Bundrick) - 3:39
10.Let Me Show You (Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi, Paul Kossoff, John Bundrick)-  3:01
11.Muddy Water (John Bundrick) - 4:15
12.Hand Me Down Turn Me Round (John Bundrick) - 3:19
13.Heartbreaker (Paul Rodgers) (Rehearsal version) - 5:40
14.Easy on My Soul (Paul Rodgers) (Rehearsal version) - 8:42

*Paul Rodgers - Vocals, Guitar
*Paul Kossoff - Guitar
*John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Keyboards
*Tetsu Yamauchi - Bass
*Simon Kirke - Drums
Guest Musicians
*"Snuffy" Walden - Guitar on "Easy on My Soul"
*Rebop Kwaku Baah - Congas on "Wishing Well"

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Brethren - Moment Of Truth (1971 us, groovy swamp blues southern rock, 2013 korean remaster)

In the mid sixties Tom Crosgrove was lead guitarist and vocalist in the Bronx band called Elegant Four were also known as the Elegants, they released only one single in 1965, both songs where written by Tom

In the early 1970s he formed Brethren together with Rick Marotta who spent several years  as the drummer for his own group, Stu Woods played bass (he would later appear on Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything? album), and Mike Garson who played keyboards. Tom Cosgrove took over the singing and played lead guitar. They released two albums.

The band had a unique sound, a mixture of rock and country, with traces of jazz and influences from Dr. John (Mac Rebennack), who wrote the album notes and the song “Loop Garoo” for them. A really fine sample of swamp rock and blues rock. 

Rick Marotta was also a famous session drummer who appeared on recordings by leading artists such as Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Hall & Oates, Stevie Nicks, Wynonna, Roy Orbison, Todd Rundgren, Roberta Flack, Peter Frampton, Quincy Jones, Jackson Browne, Al Kooper, Waylon Jennings, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, Kenny G, The Jacksons, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, among others.

1. Loop Garoo (Dr. John) - 8:25
2. Wesley With The Gun (Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove) - 3:04
3. Sun And The Moon (Mark Klingman) - 3:15
4. Freedom Blues (Eskew Reeder) - 5:13
5. Lady On The Terrace (Tom Cosgrove) - 3:57
6. Move On (Rick Marotta, Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove) - 4:00
7. Rainy Day Lady (Tom Cosgrove) - 4:51
8. History Repeats Itself (Mike Garson) - 3:54
9. Blaze (Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove) - 3:48

*Stu Woods - Bass, Clavinet
*Tom Cosgrove - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
*Rick Marotta - Drums
*Mike Garson - Keyboards
*Dave Liebman - Baritone Saxophone
*Barry Rodgers - Trombone
*Adrienne Albert - Backing Vocals 
*Albertine Robinson - Backing Vocals  
*Marretha Stewart - Backing Vocals  
*Marilyn Jackson - Backing Vocals  
*Tasha Thomas - Backing Vocals 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Al Kooper - Rare And Well Done (1964-2001 us, essential multi style rock, 2001 double disc remaster)

Everyone knows Al Kooper in one form or another. If the name isn’t instantly recognizable, then Kooper’s long list of musical contributions and achievements should very well be. After all, this is the man who not only played the legendary and unforgettable organ part on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, but Kooper also did everything from having a hand in penning the classic tune “This Diamond Ring” to founding such incomparable Sixties groups such as Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The man even started out as a member of The Royal Teens who charted with “Short Shorts”. He hung out with Hendrix, “discovered” Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced a ton of classic albums. And he’s still going strong.

So much so, in fact, that Kooper has recently released Rare & Well Done, a two disc collection that fully represent the album’s title. Rare and Well Done, is a two disc collection that fully represent the album's title. All the tracks were 24-bit remastered with Kooper's own supervision. 

Disc one is a 19-track collection of hard to find and previously unreleased material from the Kooper vaults, while disc two features plenty of the artist's best known work, in solo and various band formats. For longtime fans, this collection is a welcome addition to their Kooper collection. For anyone else who's even mildly curious about Kooper's legacy, this album works as a nice springboard from which to begin exploring the man's vast catalogue. As it usually is with such releases, not everything here works and not every "rare" found here needed inclusion, but overall Rare & Well Done is an indispensable look back at one of rock music's most prolific artists. 

The "Rare" disc opens with a new demo, "I Can't Quit Her 2001". It's not the best song on the disc that the collection could have started with. In fact, it's a bit schmaltzy and sounds like something that you might hear Paul Schaffer's band doing on Letterman. It's certainly not the best version of this classic, as the live version included on the "Well Done" disc proves. However, things fall into place and start to genuinely rock with track two, Kooper's 1964 demo of "Somethin' Goin' On". Amazingly soulful, gospel tinged and incredibly deep, "Somethin' Goin' On" seems light years away from everything else that was coming out in '64 -- especially Beatlemania. Kooper's voice instantly moves one emotionally as much as those fantastic piano, organ, and guitar parts. Stunning. 

But then again, the disc manages to dip down for a moment as "Autumn Song" sounds like a mid-'80s fusion/muzak piece. It would have been better had the contents of this disc been arranged chronologically as the time warps back and forth through the years certainly mess up the grooves more than once. Kooper's own phrasing of some of the words here, like "winter" also seem a bit silly as if he were just goofing off on the track. "I Can't Stand The Rain" which follows is a bit better, though the horn section sounds like nothing more than synth brass. These are the kinds of rarities that may have been better off left on the shelves. 

Still, one can't argue with the slow cooking "Baby Please Don't Go" offered here in a live version from 1971 and getting and eight-and-a-half minute workout. Kooper's amazing piano work on the track just simply burns, as does his vocal prowess once again. Giving Big Joe Williams a run for his money, "Baby Please Don't Go" encapsulates not only the blues here, but also takes on funk and classical vestiges that must simply be heard to be appreciated. The band's solo spots are equally remarkable, with the other-worldy synth break being especially dazzling. 

But then the record shifts once more and we're back into smoove rock territory with "I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers", a number on which Kooper seems to be doing his best Lou Rawls impression that turns out to be not so good in the end. The sax and guitar parts are overwrought and cheese up the track way too much. "The Earthquake of Your Love" restores the good groove with an undeniably Seventies bounce and charm. This time, Kooper vocally sounds almost like Steve Miller. And that's not too strange, considering Miller himself went on to create such plastic, yet likable boogie like "Abracadabra" a bit later on. 

Getting back to the downright essential tracks on the disc, of important note is the inclusion of Al's very first single from 1965, "New York's My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz)". Again, this long lost Sixties chestnut doesn't sound much like anything else going on at the time with its pretty flute and string arrangement outdoing the Fab Four (again), and that indelible swinging jazz outbreak at the middle of the tune being especially captivating. If Kooper wasn't influencing both Brian Wilson and Lennon and McCartney at this time, then I'd damn sure be surprised as Al had created his own "mini-epic" right here . . . in 1965 . . . in two-and-a-half minutes. 

The "English Hall" cover of XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel" is also excellent. Dare I say that it's even better than XTC's. Sure. I'm not so taken with that group that I can't see that their career has been spotty through the decades. But even better than that is Kooper's blistering version of Dylan's "Went To See The Gypsy", an outtake from Bob's New Morning LP that rock fiercer than Dylan's own take. Of course, that version was so subdued (yet equally great) that it wouldn't be difficult to rock harder. But here, Kooper's band injects stunning guitar parts that do sound distinctively Sixties, but all the better. 

Also of interest is Kooper's instrumental rehearsal version of "Hey Jude" from 1969 with orchestra. Kooper jazzes the Beatles tune up with swinging horns and lickety-split drumming. It sounds a bit like a Vegas spectacular, but it's by no means horrible. Hearing someone with Kooper's talent reconfigure such a song in this format is impressive. Although it is hard not to laugh at "The Big Chase", a piece of incidental music that was left out of an episode of TV's Crime Story. It sounds like Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer got together and created the most hellish cop music they could think of. Lots of fun (seriously). 

Turning to the "Well Done" disc of the collection now, the old fans should finally start feeling like they're on familiar territory as nothing on the CD here hasn't been released before. Things start with a live 1994 take of "I Can't Keep from Cryin' Sometimes" recorded with the Blues Project. Once again, Al is in his element when he has a band behind him that complements his own talent. The organ work, the guitar licks are both hot, and Kooper puts in some of his most soulful vocalizing. Tasty. 

Set the Way Back Machine for 1968 then, because it's time to hear Blood, Sweat and Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know". Again, there's a stunning amount of soulfulness ripping through this track with the undeniable organ and vocal parts (especially those of the backup singers). A slow burner if there ever was one, it's followed up with a 1975 version of "This Diamond Ring" complete with funky keyboards a-la Billy Preston's "Outa Space". Personally, I dig this version a lot more than the original by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. 

There's still no getting over the Kooper/Bloomfield (as in Mike) number "Albert's Shuffle" from '68. Here it is once again in all of its blistering glory. The blues as pounded out by two of the best. All you have to do is hear that organ and guitar and those horns and that's all it takes. Next thing you know, you're somewhere else. All great music should move you. Here's a number that does it every time. And the movement continues with the classic "Bury My Body" recorded with Shuggie Otis in 1969 and "Season of the Witch" with Stephen Stills in 1968. It's truly a joy to hear Kooper's phenomenal work from the Sixties here all laid out. The man was clearly an inspired and enviable musician at that point in his career. 

"New York City (You're A Woman)" is also great. Here, Kooper's organ sounds just like Booker T.'s good old Hammond B-3. And who could forget such brazen opening lines like "New York City you're a woman / Cold hearted bitch ought to be your name / Oh you ain't never loved nobody / Yet I'm drawn to you like a moth to flame/ . . . Yeah"? This piece of classic funkiness is then followed with a damned great live version of "I Can't Quit Her" from 1994 that shows just how great the song really is (you wouldn't know it from that limp version that opened the "Rare" disc as stated earlier). 

The classics just keep on coming from there, from the fantastic "I Stand Alone" to another slow burner, this time in the form of "I Got a Woman". Also included is the closing "Love Theme from The Landlord", which is the only Al Kooper disc not currently on CD. All in all, "Well Done" lives up to its name and then some.

It's just too bad that the "Rare" portion of this collection didn't include an equal portion of indispensable tracks. The nuggets from the Sixties and Seventies are cool and wonderful, but with only a couple of exceptions, like "Making Plans for Nigel", and "The Big Chase", the rest of the rarities kind of bring about a cringe-inducing element, proving once and for all that there was a very good reason a lot of the tracks here were previously unissued. 

Yet the "Well Done" disc is impeccable, making this collection a must-have. It's great to have all these tracks in once place. Al Kooper continues to play a highly influential part in the music industry. His well-documented history up this point has been preserved beautifully and put on display for all to hear in this collection. 
Thanks for the memories Al.

Disc 1 Rare
1. I Can't Quit Her (Al Kooper, Irwin Levine) - 4:25
2. Somethin' Goin' On - 3:04
3. Autumn Song - 2:50
4. I Can't Stand The Rain (Ann Peebles, Bernard Miller, Don Bryant) - 4:31
5. Baby Please Don't Go (Big Joe Williams) - 8:24
6. I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers - 5:01
7. The Earthquake Of Your Love - 3:19
8. Bulgarya - 2:31
9. Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do For A Woman Like You - 3:30
10.New York's My Home  Aka The Street Song - 2:32
11.Making Plans For Nigel (Colin Moulding) - 4:07
12.I Believe To My Soul (Ray Charles) - 4:28
13.Went To See The Gypsy (Bob Dylan) - 3:30
14.Rachmaninoff's Birthday - 4:08
15.Hey Jude (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 5:11
16.Living In My Own Religion - 4:51
17.The Big Chase (Al Kooper, Charlie Calello) - 3:24
18.They Just Don't Make 'em Like That Anymore - 2:24
19.A Drive Through The Old Neighborhood - 5:25
All compositions by Al Kooper except where stated

Disc 2 Well Done 
1. I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes - 4:02
2. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know - 5:56
3. This Diamond Ring (Al Kooper, Irwin Levine, Bob Brass) - 4:08
4. Albert's Shuffle (Michael Bloomfield, Al Kooper) - 6:53
5. Bury My Body - 8:56
6. Season Of The Witch (Donovan Leitch) - 11:05
7. New York City You're A Woman - 4:45
8. I Can't Quit Her (Al Kooper, Irwin Levine) - 3:46
9. I Stand Alone - 3:42
10.Flute Thing - 6:02
11.You Never Know Who Your Friends Are - 2:53
12.I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) - 6:28
13.Brand New Day - 5:09
14.Love Theme - 3:42
Words and Music by Al Kooper except where indicated

*Al Kooper - Arp Omni, Bass, Celeste, Flute, Guitar, Keyboards, Mellotron, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vibraphone, Vocals
*Tom Bahler - Vocals
*Madeline Bell - Vocals
*Fred Bliffert - Vocals
*Michael Bloomfield - Guitar
*The Blossoms - Vocals
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
*Ron Bogdon - Bass
*Randy Brecker - Horn
*Etta Britt - Vocals
*Harvey Brooks - Bass
*Don Bryant - Composer
*Artie Butler - Conductor
*Kenny Buttrey - Drums
*Ralph Casale - Guitar
*Lou Christie - Vocals
*Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums
*Bobby Colomby - Drums
*Rita Coolidge - Vocals
*Tom Cosgrove - Guitar
*John Cowan - Vocals
*Charlie Daniels - Guitar
*Ray DeSio - Horn
*Jerry Douglas - Lap Steel Guitar
*Belton Evans - Drums
*Joe Farrell - Horn, Tenor Sax 
*John Paul Fetta - Bass
*Jim Fielder - Bass
*Venetta Fields - Vocals
*Anton Fig - Drums
*Herbie Flowers - Bass
*Paul Franklin - Pedal Steel
*John Gardner - Drums
*Michael Gately - Vocals
*Eileen Gilbert - Vocals
*Bernie Glow - Trumpet
*Barry Goldberg - Piano
*Paul Griffin - Keyboards
*Dick Halligan - Horn
*Hilda Harris - Vocals
*Fast Eddie Hoh - Drums
*Paul Humphries - Drums
*Robert John - Vocals
*Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson - Harmonica
*Danny Kalb - Guitar
*Steve Katz - Guitar
*Wells Kelly - Drums
*Jerry Kennedy - Guitar
*Clydie King - Vocals
*Ed King - Slide Guitar
*Jimmy Knepper - Horn
*Andy Kulberg - Bass, Flute
*Will Lee - Bass

1968-69  I Stand Alone / You Never Know Who Your Friends Are
1969  The Kooper Sessions With Shuggie Otis
1970  Easy Does It 1968  Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield - The Lost Concert Tapes, Filmore East
1969  Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper - The Live Adventures 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Atlanta Rhythm Section - Back Up Against The Wall (1973 us, splendid southern rock, 2018 japan SHM remaster)

The 11 songs on this album present a mix of up-tempo tunes and ballads-an approach that would become a cornerstone of the group's future success. The pace overall is slower and more restrained than where the group would go with future albums. But it is a beautiful timepiece of a group of talented musicians playing quality songs and working together to establish their collective sound. 

There's a mix of tempos, both between songs and within individual tunes, which the band would refine on future records. Two of the songs, the rocking Back Up Against the Wall and the reflective Conversation, would become staples of the band's live set. Eight original songs feature songwriter/producer Buddy Buie's writing in partnership with other members of the band, and three covers are highlighted by a version of Joe South's Redneck. 

The album starts off with “Wrong “ an acoustic, mid-tempo song with a country feel. The pace picks up with this rocking, up-tempo song about the "hot time" appeal of a small Southern town on “Cold Turkey Tenn”.

 “Will I Live On?” is a beautiful ballad features singer Ronnie Hammond's first breakout vocal performance articulating some eternal questions.  The tempo picks up and shifts repeatedly within “A Livin Lovin Wreck” that also includes harmonica and piano breaks.

Another slower paced song “Superman”, starts as ballad and shifts into blues. “What You Gonna Do About It?” a moderately paced tune musically mirrors the ups and downs of relationships.. “Conversation “ is classic ballad features Hammond's ponderings about a relationship gone bad over a subtle but beautiful musical background.

The opening harmonic wail on “Redneck“ leads into a punchy, up-tempo look at the particular qualities of a certain type of Southerner who receives his proper sendoff. A slower paced song “Make Me Believe It “ that ebbs and flows while examining the search for love.

The title song “Back Up Against The Wall “ is the high point of the album. It's a loping rocker that shows off the band's musical chops and reaches a new level of group energy. The closer “It Must Be Love” is a slower, bluesy song that drives the album home and lets the guitars break out for a glimpse of things to come.

1. Wrong (Buddy Buie, James B. Cobb Jr.) - 2:43
2. Cold Turkey, Tenn. (Robert Nix) - 3:17
3. Will I Live On? (Robert Nix, Dean Daughtry) - 2:52
4. A Livin' Lovin' Wreck (Otis Blackwell) - 3:07
5. Superman (Randall Bramblett) - 3:22
6. What You Gonna Do About It? (Ronnie Hammond) - 2:59
7. Conversation (Buddy Buie, James B. Cobb Jr.) - 3:28
8. Redneck (Joe South) - 3:48
9. Make Me Believe It (Buddy Buie, Robert Nix, Ronnie Hammond) - 3:13
10.Back Up Against The Wall (Buddy Buie, James B. Cobb Jr.) - 3:23
11 It Must Be Love (Robert Nix, Dean Daughtry, James B. Cobb Jr.) - 4:06

Atlanta Rhythm Section
*Ronnie Hammond - Vocals, Background Vocals
*Barry Bailey - Guitar
*Dean Daughtry - Keyboards
*J.R. Cobb - Guitar, Background Vocals
*Paul Goddard - Bass
*Robert Nix - Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals 
*Al Kooper - Synthesizer, ARP
*Billy Lee Riley - Harmonica

1975-76 Atlanta Rhythm Section - Dog Days / Red Tape (2005 remaster) 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Crystal Syphon - Family Evil / Elephant Ball (1967-69 us, inpressive garage psych rock, 2021 double disc remaster and expanded)

Here, after over 50 years, is the total recorded output of Crystal Syphon. It is the amalgam of the talents and tastes of six musicians, friends and brothers from the little town of Merced, California. On almost every weekend, dances were held atone of Merced's four musical venues: The American Legion Hall, the Italo-American hall, the Women's Clubhouse, or the Merced Fairgrounds. Crystal Syphon was formed in 1965 by a group of musicians from Merced High School. Originally known as the Morlouchs, the founding members were Jeff Sanders on vocals, his brother Jim Sanderson rhythm guitar and vocals, Tom Salles on lead guitar and vocals, Dave Sprinkel on keyboards and vocals, Roger Henry on bass and Andy Daniel on drums.The band was very much influenced by the sounds of The Beatles and The Byrds, and is evidenced in their ability to do very difficult four part harmonies.

The group played many local area gigs, including Battle Of The Bands, but under the management of Jeff and his older brother Bob, the band began to pursue writing their own music. The band pooled ail their earnings for both equipment and recording sessions, and this practice continued the entire time the band was together. In May of 1966, Roger left the band and was replaced by Bob Greenlee on bass. In 1967, the band recorded Marcy, Your Eyes, Paradise, Have More Of Everything, and Try Something Different at Dick Terzian's studio in Fresno and were 3 track recordings; thus they were essential live with only some mild vocal or guitar overdubs. Other well known artists the band appeared with were Bo Diddley, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Youngbloods, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe & The Fish, The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, Elvin Bishop, Lee Michaels and Santana.

Throughout the band's existence, the band shopped itself to various record labels. With the assistance of Bob Sanders and Richard Delong, who replaced Bob as the band's manager in 1967. Ultimately, the band had several offers to sign, but because they insisted on artistic freedom and complete ownership of their publishing, no agreement was ever reached with a label at the time.

In late 1968, Jim Sanders left the band and was soon followed by Dave Sprinkel. The four remaining members continued on as a four piece group, with Jeff Sanders taking over on keyboards. The band stayed together until late 1969, finally disbanding in early 1970. When Marvin Greenlee moved to Stockton to play in other bands, Tom, Bob and Jeff (now on drums) joined up with Merced guitarist John Fox to form Boogeyman, who recorded a 45 on a local Merced label. They played together for several more years, finally disbanding in 1973.
CD Liner Notes

Disc 1 Family Evil 1967-68
1. Marcy, Your Eyes - 3:36
2. Paradise - 3:09
3. Have More Of Everything - 5:25
4. Try Something Different - 3:42
5. Fuzzy And Jose - 7:30
6. Are You Dead Yet? - 2:46
7. In My Mind - 2:42
8. Family Evil - 5:37
9. Fails To Shine - 5:42
10.Winter Is Cold - 6:56
11.Winter Is Cold - 6:12
All songs by Crystal Syphon
Tracks 8-10 recorded live At The Fillmore West 1-21-68
Track 11 recorded 2008

Disc 2 Elephant Ball 1967-69
1. Dawn Sermon - 1:21
2. For All Of My Life - 3:12
3. Tell Her For Me - 3:29
4. Elephant Ball - 4:26
5. Sing To Me - 8:36
6. It's Winter - 3:23
7. Snow Falls - 5:16
8. Don't Fall Brother - 3:20
9. There Is Light There - 6:33
All compositions by Crystal Syphon

Crystal Syphon
*Tom Salles - Vocal, Guitar
*Jim Sanders - Vocal, Guitar (Disc 1 Tracks 1-11, Disc 2 Tracks 1-3)
*Jeff Sanders - Vocals, Organ, Percussion, Drums 
*Bob Greenlee - Bass 
*Dave Sprinkel- Vocals, Organ, Percussion (Disc 1 Tracks 1-3, 5-11,  Disc 2 Tracks 1-3)
*Andy Daniel - Drums (Disc 1 Tracks 1-4, Disc 2 Tracks 1-3)
*Marvin Greenlee - Drums (Disc 1 Tracks 5-10, Disc 2 Tracks 4-9)

Monday, July 12, 2021

Julian's Treatment - A Time Before This (1970 uk, gorgeous epic art prog rock, with sci fi lyrics, 2017 japan SHM remaster)

Julian's Treatment is yet another forgotten and obscure gem of progressive and psychedelic rock. Not very often does a sci-fi author involve himself with music. Michael Moorcock's involvement with Hawkwind is one of the best examples. And Julian Jay Savarin is another author who involved himself in music, with this band Julian's Treatment. Savarin played the organ and he had an Australian named Cathy Pruden to handle the vocals, with some other guys to handle the guitar, bass, drums, and flute (no liner notes were included, unfortunately).

A Time Before This, released in 1970, was the one and only album by this band (Savarin released an album under his own name called Waiters on the Dance, which varying sources say was released in 1969, 1971, or 1973). Unsurprising, the album is a sci-fi concept album, a bit difficult for me to follow when a lyric sheet wasn't even included, but it seems to involve the destuction of the Earth in which a Terran ends up on a planet inhabited by strange, blue-skinned people, and an evil megalomaniac. Musically, it's late '60s sounding psychedelic with progressive rock with great spacy organ and a cosmic feel to the whole album. Great female vocals as well with the occasional spoken dialog. Highlights include "Phantom City", "The Black Tower", "Altarra, Princess of the Blue Women", "Twin Suns of Centauri", "Alkon, Planet of Centauri", "The Terran", "Fourth From the Sun", and "Strange Things".

All the music sounds like it should belong on some campy sci-fi film from the late 1960s, but that should not come as any surprise. One band that Julian's Treatment gets compared to is The United States of America, the American band that released an self-entitled album in 1968 that featured Joe Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz. Also comparisons to such prog rock bands lead by female vocalists like Analogy, Sandrose, and Holland's Earth & Fire are pretty common as well. Which is safe to say, if you're a fan of any of these groups, chances are you'll like Julian's Treatment, a great lost gem that sure to grow on you. The original LP (released in Britain by Young Blood and in the U.S. on Decca) isn't exactly easy to come by, but regardless, this album is another excellent obscure gem to add to your collection. 
by Ben Miler

1. First Oracle - 1:30
2. The Coming Of The Mule - 3:52
3. Phantom City - 5:18
4. The Black Tower - 5:01
5. Alda, Dark Lady Of The Outer Worlds - 3:52
6. Altarra, Princess Of The Blue Woman - 4:14
7. Second Oracle - 1:39
8. Part One: Twin Suns Of Centuari - 2:59
9. Part Two: Alkon, Planet Of Centauri - 2:58
10.The Terran - 4:00
11.Fourth From The Sun - 2:48
12.Strange Things - 4:58
13.A Time Before This - 8:55
All compositions by Julian Jay Savarin

Julian's Treatment
*Julian Jay Savarin - Keyboards, Vocals
*Cathy Pruden - Vocals
*Del Watkins - Guitar, Flute
*Jack Drummond - Drums
*John Dover - Bass

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Rab Noakes - Do You See The Lights? (1970 uk, wondrous jazzy folk psych, 2010 korean remaster)

A gift for writing hook-laden songs and sensitively interpreting the work of American singer/songwriters has brought Rab Noakes to the forefront of Scottish pop music. His 1970 debut album, Do You See the Lights, included "Together Forever," which became a folk-pop hit for Lindisfarne.  Although he agreed to form a band, Steeler's Wheel, with Rafferty, he left the band to resume his solo career before the group recorded their Top Ten hit "Stuck in the Middle With You." Noakes has continued to record on his own.
by Craig Harris

Hearing Rab Noakes' debut LP, Do You See the Light, is a bit like listening to a late-'60s folk-rock recording for the Elektra or Vanguard label that somehow wasn't released. As many contributions as those labels made in this genre, however, a comparison such as this isn't necessarily high praise. For though Noakes at times echoes various early singer/songwriters -- Blonde on Blonde-era Bob Dylan, Donovan, Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, Tim Buckley, James Taylor, Tom Paxton, The Basement Tapes-era Dylan -- he doesn't project a strong identity of his own, and his material is blander than the '60s work of any of the aforementioned figures.

It's as if the music has been filtered through a lower common denominator of someone with a large collection of U.S. singer/songwriter LPs with a personal narrative flavor, though sung here with a Scottish accent. Sometimes the triggers of specific comparisons are strong: the easygoing country-rock of "Together Forever" - later covered by Lindisfarne recalls Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere," and "East Neuk Misfortune" suggests early Tim Buckley as well as the idiosyncratically mild but glowing electric guitar tone heard on numerous Elektra folk-rock recordings. It's all competently done on an even emotional keel, but doesn't mark the artist as possessing distinguished talent of his own. 
by Richie Unterberger

1. Do You See The Lights? - 4:52
2. Song For A Pretty Painter - 5:19
3. On My Own I Built A Bridge - 3:25
4. Without Me, Just With You - 3:10
5. Somewhere To Stay - 3:36
6. Together Forever - 3:15
7. One More, One Less - 2:51
8. East Neuk Misfortune - 4:11
9. A Question Of Travelling - 3:48
10.Too Old To Die - 3:23
11.A Love Story - 3:24
12.Somebody Counts On Me - 4:17
Music and Lyrics by Rab Noakes 

*Rab Noakes - Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Rae - Bass
*Alan Trajan - Keyboards 
*Robin McKidd - Guitar, Harmonica

Related Act

Friday, July 2, 2021

Hope - Hope (1972 us, magnificent spiritual art rock with prog touches, 2008 remaster)

Hope was a Christian rock group from LaCrosse, Wisconsin who released an album and three singles. They posses a diversity of really good material and styles, which range from subdued vocal to gentle styling. Instrumentally they exhibit great dexterity and skill which should aid them in finding a place in the hearts of the audience.

Hope's  album released 1972, the line up was Wayne C. McKibbin vocals, guitar, Jim Croegaert vocals, piano, Boyd Sibley vocals, organ, David A. Klug vocals, bass and the drummer Jeff Cozy. Good time music, some of the best cuts include "Where Do You Want To Go" and "Valley Of Hope". The lyrics  implies that this is a spritual trip (Jesus Rock).

Wayne McKibbin, was an accomplished artist, photographer, singer and musician. He played in several bands except Hope, including Jerry Way and the Pacemakers, the Silvertones, the Jesters Three.  Wayne C. McKibbin, died on July 4, 2005, at the age 59, in Three Rivers, California, on his home following a courageous battle with cancer.

1. Where Do You Want To Go (Wayne C. McKibbin) - 3:44
2. One Man (Boyd Sibley) - 4:47
3. Find Him (Wayne C. McKibbin) - 4:10
4. Deliverance (Jim Croegaert) - 4:20
5. From Thy Father's Hand (Boyd Sibley) - 5:06
6. Walkin' Over Hills And Valleys (Wayne C. McKibbin) - 4:02
7. One Of These (Jim Croegaert) - 3:31
8. Little Things (David A. Klug) - 3:05
9. Valley Of Hope (Boyd Sibley) - 2:48
10.Cold Morning (Jim Croegaert) - 4:03
11.Everyone Needs (Wayne C. McKibbin) - 4:06

*Jim Croegaert - Vocals, Piano
*Boyd Sibley - Vocals, Organ
*Jeff Cozy - Vocals, Drums
*David A. Klug - Vocals, Bass
*Wayne C. McKibbin - Vocals, Guitar
*Harvey Shapiro - Cello
*Lucien Schmit - Cello
*Homer Mensch - Double Bass
*Russ Savakus - Double Bass
*Alan Rubin - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 
*Joe Ferrante - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 
*Irvin Markowitz - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 
*Raymond Crisara - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 
*Henry Pakaln - Viola 
*Richard Dickler - Viola 
*Arnold Eidus - Violin
*Bernard Eichen - Violin 
*David Nadien - Violin
*Harold Coletta - Violin 
*Harold Kohon - Violin 
*Max Ellen - Violin 
*Tosha Samaroff - Violin

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Dream - Rebellion (1967-71 holland, splendid garage beat, 2014 digi pak remaster)

In 1966 a psychedelic rock band is formed in Tiel, under the name Mother's Love. The musicians were Floris Kolvenbach (guitar), John van Buren (organ, piano), Rini Wikkerink (guitar), John van Buren (drums) and Jan van Doesburg (bass guitar). The latter is replaced by Rob Heuff in 1967. They release two singles: Raise the sails / Saint without glory and Highway to heaven / Lady from the ballroom. One year later an album, Take one, is released. The album doesn't sell well and the name of the band is changed into Dream. With this new name another single is released in 1968, The doting king / Expert jump out. 

This time the band is more succesful. They play concerts with Pink Floyd. In the mean time they change drummers, newcomer is Karel Zwart. In 1969 another single is released, Rebellion / The monarchy, in the same year there is also a new bass player, Edgar Swanenburg. The band is invited to play at the Kralingen festival in 1970, and is invited to play at the first edition of Pinkpop. They also perform on tv, for over an hour in the program Dit is het begin, where they perform parts of the rock-opera The peacock and the rat. In 1971 saw the release of their third single Can you hear me howlin' / Still alive. In 1972 the band ends. Floris Kolvenbach starts the experimental formation Metal Voices. In 1994 he releases the album A journey from Europe to the common world.

1. Highway To Heaven - 3:26
2. Mad Man's Worries - 3:51
3. I Feel Good Warmth - 2:53
4. I Gotta Move - 1:26
5. The Doting King - 2:45
6. Expert Jump Out - 2:13
7. Can I Ask You One More Question - 2:39
8. The Monarchy - 5:03
9. Can You Hear Me Howlin' - 3:35
10.Still Alive - 1:11
11.Talesborough Garden - 3:11
12.New Sensations - 2:27
13.Sleeping Rose - 3:44
14.Park Lane - 1:33
15.Four Phone-Calls - 3:19
16.Mr. V. - 3:27
17.We'll Be Back Yesterday Morning - 2:32
18.Met A Girl Today - 3:29
19.Open The Gates - 5:42
20.The Diamond And The Fool - 6:14
21.Dino - 3:12
22.Still Alive - 1:39
Music and Lyrics by Flores Kolvenbach
Tracks 1-4, 11 as Mother's Love
Tracks 11-21 demo recordings
Tracks 11, 12, 14 previously unreleased

Mother's Love (Tracks 1-4, 11)
*Flores Kolvenbach - Vocals, Guitar
*John Van Buren - Organ, Piano, Flute
*Jan Van Doesburg - Bass
*Karel Zwart - Drums, Percussion

The Dream
*Flores Kolvenbach - Vocals, Guitar
*John Van Buren - Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Keyboards
*Karel Zwart - Drums, Percussion
*Edgar Swanenberg - Bass
*Rini Wikkerink - Guitar (Tracks 5-10, 13, 22)
*Rob Heuff - Bass (Tracks 5-6)