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"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Blues Project - Projections (1966 us, psychedelic blues folk rock masterpiece, 2013 japan SHM two disc remaster)



The Blues Project can be defined by those who know and understand music in different and interesting ways. I describe it as a work of determination! Take these five young musicians and their struggles of this past year; they made it without the aid of a 'single on the charts' and despite the economics of an almost unbroken law that says, "no hit record, you don't survive." But with these young men, you find that there is an exception to the rule. 

The struggle has not been an easy one, and it is far from over. But— they are going to 'make it!' Witness their exciting performances at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich  Village.... the three times they played at Central Park this past summer to SRO crowds. These are the dates that made possible the healthy 'underground' movement, the ever-growing grapevine that has led them to dates in San Francisco and concerts in colleges that included Rutgers, Boston U., Kent, Ithaca, Brandeis, Hobart, CCNY, Grinnell, and others. People are subscribing to the music and the originality of the Project. 

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was asked by a number of students, "When will The Blues Project be coming over?" It would not be surprising to find students in Europe and Asia asking the same question. The word is out, it is inevitable that whatever roads the words travel, the group, its music, and its station wagon will be sure to follow. Expect them to appear anywhere. 

They have something to say. The world wants to listen to music—wants love and hope...and this is what The Blues Project is projecting— Love, Hope and a determination to make their sounds meaningful and lasting.
by Sid Bernstein (sometime 'round 1966)


Tracks
Disc 1
1. I Can't Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 4:48
2. Steve's Song (Steve Katz) - 5:20
3. You Can't Catch Me (Chuck Berry) - 4:35
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) - 12:19
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 5:16
6. Cheryl's Going Home (Bob Lind) - 2:33
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 5:59
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) - 7:12
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) - 3:29
10.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:19


Disc 2 Mono Album
1. I Can't Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 4:26
2. Steve's Song (Steve Katz) - 4:58
3. You Can't Catch Me (Chuck Berry) - 4:17
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) - 11:34
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) - 5:19
6. Cheryl's Going Home (Bob Lind) - 2:38
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 6:02
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) - 7:18
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) - 3:33
10.When There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:34
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 2:44

The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Keyboards, Vocals
*Steve Katz - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Andy Kulberg - Bass, Flute
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums

Other Blues Projects
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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T. Swift And The Electric Bag - Are You Experienced? (1968 us, spooky acid psych folk rock, Gear Fab release)



No one besides the folks who made Are You Experienced? knew exactly who T. Swift, let alone his Electric Bag, was. You could lay down good money, however, that Are You Experienced? is a psychsploitation toss-off. The record smacks of a group of grizzled, thirty-something, Sunset Strip sessionmen trying their hand at the groovy pop sounds of the day, on the strict orders of label suits with chic sideburns looking to make a quick buck off the amusements of the hippies and flower children. 

As cynical as that sounds, it doesn't take a Herculean stretch of the brainpan to imagine a quick, beer-fueled recording session leading to the music that graces the album. Whoever the faux-longhairs who made it actually were, though, in the process of laying down a half-dozen truly innocuous facsimiles of the way-out '60s sounds -- "A Jet" is a straight cop of the Box Tops' "The Letter," "Take It Easy Baby" literally is Classics IV's "Spooky" -- they somehow managed to stumble on a handful of startlingly inspired moments. "Free Form in 6," in particular, is a jolting freakout (think Chocolate Watchband by way of the Doors) that taps into some sort of zoned-out consciousness through its lulling jazz rhythms, fuzz bass, and ominous organ runs. 

Slightly less sublime but still outstanding are cuts like the surf go-go "The Stinger" and "Expo in Sound," while "What's Your Bag?" has a spooky acid-washed guitar solo amid its slick, sub-Byrdsian raga noodling. And there is something goose-pimple creepy about the lurching, minimalistic, otherworldly version of the Jimi Hendrix title track that belies its origin. Even the most contrived cuts on the album -- most in pale Booker T. mold -- are wonderful in the way that only the most disposable, plastic muzak of the '60s seems to be. The songs aren't suitable for more than a couple close listens, but they might be precisely the background soundtrack required for -- well, that can be left to the imagination. 
by Stanton Swihart

With the release of  T Swift & The Electric Bag’s “Are You Experienced” album Jerry and crew must have really started to come on to the Orange Sunshine. On tracks such as ‘Expo In Sound’ and ‘Free Form In 6’ Jerry waved his freak flag higher than most. ‘Kimeaa’ is a classic in its own right, as is Jerry’s 12-string workout on ‘What’s Your Bag?’, and even the cover version of ‘Are You Experienced’ is fun to listen to. 

Tracks
1. Are You Experienced? - 4:37
2. As I Grow Into A Man - 2:46
3. Red Eyes - 2:56
4. A Jet - 2:28
5. Take It Easy Baby - 3:05
6. What's Your Bag? - 2:09
7. Free Form in 6 - 2:07
8. The Stinger - 2:36
9. The Strut - 2:25
10.Expo In Sound - 4:34

*Jerry Cole - Guitars

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