martes, 11 de agosto de 2015

RANDY BURNS - Songs for an Uncertain Lady [USA folk 1970]

Burns, who was in the traditional Village acoustic folk mold when he started recording, was by his third album a folk-rock singer/songwriter, even if the songs didn't often use drums. Reserved to the point of recalcitrance, Burns sometimes recalls a way-lower-key (and also lower-voiced) Tim Hardin or Tim Buckley with his melancholy, though not quite gloomy, meditations on fragile and crumbling love affairs. As was habitual for ESP rock productions, these sometimes sound more like demos than polished results, particularly on those few cuts when a full band's involved. There are echoes of a lot of singer/songwriters here and there -- traces of Leonard Cohen and even James Taylor can be heard from time to time. And when several comparisons keep coming to mind, the chief drawback of the work is highlighted: Burns doesn't plow territory that's inimitably his, and while his songs are kind of melodic, they're not captivating. "Child for Now" is totally unlike the rest of the songs in that it's very much a fast-paced folk-funk workout in the style of tunes that Tim Buckley did in that vein, like "Gypsy Woman." "Deegen Street," the final and hardest-rocking track, is also wholly atypical of the record, uncannily mimicking the sound of 1969-1970 Neil Young.

sábado, 8 de agosto de 2015

DAVE EVANS - Elephantasia [UK folk 1972]

Dave Evans was an obscure singer/song writer from the UK in the early 70's, and both of his first two albums sailed completely under the radar.

He was an obscure singer/song writer from the UK in the early 70's, and both of his first two albums sailed completely under the radar.

Elephantasia was recorded at Village Thing Studio (July 1972) and at Rockfield (June 1972).

RO RO - Meet At The Water [UK 1972]

"The short-lived Ro Ro featured the talents of drummer Rod Coombes, bassist Warwick Rose, singer/guitarist Alan Ross (apprently still in his teens), keyboardist Neil Sheppard, and former Animals guitarist John Weider. Rose and Ross were the band's front men (which I'm guessing had something to do with the unique name).

The band made their recording debut with a 1971 single for the Parlophone label:

- 1971's 'Here I Go Again' b/w 'What You Gonna Do' (Parlophone catalog number R 5920)

From there they were signed by Regal Zonophone which released a sophomore 45:

- 1972's 'Goin' Round My Head' b/w 'Down On The Road' (Regal Zonophone catalog number RZ 3056)

While the single didn't do a great deal commercially, Regal Zonophone decided to finance an album. Produced by John Adcock, 1972's "Meet at the Water" is a grower. The first couple of times I played it I remember thinking it was largely split between forgettable sensitive singer-songwriter numbers and equally uninteresting country-tinged numbers. I should have paid more attention since given a chance the album's far better than that. As lead vocalist Ross wasn't gifted with the greatest voice you've ever heard, but he sure managed to make the most of his talents occasionally reminding me a bit of a young, slightly flatter Stevie Winwood (''), or a Paul Rodgers wannabe. It the band wanted to carve out a strong image, the album was a complete failure. Country-tinged numbers like 'Down On the Road' were definitely an acquired taste (which I didn't have). Far better were the Free-styled blues-rocker like 'Beautiful Lady', 'Wild, Wild Woman' and 'Whole Fire Burning'. No, you weren't going to forget about Paul Rodgers and company, but if you were going to pick a musical influence, you could have done far worse". Bad Cat Records

jueves, 6 de agosto de 2015

BILLY NICHOLLS - Love Songs [UK pop 1974]

Billy's second album released in 1974, 'Love Songs', has the unique distinction of being the first recording ever to be entitled 'Love Songs'.

Mainly recorded at the legendary Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, helped by his musician friends; Caleb Quaye, Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood, Ian McLagan and Pete Townshend. Engineered by Phil Chapman.


J.P. RAGS - Scruffety [USA pop 1968]

Scruffety (World Pacific, 1968)


martes, 4 de agosto de 2015

AVALANCHE - Perseverance Kills Our Game [NL folk prog 1979] 2014 Guerssen

Absolute masterpiece when talking about progressive / psychedelic folk- rock from Europe. Dutch band Avalanche was formed in the early 70s and recorded their only album in 1979. "Perseverance kills our game" was released as a private edition of 500 copies, which were only distributed among friends and relatives. Despite being a home- made project (the album was recorded in just one day!) the result was stunning.Totally early 70s sounding electric folk- rock with flute, piano, bass, drums, and killer fuzz guitar. Mostly instrumental with a few vocals in English. It alternates delicate acoustic passages with devastating fuzz leads, sounding like Fairport Convention jamming with early Ash Ra Tempel. The album closes with an extended 11 minute track on which guitar player Daan Slaman starts playing leads like a madman, creating layers and layers of liquid acid- fuzz guitar. It has to be heard to be believed! 

SHAFTSBURY - The Lull Before The Storm [UK hard rock 1979]

Excellent hard progressive rock album from 1979. Original private press on OK records.

CANAAN - Canaan [UK xian folk rock 1973]

If you’re tired of those country rock homogenized Eagles clones that proliferated in the ’70s you need to check out the British group Canaan. These four guys bring a refreshing progressive element to the genre that is often lacking in their American counterparts. ‘They Call Me A Rock And Roll Gypsy’ is the opening rocker that sets the stage for the spirited optimistic tone felt throughout the album. Gus Eyre’s guitar work (frequently fuzzed) really cooks — ‘Follow Me’ and ‘Lonely Man’ both have acid leads, while ‘Mr. Jones’ and ‘Jesus Revolution’ heavily utilize the reverb effect. Slide guitar can be found on the later, as well as on ‘Seek First The Kingdom’ and ‘Place Of My Dreams’. Harmonica graces a few songs, including ‘Seventeen’. The seven-minute ‘Death Gave Way — Trilogy’ closes the album with more lively guitar action. Bob Fraser’s lead vocals suit the style well, while the group harmonies often attain a Moody Blues-like depth. Producer John Pantry’s periodic organ and string synthesizer fits in perfectly. One of the top Dovetail releases. (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition).

lunes, 3 de agosto de 2015

ALLEN TOWNSEND & RICK BETTS - Give them ears to hear [USA xian rock 1978]

Drummer Allen Townsend had been in a rock and roll band doing the nightclub scene and participating in alcohol, drugs and women when he turned to “the Rock that doesn’t roll” (hmmmm, sounds like someone slipped him a Larry Norman album). A year later he and his buddy Rick Betts had accumulated an album’s worth of material, which together with bassist and lead guitarist Jr. Wilson they proceeded to set down on vinyl. Their style is good old rural and Southern-edged meat-and-potatoes hard rock. Townsend plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums and percussion while Betts provides keyboards and percussion. Both take turns at lead vocals. Wilson’s guitar really cooks, ripping away on the highly charged ‘God’s Might’ (with twin leads!) and ‘Adam’s Crutch’, putting muscle on the sinuous ‘Another Brick In The Wall’-ish rhythm of ‘Trust In Jesus’, gettin’ funky on ‘Feeling Good’, and jamming along with organ on the slow-burnin’ blues rocker ‘Show Him’. Nice clean sound with just enough homemade vibes. Recorded in Milford, Delaware. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

Allen & Rick

CHORDS - It Was Twenty Years Ago Today [UK mod 2012] Detour

This historical new album captures the original line up of the band at  ‘St. George's Hall’, Liverpool in the Easter on 2000. The band deliver a perfect set of old greats including a special version of ’Twist & Shout’ for all the Liverpudlians in the audience.