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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.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Sundance - Chuffer (1974 uk, fascinating blend of prog glam classic rock, 2023 korean remaster)

A British group from Birmingham (not to confused with the US Californian band with the same name),  with a surprisingly no-nonsense approach for the time – neither prog, nor hard rock, glam, or anything else that might have been big during the early 70s underground – which may well be why this set never got the fame it deserved! 

There's some great guitar work on the set that almost gets funky at points, but which often just holds to rockish riffing instead – really well-fit to the offbeat vocals which are perfect for the lyrical delivery of the set – all at a level that makes the whole thing one of those great under-circulated major label efforts that's wonderfully hard to peg, and which is ripe for rediscovery all these many years later. 

John Lyman later worked with many different artists as a session player and round 2005 with his wife Mel moved to Mallorca. Drummer Alan Moore was in the early and unofficial phase of the newborn Judas Priest, he left the band to join Sundance, and about a year after the "Cfuffer" returned to Judas Priest replacing John Hinch.

1. Can't Get Over You (John Lyman) - 4:06
2. It's All For You (John Lyman) - 3:12
3. Mare Luna (Bob Bowman) - 4:01
4. Me And Virginia (Steph Griffin) - 3:14
5. It Ain't Me (Phil Savage) - 3:13
6. Coast Of Panama (Bob Bowman) - 1:49
7. Finger On The Trigger (Bob Bowman) - 4:12
8. She Said (Come On Home) (Steph Griffin) - 3:48
9. Turn Round (John Lyman) - 3:23
10.What You Gonna Do For Me (Bob Bowman) - 4:16
11.Dark Eye (Phil Savage) - 4:05

*John Lynam - Guitar, Vocals 
*Stephen Griffin - Keyboards 
*Phil Savage - Bass 
*Bob Bowman - Guitar, Vocals 
*Alan Moore - Drums

Saturday, March 23, 2024

rep> Dogfeet - Dogfeet (1970 uk, fascinating hypnotic psych blues rock, 2010 and 2014 bonus tracks remaster)

Here's one of those obscure outfits that collectors love to heavily hype. 

Bassist Dave Nichols, singer Alan Pearse, drummer Derek Perry and guitarist Trevor Povey first came together as Chicago Max, followed by brief stints as Sopwith Camel (not to be confused with the San Francisco-based outfit), Malibou and Armageddon. Working in a blues-rock vein (wasn't every early-1970s band dipping their creative toes in the genre), they were signed by the small Reflection Records, though the label immediately demanded a new name - hence the change to the deplorable Dogfeet.

At least to my ears that's way off the mark. Produced by Andrew Cameron Milla, 1970's cleverly-titled "Dogfeet" is surprisingly good. With Povey writing all of the material, the album's varied and pleasingly understated. Pearse exhibited an attractive voice, while Povey's slashing guitar was quite effective (check out some of the effects he used on 'Evil Women').

Musically 'On the Road' harkened back to the bands' blues-rock roots, but extended tracks such as 'Now I Know', the attractive atmospheric ballad 'Reprise' and the Western-inspired 'Since I Went Away' set them apart from most of their contemporaries. Not that it mattered. The album vanished without a trace, followed in short order by the band.

1. For Mary - 2:03
2. On The Road - 5:58
3. Sad Story / Reprise - 8:14
4. Now I Know - 3:05
5. Since I Went Away - 2:56
6. Clouds - 5:06
7. Evil Women - 5:00
8. Armageddon - 4:14
9. For Mary And Child - 5:39
10.Theme - 1:53
11.Armageddon - 4:33
12.On The Road - 4:56
13.Now I Know - 3:06
All songs by Trevor Povey, Alan Pearse

1. Mr Sunshine (David Lewis) - 11:08
2. Armageddon # 1 - 4:36
3. Theme # 1 - 1:55
4. On The Road # 1 - 4:57
5. Now I Know # 1 - 3:09
6. For Mary - 2:05
7. On The Road - 5:01
8. Reprise - 8:17
9. Now I Know - 3:09
10.Since I Went Away (David Lewis) - 2:57
11.Clouds - 5:07
12.Evil Women - 5:01
13.Armageddon - 5:01
14.For Mary And Child - 5:43
15.Voodoo Chile (Jimi Hendrix) - 10:57
All songs by Trevor Povey, Alan Pearse except where indicated
Tracks 1 and 15 live reordings from 1991

*Dave Nicholls - Bass
*Alan Pearse - Second Guitar, Vocals
*Derek Perry - Drums
*Trevor Povey - First Guitar, Vocals

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

rep> Chick Churchill - You And Me (1973 uk, classy prog rock, 2011 remaster)

Michael George "Chick" Churchill is a classically-trained pianist best-known as on/off keyboard man with Ten Years After, possibly the archetypal British blues/rock band, featuring Alvin Lee's lightning-fast guitar work. 

You and Me is Churchill's only solo album, is an unfairly forgotten rock gem with quite strong, progressive influences. A bevy of famous friends Jethro Tull's Martin Barre, Cozy Powell, Leo Lyons, Rick Lee, Roger Hodgson, Bernie Marsden, Garry Pickford Hopkins, it’s really hard to imagine a better configuration on one record. 

1. Come And Join Me - 5:10
2. Broken Engagement - 3:09
3. You And Me - 4:41
4. Reality In Arrears - 7:02
5. Dream Of Our Maker Man - 2:58
6. Ode To An Angel - 4:06
7. You're Not Listening - 2:39
8. Chiswick Flyover - 2:54
9. The Youth I Dreamt In Slipped Away - 4:31
10.Falling Down An Endless Day - 3:06
All songs written by Chick Churchill.

*Chick Churchill - Piano, Organ, Moog, Mellotron, Vocals (Tracks 7,10)
*Gary Pickford-Hopkins - Vocals
*Martin Barre - Guitar (Tracks 1,2,5,9)
*Rodger Hodgson - Guitar (Track 3), Bass (Tracks 3,4,6,7)
*Bernie Marsden - Guitar (Tracks 4,6,7)
*Leo Lyons - Bass (Tracks 1,2,5,8,9)
*Cozy Powell - Drums (Tracks 1,5,8,9)
*Ric Lee - Drums (Track 2)
*Rick Davies - Drums (Tracks 3,4,6,7)
*Bill Jackman - Sax (Tracks 1,3)

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Ronnie Barron - Reverend Ether (1971 us, splendid rhythm 'n' blues, swamp rock, 2022 korean remaster)

Born Ronald Raymond Barrosse in 1943, Barron worked with Rebennack during his early days as an A&R man for Specialty and Ace records in the late 1950s and early '60s. Rebennack produced Barron's first single, "Bad Neighborhood," which was credited to Ronnie and the Delinquents. The pair later recorded "Talk That Talk" under the name "Drits and Dravey" for Harold Battiste's AFO label. Barron also served some time in a group called the Prime Ministers, featuring fellow New Orleanians Freddie Staehle (drums), Bobby Lonero (guitar), Eddie Zip (bass), Jerry Jumonville (tenor sax), and Wayne DeVilliere (organ).

After moving to California and declining the Dr. John role, Barron worked for Louie Prima for several years and concocted his own mystical stage persona, "Reverend Ether," recording an album by that name for Decca.

By the 1970s, Barron had moved to Woodstock, N.Y., where he worked again with Rebennack as well as fellow Louisiana expatriate Bobby Charles, joining harmonica wizard Paul Butterfield's Better Days group. This group cut a couple of standout albums - "Better Days" and "It All Comes Back" - featuring Charles and Barron compositions like "Small Town Talk" and "Louisiana Flood," as well as great vocal performances from Barron. Besides doing some acting, Barron worked with BB King, Ry Cooder, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Canned Heat, and Tom Waits.

He was married to Linda Kelly and had two children, Ronald Raymond, Jr. and Ava. He died in 1997 from complications of heart problems.

1. Ol' Chatnooga - 3:24
2. Duke Of Crenshaw - 3:44
3. Don't Let My Husband Catch You - 3:29
4. Sweet Simplicity - 2:35
5. Freeway Mamma - 6:06
6. Lousianna Flood - 3:08
7. Mamma's Kind Of Song - 3:26
8. Happy, Happy, Happy - 3:47
9. Let It Shine - 3:09
10.Eighteen Sixty Two - 3:39
All compositions by Ronnie Barron

*Ronnie Barron - Vocals, Keyboards

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Gillian McPherson - Poets And Painters And Performers Of Blues (1971 ireland, divine jazzy bluesy baroque folk rock, 2017 korean edition)

Gillian McPherson, was a folk singer from Northern Ireland who had her first (and only) major label release out*‘Poets, Painters and Performers of Blues’ on RCA.  She came out looking the part with long hair and long skirt.  She played a short set in a jazzy folk vein of which I can remember ‘They All Want Somebody To Blame’ with an emotive lyric and the album’s title track.  The set was received politely.  McPherson’s album was out of print for decades.

The session team on the record was the Mark-Almond band who were, coincidentally, the second show I went to, and included Tommy Eyre on keyboards who later went on to marry Scarlet Rivera of ‘Desire’ and Rolling Thunder fame. Gillie McPherson later moved to south-east France where she continues to perform and issue the occasional recording still in the jazz-folk zone.
Richard Parkinson, February 22, 2023

Just like the cool front cover photo, it is a very beautiful work that looks like it is being played on the waterside deep in the forest. Produced by Pentangle's Danny Thompson. Perhaps because of this, there's a cool, jazzy feel to the whole thing, which seems to play a role in the popularity of this work. The backing team is also gorgeous, with Marc Almond, Dave Cousins, Tommy Eyer, etc., and the string arrangements for some songs are done by Robert Kirby.

All of the songs are self-produced, the arrangement of the talented back team is also good. It's definitely a plain work compared to the top-class British female singer-songwriters, an irresistibly lovely album with an atmosphere that feels like it's a moss-covered arrangement of pop songs. 

1. Muff The Gong - 4:52
2. It's My Own Way - 3:19
3. Look What We've Got To Do - 3:52
4. They All Want Somebody To Blame - 4:36
5. Who's At The Deceiving End - 3:56
6. I Am The Runner - 3:19
7. Is Somebody In Tune With My Song ? - 5:04
8. We Can't Be The Last Line - 3:44
9. Flight - 3:40
10.Lazy Dreamer - 2:51
11.Poets And Painters And Performers Of Blues - 2:25
Music and Lyrics by Gillian McPherson

*Gillian McPherson - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Jon Mark - Acoustic Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Congas
*Dave Cousins - Acoustic Guitar
*Spike Heatley - Double Bass
*Tony Carr - Percussion
*Brian Spring - Drums
*Roy Babbington - Electric Bass
*Tommy Eyre - Organ, Piano
*Johnny Almond - Vibraphone, Flute, Tenor Sax
*Peter Halling - Cello

Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Daily Flash - The Legendary Recordings (1965-67 us, superb electrifying blend of folk-rock, pop, blues and jazz, 2023 release)

In 1965, the “music scene” in America was often conservative yet diverse, similar throughout many regions. University students had access to international touring artists like Ravi Shankar, and the general public to Broadway musicals, ballet and orchestras. Additionally Black R&B clubs were active, and White Teen Dance clubs focused on original, local R&R/R&B bands. A folk scene in the University District brought musicians, poets, beatniks who performed evenings and sat around in coffee shops during the day. Seattle had Jazz clubs, top quality Symphony Orchestras, Opera, Ballet, etc, and radio stations were starting to widen their scope with emerging British rock groups. 

I studied music at University, played in the Seattle Symphony, with several jazz groups and joined a R&B club band called The Frantics, that owing to my injury from a car accident, the band found a new drummer. Steve Lalor and Don MacAllister found me recuperating. We talked about making new music. We located Doug Hastings, rehearsed here and there, and continued to meet at coffee houses in the University District. News of a psychedelic underground in San Francisco began to filter northward. Brave new ‘explorers’ (consciousness-pioneers) soon arrived in Seattle whereupon the University area became a gathering place for an emerging youth culture that included university students, as well as those who hadn’t figured out what they wanted to do. 

Here, musicians wanted something different; police wanted to keep abreast of it all; artists wanted to design it all; journalists wanted to publish information on it all; rich fraternity boys wanted to chop-off longhair from freaky menfolk, grab the girls and run. Despite all that there were few venues that wanted longhaired musicians, certainly not weird mixed-music groups such as The Daily Flash. Finally, The Daily Flash decided to create a series of moveable venues in Labor Union halls, and Blaise LeWark opened Seattle’s BFD club.

1. The French Girl (Ian Tyson, Sylvia Fricker) - 2:57
2. Green Rocky Road (Don MacAllister, Doug Hastings, Jon Keliehor, Steve Lalor) - 2:38
3. Queen Jane Approximately (Bob Dylan) - 4:29
4. Jack Of Diamonds (Traditional) - 2:40
5. The Bonny Ship The Diamond (Traditional) - 2:57
6. When I Was A Cowboy (Huddie Ledbetter) - 2:46
7. The Girl From North Alberta (Billy Roberts) - 2:56
8. C.C. Rider (Gertrude "Ma" Rainey) - 2:39
9. Violets Of Dawn (Eric Anderson) - 3:15
10.Again And Again (Steve Lalor) - 2:17
11.Queen Jane Approximately (Bob Dylan) - 2:54
12.Grizzly Bear (Traditional) - 3:10
13.Blackstone Ferry (Danny O'Keefe) - 2:35
14.Barbara Flowers (Steve Lalor) - 1:57
15.If I Were A Carpenter (Tim Hardin) - 2:23
16.Let Me Die In My Footsteps (Bob Dylan) - 2:37
17.Queen Jane Approximately (Bob Dylan) - 2:48
18.Birdses (Dino Valenti) - 2:46
19.Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock) - 13:09

The Daily Flash
*Don MacAllister - Bass, Vocals
*Doug Hastings - Guitar, Vocals
*Jon Keliehor - Drums, Percussion
*Steve Lalor - Guitar, Vocals

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