Showing posts with label 4th Cekcion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4th Cekcion. Show all posts

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 93: Keep On Burning (hornrock)

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Welcome to the second heavy brassrock special! Shown by the narrow date bracket of these tracks (1969-1973) this was a phenomenon of the late 60's/early 70's. This style of rock with a horn section originated in the US after bands like Chicago Transit Authority and Blood Sweat & Tears found success with the formula. It blends rock with elements of soul, Latin, jazz and funk and the wind/brass sections that come with them. Some elements of hard and progressive rock occasionally crept in too; check out the brilliant track from Puzzle which is an unashamed, multi-instrumental prog freak-out. The majority of the bands appearing here played in the up-beat, easily accessible way of Chicago and BS&T, and the vocalists tend to be of the big band-leading crooner type. SOD, Melting Pot and The Gasoline Band are rooted in funk & soul, which have of course always been heavily reliant on brass sections. In true TDATS tradition, these picks are the hardest-rocking examples of their respective styles that I could find...

One thing I like about listening to this music is how it conjures images of old crime movies, perfect for a Dirty Harry or Steve Mcqueen chase scene. And a warning, be prepared to read some very long detailed band line-ups! Along with the usual rock instrumentation you'll see mentioned the likes of Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Flugelhorn, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Harp, Congas and Bongos. By the nature of this music and the range of musical skills it requires, there's no room for amateurs here, so those of you preferring tight arrangements are going to dig this. There's some equally great guitar skills on here too, take a listen to Aura, The Gasoline Band, SOD and Jug Session.

I must say thanks to Youtube contact Rocky B for inspiring this comp. I was pretty much done after the first brassrock TDATS (Vol60) until a few knowledgeable comments from Rocky, the self-styled 'King of Hornrock', appeared on my channel. I grilled him for a list and the result is the inclusions (that make up about half of this volume) from 4th Cekcion, SOD, Melting Pot, Loadstone, Puzzle, Gasoline Band and Aura - all super-obscure acts that I may not have come across without his tips. Good man!

01. Swallow - Something Started Happening (1972)
       from album 'out of the nest'
02. 4th Cekcion - I Don't Have To Hide My Face Anymore (1970)
       from album '4th cekcion'
03. SOD - Things I Wanna Say (1971)
       from album 'sod'
04. Melting Pot - As I Lay Dying (1971)
       from album 'fire burn, cauldron bubble'
05. Trifle - New Religion (1971)
       from album 'first meeting'
06. Loadstone - Keep on Burning (1969)
       from album 'loadstone'
07. Puzzle - The Grosso (1973)
       from album 'puzzle'
08. Jug Session - Easy Here (1970)
09. The Gasoline Band - Ein Grosses (1972)
       from album 'the gasoline band'
10. Silk - Not A Whole Lot I Can Do (1969)
       from album 'smooth as raw silk'
11. Aura - Truckin' (1971)
       from album 'aura'
12. Warehouse - Na-na-na song (1972)
       from album 'powerhouse'
13. Swegas - Child of Light (1971)
       from album 'child of light'
skydog's elesium | | badcat records | cherry red records
giant city music | the original gasoline band | | wfmu radio
DJ Matthew Africa

Swallow LP front
Swallow start the comp in an upbeat way (can horn rock be anything else?) with the aptly-titled 'Something Started Happening'. This is a band I came across a while ago on the southern rock blog Skydog's Elesium. They are not a southern rock band but they had a connection to Atlanta Rhythm Section who undoubtedly were (see southern rock Vol65). ARS members Barry Bailey and J.R. Cobb played on the second and final Swallow album, but I have chosen a track from the first album that was called 'Out of the Nest'. Here's what has to say:

"The first album from Swallow was produced by Jean Paul Salvatori, who put together the excellent Bootleg Him! double LP of Alexis Korner material this same year, 1972. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Ultimate Spinach, later with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, appears on "Come Home Woman," an original from bassist Vernon Miller Jr., who was part of the band who opened for the Beatles in 1966, the legendary Barry & the Remains. Miller's presence adds collectability to this debut. "Come Home Woman" would have been perfect for Alexis Korner, come to think of it, a bluesy lament which begins with Baxter's wonderful guitar work and picks up steam, letting George Leh open up and battle the horns -- the voice and instruments stir things up so fine. "Aches and Pains" is one of the four Vern Miller Jr./George Leh co-writes, and it is gospel-tinged blues which spills over onto "Common Man." There's real personality here, music perhaps a little too earthy for the Blood, Sweat & Tears crowd, but authentic to the max. Recorded and mixed where Aerosmith cut "Dream On" and where Jonathan Edwards of Orphan tracked "Sunshine," "Out of the Nest" is post-Bosstown serious singing and playing. 

Swallow - band image (2nd LP inside)
Leh's got that Nick Gravenites gravel growl on "Something Started Happening," a tune with charging dynamics, perhaps this band's strong suit. Miller's "Brown Eyed Baby Boy" is a plea for love with a solid hook that would work well for the Remains since that group started recording again in the new millennium. The Staple Singers' composition "Why Am I Treated So Bad," also covered by Cannonball Adderley and the Sweet Inspirations, adds another dimension to the mix, the organ of Bob Camacho getting to have its say. Mick Aranda's creative drumming is also worthy of note. Out of the Nest is an excellent document of early-'70s Boston roots rock/blues music with just a touch of jazz."

Other players not mentioned above were Phil Green (gtr), Kerry Blount (Sax), Gordon Kennedy (trombone), Andy Harp & Jay DeWald on trumpets and Parker Wheeler (harp).
Released by the small Bellaire, Texas-based Solar Recording Corporation, 4th Cekcion's s/t LP was produced by Fred Carroll and was played by Louie Broussard (drums), Richard Cantu (woodwind), Greg Isaacs (vox, keys), Mike St. Clair (bass) and Stewart Rojo (gtr, brass) and Gary Weldon (brass). According to Badcatrecord's review: "A couple of the members remained active in the Texas music scene, reappearing in 5 Easy Pieces (Louie Broussard) and The Funk Factory (Greg Isaacs, Richard Cantu, Stewart Rojo and Gary Weldon)"

The album is a nice find, featuring a fair number of hard tracks with psychedelic overtones that steer it away from the commercial sheen of Chicago and BS&T etc, which is why I used them previously on Vol66.
SOD debut LP (1971)
SOD's track starts with a mildly latin, Speghetti Western feel that builds into some big grooves embellished with further latin flavoured percussion and even some flute. Their debut s/t album (1971) is another good example of hornrock with tasteful use of brass and a fair amount of tough riffs. Finding useful information at Badcatrecords, yet again, here's a few interesting facts.

This Los Angeles band share a member with another band that I chose for this volume; drummer Larry Devers who was previously in Loadstone (track 7): "I formed the band [SOD] in Las Vegas, Nevada in the late 1960s.  We cut two albums of which I have zero copies. Before SOD I had a group called Loadstone that cut one album on Barnaby. I don't have a copy of that one either." SOD's second album 'Face The Music' (1972) was produced by David Axelrod,  a new name to me that seems to warrant further investigation as he had an extensive solo career and is regarded as an originator in the fusion of Jazz/R&B with rock and psych.

Jay York
SOD (and other bands) drummer Jay York was also an NWA Wrestler: "Jay York was a musician, and briefly quit wrestling in 1972 to become the percussionist for the rock band Delaney & Bonnie. He replaced their longtime percussionist Sam Clayton when Clayton and bassist Kenny Gradney left that band to join legendary rock band Little Feat (they’re still in that band today)." Wrestling under the name 'The Alaskan'. He also worked as a bouncer at Hollywood's Classic Cat strip club. At only 57, he died of liver disease in October 1995.

Saxophonist Rick Kellis: "..went on to become an in-demand sessions player, supporting virtually everyone imaginable. He's also recorded some jazz-oriented solo material..". Finally, Bassist Cal Arnold: "I was the bass player in SOD on Decca Records - Robert 'California' Arnold...I have also recorded with Clydie King 'Brown Sugar' - RCA/Chelsea 1973; Edgar Winter's White Trash 'Recycled' CBS/Blue Sky 1977; Billy Branch 'The Blues Keep Following Me Around' - Verve Gitanes 1985."

Both SOD LP covers
Here's the liner notes from the debut LP: "Robert "California" Arnold (bass, tuba, percussion, vocals), Jay "The Alaskan" York (Congas, Bongos, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals), Larry Devers (Drums, Vocals), Don Phillips (Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals), Joseph "Jojo" Molina (Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Trumpet, Percussion), Richard "Rick" Kellis (Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Percussion, Vocals) and Michael Green (Trumpet, Trombone, Flugelhorn, Percussion, Vocals)."

Melting Pot LP -
'Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble'
After finding The Melting Pot album on Rocky B's recommendation, I posted the track 'As I Lay Dying' (appearing here) on Youtube. Later some comments from band members appeared on the clip. The band consisted of Dick Gentile (lead vocals, keyboards), Howie McGurley (sax, trumpet), Steve Nichols (trombone), Joe Rudd  (lead guitar), Mickey Smith (RIP 1971 - lead guitar), Jerry Thompson (drums, percussion), Kenny Tibbets (lead vocals, bass, keyboards) and Bill Witherspoon (lead vocals, sax). Ronnie Witherspoon commented: "I am a founding member of the Melting Pot, I left the band after the terrible contract with Phil Waldren and No Exit Music. No other albums were recorded, I do have a CD of the LAST FIVE, a straight ahead progress fusion funk/rock band, from 1972 & 73."

Melting Pot label
Bad Cat records has this to say: "Phil Walden was apparently the money behind the group, helping to arrange for a contract with the small Ampex Records label.  Produced by Johnny Sandlin, 1971's "Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble" album was also recorded at Walden's Capricorn Studios.  That connection is mildly interesting in that this group's sound is about as far away from Southern rock as you can get." Ronnie Witherspoon: "That [Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble] was the only album, and it was recorded partially at Cybertechniques in Dayton, and then the project was moved to Capricorn, done over and sold to Ampex." Read more comments on the Youtube page.

The UK's Trifle appears for track 5, 'New Religion'. Along with the Puzzle and Swegas cuts, this is a longer, more progressive and adventurous work than the majority of the comp, with slow-burning intensity and a foreboding atmosphere. The band was George Bean (vocals), Rod Coombes (percussion, drums), Patrick 'Speedy' King (bass), Barry Martin (sax), John Pritchard (trumpets), John Hitchen (guitar), Dick Cuthel (horns) and Brian 'Chico' Greenwood (percussion, drums). This is what the Tapestry of Delights says: "Evolving out of George Bean and The Runners, this group was managed by Robert Stigwood. They also acted as a backing group for other artists. “Dirty Old Town” was a Dubliners track. Bean died in the early seventies, whilst drummer Rod Coombes went on to Juicy Lucy, RoRo, Stealers Wheel and The Strawbs." According to DJ Matthew Africa another track, 'One Way Glass', from Trifle's only album 'First Meeting', was sampled in the Kick-Ass movie trailer. The album has since been re-issued by Cherry Red records.

This is what says about the band's founder, George Bean: "George Bean was one of the relatively uncommon folk-or-folk/rock artists of mid-'60s England who actually got to record for a major label. He first signed to English Decca in 1963 and released four singles through them over the next two years, of which the most notable was his superb folk-pop version of the Mick Jagger/Keith Richards song "Will You Be My Lover Tonight?" None of these records charted, though his self-penned B-side of 'She Belongs to Me,' 'Why Must They Criticize?' (both released credited to George Bean & the Runners), was later covered by the In Crowd on their way to becoming Tomorrow. Bean moved to British CBS for one single and appeared in the movie Privilege, where he sang "Onward Christian Soldiers." He subsequently formed the group Trifle, which was managed by Robert Stigwood, with future Strawbs member Rod Coombes in the lineup, but he died before they got to record for the Pye Records progressive rock offshoot Dawn Records."
Loadstone LP front
We reach the half-way point with Loadstone and, maybe also from Las Angeles (more on this soon), as the connection with SOD's Larry Devers would suggest. They have one of the oldest tracks here; 1969. 'Keep on Burning' is this comp's namesake, it's a short, high energy song with a blazing fuzz guitar break at the halfway mark. Horn Rock Heaven refers to the band as 'a group of Las Vegas hired-gun musicians' (John Sterling and Terry Ryan later played on Eric Burden records), and interestingly also states that it was produced by Dave Grusin (this is confirmed at, who also played piano on the track 'Dayshine'. Grusin was a successful musician, producer, composer, conductor and film/tv score writer. I have liked lots of his work and stuff like the Candy soundtrack certainly showed he had an affinity with psychedelic music.

This is the information found in Fuzz, Acid and Flowers (Vernon Joynson): "This album is of interest for Flowerpot, an [epic, progressive] 15 minute-long psychedelic suite which takes up the whole of Side Two. Complete with sound effects, phasing, screams, echo loops and bird noises, the track was recorded in one take, with the voices overdubbed later.

Loadstone LP rear cover
The group formed in Las Vegas, NV. Devers, Abernathy and Phillips were backing Bobby Darin at the time when he went on his hiatus to find himself, leaving them looking for a gig. Ryan, Douglas, Sterling and Cernuto were freelance musicians in Vegas looking for work. Thanks to a guitar player by the name of Mike Richards, who originally was in the group, they got together and formed a cover band to make some cash. The band worked a club in Vegas called 'The Pussycat A Go Go' where Andy Williams used to hang out. He signed the band to his label, Barnaby Records, because of the big following the band attracted to its live performances. Andy also got Dave Grusin to produce the album as well as play piano on one track, Dayshine. The album was recorded in a two week period in the Summer of 1969 and other than record promotion concerts and a few club gigs in L.A., the band never toured.

The albums lack of sales caused the group to slowly dissolve to working lounge gigs in Vegas. When that was over the band members went on to other groups. Today, all the members are still working as musicians in one capacity or another except for Douglas, who passed on in 1991. The groups energy in live performance could never really be captured on record. The horn sound created by the Trumpet, Trombone and Sax with the funky rhythm section was truly incredible.

Barnaby Records still owns the masters, with a few tracks never released. Dave Grusin is mostly known as a jazzman and soundtrack composer. (Vernon Joynson / Stephane Rebeschini w/thanks to Sam Cernuto) Musicians: Barry Abernathy (bass), Sam Cernuto (trombone), Larry Devers (drums), Steve Douglas (aka HUSCZKA) (trumpet, fluegel horn), John Phillips (tenor sax, flutes, oboe, bassoon), Terry Ryan (keyboards), John Sterling (guitar)."
Puzzle LP front (1973)
Puzzle were mainly a light and un-interesting (in TDATS terms) BS&T style horn pop band, but one track from their first album warrants inclusion here, 'The Grosso', a big diversion from their normal output and absolutely brilliant in my opinion. It has many parts, and a lot of different instrumentation. Though it passes through a lot of moods, from frantic riffing, to evil, strangulated vocals, to maudlin introspection, it never looses intensity. It seems for this one track they set-aside their derivitive, cheesy inclinations and played something progressive, adventurous and heavy. Maybe it was one of those cases of a band briefly breaking-away from their commercial/label obligations to play something exciting instead? Who knows. So far I have not been able to find much info on Puzzle, but here's a snippet from the WFMU radio blog: "...The band's first album, Puzzle was recorded in Hollywood in 1973 (its followup was released a year later, under the strikingly uninspired name 'The Second Album'). Most tracks were written by drummer/vocalist John LiVigni - though [The Grosso] was co-written by Lawrence Klimas (sax and flutes). [Producer - Bob Cullen] For me, the only 'Puzzle' is what this band was doing on the Motown label...".

Puzzle 1973
Through I found that 'John Valenti' was a member, and here is his Wikipedia entry: "John Valenti (born John LiVigni) is an American singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as lead singer and writer for a pop band, Puzzle. Puzzle released two solid albums on Motown Records in 1973 (Puzzle I) and 1974 (Puzzle II). They were one of the rare white groups on Motown. With a sound often reminiscent of the early Chicago Transit Authority. They were a horn pop soul band with John's vocals recalling Stevie Wonder. They owed a lot to Chicago, their inspiration, including back to back self-titled albums. Though they never made the Hot 100 singles or Top 200 albums, they made two very credible albums. John eventually went solo. He released one album in 1976, entitled Anything You Want, on Ariola Records. It peaked at #51 on the U.S. Black Albums chart on the strength of the title track, which had been released as a single and which peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. As of 2007 Mr. Valenti still performs."
Jug Session -
Easy Here 45 (1970)
Jug Jession are the only band here to have put out just one single, but it's good, one of the heaviest in this comp maybe! 'Easy Here' is a short but heavy rocker with a hint of Hendrix (as has the b-side 'Runnin' Down' even more so), except for the horns of course. So far I have only found two useful references to them, one on Alex Gitlin's Nederpop Encyclopedia and one on Collector's Frenzy. They state that they were based in Noord-Brabant, a southern province of The Netherlands. The members were Huib van der Broek (guitar), Ben Koot (guitar), Robert Kraak (fender bass), Anton Verhagen (vocals), Emmanuel Cooymans (drums) and Otto Cooymans (organ, piano). A couple of these weren't mentioned on Gitlin's site, but were Anton Verhagen and Otto Cooymans would go on to symphonic rock group 'Otger Dice' and Vitesse (Otto also playing in Fontessa before that) and Emmanuel Cooymans would go on to instrumental group Strato. In this interview, Otto Cooymans briefly mentions Jug Session: "..when I left boarding school at 17, i found myself in a bluesrock band called Jug Session together with Anton Verhagen. We even did a tour in Germany and played in front of a few 1000 people and the people went crazy.." (Thanks to Marc Joseph for the translation).
Gasoline Band LP front and band photo
The Gasoline Band are up next. Again, a very hard band to seek info on, until I found an old official website that is. It was started in Berlin in 1969 by two Americans - NYC Composer/Pianist Fred Schwartz and Jazz Trumpeter/298th Army Bandsman Larry "Fish" Brown Jr. After gigging and attracting further (mostly american) members they signed a contract with UK label Cube and recorded their only album in London. The record is generally quite a smooth, soulful affair, except for two heavy tracks in the middle; 'Ein Grosses' (featured here) and the more progressive 'Schrapnel'.

Ein Grosses is by far the most guitar-heavy, starting and ending with groovy rolling riffs which sandwich some flashy instrumental spotlights, including some backwards-recorded gat work. Brilliant song! The full band listing for the one and only album, as per is George Thompson Jr. (bass), Joe Ogé (congas), William Goffigan (drums), Brian Bevan (vocals, guitar), Fred Schwartz (keyboards), Major Wilburn Jr. (tenor sax), Charles Bowen Jr. (alto saxophone), Jerome Johnson (trombone), Jim Dvorak & Ronald Phillips (trumpets). Discogs refers separately to two of the American guys; Jim Dvorak (Brooklyn) and William Goffigan (Maryland). There's a clip of Dvorak playing trumpet in london recently, here, and a further list of his involvements at here.
The Silk track at number 10 is fast and insistent with cool vocals. They were not a horn band as such, but had some horn arrangements layed on their only album 'Smooth As Raw Silk' (1969). Here's a great write-up for Silk I found at Bad Cat Records :- "This short-lived Cleveland-based outfit is probably best known for having served as a springboard for singer/guitarist Michael Stanley Gee of future Michael Stanley band fame.

Silk - Smooth As Raw Silk LP
Like half of the teenagers in the United States, by 1965 the combination of girls and money proved irresistible to the teenaged Gee, who started his career playing in a number of local groups including The Scepters.  By 1968 Gee was attending Hiram University and joined a late-inning version of Clevelabd's Beatles-inspired The Tree Stumps showcasing the talents of Gee, guitarist Chris Johns, drummer Courtney Johns, and keyboardist Randy Sabo.  Playing dances and local clubs won the band a cult following and released a couple of singles, but met with little financial reward and by 1969 the Stumps had morphed into Silk.  Silk did little and on the verge of calling it quits, a performance at a Cleveland club attracted the attention of producer Bill Szymczyk who'd been sent on the road by ABC Records to look for talent.  (The same trip saw him sign Joe Walsh and the James Gang to a contract.)

Signed to ABC, the band were teamed with producer Szymczyk (who also co-wrote several tracks).  The group's 1969 debut "Smooth As Raw Silk" served to showcase the band's broad and versatile repertoire.   Gee and Sabo split vocal duties and while both were professional, neither was overwhelming (Sabo actually struck me as the better of the two).  All four members contributed the writing chores (a cover of Tim Rose's 'Long Haired Boy' and the country tune 'Custody' were the lone non-originals), the results found the band touching base on a wide array of genres ranging from country ('Custody'), to sensitive singer/songwriter moves, and even horn rock ('Not a Whole Lot I Can Do').  The results were never less than professional, but the lack of focus left you kind of wondering who these guys really were - at times it almost came off as a demo intended to show they could do it all.  The collection got off to a nice start with the effects laden 'Introduction' (dedicated to airline pilots everywhere) and the psych-rocker 'Foreign Trip'.  From that point on things became very hit or miss. Sporting some nice twin lead guitar work from Johns and guest guitarist Harry Porter 'Skito Blues' was an excellent rocker.  Almost as good was the raucous 'Come On Down Girl'.  At the other end of the spectrum taking on the then-taboo issue of divorce and children the C&W-flavored 'Custody' was easily the strangest song.  Coming in a close second, 'Scottish Thing' somehow managing to meld a trance feel with bagpipes.  The song was also interesting in that it was dedicated to Elektra's Jac Holtzman (even though the band was signed to ABC).   

Smooth As Raw Silk rear (CD)
- Opening up with some tasty Gee bass and some Stax-styled horns, 'Not a Whole Lot I Can Do' found the band switching orientation with a killer slice of blue-eyed soul.  Showcasing how good Gee's voice could be, this track actually rocked out.  rating: **** stars

Ultimately [the LP] was maddeningly inconsistent; almost sounding like a wedding band trying to show they could cover all sorts of musical genres ...  The album actually managed to hit the top-200 charts (peaking at # 191) but with little support from ABC (the company didn't even release a single),  the quartet subsequently called it quits."
Moving on to Aura, this is another band with scant on-line information, though they made a consistent s/t album of heavy horn rock in 1971. I have chosen the song 'Truckin' from it. This is how Vernon Joynson's Tapestry Of Delights describes them:"A Powerful Horn-Jazz-Rock outfit from Los Angeles. The stand-out cut is Life Is Free on side 2. Chuck Greenberg (flute, sax) and Terry Quaye (congas) also guested on the album."

Aura LP (1971)
Eventually I found a few nuggets on a blog belonging to a guy called Ron Romano. He was not in Aura, but he was in a later-70's band called Giant City. Now, Aura's formative name was Giant City. In tribute to the original band that Ron's Giant City took their name from, he posted up mp3 rips of Aura's 1971 album and some info regarding the band. After a while some members and colleagues/friends/fans of the original Giant City/Aura band came across this and have posted some informative comments there. The rips are still there and you can read the comments at the bottom of this page.  Here's a comment from Andy Foertsch (Aura trombone player) "...Thanks for the good words. [Aura] was a great ride and some of us are still in touch. BTW, most of us hated the name “Aura” but Mercury made us change it [from Giant City] for a real BS reason. Jerry Smith was in The Flock before he was with us. Last I heard, and this is old news, he had something to do with Hohner but I don’t know what. There weren't too many copies of the [Aura] album made, I think only about 10,000, if that many. I have linked my page to your site so that people, where I live now, Florida, can listen. There’s also a web page, “horn rock heaven” that has one of our tunes and 100's from different bands of our era, They’re writing a book and going to do a bit about us. Peace." Andy also commented that Aura played a reunion show at the Chicago Pop Festival in November 2009.

Aside from Andy, the rest of Aura (according to Tapestry Of Delights) were: Sam Alessi (organ, piano, vibes), George Bar (vocals, trumpet), Fred Entesari (sax), Dennis Horan (drums), Al Lathan (vocals, percussion), Jerry Smith (bass, vocals) and Bill Waidner (guitar).

Warehouse - Powerhouse LP (1972)
The next track is from an album which I found out about for Vol86, and was pleasantly surprised by, as it's a horn rock album with some quite rocking moments, a real rarity to come from Holland. It's by a mysterious band called Warehouse from Friesland, and there is very little information available. I am indebted to Marc Joseph, guitarist in band Vitamin X, for alerting me to this album and finding extra information for me. It was produced by Tim Griek who was previously the drummer in the symphonic prog band Ekseption.

The Crash
The players are listed as Harry Zijlstra (gtr, vox), Quido Hereman (vox, percussion, gtr), Jan De Jong (Bass), Jan De Lang (percussion), Klaas Bootsma (keys), Jaap Van Der Veer (sax) and Andries Zijlstra (trumpet, vox). The album sounds quite commercial but it has some good tracks like 'It's life', and 'The Na-na-na Song' is uplifting fun. Most of Warehouse were in a 60s beat band called The Relays, who later formed The Crash. The Crash made a 7'' called ''Last Week / One Rainy Day'' in 1969 which sold more than a 1000 copies within 3 months of release.

Warehouse developed from The Crash in 1969, partly as a reaction to Dizzy Man's Band (from Volendam) which was a band to also feature a brassy soul-rock vibe. Warehouse made one album called 'Powerhouse'. The record company (Imperial) wanted them to go commercial/professional but they refused and didn't get a contract. Around 1972 John Eskes joined who was previously in Art461/Canyon. In 1974 some members had to commit to their family lives and Warehouse split, but 3 of them (Jan de Lang, Quido Hereman, John Eskes) started Zig Zag Trio, later called Zig Zag Band. John Eskes is still active and the leader of Big Band Leeuwarden 73.

Swegas 'Child of Light' LP cover
This set ends with Swegas, a UK band that were not very hard hitting but had some great progressive tracks. The one I chose here is the longest cut, the title track from their fist released album 'Child of Light'. Swegas have a website where you can read their bio, and stream both their albums, including an unreleased demo album, a live one and a single, all in their entirety: Here's a few  snippets: "...the band rehearsed a room at the London Ambulance Service in Waterloo Road....during the Spring period of 1970 they had a regular spot upstairs at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - Swegas one night - Genesis the next! They then embarked on a three month tour of Europe starting in Oslo on May 20th...[during which]...their blue mini bus was breaking down continually and through lack of money spent a number of nights sleeping under the vans. They ended up in the famous Top Ten club sharing the bill with the Boston Show Band (featuring the then unknown Gary Glitter). They liked their drummer Billy Hogan so when Maurice left shortly after Billy was offered the job..."

Thanks for listening......horns up!!

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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.
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