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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Mill Valley Bunch (Nick Gravenites,Mark Ryan-ex-Q.M.S, Mike Bloomfield,Barry Goldberg,Graig Tarwater-ex Love,Spencer Dryden-ex J.Airplane,Michael Shrieve-ex Santana) "Casting Pearls" 1972 US Blues Rock,Classic Rock


Mill Valley Bunch (Nick Gravenites,Mark Ryan-ex-Q.M.S, Mike Bloomfield,Barry Goldberg,Graig Tarwater-ex Love,Spencer Dryden-ex J.Airplane,Michael Shrieve-ex Santana)  "Casting Pearls" 1972 US Blues Rock,Classic Rock
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This legendary collection of studio tracks has some fine music on it, and is certainly worthwhile for fans of Mike Bloomfield and his musical friends. However, I strongly suspect that these tracks are from several different sources and sessions, and not neccessarily even having much in common in regards to their creation, other than that they are all offshoots of musical projects related to Bloomfield. 

I’m pretty certain that the Nick Gravenites tracks were recorded with his early 70s band, Blue Gravy, and were likely intended for an album that was never completed. “Ooh,Ooh,Ooh,La,La,La” and “Bye, Bye, I’m Goin” are alternate versions of two songs that appeared on the 1972 Columbia album, Melton,Levy,& the Dey Brothers. This group featured Barry Melton of Country Joe & the Fish and recorded one album that was produced by Mike Bloomfield. The album has been reissued on the British Acadia Evangeline label, and anyone can corraberate this. I’m almost certain that “Letting Go Ain’t Easy” is a Rick Dey song, and very likely an outtake song from Melton, Levy & the Dey Bros….by…. Stewart Hickey….~


Mike Bloomfield performs here with some of his long-time collaborators, including Mark Naftalin and Barry Goldberg, as well as some stellar Bay Area soul and rock artists such as the Pointer Sisters and Spencer Dryden. The music sometimes sounds a lot like a cross between his first solo effort, the disappointing “It’s Not Killing Me,” and the also disappointing re-grouped Electric Flag’s “The Band Kept Playing.” Some of the songs on this album, however, plainly out-rock those other efforts, making this a worthwhile listen. Probably the weakest part of the album are the vocals by the men singers, especially Bloomfield. Too bad Jellyroll Troy wasn’t along on this one! The production values are very good, with a fold-out CD sleeve and nice, clear sound for the music….by…Rex Chickeneater…~



Credits 
Co-producer [Reissue] – Leo Kulka, Michael Briggs (3) 
Perfomer, Bass, Piano – John Kahn 
Perfomer, Drums – Jeffrey James (7), Rich Jagger* 
Perfomer, Guitar – Fred Olsen* 
Perfomer, Guitar, Vocals – Nick Gravenites 
Perfomer, Organ, Piano – Ira Kamin 
Perfomer, Piano – Barry Goldberg 
Perfomer, Piano, Organ – Lee Michaels, Mark Naftalin 
Perfomer, Vocals – Chicken Billy Thorton, Jeanette Jones 
Performer – Barry Goldberg, Lee Michaels, Mark Naftalin, Michael Shrieve, Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Spencer Dryden 
Performer, Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Ron Cimille 
Performer, Backing Vocals – The Ace Of Cups* 
Performer, Bass – Mark Ryan (5) 
Performer, Bass, Guitar, Vocals – Rick Dey* 
Performer, Congas – Dino Andino* 
Performer, Drums – Bill Vitt, Michael Shrieve 
Performer, Drums, Percussion – Spencer Dryden 
Performer, Guitar – Craig Tarwater 
Performer, Guitar, Vocals – Russel Dashiel* 
Performer, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals – Mike Bloomfield 
Performer, Twelve-String Guitar – Tom Richards (12) 
Performer, Vocals – The Pointer Sisters*, Ron “Rev” Stallings* 
Producer – Leo de Gar Kulka*, Mike Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Richard Dey 
Remastered By – Leo de Gar Kulka* 
Written-By – Carl Bonura (tracks: 13), Hank Williams (tracks: 1), Mike Bloomfield (tracks: 2 to 9, 11, 12), Nick Gravenites (tracks: 14, 15, 16), Ray Ceroni (tracks: 13), Richard Dey (tracks: 10)



Tracklist 
A1 I’ve Had It 2:59 
A2 Young Girl Blues 3:39 
A3 What Would I Do Without My Baby 4:38 
A4 Settle It In The Bedroom, Baby 7:08 
B1 Jimmy’s Blues 2:38 
B2 Let Me Down Easy 2:49 
B3 Hollywood Blues 4:25 
B4 Lettin’ Go Ain’t Easy 2:59 
B5 Last Call Blues 5:00 

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