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Friday, January 29, 2016

Love Affair - New Day (1970 uk, superb melt of mod beat psych and prog rock, 2008 bonus tracks remaster)



During the summer of 1970 Love Affair began recording the tracks destined for "New Day". The music here is something of a revelation and stills up after forty or so years ago. The album open with the tittle track, written by Mick Jackson, which sets the tone with bold progressive themes. Menacing chords from the keyboards help build up the tnesion befoe the drums come in and Gus Eadon sings with passionate clarity.

In May 1970 the group appeared on BBC TV's Top of the Pops to promote their single version of "Speak Of Peace, Sing Of Joy" looking very determined and serious as they played the four minute number "Live".

But it was an uphill battle to play down their old pop image. The LA name was quietly drop the group reverted back to Love Affair. By the end of the year, August 'Gus' Eadon had left the band. In 1973 he released a solo single Times Are Hard Now, Aint They?' / 'Ladybird' on the Dawn label. In 1974 he joined jazz rock group Zzebra, billed as 'Gus Yeadon' and played piano, guitar, flute clavinet. The band also included Terry Smith (guitar), Dave Quincy (sax) from If and John McCoy (bass) who later worked with Ian Gillan. Zzebra released an album on Polydor and a single, 'Zardoz', used to promote the film 'Zardoz' starring Sean Connery. Gus left Zzebra after a year and joined the Darryl Read Band in1979

After the failure of LA, Morgan Fisher and Maurice Bacon formed a duo called Morgan and released an album 'Nova Soils'. Morgan later joined Mott The Hoople and also worked with Queen. He played in short lived British Lions before moving to Japan in the 1980s, where he lives, studies meditation rarks as a prolific recording artist.

Love Affair's original vocalist Steve Ellis formed his own band Ellis in 1972. This subsequently Ellis Group, with Zoot Money on keyboards. They released the album  “Crest Of A Slump', which was produced by The Who's Roger Daltrey. In 1974 Stever joined the heavy rock outfit Widowmaker. They toured America supporting The Who without much success.

Steve Ellis signed as a solo artist with Arista in 1979 and recorded 'The Last Angry Man', an album destined to be shelved for some years. In 1980, he quit the music business and took up a job as a dockworker. Sadly he was involved in a serious accident when a forklift truck cut his feet and left him incapacitated. He spent the next eight years in and out of hospitals. Steve eventually learned to walk again and took up singing once more in 1991. In December 2001 he joined old friend Paul Weller on stage at a concert in Croydon for a heart-warming acoustic version of “Everlasting Love”.

In final twist to the saga “Love Affair” without Steve or Gus, but with three original members Morgan Fisher, Mo Bacon and Michael Jackson - were reunited in 1999. They appeared in a TV documentary and wrote a new song together called 'Love Affair By Love Affair', which encouraged them to reform the band once more in 2000.
by Chris Welch, London England, December 2007


Tracks
1. New Day (Mick Jackson) - 4:29
2. Walking Down The Road (August "Gus" Eadon, Rex Brayley) - 3:13
3. Ge's Whiz (Morgan Fisher, Rex Brayley) - 4:41
4. Gypsy (Morgan Fisher, August "Gus" Eadon) - 5:04
5. Goodbye Brother Farewell Friend (August "Gus" Eadon) - 3:39
6. Hurt By Love (August "Gus" Eadon) - 5:52
7. Bad Girl (August "Gus" Eadon, Rex Brayley) - 4:15
8. Nine To Five (August "Gus" Eadon) - 5:04
9. Thank You Bean (Morgan Fisher, Mick Jackson) - 3:44
10.Speak Of Peace, Sing Of Joy (August "Gus" Eadon, Mick Jackson) - 4:08
11.Baby I Know (Phillip Goodhand Tait, John Cokell) - 3:41
12.Accept Me For What I Am (Love Affair) - 3:25
13.Lincoln Country (Phillip Goodhand Tait) - 2:57
14.Sea Of Tranquility (Love Affair) - 4:11
15.Brings My Whole World Tumbling Down (Mick Jackson) - 3:33
16.Wake Me I Am Dreaming (L. Batisti, Mogol, Scott) - 3:14
17.That's My Home (August "Gus" Eadon, Rex Brayley) - 3:20
18.Help (Get Me Some Help) (Byl, Vangrade) - 3:24
19.Long Way Home (August "Gus" Eadon, Rex Brayley) - 3:22
20.Io Senza Te (Daniele Pace, Carson, Gayden) - 3:55

The Love Affair
*Rex Brayley - Guitar (1967-71)
*Maurice Bacon - Drums (1967-71)
*Mick Jackson - Bass (1967-71)
*Steve Ellis - Vocals (1967-70)
*Lynton Guest - Keyboards (1967-68)
*Morgan Fisher - Keyboards (1968-71)
*August "Gus" Eadon - Flute (1970)

1967-69  Love Affair - The Everlasting Love Affair (2005 bonus tracks edition) 

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Marshall Tucker Band - Searchin' For A Rainbow (1975 us, beautiful guitar blended country jam roots rock, 2004 remaster and expanded)



Old West dreams meet Southern memories in the tracks of Searchin' for a Rainbow, The Marshall Tucker Band's fourth album. Released in 1975, this song collection found the group refining its multifaceted sound into an appealing country rock essence. Still present were the jazz and blues-based elements that had always made Marshall Tucker a distinctive unit. By dressing up their music in Western garb, the band found a way to reach a huge new audience-all it took was a little "Fire On The Mountain" to light the way. "We'd found a bit more direction on how to design songs for a record," says lead singer Doug Gray. "Our record company Capricorn had always said, 'Try to give us something that would work on the radio.' We tried to do that, and at the same time please each other. We were known as a jamming band. This was the first time we really tried to give them Marshall Tucker's interpretation of what a hit song  was."

Some three years of near-constant touring and steady recording brought the  band to this point. Formed in Spartanburg, SC in 1972, the group united lead guitarist Toy Caldwell, vocalist Doug Gray, bassist Tommy Caldwell, rhythm guitarist George McCorkle, drummer Paul Riddle and reed player Jerry Eubanks in a unique musical partnership. Named for a local piano tuner, the band established itself on the road (often sharing the bill with the Allman Brothers) as a formidable live act. Marshall Tucker's compelling mix of rock, country, blues and jazz set them apart from their peers and ensured them a rabid following in the Southern States and beyond.

At the core of the band's sound was Toy Caldwell's guitar virtuosity and heart felt way with a song. By all accounts, he was constantly working on his music. "Toy was a compulsive songwriter," Paul Riddle says. "At times, music would just pour out of him. I remember one time we were on the road-Toy had just written a verse for 'Searchin' For A Rainbow.' We stopped at a truck stop and I went in to get him a cheese sandwich. By the time I came back, he had the tune finished in less than 10 minutes. It was amazing."

Toy's growing skill on the pedal steel guitar was a factor in the band's move towards a more countrified approach. He developed a jazz-influenced style that was a cut above the typical twanging sounds most players coaxed out of the instrument. "I think it was a challenge for him," says Doug. "The first night he got his pedal steel guitar in Atlanta, he sat there playing it for two or three hours before we started our show. He really developed his own way of playing it."

Searchin' for a Rainbow also reflected The Marshall Tucker Band's growing acceptance among mainstream country musicians. Waylon Jennings, for instance, went on to score a hit single on the country charts with a cover of "Can't You See," a track from the band's first album. Hank Williams, Jr. performed with them at shows in Birmingham. Some in the Nashville music establishment still thought Marshall Tucker was too rock 'n' roll to fit into country radio formats. Eventually, though, hit-makers like Alabama lead singer Randy Owens would acknowledge the group as a key influence. Helping to spur things on was "Fire On The Mountain," the lead track off Searchin' for a Rainbow. Released as a single in the fall of 75, the tune reached #38 on the pop charts. A vivid, Old West, lyric-storyline combined with bluegrass tinged instrumental licks and an ear-grabbing chorus brought Marshall Tucker its first Top 40 hit.

"Fire On The Mountain" was written by George McCorkle, his first composition to be recorded by the band. Doug remembers seeing its potential from the start: "George called me over and had me sing a little bit of it. I said “Man th is going to be a great song.'" Coincidentally, Charlie Daniels (who contributed fiddle to numerous Marshall Tucker albums, including Searchin' for a Rainbow) released an album by the same name around this time, causing a degree of confusion. Before "Fire ...," Marshall Tucker had primarily been heard on FM radio. The song served to introduce the band to a whole new crowd of listeners. Doug says, "At first, we just had the cool people coming to our shows. Then all of a sudden, we had this hit and these teenyboppers started coming out to see us. I remember all these young guys who were sporting cowboy hats and boots—it was a whole new world for them. We noticed that we were drawing a younger crowd, and we started playing more venues that people under 21 could come to." Those new fans who picked up Searchin' for a Rainbow discovered that Marshall Tucker was much more than a singles band. The album ranks among the group's best work, sonically rooted in Southern traditional styles while displaying an individual edge

As with previous albums, Toy Caldwell contributed most of the songs. Lyrically, he delves into Western scenarios in "Virginia" and the title track, contrasting the hunger for gold with the need for faithful love. The pleasures of Southern country life are celebrated in "Bob Away My Blues," while "Bound And Determined" is a bluesy look at a troubled romance. Musically, the album stretches from old-time country to steamy R’n’B and toe-tapping jazz. Toy's pedal steel playing swoops and swoons on "Bob Away My Blues" (invoking memories of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys) and adds a gentle caress to "Keeps Me From All Wrong" (written by brother Tommy). Doug proves his vocalist mettle throughout, veering from honky-tonk testifying to blues belting as the songs require. Jerry Eubanks particularly shines on "Walkin" And Talkin'," a joyfully swinging number. Several guest players are worthy of note. Allman Brothers guitarist Dickie Betts and keyboardist Chuck Leavell contribute their signature touches to the title track and "Bound And Determined," respectively. As on earlier Marshall Tucker albums, producer Paul Hornsby adds dashes of New Orleans piano and gospel-drenched organ here and there.

Rounding out Searchin' ... is a live recording of "Can't You See," taken from a July 1974 show in Milwaukee. This smoldering treatment of the tune-first heard in studio form on the group's debut album-reaffirms Marshall Tucker's status as one of rock's premier jam bands. There's a wrinkle in his playing, Paul Riddle points out: "Listen to the intro-the song is in half-time, but something compelled me to play the first eight beats in double time. Tommy got so tickled, I swear we were about to stop the song. It's an absolute hoot!" Searchin' for a Rainbow brought the band another gold album and eventually 'went platinum as well. "Fire On The Mountain" helped pave the way for even greater success on radio with the 1977 hit "Heard It In A Love Song." Enduring personal tragedy and weathering line-up changes, The Marshall Tucker Band has continued on into the present day. Their creative fires continue to burn bright.
by Barry Alfonso


Tracks
1. Fire On The Mountain (George McCorkle) - 3:56
2. Searchin' For A Rainbow - 3:52
3. Walkin', Talkin' - 2:31
4. Virginia - 4:54
5. Bob Away My Blues - 2:47
6. Keeps Me From All Wrong (Tommy Caldwell) - 4:17
7. Bound, Determined - 4:24
8. Can't You See (Live) - 6:31
9. It Takes Time (Live) - 3:44
All songs by Toy Caldwell except where indicated

The Marshall Tucker Band 
*Toy Caldwell - Vocals, Electric, Acoustic, Steel Guitars
*Tommy Caldwell - Vocals, Bass Guitar
*George McCorkle - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Doug Gray - Vocals, Percussion
*Jerry Eubanks - Saxes, Flute, Vocals
*Paul Riddle - Drums
Guests Friends 
*Richard Betts - Guitar Solo On "Searchin' For A Rainbow"
*Paul Homsby - Piano, Organ
*Charlie Daniels - Fiddle
*Chuck Leavell - Electric Piano
*Jerome Joseph - Congas
*Al McDonald - Mandolin
*Leo LaBranche - Trumpet, Horn Section Arrangements

1973  The Marshall Tucker Band - Way Out West, Live From San Francisco (2010 remaster)
1974  The Marshall Tucker Band - Where We All Belong (2004 remaster with bonus track)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Various Artists - Golden State Psychedelia (1966-69 us, impressive psych rock, 2015 release)



Rare or previously unissued psychedelic gems from late 1960s San Francisco, produced at Leo Kulka’s studio, Golden State Recorders.

When it opened for business in the autumn of 1965, Golden State Recorders was the first large Hollywood-style studio inSan Francisco, with a brand new solid-state board and an expansive main room, perfect for replicating the ambience of the psychedelic ballrooms. Indeed, founder and chief engineer Leo de Gar Kulka had begun offering his services right as the Bay Area witnessed the explosion of its own well-documented rock scene, and thus during its first few years Golden State was the local independent recording venue most frequently visited by the city’s new breed of musician, along with the hordes of attendant A&R men hopeful for the next big thing.

Golden State hosted some of the most genuinely trippy and experimental rock recording sessions held in San Francisco in the late 1960s, but Kulka could not keep his large facility going on bookings alone, and so he also used the studio to attract talent that could be secured to a contract and sold on to labels. Reflecting the prevailing atmosphere in the Bay Area, much of what Golden State recorded under its own production umbrella had a frisson of psychedelic fancy, and at this juncture some 50 years hence, recordings deemed failures at the time are now collectors items, or certainly worthy of a second look, as “Golden State Psychedelia” amply demonstrates.

Some of the earliest and best-loved releases in Big Beat’s “Nuggets From The Golden State” series were based on repertoire from Golden State Recorders. This latest instalment continues to celebrate the studio’s legacy, restoring material from deleted volumes, as well as exhuming more psychedelic gems from the GSR vault. Since Ace Records acquired the catalogue in 2006, we have had the opportunity to revisit the tapes, this time with a fine-toothed comb.

Therefore, aside from rare singles by the Tow-Away Zone and Seventh Dawn, “Golden State Psychedelia” is comprised wholly of material that did not see release at the time, and was all recorded between 1966 and 1971. Highlights include the commercial pop-psych stylings of the Bristol Boxkite, Carnival and Ticket Agents, the punkadelic Goody Box and Immediate Family, and some outrageous studio experiments by Magician and the Gants. With full details on the participants contained in the liner notes, “Golden State Psychedelia” is a package no fan of this entrancing genre will want to miss.
by Alec Palao


Artist - Track
1. The Goody Box - Blow Up (Norman Hadsell) - 2:37
2. The Carnival - Meditorium - 2:19
3. The Tow-Away Zone - Shab'd (Joan Cutting, Phil Franks, Randy Molitor) - 2:58
4. The Bristol Boxkite - Sunless Night (Bill Ellis, Sandra White) - 3:03
5. The Immediate Family - Rubaiyat (Kriss Kovacs, Omar Khayyam) - 2:38
6. The Ticket Agents - Black Diamonds (David Salk) - 2:04
7. The Short Yellow  - Highway Highway (Gary Thorp) - 2:21
8. Celestial Hysteria - Speed (Harold Greer, John Allan, John Barsotti, Mark Buvelot, Mary Hazlewood) - 2:38
9. Magician - Fuck For Peace - 3:58
10.The Carnival - Infinitation - 2:16
11.The Bristol Boxkite - Mad Rush World (Bill Ellis) - 2:44
12.The Seventh Dawn - Don't Worry Me (Darius Phillips, Sue Phillips, Tom Noyer) - 2:37
13.Just Slightly Richer - My Kind Of People (Dan Talbot) - 3:01
14.The Tow-Away Zone - Daddy's Zoo (Bill deHaan, Phil Franks, Randy Molitor, Ray McCarty) - 3:45
15.The Short Yellow - Hand Full (Gary Thorp) - 2:43
16.The Goody Box - Ah Gee (Norman Hadsell) - 2:31
17.The Immediate Family - Wet Chant (Kriss Kovacs) - 5:36
18.The Bristol Boxkite - Chasing Rainbows (Frederic Chopin, Harry Carroll, Joseph McCarth) - 2:22
19.Celestial Hysteria - New Song Aka Going Home (Harold Greer, John Allan, John Barsotti, Mark Buvelot, Mary Hazlewood) - 2:57
20.The Carnival - Years Have Passed Away - 2:13
21.Just Slightly Richer - Solitude (Al Roberts, Dan Talbot, Larry Goldberg, Robert Sanders, Steve Allyn) - 2:51
22.The Bristol Boxkite - Who Are We (Bill Ellis) - 2:27
23.The Short Yellow - Start Seeing (Gary Thorp) - 2:29
24.The Royal Family - Love Is The Greatest Thing (The Royal Family) - 2:48
25.The Gants - Sunday At The Lotus Parlor (Brian Johnson, Dennis Battaglia, Kim Edwards, Tim Grand) - 2:51

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Swegas - Beyond The Ox (1970 uk, astonishing jazz prog brass rock, 2009 digi pak issue)




Beyond The Ox was the second Swegas album and again shows that Nick, with tracks like Into The Ox and Said But Never Heard, to his credit as a writer and arranger, was guiding the band in the right direction. John Macnicol's playing is a welcome addition to the band's sound and Billy Hogan's tight drumming has knitted the band together in a manner that wasn't quite achieved on Child Of Light.


Tracks
1. Into The Ox - 3:34
2. Said But Never Heard - 4:56
3. Dawning - 3:27
4. Morning - 3:32
5. Evensong - 2:50
6. Tomorrow - 2:53
7. 1776 Fantasia - 6:49
8. Cold Unfriendly Way - 6:14
9. Gravedigger - 2:41
10.Beyond The Ox - 6:22
11.Oxtail - 0:22
Music by Swegas, Lyrics by Les Stewart

Personnel
*Alan Smith - Alto Sax, Piano
*Nick Thomas  - Tenor Sax
*John Legg - Baritone Sax
*Joe Spibey - Trumpet, Vocals
*Chris Dawe - Trumpet
*Nick Ronai - Trombone
*Keith Strachan - Organ, Vocals
*Jonny Toogood - Guitar
*Roy Truman - Bass Guitar
*Chrys Chrysostomou - Drums

1971  Swegas - Child Of Light (2007 edition)

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Indian Summer - Indian Summer (1971 uk, solid post psych prog rock with heavy organ driving, 2011 repuk mini LP edition)




Indian Summer were formed in the summer of 1969 by keyboardist Bob Jackson, guitarist/vocalist Colin Williams, drummer Paul Hooper and bassist Malcolm Harker. Based in Coventry they toured the local universities and colleges in their native Midlands before being spotted by manager Jim Simpson who also looked after Black Sabbath and Bakerloo amongst others.

In fact, they often filled in for Sabbath when they were too poor to be able to afford to get to the gigs they were booked to play! Ex-Vertigo Records manager Olav Wyper had been employed by RCA to head its progressive Neon Records label and, after a recommendation from Simpson, he signed the band after witnessing them go down a storm at Henry's Blues House in Birmingham. Teaming them with producer Rodger Bain, who'd produced Black Sabbath's self titled debut album, he put them into London's legendary Trident Studios to record their debut album.Indian Summerwas released in early 1971 (NE3) though a proposed single "Walking On Water" failed to see the light of day.

Immediately after the album's release, Harker left to take over his father's engineering firm (he currently lives in America). His replacement was Wez Price, ex-The Sorrows, who undertook the promotional duties required of the band, including dates in Switzerland. However, on returning from a gig in early 1972 with no money (and a bag of chips between them!) the band felt that something was wrong and decided to call it a day.

Colin Williams retired totally from the music industry to take up employment in the motor industry. Paul Hooper played in various Midlands based bands before teaming up with Bob Jackson in The Dodgers for 1978's Love On The Rebound album, and is currently a member of The Fortunes.

After extracting himself from his contract with Jim Simpson, Bob Jackson teamed up with ex-John Entwhistle vocalist Alan Ross for two LPs and numerous tours. He then joined Moon on their Too Close For Comfort LP of 1976 before passing an audition for Badfinger who he stayed with for nearly three years. He then formed the Dodgers with Paul Hooper before joining ex-Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron for theOn The RocksLP. Since then he's played with the likes of The Motors, The Searchers, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce and Pete Brown and still plays in local bands as well as teaching music.
by Mark Brennan - Special thanks to Bob Jackson


Tracks
1. God is the Dog - 6:37
2. Emotions on Man - 5:44
3. Glimpse - 6:44
4. Half change Again - 6:26
5. Balck Sunshine - 5:25
6. From the film of the Same name - 5:52
7. Secret reflects - 6:46
8. Another Three will Grow - 6:06
All compositions by Indian Summer

Indian Summer
*Malcolm Harker - Bass, Vibes, Vocals
*Paul Hooper - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Bob Jackson - Lead Vocals, Keyboards
*Colin Williams - Guitar, Backing Vocals

Sunday, January 10, 2016

David Wiffen - Coast To Coast Fever (1973 uk/canada, splendid soft rock with folk blues and counrty traces)



The name David Wiffen may or may not ring a bell, but to anyone with an interest in 1970s folk rock I can promise that at least one of his songs will. His material has seen quite a bit of mileage in other performers’ repertoires, and through them a small handful have even filtered up into popular consciousness. Tom Rush and The Byrds both threw their individual spins on “Driving Wheel,” Eric Andersen recorded “More Often Than Not” on his doomed-romantic classic Blue River, and calypso crooner Harry Belafonte rather unexpectedly included both “One Step” and the self-referential “Mister Wiffen” on his 1973 record Play Me. It was the age of the singer-songwriter and David Wiffen seemed to be the next big thing. So what happened?

Coast To Coast Fever, Wiffen’s follow-up to his critically-lauded debut, tells the tale. An informal concept album illustrating the life of the traveling musician and the rigors involved in trying to gain success as a songwriter, it plays as a sort of autobiographical meditation on where the man was at. “He played his tunes to empty rooms, right on down the line,” Wiffen sings on the melancholy title track, “but before he went the money got spent on good times, whiskey and wine.” As in the rest of the album, the singer’s guitar downright sparkles. 

The production, courtesy of legendary Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn, is as laid back and stripped down as one would hope on a record like this, built around a wide acoustic piano sound and smokey percussion. Indeed, Wiffen could hardly have found a more sympathetic ear to this collection of beat meditations and road songs, and Cockburn’s understated guitar playing is arguably one of the record’s musical highlights.

It is hard to break this record into specific highlights when every piece of the puzzle is so essential to the album’s overall character, but a few key cuts do stand out. The down-and-out blues of “Smoke Rings” rests uneasily between gruff, masculine charm and absolute desolation, cigarette smoke drifting quietly out into an empty landscape and paralleling the sad admissions already found in “Coast To Coast Fever.” The story wouldn’t be quite so affecting if one did not get the feeling that this is not a man who has lost it all, but rather one who never had it to begin with, only having glimpsed the possibilities of fame and seen them immediately dissolve into a hard and bitter reality. 

It’s a strange story for being so common, the successful songwriter that’s never able to make it on his own terms. Then again there must be some light to all this darkness considering that we are not only still listening to and talking about David Wiffen’s records, but that he’s still around and singing. The man even managed to record a belated follow-up to Coast To Coast Fever in 1999, featuring a handful of new songs that still stand strong alongside his most enduring material.

Whereas Wiffen’s debut seems to have disappeared into the aether, only having been reissued once by an independent Italian label before quickly falling back out of print (original copies of the album are obnoxiously hard to obtain, and have sold second-hand for several hundred dollars apiece), Coast To Coast Fever has remained somewhat easier to find. A North American release on compact disc remains available through most online retailers, and original vinyl copies seem to have seen far wider distribution than any of Wiffen’s other recordings, frequently appearing in record store cut-out bins and online auction sites.
by Nik (from the Rising Storm)


Tracks
1. Skybound Station (David Wiffen) - 3:50
2. Coast To Coast Fever (David Wiffen) - 4:01
3. White Lines (Willie P. Bennett) - 4:00
4. Smoke Rings (David Wiffen) - 3:57
5. Climb The Stairs (David Wiffen) - 4:07
6. You Need A New Lover Now (Murray McLauchlan) - 4:06
7. We Have Had Some Good Times (David Wiffen) - 3:20
8. Lucifer's Blues (David Wiffen) - 5:45
9. Up On The Hillside (Bruce Cockburn) - 2:51
10.Full Circle (David Wiffen) - 3:18

Musicians
*David Wiffen - Guitar, Vocals
*Bruce Cockburn - Guitar, Bass, Celeste, Vocals
*Dennis Pendrith - Bass
*Skip Beckwith - Bass
*Pat Godfrey - Piano
*Pat Ricio - Piano
*John Savage - Drums
*Bill Usher - Congas
*Andy Cree - Drums
*Bruce Pennycock - Saxophone
*Brian Ahern - String Arrangement

1971  David Wiffen - David Wiffen

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

David Kubinec's Mainhorse Airline - The Geneva Tapes (1969-70 swiss/uk, fine prog rock with jazz flashes, 2007 remaster)



It has always been said that the origins of the Patrick Moraz debut recording group “Mainhorse” are not well documented. Now, with the discovery after 37 years of ‘The Geneva Tapes’ all that has changed.

These tapes provide a unique insight into how the band was formed and what its original aims and personnel were. In the late summer of 1969, Moraz and his friend, bass player and cellist Jean Ristori came over to England in search of an English rock drummer and singer. After putting an advertisement in Melody Maker they hired a rehearsal room in Shepherds Bush, London for 2 days.

On the first day they auditioned drummers and chose a then unknown 17 year old Bryson Graham. The 2nd day was spent listening to singers and finally the choice was reduced to 2. The singer from that great band “If” and cult rock figure David Kubinec aka ‘Kubie’ from pop-psych band “The World of Oz”. Finding it impossible to decide between them, they were given an exam in which they both had to write lyrics for ‘Pale Sky’ in 10 minutes but Kubinec raced through it in 3 or 4 and they can be heard here in their entirety for the 1st time. And so Kubie was chosen.

These 4 guys then flew over to Switzerland and joined up with Auguste De Antoni the renowned French jazz guitarist and Swiss jazz drummer Arnold who were part of The Patrick Moraz Quartet which had already played to great acclaim at The Montreux Jazz Festival, forming a 6 piece group with 2 drummers with differing styles which Moraz named “Integral Aim”.

An innovative project of free jazz, rock, psychedelia and classical fusion (which filled the gap between the Underground and Progressive-Rock and which would have taken the world of music by storm) was over, but it makes the recent emergence of these original tapes all the more exciting. This album is a must for any fan of what became known as Prog- Rock, laying down as it did one of the foundation stones for that genre and yet these particular recordings have never been heard before.

A truly fabulous and unexpected find that shines a light into the dark corners of late-sixties and early-seventies experimental music. Moraz went on to play with Refugee, Yes and The Moody Blues, recording several albums of his own when he left them after fifteen years. David Kubinec, a wonderful songwriter in his own right, recorded solo material and also albums with The Rats and John Cale of Velvet Underground. Bryson Graham teamed up with Gary Wright, Spooky Tooth and The Paul Kossoff Band and was with Paul when he died on the flight returning from the United States.

He rejoined Kubie in David Kubinec's Excess in 1978 to promote the A&M album "Some Things Never Change" with Chris Spedding, Ollie Halsall and John Cale. In 1979, Kubinec went to the former Yugoslavia to watch his only child Emily growing up, and he joined "Stijene" a rock band which enjoyed great national success before the Balkan Wars. After the war, it was rumoured that he had been killed in a crossfire between the Serbs and Croats. This has never been confirmed, but it's certain that he hasn't released a record since.

In 1997, Rick Davies of Supertramp, who had always been a big fan of Kubinec's songwriting talent, paid him the compliment of titling the Supertramp album released that year "Some Things Never Change".  A fitting tribute.
by Louise Campbell


Tracks
1. Overture and Beginners - 3:36
2. Blunt Needles - 6:28
3. Passing Years (David Kubinec, Patrick Moraz) - 3:28
4. Make It the Way You Are - 5:01
5. Pale Sky (David Kubinec, Jean Ristori) - 6:54
6. What the Government Can Do for You - 4:26
7. Daybreak of Eternity - 4:11
8. Directions for Use - 4:18
9. Very Small Child - 4:29
10.God Can Fix Anything - 11:27
All songs by David Kubinec except where stated

David Kubinec's Mainhorse Airline
*Patrick Moraz - Keyboards
*David Kubinec - Vocals
*Bryson Graham - Drums
*Jean Ristori - Bass, Cello
*Auguste De Antoni - Guitar
*Arnold Ott - Drums

Related Act
1969  World Of Oz - The World Of Oz

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