Spriguns – Time Will Pass (1977)

FrontCover1Spriguns was a folk rock group that participated in the tail end of the limited popularity of English electric folk. Fairport and Steeleye Span had cornered the market, and the genre wasn’t doing all that well as a whole (more’s the pity). Nonetheless, Spriguns managed to make a couple of very nice records for Decca in the mid to late seventies. The band was lead by vocalist Mandy Morton, who possessed some pretty, Sandy Denny-esque dulcet tones.

This is their second record after dropping the “of Tolgus” from their name. Earlier the band had concentrated on traditional material mainly, but this album finds Morton stretching out as a songwriter. All of the tunes have traditional-style melodies, but the lyrics are usually more sparse. Morton had a penchant for dark tales of witchcraft and war, with the occasional love song thrown in. The band’s sound was quite close to that of “All Around My Hat” Steeleye Span at the time, with some big guitar riffs creeping in, as well as some ripping electric violin, but with an overall dark, morose feel. Orchestral arrangements on a couple of tunes were provided by Robert Kirby (N. Drake’s arranger). Kirby had joined the Strawbs at this time, and there is a great deal of crossover appeal to Strawbs fans here, since there are also a lot of good atmospheric keyboard (mostly string synth) parts as well.

Despite a bit of saminess in the vocal melodies, I was pleasantly surprised by this record, which I would heartily recommend to fans of Steeleye Span, Strawbs, Renaissance, Illusion and maybe even Gryphon as well. (by Heptade)

Inlet01A

This is Spriguns’ follow-up to Revel Weird and Wild, and it is much more pop-oriented than that 1976 offering. All but one song was composed by lead singer Mandy Morton, and fiddler Tom Ling, who was a full-time member on Revel Weird and Wild, was relegated to guest musician here; so the traditional or folk elements were noticeably reduced. Robert Kirby’s lush orchestration adorns three selections in a manner similar to Sandy Denny’s Like an Old Fashioned Waltz.

Sandy Roberton, who produced Steeleye Span’s early folk albums, opted for a more pop and rock sound, as the implementation of electric keyboards and rock guitar demonstrates. This would be the last album for this band under the name Spriguns, but Morton would resurface in 1979 in another folk-leaning recording, Magic Lady, with her revamped band Mandy Morton and Spriguns. (by Dave Sleger)

This album is a must !!! A forgotten jewel of Britisch folk-rock !!!

Inlet02APersonnel:
Dennis Dunstan (drums, percussion)
Wayne Morrison (guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Mandy Morton (vocals, guitar)
Mike Morton (bass, vocals)
Dick Powell (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
+
Lea Nicholson (concertina)
Tom Ling (violin)

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Dead Man’s Eyes 3.49
02. All Before 2.47
03. For You 3.39
04. Time Will Pass 2.31
05. White Witch 3.07
06. Blackwaterside 5.16
07. You’re Not There 2.54
08. Devil’s Night 2.55
09. Letter To A Lady 5.12

All Songs written by Mandy Morton

LabelB1
*
**

 

Dr. John – Remedies (1970)

FrontCover1Remedies is the third album released by New Orleans R&B artist Dr. John. The photography was by Steve LaVere, taken in 1969 at the Whisky a Go Go.
In his interview with Uncut magazine (October 2010), Dr. John explained the “bad trip” environment which led to the epic closing track “Angola Anthem”:

“My managers put me in a psych ward. These guys were very bad people – I had gotten busted on a deal, and they got me bonded out of jail, and so when they did I could have got a parole violation. All of this stuff was so unconnected to music that it’s hard to relate it.

A friend of mine had just come out of doing 40-something years in Angola [the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary], he was just someone special in my heart – called Tangleye. And Tangleye says, ‘I’m gonna sell you this song. Got it in Angola, but ain’t nobody ever cut this song…’ Even now guys I know getting out of Angola know this song. It’s still a horrible place to be.” (by wikipedia)

DrJohn01

Break out the hash pipe and heat up the gumbo — Dr. John is back again with music from that steamy, swampy place in your mind that only Dr. John can reach. Remedies is not get-it-on rock music; it’s too loose and languid for that. The rhythms — by far the best part of Dr. John’s music — are lyrical and liquid; they flow and throb, like blood, like fucking. Dr. John’s music is not mind-music, not body-music — at its best, it is emotional — beyond words, almost beyond form. It is ecstasy without pleasure, misery without pain.
Remedies is Dr. John’s third album, and his music has gone through some changes. Dr. John’s long-time collaborator, Mac Rebbenack, seems to have taken over the musical direction. He wrote and arranged all the songs. The choir of heavy ladies that haunted the first two albums has been replaced by a horn section. The sound is more solid, more predictable, almost rock-and-roll. Dr. John sings better than ever; his voice is rougher, raspier, meaner. In Dr. John’s mouth, a seemingly innocent song takes on a sinister and almost nasty edge; the melodies never seem quite solid. The singing sounds like a blood ritual made crude by a dark kind of dope. Satanic, the Kenneth Anger or Charlie Manson image.

DrJohn02The songs on Side One — the commercial side — are loose and rappy, full of funny rhymes, street slang, and double meanings. The opener, “Loop Garoo” is most like the songs on the first Dr. John album. The lyrics are magic incantations, incomprehensible, evocative. The rhythms are slinky and wet, and the horns sound like Wilson Pickett’s horn section lost in a swamp and stoned on belladonna. “Wash, Mama, Wash” is great — about a funky washerwoman who drinks too much and blows the family food money playing the numbers. The lyrics are just as funky as the subject; the chorus goes “Rub-adubba-dubba-mama, bustin’ suds/Scrub, mama, scrub.” After that, it just gets better. And the piano, the piano! “Chippy, chippy” is about: chippying. “Everybody in the neighborhood loves to chippy, and they chippy goooood.” And chippying is … well, if you don’t know, don’t mess with it. These songs are the most successful pieces on the album — they are so clever, so right-on.
Side Two consists of a 17-minute voo-doo aria called “Angola Anthem.” It is a long, meandering lyric on top of some good but aimless Afro drumming. The instrumental parts are sparse, weak, and easily lost. The lyrics, where they can be heard, do little to redeem the piece. They try to invoke the terror of living under a fascist regime in Angola, but the piece fails. And in a 17-minute piece, if you do not succeed, you really fail. Despite an occasional interesting part, the piece lacks drama, lacks words, lacks music. You can’t listen to it, and you can’t even dance to it.
Remedies is good Dr. John, but Dr. John is not for everyone. His audience is an esoteric bunch. If you dig jive, pure jive; if you dig dreaming, if you dig Wolfman Jack, if you ever order barbecue at 4 AM; if you get stoned to watch TV commercials while eating Colonel Sanders fried chicken and drinking warm Ripple — then you are weird enough for Dr. John. And he is, sure as sin and rain, weird enough for you. (by  By David Gancher, June 11, 1970 – Rolling Stone)

And because I´m still crazy after all these years … I love this album ….

DrJohn03

Personnel:
Shirley Goodman (background vocals)
Cold Grits (guitar, bass, drums)
Jessie Hill (backgroundvocals, percussion)
Dr. John (vocals, piano, guitar)
Tami Lynn (background vocals)

BackCover1
Tracklist:
01. Loop Garoo 4.42
02. What Goes Around Comes Around 2.57
03. Wash, Mama, Wash 3.42
04. Chippy, Chippy 3.32
05. Mardi Gras Day 8.11
06. Angola Anthem 17.35

All songs written by Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack

LabelB1*
**

Melanie – Ballroom Streets (1978)

FrontCover1Ballroom Streets is a 1978 double album released by Melanie. The album is essentially a live album but recorded in the studio with a small audience. It mixed new recordings of old songs with some new songs.

Melanie (born Melanie Safka) has recorded 19 LPs and has sold 22 million records. She has written innumerable songs, including universally recognized hits like “Nickel Song”, “Beautiful People”, “Look What They’ve Done To My Song”, “Brand New Key” and “Candles In The Rain.” And she has been the only female singer in the last 20 years to have three singles on the top forty at the same time. In 1975 Melanie recorded “Photograph” (Atlantic) which enjoyed a modest commercial success and introduced a new Melanie whose “far more assertive style” contained “her slightly guttural tones quiver, trill, blast and whisper, yet her originality is in these variant, imperfect timbres that startle and surprise” which combined to portray Melanie, at long last, as an adult, singing adult songs for an adult audience.

Her further growth was evidenced on her 1977 release for Midsong International, “Phonogenic: Not Just Another Pretty Face”. This LP included ten songs (four Melanie originals and six interpretations of tunes by other writers) that demonstrated Melanie’s extraordinary abilities as a musical and emotive interpreter.
Melanie’s first album for Tomato Records “Ballroom Streets” takes that potential of maturation and goes one giant step further, smack into the heart and soul of rock & roll. “Ballroom Streets”, a double LP was recorded live in the studio before an audience of thirty people. The LP contains all the spontaneity, exchange between performer and audience, and a band of impeccable rock musicians, to give “Ballroom Streets” a big joyful sound.

Melanie01With the release “Ballroom Streets” along with Melanie’s triumphant return to the concert stage last June at Carnegie Hall, a major phase has begun in her career.
Melanie notes: “I really am a survivor, too. I’m glad in a way that I’ve had time off. It’s given me the chance to think about a lot of things.”

Even now, some reviewers or critics still are unsure when you mention the name Melanie, they’re still thinking in terms of Earth Mother/Granola/Whole Wheat Dumplin’, well, hold on to your hats folks, Melanie’s not only found a “brand new key” but it’s a brand-new ballgame and this is one lady that’s not about to be eclipsed by any other woman on the rock scene today. She’s a killer, and one listen to “Ballroom Streets” will forever dispel any ‘bliss-ninny’ pictures anyone may still have about this fantastically talented lady.
Melanie is the kind of person one can instantly relate to, open and always in high humor, her life force shining through.
Her hair’s frosted with gray now but her eyes still twinkling with a mischievous glow. “Ballroom Streets” is the evidence that Melanie is a contender to be reckoned with and I reckon that the airplay, out of the box will finally and firmly establish Melanie as the bright alternative to the female singers on the charts today.

Personnel in the band include Sal DeTroia, Melanie’s long- time acoustic guitar sideman, Bob Leone on bass guitar and Robbie Georgia on lead and rhythm guitars who joined up with Melanie for the June Carnegie Hall concert (1978) and as Melanie puts it, “stood by for better or worse.” Louis Cabaza on keyboards came in from Los Angeles for this album and Stan Kipper on drums “found the pulse” and Tony Battaglia on lead, rhythm and bass guitars “quickened it.”

Single

Both Tony and Stan, masterful musicians and rock and rollers to the core injected an enthusiasm and energy that is clearly evident on the LP. This is particularly true on a cut entitled “Cyclone/Candles In The Rain”. Melanie delivers a powerful vocal on “Cyclone” which is inter-mingled with synthesizer producing vocals that are out of this world and the band goes into overdrive concluding with a perfect segue into an acapella version of “Candles In The Rain,” powerful rock & roll with drama and vivacity.

Melanie02“Running After Love” the first single from the album has all the urgency rock with the added dimension of a mature viewpoint.
The lyrics are true, spare, evocative and right on target. This is a woman who has loved, suffered and survived right along with the rest of us. Listeners will connect immediately, she’s coming from an honest place and has the grit to put it out there.
Welcome back Melanie, welcome to “Ballroom Streets” America: rock and roll needed a punch in the arm and this lady’s the one to deliver just that! — November 1978 (taken from the Tomato Records press release)
A thoughtful and ambitious collection of popular standards. (by Bruce Eder)

One ofm the finest Melanie live recordings ever includig hightlight like “Save Me” or a brand new Version of “Ruby Tuesday” … Melanie goes hard rock … listen … what a killer Version of this Stones classic.

And her backing band was really strong ! What a great album !

BackCover1
Personnel:
Tony Battaglia (guitar, slide guitar, bass)
Luis Cabaza (keyboards)
Robbie Georgia (dobro, guitar, background vocals)
Stan Kipper (drums, background vocals)
Bob Leone (bass)
Mary McCaffrey (vocals)
Melanie (guitar, vocals)
John Tegthoff (organ, background vocals)
T.C. (background vocals)
The Persuasions (background vocals)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Running After Love (Safka) 4.22
02. Holdin’ Out (Safka) 3.08
03. Cyclone / Candles In The Rain (Safka) 7.15
04. Beautiful Sadness (Safka) 5.37
05. Do You Believe (Safka) 3.46
06. Nickel Song (Safka) 3.03
07. Any Guy (Safka) 3.06
08. Look What They Done To My Song (Safka) 4.17
09. I Believe (Safka) 3.47
10. Poet (Safka) 3.44
11. Save Me (Safka) 6.51
12. Together Alone (Safka) 3.16
13. Ruby Tuesday (Jagger/Richards) 6.32
14. Buckle Down (Safka) 3.08
15. Miranda (Ochs) 3.42
16. Brand New Key (Safka) 3.35
17. Groundhog Day (Safka) 3.55
18. Friends And Company (Safka) 6.43
LabelB2
*
**

Mikis Theodorakis – Bouzouki Musik (1976)

FrontCover1Michael “Mikis” Theodorakis (born 29 July 1925) is a Greek songwriter and composer who has written over 1000 songs. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the “Mauthausen Trilogy” also known as “The Ballad of Mauthausen”, which has been described as the “most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust” and possibly his best work. He is viewed as Greece’s best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Politically, he is associated with the left because of his long-standing ties to the Communist Party of Greece. He was an MP for the KKE from 1981 to 1990. Nevertheless, in 1989 he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party, in order for the country to emerge from the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou,[9] and helped establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek–Turkish–Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the 1967–1974 Greek junta, which imprisoned him.

Theodorakis01

In 1960, Theodorakis returned to Greece and his roots in genuine Greek music: With his song cycle Epitaphios he started the third period of his composing and contributed to a cultural revolution in his country. His most significant and influential works are based on Greek and world poetry – Epiphania (Giorgos Seferis), Little Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Axion Esti (Odysseas Elytis), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), and Romancero Gitano (Federico García Lorca) – he attempted to give back to Greek music a dignity which in his perception it had lost. He developed his concept of “metasymphonic music” (symphonic compositions that go beyond the “classical” status and mix symphonic elements with popular songs, Western symphonic orchestra and Greek popular instruments).

He founded the Little Orchestra of Athens and the Musical Society of Piraeus, gave many, many concerts all around Greece and abroad… and he naturally became involved in the politics of his home country. After the assassination of Gregoris Lambrakis in May 1963 he founded the Lambrakis Democratic Youth (“Lambrakidès”) and was elected its president. theodorakis01Under Theodorakis’s impetus, it started a vast cultural renaissance movement and became the greatest political organisation in Greece with more than 50.000 members. Following the 1964 elections, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament, associated with the left-wing party EDA. Because of his political ideas, the composer was black-listed by the cultural establishment; at the time of his biggest artistic glory, a large number of his songs were censored-before-studio or were not allowed on the radio stations.

Theodorakis03

During 1964, he wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance’; inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.
On 21 April 1967 a right wing junta (the Regime of the Colonels) took power in a putsch. Theodorakis went underground and founded the “Patriotic Front” (PAM). On 1 June, the Colonels published “Army decree No 13”, which banned playing, and even listening to his music. Theodorakis himself was arrested on 21 August, and jailed for five months. Following his release end of January 1968, he was banished in August to Zatouna with his wife Myrto and their two children, Margarita and Yorgos. Later he was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos. An international solidarity movement, headed by such personalities as Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, and Harry Belafonte demanded to get Theodorakis freed. On request of the French politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Theodorakis was allowed to go into exile to Paris on 13 April 1970. Theodorakis’s flight left very secretly from an Onassis owned private airport outside Athens. Theodorakis arrived at Le Bourget Airport where he met Costa Gavras, Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin. Theodorakis was immediately hospitalized because he suffered from lung tuberculosis. Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis’s wife and two children joined him a week later in France. They arrived from Greece to France via Italy on a boat.(by wikipedia)

Theodorakis02

Mikis Theodorakis with Fidel Castro

Here´s an album from his beautiful music during the Sixties … This album was in Grece in 1976 … unfortunatley I know nothing about the wonderful musicians of this record.
But … what a great sound, what a great music !

Alternate FrontcoverAlternate frontcover

Personnel:
Unknown bouzouki ensemble

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. O Choros Tou Zorba 3.42
02. O Kaymos 4.14
03. I Balanta Tou Antrikou 3.49
04. To Feggari Kani Volta 3.18
05. Vrechi Sti Ftochogitonia 4.09
06. Mana Mou Ke Panagia 3.16
07. Strose To Stroma Sou 3.43
08. Vracho-Vracho 2.43
09. O Metanastis 3.58
10. Mirei 3.22
11. Echo Mia Agapi 3.22
12. To Savatovrado 5.10

Music written by Mikis Theodorakis

LabelB1*
**

Gipsy Kings – Mosaique (1989)

FrontCover1Mosaïque is the fourth studio album by the Gipsy Kings, released in 1989 in Europe and Canada. The main difference between both versions is the replacement of the instrumental “Bossamba” on the Europe release for “Niña Morena” on the North American release. The song order also changes on both albums and songs “Caminando Por la Calle”, “Trista Pena” and “Vamos a Bailar” are slightly different versions.
Note that “Viento Del Arena” is a studio album release from the song appearing in Luna de Fuego. It was sung as Turkish by Volkan Konak, Turkish folk singer as “Lilalı Kız” (“Girl with lilac”) at his 3rd album, “Gelir Misin Benimle” (“Do you come with me?”) in 1994. (by wikipedia)

The second major album for the Gipsy Kings on Elektra, Mosaique makes use of a mild range of outside genres and instrumentation that are added slyly to the basic flamenco mix set up by the ensemble. Most notably, modern drum kits and synthesizers make their presence thoroughly known throughout the course of the album. Some rai fusion slips into “Viento del Arena” in a sideways manner, becoming the focus of the sound in turn with the backdrop for the more traditional guitar work. The title track introduces some jazzy guitar riffs mixed in with the proper flamenco palmas to form an exquisite rhythmic structure. The live “Vamos a Bailar” incorporates a Cuban flavor, and the first appearance of the outstanding “Volaré” cover here mixes a tiny bit of Italian song into a huge amount of flamenco power.

GipsyKings01

The rest of the tracks largely follow a more standard set of the Kings’ brand of flamenco, which is more than formidable on its own. The star of all the tracks, regardless of style, is the duo of Tonino Baliardo on guitar (often outdoing even his own outstanding father Manitas de Plata in his abilities) and Nicolás Reyes on lead vocals. It’s Reyes who really gives the Kings their signature sound, with just enough gruffness in his voice to make a unique sound and enough power to match with any top-league flamenco singer. The incorporation of a number of excellent musicians only sweetens the pot. This is one of the most highly recommended Gipsy Kings albums for anyone coming fresh to the sounds of the group and a fine pick for complete newcomers to the genre as well. (by Adam Greenberg)

And here´s the European Version ….

BookletBackCover1

Personnel:
Diego Baliardo (guitar)
Paco Baliardo (guitar)
Tonino Baliardo (guitar)
Charles Benarroch (percussion)
Chico Bouchikhi (guitar)
Négrito Trasante-Crocco (drums, percussion)
Dominique Droin (synthesizer, piano)
Gérard Prevost (bass)
Andre Reyes (vocals, guitar)
Nicolas Reyes (vocals, guitar)
+
Amaury Blanchard (drums on 06.)
François Debricon (saxophone on 01.)
Philippe Desserpris (guitar on 06.)
Guillermo Fellove (trumpet on 12.)
Claude Maisonneuve (oboe on 08.)
Jean Musy (synthesizer on 07.)
Dominique Perrier (piano on 12.)
Bobby Rangell (flute on 11.)
Claude Salmieri (drums on 03., 04., 09.)
Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Caminando Por La Calle (Blades) 4.17
02. Viento Del Arena (Los Reyes) 5.27
03. Mosaique (Gipsy Kings) 3.40
04. El Camino (Gipsy Kings) 5.03
05. Passion (Gipsy Kings) 3.01
06. Soy (Chirino) 3.10
07. Volare (Modugno/Migliacci) 3.38
08. Trista Pena (Gipsy Kings) 4.29
09. Liberte (Gipsy Kings) 4.01
10. Serana (Gipsy Kings) 4.19
11. Bossamba (Gipsy Kings) 3.18
12. Vamos A Bailar (live) (Gipsy Kings)  5.09

CD1

AlternateFRontCover

Alternate frontcover

Chris Barber – Jazz Diaries feat. Mark Knopfler (2001)

FrontCover1This is a very nice radio show that Mark Knopfler did for Chris Barber in his radio show the Jazz Diaries. They recorded four songs exclusively for this show, two instrumentals and two with vocals.

Interesting to hear Mark Knopfler play with a jazz band and nice interview in this one hour show. Mark Knopfler joins at about half time in the show – the part about Mark Knopfler is from track 8 to track 18. Goin’ home is not the Mark Knopfler song, and it is played only by the Chris Barber Band, also recorded exclusively for this radio show. Perfect sound quality.

A more or less unknown Chris Barber album … with lots of personal memories of Chris Barber about his Career …

And … did you ever believe … that Chris Barber and Mark Knopfler … can play together ? …  YES … they can ! Listen !

Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone)
John Crocker (reeds)
John Defferary (reeds)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Colin Miller (drums)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Paul Sealey (banjo & guitar)
John Slaughter (guitar)
+
Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals)

KnopflerBarber

Tracklist:
01. Isle Of Capri (Kennedy/Grosz) 3.36 (2)
02. Talking 0.49
03. I can’t Be Satsfied (Morganfield) 2.39
04. Talking 1.08
05. Sweet Georgia Brown (Lewis) 2.42
06. Talking 0.48
07. Ory’s Creole Trombone (Ory) 3.03
08. Introduction 0.25
09. Blues Stay Away From Me (A.Delmore/R.Delmore/Raney/Glover) (1) 3.42
10. Talking 0.08
11. Sultans Of Swing (Knopfler) 1.58
12. Interview 4.01
13. Dallas Rag (Traditional) (1) 2.46
14. Interview 3.34
15. I’ll See You In My Dreams (Kahn/Jones) (1) 4.41
16. Interview 3.46
17. The Next Time I´m In Town (Knopfler) (1) 3.27
18. Talking 0.28
19. Goin’ Home (Dvorak) (2) 4.41
20. Talking 0.28
21. Better Git It In Your Soul (Mingus) 7.21

(1) Chris Barber Band  & Mark Knopfler – special recording for this Show
(2) Chris Barber Band – special recording for this Show

KnopflerBarber2

*
**

Donald Christopher “Chris” Barber (born 17 April 1930)
… he´s still alive and well … he´s  65 years on the road and he will play in September 2017 many gigs in Germany !