Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sidewalk Swingers - Folk Swingin' Harpsichord (1964)

This one's perfect for your next hootenany cocktail party. I'm not sure who's idea it was to play a bunch of folk tunes (both new and old) on harpsichord with 12-string guitar accompaniment but they had a certain demented genius in their plan. The producer also got some fine session players to perform: Russell Bridges (harpsichord), Glen Campbell (guitar), Jimmy Bond (bass), Hal Blaine (drums), and Bill Cunningham (banjo & mandolin). Tracks include Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and some old chestnuts like "If I Had a Hammer" and "Greenback Dollar." I don't expect this one to rock your world but it is a pleasant enough excursion into instrumental folk with a bit of country twang. You can get it from medi*fire or o-share.

This will be my last post for this year--but I will be back in January with some new vinyl rips. Happy holidays.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Click" Horning - Click (1969)

Looks like this is now available on CD from the artist himself, along with some of his other releases. Check here or here.

Because of that I will be taking down the link for this one.

A bad case of carpal tunnel and a busy weekend is going to keep this post on the short and sweet side. Short, because if you want to find out more about Click Horning I'm just going to refer you to his web site. Sweet, because once again I present a sweet piece of pop music for your entertainment. There are some nice folk and psych influences, and even some sitar (the cut Many Times Jimbo, the best here IMHO, appeared on one of the Electric Sitar Headswirlers compilations). File no longer available--see above for info on purchasing the CD. Click is still performing in the New Hampshire area.

Friday, November 17, 2006

William R. Strickland - William R. Strickland Is Only The Name (1969)

William R. Strickland is the name of the singer-songwriter-performer who put out this odd record on London/Deram records back in 1969. He plays guitar, sometimes accompanied by the London Philharmonic, and sings about World War 3 (1/2) and computer love (long before internet dating). I guess you would call him a folk singer--he certainly has the Dylan-style sneer down--but the general weirdness of the songs (which he says were largely improvised) lends a certain psychedelic quality to the whole affair. I guess if I had to suggest a point of comparison (and an obscure one at that) I'd say he reminds me of Peter Grudzien without the gay subtext and with a wider range of instruments (there's even a Jew's harp on one track). There is a recent article about him online from the Santa Cruz Sentinal that refers to an older (1976) review that said he was like "a kinky cross between Mark Twain and Lenny Bruce" and that Strickland calls himself "a mix of Willie Nelson and Pink Floyd." Strickland is still performing and you can even hear a recent (March 8, 2006) radio performance and interview on KUSP by him online.

Here's a tracklist for this release:
Side 1: You Can Know My Body (But You'll Never Know My Soul) / Computer Lover / Romeo De La Route / Touch
Side 2: If I Stand Here Much Longer / Opps That's Me!! / World War 31/2

You can grab it online here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Peter Kelley - Path of the Wave (1969)

Peter Kelley released two records under his name--this is the first (and IMHO the better). Fuzz, Acid and Flowers describes it as "folk-psych with almost whispered vocals. Songs range from Dylanesque ballads to the monster cut The Man Is Dead (6'56") with fuzz guitar." Which is an apt if rather short description. Most of the cuts feature sparse instrumentation (often just an acoustic guitar is featured) and singing that owes a lot to Dylan's style of vocal delivery (and perhaps something to psychoactive substances as well). The Man Is Dead may be the best cut but is far from typical, but the whole album is worth a listen.

The band/crew on this consists of David Budin (Guitar, Piano, Bass, Saxophone, Producer), Rusti Clark (Viola), Chuck Colin (Trumpet), Danny Federici (Organ), Barton Friedman (Producer), Richard Gottehrer (Viola), Eddie Guzman (Drums), Richard Husson (Engineer), Harriet Jacoff (Piano), Peter Kelley (Main Performer), John Lehr (Guitar), Walton Mendelson, Jack Nailon (Guitar (Bass)), Roy Nievelt (Guitar (Electric)), & Warren Slaten (Engineer).

Here's the tracklist: Apricot Brandy/High Flyin' Mama/Christine I, II/All I Needed/Childhood's Hour/Man Is Dead/In My Own & Secret Way

And here's the music (reupped on mediafire).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Smokey & His Sister - ST (1967)

I mentioned this one a few weeks back when I posted the St. George & Tana record. If you liked that one you should like this as well. Smokey (presumably his sister as well) came from Cincinnati, OH--he met Dylan after a concert there in 1965 and decided to become a folk singer (at least according to the Fuzz, Acid & Flowers book). In 1966 he and his sister Viki moved to Greenwich Village, which a year or two earlier would have been the place to be (the fact that at least 2 of the songs on this album are about how much cooler it is on the West Coast bear this out). They had a single and then this one lp which came out on Warner Brothers--it features some nice orchestral arrangements and Smokey & Sis harmonizing--sweet stuff overall.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rabbit Mackay - Bug Cloth (1968)

Once again I present an artist about whom I know very little. I wish I has the time and resources to research some of the albums I post here but I don't so I'm limited to what I can pull from a couple reference books & off the net. I can however recommend this record by Rabbit Mackay & his Somis Rhythm Band to fans of 60's psych-folk-rock-blues obscurities. It was released on the Uni label in 1968. The music is pretty varied with a few rockers and a couple tracks that feature harpsichord. Candy is a blues-stomp that veers into garage rock, while Hard Time Woman sounds more like a Holy Modal Rounders blues outing. Big Sur & John's Lament are gentle psych-folk numbers. Baby Jennifer is in the angry folk singer gets back at old girlfriend genre. West Grogan Dormitory Blues is a more rockin' but similarly-themed number with plenty of snottiness in the vocals. Cool stuff overall. Rabbit is apparently alive and hopefully well and living in California. He was still performing circa 2005, when he had a track on the La Conchita Remember... compilation put together to raise money for mudslide victims.

You can hear this record here (reposted, again).

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Rainbow Band - ST (1971)

Not to be confused with the Danish band of the same name, this Rainbow Band was an American outfit that released one record on Elektra back in 1971. It never ceases to amaze me that there was a time when major labels put out really good records (technically Elektra was a major at this point, having been sold to Warner in 1970). This album appears in the Elektra catalog between the intriguing Crow Dog's Paradise' album of peyote songs & Mike Heron's fantastic Smiling Men With Bad Reputations record. So why all this talk about the Elektra catalog? Well, to be honest, it's because I know very little about the group that put together this very cool slice of rural, commune psych. I can give you a tracklist:
1. Rama Rama
2. Lotus
3. Sweater Song
4. Simple Song
5. Midnight Sun
6. Song of the Navajo
7. Now is the Time
And I can tell you who participated in the recording (although not what they did):
Mahesh, Pavarthi, Maruga Booker, Nithyan Gefron, Scotty Avedisian, Phil Catanzaro, Ragunath Mancini, Trevor Young, Gary Olerich, Darius Brubeck, Colin Wolcott, Nirmala, Sharon Simon, Lalitha, Janiki Tenny, Priscilla, Victoria, Felix, Anandi, & Shiva.
Some of the names are familiar. Colin Wolcott was a founding member of the group Oregon. Darius Brubeck, a jazz performer in his own right, is Dave Brubeck's son. Shiva is the "One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name" in Hinduism--Ok, perhaps it's not the same Shiva. However, I can't say anything about the duo who fronted the outfit except that they look blissed out on the cover. This record also comes from the WMUC library--I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lynn Blessing - Sunset Painter(1969)

I promised weekly posts, so even though I'm incredibly overworked this weekend here you go. Just don't expect a lot of commentary--perhaps I'll add more at a later date.

Blessing was (he passed away, sadly, in 1994) a jazz & rock vibist who played in Advancement and the Cosmic Brotherhood as well as appearing on some Gabor Szabo releases. The album is almost entirely instrumental & features some cool covers (the Who, Judee Sill, Dylan, Beatles, Byrds) & nice originals too. A mellow 60s vibe that moves between jazz & rock without commiting to either & without falling into the lounge category. Enjoy it reposted HERE.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jim Pepper - Pepper's Pow Wow (1971)

First off, this isn't my rip--it's another newsgroup grab. I wish I had kept track of the name of the poster but whoever he/she was he/she has my eternal thanks. This is a great record. It's criminal that it isn't available on CD--one online discography for Jim Pepper mentions a private label CD but I have been unable to find any further info & I believe that it was a bootleg recording.

Today Pepper may be better known among fusion jazz afficianados than fans of pop music who if anything only know his oft-covered hit "Witchi-Tai-To," a peyote chant Jim learned from his grandfather. A number of the other songs on this record are credited to his father, Gilbert (Gil) who plays on this records. So this is record that reflects (at least) three generations of musical input--really it reflects a lot longer tradition. Pepper was an American Indian--if you couldn't guess from listening to the record--his father was a Kaw and his mother a Creek. And this record is still, in IMHO, the finest fusion of American Indian musical traditions with other American musical styles. Pepper's first recording was as a member of the pioneer jazz-rock band (I hestitate to call them fusion) the Free Spirits. He also performed on a couple of rock records, Sandy Hurvitz's album and a single Fugs track, but most of his work was decidely jazz. He played tenor sax and flute with Don Cherry, Paul Motian, Larry Coryell, Bill Frisell, Mal Waldron & Charlie Haden among others (both as a leader & a sideman) and many of those recordings are in print. He has a fine full-bodied tone on the sax (which you can also hear on this record, which is now available on CD (and hence no longer available on this site).

Pepper's Pow Wow is an album that's harder to pidgeonhole. There's some jazz here and music that's in a Native American tradition but there's also more than a little pop, rock, gospel & soul going into it. It's one of those records that really defies genre but in a way that makes in appealing to fans of all the aforementioned styles. It is also one of the most uplifting records I've ever heard in spite of addressing subjects like America's genocidal campaigns against Native peoples and the continued racism against the American Indian. Overall it's just an exceptional album.

Jim Pepper passed away Feb 10, 1992 in Oregon, the state where he was born and raised. May he rest in peace. There is plenty of information available about him on the Web and there was a documentary about him a few years back. There's also a fine discography available from which the following information was taken. Note that the tracklist doesn't exactly match the rip I'm providing--I believe it's because 2 of the Witchi-Tai-To tracks are combined in these files.

1. Witchi-Tai-To [chant 1] (Kaw traditional)
2. Witchi-Tai-To [song] (J. Pepper)
3. Witchi-Tai-To [chant 2]
4. Squaw Song (Gilbert Pepper)
5. Rock Stomp Indian Style (G. Pepper)
6. Senecas (Peter LaFarge)
7. Yon A Ho (G. Pepper)
8. Slow War Dance (G. Pepper)
9. Nommie-Nommie (Charles Gabriel/J.M. Black)
10. Newly-Weds Song (G. Pepper)
11. Fast War Dance (G. Pepper)
12. Now War Dance (G. Pepper)
13. Drums (LaFarge)
Rec. 1971, Apostolic Studios, New York
Jim Pepper, voice, tenor and soprano saxophone, percussion; Gil Pepper, voice, percussion; Ravie Pepper, flute, voice, percussion; Larry Coryell, electric guitar; Tom Grant, piano, voice, percussion; Chuck Rainey, electric bass on 1, 4, 8, 9; Jerry Jemmott, electric bass on 2, 5, 10; Billy Cobham, drums on 1, 4, 8, 9; Spider Rice, drums on 2, 5, 7, 10

Friday, October 06, 2006

An Update & A Promise of More Music on Its Way

My month off from blogging has passed quickly. Expect a new record this weekend. After that, I've got weekly posts lined up for October & November & at least half of Decemeber. Also, I try to stay on top of my links (removing dead ones & adding new ones) but it isn't easy to keep up with so many blogs (& I've only linked to the ones I like--I've found a lot more), so if you see a blog that's been down for more than a couple months let me know. I do make an exception for blogs that have moved to a new location but leave their archives on the original site, so no need to mention those.

I do have a question concerning which sharing service people prefer. I've had complaints about a few of the ones I've tried but r****share (the preffered service for bloggers) also has a lot of problems, not the least of which is their willingness to remove posts without question. Let me know what you prefer (perhaps I can set up an online poll).

During my hiatus I was happy to receive some emails from David Stoughton. He OKed my posting of the 1st one & so I'll put it up for your edification:

You might be interested to know that your blog made "GoogleAlerts" today. The eponymous David Stoughton is still alive, silly and pretentious.

Your preference for the more outrageous pieces is shared by a lot of weird people (my kind of people) who have a taste for the outrageous stuff we were able to get away with in the late '60s.

As you suggest, a number of CD re-issuers have tried to get the rights to Transformer, but are unable to for the reasons you state.

I was recently contacted by Elektra U.K. (Rhino) that they are putting out a boxed-set CD package of "The Holzman Years" at Elektra, and are including "The Sun Comes Up Each Day," from Transformer. Personally, I'd have preferred something more radical. But nobody asked for my input. At least they invited me to write some notes for the reissue, regarding what life was like back then in the music biz.

It was a hell of a lot cooler than it is now, that's for sure. The music (Beatles, Hendrix, et al.) was cooler, too.

Needless to say, I was a little embarassed by my "silly and pretentious" comment and after thinking about it I wish I had said a few more positive things about the record as well. As I mentioned to him, I find the Beatles silly & pretentious at times too. I do appreciate though his willingness to experiment (& on a major label debut)--he could have made a safer record that would have sold better--but he took chances and that makes his a record worth listening to years later. I'm glad to hear he's still around and seems to be doing well.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Cake - A Slice Of Cake (1968)

UPDATE: I received notice from Eleanor Barooshian (aka Chelsea Lee) that The remaining 2 members of The Cake will be performing in NY City at the B.B. KING LOUNGE on 11/27/06 as part of a tribute concert for Jimi Hendrix.

Here's another group that should be better known than they are. The Cake put out two remarkable records that stretched the concept of the "girl group" sound into the realms of baroque pop and psychedelia. Their 1st effort, Cake, was already posted at the Palestinian Light Orchestra blog. I presented here their second and I believe better outing. I say better because I find it a more consistent release. The 1st album has some excellent songs but as some reviewers have noted it sounds like it was recorded by three different groups. On A Slice Of Cake, the Cake composed almost all the songs themselves (with the exception of the opening track, a nice r&b medley & a trippy Dr. John number) and the music is more consistently original in its arrangements and delivery.

The three members of the Cake (Jeanette Jacobs, Barbara Morillo and Eleanor Barooshian--the order they appear in the photo above) formed in NYC in 1966. After the band's break-up, Eleanor Barooshian (now Chelsea Lee) and Jeanette Jacobs sang back-up for Dr. John in his Nightripper period and Ginger Baker's Airforce. Ms. Jacobs also appeared on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland album. Barbara Morillo continued to perform in a number of rock and jazz groups and released a CD as Barbara Morillo & Shrine in 2004. Eleanor Barooshian aka Chelsea Lee also has some music projects in the works (see her blog) and started a Cake Web site--it doesn't contain much info on the group but she does seem open to emailed questions. Sadly, Jeanette Jacobs passed away in 1982.

Here's a tracklist:

  1. Have You Heard the News About Miss Molly? 2:44
  2. P.T. 280 2:15
  3. Sadie 2:26
  4. Tides of Time 2:09
  5. Walkin' the Dog/Something's Got a Hold on Me/Big Boy Pete 4:08
  6. Extroverted Introvert 2:26
  7. Under the Tree of Love and Laughter 1:15
  8. Annabelle Clark 3:10
  9. Who Will Wear the Crown 2:00
  10. Island of Plenty 2:45

Both the Cake albums are now available on CD from Rev-Ola and so are no lonver available on this blog.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

David Stoughton - Transformer (1968)

I don’t know where he came from and I don’t know where he’s gone, but David Stoughton made one weird and arty psychedelic record for Elektra records back in 1968: Transformer (available here).

This is definitely Stoughton’s show. In addition to performing, he wrote the songs and produced the sucker. Some pieces are songs, sort of in late-period Tim Buckley style (but missing Buckley’s vocal skills & songwriting ability) while others are weirder experiments in sound collage (The Anecdote of Horatio and Julie) or extended semi-classical psychedelic (or is it semi-psychedelic classical) concertos (I Don't Know If It's You). Personally, I prefer these more experimental pieces—his other songs, lyrically at least, generally seem a little silly and/or pretentious (a bad combination).

As always, this record is unavailable on CD and is unlikely to appear in that form any time soon. Polygram owns the rights to the recordings and have no interest in releasing it on CD in spite of requests by fans. They also, from what I have read, appear to be asking an exorbitant amount for other labels to issue it and because we’re talking about a major label it’s unlikely anyone will put a copy without securing the rights. Unfortunately major labels are only interested in a recording if it will make lots of money but remain paranoid about keeping the rights to any recording they have, so if you want to get this album you’ll have to search ebay, etc. for a used copy (which can run anywhere from $10 to $60). Again, props to the WMUC record library.

Tracklist and performers below

1 The Sun Comes up Each Day - 3:59
2 The Summer Had No Breeze - 5:10
3 The Anecdote of Horatio and Julie - 8:00
4 Saving for a Rainy Day - 4:51
5 Evening Song - 4:25
6 I Don't Know If It's You - 10:00

Peter Chapman - horns (1968)
Devi Klate - vocals (1968)
Joe Livols - drums (1968)
Mal Mackenzie - bass (1968)
John Nicholls - vocals (1968)
David Stoughton - vocals, guitar (1968)
Steve Tanzer - flute, piccolo (1968)

I’ll try to get another post in next week, but after that I’m off for the rest of September but you’ll find tons of great music in the sites linked over on the right side of the page (that’s your right, not mine).

Friday, August 18, 2006

Disco Muppet Double Feature

This post if a first for me in a number of ways. It's my first request (from my lovely wife). It's the first time I've posted 2 albums at once. It's the first (and second) time I've posted records that weren't my rip (thanks to the anonymous newsgroup poster). It's the 1st post performed by celebrities. The 1st post performed by puppets (or muppets to be more exact). I could go on. All that said, these are 2 albums that should never have been allowed to go out-of-print even if disco is dead (and I'm pretty sure it isn't, it was just sleeping).

First let me say that these records do not represent some celebrity attempt to cash in on the latest popular culture trend. The muppets were made to disco. Offstage (and sometimes on) they embraced a hedonistic, devil-may-care attitude that said dance the night away and worry about tomorrow when it comes (just be careful you don't drop your cookie). And as Eugene Chadbourne said in his Sesame Street Disco review on All Music Guide, "Nobody looks better in disco duds than Bert and Grover..."

Sesame Street Fever, the first Muppet disco album, was released in 1978 by the Children's Television Workship. The LA weekly says it had "the best album cover ever" and they may be right. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees guest stars but to me Cookie Monster is the real star (on both of these albums). The 2nd record Sesame Street Disco came in 1979 and may be even better than the 1st (although the cover isn't as good)--it certainly features the best song here, Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco. It's more poignant than any song of lost love when Cookie Monster sings "Me lost me cookie at the disco...Me lost me cookie to the boogie music."

Here's the tracklists for the 2 records:

Sesame Street Fever (1978)
1. Sesame Street Fever
2. Doin' The Pigeon
3. Rubber Duckie
4. Trash
5. C Is For Cookie/Has Anybody Seen My Dog?

Sesame Street Disco (1979)
1. What Makes Music?
2. Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco
3. The Happiest Street In the World
4. Sing
5. Disco Frog
6. Doin' the Trash/Bein' Green

If you're interested in seeing the rest of the Sesame Street discography go here. This discography doesn't mention any CD releases for these 2 records but I read one site that claims there was a Sesame Street Disco CD--I haven't been able to find one for sale though (perhaps it was a bootleg). If this was the case, though, I can pull down that release since I've posted the 2 lps seperately (& not on Sendspace this time). Here's Sesame Street Fever and Sesame Street Disco. I almost forgot, if you want to see Kermit's video for Disco Frog it's available on Youtube here.

Next week a return to more usual fare with David Stoughton's Transformer album. After that, a few weeks vacation to be followed by some more great music.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Serfs - The Early Bird Cafe (1969)

Originally from Kansas, the Serfs were a fine soul-rock band who occassionally branched out into jazz (check their cover of Miles Davis' All Blue here) and blues. They issued this single album on Capitol in 1969 and there was one single from it. A few of the members also performed on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland lp. There's already a pretty good bio (with photos) on the Web here so I won't bother repeating it all. In addition to the Miles Davis cover they also do fine interpretations of Dylan (Like a Rolling Stone) & the Spencer Davis Group (I'm a Man). The rest of the numbers are all originals. They're a tight band, perhaps with a little too much horn work for some tastes. Not as funky as the Africa record I posted earlier but still doing a fine job of melding 60s-rock, soul & jazz influences into a cohesive & entertaining release. As always, this album isn't available on CD but you should be able to pick up a copy used for $15 to $25 range. Enjoy it reposted here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

You can comment now!

I was just informed that it's been impossible for anyone to leave comments on the blog--so no wonder my requests have gone unanswered. The problem has been corrected & I look forward to your comments & requests.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

St. George & Tana - Is Now! (1967)

I was intending on posting the soundtrack to the 1969 exploitation flick, Angel, Angel Down We Go. A great soundtrack that I had just ripped. But on investigating further I found it was alread up at the 7 Black Notes blog (a great blog with many cool soundtracks for your entertainment). My philosophy is that there's no point duplicating efforts so I dug up this obscure folk-pop gem instead.

I can't tell you much about St. George or Tana or their sole lp release. They did but out a great record that reminds me of Jim & Jean (hopefully that reference isn't too obscure to be of help) or Smokey & His Sister (and even more obscure duo, who's album I may post sometime). Just listen & enjoy some pleasant vocal harmonies, slightly psychedelic moods, and some jangly guitars all right here at an updated link.

Comments, as always are welcome. I don't want to sound desperate here but I haven't gotten one yet. I was happy to see though that my Harry Matusow rip got a repost at the WFMU blog.

P.S., Got a better cover image. The cover (still) isn't included in the file I posted.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Kathe Green - Run the Length of Your Wildness (1969)

Another busy week so another short post... This is a record I think should be better known especially with increased interest in psych-pop/sunshine pop from recent years. OK the cover doesn't looks very sunshiney and it's true that there is a dark quality to some of the songs but I think that just adds to the appeal for me. The orchestrations backing Ms. Green's vocals are grade A and that may be due in part to the producer Wayne Bickerton who was the house producer at Deram records for many years. My favorite track is Primrose Hill--an upbeat, unabashedly pop number with a rousing orchestral finish. From what I could gather Kathe Green had a small part in Peter Sellers' The Party & sang the title song for Die Screaming Marianne. She is the Kathe Green who sang on the Up With People record (which I may post some day). If you have anymore information, want to say hello, or would like to make a request please leave a comment.

You can now hear the music on a new CD from Rev-Ola & so it is no longer available here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Morganmasondowns - ST (1970)

I don't have a lot to say this week.

Morganmasondowns is a band I know almost nothing about. They produced, however, a fine album of American hippie folk-rock with certain pop and psych inflections. The trio (Morgan, Mason & Downs—get it) of 1 woman and 2 men have some very nice vocal harmonies and songs about flowers and fairs and the rotating earth. The record was produced by Allan Nicholls who I believe is responsible for a number of Robert Altman soundtracks (although not my favorite one, Short Cuts).

Here’s a tracklist:
1) Heather Morning (4:12)
2) Home (3:49)
3) Knowing (3:10)
4) Come With Me (3:50)
5) Time Is at Hand (4:37)
6) Daffodil (3:40)
7) Ah, the World Goes Round (2:40)
8) Sea Song (2:30)
9) Listen to the Time (3:39)
10) Day of the Fair (2:57)
11) Lullabye (3:07)

Here’s the music.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bobby Jameson - Working (1969)

By request, here's Bobby Jameson's 1969 album Working (released on GRT Records & sadly unavailable on CD). The blog, Palestinian Light Orchestra, recently posted his 1967 album Color Him In and his 1st album, recorded under the name Chris Lucey (Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest) is available on CD from Rev-Ola. Of the 3, the Chris Lucey release is my favorite but all of them are worth a listen--in fact repeated listens.

I'm a little pressed for time so I'll just clue you in to a few good links. If you want a bio, there's one here. The photo above, of Bobby singing Vietnam!, is nicked from a fine Frank Zappa Web site, which also has some good biographical info & the most complete discography I've seen.

Here's s tracklist & list of performers for the Working album lifted from this The Band Web site:

1. Palo Alto (Jameson,R. P.)
2. Norwegian Wood (Lennon,John/McCartney,Paul)
3. I'll Be Your Baby (Dylan,Bob)
4. The Weight (Robertson,Robbie)
5. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Dylan,Bob)
6. Gentle on My Mind (Hartford,John)
7. Broken Windows (Jameson,R. P.)
8. Singing the Blues (Endsley,M.)
9. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby (Reed,Jimmy)
10. Bout Being Young (Jameson,R. P.)

The players:

Ray Kelley, strings
James Burton, dobro
Mike Deasy, guitar
Red Rhodes, steel guitar
Bobby Jameson, piano
Israel Baker, strings
Ben Benay, guitar/harmonica/arranger
Fred Borkgren, engineer
Bobby Bruce, strings
Roy Catron, horn
Steve Clark, producer
Harold Dickrow, strings
Jesse Ehrlich, strings
Sid Feller, arranger
Toxey French, drums
Nathan Gershman, strings
Jerry Grant
Michael Henderson, arranger
Jim Horn
Richard Hyde
Armand Kaproff, strings
Bill Krudsch, strings
Leonard Malarsky, strings
Ollie Mitchell, horn
Jerry Scheff, bass
Sid Sharp, strings
Tibor Zelig, strings

A great record--once again from the WMUC archives.

Because a number of blogs have been having problems with R-----share removing their posts I've decided to try a different service. I'm not particularly afraid people will want to remove the obscure lp releases I'm posting here but R----share deserves a boycott by bloggers everywhere.

I've also switched back to compressing the files with RAR--if anyone prefers ZIP they can leave a comment. Finally, speaking of comments, if you like the music posted here or have a request for something that's unavailable on cd, please leave one. Some comments would make me happy. Oh, the music is HERE (reposted).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Africa - Music From Lil' Brown (1968)

There's some very soulful psychedelia--or is it psychedelic soul--on this slab of vinyl. From the opening of the 1st song (Paint It Back) this is clearly a keeper--the song starts with some Latin percussion (nice set of congas) & a few well placed guitar chords. Then it adds a soulful electric guitar to carry the melody, a bass break, some weird laughing & what sound like a guy popping his mouth with his finger. There are a few vocal snippets (some seem to be in Spanish but I can't really tell since they're not all that clear). Later you do get some other vocals that are clearly distinguishable in the mix: some of the nah-nah-nah chorus, a "paint it black" chant, someone singing about being "out of my mind," a bit of the rest of the chorus ("I see a red door..."), and the some signing ("the old lady sure looks good to me") that I'm pretty sure belongs to another song (although I can't recall the name of it at the moment). Really though it's the instruments that carry the song--all very laid back and hip and both soulful and trippy. The rest of the record doesn't disappoint although Paint it Black remains my favorite track. You also get covers of Light my Fire and a Louie-Louie/Ode to Billy Joe medley that really hits the spot. Some cool orginals as well: a soulful Here I Stand & the funky Widow. Throughout there's plenty of cool rhythm breaks and some fine guitar work.

You may have noticed that artwork & title reference The Band's Music From Big Pink but it does seem the Lil' Brown was a real place. Group member Rip Spencer notes (in an article on the Valiants, linked below), "We used to rehearse at Gary Pipkin's house and he had this little brown shack, a playhouse in the back yard, for his kids."

The core group of Africa started their music career as members of the doo-wop band the Valiants--there's a great history of their various transformations available on the Web here.

This album was produced by Lou Adler and released on Ode records (a subsidiary of Columbia). It was, unfortunately, their only release. However, a second album's worth of material was recorded for MGM but never issued--another music industry crime since if it's half as good as this I'd rush out and buy a copy. You can't get this album on CD (another crime) but you can download it here.

Next week I'll be posting Bobby Jameson' Working album from 1968, which was requested by TBA on his/her great blog: Palestinian Light Orchestra

In coming weeks I'll also be posting the soundtrack to Angel, Angel Down We Go & Kathe Green's Run the Length of Your Wildness. I'm trying to keep a steady pace of 1 record a week so as not to burnout. If you like what you hear or have any requests please leave a comment.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

George Stavis - Morning Mood (1986)

OK--I had a nice post with links and commentary and the computer froze & it was lost--so here's the abbreviated version--in the future I write the posts 1st and then paste them in here.

I should start by noting that this is certainly not George Stavis' best work. I loved George Stavis 1st solo album, Labyrinths (originally released on Vanguard and available on CD from Arkama). If you don't have it run out & get a copy. Robert Christgau said about it, "I don't know much about Oriental-influence banjo music, but I know what I like." I'm not a big fan of Christgau's but I also know what I like and I liked that album. Stavis' banjo improv on that 1st album rivals the guitar work of John Fahey and Sandy Bull from the same era.

Stavis' groups efforts are also well worth further investigation. He was the best part of 60's rock band, Federal Duck (their album is available on CD from Radioactive Records out of the UK) and was also in the group Oganookie (which I haven't heard but have heard good thing about)--both prior to recording his Labyrinths album.

Which bring us to this album, Morning Mood, released on Aspen records in 1986. Unfortunately this gets labelled a "new age" record sometimes. I also saw it once described as "Windham Hillbilly"--a witty but not quite fair description. In fact its more of a modern bluegrass outing reminiscent of some of Bela Fleck's work. While those expecting a sequel to Labyrinths will be disappointed, the record still has some bright moments: his new version of Finland (a song he first recorded on Labyrinths) & the track Goblins stand out. A lot of the rest of the record is more straight-forward bluegrass with some jazz and even classical elements.

So given my own ambivalence about the record, why post it? Well to help completists and fans of Stavis' other work hear a rarely heard record without having to shell out $10 to pick up a copy on ebay. Also, in spite of the fact that the material here is not as interesting as his Labyrinths release, Stavis is still an excellent banjo player and fans of the instrument and of bluegrass will probably find something to like REPOSTED HERE.

The other performers on Morning Mood: Darol Anger, Alex de Grassi, Miker Marshall, Stan Poplin & Bob Stern.

The music is ripped from lp (with some noise reduction/click removal) at 224kbps. Again, from the WMUC music library.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Harvey Matusow's Jew's Harp Band - War Between Fats and Thins (1969)

In the world of music Harvey Matusow may best be known as the man who testified that 3 of the 4 Weavers (the 1940s-50s folk group) were members of the Communist Party, resulting in their being blacklisted and slowing an otherwise soaring career. He later apologized to Pete Seeger for it. The apology was accepted.

Matusow also recorded this twisted piece of vinyl in 1969 while in exile in England. Supposedly the group was on LSD at the time and I can believe it. This record certainly fits my definition of psychedelic music but does not have a lot in common with your typical psych band. For one thing there are no electric guitars or drums or keyboards--instead you have a variety of Jew's Harps (referred to sometimes today as Jaw Harps to be more PC), a few odd percussion instruments (but NO DRUMS!), and vocals (typically spoken). Matusow plays the alto tenor Jew's harp. The group also features Leslie Kenton, the daughter of jazz legend Stan Kenton, on vocals and metronome; Claude Lintot, who was 79 at the time of the recording, on auto Jew's harp [?]; Anna Lockwood (aka Annea Lockwood--more on her below) on acoustic guitar and bells; Rod Parsons on a variety of Jew's harps and bass; and Chris Yak on a variety of Jew's harps but not bass. The vocals consist of stream-of-consciousness storytelling, some nice chanting (check out Afghan Red), and a couple personal ancedotes (such as one about the day Matusow was released from prison).

The album was recorded in England. The band's single (Afghan Red b/w Wet Socks) was the fourth and final one released on John Curd's Head label. The album was also initially released on that label and then released in the US on Chess Records (yes that Chess Records).

Selections from Harvey Matusow's autobiography are available online ( detailing his involvement in the Communist Party & the early folk-song revival movement, his work as FBI spy (informing on folk singers & labor organizers among others), his work for Senator Joseph McCarthy, his joining the Mormon church, his recantation of his testimony against the Reds, his leaving the Mormon church, his babysitting for Jason Robards, his going to prison for perjury (where he got to know Willhelm Reich and Frank Costello), his involvement with the beat scene, his working for the East Village Other, his meeting Timothy Leary & taking LSD, his turning Bobby Kennedy onto acid, his hanging out with Dick Gregory at the Improv in NY, his making movies with Yoko Ono (and involvement with the Fluxus group), and his writing a book on the dangers of computers (which also details some early hacking techniques)--all of this before he made this, his first album. His subsequent musical works were either meditative music or children's records. After recording the album, he returned to the US, rejoined the Mormon church, became Cockyboo the Clown and hosted a public access tv show in Utah (the Magic Mouse Show, which was the first American program to feature an appearance by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama) among other things.

Matusow's biography, odd as it is, may also be a bit self-serving so if you want a more critical perspective there is also an online commentary on his obituary here.

If you want to hear more of Harvey Job Matusow's voice, there is an online interview with Harvey & cellist Charlotte Moorman here.

One curious side note--I believe these are the first recordings to feature avant-garde composer Annea Lockwood. Her Glass World record is a fantastic exploration of the sound possibilities of glass instruments and her album Thousand Year Dreaming, a musical response to the cave paintings at Lascaux, is one of my favorite "ambient soundscape" recordings. If you want to hear some more of her work, there is a live recording of her with Thomas Buckner here and another recording under the name Anna Lockwood [I think it's the smae person based on the music] here.

Again, a record from the WMUC vaults. As before the music is loaded as a ZIP rather than an RAR file since I heard that Mac user's have trouble with the latter. The files are coded at 224k. Available here


Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the links

No, I'm not into golf. I just thought a comment about the blog links was in order. I've tried to be both comprehensive and selective here. Since I like all kinds of music, you will find links to all kinds of blogs--as long as they share music & share good music (defined as music I would download). When the blog shares singles or select songs, I've identified that fact by noting that its "not lps." I've also avoided blogs that share mixes--no matter how good--for purely arbitrary reasons. Finally, I tried to only include blogs that are being updated or look like they may still be updated (e.g., if the blogger noted that they were taking a vacation)--I made an exception to that rule for blogs that have overflowed one site and started again on another so you can see their past posts. I will continue to update the list and if your blog is linked I would appreciate a return link.

Expect another music post tomorrow.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Just Vandy

Well I'm starting with a bang (even if no one notices it yet)--here's the 2nd post in 2 days--expect the whimper to follow. Vandy is a really fine acid-folk female vocalist--nothing too complex but very well executed. The album Just Vandy is on the Eleventh Hour label and came out in 1972. Beyond that there's not much I can tell you except that this is a record that should be better known. She picks some great traditional material (e.g., Gypsy Rover, Wayfaring Stranger) and some nice newer stuff as well. Here's a track list:
1. Vandy - Gypsy Rover
2. Vandy - Wishing Well
3. Vandy - If I Were a Carpenter
4. Vandy - Carolina on My Mind
5. Vandy - Here I Am
6. Vandy - Closer
7. Vandy - Dona Dona
8. Vandy - Where
9. Vandy - Wayfaring Stranger
10. Vandy - Greensleeves

Again this one is from the WMUC record library. Ripped at 192k with light declicking & noise removal. ARTWORK now posted. Reposted here.

Enjoy! Coming soon George Stavis' 1986 lp Morning Mood (his 60s album, Labyrinths is a classic & is available on CD) & Harvey Matusow's Jew's Harp Band from 1969.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston and His Mystic Knights Band and Street Singers - Moldy Goldies (1966)

I'm still working on posting my links but decided to get this up first. I listen to all kinds of music--and I mean all kinds--so you will see links for jazz blogs, psych blogs, bossa nova blogs, etc. here. For my first post I wanted something that everyone might dislike equally (although there are probably some perverse souls out there who will really like this). This is a record of half-assed covers of some 60s hits with bad singing and bizarre instrumentation (a lot of kazoo on this one)--sort of the Mrs. Miller of rock bands. Most of the people involved in the record wouldn't even put their real names on it. One exception is Charlie McCoy who is an ace harmonica player with a couple albums of his own. The band list is as follows:

Mac Gayden (Guitar), Col. Jubilation B. Johnson (Main Performer), Brenton Banks (Violin), Wayne Butler (Trombone), Kenneth A. Buttrey (Drums), Kenneth A. Buttrey (Tambourine), Kenneth A. Buttrey (Bottle), Henry Strzelecki (Bass), Henry Strzelecki (Mouth Organ), Charlie McCoy (Guitar), Charlie McCoy (Harmonica), Charlie McCoy (Trumpet), Charlie McCoy (Bottle), Jerry Smith (Piano), Norma Jean Owen (Vocals), O.X. Bellyman (Tuba), Montezuma Lovechild (Percussion), Juilation Johnston (Sousaphone), Juilation Johnston (Bandleader), Sir Wallace Bile (Dancer), Swine Halbstarker (Violin), Tonto Levine (Wind Instruments), Taps Tidwell (Trumpet), Hargus Robins (Piano), Hargus Robins (Bottle), Durl Glin (Tambourine), Durl Glin (Vocals), Princess La Mar Fike (Vocals), Tummy "Mole" Hill (Vocals), Mortuary Thomasson (Engineer)

Hope that helps. And I hope you enjoy the Col. Jubilation experience. The record is at 192k and was recorded & declicked (sparingly) using Cool Edit. Sorry but there's no artwork.

Listen HERE (finally reposted, sorry about the delay!).

Well it seems like everyone else is doing it...

I must have links on my computer for over 100 music blogs by now--I'll post the best ones here as soon as I figure out how--so I thought it might be time to try my hand at it. I don't have much time (fulltime job, unfinished disseratation, newborn baby, etc.) but will try to get some good music up in a quick and (probably) sloppy fashion. I hope to post original vinyl rips of music not available on CD and perhaps the occassional rare/out of print CD as well. The music will be available for a limited time and if you are the performer or copyright holder I am happy to take down the links if you request. The music will be in MP3 format with bitrates of 192 or higher.

I expect the first post within a day or so. I'm thinking Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston and His Mystic Knights Band and Street Singers Moldy Goldies album put out on Columbia records in 1966. This, like many of the vinyl rips I'm going to post, comes from the WMUC record library--that's the University of Maryland's station in College Park, Maryland--10 watts of free-form radio. I'm an occassional dj there & one of the record librarians. You can listen online to the what's currently playing on WMUC and to the past weeks programing if you're interested. I haven't djed there in a while & probably won't for a while longer (fulltime job, unfinished disseratation, newborn baby, etc.) but they have many a fine program.

Take care all & enjoy the music when it arrives,