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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.


Thursday, December 29, 2022

David - David (1968 canada, pleasant sunny beat, 2001 release)

David began in 1963 when guitarist Fran Webster joined four other musicians in Colllingwood, Ontario, Canada and formed "The Marcatos", playing a unique combination of music which included rhythm and blues, Beatles, Tijuana brass, and top 40. The group matured and changed personnel by the time they recorded their first 45 "Let Me Love You, Baby" and "I Really Think A Lot Of You". The Marcatos hired Fran's brother John in 1964 and in January 1966 they moved to Toronto. At that time, bassist Bill Szekeres, trumpet player Ted Grimes, drummer Tony Lecaillon, trombone/keyboard player Cliff Snyder, and singer Debbie Kelly all joined the band. Their live appearances were drawing record breaking crowds during their southern Ontario bar circuit by 1967. 

In 1968, they recorded the "David" album at Sound Canada Studios and the LP received significant airplay on Canada's largest FM station "Chum FM". It was at this time the band had started negotiations with the manager of The Kinks, but the pressures of the time were tremendous and the group disbanded shortly thereafter. Debbie Kelly lives with her family in Houston, Texas and still loves to sing. Teddy Grimes, after many recordings of his own compositions, died of a heart attack in 1995, a truly brilliant Classical trumpet player and singer. Tony Lecaillon lives in Mississauga, Ontario with wife and 2 children, where he runs his own computer business and still plays jazzy music with his V drums. 

Bill Szekeres lives in Bradford. Ontario with his wife and 5 children where he teaches European History at the University of Waterloo. Cliff has published 3 books and still plays keyboard and trombone incredibly well. John Webster, Master guitarist, trumpet player, banjo picker and bass player died of cancer in 1996. Fran Webster lives in Creemore, Ontario with his wife and 2 children where he sells Real Estate. He and his wife still play in a band with Cliff.
Liner-Notes, January 2001

1. Little Boys (Ted Grimes) - 1:57
2. Lovely Lady (Ted Grimes) - 3:30
3. Never Been In Love (Francis Webster) - 3:31
4. Cup Of Tea (Francis Webster) - 2:14
5. Hey Jude (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 4:31
6. Flight Of The Egyptian Army (Ted Grimes) - 2:43
7. Because I'm Black (Ted Grimes) - 2:44
8. Descension (Ted Grimes) - 3:51
9. House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) - 3:42
10.Ashtray, Alvin J (Cliff Snyder) - 3:10
11.Take My Hand (Ted Grimes) - 3:50

*Francis H. Webster -Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Chimes
*Tony Lecaillon - Drums, Percussion
*John Webster - Vocals, Guitar, Trumpet
*Cliff Snyder - Trombone, Piano, Organ
*Bill Szekeres - Vocals, Bass
*Deborah Kelly - Vocals
*Ted Grimes - Vocals, Trumpet, Piano, Electric Piano

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Saturday, December 24, 2022

James Gang - Live in Concert (1971 us, power bluesy rock, 2010 japan SHM remaster)

During the band’s tour to support their third album, Thirds, the James Gang stopped off at Carnegie Hall and recorded this album. It would turn out to be the last official album with Joe Walsh, who left at the end of the year to make his own albums. The original performance from May 15th was edited down to a handful of tracks, which included the expected (“Walk Away”) and the unexpected (an 18-minute version of The Yardbirds’ “Lost Woman”).

An album that starts with Stop is probably a sign of things to come. The song originally appeared in an extended jam version on Yer’ Album. Here, it gets a tighter treatment that totally rocks, with outstanding performances from all three members. For a moment, you have the impression that you’re listening to one of the great power trios. A cover of Albert King’s You’re Gonna Need Me, which hadn’t previously appeared on any James Gang elpee, puts the spotlight on Joe Walsh, where it remains for most of the evening. Walsh’s psychedelic guitar solo is just amazing. This and the guitar solo on Lost Woman are highlights on the album. Walsh switches to the Hammond organ for the next two songs, Take a Look Around and Tend My Garden. A trio of bass, drums and organ is a bit of a stretch, but they show off the band’s more thoughtful side. Ashes, the Rain and I appears in an edited version at the end, with Jim Fox trading in his sticks for strings.

The second side features only two tracks: a hit and a head trip. Their live version of Walk Away lacks the contained energy of the original, but the extended version of “Lost Woman” is a treat. Walsh and Fox both turn in great performances and Dale Peters at least plays loud. But the song also underscores what was wrong with the James Gang: Walsh carried an unequal weight. By the song’s end, the band is reduced to making silly noises to keep things interesting. I’m pretty sure Jimi Hendrix never made any fart noises during his performances.

James Gang were a very good live band, and that’s plain on Live In Concert. If it’s not their most timeless record, it’s hard to condense a 90+ minute show into forty minutes without losing something. 
by Dave Connolly, June 7, 2020
1. Stop (Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) - 4:05
2. You're Gonna Need Me (Albert King) - 7:32
3. Take A Look Around (Joe Walsh) - 3:37
4. Tend My Garden (Joe Walsh) - 3:47
5. Ashes, The Rain And I (Dale Peters, Joe Walsh) - 2:46
6. Walk Away (Joe Walsh) - 3:37
7. Lost Woman (Jeff Beck, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith) - 17:40

James Gang
*Joe Walsh - Electric, 12-String Guitars, Vocals, Hammond B3 Organ 
*Dale Peters - Bass Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
*Jim Fox - Drums, Vocals, Percussion, Acoustic Guitar

1969  James Gang - Yer' Album (Japan SHM remaster)
1970  James Gang - Rides Again (2010 SHM remaster)

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Michael Murphey - Blue Sky Night Thunder (1975 us, tremendous country smooth rock, 2017 japan remaster)

Blue Sky - Night Thunder is one of the great albums completed by cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphey in the '70s, when he was simply known as Michael Murphey and his career was just beginning. He wrote or co-wrote every song on this recording. Fans will find many of their old favorites on this gold album, including his big hit "Carolina in the Pines" and maybe his most popular song of all time, "Wildfire." This album originally appeared on the market in 1975, but was re-released on compact disc in 1990. 

Murphey first drew plenty of public attention as a songwriter, and earned a name for himself writing songs for country singer Kenny Rogers. Murphey was soon rubbing elbows with artists like John Denver and Willie Nelson. Listeners will spot the influences of many singers on Blue Sky - Night Thunder, but that doesn't cover the sound and talent of the main man behind each song, Michael Martin Murphey.
by Charlotte Dillon

1. Wildfire (Larry Cansler, Michael Murphey) - 4:48
2. Carolina In The Pines - 3:58
3. Desert Rat - 3:55
4. Wild Bird - 2:25
5. Blue Sky Riding Song - 3:34
6. Medicine Man (Jac Murphy, Michael Murphey) - 3:53
7. Secret Mountain Hideout (Jac Murphy, Michael Murphey) - 4:01
8. Without My Lady There - 2:37
9. Night Thunder - 2:48
10.Rings Of Life (Gary Phillip Nunn, Michael Murphey) - 3:23
11.Wildfire (Larry Cansler, Michael Murphey) - 3:36
All compositions by Michael Murphey except where indicated

*Michael Murphey - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano
*John Mceuen - Banjo
*Jerry Mills - Mandolin
*Sam Broussard - Guitar
*Richard Dean - Guitar, Background Vocals
*Jac Murphy - Keyboards
*Tom Scott - Saxophone
*Michael McKinney - Bass, Background Vocals
*Harry Wilkinson - Drums
*Tracy Nelson - Background Vocals
*Jeff Hanna - Background Vocals
*Jimmy Ibbotson - Background Vocals

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Natural Acoustic Band - Learning To Live (1972 uk, divine acid folk psych, 2018 Japan remaster)

Natural Acoustic Band was formed in 1969, in Milngavie, Glasgow, Scotland. There were a number of personnel changes but the essential line-up was Tom Hoy (b. 5 February 1950, Glasgow, Scotland; guitar, vocals), Robin Thyne (b. 1 November 1950, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England; guitar, vocals), and Krysia Kocjan, pronounced Kotsyan (b. 10 August 1953, Craigendoran, Scotland; vocals). Kocjan had a Polish father and a Flemish mother. The group played their first gig on 5 November 1969, at Alloa Working Men’s Club. Eventually, the press picked up on Kocjan’s vocal talent, and they were increasingly billed as the Natural Acoustic Band, featuring Krysia Kocjan. Occasionally, the group was augmented by a Chinese drummer and an Australian bass player, a truly international line-up. Their two albums for RCA Records, were both released in 1972; Learning To Live in May, andBranching In in October. Kocjan left in late 1972, and Thyne and Hoy continued to work with Joanna Carlin. She then left to pursue a solo career, and is now better known as Melanie Harrold.

Thyne and Hoy continued as a duo, until the latter joined Magna Carta in 1975, initially as a sound engineer but eventually as a full-time member of the group. Thyne followed his former bandmate to Magna Carta in 1977. In 1979, both Hoy and Thyne left and formed Nova Carta, recording the sole album, Roadworks, for CBS Records, in Holland. Kocjan released a solo album in 1974, and has since worked with Al Stewart, Ray Davies, Robin Williamson, Mike Heron, and Glenn Yarborough. Now living in the USA, Kocjan is still busy with session work, and voice teaching, and has plans to record again. Thyne continues to work in a solo capacity, while Hoy works in a duo with his wife Geraldine as Tom And Gerry.

1. Learning To Live (Tom Hoy) - 2:32
2. Sometimes I Could Belive In You - 2:48
3. Subway Cinderlla - 3:18
4. Free - 3:42
5. Tom - 3:15
6. February Feeling - 3:31
7. Maybe It Was The Sunshine (Tom Hoy) - 3:02
8. Midnight Study - 2:33
9. All I Want Is Your Love (Tom Hoy) - 3:22
10.Waiting For The Rain (Krysia Kocjan, Tom Hoy, Robin Thyne) - 3:17
11.Dying G Bird (Tom Hoy) - 2:40
12.High In My Head - 3:21
Words and Music by Krysia Kocjan except where stated

Natural Acoustic Band
*Tom Hoy - Guitar, Vocals, 
*Robin Thyne - Guitar, Bongos, Bass Recorder, Vocals, 
*Krysia Kocjan - Vocals, Guitar, Glockenspiel 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Eddie Mottau - No Moulding (1977 us, splendid folk rock, 2020 korean remaster)

In June of 1974, Eddie Mottau rejoined John Lennon as a session musician on the Walls and Bridges album, then again in 1975 for the Rock N Roll recording sessions certified as Gold Records by the RIAA. Tracks from these recordings were then included on Lennon's certified Platinum compilation album, Shaved Fish.

In 1975 Eddie became friends with drummer/singer Bob Drew and bassist Jimmy Clark who were playing in a local band called Homegrown, which had a short history. However, the musical connection between the three of them continued and in May of 1977, Eddie and Jimmy, along with several New Hampshire friends, drove to Blue Hill, Maine for a week of recording in Stookey’s Neworld Henhouse; a live-in-studio 'no frills' rendering called «No Moulding».

The off-again, on-again musical relationship of Bob and Eddie re-emerged in the early 80's with the formation of the five piece Eddie Mottau Band featuring Ed on guitar and vocals of course and Bob on drums , vocals and harmonica. In 2001, Jimmy Clark joined the two of them for the recording of the Mottau, Drew and Clark debut album Dance For Love for Neworld Multimedia. This “backyard testimony” of original ballads and ragtime tributes was co-produced and mastered by Jim Mason, who called the three of them “seasoned veterans who handle the deep-pocket, laid-back grooves of ‘Hop Scop’ to the beautifully tender ‘Fell in Love Again’ with grace and ease that comes only to musicians with years of experience.”

1. Glory Of Love (Billy Hall) - 2:48
2. I Love You (Eddie Mottau, Eddie Ryan, Jimmy Clark) - 3:09
3. Living The Life Of Riley (Eddie Mottau, Jimmy Clark) - 3:41
4. Empty Pockets Blues (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays) - 2:45
5. Starting From Scratch (Walter Holt, Eddie Mottau) - 3:11
6. This Year (Jimmy Clark, Eddie Mottau) - 3:07
7. Jazz-Bo Brown (George Brooks) - 3:22
8. For You (Eddie Mottau, Eddie Ryan) - 2:35
9. Whistle A Tune (Eddie Mottau, Eddie Ryan) - 2:35
10.The Winner (Noel Paul Stookey) - 3:34
11.Jesus Is On The Main Line (Traditional) - 2:35
12.Morning Dancer (Jimmy Clark) - 3:36

*Eddie Mottau - Vocals, 6, 12 Strings Guitar
*Noel Paul Stookey - Melodica (Track 3), Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Jimmy Clark - Bass, Harmony Vocals
*Vic Hyman - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Wayne Cadrain - Harmonica, Bells, Knees
*Walter Holt - 12 Strings Guitar, Harmony Vocals (Track 5)
*Stu Davis - Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Elaine Sutherland - Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Bob Wilson - Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Elizabeth Stookey - Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Anna Stookey - Backing Vocals (Track 11)
*Kate Stookey - Backing Vocals (Track 11)

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Friday, November 18, 2022

The O Band - The Knife (1977 uk, fine mix of funky glam and classic rock vibes, 2021 korean remaster)

The first song from "The Knife" is an old number by Spirit. The O-Band dutifully plays the song. The second song is also a cover penned by John Fogerty "Almost Saturday Night", from the third song the band does present their own material. "I'm Gonna Leave You" is a mid-tempo rock number with nice harmony vocals. "Strange Lovin'" sounds similar. The song sounds good and breathes a lot of west coast feeling with a pinch of country rock. "Back Alley Lightning" continues what has been heard so far. That sounds like US rock

"Time Seems To Fly" is another relaxed rock song. Here, too, practically everything is correct. "The Knife" is the heart of the album. The longest song on the album is also the most varied and interesting song with an interesting story. "Got To Run" follows the style of the previous song and picks up the thread of the song and the story. "Venus Avenue" ends the album in a balladesque way. Towards the end the song gets really interesting with an increasingly dissonant orchestration.

Too bad the band never made it. The Knife is a pretty good album. Singer Pix sounds very interesting, his voice has a high recognition value. The instrumental performances and harmony vocals are good. The own songs are well done. Especially the title track and the two following songs harmonize well with each other. Shortly after the release, Pix Pickford decided to leave for a solo career. The O Band later disbanded at the end of 1977. 

1. Look To The Left, Look To The Right (Randy California) - 3:15
2. Almost Saturday Night (John Fogerty) - 2:57
3. I'm Gonna Leave You (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:29
4. Strange Lovin' (Jeff Bannister, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:53
5. Back Alley Lightning (Jeff Bannister) - 4:28
6. Time Seems To Fly (Jeff Bannister) - 3:45
7. The Knife (Jonathan Pickford) - 7:56
8. Got To Run (Jeff Bannister, Jonathan Pickford) - 4:26
9. Venus Avenue (Craig Anders) - 4:51

The O Band
*Jonathan Pix Pickford - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Mark Anders - Bass
*Derek Ballard - Drums, Percussion  
*Craig Anders - Vocals, Peddle Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar 
*Jeff Bannister - Vocals, Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizer

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Blue Epitaph - Ode By Blue Epitaph (1974-75 uk, experimental art folk psych, 2003 expanded edition)

Reissue of rare 1974 UK folk psych album plus bonus tracks from the group Junction 32. Beautiful solid folk with filigree acoustic guitar.

Recorded on the Holyground label, Pete Howells wrote the songs and the arrangements with James Gordon on vocals, guitar and piano. 
1. Diane - 3:41
2. Orange Room - 2:37
3. The Game's Reversible - 2:52
4. Oh You Lucky Man - 3:37
5. You Made Me - 3:39
6. Ode - 5:35
7. Can't Stop The Music - 3:04
8. I Never Met You - 3:15
9. She Lie Shoe - Who Are You - 3:16
10.Ffief (Traditional) - 2:34
11.When I'm Blind - Snippets - 2:43
12.Underrated - 4:58
13.Third Take (McGuire) - 2:23
14.Whiskey In The Jar (Traditional) - 2:10
15.Prickety Bush (Traditional) - 4:03
16.Bill Bailey (Traditional) - 2:26
17.Bold Princess Royal (Traditional) - 2:24
18.Ropergate Rag (Leydon) - 3:05
All compositions by Pete Howells except where indicated
Tracks 13-18 by Junction 32

*James Gordon - Guitar, Vocals, Piano 
*Pete Howells - Guitar, Vocals, Piano 
*Rich Robinson - Bass  
*Paul Todd - Drums (Track 7)
*Dave Theobald - Drums (Tracks 5,12)
*Silvie McRoberts - Vocals (Track 5)

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

John Kongos - Kongos (1971-75 south africa / uk, glamorus texture of rockin' beat delights, 2014 remaster and xpanded)

To most of the British public in the early 1970s, John Kongos was a passing two-hit wonder, known solely for his two 1971 #4 hits, "He's Gonna Step on You Again" and "Tokoloshe Man." Yet his career was already into its second decade and second continent, and was heavily intersecting with budding superstar Elton John's orbit by the dawn of the '70s. The reverberations of those two hit songs would be felt into the 1990s, via a hit cover of one of them and, more importantly, the ad infinitum use of a production technique pioneered by that same recording. In the US, despite the small splash that same track made in 1971, he remains virtually unknown, although his Kongos album (containing both hits) was picked up for Stateside distribution by the prestigious Elektra label.

Though only in his mid-twenties by the time "He's Gonna Step on You Again" climbed the UK charts, John Kongos had actually started recording way back in the early 1960s, as a teenager in the South African band the Dukes. The Johannesburg native recorded prolifically in South Africa as part of first the Dukes and, starting in 1962, Johnny Kongos & the G-Men. By 1966 he'd moved to England to try and crack the British Invasion explosion, doing a solo single for Piccadilly before heading the band Floribunda Rose (which made just one '67 single) and the more psych-pop Scrugg, who issued three 45s in the late '60s. The Kongos-penned debut Scruggs single "Everyone Can See"/"I Wish I Was Five" in particular was a quite respectable piece of trendy pop-psychedelia with groovy cathedral-toned organ, the latter song eventually getting anthologized on Rhino's Nuggets II box set of non-US '60s garage-psychedelic music.

Whatever name Kongos's projects were going by, none of his Piccadilly/Pye singles made a commercial impact, and by the end of the 1960s he'd gone the solo singer-songwriter route. Switching to Pye's new progressive subsidiary Dawn, his 1969 LP Confusions About a Goldfish was mild, introspective work that in places recalled the similarly tentative early singer-songwriting-pop efforts of the young David Bowie and Elton John. (All of Kongos's Piccadilly and Pye work, incidentally -- including the solo, Floribunda Rose, and Scrugg singles, as well as the entire Confusions About a Goldfish album -- has been reissued on the Castle CD anthology Lavender Popcorn.) That borne in mind, it's perhaps no surprise that his next album, Kongos, would be produced by a man who had already worked with both Bowie and John, Gus Dudgeon.

The Kongos-penned "Won't You Join Me" had been a big European hit (particularly in West Germany) for the Israeli-born actress Daliah Lavi (mostly known in the US for her role as "The Detainer" in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale), providing enough royalties for Kongos to put together a home basement recording studio. His home-produced demo of "He's Gonna Step on You Again" opened the door to working with Gus Dudgeon, who by that time had produced David Bowie's 1969 hit "Space Oddity." Dudgeon had also started his long stint as Elton John's producer, which would last through the singer-songwriter's rise to superstardom and include John's most popular 1970s singles and albums. Dudgeon's other credits included production for the Bonzo Dog Band, Ralph McTell, cult British folk-rocker Michael Chapman, and Ten Years After, as well as engineering for the likes of John Mayall and Marianne Faithfull.

Most of the musicians on the Kongos album were also sidekicks on early Elton John recordings, including guitarist Caleb Quaye, percussionist Ray Cooper, bassist Dave Glover, drummer Roger Pope, and backup singers Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie. (Also making appearances were fellow Dudgeon client Ralph McTell, on guitar, and eccentric avant-jazz-rock saxophonist Lol Coxhill.) It could have surprised few, then, that several of the tracks -? such as "Lift Me from the Ground," "I Would Have a Good Time," "Try to Touch Just One," and the gospel-influenced "Jubilee Cloud" (which sounded rather like a British variation of the gospel-rock of Norman Greenbaum's smash "Spirit in the Sky") -- boasted arrangements similar to those heard on early Elton John records. For "Tomorrow I'll Go," Kongos reached into his back catalog and remade one of his songs from Confusions About a Goldfish, this time with a less soppy approach. Indeed, Kongos as a whole was considerably more forceful and less gawky than its predecessor.

But the songs that got by far the most attention were the two hit singles, based around far heavier, almost jungle-like rhythms. "He's Gonna Step on You Again" used a tape loop of actual African tribal drums, and was eventually cited by The Guinness Book of Records as the first sample ever used on a record. Recognizing a good thing when he found one, Kongos's follow-up single "Tokoloshe Man" was also anchored by tribal stomp beats and almost disembodied, half-shouted vocals. The lyrics of both tunes, too, were most enigmatic, the target of "He's Gonna Step on You Again" coming off as a combination of roguish seducer and imperialist conqueror. Perhaps he's the same strange cat as the "Tokoloshe Man," which strongly hints at turning to Jesus Christ for help in warding off the Tokoloshe Man's mysterious threat in its final lines. That's just one of numerous references to Jesus in the album's lyrics, with "Come on Down Jesus" even name-checking the man in its song title.

It's been speculated that producer Mike Leander was influenced by the strange beats and noises on Kongos's pair of hits when crafting Gary Glitter's glam sound. And certainly, those songs were still remembered well by British musicians decades later, as the Happy Mondays took a cover of "He's Gonna Step on You Again" (retitled "Step On") to #5 in the UK in 1990, also covering "Tokoloshe Man" for good measure. The original "He's Gonna Step on You Again"'s impact in the US was relatively modest, however, reaching just #70 in 1971, though at least Kongos found release on the Elektra label, and now via this Collectors' Choice Music reissue.

Though the LP made #29 in Britain (on the Fly label, also home of T. Rex in early '70s), Kongos would thereafter vanish from the charts. But his surprising career path kept him in the industry, as engineer, producer, session musician, TV jingle and theme composer, and songwriter, with Sylvie Vartan scoring a big French hit with his "Ride the Lightning." And eventually, he would handle the programming of the Fairlight synthesizer on Def Leppard's #2-charting 1983 album Pyromania -- an interest foreshadowed, perhaps, by his then-futuristic use of synthesizer on one of Kongos's tracks, "Try to Touch Just One." 
by Richie Unterberger

1. Tokoloshe Man - 5:13
2. Jubilee Cloud (John Kongos, Peter Leroy) - 4:07
3. Gold (John Kongos, Christos Demetriou) - 4:28
4. Lift Me From The Ground (John Kongos, Robert Bailey) - 4:05
5. Tomorrow I'll Go - 4:49
6. Try To Touch Just One - 6:45
7. Weekend Lady - 2:55
8. I Would Have Had A Good Time - 4:20
9. Come On Down Jesus (John Kongos, Mike Moran) - 3:38
10.He's Gonna Step On You Again (John Kongos, Christos Demetriou) - 4:28
11.Sometimes It's Not Enough - 2:59
12.Tokoloshe Man - 3:59
13.Can Someone Please Direct Me Back To Earth - 3:56
14.Great White Lady (John Kongos, Christos Demetriou) - 3:53
15.Shamarack - 3:20
16.Higher Than God's Hat (John Kongos, Peter Leroy) - 4:11
17.Would You Follow Me - 4:09
18.Ride The Lightning (John Kongos, Peter Leroy) - 4:05
19.I Won't Ask You Where You've Been - 4:33
All songs by John Kongos except where noted
Tracks 1-10 fron LP "Kongos" 1971
Bonus Tracks 11-19
Tracks 14, 15 released 1972
Tracks 16, 17 released 1973
Tracks 18, 19 released 1975

*John Kongos - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
*Dave Glover - Bass  
*Robert Kirby - Brass  
*Claire Deniz  - Cello  
*Ray Cooper  - Congas, Maraccas  
*Roger Pope  - Drums  
*Caleb Quaye  - Electric Guitar. Piano  
*Gus Dudgeon  - Chair Squeak, Rusty Tin, Talking Drum  
*Lol Coxhill  - Saxophone 
*Mike Noble - Clapper Board
*Robert Kirby - Brass, Choir Arrangements
*Mike Mora - ARP Synthsizer
*Raplph McTell - Finger Style Guitar
*Rick Wakeman - Piano 
*Peter , Alex, Sue , Sunny - Backing Vocals 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Natural Acoustic Band - Branching In (1972 uk, marvelous folk rock, 2018 japan remaster)

The Natural Acoustic Band were a British folk band, formed in 1969 in Milngavie, Glasgow, Scotland. There were a number of personnel changes throughout the band's history. The band only produced two albums and one single (reaching No 1 in the Melody Maker folk charts). They were on the bill on three occasions at London's Marquee Club: November 17, 1971 (supported by Shape of the Rain), 12 April 1972 (supported by Gnidrolog) and 22 November 1972 (supporting Brewers Droop).

As a replacement for Krysia Kocjan the NAB had at first recruited Joanna Carlin but she never recorded with them. She was actually called Melanie Harrold but was trying to avoid confusion with the better known Melanie (Melanie Safka). She later made singles and solo albums (under both her names) and worked with the Albion Band and members of Steeleye Span. The NAB continued as a duo comprising Hoy and Thyne until 1975 when Hoy joined Magna Carta. Thyne also joined this band at a later stage.

Krysia Kocjan went on to provide backing vocals for Al Stewart, The Kinks, Mike Heron and many others. She made a solo album Krysia in 1974 (RCA LPL1 5052) with musicians including some Fairport Convention/Fotheringay members (specifically Jerry Donahue, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks - and also Rabbit Bundrick, and renowned percussionist Ray Cooper. On one track she revived her youthful talent for setting romantic English poetry to music with John Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Al Stewart's backing group, led by Peter White with Kocjan as a member, chose the name Shot In The Dark and released an album with the same title in 1981 (RSO 2394 297). On this Kocjan used her occasional alternative name of Krysia Kristianne and her few solo lead vocals here include "Some Towns".

She later moved to the US and in 1995 sang the track "The Lament" on the CD A Celtic Tale - The Legend of Deirdre by Mychael and Jeff Danna, a performance which drew review phrases such as "crystalline soprano" and "most moving" on Amazon.

In 1996 came the CD Tyger and Other Tales (Sentience Records 70002) with Leslie Chew and David Kronemyer which revived the Keats work along with ten other romantic English poems set to music. Her own favourite of these was "Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover Being Upon the Sea", as stated privately to a fan. She died on February 21, 2007, in Portland, Oregon where she had lived and worked as a singing teacher since 2000. A memorial service for Kocjan was held in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 10, 2007.

1. Running Into Changes (Krysia Kocjan, Tom Hoy) - 2:50
2. Echoes (Krysia Kocjan, Tom Hoy) - 3:51
3. Money (Krysia Kocjan) - 3:02
4. Follow Your Love (Tom Hoy) - 5:35
5. Road To The Sun (Krysia Kocjan) - 2:50
6. Is It True Blue? (There's Nothing Unnatural About Electricity) (Tom Hoy) - 3:33
7. First Boy (Krysia Kocjan, Tom Hoy) - 4:08
8. I'll Carry You (Tom Hoy) - 3:51
9. Little Leaf (Krysia Kocjan) - 2:57
10.Moontime Writer (Krysia Kocjan) - 3:00
11.Travellers On The Road (Robin Thyne) - 4:30

Natural Acoustic Band
*Tom Hoy - Guitar, Vocals, 
*Robin Thyne - Guitar, Bongos, Bass Recorder, Vocals, 
*Krysia Kocjan - Vocals, Guitar, Glockenspiel 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Someone's Band - Someone's Band (1970 uk, impressive heavy blues psych rock, 2021 digipak remaster)

Cecil James teamed up with four other top notch players to form a group called Someone’s Band, the outfit released their debut and only album on Deram Records, a progressive label in London that also had signed Cat Stevens and Ten Years After. Deram was owned by Decca at the time and it now belongs to Universal Records.

It was 1970 when that album was initially released. Sir Cecil was the lead singer, but he didn’t do any of the drumming, even though he was an accomplished drummer by then.

The band consisted of people who are well known on the other side of the Atlantic. Drummer Woody Martin had played with top London jazz musicians. Bass player Terry Powney is now a Californian recycling old vintage cars. Guitarist John Coxon played lead and rhythm. Guitarist Melvin Buckley also played lead and rhythm guitar and he co wrote the songs with Sir Cecil and Coxon. The drummer wrote one song called “Manhunt.”

The original album back cover apparently got Sir Cecil’s name wrong. “On the album cover somebody wrote Cecil Jones. In the music business, it’s James,” he said. “Somebody wrote something wrong by saying Cecil Jones, but it’s not. It’s Cecil James.”

The album was produced by Steven Stevenson who had been a right hand for Robert Stigwood. Someone’s Band broke up shortly after they released the debut album.
by Bill Copeland, August 19, 2011

1. Country Ride (Melvin Buckley) - 5:14
2. How It Began (Cecil James, John Coxen) - 4:48
3. Blues For Brother E (Cecil James, John Coxen) - 3:55
4. I Wanna Go Where I Belong (Cecil James, Melvin Buckley) - 4:01
5. Hands Of Time (Melvin Buckley) - 3:51
6. Alice (Melvin Buckley) - 3:59
7. Give It To You (Cecil James) - 3:03
8. Trouble Is (Melvin Buckley) - 3:16
9. A Story (Melvin Buckley) - 3:55
10.Manhunt/Fiddle Sticks (Woody Martin/Cecil James) - 7:21

Someone's Band
*Cecil James - Vocals, Percussion, 
*Melvin Buckley - Guitar 
*John Coxen - Guitar 
*Terry Powney - Bass 
*Woody Martin - Drums, Percussion

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The O Band - Within Reach (1976 uk, magnificent classic rock blended with glam prog and funky vibes, 2019 korean remaster)

A wonderfully melodic very tight musicianship led by Pix on lead guitar; West Coast US inspired, but nevertheless 'English sounding'.  The band used to be obsessed about getting the sound-engineering just right on stage and would keep us waiting for 10 to 15 minutes, playing to an empty, locked auditorium while the engineer made fine adjustments on the desk. You could watch through the windows in the doors. The wait was always worth it. The band were fine vocalists as well as great players. 

When I saw them they were first called Oasis! I do not know why they changed name. I remember Pix played with a slightly distracted look of concentration and absorption by the music. He used to look above the heads of the audience, apparantly studying the wall behind us, but seeing nothing I guess. He took his picking really seriously.

So to the album. Each track has a complimentary momentum and feel so that the overall effect is very coherent. The last track is a kind of gentle 'goodbye'. Smile is a Diamond seems to be the most highly regarded track, but I find them all equally good.

Within Reach by The O Band is World Class and an essential album for any blissed-out soft rocker. I love it.
by Dr. S. L. Smith 

1. A Smile Is Diamond (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 6:04
2. Feel Alright (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:33
3. Lucia Loser (Jonathan Pickford) - 4:09
4. Dontcha Wanna (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 4:59
5. Money Talk (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:29
6. Still Burning (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 6:00
7. Paradise Blue (Jeff Bannister) - 3:47
8. Long, Long Way (Jeff Bannister) - 5:52
9. Within Reach (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:21
10.A Smile Is Diamond (Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:55
11.Coasting (Jeff Bannister) - 5:02
12.Love Ain't A Keeper (Jeff Bannister) - 5:01

The O Band
*Jonathan Pix Pickford - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Mark Anders - Bass
*Derek Ballard - Drums, Percussion  
*Craig Anders - Vocals, Peddle Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar 
*Jeff Bannister - Vocals, Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizer

Friday, October 21, 2022

J.S.D. Band - Country Of The Blind (1971 uk, beautiful hippie folk rock with traditional elements, 2015 edition)

The JSD Band from Scotland are a folk band influenced by the pioneering efforts of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, but forging their own intriguing new directions' 
Music Week 

'If you're one of those people who has been caught up in the wave of adulation that has been hurled at the JSD band in recent months, then you'd better believe everything you've heard' 

'JSD may not be technically the most advanced group in the country, but they are certainly the gutsiest, the most earthy, the most physically exciting. What is different is the sheer joy in playing that they emanate' 
Folk Review

'Without wanting to pick up enemies in the folk camp, I find the JSD Band give me an almost identical buzz to the Chieftains. While their contemporaries (apart from perhaps Lindisfarne, who don't have JSD's musical perfection) plug away at finding old traditional songs and making them textbook exercises, the JSD make them today. They know the songs and their moods, having heard them from fathers in Glasgow, from outside pubs and from old men in the country who still sing and play music that has been handed down to them for centuries' 
Melody Maker 

'Only a few years ago, the trads choked on their pints, spluttered froth down their beards and turned white at the mention of folk-rock. And if electric instruments were involved, well – that was tantamount to treason. Fairport didn't really gain respectability until Dave Swarbrick upped and left Ian Campbell to join them. But now there's a more open attitude. Now Fairport (we hope) and Steeleye Span are established. And following close behind are the brilliant JSD Band'.

1. Country Of The Blind (Sean O'Rourke) - 4:26
2. Cooleys (Traditional) - 1:33
3. Childhood Memories (Sean O'Rourke) - 3:33
4. Sara Jane (Jerry Fuller, Thomas L. Garrett) - 2:15
5. Old Time Heartaches (Sean O'Rourke) - 2:29
6. Nancy/Jenny Picking Cockles (Tom Clough/Traditional) - 2:18
7. Wonders Of Nature (Sean O'Rourke) - 2:34
8. Don't Think Twice It's All Right (Bob Dylan) - 4:40
9. Darling Corey (Traditional) - 2:27
10.Morning Dew (Traditional) - 2:10
11.Cousin Caterpillar (Mike Heron) - 3:56
12.Over And Over (Sean O'Rourke) - 1:52
13.Hope (Sean O'Rourke) - 3:41

J.S.D. Band
*Sean O'Rourke - Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, Vocals 
*Des Coffield - Banjo, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Jim Divers - Bass, Cello, Guitar, Vocals 
*Colin Finn - Glockenspiel, Percussion
*Chuck Fleming - Fiddle 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Bo Grumpus - Before The War (1968 us, fantastic trippy folk psych rock, feat Eddie Mottau and guest Felix Pappalardi, 2022 korean remaster)

Originally assembling in Boston as a funky jugband comprising Colegrove, Smart and guitarists Ed Mottau and Joe Hutchinson, Bo Grumpus mutated into a New York-based folk-rock outfit in the style of the Byrds and veered towards psychedelia at about the same time as their West Coast contemporaries. Indeed, Before The War has been compared to The Notorious Byrd Brothers, though IMHO it also owes a debt to Revolver-era Fabs. The harmony vocals are sometimes very Byrds-ish indeed, but at others very Beatle-ish, as are the keyboards and other esoteric instruments provided by their George Martin equivalent, the classically-trained Felix Pappalardi. The production by Pappalardi is also more sophisticated and glossy than anything the various homely McGuinn collectives ever laid down.

Whatever, Before The War is a classy folk-rock-into-psych collection in its own right with carefully-constructed songs and excellent musicianship and vocals. For no obvious reason its original release on Atco in spring of 1968 tanked completely, and the album lay dormant until resuscitated by Wounded Bird for CD release forty years later. Meanwhile Bo Grumpus had moved to Bell Records with Pappalardi when he was headhunted by that imprint and recorded a further album Home under the changed name of Jolliver Arkansaw, again featuring Felix and also a guest appearance by his future colleague Leslie “Mountain” West. When this too bombed they called it a day late in ’69 and Colegrove and Smart subsequently joined Ian and Sylvia Tyson’s Great Speckled Bird. Today Before The War is readily available on CD or as an Atco vinyl re-release, but Home still awaits rediscovery and originals on vinyl will set you back a pretty penny.

Despite the intricacy of much of the playing and production and the frequently mournful and introspective hippy-trippy lyrics, this album has a carefree, floating feel to it. Most of the tracks use the same gentle 4/4 rhythm and seem to flow into one another effortlessly; it almost feels like the whole album is one suite. Colegrove’s nimble flatpicked Gibson bass work is distinctive throughout; like Paul McCartney he was a lead guitarist turned bassist, which helps explain the nature of his playing, adventurous but never intrusive. Probably by comparison to their live sound, the guitars are mostly mixed well back but provide plenty of sonic variety, with fuzz, wah and electric 12-string all exercised. By the time recording had finished drummer Smart had left to be replaced by Ronnie Blake; their no-frills styles are pretty well indistinguishable. 

The polymath Pappalardi contributes various keys, trumpet, ocarina and glockenspiel. The opening “Sparrow Tune” sets the template, led out by a trademark Colegrove riff and coloured by fuzzed guitar and churchy organ backing. Also notable are the overtly psychedelic “Yesterday’s Streets” with its electronically treated vocals, baroque harpsichord trills and glock fills; the string-laden “Travelin’ In The Dark” which recalls early Moody Blues, and the unmistakeably Beatle-ish “The Moon Will Rise” with lush answer-back vocals and a sublime ocarina solo. The wry “Ragtimely Love” and “Brooklyn” are hangovers from the outfit’s jugband origins.

Oh, and that name? Pappalardi’s artist wife Gail provided the name Bo Grumpus from a drawing of a fictional monster that she’d hung on their living-room wall. Perhaps that’s why the record didn’t sell; a distinctive name, but one unlikely to be taken seriously even in those hippy-dippy days.
by Len Liechti

1. Sparrow Tune (Joe Hutchinson) - 2:59
2. Think Twice (Eddie Mottau, Joe Hutchinson) - 2:21
3. Yesterday's Streets (Jim Colegrove, Felix Pappalardi) - 4:12
4. The Breath O' Love (Joe Hutchinson) - 3:04
5. A Knowing Young Touch (Jim Colegrove) - 2:45
6. Ragtimely Love (Eddie Mottau, Joe Hutchinson) - 2:09
7. Travelin' In The Dark (Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins)
8. Brooklyn (Jim Colegrove) - 2:42
9. The Moob Will Rise (Joe Hutchinson) - 5:22
10.If I Came To You (Eddie Mottau, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) - 2:59

Bo Grumpus
*Eddie Mottau - Vocals, Guitar
*Jim Colegrove - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
*Joe Hutchinson - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano on 6
*Ronnie Blake - Drums
*N.D. Smart - Drums
*Herb Lovelle - Drums
*Felix Pappalardi - Keyboard, Trumpet, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Ocherina

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A Band Called O - Oasis (1975 uk, a nifty mixture of pop rock and funky tunes, 2019 korean remaster)

Originally known as The Parlour Band, playing progressive rock, they renamed to A Band Called O for two albums on CBS/Epic and later to The O Band for further albums with UA. 

In 1975 they released their second album, "Oasis". They had one track "There Ain't Nothing I Wouldn't Do / Morrocan Roll" on a single to promote their tour with Sassafras and Randy Pie as the 'Hot on the Tracks' package.

Despite issuing five albums, on three major labels, and being championed by John Peel, for whom they recorded four Peel Sessions, they had no chart success; but were a popular live act, who toured Britain and Europe.

1. Amovin' (Craig Anders, Peter Filleul, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:42
2. Foolin' Around (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 4:33
3. Sleeping (Jonathan Pickford) - 5:22
4. Morrocan Roll (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford, Derek Ballard, Peter Filleul, Mark Anders, Nicky Graham) - 2:41
5. Fine White Wine (Jonathan Pickford) - 3:49
6. Take Your Time (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford, Derek Ballard, Peter Filleul, Mark Anders, Nicky Graham) - 3:11
7. Bird Of Paradise (Jonathan Pickford) - 4:11
8. Ice (Craig Anders) - 2:12
9. That's Up (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:12
10.Some People (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 5:53

A Band Called O
*Jonathan "Pix" Pickford - Vocals, Guitar
*Derek Ballard - Drums
*Peter Filleul - Electric Piano, Clarinet, Vocals  
*Mark Anders - Bass Guitar 
*Craig Anders - Guitar, Slide Guitar


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Terje Jesper And Joachim - Terje Jesper And Joachim (1970-73 denmark, massive guitar action great heavy vocals and pumping rhythms, 2006 remaster and expanded)

Terje Jesper and Joachim' started out as 'the Unknown' in autumn '65. I put a down payment on a red Hefner bass with the money I'd gotten for my 13th birthday (October 3rd). In November '65 we made our first recording, the title song to an animated short film by the the Danish director Flemming Quist Moller. The film was used as a short before the main picture, and played at movie theaters all over the country. We started playing school dances, pop competitions and eventually sit-inns and other hippie venues. We started writing our own material very early on and mixed it in between Stones, Kinks and Animals songs. Later on we played mostly original song with just a few Hendrix and Pink Floyd covers.

In "68 we made it to the final of a nationwide pop competition starting out with more than 300 Danish bands. The final (5 bands) was transmitted live on national radio. The bands we were competing with all played nice pop covers (the winners played a Hollies song), but we asked the producer to give us a cue when to stop, which we then improvised 15 minutes of acid rock. The times were a changing!

In the summer of 1970 we went to Aalborg, Denmark to record 'Terje' Jesper & Joachim' at Spectator studios. We had three days of studio time and were very eager to spend as much time as possible playing and recording. We slept right on the studio floor and woke up early every day only to find it impossible to wake up the producer and technician in the house next door. We got them up and working around 5pm but by midnight they were to stoned to go on and we had to stop. The same thing happened the next two days and then the album was recorded. We used two Ferro graph 2 track tape machines. Bouncing back and forth a couple of times.

We played gigs around the country for a couple of more years. At some point we added a lead singer and a keyboard player, but eventually we joined other bands and broke up the 'Terje, Jesper and Joachim'.
by Joachim Ussing, Copenhagen, May 2, 2OO7

1. We Got To Leave - 4:23
2. Like My Sister - 6:07
3. Between The Shields - 3:57
4. Ricochet - 3:56
5. Free - 6:04
6. If I Needed Somone (George Harrison) - 3:21
7. Sorry, Its The End - 4:39
8. Cheer - 3:17
9. All Through The Day - 2:31
10.Richocher - 3:24
11.Paint It Black (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 2:29
12.Black Island - 2:36
13.We Got To - 3:49
14.Like My Sister - 6:03
15.Between The Shields - 3:36
16.Mother Nature - 5:45
17.Couldn't Stand The Pain - 4:14
18.I Don't Need Nobody - 8:29
All songs by Terje Bandholdt, Joachim Ussing, Jesper Schmidt except where noted

*Terje Bandholdt - Drums 
*Joachim Ussing - Bass, Vocals 
*Jesper Schmidt - Guitars, Piano, Vocals

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Rainy Daze - That Acapulco Gold (1967 us, astonishing garage psych rock, 2009 digipak)

A Denver, Colorado band, the Rainy Daze came together in 1965 and gleaned an admirable reputation locally, leading to signing a deal with Chicory Records late in 1966. The band’s first single, “That Acapulco Gold,” was penned by their singer and guitarist Tim Gilbert, along with his college roommate John Carter.

Directed by jolly tap-dancing rhythms and swarms of sunny choruses, “That Acapulco Gold” sounded like something straight out of the Lovin’ Spoonful songbook. Receiving an impressive amount of regional airplay, the perky little vaudeville-flavored ditty was quickly picked up by the Uni label for national distribution.

Shortly after “That Acapulco Gold” started to gain traction, conservative radio programmers pulled the plug due to the fact the song was about heading south to score marijuana in the hopes of curing sniffles and sneezes. The track stalled at No. 70 early in 1967, and the Rainy Daze sadly never again acquired much success.

The flip side of “That Acapulco Gold” was further composed by John Carter and Tim Gilbert. Cast of trippy lyrics regarding listening to leaves caress the ground and clocks with no hands, “In My Mind Lives a Forest” proved to be a potent piece of acid-scented matter. Distorted guitars set the pace, compounded by clipped vocals, a bruising break, haunting vibes, and concluding to an explosion of rumbling feedback.

Both “That Acapulco Gold” and “In My Mind Lives a Forest” were included on the Rainy Daze’s only album, also titled That Acapulco Gold. Containing a nice mix of pop and psychedelic elements, the disc was quite good, and in hindsight is comparable to select moments of the Electric Prunes and the Stained Glass.

Although “That Acapulco Gold” died an unforgivable death, Tim Gilbert and John Carter continued to write songs and reaped riches in the fall of 1967 when their wiggy and wonderful, “Incense and Peppermints” – recorded by the Strawberry Alarm Clock – transpired into a No. 1 hit. 
by Beverly Paterson

1. Absurd Bird - 3:01
2. Baby I Need Your Lovin' (Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier) - 3:31
3. Weatherman - 2:47
4. Out Of A Calico Dream - 2:28
5. Shake/Knockon Wood/Respect (Sam Cooke/ Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper/ Otis Redding) - 3:53
6. Discount City (Mac Ferris) - 2:05
7. That Alcapulco Gold - 2:27
8. Try A Little Harder - 2:37
9. For What It's Worth (Stephen Stills) - 2:56
10.In My Mind Lives A Forest - 2:53
11.Snow And Ice And Burning Sand - 3:13
All songs by John Carter, Tim Gilbert except where stated

The Rainy Daze
*Tim Gilbert - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Mac Ferris - Lead Guitar
*Sam Fuller - Bass
*Kip Gilbert - Drums
*Bob Heckendorf - Organ

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