Sunday, August 13, 2017

Altona - Altona (1974 germany, good prog kraut rock, 2016 remaster)

With their roots as ex-Thrice Mice members, Altona wisely chose this new name (Altona is a town on the edge of Hamburg) when dropping the former band's classical edge in preference for a jazzier front. 

On their debut Altona played a lively fusion that crossed many boundaries, but kept the Blodwyn Pig feel that dominated the early Thrice Mice recordings.

Notably, they sounded almost like a hybrid of Birth Control and Creative Rock, occasionally hinting at Eiliff, with songs and instrumentals that were full of surprises!

A few Altona members later reappeared in the obscure band Dirty Dogs.
from The Crack In The Cosmic Egg
1. Can't Live Without You - 4:09
2. Cocopus - 5:39]
3. Uberlandfahrt - 4:06
4. 7/4 - 4:17
5. Boulevard - 5:01
6. Frustration - 6:47
7. Hide Yourself - 5:50
All Music and Lyrics by Altona

*Klaus Gerlach - Guitar
*Karl-Heinz "Carlo" Blumenberg - Vocals, Soprano Sax
*Karl-Heinz Gossler - Drums
*Fritz Kahl - Bass
*Werner Von Gosen - Guitar
*Wolfgang Wülff - Tenor Sax
*Michael Von Rönn - Tenor Sax

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Rustix - Come On People (1970 us, great funky groovy blues rock, Vinyl edition)

Formed in 1967, The Rustix showcased the talents of drummer Bobby Bladino (replaced by former Invictas drummer David Colon Jr.), singer Chuck Brucato,, lead guitarist Bob D'Andrea, singer Albin Galich, bassist Kit Nelson, and keyboardist Vince Strenk, the group became quite popular throughout New York state, eventually scoring a one-shot contract with Chess' Cadet subsidiary resulting in the release of a cover of Eddie Holland's 'Leaving Here' as their debut single.

While the single did little commercially outside of upper New York, manager/Rochester DJ Ferndinand Jay Smith III was responsible for getting the band signed by Motown's newly formed Rare Earth subsidiary.  Apparently signed as part of the label's attempt to dip it's corporate toe in rock and roll, the band was teamed with Motown artist R. Dean Taylor in the producers role.  

Like the band's debut album, fellow Motown artist R. Dean Taylor produced their sophomore release - 1970's "Come On People".  This time out the creative spotlight was clearly focused on the band with Brucato responsible for penning seven of the ten tracks.  That said, musically the album featured a modest change in direction compared to their debut.  Gone was most of the blue-eyed soul that characterized the debut.  In its place the band could be heard pursuing a more blues-rock oriented sound.
1. Mississippi Woman (Chuck Brucato) - 2:51
2. Do Right Woman Do Right Man (Dan Penn, Chips Moman) - 5:21
3. Hey Mose (Chuck Brucato) - 4:52
4. Dress Colored Lavender Blue (Chuck Brucato) - 4:22
5. Come On People (Chuck Brucato) - 3:16
6. Billie's Gone (Chuck Brucato) - 2:57
7. Hard To Handle (Allen Jones, Alvertis Isbell, Otis Redding) - 5:00
8. Maple Shade County Day (Chuck Brucato) - 2:35
9. Cry Another Day Away (Chuck Brucato) - 2:59
10.Finale: Happy Trails (Dale Evans) - 0:47

The Rustix
*Chuck Brucato - Vocals
*Ron Collins - Bass, Vocals
*Vince Strenk - Keyboards, Accordion
*Albin Galich - Vocals
*Bob D'Andrea - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*David Colon Jr. - Drums, Percussion
*Ted Lucas - Guitar
*R. Dean Taylor - Piano
*The Adantes - Vocals

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Shoes - Let The Shoes Shine In (1970 holland, excellent nederbeat, 2014 remaster)

In the history of Nederpop, only a few Dutch bands could rival the Shoes’ (formed as The White Shoes, in 1963, in Zoeterwoude) consistency of releasing top hit material.

In the period between 1966 and 1970, all of their singles entered the hit parade. And afterall, it is not surprising at all, considering how hard they were working at the time, and how consistent their output was – truly one of the Netherlands’ top hitmakers in the late 60s.

The group specialised in good, commercial rock and pop, and was constantly promoted at the time by Radio Veronica (the station which specialised in Dutch bands – Nederbeat and Nederpop); thus consistently dominating the airwaves all around the country! Besides, the band members were able to turn their hits into good, solid live performances thanks to a wealth of stage experience they’d possessed from their previous tours of Germany. The "black"-like, soul voice of Van Es was the most remarkable aspect of the band’s sound. It was this special voice (resembling that of Steve Winwood in some ways) that's responsible for the emergence of a staggering string of the hits between 1966 and 1970, including "Standing and Staring" (66), "Na Na Na", "Farewell in the Rain" (67), "No Money for the Roses", "Don't You Cry For a Girl" (68) and "Osaka" (70).

No wonder it was hugely disappointing news when Van Es announced his departure from the group, but the band soldiered on, and within the next couple of years, the rest of the band members tried their luck at retaining the popularity without him in the fold.Van Es subsequently went on to some moderate success with his own formation, Teddy Lane.

Following a great deal of friction and internal disagreements within the Shoes, they finally split up some time in 1973.
by Adri Verhoef 
1. After All (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:13
2. I'm On My Way (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:08
3. That Tender Looking Angel (Jan D. Versteegen, Hendrikus Theo Van Es) - 2:54
4. Highways And Byways (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:26
5. Young Lovers (Jan D. Versteegen, Hendrikus Theo Van Es) - 4:20
6. Happiness Is In This Beat (Hendrikus Theo Van Es, Jan D. Versteegen) - 3:22
7. Osaka (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:51
8. Time Is What I Need (Jan D. Versteegen, Hendrikus Theo Van Es) - 3:51
9. Adios Corazon (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:47
10.Flutes, Horns, Strings And Drums (Jan D. Versteegen, Jerry Voisin) - 3:36
11.Trip Around The World (Jan D. Versteegen, Hendrikus Theo Van Es) - 3:42
12.Daylight (Hendrikus Theo Van Es, Jan D. Versteegen) -  3:32

The Shoes
*Hendrikus Theo Van Es - Vocals
*Wim Van Huis - Guitar
*Jan D. Versteegen - Bass
*Henk Versteegen - Drums

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Velvet Night - Velvet Night (1970 us, terrific misty shady psych rock, 2008 edition)

Don’t expect Velvet Night to comfort you to sleep.  This ain’t your father’s flower power.  This is deep, dark stuff, recorded at the very end of psychedelia, when things got serious, and yesterday’s flower children suddenly realized that the world wasn’t gonna change.  Velvet Night is dark.  Spooky even.  Eerie, doom-laden, brooding tracks that take their cue from the darker Steppenwolf stuff (Monster).

Recorded in 1969, these White Plains NY kids created a horror show of late psych, which they fully admitted to on “Freak Show,” a slow bluesy creeper with spirally spiderweb organ and the fantastic and sexy sorceress vocals of Lynn Boccumini.  The title track could be the theme to a biker gang horror film, like Werewolves on Wheels say, with an instantly catchy big guitar riff set to a spooky rhythm.

“Edge Of The Woods” is another creepy psych crawler, with frantic stutterstep fuzz riff, sweeping Hammond and wailing banshee backing vocals, like some dark Wagnerian opera on brown acid.  There’s also a ten-minute Cream medley, where they mash-up crude Vanilla Fudge-like versions of “I Feel Free,” “Sunshine Of Your Love” and “White Room” with one of the weirdest ambient tribal percussion takes on “I’m So Glad” I’ve ever heard.

If Ginger Baker were ever trying to raise ancient spirits from the dead, this is probably how he would’ve played it.  No doubt about it – the smoky purple reverse image cover tells you all you need to know.  This is music from the other side of the mirror.  Tales from the dark side.  This is one Wonderland Alice won’t be coming back from.
Unknown Soldier
1. Season Of The Witch (Donovan Leitch) - 7:02
2. Velvet Night (Jimmy Curtiss, Steve Kanyon) - 2:58
3. Freak Show (Jimmy Curtiss, Hillman, Phillips) - 3:45
4. Tribute - 9:16
.a.I Feel Free (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown)
.b.Sunshine Of Your Love (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown)
.c.White Room (Jack Bruce)
.d.I’m So Glad (Skip James)
5. The Weight (Robbie Robertson) - 5:06
6. Edge Of The Woods (Jimmy Curtiss, Steve Kanyon) - 3:24
7. Don’t Let Them Stand In Your Way (Vinnie Nisi) - 2:57
8. If I Were A Carpenter (Tim Hardin) - 5:05
9. I'm Sure He'll Come Most Anytime (Jimmy Curtiss, B. Strickland) - 2:37

The Velvet Night
*Lynn Boccumini - Vocals
*Doug Catuogno - Percussion
*Frank Chiaro - Bass
*Tony Faranda - Guitar
*Peter Fuino - Sax,Flute,Vocals
*Vinnie Nisi - Keyboards,Vocals

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