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7 Sep 2016

Arthur Gee ‎ “Arthur Gee” 1971 Private Tumbleweed Records + Arthur ‎ “In Search Of Arthur” Compilation 1968-2002 unreleased demos US Hippie Folk Country Rock.

Arthur Gee ‎ “Arthur Gee” 1971 Private Tumbleweed Records + Arthur ‎ “In Search Of Arthur” Compilation 1968-2002 unreleased demos US Hippie Folk Country Rock.

‎Arthur Gee by all outward appearances was the archetypal hippie troubadour. Emigrating from Canada to the easy living of Denver, Colorado sometime in the early-70s, he came to the attention of Robb Kunkel, Larry Ray and producer Bill Szymczyk who collectively founded the short-lived Tumbleweed Records, a label with "attractive sound – flawless yet organic, reflecting the overall good vibes” of the times. In reality, Tumbleweed was more an excessive horn of plenty for creating music than a record label proper, having issued only a handful of albums in its brief lifetime, Gee’s being the first release. Despite excessive amounts of money spent on drug consumption (at the unwitting expense of its parent company ABC-Dunhill), Tumbleweed additionally sank an equally appreciable amount into its recording facilities in order to construct the highest quality in sound and production. And this is one of the primary reasons why I still find ‘City Cowboy’ to be a satisfying listen even today. Although both the Arthur Gee and Arthur Gee-Whizz Band records were produced by band member Marcus Damerst, the expertise of Szymczyk’s hand (who ironically went on to work with the insufferable and previously mentioned Eagles of all people) is nevertheless evident throughout. The excellent website Acid Archives describes the sound this way, “upscale, intricate production typical of the label, with Arthur’s atmospheric voice given an appropriate context that involves a full folk-rock setting plus bells, violin and even Jew’s harp. It’s all quite appealing and held together by expensive and elaborate arrangements.”….

This one really hooked me. And I wasn’t even expecting it. This is Arthur Gee’s self-titled album from 1971 – apparently it was his THIRD album, although the first two are demo-only affairs and not fully realized. There’s a country rock vibe throughout this one, but that’s not to say it’s Porter Waggoner or Conway Twitty, thank God. Arthur seems far too stoned, and the atmospheric production is way, way too psychedelic for the steel guitar and beehive set. Lee Hazelwood is a better comparison, but while no individual Arthur Gee song can stand up to Lee’s stuff, the overall experience of listening to the entire album gives much bigger rewards. It’s more like Lee Hazelwood if Roger Dean designed his album covers. So grab your stirrups and a spliff and let’s dig in… 

The opening track, “Dimensions,” is the trippiest thing here, creeping in on a low-lying bed of paisley fog, with Arthur’s deep resonant vocals namechecking Bob Dylan’s sad-eyed lady. But like Nashville, Bob’s only a starting point for Arthur Gee. If going electric was blasphemy for Bob’s fans, think of how they’d react to the prog rock mellotron that comes creeping in at the 3 minute mark. I can hear the cries from the Newport crowd now – “Judas!” “Hipgnosis!” It’s Emerson, Lake and Yoakum. In the Court of the Crimson King of the Road. 

But that’s the beauty of Arthur Gee’s album. It’s all lonesome cowpoke prairie songs, spiked with stoned prog rock trappings and produced like it was some hypnotic raga from one of the Shankar boys. If you don’t think country music can be hypnotizing, check out “Cotton Suede,” a trance-like ballad with steel guitar and chirping birds that’s the badlands version of “Grantchester Meadows.” Or the steady, slowly-building “Confessions,” whose droning organ, mellotron and steady marching beat conjure up images of some prairie revival where even the coyotes are wearing love beads. I mean, this is the same guy who thinks nothing of throwing in some Jew’s harp along with the blistering prop jet guitar in the stoned cowboy singalong “Plain Talk.” Replace Buck Owens with Skip Spence and Hee Haw might’ve sounded more like this. “Hey Skip, I’m a-pickin…” “And I’m a-trippin’!” 

It’s mesmerizing stuff. The expansive, wide-open production, coupled with the lazy, lonesome psychedelic cowboy music, creates this whole new dimension of sound. An all-encompassing little ghost town where the local saloon plays Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the sheriff drives a VW van. And bad guys get hanged, while the rest of the citizens get stoned. No sirree, this ain’t your daddy’s Conway Twitty…

Arthur - In Search Of (1968) 

ARTHUR 'In Search Of’ LP (Switzerland, RD, Catalogue #RD 13) Brand new/unplayed copy of limited LP issue (edition of 500 only) of mega-rare early recordings (45 rpm single, unreleased tracks and 1-sided Two:Dot label demo LP release) circa 1968-69 of acid folk/psychedelic music by Arthur (later signed to Tumbleweed Records and at that point recording as Arthur Gee.) 

'Long awaited release of this psychedelic/acid folk masterpiece from the North. Arthur started his career in Toronto, Canada as folkie in the mid '60s. In 1969 he went to Colorado and recorded a 1-sided demo LP that surfaced some years ago in collector’s circles. It was on Two:Dot, the same label that Hendrickson Roadhouse was on. Only a handful of demo copies were released and sent out to major labels to get a record deal. This happened only later after he signed with Tumbleweed Records and released two albums as Arthur Gee. This first ever official release includes his complete demo LP, unreleased sessions and his mega rare 45 rpm both from before the LP and recorded in Canada. The music can be described as a mixture of Perry Leopold, William C. Beeley and early Pink Floyd (his 45 rpm) which is pure magic. Pressed on heavy audiophile vinyl, ultra heavy old style cardboard sleeve and an insert with a bio witten by Arthur.’ 

'Dark, damaged acoustic strum folk in Perry Leopold style but a bit stronger vocally. Missed notes, stream of consciousness lyricism, and obsessions with mystic and biblical imagery. Saddened reports on the lost state of the planet. A great loner mini-LP, although you really can feel too much.’ - Acid Archives/RM 

Bill Alexander - Celeste, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer
Clyde Alexander - Percussion
Bob Allison, Donnie Krynovich, Rex Williams - Vocals
Marcus Damerst - Celeste, Engineer, Guitars, Percussion, Synthesizer, Vocals
Arthur Gee - Composer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Doug Gunn, Don Riggs - Drums
Richard Hathaway - Drums, Guitar (Bass), Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Steve VanGelder - Violin
Snazz Wall - Guitar (Steel)
David Williams - Brass, Flute, Recorder 

Arthur Gee 1971 Tracks 

Side One: 
A1. Dimensions 03:11 
A2. Plain Talk 05:01 
A3. Cotton Suede 04:44 
A4. Love Song 451 02:49 
A5. A.L.F.A.L.F.A. 04:29 
• Side Two: 
B1. Country Fable 01:28 
B2. Waterwieght 05:00 
B3. Love Song 03:43 
B4. Confessions 06:22 
B5. Dawn Of Time 03:20 

Arthur “In Search Of” 1968 Tracks 

* Armstrong Tourist Resthome 
* Tea Gardens 
* Sunspots 
* Dimensions/Plain Talk 
* Tea Gardens 
* Plain Talk 
* Warm Traitor’s Breath 
* Armstrong Tourist Resthome 
* Miller Tragedy 
* Untitled 
* Confessions 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..