Sunday, January 21, 2018

Erica Pomerance - You Used to Think (1968 canada, extraordinary acid folk raga psych jazzy rock, 2009 digipak remaster)



You Used To Think is one of those records that defines the late 1960s cry for freedom. Laced with existential angst, the music is a Joycean journey that meanders musically—in a gloriously atonal manner—through myriad idioms, including jazz, folk, and a wet canvas of classical Indian ragas. The glue that binds it all is the eerily beautiful, raspy, poetic, angular howl of Erica Pomerance. Her music is without guile, and pierces through the nonsense of a world gone completely mad in its obsession with war and indefensible capitalism. It as merely a mirror held up to the falsity of society in the '60s, but also appears prophetic today.

Pomerance's naked voice is accompanied here by a tinkling piano, ululating flutes, a squawking saxophone, and rangy, twanging guitars in counterpoint with the drone of a sitar and skittering tambourines. This creates a psychedelic stew for Pomerance to traipse across with calculated atonality and a shrill, shimmering consciousness. You Used To Think uncovers a dark, expressionistic world with a Caligarian epicenter. Pomerance's metaphors are Zen-like and maniacal, wildly surreal; flower power and the almost academically concrete. 

Her lyrics sear the soul. In "Burn Baby Burn," she recalls the French student revolution of 1968: "There are no profits, only victims ... of moral mania ... citizens of the great society ... lying down by the cold riverside is the price of freedom." In "You Used To Think," she is sharp, funny, and completely uninhibited as she wails: "You used to think that images were answers/but you were really seeing what you see/that ghostman in your parlor chair of laughter/He was frozen to the bone, you gave him tea."

This is a gutsy album. It must be, as Pomerance more often than not eschews prettiness in music and lyrics. Her voice is an involuntary wave of sonic energy. She warbles, groans, scats, splutters, and bounces. She is a sculptor of sound—the nearest that a vocalist could come to the John Coltrane who inhabited interstellar space while hovering with spiritual abandon. Pomerance may appear to have abandoned spirituality here, but in actual fact her words and music come closest to just that in an oblique, angular way. 

She approaches vocals as Thelonious Monk did his quirky melodic lines, and in the end is able to achieve rapturous abandon even when the songs appear to vaporize in an air of absolute ecstasy. You Used To Think is an anthem of the '60s. 
by Raul d'Gama Rose
Tracks
1. You Used To Think - 3:17
2. The Slippery Morning - 3:48
3. We Came Via - 7:05
4. The French Revolution - 3:23
5. Julius - 4:44
6. Burn Baby Burn - 5:42
7. Koanisphere - 7:10
8. Anything Goes - 5:33
9. To Leonard From The Hospital - 5:27
All songs written by Erica Pomerance

Personnel
*Erica Pomerance - Vocals, Guitar
*Trevor Koehler - Saxophone
*Gail Pollard - Sitar, Vocals
*Dion Grody - Flute
*Lany Brooks - Bass
*Craig Justen - Percussion
*Billy Mitchell - Guitar
*Don Coopersmith - Guitar
*Ron Price - Guitar
*Richie Heissler - Guitar, Vocals
*Tom Moore - Flute
*Michael Ephraim - Piano

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Arlo Guthrie - Arlo (1968 us, wonderful folk rock)



Arlo Guthrie was still prone to long story-songs and occasional humorous introductory monologues on his second outing. Three of the seven tracks last for longer than five minutes, though none remotely approach "Alice's Restaurant" in epic length. Recorded live at the Bitter End, it shows Guthrie starting to adapt more wholeheartedly to folk-rock instrumentation, with a full if subdued band including drums and keyboards.

"The Motorcycle Song" should please those looking for more comic narratives, as should "The Pause of Mr. Claus," most of which is actually a spoken monologue that does finally lead up to fairly funny punchlines. In a more purely musical vein, he touched (mildly) upon ragga-rock on "Meditation (Wave Upon Wave)," with tabla by Ed Shaughnessy. Arlo Guthrie was managing to establish himself as a folk-rock talent with an identity quite distinct from his famous father, not an easy feat. 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. The Motorcycle Song - 7:56
2. Wouldn't You Believe It - 3:03
3. Try Me One More Time (Ernest Tubb) - 2:13
4. John Looked Down - 2:22
5. Meditation (Wave Upon Wave) - 6:38
6. Standing At The Threshold - 2:34
7. The Pause Of Mr. Claus - 7:50
All songs by Arlo Guthrie, except where stated

Personnel
*Arlo Guthrie - Guitar, Vocals
*Stan Free - Piano, Harpsichord
*Ed Shaughnessy - Drums, Tabla

1967  Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant 

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tea Company - Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company (1968 us, startling experimental psych rock, 2007 remaster)



The Tea Company from New York City was one of the early birds from the US psychedelic underground scene with an LP on the market by 1968 originally released on Smash Records. This album marks the evolution of the 45 rpm teen-psych-garage band market to the upcoming LP-generation with extended improvisational parts. “The Naturals” formed in 1963 with Joe Meek influence and evolved into the Tea Company which showcased a more psychedelic sound. Opening up big ballrooms for such acts as; The Mamas and the Papas, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Bob Dylan, Ritchie Havens, and many others, the Tea Company became popular in the US underground, also in San Francisco for spectacular live shows and lyrical hippie statements.

Influenced by and using the same equipment as the Beatles, the controversial and intense “East-Indo Sound” reflects “an assemblage of possessed rock performers; retinue preparing the unusual; alternating with the roots of soul…whose purpose is to cause sensation, due to stimulation of the auditory centers of the brain!” Played with lots of freaked-out-echo-organ/-guitar noises on a 12-string Rickenbacker and various-stereo madness, reminds strongly of Syd Barrett/s spirit but more driven by hard hittin/ drums. 

You will find an outrageous 9 min. cover version of Vanilla Fudge “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, which is celebrated among 60s collectors as a true milestone. The album is a mindblowing and freaky production . This release (remastered) captures the end 60s stereo sound-experiments in a fresh and intense way! 
Anazitisi Recs

From New York City, The Tea Company was one of the early birds from the US psychedelic underground scene, with an LP on the market, originally released on Smash Records, in `68. This album stands for the evolution of the 45 rpm teen-psych-garage bands to the upcoming LP-generation with extended improvisational parts. Tea Company evolved from the Naturals as precursors to the psychedelic sound, with Joe Meek influences. They were founded in 1963 and played the big ballrooms supporting Mamas and the Papas, The Lovin' Spoonful, Bob Dylan, Ritchie Havens, and many others. 

Tea Compnay´s controversial and intense "East-Indo Sound", reflects "an assemblage of possessed rock performers; retinue preparing the unusual; alternating with the roots of soul...whose purpose is to cause sensation, due to stimulation of the auditory centers of the brain!" - They became popular in the US underground, also in San Francisco for spectacular live shows and lyrical hippie statements. The music is inspired by the Beatles, using exactly the same equipment as them. Tea Company played with lots of freaked-out-echo-organ/-guitar noises on a 12 string Rickenbacker and various stereo madness reminds strongly of Syd Barrett´s spirit but more driven by hard hittin´ drums. 

Inspired by Vanilla Fudge, the Tea Company also did an outrageous 9 min. version of "You keep me hangin on", which is celebrated among 60s collectors as a true milestone. The album is a mindblowing intense production - See more at: https://www.lpcdreissues.com/item/come-and-have-some-tea-with-2#sthash.ucOUROls.dpuf
World In Sound
Tracks
1. Come And Have Some Tea With Me (Frankie Carr) - 3:30
2. Flowers (Mike La Ssandro) - 10:01
3. Love Could Make The World Go Round (Frankie Carr) - 3:32
4. You Keep Me Hanging On (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland) - 8:47
5. Don't Make Waves (Water Sound Effects) - 1:38
6. As I Have Seen You Upon The Wall (Frankie Carr, John Vancho, Mike La Ssandro) - 2:43
7. Make Love Not War (Frankie Carr) - 2:30
8. Maiden In The East (Al Frazia) - 2:11
9. Theme From A Natural (Al Frazia, Frankie Carr, Joe Santos) - 2:10
10.Internationally Me (Al Frazia) - 2:11
11.Say Hay Ha Ha (Al Frazia) - 2:37
Tracks 1-7 by Tea Company
Tracks 8-11 by The Naturals

The Tea Company
*Frankie Carr - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Hammond Organ, Piano, Bass
*Al Vertussi - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Vox
*John Vancho - Bass, Vocals
*Mike La Ssandro - Drums, Vocals

The Naturals
*Joe Santos - Vocals
*Al Frazia - Bass, Vocals
*Frankie Carr - Vocals, Guitars
*Joe DiGregorio - Drums
*Tony Testa - Rhythm Guitar

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Juliet Lawson - Boo (1972 uk, gorgeous progressive folk rock, 2005 extra tracks remaster)



It's sometimes not realized that Joni Mitchell was a hugely influential force on young women singer/songwriters in the early '70s, sometimes to the point where the influence, and even imitation, was fairly obvious. You hear a lot of early Mitchell on British singer/songwriter Juliet Lawson's obscure 1972 album Boo. Recorded with the help of some guys from British folk-rock band Trees (producer David Costa and bassist Bias Boshell) and saxophonist Lol Coxhill, it sold a few thousand copies and got some positive press in the U.K. when it was released, but sank into obscurity after its first pressing sold out. 

You might hear some Carole King on some of the more mainstream cuts here as well, though Lawson's not as good a singer or composer as either King or Mitchell. It's better than some other rare albums bearing these imprints, however, with some lyrical eccentricity (particularly on the unfathomable "Who Is India?") and oddly structured tunes. Yet it's hard to get past the inevitable unfavorable comparisons.

"Let Me Not Put You Down" is more distinguished than much of the material as it opts for an early-'70s British folk-progressive rock sound that doesn't have marked reference points to the early-'70s American singer/songwriter movement, while "The Weeds in the Yard" also stands out for its quirky combination of bouncy piano, Coxhill's saxophone, and a string arrangement. [The 2005 CD reissue adds historical liner notes and demo versions of five of the album's songs.] 
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Dear Fool - 3:32
2. Igloo - 2:42
3. Nothing New - 3:10
4. I Won't Get My Feet Wet Again - 3:21
5. Who Is India? - 3:47
6. Let Me Not Put You Down - 4:54
7. Only A Week Away - 3:24
8. Playing Is No Song - 2:39
9. You're So Right, September - 3:36
10.The Weeds In The Yard - 2:33
11.Rolling Back - 4:14
12.Frog In The Jam - 3:35
13.Dear Fool (Demo) - 3:06
14.Who Is India (Demo) - 3:34
15.Let Me Not Put You Down (Demo) - 3:29
16.Playing Is No Song (Demo) - 2:33
17.You're So Right, September (Demo) - 4:29
Music and Lyrics by Juliet Lawson

Musicians
*Juliet Lawson - Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Bias Boshell - Bass, Keyboards
*Lol Coxhill - Saxophone
*Barry DeSouza - Drums
*Luis Jardine - Percussion
*Ian Blair - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
*Russell Aldez - Steel Drums
*The Hafner String Quartet - Strings
*Casey Synge - Backing Vocals
*Dari Lalou - Backing Vocals
*Karen Friedman - Backing Vocals
*Miguel Barradas - Backing Vocals

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Framework - Skeleton (1968-69 us, sensational heavy blues psych rock, 2001 two disc set)



A legendary San Diego underground band who recorded the amazing I'm Gonna Move 45 in 1968. Just 500 copies were pressed and as recorded here, they sound remarkably like Frumious Bandersnatch despite never having heard of their Bay Area counterparts! The 45 has a very clean sound as the band used small amps in the studio, but live in the sixties they cranked through over-driven stacks and their concerts are the stuff of legend. The Direction is a tremendous trippy dirge, with Cream-like vocals and drumming, and introspective lyrics.

McCann and Spiron had played together in The Orfuns, a punk band that split in 1965 when McCann ran into trouble with the law. A handful of acetates of this band survive, and will see release soon.

Framework was formed in 1967 as an all-original rock group by a local production company (KB Artists) that also represented The Brain Police. Their first recording was made at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles and is the only known recording of line-up 'A'. In August 1968, Fann replaced Gallahar and shortly after the band stripped down to a trio. The second 45 showed a dramatic change stylistically, all connections to pop being abandoned.

At this point Framework became a top live draw in San Diego, playing blues-based hard rock ala Cream. In late 1969, Rick Randle joined the band from The Brain Police.

Framework folded on New Year's Eve 1970 when McCann accepted an offer to join Anthrax, who then recorded an album for Elektra as Formerly Anthrax. They'd gained not just a talented guitarist but, as a bonus, a flautist and versatile vocalist, who took up lead vocal duties on their accomplished jazz-prog-rock album. He wrote too and brought two compositions from the Framework repertoire (and featured on the Rockadelic/Shadoks retrospective) - Like A Child and These Things I Know.
Tracks
Disc 1
1. I'm Gonna Move (Terry Fann) - 3.30
2. Flotz (Jerry McCann) - 3.19
3. The Direction (Terry Fann) - 5.43
4. You're Going Home (Jerry McCann) - 4.29
5. Iron Door (Jerry McCann) - 3.49
6. Funny Kind Of Sunshine (Jerry McCann) - 2.25
7. Get Out Of My Room (Terry Fann) - 1.47
8. Like A Child (Jerry McCann) - 4.17
9. Conscence Be Your Guide (Terry Fann) - 3.21
10.Wind Chimes (Jerry McCann) - 3.39
11.Last Sad Song (Jerry McCann) - 8.11
Disc 2
1.Beautiful Weather (Henry Burch) - 3.00
2.I'm Gonna Move (Terry Fann) - 3.40
3.Wind Chimes (Jerry McCann) - 5.29
4.These Things I Know (Jerry McCann) - 5.34
5.Like A Child (Jerry McCann) - 3.48
6.Get Out Of My Room - Good Times (Terry Fann, Framework) - 14.14
7.Get Out Of My Room - Good Times (Terry Fann, Framework) - 13.12

The Framework
Disc 1 Tracks 5-6
*Jerry McCann - Vocals, Guitar
*Danny Orlino - Guitar
*Cliff Lenz - Organ, Vocals
*Drew Gallahar - Bass, Vocals
*Carl Spiron - Drums
(All other tracks)
*Jerry McCann - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*Terry Fann -  Vocals, Bass
*Carl Spiron - Drums

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dancer - Tales Of The Riverbank (1972 uk, remarkable prog rock)



Dancer were a little-known progressive band hailing from the Isle of Wight, a rather culturally isolated island off the south coast of England, although it's only a short ferry ride from the mainland. Although they released nothing in their lifetime, luckily they had the resources to record an album's-worth of material in 1972, finally released by those nice people at Kissing Spell in 2001 as Tales of the Riverbank, and would'ja believe it, it's really very good? Its highlight is undoubtedly the lengthy title track, which is a full-on prog epic.

An interesting fact about Dancer is that their keyboard player was a young Anthony Minghella, now, of course, known as director of 'The English Patient' et al. Given that the album was recorded in a London studio and was produced by the Groundhogs' Tony McPhee, the band had access to some pretty good equipment, and Minghella got some 'Tron (McPhee's?) on a couple of tracks (McPhee is also rumoured to have played it at the session). Tales Of The Riverbank itself has cellos near the beginning, with a good quantity of strings scattered throughout the piece, plus a brass part on Morning, although that appears to be it, despite Internet witterings to the contrary.

So; that rarity, a good 'unreleased album'. Just about worth it on the 'Tron front, too, though again, largely for its centrepiece. Top marks to Kissing Spell, anyway.

A sad footnote to this review is that Minghella died on the 18th March, 2008, of complications from a cancer operation. After such a stellar career in film, it's hardly surprising that his rump musical career hasn't been mentioned in the obituaries.
Tracks
1. Tales Of The Riverbank - 11:24
2. America Wood - 3:51
3. Morning - 6:03
4. Mac's Cafe - 4:26
5. This Change In Me - 3:32
6. Fairhill Affair - 5:09
7. Mind The Houses - 4:41

The Dancer
*Gerry Cahill - Lead Guitar, Flute
*Anthony Minghella - Keyboards, Mellotron
*Paul Athey - Percussion, Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Mike Cuffe - Bass
*Mike Jolliffe - Guitar, Vocals
With
*Tony McPhee - Guitars

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Goose Creek Symphony - Established 1970 (1970 us, beautiful earthy instrumentation country folk vibes, 2000 reissue)



In the intersection of country and rock, sometimes  a band comes along who clearly bit the country bug enough to get the right chops, but for some reason not enough to take it entirely serious. To my ears, Goose Creek Symphony’s debut, Established 1970, has a an overly slack-jawed approach – perhaps a cool nod that this hillbilly thing is just for kicks.  But much like Ween’s brilliant Nashville foray, 12 Golden Country Greats, the music is too damn good to write off.

Charlie’s Tune exemplifies my issue: they sing a little like phony bumpkins with a jaw harp, though the guitar is choogling and it grooves just right, you’re still embarrassed to play it in public. Luckily their cover of Satisfied Mind reads perfect and may be the one of the best I’ve heard. Talk About Goose Creek takes the irony even further, however, the jaw harp louder, ‘home on the range’ lyrics cheezier, but the groove is even more infectious with some bad ass drum work taking things for a psyched out ride.

Mostly, only a few tracks are this polarizing. Beautiful Bertha and Confusion are solid stoned rockers, Raid on Brush Creek and Big Time Saturday Night both nail The Band’s americana strike zone, and closing ballad Symphony Music rounds out the record with breezy rural rock.

I have been totally split on Est. 1970 but finally given in, and hard. There is no way to disqualify Goose Creek’s authenticity, their Arizona/Kentucky roots are for real and they’ve stayed true to their boldly unique style for many years now. I guess I have had the same problem with the Dillards in that the singing can, sometimes, just sound too faux-billy (or maybe it’s records that open with I’ll Fly Away). All I’ll say now is I love the record regardless, and you be the judge.
by Brendan McGrath
Tracks
1. I’ll Fly Away (Albert E. Brumley) - 1:19
2. Charlie’s Tune - 4:34
3. A Satisfied Mind (Jack Rhodes, Red Hayes) - 3:25
4. Confusion - 3:25
5. No News Is Good News (Michael McFadden) - 3:52
6. Talk About Goose Creek And Other Important Places - 8:22
7. Beautiful Bertha - 3:09
8. Raid On Brush Creek In ’39 - 1:40
9. Big Time Saturday Night - 3:22
10.Symphony Music - 4:48
All songs by Charles Gearheart except where noted.

Personnel
*Charles Gearheart - Lead Vocals, Guitars
*David Birkett - Bass
*Michael McFadden - Guitar
*Paul Howard - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Henke - Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Chris Lockheart - Drums
*Pat Moore - Bass
*Paul Spradlin - Electric Guitar
*Jim Tolles - Fiddle
*Harold Williams - Horn
*Fred Wise - Fiddle
*Randall Bramblett - Horn
*Steve Forman - Horn Arrangements

Related Act
1967 The Superfine Dandelion - The Superfine Dandelion 

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Sopwith Camel - The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon (1973 us, marvelous prog jazz rock, 2006 remaster)



Formed in 1966, the Sopwith Camel was the second San Francisco band to be signed by a major record company - Buddha/Kama Sutra - right after Jefferson Airplane and before the Grateful Dead. One of the earliest bands in San Francisco they first appeared in public on February 12, 1966. 

The Sopwith Camel played the Fillmore, the Avalon, the Matrix, Long Shoremans Hall, and are billed on a dozen or more of the collectible psychedelic posters of 1966 thru 1967. The Camel toured the country, appearing with the Rolling Stones, the Rascals, the Doors, the Turtles, the Who, the Velvet Undergroud, the Beach Boys and, of course, the Lovin' Spoonful, who were produced by Jacobsen as well. In San Francisco, they played with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother, The Dead, Quicksilver, The Great Society, and so many others.

The group reformed in 1971 and recorded one more album to great reviews and signing with Mo Ostin of Warner Bros. Mixing prog-rock, jazz, showtunes, Krautrock and indian classical music, this San Francisco band’s unloved masterpiece sounds like it was recorded only last week.

What never fails to amaze me about this record is how it sounds like it was recorded about a week ago, yet it dates from autumn 1973, back when Neil Young’s Time Fades Away and Funkadelic’s Cosmic Slop were the hot new platters that mattered.

The mighty Camel’s breakout hit Hello Hello had come out on Kama Sutra way back in winter 1966. They were the first San Francisco band to have a hit, but within six months of getting recognised they imploded. In 1970, the band got back together and The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon was their attempt at a comeback. Except, of course, it’s nuts and no one bought it – and then they went on tour and their van caught fire and they lost all their equipment.

To be fair to them, Sopwith Camel were always more of an art project than an actual band – and that artistic bent is what makes this record such a gem. Taking in elements of FM schmaltz, prog-rock, jazz, showtunes, Krautrock and indian classical music, this is an album that overflows with ideas, but never overwhelms. Orange peel is cooly funk-scented ambient-jazz, Dancin’ Wizard is what Incredible String Band might have sounded like if they’s grown up with sunshine rather than rain, while Coke, Suede and Waterbeds is as lush and indulgent as the title suggests. However, it’s the last track Brief Synthoponia that is most startling. A fantastically stream-lined experimental jam, it manages to cram an awesome breakbeat, sax and synth squalls and some super-skronk hep-cat dynamism into its fifty-three second lifespan. A tiny masterpiece. 
by Rob Fitzpatrick
Tracks
1. Fazon (Martin Beard, Norman Mayell) - 5:16
2. Coke, Suede, And Waterbeds - 3:34
3. Dancin' Wizard - 3:02
4. Sleazy Street - 5:28
5. Orange Peel - 5:36
6. Oriental Fantasy - 4:55
7. Sneaky Smith - 5:35
8. Monkeys On The Moon - 3:12
9. Astronaut Food - 3:11
10.Brief Synthophonia (Martin Beard, Norman Mayell) - 0:54
All songs by Terry MacNeil except where stated

The Sopwith Camel
*Martin Beard - Bass
*Peter Kraemer - Keyboards, Vocals, Wind
*Terry MacNeil - Guitar, Keyboards
*Norman Mayell - Drums, Harmonica, Sitar

1966-67  Sopwith Camel - Sopwith Camel (2006 remaster)

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Wishbone Ash - There's the Rub (1974 uk, blazing solid guitar rock, 2013 SHM remaster)



Martin Turner's memories:
"We spent the months of August/September 1974 at Criteria Studios in Miami, recording There’s The Rub with producer Bill Szymczyk. This would be our first experience of working at an America studio with an American producer. Likewise it would be Bill Szymczyk’s first experience of recording a British band.

Bill had worked with a host of US artists – Joe Walsh, The James Gang, Eagles, J.Geils Band, etc – but was looking to record with a British band. He wanted to record with The Who. They were on the top of his list, but weren’t ready to record at that point. We were also on his list and were contacted via Miles Copeland. I think Bill was intrigued to find out how British guitar bands went about recording guitars. Likewise, we were just as keen to experience working in a top American studio with a successful American producer. It was an equal trade-off.

When we first arrived in Miami, Bill was a bit taken aback to find that the line-up had changed. Bill was expecting Ted to be with us and was a little surprised when we turned up with this new chap, Laurie Wisefield. But everyone got to know each other and everything went pretty well. We respected Bill’s experience and the success he had achieved and were keen to learn from him. There were, however, occasional differences of opinion, particularly between Bill and myself as to how my bass should sound. He wanted something that was much more orthodox – like the Eagles. My reaction to that was “No, mate, that’s not what I do. I play my bass guitar through a guitar amp – it distorts, growls and sounds generally nasty.” Bill was fairly amused at my concept of a bass sound, but we worked together and eventually agreed to meet in the middle and reached a compromise. 

There’s the Rub attracted pretty respectable reviews from the music press, which was encouraging given the negative comments that had been made about Wishbone Four. However, I was never really affected by the press reviews. What was more important to me is what the people buying the albums thought. For Wishbone Ash fans at the time There’s the Rub was fresh, new and interesting. It had a different sound to previous albums. Laurie’s input was very exciting, and the American era of Wishbone Ash had begun. Most of the press feedback we received at the time was very positive and to this day many fans consider it one of our strongest albums."
Tracks
1. Silver Shoes - 6:40
2. Don't Come Back - 5:10
3. Persephone - 7:01
4. Hometown - 4:49
5. Lady Jay - 5:58
6. F.U.B.B. - 9:28
All compositions by Martin Turner, Andy Powell, Laurie Wisefield, Steve Upton

The Wishbone Ash
*Martin Turner - Bass, Lead Vocals
*Andy Powell - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Backing Vocals, Mandolin
*Laurie Wisefield - Acoustic, Electric, Steel Guitars, Backing Vocals, Banjo
*Steve Upton - Drums, Percussion
Additional Musicians
*Albhy Galuten - Organ, Synthesizers
*Nelson Flaco Padron - Congas

1970  Wishbone Ash - First Light (2007 release) 
1972-2001  Wishbone Ash - Tracks (2001 double disc release) 
1972  Wishbone Ash - Argus (2013 SHM remaster) 

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Scorpion - Scorpion (1969 us, awesome funky blues psych rock, Vinyl issue)



Self-produced, 1969's "Scorpion" stands as a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the small cadre of multi-racial bands willing to take a stab at cultivating a mix of hard rock and soul audience (think Black Merda, Hendrix, Purple Image). With a line up consisting of singer Mike Campbell, bassist Bob Babbitt Kreinar, guitarist Ray Monette and drummer Andrew Smith the band certainly wasn't lacking in the talent department.

By the time they released their debut album Kreinar and Monette had already made names for themselves as part of Motown's famed clique of sessions players.  While the album's been wildly  billed as psychedelic rock, showcasing nine group-penned compositions the set's actually far more diverse. 

Propelled by Campbell's likeably gruff voice and Kreinar's nifty bass, tracks such as 'Running from Myself' (with it's goofy jungle intro), 'Wildflower' and 'Happy Blues Time' reflected a distinctive Hendrix fixation, while 'Great Day' showcased a clear Motown influence. Highlights include the earnest 'Make Love Not War' (far better than the obvious title would have you expect) and the atypical progressive number 'Take a Look At Yourself'.   (The Roy Steyskal cover also stands as one of my favorites.)
Tracks
1. Running From My Self - 4:27
2. Make Love Not War - 3:57
3. Great Day - 3:32
4. Standing In My Mind - 4:08
5. Wildflower - 3:48
6. Take A Look At Yourself - 6:06
7. Happy Blues Time - 4:29
8. Touched By And Angel - 4:49
9. Please Make My Mind Right - 4:59
All songs by Bob Kreinar, Mike Campbell, Ray Monette, Andrew Smith

The Scorpion
*Mike Campbell (aka Michael Champion) - Vocals
*Bob Babbitt Kreinar - Bass
*Ray Monette - Guitar
*Andrew Smith - Drums

Related Act
1969-74  Fill Your Head (three cds box set, five studio albums plus outtakes and alternative versions)
1971  One World  (2015 audiophile remaster)
1971  Rare Earth - In Concert (2017 audiophile remaster)
1974  Live In Chicago (2014 audiophile remaster)

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