Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tamalpais Exchange - 1970 - Tamalpais Exchange

Tamalpais Exchange
Tamalpais Exchange


01. Anthem  - 2:20
02. If I Had The Answeres (Michael Knight, Mike Brandt) - 2:46
03. Here We Are  - 3:06
04. Never Ever Land  - 2:41
05. King  - 2:35
06. Flying Somehow  - 3:49
07. L.A. Incident  - 2:35
08. World (Michael Knight, Mike Brandt) - 3:23
09. Balnesmoor Lane  - 3:03
10.Pied Piper  - 2:16
11.Maybe Tomorrow  - 2:13
12.Understand It (Buckets Lowery, Mike Brandt) - 4:15
13.Why Don't You Believe Me?  -
14.Wish (Michael Knight, Mike Brandt) - 2:10
All songs by Michael Knight except where noted.

*Mike Brandt - Guitar, Vocals
*Susan Kay - Guitars, Vocals
*Michael Knight - Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Bedford - Drums
*Penelope Bodry - Vocals
*Buckets Lowery  - Vocals
*Ralf Rost - Bass
*Pamela Talus - Keyboards, Vocals
*Don Payne - Bass

Few Xian psych records got wackier or more harsh than this one. Tamalpais Exchange were an egalitarian sextet who emerged from the NYC area and somehow got signed to a big label, probably as a result of their work's obvious nod to the popular hippie musical trend of Christian themed Broadway shows like Hair, Godspell and Joseph & The Technicolor Dream Coat. The Tamalpais crew really hams it up on their only album, overloading the mics of these low budget takes with painfully wailing group vocals in performances that blast along with the power of an apocalyptic Mamas & The Papas, but way more punk.

Some songs slip into Anglo folk territory a la Buffy St. Marie or Joni Mitchell's early stuff, so the record has a truly schizo feeling as the group rarely hits any kind of middle ground between the quiet/loud extremes. The loud stuff here is the deal breaker though, so if you think your psych rock dream-come-true could be the sound of a church camp hootenanny screamin’ along to a pounding folk punk accompaniment then this one is a must-have.
by Mike Apichella

The Animated Egg - 1967 - The Animated Egg

The Animated Egg 
The Animated Egg

01. A Love Built On Sand - 3:04
02. Inside Looking Out - 3:01
03. I Said, She Said, Ah Cid - 2:14
04. "T"omorrow - 2:33
05. Sure Listic - 1:49
06. Sippin' And Trippin' - 2:10
07. Dark - 1:54
08. Down, Down And Gone - 2:22
09. Sock It My Way - 3:26
10. That's How It Is - 3:28

CD Bonus

11. Fool's Luck  (with The Generation Gap) - 3:17
12. What's Your Bag? (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:09
13. Boil The Kettle  (with The Projection Company) - 3:07
14. Light Show (with The Stone Canyon Rock Group) - 2:52
15. Expo In Sound  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 4:35
16. Free Form In 6  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:08
17. Our Man Hendrix (with The Projection Company) - 3:09
18. Red Eyes  (with T. Swift & The Electric Bag) - 2:58
19. Hard Times (with The Generation Gap) - 2:44
20. Tune Out Of Place  (with The Projection Company) - 2:25
21. Kimeaa  (with The Projection Company) - 2:48

*Jerry Cole - Guitars, 12-string Guitar
*Edgar Lamar - Drums
*Don Dexter - Drums
*Tommy Lee - Bass
*Glenn Cass - Bass
*Billy Joe Hastings - Guitar
*Norm Cass - Guitar
*Billy Preston - Organ

The Burbank, California-based Alshire label was best known for it's cheapy international music ("The Sounds of Spain", "The Tijuana Sound", "Hawaiian Paradise") and 101 String MOR collections. In pursuit of profit more than content to jump on a promising musical trend, 1967 saw the label shell out some cash to have anonymous studio musicians write and record a series of psych and metal oriented instrumentals. Slapping a pseudo-trippy cover on the results (ignore the dazed long haired teens pictured on the cover since they certainly had nothing to do with the set), the cleverly titled "The Animated Egg" proved surprising accomplished. With little at stake, the anonymous band (no performing or writing credits provided ), roared through an all-instrumental set; material such as "A Love Built On Sand", "I Said, She Said, Ah Cid" and "Sock It My Way" heavy on fuzz, feedback and swirling organ. Elsewhere, "Sippin' an Trippin'" offered up a nifty slice of Byrds-styled jangle rock, while "Tomorrow" was a blatant rip-off of The Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'". Sure, it wasn't going to change your life, but in terms of enjoyment the set was a blast. Name an album where it sounds like the band had as much fun at the recording session ...
To make it even more complicated, Alshire reissue some of the material (and other stuff apparently recorded at the same sessions) credited to 101 Strings "Astro Sounds from Beyond the Year 2000" (with a wonderful cheesy cover), Bebe Bardon and 101 Strings "The Sounds of Love" and The Black Diamonds' "A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix".

In the 1960s, Jerry Cole was one of America's most prolific guitarists, turning his hand to surf music, rock, country, jazz and blues and playing on sessions for Brian Wilson and Phil Spector. He would replace less proficient group members at recordings, making the acts sound better than they were.

He was born Jerald Kolbrack in 1939 in Wisconsin and was raised in Chicago, which had a thriving blues scene. As Jerry Cole he joined the Champs, who recorded the million-selling instrumental "Tequila" (1958). A few years later, he and another Champ, Glen Campbell, decided to try their luck as session guitarists in Los Angeles.

Bobby Darin recommended Cole to Capitol Records and he made a succession of instrumental albums as Jerry Cole and His Spacemen, starting with Outer Limits (1963), a combination of surf and space-age music. Capitol tried Cole as a vocalist but it was decided his voice was not strong enough.

With such big names as Hal Blaine (drums) and Larry Knechtel (keyboards), Cole was part of the Wrecking Crew, Phil Spector's session band, and is featured on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby". He is heard on the familiar records of the Byrds ("Mr Tambourine Man"), the Dixie Cups ("Chapel of Love"), Them ("Here Comes The Night") and Paul Revere and the Raiders ("Kicks"). The producer Lee Hazlewood also used him for several Nancy Sinatra sessions, including "These Boots are Made for Walkin'".

As a studio guitarist, Cole had residencies in numerous television series including Shindig!, Hullabaloo, The Sonny and Cher Show and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. He made a score of low-budget, but still technically proficient, instrumental LPs which were sold in supermarkets under a variety of names. Cole worked on the road for Andy Williams for three years and Roger Miller for five.

In 1966, Brian Wilson recorded the backing tracks for Pet Sounds while the other Beach Boys were on tour, and Cole played on "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B". He was also used on the Beach Boys album 15 Big Ones (1976), which was around the time he was working with Phil Spector on Dion's mesmerising Born To Be With You.

When psychedelia was coming in, he recorded several albums in this style including The Animated Egg (1966). He played on the blues album Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and the Aloha From Hawaii television special with Elvis Presley, both in 1973, and worked as a studio musician with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

In 2006, Cole returned to surf music with the album Back to the Boards. Last year, he was recording again with Brian Wilson.
by Spencer Leigh

In January 2008 Jerry Cole heard The Animated Egg for the first time since he recorded it in Los Angels some forty years earlier " we made a damned good record" he said.  Five months later on May 28th 2008, he passed away, went on the big trip to meet again with his buddies in heaven's Great  Band.

Chamaeleon Church - 1968 - Chamaeleon Church

Chamaeleon Church 
Chamaeleon Church 

01. Come In To Your Life    2:16
02. Camillia Is Changing    4:11
03. Spring This Year    4:15
04. Blueberry Pie    3:30
05. Remembering´s All I Can Do    4:00
06. Flowers In The Field    2:33
07. Here´s A Song    2:02
08. In A Kindly Way    3:05
09. Tompkins Square Park    3:02
10. Picking Up The Pieces    2:15
11. Off With The Old    4:20

Arkama Bonus Tracks:
12. Ready Eddy    2:48
13. Your Golden Love    3:13

Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Organ, Keyboards [Roxichord] – Chevy Chase
Vocals, Electric Bass, Guitar, Piano – Kyle Garrahan
Vocals, Guitar – Ted Myers
Vocals, Guitar, Electric Bass, Harpsichord – Tony Scheuren

Recorded May to June 1968 at Mayfair Studios, New York City

Before finding fame as Clark Griswald, a 24 year-old Chevy Chase was living his rock n’ roll dream as the keyboardist/drummer for Boston psychedelic band Chamaeleon Church.  Their sole album appeared on the MGM label in 1968 and was marketed as part of the Bosstown Sound that included other lysergic warriors from the area Ultimate Spinach, Orpheus, Beacon Street Union, Phulph, Eden’s Children, and Puff.

Although the marketing plan back-fired, as the press deemed the whole scene as nothing more than record label hype, the albums made by the Bosstown groups contain many gems including this harmony-laden winner Camillia is Changing.  Produced by the ultra-prolific Alan Lorber, who also master-minded the whole Bosstown gimmick, the song has the usual 1968 flourishes and some killer harmonies, which I am sure Chase’s perfect pitch lent to extensively.

Before playing with the Church, Chase jammed with school friends Walter Becker and Donald Fagan in The Leather Canaries, who of course would find fame sans Chevy as Steely Dan.  Although his music career didn’t quite pan out, Chase simultaneously worked with an underground comedian gang called Channel One that would lead to his eventual TV and comedy career.

When the Boston-based band called the Lost broke up in 1967, their singer/guitarist Ted Myers met Tony Schueren through some friends he had in the Ultimate Spinach band. Beginning to work together, they recruited another ex-Lost member, Kyle Garrahan, to play bass. Myers, who was still under contract to a New York City producer named Alan Lorber, met Chevy Chase while recording in New York. Chase was added to the band’s lineup as their drummer, and Alan Lorber agreed to produce them. They called themselves Chamaeleon Church (sometimes spelled Chamæleon Church) and would on release one album, self-titled, on the MGM label. The band was short-lived, however, and they broke up in 1969, having never made any sort of commercial success. The band’s biggest association with fame would be that their drummer, Chevy Chase, would go on to be an international star as an actor, comedian, and original cast member of Saturday Night Live.

Interview with Ted Myers

Cathy Young - 1969 - A Spoonful of Cathy Young

Cathy Young 
A Spoonful of Cathy Young

01. Spoonful    6:15
02. Misfit Matilda    2:00
03. This Life    3:02
04. Everyone's A Dealer    4:13
05. Circus    2:56
06. Mr. Moth    2:50
07. Colour That Lightning    3:57
08. 3 Billion Lovers    1:56
09. Understanding Changes Misunderstood    3:55
10. Following In Front    2:55
11. Melody Plot    3:35

When local Diggers' David DePoe and Brian (Blues) Chapman organized the Queen's Park Love-In in May of 1967, the budding singer-songwriter Cathy Young was barely a busker on the streets of Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood. But when Young was actually invited to play that Victoria Day weekend, on a bill that included the Rabble, Leonard Cohen and Buffy Sainte-Marie, it seemed like the chance of a lifetime.

"It was my graduation from the street of Yorkville," she would later tell CFRB radio. "It was my first time I played in front of a lot of people, and there were 5,000 people there that day (but) the only song I was able to play was Buffy Sainte-Marie's 'Cod'ine'." And as luck would have it for the poor gal, she was slotted in to play immediately after Ms. Sainte-Marie. The quivering songstress thought to herself, "The only song I know is her song. What am I going to do?" Young bit the bullet, took to the stage and cheekily played her rendition of that great song, thus launching a career that would span over four decades.

By 1969, Young's rising star had caught the eye of Bob Shad, who released her debut record south of the border on his hip Mainstream label. Though A Spoonful of Cathy Young was chosen by Billboard as its "Pick of the Week", it went largely unnoticed, hardly a surprise in a rapidly changing rock world that saw bands like King Crimson, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull bravely pull us into the seventies with their ground-breaking records that year.

Still, though A Spoonful of Cathy Young may have settled towards the bottom of the sixties dustbin, its curious mix of psych, folk and soul is certainly not without merit. Willie Dixon's 'Spoonful', which opens the record, is given a woozy, psychedelic treatment, and was the obvious choice for a single, I guess. But elsewhere things get much more interesting, especially on more soulful tracks like the excellent 'Everyone's a Dealer' and 'This Life'. This is where - if you can get past the occasionally awkward lyrics - Young's soaring vocal really starts to take off. When she manages to untether it from that high-pitched folky warble so common back then, her singing becomes an arresting mix of Laura Nyro, Grace Slick and perhaps even Melanie in her moodier moments.

A Spoonful of Cathy Young may not be essential listening, but for those who have worn out their copies of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession or New York Tendaberry, it is definitely worth checking out.

The Carolyn Hester Coalition - 1969 - Magazine

The Carolyn Hester Coalition 

01. Rise Like Phoenix    3:09
02. Dedicated    2:58
03. Plant The Crops In The Garden    2:54
04. Beadmaker    2:44
05. St. James Infirmary    5:13
06. Just Follow Me    5:04
07. (Sittin' On The) Dock Of The Bay    3:42
08. Sir Robert, The Lost Knight    3:36
09. Calico Sky    2:32
10. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot    2:44

- Skeeter Camera - drums, percussion (1968-69)
- Carolyn Hester - vocals, guitar (1968-69)
- Dave Mauney - vibes, bass (1969)
- Steve Wolfe - lead guitar (1968-69)

Musically Hester's second LP for Metromedia, 1969's "Magazine" isn't all that different from the previous release.  Once again, Hester's little girl voice is an acquired taste (to our ears, on material such as "Dedicated" and "Plant the Crops In the Garden" she recalls Kate Bush).  Perhaps a little more subdued than the previous set, like the previous album, Hester's at her best when blending her folk roots, with late-60s psych moves.  Highlights include "Rise Like Phoenix" (with some tasty fuzz guitar from Steve Wolfe) and "St, James Infirmary".  Fascinating in an offbeat way ...  the only real misstep is the goofy Otis Redding cover.  One of Hester's lesser known releases, the LP may be even rarer than her self-titled release.

The Carolyn Hester Coalition - 1968 - The Carolyn Hester Coalition

The Carolyn Hester Coalition 
The Carolyn Hester Coalition

01. Magic, Man    2:10
02. East Virginia    2:58
03. Tomorrow When I Wake Up    2:27
04. Be Your Baby    2:32
05. Big City Streets    2:50
06. Half The World    3:13
07. Let's Get Together    2:38
08. Hey, Jay    2:46
09. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream    3:00
10. The Journey    2:30
11. Buddha (Was Her Best Man)    2:19

- Dave Blume - bass, keyboards, vibes
- Skeeter Camera - drums, percussion
- Carolyn Hester - vocals, guitar
- Steve Wolfe - lead guitar

Though she’s best-known for her prominent role in the folk boom that swept America in the early 1960s, and her involvement with Bob Dylan, Carolyn Hester also recorded two superb albums of psychedelic folk-rock in 1969, along with her band, The Coalition. Sunbeam is delighted to announce their long-awaited authorised reissues, produced with Carolyn’s full participation. Both come complete with booklets detailing the band’s history and featuring rare photographs, and are sure to appeal to all fans of high-class US psychedelia.

“It’s hard to find weak tracks on this album, whose sound is typified by an excellent laid-back fuzz-psych sound… opening cut ‘Magic Man’ is mind-blowing fuzz psych at its best” – Fuzz, Acid & Flowers

‘Fine West Coast-style hippie fuzz / folk-rock/pop, with Hester singing in a decidedly non-folky acid bubblegum style. Solid all through’ – The Acid Archives

Anyone into Hester's earlier incarnation as a folk singer is likely to find her decision to turn to a more happenin'/commercial sound disappointing.  On the other hand, anyone into this late-1960s psych-oriented effort is liable to find her earlier folk albums trite and dull.

The thought of a folkie turning to psych is probably a major turnoff to many folks.  That's unfortunate since once you get over Hester's little girl lost voice, 1968's "The Carolyn Hester Coalition" is surprisingly enjoyable.   With excellent backing from The Coalition (bassist/keyboard player Dave Blume, drummer Skeeter Camera and lead guitarist Steve Wolfe), material such as "Magic Man", the fuzz guitar propelled "East Virginia" and "Half the World" offered up some excellent psych/rock numbers.  Sure, Hester's folkie roots were occasionally on display ("Tomorrow When I Wake Up"), and on tracks like "Big City Street" she bore an uncomfortable resemblance to Lulu.  Luckily, those were the exceptions rather than the rule.   Besides, Hester deserved an extra star for the album cover's revealing blouse.