Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 79: Dusty Track [heavy blues special]

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password:  tdats
Dose o' blues number two....which now makes for three so far; Vol54Vol79 and Vol108. A few screaming, agonising blues crucifixions mixed in with the usual unstoppable fuzz, coming at you like the train that just keeps'a rolling.......

Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee was the guitarist with LA's psych band Love, he also made a few solo albums along the way before his unfortunate death from leukaemia in 2006. Our intro track is from the time of his first, 1972's 'Vindicator', and is included on the bonus-tracks version. It's such a great riff in this track and it's almost like doom rock, and we all know that blues and doom are pretty much the same thing....Fun Fact: "Lee’s [pre-Love] composition, 'My Diary' was his first to do well. It was written for R&B singer Rosa Brooks who performed and recorded it. The song included a man by the name of Jimi Hendrix (think you may have heard of him) on the electric guitar. Lee had seen him play with the Isley Brothers and asked for him. This is considered by many to be the first known studio recording of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar."

Track 2 is from a fave album of mine by the UK's Jodo. I have never been able to find a lot of info on them, though the members are Earl Jordan (vocals), Jon Taylor (guitar), Rod Alexander (bass) and William E. Kimber (drums). They made one very accomplished hard bluesy rock album in 1971 called 'Guts'. Earl Jordan is known to have sung in the 'Green Bullfrog' sessions with members of Deep Purple that I used back on Vol59. Guts is chock-full of awesome playing, swaggering riffs, and was engineered by Martin Birch who later worked with big names like Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

Mahogany back cover
Mahogany were a UK band who's guitarist John Mackay was also in a pub band called Brewers Droop with a young Mark Knopfler. I have not found much info on Mahogany but have found a scan of the album's  rear jacket with liner notes so here it is word-for-word, by american journalist/critic 'Marion Fredi Towbin' : "Produced by Tony Clarke, Engineered by Robin Thompson. There has been a lot of talk lately of a blues revival, nourished in Britain and overflowing to our shores. Names like John Mayall, Jo-Ann Kelly and Eric Clapton have become increasingly well-known and respected Stateside, and appearances by British blues artists have drawn S.R.O. crowds at the Fillimore East and West as well as the numerous smaller clubs and concert auditoriums throughout the United States. Now there's a new British blues group to reckon with, MAHOGANY. On This, their début Epic album, MAHOGANY proves that original blues material (they composed everything on the album), if played with skill and vitality, can elicit from an audience that pure gut level reaction - "I've-Been-There-Too" - which has always been the earmark of the blues. 
       MAHOGANY is comprised of four young performers, each of whom has had extensive musical experience prior to joining the group: Stephen Darrington (organ), Joseph Southall (bass), John Mackay (lead guitar, lead vocalist) and Paul Hobbs (drums). Although there are only four members of MAHOGANY, their musical skill is considerable; between three of them they play no less than ten instruments including trumpet, violin and classical guitar. (Drummer Paul Hobbs says somewhat apologetically that he only plays drums as they are, for him, "a lifetime.")
       (As I write this, I'm listening to MAHOGANY, drinking a fine English Tea, and thinking about the American Revolution--the 18th-century one. What, I wonder, would our great-great grandaddies--who severed their lives so totally from that of British subjects--think of our 20th-century coming together?)
       Back to the blues . . . like the great blues artists (and I'm thinking Muddy Waters in particular), MAHOGANY'S  music doesn't bring you down. Organist Stephen Darrington describes his compositions as "innumerable drunken 12 bar blues" filled as they are with wronged lovers, drinking bouts, packing up and parting times--but like the best of blues they're exhilarating, cathartic, and sometimes even happy."


I found the Hurriganes while researching for the Finnish TDATS (w.i.p), they are not really heavy enough to fit usually but this track goes nicely in this comp, they were apparently a very important band in Finland and highly regarded. 'It Aint What You Do' is taken from their most popular album, 1974's 'Roadrunner'.

The 5th track is from a Dutch (Nijmegen) band called Cobra. They shared drummer Cor van der Beek with another band that appears here later, Livin' Blues, and made a string of singles between 70-73. 'Midnight Walker' is the b-side to the more commercial 'The War Will Be Over Soon'.

Track 6 comes from another UK band, Ipsissimus. It seems they took their name from the tenth level of Aleister Crowley's magical order, the A∴A∴ 'Lazy Woman' is an absolute stormer and this band had talent. The single a-side was an equally-cool cover of the Rupert's People/The Fleur de Lys track Hold On. It was produced by Norman Smith of Beatles/Pink Floyd fame and I thank this page for the information.

Track 7 and we are half-way through. I must thank my online friends over at Sonidos Primitivos, they post albums and make the odd compilation of their own too, and it was this one on which I heard 'The Underground Electrics'. They are apparently yet another name used by the heavy fuzz psych-exploitation session band I used back on Vol16, 'The 31 Flavors', aka 'Firebird'. They made one Crown label album 'Hey Jude' as the electrics and you can find more info at HeavyPsychManBlog or RedTelephone66. 'The Syndicator' is a simplistic song but the sound is as crunchy as a peanut butter sandwich made with extra bolts.

Track 8 gives this volume it's name. Freedom were a UK band that had connection to a few other notable bands, by Clark Hutchinson bassist Walt Monagan (see Vol74), and Procul Harum (singer Bobby Harrison). Bobby Harrison and early Freedom member Ray Royer had both been in the original incarnation of Procol Harum for their début 'Whiter Shade Of Pale', but were ejected soon after for Robin Trower and Barry Wilson.

So, by the time of the 2nd album, 'Freedom', which I have used here, the lineup stabilised to a heavy blues power trio with a really strong three-part harmony thing going on as Walt Monaghan (bass), Roger Saunders (guitar) and Bobby Harrison (drums, vocals) were all great singers. 'Dusty Track' is a long song with a relaxed pace, but that riff never tires...

No prizes for guessing where the The Illinois Speed Press were from. They started life as The Rovin' Kind and moved to California. By the time the band had recorded their first album the core of the band was Paul Cotton (guitar, vocals) and Kal David (guitar, vocals) and they played together to give the band a very cool dual guitar sound, credited as inspiring Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington to form Lynyrd Skynyrd. They were a regular at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, and played at the first Newport Pop Festival, held in Costa Mesa, California, which was the first festival to record an attendance of over 100,000 paying rock fans. Kal David also played on the 'Merryweather & Carey' album that is featured in the TDATS Neil Merryweather special; Vol68. Paul and Kal have played some reunion shows under the speed press name in recent years.

Livin' Blues
Livin' Blues (from Den Haag, Holland) were a long-lasting blues troupe (recording into the 90's) who's lineup over the years was like a who's who of Dutch rock history, touching on Brainbox, Cobra (as mentioned previously), Shocking Blue, Q65, Sandy Coast and Gold Earring to name just a few. The track I have used here is two consecutive tracks that appeared on their third album, 1971's 'Bamboozle'. I particularly like the way 'Overture' morphs into a progressive jam around the halfway mark, but keeps the bluesy harmonica the whole time.

Next up is Boston's Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand. The album 'Return From the Dead' is a rollicking good-time blast of horns, blues and psych. It has recently been re-issued on the UK Kismet label. I have found a few brief accounts of this very short-lived curiosity: "Ace guitarist Kenny Paulson played on early rock classics such as Suzy Q by Dale Hawkins, and Tallahassee Lassie by Freddie Cannon before his career was derailed by heroin addiction. Following debilitating stints in jail and hospital in the late 1960s, he cleaned up and formed this quartet with former Ill Wind guitarist Carey Mann. Their sole album of guitar-led rock was released in June 1970, though sadly Paulson succumbed to his addiction in 1981."

"Good ole boy blues bar rock with gruff vocals- still the kinda thing you can hear coming out of an unlit local dive on some endless afternoon whenever the door swings open. Fuzz is definitely in evidence & one song is particularly Blue Cheer-ish & has sharp breakbeats as well (a version of 'Blue Skies'). Kenny Paulson played in Dale Hawkins' band & on Freddy Cannon records, & this band pairs him up with a guy from Ill Wind."

"A strange and crude psychedelic blues-rock album from a short-lived band based in Boston circa 1969-1970. One member (PJ Colt) later released a solo album in 1976 (associated with "Skunk" Baxter of Ultimate Spinach, Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers fame). Several vocalists ranging from a growly split-octave style to white-bread blues style to rock-n-roll howl style. An intriguing record on an unlikely label (Flying Dutchman). Mostly original compositions with a couple of covers (Blue Skies, Next Time You See Me). The originals range from hard-rock Led Zeppelin riff-based arrangements (I Won't Quit), to Johnny Winter style white-bread blues (Hard Drivin' Man). Some are beyond comparison (Waiting For Yesterday, River) and have melodic but unusual chord structures and are steeped in psychedelic washes of wah-wah or slap-back guitars and elaborate horn arrangements. The album is extremely rare, and even more so because a manufacturing error resulted in many copies with only one playable side." [The Dragonfly @ RYM]

Ernie Joseph
Big Brother Ernie Joseph was a Californian commune/family type group who recorded their first album in Hollywood. Before Big Brother, singer-guitarist Ernie Joseph was known as Ernie Orosco and was in many Santa Barbara outfits including Ernie and The Emperors, Ernie's Funnys and Giant Crab (for Giant Crab see Vol27). I have used their rip-roaring cover of a blues standard "St. James Infirmary Blues" which was popularised by Lois Armstrong but actually has roots in an English folk song about a soldier who uses his money on prostitutes, and then dies of a venereal disease! Ernie Joseph puts in an impassioned performance on this track which sounds like it must have been one of his career-best.

Burning Plague
Nearing the end now, we have a Belgian (Brussels) band called Burning Plague. They emerged from the split of Brussels band 'Four Of A Kind', the other splintering group that resulted was Kleptomania (see Belgian special Vol61). They made one album which  is now regarded as one of the very best of it's kind from Belgium and during their brief spot in the lime-light they played festivals like Belgium's premier Bilzen Rock & Jazz festival in 1970. Even so, English-born guitarist / singer / main composer Michael Heslop was disappointed with the CBS label support so dismantled the band and joined Doctor Downtrip (see Vol46 and Vol61), who made a few great tracks but didn't really go anywhere with their 3 albums which grew less and less interesting.

So another volume ends, I hope you enjoyed this dose of blues catharsis, and it plays out with 'Bad Luck Feeling' from The Meating, a really excellent progressive blues single. I thank the brilliant Aussie blog Rock On Vinyl for this info: "The Australian blues veteran, Matt Taylor has been playing his brand of Australian-twinged blues music since the mid-'60s. His first band, the Bay City Union, was formed in March 1966 and was one of Australia's first traditional Chicago blues bands. They issued one single, "Mo'reen"/"Mary Mary," in April 1968 before breaking up in July 1968 due to a general lack of interest in blues bands. Taylor briefly sang with the Wild Cherries before forming the Horse, and then briefly stepped in as lead singer with Cam-Pact for a two-week tour of Sydney during early 1970. He then joined blues band Genesis in February, who released a collaborative single with Carson County Band, titled "Bad Luck Feeling"/"Back Home" under the banner the Meating. They toured until August 1970 when Taylor left to join Chain."

Track list:

01. Arthur Lee - You Want Change for Your Re-Run (1972)
       from album 'vidicator'
02. Jodo - Nightmare (1971)
       from album 'guts'
03. Mahogany - Best Woman, Best Friend (1969)
       from album 'mahogany'
04. Hurriganes - It Ain't What You Do (1974)
       from album 'roadrunner'
05. Cobra - Midnight Walker (1971)
06. Ipsissimus - Lazy Woman (1969)
07. The Underground Electrics - The Syndicator (1968)
       from album 'hey jude'
08. Freedom - Dusty Track  (1971)
       from album 'freedom'
09. The Illinois Speed Press - Get In The Wind, Pt. II (1969)
       from album 'the illinois speed press'
10. Livin' Blues - Bamboozle / Overture (1972)
       from album 'bamboozle'
11. Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand - And Now I'm Comin' Home (1970)
       from album 'return from the dead'
12. Big Brother Ernie Joseph - Saint James Infirmary (1971)
       from album 'confusion'
13. Burning Plague - Life Is Nonsense (1970)
       from album 'burning plague'
14. The Meating - Bad Luck Feeling (1970)

Thanks for listening! Rich


  1. Great! Great! Great! Just GREAT! Thanks a lot, Rich!

  2. Muchas gracias por estas sugerencias tan maravillosas.

  3. Replies
    1. Glad you are digging it! Lots more to come...busy on the next few

  4. Hey man, could you possibly fix the mf link? or theres any other way one can download this comp ?

  5. Hello
    sorry, the mf link is broken and the rs does not work (says owner traffic exhausted)
    Thanks for all your comps which are all great and interestig ways to discover music

    1. Hi, yes I'm working on it now, check back later, Rich.

    2. Thanks for this and congratulations for your work on these compilations (and your musical taste)