Monday, June 27, 2011

James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag 1965

Papa may have had a brand new bag, but when King Records wanted an LP to go with James Brown's first pop Top Ten hit, he didn't have a brand-new set of songs to go with it. So this record leads off with both sides of the single, "Part 1" and "Part 2," and then fills up the remaining 25 minutes with previously released tracks, many with a dance theme in keeping with the hit, such as "Mashed Potatoes, U.S.A." and "Doin' the Limbo." The result is a miscellaneous compilation, much of which is set at quick tempos. AMG.

listen here

Kennelmus - Folkstone Prism 1971

This really obscure Phoenix band released a late-period psychedelic album in 1971 that, by the standards of self-released LPs of the time, was several layers above the usual such offering. Largely (although not wholly) instrumental, their Folkstone Prism was an authentically oddball, occasionally goofy, and sometimes inspired blend of surf music, spaced-out psychedelia, and silly pop. The exotic dabs of melodica, zither, and special effects by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ken Walker added a cloud of eeriness: "I Don't Know" has keyboards straight off the Chantays' surf classic "Pipeline"; "Goodbye Pamela Ann" has scorching psychedelic guitar that sounds like a mating of the Electric Prunes and Haight-Ashbury, and "Mother of My Children" has vocals that sound like a Lee Hazlewood parody. Kennelmus, indeed, can be seen as spiritual forefathers of sorts to several post-punk Arizona bands -- Black Sun Ensemble, Friends of Dean Martinez, and Scenic -- that have made instrumental rock that can function as a quasi-psychedelic desert movie soundtrack. Of course, it's doubtful that those bands, or many others, were aware of Kennelmus, since their album was released in a pressing of 1000 in 1971, and is not even well known among collectors.

Kennelmus evolved from the more standard garage band the Shi-Reeves, who played British Invasion covers and surf music. Ken Walker changed the name to Kennelmus in 1969 (Kennelmus being his full first name), and with singer/guitarist Bob Narloch began recording Folkstone Prism in late 1970, with the help of bassist Tom Gilmore and drummer Mike Shipp. The record was very much the brainchild of Walker, who wrote all but one of the songs. Three of the four bandmembers worked at a pressing plant, making them one of the few, if not the only, group of their sort to literally help press their own recordings. An anomaly of its time (or any other), Folkstone Prism made little impact, and the band broke up around the mid-'70s, although the album was reissued on CD by Sundazed in 1999.

listen here

Rufus Zuphall - Phallobst 1971

Rufus Zuphall is important German progressive skirt volume out Aachen. It was created 1969 of Günter ruffle (guitar, singing), Helmut Lieblang (bass), Klaus gulden (transverse flute) and Udo Dahmen (Schlagzeug). In their pieces the musicians British merge Folk, Blues and Skirt with Jazz- and classical period elements to an own, often instrument valley coined/shaped style. A characteristic of this group, those usually as so-called “Herb skirt volume“, is the use that is designated Transverse flute, which often to comparisons with the English volume Jethro Tull leads. Beyond that their music from free song structures, psychedelischen elements and the slope to long persisting pieces lives. From the outset harmony ores the Songschreiber duo Helmut Lieblang (texts) and Günter ruffle (music), so that the predominant part of the repertoire these volume originates from their feather/spring.

By the close to the border one Rufus Zuphall played first more into that The Netherlands and in Belgium, where it 1970 before 30.000 spectators their break-through with the Jazzfestival in Bilzen to celebrate could. Beside musicians how Black Sabbath and Cat of Stevens inspired it as only amateur band on the main stage the public there. In December 1970 it took up white the devil “, soon whose piece of title of over 17 minutes of length (with inserted „buzzer time “) within three days their first LP „applied as a classical author of the category. Further pieces, how Splinter piglet or Knight OF third degree attained admittingness. Despite bad selling conditions the LP became a sales impact.

On the second album extend the equipment, and concomitantly the expression and the style width. Round beside the still prominent transverse flute Clavinet, Melotron and 12-saitige guitars the total sound, which developed on the one hand toward harder skirt, on the other hand in addition, the lyric moments particularly out-costs off. Altogether the second album works more extremely, the arrangements more strengthened than with the predecessor. Before their planned third LP, Avalon, decided the musicians were finished, out of musical as to be gone personal reasons in the future own ways. The LP finished to the half appeared then also only over 20 years later than Avalon and on, filled up with live-photographs from the years 1970 and 1971. After the separation tried Udo Dahmen and Manfred clip mountain with new seamists and guitarist the volume alive to hold, which failed in the long run, so that Rufus Zuphall dissolved 1973 finally.

1999 decided the former members to a reunification and played in original occupation, extended by that Hammondorgel- and E-Pianospieler Gero of grains a concert up Castle William stone in Würselen with Aachen. Udo Dahmen left it for time reasons with this concert, and to its place first refuge Schippers moved, before Roland Hegel took over the impact things part. In the year 2000 Rufus Zuphall published the CD as so far last album „Colder Than light live one 2000 “on the label forty-five. In this occupation played and/or. those plays volume until today in various clubs and on numerous festivals, about that Millennium open air Old person castle, on that Heart mountain festival or that Woodstöckchen open air Gressenich.

listen here

Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers - Doin What We Wanna 1970

A landmark album from this legendary Chicago soul jazz combo -- and a record that helped set the tone for changes to come in funky jazz for the 70s! Tenorist Clarence Wheeler heads up the group -- and they've got an amazing organ/bass sound that's made them a legend with funk fans for years -- a groove that's filled with complicated riffing and changes, almost the "next level" of soul jazz beyond the already hip Jack McDuff groove of the Prestige years -- taken into a lot more righteous territory! The grooves are totally infectious, and they echo with some of the best styles of the group's contemporaries on the Chicago scene -- particularly the electric Eddie Harris combo, or the best work going down over at Cadet Records! The album features a wonderful extended version of "Hey Jude", with a million jazzy changes and loads of nice riffs (which is probably why it's been heavily sampled) -- plus groovy groovy versions of Eddie Harris' "Sham Time" and Jack McDuff's "Theme From The Electric Surfboard". And all that's only on side one! Side two's got even more great stuff -- like "Doin What I Wanna", "Dream Bossa Nova", and "Right On" -- and the whole record's a gem! Thanks to Doctorokeh.

listen here

Batdorf & Rodney - Batdorf & Rodney 1972

Batdorf & Rodney (1972 US Asylum) great album from the duo of John Batdorf and Mark Rodney the former would later form the country-rock band Silver.

listen here

David Lannan - Street Singer 1970

David Lannan was a street singer from San Francisco, CA. 1970's Street Singer was recorded live outside The F.B.I. Stock Exchange City Hall. The album came out on Bill Graham's San Francisco label (SD202 ) which ran from 1969 and 1970. It is a nice mix of originals, covers, and non-musical sound clips (getting hassled by the cops, etc). Thanks to Time Will Tell You.

listen here

John Patton - Accent On The Blues 1970

John Patton, often known as Big John Patton, was one of Blue Note's busiest soul-jazz organists during the golden age of the Hammond B-3s. Between 1963 and 1970 Patton cooked up 11 albums' worth of material as a leader and sat in with a dizzying procession of skilled improvisers, and his best work has since been compared with that of tragically short-lived innovator Larry Young. Patton also enjoyed a long overdue comeback during the 1990s when he collaborated with saxophonist and composer John Zorn.

Patton was born in Kansas City, MO, on July 12, 1935. His mother was a church pianist who encouraged her son to learn the instrument, which he began to play regularly at the age of 13. During the mid-'50s Patton worked in bands accompanying rhythm & blues singer Lloyd Price. By 1961 he had switched over to the organ, advancing along the trail blazed by Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, and Brother Jack McDuff. It was alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson who initially took Patton the organist into a recording studio -- first on May 9, 1962, to tape an LP to be called The Natural Soul, then on January 24, 1963, for a lengthy session that yielded enough material for the albums Good Gracious and Signifyin'.

On February 2, 1963, Patton sat in -- playing only the tambourine -- on Jimmy Smith's Rockin' the Boat session. Within weeks he had found his own groove and spent the rest of that year making great music as leader and sideman, exchanging ideas and energies with his close collaborator guitarist Grant Green (on the album Am I Blue?) and with saxophonists George Braith (on Patton's Blue John), Harold Vick (on Steppin' Out!), Johnny Griffin (on Soul Groove), Don Wilkerson (on Shoutin'), and Red Holloway (on Burner). Over the next few years Patton recorded with trumpeter Richard Williams (on Patton's Way I Feel) and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson (on Patton's Let 'Em Roll), and also appeared as a catalytic agent on Grant Green's album Iron City, George Braith's Laughing Soul, Clifford Jordan's Soul Fountain, and drummer Grassella Oliphant's Grass Is Greener with trumpeter Clark Terry and saxophonist Harold Ousley. In 1968 Patton's recording unit included saxophonists Junior Cook and Harold Alexander. The last of his albums from this period (Accent on the Blues and Memphis to New York Spirit) featured saxophonists Marvin Cabell and George Coleman as well as guitarist James Blood Ulmer.

After 1970 Patton quit the scene for a long while, quietly residing in East Orange, NJ. He contributed to vibraphonist Johnny Lytle's Everything Must Change in 1977, recorded his own Soul Connection in 1983 with guitarist Melvin Sparks and visionary trombonist Grachan Moncur III, then cut two albums with guitarist Jimmy Ponder: Mean Streets: No Bridges (1987) and Jump (1988). Big John Patton's comeback began in 1993-1994 with two albums featuring saxophonist John Zorn: Blue Planet Man and Minor Swing. Here he touched upon edgy ground similar to that which he had explored in 1968. His last major album, This One's for J.A., was recorded in December 1996. On March 19, 2002, 66-year-old John Patton succumbed to diabetes and renal failure. Overshadowed by organists who for one reason or another enjoyed greater popularity, and still underestimated by many jazz critics and historians, Patton and his recorded legacy are ripe and ready for open-minded reevaluation. AMG.

listen here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rare Earth - Get Ready 1969

Rare Earth began as an R&B band called the Sunliners in Detroit in 1961. Of the musicians who would be part of the band dubbed Rare Earth, only sax player Gil Bridges and drummer Pete Rivera were present. John Parrish joined on bass in 1962. Rod Richards became a guitarist with the group in 1966. Keyboardist Kenny James came into the fold the same year. After years of doing the club circuit, the group changed their name to Rare Earth and released Dreams/Answers on Verve. The album received little reaction and the group was picked up by Motown Records as the first act on their yet-to-be-named new label. Rare Earth suggested to Motown that the label name their new subsidiary after the band and Rare Earth Records was born.

When they set out to record their first album, they essentially ran out of material and did a 21-minute rendition of the Temptation's "Get Ready" to fill out the space. The album was making no headway on the charts for a long period of time. So they took the first three minutes of "Get Ready," released it as a single and it made its way into the U.S. Top Ten list, peaking at number four. Pulled along by the success of the single, the album also began to sell, breaking the Top 20, and Rare Earth's career was officially on its way. The second album, Ecology, was released in June of 1970, a couple months short of a year after "Get Ready" had been put out. Interestingly enough, Ecology was not really the group's second album, but their third. An album entitled Generation was recorded as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. When the film stalled at the box office, the album was shelved. Still, Ecology would yield not one, but two hit singles. The first was "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (another Temptations cover), which also broke the Top Ten. The second single, "Born to Wander," did not fare quite so well, but did make the Top 20. The album was catapulted to number 15.

Not wanting to lose momentum, One World followed almost exactly a year after Ecology, and yielded another hit single in a longtime classic, "I Just Want to Celebrate." The song peaked on the pop charts at number seven and the album broke the Top 50. They released a live album in December of the same year. For the next album, Willie Remembers, the group insisted on doing all originals, a move that was not common around the Motown camp. Unfortunately, for a band trying to prove a point, the album never reached the type of sales of previous records. Indeed, it stalled out at number 90, and the single "Good Time Sally" didn't even break the Top 50.

Motown tightened the creative grip on the group and original producer Norman Whitfield, who had worked with the group on earlier albums, was brought in to save the day. The resulting album, Ma, was released in May of 1973 and fared just a little better than Willie Remembers, peaking at number 65. The label was not pleased and sent the group into the studio to record with Stevie Wonder. That pairing did not really gel, though, and only two tracks were recorded, neither of which were released. Instead, the label sought to release another live album, trying to regain the spark that Rare Earth had had. That project also fell by the wayside, though.

What followed was a series of lineup changes and legal battles, and the group stopped touring altogether in 1974. The following year Rare Earth, in a new lineup, released Back to Earth. The album did a bit better than the previous one, reaching number 59 on the charts. The single, appropriately entitled "It Makes You Happy (But It Ain't Gonna Last Too Long)" stalled just outside the Top 100. A disco-oriented excursion entitled Midnight Lady was released in 1976, but failed to really go anywhere. To make matters worse, Rare Earth Records was discontinued altogether. The band had broken up by this time.

As fate would have it, though, this was not the end of Rare Earth. Instead, Barney Ales, who had presided over Rare Earth Records, started his own label Prodigal Records. He talked the group into reuniting to record the label debut. The resulting album, Rare Earth, was released in 1977 and made no real waves in the music business. Rare Earth got things together again for a marathon recording session the following year. That session yielded not one, but two albums. The first was Band Together, released in April of 1978, with Grand Slam following in September. Neither of those albums every really took off, either. The group essentially broke up in 1978, although a version of the original lineup was touring all the way into 1983. A different incarnation of the group, with just two original members, still makes the circuits.

Rare Earth's Motown debut is as well-oiled as a new V-8, and so are its liner notes: "In this age of ego-tripping freak bands, Rare Earth has stood pretty much alone. Each cat stands handsomely tall as if from a fashion rack at Carnaby. They do their gig; do it well -- and split." Smirking aside, the band turns in a smoothly harmonized "In Bed" and a chugging rhythm section for "Train to Nowhere." But the core of this release is a live side-long monster version of "Get Ready." It's as driven by the crowd's rapturous response as by the various solos, and the snake-charmer sax improv by Gil Bridges is easily the highlight of the album. AMG.

listen here

J.J. Cale - Naturally 1971

With his laid-back rootsy style, J.J. Cale is best known for writing "After Midnight" and "Cocaine," songs that Eric Clapton later made into hits. But Cale's influence wasn't only through songwriting -- his distinctly loping sense of rhythm and shuffling boogie became the blueprint for the adult-oriented roots rock of Clapton and Mark Knopfler, among others. Cale's refusal to vary the sound of his music over the course of his career caused some critics to label him as a one-trick pony, but he managed to build a dedicated cult following with his sporadically released recordings.

Born in Oklahoma City but raised in Tulsa, OK, Cale played in a variety of rock & roll bands and Western swing groups as a teenager, including one outfit that also featured Leon Russell. In 1959, at the age of 21, he moved to Nashville, where he was hired by the Grand Ole Opry's touring company. After a few years, he returned to Tulsa, where he reunited with Russell and began playing local clubs. In 1964, Cale and Russell moved to Los Angeles with another local Oklahoma musician, Carl Radle.

Shortly after he arrived in Los Angeles, Cale began playing with Delaney & Bonnie. He only played with the duo for a brief time, beginning a solo career in 1965. That year, he cut the first version of "After Midnight," which would become his most famous song. Around 1966, Cale formed the Leathercoated Minds with songwriter Roger Tillison. The group released a psychedelic album called A Trip Down Sunset Strip the same year.

Deciding that he wouldn't be able to forge a career in Los Angeles, Cale returned to Tulsa in 1967. Upon his return, he set about playing local clubs. Within a year, he had recorded a set of demos. Radle obtained a copy of the demos and forwarded it to Denny Cordell, who was founding a record label called Shelter with Leon Russell. Shelter signed Cale in 1969. The following year, Eric Clapton recorded "After Midnight," taking it to the American Top 20 and thereby providing Cale with needed exposure and royalties. In December 1971, Cale released his debut album, Naturally, on Shelter Records; the album featured the Top 40 hit "Crazy Mama," as well as a re-recorded version of "After Midnight," which nearly reached the Top 40, and "Call Me the Breeze," which Lynyrd Skynyrd later covered. Cale followed Naturally with Really, which featured the minor hit "Lies," later that same year.

Following the release of Really, J.J. Cale adopted a slow work schedule, releasing an album every other year or so. Okie, his third album, appeared in 1974. Two years later, he released Troubadour, which yielded "Hey Baby," his last minor hit, as well as the original version of "Cocaine," a song that Clapton would later cover. By this point, Cale had settled into a comfortable career as a cult artist and he rarely made any attempt to break into the mainstream. One more album on Shelter Records, 5, appeared in 1979 and then he switched labels, signing with MCA in 1981. MCA only released one album (1981's Shades) and Cale moved to Mercury Records the following year, releasing Grasshopper.

In 1983, Cale released his eighth album, 8. The album became his first not to chart. Following its release, Cale left Mercury and entered a long period of seclusion, reappearing in late 1990 with Travel Log, which was released on the British independent label Silvertone; the album appeared in America the following year. 10 was released in 1992. The album failed to chart, but it re-established his power as a cult artist. He moved to the major label Virgin in 1994, releasing Close to You the same year. It was followed by Guitar Man in 1996. Cale returned to recording in 2003, releasing To Tulsa and Back in 2004 on the Sanctuary label and The Road to Escondido, a collaborative effort with Clapton, in 2006 on Reprise. Roll On appeared in 2009 on Rounder Records.
J.J. Cale's debut album, Naturally, was recorded after Eric Clapton made "After Midnight" a huge success. Instead of following Slowhand's cue and constructing a slick blues-rock album, Cale recruited a number of his Oklahoma friends and made a laid-back country-rock record that firmly established his distinctive, relaxed style. Cale included a new version of "After Midnight" on the album, but the true meat of the record lay in songs like "Crazy Mama," which became a hit single, and "Call Me the Breeze," which Lynyrd Skynyrd later covered. On these songs and many others on Naturally, Cale effortlessly captured a lazy, rolling boogie that contradicted all the commercial styles of boogie, blues, and country-rock at the time. Where his contemporaries concentrated on solos, Cale worked the song and its rhythm, and the result was a pleasant, engaging album that was in no danger of raising anybody's temperature. AMG.

listen here

J. J. Cale - Really 1972

J.J. Cale's guitar work manages to be both understated and intense here. The same is true of his seemingly offhand singing, which finds him drawling lines like "You get your gun, I'll get mine" with disarming casualness. But he has trouble coming up with original material as strong as that on his debut, and for some, his approach will be too casual; there are many times, when the band is percolating along and Cale is muttering into the microphone, that the music seems to be all background and no foreground. You may find yourself waiting for a payoff that never comes. AMG.

listen here

J. J. Cale - Okie 1974

Cale moves toward country and gospel on some songs here, but since those are two of his primary influences, the movement is slight. And longtime producer Audie Ashworth attempts to place more emphasis on Cale's vocals on some songs by double-tracking them and pushing them up in the mix. But much of this is still low-key and bluesy in what was becoming Cale's patented style. AMG.

listen here

J.J. Cale - Troubadour 1976

Producer Audie Ashworth introduced some different instruments, notably vibes and what sound like horns (although none are credited), for a slightly altered sound on Troubadour. But J.J. Cale's albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you'll want to have them all. This one is notable for introducing "Cocaine," which Eric Clapton covered on his Slowhand album a year later. AMG.

listen here

Soul Children - Friction 1974

Just amazing 70′s soul.The Soul Children took over vocal chores from Sam & Dave after the latter duo had left Stax. Peter Guralnick, in his excellent book Sweet Soul Music (Virgin p/b), described them as “Sweet harmonies and church wrecking emotion” and who could disagree with such a perfect description.
One of the most fantastic albums ever about cheatin' and runnin' around behind the back of your loved one, and easily the best thing the Soul Children ever did. Totally solid all the way through, and clearly conceived as a concept album dealing with romantic "friction". Includes the hit "I'll Be The Other Woman", but all of the tracks are great, especially "What's Happening Baby" and "Love Makes It Right". Great great great! (Cover has a split top seam and a cutout notch.)

listen here

Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship - Blows Against The Empire 1970

Paul Kantner's debut solo album actually was credited to "Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship," the first use of the "Starship" billing, predating the formation of the group with that name by four years. Kantner used it, extrapolating on the name of his current band, Jefferson Airplane, to refer to Blows's science fiction concept: A bunch of left-wing hippies closely resembling his San Francisco Bay Area compatriots hijack a government-built starship and head off to re-start the human race on another planet. Kantner had presaged this post-apocalyptic colonization idea on "Wooden Ships" on the last Airplane album, Volunteers, and here he expanded it out to album length with the help of members of The Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, plus assorted others, a shifting supergroup informally known as PERRO, The Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra. (Kantner later would borrow that name for a subsequent solo album.) Blows actually was a little loose as concept albums go, seeming as concerned with the arrival of Kantner and Grace Slick's baby as with the departure of the starship. Kantner employed often dense instrumentation and complex arrangements, but there were enough hooks and harmonies to keep things interesting. Blows eventually went gold, and it was even nominated for a science fiction award usually reserved for novels. AMG.

listen here

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dr. Feelgood - Be Seeing You 1977

Dr. Feelgood was the ultimate working band. From their formation in 1971 to lead vocalist Lee Brilleaux's untimely death in 1994, the band never left the road, playing hundreds of gigs every year. Throughout their entire career, Dr. Feelgood never left simple, hard-driving rock & roll behind, and their devotion to the blues and R&B earned them a devoted fan base. That following first emerged in the mid-'70s, when Dr. Feelgood became the leader of the second wave of pub rockers. Unlike Brinsley Schwarz, the laid-back leaders of the pub rock scene, Dr. Feelgood was devoted to edgy, Stonesy rock & roll, and their sweaty live shows -- powered by Brilleaux's intense singing and guitarist Wilko Johnson's muscular leads -- became legendary. While the group's stripped-down, energetic sound paved the way for English punk rock in the late '70s, their back-to-basics style was overshadowed by the dominance of punk and new wave, and the group had retreated to cult status by the early '80s.

Brilleaux (vocals, harmonica), Johnson (guitar), and John B. Sparks (bass) had all played in several blues-based bar bands around Canvey Island, England before forming Dr. Feelgood in 1971. Taking their name from a Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song, the group was dedicated to playing old-fashioned R&B and rock & roll, including both covers and originals by Johnson. John Martin (drums), a former member of Finian's Rainbow, was added to the lineup, and the group began playing the pub rock circuit. By the end of 1973, Dr. Feelgood's dynamic live act had made them the most popular group on the pub rock circuit, and several labels were interested in signing them. They settled for United Artists, and they released their debut album, Down by the Jetty, in 1974.

According to legend, Down by the Jetty was recorded in mono and consisted almost entirely of first takes. While it was in fact recorded in stereo, the rumor added significantly to Dr. Feelgood's purist image, and the album became a cult hit. The following year, the group released Malpractice -- also their first U.S. release -- which climbed into the U.K. Top 20 on the strength of the band's live performances and positive reviews. In 1976, the band released the live album Stupidity, which became a smash hit in Britain, topping the album charts. Despite its thriving British success, Dr. Feelgood was unable to find an audience in the States. One other American album, Sneakin' Suspicion, followed in 1977 before the band gave up on the States; they never released another record in the U.S.

Sneakin' Suspicion didn't replicate the success of Stupidity, partially because of its slick production, but mainly because the flourishing punk rock movement overshadowed Dr. Feelgood's edgy roots rock. Wilko Johnson left the band at the end of 1977 to form the Solid Senders; he later joined Ian Dury's Blockheads. Henry McCullough played on Feelgood's 1977 tour before John "Gypie" Mayo became the group's full-time lead guitarist. Nick Lowe produced 1978's Be Seeing You, Mayo's full-length debut with Dr. Feelgood. The album generated the 1979 Top Ten hit "Milk and Alcohol," as well as the Top 40 hit "As Long as the Price Is Right." Two albums, As It Happens and Let It Roll, followed in 1979, and Mayo left the band in 1980. He was replaced by Johnny Guitar in 1980, who debuted on A Case of the Shakes, which was also produced by Nick Lowe.

During their first decade together, Dr. Feelgood never left the road, which was part of the reason founding members John Martin and John Sparks left the band in 1982. Lee Brilleaux replaced them with Buzz Barwell and Pat McMullen, and continued touring. Throughout the '80s, Brilleaux continued to lead various incarnations of Dr. Feelgood, settling on the rhythm section of bassist Phil Mitchell and drummer Kevin Morris in the mid-'80s. The band occasionally made records -- including Brilleaux, one of the last albums on Stiff Records, in 1976 -- but concentrated primarily on live performances. Dr. Feelgood continued to perform to large audiences into the early '90s, when Brilleaux was struck by cancer. He died in April of 1994, three months after he recorded the band's final album, Down at the Doctor's. The remaining members of Dr. Feelgood hired vocalist Pete Gage and continued to tour under the band's name. Former Feelgoods Gypie Mayo, John Sparks, and John Martin formed the Practice in the mid-'80s, and they occasionally performed under the name Dr. Feelgood's Practice.
The Nick Lowe-produced Be Seeing You, Dr. Feelgood's first album with guitarist John Mayo, was only slightly weaker than the group's previous records. Although Mayo was still working his way into the band's sound, Dr. Feelgood retained their tough, hard-rocking appeal.

listen here

Jefferson Airplane - Flight Log 1977

This odds and sods collection of the Jefferson Airplane gives an eclectic overview of one of the premier San Francisco bands. Although several of their better-known songs are included ("White Rabbit," "Volunteers"), the purpose of Flight Log seems to be to tell the story of the original JA lineup rather than present their greatest hits. The first half of the record documents the group together, the second half the group apart. A live version of "Somebody to Love" rides the sonic punch of Kaukonen and Cassady; Marty Balin's "Comin' Back to Me" remains one of the Airplane's finest ballads. The initial Hot Tuna recordings are also represented here along with tracks from the Blows Against the Empire assemblage. The inclusion of Jefferson Starship's "Ride the Tiger points the way to a slicker, pop-oriented future. While Flight Log is not essential, it may certainly be of interest to devout fans of the Jefferson Airplane. AMG.

listen here

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors 1977

Street Survivors appeared in stores just days before Lynyrd Skynyrd's touring plane crashed, tragically killing many members of the band, including lead singer and songwriter Ronnie Van Zant. Consequently, it's hard to see Street Survivors outside of the tragedy, especially since the best-known song here, "That Smell," reeks of death and foreboding. If the band had lived, however, Street Survivors would have been seen as an unqualified triumph, a record that firmly re-established Skynyrd's status as the great Southern rock band. As it stands, it's a triumph tinged with a hint of sadness, sadness that's projected onto it from listeners aware of what happened to the band after recording. Viewed as merely a record, it's a hell of an album. The band springs back to life with the addition of guitarist Steve Gaines, and Van Zant used the time off the road to write a strong set of songs, highlighted by "That Smell," "You Got That Right," and the relentless boogie "I Know a Little." It's tighter than any record since Second Helping and as raw as Nuthin' Fancy. If the original band was fated to leave after this record, at least they left with a record that serves as a testament to Skynyrd's unique greatness. AMG.

listen here

Elvin Bishop - Raisin Hell (Live) 1977

A veteran guitarist who fused the blues with gospel, R&B, and country traditions, Elvin Bishop was born in Glendale, CA, on October 21, 1942. He grew up on a farm in Iowa with no electricity or running water, and eventually moved to Oklahoma with his family when he was ten. Raised in an all-White community, his only exposure to African-American traditions was the radio, which introduced him to the sounds of blues stations in Shreveport, LA. The piercing sound of Jimmy Reed's harmonica won his attention; Bishop would later liken it to a crossword puzzle that he had to figure out. What was this music? Who made it? What was it all about? Inspired, he began to put the pieces together.

However, it was not until he won a National Merit Scholarship to the University of Chicago in 1959 that Bishop found the real answers to his questions. He found himself in the middle of the Chicago blues scene and immersed himself in the genre. After two years of college, Bishop dropped out and pursued music full time, eventually meeting Howlin' Wolf's guitarist Smokey Smothers and learning the basics of blues guitar from him. In the early '60s, Bishop teamed up with Paul Butterfield helped form the core of the Butterfield Blues Band. Although he had only played guitar for a few years, he practiced frequently and played with Butterfield in just about every place possible, including campuses, houses, parks, and -- in the venue that helped launch the band -- Big John's on Chicago's North Side. Bishop also helped shape the sound of several Butterfield albums, including The Pigboy Crabshaw, whose title refers to Bishop's countrified persona.

In 1968, Elvin Bishop left Butterfield's band following the release of In My Own Dream. He launched a solo career and relocated to the San Francisco area, where he made frequent appearances at the Filmore with artists like Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and the Allman Brothers Band. Bishop recorded for four albums for Epic Records and later signed with Capricorn in 1974. His recording of "Traveling Shoes" (from the album Let It Flow) made a dent on the charts, but the single "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" (from Struttin' My Stuff) made a bigger splash in 1976 when it peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts. Over the next few years, the Elvin Bishop Group dissolved. He released his album Best Of in 1979 and lay low for several years, eventually resurfacing when he signed with the Alligator label in 1988.

Bishop then released Big Fun in 1988 and Don't Let the Bossman Get You Down in 1991, both of which were well received. He also participated in Alligator's 1992 20th Anniversary cross-country tour; three years later, he toured with veteran bluesman B.B. King and released an album entitled Ace in the Hole. The Skin I'm In followed in 1998, and 2000's That's My Partner saw him teaming up with Smokey Smothers, the same musician who had originally taught him guitar. After a five-year hiatus, Bishop released Gettin' My Groove Back in 2005 via Blind Pig Records; he then jumped to the Delta Groove Music label for 2008's The Blues Rolls On, which featured guest spots by B.B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and others. AMG.

listen here

Blackfoot Sue - Strangers 1977

Blackfoot Sue was a British pop/rock group of the 1970s whose members were Tom Farmer (b.1952 03 02, Birmingham, England) (bass, keyboards, vocals), his twin brother Dave Farmer (b.1952 03 02, Birmingham, England) (drums), Eddie Galga (b.1951 09 04, Birmingham, England) (guitar, keyboards), and Alan Jones (b.1950 01 05, Birmingham, England) (guitar, vocals). Their "Standing in the Road" was a U.K. Top Ten hit in 1972, but they were written off as a teen sensation and broke up in 1977. Thanks to RareMp3 oje of the best music blog.

listen here

Folly's Pool - Folly's Pool 1977

Begun in 1975 by Doug and Jeff Carlson, this Fresno, California based band toured the California extensively in the 1970's and 80's. As the band's popularity increased additional musicians were added to the mix. The core elements in place, in 1977 they recorded an obscure album of acoustic based rural rock with folk, prog & country.

A little musical gem, featuring the indisputable talents of guitarist and singer/songwriter Steve Ono and his chums aka Folly's Pool. Originally a private pressing released in 1977 on Century Records under the stewardship of Fresno-born Ono, the album sees the band take us on a tour de force of acoustic-based rural rock with folk, prog and country influences often in the background.

At times Folly's Pool sounds like they're trying to be The Eagles or Loggins & Messina, but in many ways this does the band a disservice as they have successfully created an individual approach to their music which often turns the ordinary into the exceptional (the cunning transformation from folk to prog of "Jig In A" is worth the price of admission alone) and the high standard of everything the band plays (the stunning electric guitar solos are particularly fine) makes this album one to get one's teeth into!

In year 2008 they released their second copmlete work "Road Through Independence" an excellent smooth, piano-based adult rock album. The sound is very "California" with touches of Southern rock attitude.

listen here

Mike Bloomfield - I'm With You Always 1977

This release, recorded at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA, in 1977, captures a superb live show, with Bloomfield in top form as he performs before an appreciative audience in an intimate setting. Michael's singing is spirited and his guitar playing is precise and inventive as he plays favorite songs from his repertoire. Highlights include solo acoustic performances of two songs written by Shelton Brooks in the early 1900s, a piano/guitar duet demonstrating the rapport he had with pianist Mark Naftalin, and hot performances by Bloomfield, Naftalin and a rhythm section of Buddy Helm on drums and Buell Neidlinger on bass. Bloomfield shows what he had been doing all those years out of the spotlight -- refining his technique and researching the music he loved. AMG.

listen here

David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name 1971

David Crosby's debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name is a one-shot wonder of dreamy but ominous California ambience. The songs range from brief snapshots of inspiration (the angelic chorale-vocal showcase on "Orleans" and the a cappella closer, "I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here") to the full-blown, rambling western epic "Cowboy Movie," and there are absolutely no false notes struck or missteps taken. No one before or since has gotten as much mileage out of a wordless vocal as Crosby does on "Tamalpais High (At About 3)" and "Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)," and because the music is so relaxed, each song turns into its own panoramic vista. Those who don't go for trippy Aquarian sentiment, however, may be slightly put off by the obscure, cosmic storytelling of the gorgeous "Laughing" or the ambiguous (but pointed) social questioning of "What Are Their Names," but in actuality it is an incredibly focused album. Even when a song as pretty as "Traction in the Rain" shimmers with its picked guitars and autoharp, the album is coated in a distinct, persistent menace that is impossible to shake. It is a shame that Crosby would continue to descend throughout the remainder of the decade and the beginning of the next into aimless drug addiction, and that he would not issue another solo album until 18 years later. As it is, If I Could Only Remember My Name is a shambolic masterpiece, meandering but transcendentally so, full of frayed threads. Not only is it among the finest splinter albums out of the CSNY diaspora, it is one of the defining moments of hungover spirituality from the era. AMG.

listen here

Illusion - Out of the mist 1977

Featuring the original Renaissance lineup (minus the late Keith Relf), this revived configuration has production based largely around Hawken's lush keyboards and Jane Relf's crystalline vocals. Illusion is still very much the prototype of Renaissance -- despite the entirely different lineup from the Haslam-fronted band, the family resemblance is striking. "Faces of Yesterday" highlights Hawken's use of cascading piano and Mellotron strings as an accompaniment to Jane Relf's lilting voice. The other primary song form is exemplified by "Candles are Burning" and "Solo Flight," both of which use an aggressive, pounding left hand on the piano as the anchor for guitar solos by John Knightsbridge. The former song uses alternating harmonized vocals by Relf and McCarty, while the latter highlights McCarty's often underutilized voice. It's a welcome return for this band, and a must-own for any serious fan of Renaissance. AMG.

listen here

Lawrence Hammond - Coyote's Dream 1977

Not a very well known entity in the Takoma catalog, this LP is a solo outing by a singer, songwriter, and picker who had previously been involved with a psychedelic country combo based originally out of Antioch, Mad River. The Ohio group predictably flowed its way onto the San Francisco scene during an era when hippies and, more importantly, hippie musicians embraced country & western.

The music of this cultural fusion was well documented and includes some famous masterpieces. Despite some obvious drawbacks, Coyote's Dream rates right up there with any great country rock moment, sometimes even surpassing the threshold with a track such as "Trucker's Nightmare," a superb, hard-edged ditty that doesn't appear to have ever been included on any of the numerous compilation sets devoted to songs about truckers. Ignoring this album may have been something of a religion, yet certain listeners seem to cling to it. For example, a highly accomplished steel guitarist carefully copied the vinyl to distribute in burned CD form to other prospective fans, complete with hand-drawn cover and notes in which no knowledge of any particular sidemen accompanying Lawrence Hammond is admitted. Actually, some of the sidemen are the same dudes who played on similar material from the period that achieved much more commercial success, particularly fiddler Byron Berline. The fine pedal steel player is Bill Weingarden.

Hammond`s singing style may have been one of the problems if reactions of music critics can be trusted, not always the right philosophy but basically considered reasonable in this case following careful comparison of said voice and said criticism. Yes, "a voice to crisp an aardvark's nose hairs" is a little mean. Meanness may be excused as a reaction, however, after absorbing a few of the man's stylistic mannerisms, among them a falsetto maneuver as uncomfortable as someone unwanted sitting down at a campfire.

"I spent the entire album listening to each word, waiting for another one of those falsettos in sheer dread" commented a member of the network that had received dubs of the project as a further distribution of the steel guitarist's original donation. The reactions of a varied group of enthusiastic music listeners is interesting in any case, demonstrating the great appeal of this LP as clearly as it underscores the frightening aspects of Hammond vocalizing.

A critic who had always seemed kind of kinky -- yet an expert in country & western of all sorts nonetheless -- admitted that he had become a prisoner of the first track, unable to proceed further, not out of dislike but the total opposite. Feelings like this about a song entitled "George Gudger's Overalls" will not seem extreme to anyone who has experienced the song itself. It is one of the few songs in the history of music about a pair of pants, and if that is not enough includes a round of indecent exposure , the songwriter coming up with good rhymes for both "in the raw" and "in the nude." Another reaction touches on lyrics as well, speculating whether even the great Roger Miller had managed to come up with a rhyme based on the name of union thug Jimmy Hoffa. Unfortunately, the latter listener became more enamored with Hammond than was emotionally healthy, lapsing into a severe depression when nobody actually showed up to "sit a spell" and "drink a few" as promised in an endearing portrait of "Uncle John Mills." Not exactly sure of what to make of the following reaction, it is included because of the relevant reference to twangy guitars, a really attractive part of the entire album: "Hey this was the first thing I listened to after replacing one of my headphone ear pieces with a wad of scotch tape. I am not sure what happened to the earpiece, I think it got dragged the length of the corridor in a hotel on a marble floor. Anyway I like the scotch tape better, it twitches and tickles my ears when the guitars are twangy, I like it so much I am going to revisit my entire country collection."

The record also sounded good to a film projectionist who while not admitting it actually was experiencing even worse playback deficiencies then the aforementioned head-taper, as opposed to home-taper. "I had the soundtrack to Exodus playing in the background, it sometimes drowned out Coyote's Dream." Finding a copy in pristine audio conditions to form an individual judgment will no doubt take longer than listening, the album features only eight songs and lasts just a bit longer than a half-hour. AMG.

listen here

Stephen Whynott - From Philly To Tablas 1977

This is the album that won Stephen the honor of being voted one of the unsung artists of 1978 by Modern Recording Magazine. "From Philly To Tablas" was recorded at Intermedia Sound in Boston, Mass. and was released on the Seattle based indie record label Music Is Medicine, a subsidiary of First American Records. The vinyl record & cover are in excellent condition. AN AUTOGRAPHED MESSAGE INCLUDED! SONGS: Retreat Suite, What Have You Seen, Altitude, Rain Swollen Highway, Nine Day Sunflower, Without Us, Go Around, Snow's Edge, Mexican Oil, Oh Boy! I've Won The Contest At Last... MUSICIANS: Zed McLarnon-bass; Dave Humphries-drums; Cleve Pozar-drums, tablas, & percussion; Dan Frye-melatron, electric & acoustic piano, organ; Michael Kaman-oboe; Stephen Whynott-electric & acoustic guitars, acoustic piano, organ, drums, harmonica. REVIEWS: (Modern Recording Magazine) From the opening chords of "Retreat Suite" to the whimsical "Oh Boy! I've Won The Contest At Last", Whynott and his colleagues, including oboist Michael Kaman, create a fine musical package... (Billboard Magazine) A magical record from a sensitive, yet streetwise, troubadour & poet. This is a special album for special people. It is folk & rock ballads. All are lovingly composed, simple yet complex, and above all, it is beautiful in both conception and presentation. Stephen Whynott is not well known, but one listen to this album will bring him into your life. His music is magic; his words are poetry, and his voice & guitar create lovingly tender stories, orchestrated with great sensitivity. If you let him in, he will reach out and touch you. (The Gazette Journal, Reno) Outside stuff; out of the ordinary folk music with rock thrown in here & there.

listen here

Brigitte Bardot - Brigitte Bardot Show 1968

In the mid-'60s, sex kitten Brigitte Bardot released a series of mildly popular pop records, the most interesting of which being her collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg. Early on in her singing pursuits, rock video-type films were generated for each of her songs. The tracks on Brigitte Bardot Show serve as a soundtrack to her long forgotten television show, which she produced and which served as a stage for her to perform her hits. The album, re-released on CD by the Japanese label Flavour of Sound, contains 15 songs, five of which are instrumentals. The vocal tracks range from gentle ballads to bizarre psychedelic romps, all with an over-the-top theatricality and sung with a humorous pop assault. For fans of hip obscure French pop there are a half dozen groovy go-go tracks like "Harley Davidson" and "Contact," while for those of us who have long been hopelessly in love with the lovely Bardot, there is the sultry and dreamy "Mister Sun." While there was never any expectation that she would be asked to perform arias at the Paris opera house, her recordings are very fun and certainly entertaining. AMG.

listen here

Dejan's Original Olympia Brass Band - Street Parade 1968

The Olympia Brass Band is a New Orleans jazz brass band.

The first "Olympia Brass Band" was active from the late 19th century to around World War I. The most famous member was Freddie Keppard.

In 1958, saxophonist Harold Dejan, leader of the 2nd unit of the Eureka Brass Band, split off to form the current Olympia, reviving the historic name.

The band had a notable part in the 1973 James Bond movie "Live and Let Die" where they lead a funeral march for a freshly assassinated victim. Trumpeter Alvin Alcorn plays the knife wielding "baby faced killer".

In addition to playing for parades and parties, the band for many years had a weekly gig at Preservation Hall on Sunday nights for many years. The band also toured Europe on numerous occasions and also toured Africa for the U. S. State Department. The band did a BBC radio broadcast for Queen Elizabeth's 25th wedding anniversary in 1972 while they were in London, and also played for Pope John Paul II on his visit to New Orleans. JazzArchives.


listen here

Daevid Allen - Now Is The Happiest Time Of Your Life 1977

The follow-up to Good Morning is another tranquil, organic outing by Allen that re-introduces his imaginary green hero, Zero, from the Gong trilogy. Allen is his usual playful self, although by this time the flying teapot/pothead pixie fixation was getting a little stale. No matter, since the music wafts along at a casual pace, with unusual sounds such as tablas by Sam Gopal and harp by Marianne Oberascher.

Despite his seeming frivolity, Allen has always had a vein of counterculture protest running through his music, and this comes to fruition in "Poet for Sale," a song that Allen directs with venom toward the business end of music. "Only Make Love If You Want To" is a hypnotic piece driven by a carousel-sounding synthesizer and Allen's sly vocals. "I Am" is an 11-minute musical rendering of a Daevid Allen morning meditation from his home in Deya, Majorca. Like "Wise Man in Your Heart" from Good Morning, this tune harkens to the spacy side of Gong, with Allen's patented glissando guitar creating a serene, meditative state. The record closes with the acoustic "Deya Goddess," dedicated to the moon goddess Diana. It's an appropriate coda to Now Is the Happiest Time of Your Life, one of the most pleasant records to spring from the fertile mind of rock's oldest and most overlooked hippie poet. AMG.

listen here

Electric Banana - More Electric Banana 1968

The Electric Banana was an alias used by British rockers the Pretty Things beginning in the '60s and throughout the '70s, comprised of members Phil May (vocals), Dick Taylor (lead guitar), Wally Waller (bass), and John Povey (drums). In an effort to make some quick money, the group contributed music to a variety of low-budget films, one such title being The Haunted House of Horror. The Electric Banana issued several obscure albums (all long out-of-print and extremely hard to find) -- 1967's self-titled debut, 1968's More Electric Banana, 1969's Even More Electric Banana, and 1970's Hot Licks. AMG.

listen here

Cate Brothers Band - Cate Brothers Band 1977

The Cate Brothers, identical twins Earl and Ernie (born Ernest), exemplify the country-style rock and roll that flourishes in the Ozark Mountains area of northwest Arkansas. Although best known for country music, the Cates added rock and roll to their approach in a distinctly unpretentious way, inheriting the legacy of some of the earliest Arkansas rockabilly performers, including Ronnie Hawkins, the McClelland Combo (or the Emcees), and keyboardist John Tolleson and his group.

The Cates were born in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1942 and grew up in Springdale (Washington County). Although not born to a musical family, the Cates taught themselves how to play and were heavily influenced during their teenage years by Hawkins, whose ever-changing band, the Hawks, was at that time composed of the personnel who eventually became famous as Bob Dylan’s backup ensemble, the Band: pianist Richard Manuel, keyboardist Garth Hudson, drummer Levon Helm, and guitarist Robbie Robertson. The northwest Arkansas musical enclave was a diverse one, however, and the Cates heard not only renowned touring rock musicians but also worked with such local stars as vocalist Ken Owens while competing with Hawkins and Tolleson for a tough, knowledgeable regional audience. The Cates’ band was originally called the Del-Reys, and they sang Everly Brothers–style harmonies when they were young, before they developed their own vocal persona. Earl plays the guitar, while Ernie plays keyboard.

The Cates have remained close to the northwest Arkansas club and festival activities, which revolve around the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville and have expanded to accommodate the booming regional commercial developments related to the growth of Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J. B. Hunt. But the Cates are also true to their musical roots in that theirs is a “country soul” unit, and they are masters of a kind of rhythmic eclecticism that is native to the cultural territory from which it emerged, bounded generationally by Bob Wills’s western swing and the Band’s blend of hillbilly simplicity and blues depth and incorporating both styles into their own music.

The Cates’ association with Helm resulted in Helm’s performing with the Cates after he temporarily dropped out of Bob Dylan’s wildly controversial international (and extensively documented) electric tour in the mid-1960s. In 1975, the Cates released two albums on the Asylum label (a powerful force in rock music at the time and one with which Helm had professional contacts), Cate Bros. Band and In One Eye and Out the Other, which led to the Cates touring nationally themselves. Asylum also released The Cate Brothers Band in 1977. The Cate Brothers Band earned the group critical acclaim for its distinctive sound and a solid reputation for expert musicianship. The album was produced by legendary Memphis guitarist Steve Cropper, a member of Booker T. & the MG’s and a mainstay of the celebrated Stax label throughout the company’s 1960s heyday.

Although long associated with Helm and Hawkins, the Cates have earned a devoted following of their own and have continued to release albums, including Radioland (1995), Struck a Vein (1997), and Cate Brothers Band Live (1999). Though they have never achieved the kind of far-flung success that was eventually accorded the Band (the Cates’ most famous recording is probably “Union Man” from The Cate Brothers Band album), the Cates remain a well-respected regional band among their peers in the music world and have carried the northwest Arkansas style of classic rock into the twenty-first century.

listen here

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lou Donaldson - Midnight Creeper 1968

As he delved deeper into commercial soul-jazz and jazz-funk, Lou Donaldson became better at it. While lacking the bite of his hard bop improvisations or the hard-swinging funk of Alligator Bogaloo, Midnight Creeper succeeds where its predecessor, Mr. Shing-A-Ling failed: it offers a thoroughly enjoyable set of grooving, funky soul-jazz. The five songs -- including two originals by Donaldson and one each by Lonnie Smith (who also plays organ on the record), Teddy Vann, and Harold Ousley -- aren't particularly distinguished, but the vibe is important, not the material. And the band -- Donaldson, Smith, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist George Benson, and drummer Leo Morris -- strikes the right note, turning in a fluid, friendly collection of bluesy funk vamps. Donaldson could frequently sound stilted on his commercial soul-jazz dates, but that's not the case with Midnight Creeper. He rarely was quite as loose on his late-'60s/early-'70s records as he is here, and that's what makes Midnight Creeper a keeper. AMG.

listen here

Popular Posts