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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)