Πέμπτη, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2008

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE - 1970 - The Use Of Ashes (US psych folk)

The Use Of Ashes was the fourth album made by Pearls Before Swine, and the second on Reprise Records after their move from ESP-Disk. After recording the album These Things Too, the other original founding members of Pearls Before Swine had all left, and leader Tom Rapp and his then wife Elisabeth moved to her home country of the Netherlands (travelling on the maiden voyage of the QE2 liner) to live for several months near Utrecht. Most of the songs on The Use Of Ashes were written there. They were recorded back in Nashville in March 1970, with some of the city's top session musicians, many of whom formed the basis of the band Area Code 615.
Many of Rapp's admirers regard this, and particularly the first side of the original LP (tracks 1 through 5), as the finest and most consistent of all his albums.
The opening track, "The Jeweler", with its refrain of "He knows the use of ashes / He worships God with ashes", came to him when he saw his wife cleaning a piece of jewelry with a paste made from ashes, and is generally regarded as one of his finest and most poetic songs. A version was later recorded by This Mortal Coil. The next track, "From the Movie of the Same Name" is largely instrumental, featuring David Briggs' harpsichord and, like all the tracks, is beautifully and sensitively arranged. "Rocket Man" is based on a Ray Bradbury story (in his book "The Illustrated Man") about an astronaut and father burning up in space, but also draws on Rapp's difficult relationship with his own father and the fact that, in his teens, he lived near Cape Canaveral in Florida. The song itself inspired Bernie Taupin's lyrics on Elton John's hit of the same title. Another highlight, "Song About A Rose", again shows Rapp's ability to convey metaphysical thoughts within an artfully arranged song, with the lyrics "And even God can only guess why or where or when or if the answers all belong / And you and I we sing our song about a rose / Or perhaps the shadow of a rose".
A different texture is provided by the jazzy "Tell Me Why," shimmering with vibraphone beneath Rapp's whimsical lines.
The song "Riegal" was inspired by reading a newspaper article on the wartime sinking of a prison ship, when 4,000 prisoners drowned. Later histories suggest the number may have been out by 1,000 odd souls, but the sinking remains one of the worst maritime disasters ever[citation needed], and the song remains one of the most achingly beautiful evocations of the perils of going down to the sea in ships. Rapp does not apportion blame, indeed the lyric gives credit to the German, but probably not Nazi, captain who apparently saved many lives by grounding his ship. Rapp's juxtaposition of stark imagery reveals that while Pearls Before Swine might not have continued the more bombastic direction set about on their earlier protest songs "Uncle John" or "Drop Out," they maintained social and political relevance. The final track, "When The War Began", contains an equally potent message on the futility of war.
Additional material from the Nashville sessions was released on the next Pearls Before Swine album, City of Gold.
The sleeve design shows a late 15th century French or Flemish tapestry, "The Hunt of the Unicorn: vi, The unicorn is brought to the castle", from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It shows three huntsmen bringing down a unicorn with spears and swords. The sleeve continued the group's approach of using classic art on their album covers, started with their debut album One Nation Underground.
A single, "The Jeweler" / "Rocket Man" (Reprise 0949), was issued from the album.
In 2003 The Use Of Ashes was finally issued on compact disc as part of the Jewels Were the Stars compendium, anthologizing Pearls Before Swine's Reprise Records output.
A Dutch group[1] formed in 1988 out of the rock band Mekanik Commando took the name "The Use Of Ashes", inspired directly by the Pearls Before Swine album.(Wikipedia)

Track listing
The Jeweler (2:48)
From the Movie of the Same Name (2:21)
Rocket Man (3:06) ("based on a short story by Ray Bradbury")
God Save The Child (3:08) ("Elisabeth helped")
Song About A Rose (2:21)
Tell Me Why (3:43)
Margery (3:03)
The Old Man (3:16)
Riegal (3:13)
When the War Began (5:07)
All words and music by Tom Rapp

Tom Rapp: Vocals, Guitar
Elisabeth: Vocals
Charlie McCoy: Dobro, Guitar, Bass, Harmonica
Norbert Putnam: Bass
Kenneth Buttrey: Drums
Buddy Spicher: Violin, Cello, Viola
Mac Gayden: Guitars
David Briggs
: Piano, Harpsichord
John Duke: Oboe, Flute
Hutch Davie: Keyboard
Bill Pippin: Oboe, Flute

Producer: Peter H. Edmiston

Recorded at Woodland Studios, Nashville, 3 days in March 1970
This album is dedicated to the Netherlands where most of the songs were written

Pearls Before Swine Story

Tom Rapp, left, at 22 in Holland and and 20 years later commuting from work as a corporate lawyer. (Bill O'LearyThe Post)
Tom Rapp & Pearls Before Swine

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Τρίτη, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2008

LINDISFARNE - 1971 JULY 18.We Can Swing Together - The BBC Concerts

LINDISFARNE - 1971 JULY 18.We Can Swing Together - The BBC Concerts

Alan Hull (Guitar Keyboards Vocals),
Ray Jackson (Harmonica Mandolin Vocals
Rod Clements (Bass Violin Vocals Slide Guitar),
Simon Cowe (Guitar Mandolin Vocals),
Ray Laidlaw (Drums)

This CD comprises two concerts: the first one oddly dated by the drummer Ray Laidlaw's liner notes as June 24th while tracklisting says July 18th, the second show was nailed on December 7th - OK, that doesn't matter since dates no way concern music.
But the venue does, so Alan Hull logically starts London gig with elegant "City Song", very laid back yet its impact is immense - those Geordie knew the secret of haunting melody so audience easily joined in clapping for "Train In G Major" blues lead by Ray Jackson's harpoon that sounds tired on the December's version. At the time 'FARNE just had "Lady Eleanor" single out and what a smash was this ballad, which involved superb drumming from Laidlaw and Jackson's mandolin complementing vocal harmonies, supported by Rod Clements' swaying bass. It drives the third "obligatory" piece played on both shows, "Fog On The Tyne", exemplar of mighty folk, more impressive on-stage than on LP - especially when released, spiced up and given Clements' violin solo. Rod seems the country-blues chief of the lot, having come up with jiving "Knackers Yard Blues" and pulling his bow through "Jackhammer Blues" hoedown madness. Sometimes that vibe crosses THE BAND field as in "No Time To Lose" or "We Can Swing Together" with fantastic harmonica running through barn catalogue up to glorious culmination. Unity was an integral part of 'FARNE idiom and to open the winter concert they chose "Together Forever", quite flat tune, not their own. Maybe, t'was too freezing so December's gig is of less interest - melancholy "January Song" says it all. Much better and sunny comes "Meet Me On The Corner" - well, some have their conventions on the ledge, others on the corner... That's nearer, eh?
(Review from dmme.net)

Charisma Package Tour 1971 (Van der Graaf Generator, Lindisfarne and Genesis)

Lindisfarne on answers.com

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Κυριακή, 26 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Hello Hobbits!

Hi Frondo!!


Here's the Gandalf the Grey !
Im goin down to ''Minas Tirith''

For A while!
We Come back Very Soon Again , to Middle Earth,

So tell all the Hobbits , to Watchin' from the Orcs, Sauron and Saruman and of cource from the Gollum ,because there's allways be a Gollum around us!!

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Σάββατο, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Who's the next?

We received before , a notice from blogger,in connection with the presentation of Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece, (a post from october 2007)which was deleted..

Who's the next?

Ενας - Ενας με την σειρα θα διαγραφούμε !!!!

people do not have the power!!

you are the next!

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Τετάρτη, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Larry Coryell At The Village Gate, NYC Vanguard VSD-6573 (US Psychedelic Hendrix influenced)

At The Village Gate, NYC Vanguard VSD-6573

Larry Coryell

Produced by Jack Lothrop

01 - The Opening (Coryell)
02 - After Later (Coryell)
03 - Entardecendo En Saudade (Chick Corea)
04 - Can You Follow? (Dance On The Green Hill) (Jack Bruce)
05 - Beyond These Chilling Winds (Coryell)

Larry Coryell - Guitar and Vocals
Marvin Bronson - Bass
Harry Wilkinson - Drums
Julie Coryell - Vocal on Track 05

Recorded live January 21/22/23 1971

"Probably the most adventurous, daring and exciting guitarist playing rock or jazz is Larry Coryell." -- East Village Other (1969)

"It is super rock, and may be one of the most important things to happen to rock this year." -- New York Times / Mike Kahn (1969)

Larry Coryell was born 2 April, 1943 in Galveston, Texas. As a child he studied and played piano, switching to guitar (acoustic, and then electric) in his teens. After studying journalism at the University of Washington, he moved to New York City in 1965, where he played behind guitarist Gabor Szabo in drummer Chico Hamilton’s jazz quintet. However, by 1966, he had replaced Szabo and later that same year went on to record his vinyl debut with Hamilton’s band. Also in 1966 he co-founded an early jazz-rock band, the Free Spirits, with whom he recorded one album, 1966’s rare, Free Spirit: Out Of Sight And Sound. Soon after his stint with the Free Spirits he joined vibra-harpist Gary Burton’s band, recording with him three seminal albums, all of which are now long out of print. In 1969 he recorded Memphis Underground with flautist Herbie Mann whose band, at that time, included Roy Ayers and the influential free-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock. Also in 1969, before recording his first solo LP, he toured Europe and the U.S. with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce, ex-Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, as well as keyboardist and future Coryell side-man Mike Mandel.

Throughout the seventies he released album after album, often playing alongside the very best jazz had to offer. Some of the heavy-weights include: guitarists John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Paco De Lucia, Pat Metheny, Al Di Meola, John Abercrombie, Larry Carlton, John Scofield, Kazumi Watanabe, Ralph Towner, and Steve Kahn; drummers Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd, Lenny White, Mitch Mitchell and Tony Williams; alto sax player David Sanborn, tenor sax players Pharoah Sanders and Michael Brecker; soprano sax players Sonny Rollins and Steve Lacy, cornet player Don Cherry, trumpet players Maynard Ferguson and Randy Brecker; violinist Stephane Grappelli, keyboardists Chick Corea, Larry Young, David Sancious and Lyle Mays; and bassists Charles Mingus, Miroslav Vitous, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Jack Bruce, Jimmy Garrison, Charlie Haden, Steve Swallow and Tony Levin.
In 1979 and 1980 he toured Europe with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin as part of a guitar super-trio, eventually releasing a video recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, which commemorated this “meeting of the spirits”. This trio was short lived however, and he was replaced by Al Di Meola in early 1980..(larry coryell web)
One of the best power trio LP's you're ever likely to hear.

Larry Coryell on answers.com

No one, not even Robin Trower, embodied the essence of Jimi Hendrix' playing like this sadly unrecognized guitar god. Recorded only four months after Jimi's death, this powerful performance for an appreciative New York crowd has his spirit and some of his chops shot through it. The album's strength is undercut by a long, meandering treatment of the Jack Bruce tune "Can You Follow?" But rock-solid bassist Mervin Bronson and inventive drummer Harry Wilkinson, longtime sidemen for their fleet-fingered frontman, give him all the freedom he needs to crunch his chords, as well as veer off on some jazzy tangents. ~ Mark Allan, All Music Guide

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Τρίτη, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2008

THIRD EAR BAND - 1972 Third Ear Band 's Music From Macbeth

Third Ear Band evolved within the London alternative and free-music scene of the mid 1960's with members coming from The Giant Sun Trolley & The People Band to create a uniquely improvised music drawing on Eastern raga forms, European folk, experimental and medieval influences. They recorded their first session in 1968 for Ron Geesin which was released under the pseudonym of The National-Balkan Ensemble on one side of a Standard Music Library disk. Their first actual album, Alchemy, was released on the EMI Harvest label in 1969, (featuring John Peel playing Jew's Harp on one track), followed by Air, Earth, Fire, Water (aka Elements) in 1970. They recorded two soundtracks, the first in 1970 for an animated film by Fuchs of Abelard and Heloise (which first saw release as part of Luca Ferrari's Necromancers of the Drifting West Sonic Book in 1997) and then in 1971 for Roman Polanski's film of Macbeth. After various later incarnations & albums they finally disbanded in 1993 owing to leader & percussionist Glen Sweeney's ongoing health problems.
They also opened the Rolling Stones Free Concert at Hyde Park on 5th July 1969.(From

Third Ear Band- Hyde Park {Live 1970}

Paul Minns: oboe, recorder
Glen Sweeney: drms,Percussion
Paul Buckmaste: cello, bass guit
Simon House: violin, VCS3
Denim Bridges: guitars
Lyn Dobson: soprano saxophone, flute, vocals
Ursula Smith: cello, violin
Richard Coff: Violin, Viola

(included16 tracks)
1. Overture 2. The Beach 3. Lady Macbeth 4. Inverness: Macbeth's Return/The Preparation/Fanfare/Duncan's Arrival 5. The Banquet 6. Dagger And Death 7. At The Well/The Princes' Escape/Coronation/Come Sealing Night 8. Court Dance 9. Fleance 10. Grooms' Dance 11. Bear Baiting 12. Ambush/Banquo's Ghost 13. Going To Bed/Blind Man's Buff/Requiscant/Sere And Yellow Leaf 14. The Cauldron 15. Prophesies 16. Wicca Way

The unique style of Third Band is most worked out here in shorter tracks, more and brighter ideas. Most beautiful (and an absolute classic) is the song sang by a boy,"Fleance" and the bird song like passages, like "Court Dance", and the medieval inspired like passages. Oboe sound again most beautiful. A few passages are more experimental. Within the rest of the music full of clarity these little parts are not easy. This release is the music for the Roman Polanski film.
The album was originally issued on the Harvest label, it was reissued on BGO and later with a different cover on Voiceprint. (psychedelic folk)

reissue on Voiceprint

more info for THIRD EAR BAND : Here & Here & Here
see more albums by THIRD EAR BAND
on the amazing blog D.C. Share

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Andwella's Dream - 1970 World's End (UK Psych)

Previously known as The Method, they signed with CBS in London for whom they recorded three albums and several singles. Their stunning debut LP "Love & Poetry" (1969) is regarded as a psychedelic classic by many collectors around the world. Their name was shortened to Andwella in 1970 and their further long players "World's End" (1970) and "People's People" (1971) were issued under this moniker. A privately-issued publisher's demo album by leader David Lewis "The Songs Of David Lewis" (1969) also exists in very limited form and fetches frightening sums at auction. (Clark Faville).

Andwella’s Dream was a thrusting injection of freakbeat that could not be ignored. Their slicing riffs were high core psyche injected from guitarist / keyboardist David Lewis, bassist Nigel Smith and drummer Gordon Barton who started out as The Method that at one time included Gary Moore.They were regulars at the Maritime Club where Van Morrison had his early days with Them.

The Method evolved into Andwella’s Dream and were the primal Irish psyche next to Eire Apparent. Dave Lewis the soaring guitarist who wrote all the songs also recruited keyboardist Dave McDougall, ex McCullochs Struthers & Paterson bassist Dave Stuthers, Nigel Portman Smith and ex One In A Million/Andromeda drummer Jack McCulloch.The bamboo flute and sax was played by future Egg Bob Downes. When Andwella’s Dream moved to London they released their primal 1969 debut Love And Poetry with surging numbers like the thrusty opener “The Days Grew Longer For Love” and guitar razzling “Sunday”.

Dave’s throttling axe exerts fury on “Lost A Number Found A King” with its ancient Indian flute and ambient acoustic textures. The two finest numbers “Cocaine” with McDougall pushing hard and the soaring “Shades Of Grey” where ex Thunderclap Newman Jack McCulloch’s drums are best heard create a furnace of fusion.
Acoustic delights are “Midday Sun”, “Goodbye” and the Hammond rolling “Felix” which opens into crescendo breaks by Lewis. In 1970 they evolved into Andwella and launched a further two albums Worlds End (1970) and Peoples People (1971) plus a bounty of singles. World’s End although a lyrical romantic masterpiece did ignite the past as on the psyche “Michael Fitzhenry” exalting frenetic flute and Dave’s insatiable guitar riffs. The harmonies and melody that bend around the brassy I’m Just Happy To See You Get Her are creative marvels.
Future Bad Company definitely copped the riffs from “Just How Long” while the double linked “World’s End” is just so underplayed. Sterling jazz riffs trip through Steely Dan styled “Back To The Road” with Bob Downes giving it stick in the wind. There’s a bit of Billy Joel in the People’s People or even Tremeloes in the opener “She Taught Me To Love” which crystalises into the spiritual “Saint Bartholomew”.
Lewis was the songwriter extraordinaire having written the award winning film War and songs as varied as “Happy To Be An Island In The Sun”, #1 for ex Aphrodite Child Demis Roussos. David’s 1969 The Songs Of David Lewis remain a collector’s dream (hippy.com)

Recorded At Trident Studios , london England '70

David Lewis: vocals, guitar, keyboards
Nigel Smith: bass, vocals
Gordon Barton: drums
Dave Mc Dougall keyb'ds

1 Hold on to Your Mind
2 Lady Love
3 Michael Fitzhenry
4 I'm Just Happy to See You Get Her
5 Just How Long
6 Worlds End, Pt. 1
7 Worlds End, Pt. 2
8 Back on the Road
9 I Got a Woman
10 Reason for Living
11 Shadow of the Night
you must listen this gem!!!

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Δευτέρα, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Andwella's Dream - 1971 People's people

DAVE LEWIS gtr, piano, organ, vcls ABC
1(A) LOVE AND POETRY (CBS 63673) 1968 R4
2(B) WORLD'S END (Reflection REF 1010) 1970 SC
3(C) PEOPLE'S PEOPLE (Reflection REFL 10) 1971 SC
NB: (1) reissued on CD (Fingerprint No #) 1995. (2) and (3) credited to Andwella.
1 Sunday/Midday Sun (CBS 4301) 1968
2 Missus Man/Felix (CBS 4469) 1968
3 Mister Sunshine/Shades Of Grey (CBS 4634) 1969
4 Every Little Minute/Michael Fitzhenry (Reflection RS 1) 1970
5 Are You Ready / People's People (Reflection RS 6) 1970

This band started life as a trio from Northern Ireland called Method, changing their name to Andwella's Dream after moving to London in 1968. After the first LP they were known simply as Andwella.Love And Poetry is a highly-rated psychedelic album, which featured guest artist Bob Downes playing sax, flute etc. All the songs were written by Dave Lewis. The highlights are the opening track, The Days Grew Longer For Love, which like most tracks is slow and melodic but with killer guitar leads; the heavier psychedelic number Sunday and Cocaine and Shades Of Grey, two tracks which veer towards progressive rock with plenty of organ and jazzy guitar. CBS released three singles from the album including two non-album sides: Missus Man and Mister Sunshine. Of these, Sunday is a superb slice of psychedelic rock with some Hendrix-influenced guitar work.In 1970 they switched to Reflection for whom they recorded two albums, neither of which matched their first effort and two 45s. The World's End album was also comprised entirely of Dave Lewis compositions, but most of the tracks were more mainstream with string orchestrations, brass arrangements and background vocals. The best tracks are the mid-tempo R&B influenced I Got A Woman with flute solo, jazzy piano and guitar; two tracks (Reason For Living and Shadow Of The Night), which sound similar to Traffic and the slow instrumental Michael Fitzhenry which featured some good guitar work and flute. On the down side Back On The Road was pale imitation of The Band's The Weight.

The flip side of their first 45 was an instrumental credited to Andwella. A Mike Fitzhenry appears on the credits of the first album as one of the recording engineers.Lewis was a multi-instrumentalist and an acclaimed songwriter who also recorded a privately-pressed album in 1970. He also made further solo albums. McCulloch had previously played with One In A Million, Thunderclap Newman and with Struthers had been with short-lived group 'McCullochs, Struthers and Patterson' (the other members being Jimmy McCulloch and Robbie Patterson). After Andwella he went on to a group called 'White Line', with his brother Jimmy. McDougall went on to work with Speedy Keen (ex-Thunderclap Newman), while Smith joined Khan.Compilation appearances have included: Felix on Perfumed Garden Vol. 3 (CD); Sunday on Rubble, Vol. 17 - A Trip In A Painted World (LP), Rubble, Vol. 10 (CD) and The Best Of Rubble Collection, Vol. 5 (CD).
(Vernon Joynson/Mike Warth/Costas Arvanitis/Jim McMaster)

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Brave New World - Impressions On Reading Aldous Huxley(1972 German Experimental Krautrock)

Brave New World - Impressions On Reading Aldous Huxley

This band emerged from Hamburg and lasted only a few years. It included a mixture of local musicians and two “foreigners”. The German musicians were Reinhart Firchow (recorders, flutes, ocarina, stylophone, percussion, vocals), Lucas Lindholm (bass, bass fiddle, organ, piano), Dicky Tarrach (drums, percussion), Herb Geller (flutes, cor anglais, alto/soprano/tenor saxes, organ), the Irishman John O'Brien-Docker (guitars, organ, percussion, vocals, wind chimes) and Esther Daniels (vocals). As you can tell from the name of the band and one album title, their coming together was to make their instrumental interpretation of Aldous Huxley’s novel – A Brave New World. Being almost entirely an instrumental band (apart from some occasional voices) they created a most unique sound which combined together successfully different styles such as folk, psychedelic rock and electronics. Their use of wind instruments (woodwinds), peculiar percussion patterns, flute, saxophones and a stylopohone gives their music a special otherworldly sound. A possible sound-alike would be Annexus Quam (in the psychedelic rock approach) and Between (in the ethereal, atmospheric sound). Sadly, after they released Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley in 1972 and then dissolved. It is commonly referred to as an essential album in any krautrock album collection. (Progarchives.com)

Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley
Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley is one of the most heralded krautrock titles that still has not yet made its way to CD format. It's a shame, because this is the real deal, a rock album with enough psychedelic and experimental touches to keep the most ardent fan occupied. The band is a quartet based on the picture, a quintet based on the liner notes with two members playing a wide array of different flutes. And based on smaller pieces like "Prologue" or "Lenina," the music is flute heavy indeed. The first side of the record takes a bit to get going as it meanders abstractly through several atmospheric pieces before picking up on a nice jam with sax, organ and a number of weird effects. The last track on the side sounds like it could have been an outtake from an Osanna or Citta Frontalι record with it's percussion rhythm and lyric-less chorus. Side two is comprised mostly of the 19 minute "The End," the album's tour de force. This piece is just incredible with its dramatic opening moments, a grandiose theme that melts into some of the oddest and spellbinding chord sequences on record. The piece combines so many aspects - drone jamming, male choirs, saxophone solos, tripped-out effects - that every listen is a new experience. By "Epilogue" one will be exhausted by the sheer amount of thought it takes to absorb such a new experience. An essential album for the krautrock collector.
(Mike McLatchey gnosis2000.net)

A1 Prologue 1:01
A2 Alpha Beta Gamma Delta 7:38
A3 Lenina 4:21
A4 Soma 5:18
A5 Halpais Corn Dance 3:24
B1 The End 17:42
B2 Epilogue 1:28

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Τρίτη, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Sons Of Champlin - Minus Seeds And Stems (US 1969 San San Francisco Hippie Psych)

The Sons of Champlin were one of the later and more obscure bands to emerge from the late-'60s San Francisco psychedelic scene, and favored heavily soul-influenced material and usually employed a prominent horn section.

The Sons / Minus Seeds and Stems
Mill Valley Vinyl Records CFS-2126 (1993)(US) Limited reissue Record.

The Sons of Champlin released this album originaly in 1969 and it consists of various recordings and rehearsals from Winterland (San Francisco) and their studio sessions.

Live At Winterland SF 69

the band members :


From a concert in the Bay Area.
I've been looking for this for many years- it's the 1969 SF live performance on KQED TV- performed in the studio, simulcast on KQED FM- part of a series. the band leader/lead singer is Bill Champlin. Geoff Palmer on vibes,Tim Cain on sax along with, Al Strong on Bass . Terry Haggerty on guitar and Bill Bowen on drums

THE SONS OF CHAMPLIN San Francisco 1966-7 photo by Larry Keenan

One of the last and more obscure bands to emerge from the late-'60s San Francisco psychedelic scene, the Sons of Champlin were relatively unusual among Bay Area bands for favoring heavily soul-influenced material and employing a prominent horn section. Their more introspective songs can recall the more subdued efforts of Quicksilver Messenger Service and Moby Grape, and their longer compositions boasted unusually complex song structures and tempo shifts.

santana grateful dead sons of champlin At Avalon Ballroom
Revered by some collectors, their work hasn't aged as well as the best of their peers; the vocals weren't gritty enough to carry the R&B-based material and the ambitious longer tracks were prone to some half-baked songwriting and meandering jamming. Their first three albums (issued on Capitol between 1969 and 1971) are considered their best, though they recorded some other LPs in the '70s with shifting personnel. In late 1997, the Sons of Champlin reunited for a series of hometown reunion concerts, resulting in the release of their first-ever live LP a year later. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

July 27, 1969 - Balboa Stadium San Diego, California : Jefferson Airplane, Sons Of Champlin, Ten Yars After and Congress Of Wonders

Dick Gregory For President-Muddy Waters Big band-Cleveland Wrecking Co.-Sons of Champlin-Kaleidoscope

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Boa Constrictor and Natural Vine were a psych-folk duo who recorded this, their sole record, for Vanguard Apostolic. Given the current vogue for acid-folk I'm suprised this one is not better known. It has all the elements one looks for in that genre and few others as well. There are some really deranged, acid-drenched compositions like Devil & the Ace of Spades (with its backward tape loops, mornful sax, and downer guitar strumming) as well as dissonant, freaky, rocking, blues numbers like Time is Money. Their music, while it owes something to other folk-experimentalists from the late 60s is also inspired by classic, country blues and at times they come off as a sort of hippie ancestor of garage-blues-rock duos like the Bassholes or Black Keys. The artist who did the cover, Phoebe Stone, went on to some success as a children's book author & illustrator. Unfortunately I don't know what happened to George & Ben, who recorded this masterpiece.Side A  1. Little David  2. Pig Quick-Finger  3. Devil & the Ace of Spades  4. Son of Kong  5. Down Child 

 Side B  6. Time is Money  7. Alligator Man  8. Sundown Stick  9. Don't Try To Hide from the Lighting  10. Build Your Wall (http://www.douban.com/)
Also posted by the marvellous blog play it again max.

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Πέμπτη, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Mystery Trend - So Glad I Found You (1967-1968) (usa west coast - Frisco 60's)

The Mystery Trend's name has proved appropriate in defining their fate. They were a band that lots of rock music scholars have heard of -- mentioned in lots of essays about San Francisco in the mid-'60s -- but never heard. Even the Charlatans, another Bay Area band that barely made it out of the starting gate where records were concerned, are better known, by virtue of their music having bounced in and out of print from various sources over the past 34 years. The Mystery Trend never recorded much professionally, and a lot of what they did was in the realm of works-in-progress, rather than finished pieces of music. The group's other big problem was that their sound wasn't too much in sync with the music most people associate with mid-'60s San Francisco. They started out doing R&B based dance music, then gravitated toward the Beatles, the Kinks, the Zombies, and Bob Dylan, but they never really sounded like any other band. In contrast to the Charlatans, the Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane, they preferred tight song structures. For all of their associations with San Francisco in the '60s, the Mystery Trend had their roots in old-style rock & roll, R&B, and dance music. Ron Nagle hailed from the city by the bay and was a serious R&B enthusiast, especially where Ray Charles was concerned -- he played the piano and was heavily influenced by everything that he heard in Charles' early-'60s sound. While studying at San Francisco State College in the early '60s, he hooked up with Larry Bennett, who shared the same interests. Nagle -- who'd majored in art -- was teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute when the British Invasion hit America, and while he was serious enough about R&B to keep the Beatles at arm's length, he did see an opportunity. The British rock & roll boom restored rock bands to their rightful place at the center of music, and jump-started some long-held ambitions that he and Bennett shared about forming a band. They hooked up with students Bob Cuff (guitar), Mike Daly (bass) and John Luby (drums), and after jamming a couple of times on songs like "Woolly Bully," the group became the Terrazzo Brothers (named for an Italian masonry style), with Bennett as lead singer. After about a year, a lineup change took place, as Mike Daly became their manager, Larry Bennett made a lateral move to take over on bass, and Larry West came aboard on lead guitar while Bob Cuff stayed on rhythm. By that time they were writing their own material together as a group effort, and coming up with some unusual and very fresh ideas. And there was the name change. "The Terrazzo Brothers" didn't seem to be doing anything for them, and then the bandmembers misunderstood the line about the "Mystery Tramp" in Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone": the result was the Mystery Trend. They had a special sound and a following, at least locally. The Mystery Trend were the first band to play the Matrix Club after the original Jefferson Airplane, and regularly gigged with the Great Society. They also joined the Airplane in Bill Graham's first effort at rock music promotion, the Mime Troup Benefit. Along with the Airplane, the Great Society, and the Charlatans, the Mystery Trend seemed to be on the cutting edge of what music was about in San Francisco. Part of their secret was the sheer range of influences within the lineup, and their ability to pull them together. Bennett was an unbelievably good singer for an unsigned band, and had formidable intuitive skill in handling a song. Nagle and Cuff were master rock & rollers, and Nagle, in particular, could analyze practically any song on the radio and break down what was happening in it, and why a line, lick or riff worked, or why they didn't. West was a serious beat, and a folk musician with prodigious guitar skills which meshed perfectly with Cuff's rhythm playing. And Luby was a very solid drummer, holding it all together no matter where their songs took them. If anything, the Mystery Trend more resembled the small group units that grew out of the big-band era that Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, among others, participated in. Those small groups, made up of top soloists and true virtuosi, had lots of room for the members to maneuver and express themselves, but were also highly disciplined.
Some of the Mystery Trend's music sounded ripe for jamming, with soaring guitar solos and rippling keyboard parts, and folk-like melodies that lent themselves to experimentation, but they limited their experimentation to clean, precise three-minute-plus structures, without ever leaving the listener feeling cheated. Listening to the Mystery Trend's best work, amid the odd beats and time signatures, strange key changes and modulations, and harmonies filled with the unexpected, was, indeed, like listening to the very best of the big bands, playing the guts out of a piece in three-and-a-half minutes. It was too good to last, and it didn't last long. West exited in early 1966 in grand style, smashing his guitar on-stage in the midst of a duel with the Great Society's Darby Slick at a show in Sausalito. He nearly joined the Great Society, while the Mystery Trend continued with Bob Cuff playing what lead guitar was required on record. Eventually he left, and was succeeded by John Gregory, a very talented lead player; by that time, however, the Mystery Trend's days were numbered. The San Francisco music scene was exploding. The Beau Brummels had already scored hits on the Autumn label, a ton of other acts were getting recorded on one-off singles and, in some instances, getting local airplay; the Jefferson Airplane and the Great Society had done album-length releases, and the Grateful Dead and even the Charlatans were getting scouted by high-powered recording outfits; and late in 1966 the best thing that the Great Society had going for it, Grace Slick, had linked up with the Airplane. It was happening for every act of any note except, that is, the Mystery Trend. They'd gotten one barely representative single, "Johnny Was a Good Boy" b/w "House on the Hill" out on Verve Records through Frank Werber, the manager of the Kingston Trio, and Trident Productions, who were riding high at around that time with the work of the We Five. Werber did try hard with the group but their sound, spellbinding as it was on-stage, seemed impossible to capture adequately on record -- they covered songs by the Who and did R&B standards, and worked on a ton of originals, all to no avail. The group stuck to its own way of making music, which wasn't much like the We Five, but also avoided the kind of long, aimless jams that were becoming the rule among their Bay Area colleagues. The Mystery Trend didn't sound like anyone else, and somehow they never nailed down a second single, much less an album. By 1968, it was over. Nagle returned to studio art, which he'd never stopped entirely, and became a successful ceramic artist, and later wrote some songs for the Tubes and Barbra Streisand, among others. Apart from Larry Bennett, who passed on in the '90s, the others (including Larry West) remained in music. The Mystery Trend passed into history and the true depths of tantalizing obscurity -- their name was alluring when coupled with their obscurity, and the fact that they seemed to rate mentions in any serious books or articles about San Francisco's music roots. Nothing apart from the rare copies of that old Verve single, which told us virtually nothing about the band, was around to hear, however. In 1999, a comprehensive collection of the best surviving tracks by the Mystery Trend were released by Ace Records on its Big Beat imprint.
~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide ~


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