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12 Nov 2016

Dragonwyck ‎ “Dragonwyck II″ 1973 original acetape only no labels, no matrix numbers, no sleeve.. maybe 5-10 copies pressed recorded Sept. 72- Jan. 73 at audio Recording, Cleveland, Ohio reissued by World In Sound ‎– RFR-028 Germany 2006 reissued by Dragon Wyck Records ‎ DW002 second album



























Dragonwyck "Dragonwyck II" Cleveland Recording Company 1971  mega rare private acetape


Dragonwyck ‎ “Dragonwyck II″ 1973 original acetape only no labels, no matrix numbers, no sleeve.. maybe 5-10 copies pressed recorded Sept. 72- Jan. 73 at audio Recording, Cleveland, Ohio reissued by World In Sound ‎– RFR-028 Germany 2006 reissued by Dragon Wyck Records ‎ DW002 second album


watch interview from psychedelic baby
Cleveland’s Dragonwyck was born late 1969. They recorded a 7 song demonstration record of 85 copies only. Their first inspiration was The Doors and Moody Blues performed with a harder, more progressive rock outcome. In 1971 they took more time to write new material, with more worked out arrangements and with new instrumentation like mellotron and moog. They also were carrying along huge speakers with the intention to play very loud. Therefore they were booked in the suitable Viking Saloon. This was so successful many more gigs were booked after this, which led to the recording of a new, now full album. The recording made interest in the band bigger, so they were booked to play before Foghat, Edgar Winter and other known bands. In 1974 they recorded a single with a replaced keyboardist. It is this full album and the single which are presented in this release. World In Sound made up a contract with the band in 2004, with plans to release their three recordings as a trilogy. So this is the second reissue. 

Unfortunately I haven’t heard the first record yet, but I can say this surely is a great and crafted recording, that made me enjoy it many more times. The acoustic early Moody Blues feeling (acoustic guitar, bass, drums, mellotron) with ‘60’s vocals is uplifted to progressive evolutions, with some intelligent, harder electric guitars arrangements. The vocals, after a few songs, tend to some hard rock touches or more emphasized energy in the vocals, and there are a few more ambitious symphonic keyboard, or keyboard with electric guitar arrangements, like on “Relics”, or on “Freedom Son”, which make the sound of the band more unique. Also “Run to the devil” and the most emotional hard rocking “Dead Man” has some great electric guitar driven arrangements with additional keyboards. But also the smooth-along with mellotron’s sphere’s of rock like on the last track, “Forever only last a little while” I like as much. A great album without any weak moment. 

The bonus tracks of the single were mixed and produced by someone other than the band, which makes the sound a bit different, and more “happy” rock as perhaps intended. It is already different, and more poprock compared to the LP, but shows a slightly different direction and focus with the same recognisable basic elements from where the group started from. 

Long Hair music : “Dragonwyck (OH) was one of the most promising bands in that area, opened shows for bands as Foghat, Golden Earring, Edgar Winter Group etc. The mood of the music is dark, mystic and strong influenced of the times´ spirit, the hippie age……"anything goes”! - Shortly after highschool in 1970, the 5 guys recorded 7 tracks, released a test pressing on Pama Records in an edition of only 85 copies. It was reissued in the 1990´s by Rockadelic Records as limited edition on LP and CD, since then this band is a milestone for all heavy/psychedelic music collectors. Jim Morrison and The Doors brought main inspiration to Dragonwyck´s music, with the small difference; the songs are heavier and more progressive; the sound is not just dominated by great vocals, there are lots of freaked out heavy guitar solos and swirling Hammond B3 organ, which brings the individual note to the music. The core of musicians started as Sunrise in 1968 and released one 45 record. This CD is from the mastertape which seemed to be lost, contains 5 bonus tracks (3 unreleased), a bio, cool original artwork and photos. Comes in a high quality digipack cover (same material as the Mystic Siva CD) with an extra 8 page booklet. A true masterpiece" …… 

release, available on CD for the first time, is the second of World In Sound´s Dragonwyck trilogy. The group from Cleveland were one of the most promising bands from the early 70´s in that area. After their first legendary 1970 heavy-psych album the keyboardist changed, and the band left their garagey Doors influences to create their own sound. The music on these well producedstereo-recordings exists only on acetate (10 copies), and drifted more into the British vein of progressive rock, like King Crimson, Pink Floyd or Yes, but also reflects US-West Coast feeling like It´s a Beautiful Day. By 1972 Dragonwyck was performing Moody Blues´complete ‘Days of Future Passed’ live on stage (!!!) The 10 original cuts included here, however, are intense and very unique with strong melodies/vocals, heavy guitar solos and an extreme variety of keyboard and vocal sounds an awesome mix of heavy underground rock with classical chamber-music style/elements. There are 2 bonus tracks from a 45´record which was released in 1974, a bio, authentic press-releases and cool photos. Comes in a digipack-fold cover with a 12 page booklet: also remastered from the original mastertapes. …… 

Dragonwyck were a band who played some pretty decent music, but suffered from doing so a few years too late to make the jump from a regional favorite to something more. This album is a great example of the kind of late-sixties fuzz-guitar and keyboard psych that bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock and Jefferson Airplane made, only six years later. Unfortunately for Dragonwyck, by the time these tracks were recorded and fully mixed in 1973 tastes had changed and their album wouldn’t see an official release until more than thirty years later under the German label World in Sound. 
The core lineup of the group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969 under the name The Sunrise, as which they would record a local 45 single that immediately disappeared. Undeterred the band flirted with a name change to Speed before replacing their keyboard player and bassist and settling on the name Dragonwyck. This is their second album, having come a few years after their debut which was recorded mostly live at a club where the band frequently played. The group would record another single a year later (both sides of which are included on this CD issue) before disbanding altogether later that year. While guitarist Tom Brehm resurrected the name Dragonwyck in 2006 for a brief European club tour using studio musicians, this album really represents the end of the short-lived quintet. 

The band has a handful of notable characteristics that set them apart from so many similar flash-in-the- pan stories of that era. First, lead singer Bill Pettijohn delivers an uncanny Jim Morrison imitation on many of these songs (“He Loves You” and “Freedom Son” in particular). Keyboardist John Hall is the other curio here, bouncing between John Pinder and Ray Manzarek on mellotron, Hammond and moog. And speaking of the Moody Blues, Pettijohn also does a pretty good Justin Hayward on “Lady” and “Forever only Last a Little While”. The band doesn’t attempt to hide their influences, with Pettijohn having appeared on the Jerry Springer Show to tout his Doors cover band and Dragonwyck having been known to play the entire Moody’s album “Days of Future Passed” at live shows in the early seventies. 

But beyond the band’s early ‘tribute’ sensibilities there’s some decent music here as well, and at least these are all original compositions. Guitarist Tom Brehm plays some tasty psych guitar that, if nothing else, demonstrates the difference between British and American music of that day with a tendency toward copious layers of heavy and loud licks. Hall’s mellotron includes string tracks on songs like “Dead Man” which both reinforce the Moody’s vibe and give the music a richness to complement the guitars and drums. 

The two bonus tracks are from the band’s last recording, a 45 single released in 1974 with pretty much no distribution or promotion. These are more pop-flavored tracks with piano replacing the mellotron, and a straight-ahead rock rhythm rather than the meandering psych arrangements of the band’s earlier work. 

This is a decent album to listen to today, but it is certainly understandable why it (and the band) didn’t take off in 1973. Today we have a nostalgic and artistic appreciation for great sixties psych; but when Dragonwyck were donning capes and playing this stuff in the clubs of 1973-74 they were unfortunately already an anachronism. Three stars for the solid musicianship and for playing original material despite having a strong tribute-band vibe, but not quite essential…. by ClemofNazareth …. 

Beware, they have dog, that looks like a dragon, which is deadly and sinister sign of your upcoming doom. But not by arms of this music, as this music more pleases, than kills. Or not ? Well, except no calm music, this is quite living (from word “live”, like that it’s not dead, no Death metal, which can make saying: “Death Metal is not dead”, but what about: “Living Folk is alive”?). Even not Prog Folk by nature, it has a lot of elements of this genre (atmosphere). It’s a strange mix of different elements, a lot of electric guitar parts, but also acoustic one is doing its job. Then synthesizers do something that I’m not able to properly define, kicking in from time to time. Mellotron itself (i sounds like that) is strong and maybe it’s leading one. Vocals are expected and bass lines are clearly to heard in quiet parts (that are here from time to time). Strange mixture to be honest, after many listens (and repeated listens even now), I’m still not sure. 
4(-), but when just enjoying it, it’s good. This fantasy atmosphere (dragon and everything else, I just have this feeling) can be too much dense sometimes…..by Marty McFly …. 


Line-up / Musicians 

- Tom Brehm / guitars 
- Bill Pettijohn / vocals 
- John Hall / keyboards 
- Mikey Gerchak / bass 
- Jack Boessneck / drums 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Kimberly (0:32) 
2. He Loves You (3:18) 
3. Fire Climbs (6:41) 
4. Relics (5:11) 
5. Freedom Son (3:57) 
6. Lady (3:47) 
7. Run To The Devil (3:45) 
8. Dead Man (4:15) 
9. The Music (3:14) 
10. Forever Only Last A Little While (4:40) 
11. Lovin’ The Boys (Single 74) (3:14) 
12. The Music (Single 74) (3:07)

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