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9 May 2017

Jesse Harper aka (Doug Jerebine) “Guitar Absolution in the Shade of a Midnight Sun” 1969 New Zealand Psych Rock

The Brew: Doug Jerebine, Bob Gillett, Tommy Ferguson, Yuk Harrison and Trix Willoughby

Jesse Harper aka (Doug Jerebine) “Guitar Absolution in the Shade of a Midnight Sun” 1969 New Zealand Psych Rock
A 1967 line-up of The Brew. Main picture Doug Jerebine. Right, top to bottom, Bob Gillett, Ian Thomson, Harvey Mann, Tommy Ferguson.

A later line-up of The Brew - Bob Gillett, Harvey Mann, Archie Bowie and Doug Jerebine

Doug Jerebine (second left) as a member of The World Band before heading to Amsterdam in the early-1970s

Doug Jerebine in Indiain 1968 with Raman Bhai Chhibba

Doug Jerebine in London, 1969

Doug Jerebine the Dargaville teenage guitar prodigy in the 1950s

Jesse Harper is a mythical guitarist born in New Zealand who moved to England and recorded the ten demo tracks found here, taken from the original acetate. Harper's guitar playing is incredible throughout. Listening to these recordings its unbelievable that Harper didn't become a guitar hero in 1969 London. Harper left the music industry, however, in search of spiritual fulfillment and these ten tracks are the only recorded legacy of a guitar legend. If you are fortunate enough to locate a copy of this release grab it immediately. This one is worth throwing some money at, so check around as it has been out of print for some time and isn't likely to be back in print any time soon.....ByKevin D. Rathert..............

In 1994, the label Kissing Spell reissued on CD a hideously rare and collector scum related item that was only available as an acetate lp . As the CD liner notes indicate the acetate was such a rarity that collectors, like vultures in the desert, would descend on the item fight over it and then exchange 2500 sterling to consume it! As for the music and it's writer, not much is known about Mr. Harper other than he came to England in 1969 from New Zealand and at one point joined the legendary band Andromeda. The liner notes also indicate that the band might be in fact backing Mr. Harper during the recording.
As for the music, it is great late 60'S british psych heavily influenced by Hendrix and Harper's own personal theological beliefs. When I first bought the CD, put in my CD player and heard the lead off track "Wake Me" I was floored. The feedback introduction followed by the wah -wah rhythmn and driving drum pattern is soooo incredible! When Harper sings the lyrics "Blessed is the day, I am so glad to be alive" you can epiphanize that the clouds above have parted, rays of sunshine have slowly poured from the heavens and the purpose of life is revealed - TRANSCENDENCE! On the third track "Music is God", Harper makes these intentions clear with the lyrics "Intensity / Sincerity / Making me decide / For it involves Music is God". The music is driving, soulful and above all very tight - nice. The music supports Harper's claims that yes music is a religous force to be reckoned with; not to be taken for granted. On the six track, "Shades of the Midnight Sun" Harper continues with the successful approach to his music - light vocals and heavy axework. The track is so full, massed with great fretwork and vocals emphazing the internal struggle Harper faces with his music - religous convictions. Above all, a great CD reissue with great packaging too. In closing one of Harper's lyrics reflect his personal feelings about the situation he found himself in during the recording process; it comes from the the song "Keep Cool" . The lyrics are "God don't need a benny on the other side of time"........Julian Cope........

In the mid-sixties in New Zealand, in the composition of the leading rock bands invariably there were strong guitar leaders. So, in The Human Instinct such was Bill Ward, in Ticket - Eddie Hansen, in The Underdogs - Harvey Mann, and in The Brew, of course, Doug Jerebine. The same Harvey Mann learned a significant part of his technique and style, seeing and listening to how Doug Jerebine plays. The Underdogs and Human Instinct, in the end, became the only competitors for each other in the struggle to acquire the status of the national cult group. Meanwhile, The Brew was rated by critics as the first underground rock group in New Zealand. It was founded by the Californian Bob Gillet, who was one of the first jazz musicians-saxophonists living in New Zealand. But he decided to create his own band to play completely different and new music. And his first conscript in this group was guitarist Doug Jerebine (pictured left), who loved to experiment with equipment and sounds. Doug was a true guitar master and developed his skills, which he discovered at the age of eight when he played with various local bands, including The Embers. They recorded only one strange and experimental single called "Bengal Tiger" in 1967, with characteristic oriental influence when playing the guitar, before they broke up and devoted themselves to other musical undertakings. Still, The Brew was very much in the mentioned struggle for leadership with The Underdogs and Human Instinct, and when they were forced to finally "lay down their arms", Doug went to England and began composing and recording his own songs under the name Jessie Harper. When The Human Instinct also made a short visit to England, they met with Jessie and he invited them to try to perform a number of their songs. Thus, the author of seven songs on the first two albums of The Human Instinct was none other than Jessie Harper. Around the same time, at the end of 1969, in England, Jessie Harper recorded his album, full of its own original material, but it turned out that it was released only in 1992 by the Kissing Spell label. The album was called "Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of The Midnight Sun", and on its cover there is a reproduction of El Greco's picture "The Agony In The Garden" of the 16th century. The album was originally issued in a limited edition of 1,000 vinyl copies, it included only mono records of 1969. Later, when re-released on CD, the records became available in a restored form, which improved the sound quality. The remastered version of the album was also provided by Kissing Spell in 1999 with extensive notes on the inner booklet, although it had to replace the cover, Shades Of The Midnight Sun and the artist's name, now it was called Jesse Harper. Despite the fact that some tracks on these two editions, apparently, are called differently, they are actually the same songs and they are all characterized as "Killer Acid Psych 60s Rock Guitar Fuzz Trips". Indeed, all the ten tracks composing the album were recorded live with an unknown invited drummer, guitarist, bassist and vocalist, who was represented by one musician - Jesse Harper, and all the parts he performed were superimposed on each other when they were recorded . It was a project of literally one person - an orchestra, roughly like The Bevis Frond, where Nick Saloman followed a similar way of multi-instrumentalist playing superheavy music, which also attracted special attention. Here, the influence of Hendrix is ​​unconditional and obvious. Everything is executed very noisily and in the same narcotic frenzy, juicy and fuzzy enough, and is ideal for lovers of such rock music of the late 60s. So, one more discovery for listeners came out of obscurity from the time of the psychedelic era.
Later, while remaining in England, Jesse Harper worked as a session musician for a long time: he played a little with Andromeda, who soon broke up, played bass with Jeff Beck, recorded with him in 1972 an album that became an underground classic, and formed the World Band With one more native of the country of kiwi - drummer Mike Donnelly. They played in London, visited Holland, but for some reason rejected the contract to record with EMI. Then Harper returned to his homeland, where he was also a successful session guitarist and a striking example for novice talents, but then suddenly left the music scene to join the Hare Krishna movement. Nevertheless, Jesse Harper left us, though a small but rich musical heritage, which together with the works of his countrymen (Human Instinct, etc.) is a significant layer in the history of the underground...............

During the mid sixties in New Zealand, the leading bands all included strong lead guitarists. Human Instinct had Billy TK, Ticket had Eddie Hansen, the Underdogs had Harvey Mann and the Brew had Doug Jerebine (aka Jesse Harper). Harvey Mann had learned much of his technique and style from Doug Jerebine. The Underdogs and Human Instinct were good competition for each other, both fighting for the ultimate cult following.
The 'Brew' were regarded as New Zealand’s first “Underground” band. It was put together by Californian Bob Gillet who was a jazz musician living in New Zealand. He had decided to form his own band to play a new kind of music. His first recruit was guitarist Doug Jerebine (pictured far left in the B&W photo below) who was fond of experimenting with equipment and sounds. Doug was a guitar wizard and had previously played with the 'Embers'. They only produced one bizarre / experimental single called "Bengal Tiger" in 1967,with a distinctive eastern influenced guitar before splitting and going onto other musical endeavours.
When the Brew folded, Doug went to England and began writing and recording under the name Jesse Harper and made a powerful LP 'Guitar Absolution in the Shade of a Midnight Sun'.
When the Human Instinct made a brief visit to England, they met up with Jesse and he provided them with a number of his songs. In fact seven of the songs on the Human Instinct's first two albums were written by Jesse.
While in England, Jesse Harper recorded an album full of original material, and this music was finally released in 1992 by Kissing Spell. This is a limited edition of 1000 copies vinyl - acetete only MONO recording from 1969 by one of those Hendrixians from NZL - first time available in restored sound quality. A re-mastered version has also been made available by Kissing Spell in 2002 which featured extensive liner notes but replaced the cover art as shown below.
While the tracks on the album are titled differently to the Kissing Spell release Guitar Absolution in the Shadow of a Midnight Sun, they are in fact the same songs. The cover image is "The Agony In The Garden, Studio Of El Greco, 16th Century" and the music has been described as being 'Killer Acid Psych 60s Rock Guitar Fuzz Trips'.
The ten demos, which make up this album, were recorded live with a drummer and had bass, lead parts, and vocals overdubbed by Harper. It was literally a one-man project. And like the Bevis Frond, who followed a similar pathway later, the music is mainly super heavy, washed in phasing with multi-tracked guitar leads battling for attention. The Hendrix approach was very clear. It's all noisy and druggy, with the occasional mellower moment creeping in. Perfect for fans of late-'60s fuzzed-out hard rock. Yet another discovery from the ever widening crevice of obscurities from the psychedelic era.
While in England, Harper played bass with Jeff Beck, recorded an album that would become a underground classic and formed the World Band with another Kiwi Mike Donnelly on drums.
They played London, toured Holland and turned down a recording deal with EMI.
Harper quit the music scene to join the Hare Krishna movement but not before leaving a musical legacy that New Zealand's Human Instinct turned into a piece of underground history.......................

01. - Jug-a-Jug Song
02. - Blues News
03. - Other Side of Time
04. - Circles
05. - Keep Cool
06. - Midnight Sun
07. - Hole in his Hand
08. - Fall Down
09. - Ashes and Matches
10. - Love Song

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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