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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

rep> Alex Chilton - Feudalist Tarts (1985-89 us, amazing blend of power pop funky blues rock, 2017 remaster and expanded)

1985's Feudalist Tarts was Chilton's first studio release since 1979; after spending most of the 1970s as one of the few rock acts from the Deep South who displayed almost no visible R&B influence, Chilton belatedly embraced the pleasures of vintage soul music after moving to New Orleans and giving up alcohol, and Feudalist Tarts is dominated by covers of Slim Harpo's "Ti Ni Nee Ni Noo" and Carla Thomas's "B-A-B-Y," with bare-wired originals like "Lost My Job" along for good measure. Cut in a single day, Feudalist Tarts is a bit rough around the edges, but Chilton's guitar playing is solid, and the band of veteran Southern studio players give Chilton as good as he gets (if not better). 
by Mark Deming

1. Tee Ni Nee Ni Noo / Tip on In (Slim Harpo) - 5:23
2. Stuff (Alex Chilton, Rene Coman) - 5:08
3. B-A-B-Y (David Porter, Isaac Hayes) - 3:01
4. Thank You John (Willie Turbinton) - 3:16
5. Lost My Job (Alex Chilton) - 3:09
6. Paradise (Alex Chilton) - 2:24
7. No Sex (Alex Chilton) - 3:48
8. Underclass (Alex Chilton) - 3:34
9. Little GTO (John Buck Wilkin) - 2:55
10.Guantanamerika (Alex Chilton) - 3:10
11.Jailbait (Alex Chilton) - 3:33
12.Baby Baby Baby (Alex Chilton) - 4:25
13.Nice 'n' Easy (Lew Spence, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Keith) - 4:40
14.I Will Turn Your Money Green (Furry Lewis) - 2:58

*Alex Chilton - Guitar, Harmonica, Voice
*Rene Coman - Bass, Voice (Tracks 1-8)
*Jim Spake - Tenor Saxophone
*Doug Garrison - Drums (Tracks 1-8) 
*Nokie Taylor - Cornet (Tracks 1-6)
*Fred Ford - Baritone Saxophone (Tracks 1-6)
*George Reinecke - Voice (Track 14)
*Tommy McClure - Bass (Tracks 9-14)

1970  Alex Chilton - Free Again: The 1970 Sessions (2012 release)
Related Acts
1967-69  The Box Tops - The Original Albums (two disc set, 2015 issue) 
1967-70  The Box Tops - The Best Of Box Tops
1968-75  Big Star - Keep An Eye On The Sky (2009 four discs box set)
1972/74  Big Star - #1 Record / Radio City (2004 SACD)

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Various Artists - Fading Yellow Volume 20 (1964-70 us, even more popsike and other delights, 2023 hard sleeve release)

Celebrating the 20 years since Fading Yellow volume 1, Fading Yellow released the 20th volume.  Created a genre all of its own and praised by many including Bob Stanley. Fading Yellow magically bound the softer end of psych with singer-songwriters and beat groups; what they had in common - aside from woodwinds, harpichords and cellos - was minor chords. The heart of Fading Yellow is rarely sad but always melancholy. Twenty volumes in and it still sounds magical. The usual high quality 45’s musically, this time from the USA and, as always, all the tracks doing their first entrance on any compilation. Groups including Magic Ring, Second Helping, The Mother Love, Luv Birds, The News etc All late 60’s popsike and other delights .

Artists - Tracks
1. Lime - Beautiful Day - 2:00
2. John Braheny - Free Fall - 2:36
3. Mark Radice - Girl By The Meter - 2:46
4. Plum Beach Incident - Summer Love - 1:59
5. The Magic Ring - Jane - 2:17
6. Chip And Dave Trio - Who's To Say - 2:49
7. The Proposition - Two Faced Madonna - 2:25
8. Charlotte Russe - High On A Rooftop - 2:42
9. Second Helping - Children Of The Night - 2:12
10.The Black Sheep - Feeling Down - 2:35
11.Plastic People - This Life Of Mine - 2:00
12.The Mother Love - The Flim-Flam Man - 2:28
13.The Roosters - Home Down Right - 2:44
14.The Luv Birds - Lilac Wine - 2:51
15.The News - The Boy Who Only Smiles - 3:06
16.The W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band - Don't Lose The Girl - 2:18
17.Sunny Mondays - Wish You Were Here With Me - 2:27
18.The Sounds Of Dawn - Stephanie Says - 2:00
19.Mark Radice - Natural Morning - 2:58
20.Disraeli - Humidity 105 - 2:27

1965-69 Fading Yellow - Vol. 1 1965-69 Fading Yellow - Vol. 3
1965-69 Fading Yellow - Vol. 4
1970-73 Fading Yellow - Vol. 5
1966-70 Fading Yellow - Vol. 6 
1968-72 Fading Yellow - Vol. 7
1968-75 Fading Yellow - Vol. 8
1966-72 Fading Yellow - Vol. 9
60-70's Fading Yellow - Vol. 10
60-70's Fading Yellow - Vol. 11
60-70's Fading Yellow - Vol. 12
1960's      Fading Yellow Vol.13

Sunday, January 21, 2024

rep> Tower Of Power - Back To Oakland (1974 us, powerful funky bluesy brass rock, 2015 japan remaster)

Tower of Power followed their self-titled gold album with an even better album that didn't enjoy similar sales success. Back to Oakland had tougher, funkier and better-produced cuts, stronger vocals from Lenny Williams (who was more comfortable as their lead singer), and included an excellent ballad in "Time Will Tell," and a rousing tempo in "Don't Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream)." The Tower of Power horn section reaffirmed its reputation in both soul and pop circles, and the album included a powerhouse instrumental. Back To Oakland was voted by Modern Drummer Magazine as one of the most important recordings for drummers to listen to.
by Ron Wynn

1. Oakland Stroke... (David Garibaldi, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 0:53
2. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream) (Johnny Guitar Watson, Lenny Williams) - 4:45
3. Just When We Start Makin' It (Emilio Castillo, Lenny Williams, Stephen Kupka) - 6:22
4. Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong) (Lenny Williams, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 2:56
5. Squib Cakes (Chester Thompson) - 7:42
6. Time Will Tell (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 3:11
7. Man From The Past (Emilio Castillo, Lenny Williams, Stephen Kupka) - 3:59
8. Love's Been Gone So Long (Bruce Conte) - 4:45
9. I Got The Chop (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 2:58
10.Below Us, All the City Lights (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 4:15
11....Oakland Stroke (David Garibaldi, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 1:07

*Stephen Kupka - Baritone Saxophone, English Horn, Backing Vocals
*Francis "Rocco" Prestia - Bass Guitar
*Brent Byars - Bongos, Conga
*David Garibaldi - Drums
*Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Backing Vocals, String Arrangements, Conductor
*Bud Shank - Flute, Alto Saxophone, Piccolo Flute, Alto Flute
*Emilio Castillo - Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Bruce Conte - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Pickett - Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Mic Gillette - Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Baritone, Backing Vocals
*Chester Thompson - Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Williams - Lead Vocals
*Alice Thompson - Vocals
*Marilyn Scott - Vocals
*Pepper Watkins - Vocals
*David Duke - French Horn
*Richard Perissi - French Horn
*Vincent DeRosa - French Horn
*Frank Rosolino - Trombone
*Kell Houston - Trombone
*Thomas Shepard - Trombone
*Ray Gillette - Trombone

1970  Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease
1972  Tower Of Power - Bump City (Japan issue)
1973  Tower Of Power - Tower Of Power (2015 japan remaster) 

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Friday, January 19, 2024

rep> Tower Of Power - Tower Of Power (1973 us, superb jazz funk brass rock, 2015 japan remaster)

The Tower of Power finally found their ideal lead singer on this album. Lenny Williams came aboard and gave them both the up-tempo belter and convincing balladeer they had previously lacked. They landed their biggest single hit, "So Very Hard to Go," and also had two other top tunes in "What Is Hip" and "This Time It's Real." The arrangements and production were also excellent, and the horn section was at its explosive best. 
by Ron Wynn

This is the third album release for the Oakland-based Funk band Tower of Power. This is their most successful album to date, which was released in May 1973. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and received a Gold record award for sales in excess of 500,000. The album spawned their most successful single, "So Very Hard to Go". The single peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other singles from the album also charted on the Billboard Hot 100: "This Time It's Real" and "What Is Hip?".

It marked the debut of Lenny Williams being the lead vocalist (though Williams had a solo career prior to joining T.O.P., plus he co-penned the song "You Strike My Main Nerve" from the previous album Bump City. Tower Of Power also introduced the world to saxophonist and future Saturday Night Live band leader, Lenny Pickett, who was the youngest member of the band at the time, replacing original lead sax player Skip Mesquite. Also joining the lineup was organist/keyboardist Chester Thompson and guitarist Bruce Conte, who replaced original guitarist Willie James Fulton.

1. What Is Hip? (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, David Garibaldi) - 5:08
2. Clever Girl (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Willie Fulton) - 2:56
3. This Time It's Real (David Bartlett, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Stephen Doc Kupka) - 2:54
4. Will I Ever Find A Love? - 3:51
5. Get Yo' Feet Back On The Ground (Willie Fulton) - 4:52
6. So Very Hard To Go - 3:41
7. Soul Vaccination - 5:13
8. Both Sorry Over Nothin' (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Lenny Williams) - 3:25
9. Clean Slate (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Willie Fulton) - 3:22
10.Just Another Day (Bruce Conte) - 4:34
All Songs written by Emilio Castillo, Stephen "Doc" Kupka except where stated

*Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Backing Vocals, String Arrangements, Conductor
*Brent Byars - Bongos, Conga
*Emilio Castillo - Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Bruce Conte - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*David Garibaldi - Drums
*Mic Gillette - Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Baritone, Backing Vocals
*Stephen "Doc" Kupka - Oboe, Baritone Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Pickett - Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Francis "Rocco" Prestia - Bass Guitar
*Jay Spell - Acoustic Piano
*Bruce Steinberg - Harmonica
*Chester Thompson - Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Williams - Lead Vocals

1970  Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease
1972  Tower Of Power - Bump City (Japan issue)

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Monday, January 15, 2024

rep> T. Swift And The Electric Bag - Are You Experienced? (1968 us, spooky acid psych folk rock, 2001 re-release)

With the release of T Swift & The Electric Bag’s “Are You Experienced” album Jerry and crew must have really started to come on to the Orange Sunshine. On tracks such as ‘Expo In Sound’ and ‘Free Form In 6’ Jerry waved his freak flag higher than most. ‘Kimeaa’ is a classic in its own right, as is Jerry’s 12-string workout on ‘What’s Your Bag?’, and even the cover version of ‘Are You Experienced’ is fun to listen to. 
Mike Vernon

Jerald Edward Kolbrak (Jerry Cole), died Corona, California 28 May 2008.

1. Are You Experienced? (Jimi Hendrix) - 4:37
2. As I Grow Into A Man - 2:46
3. Red Eyes - 2:56
4. A Jet (The Letter) (Wayne Carson) - 2:28
5. Take It Easy Baby - 3:05
6. What's Your Bag? - 2:09
7. Free Form in 6 - 2:07
8. The Stinger - 2:36
9. The Strut - 2:25
10.Expo In Sound - 4:34
All songs by Jerry Cole except track #1

*Jerry Cole - Guitar
*Don Dexter - Drums

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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Orleans - Orleans (1973 us, pleasant funky soft rock, 2023 korean remaster)

From their earliest days as a favorite at colleges and clubs in the Northeast US … to studio and live collaborations with great artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Little Feat and many others … to Top 10 success with bona-fide classics such as “Still the One”, “Dance With Me” and “Love Takes Time” …  Orleans is now celebrating 50 years of creating musical history.

Although the makeup of the live band has seen many incarnations over the years, their oldest fans are amazed at the fact that the band still sounds as good as (or even better than) ever … especially their vocals! Younger fans are simply impressed. Everyone agrees *these guys “still have it”.

Formed in Woodstock, NY in February 1972 by John Hall, Larry  Hoppen and Wells Kelly, Orleans became a quartet when Lance Hoppen joined in October of that year. Hall’s “Half Moon” was in the first batch of original song demos but, to fill out live shows, they played lots of covers. Some were Alan Toussaint, Neville Brothers / Meters tunes (hence the intended-to-be-temporary choice of name) as they went about perfecting a delicious recipe of eclectic material, incorporating rock, R&B and reggae with vocal harmony. That led Rolling Stone  magazine to christen them “the best unrecorded band in the country” in early 1973.

Soon after, a round of showcase performances in NYC gave rise to a recording contract with ABC Dunhill Records and the release of the eponymously titled first album. Later signing with Asylum Records, they produced chart-topping hits including “Let There Be Music”, “Dance With Me”, “Reach” and, of course, their American standard, “Still the One” (with Jerry Marotta lending his drumming skills to their Waking and Dreaming album). Adding to each other’s strengths, John (with his then-wife and songwriting partner, Johanna) was the most prolific songwriter while Larry supplied the lead voice for the radio hits. Orleans’ classics have been played on terrestrial radio countless millions of times since they were first released and now stream constantly on all the major platforms. After Orleans established national radio popularity, Hall left in the fall of 1977 to pursue a solo career

1. Please Be There - 3:52
2. If - 5:05
3. Two-Faced World - 4:36
4. Turn Out The Light - 5:22
5. Tongue-Tied - 4:19
6. Half Moon - 3:42
7. Moutain (Wells Kelly) - 3:26
8. Wanderlust - 4:32
9. Ticonderoga Moon - 3:11
10.Stoned (Larry Hoppen) - 3:14
11.It All Comes Back Again - 4:40
All compositions by John Hall, Johanna Hall except where indicated

*John Hall - Electric, Lead, Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals 
*Lance Hoppen - Bass, Vocals 
*Wells Kelly - Drums, Timbales, Vocals  
*Larry Hoppen - Piano, Organ, Vocals 
*Roger Hawkins - Tambourine,Congas  
*Barry Beckett - Piano 

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Saturday, January 6, 2024

Andy Robinson - Patterns Of Reality (1968 us, tremendous moody psych folk rock, 2018 korean remaster)

Originally from Philadelphia, he began singing and composing songs while still a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. It was small clubs in and around Boulder that he first started singing professionally appearing with people like Judy Collins, Odetta and others. Their encourage ment led Andy to New York City where he met Janis lan, who was impressed enough to introduce him to her manager. He was signed to a contract, and Janis lan produced his forst album "Patterns of Reality" on the Philadelphia label.

"Patterns Of Reality" was recorded in L.A. and is full of well-crafted songs that hang together well. One might miss some rough edges but Andy Robinson's ambition wasn't to do a lo-fi album. On the negative side are some loungy moves at the end on some of his songs ("Are You Sleeping" and "Maiden Voyage" in particular), especially when he let's his studio pro's loose. All in all this is an album well worth hearing not unlike to Bob Ray, Toby Ben or Hamilton Camp for instance. Andy Robinson recorded a second album entitled "Break Out Of The City" on Janus in 1970.
Liner Notes 

1. Absolutely The End - 3:45
2. Ballad Of A Summer Girl - 3:36
3. The Exhibition - 2:42
4. Time For Decision - 3:44
5. Provider - 3:35
6. Tell You The Truth - 2:58
7. Are You Sleeping? - 4:31
8. Nothing Could Be Better - 2:21
9. Maiden Voyage - 4:21
10.Patterns Of Reality - 5:22
Music and Lyrics by Andy Robinson

*Andy Robinson - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Carol Kaye - Bass
*Earl Palmer - Drums
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*David Cohen - Guitar
*Al Casey - Guitar
*Dennis Budimir - Guitar
*Lincoln Mayorga - Harpsichord
*Artie Butler - Organ, Piano
*Lincoln Mayorga - Piano
*Jesse Ehrlich - Cello
*Samuel Boghossian - Viola
*Sid Sharp - Violin
*Wilbert Nuttycombe - Violin
*Gary Coleman - Percussion
*Gene Estes - Percussion
*Ken Watson - Percussion
*Victor Feldman - Percussion

Monday, January 1, 2024

Blind Willie - Blind Willie (1972/74 us, spectacular blues psych classic country rock, 2023 japan remaster)

Blind Willie formed in Spokane (Washington) in 1972 and featured terrific guitar player Frank Trowbridge from hard-psych legends Sleepy John.

They carved out a unique niche in the Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington rock scene in the early to mid-’70s, performing original music in a time when doing so wasn’t widespread for regional bands. Within weeks of the group’s formation, they commanded stages with a potent smattering of hard-rock, country-rock and psych.

The band’s history includes a brief courtship with the Doobie Brothers’ Dave Shogren on bass, as well as major label interest from Columbia and Epic Records.

Blind Willie’s original lineup of Craig Karp (guitar, vocals), Frank Trowbridge (guitar), Charlie Bieker (bass, guitar, vocals) and Jim Griffith (drums) is represented via slices of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll pomp recorded on a 4-track tape machine in a friend’s apartment in 1972.

Live in the studio tracks from 1974 feature later drummer Mike Garland and bassist Joe Johnson for a fiery radio set at the legendary Kaye-Smith Studios in Seattle.

The album’s selected tracks navigate Blind Willie’s wide-ranging sonic explorations, anchored by formidable guitar-forward rockers that stand the test of time, and hold up to any of the more well-known work of their peers from the ’70s. Writhing in the rock ‘n’ roll milieu, Blind Willie’s musical tributaries run deep, steeped in a spectrum of styles that range from hard blues-rock scorchers like the incendiary “Georgia,” to heartfelt ballads (“I’m Wondering If”) and into the upper echelons of sci-fi psych (“Zolly”), a comet ride through wah-wah geetar spacedust, replete with Rocky Horror cinematic sheen. It’s also easy to imagine songs like the choogle-heavy “Somebody Help Me” illuminating the vibe of parties, bars and theaters all over North America. 

1. Georgia - 2:57
2. Try - 6:17
3. Somebody Help Me - 2:59
4. I’m Wondering If - 3:32
5. Too Much Darkness - 6:10
6. Zolly  - 3:29
7. Mildred (Don’t Let Your Friends Get You Down) - 3:58
8. California Woman - 2:49
9. I Might Be The One - 6:06
10.Rainbow Lorraine - 3:32
11.I Want To Know - 3:15
12.Please Don’t Walk Away - 4:18
13.Lost My Reason For Living - 2:41
14.Again (Charlie Bieker) - 3:06
15.Georgia - 4:40
16.Somebody Help Me - 3:26
17.I Might Be The One You Need - 3:33
18.I’m Wondering If - 3:31
19.Zolly (Instrumental) - 3:33
Tracks 1,3,6,10,12,17,19 recorded 1972 and written by Craig Karp, Frank Trowbridge, Charlie Bieker, Jim Griffith
Tracks 2,4,5,7,8,9,11,13,14,15,16,18 recorded Live at Kaye-Smith Studios, 1974 and were written by Craig Karp, Frank Trowbridge, Charlie Bieker, Joe Johnson, Mike Garland

Blind Willie
*Craig Karp - Guitar, Vocals 
*Frank Trowbridge - Guitar 
*Charlie Bieker - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Griffith - Drums (1972)
*Joe Johnson - Bass (1974)
*Mike Garland - Drums (1974)