Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cameron - 1975 - Cameron


01. Illusions 4:05
02. Hurricane 3:05
03. Empty Bed 6:31
04. Sunshine Parkway 5:10
05. Good Feelin's For You 3:28
06. The Road To (Damascus) 6:18
07. Mule Skinner Blues 2:11
08. Mystery Wind 5:43

Bass – Gary Dunne, Lane Cameron
Drums – Mike Idarola
Flute – Charles Sherrill
Guitar – Gary Dunne, Lane Cameron
Harmonica – Lane Cameron
Lead Guitar – Dave Gallagher
Piano – Lane Cameron
Saxophone – Charles Sherrill
Slide Guitar – Dave Gallagher
Synthesizer – Charles Sherrill
Trumpet – Dave Gallagher
Vocals – Gary Dunne
Vocals – Charles Sherrill, Dave Gallagher, Lane Cameron, Mike Idarola

Private pressing. Recorded at New London Recording, Birmingham, Ala, & Alantis, Tampa, Florida. Album Design by Charles Bennett, Richmond Graphics.

Cameron was a Ft. Lauderdale, FL based bar band who recorded and released this debut primarily to satisfy their local fan following.  A few songs head above the fray, but mostly its low grade local rock with boogie and blues elements.

Band namesake Lane Cameron, guitarist Dave Gallaher, drummer Mike Idarola, and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Sherrill met while attending Boston's Berkley School Of Music.  Having formed the band Cameron  Company (quickly shortened to Cameron), they relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they picked up a loyal local following playing  a mixture of original material and popular hits at local clubs and outdoor concerts throughout the South and mid-West.  They also managed to record a pair of mid-'70s private press LPs.

Cameron were certainly a talented outfit with some on-line reviews comparing them to The Allman Brothers.  Frankly, I don't hear much of an ABB influence.  For the most part Cameron lacked the Allmans' interest in blues, favoring more of a Marshall Tucker-oriented country feel, or an Outlaw pop-orientation.   That's not meant as a criticism since their albums are surprisingly consistent and enjoyable.  I suspect they were even better in a live setting.

Following the release of their 1975 debut album ("Cameron"), the band underwent a personnel upheaval.  Cameron quit, going on to form The New Cameron Band. No idea if it is true, but I read online the split related to Lane's growing interest in  Scientology.   The remaining band members opted to soldier on releasing  their sophomore album.   1976's self-produced "Keep On Movin'" found the band continuing on as a quartet.  Musically the album featured a surprisingly wide ranging and enjoyable collection of tunes.  With Dunne and Gallaher responsible for all of the material, this time around the band seemed interested in showcasing their musical versatility.   Among the different forays, the growling rocker 'Keep On Movin'' was one of the few tunes that actually sounded like an Allman Brothers tune. 'Empty Bed' was a conventional blues-rocker that probably sounded more inspiring in a live setting after a couple of cold beers. 'Home Again' was a commercial slice of Southern rock that has always reminded me of a Marshall Tucker Band, or Outlaws tune. I didn't appreciate it too much, but 'Where Do We Go From Here' demonstrated they could handle a radio-friendly ballad.

By the way, I stumbled across an interesting 1975 interview with the original band line-up done by Miami PBS station WPBT.  Warning - the video and sound quality aren't great:

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