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9 Jul 2017

Ilmo Smokehouse "Ilmo Smokehouse...Plus" 1971 US Prog Heavy Blues Jazz Rock















Ilmo Smokehouse "Ilmo Smokehouse...Plus" 1971 US Prog Heavy Blues Jazz Rock

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Authors of one sole album produced in 1971, Ilmo Smokehouse made a name for themselves during the early seventies thanks to their incessant gigging, often sharing the stage with names like MC5, Big Brother & The Holding Company, The Amboy Dukes, Brownsville Station, James Gang, Sugarloaf, Crow, The Flock and BB King! Thanks to their aggressive and captivating sound-a mix of heavy rock with blues/psych/jazz influences -- they were always well received. Ilmo Smokehouse was started by Craig Moore, bassist and singer for the legendary Gonn, whose "Blackout Of Gretely" was one of the most popular garage tunes of the late sixties. This reissue also includes seven previously unreleased bonus tracks! Akarma. 2006...............

I followed Ilmo Smokehouse from Centerville, Iowa to Quincy, Illinois and spent a lot of summer nights at some defunct roadhouse on the Mississippi between Hamilton and Nauvoo, Illinois, listening to some of the finest live Hard Rock that could be found in the Midwest. This album captures some of the flavor of those performances.
If you like the gutter blues, "Have You Ever Had The Blues" and "Devil Take My Grandma" will sooth your soul. "Are You Happy" and "Pine Needle Bed" are interesting footnotes to a time (1970) when it was pretty subversive to sing about "lighting up a joint",at least in rural Illinois. My visiting cousin, from Detroit, having just heard a live Stooges concert, was amazed that a group this talented, could be found in this part of the world.
Every player in this band is worth listening to. Slink Rand plays lead in a style that still impresses, bluesy and with a fair share of nice riffs. Craig Moores' fluent bass is a major presence throughout and is reminiscent of Jack Bruce in the Cream days.Gerry Gabel plays some terrific flute lines on "Movement
1 and 13" and provides some very nice keybord work throughout. Freddies occasional
sax and his gritty vocals are perfect for this sound.

For vintage collectors, this one is a sweet addition. Only real criticism, would be in the area of production values, but the quality of the music overwhelms that deficiency. Too bad they didn't record some of their cover tunes from Savoy Brown, they sounded better than the originals..........By Horace Really.................

First saw ILMO Smokehouse in the late sixties as a young teenager. They were absolutely an outstanding band. As a Centerville, Iowa native, that was first place I was fortunate enough to hear them, having an older sibling take me along. If memory serves me well, we saw them play in the local Junior High that first time, a small venue to be sure. I was awestruck and a fan since. I saw them many times thereafter. Music and musicians of that quality were such an absolute joy to see and hear. We were truly very fortunate to have such a great band playing the Midwest. I can still see them putting out their best and knew at the time that it was truly a miracle to be in the right place at the right time! I have ILMO music as well as Freddie Tieken and the Rockers. To this day you will find the next generation of Tiekens music on You Tube. If you're an ILMO fan, look up Freddie Tieken and the Rockers, the up coming Tieken generation as well as the other great band members!! Here's to great listening!......ByDeborah Kinnamon.......................

This is really a trip back to the times when concerts were filled with "contact-high" smoke & the bands never played the song the same way twice!

*Ilmo Smokehouse* are very, very bluesy-with a hard rock edge and some proto-prog-rock tendencies sprinkled here and there. You can really tell that these recordings only hint at what the live band experience would have been, what with the jamming aspect and the supplemental drugs of choice.

I would recommend this CD to anyone who would like a glimpse of what "the scene" circa 1970 in the more adventurous midwestern dance halls surviving on local rock shows was like...with the following caveat:

The sound quality is not that of most contemporary releases, the cuts from their record album sound like they were taken from a vinyl pressing, apparently the master tapes could not be located...A shame, because the material experience of the first 8 songs is diminished by this. Surprisingly, the bonus songs are much better fidelity, and shine (they sound like they ARE from master tapes) !

The above information is intended to be as objective as I can be, now for my "personal taste" opinion-*Ilmo Smokehouse* are bluesier and jammier than I personally prefer, although they do it well. I "got into" the bonus songs much more than the released LP's material-they (the bonus songs) seemed tighter and sounded much better to me. I hope the LP's master tapes are located, and a superior reissue ensues. All in all, (and, by the way, I'm 55 years old and lived through these days myself right here in the midwest U.S.A.) I would say "check out *Truth and Janey*'s 'No Rest For The Wicked', a 1975 release by a Cedar Rapids, Iowa band, 1st". My reason is simple: I think it's a better effort. The songs are in a similar vein, but they rise almost to the heights of (dare I say) Led Zeppelin's finer works (high praise indeed). Granted, *Truth and Janey*'s record album came out 5 years later, so I'm not trying to say *Ilmo Smokehouse* wouldn't have been there by then, but they had broken up, so we'll never know. At any rate, if *Truth and Janey* does it for you, then maybe proceed on to *Ilmo Smokehouse*.

Original copies of EITHER *Ilmo Smokehouse* OR *Truth and Janey* on vinyl go for astronomical figures, fortunately affordable CD reissues are available.
I hope this info proves useful to you, the reader........By Steven Bray...............

While it's not unusual for a new band to form from the ashes of other collapsing, simpatico groups, it's rare for one to emerge from the funeral pyres of two distinctly different musical units, but thus was begotten Ilmo Smokehouse. Freddie Tieken and the Rockers was the more established of Ilmo's parents, a smoking R'n'B band that had been burning up Midwestern stages since the late '50s.

With an obvious penchant for bluesy rock and soul, the band boasted one of the best horn sections in the region. In contrast, Gonn came on the scene in 1966, dragging behind them their British beat influences, following the herd into psychedelia and even space rock a few years later. Smokehouse had a ferocious live reputation, but this set did that little justice, with only "Johnny B. Good" and "Pine Needle Bed" hinting at their stage potential.

What the record does do, however, is showcase precisely why this band was born to die. The nearly seven-minute long "Have You Ever Had the Blues" is a flawless example of talking blues, a sound Freddie Tieken had perfected years before. Elsewhere, jazz and prog rock collide on "Are You Happy," while jazz, soul, and rock smack straight into each other on "Movement 1 and 13," while "Pine Needle Bed" pulls in so many directions, you expect the whole tree to splinter apart. And splinter the band quickly did, in the end, becoming three different bands. There was just too much experience and quality musicianship in the ranks, all pushing too hard for their own preferred style. For some bands, eclecticism is a badge of honor, for Ilmo it sounds more like a bone of contention. .............by Jo-Ann Greene...............

Musicians
*Keith "Slink" Rand - Lead Guitar, Percussions
*Freddie Tieken - Vocals, Rap Vocals, Tenor Saxophone
*Gerry Gabel - Vocals, Flute, Harmonica, Piano
*Dennis Tieken - Vocals, Drums
*Craig Moore - Bass, Vocals
Tracklist
1 Devil Take My Grandma 3:30
2 Are You Happy 5:39
3 Movement 1 And 13 9:50
4 Johnny B. Good 3:31
5 Meyer Gold 4:55
6 Have You Ever Had The Blue 6:59
7 Pine Needle Bed 2:53
8 Watch Jimmy Crash 2:36
Bonus Tracks
9 Key To The Highway 2:53
10 Pine Needle Bed (Alternate Take, Backing Track) 3:36
11 Ozone (Backing Track) 3:27
12 Outskirts Of Town (Unfinished Band Track) 2:58
13 Calm Myself Down (Scratch Vocal Demo) 4:32
14 Every Day (Backing Track) 5:02
15 Columbia Jam 5:36 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..