Monday, January 15, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

Related Act
1967 The Superfine Dandelion - The Superfine Dandelion 

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Monday, January 8, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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)

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Ducks Deluxe - Ducks Deluxe / Taxi To The Terminal Zone (1974-75 uk, awesome folk country pub rock, double disc set)



If the old scientific adage is true -- that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction -- then British pub rockers Ducks Deluxe were purely and simply a reaction. With the mid-'70s English pop scene dominated by glitter/glam rockers like Gary Glitter and Sweet or blustery, chops-heavy art rockers like Yes, Jethro Tull, and Genesis, then Ducks Deluxe represented none of the above. One of the first pub rock bands, the Ducks played basic American-style blues and boogie with remarkable panache and thorough disregard for the whims of the zeitgeist. They never were hugely popular, but the unpretentious, do-it-yourself, working-class attitude they and their contemporaries exuded (most notably seminal pub rockers Dr. Feelgood) influenced the English punk scene that was right around the corner.

With friends like Dave Edmunds producing their records, the Ducks (guitarist/vocalist Sean Tyla, guitarist Martin Belmont, bassist Nick Garvey, and keyboardist Andy McMasters) came up with engaging, though not life-changing, records that celebrated the simple joys of rock & roll. Sure, much of it sounds like recycled Chuck Berry, but there's an infectious enthusiasm that the fan in you, who simply wants to hoist a pint of ale and hear some Little Richard, will love. Ironically, their biggest promotional boost in America, the Ducks Deluxe LP was released three years after they'd split up. This little bit of shift marketing came as a result of ex-Ducks going on to more prominent bands like the Motors, the Rumour, and the Tyla Gang. 
by John Dougan

This two-CD reissue of Ducks Deluxe's first two albums differs from the previous Edsel two-on-one release, as no tracks were omitted due to space constraints. In retrospect, these recordings seem more relevant after the passage of time, as they provide a clearer linkage between British blues-based album rock and late-'70s punk and post-punk new wave. In fact, the influences of British pub rock span back to '50s rock & roll and R&B. Their take on Eddie Cochran's "Nervous Breakdown" bears an uncanny resemblance to perhaps his biggest hit, "Summertime Blues." But it's Ducks Deluxe's original pieces that evoke echoes of artists like the Rolling Stones, Them, and Mott the Hoople. "Fireball" sounds like a direct outtake from All the Young Dudes or Mott, while the R&B-rich "Falling for That Woman" suggests Van Morrison at his soulful best. "Rio Grande," from Taxi to the Terminal Zone, wouldn't sound out of place on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. 

Conversely, the pub rock forwarded by this band also foretells of sounds yet to come by both their direct offspring the Motors and indirect kin Graham Parker, whose early recordings were on par with the historic debut albums of Elvis Costello and the Clash. "Please, Please, Please" is a direct precursor to the Motors' "Dreaming Your Life Away." Additionally, next-generation bands like the Saw Doctors owe a debt of gratitude to Ducks Deluxe, as they borrowed judiciously from their elders' bold musical stew. But regardless of the multitude of musical influences the listener may cite (and there are too many to mention), this blend of rockabilly, R&B, blues-rock, and country pre-punk known as pub rock continues to stand the test of time. 
by Dave Sleger
Tracks
Disc 1 Ducks Deluxe 1974
1. Coast To Coast (Nick Garvey) - 3:16
2. Nervous Breakdown (Mario Roccuzzo) - 2:58
3. Daddy Put The Bomp (Ducks Deluxe, Sean Tyla) - 4:44
4. I Got You (Martin Belmont) - 3:44
5. Please, Please, Please (Nick Garvey) - 3:51
6. Fireball (Ducks Deluxe, Sean Tyla) - 3:47
7. Don't Mind Rockin' Tonite (Martin Belmont, Nick Garvey) - 2:42
8. Heart On My Sleeve (Martin Belmont) - 2:55
9. Falling For That Woman (Sean Tyla) - 5:42
10.West Texas Trucking Board (Ducks Deluxe, Sean Tyla) - 3:43
11.Too Hot To Handle (Sean Tyla) - 3:52
12.It's All Over Now (Bobby Womack) - 3:10
Disc 2 Taxi To The Terminal Zone 1975
1. Cherry Pie (Martin Belmont, Sean Tyla) - 3:48
2. It Don't Matter Tonite (Sean Tyla) - 4:01
3. I'm Crying (Nick Garvey) - 4:55
4. Love's Melody (Andy McMaster) - 3:34
5. Teenage Head (Cyril Jordan, Roy Loney) - 3:20
6. Rio Grande (Sean Tyla) - 4:09
7. My My Music (Nick Garvey) - 3:13
8. Rainy Night In Kilburn (Martin Belmont) - 4:30
9. Woman Of The Man (Sean Tyla) - 3:32
10.Paris 9 (Sean Tyla) - 3:08

The Ducks Deluxe
*Sean Tyla - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
*Martin Belmont - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Nick Garvey - Bass, Vocals, Harmonica
*Tim Roper - Drums
*Andy McMaster - Keyboards, Vocals (Disc 2)
With
*Dave Edmunds - Rhythm Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar

Related Acts
1971-73  Help Yourself - Reaffirmation An Anthology
1973  Help Yourself - 5 (2004 release)
1976-79  Tyla Gang - Pool Hall Punks / The Complete Recordings (2016 three disc box set remaster)
1976  Graham Parker And The Rumour - Howlin Wind

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Warren Zevon - Preludes Rare And Unreleased Recordings (1969-76 us, beautiful outtakes and demos from a great singer songwriter, 2007 release)



You don't have to be terribly familiar with the works of Warren Zevon to surmise that he was the kind of guy to whom the idea of a series of posthumous closet-cleaning releases would have seemed pointless and idiotic, an eye-roll-worthy annoyance, a stupid trick at the bar. Even a casual fan could theorize that the man who wrote acerbic, near-freeze-dried death-related songs like "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" would have met the idea of such a suggestion with a smack to the face, or, if you were lucky, a mumbled joke to his tablemates at your expense.

Happily for Zevon, who succumbed in 2003 to a form of lung cancer, this is no such project. Preludes isn't the product of label guys sniffing around Zevon's vaults to fulfill some second-quarter sales projections, or, apologies to Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, to spot-capitalize on the novelty of his fresh corpse (waiting four years after Zevon's death to release such a record lends the project extra weight and lessens the uncomfortable post-mortem cash-in vibe considerably, although it is being released around the same time as a biography by Zevon's wife, Crystal).

Rather, Preludes was assembled by Zevon's son Jordan, who discovered the tracks herein in one of Zevon's old storage spaces -- more romantically (the story goes anyway), he found them in a suitcase full of old reel-to-reel tapes, a treasure haul that yielded six CDs and 126 songs, all of which hailed from before 1976. Tellingly, there were no accompanying notes.

Just 16 of those demos made it to Preludes, and of those, only six are unreleased compositions, and all are pretty damned good, rosy nostalgia or not. (Although the nostalgia counts for more than you might think: "Ain't life strange, ain't it funny," sings the ghost of Zevon in the record's first notes, and even if the song ends up being a piano weeper starring whiskey and cigarettes and sidewalks and abject loneliness, of course, it's impossible to not be chilled by the introduction.)

Zevon fans should be highly pleased with the volume of curious here: There's a loose, drinky-sounding, is-this-thing-on? take on "Werewolves of London", that sports a reggae twist and a line from "Hamlet" for some reason; a dirty-blues riff "Join Me in L.A." that's just Zevon, guitar, harp and attitude; a soft, rough "Hasten Down The Wind" whose unpolished sound lends its story extra heartbrokenness; a "Tule's Blues" that finds Zevon going all juke-joint on the keys; a 3 a.m. house-party take on "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and a piano-only "Studebaker" whose piano jumps off even the lo-fi recording.

Preludes is heavy on material from that last category; it uses the considerable emotional weight of its backstory to successfully throw light on the lesser-known of Zevon's persona; not the arch pirate behind "Lawyers Guns and Money" but the piano balladeer who evidently spent more time than we might have suspected absorbing Tom Waits and Billy Joel (a second bonus disc comprises a 2000 interview and a smattering of live performances, including a heartbreaking-in-retrospect version of "Don't Let Us Get Sick" and a funny tale about an encounter with Joel that compelled him to -- wait for it -- temporarily abandon the piano.)

Preludes does precisely what it sets out to do -- paint a fuller portrait of a talent who remains underrated despite it all. Once again we can assume that Zevon's not the kind of guy who would want people thumbing through his notebooks. But he also can't be the kind of guy who kept only one of these crates lying around.
by Jeff Vrabel, 24 May, 2007
Tracks
Disc One
1. Empty Hearted Town - 3:04
2. Steady Rain - 4:18
3. Join Me In L.A. - 2:27
4. Hasten Down The Wind - 2:30
5. Werewolves Of London (LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon) - 3:36
6. Tule's Blues - 3:02
7. The French Inhaler - 3:31
8. Going All The Way - 2:15
9. Poor Poor Pitiful Me - 3:09
10.Studebaker - 2:34
11.Accidentally Like A Martyr - 3:05
12.Carmelita - 3:56
13.I Used To Ride So High - 2:43
14.Stop Rainin' Lord - 2:11
15.The Rosarita Beach Café - 4:08
16.Desperados Under The Eaves - 3:44
All songs by Warren Zevon except where noted
Disc Two
1. I Was In The House When The House Burned Down - 3:02
2. Warren Speaks On Songwriting And The Early Days Of His Career - 7:14
3. Musings On Mortality, Song Noir And The King Of Rock N' Roll - 5:07
4. A Chat About Producers And The Stark Sounds On The Album Life'll Kill Ya - 5:09
5. Back In The High Life Again (Will Jennings, Steve Winwood) - 3:11
6. Warren's Take On Winwood's Classic And Warren's Inspirations - 3:58
7. Talk Of Tv, Movies, Acting And Performing - 5:14
8. Don't Let Us Get Sick (Solo Acoustic) - 3:10
Track 8 Recorded live December 3, 1999 at Austin City Limits Studios for 107.1 KGSR Radio Austin 9th Anniversary Concert

*Warren Zevon - Vocals, Guitar, Piano

1969  Warren Zevon - Wanted Dead Or Alive

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