Zakk Wylde – Book Of Shadows (1996)

FrontCover1Zakk Wylde (born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor who is best known as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. His signature bulls-eye design appears on many of his guitars and is widely recognized. He was the lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist he released Book of Shadows and Book of Shadows II.

Book of Shadows is the first solo studio album by the heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde. The album was first released in 1996, and was reissued by Spitfire in 1999 with the bonus disc containing “Evil Ways” (the Japanese bonus track from the album’s original release), “The Color Green”, and “Peddlers of Death” (an acoustic version of a track that features on Black Label Society’s Sonic Brew).

Unlike his work with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society, here Zakk Wylde shows a different side to his music; an introspective and mostly acoustic style recalling many of the lighter moments from his previous project, Pride & Glory as well as classic folk rock artists such as Neil Young.

SinglePromotional singles were released for “Between Heaven and Hell” and “Way Beyond Empty”, the latter of which also had an accompanying music video.

“Throwin’ It All Away” was written about the death of Shannon Hoon from the band Blind Melon. Shannon and Zakk had lived together and became close friends a few months before he died of a drug overdose. (by wikipedia)

After spending several years with Ozzy Osbourne and recording one album with the heavy Southern rock trio Pride & Glory, guitarist Zakk Wylde released his debut solo album, Book of Shadows, in June of 1996. Naturally, the album is a guitar showcase, with each song boasting a dazzling guitar solo or two. That much was expected. What is a surprise is the musical diversity apparent throughout the album. Wylde does kick out some heavy riff-driven rockers, but he also detours into blues, country, and folk on occasion. That diversity ensures that Book of Shadows is more listenable for the average listener than most guitarist-led albums. However, Wylde’s songwriting skills remain weak; although the playing is memorable, the melodies rarely are. Nevertheless, there’s enough prime instrumental work here to make it a very worthwhile listen for guitar aficionados and a few of the tracks should satiate fans of straight-ahead heavy boogie rock.(by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This isn´t a hevy rock album, it´s an album full with ballads with very pensive thoughts.

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Personnel:
James LoMenzo (bass)
Joe Vitale (drums, keyboards, piano on “I Thank You Child”)
Zakk Wylde (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, bass on 10.)
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John Sambataro (background vocals on 05.)

Zakk Wylde

Tracklist:
01. Between Heaven And Hell 3.26
02. Sold My Soul (feat. Guiggs) 4.52
03. Road Back Home 5.48
04. Way Beyond Empty 5.25
05. Throwin’ It All Away 5.47
06. What You’re Look’n For 5.31
07. Dead As Yesterday 2.51
08. Too Numb To Cry 2.23
09. The Things You Do 4.11
10. 1,000,000 Miles Away 6.29
11. I Thank You Child 4.41

All songs written by Zakk Wylde

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The Dubliners – Finnegan’s Wake (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgFinnegan Wakes is a live album by The Dubliners. Recorded at the Gate Theatre on 26 and 27 April 1966 and produced by Nathan Joseph, this was The Dubliners’ final recording for Transatlantic Records. But it was also their first to feature their first established line-up of Ronnie Drew (vocals and guitar), Barney McKenna (tenor banjo and mandolin), Luke Kelly (vocals and banjo), Ciarán Bourke (vocals, guitar, tin whistle and harmonica) and John Sheahan (fiddle, tin whistle and mandolin). The album featured “Nelson’s Farewell”, a satirical song about the bombing and destruction of Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street, Dublin on 8 March 1966. (by wikipedia)

The show, “Finnegan Wakes”, at the Gate Theatre Dublin, ran in the spring of 1966 to packed and enthusiastic houses. From the show, we have taken for this record some highlights of the Dubliners’ performances. In a later LP we hope to issue some of the many other wonderful items from the show, including the work of other artists who took part. We wish to thank the management of the Gate Theatre and Mr. Michael Geoghehan of Irish Record Factors, Dublin, for their invaluable assistance. (taken from the original liner-notes)

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And here are the original liner nots from the reissue CD edition (July 2003) of this great live album:

‘Finnegan Wakes’ originally released in 1966 was The Dubliners third and final full-length album for Transatlantic records. Newly flushed by the success of their previous release ‘The Dubliners In Concert’, with the departure of Bob Lynch and the return of Luke Kelly, they took on their biggest project to date, a theatrical review called ‘Finnegan Wakes’. They would attempt a similar feat in 1972 with an ambitious production of Brendan Behan’s ‘Richard’s Cork Leg’ produced by Alan Simpson which played to capacity houses in Dublin at the Peacock and Olympia Theatres, the Cork Opera House and in London at the Royal Court Theatre.

However, ‘Finnegan Wakes’ was not the first time the Dubliners flexed their theatrical muscles collectively on a Dublin stage. Ronnie Drew trod the boards as an actor in his pre-Dubliners lifetime and The Dubliners appeared in Kevin Sheldon’s legendary movie ‘O’ Donoghue’s Opera’, an ambitious effort set in Dublin. Sheldon’s film rapidly ran out of funds before it could be completed and was left in the can for decades afterwards.

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‘Finnegan Wakes’, the show, ran to full houses in April 1966 at Dublin’s Gate Theatre. The show was recorded for a live album and this is it. ‘Finnegan Wakes’ was also the first Dubliners album to be actually recorded in Ireland — their two previous albums ‘The Dubliners’ and ‘The Dubliners in Concert’ had been recorded in London.

To assimilate the importance of an album like ‘Finnegan Wakes’ one must take a look at Ireland in 1966. Ireland at the time was undergoing a period of immense social and political change. Firstly, the economic shape of the country was improving through the Eamon DeValera / Sean Lemass political axis and while the economy was booming, the country itself was still very conservative in nature, strongly ruled by Church dictates and moral standards. But, the sense of political awareness and personal freedom so typified by the Psychedelic era in Britain and the USA was creeping into Ireland slowly. Also with the advent of television and chat shows like ‘The Late Late Show’ causing a national scandal with the story of the ‘Bishop and the Nightie” the underbelly of the establishment was being put under scrutiny. Another important event that year was the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916. This had infused a new sense of patriotic nationalism into certain quarters of the youthful population.

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‘Finnegan Wakes’ was a ‘product of its environment born from an atmosphere of social and cultural revolution unleashed on an unsuspecting but willing audience. The Dubliners represented a revolutionary face of Irish folk music and turned a mirror on the society of the day. They typified the new wave of thinking coming into Ireland through Luke Kelly’s politicisation in England and his assimilation of Communist ideals hinted at in Ronnie Drew’s comment in his introduction to ‘The Glendalough Saint’ “Your man Luke is a Communist — he gives pennies to the poor and everything”. The satirical jibes at the Legion of Mary closing down the infamous red light district of ‘Monto’, and Ronnie Drew’s comment, pertaining to the notion expressed then, that all books banned in Ireland be printed in Irish — “thus helping the Irish people to learn their own language” all made for one crackling powder keg of an album. In terms of social comment, this was The Dubliners at their most outspoken and anti-establishment. Even the more conservative elements of their following were challenged by their unmasking of the vagaries of the day’s accepted norms. Along with Brendan Behan, The Dubliners eschewed the ‘Mother Mo Chroi’ vision of Ireland and were ready to make their opinions heard and ‘Finnegan Wakes’ was their witch burning. If there were any sacred cows to be attacked, The Dubliners were ready to hit them-head on.

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The Irish audiences loved The Dubliners raw aggressive approach to folk music — “Irish Music with guts” as Tony Wilson an English journalist then based in Dublin described their musical style. ‘Finnegan Wakes’ was also a musical tour de force. The extra instrumental range and sophistication brought to the group by John Sheahan added considerably to their overall style and presentation. Luke Kelly’s return brought an added vocal authority and would copper fasten his importance within The Dubliners story. Here they swung and swayed with greater power and exhilaration than before, Barney McKenna’s banjo and mandolin, John Sheahan’s fiddle, tin whistle and mandolin and Ciarán Bourke’s tin whistle and harmonica provided a powerful musical back line for Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew’s charismatic voices. Barney’s banjo playing cuts loose on ‘Within a Mile of Dublin’. Sheahan’s fiddle solo on ‘The Sunshine Hornpipe’/ ‘The Mountain Road’ stands out, as does his mandolin duet with Barney McKenna on ‘Chief O’ Neill’s Favourite’ named after a Chicago police chief whose collections of Irish tunes have reached biblical status with musicians.

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Vocally the choice was equally solid — the title track delivered in ironic fashion by Ronnie Drew echoes similarly inclined Irish vaudeville songs like ‘The Night Pat Murphy Died’. Dominic Behan’s ‘McAlpines Fusiliers’ and ‘Hot Asphalt’ capture the hard working lives of Irish navvies on English building sites. ‘The Glendalough Saint’ hits at religious celibacy while ‘Monto’ named after Montgomery Street, a famous red light district in Dublin, became theatricality in itself complete with references to the Queen and the Duke of Gloucester. ‘The Sea Around Us’ is another of Dominic Behan’s outspoken assertions of National pride. The song was a No. l hit in 1966 for The Ludlows, a trio comprised of Sean Loughran, Margaret O’Brien and Jim McCann. McCann himself, after pursuing a successful solo career, joined The Dubliners in 1974, replacing Ronnie Drew. ‘The Dublin Fusiliers’ is a comic song associated with Dublin Vaudeville comedian Jimmy O’Dea, himself once a monumental figure in Irish entertainment. O’Dea is most remembered for his comic creations Biddy Mulligan the archetype Dublin street fishmonger and his role in the Hollywood movie of ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’.

Social events of the day were commemorated in satirical songs like ‘Nelson’s Farewell’ composed by Joe Dolan an original member of Sweeney’s Men. ‘Nelson’s Farewell’ salutes the fateful ending on March 8th 1966 of Admiral Nelson’s reign over Dublin’s City center. ‘Nelsons Pillar’ or ‘The Pillar’ had become a social meeting place as well as a reminder of colonial occupation. ‘Nelson’s Farewell’ is preceded by Luke Kelly reciting a verse of Louis McNeice’s poem ‘Dublin’, the words of which are penned with affection, the last line of which seemed strangely prophetic in the light of Admiral Nelson’s sudden departure.

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‘Grey brick upon brick
image Declamatory bronze on sombre pedestals
O’Connell, Grattan, Moore
And brewery tugs and swans
On the balustraded streams
And the bare bones of a fanlight
Over a hungry door
And the soft wind on the cheek
And porter from the taps
With heads of yellow cream
And Nelson on his pillar
Watching his world collapse’

‘Finnegan Wakes’ has the Dubliners at their most vigorous, brash and outspoken and essential — a description best summed up in Phil Lynnott’s words “Live and Dangerous”. This was the perfect curtain closer on their period with Transatlantic records as shortly afterwards, The Dubliners signed a new contract with Philip Solomon’s Major Minor records. Pop chart stardom with ‘Seven Drunken Nights’, an adaptation of the Childe ballad ‘Our Good Man’ and learned from Connemara sean-nos singer Joe Heaney which would be banned in Ireland for its controversial content was just a mere twelve months away.

Listening to ‘Finnegan Wakes’ some 37 years later, one cannot help but be caught up in The Dubliners vibrant energy and barely controlled enthusiasm. Here, The Dubliners were on home ground and were at their most raucous and ribald, most outspoken and controversial.

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Adding bonus tracks to ‘Finnegan Wakes’, one finds while looking through the vaults the odd neglected ‘missing piece’ emerging in the shape of ‘Guenther/Paddy’ a classic slice of Ronnie Drew repartee. Also, looking at tracks taken from singles and EPs released by Transatlantic Records in 1966, there are four tracks from the EP ‘More of The Dubliners’, two songs ‘Master McGrath’ and ‘Walking in the Dew’ featuring Ronnie Drew and two instrumentals ‘The Cook in the Kitchen’ and ‘Boulavogue’. ‘The Cook in the Kitchen’, a 6/8 time double jig tune is unique as it marks the first time The Dubliners added a guest musician, Dublin born uilleann piper Tommy Reck (RIP), to join Barney McKenna in a duel on uilleann pipes and tenor banjo. ‘Boulavogue’ remembers an incident in Wexford during the time of the 1798 rebellion and is rendered as a banjo solo. We also chose ‘Off to Dublin in the Green’ and ‘The Foggy Dew’ as two further bonus tracks from this period. These two tracks round up the selection of tracks recorded by The Dubliners that were not included on any of their albums but featured only on EPs and 45’s. These tracks add further proof of The Dubliners musical virtuosity and complete, their discography with Transatlantic Records. (by John O’Regan wifh grateful thanks to John Sheahan and Harriet Roche.

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Personnel:
Ciarán Bourke (vocals, guitar, tin whistle, harmonica)
Ronnie Drew (vocals, guitar)
Barney McKenna (tenor banjo, mandolin)
Luke Kelly (vocals, banjo)
John Sheahan (fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Finnegan’s Wake (Traditional) 3.14
02. Hornpipes: The Sunshine Hornpipe & The Mountain Road (Traditional) 2.49
03. Monto (Traditional) 4.13
05. The Dublin Fusiliers (Traditional) 2.43
06. Chief O’Neill’s Favourite (Traditional) 2.13
07. The Sea Around Us (Behan) 3.18
08. McAlpine’s Fusiliers (Behan) 3.14
09. Hot Asphalt (Traditional) 3.34
10. The Glendalough Saint (Traditional) 2.49
11. Within A Mile From Dublin (Traditional) 2.27
12. Will You Come To The Bower (Traditional) 3.58
13. Nelson’s Farewell (Dolan) 4.28
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14. Walking In The Dew (Traditional) 1.30
15. The Cook In The Kitchen (Traditional) 2,19
16. Boulavogue (Traditional) 2.52
17. Off To Dublin In The Green (Traditional) 2.26
18. The Foggy Dew (Traditional) 3.24

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The Spencer Davis Group – The Second Album (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Second Album is the second studio album by the British band The Spencer Davis Group, released in 1966. Many of the songs were a slightly experimental blend of beat, folk, jazz and blues, but included Jackie Edwards’ “Keep on Running”, which gave the group their first U.K. number 1 single, and the R&B standard “Georgia on My Mind”. The album spent eighteen weeks on the U.K. album chart, peaking at number 3.[1] While the album was not released in the US, the single “Keep on Running” was released in February, 1966, and spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart peaking at number 74 on March 12. (by wikipedia)

The Spencer Davis Group – The Second Album – More Blues and soul from Britain’s highly American influenced soulful blues band of sorts. Their first really big single, “Keep On Running” appears on this disc and is a soulful rock classic and I guess I call it that because there’s a fuzz tone guitar. More blues and soul fill the air with tunes like “Georgia on My Mind” “This Hammer” Strong Love” and “Since I Met You Baby”, all classic American soul songs of that particular time period. Their is also included 8 bonus tracks of some US Versions on here as well. Great album … (by Joe Eastlackon )

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Their best one. Early British group doing jazz and blues like you want to hear. Stevie on piano is soulful in the raw. Georgia on my mind for example. Look away a classic and some more. A few pop like ones but hey something for everyone and not easy to track down finally I have and its on its way. (by bodon)

The Spencer Davis Group from Birmingham is one of my most favortite bands from the British Beat Boom …  and they was much more the only a beatgroup …

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Rare French single

#Personnel:
Spencer Davis (guitar, vocals)
Muff Winwood (bass)
Steve Winwood (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
Pete York (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Look Away (Meade/Russell) 2.46
02. Keep On Running (Edwards) 2.51
03. This Hammer (Traditional) 2.19
04. Georgia On My Mind (Carmichael/Gorrell) 4.44
05. Please Do Something (Covay) 2.28
06. Let Me Down Easy (Ford) 3.06
07. Strong Love (Malone/Silvers/Brown) 2.18
08. I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water (Babcock} 2.39
09. Since I Met You Baby (Hunter) 3.30
10. You Must Believe Me (Mayfield) 2.48
11. Hey Darling (Davis/S.Winwood) 4.50
12. Watch Your Step” (Parker) 2.57
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13. Stevie’s Blues (Davis/M.Winwood/S.Winwwod/York) 3.49
14. Trampoline (S.Winwood 2.28
15. Back Into My Life Again (Davis/M.Winwood/S.Winwwod/York) 2.26
16. Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) 3.52
17. Oh! Pretty Woman (Williams) 3.22
18. Det war in Schöneberg / Mädel ruck ruck ruck (Kollo/Traditional) 2.42
19. Stevie’s Groove (Davis/M.Winwood/S.Winwwod/York) 2.46
20. Stevie’s Blues (US Version) (Davis/M.Winwood/S.Winwwod/York) 3.49

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Gheorghe Zamfir – Pan-Pipe – Flute de Pan (1966)

FrontCover1Gheorghe Zamfir (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈɡe̯orɡe zamˈfir] (About this sound listen); born April 6, 1941) is a Romanian pan flute musician.

Zamfir is known for playing an expanded version of the traditional Romanian-style pan flute (nai) of 20 pipes to 22, 25, 28 and 30 pipes to increase its range, and obtaining as many as eight overtones (additionally to the fundamental tone) from each pipe by changing the embouchure.

He is known as “The Master of the Pan Flute”.

Zamfir came to the public eye when he was approached by Swiss ethnomusicologist Marcel Cellier, who extensively researched Romanian folk music in the 1960s. The composer Vladimir Cosma brought Zamfir with his pan flute to Western European countries for the first time in 1972 as the soloist in Cosma’s original music for the movie Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire. This was very successful,[citation needed] and since then, he has been used as soloist in movie soundtracks by composers Francis Lai, Ennio Morricone and many others. Largely through television commercials where he was billed as “Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute”, he introduced the folk instrument to a modern audience and revived it from obscurity.

In 1966, Zamfir was appointed conductor of the “Ciocîrlia Orchestra”, one of the most prestigious state ensembles of Romania, destined for concert tours abroad. This created the opportunity for composition and arranging. In 1969, he left Ciocîrlia and started his own taraf (small band) and in 1970 he had his first longer term contract in Paris.

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Zamfir discovered the much greater freedom for artistic adventure. His taraf consisted of: Ion Drăgoi (violin), Ion Lăceanu (flutes), Dumitru Fărcaș (tarogato), Petre Vidrean (double bass) and Tony Iordache (cymbalum) all number 1 soloists in their country. This taraf made some excellent recordings (CD Zamfir a Paris).[citation needed] He changed the composition of the band soon after: Efta Botoca (violin), Marin Chisar (flutes), Dorin Ciobaru and Pavel Cebzan (clarinet and tarogato), Petre Vidrean (bass) and Pantelimon Stînga (cymbalum). It is said that this change was made to increase the command of Zamfir and have more artistic freedom.[citation needed] A turning point was the recording of Zamfir’s composition “Messe pour la Paix” (Philips).[citation needed] His taraf joined a choir and a symphonic orchestra. This was evidence of the growing ambition.[citation needed] While the Philips recordings of that time were rather conservative, Zamfir preached revolution in the concert halls with daring performances.[citation needed] Some[who?] say that this short period was the highlight of his career. In 1977, he recorded “The Lonely Shepherd” with James Last. Zamfir put himself on the world map and since then his career became highly varied, hovering over classical repertoire, easy listening and pop music.

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Zamfir’s big break in the English-speaking world came when the BBC religious television programme “The Light of Experience” adopted his recording of “Doina De Jale”, a traditional Romanian funeral song, as its theme.[citation needed] Popular demand forced Epic Records to release the tune as a single in 1976, and it climbed to number four on the UK charts.[citation needed] It would prove to be his only UK hit single, but it helped pave the way for a consistent stream of album sales in Britain. His song “Summer Love” reached number 9 in South Africa in November 1976.[3] In 1983, he scored a No. 3 hit on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart with “Blue Navajo,” and several of his albums (including 1982’s Romance and 1983’s Childhood Dreams) have charted in Canada as well.

After nearly a decade-long absence, Zamfir returned to Canada in January 2006 for a seven-city tour with the Traffic Strings quintet. The program included a world premiere of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for PanFlute and string quintet arranged by Lucian Moraru, jazz standards, and well-known favourites.

In 2009, Zamfir was sampled by Animal Collective in the song “Graze” on their EP Fall Be Kind.

In 2012, Zamfir performed at the opening ceremony of the 11th Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania (by wikipedia)

And this is his first album … recorded as a totally unknown young musician And we hear this beautiful, unadulterated Sound of the pan flute …

Enjoy this Music, too

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Personnel:
Gheorghe Zamfire (pan flute)
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Orchestra Florian Economu

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Tracklist:
01. Doină De Jale 5.17
02. Frunzuliţă Lemn Adus 1.33
03. Cîntec De Nuntă 2.47
04. Păscui Calul Pe Răzoare 1.33
05. Doină De La Vişina 5.15
06. Mîndra Mea Din Băduleşti 2.46
07. Mîndrele 1.49
08. Sîrba Bătrînească 2.62

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John Mayall´s Bluesbreakers – With Paul Butterfield (1967)

FrontCover1This 4 track EP is probably one of the rarest John Mayall records ever.

On November 26, 1966, Paul Butterfield, leader of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was touring England. He met up with John Mayall, one of England’s pre-eminent blues bandleaders, his band the Bluesbreakers an incubator for talent ranging from Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor to Jack Bruce, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. The Butterfield band, at that very moment, had two guitar greats in its ranks: Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.
Butterfield, a powerful singer who learned his trade sitting in with black blues bands (including Muddy Waters) on Chicago’s South Side, was a virtuoso harmonica player whose lyrical style owed plenty to Little Walter. Mayall played keyboard, his own custom built guitars, piano and organ.
Butterfield and Mayall recorded four songs, but in deference to the Butterfield Blues Band’s Elektra recording contract, British Decca released the EP only in England. The Bluesbreakers lineup at this point was Peter Green, John McVie and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. (by Rich Kienzle)

A summit meeting of the leading U.S. and U.K. blues-rock bandleaders of their time resulted in this four-song, seven-inch EP, which, like most such projects, didn’t add up to the sum of its parts. By either man’s standards, it’s routine, if unobjectionable. Mayall takes a much stronger role than Butterfield; “Riding on the L&N” is about the best cut on a disc that also has a version of Junior Wells’ “Little By Little” and one Mayall original, “Eagle Eye.” Personnel is not listed on this rarity; one could reasonably assume from the date of release that it features the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers, but rock reference books are in conflict as to whether Mick Fleetwood and/or Peter Green appear on the disc or not. (by Richie Unterberger)

So … listen to two masters of what we call “white Boy blues”

 

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John McVie + Peter Green with Paul Butterfield, 1966

 

Personnel:
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Peter Green (guitar)
John Mayall (voclas, harmonica)
John McVie (bass)
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Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)

 

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Backcover, autographed by John Mayall himself

 

Tracklist:
01. All My Life (Robinson) 4.22
02. Riding On The L. And N. (Burley/Hampton) 2.26
01. Little By Little (Wells/London) 2.43
04. Eagle Eye (Mayall) 2.49

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Dean Martin – The Dean Martin Christmas Album (1966)

frontcover1The Dean Martin Christmas Album is a 1966 studio album by Dean Martin arranged by Ernie Freeman and Bill Justis.

This was Martin’s only album of Christmas music released on Reprise Records (his only other Christmas album, A Winter Romance, having been released in 1959 on Capitol Records). It was reissued on CD by Hip-O Records in 2008, retitled A Very Cool Christmas.

Ricci James Martin, Martin’s son, wrote in a biography of his father that The Dean Martin Christmas Album was the only one of his father’s albums that was played in the Martin household, his parents seldom listening to Dean Martin’s music.

This was the fourth of five albums Martin released in 1966. Billboard magazine reported in its December 3, 1966 issue that The Dean Martin Christmas Album was on top of its “Best Bets for Christmas” chart.

The release of The Dean Martin Christmas Album in October and The Dean Martin TV Show in November 1966 were accompanied by what Billboard described as a “merchandising avalanche” by Reprise Records and their parent company Warner Music. Billboard described Martin as running the “hottest streak of his career”, and said that Reprise planned to sell $4 million of his records over the Christmas sales period. Billboard later reported that Martin had sold 850,000 albums in December 1966.

Reviewing A Very Cool Christmas, the 2008 reissue of the Dean Martin Christmas Album on Allmusic.com, William Ruhlmann gave the album three and a half stars out of five. Ruhlmann commented that Martin was in a “typically easygoing, good-natured mood on these tracks…He sings the seasonal material with the same nonchalance he gave to pop music of the period”. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Dean Martin (vocals)
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unknown orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.54
02. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.22
03. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Cannon/Kent/Ram) 2.28
04. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 2.15
05. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 1.57
06. Marshmallow World (DeRose/Sigman) 2.41
07. Silver Bells (Evans/Livingston) 2.25
08. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 2.10
09. The Things We Did Last Summer (Cahn/Styne) 2.43
10. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 2.47

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Big Brother & The Holding Company – Same (1967)

2ndFrontCover1The debut, self-titled album from Big Brother & the Holding Company is an evolving paradigm, ten tracks initially issued on Mainstream Records, a label that would have success in 1968 with “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. Unfortunately for Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, the respectable performances and all of the material on this disc are undercut by a weak production that sounds rushed. Recorded on December 12, 13, and 14 of 1966, it’s quite telling that perhaps the best two songs from the sessions, Peter Albin’s tribal-sounding “Coo Coo,” and Janis Joplin’s fiery “The Last Time,” were only available on a 45 RPM and played as treats on FM radio “rare tape” nights. Those two songs have an intensity and drama missing from laid-back album cuts like “Easy Rider” and “Intruder.” Big Brother’s strength sans Janis was their ability to experiment and rely heavily on ideas to make up for their lack of musical prowess. Sad to say, there is little of that experimentation here. Even a potential science fiction Peter Albin composition, “Light Is Faster Than Sound,” comes off like an audition tape instead of the hit it could have been had it the cosmic explosion of a “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” The album does contain interesting studies of future classics, like Moondog’s “All Is Loneliness” (the street poet eventually signing with Columbia himself), and Joplin’s creative arrangement of “Down on Me,” making it more of an entertaining textbook than a deep musical experience.

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It was the lack of product from superstar Janis Joplin which kept putting an emphasis on this release with little else available to satisfy rabid fans who couldn’t get enough Janis. Columbia picked up the album and re-issued it in its original form, then reissued it again with “The Last Time” and “Coo Coo” added. In 1999, former Cars’ manager Steve Berkowitz coordinated a superb 14-track re-release with invaluable Sam Andrew liner notes and an eight-page booklet, alternate takes of “Call on Me” and “Bye, Bye Baby” opening up the vaults and giving more insight. Almost four decades after their release, these naive recordings remain a precious snapshot because of the spirit and enthusiasm of the superstar just emerging from the grooves. (by Joe Viglione)

And this was the start of the short but great career of Janis Joplin … one of the best female singers in the rock history !!

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Personnel:
Sam Andrew (guitar)
Peter Albin (bass)
David Getz (drums)
James Gurley (guitar)
Janis Joplin (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Bye, Bye Baby (John) 2.40
02. Easy Rider (Gurley) 2.26
03. Intruder (Joplin) 2.30
04. Light Is Faster Than Sound (Albin) 2.33
05. Call On Me (Andrew) 2.35
06. Women Is Losers (Joplin) 2.06
07. Blindman (Getz/Gurley/Joplin/Albin/Andrew) 2.26
08. Down On Me (Traditional) 2.07
09. Caterpillar (Albin) 2.21
10. All Is Loneliness (Moondog) 2.32
+
11. Coo Coo (Single) (Albin) 1.59
12. The Last Time (Single) (Joplin) 2.17
13. Call On Me (alternate take) (Andrew) 2.42
14. Bye, Bye Baby (alternate take) (John) 2.39

LabelB1

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**

BigBrother03