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29 Jan 2017

Steve Linnegar`s Shakeshed "Classic Epics" 1982 South African Psych Prog





Steve Linnegar`s Shakeshed  "Classic Epics" 1982  South African Psych Prog
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“Mysterious psych prog monster LP which gets better & better…Dreamy organ & soaring fuzz leads, at times like a cross between Marcus & Pink Floyd with folk elements & melodics all over the rhythmic grooves. Eastern tinged lyrics & samurai charging vocals which float amidst the pools of organ & catch late Beatle harmonic embers” - Paul Major 

“Terrific flowing westcoasty 70s rock with deep psych atmospheres on the 14-minute "Desert” - Patrick Lundborg ……………. 


Steve Linnegar was an accomplished songwriter, musician, painter and martial arts disciple. A legendary figure from the South African 60s-70s underground music scene, the “hippie king of Cape Town” formed the Snakeshed band in the 70s along with top guitar player Martin Kopelowitz. 

Refusing offers from some record labels who insisted they should go “commercial”, they decided to record and release their first album, “Classic Epics”, all by themselves with collaborations from keyboard player / producer Peter Hubner and legendary session guitar player Jehtro Butow. 

Released in 1982 on their own private label, this is one of South African Prog/Psych crown jewels. Layers of acoustic / electric guitars, Gilmour-alike guitar solos, ultra-melodic vocals, effects, cool Oriental-Tao inspired lyrics…Culminating on the haunting 14-minutes long “Desert”. ….. 

Despite the decidedly Oriental look to the cover, and song titles like ‘Tao Ch'ang Wu Wei’ this classic epic is neither Tai Chi nor feely, more drum stick than chop stick and as removed from saki as it is from sakkie. 

Released in 1982, this album harks back to the American rock of the late 70’s. It’s textured rock that is laid back and perfect for mellowing out to with a few good friends and a bottle of wine. The electric guitar, although rocking is played down and is subtly interwoven with the acoustic strumming creating a silky backdrop for the sweetly subdued, almost whispered vocal harmonies, the effect of which at times is quite startling. 

There are deviations from this formula with 'Kamakua Dragons’ where the electric guitar comes more to the fore and features a harsher screech-edged vocals. The hillbilly violin on Lamplight Shines add another texture to the album. But the centre piece and indeed THE classic epic of the album is 'Desert’. A vast song, spanning over 13 minutes, it builds from a strummed intro adds an aching landscape of electric guitar and sax and is polished with gently atmospheric and psychedelic vocal performance. There is a hint of 'Hotel California’ flowing through this masterpiece. 

Ignoring some questionable lyrics ('Ooh I’ve got a heart/Don’t hit me you tart’ from 'Kamakura Dragons’), this is an album of fragile, beautiful rock that has been known to change hands on the internet at a price in excess of US$160! It’s not surprising that people are prepared to pay these sums of money for an album that has the word classic written all over it (well at least once in the top left hand corner of the cover). 
– John Samson, August 2001………. 

Musicians: 

Martin Kopelowitz: guitars, vocals 
Steve Linnegar: guitars, vocals 
Peter Hubner: keyboards 
Jethro Butow: guitar 
Gerald Stockton 
Cedric Samson: drums 
Ashley Kelly: bass 
Les Goode: bass 
Sean Wright: drums 
Alan James 
Victor Sweeney: drums 
Ray Birch: guitar 
Roger Farbey: violin on 'Lamplight Shines’ 

Tracklist 
A1 Tao Ch'ang Wu Wei
A2 Tao Riders
A3 Monitoring
A4 Kamakura Dragons
A5 Lamplight Shines
B1 Desert
B2 I Will Cry 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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