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Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon – Guilty! (1971)

FrontCover1Guilty! (called Black & White Blues in re-releases) is a 1971 album by Eric Burdon and Jimmy Witherspoon. It was the first release by Burdon after he left his band War.

In September 1970, Jimi Hendrix died after a jam session with Eric Burdon & War at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. After that, Burdon often broke down on stage. On 5 February 1971 he finally left the band in the middle of their European tour, allegedly due to exhaustion. After returning home and taking time off, the bulk of the album was recorded in summer with Witherspoon. The backing band, called Tovarish, consisted mainly of members from War.

“Going Down Slow” was recorded live in May 1971 in the San Quentin State Prison, with backing from Ike White and the San Quentin Prison Band. “Home Dream” was taken from Eric Burdon & War’s back catalog; the song’s title refers to the John Phillips Studios in Los Angeles. “Soledad” was released as a single.

The album was re-released as Black & White Blues in 1976. Remastered CD issues, also with the alternate album title, were made in 1995 by MCA and in 2003 by BMG.

SingleThe Italian e-zine Viceversa ranked Guilty! number 97 on their top 100 albums of all

This album originally came out in 1971 on Far Out Productions, an MGM label. It was titled “Guilty”. Eric Burdon of “The Animals” fame teamed up with the blues legend Jimmy Witherspoon. When I first heard this in 1971 I was blown away, and it’s still knocking me out. My favorite song is “Have Mercy Judge”. I was probably under the influence at the time but damn was that song powerful. Well I haven’t been under the influence since that time period and you know what? That song still kicks my …. The price of the cd is worth it for just that one song, but of course there is so much good music here. The band is good and the two blues men compliment each other nicely on vocals. If you like Eric, like I like Eric, you’ll say, oh my god, Have Mercy on me Eric I can’t stand it if it gets any better. Buy this cd and you’ll be driving to work in the morning singing, “Have mercy, I’m in a world of trouble, being held by the Highway Patrol”. (by elhud)

Recorded at Wally Heider’s and MGM studios in Hollywood, California through July 1971

Booklet1Personnel:
Papa Dee Allen (congas)
Harold Brown (drums)
Eric Burdon (vocals)
B. B. Dickerson (bass)
Lonnie Jordan (keyboards)
Kim Kesterson (bass)
Bob Mercereau (harmonica)
Charles Miller (saxophone)
Lee Oskar (harmonica)
Terry Ryan (keyboards)
George Suranovich (drums)
Howard Scott (guitar)
John Sterling (guitar)
Jimmy Witherspoon (vocals)
+
Ike White and the San Quentin Prison Band (on 05.)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. I’ve Been Driftin’ / Once Upon A Time (Witherspoon/Burdon) 3.47
02. Steam Roller (Taylor) 4.23
03. The Laws Must Change (Mayall) 4.55
04. Have Mercy Judge (Berry) 3.47
05. Going Down Slow (Oden) 6.25
06. Soledad (Burdon/Sterling) 5.07
07. Home Dream (Burdon) 7.18
08. Headin’ For Home (Burdon/Kesterson/Sterling) 4.33
09. The Time Has Come (Witherspoon/Edwards) 5.55

LabelA1*
**

AlternateFront+BackCoverAlternate front + back cover

Billy Joe Shaver – When I Get My Wings (1976)

FrontCover1Billy Joe Shaver (born August 16, 1939 in Corsicana, Texas, United States) is a Texas country music singer and songwriter. Shaver’s 1973 album Old Five and Dimers Like Me is a classic in the outlaw country genre.

Shaver was raised by his mother, Victory Watson Shaver, after his father Virgil left the family before Billy Joe was born. Until he was 12, he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother in Corsicana, Texas so that his mother could work in Waco. He sometimes accompanied his mother to her job at a local nightclub, where he began to be exposed to country music.

Shaver’s mother remarried about the time that his grandmother died, so he and his older sister Patricia moved in with their mother and new stepfather. Shaver left school after the eighth grade to help his uncles pick cotton, but occasionally returned to school to play sports.

BillyJoeShaver2Shaver joined the U.S. Navy on his seventeenth birthday. Upon his discharge, he worked a series of dead-end jobs, including trying to be a rodeo cowboy. About this time, he met and married Brenda Joyce Tindell. They had one son, John Edwin, known as Eddy, who was born in 1962. The two divorced and remarried several times.

Shaver took a job at a lumber mill to make ends meet. One day his right hand (his dominant hand) became caught in the machinery, and he lost the better part of two fingers and contracted a serious infection. He eventually recovered, and taught himself to play the guitar without those missing fingers.
Shaver lost two fingers in a sawmill accident when he was young.

Shaver set out to hitchhike to Los Angeles, California. He could not get a ride west, and ended up accompanying a man who dropped him off just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. The next ride brought him to Nashville, where he found a job as a songwriter for $50 per week.[2] His work came to the attention of Waylon Jennings, who filled most of his album Honky Tonk Heroes with Shaver’s songs. Other artists, including Elvis Presley and Kris Kristofferson, began to record Shaver’s music. This led to his own record deal.

The first few recording companies he signed with soon folded. He was never able to gain widespread recognition as a singer, although he never stopped recording his own music. On his records, he has been accompanied by other major rock and country music musicians like Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Chuck Leavell and Dickey Betts (of the Allman Brothers), Charlie Daniels, Flaco Jiménez, and Al Kooper.

After losing his wife, Brenda, and his mother to cancer in 1999, Shaver lost his son and longtime guitarist Eddy, who died at age 38 of a heroin overdose on December 31, 2000. Shaver nearly died himself the following year when he had a heart attack on stage during an Independence Day show at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas. After successful heart surgery, Shaver came back to release Freedom’s Child in 2002.

BillyJoeShaver3In 1999, Shaver performed at the Grand Ole Opry. In November 2005, he performed on the CMT Outlaws 2005. In 2006, Shaver was inducted in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. He later served as spiritual advisor to Texas independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. For his efforts, the Americana Music Convention awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting. He currently lives in Waco, Texas.

Bob Dylan mentioned Shaver in his song “I Feel a Change Comin’ On” (Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter) on the album, Together Through Life (2009) – “I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver, And I’m reading James Joyce”. Shaver is also the “hero” of the song, “Wish I Could Write Like Billy Joe” on the album “Stormy Love” by Bugs Henderson. (by wikipedia)

From one angle, it could be argued that When I Get My Wings isn´t so strong as Old Five and Dimers or I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal, primarily due to that big production, but to an extent that’s just nitpicking: in retrospect that ’70s studio slickness sounds appealing and Shaver sounds wily, singing some of his greatest songs (“Ain’t No God in Mexico,” “When the Word Was Thunderbird,” “Ride Me Down Easy”). Certainly, any serious fan of country music, particularly in its progressive ’70s incarnation, will find the renewed availability of this Shaver LP reason to celebrate.(by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

BillyJoeShaverPersonnel:
Richard “Dickey”  Betts (guitar)
Scott Boyer (guitar)
Bonnie Bramlett (background vocals)
Ron Cornelius (guitar)
Charlie Daniels (fiddle, background vocals)
Willie Hall (drums)
Neil Larsen (piano)
Chuck Leavell (piano)
Billy Joe Shaver (vocals)
Tommy Talton (guitar)
Kenny Tibbetts (guitar)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Texas Uphere Tennessee 2.40
02. The Good Lord Knows I Tried 2.39
03. Woman Is The Wonder Of The World 2.37
04. When I Get My Wings 2.51
05. Ain’t No God In Mexico 2.16
06. Love You Till The Cows Come Home 3.35
07. Ride Me Down Easy 3.17
08. When The Word Was Thunderbird 2.52
09. America You Are My Woman 2.57
10. A Restless Wind 2.19
11. Evergreen 2.57

All songs written by Billy Joe Shavers

LabelA1*
**

The Nighthawks – Side Pocket Shot (1977)

FrontCover1The Nighthawks are an American blues and roots music band, based in Washington, D.C. The Nighthawks currently are Mark Wenner (vocals and harmonica), Paul Bell (lead guitar), Johnny Castle (bass guitar), and Mark Stutso (drums). Beginning with dates in February 2010, Stutso replaced longtime drummer Pete Ragusa who announced his departure earlier in the year.
Formed in 1972, the Nighthawks underwent several personnel changes before stabilizing as the lineup of Mark Wenner (vocals and harmonica), Jimmy Thackery (lead guitar), Jan Zukowski (bass guitar), and Pete Ragusa (drums). Their 1979 album, Full House, issued on Adelphi Records, includes guest appearances from Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin.

Keyboard player Greg Wetzel joined the band in 1983, was a full-time member until 1986, and has continued to play at special performances. The membership of the band remained stable until 1986. At that time, tired of the band’s extensive touring schedule, Thackery departed to front the Drivers and other groups and to record for Blind Pig Records and Telarc Records. Following his departure, several players filled the lead guitar spot. These included Jimmy Nalls, Warren Haynes, James Solberg, Danny Morris, Pete Kanaras, with Kanaras becoming the longest lasting member.

In 2003, the band featured in the first episode of the second season of The Wire.

Kanaras and Zukowski departed the band in 2004. They were replaced by Paul Bell (lead guitar) and Johnny Castle (bass guitar). The Nighthawks won the Traditional Blues/R&B Duo/Group Award at the 2009 Washington Area Music Awards. In 2011, their album, “Last Train to Bluesville” won the Acoustic Album of the Year at the 32nd Blues Music Awards, sponsored by the Blues Foundation.(by wikipedia)

And this is their 4th album, this time with a strong horn section. Even this is not their best album (guess “Open All Nite” is one of their best albums), it´s a really good album from one the best Blues-rock/R & B bands we ever had.

NighthawksPersonnel:
Pete Ragusa (drums, vocals)
Jim Thackery (guitar, vocals)
Mark Wenner (harmonica, vocals)
Jan Zukowski (bass, vocals)
+
Rick Anderson (percussion)
Judy Coughlin (background vocals)
Tommy Hannum (pedal-steel guitar)
The  Rhythm Kings (horns)
Lucille Schoettle (background vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Are You Lonely (For Me Baby) (Burns) 4,36
02. Slow Down (Williams) 2.52
03. I Keep Cryin’ (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 4.20
04. James’ Hawaiian Punch (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 1.54
05. Honky Tonk Queen (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 2.58
06. I’ll Get The News (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 3.53
07. Tramp On The Highway (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 4.12
08. Love’s So Hard (To Understand) (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 4.30
09. Vaseline Machine No. 2 (Kottke) 1.53
10. Fatback Mama (Ragusa/Thackery/Wenner/Zukowski) 3.30
11. Bring It On Home (Dixon) 3.02

LabelB1*
**

CoverIllustration

Various Artists – Montery Pop Festival 67 (Part 1): Jefferson Airplane (1989)

FrontCover1Monterey Pop Festival ’67 – The Summer Of Love All Began From Here” is an Italien bootleg from 1989 and includes 7 LPs in a box (and the cover art is pretty great, too). And this set (the sound is very good throughout!) is documenting the legendary California rock festival:

The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was a three-day concert event held June 16 to June 18, 1967 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. Crowd estimates for the festival have ranged from 25,000-90,000 people, who congregated in and around the festival grounds. The fairgrounds’ enclosed performance arena, where the music took place, had an approved festival capacity of 7,000, but it was estimated that 8,500 jammed into it for Saturday night’s show. Festival-goers who wanted to see the musical performances were required to have either an ‘all-festival’ ticket or a separate ticket for each of the five scheduled concert events they wanted to attend in the arena: Friday night, Saturday afternoon and night, and Sunday afternoon and night. Ticket prices varied by seating area, and ranged from $3 to $6.50 ($21–46, adjusted for inflation.

TicketThe festival is remembered for the first major American appearances by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who and Ravi Shankar, the first large-scale public performance of Janis Joplin and the introduction of Otis Redding to a large, predominantly white audience.

The Monterey Pop Festival embodied the theme of California as a focal point for the counterculture and is generally regarded as one of the beginnings of the “Summer of Love” in 1967; the first rock festival had been held just one week earlier at Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival. Because Monterey was widely promoted and heavily attended, featured historic performances, and was the subject of a popular theatrical documentary film, it became an inspiration and a template for future music festivals, including the Woodstock Festival two years later.

FestivalPosterThe festival was planned in seven weeks by promoter Lou Adler, John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, producer Alan Pariser and publicist Derek Taylor. The Monterey location had been known as the site for the long-running Monterey Jazz Festival and Monterey Folk Festival; the promoters saw the Monterey Pop festival as a way to validate rock music as an art form in the way in which jazz and folk were regarded. The organizers succeeded beyond all expectations.

The artists performed for free with all revenue donated to charity, except for Ravi Shankar, who was paid $3,000 for his afternoon-long performance on the sitar. Country Joe and the Fish were paid $5,000 not by the festival itself, but from revenue generated from the D.A. Pennebaker documentary.

Lou Adler later reflected:

…[O]ur idea for Monterey was to provide the best of everything — sound equipment, sleeping and eating accommodations, transportation — services that had never been provided for the artist before Monterey…

We set up an on-site first aid clinic, because we knew there would be a need for medical supervision and that we would encounter drug-related problems. We didn’t want people who got themselves into trouble and needed medical attention to go untreated. Nor did we want their problems to ruin or in any way disturb other people or disrupt the music…

Our security worked with the Monterey police. The local law enforcement authorities never expected to like the people they came in contact with as much as they did. They never expected the spirit of ‘Music, Love and Flowers’ to take over to the point where they’d allow themselves to be festooned with flowers.

Monterey’s bill boasted a lineup that put established stars like The Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel and The Byrds alongside groundbreaking new acts from the UK and the USA. (by wikipedia)

I will present the complete box in the next weeks … and I start with LP number one with the complete Jefferson Airplane  (no introduction nessesary) performance. With two huge singles behind them, the Airplane was one of the major attractions of the festival.

JeffersonAirplaneJefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival

Personnel:
Marty Balin (vocals, guitar)
Jack Casady (bass)
Spencer Dryden (drums)
Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals)
Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals)
Grace Slick (vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Introduction/Somebody To Love (Slick) 3.50
02. Other Side Of This Life (Neil) 6.51
03. White Rabbit (Slick) 2.45
04. High Flyin’ Bird (Balin/Slick) 4.01
05. Today (Balin/Kantner) 3.04
06. She Has Funny Cars (Kaukonen/Balin)     3:14
07. Young Girl Sunday Blues (Balin/Kantner) 3.30
08. Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil (Kantner)    11:02

LabelB1*
**

Much more will come:
The Who (4 tracks), The Steve Miller Band (1 track), Scott McKenzie (1 track), Simon & Garfunkel (7 tracks), The Electric Flag (3 tracks), Canned Heat (2 tracks), Hugh Masakela (1 track), Buffalo Springfield (3 tracks), The Mar-Keys (1 track), Country Joe & The Fish (3 tracks), Booker T & The MGs (2 tracks), Big Brother & The Holding Company (5 tracks), The Mamas & The Papas (9 tracks), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (3 tracks), The Grateful Dead (2 tracks), The Byrds (3 tracks), The Butterfield Blues Band (6 tracks), The Animals (4 tracks), Lou Rawls (2 tracks), Johnny Rivers (1 track)

Joe Bongiorno – Into the Wind – Solo Piano (2011)

FrontCover1“Into the Wind” is pianist/composer Joe Bongiorno’s sixth solo piano album to date and could be his best work yet. Smooth and melodic with an undercurrent of passion, Bongiorno’s music conveys an array of emotions and experiences in a musical language that anyone should be able to relate to and understand. The theme of the album comes from a request that Joe made of life when he was seventeen to simply “bring it on.” “I wanted every challenge, every adventure and every lesson, with no mercy spared and no stagnant periods. …. I got exactly what I asked for and a whole lot more… Since that day I have been riding into the wind of life, and it feels as though the ride has only just begun. I’m hanging on, with a smile!”

Joe Bongiorno is the owner of Piano Haven Studio in Seattle, which is getting a great deal of recognition for the wonderful piano sound of the recordings that are made there, and this album is no exception. Even the most discerning ears will be delighted with the quality of the recording.

JoeBongiono01“Into the Wind” begins with “Inspired,” a lighthearted dance of joy and celebration that conveys the rush an artist gets when truly inspired – a great start! I really like “Trance,” which slows down the tempo a bit and becomes more introspective. Very fluid and expressive, it’s a real beauty! The title track steps up the energy level, expressing a variety of emotions, but remaining optimistic throughout. “Mystical” spins a magical dream that sparkles as it gently flows, pausing here and there, never in a hurry – also a favorite. “A Candlelight Waltz” first appeared on Bongiorno’s “A Candlelight Christmas” last year, and is sure to become one of his signature pieces. It’s a romantic slow dance played with grace and tenderness. “I Hear Your Cry” is love and reassurance set to music. Gentle warmth overflows from each note, soothing the heart and making things right again. “Sailing the Sky” is energetic and playful, conveying freedom and happiness. “Rise and Shine” greets the new day with renewed optimism and anticipation. “Your Healing Touch” is a love song, pure and simple with healing power of its own. “Feels Like Goodbye” is the last track. It also closes “A Candlelight Christmas,” but is just too beautiful to be restricted to one season of the year. It’s a wonderful closing that leaves the listener with a feeling of longing.

“Into the Wind” will thrill Joe Bongiorno’s fans and is a great introduction if you are new to his music. Even the cover artwork by Matt Strieby is exceptional! Recommended! (by Kathy Parsons)

JoeBongiono02Personnel:
Joe Bongiorno (piano)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Inspired 4.36
02. Trance 5.18
03. Never Forgotten 3.58
04. Into the Wind 4.47
05. Mystical 4.41
06. A Candlelight Waltz – Solo Piano 4.43
07. Sailing the Sky 3.29
08. I Hear Your Cry 5.24
09. Lucid Dream 4.29
10. Rise and Shine 3.48
11. Your Healing Touch 4.29
12. Feels Like Goodbye 4.55

CD1*
**

Mick Ralphs – Take This (1984)

FrontCover1Ex-Bad Company and Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs released this 20 track release in 1984. This optimistically titled solo album found Bad Company’s guitar ace treading a softer, less insistent path from his platinum day job (although the band’s skin-basher, Simon Kirke, makes an appearance). However, the results failed to translate among diehards still pining for the “Can’t Get Enough” era. Taking the hint, Ralphs joined his megastar neighbor David Gilmour for the latter guitarist’s equally anemically received tour without the Pink Floyd banner. Even so, Ralphs’ album deserved a better reception than it received, for this is the sound of someone enjoying himself, trends be damned. He convincingly dishes out low-key country (“Last Chance Saloon”), glistening pop (“All It Takes”), melodic ballads (“Another Lonely Day”), and the breezy title track’s fleet-footed jazz fusion, which wouldn’t be amiss on a MickRalphs01Crusaders album. The ever-dutiful Ralphs does throw the faithful a crunchy bone or two on “When the Revolution Comes” and “Rock Fever,” although they sound more reserved than his parent band’s fare. Angel Air has included ten demos and rough mixes. While not essential listening, they do lend an appropriate “you are there” feel to the recording (and two solid unreleased tunes, “Rock N Roller” and “All Across the Nile”). There’s also an illuminating booklet packed with choice Ralphs-isms, whether he discusses the album-oriented rock leanings of “On the Run” (“quite American, quite bland”) or his aborted solo career (“my mate Dave Gilmour said, ‘Stop wasting your time and money'”). Such candor is refreshing, since Ralphs’ lyrics will hardly set the world alight, nor do his vocals prove more than serviceable, as his shaky attempt at the 1962 soul chestnut “Hey Baby” demonstrates. (“Shame I can’t sing,” his booklet notes cheerfully observe.) Bad Company freaks probably still won’t make sense of the proceedings here, but aficionados of melodic, well-crafted pop should definitely find this reissue. (Ralph Heibutzk)

Inlet01AMICK RALPHS is one of British rock music’s most tasteful and understated guitarists, from the same ‘school’ as JOE WALSH and MICK RONSON where, thankfully, the mission statement is thought, feel and melody rather than speed. Ralphs attributes, and his ability to ‘play for the song’, are amply displayed on his recordings with MOTT THE HOOPLE and BAD COMPANY, but this enhanced re-issue (containing the original ‘Take This’! LP, two unissued tracks, ‘All Across The Nile’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller’, plus several work-in-progress mixes) showcases his solo compositions and further illustrares his redoubtable playing skills.

MickRalphs02Personnel:
B.J. Cole (pedal steel)
Micky Feat (bass)
Simon Kirke (drums)
Mick Ralphs (vocals, guitar + various instruments)
+
Sam Brown (background vocals)
Vicky Brown (background vocals)
Stevie Lange (background vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. All It Takes 3.27
02. Hey Baby 2.39
03. Take This 5.12
04. Give You My Love 3.40
05. Fast Travelling Man 4.25
06. On The Run 3.49
07. Last Chance Saloon 4.03
08. Rock Fever 3.21
09. When The Revolution Comes 3.33
10. Another Lonely Day 3.39
+
11. Rock N Roller (unrealesed) 2.56
12. All Across The Nile (unrealesed) 4.40
13. All It Takes (working mix) 3.30
14. Give You My Love (working mix) 3.36
15 On The Run (working mix) 3.56
16. Last Chance Saloon (working mix) 4.02
17. When The Revolution Comes (working mix) 3.36
18. Another Lonely Day (demo) 4.34
19. Rock N Roller (working mix) 2.52
20. All Across The Nile (working mix) 4.45

LabelB1*
**

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