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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

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

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

*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.

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

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

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

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

*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”.

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
*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

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

*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

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

*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

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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