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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Necromandus "Necrothology" 1974 UK Psych Hard Rock Compilation

Bill Branch, Dennis McCarten, Baz Dunnery and Frank Hall

Necromandus "Necrothology"  1974 UK Psych Hard Rock Compilation


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Recorded at Morgan Studios, London 1973
All tracks produced by Tony Iommi for the Tramp Agency

Definitive anthology of early 70s downer rock band, produced by Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. Includes previously unreleased tracks, live material, different versions and a special tribute track with full band biography, press releases, pictures etc..................

Managed and produced by Tony Iommi, Necromandus taped an album and a single for the Vertigo label in 1973, which didn't materialize at the time. Fortunately those studio recordings are now available on this LP, together with some archival demo and live tracks from 1971 and '72. Necromandus created a stunningly unique and dark sound featuring twisted vocals, exquisite guitar work and a powerful rhythm section. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl in an edition of 260 numbered copies, the LP comes with detailed notes and a double-sided glossy insert.................

Continuation of the story. Ironically, the heritage «Necromandus» still lives in the hearts of the public. Some novice groups recognize their influence and the Spanish "doom» «Tempter» recorded a tribute to the legend of hard rock. The first official edition was published in 1990 under the name «Quicksand Dream», the vinyl has been duplicated on CD in the late '90s, and later went «Necrothology». The last studio material apart only album contains a number of alternative versions of the classics of the group. In particular, the complete version of «Orexis Of Death», where Iommi not only solo, but also leads a second rhythm guitar. Also attracted the attention of the material of live performances (dated at 1971), perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the stage. In general, the music is really beyond the scope of a standard hard rock. A lot of progressive elements and almost jazz guitar create a very untypical picture. Although it's still a second-tier group..............

Remastered reissue of the rare 1973 heavy doom album originally intended to be released on the legenday Vertigo label in the UK. The band was discovered and managed by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. As a bonus a rare 8 track live album is included. 16 tracks of classic doom-laden heavy rock.
Although they never did shrug off the unwelcome nickname of "Second Sabbath" and then had to endure a doom arguably worse than never being noticed at all: watching their would-be first album, 1973's Orexis of Death, pitilessly shelved forever by their record company, England's Necromandus would receive a modicum of belated recognition when said album finally gained release in 1999. Big whoop! Tell that to the three out of four bandmembers who were already in their graves by then! But, at least for fans of obscure hard rock and metal, the album's unearthing was cause for celebration; festivities that had been denied to Necromandus singer Bill Branch, bassist Dennis McCarten, and drummer Frank Hall when their supposed benefactor, Black Sabbath power chord maestro Tony Iommi, lost interest in them, and then their guitarist and driving force, Barry Dunnery, lost faith, deciding to pack his bags as things began looking grim for the group. After all, it was Dunnery's monolithic riffing and nimble lead guitar work that first captured the attention of both the U.K. press and Iommi, prompting the latter to sign the group to a management contract and personally oversee production for Orexis of Death. So it's not at all surprising that the album's opening statement, "Nightjar" (following shortly upon a cryptically named and sounding, string-scraping introduction named "Mogidismo"), is quite similar to the Sabbath template, alternating chugging staccato doom riffing and reverberating power chords from Dunnery, only fleshed out with, frankly, tighter performances and better sound by the rest of the band. What is surprising is how quickly and completely Necromandus shifts gears thereafter, scaling back on the first number's general heaviness and distortion to delve into far more supple, eclectic, and at times rather impressive stabs at the fanciful art rock prototypes typical of the era. Namely, these included the mildly jazzy "A Black Solitude," energetic folk strummer "Homicidal Psychopath" (neither of which does justice to its foreboding title, allegedly changed later without the band's knowledge), and the very definition of anything-goes prog rock that is "Gypsy Dancer." The more compact, guitar-driven construction of "Stillborn Beauty" reverts a little closer to hard rock expectations, but the title track's urgent brand of folk-jazz (including guest guitar from Iommi) and the closing reprise of "Mogidismo" ultimately leave listeners with more questions than answers. These questions combine with some of those unforeseen stylistic meanderings and the fact that Necromandus' songwriting simply wasn't on par with that of comparable success stories like Black Sabbath, Genesis, Jethro Tull, or even Gentle Giant, to in some way justify Vertigo Records' decision to not bother releasing Orexis of Death in the first place. But the album's unquestionable bright spots and the inclusion in most available CD reissues of a revealing live set from March 1973 (a show they headlined over Judas Priest!), featuring some of their other, non-LP, heavier compositions, actually do justify the interest of collectors of ‘70s rock. Now the only question left to answer is what in blazes "Orexis" means. .... 

The story of Necromandus begins in 1968 with the breakup of two West Cumbrian bands Jug and Heaven. Members from both bands, Barry "Baz" Dunnery (lead guitar) and Bill Branch (vocals) from Jug, and Dennis McCarten (bass) and Frank Hall (drums) from Heaven, formed a heavy progressive blues outfit they called Hot Spring Water. They were briefly renamed Taurus before settling on Necromandus after a radio show asked their audience for name suggestions.

Heaven had supported Earth (soon to become Black Sabbath) at the Towbar club at Nethertown in west Cumbria and had become friendly with them. Black Sabbath had a lot of their early success in Cumbria and after Necromandus had supported them several times Tony Iommi became so impressed with them he became their manager.

In early 1973, Necromandus, under Iommi's guidance, recorded the album 'Orexis of Death' at London's Morgan Studio. Iommi also added some guitar to the title track.

A deal was arranged with Vertigo and the band began opening for Black Sabbath as well as Tony Kaye's Badger. Dunnery left the band in 1973, and as a result the album was shelved by Vertigo. It was not released until 1999. The album was re-released in 2005 under the name 'Orexis of Death Plus...' and included two unreleased bonus tracks. It was also reissued in 2010 in its standard form, but with their Live album included.

Frank Hall and Baz Dunnery were reunited for a time in Cumbrian band Nerves. In 1976 Baz Dunnery went on to play in Violinsky with John Marcangelo (formerly with the Invaders) and played on their hit single "Clog Dance". Dunnery and Hall also played together in the new wave of British heavy metal band Hammerhead, although Dunnery's stint was brief.

Bill Branch, Dennis McCarten and Baz Dunnery have now passed away. The only surviving member of Necromandus is Frank Hall.............

Once hailed as the "Second Sabbath" by venerated British music weekly Melody Maker, Necromandus were an extremely obscure and, ultimately, quite unsuccessful proto-metal outfit (otherwise known as heavy progressive blues, at the time) from West Cumberland that formed from the ashes of two earlier bands, Jug and Heaven, circa 1970. Consisting of singer Bill Branch, guitarist Barry "Baz" Dunnery, bassist Dennis McCarten, and drummer Frank Hall, the group actually went by several names, like Heavy Hand, Hot Spring Water, and Taurus, before adopting Necromandus based on a radio station poll. But by 1972, all of their hard work and local gigging had come to naught, and it would ultimately take the patronage of Sabbath's Tony Iommi, who signed the group to his own Tramp management agency, to elevate Necromandus out of the pub rock trenches. Iommi also financed and produced the band's debut album, Orexis of Death, recorded at London's Morgans Studio, with a view of releasing it through the Vertigo label in 1973. But the record was shelved indefinitely after guitarist and driving force Baz quit in late 1973, and would in fact only see the light of day almost 20 years later! In the meantime, Necromandus had quickly folded rather unceremoniously, and all those involved were rarely heard from again (rumors suggest some members rehearsed with old friend Ozzy Osbourne in the early days of his solo career) until those early songs were finally released, along with a smattering of long-forgotten demos, live tapes, and Eduardo Rivadavia....................

Barry Dunnery — guitar
Bill Branch — vocal
Dennis McCarten — bass
Frank Hall — drums

Current members
John Branch – vocals (2016–)
Frank Hall – drums (1970–1973, 2016–)
Dean Newton – guitar (2016–)
John Marcangelo – keyboards (2016–)
Banjo Cunanan – bass (2016–) 

Former members
Bill Branch – vocals (1970–1973; died c. late 1980s)
Barry Dunnery – guitar (1970–1973; died 2008)
Dennis McCarten – bass (1970–1973; died 2004) 

Quicksand Dream (1991, alternative version of Orexis of Death)
Orexis of Death (1999, recorded 1973)
Necrothology (best of, 2001)[12]
Live (2005)
Orexis of Death Plus... (reissue, 2005)
Orexis of Death / Live (reissue, 2010)

1 Intro
2 Curly Sea Slug (Live, Prev Unreleased)
3 Nightjar (Long Version)
4 Orexis Of Death
5 I've Been Evil (Prev Unreleased)
6 A Black Solitude
7 Still Born Beauty
8 Gypsy Dancer (Remastered Version)
9 Homicidal Psychopath
10 Orexis Of Death (Prev Unreleased Version)
11 Mogidisimo
12 Nightjar (Tribute To Necromandus By The Tempter)

Nutz "Hard Nutz" 1977 UK Hard Rock

Nutz "Hard Nutz" 1977 UK Hard Rock


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After acquiring Nutz' eponymous LP in 1974 (wow what a record!) and then a year later Nutz Too, I anxiously awaited their next. In 1977 Hard Nutz arrived and neither from a production nor song writing standpoint does this LP compare with their genius first Lp or second Nutz Too. A mid range production at best, the LP lacks that Nutz punch and wallop. The hooks are somewhat trite (just listen to "Pushed Around" sounds a lot like Woman From Tokyo by Deep Purple). "Wallbanger" is pointless hard rock. The addition of keyboardist Kenny Newton does very little for this LP as well. Some of the LP's strong points however are the blues rock (slide guitar) track entitled "I Know The Feeling" which could fit well on any Johnny Winter Lp from the early 70s. Other fine tunes are "Loser" which may be in fact the strongest track on the LP especially for earlier Nutz fans as it brings forward their previous sound. "From Here To Anywhere" is a somewhat melodic and a bit refreshing. Generally speaking, the LP is OK but it has a lot of rock n repetition and lacks the polish and shine of their earlier efforts. If you are new to Nutz, start with their first, then Nutz Too then Hard Nutz and finally Live Cutz or the recently released Live In Nottingham '77. From what I've read back in 2010, the band is considering recording again-what a treat that would be. You can catch a few videos on youtube which show case their excellent musicianship "Nature Intended" and "Cool Me Down" are featured and are performed live from Old Grey Whistle Test. If you truly get deep into this band check out the 45 from their first LP "As Far As The Eye Can See" which features a non LP B Side "Just For The Crack" and also "Change's Coming" 45 (from Nutz Too) which also offers a non LP track called "Long Ships". As far as I am aware, neither of these tracks have ever appeared on LP or CD. Lastly, Nutz became the band Rage in the early 80s' RIP John Mylett - what a powerhouse drummer...........By Anthony G..........

The last studio album from Nutz shows some lyrical growth from their sophomore effort, and is also improved by the presence of keyboard player Kenny Newton. The band turns in their usual bluesy boogie rock with progressive elements, but with a bit more vigor and nuance than usual. There are some interesting transitions between songs and some genuinely inventive arrangements. Nutz never did have the consistency to be a major act, but Hard Nutz shows that they did have a good set of rock instincts, and if they only had had a first-rate songwriter, they could have gone Richard Foss............

John Mylett - drums 
Keith Mulholland - bass 
Mick Devonport - guitar 
Dave Lloyd - vocals

A1 Seeing Is Believing 5:54 
A2 I Know The Feeling 4:09 
A3 Loser 3:24 
A4 From Here To Anywhere 5:06 
A5 Wallbanger 3:51 
B1 Pushed Around 4:07 
B2 Beast Of The Field 4:15 
B3 Sick And Tired 4:17 
B4 Down On My Knees 3:48 
B5 One More Cup Of Coffee 4:38

Eden Rose "On The Way to Eden" 1970 France Prog Rock

Eden Rose  "On The Way to Eden" 1970  France Prog  Rock
On the Road to Eden’ is a pretty decent debut (and only release) from the pre-Sandrose group known as Eden Rose. The main thing missing in this version of the band is singer Rose Podwojny (aka Laurens), who would join up with the quartet after Eden Rose’s demise to form what would become Sandrose (a lot of Rose’s in this band’s story). And indeed, all the tracks here are instrumentals, so it appears the presence of Podwojny/ Laurens may have been the missing ingredient considering that lineup achieved far greater notoriety than this one. 
The music is surprisingly similar though; fusion-tinted and mildly psych-inspired, upbeat tunes with plenty of wailing and fuzzed guitar and Hammond organ aplenty throughout. If you’re a fan of that free-flowing, piped late sixties Hammond sound you’ll definitely get a kick out of this thing. Virtually every track is awash with Hammond bleating, interrupted or augmented only on tastefully few occasions by Jean-Pierre Alarcen and his blistering electric axe. 

This is sometimes referred to as a psych album but it really isn’t; indeed, the guitars are all a blend of modern jazz sounds and simple fuzz (but not too much), and the Hammond sounds both improvisational and rooted in contemporary blues riffs. There are a few exceptions, most notably “Walking in the Sea” which is both the longest and most indolent tune on the record with both electric reverbed riffs and acoustic strumming, as well as a lighter, more laidback keyboard arrangement than on any other song. The closing is rather subdued as well, but otherwise these songs are all exercised in keyboard foray and guitar soloing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but honestly the sound is as dated as the album’s copyright statement (1970), and maybe even a little older than that as most of these musicians had been playing together for several years and this album marked the culmination of their experience to-date. 

If you’re a big fan of Summer of Love-era psych then shy away from this one as that’s not what it’s about. But as a ‘lost gem’ Musea does a fairly good job of dusting it off and putting on a good face. There are also a couple other CD reissues including one from Japan that has supposedly been independently remastered, but I haven’t heard them myself and given the prices I’ve seen on the web it’s a safe bet I won’t any time sooner either. The Musea version is more reasonably priced and much more accessible for most of us. 

I’m going to say three stars mostly because the music isn’t that much different than the Sandrose album except for the lack of lyrics, and I liked that one well enough. You may tire just a bit of the endless organ passages, but certainly not as much as I have of some of the endless two- and three-disc prog tomes put out by the group’s contemporaries in the years that would follow this release. Mildly recommended for fans of light psych and Hammond organ freaks… ClemofNazareth …………….. 

A typical organ-led instrumental rock album from 1970, On the Way to Eden was Eden Rose’s sole LP. Despite the strong filiation between Eden Rose and Sandrose (both groups have the same lineup), the two of them could hardly be more different. Instead of the latter’s symphonic progressive rock, Eden Rose’s music is a bluesy kind of rock influenced by Procol Harum, Savoy Brown, and early Atomic Rooster. Keyboardist Henri Garella runs the show, penning down all the tracks and playing lead. A very good organist (and already a sought-after session man at the time), he plays fast solos, knows how to make his chords sound dirty (and/or cheesy), and how to groove on the Hammond, but his writing cruelly lacks originality. Some of his melodies are so generic they could be mistaken for three or four other songs from the same era. The rhythm section of Christian Clairefond and Michel Jullien is fine but nothing to write home about. If a couple of tracks are marred by a sloppy beat, it is probably because of a lack of budget to record another take instead of a lack of musicianship. Guitarist Jean-Pierre Alarcen, who two years later would be the leader of Sandrose, here plays the role of accompanying guitarist, adding an occasional lick when he’s not simply playing rhythm guitar. The title track, “Faster and Faster,” and “Obsession” have their moments, but all in all On the Way to Eden has not aged well. Musea reissued this rare LP in 2003, adding the track “Under the Sun,” the B-side to the single “Travelling.”….by François Couture……. 

Eden Rose may not be the most well known band in French progressive rock history, yet they were an important stepping stone in the evolution of another band, Sandrose, who are considered as one of the most important French progressive rock bands from the early seventies. 

The coming together of Eden Rose seems to have been the formation of a band after advice given to a trio of musicians to team up with guitarist Jean-Pierre Alarcen. This advice was given by the artistic director of record label, Katema and the trio consisted of Henri Garella (keyboards), Michel Jullien (drums) and Christian Clairefond (bass). These musicians had already gained experience playing in the backing bands for various artists such as Claude Francois and Guy Mardel as well as within the pop orchestra Age Tendre Et Tête De Bois and the band Les Golden. Alarcen on the other hand had gained experience playing with Jacques Dutronc and Le Systeme Crapoutchik. 

Travelling/Under the SunAlarcen immediately blended in perfectly within the band and Eden Rose was born. By the time he had joined the band, the trio had already released the single Travelling/Under the Sun (Katema 45.512; 1970) which was devoid of guitars and featured just keyboards, bass and drums. 

By March 1970 work had begun on the band’s first album with most of their recordings being done live at 10 Washington Street. However, the band fell out with the producer and had no say say the final stages of the album. 

On the Way To Eden (Katema 33.507, 1970) was released on the Katema label in 1970 with distribution by Sonopress. As regards sales, of the album, these are rather hazy. Supposedly the album must have been relatively successful because they toured heavily to promote the album which even had the single Travelling used as a soundtrack for a television show. However, that was the age when musicians had little access to royalties! The end result was the split of Eden Rose. 

Alarcen went on to form Sandrose (another Forgotten Sons story!) together with Henri Garella and Michel Jullien. Garella would go on to join the backing band of France Gall and then move into work as a session musician. Jullien has played in the backing band of diverse artists such as Gilbert Becaud, and Stone & Charden as well as played jazz with luminaries such as Michel Petrucciani and Ted Curson. Alarcen on the other hand released a three solo albums, also in a progressive rock vein as well as worked with diverse artists such as Jacques Dutronc, Louis Chedid and Geoffrey Oryema. 
For starters one should stress the fact that On the Way To Eden is an instrumental album which has its main focal point the Hammond organ which immediately gives away the period when this album was recorded. Bands termed as proto-progressive such as Procol Harum had pushed this unmistakeable sound forward and Eden Rose, though not very similar to Procol Harum could be coined as such a band. However, they seem to do away with complexities and go straight for the jugular delivering their various tunes in short sharp pieces. At times the music sounds too cliche and almost kitsch-like in nature - yet most of the times it works. 

The pieces are well executed, so much so that at times one tends to feel that he has heard some of the tunes beforehand. However, one could split the tracks into two distinctive sections. There are those pieces that have a languid feel with the key tune being played out over and over again - literally ramming it down your throat. These are the pieces, such as the opener On the Way To Eden and Walking In The Sea, that somehow do not do it for me. However there are some cleverly crafted works on this album that definitely deserve a mention. 

Faster And Faster, as its name implies is a well paced piece that has the Hammond and guitar really jostling for the frontline, exchanging licks in between the occasional bass run. Sad Dream is the complete opposite of Faster And Faster. Opening with the theme to children’s tune Frere Jacques, this piece is possibly the closest the band get to Procol Harum with the Hammond set to the background as the piano and guitar come forward with plaintive solos, giving the album one of the more dramatic pieces. You could see this piece placed in the soundtrack of one of those tear-jerker films! 

Pieces like Obsession, Feeling In the Living and the album single Travelling are the reasons why this album is indeed a gem of a release. Here the band seem to let loose playing in a controlled frenzy allowing the various members to express themselves within a concise time frame revolving round a clear melody line. The more I hear these pieces, the more I feel that should this band have had a quality vocalists, they could have gone places. Also featured on On The Way To Eden is the B-side of the only single released by Eden Rose, Under The Sun, which is one of the more psychedelic pieces on the album. 

Musea have managed (once again!) to unearth a true Forgotten Son. “On The Way To Eden” is not one of those masterpieces that is a must have for progressive rock fans and one has to admit that the music sounds very dated. On the other hand it is an interesting look into the way progressive rock evolved, and indeed how Sandrose came to be. …….by…Nigel Camilleri…………. 

Eden Rose was a french band from Marseille led by Henri Garella and Jean Pierre Alarcen who recorded only one album back in 1970. In 2003 Musea records has the brilliant idea to reprint “On The Way To Eden” with the addiction of one bonus track. The progressive rock revolution had just started in England and France immediately followed it: Eden Rose followed it even more strictly. This album sounds more english than anyone else english band of the same period and here you can’t find the classic french prog style. I could tell you more: this work is completely instrumental, so it could be confused for an english underground proto-prog release. 
There are some classical elements, canterburian sounds and some jazzy interludes; everytime melody is clear and warm they remind me Procol Harum and Colosseum, but I found many relationship with Spring and Cressida music. My favourite tracks are “Faster And Faster”, “Sad Dream”, “Feeling In The Living” e “Walking In The Sea”, but also the bouns track “Under The Sun” is really enjoyable and confirm the deep Procol Harum influence. 
Sometimes the most interesting news come from the past: “On The Way To Eden” is a so bright example. Recommended……by……Luca Alberici……….. 

Prolusion. One of the very first progressive bands in France, Eden Rose, has formally released only one album, the title of which is in the heading of this review. However, Eden Rose and Sandrose, whose eponymous album of 1972 features the same line-up plus a female vocalist Rose Podwojny, can in many ways be regarded as the same outfit. On the other hand, “On the Way to Eden” is the brainchild of Henri Garella, while the main mastermind of “Sandrose” was Jean-Pierre Alarcen. But well, my main object is to review this obscure musical object, and not to be occupied with conjectures and deductions. 

Synopsis. According to the CD press kit compiled by the people at Musea Records, Eden Rose was a proto-progressive band performing all-instrumental music in the vein of Procol Harum and The Nice. Personally, I don’t find the Nice traces on this Way to Eden:-), not to mention those of Procol Harum, which is of another story altogether and is indeed a proto-progressive band, unlike all the others, the names of which are featured in this material. The spirit of a genuine inspiration was hovering over the Prog society during the heyday of our beloved genre, and I don’t remember any band that would play a completely unoriginal music during those times. There are some stylistic similarities between the music of this French band and that on Colosseum’s Valentyne Suite (1969), but overall, Eden Rose had a very unique sound, and their album is IMHO stronger than any of those by Colosseum Mk-1, including the aforementioned one where only the eponymous sidelong epic is really outstanding. “On the Way to Eden” is brilliant from the first to the last note and is by all means a very coherent album. The predominant stylistics is a real classic Symphonic Art-Rock with pronounced elements of Jazz-Fusion and is presented on seven out of the nine compositions here: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 (see track list above). The music is predominantly intensive, rapid, and complex and is above all notable for highly diverse and masterful, almost constantly developing interplay between all of the band members and the continuous use of complex meters. The solos of Hammond organ are glaringly virtuosi and inventive. When listening to the album you’ll make sure that Henri Garella was one of the very best keyboard players at that time. Both of the remaining tracks: Sad Dream and Under the Sun (3 & 9) are also remarkable, even though they consist mostly of soft and moderately slow arrangements. These are the entities of a mellow and romantic, yet, still classic Symphonic Art-Rock where there aren’t improvisational-like solos and, thus, elements of Jazz-Fusion. 

Conclusion. A complexity typical for Classic Symphonic Progressive, the virtuosity of Jazz-Fusion, and the energy of Hard Rock are merged on this remarkable album. While not as essentially profound and intricate as Van Der Graaf Generator’s “H to He Who Am the Only One”, to name only a few, “On the Way to Eden” is in my honest opinion better than Yes’s “Time & a Word” and many other progressive albums released in >1970……VM………… 

It might be easy to think of Eden Rose as simply a first version of famed French progressive band Sandrose. Both bands had the same musicians; both existed at nearly the same moment in time (c. 1970). But Eden Rose is now seen, quite rightly, as something unique, a chimera from the misty past, a time during which the winds of change were blowing on the fixed universe of music. Rules were blown away, stagnant structures were swept aside, and musical conventions emancipated, this freshness and spontaneity the essence of a style that hadn t yet been formalised. As for Eden Rose, they took off once they t e a med up with guitarist extraordinaire Jean - Pierre Alarcen, who had worked with Jacques Dutroncand played in Le Systeme Crapo utchik. The result was this batch of psych-inspired, decidedly grooving, upbeat instrumental tracks, with wailing (at times) fuzzed-out guitar and distinguished Hammond organ aplenty, over driving beats. A unique sound, brilliant, bright, and singing from the first note to the last. And man, if my ears don t deceive me, the main theme from Walking In the Sea (before it spins off into Jimi Hendrix territory) sure sounds like a lovely jazzy riff on Serge Gainsbourg s Je t'aime… moi non plus, which had been released the year before this album hit the racks. Two bonus tracks are from the band s only single that contained non-LP tracks. Booklet has the band s story in English and French, and is printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy………. 

The French band Sandrose, with their unfortunately only album in 1972, has released a very beautiful work of melodious progressive rock, one of the absolute bestsellers in the extensive Musea program. The album “On The Way To Eden” now contains an album of the predecessor Eden Rose, which was released in 1970. Except for the missing singer, the cast was identical to that of Sandrose. The record has nine compact instrumental strings, the Progressive Rock, which is also dominated by the melodic guitar playing by Jean-Pierre Alarcen. He is also reminiscent of his sensitive string work on Andi Latimer. The predominantly light-footed compositions are, of course, somewhat influenced by the late 1960s, but they are nevertheless astonishingly progressive and anticipate some stylistic features of the slow-moving short-term high-altitude flight of the symphonic rock music. 

After the two fast songs “On The Way To Eden” and “Faster And Faster”, which offer a nice interplay of lively Hammond inserts and variable string processing, the “Sad Dream” follows after a brief introduction in the form of “Bruder Jakob” Them a romantic-dreamy trip, which clearly anticipates the Camel sound. A majestic guitar playing together with a subtle piano makes for a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. 

This mixture of dynamic and worn numbers will be maintained in the further course. There are also certain memories of Procol Harum awake, but the French but a corner more agitated. The largely uncomplicated instrumental rock presents itself in parts but also a slightly jazzy component. 

All in all, this early version of the progressive rock music knows how to please and the four French guys have proved with their album “On The Way To Eden” that a largely unknown work from the Progs childrens’ room can stand the comparison with the established bands and is already astonishingly mature presented. Of course, it should not be concealed, however, that the song material sinks into the end a little in uniformity and igniting firing highlights………Horst Straske…………. 

The Marseille quartet, who came to Paris in search of fortune, realized in the early seventies this interesting work is the same that, after two years, he would give birth under the name Sandrose and with the addition of the sued Voice of Rose Podwojny, one of the most appreciated records of the progressive French scene of the time. The album offers testimony to a rough and lively symphonic proto rock, modeled on the keyboardist progressions of the virtuoso Henri Garella and the strong personality of guitarist Jean Pierre Alarcen, who will then undertake a satisfying solo career. The work is entirely instrumental and brings us back to the sounds and tastes of the era which certainly left room for experimentation. There is a strong jazz contamination that runs on paths already beaten by the Colosseum, although in our case, the hard rock component is predominant. Strongly remember, in some tracks, the Procol Harum or even the Trace, especially in times when classic echoes are heard. This is definitely a strong album that leaves a lot of musical preparation and experience on the part of the musicians, and it is quietly in keeping with the most famous groups of the past. The proposed is certainly different from Sandrose’s material, which, while presenting basic elements in common with this experience, offers a more elegant and refined style. A nice rediscovery……. 

Line-up / Musicians 
- Henri Garella / keyboards 
- Christian Clairefond / bass 
- Michel Jullien / drums 
- Jean-Pierre Alarcen / guitars 

A1 On The Way To Eden 5:09 
A2 Faster And Faster 3:03 
A3 Sad Dream 4:05 
A4 Obsession 5:00 
B1 Feeling In The Living 4:15 
B2 Travelling 3:24 
B3 Walking In The Sea 5:33 
B4 Reinyet Number 4:20 

King Howl "Rougarou "2017 Italy (Cagliari, Sardinia) Hard Rock,Stoner Blues Rock

 King Howl "Rougarou "2017 Italy  (Cagliari, Sardinia) Hard Rock,Stoner Blues Rock


“Rougarou” is the third album by the Sardinian heavy blues band King Howl. Ten tracks of blues fueled – booze soaked Rock’n’Roll. A new proof for the band’s peculiar, distinctive sound defined through these years on the road. Here, the essential patterns of blues music are mixed again with a strong Rock’n’Roll attitude, that pushes the composition more to the side of 70’s Classic Rock, without denying the reference with other important influences like Stoner Rock, the late sixties proto-punk, the psychedelia. The tracklist is composed by 9 unreleased songs plus the band’s version of Canned Heat’s classic “On the Road Again”. “Rougarou” explores the thematic of change, of the transformation, no matter If this is linked to the growing up of a kid, the romance of traveling, a nervous breakdown, or the mutation in a werewolf.

“Rougarou” has been recorded in Sardinia and mixed at NHQ Studios, Ferrara, by Gabriele Boi. The artwork of the album is made by Elena Cabitza. The record will be released by the two Sardinian labels Talk About Records and Electric Valley Records and sponsored by the Streetwear brand REESON, and will be available from July 7th, 2017 in three different formats: digipack cd, digital (Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Amazon, Napster etc.) and an exclusive 12’’ Vinyl edition, printed in two colors that will be distributed internationally by Clear Spot (vinyl preorders will begin July 7th and will be shipped from September 1).......


01. Gone
02. Demons
03. Screaming
04. No Money
05. Alone I Go
06. By My Side
07. Falling Down
08. Pissed Off
09. Ride the Night
10. On the Road Again

Steve Elliot "Free" 1969 US Private Loner Acid Psych Folk Demo

Steve Elliot "Free" 1969 US Private Loner Acid Psych Folk Demo


Bass – Jeff Breeh
Engineer – John Hawkins
Guitar – Steve Elliot
Keyboards – David Horowitz
Producer – Barry Silverstein
Vocals – Steve Elliot
Wind – Richard Grando
Written-By – Elliot

A1 Once In A Dream 1:40
A2 A River Song 4:20
A3 Barges 2:25
A4 Climax 6:35
B1 Magic 3:40
B2 Sackloth And Ashes 4:45
B3 Death Rush 7:45

Sir Douglas Quintet "Mendocino" 1969 Texas Psych Country Rock

Sir Douglas Quintet "Mendocino"  1969 Texas Psych Country Rock


Sir Douglas Quintet - “Mendocino” - 25 January 1969, Playboy After Dark 

Doug Sahm's Californian lineup of the Sir Douglas Quintet were only around for one album, after which the members drifted apart. Sahm persuaded original members Augie Meyers and Johnny Perez to move up to California from Texas, and they brought with them Harvey Kagan, an old bandmate of Meyers', to play bass. This gave the band the refreshed lineup of Doug Sahm (vocals/guitar/fiddle), Augie Meyers (organ/piano), Harvey Kagan (bass), Johnny Perez (drums) and Frank Morin (horns/percussion/keyboards). They released Mendocino in 1969, its title track becoming a top forty hit. The album blended their hot-pot of influences (R&B, country, cajun, jazz, etc) into a unique form of roots-rock with a strong Tex-Mex flavour. It also included a new version of their 1965 hit single "She's About A Mover". It is generally considered their greatest work..................

Chart success for the title song led to a hurried release for this band's second album, although perhaps the most famous song, "She's About a Mover, originated a few years prior with another version. Listeners will probably be more familiar with the version heard here, the one with the freaky feedback guitar solo and fake fadeout that oldies disc jockeys like to yabber over. This and "Mendocino" are only two of the many nearly perfect tracks on this record, some of which give off the illusion (perhaps an accurate one) that they were simply tossed off without a whole lot of preperation. "Texas Me" is genius on triple levels: there is the poetry of the lyrics, the soulful delivery from the singer, and finally the haunting recording fat with echoey, multitracked vocal and fiddle. When the listener reaches the end, "Baby It Just Don't Matter" it is as if one has strolled through an old neighborhood searching for a lost sound in the air, only to find a good, friendly rock band is jamming in a garage right down the block. The players are the classic Sir Douglas Quintet line-up including Augie Eugene Chadbourne......allmusic...........

Listening to Doug Sahm can be like unfolding a musical road map; taking a journey from Norteno Texas dust, through Gulf Coast big band R&B and honky tonk country, on to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury psychedelic heyday in 1967. 

Doug Sahm had an amazing gift for embodying, just plain being, his musical roots. A child prodigy steel guitar player, he had achieved regional hit-record status by the time he was a teenager, scoring a national hit with “She’s About a Mover” not much later.

Mendocino, with its title song a top 40 charting single in 1969, is the Sahm-led Sir Douglas Quintet’s finest hour, the exhilarating record of a musical heart, mind, and soul in perfect accord. Long out of print, this 1960s milepost is at last available on CD.

The title song is teeny-bopper pop set to a bouncy Tex-Mex beat and shot through with a dose of soul. After that sweet start, the album finds one great groove after another, from twangy fiddle-driven road epics that move along like a slightly stoned Ray Price shuffle, to distorted blues guitar freak-outs, to wide-open white soul laments. But it’s all rooted in a tight musicality that is as far from self-absorbed as pop music can possibly be. Harvey Kegan and Louie Perez, on bass and drums respectively, are a rock-solid rhythm section; Frank Morin’s horns are at least as sweet and soulful as anything Jack Schroer came up with for Van Morrison in the 70s; and Augie Meyer’s trademark roller rink-accordion organ sound is precise and brilliant, adding a sort of dusty uplift to the proceedings.

The real miracle here, though, is Sahm’s voice: a coarse growl, sweet and warm around the edges, it sounded perfect on blues, country, soul, or even Dylan-esque folk balladry. Sahm’s voice and delivery would have made him an icon even if he’d not been such a pioneer of crossroads and borderland American music.

Mendocino was an early peak in a legendary career. One of the album’s themes is its slightly self-mocking look at what it means to be a country boy in a big, strange, confusing world. But the real message lies in the feeling of pure joy in making music that runs through every track.

I bought my LP copy of Mendocino in 1972 for .99 cents from a cut-out bin at a Mammoth Mart in New Hampshire. The same day, for the same price, I scored a copy of another essential Texas document, Live at Cain’s Ballroom by Ernest Tubb and his Texas Troubadours. Both records got played a lot; they helped shape my listening –and playing – from that time on.

In some ways, Texas and the Southwest were America’s greatest musical frontier. In Stetson hat, buckskin, or tie-dye, Doug Sahm always did that frontier proud.
by Kevin Macneil Brown................

At a time when psychedelia was (thankfully) burning out, Doug Sahm tossed out this wonderful anachronism. Sahm and the Quintet were always distinguished by their genre-straddling countrified soulful swamp rock, but here the diversity is in full bloom. Influences abound, from Ray Charles on the rerecording of their 1966 hit single "She's About a Mover", to the beautiful Tex-Mex-styled ballad "If You Really Want Me To I'll Go", to hard hitting honky-tonk of "Texas Me", to horn-driven white soul on "And It Didn't Even Bring Me Down" to the completely anachronistic pre-Yardbirds garage rock of "Oh, Baby, It Just Don't Matter". This is an impressive album, as evidenced by the inspiration the beautiful ballad "At the Crossroads" provided to Ian Hunter for Mott the Hoople's debut album. As is often the case with a heavy dose of bonus-tracks, the quality varies, but the 2002 reissue gives you a fine cover version of the heartbreaking Tom T. Hall weeper, "The Homecoming".

It took me several years to fully appreciate the great musical diversity of my hometown, San Antonio. Growing up sneering at everything except New Wave and punk caused me to turn up my nose at the delicious interchange of musical ideas which were being played out quite literally under my nose. Country, Tex-Mex, soul, blues, rock and pop all combined into a magnificently variegated sonic mixture, and the racially and musically diverse Sir Douglas Quintet were the standard bearer. It's embarrassing it took me so long to figure out how great the music was in my own hometown, but at the same time satisfying that I now embrace it with such unconditional love....jlg4ever .............

You could never judge The Sir Douglas Quintet by their name. It was picked out by a manager that wanted to give the boys an English vibe, pretty common practice in those days considering the influence of The Beatles. Thing is, there’s no name that could ever define the eclectic hodge-podge sound the Sir Douglas Quintet consistently rocked for a good 5 or 6 years after 1969. Well, except maybe ‘Doug Sahm.’

Mendocino is not only a great introduction to SDQ and Doug Sahm’s music, but its own style of music all together. Texas music was a result of a great cross section of western musical styles, including tex-mex, cajun, polka, country, rhythm and blues, rock, and the San Fransisco sound. Doug Sahm was probably the first musician who was legitimately steeped in all of this and couldn’t control himself from playing it all at once.

As for the tunes on Mendocino, there are nary a miss, but not exactly a first-time winner. I mean this album will have to grow on you before you can really enjoy it. Once you get the hang of the sound you’ll be ready for the whole Little Doug discog. Crossroads is an easy one to get into fast, as is the SDQ’s biggest hit: She’s About A Mover, featuring the classic Vox Continental organ lead from Augie Meyers. Lawd, I’m Just A Country Boy is a great illustration of a Texan’s view of the late 60’s scene in SF (and a microcosm of the album in general). I’ve got a big soft spot for some of the more subtle numbers as well, like I Don’t Want and I Wanna Be Your Mama. The seven bonus tracks included on the CD reissue are all keepers too; check out Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day.

All in all, this is an exceptionally strong album, and one you won’t regret picking up, after you give yourself some time with it. A real good grower....Rising Storm review.................

SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET. Emerging from San Antonio’s “West Side Sound,” the Sir Douglas Quintet blended rhythm-and-blues, country, rock-and-roll, pop, and conjunto to create a unique musical concoction that gained international popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. From 1964 to 1972 the band recorded five albums in California and Texas, and, although its founder Doug Sahm released two additional albums under the same group name in the 1980s and 1990s, the Quintet never enjoyed the same domestic success as it had during the late 1960s.
A big part of the Sir Douglas Quintet’s distinctive sound derived from the unique musical environment in which its members were raised in San Antonio. During the 1950s and 1960s, the “moderate racial climate” and ethnically diverse culture of San Antonio—caused in part by the several desegregated military bases and the large Mexican-American population there—allowed for an eclectic cross-pollination of musical styles that reached across racial and class lines. As a result, Sahm and his musical friends helped create what came to be known as the “West Side Sound,” a dynamic blending of blues, rock, pop, country, conjunto, polka, R&B, and other regional and ethnic musical styles into a truly unique musical amalgamation. San Antonio-based artists, such as Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiménez, and Sunny Ozuna, would help to propel this sound onto the international stage.
Born in 1941, Douglas Wayne Sahm grew up on the predominately-black east side of San Antonio. As a child, he became proficient on a number of musical instruments and even turned down a spot on the Grand Ole Opry (while still in junior high school) in order to finish his education. In 1953 Sahm met Augie Meyers, the son of a storeowner in nearby St. Hedwig. Meyers, like Sahm, was passionate about music and became an expert organ and guitar player. The two spent much of their free time attending concerts at the nearby Eastwood Country Club and other mixed-race venues, where they often listened to and jammed with country and rhythm-and-blues musicians.
During the mid-1960s, the so-called “British Invasion” brought a flood of English pop-rock groups, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, and the Dave Clark Five, to the United States, where they dominated radio airwaves and record sales. The British Invasion revolutionized American pop music, as hundreds of bands in Texas and elsewhere sought to imitate the new “mod” beat of these wildly successful English groups. In 1964 Sahm and Meyers were exposed directly to the impact of the British Invasion when their two bands, Meyers’s The Goldens and Sahm’s Markays opened for the Dave Clark Five.
Houston-based record producer Huey P. Meaux also wanted to capitalize on the new British sound. Reportedly, Meaux locked himself in a hotel room with a bottle of wine and “every Beatles record that he could find” to study the new mod style. He concluded that the music’s beat was similar to a Cajun two-step. Meaux soon contacted Sahm, who had been seeking a record deal from the producer for several years, and told him to grow his hair long, “form a group, and write a song with a Cajun two-step beat.” Meaux suggested that they call the band the Sir Douglas Quintet, in hopes that the English-sounding name would help sell records. The quintet—which featured Sahm on vocals, Meyers on organ, bassist Jack Barber, drummer Johnny Perez, and saxophonist Frank Morin—quickly scored a Top 20 hit in 1965 with “She’s About a Mover.” The so-called “British lads” appeared on such national broadcasts as Hullaballoo and Shindig! The group's second single, "The Rains Came," made the Top 40. They released their first album, The Best of the Sir Douglas Quintet, in 1966.
After touring the United States and Europe, the band returned home to Texas in 1966. Upon arrival at the Corpus Christi airport, Sahm was arrested for possession of marijuana. Following the arrest, Sahm and Morin left the Lone Star State for San Francisco, the Mecca of the hippie counterculture movement. Once in San Francisco, Sahm and Morin reformed the Sir Douglas Quintet with several other local musicians and released Sir Douglas Quintet +2= Honkey Blues (1968) on Smash Records. Critics had commented that the record lacked the earlier signature organ sound, so Sahm convinced Augie Meyers, along with Johnny Perez, and bassist Harvey Kagan, to move to California. With most of the original Texas lineup back together, the Sir Douglas Quintet released Mendocino in 1969. This album proved very popular with rock, country, and Tex-Mex fans domestically and abroad, and it became the group’s biggest seller, in part because of its Top 40 title track.
Riding on the success of Mendocino, the Quintet released two more albums in 1970, Together after Five and 1+1+1=4. While contemporary music critics hailed Together, calling it “perhaps the best recorded version of the Augie Meyers ‘cheap organ’ sound,” they were left confused by the genre-crossing nature of 1+1+1=4. By 1971 the band members were beginning to drift apart, and a homesick Sahm went back to Texas to pursue new musical endeavors. One year after Sahm’s return to the Lone Star State, the Quintet disbanded. Mercury Records issued an album of unreleased tracks entitled Rough Edges in 1973, but this would be the last album from the Sir Douglas Quintet for almost a decade.
Reviving the Sir Douglas moniker, Sahm reunited with Meyers and Perez and brought in bassist Speedy Sparks and guitarist Alvin Crow to create Border Wave, released in 1981. Domestically the album was not as popular as earlier works, but it did significantly increase the band’s international following. With new member Louie Ortega, who took over as guitarist after Crow left, they toured and recorded in Europe during the early 1980s, but the Quintet disbanded by 1985. In 1994 Doug Sahm reformed the band with his sons Shawn and Shandon and released Day Dreaming at Midnight. Sahm died in 1999. Drummer Johnny Perez died in 2012.
In the span of its career, the Sir Douglas Quintet elevated the unique and eclectic regional style of San Antonio’s West Side Sound to international popularity. The Quintet also helped lay the groundwork for the phenomenal worldwide success of Sahm and Meyers’s subsequent Grammy-winning supergroup, the Texas Tornados. In the process, Sahm, Meyers, and their bandmates helped carry the distinctive musical influences found in Texas and the Southwest to audiences around the globe..................

Sir Douglas Quintet
*Doug Sahm – Vocals, Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Fiddle
*Frank Morin – Vocals, Horns
*Harvey Kagan – Bass Guitar
*Augie Meyers – Organ, Piano, Keyboards
*John Perez – Drums 

A1 Mendocino
A2 I Don't Want
A3 I Wanna Be Your Mamma Again
A4 At The Crossroads
A5 If You Really Want Me To I'll Go
Written-By – D. McClinton*
B1 And It Didn't Even Bring Me Down
Written By – M. Fierro
Written-By – D. Sahm*, F. Morin*
B2 Lawd, I'm Just A Country Boy In This Great Big Freaky City
B3 She's About A Mover
B4 Texas Me
Written-By – A. Meyer*, D. Sahm*, F. Morin*, J. Perez*
B5 Oh, Baby, It Just Don't Matter

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“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958