Monday, December 24, 2007

Yanoska - Yanoska (1969)

The 1st, eponymous record from Michael Yanoska was released on the Epic label on 1969 and has remained out-of-print since that initial edition. It's a fine record of period folk-rock with some nice melodies played well and pleasing (if not ground-breaking) lyrics sung with conviction and, at times, good humor.

Yanoska had previously recorded an lp as part of the Towne Hall Trio and has released a number of other records since the mid-90s. You can get his newest release from CD Baby here.

Here's the tracklist for this one:
Side A
1.May First
2.23 Years and Back
3.Somethin' I Can't Explain
4.California Sundown Queen
6.To the Castle of Lord Tim
Side B
7.Don't Say Goodbye
8.Annette's Song
9.Go Down East
10.Today I Wrote a Song

Listen to this record here.

For those of you who don't read through the comments...

John Campos, St. George from St. George & Tana, has posted some of his newer musical compositions on Youtube accompanying some bike racing footage.

Sundazed Records has released the first, previously unissued record from Smokey & His Sister--an excellent set of songs as good as the one posted here.

Stay tuned for at least 1 (maybe 2) new posts in January--next up is John Wood's Turn of the Century record released on Ranwood Records.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cook E. Jarr - Pledging My Love (1969)

I had intended to rip and post this some time ago but just recently found another, quality rip (thanks to the great Tamara from the 1960s binaries news group) and decided I would post that rather than going another week without a post.
Cook E. Jarr's first album is a pleasant and at times soulful slice of pop music with full orchestral arrangments and occasional choruses. It may sound a bit overproduced to contemporary ears but Mr. Jarr sings it with feeling and generally has fun with the material. He also makes a fine selection of songs to cover including FOUR Tim Hardin compositions (his version of Red Balloon is my favorite track on the album) and versions of Knock on Wood, Pledging My Love, Do You Believe in Magic, and the title cut.
Cook E. Jarr currently resides in Las Vegas where he has a popular lounge act and the same haircut he featured on the cover of this album. He has two more recent CDs available on his Web site. Next time you're in Vegas you should check him out and if you like this give his new CDs Almost Grown & Old School, New School a listen.
You can hear this album here.
I will be back with one more post this month (the self-titled Epic records release from Yanoska) to keep up the new twice a month schedule. I'm also making an attempt to update the links list & have tracked down a number of great, new blogs to add there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Arthur Miller & all the Little Millers - Hanging out and Settling Down (1971)

This is not a record by the famed American playwright, even though All Music Guide apparently believes it is (they list it as a spoken word record, which is also incorrect). This Arthur Miler is a graduate of the Ethical Culture School and Oberlin college, an actor, a filmmaker, and a hippie (according to the liner notes of the record). He was also apparently a father, brother & husband (thus the appearance of other Millers on this record). He writes all the songs on this record and sings them as well, which I guess makes him a singer-songwriter too. I believe this is his only album and I could find no mention online of his film work.

There is a definite difference in the music between Side A (aka the Hanging Out side) and Side B (the Settling Down side), with the former filled with upbeat and often humorous tunes and the later with introspective and occassionally sappy numbers. If you didn't guess I like side A more, but some of the tracks on side B are very nice folky love songs. The recording levels are also a little low on Side B leading to more prominent surface noise but I guess we can blame the producer (John Hammond, Sr.) for that. The personnel on the record are as follows

Bob Pozar - Drums

Stanley Schwartz - Piano

Barbara Miller - Vocals

John Miller - Bass, Vocals

Arthur Miller - Guitar, Composer, Vocals, Producer

Paul Motian - Drums (on Tubby Terwilliger)

Tim Jerome - Kazoo (on Tubby Terwilliger)

The track list is

Side A/Hanging Out---Tubby Terwilliger, Chocolate Pudding, Dollar Ain't a Dollar, Down the River, When My Mama Met My Papa, Human Being
Side B/Settling Down---Clear Eyes, Wrong Side of the Bed, Chime Me Down, Another Night of Love, Wonderhouse, Finish the Song
I hope you enjoy this record (reupped again). Please keep the comments coming and click the ad links once in a while. I'll try to get another post up in 2 weeks time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Rosemary Haddad - Coming Hohm (1975)

My apologies for being late again with a new post--even on the every 2 week schedule I managed to be a couple weeks late with this one. Also, while I'm apologizing, I should also point out that the sound on this one leaves something to be desired. However, I hope the relative rarity of the record will be compensation enough.

Rosemary Haddad's Coming Hohm is described by one of the reviewers on the Acid Archives site as "one of the best hippie commune albums" and I'd have to agree. Great psych-folk with a joyous message. Some of it sounds like it could be Christian but at other times it's definitely Hindu and all of it is infused with a hippie sensibility that keeps it from ever sounding dogmatic. In the end the message is not so important as the delivery, and Haddad is spot-on with her vocals while still coming off as a amateur, interested in the joy of the experience rather than trying to sell records. Some fine flute, acoustic guitar, and percussion compliment her songs.

Here's the tracklist:
Side 1
Coming Hohm
It's alright now
Spiritual Slavery
The Nest
The Great Siddha
Side 2
I am the Lord
Steady in the Flow
Lady Kali
Sing with your Heart
The Kitchen Floor Song

This one is not my rip (thanks to jflyaway for it) and as mentioned it's pretty noisy at times. I did split the original side long rip into songs and started to clean up the clicks and pops on side 1 but then I listened to side 2 and realized that there was just too much noise to really do a suitable job (although I removed some of the nastier ones). So much of the noise remains, but unless your willing to fork over $500 this rip is probably the best chance you'll have to hear this gem.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Frank Gallop - Would You Believe Frank Gallop Sings? (1966)

Well it's been longer than I'd like since my last post. I've been busy with other things and I don't see that changing for a while yet so for the time being I will be posting new records less than weekly--I promise at least one post a month for now & I'll try for two. I'll also keep the repost coming per your requests (this week I reposted St. George & Tana and Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston and His Mystic Knights Band and Street Singers).

So what about Farnk Gallop? He is probably best known for his contributions to 60s-era hit comedy records like You Don't Have to be Jewish & the First Family and for his top-40 novelty number, The Ballad of Irving. He also had a career as a TV & radio announcer and host.

I was always a fan of the Ballad of Irving (perhaps because the bad guy is called "Bad Max"), and this album has a sequel to that song. It also has some somewhat humorous versions of popular music standards and a few other songs that are a bit dated.

The music is in mono and has a few more clicks & pops than I would like. I hope you'll enjoy it or at least be mildy amused.

And remember Irving:
One day Bad Max happened into town.
His aim was to shoot fat Irving down.
Bad Max said, "Draw, and draw right now!"
And Irving drew, drew a picture of a cow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A short update

No post this week but hopefully I'll have something for you next week. Just wanted to let people know that the Kathe Green & Rainbow Band records have been reposted. Also the Jim Pepper & The Cake links have been permanently removed--both records are now available on CD & I highly recommend that you pick them up.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sarofeen & Smoke - ST (1971)

I had ripped a copy of this record a couple weeks ago but had some problems with the rip. Before I could rerip I found another version (generously provided by abracadabra) that I think is quite good (ripped at 320k) & so I've decided to post that one instead of my own, thus saving myself some much needed time while still bestowing upon you this jewel of an album. Sarofeen's vocal style has been compared to Janis Joplin, Ellen McIllwaine, & the Shocking Blue's (recently deceased) Mariska Veres, and if you like those vocalists you should give her a chance. Even if you don't like that heavy, bluesy 60's female vocal style you should still give it a try. Sarofeen & John Martin (especially the latter) wrote some excellent material for the album and the band (listed below) is strong:
Dave Arliss - bass
John "Zilch" Martin - keyboards, harmonica, guitar
Anne Sarofeen - vocals
Ed "Duke" Shanahan - lead guitar
Jim Watts - drums, pecussion
Anonymous - horns
And here's a tracklist:

Side 1
  1. Susan Jane (John Martin) - 2:23
  2. Cream of Nowhere (Dave Arliss - Anne Sarofeen) - 2:10
  3. It's Love (John Martin) - 3:58
  4. Lady Tragedy (John Martin - Anne Sarofeen) - 3:35
  5. Swamp Man (Martha Velez - Bellinger) -2:15
Side 2
  1. You Make It So Hard (John Martin - Anne Sarofeen) - 2:40
  2. Witch (John Martin) - 2:48
  3. Tomorrow ( Anne Sarofeen) - 4:03
  4. Rocky Mountain Blues (F. Haywood - M. Tucker) - 4:40

Anne Sarofeen also performed on broadway in A Hard Job Being God and later recorded a second album (sans Smoke) entitled Love In A Woman's Heart, which I didn't find as good as this release. Smoke (& Sarofeen presumably) were originally from Auburn, NY, and at least one member of the band, guitarist Ed "Duke" Shanahan continues to perform in that area. He also recordedd with the band Siddhartha (for RCA) in the year before this release and has performed with blues and r&b legends like Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Bobby Comstock, & Bo Diddley. I'm not sure what Sarofeen is up to these days.

You can hear the music here.

I have a couple other bits of news. 1st, (as you can probably see) I went ahead an put some google ads on the blog to help pay for a new turntable. If you get a chance click on one (or more)--the help is appreciated. 2nd, this will likely be my last post until September. I've got some vacation time coming up as well as a lot of work at the moment, so don't expect another post for a few weeks. Hope you all are having an excellent summer!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cheryl Dilcher - Special Songs (1971)

A little pressed for time this weekend so I'll keep this post short, in spite of the fact that the album deserves a better write up. This was Ms. Dilcher's 1st album (and also the 1st recording by Bette Midler). Suffice it to say this record contains excellent folk-psych songs (all written by the artist) well performed and certain to appeal to fans of Melanie' or Janis Ian's recordings from this period.
I will refer you to the Cheryl Dilcher web site for more information about the artist.
Unfortunately the record quality was a bit poor in places and there's more noise (at least on some of the tracks) that I would like. As I mentioned before, I think my turntable may be adding to the problem.
Here's the complete personnel:
Cheryl Dilcher - Guitar, Piano, Harpsichord, Vocals
Amedeo Borsetti - Organ, Piano (Electric)
Bette Midler - Voices
David Smith - Flute
David Wagner - Guitar (Bass)
Jim Turner - Voices
John Adelson - Organ, Guitar, Harmonica
John Dee - Producer
Lane Emley - Guitar (Bass)
Mario Garcia - Bongos, Drums
And the tracklist:
Side A
1. A Better Day
2. Mercy, Dear Lord, Mercy
3. Three Wishes
4. Richard Never Cries
5. Do I Have To Wait Very Long
6. Song By a Bird
7. Music Box
Side B
8. How I'd Like To Go Home
9. Cotton Joe
10. Little Miss No One
11. Happy Times
Listen here (REPOSTED).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A question & a correction

OK, the correction 1st--that is Kathe Green (who recorded the Run the Length of Your Wildness album I posted last July) on the right performing there with Glenn Close on tour with Up With People. Green, Close, Virginia Entwistle and Jennie Dorn formed the Green Glenn Singers who were a central part of the 1st Up With People performances. I had previously said that I thought it was a different Kathe Green in the group. By the way, Up With People is still going strong. Thanks to Kathe/Kate and to her sister Babbie both of whom (indepently) set the record straight.
Now onto the question. First, I should say that the sound quality on my current cheapo turntable has never been great but it seems to have gotten worse recently (not that I every played it much since all I use it for is to record lps for this blog) and so I was thinking of replacing the cartridge with a better one. That's when I discovered that the crappy Sony LX-250H doesn't have a replaceable cartridge. So that leaves me one option, purchasing a new turntable. So is that the question, what turntable should I get? No. Although I am interested in hearing opinions on that subject as well. My question has to do with financing this new project. How would you, my readership, feel about me adding some ads (probably the little Google ones) to help pay for this equipment upgrade. I'm not looking to make big bucks here (on any bucks for that matter) but it would be nice not to be spending a lot of money to bring you this blog. Of course, if I did get some ads up they would only generate money if people clicked on them every once and a while. So that they wouldn't help if people were so opposed to them that they ignored their existence. Anyway, let me know your opinions on the subject. Should I get ads and a better turntable for recording blog posts or just leave things the way they are?
Also, don't worry there is a new music post coming sometime this weekend.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Monte Dunn & Karen Cruz - ST (1969)

Well I managed to get a new record ripped and posted for this week. A fine but not particularly well-known folk-rock outing from 1969 that was on the Cyclone label, from the husband-wife duo of Monte Dunn & Karen Cruz. Cruz wrote most of the songs (with the notable exception of Tim Hardin's "Yellow Cab" & their cover of that song is better than the original). Dunn contributes guitar, and they both sing.

Monte Dunn was well known as a guitarist on the folk scene having played with Phil Ochs, Judy Collins, David Blue, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tim Hardin, and even Cher (among others). Cruz had sung solo and with others. When they married they managed to produce this one record before going back to session/backing work.

The music is excellent folk-rock/country-rock with good vocal harmonies and musical accompaniment (including contributions by Eric Weisberg, Bruce Langhore & Hal Blaine). It has a nice laidback, late-60's vibe and some well-written love, nature, and anti-war songs, which (perhaps unfortunately in the latter case) are not at all dated.

  1. Never in My Life
  2. Order to Things
  3. You Don't Smile Much
  4. Loving You
  5. Self Satisfaction
  6. Outside Looking In
  7. Lullabye
  8. So Much Lovin'
  9. Tip of My Mind
  10. Yellow Cab

Note that track 3 is incorrectly labelled "Loving You" (track 4 is correctly labelled "Loving You" as well) and it should be "You Don't Smile Much."

Listen here (reupped).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More News, Less Music

Since my computer issues are still not entirely resolved I've decided to take this week off (at least as far as posting music goes), but I did have some news about a number of blog-related topics that I wished to impart. All of it totally unrelated to the picture above.

First, it seems I've finally been hit by the deleter(s) and that a number of my older posts have been removed from Rapidsh#@! Never mind that these are unavailable on CD, out of print in other media, and (for the most part) produced prior to 1972 and therefore unprotected by Federal copyright. So I'm in the process of reposting those dead links on Massm-rr-r. So far I've posted new links for Smokey & His Sister, Pete Kelley, Sesame St. Disco & Rabbit McKay.

If there are any other specific dead links you'd like reposted you can also drop me an email or leave a comment & I will try to get them up ASAP. Otherwise I'll just be checking and reposting at my leisure. Also note that the Happy Feeling link has been permanently deleted as I've been informed that a CD reissue is on its way (from although they don't have any info up yet). Since it looks like there will be Cake & Jim Pepper reissues coming out soon those links will also be going away soon.

Also, I recently got an email from Andy Zwerling, who's Spiders in the Night was posted here a little while ago. His 2-CD collection Somewhere Near Pop Heaven is available again from his Web site. While it is quite different from the earlier record, it is also excellent in its own right & a must have for powerpop fans & people who just like well-written, well-performed pop/rock tunes about love and related topics. The record made it into the top 20 in Croatia in 2004. He also has a new record coming out sometime this year.

Finally, in the "where are they now" category here's some fine investigative reporting about one-time teen idols, the Banana Splits. Unfortunately because there is a pretty widely released CD bootleg of their album available I won't be posting it here, but it's still nice to know what happened with the one of the 60's finest TV bands (right up there with the Monkees & the Archies).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hedge & Donna - All the Friendly Colours (1969) & Special Circumstances (1971)

I finally decided to reformat my computer abandoning Vista & reinstalling XP (for those of you concerned about my computer problems) and so things here should return to normal soon. In the meantime, I'll try to make up for a lack of new rips (and a lack of time to write a better entry) by posting not one but two Hedge & Donna records. I had request for something by this folk duo a while back, so here it is. As mentioned these are not my rips & thanks go to the anonymous ripper (to be honest I don't even remember where I got them, a newsgroup I suspect).

These are the last 2 records by Hedge & Donna Capers (as far as I can tell). After recording a number of albums together they apparently went their seperate ways finally settling on careers outside music. Don't know too much about what happened to Donna but Hedge appeared in a B horror movie in 1972 called Who Fears The Devil? , which was edited and re-released as The Legend of Hillbilly John in 1973. I haven't seen it but it was based on Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories (some of which I have read). He then became a clinical psychologist who works primarily with businesses. If you're interested in reading some more about the duo, by people who've known them over the years, look here.

So what about the music? It's well written folky-pop or poppy-folk, well performed with a component backing band--but neither record strikes me as exceptional (although perhaps I'm just getting jaded).

Of the 2 lps, I prefer All the Friendly Colours, which is the folkier of the two and features some nice covers including Dylan's "I Shall be Released" (listed as "Any Day Now") & Jackson Browne's "There Came A Question." My favorite track though is off Special Circumstances--"The River," a fairly atypical outing on which their band is able to cut lose a bit and get kind of funky.

As I mentioned, these are not my rips & the sound is a little muddy--still I hope you enjoy both of these records (posted as one file).

Also, I recevied a comment that the Happy Feeling is due for a CD reissue & so it the link will be coming down later this week (check the comments for that record for more info).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blame Microsoft for the Lack of a Proper Post this Week

I'm still contending with major changes & major screw-ups resulting from a switch from Windows XP to Vista. In addition to the fact that most of the CDs I recorded with previous versions of windows no longer run on my computer, I'm having trouble reinstalling CoolEdit (my software of choice for soundediting--I know it's outdated!). If anyone knows how to enter the serial number for CoolEdit 2000--I have a licensed copy--please let me know.

So enough with the excuses for why I didn't post a record this week--I don't want to leave you without something to listen to--so here is my rip of the opening beatnik jazz poem from the Roger Corman classic Bucket of Blood as performed by Paul Horn and Julian Burton (in the persona of beat poet Maxwell H. Brock).

Life is an obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of art!

Burn gas buggies, and whip your sour cream of circumstance and hope.

And go ahead and sleep your bloody heads off.

Creation is, all else is not.

What is not creation is graham crackers.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brian Briggs - Brian Damage (1980)

I'm still in the middle of making a long & painful transition between computers, so I haven't had time to rip any new records this week. Instead I've pulled one from my collection of other peoples' posts (another from a newsgroup--props to the original poster).

Brian Briggs real name was John Holbrook and he was (and, as far as I know, still is) a well-respected mixer and sound engineer who worked at Todd Rundgren's Bearsville Records and, prior to that, at IBC studios in London. In his role as engineer/mixer he worked on the Who's Tommy & Hendrix's Electric Ladyland (at IBC) and with Utopia, Ian Hunter, & the Isley Brothers (at Bearsville). He's likely to be the only artist posted here with multiple Grammy wins (albeit not for his own recordings). He also played guitar on the Five Day Rain's sole album, which is available at the great Lost-In-Tyme blog. More recently he's composed music for TV shows & commercials.

So what about this record? Well, for lack of a better term, I'd call it an underappreciated New Wave classic. But really Briggs' knowledge of the entire rock & roll tradition comes into play as he touches (musically) on a dozen different musical styles popular at the time including rockabilly revival, synth-based new wave, mod rock, surf instrumental, and even world-music. Probably my favorite track is "See You on the Other Side" about 2 guys playing chicken with a train on their scooters--it ends as one might expect but its synth percussion, rock-n-roll guitar licks, & 60's pop girl chorus make it rise to the level of grand musical pastiche. There are also great covers of Eddie Cochran's Nervous Breakdown & Terry Randazzo's Goin' Out of My Head. A second record, Combat Zone, came out in 1982, but I guess neither brought the fame & rewards they deserved.


  1. Lookin' Out
  2. Nervous Breakdown
  3. See You On The Other Side
  4. AEO (parts 1 & 2)
  5. Psyclone
  6. Goin' Out Of My Head
  7. Spy Vs. Spy
  8. Let Me Hear Talkin'
  9. Lifer

You can listen to it here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Anna Black - Meet Anna Black (1968)

Well I had actually planned for you to meet Sarofeen & Smoke this week but when it came time to prepare the rip I had made for posting (seperating the tracks, removing clicks & converting to MP3s) I discovered some problems with the sound. Since I'm now in the process of changing over to a new computer I probably won't get to rerip it for a couple weeks, but it is on its way along with the Cheryl Dilcher, which someone else asked for. So instead I bring you another female vocalist, as good in her own way as those previously mentioned.

Anna Black, according to the liner notes, was born in Oklahoma City, is part Chickasaw Indian, and likes/liked sardines smothered in chile. She's against fear, waste, and war. And she cuts her own hair. The liner notes contain some other useless details but I won't bore you with them. What's important is that she has an excellent voice and writes a pretty good song. This record ranges over a pretty wide range of musical territory including some jazz standards (i.e., Gloomy Sunday & Miss Otis Regrets) and a creepy Beatles cover (Eleanor Rigby, which, come to think of it, was covered by jazz singers at the time too).

Black's own songs (the best one's on the record) generally fall into the country-swamp-funk category--think Tony Joe White or "an overlooked gem in the vein of Southern white songstresses like Bobbie Gentry" (which is what the reviewer for the has to say about this release). calls it "femme folk psych" but that's probably the drugs talking because I don't hear much psych and just a touch of folk here. However, if you want a somewhat funky/somewhat soulful musical perspective on Southern, country living (as imagined in the pop songs of the 1960s) you have some excellent examples here in You-All Come, Muddy Hay & Billy Goat Run.

All-in-all this is a fun, fine record. Black went on to record one other lp the following year, which I haven't heard but would like to.

Here's the tracklist for this one:

Side A

1. Miss Otis Regrets 2. Little Annie Weed 3. You-All Come 4. Hey Now Now 5. The Tullys & the Tolphins 6. Jimmy Ben

Side B

7. Eleanor Rigby 8. Freedom Train 9. Gloomy Sunday 10. Muddy Hay 11. Drinkin' Daddy 12. Billy Goat Run

Listen to it here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Boa Constrictor and Natural Vine - ST (1968)

Well my new computer has yet to arrive but I didn't want another week to go by without a post--and really folks this one was too good to hold onto. Boa Constrictor and Natural Vine were a psych-folk duo who recorded this, their sole record, for Vanguard Apostolic.
Given the current vogue for acid-folk I'm suprised this one is not better known. It has all the elements one looks for in that genre and few others as well. There are some really deranged, acid-drenched compositions like Devil & the Ace of Spades (with its backward tape loops, mornful sax, and downer guitar strumming) as well as dissonant, freaky, rocking, blues numbers like Time is Money. Their music, while it owes something to other folk-experimentalists from the late 60s is also inspired by classic, country blues and at times they come off as a sort of hippie ancestor of garage-blues-rock duos like the Bassholes or Black Keys.

The artist who did the cover, Phoebe Stone, went on to some success as a children's book author & illustrator. Unfortunately I don't know what happened to George & Ben, who recorded this masterpiece.
Speaking of the cover, you might notice an ebay logo in the bottom corner. I actually grabbed this illustration off the Rate Your Music site and they stole it from ebay. Just to set the record straight.
Side A
1. Little David
2. Pig Quick-Finger
3. Devil & the Ace of Spades
4. Son of Kong
5. Down Child
Side B
6. Time is Money
7. Alligator Man
8. Sundown Stick
9. Don't Try To Hide from the Lightning
10. Build Your Wall
The record is ripped from vinyl and encoded at variable bitrate-extreme settings. Because most of the tracks run together it was sometimes difficult to clearly seperate 2 tracks & in a couple of cases I left them combined rather than compromising the integrity of the sound. There was also some soft crackle and surface noise on the record that I wasn't able to clean up (it's actually much easier to deal with sharp clicks and pops) and so it remains in places.
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have. Listen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

News & Stuff

I'm going to be upgrading my computer system and so I think I will take a couple weeks hiatus from posting. I will though use this opportunity to update my links list.

When I get back I have a number of fine records waiting to be ripped & posted (& I'm willing to entertain suggestions about the order of the posting):

Boa Constrictor & Natural Vine - ST (Vanguard), Anna Black - Meet Anna Black (Epic), Vida E Inspiracion - ST (Decca), Crow Dog's Paradise - Sounds of the Sioux (Elektra), Richard Barbary - Soul Machine (CTI), Harold Alexander - Are You Ready (Flying Dutchman), Douglas Leedy - The Electric Zodiac (Capitol ), Turn of the Century - And I'll Come Back (Ranwood), Monte Dunn & Karen Cruz - ST (Cyclone), Frank Gallop - Would You Believe Frank Gallop Sings (Musicor), Cheryl Dilcher - Special Songs (Ampex), Arthur Miller & the Little Millers - Hanging Out and Settling Down (Columbia), Robert John Gallo - Painted Poetry (Mandala), El Roacho's - The Best of El Roacho's Greatest Hits (Columbia), Hank & Lewie Wickham 0 ST (King), Aesop's Fables - In Due Time (Cadet), Holiday Clocks - ST (Hopewell), Bobby Hebb - Love Games (Epic), Cook E. Jarr - Pledging My Love (RCA), Sarofeen & Smoke - ST (GWP), and some Hedge & Donna (as requested but not my rip).

Also please keep your comments & requests coming.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dick Rosmini - A Genuine Rosmini (1969)

A busy week = a short post.

Dick Rosmini was a 60s guitar genius --if he's not as well remembered as John Fahey or Sandy Bull it's probably because he preferred poppier material and full orchestral arraignments. He put out a couple records under his own name & added guitar to a number of others before switching careers to become a professional photographer. Check this discography for more detailed info. He even sings on this, his 2nd record.

Rosmini's earlier Adventures For 12 String, 6 String and Banjo record was posted a little while ago on the excellent Grown So Ugly blog.

Here's a tracklist:

Side A
1. Paradise Thursday
2. The Fool On The Hill
3. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind
4. Licks For Sale
5. Trains And Boats And Planes
6. El Funko
Side B
7. Let's Go Get Stoned
8. The Duchess
9. People Got To Be Free
10. With A Little Help From My Friends
11. I Heared It Through The Grapevine
12. Wichita Lineman

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Joe Clark & Tony George - One Man Bands (1976)

Here is that private press, 70's. moog-psych record I promised a while back. Although technically I should have only promised half a record of moog-psych (as I will explain).

Now I really know nothing about Tony George (aka Anthony M. George), Joe Clark (aka Joseph A. Clark), or the American Arts, Inc. record label out of Baltimore. This was the 1st (& I suspect the last) release on the label and, as Clark & George play all the instruments on their respective sides as well as listing themselves as composers, producers & engineers, I suspect they also fronted the cash for the record. But I do have opinions.

The l.p. is a split release between two artists whose only common denominator appears to be that they are the sole performer on their side of the record.

The real ace here is Tony George's extended, moog-psych-freakout, "And He Thought" (the sub-parts are labelled in the tracklist below). There is some deep, crypto-religous/philosophical message here but unless you've obtained (however temporarily) some alternate state of consciousness I wouldn't worry about it but just sit back and coast on Tony's sine wave interupted by the occassional rant. Tony asks, "Did you ever think happiness is to know me?" I'm pretty sure the answer before listening will be no (& I'm pretty sure none of you have heard this before), but afterward you may change your answer. Or maybe not. Happiness is not the word I would chose to describe your listening experience, but this is some weird-ass shit.

Joe Clark also performs solo but is certainly using some multitracking as he plays more conventional rock instruments. Clark's side has its moments and the music is fine, but I wouldn't have posted it if it weren't weren't paired with Tony George. Clark generally sounds like low-budget, late-60s/early-70s rock with some psych influences. There are also some odd moments--like the song about America (it was the bicentenial). However, overall, I think Joe would have been better off if he skipped the lyrics entirely. Sometimes they get downright confusing (& not in a weird, stream-of-conciousness, psychedelic way)--e.g., who is being addressed in "Don't Turn Your Back" (the 1st song)--it seems to change part way through the song? Other tracks (like Dreaming of You & Drinkin' 'n' Thinkin'...) are nice enough pop songs but never more than component.

Side J (Joe Clark): (1.) Don't Turn Your Back (2.) Freedom Train (3.) Dreaming of You (4.) Drinkin' 'n' Thinkin' 'bout You (5.) I Feel Her Hand Side T (Tony George): (6.) And He Thought (The Owl-Journey to a Dream-the Mirror-Can I Know You-Descent Into Madness-And He Thought)

If, by chance, anyone out there knows anything about this record (or has even seen it before)--please drop an email or post a comment.

I ripped this from a copy in the WMUC record library & have never seen even a mention of it elsewhere.

Music here.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Feeling - Happy Feeling (1970)

It's been a busy week so I wasn't able to get one of my own rips up & this record was requested some time ago, so here is the self-titled debut (and only album) of Happy Feeling. It's really fine sunshiney, good-time pop music. Unfortunately I don't have a cover shot for the album so instead you get a picture of the band (w/ roadies) in front of their tour bus--but I bet you figured that out already. I also can't supply much info about the band--they're probably best remembered for contributing a member to April Wine. I guess it was one of these guys: Jim Aiello (Vocals), Dan Ferguson (Guitar), Gordie Moffat (Organ), Gerry Mudry (Drums), Bob Wagner (Guitar/Bass), Bob Moffatt (Guitar) .

Here's the track list:
Hey, Little Man ... (2:26)
Still Hill ... (2:38)
Good Neighbor Day ... (3:11)
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide ... (3:23)
London Towne ... (2:39)
See What I Mean? ... (2:52)
Happy Feeling ... (2:54)
Keep Pushin' ... (2:34)
Walk With Life ... (1:54)
I've Got to Get Away ... (2:52)
Sacroiliac Boop ... (2:12)
If There's a Thought ... (1:48)

As I mentioned it's not my rip (& I no longer know who's rip it was--but thanks) & it does have a bit of noise/clicks--still it's well worth a listen.

NO LONGER AVAILABLE - CD coming soon (see comments).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gordon Alexander - Gordon's Buster (1968)

Filling another request here, also from an artist who appeared on the Mystic Males compilation (which, BTW, I highly recommend).
The record was produced by Curt Boettcher (around the same time as the Millennium Begin lp) and Sonny Knight, and fans of Boettcher's brand of California psych-pop will find a lot to savor here. The band is excellent and includes 5 members of the Music Machine and a long list of session plays and guests such as guitarist Al Casey, tenor player Plas Johnson, and Lee Mallory of The Millennium.
As for Gordon, he's a decent singer even if he pops his P's. His songs are good too--all very trippy. I commented recently that J. P. Rags' lyrics (and especially his spoken word pieces) seemed silly. Alexander's could be confused as being silly as well but they're not, they're psychedelic, and probably made perfect sense given the proper state of mind. Here's an example from Thinking in Indian Again:
How is your bind bending, how is your mind bending
I like to fly using my middle eye on a beam to the end of my brain.
I hope you can see the difference.
Side 1
1. Looking for the Sun
2. Letter to Baba
3. Topanga
4. Autumn Is a Bummer
5. A Bunch of Us Were Sitting Around a Candle in San Fransisco Getting Stoned and I Hope You're There Next Time
6. Waiting for the Time
Side 2
7. Thinking in Indian Again
8. Pupper Theatre 23
9. One Real Spins Free
10. Windy Wednesday
11. Miss Mary
Get the music here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bob Ray - Initiation of a Mystic (1968)

By request, another fine slice of late-60's pop-psych pie, this time from Bob Ray, onetime bass player for Donovan (that's him on Season of the Witch) and later a member of the pop trio Thorinshield. This release doesn't have the sunshine vibe of that band but is certainly as good or better in its own somewhat darker way.

The core band on this one (see below) featured some fine LA session players and the record was produced by Johnny Rivers.

JIM HORN flute, sax
LARRY KNECHTEL bs, keyb'ds
BOB RAY vcls
There's also some strings (as in orchestral) but I don't know who played them.

Here's a track list since the files aren't numbered:
(Girl With the) Cameo Ring (3:55)
Live Today (3:32)
City of Toys (3:33)
Green Green (Big Big River) (3:16)
Smog Song (5:20)
Resurrection (4:00)
Money Tree (3:40)
Personal Movie (2:58)
Woman of the Highlands (4:15)
Right Relations (3:30)
Islands (Poem) (2:10)

This one is not my rip (props to Dancing Gods). It is ripped at 320kps.
Here's the music.

Note: Since I had another record planned for posting this week I think I'll get a 2nd post this weekend, so stop back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

J. P. Rags - Scruffety (1968)

I think you can best describe this release as lounge music for hippies (or maybe a lounge lizard's idea of hippie music, I'm not sure)--I can imagine someone in the audience asking for some orange sunshine with that martini. A casual listen will suggest that you've found a sweet, somewhat innocent pop relic. However, if you listen closely you'll soon realize that this is pretty silly stuff (lyrically speaking). Especially the spoken word, philosophical interludes--they're downright ridiculous. Rags (real name D. Cox) writes lyrics that wouldn't be out of place on a greeting card and delivers them with a with a childlike (or perhaps childish) quality make him come off as a sort of an unholy cross between Scott Walker (sans gravitas) and Mr. Rogers (with a joint).

Check these lyrics:
I heard a sightless man describe great beauty he had touched
And I admired his sense of smell so very much
Impressed by how his ears could see
I wondered just how it would be
If I could smell her soft clean hair
Upon my pillow lying there

But don't let that turn you off to the record. Silly isn't always bad & this record certainly has its moments. I don't know much about the band but Nilsson contributes a blurb to the back of the lp cover & Larry Goldberg & Doug Cox produced it.

This was a request--I believe based on the Rags track that appeared on the Mystic Males compilation. I liked that track too, but it was on the short side--I'll let you be the judge of how he holds up on a whole album.

Side 1
1. Soul Sunrise 2. Wonderful World of Children 3. Don't Watch Me 4. Something to Think About 5. Portrait of a Soft Woman
Side 2
6. Scruffety 7. Porch Song 8. Bells of Saint Barbara 9. Posession Is 9/10 of the End 10. Talkin' 11. Still Life 12. Let's Get Together Again

Enjoy the music (now reposted).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Curt Newbury - Half a Month of Maydays (1969)

This week's musical delight is the sole record (at least that I'm aware of ) from Curt Newbury released on Verve Forecast back in 1969. It's excellent, West-coast, folk-rock with a fair amount of country twang and some psychedelic influences (both chemical and musical, I imagine). The lyrics are good and touch on the appropriate concerns of the time (love, protesting the war, hanging pictures--I guess times haven't changed that much). The band (which consists of the majority of the fine psychedelic group, Kaleidoscope [U.S.]) is in top form, and Mike Deasy contributes some smokin' guitar solos. In addition to writing his own material Newbury was also a flying instructor and a licensed hypnotist (although I'm not sure how those activities influenced his musical work).
Here's the personnel, courtesy of Fuzz, Acid & Flowers:
MIKE DEASY gtr, dobro, mandolin
JEFF KAPLAN gtr, organ, bs, piano
CURT NEWBURY vcls, gtr
TEMPLETON PARSLEY (MAX BUDA) electric violin, hrmnca
PAT SMITH bs fiddle
And here's the tracklist:
Side 1
1. S & C See Me
2. Christ, How Easy It Could Be
3. To Marcia
4. Highchair Blue
5. Let's Hang Some Pictures Tonight
Side 2
6. Half a Month of Maydays
7. Colonel Haygood
8. A Girl Is Just Too Much
9. Maybe Summer Bells
10. Private Jackson Regrets
Music at d*vshare & music at s*ndspace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Last Words -ST (1968)

As you can probably tell from the cover, the Last Words were a fun band. They didn't try to be deep, or hard, or political, or mind-expanding they just played pop/rock music in a variety of styles. The album consists mainly of (well-chosen) covers and a few competent pop originals that could have been written by any number of other bands of the period. They do interpret the material in original ways. I particularly like their odd arrangements, which often lead to unexpected turns in the songs--like the fuzz guitar freakout in the middle of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" or the languid take, with dirge-like organ, on the Beatles' "No Reply." They do use plenty of fuzz, organ & tambourine.

Prior to this Atco album they recorded a garage rock single on the Boom label and a blue-eyed soul outing on Atco that managed to crack the top 100 (the A-side of which, Can't Stop Lovin' You, made it on this lp). After it, they released a couple of other singles off the record and then disappeared into rock obscurity. John Lombardo, the singer, held on a little longer with a couple singles produced by Tommy James (of Shondells fame). The All Music Guide says he was the same John Lombardo who was later in 10,000 Maniacs but, for some reason, I think they're probably wrong (come to think of it, they're often wrong but that's another issue).

"The Last Words" track listing
(side 1)
(1) One More Time (John Lombardo) - 2:31 (2) Be My Baby (Phil Spector - Ellie Greenwich - Jeff Barry) - 5:47 (3) Mor'een (Mark Lindsay - Terry Melcher) - 2:23 (4) No Reply (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 4:48 (5) A Basket of Flowers (Michael Stone - Charles Conion) - 2:34
(side 2)
(1) The Kids Are Alright (Peter Townshend) - 3:37 (2) Can't Stop Lovin' You (John Lombardo - Michael Byrnes) - 2:14 (3) You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (Phil Spector - Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil) - 5:45 (4) It's Not Over (John Lombardo) - 2:30 (5) I Wish I Had Time (Michael Byrnes - Dooley) - 2:45

Music available here or here. I ripped this one myself from a mono copy of the record (I think it was released in stereo as well).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Andy Zwerling - Spiders in the Night (1971)

Since the last repost I got was so popular (and since it takes a lot of time to rip my own vinyl) I'm going with someone else's rip again this week. Not sure who the anonymous newsgroup poster was, but thank you very much for your effort & for turning me on to AZ.

Andy Zwerling has been around the music biz for a long time as a reviewer (for Rolling Stone), songwriter & (as you can hear on this release) a performer. More recently he's recorded with his sister, Leslie, producing at least one double CD's worth of (apparently) great pop and rock'n'roll that I would love to hear if I could find someplace where it was still for sale. But then again I wish someone would issue this record on CD too!

This 1971 album on the Kama Sutra label features some gentle & beautiful psych-folk songs, most featuring just Andy's voice & acoustic guitar. The lyrics have a slightly mystical bent that at times make them seem a bit dated but generally they retain their original appeal. Lenny Kaye (the rock god of New Brunswick, NJ and the man who brought us garage punk) also appears on this release.

There was a New York Times article on Andy a few years back in which he says, "I got a record deal with Kama Sutra, thanks to my friend Richard Robinson. The label gave me 64 hours to make a record, so I couldn't have done my rock 'n' roll stuff." Instead he went for a more introspective, folky sound and pulled it off quite well. Unfortunately, the record was released just after Kama Sutra got bought out by a bigger fish and the record seems to have been forgotten (by the label, at least) in the shuffle.

SIDE A: Knife-Man/Slicing/Turtles Vs. The Green Ants/It's In The Morning/Spiders In The Night
SIDE B: Sifting Around In A Haze/Words To This Song/Orange Skylights/Branches/Downwaters-Crosswaters

Ripped from vinyl (of course) at 192k & available here. (REPOSTED)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Michael Styers - Bearing a Gentle Message (1980)

This record gets described as acid-folk by record dealers (but then again they'll describe almost anything as acid-folk these days). It does have some trippy moments and certainly the lyrics (involving Pan, Merlin & willow trees) fit it with the whole acid-folk aesthetic, but the music is probably better categorized as rural folk-rock and (at times) country-rock. compares it to Gary Higgins, and while I like Higgins' record better there are points of similarity. Styers is certainly a more-than-component guitarist and his backup group (which features cello & bouzouki among more traditional rock instruments) is strong. The record was recorded in Chapel Hill, NC in 1980 and released the same year as private press lp (500 copies pressed). It's not easy to find and (like a lot of private press psych) will probably be over-priced if do locate a copy.
Here's a tracklist (7 and 8 are bundled together on this rip):
1. Michael Styers - Bearing a Gentle Message
2. Michael Styers - Jaguars in the Jungle
3. Michael Styers - Poppies-Willows
4. Michael Styers - Merlin the Magik
5. Michael Styers - Upper Black Eddy
6. Michael Styers - In Time
7 & 8. Michael Styers - Summer Evening's Chant--Pan's Door
9. Michael Styers - Flora
10. Michael Styers - Another Pretty Song
It is ripped from vinyl and encoded at 320k (which makes for a somewhat large file). Thanks again to the WMUC record library.
The music is available on s-ndspace and d-vshare

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lotti Golden - Motor-Cycle (1969)

Unfortunately I'm very busy this week and so have fallen back on someone else's rip (thanks to the anonymous News Group poster who put this one out there in the ether). Also, it looks like I'll be travelling next week so don't expect another post for 2 weeks.

This is a fine soul record with some psychedelic touches and some weird Satan-biker references. It was released on Atalantic records in '69 and produced by Bob Crewe. Robert Christgau didn't like it, which is usually a good sign--he compares her to Laura Nyro (who he also doesn't like) & I can definitely hear some similarities (at least with Nyro's earlier work) but Golden has an oddness that puts her in a class by herself. Christgau liked her '71 self-titled album better but I haven't heard that one.
After that 2nd lp she appears to have gone on to work as a back-up singer (for Carly Simon among others) and record producer.

There's a poem about Motor-Cycle Michael on the back of the record (images included in link below) that starts with, "Michael was a siren and a street god...and he said chicks called him Lucifer, beacuse when he got wasted one eye would nod out in the corner...and when I wasn't riding his truth machine, anabell and johnny and me...would go down to the eastside docks and watch the jive sun do the boogaloo on the water..." That should give you as good idea as anything about what the record is like. Perhaps the song titles will help too:

(1) Gonna Fay's, (2) A Lot Like Lucifer (Celia Said Long Time Loser), (3) The Space Queens (Silky Is Sad), (4) Who Are Your Friends, (5) Get Together (With Yourself), (6) You Can Find Him

Enjoy the music here

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dorothy Carter - Troubador (1976)

Sorry about the delay in getting the files posted for this one. I also should let you know that I may need to be traveling in the coming week(s) and so may miss a post or two.

Now as for this excellent record, Dorothy Carter was (she passed away in 2003) primarily a hammered dulcimer player (although she also sings and plays flute on this record). She was a founding member of the Mediaeval Baebes & also performed on records as diverse as Sun Electric's Via Nostra & the Serious Solid Swineheard is Better Than Homecooked Clapham Junction album. This record is a beautiful collection of folk melodies from diverse times and places performed on dulcimer, psalter &/or flute (by Carter) and accompanied by Sally Hilmer on tamboura & Connie Demby of Ch'in. Carter also sings on a couple numbers. The accompaniment adds a nice Eastern vibe that will strengthen the appeal to fans of acid folk.

Her album Lonesome Dove is available from the Mediaeval Baebes web site. There was also a 1978 album called Waillee, Waillee and a CD entitled Dorothy Carter, 2003. I haven't heard any of those but based on the strength of this thrift store find I plan on tracking down copies.

I ripped this from vinyl and cleaned up most of the clicks and pops--only a couple large ones remain--and I think it sounds pretty good. Its encoded at a high quality variable bit rate using LAME encoding. You can pick it up here.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Victor L. Perna & His Combo - The Sound of Today (19??)

After this and last week's post, I wouldn't be surprised if some of you thought that my blog had been hijacked (as unfortunately happened to music blogger Hans Zun recently), but the fact is I'm trying to stretch your musical horizons a little. I like ALL kinds of music including cheesy, Italian, organ combos who perform cover versions of I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman, Hava Nagillah, and I'm A Believer--I hope you do as well. Hence this week's post. Also, I was certain that this one hasn't been posted on any other blog.

I can't really tell you much about Victor or his combo--I believe they came from Milan originrally (at least they are referred to on other releases as Victor Perna & His Milan Combo). The band members are as follows Victor L. Perna (Trumpet-Vocalist), Misino Mussi (Piano-Organ), Franco Dillena (Bass-Vocalist), and Dario Montaldo (Drums-Vocalist). The record was a thrift store find and is a private press release (no label name on the label and no back cover). It was also pretty damn scratchy. Usually I try to remove all the major clicks and pops (a time consuming process that involves going over each song second by second to locate obvious noise) but I kind of gave up on that process pretty quickly with this one--I did remove most of the major clicks and pops but it's still pretty noisy. Also, I recorded this one the first time I listened to it and recorded it in stereo before realizing that it was a mono recording, so you have it here in fake stereo. Finally, because of the sound quality I only encoded it at 192k.

Never fear, there are some fine 60s & 70s pop and psych records in the pipeline (including Dorothy Carter, Michael Styers, the Last Words, the Orange Groove, Trini Lopez, and a truly incredible private press moog-psych outing from Baltimore circa 1976 that I'm willing to bet you haven't heard before).
The music has been reposted (again) HERE

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My parents went to this music blog and all I got was this lousy 7 inch

One potential problem with having so many great music blogs out there on the net (for me at least) is that things I intend to post turn out to be posted elsewhere already. I had ripped John Blair's 1971 album, Mystical Soul and was preparing the tracks (separating individual cuts and going through each .wav file to remove clicks and pops) when I discovered it had already been posted on the headfonehaus blog. So I figured I may as well just point you to that fine blog instead of duplicating efforts.

However, this left me without a record to post so I decided to quickly put up an old 7 inch rip: Randy Starr and His Merry Martian - Hootenany on Mars/Do You Remember the Day (Laurie 3231). The single was released in 1964 and, I'm pretty certain, has never appeared on a CD (not even a compilation). "Hootenany on Mars" is the sort of formulaic, cheesy, novelty number that is sadly missing from the the contemporary music scene. You can imagine the producer (who also probably wrote the song and played bass on it) saying to the engineer (who co-wrote), "Let's take one from column A--how 'bout Space Exploration (Mars)--and one from B--Folk Music (Hootenanies) sounds good. And don't forget the Chipmunk sounding backup vocals. I'd say we've got us a song!" "Do You Remember the Day" is a strange, science-fiction themed folky pop number about the 1st mission to Mars and includes a stirring tribute to the astronaut who gave his life so his crew could survive (apparently jettisoning himself into space because there was too much weight on the rocket--I'm sure those 200 lbs. made all the difference).

I believe this is the same Randy Starr who had a minor hit with the song "After School" (which is available on some compilations) but who never cut an album that I'm aware of. Rumor has it was a dentist from the Bronx. He also wrote some of Elvis' lesser hits (e.g., Kissin' Cousins) and performed on the instrumental classic "Enchanted Sea" by the Islanders. If you want to make certain you can find his email on this Web site.

Here's the music.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

J. J. Jackson - Greatest Little Soul Band in the Land (1969?)

It's been a while since I posted any soul music and this is some damn fine soul music (with jazz and rock moments to boot). I wasn't sure whether I should post it though since, although it hasn't appeared on CD, there was a vinyl reissue a few years back and it is still possible to pick up a new copy if you look hard enough (this rip though was from the original vinyl on the Congress label).

Jerome Louis "J.J." Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and arranger (and NOT a VeeJay) who wrote music and arrangements for Jack McDuff, Jimmy Witherspoon, the Shangri-Las, and others before branching out to perform his own songs. He recorded a hit (#4 on the Billboard charts) in England in 1966 with his own composition "But It's Alright" using a backup band of British session musicians. I guess it worked well enough for him that he decided to stay in the UK where he recorded 3 lps over the course of 4 years. This is the 2nd and also features a lineup of British (and at least one Jamaican) musicians including members of the jazz-rock fusion band If and one of the greatest trombonists of reggae music. Here's the full line up of the group:

Dick Morrissey - Saxophone, Sax (Tenor)
Larry Steele - Bass
Ronny Stephenson - Drums
Jeff Whittaker - Conga
John Marshall - Saxophone, Sax (Baritone)
Rico Rodriguez - Trombone
Terry Smith - Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
J.J. Jackson - Percussion, Vocals, Main Performer, Keyboards, Piano
Roy Edwards - Trumpet
Bill Egden - Drums
Stu Hammer - Trumpet
Brian Henderson - Organ, Keyboards Terry Jenkins - Drums

And here's the songlist:

1 Tobacco Road (6:08)
2 Tenement Halls (5:17)
3 Something for My People (4:02)
4 In the Same Old Way (2:56)
5 Change Is Gonna Come (6:31)
6 Fat, Black and Together (3:41)
7 Win, Lose or Draw (3:59)
8 That's Woman Loving Her Man (4:23)

And listen to the music here.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Plaster Caster Blues Band - ST (1969)

Some of the records I post here are unjustifiably obscure, while others are just obscure--this one falls into the latter category. However, once again I didn't have time to rip a new record (it takes time once you take into account the de-clicking that I have to do) and so have fallen back on a rip I made some time ago and haven't listened to since, probably with good reason. (The record, again, comes from the WMUC library.)

The Plaster Casters, who lend their name but none of their musical talent to this record, were a group of groupies (their has to be a better collective noun than group for groupies but I'm not sure what it is) who were led by Cynthia Plaster Caster and made their name by taking plaster casts of male rock star genitalia. They really have nothing to do with the actual recording, though. Instead what you have here are some generic 60s blues-based rock instrumentals played by a component (if uninspired) group of session peformers that includes some fine blues and r&b players (see line-up below). It fairly groovy, generic rock and blues with harmonica and horns and would have made a component soundtrack to some teen-exploitation film. It doesn't have anything to do with plaster casting or groupies, however. (Though, if you are looking for some songs about groupies, the WFMU blog has a post for you.)

The song titles are fun:

Lanoola Goes Limp, Seven Foot Drummer from Fleetwood Mac, Joint Venture, You Didn't Try to Ball Me (for Frank Zappa), Banks of Barclay, Welcome Hamptons Outstanding, Plaster Caster, Chicago Charva Chapter, Diane's Blue Plate Special, Blues for Big Jimi, Pray Tell Brian.

Here's the line-up:

Bobby Bryant (Trumpet), Arthur Adams (Guitar), Jules Chaiken (Vocals), Max Hardy (Drums), Gildo Mahones (Organ), Gildo Mahones (Piano), Gildo Mahones (Keyboards), Ellen Sander (Vocals), George Harmonica Smith (Harmonica), George Harmonica Smith, Clifford Solomon (Saxophone), Clifford Solomon (Tenor (Vocal)), Bob Thiele (Producer)

Music here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Messages from John Campo aka St. George of St. George & Tana

One of the great pleasures of running this blog is hearing from some of the artists whose music is presented. First David Stoughton, then Eleanor Barooshian (aka Chelsea Lee) from The Cake, and now John Campo from St. George & Tana. Be sure to take a look at the comments on that record post (from August) for some interesting reminiscences and information on his current activities.

Friday, January 19, 2007

John Randolph Marr - John Randolph Marr (1970)

First I should admit I'm not crazy about this record. It's a nice enough pop outing that will appeal to fans of Harry Nilsson's pop records (Nilsson produced most of it, sans credit, and contributed a song), but it's not the best thing I've posted. However, I did rip a copy for someone a year or so back and have kept it as my "ace in the hole" for the day I didn't have anything ready--I guess that would be today.

The music is heavy on the orchestration, with lots of strings and horns and is perhaps (this will be heresy to Harry Nilsson fans) somewhat overproduced. Marr wrote most of the material himself and his songs remind me of some of Randy Newman's less humorous efforts. Dean Torrence (of Jan and Dean) did the cover art.

Here's the tracklist:
I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?
Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham
Pity the Man
We Had Something
One Shot Lady
Raggedy Ann

The music has been reposted here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bruce Murdoch - 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Minute (1971)

I didn't want to go another week without a post but haven't had time to rip anything new, so here is a rip of a fairly obscure piece of vinyl that I grabbed off a newsgroup (thanks to the original poster). It's ripped at 320k but doesn't appear to have any noise reduction so you may a few pops or clicks.

Now about the music and the musician, Bruce Murdoch was a Canadian folk singer from Quebec originally who released 2 albums (that I know of) as well as appearing on Elektra's Singer Songwriter Project compilation (which you can pick up on a CD combined with a David Blue album). He apparently taught a lit. course at McGill at one point and later became a high school principal in Alberta.

Richie Havens heard him performing in Canada and signed him to his Stormy Forest and then proceeded to record and poorly produce this, his first lp. The production is pretty poor and on another Web site Murdoch himself wrote, "the album isn't very good. It has many songs on it I still like, but the production wasn't up to par." Everything sounds a bit tinny and at times I'm not sure whether there is a harpsichord playing or a piano. Still it has some excellent songs, and Murdoch's lyrics and passionate vocal delivery make it worth a listen. The album largely features angry political songs and sometimes angry love songs. Some weird touches, like the Hitler speech and war sound fx at the start of "Mary You Are My Friend," are also interesting and the lyrics, like that song's message about fascism in the corridors of power, remains pertinent today.

Murdoch released a 2nd album, eponymously titled, on the Radio Canada International label in 1980--I haven't heard it but the couple of mentions I found on the Web suggest it is better than this one (and I like this one, production aside, quite a bit). I hope you'll like it to.

Also, a quick note on my links. I realize there are a number of dead ones and a number if new ones I'd like to add. Hopefully I'll find time to do that over the next couple weeks.