Σάββατο, 27 Ιουνίου 2009

R.I.P. SKY SAXON 1946-2009

Sky Saxon dies

founder of 1960s band the Seeds
The lead singer, who was known for his Mick Jagger-influenced vocals, was believed to be in his 60s. The Seeds' garage-band sound was popular with the flower-power generation.

Sky Saxon, lead singer and founder of the 1960s band the Seeds, which had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with “Pushin’ Too Hard,” died Thursday at a hospital in Austin, Texas, after a brief illness. He was believed to be in his 60s.Publicist Jen Marchand said in a news release that Saxon died of heart and kidney failure after an "undiagnosed infection of his internal organs. ''

The Seeds sprang up in Los Angeles in 1965, and their garage-band sound became a favorite of the flower-power generation. Another hit single of 1967 was “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” and their song “Mr. Farmer” was included in the soundtrack for the movie "Almost Famous."Saxon's Mick Jagger-influenced vocals dominated the sound of the band that was rounded out by guitarist Jan Savage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper and drummer Rick Andridge.A 1967 Times review of their album "A Web of Sound" noted that the Seeds had "been adopted by the hippies -- the flower children -- because of their open-ended songs which generally skirt neatly plotted thoughts and didacticism."

The album included a 14-minute song called "Up in Her Room" that featured a lengthy improvisational jam session.

The Seeds disbanded in 1969, and the eccentric Saxon recorded with other musicians over the years. He joined a commune called the Source Family and moved to Hawaii for a time, but in the last several years he performed with retro psychedelia shows at the Knitting Factory and other Southern California venues.

from the film Psych-Out
Various sources cite conflicting birth dates for Saxon, who was born Richard Marsh and grew up in Utah. He moved to Los Angeles and recorded first as Little Richie Marsh, then fronted the bands Soul Rockers and Electra Fires.Saxon had recently moved to Austin, where he played with his new band, Shapes Have Fangs. He had been planning to perform this summer with the California '66 Revue, a tour featuring a lineup of California bands from the 1960s.Saxon's survivors include his wife, Sabrina. His ashes will be scattered in Hawaii. Related stories
From the L.A. Times
Details released on the passing of the Seeds’ Sky Saxon
From other L.A. sources
Sky Saxon of the Seeds also Died Yesterdaygothamistllc.com
Sky Saxon was member of the Seedspresstelegram.com
Around the Web
Obituary: Sky Saxonguardian.co.uk

Add To Facebook

Δευτέρα, 15 Ιουνίου 2009

Devil's Kitchen Band - US Psych San Francisco 1968 ~ 1970.

The short story:
Devil's Kitchen Band was a four piece rock and roll band that lived and performed in San Francisco from the Spring of 1968 through the Summer of 1970.
We were the "house band" at Chet Helm's "Family Dog Ballroom on the Great Highway" opening for, and often jamming with, many of the most well known groups of the times. We performed at all of the major West Coast venues from San Francisco's Fillmore West to L.A.'s Whisky A Go Go.
During the summer of 1970 while in the midst of a Midwest tour, the band fell apart when a series of gigs at colleges and universities was cancelled in response to the Kent State shootings. Our last big gig was Labor Day weekend 1970 at the Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival in Hayward, IL.

The Name:Devil's Kitchen Band

Everybody wants to know about the name: Devil's Kitchen... No we weren't a devil-worship-motorcycle-gang-heavy-metal-band... That wasn't what we were called when we formed and for the first year or two we were playing. We started out as "Om", the Hindu word/concept (click on the symbol to learn more about the meaning)... but when we got to San Francisco there were two or three other bands named that or some variation of spelling (most notably, AUM) playing in the Bay Area. We had spent a couple months practicing at the lakeside vacation cabin of one of our good friends and roadies, Rolf Olmsted. We had fond memories of our time there and named the group after the lake - Devil's Kitchen Lake, an 810-acre lake about 8 miles from Carbondale (home of Southern Illinois University).
Formation :

How did the band start? The full version could be a very long story, but the short version is that Brett, Robbie, Bob, and Steve knew each other from playing in different groups. Bob had been a driving force as the bassist in a local blues rock band called the Nite Owls and also played multiple instruments in various groups as part of the Folk Arts Society, perhaps most notably, the bluegrass group, the "Dusty Roads Boys". Steve had been the standout drummer playing with a local psychedelic rock group, "Hearts of Darkness" where he picked up the nickname "Naz". Robbie had gained notoriety as the exceptionally talented young lead guitarist and band leader in a series of local high school bands, most recently the "Viscounts". Brett played in various folk groups and was an active in the Folk Arts Society, and was the band leader, vocalist and guitarist for a typical college party band, "Om", whose personnel changed from semester to semester. One semester, they decided to re-form "Om" with the best players from the best local groups.
Early days...

...parties, protests and teen clubs... Besides playing the usual campus parties and local teen clubs and campus gigs, we were the "house band" for a new teen club aka rock emporium in nearby Murphysboro called the Hippodrome. Early song lists were mostly covers of Folk-rock, blues, Brit-rock and classic American rock and roll - "Purple Haze", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Rock Me Baby", "Mr. Fantasy", "I Can See For Miles", "Johnny B. Goode", etc... As we continued to play, we started adding more and more original songs to our repertoire until we were ready to start doing sets of mainly original material.

Brett, who was from the Bay Area, had visited San Francisco for the "Summer of Love" the previous summer and wanted the band to go there to live and play. The band practiced intensely for a month and then hit the road - everybody and our equipment packed up in Brett's Blue VW bus. The first time we only got as far as Freeport, IL before burning out the motor. After getting a new motor, we set out again and drove cross-country to San Francisco...
San Francisco...

...practice, practice, practice... When we got to San Francisco, we rented an old auto garage in the Mission District across the street from a pie factory and set up a practice space surrounded by improvised living space. We played for anyone who would let us perform in front of an audience, getting several gigs in small local venues and doing benefits for the SF Mime troupe, etc. (see the Photos/Posters for some of our earlier gigs) Eventually we started getting the occasional opening slot in local concert halls.
The Haight-Ashbury Years...

sex, drugs, and rock & roll... not necessarily in that order... Yeah, we did the whole rock and roll band life style with all that involves, but it wasn't all just one big party...
After a while and with a growing coterie of roadies, girlfriends and just friends of the band passing through San Francisco, we needed a better living space and found a roach infested but huge 12-room apartment on the second floor of the building on the NE corner of Haight and Ashbury, right in the heart of "the scene". Janice Joplin lived around the corner and we were close to Golden Gate Park and the weekend concerts where we played several times. We got more and more paying gigs all around the Bay Area, auditioned at the Fillmore where Bill Graham took an interest in us and helped us get more gigs and sent us into a studio to learn how to record.
Eventually we hooked up with a new manager, Harvey Morrison, who knew the local music scene well and who moved us to an old rooming house on Fell Street across from the panhandle of GG Park. He also got us in with Chet Helms who was in the process of opening a new venue

after the Avalon had been shut down. We opened the Family Dog Ballroom with the Jefferson Airplane and the Amazing Charlatans, and played there on a regular basis as sort of the "house band" for the next year and a half.
We did one LA tour, playing the Golden Bear, the Brass Ring, and the Whiskey a Go Go, where we opened for Savoy Brown. Mostly though, we played the Bay Area at places like Keystone Korner, the San Francisco Art Institute, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, San Jose, Boulder Creek, Monterrey, etc. while living in the Fell St house. One of our favorite gigs was a week playing every evening at a Ski Resort, Bear Valley... skiing all day, party all night...
The End

The Midwest tour and the trip back home...
During the summer of 1970 while in the midst of a Midwest tour, the band fell apart when a series of gigs at colleges and universities was cancelled in response to the Kent State shootings. We had played Cincinnati again and had returned to Carbondale where we were performing at many of the local clubs. First Steve and then Bob left, heading back to the West Coast with no intention of re-forming the band back in San Francisco.
For several months, Robbie and Brett continued to play as Devil's Kitchen in and around Carbondale. They formed a trio with Robbie on guitar, Brett on bass and a new drummer, Randy Bradle. They also started jamming with some old friends who had a group, Coal Dust (Carla Peyton and Bob Pina). Eventually, the groups merged to become "Coal Kitchen". Shortly after that, Brett dropped out of the group. Robbie and Randy stayed with Coal Kitchen for a little while, but eventually Robbie, Randy & Bob Pina broke out to form another band, "Rolls Hardly". Robbie later returned to the West Coast where he performed with Mickey Hart and Robert Hunter on their solo albums and played bass with the Quicksilver Messenger Service,.
Some of the venues we played:

Family Dog Ballroom on the Great Highway (Magic at the Edge of the Western World)
Fillmore West, SF
Keystone Korner, SF
Whiskey A Go Go, L.A.
Golden Gate Park, SF
Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival, IL

Some of the groups we played with:
Grateful Dead
Jefferson Airplane
Santana Blues Band
Big Brother & the Holding Company
Creedance Clearwater Revival
Allman Brothers Band

Live Concert Recordings:
Live concerts available for listening or purchase at Wolfgang's Concert Vault:
Family Dog Ballroom - March 21st, 1970
Things on My Mind (Incomplete)
You’ve Got Your Head On Right
Route 66 ***
Farm Bust Blues
Family Dog Ballroom - March 22nd 1970
Feel So Alone
Mellow Pot Blues
All In A Day's Existence
Muddy River Flatboat (Floating On Down)
Dream Green, Red And Gold
Farm Bust Blues
EL Hasho (El Basho, El Crasho)
Muddy River Flatboat (The Quality of Life is Fine)
Keep Yourself Around Me, Woman
IGot A Lotta Things On My Mind

For licensing or information about Devil's Kitchen Music, write to Old Kitchen Music:

Email us:

Add To Facebook

Σάββατο, 13 Ιουνίου 2009

V.A. Celebration - The Big Sur Folk Festival 1970(AM Records - ODE 70)

V.A. Celebration - The Big Sur Folk Festival 1970(AM Records - ODE 70)

The Big Sur Poster Of 1970

Seventh Big Sur Folk Festival
Saturday, October 3, 1970
Held at Monterey County Fairgrounds
1:00pm Concert:
Beach Boys (Sloop John B, Riot in Cell Block 9, Good Vibrations)
John Phillips
Joan Baez
Merry Clayton and Love Ltd. (soul music; hour, with 25-minute instrumental set)
Kris Kristofferson (with Chris Gantry and Vince Matthews) (hour)
John Hartford (half hour)

8:00pm Concert:
Beach Boys
John Phillips
Linda Ronstadt, with Swamp Water
Mimi Fariρa & Tom Jans
Mark Spoelstra
Country Joe McDonald ("drew the strongest support of the evening show")
Tom Ghent
Joan Baez
Finale: All sing "You Ain't Going Nowhere"

Joe Cocker and Leon Russell were scheduled but not announced in order to keep audience small. Both canceled.

The Big Sur Crowd

Celebration - The Big Sur Folk Festival 1970

Recorded live at Monterey, California 1970.

Performers and tracks:

Joan Baez:The night they drove old Dixie down
Joan Baez: Let it be
Linda Ronstadt with Swampwater:The only Mama that'll walk the line
Linda Ronstadt with Swampwater: Lovesick blues
Merry Clayton: Bridge over troubled water
Merry Clayton: The times they are a changin'
The Beach Boys: Wouldn't it be nice
Country Joe McDonald: Entertainment is my business
Country Joe McDonald: Air algiers
Kris Kristofferson: The law is for the protection of the people
Kris Kristofferson: To beat the devil

The Big Sur Poster Of 1970

Big Sur Coast
Celebration at Big Sur
Big Sur Folk Festival September '69

by Lindsay Planer(AMG)
REVIEWby Lindsay PlanerWhile issued as Merry Clayton's (vocals), the live set included on Celebration (1970) features a host of additional luminaries from the October 3, 1970 Big Sur Folk Festival. The LP jacket proclaims that "...the money that ordinarily goes to the artists and producer, will go to the institute for the study of non-violence, Palo Alto, California to be shared with the united farm workers and war resisters international." That in itself is a major political (if not somewhat financial) statement by those involved in both the event and this long-player. Suitably commencing the affair is Joan Baez, who is joined by Clayton and other backing vocalists for rousing readings of Baez' concurrent hit, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and a heartfelt acoustic remake of the Beatles' "Let It Be," which is both poignant and spiritually hopeful. At the time, Linda Ronstadt (vocals) was a relative newcomer to the scene. She ably pulls off a pair of C&W classics with "The Only Mama That'll Walk the Line" and "Lovesick Blues." These spirited performances recall her country/rock leanings and the authority in her pre- rock & roll days. Ronstadt was part of the tight-knit coterie of musicians who were influenced by the likes of the Flying Burrito Brothers, or the post-David Crosby Byrds. With Clayton's heady entries of "The Times They Are a Changin'" and the equally emotive "Bridge Over Troubled Water," it is easy to understand why the platter was released with Clayton at the vortex. Arguably, the rest pales in comparison, although Country Joe McDonald and Kris Kristofferson provide a balance of original material. McDonald's comedic "Entertainment Is My Business" is a well-placed parody that takes a few direct digs at a business whose adage concurs that "the show must go on." At the time, Kristofferson was undoubtedly the least-known act on the concert bill or this recording. Ironically, his songs are among the best of the lot. Both "The Law Is for the Protection of the People" and "To Beat the Devil" keep in touch with his no-nonsense political stances
See the 9 videos

Get The full DVD


A musical documentary of the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival, filmed in a chaotic style reminiscent of Woodstock. It features performances by Joan Baez, John Sebastian, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Combs Sisters.Some of the finest folk singers and musicians in the world positioned themselves on the edge of some of America's most glorious scenery for a farewell to summer and a celebration of nonviolence in mid-September. It was the sixth annual Big Sur Folk Festival.The festival, held on the tree-shaded lawns of Esalen, also differed from other recent celebrations in that here the "scene" did not eclipse the music, but merely served as a complement. According to its producers, Nancy Carlen and Paula Kates, Big Sur was designed as a "performers festival," an opportunity for artists to come together after a hectic summer on the festival circuit for some peace and solitude.Crosby Stills Nash and Young played the final set, as on Saturday, repeatedly bringing the thinning crowd to it's feet. For a finale - with the audience pushed forward around the pool, closer to the performers now - everyone at the festival reprise "Oh Happy Day".

Add To Facebook

US 69 - Yesterday's Folks (Buddha, 1969)

US 69 - YESTERDAY'S FOLKS 1969 - USA Buddah - LP Vinyl

"What can ya say? I NEVER ever get tired of hearing this cos I hear something new every time I put it on the turntable and there ain't too many LPs thesedays that you can say that about - are there? '2069: A Spaced Odyssey' is simply outta this world + 'African Sunshine' is also well-loved plus DJ Shadow also recently sampled 'Miss Goodbody' on his 'Red Bus' track

Not quite sure how to classify this one as it blends psych/sitar rock with funk and jazz influences and mixes them together impressively. I was only expecting to like a song or two off of this, but discovered that many of the songs (written and arranged by Bill Durso) were kind of fly. The title song has a guitar line that sounds a lot like Grand Funk Railroad's "Closer to Home" and it's open in two places. "I'm a Nobody" is a bluesy funk-rock cut with sharp drum snaps and a tight rhythm section. And then there's the difficult-to-describe "African Sunshine" which is sort on its own tip. "Miss Goodbody" kicks off with a cymbal-enchanced drumbreak.

Add To Facebook