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Plain and Fancy

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


Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Souther Hillman Furay Band - Trouble In Paradise (1975 us, fine country classic rock, 2017 japan SHM remaster)

With producer Tom Dowd, known for his work at Atlantic Records, at the helm, the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band seemed to be distancing itself a bit from its country-rock roots with its second release, the appropriately titled Trouble in Paradise. Here the band expands on the funkier aspects of its debut album, while at the same time slipping even closer to the middle of the road. On that record it was former Poco frontman Richie Furay who was responsible for the highlights, but this time out it's J.D. Souther, who penned four of the LP's nine tracks, who leads the way, with "Prisoner in Disguise" (recorded that same year by Linda Ronstadt) and the title cut the standouts. 

Still, Furay, whose two compositions were dominated by his recent conversion to Christianity, does connect with the lovely "For Someone I Love," which interestingly enough precedes the sleazy rationalizations of Souther's "Mexico." As was the case with the previous album, Chris Hillman's trio of selections, including "Love and Satisfy," which borrows the lyrics for the majority of its first two verses from his and Gram Parsons' "Train Song," are moderately successful, if in the long run somewhat forgettable.

Before the recording of the album, original drummer Jim Gordon had left and was replaced by Ron Grinel (Souther also played drums on a couple of tracks), and what must have seemed like a great idea in 1973 was showing signs of unraveling. The band was finished by 1976 following Trouble in Paradise's poor showing, with each of its primary members recording solo records for Asylum within the year. Originally released by Asylum Records in 1975 and reissued on CD in 2002 by Wounded Bird. 
by Brett Hartenbach

1. Trouble In Paradise (John David Souther) - 5:06
2. Move Me Real Slow (Chris Hillman) - 3:03
3. For Someone I Love (Richie Furay) - 2:57
4. Mexico (John David Souther) - 3:14
5. Love And Satisfy (Chris Hillman) - 2:59
6. On The Line (Richie Furay) - 3:41
7. Prisoner In Disguise (John David Souther) - 4:52
8. Follow Me Through (Chris Hillman) - 3:50
9. Somebody Must Be Wrong (John David Souther) - 3:51

*J.D. Souther - Vocals, Guitar, Drums On "Trouble In Paradise" And "Love And Satisfy", Bass On "Move Me Real Slow"
*Chris Hillman - Vocals, Bass, Mandolin, Guitar
*Richie Furay - Vocals, Guitar
*Al Perkins - Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro
*Paul Harris - Keyboards, Flute
*Joe Lala - Percussion
*Ron Grinel - Drums
*James William Guercio - Guitar
*Glenn Frey - Background Vocals
*Don Henley - Background Vocals

Related Acts 1968  The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo  (Double Disc Set)

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Doctor K's Blues Band - Doctor K's Blues Band (1968 uk, fabulous electric psych blues rock, japan 2007 remaster)

Electric urban blues, particularly of the hard-hitting Chicago variety, became big news in Britain in the middle of the 1960's, not so much as performed by its American originators, but rather like the beat music and R&B which preceded it - via home grown interpretation by enthusiasts who began as fans and developed their enthusiasm as musicians.

Among the initiates on this post-R&B scene were Dr K's Blues Band, formed in Muswell Hill, North London (Kinks country!) by Ashley Hutchings, who was destined to find his folkier roots and considerably more success a couple of years later with Fairport Convention. When Hutchings moved on, the line up eventually stabilised as Mick Haase on vocals and harmonica, the enigmatic Dr. K. on piano, Geoff Krivit on lead guitar, Roger Rolt on slide and rhythm guitar, Harold Vickers on bass and Eric Peachy on drums.

Dr. K's Blues Band played the London/home counties circuit initially, but soon started to move around the country as the blues circuit spread and eventually even found himself playing gigs abroad in Italy and Denmark. Their original forte was the small club and music-featuring pub - the natural homes as it were, of an electric blues quintet in their transatlantic equivalents (honky tonk/dive). After a couple of years, however some of these smaller venues were supplanted by the university and college circuits which became very much their spiritual home.

Their successful career on the live circuit did not translate automatically into a recording deal for the band until 1968. Espying a growing musical boom. Spark Records decided to board the bandwagon by signing up some of the non-contracted groups on the blues circuit and approached Dr. K's manager, Roger Simpson. But Spark Records lacked the experience and expertise in promotion and distribution to ensure widespread press coverage, media exposure or high street stocking of their albums.

Eventually and inevitably, the original band started to break up as the decade drew to a close. Eric the drummer was the first to leave, being replaced by Jeff Alien. By the middle of the 1970's, only Mick Haase and Roger Rolt remained of the original members. The whole team decided to call it a day and split up.

1. I Can't Lose (Geoff Krivit) - 2:50
2. Walking (Geoff Krivit, Mick Hasse) - 3:26
3. Key To The Highway (Eric Peachey, Richard Kay, Geoff Krivit, Mick Hasse, Roger Rolt) - 6:26
4. Crippled Clarence (Richard Kay) - 2:45
5. Pet Cream Man (Roger Rolt) - 2:09
6. Messin' With Kid (Richard Kay, Geoff Krivit, Mick Hasse, Roger Rolt) - 2:02
7. Don't Quit The Man You Love, For Me (Mick Hasse, Richard Kay) - 2:24
8. Rolty's Banjo Shuffle (Geoff Krivit, Richard Kay, Roger Rolt) - 2:10
9. Strobe Lemming's Lament (Richard Kay) - 1:46
10.Long Distance Call (Richard Kay) - 4:30
11.I Feel So Bad (Richard Kay) - 2:49

Dr K's Blues Band
*Mick Hasse - Harmonica, Vocals
*Geoff Krivit - Bass, Guitar
*Eric Peachey - Drums
*Roger Rolt - Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar, National Steel Guitar
*Harold Vickers - Bass
*Richard Kay - Piano

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Mike Vernon - Moment Of Madness (1973 uk, fascinating funky groovy bluesy rock, 2018 korean remaster)

Second solo album for Mike Vernon, released for Sire records and not by his own label. "Moment Of Madness" was recorded in Oxfordshire in England during the spring in 1973, and revealed on record stores later the same year.

Slightly different from his previous release, more hard funky sounds (sometimes reminds me "Gold Plated", by Climax which came out couple years later and was also produced by Mike Vernon). There are some Bluesy tones and of course a cast of prime musicians. Alls songs were written by Mike and Vie Vernon.

1. Day In Day Out - 4:29
2. No Idea - 3:13
3. Third Hand - 2:55
4. She Put Her Shoes Outdoors - 3:29
5. That's The Best That I Can Do - 2:58
6. Don't Bullfrog Me - 3:32
7. Stoney Ground - 3:11
8. Night Owl - 2:57
9. Talking 'Bout Me - 4:00
10.No Time To Lose - 3:25
11.All You Can Do - 3:11
12.Moment Of Madness - 3:10
All song by Mike Vernon, Vie Vernon

*Mike Vernon - Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
*Vie Vernon - Vocals
*Colin Allen - Drums
*Paul Butler - Guitar
*Howie Casey - Saxophone
*John Donnelly - Trumpet
*Laurence Garman - Harmonica
*Billy Graham - Trombone
*Derek Griffiths - Guitar
*Joe Jammer - Guitar
*Ric Lee - Drums
*Leo Lyons - Bass
*Mitch Mitchell - Drums
*Cecil Moss - Trumpet
*Bruce Rowland - Drums
*Fuzzy Samuels - Bass
*Andy Silvester - Bass
*Nick South - Bass
*Pete Wingfield - Keyboards

Friday, March 12, 2021

Mike Vernon - Bring It Back Home (1971 uk, fantastic blues jazz rock, 2019 korean remaster)

As a producer and label owner, Mike Vernon has probably contributed more than anyone to the recording of early British Blues and presenting American original Blues players to the British public. By combining the keen young talent he found in London with the wealth of experience he brought from America, he created a heady mixture that took The Blues a big step forward.

Michael William Hugh Vernon was born in 1944 and brought up in London. As a teenager he played in a band called The Mojo Men (no connection with the US band by the same name), and in 1963 he went to work for Decca records. He cut his producing teeth on the album ‘In London’ by veteran Texan pianist Curtis Jones, and the results led to him producing albums by Champion Jack Dupree and Otis Spann. Keen to have more control of the process, Mike started his own mail-order label called Purdah, pressing short runs of four 7” singles, one of which was by future Blues-rockers Savoy Brown. In tune with the groovy sixties he changed the name to Outasite, and then to Blue Horizon in 1965, still operating by mail-order until he arranged a distribution deal. Blue Horizon’s first release was ‘Flying Eagle’ by Dr. Ross, and records by JB Lenoir, Hubert Sumlin and Driftin’ Slim showed Mike was serious about the Blues. Still working for Decca, Mike produced John Mayall‘s breakthrough ‘Beano’ album ‘Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton‘ and the follow-up ‘Hard Road’ with Peter Green.

'Bring It Back Home' is his 1st recording debut album presents blues rock, country and jazzy tracks. It's the only album for his label, he is singing and playing various guitars and percussion on mostly original songs plus blues by Dr Ross, Willie Lofton and Jimmy Reed. Accompanying musicians include Rory Gallagher (lead guitar on "Come Back Baby"), Paul Kossoff (lead guitar on "My Say Blues"), Paul Butler, Rick Hayward, Pete Wingfield, &c.

1. Let's Try It Again - 4:24
2. Move Away - 4:16
3. Mississippi Joe - 3:59
4. Brown Alligator (Mike Vernon, Rick Hayward, Kenny Lamb, Dick Parry) - 11:47
5. Come Back Baby (Doctor Ross) - 2:06
6. War Pains - 3:48
7. Dark Road Blues (Willie Lofton) - 3:26
8. (She Said) She Didn't Have Time - 5:56
9. Ain't That Lovin'  You Baby (Jimmy Reed) - 3:12
10.My Say Blues - 5:43
Amm songs by Mike Vernon except where noted

*Mike Vernon - Vocals, Bass, Rhythm, Lead Guitar, Tambourine, Flesh Claps, Guiro, Triangle, Nylon-Bristle Hand Brush, Maraccas
*Rick Hayward - Led, Rhythm, Slide, Wah Wah Pedal Guitars, Mandolin
*Peter Wingfield - Piano
*Kenny Lamb - Drums, Congas
*Dick Parry - Tenor Sax
*Rory Gallagher - Lead Guitar (Track 5)
*Laurie Garmon - Harmonica
*Paul Butler - Lead Guitar (Track 9)
*Paul Kossoff - Lead Guitar (Track 10)

Saturday, March 6, 2021

God's Children - Music Is The Answer The Complete Collection (1971 us, fascinating jazzy latino rock 'n 'soul, feat Little Willie G. backing by the Wrecking Crew, 2017 remaster)

The memories are rich, often as sun-splashed as one might expect, and I wish I had more of them. Seeing Santana at a Day on the Green in 1976, War at Winterland around the same time, Malo in the mix there somewhere as well. Growing up – and into a music obsessive – in late 60’s/early 70’s suburban California meant hearing the legacy of Latino rock’n’roll develop before my very ears, and regardless of my relatively cloistered existence in then-predominantly white East Bay outpost Concord, I’m convinced that being exposed to that ethnic strata helped both seed my imminent escape to the urban wilds of San Francisco and smooth the transition. I only know now, with the release of this long overdue collection, that my incidental education would have been all that much richer had it included seeing God’s Children, preferably prior to MCA subsidiary Uni getting their corporate claws in.

Now, on the surface, that stipulation is an odd one considering said interference involved landing the burgeoning hotshot band – whose pedigree, in the persons of Little Willie G (Garcia) and Lil’ Ray (Jimenez), reached back to genre pioneers Thee Midniters – in the studio with the legendary Wrecking Crew. But as the separation of tracks on Music Is The Answer makes lucently clear, even Carol Kaye and company, in this instance anyway, can’t help but be the applicators of some slickly competent lipstick on the pig of big label intentions. Yes, ruinous industry intrusion (especially back then) is a tale so common as to be the rule not the exception, but, listening to the evidence here, the dispiriting effect of that meddling, so often cited, could hardly be more accurately applied than in this case.

The verve, the vivacity, the inner soul/rock naturalism reflected on the collection’s first eight tracks, recorded, with one exception, with an outfit of local musicians simply referred to as the East LA Band, speaks in that type of single dynamic voice that was one of the era’s most enduring signal traits. In Garcia and Jimenez God’s Children had a pop-savvy duo with the chops and experience to not only compose their own Chicano soul classics but the confidence to pull them off on any hold-their-own stage you’d care to imagine, while in Lydia Amescua they had a spark plug vocal foil that could bring a combined light and fire to her roles as backing and lead singer (check her head-turning out-front performance on Lil’ Ray’s “If You Ever Go Away,” a pure force of intuitive phrasing at the mic). For an all-too-brief moment, the world was theirs, surely.

“It Don’t Make No Difference,” the harmonies divine, percolates along on a riverbed of B-3 organ and a rhythm section brimming like a very finely tuned V-8, the piano-based ballad “I Just Wish” situates somewhere between Frankie Lymon and Carole King, “Brown Baby” could very well be the tune that drew Berry Gordy west to LA, the yearning romanticism of “Lonely Lullaby” poignant enough to soundtrack every lover’s warm night dream of Southern California no matter where they live. And lest it be thought that God’s Children simply couldn’t deal with a larger studio contingent, skip to “Hey, Does Somebody Care.” Recorded at a session with a 40-piece orchestra booked by local entrepreneur Eddie Davis, the band nailed the track on a single take, at which point every hired musician stood and applauded as the conductor Arthur Freeman, in disbelief, said “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A make-or-break opportunity, it would ultimately do both. Davis played some insider cards and the track became the theme song for Ben Casey star Vince Edwards’ new series Matt Lincoln. Though the show didn’t last past one season, the placement of their triumphant slice of symphonic soul brought God’s Children to the attention of Uni and the quiet tragedy of unforeseen consequences was set in motion. While the vocals on those Wrecking Crew sessions tend to retain their native zest (Lydia’s especially), the backdrops in to which they are plugged feel generic and paint-by-number, rendering what had been innately vital rather anodyne and bloodless. A waste of talent on multiple levels, it nonetheless cannot diminish God’s Children’s moment in the sun. A blink-and-you-miss-it ascendancy it may have been but, in retrospect, due to the talent and drive and dedication the trio brought to the project, what that short-lived burst produced was enough to maintain one’s faith in the concept of timelessness. [find Music Is
by Dave Cantrell

1. Music Is The Answer (William Anthony Garcia) - 4:07
2. It Don't Make No Difference (Raymond Titi Jimenez) - 3:24
3. If You Ever Go Away (Raymond Titi Jimenez) - 3:17
4. I Just Wish (Raymond Titi Jimenez) - 3:17
5. Dream (Raymond Titi Jimenez, William Anthony Garcia) - 3:08
6. Brown Baby (Wilbert Wade) - 3:12
7. Hey, Does Somebody Care (Linda Perhaps, Oliver Nelson) - 3:03
8. Lonely Lullaby (Mario Paniagua) - 2:24
9. Music Is The Answer (William Anthony Garcia) - 3:29
10.Music Is The Answer (William Anthony Garcia) - 3:35
11.Little Willie G. - Put Your Head On My Shoulder (Paul Anka) - 2:59
12.That's The Way God Planned It (Billy Preston) - 2:40
13.If You Ever Go Away (Raymond Titi Jimenez) - 3:17
14.If You Ever Go Away (Raymond Titi Jimenez) - 3:17
Tracks 1, 5 - 9, 12 featuring Little Willie G.
Tracks 2, 4, 7 featuring Little Ray
Tracks 3, 11, 13 featuring Lydia Amesqua

God's Children
*Little Willie G. - Vocals
*Little Ray - Vocals
*Lydia Amesqua - Vocals
*Fawn Rymal - Vocals
*Stacy Rymal - Vocals
*Steve Gutierrez - Drums
*Alan D. Flores - Bass
*Anthony "Beaver" Carroll - Bass
*Ray Montisanto - B3 Organ

The Wrecking Crew
*Hal Blaine - Drums
*Paul Humphrey - Drums
*Leon Russell - Piano
*David T. Walker - Guitar
*Carol Kaye - Bass

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