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Plain and Fancy

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


Sunday, 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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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Eddie Mottau - No Turning Around (1973 us, magnificent folk psych classic rock, 2017 korean remaster)

Boston-born guitarist Eddie Mottau has enjoyed a five-decade career that has carried him across a dozen or more crazes, waves, and other trends in music. From a boyhood interest in folk music, he formed a team with his friend Joe Hutchinson as Two Guys from Boston, who got to record a single for Scepter Records with Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul & Mary, as producer. The duo eventually became the psychedelic folk-rock band Bo Grumpus, who relocated to New York to be recorded by Felix Pappalardi. That group -- which for a time assumed the name Jolliver Arkansaw -- lasted until 1970.

Mottau returned to Paul Stookey's orbit, playing guitar and serving as co-producer of the latter's first post-Peter, Paul & Mary solo album, Paul And. That project led to his crossing paths with John Lennon, which resulted in his working with Lennon's live band, and to a gig playing with Lower East Side music rebel David Peel. Mottau recorded and released his first solo album, No Turning Around (MCA) produced by Stookey in 1973. 
by Bruce Eder

1. Old New Hampshire - 4:01
2. Jessie - 3:07
3. Hazard County - 3:08
4. Fallen Back - 5:56
5. Natural Drive - 2:40
6. Thinkin About Birds - 2:46
7. If I Could Be Alone With You - 4:14
8. Circus Tent - 3:17
9. Reaper - 4:02
10.Jackson Steele - 2:41
11.Ballad Of A Travelin Woman - 2:45
12.Waitin' Out The Winter - 2:59
All songs by Eddie Mottau

*Eddie Mottau  - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Noel Paul Stookey  - Producer, 12 String Guitar, Back-Up Vocals, Putney
*Eddie Ryan  - Percussion, Back-Up Vocals
*Jim Mason  -Taisho Koto (Japanese Dulsimar)
*Jimmy Nalls  - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Michael Lewis  - Bass, Electric Guitar
*Michael Epstein  - Drums, Percussion, Back-Up Vocals
*Barry Flast  - Piano, Organ
*Paul Prestopino  -Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Dobro
*Gerry Mulligan  - Bariton Sax On Track B3
*Cameron Kotler  -Cello
*Rusty Young  - Pedal Steel Guitar On Track B5
*Felix Pappalardi  - Mellatron, Organ, Ocherina, Trumpet On Track B2, B6