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

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Silk “Smooth As Raw” 1969 US Psych Rock

Silk  “Smooth As Raw” 1969 US Psych Rock
full vk
full spotify remastered

This quartet came from Cleveland, Ohio, where they started out as The Tree Stumps. Their sole album appeared in the summer of 1969, and is notable for its impressive scope and the ambitious production by Bill Szymczyk (who went on to achieve fame for his work with The Eagles), ….~


In 1965 the teenager Michael Gee, started his career playing in a number of local groups including The Scepters. By 1968 Gee was attending Hiram University and joined a late-inning version of Clevelabd’s Beatles-inspired The Tree Stumps showcasing the talents of Gee, guitarist Chris Johns, drummer Courtney Johns and keyboardist Randy Sabo. 
Playing dances and local clubs won the band a cult following and released a couple of singles, but met with little financial reward and by 1969 the Stumps had morphed into Silk. Silk did little and o the verge of calling it quits, a performance at a Cleveland club attracted the attention of producer Bill Szymczyk who’d been sent on the road by ABC Records to look for talent. (The same trip saw him sign Joe Walsh and the James Gang to a contract.) 
Signed to ABC, the band were teamed with producer Szymczyk (who also co-wrote several tracks). The group’s 1969 debut “Smooth As Raw Silk” served to showcase the band’s broad and versatile repertoire. Gee and Sabo split vocal duties and while both were professional, neither was overwhelming (Sabo actually struck me as the better of the two). 
With all four members contributed the writing chores (a cover of Tim Rose’s ‘Long Haired Boy’ was the lone non-original), the results found the band touching base on a wide array of genres ranging from country ('Custody’), to sensitive singer/songwriter moves, and even horn rock ('Not a Whole Lot I Can Do’). 
The results were never less than professional. The collection got off to a nice start with the effects laden 'Introduction’ (dedicated to airline pilots everywhere) and the psych-rocker 'Foreign Trip’. Sporting some nice twin lead guitar work from Johns and guest Harry Porter 'Skito Blues’ was an excellent rocker. Almost as good was the raucous 'Come On Down Girl’. At the other end of the spectrum taking on the then-taboo issue of divorce and children the C&W-flavored 'Custody’ was easily the strangest song. 
Coming in a close second, 'Scottish Thing’ somehow managing to meld a trance feel with bagpipes. The song was also interesting in that it was dedicated to Elektra’s Jac Holtzman (even though the band was signed to ABC) The album actually managed to hit the top-200 charts (peaking at # 191) but the quartet subsequently called it quits.  ....Bad-Cat..records…….~


Schizophrenically strange album with a mostly discardable A-side, featuring lame second rate material, kitschy covers and a plain boring pseudo-folk rendition on A6. Luckily B1 brings relief: a nice slice of psych with trippy backwards effects. B3 and B5 are beautiful ballads and showcase Gee as an incredibly gifted vocalist. B4 underlines there is nothing wrong with a nice upbeat sixties song. In the end Silk brings nothing in spectacular but Michael Gee's voice remains "Smooth As Raw Silk". A couple of tracks feature guest appearance by Ford Theatre's Harry Palmer....by....eskeshuus ....~


Impressive Scope, Ambitious Production but Inconsistent 
The band covers a lot of ground, however they do so with some inconsistency. There are some high moments here for sure – there’s the single worthy hard rocker ‘Come On Down Girl’, which is very catchy. ‘Foreign Trip’ has slight psych moments and positive guitar work. The other hard rocker ‘Skitzo Blues’ drives fast into a cool psych freakout arrangement. The mid-paced lysergic ‘Hours’ complete with tape effects is a set standout. ‘Custody’, with it’s faux-country melodies, is just plain weird...by...recorddigger ...~


A hard organ/guitar Cleveland quartet produced and arranged by Bill Szymczyk. The album has become a very minor collectable and contains several good tracks: Foreign Thing, Skitzo Blues, Walk In My Mind and Scottish Thing which is one of the few psych tracks to end with bagpipes! 
The songs were written by the group members and Bill Szymczyk, except a cover of Tim Rose's Long Haired Boy which was "dedicated to groupies everywhere" and Custody written by Steve Karliski and Larry Kolber. Harry Palmer of Ford Theatre played guitar and percussion on some tracks and is also credited for production work. 
Michael Gee later formed the Michael Stanley Band.....~


Silk 

*Courtney Johns - Drums 
*Michael Gee - Bass, Lead Vocals 
*Chris Johns - Guitars 
*Randy Sabo - Keyboards, Vocals 



Tracks 

1. Introduction (Bill Szymczyk) - 1:12 
2. Foreign Trip (Chris Johns, Bill Szymczyk) - 4:07 
3. Long Haired Boy (Tim Rose) - 3:38 
4. Not A Whole Lot I Can Do (Michael Gee) - 3:07
5. Custody (Steve Karliski, Larry Kolber) - 2:19 
6. Scottish Thing (Michael Gee, Randy Sabo) - 4:47 
7. Skitzo Blues (Gee, Sabo, Johns, Szymczyk) - 4:34 
8. Hours (Michael Gee, Randy Sabo) - 2:48 
9. Walk In My Mind (Michael Gee) - 4:18 
10.Come On Down Girl (Gee, Sabo, Szymczyk) - 3:45 
11.For All Time (Michael Gee) - 4:23 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

vinyl

vinyl