In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

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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, May 28, 2023

Farm - Farm (1971 us, superb heavy jammer blues rock, 2022 remaster)

Tasty rural boogie blues rock with Crazy Horse influences, this lone album from Illinois’ sextet Farm is an air-guitarist’s delight. Intricate, dual guitar interplay is the order of the day, with lots of meandering solos full of those West Coast druggy vibes. If you’ve worn out all your bootleg outtakes of David Crosby and The Pure Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra’s Wally Heider sessions, then this is the next logical step for your musical mind expansion.

Side one opens with the lengthy headnodder “Jungle Song” and the more traditional, Canned Heat style blues courtesy the self-explanatory “Let That Boy Boogie”. Flip the album over and the band flash their Allman Brothers’ influences on more structured and accessible tracks like “Sunshine In My Window” and “Cottonfield Woman”, which are both full of dueling fuzz guitars and emotional, bluesy vocals. Their faithful interpretation of “Statesboro Blues” reiterates their influential nod towards the Allmans, and is just another highlight on this fun album. Put on your boogie shoes, darling, break out the Jack Daniels and party the night away. Yee hah!
by Jeff Penczack, October 18, 2013

1. Jungle Song - 7:50
2. Let That Boy Boogie - 8:15
3. Sunshine In My Window - 4:00
4. Cottonfield Woman - 4:04
5. Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell) - 4:25
All songs by Del Herbert, Gary Gordon, Jim Elwyn, Roger Greenwalt, Steve Evanchik, Mike Young except track #5

*Del Herbert - Lead Guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guitar
*Gary Gordon - 2nd Guitar, Bottleneck Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Elwyn - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Evanchik - Congas, Timbales, Cymbals, Mouth Harp
*Roger Greenwalt - Organ, Piano
*Mike Young - Drums

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Drywater - Backbone Of The Nation (1973 us, essential rural garage rock, cool folky texture switches between a great slightly surf-tinged ringing reverb tone and frenetic fuzz figures, 2017 digipak remaster)

Recorded in 1973 by guitarist/vocalists, Dennis Cheplick and Jack Sarvis, aided by Cheplick’s brother, Greg, on drums and Sarvis’ future brother-in-law, Ken Turcic on bass, Backbone Of The Nation was originally released on the RPC label in a limited pressing of 25 copies. The album was recorded “live” by the quartet at a local Pennsylvania studio, Marjon Records, with the LPs ten tracks being recorded in 3 hours with no overdubs or editing, at a total cost of $100. In this Gear Fab Records reissue the album’s ten tracks are supplemented by two bonus tracks, for a total run time of slightly over 41 minutes.

The original album opens with the four and a half minute title track, which features nice fuzz guitar by Sarvis, and is the heaviest number on the LP. Turcic and Greg Cheplick supply a driving beat, supplemented by solid rhythm guitar from Dennis Cheplick, and a very tasty lead line by Sarvis, who also delivers a fuzz filled solo. The band also features a more mid-tempo side, as evidenced by “If Only I Had Told You” with its jangling 12-string acoustic guitar by Cheplick. The tune includes gorgeous vocal harmonies by Cheplick and Sarvis. “I Don’t Love You Anymore” is a mid-tempo number, with a country rock feel, more vocal harmonies and a restrained lead guitar line courtesy of Sarvis. “Too Much Of Nothing” is another mid-tempo number showcasing the jangling 12-string guitar of Cheplick and a gentle lead line by Sarvis. Side one of the LP closed with “Airplane Rider” a return to more up-tempo material fueled by Sarvis’ fuzz guitar and Cheplick’s jangling rhythm guitar.

Side two opens with a straight ahead rocker, “Untitled Love.” Dennis Cheplick’s gorgeous lead line is joined by Turcic’s bass, which booms over top of Sarvis’ husky vocals. “The Stones You Throw” another mid-tempo rocker features more booming bass from Turcic and a nicely textured lead line by Sarvis. “Hooky Player” showcases jangling rhythm guitar by Cheplick and more restrained lead from Sarvis, who also supplies a tasteful solo. “Sweet And Free” is a mid-tempo ballad with jangling 12-string guitar by Cheplick and a gentle, nicely picked solo from Sarvis. The original Backbone Of The Nation closes with another mid-tempo number “How Many More Years.” The tune is a return to the band’s more country rock side with ballad style vocals and a withheld lead line by Cheplick, supported by Sarvis’ rhythm guitar and gorgeous harmony vocals. The original LP is supplemented by two bonus tracks, “Like A Vine” and “Deception.” Both tunes feature gentle acoustic guitar and restrained lead lines as well as showcasing the band’s vocal harmonies.

Gear Fab’s reissue Of Backbone Of The Nation features a foreword by label owner Roger Maglio and an informative essay by Jack Sarvis and Dennis Cheplick. The digipak package is rounded out by complete song annotations and gorgeous photos of the band members. A wonderful example of home-made garage/psych music, original copies of the album have gone for as much as $1000. Thankfully, Gear Fab has made it available at a much more realistic cost. This release will appeal to fans of garage and psychedelic rock and be a welcome addition to fans of these genres.
by Kevin Rathert, August 30, 2017

1. Backbone To The Nation (Jack Sarvis, Dennis Cheplick) - 4:24
2. If Only I Would Have Told You (Jack Sarvis, Dennis Cheplick) - 2:54
3. I Don't Love Her Anymore (Jack Sarvis) - 2:41
4. Too Much Of Nothing - 3:44
5. Airplane Rider (Jack Sarvis, Dennis Cheplick) - 3:27
6. Untitled Love (Jack Sarvis) - 3:57
7. The Stones You Throw - 4:11
8. Hooky Player (Jack Sarvis, Dennis Cheplick) - 2:51
9. Sweet And Free - 2:36
10.How Many More Years - 3:07
11.Like A Vine (Dennis Cheplick, E. Webber) - 3:41
12.Deception - 3:38
All songs by Dennis Cheplick except where noted

*Dennis Cheplick - Vocals, Rhythm, 12-String Acoustic Guitars 
*Jack Sarvis - Lead, Rhythm Guitars, Guitar, Vocals
*Greg Cheplick - Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocals 
*Ken Turcic - Percussion, Bass

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

rep> Fever Tree - Live (1969 us, awesome heavy psych blues jam rock, 2011 digipak issue)

The never-released 1969 live effort from Fever Tree! Gulf Coast punk phenoms the Bostwick Vines see Cream and Hendrix and bring their tough interpretation of that combination to Hollywood, California. With three unique studio albums to their name, Fever Tree splinters after this live gig in Texas, but not before laying down one final testament to their evermore worth as swooning psychedelic rockers.

Sharpening their chops on the Gulf Coast circuit, followed by a high-profile opening night gig at Hollywood’s legendary Kaleidoscope, Fever Tree developed a keen sense of musical drama and dynamics. This versatility is in sharp display on the concert’s rendition of their underground radio hit “San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native).” For the rest, Live 1969 focuses on groovers, a perfect set-up for the gliding fuzztones of lead guitarist Michael Knust, the sonic organ of Rob Landes, the thick rhythms provided by E.E. “Bud” Wolfe III on bass and John Tuttle on drumsand the dynamic, driving lead vocals of Dennis Keller.

“Don’t Come Crying to Me Girl,” a song originally found on the band’s second album, levitates the band beyond any earthly confines. Elsewhere, the set moves between a soaring cover of Donovan’s “Hey Gyp,” their own power pop “Grand Candy Young Sweet” and a whirlng psych take on Wilson Pickett’s “Ninety-Nine and One Half (Won’t Do).” Playing as if their lives depended on it, Live 1969 captures a band at the height of its powers, forever preserved on this final audio testament. 

1. Grand Candy Young Sweet (F. Davis) - 8:37
2. Ninety-Nine and One Half (Won’t Do) (E. Floyd, S. Cropper, W. Pickett) - 11:06
1. Don’t Come Crying to Me Girl ( R. Landes, S. Holzman, V. Holzman) - 8:15
4. Hey Gyp (D. Leitch) - 8:19
5. San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native) (Michael Knust, S. Holzman, V. Holzman) - 4:14

Fever Tree
*Dennis Keller - Vocals
*John Tuttle - Drums
*Rob Landes - Keyboards, Flute
*E.E. Bud Wolfe III - Bass
*Michael Knust - Guitar

1968  Fever Tree - Fever Tree (2011 digipak remaster)
1968-69  Fever Tree - Fever Tree / Another Time, Another Place
1969-70  Fever Tree - Creation / For Sale

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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Ben Atkins - Patchouli (1971 us, sweet silky folk r 'n' b, 2021 korean remaster)

Curious the case of Ben Atkins . And it is that if he has gone down to posterity for something, it is for being the first non Afro-American artist signed by Stax (through its subsidiary Enterprise), and not for his magnificent debut « Patchouli » (1971). Curious and unfair, because despite the modest success of the album, his "melting pot" of southern music deserved to climb higher and provide him with a solid career, which he never achieved (he only released another album in 1982, "Reachin' for the feeling ", under the name of Big Ben Atkins).

The cover already gives us an idea of ​​its content: southern soul, swamp rock and touches of gospel and folk. An authentic sound delicatessen that sails through all the possible styles of the southern United States, and that was recorded between two of the great temples of American black music, Muscle Shoals and Stax Studios.

He is accompanied on this journey by legendary musicians such as David Hood, Donald »Duck» Dunn, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Beckett among many others, allowing the powerful voice of the singer from Vernon (Alabama) to be the main axis of the LP.

A sublime and sweaty instrumentation, the genuine feminine gospel choirs and a borrowed repertoire (which he makes his own) of jewels from people like Dan Penn, Bobby Manuel (who also acts as producer of the whole group) or Howlin' Wolf gives the album a halo of timelessness still in force today. An authentic and natural trip that Ben Atkins proposes to us: bordering the Mississippi without leaving home. Good times are coming…!!!
by Albert Barrios, April 25, 2023

1. I Love This Song (Dan Penn, Jimmy M. Johnson, Len Renfro) - 2:29
2. Cross My Mind (Dennis Lambert, Brian Potter) - 4:39
3. Shine On (Carson Whitsett, Eric Mercury) - 2:35
4. Holding On To Friends (Bob McRee, Cliff Thomas, Ed Thomas) - 3:24
5. Smokestack Lightnin'/Brighter Side Of It All (Howlin' Wolf/Charles Feldman, J. Wiker, Steve Smith, Tim Smith) - 4:12
6. Solid Ground (Bob McRee, Cliff Thomas, Ed Thomas) - 2:57
7. That Brings Me Down (Jerry Puckett) - 3:39
8. A Long Way To Go (Bettye Crutcher, Bobby Manuel) - 4:14
9. Would I Be Better Gone? (Bobby Manuel, Darryl Carter, William Brown) - 3:11
10.Good Times Are Coming (Bobby Manuel) - 3:22

*Ben Atkins - Vocals
*Barry Beckett - Keyboards
*Joe Correro - Drums
*Donald "Duck" Dunn - Bass
*John Gaston - Bass
*Jeanie Greene - Vocals
*Roger Hawkins - Drums
*Ginger Holladay - Vocals
*Mary Holladay - Vocals
*David Hood - Bass
*Al Jackson, Jr. - Drums
*Alan Jackson - Guitar
*Jimmy Johnson - Rhythm, Acoustic Guitars
*Bobby Manuel - Guitar
*Wayne Perkins - Guitar
*Temple Riser - Vocals
*Marvell Thomas - Keyboards, Piano

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Tony Kelly - Bring Me Back (1972 uh, a splendid mixture of folk, soft rock and psych, 2014 korean remaster)

Tony Kelly’s “Bring Me Back” Is an album that has been secretly known among people who like this kind of music for a long time, but for some reason it's extremely less exposed compared to other artists from the same genre. 

His voice is similar to Ernie Graham in a slightly nasal area. Sound creation is also a feeling that made Ernie Graham a little more swamp-oriented. Produced by Grease Band's Bruce Rowland this 1972 album,  released by polydor, has something in common with Gerry Lockran's "Wun".

Terry Stannard (drums) is also familiar with albums by Roger Morris, Gerry Lockran, Bryn Haworth.  A melancholy British swamp masterpiece album. The photo of the jacket that looks cold matches well with the content and is the best. Increasingly popular in recent years. It continues to be difficult to obtain.

1. Not Knowin` What`s Goin` On - 5:00
2. Makin` The Same Mistakes - 3:14
3. The Way It Is - 4:16
4. Blue Bird - 3:56
5. Bring Me Back - 3:12
6. The Elements - 3:13
7. Blues Run The Game (Jackson C. Frank) - 2:10
8. One Love - 5:19
9. Further Down The Road - 5:03
Lyrics and Music by Tony Kelly except track #7

*Tony Kelly - Vocals, 6, 12 String Acoustic Guitars
*Paul Millins - Keyboards 
*Jack Mills - Electric Guitar
*Keith Evans - Bass Guitar
*Cody Congas - Percussion, Harmonica
*Terry Stannard - Drums
*Claudia Lennear - Backing Vocals
*Kathi MacDonald - Backing Vocals
*Linda November - Backing Vocals
*Helen Miles - Backing Vocals
*Hilda Harris - String Arrangements

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Shaggy - Lessons For Beginners (1975 sweden / uk / austria, thunderous hard rock with some blistering guitar assaults and great vocals, 2020 remaster and xpanded)

Yet another album from way back that has been rereleased! LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS by SHAGGY was originally from the era of the 70s’ and has been released once again for the general public to be able to feast their ears on. This album has a different sound and a different feel throughout, and that’s not only due to the time period that the album is from. SHAGGY certainly has a unique sound that is their own and here that flaunt that well, you’ll just have to listen to it for yourself to see what it’s all about, but until then I guess you could read my words if you are into that sort of thing.

Bringing us into the album we have “Destination Nowhere”. We are brought into this track with a nice mellow guitar intro playing off some soft drums in the background. Once we get to the lyrics we are welcomed with the sounds of an era distinct voice that surely sounds like it is from the time period that it is. The lyrics are powerful, but the music is peaceful. Two things that I feel are getting harder and harder to find in today's music and this band does it all so well. In the next song “Vengeance” there is an upkick in pace and all around tone of the song, driving a sense of urgency and power throughout the rendition.

Further along we get to the rocking sounds of the title song “Lessons for Beginners” which is a well placed instrumental about halfway through the album. Riveting and intriguing guitar blaring around the sounds of a band you can tell puts a lot of work and emotion into their music. I am not typically one for instrumentals but this one here is done very well. Once past this instrumental you will eventually find yourself at the song “Nobody Cares” which has a highly nostalgic sound, almost as if it was pulled from a conglamoration of older music, but given a twist that makes it very personal and unique to the sounds of SHAGGY.

Closing out with a bang with have the song “Sunshine”. This song is fast and frantic! Guitar all over the place, drums all over the place and vocals all over the place. Giving you a song of chaos to take you away from a rather peaceful and chill album otherwise. If melody and nostalgia is what you are in for, then you should most certainly give this album a try!
by Jordan Rogers, 23 February 2021

1. Destination Nowhere - 4:41
2. Vengeance - 3:11
3. Bitch - 4:14
4. No Strings - 3:50
5. Lessons For Beginners - 2:54
6. On The Road (Janne Gustavsson, Thomas J. Ryan) - 4:33
7. Nobody Cares - 3:50
8. I Can Feel - 3:05
9. Brink Of Nowhere (Janne Gustavsson, Thomas J. Ryan) - 7:40
10.I Don't Know - 4:36
11.Sea Queen - 3:48
12.Sunshine - 2:42
13.Lessons For Beginners (Craig, Johannes Brahms) - 2:44
All songs by Jan Rognas, Thomas J. Ryan except where indicated

*Janne Gustavsson – Bass, Vocals
*Kurt Kastner – Drums, Backing Vocals
*Jan Rognas – Lead, Acoustic Guitars
*Thomas Engstrom – Lead Vocals
*Thomas J. Ryan – Organ, Backing Vocals