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19 Feb 2017

Victor Brady “Brown Rain” 1970 US Psych Rock Fuzz

Victor Brady “Brown Rain” 1970 US Psych Rock Fuzz
Having been raised in the Caribbean, Victor Brady came to New York and became a popular draw in 1960s Greenwich Village with his revolutionary approach to the steel drum. By the end of the decade he was a familiar sight in Central Park, and he got the chance to make a record in 1970. Backed by a taut psychedelic rock band, the resulting album is one of the more unusual and distinctive underground relics of the era...............

Having been raised in the Caribbean, Victor Brady came to New York and became a popular draw in 1960s Greenwich Village with his revolutionary approach to the steel drum. By the end of the decade he was a familiar sight in Central Park, and he got the chance to make a record in 1970. Backed by a taut psychedelic rock band, the resulting album is one of the more unusual and distinctive underground relics of the era. Includes background notes............

 Insane ride through Caribbean tunes, melodies, influencing sounds, not stopping till the end of each track, leaving you wanting to dance, or at least to wave in something not so far away to rock' n 'roll rhythms. Because this is wild, living style, psychedelic music with most prominent instrument being V. Brady's, steel drums that really sound like (almost, with one eye closed ... one ear closed) piano, because what he can do here is truly amazing. Hallucinating trip with lyrics (when they're present) full of crazy nonsenses (maybe they makes sense, when you're high). Sounds very original, something very much needed in this big bunch of music where we dig ourselves alive. Stuff that can stir the waters. But, as many psychedelic acts, it sometimes dwells results into endless jaming solos and similar structures. But not for too long (except last track, where it is way too long). Not especially my cup of music I'm listening every day, but interesting and original. As much as possible, while remaining Marty McFly .........

While doing music research, I sure do run across some weirdo albums, and this has to rank amongst the top tier for that. At its core, New York City based Brady, an African-American, has created a seriously heavy psych album, with non stop fuzz and plenty of ranting ala Frankie Dymon or Gil Scott-Heron. Some of the material is more pop oriented, but still maintains the heavy fuzz throughout. But we haven't got to the weird part yet. The lead instrument? Caribbean steel drums! Unfortunately after awhile, it all starts to sound more like a gimmick rather than as accompaniment. Perhaps it's the association of the instrument with island vacations, but it doesn't give off the right feeling when compared with the rest of the instrumentation and atmosphere. I mean, I wouldn't want to hear someone wailing on harmonica through a similar set of tunes either. In any case, quite a find and definitely recommended for a couple of listens. Take it in small doses though. Victor Brady apparently was associated with the "Sound of Central Park" and, according to their website: "Victor Brady went on to cut a record deal with Polydor Records and released the album “Brown Rain”. Victor subsequently released a classical album called “Classical Soul” and later appeared in Las Vegas with Charo, on PBS’s Sesame Street, wrote a book about the steel drum, and performed and lectured at the Smithsonian Institute". Sounds like a true Renaissance man! ........

This one seems to evoke some pretty strong reactions from those who hear it. Upon first listen, my good buddy (who is not a particularly big fan of prog.) literally begged me to get rid of it, so strong was his dislike. I, on the other hand (a big fan of prog) found it quite interesting, if not very different than virtually every other prog/hard rock album out there. According to the liner notes on the back cover, Brady, an accomplished steel drum player, travelled from his native St. Croix to NYC. Once there, he attempted to form a rock band showcasing his talents on the steel drum, but succeeded only in "annoying" the local music scene. Dissolving his band, he began performing in Central Park, where he caught the ear of the president of Polydor records. Intrigued, he signed Brady on the spot. A studio band was assembled, and an album recorded. It features fairly hard prog rock, with heavy guitar and lots of Brady's steel drum, and even some fuzz at various points. There is a mix of light and heavy material. The 11:30 min. title track was the best to my ears, which I rate very good. Three of the remaining five tracks garner a solid "good" rating as well. If your open to new and unusual sounds when it comes to your rock 'n roll, this may be worth investigating. Grades - 1 B+, 3 B's, 1 B-, and a C+. Original copies came with a lyric sheet .........

Group of New York. Album hard-psychedelia with active use of glockenspiel and steel drums of different sizes, which creates a rather unusual sound, and they are not just actively used, and play a leading role, along with vocals. Guitar solo passages are filled with guitar fuzz. Sam Brady (born in the Virgin Islands), improvising wildly with his instrument. Victor Brady took part in the festival of percussion instruments, held in Central Park in New York City in 1968, attended by the cult of personality that time Panman Dave, Rudy Bowen and Mike Delcioppo..............

A not unimportant feature of the progressive rock in its beginnings was the use of instruments, which at the time were regarded as rock-like, and the music expanded strongly in tone and not infrequently also added a stylistically new component. Rock was first simple electric guitar, bass, drums plus singing. Without the use of all kinds of (mostly electronic) keyboards, flutes, saxophones, other wind instruments, strings and a considerably expanded percussion section, Prog would probably not have been realized. The reverse is sometimes that from relatively "normal" rock by the use "exotic" (in rock context) sound prog Prog.

Victor Brady (from St. Croix on the US Virgin Islands) plays (perhaps still today - not much is to be found in the global network) Steel Drums, which he himself has called as Steel Piano, . The sound of this metalophony invented in Trinidad in the 30s of the last century, which is basically made of the end parts of oil barrels, is well known to everyone. However, it is seldom heard in the rock context - occasionally as a transient sound color, in order to create relaxed and relaxed caribbean atmosphere. Brady, on the other hand, published a rock album in 1970, in which the steel drum is the key solo instrument.

"Brown Rain" basically offers a psychedelic-edgy, very dynamic rock in the Cream and Hendrix succession, as one was heard around the year 1970 not infrequently, determined by a classic rock trio, but extended by the bell- Tinged sounds of the Steel Pianos. This is usually the case (also because of the somewhat similar, rather bulky vocals), as if the Edgar Broughton Band had recorded a Steel-Drum album, especially in the long title. Other numbers are somewhat more psychedelic, also more pop-heavy, reminiscent of Eastcoast sounds of the late 60's ("Once upon a candle", for example, but with lead steel drum. At times, especially in the longer instrumental sections, jazzy moments also appear, or get jammed. The electric guitar keeps itself rather back, but always provides quite aggressive duels with the sheet metal percussion (one hear the beginning of the title) or solos dirty-bluesig. All in all, it is quite a question here. Relaxed caribbean atmosphere is nowhere to be found.

"Brown Rain" is a very interesting album with a very own sound, but it does not vary much over the entire length of the album (and therefore always sounds quite similar). If you appreciate a robust, bulky, highly complex early-seventies psychrock and can imagine a very virtuosic steel drum as a lead instrument, you should listen to this quite unique disc - especially the title - nevertheless!... by...Achim Breiling.......

Line-up / Musicians
- Murray Gordon / bass
- Gary Reams / drums
- Peter Psarianos / guitars
- Victor Brady / vocals, steel piano

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Glass House (7:35)
2. Hallucinodream (2:52)
3. Soul Fungi (2:26)
4. Once Upon a Candle (6:39)
5. Brown Rain (11:30)
6. It's a Good World Outside (6:51)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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