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21 Jun 2017

Hour Glass (pre-The Allman Brothers Band) "Power of Love"1968 US Blues Rock Rhythm n' Blues

Hour Glass (pre-The Allman Brothers Band) "Power of Love"1968 US Blues Rock Rhythm n' Blues


Now this is a little more like it. The group really isn't sounding like they did at the Whiskey, but the playing by the band is pretty ballsy, and Duane's guitar is right up front and close, and he's showing some real invention within the restrictions of the pop sound that the producer was aiming for. He also plays an electric sitar on the strangest cut here, an instrumental cover of Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." From the opening bars of the title tune, one gets the message that this is a group with something to say musically, even if this particular message isn't it -- the guitar flourishes, the bold organ and piano by Paul Hornsby, and Gregg Allman's charismatic vocals all pull the listener better than 98% of the psychedelic pop and soul-pop of the period. The outtakes that are included as bonus tracks are much more important, consisting of songs cut for a never-issued Gregg Allman solo album (intended to keep Liberty from suing over the group's breakup and departure), where he sounded a lot more like the lead singer of the Allman Brothers Band than he'd ever been given a chance to with the Hour Glass, on songs that included the future Allman Brothers classic "It's Not My Cross to Bear." Bruce Eder ......allmusic...........

Some folks out there will tell you that the two records cut for Columbia Records by The Hour Glass, Gregg and Duane Allman’s early west-coast rock and roll band, are nothing but commercial garbage. Don’t listen to them. From the perspective of the rabid, biker-boogieing Allman Brothers fan, The Hour Glass may very well come across as nothing but lysergic flower-child pop, but to the more informed listener a record like The Power of Love is a rare and valuable slice of psychedelic soul; I know that, for this long-time Allman Brothers fan, these Hour Glass recordings have actually edged out that later band’s albums on my turntable by a considerable degree, though I will confess to occasionally missing Duane’s inimitable bottleneck runs. 

Cut between reworked songs by southern soul legends like Don Covay, Eddie Hinton and Dan Penn and memorable originals, The Power of Love really does (for lack of loftier language) kick ass from start to finish. Duane Allman’s heavy fuzz guitar and electric sitar may be a world away from the supple slide style that made him a household name, but it does have a vintage appeal of its own, and at the very least manages to display the guitarist’s legendary ear for melody. Meanwhile, Gregg’s singing is as heavy and soulful as it would ever be – just listen as he tears the roof off of songs like “Home” and “I Still Want Your Love,” sounding much more rough-hewn than his tender age would otherwise imply. So many of these tunes had Billboard potential that it blows my mind that this band never managed to take off, whatever record company hassles they were caught up in at the time. 

Some of my personal favorites here include the organ-driven “Changing of the Guard,” the wild, burning take on Eddie Hinton’s “Down In Texas,” and the righteous, reverberating psychedelia of the closing number, “Now Is the Time.” Duane’s solo on that last piece displays a radical controlled feedback tone that really makes it for me, and his sitar spotlight on the group’s jazzy instrumental reading of The Beatles evergreen “Norwegian Wood” is entertaining, if rather inconsequential. After hearing these numbers one almost wishes that more of the artistic eccentricities heard here had carried over into the brothers’ latter-day careers. 

The Hour Glass recordings have been repackaged and reissued under a number of different titles, but I’d say the best place to find them is in the comprehensive Hour Glass anthology, originally a double LP released in the early seventies but recently remastered by Beat Goes On Records........Rising Storm review..............

After the failure of The Hour Glass' first album, Liberty Records and producer Dallas Smith begrudgingly allowed the group more artistic freedom for their follow-up. Power Of Love, released in 1968 (by which time bassist Mabron McKinney had been replaced by Pete Carr), boasted a total of seven Gregg Allman orginals, whilst its predecessor had only featured one. Other songs included the title track by Dan Penn, one by Don Covay, and two by Marlin Greene and Eddie Hinton. It also had a very interesting jazzy instrumental reading of The Beatles' "Nowegian Wood", featuring Duane Allman on electric sitar. 
Despite the slight increase in independence, the band still felt terribly restricted by their record label's expectations, and like its predecessor the album ended up sounding rather uneven (though still very listenable). It was another commercial failure. The band then travelled to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, where they reportedly recorded material for an album which was much closer to their R&B roots, but Liberty were not pleased with the results, and it was never released. 
The Hour Glass subsequently broke up. Both Gregg and Duane briefly recorded with Florida-based band The 31st Of February, the resultant album released in 1972 as Duane & Gregg Allman. Gregg then returned to L.A., and quickly put together a solo album to fulfil his contract with Liberty, but this also went unreleased. Duane went to work as a session musician at Fame Studios, and began jamming with some new friends in Jacksonville. The brothers reunited when Duane summoned Gregg back from L.A. to join the new group he was putting together - The Allman Brothers Band were formed in 1969..................

Duane Allman - lead guitar, el. sitar 
Johny Sandin - drums, guitar, gong 
Paul Hornsby - piano, organ, guiatr, vocals 
Jesse Williard Carr - bass, vocals 
Gregg Allman - lead vocals, organ, piano, lead guitar 

A1 Power Of Love 2:48 
A2 Changing Of The Guard 2:35 
A3 To Things Before 2:30 
A4 I'm Not Afraid 2:39 
A5 I Can Stand Alone 2:15 
A6 Down In Texas 3:06 
B1 I Still Want Your Love 2:20 
B2 Home For The Summer 2:45 
B3 I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You 3:09 
B4 Going Nowhere 2:43 
B5 Norwegian Wood 2:58 
B6 Now Is The Time 3:58

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..