Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Eric Andersen-Today is the highway (1965 Debut)

This was made back in the days when it was just the singer, his guitar and his harmonica. Oh yes the comparisons to Bob Dylan were endless and for good reason. Andersen was blessed with the similar talents of Dylan. Just like Dylan's early albums there are plenty of good self penned songs that are sung with the same intensity a lone folksinger would require to succeed. Unlike Dylan, Eric's songs are less political and surreal. They tend more toward romantical topics. Also Eric is a fingerpicker (pretty much pattern style) which gives a softer backdrop to his songs.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Rosebud (1971)

The short-lived Rosebud have sometimes been classified as an outgrowth of the duo of Judy Henske and Jerry Yester, who did one album, the underrated cult classic Farewell Aldebaran, in 1969. In fact, although Henske and Yester were both key performers and songwriters in Rosebud, Rosebud were an entirely separate entity from Henske-Yester. It was in fact a group consisting of Henske, Yester, keyboardist/vocalist Craig Doerge, drummer/vocalist John Seiter (who had been in Spanky & Our Gang and the Turtles), and bassist David Vaught. Henske and Yester did write six of the ten songs on their sole album, Rosebud (1971)

Get it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Search Party-Montgomery Chapel (1969-Psychedelia)

There were many psychedelic albums like this issued in small press runs in the late '60s: folky, bittersweet melodies that tilted toward the downright sad and melancholy; high strident female vocals sharing duties with less memorable, more normal-sounding male singing; a studied over-seriousness to the vocal delivery; a naïve, questing for the meaning of life tone to the compositions; and organ residing in a halfway house between the LSD trip and the mortuary. Even if you take it as a given that most of these albums have a dated pretentiousness that many would poke fun at, however, this is certainly one of the better such efforts in this mini-genre, and possessed of some real musical appeal in spite of its considerable flaws. Most of the arrangements have an understated, effective (if somewhat creepy) eeriness. Songs like "Speak to Me," "Renee Child," "Poem By George Hall," and "The Decidedly Short Epic of Mr. Alvira" are good time-capsule mood pieces in their evocative otherworldliness, at times sounding a little like a psychedelic seance. Although the brief liner notes do intimate that the musicians were "trying to produce relevant, religious music," any religious overtones are pretty subtle. As often happened with bands whose strengths lay in these approaches, they tend to lose much of their charm when they try to rock out, piling on too many gimmicky, clichéd fuzz guitar riffs. And even one of the gentler numbers, "All But This," is too uncomfortably close to Jefferson Airplane's "Comin' Back to Me" to merit praise. It's a worthwhile obscurity if you go for this sort of thing in a big way, though, and has more concision than most projects of the sort, with just one of the cuts (the nine-minute "So Many Things Have Got Me Down") lasting more than five minutes, by Richie Unterberger, allmusic guide.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Agincourt-Fly away (1970-Acid Folk-Rock)

Though Agincourt's album is sometimes described as folk-rock, it's really more accurately pegged as a combination of folk-rock (of the contemporary rather than traditional British variety), a bit of psychedelia, and a bit of swooning pop. Certainly it's got more drive and catchy pop melodies than most of the plentiful oodles of obscure barely pressed British folk-rock releases of the early '70s, though there are similarities in the gentleness of the approach and the wistful, slightly sad melodies. As these kind of U.K. folk-rockish rarities go, it's certainly one of the better ones — not on the level of the most famous British folk-rockers, mind you, but among the upper tier of things you should check out if you're accumulating unknown albums in that realm. Lee Menelaus has a sweet, high voice that's lighter and more innocent-sounding (to good effect) than many woman singers of the style, and the original tunes have a way of shining with pleasing sunniness while steering clear of the saccharine. Not everything here is that good — some of the occasional harder-rocking tunes are more ordinary than the fetching folkier ones ("Mirabella" sounds almost like a garage Moody Blues), and the fairly homespun recording quality (particularly on the drums), while not a serious distraction, keeps some of this from coming across as well as it could have, by Richie Unterberger

Check it out!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

White Noise-An electric storm (1968-Electronic/Experimental/Psychedelic)

Welcome to the world of the frequency shifter, signal generator and azimuth co-ordinator. A world that existed before the dawn of the synthesizer, when a 'sample'was a length of recording tape delicately and skillfully spliced in place. The 1968 "White Noise -- An Electric Storm"LP became the holy grail amongst collectors of 'Science Dimension' music, a staple ingredient for lovers of cosmic electronic space-rock. White Noise was really one David Vorhaus (b,sc,dip.elec) American born, son of a black-listed film director. He avoided the draft by coming to the UK. Later he became a post graduate doing an electronics degree at the Northern Poly whilst studying classical music playing the double bass. After having attended a lecture by the group Unit Delta Plus, Vorhaus was compelled to combine his love of music with his scientific background and start making his own music. At the time Unit Delta Plus were Brian Hodgson and Delie Derbyshire who were persuaded to collaborate with Vorhaus on his early recordings whilst they continued their day jobs at the BBC's radio phonic workshop, itself a shrine to new electronic music and birthplace of the famous Dr. Who theme. After recording two tracks on a six-revox set up all synchronised by one remote control, (i.e. the mains on/off switch), Vorhaus found himslef introduced by chance to Island Records' Chris Blackwell. Chris was so captivated by the white noise experience that he shunned their appeal for a one-off singles deal and demanded that they do a whole album of material. An instant cheque for £3,000 quenched their fears about not earning a quick buck through a hit single and our band of merry pranksters set about building theur own sonic laboratiry in London's Camden Town out of 'borrowed' gear, home made gizmos and equipment more assiciated with a scince lab than a recording studio. 'Songs' took ages to build, each note being a compilation of various tape edits painstakingly stuck together. After a year Island Records became nervous and demanded a conclusion in a matter of days which, luckily, White Noise managed to pull off. The album was released in a total vacuum. Vorhaus played no gigs and did no interviews. Word of mouth over many years caused this album to sell tens of thousands of records. Like stablemates Art and Nirvana, this album remained on catalogue deep into the seventies and became the hit of many a bedroom and sicth form commonroom. Five years after its release Vorhaus made a second album on Virgin and a third in 1980 for the Pulse label. He continues to make music, a good deal for film and television work, and threatens a new album for the nineties. One album per decade is hardly a Prince-like output but when the quality is this high does it really matter?

Weird Psychedelic-Electronic-Experimental Rock, you have to try it.
Its not for anyone, but deserves a listen. It's really something different.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Caedmon-Caedmon (1978-Kissing Spell)

Caedmon's privately issued 1978 LP, has since it's rediscovery in 1992, been established as an expensive collectors item, rated as the best folk-rock album ever made, perhaps 2nd only to “Mellow Candle”. The sublime sound of Caedmon results from an unusual blend of styles, the fragile female vocals, admirable use of tension and atmosphere, savage fuzz-guitar, art rock leanings - everything from exquisite understatement to frantic show-off musicianship - a classic, by golly!

Some say best folk-rock made!

Check it out


Jim Bisset - Electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Simon Jaquet - Acoustic guitar, mandolin, bongos, vocals
Angela Naylor - Lead vocals
Ken Patterson - Keyboards, cello, acoustic guitar, vocals
Sam Wilson - Bass guitar, vocals

Link : http://rapidshare.com/files/2906796/caedmon_hymn.rar.html

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wizz Jones-Right Now (1972)

Though it was issued as late as 1972, Right Now reveals why, long before he ever recorded, Wizz Jones was one of the most revered guitarists and songwriters on the British folk scene, along with Michael Chapman, Bert Jansch, and John Renbourn; Jansch and Renbourn both produced and played on this album (sitar and harmonica). While Jones can claim none of the gorgeous electric guitar parts here — Peter Berryman handled the electric Telecaster chores — it's in the unreal, almost otherworldly acoustic guitar stylings where Jones' particular genius can be found. Like John Fahey, his North American counterpart, Jones' style is an amalgam of many very traditional musics: from Delta blues and early Anglo and Celtic minstrel cultures to classical Indian music and country music. On Right Now, he uses the guitar as a means to deliver 75 percent of the song's ability. There aren't any endlessly strummed tunes on this album; here nothing is ever static. From the down-home, minor-key, sitar- blues arrangement of Pete Seeger's "One Grain of Sand"; to the greasy, folk/funk of Alan Turnbridge's dark rant against L.A., "City of the Angels"; Jones' own songs, and those he collaborated on with Turnbridge, such as "The Raven," are full of tonal variations and quirky strangeness. "The Raven" is based on a 17th century melodic and lyrical framework, where the singer plays "call and response" with himself. The tonal variations bring the track — and another, "No More Time to Try," — into modal territory, and are made more possible by the use of a 12-string with a dodgy capo tuned to an open D. Also notable is Jones' jazzed-out reading of Seeger's arrangement of "American Land." The disc ends with another collaboration between Jones and Turnbridge: "Deep Water," a Gary Davis-styled ragtime blues song. The turnarounds at the bottom end are just astonishing. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jones was gifted with a beautiful tenor singing voice, which gave him the legs to play in front of an audience and not apologize for anything. "Deep Water," besides being a great twin-guitar vehicle for Jones and Berryman, showcases the range and expressive qualities of Jones' singing voice. It closes the album on a high note, leaving the listener shocked at the array of music he/she has just been witness to, and wanting for more...much more. By Thom Jurek

Fantastic! "City of the angels" beautiful guitar playing! "American Land", what a song, strange feelings! Incredible!
In my opinion, this is a true masterpiece!

Highly Recommended!!

Get it!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

John Martyn-London Conversation (1967 debut album, UK Folk)

In 1967, John Martyn became the first white solo act to sign with Island Records. While this is notable in the history of the label, his initial release, London Conversation, on the other hand, stands as a mere footnote. The record, though incorporating touches of blues and his characteristic guitar and vocal, doesn't really prepare you for what's to come from Martyn. The album is a basic, no-frills, guitar and voice effort, although one track, the droning dulcimer and flute-driven "Rolling Home," shows Martyn's urge to stretch, which would become much more evident in the coming years. His vocal delivery is traditionally British, while his playing is steeped in the eclectic folk of British artists such as Davey Graham and Bert Jansch, as well as American blues and folk. London Conversation, whose material (written primarily by Martyn) reflects the era and his age (18 years old), comes across as a young, although soon to be important artist looking for a voice.
by Brett Hartenbach

Although some of you maybe think other Martyn’s albums are better, I think this one is good too. Remember that he was only 18 at the time of its release. True folk guitar and singing in a lot of his compositions. I believe it was a great debut. Great guitar finger picking, I am really trying to reach him at this point at my guitar playing! One of the best folk guitarits for me actually!

Get it!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Extradition-Hush (1971-Australian Acid Folk/ Psych/ Psychedelic)

Simply gorgeous presentation of this classic Australian acid-folk item. Extradition have everything you want from this genre: a female singer with a voice like a bell (Shayna Karlin), male singers who don't suck; long hair; beards; songs that romanticize Ice Ages and the phases of the Sun and the Moon; harmonium; nine-minute songs; frolics with sticks, stones, gongs, chimes, palm fronds, and drums in the name of Meher Baba. The live recording tacked onto the reissue as a bonus is just as valuable - Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol" set to music, covers of Tom Paxton and Leroy Carr, a few bluesier Extradition originals, and a stunning version of the album's "Ice." (From rateyourmusic.com)

Amazing album! Incredible psych-acid feeling, sometimes psychedelic, sometimes eastern influences too!Veeeeery interesting!!


Guy Clark-Old No. 1 (Debut 1975, Country-Folk)

Though Guy Clark recorded only two albums for RCA, the label was fortunate to have him at all at the beginning of his career. If only every country songwriter could release a debut album as auspicious and fine as this one. Houston's Guy Clark, well known to the outlaw movement for his poetic, stripped-to-the-truth songs about ramblers, history, the aged and infirm, the drunken, the lost, and the simple dignity of working people who confront the darkness and joy of life quietly, issued Old #1 when his compadres had already been making waves with his songs. Jerry Jeff Walker had already cut "L.A. Freeway" and other tunes by Clark, as had Gary Stewart, Billy Joe Shaver, and others. But the definitive versions come from Clark himself. On this disc with help from Emmylou Harris, fellow Houstoners (a young) Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell, guitar wizards Chip and Reggie Young, Mickey Raphael on harp, pianist David Briggs, fiddle boss Johnny Gimble, and the angel-voiced Sammi Smith, Clark executed a song cycle that is as intimate and immediate as it is quietly devastating with its vision of brokenness and melancholy, loose wild times, and unforgettable characters. The opener is the up-tempo Texas swing of "Rita Ballou," a woman out for all she can get and then some; the outlaw's statement of love's determination on "L.A. Freeway" to not get killed or caught; and the summation of so much of what is contained here and on the follow-up to this album, Texas Cookin', "That Old Time Feelin," which should be the new "Auld Lang Syne." Acoustic guitars dominate everything here. Old #1 is a quiet record because its songs don't need to be amplified; they speak for themselves in a straight, poetic, and powerful way. In addition to the above, two Clark classics are here as well, the amazing recollection "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train" and one of the most beautiful and confessional love songs ever written in any genre, "Like a Coat From the Cold." The most underrated track is an aural movie called "Instant Coffee Blues," where Clark's protagonist is a lonesome rambler, aimlessly hitchhiking his way to who knows where. He is picked up by a single working woman who is also on the wrong side of alone; they have an evening of companionship that has its share of intimacy and passion — until morning when, "she just had to go to work/and he just had to go." The disc closes with "Let Him Roll," a snappy, laid-back observation about destiny having its own way at staying out of its way. Old #1 was unequaled in 1975 for the depth of its vision and the largeness of its artistic and empathetic heart; only Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run came close to it in terms of aesthetic merit, by Thom Jurek

Amazing beautiful debut!! Very interesting melodies.

Check it!

Randy Burns-Evening of the Magician (1968-Folk)

Randy Burns' second album, 1968's Evening of the Magician, is an enormous improvement over his 1967 debut, Of Love and War. That album, while fine for what it was, included too many covers of songs by Burns' contemporaries in the Greenwich Village folk scene to show what the singer/songwriter was capable of. This album, which features 10 good to great Burns originals, is far superior and much more personal feeling. Burns' new backing trio, the Sky Dog Band, provide sympathetic and low-key backing on keyboards (Mat Kastner), bass and flute (Bruce Samuels) and percussion (John O'Leary). The acid folk settings are similar to those of Burns' ESP-Disk labelmates Pearls Before Swine, but his solid, simple songs lack Tom Rapp's psychedelic flightiness. (This is either a good or bad thing depending on one's point of view), by Stewart Mason

For me, the best Randy Burns here.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Hamilton Cap-Paths of Victory (1964)

The Paths of Victory album is most renowned for the inclusion of the original version of "Pride of Man," later covered in an electric folk-rock arrangement by Quicksilver Messenger Service, who made it a highlight of their first album. Camp's acoustic version is good in its own right, and considering how moving the song's Biblical-toned lyrics and mournful tune are, it comes as something of a surprise to find that it's the only original composition on the LP. No less than seven of the thirteen tracks are Bob Dylan covers, and it's evident that the strategy was to find unfamiliar Dylan songs at that. Only one of the Dylan tunes, "Girl of the North Country," had been released on his Columbia albums when this Camp LP appeared; most of them remain damned obscure today. Even big Dylan fans may have never heard any version of "Guess I'm Doin' Fine" and "Long Time Gone," for instance, though "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," "Paths of Victory," and "Walkin' Down the Line" are among the better Dylan originals from the early 1960s that he elected not to release at the time. What the heck — if you're going to run with an idea, you might as well take it into the end zone, right? Whether this was a crass strategy or not really doesn't matter, since Camp did a good job with the covers and since the album as a whole is fairly good. The use of a bass and double-tracked vocals on some selections gives the material more force than many such folk albums of the period, and Camp is an earnest yet forceful vocalist and interpreter. If only in hindsight, it's something of a link between the cornier troubadour recordings of the early 1960s folk revival, and a more personal singer-songwriter style that would evolve in the late 1960s among folk and folk-rock performers. Incidentally, this also includes one of the earlier covers of Dino Valenti's future folk-rock standard "Get Together," and was produced by Jim Dickson, shortly to become an important folk-rock architect as an early manager of the Byrds. In sum, a good album, definitely cuts above the average for such efforts from the time just preceding acoustic folk music's makeover by electric instruments and original material.

Ooh…real great album!! First version of “Pride of Man”, later from Gordon Lightfoot and the Quicksilver. Some Dylan song's covers.

Get it!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Peloma Bokiu-Peloma Bokiu (1972-Great Greek psychedelic rock)

The band’s name Peloma Bokiu came from band mates’ surnames. Nikos Daperis, Nikos Logothetis, Takis Marinakis, Vlassis Mponatsos and Yiannis Kiourtzoglou formed in 70’s one of the best rock bands in Greece ever. Their first single “Garyfale, Garyfale” is a classic one until today and had really great lyrics and feeling. The band was playing heavy progressive rock music with strong influences from Santana. It was one of the most capable greek rock bands. Vlassis Mponatsos (Stevie Winwood like singer-second one from left counting) was a very talented guy, he continued playing music and singing until his death last year. He was also starring in T.V. Shows and other T.V. productions and was acting in great theatrical productions, like when he starred Che Guevara role with great Greek female actor Aliki Vougiouclakis starring in Evita musical with great success. Listen to him on “Ύμνος στη ζωή” (Life’s Hymn), this great song from their album. “Κάποιος πεθαίνει” (Somebody is dying) and "Ψεύτικη Ζωή" (Fake Life) are great songs also. Mponatsos did a few albums during the following decades but nothing was like this one with Peloma Bokiu band.

Vlassis is still among us. These people never really die.



Thursday, November 02, 2006

Malvina Reynolds-Sings the truth (1967-Folk)

Born Malvina Milder of Jewish socialist immigrant parents in San Francisco, Malvina was refused her diploma by Lowell High School because her parents were opposed to US participation in World War I. She entered UC Berkeley anyway, and received her BA and MA in English. She married William Reynolds, a carpenter and organizer, in 1934 and had one child, Nancy, in 1935. She completed her dissertation and was awarded her Doctorate in 1936. It was the middle of the Depression, she was Jewish, socialist, and a woman. She could not find a job teaching at the college level. She became a social worker and a columnist for the People's World and, when World War II started, an assembly-line worker at a bomb factory. When her father died, she and her husband took over her parents' naval tailor shop in Long Beach, California. There in the late forties she met Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger and other folk singers and songwriters and began writing songs. She returned to Berkeley, and to the University, where she took music theory classes in the early fifties. She gained recognition as a songwriter when Harry Belafonte sang her “Turn Around.” Her songs were recorded by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, The Seekers, Pete Seeger, and the Limeliters, among others. She wrote songs for Women for Peace, the Nestle Boycott, the sit-ins in San Francisco on auto row and at the Sheraton-Palace, the fight against putting a freeway through Golden Gate Park and other causes. She toured Scandinavia, England and Japan. A film biography, Love It Like a Fool, was made a few years before she died in 1978. Ellen Stekert is writing a biography and would like information about Malvina's pre-1945 activities.

Excellent album!!

Highly Recommended!!


Elyse-Elyse (1968)

Picked up for reissue in 2001 by Orange Twin Records and earmarked as a rediscovered psych-pop classic, this long-overlooked record is primarily composed of quietly plucked acoustic guitars, overlain with Elyse's Elyse Weinberg's hearty vocals, which bear some resemblance to other endearingly hoarse-voiced performers like Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge, and her fellow Toronto contemporary, Joni Mitchell. The air of psychedelia is fairly faint, springing up in the mystical traces of sitars that appear in songs like "Deed I Do" and in lyrics that refer to lovers with names like Sir John Velveteen. In its day, sometime in 1968, the record drew praise from many circles and even earned Elyse a spot on The Johnny Carson Show. However, subsequent records were left unreleased and Elyse faded into history. Elyse is lo-fi, in that the record itself is fairly straightforward musically and that, while the release is on CD, one can hear the crackle and hiss of vinyl, perhaps indicating that this reissue was not remastered from the original. However, given the tone of the music, the low-level record noises are a positive thing, adding to the overall feel of this record's vintage status. The quiet acoustics take a back-seat on "Spirit of the Letter," which is a full-on rock song, and somewhat surprisingly, largely better than many of the quieter songs. Perhaps the record's most noteworthy track is "Houses," a gorgeous song about the impossibility of trading places; beautiful on its own, its brilliance is amplified by featured guest Neil Young. The album-closer "What You Call It," and in some ways the album as a whole, brings to mind the longing tone of Jeremy Enigk's sans Sunny Day Real Estate effort, Return of the Frog Queen. — Karen E. Graves


David Allen Coe-Penitentiary Blues (1968)

David Allan Coe's debut album, released in 1969 shortly after his release from prison, is in its way a wonder. Penitentiary Blues is far more a blues album than it is a country record, musically styled after the dark, loungy blues of Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis in his Mercury period as well as the rawer mercurial blues of Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Tony Joe White. The subject matter is far darker and foreshadows the subjects and themes of Coe's later country records. The title cut mentions everything from working for the first time to taking blood tests in his heroin veins. "Cell 33" is a wide-open rocking shuffle with Jerry Lee Lewis piano coming out of the backdrop of a muddy mix and playing solo after choogling guitar riff over lines like: "They'll find me hangin' here tomorrow/If they don't come with the key." Musically, Coe was wrapped in the blues, particularly the barroom tradition. At the time, his band was clearly not capable of handling the more sophisticated honky tonk songs he would be writing shortly thereafter, some appearing on his next recording, Requiem for a Harlequin. This is redneck music, pure and simple, fresh out of hell and trying to communicate the giddiness of reprieve as well as its horrors to the listener. There's an obsession with hoodoo imagery and death, with self-loathing and boasting, and the contradictions in a man who doesn't want to go back to prison but who seems resigned to the fact he will because he's been inside so long (for Coe it was almost 20 years), he has no idea how to live on the outside. There are hints and traces of the lyrical genius Coe would display later, but taken as a whole, Penitentiary is thoroughly enjoyable as a rowdy, funky, and crude blues record full of out-of-tune guitars, slippery performances, and an attitude of "f*%$ it, let's get it done and get it out," which was a trademark of Plantation Records during the era. Penitentiary Blues is a set of voodoo blues from a future country legend and pariah.
By Thom Jurek

Excellent Blues outlaw record. His lyrics are a pain in your stomach. Great guitar work.
Prison blues, actually.

Get it!