Wednesday, June 30, 2010


One of the rarest UK folk private pressings new on CD. Recorded in '71 this ultra rare album was originally issued in minute quantity on the privately commisioned Amber label. This remastered CD edition enhances the trio's haunting sound of a mix of original and traditional tunes with beautifull flowing male / female vocals. Recommended to those apreciative of OBERON, MARIE CELESTE, etc.

Tracks :

01 Leaves that are green
02 Polly von
03 Kilfanora jig
04 Ye jacobites by name
05 Once i had a sweetheart
06 Fast freight
07 October song
08 I never will marry
09 Grandfather's clock
10 Geordie
11 Gone the rainbow
12 Sunday rainbow

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Mellow Yellow is the fourth album from Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the United States in March 1967 (Epic Records LN 24239 (monaural) / BN 26239 (rechanneled stereo)[1], but was not released in the UK because of a continuing contractual dispute that also prevented Sunshine Superman from a UK release. In June 1967, a cross-section of both albums was released as Sunshine Superman (Pye Records NPL 18181) in the UK. "Mellow Yellow" was the name of Donovan's hit single released the previous November.
The songs on Mellow Yellow represent a transition in Donovan's writing. Donovan's songs had previously illustrated his infatuation with an ability to define the mid-sixties pop music scene. On Mellow Yellow this is still evident in "Sunny South Kensington", "Museum" (originally recorded for the Sunshine Superman album and rerecorded for Mellow Yellow) and the title track, but is also tempered with world-weary observations of that scene ("Young Girl Blues"). The contractual problems that prevented the release of Donovan's music in the UK led him to write such songs as the resigned "Writer in the Sun", where he contemplates the possibility of his own forced retirement from the music business at age 20.

Mickie Most's production and the arrangements of John Paul Jones accommodate these two divergent traits of Donovan's songwriting throughout Mellow Yellow. The peppier songs feature a diverse selection of instruments similar to Sunshine Superman and helped make a top 10 hit out of the title track on both sides of the Atlantic. The introspective ruminations feature sparse instrumentation that highlights Donovan's guitar playing, singing, and lyrics.

On Mellow Yellow, Donovan gave a nod to his friend Bert Jansch on "House of Jansch", marking the third Donovan album in a row that paid tribute to the British folk personage.

It has been rumored that Donovan's friend Paul McCartney whispers the "quite rightly" part of "Mellow Yellow", but this is actually whispered by Donovan. It is possible that Paul was in the studio crowd heard cheering at the end of the song but it has been contested whether or not Paul was there at all.

Tracks :

1. Mellow Yellow (3:45)
2. Writer In The Sun (4:32)
3. Sand And Foam (3:21)
4. The Observation (2:25)
5. Bleak City Woman (2:26)
6. House Of Jansch (2:45)
7. Young Girl Blues (3:47)
8. Museum (2:55)
9. Hampstead Incident (4:44)
10. Sunny South Kensington (3:51)


Although released in 1981, "Something New Under The Son" was recorded in 1976 and/or 1977. It was Larry Norman's intention to release this as a double album with "The Tune" on the second album (and a blank fourth side or a side with a lengthy version of "Watch What You're Doing"). "Something New Under The Son" is a very blues-related album; Larry Norman took lots of musical & lyrical parts from old blues songs and from Bob Dylan songs. The inner sleeve of the original album gives rather exact remakes of most of the pictures on Dylan's album "Bringing It All Back Home" (or "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as the album was called in several other countries).

The album comes with a printed inner sleeve. On this inner sleeve there's mention of a free record; this is the "Barking At The Ants" single.

The song order on the 8-track tape is very different.

The cassette re-release on Phydeaux includes (much) longer versions of "Hard Luck Bad News," "Feeling So Bad," "Leaving The Past Behind," and "Put Your Life Into His Hands." The intro of "Larry Norman's 97th Nightmare" is longer (Larry Norman doesn't start singing immediately after the second turnaround). "Watch What You're Doing" has a short spoken intro and an extra verse about Little Joe Billy. The extra track "Twelve Good Men" is a raw version which is rather different from the CD version.

On CD "Larry Normans 97th Nightmare" is called "Nightmare #97" and "Let The Tape Keep Rolling" is called "Let The Tape Keep Rolling ('69 bio version)." Apart from the titles, there are no differences. The piano intro of "Leaving The Past Behind" and the "bababa" intro of "Born To Be Unlucky" are missing. "Watch What You're Doing" has the "Little Joe Billy" verse but is without the spoken intro.

"Deep Blue" is basically the same song as on "Barking At The Ants" but it is longer and the ending is a bit different.

The second CD has all tracks re-balanced, re-equalized, etc. according to information on the Larry Norman website. Larry Norman's website shows the front cover with 1977 erased and 2003 added.

The Rough Mix cassette (there might be two slightly different versions) features (variations on) songs from "Something New Under The Son" plus some additional tracks. The cassette has been titled "Something New Under The Sun" (yes, with a 'u'), but "Rough Mix" is a more well known title. The song listing is given above, see Part II for some additional information ("Rough Mix #1, #2").

The UK albums have the "Little Joe Billy" version of "Watch What You're Doing" and there is no intro to "Larry Normans 97th Nightmare." "I Feel Like Dying" is listed but it's not there (it has been released on single in the UK). The piano intro of "Leaving The Past Behind" and the "bababa" intro of "Born To Be Unlucky" are missing. I have seen a discography which lists the SRA 1 version as having nine songs; I guess this must be a mistake.

The first UK release has green labels with handwritten song titles, the second UK release has the common Solid Rock labels (open mouth) and typeset letters. The covers of the UK albums are the same but they are a little different from the US version. There are no catalogue numbers shown; only the words "A Solid Rock Ruff Mix" are given. Both albums came with an insert which is almost the same as the US inner sleeve (but it doesn't include the "free record" offer; this was meant for US citizens only).

The LP from New Zealand features the US version except that it has the "Little Joe Billy" version of "Watch What You're Doing" with spoken intro and there's no piano intro to "Leaving The Past Behind" (the drum roll is shorter). "I Feel Like Dying" is not listed. The spine and the yellow labels show "Something New Under The Sun" instead of "..Son."

There's a 7" EP called "Radio Disc VII" (released on Word AD-6568T) with radio spots to promote LPs, including a 60-second spot for "Something New Under The Son."

This album was number eight in a series of fourteen albums, mentioned on the inner sleeve of "Something New Under The Son" (albums number nine through fourteen have not been released, see part II).

Tracks :

Hard Luck Bad News
Feeling So Bad
I Feel Like Dying
Born To Be Unlucky
Watch What You're Doing
Leaving The Past Behind
Put Your Life Into His Hands
Larry Norman's 97th Nightmare
Let That Tape Keep Rolling
Twelve Good Men (demo)
Deep Blue (rough mix)
It's Only Today That Counts (rough mix)

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Basically a mainstream pop/rock band with hard rock and soul-influenced arrangements, Smith hit the Top Ten in 1969 with their drastically revised cover of the Shirelles' "Baby It's You." Featuring three lead singers and a B-3 Hammond organ, their strongest asset was their most frequent vocalist, Gayle McCormick, an accomplished female blue-eyed soul belter. Most of their material consisted of covers of popular rock and R&B tunes, and they broke up after a couple of albums, though the singles "What Am I Gonna Do" (co-written by Carole King) and "Take a Look Around" made the middle of the charts. McCormick had a couple small hits in 1971, and made a few albums in the early '70s as a soloist.

The 1995 CD reissue on the Varese Saranbande label of their 1969 debut album (LP Dunhill 50056) A Group Called Smith, adds five significant bonus tracks: the singles "Take A Look Around" and "What Am I Gonna Do," Gayle McCormick's solo singles "Gonna Be Alright Now" and "It's A Cryin' Shame," and Smith's version of "The Weight," which orginally was included on the Easy Rider 1969 soundtrack album, even though the Band's original version was the one used in the film.

Tracks :

1. Let's Get Together
2. I Don't Believe
3. Tell Him No
4. Who Do You Love
5. Baby It's You
6. Last Time
7. I Just Wanna Make Love to You
8. Mojaleskey Ridge
9. Let's Spend the Night Together
10. I'll Hold out My Hand
11. The Weight (Robertson,Robbie)
12. Take a Look Around
13. What Am I Gonna Do
14. Gonna Be Alright Now
15. It's a Cryin' Shame

Thursday, June 24, 2010


When Larry Norman recorded Only Visiting This Planet in 1972 for MGM at George Martin’s studio in London, there wasn’t place in the music industry for "Jesus Rock." MGM had no idea what to do with it. This meld of rootsy pop, gospel, and rock & roll songs sung about Christ had less than nothing to do with hymns, and was rejected by the Christian church at large at the time. In the 21st century, Norman is regarded as the “father of CCM” and that $450 million dollar a year industry, and this album is regarded by -CCM Magazine as "the greatest Christian rock record of all time." It’s ironic. Norman died largely broke in 2008. Only Visiting This Planet is the second part of a trilogy that included Upon This Rock (Capitol, 1969), that dealt with the theme of creation, and So Long Ago the Garden (MGM, 1973) about the world's redemption. This set (which ironically was the first one to be reissued) concerns itself with the Fall. All three albums have been remastered and reissued by Solid Rock Records, a label Norman founded -- he was well-known for his fiercely independent streak. The album is a masterpiece; one needn’t believe in God to enjoy it; it stands on its own as an enduring work of popular art.

Norman's studio band included bassist John Wetton, drummer Keith Smart from Wizzard, keyboardist Rod Edwards, and percussionist Roger Hand. These songs were expertly written and arranged, they spill across the rock, pop, and gospel spectrum, and were gorgeously produced. “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” with its wash of strings and a backing choir, adds to the drama of Norman’s topic: the Rapture, when all Christians, living or dead, are prophesied to be reunited with Christ before the end of the world. Belief in this premise is not necessary: the song is delivered with such understated conviction and produced for maximum dramatic effect, that it’s deeply moving. The hard-rocking “Why Don’t You Look into Jesus” addresses addictive behavior amid snarling guitars, punchy drums, and popping pianos. The opening track is a mysterious broken love song called “I’ve Got to Learn to Live Without You” that drips with longing. “I Am the Six O’Clock News” is a straight-out rocker that reflects the irony in the media’s coverage of the Vietnam war. The acoustic ballad “The Outlaw” is a poetic narrative pondering Christ's life and death. There is biting social commentary in “The Great American Novel” that reflects Bob Dylan’s early work but, “Righteous Rocker #1” is payback: it’s a lyrical precursor to -- and was perhaps inspiration for -- “You Gotta Serve Somebody.” The album contains two bonus tracks, and is well worth checking out by anyone interested in genuine rock & roll classics. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Tracks :

"I've Got To Learn To Live Without You"
"The Outlaw"
"Why Don't You Look Into Jesus"
"Righteous Rocker #1"
"I Wish We'd All Been Ready"
"I Am Six O'clock News"
"The Great American Novel"
"Pardon Me"
"Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music"
"Reader's Digest"
"Oh, How I Love You"


In 1969 Norman returned to Capitol Records, now headed by Mike Curb, to honor his original 1966 contract with the understanding that he would have complete artistic control. Believing that "Kids just don't want to listen to God's empty songs anymore",in December 1969 Capitol released Norman's first solo rock album, Upon This Rock, "the first major label record to marry rock music with the gospel", "the Sergeant Pepper of Christianity",[3] widely regarded as "the album that first recruited rock in the service of salvation", later cited as being "one of the roots of the current Contemporary Christian Music"; and now considered to be the first full-blown Christian rock album". Upon This Rock, whose music was "a blend of folk, psychedelic, and rock influences", combined "street language and gritty imagery". In August 1970 he described the album as "simply ... twelve love songs to Jesus",[ whereas Don Cusic believes that "these songs tended to be darker than the early Christian cheerleader type of songs coming from other early Jesus music artists". In this album, "Norman brought a mixture of reverence and rebellion ... spreading word of an impending Judgment Day in the midst of war and moral decadence ... speak to the psychedelic generation without sacrificing their spiritual gravity". Believing that "Christian music could be powerful in its message yet relevant to the times", Norman explained his thinking behind the album in 1969:

"Upon This Rock" was written to stand outside the Christian culture. I tried to create songs for which there was no anticipated acceptance. I wanted to display the flexibility of the gospel and that there was no limitation to how God could be presented. I used abrasive humor and sarcasm as much as possible, which was also not a traditional aspect of Christian music. I chose negative imagery to attempt to deliver a positive message, like "I Don't Believe in Miracles" is actually about faith. "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" talked about something I had never heard preached from a pulpit as I grew up. "The Last Supper" and "Ha Ha World" used very surreal imagery which drug users could assimilate. My songs weren't written for Christians. No, it was not a Christian album for those believers who wanted everything spelled out. It was more like a street fight. I was saying to Christians, "I'm going to present the gospel, and I'm not going to say it like you want. This album is not for you."

Speaking to the magazine Contemporary Musicians, Norman later expressed his intentions and feelings about the record:

I wanted to push aside the traditional gospel quartet music, break down the church doors and let the hippies and the prostitutes and other unwashed rabble into the sanctuary, ... I wanted to talk about feeding the poor, going into the world.... I wanted the church to get active and go out and do what Jesus told us to do. I felt that while the hymns had great theology soaked into their lyrics, that most of the modern music was anemic and needed a transfusion".

Tracks :

"You Can't Take Away The Lord"
"I Don't Believe In Miracles"
"Moses In The Wilderness"
"Walking Backwards Down The Stairs"
"Ha Ha World"
"Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation"
"Forget Your Hexagram"
"The Last Supper"
"I Wish We'd All Been Ready"
"Nothing Really Changes"

Saturday, June 19, 2010


As the album cover well represents its band name "Blue", Life in the Navy is a nice returning album, which perfectly matches with it visual images; four members reflecting on the water. Indeed, it is more than just their 2nd effort, but the overall sound has noticeably changed. With help of Elliot Mazer, a well known producer for Neil Young, Blue recorded 2nd album in San Francisco and the result was fantastic-Scottish power pop meets Neil Young. Average White Band plays funk. Why not Neil Young? Life in the Navy can be regarded as a matured version of 1st album. Blue has released six regular albums, one compilation and a single so far.

Tracks :

01 Sweet Memories
02 Lonesome
03 Sad Sunday
04 Atlantic Ocean
05 Love
06 Max Bygraves
07 You Give Me Love
08 Big Bold Love
09 Mr Moon
10 Let's Talk It Over

Monday, June 14, 2010

THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS - VOL. 1 & 2 1964-1965

The Holy Modal Rounders were almost the very definition of a cult act. This isn't a case of a group that would be described by such cliches as "if only they got more exposure, they would certainly reach a much wider audience." Their audience was small because their music was too strange, idiosyncratic, and at times downright dissonant for mainstream listeners to abide. What makes the Rounders unusual in this regard is that they owed primary allegiance to the world of acoustic folk -- not one that generates many difficult, arty, and abrasive performers.
The Holy Modal Rounders were not so much a group as a changing aggregation centered around the two principals, Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber. When the pair got together in 1961, the intention was to update old-time folk music with a contemporary spirit. As Stampfel told Folk Roots in 1995, "The Rounders were the first really bent traditional band. And the first traditionally based band that was not trying to sound like an old record." They weren't the only musicians in New York thinking along these lines, and Stampfel and Weber contributed heavily to the first recordings by a similar, more rock-oriented group, the Fugs.
The Rounders began recording in the mid-'60s for Prestige as an acoustic duo. Even at this early stage, they were not for everybody. Although clearly accomplished musicians, and well-versed in folk traditions, they were determined to subvert these with off-kilter execution and strange lyrics that could be surreal, whimsical, or just silly. They outraged folk purists by simply changing melodies and words to suit their tastes on some of their cover versions of old standards; Stampfel once wrote in the liner notes that "I made up new words to it because it was easier than listening to the tape and writing words down."


Both of the Rounders' first two Prestige albums are combined onto one disc on this CD reissue, with the addition of new historical liner notes by Larry Kelp. Even if you already have the records, this might be of interest for the inclusion of two previously unreleased 1964 outtakes, "Sugar in the Gourd" and "Soldier's Joy." Also, the second album has been resequenced by Stampfel, who was always dissatisfied with how the tracks were sequenced on the LP, to conform to running order that the band originally had in mind. Altogether, this is the prime document of the Rounders in their early folk days, simultaneously paying homage to and sending up traditional folk with guitar, fiddle, banjo, and slightly zany vocals. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

This is a reissue of the first two Holy Modal Rounders records, resequenced according to the artists' original intent and including two unreleased songs from the time of the recording (1963-64). Perhaps the most earsplittingly original duo of the entire folk revival, the Holy Modal Rounders (fiddler-banjoist Peter Stampfel with guitarist Steve Weber) merged the raw energies of rock, traditional American folk, and blues in a weird, whimsical manner (later dunderheadedly termed "acid folk"). The Holy Modal Rounders performed screeching yet subtle versions of old numbers by the likes of Clarence Ashley, Vernon Dalhart, and Uncle Dave Macon, updating tunes like "Hesitation Blues" with a countercultural reference or two (their version of that song contains the first recorded usage of "psychedelic"). This is one of the coolest things about the Rounders--as Stampfel writes in the liner notes, their basic approach to an old tune was to "hear song, forget song, try to remember song while adding your personal wrinkles, bingo!" An irreverent wit pervades the disc, from pop-tune parodies such as "Mr. Spaceman" to their original folk-based songs (which were neither preachy nor ham-fisted--a true rarity in '63) such as "Blues in the Bottle" and "Hey, Hey Baby." The result not only sounds way less corny than anything else from the era, but hews much closer to the raggedly strange, sublime Americana sounds of Charlie Poole, Dock Boggs, and Charley Patton. --Mike McGonigal

Originally released on Prestige/Folklore (14031) and Prestige (7410). Includes liner notes by Peter Stampfel and Larry Kelp.

Out of lockstep with most of the early '60s folk revival, the Holy Modal Rounders remain one of the era's true treasures. Like their friends the Fugs and Michael Hurley--all less Greenwich and more East Village--they were intent on blowing up accepted notions of folk, and scoffed at their contemporaries' rarified treatment of traditional material. They often rewrote lyrics and melodies to reflect their own modern, proto-stoner outlook and sang everything in a nasal harmony that at times came nerve-rattlingly close to atonal. Indeed, the duo--originally banjoist-fiddler Peter Stampfel and guitarist Steve Weber--achieved infamy by being the first band to use the word "psychedelic" in a recorded song--in this case, their gonzo cover of the Charlie Poole standard "Hesitation Blues."
The Rounders could back up the outrageousness with impeccable chops--both instrumental and vocal--and an obvious love for hillbilly songs and spirit. HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS, VOL. 1 + 2 compiles their first two albums in one place, resequenced to reflect the band's original plan. The collection is a classic of freak Americana and features entertaining liner notes by Stampfel himself, as well as two unreleased tunes: "Soldier's Joy" and "Sugar in the Gourd."

Tracks :

1. Blues in the Bottle
2. Give the Fiddler a Dram
3. Cuckoo
4. Euphoria
5. Long John
6. Sugar in the Gourd (previously unreleased)
7. Hesitation Blues
8. Hey, Hey Baby
9. Reuben's Train
10. Mr. Spaceman
11. Moving Day
12. Better Things for You
13. Same Old Man
14. Hop High Ladies
15. Bound to Lose
16. Bully of the Town
17. Sail Away Ladies
18. Statesboro Blues
19. Clinch Mountain Backstep
20. Down the Old Plank Road
21. Black Eyed Suzie
22. Hot Corn, Cold Corn
23. Crowley Waltz
24. Fishin' Blues
25. Junko Partner
26. Soldier's Joy (previously unreleased)
27. Mole in the Ground
28. Chevrolet 6
29. Flop Eared Mule

Sunday, June 13, 2010


THE ORIGINAL FLEETWOOD MAC comprises previously unissued material by the Peter Green-led late-'60s incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. (The band would go on to great commercial success in the 1970s with a different line-up). Though Green's Fleetwood Mac was rooted in the tradition of electric Chicago blues on the order of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, the group developed a fiery sound that also featured a solid dose of '60s psychedelic rock. Green's fleet-fingered leads soar through his distortion-heavy amp and are complemented by the slide guitar of Jeremy Spencer, and the gut-punch rhythms of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass).

The material on THE ORIGINAL includes a number of cuts from the sessions for the band's first album, false starts, alternate versions, between-song chatting, and remixes. But the set is far from a fans-only collector's item; the material is uniformly strong, displaying the ensemble's usual blend of exacting musicianship (especially on the part of Green) and edgy, ragged energy. Trivia fact: The tune "Worried Dream," included here, is one of the band's earliest recordings with pianist Christine Perfect, who would marry bassist McVie and become one of Fleetwood Mac's primary singer/songwriters.

Tracks :

  1. Drifting (Green)
  2. Leaving Town Blues (Green)
  3. Watch Out (Green)
  4. A Fool No More (Green)
  5. Mean Old Fireman (Crudup)
  6. Can't Afford to Do It (Williamson)
  7. Fleetwood Mac (Green)
  8. Worried Dream (King)
  9. Love That Woman (Leake)
  10. Allow Me One More Show (Spencer)
  11. First Train Home (Green)
  12. Ramblin' Pony #2 (Green)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This reissue of the lone 1970 album by some Brazilian Cream wannabes comes from the same good people who brought us the Love Peace & Poetry compilations of international garage and psych -- solid collections, but notable primarily for their peculiar cover art, vintage-looking photos of the same smiling, sensual blonde woman, equally pleased to be cavorting on sofas and on beaches. That an image of her grooming herself and making bedroom eyes at the photographer has no real connection with psychedelic Asian noise rock doesn't prevent it from being extremely effective at conjuring a specific and alluring nostalgia for a time that never was, a time when pretty girls rather than merely balding record-store habitués were totally into impossibly obscure garage-rock songs from the far East -- that such gems as Mogollar's "Katip Arzvhalim Yaz Yare Boyle" filled girls with an irresistible urge to shag wildly on the beach in their bikinis.
Bango is allegedly a much-sought-after rarity on the psych collector's market; presumably Brazilian psych-rock records didn't have as wide a distribution as, say, the Quicksilver Messenger Service, whose records provide one with a very similar sonic experience. The collector's aura and the international pedigree of this album shouldn't mislead anyone into thinking it's anything other than a run-of-the-mill psych record, however. Give the band credit for some creepy cover art -- four bleeding heads on a platter resting on the wings of an enormous vulture -- and for having mastered some rudimentary English, which they brandish on the "Proud Mary" knockoff "Rolling like a Boat." But don't expect anything revolutionary or surprising: Bango fulfills any expectations one has of the psychedelic-rock genre without ever transcending them. Os Mutantes this is not. That groundbreaking Brazilian band presented a dazzling mélange of stylistic influences held together by an irreverent and unpredictable sense of humor, impeccable and inventive musicianship, and memorable melodies. Whereas Bango's album consists of spirited but slightly inept recastings of familiar songs like Los Bravos' "Black Is Black" or the Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me" into a different idiom. If you prefer "Motor Maravilha" to "Black Is Black," it's only because you've heard "Black Is Black" ten thousand times.
"Inferno no Mundo", which was included on one of the Love Peace & Poetry comps, is the best track here -- clumsy but searing blues licks played through overworked fuzz box while an organ churns relentlessly in the background. If it was sung in Swedish rather than Portuguese, you might think it was Dungen. The only other track approaching that level of inspired chaos is the sublimely titled "Rock Dream," which features Shaggsian drumming, an oozing guitar howl and some agitated shrieking from the lead singer (something about "music forward" instead of "plastic flowers" maybe?) over a monotonous lick that sounds like "Communication Breakdown" played at molasses-drip speed. Much of the rest is tame but pleasant: mid-tempo sunshine pop complete with tuneful harmonies. "Geninha" wouldn't be out of place on a Ripples compilation. "Marta, Zeca, O Padre, O Prefesi O Doutor e Eu" might be an engaging piece of whimsy, but it's impossible to know without a lyric sheet.
Aside from the humble pleasures of genre listening, of hearing unknowns execute a cherished musical formula, the only pleasures owning a disc like this can provide stem from it's rarity (you might impress other collectors with having found something like this out) and its exoticness (you might convince yourself something profound is happening because you can't really understand what it is). Both these pleasures are threatened by the eventual re-release of everything and the capacity the Internet furnishes to distribute everything everywhere. Collectors have their vinyl fetish to cling to but they can no longer pretend that it's the quality of the music that licenses their madness. With once-rare music like Bango demystified, those interested in music for the sake of music and not the sake of amassing artifacts will perhaps be less tempted to waste their time trying to imagine what some impossibly obscure curio sounds like and will put more effort into appreciating the brilliant music that is in plain view.
Tracks :
01. Inferno No Mundo (Hell In The world)
02. Mas Senti (But I Felt)
03. Rolling Like A Boat
04. Motor Maravilha
05. Marta, Z?ca, O Padre, O Prefeito o Doutor e Eu (Martha, Z?ca, The Priest, The Mayor, The Doctor and me)
06. Rock Dream
07. Geninha
08. Only
Vou Caminhar (Walking)
10. Ode to Billy


Crabby Appleton's Rotten to the Core -- -- the title of which, no doubt, comes from lyrics once sung by the villainous Crabby Appleton character on the Tom Terrific cartoon show: "My name is Crabby Appleton/I'm rotten to the core" -- was released in October 1971. The band's second album, and last as a group, captures them reaching out to find a sound of their own, veering off into boogie rock and heavier Zeppelin-esque romps, twice removed from the plaintive power pop and conga-driven rock of their debut. Rousing barrelhouse piano and varied string instruments (mandolins and violins) are only one reason for the rollicking new direction. Once again, Michael Fennelly's proven songwriting skills and lead vocals remain the front-and-center attraction here. At times, his screechy, Robert Plant-style falsetto (especially on the single "My Little Lucy," retitled for release on the album as "Lucy") foreshadows the direction he would take on future solo albums. "It's So Hard" sounds like a gospel-influenced take on Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey," with solid backing by the Blackberries (Clydie King, Oma Drake, and Jessica Smith). "Paper to Write On" sounds like it could be a track by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Like the self-titled debut (a better effort overall, though this one isn't bad), Rotten to the Core was reissued in 2002 by Collectors Choice . ~ Bryan Thomas, All Music Guide

Tracks :

Smokin' in the Mornin' 2:52
Tomorrow's a New Day 2:40
It's So Hard 2:22
Makes No Difference 3:41
You Make Me Hot 2:43
One More Time 3:02
Lucy 3:23
Paper to Write On 2:21
Lookin' for Love 2:41
Love Can Change Everything 2:42
Gonna Save You (From That) 6:04


Southwest Louisiana-based guitarist, songwriter, and singer Sonny Landreth is a musician's musician. The blues slide guitar playing found on his two Zoo Entertainment releases, Outward Bound (1992) and South of I-10 (1995) is distinctive and unlike anything else you've ever heard. His unorthodox guitar style comes from the manner in which he simultaneously plays slide and makes fingering movements on the fretboard. Landreth, who has an easygoing personality, can play it all, like any good session musician. His distinctive guitar playing can be heard on recordings by John Hiatt, Leslie WestMountain, and other rock & rollers.

Landreth was born February 1, 1951, in Canton, MS, and his family lived in Jackson, MS, for a few years before settling in Lafayette, LA. Landreth, who still lives in southwest Louisiana, began playing guitar after a long tenure with the trumpet. His earliest inspiration came from Scotty Moore, the guitarist from Elvis Presley's band, but as time went on, he learned from the recordings of musicians and groups like Chet Atkins and the Ventures. As a teen, Landreth began playing with his friends in their parents' houses.

"They would ping-pong us from one house to another, and though we were all awful at first, as time went on we got pretty good. It's an evolutionary process, just like songwriting is," Landreth explained in an interview on his 44th birthday in 1995. After his first professional gig with accordionist Clifton Chenier in the '70s (where he was the only white guy in the Red Beans & Rice Revue for awhile), Landreth struck out on his own, but not before he recorded two albums for the Blues Unlimited label out of Crowley, LA, Blues Attack in 1981 and Way Down in Louisiana in 1985. If anyone is living proof of the need to press on in spite of obstacles, it is Landreth.

The second of those two albums got him noticed by some record executives in Nashville, which in turn led to his recording and touring work with John Hiatt. That led to still more work with John Mayall, who recorded Landreth's radio-ready "Congo Square." More recently, he's worked with New Orleans bandleader and pianist Allen Toussaint (who guests on several tracks on South of I-10, as does Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler).

On Landreth's brilliant albums for Zoo, the lyrics draw the listener in to the sights, sounds, smells and heat of southwest Louisiana, and a strong sense of place is evident in many of Landreth's songs. Although his style is completely his own and his singing is more than adequate, Landreth admits that writers like William Faulkner have had a big influence on his lyric writing. The fact that it's taken so long for academics at American universities to recognize the great body of poetry that blues is concerns Landreth as well. Robert Johnson is Landreth's big hero when it comes to guitar playing. "When I finally discovered Robert Johnson, it all came together for me," Landreth said, noting that he also closely studied the recordings of Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, and Charley Patton. ~ Richard Skelly, All Music Guide

Tracks :

and 1. Frisco Bay (3:19)
2. The Center (3:45)
3. One Life (2:50)
4. Black, White & Blue (4:38)
5. Names (2:55)
6. Blues Attack (2:13)
7. Speak Of The Devil (3:12)
8. Key To The Highway (3:34)
9. At Some Time (4:13)
10. Baby Please Don't Go (3:11)
11. Pine Grove Blues (2:22)
12. I'm Ready (2:59)


Another group from Vicenza, active since around 1964, Gli Apostholi released two pop albums with very light prog influences (especially their first); both are very rare and expensive.
It seems that the first album, initially issued in very few copies, was newly recorded by the group in 1983 and pressed in a second issue in 500 copies. The 2007 CD reissue of Un'isola senza sole refers to the 1983 edition.
The group is still active (Augusto Croce)

Tracks :

01 - Il pesce rosso
02 - Foglie rosse d'autunno
03 - Dolce
04 - Se cerchi se ascolti
05 - Un altare di farfalle
06 - Ho imparato a distruggere
07 - Ho smesso di vivere
08 - Una contadina
09 - Ho voluto insistere
10 - Ho acceso un fiore
11 - Profumo sorriso
12 - Tema da un altare di farfalle


Jesse Winchester first gained notice as a protege of the Band's Robbie Robertson, who produced and played guitar on his debut album and brought along bandmate Levon Helm to play drums and mandolin. The album had much of the rustic Southern charm and rollicking country-rock of the Band. Winchester's other immediate appeal was a certain sense of mystery. A Southern American expatriate living in Canada, he was unable to appear in the U.S. to promote the album, which was released in a fold-out LP jacket that featured the same sepia-toned portrait (which looked like one of those austere Matthew Brady photos from the Civil War era) on each of its four sides. Winchester emphasized the dichotomy between his southern origins and his northern exile in songs like "Snow" (which Robertson co-wrote), "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" ("I've a sadness too sad to be true"), and "Yankee Lady." Jesse Winchester was timely: It spoke to a disaffected American generation that sympathized with Winchester's pacifism. But it was also timeless: The songs revealed a powerful writing talent (recognized by the numerous artists who covered them), and Winchester's gentle vocals made a wonderful vehicle for delivering them. (Originally released by Ampex in 1970, Jesse Winchester was reissued by Bearsville Records in 1976 and again in 1988 by Rhino/ Bearsville).
--William Ruhlmann, All-Music Guide

Tracks :

  1. Payday
  2. Biloxi
  3. Snow (J.Winchester/J.R.Robertson)
  4. Brand New Tennessee Waltz
  5. That's a Touch I Like
  6. Yankee Lady
  7. Quiet About It
  8. Skip Rope Song
  9. Rosy Shy
  10. Black Dog
  11. Nudge


He was one bad dude, strutting across the stage like a harp-toting gangster, mesmerizing the crowd with his tough-guy antics and rib-sticking Chicago blues attack. Amazingly, Junior Wells kept at precisely this sort of thing for over 40 years -- he was an active performer from the dawn of the '50s to his death in the late '90s. Born in Memphis, Wells learned his earliest harp licks from another future legend, Little Junior Parker, before he came to Chicago at age 12. In 1950, the teenager passed an impromptu audition for guitarists Louis and David Myers at a house party on the South Side, and the Deuces were born. When drummer Fred Below came aboard, they changed their name to the Aces.

Little Walter left Muddy Waters in 1952 (in the wake of his hit instrumental "Juke"), and Wells jumped ship to take his place with Waters. That didn't stop the Aces (who joined forces with Little Walter) from backing Wells on his initial sessions for States Records, though -- his debut date produced some seminal Chicago blues efforts, including his first reading of "Hoodoo Man," a rollicking "Cut That Out," and the blazing instrumentals "Eagle Rock" and "Junior's Wail." More fireworks ensued the next year when he encored for States with a mournful "So All Alone" and the jumping "Lawdy! Lawdy!" (Muddy Waters moonlighted on guitar for the session). Wells was already exhibiting his tempestuous side -- he was allegedly AWOL from the Army at the time.

In 1957, Wells hooked up with producer Mel London, who owned the Chief and Profile logos. The association resulted in many of Wells' most enduring sides, including "I Could Cry" and the rock & rolling "Lovey Dovey Lovely One" in 1957, the grinding national R&B hit "Little by Little" (with Willie Dixon providing vocal harmony) in 1959, and the R&B-laced classic "Messin' with the Kid" in 1960 (sporting Earl Hooker's immaculate guitar work). Wells' harp was de-emphasized during this period on record in favor of his animated vocals. With Bob Koester producing, the harpist cut an all-time classic LP for Delmark in 1965. Hoodoo Man Blues vividly captured the feel of a typical Wells set at Theresa's Lounge, even though it was cut in a studio. With Buddy Guy (initially billed as "Friendly Chap" due to his contract with Chess) providing concise lead guitar, Wells laid down definitive versions of "Snatch It Back and Hold It," "You Don't Love Me," and "Chittlin' Con Carne."

The harpist made his second appearance on the national R&B lists in 1968 with a funky James Brown-tinged piece, "You're Tuff Enough," for Mercury's feisty Blue Rock logo. Wells had been working in this bag for some time, alarming the purists but delighting R&B fans; his brass-powered 1966 single for Bright Star, "Up in Heah," had previously made a lot of local noise. After a fine mid-'70s set for Delmark (On Tap), little was heard from Wells on vinyl for an extended spell, though he continued to enjoy massive appeal at home (Theresa's was his principal haunt for many a moon) and abroad (whether on his own or in partnership with Guy; they opened for the Rolling Stones on one memorable tour and cut an inconsistent but interesting album for Atco in the early '70s).

Toward the end of his career, Wells just didn't seem to be into recording anymore; a pair of sets for Telarc in the early '90s were major disappointments, but his last studio session, 1997's Come on in This House, found him on the rebound and the critics noticed -- the album won the W.C. Handy Blues Award for Traditional Blues Album in 1997. Even when he came up short in the studio, Wells remained a potent live attraction, cutting a familiar swaggering figure, commanding the attention of everyone in the room with one menacing yelp or a punctuating blast from his amplified harmonica. He continued performing until he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in the summer of 1997. That fall, he suffered a heart attack while undergoing treatment, sending him into a coma. Wells stayed in the coma until he passed away on January 15, 1998. A handful of compilations were released shortly after his death, as was the film Blues Brothers 2000, which featured a cameo by Wells. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

Tracks :

01 - Cut That Out
02 - So All Alone
03 - Eagle Rock
04 - 'Bout the Break of Day
05 - Lawdy! Lawdy!
06 - Junior's Wail
07 - Tomorrow Night
08 - I Could Cry
09 - Cha Cha Cha In Blues
10 - Lovey Dovey Lovey One
11 - Little By Little
12 - Universal Rock
13 - Messin' With The Kid
14 - You Sure Look Good To Me
15 - It Hurts Me Too (When Things Go Wrong)
16 - I Need Me A Car

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This Was (1968) is the first album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Recorded at a cost of only £1200 GBP, the album received generally favorable reviews and sold well upon its release. In the documentary film of the Woodstock Festival, portions of the songs "Beggar's Farm" and "Serenade to a Cuckoo" may be heard on the PA system, indicating the level of notice the album achieved in the United States. The album reached number 10 on the UK Album Chart[1] and number 62 on the Billboard 200.

Unlike their later albums, vocalist Ian Anderson shared songwriting duties with guitarist Mick Abrahams. Due to his influence, the album overall has more of a rhythm and blues feel than the progressive rock the band later became known for.

This album also contains the only non-instrumental Jethro Tull song not sung by Ian Anderson to be released on a studio album, "Move On Alone", where Mick Abrahams sings. David Palmer provided the horn arrangement.

Abrahams left the group following this album in a dispute over "musical differences".

The album includes a cover version of the jazz tune "Serenade to a Cuckoo" by Roland Kirk, whose flute technique was an influence on Anderson.

"Dharma for One" was later covered by Ekseption, Pesky Gee! and Ides Of March.

"Cat's Squirrel" was later used by Mick Abrahams in Blodwyn Pig, Abrahams' post-Jethro Tull band.

A deluxe two-CD fortieth anniversary edition was released in 2008. It contains the original mono version, a stereo version remixed from the original four-track session tapes, and two additional bonus studio tracks, "Sunshine Day" and "So Much Trouble".

Tracks :

"My Sunday Feeling" (Anderson) – 3:43
"Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You" (Anderson) – 2:49
"Beggar's Farm" (Abrahams/Anderson) – 4:19
"Move on Alone" (Abrahams) – 1:58
"Serenade to a Cuckoo" (Kirk) – 6:07
"Dharma for One" (Anderson/Bunker) – 4:15
"It's Breaking Me Up" (Anderson) – 5:04
"Cat's Squirrel" (Traditional, arranged by Abrahams) – 5:42
"A Song for Jeffrey" (Anderson) – 3:22
"Round" (Anderson/Abrahams/Bunker/Cornick/Ellis) – 1:03
"One for John Gee" (Abrahams) – 2:06
"Love Story" (Anderson) – 3:06
"Christmas Song" (Anderson) – 3:08

Friday, June 4, 2010


Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison is one of the forgotten gems of progressive folk and I would surely not have found this album if it hadn't been presented in the top 10 of the Progarchives. Everyone who knows the French language a bit, can understand what the general concept of this album is: the musical performance of the four seasons, plus the portrayal of an imaginary fifth season, an epic which takes the most of the total running time and is evidently the center piece of the record. Overall, the music is kept acoustically: besides the omnipresent steel string acoustic guitar and the French (!) vocals we get to hear several wind instruments (flutes, clarinets, saxophones etc.), a plucking bass guitar, some nice tape fooling-arounds, occasional electric and acoustic pianos and - which makes the LP especially interesting for me - the Mellotron. In the short pieces (Spring, Summer and Winter) we do not get to hear it at all, but the two main pieces (Autumn and the fifth season) are nearly brimmed with the infatuating sound of this cultic keyboard instrument. I didn't mention the drums until here, and this is because there aren't any to be heard here at all, except for some rare percussion.
The first piece, Vert (Green) - a collaboration of band leader Fiori and guitarist Normandeau - represents the spring and is a dreamy and mellow opener starting off with a leaping flute until the acoustic guitar and the bass guitar enter. Already at this place we can hear that the French-Canadian band is clearly influenced by the French chanson music although the jazzy electric piano which later consorts with the other instruments is somehow more reminiscent of the Canterbury scene, somehow like a mix of Caravan, Simon & Garfunkel and Genesis in French. Serge Fiori's vocals which have some superb solos in this song are always great and perfectly blend in the music; in this song this groovy flow of the vocals and vocalizations, like the acrobatic improvisations around the text, is just awesome and creates a positive and happy mood. The second half of the song consists of a jam of the soprano saxophone, flute, the acoustic guitar and the vocals - never without the tape echo effects - on a cool funky and folksy riff.
Dixie, the summer song, is the finger-picking exercise on this record (when Steve Howe does this, everyone is highly delighted, but when Fiori and Normandeau record something, this is just 'awful'). After some short vocal verses the piece, easily the fastest one of the five seasons, becomes a good-mood-jam with some swift acoustic guitar and zither harp playing (superb backing and solo!), virtuosic piano and clarinet improvisations, one of the finest spoons which I have ever heard and even a short piece of Russian folklore in the very end. Dixie may not be demanding enough for a real progger, but for me it is a superbly played Dixieland track where you cannot keep your feet still.
Depuis L'Automne (Since the autumn) is the song which touched me most on this LP and is actually a thoroughbred prog folk piece. The beginning, after some somber and creepy synthesizer sounds, attracts as little 'progressive' attention as the other two pieces, starting off gently with an intricate, picking acoustic guitar and Fiori's vocals. But already the second verse is somehow hectic, and who knows about the band's 'sovereignistic' attitude ("We wanted to sing in the street, not to be as lost anymore, pity that this is the street that we have lost") will also know that this is not going to be a singalong song: a strained piano prelude discharges into a celestial mellotron bridge with superb harmony vocals, one of those very short moments - just like parts of Genesis' Trespass - which can transport and express plenty of different feelings problemlessly. The next stanza is acoustic again, but more rhythmical and with a loping bass accompaniment while the next one contains dense, Anthony Phillips-like multitracked guitars and beautiful piano arpeggios. Afterwards the mellotron resumes full power, the restrained bass guitar keeps the rhythm (a very clever idea which saves the piece from disappearing in mist) and an echoed acoustic guitar and a superb soprano saxophone swirl around: classy and entrancing King Crimson feeling without sounding like a rip-off. A reprise of the mellotron bridge leads us to the last part, at first in a slowly crescending instrumental part where an exciting bass/electric piano-riff (does anybody remember Circles of the Manfred Mann's Earth Band?) and textless vocals turn around some simple acoustic guitar strumming. The restless coda consists of angry questioning (the same question which in the originaly poem was situated right in the middle of it) where I believe the vocals - or the harmony between the lead and the backing voice - to be very exciting.
After this masterpiece the listener gets a short rest with the winter piece of this record, En Pleine Face (On the plain face), for me the most beautiful one of the three shorter pieces on this LP. At first we hear the same melody that was also to be heard before Depuis L'automne, albeit in the higher and faster originally-sped version, played by Marie Bernard on the historic synthesizer instrument "Ondes Martenot" which is similar to the more popular Theremin and creates a floating tone. This instrument is present in the whole piece and again is the important 'spice' which makes the very good ballad become especially compelling. The can be divided into two parts, the first being a beautiful guitar-vocals part which shows Fiori's undeniable talents as a poet and songwriter ("Another turned page, what a shame for this day. Melt away the ice, or better go away, cos it's me who has fallen flat on his plain face"). The winter correlation is self-evident, and the discreet accordeon backing as well as the icy synthesizer wavering do the rest to create this chilly and cold mood. The stomping second part, with a very French accordeon solo, leaves the singer asking wistfully "Where are you, I don't hear hear you anymore, where are you?" on to the fade-out. Quite a nice ending!
Actually the year would be over now, but si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison, i.e., if we needed a fifth season, and - at least on this record - we do (-; , we still have the big opus
Histoires Sans Paroles (Stories without words), la plâte de Résistance of this record, waiting for us. This one may have the biggest prog-relation of all, an instrumental epic which is Mellotron-drenched all over. The storyline seems to deal with the isolation and reunion of a couple and the grand prom afterwards; quite interesting to express this merely instrumentally.
Again, the beginning ("L'Isolement (Isolation)) remains charming and beautiful with sea sounds, acoustic guitar and a fine arrangement for two flutes. Then secretly the mellotron and a sparkling piano appear in the background, but after two and a half minutes the mellotron starts to lead the whole piece in majestic windrows, pulverizing into a flaky, more driving and accelerating part (L'appel (The Plea)) with piano arpeggios and well-divided acoustic guitar arrangements which somehow always reminds me of the "Fortuna" part of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. But when the dissonant zither and flute lines enter at 5:04, the opus completely drifts into surreality and takes the listener into a symphonic and slightly psychedelic dream-scape, again with the mellotron as the lead stallion which leaves all the other instruments behind at 6:53. Not later than at this place the Mellotron fanatics will surely fly on cloud nine, but again the group doesn't sink down in kitsch, but goes on to a short vocal part (La Rencontre (The Meeting)) featuring Judy Richard who does some beautiful vocalizations to a romantic piano backing. The mellotron and a low-register-recorder enter again and Mme. Richard heightens her voice more and more - a very fine moment of this piece. At 10 minutes 30 the band prepares the last part of the piece, a fast, swinging 3/4-waltz (L'union (The Union)) which begins with some very fine, dissonant and mellow Robert Fripp-like guitars - in general this piece reminds me of King Crimson's Lizard - while the sea sounds of the beginning add more texture. Gradually, the acoustic guitar which virtually sounds like a harpsichord at this place, the flute, the piano and the saxophone come in and dance around this rhythm while especially the improvisations of the soprano saxophone are incredible and not short of those which Mel Collins did for King Crimson.
The big finale starts at 14:40 where Le grand Bal (The Big Prom) begins: just like in "Lizard" the piece ends with carnivalesque music, although here it isn't as strange - at least the band stops at the place where the Mellotron accompaniment starts to become quite surreal. After some new themes the leitmotif from the very beginning, played by two flutes, is also reprised in this 3/4-measure until the end.
Overall this album is a very fine one which I really like listening to. Yet, I wouldn't call it a masterpiece - on the one hand because actually very few albums are true 'masterpieces' in my book and on the other hand because the band achieves a celestial standard with Depuis L'Automne (5/5) which the other pieces cannot really maintain. The three short songs (4/5) are great, but probably a bit too unobstrusive and they don't really fit the two longtracks: the instrumentation is simpler, most of the progressive ingredients aren't to be heard there so that these songs seem like relics from the singer/songwriter-style of Harmonium's debut LP. Of course I like them very much and of course they do not do the record something bad at all, but they simply aren't real masterpieces which deserve a full rating.
Histoires sans Paroles is great all over, too; there is no minute to be critizised, but probably the overall image is a bit too 'loose' (4,5/5): the autumn track (Depuis L'Automne) touches me more - probably because it combines the infatuating soundscapes with the poetic chanson-beauty. Perhaps I also didn't listen to the Histoires as frequently as I actually ought to: I own this album about 4 months now and "Depuis" has always been my most-played song. Anyway, at this moment this are 4,5/5 points overall, and as the highest note shall be reserved for some few, really 100% perfect albums, I will give a good 4-star-rating for an excellent addition to listeners of Prog Folk (Celeste and Anthony Phillips) and Prog (King Crimson or the early Genesis). Mellotron and 'Lizard' lovers will of course love this record, and as well the others - if they do not necessarily need the "rock" in "prog" - will be satisfied. Listen to "Depuis l'Automne" and decide. :-)

Einsetumadur (

Tracks :

1. Vert — 5:35
2. Dixie — 3:26
3. Depuis l'Automne — 10:28
4. En Pleine Face — 4:50
5. Histoires Sans Paroles — 17:12


Willis Alan Ramsey is the first, and only, album ever recorded by the Texas songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey. The album's genre is hard to categorize with touches of country, country rock, folk, and folk rock. The tunes range from the reflection and regret of "The Ballad of Spider John" to a heartfelt tribute to Woody Guthrie on "Boy from Oklahoma". It was recorded on Leon Russell's Shelter label in 1972, and Leon sat in on piano, keyboards, vibraphone. Other guest musicians include: Carl Radle, Jim Keltner, Red Rhodes and Russ Kunkel. The song "Muskrat Candlelight" was later covered by the band America in 1973 and then by Captain & Tennille in 1976, both using the title "Muskrat Love."

This, the lone album by enigmatic Texas singer-songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey, gave the world one of the most poignant songs ever written about Woody Guthrie (the pedal-steel drenched "Boy from Oklahoma") as well as "Muskrat Love," the whimsical hit for the soft-rock group the Captain and Tennille (here titled "Muskrat Candlelight"). That spread tells something about the Alabama-born tune-smith, whose works have been memorably covered by Jimmy Buffett ("The Ballad of Spider John") and Waylon Jennings ("Satin Sheets"). A storyteller with a quick wit and a penchant for catchy melodies, Ramsey helped develop the sound and the sensibility of "progressive" or "alternative" country associated with everyone from Lyle Lovett to Son Volt. And then he went underground.
Recorded quickly for a small label in 1972, Ramsey's debut has acquired mythic status over the years, in part because he's been so stingy with his work. He cowrote a few songs with Lovett in the 1990s, but has yet to release a follow-up. One website claims he moved to the British isles to study Celtic balladry.
The genius of Willis Alan Ramsey lies in his vocals. Ramsey's songs are salt-of-the-earth stuff, with zero pretension—no cornpone wizardry needed. Ramsey sings with a slightly bemused affect, a raconteur who counts on his slight drawl to keep his story at least plausible. This unassuming delivery makes you want to follow Ramsey's characters around and be there when the title character of "Watermelon Man," who's been awaiting the arrival of the sweet fruit for months, gets that first juicy bite.

Tracks :

  1. "Ballad of Spider John" (Ramsey) – 4:16
  2. "Muskrat Candlelight" (Ramsey) – 3:18
  3. "Geraldine and the Honeybee" (Ramsey) – 2:15
  4. "Wishbone" (Ramsey) – 2:42
  5. "Satin Sheets" (Ramsey) – 2:32
  6. "Goodbye Old Missoula" (Ramsey) – 4:53
  7. "Painted Lady" (Ramsey) – 3:02
  8. "Watermelon Man" (Ramsey) – 3:25
  9. "Boy from Oklahoma" (Ramsey) – 3:54
  10. "Angel Eyes" (Earl Brent/Matt Dennis) – 3:07
  11. "Northeast Texas Women" (Ramsey) – 5:43

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