body{ text-shadow: 0px 0px 4px rgba(150, 150, 150, 1); }

28 Aug 2016

Ashes “Ashes feat. Pat Taylor” 1970 US Psych Folk Rock

Ashes “Ashes feat. Pat Taylor” 1970 US Psych Folk Rock 



The band formed in 1965 in the small California town of Santa Monica under the first name «Young Swingers». It is noteworthy that in the original lineup included drummer Spencer Dryden - nephew of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, who played jazz together before the famous Charles Lloyd. His career «Young Swingers» started with active appearances in numerous cafes and clubs located on the shores of the Gulf of California. They did not have to storm the offices of record companies, and quickly quartet recorded two singles - «Love Her Every Day / Or Else You’ll Cry» and «Let’s Take Our Love / Winds Up High», that passed unnoticed. However, the summer of the same year, the group received a permanent engagement at the local club «Waleback», which successfully performed until June 1966. But two months later, in October, Spencer Dryden, who at that time was considered one of the best drummers of the city, on the recommendation of an even more famous drummer Earl Palmer moved to «Jefferson Airplane». At the same time it left the composition and guitarist Jim Cherniss.
New drummer became John Voight, with the arrival of which the name was changed to «Ashes». The new line-up the quartet signed a contract with a small firm «Vault Records», which has passed two more of their single - «Is There Anything I Can Do / Every Little Prayer» (1966) and «Dark On You Now / Roses Gone» (1967) or one of which was not able to succeed. Just a few months after the release of the last of their team once again changed its name to an intriguing «Peanut Butter Conspiracy» ( «Peanut Butter Conspiracy") … However, the story «Ashes» did not end there. In 1968, in parallel with the work on the next disc «Peanut Butter Conspiracy», musicians, inviting singer Pat Taylor, reformed his old band. Under the guidance of producer Jackie Mills in the same year they recorded the album «Ashes Featuring Pat Taylor», which presented a simple melodic and pop-psychedelic with a slight touch of folk-rock. The main composer of this time made John Merrill, and among his best songs were performed in a slightly more heavy way «My Life Has Changed» and «Return Home», as well as the final «Simple Complexities». In general, the whole album sounded in the spirit of early singles group, but few in sound adapted to new musical trends, colorized beautiful vocal harmonies and sunny voice Pat Taylor. For unknown reasons «Vault» company management to postpone the release of this album for almost two years, and it was published only in 1970…..

The only album ever from The Ashes – a group who both pre-dated and post-dated Peanut Butter Conspiracy – morphing into that famous act after an initial 60s run, then changing back to Ashes form with this group featuring female singer Pat Taylor! Taylor’s got a style that’s folksy, but a bit fierce too – a quality that almost gives the group a Jefferson Airplane sound on vocals, but a bit lighter overall and not nearly as trippy. Tunes are relatively straightforward, occasionally a bit rootsy – late 60s California underground work at its best, although more Northern Cali than southern. Titles include “My Life Has Changed”, “Sands Of Love”, “Sleeping Serenade”, “Gone To Sorrow”, “Simple Complexities”, “Look Around Rock”, and “Her Invention”. (dustygroove)…..

The above line-up is that featured on the album. This Los Angeles band’s original drummer was, of course, Spencer Dryden, before he joined Jefferson Airplane. The remaining members, aside from Taylor, later teamed up with Bill Wolff, Lance Feat and Sandi Robinson to become The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.

The Ashes also have four tracks (both sides of their first two singles) on the 1967 Vault compilation, West Coast Love-In (LP). Every Little Prayer, Is There Anything I Can Do?, Dark On You Now and Roses Gone are all characterised by the distinctive melodies that typified so many mid-sixties English bands like The Fortunes. They feature Sandi Robinson rather than Pat Taylor on vocals. Their album is well worth a spin. A very hippyish sixties album with nice lead vocals. (Fuzz, Acid & Flowers)

The Ashes were a folk-rock group formed in 1965 that included John Merrill (guitar/ vocals), Alan Brackett (bass/ vocals), Barbara Robison (vocals), Spencer Dryden (drums) and Jim Cherniss (guitar/ vocals). Before they were known as the Ashes, the group called themselves the Young Swingers and released two long lost 45s under that name: “Love Her Every Day” b/w “Or Else You’ll Cry” (Courtney 746) and “Let’s Take Our Love” b/w “The Winds Up High” (Portafino 901) . From the summer of 1965 up until May of 1966, the Ashes served as the house band at a club in Santa Monica called the Waleback. They released their first single under their new moniker in 1966: “Is There Anything I Can Do?” b/w “Every Little Prayer” (Vault 924). The a-side was written by Jackie DeShannon and featured a fine lead vocal from Barbara Robison. This 45, along with its follow-up “Dark on You Now” b/w “Roses Gone” (Vault 936), also appeared on the 1967 compilation WEST COAST LOVE-IN (Vault 7980). Around the time of the first Ashes single, Spencer Dryden left to replace Skip Spence in Jefferson Airplane. Jim Cherniss also exited the group at this time.

With the addition of two new members, the band was transformed into the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, who of course recorded two albums for Columbia in 1967. John Merrill resurrected Ashes in late 1968, around the same time that Alan Brackett was working on the tracks that would ultimately constitute the PBC’s FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES album. The new Ashes recorded their debut LP for Vault Records that year; it stands today as a staple of the collector’s market, routinely fetching $50 or more on eBay. The album also featured singer Pat Taylor standing in for Barbara Robison (who could not appear on the record due to contractual obligations). The LP’s release was delayed until 1970, while two songs from the record– “Homeward Bound” b/w “Sleeping Serenade” (Vault 975)– were issued as a 45 in 1971.

–Jason Penick…..

John Merrill — guitar, vocals
Pat Taylor — female vocals
Al Brackett — bass
Jim Voight — drums

01. Gone To Sorrow — 3:31 
02. Sleeping Serenade — 2:47 
03. Homeward Bound — 2:40 
04. Sands Of Love — 2:20 
05. My Life Has Changed — 3:23 
06. Return Home — 2:26 
07. Her Invention — 2:14 
08. Look Around Rock — 2:33 
09. The Now — 2:35 
10. Rainbows — 2:20 
11. Simple Complexities — 2:04

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..