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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tales Of Justine - Petals From A Sunflower Complete Recordings (1967-69 uk, wonderful delicate swinging psychedelia, 2016 remaster)



Tales Of Justine were one of those bands that came along at the outset of UK Psychedelia in the mid to late 60s but their pop dabbling soon lost them the “head” audience as the fashion went more towards heavy, experimental jamming rather than their snappy but trippy songs. Though they (and bands like them), never quite cut the mustard with the hip crowd back then, time on the whole has been kind to them and the type of “caught between two stools” late 60s Psych-Pop that they turned out has subsequently found favour with people all over the world that were too young to experience the Summer Of Love themselves, but wise to the value of a good tune well performed. That’s the odd thing about Psychedelia in broad terms – it worked as expansive, highly experimental underground music but somehow also as an intricate, “instant-nostalgia” pop art format. Justine clearly fitted comfortably into the later group.

With a past that dated back to Potters Bar beat band the Sound Of Silence, Tales Of Justine were spearheaded by the talented David Daltrey, singer, guitarist and yes, relative of the ‘orrible ‘Oo’s Roger. After a brief time as the Court Jesters, they assumed the Tales Of Justine name and hit the early 60s Psychedelic scene that was taking off in clubs such as Middle Earth and the Electric Garden, in the hope that they could become leading lights in the mode of emerging stars Pink Floyd. They were in truth far more traditional in their approach, very pop-orientated indeed and as the evidence here displays, far the better for it.

During the summer of 67 they were espied in concert by Tim Rice, who quickly came to realise their potential. Rice, who along with his partner the awful Andrew Lloyd Webber would of course go on to write some highly lucrative and bafflingly successful musicals, was at this time keeping a keen eye on the pop scene for any rising talent in his role at EMI A&R.Daltrey and Co clearly fitted the bill. He quickly signed them up to a management contract and also got their monikers on the dotted line with his record company overlords too. Success only looked a short step away for Tales Of Justine, but it didn’t quite turn out that way….

Sharing some common ground with fellow Psych-Pop would-be wunderkinds Muswell Hill’s Turquoise (the makers of “Tales Of Flossie Fillett”, who benefited from some association with their near neighbours the Kinks), TOJ specialised in a whimsical and stately version of Psychedelia, but they were not adverse to throwing in the odd mind-melting Freakbeat-esque effort when it pleased them (the stop-start “Sunday School” and the rough version of “Evil Woman” are both somewhat in that mode, some cracking fuzz guitar included in both). 

Though the Rice/Lloyd Weber patronage got them into Abbey Road to record (which explains the high sound quality on this lovingly-realised collection) it couldn’t even get them more than one record released. In truth the A side “Arthur” was far from being their best material, being a merely ok bit of nursery rhyme of Psychedelia, which does not display them in their best light at all. It is hardly suprising that it did not make an impact in the winter of 67 when the charts were awash with this kind of thing (Rice admits on the sleeve-notes that they should have flipped the sides with “Monday Morning”, a nifty piece of Mod guitar pop with way more appeal, being far the better of the two recordings on the single). What is harder to understand is why no-one at EMI thought that anything else they set down at Abbey Road over the two year period documented here other than those two tracks warranted any further exposure?

But of course the single flopped and that was the end of Tales Of Justine, as far as officially released material was concerned anyway. Despite that they recorded repeatedly over the next year or so and those recordings that never saw the light of day at the time make up the bulk of this compilation. The sad thing though is that the potential of the band is clear to see. A case in point is the goofy but wonderful “Come To Me Softly” (actually a David Daltrey solo) – nonsense female vocals, parping horns and a crashing guitar which prefigures cousin Rog’s “We Won’t Get Fooled Again”, all adding up to an attractive and totally adorable novelty. 

The “Victorian Music-Box” sound of “Sitting On A Blunestone” is another joy to the ears and “Pathway” has the kind of melodramatic, highly orchestrated and well-arranged (probably down to Lloyd Weber I suppose, I’ll give him that) feel that gave the Walker Brothers so much success in the same period. Very well sung too. The “bad trip” story of “Eleventh Obsolete Incident” is also outstanding and would have made a fine single, like most of the tracks here (which again makes you wonder why they plumped for “Arthur”?). In an alternate world, they would have been a hit machine.

This collection contains everything that Tales Of Justine laid down on tape at the time, along with a couple of solo David Daltrey recordings, all which glisten with the hope and heady atmosphere of that moment nearly 50 years back now. You also get the full, convoluted story in David Wells’ excellent sleeve-notes in the booklet (Wells’ release of the same name on his Tenth Plant imprint nearly 20 years ago presented more Tales Of Justine material for the first time and forms the backbone of what is presented here) to accompany the jaw-dropping beauty on show here amongst the songs. 

Tales Of Justine never made more than a ripple at the time but this set does deserves much more – the 60s flower children missed out on some great tunes. A combination of bad luck, bad timings and bad advice contributed to their eventual fate, but we can be thankful that what has endured in the dank vaults at EMI for all those years has finally seen the light of day. They were brilliant at times were Tales Of Justine and now we can finally tell.
by Ian Canty


Tracks
1. Albert - 2:54
2. Monday Morning - 3:24
3. Eleventh Obsolete Incident - 3:03
4. Sitting On A Blunestone - 2:39
5. Sunday School - 3:25
6. Evil Woman (David Daltrey, Paul Myerson) - 3:33
7. Music To Watch Us By - 3:06
8. So Happy - 3:15
9. Morpheus - 4:07
10.Aurora - 2:56
11.Something Special - 2:45
12.Pathway - 3:47
13.Saturn - 3:23
14.Jupiter - 2:19
15.If This Is Love - 2:57
16.Easy To Be Hard (Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, James Rado) - 3:03
17.Come Softly To Me (Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, Gary Troxel) - 2:41
18.Obsolete Incident - 2:40
19.Evil Woman (Alternative Version) (David Daltrey, Paul Myerson) - 3:32
20.Albert - 2:56
21.So Much Love To Give You - 3:31
All songs by David Daltrey except where indicated
Tracks 16-17 David Daltrey solo recordings

Tales Of Justine
*David Daltrey - Vocals, Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, piano, Mellotron, Sitar, Celeste
*Paul Myerson - Organ, Bass, Celeste, Vocals
*Bruce Hurford - Drums (1967)
*Paul Locke - Drums (1968-69)

1967-69  Tales Of Justine - Petals From A Sunflower (Vinyl issue) 

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Jackson Browne - For Everyman (1973 us, fascinating country folk rock, 2004 remaster)



For inwardly panoramic songwriting of an apocalyptic bent, Jackson Browne's second album is rivaled only by his first (the second one wins), and Jackson himself is rivaled by nobody. His work is a unique fusion of West Coast casualness and East Coast paranoia, easygoing slang and painstaking precision, child's-eye romanticizing and adult's-eye acceptance. He can expand explicit experience until it takes on the added dimension of an overview, or he can philosophize with such intimacy that every generality becomes a private truth. Either way, his songs hang suspended in an extraordinary twilight zone between reality and myth.

For Everyman further establishes Jackson as a purebred Seventies intelligence, though it also includes some of his precocious late Sixties material. He is the first major songwriter to have emerged with the knowledge that the battles Bob Dylan depicted a decade ago are either over or too ambiguous to be worth fighting any more. But unlike most older writers, he is not yet ready to retreat into merely mining the realm of private problems for subject matter. He has internalized the remains of those larger struggles and still dares to hope for solutions.

Nevertheless, he has progressed beyond the proselytizing stage, as the stunningly eloquent title cut carefully indicates. "For Everyman" is a more thoughtful, less impetuous reworking of "Rock Me on the Water"; both songs provide visions of the apocalypse, but this time the image is significantly altered "Rock Me" was a fiery youthful fantasy shot through with contempt ("Oh, people, look around you . . . "), dreams of escape ("While your walls are burnin', your towers are turnin'/I'm gonna leave you here, and try to get down to the sea somehow"), and nervous premonitions that escape might be just one more illusion ("Everyone must have some thought — That's gonna pull them through somehow").

"For Everyman" presents the crisis in gentler terms ("Everybody I talk to is ready to leave. With the light of the morning . . . " and offers an impassioned disc aner of special wisdom ("I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan/Turn and walk away if you think I am"). Most notably, the renegade spirit who once dreamed of being bathed by "the sisters of the sun" while everything around him went up in flames is now ready to be left behind on the eve of the exodus — "holding sand," weighing "all my fine dreams, well thought-out schemes to gain the Motherland," and realizing that this time patience may make more sense than flight.

The daydreamer who waits to discover in himself the essence of "Everyman" is curiously suspended in time. He sits just shy of maturity, and will not progress until the object of his search takes clearer shape. Yet his childhood is over, however much he may long for "that place in the sun/Where a sweet child is still dancing." Jackson himself seems equally divided between teacher and searcher, mock-adult and mock-child, and one of his finest songs toys with the irony of his trying to play both roles at once.

In his best rocker, "Ready Or Not," he assumes one guise after another; the song sounds like the album's most sardonic fantasy, though it's actually the closest he comes to detailing a true story. His girl is pregnant, and he narrates the tale most comfortably by playing naive: "Someone's gonna have to explain it to me. I don't know what it means." He met the mother-to-be in a bar, "doing my very best Bogart," affecting sophistication. But after an initial show of bravado he's suddenly helpless again, posing (as in "Jamaica Say You Will") as passive, irresponsible, a child: "Next thing I remember she was all moved in, and I was buying her a washing machine."

Even when he asks the song's key question, the innocence is a sham: "Take a look in my eyes and tell me, brother/If I look like I'm ready . . .?" Why is he asking? The "not" of the title becomes all the more emphatic for remaining unspoken, despite the song's somewhat forced happy ending. (When Jackson performs it in concert, he turns the "rock & roll bad man" of the last line into a "rock & roll asshole," seemingly as uncomfortable with his tough-guy role as he is with any of the others.)

"Ready Or Not"'s final resolution rings a little false because it disrupts the pattern of descent that figures into Jackson's other songs. Most of his melodies build up their energy at the start of each line, wear down by line's end, then regroup and try again, once he's caught his breath. His lyrics often follow a similar scheme, starting off with something reasonably definite and then floating off into troublesome ambiguities.

"The Times You've Come," the album's sweetly erotic heartbreaker, takes the pattern of descent even further, exploring it on both spiritual and sexual levels. The title verb takes on progressively more sexual meaning, building up to a wonderfully evocative chorus (sung with Bonnie Raitt), then trailing off into post-orgasmic reverie. Meanwhile, the song begins with a relatively matter-of-fact assessment of the risks entailed in a relationship ("we've lost as much as we have won"), then falls further and further away from the concrete.

The final verse offers up a sense of sexual security, pauses, and then proceeds to undermine the calm with an ominous note to which the spirit has descended while the body was preoccupied: "Now we're lying here, so safe in the ruins of our pleasure/Laughter marks the place where we have fallen/And our lives are near, so it wouldn't occur to us to wonder/Is this the past or the future that is calling?"

For all the pessimism those lines imply, For Everyman also develops a faith in the writer's own ability to check his fall. Although the title cut rejects relatively traditional means of uplift ("that strong but gentle Father's hand"), in "Our Lady of the Well" he creates his own secular sacrament, once again placing faith in the ritual and restorative powers of water, which lent such mystical resonance to his last album. Back of the bus, Bob Heinlein.

Despite themes that bind many of its songs together, For Everyman is essentially a collection rather than an album, most of the songs are so complete that they resist Jackson's attempts to run them together (although "Sing My Songs to Me" is an exception, a longish fragment that serves to introduce the daydream spirit of the title cut).

So not everything fits smoothly, although even the jarring moments work in a positive way. The early songs, for instance, serve as fascinating keys to why Jackson — who was good to begin with — has gotten so much better. "These Days" is an elegantly composed exercise in sulky defensiveness, "Colors of the Sun" an oversimplified, childish indictment. Each is too single-minded to measure up to his current level of complexity, but their presence underscores the strength of his mature synthesis by demonstrating the emotional purity of its components.

"Take It Easy," the one song here that is not entirely Jackson's own — it was Glen Frey, of the Eagles, who was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona — is the only cut whose melody actually outshines its lyrics. Jackson can usually turn street talk around to his own advantage, restoring cliches to their original meanings and arriving at an amazingly loose form of expression. (Sometimes he makes up phrases so natural they sound like street cliches the first time you hear them.) But the glibness gets out of hand in parts of "Take It Easy," and even more so in "Redneck Friend," which sounds like too deliberate an attempt to create a single by someone whose art, even at its most casual, remains too complex for strictly AM audiences. Still, "Redneck Friend" inadvertently offers up a line that's a concise, albeit conservative, estimation of the whole album's merits: "Eleven on a scale of ten."

Jackson's musicianship still lags behind his extraordinary abilities as a poet. Although his melodies blend beautifully with the mood and cadence of his lyrics, both tunes and arrangements seem shaped around the words. But the best arrangements here are effective on a startlingly deep level. "For Everyman" begins and ends with a low rumble from Russ Kunkel, then bursts out into a high-spirited release that mirrors the spirit of the song's resolution, simultaneously joyful and cautious. "Colors of the Sun" has an eerie, dirge-like quality that creates just enough tension to offset the song's more grandiose moments.

Even the more conventional arrangements work wonderfully well, with most of the spark coming from David Lindley, the guitar/fiddle jack-of-all-strings who also functions as Jackson's house wizard. The album has no official producer (Jackson thinks that's an unnecessary function, says the whole thing just "trickled out"), but most of it sounds like a brilliant, if understated, composite of the author's fluid downward progressions and Lindley's euphoric whimsy.

His singing has greatly improved since the last album, showing off a new expressiveness in his more soulful moments (particularly "These Times You've Come") and hitting the high notes with much more confidence and energy than before. He still doesn't write for his own voice, though; either that, or he sometimes can't play (especially piano) in whatever key he would sing best in. He often couples descending verses with choruses that shoot upward, and while the split evokes both a waking-dreaming polarity and an attempt to check downward drifting, it also forces him into the sort of low notes he can only mumble.

But every last note here, singable or otherwise, has a special resonance. Jackson's concerns, even more than his.
by Janet Maslin, November 22, 1973


Tracks
1. Take It Easy - 3:52
2. Our Lady Of The Well - 3:39
3. Colors Of The Sun - 4:17
4. I Thought I Was A Child - 3:45
5. These Days - 4:47
6. Redneck Friend - 3:59
7. The Times You've Come - 3:39
8. Ready Or Not - 3:36
9. Sing My Songs To Me - 3:25
10.For Everyman - 6:12
All compositions by Jackson Browne except track #1, co-written with Glenn Frey

Musicians
*Jackson Browne - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Rhythm Guitar
*David Crosby - Harmony Vocals
*Craig Doerge - Piano
*Wilton Felder - Bass Guitar
*Glenn Frey - Harmony Vocals
*Doug Haywood - Bass, Harmony Vocals
*Don Henley - Harmony Vocals
*Elton John - Piano
*Jim Keltner - Drums
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Pedal Steel
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*David Lindley - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Fiddle, Electric Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
*Gary Mallaber - Drums
*Mickey Mcgee - Drums
*Joni Mitchell - Electric Piano
*Spooner Oldham - Organ
*David Paich - Piano
*Bill Payne - Piano
*Bonnie Raitt - Harmony Vocals
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*Mike Utley - Organ

1972  Jackson Browne - Saturate Before Using 
1974  Jackson Browne - Late For The Sky ( 2014 remaster)

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Original Sloth Band - Whoopee After Midnight (1973 canada, fine blues jazz ragtime jug bluegrass, 2011 korean remaster)



This is a collection of songs recorded as The Original Sloth Band would play them live - without overdubbing.

The first song is an old fiddle tune. Learned from Chet Parker's hammered dulcimer version "The New Heartbreak Blues" is roughly based on Gus Cannon's "Heart Breaking News" with a few words from Willie McTell. Fats Waller was the inspiration for "The Sheik of Araby". "Heaven" has been recorded by Flatt & Scruggs, among others (notably Red Allen & The Kentuckians on County). "The Johnson Rag" was adapted from Jimmy Dorsey and his Dorseyland Band's version, featuring the inimitable Claire "Shanty" Hogan. Probably the only other version of "I Just Want To Be Horizontal" is by Pat Flower and his Rhythm. "Stealin' " is from the most prolific of the old jug bands: The Memphis Jug Band.

Side Two opens with the old Coon & Saunder's Nighthawk's hit, "Rhythm King". "Get A Job" is by that traditional folk group, The Silhouettes. More than one source went into "The How Long Blues" but it owes its greatest debt to Franki "Half-pint" Jaxon. We found "Vulture..." at a Kiwanis Club rummage sale. "Mandolin King Rag" is in honour of the original mandolin king, Ex-King Thug III of Belgravia. "Coming In Glory" is from the singing of Fred Price, Clint Howard, and Doc Watson. "Buddha's Got The Blues" comes from the hot sleepy delta land of southern North York.

Back in the mid sixties of the last century, in the hot, sleepy delta land of southern North York, the Original Sloth Band began. Brothers Chris and Ken Whiteley and their friend Tom Evans started what was originally a jug band called Tubby Fats Original All Star Downtown Syncopated Big Rock Jug Band.

By 1973 they were known as the Original Sloth Band. At the forefront of independent recording, they released their first album, "Whoopee After Midnight." It was an incredibly eclectic mix of styles ranging through jug band to swing, fiddle tunes to doo wop, obscure songs from the 20's, 30's and 40's, bluegrass and more. Between the three of them they played 17 different instruments, all recorded live off the floor.

In 1975 the "Sloths" were back in the studio recording "Hustlin' and Bustlin." This time out they added string bass and drums to some tracks and were focusing more on early blues, jazz and jug band music. The early 1970s also marked their emergence in the burgeoning folk festival scene. They went on to prominence at festivals across Canada and in the United States.

Their third album was recorded and mixed by Daniel Lanois and featured contributions from the legendary Chicago blues pianist Blind John Davis. Titled for the year of its recording and release, "1978" demonstrated their growing musical sophistication while retaining their funky, old time roots. Also in 1978, they recorded with Leon Redbone on his album "Champagne Charlie" touring with him and appearing together on the famed television show "Saturday Night Live."

The following year Ken Whiteley recorded a gospel album, "Up Above My Head" which enlisted the support of his fellow Sloth Band members and also added the vocal harmonies of a trio of women calling themselves the Honolulu Heartbreakers. For the next two years they began doing shows as an 8 piece ensemble! 

After 1981, Chris and Ken both began pursuing other musical ventures. However they would still get the Original Sloth Band together for special engagements. The band gave it's last performance just a year and a half before Tom Evans' untimely death in 2009.

Chris and Ken Whiteley are both still very active in the Canadian musical scene. Chris has been focusing on his work with blues artist Diana Braithwaite. Ken is noted for his blues and gospel performances, his work in children's music and his record production. From time to time, though Chris and Ken will perform together and echoes of those early jug band blues, Original Sloth Band days will ring out once again.
CD Liner Notes


Tracks
1. Temperance Reel - 1:09
2. The New Heartbreak Blues - 2:52
3. The Sheik Of Araby - 2:45
4. Heaven - 2:21
5. The Johnson Rag - 2:04
6. (I Just Want To Be) Horizontal - 2:59
7. Stealin' - 2:38
8. Rhythm King - 2:10
9. Get A Job - 1:26
10.How Long Blues - 2:35
11.I'm A Vulture (For Horticulture) - 3:05
12.Mandolin King Rag - 1:15
13.He's Coming In Glory - 2:21
14.Buddha's Got The Blues - 2:07
All compositions by Tom Evans, Chris Whiteley, Ken Whiteley

The Original Sloth Band
*Tom Evans - Mandolin, Clarinet, Tenor, Soprano Sax, Vocals,, Triangle
*Chris Whiteley - Trumpet, Harmonica, Bass Harmonica, Guitar, Vocals
*Ken Whiteley - Guitar, Mandolin, Washboard, Jug, Accordion, Vocals

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Tim Hardin - Tim Hardin 2 (1967 us, gorgeous melodic folk rock, 2006 reissue)



It’s fair to say Tim Hardin’s surge of creativity between ’66 and ’67 produced some of the decade’s best songwriting. While his debut album, Tim Hardin 1, feels rushed – most songs clock in at two minutes with splatters of orchestral strings over simple lyricism – Tim Hardin 2 paints a more complete picture.

Hardin’s hit parade was squandered by Bobby Darin’s rendition of the record’s opener, “If I Were A Carpenter.” Darin broke the Top 10 with “Carpenter” in ’66, which Hardin was unaware of until he heard it on his car radio. It’s a mere imitation of Hardin’s plaintive vocals, which were modeled after jazz pianist Mose Allison and country singer Lefty Fizzell.

“If I were a carpenter and you were a lady/ Would you marry me anyway, would you have my baby,” Hardin sings. It’s a question directed at Susan Morss, his lover and muse. On the album cover, she palms her swollen stomach as he peers out at the back courtyard of their Spanish house in L.A.

Hardin met Morss, whom he calls “Susan Moore,” when she was acting on the soap opera The Young Marrieds. They hooked up at the disapproval of her father, a former major-general in the Army and a prosecutor in New Jersey. On “The Lady Came from Baltimore,” Hardin describes him as a man who “read the law” and believes that Hardin marries “Susan Moore” to “steal her money.”

Despite Hardin’s affection for Morss, his relationship with heroin (which he describes in “Red Balloon”) proved to be overwhelming, and within three years his life as a “family man” ended. “Bought myself a red balloon and got a blue surprise,” he lulls over the song’s haunting chords. But it’s not all so dark; his brightness is very much alive on “See Where You Are and Get Out” and “Black Sheep Boy.”

Hardin tried to stop using prior to the birth of their son Damion in ’67. He seems painfully aware of nearing fatherhood in the songs “Baby Close Its Eyes” and “Speak Like a Child,” where he parallels his state to Hank Williams’ death: “Goodbye Hank Williams my friend/ I didn’t know you but I’ve been the places you’ve been.” “Tribute to Hank Williams” concludes the album, delicately sketching a farewell to Williams that’s oddly reflective of his own goodbye – Hardin overdosed on December 29, 1980.

Every muse has a lifespan, and it’s certainly true for Hardin, whose songwriting did not thrive after Morss took Damion and left him at his home in Woodstock. His drug use soon increased and his writing dried up. Tim Hardin 2  opens a window into his short-lived genius.
by James K. Williamson


Tracks
1. If I Were A Carpenter - 2:44
2. Red Balloon - 2:36
3. Black Sheep Boy - 1:56
4. Lady Came From Baltimore - 1:52
5. Baby Close Its Eyes - 1:55
6. You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie - 1:49
7. Speak Like A Child - 3:17
8. See Where You Are And Get Out - 1:14
9. It's Hard To Believe In Love for Long - 2:18
10.Tribute To Hank Williams - 3:13
Music and Lyrics by Tim Hardin

Tim Hardin – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

1966-68  Tim Hardin - The Millennium Collection (2002 issue)
1969-70  Tim Hardin - Suite For Susan Moore / Bird On The Wire
1972  Tim Hardin - Painted Head (2007 japan remaster)

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Graphite - Live In Cornwall (1971 uk, great prog psych rock)



This is the only known live recording of Graphite, The 1/4" master tape from which the live material was taken was in poor overall condition having been partially erased and generally worn. Originally recorded with duff microphone leads on either stereo channel, the first three tracks suffered from intermittent interference and have been reconstructed as best as possible, necessarily in mono, whilst also being slightly enhanced to compensate for the missing channel.

The band were among the opening acts to perform at the Tregye Festival of Contemporary Music near Truro in the summer of 71, yet still gained a notable billing above Queen! Also performing, were various other interesting progressive outfits of the day, including Tea & Symphony and Indian Summer. Unfortunately, we were not able to turn up any live material by any of the other groups from this occasion!

The festival headliners were Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come, plus the ubiquitous Hawkwind. The full roster of acts can be seen on the original poster of the event, reproduced here courtesy of Dave Hook's personal archives.

Such festivals were an integral part of the burgeoning underground scene of the early 70's enabling many obscure acts to reach a wider and differing audience of musical appreciation. Graphite appeared at many similar events and despite the limited sound quality, this recording serves as a significant reminder of the unique vibe and mellow atmosphere that prevailed at many such festivals in those days.

After this rare live set, we have added too bonus studio cuts, both previously unreleased. Firstly, a gritty rendition of Pink Floyd's 'Astronomy Domine', recorded by a three-piece Graphite during 1970. followed by one of their most popular songs, 'Chestnut Loke'. being a longer version with a somewhat different mix from the title track of their previous Audio Archives CD
CD Liner Notes


Tracks
1. Atlantis Rises - 4:01 
2. Summer - 8:52
3. Autumn - 2:57
4. S?ld - 3:35
5. Spring - 7:27
6. Evil Arms - 6:23
7. Thursday On My Mind - 4:18
8. Freedom - 6:23
9. Astronomy Domine (Syd Barrett) - 4:18
10.Chestnut Loke (Long Version) - 5:44
All songs composed by Chris Gore, Dave Hook, Keith Allen, except where stated
Track 9 Recorded 1970
Track 10 Recorded 1972

Graphite
*Chris Gore - Mellotron, Organ, Piano (Tracks 1-8, 10)
*Dave Hook - Guitar
*Keith Allen - Vocals (Tracks 1-8, 10)
*John Jackman - Bass (Track 10)
*Peter Dry - Drums
*Steve May - Bass (Tracks 1-8)
*Colin Boyd - Bass, Vocals (Track 9)

1970-74  Graphite - Chestnut Loke

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Over The Hill - Ratbite Fever (1974 uk, fine country folk rock)



The band was formed initially in Bristol in 1972, to perform original, and melodic material. To begin with, the group was a trio, comprising John, Roy, and Nick Howell.

These three joined Magic Muscle in January 1973, to perform "heavy" music, as an alternative to making no progress, but left in July 1973 to reform Over The Hill as a four-piece, including Peter Roe. This line up rehearsed until Christmas 1973, and played its first gig in Cambridge during January 1974. Drummer Nick Howell left the band in March, and was replaced by Alan Platt.

The Grateful Dead's Robert Hunter worked with the band in 1974, when creating his "Rum Runners" songs, and is actually singing on "Ratbite Fever" (The title track). In 1974, the band produced a complete LP, but it has taken 16 years for real music-lovers to get the opportunity to hear it. SPM is delighted to present on this CD, the complete studio sessions, plus several live tracks, from the fabulous Over The Hill.
by Claus Kriebitzsch, April 1990

Despite the low quality of the studio recordings, the album deserves a closer approach.


Tracks
1. Ain't It Strange (Roy Sundholm, Peter Roe, John Perry, Alan Platt) - 3:56
2. Karina (Roy Sundholm) - 3:15
3. Ratbite Fever (Roy Sundholm, Peter Roe, John Perry, Alan Platt) - 3:26
4. Milestones (Roy Sundholm) - 4:10
5. The Budgie Song (Peter Roe, John Perry) - 5:16
6. Helena (Roy Sundholm) - 3:57
7. Lay Down By Me (Peter Roe) - 2:12
8. A Change Will Surely Come (Roy Sundholm, Peter Roe, John Perry, Alan Platt) - 3:09
9. Are You There (Peter Roe) - 4:59
10.Stuck In The Groove (Roy Sundholm, Peter Roe, John Perry, Alan Platt) - 4:15
11.Helena (Roy Sundholm) - 3:53
12.Milestones (Roy Sundholm) - 4:06
13.Bring It On Home - 4:11
14.No More Trains - 4:38
15.Baby Let Me Follow You Down - 4:16
16.The Budgie Song (Peter Roe, John Perry) - 7:33
Tracks 11-16 Live recordings

Over The Hill
*Roy Sundholm - Bass
*Peter Roe - Guitar, Vocals
*John Perry - Guitar, Vocals
*Alan Platt - Drums

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Kaleidoscope - The Sidekicks Sessions (1964-67 uk, excellent r 'n' b folk psych, 2003 release)



Kaleidoscope: The Sidekicks Sessions collects together a batch of long thought lost acetates all recorded between 1964 - 1967 by an early incarnation of the 1960s British psychedelic band Kaleidoscope when they were still called The Sidekicks and The Keys. The recordings are rough, but the band sounds young and fine, combining together a Stones influenced R&B sound on the early sides with a Pink Floyd meets PF Sloan psychedelic folk rock sound on the later sides.

My favorite moments are the folk rock meets psychedelic rock of such songs as You're Not Mine with it's Syd Barrett sounding chorus and the smashing youth of Holiday Maker. In these songs I can hear what was sure to turn into the late 1960s psychedelic rock of Kaleidoscope. Other songs in the folk rock mode which sound pretty good are the versions of Please Stay, Don't Go (a PF Sloan dead ringer), What Can I Do? (which has some rave-up action), Reflections (a subdued mantra), and San Francisco (upbeat folk beat). The alternate version of all of these songs sounds better than the versions which appear later on the cd. These are all originals, and while they are not superb, they definitely show a band with a potential. In fact, they sound altogether fresh.

There are plenty of covers on this disc as well, running the gamut from an abysmal turn at The House of The Rising Sun, and a stuttering take of Roadrunner to the more enthusiastically received Walking in the Park which is a stride-a-long blues, and I Wants to Be Loved - a raunchy stopgap. Another highlight for me is the Chuck Berry blues song Wee Wee Hours. Anyone interested in British beat music will hang their heads high when they listen to this cd. I love when lost acetates resurface many years later, giving us a picture of a time gone but not forgotten. Discs like this one remind us of what a great time the 60s were for creativity. Soon after these demos were recorded Kaleidoscope would go onto record two solid albums, as well as change their name to Fairfield Parlour to record two more albums. This cd is where it all started.
by Patrick The Gullbuy, August 19, 2003


Tracks
1. And She's Mine - 2:27
2. Reflections - 2:24
3. Please Stay, Don't Go - 2:28
4. What Can I Do? - 1:58
5. He's Gonna Ba A Star - 2:18
6. San Francisco - 3:36
7. Walking In The Park (Graham Bond) - 2:26
8. I Wants To Be Loved - 2:33
9. San Francisco - 3:47
10.He's Gonna Be A Star - 2:24
11.I'm Looking For A Woman (Ellas McDaniel) - 2:15
12.The House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) 4:20
13.Roadrunner (Ellas McDaniel) - 3:14
14.Wee Wee Hours (Chuck Berry) - 2:52
15.You're Not Mine - 2:19
16.Drivin' Around - 2:12
17.Holiday Maker - 2:04
18.And She's Mine - 2:32
19.Please Stay, Don't Go - 2:36
20.What Can I Do? - 2:04
21.High Heel Sneakers (Robert Higginbotham, Tommy Tucker) - 2:33

The Sidekicks
Peter Daltrey - Vocals
Danny Bridgman - Drums
Eddy Pumer - Guitar
Steve Clark - Bass

Kaleidoscope's mosaic 
1967  Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream
1967-69 Kaleidoscope - Dive Into Yesterday
1969  Kaleidoscope - Faintly Blowing
1967-71  Please Listen To The Pictures / The BBC Sessions 
1970  Kaleidoscope - White-Faced Lady (japan two disc set edition)
1970  Fairfield Parlour - Home to Home

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Standells - Live On Tour (1966 us, garage psych outbreaks, 2014 digipak release )



Whether during their Club Au-Go-Go beginnings or decades later as garage rock's still-deadly elder statesmen, the Standells are renowned for a sensational stage sound. Their Jimmy Reed-is-atwister take on "Help Yourself" was earliest evidence; a full-tilt party recorded live at PJ's in Hollywood (and a Liberty Records '64 exclusive).

However, it is the Standells' amazing string of punkish tough-guy anthems on the Tower Records label that are-best remembered. During this commercial apex, Tower should have been burying the competing cash-in of older PJ's tracks (on a Liberty subsidiary, Sunset Records) not with the all-covers, career momentum-killing The Hot Ones! misfire but instead a live LP set of the Standells' longer-haired repertoire. Look no further than the opening credits of AlP's celluloid freak-out Riot on Sunset Strip, featuring an incendiary performance by our heroes, for a lip-sync suggestion of what could've been. 

There's a happy ending to this story, however. It turns out the Standells were in fact recorded at their peak, On Tour— 1966.' "I never even knew it existed," the Standells' late, great lead singer-drummer Dick Dodd told this writer. Rescued from a professionally recorded concert at the University of Michigan ("Homecoming '66," headlined by a certain world-famous West Coast fivesome), the recording captures the Standells in astonishingly clean sound that rivals their legendary studio recordings.

Regardless of the fast-paced nature of this performance (Dodd: "On tours, we would do one set. Depending on how many acts, we were allowed maybe a half hour"), this is an essential document of mid-sixties live rock 'n' roll; a superb example in sound. Speaking in Standells terms, fuzztone 'n' Vox organ are out front where you'd want them, bass is in place, lead and backing voices in balance and—most rare for a mid-sixties concert tape—percussion still part of the plan, with bass drum, cymbals, toms and snare within earshot at all times.

Highlights include a triumvirate of hits delivered in versions that rival the original radio romps. "Why Pick on Me," "Good Guys" and "Dirty Water" showcase Dick Dodd's peerless drumming 'n' vocal arsenal. Dodd's backbeat that drives these best-known numbers is skillful and on par with the studio counterparts. The same can be claimed of his lead vocals, which are basically flawless. Dick explained to me the difference: "When we were in the studio, we would learn a song, put down the track and say That's good.' Then when we went on the road, it got better."

Fan-fave B-sides are also delivered, including the stomping 'Why Did You Hurt Me" and "Mr. Nobody," the latter a killer set-opening spotlight for organistvocalist Larry Tamblyn, also featuring a heaping helping of guitarist Tony Valentino's heralded fuzztone. Just dig the applause for Tony V.

This October 22, 1966 campus concert was no exception, with a set spiked with Standells-branded covers. Early on, they speed through a rapid-fire rendition of the Rascals' "Good Lovin'," lasting just long enough to remind us of the old dance-inducing PJ's version of the band. More contemporaneous perhaps is a cover of the Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon," sung by Tamblyn. In a knowingly selfmocking tone, at its conclusion he even plugs The Hot Ones.' all-covers album.

"Gloria" surfaces for the first time in a full Standells treatment. Dodd plays it cool (dryly humorous, too) while Valentino and Tamblyn steal the show with crowd-pleasing various instrumental sound effects. With the exception of "Dirty Water," the audience only truly erupts with approval during "Gloria," to which Dick Dodd observed with relief many years later, "Finally! This crowd sounds real regimented and polite. They clap and that's about it. Usually on these tours, there were at least a couple of girls screaming now and then. On this, it sounds like there were a lot of adults in the audience!"

Dick Dodd gets to exercise his R&B roots once more with a robust vocal on "Please, Please, Please." The between song banter is instructive. Judging by a southern drawl, bass player (and Floridian of the group) Dave Burke finally takes to the mic explaining a bit of musical chairs. For this number, Dodd steps away from his drum kit (freeing him to give his best James Brown impersonation), subbed briefly by a stickwielding Valentino.

But of all this Top 40 raiding, arguably the best is saved for last with "Midnight Hour," another road-toughened favorite that is performed with authority here. Frankly, a studio version of this should have been included on one of their Tower albums, and I don't just mean The Hot Ones! Dick Dodd was right on the money with his assessment: "I think everybody's really going to enjoy this," he offered proudly. He was being modest. This may just be the finest recorded example of vintage live '66 American garage rock.
by Jeff Jarema


Tracks
1. Introduction - 0:47
2. Mr. Nobody (Larry Tamblyn) - 2:35
3. Good Lovin' (Rudy Clark, Arthur Resnick) - 2:29
4. Why Did You Hurt Me (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) - 2:29
5. Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies) - 3:55
6. Gloria (Van Morrison) - 5:18
7. Why Pick On Me (Edward C. Cobb) - 3:30
8. Please Please Please (James Brown, Johnny Terry) - 3:06
9. Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett, Steve Cropper) - 4:01
10.Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (Edward C. Cobb) - 3:00
11.Dirty Water (Edward C. Cobb) - 2:58

The Standells
*Dick Dodd - Drums, Guitar
*Larry Tamblyn - Piano, Organ, Guitar, Vocals
*Pave Burke - Bass, 12-string Guitar
*Tony Valentino - Lead Guitar

1966  The Standells - Dirty Water
1966  The Standells - Why Pick On Me
1966-67  The Standells - Try It
1966-67  The Standells - The Hot Ones (rare out of print issue)
1967  Various Artists - Riot On Sunset Strip / Rarities: The Standells (2009 bonus tracks remaster)

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Monday, November 13, 2017

High Mountain - Canyon (1970 us, exciting swamp bluesy brass rock, 2016 koream remaster)



Maybe you've never heard of Jerry Lynn Williams, but if you've been near a radio in the past twenty years, you've almost definitely heard his music. Eric Clapton's "Running on Faith"? Williams wrote it. He also penned Delbert McClinton's signature song, "Givin1 It Up for Your Love," and B. B. King's "Standing on the Edge of Love." Bonnie Raitt's "Real Man" was his too, as was "Wanna Make Love to You," by Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis. And Williams co-wrote Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan's "Tick lock," the song played at Stevie Ray's funeral. After more than two decades of writing tunes for and with some of the best-known musicians around, the 48-yearold has earned the nickname the Song Doctor, the man to call when you're working on an album and all that's missing is a catchy song.

The evidence of Williams' success lines the walls of his in-home studio near Tulsa: There are the gold arid platinum records that his work has appeared on, including Clapton's Unplugged, Behind the Sun, and Crossroads; Raitt's Nick of Time; the Vaughan brothers' Family Style; the soundtrack to the movie Wayne's World; Houstonian Clint Black's The Hard Way; and Robert Plant's Now and Zen. There are also snapshots of Jerry hanging out with some of the musical pals he has made over the years, including luminaries like Keith Richards and Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, ex-Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison, B. B. King, and fellow Texan Roy Orbison (who, he says, "used to come to my place in Malibu to smoke cigarettes and write songs"). And this summer he flew to Toronto to help guitarist Jeff Healey finish an album.

In 1964 Williams and his band, the Epics, got local airplay with their first single, a Beatlesnfluenced original called "Tell Me What You See," on Fort Worth's Brownfield label. Soon after, the fifteen-year-old stumbled into a lifetime's worth of musical education when his band got to open for R&B stylist Ray Sharpe - famous for his song "Linda Lu" - at one of the great Texas roadhouses of all time, the Skyliner Ballroom on the Jacksboro Highway. 

Weeks after landing that gig, he got another break when the owner, Jimmy Levens, asked him to help book bands at the club, and he started tracking down artists like Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner, and Bobby "Blue" Bland. He also got to hang out with the entertainers he brought in; Reed, for instance, taught him rhythm-guitar chords. And a few months later, Williams got his biggest break yet: He booked R&B great Little Richard, who, after hearing Williams sing and play, hired him as the rhythm guitarist in his touring band. On the road Williams learned to play lead guitar from Little Richard's other axman, a young musician who went by the name Jimmy James and
later achieved fame as Jimi Hendrix.

His tenure with Little Richard lasted nine months, and shortly after, he returned to Fort Worth, where he made it through a semester at Arlington Heights High School before snagging regular gigs at the Bayou Club and the Silver Helmet Club in Dallas, which was owned by several Dallas Cowboys players. "I was doing Otis Redding stuff three nights a week," he remembered, "and within two weeks I had so many people in there that the fire marshal started showing up." Then, in the late sixties, Williams discovered orange sunshine, tie-dye shirts, and the hippie lifestyle, so he formed a threepiece psychedelic blues outfit called High Mountain and went to L.A. to score a record deal with the ATCO label. It became another learning experience. 

High Mountain landed a record deal with Columbia Records, releasing their debut album, Canyon, in 1970. Legal problems with the name High Mountain led to the album being reissued with the artist designation as the Jerry Williams Group and the LP retitled Down Home Boy. The album failed to do business under either name, and after High Mountain broke up, Williams landed a deal with the CBS-distributed Spindizzy Records.
CD Liner notes


Tracks
1. Down Home Boy - 3:11
2. Illusion - 2:53
3. May The Circle Be Unbroken - 3:26
4. More To You - 3:20
5. Sailboat - 4:08
6. Don't Ever Leave Me Again - 3:16
7. I've Got A Lot Of Time (Jerry McDonald, Mike Rabon) - 2:33
8. I'll Get Back To You - 2:56
9. Cid - 3:16
10.Rachmaninoff Piano - 1:29
All songs by Jerry Lynn Williams except track #7

Musicians
*Jerry Williams - Vocals, Guitar

1972  Jerry Williams - Jerry Williams (2010 korean remaster) 

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Glencoe - The Spirit Of Glencoe (1973 uk, fascinating soft prog rock, 2015 reissue)



Glencoe was one of those bands people tend to overlook, which is a pity since they have a surplus of significant music to offer, and while there are many exponents of hard and soft rock, or just plain light funky music, how many bands claim their music is 'randy rock'? Just imagine, if you haven't witnessed a Glencoe concert, what erotic delights you've been missing out on.

The second and final album from this British prog band originally appeared in August 1973. Glencoe should have been a great success, gigging extensively their live act was superb, quite heavy and very loud! (I saw them myself!) An effective mixing of speed, power and melody that sits very comfortably together. Graham Maitland's piano work sets a driving air to their music that is truly enjoyable. With the added rhythm of Norman Watt-Roy on bass and Stewart Francis on drums, the group's sound is filled to capacity. They disbanded in February 1974 and in March 1974 a third Glencoe LP was made with a different line up and name as “Loving Awareness”.


Tracks
1. Friends Of Mine - 3:40
2. Roll On Bliss (John Turnbull) - 3:23
3. Strnge Circumstance - 3:32
4. Nothing - Is Between Us - 3:39
5. Is It You? - 4:10
6. Born In The City - 5:24
7. Arctic Madness - 1:11
8. To Divine Mother (John Turnbull) - 3:26
9. Song No.22 - Om - 4:05
10.Two On An Island (In Search Of A New World) - 4:35
All songs by Graham Maitland except where noted

The Glencoe
*Stuart Francis - Drums, Vocals
*Graham Maitland - Keyboards, Vocals
*John Turnbull - Guitar, Vocals
*Norman Watt-Roy - Bass, Vocals
With
*Gerald Johnson - Bass
*Ben Sidran - Piano
*Kofi Aiyuo - Percussion

1972  Glencoe - Glencoe (2013 korean remaster)
Related Acts
1965-69  Les Fleur De Lys - Reflections
1966-69  Skip Bifferty - The Story of Skip Bifferty (double disc edition) 
1970  Forever More ‎- Yours / Words On Black Plastic (2007 remaster)
1970  The Greatest Show On Earth - Horizons (2012 remaster) 
1970  The Greatest Show On Earth - The Going's Easy (2012 remaster)
1970  Five Day Rain - Five Day Rain (2006 remaster bonus track issue) 
1971  Bell And Arc - Bell + Arc 

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tower Of Power - Back To Oakland (1974 us, powerful funky bluesy brass rock, 2015 japan remaster)



Tower of Power followed their self-titled gold album with an even better album that didn't enjoy similar sales success. Back to Oakland had tougher, funkier and better-produced cuts, stronger vocals from Lenny Williams (who was more comfortable as their lead singer), and included an excellent ballad in "Time Will Tell," and a rousing tempo in "Don't Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream)." The Tower of Power horn section reaffirmed its reputation in both soul and pop circles, and the album included a powerhouse instrumental. Back To Oakland was voted by Modern Drummer Magazine as one of the most important recordings for drummers to listen to.
by Ron Wynn


Tracks
1. Oakland Stroke... (David Garibaldi, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 0:53
2. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream) (Johnny Guitar Watson, Lenny Williams) - 4:45
3. Just When We Start Makin' It (Emilio Castillo, Lenny Williams, Stephen Kupka) - 6:22
4. Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong) (Lenny Williams, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 2:56
5. Squib Cakes (Chester Thompson) - 7:42
6. Time Will Tell (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 3:11
7. Man From The Past (Emilio Castillo, Lenny Williams, Stephen Kupka) - 3:59
8. Love's Been Gone So Long (Bruce Conte) - 4:45
9. I Got The Chop (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 2:58
10.Below Us, All the City Lights (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 4:15
11....Oakland Stroke (David Garibaldi, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka) - 1:07

Personnel
*Stephen Kupka - Baritone Saxophone, English Horn, Backing Vocals
*Francis "Rocco" Prestia - Bass Guitar
*Brent Byars - Bongos, Conga
*David Garibaldi - Drums
*Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Backing Vocals, String Arrangements, Conductor
*Bud Shank - Flute, Alto Saxophone, Piccolo Flute, Alto Flute
*Emilio Castillo - Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Bruce Conte - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Pickett - Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Mic Gillette - Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Baritone, Backing Vocals
*Chester Thompson - Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Williams - Lead Vocals
*Alice Thompson - Vocals
*Marilyn Scott - Vocals
*Pepper Watkins - Vocals
*David Duke - French Horn
*Richard Perissi - French Horn
*Vincent DeRosa - French Horn
*Frank Rosolino - Trombone
*Kell Houston - Trombone
*Thomas Shepard - Trombone
*Ray Gillette - Trombone

1970  Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease
1972  Tower Of Power - Bump City (Japan issue)
1973  Tower Of Power - Tower Of Power (2015 japan remaster) 

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Graham Nash David Crosby - Graham Nash David Crosby (1972 us / uk, amazing blend of country folk blues and classic rock, 2008 remaster)



This self-titled release is one of -- if not arguably the -- most impressive side project to arise from CSN. Taken beyond face value, Graham Nash/David Crosby is a direct reflection, if not an extension, of the musical and personal relationship between its co-creators. Likewise, the results remain true, enhancing rather than detracting from the very individualistic styles of Crosby and Nash. The best elements of each are readily available here, punctuated at every turn by their complicated vocal arrangements and air-lock harmonies. 

In the wake of the enormous successes garnered by the albums Crosby Stills & Nash, Déjà Vu, and Four Way Street, the principal members were essentially given carte blanche studio access to pursue solo projects as well. This release is the first in what would turn out to be a series of collaborative efforts between Crosby and Nash. Musically it continues in much the same vein as their respective debut solo releases, If I Could Only Remember My Name and Songs for Beginners. Nash's contributions include "Girl to Be on My Mind," "Stranger's Room," and "Southbound Train" -- a twangy piece of Americana featuring a high and lonesome steel guitar solo from Jerry Garcia that likewise hearkens to the Grateful Dead's American Beauty, Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection, or the Band's Music From Big Pink. These tracks co-exist in stark contrast to Crosby's more cerebral and incisive contributions, such as "Whole Cloth," "Games," and "The Wall Song." The latter features some outstanding instrumental support from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (guitar), Phil Lesh (bass), and Billy Kreutzman (drums).

The core band revolves around another set of all-stars: Russell Kunkel (drums), Leland Skylar (bass), Craig Doerge (keyboards), and Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar (guitar). This same band would more or less continue to back up Crosby and Nash's duo efforts throughout the remainder of the '70s. Graham Nash/David Crosby offers much of the same unique songwriting and personal style which informed their better contributions not only to the CSN-related efforts, but as far back as their offerings with the Hollies and the Byrds. Interested enthusiasts are also urged to locate Another Stoney Evening -- a live acoustic release from October 10, 1971 -- which includes seminal live versions of "Southbound Train," "Where Will I Be," "Immigration Man," and "Stranger's Room." 
by Lindsay Planer


Tracks
1. Southbound Train (Graham Nash) - 3:55
2. Whole Cloth (David Crosby) - 4:35
3. Blacknotes (Graham Nash) - 0:57
4. Strangers Room (Graham Nash) - 2:27
5. Where Will I Be? (David Crosby) - 3:22
6. Page 43 (David Crosby) - 2:55
7. Frozen Smiles (Graham Nash) - 2:19
8. Games (David Crosby) - 4:01
9. Girl to Be on My Mind (Graham Nash) - 3:27
10.The Wall Song (David Crosby) - 4:26
11.Immigration Man (Graham Nash) - 2:59

Personnel
*David Crosby - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Guitars
*Graham Nash - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harmonica, Guitar
*Danny Kortchmar - Electric Guitar
*Jerry Garcia - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Dave Mason - Electric Guitar
*Craig Doerge - Electric Piano
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Phil Lesh - Bass
*Greg Reeves - Bass
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Johnny Barbata - Drums
*Bill Kreutzmann - Drums
*George Price - French Horns
*Dana Africa - Flute
*Arthur Maebe - French Horns
*David Duke - French Horns

1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 double disc edition) 
1973  Byrds (Reunion Album, 2004 issue) 
1971  Graham Nash - Songs For Beginners (2008 digipak remaster) 
1973  Graham Nash - Wild Tales
1974  Crosby Stills Nash And Young - Live (2013 four discs box set)

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Youngbloods - Ride The Wind (1971 us, marvellous jazzy psych rock with country traces, 2003 remaster)



This live disc followed up Rock Festival (1970), another batch of live recordings. However, Ride the Wind (1971) is far from simply a stop-gap effort between studio discs. The trio of Jesse Colin Young (bass/kazoo/rhythm guitar), Banana (guitar/piano), and Joe Bauer (drums) are definitely in their element on these half-dozen sides. In much the same way as their Marin County contemporaries, the Grateful Dead, the Youngbloods' live experience allowed the band to stretch out and take their improvisational interplay to a level that is merely hinted at on their studio sides. The disc begins with a nearly ten-minute version of the title track, which was initially issued on Elephant Mountain (1970). 

Banana really shines, as his laid-back electric piano runs are ably complemented by some interesting contributions from both Young and Bauer. The centerpiece is the extended instrumental interplay that ebbs and flows as the groove builds incrementally. The happy-go-lucky "Sugar Babe" sticks closely to the up-tempo ragtime version featured on Earth Music (1967). The band returns to Elephant Mountain for an easygoing and pastoral rendering of "Sunlight" that again allows for some well-tempered improvisation. 

The cover of Fred Neil's "The Dolphin" is another not-to-be-missed epic, as the Youngbloods never issued a studio version and once again a strong jazz influence dictates the performance's overall vibe. "Get Together" was the band's best-known side and still holds up in what is a spirited reading with just enough alteration to make it a worthwhile inclusion. Ride the Wind concludes with a final track from Elephant Mountain, as the optimistic "Beautiful" is given a lengthy and funky workout. When paired with the harder-edged Rock Festival, this live volume gives listeners another aural vantage point from which to rediscover the Youngbloods' unique country-rock leanings. 
by Lindsay Planer


Tracks
1. Ride The Wind - 9:26
2. Sugar Babe - 2:58
3. Sunlight - 6:25
4. The Dolphin (Fred Neil) - 7:52
5. Get Together (Chester Powers) - 4:23
6. Beautiful - 7:00
All songs by Jesse Colin Young except where noted

The Youngbloods
*Banana - Guitar, Piano
*Joe Bauer - Drums
*Jesse Colin Young - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals

1967/69  The Youngbloods / Earth Music / Elephant Mountain (2014 Japan Blu Spec Edition)
1969  Elephant Mountain (Sundazed expanded and  2014 Japan Blu Spec Edition)
1970  The Youngbloods - Rock Festival
1971  Beautiful! Live In San Francisco (Sundazed edition)
1972  High On A Ridge Top (Sundazed remaster)

Jesse Colin Young releases
1972  Together
1973  Song For Juli (2009 remaster)
1974  Light Shine
1976  On The Road (Japan remaster)

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