Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – CSNY 1974 (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgCSNY 1974 is the nineteenth album by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, their seventh in the quartet configuration, and their fifth live album, the third as a foursome. Issued on Rhino Records in 2014, it consists of concert material recorded in 1974 on the band’s tour during the summer of that year. It was issued in several formats: a standard compact disc box set consisting of three audio discs and a standard DVD; as one pure audio Blu-ray disc and a Blu-ray DVD; and a more expensively packaged limited deluxe edition consisting of the material on six vinyl records along with the Blu-ray discs and a coffee table book. Two single disc samplers were also issued, one of the acoustic material exclusively available at Starbucks in the United States and Canada, and another at normal retail outlets. Each of the non-sampler sets also contained a 188-page booklet, and all formats were released the same day. The three-disc and DVD package peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200, while the Starbucks sampler peaked at #37 and the selections sampler at #81.

After the split of CSNY in the summer of 1970, through 1971 David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Neil Young released solo albums, while Stephen Stills issued two. All were gold records, as were the three issued in early 1972 by the quartet: Harvest; Graham Nash David Crosby; and Manassas; proving the group to be appealing commercially apart as well as together. Indicative of this commercial clout, only the separated Beatles as a group also achieved gold records with regularity during the same time period, reinforcing the notion of CSNY as the American Beatles. The foursome showed little interest in regrouping given their individual success, but with the real Beatles defunct and Bob Dylan not touring, public enthusiasm remained unabated for CSNY as the new counterculture leaders to record and/or do concerts together, acknowledged by manager Elliot Roberts with his ‘pissing in the wind’ quote.

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Young toured solo in late 1970 and early 1971, Stills undertook his first solo headlining tour with a new band in the summer of 1971, about the same time that Crosby and Nash toured ‘unplugged’, for the first time as a duo. Crosby and Nash toured by themselves again in 1972, while Stills assembled his Manassas band to tour after their Album. There had been sporadic reunions, with Young showing up to Crosby and Nash shows, Young recording a one-off single “War Song” with Nash, and CSN in three different pairs providing backing vocals on Young’s Harvest album.

In 1973, their individual fortunes began to falter. Stills toured again with Manassas, but their second album did not do as well in the marketplace. Young undertook two tours colored by the death of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten; the album from the first tour (with Crosby and Nash on a couple of tracks) Time Fades Away falling well short of the previous year’s Harvest sales-wise. Crosby’s reunion with the Byrds and Nash’s second solo album also did not do very well critically or commercially. An attempt to make the second CSNY studio album in the summer of 1973 after a reunion in Hawaii fell apart.

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Crosby and Nash put together their first electric band tour in late 1973, and Stills continued to tour with Manassas into 1974, but the seed had been planted.[15] In January and February 1974, impresario Bill Graham successfully directed the return of Bob Dylan to the concert stage with a winter tour of basketball and hockey arenas. Manager Roberts proposed to CSNY something more ambitious: a summer tour of baseball and football Stadiums. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young agreed, Graham signed on as tour director, and the tour was set to begin in July. Rehearsals took place at Young’s ranch in La Honda in May and June.

Besides the four principals on guitars and keyboards, supporting musicians had previously worked with different members. Tim Drummond had been the bassist for Young’s Stray Gators band and had recently played on Wild Tales by Nash and On the Beach by Young. Drummer Russ Kunkel appeared on the debut album by Crosby & Nash, and percussionist Joe Lala was part of Stills’ Manassas band.

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The tour commenced on July 9 at the Seattle Center Coliseum and played 30 dates in 23 locations, ending the North American tour proper at the Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York on September 8. A 31st and final show took place on September 14 at Wembley Stadium, with opening acts including The Band and Joni Mitchell.[20] The Beach Boys, Santana, Joe Walsh, and Jesse Colin Young also appeared as support acts during the tour.

Although large multiple-bill festivals such as Miami Pop, Woodstock, and Watkins Glen had taken place, and CSNY, the Rolling Stones, and others had played infrequent stadium shows, no band except for the Beatles had ever attempted a tour of this Magnitude. Whereas the Beatles had done a series of stadium dates over two weeks in 1966, the scope of this tour and its logistics were unprecedented; as a liminal signpost toward the commercial ascent of stadium rock, the tour itinerary also encompassed a smorgasbord of indoor sports arenas, race tracks, and smaller college stadia, including Chicago Stadium, Nassau Coliseum, Boston Garden, the Capital Centre, Jeppesen Stadium at the University of Houston, and the St. Paul Civic Center. (by wikipedia)

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It was, at the time, one of the highest-grossing rock tours ever, grossing over 11 million dollars in an era when such figures were uncommon. Such success camouflaged the chaos behind the scenes — the bitter fights and feuds, the excess and indulgence that led to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pocketing about a half million dollars each, when all was said and done. Big bucks were the reason the CSNY 1974 tour even existed. Efforts to record a new album in 1973, their first since 1970’s breakthrough Déjà Vu, collapsed but manager Elliot Roberts and promoter Bill Graham convinced the group to stage the first outdoor stadium tour in the summer of 1974, with the idea that CSNY would test-drive new material in concert, then record a new studio album in the fall, or maybe release a live record from the historic tour. Neither happened. The group cleaved in two upon the tour’s conclusion and the live tapes sat in the vaults until Graham Nash decided to assemble a box set of the tour just in time for its 40th anniversary in 2014.

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Nash and producer Joel Bernstein — the driving forces behind the excellent new millennial archival CSN reissues — culled the best moments from the nine recorded shows, sometimes cobbling together composites, then assembled the whole thing as a three-CD set designed to replicate the mammoth three-hour sets the quartet played in 1974. That very length indicates how there was room on the 1974 tour for every aspect of CSNY, giving space to sensitive folk, woolly electric guitar jams, hits, and unheard songs. Several of those new songs showed up on albums by CSNY in various permutations, while a few — mostly written by Young — never got an airing outside of this tour, so the first official release of “Love Art Blues,” “Pushed It Over the End,” and even the throwaway Nixon jape “Goodbye Dick” is indeed noteworthy. But what makes CSNY 1974 a substantial chapter in their legacy is how it captures the band in full flight just as its moment is starting to slip away. Stills and Young play with the burly force they channeled into Manassas and Crazy Horse, providing a startling contrast to both the sweetness of disc two’s acoustic set and Crosby’s excursions into the haze of If I Could Only Remember My Name. Hearing the band pull apart as its members come together is simultaneously thrilling and enervating because Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young remain locked in a battle to outdo one another; it’s fascinating to hear them spar, but also draining. Nevertheless, that messy competition is why CSNY 1974 is a vital addition to their canon. Tales of CSNY acrimony are legend, but this rancor rarely surfaced on record. Here, those brawling egos are pushed to the forefront, with all the pretty harmonies operating as an accent to the main event. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
David Crosby (vocals, guitars, tambourine)
Graham Nash (vocals, keyboards, guitars, harmonica)
Stephen Stills (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass)
Neil Young (vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, banjo guitar)
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Tim Drummond (bass)
Russ Kunkel (drums)
Joe Lala (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Love the One You’re With (Stills) 6.02
02. Wooden Ships (Crosby/Kantner/Stills) 6.20
03. Immigration Man (Nash) 3.45
04. Helpless (Young) 4.33
05. Johnny’s Garden (Stills) 5.09
06. The Lee Shore (Crosby) 4.47
07. Change Partners (Stills) 3.24
08. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Young) 3.28
09. Our House (Nash) 3.20
10. Guinevere (Crosby) 5.51
11. Old Man (Young) 3.57
12. Teach Your Children (Nash) 3.09
13. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stills) 8.33
14. Long Time Gone (Crosby) 5.44
15. Chicago (Nash) 4.46
16. Ohio (Young) 5.37

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Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

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Beth Hart – Live At SWR1 (German TV rip) (2017)

FrontCover1.jpgBeth Hart (born January 24, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter and musician from Los Angeles, California, United States. She rose to fame with the release of her 1999 single “LA Song (Out of This Town)” from her second album Screamin’ for My Supper. The single was a number one hit in New Zealand, as well as reaching top 5 on the US Adult Contemporary and number 7 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 Chart. Subsequent albums namely Seesaw and Live in Amsterdam by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa, achieved number 1 status on the Billboard Blues Album Chart. Hart’s release Bang Bang Boom Boom rose to number 3 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart, as well as the album Don’t Explain by Hart and Bonamassa. The album Seesaw rose to number 8 on the Billboard Top Independent Album Chart. Hart has had two number 1 singles in Denmark “As Good as It Gets” and “Learning to Live”, as well a platinum selling album, Leave the Light On.

Hart’s first album with Bonamassa, Don’t Explain, went gold in the Netherlands. In 2014 Hart was nominated for a Grammy Award for Seesaw and she was also nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category ‘Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist’. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a TV rip from the German Sender SWR 1 … what a great, intimate concert !

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Personnel:
Beth Hart (vocals, piano, bass, guitar)
Jon Nichols (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Love Is A Lie (Hart)
02. Jazzman (Hart)
03. Good Day To Cry (Hart)
04. Tell Her You Belong To Me (Hart)
05. Broken And Ugly (Hart)
06. Isolation (Hart/Khoury/Herzberg)
07. Mama This One’s For You (Hart)
08. I’ll Take Care Of You (Benton)
09. Fire On The Floor (Hart)
10. My California (Hart/Westberg)
11. Leave The Light On (Hart/Leiber)

Total time: 59.15

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Pack Up The Plantation Live ! (VHS rip) (1985)

FrontCover1In 1979 the Heartbreakers released their third album Damn the Torpedoes through MCA’s Backstreet label. The album rapidly went platinum. It included “Don’t Do Me Like That” (#10 U.S., the group’s first Top Ten single) and “Refugee” (#15 U.S.), their U.S. breakthrough singles.

Though he was already extremely successful, Petty ran into record company trouble again when he and the Heartbreakers prepared to release Hard Promises (1981), the follow-up album to Damn the Torpedoes. MCA wanted to release the record at the list price of $9.98, which was considered a high price for a record album at the time. This so-called “superstar pricing” was $1.00 more than the usual list price of $8.98. Petty voiced his objections to the price hike in the press, and the issue became a popular cause among music fans. Non-delivery of the album or naming it Eight Ninety-Eight were considered, but eventually MCA decided against the price increase. The album became a Top Ten hit, going platinum and spawning the hit single “The Waiting” (#19 U.S.). The album also included the duet “Insider”, with Stevie Nicks.

On their fifth album, Long After Dark (1982), bass player Ron Blair was replaced by Howie Epstein (formerly of Del Shannon’s backing band), giving the Heartbreakers their line-up until 1991. Long After Dark features the hits “You Got Lucky” (U.S. #20) and “Change of Heart” (U.S. #21), and was to feature a track called “Keeping Me Alive”, but producer Jimmy Iovine vetoed it from the album. Petty has expressed that he feels the album would have turned out better if the song had been included on the album.[citation needed]

On the next album, Southern Accents (1985), the Heartbreakers picked up where they had left off.[clarification needed] The recording was not without problems; Petty became frustrated during the mixing process and broke his left hand when punching a wall. The album includes the psychedelic-sounding hit single “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (#13 U.S.), which was produced by and co-written with Dave Stewart. The video for the single, which starred Stewart, featured Petty dressed as the Mad Hatter, mocking and chasing Alice from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then cutting and eating her as if she were a cake. This caused minor controversy after it was criticized by feminist groups,[citation needed] but the video did win an MTV Video Music Award.

A successful concert tour led to the live album Pack Up the Plantation: Live! (1985). (by wikipedia)

And here´s a official video from this tour. Watch and listen and you´ll know, why I think and feel, that Tom Petty was one of finest musicians …

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Personnel:
Mike Campbell (guitar, lap steel, slide guitar)
Howie Epstein (bass, mandolin, background vocals)
Stan Lynch (drums, vocals)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar)
Benmont Tench (keyboards, vocals)
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Soul Lips Horns:
Nick Lane (trombone, Euphonium
Lee Thornburg (trumpet, flugel horn)

Jimmy Zavala (saxophone, harmonica)
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The Rebeletts:
Caroll Sue Hill (background vocals, percussion)
Pat Peterson (background vocals, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. American Girl (Petty)
02. You Got Lucky (Petty/Campbell)
03. It Ain’t Nothin’ To Me (Petty/Stewart)
04. Don’t Do Me Like That (Petty)
05. The Waiting (Petty)
06. I Need To Know (Petty)
07. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Petty/Stewart)
08. Spike (Petty)
09. Southern Accents (Petty)
10. Rebels (Petty)
11. Breakdown (Petty)
12. Refugee (Petty/Campbell)
13. Little Bit O’ Soul (Carter/Lewis)
14. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (Hillman/McGuinn)
15. Make It Better (Forget About Me) (Petty/Stewart)
16. Route 66 (Troup)

Total time: 85 min
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Harvey Mandel – Planetary Warrior (1997)

FrontCover1Here´s another solo-album by the great Harvey Mandel, one of my favourite guitar players:

This is mostly blues rock guitar work. I would give it a higher marks, but the singing did not knock me out. However the last song on the Cd was
Fn’ funny. It was a discussion of popular candy. The descriptions of candy were erotic and could be a dialog about sex, not candy.
If your familiar with Harvey’s guitar playing, It usually is the highlight of his records. Because of the vocals, I will say it is not his best record, but rockin’enough to purchase if you are a fan. Harvey is a unsung guitar hero from the 1960’s through the present.I think it is time more people were aware of his ax work. (by Tyrone Rex)

A Great hard rocking piece from the older style of Harvey Mandel. Mainly instrumental – jam format. LOTS and LOTS of guitar! Some very psychedelic, processed sounds. Sounds like an updated version of “The Snake”. Last song a short vocal spoof on candy bars that has very suggestive lyrics. It’s actually hilarious and well thought out! (by Eileen Dickson)

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I first heard this while at a public radio station in Alaska. I hadn’t heard from Harvey Mandel in years and I was happy to see he still had it. I hope your doing well in Crested Butte, Harvey. I guess you’ve gone back to the blues like all the old dudes do. I’ll miss your unique fusion of rock, blues and jazz. (by Peter W. Hall)

A Great hard rocking piece from the older style of Harvey Mandel. Mainly instrumental – jam format. LOTS and LOTS of guitar! Some very psychedelic, processed sounds. Sounds like an updated version of “The Snake”. Last song a short vocal spoof on candy bars that has very suggestive lyrics. It’s actually hilarious and well thought out! (by Greg Foley)

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Personnel:
Artis Joyce (bass)
Harvey Mandel (guitar, vocals on 12.)
Bennie Murray (drums, percussion)
Sonny Reece (vocals)
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Barry Goldberg (organ on 02. + 12.)
Steve Kimock (slide-guitar on 04. + 10.)
Annie Stocking (background vocals on 05.)
Squid Vicious (bass on 02. + 09.)
Howard Wales (piano on 01. + 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Space Monkeys (Scott/Jensen/Gross/Mandel) 4.30
02. What Comes Around Goes Around (Harris/Mandel/Lagos/Resnick/Conte) 4.50
03. I Don’t Mind Being Wrong (Joyce/Murray/Mandel/Reece) 4.32
04. 90 In The ’53 (Lehrburger/Roberts) 3.41
05. Wall Banger (Mandel/Reece) 5.03
06. Rumble (Wray) 3.30
07. The Only One (Mandel/Reece) 4.05
08. Carne Del Serpiente (Joyce/Murray/Mandel) 5.50
09. Whinin’ Whiskey (Mandel/Reece) 4.36
10. Emerald Triangle (Mandel) 4.23
11. Planetary Warrior (Joyce/Murray/Mandel) 8.46
12. Candy Rapper (Bird/MacDonald) 2.09

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More Harvey Mandel:

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Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

FrontCover1What’s Love Got to Do with It is the eighth solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Parlophone in 1993. It was the soundtrack album for the 1993 Tina Turner biographical film What’s Love Got to Do with It, which was released by Touchstone Pictures the same year.

Turner re-recorded many of her songs from the Ike and Tina Turner period for this album including their first hit single “A Fool in Love”. Three brand new tracks were also included, “I Don’t Wanna Fight” being a top 10 hit in both the US and UK, her last major American chart success. The album also includes Turner’s version of The Trammps’ disco classic “Disco Inferno”, a song she had often performed live in concert during the late 1970s, but which she had never previously recorded in studio. Two tracks from her 1984 breakthrough solo album Private Dancer are included as well, the title track to the movie and “I Might Have Been Queen”. The album hit #1 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum in various countries including the US, the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand. (by wikipedia)

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This is the soundtrack for the Tina Turner film that got Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne Oscar nominations. There’s little here that you couldn’t get elsewhere in better versions, but if you only want a hint of the music Tina Turner made in various contexts, with and without Ike, this would be a serviceable purchase. Otherwise, get the film and hear the music in the correct setting. (by Ron Wynn)

This respects literal chronology even less than the movie, which has her doing “Proud Mary” before Creedence released it. But there’s a logic to the willy-nilly segues–in which, for instance, two glossily intelligent new products of her pop-diva phase, the thematic “I Don’t Wanna Fight” and the pneumatic “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight?,” flank B.B. King’s 1964 “Rock Me Baby” and the Trammps’ 1978 “Disco Inferno,” neither of which has ever had her name on it before. In essence, she’s reenacting her career as timeless myth, submitting every brilliant exploit and humiliating compromise to the unmatched lust and lustre of her 54-year-old pipes. She’s never sounded more beautiful or more alive. Or more enigmatic–it’s as impossible as ever to glimpse what she might be like in “real life,” or even to pin down an artistic appeal that at this point seems to inhere in the raw fact of her survival. As for the sex, it’s more abstract and calculated than ever. And right–love has nothing to do with it. (Robert Christgau)

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Personnel:
Curt Bisquera (drums)
Gene Black (guitar)
Rick Braun (trumpet)
Terry Britten (guitar, background vocals)
Graham Broad (drums)
Timmy Cappello (saxophone, vocals)
Steve DuBerry (keyboards, drum programming, background vocals)
Bob Feit (bass)
Nick Glennie-Smith (keyboards)
Rupert Hine (keyboards, programming)
Graham Jarvis (drums)
Robbie King (organ)
Billy Livsey (keyboards)
Steve McNamara (programming)
Trevor Morais (drums)
Simon Morton (percussion)

David Paich (piano)
Tim Pierce (guitar)
James Ralston (guitar, background vocals)
Keith Scott (guitar)
Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone)
Tina Turner (vocals)
C.J Vanston (keyboards, drum programming)
Jamie West-Oram (guitar)

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background vocals:
The Tuck Back Twins – Sharon Brown – Jean McClain – Jacquelyn Gouche – Jam – Cy Curnin – Tessa Niles – background vocals
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Laurence Fishburne (spoken vocals on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Wanna Fight (Lulu/Lawrie/DuBerry) 6.09
02. Rock Me Baby (King/Josea) 3.59
03. Disco Inferno (Green/Kersey) 4.05
04. Why Must We Wait Until Tonight (Adams/Lange) 5.55
05. Nutbush City Limits (T.Turner) 3.20
06. (Darlin’) You Know I Love You (King/Taub 4.29
07. Proud Mary (Fogerty) 5.27
08. A Fool in Love (I.Turner) 2.56
09. It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (McKinney/McCoy) 2.50
10. Stay Awhile (Britten/Lyle) 4.52
11. I Might Have Been Queen (Obstoj/Hine/West-Oram/T.Turner) 4.21
12. What’s Love Got To Do with It (Britten/Lyle) 3.49

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Quarterhorse – The Weight Of The World (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgUnfortunatley I have no informations about this great Group from Göteborg/Sweden and this is a shame, because Quarterhorse is a real great band.

This is their second and so far I know their last ablum.

The first album was released in 2004 an was called “It’s Nothing “.

They played a very relexed form of Westcound Rock, full of a magic and beguiling sound. Very soft and gentle … this Album should have been a number one album all of the world !

They had a great female singer … and believe me, this not ony a real rare item, … this is an unbelieveable pretty good album.

I found in google some entries about “Quarterhorse” but they are all in Swedish … sorry, I cant read Swedish !

So give this band a chance …. listen … you will not regret it ! Believe me !

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Personnel:
Thomas Andrén (guitar)
Sofia Assarson (vocals, flute)
Michael Hansson (vocals guitar)
Mattias Nordström (drums)
Martin Livian (bass)
Henrik Palmqvist (piano)
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Maria Andrén (violin on 01)
Damon Collum (vocals on 05.)
Erik Dahl (trombone on 03.)
Mack Johansson (vocals on 04.)
Mats Larson (drums on 07. – left channel)
Max Lindahl (trumpet on 04. + 06.)
Klas Nilson (trumpet on 03., 04.)
Bo Savik (pedal steel-guitar on 05.)
Frida Thurefjell (Saxophone on 03. + 06.)
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background vocals
Niels Nankkr – Niklas von Arnold – Alexandra Wennerson

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Tracklist:
01. Carry On (Hanson) 4.56
02. All Trails End (Hansson) 4.33
03. To Give And To Get In Return (Hansson/Arnold)
04. Black Light (Hansson/Assarson/Andrén) 5.41
05. Smile (Assarson/Andrén)
06. 500 Nights (Hansson) 4.55
07. Easy To Love (Assarson/Andrén) 4.09
08. Between The Lines (Hansson) 3.53
09. Sorry Sir (Assarson/Andrén/Hansson/Livian) 5.23
10. Daylight Savings Time (Hansson) 4.08
11. Hope (Assarson/Hansson) 6.38

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Brian Auger And The Trinity With Julie Driscoll – Open (1967)

LPFrontCover1.jpgFrom the outgrowth of Steampacket, a band that included not only Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, but also a young Rod Stewart, came Auger and Driscoll’s collective effort that produced two albums. When Driscoll left in 1969 to pursue a solo career, Auger, drummer Clive Thacker, and bassist Dave Ambrose continued as Brian Auger & the Trinity. Open has been unfairly characterized as a kind of groove jazz rip, one that combines Wes Montgomery, Jimmy McGriff, and the rock sensibilities of the psychedelic era. Whatever. There are many tracks here, from deep grooved funky jazz to lilting ballads and greasy blues numbers and the skronky exotica number “Goodbye Jungle Telegraph.”

Auger may not have been as gifted an organist as Alan Price technically, but he could more than hold his own on the Hammond B-3 (as evidenced by the first two tracks here which are instrumentals, “In And Out” and “Isola Nate”). He was also able to pull more sounds out of the instrument than any of his peers. Auger wasn’t much of a vocalist, but he could dig deep and get the emotion out of a song — especially in a funky number like “Black Cat,” which featured a killer though uncredited studio horn section.

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Driscoll’s contributions are all on the second half of the album, beginning with the shuffling choogle of Lowell Fulsom’s “Tramp,” continuing through a moving reading of Pops Staples’ “Why (Am I Treated So Bad),” two Auger originals, and concluding in a reading of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” that single-handedly established her reputation as a vocalist of great interpretative ability and emotional dexterity. Almost eight minutes in length, it is the perfect interplay for the quartet with its dark, smoky swirling energy and extant soul groove, and capos the album on a high note, making it a delightful precursor to the classic Streetnoise which was to follow. (by Thom Jurek)

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The debut LP from the team of Julie Driscoll (vocal) and Brian Auger & the Trinity’s (organ/vocals) — took less than six hours to complete. Under the care and watchful eye of legendary producer Giorgio Gomelsky, the ten performances were essentially cut live at Chappell Studios, London, in front of a small group of friends attending the sessions, who are audible between tracks. They took the novel approach of having Auger and company on one side, with Driscoll joining in for the second. An obvious influence on Auger’s keyboarding, if not choice for material, is the legendary Jimmy Smith (organ).

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Auger commences his section with an inspired reading of Wes Montgomery’s limber “In and Out.” His ostentatious original rave-up “Black Cat” kicks off with a full frontal brass-fuelled blast, recalling the Miracles’ Motown classic “Going to a Go-Go” before Auger launches into his (thankfully) one-off vocal. Granted, his singing isn’t as incendiary as his playing, but it does give him the rare opportunity to pull double duty. For a direct contrast, the lovely and languid “Lament for Miss Baker” is a pining, introspective acoustic piano outing. While conspicuous when compared to the majority of Open, it is an apt illustration of Auger’s remarkable sensitivity and stylistic diversity. The tribal vibe of “Goodbye Jungle Telegraph” flows freely as the driving percussive rhythm is similar — if not a foreshadowing — of Ginger Baker’s excursions with Fela Kuti. Especially the definite undercurrents of the early-’60s Afro-Cuban pop scene.

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Driscoll’s selections are observant of her distinct phrasing and full-bodied persona, ranging from the soulful lead on the remake of Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp” to the intricate jazz changes peppered throughout the unhurried “Why (Am I Treated So Bad).” She’s arguably at her peak, however, on the noir and trippy cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” More accurately, the pair are at their collective peak with an intensity that ebbs and flows over the simmering and meditative support. The four bonuses are of particular interest as they include a newly unearthed pulsating, up-tempo Felix Pappalardi composition titled “I’ve Gotta Go Now” circa 1967, as well as their incendiary overhaul of Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s on Fire” — which was a Top Five U.K. single — David Ackles’ lonesome “Road to Cairo” and the Franklin Sisters’ (as in Aretha, Carolyn and Erma) “Save Me.” The remastered audio bests all previous incarnations, while the dozen-panel liner insert contains lots of memorabilia eye candy surrounding an essay from Mojo Magazine’s Lois Wilson. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
David Ambrose (bass)
Brian Auger (keboards, vocals)
Gary Boyle (guitar)
Julie Driscoll (vocals)
Clive Thacker (drums)
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unknown horn section

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Tracklist:
01. In And Out (Montgomery) 3.22
02. Isola Natale (Auger) 5.17
03. Black Cat (Auger) 3.25
04. Lament For Miss Baker (Auger) 2.41
05. Goodbye Jungle Telegraph (Auger) 6.20
06. Tramp (McCracklin/Fulsom) 4.16
07. Why (Am I Treated So Bad) (The Staple Singers) 3.38
08. A Kind Of Love In (Auger/Driscoll) 2.36
09. Break It Up (Auger/Sutton) 3.05
10. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 8.00
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11. I’ve Gotta Go Now (Pappalardi) 4.12
12 Save Me (Ousley/Franklin) 4.03
13 This Wheel’s On Fire (Dylan/Danko) 5.20
14 Road To Cairo (Ackles) 3.30

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US front + back cover