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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.


Monday, September 26, 2022

A Band Called O - "O" (1974 uk, groovy funky glam prog rock, 2019 korean remaster)

Formed in Jersey, Channel Islands, circa 1970, as "The Parlour Band", the early line up comprised brothers Mark Anders (bass and vocals) and Craig Anders (lead guitar and vocals) with Peter Filleul (keyboards and vocals) formerly of the Climax Blues Band , John “Pix” Pickford (guitar and vocals) and Jerry Robbins (drums). Released in 1972, The Parlour Band's only album Is a Friend?, was produced by Nick Tauber in a melodic progressive rock style, sounding like a "more mainstream, less art-rock-inclined Yes" with strong keyboard and guitar parts.The Parlour Band toured supporting Caravan and Steve Hillage’s Khan.

They relocated from Jersey to Leicester, changed their name to "A Band Called O", and their drummer to Derek Ballard. This line-up released their first album on the Epic label, produced by Ben Sidran of the Steve Miller Band, and Chris White of the Zombies. A Band Called O (1974) and, despite being an album orientated band, a single "Rock and Roll Clown"/"Red Light Mama Red Hot" was released in Germany while they recorded the first of four Peel Sessions on 24 September 1974. They recorded their second Peel Session on 18 March 1975, before touring with Man and John Cipollina. 

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Pickford "Pix", who had been living in Torre del Mar in Spain, went missing on 29 August 2021, after having dinner in a restaurant with friends, a week later on Monday Septempber 6th 2021, his body was recovered near a river in the area.

1. Red Light Mama Red Hot (Peter Frampton, Jeremy Shirley, Greg Ridley, Steve Marriott) - 6:19
2. Angelica (Craig Anders, Mark Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:46
3. Helping Hand (Craig Anders, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:43
4. Lady Beatrice (Jonathan Pickford) - 4:00
5. Ride, Ride, Ride (Craig Anders, Peter Filleul) - 3:16
6. Rock Roll Clown (Peter Filleul) - 3:32
7. All I Need (Jonathan Pickford) - 2:08
8. Get Funky (Peter Filleul, Jonathan Pickford) - 3:34
9. Captain Cellophane / Sidewalk Ship (Craig Anders, Derek Ballard, Mark Anders, Peter Filleul, Jonathan Pickford) - 12:05 

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


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Mother Hen - Mother Hen (1971 us, wonderful amalgam of country folk and jazzy tunes, 2010 korean remaster)

Mother Hen (Jane Getz) is a singer that fails to compare with anyone else. Her voice is so off-beat that it puts itself on a level away from anybody else. Her material and arrangements are all her own. Lyric-wise, she uses her vocals to express the feelings much in the same way that Neil did in After the Goldrush.

It is truly a unique mixture of folk, pop and American roots music with Jane's awesome lyrics. Back up by 1st class musicians like Clarence White, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Lee Sklar and Russ Kunkle.
by Cameron Crowe,  May 25, 1972

1. Sing Evermore - 3:49
2. My Granny`s Face - 4:42
3. Goodbye Old Razzle Dazzle - 3:04
4. Lookout Charlie - 3:15
5. Man From Aberdeen - 3:45
6. America The Landlord`s Dream - 2:46
7. Naked King - 1:58
8. He`s Alive And Remembers - 5:39
9. Old Before Your Time - 2:43
10.Passage Back - 5:26
Words and Music by Jane Getz

*Jane Getz - Vocals, Harpsichord, Organ, Piano 
*Jerry Scheff - Bass 
*Leland Sklar - Bass 
*Jamie Faunt - Bass 
*Ron Tutt - Drums 
*Russ Kunkel - Drums 
*Jerry McGee - Guitars, Dobro, Sitar
*Clarence White - Acoustic Guitar 
*Danny Kortchmar - Acoustic Guitar 
*Pete Kleinow - Steel Guitar 
*David Campbell - Violin 
*Emil Richards - Percussion 
*Jamie Faunt - Vocals 


Friday, September 16, 2022

Stretch - Forget The Past (1978 uk, remarkable funky guitar rock, 2010 japan remaster)

Stretch recorded ‘Forget The Past’ without Elmer. Their former singer was not best pleased. “I don’t think it went very well. They did one album and a few gigs. I must admit that I was angry, so I was delighted when they got chronic reviews. It was very unspiritual of me, but I felt let down. Kirby and I should have stuck it out together. We had always worked well together, so I was kind of angry with him.”

Kirby explains: “It felt like the skids were under us. The whole thing went sour. We’d had initial success but two and a half years later we weren’t getting anywhere. Elmer and I parted company and I tried to change direction with Stretch and make another album. I tried my best but it with hindsight it didn’t work.”

The final version of Stretch included future Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain. Kirby: “What a drummer! He really was dynamite. We made the album and did some gigs but it lost momentum and Stretch folded up in 1979.” Says Elmer: “Stretch was a good band, although it was hard to appreciate at the time because we were going through such emotional difficulties and we were very self-critical.” Clearly Stretch had reached breaking point.

1. Re-Arranging (Steve Emery) - 4:02
2. Cruel To Be Kind (Kirby Gregory, John Cook) - 4:46
3. Forget The Past (Kirby Gregory, John Cook) - 5:43
4. Ain't Got No Reason (Steve Emery) - 4:48
5. Take Me Away (Kirby Gregory) - 3:34
6. You're Too Late (Steve Emery) - 4:16
7. School Days (Kirby Gregory) - 8:17
8. Fooling Me (Kirby Gregory) - 5:42

*Kirby Gregory - Vocals, Guitar
*John Cook - Keyboards
*Chris Mercer - Saxophone
*Fran Byrne - Drums
*Nicko McBrain - Drums
*Steve Emery - Bass

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Merryweather - Word Of Mouth (1969 canada / us, stunning tough bluesy rock, 2019 korean remaster)

The mid-to-late 1960s California rock landscape was littered with Canadian expatriates jostling for a record deal and the allure of fame and fortune. One of the earliest to arrive on the West Coast was singer Denny Doherty, a founding member of the internationally renowned folk-rock aggregation, The Mamas & The Papas, in August 1965.

Not long after Doherty’s arrival in L.A., former Mynah Birds members, Neil Young and Bruce Palmer pitched up on Sunset Strip in a hearse they’d driven all the way from Toronto and the legendary Buffalo Springfield was born. Less than a year later, another ex-Mynah Birds member, Goldy McJohn arrived in L.A with his band, The Sparrow. Struggling for a year to make any headway, the group became overnight sensations after eschewing a change in name and personnel and emerging as heavy rock band, Steppenwolf.

By the end of the decade, Canadian musicians were arriving in droves and could be found plying a trade in such notable bands as Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, Elektra Records’ Rhinoceros and Canada’s finest export, The Band, who cut their legendary second album in L.A.

One of the lesser known Canadian groups to work on the West Coast was the short-lived Merryweather, a talented bunch of Ontario musicians, fronted by another former Mynah Birds member, bass player Neil Lillie (today better known as Neil Merryweather).

Slightly reminiscent of the early Steve Miller Band, Merryweather also shared the same label, Capitol Records, with whom they had signed with in January 1969 and produced two albums, including the double “super-jam” record, Word of Mouth before imploding later that year.

Unlike many of their Canadian contemporaries based in California at the time, Merryweather never found the success they warranted. Along the way, however, the band produced some great music and, as we’ll see later, could have gone a lot further had events worked out differently.

In early October, Heather Merryweather opened for The Chicago Transit Authority, who were making one of their first L.A. appearances. By all accounts, the band’s performance was well received and in January 1969, producer John Gross signed Heather Merryweather to Capitol Records to a seven-year deal.

Interestingly, it was at this point that Neil Lillie received a phone call from A&M producer Larry Marks, who had somehow got hold of the group’s three-song demo through the aforementioned engineer. “He looked for us for about two months but he couldn’t find out where we were staying,” says Lillie. “He was all bummed because he wanted to sign the band and would have given us what we wanted.”

It didn’t really matter in the short-term because Capitol had promised to support the band and seemed intent on putting the necessary muscle behind the musicians. Dave Burt remembers the label paying to record some demos, which included Lillie’s “Mr Richman” to see how they would come across in the studio.

Cut at Independent Recorders in the Valley with John Gross in the production seat and abetted by legendary engineer Jim Lockert, who “wrote the book” on recording in Nashville and later worked with The Beach Boys, the sessions ran smoothly. Buoyed by the early recordings, Capitol arranged for some studio time to start recording an album, once again working with Gross and Lockert.

The group began recording in earnest and proceeded to lay down 10 tracks, most written by Lillie. “The first sessions for the album were done at Capitol,” remembers Roth. “Wow! It was like a dirigible hangar! I think we did ‘No Passengers Allowed” there. Back then recording was kind of formal – recording staff wore ties. We set up the whole band in the middle of this huge room, and placed mics very high above us on booms. We invited some friends from the coffee house we went to, to come and watch. I think they joined in, in the ‘chant’ at the end of the piece.”

Most of the rest of the album was done back at Independent Recorders where the assistant engineer was Jo Stafford’s son. A former member of The Lettermen, whose brother was a Capitol executive, owned the studio. “The studio was our sandbox,” continues Roth. “We tried everything. In Toronto the most we recorded on was three-track. Here we had eight [and] later sixteen on our next album. We rented strange instruments – a cello, an Ondioline, boom bams, whatever we wanted. Dave and I had never touched a cello, but we played them on the album. It was fun.”

Although Lillie sang the lead vocals on all of the tracks, Burt remembers Jimmy Livingstone turning up in the studio one day unexpectedly and laying down a vocal. “Jimmy rolled in to the studio covered in mud,” recalls Burt. “Apparently, he had been walking down the big viaducts. He came into the studio and I think he sang something. I remember the shock when I saw him because it looked like he’d been on acid for weeks.”

“What we didn’t know about Jimmy back then [in Toronto] was that he was probably borderline schizophrenic,” explains Roth. “Later, in California, after too much acid and such, I’m afraid Jim left our part of the universe for one of his own making.” Roth confirms that Livingstone did come into the studio to record a vocal but says that it wasn’t for the record. It was to help record a dada-esque radio advert for the album that the group’s organist feels turned out better.

Shortly after completing the recordings in February 1969, Neil Lillie legally changed his surname to Merryweather after shortening the group’s name. “Heather Merryweather was dropped because there was no person called Heather Merryweather,” explains Merryweather. “When I said I was in a band called Heather Merryweather, people asked me if Heather was the lead singer! We dropped it because after all, there was already a band called Alice Cooper.”

Around this time, Merryweather also made a prestigious appearance at Newport ’69, a huge rock festival held at Devonshire Downs in Northridge on the weekend of 20-22 June. The three-day festivities also featured The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds and Poco among others.

“We opened up on the Sunday morning and it was great,” remembers Neil Merryweather. “I had this guy in the audience that had an American flag with the peace symbol in the middle climb the hundred foot sound speaker towers and put it up at the top and everybody went ballistic. That was a great thing for us.”

Back in Los Angeles, Merryweather returned to the Whisky A Go Go for a show opening for Leslie West’s group, Mountain on 29 July. Earlier that month, work had begun on the band’s second album, which was produced once again by John Gross. On this occasion, Merryweather were joined by various musicians, including Steve Miller, Howard Roberts, Barry Goldberg, Charlie Musselwhite and former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason to record a “super jam” album. As Ed Roth explains, aside from Mason who the band met on the street, the others were introduced to Merryweather on the day of the session in the studio.

Billboard magazine, reviewing the record before its release, gave it thumbs up in its 30 August issue. “Merryweather should break through with this two LP ‘super jam’,” noted the reviewer. “Not only does Neil Musselwhite [sic] have his regular group in this bluesy set but he is joined by us.
by Nick Warburton

1. I Found Love (Neil Merryweather) - 3:09
2. Teach You How To Fly (Coffi Hall, Doug Roberts, Dave Burt, Ed Roth, Neil Merryweather) - 3:24
3. Just A Little Bit (Barry Goldberg, Steve Miller) - 3:47
4. Where I Am (Neil Merryweather) - 3:47
5. Hello Little Girl (Charlie Musselwhite, Coffi Hall, Dave Mason, Dave Burt, Ed Roth, Neil Merryweather) - 3:01
6. Mrs. Roberts' Son (Dave Burt) - 8:57
7. Licked The Spoon (Neil Merryweather) - 3:07
8. Sun Down Lady (Coffi Hall, Dave Mason, Dave Burt, Ed Roth, Neil Merryweather) - 6:00
9. Hard Times (Ed Roth, Neil Merryweather) - 4:53
10.News (Neil Merryweather) - 3:11
11.We Can Make It (Barry Goldberg, Steve Miller) - 4:32
12.Rough Dried Woman (Charlie Musselwhite, Coffi Hall, Dave Mason, Dave Burt, Ed Roth, Neil Merryweather) - 3:41
13.Dr. Mason (Dave Mason, Neil Merryweather) - 4:42
14.Hooker Blues (Neil Merryweather) - 3:32

*Neil Merryweather - Lead Vocals, Bass
*Steve Miller - Vocals, Guitar (Tracks 3, 11)
*Dave Mason - Rhythm Guitar, 2nd Fuzz Guitar, Bass, Lead Guitar, Vocals (Tracks 8, 13)
*Howard Roberts - Lead Guitar (Tracks 2, 6)
*Charlie Musselwhite - Harp, Blues Harp, Vocals (Tracks 5, 12)
*Barry Goldberg - Organ (Tracks 3, 11)
*Bobby Notkoff - Violin (Tracks 4, 9)
*Dave Burt - Guitar, 2nd Lead Guitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals (Tracks 1, 2, 7, 11)
*Ed Roth - Fiddle, Piano, Organ, Rocksichord, Strings Arrangements, Vocals (1, 2, 7, 11)
*Coffi Hall - Drums

1969  Merryweather
1970  Neil Merryweather, John Richardson And Robin Boers
1971  Neil Merryweather And Lynn Carey - Vaccum Cleaner

Monday, September 5, 2022

Marc McClure - Songs For Old Ladys And Babys (1972 us, awesome brassy country folk rock, 2016 korean reemaster)

Former member of Joyous Noise, singer songwriter multi instrumentalist Marc McClure, released this solo effort in 1972 with the help of many friends like Ron Elliott (fron The Beau Brummels fame), Dan Levitt, Robin Batteau (Appaloosa,  Batteaux) and Spooner Oldham among others.

McClure delivers haunting and highly complex lyrics with impressive, deep tonal effects. Best cuts "Guitar Boy" a baroque folk shape, "Goodbye Song" a progressive country, "Delinga De Matte!", a blues based tune, "Good Old Days" which has a lot of folk rock flavor. Brass and strings in jazzy and baroque tapestry.  

1. Life Is So Good (Marc McClure) - 3:49
2. Long Walking Down To Misery (Ron Elliott) - 3:27
3. More Than My Guitar (Ron Elliott) - 3:19
4. Sweet Inspiration (Spencer Oldham, Dan Penn) - 3:50
5. Music Box (Marc McClure) - 3:41
6. Look Away (Gary Downey, Ron Elliott, Dan Levitt, Marc McClure) - 3:28
7. Are Ya Comin' (Marc McClure) - 2:56
8. Delinga De Matte! (Ron Elliott) - 2:13
9. Goodbye Song (Marc McClure) - 2:49
10.Cause I Love You (Marc McClure) - 2:12
11.Guitar Boy (Ron Elliott) - 3:06
12.Good Old Days (Marc McClure) - 6:11

*Marc McClure - Lead Vocals, Organ, Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*David Vaught - Bas
*Dennis Dragon - Drums
*John Seiter - Drums
*Chris Darrow - Mandolin
*Spooner Oldham - Piano
*Jim Horn - Tenor Saxophone, Strings, Horns
*Bill Plummer - Bass
*Vince DeRosa - French Horn
*Charles Benton Findley - Trombone
*Robin Batteau - Violin
*Dan Levitt - Acoustic Guitar, Banjo
*Ron Elliott - Acoustic Guitar
*Lorna Willard, Marti McCall, Sherlie Matthews - Backing Vocals
*Dick Hyde, Earl Dumler, Lew McCreary, Paul Hubinon - Horns
*Charles Loper, Gareth Nuttycombe, Henry Ferber, James Getzoff - Strings 
*Jerry Kessler, Jesse Ehrlich, Lou Klass, Myer Bello - Strings  
*Sidney Sharp, Tibor Zelig, William Kurasch - Strings 

Related Act

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Brethren - Brethren (1970 us, excellent country folk psych rock, 2012 korean remaster)

After graduating from Brooklyn College with a music major in 1970, Garson was a member of rock/country/jazz band Brethren with Rick Marotta, Tom Cosgrove and Stu Woods. They recorded two hard-to-find albums on the Tiffany label, which featured guest piano and liner notes by Dr. John (and album photography by Murray Head, who scored a hit with "Say it Ain't So Joe" and later with the single "One Night In Bangkok").

Garson also earned notice when he played on the I'm the One album by early 1970s experimental artist Annette Peacock. Bowie asked Peacock to join him on a tour; she declined, but Garson began an enduring relationship with Bowie.

Garson gave the piano and keyboard backing on the later Ziggy Stardust tour and his unique contribution to Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) gave the song an avant-garde jazz feel with lengthy and sometimes atonal piano solos. Garson played also for Bowie's bandmate Mick Ronson on his first and last solo tour, and his first album (Slaughter on Tenth Avenue). 

Drummer Rick Marotta (who backed dozens of top artists, including John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Steely Dan, etc.), lead singer/guitarist Tom Cosgrove (who played with Al Kooper and Todd Rundgren, among others), Bassist Stu Woods worked with (Jim Croce, Janis Ian, Tony Orlando, Barry Manilow, etc.) 

1. Midnight Train (Rick Marotta, Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove) - 2:43
2. Don’t Talk Now (James Taylor) - 3:54
3. Mississippi Freighter (Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove, Mark Klingman) - 3:52
4. Success Brand Oil (Tom Cosgrove, Rick Marotta, Stu Woods) - 4:51
5. Hitchin’ To Memphis (Tom Cosgrove) - 2:46
6. Everybody In The Congregation (Tom Cosgrove) - 3:55
7. I've Been Provided For (Rick Marotta, Stu Woods, Tom Cosgrove, Jay Senter) - 3:03
8. Outside Love (Tom Cosgrove) - 3:25
9. Just To Be There (Mark Klingman) - 3:09

*Stu Woods - Bass, Vocals
*Tom Cosgrove - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
*Rick Marotta - Drums
*Mike Garson - Keyboards
*Dr. John - Keyboards
*Rusty Young - Steel Guitar
*The Blossoms - Backing Vocals

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Ivy League - Major League The Pye Piccadilly Anthology (1964-67 uk, roots 'n roll swinging baroque pop harmonies, 2006 double disc remaster)

John Carter and Ken Lewis writing songs all together in high school in Birmingham. Early 60 's they point Carter-Lewis & the Southerners, in which, among other things, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) plays lead guitar .In 1964 they form together with Perry Ford the Ivy League. The Group provides backing vocals on "I can't explain" by The Who. The second Ivy League single "Funny how love can be" in the spring of 1965 is a hit (# 8 in UK), followed by "Tossing & Turning" (# 3 in UK). After that it's success quickly waning. Beginning 1966 decision John Carter to start laying back on song writing and leaves the group. He still writes the single "My world fell down" for The Ivy League, later covered by among other things The Sagittarius and the Dutch group Vicky and the Roundhouse, well known as the brother of The Buffoons.

Carter's place in The Ivy league is occupied by Tony Burrows from The Kestrels. The trio still floundering a year, but then also likes Ken Lewis . He is replaced by Neil Landon. Along with Carter Lewis on the studio project addresses The Flowerpot Men. This produces in the summer of 1967 the hit "Let's go to San Francisco" on. Carter and Lewis, however, have no meaning more to like with The Ivy League to go on tour. There is a group of hastily assembled including Neil Landon and Tony Burrows from The Ivy League.

Perry Ford goes a number of years by with other singers under the name The Ivy League, but the mid 1970s he throws in the towel. In 1999, Ford on 58-year-old age to death. Lewis suffers diabetes for many years, he passed away on 2015 in Staffordshire England.

The Ivy League continued to perform, although none of the three members of the band, Jon Brennan (vocals and bass guitar), David Buckley (vocals and drums) and Michael Brice (vocals and lead guitar), are from the original 1960s line-up. Robert Macleod joined in 1968-69 but had immigration problems similar to those that befell the Bee Gees and had to leave the country. Buckley joined the band in the late 1960s with Perry Ford still involved in the group. Brennan then later joined Buckley, and with Ford's blessing, kept the Ivy League going through the 1970s and beyond. Having worked with the Ivy League on several occasions throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Brice joined the band permanently in 1990 replacing Les Litwinenko-Jones who had previously played with Ian Kewley in Samson.

Disc 1 
1. What More Do You Want - 2:43
2. Wait A Minute - 2:26
3. Funny How Love Can Be (John Carter, Ken Lewis) - 2:10
4. Lonely Room - 2:01
5. That's Why I'm Crying - 2:38
6. A Girl Like You (Perry Ford) - 2:04
7. Tossing And Turning - 2:29
8. Graduation Day - 2:19
9. Our Love Is Slipping Away - 2:53
10.I Could Make You Fall In Love - 2:13
11.Running Round In Circles - 2:13
12.Rain Rain Go Away - 2:21
13.Willow Tree - 2:33
14.One Day - 2:07
15.My World Fell Down (Geoff Stephens, John Carter) - 2:52
16.When You're Young (John Carter, Ken Lewis) - 2:19
17.Four And Twenty Hours (John Carter, Perry Ford) - 2:36
18.Arrivederci Baby - 2:44
19.Suddenly Things (Perry Ford) - 3:16
20.Tomorrow Is Another Day (Perry Ford) - 2:53
21.Thank You For Loving Me (John Carter, Ken Lewis) - 2:00
22.In The Not Too Distant Future (Perry Ford) - 2:43
All songs by John Carter, Ken Lewis, Perry Ford except where indicated

Disc 2
1. Almost Grown (Chuck Berry) - 2:25
2. Floral Dance (Katie Moss) - 2:51
3. Lulu's Back in Town (Al Dubin, Harry Warren) - 1:26
4. We're Having A Party (Sam Cooke) - 2:03
5. Don't Worry Baby (Brian Wilson, Roger Christian) - 3:09
6. Make Love (John Carter, Ken Lewis, Perry Ford) - 2:53
7. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob Dylan) - 2:39
8. My Old Dutch (Albert Chevalier, Anthony Lowry) - 1:28
9. Dance To The Locomotion (Billy Barberis, Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein) - 2:32
10.My Baby (Perry Ford) - 3:28
11.Nancy (With The Laughing Face) (Jimmy Van Heusen, Phil Silvers) - 2:46
12.Lonely City (Perry Ford) - 2:56
13.Mr. Ford's Boogie (Perry Ford) - 3:00
14.Friday (Perry Ford) - 2:37
15.Busy Doing Nothing (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) - 2:35
16.Rock and Roll Medley - 2:54
.a.Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong-Lipstick (Freddie Bell, Peppino Lattanzi)
.b.Lipstick, Powder And Paint (Jesse Stone)
.c.Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll (Jesse Stone)
.d.Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Dave Williams, Myriam S. Davidson)
17.Humpty Dumpty (John Carter, Perry Ford) - 2:30
18.The Holly And The Ivy League (John Carter, Ken Lewis, Perry Ford) - 2:35
19.Once In Royal David's City (John Carter, Ken Lewis, Perry Ford) - 1:59
20.Good King Wenceslas (John Carter, Ken Lewis, Perry Ford) - 2:16
21.Silent Night (Traditional) - 2:30

The Ivy League
*John Carter - Vocals
*Perry Ford - Vocals
*Ken Lewis - Vocals, Guitar
*Mick O'Nell - Organ
*Mickey Keene - Lead Guitar
*Dave Winter - Bass
*Clem Cattini - Drums

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Peter Kelley - Dealin’ Blues (1971 us, fantastic folk blues psych rock, 2020 korean remaster)

East Coast singer-songwriter Peter Kelley made two superb albums. His second effort "Dealin' Blues" is an acoustic blues with an outlaw vibe and some surprising and effective use of moog., An atmospheric blend of bluesy downer folk and psychedelia.

Quietude and an unvarnished approach sistinguish this set of twelve blues oriented songs. Kelly writes all of his material and sings in a very straight forward fashion which is effective. Presence of moog synthesizers on several cuts does much to enhance the proceedings and "Death Is Not A Sad Word" and "I Been Told" are among the highlights of the album.

1. Dealin’ Blues - 3:47
2. Inspiration - 2:36
3. Time In Between - 2:13
4. He Could Never Feel - 2:16
5. Death Is Not A Sad Word - 2:18
6. I Been Told - 2:38
7. Circle Of Her Magic - 2:43
8. The Ultimate Game - 2:35
9. Turning Gold - 3:06
10.Don’t Turn Around - 2:22
11.Heather - 4:08
12.Brand New Man - 2:20
Lyrics and Music by Peter Kelley

*Peter Kelley - Guitar, Vocals 
*Peter Brittain - Guitar
*Malcolm Cecil - Moog Synthesizer 
*George Devens - Congas, Percussion, Vibraphone 
*John Lehr - Guitar
*Lynas - Harp
*Robert Margouleff - Moog Synthesizer
*Jack Nailon - Bass, Background Vocals
*Mark Pines - Guitar 


Monday, August 1, 2022

Illusion - Illusion (1974 us, fantastic folk soft rock, 2012 korean remaster)

Wendell Ing was raised as a classical pianist, then began playing in bands in the early 70's, notably Small Time Leroy, a blues band out of Brooklyn,  Illusion, a folk rock group in Honolulu which made famous his environmental protest song "The Lake", and Hawaiian pop group Cecilio & Kapono (who recorded Ing's "Easy On My Mind").

Illusion recorded only one selftitled album, released through Sinergia record label. A pretty mix of soft country and folk rock with jazz and clasical elements and beautiful harmony. Ing currently teaches music at Hilo High School in Hilo, Hawaii where he directs the Ambassadors, singing group of Hilo High, teaches music classes and waves a baton around for the yearly musicals by PALC, the Hawaii Performing Arts Learning Center. 

1. The Lake (Wendell Ing) - 6:33
2. Travelin` Bones (Wendell Ing) - 4:04
3. Let Them Be (Hank Leandro) - 3:32
4. Not Yet (Hank Leandro) - 5:30
5. Drafted (Hank Leandro) - 5:32
6. Gone, Gone, Gone (Wendell Ing) - 4:43
7. Unknown Faces (Hank Leandro) - 5:19
8. Two Faced Boogie (Wendell Ing) - 4:20

*Wendell Ing - Piano, Clavinet 
*Hank Leandro - Acoustic Guitar 
*Denny Maeda - Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar 
*Butch O'Sullivan - Bass 
*Gregg Nutt - Drums

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Brenda Patterson - Brenda Patterson (1973 us, spectacular blues swamp rock, 2011 korean remaster)

Brenda Patterson is the self titled album by Brenda Patterson, released in 1973. A rock-roots crossover set, with soul-tinged vocals and a bunch of hard-rocking cover tunes. Ry Cooder, Chris Ethridge and Rusty Young represent the more country side of the studio crew, though this is more of a "rock" record, it certainly deserves mention.

Full of heart-wrenching vocals plus, an amazing version of Paul Simon’s, “Congratulations”, arranged by Jim Dickinson. Roaring version of Etta James’ “Dance With Me Henry”. Pieces of the album may be heard here. Maybe it was because she went from Columbia Records to Playboy Records, the latter being a label associated with the magazine, and a label that came and went rather quickly.

1. Dance With Me Henry (Johnny Otis) - 2:40
2. The Crippled Crow (Donna Weiss) - 2:32
3. Hold An Old Friend`s Hand (Donna Weiss) - 3:33
4. Southern Brown (Ed Simmons, Ronnie Wilkins) - 3:24
5. Hope He`ll Be Happier With Her (Bill Withers) - 4:01
6. Jesus On The Mainline (Traditional) - 3:13
7. End Of The Road (Jerry Lee Lewis) - 2:24
8. I'm Gonna Be Strong (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) - 2:54
9. Mine All Mine (Harold Beatty) - 3:49
10.Bury Me Down By The River (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb) - 2:55
11.In My Girlish Days (Minnie Douglas) - 3:01
12.Congratulations (Paul Simon) - 3:22

*Brenda Patterson - Vocals
*Arthur Adams - Guitar
*Rick Allen - Piano
*John Barbata - Drums
*Charlie Brent - Piano, Guitar
*Fred Burton - Guitar
*Beau Charles - Guitar, Backing Vocal
*Ry Cooder - Guitar, Mandolin
*Tony Day - Drums
*Jim Dickinson - Piano, Organ, Guitar
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Wilton Felder - Bass
*Rafael Garrett - Bass
*Ed Green - Drums
*Paul Humphreys - Drums
*John Kahn - Bass (Tracks 11 And 12), Piano (Track 12)
*Carol Kaye - Bass
*Bruce Kurnow - Harmonica
*Clarence Mcdonald - Piano
*Wayne Perkins - Guitar
*Allyn Robinson - Drums
*Michael Rubini - Piano
*Merl Saunders - Organ (Track 12)
*Louie Shelton - Guitar
*Peter Swaidon - Guitar, Organ
*Bobby Ray Watson - Harmonica, Backing Vocals
*Donna Weiss - Harmonica, Backing Vocals
*Rusty Young - Steel Guitar 
*Chepito Areas - Bongos
*Bobby Bruce - Fiddle
*Martin Fierro - Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
*Chuck Findley - Horns
*Warren Gale - Trumpet
*Artie Goleniak - Bass
*Jim Horn - Horns
*James Mingo Lewis - Congas
*J.D. Maness - Steel Guitar
*Gerald Oshita - Alto Saxophone
*Armando Peraza - Guiro, Maracas
*Peter Welker - Flugelhorn
*Ronnie Wilkins - Electric Piano
*Mary Anderson, Katherine Gaines, Mary Ann Watkins, Carolyn Watkins, Mary Elizabeth McCreary - Backing Vocals
*Lee Baker, "Edna", Vanetta Fields, Clydie King, Shirley Matthews, Melissa Mckay, Robbie Montgomery, Jessie Smith, Donna Washburn - Backing Vocals

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Jim Spencer - 2nd Look (1974 us, fantastic jazzy folk rock, 2009 korean remaster)

The love of his fiancée led Jim Spencer to move from his native Kentucky to Milwaukee. The South’s loss became a boon to the Cream City from the late 1960s to the early ‘80s. A cultural polymath of eclectic and esoteric interests, Spencer published an underground newspaper and chapbooks of his own poetry and operated an antique store, among other pursuits. Decades after his death in 1983, however, it’s his music that has given him the following beyond his adopted hometown that eluded him in life.

2nd Look retains some of the rural charm that gave its predecessor potential appeal to a mass audience (it’s fun to think that Spencer could have developed into a mainstream country music outlier). However, providing tension against that middle of the road are the way his psychedelic adjacency morphs into prog rock experimental atonality; what were once relatively unadorned melodies are endowed with choral and string arrangements recalling English madrigals. Even Spencer’s singing sounds fuller and more impassioned. What remains constant from his first to second sets is his lyrical navigation through what sounds like contentment to warier emotional terrains of paranoia and despair. 
by Jamie Lee Rake, May 13, 2020 

Jim Spencer was always looking for a stairway to success beyond, but Milwaukee was a Mobius loop he could not escape. He played many roles with grace; he was a musician, songwriter, poet, magus, and congenial salesman of ideas. He was a dealer in rare books, antiquities, and fantasies. He was a D.I.Y. publisher and indie recording artist at a time when circulating self-produced poetry and music beyond one’s hometown was a challenge on par with swimming the English Channel. He was Milwaukee famous—at least to anyone who cared about music and poetry. He was not much known elsewhere.

He released three albums under his own name and one as Major Arcana, a band-persona that enabled him to escape his singer-songwriter image. All were issued under the imprimatur of cryptically-monikered labels: Thoth, Akashic, and Castalia Records. “He had forbidden books in his basement,” said frequent collaborator Sigmund Snopek, a classically trained progressive rock keyboardist. “He was fascinated by other cultures and religions and incorporated some of that into his music.”

1974’s 2nd Look, his second LP, finds Jim Spencer in a deeper, darker place. The ten song album was assisted by Milwaukee scene star Sigmund Snopek III on keyboards and flute, and features a pair of songs written by and with Anonymous’s Ron Matelic. 

1. Second Look (Mike Pageant) - 4:30
2. No Place To Land (Jim Spencer, Mike Pageant) - 3:22
3. There Comes A Time - 3:40
4. What Am I Doing Here? - 7:31
5. Just A Little Time With You - 2:32
6. Laura Fair (Ron Matelic) - 2:40
7. Interlude (John Nebi) - 0:57
8. Lament - 2:52
9. Next To You - 2:38
10.The Devil Is A Fat Man - 6:37
Lyrics and Music by Jim Spencer except where noted

*Jim Spencer - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar  
*Sigmund Snopek III - Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Flute, Strings, Backing Vocals  
*Jay Borkenhagen - Electric Lead Guitar, Saxophone, Flute
*Tom Ruppenthal - Bass  
*Jay Borkenhagen - Flute
*Alan Ek - Harmonica  
*John Nebi - Acoustic Lead Guitar 
*Kent Carpenter - Acoustic Lead Guitar
*Gary Kemp - Electric Lead Guitar  
*Rob Fixmer - Percussion  
*Mike Pageant - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
*Richard Thomas - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals   
*Jay Borkenhagen - Saxophone  
*Jim Gorton - Tambourine, Backing Vocals
*Sue Francheschi - Backing Vocals 
*Susan Thomas - Backing Vocals  

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Friday, July 15, 2022

Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink (1970 us, tremendous rough psych rock, 2005 digipak remaster and expanded)

Frijid Pink's self-titled debut album is a slashing, seriously soulful example of late-'60s Detroit rock near its best. Although they never registered with critics or rock historians the way MC5 or the Stooges did, Frijid Pink had obviously learned something in the course of two years on the road, and with Mike Valvano producing, they were able to channel the excitement of their work onto the grooves of this album very neatly. 

Those who bought the number seven single "House of the Rising Sun" weren't disappointed with the bluesy boogie sound of "I'm on My Way" or the slowed-down Yardbirds approach of "Drivin' Blues" (somehow, when Kelly Green sang "My woman loves me" it seemed to matter), and even if "Tell Me Why" was a tuneless mess, Gary Thompson made up for it with a fuzz-out guitar performance that sounded like speaker burnout in slow motion. 

They were back in form on the next number, the crunchy, pumping rocker "End of the Line," where Green, (Gary Ray Thompson, and company move into Led Zeppelin territory very effectively (you can just imagine them switching gear into "Black Dog" in a jam to this song on-stage), with a killer performance by Rich Stevers on the drums. And that was all leading up to "House of the Rising Sun." "Boozin' Blues," which closed the original LP, is a blues workout reminiscent of Cream's version of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful"; a virtuoso effort by Thompson and Green, it shows off a more reflective and studied side of the band's sound. 

This reissue includes the singles "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Music for the People" (which features a gorgeous and perfectly appropriate gospel chorus), House Of The Rising Sun (Single Edit), Sing A Song For Freedom (Mono Single Mix) and "End Of The Line" (Mono Single Mix) as bonus tracks. 
by Bruce Eder
1. God Gave Me You - 3:35
2. Crying Shame (Michael Valvano) - 3:11
3. I'm On My Way - 4:34
4. Drivin' Blues - 3:14
5. Tell Me Why - 2:50
6. End Of The Line - 4:07
7. House of the Rising Sun (Traditional, arr. Frijid Pink) - 4:44
8. I Want To Be Your Lover (Gary Ray Thompson, Tom Beaudry, Michael Valvano) - 7:30
9. Boozin' Blues - 6:01
10.Heartbreak Hotel (Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley)  - 2:49
11.Music For The People  - 2:54
12.House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) - 3:54
13.Sing A Song For Freedom (Tom Beaudry, Gary Ray Thompson, Richard Stevers)  - 3:02
14.End Of The Line - 4:09 
All songs by Gary Ray Thompson, Tom Beaudry except where noted

Frijid Pink
*Tom Beaudry aka Kelly Green - Lead Vocals
*Gary Ray Thompson - Guitars
*Tom Harris - Bass
*Richard Stevers - Drums
*Larry Zelanka - Keyboards

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Eddie Hardin - You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks (1977 uk, fine soft rock, 2018 korean bonus tracks remaster)

When you can call on the likes of Deep Purple members Ian Paice and Roger Glover, Elton John Band bassist Dee Murray and famed session musicians like B. J. Cole, Mo Foster and Henry Spinetti to help you out on the recording of your second solo LP then you must be one hell of a talent, and keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin is definitely that.

Born on February 9th, 1949 in South London, Hardin's first big break came in 1967 when, aged just 18, he joined the legendary Spencer Davis Group. Dubbed 'the singing keyboard wunderkind', Hardin soon made his presence felt in this mega star-outfit and appeared on the UK hit singles "Time Seller" (No. 30) and "Mr. Second Class" (No. 35). By mid-1968, and with the band's star on the descent, Hardin left with the group's drummer Pete York to form the duo, Hardin & York. Signing to Bell Records, the pair released the album, "Tomorrow Today" and undertook numerous tours of mainland Europe, and in particular Germany, where they regularly filled medium-sized venues and also supported the likes of The Nice and Deep Purple. Two further Hardin & York LPs followed: "Smallest Big Band In The World" (SELL SBLL 136,1970) and "For The World" (DECCA SKL 5095,1971 ) before the pair decided to go their separate ways and pursue solo ventures.

Hardin's solo career kicked off with November 1971's "Driving"/"Where I'm Going To SleepTonight" single "DECCA F13252) which was swiftly followed by the 1972 LP "Home Is Where You Find It" (DECCA TXS 106) and another single, "Why Does Everybody Put Me Down"/"Spend Your Money Honey" (DECCA F13307). He then put his solo attempts on hold when he took part in the 1973 reformation of the Spencer Davis Group where he was again reunited with Pete York. The reunion lasted for just two LP's "Gluggo" and "Living In R Back Street", before the band again split up. Hardin along with York and bassist Charlie McCracken then formed Hardin-York-McCracken and released one critically acclaimed self-titled LP, in 1974, for Vertigo Records (6360622).

Following this, Hardin worked with Roger Glover on "Butterfly Ball" and "Wizards Convention" LPs before again attempting a solo career with the singles "S'Easy"/"Strange Times" (Mercury 6008008) and "Summer Days"/"Seems I'm Always Going To Love You" (GTO GT24) and the album "You Cant Teach An Old Dog New Tricks" (ATTIC LAT 1023). Beetween 1979 and 1981, he led Axispoint, who also featured bassist Charlie McCracken, drummer Rob Townsend and guitarist John 'Charlie' Whitney, and who released two LP's "Axispoint" (RCA PL30039) and "Boast Of The Town" (RCA PL25277). Following the demise of Axispoint, Hardin stayed with RCA for 1982's "Circumstantial Evidence" LP (PL 30101) and then teamed up with Zak Starkey to work on a musical version of "Wind In The Willows" which also featured Donovan and John Entwistle.

Since then, he has released a couple of 'New Age' style albums for Coda Records, "Dawn Til Dusk" (830509, 1986) and "Survival" (834142,1980), overseen the re-issuing of Hardin & York's old recordings and took part in occasional reformations of the Spencer Davis Group. And with plans for a new, more rock-influenced LP, there's no doubt this old dog will be teaching us all a few new tricks in the near future.
by Mark Brennan, 1994

1. Oh What A Day It's Been - 3:09
2. Strange Times - 3:27
3. Drinking (Eddie Hardin, Ray Fenwick) - 3:03
4. Glad To Be Home (Eddie Hardin, Ray Fenwick) - 3:44
5. Moving - 4:48
6. S.'easy - 3:08
7. Give Me Freedon - 4:55
8. Think L'll Wait Another Day (Eddie Hardin, Ray Fenwick) - 3:39
9. Setting Down - 2:47
10.Here There And Everywhere - 3:42
11.Bet You All Wish It Was Sunday - 2:47
12.Credit Card City - 3:12
All songs by Eddie Hardin except where noted

*Eddie Hardin - Keyboards, Vocals
*Ray Fleming - Guitar, Vocals
*Mo Foster - Bass
*Roger Glover - Percussion, Vocals 
*Dee Murray - Bass
*Ian Paice - Drums
*Henry Spinetti - Drums
*B.J. Cole - Steel Guitar
*Barry DeSouza - Drums 
*Liza Strike - Vocals
*Doris Troy - Vocals 
*Helen Chappelle - Vocals

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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Brenda Patterson - Like Good Wine (1974 us, pleasant vocal blue eyed soul, 2018 korean remaster)

Brenda Patterson has a fantastic voice, a Memphis based blues rock singer recorded three albums in early 70’s.“Like Good Wine” was her third, released in 1974 on Discreet Records, a label owned in part by Frank Zappa, you'd think that this was going to be a rock album as well as her two previous, well not exactly. Produced by Snuff Garrett, who was also Cher's producer at the time, in the early 70's, but the formula he worked out for Cher did not do Brenda Patterson justice, he gave her soft production, with backing vocalists and strings. 

Couple of songs were written by John Durrill (who also worked with Cher), but the best songs are Bill Anderson's “Slippin' Away” a nice upbeat, Ray Price's “I'll Be There  (If You Ever Want Me)”, which illustrates the power of Brenda's voice best as she sings accapella on several lines, and probably the best song here “Sweet Amarillo”, first surfacing as a short jam on the outtakes of  Dylan’s 1973 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid sessions, the song was completed a year later by songwriter Donna Weiss, the impromptu track on Dylan’s session was polished for pop splendor with a faster beat, a catchy hook, and a bell-bottom clad Patterson singing “Sweet Amarillo/ You stole my pillow/ You stole my pillow/ Hun, you ruined my mind/ Sweet Amarillo/ Like the wind and the willow/ I never will know/ Just how much you lied.” 

The album has some good cuts, but it's very short, with the songs all running around 2 and 3 minutes. Thankfully, she would continue to record, joining The Coon Elder Band.

1. Mr. Guitar (John Durrill) - 3:17
2. This I Find Beautiful (Larry Weiss, Mack David) - 2:40
3. Slippin' Away (Larry Weiss, Mack David) - 2:24
4. Blessed Be The Love (Gloria Sklerov, Harry Lloyd) - 2:03
5. Bring Your Good Wine (John Durrill) - 2:40
6. You Can't Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Molly Ann Leikin, Yutaka Yokokura) - 3:12
7. I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (Ray Price, Rusty Gabbard) - 2:40
8. Crazy (Willie Nelson) - 2:59
9. Sweet Amarillo (Donna Weiss) - 2:46
10.I've Never Been A Fool Like This Before (Lori Jacobs) - 2:38

*Brenda Patterson - Vocals


Friday, July 1, 2022

Subway - Subway (1971 uk / us, spendid acid folk psych rock, 2006 reissue)

Subway was a duo, consisting of an American and an UK- guy, who released their only album in France as 200 vinyls in 1971. There they lived and played both for some time as street musicians, who played their compositons even at Parisien subway, hence the bandname. Unfortunately the album fell through, so the unsold vinyls were melted, as usual in France at this time.The band presented a phantastic psych- folk music with prog- rock- elements. An absolutely top- album, which hopefully now will reach a bigger audience, as the original LP is very rare.

1. I Am A Child - 4:19
2. Song For Sinking Shelters - 5:15
3. Warm You Are - 5:03
4. All The Good Things - 3:57
5. Enturbulation - Free Form - 5:16
6. Arizona Sands - 3:36
7. Rosanna Of The Roses - 3:49
8. Can I Trade With You My Mind - 4:56
All compositions by Irv Mowrey except track #5, cowritten with Malcom Watson

*Malcolm Watson - Violin
*Irv Mowrey - Guitar, Vocals
*Henri Texier - Bass, Percussion
*Aldo Romano - Drums, Guitar
*Georges Locatelli - Lead Guitar, Percussions
*Michel Libretti - Violin, Guitar, Drum, Percussion
*Chris Hayward - Flute, Keyboards, Percussion

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Thursday, June 30, 2022

(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

Hi friends, I've added a new request box form on my side blog (Plain And Fancy), you can ask for an artist or an album that's not available of any of my two blogs, be sure to stay in the spirit of blogs, I'll process your requests and  post them in order..

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dulcimer - Room For Thought (1971 uk, beautiful acoustic folk rock with a traditional aura, 2010 remaster)

Dulcimer consisted of singer/guitarists Dave Eaves and Pete Hodges and bassist Jem North.  The trio apparently began working together in 1966 - 67 attracting some local attention before relocating to London where they found a mentor in actor Richard Todd who seems to have helped them score a contract with the small UK Nepentha Records.  (For some bizarre reason Mercury Records subsequently deciding to acquire American distribution rights.)  

Released in 1970, the oddly titled "And I Turned As I Had As a Boy" found the group teamed with producer Larry Page (best known for his work with garage rock acts like The Troggs).  Similar to early Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, or a score of other early-1970s UK bands, this was best described as classic English acoustic folk-rock.  At the same time these guys differed from their competition in several ways.  Whereas Fairport and others were big on updating traditional folks songs, Dulcimer's LP featured all-original material.  

The band's 1971's follow-up "Room for Thought" was immediately shelved and didn't see a release until two decades later when the small Background label acquired rights to it. Although Room for Thought is not quite as bewitching as Dulcimer's debut album, it is far more enigmatic. Recorded, then shelved for twenty years, it puts the listener in the position of having to imagine it's presence in the world in which it was created. It could perhaps be considered typical of the era, but it's delicately wise.

1. To Need Her - 3:22
2. Status In Maryland - 2:00
3. Mr. Rip Van Winkle - 4:53
4. The Planters Cottage - 4:34
5. Running On Down The Road - 2:21
6. Empty Hallways - 3:49
7. Grey Lady Morning - 3:18
8. Missing The Head - 3:19
9. Mr. Time - 2:32
10.Sandalwood Sailors - 6:06
11.Scarlet Lady - 3:04
12.But Maybe Not - 3:09
All compositions by Dave Eaves, Pete Hodge, Jem North

*Dave Eaves - Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Acoustic, Twelve-String Guitar
*Pete Hodge - Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Dulcimer, Twelve-String, Acoustic Guitar
*Jem North - Bass, Glockenspiel, Percussion, Coconuts, Wind, Vocals