Archive for September, 2010

Ted Lucas “The Om Album”

Yoga Records, in collaboration with Riverman, are hitting it out of the park in their first year. It seems a shame I haven’t heard this record before, as it’s an easy new favorite. Ted Lucas got his start playing in a Detroit folk revival band called The Spike-Drivers, eventually leaving to form other groups The Misty Wizards, Horny Toads, and the Boogie Disease. While he was a respected figure in Michigan’s folk and rock scene, his self-titled solo album (recorded largely in his attic studio during 1974) failed to break beyond local recognition.

The promo sticker nails the sound, placing Ted Lucas next to legends John Fahey, Nick Drake, and Skip Spence. It’s a right on comparison when you hear what this album has to offer. Each side of the record is plainly its own thing; Side A being a suite of six perfectly sweet folk originals and Side B containing an instrumental, an extended blues jam, and an 8-minute raga. The first three tracks have melodies that seamlessly weave in your head on first or second listen. “I’ll Find A Way” is the sleeper knockout, tucking in after the record’s gorgeous three song opener: “Plain & Sane & Simple Melody,” “It’s So Easy,” and “Now That I Know.” These tunes are so easy to love and will have no trouble lodging comfortably in your head. I can’t contain how much I dig the side A closer “It Is So Nice To Get Stoned,” especially when “Sonny Boy Blues” on side B warns “you better stop drinking that wine.” Arrangements are sparse, an acoustic guitar gracefully ornamented with sitar drones (Lucas played uncredited sitar on the Tempations’ “Psychedelic Shack”) and delicate electric fingerpicking, with some auto-harp and tasteful percussion elsewhere.¬†For a lost psych-folk record, the sound is remarkably current.

Comes in a faithfully reproduced LP-style package, with a facsimile of the original insert, new liners and a save-worthy protective cover. Yoga just might make the CD format cool again! Even so, I might have to spring for the vinyl. The insert, by the way, is wonderful, showcasing a badass t-shirt with Stanley Mouse’s cover design and contains the lyrics and chords to the songs on the first side. Got to be one of the best reissues of the year.

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“It Is So Nice To Get Stoned”

ūüėÄ CD Reissue | Yoga/Riverman | at amazon ]
:) Vinyl Reissue | Yoga/Riverman | at amazon ]

The Sorrows “Take A Heart”

The Sorrows’ roots can be traced back to Coventry (around 1963), where Don Fardon (vocals), Pip Whitcher (lead guitar), Terry Jukes (rhythm guitar), and Philip Packham (bass) played in various local beat groups.¬† While plying their trade in the local night clubs the group was discovered by John Schroeder, Picadilly’s label manager.¬† Their first Picadilly (owned by Pye)¬†single, “I Don’t Want To Be Free/Come With Me,” was an excellent Kinks-like number, full of power chords and tough, soulful vocals.¬†¬†Another¬†quality¬†single¬†leaked out¬†(“Baby”)¬†but success seemed to elude the boys.

It wasn’t¬†until “Take A Heart” that the Sorrows had their big top 20 smash.¬† Originally written by songwriter Miki Dallon and recorded by the Boy Blues, “Take A Heart” for my money, is one of the¬†UK’s greatest¬†rock n roll singles.¬† The song’s arrangement gradually builds up into an explosion of speedy guitar¬†work, charging¬†rhythms, and violent lead vocals (Fardon was a great vocalist).¬† Without question, this 45¬†is one of the true classics.¬† To capitalize on the¬†single’s success Pye released¬†the Take A Heart LP in December of 1965.¬† The LP is consistently good, featuring originals, a few more tracks written by Miki Dallon¬†and some interesting R&B covers.¬† Standouts include their¬†ferocious take on “Teenage Letter,” the trashy mod pop of “Come With Me,”¬† a couple of strange beat ballads (“How Love Used To Be” and “We Should Get Along Fine”), and a Dylan influenced folk-rocker titled “Don’t Sing No Sad Songs For Me.”¬† Another great cut is their cover of “Let Me In,” a track that rocks really hard and features impressive fretwork.¬† Take A Heart is right up there with the early Stones’ output, the Pretty Things first two LPs, and the Small Faces debut; it’s that good.

The¬†Sorrows released a few more¬†45s from the lp but none of them made the charts.¬†¬†¬†At this point Fardon¬†decided it was best¬†that he¬†leave¬†the group¬†to¬†pursue a solo career.¬† The¬†Sorrows would soldier on, releasing an excellent early psych 45 in 1967 (“Pink, Purple, Yellow, Red”)¬†and then relocate to Italy.¬† It was around this time that the group cut an LP titled Old Songs, New Songs in 1968.¬† A respectable LP, Old Songs, New Songs was a mixture of¬†group originals and covers of¬†then popular tracks by Traffic, The Small Faces and Family.¬† Despite the LP’s¬†fine guitar work, it was nowhere near as good (or original)¬†as Take A Heart.

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“Take A Heart”

ūüėČ MP3 2-Album | 2006 | Sanctuary | download ]
:)  Vinyl | search ebay ]
ūüėé Spotify link | listen ]

Riley “Grandma’s Roadhouse”

I’m a long time fan of the¬†perfect hair, boozy lamentations,¬†and sorrowful, wavering croon of popular country music’s tragic superstar, Gary Stewart. When I heard Delmore Recordings had unearthed one of Gary’s first projects, a 500 LP hand-stamped private-pressed recording from after-hour sessions at Bradley’s Barn in 1970, well, who could resist.

Nashville writing partners and recording assistants, Gary Stewart (who would hit it big in the later 70s with “She’s Acting Single, I’m Drinking Doubles” and “Drinkin’ Thing”) and Bill Eldridge invited Michigan’s Riley Watkins, Jim Snead, and Jim¬†Noveskey to experiment during their free time at the Barn.¬†Nashville Scene does an excellent service to the rest of Riley’s story, although, I can’t agree their music is very commercial in sound.¬†Roadhouse may be one of the scratchiest demos I have yet to hear from the early country-rock (as Delmore calls it “headneck”) genre. These are scant, dusty archive recordings (“Daddy’s Come Home” even mildly garbled by tape flutter). Riley’s sound is more on par with what came from suburban garages in the early 60s than anything ever recorded in Music City USA; naturally I’m completely in to the record.

The sound is somewhere between The Band’s americana, heady jams and headstrong vocals of Moody Blues, CSN-tinged harmonies, Link Wray’s chicken shack (in this case “Funky Tar Paper Shack”), and down-home southern vibe you’ll find in bands like Goose Creek and Wheatstraw-era Dillards. For Stewart fans, the highlight is Gary’s big vox on his own “Drinkin’ Them Squeezins,” an early nod to his secret formula. Big kudos to Delmore for digging this up from nowhere; I’ll never tire of excellent unheard reissues from this era. Keep em coming!

Get some more at whenyouawake.

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“Field Of Green”

:) Vinyl Reissue | 2010 | Delmore |  buy from delmore ]
ūüėÄ CD Reissue | 2010 |¬†Delmore Recordings | ¬†buy¬† @ delmore ]
ūüėé Spotify link | listen ]

PODCAST 22 Car songs

THE RISING STORM!!

Running Time: 53:38 | File Size 73.7 MB
Download: .mp3
To subscribe to this podcast: http://therisingstorm.net/podcast.xml [?]

We’re proud to announce the first TRS mix from our UK correspondent, Leonard Leichti. It’s got tracks from the likes of Woody, Cooder, Roy, Who, Stones and more:

1. Ry Cooder “Crazy ‚ÄėBout An Automobile”
2. The Rolling Stones “You Can‚Äôt Catch Me”
3. Roy Orbison “I Drove All Night”
4. Woody Guthrie “Car Song”
5. Commander Cody “Hot Rod Lincoln”
6. Green On Red “Frozen In My Headlights”
7. Jerry Reed “East Bound And Down”
8. Robert Johnson “Terraplane Blues”
9. Michael Nesmith “Highway 99 With Melange”
10. Nelson Riddle “Theme From Route 66”
11. Billy Bremner “Loud Music In Cars”
12. Junior Brown “Hill Country Hot Rod Man”
13. The Who “Jaguar”
14. Dave Edmunds “Crawling From The Wreckage”
15. Primal Scream “Kowalski”

The Ikon Records Story

Several years back the good folks at Frantic Records treated us to The Ikon Records Story.  This vinyl sampler of the fabled label was followed by a grand, 2 cd set (60 tracks!), which included plenty of bonus cuts, lost 45s and unreleased tracks.  Many of these tracks were recorded during the prime garage/teenbeat era (1964-1966) at Ikon Studios, which was located in Sacramento, California.

There are no fuzz (Eirik Wangberg’s excellent “Every Night I¬†Dream A Little” is a notable expection – it’s a twisted gem of a record)¬†or¬†freaky garage¬†stompers a la Back From The Grave.¬† Be that as it may, The Ikon Records Story is loaded with great slices of mid 60’s rock n roll, surf, instrumental numbers, folk-rock, garage punk, spy-themed novelty¬†bits and Brit influenced pop.¬† It’s¬†nearly the equal of¬†Back From The Grave but focuses on a wider array of¬†vintage teenbeat sounds:¬†key cuts being Madd, Inc.’s powerful,¬†rebel¬†rocker “I’ll Be The One” (a near classic), the Knightsmen’s impressive, Rolling¬†Stones-like “Daddy Was A Rolling Stone,” the Mergers’¬†fine British Invasion influenced pop rocker¬†“Love, You Funny Thing,”¬†and The Shondells’ downbeat jangler “It’s True.”

There’s really too many highlights here to list –¬†The Ikon Records Story is¬†a terrific collection of adolescent, fresh-faced¬†sounds from the days when rock music was new,¬†raw and vital.¬† Most of the original 45’s are so rare that it would cost thousands of dollars to piece this collection together.¬†¬† If you’re into classic mid 60’s sounds you should really own this superb compilation of¬†regional¬†rock n roll.

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Sel-Sync – The Fire Is Gone

ūüėÄ CD Issue | 2006 | Crypt Records | search ebay ]