David Gilmour – On An Island (2006)

FrontCover1On An Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.On an Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.

The album features Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, Georgie Fame, David Crosby, Graham Nash, late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, early Pink Floyd member Bob Klose and Pink Floyd session and touring musician Guy Pratt. Chris Thomas and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera assisted with production. The lyrics were principally written by Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson.

Much of the album was recorded in Gilmour’s private studio aboard his houseboat Astoria. The track “Smile” was heard briefly in an unmastered form on the BBC2 show Three Men in a Boat which retraced a trip on the River Thames that passed the houseboat. Other sections were recorded at David’s farm in Sussex and Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studios
Orchestrations on the album were arranged by noted Polish film composer Zbigniew Preisner and conducted by Robert Ziegler. The orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Simon Rhodes.

Singles

The album also produced two singles; the title track “On an Island” and “Smile”, the latter peaking at #72 on the UK Singles Chart. “On an Island” also peaked at #27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Promo Single edits of “Take a Breath” and “This Heaven” were issued to coincide with the US leg of the tour, while “Smile” was the second single in the UK.

On an Island entered the UK charts at #1, giving Gilmour his first ever chart-topping album outside of Pink Floyd. It reached #1 on the European Chart, and #2 in Canada, Portugal and Iceland. It has also provided Gilmour with his first US Top 10 album, reaching #6. The album has achieved platinum status in Canada and has sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.

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Gilmour toured the album with Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera and long-time members of the live Pink Floyd band, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. Steve DiStanislao was brought in as drummer. The shows included the entire On an Island album plus Pink Floyd songs such as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Echoes”, “Arnold Layne”, “High Hopes”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” among others. No songs from Gilmour’s two previous solo albums were played. The tour is documented on the DVD/Blu-ray Remember That Night and the live album & DVD Live in Gdansk. (by wikipedia)

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To think that David Gilmour waited 22 years to record his third solo album is a pretty solid indicator that he’s not the kind of bloke to merely cash in on his name. After all, he’s the guy who sold his house for four million English pounds and gave the money to charity. Perhaps now that the Pink Floyd reunion happened and he and Roger Waters are at least civil to one another, the Floyd enigma can finally find its way into the annals of history and rock legend. This catches listeners up to On an Island. Those desiring something edgy and dramatic will have to wait. Gilmour wrote six of these ten tunes with his wife, Polly Samson, who also plays a bit of piano and sings. Musically, On An Island is mostly a laid-back, utterly elegant English record. It has the feel of taking place between twilight and dawn. There are a few rumblers to upset the overall balance of tranquility and stillness, like flashes of heat lightning across the dark skies; they add dimension and a quiet power to these proceedings. Produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera (who appears on keyboards), and Chris Thomas, the album features guest spots from the likes of Richard Wright, Robert Wyatt, B.J. Cole, Floyd/Sly Stone drummer Andy Newmark, Georgie Fame, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Jools Holland, Willie Wilson, and many others.

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The set opens with “Castellorizon,” a moody showcase with Gilmour’s guitars backed by the orchestral arrangements of Zbigniew Preisner as conducted by Robert Zeigler. Preisner’s arrangements throughout are wonderful and not quite as dark as one might expect, given his track record. Atmospheric and dramatic, it offers a lovely if off impression of the album. The title track, which follows, is all breezy strummed chords, keyboards by Wright, and dreamy vocals with Gilmour backed by Crosby and Nash. It’s a slow, textured, and spacy love song. “The Blue” follows suit; it too is so utterly full of air that one can hear the wind rustling through the palms. Wright’s backing vocals lend a slight PF “Echoes” slant (as does the Hammond organ); the instrumentation just shimmers, hovers, and floats the track along. There are rockers here, though — “Take a Breath” features chunky razor-wire chords, Leszek Mozdzer’s piano, and Manzanera’s synth work winding around one another, and the mood is wonderfully plodding, dramatic, and futuristically “heavy.” On the gauzy wee-hours instrumental “Red Sky at Night,” Gilmour plays sax as well as guitars, and it gives way to “This Heaven,” a bluesy stroller that’s given deluxe organ treatment by Fame.

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There’s a delightfully nocturnal feel that makes the track feel a bit sinister, but really it’s the sound of eros making itself heard, and Gilmour contributes a biting solo and fills amid the drum samples and strings. Wyatt appears on the back-porch spacehead soundtrack-like tripnotica of “Then I Close My Eyes.” His and Gilmour’s wordless voices slip under and around the considerable space between instruments — which include Wyatt on cornet and percussion as well as Cole playing a Weissenborn guitar, Caroline Dale’s cello, a pair of harmonicas, and of course Gilmour’s high-register blues twang. The set ends on a gentle note in “Where We Start” — so much so that it may make some scratch their heads and wonder where the cranky, diffident Gilmour has wandered off to, but others will be drawn into this seductive, romantic new place where musical subtlety, spacious textures, and quietly lyrical optimism hold sway. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
BJ Cole (guitar on 07.)
David Crosby (vocals on 02.)
Caroline Dale (cello on 04., 05. + 07.)
Ilan Eshkeri (programming on 05. + 09.)
Georgie Fame (organ on 06.)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals, lap steel guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, saxophone, cümbüş, harmonica)
Jooly Holland (piano on 03.)
Rado Klose (guitar on 02, +  03.)
Chris Laurence (bass on 05. + 09.)
Alasdair Malloy (glass harmonica on 07. + 09.)
Phil Manzanera (guitar on 04., 06. + 07.)
Leszek Możdżer (piano on 04. + 09.)
Graham Nash (vocals on 02.)
Andy Newmark (drums on 02.,03., 96. + 10., percussion on 07.)
Guy Pratt (bass on 02. + 04.)
Polly Samson (piano on 03., background vocals on 08.)
Chris Stainton (organ on 03.)
Chris Thomas (keyboards on 09.)
Lucy Wakeford (harp on 09.)
Willie Wilson (drums on 08.)
Richard Wright (organ on 02., vocals on 03.)
Robert Wyatt (cornet, percussion, vocals on 07.)
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Zbigniew Preisner (orchestration)

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Tracklist:
01. Castellorizon (Gilmour) 3.54
02. On An Island (Gilmour/Samson) 6.47
03. The Blue (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
04. Take A Breath (Gilmour/Samson) 5.46
05. Red Sky At Night (Gilmour) 2.51
06. This Heaven (Gilmour/Samson) 4.24
07. Then I Close My Eyes (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
08. Smile (Gilmour/Samson) 4.03
09. A Pocketful Of Stones (Gilmour/Samson) 6.17
10. Where We Start (Gilmour) 6.45

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Bakerloo – Same (1969)

FrontCover1And here´s another band from the Midlands:

Bakerloo (previously The Bakerloo Blues Line) was an English heavy blues-rock trio, established by Staffordshire guitarist David “Clem” Clempson, Terry Poole and others in the late 1960s, at the high point of the influence of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Although the group was prominent only for around a year (1968-9) and released only one album it played an important part in the history of the genre, especially in view of its members’ subsequent involvement with Colosseum, Humble Pie, May Blitz, Graham Bond, Vinegar Joe, Judas Priest and Uriah Heep.

The Bakerloo Blues Line was formed in February 1968 by David “Clem” Clempson and Terry Poole, who worked with several drummers, including John “Poli” Palmer and John Hinch, before settling with Keith Baker. Under the management of Jim Simpson, they began performing regularly at Henry’s in Birmingham and joined Simpson’s U.K. ‘Big Bear Ffolly’ tour with Earth (the future Black Sabbath), Locomotive and Tea And Symphony. The group appeared as the support act for Led Zeppelin’s debut at London’s famed Marquee Club on 18 October 1968.

TerryPooleAfter simplifying the name to “Bakerloo” the group signed to Harvest Records in mid-1969. Their first release was a single, “Drivin’ Bachwards”/”Once Upon a Time” (HAR 5004) that July. The A-side is an arrangement of the J.S. Bach tune Bourrée in E minor. This record appeared just prior to the release of a similar song, Bourrée, by Jethro Tull, on their second album Stand Up in August 1969.

The single A-side also appeared on their self-titled album in December.

The album Bakerloo (Harvest SHVL 762) was further promoted by the inclusion of “This Worried Feeling,” a slow blues number, on the 1970 Harvest double sampler album Picnic – A Breath of Fresh Air and by sessions for the BBC. The album was produced by Gus Dudgeon. Notable tracks included Last Blues, a heavy rocker, and the album’s closer, Son of Moonshine, a driving metal blues. Other tracks contained “progressive” classical and jazz elements.

While reviews for the debut LP were favorable, the group itself was in disarray at the end of 1969. By the time the record was released, the Clempson-Poole-Baker lineup had decided to go their separate ways. Clempson initially sought to form a new blues-rock power trio, one that reportedly included drummer Cozy Powell, before electing to replace James Litherland as the guitarist in Colosseum. Poole and Baker also moved on, forming May Blitz with Jamie Black on vocals and guitar, although both departed before the band was signed to Vertigo Records.

Poole later played with several other bands, including Graham Bond and Vinegar Joe, while Baker bounced from Supertramp to Uriah Heep. Clempson would continue to achieve greater fame with Colosseum and, in 1971, as Peter Frampton’s replacement in Humble Pie. (by wikipedia)

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One of the first acts signed to the fledgling Harvest label in 1969, Bakerloo were very much a product of their time, a hard-hitting progressive blues band whose predilections ranged from a straightforward assimilation of Willie Dixon to some positively dazzling flashes of instrumental prowess. Guitarist Dave Clempson’s “Big Bear Folly,” the opening cut on the band’s first and only album, is a dazzling Ten Years After-style showcase, while a jazzy variation on a theme of Bach, the aptly titled “Driving Bachwards,” proves that the band wasn’t averse to messing with the classics, either. The quartet’s virtuosity occasionally overwhelms the songs themselves, although there is no shortage of gripping atmosphere. Bassist Terry Poole unleashes an almost sepulchral vocal across the stygian “Last Blues,” a seven-minute marathon that swiftly develops into a full-fledged heavy rocker, punctuated by mood shifts that amount to separate movements — it’s a magnificent piece, rendered with both musical precision and some of producer Gus Dudgeon’s most inspired washes and effects. Impressive, too, is “Son of Moonshine,” a distorted metal effort that clocks in at double that length and combines Clempson’s intensive guitar soloing with a desperately driving blues rhythm. Period comparisons with Cream and early Led Zeppelin really weren’t that far off the mark. Bakerloo were not long for this earth — Clempson quit to join Colosseum shortly after the album’s release; Poole reappeared alongside Graham Bond; drummer Keith Baker departed for Uriah Heep; and Bakerloo itself disappeared off the shelves fairly quickly. (by Dave Thompson)

And here Dave Clempson in his own words about his time with Bakkerloo (taken from an interview with psychedelicbabymag.com, 2012) :

I want to go back in time to your childhood. Where did you grew up and what are perhaps some influences that made an impact on you?

I grew up in Tamworth, in the UK Midlands… my earliest influences were the bands that would be playing in the local working mens’ clubs, where my family would go on Sunday evenings for a drink… I was always very excited about seeing those bands, the “hip” ones would be playing the latest Shadows tunes, and I especially loved to see and hear the electric guitars they had – electric guitars weren’t so common around that area in those days! The best band was called The Wanderers, and the guitarist had a white Stratocaster – I would just sit there gazing at that!

Was Bakerloo your first band or were you in any other bands?

Vipers.jpgMy first band was formed with friends at school, we were called “The Vipers”, and we played a lot of gigs at the working men’s clubs I just mentioned

Let’s talk about Bakerloo. How did you guys came together to form this powerful trio?

A local guy called David Mason asked me to join his band, which was called “The Pinch”, and which had a drummer called John Hinch – Mason wasn’t the world’s best bass player and he was soon replaced by a local boy called Terry Poole! John left the band soon after, and then Terry and I began a long quest to find the drummer of our dreams; we got through quite a few including Pete York and Poli Palmer, before we found Keith Baker, who was just what we’d been looking for – a drummer with a great rock feel and attitude but also the chops to play more adventurous stuff!

Harvest Records signed you up and in 1969 you released a single and your selftitled LP. I would like if you could share some of the strongest memories from recording and producing this LP?

The main memory is that it was my first real experience of recording, and there was a lot to learn! It was the first production by Gus Dudgeon, who had engineered some of my favourite albums, including the legendary Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton.

What gear did you guys use and in what studio did you record?

It was recorded in Trident studios in London, I played my ’58 Les Paul goldtop through a Laney stack.

Why did you choose the name? Did it have a deeper meaning for you or was it just a coincidence?

Our manager came up with the name when he was travelling on the Bakerloo line on London’t underground – it didn’t have any special meaning, it just sounded cool!

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Tell us about concerts. Where did Bakerloo play and with who?

After John Peel heard us play in Birmingham we appeared on his radio show, which was incredibly influential and the only chance to hear good music on the BBC! Soon after that we were booked by all the best blues clubs around the UK, such as the Roundhouse and the Marquee, where we supported Led Zeppelin on their first UK date!

What happened next. I know you joined Colosseum and after that you were in Humble Pie. How did that happened and what are some memories from playing in this two great bands?

Bakerloo supported Colosseum at a gig at Cambidge University, and when Bakerloo split up soon after Jon Hiseman called me and asked me to audition for Colosseum – I got the gig! I have a lot of wonderful memories of that time – Bakerloo had mostly just gigged in the UK, but now I started playing all over Europe which was very exciting … ”

And the rest ist history …

This album is still a killer  … listen to “Son Of Moonshine ” in the style of Cream (including “Cat´s Squirrel”) !

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Personnel:
Keith Baker (drums)
Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson (guitar, vocals, harmonica, harpsichord, piano)
Terry Poole (bass, vocals)
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Jerry Salisbury (trumpet on 03.)

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Tracklist:

01. Big Bear Folly (Clempson/Poole) 3.58
02, Bring It On Home (Dixon) 4.18
03. Drivin’ Bachwards (Bach) 2.09
04. Last Blues (Clempson/Poole) 7.06
05. Gang Bang (Clempson/Baker/Poole) 6.18
06. This Worried Feeling (Clempson/Poole) 7.00
07. Son Of Moonshine (Clempson/Poole) 14,55
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08. Once Upon A Time (Clempson/Poole) 3.40
09. This Worried Feeling (alternte take) (Clempson/Poole) 5.45

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Bakerloo

Cactus – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Cactus is the debut album by the American hard rock band Cactus, released in 1970 under the Atco label. It includes original songs as well as cover of Mose Allison’s version of a blues standard, “Parchman Farm” and another one, Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover”. (by wikipedia)

Cactus may have never amounted to anything more than a half-hearted, last-minute improvised supergroup, but that don’t mean their eponymous 1970 debut didn’t rock like a mofo. The already quasi-legendary Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of Bogert and Appice may have provided the backbone of the band’s business cards, and soulful, ex-Amboy Duke Rusty Day brought the voice, but it was arguably former Detroit Wheels guitarist Jim McCarty who was the true star in the Cactus galaxy, spraying notes and shredding solos all over album highlights such as “You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover,” “Let Me Swim,” and, most notably, a manic, turbocharged version of “Parchman Farm.”

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The fact that Cactus chose to tackle this classic blues song just a year after it’d been blasted into the fuzz-distortion stratosphere by Blue Cheer betrays — at best — a healthy competitive spirit within the early-’70s hard rock milieu, and at worst it suggests something of a mercenary nature to Cactus’ motives, but that’s an issue for the surviving bandmembers to duke it out over in the retirement home. And we digress — for the blistering closing duo of “Oleo” and “Feel So Good” (complete with bass and drum solo slots) easily certifies the Cactus LP as one of the best hard rock albums of the then brand-new decade, bar none. Too bad the illustrious members of Cactus would quickly lose interest in this band project and deliver increasingly mediocre efforts in the years that followed. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Carmine Appice (drums, background vocals)
Tim Bogert (bass, background vocals)
Rusty Day (vocals, harmonica)
Jim McCarty (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Parchman Farm (Allison) 3.06
02. My Lady From South Of Detroit (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 4.26
03. Bro. Bill (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 5.10
04. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover (Dixon) 6.30
05. Let Me Swim (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 3.50
06. No Need To Worry (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 6.14
07. Oleo (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 4.51
08. Feel So Good (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 6.03

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Southern Accent In The Sunshine State (2015)

FrontCover1This 2CD set FM broadcast captures Tom Petty ‘s complete 1993 Homecoming concert, his first show in hometown Gainsville, Florida  for 20 years Following the breakup of Mudcrutch in 1975, Tom Petty and former band-mates Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, joined up with some other Gainesville musicians, bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch, to become Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in 1976. But, even then, success was not immediate, and they had many struggles ahead. When their first album was released in November 1976, it initially received little attention, selling only a few thousand copies over the `initial months. They released two singles, ‘Breakdown’ and ‘American Girl’, and both failed to chart in the US. Apparently, potential punters were confused; they looked like a new wave band (the album cover photo especially), but the music was pure rock n’ roll with a definite 60’s throwback style.

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Fortunately, however, the UK seemed to ‘get it’, and they became popular there, with the album climbing to #24 on the British charts. Slowly, after news of their success in Britain, the album began picking up interest in the US, finally entering the Billboard charts almost a full year after its initial release. ‘Breakdown’ was re-released too, and this time made it into the top 40. Back in Gainesville, the community was very supportive and proud of Petty’s success. However, by the late 80’s, there was also some growing resentment, that Tom Petty had forsaken his hometown, that now that he had made it big, he rarely came back to his local fans and his roots there.

TomPetty3Thus, the show presented here, from 1993, represented his homecoming to Gainesville, his first major concert there since packing up his van and leaving with Mudcrutch, almost 20 years before. This show was just prior to the release of his greatest hits album and while he was in the process of moving to a new label.

The greatest hits album also included 2 new recently recorded songs ; ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ and a cover of Thunderclap Newman’s ‘Something in the Air’, both of which are included in this show. And the show was broadcast on the radio nationwide, in superb FM quality.

So, here is Tom Petty’s triumphant, yet somewhat overdue, return to Gainesville. Although some of the circulating FM versions of the show are shortened substantially, this is the full show in all its glory.

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In a very bad period of m< life Tom Petty helped me alot with his brilliant song “Learning To Fly”  … so I have to thank him so much ! His death is a very sad moment in my life.

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Personnel:
Mike Campbell (guitar)
Howie Epstein (bass, background vocals)
Stan Lynch (drums, percussion)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar)
Benmont Tench (piano, accordion)

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Tracklist:
01.Love Is A Long Road (Campbell/Petty*) 4.43
02. Into The Great Wide Open (Lynne/Petty) 4.25
03. Listen To Her Heart (Petty) 4.25
04. I Won’t Back Down (Lynne/Petty) 4.59
05. Free Fallin’ (Lynne/Petty) 5.05
06. Psychotic Reaction (Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski) 6.51
07. Ben’s Boogie (Tench) 3.57
08. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Stewart/Petty) 9.14
09. Something In The Air (Keen) 4.27
10. Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Petty) 8.50
11. King’s Highway (Petty) 3.40
12. A Face In The Crowd (Lynne/Petty) 4.31
13. Ballad Of Easy Rider (McGuinn) 4.08
14. Take Out Some Insurance (Singleton/Hall) 5.44
15. Thirteen Days (Cale) 4.59
16. Southern Accents (Petty) 5.22
17. Yer So Bad (Lynne/Petty) 3.28
18. Driving Down To Georgia (Petty) 6.30
19. Lost Without You (Petty) 6.53
20. Refugee (Campbell/Petty) 4.39
21. Running Down A Dream (Lynne/Campbell/Petty) 5.12
22. Learning To Fly (Lynne/Petty) 4.56
23. Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 (Dylan) 4.21
24. American Girl (Petty) 4.44
25. Alright For Now (Petty) 2.40

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Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Performs At The Forum

 

Well, I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up and the world got still

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Now the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt, and the sea may burn

I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
(Learning to fly)
And coming down is the hardest thing
(Learning to fly)
Yes, it is

Now some say life will beat you down
Yeah, it will break your heart, steal your crown
So I started out for God knows where
But I guess I’ll know when I get there

Flairck – Variaties op een Dame (Variations On A Lady) (1978)

OriginalFrontCover1Flairck are a Dutch ensemble formed by Erik Visser, an Indonesian-born acoustic instrumentalist with classical training and a strong interest in many forms of world music. The band released their first studio album ‘Variaties Op Een Dame’ (Variations on a Lady) in 1978, and has issued more than two dozen studio, live and compilation releases since then.

The band incorporates a number of world influences in their work, which has been described as chamber music but which actually features many styles including classical, folk, jazz and blues, as well as Eastern European and Celtic traditional music. The band primarily performs original compositions, and has worked with a number of renowned world music artists including Georges Moustaki, Nelleke Burg and Dimitri van Toren. The group has also recorded and performed with numerous symphony orchestras and has contributed scores for film, stage and ballet.

Flairck01Visser and the other band members have a strong interest in obscure and exotic acoustic instruments, and have amassed a collection of more than 150 wind, string and percussion instruments, many of which are used in their studio recordings and live performances.

The band celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2002 with the release of a multi-disciplined DVD dedicated to the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. The video features original scores by the band as well acrobatics, detailed views of Bosch’s work and interviews of various band members. Visser took advantage of a hiatus by the band in 2003 to release a solo work entitled ‘One Man Parade’.

Flairck are a classic example of a progressive musical collective with wide-ranging influences and a constantly evolving sound. (by progarchives.com)

Flairck’s first album. Aoife is a lullaby written for the birth of Mary Coughlan’s daughter. (‘Aoife’ is Gaelic for ‘Eve’.) Sofia’s Foreplay: a reflection of an amourous event in a big city in Eastern Europe. April 3rd: played for the first time on that date in 1977 in a church during the wedding of the piano-player/composer Jolyon Jackson and his bride Theresa. Odd Waltz: in which the three-fourth bar is used as the building stone in a rhythmically unusual construction. The piece Variations on a Lady nearly covers the whole B-side and is one of the eldest compositions of Flairck. It is written for a female violinist and exists of two parts that are separated by a violin solo. Doubles is a short guitar duet. (Flairck in their own words)

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Flairck are hardly known outside their home country Holland. They might have reached a few Belgian ears as well but they certainly haven’t dawned on the masses of PA yet. A shame really given how much potential their music might have amongst prog fans, especially amongst those to whom a mix of acoustic instrumentation and symphonic composition sounds alluring.

Flairck are a virtuoso acoustic instrumental quartet where each member plays a whole array of different mutations of his basic instrument. Erik Visser plays 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars. He also handles most of the song writing together with flutist Peter Weekers. Brother Hans Visser does acoustic bass guitars and the violin on this debut is caressed by Judy Schomper.

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The music takes inspiration from both classical and flok/world sources, and due to the influences of Celtic music, there’s some similarity to early Oldfield, be it in an entirely acoustic version, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. Further similarities can be made with the softer side of Belgian chamber rock, with a band like Aranis for example. But it can’t be compared to the more avant-garde and harsher sounds of Univers Zero. Flairck keeps things very melodic and harmonious, delicate and gentle. Which doesn’t mean they don’t play at raging speeds!

Their debut album is an exceptional career start, there’s so much inspiration in the songwriting and arrangements that each of these tunes would become classic live staples for years to come. The execution and recording of the material is generally a bit better on the live albums but that might just be because I’ve only heard this album on my second-hand vinyl. I’m sure it sparkles and shines till today (by Bonnek)

In other words: That´s what I call timeless music on the highest level !

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Personnel:
Judy Schomper (violin, viola)
Erik Visser (guitar, sitar, mandolin, mandola)
Hans Visser (bass, guitar)
Peter Weekers (flute, panpipe)
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Fred Krens (vibraphone,marimba, glockenspiel, gong, percussion on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Aoife (E.Visser) 6.14
02. Voorspel In Sofia (E.Visser/Weekers) 6.54
03. April 3rd (E.Visser) 5.27
04. Oneven Wals (Weekers) 7.04
05. Variaties op een Dame (E.Visser) 21.02
06. Dubbelspel (E.Visser) 1.22

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This is another item from the great greygoose collection !
Thanks a lot !

Traffic – Live At Santa Monica (VHS-rip) (1972)

FrontCover1Traffic left behind precious few concert videos in any form, so this show, from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, is an intrinsically valuable document of the band, even though it does feature a later lineup: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Rebop Kwakubaah, Roger Hawkins, and David Hood. Chronologically, the show comes roughly a year later than the Welcome to the Canteen album. At 65 minutes running time, they include “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” “John Barleycorn,” “Rainmaker,” “Glad,” “Freedom Rider,” “Forty Thousand Headmen,” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” all of which are worthwhile although also curiously lacking in the urgency that one would hope for in a concert performance. There are some many wonderful shots of the band members from varied angles and all kinds of different lighting, even within the same song, courtesy of video producer Taylor Hackford (White Nights, Against All Odds) but, in fact, this wasn’t the ideal version of the group to capture on stage: Winwood had suffered a serious illness the year before, the group was always in a state of flux as far as its line-up was concerned, and they were entering the period of decline that would coincide with the recording of Shootout at the Fantasy Factory. The musicianship is there, found intact in the thick electric guitar textures of “Light Up or Leave Me,” Winwood’s acoustic guitar performance on “John Barleycorn,” and Wood’s spotlighted flute and sax work on “Rainmaker.”

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But one also gets the sense that a lot of excitement was disappearing for the players, apart from Rebop Kwaku Baah, in what Winwood later described as a grind of touring and recording. It’s not a bad video, and well worth tracking down as a document of the group; the sound is very good (especially for the period in which it was recorded), and it would make a good DVD, but one wishes a full-length video of a show from perhaps a year, or two, or three earlier could have found its way into existence. Originally available through RCA Columbia, but packaged by Pacific Arts, this long out of print video was apparently owned by Island Records, and may have reverted to them, which means that it is now somewhere in MCA’s vast holdings of the Polygram Records conglomerate (which bought Island); finding a used copy or getting someone to dub off the laser disc might be easier than waiting for it to be rediscovered by its current owners. (by Bruce Eder)

Chris Wood

Personnel:
Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion)
Jim Capaldi (percussion, vocals)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
David Hood (bass)
Steve Winwood (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Chris Wood (saxophone, flute, organ)

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Tracklist:
01. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Capaldi/Winwood) 13.48
02. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone (Capaldi) 6.35
03. John Barleycorn (Traditional) 5.32
04. Rainmaker (Capaldi/Winwood) 8.35
05. Glad (Winwood) / Freedom Rider (Capaldi/Winwood) 14.05
06. Forty Thousand Headmen (Capaldi/Winwood)
08. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood) 8.10

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Herbie Armstrong – Back Against The Wall (1985)

FrontCover1The young Herbie Armstrong spent his teens and early twenties touring Ireland and the North of England with Irish show bands, and also worked for six months in late 1967 as the lead guitarist in Screaming Lord Sutch’s backing band.

In the early 1970s, after a period living abroad in Portugal in which he ran a riding school, Armstrong founded in London the pop band Fox, with the American songwriter and musician Kenny Young (who had written the 1964 hit, ‘Under the Boardwalk’, for the Drifters) and Australian singer Noosha Fox. Fox had two major chart hits, 1974’s ‘Only You Can’ and 1976’s ‘S-S-S Single Bed’, both of which sold over 200,000 copies. While ‘Only You Can’ reached number three in the UK charts, ‘S-S-S Single Bed’ stalled at number four, but was also a number one hit in Australia. There were also three Fox albums, ‘Fox’ (1975), ‘Tails of Illusion’ (1975) and ‘Blue Hotel’ (1977).

HerbieArmstrong2When Noosha left Fox after ‘Blue Hotel’, Armstrong and Young maintained their song writing partnership and formed new wave act Yellow Dog. Yellow Dog released three albums, ‘Yellow Dog’(1977), ‘Beware of the Dog’(1978) and ‘Strangers in Paradise’(1981), and in 1978 had two chart singles, ‘Just One More Night’ and ‘Wait Until Midnight’ (the latter of which was the first single that this writer bought as a twelve year old).

Herbie Armstrong spent the late 1970s and early 1980s touring the world with his childhood friend Van Morrison, and played lead guitar on four of his albums, ‘Wavelength’(1978), ‘Into the Music’(1979), ‘Common One’(1980) and ‘Beautiful Vision’(1982). He then embarked on a solo career, which saw him release one album, ‘Back Against the Wall’, in 1983 on the short-lived Making Waves label, before he moved on from music to take up a career in management in the licensed trades.

He ran in London for a while Armstrong’s, a restaurant, whose regular customers included Yellow Dog’s old label boss Richard Branson at Virgin Records and the comedian Kenny Everett, for whom Fox had written his TV theme tune. Armstrong then went on to open two live venues in Sheffield including the renowned Boardwalk, and now runs The Fountain, an inn, live venue and restaurant in the village of Rowland’s Castle near Portsmouth. (by John Clarkson)

And here´s his first solo ablum … and it´s a superb album … This should have been so much more successful … if you like Van Morrison … than is this album a must.

A forgot hewel in the history of Irish rock, including a great band (Pee Wee Ellis !).

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Herbie Armstrong + rare single

Personnel:
Herbie Armstrong (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Dalton (guitar)
Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone)
Peter Van Hooke (drums, percussion)
Mark Isham (bass, keyboards, saxophone)
Patrick O’Hearn (bass, synthesizer)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
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background vocals:
Linda Taylor – Sharon Campbell

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Tracklist:
01. Losing You (Armsrong) 4.34
02. Horses Of Steam (Kelly/Richmond) 5.04
03. You Take Me Up (Armstrong) 4.08
04. Friday’s Child (Morrison)
05. Back Against The Wall (Armstrong) 3.55
06. Heaven Only Knows (Armstrong/Platania) 3.48
07. Josie (Armstrong) 5.17
08. Let It Run (Armstrong) 3.33
09. Save The Last Dance (Pomus/Shuman) 4.14
10. Coming In From The Rain (Armstrong) 4.38

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Herbie Armstrong in 2011