Excelente hard/blues-rock álbum com latente influência de Allman Brothers band. Desfrutem!
In 1971 three musicians with very different backgrounds came together to form The Leslie's Motel Band. The founding members were Richard Bush, Mike Seibold, and myself, Bill Tullis. Richard had been a long time keyboard player with the blue eyed soul band Tom Dooley and the Lovelights.
Mike moved to Louisville from Baltimore to attend college, and had family connections to Felix Pappillardi, the producer of several Cream albums and bass player with Mountain. This gave him a very edgy style that landed him the job of lead guitarist in one of the first "heavy" blues bands in Louisville, Conception. I got my start as a folk singer playing in clubs around town like The Arts of Louisville House.
This club later became Changes Unlimited and then Kaleidoscope, the first psychedelic nightclubs in Louisville, Ky. I spent many exciting nights playing in these clubs with Jay Petach, the engineer of this CD, while we were members of The Oxfords. The most memorable evening was when we opened for Frank Zappa and got to spend some time talking with him about the music business.
After leaving The Oxfords I formed the group Conception and that is when Mike and I first started playing together. At the urging of a friend, I went to see a band in Nashville at a club called The Briar Patch and saw, what I thought at the time, was the best live band I had ever heard. Their name was The Allman Joys, which later became The Allman Brothers Band, and I knew my musical path was going to change. After the release of ABB's first album Mike and I disbanded Conception and sought out some new musicians to be a part of this southern rock sound.
We went to a club called The Zanzibar and explained to Richard, during one of his breaks, what we had in mind. He was instantly excited and we began searching out other local musicians to complete the band. Even though over the five years Leslie's Motel was together we went through many different lineups, I believe the group on this CD was LMB at its peak. Before I get into the other three fabulous musicians here, I think the story of the naming of the band needs to be told. When we started rehearsing in a garage off of Dixie Highway in Louisville, every day we would pass by Leslie's Motel.
The rumor was that it was a house of "ill repute" (mainly for the soldiers coming and going from Fort Knox) and according to how the sign was lit, meant they were open for business. The sign became a topic of conversation at rehearsals on a regular basis until one day Mike suggested we should call the band Leslie's Motel. After quite a bit of laughter we decided it was as good a name as any and the name stuck! At those first rehearsals we did several Allman Brothers covers, and it greatly influenced our writing.
Ray Barrickman and Jay and I all went to the same high school and had a band called The Specters. That group later became the second generation of The Oxfords. Ray and I once wrote a song together that we performed at a senior assembly. It was suppose to be a tribute to our "wonderful" high school experience. Instead it was a swipe at the school's principal and staff, remembrances of smoking in the boy's room, suspensions for cutting school and growing our hair too long.
We almost got expelled for that song so Ray and I "had a past"!! At the time of writing these notes, Ray has been the was also the singer on The Oxfords only nationally released single, so he was an excellent addition to LMB. Paul Hoerni was the drummer for the third generation of The Oxfords with Jay when they did the majority of their recording. He had also played drums in several outstanding bands around town and had that Butch Trucks kind of feel. Jay and I had spent time with Butch at Changes Unlimited when he was playing gigs with his band, The Tiffany System, before he was with ABB. We both recognized the similarities and the talent.
So Paul joined the band and we started off as a five piece. The Windmill Club in Louisville became our home base to hammer out our ideas, and The Belle Starr Saloon in Buffalo, New York became our home away from home. We played the club circuit from as far north as Boston to as far west as St. Louis and south to Florida. Many times we also got the opportunity to open for national recording artists, that I will list in a minute, and that leads us to the last member to join LMB.
One night we were opening for a reunion tour of the ground breaking Blues Project, when the drummer Roy Blumenfeld came up to us after the show and asked if he could join the group. We were all floored by his request and jumped at the opportunity. This rounded out the lineup you will hear on this CD. Leslie's Motel Band opened for guitarists Ted Nugent, Charlie Daniels, Freddie King, Harvey Mandel, Rory Gallagher, Harvey Brooks, Mike Bloomfield (where the reviewer wrote "The home town boys seemed to be more in the favor of the audience than Mr. Bloomfield"), organist Billy Preston, singer Mitch Ryder, and The MC5.
But the show that stands out the most for me was the highlight of my musical life. We were opening for the legendary John Lee Hooker at The Brass Rail in Orchard Park, NY, just outside of Buffalo, when Mr. Hooker came up to me after our set and said "Son, I don't have a harp player with me tonight. Would you like to sit in?". Looking back, I cannot remember how many songs I played or how long I was on stage.
All I remember is floating out onto the stage when he called my name!! Well, I hope you enjoy reading these liner notes half as much as I have enjoyed remembering all of these GREAT times! It is an honor that Gear Fab Productions is releasing this CD over thirty years after these sessions. And my thanks to Jay Petach, Marvin Maxwell, Roger Maglio and all the past residents of Leslie's Motel for making it happen!!!
(by Bill Tullis, October, 2008)