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. allmusic.com

Tracklist 
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
Man
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
Man
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

Tracklist
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

Tracklist
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

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

giovedì 2 giugno 2016

REPOST : Epitaph For A Legend (1993 Collectables Records 2CD) 1967

Review : The Texas-based International Artists label recorded some intriguing, slightly off-the-wall psychedelic-garage-pop in the 1960s, their most famous act being the 13th Floor Elevators. This is an erratic but extremely interesting double-LP compilation of IA oddities and rarities, much of it previously unreleased. The five Red Krayola demos (some of which would be re-recorded for their first LP) are prime acid folk, especially "Hurricane Fighter Plane," one of the closest American approximations of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The Chapparrals' "I Tried So Hard" is gutsy punk-pop, Thursday's Children's "A Part of You" is reminiscent of the mid-period Zombies, and the Emperors' "I Want My Woman" is growling garage punk. Side four is devoted entirely to 13th Floor Elevators/Roky Erickson rarities, including a beautiful acoustic version of "Splash I" and the rare single by Roky's pre-Elevators group the Spades. In this company, side three -- which has unexceptional straight blues material, including a song by Lightnin' Hopkins -- is a misfit, but psychedelic collectors will want the record for the rock material. Review by Richie Unterberger


CD1
01.The Chayns - Night Time (Is The Right Time)
02.The Patterns - In My Own Time
03.The Chaparrels - I Tried So Hard
04.Thursday's Children - A Part Of You
05.The Rubayyat - If I Were A Carpenter
06.Sonny Hall - Poor Planet Earth
07.Inner Scene - Communication Breakdown
08.The Red Crayola - Hurricane Fighter Plane (Demo)
09.The Red Crayola - Pink Stainless Tail (Demo)
10.The Red Crayola - Nickle Niceness (Demo)
11.The Red Crayola - Vile, Vile Grass (Demo)
12.The Red Crayola - Transparent Radiation (Demo)
13.The Emperors - I Want My Woman
14.Lost And Found - 25 M.P.H.

CD2
01.Big Walter - Breakfast In Bed
02.Dave Allen - C. C. Rider
03.Dave Allen - Saturday A.M. Blues
04.Lightnin' Hopkins - Conversation With Lightnin' Hopkins
05.Lightnin' Hopkins - Black Ghost Blues
06.Roky Erikson - Interview with Roky, KSAN 4/1/78)
07.The Spades - You're Gonna Miss Me
08.The Spades - We Sell Soul
09.Roky & Clementine Hall - Splash 1
10.Roky & Clementine Hall - Right Track Now
11.The 13th Floor Elevators - Wait For My Love
12.The 13th Floor Elevators - 60-Second Radio Spot for 'Bull Of The Woods'
13.The 13th Floor Elevators - Fire Engine

13th Floor Elevators, Red Crayola, The Spades, The Chayns, The Patterns, The Chapparals, Lightnin' Hopkins and others

giovedì 26 maggio 2016

Locksley Hall - Locksley Hall (OR Records Vinyl Rip) 1969 - 1970

Biography : Locksley Hall was one of the better known psychedelic bands in the Pacific Northwest during their existence from 1967 thru' 1970. The album was recorded in 1969 at the legendary Audio Recorders in Seattle with long time Northwest guitarist Ned Neltner (Mark Five, Gas Company, Junior Cadillac) producing and Sonics engineer Kearny Barton at the console. It remained unreleased until the limited edition came out in 1996. The album reminds us of every band who ever played the Fillmore West in the late sixties and blends together elements of It's A Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and The Holding Co. Recommended.("Fuzz, Acid & Flowers")

While a lot of co-ed groups of the era sound rather generic, Locksley Hall manages to escape identity in a slightly different way. This album plays almost like a sampler of West Coast music. On various songs they sound like Country Joe & The Fish, Jefferson Airplane, The Charlatans, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and the Association.
Despite the crudeness of the recordings there’s a definite sense of professionalism here. They’re more appealing as a hard rock band than a soft rock band, but the only real dud here is the good timey song that ends side one. Both the male and female vocals are quite good, though as is often the case they sound much better apart than together. There is some excellent guitar playing here and a few very solid songs, most notably a long rocker on side one. The mix of styles is a bit disconcerting, but overall, this is much better than a lot of genre albums that did end up getting major label releases at the time. The LP was recorded in Seattle for Epic in the late 1960s but not released at the time. ("The Acid Archives")

Tracklist
01.Locksley Hall (Poem)
02.Boy
03.Let me blow out your candle
04.Baby blue eyes
05.D-O-P-E
06.Some say love
07.What does a lonely heart do?
08.Que-Bell
09.Wake up (Tubby’s tune)
10.When autumn leaves turn to gold
11.Locksley Hall (Poem)

Line-up
Ben Stanley - Guitar, Vocals
Shannon Svenson - Vocals
Kevin Svenson - Vocals
Roy Castleman - Bass, Vocals
Denny Langdale - Keyboards
Randy Thompson - Drums

sabato 21 maggio 2016

REPOST : Exkursions - The Exkursions (1998 Hidden Vision Records) 1971 (REQUEST)

Biography : Chicago based psychedelic blues band with heavy fuzz guitar sound. Led by Mike Johnson who later went on to record solo projects and even earn songwriter of the year award. Band broke up because the other two members wavered in their faith. Since a number of sealed copies were unearthed last year, the value has gone down. History of the Jesus Movement "Pretty irresistable Christian bluesy guitarpsych exkursion featuring the prolific Mike Johnson in his younger days as a bible-carrying Hendrix epigon. Has to be one of the coolest x-ian LPs of all time, with a confident powertrio groove, laidback Jimi-style vocals, and several truly great tracks like "Third Eye". Despite being a private press originals aren't difficult to find. Two tracks can be found on the "Holy Fuzz" compilation if you want a sample."
"If you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t notice that this is a Christian album, which is a good sign. Mike Johnson is a truly talented guitarist and a few songs here have a fuzz sound to die for. The songwriting doesn’t match the performances, and there are a few bluesy/hard rock clichés, but for the most part this is solid hard rock and one of the best in the Christian realm." allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.Picture Woman
02.Dry Ground
03.Baby You Lied
04.What Happened To Me
05.Third Eye
06.You & Me
07.It's Been Set Down
08.Would You Believe

Mike Johnson - guitar, vocals
Fyl Jonnzen - drums
Leon Wilson - bass

giovedì 19 maggio 2016

Energy - Energy (2012 O-Music Remaster) 1974

Biography : For some reason the Swedish prog/hard rock/jazz fusion group ENERGY's lone 1974 self-titled LP has never been reissued, making it quite rare and often pricey. However, for those who possess a copy of this obscure album with its flaming cover art, it's a hard album not to love. ENERGY without a doubt came from the world of guitar driven jazz fusion, although guitarist Amadeo Nicoletto's tasteful, yet powerful, jazzy, neo-classical leads lend an air of power to ENERGY's sound, making it of interest to fans of 70's prog as well as jazz. This album has been included in several books pertaining to heavy metal such as Martin Popoff's "Golmine Heavy Metal Record Price Guide", however, ENERGY is not quite heavy enough (in terms of guitar riffs) to fit into the proto-metal category. Certainly, fans of highly electric 70's guitar work will find much to enjoy on this LP, although the mood of this LP is one of varying dynamics, ranging from mellow, reflective jazz to edgy hard fusion. These guys could really play! All the members of ENERGY were obviously superior musicians, however I believe that it was the band's unique sound and reluctance to land smoothly into the jazz fusion or prog genres which may have played a role in why this great LP has seemingly slipped through the cracks over the past 40 years. So before you drop $100 on a copy of this LP you may want to check out the samples posted on youtube just to be sure ENERGY fits your expectations. For me, I love this LP with all my heart and dream of a CD reissue of this lost classic, preferably with bonus material!!!! 

Tracklist
01.Subtle Forces 5:00
02.Metamorphosis - Impression 7:37
03.Up to Seven 5:27
04.Porta Marina 10:24
05.John 6:29

Alvaro Is - piano, electric piano, organ
Amedeo Nicoletti - guitar
Björn Inge - drums
Bosse Norlén - bass
Luis Agudo - percussion

sabato 14 maggio 2016

The Habibiyya - If Man But Knew (2007 Sunbeam Records) 1972

Biography : The Habibiyya "If Man but Knew" Inspired by a trip to Morocco and a religious conversion to Sufi Islam, the Habiyya (a group that included members of Mighty Baby and The Action) created these beautiful spiritual devotionals, utilizing an array of unusual instruments and gorgeous collective singing. Folksy, atmospheric work with plenty of Mid-Eastern touches -- the only album ever issued by The Habibiyya, and one of the oddest sets ever from early 70s Island Records! The album's got a very spare, dream-like sound -- one that was inspired by the group's visit to Morocco before the record, and carried off here in a blend of percussion, piano, organ, and flutes - plus more exotic instrumentation like koto, shakuhachi, and mandola. The sound is often quite spacious -- stretching out on its own, almost organic accord -- and when vocals are included, they're often very low in the mix, echoing the sufi roots that inspired the group. The Habibiyya’s sole album stands as one of the earliest and most beautiful pieces of world music ever recorded in Britain. The musicians involved (including three members of UK underground legends Mighty Baby) had been profoundly affected, both musically and spiritually, by visiting Morocco in 1971, and became adherents of the sufi faith. Upon their return to London they made If Man But Knew, featuring exotic instruments such as koto, shakuhachi and mandola alongside guitar, organ and drums, conjuring a hypnotic, other-worldly ambience in the process. It makes its long-awaited CD debut here, accompanied by detailed liner notes, previously-unseen photographs, five rare bonus tracks and an introduction by the group’s leader, Ian Whiteman. acidvisions.com

Tracklist
01.Two Shakuhachis
02.Koto Piece
03.Eye-Witness
04.Mandola
05.If Man But Knew
06.Fana-Fillah
Bonus Tracks
07.Procession of the God Intoxicated
08.Peregrinations
09.Peregrinations Continued
10.Another Ode
11.Bird in God's Garden

Line-up
Ian Whiteman - shakuhachi, piano, vocals, Bina organ, pipe organ, oboe
Susan Archuletta - shakuhachi, koto, vocals, viola, guitar
Conrad Archuletta - shakuhachi, vocals, nay flute, zither, banjo
Zahara Archuletta - viola, shakuhachi, flute, koto, vocal
Mike Evans - mandola, guitar
Roger Powell - drums, Safi drum

martedì 10 maggio 2016

Phantom's Divine Comedy - Part.1 (1993 One Way Records) 1974

Biography : How do you rate an album like this? On originality, it gets about a zero, but as a hint at what another Doors album could have sounded like, it gets a nine out of nine -- "Tales From a Wizard" aping the group at its most pretentious, and "Devil's Child" as a parody of numbers like "Love Me Two Times." Other titles, like "Spiders Will Dance (On Your Face While You Sleep)" (which opens up seemingly bent on parodying "Alabama Song") and "Stand Beside My Fire" are equally self-explanatory. Actually, it's hard to imagine Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore coming out with something quite this unimaginative -- they always added something new to each album -- unless they were producing themselves and Morrison was really wasted. But the album is a good imitation of what the Doors' music sounded like if you weren't listening too closely to it on the radio. At the time, it fulfilled a need for some listeners, and it was an early indicator of just how large Jim Morrison loomed in the back of some listeners' consciousnesses, long before Oliver Stone ever got near a movie camera. The sound is decent but unexceptional, not that this is a big consideration on this sort of album. There never was a Part 2, incidentally, or at least not one that saw the light of day, but this record did point the way toward careers for Doors tribute bands like Crystal Ship, L.A. Woman, and Soft Parade. Review by Bruce Eder

Tracklist
Intro
01.Tales From A Wizard 5:34
Prelude
02.Devil's Child 2:34
03.Calm Before The Storm 3:38
04.Half A Life 4:17
05.Spideres Will Dance (On Your Face Will You Sleep) 4:22
Wizard
06.Black Magic/White Magic 3:36
07.Merlin 5:37
Entrance
08.Stand Beside My Fire 5:44
09.Welcome To Hell 5:11

Line-up
Phantom (Tom Carson) - vocals, guitar, piano
W (Gary Meisner) - bass
X (John Bdanjeck) - drums, percussion
Y (Dennis Craner) - bass
Z (Mike DeMartino) - piano, organ

domenica 8 maggio 2016

REPOST : Heavy Metal Kids - Heavy Metal Kids (2009 Remastered Cherry Red Records) 1974 (REQUEST)

Biography : The Heavy Metal Kids never became stars, never won any readers polls, never had a hit record. But, if you could roll back time to that moment in 1974 when the very first needle hit the very first pressing of their eponymous debut album, it would be impossible to predict that sordid fate. Quite frankly, Heavy Metal Kids rises so far above the rest of the period pack that -- Sparks and Cockney Rebel notwithstanding -- there was no more exciting proposition to be found on the new-release shelves. Part unrepentant boogie band, part pub rock leviathan, and part good-time distillation of the best of Slade and the Faces, fronted by the utterly irresistible cackle of singer Gary Holton, the Kids' flash, slash, and sashay assault had a cosmic energy that could transform even the ballads ("It's the Same," "Nature of My Game") into fists-in-the-air anthems. A decade later, the band could have so rewritten the notion of the power ballad that suffering through the 1980s might never have been necessary; a decade earlier, the British Invasion could have been the new prog. Imagine Jim Steinman producing Them, and you're close to the majesty of Heavy Metal Kids. As it is, the only people who seem to have truly noted what the Kids were doing were the Rolling Stones -- the laconic reggae of "Run Around Eyes" is a dry run for the Stones' later romp through "Cherry Oh Baby." Heavy Metal Kids hits so many peaks -- "Ain't It Hard," "Always Plenty of Women," "Hangin' On" -- that the end of the album comes so quickly that even they seemed to be taken by surprise. The closing "Rock n' Roll Man," heralded by one of the most triumphant roars in rock history, is followed not by the sound of needle scraping label, but by a violent reprise for what remains the Kids' finest hour: the stomping, storming "We Gotta Go." And that is not only a juxtaposition that will have you talking Cockney for the rest of the day, it also tells you everything you need to know about the Heavy Metal Kids. Nothing can be taken for granted -- and nothing was. Including the fame and glory that this album still demands. Review by Dave Thompson

Tracklist
01.Hangin' On 3:11
02.Ain't It Hard 3:00
03.It's The Same 5:49
04.Run Around Eyes 2:59
05.We Gotta Go 4:51
06.Always Plenty Of Women 3:27
07.Nature Of My Game 3:37
08.Kind Woman 4:26
09.Rock N Roll Man 7:37
10.We Gotta Go (Reprise) 1:30
Bonus Track
11.It's The Same (Live) 3:42

Micky Waller - guitars
Ronnie Thomas - bass & vocals
Gary Holton - lead vocals
Danny Peyronel - keyboards & vocals
Keith Boyce - drums & percussion

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body