Saturday, November 28, 2009
This is a record that should have made it into Roger Bennett and Josh Kun's And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl, but didn't. Rabbi Feinberg was a leftie, Reform rabbi from Toronto who got some counterculture cred singing along with John & Yoko on "Give Peace a Chance." He even suggested a couple of lines for the song. Soon after he recorded this album for Vanguard. The back cover of which has a couple of photos of him with John & Yoko in case you missed the story at the time. It also features some biographical information detailing his education, his early singing career as Anthony Frome, the "Poet Prince of the Airwaves," and his peace activism. You can read other versions of his bio here and here.
Rabbi Abraham (or Tony) Feinberg covers a number of excellent songs including Buffalo Springfield's "Flying on the Ground," the Bee Gees' "Words," and Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" as well as some really old oldies like Brahms' "Lullaby." And while he doesn't have a bad voice, he doesn't really have much of a feeling for most of the material. He told John Lennon that he couldn't keep time with "today's music," but I don't think that's the problem. He keeps time OK, but he just sounds too too formal, too classical for this material. Still, there are some interesting (if perhaps a bit dated) production touches on the record, like the echoey background vocals on "I Shall Be Released" and the little spoken political pieces that link the songs (there is no blank space between numbers, so it may sound like some of them end pretty abruptly). And the record does grow on you (or at least grew on me) after repeated listenings--so in spite of its general oddness you may find some things to like.
Here's the tracklist
1. Simple Child Loved
2. Story of Isaac
3. Flying on the Ground
4. Warm Traitor's Breath
6. I Shall be Released
8. Bells of Saint-Pierre
9. Torna a Surriento
10. Brahams Lullaby
And you can get the music here or here. Enjoy.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Well, as you may have guessed I'm not posting the Hoover album I promised last time--it turns out it's already available on the excellent PUZZLEDOYSTER blog and I suggest you go over there and grab it ASAP.
Instead, I'm filling a request for an album I didn't post before because it had been available elsewhere--in this case on the 7 Black Notes blog, which unfortunately is no longer active. Since I lost my own recording of this when my hard drive crashed a while back, I am reposting the recording that appeared on 7 Black Notes.
So what about Angel, Angel Down We Go? Well if you're interested in the movie (starring Jennifer Jones and Roddy McDowall, as well as featuring Lou Rawls and Holly Near) I suggest you check out IMDB's page on it. Or check out the trailer. The soundtrack, which may or may include all the music from the film (I have to confess to never having seen the movie) features music by Barry Mann, composed sans songwriter partner, wife and lyricist Cynthia Weil. Mann has co-writing credits for many memorable songs. If you're not familiar, check the Mann & Weil web site. Mann's soundtrack credits are perhaps not as impressive--although the duo did pen most of the music for the classic teen-exploitation flick, Wild in the Streets (a personal favorite).
I'm not certain what I'll be posting next but upcoming posts will include Len Novy, Casey Anderson, Line Renaud, Randy Holland, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Florence Warner, and Pete Fountain (I got about 20 of his records at the thrift store recently). Stay tuned.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Of these 2 albums, To Be a Man, is the first and (to my ears) weaker of the two. It's a more traditional folk album, featuring him and his guitar, but is perhaps too traditional, and while I don't believe he cops any of the riffs here it does sound like a lot of other records you may have heard before. Chandler's faults as a perfomer are also more glaring--his vocals are often too formal and I, for one, wish he would loosen up a little (as he does sometimes on the other release). His guitar playing is fine but not exceptional, and his songs are also a bit generic at times. He's at his best here on bluesy, uptempo numbers like "Feet First Baby" (about an ornery natural-born fighter) and on the satirical "Hide Your Heart, Little Hippie.” When he tries to be poetic he meanders and the results are kind of confusing (as on “Shadow Dream Chaser Of Rainbows” which goes from images of “moths deep inside [him]” and the “fires [he's] been drawn to, to learn” to people following rainbows for an imaginary pot of gold, which really isn’t as valuable as a shadow because soulless people have no shadows, or something to that effect.
On The Lovin’ People, he has the benefit of a good backing band consisting of Pretty Purdie on drums, Artie Butler on organ & piano, and Joe Mack and Bill Salter on bass. The band, who play both loose and funky without ever sounding sloppy, helped produce a more laid back vibe and Chandler sounds more relaxed than he did on the earlier album. He has some better songs on this one, too, such as the title cut warm, poppy number about...well, “Lovin’ People,” on which the presence of a chorus (made up on the spot of people who had gathered to provide assistance to a mothers’ help organization) also helps temper Chandler’s unfortunate tendency towards over-earnestness. “The Naked Fool” is about a relationship gone bad, which doesn’t have anything new to say but will have a few toes tapping. “Sold Out, No More Reservations” is an interesting number about a male groupie, and “Bound to Fly” has a nice soaring quality, and Chandler’s lyrics and delivery mesh well on it. If anything the problem here is that Chandler is sometimes eclipsed by his backing band—check “Behind Your Eyes” where the band goes off on some nice free jazz-psychedelic tangents while Chandler seems to be trying to channel Sammy Davis, Jr.
Here's the tracklist for To Be a Man
- To Be A Man
- Feet First Baby
- Nancy Rose
- Missionary Stew #2
- Keep On Keepin' On
- Shadow Dream Chaser Of Rainbows
- Hide Your Heart, Little Hippie
- Roll, Turn, Spin
- Time Of The Tiger
- Takin' Me Away From You Train
- Quittin' Time
And here's the list for Lovin' People
- Bound to Fly
- The Naked Fool
- The Lovin' People
- The Warmth of You Beside Me
- And Still I Dream
- Behind Your Eyes
- Touch Talk
- Sold Out, No More Reservations
- I Couldn't Keep From Carin' After All
- The Language of Love
To Be a Man was transferred from a mono copy of the album and the Lovin' People (apparently) from a stereo copy (at least the MP3s are encoded in stereo). The first album is encoded at VBR-extreme and the 2nd at 192k, and I've made available as one DL HERE. I hope you'll enjoy them.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Seraffyn (last name Mork) is, according to his record cover, the "last, great troubador." Now he is certainly not the last, and is greatness is arguable (although the album is entertaining enough), but he certainly seems to have been a troubadour, and a wandering one at that (again according to the record cover). He also was born & raised in New England (not Old Scotland), graduated from Harvard and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and in 1953 won the Folksong Award at the International Eisteddford in Wales.
Seraffyn does a fine job at singing and occassionally speaking his way through some good folk material, an Edward Lear poem, and a song from the Fantasticks (i.e., Early One Morning). Most of the material, though, is British (as from the British Isles) with some particularly stirring tracks on the first side. A few of the selections, particularly the version of the Owl & the Pussycat (a guy has a romantic dinner and sings to his girlfriend, "What a beautiful pussy you are? WTF?) fall short of the standard set by the first few tracks and seem a bit silly by comparison. Still the record is a notch above your average folk record from the period and one has to wonder what happened to Seraffyn, who does not appear to have released anything after this.
Here's the tracklist
1. The War Song of Dinas Fawr (Men of Harleach)
2. Will Ye No Come Back Again
3. The Bonnie Earl O'Mowry
4. The Song of Wandering Aengus
5. Try to Remember
6. Early One Morning
7. The Road to the Isles
8. Little Tiny Boy
9. The Cowboy's Lament
10. The Owl and the Pussycat
11. Cock Robin
The recording is in mono & the MP3s are encoded with a high quality VBR. Unfortunately there are a couple brief skips (covered over as best I could) on the track "Little Tiny Boy." Listen here or here.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Some time ago I mentioned that I had this record but decided not to post it because it was up on another blog (headfonehaus) that is sadly gone. The recording that I'm posting here comes from that site, since mine was lost when my hard drive crashed. I hope headfone won't mind--props to him.
I'm posting this in response to a blog reader request. So here and here you can hear John Blair's 1st album Mystical Soul released in 1971 on the A&R label. John Franklin Ellington Blair (his full name & yes he was supposedly related to the aristocratic Ellington) was (he passed away in 2006) a singer, violinst, martial artist, poet & inventor of the "Vitar" (a combination acoustical guitar and violin). He put out 3 albums of his own unique mix of jazz, soul, and pop-rock music and this is his first. You can hear his 3rd album, We Belong Together, over at the My Jazz World blog. The album features some nice covers (Burt Bacharach, Beatles, etc.) and fine original numbers. I hope you'll enjoy it. I certainly did.
I hope to be back in a couple weeks with a post of an excellent folk record from Seraffyn, the Last Great Troubador.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I'm really pressed for time this month (and probably will be for the next couple as well) so I'm not going to write much about this one. The fact is that I don't know much that I could relay to you anyway. There were a couple songs from this posted on a blog (I forgot which) a couple years back but that post/blog seems to have disappeared. I can also point you to the Wickham brothers Web site for more information about the brothers. You can also pick up some reissued material and some newer releases on CD there, as well as books like How to Play Guitar Well Enough To Screw up Your Life.
I can say this is an enjoyable outing of folk-country-rock stylings released on the King label (better known for its country & soul music). The Wickham's original material tends to be songs of quiet longing and love, many quite good and there are also a number of choice cover songs (including excellent versions of Love's Message to Pretty and Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now--2 of my alltime favorites). They play their guitars well enough and the Wickham that sings listened to plenty of Elvis' records, although he lacks Elvis' voice.
Here's the tracklist:
But You Know I Love You
Both Sides Now
Tu Solo TuI
Blow the Ashes Away
Fire & Rain
Yesterday, When I Was Young
A Day in the Life of a Fool
Message to Pretty
I should apologize for the late (for March) post and while I'm at it the crappy cover photo. And the sound on this isn't quite as good as I'd like. I may be wrong but I think my turntable seems to be getting worse. Perhaps someone who knows more about audio hardware can clue me in, but will a bad stylus pick up more noise? Will putting a good stylus on a 3rd rate turntable be a better investment than upgrading to a 2nd rate turntable? Anyway, despite the imperfections I hope you enjoy this album.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Admist all this weirdness and between the spoken word exchanges, there are some pretty cool songs here. Computer World is probably my favorite (sort of a watered down version of Lothar & the Hand People's "Machines") and the Lee Harvey Oswald montage, Reflections in the Life of an Assassin is pretty cool too. The band, made up of some competent session musicians plays it with a straight face (although not as straight as the Mystical Voice & the Revolutionists). Here's the personnel listed on the record:
- Written and conceived by Jay Darrow
- Paul Griffin - Organ/Piano
- Al Gorgoni, Dave Spinozza, Bill Snyker - Guitars
- Jimmy Johnson - Drums
- Chuck Raney - Fender Bass
- Jack Jennings - Percussion
- The Musical Theatre - Revolutionists
- Howard Newhouse - Mystical Voice
Jay Darrow is the main instigator of this fantastic excursion into teen angst & desire. In addition to writing the script he's cowriter on most of the songs (in most cases along with G. Shayne). I don't know much about him, though, other than the fact that he is also listed as a producer on a number of pop/rock singles during the late 60s by bands like the Harbingers, the Plebian Rebellion, & that counter-culture icon Anita Bryant.
Because the spoken interludes fill up the space between the songs I have not seperated the tracks the way I usually do. Also, this is still a pretty noisy recording and my attempts at noise reduction don't seem to have worked as well as they usually do. Unforunately I think this is because my crappy turntable has gotten crappier. I'm going to try to get a new stylus sometime soon, which will hopefully help. I hope you enjoy this weirdness released in 1970 on the Metromedia label.
And here's the tracklist:
You Only Reap What You Sow
Reflections in the Life of an Assassin
There Must Be a Better Way of Life
A Love Pill
Before the Apple
I've Seen God in Many Places
A Revolutionary Revelation