Monday, October 22, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 78: I Was Only Dreaming [flute special]

Download from  [mf] or [mg]
Unzip password:  tdats

TDATS 78: I Was Only Dreaming [Flutes In Heavy '70s Prog] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud
Flutes. There, I said it. Before the more metal-minded of you out there run for cover, keep listening.......nothing exemplifies and defines that authentic progressive rock sound we all love more than a well-placed touch of virtuoso flute. Let me reassure you, all the tracks in this exhilarating volume also pass the TDATS seal of approval for heaviness, groove or fuzz. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the prog-rock instruments of old with bands such as Blood Ceremony and Circulus bringing flutes back to the front of the stage.

Flute is not usually a priority for me in my searches, which is why I really appreciate it on the occasions that I come across some I like. The welcome addition of flute adds an extra element to all of the inclusions here, for instance, the Dug Dug's 'Smog' has heavy riffing that is followed closely by the flute and it adds strikingly to the over-all feel of the song. I have tried in the main to choose tracks where the instrument is an important part of the music, if not the driving force, rather than just a casual embellishment. The one exception to this is probably Fashion Pink, where the flute could be seen as a bit of an after-thought, but it still adds nicely to the  ambience and trouser-flapping groove. Rufus Zuphal are notable for how they gave the flute a monstrous sound by feeding it through various effects. For this volume I must make special thanks to the helpful crowd at the TDATS fb group and flute rock afficianado Julia Miodyńska, creator of weekly prog rock radio show Epoka Żelaza in Poland. The artwork is taken from the wonderful works of Leah Jay (linkedin) and you can see more at

01. The California Earthquake - Friday 3 P.M. (1971)
       from album 'reformation'
02. Tomorrow's Gift - Tenakel Gnag (1970)
       from album 'tomorrow's gift'
03. Fashion Pink - I'm a Man (1971)
       from retrospective 'encore'
04. Tako - Minijatura (1978)
       from album 'tako'
05. Los Dug Dug's - Smog [english version] (1972)
       from album 'smog'
06. Janko Nilović - Drug Song (1975)
       from album 'soul impressions'
07. Rufus Zuphall - Prickel Pit (1971)
       from album 'phallobst'
08. Plum Nelly - The Demon (1971)
       from album 'deceptive lines'
09. Gravy Train - Can Anybody Hear Me (1971)
       from album '(a ballad of) a peaceful man'
10. Goliath - Maajun (A Taste Of Tangier) (1970)
       from album 'goliath'
11. Progresiv TM - Rusinea Soarelui (1973)
       from album 'dreptul de a visa'
12. Quintessence - Notting Hill Gate [single version] (1969)
13. Heat Exchange - Reminiscence (1972)
14. Shag - Gypsies In The Forest (1969)
       from retrospective 'shag 1969'
15. Jade Warrior - A Prenormal Day at Brighton (1971)
       from album 'jade warrior'
16. The Hunt - I Was Only Dreaming (1977)
       from album 'the hunt'

Our opener 'Friday: 3 P.M' is a short segue track taken from The California Earthquake's 'Reformation' which was a fairly ambitious Christian progressive concept album (don't let that put you off too much!). Good use of brass and wood-wind conjures up the feeling of a 70's action movie with a cool soundtrack and overall it has a wide scope of sounds with some rocking moments like 'Let There Be Light'.  A very interesting curio indeed. Apparently this was a studio-only project made by an ensemble that included established session musicians like Jim Gordon (drums - played with Duane Allman, Jack Bruce & John Lee Hooker),  John Guerin (drums - played with Frank Zappa & The Byrds) and soul singer Roy Smith (vocals).

Tomorrows Gift
Track 2's Tomorrow's Gift were from Hamburg, they were a proto-prog band with plenty of heavy moments and on the first album they had a charismatic female singer in Ellen Meyer. Interestingly, guitarist Carlo Karges later played with German pop star Nina on hits like '99 Red Balloons'. Many of the tracks on their 1970 debut have an occult feel; I find this enhanced by Ellen's english pronunciation which is far from perfect and gives the vocals an odd quality which makes them sound even more like the strange incantations of a witch!

Fashion Pink
Another German band follows, Baden-Baden's 'Fashion Pink' were the original incarnation of krautrock prog-jazzers Brainstorm. This track has such a cool vibe, a really strong groove with wicked guitar and the whole thing is improved by it's flute embellishment.

Tako was a Serbian band that made a couple of albums before disbanding in 1981. The track here is from their self-titled 1978 album. It's a short instrumental with a stately intro which soon toughens up to the Ian Anderson-style of vocalised flute aggression, nice.


Next up is Mexican band Dug Dug's, and the use of stabbing echoed flute on this track from their second album is fantastic. It lends the sharp flighty feel that only flute can one second, and then forceful insidious nastiness the next.

Janko Nilović
Montenegrin Janko Nilović (birth name) is one of the most prolific and well-known creators of library music and I have used this catchy funk track from his 1975 record 'Soul Impressions'. He has made over 200 records and singles under at least 10 pseudonyms. There is now a great interview with the man himself here.

We have yet another German group now, Aachen's Rufus Zuphall. They are often likened to Jethro Tull and their breakthrough came in 1970 in front of a 30.000 crowd at the Jazz Festival in Bilzen, Belgium. Actually planned as a sideshow, they then played as the only amateur band to share the main stage with such stars as Black Sabbath, Cat Stevens or May Blitz and were celebrated by the press as 'surprise of the festival'.

Plumb Nelly
New York's 'Creedmore State' formed in 1970 and after success as a regular at the rock club "Ungano's" they signed to Capitol Records under the new name 'Plum Nelly'. They recorded one album called 'Deceptive Lines' and while touring it they supported big names such as Jimi Hendrix & Fleetwood Mac. Album track 'Lonely Man's Cry' was backed by a local group called The Sweet Inspirations which was lead by by Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston's Mother. 'The Demon' is the longest cut on this comp, it has a slightly progressive structure and a great mix of contrasts, along with some nice flute of course!

Gravy Train were from Lancashire, UK They made four albums over their obscure career, which started out on the famed Vertigo label . Unfortunately their output was patchy and they never really capitalised on their strengths, but these were considerable when they got the sound right and on their best tracks they sounded like Tull with the extra heaviness of Sabbath. The track here "Can Anybody Hear Me?" shows this.

'Maajun (A Taste of Tangier)' is a track that I liked immediately, it came over as a condensed, speeded-up version of one of my favourite ever TDATS inclusions, the epic Rajah Khan by Renaissance. They both share an eastern feel, built upon ethereal female vocal shapes, with a tough groove that shows itself now and again. Goliath are not so easy to find info about, the lineup was Linda Rothwell (vocals), Malcolm Grundy (guitar), Joseph Rosbotham (woodwinds), John Williamson (bass) and Eric Eastman (drums, percussion). Thier only album, 1970's 'Goliath', was issued on CD by the Spanish Estrella Rockera Label in 2004. Apparently Linda Rothwell had a couple of solo singles on the Chapter One label in the early 70s.

'Progresiv TM' were from Romania and there was 6 years between their two albums. They had a very original and quirky sound, somewhat in-line with the genre-mash up eccentricities of other great eastern europen bands of the time. After reading about them, they are often compared to out-there Italian prog of the times, in sound, but also because the Romanian accent and language is similar to that of Italian. The guitar tone is nice and thick, another aspect that seems to be compared to Sabbath, but the writing is very different, it is tight and unpredictable, and the flute sheen makes a great contrast to the heaviness.

Quintessence were a band heavily influenced by the Beatles-approved psychedelic interest in Indian mysticism and raga music. As you probably know this is not the style of music that TDATS would normally delve into but on this single version of Notting Hill Gate they turned up the fuzz guitar a little and it's a cool track.

Heat Exchange
The next track is from a Canadian group called Heat Exchange. This Toronto-based 5 piece were clearly very talented and showed great musical versatility. Unfortunately they did not make an album, though they earned a recording contract to do so, and the scant information available so far on the series of singles they made does not reveal what happened to them. 'Reminiscence' is some frenetic prog which is quite tight and technical but accessible too, they could have been huge. I found a guy on YouTube who is the son of Flute player Graig Carmody, so I asked him for information on the band and this was his reply: "If I recall my dad's story correctly, they struggled to find a strong commercial hit--they landed a recording contract and Scorpio Lady was their first attempt at a commercial hit. It did pretty well in Toronto, landing in the top 40 countdown for some time. But the rest of their stuff was really creative and unusual, and I think they didn't want to veer too far away from that. A year later their momentum faded, and things just fell apart from there. My dad still plays after many years of repairing instruments as his profession, just in a couple local bands. If you're curious, here's a video of him in recent days."

Milwaukee's Shag was first know as 'The Shags' and made some garage singles in the mid 60s. They recorded a demo in 1969 at Pacific High Recording, The Grateful Dead's studio, but parted ways soon after. The demo has since been remastered and released by Gear Fab records, revealing another band that was clearly very creative and could have been a big name. I found a great interview with guitarist Paul Gordon Elliott on Klemen Breznikar's brilliant blog here. The track I used here 'Gypsies In The Forest' has relentless pace, lead by aggressive flute riffing which easily gives Tull a run for their money.

Jade Warrior
The penultimate inclusion is from Jade Warrior, who rose from the ashes of a few 60s bands including 'Second Thoughts', Tomcat, and the more well-known 'Unit Four plus Two' and July. By the time of their 1971 debut they had developed a considered layered sound that was a unique addition to the rising proto-prog sounds of the time. The track I have used here is from that debut and it shows their often bass-lead sound, with scything fuzz guitar and hints of oriental mystery. "A Prenormal Day at Brighton" is a strange title and I am yet find out what it means, answers on a post-card please! Various members have continued to make music under the Jade Warrior name and there is news of forth-coming releases on their site.

The comp ends on a rousing Canadian track from Ontario's The Hunt, who have connection to the bands Offenbach (see Vol58) and  Toronto's Dillinger. They don't score many points on originality, following closely in the flight-path of a certain lead balloon, but they do it very well and expand upon Zep's repertoire with expressive flute.

Thanks for listening! Rich.

Share via:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 77: Good Connection

Download from: [mf] or [mg]
Volume 77 is a mix of the best in US fuzz, psych, heavy blues and hard rock from between the heavenly years of 1969 and 1973. They are all new to TDATS, I love'em all and it's another blast so let's go...

01. Jamul - All You Have Left Is Me (1970)
       from album 'jamul'
02. Mariani - Re-Birth Day (1970)
       from album 'perpetuum mobile'
03. Jump - Love Wit Chu Mama (1971)
       from album "jump"
04. Landslide - Happy (1972)
       from album 'two sided fantasy'
05. Summerhill - Bring Me Around (1969)
       from album 'summerhill'
06. The Third Power - Gettin' Together (1970)
       from album 'believe'
07. Charisma - Bizwambi, Ritual Dance Of The Reptiles (1970)
       from album 'beast and friends'
08. Atlee Yeager - Will If You Will (1973)
       from album 'plant me now and dig me later'
09. Lost Nation - Tall Ivory Castle (1970)
       from album 'paradise lost'
10. 4th Cekcion - Find Yourself Another Way (1970)
       from album '4th cekcion'
11. Five By Five - Good Connection (1970)
12. The Cryan' Shames - Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith & Jones (1968)
       from album 'synthesis'
13. Mason - Tell Me (1971)
       from album 'harbour'
14. Owen-B - Thank You For Listening (1970)
       from album 'owen-b'

I found a little article regarding Jamul here. "Jamul's album, though being issued on the small Lizard label, may be not so obscure, but the band surely is. Named after a small town somewhere out in the back country near San Diego, there is almost no information available on this outfit. They are: Steve Williams, Bob Desnoyers, Ron Armstrong and John Fergus. Their music is mostly heavy blues rock with extremely powerful vocals. Best songs are "Tobacco Road" with a strong guitar solo and thundering blues harp, "Ramblin Man" (not the Allman Brothers' song) and the apocalyptic "Valley Thunder". Their cover of the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash' is a bit lame, although it has a good progressive Guitar solo. There are 2 or 3 other songs, that seem to be mere fillers. But still - this is better than some of the 100-dollar-records you see for sale. - Originally came with a set of stamps depicting the musicians. The band were involved with Steppenwolf's management and the sound is similar to the early years of that band."

Mariani, Reviewed by: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck: "A trio called Mariani originally recorded Perpetuum Mobile in 1970. In 2001 Akarma Records resurrected this sought after collectable. A young 16-year-old guitarist was making some noise then, his name was Eric Johnson. Many music lovers found out about Johnson through his breakthrough album Ah Via Musicom in 1990. After The Ventures had initiated me and opened my ears to instrumental rock, I heard Johnson's song "Trademark," which was enjoying a steady rotation on FM radio. Enamored by the new sound, I consequently started my search for all the instrumental guitar music that I could get my hands on.

This reissued classic rock-blues album comes packaged in gatefold sleeve with the original stunning artwork and lengthy and informative liner notes that fill up both sides of the inner sleeves. I really did not know what to expect when I put this platter on my turntable. I thought it might have been one of those castaway recordings that you hear 30 years after the fact. This however was not the case. Johnson, Vince Mariani (drums, vocals), and Jay Podolick (bass, vocals) were a powerful trio. Johnson was only a 16-year-old kid but he sounded years beyond capabilities as a lead guitar player."

Jump's album was from 1971: "This progressive pop-rock quartet was led by lead guitarist / vocalist Dennis Tracy, along with lead vocalist / organist Scott Thurston, bassist Mark Spiwak and drummer Don Gorman. They met on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles one night, and quickly found management in the shape of The Doors right-hand man Bill Siddons (who had time on his hands while The Doors were on hiatus following the recording of LA Woman.) 

After a week’s rehearsals, they signed the Janus (asubsidiary of Chess) at the Beach House in Santa Monica, California, and Flew to San Francisco to cut an album at the legendary Wally Heider’s Studios before they’d so much as played a gig. Overseen by Fred Catero - famed for his work with Bob Dylan, Santana and others - the Sessions took three weeks (and were filmed by UCLA film Student Reed Hutchinson, though it has yet to resurface). 

Their first gig was in front of 5000 people at the San Bernardino’s Civic Aufitorium. Following the album’s release on the Janis label in the summer of 1971, they undertook two nationwide tours, including a performance at the massive week-long Celebration of Life festival in Macrea Louisiana that June. Despite a strong commercial sound (and a German release for the LP on Bellaphon), the split later the year over musical direction (Thurston and Spiwak favored a more traditional rock/blues sound, while Tracy was more interested in classic songwriting). After the split, Tracy embarked on a solo career, including a 1974 album on which he was backed by Thurston and Spiwak, meanwhile, became a leading Session Musician and long-time member of Iggy Pop and Tom Petty’s bands."

An RYM review of Landslide by RDTEN1: "It's interesting to note that in the early and mid-1970s Capitol Records had some fantastic acts signed to recording contracts.  Unfortunately, the label's focus was on boogie bands such as Grand Funk Railroad, relegating even more deserving outfits like Food and Long Island's Landslide to instant oblivion. 

In terms of bibliographical information, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of stuff readily available on this New York quartet.  What little I've found comes from the liner notes on their LP. The line up consisted of drummer Tommy Caglioti, Joseph Caglioti, singer Ed Cass, bassist  Bobby Sallustio and lead guitarist Billy Savoca.  Prior to forming Landslide, Joseph and Tommy Caglioti  and Sallusito had played in the blues band Trax.  Following it's break up, Sallustio dropped out of music to attend college, but within a short period, decided to form a new band with his former partners.  The three promptly recruited vocalist Cass and guitarist Savoca (who had been playing in the band Gullotos).  The five piece began playing local clubs as Hot Waks before metamorphosing into Landslide. 

Released in 1972, their sole album "Two Sided Fantasy" was apparently a self-produced effort (credited to Proud Productions, Inc.).  With four of the five members contributing material the album offered up an enjoyable mix of blues-rock ('Everybody Knows (Slippin')'), Manassas-styled Latin-flavored rock ('Doin' What I Want') and conventional hard rock ('Happy').  Exemplified by tracks such as the leadoff rocker 'Doin' What I Want' ' the album offered up strong melodies, taunt vocals and Savoca's always tasty guitar.  While the entire album is good, highlights include 'Dream Traveler' (be sure to check out Savoca's lead guitar) and the closer 'Happy'."

Summerhill information taken from "Summerhill were formed in Los Angeles in 1968 by Doug Burger (keyboards), Larry Hickman (bass guitar), Alan Parker (vocals, lead guitar) and Del Ramos (drums, percussion). Produced by David Briggs and recoreded at Wally Heider Studio in San Francisco during 1969, their eponymous album Summerhill (Bill Cosby's record label Tetragrammaton T-114) features ten original compositions, all four members contributed material giving the album a diverse, but occasionally unfocused feel.

Summerhill's only and underrated album possibly failed to find an audience because it never settles on any particular style, plus I assume that Tetragrammaton Records were pretty underground, despite having Deep Purple's 'The Book Of Taliesyn' on their catalogue. The set certainly sported a late-1960s West Coast vibe, bouncing all over the musical spectrum, including Hendrix-Rock style (Bring Me Around), Sunshine Pop (Soft Voice), Curt Boettcher-influenced Psychedelic Folk-Rock (Follow Us), a touch of Jazz (What Can I Say), and brushes with more experimental moves (check out the aural meltdown on side two's The Bird). 

Elsewhere Summerhill's album was interesting for showing the band as an early exponent of Country-Rock. Alan Parker's pretty Country-flavored ballad The Last Day was every bit as good as anything being released by The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield, or Poco (who's Rusty Young provided pedal steel guitar. Alan Parker's Fuzz guitar propelled My Way (Hard for You) would have sounded right at home on one of Byrds' Preflyte album. 'Friday Morning's Paper', which is a magically psychedelic concoction of staggering drums, veiled vocals, drugged strings and Raga guitars belonging on any compilation of this sort. 

Even better was the Fuzz guitar and feedback drenched in the killer guitar Pop song 'It's Gonna Rain'. A great slice of harmony rich, lysergic soaked Rock. Tetragrammaton also tapped the album for a single in the form of The Last Day" b/w Soft Voice."

More The Third Power information here. "The Third Power formed in 1967 near Detroit in Farmington Hills, MI by Drew Abbot (Guitar, Vocals), Jim Craig - (Drums, Vocals) and Jem Targal - (Bass guitar, Vocals) after playing around for several years in various bands. They Quickly emerged as a favourite on the local club circuit thanks to their bone-rattling sound. Third Power arrived with one of the most descriptive epithets a Power Rock Trio ever possessed. 

Their heavy attack fast made them favourites at the Grande Ballroom, Eastown Theater and just about every other concert venue in the area. In 1970 The 3rd Power recorded the album 'Believe' was recorded for the Vanguard Records. But 'The 3rd Power - Believe' was deemed too heavy for the label's direction and lacked the support that could have made it more of a hit. This decision by Vanguard Records to drop The Third Power from their roster almost immediately after Believe's release made it an instant collectable.

Despite production and support by the legendary Sam Charters, Vanguard's utter lack of comprehension of the work (they didn't really know what to do with the band and dropped them after hearing the recording), poor distribution and non-existent promotion erased any chance the record had to stand on its considerable merit. Vanguard Records executives thought the album was too heavy, never gave it any promotional support and dropped the band literally days after the album was released. Believe (Vanguard Records VSD-6554) is purely studio; way too produced and laden with overdubs impossible to duplicate live, at least with the technology available then and it was not strong enough to capture the all important top 40 FM market and most importantly, did not sell well outside of Detroit and related environs. 

Jem Targal had the vocal chords for serious Rock singing and Drew Abbot's supercharged guitar work ranked with the best in the city. In the early '70s Drew Abbot performed as an opener with various Motown Records session bands. Having been managed by Punch Andrews, Drew Abbot knew Bob Seger; in fact, Third Power had often opened for Bob Seger. In 1972 when Seger decided he wanted to give up guitar playing responsibilities, Drew Abbot was asked to join Bob Seger's band. 

When "Punch Andrews" and "Bob Seger" decided to create a new image for "Bob Seger" by starting the "Silver Bullet Band" in 1974, "Drew Abbot" was the only member asked to stay on."

Charisma info found at Red Telephone's great blog: "Charisma came about from diverging roots emanating from 3 directions. The core of Charisma was Rich Tortorigi (drummer) and George Tyrell (bass player). Both were members of a New Britain, Connecticut soul band called The Mantiques. The Mantiques had been one of the three main horn-based bands in New Britain in the mid to late 60’s, along with Detroit Soul and The Paramounts. Paramounts drummer, Tyrone Lampkin went on to play with Gutbucket and the Parliament Funkadelics.

In 1968, Rich Tortorigi recruited Tom Majesky to play guitar with The Mantiques, following their breakup. Tom enlisted Bernie Kornowicz, former bassist of The Last Five, to share guitar and organ duties. The final addition to the group was folk singer Mike DeLisa to sing lead. Tom and Bernie brought the rock and roll element to the Mantiques and Mike brought the band an element of folkiness."

Atlee were a hard-rock quartet from California. All the tracks on their sole album were penned by Atlee Yeager and demonstrate the band's skill and their sense of humour: Jesus People, Dirty Sheets, Dirty Old Man, Let's Make Love are just some highlights of a very consistent album. Damon also played in the group. Two members who would join the group Highway Robbery, Don Francisco and Mike Stevens, were involved with the band during the release of the album. Still working with Michael Stevens, Atlee Yeager would go on to issue another album on Chelsea in 1973 called Plant Me Now And Dig Me Later. 'Will If You Will' is taken from that album.

I have put the 'Lost Nation' track on as a half-time breather, it's not very heavy, it's just a great song! "Don't let the cover of this obscure Detroit album put you off - it depicts the band behind a balustrade on whose lower wall is graffiti on a predominantly ecological theme, but this is no hippie-rock, or back-to-nature concept album. This is serious progressive rock, soundwise somewhere between Uriah Heep and Rare Bird - busy keyboards, strong vocals, neoclassical movements, and some excellent heavy guitar. Not strictly within the main thrust of this book, this quintet merit an entry for including Ron Stults, formerly of revered heavy garage kings The Unrelated Segments. Craig Webb also had a spell in Frijid Pink."(info taken from Orexisofdeath)

4th Cekcion were an obscure and rare Texas based horn rock outfit. Very Good!! Released by the small Bellaire, Texas-based Solar Recording Corporation, 1970's "4th Cekcion" was produced by Fred Carroll. It's horn rock with a plenty of non-cheesy attitude and there's a few fine cuts to be found on it. Expect to hear some more on the forth-coming second brass / horn rock comp...

Five by Five were late a sixties band that had a little success with some singles and made one album in 1968. Though clearly tallented musicians, they never really found an identity, but their last single, included here, shows them heading in a harder-rocking direction and they pull it off very well so it would have been nice to see where they could have gone. 'Good Connection' gives this volume it's name.

The Cryan Shames made quite a name for themselves in Chicago as a sixties pop group and went in a slightly harder direction their final album in 1970 and the track I used here is an interesting mix of pop, prog and hard riffs. Here is Tymeshifter's review from RYM: "The Cryan shames career seems to have followed a similar ark to that of their contemporaries The Critters. But the latter's early pop albums were not their best, and they seemed more suited for the harder stuff they put out on their final LP. The Cryan Shames, on the other hand, produced some of the best pop oriented albums of their time, and those first two are excellent examples of the genre.

But here on this final release, they seem to want to break out of that mold, and find themselves in an area to which they were not as comfortably suited. Though still containing ample amounts of light pop, it is punctuated with harder, much more progressive flavored rock, as well as overtly evident psych effects. Oddly, though apparently their sole release geared towards the underground set, this is the one of their albums not to escape the typical horn and orchestrated production techniques their earlier, more commercially oriented albums did."

I found a nice write-up on Mason over at "The years 1968-1974 brought about the awakening and evolution of the Tidewater-Chesapeake Bay music scene The ocean front and tidal inlets with their military influences of Norfolk and the commercialism of Virginia Beach tourism brought the money to support a thriving hot bed of live music. British infusion brought Cream, Hendnx, Traffic, Mountain, and Blind Faith influences and began an evolution from the beach music of the R&B roots. Mason was formed to combine these roots and resulted in a trio of multi talented musicians playing the stages of Peabody's Warehouse and The Dome to Alex Cooley's in Atlanta's Electric Ballroom Especially memorable was the Fan district of Richmond where on any given weekend night.

Mason would be playing across the street from other clubs that were featuring bands headed up by Bruce Hornsby. Bruce Springsteen (Steel Mill), and Lynyrd Skynyrd. However. Mason was the only band at this time (1971) to actually have recorded and released an LP. Morgan Hampton played both piano and sang; but his impeccable beat and drive on drums set Mason apart from most of the R&B drummers of this time. Steve Arcese had the vocal uniqueness which drew from his deep roots in classic R&B His virtuosity on the B3 Hammond organ drove walls of sound up and down the East coast.

As Mason's music expanded. Steve branched out to guitar and bass, setting the group apart as a multi faceted presentation of music styles James Galyon's musically diverse skills accented Morgan's and Steve's virtuosities James played flute, saxophone, Lyricon, bass, keyboards, and acoustic and electric guitar. The combined sounds initially drew five to six hundred listeners each performance in 1969, but by 1973 Mason was performing in concerts to audiences of over 15,000."

RDTEN1 over at RYM come's up trumps again with a great history of super-obscure outfit Owen-B: "Owen-B (named after the band's black and orange 1954 Mercury), has an interesting, if rather convoluted background. Born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio singer/guitarist Terry Van Auker and multi-instrumentalist Tom Zinser got their starts playing in a number of local bands, including Tommy Z and The Sleepers.  By 1967 the two were playing in an outfit known as Wildlife.  Popular on the local club scene, an audition for Columbia went well, but the company's interest was contingent on the group agreeing to dump then lead singer Lou Basso.  Reluctantly the rest of the band agreed to the personnel change, subsequently recording a number of demos for the label.  The partnership was brief, resulting in the release of one instantly obscure single: 'Time Will Tell' b/w 'Hard Hard Year'. Back on the club circuit, 1969 saw another personnel change with former Crazy Elephant/Music Explosion drummer Bob Tousignant (aka Bob Avery) signing on.  Another name change followed, with Owen-B emerging. 

Unable to interest another major label in their material, the group elected to go the self-issued route.  Consequently 1970's cleverly-titled "Owen-B" was released on their own Ohio-based Mus-i-col label.  Self-produced, anyone expecting to hear another set of mid-1960s blue-eyed soul/garage was probably somewhat disappointed by the album.  Similarly anyone buying into dealer hype claiming this was a set of mind melting psych was gonna be disappointed.  Those comments aren't meant to be taken as criticisms since the collection's quite commercial and somewhat of a lost classic.  Featuring ten band-penned originals, musically the set bounced all over the spectrum, including stabs at stoner acoustic folk ('All We Are Asking'), pop ('My Friends'), country-rock ('Weekend'), and conventional hard rock ('Share'). Normally something as diverse wouldn't hold up particularly well, but when packaged with killer melodies, great harmony vocals, some first-rate guitar (courtesy of Terry Van Auker ) and a real sense of fun and enjoyment you ended up with one of the rare exceptions to the rule.  Personal favorites include 'Leavin' It All Up To You' and 'Out On My Own' (which add a bit of progressive complexity to the mix) and ''.  Easy to see why folks hype the album, even if it isn't for the right reasons.  Shame they didn't record a follow up set."

Thank You For Listening! Rich.