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

Free Text
the Free Text

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

Free Text
the Free Text

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

Free Text
the Free Text

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

Free Text
the Free Text

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 

Free Text
the Free Text

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)

Free Text
the Free Text

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) 

Free Text
the Free Text

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)

Free Text
the Free Text

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Eddie Hinton - A Mighty Field of Vision The Anthology (1969-93 us, gorgeous passionate rhythm 'n' blues, roots 'n' roll, country folk rock, 2005 issue)



Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Eddie Hinton may be one of the great, unheralded white blues musicians of all time. Fortunately, fans can latch onto a few recordings on compact disc. Hinton died far too young at the age of 51 on July 28, 1995, yet his guitar playing can be heard all over famous recordings by famous people -- hit records by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, the Staple Singers, the Dells, Johnny Taylor, Elvis Presley, Boz Scaggs, Hour Glass, Otis Redding, and even reggae star Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals.

Hinton was a session guitarist non-pareil. After working with Southern bands like the Spooks and the Five Minutes, he played lead guitar for Muscle Shoals Sound rhythm section from 1967 to 1971. What most people didn't know at the time was that Hinton was also a talented singer, songwriter, arranger and producer in his own right. In the late '60s, Muscle Shoals was something of a hit factory for Atlantic Records recording artists, under the careful, patient tutelage of legendary producer Jerry Wexler. Hinton was just 22 when he was invited to the Shoals area by fellow songwriter and producer Martin Greene. The Hinton/Greene songwriting and producing team produced several country/soul hits, including "Cover Me," and "It's All Wrong But It's Alright" for Percy Sledge.

Sadly, Hinton's 1978 critically hailed Capricorn Records debut, Very Extremely Dangerous, was released shortly before the Macon, Georgia-based label folded. In 1982, Jimmy Johnson of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section took Hinton into the studio to record a half-dozen songs for a new album, but that project was never released, and the blow to his ego, coupled with a divorce, sent Hinton into a personal tailspin. 

Changing musical trends brought popular tastes further away from blues and soul for a time in the '80s (until the rise of Stevie Ray Vaughan brought blues back into vogue) and Hinton was living on the streets in Decatur, Alabama when he ran into an old friend, John D. Wyker. Wyker and Hinton were friends in the University of Alabama's drum and bugle corps. Wyker saw to it that Hinton again had housing and a plan to record again. With the help of some friends, Owen Brown and Jeff Simpson, Wyker began recording Hinton at Birdland Recording Studio and the new songs were combined with the tunes recorded by Jimmy Johnson in 1982. The result was Letters from Mississippi, an album that sparked a career renaissance for Hinton. It wasn't long before Hinton was in demand across Europe, Alabama, and the rest of the south for his unique, soulful blues vocals and expert guitar technique. Wyker continued to serve as a musical guru for Hinton's career rebirth and brought the singer and guitarist to Rounder Records' Bullseye blues subsidiary. 

Cry & Moan and Very Blue Highway were the result. Hinton recovered his health and general well-being and moved back home to Birmingham to live with his mother, all the while writing refreshingly good original songs. He made a short tour of Italy before returning to Birdland Studios in early 1995 to record a new album. As he was putting finishing touches on the new batch of songs, he suffered a fatal heart attack. The results, Hard Luck Guy, were released on a revived Capricorn Records in late 1998, and the songs are some of the most soul-stirring, thoughtful, and well-recorded tracks ever put on an album by a white blues artist. 

Anyone who is a fan of Otis Redding or Al Green will latch onto these songs like a hummingbird to a magnolia blossom. Also worth seeking out are his two releases for Rounder, Cry & Moan, and Very Blue Highway, as well as his European-only release, Letters from Mississippi.

To be sure, Hinton packed a lot of inspiring music into his 51 years by way of all the legendary sessions on which he played lead guitar at Muscle Shoals. His vocals were also singularly unique, firmly planted in the South and drenched with second-nature blues and soul feeling.

Jerry Wexler's liner notes for Hinton's last release, Hard Luck Guy, (the title a nod to his prime influence, Otis Redding,) released on a revived Capricorn Records, are worth the price of the disc in and of themselves. Wexler says of Hinton in the liner notes: "He remains unique, a white boy who truly sang and played in the spirit of the great black soul artists he venerated. With Eddie it wasn't imitation; it was totally created, with a fire and fury that was as real as Otis Redding's and Wilson Pickett's."
by Richard Skelly

Eddie Hinton was a jewel. The many facets of his talent shone independently, and the whole was much greater than its parts. And like any jewel the light shinning on it enhanced its beauty.

Eddie was a musician's musician, and when musicians talk of his playing or the strength of his vocals they use glowing terms.

Jerry Wexler, producer of Wilson Pickett and Solomon Burke, called Eddie the White Otis Redding for his soulful singing. In his biography, Wexler cited an incident in which he watched Eddie and Bob Dylan trading acoustic guitar licks at Muscle Shoals Sound.

"How strange and wonderful, then, to remember Bob Dylan and Eddie Hinton as soul brothers - two poets, one world-renowned, the other known only to a few friends, neighbors, and fans, both riveting artists, both brilliant," Wexler said.

Drummer Jerry Carrigan, best known for his work both in the studio and on the road with Elvis Presley, recalled Eddie's musical talent went far beyond his work on the guitar. "Eddie could play anything. When you were working with him, instead of just telling you what rhythm he wanted you to play, he could sit down at the drum kit and show you."

Wayne Perkins, a Birmingham guitarist with the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and Albert King among his credits, was a teenage guitar slinger when he first arrived in Muscle Shoals and got a chance to show Eddie his stuff.

After watching Wayne playing blazing rock guitar lead after lead, Eddie told him, "I'll always play one note better than you."

As a guitarist, Eddie's style was sparse, and fit perfectly with the song, yet was unconventional.

Jimmy Johnson, founder and rhythm guitarist with the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, recalled that in the early days at the Jackson Highway studio, his office was next to the guitar booth. He would have to leave his office when Eddie would overdub guitar parts, because all he could hear would be what Eddie was playing, and since he couldn't hear the track Eddie was over dubbing, it wasn't immediately evident how well Eddie's part was actually fitting.

Jim Dickinson, producer of Toots Hibbert's "Toots In Memphis," which featured Eddie on guitar during some of his darker moments, recalls how he broke into tears while watching Eddie play on ÎFreedom Train."

"The business broke his heart," Dickinson said. "You can hear it if you listen to the records. But you can also hear the endurance. Inside that destroyed human being was the spirit of Eddie Hinton, and he could still play that guitar. He just became like Van Gogh. There was this monumental genius. I never saw anyone take it further than Eddie."

Eddie not only excelled as a musician, but he was also a vocalist, songwriter, arranger, and producer, working his way through the various aspects of the music business over a three-decade career. At the time of his death, Eddie had been recording songs, which were included in a CD titled Hard Luck Guy released in 1999 in the U.S. by Capricorn Records, and by Zane Productions in Europe. Zane also released a CD in September, gleaned from demos and unreleased tracks that encompass much of Eddie's career. The CD is titled Dear Y'all.

At times Eddie terrified others. The vocalizations he would use as he prepared for a show could make the uninitiated feel very uneasy. His pre-performance warm-ups included strong cigars and various grunts, growls and blues shouts that would echo throughout studio bathrooms, backstage areas, or down alleys behind clubs.

Early in Eddie's first year at the University of Alabama, he met John D. Wyker, a kindred soul from Decatur, AL., who would play a major role in the late years of Eddie's life. Wyker, was a musician, and the two found refuge from the mandatory R.O.T.C. training in the unit's Drum and Bugle Corps.

By the mid-60's, Eddie had moved to Muscle Shoals, and teamed with Marlin Greene, songwriting and playing on some of the rhythm and blues records released on the Quinvy and South Camp labels. And Eddie's songwriting was gaining recognition outside the Quinvy stable, with cuts by Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Lulu, and Dusty Springfield.

He was also testing his production abilities. Teaming with Paul Ballenger in both the music publishing company, Ruler Music, and as producer for acts released on the Quinvy and South Camp labels. It was during this period that they produced the Don Varner Soul Classic, "Tear Stained Face."

When Duane Allman left Muscle Shoals, to form the Allman Brothers Band, he asked Hinton to join him, but Eddie chose to remain in Muscle Shoals and pursue his studio career.

In 1969, Eddie launched his most ambitious effort, the unreleased "Hinton-Coleman Project" with Jim Coleman. Coleman was signed to Hinton's publishing company, and came to Muscle Shoals to see if he could get a song on the album being recorded by Lulu

Eddie decided instead to use the songs for an album on Coleman, and although it has never been officially released, copies have been available on a limited basis.
by Dick Cooper
Tracks
1. I Got The Feeling - 5:19
2. You Got Me Singing - 3:28
3. Concept World (Eddie Hinton, Alvin Howard) - 4:56
4. Shout Bamalama (Otis Redding) - 3:43
5. Just LIke The Fool That I Was (Jim Coleman) - 2:54
6. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom) (Jeff Barry, Bobby Bloom) - 4:47
7. Got Down Last Saturday Night - 2:42
8. My Searching Is Over - 2:12
9. Sad And Lonesome - 3:19
10.I Want A Woman - 3:07
11.Here I Am - 3:35
12.Sad Song (Otis Redding, Steve Cropper) - 3:55
13.Three Hundred Pounds Of Hongry - 4:09
14.What Would I Do Without You (Eddie Hinton, Donnie Fritts) - 2:50
15.Hymn For Lonely Hearts - 4:09
16.Something Heavy - 3:32
17.Everybody Needs Love - 3:31
18.Cry And Moan - 3:49
19.Bottom Of The Well (Eddie Hinton, Bill Blackburn) - 2:43
20.Rock Of My Soul - 3:33
21.Very Blue Highway (Eddie Hinton, Donnie Fritts, Bill Blackburn) - 2:54
All songs by Eddie Hinton except where indicated
Tracks 1-4 from Very Extremely Dangerous 1977
Tracks 5-7 from The Coleman Hinton Project 1995
Tracks 8-10 and 17 from Letters From Mississippi 1986
Tracks 11-14 from Hard Luck Guy 1999 (Recordings made between 1969-1994)
Track 15 from Dear Y' All 2000 (Original recording from 1980)
Track 16 from Playin' Around 2004 (Original recording 1977)
Tracks 18-19 from Cry and Moan 1991
Tracks 20-21 from Very Blue Highway 1993

Musicians
*Eddie Hinton - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica, Percussion, Drums, bass, Keyboards
*Barry Beckett - Keyboards, Moog Synthesizer, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer
*Harrison Calloway, Jr. - Horn Arrangements, Trumpet
*Ronnie Eades - Baritone Saxophone
*Dennis Good - Trombone
*Roger Hawkins - Drums
*David Hood - Bass
*Jimmy Johnson - Guitar
*Muscle Shoals Horns - Horn
*Owen Brown - Bass
*Ron Levy - Horn Arrangements, Mixing, Organ, Percussion,
*Johnny Sandlin - Bass, Drums, Percussion
*Harvey Thompson - Horn Arrangements, Alto, Baritone, Tenor Saxophones
*Joe Walk - Organ
*Dave Albert Allen - Congas
*Wayne Jackson - Trombone, Trumpet
*Andrew Love - Tenor Sax
*Jeff Simpson - Drums, Percussion
*Marvell Thomas - Organ
*Mickey Buckins - Congas, Maracas, Tambourine
*Donnie Fritts - Hammond Organ
*Dan Havely - Trombone, Trumpet
*Bill Stewart - Drums
*Charles Rose - Horn Arrangements, Trombone
*Dan Penn - Vocals
*Spooner Oldham - Hammond Organ
*David Hood - Bass
*Paul Hornsby - Hammond Organ
*Clayton Ivey - Hammond Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer

Free Text
the Free Text

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (1978 us, remarkable folkish groovy rock, 2007 remaster and expanded)



Despite his many affiliations within Los Angeles’ session scene, Warren Zevon was a struggling songwriter who was going nowhere in a hurry when his pal Jackson Browne convinced Asylum Records to take a chance on signing him.

With Browne at the helm, Zevon gave birth to a pair of albums — his self-titled endeavor and its follow-up Excitable Boy. Taken together, they gave him the means, for better or for worse, to live a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, at least temporarily. Admittedly, 30 years after the fact, both collections sound a tad dated, forever tethered to the ’70s by the sort of glossy sheen that typically was affixed to singer/songwriter efforts from the era. Still, there’s no denying the potency of Zevon’s formula, which refreshingly injected a twist of biting satire into the more romantic inclinations of his peers.

Although it was, in actuality, Zevon’s third endeavor, Excitable Boy had the look and the feel of a sophomore effort. By Browne’s own admission, the collection was constructed from its predecessor’s spare parts, and although they were exquisite specimens — both Werewolves of London and the title track had been set aside and saved — the fact remains that there was less unity amongst the set’s contents. Nevertheless, it’s hard to quibble with the songs themselves. 

Here’s an indication of Excitable Boy’s strength: Six of its nine tracks were redeployed to form the basis of Zevon’s greatest hits retrospective A Quiet Normal Life. Of the remaining cuts, only the deliciously funky, but ultimately lightweight Nighttime in the Switching Yard could be considered filler. The other two selections — Tenderness on the Block’s gently optimistic message from a father to his daughter and Veracruz’s mournful depiction of the casualties of American imperialism — are equally worthy contenders.

That’s quite a testament to Zevon’s capabilities, especially considering that the rest of Excitable Boy was filled with his widely recognized tales of a predatory ladies’ man (Werewolves of London), a vengeance-seeking vigilante (Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner), a self-destructive antihero (Lawyers, Guns and Money), and a battered, bruised, and ultimately doomed relationship (Accidentally Like a Martyr).

 Although his later efforts undeniably contained a more cohesive narrative — a product of the maturity that middle age brings as well as the focus that arrived once he overcame his dependence upon alcohol — it arguably is difficult to find a more iconic collection of songs within his canon. Recently reissued with a quartet of bonus tracks — including a haunting rendition of Tule’s Blues (a personal account of the dissolution of his marriage) and the string-draped Frozen Notes (an equally sad reflection upon lost love and loneliness) — Excitable Boy still stands, in spite of its flaws, as strongly, proudly, and defiantly as it ever has
by John Metzger
Tracks
1. Johnny Strikes Up the Band (Warren Zevon) - 2:51
2. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner (David Lindell, Warren Zevon) - 3:52
3. Excitable Boy (LeRoy Marinell, Warren Zevon) - 2:41
4. Werewolves of London (Waddy Wachtel, LeRoy Marinell, Warren Zevon) - 3:31
5. Accidentally Like a Martyr (Warren Zevon) - 3:44
6. Nighttime in the Switching Yard (Jorge Calderón, David Lindell, Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon) - 4:21
7. Veracruz (Jorge Calderón, ZevonWarren Zevon) - 3:31
8. Tenderness on the Block (Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon) - 4:01
9. Lawyers, Guns and Money (Warren Zevon) - 3:30
10.I Need A Truck (Outtake) (Warren Zevon) - 0:56
11.Werewolves Of London (Alternate Version) (Waddy Wachtel, LeRoy Marinell, Warren Zevon) - 3:40
12.Tule's Blues (Solo Piano Version) (Warren Zevon) - 3:13
13.Frozen Notes (Strings Version) (Warren Zevon) - 2:03

Personnel
*Warren Zevon - Lead, Harmony Vocals, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer
*Jorge Calderón - Harmony Vocals, Spanish Vocals
*Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar - Guitar, Percussion
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Karla Bonoff - Harmony Vocals
*Jackson Browne - Guitar, Harmony Vocals
*Luis Damian - Jarana
*Kenny Edwards - Bass
*John Mcvie - Bass
*Mick Fleetwood - Drums
*The Gentlemen Boys (The Gentlemen Boys Consisted Of: Jackson Browne, Jorge Calderón, Kenny Edwards, J. D. Souther And Waddy Wachtel) - Backing, Harmony Vocals
*Arthur Gerst - Mexican Harp
*Bob Glaub - Bass
*Jim Horn - Saxophone
*Greg Ladanyi - Bells
*Rick Marotta - Drums
*Jeff Porcaro - Drums
*Linda Ronstadt - Harmony Vocals
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*J.D. Souther - Harmony Vocals
*Manuel Vasquez - Requinto
*Waddy Wachtel - Guitar, Synthesizer, Harmony And Backing Vocals
*Jennifer Warnes - Harmony Vocals

1969  Warren Zevon - Wanted Dead Or Alive
1969-76  Warren Zevon - Preludes Rare And Unreleased Recordings (2007 release)

Free Text
the Free Text