Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Griffin - The World's Filled With Love (1968 us, fabulous colorful beat psychedelia, vinyl edition)



Griffin was an obscure flower power pop psych band  with their 1968 ABC label album, optimistically titled “The World’s Filled With Love.” And anyone with a sweet tooth for the first two Strawberry Alarm Clock long players, or the mystical but still pop-centrific later Monkees albums, or anyone who still believes the world is filled with bunnies and pink cotton candy clouds, will find Griffin ’s naïve but surprisingly trippy outlook on life pretty reassuring.  

Griffin summoning up their inner Kahlil Gibrans when they sing “Know thyself is just a phrase, till some have passed through the haze. I’ve figured out the maze, in my other life.” As Ravi Shankar’s dad, I’m guessing, since they surround it with the same kind of floaty, mystical sitar and tabla head zones that George did on his passages to India , all bellydancing rhythms, snakey sitar lines and om-like chanting background vocals. I’ll take a thousand of these ambitious, “Within You Without You” electric sitar headswirlers over another bad bar band boogie track, and that’s in this life and any of my past lives. 

Elsewhere, the excellent “Magic Carpet Ride” is not a cover of the Steppenwolf karaoke bar perennial, but a tremendous popsike original, with upbeat tempo, moody minor keys and groovy hip lounge bar vocals – definitely a close musical cousin to anything off the first Strawberry Alarm Clock albums. Not quite soft pop, since the frenetic fast-paced rhythm could power any Nuggets band’s next garage single, and not quite garage either, since the lush and trippy vocal harmonies sound positively Beatlesque – this one straddles the genres like some tougher flower power anthem, and features a super groovy electric piano solo that beats the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” by three full years. They’re still straddling genres on the killer “I’m Movin’ On”, a great organ-led pop punker with the kind of wild freakout break that lifted the Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” to legendary garage punk status. But again, the melody’s more pop-savvy than your average Nuggets nugget, so this comes off sounding more like a harder, trippier Monkees – think “Circle Sky” from the soundtrack to Head . 

So if Griffin ’s album straddles the grey area between soft pop and garage punk, it’s only natural. Because the world is filled with love and anger, youthful innocence and teenage aggression. And since every song on “The World’s Filled With Love” is connected to the next by some faint calliope organ music, maybe the world really is filled with pink cotton candy clouds too. 
Tracks
1. The World's Filled With Love (Vince Morton) - 0:25  
2. Baby, Won't You Come With Me? (Bruce Bentley) - 2:03
3. Give All Your Loving To That Man (Bruce Bentley) - 2:32
4. Small Talk (Vince Morton) - 2:50
5. I'm Takin' The Freeway (Bruce Bentley) - 2:30
6. I'm Movin' On (Bruce Bentley) -  2:50
7. Magic Carpet Ride (Vince Morton) - 3:45
8. The World's Filled With Love (Vince Morton) -  0:25
9. I Could Never Leave You (Bruse Bentley, Jerry Brown, Vince Morton) - 1:50
10.In My Other Life (Jerry Brown) - 3:25                
11.Who Wants A Girl Like You? (Vince Morton) - 2:15
12.Lovely Blossom (Vince Morton, Jerry Brown) - 3:27
13.Murder In The Cathedral (Vince Morton) - 2:32
14.The World's Filled With Love (Vince Morton) - 2:55

The Griffin
*Vince Morton - Keyboards
*Jerry Brown - Percussion And Drums
*Bruce Bentley - Guitars

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Cosmic Dealer - Child Of Tomorrow (1971-73 holland, fantastic psych jam classic rock, 2012 release)



This is the second previously unreleased album by the Dutch psychedelic hard rock band Cosmic Dealer. Their first album “Crystallization” from 1971 is an outstanding and rare masterpiece for all psych collectors and for sure one of the best Euro-Underground rock albums of the 70s. In 1971 the band was shortly disband but found together in 1973 with a few line-up changes but kept the same musical intention: heavy psychedelic, progressive and guitar driven hard rock, with catchy song writing, a few US-Westcoast flashes but also extended instrumental jam excursions.

This album contains 6 songs which were recorded in 1973, plus 3 demos from 1971 and as bonus you´ll find 7"EP with 4 live cuts (25 mins) and was recorded in 1971, including the title track from their debut Crystallization. The album is is carefully re-mastered to catch the real spirit of the beautiful and intense music and contains a poster and a with lots of photos and linernotes. Definitely a must-have piece for all 60s psych freaks!
World In Sound 
Tracks
1. Child Of Tomorrow (Ed Boender) - 3:41
2. Sinners Confession (Kees de Blois, Jan Reynders) - 4:52
3. You're So Good (Ed Boender) - 2:59
4. Lifetime (Jan Reynders, Ed Boender, P. Banks) - 9:12
5. Society (Martin Hansen, Ed Boender) - 4:29
6. Julia (Jan Reynders) - 5:01
7. Don't You Know (Frans Poots, Leen Leendertse) - 4:15  
8. Winterwind (Angelo Noce Santoro, Frans Poots) - 3:36
9. For You (Angelo Noce Santoro) - 4:10
10.Crystallization (Cosmic Dealer) - 6:23
11.Don't You know (Frans Poots, Leen Leendertse) - 6:11
12.The Scene (Frans Poots, Bas Van Der Pol) - 4:59
13.Cosmic Jam (Cosmic Dealer) - 7:59

The Cosmic Dealer
*Frans Poots - Flute, Percussion, Saxophone, Vocals
*Jan Reynders - Guitar, Vocals
*Angelo Noce Santoro - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Ad Vos - Drums, Percussion
*Kees de Blois - Guitar, Vocals
*Ed Boender - Guitar, Vocals
*Leen Leendertse - Guitar, Vocals

1970-73  Cosmic Dealer - Crystallization

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Carmen - Fandangos In Space / Dancing On A Cold Wind (1973-74 uk / us, amazing hard prog glam psych rock, 2006 remaster and expanded)



Ludicrously ahead of their time, even in the experimental early '70s, Carmen were unlike anything else on the scene, least of all the American scene. The Allen siblings, David and Angela, were raised on flamenco, forming Carmen in 1970 as a way to meld their roots with their love of rock. Unable to find a label in the U.S., the group decamped to London in 1973, hooking up with Tony Visconti, who recorded the band's debut album Fandangos in Space that summer. Songs like "Poor Tarantos" and "Sailor Song" beautifully showcase David's exquisite flamenco guitar, while "Bulerias" and "Retirando" capture the Spanish flavor along with the rock leanings of the group. The title track, in contrast, highlights their more operatic bend, a styling that Queen would more successfully exploit. 

"Fandangos" also boasts a decidedly funky rhythm, and its the album's shifting, intricate, and unique rhythms that further removed them from the pack. "Bullfight" and "Looking Outside (My Window)"'s distinctive rhythm patterns would both be borrowed later in the decade by experimental punk bands like Wire, Fashion and Gang of Four. Carmen's sophomore album, Dancing on a Cold Wind, recorded again with Visconti the following spring, was even more adventurous. The rhythms were more disjointed, the styling more operatic, the sound more majestic.

At points, the album meanders into prog rock, as Angela's spacey keyboard effects swoop across the grooves; elsewhere, British influences strongly surface. Visconti's production understandably emphasizes the glammy feel of this set, the last one rocked, this one glitters in the vastness of the sparse arrangements. Fandangos is the more commercial of the two albums, so much so that many of the songs could receive airplay today. Dancing, in contrast, is the more intriguing for noodlers and lovers of the unique. Angel Air has now reissued both albums together across two CDs, tossing in a pair of bonus tracks to boot. Carmen returns with a passion.
by Jo-Ann Greene
Tracks
Disc 1 Fandangos In Space
1. Bulerias - 5:23
2. Bullfight - 4:17
3. Stepping Stone  (Roberto Amaral) - 2:52
4. Sailor Song - 5:12
5. Lonely House - 4:06
6. Poor Tarantos (Trad. arr. by David Allen) - 1:44
7. Looking Outside (My Window) (David Allen, Roberto Amaral) - 5:07
8. Tales of Spain - 8:58
9. Retirando (John Glascock, Paul Fenton, Andrea Allen, Roberto Amaral, David Allen) - 0:43
10.Fandagos in Space (Roberto Amaral) - 6:36
11.Reprise Finale - 0:56
All compositions by David Allen except as noted
Disc 2 Dancing On A Cold Wind
1. Viva Mi Sevilla - 6:03
2. I've Been Crying (David Allen) - 5:08
3. Drifting Along (Roberto Amaral) - 7:18
4. She Flew Across the Room (David Allen) - 1:31
5. Purple Flowers (Roberto Amaral, John Glascock) - 5:18
6. Table Two for One - 2:15
7. She's Changed - 2:57
8. Gypsy Girl (Caravan) - 1:38
9. The City - 3:12
10.Time (She's no Lady) - 1:24
11.People Dressed in Black - 4:05
12.Dancing on a Cold Wind - 2:11
13.The Horseman - 3:45
14.She's Changed - 2:12
15.Quiriquitu - 2:52
16.Out on the Street - 6:13
All songs by David Allen, Angela Allen, Roberto Amaral, John Glascock, Paul Fenton except where stated

Carmen
*David Allen - Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Flamenco Guitar
*Roberto Amaral - Vibraphone, Flamenco Dance, Backing Vocals, Castanets, Lead Vocals
*Angela Allen - Synthesizer, Mellotron, Lead Vocals, Flamenco Dance, Backing Vocals
*John Glascock - Bass Guitar, Bass Pedals, Backing Vocals
*Paul Fenton - Drums, Percussion
*David Katz – Violin (Only Disc 2)
Additional Musicians Disc 2 Dancing On A Cold Wind
*Mary Hopkin - Background Vocals
*Chris Karan - Percussion
*Tony Visconti - Woodwind And String Arrangements
*Danny Thompson - Double Bass

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Grinderswitch - Honest To Goodness (1974 us, great southern boogie rock with excellent guitar parts)



The're Southern, they boogie, they're more liquid then metalic, they're on Capricorn (where else?). 

In 1973 four young musician's, Joe Dan Petty, Larry Howard, Dru Lombar, and Rick Burnett, moved to a farm outside of Warner Robbins, Ga. For 10 months the band wrote and rehearsed material for what was to become their first album on the rising Capricorn label. The album "Honest to Goodness", 

With the release of their first album came non stop touring with The Allman Bros Band, The Marshall tucker Band, The Charlie Daniels Band,Wet Willie and Lynyrd Skynrd. For the next 3 years the band stayed on the road and released the critically acclaimed "Macon Tracks" and "Pullin Together".
Tracks
1. Kiss The Blues Goodbye (Dru Lombar) - 5:02
2. Can't Keep A Good Man Down (Dru Lombar, Larry Howard, Joe Dan Petty, Rick Burnett) - 4:00
3. How The West Was Won (Larry Howard) - 5:28
4. Eighty Miles To Memphis (Joe Dan Petty) - 3:06
5. Catch A Train (Dru Lombar) - 4:48
6. Roll On Gambler (Larry Howard) - 5:22
7. Homebound (Dru Lombar) - 6:51
8. Peach County Jamboree (Dru Lombar) - 3:54
9. You're So Fine (Live Version) (Lance Finnie, Willie Schofield, Bob West) - 3:29

Grinderswich
*Dru Lombar - Lead, Slide Guitars, Lead Vocals
*Larry Howard - Electric, Acoustic Guitars
*Joe Dan Petty - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Rick Burnett - Drums, Congas, Percussion
Guest Musicians
*Paul Hornsby - Piano, Organ, Producer
*Richard Betts - Guitar
*Jaimoe (Jai Johanny Johanson) - Congas

1977  Grinderswitch - Redwing (2010 edition)

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Eyes Of Blue - In Fields Of Ardath (1969 uk, excellent prog psych rock, 2012 remaster and expanded)



Their second album is more progressive. The best tracks are Merry Go Round (from the 'Toy Grabbers' Soundtrack), which is a keyboard-dominated progressive piece with some good guitar breaks and much classical influence; Graham Bond's Spanish Blues, with some jazzy organ; Door, with its spooky vocals, which along with the dreamy title cut indicated the band's interest in the supernatural and the occult (especially reincarnation).

There was a native sensuality in their playing. Eyes Of Blue was musically curious - In Fields of Ardath is now regarded as a classic album of the era and is much sought after by collectors.

Phil Ryan later played in Man, whilst Weathers went onto play with Pete Brown and Piblokto! and Gentle Giant. Ritchie Francis later made a solo album in 1971. The band later recorded as Big Sleep and aided Ancient Grease on their sole album.
Tracks
1. Merry Go Round - 9:07
2. The Light We See (Gary Pickford Hopkins) - 2:13
3. Souvenis (Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli) - 2:42
4. Ardath (John "Pugwash" Weathers) - 2:36
5. Spanish Blues (Graham Bond) - 4:00
6. Door (Phil Ryan, R. Bennett) - 6:47
7. Little Bird - 2:32
8. After The War (John "Pugwash" Weathers) - 3:31
9. Extra Hour (Phil Ryan) - 2:39
10.Chances - 2:51
11.Apache '69 (J. Lordan) - 4:27
12.QIII (B-Side single) (L. Glas) - 2:31
13.Largo (A-side of Spanish single, released as Big Sleep) (George Frideric Handel) - 3:33
All songs by Ritchie Francis except where indicated

The Eyes Of Blue
*Phil Ryan - Organ, Piano
*Ritchie Francis - Bass, Piano, Vocals
*John "Pugwash" Weathers - Drums, Vocals
*Raymond "Taff' Williams - Guitar
*Gary Pickford Hopkins - Vocals, Guitars

1966-68  Eyes Of Blue - Crossroads Of Time (2012 extra tracks remaster)  
Related Acts
1970  Ancient Grease - Women And Children First (2003 digipak edition)
1971  Big Sleep - Bluebell Wood (2007 remastered edition)
1971  John St. Field - Control
1972  Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day (2007 remaster with extra tracks)
1974-75  Neutrons - Black Hole Star / Tales From The Blue Cocoons (2003 issue)

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Eyes Of Blue - Crossroads Of Time (1966-68 uk, great psych prog rock, 2012 extra tracks remaster)



Starting out as a soul-based band from Neath, the Eyes Of Blue gradually turned to the American West Coast sound. All of their recordings are quite collectable.

In collaboration with Quincy Jones they contributed to the 'Toy Grabbers' film score and they later appeared in the film 'Connecting Rooms'. Their albums are diverse with pop, R'n'B, jazz, classical, psychedelic and Eastern influences. The best tracks on the first one are two R'n'B Graham Bond songs (he also wrote the sleevenotes) Love Is The Law and Crossroads Of Time. It also included good versions of Love's 7 And 7 Is and The Beatles' Yesterday. Also noteworthy are their own Inspiration For A New Day and Prodigal Son, which feature some Eastern-sounding psychedelic guitar work.
by Vernon Joynson and Costas Arvanitis
Tracks
1. Crossroads Of Time (Diane Stewart) - 5:01
2. Never Care - 3:20
3. I'll Be Your Friend - 3:51
4. 7+7 Is (Arthur Lee) - 2:34
5. Prodigal Son - 5:31
6. Largo (George Frideric Handel) - 3:16
7. Love Is The Law (Graham Bond) - 5:17
8. Yesterday (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 4:24
9. I Wonder Why - 3:16
10.World Of Emotions - 2:50
11.Inspiration For A New Day - 3:10
12.Supermarket Full Of Cans (Bonus A-side) - 2:38
13.Don't Ask Me To Mend Your Broken Heart (Bonus B-side) - 2:24
14.Heart Trouble (Bonus A-side) - 2:32
All songs by Ritchie Francis except where stated

Eyes Of Blue
*Phil Ryan - Organ, Piano
*Ritchie Francis - Bass, Piano, Vocals
*John "Pugwash" Weathers - Drums, Vocals
*Raymond "Taff' Williams - Guitar
*Gary Pickford Hopkins - Vocals, Guitars
*Wyndham Rees - Vocals

Related Acts
1970  Ancient Grease - Women And Children First (2003 digipak edition)
1971  Big Sleep - Bluebell Wood (2007 remastered edition)
1971  John St. Field - Control
1972  Man - Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day (2007 remaster with extra tracks)
1974-75  Neutrons - Black Hole Star / Tales From The Blue Cocoons (2003 issue)

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sea Train - SeaTrain (1969 us, fantastic psych rock with prog shades, vinyl edition)



This album was the next step by the group previously performing under the revamped "Blues Project" name and their "Planned Obsolescence" album of 1968. The Blues Project made serious changes after Al Kooper, Danny Kalb and Steve Katz left for other musical interests.

This original Sea Train album had some marvelous, haunting melodies, including two great instrumentals, "Pudding Street" and "Sweet Creeks Suite" (both Andy Kulberg tunes). Two other songs, "As I Lay Losing" and "Outwear the Hills," both surfaced on future albums. The band consisting of John Gregory (guitar, vocals), Donald Kretmar (sax, bass), Richard Greene (violin), Roy Blumenfeld (drums), Andy Kulberg (flute, bass) and Jim Roberts (lyrics) created a fascinating montage of country, rock, jazz and classical compositions.

The difference between Sea Train and other American bands were their lyrics. The group had a dedicated lyricist, Jim Roberts, whose words were more poetic than most bands of this era, focusing on personal experience and frail romance.
Earth-link

This is a vinyl transfer to digital copy, tried to fix the sound as better I could, artwork is from the 1986 CD release, sorry for this mixed up.
I don't know why it hasn't released a remastered CD version, the musical world is full of scams, how can they ignore this truly masterpiece.
Tracks
1. Sea Train (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:07
2. Let The Duchess No (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:38
3. Pudding Street (Andy Kulberg) - 4:49
4. Portrait Of The Lady As A Young Artist (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:51
5. As I Lay Losing (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:54
6. Rondo (John Gregory, James T. Roberts) - 3:23
7. Sweet Creek's Suite (Andy Kulberg) - 3:55
8. Outwear The Hills (Andy Kulberg, James T. Roberts) - 4:58

The Sea Train
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums, Percussion
*Richard Greene - Violin, Strings
*John Gregory - Guitar, Vocals
*Don Kretmar - Saxophone, Bass
*Andy Kulberg - Bass, Flute
*James T. Roberts - Lyrics

The Blues Project
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1967  Live At Town Hall
1968  Planned Obsolescence
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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Friday, July 14, 2017

John Baldry - Everything Stops For Tea (1972 uk, great blues classic rock, 2005 extra tracks remaster)



Like its companion It Ain't Easy, the second half of Long John Baldry's early-'70s comeback Everything Stops for Tea initially attracted the most attention via its producers, former Baldry sidemen Elton John and Rod Stewart. The two superstars each handled one side apiece and, though neither shines with the same generous idiosyncrasies that saw the earlier LP sparkle, still they power Baldry to some marvelous heights -- most notably the should-have-been-a-hit cover of "Iko Iko," and a glorious "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover."

With Baldry's musical tastes now drawing folkier textures into his blues (and eschewing the big ballad pop altogether), it's a varied and oft-times eclectic collection. But the strength of Baldry's performance smooths over any rough edges that might have tripped other singers and, though It Ain't Easy remains the superior of these two albums, this one really isn't that far behind it. 
by Dave Thompson
Tracks
1. Intro: Come Back Again (Ross Wilson) - 4:03
2. Seventh Son (Willie Dixon) - 3:05
3. Wild Mountain Thyme (Traditional; Arranged John Baldry, Davey Johnstone) - 3:50
4. Iko Iko (Sharon Jones, Jesse Thomas, Joe Jones, Mary Lynn Jones) - 3:08
5. Jubilee Cloud (John Kongos, Peter Leroy) - 4:15
6. Everything Stops For Tea (Al Goodhart, Al Hoffman, Maurice Sigler) - 3:05
7. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover (Willie Dixon) - 4:18
8. Mother Ain't Dead (Traditional) - 2:50
9. Hambone (Sam Mitchell) - 3:56
10.Lord Remember Me (R. Phorne) - 4:02
11.Armit's Trousers (Ian Armit) - 1:48
12.Radio Spot #1 - 1:02
13.Bring My Baby Back To Me (Live) (John Baldry) - 6:25
14.Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young) - 3:12
15.I'm Just A Rake And Ramblin' Boy (Ron Davies) - 3:27
16.Radio Spot #2 - 0:57

Musicians
*John Baldry - Vocals, Guitar
*Elton John - Piano, Backing Vocals
*Rod Stewart - Banjo And Backing Vocals
*Madeline Bell - Vocals
*Jimmy Horowitz - Keyboards
*Davey Johnstone - Guitar
*Sam Mitchell - Steel Guitar
*Doris Troy - Vocals
*Ian Armit - Keyboards
*Ray Cooper - Percussion
*Stefan Delft - Viola
*John Dentith - Drums
*James Litherland - Guitar
*Nigel Olsson - Drums
*John Porter - Bass Guitar
*Klaus Voormann - Bass
*Barry St. John - Vocals
*Terry Stannard - Drums
*Liza Strike - Vocals
*Micky Waller - Percussion
*Bob Weston - Guitar
*Richard Brown - Bass Guitar
*Bill Smith - Bass Guitar

1971  John Baldry - It Ain't Easy (2005 bonus tracks remaster)

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Lee Mallory - Many Are the Times (1966-69 us, wonderful folk psych, 2013 blu spec last part of eight discs box set)



An introspective folkie with an innate desire to rock, [the late] Lee Mallory is one of the great troubadours of his era. Born to cab driver parents on January 10, 1945 (Capricorn), Lee was raised in Berkeley, California. He first picked up the guitar at the age of sixteen, and by nineteen he had begun playing local venues like The Coffee House and Confusion in the North Beach area of San Francisco. In 1965 Lee journeyed to Greenwich Village in order to sing and play alongside folk musicians like the Lovin’ Spoonful (whom he opened for at their first gig at the Cafe Bizarre). 

After spending time in New York, Chicago and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Lee ventured back to California later that year. It was at Claudia Ford‘s La Habra home that Lee would first meet the man who would help guide his early career, Ford’s boyfriend Curt Boettcher. Lee and Curt’s first evening together was apparently a prolific one, as the duo penned four songs that night including the gorgeous “Forever”. When Lee explained to the young producer that he was in town looking to get something started musically, Curt suggested that Lee accompany him back 10 Hollywood, and the rest is music history.

Much of Lee’s early musical past has remained largely undocumented. Many fans of The Millennium are not aware that Lee was already a prolific writer by the time he met up with Curt. Some early Lee Mallory compositions include “Better Times”, which was recorded by The Association for their Boettcher-produced debut album. Though The Association would ultimately pass on “Better Times”, the song was picked up by another band named The Brothers Cain (Acta 810), who recurded what some consider to be the better of the two versions. Another one of Lee’s early songs, “Sing to Me”, was given to the popular vocal group The Clinger Sisters for an unreleased, Curt Boettcher-produced single in 1966. In between penning songs, Lee was building up his chops by jamming with the Our Productions House Band and was starting to lay down some of his own tunes in the studio. Lee’s early recordings had a style all their own; a sparkling brand of modern folk music, infused with a groovin’ rock backbeat and topped off with a dollop of majestic, Boettcher arranged vocal harmonies.
by Jason Penick
Tracks
1. That's The Way It's Gonna Be (Bob Gibson, Phil Ochs) - 3:03
2. Many Are The Times - 3:09
3. Take My Hand (Donald Addrisi, Richard Addrisi) - 2:24
4. The Love Song (Lee Mallory, Randy Naylor) - 2:40
5. Wild Mountain Thyme - 3:05
6. All That I Am Is Me - 2:16
7. Magic Land - 3:29
8. Hey You (Joey Stec, Lee Mallory) - 2:06
9. I'm Not Gonna Cry - 3:13
10.Magic Island - 3:09
11.Love Is A Four Letter Word - 2:26
12.Puttin' It Together - 3:12
13.Talk About (Joey Stec, Lee Mallory) - 2:31
14.Smile At Me (Joey Stec, Keith Colley, Lee Mallory) - 2:06
15.Come On In - 2:51
16.Love At Last - 2:53
17.No Other Love - 2:59
18.Them Words - 3:02
19.You've Got Me Movin' - 2:22
20.I'm With You - 2:34
21.Everything's Gonna Be Alright - 4:03
22.Chill Of The Night (Hollis, Joey Stec, Lee Mallory) - 5:16
All songs written by Lee Mallory except where indicated

Musicians
*Lee Mallory - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Curt Boettcher - Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Harmony Vocals
*Sandy Salisbury - Vocals
*Sheri Holmberg - Vocals
*Dottie Holmberg - Vocals
*Victoria Winston - Vocals
*Ruthann Friedman - Vocals
*Joey Stec - Vocals

1967-69  Sandy Salisbury – Everything For You Vol.1 (2013 blu spec)
1967-68  The Millennium - Pieces (2013 Blu Spec)
1968  The Millennium - Begin (2013 Blue Spec edition)
1969  Curt Boettcher - Another Time (2013 Blu Spec) 
1966-68  Sagittarius - Present Tense
1970-71  Curt Boettcher - Chicken Little Was Right (2013 blu spec)
1969  Sandy Salisbury - Do Unto Others (2013 Blu Spec)

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Monday, July 10, 2017

John Baldry - It Ain't Easy (1971 uk, remarkable blues classic rock, 2005 bonus tracks remaster)



Most folk who remember “Long” John Baldry at all recall only his chart-topping single of 1967, the maudlin crooner ballad “Let The Heartaches Begin”. But if the mettle of a performer is measured by the affection and respect of his fellow professionals and their willingness to participate in his art, then this album is a testament to a musician who’d been an industry favourite from his earliest days as the original vocalist and occasional guitarist with Alexis Korner’s pioneering Blues Incorporated. To proffer just two examples, the virtually unknown Baldry was an invited guest on the Fabs’ 1964 international TV spectacular “Around The Beatles” – which is where I first heard him – and is credited in Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” after he dissuaded John from suicide following the latter’s distraught realisation of his sexuality. Himself openly gay, dazzlingly handsome and at six foot seven a magnificent, elegant figure, Baldry’s talent deserved wider commercial success than it ever achieved.

After his misguided, though briefly successful, flirtation with middle-of-the-road music Baldry angled to get back to his folk-country-blues roots and in 1971, via former Steampacket and Bluesology colleagues Rod Stewart and Elton John, signed with Warner Brothers for whom he would cut two albums, It’s Not Easy being the first. The then nascent rock superheroes Stewart and John produced one side of the album each, and the result is a mildly schizophrenic opus with the Stewart topside comprising mostly rollicking bluesy outings and the John flipside more thoughtful, soulful fare. Baldry’s warm, abrasive tenor delivery makes the best of both. The lists of musicians also signify the esteem in which Baldry was held; among many other front-liners, the Stewart sessions feature Rod’s old muckers Ron Wood and Mickey Waller from the erstwhile Jeff Beck Group, while the flip includes Elton himself on piano plus his early sidekick guitarist and organist Caleb Quaye. The eclectic list of writers includes Baldry’s original muse Huddie “Leadbelly” Leadbetter, Tuli Kopferberg of the Fugs, Lesley Duncan, Randy Newman, the John/Taupin axis and Stewart himself.

The opening recitative “Conditional Discharge”, in which Baldry wryly relates an encounter with the Metropolitan Police during his Soho busking days over an effortless boogie-woogie piano backing, segues brilliantly into the thunderous “Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll” with everybody in the band rocking out like there’s no tomorrow. Baldry’s faithful homage to Leadbelly on “Black Girl” is a duet with chainsaw-voiced chanteuse Maggie Bell over piano, Dobro and mandolin, whilst the title track is a rolling country boogie with Bell again in tow and a great Delaney-And-Bonnie vibe. “Mr Rubin” is a beautifully understated piano-led take on Duncan’s plangent appeal to the militant Yippie founder. The final track of the original ten is a splendid extended cover of the Faces’ “Flying” with great piano from Elton and soaring, gospel-inspired ensemble backing vocals.

The album sold sparingly in the US and barely at all in the UK, and received its first CD reissue only in 2005 when Warners put it out with a clutch of bonus outtakes and a panegyric booklet note by Sid Griffin. The extras included alternative, less-produced takes on three of the originals plus four delightful classic acoustic blues covers which contrast with the densely-produced originals and showcase Baldry’s voice and guitar in a setting otherwise unadorned but for an anonymous harmonica player (Stewart?). The second and last Warner album Everything Stops For Tea in 1972 made no showing and Baldry’s career thereafter was uneven and mostly unedifying, with continuous health problems, and sporadic, patchy albums and live appearances alternating with commercially more successful placements as a bit-part actor and voiceover specialist. He relocated to Vancouver in 1978 and died there from pneumonia aged just 64, just a month after this album was reissued.
by Len Liechti
Tracks
1. Intro: Conditional Discharge (John Baldry, Ian Armitt) - 3:16
2. Dont Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll (Jeff Thomas) - 3:25
3. Black Girl (Traditional, Huddie Leadbetter) - 2:49
4. It Ain't Easy (Ron Davies) - 4:52
5. Morning, Morning (Tuli Kupferberg) - 2:37
6. I'm Ready (Willie Dixon) - 4:13
7. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield (Randy Newman) - 4:13
8. Mr. Rubin (Lesley Duncan) - 4:03
9. Rock Me When Hes Gone (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 4:04
10.Flying (Ronnie Wood, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane) - 6:52
11.Goin Down Slow (James B. Oden) - 3:08
12.Blues (Corn Bread, Meat, And Molasses)  (Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee) - 2:59
13.Love In Vain (Robert Johnson) - 4:18
14.Midnight Hour Blues (Leroy Carr) - 4:07
15.Black Girl (Alternate Take) (Huddie Ledbetter) - 3:31
16.It Aint Easy (Alternate Take) (Ron Davies) - 5:06
17.Im Ready (Alternate Take)  (Willie Dixon) - 4:12
18.Radio Spot - 0:29

Musicians
*John Baldry – Vocals, 12-String Guitar
*Maggie Bell - Vocals
*Elton John - Organ, Piano
*Ron Wood - Guitar
*Alan Skidmore - Tenor Saxophone
*Lesley Duncan - Background Vocals
*Tony Hazzard - Background Vocals
*Sam Mitchell - Dobro, Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Doris Troy - Background Vocals
*Ian Armit - Piano
*Tony Burrows - Background Vocals
*Kay Garner - Background Vocals
*Ricky Brown - Bass
*Dave Glover - Bass
*Roger Pope - Drums
*Caleb Quaye - Organ, Guitar
*Ray Jackson - Mandolin
*Joshua M'Bopo - Guitar
*Liza Strike - Background Vocals

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sandy Salisbury - Do Unto Others (1969 us, magnificent sunshine folkish psych, 2013 Blu Spec, seventh part of eight discs box set)



At no other time in our history could Salisbury resurrect his musical career like he has in the new millennium. First gaining notice as a member of the band the Ballroom with producer extraordinaire Curt Boettcher, when Boettcher notcied he and Salisbury’s voices blended so well together one of the best sunshine pop partnerships of all time was born. Eventually the Ballroom was shut down and the two formed The Millennium. Luckily for Boettcher, Salisbury was as good a songwriter as he was a singer and was able to contribute heavily to both The Millennium and Boettcher’s next band, Sagitarrius. 

Though Sagitarrius only released one album, the excellent Present Tense, the duo continued to work together on a myriad bunch of other sunshine-pop projects and one-off’s. Usually set in a group context, Salisbury had a rare shot at solo fame when iconic producer Gary Usher offered Salisbury a solo deal with his Tomorrow label. An album was recorded and readied for release (entitled Sandy, the album was rumored to feature most of the Millennium) when the label was inexplicably shuttered, scuttling the album and souring Salisbury on the music business.

Flash forward about thirty years. Music of the ’60’s from soul to brit-pop to freakbeat to psychedelic rock to sunshine-pop is all being searched out by any of the hungry consumers still willing to buy CDs. Seems the boomers want it because they want to re-live the sounds of their youth and the youth want it because they’ve heard time and time again how groundbreaking music from that era was and how little their music matters in today’s society. So, you’ve got everybody from age 18 to 55 looking to buy both the well-known classics from the era plus any obscurities labels are able to dig up. Though the charts don’t necessarily show these reissues tallying up any groundbreaking sales numbers (not that any new releases are tallying up any groundbreaking sales numbers) it’s no secret these comps and obscurities are doing huge business.

It’s not for nothing labels big and small pushing new music are going under by the droves while a ton of reissue labels have sprung up and are thriving. Nor that mid-level artists are losing their record label contracts while reissue labels take the less confrontational road of buying masters from some accountant who used to be in a semi-popular psyche band and hyping their re-release like some recently dug-up Holy Grail.

Sure, I’m dumbing the whole thing down. In most cases what’s happening is beautiful and well-deserved. (And believe me, there is plenty of great new music coming out, so don’t harp at me about that. Always been and always will be. You just have to dig a little deeper to find it, that’s all.Sometimes too deep, but it’s still out there.) Suddenly, a true artist who did excellent but much-overlooked work like Salisbury has a chance to re-connect to his fanbase and get some attention for his efforts both long ago and recent. This album and three others released in the past five years or so (along with a ton of Millennium tracks and outtakes) have been released by the excellent Sonic Past Records in hopes of turning on sunshine-pop fans both young and old to the glorious voice and songwriting skills of Salisbury.

Though the album is made up of all old tracks rescued from someone’s archive, they show Salisbury at the height of his vocal power, singing as sweetly and genuinely as he’s ever sung, even besting most of The Millennium’s material as far as I am concerned. Salisbury’s songwriting is also formidable and while one listens to this album the question of why he isn’t a household name becomes inevitable as these great sunshiney songs fill your head with melodies a surgeon would have a hard time removing. Just sublime bubble-gummy pop. Since recording these songs, Salisbury has been a much-published children’s book author and has recently stated he plans an album of all-new material to be released very soon. Personally, I cannot wait.

Fans of ’60’s music, especially sunshine pop, will love this album. Full of catchy melodies and spectacular vocal work, this album is sure to bring a smile to your face and leave you hummin’. Does it get any better than that?
by Scott Homewood
Tracks
1. Just Don't Know How To Say Goodbye (Sandy Salisbury, Joey Stec) - 3:01
2. Spell On Me - 2:55
3. The Hills Of Vermont (Sandy Salisbury, Lee Mallory, Michael Fennelly) - 3:33
4. The Good Ol' Good Times (Michael Fennelly) - 2:03
5. Come Softly (Barbara Ellis, Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher) - 3:30
6. On And On She Goes (With Me Tonight) (Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson) - 2:56
7. Cecily (Sandy Salisbury, Curt Boettcher) - 2:54
8. Do Unto Others (Sandy Salisbury, Curt Boettcher) - 2:59
9. Once I Knew A Little Dog (Sandy Salisbury, Keith Colley) - 1:50
10.Baby Listen - 2:45
11.Goody Goodbye - 2:26
12.Sweet Sweet Cinnamon - 2:25
13.Every Minute Of My Life (Sandy Salisbury, Randy McNeill) - 2:18
14.I'll Do The Cryin' (Sandy Salisbury, Jill Jones) - 2:08
15.Super Day - 2:08
All songs written by Sandy Salisbury except where stated

Personnel
*Sandy Salisbury - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Curt Boettcher - Guitars, Vocals
*Lee Mallory - Guitars, Vocals
*Waddy Wachtel - Guitar
*Toxie French - Percussion, Marimba, Vibes
*Ron Edgar - Drums
*Doug Rhodes - Keyboards, Bass, Piano
*Ben Benay - Electric Guitar, Harmonica
*Jerry Scheff - Bass
*Orville "Red" Rhodes - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Gary Usher - Moog

1967-69  Sandy Salisbury – Everything For You Vol.1 (2013 blu spec)
1967-68  The Millennium - Pieces (2013 Blu Spec)  
1968  The Millennium - Begin (2013 Blue Spec edition)
1969  Curt Boettcher - Another Time (2013 Blu Spec) 
1966-68  Sagittarius - Present Tense
1970-71  Curt Boettcher - Chicken Little Was Right (2013 blu spec)
1967-72  Michael Fennelly - Love Can Change Everything (2013 release)
1970  Crabby Appleton - Crabby Appleton 
1971  Crabby Appleton - Rotten To The Core
1973  Michael Fennelly - Lane Changer (2015 issue)

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sandy Salisbury – Everything For You Vol.1 (1967-69 us, amazing beat sunny psych folk, 2013 blu spec sixth part of eight cd box set)



Though he seemed a bit neglected as an author during the Millennium days, at least when it comes to the material that got released at the time, now at the wake of the new “millennium”, after all the Boettcher-related stuff shooting up like mushrooms after the (acid?) rain, it seems as he was among (if not THE) most prolific ones.

Here’s another one of his demo collections, full of what Curt was jealously saving for possible Millennium hits, that was gathering dust until his “millennial” pal Joey Stec has made it all possible for everyone else to hear.

Even though the saying goes that Sandy was teased for being a “bubblegummy”, he’s got nothing else to do but to be proud of the fact, as proven by such instant bubblegum classics that never were as the yummy So Close To Heaven, Over And Over Again, So Much Yourself, or Here Comes That Feeling, with the latter sounding kinda like a countryfied Fortunes.

Each and every one of the above would’ve surely raid the late sixties charts, had they only been allowed to, and the same goes for I’ll Do The Crying, Love Came To Strawberry Lane and Tender Loving Care, all perfect little “pocket symphonies”, had they been given a proper Spectorized treatment.

The genuinely British sounding, Yesterday Today And Tomorrow is a Hermits-like ditty, Tomorrow is kinda like Simon & Garfunkel at their gentlest, and while we’re at it, Dealer and I’m Moving On Back To You make a perfect folky pair, and of course there’s plenty of Millennial Brian Wilson-like innocence, as in Our Love Is An Unwritten Song, Content Am I or Warm Of August, while the acoustic demo of Pretty As A Picture seems like a classic power-pop number in the making.

All of it is delivered though Sandy’s perfect pop voice, often strongly resembling that of Davy Jones, making this an essential pop item.
by Garwood Pickjon
Tracks
1. So Close To Heaven - 2:25
2. Missouri Weeps - 2:23
3. Candy Kisses - 2:18
4. Our Love Is An Unwritten Song - 2:31
5. Here Come's That Feeling - 2:22
6. Dealer - 1:50
7. Leave It To Love - 2:32
8. Content Am I - 3:17
9. A Lot Of Love In Me - 2:30
10.Bring Me Home Again - 2:12
11.My True Confession - 3:06
12.I'm Moving On Back To You - 2:58
13.I'll Do The Crying - 2:07
14.Love Came To Strawberry Lane - 1:59
15.Over And Over Again - 2:42
16.Pretty As A Picture - 2:37
17.Warm Of August (Sandy Salisbury, Randy McNeill) - 2:44
18.Tender Loving Care - 2:11
19.So Much Yourself (Sandy Salisbury, Randy McNeill) - 2:24
20.Yesterday Today And Tomorrow - 2:37
21.Together In The End (Sandy Salisbury, Jill Marie Jones) - 2:27
22.Thank You For Loving Me (Sandy Salisbury, Gary Usher) - 2:21
23.Some Other Place - 2:18
24.Tomorrow - 2:21
25.A Little Bit Of Love - 1:50
All songs by Sandy Salisbury except where stated

Musicians
*Sandy Salisbury - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Curt Boettcher - Guitars, Vocals
*Lee Mallory - Guitars, Vocals
*Joey Stec - Guitar
*Michael Fennelly - Guitar
*Ron Edgar - Drums
*Doug Rhodes - Keyboards, Bass, Piano
*Ben Benay - Electric Guitar, Harmonica
*Jerry Scheff - Bass

1967-68  The Millennium - Pieces (2013 Blu Spec)  
1968  The Millennium - Begin (2013 Blue Spec edition)
1969  Curt Boettcher - Another Time (2013 Blu Spec) 
1966-68  Sagittarius - Present Tense
1970-71  Curt Boettcher - Chicken Little Was Right (2013 blu spec)
1967-72  Michael Fennelly - Love Can Change Everything (2013 release)
1970  Crabby Appleton - Crabby Appleton 
1971  Crabby Appleton - Rotten To The Core
1973  Michael Fennelly - Lane Changer (2015 issue)

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dion - Kickin' Child / The Lost Album (1965 us, psych bluesy folk rock gem, tom wilson production, 2017 release)



Throughout 1965, Dion and his band, The Wanderers, augmented by keyboardist Al Kooper went into the studio with producer Tom Wilson to cut songs that were to make up Dion’s first true album.

Columbia Records, however, wouldn’t release the record, perhaps because it was folk-rock, not the mainstream pop that the label wanted Dion to record or maybe because they decided there weren’t any hits on the disc.

Now, more than 50 years later, “Kickin’ Child” is finally getting released by rock ‘n’ roll indie label Norton Records.

And it is superb, a fresh album that simultaneously sounds of its time, easily connecting to Bob Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” -- both of which Wilson produced. And Kooper’s organ licks on "Now" and "Time in My Heart for You," echoes his work with Dylan.

The opening title cut is Dylanesque, a swinging number filled with word play and Dion’s vocals heading toward Dylan as well. It’s one of 10 originals on the record that also includes three Dylan covers, including a shimmering version of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” with Dion applying his soulful singing to the now classic number.

Dion’s first adult album, “Kickin’ Child” contains some grown-up gems, like the swaggering “jump back baby” bluesy “Two Ton Feather,” a Byrds-like jangle-and-harmony take on Tom Paxton’s beautiful “I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound” and “Baby, I’m in the Mood for Love,” a shaker that’s, shall we say, far more mature than Dion’s teenage love songs.

Listening to “Kickin’ Child,” it’s baffling why Columbia didn’t release it -- and intriguing to ponder what would have happened if Dion had caught the folk-rock wave.

In any case, “Kickin’ Child” is, as Scott Kempner points out in his liner notes, the connection between Dion’s early hits “The Wanderer” and “Ruby Baby” and “Abraham, Martin & John” from 1968. More than that it is a fabulous album that is among the best things Dion ever has done -- thankfully, no longer lost. 
by Kent Wolgamott
Tracks
1. Kickin' Child (Dion DiMucci, Buddy Lucas) - 3:01
2. Now (Dion DiMucci, Carlo Mastrangelo) - 2:42
3. My Love - 2:09
4. I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound (Tom Paxton) - 2:53
5. Wake Up Baby - 3:14
6. Time In My Heart For You - 2:45
7. Tomorrow Won't Bring The Rain (Dion DiMucci, Carlo Mastrangelo) - 2:47
8. Baby, I'm In The Mood For You (Bob Dylan) - 2:38
9. Two Ton Feather - 2:53
10.Knowing I Won't Go Back There - 2:56
11.Farewell (Bob Dylan) - 3:27
12.All I Want To Do Is Live My Life (Mort Shuman) - 3:33
13.You Move Me Babe - 2:23
14.It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) - 3:33
15.So Much Younger - 3:07
All songs by Dion DiMucci except ehere stated

Musicians
*Dion DiMucci - Vocals, Guitar
*Johnny Falbo - Guitar
*Pete Falsciglia - Bass
*Carlo Matstrangelo - Drums
*Al Kooper - Keyboards

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Curt Boettcher - Chicken Little Was Right (1970-71 us, wonderful psych sunny folk, 2013 blu spec fifth part of eight cd box set)



After all the Millenium-related, as well as Curt’s own sixties stuff, being full of vocal harmony-laden studio trickery, at first I was kinda afraid of what to expect of what was described as his laid back/stripped down side.

As it happens, there wasn’t one bit of a reason to be afraid for, because, as much as it does sound different, these ‘70/’71 (mostly unfinished) recordings for the supposed There’s An Innocent Face follow up, are just as great as anything else he’d done in his “sonic past”.

The one that kinda stands out (and also the first one of only three Boettcher compositions, besides another co-written effort) is the opening I Call You My Rainbow, a gentle-fingerpickin’ folk, with an occasional power-chord or two, followed by Curt at his most folky in Louise, and speaking of which, there’s also an unpretentious acoustic arrangement of the earlier full-blown psych feel of Astral Cowboy.

Out Of The Dark Of The Night is a kind of a Bee Gees/Hollies-harmonizer, Rest In Piece offers a yummy slice of countryfied bubble-gum, while Sunrise Mango and Sunset’s Fallin’, accordingly to the titles, are a pair of perfect sunshine pop pieces.

“Chicken” or not, whoever tells you that this is another Boettcher-related classic, you can bet that he’s right!
by Garwood Pickjon
Tracks:
1. I Call You My Rainbow (Curt Boettcher) - 2:48
2. Louise (Jerry Netkin) - 2:42
3. Out Of The Dark Of The Night (Don Gere) - 2:47
4. Astral Cowboy (Curt Boettcher) - 2:24
5. Rest In Peace (Constantine Gusias) - 2:25
6. Sunrise Mango (Steven Scull) - 2:32
7. Sunset's Fallin' (Web Burrell, Ric DeLong) - 2:34
8. We're Dying [Angel City] (Curt Boettcher) - 4:07
9. You Make Me Feel So High (Curt Boettcher, Jerry Netkin) - 2:22
10.I've Been Wrong (Don Gere) - 3:00
11.She's Got The Power (Sandy Salisbury, Curt Boettcher) - 2:18

Personnel
Curt Boettcher - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Harmony Vocals
Web Burrell - Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass, Drums, Timbales, Percussion, Harmony Vocals

1969  Curt Boettcher - Another Time (2013 Blu Spec) 
1965-68  The Millennium - Voices Of The Millennium (2013 Blu Spec)
1967-68  The Millennium - Pieces (2013 Blu Spec)
1968  The Millennium - Begin (2013 Blue Spec edition)
1966-68  Sagittarius - Present Tense

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