вторник, 15 апреля 2014 г.

Driver - You Better Take It (1980 Rods Records) 

Artist: Driver
Album: You Better Take It
Label: Rods Records
Catalog#: Hot1
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: UK
Released: 1980
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, New Wave
Duration: 00:34:59

The UK private press You Better Take It strikes me as sort of a lower-budget After The Fire Signs Of Change, combined with a hint of Gentle Giant. That puts Driver in the progressive art-rock category, and a fairly fine example of it I might add. The low-tech vibe doesn’t preclude lots of fancy synthesizers, coupled with aggressive electric rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Usually a brisk tempo with lots of lengthy instrumental passages. Nine original songs: the title track, ‘Hear I Am’, ‘Power In Me’, ‘Psalm’, ‘So They Say’, ‘Destination Zion’, ‘Like A Mirror’, ‘I’m Not Dreaming’ and ‘Marananthem’. Back cover says “This album recorded at the thaumaturgic Studio Playground Wragby as quickly & cheaply as possible.” 1000 made. (Ken Scott - Archivist)

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Side One:
A1. You Better Take It 03:48
A2. Hear I Am 03:01
A3. Power In Me 03:40
A4. Psalm 03:41
A5. So They Say 04:07
  Side Two:
B1. Destination Zion 04:10
B2. Like A Mirror 02:54
B3. I'm Not Dreaming 03:30
B4. Marananthem 05:05

     This album recorded at the thaumaturgic Studio
     Playground Wragby as quickly & cheaply as possible.
     Pressed By – Orlake Records

Bass – Rick Woolgar
Statuesque Bass – Robin Vega
Drums, Vocals, Percussion – Rod Williamson
Engineer, Percussion – Andy "Bonus" Dransfield
Guitar, Vocals – Dave Albans, Mick Lee
Piano, Synthesizer, Effects (Triumph Motor|) – Nigel Barlow
Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals, Artwork – Simon Bell
Producer – Erick W.

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


понедельник, 14 апреля 2014 г.

Fat Chance - St (1972 RCA) 

Artist: Fat Chance
Album: Fat Chance
Label: RCA Records
Catalog#: LSP-4626
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Dynaflex
Country: US
Released: 1972
Genre: AOR, Pop Rock
Duration: 00:42:12

Fat Chance was a power horn band originating out of Pocatello, Idaho in 1970. The leader, Steve Eaton formed the group with keyboardist Bill LaBounty, bass player Dale Borge and Gordon Hirsch on drums. Sax player Phil Garonzik and trumpet man Fred Sherman joined the group a few months later. They played in a bowling alley/bar in Twin Falls, Idaho only to be fired for not playing country music. Evel Knievel (the famous motorcycle daredevil) who was in Twin Falls that night when the band got fired, told them to go to a club in Newport Beach and they would be discovered; the band took Evel's advise and left that night for LA and were signed to RCA a few short weeks later. Fat Chance was a power horn group influenced by Chicago Transit Athority and Blood Sweat and Tears. Their producer Jay Senter, produced their only album and even though the album was not a commercial success, several songs penned by LaBounty and Eaton were covered by other artists. Fat Chance toured with groups such as Yes from England and Kenny Rogers.

For years, Steve Eaton has been identified as a unique and innovative songwriter and musician. An Idaho native, Steve has written songs for The Carpenters, Art Garfunkel and Lee Greenwood to name a few. Some of these songs have climbed Billboard Magazine's top 20, appeared on albums achieving gold and platinum status and re-released on multiple best-selling compilations. Three of Steve's songs have appeared in Motion Pictures recently made available on DVD. Steve has been continually called upon to compose instrumental music for film and video productions for such organizations as the Nature Conservancy, CBS After School Specials, National Wildlife Federation, National Endowment for the Arts and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Steve's work has been recognized with Emmy nominations for music written for two PBS television specials.
As a performer and band-member, Steve has played on stages in a variety of venues all over the country. He was a member several popular 60s bands including The Fabulous Chancellors, and performed as lead guitarist for Paul Revere and the Raiders. Steve was the founder and co-creator of Fat Chance, a power horn and acoustic rock band originating from Idaho and signed on the RCA/Victor label. Steve has opened for Ray Charles, Blood Sweat and Tears and Carol King.
Capitol Records released Steve's first solo folk recording "Hey, Mr. Dreamer" to critical acclaim. Two of Steve's early albums have recently been re-mastered and re-released in Japan by the Vivid Sound Company. Steve lives in the Boise foothills where he has a recording studio and continues to perform in venues throughout the world.. (www.steveeaton.net).

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Side One:
A1. One More Time (Bill LaBounty & Steve Eaton) 03:45
A2. We Are The People (Bill LaBounty, Steve Eaton & Saxton) 03:08
A3. Funny Hats (Bill LaBounty) 03:25
A4. Oh Lavinia (Max Bennett) 03:43
A5. That's Not Love (Bill LaBounty) 02:30
A6. Hello Misery (Steve Eaton) 04:26
  Side Two:
B1. Country Morning (Steve Eaton) 03:08
B2. Pirate (Bill LaBounty) 04:15
B3. Love Sick Rag (Steve Eaton) 02:29
B4. Lovin' Kind (Bill LaBounty) 03:18
B5. It's A Crime (Bill LaBounty & Dale Borge) 04:20
B6. Beauty (Mike Deasy & Kathy Deasy) 03:24

     Produced by Jay Senter
     Engineered by Pete Abbott 

Steve Eaton - Vocals, Guitar, Harp
Bill La Bounty - Vocals, Keyboards
Fred Sherman - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dale Borge - Vocals, Bass
Phil Garonzik - Woodwind
Gordon Hirsch - Drums

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


Steve Eaton - Hey Mr. Dreamer (1974) 

Artist: Steve Eaton
Album: Hey Mr. Dreamer
Label: Capitol Records
Catalog#: ST-11245
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1974
Genre: AOR, Pop Rock, Folk
Duration: 00:33:17

A native of Idaho, songwriter Steve Eaton was the founder of the Fat Chance , a group of acoustic rock which was part of Bill LaBounty and who published only one self-titled disc in 1972 for RCA . In 1974, he realized , "Hey Mr. Dreamer" a delightful folk-pop album that contained the original version of "Love Is All You Get A Love Song", a song which was then hit by the Carpenters and taken up by Captain & Tenille and the Righteous Brothers . Despite the good reception of the critics , the disc went unnoticed and the artist devoted himself to concerts , also writing songs for Art Garfunkel , Anne Murray and Lee Greenwood.

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Side One:
A1. Hey Mr. Dreamer 04:10
A2. Beatin' Me With Kindness 02:25
A3. Rag Doll 03:17
A4. Movin' On 02:16
A5. We're All Powered By The Same Old Juice 03:40
 • Side Two:
B1. Railway To Heaven 03:38
B2. Sad Tomorrow 02:42
B3. Something About Her 03:14
B4. Heaven's An Easy Number 03:33
B5. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song 03:53

Steve Eaton - guitar, vocals
Richard Bennett, Mike Deasy, Dean Parks - guitar
Jim Gordon, David Kemper - drums
Leland Sklar - bass
Larry Knechtel, Mike Melvoin - keyboards
Michael Omartian - keyboards
The Dirt Sisters, Cindy Bullens - back vocals

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


воскресенье, 13 апреля 2014 г.

Chris White - Mouth Music (1976) 1999 EM Records 

Artist: Chris White
Album: Mouth Music
Label: EM Records/Reve Factory Co, Ltd.
Catalog#: EM1006CD
Released: 1999

Made in Japan
Country: UK
Genre: Rock, Pop Rock
Format: FLAC (tracks+.cue+log)
Bitrate: lossless
Duration: 01:12:53

I've been a Zombies fan since I was a young child - one of my first radio memories is of hearing 'She's Not There'. That said, for years I had no idea Chris White had recorded any solo material.
In an interesting choice of collaborators, 1976's "Mouth Music" found White working with producer Shel Talmy. Lost amidst the attention showered on Russ Ballard and Colin Blunstone, White always struck me as the forgotten talent in The Zombies, but anyone expecting to hear a set of Zombie-eque pop was going to be somewhat disappointed by this collection. (Actually 'To Be a Soldier' would have sounded at home on a Zombies album.) That's not to imply the album was bad, rather it marked a major departure in musical direction. White was responsible for writing the majority of the 13 tracks, with a couple of American pop classics and a strange traditional hymn ('Swing Low, Sweet Chariot') rounding out the track listing. What made the album so different was White's Brian Wilson obsession. Tracks like 'Don't Look Down', 'Books and Pages' and 'Spanish Wine' (the latter a UK top-40 hit) weren't just influenced by Wilson, but in many cases could have easily fit on a Beach Boys album. Taken individually songs like 'Drifitin'' were actually quite impressive with White clearly having taken considerable time and effort in understanding the way Wilson put together his winning formula, as well as having figured out how to replicate those melodies, song structures and instantly recognizable harmonies. Mind you it wasn't perfect. The decision to cover 'Surfin' USA' may have reflected a nice thematic tie-in to the rest of the album, but the rote cover added nothing to the original, leaving you to wonder why he bothered. Similarly his covers of the traditional hymn ''Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' and Martha and the Vandella's 'Dancing In the Streets' were forgettable. Elsewhere 'Zombee Jamboree' was acute nod to his past, but the reggae-influenced track was thoroughly forgettable. From a marketing perspective White's timing certainly could have been better - had this come out two decades later it would have undoubtedly been praised by scores of critics who'd rediscovered Wilson himself (think along the lines of the praise The Wondermints received in the wake of their work with Wilson). As it was the album never even saw an American release, though it attracted some attention in the UK and Japan. In fact, unless you live in Japan (where the album seems to have a fanatical following), good luck finding an original copy of the album ..

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Mouth Music LP:
01. Don't Look Down (Chris White) - 03:11
02. Books and Pages (Chris White) - 03:32
03. Driftin' (Chris White) - 02:59
04. Surfin' USA (Brian Wilson - Chuck Berry) - 03:00
05. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (traditional) - 03:05
06. Spanish Wine (Chris White) - 03:06
07. Dancing In the Streets (W. Stevenson) - 03:06
08. Natural Rhythm (Chris White) - 02:38
09. Listed (To Be a Solider) (Chris White) - 03:01
10. Sister Caroline (Chris White) - 02:37
11. Zombee Jamboree (Conrad Eugene Mauge) - 03:18
12. Not for You (Chris White) - 03:12
13. Mouth Music (Chris White) - 00:45
  Non-LP A & B Sides:
14. She's Only Dancing - 02:20
15. Another Little Miracle - 2:45
16. Summertime Summertime - 2:22
17. Don't Worry Baby - 3:04
18. Child of the Sun - 2:59
 • Radio Jingles:
19. Radio Jingle #1 - 0:09
20. Radio Jingle #2 - 0:11
21. Radio Jingle #3 - 0:46
 • Unreleased Studio Tracks:
22. All the Good Indians - 2:26
23. No Resistance - 2:55
24. Pretty Girl - 3:14
25. Frisbee - 2:27
26. Buzz - 3:16
27. I'm Into Something Good - 2:48
28. Rapscallion - 3:18

   Track 14 - 28 are bonus cuts included on this special edition.

Produced for compact disc by Koki Emura
        c/o EM Records, Reve Factory Co.Lld.
        Manufactured under license from Chris White.
       "Mouth Music" album originally released
        as Charisma CAS 1118, 1976.

Chris White - vocals, percussion
Z. Jenkins - guitar
Dave Olney - bass
Tom Parker - keyboards
Shel Talmy - percussion
Clem Cattini - drums

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


четверг, 10 апреля 2014 г.

Aztec Two-Step - Aztec Two-Step (1972) 

Artist: Aztec Two-Step
Album: Aztec Two-Step
Label: Elektra
Catalog#: EKS-75031
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Promo
Country: US
Released 1972
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Folk-Rock, Soft Rock
Duration: 00:45:12

The folk-rock duo Aztec Two-Step formed after a chance meeting between Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman in 1971. The pair met at an open stage at the Stone Phoenix, a Boston coffee house. Within a few months of working together, they recorded their debut as Aztec Two-Step, and a few months later, they had a deal with Elektra Records.
The duo's self-titled major-label debut was released in 1972 to widespread critical acclaim; joined by John Sebastian, Doug Dillard, and Jerry Yester, among others, the album spawned the early-'70s radio hit "The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)." Shulman (born and raised in New York) and Fowler (born and raised in a small town in Maine) didn't record their follow-up, Second Step, until three years later, followed by Two's Company (1976) and Adjoining Suites (1977). As folk-rock fell out of fashion in the mid- and late '70s, the duo continued to tour in support of their earlier albums. In 1979, Aztec Two-Step recorded and released The Times of Our Lives and then took a long hiatus from recording while continuing to tour around the U.S. and Europe.(allmusic.com).

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Side One:
A1. Baking 02:42
A2. Killing Me 03:58
A3. The Persecution & Restoration Of Dean Moriarty (On The Road) 04:16
A4. The Infidel 04:40
A5. So Easy 01:48
A6. Prisoner 04:32
 • Side Two:
B1. Strangers 05:13
B2. Almost Apocalypse 03:53
B3. Dancers All 03:23
B4. Cockroach Cacophony 04:40
B5. Highway Song 06:07

Randy Benson - Vocals
Doug Dillard, Peter Klimes - Banjo
Rex Fowler - Composer, Guitar, Vocals
Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane, Dennis Witcher - Vocals
John Sebastian - Harmonica, Horn
John Seiter - Drums, Vocals
Jerry Yester - Autoharp, Banjo, Celeste, Piano, Strings, Vocals
Neal Shulman - Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Ben Taylor - Engineer
Bobby Torres - Conductor, Congas
David Vaught - Bass

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


среда, 9 апреля 2014 г.

Alabama - Close To Home (1973) 

Artist: Alabama
Album: Close To Home
Label: Smile Records
Catalog#: SMS2
Format: Acetate, LP, Album
Country: Canada
Released: 1973
Genre: Southern Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Duration: 00:38:36

Not to be confused with the American act with the same name, the Toronto conglomeration of Alabama was steeped in Cajun and Acadian sounds from the principle songwriting team of Fykes and Knight. The duo had hooked up with McLean and Sembaluk in the early '70's under the Alabama moniker. Sembaluk had been a founding member of Brutus with Walter Zwol. Their recording career was short lived with one album and two singles in 1973 on the Smile label. Sembaluk and Knight would go on to engineer albums by other artists including The Stampeders' 'Hit The Road' in 1976.

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------
  Side One:
A1. Children's Castles 03:40
A2. Song Of Love 04:25
A3. So I Flew Away 04:00
A4. In The Sky 02:51
A5. People And Places 03:58
 • Side Two:
B1. Highway Driving 04:20
B2. The Ones You Love 03:07
B3. Gunslinger's Lament 04:44
B4. Quicksand 02:14
B5. Understanding 03:26
B6. Southwinds 01:46

Bass, Vocals – Hector McLean
Design – Ran MacDonald
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Len Sembaluk
Engineer – Ken Friesen
Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Rick Knight
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Flute – Buster Sykes
Orchestrated By – Hagood Hardy
Producer, Arranged By – Hilly Leopold

-----  ☆☆☆ -----


вторник, 8 апреля 2014 г.

Doughboys - Shakin' Our Souls (2012) 

Artist: Doughboys
Album: Shakin' Our Souls
Label: Ram Records
Catalog#: 803
Released: October 16, 2012
Country: US
Genre: Rock, Garage Rock
Duration: 00:48:46

Группа Doughboys, очень напоминающая молодых и ярких The Rolling Stones, а временами и The Yardbirds с The Kinks. Команда образовалась в 1965 г. под названием The Ascots, потом была переименована, и, наконец, распалась и несколько десятилетий о ней никто не слышал и её никто не знал. Слава к группе пришла неожиданно и только в наши дни, совсем недавно (тем не менее есть фильм, снятый о них в 1966 г. Дэйвом Маккартни). Говорят, что музыканты радостно восприняли возрождение интереса к их музыке. Они собрались вновь, дали серию концертов и уже выпустили несколько альбомов, включая и Shakin’ Our Souls, вышедший в 2012 году на лейбле Ram Records.

The Doughboys third studio album since their comeback – they split in 1966 and reformed in 2000 – is a bonafide rocker. The quartet of Myke Scavone (lead vocals, harp), Richard X. Heyman (drums, vocals), Mike Caruso (bass, vocals) and Gar Francis (guitar, vocals) shoot out of traps, guitars blazing, and seemingly eager to make up for the lost years. Not that the individuals involved spent 34 years sitting on their hands wondering what might have been. All four members carved out interesting music careers in the intervening years, from playing with Jimi Hendrix and fronting Ram Jam to acclaimed solo recordings and premier session work. There second album “Act Your Rage” won them worldwide acclaim and “Shakin’ Our Souls” should cement their new found rep.
So, it’s a rock record for sure, but one that’s fixed firmly in their New Jersey garage roots. Big and soulful, it fizzes with punk energy, but these four are no naive spike-topped teenage strummers and biscuit tin bangers. They know exactly what they’re up to and the songs are constructed and arranged for maximum impact and instant thrills. Opener “Land” sets the tone. The band is on fire from the start and the track swaggers out the speakers like a power pop Steppenwolf in a hurry to get somewhere. “Rush On You” hits the pavement on a walking bass line – the swagger is no less defined – and the title track mixes up their Stones, Faces, ‘60s pop / ‘70s rock influences to fine effect. It’s no surprise to hear that Little Steven has already chosen a track from “Shakin’ Our Souls” for his Underground Garage “Coolest Song in the World” gong – just like he did for “Act Your Rage”. (www.thedoughboysnj.com).

-------- ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ --------

01. Land 04:24
02. Rush on You 02:41
03. One More Time 03:03
04. It's a Cryin' Shame 02:57
05. Tuggin' Me Back 03:01
06. Keep Your Dog Off Me 03:46
07. Shakin' My Soul 03:26
08. Slip Back 03:52
09. Second Street 04:16
10. Love Is the Seed 03:23
11. Until the Clock Strikes Doom 02:55
12. Sleeper 03:32
13. Trail Left Behind 02:55
14. Route 22 04:35

     The Doughboys - Mixing, Producer
     Scott Venittelli - Cover Art Concept, Cover Design
     Kurt Reil - Associate Producer, Engineer
     Alex Saltz - Mastering
     Ed Stasium - Mastering Consultant 

Gar Francis - Guitar (12 String), Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Organ, Vocals
Mike Caruso - Bass, Percussion, Vocals
Richie Heyman - Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Vocals, Wurlitzer
Myke Scavone - Composer, Percussion, Vocals
Richard X. Heyman - Composer, Lyricist
Nancy Leigh - Engineer
Mark Lindsay - Saxophone, Vocals (Background)
Kristin Pinell, Genya Ravan - Vocals (Background)
John Pittas - Organ
Kurt Reil - Bongos

-----  ☆☆☆ -----