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Volume 71 is my third collection (after #17 and #49) of tracks with female vox. It gets underway with two concise and heavy singles.
Parojoma's 'Crystallized Insanity' is a 1971 single a-side from Canada, and I thank my friend's excellent channel for bringing this catchy slice of groove to my attention just in time to give it pride of place. There is little information to go on, it was on the London label and writing credits go to M. & R. Bartolucci, with P. Cardone. Production is by Ben Kaye & Art Phillips. No mention of the players of songstress, though back in those days female session singers were often not credited.
Think's single is another for which I cannot find the singers name, but the music is some strong pop with a wicked, heavy low-ended chorus and brass embellishments. The main players here were Mike Ballew (gtr) and Danny Wilder (bs) who were previously in The Brothers and later in 'Red, Wilder, Blue'.
Valeria Mongardini was an Italian pop singer with a raw voice which she used to out-sleaze The Guess Who on this great cover of "American Woman". The backing arrangement is from Tony Mimms, a Glasgow-born producer and musician who emigrated to Italy with a band called The Primitives, which also included drummer Pick Withers, later of Dire Straits fame.
Sun is a special discovery to me, a guy called "Daru Blues" with a channel on youtube kindly sent me the album in mp3 after I spent an age searching for it, and I was not disappointed. They were originally from Wollongong, near Sydney, Australia. They made one enigmatic, ultra-collectable album; progressive blues and jazz wth great musicianship plus a secret weapon in the form of Renée Geyer with her unique vocal power and swagger, belying her tender age of 18. Renée (who was later replaced in Sun by Starlee Ford, a singer who appeared in the original Australian production of the rock musical Hair) went on to great solo acclaim but never bettered her performance here I think.
'6 Feet Under' started out as 'The Marc 5' in 1966 in Colonia, New Jersey. Later known as the Sonix, they never recorded an album proper and this track is taken from the 1998 Arf! Arf! Records retrospective. One-time drummer Hector "Tico" Torres was ejected in 1970 before the addition of the female singer on this track 'What Would You Do', though it may have been a good move for him financially as he went on to be a founding member of Bon Jovi. Growling fuzz, stabbing keys and wah grooves pervade through this awesome track.
Sharon Tandy was a sexy and soulful Johannesburg-born singer who teamed up with Brit freak-beaters Les Fleur de Lys (see their own original version of 'Hold On' in Vol70) on more than one occasion. Having had plenty of breaks, performing often on UK t.v. and even getting signed to Stax in 1966 to cut earthy Southern soul with Booker T & The MGs and Isaac Hayes, she never really made it and was back to a comparatively small career in South Africa by 1970. This version of Hold On features some totally scorching guitar and her trademark earthy vocals.
The John Bassman Group started life as a school band in Landgraaf, a municipality in south-eastern Limburg and also where one of Holland's biggest rock fests resides, Pinkpop. Their single album 'filthy sky' was a curious affair, a mix of country-tinged blues tracks, and west coast style psych tracks, these being the ones which frequently hit the mark with awesome fuzzy wah guitar and charismatic vox from Diana Leemhuis. John Theunissen and the 'bassman' Theo Wetzeis later joined Pussycat, who had a novelty hit with "Mississippi" in 1975. You've gotta love the fuzz-wah chops of "His Name Was Tom".
|Earth & Fire (1970)|
Ruby Starr was discovered by Black Oak Arkansas frontman Jim Dandy, working in a bar in Evansville, Indiana. Over her career she performed with them, Blackfoot and Mountain, along with a number of backing bands and solo projects. One of them was called 'Ruby Starr And Grey Ghost' and included members of Target (see Vol65), the 'Grey Ghost' in question being a reference to confederate civil war hero General Mosby. "Burnin' Whiskey" is a good southern-rocker with a hint of Deep Purple grinding hammond.
And so this volume ends with L.A. pop-rockers 'Smith', who's strongest asset was their most frequent vocalist, Gayle McCormick, an accomplished female blue-eyed soul belter. Here is their version of old reliable 'I Just Wanna Make Love To You', a 1954 blues song written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters. It appears for around the third time on this blog; maybe another theme idea is forming....
01. Parojoma - Crystallized Insanity (1971)
02. Think - California (Is Getting So Heavy) (1969)
03. C. K. Strong - Stormbird (1969)
from album "c.k. strong"
04. Valeria Mongardini - Addio Città Vecchia [The Guess Who cover] (1970)
05. Sun - Vendetta (1972)
from album 'sun 1972'
06. 6 Feet Under - What Would You Do (1970)
from retrospective "in retrospect 1969-'70"
07. Sharon Tandy - Hold On [with Les Fleur De Lys] (1967)
08. John Bassman Group - His Name Was Tom (1970)
from album 'filthy sky'
09. Earth & Fire - Lost Forever (1971)
from repertoire re-issue of 'earth and fire'
10. Ruby Starr And Grey Ghost - Burnin' Whiskey (1975)
from album 'ruby starr & grey ghost'
11. Pesky Gee - Where Is My Mind [Vanilla Fudge cover] (1969)
from album 'exclamation mark'
12. Ivory - Silver Rains (1968)
from album 'ivory'
13. She Trinity - Climb That Tree [with The Onyx] (1970)
14. Sweet Pain - Sick And Tired (1969)
from album 'sweet pain'
15. Smith - I Just Wanna Make Love To You (1969)
from album 'a group called smith'
Thanks for listening! Rich