The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “The World’s On Fire” (1967)

Band : The Strawberry Alarm Clock (Formed in 1967, in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

Country Of Origin : U.S.A.

Track : “The World’s On Fire” (Opening track)

Album : “Incense And Peppermints (Debut Album)

Label : UNI Records (73014)

Date/Year Of Release : November 1967

Category/Music Genres : Acid Rock, Psychedelic Rock, U.S.A., 1960s


The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “The World’s On Fire”

Video on YouTube

Lyrics 

The world (the world)
Is on fire tonight (tonight)
And this flame that glows (flame that glows)
Is too hot for me to fight (to fight)
Dancing flames (dancing flames)
Twisting, turning out of sight (turning out of sight)
Smoke-filled eyes (smoke-filled eyes)
Crying, “Hold me, hold me tight” (me tight)

Tears of joy
And sad, smiling faces
Oh, make the sparkle above the brightly night

The world (the world)
Is on fire tonight (tonight)
And the flame that flows (flame that flows)
Is still burning oh so bright (so bright)
Blazing arms (blazing arms)
With a heavy appetite (appetite)
The swirling flames (swirling flames)
Blinding everyone in sight (in sight)

Sweat-filled traces
In common places
The price we pay to hear this type of fight

Fire
Fire
Fire
We’re on fire tonight

The song is included on the album “Incense And Peppermints” and it’s the album’s opening track.

“Incense And Peppermints” album 

Album cover photo (front)

Image result for strawberry alarm clock incense and peppermints

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense And Peppermints” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Incense and Peppermints is the first album by psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. Released in November 1967, the album reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 album charts and included the band’s No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Incense and Peppermints”. In addition to the six official members of the band, the album also featured the flute playing of Steve Bartek, who co-wrote four songs on the album with bass player George Bunnell.

The tracks “The World’s on Fire”, “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow” and “Incense and Peppermints” were all featured in the motion picture Psych-Out, along with a new song, “Pretty Song from Psych-Out”, which later appeared on the band’s second album, Wake Up…It’s Tomorrow.

A compilation album of the same name (albeit spelled with an ampersand) was released by MCA in 1990. To date, the album has been released on CD only in Japan and (more recently) on Sundazed Records.

Tracks

1. The World’s on Fire (E. King, G. Bunnell, L. Freeman, M. Weitz, R. Seol) – 8:25
2. Birds in My Tree (S. Bartek, G. Bunnell) – 1:54
3. Lose to Live (C. King, T. Stern) – 3:15
4. Strawberries Mean Love (G. Bunnell) – 3:02
5. Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow (S. Bartek, G. Bunnell) – 3:04
6. Paxton’s Back Street Carnival (S. Bartek, E. King, G. Bunnell, L. Freeman, M. Weitz, R. Seol) – 2:04
7. Hummin’ Happy (E. King, G. Bunnell, L. Freeman, M. Weitz, R. Seol) – 2:24
8. Pass Time With The SAC (G. Bunnell, L. Freeman, E. King, J. Pitman, M. Weitz) – 1:21
9. Incense and Peppermints (J. Carter, T. Gilbert) – 2:47
10.Unwind with the Clock (E. King, M. Weitz) – 4:13

Line-up 
George Bunnell – 2nd Bass Guitar, Vocals
Randy Seol – Drums, Bongos, Vibes, Vocals
Lee Freeman –  Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Edward King – Guitar, Vocals
Mark Weitz – Vocals, Organ, Piano, Harpsichord
Gary Lovetro – 1st Bass Guitar, Vocals

Credits 

Producer – Bill Holmes, Frank Slay

Photography By – Ed Caraeff

Engineer – Paul Buff

Design [Cover Design] – Lazarus/LePrevost

Arranged By – Ed King (2), Howard Davis (2), Mark Weitz

Other [Advice] – Johnny Fairchild

Other [Clothing] – Sat Purish

External Links

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense And Peppermints” Full Album Video Playlist on YouTube

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense And Peppermints” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense And Peppermints” Full Album Audio/Video Playlist on Last Fm

The Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense And Peppermints” Full Album Download Link on Rockasteria Blog

 

 

 

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)

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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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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

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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

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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

 

 

Garage/Psychedelic Rock U.S.A. (Tracks) The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – “Shifting Sands”

Garage/Psychedelic Rock U.S.A. (Tracks)

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

Related Artists :
California Spectrum, Cotton, Lloyd & Christian, Friends, The Laughing Wind, The New Dimensions, October Country, The Rogues, The Smoke, The Snowmen, Super Band

“Shifting Sands” (written by Baker Knight) A1 (opening track) included on the album “Part One” 

Released on Reprise Records ( R 6247) in February 1967

Line-up/Credits :

Hal Blaine – Drums
Kenny Bobo – Vocals
Dan Harris – Guitar
Shaun Harris – Bass, Vocals
Michael Lloyd – Guitar, Vocals
Ron Morgan – Guitar
Bob Markley – Composer

Art Direction – Ed Thrasher

Design – Charles E. White III

Engineer – Lee Herschberg

Photography By – Carl Frith

Producer – Bob Markley, Jimmy Bowen

Lyrics :

You know the love I gave you
Is slipping from your hands
‘Cause I was born to wander
Like the shifting of the sands

They say that I did hurt you
But they don’t understand
That I was born to wander
Like the shifting of the sands

They say that I will follow
Beware my heart commands
For I was born to wander
Like the shifting of the sands

Track List :

1. “Shifting Sands” Baker Knight 3:54
2. “I Won’t Hurt You” LloydMarkley, D. Harris 2:21
3. “1906” Markley, Morgan 2:18
4. “Help, I’m a Rock” Frank Zappa 4:22
5. “Will You Walk With Me” Bonnie Dobson, D. Harris 2:57
6. “Transparent Day” Markley, D. Harris 2:15
7. “Leiyla” Markley, D. Harris 2:51
8. “Here’s Where You Belong” P.F. Sloan 2:47
9. “If You Want This Love” Knight 2:47
10. “‘Scuse Me, Miss Rose” Bob Johnston 3:01
11. “High Coin” Van Dyke Parks 1:52

One of the more offbeat acts to emerge during the psychedelic era, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band were certainly eclectic and ambitious enough to live up to their slightly clumsy moniker, capable of jumping from graceful folk-rock to wailing guitar freakouts to atonal, multilayered, avant-garde compositions at a moment’s notice, but they also reflected a strongly divided creative mindset, with Bob Markley, the lyricist and ostensive leader of the group, on one side and the rest of the band on the other.

Danny Harris and his brother Shaun grew up in a musical family — their father, Roy Harris, was a respected composer, and their mother, Joanna Harris, was a pianist who taught at Juilliard. In 1962, their family relocated to Los Angeles and the Harris Brothers joined a local rock band called the Snowmen, with Danny on guitar and Shaun on bass. Danny and Shaun attended the same high school as Michael Lloyd, who was playing guitar in another, more successful local group called the Rogues; Shaun was recruited to join the Rogues as bassist, and soon Michael, Shaun, and Danny began working together on music of their own. They installed a makeshift recording studio at Lloyd’s house, and cut a handful of fine singles under the name the Laughing Wind, with John Ware as their drummer. The Laughing Wind had become acquainted with noted L.A. producer and scenester Kim Fowley, and Fowley introduced the band to Bob Markley, the Oklahoma-born son of a wealthy oil tycoon who had studied law but had ambitions of making a name for himself in music, having released an unsuccessful single for Reprise Records. Markley owned a large mansion in Hollywood where he played host to the Yardbirds, who played a party at his home when they found they couldn’t book a public show due to problems with work permits. Markley was impressed by the attention the band received from the audience of music business insiders and teenage girls, and decided he wanted to form a band rather than work as a solo act. Markley liked the Laughing Wind well enough that he made them an offer: if he could join the group as vocalist and lyricist, he would bankroll touring expenses and new gear, including a full light show. The band agreed, and soon Markley had renamed the group the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band; he also drew up contracts that saw to it that he owned the group’s name, as well as their publishing.

In 1966, Markley arranged for the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to release their first album, Part One, which appeared on a small local label, Fifo Records; it was largely devoted to covers (many recorded by the Laughing Wind before Markley’s involvement), though he did contribute some originals such as “Insanity” and “Don’t Break My Balloon.” While the album’s sales were modest, the band won a following in Los Angeles for their adventurous sound and elaborate light show, and they landed a deal with Reprise Records. The WCPAEB’s first major-label album, Part One, was the first full flowering of the group’s musically ambitious side, through Markley’s lyrics tended to draw a polarized reaction from listeners; the album also saw the group expand into a sextet with the addition of guitarist Ron Morgan, another former member of the Rogues who arrived as tensions grew between Markley and Lloyd, the latter of who thought little of Markley’s talents. Lloyd was gone from the lineup for their third LP, Vol. 2: Breaking Through, released later in 1967, with all but two songs credited to Markley and Shaun Harris. By the time the group began work on their third album, the WCPAEB were beginning to splinter — Danny Harris left the band due to health problems, with Morgan handling all the guitar chores, and John Ware was out as drummer, with session musician Jim Gordon taking his place. The finished product, A Child’s Guide to Good and Evil, is often cited as the band’s best and most adventurous work, but Markley’s convoluted lyrics became increasingly pretentious and bizarre, and when the album failed to sell, they were dropped by Reprise.

The Harris Brothers and Lloyd formed a short-lived group called California Spectrum, but when Jimmy Bowen, who had produced the group’s earlier work, launched his own label, Amos Records, the WCPAEB landed a new record deal. The group’s 1969 release Where’s Daddy? credited Markley and the Harris Brothers, though Michael Lloyd and Ron Morgan also played on the sessions; the album featured several songs that dealt with young women in a somewhat disturbing manner, and once again they failed to connect with a larger audience. Even by this band’s standards, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band’s swan song was curious: Markley opted to rename the group Markley, and recorded an album titled A Group, though the full WCPAEB lineup appeared on the LP. A Group received little notice, and soon the group was history under either name. Lloyd went on to a successful career as a producer and A&R man, Shaun Harris launched a brief solo career before going into film, Ron Morgan went on to play with Three Dog Night, Danny Harris divided his time between acting and folk music, and Bob Markley produced material for other artists before he died in 2003.

Robert Markley was a bizarre and eccentric musician of the 1960s who formed the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band in Los Angeles in 1966 with guitarists Shaun Harris and Dan Harris, and help from Kim Fowley. Following a collection of covers titled Volume One (Fifo, 1966), the psychedelic music of their second album, Part One (Reprise, 1967 – Sundazed, 2001), fragile and dreamy, had little in common with the bands of their era (Shifting Sands). The third album would be released only 24 years later, as The Legendary Unreleased Album(Raspberry, 1980).

The following album Breaking Through Volume 2(Reprise, 1967) was less successful in recreating that surreal atmosphere, despite the lengthy Smell Of Incense and the Fugs-ian satire of Suppose They Give Us A War And Nobody Comes. The first two official album are summarized on Transparent Day (Edsel, 1986).

The band released A Child’s Guide To Good & Evil(Reprise, 1968), which increased the similarities with the Fugs, both in terms of agit-prop satire (Until The Poorest People Have Money To SpendA Child Of A Few Hours Is Burning To Death) and in terms of bizarre collage techniques (Anniversary Of World War 3, with proto-glitch music), Where’s My Daddy(Amos, 1969) and Markley A Group before disappearing.

A founding member of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, producer Michael Lloyd, assembled the musicians who recorded October Country (1967) and the ones who recorded The Smoke (1968 – Kismet, 2012), both studio project that never had a follow-up. The latter album includes the Turtles-esque Self-Analysis, the Beach Boys-esque October Country Cowboys And Indians, clearly derivative of the Hollies and of the musichall of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah BandOdyssey, a melodic collage that toys with the Beatles‘ Magical Mystery Tour and with horn-driven soul music, and especially the Frank Zappa-esque instrumental The Hobbit Symphony. Lloyd was one of the most creative producers of the age of “bubblegum”, of the one-hit wonders artificially constructed in the studio.

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – “Part One” Album cover photo (front)

THE WEST COAST POP ART EXPERIMENTAL BAND PART ONE 1

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

THE WEST COAST POP ART EXPERIMENTAL BAND PHOTO 2

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – “Shifting Sands” Video file link on YouTube

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Topic on YouTube

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Discogs

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’ s Page on Rate Your Music

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Spotify

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Apple Music

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Google Play

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Facebook

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page/Discography/Full Albums/Download Links on Muro Do Classic Rock Blog

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – “Part One” Full Album Download Link on 60-70 Rock Blog

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – “Part One” Full Album Donwload Link on Rockasteria Blog

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Sundazed Music

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Singles Discography on 45 Cat

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Setlist Fm

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Band’s Page on Wikipedia

 

 

Psychedelic Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) Fever Tree – “Time Is Now”

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

Fever Tree (Houston, Texas, U.S.A.)

“Time Is Now” (written by S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) B3 track included on the album “Creation”

Released on UNI Records (73067) in 1969

Line-up :

Fever Tree
Kevin Kelley – Drums
E. E. Wolfe – Bass
Michael Knust – Guitar
Grant Johnson – Keyboards
Dennis Keller – Bass, Vocals
With
John Tuttle – Drums
Rob Landis – Keyboards
Hal Blaine – Drums
David Cohen – Guitar
Walt Mescal – Guitar
Joe Osborne – Bass
Larry Knechtal – Piano
Billy Gibbons – Guitar
The Blackberries – Vocals

Arranged By [Strings And Horns] – David Angel (3) (tracks: B2)

Arranged By [Strings] – Gene Page (tracks: A2, B4)

Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Doctor Don

Engineer [Chief Engineer] – Walter Andrus

Mastered By – Sandy Lehmann-Haupt

Painting [Cover Painting] – Dub Wethersby III

Producer – Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman

Lyrics :

Don’t you know the time is now
Tomorrow is too far away
Can’t you see the time is now
I won’t wait another day

Don’t you know the time is now
If you look it’s very clear
Don’t you know the time is now
Can’t you see the place
In ay
I can’t wait, the time is now
I can’t wait
I don’t know
I don’t know
I don’t know how

Don’t you know the time is now
Let her…
Oh you better get it straight
Don’t you know the time is now
Hurry up, it’s getting late
Don’t you know the time is now
Can’t you see her place is here
Don’t you know the time is now
Don’t you know
Don’t you know
Oh don’t you know

Track Listing :

1. Woman, Woman (Woman) (Jancy Lee Tyler) – 2:33
2. Love Makes The Sun Rise (F. Davis, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 2:32
3.Catcher In The Rye (R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 3:12
4.Wild Woman Ways (Jancy Lee Tyler) – 4:05
5.Fever Blue (S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 3:33
6.Run Past My Window (Jancy Lee Tyler) – 3:25
7.Imitation Situation (Complete And Unabridged) (R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 4:47
8.Time Is Now (S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 4:05
9.The God Game (R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman) – 4:35

Although a Texas, USA-based act, Fever Tree made its mark with a tribute to the Summer of Love’s host city with their 1968 anthem ‘San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)’. Comprising Rob Landes (keyboards), Dennis Keller (vocals), E.E. Wolfe (bass), John Tuttle (drums) and Michael Knust (guitar), the psychedelic band formed in Houston, Texas, in the mid-60s as Bostwick Vine. The name change came in 1967 and the band subsequently signed with the Chicago-based Mainstream Records.

Two unsuccessful singles were recorded, and the unit then signed to Uni Records, and recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968. ‘San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)’ was penned by Vivian Holtzman, one of the band’s producers. Although only a minor chart hit, it received much airplay on the new USA FM rock stations and on John Peel’s Top Gear radio programme in the UK. Fever Tree recorded four albums, three of which charted in the USA, before splitting up in 1970. Interest in the band was renewed in the mid-80s psychedelic revival, and compilation albums were issued in both the USA and UK.
Their third and fourth albums presented here,  find the legendary Houston ’60s psych band moving away from their pop/psych West Coast leanings and developing an introspective darker edge. Both albums include some great sounds, with a monster 13 minute cover of “Hey Joe” being the highlight….
For Sale is first, Though credited as a Fever Tree release, 1970’s ironically-titled “For Sale” was little more than a collection of the earlier Mainstream sides (which may have been rerecorded) and leftover Uni-era odds and ends. A quick glance at the liner notes indicated the band had basically collapsed with keyboardist Rob Landis and drummer John Tuttle credited as ‘formerly of Fever Tree’.
Their places were taken by former Byrds drummer Kevin Kelley, keyboardist Grant Johnson, and various members of the Wrecking Crew and The Blackberries on ill thought out backing vocals and Dennis Keller’s vocals shine on the old standard “I Put a Spell on You,” (not to mention some luscious background singing by the Blackberries, who later warbled in Humble Pie) and the Love song, “She Comes In Colors.” Two of the cuts, “Girl Don’t Push Me” and “Hey Mister” are actually early singles;(For Sale was the band’s fourth album and was put together as they were breaking up.) In short For Sale is good but not great.
Again produced by husband and wife team of Scott and Vivian Holzman in 1969 Creation:starting with “Woman, Woman” (not the Gary Puckett song), the remaining cuts are from Creation and are all excellent, particularly “Wild Woman Ways,” “Catcher in the Rye”, “Run Past My Window”, and “Time is Now,” the latter featuring excellent guitar work by future ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons.
All of the band’s work is first-rate, particularly that of Dennis Keller and superb keyboardist Rob Landes. (Note: Landes is serving as organist and musical director at a church in Houston; not surprising, since many Fever Tree songs are reminiscent of liturgical music at it’s finest.)

The group originated in Houston, Texas and began in 1966 as a folk rock group called The Bostwick Vines. They changed their name to Fever Tree a year later after the addition of keyboard player Rob Landes.

The band briefly entered the public consciousness when their song “San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)” reached No. 91 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1968.Like most of the band’s material, it was written by the couple of Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who also were their producers. This four-minute track captured all the band’s trademarks: Dennis Keller’s incantation-like vocals, the quick shifting between slow parts with an almost sacral feeling and faster, more rock-oriented parts, and especially the searing guitar work by Michael Knust.

Fever Tree also released their self-titled debut album, Fever Tree, in 1968, which charted at No. 156 on the Billboard 200 Chart.  A second album, Another Time, Another Place, followed in 1969 and peaked at No. 83 with a third album Creation, charting at No. 97 on the Billboard 200 Chart in 1970. Apart from “San Francisco Girls”, they never had another hit, although they later also tried writing songs themselves when they had dropped the Holtzmans as producers. The group disbanded in 1970, but reformed in 1978 with only guitarist Michael Knust remaining from the original line-up. The new formation of the group had little commercial success; Fever Tree was not heard of again until 2003 when Michael Knust died.

Fever Tree’s first two albums (Fever Tree and Another Time, Another Place) were re-released as a single CD on October 31, 2006. Fever Tree’s third and fourth albums (Creation and For Sale) are also available as a single CD.

Their recording of “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” by Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, and Wilson Pickett was sampled as the primary riff in Madvillain’s “America’s Most Blunted” from their 2004 self-titled debut.

Band members :

Dennis Keller – vocals

Michael Stephen Knust (March 11, 1949 – September 15, 2003) – guitar

Rob Landes – synthesizer, organ, piano

E.E. “Bud” Wolfe – bass guitar

John Tuttle – drums

Don Lampton – guitar, keyboards

Discography :

Albums :

Fever Tree (1968), Uni Records/MCA

Another Time, Another Place (1968), Uni/MCA Tracks: A1 Man Who Paints the Pictures – Part 2 A2 What Time Did You Say It Is In Salt Lake City? A3 Don’t Come Crying To Me Girl A4 Fever A5 Grand Candy Young Street B1 Jokes Are For Sad People B2 I’ve Never Seen Evergreen B3 Peace of Mind B4 Death Is The Dancer

Creation (1969), Uni/MCA

For Sale (1970), Ampex Records

Live at Lake Charles (1978), Shroom Records

Singles :

“Girl Oh Girl (Don’t Push Me)” / “Steve Lenore” (1967)

“Hey Mister” / “I Can Beat Your Drum” (1968)

“Girl, Oh Girl” / “Steve Lenore” (1968)

“Come with Me” / “San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)” (1968)

“What Time Did You Say It Is in Salt Lake City?” / “Where Did You Go” (1968)

 

Fever Tree – “Creation” Album photo (A’ Side)

FEVER TREE CREATION 2

 

Fever Tree – “Creation” Album photo (B’ Side)

FEVER TREE CREATION 1

 

Fever Tree – “Creation” Album cover photo (front)

FEVER TREE CREATION 5

 

Fever Tree – “Time Is Now” Video file link on YouTube

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Spotify

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Discogs

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Rate Your Music

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Rock And Roll History

Fever Tree Article about the band on Houston Press

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Google Music Store

Fever Tree Band’s Page on Apple Music

Fever Tree Full Albums Download Links on Rockasteria Blog