sábado, 24 de setembro de 2016

Ancient Grease - Women And Children First (1970 UK, exceptional heavy bluesy/psychedelic rock - Japan Remastered, Paper Sleeve ) Flac

For the vast majority of the fans of Racing Cars, their introduction to the band would have most likely come via their hit single, 'They Shoot Horses Don't They?' which reached number 14 in the UK chart in the spring of 1977. The Welsh band with the West Coast American sound had moved up to London from the Rhondda valley in early 1976, taking advantage of the burgeoning 'pub rock' scene of that time and began to get noticed. With Morty as charismatic front man and with an excellent lead guitarist in Graham Williams, it wasn't too long they found themselves signed to Chrysalis Records, which led to the release of their debut album, 'Downtown Tonight'.

Some fans might know that Racing Cars had already existed in various permutations for a number of years prior to moving to London and a few might have known about an earlier version of the band called Strawberry Dust, but surely it is only fanatical die-hards who would be aware that this band actually released an album as far back as 1970!

It's a long, convoluted story so please pay attention!

The South Wales music scene threw out an incredible number of bands during the early to mid-sixties. Outfits such as Vikings, The Blackjacks, The Mustangs, The King Bees, The Smokestacks, Corncrackers, The Jets and The Bystanders might have been virtually unknown outside of Wales, but they were all part of a thriving local scene that grew and grew. By the late sixties Welsh bands were starting to make a name for themselves across the UK. Originating from the Cardiff area, Amen Corner, with Andy Fairweather-Low, had a string of UK hit singles between 1967 and 1969 and Love Sculpture, led by Dave Edmunds, had a major hit with 'Sabre Dance' in 1967. The Bystanders, out of Merthyr, gradually evolved between 1963 and 1968 to become Man, quite possibly the quintessential Welsh band, and one whose members had all, at one time or another, been involved in some way with just about every South Wales band going! Another local band that were having some success were Eyes of Blue who started out as the Neath-based covers and R&B band, The Mustangs, before a change of name in the mid-sixties. The Eyes of Blue played the same circuit as many other groups such as The Bystanders and The Jets taking in gigs in Llanelli, Swansea, Skewen, Cardiff and Neath, and quickly established a strong reputation on the South Wales music scene. As is usual with semi-pro bands, personnel came and went and one such change happened in early 1966 when drummer John Weathers joined the band.

John Weathers was born on February 7th 1947, in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, West Wales, before his family moved to the Swansea area. As a young teenager, John had dabbled with the drums, but didn't practice with any great conviction. In the early sixties, aged just 15, John ran away to Liverpool to live with his aunt as, at the time, he was not seeing eye to eye with his parents. His arrival coincided with the explosion of the Mersey Beat era and John suddenly found there was a need for drummers and duly sent home for his drum kit, playing in bands at night and working as a baker's boy during the day. Two years later, upon his return to Wales, John again found he was in demand, having been part of the Mersey scene and his experience got him gigs with a number of local bands such as Vikings and Brothers Grimm.

John can still recall the vitality and excitement of the South Wales scene and the camaraderie between the local bands. "Swansea in the early sixties and, Cardiff as well for that matter, but particularly Swansea, was just full of bands. There were gigs every single night of the week, there was a great atmosphere between musicians because there wasn't this heavy-duty nasty rivalry between bands that you find in other places. We'd all meet in the early hours of the morning in a curry restaurant and have a ball till 3 o'clock in the morning. Got on great with everybody. Touring bands would come down to one of the five major venues in the area and we'd take them under our wing. We'd put them up while they were here."

By the summer of 1966, Eyes of Blue had turned professional and in further personnel changes had brought in keyboard player Phil Ryan and vocalist Gary Pickford-Hopkins from another Neath-based band, the Smokestacks. Around this time the band entered and won the national Melody Maker 'Beat Contest', which offered the chance of a one-year Decca recording contract. Unfortunately, although they released two singles on the Deram label, 'Heart Trouble' b/w 'Up And Down' (1966) and 'Supermarket Full Of Cans' b/w 'Don't Ask Me To Mend Your Broken Heart' (1967), neither made any impact on the charts and are both considered unrepresentative of the band's sound.

Once the Decca contract had expired, the band signed with the Mercury label, and recorded their first album in Chappell Studios, London between March and July 1968. The debut album, 'Crossroads of Time', was eventually released early in 1969 and revealed much more of an American West Coast sound. John Weathers: "In Wales during the sixties there was a big West Coast movement. We were all playing stuff by Moby Grape and the Doors, Love and that kind of thing." The second Eyes of Blue album, 'In Fields of Ardath', was released in November 1969 and is generally regarded as the more successful of the two albums. The album is certainly more progressive and has been described as having 'pop, R&B, jazz, classical, psychedelic and Eastern influences'!

Back in South Wales, John Weathers had noticed an outfit called Strawberry Dust, a popular covers band on the circuit, who, at that time, consisted of Gareth 'Morty' Mortimer (vocals); Graham Headley Williams (guitar); Jack Bass (bass) and Dick Ferndale (drums). John felt they just had something about them. "I first met them in '68 or '69. Eyes of Blue did a gig with them up the Rhondda. And the next time they came down to the Swansea area, I made a point of going to see them. They were a raunchy little band, very raunchy indeed, but they had a great sound. Pure energy, every one of them loved doing what they were doing and Morty is such an outrageous character. I was very, very impressed with them. I was so impressed that I offered to do a demo with them."

To record the demo the band went into the embryonic Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, then a two-track studio, which had been built in a converted hayloft. Back in October 1968, Eyes of Blue had recorded an album backing American singer-songwriter Buzzy Linhart for the Phillips label and John Weathers chose a Linhart song for Strawberry Dust to record at Rockfield. John Weathers: "We did the tune and I took it to the Eyes of Blue record producer Lou Reizner of Mercury Records and he liked the demo. It all seemed to happen overnight, they got a licensing deal and we went in and recorded an album, which I produced for them. The album was recorded up at Morgan Studios in Willesden. We did a deal where we recorded late at night. From midnight to six in the morning! It took about a week. We recorded the album on 16-track, which had just come in. I remember they were very excited and wanted to double-track everything! This was big stuff for a band from the Rhondda Valley. It was their first time up to London and their first time in a big recording studio."

The fact that Strawberry Dust were primarily a covers band and, at that stage, had not written very much in the way of their own original material luckily did not create much of a problem in the studio, as John Weathers recalls. "I had a lot of spare songs around that would not have suited Eyes of Blue, which was much more progressive rock. My songs were more straight-ahead rock and I thought they would suit Strawberry Dust. The album was really just a vehicle for my songs. The Strawberry Dust boys would have recorded anything we put in front of them! I also played drums on one track and Phil Ryan from Eyes of Blue played keyboards on a couple."

Of the ten tracks on the original album, John Weathers is credited as the sole composer of four tracks: 'Freedom Train', 'Eagle Song', 'Mystic Mountain' and 'Woman and Children First.' 'Odd Song' was written by John together with his Eyes of Blue colleague Gary Pickford-Hopkins, while 'Don't Want' and 'Time To Die' were co-written by John and someone called Stevens. John Weathers: "Stevens is, in fact, Graham Williams, for some reason he didn't want his real name in the writing credits at that time, but I'm sure that it's okay to use it now." Of the remaining three tracks on the album, 'Mother Grease The Cat' is another 'Stevens' composition; 'Where The Snows Lie Forever' was written by Phil Ryan, while 'Prelude to a Blind Man' was written by Greg Curran. John Weathers: "Greg is a friend of mine and we decided to use his song on the album as it kind of suited the band."

The finished album certainly features some fine, dirty rock'n'roll complete with snarling guitar riffs and gritty, instantly identifiable vocals from Morty. But alongside hard-driving blues-rock stompers like 'Freedom Train' and 'Prelude To A Blind Man' and the organ-driven title track, there are a number of mellow songs too, such as the slightly unsettling, dreamy, psychedelic-folk of 'Time To Die' and the rootsy 'Mystic Mountain'. John Weathers recalls not being best pleased to discover that he was only going to be listed as co-producer of the album alongside Lou Reizner. "As far as Lou Reizner is concerned, he was only at the studio once for a quick listen to how it was going and then rubberstamping the finished product. He then insisted on being listed as co-producer, probably for financial reasons, I was never paid a producer's fee or any royalties of any kind, neither were the band."

Finally released on the Mercury label in July 1970 and entitled, 'Women and Children First', the album was also curiously credited to Ancient Grease. John Weathers: "That was down to Lou Reizner. He chose Ancient Grease. I don't think he liked Strawberry Dust much." The album came in a nice psychedelic sleeve, all saturated blue and purple, very much of its time, featuring what appears to be a family running through a garden arbour. Strangely, the US version of the album came in a totally different sleeve that shows roly-poly cartoon characters luxuriating in a black viscous liquid that I assume is meant to be grease. Very odd!

Unfortunately, Mercury Records did not give 'Women and Children First' the amount of push necessary to get a brand new act noticed by the record buying public. John Weathers: "It was just not promoted. Mercury (Britain) was really just a tax loss for Mercury (USA). They'd signed Rod Stewart and he'd just finished 'An Old Raincoat Will Never Let You Down' and they just put everything they had into that. And everything else went into the bottom drawer. You know; 'It'll find its own level.'"

With the album essentially dead in the water and with no support forthcoming from Mercury, Strawberry Dust returned to the South Wales circuit playing again under their original name before gradually grinding to a halt. By this time, Eyes of Blue had also folded, after a third and final album, "Bluebell Wood", which was released under the name Big Sleep. John Weathers played a couple of dates with Strawberry Dust to help them out before joining Pete Brown's Piblokto!, along with Phil Ryan, playing on one single, "Flying Hero Sandwich"/"My Last Band".

In early 1971, Glenn Cornick from Jethro Tull was putting together an early incarnation of Wild Turkey and enlisted John Weathers, together with Gary Pickford-Hopkins and Graham Williams, who, by this time, was making a reputation for himself as one of the most accomplished guitar players around. The band moved into a remote farmhouse in the Welsh hills to rehearse, but within a short space of time, both John and Graham had left to join forces with Graham Bond. Unfortunately, this was to prove an uncomfortable gig for the guitarist as John Weathers remembers. "We were called Graham Bond's Magick. A good band, but it didn't suit Graham at all. He was terrified of Graham Bond and when we were onstage and Graham Bond would nod at him to take a solo, he'd just freeze!" John Weathers would guest on Graham Bond's 1971 album, 'We Put Our Magick On You.' After Graham Bond, John joined The Grease Band in the summer of 1971, playing with them until the end of the year. In the spring of 1972, John was drafted into Gentle Giant on the eve of the group's nationwide tour after their drummer Malcolm Mortimer was seriously injured in a car smash. Despite initially being a temporary arrangement, John would remain in the band until 1980! During his time in Gentle Giant, John also played on occasion with Phil Ryan in the Neutrons appearing on their debut album, 'Black Hole Star', released in September 1974. From the mid-eighties till 1996 (or thereabouts) John found himself, somewhat inevitably, behind the kit in Man, where he became the group's longest-serving drummer!

John still lives in Wales and in recent years has toured with a Welsh pantomime theatre act and also appeared on a number of soundtracks for certain Welsh TV shows. In late 2001, it was reported that John had given up playing the drums due to arthritis in his foot. John Weathers: "It wasn't arthritis of the foot. I was diagnosed with a condition called Spinocerebellar Ataxia, which is akin to M.S., so I've pretty well lost the use of my legs and expect to be wheelchair-bound within the next two years. I'm just paying the price for having had a wonderful fun-filled forty years in music. I'm completely happy." In 2006, John's condition did not stop him playing with the newly-reformed Wild Turkey alongside old mates Gary Pickford-Hopkins and Graham Williams and recording an album, 'You & Me In The Jungle.'

While Graham Williams had been working with John Weathers on various projects in the early seventies, Gareth 'Morty' Mortimer had been singing with a band called Good Habit, performing many of his own songs. Around 1973, Morty was reunited with Graham and, as the singer was looking for a guitarist at the time, his old friend was the obvious choice! Before long, Morty and Graham had formed Racing Cars and began honing their sound. After a few years of ups and downs and the usual changes in personnel, 1976 saw the band, then consisting of Morty and Graham, bassist David Land, guitarist Ray 'Alice' Ennis and drummer Robert James Wilding, relocate to London. Which is where we came in!

Racing Cars released two more albums for Chrysalis, 'Weekend Rendezvous' (1977) and 'Bring On the Night' (1978), but, like a lot of bands from that period, found themselves increasingly sidelined by the rise of punk and finally called it a day in 1980. John Weathers had kept in contact with the guys over the years, even playing with them on the odd occasion. "I was lucky enough to do a few gigs later on with Racing Cars when I was with Gentle Giant. Their drummer was ill or something. I did a couple of University gigs with them and I really enjoyed it." John recalls recording a great album with the band in the late seventies, which appears to have been lost and also working on three or four solo tracks with Morty that also remain unreleased.

In 1988, Racing Cars reformed, touring the UK and Europe for a number of years without a record deal, but enjoying a large core fan base. In 2000, they released an album, 'Bolt From The Blue', on D&A Records and since then have gone from strength to strength. In 2006, they signed to Angel Air Records, and to celebrate their 30th Anniversary they released a DVD, '76-06, 30th Anniversary Concert', which was well received by fans and critics alike. The live album of the same concert was released on CD in April 2007, together with another album from 1981, entitled, 'Love Blind,' which was essentially a Morty solo album originally credited to Morty & The Racing Cars. 2007 also saw the release of 'Second Wind', a brand new studio album. With Angel Air planning to re-issue 'Bolt From The Blue' in 2008, it seems that there is still plenty left in the tank for Racing Cars!

As a snapshot in time of Racing Cars' first musical steps, 'Women and Children First' is an important document that should delight fans eager for more information about the band's pre-history. For students of Welsh rock music, the album also provides that missing piece of the jigsaw that links the various strands of the South Wales music scene in the late sixties and early seventies. Looking back, John Weathers is refreshingly honest in his assessment of 'Women and Children First.' "It was quite a nice album, not the best album in the world by any stretch, but after all I suppose it was the sixties, I was only 23 and very bolshie, and the poor band were just a bunch of boys from the Rhondda Valley who had only been in a studio once before (the demo session that we did in the cowshed at Rockfield), so were total greenhorns. The saving grace though was that it gave them the experience of making an album, something that helped them tremendously when they became Racing Cars, I'm sure."
01 - Freedom Train
02 - Don't Want
03 - Odd Song
04 - Eagle Song
05 - Where The Snow Lies Forever
06 - Mother Grease The Cat
07 - Time To Die
08 - Prelude To A Blind Man
09 - Mystic Mountain
10 - Women And Children First
11 - Freedom Train (Alternative Version) 

Graham Mortimer (Morty) - vocais
Graham Williams - guitar
Jack Bass - bass
Dick Ferndale - drums
Additional musicians:
Phil Ryan - keyboards
Gary Pickford-Hopkins - vocals

sábado, 17 de setembro de 2016

Livin' Blues - 3 Originals (Hell's Session, Wang Dang Doodle, Bamboozle +) [dutch fantastic blues-rock] Flac


Livin' Blues was one of the best Dutch blues bands. Many people think the band's name came from the American magazine called Living Blues, but that wasn't established until 1970. Former members of the band claim it was based on the name of an American theatre group called Living Theatre.

They evolved in 1967 from Andy Star & the Stripes with Ted Oberg (g) and Ruud Franssen (b) and then added Björn Pool (v) and Niek Dijkhuis (d). In 1968, they took on board the blues duo Indiscrimination with John Lagrand (blues harp) and Nicko Christiansen (v, s), the latter replacing Pool. During the same year, Gerard Strötbaum replaced Franssen and Cesar Zuiderwijk (ex-Hu & the Hilltops, to Golden Earring) came in on drums. The band started getting more and more attention, resulting in a record contract with the mighty Phonogram (who distributed labels like Decca and Philips). They opened a show for Fleetwood Mac during a small winter tour of 1969.

After they had recorded two unsuccessful singles, Strötbaum was replaced by Henk Smitskamp (ex-Motions, to Sandy Coast). The line-up of Oberg, Lagrand, Christiansen, Zuiderwijk and Smitskamp recorded the highly acclaimed album, "Hell's Session" in 1969, the first production of former Golden Earrings drummer Jaap Eggermont (later world-famous through his Stars On 45 productions), for a new label, Red Bullet (owned by Willem van Kooten a.k.a. DJ Joost den Draaijer).

In 1970, Smitskamp was replaced by Ruud van Buuren (ex-Groep 1850, to Long Tall Ernie & the Shakers). When Zuiderwijk joined Golden Earring, Dick Beekman (ex-Cuby + Blizzards and Ro-d-ys) was next in the long line of drummers to join the band. Livin' Blues seemed to change drummers on a yearly basis. After "Wang Dang Doodle" became an international hit, the band started touring Europe, one highlight being their appearance at the Palermo Pop Festival in Sicily. Then John Le Jeune (ex-Island) took over the drum stool, but he also lasted for just one album. The band had another international hit with "LB Boogie" and made their first visit to Poland, where they'd become one of the most successful bands ever.

Le Jeune left for the Schick Band and was replaced by Arjan Kamminga, who was forced to quit not long after the release of "Rockin' At The Tweedmill" (recorded in England and produced by Mike Vernon) due to back problems. He would later resurface in Mark Foggo & Secret Meeting. In 1973, Englishman Kenny Lamb became the last drummer of the first era of Livin' Blues. The album "Ram Jam Josey" was again produced by Mike Vernon who'd also recommended Lamb (ex-Jellybread, a British blues band recording for Vernon's Blue Horizon label).

In 1974, “Mark I” Livin' Blues fell apart. John Lagrand joined Water, Nicko Cristiansen formed Himalaya, Kenny Lamb returned to England and Ruud van Buuren joined Long Tall Ernie & the Shakers. Ted Oberg had to continue with Livin' Blues because their manager (Ted's mother!) had signed new contracts with Ariola and Grandad Music. John Fredriksz (ex-George Cash and Q'65, the singer who always seemed to come in when a band's heyday was over) became the new vocalist. They also took on board Paul Vink (kb, ex-Finch, to Limousine), but he only lasted a few months. The line-up was completed by the returning Henk Smitskamp (b, from Shocking Blue), Ronnie Meyjes (g, ex-Brainbox) and Michel Driesten (d) and had a disco hit with "Boogie Woogie Woman", a far cry from the earlier blues-rock sound. By the time the album "Live '75" was recorded, Meyes and Driesten had disappeared and Cor van de Beek (also from Shocking Blue) was the drummer.

The 1976 line-up was: Ted, Johnny, André Reynen (bass, ex-Sympathy and Brainbox) and Jacob van Heiningen (drums, ex-Galaxis, replaced by Ed Molenwijk, ex-Dizzy Daisy, to Casino). In spite of the internationally successful album, "Blue Breeze" (1977), the band were without a recording contract by 1978. Jan Piet Visser (h, ex-Houseband) joined in 1979, but a year after that the core of "Mark I" Livin' Bluesreunited for the 1980 Haagse Beatnach: Oberg, Lagrand and Christiansen were joined by Evert Willemstijn (b) and Boris (Bo, Beau) Wassenbergh (dr, ex-Cashmere, to The Zoo). That line-up started touring again, but due to the lack of interest in the blues music, Livin' Blues slowly ground to a halt in the first half of the 1980s. In the meantime, Johnny Frederiksz, André Reynen and Jan Piet Visser formed Nitehawk. When that band also turned out to be unsuccessful, Ted Oberg formed the J&T Band (Johnny & Ted) with Frederiksz, adding ex-Finch members Peter Vink (b) and Fred van Vloten (d).

In 1986, John Lagrand and Nicko Christiansen reformed Livin' Blues and, for the first time since 1967, Ted Oberg was not present. Other members were: Joop van Nimwegen (g, ex-Q'65 and Finch), Willem van de Wall (g, ex-Himalaya), Aad van Pijlen (b, ex-Freelance Band and Himalaya) and Art Bausch (d, ex-Barrelhouse, ex-Oscar Benton, and founder member of Blue Planet). After one unsuccessful album, "Now", Lagrand left to join the Muskee Gang and Christiansen got a new line-up together. However, the rights to the name Livin' Blues were owned by Ted Oberg's mother and Christiansen had to call the band New Livin' Blues. Just like all preceding line-ups, New Livin' Blues went through many changes, which are impossible to document (mainly due to the lack of press coverage and record releases). On the CD "Out Of The Blue" (1995), the line-up was: Christiansen, Loek van der Knaap (g), Frank Buschman (b) and Elout Smit (d).

In 1996, John Lagrand joined the reformed Cuby + Blizzards and two years later, Nicko Christiansen formed the Nicko C Band, keeping Loek van der Knaap on board. In 1998, Ted Oberg formed his own bandOberg with Jan Scherpenzeel (v, h), Frank Schaafsma (b) and Ramon Rambeaux (d, ex-Wild Romance, replaced by Ronald Oor, ex-Diesel and I've Got The Bullets). At the end of that year, Nicko Christiansen and John Lagrand toured with guitarist Eelco Gelling (ex-Cuby + Blizzards) as Nederblues Summit.

In 2003, Christiansen and Lagrand wanted to start performing again as Livin' Blues, but Oberg objected. The new band was then named Blues A-Livin' instead. Oberg reappeared the following year, touring with Simone Roerade (v), Rob Geboers (kb, ex-Flavium), Marco Oonincx (b, ex-Ana Popovic Band) and drummer Arie Verhaar (ex-Tom Principato and Tino Gonzales), as Grand Slam.

On 30th June, 2005, John Lagrand died at the age of 55 from emphysema. Christiansen continued as The Livin' Blues Experience with Loek van der Knaap (g), Yaroon Vanniele (bas), Kees van Krugten (d) and Francois Spannenburg (blues harp). In 2009, Livin' Blues was voted as the "best international blues band" by readers of the Two Blues magazine in Poland. Ted Oberg has called his band Oberg once again, although it is now fronted by female singer Liane Hoogeveen. The other members are: Mick Hup (g, replaced Will Sophie), Nico Heilijgers (b) and Paul Damen (d).


sábado, 10 de setembro de 2016

Smoke - Carry On Your Idea (1969 us, great heavy boogie psychedelic & blues rock, 2004 reissue) Flac


Reissue on CD of the first album by USA heavy psych/blues boogie rock band smoke, not to be mistaken for the Michael Lloyd (West Coast) Smoke.

This album was originally from 1969 and released on the UNI label - the band were originally from Texas and known as the Nomads.

This album opens with the 19 minute psychedelic boogie number "M.C. Boogie" and sets the tone for the album - lot's of guitar breaks and pounding organ work on the whole album which fuses blues, boogie,underground,rock,folk in to one big pot!

Originally known as The Nomads and based in Houston, Texas, this band issued two 45s under that name. They became known as Smoke in mid-1968. They later moved on to San Francisco where they gigged mainly at biker venues.

Led by John Orvis, who composed all their material, their music can best be described as "psychedelic boogie", epitomised by the nineteen minute M.C. Boogie on the first album. Loads of energy, jiving vocals, good guitar solos and powerful organ parts.

Smoke was the band of John Orvis, biker and musician who played for the greatests: Neil Diamond, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Eric Burdon, etc.. / An underrated record!
Track list:
01. M. C. Boogie (18'53")
02. Choose It (06'04")
03. Red Haired Man (04':00")
04. Pepper Trees (03'39")
05. Carry On Your Idea (05'20")

Smoke (US):
*John Orvis - guitar, banjo and harp
*Eddie Beyer - keyboards
*Richard Floyd - bass
*Phil Parker - drums
*Earl Finn - bongos, bells, whistles, harmonica, tambourine, organ, bass, guitar



sábado, 3 de setembro de 2016

Point Blank - Point Blank (1976 us, superb hard/southern rock - vinyl rip) Flac 24-bit

Well, if you did not see this band back in the 70s, then you just did not go to any concerts. They toured with everyone and that's probably what sold their records since someone dropped the ball regarding airplay, promotion and marketing. Point Blank was the best kept secret of the 70s. The good news is that they are finally back together after many years apart. But let's get back to what made me a huge fan of these guys. The first cut on their debut album is entitled "Free Man" and it is their signature song. 

I don't know if there is a finer tune for an opening song that features the combination of heavy riffs, dueling twin guitar leads and gutsy vocals than what you will find here. There is something about their songwriting where you really feel the emotion of the songs and the music reinforces that and takes you to a higher level. Rusty Burns and Kim Davis were a great duo. When they played live together, it was like witnessing two Texas gunslingers going head to head. 

Phillip Petty was the man on Bass and he kept the backbeat pumping. There's not a bad tune on this album. While Point Blank could really turn out some hard sounding but polished Southern Rock, this album demonstrates their true talents as they do several slower ballads such as "Wandering" and "Distance" which features John ODaniels beautiful vocals (what a range this guy has). My favorite songs are "Free Man", "Moving", and "Lone Star Fool".

Point Blank, along with ZZ Top, were one of the best rock bands to emerge from Texas in the 70s, and their debut album proves why. Influences such as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers Band, Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Humble Pie are audible throughout, as is a bit of Deep Purple, and the songs are great. John O'Daniel is one of the great underrated hard rock singers of all time, and the proof is on this album.

A1. Free man (5:07)
A2. Moving (2:55)
A3. Wandering (5:17)
A4. Bad bees (2:30)
B1. That's the law (3:40)
B2. Lone star fool (4:17)
B3. Distance (5:12)
B4. In this world (3:09)

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2016

Tarkus - Tarkus (1972 peruvian, awesome hard/psychedelic rock) Flac


"Released (barely, in an edition of just, like, 50 copies) in Tarkus' native Peru back in 1972, this is an album to go down in the annals of heavy rock, proudly belonging to the pantheon of proggy proto-metal!!! We'd definitely rank this with favorites of ours in that truly cult realm, other early '70s stuff like Necronomicon and Night Sun and Eduardo Bort and Steamhammer's Speech!

It may be that they're named after the ELP's 1971 album Tarkus (you know, the one with that freaky armadillo/tank on the cover), but they don't sound much like ELP in any event. While progressive rock is part of their sound, this Tarkus come across more like a bizarro hybrid of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and some of the more out-there and baroque Italian prog outfits of the era, rather than ELP. It's music that's dark and doomy and powerful and psychedelically dosed, sometimes with really weird operatic vocals -- and always with about a zillion cool, heavy guitar riffs. It's meant to be played LOUD. Shouldn't be hard to comply!

With some very pretty melodies and acoustic moments, Tarkus somehow seem like a '60s garage psych act (which they previously were, Tarkus being formed by members of Peruvian psych-pop group Telegraph Ave.) in possession of a crystal ball that enabled them to gaze into the future to be anachronistically inspired by Black Sabbath's Sabotage album, which was released three years later in 1975 (we'll have to assume that crystal ball had a place to plug in earphones)."
Track listing:

01. El pirata (03:15)
02. Marta ya está (05:35)
03. Cambiemos yá (03:28)
04. Tempestad (03:27)
05. Tema para Lilus (04:43)
06. Tranquila reflexión (04:47)
07. Rio tonto (04:29)
08. Tiempo en el sol (02:15)


sábado, 20 de agosto de 2016

Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking (1969 uk, fantastic psychedelic/folk rock - 2003 2 bonus) Flac


Unhalfbricking was, if only in retrospect, a transitional album for the young Fairport Convention, in which the group shed its closest ties to its American folk-rock influences and started to edge toward a more traditional British folk-slanted sound. That shift wouldn't be definitive until their next album, Liege & Lief. But the strongest link to the American folk-rock harmony approach left with the departure of Ian Matthews, who left shortly after the sessions for Unhalfbricking began. 

The mixture of obscure American folk-rock songs, original material, and traditional interpretations that had fallen into place with What We Did on Our Holidays earlier in the year was actually still intact, if not as balanced. Sandy Denny's two compositions, her famous "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" and the far less celebrated but magnetically brooding "Autopsy," were among the record's highlights. 

So too were the goofball French Cajun cover of Bob Dylan's "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" (here retitled "Si Tu Dois Partir," and a British hit) and the magnificent reading of Dylan's "Percy's Song," though the bash through Dylan's "Million Dollar Bash" was less effective. Richard Thompson's pair of songs, however, were less memorable. 

The clear signpost to the future was their 11-minute take on the traditional song "A Sailor's Life," with guest fiddle by Dave Swarbrick, soon to join Fairport himself and make his own strong contribution toward reshaping the band's sound.
01 Genesis Hall (3:35)
02 Si Tu Dois Partir (2:18)
03 Autopsy (4:20)
04 A Sailor's Life (11:08)
05 Cajun Woman (2:42)
06 Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (5:08)
07 Percy's Song (6:46)
08 Million Dollar Bash (2:54)

Bonus Tracks
09 Dear Landlord (4:06)
10 The Ballad Of Easy Rider (4:55)


sábado, 13 de agosto de 2016

The Pink Fairies - Do It! (1969-1971 uk, rare live [Glastonbury Fayre] and studio recordings {Color vinyl} Flac 24-bit

The back of this album contains a reproduction for the White Panther Party U.K. Place any of the first tracks from this compilation next to anything of the White Panther MC5's Kick Out the Jams and you find the material uniquely mated for message and visceral rock energy.

 This compendium of live recordings from 1969-1971 includes two versions of "Do It!," covered by Henry Rollins on his first solo album. While these '60s superstars played as part of huge, outdoor festivals, the Pink Fairies denied all pretense and jammed outside, entertaining for free. Twink (ex-Pretty Things), drummer and vocalist for this most idealistic of the era's hard rock acts, wrote liner notes for this album chronicling the hippie philosophy of this time period and its decline on many levels.

Another highly comprehensive compilation by the Pink Fairies. One thing I like about this disc is that you get three 'live' songs from the famed Glastonbury Fayre, which are "Do It", "Mexican Grass War" and the band's signature tune "Uncle Harry's Last Freakout". Also liked "The Snake", as this live version was recorded at another outdoor bash, the Weeley Festival. 
A1. Do It! (2:59)
A2. Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box (4:27)
A3. The Sparrow Is A Sign (2:23)
A4. The Snake (7:03)
A5. Three Fifths Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (3:53)
B1. Mexican Grass War (1:43)
B2. Uncle Harry's Last Freak-out (19:22)

Tracks A2, A3, B1 from the album 'Think Pink'. 
Tracks A4, A5 from a radio session in 1970. 
Track B2 live at Glastonbury Fayre 1971. 
Track A1 is a 1970 demo version.

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2016

Lightning - Lightning (1968-1971 us, superb hard/psychedelic rock) Flac


A Minnesota-based rock band that grew out of White Lightning, a "power trio" consisting of ex-Litter guitarist Zippy Caplan, bass guitarist Woody Woodrich, and drummer Mick Stanhope. Woodrich is said to have pioneered the use of redline compression on his instrument, before such compressors were generally available to the public. 

The music heard here was performed by this trio and a quintet formed by the addition of second guitarist Ronn Roberts and percussionist Bernie Pershey, who can be heard operating a xylophone on "When a Man Could Be Free." Technically, at least, Lightning was the name usually applied to the five-piece band.

They engaged in such colorful crowd-pleasing routines as an electrified rendering of Gioacchino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" (first performed in this version at the New City Opera House during the autumn of 1968), and a freaky take (ŕ la Jeff Beck's "Bolero") on "Ghost Riders in the Sky" that featured Stanhope singing through a Moog synthesizer.

"Of Paupers and Poets" was first released as a 45 rpm single on the Hexagon record label and made it to number five on the Top 40 in Minneapolis/St. Paul in January 1969. "They've Got the Time" was composed on September 18, 1970 in response to the death of Jimi Hendrix and was also dedicated to Janis Joplin and Brian Jones. 

Lightning was well received at rock festivals throughout the Middle West. They opened for (and reportedly upstaged) Grand Funk Railroad on December 31, 1970 at a concert in Des Moines, IA. 

One source claims that White Lightning (named after a notoriously potent brand of lysergic acid) existed in five distinct combinations between the years 1968-1974, and that six different Lightnings came and went between 1969 and 1990. None of these Lightnings are to be confused with Detroit's short-lived post-Guardian Angel five-piece unit that went by the name of Lightnin.

"Lightning" (1970)
01.Prelude to Opus IV (Caplan, Stanhope) - 4:05
02. Hideaway (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 4:00
03. When a Man Could Be Free (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 4:27
04. Madame Sunrise (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 6:00
05. 1930 (Roberts, Stanhope, Caplan) - 4:12
06. Freedom (Is Life with Living) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 5:46
07. They've Got the Time (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 5:51
08. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky (Stan Jones) - 5:32

Bonus tracks
White Lightning single 45 (1968)
09. William (Caplan, Woodrich, Struthers) - 2:06
10.Of Paupers and Poets (Kendrick) - 2:33

White Lightning: unreleased version (1968)

11.(Under the Screaming Double) Eagle (Caplan, Waite, Woodrich) - 3:56

Lightning: unreleased tracks (1970)

12.What Have I Now (Lindlay, Caplan) - 3:21
13.Rat (Caplan, Woodrich, Stanhope, Roberts, Pershey) - 4:18

Lightning: single 45 (1971)

14.Hideaway (single mix) (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 3:13
15.Freedom (single mix) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 3:40

Lightning (1975)

16.William Tell Overture (The Lone Ranger Theme) (Rosini) - 2:40
*Ronn Roberts - Vocals, Guitar
*Tom "Zippy" Caplan - Guitar
*Bernie Pershey - Drums
*Woody Woodrich - Bass
*Mickey Stanhope - Vocals, Drums