The Misunderstood “Before The Dream Faded”

Before the Dream Faded

Of the thousands of 1960s garage bands who progressed from garage rock to psychedelia, The Misunderstood were quite possibly the best. They were a legendary group who at the peak of their powers, could meet groups such as the Yardbirds and the Animals on a level playing field.  In Rick Brown they had a commanding vocalist who at the end of the group’s legendary run began writing songs that are now acknowledged psychedelic classics. Their lead guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell had an unorthodox playing style but what he lacked in technical form he made up with in innovation. In 1966, they were a force to be reckoned with.

The Misunderstood started out in Riverside, CA in the mid 60s.  They began playing the blues, much like their British Invasion counterparts the Animals and the Yardbirds. The second side of Before The Dream Faded is made up of recordings from this formative era (1965).  While these songs aren’t up to the standards of the first side (6 psychedelic era tracks from 1966), they are still enjoyable pieces that show the group developing a signature sound. Among them, “I Need Your Love” is a fine garage cut that weds Mersey style harmonica with raw, under-produced American garage. Another track, “Who’s Been Talking” is a strong rendition of an old Howlin’ Wolf blues classic.  The best song on side B is a powerful psych rendition of “I’m Not Talking.” This gem features squalling feedback and a huge, guitar-heavy sound that could only be compared to the Yardbirds. The only real dud on this album is the sappy teen ballad “Like I Do.”

In 1966, just before Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Pink Floyd began recording their great psychedelic era material, the Misunderstood walked into the studio and laid down 6 outstanding tracks that even today are still revered as some of the finest rock n roll ever cut. Most of these tracks are originals although note the radical psych reworking of “Who Do You Love” and the hard rock arrangement of “I Unseen.”

mp3: I Need Your Love
mp3: Find a Hidden Door
mp3: I Can Take You to the Sun

:D Compilation | 1997 | Cherry Red | buy here ]
:) Compilation | 1982 | Cherry Red | search ebay ]
8) Spotify link | listen ]

Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck “Home Grown Stuff”

Home Grown Stuff

Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck were a folk rock group from Vancouver, British Columbia formed in 1968. Commercial success eluded them although they managed to release two fine albums that melded blues, country, folk, hard rock and psychedelia seamlessly. The group had a few interesting non-LP 45s as well, “I” being the best of these forgotten releases.

Most psych fans prefer their highly regarded Home Grown Stuff album from 1969 (Capitol). Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck has a strong SF influence, at times sounding like Kak or more accurately, the late 60s Youngbloods. “Someone Think,” the album’s best song, features plenty of fuzz guitar distortion and a superb psych styled guitar solo.  This cut is mandatory listening and a true classic of underground psychedelia. “One Ring Jane,” which isn’t far off in terms of quality, was released on 45 and is another excellent psych jam with lots of chaotic electric guitar soloing. Much of this record is folk-rock best exemplified by bouncy, uptempo numbers like the “Times Are Changing” and “Blue Dye.” Other gems are the sparkling country rock track “One Glass For Wine” and the folk psych cut “Elevated Platform.”

Admittedly this album has three or four dud tracks but is still notable for it’s strong songs (it’s highs are pretty high) and fluid SF style guitar work – it’s a firm favorite among late 60s Canadian/American psych rock collectors.  Their second album, Starting a New Day, is more of a country rock record but a good one that’s perhaps more consistent than the great Home Grown Stuff album.

mp3: One Glass For Wine
mp3: Soneone Think

:D  LP | 1969 | Capitol | search ebay ]

The Roosters “All Of Our Days”

All Of Our Days

This Westchester, CA group released just three singles in the mid 60s.  The last single, released in 1967, is a disappointment (mediocre sunshine pop) in light of what came before: two of the best chiming guitar folk-rock singles of the 60s.

On these 45s the lyrics are above average, the vocals strongly recall Roger McGuinn, and the band plays with an exciting garage band energy.  “One of These Days” (Progressive Sounds of America label – 1965) is perhaps their best known single and a classic but the flip “You Gotta Run,” a hybrid of Byrdsian folk-rock and British Invasion pop, is also a winner.  Their next single, released in 1966, was the excellent “Rosebush” (Enith label)  backed by another fine, hard hitting B-side, “Ain’t Gonna Cry Anymore.”

It’s said that the Roosters were headed by lead guitarist and head songwriter Tim Ward and vocalist Ray Mangigian.  Before the Roosters, Tim Ward had played in the Avengers and then a bit later in the Five More.  In 1965, the Five More released a fine surf instrumental (“Avalanche”) backed by the raving, Mersey influenced “I’m No Good.”

All Of Our Days collects all of the above tracks plus the Roosters 1966 Gold Star Studio sessions.  Thankfully, these tracks measure up to their official 45s.  “She Sends Me,” a dark, minor key folk-rocker is one of their finest songs while “Help Me Please” and “Deep Inside” explode with enthusiasm and strong pop hooks.  This compilation, released in both vinyl and cd format by Break-A-Way Records  is better than most “real” garage albums as it’s a strong listen all the way through.

mp3: Rosebush
mp3: She sends me

:) Vinyl Reissue | 2011 | Breakaway | search ebay ]

PODCAST 29 Garage,Psych,Folk-Rock

I Will Go  – The Beau Brummels (1965)
You Gotta Run – The Roosters  (1966)
Song of a Gypsy – Damon (1969)
Invisible People – Hamilton Streetcar (1968)
Walkin’ Shoes – The Trolls (1964)
The Losing Game – The Five Americans (1966)
Thesis – The Penny Arkade (1968)
Swim – The Penny Arkade  (1968?)

Do I Love You – Powder (1968)
Wanting You – Paul Revere & the Raiders (1967)
Mother Nature – Father Earth – The Music Machine (1969)
Merry Go Round – Reggie King (1969)
So Now You Know Who You Are – Peter Lindahl (1970?)
Think of the Good Times – The Stumps (with the Grodes)  (1967)
Secret Police – The Belfast Gypsies (1966)

Download: Podcast29.mp3
To subscribe to this podcast: http://therisingstorm.net/podcast.xml [?]

The Stained Glass “A Scene In-Between 1965-1967″

stainedglass

The Stained Glass hailed from San Jose CA, the same scene that spawned 60s garage heroes the Chocolate Watch Band, the E-Types and the Syndicate of Sound. Being 45 minutes outside of San Francisco, it was inevitable that the Stained Glass would rub shoulders with and even play on the same bills with many of the region’s big name acts. Chief songwriter and guiding light Jim McPherson would even go on to play in John Cipollina’s early 70’s post Quicksilver band Copperhead. The music heard on A Scene In-Between 1965-1967 suggest that had things gone right for the Stained Glass, they could have been – should have been – serious contenders.

The Stained Glass started out life in 1964 as a raw folk-rock, British Invasion influenced outfit called the Trolls. The group’s story began with Jim McPherson (bass) answering guitarist Rodger Hedge’s local advertisement to form a band.  Drummer Dennis Carrasco joined by way of recommendation, followed by lead guitarist Bob Rominger.  The group’s earliest songs, all originals mostly written by Jim McPherson, were an impressive lot. “Walking Shoes”, the Trolls only 45 (Peatlore) is a superb folk-rock track with a raw, garage feel – by far their hardest rocking early number and a track often championed by garage rock obsessives. “How Do You Expect Me To Trust You” (45 flipside) and “Sweeter Than Life” compare favorably to what the Beau Brummels were recording around the same time in that they are lyrical, downbeat folk-rockers with strong melodies and a mystical edge. “Such Good Friends,” “She’s Not Right” and “No Rhyme or Reason” were a nod to the Trolls’ British Invasion influences – all are giddy, driving numbers that compare favorably to the early Zombies or Kinks work from around the same time (circa 1965/1966). Jim McPherson’s songwriting, the group’s excellent harmonies and tight ensemble work separated them from countless other regional groups.

From 1966-1967, around the time the group changed their name to the Stained Glass, was when McPherson (and the group) recorded some of their finest material. In 1966, the group travelled to Columbia’s Sunset Boulevard Studios to audition for the label.  They recorded a few gems which ended up being shelved. “Lonely Am I” is a worthy minor key Zombies influenced gem but it was the devastating “Broken Man” that really catches the ear.  “Broken Man” stuck out for it’s well written, enigmatic lyrics, unique chorus and proto psychedelic guitar solo which was innovative for the time.

The Columbia deal didn’t pan out which led the group to RCA Victor. Here, they recorded and released a fine version of the Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone” (before Rubber Soul had hit the market) backed by a recut of “How Do You Expect Me To Trust You.”  This single flopped and the Stained Glass gave it another go. “My Buddy Sin” backed by an underrated Kinks-like “Vanity Fair” (think “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”) was superb but somehow failed to connect with music fans. “My Buddy Sin” was one of the group’s true classics; the back bone of the song is harmony pop but the harmonica flourishes give it a rootsy folk-rock flavor that recalls some of the Byrds best mid 60s tracks. The band was disappointed with the outcome as they did not want harmonica added to the single but it’s interesting to note that the harpsichord intro was played by Jim. The songwriting on “My Buddy Sin” was once again interesting (religious imagery) and ahead of its time. When “My Buddy Sin” failed it did little to the group’s confidence as they were getting plenty of live work and making lots of money.  For their next 45, RCA Victor forced the Stained Glass to record a catchy Barry Mann/Cynthia Well offering. “We Got A Long Way To Go,” was a big hit locally and notable for it’s catchy melody and stinging distorted guitar solo.  It was more in vein with the Turtles pop sound, which wasn’t really where the Stained Glass stood from an artistic standpoint.  At around this time the group were in the studios, recording music that was more in line with Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield and the Beau Brummels.  “Inside Ouch” a fine balance between soul and folk-rock, would have fit comfortably on Buffalo Springfield’s debut.  The outstanding “Dollar Sign Friends” is a driving jangle rock track with defiant lyrics, which were written by Bob Rominger while “Second Day” was the kind of lyrical folk-rock that could be found on Moby Grape’s debut classic.  A latter recording session yielded two cuts that ended up being issued as a 45 in 1967, the bizarre “A Scene In-Between” and the pure pop of “Mediocre Me.”  Both songs are minor psychedelic pop classics and represent a high point for the Stained Glass.  During this session they also recorded two other fine tracks, “Bubble Machine,” a vibrant piece of sunshine pop with echoplex guitar, shimmering bells and keys and the morbid “Mr Martyr.”  The latter track once again featured unique lyrics and superb harmony vocals.

From here the anthology ends although the Stained Glass would go on to record two albums in the late 60s, the excellent Crazy Horse Roads from 1968 and the disappointing Aurora from 1969.  A Scene-In Between 1965-1967 is a much needed overview of this great lost American band.  This is easily one of the best 60s reissues of 2013 and it goes without saying that this disc is mandatory listening.

mp3: My Flash On You
mp3: Broken Man
mp3: Dollar Sign Friends

:D Reissue | 2013 | Ace Records | get it here ]

2013 REISSUES PODCAST

 

The RISING STORM podcast is back! In this installment, listen to tracks from our favorite reissues of 2013. Check out the many fine releases this year and support the great labels making it happen:

Action Woman – The Litter – Distortions (Sundazed)
Calm Me Down - Human Expression – Love at Psychedelic Velocity (Mississippi)
I Wanna Go – Los Mockers – Los Nuggetz (Rockbeat)
You Turn Me Around – Tandyn Almer – Along Comes Tandyn (Sundazed)
Buttermilk (Pt. 1) – Sly Stone – Higher! (Sony Legacy)
Cantec Fulger – Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes (Strut)
Come Out and Play – The Paley Brothers – Complete Recordings (Real Gone)
Mine Mine Mind – Roky Erickson (Light in the Attic)

You’re A Good Girl – Michael Fennelly – Love Can Change Everything (Sundazed)
Rodeo – Robbie Basho – Visions of the Country (Gnome Life)
Who Do You Love – Townes Van Zandt – Sunshine Boy (Omnivore)
Forget Marie – Lee Hazlewood – There’s a Dream I’ve Been Saving (LITA)
Only a Hobo – Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait (Columbia)
The Shape I’m In – The Band – Live at the Academy of Music (Capitol)
Subterranean Homesick Blues – Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection (Sony)
Creeping Away – Swamp Dogg – Rat On! (Alive Naturalsound)

Download: 2013Reissues.mp3
To subscribe to this podcast: http://therisingstorm.net/podcast.xml [?]

Hoi’ Polloi “Hoi’ Polloi”

Hoi'Polloi

Hoi’ Polloi’s only self-titled private press LP is a true lost gem.  Record Collector Magazine referred to this album as “a buried treasure” while Acid Archives writer Aaron Milenski said of the album, “Here’s proof that great finds are still out there awaiting us.”  Family Vineyard reissued this strange but engaging album on vinyl and digital download.

The group, which hailed from Richmond, Indiana, mixes various early 70s pop/rock styles (CSN&Y styled singer songwriter pop, country rock, power pop, folk rock, progressive rock, lite psychedelia) into an appealing whole.  Hoi’ Polloi was recorded at Earlham College during spring break using two stereo deck tapes.  Album opener “Who’s Gonna Help Me” sounds like a lost Emitt Rhodes track – this is radio friendly and highly accomplished pop for a self released disc.  The folk-rock tracks such as “Stories,” “Devil Song,” and “Old Bootstrap” are the group’s greatest strength as they are tuneful and finely crafted pieces of music – how was this excellent band overlooked? Other winners are the acid soaked but brief “Last Laugh,” the progressive harpsichord instrumental “Sid Stoneman Gets Scaled,” and the catchy singer songwriter styled “15 Miles To Mexico.”

While influences are easy to spot, Hoi’ Polloi had a unique quirkiness and strong sense of musicianship that keeps this music original and fresh.   They were a group that could sing, write and play better than most major label acts of their time.  There are no rough spots or dull moments to be found on this very entertaining set, which is highly recommended to fans of early 70’s pop rock.

mp3: Stories
mp3: I Used To Think

:) LP Reissue | 2013 | buy from family vineyard ]
;) MP3/FLAC | download at family vineyard ]

Beachwood Sparks “The Tarnished Gold”

Tarnished Gold

Beachwood Sparks are one of the most accomplished country rock bands on the indie rock scene today.  Influenced by classic LA country rock styles rather than 90s alternative country, the group has been around since the late 1990s.  In The Tarnished Gold Beachwood Sparks have released perhaps their finest album to date, their masterpiece and a return to form (their last album came out 10 years before).

While there are a couple of throw away tracks (see the clumsy “No Queremos Oro”), the album as a whole is uniformly excellent – easily one of the finest country rock releases in the past 20 years.  “Sparks Fly Again,” “Mollusk” and “Tarnished Gold” strongly recall the Byrds from their Younger Than Yesterday and Notorious Byrd Brothers albums, as they combine Bakersfield/LA style country with trippy guitar work.  “Goodbye,” “Nature’s Light” and “Talk About Lonesome” find the group arriving at their own sound (indie folk, rock and country) and are more original than much of what’s here (even though what’s here is great).  “Water From The Well” one of the album’s finest songs, sounds like a classic and should be as it’s a great folk rock cut with catchy guitar figures.

The sounds here are soft, laid back and sublime – none of this music rocks hard but it doesn’t matter because the quality of the songcraft here outshines the lack of rock n roll music.  Without doubt The Tarnished Gold is one of the finest folk/country/rock/indie albums of 2012.  It’s an important album for Beachwood Sparks in that it shows the group’s maturity as song writers and performers.  Let’s hope Beachwood Sparks continues to release records this good.

mp3: Mollusk
mp3: Water From The Well

:) Reissue | Subpop | 2012 | buy from amazon ]

Clear Light “Clear Light”

Clear Light

Clear Light was a folk-rock/psych-rock group from LA that released one LP off Elektra in 1967, famously known for including two drummers, one of them being Dallas Taylor of CSNY and Manassas fame. Paul Rothchild produced the LP, which explains why the recording sessions were fraught with tension and negativity. The group was masterminded by guitarist/vocalist Bob Seal, bass player Doug Lubahn, and lead vocalist Cliff De Young. Prior to Clear Light the band had been known as the Brain Train. Seal felt a name change was appropriate to coincide with the release of a newly recorded debut single, “Black Roses.” Seal decided on Clear Light, a concept he had come across in his readings of Eastern philosophy, a name also shared by a potent brand of LSD.

“Black Roses,” written by Wolfgang Dios, was released in September of 1967. It was a great hard charging folk-rock single with an acid tinged guitar solo that deserved to sell much better than it did. Black Roses appeared on the group’s only full length platter, released in late 1967. Many psych fans are divided when it comes to the Clear Light LP but I think it’s a good one. Maybe not a true classic on par with Love’s Forever Changes or Moby Grape’s debut but still a very good LP without any weak tracks. The band tries nearly everything within a 2 to 3 minute pop song context, loading the songs with good quirky ideas and great guitar solos (check out “Think Again”). Some tracks like “They Who Have Nothing” and the baroque “Ballad of Freddie & Larry” bear a strong Doors and Love influence, but this makes sense considering these were all Elektra groups. Other songs like the outstanding fuzz guitar psychedelia of “Sand” and the trippy “Night Sounds Loud” are more original and hinted at a strong future for the group. The former track features some great organ and spiraling acid guitar interplay. The album’s most famous track, a cover of Tom Paxton‘s “Mr. Blue,” sounds dated today with its spoken word dialogue, although, even this song is oddly appealing in its own way and definitely still considered a highlight.

Rothchild’s iron fist policy coupled with the lack of commercial success led to Clear Light’s demise, shortly after the release of this solid album. Not everyone will like this record because of its eccentric nature but it really is a crime that Clear Light was unable to release a followup to this debut. A very worthy release from a talented, accomplished California group.

mp3: Think Again
mp3: Sand

:) Vinyl Reissue | Sundazed | buy from sundazed ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1967 | Vogue | search @ ebay ]
;) MP3 Album | download ]

Blo “Chapter One”

Chapter One

Blo (based out of Lagos) grew out of the Clusters, a popular late 60s group who made ends meet by covering Beatles and Stones tunes.  Before long people began refering to the Clusters as the “Nigerian Beatles” but the group also soaked up the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and local hero Fela Kuti.  To make a long story short things did not work out for the Clusters who included future Blo members Akintobi and guitarist/songwriter Berkley Jones.  In 1972 Blo made their Christmas debut at Lagos City Stadium and by all accounts blew supporting act Osibisa off stage.   Lagos City Stadium housed 10,000 vistors strong, all who were chanting “we want Blo” that day – a trio they had never seen before!

Press reports began describing Blo as Africa’s first real rock band. Following the explosive live performance at Lagos City EMI issued Chapter One in the summer of 73.  At the time nothing sounded quite like it.   The album is an extraordinary mixture of funky James Brown beats and spacey psychedelic guitar jams (check out the superb instrumental “Miss Sagitt”).    Album opener “Preacherman” combines both these styles into something really far out and classic.  The spiraling acid guitar solos and shuffling drum work really stand out on this cut. Brilliant.  Every song is worth listening to multiple times but I’ll single out all 6 minutes of “Don’t” for it’s hazy, hypnotic vibe that’s similiar to early Can.

Sadly, Blo never really broke out of Nigeria despite having the look, superior chops, and an excellent batch of songs.

edit: Chapter One is now available on CD through Mr. Bongo (with a vinyl edition due by the end of this month). They’ve also posted the full album as a video playlist here.

mp3: Preacherman

:D CD Reissue | 2013 | Mr Bongo | buy here ]
:) Vinyl Reissue | 2013 | Mr Bongo | buy here ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]