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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Standells - Live On Tour (1966 us, garage psych outbreaks, 2014 digipak release )

Whether during their Club Au-Go-Go beginnings or decades later as garage rock's still-deadly elder statesmen, the Standells are renowned for a sensational stage sound. Their Jimmy Reed-is-atwister take on "Help Yourself" was earliest evidence; a full-tilt party recorded live at PJ's in Hollywood (and a Liberty Records '64 exclusive).

However, it is the Standells' amazing string of punkish tough-guy anthems on the Tower Records label that are-best remembered. During this commercial apex, Tower should have been burying the competing cash-in of older PJ's tracks (on a Liberty subsidiary, Sunset Records) not with the all-covers, career momentum-killing The Hot Ones! misfire but instead a live LP set of the Standells' longer-haired repertoire. Look no further than the opening credits of AlP's celluloid freak-out Riot on Sunset Strip, featuring an incendiary performance by our heroes, for a lip-sync suggestion of what could've been. 

There's a happy ending to this story, however. It turns out the Standells were in fact recorded at their peak, On Tour— 1966.' "I never even knew it existed," the Standells' late, great lead singer-drummer Dick Dodd told this writer. Rescued from a professionally recorded concert at the University of Michigan ("Homecoming '66," headlined by a certain world-famous West Coast fivesome), the recording captures the Standells in astonishingly clean sound that rivals their legendary studio recordings.

Regardless of the fast-paced nature of this performance (Dodd: "On tours, we would do one set. Depending on how many acts, we were allowed maybe a half hour"), this is an essential document of mid-sixties live rock 'n' roll; a superb example in sound. Speaking in Standells terms, fuzztone 'n' Vox organ are out front where you'd want them, bass is in place, lead and backing voices in balance and—most rare for a mid-sixties concert tape—percussion still part of the plan, with bass drum, cymbals, toms and snare within earshot at all times.

Highlights include a triumvirate of hits delivered in versions that rival the original radio romps. "Why Pick on Me," "Good Guys" and "Dirty Water" showcase Dick Dodd's peerless drumming 'n' vocal arsenal. Dodd's backbeat that drives these best-known numbers is skillful and on par with the studio counterparts. The same can be claimed of his lead vocals, which are basically flawless. Dick explained to me the difference: "When we were in the studio, we would learn a song, put down the track and say That's good.' Then when we went on the road, it got better."

Fan-fave B-sides are also delivered, including the stomping 'Why Did You Hurt Me" and "Mr. Nobody," the latter a killer set-opening spotlight for organistvocalist Larry Tamblyn, also featuring a heaping helping of guitarist Tony Valentino's heralded fuzztone. Just dig the applause for Tony V.

This October 22, 1966 campus concert was no exception, with a set spiked with Standells-branded covers. Early on, they speed through a rapid-fire rendition of the Rascals' "Good Lovin'," lasting just long enough to remind us of the old dance-inducing PJ's version of the band. More contemporaneous perhaps is a cover of the Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon," sung by Tamblyn. In a knowingly selfmocking tone, at its conclusion he even plugs The Hot Ones.' all-covers album.

"Gloria" surfaces for the first time in a full Standells treatment. Dodd plays it cool (dryly humorous, too) while Valentino and Tamblyn steal the show with crowd-pleasing various instrumental sound effects. With the exception of "Dirty Water," the audience only truly erupts with approval during "Gloria," to which Dick Dodd observed with relief many years later, "Finally! This crowd sounds real regimented and polite. They clap and that's about it. Usually on these tours, there were at least a couple of girls screaming now and then. On this, it sounds like there were a lot of adults in the audience!"

Dick Dodd gets to exercise his R&B roots once more with a robust vocal on "Please, Please, Please." The between song banter is instructive. Judging by a southern drawl, bass player (and Floridian of the group) Dave Burke finally takes to the mic explaining a bit of musical chairs. For this number, Dodd steps away from his drum kit (freeing him to give his best James Brown impersonation), subbed briefly by a stickwielding Valentino.

But of all this Top 40 raiding, arguably the best is saved for last with "Midnight Hour," another road-toughened favorite that is performed with authority here. Frankly, a studio version of this should have been included on one of their Tower albums, and I don't just mean The Hot Ones! Dick Dodd was right on the money with his assessment: "I think everybody's really going to enjoy this," he offered proudly. He was being modest. This may just be the finest recorded example of vintage live '66 American garage rock.
by Jeff Jarema

1. Introduction - 0:47
2. Mr. Nobody (Larry Tamblyn) - 2:35
3. Good Lovin' (Rudy Clark, Arthur Resnick) - 2:29
4. Why Did You Hurt Me (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) - 2:29
5. Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies) - 3:55
6. Gloria (Van Morrison) - 5:18
7. Why Pick On Me (Edward C. Cobb) - 3:30
8. Please Please Please (James Brown, Johnny Terry) - 3:06
9. Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett, Steve Cropper) - 4:01
10.Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (Edward C. Cobb) - 3:00
11.Dirty Water (Edward C. Cobb) - 2:58

The Standells
*Dick Dodd - Drums, Guitar
*Larry Tamblyn - Piano, Organ, Guitar, Vocals
*Pave Burke - Bass, 12-string Guitar
*Tony Valentino - Lead Guitar

1966  The Standells - Dirty Water
1966  The Standells - Why Pick On Me
1966-67  The Standells - Try It
1966-67  The Standells - The Hot Ones (rare out of print issue)
1967  Various Artists - Riot On Sunset Strip / Rarities: The Standells (2009 bonus tracks remaster)

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Monday, November 13, 2017

High Mountain - Canyon (1970 us, exciting swamp bluesy brass rock, 2016 koream remaster)

Maybe you've never heard of Jerry Lynn Williams, but if you've been near a radio in the past twenty years, you've almost definitely heard his music. Eric Clapton's "Running on Faith"? Williams wrote it. He also penned Delbert McClinton's signature song, "Givin1 It Up for Your Love," and B. B. King's "Standing on the Edge of Love." Bonnie Raitt's "Real Man" was his too, as was "Wanna Make Love to You," by Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis. And Williams co-wrote Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan's "Tick lock," the song played at Stevie Ray's funeral. After more than two decades of writing tunes for and with some of the best-known musicians around, the 48-yearold has earned the nickname the Song Doctor, the man to call when you're working on an album and all that's missing is a catchy song.

The evidence of Williams' success lines the walls of his in-home studio near Tulsa: There are the gold arid platinum records that his work has appeared on, including Clapton's Unplugged, Behind the Sun, and Crossroads; Raitt's Nick of Time; the Vaughan brothers' Family Style; the soundtrack to the movie Wayne's World; Houstonian Clint Black's The Hard Way; and Robert Plant's Now and Zen. There are also snapshots of Jerry hanging out with some of the musical pals he has made over the years, including luminaries like Keith Richards and Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, ex-Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison, B. B. King, and fellow Texan Roy Orbison (who, he says, "used to come to my place in Malibu to smoke cigarettes and write songs"). And this summer he flew to Toronto to help guitarist Jeff Healey finish an album.

In 1964 Williams and his band, the Epics, got local airplay with their first single, a Beatlesnfluenced original called "Tell Me What You See," on Fort Worth's Brownfield label. Soon after, the fifteen-year-old stumbled into a lifetime's worth of musical education when his band got to open for R&B stylist Ray Sharpe - famous for his song "Linda Lu" - at one of the great Texas roadhouses of all time, the Skyliner Ballroom on the Jacksboro Highway. 

Weeks after landing that gig, he got another break when the owner, Jimmy Levens, asked him to help book bands at the club, and he started tracking down artists like Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner, and Bobby "Blue" Bland. He also got to hang out with the entertainers he brought in; Reed, for instance, taught him rhythm-guitar chords. And a few months later, Williams got his biggest break yet: He booked R&B great Little Richard, who, after hearing Williams sing and play, hired him as the rhythm guitarist in his touring band. On the road Williams learned to play lead guitar from Little Richard's other axman, a young musician who went by the name Jimmy James and
later achieved fame as Jimi Hendrix.

His tenure with Little Richard lasted nine months, and shortly after, he returned to Fort Worth, where he made it through a semester at Arlington Heights High School before snagging regular gigs at the Bayou Club and the Silver Helmet Club in Dallas, which was owned by several Dallas Cowboys players. "I was doing Otis Redding stuff three nights a week," he remembered, "and within two weeks I had so many people in there that the fire marshal started showing up." Then, in the late sixties, Williams discovered orange sunshine, tie-dye shirts, and the hippie lifestyle, so he formed a threepiece psychedelic blues outfit called High Mountain and went to L.A. to score a record deal with the ATCO label. It became another learning experience. 

High Mountain landed a record deal with Columbia Records, releasing their debut album, Canyon, in 1970. Legal problems with the name High Mountain led to the album being reissued with the artist designation as the Jerry Williams Group and the LP retitled Down Home Boy. The album failed to do business under either name, and after High Mountain broke up, Williams landed a deal with the CBS-distributed Spindizzy Records.
CD Liner notes

1. Down Home Boy - 3:11
2. Illusion - 2:53
3. May The Circle Be Unbroken - 3:26
4. More To You - 3:20
5. Sailboat - 4:08
6. Don't Ever Leave Me Again - 3:16
7. I've Got A Lot Of Time (Jerry McDonald, Mike Rabon) - 2:33
8. I'll Get Back To You - 2:56
9. Cid - 3:16
10.Rachmaninoff Piano - 1:29
All songs by Jerry Lynn Williams except track #7

*Jerry Williams - Vocals, Guitar

1972  Jerry Williams - Jerry Williams (2010 korean remaster) 

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Glencoe - The Spirit Of Glencoe (1973 uk, fascinating soft prog rock, 2015 reissue)

Glencoe was one of those bands people tend to overlook, which is a pity since they have a surplus of significant music to offer, and while there are many exponents of hard and soft rock, or just plain light funky music, how many bands claim their music is 'randy rock'? Just imagine, if you haven't witnessed a Glencoe concert, what erotic delights you've been missing out on.

The second and final album from this British prog band originally appeared in August 1973. Glencoe should have been a great success, gigging extensively their live act was superb, quite heavy and very loud! (I saw them myself!) An effective mixing of speed, power and melody that sits very comfortably together. Graham Maitland's piano work sets a driving air to their music that is truly enjoyable. With the added rhythm of Norman Watt-Roy on bass and Stewart Francis on drums, the group's sound is filled to capacity. They disbanded in February 1974 and in March 1974 a third Glencoe LP was made with a different line up and name as “Loving Awareness”.

1. Friends Of Mine - 3:40
2. Roll On Bliss (John Turnbull) - 3:23
3. Strnge Circumstance - 3:32
4. Nothing - Is Between Us - 3:39
5. Is It You? - 4:10
6. Born In The City - 5:24
7. Arctic Madness - 1:11
8. To Divine Mother (John Turnbull) - 3:26
9. Song No.22 - Om - 4:05
10.Two On An Island (In Search Of A New World) - 4:35
All songs by Graham Maitland except where noted

The Glencoe
*Stuart Francis - Drums, Vocals
*Graham Maitland - Keyboards, Vocals
*John Turnbull - Guitar, Vocals
*Norman Watt-Roy - Bass, Vocals
*Gerald Johnson - Bass
*Ben Sidran - Piano
*Kofi Aiyuo - Percussion

1972  Glencoe - Glencoe (2013 korean remaster)
Related Acts
1965-69  Les Fleur De Lys - Reflections
1966-69  Skip Bifferty - The Story of Skip Bifferty (double disc edition) 
1970  Forever More ‎- Yours / Words On Black Plastic (2007 remaster)
1970  The Greatest Show On Earth - Horizons (2012 remaster) 
1970  The Greatest Show On Earth - The Going's Easy (2012 remaster)
1970  Five Day Rain - Five Day Rain (2006 remaster bonus track issue) 
1971  Bell And Arc - Bell + Arc 

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Graham Nash David Crosby - Graham Nash David Crosby (1972 us / uk, amazing blend of country folk blues and classic rock, 2008 remaster)

This self-titled release is one of -- if not arguably the -- most impressive side project to arise from CSN. Taken beyond face value, Graham Nash/David Crosby is a direct reflection, if not an extension, of the musical and personal relationship between its co-creators. Likewise, the results remain true, enhancing rather than detracting from the very individualistic styles of Crosby and Nash. The best elements of each are readily available here, punctuated at every turn by their complicated vocal arrangements and air-lock harmonies. 

In the wake of the enormous successes garnered by the albums Crosby Stills & Nash, Déjà Vu, and Four Way Street, the principal members were essentially given carte blanche studio access to pursue solo projects as well. This release is the first in what would turn out to be a series of collaborative efforts between Crosby and Nash. Musically it continues in much the same vein as their respective debut solo releases, If I Could Only Remember My Name and Songs for Beginners. Nash's contributions include "Girl to Be on My Mind," "Stranger's Room," and "Southbound Train" -- a twangy piece of Americana featuring a high and lonesome steel guitar solo from Jerry Garcia that likewise hearkens to the Grateful Dead's American Beauty, Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection, or the Band's Music From Big Pink. These tracks co-exist in stark contrast to Crosby's more cerebral and incisive contributions, such as "Whole Cloth," "Games," and "The Wall Song." The latter features some outstanding instrumental support from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (guitar), Phil Lesh (bass), and Billy Kreutzman (drums).

The core band revolves around another set of all-stars: Russell Kunkel (drums), Leland Skylar (bass), Craig Doerge (keyboards), and Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar (guitar). This same band would more or less continue to back up Crosby and Nash's duo efforts throughout the remainder of the '70s. Graham Nash/David Crosby offers much of the same unique songwriting and personal style which informed their better contributions not only to the CSN-related efforts, but as far back as their offerings with the Hollies and the Byrds. Interested enthusiasts are also urged to locate Another Stoney Evening -- a live acoustic release from October 10, 1971 -- which includes seminal live versions of "Southbound Train," "Where Will I Be," "Immigration Man," and "Stranger's Room." 
by Lindsay Planer

1. Southbound Train (Graham Nash) - 3:55
2. Whole Cloth (David Crosby) - 4:35
3. Blacknotes (Graham Nash) - 0:57
4. Strangers Room (Graham Nash) - 2:27
5. Where Will I Be? (David Crosby) - 3:22
6. Page 43 (David Crosby) - 2:55
7. Frozen Smiles (Graham Nash) - 2:19
8. Games (David Crosby) - 4:01
9. Girl to Be on My Mind (Graham Nash) - 3:27
10.The Wall Song (David Crosby) - 4:26
11.Immigration Man (Graham Nash) - 2:59

*David Crosby - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Guitars
*Graham Nash - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harmonica, Guitar
*Danny Kortchmar - Electric Guitar
*Jerry Garcia - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Dave Mason - Electric Guitar
*Craig Doerge - Electric Piano
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Phil Lesh - Bass
*Greg Reeves - Bass
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Johnny Barbata - Drums
*Bill Kreutzmann - Drums
*George Price - French Horns
*Dana Africa - Flute
*Arthur Maebe - French Horns
*David Duke - French Horns

1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 double disc edition) 
1973  Byrds (Reunion Album, 2004 issue) 
1971  Graham Nash - Songs For Beginners (2008 digipak remaster) 
1973  Graham Nash - Wild Tales
1974  Crosby Stills Nash And Young - Live (2013 four discs box set)

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Youngbloods - Ride The Wind (1971 us, marvellous jazzy psych rock with country traces, 2003 remaster)

This live disc followed up Rock Festival (1970), another batch of live recordings. However, Ride the Wind (1971) is far from simply a stop-gap effort between studio discs. The trio of Jesse Colin Young (bass/kazoo/rhythm guitar), Banana (guitar/piano), and Joe Bauer (drums) are definitely in their element on these half-dozen sides. In much the same way as their Marin County contemporaries, the Grateful Dead, the Youngbloods' live experience allowed the band to stretch out and take their improvisational interplay to a level that is merely hinted at on their studio sides. The disc begins with a nearly ten-minute version of the title track, which was initially issued on Elephant Mountain (1970). 

Banana really shines, as his laid-back electric piano runs are ably complemented by some interesting contributions from both Young and Bauer. The centerpiece is the extended instrumental interplay that ebbs and flows as the groove builds incrementally. The happy-go-lucky "Sugar Babe" sticks closely to the up-tempo ragtime version featured on Earth Music (1967). The band returns to Elephant Mountain for an easygoing and pastoral rendering of "Sunlight" that again allows for some well-tempered improvisation. 

The cover of Fred Neil's "The Dolphin" is another not-to-be-missed epic, as the Youngbloods never issued a studio version and once again a strong jazz influence dictates the performance's overall vibe. "Get Together" was the band's best-known side and still holds up in what is a spirited reading with just enough alteration to make it a worthwhile inclusion. Ride the Wind concludes with a final track from Elephant Mountain, as the optimistic "Beautiful" is given a lengthy and funky workout. When paired with the harder-edged Rock Festival, this live volume gives listeners another aural vantage point from which to rediscover the Youngbloods' unique country-rock leanings. 
by Lindsay Planer

1. Ride The Wind - 9:26
2. Sugar Babe - 2:58
3. Sunlight - 6:25
4. The Dolphin (Fred Neil) - 7:52
5. Get Together (Chester Powers) - 4:23
6. Beautiful - 7:00
All songs by Jesse Colin Young except where noted

The Youngbloods
*Banana - Guitar, Piano
*Joe Bauer - Drums
*Jesse Colin Young - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals

1967/69  The Youngbloods / Earth Music / Elephant Mountain (2014 Japan Blu Spec Edition)
1969  Elephant Mountain (Sundazed expanded and  2014 Japan Blu Spec Edition)
1970  The Youngbloods - Rock Festival
1971  Beautiful! Live In San Francisco (Sundazed edition)
1972  High On A Ridge Top (Sundazed remaster)

Jesse Colin Young releases
1972  Together
1973  Song For Juli (2009 remaster)
1974  Light Shine
1976  On The Road (Japan remaster)

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Mark Farner And Don Brewer - Monumental Funk (1974 us, amazing funky soul psych beat, 2017 digipak edition)

"Monumental Funk" put out by the people at the original label who released music by Terry Knight & the Pack, a company called Lucky Eleven; This is an amazing record that Don Brewer and Mark Farner have every right to be very proud of. While Grand Funk Railroad's manager, Terry Knight, may have been a fine producer and a marketing genius, his own efforts at songwriting and singing were the worst aspects of the Pack. Here Farner and Brewer absolutely shine, their version of "Harlem Shuffle" more fun than the hit version by the Rolling Stones. 

When Don Brewer formed Flint and released a disc on Columbia in 1978, he covered the Supremes' "Back in My Arms Again." Here Mark Farner trumps him with "Come See About Me," a great non-Motown version by these Michigan boys. Farner's original, "We Gotta Have Love," is worthwhile, as is the tremendous rendition of "Hey Everybody." Yes, this record was released to cash in on the fame of Grand Funk Railroad, and there is even a picture disc version of it. The release of this music made the boys in the band angry, but there is a silver lining. Monumental Funk shows that Grand Funk Railroad was no fluke and that Mark Farner was a major talent before Capitol Records signed him and brought him to the attention of millions of fans. 
by Joe Viglione

1. We Gotta Have Love (Mark Farner) - 5:10
2. Hey Everybody (J. Tuttle) - 3:37
3. I've Got News For You (Dick Wagner) - 4:43
4. Come See About Me (Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland) - 4:17
5. Harlem Shuffle (Bob Relf, Earl Nelson) - 5:19
6. Love Light (Joseph Scott) - 7:04

*Mark Farner – Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
*Don Brewer – Drums, Vocals

1966-67  Terry Knight And The Pack - Terry Knight And The Pack / Reflections (2010 issue)
1969  Grand Funk Railroad - On Time (2002 remaster and expanded)
1969  Grand Funk Railroad - Grand Funk (2002 bonus tracks remaster)
1970  Grand Funk - Closer To Home (japan remaster with bonus tracks)
1970  Grand Funk Railroad - Live (japan remaster)
1974  Grand Funk - Shinin' On (Japan extra track issue and 2014 SHM remaster)

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Brother Fox And The Tar Baby - Brother Fox And The Tar Baby (1969 us, 2009

Boston's Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits and The Front Page Review guitarist Richie Bartlett, Pugsley Munion bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High. and keyboardist Joe Santangelo.  One of the era's isolated multi-racial bands, the group were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch produced "Brother Fox and the Tar Baby".  Christiansen was credited with penning all eleven tracks, the result being an odd hodge-podge of musical styles. 

Quite diverse, the set included stabs at conventional hard rock ('We All Love Him'), ballads ('I Start To Cry') and the plain bizarre ('Maxie the Meanie').  The first couple of times I listened to the album I'll readily admit to being a little under whelmed, but repeated spins saw me start to warm up to the collection. To my ears the highlights included 'Metal Soldier', 'Three Tots and a Man and their most psych-oriented track 'Mr. Sleepy'. (The album was original released in a gatefold sleeve.)

1. Electric Chair - 4:19
2. Old Ladies - 2:56
3. Steel Dog Man - 3:47
4. Maxie The Meanie - 3:03
5. We All Love Him - 2:30
6. To Your Dreams - 3:34
7. Three Tots And A Man - 4:03
8. I Start To Cry - 3:12
9. Metal Soldiers - 4:42
10.Mr. Sleepy - 4:48
11.Crazy John - 3:54
All songs by Dave Christiansen

Brother Fox And The Tar Baby
*Richie Bartlett - Guitar
*Tom Belliveau - Bass
*Dave Christiansen - Guitar
*Bill Garr - Drums, Percussion
*Steve High - Vocals, Percussion
*Joe Santangelo - Keyboards

Related Acts
1968  Front Page Review - Mystic Soldiers
1970  Pugsley Munion - Just Like You

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hookfoot - Headlines (1975 uk, astonishing guitar rock with southern tastes prog shades and funky vibes, 2016 two discs set)

Hookfoot were,  very much a band of "musician's musicians". All of them were in great demand as session players, both individually and collectively. As well as backing Elton John on many of his early albums they also perform en masse on Mick Grabham's 'Mick The Lad' solo LP (possibly it was this which led to the misinformation that Grabham was himself a Hookfoot member) and on Steve Swindell's solo LP from 1974 (the astute amongst you may recognise Swindell's name as a former Hawkwind member). The band also backed Harry Pitch and Zack Laurence on the chart-topping one-hit wonder 'Groovin' With Mr Bloe'; and although his voice is perhaps an acquired taste, Long John Baldry's 'It Ain't Easy' LP from 1971 also featured bassist Dave Glover, drummer Roger Pope and guitarist Caleb Quaye throughout, some of the songs sounding distinctly Hoofoot-esque.

Great songwriters, great musicians, with their tastes strayed too far towards bluesy country funk for the heads to ever fully embrace them. A bit like Steve Stills, in some ways: you kinda dug the way he did it, but not always what he actually did. Thing is though, Caleb Quaye was undeniably one of THE finest guitar players the UK has ever produced - not for nothing did Eric Clapton surprise David Letterman a lttle while ago by informing him "I'm not the world's best guitar player. Caleb Quaye is." - and I can't help wondering, if Hookfoot had played hard rock and psychedelia, whether their albums might not today be held in the same kind of reverential, big-dollar high esteem by collectors as, say, Little Free Rock, Ashkan, Aunt Mary, Blonde on Blonde and especially I suppose Black Cat Bones (who likewise featured a stellar guitar player in the shape of a young Paul Kossoff). I still challenge any fan of the above not to go into a toe-curling trance of guitar-fuelled ecstasy on hearing Hookfoot blister through 'Nature Changes' on the 'Live in Memphis' album though, or to goggle in awe at the pyrotechnics on display on all twelve minutes of 'Shoe Shine Boy', one of the otherwise unreleased songs on the 'Headlines' compilation album.

Headlines', the double LP compilation put out by DJM 1975,a year or so after Hookfoot's demise. Interestingly, it includes 4 non-album cuts, but no live material and none of the band's singles!
by Phil McMullen, April 2010

Disc 1
1. Don't Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young) - 3:07
2. Movies (Ian Duck) - 4:53
3. S.B.W. (Ian Duck, Caleb Quaye) - 2:36
4. Shoe Shine Boy (Caleb Quaye) - 12:05
5. Nature Changes (Caleb Quaye, Ian Duck) - 5:25
6. Bluebird Revisited (Stephen Stills) - 4:03
7. Coombe Gallows (Caleb Quaye) - 3:09
8. Gimme Shelter (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 4:19
9. Fire And Rain (Caleb Quaye) - 3:38

Disc 2
1. Sweet Sweet Funky Music (Caleb Quaye) - 3:18
2. Living in the City (Caleb Quaye) - 4:57
3. If I Had the Words (Ian Duck, Roger Pope, Caleb Quaye, David Glover) - 3:31
4. Good Times a Comin' (Ian Duck, Fred Gandy, Roger Pope, Caleb Quaye) - 6:18
5. Cruisin' (Ian Duck, Fred Gandy, Roger Pope, Caleb Quaye) - 5:32
6. Just a Little Communication (Caleb Quaye) - 5:38
7. Nothin' Changes (Caleb Quaye) - 4:44
8. Tradin' Riffs (Caleb Quaye) - 4:45
9. Rockin' on the Good (Ian Duck) - 5:09
10.So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:18

The Hookfoot
*Caleb Quaye - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Pianos, Organ, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals
*Ian Duck - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Harp, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals
*Roger Pope - Drums, Percussions, Tambourine, Cow-Bell
*Dave Glover - Bass (1969-72)
*Fred Gandy – Bass (1973)
*Dicky Birds – Whistling
*Bob Kulick – Guitar, Vocals

1969  Hookfoot - A Piece Of Pye (2010 japan Remaster)
1971  Hookfoot - Hookfoot (2010 japan remaster)  
1972  Hookfoot - Good Times A'comin (japan 2010 bonus track remaster)
1972  Hookfoot - Communication (2005 reissue)
1973  Hookfoot - Roaring (2005 expanded edition)

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Colin Scot - Just Another Clown (1973 uk, gorgeous progressive folk rock, 2017 korean remaster)

There was a time when the demarcation lines between folk and rock were well drawn though one or two brave souls would occasionally pop their heads above the parapet.

Colin Scot was one of them and his tactic of covering Buddy Holly songs in his live set might have caused frowns from the folkie purists but probably stood him in good stead when it came to supporting rock bands such as Van der Graaf Generator or King Crimson in the bigger venues in the early 70s. The graveyard support slot was always a tough spot, and Scot was better at it than many of his more famous contemporaries.

Scot died in 1999 having only released three albums none of which attracted much in the way of sales or critical acclaim. Though long forgotten now, Scot was well plugged into the rock circuit rather than the folk scene, having the kind of juice that attracted various members of Genesis, Lindisfarne, Van der Graaf Generator, Yes, Rare Bird, and Robert Fripp from King Crimson to populate his 1971 debut.

That he could count on such distinguished company was due in no small measure to producer John Anthony - the behind the desk for albums such as progressive rock classics such as Nursery Cryme and Pawn Hearts.

"Just Another Clown" was recorded and released in 1973, two years after his debut, accompaniment with a much different and not so famous (like in his first recording) cast of musicians. His voice is amazing and remises the incredible set of progressive jazzy folk rock, some psychedelic touches with excellent guitar outbursts, emerge an unbelievable magic, melancholic in a way, like a tearful clown of a circus..

Alcohol dependency and a lack of original material meant Scot quickly became a marginal figure a fact underlined by his decision to quit the UK to make a living in Europe where he resided until his untimely death. Colin Scot does deserve a warm welcome, after all, he was a dreamer.

1. I'm A Dreamer - 4:42
2. Then You Won't Be Blue - 2:39
3. Sunday Morning - 3:53
4. It's Over Now - 3:28
5. Baby I Got News For You - 4:19
6. Bluebird - 1:58
7. Lament - 6:51
8. Edward And Charley And Me - 3:10
9. You're Singing My Song - 3:03
10.A Simple Song - 4:41
Words and Music by Colin Scot

*Colin Scot – Twelve String Guitar, Trombone, Whistle, Banjo, Vocals
*Micky Binelli - Accordion
*Nic Potter - Bass
*Peter Poole - Bass
*Terry Weil - Cello
*Fred Kelly - Drums
*Ray Glynn - Electric Guitar
*Mox Gowland - Flute, Harmonica
*John Pearse - Guitar
*Dave Kaffinetti - Keyboards
*Ray Cooper - Percussion
*David Hentschel - Synthesizer
*Madhukar D. Kothare - Tabla

1971  Colin Scot - Colin Scot (2006 remaster, korean Limited Edition) 

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