venerdì 17 aprile 2015

Anonymous - Inside the Shadow 1976 & J.Rider - No Longer Anonymous 1977

 
Biography : Inside the Shadow was more or less the sole product of Anonymous, a studio project put together by Indianapolis, Indiana musician Ron Matelic when he was offered a recording contract and a modest budget to make an album. Released in an unceremoniously tiny batch of 300 copies in 1976, the album would go on to be one of the more sought-after rarities among private-press psych enthusiasts, eventually seeing reissues and bootleggings of various quality until a proper reissue in 2013. The disarming compositions of Inside the Shadow have grown to legendary status based on their unique timelessness and blend of hazy jamming and clear-eyed songwriting. Though the album was recorded in two weeks during the mid-'70s, the production and direct influences would suggest it was made much earlier, as the closest parallels are the intricate vocal harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or later Hollies, Byrds-like folk-rock, and the bristling psychedelia of '60s Bay Area stalwarts like Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the earliest guitar ramblings of the Grateful Dead. Though disco was in full swing, Anonymous was offering heavy-handed psych-folk workouts like the cosmic rumble of "Shadow Lay" and the gloom-tinged prog pop of album opener "Who's Been Foolin'?" "Pick Up and Run" expands on the Byrds' 12-string electric guitar musings, pushing out all hints of the country roads they would later walk down in favor of far darker fields of dreamlike prog and layers of interlocking vocals. The album plays out in an unintentional song cycle, with songs just complex enough to fold into each other but pop-minded enough to stand out as singular entities as well. "Sweet Lilac" in particular shines through, with vocalist Marsha Rollings taking center stage as tight harmonies from Glenn Weaver and Matelic blend into a wall of sun-kissed guitar hooks. Much as the musicians were living in the 1970s imagining a different era with these songs, the wintry Midwest surroundings of Indiana might have similarly come into play in their dreaming up of summery California-sounding jams such as this. The band went through some lineup changes after this album, changing their name to J. Rider, making another record (entitled No Longer Anonymous), and playing a few gigs before disappearing into the ether. Inside the Shadow stands as one of the more brilliant artifacts of painfully obscure psychedelia. Though it arrived late to the party, its nuanced layers of influence and innovation put it in the same esteemed category as private-press acid folk classics by the likes of Tony, Caro and John, Mark Fry, Ithaca, and Comus. As unknown as those reference points may be, the driven feel of purpose, hope, and inspiration that fuels the album makes it as strong or stronger than any of the better-known bands it takes influence from. Review by Fred Thomas

Tracklist:
Anonymous - Inside the Shadow 1976
01.Who's Been Foolin'
02.J. Rider
03.Up to You
04.Shadow Lady
05.Pick Up and Run
06.We Got More
07.Sweet Lilac
08.Baby Come Risin'
J. Rider - No Longer Anonymous 1977
09.We Got More
10.One Sided Lover
11.Pike River
12.Kiss Of Your Soul
13.Sunday's Hero
14.High Roller

Anonymous:
Ron Matelic - vocals, electric & acoustic Guitar, electric 12 string guitar
Marsha Rollings - vocals
Glenn Weaver - vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, bass
John Medvescek - percussion

domenica 12 aprile 2015

Bandolero - Bandolero 1969 (Great Puerto Rico Heavy Psych)

Biography : Bandolero was a very popular Rock and Roll band in Puerto Rico from approximately 1969 to 1971 with founder José Nogueras as singer, Félix (Gadget) Rodríguez (RIP) on drums, Ismaelito on keyboard, George Matos (RIP) on bass, and the famous Junior (El Loco) on guitar. Previous to Bandolero the band members had been actively involved with other bands and music throughout the 60's. Bandolero recorded an LP album in 1970, appropriately titled "Bandolero", which became a big success! Lead singer José Nogueras composed all of the songs, with collaboration on two of them by Jerry García, another Puerto Rican (not of the Grateful Dead). Eventually José transitioned into Latin Salsa and Merengue music which is his passion now. "Love Me Tonight" and "Together" were Bandolero's biggest hits. rockinpr.net

Tracklist:
01.I Got It 3:31
02.Temura 3:28
03.Love Me Tonight 3:36
04.Don't Hang Me 3:49
05.I Can Always Think Of You 3:48
06.Salsa Friquea 5:05
07.Together 2:45
08.My Life Is Always Going Through 6:09
09.I Want To Get There 3:40
10.Awake 3:41
11.Truth And Understanding 7:49

Bandolero:
Félix "Gadget" - drums, percussion
Ismaelito - keyboards
George Matos - bass
Junior "El Loco" - guitar
José Nogueras - vocals

domenica 22 marzo 2015

Soup - Soup & The Private Of Digil (Gear Fab Records) 1967 - 1970

Biography : This archival release reissues on CD the entirety of the rare 1970 debut album from Wisconsin's Soup, legendary in the Midwest for the guitar playing virtuosity of its leader and songwriter, Doug Yankus. In typical Gear Fab fashion, however, the CD also doubles up on the riches, as the second half of the album digs up eight songs from Yankus' former band, the Private Property of Digil, which existed from 1965 to 1968. Although Yankus was a prodigious songwriter, the Soup album opens with a cover of the old Buddy Holly nugget "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues," but the band turns it into something more unique than straight rock & roll. In the course of the album, Soup mixed up good-time folk ("Mailman"), cool beatnik jazz ("I'm Just Not the Man to Be Tied"), swaying ballads ("Dear and Blue"), blues tunes (the boogie-ish "Black Cat Blues in Melody," "I'm So Sorry," the cover of Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man") and gentle acoustic numbers ("Song for Jackie"), with their more prevalent rock inclinations into a meaty musical stew. Nearly every Soup backing track on the first half of this CD is accomplished, full of lovely, subtle instrumental interplay, with Yankus double-tracking his acoustic rhythm guitar and truly phenomenal electric playing. He showed a true idiosyncrasy in his compositional skill and a full grasp on his influences that allowed him to arrive at a truly original amalgam. The only real problem with the Soup LP is that it was rushed out to fans who were eager to have a record to take home with them after seeing one of the band's live performances, and so consisted only of demos and live tracks. The studio demos, as strong as they are, ultimately sound unfinished and improperly mixed. Yankus' vocals also don't always hit the spot. He occasionally hits flat notes that surely would have been corrected with vocal overdubs. Regardless of the recordings' failings, though, it's good to have Soup available on CD. The addition of the Private Property material increases the value of the reissue twofold. Private Property leaned more toward a garage/pop-rock vein, and their sound is far more entrenched in the musical trends (particularly mild psychedelia) of the mid-'60s. Yankus still had not shaken all of his influences by that point, or rather had not found a singular style that could incorporate them all, and so the music variously recalls the Association here ("Sunshine Flames"), Merrell Fankhauser there ("I'm Looking at You"), and early Byrds at other times ("Princess"). Although they sound vaguely dated and don't generally rank with the first level pop/rock of the period, trippy songs such as "Jewelry Lady" and "Princess" are excellent, and they bring the late '60s back into full flower. If you think of them as bonus tracks to the Soup album, this reissue easily qualifies as one of the more intriguing bargains available from the trippiest of eras. Review by Stanton Swihart

Soup (1969-1970)
01.Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues 2:55
02.I'm Just Not The Man To Be Tied 2:58
03.Dear And Blue 7:46
04.Black Cat Blues In Melody 2:15
05.Tennessee 3:56
06.I'm So Sorry 15:42
07.Veronica 3:24
08.Big Boss Man 3:03
09.Dance Magic Woman 4:04
10.Song For Jackie 4:00

The Private Property Of Digil (1967-1968)
11.Jewelry Lady 2:22
12.I'm Looking At You 2:46
13.Sunshine Flames 2:10
14.Princess 2:25
15.To My Friends 1:51
16.Loox At Me 1:52
17.Destination Nowhere 2:57
18.The Patch Of Brick 2:51

Soup:
Doug Yankus - Guitar, Vocals
Dan Jacklin - Bass, Backing Vocals
Chuck Posniak - Organ
Steve Gertsch - Drums, Backing Vocals


giovedì 12 marzo 2015

The Selfish Cales - Throw Your Watch To The Water 2015 (Authorized)

Biography : The Selfish Cales were born on 2010, thanks to a lucky meetings on Myspace between Andy and Gabriel. Their passionate idea was to bring a complete music reality, also concern to live performances and visual impact.
The early months give the birth of their first EP, sign of a simple but close-knit alchemy. The first EP consists in 5 tracks distributed in 100 promotional copies, followed by many gigs in northern Italy. The sound was still markedly garage, but with Psychedelic shades and a sixties-oriented identity. In 2011, The Selfish Cales changed their line up due to the departure of Chris (rhythm guitar), which will bring to the entrance of Albert Cale on Organ, Piano and Mellotron. In this period the second EP “The Selfish Cales II” has been published in 100 copies, with a more mature sound characterized by various influences. Here it states the psychedelic character of the band, and the Indian Sitar takes part in songs and live performances. Their young way continues through many gigs and a second videoclip from the Single “Useless”, plus a side-project that give the birth to “Dandelion Seeds”, a tribute of five songs from the '60s Psychedelic Pop. In September 2013, the first LP "Light Worms And Old Dancing Ladies" comes out: the album establishes a transitional phase of the sound of The Cales, between Garage and wider openings to Psychedelia, Progressive and Pop. The album was released digitally on Record Union, plus a hundred copies promotional CD-Digipack copies. From October 2013, with the departure of Albert (keyboards), starts a period of several changes in the line-up that will find their final resolution one year after, with the participation at the 25th edition of Psych Out Festival: the arrival of Sarah Cale (Bass), brings a new Power Trio live formule, and the composition of the second LP. The Selfish Cales

Tracklist:
01.Sulphureous Haze
02.Soul Mates
03.Peacock Girl
04.Brighter Days
05.Throw Your Watch To The Water
06.Colours Of The Mind
07.I Believe In Magic
08.Mr. Hotpeach
09.Empathy
10.Some Warm Trails
11.Imaginary Journey
12.See Tomorrow’s Shores

The Selfish Cales:
Gabriel Cale (Gabriele Calegari) - Drums - Vocals
Andy Cale (Andrea Bonamigo) - Guitar - Bass - Vocals
Sarah Cale (Sara Gregori) - Bass

Listen this album at bandcamp.com

John Martyn - Bless The Weather (2005 Island Remaster) 1971

 Biography: Bless the Weather, the first release following two records with his wife Beverley, is a transitional effort for John Martyn. The Glasgow-born singer-songwriter's third solo album emphasizes a darker, smokier sound built around his increasingly jazzy vocals, plus sometimes aggressive, sometimes gentle acoustic guitar work, and Danny Thompson's double bass, which skirts in and out around Martyn's voice and guitar. It also contains the extended instrumental "Glistening Glyndebourne," which highlights his early experimentation with the Echoplex, a sound that would become a major part of his work in the coming years. Bless the Weather, with songs such as the title cut and "Head and Heart," stands as a fine representation of Martyn's early work. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Go Easy 4:15
02.Bless the Weather 4:29
03.Sugar Lump 3:43
04.Walk to the Water 2:49
05.Just Now 3:39
06.Head and Heart 4:54
07.Let The Good Things Come 3:05
08.Back Down The River 2:40
09.Glistening Glyndebourne 6:30
10.Singing In The Rain 1:28
Bonus tracks Recorded at a demo session, Sound Technique Studios, Chelsea 16 April 1969
11.Walk To The Water (Take 3) 3:34
12.Bless the Weather (Take 4) 5:37
13.Back Down The River (Take 1) 2:44
14.Go Easy (Take 1) 4:39
15.Glistening Glyndebourne (Take 2) 7:48
16.Head and Heart (Band Version) 10:17
17.May You Never (Single Version) 2:45

John Martyn:
John Martyn - vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
Richard Thompson - guitar
Smiley DeJonnes - percussion
Beverley Martyn - guitar, vocals
Danny Thompson - double bass
Tony Reeves - double bass, bass guitar
Ian Whiteman - keyboards
Roger Powell - drums

domenica 8 marzo 2015

Bo Hansson - Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings (Japan Remaster) 1972

Biography: Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings is an instrumental progressive rock album by Swedish musician Bo Hansson. As its title suggests, it is a concept album based on author J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. The album was originally issued in Sweden in late 1970, under the Swedish title of Sagan om ringen, and was subsequently re-released internationally as Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings in September 1972. The album reached the top 40 of the UK Album Chart and was eventually certified gold in the UK and Australia. It was also moderately successful in America, where it reached #154 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings remains the only release by Hansson to have reached the UK and U.S. charts and as a result, it is by far his best known and most successful album.
History: Prior to the recording of Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, Bo Hansson had worked as one half of the duo Hansson & Karlsson. The duo were relatively well known in their native Sweden and between 1967 and 1969 they released a series of well received albums. By early 1969, however, Hansson's musical partner Janne Karlsson had embarked upon a successful career as a television presenter and comedian, resulting in the breakup of the duo.[9] At around the same time, Hansson became fascinated with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and in particular The Lord of the Rings, after being introduced to the book by a girlfriend. Hansson moved into a friend's apartment and began working on a musical interpretation of the book, producing a number of demo recordings of material that would eventually be included on the album. Hansson then approached sound engineer and founder of Silence Records Anders Lind, with the idea of recording an album based on The Lord of the Rings. Lind was encouraged by the demos and agreed to release the album on his Silence label. However, the fledgling record company could not afford the expensive studio time needed to realise the production of the album and so, a small summer house on the remote island of Älgö, in the Stockholm archipelago, was converted into a makeshift recording studio. Throughout late 1969, Hansson and Lind worked on the album at the summer house, with the help of a handful of session musicians and friends, before relocating to Studio Decibel in Stockholm to complete the album in early 1970. Hansson has stated that his original intention for the album was to include a string section and other exotic instruments, such as the harp, but the lack of finances available from Silence Records resulted in the majority of the album having to be recorded using primitive electronic keyboards and Moog synthesizers.
The album was released in Sweden by Silence Records in December 1970, with the title Sagan om ringen (which was also the title of the Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings at the time; lit. "The Saga of the Ring"). It enjoyed modest commercial success in its native country and received heavy rotation on the Swedish national radio station Sveriges Radio P3. Following its initial release, Hansson composed additional material based on Tolkien's book and consequently, later pressings of the album contained extra tracks not found on the original Swedish release.
News of the album's success and popularity in Sweden travelled to England and as a result, it was licensed to Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records in 1972. However, Hansson and Charisma were forced to give the album the augmented title of Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, at the insistence of Tolkien and his publishers Allen & Unwin. Tolkien's publishers also had a hand in determining the musical content of the album, as Hansson told music journalist Tony Tyler in the November 18, 1972 edition of the NME: "I originally intended to use voices - perhaps a girl soprano - on the tracks but when we contacted George Allen and Unwin they put a firm 'no' to the idea. So we had to use the term 'inspired' by Lord of the Rings' - and we had to keep it purely instrumental." The original 1972 Charisma release of the album sported front and back cover illustrations by Jane Furst.

Release and reception: The album was released by Charisma Records in September 1972, accompanied by an extensive television advertising campaign. In the UK alone there were thousands of advance orders for the album and upon release, it quickly became popular with fans of progressive rock. The album's blend of strange, other-worldly music and Tolkienesque subject matter proved popular during the early 1970s, a time when interest in Tolkien's writings among college students was at an all-time high. The album peaked at #34 on the UK Album Chart in November 1972 and reached #154 on the U.S. Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart in May 1973, eventually becoming a gold record in the UK and Australia. Although no official singles were taken from the album, a promo-only single featuring the song "The Black Riders & Flight to the Ford" was issued by Charisma Records in 1974.
Today the album is considered by many critics to be a classic of the progressive rock genre as well as Hansson's best work. In addition, it can be seen as an early example of multi-instrumentalist rock, predating similar 1970s albums by artists such as Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman, and Brian Eno.[4] In his book The Billboard Guide to Progressive Music, author Bradley Smith has described the album as "an early classic of space music" and Bruce Eder, writing for the Allmusic website, has called it "one of the few progressive rock instrumental recordings that still holds up on repeated listening." In addition, author Charles Snider has noted in The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock that the album's "quiet yet sinister organ tones are more similar to Pink Floyd than anything fairy tale-like or electronic". In his review for the Dutch Progressive Rock website, Nigel Camilleri also likened the album to early Pink Floyd but was critical of its overall lack of variety and outdated keyboard and synthesizer sounds. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Leaving shire
02.The old forest / Tom Bombadil
03.Fog on the barrow - Downs
04.The black riders / Flight to the Ford
05.At the house of Elrond / The ring goes South
06.A journey in the dark
07.Lothlórien
08.Shadowfax
09.The horns of Rohan / The battle of the Pelenmor fields
10.Dreams in the houses of healing
11.Homeward bound / The scouring of the shire
12.The grey havens
13.Early Sketches From Middle Earth (bonus track)

Bo Hansson:
Bo Hansson – organ, guitar, Moog synthesizer, bass guitar
Rune Carlsson – drums, congas
Gunnar Bergsten – saxophone
Sten Bergman – flute

sabato 14 febbraio 2015

Denny Gerrard - Sinister Morning (Esoteric Recording) 1970

Biography:It wasn't long after arriving in the U.K. that South African student Denny Gerrard began making his mark on the music scene. In 1965, Jimmy Page picked him to become one half of the duo the Fifth Avenue, while Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham brought him in as arranger for his project the Variations. Gerrard then linked up with Barry Younghusband, and as Warm Sounds they promptly unleashed the Top 30 hit "Birds and Bees." Swiftly bored with pop the duo soon split, and Gerrard moved into production, overseeing High Tide's critically acclaimed 1969 debut album, Sea Shanties. No surprise then, that when the South African began work on his own debut, self-produced, full-length, High Tide were by his side. However, the resulting album, Sinister Morning, was far more a reflection of Gerrard's vision than Tide's sound. Much of the set has a folkie feel, accentuated by the prolific use of Gerrard's acoustic guitar and harmonica. Only on "Native Sun" is the band given a real chance to rock out, with the rest of the set given over to more midtempo numbers. These gave Gerrard the opportunity to explore his roots and showcase his arrangement skills. His epiphany is found on the final track, a haunting, seven-plus minute instrumental, whose rich "Atmosphere" is conjured up by his acoustic guitar and Simon House's delicate organ and rich violin. J.J. Mackey provides the spoken word segments that, sadly, are virtually buried in the mix. The album's other epic track, "True Believer" takes folk to church, with House's hymnal organ juxtaposed against a rich, Americana tapestry. "Autumn Blewn," in contrast, counterpoints '60s R&B with C&W, with Gerrard's harmonica adding a folkie feel to the intricate piece. "Rough Stuff" also has an R&B bend, but a down-home, Southern rock tinge, while "Stop or Drop It" is even more rousing, as Gerrard plays his pusillanimous acoustic guitar off against Tony Hill's electric leads. Although kept on a tight leash, High Tide still bring an energy to the set, turning up the heat on virtually all the songs, particularly the poppy "Hole in My Shadow," which was probably intended for singledom. The production gives the entire album a warm sound, although on CD it comes across as a tad too pristine. The only flaw within is Gerrard's decision to overutilize layered vocals instead of true harmonies, and paying far less attention to his vocals than he did to the rest of the album's sound. Released on Decca's mid-price imprint Nova, the album surprisingly sank without a track, but swiftly became a much sought-after collector's item. Finally after all these years, Esoteric has now lovingly remastered and reissued this splendid album on CD. Review by Jo-Ann Greene

Tracklist:
01.Native Sun 3:55
02.True Believer 7:06
03.Hole In My Shadow 3:22
04.Last But One 4:05
05.Rough Stuff 3:00
06.Stop Or Drop It 2:51
07.Autum Blewn 2:53
08.Eye For Eye 4:33
09.Atmosphere 7:07

Musicians:
Denny Gerrard - Guitar, Mouth Harp, Vocals
Roger Hadden - Drums
Tony Hill - Guitar, Vocals
Simon House - Keyboards, Violin
Peter Pavli - Bass
Lyn Husband, Sue Young - Vocals
J.J. Makey - Words, Reading

domenica 8 febbraio 2015

Fuse - Fuse (2001 Rewind) 1969

Biography:Fuse's sole album is only worth paying attention to if you're a Cheap Trick fan and want a curious glimpse of what Rick Nielsen and Tom Peterson were up to roughly five years before they formed the band for which they're really famous. In Fuse, they and three other musicians played ordinary late-'60s hard rock, influenced by the Yardbirds and Cream, and perhaps a bit of Arthur Brown in the operatic vocals and classical-tinged keyboards, but with a Midwestern industriousness. Actually, it seems a little ahead of its time in how the songwriting, hard rock/organ combinations, long winding melodic progressions, and overly serious belting vocals of Joe Sundberg anticipate some early-'70s hard rock/prog rock crossover albums. Being on the cutting edge of that particular trend is not especially praiseworthy, since the crunching songs aren't too good or memorable. Review by Richie Unterberger

Tracklist:
01.Across The Skies 4:35
02.Permanent Resident 4:22
03.Show Me 4:13
04.To Your Health 6:00
05.In A Window 5:54
06.4/4 3/4 3:58
07.Mystery Ship 3:22
08.Sad Day 5:49
09.Hound Dog (Bonus Track) 2:45
10.Cruisin' For Burgers (Bonus Track) 4:55

Fuse:
Rick Nielsen - rhythm guitar, keyboards
Tom Peterson - bass
Craig Myers - lead guitar
Chip Greenman - drums
Joe Sundberg - vocals

sabato 31 gennaio 2015

Royal Servants - We (Garden of Delights) 1970

The Royal Servants, forerunners of Eulenspygel, were formed in 1965 in the town of Reichenbach in Swabia. Starting out with beat, they gradually turned to bluesrock and, finally, progressive artrock. This development is well recognizable on their one and only LP "We" (Elite Special PLPS 30130), released in 1970 in a small edition. Whereas their first two singles, which were added to their CD as bonus tracks, are audibly in the 60s vein, the track presented here is the finest of laid-back underground and bears its title honestly. In early 1971, the Royal Servants were one of the first German bands to write their songs in German, and so it was only consistent that they changed their name into Eulenspygel that very year.Their CD "We", which was taken from the master tapes, contains their complete releases. With 32-page colored booklet. diregarden.com

Tracklist:
01.Work Part II 5:20
02.We 9:15
03.Someone To Be With Me 2:47
04.Latin Underground 12:46
05.Here's Where I'm Gonna Stay 2:52
06.Private Man 3:42
07.Doomsday Up To Date 1:57
Bonus CD:
08.Burnin' Region 3:48
09.Help Me Please 4:13
10.Still I Belong 3:50
11.The Blues 'Comin' My Way 4:56

Royal Servants:
Detlef Nottrodt - lead & rhythm guitars, vocals
Manfred Maler - vocals
Reinhard - organ
Günter Klinger - drums, percussion
James (Matthias Thurow) - lead & rhythm guitars
Ronald Libal (Ronny) - bass
Peter Mayer - keyboards
Freunde - saxophone, trumpet
Cornelius Hauptmann - flute

venerdì 30 gennaio 2015

Sassafras - Expecting Company (2014 Esoteric Recording) 1973

Biography: Sassafras formed in 1970 as a three-piece band with guitarist Ralph Evans, bassist Ricky John Holt and Rob Reynolds (drums). Shortly afterwards guitarist David (Dai) Shell was drafted in and the line-up was completed by vocalist Terry Bennett. An early line-up change came with the replacement of drummer Rob Reynolds with former Love Sculpture sticks man Bob ‘Congo’ Jones. The band recorded some early demos in Cardiff’s Ddraig Studios (set-up in part by Dai Shell). It was with this line-up that the band signed to George Martin’s AIR Productions in 1972 and would release their debut album, Expecting Company, on the Polydor Records label in October 1973.

The opening track immediately introduces us to the band’s trademark twin lead sound and comparisons to Wishbone Ash may serve as a useful pointer here. An infectious stomper of a track with a Southern rock swagger. The title, Busted Country Blues pretty much sums up the music on this track, although well written and performed, it does little for me. Beans And Things on the other hand is a great little rocker and reminded of Del Bromham’s Stray. The lengthy middle instrumental takes on a percussion groove rather than concentrating on an avenue for the guitar.

The closing track from the original album was Across The Seas Of Stars and introduces a more psychedelic vibe to the album. Indicative of the times the track boasts an incredibly lush and infectious chorus with soaring vocal harmonies. The track also features a great bluesy solo reminiscent of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

So opening side two of the LP therefore was School Days which reintroduces the twin lead work of Ralph Evans and Dai Shell. Again great classic rock song with a change of pace to round of the track. The closing two minute coda is tastefully done guitar solo and well worth checking out. I always considered side two of the album as being more adventurous and certainly listening to The Way Of Me reaffirms this notion. We still have the twin lead sound, but played in a slightly more twisted and darker fashion. Terry Bennett delivers a fine vocal performance here whilst the middle, more acoustic section, features an un-credited lilting flute.

Despite its promising title The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg remains in the Canned Heat mould of good time boogie rock. So just remaining from the original album is the two part Expecting Company/Meanwhile Back In Merthyr. The first part and title track is a song based affair whilst the latter forms an extensive instrumental break to conclude the album.

The bonus material comprises of the band’s 1974 single Oh My [Don't It Make You Want To Cry] accompanied by the B-side Kansas City Wine. The production on the A side of the single indicates that Polydor saw hit potential with Sassafras with the noticeable improved production values and added brass section.

The band went on to record two more studio albums, on the Chrysalis Records label, Wheelin’ N’ Dealin’ (1975) and Riding High (1976), however despite good coverage in the press, appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test and notable rock radio shows of the time, festival appearances and major support slots, the band didn’t quite manage the notoriety of Welsh counterparts Man, or perhaps more notably those other early pioneers of the twin lead guitar Wishbone Ash. Despite this Sassafras have left us a fine legacy with their three studio albums and with companies like Esoteric Recordings prepared to re-master and reissue these lost little gems, then their music will not be forgotten.

There may be little on All’s Well That Ends Well to satisfy the truly ardent progressive rock fan, but for those who remember an era when prog and classic rock sat comfortably together, then this album is nice little reminder. Review by adamus67

Tracklist:
01.Electric Chair 5:01
02.Busted Country Blues 3:32
03.Beans And Things 5:35
04.Across The Seas Of Stars 6:13
05.School Days 5:33
06.The Way Of Me 4:51
07.The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg 5:09
08.(a) Expecting Company (b) Meanwhile Back In Merthyr 7:12
Bonus Tracks
09.Oh My [Don’t It Make You Want To Cry] 3:33
10.Kansas City Wine 2:58

Sassafras:
Terry Bennett - Vocals
Dai Shell - Lead Guitar
Ralph Evans - Lead Guitar
Ricky John Holt - Bass
Congo Jones - Drums

sabato 24 gennaio 2015

Wild Cherries - Thats Life (2007 Remaster) 1965 - 1968

Biography:If you go just by the records they managed to release during the 1960s, there's not really enough to make a Wild Cherries album. This reissue, however, makes the most of out their slim recorded legacy, combining both sides of their four 1967-1968 singles with 16 previously unreleased 1965-1966 bonus tracks. It's the eight tracks (all written or co-written by guitarist Lobby Loyde) from the singles, though, that are the truly significant ones, since it was on these that the Wild Cherries laid down the music that was among the most innovative in '60s Australian rock. On the most notable of those 45s, the group fused psychedelia, early hard/progressive rock, and soul in a manner that no other Australian band of the time was doing on record, particularly on "Krome Plated Yabby," "That's Life," and "Gotta Stop Lying." These are somewhat similar to the rock being played by some Detroit outfits of the late '60s, and if they're certainly more pop-oriented than, say, the MC5, they do offer a pretty intriguing blend of creative ambition and muscular crunch. The other, far less well-known songs from the singles might surprise listeners who've heard the other tracks on compilations, as they're more straightforward soul-rock than you'd expect (adding some pop-oriented orchestration on "I Don't Care"), though they're fairly good as that style goes. The remaining 16 tracks taken from studio outtakes and home/live recordings capture the group at an earlier pre-Loyde stage at which they were much more an R&B/rock band along the lines of British bands like the Rolling Stones and Yardbirds. In fact, just one of these songs (the quite admirably mean'n'lean "Get Out of My Life") is a group original; not only are all of the others covers, but most of them are covers of tunes that major British Invasion bands like the Yardbirds, the Who, and Manfred Mann put on their early recordings. This section of the CD isn't nearly as original as the Loyde-led material, then, and it's not as well recorded either, though the fidelity's satisfactory. Still, the Wild Cherries do sound like a good, tough, mid-'60s British R&B band at this stage in their development, and without those tracks...well, there wouldn't be enough for a CD. As is standard for the Half a Cow label, the packaging is superb, featuring a 36-page liner booklet jammed with photos. Review by Richie Unterberger 

Tracklist:
*Festival Singles 1967 - 1968
01. Krome Plated Yabby 2:58
02. Everything I Do Is Wrong 2:36
03. That's Life 3:20
04. Try Me (I'm Not As Bad As You Think) 3:44
05. Gotta Stop Lying 3:03
06. Time Killer 3:27
07. I Don't Care 3:46
08. Theme For A Merry-Go-Round 2:31
*Unreleased Recordings 1965 - 1966
09. Without You 3:50
10. Coming Home Baby 2:12
11. Tobacco Road 4:19
12. Worried Blues 2:41
13. You Don't Love Me 3:06
14. Get Out Of My Life 2:25
15. Bye Bye Birdie 2:12
*Live At The Fat Black Pussycat 1965 - 1966
16. WIthout You (version 2) 3:05
17. I'm Your Kingpin 1:44
18. Mad Man Blues 2:59
19. Tobacco Road (version 2) 4:37
20. Parchman Farm 3:19
21. Smokestack Lightning 4:03
22. My Generation 2:46
23. Ain't Got You 2:13
24. Baby Please Don't Go 6:12

Wild Cherries:
*1967-68 Festival Singles
Dan Robinson – Vocals
Lobby Loyde (Aka Barry Lyde) – Guitars
Les Gilbert – Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Keith Barber – Drums
John Phillips – Bass Guitar
Peter Eddey - Bass Guitar
*1965 Lloyd Carrick's Parent's House
Malcolm Mcgee – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Rob Lovett – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Murphy – Drums
Les Gilbert – Bass Guitar
*1965/66 Live At The Fat Black Pussycat
*1966 Trend Studios Melbourne

John Bastow – Vocals
Malcolm Mcgee – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Murphy – Drums
Les Gilbert – Bass Guitar
Keith Barber - Drums (1966)

mercoledì 21 gennaio 2015

Relatively Clean Rivers - Relatively Clean Rivers (Radioactive Records) 1975

Biography:Many American rock LPs of the mid-'70s given very small pressings on tiny or vanity labels had something of a time warp hangover feel, as if the trends of hippie rock from about half a dozen years earlier were still in vogue. Relatively Clean Rivers' self-titled album is one such rarity, with an easygoing California folk-rock-psychedelic feel in which light-to-strong traces of Neil Young, the countrified Grateful Dead, and Quicksilver Messenger Service can be heard. It's different than the vast majority of such LPs, however, in that it's actually a fairly good collection of tunes with some decent songwriting and strong, professional playing and harmonizing. No one should investigate this under the illusion that it's nearly as good as the aforementioned influences, mind you. But it's quite alright, and also not as imitative as many artists from numerous eras were who claimed Neil Young and the Dead as influences. There's an attractive resigned, almost addled melancholy to the vocals and melodies that set this apart from the usual such fare, though some of the songs could certainly have benefited from more structured composing and arranging. There's some variety to the proceedings (and from the general folk-rock-psychedelic prototype) too, with some extended instrumental acoustic passages and a Middle Eastern influenced number, "The Persian Caravan," that recalls exotic early Country Joe & the Fish psychedelic excursions like "Section 43." Overall, the album almost gives the impression of documenting the dying embers of a band of hippies who've found refuge in one of the last safe places for souls of such a mindset, clinging to their credo as their species awaits oncoming extinction. The album became much easier to acquire following its CD reissue in the first decade of the 21st century. Review by Richie Unterberger

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body