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.