lunes, 14 de noviembre de 2016

JESSE ED DAVIS - Keep Me Comin' [USA rock 1973]

Originally issued in 1973 by Epic, Keep Me Comin' was Oklahoma guitar firebrand Jesse Ed Davis' (who began his career at 16 with Conway Twitty in 1964) third and last album for the label. It featured a killer band featuring drummer Jim Keltner, keyboardist Jim Gordon, and bassist Bob Glaub with a slew of side players featured in various places on horns (Clifford Scott, George Bohannon, Jerry Jumonville, and Howard Johnson among them), and backing vocals and notable cameos by Merry Clayton, Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, and many others. The music walks a line between electrified blues ("Big Dipper"), Southern fried rocked up R&B ("She's a Pain" and "Where Am I Now"), greasy funk (Andre Williams' "Bacon Fat") freaky soul-jazz ("Natural Anthem" and "6:00 Bugalu"), country-rock ("Ching, Ching China Boy" -- a song about the racial epithets tossed his way when he was young -- and "Keep Me Comin'"). In other words, from all appearances it's an all over the place mess. Interestingly, that is exactly what most of the music press thought and it sank like a stone. Hearing it over 30 years later, there is an undeniable appeal to this music. Davis may have been self-destructive, but he was wildly adventurous musically, and he had the chops to pull it off. He could play with anyone, and his approach was deeply roadhouse blues and soul-jazz. His approach to funky was relaxed and natural, and nothing feels forced here at all. If anything, this may be the best of his studio records for Epic because the groove from track to track is constant, loose, and organic. "6:00 Bugalu" in particular is monstrously funky, the horn section is just popping, and the bassline is pure bad nasty! Davis' chunky rhythm fills and changes get underneath all tinny and nasty. His solo, with full-on phase shifter is economical, tight, and in the cut. There are certain production elements that don't date so well, but these are such minor considerations that they don't even matter. If anything, Keep Me Comin' is a record that really deserves to be reconsidered for its sheer musical merit. If anything, Davis' forgotten legacy, includes sessions with Russell, Bob Dylan, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, and John Trudell, to name a handful; he was George Harrison's guitarist at the Concert for Bangladesh as an ill Eric Clapton's replacement. Davis' work deserves to be reconsidered and this set is part of the evidence.


DANNY & DUSTY - Here's To You Max Morlock (Live in Nuremberg] [USA rock 2007]

Danny & Dusty wasn't actually a duo, but a supergroup of sorts comprised of players from groups associated with L.A.'s paisley underground. Danny & Dusty consisted of Dan Stuart of Green on Red and the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn -- along with members of their bands -- plus Sid Griffin, Stephen McCarthy, and Tom Stevens from the Long Ryders. The gathering of friends recorded one album in February 1985 over the course of a single, notoriously booze-soaked weekend. Appropriately, the effort was titled Lost Weekend. It would assume legendary status among the followers of the paisley underground, though certainly many of the players here are from more of a roots rock, country-punk bent. The sleeve notes hail the effort as an amalgam of "friendship, fear, drunkenness, death, and elusive salvation," a fair enough assessment of the loose, boozy set. The LP consisted of seven Stuart/Wynn compositions, plus a cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," and the sound varied from country-pop to blazing barroom rock. In the mid-'80s, Danny & Dusty also played many shows, primarily around L.A. and with different lineups, before eventually disappearing. 


jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2016

RICHARD X. HEYMAN - Living Room [USA power pop 1988] 1990 Cypress Records

A slightly remixed reissue of an album originally self-released (in a different sleeve) in 1988, Richard X. Heyman's Living Room!! is one of the D.I.Y. power pop highlights of the '80s, a decade that didn't really see many of those. Prior to the Internet-spawned growth of the pop underground later in the decade, it was all but impossible for an album like Living Room!! to reach its target audience, most of whom discovered even this reissue in the deep-discount remainder bins where it remained a staple through the first half of the '90s. Happily, that audience did find this album (and its major-label follow-up, 1991's Hey Man!) in quantities enough for Heyman's late-'90s material to reach the cult following he deserves. As the title suggests, these 14 songs were recorded in a living room studio in Manhattan, with Heyman himself playing all of the instruments except for three bass parts, a guitar line, and a piano and vocal part, courtesy of his wife, Nancy Leigh, on the wistful "Union County Line." The homemade provenance of the album keeps it from sounding too slick and studio-bound (like, unfortunately, Hey Man!), though Heyman's craft and care are obvious in the sweetly overdubbed vocals and just-so arrangements. Most importantly, however, this is a fine collection of songs, with non-clichéd melodies and hooks married to a more intelligent and intriguing collection of lyrics than the usual "oh girl I do/don't love you" power pop babble. The alienated "Call Out the Military" and the rattling "Wouldn't That Be a Riot" (possibly the first power pop song to make good lyrical use of the word "davening") are the best of the bunch, but only the sour-grapes whine of the anti-critic screed "Local Paper" falters lyrically. Living Room!! can be difficult to find, but it's worth the effort; this is one of the all-time great power pop CDs.

Jason Crest - Radio Sessions 1968-69

JASON CREST Radio Sessions 1968-69 featuring recordings made for radio broadcast in November 1968 & November 1969, which see the 'Crest thunder their way through chart hits ['Paint It, Black', 'California Dreamin''], current live favourites ['Hold On', 'Better By You, Better Than Me'] & their own unique compositions, long overdue proof that the group were everything that their fans have always claimed!