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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)


ComadrejaPep said...

Thank you very much!!! Another gem in this site.

Josef Kloiber said...

What a GREAT band!!!
I got both lps years ago.
San Francisco Sound my dearest.
I can't get enough of that.

kobilica said...

Thank you so much "MARIOS"I never heard CD2.Cheers...

amacoz said...

Many thanks Marios.

sgds said...

Both melodic and psychedelic, as one might expect from this era, but not overly folky, this music has considerable teeth as well. And the 2008 reunion track is surprisingly fantastic. Like a more exciting H.P. Lovecraft or Ultimate Spinach, with flavors of Grape and Airplane as well. Thanks Marios for this wonderful surprise.

Josef Kloiber said...

Amazing how different the access to music is.
If i mean S.F. sound the everyone excludes comparisson with another S.F. band. They are all indefensible and unique. How different are J.Airplane & QMS and yet they have something in common that is different the same.
With U. Spinach and even less Lovecraft that has nothing to do with my opinion.
But in the end it doesn't matter where the band comes from.
The music is due!!

rntcj said...


Thanx for these. A "new" artist = "new" hears here. Comparing this music to late 60's "S.F. Sound"? Ultimate Spinach were from Boston.

Ciao! For now.

sgds said...

Speaking as a musician, geographical borders don't mean a lot to me. If this band sounds like Ultimate Spinach, which to my ears they do, I could care less if they're from Boston or Cleveland or San Francisco. Remember, Little Feat, an L.A. band had a "Southern" sound, and Heartland (or Canadian) sounding Creedence was from San Francisco.

Josef Kloiber said...

Probably that's one reason i don't like Creedence Clearwater R. because it's not a typical S.F. sound.
Sgds apparcently we have two different approach to music.

Josef Kloiber said...

Whether QMS could be created in Cleveland ? Hard to imagine !

Michael said...

Hi Marios, Just digged you in my bloglist on "Hidden Gems of Heavy Metal" metalmusicblog... could you do the same? Thanks in advance.

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