Live Performances Blues Rock U.K. 1960s (Tracks) John Mayall – “The Laws Must Change”

John Mayall – “The Laws Must Change” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Live Performances Blues Rock U.K. 1960s (Tracks)

Artist :

John Mayall (Macclesfield, Cheshire, U.K.)

“Track”

“The Laws Must Change” (written by John Mayall) A1 track (opening track) included on the live album “Turning Point”

Album :

“Turning Point”  released on Polydor Records (583571) in October 1969

The Turning Point is a live album by John Mayall, featuring British blues music recorded at a concert at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East on 12 July 1969.

Originally released with a lyric insert.

The album was produced by John Mayall, who also designed the packaging and was the album’s art director. The recording engineer was Eddie Kramer, who had engineered Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, among others.

Line-up/Credits :

Line-up :

John Almond – flute, saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, mouth percussion

Jon Mark – acoustic guitar

John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, tambourine, vocals, slide guitar, mouth percussion

Steve Thompson – bass guitar

The performers on the album were Mayall on vocals, harmonica, a slide and a Fender Telecaster guitar, a tambourine, and mouth percussion, Jon Mark on acoustic guitar, Steve Thompson on bass, and Johnny Almond on tenor and alto saxophones, flutes, and mouth percussion. All the songs on the album were written or co-written by John Mayall. Thompson co-wrote CaliforniaThoughts About Roxanne and Don’t Waste My Time.Another track, “I’m Gonna Fight For You, J.B.,” is a tribute to the American blues guitarist J. B. Lenoir who died in 1967 and who had a deep influence on Mayall (this was Mayall’s second such tribute to the musician; “The Death of J.B. Lenoir” appeared on his earlier Crusade album). Two concerts took place, on 11 and 12 July. All tracks are from the second gig.

Credits :

Bob Gordon – photography

Suha Gur – mastering

Eddie Kramer – engineer, audio engineer

Bill Levenson – reissue producer

John Mayall – liner notes, artwork, art direction, design, photography, audio production, telecaster

Monique McGuffin – production coordination

Neil Slaven – liner notes

Tapani Tapanainen – photography

Larry La Fond – photography

Chris Welch – liner notes

Barry Wentzell – photography

Zill – photography

Companies : 

Manufactured By – Polydor Records Ltd.

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Polydor Ltd.

Made By – MacNeill Press Ltd.

Printed By – MacNeill Press Ltd.

Published By – St. George Music

Recorded At – Fillmore East

Lacquer Cut At – Phonodisc Ltd.

Label: Made in England, St. George Music, ® 1969

Track-list :

01. The Laws Must Change – 7:21
02. Saw Mill Gulch Road – 4:39
03. I’m Gonna Fight For You J.B. – 5:27
04. So Hard To Share – 7:05
05. California – 9:30
06. Thoughts About Roxanne  – 8:20
07. Room To Move – 5:03

Bonus tracks (2001 reissue) :

  1. “Sleeping By Her Side” – 5.10
  2. “Don’t Waste My Time” (Mayall, Thompson) – 4.54
  3. “Can’t Sleep This Night” – 6.19

JOHN MAYALL TRACKLIST 1 (2)

Lyrics :

The time must surely come
For the laws to fit the times
The time must surely come
For the laws to fit the times
But while the law is standing
You gotta open up your minds
It seems to be the fashion
To say you’re right and they are wrong
It seems to be the fashion
To say you’re right and they are wrong
But you gotta see both sides
You’ll find yourself in jail ‘fore long
You’re screamin’ at policemen
But they’re only doin’ a gig
You’re screamin’ at policemen
But they are only doin’ a gig
Gotta try and take the time
To figure out how the issue got that big
Lenny Bruce was trying to tell you
Many things before he died
Lenny Bruce was trying to tell you
Many things before he died
Don’t throw rocks at policemen
But get the knots of law untied
Every time you’re holdin’
You are guilty of a crime
Every time you’re holdin’
You are guilty of a crime
The laws must change one day
But it’s goin’ to take some time
Songwriters: John Mayall
Information related to the album/artist/track :
“All Music”
As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall’s lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the ’60s, his band the Bluesbreakers acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-’60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (of Free), John Almond, and Jon Mark also played and recorded with Mayall for varying lengths of times in the ’60s.

Mayall’s personnel has tended to overshadow his own considerable abilities. The multi-instrumentalist was adept in bringing out the best in his younger charges (Mayall was in his thirties by the time the Bluesbreakers began to make a name for themselves). Doing his best to provide a context in which they could play Chicago-style electric blues, Mayall was never complacent, writing most of his own material revamping his lineup with unnerving regularity, and constantly experimenting and stretching with the basic blues form on groundbreaking recordings such as 1967’s The Blues Alone, on which he played all instruments save for percussion — provided by Keef Hartley — and 1969’s best-selling The Turning Point, a stellar, drum-less unplugged helping of acoustic blues that netted him his biggest hit, the single “Room to Move.” Likewise, 1972’s Jazz Blues Fusion moved the other direction, as it featured Mayall in the company of trumpeter Blue Mitchell, saxophonist Clifford Solomon, guitarist Freddy Robinson, and bassist Larry Taylor. Mayall’s output has been prolific. He has introduced dozens of instrumentalists to the music-listening public including guitarists Coco Montoya and Harvey Mandel, and violinist Don “Sugarcane” Harris. When Clapton joined the Bluesbreakers in 1965, Mayall had already been recording for a year, and performing professionally long before that. Originally based in Manchester, Mayall moved to London in 1963 on the advice of British blues godfather Alexis Korner, who thought a living could be made playing the blues in the bigger city. Tracing a path through his various lineups of the ’60s is a daunting task. At least 15 different editions of the Bluesbreakers were in existence from January 1963 through mid-1970. Some notable musicians (like guitarist Davy Graham, Mick Fleetwood, and Jack Bruce) passed through for little more than a cup of coffee; Mayall’s longest-running employee, bassist John McVie, lasted about four years. The Bluesbreakers, like Fairport Convention or the Fall, were more a concept than an ongoing core. Mayall, too, had the reputation of being a difficult and demanding employer, willing to give musicians their walking papers as his music evolved, although he also imparted invaluable schooling to them while the associations lasted.Mayall recorded his debut single in early 1964; he made his first album, a live affair, near the end of the year. At this point the Bluesbreakers had a more pronounced R&B influence than would be exhibited on their most famous recordings, somewhat in the mold of younger combos like the Animals and Rolling Stones, but the Bluesbreakers would take a turn for the purer with the recruitment of Eric Clapton in the spring of 1965. Clapton had left the Yardbirds in order to play straight blues, and the Bluesbreakers allowed him that freedom (or stuck to well-defined restrictions, depending upon your viewpoint). Clapton began to inspire reverent acclaim as one of Britain’s top virtuosos, as reflected in the famous “Clapton is God” graffiti that appeared in London in the mid-’60s.

In professional terms, though, 1965 wasn’t the best of times for the group, which had been dropped by Decca. Clapton even left the group for a few months for an odd trip to Greece, leaving Mayall to straggle on with various fill-ins, including Peter Green. Clapton did return in late 1965, around the time an excellent blues-rock single, “I’m Your Witchdoctor” (with searing sustain-laden guitar riffs), was issued on Immediate. By early 1966, the band was back on Decca, and recorded its landmark Bluesbreakers LP. This was the album that, with its clean, loud, authoritative licks, firmly established Clapton as a guitar hero, on both reverent covers of tunes by the likes of Otis Rush and Freddie King and decent originals by Mayall himself. The record was also an unexpected commercial success, making the Top Ten in Britain. From that point on, in fact, Mayall became one of the first rock musicians to depend primarily upon the LP market; he recorded plenty of singles throughout the ’60s, but none of them came close to becoming a hit.

Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in mid-1966 to form Cream with Jack Bruce, who had played with Mayall briefly in late 1965. Mayall turned quickly to Peter Green, who managed the difficult feat of stepping into Clapton’s shoes and gaining respect as a player of roughly equal imagination and virtuosity, although his style was quite distinctly his own. Green recorded one LP with Mayall, A Hard Road, and several singles, sometimes writing material and taking some respectable lead vocals. Green’s talents, like those of Clapton, were too large to be confined by sideman status, and in mid-1967 he left to form a successful band of his own, Fleetwood Mac.

Mayall then enlisted 19-year-old Mick Taylor; remarkably, despite the consecutive departures of two star guitarists, Mayall maintained a high level of popularity. The late ’60s were also a time of considerable experimentation for the Bluesbreakers, who moved into a form of blues-jazz-rock fusion with the addition of a horn section, and then retreated into mellower, acoustic-oriented music. Mick Taylor, the last of the famous triumvirate of Mayall-bred guitar heroes, left in mid-1969 to join the Rolling Stones. Yet in a way Mayall was thriving more than ever, as the U.S. market, which had been barely aware of him in the Clapton era, was beginning to open up for his music. In fact, at the end of the ’60s, Mayall moved to Los Angeles. Released in 1969, The Turning Point, a live, all-acoustic affair, was a commercial and artistic high point.

In America at least, Mayall continued to be pretty popular in the early ’70s. His band was as unstable as ever; at various points some American musicians flitted in and out of the Bluesbreakers, including Harvey Mandel, Canned Heatbassist Larry Taylor, and Don “Sugarcane” Harris. Although he’s released numerous albums since, and remains a prodigiously busy and reasonably popular live act, his post-1970 output generally hasn’t matched the quality of his ’60s work. Following collaborations with an unholy number of guest celebrities, in the early ’80s he re-teamed with a couple of his more renowned vets, John McVie and Mick Taylor, for a tour, which was chronicled by Great American Music’s Blues Express, released in 2010. The ’60s albums are what you want, though over the past decades, there’s little doubt that Mayall has done a great deal to popularize the blues all over the globe. Continuing to record and tour into his eighties, Mayall released A Special Life, recorded at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood and featuring a guest spot by singer and accordion player C.J. Chenier, in 2014. The album was universally celebrated as one of his best.

A live archival recording of the Green, McVie, Fleetwood-era Bluesbreakers was released in April as Live in 1967. Meanwhile, the bandleader, his co-producer Eric Corne, and his seven-year old group — Rocky Athas, guitar; Greg Rzab, bass; Jay Davenport, drums — were in the studio. They emerged with Find a Way to Care, a set that showcased Mayall’s highly underrated keyboard playing on a set of originals and vintage covers including Percy Mayfield’s “The River’s Invitation.” The album was released in the late summer of 2015. Talk About That, Mayall’s second album for Forty Below, arrived in late 2017.

In the spring of 2018, at the age of 85, Mayall had to cancel a U.S. tour due to a nasty bout with pneumonia. That summer, sufficiently recovered, he hit the recording studio and emerged with the full-length Nobody Told Me in the late fall. Its first single, “Distant Lonesome Train,” was co-written with Joe Bonamassa (who also played guitar on it and another track). Other guests included Steve Van Zandt, Todd Rundgren, Alex Lifeson, Larry McCray, and Carolyn Wonderland. Mayall, ever the road warrior, embarked on a world tour after the album’s release that continued into 2019.

Photos related to the album/track :

John Mayall – “Turning Point” Album cover photo (front)

John Mayall – “Turning Point” Album photo (A’ Side)

John Mayall – “Turning Point” Album Artwork photo

John Mayall – “Turning Point” Album Artwork photo 

Photos related to the artist :

Image result for JOHN MAYALL

Image result for JOHN MAYALL 1969

Image result for JOHN MAYALL

Related image

JOHN MAYALL 2 (2)

Related image

JOHN MAYALL 1 (2)

John Mayall Recording Saturday Cub at the BBC Theater 1969, Mini Poster

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7-inch Singles/E.P.s Garage Rock U.S.A. 1960s The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry”

The  Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

7-inch Singles/E.P.s Garage Rock U.S.A.1960s

Band :

The Journey Men (Brunswick, Ohio, U.S.A.)

The Journey men were a five member band of Brunswick high school students. The band included Jim Kerns on lead guitar and vocals, Howard Cook on organ and vocals, Dale Seeds on bass and vocals, Ron MacMillan on guitar and vocals, and Bob Levandowski on drums. The band decided to take a trip down to Florida and while there, recorded an excellent teen garage 45 for the Tampa based Boss label.

Discography:

She’s Sorry / Short and Sweet – Boss 008, 1967

Track :

“She’s Sorry” (written by McMillan) A’ Side Single (B’ Side single Short And Sweet”) released on Boss Records ( BOS 008) in 1967

Line-up/Credits :

Line-up :

Jim Kerns on lead guitar and vocals

Howard Cook on organ and vocals

Dale Seeds on bass and vocals

Ron MacMillan on guitar and vocals

and Bob Levandowski on drums

Credits :

Producer – John Brumage

Published By – FULPROD Music Publishing Co.

Distributed By – Charles Fuller Productions

 

Photos related to the Track :

The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Single Photo (A’ Side)

Image result for JOURNEY MEN SHES SORRY

Links related to the track :

The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Track’s Video on “YouTube”

The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Track’s Video on “Dailymotion”

The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Audio file on “Shazam”

The Journey Men – “She’s Sorry” Audio file on “SoundHound”

Links related to the band :

The Journey Men Band’s Page on “Discogs”

The Journey Men Band’s Page on “45cat”

 

 

 

 

Psychedelic Pop/Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude”

Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Psychedelic Pop/Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) 

Band :

“Birmingham Sunday” (Carson City, Nevada, U.S.A.)

Track :

“Egocentric Solitude” A1 (written by Birmingham Sunday), (opening track) included on the album “A Message From Birmingham Sunday”

Album :

A Message From Birmingham Sunday” (debut album) released on All American Records ( AA-5718) in 1968

Original pressing on red, white and blue label.

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album cover photo (front)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Video on YouTube

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Line-up/Credits :

Debbie Parke – vocals
Joe LaChew – guitar, drums, the vocals
Ward Johns – guitar
John Kvam – bass
Jean Heim – rhythm guitar, the vocals
Phil Gustafson – keyboards, Saxophones
Monty the Johns – drums

Bill Holmes – producer

Track-list :

01. Egocentrick Solitude — 3:15
02. Wondering What To Feel — 2:33
03. Prevalent Visionaries — 2:47
04. You’re Out Of Line — 2:52
05. Medieval Journey — 2:34
06. Mr. Waters (The Judge) — 2:48
07. Fate And The Magician — 1:55
08. Peter Pan Revisited — 2:12
09. Time To Land — 2:59
10. Don’t Turn Around — 2:37

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album’s Track-list photo

Untitled

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Discogs”

US American Psychedelic Rock band from Carson City (Nevada) formed late 1960s.
Four of the musicians went to the same school, where he formed a band that played at local clubs all over northern Nevada and in the Carolinas. In 1968, they were able to conclude a contract with Bill Holmes, the producer of “Strawberry Alarm Clock” and the label “All American Record”. Vinyl has been published as a trial, a limited edition of 100 copies. Although the band played in different styles, the album is a good example of pop psychedelia. Alternating male and female vocals, using wind, keyboard and string instruments.

“Rockasteria”

Birmingham Sunday was formed in September 1966, and they were named after the Sunday concerts that took place in Birmingham, England. The original lineup of Birmingham Sunday featured bassist John Kvam, drummer Monty Johns, guitarist (and Monty’s brother) Ward Johns, organ/sax player Phil Gustafson and guitarist Joe LaChew.

Monty and Ward Johns had been in The Contrasts, who covered popular Beatles and Beach Boys tunes. John Kvam was a guitarist in the folk rock group The Scroachers, and learned bass after joining Birmingham Sunday. Phil Gustafson was the keyboardist and sax player for the rock band The Kensingtons. Gustafson was trained as a pianist and sang in the church choir, and he played sax in his high school band. Even though Phil’s voice could easily handle the demands of opera, he preferred to sing background harmony with Birmingham Sunday. Joe LaChew was the guitarist and vocalist for the group The Freedom Five, who covered the blues-based output of British bands like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Animals. At the age of 15, LaChew earned his stripes as a songwriter when he wrote a campaign song for the Nevada governor at the time, Grant Sawyer. The Freedom Five recorded a single of Joe’s song and sold it at various campaign sites throughout the state.

Birmingham Sunday started to play teen dances throughout northern Nevada. Their biggest crowds were at the Civic Auditorium in Carson City and at Genoa Town Hall. The group put on dances and rented halls in Carson City, Genoa, Minden and Reno to cover their increasing fan base.

In 1967, Birmingham Sunday was poised for their breakthrough. Joe LaChew and Monty Johns were attending the University of Nevada in Reno, and their band had a much greater following – especially since the university dorms and fraternities now had their own party band!

That summer season, Birmingham Sunday landed a house band gig at American Legion Hall in South Lake Tahoe, California. This involved playing five days a week at the hall, plus performing as the opening act for each weekend’s entertainment. The venue was filled every summer night with Californians from the Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area. Weekend shows were extravaganzas, as well-known San Franciscan acts like The Grateful Dead and Sly And The Family Stone were frequently brought in with local favorites The Family Tree and Jim Burgett.

The American Legion Hall’s weekend festival on July 28-29, 1967 was headlined by The Grateful Dead and Jim Burgett, with Birmingham Sunday, The Justice Five and Velvet Chain on the bill. This festival is where Birmingham Sunday first heard Debbie Parke sing. Debbie was performing a guest spot with The Justice Five at the shows.

A few months later, Debbie Parks joined Birmingham Sunday, adding her strong voice to the mix. She was only 15 and a sophomore in high school. Even though Debbie’s voice was overpowering, she did not try to dominate the band. Instead, her voice blended well with the rest of the singers in the band. Birmingham Sunday was now playing more originals as part of their sets. They began attracting interest from numerous managers and record company scouts.

Phil Gustafson left for the summer to attend National Guard camp, and he was replaced by his younger brother Dave. Dave Gustafson was a child prodigy that could play any style from Beethoven and Bach to Jimmy Smith. In addition, Dave could read and copy nearly everything he heard. His great playing impressed crowds with a note-for-note rendition of The Doors’ “Light My Fire.”

Birmingham Sunday’s success carried them into 1968. Everyone’s favorite hipster, Pat Boone (!), co-sponsored a “Teen Scene” local battle of the bands with promoter Bruce Blaylock. This two-day event was held at Reno’s Centennial Coliseum, where groups like The Kinks, Buffalo Springfield, The Zombies, The Beach Boys and many others had played. The judges were the members of The Sunshine Company, who had recently enjoyed some success. The Sunshine Company had a similar approach and appreciated Birmingham Sunday’s vocal tapestry.

Birmingham Sunday was chosen with the top bands to travel to Las Vegas for the finals. The Las Vegas judges were Strawberry Alarm Clock and their manager/producer Bill Holmes. The Las Vegas band London Fogg won the battle, but Bill Holmes greatly preferred Birmingham Sunday’s original songs and he was very impressed by their vocals.

Birmingham Sunday was invited by promoter Bruce Blaylock to do some recordings in Hollywood. Blaylock was shopping the band to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band manager Bill McEuen as well as a representative of that group’s label, Liberty Records. Birmingham Sunday did an audition and received a record deal from Liberty. The record label had a song that they wanted Birmingham Sunday to record – the “Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet,” also known as “A Time For Us.” It was later recorded by Henry Mancini, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis.

After hearing the demos, Bill Holmes took on Birmingham Sunday as their producer and manager. Holmes turned down the Liberty deal, which proved to be a big mistake when Henry Mancini’s recording became a big pop hit. Instead, Birmingham Sunday was signed to Bill Holmes’ All-American label.

Meanwhile, the band had changed. Monty Wards left after the “Teen Scene” contest for a rigorous, pre-med schedule at the University of Nevada. Birmingham Sunday auditioned singing drummers, but no one materialized. With concert bookings to be fulfilled and not much time to prepare, Joe LaChew took over as the drummer. Monty had been teaching Joe all the drum parts for their original songs, so LaChew had no problem in this transition period. Since Joe gave up his guitar to play drums, the group had to find another guitarist who could sing well. They found Jean Heim, who played rhythm guitar and a little lead guitar. Heim could also sing lead with his pure, light tenor tone.

The group perfected ten original songs and recorded them in December 1968 with Bill Holmes producing at Original Sound Recording Studios. The studio was located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and it was owned by multiple award winning DJ and promoter Art Laboe. The legendary Paul Buff, who previously ran Pal Recording Studio before selling it to his recording partner Frank Zappa, was Original Sound’s engineer. The album “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” was recorded in five days using Buff’s own ten-track studio equipment. Paul Buff also played a Chamberlin keyboard, the American precursor to the mellotron, on the entire album. Buff’s string arrangements on the Chamberlin were essential parts of each song.

All-American selected “Prevalent Visionaries” and “Egocentric Solitude” as the respective A- and B-sides of a single released in early September 1969. The album was released the same month. Before the album was released, Bill Holmes sent a tape of the single to radio stations in Nevada.

“Egocentric Solitude” was first tracked for the week ending August 16, 1969 by Reno, Nevada radio station KIST. It reached the Top 10 in Reno that September 10, and it was #5 on KCBN. Although the single did not receive wide distribution, it did well in Sacramento, Chicago, Seattle, and especially Santa Barbara, where it made #1! The lack of distribution made the album extremely rare, even at the time. About 10 to 20 copies of the original LP are known to exist today.

Many of Bill Holmes’ All-American acts played concerts on July 18-19, 1969 at Kings Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. On the first day, Birmingham Sunday was the opening act. However, the popularity of the band enabled Birmingham Sunday to close the second night’s show. Holmes had lost control of Strawberry Alarm Clock, so he had the replacement group Strawberry SAC play instead. Gary Solomon, the lyric writer of “Egocentric Solitude,” was in that band. Birmingham Sunday ruled the weekend event!

Birmingham Sunday played concerts throughout 1969, but they split up in 1970 due to a number of forces pulling band members in different directions. Joe LaChew and Monty Johns stayed in college to continue their education. Both Joe and Monty formed the college rock band Brother Rock with Ward Johns. This nine-piece horn band opened for concerts at the college, including shows by Cold Blood, Tower Of Power, The Sons Of Champlin, and most notably, Derek And The Dominoes.

Brother Rock did a recording for the Mercury label in San Francisco, but the tracks have been lost. While influenced by Chicago and The Sons Of Champlin, Brother Rock played original songs by Monty Johns and Joe LaChew.

Debbie Parke, Jean Heim, John Kvam and the Gustafson brothers joined well-known Nevada casino lounge singer Frankie Fanelli. They recorded an album with Fanelli before splitting with him in August 1970. The band members went into different directions:

Joe LaChew continued playing guitar with The Drifters, The Coasters, Billy Preston, The Righteous Brothers, Rose and Joe Maphis, Merle Travis, Dorsey Burnett, Jimmy Dickens, Zella Lehr (an RCA artist), Kathy O’Shea (for MCA) and comedian Rich Little. Joe is now a music teacher in Nevada and still plays shows in the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas. He still enjoys writing music and has done commercials, film music and solo albums. Joe still writes songs for the more recent Birmingham Sunday reunions. Two of those tracks, “Raw Rhythm” and “C’Est La Vie Blues,” are included here for the first time. The famous Birmingham Sunday parties continue to this day!

Debbie Parke became an elementary school teacher and counselor in Lewiston, Idaho. She is now retired. Phil Gustafson retired from the Nevada National Guard. John Kvam was a bartender and journeyman cabinet maker before his retirement. Jean Heim became a country musician and has also retired. Monty Johns is a doctor in West Virginia. Ward Johns was the Vice President of Missile Records. He passed away from compilations due to a stroke in December 2009. Dave Gustafson became a successful musician and very wealthy real estate agent. He passed in January 2010.
by Joe LaChew (Birmingham Sunday)

Photos related to the album/track :

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album cover photo (front)

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY A MESSAGE FROM (2)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album photo (A’ Side)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album photo (B’ Side)

Photos related to the band :

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY 2 (2)

Links related to the album/track :

Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude” Track’s Video on “YouTube”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Download Link on “Rockasteria” Blog

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Download Link on “60-70 Rock” Blog

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Spotify”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album on “Napster”

Links related to the band :

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Discogs”

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Spotify”

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Napster”

 

Folk/Krautrock/Progressive Rock Germany 1970s (Tracks) Hölderlin – “Waren Wir”

Hölderlin – “Waren Wir” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Folk/Krautrock/Progressive Rock Germany 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Hölderlin (Wuppertal, Düsseldorf, Germany)

Image result for holderlin 1972

Hoelderlin were a German progressive rock band that was formed in 1970 as Hölderlin by brothers Joachim and Christian von Grumbkow with Nanny de Ruig, whom Christian was married to. They were influenced by rock, jazz, and folk music.

Track :

“Waren Wir” A1 track (written by Christian von Grumbkow), (opening track) included on the album “Hölderlins Traum”

Album :

Hölderlins Traum” released on Pilz (20 21314-5) in 1972

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (front)

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Video on YouTube

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Soundcloud

Line-up/Credits :

Line-up :

Nanny de Ruig – female vocals
Christian von Grumbkow – guitar
Joachim von Grumbkow – cello, acoustic guitar, flute, piano, organ, mellotron
Peter Käseberg – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Christoph Noppeney – violin, flute, piano
Michael Bruchmann – drums, percussion
Peter Bursch – sitar (03)
Mike Hellbach – tablas (03)

All tracks written by Christian von Grumbkow .

Credits :

Artwork – Helmut Friz

Engineer [Sound] – Dieter Dierks

Photography – Victor

Producer – Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser

Walter Westrupp – recorder (05)

Recorded January 1972 at Tonstudio Dierks in Stommeln.

Released in a laminated gatefold cover.

Track-list :

01. Waren wir – 4:50
02. “Peter” – 2:55
03. Strohhalm – 2:04
04. Reqiem für einen Wicht – 6:36
05. Erwachen – 4:04
06. Wetterbericht – 6:37
07. Traum – 7:23

HOLDERLIN HOLDERLINS TRAUM 2 (2)

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Discogs”

From Wuppertal, circa 20 miles east of Düsseldorf, Germany, Hölderlin evolved out of a 1960’s folk group playing Fairport Convention and Pentangle songs. They took their name from the 19th Century writer Friedrich Hölderlin.
Originally, they were a family band, the core was the brothers Christian and Jochen von Grumbkow, with Christian’s wife Nanny as lead singer, with a trippy cosmic styled progressive folk, full of rich textures, psychedelic, medieval and classical touches.

“Wikipedia”

The group started out as a folk group, but after the release of their first album in 1972 and the departure of Nanny in 1973, the group began to change musical direction, incorporating jazz and rock. They changed their name to Hoelderlin in 1973 and took legal action against Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, the head and founder of the label Pilz, which eventually led to the record label going out of business. In 1975 they got a new record contract with the label Spiegelei and released their second album the same year. After the release of three more albums, almost all of the founding members left the group, leaving Joachim to be the only remaining founding member. This led to both a significant change in lineup and another significant change in musical direction. The group was introduced to Dave Hutchins, who was an engineer for the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and subsequently decided to develop an anglo-american commercial sound that later resulted in two more albums before their split in 1980. The album Fata Morgana was then put together and released by Spiegelei the following year. The group reunited in 2005 with only Hans Bäär and Michael Bruchmann as former members. However, Christoph and Nanny made special guest appearances for a few of their subsequent performances. Upon the release of their eighth album, the group then split up again in 2009.

Personnel :

Michael Bruchmann – drums (1971-1978, 2005-2009)

Hans Bäär – bass, guitars, vocals (1976-1981, 2005-2009)

Ann-Yi Eötvös – vocals (2005-2009)

Andreas Hirschmann – keyboards, vocals (2005-2009)

Joachim von Grumbkow – keyboards, vocals (1970-1981) (died 1990)

Christian von Grumbkow – guitar (1970-1977), lyrics (1970-1978)

Christoph Noppeney – violin (1971-1977), guitar, vocals (1975-1978)

Tommy L’Ohr – guitar, vocals (1977-1981)

Peter Käseberg – bass, vocals (1970-1975)

Eduard Schicke – drums (1978-1981)

Nanny de Ruig (1970-1972)

Pablo Weeber – guitar, vocals (1976-1977)

Discography :

Hölderlins Traum (Pilz, 1972)

Hoelderlin (Spiegelei, 1975)

Clown & Clouds (1976)

Rare Birds (1977)

Traumstadt (Live Album, 1978)

New Faces (1979)

Fata Morgana (1981)

8 (2007)

“ProgArchives”

Founded in Wuppertal, Germany in 1970 – Disbanded in 1980 – Reformed from 2005-2009

This, in my opinion, underrated German progressive rock band has its roots in ’63 when the brothers Joachim and Christian Grumbkow founded the rock-band The BEATKIDS and played covers from The BEATLES, The ROLLING STONES and The SHADOWS. In november ’70 the brothers GRUMBKOW presented the name HÖLDERLIN (derived from a German romantic poet) after they had played with a sery of musicians mainly folk-rock covers (especially TRAFFIC), all layered with long instrumental improvisations. Then HÖLDERLIN got an invitation from a record company, this after only three months of their existence! The debut-album “Hölderlin’s Traum” was released in ’72 with a nine-piece line up, including female vocals and instruments like the Mellotron, Grand piano, violin, cello, sitar, tablas and flute. Their sound is a progressive blend of rock, jazz and folk. It sold 5000 copies and the LP is still a collector’s item. But then the troubles began with their producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser (TANGERINE DREAM, KLAUS SCHULZE and WALLENSTEIN). He tried to force the band into a more cosmic approach (‘LSD’ inspired complained the band) and was not amused with the “more political oriented lyrics” as he analyzed.

It took almost three years with many juridical conflicts to get rid off the contract but eventually HÖLDERLIN won their case. Under the new name HOELDERLIN (in German the pronunciation of “oe” is the same as the “ö” and much easier to write or type) the second eponymous LP was released in 75. The band called their music ‘romantic rock’, it sounded more jazzy and it contained echoes from KING CRIMSON and GENESIS. HOELDERLIN toured through Scandinavia, Holland, Germany and Switzerland, got good reviews and radio – and tv-airplay. In ’76 HOELDERLIN released the album entitled “Clowns and Clouds”. The music consists of more complex rock with many theatrical and surrealistic elements. In ’77 Christian had a mental breakdown, he could no longer combine the too busy work with the band and his family life (the upbringing of two children). He left and Spanish guitar player Pablo Weeber joined HOELDERLIN. In ’77 they released the album “Rare Birds”, a year later followed by the 2-LP “Hoelderlin Live Traumstadt”. Soon after the unstable personality of Pablo led to his dismiss. “Traumstadt” got very good reviews, it even reached the German charts. Further releases were “New Faces” (’79) and “Fata Morgana” (’81), including new drummer Eduard Schicke, know from the progrock trio SCHICKE, FUHRS, FRÖHLING. These albums have a more accessible melodic rock approach.

The double-album “Hoelderlin Live Traumstadt” is their finest work and showcases the band at their pinnacle. It’s still considered as one of the milestones in the German rock history and has some similarities with other German progrock band GROBSCHNITT concerning the long solos, visual effects, costumes and humor. The music was recorded in the Wuppertaler Opernhaus in October ’77, the 2-LP was released in ’78. The band was hit by multiple changes in the line-up, on “Traumstadt” the musicians were Joachim Grumbkow (keyboards and vocals on “Streaming”), Pablo Weeber (all guitars), Michael Bruchmann (drums), Cristoph ‘Nops’ Noppeney (lead vocals and violin) and Hans Bäär (bass). All the nine melodic tracks have their own climate and features fluid accelerations, nice interludes, pleasant keyboards (string-ensemble, electric piano, organ and clavinet) and great interplay between electric guitar and violin. But the focus is on the solo work: fiery (“Sun Rays”), biting (“Soft Landing”) and howling (“Die Stadt”) on the electric guitar and exciting (“Streaming”) and spectacular (“Die Stadt”) on the violin. Many solos are supported by the wonderful and distinctive sound of the string-ensemble, a compelling combination! Recommended, especially to the fans of the violin play of Jean Luc PONTY and Eddie JOBSON.

Photos related to the album/track :

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (front)

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (back)

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album  photo (A/B’ Sides)

Photos related to the band :

holderlin band

holderlin band

holderlin band

Links related to the album/track :

Hölderlin – “Waren Wir” Track Video on “YouTube”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Soundcloud”

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum Full Album Audio Playlist on “Shazam”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album on “Google Play”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album on “Apple Music”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Download Link on “Old Rock News” Blog

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Download Link on “Free Spiritual Be-In” Blog

Links related to the band :

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “ProgArchives”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Discogs”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Musikzirkus”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Spotify”

Hölderlin Article about the band on “Rheinlaender”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Google Play”

 

 

 

Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks) Mountain – “Never In My Life”

Mountain – “Never In My Life” Video on YouTube 

Category/Music Genres :

Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Mountain (Long Island, New York, U.S.A.)

Variations :

Mountain @ Q, Mountain 6, Mountin’

Track :

“Never In My Life” (written by Mountain) A3 track included on the album “Climbing!”

Also it was released as a A’ Side single on Bell Records (2008 067) in 1972

Mountain – “Never In My Life” A’ Side Single cover photo (front)

Image result for mountain never in my life

Album :

“Climbing” released on Windfall Records (WINDFALL 4501) on 7th March 1970

Climbing!, also known as Mountain Climbing!, is the official debut studio album by American blues rock band Mountain, released on March 7, 1970, by Windfall Records.

The album featured the ‘classic’ Mountain lineup of Leslie West (guitar, vocals), Felix Pappalardi (bass, vocals, piano), Corky Laing (drums, percussion) and Steve Knight (keyboards) and followed the West solo album Mountain featuring Pappalardi and drummer Norman Smart, released in 1969 and often credited to the band. Produced by Pappalardi, the album reached number 17 on the American Billboard 200 albums chart and featured the band’s best-known song, “Mississippi Queen”. An early rendition of “For Yasgur’s Farm” was actually performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969 as Who Am I But You And The Sun. It was subsequently recorded and retitled for the album.

Recorded at Record Plant Studios, New York, U.S.A.

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (front)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 1 (2)

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Video on YouTube

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Line-up/Credits :

Band :

Leslie West – guitars on all tracks; lead vocals on tracks 1, 3, and 8; co-lead vocals on tracks 4, 5 and 9

Felix Pappalardi – bass on all tracks except 6 and 7; piano on tracks 1, 2 and 9; rhythm guitar on track 7; lead vocals on tracks 2 and 7; co-lead vocals on tracks 4, 5 and 9; production

Corky Laing – drums on all tracks except 6 and 7; percussion on tracks 7 and 9

Steve Knight – organ on tracks 2, 3, 4 and 5; mellotron on tracks 2 and 9; handbells on track 4

Additional Personnel :

Bud Prager – executive production

Bob D’Orleans – engineering

Lillian Douma – engineering assistance

Beverly Weinstein – art direction

Gail Collins – cover artwork, photography

Lacquer Cut By – RL (Bob Ludwig) (tracks: A1 to A4), LH (Lee Hulko)

Companies :

Lacquer Cut At – Sterling Sound

Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △14532

Distributed By – Bell Records

 

Track-list :

01. Mississippi Queen (Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, David Rea) – 2:28
02. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) – 5:04
03. Never In My Life (West, Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Laing) – 3:48
04. Silver Paper (West, Pappalardi, Collins, George Gardos, Steve Knight, Laing) – 3:14
05. For Yasgur’s Farm (Gardos, Laing, Pappalardi, Collins, Gary Ship, Rea) – 3:20
06. To My Friend (West) – 3:37
07. The Laird (Pappalardi, Collins) – 4:34
08. Sittin’ On A Rainbow (Wesr, Laing, Collins) – 2:18
09. Boys In The Band (Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:33

Mountain – “Climbing” Album cover photo (back)/track-list photo

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING 2 (2).jpg

Lyrics :

Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
When i wake up in the morning
You make me feel so good
Bringing me the cider whisky
Feel a bit lonely too
For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
I feel like a bolt of lightning
But it feels so good
Knowin´ my baby´s waitin´
And of course i do
Hey hey hey
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
When i turned around to wake her
About the way she moves
I don´t want to leave her
But i wanta love you too

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Wikipedia”

Mountain was an American hard rock band from Long Island, New York. Formed in July 1969, the group originally consisted of guitarist and lead vocalist Leslie West, bassist and second vocalist Felix Pappalardi, drummer Norman “N. D.” Smart and keyboardist Steve Knight. Pappalardi and Smart had performed on West’s debut album Mountain earlier in the year (which was also produced by the bassist), and subsequently added Knight to complete the initial lineup of the band of the same name. Later in the year, Smart departed and was replaced by Canadian drummer Laurence “Corky” Laing. The group released three commercially successful albums – Climbing! in 1970, and Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers of Evil in 1971 – before breaking up in early 1972 due to increasing tensions between band members.

By mid-1973, West and Pappalardi had reformed Mountain with new members Allan Schwartzberg (drums) and Bob Mann (rhythm guitar, keyboards), who together released the live album Twin Peaks from their only concert tour. Laing later returned to the group and Mann was replaced by David Perry, with the new lineup’s first studio effort Avalanche released the following July. Mountain broke up for a second time after another tour, with its final show taking place on December 31, 1974. West subsequently embarked on a solo career, before reforming Mountain for a third time in 1981 with Laing on drums and Miller Anderson on bass. On April 17, 1983, founding member Pappalardi was killed by his wife and musical collaborator Gail Collins Pappalardi, in what was deemed to be an accidental shooting.

Mountain released Go for Your Life in 1985, which featured new bassist Mark Clarke. Shortly after its release and promotion, the group quietly disbanded again. West and Laing returned as Mountain in 1992, with new bassist Richie Scarlet. After changing personnel again by replacing Scarlet with Randy Coven and later Noel Redding, the group released its sixth studio album Man’s World in 1996 with a returning Clarke on bass. After another breakup in 1998, Mountain returned in 2001 to record Mystic Fire, which featured session bassist Chuck Hearne alongside West and Laing. For the subsequent touring cycle, Scarlet returned to the band. James “Rev” Jones took over in 2008. Mountain has not performed since late 2010, with West returning to his solo career and Laing forming a new group.

“All Music”

The breakup of Cream in late 1968 had consequences that rippled across the rock music world — in its wake were formed directly such bands as Blind Faith (whose tragedy was they never had a chance to actually become a band) and Ginger Baker’s Air Force, as well as the rich solo careers of members Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. And it yielded — by way of Cream associate and producer Felix Pappalardi — something of a successor band in 1969, in the form of Mountain.

The band’s history all started with a Long Island-based psychedelic/garage band called the Vagrants, who’d acquired a serious local following and always seemed poised to break out, without ever actually doing so. Their lead guitarist, Leslie West, was a physically outsized figure as well as a musician extraordinaire whose playing had been completely transformed by his experience of hearing Clapton’s playing in Cream. The Vagrants and West first crossed paths with Pappalardi in 1968, when he saw their potential and got them signed to Atlantic Records, where he was working as a producer. He had already made a name for himself producing Cream’s Disraeli Gears album, and had played numerous background instruments on their follow-up, Wheels of Fire (and on the studio tracks that would form their Goodbye album). He did produce some of the best work that the Vagrants ever released, but none of it sold; and when West left the band in late 1968 to do a solo album, titled Mountain, Pappalardi produced it for him, as well as played keyboards and bass on the record. The results were the most impressive of West’s career up to that time, a solid, blues-based hard rock workout, showing off just how profoundly he incorporated Clapton’s playing into his own style — Mountain sounded a great deal like the now-disbanded Cream, and was satisfying enough for the two to form a partnership, also called Mountain. Their first lineup was built around the one used on the album, with N.D. Smart on drums, and Steve Knight added on keyboards, while Pappalardi concentrated on playing the bass. Following a debut performance at the Fillmore West in July 1969, the group played its fourth live performance ever at Woodstock, in front of an audience of several hundred thousand, on a bill with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and — also getting their first national exposure at the same festival — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The event was an auspicious one, even though it was followed by a personnel shift, as Smart was replaced by Corky Laing, West’s oldest friend.

The group was signed to the Windfall label and released their debut LP, Mountain Climbing!, in the spring of 1970, accompanied by their debut single, “Mississippi Queen,” which reached number 21 in June of 1970. That chart placement doesn’t begin to delineate the impact of that single, a hard rock boogie that was a killer showcase for West’s guitar and an unlikely piece of Southern-fried rock & roll, coming from the pens of the Queens- and Brooklyn-born West and Pappalardi, and the Canadian-born Laing — it was as improbable as the California-born John Fogerty authoring “Born on the Bayou” or “Green River,” and almost as enduring in popular culture. The single may not have reached the Top 20, but the album it was on peaked at number 17, driven by listeners drawn to the single but wanting more from the band behind it, and the high-energy mix of hard rock and blues they generated. And the debut album offered some surprises, such as the quartet’s successful digression into progressive rock with “Theme from an Imaginary Western” (co-authored by Cream’s Jack Bruce, which only further emphasized the indirect connections and musical debt owed the other band). The latter got lots of play on FM radio, as did “Never in My Life.”

Equally important to the band’s fortunes, they were able to deliver on-stage what they promised on their records — indeed, their records were a surprisingly accurate representation of their actual sound, except that Mountain was even louder live than they were in the studio. The group scored another hit at the Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1970, alongside the Allman Brothers, Cactus. and others. Mountain’s second album, Nantucket Sleighride, was equally successful commercially and unveiled the title track, which would take on epic proportions in concert. Flowers of Evil followed in November of 1971, just ten months after its predecessor, and it began to clearly show the strain of the pace the band had been keeping up since July of 1969 — half of it consisted of lackluster studio originals, while the other half was a live medley and a concert version of “Mississippi Queen.” Lackluster sales and reviews were inevitable, and the impression of a band running on empty was reinforced by their next release, Mountain Live (The Road Goes Ever On) (1972), which had only four cuts on it, all of them characterized by extended solos. Hardcore fans appreciated the record as an extension of their recordings, but many listeners and most critics found it lacking musical cohesion.

The group broke up soon after the release of that album, due in part to Pappalardi’s concerns about his hearing, which been damaged by the high volume the band generated in concert. He returned to production, while West and Laing — staying close to their hard rock roots, as well as the orbit whence Pappalardi had come — teamed up with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce as West, Bruce & Laing, a hard rock power trio that cut a brief but memorable swathe of their own across the musical landscape in the early/mid-’70s. Meanwhile, a Best of Mountain LP released in the wake of the breakup helped to sustain interest in the group. And later in 1973, Mountain was back together, West and Pappalardi reactivating the band with Bob Mann on keyboards and guitar and Allan Schwartzberg on drums for a tour of Japan. This resulted in the live double LP Twin Peaks (1974), a much better representation of the group’s concert sound, including a 32-minute version of “Nantucket Sleighride.” During 1974, in the wake of the second live album, West, Laing, and Pappalardi revived Mountain again to record a studio LP, Avalanche. In subsequent years, West and Laing revived the group for live shows, sometimes joined by Pappalardi; West also performed with his own Leslie West Band. Sadly, Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife in 1983. Two years later, West and Laing regrouped with Mark Clarke on bass and recorded an album before once again calling it quits. Laing served as PolyGram’s A&R vice president in Canada between 1989 and 1995. In 1996, he reunited with West and Clarke for a new Mountain album, Man’s World. West and Laing teamed up again in 2002 for another album as Mountain, Mystic Fire.

“Ultimate Classic Rock”

In March 1970, a new band named Mountain delivered its debut album, the cheekily named Climbing!, and watched it quickly escalate into the Billboard Top 20 on the strength of the smash hit single and future classic rock staple, “Mississippi Queen.” Sounds simple, right? The story of Mountain’s quick ascension to mainstream fame is a little more complicated than that.

Mountain was actually named after the solo album released by singer and guitarist Leslie West, formerly of the Vagrants, in July 1969. This had been produced by bassist and talented arranger Felix Pappalardi, who had spent the previous years working in close cahoots with the world’s first rock supergroup, Cream.

Less than a month later, the newly rechristened group, rounded out by organist Steve Knight and drummer N.D. Smart, found themselves on stage at Woodstock and immediately transformed these and other relative unknowns into virtual household names. Keenly aware of their good fortune and perfect timing, West and Pappalardi quickly moved to capitalize by recruiting drummer Laurence “Corky” Laing and getting to work on the first proper Mountain album, the aforementioned Climbing!

This LP wound up straddling popular music’s transition from the ’60s to the ’70s like few contemporary releases: simultaneously carrying the torch for the Cream and Jimi Hendrix Experience-based power trios that had been so dominant in the dying decade and fully embracing the new one’s nascent hard rock developments.

“Theme for an Imaginary Western,” which had already been previewed at Woodstock, harked back to Pappalardi’s eclectic work with Cream (and was in fact co-written with Jack Bruce), as did the widescreen dramatics of “Boys in the Band” did too. “For Yasgur’s Farm” obviously paid tribute to the festival site and all the flower children that had attended, while “The Laird” saluted fast-fading psychedelia with its gentle whimsy and ringing sitars.

But remaining cuts like “Never in My Life,” “Silver Paper” and “Sittin’ on a Rainbow” found that space where British blues was violently being transfigured into what would soon be called “heavy metal.” Even West’s gorgeous solo acoustic piece, “To My Friend,” owed more to Led Zeppelin’s “Black Mountain Side” than the previous era’s neo-folk movement which had inspired it. And of course there was the aforementioned “Mississippi Queen,” which earned its signature cowbell intro only after multiple unsatisfactory takes forced Laing to count in his exhausted band mates, and came to signify everything Mountain ever was, or would be.

And, to complete the band’s self-sufficient mindset, cover artwork for the album was designed by Pappalardi’s wife, Gail Collins, who interestingly also received co-songwriting credits on six of the final nine songs selected (not a bad way to double one’s royalties). Sadly, it was Collins who shot and killed Pappalardi on April 17, 1983. She was eventually found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and served a little more than one year of jail time.

By then, Mountain and their legendary exploits at the very dawn of ’70s were but a distant, rose-tinted memory of the summer of love, and the band’s all-too-sudden fall from commercial grace after a string of solid, but never transcendent follow-up albums, all of which lacked the inspired spark heard on Climbing! Still for what it’s worth, the ensuing decades have also proven Mountain’s music — or at least the indestructible “Mississippi Queen” — to be as durable as any music captured during that specific time-period in rock.

“Goldmine Magazine”

By Jason Hillenburg

Bob Dylan once said that the ‘60s reminded him of a flying saucer landing – everybody heard about it, but only a handful ever saw it. Out of that handful who saw the decade up close, few had the view of the musicians who played the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The festival, long since pinned like a museum butterfly under history’s glass, misfired for some and cemented the reputations of others. The performance of Crosby, Stills & Nash marked only their second public appearance. Other bands such as The Grateful Dead still talk about how dissatisfied they were with their performance, while the great Alvin Lee and Ten Years After enjoyed, particularly after the concert film’s release, a considerable boost in popularity. Most famously, Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” filled more pages in the guitar great’s growing legend and lingers in public consciousness as the event’s defining moment. 

Treading the boards in Max Yasgur’s field transformed Mountain’s career as well. The band’s close to classic lineup, sans soon-to-be-enlisted drummer Corky Laing, ripped through a set largely culled from guitarist Leslie West’s recently released solo album entitled “Mountain.” The wide-eyed, expressive and impressively built West manned center stage as if the fates conspired to place him there at that moment and time, while former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi stood semi-shadowed to his right unleashing furious bass runs in accompaniment. It is little stretch to say the massive crowd heard nothing quite like this before.

It wasn’t the overpowering bluster or blues histrionics of West’s guitar. By 1969, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience spawned a host of imitators and influenced countless others to carry on their groundbreaking work to its logical conclusion. However, the public had yet to hear a guitarist capable of uniting accessibility, melody, power, fluent vibrato, and strong rhythm playing into one package. His imposing frame juxtaposed against the small size of his Les Paul Junior along with his surprisingly soulful and muscular vocals completed the picture. His torrid performances on “Beside the Sea” and “Southbound Train” impressed many and didn’t go unnoticed by record executives.

Mountain formed, in significant part, as a vehicle to highlight West’s talents. The July, 1969 release of his first solo album laid down a rough template of the band’s sound, but transitioning from a solo act into a band necessitated changes. Pappalardi, sensitive to musical similarities between Cream and the new band, recruited keyboardist Steve Knight over West’s objections to play organ and fill out their sound. West, an enormous admirer of Clapton’s stint with Cream, shrugged off potential comparisons. Such maneuvers, however, certainly insulated the band from such charges and provided a textural counterpoint for West’s guitar that recalled other emerging bands such as Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple far more. Knight’s formal approach and reluctant musical improvisation further rankled West’s attitude towards the keyboardist, but the jazz devotee brought considerable chops to bear that few then-prominent keyboardists could claim.    

Switching drummers didn’t impede their ascent. West and Pappalardi grew quickly disenchanted with drummer N.D. Smart’s musical suitability and Pappalardi recommended Canadian-born New York City transplant Laing as his replacement. The new drummer came to Pappalardi’s notice after the latter produced the debut for Laing’s then-current band Energy. The addition of Laing brought Mountain a versatile and physical percussionist unafraid to expand his style. And, perhaps even more crucially, Laing proved to be another songwriter to add to the mix.

One of the earliest dividends from Laing’s membership, “Mississippi Queen,” is arguably the band’s defining work. The story about its genesis has long since passed into rock ‘n’ roll lore, but the track’s gloriously electrified raunch and West’s revival preacher vocals has long obscured its cultural significance. “Mississippi Queen” occupies a significant place in the Great American Songbook for a few reasons, but one of the most important is how it illustrates the breathtaking pace of musical and cross-cultural assimilation underway in the late 1960s. It’s nothing short of indelibly American that a professionally trained musician, composer and University of Michigan graduate, teamed with a gifted, but raw and self-taught, New York City rock ‘n’ roller, a Canadian drummer with a potpourri of musical influences, and a jazz pianist playing keyboards, to record a song that, stripped of its modern gloss and volume, sounds straight out of a Clarksdale juke joint on a Saturday night.

However, the song came with a heavy price tag and opened the first of many fissures in the band’s personal relationships. West recalled in a late 1970’s interview with Jas Obrecht that Pappalardi “… threw it out one day. He didn’t like it. Then he put his name on it the next time because he snuck a little note in here and there. You know what he stuck in there? That little Steve Knight piano part … and he took 25% of that song. Felix is a legend in his spare time.”

Mountain wisely opened their studio debut, “Climbing!,” with the song, but the remaining eight tracks solidified their artistic vision. The album took just 10 days to record, but many of its songs entered the band’s live set immediately and remained there for the duration of the band’s life. The muscular and compelling riff dominating “Never in My Life” earned West the respect of peers including Hendrix. West told Obrecht that “… when we were doing ‘Climbing,’ Jimi was the first one to hear it finished … he came in when we’d finished mixing and … you know ‘Never in My Life’, he loved that little stop in there … I thought it was great! I said, ‘Wow! J.H. Oh man.’”

“Theme for an Imaginary Western”, written by Cream bassist Jack Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown, evolved into a West showcase over the years, but illustrates the band’s sometimes screwy logic. One cannot help but wonder why, if Pappalardi felt it important to distance the band from Cream comparisons, they chose to include a major composition from Cream’s two primary songwriters. The obvious answer is two-fold. “Theme for an Imaginary Western” is widely recognized, 40-plus years on, as one of the best songs to emerge from Bruce and Brown’s songwriting partnership. Its unique cinematic scope, open-ended structure and dramatic orchestration retain considerable appeal to this day. Lastly, any recording artist, no matter the purity of their commitment, can weigh commercial considerations without weakening their credibility. Straddling those elements without ever losing balance is difficult, but selecting this cut for their debut ultimately makes eminent sense. The song’s aforementioned merits provided an ideal forum for the band to exhibit their own while gleaning some reflected glory from an esteemed predecessor.

The heavy pop leanings of “Silver Paper” and dreamy, light psychedelia of “The Laird” are Pappalardi-driven confections that moved Mountain further away from unwanted comparisons. His smooth vocals lacked West’s stage-rattling gravitas, but ached in a way West could not and offered listeners a lighter shade in Mountain’s palette. Laing’s second important contribution, the salutatory “For Yasgur’s Farm”, featured West’s ravaged soul singing at its youthful best. His underappreciated vocals wring every drop of drama and emotion out of the lyric and find an ideal match in the dynamic arrangement. “Climbing!” stands as fine of a debut from anyone in the time period and much of its enduring value flows from its musicianship and nearly flawless balance.

By the end of the new lineup’s first year together, Mountain played 132 confirmed  shows, many more undoubtedly lost in time, and recorded a quintessential debut. They shared stages with acts as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone, Jethro Tull, Country Joe McDonald, Van Morrison and Bloodrock while crisscrossing the country via Learjet to the tune of $600 dollars a hour. They performed on the main stage of the Atlanta International Pop Festival in July 1970 and provided one of the event’s highlights with a spellbinding rendition of the blues standard “Stormy Monday”. While the Woodstock performance might have made overnight stars of some acts, Santana and Ten Years After for instance, hindsight reveals that Mountain’s experience differs. It’s more accurate to understand Woodstock in the band’s history by seeing it as the inciting incident of a swift, stratospheric ascent. While others would disembark from the ride before terminal velocity set in, the band’s lynchpins would soon realize, in various ways, how they lacked parachutes. 

The peak likely arrived with the recording and release of the band’s second album, “Nantucket Sleighride”. “Don’t Look Around” blasted the album wide open with an incendiary West performance on guitar and vocals, but the album’s indisputable heart follows with the brief instrumental “Taunta (Sammy’s Tune)” segueing into the title track. “Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)” is one part Child Ballad crossed with neo-classical influences, rock theatrics and a memorable melody. The song represented the band’s meatiest musical accomplishment and proved them capable of stretching compositionally.

However, one can argue that the sophomore effort represented a step back from the daring debut. The nine songs focus far more on West’s guitar than the first album and the aforementioned instrumental and title track are the only meaningful nods to softer textures. There’s a valid point that “Nantucket Sleighride” better incorporates West’s guitar with Pappalardi’s creative impulse — where West’s guitar once sat uneasily inside compositions like “The Laird” from “Climbing!”, it now reinforced and fleshed out mock-symphonic works like “Travelin’ in the Dark.” Mountain featured the latter track, written by Pappalardi and his wife Gail Collins, on the subsequent tour and live documents attest to its dramatic power, but the song predated the band by some years. Bo Grumpus, a folk/psychedelic outfit, included the track on their 1968 Pappalardi produced album “Before the War,” but this little noticed unit could scarcely match the almost Baroque fury that West and company summoned.

The song’s inclusion, in retrospect, hinted at future problems for the band. As the band’s stature skyrocketed, the advances and payoffs increased and personal habits once reined in by resources spiraled further out of control. West later remarked that Pappalardi, by this point, “… didn’t want to do anything but get out of the house, get in the car, get on a plane, get in a car, do the gig, and go back, get on a plane, and go home.” Talent never deserted them, but discipline waned under a tidal wave of extravagance and excess. The November 1971 release of the band’s third album, “Flowers of Evil,” marked the final studio offering from the West/Pappalardi/Knight/Laing lineup and marked a band still playing very well, but sliding into full creative flounder. Many bands toyed with the split album concept, one side studio and the other live, during the era hoping to replicate the success of Cream’s seminal “Wheels of Fire,” but Mountain’s release suggests a stopgap measure for an exhausted unit and artistic disarray. It’s apparent the songwriting process had broken down to some extent as the album features only four new songs with only the title cut constituting any substantial contribution to the band’s discography. “Crossroader” has its share of fans and continues to enjoy an inexplicably long life in legacy reissues for a song that, unquestionably, ranks as one of the band’s least original blues rockers. Despite the song seeming tailor-made for West’s bluesy yowl, Pappalardi sings “Crossroader” and it highlights another telltale sign of the band’s internal discord. Pappalardi dominates the vocals on the band’s new material while West takes the title track and the older material on the live side. The bulk of the new material focused on classically influenced Pappalardi pop with West’s guitar demoted to a secondary role. Balance deserted them.

The live side is further evidence of its absence. Excepting the scorched earth version of “Dreams of Milk and Honey” that redeems everything surrounding it, uninspiring workouts on “Roll Over Beethoven” and high volume West meandering doesn’t add up to a sustained, coherent live statement. One of the final strikes comes in the arbitrary structure imposed on the live side in a vain effort to apply some veneer of importance. Mountain strings together the “Guitar Solo/Roll Over Beethoven/Dreams of Milk and Honey/Variations/Swan Theme” medley into one track vaguely entitled “Dream Sequence,” but since none of the aforementioned pieces bears even the faintest connection in listening, one must assume the band hoped no one was really paying attention or cared. An unremarkable take on “Mississippi Queen” concluded the album.

No one outside the band knew it, but the first of many ends loomed. After an early 1972 English run, the band announced its breakup. They floated many reasons for the split, but chief among them was Pappalardi’s insistence that the band’s extensive and high volume live work badly damaged his hearing. West and Laing have repeatedly discredited such stories over the years claiming, instead, that the band’s drug and personal problems crashed everything.

It wasn’t Pappalardi alone. While Knight abandoned rock music entirely and returned to his true love, jazz, West and Laing soon decamped to England to rehearse with Bruce for a new super group named West, Bruce and Laing. It heralded the start of a brief, but enormously profitable, partnership between the three musicians resulting in two studio albums and a live album. Unfortunately, the men’s drug addictions stymied the band’s potential and precipitated another fracture less than two years after their formation.

Perhaps in a later, more jaded time, Pappalardi approaching West in 1973 to reform Mountain for a series of Japanese dates wouldn’t be so surprising. There seemed to be an air of finality in the public perception regarding the band’s 1972 split, a sense that the band exhausted itself, so the announcement that they had reformed generated considerable attention. The reformation came off without Laing on drums thanks to conflicts between Felix, Corky, and Pappalardi’s influential wife. In his stead, Pappalardi recruited drummer Allan Schwartzberg and rhythm guitarist, keyboardist Bob Mann to help fill out the sound. West, enticed by the payday and prospect of touring Japan, reluctantly agreed. He later commented to Obrecht that everything “… was ridiculous. It was just more old songs. I wanted to do new stuff, badly. What happened was Felix told me, ‘If we go to Japan, we’re gonna put out a live album over there.’” The resulting live album, “Twin Peaks,” ranks as a memorable but bloated document of the time.

Despite West later dismissing the release as a cash-in on the Japanese tour, the album has its admirers. Even a cursory listen reveals why. Despite the performances lacking any genuine spark of inspiration, the band’s professionalism and innate talent helped stop offstage problems from bleeding over onstage. However, one can hear flashes of a band doing more than merely hitting their marks on stalwarts such as “Blood of the Sun,” “Never in My Life” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western.” The first of these, in particular, excels thanks to West’s fiery vocal and the added heft gained from employing a second guitarist.

“Twin Peaks” has its detractors and they have valid points. It’s possible to blame the stupefying self-indulgence of a 30-plus minute “Nantucket Sleighride” on the style of the times or drug-fueled decision-making, but it suggests something darker. It stands as bloated evidence for the band’s artistic decline. The Japanese tour debuted no new material, Pappalardi pushing Laing out for personal reasons while bringing in a second guitarist can be viewed as an attempt to dilute West’s influence over the music, and a nearly album-length version of a signature track are exclamation points on the band’s creative bankruptcy. They had nothing left to say.

However, they soldiered on. The Japanese shows stoked Pappalardi’s desire for more, albeit temporarily, but West balked at further touring unless Laing returned as the band’s drummer. Pappalardi assented, but the band retained its newly minted two-guitar configuration when David Perry replaced Mann. The band hit the road for a North American tour in November of 1973 and, with only one significant break in early 1974, didn’t stop until September of that year.

The band released “Avalanche,” the first full studio album since “Nantucket Sleighride,” in July of 1974. A retrospectively appropriate title considering the band’s accumulating problems, it marked Pappalardi’s final studio outing with the band and a partial return to form. It doesn’t open auspiciously. Another workout on golden oldie chestnut “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” blusters with sound and fury while ultimately signifying nothing, but some interesting rough diamonds emerged from the band’s failing creative process,  “Sister Justice” and West’s guitar showcase “Alisan,” for example. The album’s bulk, however, focuses on pedestrian rockers like “You Better Believe It” and derivative, uninspired fare such as “Thumbsucker,” a one-joke “Crossroader” rewrite with another inexplicable Pappalardi vocal, and the self-conscious “Swamp Boy.” The pivotal moment of “Avalanche” arrived midway through Side One with West’s vivid, scorched earth re-imagining of “Satisfaction” that ranks among the best Rolling Stones covers.

Following the end of the “Avalanche” tour, Pappalardi wanted out again. West ascribed the breakup to a combination of “… drugs, attitude, attitude because of the drugs, old ladies — all the usual sh*t.” However, the band reconvened as a three piece for the first time and launched a final run October of 1974 that lasted a little under 30 shows. This “farewell” jaunt wrapped up with two New Year’s Eve sets at the Big Apple’s Felt Forum. Mountain fell silent until the early 1980’s.

Pappalardi transitioned into a sort of semi-retirement and emerged primarily to produce albums for singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young, Hot Tuna and Natural Gas, among others. Laing guested on a number of projects and released his only solo album, the neglected gem “Making It on the Street,” in 1977. West, on the other hand, reportedly earned serious consideration from The Rolling Stones as Mick Taylor’s replacement and released two solid, if not occasionally spectacular, solo albums, 1975’s “The Great Fatsby” and 1976’s “The Leslie West Band.”

Both albums failed to score commercially and, by the late 1970s, West dropped out of sight. Dogged by drug addiction, bad business deals and a downturn in fortunes, West sidelined himself and questioned his desire to continue playing. He fled New York for the unlikely surroundings of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. West told Obrecht that his “… partner and manager has a men and women’s beauty salon there. We had our offices moved out there because New York was so crazy. I want to get out of New York — the drug scene, the whole music scene, everything.”

Hearing Eddie Van Halen’s early work with Van Halen changed much for West. The two men struck up a perhaps unlikely friendship that inspired West to focus on music once again. If you ask the principles about Mountain’s fledgling early 80s reformation, you’ll hear conflicting stories. Elektra reportedly offered the band two million for two albums over the same period in the late 1970s, but the landscape changed by the early 1980s. Any guitar rock besides heavy metal enjoyed little commercial cachet and the spate of big reunions characterizing the scene in the mid-late 1980s hadn’t yet arrived. By all accounts, West found himself back at square one — advertising himself as Mountain and drafting unknown or local musicians to round out the lineup as he had in the band’s earliest, pre-“Climbing!” iterations. Pappalardi and Laing naturally objected when they learned, but rather than fighting West, Laing opted to join him. The two men froze Pappalardi out, previewing a potential legal struggle between the duo and their one-time mentor, added one-time Keef Hartley vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Miller Anderson on bass, and began touring as Mountain.

Everything changed in April of 1983. The marriage between Pappalardi and wife Gail Collins survived the tumult of the 1960s and ‘70s, but by the turn of a new decade, years of tension frayed the couple’s once impressively solid bond. Pappalardi had reputedly fallen in love with a younger woman and rumors flew of an impending divorce. Collins shot and killed Pappalardi with a pistol he recently purchased for her. Collins claimed the death was accidental and, despite significant evidence and the opinions of those close to Pappalardi that she murdered him in a jealous rage, Collins served just a brief prison term after conviction for criminally negligent homicide and subsequently disappeared from public view. She lived as an expat recluse in Mexico and died in 2013.

Mountain without Pappalardi posed real credibility problems. A popular perception existed among the critical elite dating as far back as the band’s origins and lampooned in the band’s song “The Animal Trainer and the Toad,” that Pappalardi reigned as the group’s only significant talent, a Svengali-type producer employing two dumbed-down rockers capable of crudely aping Cream and little else. These fanciful judgments lingered into the 1980s despite a plethora of musical evidence for West’s prodigious imagination. In addition to the strengths discussed near the article’s beginning, the intervening years saw his interpretative powers grow. He wasn’t content to learn one lick and repackage it continuously. Reinvention defines West’s, and, by extension, Mountain’s second acts. Passion and bravery carried the band and its guitarist far in life, but the next two decades tested it again.

The band soon secured a new recording deal with Scotti Bros. Records, but circumstances beyond their control forced Anderson to bow out before actual recording began. West and Laing quickly hired former Colosseum and Uriah Heep bassist/vocalist Mark Clarke. When asked how he joined the band, Clarke said West “just thought he could get me cheap and he did.”

Clarke’s scathing assessment undercuts his musical merits. While Clarke never claimed membership in high-profile vehicles peers such as John Entwistle, Jack Bruce and Chris Squire rode to stardom, the Liverpool native proved an important and tragically underrated cog in a handful of influential acts. His strong singing and ability to reel off the big bass licks integral to Mountain’s back catalog made him an obvious candidate to fill Pappalardi’s slot.

One listen to 1985’s “Go for Your Life” illustrates they hired Clarke primarily for his live contributions. He’s virtually faceless on Mountain’s wildly uneven studio return. Instead of giving the bass its customarily busy role in the music, the style of the time demanded hemming in the bass and narrowly defining its role. Any real discussion of the changes in Mountain’s music, however, begins with the addition of keyboards.

The story of legacy acts in the 1980s is, more often than not, a tale of one-time trendsetters transforming into followers. Insecurities, commercial pressures and dreams of renewed pop stardom drove many acts to abandon or refurbish their musical vision. Mountain’s music, at its finest, is an organic and feral experience. Dry sheets of sterile keyboard color are tricks of the ear and only a select few enjoyed any consistent success mixing rock music with the then dawning digital sounds of the ‘80s.

Keyboards work on the infectiously catchy “Spark,” but elsewhere show the aforementioned style clash. The dated production, particularly the pervasive abuse of reverb and echo, affects this recording more than anything else in the band’s discography does. There’s the core of a good Mountain album here, but finding it requires sifting through the debris. The band released “Hard Times” as the first single, with a stereotypically bizarre mid-’80s video, and it’s easy to hear why. It’s much more commercially minded fare than the band offered in their salad days, but West’s riff, an enthusiastic vocal, and a big chorus are memorable. “Spark” is pure pop rock, but its surging vitality is difficult to dislike. The album has some real clunkers in “She Loves Her Rock (And She Loves It Hard),” “I Love Young Girls,” and “Babe in the Woods” that wouldn’t have earned consideration from the band’s previous incarnations, but “Bardot Damage” and “Shimmy on the Footlights” are serviceable. The album’s real gem, tucked at the very end, is a short solo performance from West called “Little Bit of Insanity.” Later described as a tribute to Pappalardi, the intimacy of West’s beautifully lyrical electric guitar carries a gravitas that the rest of the album lacks.

The band toured the United States in support of the album, but focused most of their live work on Europe. Mountain opened for Deep Purple during the first European leg of the latter’s triumphant 1985 reunion tour and played to massive audiences throughout continental Europe. Live recordings and bootlegs from the tour clearly show that, despite the fans embracing the band’s return, old conflicts had resurfaced. West and Laing were frequently combative onstage, often arguing or else throwing items at one another. Sometimes it was in jest; other times not.

Clarke commented on West and Laing’s relationship saying that the guitarist treated the band’s longtime drummer terribly. However, Laing gave as good as he got thanks to testimony from countless concert goers, particularly from the ‘85 European run, who still recall Laing smacking West with his well-aimed drum stick and cymbal hurls. It wasn’t total onstage chaos as the band showed flashes of a newfound humor when they began wheeling in an enormous cowbell for renditions of “Mississippi Queen” and often came close to striking upon a nimbler approximation of the band’s classic sound than anyone could have expected.

However, playing only two full songs from the new album and tossing “Little Bit of Insanity” into extended instrumental bits showed a band with no confidence in their new material. Complicating matters were the uneven live performances that saw West’s interest wax and wane over the gig’s duration. Disagreements about management saw the name go moribund again following the tour’s conclusion and West released solo albums for the remainder of the decade that garnered some press, but sold poorly. Laing resurfaced in a new role as record company A&R man, but the name resurfaced in the public consciousness once again in 1992 when West and Laing made a memorable appearance on Dennis Miller’s short-lived late night talk show. Longtime Ace Frehley collaborator, guitarist and songwriter Richie Scarlet manned the bass while West, noticeably thinner, and Laing tore through an extended performance of “Mississippi Queen” that sounded like they wrote the song 15 minutes before.

West and Laing went on to assemble another short-lived incarnation featuring former Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding. However, despite a number of live shows demonstrating the new lineup’s promise and a couple of new studio tracks featured on a then recent retrospective entitled “Over the Top,” the band’s latest version soon folded thanks to personality conflicts between West and Redding. The band turned to Clarke again following this episode and a new album, “Man’s World,” emerged in 1996. While far closer in spirit to the band’s initial incarnation than the largely woeful “Go for Your Life,” the new collection centered on the title song’s memorable cover of the James Brown classic, a clever and blistering rocker “Crest of the Slump,” and the unexpected gem “I Look,” sung by producer and co-writer Eddie Black. Unfortunately, the songwriting isn’t entirely on target as imitation AC/DC-like “Nobody Gonna Steal My Thunder,” the pedestrian “So Fine” and “In Your Face” weigh things down with commercial missteps and clichéd filler.   

West alternated between solo outings and successful European tours with the album’s lineup during the second half of the 1990s, but a new studio album didn’t emerge until after the dawn of the new century. In 2002, “Mystic Fire” attested to how important the European market had become for Mountain — the financing for it came from Europe and it was written and recorded with the intent of helping the band promotionally in that region. The original title, “Mountain High,” only changed for the American release.

While there are still glaring songwriting weaknesses, few can argue that the album doesn’t still stand as one of the singular post-reunion achievements. Scarlet joins the band on bass and, despite his lack of flashiness, establishes an audible musical rapport with Laing. Their cover of Clutch’s “Immortal,” itself a revised version of Mountain’s “Baby, I’m Down,” kicks things off in spectacular fashion and the remaining strong points, namely the title track, another cover of the blues standard “Fever,” and the crushing “Mutant X” swagger with a confidence Mountain fans haven’t heard since “Avalanche.” The presence of four covers and two new versions of older material, however, clearly point the band’s struggle writing new material.

The band toured extensively in Europe and the United States promoting the new album. West continued recording new solo material during this time period while Laing wrote and recorded two albums under the name Cork with former Spin Doctors guitarist Eric Schenkman. The band reconvened for their likely final studio album, “Masters of War”, and released it in 2007. This collection of Bob Dylan covers, Mountain-ized with enormous guitars and a rhythm section, primarily centered on Laing with alternating bassists. Guests appeared on a Mountain album, en masse, for the first time as Ozzy Osbourne turned in a memorable vocal on the title track, Gov’t Mule’s guitarist Warren Haynes lent his bluesy fire to “Gotta Serve Somebody” and respected bassist Kenny Aaronson joined on five tracks. The album received positive notice and the band launched another round of touring to promote the effort.

West’s later health struggles, resulting in a leg amputation, ended any chance of the band building on their recent impressive run. West has sounded disenchanted with the idea of reconstituting the band since his recovery and asserts there’s little gained from it with Pappalardi’s absence and the recent passing of original keyboardist Knight. Both West and Laing have continued to work, producing new and high quality material, suggesting that, while the road for Mountain does not go ever on, the individual stories of its surviving members are far from over.

“Guitars Exchange”

In the early ‘70s, the transition of rock as a form of expression towards the mass market entertainment industry swept aside in its wake a large number of musical pioneers – pioneers such as Mountain, the missing link to heavy metal’s beginnings, among others. The rock behind the mountain is none other than Leslie West, one of history’s most influential guitarists who the gods have only looked down kindly upon the one time, when he was courting a certain queen from Mississippi. Having recently turned 71 (born in October 1945), his biography may not take up that much space in the encyclopaedias, but that great song can still often be heard on the radio. Maybe his mistake was arriving at the right place, but at the wrong time in the history of rock.

Climbing! 
Mountain’s debut album in 1970, was in fact the ex-guitarist of The Vagrants’ second record, with whom he had already made a name for himself – both for his imposing frame and his unusual technique. He recorded his first album, a sublime slice of blues, by himself – tracks which convinced record producer Felix Pappalardithat this giant of a man was the perfect candidate to take over from Cream, another of his creations. It wasn’t long before a contract with Atlantic Records was laid on the table to be signed.

Back then, Clapton was god and West was set on sounding like him, exactly like him. This was going to be a dream come true for the 25-year-old New Yorker. To keep him company, Pappalardi had brought in Steve Knight on the keyboards and Laurence ‘Corky’ Laing on drums. Before he knew what had hit him, West found himself up on stage at Woodstock and about to become legend.

He took full advantage of the opportunity handed to him and surprised all and sundry with a record that didn’t just follow in the stellar path of the legendary trio, but was much grittier. That said, Pappalardi ensured that a piece by Jack Bruce was on there, even though it wasn’t one of the composer’s best efforts. The one-hit-wonder that Mississippi Queen would prove to be aside, songs such as Never in My Life (very popular back then), with their heavy, hypnotic riffs, were the early signs of hard rock’s coming of age. On Side B, back when you had to turn a record over and that pause in the proceedings actually mattered (not like with today’s CDs and USBs), the psychedelic hues present were more along the lines of progressive rock. At times it’s quite impossible to not think of Rush.

Apart from the elaborate and perfectionist work of West, also of note is the music played by Knight on the piano in Boys in the Band – almost the only chance that the keyboard player got to shine in an album ruled by West’s Gibson Les Paul Jr., a guitar that he is famous for, along with the Electra Plexiglass that he used to fool around with during his early concerts.

However, the hidden gem that can be found in Climbing! is the acoustic beauty, To My Friend, and the only song that West wrote entirely on his own. A fine example of just how well this maestro of the six strings can play.

Photos related to the album/track :

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (front)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 1 (2)

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (back)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 2 (2).jpg

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album  photo (A’ Side)

Image result for mountain climbing 1970

Photos related to the band :

Image result for mountain mississippi queen

Image result for mountain band climbing 1970 album

Image result for felix pappalardi and gail collins

Image result for mountain band leslie west

Links related to the album/track :

Mountain – “Never In My Life” Video on “YouTube”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album on “Apple Music”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album on “Google Play”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “60-70 Rock” Blog

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “Gray Pianos Flying” Blog

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “Discos Fundamentais” Blog

Links related to the band :

Mountain Band’s Page on Discogs

 

 

 

 

Blues, Psychedelic Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) The Blues Project – “Flute Thing”

Blues Project – “Flute Thing” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Blues, Psychedelic Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) 

Band :

The Blues Project  (Greenwich Village, New York, U.S.A.)

The Blues Project Band’s Photo

Image result for poster

The Blues Project is a band from the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City that was formed in 1965 and originally split up in 1967. Their songs drew from a wide array of musical styles. They are most remembered as one of the most artful practitioners of pop music, influenced as it was by folk, blues, rhythm & blues, jazz and the pop music of the day.

Track :

“Flute Thing” (written by Al Kooper) B3 track included on the album “Projections”

Album :

“Projections” released on Verve Folkways (FT-3008) in 1966

Projections is the second album by American blues rock band The Blues Project. Produced by Tom Wilson and released by Verve/Folkways in November 1966, the album was their first studio release and examined a more rock-based sound. Jim Marshall was credited as the photographer of the album cover.

Soon after the release of this album, Al Kooper left the band in the spring of 1967 to form Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Recording :

Keyboardist and vocalist Al Kooper was the most prominent member of the band, having recently played on Bob Dylan’s seminal album Highway 61 Revisited. However, Projections was very much a group effort, developing the band’s unique style that drew upon blues, jazz, folk, soul, and psychedelic influences.

Kooper’s energetic arrangement of “I Can’t Keep From Crying” incorporated psychedelic and gospel elements. “Steve’s Song”, the first song ever written by guitarist Steve Katz, was intended to be titled “September Fifth”, but a miscommunication between MGM Records and the band’s manager resulted in the generic title used for the release. It features a baroque introduction featuring flute playing from Andy Kulberg. “Two Trains Running” was guitarist Danny Kalb’s tribute to Muddy Waters, one of the band’s biggest influences. This 11-minute rendition is significantly different from the original version and was developed as the band played it live. On the Projections version, one of Kalb’s guitar strings went out of tune and as part of the arrangement he tuned it back up, without the band stopping. “Wake Me, Shake Me” came from a traditional gospel song and was a vehicle for improvisation that the band often used to close their live shows. Kooper’s jazz-rock instrumental “Flute Thing” features a prominent flute lick played by Kulberg, as well as solos from Kooper, Kalb, and drummer Roy Blumenfeld.

According to Danny Kalb, the record company was not interested in the band’s artistic merit and “just wanted to make a few bucks”. The band was disappointed by this lack of creative input and did not see the album cover or hear the mix until the record was released.

The Blues Project – “Projections” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Line-up/Credits :

Band Members :

Danny Kalb – guitar, vocals

Al Kooper – keyboards, vocals

Steve Katz – guitar, harmonica, vocals, bass (track 7)

Andy Kulberg – bass, flute

Roy Blumenfeld – drums

Companies :

Record Company – MGM Records

Record Company – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Published By – Sealark Enterprises

Published By – Blues Projections

Published By – Snapper Music

Published By – Arc Music (2)

Published By – Metric Music

Published By – Conrad Music

Manufactured By – MGM Records Division

Credits :

Design [Cover] – Ken Kendall

Engineer [Director] – Val Valentin

Liner Notes – Sid Bernstein

Photography By [Cover] – Jim Marshall (3)

Producer – Marcus James (2) (tracks: B3, B5), Tom Wilson (2)

Supervised By [Production Supervisor] – Jerry Schoenbaum

Track-list :

1. I Can’t Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) – 4:48
2. Steve’s Song (Steve Katz) – 5:20
3. You Can’t Catch Me (Chuck Berry) – 4:35
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) – 12:19
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) – 5:16
6. Cheryl’s Going Home (Bob Lind) – 2:33
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) – 5:59
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) – 7:12
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) – 3:29
10.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) – 2:19

Mono Album :

1. I Can’t Keep From Crying (Arranged By Al Kooper) – 4:26
2. Steve’s Song (Steve Katz) – 4:58
3. You Can’t Catch Me (Chuck Berry) – 4:17
4. Two Trains Running (Mckinley Morganfield) – 11:34
5. Wake Me, Shake Me (Arranged By Al Kooper) – 5:19
6. Cheryl’s Going Home (Bob Lind) – 2:38
7. Flute Thing (Al Kooper) – 6:02
8. Caress Me Baby (Jimmy Reed) – 7:18
9. Fly Away (Al Kooper) – 3:33
10.When There’s Smoke, There’s Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) – 2:34
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) – 2:44

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album cover photo (back)/track-list photo

Information about the album/band/track :

“Last Fm”

The Blues Project was a short-lived band from the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City that was formed in 1965 and split up in 1967. While their songs drew from a wide array of musical styles, they are most remembered as one of the earliest practitioners of psychedelic rock, as well as one of the world’s first jam bands, along with the Grateful Dead.

In 1964, Elektra Records produced a compilation album of various artists entitled The Blues Project which featured several white musicians from the Greenwich Village area who played acoustic blues music in the style of black musicians. One of the featured artists on the album was a young guitarist named Danny Kalb, who was paid $75 for his two songs. Not long after the album’s release, however, Kalb gave up his acoustic guitar for an electric one. The Beatles’ arrival in America earlier in the year signified the end of the folk and acoustic blues movement that had swept young America in the early 1960s. The ensuing British Invasion was the nail in the coffin. Seeing the writing on the wall, Kalb gave up acoustic blues and switched to rock and roll, as did many other aspiring American musicians during this period.

Danny Kalb’s first rock and roll band was formed in the spring of 1965, playing under various names at first, until finally settling on the Blues Project moniker as an allusion to Kalb’s first foray on record. After a brief hiatus in the summer months of 1965 during which Kalb was visiting Europe, the band reformed in September 1965 and were almost immediately a top draw in Greenwich Village. By this time, the band included Danny Kalb on guitar, Steve Katz (having recently departed the Even Dozen Jug Band) also on guitar, Andy Kulberg on bass and flute, Roy Blumenfeld on drums and Tommy Flanders on vocals.

The band’s first big break came only a few weeks later when they auditioned for Columbia Records, and failed. The audition was a success, nevertheless, as it garnered them an organist in session musician Al Kooper. Kooper had begun his career as a session guitarist, but that summer, he began playing organ when he sneaked into the “Like a Rolling Stone” recording session on Bob Dylan’s seminal album Highway 61 Revisited. In order to improve his musicianship on the new instrument, Kooper joined the Blues Project and began gigging with them almost immediately.

Soon thereafter, the Blues Project gained a record contract from Verve Records, and began recording their first album live at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village over the course of a week in November 1965. While the band was known for their lengthy interpretations of blues and traditional rock and roll songs (making them, along with the Grateful Dead, rock’s first “jam band”), their first album saw them rein in these tendencies because of record company wariness as well as the time restrictions of the vinyl record.

Entitled simply Live at the Café Au Go Go, the album was finished with another week of live recordings at the cafe in January 1966. By that time, vocalist Tommy Flanders had left the band and was not replaced. As a result, Flanders appears on only a few of the songs on this album.

The album was a moderate success and the band toured America to promote it. While in San Francisco in April 1966, during the height of the city’s Haight-Ashbury culture, the Blues Project played at the Fillmore Auditorium to rave reviews. Seemingly New York’s answer to the Grateful Dead, even members of the Grateful Dead who saw them play were impressed with their improvisational abilities.

Returning to New York, the band recorded their second album and first studio album in the fall of 1966, and it was released in November. Arguably better than their first album, Projections was certainly more ambitious than their first album, boasting an eclectic set of songs that ran the gamut from blues, R&B, jazz, psychedelia, and folk-rock. The centerpiece of the album was an 11-and-a-half minute version of “Two Trains Running”, which, along with other songs on the album, showed off their improvisational tendencies. One such song was the instrumental, “Flute Thing”, written by Kooper and featuring Kulberg.

Soon after the album was completed, though, the band began to fall apart. Al Kooper quit the band in the spring of 1967, and the band without him completed a third album, Live At Town Hall. Despite the name, only one song was recorded live at Town Hall, while the rest was made up of live recordings from other venues, or of studio outtakes with overdubbed applause to feign a live sound.

The Blues Project’s last hurrah was at the Monterey International Pop Festival held in Monterey, California, in June 1967. By this time, however, half the original line-up was gone and most of their early magic was, too. Al Kooper had formed his own band and played at the festival as well, but no sort of reunion was in the offing. Guitarist Steve Katz left soon thereafter, followed by founder Danny Kalb. A fourth album, 1968’s Planned Obsolescence, featured only drummer Roy Blumenfeld and bassist Andy Kulberg from the original lineup. Upon the album’s completion, the remaining members formed Seatrain.

In 1968, Al Kooper and Steve Katz joined forces once again to fulfill a desire of Al Kooper’s to form a rock band with a horn section. The resulting band was Blood, Sweat & Tears. While Kooper led the band on its first album, Child Is Father to the Man, he did not stick around for any subsequent releases. Katz, on the other hand, remained with the band into the 1970s.

The Blues Project, with a modified lineup, reformed briefly in the early 1970s, releasing three further albums: 1971’s Lazarus, 1972’s The Blues Project, and 1973’s Original Blues Project Reunion In Central Park (which featured Al Kooper but not Tommy Flanders). These albums did little to excite the public, however. Since then, the group’s activity has been confined to a few sporadic reunion concerts.

“Rockasteria Blog”

The Blues Project can be defined by those who know and understand music in different and interesting ways. I describe it as a work of determination! Take these five young musicians and their struggles of this past year; they made it without the aid of a ‘single on the charts’ and despite the economics of an almost unbroken law that says, “no hit record, you don’t survive.” But with these young men, you find that there is an exception to the rule.
The struggle has not been an easy one, and it is far from over. But— they are going to ‘make it!’ Witness their exciting performances at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich  Village…. the three times they played at Central Park this past summer to SRO crowds. These are the dates that made possible the healthy ‘underground’ movement, the ever-growing grapevine that has led them to dates in San Francisco and concerts in colleges that included Rutgers, Boston U., Kent, Ithaca, Brandeis, Hobart, CCNY, Grinnell, and others. People are subscribing to the music and the originality of the Project.
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was asked by a number of students, “When will The Blues Project be coming over?” It would not be surprising to find students in Europe and Asia asking the same question. The word is out, it is inevitable that whatever roads the words travel, the group, its music, and its station wagon will be sure to follow. Expect them to appear anywhere.
They have something to say. The world wants to listen to music—wants love and hope…and this is what The Blues Project is projecting— Love, Hope and a determination to make their sounds meaningful and lasting.
by Sid Bernstein (sometime ’round 1966)
“All Music”
One of the first album-oriented, “underground” groups in the United States, the Blues Project offered an electric brew of rock, blues, folk, pop, and even some jazz, classical, and psychedelia during their brief heyday in the mid-’60s. It’s not quite accurate to categorize them as a blues-rock group, although they did plenty of that kind of material; they were more like a Jewish-American equivalent to British bands like the Yardbirds, who used a blues and R&B base to explore any music that interested them. Erratic songwriting talent and a lack of a truly outstanding vocalist prevented them from rising to the front line of ’60s bands, but they recorded plenty of interesting material over the course of their first three albums, before the departure of their most creative members took its toll.

The Blues Project was formed in Greenwich Village in the mid-’60s by guitarist Danny Kalb (who had played sessions for various Elektra folk and folk-rock albums), Steve Katz (a guitarist with Elektra’s Even Dozen Jug Band), flutist/bassist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld, and singer Tommy Flanders. Al Kooper, in his early twenties a seasoned vet of rock sessions, joined after sitting in on the band’s Columbia Records audition, although they ended up signing to Verve, an MGM subsidiary. Early member Artie Traum (guitar) dropped out during early rehearsals; Flanders would leave after their first LP, Live at the Cafe Au-Go-Go(1966).The eclectic résumés of the musicians, who came from folk, jazz, blues, and rock backgrounds, was reflected in their choice of material. Blues by Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry tunes ran alongside covers of contemporary folk-rock songs by Eric Anderson and Patrick Sky, as well as the group’s own originals. These were usually penned by Kooper, who had already built songwriting credentials as the co-writer of Gary Lewis’ huge smash “This Diamond Ring,” and established a reputation as a major folk-rock shaker with his contributions to Dylan’s mid-’60s records. Kooper also provided the band’s instrumental highlights with his glowing organ riffs.

The live debut sounds rather tame and derivative; the group truly hit their stride on Projections (late 1966), which was, disappointingly, their only full-length studio recording. While they went through straight blues numbers with respectable energy, they really shone best on the folk and jazz-influenced tracks, like “Fly Away,” Katz’s lilting “Steve’s Song,” Kooper’s jazz instrumental “Flute Thing” (an underground radio standard that’s probably their most famous track), and Kooper’s fierce adaptation of an old Blind Willie Johnson number, “I Can’t Keep from Crying.” A non-LP single from this era, the pop-psychedelic “No Time Like the Right Time,” was their greatest achievement and one of the best “great hit singles that never were” of the decade.

The band’s very eclecticism didn’t augur well for their long-term stability, and in 1967 Kooper left in a dispute over musical direction (he has recalled that Kalb opposed his wishes to add a horn section). Then Kalb mysteriously disappeared for months after a bad acid trip, which effectively finished the original incarnation of the band. A third album, Live at Town Hall, was a particularly half-assed project given the band’s stature, pasted together from live tapes and studio outtakes, some of which were overdubbed with applause to give the impression that they had been recorded in concert.

Kooper got to fulfill his ambitions for soulful horn rock as the leader of the original Blood, Sweat & Tears, although he left that band after their first album; BS&T also included Katz (who stayed onboard for a long time). Blumenfeld and Kulberg kept the Blues Projectgoing for a fourth album before forming Seatrain, and the group re-formed in the early ’70s with various lineups, Kooper rejoining for a live 1973 album, Reunion in Central Park. The first three albums from the Kooper days are the only ones that count, though; the best material from these is on Rhino’s best-of compilation.

“Ultimate Classic Rock”

The classic lineup of the Blues Project came together in 1965 in New York’s Greenwich Village. The band featured Roy Blumenfeld (drums), Danny Kalb (guitar and vocals), Steve Katz (guitar and vocals), Al Kooper (keyboards and vocals) and Andy Kulberg (bass and flute). Projections, released in November 1966, displayed the band’s jazz, blues, folk and rock roots. Produced by Tom Wilson, it was the Blues Project’s first studio album, the follow-up to 1965’s Live at the Café au Go Go.

By 1967, after one more LP, the band began to splinter. Kooper and Katz went on to form Blood, Sweat & Tears. Blumenfeld and Kulberg, who died in 2002, formed Seatrain. Kalb continued with various lineups of the Blues Project until the early ’70s, when he emerged as a solo artist.

In exclusive interviews, the four surviving members of the Blues Project shared the stories behind the original tracks and re-arrangements that became Projections. “From what I remember, the process was, do we have enough songs?” says Katz. “I think we just had enough to do the album.”

“I Can’t Keep From Crying”
Al KOOPER: I didn’t mind “I Can’t Keep From Crying.” I didn’t mind that version. It’s an old blues song and I sort of rearranged it.

DANNY KALB: I just listened to it the other day, and there were different times during the last 40 years when I thought maybe I didn’t like what he did with it. But now I don’t feel that.  Now I feel that he took it somewhere else. And the raw energy of that tune, even though it turned to love lyrics, the love lyrics are unimportant because it’s a psychedelic adventure and a powerful gospel song together. And it makes sense.

“Steve’s Song”
STEVE KATZ: I wrote this song, the first song that I ever wrote. I called it “September Fifth.” It wasn’t even Sept. 5 yet, I just wanted to see what happened on that day. It was like a psychedelic love song. We tagged on a little baroque thing that I had written at the beginning.

AL KOOPER: When we were first putting it together, Steve and Andy came up with the intro. And Andy really wanted to play more flute, so it was a good opportunity for him to play the flute in the intro. And it worked perfectly. And what Roy was playing in the intro was really great too, arrangement-wise. I love that intro.

ROY BLUMENFELD: Andy had turned me on to Dances From Terpsichord and these little medieval drum things and stuff. So I got into that a bit. That one kind of evolved over time as we played, as it should be. We played together, that’s how it changed and developed, the intro to the tune. ‘Cause without that intro, it would have just had that … and the drum roll in. There was that sort of tension-release, what’s gonna happen next. It became an interesting sonic experience.

STEVE KATZ: I’m flat in a couple of places. I tried to do my vocal over again, and Tom Wilson said there wasn’t enough time because Eric Burdon was coming in. We were strictly by three-hour sessions and that was pretty much it. There may have been a couple of sessions that were back-to-back but it was no longer than six. We were kicked out of the studio when our sessions were finished. They didn’t really have too much faith in us, I guess. We were on the road and, of course, there were no cellphones in those days. MGM calls our manager [Jeff Chase], who is like a total idiot, and they said, “We have the artwork, we have the master tapes, but we’re missing the name of the second song on the first side.” So Jeff goes, “Second song, first side? Second song, first side? Oh, that’s Steve’s song.” They said, “Thanks, Jeff” and hung up. We get off the road a week later and I’m looking at proofs and I said, “What the hell is ‘Steve’s Song’?”

“You Can’t Catch Me”
ROY BLUMENFELD: That was a Chuck Berry tune. That one had a really cool kind of groove to it that we got into. Danny did a real sterling job of knockin’ that one out of the park when he would do it. He sung with sincerity and meaning. And that to me really trumps some kind of vocal gymnastics that people do that really don’t have that sense of connective, organic meaning to the lyrics and to the words. So I’ve gotta hand it to Danny on all that, it’s very authentic in that sense.

DANNY KALB: I always loved Chuck Berry, and he was one of my first influences as I started listening to rock ‘n’ roll, which I did early. I had a group in college, two kind of working class Italian guys and two Jewish middle class guys. It was called the Gay Notes – before gay was gay, you know? [Laughs] And we used to play Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, the great ’50s rock ‘n’ roll and we weren’t bad, we weren’t bad.

AL KOOPER: Very early in our career we backed up Chuck Berry at Town Hall in New York. It was one of our first big gigs. We opened for him and then we backed him up. It was nerve-wracking because he was very difficult to work with. Fortunately I knew all the songs so he didn’t give me any s—. He was very tough. So the rehearsal was scary. Not for me though. Also I had played rock ‘n’ roll shows in my early career when I was in the Royal Teens. I played a lot of rock ‘n’ roll shows where there were 14 bands on the bill and everybody played a couple of songs. Alan Freed shows, stuff like that. Not only was I raised on that but I also participated in it. You can stand in the wings and watch Jackie Wilson and Buddy Holly. It was unbelievable. I’ll never forget that. I used to go as a spectator in ’56 and ’57 and by ’58 and ’59, I was in the Royal Teens and so I was playing in those shows. It was a head-f— for me. It was unbelievable. It’s like God reached down and touched me.

“Two Trains Running”
STEVE KATZ: It was Danny’s tribute to Muddy Waters. Danny lived for Muddy Waters, which is sort of understandable given how wonderful, how monumental Muddy and some of his songs were. And that was one of his most monumental songs.

AL KOOPER: We started playing it and as we became a better band it became a better arrangement. And there were amazing things in it. It was a really great arrangement. It’s nothing like the Muddy Waters version.

DANNY KALB: It’s one of the great things done by any blues band there is, white or black. And we’re going through it and it’s powerful, it’s like a rock opera but short. And it’s Muddy Waters. But it’s also us. And it’s also showing that America was going down the road through music and a lot of other things of integration. The music was making people take a second look at the hatred.

AL KOOPER: What’s really funny is on the version that’s on the album, Danny’s string went out of tune and as part of the arrangement he tuned it back up. It was fabulous, we didn’t have to stop. Normally you would stop. But he made it part of the arrangement. That was a great moment.

DANNY KALB: We were up there in the studio and there’s magic in the air. We were right before the end and I hit one bad note, but I quickly made the bad note into a good note in a quarter of a second. And the thing comes together and ends right and we’ve got a masterpiece.

STEVE KATZ: There was no creativity on the engineers. They were busy setting up for Eric Burdon. They probably were bringing in microphones while we were doing our take.

DANNY KALB: I’d been playing it for a long time. I was a folk guitarist and a blues guitarist. I studied with the great Dave Van Ronk, he was my teacher. Dave was one of the greatest. A great blues singer, a great teacher and a great soul. He died a few years ago. He changed my life, he changed [Bob] Dylan’s life. We always gave tribute to our mentors. When we played on the same bill as Muddy Waters, who was our hero, a top man, we did “Two Trains Running.” After the show, his band was packing up, the show was over and I was packing up and I saw Muddy leaving the Café au Go Go and I had to find out, in my deepest part, what he thought of our version of this tune that started out in the South many years ago, before he recorded it with any electric band. And these strange white people were doing this song. What was that about? So right before Muddy opened the door to go, I went up to Muddy Waters and I said to him, “Mr. Waters — well, what did you think?” And I knew at that point that he knew what I was asking him. And he said to me, “You really got to me.” If I had died then, it would have been enough.

“Wake Me Shake Me”
AL KOOPER: There used to be a nightclub that the mob owned on 47th between Seventh and Eighth. It was called the Sweet Chariot. And it was a gospel nightclub. So they only had gospel people playing there, and the waitresses were dressed as angels. And when you walked in, they gave you a tambourine to play and then you’d leave it when you left. Now I had picked up on gospel music at a very early age because of people that I went to school with when I was like 13, 14. They turned me on to gospel music. So it was a big part of my life. So this group the Golden Chords that played at the Sweet Chariot floored me with their version of “Wake Me Shake Me.” It was so good that I couldn’t do it with the Blues Project because I knew that we couldn’t do it as good as they did. So I had to come up with my own arrangement. But it worked out very well because the band got into it and everybody played great stuff. So it was really good and it gave us a lot of room to improvise live. So it became our closer. We’d close with it. And it was a big song for us. But that’s where it came from. It’s a traditional gospel song.

DANNY KALB: Al did his own thing with it, and that’s the way it happens in music. Nothing comes from fresh air. You go to what’s useful to you. Dylan does that. Everybody does that.

“Cheryl’s Going Home”
DANNY KALB: That was a song by another composer, Bob Lind, I just listened to recently. The Blues Project version is excellent, Bob Lind’s version is excellent, it’s the best of both worlds.

STEVE KATZ: He had a hit record with “Elusive Butterfly.” I guess I had a Bob Lind album or the single, and I liked the B-side and thought it would be good for us to do. But it was an awful mix.

“Flute Thing”
AL KOOPER: One of the first rehearsals that we had as a band, Andy said to me, “I also play flute and I would like to play some flute with the band if you have anything or if you could write something where we could do that, it would be great for me.” And so I had this lick, a cadenza played by Barney Kessel as the ending lick of a song. I learned it in the late ’50s on guitar and played it more than I should have. And so that lick came to me and I thought, “That would sound great on the flute. Why don’t I just do that [demonstrates first part] and then I just needed [demonstrates second part] and I had a song for Andy.”

ROY BLUMENFELD: The lead-up to the song “Flute Thing,” that became the Muzak to a lot of folks’ acid trips out there on the West Coast. It was, so to speak, their metaphoric elevator. The tune itself started to become more of a featured flute tune. Al had a solo, Danny had a solo, Steve laid down the bass line, he wasn’t really a bass player per se. And I had a solo. My solo came after Al’s. I became inspired by a lot of very cool jazz drummers that I was listening to. I was also listening to a lot of jazz and early on, a year or two before, I’d visit Al at his apartment in New York and he had a wall of albums, long-playing records. He’d go to one, he’d pull one out, like “Salt Peanuts.” He’d play me these different tunes, go, “Check this out.” He was really inspiring me to look into other drum ideas and listen to the players because I was growing rapidly as a player and listening to a lot of stuff.

AL KOOPER: We had to play it a certain way that was more jazzy than rock ‘n’ roll. But it just showed that we can do that. So I didn’t think it was a bad thing. But I mean if you were a good jazz player and you listened to that track, you would probably go vomit. But we did the best we could and it wasn’t so bad. Considering that we were 22 or something.

“Caress Me Baby”
DANNY KALB: I think that was a good version of that Jimmy Reed song. You have to do Jimmy Reed your own way. And the great thing about the Blues Project is that’s what we did. We’re not an imitating-kind of band even though we used other people’s material very often. But just because you write your own songs, unless you’re a great songwriter like Dylan or someone like that, doesn’t mean that all your songs are great just because you wrote them. I believe in that. I believe in writing songs and I encourage it. But we were a great band. That’s all I want to say.

“Fly Away”
AL KOOPER: It’s a song I wrote about my first marriage. And I had a good arrangement for it, which my first marriage could have used. So it was easy for us to do because I just showed everybody what to play. It’s one of those ones where the arrangement was equal if not better than the song. It was a really good arrangement. And so there’s no holes in it. I think it really helped to make it work and we were all really playing together. Everybody’s playing exactly what they should play. There’s no bad parts in it. What was I influenced by? Probably more Dylan in the verses. I would say Dylan in the verses and the chorus was pretty original. I didn’t take that from anybody. Except in the arrangement there’s maybe a little “Down in the Boondocks.”

DANNY KALB: Unfortunately, the record company just wanted to make a few bucks. They were not interested in the artists, and on the back of Projections, one of the great albums of the ’60s, I don’t think our names are on it. That’s criminal.

STEVE KATZ: I have to say that our record company was really awful. There were things like that that were missed. From changing the name of my song, from not giving us enough studio time, not putting our names on it. There were just a lot of mistakes. There always were with Verve Folkways. It was awful.

AL KOOPER: We never saw the cover until it was in the store, and all stuff like that. We had zero control. We never heard the mixes ’till it was in the store.

DANNY KALB: I think that the way the Blues Project has been either forgotten or dissed is disgraceful. We were one of the most exciting bands in the period. We took big chances, spiritually and musically, and this is crap.

Photos related to the album/track :

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album cover photo (front)

THE BLUES PROJECT PROJECTIONS 3 (2).jpg

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album cover photo (back)

 THE BLUES PROJECT PROJECTIONS 2 (2)

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album photo  (A’ Side)

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album photo  (B’ Side)

Photos related to the band :

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The Blues Project Matrix Concert Poster, 1966

Staples Concert Event Poster 1967 by Dave Withers

THE BLUES PROJECT POSTER 1 (2)

American band The Blues Project in concert at the Cafe Au Go Go, a nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York City, circa 1965. Singer Danny Kalb is in the centre. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Blues Project : News Photo

Psychedelic blues-rock band The Blues Project (l-r Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Roy Blumenfeld, Andy Kulberg) perform at the Cafe Au Go Go in June, 1967 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Gahr/Getty Images)

Blues Project At The Cafe Au Go Go In NYC  : News Photo

The Blues Project, Monterey, 1967

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Image result for the blues project 1966

Links related to the album/track :

The Blues Project – “Projections” Full Album Video Playlist on “YouTube”

The Blues Project – “Projections” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Napster”

The Blues Project – “Projections” Full Album Download Link on “Rockasteria” Blog

The Blues Project – “Projections” Full Album Download Link on “Willie Said”

The Blues Project – “Projections” Article on the album on “The Music Court”

The Blues Project – “Projections” Album’s Review/Article about the band on “Best Classic Bands”

 

Links related to the band :

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Spotify”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Facebook”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Setlist Fm”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Apple Music”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Google Play”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Deezer”

The Blues Project Band’s Page on “Tidal”

Steve Katz (The Blues Project) Interview on “Keep The Blues Alive”

Al Kooper (The Blues Project) Artist’s Interview on “Rock Of Ages”

 

Progressive, Psychedelic, Space Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks) Sweet Smoke – “Baby Night”

Sweet Smoke – “Baby Night” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Progressive, Psychedelic, Space Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Sweet Smoke (Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.)

Sweet Smoke Band’s Photo

Image result for sweet SMOKE BAND

Sweet Smoke were a psychedelic jazz-rock band formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1967. The group moved to Europe in 1969, living in Germany, and performing in Germany, Holland and France until 1974 when the band split up. Initially, some members stayed in Europe, some went to India, but most of the band returned to the United States. Although originating in the U.S., Sweet Smoke is often referred to as a Krautrock band. Noted for their buoyant rhythms, inventive improvisations and complex musical structures, in interviews, the group says their music was influenced by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Coltrane and The Beatles.

Track :

“Baby Night” (written by Sweet Smoke), (closing track) included on the album “Just A Poke”

Album :

“Just A Poke” released on Columbia Records (1 C 062-28 886) in 1970

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album cover photo (front)

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Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Video on YouTube

Just a Poke is the first album by the band Sweet Smoke, released in 1970, engineered by Conny Plank. The song Baby Night displays the band’s progressive jazz fusion style at the time. The song can be divided into three main sections, the highlights being the instrumental sections.

Line-up/Credits :

Marvin Kaminowitz / lead guitar, vocals
Steve Rosenstein / rhythm guitar, vocals
Michael Paris (Fontana) / tenor saxophone, alto recorder, vocals, percussion
Andrew Dershin / bass
Jay Dorfman / drums, percussion

Made By – Pathé Marconi

Printed By – I.D.N.

Record Company – Les Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi

Pressed By – Pathé Marconi, Chatou – 278923

Pressed By – Pathé Marconi, Chatou – 278924

Producer – Rosie Schmitz, Winfried Ebert

Recorded By – Conrad Plank,  Klaus Löhmer

Painting [Cover] – Jan Fijnheer

Track-list :

1. Baby night (16:24)
2. Silly Sally (16:22)

Total Time: 32:46

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album Artwork Photo/Track-list

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Wikipedia”

After their first performances in the U.S. and the Caribbean, the group moved to Germany and formed a commune in a farm house in the village of Hüthum, outside the city of Emmerich, about a kilometer (0.62 miles) from the border with Holland. The group became well known in the region on and off the stage for their mixture of spirited musical performances combined with their interests in Eastern and Psychedelic philosophies. The original members when they arrived in Germany were Andy Dershin (bass guitar), Michael Fontana (tenor saxophone, alto recorder, vocals, percussion), Jay Dorfman (drums, percussion), Marvin Kaminowitz (lead guitar, vocals) and Victor Sacco (guitar). Victor would soon be replaced by Steve Rosenstein (rhythm guitar, vocals). In 1970 the group was approached by EMI, and they recorded their first LP, Just a Poke with German record producer Konrad “Conny” Plank.

After recording Just a Poke, Sweet Smoke took a year off to travel. Most of the group drove the band’s Ford Transit van overland to India for a spiritual journey in connection with the socio-spiritual group Ananda Marga. The group first learned of the success of Just a Poke, after meeting German tourists in Nepal. They returned to Europe, signed a new recording contract with EMI, and added Jeffrey Dershin (piano, percussion, vocals) as a full-time member. The group recorded their second LP Darkness to Light at EMI studios in Holland in 1973. Later in 1973, Jeffery Dershin returned home to assume his role as a father, Michael Fontana left the group to return to India, and Steve Rosenstein was replaced by Rick Greenberg, aka Rick Rasa (rhythm guitar, sitar, vocals).

Near the end of 1974, the group broke up for the final time. They played their last performance in the concert hall of the music conservatory Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. The concert was recorded by EMI and became the group’s last LP, Sweet Smoke Live.

“Sweet Smoke” Band’s Homepage

The Sweet Smoke Story

Beginnings

SWEET SMOKE WAS BORN IN BROOKLYN SOMETIME IN THE MID 60’S WHEN MUSICIANS from three different popular local groups got together. Jay and Marvin were playing with The Madabouts, Andy was playing with The Chasers, and later The Raves, and Mike was playing with The Sunday Funnies. The name, originally Sweet Smoke of the Happy Plant Pipeful, was coined by drummer Jay and was later  shortened by general usage to Sweet Smoke – a name clearly emblematic of the times.

Greenwich Village

Sometime in 1968, shortly after the formation of Sweet Smoke, the band secured an audition at a popular Manhattan nightclub called Club 54. The audition, a complete disaster, turned out to be the most significant event in Sweet Smoke’s early development. It was a Monday night. The band had its instruments and amplifiers loaded in their van with no place to go. Andy had an idea. In his previous groups, he had a regular Monday night gig at the Cafe Wha in Greenwich Village. It wasn’t a gig in the real sense. It was something the management called “audition night”, a way to get local bands to play for free in exchange for the prestige that came with playing in a club in New York’s trendy Greenwich Village. So the band sent their equipment off to the club in the van while the group jumped on the subway downtown.

The Islands

At the time, the manager of the Cafe Wha? also owned, or managed – it’s not clear which – two clubs in the Caribbean, one in old San Juan, Puerto Rico and the other in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The band recalls the manager offering them a gig in the islands if their set went well that evening at the Wha?. The band brought the house down and were indeed offered the gig of a lifetime. There was a small problem. It was March, 1968 and three of the members, Mike, Marvin and Jay, were in college. Taking the gig would mean quitting school. They quit school. What followed was three months of playing six hours a night, six nights a week. Somewhere in paradise, Sweet Smoke became a band.

Europe

Spending carefree days on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the band pondered its future. After the whirlwind events of the past several months, going home to Brooklyn to live with their parents was not an option. Mike began talking about going to Europe. Mike was very persuasive. The warm Caribbean breezes and gentle waves were intoxicating. It was 1968 and anything seemed possible. By the end of that year, Mike, along with Andy and old dear friend Marty had purchased one way tickets to South Hampton, England and off they went. Jay and Marvin followed later and by late 1969 the entire band, their plan to settle in Amsterdam having failed, found themselves, with invaluable help from unforgettable people, firmly planted in Germany.

Jay, the band’s drummer recalls:

“By the dawn of the 70’s the band had acquired a sizable following and had moved to Europe where they spent the next years in a van driving though France, Holland, Germany delivering to audiences of  quickly expanding sizes a typically 60’s form of rave like musical be-in.  The party was only beginning. They began to open for large European pop bands like Focus and Golden Earring.  They were quickly signed to Electrola Records for a 3 Record deal in West Germany and recorded their first hallucinogenic stream of musical consciousness,  the quintessential 60’s jam fest Just A Poke.

The fans and the critics were all over it, , a mix of jazz, rock, improv, avant garde, inspired just as much by John Coltrane as it was by The Doors. The cover of the record was a brazen shout out to inner consciousness and a  simple downright salute to the fact that the boys had gone cosmic, global and had tuned out, turned on and dropped whatever they could find. The band kept rolling for years, attracting new players, losing original members, recording with the highest rung of European free jazz musicians and generally having the time of their lives.”

India – Chapter II and Beyond

In many ways Sweet Smoke’s European story had two distinct chapters: pre and post India. Like the Beatles, The Beach Boys and many bands before them, the boys became spiritually restless. Their interest in yoga, meditation and self-realization grew stronger with time and at some point in 1972 the band took a break from their rock star lives to embark on a life altering journey traveling over land to India. In what seems an utterly reckless, if not altogether impossible undertaking, they motored from Europe to India, driving in the process through Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan before arriving in India. What followed was a year long stay in an Ashram where they practiced chanting and meditation and travelled extensively through one of the world’s most enchanting countries. The experience had a dramatic and lasting impact. Mike, the band’s saxophone player and front man ultimately married an Indian woman and today lives in India. The seductive sights and sounds he encountered there still inform much of Jay’s current work. It should be noted that not all the band members were equally seduced by the lure of the East. While most of the members packed the truck and took off to India, Marvin, the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist returned to the States, married his girlfriend and prepared for what would be the next chapter in Sweet Smoke’s story. In 1973 the band reunited in Germany, this time in Bavaria, and resumed their touring and recording career.

Postscript

Bands break up. The one’s that don’t are the exceptions (think Beatles). By 1974 the band members had become disenchanted and began to think about life after Sweet Smoke. Mike had already left the band and was ably replaced by Rick Greenberg. Marvin, who was mostly self-taught was yearning to study music in a more formal setting. The luster had worn off and in 1974, after recording its final album, Sweet Smoke Live in Berlin,  the band broke up for good.

The original members still remain friends and over the years have gotten together several times to play and reminisce but mostly to laugh.

“Moof Magazine”

Founded in Brooklyn in 1967, the U.S. based psychedelic jazz-rock band Sweet Smoke (originallySweet Smoke of the Happy Plant Pipeful) were creative from 1969-1974 in Germany; there they set up a commune with the support of sculptor Waldemar Kuhn, first in Emmerich am Rhein, then in Sulzfeld. They had planned to settle in the Netherlands, with Amsterdam being the ‘place to be’ at the time, and in 1972, they visited India for the obligatory stay in an Ashram. Mainly, Sweet Smoke toured across Europe (Germany, France and the Netherlands), playing at festivals or as opener for pop groups such as Focus and Golden Earring. Even before their time in Germany, Sweet Smoke had regularly played long-enduring gigs at a club in the Caribbean, where the guys had worked on their playing and improvising skills, a style similar to many late 1960’s U.S. West Coast bands. In 1974, shortly after the release of their third album, Sweet Smoke Live (1974), they broke up and split into different directions, mostly back to the U.S. to study and find other work.

Their debut studio album, Just a Poke, was released on EMI Columbia, in Germany, in 1970. It was also released in Italy, the Netherlands and France, but not in the U.K. Taken together with their presence on stage, Sweet Smoke were popular in those parts of Europe, yet quite unknown in the U.K. For a long time, the band were a mystery. Thanks to the internet, media and other networks, you can find information on their website, and for sure, this album now has its deserving place in the international psychedelic scene. Sweet Smoke released three albums of which the last two have an extended or different line-up. Still, among Just a Poke (1970), Darkness to Light (1973) and the live album, Sweet Smoke Live (1974), Just a Poke ranks the highest.

The album features four founding members, Andy Dershin on bass, Jay Dorfman on percussion and drums, Marvin Kaminowitz on solo guitar and vocals, Michael Paris on alto recorder/tenor sax/vocals/percussion, along with Steve Rosenstein on rhythm guitar and vocals. Just a Poke was produced by Rosie Schmitz and Winfried Ebert, along with engineers, Conrad Plank and Klaus Löhmer. Applying innovative studio technologies, Plank could easily be called the German pioneer of the electronic sound. In the early and mid 1970’s, he worked with progressive Krautrock and jazz-rock bands, Ash Ra TempelKraan, and Guru Guru, but from 1978 onward he drifted into the new-wave and synth-pop dimension, getting involved with Brian Eno. Unfortunately, Jan Fijnheer, who designed the beautiful exotic album cover, is not mentioned. Credited is just the photographer, Joachim Hassenburs.

With a total running time of 32:46 minutes, the record carries a total of just two tracks. Although there isn’t a long list of tracks, there is some confusion. The titles of the tracks got mixed up either on the sleeve or on the label of the record, so that even the experts slightly disagree. Lets take the best solution and rely on what the label tells. The tune on the A-side is called “Baby Night” and the other one on the B-side is “Silly Sally”. Proof is given by some text passages of the B-side, where it goes “Well, now, Sally-Sally-Sally, hey be with me tonight”, and the ones of the A-side with, “If you hear sounds of bitter weeping, to be sure the God of Night is sleeping, no time for mirth, much death and birth…”Anyway, in addition to a coherent session-like structure on a smooth jamming ground, the first tune features a delightful recorder melody, while the second one offers a stunning minute-long drum solo. Lyrics are not that important. The text passages rather provide a theme on which the band exuberantly jams and improvises.

“Baby Night” starts in a meditative folk manner, which is introduced by the lovely melody of Michael Paris’ alto recorder and only supported by the guitars. The gentle innocent voice of Marvin Kaminowitz is supported by dreamy flute sounds. One could assume that the first section refers to “In the World of Glass Teardrops” by Jeremy & the Satyrs from 1968, although it is not mentioned in the liner notes. Then there comes a recorder solo upon a swinging part which turns into easy jamming. Paris’ playing could be compared to the style of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, with ‘airy attacks’ and the additional use of his voice. Unfortunately, the flute sound overlaps with the surroundings and gets opaque at times. Those blurred sounds can either be strange or elevating, depending on your preference. Then, the guitar clings on for a solo without fuzz. More jamming with stronger repetitive riffs follows. After a while, the vocals eventually come, throwing you back in a meditative mood, framed by conga sounds. This section’s theme is a text-reduced version of The Doors’, “The Soft Parade.” Another swinging interlude follows before going back to the theme at the beginning, now in a steady rhythm and more experimental way.

With “Silly Sally”, the accent now is more on audio effects. Michael Paris enters with a groovy melody on tenor sax, sometimes with reverb. Then, the vocals take over with seductive lyrics. Marvin Kaminowitz does a great job in using his voice as an instrument and jams with the rhythmic pulse afterwards. This is followed by the guitars’ wah-wah solo on the right and left channels, which releases into the bass solo. Now, turn your speakers louder, the album has reached it’s phenomenal climax – the drum solo! Jay Dorfman starts with Afro tribal drumming, soon, the sounds begin rotating around your head and develop into a thunder-like rolling or a tube-like rattling within three minutes. Mind the gap! This is hardcore! Such a handling of stereo effects, the ping-pong effect and phasing, similar to the drum solo in “In-a-gadda-da-vida” by Iron Butterfly’s Ron Bushy on their 1968 album from. After this awesome hallucinogenic trip, the track proceeds with a long Latin percussion interlude, and turns back to the groovy sax theme.

Integrative rhythmic and stylistic variations are in constant flow, with interchanging solo and single rhythm group parts. After the beautiful glass teardrops-intro, this record keeps you dancing the whole time. With its focus on studio effects and magical sounds, Just a Poke offers you a medium for the experience of extraterrestrial dimensions. For some people, several sections may simply take too long, and could run the risk of getting boring. Occasionally, you get the impression that the band simply didn’t want to come to an end. Nevertheless, it is a psychedelic masterpiece which should be part of your collection.

Copies are available on Discogs and Amazon. Alternatively, you can listen to it on Youtube or on Sweet Smoke’s MySpace website. As well as this, EMI Electrola released a remastered version on CD in 2000, which combines Just a Poke and Darkness to Light all in one.

Photos related to the album/track :

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album cover photo (front)

SWEET SMOKE JUST A POKE 2 (2)

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album photo (A’ Side)

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album photo (B’ Side)

Photos related to the band :

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Sweet Smoke in Southern Germany, 1974.
Photo supplied by Rick Rasa, September 2000

SWEET SMOKE BAND 3

Sweet Smoke in 1974 with their Ford Transit van (from left to right: John, Rick, Andy, Enid, Marvin, Marty, Howie, Diane)

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Promotional Postcard of Jazz-Rock Band Sweet Smoke, 1970 top row: Jay, Jeffery, Mike, Andy, Rochus – bottom row: Steve, Marvin, Nico

Image result for sweet smoke live album

 

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Links related to the album/track :

Sweet Smoke – “Baby Night” Video on YouTube

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Video on YouTube

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Album’s Review on Rock Times

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Download Link on Culture For All Blog

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Download Link on Urban Aspirines Blog

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Download Link on Plain and Fancy Blog

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Download Link on Willie Said

Sweet Smoke – “Just A Poke” Full Album Download Link on Music Bazaar

Links related to the band :

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Spotify

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Mixcloud

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on ProgArchives

Sweet Smoke Band’s Homepage

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Facebook

Sweet Smoke Band’s Interview on It’s A Psychedelic Baby Magazine

Sweet Smoke Interview with Michael Paris Fontana on Ritvik

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Google Play

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Apple Music

Sweet Smoke Band’s Page on Tidal