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

mercoledì 22 giugno 2016

REPOST : All Saved Freak Band - Harps On Willows (Hidden Visions Records) 1970

Biography : The roots of Jesus rock pioneers the All Saved Freak Band date back to 1963, when aspiring pianist Larry Hill met guitarist Joe Markko on a Chicago street corner while ministering for the Christian youth program Teen Challenge; a few years later, the duo began collaborating as songwriters, first enjoying success when their "There Is Still Hope in Jesus" was selected as the closing theme for the local radio program Time Is the Risen Christ. In 1966 Hill broke away from the Assembly of God to found his own independent church, the Church of the Risen Christ, claiming he was the recipient of visions that foretold of a war between Americans and Asians, communism in Australia, impending "enemy advancement," and God's plans to send America "into vast and destructive judgment for her sins." The CRC made its home on a five-acre plot of land in Orwell, OH, raising livestock, stockpiling weapons, and studying martial arts in advance of Communist attack; in the meantime, Hill and Markko continued writing and playing music, with the former convinced rock & roll would serve as the ideal vessel for his spiritual message. With the additions of Markko's brother Randy on bass and drummer Dana Vandernic, they began performing live as Preacher and the Witness, playing coffeehouses and street corners throughout northeast Ohio; eventually, Hill befriended Glenn Schwartz, a phenomenally gifted Cleveland-area guitarist who previously tasted secular success as a member of the James Gang and later Pacific Gas & Electric, only to denounce the mainstream after he discovered Christianity. With Schwartz's addition, the All Saved Freak Band officially launched in 1969. Hill assumed singing and preaching duties, backed by sister vocalists Pam and Kim Massman, while Schwartz shied from the spotlight, contributing poetic, expansive guitar leads to rival those of Jimi Hendrix (at whose final birthday party he once played). The group typically played sidewalks and parking lots outside of secular concerts and festivals. In 1973, the All Saved Freak Band issued its debut LP, My Poor Generation, which it sold at shows and advertised via the Freedom Bell, a free newspaper published and distributed by CRC faithful. Brainwashed followed in 1975, and a year later the group issued its third LP, For Christians, Elves and Lovers; however, music turned secondary as Hill's influence over his followers increased, and he began enforcing a rigid code of behavior on his flock. As Hill's control grew, Schwartz's family tracked him down, forced him into a car, and locked him in a room with a cult deprogrammer. After exiting a mental institution, Schwartz nevertheless returned to the CRC flock, resuming his duties in the All Saved Freak Band. (Guitarist Phil Keaggy filled in during his absence.) In 1973 Markko was zapped by 27,000 volts of electricity, losing his hands in the accident. He remained on board as the ASFB's primary writer and arranger before leaving the church in 1979, disillusioned with Hill's vision. Schwartz left the band and the flock a year later, concurrent with the release of the final All Saved Freak Band album, Sower (a project completed several years earlier); as of this writing, Hill and a few remaining Church of the Risen Christ members still live on the Orwell commune, while the ASFB's original LPs have all seen reissue on compact disc via the Hidden Vision label. Review by Jason Ankeny

01.Peace, Love and Rock 'N Roll 3:44
02.Ode to Glenn Schwartz 4:03
03.Seek Him 3:00
04.All Across the Nation 3:59
05.Old Man Daniel 3:09
06.Elder White 3:38
07.The Big Race 3:29
08.The Sower 3:17
09.Frog Alley 4:56
10.Stephen 2:41
11.Peter, Feed My Sheep 1:18
12.Old Rugged Cross 3:44
13.There Is Still Hope in Jesus 6:26
14.When You Hear Me Speak of Jesus 1:32 

Brett Hill, Tim Hill - Percussion
Larry Hill - Piano, Vocals
Carole King - Keyboards, Vocals
Morgan King - Guitar (Bass), Vocals
Markko Polo Adventurers - Composer
Glenn Schwartz - Guitar

mercoledì 15 giugno 2016

Clear Blue Sky - Clear Blue Sky (2003 Akarma Digipack) 1970

Biography : Clear Blue Sky were still in their teens when they were discovered by Nirvana's Patrick Campbell-Lyons, and their youth shows. Clear Blue Sky, the trio's one and only album, is a mishmash of hard rock leanings, prog rock fascinations, and occasionally jazzy delivery that is best regarded today by collectors of classic Vertigo albums and early Roger Dean artwork. John Simms' vocals are extraordinarily uncertain, and the record itself sometimes sounds more a youth club rehearsal than a major-label release. Campbell-Lyons' production doesn't help much either, remaining strictly in the sonic background. That said, it is certainly an ambitious effort -- a freshman term paper for aspiring young metalheads. Side one is devoured wholly by "Journey to the Inside of the Sun," a three-part thunderclap that not only provided labelmates Black Sabbath with the title "Sweet Leaf," it also rode rock's current fascination with the classics by hijacking an element of Gustav Holst's The Planets suite for an occasional quirky interlude. Other diversions crop up on side two, as "Tool of My Trade" and the almost acoustic "My Heaven" at least kick off with something less than the full frontal riffery of the other numbers, while the closing "Birdcatcher" (the band's best-known number, courtesy of its inclusion on the fabled Heads Together, First Round Vertigo label sampler) sounds extraordinarily close to period Budgie and, "Sweet Leaf" aside, is the best-developed track on the album. Review by Dave Thompson

01.Journey to the Inside of the Sun
a)Sweet Leaf 8:03
b)The Rocket Ride 6:25
c)I'm Coming Home 3:10
02.You Mystify 7:52
03.Tool of My Trade 4:57
04.My Heaven 5:03
05.Birdcatcher 3:38

John Simms - guitar, vocals
Ken White - drums
Mark Sheather - bass


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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body