Snafu – Same (1973)

FrontCover1Snafu was a British rhythm and blues/rock band of the 1970s, featuring vocalist Bobby Harrison and the slide guitarist Micky Moody.

In 1972, vocalist and drummer Bobby Harrison had just left blues-rock outfit Freedom and started to record his first solo LP, ‘Funkist’. Featured on this album was Micky Moody, then lead guitarist with the ailing Juicy Lucy. The collaboration between the two was so successful, that after the demise of Juicy Lucy they decided to form a completely new group and play American-inspired funk and R&B-flavoured rock.

Bobby Harrison had a background of playing with Procol Harum, and participated in the recording of their all-time classic, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Soon after, however, Harrison was told to leave the band due to ‘internal differences’. After Procol Harum, Bobby Harrison formed Freedom, whose first line-up recorded a couple of singles and a soundtrack for an Italian film. Commercial success sadly eluded them and Freedom disbanded in 1972. After that, Bobby would occasionally gig with Juicy Lucy where he became friends with guitarist Micky Moody.

Born in 1950 into a Northern working-class family, Micky Moody from an early age became infatuated with the sound of the electric guitar. Later – when Moody had formed his first band at school – his father managed to get him his first gigs at the local working men’s club. This band, called The Roadrunners, featured on bass and vocals one of Micky’s classmates from school, Paul Rodgers, later the lead singer of Free.

As the band started to improve, another bass player from the Middlesbrough area, Bruce Thomas (later of Quiver and Elvis Costello’s Attractions), was drafted and the group changed their name to The Wildflowers. After three months the group disbanded, and Moody went back to Middlesbrough to study classical guitar. However, he soon joined a local band called Tramline and was also a member of The Mike Cotton Sound. In July 1970, Moody was invited to join Juicy Lucy, with whom he stayed for three albums until Snafu was formed in October/November 1972.

Bobby Harrison and Micky Moody started writing together and auditioning new band members. They found former Tramline drummer Terry Popple (previously with Van Morrison), bass player Colin Gibson (formerly of Ginger Baker’s Airforce) and keyboard /fiddle player Pete Solley (later in Whitesnake). Gibson suggested the name Snafu, a term he lifted from a Captain Beefheart song “Big Eyed Beans From Venus” on their 1972 album, Clear Spot. The musical influences were mainly American, and came from bands such as The Allman Brothers Band and in particular Little Feat, one of Bobby Harrison’s favourite bands. (by wikipedia)

MickyMoody1974Micky Moody, 1973

Richard Branson, who had recently built The Manor Studio, and had started recording a long composition by an unknown guitarist, Mike Oldfield, was also impressed with the efforts of Snafu, who arrived at The Manor Studio to record their first LP. In fact, Oldfield was working on Tubular Bells while Snafu were there and Pete Solley played briefly on the recording.

The band’s first, eponymously titled, LP and single received good reviews but were less successful commercially. However, at the time when ‘Snafu’ was released, the group successfully toured Europe with The Doobie Brothers and then the U.S. with The Eagles.

On the second LP, “Situation Normal”, Pete Solley had taken over much of the control of the band and there is a strong country-rock influence on the album. However, it was not as well reviewed as its predecessor. The band toured America as a support act for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but participation in the tour was seen by many as a mistake.

The band recorded up to eight songs in session for the BBC around this time.

Snafu’s third LP, “All Funked Up”, has long been seen as their ‘great lost album’ and is highly elusive in its original vinyl format. Pete Solley had left to join Procol Harum. He was replaced first by Brian Chatton (previously with The Warriors with Jon Anderson, Flaming Youth with Phil Collins and Jackson Heights with Lee Jackson of The Nice), John Miles) and later by Tim Hinkley, who was a much-used session player at the time. They both play on the album, which again was recorded at The Manor.

During a tour of Germany, Moody was invited to join David Coverdale and he accepted. Harrison tried to keep Snafu together for a while with Clem Clempson (Colosseum, Humble Pie, Champion) on guitar, but it did not work.

Snafu are notable for combining the British rhythm and blues tradition with U.S inspired elements of funk and country music. Micky Moody’s distinctive guitar playing, often with slide, provided the band with a distinctive hard-edged R&B sound, particularly on such numbers as “Lock and Key” and “Hard To Handle”.(This chronology was adapted from original material by Alex Gitlin) (by wikipedia)

And this is the first album of Snafu …

Snafu’s first, eponymously titled, album is an eight track affair of funky American influenced R & B with an edge of hard rock and an undercurrent of country rock twangs. It kicks of with the first of the Harrison/Moody compositions ‘Long Gone’. A slow burning track with a steady swagger it builds in to a nice  mid paced blues rock opener. The track had already been recorded for Harrison’s “Funkist” album but this version is far superior.

The first of the more country and funky tinged tracks ‘Said He The Judge’ follows and it starts off slowly before it builds up into a funky groove with some nice guitar work from Moody after the first verse and chorus. The pace quickens even more before slowing back down for the return of the vocal before another instumental passage to fade. It may not exactly be cutting edge stuff but it is well played and more than enjoyable.

It is almost widdly diddly folk time for ‘Monday Morning’ another balladic tale from the pen of Harrison with some great fiddle work from Solley driving the song along. Moody also contributes some great mandolin picking and the whole song has an English country fair feel to it. It should be pretty naff but it goes down a treat and is a a great jig-a-long bit of fun.

BobbyHarrisonBobby Harrison

The album highlight for me is the track that closed side one of the original vinyl issue, and the only non original track on the album ‘Drowning In The Sea Of Love’. Written by Philadelphia soul legends Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff it had been a minor hit for American soul singer Joe Simon the previous year. It is a perfect vehicle for Snafu, suiting Harrison’s vocal style perfectly and allowing Moody the opportunity to display his various styles. The use of female backing vocalists also gives the song an extra dimension and it has long beeen one of my favourite recorded works by any artist.

The second half of the album gets under way with ‘Country Nest’ a slower more melancholy affair with another balladeer vocal from Harrison. The opening line of “I’m sitting in my rocking chair I’m smoking a joint in my underwear …….” is nothing short of brilliant and the humour in the lyric all the way through is a positive joy. Co-written with Solley it obviously has some good keyboard runs and the farmyard noises at the tracks end leave a smile in their wake.

The fiddle is back for ‘Funky Friend’ a strutting funky tale of a lost friend. The widdly diddly fiddle this time is more reminiscent of an Irish hoe down than an English fair but just as with the earlier track it is impossible not to jig along to the funky infectious rhythm. Once again musical rocket science it isn’t but it is out and out good time music that leaves nothing but a smile.


Things get a litle more serious for ‘Goodbye USA’ a brooding mid paced funk with some great guitar and keyboard techniques underneath a laid back easy vocal from Harrison, who surely has claims to be up there with the best funky blues vocalists of the day.

The longest track on the album is closer ‘That’s The Song’, a fast paced strutter with a real great vibe. It has an almost evangelical feel to it and it is not difficult to imagine a huge congregation all singing and dancing along in unison. Moody throws in a spectacularly funky solo and the backing vocalists choir is a perfect touch. It is a great funky fast paced end to an album that really should be heralded as one of the classic rock albums of the seventies. The decision to fade down the volume as the track ends though was surely a mistake. The album itself ends with a brief reprise of the riff and melody of the opening track ‘Long Gone’

On its release “Snafu” was greeted with considerable favour from the reviewers of the day and the band quickly gained a huge live following. They also became something of a musicians band and were often praised by comtemporary musicians of the day. Sadly this did not turn into record sales though and neither the album or the non album single ‘Dixie Queen’ (included as a bonus track on CD remasters) troubled the charts. Such was their popularity live though that they secured European tours with both The Doobie Brothers and The Eagles. “Snafu” is a right little belter of an album which is very much ‘of its day’ and it has long been one of my most played albums since finding it in a junk shop for the princely sum of £1 way back in 1980. These days I mostly play the CD remaster but the cherished vinyl edition with its gatefold Roger Dean cover occasionally comes out for a spin. Whether you are a lover of classic rock, blues or funk, or even just curious to hear pre Whitesnake Micky Moody “Snafu” is worth its place in anyone’s music library and is in no way synonymous with the RAF saying from which the name is derived. (by Martin Leedham)

Colin Gibson (bass)
Bobby Harrison (vocals, percussion)
Micky Moody (guitar, mandolin, background vocals)
Terry Popple (drums)
Pete Solley (keyboards, background vocals)


01. Long Gone (Harrison/Moody) 5.18
02. Said He The Judge (Harrison/Moody/Solley) 4.35
03. Monday Morning (Harrison/Moody) 3.18
04. Drowning In The Sea Of Love (Gamble/Huff) 5.52
05. Country Nest (Harrison/Solley) 5.20
06. Funky Friend (Harrison/Moody) 4.06
07. Goodbye U.S.A.(Harrison/Moody) 4.25
08. That’s The Song (Marcellino/Solley) 6.05



Snafu means:

Situation Normal All Fucked Up

(The term was born during WWII as an acronym of the initials of the words situation normal, all fucked up, which summed up the chaos and confusion of the war from an individual soldier’s point of view.)


Bobby Harrison in 2010

Patti Smith – Horses (1975)

FrontCover1Horses is the debut studio album by American musician Patti Smith, released on December 13, 1975 on Arista Records. Smith, a fixture of the then-burgeoning New York punk rock music scene, began recording Horses with her band in 1975 after being signed to Arista Records, with John Cale being enlisted to produce the album. With its fusion of simplistic rock and roll structures and Smith’s freeform, Beat poetry-infused lyrics, Horses was met with widespread critical acclaim upon its initial release. Despite a lack of airplay or a popular single to support the album, it nonetheless experienced modest commercial success, managing a top 50 placing on the US Billboard 200.

Horses has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of American punk rock movement, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. Horses has also been cited as a key influence on a number of succeeding punk, post-punk, and alternative rock acts, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, R.E.M., The Smiths, and Garbage.

At the time she recorded Horses, Patti Smith and her band were favorites in the New York underground club scene along with acts such as Blondie and the Ramones.

According to Smith, Horses was a conscious attempt “to make a record that would make a certain type of person not feel alone. People who were like me, different… I wasn’t targeting the whole world. I wasn’t trying to make a hit record.” Guest musicians on the album included Tom Verlaine of Television and Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult.

In Smith’s own words, Horses was conceived as “three-chord rock merged with the power of the word”. Steve Huey of AllMusic calls Horses “essentially the first art punk album.” Smith and her band’s sound, spearheaded by the rudimentary guitar work of Lenny Kaye, drew on the simple aesthetics of garage rock, and the group’s use of simplistic chord structures was emblematic of the punk rock scene associated with the band. Smith, however, used such structures as a basis for lyrical and musical improvisation in the album’s songs, diverging from other contemporary punk acts who generally shied away from solos. Horses drew on genres such as rock and roll, reggae, and jazz. “Redondo Beach” features a reggae backing track, while “Birdland” owed more to jazz, which Smith’s mother enjoyed, than to the influence of punk. When recording the latter song, which was improvised by the band in Electric Lady Studios, Smith has said she imagined the spirit of Jimi Hendrix watching her.

Reflecting Smith’s background as a poet, the album’s lyrics channel the French Symbolism movement, incorporating influences from the works of Charles Baudelaire, William Blake, and Smith’s long-time idol Arthur Rimbaud,[8] and recall the “revolutionary spirit” of Rimbaud and resonate with the energy of Beat poetry, according to CMJ’s Steve Klinge. Several of the album’s songs—”Redondo Beach”, “Free Money”, “Kimberly”—were inspired by moments with members of Smith’s family, while others—”Break It Up”, “Elegie”—were written about her idols. “Break It Up” was about Jim Morrison, deceased lead singer of The Doors, and it was a combination of Smith’s dream about him and her visit of Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.[10] The lyrics of “Birdland” are based upon A Book of Dreams, a 1973 memoir of Wilhelm Reich by his son Peter. Horses features two adaptations of songs by other artists: “Gloria”, a radical retake on the Them song incorporating verses from Smith’s own poem “Oath”,[6] and “Land”, already a live favorite, which features the first verse of Chris Kenner’s “Land of a Thousand Dances” and contains a tribute to Arthur Rimbaud.


The cover photograph for Horses was taken using natural light by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, a close friend of Smith’s, at the Greenwich Village penthouse apartment of his partner Sam Wagstaff. Smith is depicted wearing a plain white shirt which she had purchased at the Salvation Army on the Bowery and slinging a black jacket over her shoulder and her favorite black ribbon around her collar. Embedded on the jacket is a horse pin that Smith’s friend Allen Lanier had given her. Smith has described her pose on the cover as “a mix of Baudelaire and Sinatra.” The record company wanted to make various changes to the photo, but Smith overruled such attempts. The black and white treatment and unisex pose were a departure from the typical promotional images of “girl singers” of the time, but Smith maintains that she “wasn’t making a big statement. That’s just the way I dressed.”

Writer Camille Paglia described the album’s cover as “one of the greatest pictures ever taken of a woman.”

Upon initial release, Horses was met with near-universal acclaim from music critics and publications. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, John Rockwell wrote that Horses is “wonderful in large measure because it recognizes the over-whelming importance of words” in Smith’s work, covering a range of concerns “far beyond what most rock records even dream of”, and highlighted Smith’s adaptions of rock standards as the most striking songs on the record. Robert Christgau gave Horses an A– grade in The Village Voice and remarked that while the album does not capture Smith’s humor, it “gets the minimalist fury of her band and the revolutionary dimension of her singing just fine.” He later ranked it at number 38 on his list of the best albums of the 1970s.

Patti Smith in recording studio recording her debut album, Horses, 1975, NYC

Horses’ mix of philosophical elements in Smith’s songwriting and rock and roll elements in its music attracted some polarizing reactions, however. Reaction to the album from the British music press in particular was mixed. A review of Horses from Melody Maker dismissed the album as “precisely what’s wrong with rock and roll right now.” On the other hand, Jonh Ingham of Sounds published a five-star review of Horses, naming it “the record of the year” and “one of the most stunning, commanding, engrossing platters to come down the turnpike since John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band”. Charles Shaar Murray of NME called it “an album in a thousand” and “an important album in terms of what rock can encompass without losing its identity as a musical form, in that it introduces an artist of greater vision than has been seen in rock for far too long.”

At the end of 1975, Horses was voted the second best album of the year, behind Bob Dylan and The Band’s The Basement Tapes, in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published in The Village Voice. NME placed it at number thirteen on their year-end list of 1975’s best albums. Commercially, the album performed modestly well, managing a top 50 peak on the Billboard 200 chart despite receiving virtually no airplay.

Chris Jones of BBC Music wrote that the album was a “shock to the system” at the time of its release and still “retains its power to this day.” Horses established Smith as one of the biggest names of the New York punk rock scene, alongside contemporary acts such as the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads, and it has since been cited as the first significant punk rock album.[38] Horses is considered one of the key recordings of the early punk rock movement[39] and a landmark for punk and new wave music in general, inspiring a “raw, almost amateurish energy for the former and critical, engaging reflexivity for the latter,” according to writer Chris Smith in his book 101 Albums That Changed Popular Music.[25] AllMusic’s William Ruhlmann said that it “isn’t hard to make the case for Patti Smith as a punk rock progenitor based on Horses”, while Greg Simpson of called the album a “raw yet poetic slice of the CBGB’s scene from a woman who beat the Ramones in releasing the first ‘punk’ record.”

Single: “Gloria” bw “My Generation”

Q magazine included it in its list of the 100 greatest punk albums. NME put Horses at first place in its list of “20 Near-as-Damn-It Perfect Initial Efforts”, and it has also ranked on various lists of the greatest albums of the 1970s. In addition to these accolades, Horses has also been considered one of the finest albums in recorded music history. In 2003, the album was ranked number 44 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, Time named it as one of the All-TIME 100 Albums, and three years later, it was preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Various recording artists have specifically named Horses as an influence on their music. English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees said that the song “Carcass” from their album The Scream, was inspired by Horses. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. bought the album as a high school student and says that it “tore [his] limbs off and put them back on in a whole different order,” citing Smith as his primary inspiration for becoming a musician. Morrissey and Johnny Marr shared an appreciation for the record, and one of their early compositions for The Smiths, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, is a reworking of “Kimberly”. Courtney Love of Hole has stated that Horses helped inspire her to become a rock musician. (by wikipedia)


Jay Dee Daugherty (drums)
Lenny Kaye (guitar, bass guitar, background vocals)
Ivan Kral (bass, guitar, background vocals)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)
Richard Sohl (keyboards)
John Cale (bass on 09.)


01. Gloria (In Excelsis Deo/Gloria (Version) (Smith/Morrison) 5.57
02. Redondo Beach (Smith/Sohl/Kaye) 3.26
03. Birdland (Smith/Sohl/Kaye/Kral) 9.15
04. Free Money (Smith/Kaye) 3.52
05. Kimberly (Smith/Lanier/Kral) 4.27
06. Break It Up  (Smith/Verlaine) 4.04
07. Land (Part I: “Horses”; Part II: “Land of a Thousand Dances”; Part III: “La Mer(de)”)     Smith (Parts I and III), Chris Kenner (Part II), Fats Domino (Part II)     9:25
08, Elegie (Smith/Lanier) 2.57
09. My Generation (live at the Agora, Cleveland, Ohio, on January 26, 1976) (Townshend)    3.16


Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine
Meltin’ in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins my own
They belong to me, me

People say ‘beware!’
But I don’t care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me

I-i walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I’m movin’ in this here atmosphere, well, anything’s allowed
And I go to this here party and I just get bored
Until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
Humpin’ on the parking meter, leanin’ on the parking meter
Oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
And I got this crazy feeling and then I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine
Ooh I’ll put my spell on her

Here she comes
Walkin’ down the street
Here she comes
Comin’ through my door
Here she comes
Crawlin’ up my stair
Here she comes
Waltzin’ through the hall
In a pretty red dress
And oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
And I got this crazy feeling that I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine

And then I hear this knockin’ on my door
Hear this knockin’ on my door
And I look up into the big tower clock
And say, ‘oh my God here’s midnight!’
And my baby is walkin’ through the door
Leanin’ on my couch she whispers to me and I take the big plunge
And oh, she was so good and oh, she was so fine
And I’m gonna tell the world that I just ah-ah made her mine

And I said darling, tell me your name, she told me her name
She whispered to me, she told me her name
And her name is, and her name is, and her name is, and her name is G-l-o-are-i-a

I was at the stadium
There were twenty thousand girls called their names out to me
Marie and Ruth but to tell you the truth
I didn’t hear them I didn’t see
I let my eyes rise to the big tower clock
And I heard those bells chimin’ in my heart
Going ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong.
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong
Counting the time, then you came to my room
And you whispered to me and we took the big plunge
And oh. you were so good, oh, you were so fine
And I gotta tell the world that I make her mine make her mine
Make her mine make her mine make her mine make her mine

G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria

And the tower bells chime, ‘ding dong’ they chime
They’re singing, ‘Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.’

Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a,

John Coltrane – Newport (1961)

FrontCover1For the sake of accuracy though, there was no 1961 Newport Jazz Festival. Seriously. This Coltrane recording is from “Music At Newport, an entirely different one-off event that happened in Newport that summer. Here’s a basic synopsis of what happened (from the Newport Jazz Festival wiki). You can also read about it in depth in George Wein’s highly recommended autobiography.”

In 1960 boisterous spectators created a major disturbance, and the National Guard was called to the scene. Word that the disturbances had meant the end of the festival, following the Sunday afternoon blues presentation headlined by Muddy Waters, reached poet Langston Hughes, who was in a meeting on the festival grounds. Hughes wrote an impromptu lyric, “Goodbye Newport Blues,” that he brought to the Muddy Waters band onstage, announcing their likewise impromptu musical performance of the piece himself, before pianist Otis Spann led the band and sang the Hughes poem.

Presentation of the proper Newport Jazz Festival was disallowed in 1961 due to the difficulty of the previous year’s festival.  In its place, another festival billed as “Music at Newport” was produced by Sid Bernstein in cooperation with a group of Newport businessmen. That festival included a number of jazz musicians but was financially unsuccessful. Bernstein announced that he would not seek to return to Newport in 1962. The Newport Jazz Festival resumed at Freebody Park in 1962. (Stu Hanson)

Thanks to Maurizio (u014945) for sharing these tracks on Dime


John Coltrane (saxophone)
Art Davis (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)


01. Introductions 1.24
02. Impressions (Coltrane) 6.10
03. Naima (Coltrane) 4.11
04. My Favorite Things (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 15.59


Dusted – When We Were Young (2000)

FrontCover1Dusted is the collaborative idea of ambient mix master and producer Rollo (Dido’s brother) and producer Mark Bates; it is a collaboration that marks the first fully conceptual downtempo/chillout album. When We Were Young is a collection of tracks that map themselves around the territory that is childhood, obviously, but more importantly, around its various emotional states. Like a thinking person’s Delerium — with a whole lot more imagination and ambition in the production area — Dusted uses a caustic groove of nostalgia and memory, and evoke — through slipped beats, an elegiac bass, a silvery guitar, and a swamp-ring of keyboards — the creation of a manifest destiny to use as a backdrop for singers Luke Garwood and Rachael Brown, who take the listener deeper into a world where the light almost never shines (one casual listen to “Hurt U” is enough to send you back to where you came from). The world revealed on When We Were Young is one of hurt, disappointment, betrayal, and a longing that seems to get larger with every drum loop. From the first single, “Always Remember to Respect Your Mother, Part 1,” co-written by Dido, as was “Winter,” through to “The Oscar Song, and “If I Had a Child,” the atmosphere is one of innocence lost, and innocence longed for, even with its tragic memories. Musically, we’re talking everything: from a digital-era-Pink Floyd to Björk to Ultramarine and Peter Gabriel.


And while the very thought of an ambient chillout concept-album about the downside of childhood reeks of pretension, the careful and subtle manner in which these tunes are presented makes it instead not only thought-provoking, but seductive to listen to. For all of its ethereal excess, there is enough solid construction and careful consideration given to nuances to make it more than viable. When We Were Young is certainly worth the time and effort it takes to procure a copy. The reason? Simple: while it may echo many different things already out there; it sounds like nothing but itself — and that’s an accomplishment. ( by Thom Jurek)

Rollo Armstrong

Rollo Armstrong

Rollo Armstrong (programming)
Mark Bates (keyboards, programming)
Rachael Brown (vocals)
Luke Garwood (vocals)
Martin McCory (guitar)
Matt Benbrook (programming on 09.)
Dave Dulake (piano on 13.)
Michael Harbour (vocals on 09.)
Mal Hyde-Smith (percussion 03. + 12.)
Ibi (programming on 06.)
Tim Vogt (bass on 03., 07. + 12.)
Alan Young (vocals on 06.)


01. Childhood (Bates/Armstrong) 5.31
02. Time Takes Time (Bates/Armstrong) 5.41
03. Want U (Bates/Armstrong) 6.50
04. Hurt U (Bates/Armstrong) 1.45
05. If You Go Down To The Woods (Bates/Armstrong) 3.17
06. Always Remember To Respect Your Mother Pt. 1 (Dido) 3.49
07. The Biggest Fool In The World (Dido/Gallagher/Stannard) 6.47
08. Oh, How Sweet (Bates/Armstrong) 5.02
09. Always Remember To Respect Your Mother Pt. 2 (Benbrook) 4.01
10. Winter (Dido) 4.33
11. The Oscar Song (Bentovim/Garwood) 2.11
12. Under The Sun (Brown) 5.36
13. If I Had A Child (Garwood) 3.31





The Dubliners – A Drop Of The Hard Stuff (Seven Drunken Nights) (1967)

FrontCover1A Drop of the Hard Stuff is the debut studio album of the Irish folk group The Dubliners. It was originally released in 1967 on Major Minor Records (SMLP3 and MMLP3). When it was reissued, it was renamed Seven Drunken Nights because the first track became a hit single. The album reached number 5 in the UK album chart, and stayed in the charts for 41 weeks. The album cover provides biographical sketches of the band line-up: Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Ciarán Bourke and John Sheahan. Four of the songs are sympathetic to the IRA, but this was before “The Troubles” properly began in Ireland. “Limerick Rake” is sung unaccompanied. Most of the songs concern rogues and drinking. “Weila Waile” is a tragic murder ballad, sung with a certain jollity.

The album title is both an allusion to hard liquor, particularly Irish whiskey, and to the musical difficulty of the fourteen songs chosen for the album[citation needed], which emphasize the considerable depths of talent of the group, from the intricate fiddle and banjo work on “The Galway Races” and the reels, to the impressive a cappella rendition of “Limerick Rake”. (by wikipedia)

Residing somewhere between the Clancy Brothers and the Chieftains, but more raucous in their sensibilities than either of those outfits, the Dubliners have been Irish music’s most uninhibited emissaries to the world since the mid-’60s. This album lives up to its title, offering some lusty renditions of drinking songs, rebel songs, reels, and just about every other subgenre upon which this group has built its reputation across the decades. The performances are rousing and rich in sentiment, often joyous, and sometimes angry (depending on the subject). Highlights include “The Old Alarm Clock,” “The Rising of the Moon,” “Seven Drunken Nights,” “Zoological Gardens,” “The Fairmoy Lasses & Sporting Paddy” (which shows off the virtuoso side of their playing), and the haunting “Black Velvet Band”.” The whole record was worth a follow-up (More of the Hard Stuff), and is still worth hearing, more than four decades later. (by Bruce Eder)


Alternate frontcovers

Ciarán Bourke (vocals, guitar)
Ronnie Drew (vocals, guitar)
Luke Kelly (vocals, banjo)
Barney McKenna (vocals, banjo, mandoline)
John Sheahan (vocals, fiddle, tin whistle, mandoline)

01, Seven Drunken Nights 3.43
02. The Galway Races 3.17
03. The Old Alarm Clock 1.56
04. Reels: Colonel Fraser & O’Rourke’s Reel 2.36
05. The Rising Of The Moon 2.36
06. McCafferty 2.26
07. I’m A Rover 4.49
08. Weile Waile 3.25
09. The Travelling People 3.50
10. Limerick Rake 3.10
11. Zoological Gardens 2.09
12. Reels: Fermoy (misspelled as Fairmoye) Lasses & Sporting Paddy 1.55
13. The Black Velvet Band 4.26
14. Poor Paddy On The Railway  2.49

All songs: Traditionals




Count Bishops – Good Gear (1977)

FrontCover1The Count Bishops were a British rock band, formed in 1975 in London and which broke up in 1980. The Count Bishops had limited commercial success, but forged an important stylistic and chronological link between the root rhythm and blues band Dr. Feelgood and the proto punk sound of Eddie and the Hot Rods; together forming the foundation of the pub-rock scene, which influenced the emergence of punk rock. The group made history in England by releasing the first record from independent label Chiswick Records.[1][2][3] They splintered following the death of guitarist Zenon DeFleur on March 18, 1979.

The Count Bishops formed in spring 1975, when members of the group Chrome joined the American vocalist Mike Spenser. In July of that year, Spenser (née Scolnick) called fellow countryman Johnny Guitar from Paris for five days straight and finally convinced him (guitar) to pack up two Les Pauls and fly to the UK and join up with Spenser and Zenon DeFleur (so named by Johnny after seeing him passed out on the floor at their first recording session). They found Steve Lewins (bass) and Paul Balbi (drums) within a few weeks. The new line-up recorded the next month at Pathway Studios with Barry Farmer at the desk and of these 13 tracks, four became the Speedball EP, the first release of Chiswick Records.

Shortly before the release (on Dutch label Dynamite) of the single “Taking it Easy” (released in the UK as “Train, Train”), Spenser left the band after an incident involving a glass door and his boot. Johnny and Zen handled lead vocals for the next year, including on the Dutch release “Good Gear” on the Dynamite label. After recording the backing tracks for their first LP on Chiswick, they decided to bring over Dave Tice (formerly of Australian band Buffalo).[4] With this lineup, the group finished recording its debut UK album, and toured heavily making a name for themselves and bringing to a new level their traditional influences of the 1960s: beat music (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones) and garage rock (the Standells, the Strangeloves).

For the rest of 1977, the Count Bishops toured continuously (including the support slot on the first Motorhead tour and John Cale’s tour that year, as well as their own shows) and built a formidable army of fans – despite the fact that they did not fit the mold considered against the backdrop of old-fashioned punk movement. In the spring of 1978, they signed up for a live album with the participation of six groups of the Chiswick Records roster. The project was not fully realised, but the label released it as a mini-album called Live Bishops, reducing the band name to the Bishops. With this material (and a new bass player Pat McMullan, who replaced Steve Lewins) the Count Bishops toured extensively.

In 1978, two singles (“I Take What I Want” and “I Want Candy”) led the Count Bishops to an appearance on the TV show Top of the Pops. A few days after the release of their album Cross Cuts, which had been a year and a half in production, Zenon Hierowski crashed his Aston Martin and died, and instead of the anticipated “breakthrough”, the Bishops were forced to retrench. They toured with Blitz Krieg (of Blast Furnace fame) depping for Zen, and then Paul Balbi (drums) was deported back to Australia after returning from a Spanish festival. The band carried on with Charlie Morgan (Tom Robinson Band, Elton John) on drums and just Johnny on guitar for some months, including a tour of Australia with Balbi, but Zen’s death had taken much of the impetus away and they split up. (by wikipedia)

And here´s the debut album from one of the best bands from that period. And it´s one of my favorite bands …


Votes from

“The Count Bishops were a fine, energetic, R&B-based band capable of kicking out a fierce racket of noise that sounded like a grimier version of seminal British R&B revivalists Dr. Feelgood.” (John Dougan)
“The sound of the Bishops in sensitive rockabilly mode has a swirling darkness and a restless rhythm, and it rattles by as hellbound as any classic blues locomotive.” (Dave Thompson)
“This solid, unpretentious debut album belongs in the home of every fan of English R&B from the Yardbirds to the Pretty Things to Dr. Feelgood.” (John Dougan)
“A laconic sneer, a greaseball grind, and one of the hottest guitarists of the age.” (Dave Thompson)

This record was made to be played loud !


Paul Balbi (drums)
Johnny Guitar (guitar, vocals)
Zen Hierowski (guitar, vocals)
Steve Lewins (bass)

01. Don’t Start Cryin’ Now (Moore) 2.04
02. Shake (Cooke) 2.08
03. Walkin’ The Dog (Thomas) 3.38
04. Somebody (Balbi/Guitar/Hierowski/Lewins) 2.50
05. Candy (Berns/Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer) 3.23
06. Wang Dang Doodle (Dixon) 5.37
07. Dear Dad (Berry) 1.40
08. Confessin’ The Blues (McShann/Brown) 3.25
09. Little By Little (Phelge/Spector) 2.40
10. Carol (Berry) 2.35
11. Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 2.00
12. Dust My Blues /James) 2.50
13. Shake Your Moneymaker (James) 2.38




Gato Barbieri – El Pampero (Live Montreux) (1972)

FrontCover1In June 1971 Gato Barbieri was on the verge of becoming one of jazz’s new stars. He had just recorded “Fenix”, his second album for Flying Dutchman, which saw him temper his previously experimental sound, putting more emphasis on the rhythms and folk music of South America and less on the avant-garde. “Third World”, his debut for the company, had started the process, prompting his recognition as a leader. Bob Thiele, the label’s owner, decided to build Flying Dutchman Night at that year’s Montreux Jazz Festival around Barbieri. Recorded on the Festival’s state-of-the-art equipment, the event and resulting album, “El Pampero”, led to his breakthrough as an artist.

Montreux was a great place to showcase talent. Claude Nobs had started the Festival in 1967, and 1971 was the year it became truly international, with Polydor, Atlantic and Flying Dutchman all recording artists at the event. Flying Dutchman Night included sets from Barbieri, Oliver Nelson, Leon Thomas, Larry Coryell and Eddie Vinson. Nelson’s big band opened the evening, with Barbieri playing an important role in ‘Swiss Suite’, written specially for the occasion. The performance went down a storm, and Barbieri went off to wait for his own set, which took place in the small hours of the morning. If the audience was tired, they were soon invigorated by the performance. Drummer Bernard Purdie returned for his third set of the night, with bassist Chuck Rainey, pianist Lonnie Liston Smith and percussionist Naná Vasconcelos completing Barbieri’s ensemble.

The performance was described by Rolling Stone magazine as stealing the show. The music revealed Barbieri at the top of his game, caught somewhere between his earlier free self and his less frenetic, more accessible future. The use of the music of his homeland – rather than an American musician using foreign rhythms – was an important moment in the history of jazz. The set showed that a non-US musician could take jazz forward. Listening to “El Pampero” reveals what a thrill it must have been to be in the audience. It is very rare to be present when an artist finds their wings: the point at which they go from being one of the crowd to becoming a star. It happened for Gato Barbieri at Montreux in 1971, the moment captured on this disc. (Dean Rudland)


Gato Barbieri (saxophone)
Sonny Morgan (congas)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
Chuck Rainey (bass)
Lonnie Liston Smith (piano)
Nana Vasconcellos (percusion)
Danny Bank (bass clarinet on 05.)
Phil Bodner (flute on 05.)
Ron Carter (bass on 05.)
Hank Jones (piano on 05.)
Airto Moreira (percussion on 05.)
Romeo Penque (flute, english horn)
David Spinozza (guitar on 05.)


01. El Pampero (Barbieri) 13.44
02. Mi Buenos Aires Querido (Gardel/Pera) 621
03. Brasil (Barroso/Russell) 9.36
04. El Arriero (Yupanqui) 11.59
05. El Gato (Nelson) 12.26