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.

12 comments:

spacedsaviour said...

this is a top album thats been lost in time for too long...xcellent stuff

Soidemersol said...

I frequently download music from your blog, and I wondered if you'd add my blog on your links area. it's focused on experimental music - http://cagedream.blogspot.com - mostly full discographies. we could exchange links.

thanks in advance,
eduardo

eduardo_haddad_jr@hotmail.com

Max said...

Hey Eduardo,
You're actually already in my links--they're not in alphabetical order (just grouped by 1st letter) so you may have missed it.

Max said...

Spaced,
Thanks--glad you enjoy it.

polsapene said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
polsapene said...

Thanks for the much needed comment. It's tough going blogging in a vacuum!

heather said...

Max! This is very cool.

Dee said...

Just grabbed the download, what a treat. I haven't heard this in 30 years! This will put some smiles on some faces for sure. Mahalo!

Anonymous said...

I was one of those lucky guys who bought this one soon after it was relaesed. My old copy is still there, although not in my own possession. Can't understand why it has not (yet) been rereleased as a CD - with or without extra's. A formidable collector's item in the tradition of Electric Flag, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Ars Nova. Don't hesitate if you can score a copy; 50 minutes of assorted songs, from Bob Dylan (Like a rolling stone) to Miles Davis (All Blues) and from the '30's up to post-Beatles. Funny and heavy, hard core and light footed.

F.N., Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Two bands I played drums in played at a Chicago club (Barnaby's) that the Serfs played at all the time. I became friends with the band, and the first time I heard this record, Mike and Kenny (drummer), played it for me in their hotel room at the Ohio East. The Serfs were an amazing, honest, funky band live. It was that evening that Finnigan told me the story of Hendrix dragging them into the next studio to record on Electric Ladyland. As drummer with The Shadows of Knight, I found myself in that same studio a year later, doing our 5th album, also with Serfs producer, Tom Wilson. Mike and I spoke through e-mail a few days ago, and his spirits are good. What a great talent, and gentleman. I have to hook the turntable up again and play my copy of Early Bird Cafe. Regards, Paul Scarpelli.

Max said...

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the personal stories about the band & thanks also for some great Shadows of Knight records!
Max

Anonymous said...

One of the great unheard records of the '60's although kids in Kansas knew all about it. Also see if you can listen to Crazed Hipsters by Finnigan & Wood and The Jerry Hahn Brotherhod.