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.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

White Duck - White Duck (1971 us, awesome swamp country rock, 2014 korean remaster)

A whole herd of various ducks and ducklings nested on the rock scene of the seventies. This one is the debut album of the American band White Duck, which consisted of musicians who accompanied Jimmy Buffett's performances before starting their own band. Lanny Fiel also previously had experience with the Willie And The Red Rubber Band. The first self-titled album was recorded and mixed within two months at Creative Workshop under the direction of Buzz Cason ... A kind of lively psycho-folk-country rock.

Based on the fantasy album cover, to be honest, 'Billy Goat' was nothing like what I expected.  Built on a funky little riff and showcasing Kloetzke's rugged, blue-eyed soul vocals, the tune sounded like something a Memphis band like Big Star might have recorded.  Icing on the cake came in the form of Lanny Fiel's slide guitar.  'World (Keep On Turnin')' revealed itself as a sweet acoustic ballad.  The tune showcased Kloetzke's glistening twelve string guitar and the band's impressive hamronies, with Tabet's percussion adding a subtle Celtic edge.

Opening up with some lovely piano, 'Lonely' caught me totally off guard.  In fact, for a second I wondered if I'd mistakenly slapped on a Beatles album.  Penned by Kloetzke, the song was a beautiful keyboard powered ballad with vocals that bore an uncanny resemblance to McCartney.  It wasn't just the vocals - the entire song seemed to project a Fab Four vibe.  Always loved Friedel's melodic bass work on this one.  Possibly one of the best Beatles songs they never wrote. What started out as an attractive, but pedestrian pop tune turned out to be one of the album highlights.  Of course you had to wait until "Black-Eyed Susan" was half over which is when Lanny and Rick kicked in with their lysergic tinged  backwards guitar solos.

Another song that opened up with some attractive Kloetzke piano, 'Really' may have been the album's most original and commercial track.  The song had a wonderful melody (with a great bass line) and some gorgeous harmony vocals. The title and the opening sound collage left me thinking this was going to be a throwaway.  Instead, this was another slice of McCartney-the-rocker influenced hard rock.  Built on a tasty little guitar riff, this one would have made George Harrison proud. 

With driving lead guitar and a strong Kloetzke vocal 'No Time' got an A+ in the folk-rock awards.  Their backing vocals were truly impressive, making you wish this one had stretched on longer. The rocker 'I Never Wanna Go' found the band returning to a Memphis garage-rock feel.  With an insidiously catchy riff, this one as simply awesome and another track that faded out too early.

Until his death in 2009, Lanny Field remain active in music. Friedel returned to Wisconsin.  At least for a time he appears to have been the Director of the non-profit Wisconsin School Music Association Inc.  The Association focuses on supporting Wisconsin music teachers. Kloetzke had actually started his career as an artist and returned to art after the band called it quits.  He's known for portraits of wildlife, Green Bay Packer fans, and World War II aircraft. Tabet relocated to Las Vegas where he played in various Casino house bands for the next 40 years,  He died of heart failure in June, 2015.

After the release of the first White Duck album front men/brothers Lanny and Rick Fiel left White Duck.  Bassist Mario Friedel, keyboard player Don Kloetzke and drummer Paul Tabet elected to continue the nameplate recruiting a young John Hiatt (then working as a Nashville-based songwriter).

1. Billy Goat (Don Kloetzke, Rick Fiel, Lanny Fiel) - 4:10
2. World (Keep On Turning) (Don Kloetzke, Lanny Fiel) - 2:43
3. No (Don Kloetzke, Mario Friedel) - 2:47
4. Lonely (Don Kloetzke) - 3:03
5. Black-Eyed Susan (Rick Fiel) - 2:24
6. Really (Lanny Fiel, Paul Tabet, Don Kloetzke, Mario Friedel, Rick Fiel) - 3:53
7. Don`t Mix With Politics (Don Kloetzke, Rick Fiel, Lanny Fiel) - 3:02
8. Anna Belle (Mario Friedel, Paul Wittenburger) - 2:33
9. No Time (Paul Tabet, Lanny Fiel) - 2:36
10.I Never Wanna Go (Lanny Fiel, Don Kloetzke) - 2:21

White Duck
*Lanny Fiel – Guitar, Horn, Vocals
*Rick Fiel – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
*Mario Friedel – Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Don Kloetzke – Keyboards, Vocals
*Skip Rogers – Vocals
*Paul Tabet – Drums, Vocals