Sunday, February 1, 2015

Footch Kapoot - 1977 - Good Clean Fun

Footch Kapoot
Good Clean Fun

01. Don's Mom's Green Boiled Ham (M. Hecker, M. Haupt, R. Last) - 7:46
02. One Day At A Time (Sue Kwiatowski) - 2:53
03. Sleepy Time Day (R. Last, M. Haupt) - 4:28
04. Das Is Wonderful (Ray Last) - 8:32
05. Tall Tale (R. Abell, T. Turner) - 4:18
06. Thee Andes Tune (R. Last) - 8:28
07. Theme From The Pet Dome (M. Hecker, R. Last) - 2:25
08. Versality (R. Last) - 5:26
09. Dreamburst (S. Kwiatowski, M. Hecker) - 9:00

Footch Kapoot
*Paul J. Schneider - Glass Drums
*Ray Last - Electric Guitar, Alto Sax, Flute, Bells, Vocals
*Mike Haupt (Dirty Michael) - Clarinet, Precussion
*Roob (Moon) Abell - Moon Bass, Vocals
*Mark (Blind Lip) Hecker - Electic, Acoustic, Slide Guitars, Blues Harp, Vocals
*Sue Kwiatowski - Piano, Vocals

It's tough sometimes to write about forgotten records. You find them, you love, but there is so little info out there about them that you always feel you may not be speaking with authority about the music therein Footch Kapoot is a case in point. So in lieu of hard facts I am going to make up my own back-story.

Footch Kapoot are six people who really dig challenging progressive music, like Beefheart, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant, but have a soft spot for the pop structure as well. They are all excellent musicians with day jobs, and judging from the name of the band and they cover art they are nerds with no care or worry for commercial success.

When this came out in 1978, the cold cruel world probably scratched its head and moved on. I wish I would have been there to tell them how cool I thought it was.
by Greg Trout

Folly's Pool - 1977 - Folly's Pool

Folly's Pool
Folly's Pool

01. Folly's Pool (Doug Carlson, Steven Ono) - 4:55
02. Fallen Pony (Doug Carlson) - 7:00
03. Just A Memory (Doug Carlson, Steven Ono) - 4:43
04. Jig In A (Doug Carlson, Steven Ono) - 4:25
05. Before The Gates Of Elessaar (Doug Carlson) - 6:55
06. Kathleen (Doug Carlson) - 5:10
07. West Of The Skies (Doug Carlson, Steven Ono) - 7:15

Folly's Pool
*Doug Carlson - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Jeff Carlson - Acoustic 12string Guitar, Vocals, Percussions
*Jeff Bryon - Drums, Percussions
*Jim Reap - Bass, Vocals
*Larry Ohl - Lead Guitar
*Danny Jordan - Flute
*Jeff McCutchen - Drums on "Fallen Pony" & "Just a Memory"

 Folly's Pool was formed in 1974 by Doug Carlson (Guitar and Lead Vocals)and Steve Ono Bass and Vocals). The original band also included Jeff Carlson (Guitar and Vocals) and Jim Arhelger (Drums). Ono and Arhelger left in 1975 and were replaced by Jim Reap on Bass and Jeff McCutchen on Drums. The first Album was recorded over 4 months at Kenjo Studios in Fresno. The first two tracks recorded were Just a Memory and Fallen Poney. These were released and got airplay on KFIG and a few other Central Valley Radio Stations.

The rest of the album was recorded with Jeff Bryon replacing Jeff McCutchen on Drums. The band toured throughout California, mostly in College towns until 1982. in 1986, a second album was produced; Bathing Caps Required. The band dispersed for several years and reunited in 2003 and began playing occasionally and created an new album called Road To Independence released in 2008. After several successful live performances, Doug, Jeff, and Jeff are back recoding again with a large circle of musician friends adding parts. You can find more at the web site
by Warren Lewis (Folly's Pool Engineer)

Fifty Foot Hose - 1968 - Cauldron

Fifty Foot Hose

01. And After (2:07)
02. If Not This Time (3:39)
03. Opus 777 (0:22)
04. The ThingsThat Concern You (3:30)
05. Opus 11 (0:26)
06. Red The Sign Post (2:57)
07. For Paula (0:30)
08. Rose (5:07)
09. Fantasy (10:14)
10. God Bless The Child (2:46)
11. Cauldron (4:55)
bonus tracks
12. If Not This Time (3:41)
13. Red The Sign Post (2:20)
14. Fly Free (2:41)
15. Desire (11:42)
16. Bad Trip (3:24)
17. Skins (2:26)
18. Bad Trip (2:34)

Fifty Foot Hose is a psychedelic rock band that formed in San Francisco in the late 1960s, and reformed in the 1990s. They were one of the first bands to fuse rock and experimental music. Like a few other acts of the time (most notably the United States of America), they consciously tried to combine the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas.
The 1960s – the original group
The original group comprised three core members: founder and bassist Louis "Cork" Marcheschi, guitarist David Blossom, and his wife, vocalist Nancy Blossom, augmented by Kim Kimsey (drums) and Larry Evans (guitar).
Cork Marcheschi (born 1945) grew up in Burlingame, California. In his teens, he performed with the Ethix, who played R&B music in clubs around San Francisco and in Las Vegas, and released one experimental and wildly atonal single, "Bad Trip", in 1966, with the intention that the record could be played at any speed. Interested in the ideas of experimental composers like Edgard Varèse, John Cage, Terry Riley, and George Antheil, he constructed his own custom-made electronic instrument from a combination of elements like theremins, fuzzboxes, a cardboard tube, and a speaker from a World War II bomber.
David and Nancy Blossom brought both psychedelic and jazz influences to the band. Together, the trio recorded a demo which led to a deal with Limelight Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records. They released one album, Cauldron, in December 1967. It contained eleven songs, including "Fantasy", "Red the Sign Post" and "God Bless the Child", a Billie Holiday cover. It was an intriguing mix of jazzy psychedelic rock tunes with fierce and advanced electronic sound effects. "I don't know if they are immature or premature", said critic Ralph J. Gleason.
The record sold few copies at the time, although the group had a small but intense following in San Francisco and also toured with other acts including Blue Cheer, Chuck Berry and Fairport Convention, when the band was augmented by Robert Goldbeck (bass). They broke up in late 1969 when most of its members joined the musical Hair, Nancy Blossom becoming the lead in the San Francisco production and later singing in Godspell. Larry Evans returned to his hometown of Muncie, Indiana where he fronted several club groups until his death in 2008.

Fifth Flight - 1971 - Into Smoke Tree Village

Fifth Flight
Into Smoke Tree Village

01. Can't You See (D. Knoedler, S. Denny, K. Van Ordstrand) - 4:51
02. I'd Like To Make It With You (David Gates) - 3:29
03. Devil With A Blue Dress (F. Long, W. Stevenson) - 4:09
04. Celebrate (G .Bonner, A. Gordon) - 2:06
05. Midnight Hour (S. Cropper, W. Pickett) - 3:42
06. Summertime (G. Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) - 4:18
07. It’s All Over Now (B. Womack, S. Womack) - 2:13
08. Sugar Mountain (Neil Young) - 6:10
09. Try A Little Tenderness (J. Campbell, R. Connelly, H. M. Woods) - 4:59

Fifth Flight
*Dudley Gray - Bass, Vocals
*Charlie Knoedler - Drums
*Danny Knoedler - Guitar
*Steve Denny - Piano, Organ, Vocals
*Kenny Van Ordstrand - Lead Vocals

 In the mid sixties, five football players from a local high school got together to Jam. The sounds blended and recorded an album for the Century label which was a late 60's early 70's Californian custom record label that pressed tens of thousands of small-run records for schools, church groups and obscure local bands. This was one of those delightful garage/psych jewels that occasionally cropped up on the label.

With its rustic mill cover this a a garage psych album consisting mostly of covers, delivered with lashings of fuzz guitar and heavy, spooky organ. The stand-out track surely is the jaw droppingly awesome cover of Neil Young's "Sugar mountain". What you are hearing on this album are moods, transitions and feelings of the Fifth Flight.

Century Records was a Californian custom record label which pressed tens of thousands of small-run records for schools, church groups and obscure local bands and Fifth Flight's Into Smoke Tree Village was one of those delightful garage/psych jewels that occasionally cropped up on the label. Into Smoke Tree Village, with its rustic mill wheel cover, was a garage psych album consisting mostly of covers, delivered with lashings of fuzz guitar and heavy, spooky organ. The stand-out track is surely the band's jaw-droppingly awesome version of Neil Young's 'Sugar Mountain' which over the years has gained a deserved reputation as a psych masterpiece.

Federal Duck - 1968 - Federal Duck

Federal Duck
Federal Duck

01. Knowing That I Loved You So - (G. Stavis)  - 2:18
02. Easy Virtue Blues - (J. Bowers) - 2:44
03. Tomorrow Waits for Today - (G. Stavis) - 3:04
04. Just Like the Snow - (D. Koteen) - 4:22
05. Bird - (Stavis Bowers Stover)  - 5:56
06. Hello - (G. Stavis) - 0:17
07. While You're Away - (G. Stavis)  - 2:01
08. Peace in My Mind - (G. Stavis)  - 2:57
09. Just a Band - (G. Stavis)  - 0:34
10. Friday Morning - (G. Stavis)  - 3:09
11. Dawn Comes Slow - (J. Bowers G. Stavis)  - 3:05
12. Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues - (G. Stavis)  - 2:11
13. Circus in the Sea - (G. Stavis) - 3:33

Federal Duck
*Ken Stover - Piano, Organ, Tuba
*Jack Bowers - Guitars, Dulcimer. Recorder
*George Stavis - Lead Guitars, (Vocal, on Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues)
*Huck White - Guitars, French Horn, Recorder
*Timmy Ackerman - Drums, Conga, Percussion
*Bob Stern - Bass, (Vocal, on Bird)
*Tony Shaftel - Vocal, Bass

Federal Duck was the band I belonged to when I was a student at Haverford College back in the '60s. We were originally called the Stomp Jackson Quintet, and then the Guides (don't ask), but we came up with our new and final name one night when we were lying on the bank of the Haverford campus duck pond, and some ducks started waddling toward us in what looked like a purposeful manner, and as we watched them with increasing alarm -- an oncoming duck squadron in the moonlight -- the thought struck us that these ducks might be working for the government. And if you are wondering why that particular thought would have struck us, you did not experience the '60s.

We were one of many college bands formed in that era by young men with a sincere artistic desire to attract women of the opposite sex. We pretty much failed at that, but we did get hired a lot, because of a distinctive quality we had, which I would describe as "a low price." For as little as $100, or sometimes even less, you could have the Federal Duck perform at your dance, dorm mixer, fraternity party, pagan tree-worship ceremony, livestock neutering, whatever.

We would play anywhere, and we would play all night long, or until the police arrived, which happened sometimes, especially at the frat parties, where there tended to be a lot of spirited hijinks during that magical 45-minute interlude between the time the first keg was tapped and the time the last frat brother passed out in a puddle of his own bodily fluids.

The Federal Duck could play through pretty much anything, because we had a bulletproof repertoire consisting of songs containing three or fewer chords, one of which was always "E." If something distracting happened during a song -- say, a group of frat brothers suddenly appeared on the dance floor physically carrying a Volkswagen -- and you lost your place, you could always play an "E" chord, and the odds were good that this was also what the rest of the band was playing.

We did that for four years, and, although I am not proud of this fact, the Federal Duck was the single most memorable part of my college experience. I was an English major, and I studied some of the greatest works of literature the human mind has ever produced, and today I can remember virtually nothing about any of them, but I still know all the words to "Louie Louie."
by Dave Barry

Crack - 1976 - Day of Doom

Day of Doom

01. Early Riser - 4:17
02. The Sailor Song - 6:14
03. Evil and Cruel - 5:31
04. Day of Doom - 4:54
05. Andrea - 2:21
06. Earth - 4:06
07. Me and My Momma - 2:37
08. The Brighter Side - 3:08

*Andrea Borega - Lead Vocals, Synthesizer, Percussion,
*Darryl Kaye - Backing Vocals, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Harp

Not to be confused with the Spanish band of the same name, this one is a complete US oddity out of the 70's dusted archives, which released its only album on the obscure, short-lived Tiger Lily label, specialized in demo recordings of unknown artists.Crack were basically only two persons, Andrea Borega on lead vocals, synth and percussion and Darryl Kaye on backing vocals, flute, guitar, bass and harp, whose real names as listed on the notes are rather questionable.One Ben Rizzi was the sound engineer of the obscure ''Day of doom'' album, released in 1976.

First impression after some listenings is that this album seems to go nowhere, lacking any kind of cohesion or strong identity.It is basically a Psychedelic Rock album, which is showered by so many different influences that noone knows which was the goal of the duo.Some tracks are completely dated, featuring bluesy inspirations on the guitar parts and even some harmonica solos, supported by cliche powerful voices.A pair of other pieces flirt strongly with the style of JETHRO TULL, mixing heavier guitar grooves with sharp flute solos.The list continues.Funky and Fusion vibes appear in ''Evil and cruel'' and the self-titled track, which even have an AOR vibe, led by clavinet, flutes and melodic guitars.''Earth'' follows a much more symphonic/orchestral vein, a bit similar to BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, with flowing piano lines, delicate flutes and some jazzy guitar soloing, while the shorter cuts contain obvious rural/Country influences.The farewell ''The brighter side'' is an unsuccesful attempt on mellow Jazz- and Classical-inspired arrangements, headed by something sounding like a harsichord, with a totally amateur sound and a bad recording quality.

The Radioactive Records reissue didn't throw any light on the bio of this cult act.Average and at moments amateur Psych/Art Rock with some decent instrumental parts, failing down the line next to the best groups of the style.

Concrete Rubber Band - 1974 - Risen Savior

Concrete Rubber Band
Risen Savior

01.What Shall We Do
02.Risen Savior

First official release ! for this massively-rare 1974 release on the Missouri-based American Artists label (AAS1164), of which only 2 or three copies are known to be exist in private collections.

Despite the song titles, this is actually a strange and unusual rock album which just happens to have religious undertones. There's lots of organ, fuzz guitar, male and female lead vocals and masses of electronic embellishments.

This is Christian psychedelia at its most extreme, with synthesised bubbling lava pits, frequency oscillations, distorted sci-fi vocals and short-wave static patterns.

The album is littered with some of the most extreme fuzz guitar you'll ever hear, loads of scatty electronic effects, and even a flying saucer sequence right out of Dark Side Of The Moon.

The whole project has a dense, murky home-made feel, and Duncan Long, the man behind the synths, guitars and song writing is now a successful scifi author.

The album was recorded in one of the band's living rooms on a 2-track tape recorder.

Only 500 copies were pressed, and most of these were given away when the album failed to realize commercial success.

Tamam Shud - 2003 - In Concert 1972

Tamam Shud
In Concert 1972

01. Turned Around To Find My Father Gone    
02. Midnight, Soft Light
03. What A Day It Is    
04. A Letter    
05. Sitting In The Sun    
06. Sprung    
07. Bali Waters
08. Bow Wow    
09. Directly From My Heart To You    
10. The Air's So Thick I Lost My Way Home
11. Young Girl Wastes Her Time    
12. The Morning Song    
13. A Book Among Magazines    
14. The Afternoon Song    
15. I'll Be Gone    

Bass – Peter Barron
Congas – Larry Duryea
Drums – Nigel Macara
Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals – Tim Gaze
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Lindsay Bjerre
Reeds, Flute – Richard Lockwood

Recorded Live July 2, 1972

If only some of these tracks were recorded for an album! Great songs on this release with the band displaying their live prowess. The only downfall is the audible tape hiss but it's easily over-looked due to the great songs!
I'm going to go as far as saying that if these tracks were recorded in-studio it would easily rival Goolutionites as their best.

Tamam Shud - 1970 - Goolutionites and the Real People

Tamam Shud
Goolutionites and the Real People

01. Goolutionites Theme
02. I Love You All
03. Heaven Is Closed
04. A Plague
05. Stand In The Sunlight
06. Take A Walk On A Foggy Morn
07. Goolutionites Theme Part 1 & 2

- Dannie Davidson / drums
- Tim Gaze / guitars
- Lindsay Bjerre / guitars, vocals
- Peter Barron / bass

One of the great albums of the period and genre. Tim Gaze's guitar work is the shining light of this album and considering his age when this was recorded (I believe he was 15/16) it is a clear indication of his pedigree as a guitarist. Goolutionites Theme is recurring throughout the album and much like the "Breathe" motif from Floyds Dark Side Of The Moon, it provides a link and depth to the album. "They'll Take You Down On The Lot" is an up tempo number with syncopated riffing and "I Love You All" is a powerful riff and one of the standout tracks.
Had a great time jamming with Tim Gaze on a few tracks like "Goolutionites Theme" last year, he was surprised that someone of my age was not only familiar with it but could also play the entire album!
Obviously I view this album as a milestone and urge people to give it a listen!

Tamam Shud - 1969 - Evolution

Tamam Shud

01. Music Train (3:52)
02. Evolution (2:45)
03. I'm No One (2:08)
04. Mr. Strange (2:34)
05. Lady Sunshine (4:39)
06. Falling Up (2:48)
07. Feel Free (3:12)
08. It's a Beautiful Day (2:53)
09. Jesus Guide Me (3:53)
10. Rock on Top (2:49)
11. Slow One and the Fast One (6:58)
12. Too Many Life (3:04)

- Dannie Davidson / drums
- Zac Zytnic / guitars
- Lindsay Bjerre / guitars, vocals
- Peter Barron / bass

Australian outfit TAMAM SHUD was formed back in 1967. The band had originally started out as The Four Strangers in 1964, but soon changed their moniker to The Sunsets. A change in stylistic expression and a subsequent line-up alteration called for a third alteration in band name, and from 1967 Dannie Davidson (drums), Zac Zytnic (guitar), Lindsay Bjerre (vocals, guitars) and Peter Barron (bass) took the name Tamam Shud when they started exploring the recently popular psychedelic progressive rock genre.

They were an active live unit throughout their career, and built themselves a good reputation from their base in Sydney.

They made their debut in early 1969 with Evolution. It was a rough and raw creation, recorded in a mere 2,5 hours in the studio. Four of the tracks were featured in the score for the surf movie 'Evolution', and the entire recording session was in fact financed from the budget of this film.

Zytnic left the band towards the end of 1969, and was replaced by the young, promising guitarist Tim Gaze in 1970. This slightly revamped version of the band recorded and released the sophomore effort Goolutionites and the Real People later the same year. This concept effort was met with critical acclaim, and have later been described as one of the truly great Aussie progressive rock albums.

Gaze and Davidson had left prior to the album release, to partake in another band project. Kevin Sinnott (drums) and Kevin Stephenson (reeds) were brought in for live duties, and Tamam Shud started exploring a more jazz-oriented direction at this time. Gaza returned to the band just after the album was issued in October 1970 though, and Sinnott and Stephenson left the band again at this point. Davidson did not return however, and he was replaced by Nigel Macara. Larry Duryea, Bobby Gebert and Richard Lockwood would join the ranks of Tamam Shud towards the end of 1970 as occasional members of the live band.

Tamam Shud continued as a prolific live act throughput 1971, and in 1972 they were asked to contribute the soundtrack to a new surf movie, 'Morning of the Earth'. While initially asked to cater for the entire soundtrack, a change of plans soon saw their contribution reduced to three compositions only. This and various other setbacks eventually saw the band break up towards the end of 1972.

Fans of the band were delighted when it was announced that they were to reunite in 1993, 21 years after breaking up. Bjerre, Gaze, Barron and Macara hit the studio and recorded the album Permanent Culture, got a record deal with Polydor Records who issued the CD in 1994 and hit the road soon after the album release. But the album as well as the two singles released from it didn't fare as well as their label wanted, and they decided to drop Tamam Shud later the same year. Tamam Shud decided to call it a day as well, and disbanded when the support tour of their reunion album finished in April 1995.

"Evolution" is a very psychedelic album from the Australian surf acids rockers Tamam Shud. There are moments of pure psych prog and other moments are simple rock structures reminiscent of early 60s rock. The vocals of Lindsay Bjerre are raw and unpolished, the songs are short and to the point for the most part, and there were strong rhythms; they were a no frills Aussie product of the psychedelic 60s. A lot of the songs are throwaway 60s fodder but there are a few shining moments.

'It's a beautiful day' has a staccato riff that pulsates along with a simple guitar motif, and then the time signature becomes odd. The guitars have a spacey quality, with very pronounced arpeggios. The lyrics are strange and non sensical; "it's a beautiful day the sound of the a house of no ending, the minds are bending..." The time sig completely changes toward the end to an almost whimsical tune.

'Mr Strange' is a rocker with a driving beat and heavy guitars, the drumming is relentless and overblown with crashing cymbals that are constant. The psychedelic lyrics are notable; "it's been a while since we saw you I thought it was very strange, how does it feel Mr Strange, how is the weather today, you've been walking round in the rain... the bird has flown now your seed is sown..." Another blazing rock number with raucous guitars.

'Falling Up' has a quirky riff that sounds a bit like the Crazy World of Arthur Brown in structure and feel. The lead break is a cool surfie refrain typical of the underground 60s, similar to The Sonics or acid rockers The 13th Floor Elevators.

'Jesus Guide Me' is another rocking song and the lead singer Lindsay Bjerre is almost screaming the words 'Jesus Guide Me' as if he is crying out in desperation for help. Perhaps this is like the cry of the Jesus freaks, the long haired hippies that were searching for meaning during the late 60s.

'Lady Sunshine' has a metronome swinging beat that drives it and some unusual guitar noises. The vocals are melodic with typical 60s flower power themes, "lady sunshine let that sunshine in". The stoner rock of the album is evident on these types of throwaway tracks, that seemed designed to get high to rather than to admire any type of musical virtuosity.

The final song is 'Too Many Life' with a very strange structure, a driving beat that moves in metrical shapes slow to fast, and lead guitar breaks that flow along simply but effectively. The lyrics are rebellious anecdotes and the cry of wanting to be free from the system, the cry of the 60s youth; "Too many people using my time, blowing my mind, too many juries, judging my time, jailing my mind..." After the freakout ending, there is a male scream of pain and then a female screaming like she is being murdered and then we hear footsteps down a hallway. It really freaked me out as I wasn't prepared for that disturbing ending. In a way it is like a scream of agony from the youth wanting to be set free from the expectations of conforming to the rules and regulations of the late 60s.

The band are not virtuoso musicians on this album but they make their intentions known in their no-nonsense style in a bunch of songs less than three minutes, with some almost clocking 4 minutes and one clocking in at 7 minutes. They were not designed for prosperity or longevity, Lindsay Bjerre even admitted in a GTK interview that they were not good enough for an American tour and pretty much kept to the surf and sun of Australian shores to bring their music to the masses. Certainly the band were a product of their time and this album was a solid debut; a taste of the underground 60s sound of Aussie prog and is quite a curiosity worth hearing.

Swampgas - 1972 - Swampgas


03.The Waiting, E Train Blue
04.Trapped In The City
06.Frolic Child
08.Egg Shells

Kim Ornitz (Vocals)
Baird Hersey (guitar)
Jock Davis (bass)
Ricky Salter (drums)

The Long Island, NY, band Swamp Gas recorded one album of mediocre of-its-age rock at the beginning of the early ’70s. Alternating between hard rock and folk-rock, it bore some influences from the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and more aggressive bluesy early hard rock bands. The group had been discovered by Artie Kornfeld, most famous as one of the producers of the Woodstock festival, and Kornfeld and the band were co-credited as producers of the self-titled Swampgas LP.

It didn’t come out immediately, however, as Kornfeld’s label experienced financial troubles. It did eventually get released by Buddah Records, the parent company of Kornfeld’s label, but by that time the band had been broken up for about a year. Guitarist and principal songwriter Baird Hersey later recorded as part of the jazz group the Year of the Ear, with the band FX, and as a solo artist, as well as played guitar and sung with David Hykes. Singer Kim Ornitz established a successful career in film music as a sound mixer.

Starfire - 1974 - Starfire


01. Comfort Me
02. My Love Is Gone
03. Many Moods Ago
04. Birth of the Sun
05. Island
06. Slippery
07. Merry Crises
08. To Wonder Life Alone

Chris Muis - Vocals.
Robert Mitchell - Guitar, Back-Vocals.
Robert Sephton - Bass, Back-Vocals.
Dennis Hovenden - Drums.
Randy Kelley - Keyboards.

Another gem that fell through the floor boards of time is this Prog Psych monster of an album by the little known Starfire. On pouring over research information we have been able to confirm that this band hailed from sunny California and recorded this album (probably their one and only release ) in 1974. Originally released on the Crimson Records label as a private pressing of no more than 200 copies it is almost impossible to track down an original of this immensely collectable album. To demand the tag 'Prog Psych Monster' we have a liberal dose of spooky swirling organ and fuzz guitars. Starfire sounds very much like Thunder Pussy but a bit more rockin.

Primevil - 1974 - Smokin' Bats at Campton's

Smokin' Bats at Campton's

01. Leavin’
02. Progress
03. Fantasies
04. Pretty Woman
05. Tell Me If You Can
06. Hey, Lover
07. High Steppin’ Stomper
08. Your Blues

Dave Campton (vocals)
Larry Lucas (guitar)
Jay Wilfong (guitar)
Mark Sipe (bass)
Mel Cupp (drums)

On the same famous Indianapolis underground label that also gave us Zerfas, this 700 West production by Primevil is a good example of early 70s hard rock with progressive tendencies. In fact the first track ‘Leavin’’ has the same kind of gritty post-blues rock (with intelligent breaks) as the first Rush album. And you can hear some “Caress of Steel” on the 6 minute instrumental ‘Fantasies’. Plenty of great guitar work throughout, a hallmark of the Midwest hard rock scene, for which this album fits oh-so-comfortably. Not to mention the tough-guy vocals and the drummer bashing the crap out of his kit. One of the better albums in the style. For appropriate atmosphere in listening, be sure to obtain a 70’s vintage can of Falstaff (preferably brewed in Ft. Wayne) and sit on some shag carpet.

Phantom's Divine Comedy - 1974 - Phantom's Divine Comedy part I

Phantom's Divine Comedy
Phantom's Divine Comedy part I

01. Tales From A Wizard 5:21
02. Devil's Child 2:21
03. Calm Before The Storm 3:26
04. Half A Life 4:06
05. Spiders Will Dance (On Your Face While You Sleep) 4:11
06. Black Magic / White Magic 3:18
07. Merlin 5:24
08. Stand Beside My Fire 5:31
09. Welcome To Hell 5:12

- Phantom (aka Tom Carson) - vocals, guitar, piano
- Gary Meisner - guitar
- X (aka John Bdanjeck) - drums, percussion
- Y (aka Dennis Craner) - bass
- Z (aka Mike DeMartino) – keyboards

In 1974 Capitol Records released an album called "Phantom's Divine Comedy Part I" by
Phantom's Divine Comedy. Before longplay, the company issued SP"Calm before the storm/Black Magic, White Magic" (No. 3857; promo-disc with white  label and serial-disc with orange label).
Music from the album sounded like The Doors. And the lead vocalist really sounded like Jim Morrison. The cover of record was printed with informations that in group played drummer X, bassist Y, keyboardist Z and singer Phantom. Officially, the Lizard King died on 03.07.1971 in Paris. But circumstances of his death were mysterious and quite strange. Some of the journalists suggested in their writings that Morrison had in fact no died and he returned with a new band. Capitol Records kept silent while revenue came in from the album. It was leading to legal action by Electra Records, parent-company of the Doors. The album and the group vanished without a trace.Officially  nobody knew really musicians name by many years. Vernon Joyson in "The Tapestry of Delight" wrote that Phantom's Divine Comedy was the same group called Phantom (aka Walpurgies)  which recorded other album called "The Lost Album" (bootleg: Flash 49 and CD by Ghost in 1990) with line-up: Tom Carson-voc, Denis Craner-bg, Gary Meisner - g, Mike DeMartino-keyboard, John Badanjeck-dr (ex-Detroit Wheels).

 The Phantom line-up made a second self-tittled album in 1978 under the name Happy
Dragon Band (Fidllers 1157). But one thing was intriguing. In 1973,  record company called Hideout, realeased single-play "Calm before the storm/Black Magic, White Magic" (No.1080) by Phantom's Divine Comedy. Is it the same ?In my opinion LP"Phantom's Divine Comedy" is  great. So I build a little site about Phantom's DC. In October 2003 I received e-mail from GARY GAWINEK:

"Dear Piotr !
I wanted to tell you that all info about Phantom's DC are wrong.
Here s the real line-up:

Arthur Pendragon Vocals,Lead Guitar, Piano and writer of all the songs.
James Rolland Drums.
Harold Breadly Bass.
Russ Klatt Keyboard.

Produced by Gary Gawinek and Punch Andrews. All band members and producers from Detroit
Michigan area. Songs were never meant to be like the Doors, but Punch Andrews who is Bob Segers
 and Kid Rocks Manager wanted and sold it that way to Capitol Records. Both Phantom'DC and
Phantom (aka-Walpurgies) have most of the same players, but Walpurgies was done in a home studio and Phantom's  DC was record at Pampa Studio Warren Michigan and engineered by Jim Bureses who also recorded a few Bob Seger Lp's. I have  written to the other people who have Phantom sites, but you are the only one to respone. So you are the only one with the true story. I have been told that Arthur Pendragon has passed away (almost 5 year ago in March).
Jim Rolland the drummer now lives in Lansing Mi and doesn't play music any longer. Russ Klatt owns an Art Gallery in Birmingham Mi and I don't know where Harold Beardly  is. Punch Andrews
never got along with Arthur Pendragon so when I brought demo tapes to Punch I didn't let him know it was Arthur until he said he wanted to record the music.  Hideout is the production company of ED "Punch "Andrews who is manager to Bob Seger and Kid Rock.. Also Phantom DC lp cover Art work done by Tom Weschler who did early Bob Seger records and is still in Photo and lives in Birmingham Mi. GaryGary Gawinek cooperated with HideoutRecords and "Punch" Andrews. He's always working in musical business.  He was A&R-man,
producer, B.Seger's road manager. At present, he attempts own power as musician. His son, Christian Colin is guitarist.

Gary !
Thank you very much  for all informations which I got from you by electronic mail.
Many years ago, Phantom was singing: "Black Magic, White Magic...". Now we have a new

Reviews for Phantom's Divine Comedy:
Incredible cd...
Another one that I thought would never make it to cd, One Way Records in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to release this title. It is an incredible work of art/prog/psychedelic. Think The Doors with a much heavier sound and a more polished singer and you have Phantom's Divine Comedy Part 1. A cd steeped in mystery due to the uncredited musicians and of course, Phantom himself. Yes, the similarities to Jim Morrison are uncanny: Tracks 1,3,7 will convince you.  The lyrics are also Doors/Morrison territory. But this is not Jim Morrison singing! Phantom is far and away a more capable vocalist, smoother. Listen to his narration on Track 7, spoken like a professional narrator. A crack band backs him up effortlessly on every track. Great guitarwork/keyboards and a killer drummer. I never tire of this cd and anyone I have played it for wants a copy, that's high praise folks. Sound quality is superb for a 1974 recording, with the cleanest high-end I have heard in ages. Supposedly there exists a 'lost 2nd album', sadly I have never been able to find it. Suffice it to say, this is one cd you will treasure. From the opening track, 'Tales From A Wizard', you know you are listening to something very special. Blows the doors off anything from this time period, including The Doors.
There's a school of thought that proposes that Jim Morrison didn't die of a heart attack in a bathtub, but instead staged his own death to see what the reaction would be. This rumor was a lot more prevalent in the early 1970s than it is now. There was, in fact, an album that was released in the mid '70s titled PHANTOM'S DIVINE COMEDY which, rumor had it, was actually Morrison. It didn't sound much like him, and it sucked, but I still have it in storage. Just in case.

The difference between Andrew McCutcheon's WELCOME TO PERIPHERY and PHANTOM'S DIVINE COMEDY is that McCutcheon sounds like Morrison. In fact, he sounds like The Doors. I mean, he's got the whole shtick down, right down to Robbie Kreiger's guitar licks and Ray Manzarek's organ riffs.
The problem is that, even though "Tease" sounds, I swear, like a WAITING FOR THE SUN outtake,
neither it, nor the reminder of WELCOME TO PERIPHERY, passes the s.f.w. test.

McCutcheon starts things out with "Periphery," which comes off like Beck fronting The Doors, and is maybe the most interesting track on the CD. It goes on for about a minute too long, though, and besides, who needs another Beck, since the one we've got, the original Beck, is still alive and well and quite prolific, actually. McCutcheon repeats the mistake with "Hello" and includes a couple more Beck pastiches as well ("I'm Alive Now," "Twisting and Reeling") Morrison isn't alive (or at least probably isn't. Or at least he isn't recording anymore. Never mind), and the subsequent Doors' releases without him established that the whole of that band was greater than the sum of its parts. But let the dog lie. "Darkening Light," "Never Break a Psycho's Heart," and "Second Sun" almost come off like those brilliant National Lampoon parodies that were sporadically released in the early 1970s. Almost. But they knew to quit. McCutcheon doesn't, as would be obvious, if nothing else was, by the composing of a track entitled "Hug Your Inner Beast." Where's my Mausberg?

Oh yeah, one other thing. One picture on the CD jacket shows McCutcheon playing guitar right handed, but another picture shows him playing left-handed. What does this mean? Morrison was left-handed. And so was Paul McCartney, before he died, too. Hmmm...

Mouzakis - 1971 - Magic Tube

Magic Tube

01 Magic Tube
02 Rock Around the Clock
03 White Horse (Rev. 6-2)
04 Love Everyday
05 Long Haired Bombardier
06 Party Ball
07 Lady
08 Both Do Fine

Ed Stevenson - Vocals, Trumpet, Drums
Sam Stipo - Guitar
Fred Dawason - Saxophone, Keyboards

 Mouzakis were an East coast basement garage psych group and this is their full LP from 1971. The band started with R&B rock standards, adapted on its way bits of rock’n roll, early rock, and stayed mostly rather on the edge with a more garage rock sound. They learned songs like from Animals, and did a cover from Blues Magoos.

Groups of that time like The Who, Animals and even the Rolling Stones very much liked to keep that rawness of garage alive in their more into the 70s directing rock expressions, also Fabulous Pharoahs and Mouzakis fitted with that approach.

The tracks are a bit longer and especially the first two tracks show complex rhythm use in combination with their adapted R&B influence into rock territory. “Magic Tube” has a complex fast rhythm, (bass and drums) almost funky in its bluesy rock way, while on top is slower bluesy singing, with rhythm guitar, creating a unique kind of complexity I have not heard elsewhere. “Rock Around the clock” with additional organ parts continues a bit in the same direction.

Fred Dawson opined 'after trying to get 4-5 people to agree on 'stuff to play,' we ended up as a three piece band. What we lacked in personnel we made up for in amplification.' Magic Tube, very much the rough and ready hard garage psych album, features almost complete material from the collective pen of Dawson and Stevenson.

Of the band, one critic was moved to proclaim 'Mouzakis has to be heard to be believed. They are totally unique...and as a trio, they accomplish more in their sound than groups double their size!'" Two of the members continued to play under the name Capon until the 80s.

Morgen - 1969 - Morgen


01. Welcome To The Void
02. Of Dreams
03. Beggin Your Pardon (miss Joan)
04. Eternity In Between
05. Purple
06. Shes The Nitetime
07. Love

*Steve Morgen - Vocals, Guitar
*Rennie Genossa - bass
*Bob Maiman - Drums
*Barry Stock - Rhythm Guitar

When it comes to psychedelic hard rock (my favorite genre), they really don't come much better than this. I most certainly recommend several listens before forming an opinion, though, as it has a strong reputation for growing on you. As great as it sounds after the first go-round, you actually find yourself liking it even more with each successive spin. Each cut has it's own distinctive style, and sound about as different as anyone could expect from a trio. Though Steve Morgen's guitar is obviously the centerpiece, he seems to bend over backwards to try and not steal the show. As a matter of fact, one of my few complaints about the record might be that the guitar is way too far back in the mix on most cuts, particularly "Begging Your Pardon". But you can help to bring it out with balance and treble adjustments. One more minor criticism (and this is strictly my personal opinion) is that Morgen's voice is, perhaps, a little too "fair" for some of the heavy cuts that he sings. Though this works in his favor on certain cuts ("Of Dreams", "Eternity in Between", and "Purple" in particular), on others ("Welcome to the Void" and "Begging your Pardon"), it would have sounded heavier had his voice been a little rawer and/or harder. Another astonishing fact about this album is that such an overtly psychedelic LP was released on a major label such as ABC Probe. Major label psych releases were few and far between, and this is the star atop the tree. What a shame this was their only album. But for completists, there is 1 single that features a shortened, alternate version of  "Of Dreams", as well as a slightly shortened B-side version of "She's the Night Time", both remixed for mono. I guess the obvious comparison would be with the Hendrix Experience, but I honestly feel this album is more polished than Hendrix, though the quality of song-writing might not be on the same level. I also feel Hendrix was a better power trio guitarist than Morgen, something requiring the simultaneous playing of both lead and rhythm parts. In this respect, Morgen probably would have benefited considerably from a second guitar player. I strongly recommend this to any/all psych fans. It's a true must-have!

Jackal - 1973 - Awake


01. At The Station
02. For You
03. Sunny Side Of The Day
04. A New Day Has Arisen
05. How Time Has Flown
06. Lost In The World
07. In The Heavens
08. Awake

- Chris Kellesis / organ
- James Kellesis / drums
- Dave Bernard / guitar
- Charlie Shannon / vocals

Jackal is a very little known Canadian band which started its career in late 60' but wasn't able to record an album until 1973. Their 1st (and only effort) called "Awake" is a mix of heavy psych, hard rock & early progressive rock typical for late 60s and early 70s. I can also hear quite many southern rock and slightly pop-rock influences typical of American music from those days. Anyway I think that this album seemed to be a bit dated back than in 1973 (however some sources point that in fact it was recorded in 1971, and just released in 1973), when most of prog-band preferred long suites, classical-sounding approach and usage of new types of keyboards (like Moog or ARP). But to be honest I don't care at all because I have to admit that I simply dig this sort of "heavy prog" style very much. And every- time when I'm tired of my usual full-blown, highly technical and self-indulgent organ-driven symphonic prog, I like to play such more simple, almost radio-friendly but still pretty heavy and (of course!) organ-driven music as presented on Jackal's debut.

And now review of all 8 songs from "Awake":

1. "At The Station" - album begins with one of my favorite tunes in the album. "At The Station" is truly memorable heavy psych meets southern-style hard rock (a la Bloodrock) song which more-or-less sets an atmosphere and style for the whole album. I simply love the combination of heavy punching Hammond organ layers and ultimately catchy clavinet melodies. What a pity that those 2 instruments aren't usually mixed together in prog-rock music, they are just created for themselves! Another highlight of the song are Charlie Shannon's vocals which are stunningly passionate and fits this track perfectly. And let's don't forget about middle part of the compositions where we can listen to some brief but enjoyable organ/guitar interludes.

2. "For You" - this one is some kind of false-ballad with nice organ background, simple but reasonable guitar lines and some piano touches. Nothing stunning but Shannon's vocal is as usual superb, full of emotions I would say.

3. "Sunny Side of The Day" - just like previous song this one is also towarded rather to mainstream audience. More like adult-rock/pop than heavy prog. Nothing special but also not bad at all. Anyway it's a short song (less than 3 minutes) so even if you don't like it, it will pass by fast.

4. "New Day Has Arisen" - the longest track on "Awake" comes back to heavy-prog style from "At The Station". Truly amazing piece full of always perfect vocal delivery and extremely busy & hard punching Hammond chops. Also Dave Bernard's guitar has more to do here 'cause except usual rhythmic function it also plays some great riffs in unisono with Kellesis's organ. I'd say: half-way between Bloodrock and Deep Purple/Uriah Heep but with their own, special flavor.

5. "How Time Has Flown" - another superb performance where Chris comes back to organ+clavinet idea. First 2 and half minute of the song is a high-tension, almost symphonic style intro full of gritty guitar riffs and fast organ runs. After that vocal section kicks in's still beautiful of course! I love the organ/guitar interludes which brings Beggar's Opera staff to mind. Simply put: another winner!

6. "Lost in The World" - the shortest song of the record is surprisingly straight-forward and guitar-oriented rock'n'roller (of the harder-edge of rock'n'roll side). Average staff, nothing offensive but also nothing great. Relatively long guitar solo & very short organ one included.

7. "In The Heavens" - superb track with throughout enjoyable, swirling organ work of Chris Kellesis and highly-emotional vocals. I love its steady, tank-heavy and unstoppable rhythm. James Kellesis seems to be very competent drummer after all.

8. "Awake" - Oh man! Another winner! At first I thought that it will be instrumental because of very long, technical, symphonic-meets-heavy-prog-sounding intro where we can enjoy to some of the best organ/guitar interludes on the album. However about 3rd minute Charlie comes back with decent singing parts. Maybe after that "Awake" is losing its impetus a little but it still remains a classic.

Conclusion: Jackal's sole album is a very entertaining release filled with proto-prog/hard rock/heavy psych music influenced as much by southern rock scene (Bloodrock) as British heavy-prog one (Uriah Heep, Deep Purple). Besides those bands I just mentioned, I can also compare their music to German groups like Birth Control, 2066 & Then or Frumpy. If you like this album you should also check another Canadian band called Amish, which also recorded only one album. Those albums sound like twin-brothers IMHO!

Anyway in the end of this review I'd like to ask only one question: what the hell happened with those 4 musicians from Jackal? Did they ever played in any other band after this group split? I'm especially interested in career of organist and vocalist 'cos they did really exceptional work on "Awake"!

Fraction - 1971 - Moon In Blood

Moon In Blood

01. Sanc-Divided
02. Come Out Of Her
03. Eye Of The Hurricane
04. Sons Come To Birth
05. This Bird
06. Sky High

Jim Beach (vocals)
Don Swanson (lead guitar)
Curt Swanson (drums)
Victor Hemme (bass)
Robert Meinel (rhythm guitar)

Heavy Psych mega monster of the best quality imaginable. This is a $2000 mega rarity. It's been said to be the album The Doors had wished they had recorded, and we who know the story behind the band say this is the most unlikely christian band ever (Yes you read correctly they were a christian band). If you take The Doors and a way wasted beyond belief Jim Morrisson sounding vocalist and some heavy duty amplification and a dark eerie vibe of say Iron Butterfly or Black Sabbaths debut you will be close to what this monster is all about. All songs are keepers and now it's been reissued so many times that even you can afford it (no need for those hissing C90 tapes anymore) Have another blast of the highest calibre. Peace out daddio!

The Firebirds - 1969 - Light My Fire

The Firebirds
Light My Fire

01. Warm Up - 2:30
02. Reflections - 4:23
03. By Baby - 5:29
04. Free Bass - 2:38
05. Free Drum - 4:31
06. Free Fuzz/Gypsy Fire - 2:39
07. No Tomorrows - 5:02
08. Light My Fire - 4:18

*Unknown session musicians

An intriguing mystery outfit whose albums have become sought-after for their over-top heavy
psych-blues-rock mayhem that owes much to Hendrix, Iron Butterfly and Blue Cheer's Vincebus
Eruptum. The best place to start is Erik Lindgren's superb 1997 CD compilation, An Overdose Of
Heavy Psych which contains six primordial chunks.

The Dance Party Time LP is lighter instrumental fare that sounds just like The Animated Egg but
 without the fuzz. Some tracks have a haunting quality because they've been recycled: Out Of
Town is Dark by The Animated Egg; and Doors Time turns out to be a pedestrian version of the
backing track to The Id's Boil The Kettle Mother.

The Associated Soul Group Contessa album below is listed purely as conjecture in the hope that
someone may establish a connection other than that it shares the same cover as the Electric
Firebirds and is on another exploitation California label. Who WERE these Godfathers of grunge?

Fat Water 1969 Fat Water

Fat Water
Fat Water

01. I can be happy
02. Joshua
03. Amalynda Guinevere
04. Gimme your sweet
05. Guitar store song
06. Only for the moment
07. It' s not the same
08. Wayback
09. Waiting for Mary
10. Mistress de charmaign
11. Santa anna speed queen
12. Gotta get together

Fat Water hail from the west coast of America and fit very nicely into the dual male /female lead vocals of the late 60's and early '70s. The vocals are very much of the west coast San Francisco scene of that time and bring the Airplane's Grace Slick immediately to mind. Musically, the vocals are matched with acoustic guitars and swirling organ which gives a country rock feel that flows easily from full tilt boogie to slow blues. Fat Water, a band that should not be passed up, fits nicely into the canon of rare releases from Radioactive.

Chariot - 1968 - Chariot


01. Yolanda Jones
02. You Let Me Love You
03. Gamblin' Man
04. The War Is Over
05. Home Wreckin' Mama
06. Hey People
07. Variety Woman
08. Got To Be A Lover
09. Poor Man Blues

*Michael Kaplan - Vocals, Guitar
*Pug Baker - Drums
*Larry Gould - Vocals, Bass

Hard rocking US power trio spun off from '66-'68 Los Angeles Knack. Dates of release are usually given as 1968, but it is believed to have been as late as 1971 Straight forward, hard rock with soulful raspy vocals, tight playing, tight songs Hard rocking, not really psychy.

A mainstream play at a radio friendly Grand Funk/ James Gang sound Guitar playing is tasteful, and in service to the song, therefore, no long crazed solos Overall, a solid and enjoyable late 60's/early 70's hard rock album.

Champignons - 1972 - Premiere Capsule

Premiere Capsule

01. Dynamite
02. Le ghetto noir
03. Reve futur
04. Le train
05. Le chateau hante
06. Folies du mercredi
07. Pop-Pino

Émile Naud / saxophone, flute, vocals
Alain Vincent : drums
Alain Lavalleé / bass
Daniel Maillette / keyboards
Jacques Paradis / guitar
Alain Charrette / guitar

A crazy bunch of Québecois that only recorded one album, this sextet were relatively unrepresentative of the average Québecois band, despite the obvious drug reference about their name and their album title (first pill). Indeed, released in late 72 on a public-owned label, his is a product of its time. Lead by singer and wind-player Emile Naud, he's seconded by a sizzling lead guitar and a dazzling organ, but the rhythm section is quite solid as well. Despite a few notes on the back cover, not much is discussed of the band itself, and the only photo known (to my knowledge anyway) is the one taken in front of the mushroom mural painting.

Opening on the rapid-fire instrumental track Dynamite, which features in a drum solo in its middle section, Naud's sax is giving it a very brassy sound. The 7-mins slow blues Ghetto Noir is up next, and Maillette's organ rivals with Charette's guitar for the attention, while Naud's vocals (situated between Dyonisos and Octobre) and his harmonica are definitely giving an old-south feel, despite the French-sung vocals. The 6-mins Rêve Futur heads in a splendid mid-tempo track where Charette's fuzzed guitar and Paradis' efficient rhythm guitar are giving an answer to Maud's flute. Excellent bass and drum parts as well. Best track of side A. The side-closing Train is sonically fairly close to its predecessor.

The flipside opens on the 11-mins centrepiece Chateau Hanté, a slow creepy tune that features tons of noises to create its graveyard aura; especially with the nearly cookie-monster-like spoken vocals. The sinister feel is only half-convincing, and therefore the credibility is ampered, but the searing guitar and spellbinding beat gives a slight Univers Zero feel. Despite a fairly conventional start, Folies Du Mercredi is their wildest and most adventurous track, changing constantly climates and rhythms. Mad is back on the sax, and Maillette's excellent organ solo two-thirds in add much drama, as does Charette's sizzling fuzz guitar. Great stuff, and it is probably the album's highlight, along with Rêve Futur. The short almost-goofy afterthought Pop-Pino closes the album one down note, though.

Wile their Première Capsule album is n almost must-hear Québecois 70's artefact, I can't tell you that Les Champignons are an essential part of "La Belle Province's" overall musical soundscape, but it is surely a very enjoyable detour. I just wish it would one day get a fully legit reissue, but the Radio-Active bootand the more recent Flawed Gem label copies make it unlikely for a fragile ProgQuebec label to take a financial risk in reissuing it. Anyway, an excellent consolidating block to your Quebecois prog section.

C.O.B. - 1972 - Moyshe McStiff And The Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart

Moyshe McStiff And The Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart

01. Sheba's Return / Lion of Judah (4:30)
02. Let It Be You (3:51)
03. Solomon's Song (3:05)
04. Eleven Willows (2:26)
05. I Told Her (4:04)
06. Oh Bright Eyed One (3:42)
07. Chain of Love (4:26)
08. Pretty Kerry (4:33)
09. Martha and Mary (4:36)
10. Heart Dancer (2:52)

Bonus tracks:
11. Falconer's Glove (2:11)
12. Summer's Night (4:08)
13. Solomon's Song (Version 2) (4:18)
14. Child of the Season (2:56)
15. Sweet Spring (4:07)
16. Blue Morning (3:08)
17. Bones (3:11)

- Clive Palmer / clarinet, violin, banjo, balalaika, guitar, vocals
- John Bidwell / organ, guitar, dulcitar, whistle, vocals, balalaika
- Mick Bennett / vocals, percussion, whistle, gong
- Danny Thompson / bass (1, 7)
- Demelza Val Baker / drums, percussion, backing vocals (1, 4, 5, 10)
- Genny Val Baker / drums, percussion, backing vocals (1, 4, 5, 7, 10)

This second LP by C.O.B is among the most complex and challenging items ever produced by the British folk scene. Crude chants and delicate ballads stand side by side; religious brooding leads into pastoral hymn, then back again. But running through it a certain mood, or world-view, emerges, a unique experience which is not easy to describe.

I've spent years trying to uncover the layers that constitute "Moyshe McStiff", as the album title is commonly shortened. The closest I've come is the image of a late-medieval crusader-knight who at the end of his career has returned to England, where he contemplates upon the many years of travel, his Christian faith and the Church, as well as family life at his rural homestead, with faint echoes of a long-gone childhood. His mind moves freely along these axis of space and time.

The protagonist's complex nature is further indicated by his name, combining the uncommon but obviously anglo-saxon "McStiff" with the hebrew "Moyshe". The cross-cultural theme extends into the LP artwork with its scene of three knights slaying a dragon to rescue a fair lady; the prevalence of Judeo-Christian symbols such as crosses, a star of David and a grail, and the surrounding desert landscape, suggests that this is no mere Camelot fantasy image. The cover painting was commissioned by Polydor with no input from the band, yet in a case of fortunate synergy similar to that of CA Quintet, it both supports and expands the listener's interpretation of the music inside. The overall impression is that of layers of time atop each other, like cultural sediment, England in 1972 and the 14th Century; Jerusalem in the 14th Century but also in the days of the earliest Christians.

Opening with the earthy, dirge-like tones of a harmonium organ that dominate "Sheba's Return", the brief instrumental soon segues into the vocal "Lion Of Judah". Listed side by side on the back cover, these are apparently to be seen as one track in two parts. The title "Sheba's Return" is a reference to the time of King Solomon, whose name appears again later on the LP. Sheba was a queen from ancient Ethiopia whose visit brought Israel to heights of unseen glory, and her return to her own country began a deterioration of Solomon's reign and religious practice. The phrase "Lion Of Judah" may today be known mainly as a rastafari reference to Haile Selassie, but of course its original meaning was the Messiah. The words occur in the prophecies of Isaiah, but there is no explicit link in either direction to King Solomon or the Book Of Kings. A speculative connection is the son given birth to by Sheba, who appears as both a descendant of the line of Judah, from which the Messiah will come, and as the first king of the pre-Islamic Ethiopian dynasty, which still today traces its roots to the Solomonic kings.

While the intersection of Jewish, Christian and Islamic elements in this story is interesting, it is probably not the main point of C.O.B:s opening song. Rather, the lyrics of "Lion Of Judah" focus upon the resurrection of the Church and the coming of Christ in a time of profane decadence, artfully compressed into the image of a "golden chain"

Bermuda Triangle - 1977 - Bermuda Triangle

Bermuda Triangle
Bermuda Triangle

01. Nights in White Satin
02. Right Track
03. Dream On
04. Lark in the Morning (traditional Swallow Tail)
05. Free Ride
06. Standing Together
07. Louisiana
08. Night Train
09. Wind

Wendy - Vocals, Bass
Sam - Drums, Percussion, Violin
Roger - Vocals, Electric Autoharp, Organ, Piano, Arp

This album was only privately released and now sees the light again. It is a special recording which does not reveals itself after one listen. Most of the album sounds as if this is a Christian or otherwise spiritual inspired item, in a hippie fashion, with driven soul in the vocals, and with speeded up rhythms heading for the light, using rock rhythms, covers or originals for enlightenment. Also the instrumentation is pretty weird and beautiful. There’s use of electric piano and an Arp synthesizer which produces some unusual sounds.

On “Right track” this track sound as if this is orchestrated, but I think the keyboards were responsible for this effect. Also electric and acoustic autoharp provides more special acoustic and emi-electronic touches. The female singer, Wendy, has a beautiful folk-like voice, with some range in her singing. Her voice fits well everywhere, like on the opening track, a cover of the beautiful Moody Blues track (which is one of many people’s all time favourite’s songs) “Nights in a White Satin” ,with additional backing male voice, oscillating violin, electric piano and percussion.

There’s often a sing-a-long and celebrate feeling, from rock to more pastoral, like the closer, “Wind”, a track which has the most psychedelic atmosphere, with an ethereal folkvoice, moody electric piano and bass.

The band, originally called Roger And Wendy, was formed in the late '60s in Greenwich Village, typically playing in pass-the-basket-for-tips coffeehouses and folk clubs, such as Gerde's Folk City, (where they headlined for 33 weeks in one year,1970, setting a club record); the Cafe Wha?, the Bitter End, the Cafe Au Go Go, The Gaslight Cafe, The Freudian Slip, The Basement Cafe, and Kenny's Castaways.

Performing at first without microphones (as basket houses had no cabaret licenses, thus amplified vocals were illegal), they developed an energized psychedelic folk style with just an electrified autoharp and fast-pulse bass guitar. Their music quickly evolved from traditional ballads to electric folk, including psych folk, acid freak folk and rock. Roger and Wendy took the stage names Roger Becket and Wendy Becket when they had become involved with the Theater Company of Boston, and then in several off-Broadway plays.

They kept these pseudonyms through much of their musical career before returning to their original surname of Penney. This accounts for some of the confusion regarding credit for albums. Wendy is a lifetime member of the Art Students League of New York.

Bakery - 1971 - Momento


01. Holocaust
02. Pete for Jennie
03. Living With a Memory
04. S.S. Bounce
05. The Gift
06. When I'm Feeling
07. Faith to Sing a Song

John Worrall (vocals, flute)
Tom Davidson (vocals)
Eddie McDonald (bass)
Rex Bullen (keyboards)
Hank Davis (drums)

Bakery was formed in Perth during 1969 when Peter Walkers' band 'The Jelly Roll Bakers' split. Regarded as one of the leading 'underground' groups of their day, they are remembered for their superb debut album Momento, the innovative Rock Mass for Love LP and the powerful single "No Dying In The Dark".
The original lineup was John Worrall, 'wild-haired guitarist' Peter Walker (ex-Jelly Roll Bakers), Mal Logan (ex-The Rebels), Eddie McDonald and Hank Davis. McDonald and Davis were both ex-members of the NZ Avengers. Bakery played a brand of progressive rock that combined elements of hard rock and country with strong jazz overtones. Their everchanging arrangements, gentle acoustic guitar passages and monstrous heavy progressive sections made them true innovators of the early 70's music scene.

Bakery released only two singles, but both were impressive heavy rock efforts. The first, released on the RCA label, was "Bloodsucker" / "Leave Scruffy Alone" (February 1971). By the time they released their second single in July 1971, Bakery had signed with the Melbourne-based Astor label, who issued "No Dying in the Dark'" / "Trust in the Lord".
Both singles displayed the band's main stylistic influences, primarily the new wave of 'heavy' bands spearheaded by British groups Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. "Bloodsucker" was in fact a Deep Purple cover, sourced from their In Rock LP. "No Dying in the Dark" was very successful in Perth, peaking at #9 on the local chart, and it's the track for which they are now best remembered.

The B-side of the single was a track from their 'Rock Mass For Love' LP. This unusual project was a significant thematic departure from Bakery's usual progressive/hard rock style. Recorded live at a mass at St George's Cathedral, Perth on 21 March 1971, it was one of the first Australian musical musical works of its kind, preceding the first Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar by almost a year.
Rock Mass For Love tapped into the current interest in what became known as 'God Rock' or 'Jesus Rock', in which composers sought to communicate the Christian message to young people by setting religious-oriented lyrics in rock or pop music arangements. In large measure, this movement was a direct reaction to the calamitous fall in church attendances that had begun in the Sixties, and the concurrent massive upsurge in the popularity of rock and pop music. Little is known at this stage about how this Bakery album came to be recorded, although some mention is made in an interview with band for the Australian music program GTK.

Bakery, meanwhile, was undergoing its first round of lineup changes. By mid-1971, both Worrall and Logan had departed, with Worrall briefly joining Ssarb before forming Fatty Lumpkin in 1972. They were replaced by Tom Davidson (vocals) and Rex Bullen (keyboards); Bullen had been a member of '60s Canberra beat group The Bitter Lemons.
Rock Mass for Love was issued in August 1971, narrowly missing the national Top 20, and it was also issued in the USA on the Decca label. After the LP came out, Mark Verschuer (ex-Barrelhouse) replaced Davidson on vocals. Verschuer sang lead vocals on their fantastic second album, the studio LP Momento released a year later in August 1972. Ian McFarlane lauds it as "a fine example of European-influenced, heavy progressive rock" and Vernon Joyson reserves particular praise for the track "The Gift", written by Peter Walker, which he describes as 'an eight-minute barrage of bombastic riffs, arse-kicking solos and swirling Hammond organ in the mould of acts like Deep Purple and Leaf Hound'. Regrettably, like most of Astor's locally-recorded output, neither of the Bakery albums has ever been officially reissed on CD in Australia, which is a great shame, as Momento certainly ranks as one of the strongest and most accomplished Australian rock albums of the period.
Line-up changes continued into 1972, with Steve Hogg (bass, vocals; ex-Juke, King Biscuit Company, Nostra Damus) and Paul Ewing (organ, vocals) replacing McDonald and Bullen respectively; Verschuer also left, with Davis, Walker, Hogg and Ewing sharing vocal duties. Bullen moved on to Natural Gas before reuniting with John Worrall in Fatty Lumpkin.
This four-piece version of Bakery is probably the best remembered incarnation of the group for fans in the eastern states. They gigged consistently, gaining a strong following on the east coast festival/concert circuit, playing alongside the other leading acts of the day like Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, MacKenzie Theory, Chain, Carson, Madder Lake and Sid Rumpo. Bakery performed at the second Sunbury Festival in January 1973 and their live version of the jazz-tinged "Living with a Memory" (a track from Momento) was included on Mushroom's debut triple album set The Great Australian Rock Festival Sunbury 1973, released in April 1973.

In February 1973, just after their Sunbury appearance, Phil Lawson (bass) replaced Steve Hogg and renowned New Zealand-born vocalist Barry Leef (ex-Simple Image, Hunger) joined as lead singer. In August, (the late) Jackie Orszaczky (ex-Syrius) replaced Lawson on bass. When Frank Zappa toured Australia for the first time during June 1973, he spotted Leef fronting the band at Chequers in Sydney -- Bakery regularly played a cover of Zappa's "Road Ladies" in their live set at this time -- and FZ was so impressed with Barry's vocal talents that he invited him to audition for the Mothers. Barry performed as a guest vocalist on "Road Ladies" at two of Zappa's Hordern Pavilion concerts, but sadly, contractual problems prevented him from taking up Frank Zappa's invitation to join The Mothers in the USA, and he reluctantly had to turn down the offer of a lifetime.
Bakery continued gigging until their split in February 1975, but regrettably they made no more commercial recordings.

Brigade - 1970 - Last Laugh

Last Laugh

01. Change in Me
02. Love Day for Day
03. Desert Song (You're All Alone)
04. Bad Town
05. Self Made God
06. Forever
07. Circles of Life
08. Everybody Is Laughing

Peter Belknap (vocals)
Eric Anderson (keyboards, vocals)
Ed Wallo (guitar, vocals)
Dennis Steindl (bass, vocals)
Bob Anderson (drums, vocals)

 Official release of Portland, OR garage/psych bands, impossible to find independent record /homemade (BVRS 1066 - originals are impossible to find because only 100 copies pressed were made at the time and some even had the wrong record in)album. Hammond organ, full of dynamic and strong fuzz guitar solos, driving drums and amazing vocals,quintessence 1970 American independent record which deserves this offical reissue (Shadoks)

The story of the Brigade will ring bells of recognition from just about anyone who grew up in the '60s. Growing up in the north suburbs of Portland during this era, of course, The Brigade emerged from a context - in this case a very vibrant '60s music scene in the Pacific Northwest. The "Northwest Sound" in fact had two rival epicenters: the Tacoma/Seattle area and, 3 hours drive to the south, Portland, Oregon.

From the late '50s and on into the '60s, the region produced its share of wellknown acts: The Kingsmen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Don & The Goodtimes, The Ventures, The Fleetwoods, The Wailers, and The Sonics. Most of these bands initially focused on a white version of R&B, gradually moving into original songs that got regional radio play and occasionally broke out into the national "hitmakers" scene.

Other wellknown Northwest artists of the era included The Viceroys, The Dynamics, The Frantics (two of whom later re-emerged to form Moby Grape), Little Bill & The Bluenotes, Ron Holden, Merilee Rush & The Turnabouts and a handful more. But of course for every one band that made it into the studio, much less got airplay, there were another 50 bands caught up in the dream. Portland, with its near neighbors Salem and Eugene to the south, had the usual share of teenagers doing their musical thing.

Once they were ready to move out of the bedroom and garage, bands had numerous venues to show off their stuff: school dances, store openings, church events, private parties, plus a whole circuit of teen dance halls and armories. The idea was to have fun, meet girls and make a little money. Portland also offered an annual teenfair Battle of the Bands, affording the lucky winners some local press coverage, maybe some cash, musical instruments or amplifiers, and often the greatest prize of all, "a recording contract". Monster psychedelic rarity 1970. This record will be the crown jewel of your record collection.

Born Again - 1971 - Pagan

Born Again

01. Barnyard Blues - 4:22
02. Radio X - 4:39
03. No Good Reason - 4:00
04. Boiling Point - 3:11
05. Three Pipers - 1:59
06. Laurie Waltzing) - 2:30
07. Sand Castle - 3:52
08. Good Blues - 2:30
09. She's Gone - 4:46
10. Comin' Back Strong - 5:20
11. Lie Me Down - 4:21

Bonus Tracks
12. Velvet Vampire Radio Spot 1971 - 0:58
13. Laurie Waltzing - 3:08
14. Sand Castle (Alt. Mix)   - 4:07
15. Om Namah Shivaya - 6:09
16. Milk & Honey - 3:41
17. In That Day - 3:20
18. You Let Yourself In - 4:32

Born Again
*Brice Sullivan - Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards
*Larry Otis - Guitar
*Steve Avery - Guitar
*Stuart Ramsay - Bass
*Rod Moxie - Bass Guitar
*Lloyd Wick - Drums

 From the ashes of the band "Red Mountain" rose Born Again. Originally from Marin County in Northern California the band traveled to Los Angeles to try to find fortune and fame. Local producer Roger Dollarhide took the boys under his wing and recorded tracks with them in late '69 and early '70 at Sun West Studios in Hollywood. Led by the tasteful guitar playing of Larry Otis and the soulful vocals of Bryce Sullivan, Born Again was a very versatile band that created a hybrid style all their own.

Whether it's a country tinged ballad ala KAK ("She's Gone") or an eerie guitar psych instrumental ("Laura's Waltzing" from the 1970 Film Soundtrack from "The Velvet Vampire") these boys were one tight unit that delivered the goods.

Some people will say there is just so much good music from the '60s you can reissue, although the small community of collectors just doesn't seem to care. And then, there are those gems that were recorded but never released at the time.
by Adamus67

These are the most cutthroat projects for a record label: no previous market, no "rarity" cult status, nothing but the sole strength of the music to carry the album. Well, in this case Shadoks can say "mission accomplished." It's hard to say what would have happened of Born Again, had Pagan been released in 1971.

What is easy to state, though, is that singer Brice Sullivan and guitarist Larry Otis made quite an efficient songwriting team. Their brand of blues-rock shows the influence of West Coast psychedelic rock (Iron Butterfly, specifically), but also the rootsier leanings of Savoy Brown. Otis was not a guitar hero, but he had a good sound, strong chops, and a twist in his playing that would have made him recognizable after two or three LPs. That said, the band's strongest asset was Sullivan's strong voice, a soaring blues tenor with a lot of soul. The album proper (the 11 tracks recorded in Los Angeles in 1969-1971 that were first released as an LP by Rockadelic in 2001) deserves to be heard, if only for "Sand Castle," "Radio X," and "Boiling Point," all very good songs.

The 2005 Shadoks reissue on CD adds seven bonus tracks that are less interesting, although the three home demos from 1972 show that the Otis/Sullivan partnership would have had more to offer, given the chance.