sabato 4 marzo 2017

Blackwood Apology - The House of Leather (2010 Aurora Records) 1969

Biography : An obscure concept album dating back to 1968, recorded in Chicago by musicians from Minnesota. It's not a rock opera (it has no magnitude of, let's say, "Tommy" by the Who ), more likely a musical or a vaudeville, although without the gaiety of the latter. Aesthetically, it is collection of pleasant and melodic pieces of moderate psychedelia based mainly on sunshine pop. It has some bright and promising moments, with good organ and keyboards, but they are lost in uninspiring harmonies and in eunuch-like vocals badly imitating "voice of the angels" - too sweet to be digested harmlessly.
The main catch of the album was bizarre and revolutionary plot, doomed for a greater success (which didn't happen): the story happened during Civil War, in a brothel cum ammunitions factory (in its basement), this way (I think) the facility could diversify its patriotic efforts; not "Gone With The Wind", but still...
This winning concept was concocted by 23-year old songwriter and guitarist Dale Menten, and thus Blackwood Apology was born: Dale Menten on guitar & vocals, seasoned session musician Bruce Pedalty on organ, Tom Husting (guitar), Dennis Craswell (drums), Dennis Libby (piano). Another session musician - Greg Maland - was invited to provide extra keyboards and pipe organ sound for the recording (and an impressive job he did!). Menten managed to sell the final product to Chicago-based Fontana and if the sales were far from being spectacular, a playwright was recruited, and a theatrical hastily produced. The stage performance enjoyed a grand success of 50 sell-outs in local 90-seat theatre in 1969 (but with a different line-up) , and in 1970 an ambitious off-Broadway musical was launched. This first New York performance (without original musicians) became its last.
Musical values of the album, however scarce, fell short of its reputation among vinyl collectors.

01.Medley: Swanee River Overture / House Of Leather Theme 2:06
02.Do You Recall The House Of Leather? 2:47
03.Recess With Mrs. Grim 1:03
04.Graduates Of Mrs. Grim’s Learning 3:10
05.There Is Love In The Country (On The Donny Brooks Farm) 2:03
06.Here I Am 4:27
07.She Lives With Me 1:07
08.There’s Love In The Country (On The Donny Brooks Farm)  Reprise 2:05
09.Time Marches On 5:23
10.Dixie And The War 3:21
11.Death And Reality 2:52
12.Sarah’s On Her Knees 2:46
13.Theme From House Of Leather (Epilogue In Suede) 2:45

Ron Beckman - Bass,
Dennis Caswell - Drums, Vocals
Tom Hustin - Guitar, Vocals
Dennis Libby - Piano, Vocals
Greg Maland - Keyboards, Pipe Organ
Dale Menten - Guitar, Vocals
Bruce Pedalty - Organ, Vocals

1 commento:

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