Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wally - 1975 - Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens

01. Valley Gardens — 9:45
02. Nez Perce — 4:54
03. The Mood I’m In — 6:59
04. The Reason Why — 18:20 including:
a) Nolan (Webber/Sage)
b) The Charge (Sage/Glennie-Smith)
c) Disillusion (Webber)

Pete Cosker — electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, bass guitar
Nick Glennie-Smith — keyboards
Paul Middleton – steel guitar, bass guitar
Roger D. Narraway – percussion
Pete Sage — electric violin, bass guitar, mandolin
Roy Webber – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Jan Glennie-Smith — vocals
Madeline Bell — vocals
Ray Wherstein – sax

''Valley Gardens'', released in 1975 and named after the area of Harrogate where most of the band lived, was Wally's second album. They split up following the album's release due to a lack support from their record company, although they have recently reformed and released a DVD of their comeback concert and a CD of old demos and new material. Whereas the band's debut album is a curious hybrid of country and progressive music ''Valley Gardens'' is pure symphonic, although extremely light in weight and still featuring the prominent use of traditional instruments.

Nick Glennie-Smith, who had replaced original keyboards player Paul Gerrett, ploughs straight in with a fitful synthesizer flurry on the title track before it settles into a gossamer space rock groove of intertwining Mellotron and steel guitar. ''Nez Perce'' features guest vocals by American soul singer Madeline Bell, probably most famous for her work with Blue Mink. The Nez Perce, a tribe of Native Americans, got their name from the French term for pierced noses. Among the traditions of the Nez Perce is the legend of the Wallowa Lake Monster, often referred to as Wally. This song artfully combines the band's pop sensibility with Pete Sage's ethereal electric violin, and it even managed to achieve some airplay back in the day.

''The Mood I'm In'' is a fairly nondescript West Coast ballad with a bit of saxophone tagged onto the end for interest, but it's ''The Reason Why'' that grabs the most attention here. At over 19-minutes it takes up the entire second half of the album and is based on Lord Tennyson's anti-war poem ''The Charge of the Light Brigade''. It's an ambitious, moving piece and no mistake, with a lengthy improvised instrumental section.

''Valley Gardens'' neither sucks nor rules. It will obviously have more appeal for fans of mellow progressive music, but others might even enjoy something along the way. Wally are sadly over-looked and I wonder if they would be whining if there were more than half a million reviews of their output online?

Wally - 1974 - Wally


01. The Martyr — 7:55
02. I Just Wanna Be A Cowboy — 3:59
03. What To Do — 7:34
04. Sunday Walking Lady — 2:32
05. To The Urban Man — 13:45
06. Your Own Way — 5:25

Pete Cosker — electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, bass
Paul Gerrett — Fender Rhodes, harmonium, grand piano, harpsichord, mellotron, hammond organ, vocals
Paul Middleton — steel guitar, bass
Roger Narraway — percussion
Pete Sage — electric violin, bass, mandolin
Roy Webber — lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Bob Harris & Rick Wakeman — producers

WALLY is a strange band, they started playing some sort of Symphonic Country, which wouldn't be strange "per se" if they were from USA, but this guys were British and their debut album was produces by Rick Wakeman, so it's kind of unusual.

The band was formed in the early 70's by Singer Songwriter Roy Webber, the original lineup that was completed by Pete Cosker (Electric and acoustic guitars), Paul Gerrett (Fender Rhodes, harmonium, grand piano, harpsichord, mellotron, Hammond organ and vocals) Paul Middleton (Steel guitar and bass), Roger Narraway in the drums and Pete Sage playing electric violin, bass and Mandoline.

The band was discovered in 1972 when they reached the finals of a contest organized by the Melody Maker Magazine which was won by another band named DRUID. But they caught the attention of a judge of the contest called Bob Harris, who got them a contract with Atlantic Records, and with the support of Rick Wakeman co-produced their debut self titled album in 1974.

This album has a clear Symphonic sound, specially in the excellent "The Martyr" and the twelve minutes epic "To the Urban Man" with great Mellotron, but a good deal of Country music influence, more evident in songs as "I Just Wanna Be a Cowboy" that mixes some EAGLES sound, not an outstanding album, but solid enough, sadly it was a commercial failure.

Before they released their second album in 1975, Paul Gerrett leaves the band is replaced by Nick Glennie-Smith, with whom the release "Valley Gardens" in which they leave the Country sound behind and contains the best track they released, the epic "The Reason Why" which covered all side "B" of the LP.

Little is known after this release, but most people remembers them for their participation in the 1975 Reading Festival where they did a strong performance, despite playing with bands as YES, CARAVAN, WISHBONE ASH, SOFT MACHINE, etc.

As I said before, not the best band ever, but they were very good and deserve more recognition for being owners a unique sound.

 While much of the sixties were marked by the British invasion of America and all points west and east of Liverpool, there seem to have been some points in time where the influences flowed the other direction, if only in isolated pockets. Wally are one of those rare examples of this phenomenon. Despite being a bunch of guys from Leeds they managed to spend five years in the seventies touring around under management of Brian Lane and sounding something like the Eagles fronted by Jackson Browne with a hillbilly fiddler in tow. That and two albums produced by Whispering Bob Harris and Rick Wakeman should have made them stars somewhere, but apparently things just didn’t work out. Probably because their prog heavyweight connections belied their true talent as a modern-day R&B band.
This music is about as progressive as most of what Wishbone Ash or Ambrosia or America or Firefall or Home ever put out, which is to say not very. But if you are one of those people who has fond memories of the mellow, country soft-rock that filled the AM radio airwaves from about 1973 through 1978 then you will find this stuff pretty appealing. In fact “Sunday Walking Lady” sounds an awful lot like Firefall’s “Cinderella” except with some whiny fiddle for flavor. And “I Just Wanna Be a Cowboy” reminds me of Home’s “Time Passes By”. Not complaining mind you, just a couple of observations.

I think they’re closer to being a folk band than a symphonic one anyway, but I suppose the mellotron, Hammond organ and harmonium manage to fool some people. The one track that stands out a bit is the fourteen minute “To the Urban Man” with its psych sound effects and guitar fuzz layered in with that same persistently whining violin. This is a fun tune to listen to but it is also the only thing on the album that approaches true prog music with the exception of the opening track “The Martyr”, an eight minute mostly instrumental flight of fancy that moves between prog and pop almost seamlessly.

There’s a guy named Paul Middleton playing pedal steel throughout the album which of course makes this sound even more like country music than it would otherwise, although it would otherwise anyway. For fans of this instrument his highpoint is the closing track “Your Own Way” in which he pretty much sets the tone for the whole arrangement with some nice sustains and an overall wispy autumn afternoon feel. Nicely done.

These guys would put out one more album before constant touring and lack of acclaim took their toll and the band broke up. Most of them stayed in music though. Roy Webber played in a band called Trader for a while before turning to a graphic design career. Today he is one half of a part-time mainstream act known as Jackson-Webber. Pete Sage owns a recording studio in Germany, and Paul Middleton became a sort of British version of John Forgerty – hermit-like with rare public appearances before resurfacing a few years ago fronting Paul Middleton & the Angst Band. Keyboardist Nick Glennie- Smith (who replaced Paul Gerrett around the time this album was recorded) was one of a host of musicians who played the Roger Waters Berlin Wall gig. Pete Cosker unfortunately died of drug-related causes in 1990.

These guys aren’t all that memorable for a reason – they didn’t exactly put out innovative or timeless music. But they did what they did quite well, and managed to record an album with a decent sense of continuity and some nice blues steel, which is something I personally enjoy. This is a three star effort in my mind, but be warned that it is not what is traditionally considered progressive and is certainly not symphonic. Prog folk fans will undoubtedly enjoy it though.


Tripsichord Music Box - 1971 - Tripsichord

Tripsichord Music Box 

01. On The Last Ride — 4:42
02. We Have Passed Away — 2:45
03. Black Door — 2:55
04. The New Word — 4:40
05. Son Of The Morning — 5:34
06. Short Order Steward — 5:04
07. The Narrow Gate — 3:35
08. Fly Baby — 6:26
09. Everlasting Joy — 4:19
10. You’re The Woman — 3:35
11. It’s Not Good — 3:10
12. Family Song — 8:26
13. Times & Seasons — 3:23
14. Sunday The Third — 3:19

Frank Straigt — guitar
Dave Zandonatti — bass
Oliver McKinney — keyboards and organ
Bill Carr — vocals, guitar
Ron McNeeley — vocals
Randy Gordon — drums

There are so many versions of this album, legit originals, legit reissues, and bootlegs, that is difficult to not only know what you have, but to even stay on top of them. This album was originally recorded in late 1969 by this San Francisco band (which, incidentaly, had shortened their name at this point to just Tripsichord), and released in early 1970 on the local San Francisco Sound label in a very tiny quantity. It should be noted that this original version has, by far, the most superior sound quality of all pressings. By late 1970, the Janus label had expressed interest in picking the album up for national release, and immediately annexed the remaining copies pressed by S.F.S. and slapped a new white label promo Janus/San Francisco Sound label on them (this is the currently posted image for this entry). They also pressed an additional small quantity of these same promos using the original San Francisco Sound stamper. These versions obviously also have the superior sound quality, since they are original pressings and are all identifiable via the matrix numbers. Then, Janus began pressing their own versions of the album, which they finally released in 1971. Though the reason is not known for sure, it is widely believed that Janus mastered their pressing from an original San Francisco Sound vinyl issue. These versions have significantly inferior sound quality, almost sounding as if the speakers are beneath a pile of pillows compared to the orig pressing. I have not heard them all, but I believe all subsequent reissues and bootlegs contain this flawed version. I'm sure the Eva version does, but I think the  Akarma version may have been copied from an original SFS copy, as it does sound significantly better than the Janus pressing. Hope this info helps in some way.
   As far as the album itself goes, this is a true west coast gem, featuring excellent dual lead guitars, often jamming away in typical hippie psych style. And there is also great male/female vocal harmony and fabulous song writing. These guys really captured the late 60's west coast sound as good as anyone, and this remains an absolute essential for any psych collection.

The Travel Agency - 1968 - The Travel Agency

The Travel Agency
The Travel Agency

01. What's A Man - 5:06
02. Sorry You Were Born - 3:08
03. Cadillac George - 4:42
04. Lonely Seabird - 3:21
05. So Much Love - 3:02
06. Make Love - 2:25
07. That's Good - 6:57
08. I'm Not Dead - 2:17
09. She Understands - 3:10
10.Come To Me - 3:16
11.You Will Be There - 2:16
12.Old Man – 2:12

The Travel Agency
*Steve Haehl - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael S. Aydelotte aka Michael Sage - Bass
*Francisco (Frank) Lupica - Drums

The Travel Agency formed in San Francisco and released their self-titled LP, produced by Bread's James Griffin,  on LA's Viva Records in 1968.

Drummer Frank (real name Francisco) Lupica joined  a little later, prior to the LP.  Lupica had previously been in Us, a Bob Segarini-led  garage band who'd recorded for the Autumn label in 1965  but whose sole 45 was not released due to a dispute over  arrangements between Segarini and the label they split soon after and Segarini went on to lead a succession of more successful  bands (Family Tree, Roxy, Wackers).

Side One is the stronger; the haunting and stately  neo-prog keyboard intro which blossoms into the poppy  What's A Man, strong fuzztone on Cadillac George,  and gentler love songs Lonely Seabird and So Much Love.  There are fast commercial rockers (Make Love and Old Man)  and catchy pop (That's Good). Perhaps because of this diversity  and the lack of band identity, thanks to the absence of  any member info or credits, the album was overlooked and remains underrated.

Steve Haehl and Frank Lupica reappeared  a couple of years later in Shanti, whose eponymous  Eastern-influenced LP was released in 1971. Two tracks thereon  were composed by non-member Mike Aydelotte, aka Michael Sage  when he was in Travel Agency. Lupica went on to a solo career and,  billed as Francisco, performed one-man shows all over California  playing numerous exotic instruments including a self-built electrified I-beam; adorned with keyboards and other devices, he dubbed it  the Cosmic Beam. In 1976 he released his proto-new age LP,  Cosmic Beam Experience.

In the same year he was musician and  composer for Tanka, a very short animated film about  Tibetan thank gas (images from the Tibetan Book Of The dead)  alongside former Shanti bandmates Ashish Khan and Pranesh Khan;

in 1979 he was sound effects creator for Star Trek The Motion Picture; and in 1998 his music was used and sampled in the film The Thin Red Line. He played viola the Deep Song CD by Ranee Lee.
by Max Waller with thanks to Jeff Jarema

The Facedancers - 1972 - The Facedancers

The Facedancers 
The Facedancers

01. Little Waterfall - 7:24
02. Dreamer's Lullabye - 5:47
03. Nightmare - 3:12
04. Jewels - 4:00
05. Let The Music Set You Free - 5:26
06. Children - 8:27
07. Beta - 6:08

The Facedancers
*Barry Armour - Bass, Guitar
*Dale Armour - Flute, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Scats Bloom - Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
*Michael Loy - Drums, Percussion
*Kelley Moko - Guitar, Vocals

The Facedancers were a progressive/jazz-rock band signed to Paramount Records in the 1970’s. They recorded one full length studio album with legendary producer Teo Macero (Miles Davis). Though the band and their album have built a cult following, The Facedancers remain a mysterious treasure in the hearts of progressive rock fans around the world.

The Philadelphia based band consisted of brothers Barry (bass, guitar) and Dale Armour (keyboard, flute, guitar, vocals), Warren Bloom (lead vocals, harmonica, percussion), Roger Kelly (guitar, vocals), and Michael Loy (drums). Originally a comedy-rock group called Lobotomy, they became the house band in the last year of the Second Fret Coffeehouse in Philadelphia. No longer strictly a comedy act, in 1971 they changed their name to The Facedancers just before making their self-titled album on Paramount Records in 1972.

The album was produced by jazz saxophonist and producer Teo Macero, at Blue Rock Studios in the Soho district of NYC in the summer of 1972, using 100 hours of studio time. Macero was concurrently producing Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" for Columbia records, so this was a moonlighting job for him. In those days if someone insisted that the group label their music, they answered with "jazz-rock", though they didn't consider it jazz.

The group's musical influences were eclectic. Kelly and Bloom were lovers of rock'n'roll, R&B and blues (Bloom admired Smoky Robinson in particular). The Armours' father was a pianist who had played in swing bands, and taught the boys classical, stride and swing. They liked Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck. The brothers had also studied classical guitar, and Dale was self-taught on flute and sitar.

Development was intentionally somewhat musically isolated. Not many record albums were played at the band house - some Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie, John Cage. There was still the overwhelming influence of the Beatles. There was no concern for "danceability", so they played with time signatures. When too hungry and obliged to take a dance gig, they covered the Rolling Stones for fun.
by Michelle Armour, Philadelphia

Samson - 1969 - Are You Samson

Are You Samson

01. Traffic - 3:24
02. Sleep - 2:20
03. Journey - 3:10
04. Fair - 8:43
05. The End Song - 4:40
06. Mars - 4:45
07. Venus - 2:56
08. Saturn - 3:49
09. For by Sam Poem - 4:21

10. Wool & Water - 4:21

Mike Delaney Drums
Norman Findley Organ
Paul Ford Trumpet
Les Jones Guitar
Ian Kewley French Horn
Les Olbinson Percussion

Originally released in November 1969 on Andrew Loog Oldham's subsidiary to his failing Immediate, Samson sank without trace, which was about as much as could be expected. Oldham's seemingly careless attitude of not even releasing a single to wet the record buyer's appetite however is now easier understood: Immediate was at its end; within weeks of Samson's debut release Oldham's empire went bankrupt! As the band were eagerly recording their carefully calculated work, Oldham had a lot more to worry about than whether the next album released on his subsidiary would be a big seller. With little assistance from the label, and practically no promotion, it's not surprising that the album had such low sales figures. But the poor turnover of this admittedly tackily sleeved album is by no means an indicator of the music contained within. Samson brought into their music a successful blend of harmonies which sound akin to the Gregorian psych-era choral vocal parts of the Pretty Things and the Zombies, a touch of Deep Purple circa Shades of Purple, and a hint of the increasingly popular concept album. For sake of classification, their blending of Kinks-ish psych-pop with more progressive elements is befitting of the title progressive pop -- a contemporary handle used to describe everything from the Fox's For Fox Sake, Caravan's early work, and fellow north country lads the Koobas' 1969 album. If the later songs compiled on the superb Rubbles series appeal to you, Samson are well worth investigating.

Sabattis - 1970 - Warning In The Sky

Warning In The Sky

01. Everyday Is Cool - 4:18
02. Crystal Mirror - 5:04
03. Warning In The Sky - 6:44
04. Conversation With Billy - 8:14
05. The Devil's In You - 2:45
06. Bought And Sold - 3:14
07. Green Glass And All That Jazz - 2:38

*Jim Martin - Guitar, Vocals
*Rocky Raler – Bass
*Gary Culotta - Keyboards, Vocal
*Larry Wegman – Drums

The music industry is a fickle bitch; a rocky road littered with the broken hearts, souls, and limbs of those trying to get to the Promised Land. Once upon a time — 1968 to be precise — in Rochester, a hard-rockin' psychedelic outfit called Sabattis came to be. The band members, all in their late teens, mirrored what was going on in music at the time with its exploratory darkness, picturesque lyrics, and loose renderings of tight arrangements. In its brief history, Sabattis shared the bill with other local bands like Rain, and The Red, White, and Blues Band, as well as national biggies like Savoy Brown. It made appearances at local venues like The Club on Gould Street, area high schools, and colleges and Highland Bowl where the band played for 10,000 fans. In 1970, the band landed in the studio to record seven tracks in the hopes of getting noticed and signed with a major label. But the labels didn't come a-knockin' and the band eventually fell apart. The end, or...

Enter vintage music aficionado and Saxon Studios capo, Dave Anderson. Anderson got his hands on the original tapes from band members and insisted on pressing it on his Jargon Records label as part of Jargon's Time Capsule Series. Some 40-odd years later you can finally dig Sabattis' "Warning In The Sky." It's got a heavy Grand Funk Railroad drive and feel, a churchy organ that calls to mind Deep Purple's Jon Lord, and guitar riffs reminiscent off early Alice Cooper without the pomp and camp. It's a swell slice of Rochester music history, and a reminder to young bands still in hot pursuit of that elusive golden carrot on a stick that it may take a while. The album is definitely worth the wait.

Us hard rock quartet recorded their only in March 1970 in New York,  but it remained unreleased until March 2011. Tight sound with sharp guitar and stunning organ. The recordings were transferred from a 1/4 Reel tape that had been dubbed from the original master tape. There are some tape drop-outs biss and warble issues from time to time, this because of the quality and condition of source material.

Rust Underground - 1969 - Come With Me

Rust Underground 
Come With Me

01. Come With Me (Introduction) - ;36
02. You Thought You Had It Made (Jonny Thomas) - 3:34
03. Please Return - 2:37
04. Should I - 3:31
05. Think Big - 3:57
06. Rust - 3:33
07. Delusion (Jonny Thomas) - 2:45
08. Doesn't Add Up To Me - 3:36
09. Find A Hideaway (Jonny Thomas) - 3:38
10. Come With Me -  4:25
11. The Endless Struggle - 2:32
All songs by B. Hillmann, W. Monahan except where noted.

*Jonny Thomas - Guitar, Vocals
*Brian Hillmann - Drums
*Walter "Walt" Monahan - Bass

Not to be confused with a similar named Texas-based outfit, this short-lived late-1960s trio reflected the joys of multi-national cooperation - Brian Hillmann and Walt Monaghan were from the UK; Jonny Thomas was Australian and the trio somehow ended up recorded their sole 1969 LP for the German Hor Zu German label.

Featuring all original material (all three members contributed songs), 1969's "Come with Me" was interesting in a spot-the-influence kind of way.  The LP liner notes (printed in English and German) didn't include performance credits, but all of the singers were good with the guitarist displaying a nice penchant for fuzz guitar (check out the solo on 'Should I').  Musically the set wasn't particularly original offering up a period piece mixture of English R&B (the Cream-ish 'Delusion'), psych, and hard rock moves.  Moreover, whatever it lacked in terms of creativity was more than compensated for via the enthusiastic performances and an uncanny knack for catchy melodies.  Songs like the opening title track snippet and the rocker 'You Thought You Had It Made' should've appealed to both the underground crowd and top-40 radio.  The ballad 'Find a Hideaway' should have been a major radio hit.  The band were also interesting when they took off in a more experimental direction including 'Think Big' (offering up a weird mixture of effects and a Western epic feel) and 'Doesn't Add Up To Me'.  Elsewhere the psych touches embellishing 'Please Return' and 'Rust' would have sounded fine on a Small Faces LP.  One has to wonder what would have happened had they recorded for an American or UK label.   (Always loved the back cover photo of the trio posing on German police motorcycles.)

Rust is the real deal. Originally recorded in 1969, their album, Come With Me, is something of a lost mini-classic. Originally released on the independent German label Hor Zu, and bringing it to light in the early 21st century.

Great, psychedelic rock tunes are embellished with phased vocals, treated piano, samples of radio broadcasts, washes of organ, and electronic effects. Mind you, this isn't total freak out music, or anything. Songs like You Thought You Had It Made and Rust revel in blues licks, and rock with a genuine joy, even if the subject matter of their lyrics is somewhat pessimistic, and softer tunes like Please Return and the gorgeous Find a Hideaway are full of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies.

For a reference point, listening to it I hear a lot of The Deviants, with touches of the 13th Floor Elevators. It's melodic rock that likes to experiment.

Rock Workshop - 1971 - The Very Last Time

Rock Workshop 
The Very Last Time

01. Living Reason — 4:13
02. Street War (Pt. 1 & 2) — 9:13
03. Going Home — 5:43
04. What’s Mine Is Mine — 2:55
05. Wheeping Wood Mandalas — 1:52
06. Forgotten How To Live — 4:00
07. Light As Light — 3:50
08. I Think It’s… — 4:02
09. Ella Banta Dum Bundy — 6:23
10. Very Last Time — 3:31
11. Is This The End…Baby? — 0:52

12. Let My Bluebird Sing (vocals Alex Harvey) — 4:04
13. Wade In The Water (vocals Alex Harvey) — 3:42
14. Ice Cold (vocals Alex Harvey) — 3:05
15. Heavy Weather — 4:39
16. Patterns — 2:45
17. Watch Your Step — 4:16
18. Ashen Besher — 5:29

Ray Russell — guitar
Alan Greed & Alex Harvey — vocals
Bud Parkes — trumpet
Harry Beckett — trumpet, flugelhorn
Tony Roberts — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Bob Downes — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Derek Wadsworth — trombone
Brian Miller — keyboards
Daryl Runswick — bass
Alan Rushton — drums
Robin Jones — drums, congas

It’s probably accurate to claim that Rock Workshop couldn’t exist today. Only during the early seventies did record labels bestow upon bands the flexibility and freedom that led to the creation of such original and often avant-garde albums.

Rock Workshop were just such an innovative project. The band formed in 1970 when guitarist Ray Russell (who had previously worked with Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames) colluded with the legendary singer Alex Harvey. Russell had first met Harvey after standing in for Harvey’s brother Leslie (of Stone The Crows) in the musical ‘Hair’ (at a tender age).

Their shared enthusiasm in producing more left-field material enabled them to recruit a sprawling band of twelve members that included a lively brass section.

Their debut album ‘Rock Workshop’ was recorded over a two-day period in April 1970, and released soon afterwards, though it surprisingly failed to make any substantial impact on the charts. Containing such tracks as ‘Hole In Her Stocking’ and ‘Born In The City’- both delivered with Alex Harvey’s hefty vocals- and it remains fresh even today.

Yet the record label was sufficiently impressed with the debut to fund a second album.

Regrettably, by the time of the recording of the second album, Alex Harvey had effectively left the band in order to pursue his own career (with the first of many Sensational Alex Harvey Band albums being released in 1972).

Replacing Harvey were Al Greed (who had sung on a number of the songs on the first album) and the somewhat mysterious figure of Ginger who only worked with the band on this record.

This release is enhanced by the inclusion of some previously unreleased material, which Russell has recently unearthed, that were recorded in the period between the first and second album.

“Well, these are tracks that I didn’t know that I had. I found the tapes, along with a few photos of Alex, in the bottom of a box in my loft,” he smiles. “I’m actually amazed that the tapes have survived so long as they were left out in my barn for ages!”

Including rehearsals (with Harvey on vocals) of tracks such as ‘Wade In The Water’ and ‘Ice Cold’ along with live material recorded at London’s Goldsmiths College they provide a valuable insight into how the band arranged and performed their material in a live setting.

Rock Workshop - 1970 - Rock Workshop

Rock Workshop 
Rock Workshop

01. Ice Cold — 2:58
02. Wade In The Water — 3:46
03. Hole In Her Stocking — 4:09
04. He Looks At Me/Mooncross Grove — 10:19
05. Spine Cop — 3:48
06. Born In The City — 3:02
07. Theme For Freedom — 7:35
08. You To Lose — 6:42
09. Spine Cop (Alt Version) — 3:51
10. Hole In Her Stocking (Alt Version) — 5:31
11. Born In The City (Alt Version) — 2:47
12. You To Lose (Alt Version) — 5:26
13. Primrose Hill — 5:41
14. Return Of The Goddess — 5:41

Ray Russell — guitar
Alan Greed & Alex Harvey — vocals
Bud Parkes — trumpet
Harry Beckett — trumpet, flugelhorn
Tony Roberts — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Bob Downes — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Derek Wadsworth — trombone
Brian Miller — keyboards
Daryl Runswick — bass
Alan Rushton — drums
Robin Jones — drums, congas

Lead Guitarist and principal songwriter RAY RUSSELL had been gigging with Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames when he met ALEX HARVEY (later of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) with his younger brother Lesley Harvey (lead guitarist with Stone The Crows) both of whom were playing in the musical "Hair" in London.

Out of this meeting of likeminded musicians came the collaborative free-basing British band ROCK WORKSHOP - a very Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears first-album brass-driven 11-man fusion outfit (like a more guitar-mad C.C.S.) that managed two UK albums on CBS Records in 1970 and 1971. Both of these platters sank without a trace and have been very hard to find every since. Harvey would of course sign to Vertigo Records and start a run of highly successful albums and chart action (later LPs on Mooncrest).

The band's second lead vocalist was ALAN GREED. Greed had been with Harsh Reality who had a lone Prog Rock album called "Heaven And Hell" released in 1969 on Philips SBL 7891. After Rock workshop failed - Greed went on to be with the band The Running Man who managed one self-titled LP on RCA's Progressive Rock Neon label (NE 11). The other notable in Rock Workshop was flutist BOB DOWNES - a Fusion heavyweight whose cult status amongst collectors and aficionados has long since been the very stuff of collectability.

However - this 'Angel Air Records' CD Reissue and Remaster is not without its problems as other reviewers have noted - but I'd argue that it’s still worth checking out. Here are the wigged-out details...

UK released October 2002 - "Rock Workshop" by ROCK WORKSHOP on Angel Air SJPCD132 (Barcode 5055011701328) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Reissue and Remaster with Six Bonus Tracks that pans out as follows (71:16 minutes):

For some reason that's never explained - the original British LP's track list has been messed around with for this CD Reissue. Released June 1970 on CBS Records S 64075 (No US issue) - it should have been configured as follows:

Side 1:
1. You To Lose (Ray Russell/R Cameron song)
2. Wade In The Water (Ramsey Lewis cover - arranged Ray Russell)
3. Primrose Hill (Them For Jake) (Ray Russell/R Shepherd song)
4. Theme For Freedom (Ray Russell song)
Side 2:
1. Spine (Ray Russell song)
2. Ice Cold (Ray Russell/R Shepherd song)
3. Hole In Her Stocking (Ray Russell/Alex Harvey song)
4. He Looks At Me (Ray Russell song)
5. Mooncross Grove (Ray Russell song)

Quatrain - 1969 - Quatrain


01. Fragments - 4:14
02. Unconquered Islands - 3:17
03. Flowing Robes - 3:20
04. Fields of Love - 2:26
05. Canyon Women - 1:22
06. Rollin - 3:09
07. Black Lily - 3:23
08. Early Morning Company - 2:54
09. Ask Me No Questions (Steve Lindsay) - 2:58
10. Try To Live Again - 3:00
11. Masquerade (Don Senneville) - 2:42
12. The Tree - 5:36
13. Towering Buildings - 4:19
14. So Much For Royalty - 3:57
15. Unforeseen Regrets - 4:43
16. When Will You Happen to Me (Don Senneville, Jim Lekas) - 4:21
17. Let You Go - 3:14
18. Sun Came Up - 4:48
19. Get A Life - 4:06
20. Ghosts Over the Sunset Strip - 4:59
All compositions by Jim Lekas, except where indicaded.
Tracks 13-20  Previously Unissued

*Don Senneville - Lead Guitar
*Steve "Buff" Lindsay - Bass Guitar
*Eric Pease - Rhythm Guitar
*Jim Lekas - Drums

Back in 1968, Tetragrammaton Records of Beverly Hills, Bill Cosby’s label, released a local Los Angeles group’s only recorded album, Quatrain. The group consisted of Don Senneville, one of Los Angeles’ more creative lead guitarists, Steve Lindsay on bass guitar, Rick Pease on rhythm guitar, and Jim Lekas on drums. The record album was produced and engineered by the late David Briggs, Neil Young’s producer for many years.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of the excitement and enchantment of Los Angeles’ psychedelic and popular music movement between 1964 and 1969 gaze back glowingly and longingly upon those halcyon and magical times. Quatrain was part of the flow and pulse of the musical weaves in those politically and socially turbulent, but equally carefree and provocative moments in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles was truly something in the 1960s: Open, creative, still innocent, but growing bolder and openly seeking new musical and sociological paths.  The Watts Riots, the Sunset Strip music scene, love-ins, sit-ins, free love, drugs, and the Laurel and Topanga Canyon scenes marked the bright side.  Viet Nam dragged on, and Armstrong would soon walk on the Moon.

But the foreboding and chilling event that marked the culmination of the 1960s was the rude awakening brought about by the Tate and Labianca tragedies. Innocence in Los Angeles had been forever lost, and Quatrain went through the changes warily, like everyone else in the summer of 1969.

Quatrain was a garage band out of the San Fernando Valley and was originally formed in 1963 as The Fourth Shadow by founding members Senneville and Pease, with Lekas joining to play drums and sing in November of 1964 after a stint as an aerospace worker and part-time surf band drummer. Pease was a talented folk musician and excellent writer, as was Senneville.

Bassist Mark Johnson and guitarist Bruce Epstein were added in early 1965 to complete the first version of the quartet after Pease had gone off to the military. The group was mostly a cover band then.

Tireless promoter and personal manager Billy Marcot provided direction and early gigs for the foursome. Roger “Turk” Anderson and a young but sagacious Russ Deck were the group’s spiritual advisors and close associates. The group, still called The Fourth Shadow at the time, covered a lot of British Invasion material, with the usual au fait and de rigueur black turtlenecks and sport coats. School hops, parties, and beer bars were typical venues for The Fourth Shadow.

From 1965 to 1967, personnel changed periodically and the band’s name changed several times. Other members in the Quatrain evolution included guitarist Tim “Rainbow” Bell, lead singer Cary Brent, backup singer Doug Webb, and most importantly, Steve “Buff” Lindsay, bassist from the popular San Fernando Valley rock group The Boss Tweeds. Lindsay became a solid part of the group on bass, replacing the departing Mark Johnson.

In 1966, the group, then known as The Berries, which was at the time holding court as the house band at The Middle Earth on Ventura Boulevard in Reseda, was signed by Doubleshot Records of Hollywood, but nothing materialized except for a national Pillsbury radio jingle for “Gorilla Milk,” a breakfast mix product that went nowhere, much like two singles released on Doubleshot by The Human Jungle, as the boys were known, with Joe Hooven and Hal Wynn as producers. Wynn and Hooven had previously struck gold with The Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction,” and Brenton Wood with “The Oogum-Boogum Song” and “Gimme Little Sign.”

The band was booked by Doubleshot to play a dance in Pasadena as The Plastic Zoo, and the embarrassment of performing under that name for one gig was obviated by the opportunity to share the bill as one of five groups with the then just-formed, talented, and up and coming Three Dog Night.

The Plastic Zoo and The Human Jungle experiments, and the affiliation with Doubleshot Records, ended as quickly as they had begun, and the boys thankfully returned to playing clubs around Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley as The Berries.

In 1967, Lekas suggested “Quatrain” as a new name after spending a few weeks reading the quatrains of Omar Khayam. The group agreed to the change, and the new name stuck.

Ocean - 1972 - Give Tomorrow's Children One More Chance

1972 -
Give Tomorrow's Children One More Chance

01. Things Im Going Through
02. One More Chance
03. Its Just Another Whistle Stop
04. Wild Country
05. Hosanna
06. Make The Sun Shine
07. Mud Island
08. Helplessly Hoping
09. You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman)
10.Funnier Man

*Janice Morgan - Vocals
*Greg Brown - Keyboards, Vocals
*Jeff Jones - Bass, Vocals
*Dave Tamblyn - Guitar, Vocals
*Chuck Slater - Drums

The group's origins stem from when highschool friends guitarist Dave Tamblyn and keyboardist Greg Brown grew up in London, Ontario playing in a number of bands on the weekends, finally settling in as Leather and Lace, which featured Janice Morgan on vocals. They moved to Yorkville and became staples on the folk scene through the rest of the decade, eventually settling on a lineup that included Jeff Jones on bass and drummer Chuck Slater.

They were signed to Yorkville Records in 1970 who got them a distribution deal with Capitol. They released their debut PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND, the title track to an upbeat that owed much of its stylistic origin to pure hand-clapping gospel that Gene MacLellan had originally written for Anne Murray, who coincidentally also was on Capitol's label. Although Murray recorded the song two years before Ocean, the song was buried on her album and received no attention from executives.

Ocean, meanwhile, saw the song released as their first single while they still played high school dances and night clubs around Toronto. That soon changed, and the band began playing to crowds across North America, into Europe, and appeared on just about every Hit Parade type of TV show on the air. The song eventually topped Canada's charts and reached number 2 in the US, selling well over a million copies in the process.

The album was predominantly written by outsiders, and other noteable tracks included "The One Who's Left" - another MacLellan composition, a cover of The Band's "Stones I Throw," and their rendition of the gospel standard "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." "Deep Enough For Me" and "We've Got A Dream" followed up the charts, both cracking the top 40 before year's end. Following a highly successful world tour, they returned home amid allegations of missing funds compliments of management.

Still with Yorkville, they scored a distribution deal with Kama Sutra Records in 1972. They returned to the studios in Toronto, and released their follow-up "Give Tomorrow's Children One More Chance" later that year. The band tried to veer away from the easy listening gospel formula for success that made them overnight sensations only a year and a half earlier, though still just as preachy in their own way.

The music on the second album moved away from the gospel sound towards more of a folk pop sound. Once again the songs were the highlight of the album, written by some of the best in the business including, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manual (The Band), Cook and Greenway, Steven Stills, Carole King and others. Despite the strong songs on the album, Ocean only managed to score a minor hit in Canada with the song "One More Chance" and were subsequently dropped by the label.

Ocean - 1971 - Put Your Hand In The Hand

Put Your Hand In The Hand

01. Put Your Hand In The Hand 2:54
02. Pleasure Of Your Company 3:18
03. We Got A Dream 3:45
04. Deep Enough For Me 3:10
05. Will The Circle Be Unbroken 4:27
06. The One Who's Left 2:49
07. Stones I Throw 4:10
08. No Other Woman 4:03

Greg Brown (vocals, keyboard)
Jeff Jones (bass, vocals)
Janice Morgan (guitar, vocals)
Dave Tamblyn (guitar)
Chuck Slater (drums)

This debut album by the Canadian band Ocean contains and was named after the bands' biggest single, "Put Your Hand in the Hand," that sold over one million copies in 1971 in both America and Canada. This gospel rock band comprised of Greg Brown (vocals, keyboard), Jeff Jones (bass, vocals), Janice Brown (guitar, vocals ), Dave Tamblyn (guitar), and Chuck Slater (drums) recorded in Toronto in the early '70s and originally released the debut album on the highly collectable Yorkville label in Canada. The album contained eight songs written by such notables as Robbie Robertson and Gene MacLellan. The album was picked up in the U.S. by the Kama Sutra label that also released the band's second album in both the U.S. and Canada. Ocean managed another hit in Canada with the song "I've Got a Dream" written by the British songwriting team of Cook and Greenway, but they failed to make any impact in the U.S. and disbanded in 1975 after only two albums.

Nutz - 1976 - Hard Nutz

Hard Nutz

01. Seeing Is Believing — 5:53
02. I Know The Feeling — 4:10
03. Loser — 3:30
04. From Here To Anywhere — 5:01
05. Wallbanger — 3:52
06. Pushed Around — 4:09
07. Beast Of The Field — 4:18
08. Sick And Tired — 4:15
09. Down On My Knees — 3:49
10. One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below) — 4:39
11. Bootliggers (1980) — 4:42

Mick Devonport — lead guitar, vocals
Dave Lloyd  — lead vocals, guitars
Keith Mulholland — bass, vocals
Kenny Newton — keyboards, synthesizer
John Mylett — drums

The last studio album from Nutz shows some lyrical growth from their sophomore effort, and is also improved by the presence of keyboard player Kenny Newton. The band turns in their usual bluesy boogie rock with progressive elements, but with a bit more vigor and nuance than usual. There are some interesting transitions between songs and some genuinely inventive arrangements. Nutz never did have the consistency to be a major act, but Hard Nutz shows that they did have a good set of rock instincts, and if they only had had a first-rate songwriter, they could have gone far.

Nutz - 1975 - Nutz Too

Nutz Too

01. Nature Intended — 2:50
02. I Want Never Gets — 4:13
03. Take It From Me — 3:34
04. Change’s Coming — 3:14
05. Dear Diary — 2:57
06. Is It All For Real — 2:52
07. Cool Me Down — 4:40
08. R.S.D. — 3:38
09. The Love You Lost — 3:32
10. Sinner — 2:55
11. Knife Edge — 3:20

Mick Devonport — lead guitar, vocals
Dave Lloyd  — lead vocals, guitars
Keith Mulholland — bass, vocals
John Mylett — drums
Paul Carrack — keyboards (09)
Neil Kernon — harmonium (05), synthesizer (02, 11)
John Anthony – producer

The second Nutz album was a bit more basic than the first, with more of a focus on blues-based hard rock and a slicker, more professional feel. Still, the band managed to keep things interesting with acoustic textures and some interesting time changes in the course of the album. The instrumentation bears comparisons to Led Zeppelin in spots, though vocalist Dave Lloyd's appealing bluesy rasp is from a whole different tradition than Robert Plant's. The rest of the band fills in with some effective harmonies, and there are moments when their hook-laden hard rock shows a sophistication that is above most of their peers. The weak spot is the songwriting, which is fairly generic throughout. The sole exception is "Dear Diary," a lovely little piece that shows that the band can give a delicate performance to more personal material. On the whole, Nutz Too is a pleasant listen, though not quite as memorable as the albums that came before or after.

So here's a fairly talented mid-1970s outfit that never really made it outside of the UK (not that they were a gigantic success in England).  Formed in Liverpool, Nutz came together in 1973 featuring the talents of lead guitarist Mick Davenport, singer/rhythm guitarist Dave Lloyd, bass player Keith Mulholland, and drummer John Mylett.

Released in 1975, the band's cleverly-titled sophomore album "Nutz Too" teamed the band with producer John Anthony.  Musically the set wasn't a major change from the debut; maybe a little heavier this time around.  With the majority of material penned by lead guitarist Davenport (Lloyd contributing three tracks), songs like 'I Want Never Gets', 'Change's Coming' and 'The Love You Lost' really didn't make much of an impression on me the first couple of times I listened to them.  As a result it was easy to see why these guys had been relegated to 'also ran' status.  As I normally do, before getting rid of it, I set the LP aside for a couple of months (well in this case it was more like a couple of years) in order to give it one last chance before saying adios.  Glad I gave it another shot.  True, there wasn't anything  particularly original here, but the band's efforts to merge conventional hard rock licks with an occasional progressive move made for more than it's share of interesting moments.  Lloyd may not have had the most distinctive voice, but he used his talents well, generating considerable energy on tracks like 'Cool Me Down' and the ballad 'The Love You Lost'. That said, the big surprise was Davenport.  A surprisingly versatile player, his playing added the highlights to most of the album.

Nutz - 1974 - Nutz


01. Poor Man — 2:20
02. Ain’t No Thanks To You — 4:17
03. Spoke In A Wheel — 3:33
04. I Can’t Unwind — 2:54
05. Can’t Tell Her Why — 4:56
06. As Far As The Eye Can See — 3:36
07. Love Will Last Forever — 2:33
08. Light Of Day — 4:27
09. Round And Round — 3:44
10. Joke — 3:45
11. Seeing Is Believing (Live) — 6:46
12. Loser (Live) — 3:55
13. Pushed Around (Live) — 4:19
14. You Better Watch Out (Live) — 6:40

Dave Lloyd — lead vocals, guitar
Mick Devonport — lead guitar, vocals, lead vocals (07)
Keith Mulholland — bass, vocals
John Mylett — drums, percussion
John «Rabbit» Bundrick — piano & organ (05,08)
Chris Hughes — brass (10)
John Atnhony – producer

Formed in Liverpool, England, in 1973 by singer Dave Lloyd, guitarist Mick Devonport, bassist Keith Mulholland, and drummer John Mylett, hard rockers Nutz distinguished themselves as one of the decade's most undistinguished second-tier acts. None of their four albums for A&M -- 1974's Nutz, 1975's Nutz Too, 1976's Hard Nutz (introducing keyboard player Kenny Newton), or 1977's Nutz Live Cutz -- fared particularly well, and occasional support tours with Black Sabbath and Budgie (not to mention a Friday night slot at the 1976 Reading Festival) also failed to further their cause.

By 1979 the band was sputtering to a halt, but when their song "Bootliggers" was surprisingly chosen for inclusion on 1980's Metal for Muthas (a compilation of emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal talent like Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis, and Samson), Nutz decided to cash in on the younger generation by reinventing themselves as Rage. This barely disguised new version of Nutz (not to be confused with the German power metal trio that appeared a few years later) ejected their keyboard player, recruited additional guitarist Terry Steers, and went on to record three more albums before finally breaking up in 1984.

If you like British hard rock from the 70's this first album from Nutz is hard to beat. Released last year for the first time on CD, I was shocked at the great sound - I'd had a version on mp3 that I'd been listening to that didn't do this thing justice at all. These guys recorded four albums from 1974 to 1977, and they got it right the first time out. Despite building a loyal fan base and touring at various times with Black Sabbath, UFO, and Budgie, these guys never had any commercial success, their albums didn't sell well at all.

Their first album was an interesting and varied affair in which the band played with several different styles without losing their identity. Many of the songs use acoustic or progressive rock introductions to lead into blues-rock pieces, sometimes in very inventive ways. There are also some very successful progressive folk songs, a direction the band dropped after this album. It's a shame, as the catchy, carnival-like "Round and Round" suggested that this band could have done some fine things with the style. It's a track that bears repeated listening, the parade-ground drumming overlaid by acoustic and electric guitars and a simple but urgent vocal line. Here and throughout the album the vocal harmonies are impressive, more so than on any of their later works. For me though the highlight is the second track, "Ain't No Thanks To You", it's fecken awesome. A brilliant album of hard but not too heavy 1970's rock. The four bonus tracks are from 1977's "Nutz Live Cutz", by this time they had added a keyboard player.

The first album by Nutz was an interesting and varied affair in which the band played with several different styles without losing their identity. Many of the songs use acoustic or progressive rock introductions to lead into blues-rock pieces, sometimes in very inventive ways. There are also some very successful progressive folk songs, a direction the band dropped after this album. It's a shame, as the catchy, carnival-like "Round and Round" suggested that this band could have done some fine things with the style. It's a track that bears repeated listening, the parade-ground drumming overlaid by acoustic and electric guitars and a simple but urgent vocal line. Here and throughout the album the vocal harmonies are impressive, more so than on any of their later works. Nutz got everything right on their first album, but somehow failed to build on this solid foundation.

Marakesh - 1976 - Marakesh


01. Will She Come — 7:31
02. Autumn-DY 49 — 8:56
03. Moonshadows — 1:36
04. I Will Stay — 5:55
05. Sentimental Dream — 4:22
06. Hounted Man — 7:40
07. Will You Do It — 7:37

Jan van Dongen — organ, piano, strings, vocals
Evert Houtman – guitar
Dick de Jong — saxophone, lute, vocals
Wout Prins — bass, vocals
Ronnie Willemse – guitar
Dave in ‘t Veld – trumpet
Henk Zijderveld — drums, percussion

Marakesh is a band that came from Dordrecht and was formed in 1970 by Jan Plomp (drums), George Amelung (guitar, vocals), Wijnand Zijlmans (guitar, vocals), Zeeger Roobel (alt sax) and Dick de Jong (tenor sax). During their existence they suffered many line up changes. In 1976 they recorded an album. It consisted of long, dreamy symphonic tracks with jazzy influences. After the album was released, the band changed more towards a jazz rock band. In 1978 the band ended. One track of this new direction ended up on the sampler "Drechtstreek": Hot Flushes.

A pleasant, inoffensive primarily instrumental mid 70s progressive rock album. Reminds me a lot of the German bands of the era like Indigo and Fly. Especially the latter, given the saxophone presence. Keyboards are a string synth of some kind. What gives Marakesh a slight edge over their German brethren (in this genre anyway) is some inspired (and amplified) electric guitar work, and an occasional horn rock move with trumpet as a lead. The Dutch duo of related bands Mirror and Lethe are also benchmarks, though Marakesh weren't quite the masters of melody as those groups. One can see the transition from the early groups like Pantheon, Cargo and Earth & Fire to Marakesh and then onto the proto neo-progressive groups like Saga, a style that seemed to be an enormous influence on all modern era Dutch groups

Landslide - 1972 - Two Sided Fantasy

Two Sided Fantasy

01. Doin' What I Want 5:08
02. Creepy Feelin' 4:01
03. Everybody Knows (Slippin') 7:18
04. Dream Traveler 4:37
05. Susan 5:54
06. Sad And Lonely 3:01
07. Little Bird 4:58
08. Happy 5:51

Ed Cass — lead vocals, drums, percussion
Billy Savoca — lead guitar, vocals, slide guitar
Joseph «Joey» Caglioti — guitar
Bobby Sallustio — bass
Tommy Caglioti — drums, percussion, sitar

It's interesting to note that in the early and mid-1970s Capitol Records had some fantastic acts signed to recording contracts.  Unfortunately, the label's focus was on boogie bands such as Grand Funk Railroad, relegating even more deserving outfits like Food and Long Island's Landslide to instant oblivion.

In terms of bibliographical information, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of stuff readily available on this New York quartet.  What little I've found comes from the liner notes on their LP. The line up consisted of drummer Tommy Caglioti, Joseph Caglioti, singer Ed Cass, bassist  Bobby Sallustio and lead guitarist Billy Savoca.  Prior to forming Landslide, Joseph and Tommy Caglioti  and Sallusito had played in the blues band Trax.  Following it's break up, Sallustio dropped out of music to attend college, but within a short period, decided to form a new band with his former partners.  The three promptly recruited vocalist Cass and guitarist Savoca (who had been playing in the band Gullotos).  The five piece began playing local clubs as Hot Waks before metamorphosing into Landslide.

Released in 1972, their sole album "Two Sided Fantasy" was apparently a self-produced effort (credited to Proud Productions, Inc.).  With four of the five members contributing material the album offered up an enjoyable mix of blues-rock ('Everybody Knows (Slippin')'), Manassas-styled Latin-flavored rock ('Doin' What I Want') and conventional hard rock ('Happy').  Exemplified by tracks such as the leadoff rocker 'Doin' What I Want' ' the album offered up strong melodies, taunt vocals and Savoca's always tasty guitar.  While the entire album is good, highlights include 'Dream Traveler' (be sure to check out Savoca's lead guitar) and the closer 'Happy'.

J.K. & Co - 1968 - Suddenly One Summer

J.K. & Co 
Suddenly One Summer

01. Break Of Dawn - 0:37
02. Fly - 4:42
03. Little Children - 3:07
04. Christine - 2:13
05. Speed & Crystal Ball - 1:18
06. Nobody - 4:04
07. OD - 3:20
08. Land Of Sensations & Delights - 1:48
09. The Times - 2:23
10. Magical Fingers Of Minerva - 2:52
11. Dead - 4:29

Jay Kaye (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Rick Dean (drums)
John Kaye (bass)

Jay Kaye was only 15 years old when he recorded this album in 1968.  The lyrics, vocals, songs and musicianship are remarkably advanced for someone who was so inexperienced in the studio.  Jay Kaye made the trip from Las Vegas to Vancouver, Canada to record the lp with top flight session musicians (among them members of noted Vancouver band Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck).  The album was inspired by recent Beatles’ masterpieces and of course LSD, so it’s not surprising that much of this record is full of orchestral psychedelia and heavy studio effects – music with a spiritual slant.  Another teen, Robert Buckley aided Jay Kaye with many of the album’s arrangements and psychedelic effects.  It was he who created the decaying backward effects on the masterful “Fly,” a track that sounds well ahead of its time and similar in feel to prime-era Radiohead (though 30 years prior).

Suddenly One Summer was conceived as a concept album and briefly featured in Billboard claiming “to depict musically a man’s life from birth to death.”  At least half the album is full of great psychedelia.  “O.D.” features wild guitar playing, great drug addled madness, and soaring vocals, “Fly,” as mentioned before, is an all-time psych classic, and “Magical Fingers Of Minerva” is a great sitar based rocker that usually ends up on trippy compilations.  Other compositions of note are the gorgeous acoustic track “Nobody,” a great pop rocker titled “Christine,” and the dramatic finale, “Dead.”  The LP plays from strength to strength and never falls off into the deep end.

J.K. & Co.’s album was a decent size underground hit in California, leading White Whale to release a single to capitalize on the group’s popularity.  They chose the 36-second album opening intro which at the time was seen as a major marketing disaster.  In the end, White Whale’s terrible management blunder would halter the career of Jay Kaye and also hurt the company’s ability to market J.K. & Co as a serious group.   After the record’s release Kaye had even put together a band with his Cousin John (bass) and friend Rick Dean (drums) to promote the LP’s songs live but success eluded them.  In 2001 Sundazed released this great conceptual acid album through their BeatRocket label.

You’d be hard pressed to find many 60s psych enthusiasts that dislike J.K. & Co.’s Suddenly One Summer; incidentally the only album the group ever released.

Recorded in 1968, leader Jay Kaye was only 15 at the time, and for someone so inexperienced in the studio, the lyrics, vocals and musicianship are remarkably advanced. Traveling from his home of Las Vegas to Vancouver, Kaye worked with some of the areas top session players (including members of the popular local outfit, Mother Truckers Yellow Duck). Inspired by the Beatles recent psychedelic landmarks, and LSD itself, the album is lush with orchestral flair with a spiritual slant. Robert Buckley, himself a teenager, assisted Kaye with many of the albums arrangements and psychedelic effects. It was Buckley who created the decaying, backward effects that punctuate the masterful “Fly” – a track which sounds well of its time, familiar in feel to prime-era Radiohead.

Conceived as a concept album, upon its release Billboard claimed Suddenly’s intent was “to depict musically a man’s life from birth to death.” At least half of the record is full of quintessentially great psychedelia, see: “O.D.”, with its drug-addled madness, wild guitar playing and soaring vocals and“Magical Fingers of Minerva”, a sitar based rocker that ends with trippy complications. The gorgeous acoustic track “Nobody,” the pop rocker “Christine,” and the dramatic finale, “Dead,” are just a few of the standout compositions. The album plays from strength to strength – never falling off the deep end.

Suddenly achieved decent underground appreciation, with contemporary, Los Angeles based White Whale Records to release a single in an attempt to capitalize on the groups burgeoning popularity. Choosing the album opening, 36-second “Break of Dawn” was seen, and was, a major marketing disaster. This management blunder would halter the marketability of the group and, further, the career of Jay Kaye. In an attempt to promote the record, Kaye formed a live group with his cousin John (on bass) and his friend Rick Dean (on drums) – but success eluded them. It was not until 2001 that Sundazed Records released this great, conceptual acid album through their Beat Rocket label. And we’re all the better for it.

This is a most excellent album. One that gets it all right, one that really does have the ability to transport you into some hazy, slightly surreal headspace. The experience can be likened to floating lazily along a slowly moving river. Each track contributes to the whole experience and never strays to far away from the pattern. A huge bonus. No jarring filler that takes away from the flow, no dabbles in different genres to show how clever he is, just a consistently great baroque psych album. While each of the tracks are excellent, "Fly" does stand a bit above the others.

Though the liners tell the story of a young Jay Kaye (16, I think) heading off to Canada to record this album, after hearing the finished product it is very hard to wrap my head around the fact that he was so young. This is an accomplished album. There is nothing here that would indicate an amateur teenager was in charge. In fact, it's the opposite. It sounds as if it was recorded by an experienced, professional band. Obviously, if the story is true, Kaye had bucketloads of talent that one would think would manifest itself throughout his life but apparently not. Another one and done and here it is perhaps a bigger shame that it happened to Kaye than some other great one and done releases. Perhaps he shot his load here and had nothing left? Whatever the reason, Suddenly One Summer stands as a great psychedelic album and should be heard by any 60's psych fan.

Invaders - 1970 - There's A Light There's A Way

There's A Light There's A Way

01. Turn On The Sun — 3:53
02. Ocean Of Peace — 4:20
03. Astral III — 4:50
04. Second Coming — 4:26
05. I Need You — 2:09
06. There’s A Light, There’s A Way — 3:04
07. Astral II — 3:06
08. You Can’t Always Get What You Want — 6:13

Joey Moses — guitar, vocals
Errol Gobey — guitar, vocals
Johnny Burke — bass
Dave Burke — drums
Spewy Pillay – organ

The rise of the Invaders can be traced directly to the South African tour in March 1961 of Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Richard and The Shadows were appearing at the Feather Market Hall in Port Elizabeth, a concert for which twenty-one year old John Henry Burke (born 23 March 1940) of Uitenhage had purchased a ticket. Johnny Burke rushed home after the show, tried a few chords on an old, battered guitar in front of a mirror and declared aloud, “I was born for show business and someday I’ll be famous like The Shadows!” Prophetic words indeed.

He wasted no time and collected some friends together including Desmond Solomon (guitar), Ike Dolley (vocals), Fozy Lukie (drums), and a white lead guitarist, Richard (Toss) Smith. And so Uitenhage’s first pop group, The Astronauts, came into being. They played several sessions around town before disbanding. ‘We just couldn’t stick together,’ declared Burke in an interview with ‘Drum’ Magazine in 1968.

In 1962, after the Astronauts broke up, Burke then formed another band comprised of himself (on bass), Errol Gobey (rhythm guitar, vocals), Desmond Solomon (lead guitar), Vernal Solomon (drums) and Ike Dolley (vocals). The group called themselves The Invaders, a name first suggested by Gobey. “The original line-up of The Invaders stayed together for about a year,” he recalls. “We then split up with the Solomon brothers going off to form the Telstars.”

“Our beginnings were very humble,” remembers Gobey (born Errol James Gobey on 27 September 1943). “As kids we would sing and play together using home-made tin guitars and drums. We decided to collect money by selling framed prints to save for decent instruments. Johnny used to work at a glass place and would bring home glass. I would make picture frames and we would buy prints of Jesus and his Apostles, and other pretty pictures, and frame them. We used to go door to door, selling in the White areas - that’s how we bought our first instruments. We held ‘hops’ at friends’ houses, gaining experience as we went along.”

The Invaders When Cliff Richard and The Shadows toured South Africa for a second time in January 1963 (again appearing at the Feather Market Hall), Gobey and Burke both attended. “They inspired us even more, to make bigger and better plans at being successful, and how to go about it,” relates Gobey. In his 1968 ‘Drum’ magazine interview, John Burke recounts: “At the time I had left school and had to choose between being a teacher or a musician. Cliff Richard made up my mind for me. He told me just what a thrill pop could be, and how I could achieve a lot of happiness and make other people happy at the same time. I immediately decided to take Joe Moses (Joseph Henry Moses, born 9 September 1947) out of school, and my brother Dave (David Raymond Burke, born 20 June 1942) left his printing job to join Errol and me” [to form the ‘new’ Invaders]. Dave’s irate boss sneered at him, “You’ll never make it.”

The new line up of the Invaders was John Burke (bass), Errol Gobey (rhythm guitar, vocals), Joe Moses (lead guitar) and Dave Burke (drums). “We had to teach Joey, but he learnt so quickly, it was amazing. In fact, Dickie Loader once said that Joe was the most fantastic lead guitarist he had ever seen,” relates Gobey.

The ‘early days’ were a struggle for The Invaders. Burke, Moses and Gobey had to share one amplifier and used the crudest of guitars. Drummer Dave Burke learnt to play on his knees and, at times, the cheap set of drums he used would collapse on stage. The Invaders competed in a beat band competition at the Orient Hall in Uitenhage for a first prize of R15. Their main competition was ‘The Arrows’ – the number one group in the area “that used to get all the top engagements.” In his April 1968 ‘Drum’ interview, Burke recalled: “R15 was money in those days. We thrashed The Arrows by 15 points and after that our popularity just zoomed up. Now suddenly the tide started turning our way. We never looked back.”

The Invaders held ‘Matinee Sessions’ for “the young ones” at the Jubilee and Orient Halls in Uitenhage. Their popularity increased and soon they were performing at various venues in nearby Port Elizabeth. Things improved to the extent that the band was able to procure a second hand panel van (from the post office!). As word of the band spread, they found themselves more frequently hired by churches and schools for dances. “It was tough going but our popularity was growing, and that was the most important of all. We started playing in towns such as Graaff-Reinet, Willowmore, Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay. We played there a lot and the people loved our music,” recalls Gobey.

In 1965, the band decided to finance its own seven single, June, coupled with I’ll Try Again. Gobey recounts: “We got some White guy to record us at the Feather Market Hall. We recorded June and I’ll Try Again ‘live’. I don’t remember what the recording cost us, but we had 100 singles pressed and sold them for 60 cents each at our concerts.” (The single is today one of the most sought after items amongst vinyl collectors, and is considered priceless.)

The Invaders toured through the Western and Eastern Cape without much incident during 1964, ’65 and ’66, performing whatever gigs they could get bookings for – stage shows, dances, parties and church functions. Gobey recalls those early years: “It was a lot of hard work and we had very little sleep. During the day we had to practice for hours, especially to keep our programme and repertoire up-to-date. We played a lot of Beatles and Rolling Stones songs in those days. In October 1966 we decided to visit Cape Town. We did our first stage-show in Somerset West. The audience loved us, they went crazy, they wouldn’t let us off the stage! Our name spread quickly throughout the Cape and we were in the newspapers quite a lot. Somehow Trutone, which had a branch in the Cape, got to hear about us. One day we were travelling to Cape Town on the N2 in our panel van. We had ‘The Invaders’ painted in huge letters on the side. A white car pulled alongside us and asked us to pull over. We thought we were in trouble and were going to get a fine of some sort. A white guy approached us and asked us if we were interested in a recording contract. Of course we immediately answered Yes!”

The Invaders The band followed Trutone A&R manager, Ivan Wehr, to A.K.A. Studios in Cape Town where they signed a five year recording contract with Trutone Records. The band was commissioned to record some singles the following week plus a debut album. Naturally, the first title they elected to record for their debut single on the Phillips label was June! Their faith in the tune was not misplaced as, several months later, they were presented with their first Gold Disc for sales of June.

1967 witnessed the release of The Invaders first album, Two Sides Of The Invaders. Interestingly, Trutone printed a discography of Invaders singles on the back cover of the album. Listed is SSP 898 Theme from Dr. No/Cats Eyes (1964) which, for many years, confused fans and collectors until Errol Gobey corrected it during one of the interview sessions for this CD’s release. “It was actually the New Zealand Invaders (with Ray Columbus) who recorded the tracks in 1964, and not us,” explains Gobey. “In New Zealand they were issued on separate singles, but Trutone coupled them for the local release.”

On 1 December 1967, the Invaders seventh single (and the title of their second album), Shock Wave, entered Springbok Radio’s Top 20 Hit Parade at No.18. It peaked at No.10 two weeks later, with five weeks in the Top 20, and garnered them their second Gold Disc award. On 1 March 1968 they were presented with a third Gold Disc for sales of the single Ice Cream and Suckers. At the time they were the only artists in South Africa to have received three Gold Discs, for three individual titles, within in a single year period.

“Shock Wave - the single and the album - was a huge success,” recounts Gobey. “We were blown away, it was not something we expected. We toured the whole country after that, all the big cities, even South West [Namibia] and Swaziland! We recorded in Johannesburg with Trutone’s musical director, Art Heatlie. He used to be responsible for the brass sections on our records. Grahame Beggs produced a lot of our stuff. According to radio stations and the newspapers, we were South Africa’s top band!”

The Invaders fan club boasted 27 000 members in March 1968 and, by the end of the year, had increased its membership base to almost 50 000 fans. The Invaders had a permanent staff of five handling their fan club, finances and promotions, and a further five assistants had to be appointed to handle all the fan mail!

In March 1969 the Invaders’ Chapel Of Dreams entered Springbok’s Top 20, peaking at No.16 on April 11. “I was doing lead vocals at the time. It started getting heavy for me and we decided to look for another vocalist,” says Gobey. In October 1969, the Invaders attended a show of another Coloured group, The Miracles, at The Purple Marmalade in Hillbrow. Their lead singer was the talented - but then unknown - Lionel Petersen (born 13 October 1947). Impressed with his singing, Gobey and John Burke approached Petersen, offering him the position of lead vocalist with The Invaders. Gobey elucidates: “Lionel came down to Port Elizabeth, auditioned, and agreed to join us, which was a relief to me, since it took the pressure off my voice. He was fantastic and the crowds loved him. We decided to see if we could break into the overseas market and left for Germany. We stayed and toured in Europe for two months, Germany, Holland, England, but in the end just couldn’t cut it – we had endless hassles and red tape trying to get work permits. The constant hurdles made us decide to come home. I quit the band in 1970 and went back to my trade [carpentry].”

The Invaders were joined by Rodger (Spewy) Pillay (organ, keyboards) in 1970. In January 1971 the group’s final chart entry, There’s A Light, There’s A Way (produced by Grahame Beggs), on which Petersen’s vocals can be heard, entered the Top 20. It spent three weeks on the chart, peaking at No.18 for two weeks. In April 1971, The Invaders disbanded “for religious reasons,” according to Gobey. John’s brothers, Gregory (rhythm, lead guitar), Colin (bass) and Clement Burke (keyboards), then teamed up with Joe Moses and David Burke to form the ‘new’ Invaders. Though the band never made any recordings, they toured and performed for roughly two years before they, too, finally disbanded. In 1976, the band was invited by Richard Jon Smith to record a new album, The Return Of The Invaders, for EMI. “Joe, Dave and myself got together with Dave’s brothers, Clement (vocals) and Colin Burke (bass). We travelled to Jo’burg to do the album, but it sank without trace. Sales went nowhere and we all went home,” recalls Gobey wryly. The magic seemed to have gone – for the moment anyway.

Errol Gobey married Veronica Zealand on 8 June 1971. The couple have two children, Nathan (born 28 November 1987) and Cordelia (born 28 April 1989). Errol retired in 2001 and currently lives in Uitenhage, “not far from Joey,” he says. Joe Moses married Elizabeth Geswindt on 27 July 1969. The couple have six children: Marvin (born 7 February 1970), Brent (born 27 January 1972), twins Roshin & Raquel (born 1 July 1974), Eloise (born 10 June 1978) and José (born 16 May 1981). After The Invaders disbanded, Joe went to work for General Motors, and later Volkswagen, as a spares distributor. He is currently retired and lives in Uitenhage. David Burke married Mary Vissie 9 December 1967. They have one son, Clint Stanistin (born 15 February 1977). David worked in the printing industry until his death on 21 Sept 2006.

At the time of this writing Rodger Pillay could not be traced. Lionel Petersen went on to enjoy a very successful career as a solo artist. In 1983 he became active in the church on a part-time basis and in 1993, joined the Rhema ministry full-time. As such, he is reluctant to relate or recall anything about his secular career and is sketchy at best on details about the past.

John Burke married Cathleen Fisher on 6 January 1968. The couple have four children: Melanie (born 9 October 1968), Sean (born 27 March 1970), Mark (born 19 April 1973) and Viola (born 27 October 1974). Like Joe, John also worked as a parts distributor for General Motors after The Invaders disbanded. He passed away from colon cancer on 19 May 1978. John’s son, Sean, has followed in his father’s footsteps to some degree. After studying law at UPE, he played in a TV series and is currently producing jingles and music for TV productions. Sean fronted the band Afro-d-ziac as their lead vocalist and has also recorded four solo albums and produced no fewer than eleven of his own music videos.

Joe’s son, Marvin, has an impressive array of achievements in the music industry. Besides being a consummate vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist himself, he has worked as a recording engineer and producer with many of South Africa’s top artists, including Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Deborah Frazier, Chicco, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Dr Victor, Danny K, William and the Young Five, Wendy Oldfield and Zia, to name but a few. He has produced commercials for Coca Cola, Pedigree and Mazda and wrote the theme song for the 2002 World Summit, We Can Make It Better. Marvin is soon to release his debut album.

The essence of The Invaders’ music was perhaps best formulated by Johnny Burke in an interview 40 years ago: “We are really bringing happiness to our friends. We make people forget their cares and worries. To most of our people life is a burden. When they come into the hall they are wrapped up in our music and forget all about debts and where tomorrow’s food is coming from. They can let out all their pent-up feelings and, for an hour or two, just forget about life. It’s a release for them. There can be nothing more thrilling than to have people screaming at your feet. This is a form of appreciation of our music. This, in fact, is our reward and payment.”

H.Y. Sledge - 1971 - Bootleg Music

H.Y. Sledge 
Bootleg Music

01. Citation On Liberty 5:22
02. Such An Easy Day 2:58
03. Canadian Exodus 7:40
04. Cellophane Lady/No Where To Go 3:56
05. Ride The Waves 4:07
06. I'm Your Brother 3:28
07. Tamara 2:20
08. Day Of Realization 2:05
09. It's In The Air 4:46
10. Finding It 2:23

Richard Porter – guitar, piano, harpsichord, acoustic, vocals
Michael Eubank – organ, piano, acoustic, vocals
Jan Pulver – bass, cowbell, gun shots, vocals
Billy Jones – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Monte Yoho – drums

For an album that's hopelessly obscure, there are sure a lot of online reviews for 1971's "Bootleg Music".  The problem is 99% reflect the same 63 word review spewed over and over.   Needless to say, that brief description simply doesn't provide a great deal of insight into this collection.

Calling Valparaiso, Florida home, H.Y. Sledge featured the talents of singer/keyboardist Michael Ewbank, multi-instrumentalist Billy Jones, former Wilkinson Tri-Cycle guitarist Richard "Dickie Porter, bassist Jan Pulver, and drummer Monte Yoho.  Pulver had previously been a member of Those Five, while Jones and Yoho had been members of the Tampa-based Dave Graham Band.  Interestingly, only credit Ewbank, Porter, and Pulver were credited on the album liner notes, which also fail to provide any writing credits.

Signing a recording contract with Shelby Sumpter Singleton Jr.'s SSS International label, the group made their debut with 1971's "Bootleg Music".   Co-produced by Ewbank and Porter, the album wasn't  the most original collection you've ever heard.  The band were certainly talented with a couple of decent singers and an excellent bassist.   Unfortunately most of the material failed to display anything in the realm of creativity, or enthusiasm.  They just sounded kind of tired ...  To my ears tracks like 'It's In the Air' and 'I'm Your Brother' recalled a slightly more muscular Association.  Don't get me wrong, I like The Association, but if I want to hear Baroque-pop, that's probably the band I'll put on.  So what were the highlights?  Apparently inspired by American draft dodgers who were heading North the extended 'Canadian Exodus' had a hip Classics IV pop-jazz vibe.  'Such an Easy Day' was the best of the ballads, adding a light lysergic touch to the mix.  Totally unlike the rest of the album, 'Day of Realization' had a sunny, pop-psych retro sound.  It was my choice for the album's standout performance.

Professional, if seldom truly exciting.  Being signed by SSS International certainly didn't increase the band's chances of breaking nationally.  The hideous album artwork didn't help either and as you'd expect, the album vanished without a trace.

Ewbank reappeared as a member of the The Tall Guys and the short lived Butch's Brew.

Jones and Yoho reappeared as members of The Outlaws   Jones committed suicide in February 1995.

Monte also did time with BlackHawk and The Henry Paul Band.