In The Land Of FREE we still Keep on Rockin'

It's Not Dark Yet

Plain and Fancy

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


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Yancy Derringer - Openers (1975 us, tight rural bluesy hard rocker)

Yancy Derringer was a four-piece band from Wisconsin that recorded an album titled Openers in 1976. With an original pressing of only 1000 copies, the album reflected the band's live act and creative talents in seven original songs. The sound of Yancy Derringer was similar to that of some of the more hard driven southern U.S. rock acts of the day such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils and many more. After selling out the initial thousand pressings very quickly, the band ordered a second pressing, which got caught up management hassles and was delayed. 

This caused fans to lose interest in the band; by 1976, the group's momentum had passed Yancy Derringer broke up, leaving the world with another limited pressing album. In the late '90s, Gear Fab acquired the rights to the band's original masters and released that long lost album for fans of '70s rock to enjoy. With detailed band history and song information as in all Gear Fab releases, Yancy Derringer cannow take its place in the history of American rock music. 
by Keith Pettipas

1. Pass The Wine (Charlie Kuchler) - 4:44
2. Rocket Roll (Boyd Williamson) - 5:15
3. Aero Plane (D. King, Boyd Williamson) - 3:31
4. I Thought Alot Today (Charlie Kuchler) - 6:32
5. Welcome On 6-52 (Boyd Williamson, Charlie Kuchler, Gabriel Berrafato, Lynn Gnatzig) - 6:54
6. Standing On The Edge (Boyd Williamson, Charlie Kuchler, Gabriel Berrafato, Lynn Gnatzig) - 6:53
7. Weedburner (Boyd Williamson) - 7:30

Yancy Derringer
*Gabriel Berrafato "Gabe" - Bass
*Boyd Williamson "Zoid" - Vocals, Guitar
*Lynn "Lance" Gnatzig - Drums, Vocals
*C.F. Kuchler "Charlie" - Lead Vocals, Hammond Organ, Mini Moog, Mellotron, Piano
*Darleen Koldenhollen - Backing Vocals
*Melody Magnuson - Backing Vocals

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Soul Inc - Vol.1 (1966-67 us, great garage psych rock)

With the release of Soul, Inc., Vol. 1, Gear Fab commences a new phase in the label's history with the release of an entirely new original album by a band that never before had an album of material. A singles band from Kentucky, Soul, Inc. was formed in 1965 when guitarist Wayne Young and drummer Marvin Maxwell secured a place on Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars tour prior to even forming a band! So the story goes the two hired some musicians, then proceeded with the tour backing up the likes of Lou Christi, Reparata & the Delrons, and others on their first gig together. 

On the second Dick Clark tour, Soul, Inc. opened as a standalone band and quickly became a favorite of many of the top acts of the day including Paul Revere & the Raiders. Over the next few months, Soul, Inc. built a reputation for itself and began recording singles. The band recorded songs for the Rondo, Star Records, Boss, and Counterpart labels and became one of the most popular acts in Kentucky. Now for the first time, Gear Fab has collected 20 of the band's singles recorded between 1965 and 1969 on one set. Vol. 1 contains more than 50 minutes of music from one of the mid-'60s most legendary and exciting, but virtually unknown bands, outside of Kentucky. 

The music of the Soul, Inc. ranges from Beatles-influenced pop, garage rock, and surf-styled instrumentals to Motown soul and psychedelic rock. A more detailed and informative essay on the band can be found in the CD booklet and, as with all Gear Fab releases, the sound quality is taken from master tapes where possible, and is superb except where original sources have deteriorated -- these tracks have been included only because of historical significance. With the release of this first compilation of Soul, Inc.'s singles, the band will finally get the exposure and appreciation of a wider audience that they missed the first time around. This album represents a fantastic piece of lost American music history that will be further explored in a second volume of music by Soul, Inc. 
by Keith Pettipas

1. Who Do You Love (Ellas McDaniel) - 1:54
2. Leaves Of Grass (Jim Settle, Wayne Young) - 2:17
3. I Found A Love (Wilson Pickett, Willie Schofield, Robert West) - 2:54
4. Stronger Than Dirt (P. Williams, B. Busha) - 2:24
5. I Belong To Nobody (Frank Bugbee) - 2:50
6. Ultra Blue (Marvin Maxwell, Frank Bugbee, Wayne Young) - 2:01
7. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bob Dylan) - 2:49
8. Give Me Time (Jim Settle, Wayne Young) - 2:23
9. 60 Miles High (Jim Settle, Wayne Young) - 2:46
10.727 (Marvin Maxwell, Jim Settle, Frank Bugbee, Wayne Young) - 2:23
11.Hard Luck Harry (Wayne Young) - 2:11
12.UFO (Jim Settle, Frank Bugbee) - 2:41
13.Yellow Morning Glory (Jim Settle, Wayne Young) - 2:19
14.Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bob Dylan) - 2:49
15.Stronger Than Dirt (P. Williams, B. Busha) - 2:20
16.I Found A Love (Wilson Pickett, Willie Schofield, Robert West) - 2:54
17.I Belong To Nobody (Frank Bugbee) - 2:27
18.Been Down So Long (Stanley E. Flaharty) - 2:29
19.Poppin Good, Pt. 1 (Eddie Humphries, Jim Orten, Marvin Maxwell, Wayne Young, Floyd Lewellyn) - 2:12
20.I Hate You (Mark Miceli) - 2:49

Soul Inc
*Jim Orten - Bass, Vocals
*Tom Jolly - Trumpet
*Wayne Young - Guitar 
*Jim Settle - Bass, Vocals
*Marvin Maxwell - Drums
*Frank Bugbee - Guitar
*Denny Lile - Bass
*Eddie Humphries - Saxophone

Related Act

Friday, November 17, 2023

Grinderswitch - Unfinished Business (1977 us, awesome southern boogie rock, 2012 edition)

Grinderswitch was one of the most soulful bands that rocked the South, and indeed the rest of the world, during the '70s, highlighting Dru Lombar's powerful vocals and guitar work; Stephen Miller on keyboards; Larry Howard on guitar; Rick Burnett on drums; and the late Joe Dan Petty on bass.

In 1977, the band found themselves in the studio working on their second album for the Atco/Rabbit label. This following the huge success of Redwing, and three less successful releases on Capricorn Records. Just as they got the album ready for release, they were shelved in favor of the latest trend in music, disco.

Twenty-three years later, this fine album has finally been released in its entirety for the very first time. The record was produced by Paul Hornsby, perhaps the best known producer ever to come out of the "Southern rock" scene of the '70s, and recorded and mixed by Sam Whiteside. The Muscle Shoals Horns are featured guests, as is the timeless Bonnie Bramlett, whose solo work and recordings with her former husband, Delaney, are the stuff of music history.

"How Come It Is" is a straight-up rocker that opens the album, backed by a tight horn section and laced with an adequate dose of B-3 organ from Stephen Miller, who also wrote the tune. "Moving on Back to You," a soul-stirring R&B number, is power packed, and Larry Howard's "If the World Was My Guitar," is absolutely haunting in its beauty and spirit. When the band covers Albert King's "You're Gonna Miss Me," it is so hot you can shut your eyes, feel the heat, and see the burning embers smoldering. "That's What You Get for Loving Me" has the Otis Redding vibe down to a tee, and Lombar once again sings at his soulful best. This is a great album, filled with soul, blues, rock, gospel, and even a little '60s pop, as in the band's rollicking cover of the Drifters' "I Count the Tears," a track that manages to combine elements of Southern rock with a definite early '60s radio-hit sound. "Dr. Hector's Traveling Show," which inspired the name of Dru Lombar's current band, Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors, is a fun-filled rocker that is highlighted by Lombar's red-hot slide guitar and catch lyrics.

This is an incredible documentation of one of the best bands to come out of the South since the Allman Brothers Band, and a welcomed addition to any collection. 
by Michael B. Smith

1. How Come It Is? (Stephen Miller) - 3:37
2. Moving On Back To You (Dru Lombar) - 3:32
3. The Warm Kind (Stephen Miller) - 3:53
4. Your Gonna Miss Me (Albert King) - 6:23
5. Dr. Hectors Traveling Show (Larry Howard) - 2:22
6. I Count The Tears (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman) - 2:52
7. If The World Was My Guitar (Larry Howard) - 4:26
8. Thats What You Get (Dru Lombar) - 3:09
9. Lady Luck (Dru Lombar) - 3:26
10.Wheel Of Fortune (Dru Lombar) - 3:56

*Dru Lombar - Vocals, Guitar            
*Stephen Miller - Vocals, Keyboards
*Joe Dan Petty - Bass, Vocals 
*Larry Howard - Guitar, Vocals 
*Rick Burnett - Drums
*Bonnie Bramlett - Vocals
*The Muscle Shoals Horns - Horns
*Austin Petit - Guitar (Track 10)
*Bonnie Raitt - Vocals 

1974  Grinderswitch - Honest To Goodness
1975  Grinderswitch - Macon Tracks (2009 edition) 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Blackfoot Sue - Strangers (1974 uk, sensational mixture of folk glam and prog rock, 2011 edition)

Blackfoot Sue's second album, Strangers, was recorded in 1974, but disputes with their management meant that its release was postponed indefinitely, Fortunately, it finally saw release on a US label, Import, in 1977. The cover looked like more of a designer's rough sketch than a finished piece of work, but was intriguing none the less. It depicted a featureless being controlling the band on puppet strings, while a fully-fledged battle raged around the stage, an interesting reflection of the band's situation at the time!

As prolific as ever, the band had completed many song demos for the album, but their manager/ producer and their record company chose the tracks solely for their commercial potential and then made them even more gimmicky in the studio. The title of the album was derived from the track Shoot All Strangers, which referred to hostile redneck attitudes, whether, as the band said, in Texas or indeed, in English pubs. One song which hasn't stood the test of time is Tobago Rose. Originally written as a straight-forward country rock tune, Prairie Rose, Walker pushed the band into performing it reggae-style, even drafting in Blue Weaver from Amen Corner (another of the bands he produced and managed) to play synthetic brass, which, as David pointed out many years later, "...sounds quite comical now."

In fact, the recordings didn't really do the band justice at all. The exception is the almost side-long treatment of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" as 1812, which ventures into the free-flowing world of progressive rock and gives some idea of the energy of the band on stage - the song was a highlight of their live show, As David described it, "It was all done with violin bows On the guitars... we had huge great artificial stone letters spelling out '1812' . We used to smash jt up with axes and strobe lights flashed while the cannons exploded." They were thrown off a tour with The Kinks after only two days for doing just exactly that, and making too much of a mess on the stage!
CD Liner notes
1. Care To Believe - 3:22
2. Touch The Sky - 3:50
3. Shoot All Strangers - 5:14
4. Tobago Rose - 3:09
5. Nostalgia Ain't - 3:50
6. Bye Bye Birmingham - 3:28
7. Join Together - 3:36
8. 1812 (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) - 11:08
9. Morning Light - 3:07
10.Get It All To Me - 3:29
11.You Need Love - 4:06
All compositions by Alan Jones, David Farmer, Eddie Golga, Tom Farmer except track #8
Bonus Tracks 9-11 single releases

Blackfoot Sue
*Tom Farmer - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Dave Farmer - Drums
*Eddie Golga - Guitar, Keyboards
*Alan Jones - Guitar, Vocals

Saturday, November 4, 2023

The Horde - Press Buttons Firmly (1966-68 us, splendid garage psych, 2013 remaster)

Undoubtedly the most exciting mid sixties garage album to be recently discovered in the genre, is that by The Horde from North Carolina. The existence of this self produced album came to collectors' ears and eyes only about a year ago. It was recorded more or less accidently in early 1967, released in a micro quantity of only 25 copies and among the local US garage albums of the decade it is one of the few eclectic examples with all the ingredients that makes it outstanding compared with the usual prep-school albums of the time. It contains a blend of exciting originals and well chosen, inspired covers, played in a raw, crude and frantic style. If ever it were true that the over-used assertion that a band's cover versions measured up to the originals, then it is true of The Horde. Why? 

These five 19-20 year old students from all over the United States did not only blaze a trail for 60s rock in then conservative North Carolina, they also had a general attitude that finds its origins in the young people's mindset of the mid-sixties that put them outside of the local mainstream and gained them a sort of regional underground popularity. 

Break-A-Way has now reissued this original sought after LP with four bonus tracks taken from an unreleased 1967 EP along with a detailed twelve-page booklet which gives the complete history of the band and loads of rare pictures. "Press Buttons Firmly" to find out why the Horde LP is not only rare, but also deserves to be called, "one of the sharpest local garage punk albums of the Sixties".
CD Liner Notes

1. Troubles (Elizabeth Locke) - 2:15
2. Cuttin' Out Time (Elizabeth Locke) - 2:27 
3. Press Buttons Firmly (Doug Haggar, Bob Simons, Jake Devonshire) - 1:46
4. My Flash On You (Arthur Lee) - 3:10
5. Steve's Song (Steve Katz) - 4:12
6. I Can't Keep From Crying (Blind Willie Johnson) - 3:42
7. Tell Me (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 3:59
8. 7 And 7 IS (Arthur Lee) - 1:58
9. Smokestack Lightnin' (Chester  Burnette) - 5:11
10.Gloria (Van Morrison) - 3:50
11.No Need To Wonder Why (Bob Simons, Steve Denenberg) - 2:59
12.Press Buttons Firmly (Doug Haggar, Bob Simons, Steve Denenberg) - 2:14
13.Frog Street (Doug Haggar, Bob Simons, Steve Denenberg) - 2:11
14.VD's Thing (Richard Van Dusen, Jake Devonshire, Mike McMillen, Doug Haggar, Bob Simons, Steve Denenberg) - 3:11
Tracks 1-10 produced by the band at JCP Studio in Raleigh, N.C. 01/1967
Bonus Tracks 11-14 produced by Bill Cash at Copeland Sound, Greensboro, N.C. 05/1967

The Horde
*Doug Haggar - Organ, Vocals
*Steve Denenberg – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Simons - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Mike McMillen - Bass
*Jake Devonshire - Drums, Vocals
*Richard Van Dusen - Bass