lunedì 17 ottobre 2016

Bakerloo - Bakerloo (2000 Repertoire Records Digipack) 1969

Biography : Bakerloo were originally formed as the Bakerloo Blues Line in 1967, at the outset of the blues boom spearheaded by Cream. A power trio similar to the latter outfit, they also incorporated some of the artier elements of pop music from that period -- Dave "Clem" Clempson played solid, bluesy lead guitar, but he also doubled on harpsichord and piano as well as providing the mouth harp, while Terry Poole played bass and Keith Baker played drums. They made all the right moves as a performing outfit, courtesy of their manager, Jim Simpson (who also handled Black Sabbath, known as Earth at the time) -- he organized a U.K. tour, dubbed "Big Bear Ffolly" (which later became the title of a Bakerloo song) which had Bakerloo, Earth, Locomotive, and Tea and Symphony playing throughout the country. Bakerloo was also one of the support acts on October 18, 1968, the night Led Zeppelin made their debut at London's Marquee Club. Bakerloo were among the early signings to EMI's Harvest label, where they made their debut in the middle of 1969 with the single "Driving Backwards" b/w"Once Upon a Time" in July. They followed it up that fall with their self-titled album, which gave their jazz-inflected electric blues, reminiscent in some ways of Blodwyn Pig's work, a full workout. Cut under the guidance of producer Gus Dudgeon and released in November of that year, the album was one of the harder rocking releases in the early Harvest schedule. Bakerloo were one of the more sophisticated blues-oriented power trios, and that might've been their undoing in finding an audience. Given time, they might've been another Ten Years After, but there was barely any time to find their potential, for the band broke up in late 1969 when Clem Clempson quit to join Colosseum, which proved to be a stopping point on his way into the lineup of Humble Pie as Peter Frampton's successor, and later worked with Roger Daltrey, Tom Waits, and the Records, among other major acts. Terry Poole passed through Graham Bond's band in the early to mid-'70s, and Keith Baker later became a member of Uriah Heep. Poole and Baker later reteamed, while Clempson has been a very busy session player for decades. Biography by Bruce Eder

Review : One of the first acts signed to the fledgling Harvest label in 1969, Bakerloo were very much a product of their time, a hard-hitting progressive blues band whose predilections ranged from a straightforward assimilation of Willie Dixon to some positively dazzling flashes of instrumental prowess. Guitarist Dave Clempson's "Big Bear Folly," the opening cut on the band's first and only album, is a dazzling Ten Years After-style showcase, while a jazzy variation on a theme of Bach, the aptly titled "Driving Bachwards," proves that the band wasn't averse to messing with the classics, either. The quartet's virtuosity occasionally overwhelms the songs themselves, although there is no shortage of gripping atmosphere. Bassist Terry Poole unleashes an almost sepulchral vocal across the stygian "Last Blues," a seven-minute marathon that swiftly develops into a full-fledged heavy rocker, punctuated by mood shifts that amount to separate movements -- it's a magnificent piece, rendered with both musical precision and some of producer Gus Dudgeon's most inspired washes and effects. Impressive, too, is "Son of Moonshine," a distorted metal effort that clocks in at double that length and combines Clempson's intensive guitar soloing with a desperately driving blues rhythm. Period comparisons with Cream and early Led Zeppelin really weren't that far off the mark. Bakerloo were not long for this earth -- Clempson quit to join Colosseum shortly after the album's release; Poole reappeared alongside Graham Bond; drummer Keith Baker departed for Uriah Heep; and Bakerloo itself disappeared off the shelves fairly quickly. Review by Dave Thompson

01.Big Bear Ffolly 3:55
02.Bring It On Home 4:16
03.Drivin' Bachwards 2:06
04.Last Blues 7:04
05.Gang Bang 6:15
06.This Worried Feeling 7:03
07.Son Of Moonshine 14:52
Bonus tracks
08.Once Upon A Time 3:37
09.This Worried Feeling (Alternative Take) 5:45

Dave 'Clem' Clempson - Guitar, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Piano, Vocals
Terry Poole - Bass, Vocals
Keith Baker - Drums
Jerry Salisbury - Trumpet

sabato 1 ottobre 2016

Petra - Petra (Epic Music/Word Records) 1974

Biography : Opening with a blues-inflected "Get Back to the Bible," the original eponymous Petra album hearkens more to Southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd than to the arena-type groups that they became more associated with, both in vocal style and in musical texture. Who knew that guitarist Bob Hartman could sing? Though the Southern rock theme is predominant here, the style is not very unified on this record, and it is obvious that the group was under pressure to keep things more subdued and "sensible" to be in line with the teachings of the major theologians of the day. Guitarist/vocalist Greg Hough lends his voice and songwriting skills to "Wake Up," which is reminiscent of the James Gang. One very silly novelty tune, "Lucas McGraw," takes on a hillbilly persona featuring Hartman on banjo and Hough on mandolin. Standout track "Back Sliding Blues" is easy to not take seriously in the context of "Lucas McGraw," but is a strong tune in and of itself and was a concert favorite back in the day. Certainly not on par with the bands they are trying to emulate, this first record can stand well on its own and offers an interesting anthropological perspective for a group that has attracted fans along the whole spectrum of musical taste. Review by Mark Allender

01.Wake Up 3:40
02.Get Back To The Bible 2:22
03.Gonna Fly Away 4:55
04.Storm Comin' 4:30
05.Parting Thought 1:31
06.Walkin' In The Light 3:16
07.Mountains And Valleys 2:48
08.Lucas Mcgraw 3:23
09.Backslidin' Blues 4:30
10.I'm Not Ashamed 3:02

Bob Hartman - Guitar, banjo, vocals
Greg Hough - Guitar, mandolin, vocals
John DeGroff - Bass
Bill Glover - Drums, percussion

giovedì 22 settembre 2016

Master's Apprentices - Now That It's Over 1974

Biography : One could easily make the case for designating the Masters Apprentices as the best Australian rock band of the '60s. Featuring singer Jim Keays and songwriter/rhythm guitarist Mick Bower, the band's earliest recordings combined the gritty R&B/rock of Brits like the Pretty Things with the minor-key melodies of the Yardbirds. The compelling "Wars or Hands of Time" and the dreamy psychedelia of "Living in a Child's Dream" were undiscovered classics, although the latter was a Top Ten hit in Australia. Bower left the group after suffering a nervous breakdown in late 1967, and the Masters grew steadily less interesting, moving from flower pop and hard rock to progressive and acoustic sounds. Plagued by instability (undergoing eight personnel changes between 1966 and 1968), the group moved to England in the early '70s, achieving some cult success with progressive rock albums before breaking up in 1972. Review by Richie Unterberger

01.Turn Up Your Radio 3:35
02.Because I Love You 4:33
03.Easy To Lie 4:31
04.I'm Your Satisfier 3:19
05.Death Of A King 3:14
06.5.10 Man 2:35
07.Love Is 4:15
08.Rio de Camero 3:19
09.Michael 3:52
10.Future Of Our Nation 4:28
11.Southern Cross 4:57
12.How I Love You 3:10
13.Think About Tomorrow Today 3:24
14.Thyme To Rhyme 2:46

Mick Bower - guitar (1965-1967)
Jim Keays - vocals, harmonica, guitar (1965-1972)
Rick Morrison - guitar (1965-1967)
Brian Vaughton - drums (1965-1967)
Gavin Webb - bass (1965-1968)
Steve Hopgood - drums (1967-1968)
Tony Sommers - guitar (1967-1968)
Rick Harrison - guitar (1967)
Peter Tilbrook - guitar, bass (1967-1968)
Colin Burgess - drums (1968-1972)
Doug Ford - guitar (1968-1972)
Glenn Wheatley - guitar, bass (1968-1972)
Denny Burgess - bass (1972)

Master's Apprentices - Future Of Our Nation 1970

domenica 28 agosto 2016

Poe - Up Through The Spiral (2006 Mason Records) 1971

Biography : This is a pretty good late period hard rock psych concept LP that few people know about. Poe originally were the Playboys of Edinburg, a McAllen Texas band who began releasing singles in 1965. The Playboys of Edinburg released 7 or 8 singles in various pop rock styles (garage, beat, folk-rock and hard rock) throughout the 1960’s and eventually relocated to Houston. 
For this 1970/71 UNI release the Playboys of Edinburg changed their name to Poe and created this concept lp. Many of the songs were written and arranged by band members McCord and Williams. The album chronicles the life and thoughts of Edgar Cayce, a man who could put himself into some kind of self-induced sleep state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. This state of relaxation and meditation enabled him to place his mind in contact with all time and space. No song better illustrates this theme than the great Up Up Thru The Spiral. This track opens with classic paisley guitar riffs and one of the all time great opening psych lines which refers to Cayce’s incredible ability. Up Up Thru The Spiral is also notable for a horn arrangement, distorted vocals and what sounds like tape loop experimentations. This is flat out a great psych pop track with an English sound similar to that of the Move. Other tracks like the futuristic psych of Automatic Writing, Tune In, the furious Sons of Belial, and Fallin’ Off are pretty vicious and rock hard. Fallin’ Off is more than a nod to English rock group Free, with it’s great, heavy guitar riffs, gritty vocals and sound fx explosion mid way thru the track. This song sounds like a lost classic rock radio hit and had considerable pop appeal, it’s definitely a good one! The lead off track, There Is A River reveals a strong gospel influence and has George Harrison style guitar playing and Beatlesque harmonies. Another reflective number, Debt To Pay is a really good acoustic song with sweet, sugary harmonies and a personal favorite. 
This is a solid set from an unknown band who can balance soft reflective tunes with druggy, stoned hard rockers. Vinyl orginals are somewhat cheap although the album saw a cd reissue in 2006 off the Mr. Nobody record label.

01.There Is A River 3:26
02.You Prayers Have Been Answered Little Boy 0:35
03.What Do You Want To Do 0:40
04.I Want To Heal The Sick 0:44
05.You've Got To Try 2:11
06.A Dept To Pay 3:16
07.Up Up Through The Spiral 4:00
08.Tune In 3:28
09.Sons Of Belial 3:31
10.A New Day Is Dawning 0:58
11.The Garden 1:29
12.Automatic Writing 3:08
13.Fallin' Off 3:13
14.Sweet Morning 4:48

Val Curl - keybords, bass, guitar
Don Faires - drums
Jerry McCord - Lead guitar, piano, bass
James Williams - guitar
Michael Williams - percussion, vocals

martedì 23 agosto 2016

The End - Introspection (2005 Decca Music Group) 1969

Biography : Although never achieving the success they deserved, the End are best remembered for their Bill Wyman-produced psychedelic-pop that was a masterful mixture of swirling, dream-like numbers, and flowery, but never twee, pop. Their Introspection album is now viewed as one of the finest examples of British psychedelia. Dave Brown and Colin Giffin formed the End in 1965 following the demise of beat group the Innocents. Nicky Graham and John Horton were drafted in from Dickie Pride's backing group, the Original Topics, and the line-up was completed with former Tuxedos drummer Roger Groom. After recording at the now legendary R.G. Jones' Morden studio, successful friend Bill Wyman arranged a tour with the Rolling Stones. They also appeared with Spencer Davis on ITV television's Thank Your Lucky Stars playing "Hallelujah I Love Her So." At this time their music was very much in the club-soul/blue-eyed soul style that was sweeping England by storm. Following the tour, Roger Groom quit to be replaced by Hugh Atwooll, a former school friend of Nicky Graham. John Horton also quit, but the split was amicable as he continued to help out on their second single, "Shades of Orange." Cut by Bill Wyman, with the addition of Charlie Watts on tabla, the song was recorded during the sessions for the Rolling Stones' psychedelic foray, Their Satanic Majesties Request. "Shades of Orange" epitomizes British Psychedelia and is one of the genre's most sought after items. Following the single's release, Gordon Smith also left and was replaced by former Mode guitarist Terry Taylor. The band then decamped to Spain, where several singles were released domestically, including "Why," a Top Five hit in April 1967. By Christmas 1968, both Colin Giffin and Hugh Attwooll had left after recording the Introspection album, and although a new drummer, Paul Francis, was enlisted, the writing was on the wall. With the arrival of another Mode refugee, Jim Henderson, the End metamorphosed into the more progressive-sounding Tucky Buzzard. Introspection was delayed for over a year due to a fallout from the Rolling Stones' bust-up with Allen Klein and was musically the type of psychedelia that had gone out of fashion by the time of its December 1969 release. The band had changed name and style, leaving this glorious album to sink without a trace. Review by Jon "Mojo" Mills

01.Dreamworld 4:16
02.Under The Rainbow 3:47
03.Shades Of Orange 2:39
04.Bromley Common 0:49
05.Cardboard Watch 2:54
06.Introspection (Pt. 1) 4:05
07.What Does It Feel Like 2:49
08.Linen Draper 0:13
09.Don’t Take Me 3:24
10.Loving, Sacred Loving 2:59
11.She Said Yeah 2:50
12.Jacob’s Bladder 0:55
13.Introspection (Pt. 2) 2:46
14.Shades Of Orange (Mono Single Version) 2:41
15.Loving, Sacred Loving (Mono Single Version) 3:02

Dave Brown - bass, vocals
Colin Griffin - guitar, lead vocals
Nick Graham - keyboards, vocals
John Horton - saxophone
Roger Groom - drums

martedì 16 agosto 2016

The Exception - The Eagle Flies On Friday (2014 RPM Records) 1967 - 1969

Biography : Hailing from Birmingham, The Exception, who began life as The Exceptions, were a pop trio formed in 1967, who released a total of seven singles and one LP in their two and a half year lifespan.  The band was unique in that it was led by drummer and lead vocalist, Alan “Bugsy” Eastwood, who also penned most of the band’s songs, and employed vibes as an essential part of their sound.  Eastwood was joined by guitarist Roger Hill and bassist Dave Pegg.  RPM Records, UK, gives The Exception the royal treatment on this compilation which not only contains the band’s complete recorded output, but five previously unreleased tracks, thus totaling 26 tracks with a run time of more than 70 minutes.
The set opens with the title track, issued in March, 1967 on the CBS label, under their original moniker, The Exceptions.  Featuring vibraphone and a blazing guitar solo by Roger Hill, this may well be the high water mark for the band’s releases.  The tune’s title referred to the eagle’s head on US currency and Friday being payday for most workers, so the “eagles fly on Friday.”  Unfortunately, the meaning was lost on most UK record buyers and in turn the single failed to sell.  CBS released a second single, but it suffered a similar fate and the remainder of the group’s singles and its long LP were released on the President label.  At this point the trio’s original bassist, Dave Pegg, left the band, eventually joining Fairport Convention and then Jethro Tull.  Pegg was replaced first by John Rowland and later Malcolm Garner.
On stage The Exception were a blues based band, and their fifth single, “Tailor Made Babe” reflects this with its barrelhouse blues piano leading the way.  The b-side “Turn Over The Soil” features stinging guitar bursts courtesy of Roger Hill, and is definitely one of the highlights of this retrospective, seting the tone for the bands’ later recordings such as “Jack Rabbit” which features psychedelic guitar work by Hill.
The band was given artistic control on their first and only LP, and the resulting album “The Exceptional Exception” released in February, 1969, certainly deserved a better fate than it experienced.  Highlights include the psychedelic “Don’t Torture Your Mind” written by Hill, as well as inspired Eastwood tracks such as “Mrs. Cocaine” and “Woman Of The Green Lantern.”  Unfortunately, Eastwood became restless and left the band, effectively marking the end of The Exception although Hill and Garner did carry on with a new drummer and Hill taking over on lead vocals, by May, 1969, The Exception were no more.
Thanks to project manager John Reed and sound engineer Simon Murphy, “The Eagle Flies On Friday” is a wonderful package for fans of mid to late 1960s pop music.  The group’s tasteful use of vibes and wonderful tinges of psychedelic guitars as well as Eastwood’s unique lyrics set it apart from its contemporaries and definitely makes this collection worth exploring.  The accompanying 16 page color booklet featuring complete track annotations and informative notes by Reed are icing on the cake for this release.  As always, the folks at RPM Records live up to their motto, “By Collectors For Collectors.” 2015 Review by Kevin Rathert


01.The Eagle Flies On Friday
02.Girl Trouble
03.Gaberdine Saturday Night Street Walker
04.Sunday Night At The Prince Rupert
05.Rub It Down
06.It's Snowing In The Desert
08.Back Room
09.Tailor Made Babe
10.Turn Over The Soil
11.Jack Rabbit
12.Keep The Motor Running
14.Don't Torture Your Mind
15.Hong Kong Blues
16.Rock Bottom Cinder
17.Woman Of The Green Lantern
18.Karen Train Blues
19.Too Much In Love With A Bad Thing
20.Mrs. Cocaine
21.Bum's Puzzle
22.When Your Luck Is Down
23.When You Have A Good Gal
24.These Women Funny
25.Bach Theme - Instrumental
26.Abdel Do Do - Instrumental

Alan "Bugsy" Eastwood - lead vocal, drums, vibes, harmonica, guitar
Roger Hill - lead guitar, drums, vocal
Dave Pegg - bass guitar, vocal (1967)
John Rowlands - bass guitar, vocal (1967/1968)
Malcolm Garner - bass guitar, vocal (1968)
Steve Yetson - saxophone, piano (1968)

lunedì 4 luglio 2016

Curtis Knight Zeus - The Second Coming (2009 Lemon Records) 1974

Biography : If he is known at all, the Harlem-based '60s soul singer Curtis Knight is remembered for his connection to a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix. Knight met a down-on-his-luck Hendrix living in a New York City hotel. The singer gave the guitarist a spare axe and hired him to play with the Squires, Knight's band. A native of Kansas, Knight had previously spent time in California he appears in the film Pop Girl before relocating to New York, where he worked the circuit with the Squires, a workaday party R&B band. It's quite possible Knight saw something in Hendrix. Not long after Jimi joined the Squires, Knight whisked him into the studio to record "How Would You Feel" a shameless rip of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and soon started writing with Hendrix. More consequentially, Knight helped encouraged Hendrix to sign a deal with record man Ed Chalpin. Jimi later claimed he thought he was signing on to a role as a sideman, but the contract bound him to Chalpin's PPX Records. This became a big deal once Chas Chandler signed Hendrix to a contract in 1969. Chalpin claimed he owned Jimi, so Chandler owed him money. This legal dispute became protracted, complicated by the fact that Hendrix inexplicably kept returning to the studio to cut sessions with Knight while he was in the thick of proceedings.

These early singles and latter-day jams with Hendrix form the bulk of Curtis Knight's catalog. A bunch were issued under Hendrix's name on Capitol Records via a licensing agreement with PPX, but over the years they'd show up often, appearing under any number of variations on the names of Knight, the Squires, and Hendrix. The lawsuits weren't settled prior to Hendrix's death, so they kept coming over the next few decades, but it was this association with Hendrix that provided Knight with a career. He moved to London, forming a band called Curtis Knight, Zeus -- "Fast" Eddie Clarke, who'd later join Motörhead, was among its ranks for a while -- and he published a book named Jimi: An Intimate Biography in 1974. This was the splashiest attempt to ride Hendrix's coattails Knight would ever attempt, but he kept grinding out a living in the U.K. and Europe, playing gigs and cutting the occasional record. He wound up settling in the Netherlands, which is where he died from cancer in November 1999. Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01.Zeus 3:19
02.New Horizon 4:00
03.Silver Queen 6:15
04.Mysterious Lady 2:47
05.Road Song 4:38
06.People Places and Things 2:55
07.Cloud 8:27
08.Eyes of a Child 2:47
09.The Confession 5:54
10.Oh Rainbow 2:47
11.The Devil Made Me Do It 2:36

Curtis Knight - Guitar, Vocals
John Weir - Bass
Eddie Clarke - Guitar
Nicky Hogarth - Keyboards
Chris Perry - Percussion

sabato 25 giugno 2016

Deke Leonard's Iceberg & Man - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1993 Windsong Records) 1973

Biography : Though Deke Leonard had made his reputation playing progressive rock in the Welsh group Man, his first solo album has more of a roots rock feel than anything released by that band. Roots rock played by someone with a taste for odd arrangements, perhaps, but roots rock nevertheless. "Lisa" and "Jesse" both sound like something that the Band might have turned out, country fiddle, organ, and all, though Leonard's distinctive, reedy voice makes it unlikely that anyone is actually going to mistake one for the other. Rockabilly comes in for some attention too, as in the delirious "Hard Way to Live," a nutty high-octane track in which the already treble-voiced Leonard deliberately goes falsetto at the end of each verse to hilarious effect. At other points, Leonard channels Badfinger, as with the plaintive "Nothing Is Happening," a lovely song with poetic, wistful lyrics. Leonard even tosses in a pair of cuts that would have fit in nicely on a Man album, "Broken Ovation" and "717151." It's no surprise that his old mates from Man dropped in for guest appearances on those cuts and a few others, the best of which is the odd but pleasant instrumental "The Ghost of Musket Flat." There are a few throwaway tracks, a few experiments, but the general mood is one of low-key charm. Deke Leonard didn't try to break a whole lot of stylistic ground on Iceberg, but what he did he did well, and it is probably his best solo album.

Deke Leonard's Iceberg
01.Razorblade & Rattlesnake 6:34
02.7171 551 8:04
03.A Hard Way To Live 3:06
04.In Search Of Sarah And 26 Horses 10:46
05.Cmon 15:08
06.Bananas 13:52
07.Romain 10:20

Deke Leonard's Iceberg
Deke Leonard - Guitars, vocals
Brian Breeze - Guitar
Martin Ace - Bass, vocals
Dave Charles - Drums, vocals
Micky Jones - Guitar, vocals
Phil Ryan - Keyboards, vocals
Will Youatt - Bass, vocals
Tweke Lewis - Guitar
Terry Williams - Drums


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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body