Country Joe &The Fish – Electric Music For The Mind And Body (1967)

FrontCover1Electric Music for the Mind and Body is Country Joe and the Fish’s debut album. Released in May 1967 on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco.Electric Music for the Mind and Body is Country Joe and the Fish’s debut album. Released in May 1967 on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco.
Tracks from the LP, especially “Section 43”, “Grace”, and “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” were played on progressive FM rock stations like KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco, often back-to-back. A version of the song “Love” was performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
“Grace” is a tribute to Jefferson Airplane’s lead singer, Grace Slick.

The album was recorded during the first week of February 1967 at Sierra Sound Laboratories, Berkeley, California, by Robert DeSouza, with production by Samuel Charters. It was released on May 11, 1967, on the Vanguard label.  (by wikipedia)

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Their full-length debut is their most joyous and cohesive statement and one of the most important and enduring documents of the psychedelic era, the band’s swirl of distorted guitar and organ at its most inventive. In contrast to Jefferson Airplane, who were at their best working within conventional song structures, and the Grateful Dead, who hadn’t quite yet figured out how to transpose their music to the recording studio, Country Joe & the Fish delivered a fully formed, uncompromising, and yet utterly accessible — in fact, often delightfully witty — body of psychedelic music the first time out. Ranging in mood from good-timey to downright apocalyptic, it embraced all of the facets of the band’s music, which were startling in their diversity: soaring guitar and keyboard excursions (“Flying High,” “Section 43,” “Bass Strings,” “The Masked Marauder”), the group’s folk roots (“Sad and Lonely Times”), McDonald’s personal ode to Grace Slick (“Grace”), and their in-your-face politics (“Superbird”). Hardly any band since the Beatles had ever come up with such a perfect and perfectly bold introduction to who and what they were, and the results — given the prodigious talents and wide-ranging orientation of this group — might’ve scared off most major record labels. Additionally, this is one of the best-performed records of its period, most of it so bracing and exciting that one gets some of the intensity of a live performance. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Bruce Barthol (bass, harmonica)
David Cohen (guitar, organ)
Gary “Chicken” Hirsh (drums)
Country Joe McDonald (vocals, guitar, bells, tambourine)
Barry Melton (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Flying High (McDonald) 2.37
02. Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine (McDonald) 4.20
03. Death Sound Blues (McDonald) 4.22
04. Porpoise Mouth (McDonald) 2.47
05. Section 43 (McDonald) 7.22
06. Super Bird (McDonald) 2.02
07. Sad And Lonely Times (McDonald) 2.22
08. Love (McDonald/Melton/Cohen/Barthol/Gunning/Hirsh) 2.19
09. Bass Strings (McDonald) 4.58
10. The Masked Marauder (McDonald) 3.08
11. Grace (McDonald) 7.02

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The Resurection Of PigboyCrabshaw (1967)

FrontCover1The 1968 edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band featured a larger ensemble with a horn section, allowing for a jazzier feeling while retaining its Chicago blues core. They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover. Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you’d find in this time period. Butterfield’s most well-known song “One More Heartache” kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns.

The band covers “Born Under a Bad Sign” at a time when Cream also did it. “Driftin’ & Driftin'” is another well-known tune, and at over nine minutes stretches out with the horns cryin’ and sighin’, including a definitive solo from Sanborn over the choruses. There’s the Otis Rush tune “Double Trouble,” and “Drivin’ Wheel” penned by Roosevelt Sykes; Butterfield wrote two tunes, including “Run Out of Time” and the somewhat psychedelic “Tollin’ Bells,” where Bishop’s guitar and Naftalin’s slow, ringing, resonant keyboard evokes a haunting feeling. This is likely the single best Butterfield album of this time period and you’d be well served to pick this one up. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (harmonica, vocals)
Gene Dinwiddie (saxophone)
Keith Johnson (trumpet)
Bugsy Maugh (bass, vocals on 07.)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)
Dave Sanborne (saxophone)
Phil Wilson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. One More Heartache (Tarplin/Rogers/White/Robinson/Moore) 3.42
02. Driftin’ And Driftin’ (Brown/Williams/Moore) 9.10
03. Pity The Fool (Malone) 6.06
04. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 4.11
05. Run Out Of Time (Dinwiddie/Peterson/Butterfield) 3.05
06. Double Trouble (Rush) 5.42
07. Drivin’ Wheel (Sykes) 5.59
08. Droppin’ Out (Butterfield/Zimmerman) 2.21
09. Tollin’ Bells (Dixon) 4.22

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Simon & Garfunkel/Dave Grusin – The Graduate (OST) (1968)

FrontCover1The Graduate is an album of songs from the soundtrack of Mike Nichols’ movie The Graduate, featuring many songs from the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel as well as several instrumental pieces by Dave Grusin. Released on January 21, 1968, the album was produced by Teo Macero.The Graduate is an album of songs from the soundtrack of Mike Nichols’ movie The Graduate, featuring many songs from the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel as well as several instrumental pieces by Dave Grusin. Released on January 21, 1968, the album was produced by Teo Macero.

Although the album features two versions of the acclaimed “Mrs. Robinson”, neither is the full version as featured on Bookends. The first is an instrumental, while the second is abbreviated, tapering off as it does in the film. However, the other major song of the album, “The Sound of Silence” is used three times in the film (by wikipedia)

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The soundtrack to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate remains a key musical document of the late ’60s, although truth be told, its impact was much less artistic than commercial (and, for that matter, more negative than positive). With the exception of its centerpiece track, the elegiac and oft-quoted “Mrs. Robinson” — which only appears here as a pair of fragments — the Simon & Garfunkel songs that comprise much of the record (a series of Dave Grusin instrumentals round it out) appeared on the duo’s two preceding LPs; Nichols’ masterstroke was to transplant those songs into his film, where they not only meshed perfectly with the story’s themes of youthful rebellion and alienation (and the inner life of the central character, Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock) but also heralded a new era in movie music centered around the appropriation of past pop hits, a marketing gimmick that grew exponentially in the years to follow.

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The Graduate soundtrack, then, merits the dubious honor of being the earliest and one of the most successful Hollywood repackagings of “found” pop songs, a formula essentially based around coercing fans to purchase soundtrack albums filled with material they already own in order to acquire the occasional new track or two.

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The album began its life because of Nichols’ enthusiasm for the duo’s music, and Columbia Records chief Clive Davis’ ability to persuade the pair of the importance of a soundtrack LP. Davis turned the actual making of the album over to producer Teo Macero, who approached it with skepticism — Paul Simon and Mike Nichols had discovered that they really weren’t on the same page, with Nichols rejecting “Overs” and “Punky’s Dilemma,” songs that ended up as highlights of the Bookends album, issued two months after The Graduate soundtrack.

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Thus, there wasn’t enough Simon & Garfunkel material to fill even one LP side, and only about eight minutes of that were “new” recordings, and barely a quarter of that (the “Mrs. Robinson” fragments) new song material. And there also wasn’t enough of David Grusin’s instrumental music (none of which meshed with the duo’s work) for an album. Macero combined this material into a musically awkward LP that somehow did its job — which, in Davis’ eyes, was to introduce Simon & Garfunkel’s music to the parents of their existing audience (topping the charts in the bargain, and turning Grusin’s “Sunporch Cha-Cha-Cha” into a favorite of easy listening stations).

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Fans of Simon & Garfunkel likely felt cheated by the presence of the “Mrs. Robinson” fragments, as well as repeats of the 1966-vintage “The Sound of Silence” and “April Come She Will,” and an edited extension of “Scarborough Fair/Canticle.” But there were two curiosities for the completist — a high-wattage, edited rendition of “The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine” (in a style seemingly parodying the sound of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited); and a gentle, subdued acoustic reprise of “The Sound of Silence,” which was possibly the best studio rendition the duo ever. (by Bruce Eder)

But we should not forget, that the soundtrack, written by Dave Grusin is a great one … Listen to “A Great Effect” ..  a wonderful jazz tune.

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Personnel:
Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
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Dave Grusin & orchestra (additional music)

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Tracklist:
01. The Sound Of Silence (Simon) 3.07
02. The Singleman Party Foxtrot (Grusin) 2.53
03. Mrs. Robinson (Version 1) (Simon) 1.15
04. Sunporch Cha-Cha-Cha (Grusin) 2:53
05. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (Interlude) (Traditional) 1.42
06. On The Strip (Grusin) 2.01
07. April Come She Will (Simon) 1.50
08. The Folks (Grusin) 2.28
09. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (Traditional) 6.22
10. A Great Effect (Grusin) 4.07
11. The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine (Simon) 1-46
12. Whew (Grusin) 2.12
13. Mrs. Robinson (Version 2) (Simon) 1.13
14. The Sound Of Silence (Simon) 3.06

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Happy Birthday !

Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937)

Ten Years After – Same (1967)

LPFrontCover1Ten Years After are an English blues rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200, and are best known for tracks such as “I’m Going Home”, “Hear Me Calling”, “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Love Like a Man”. Their musical style consisted of blues rock,and hard rock (???)

 

The band’s core formed in late 1960 as Ivan Jay and the Jaycats. After several years of local success in the Nottingham/Mansfield area, known since 1962 as the Jaybirds and later as Ivan Jay and the Jaymen, Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons founded Ten Years After. Ivan Jay (born Ivan Joseph Harrison, 1939, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, died in April 2009, USA) sang lead vocals from late 1960 to 1962 and was joined by Ric Lee in August 1965, replacing drummer Dave Quickmire (born David Quickmire, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire), who had replaced Pete Evans (born Peter Evans, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire) in 1962. Ray Cooper (born 11 November 1943, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire) played rhythm guitar, vocals from 1960 to 1962.

TenYearsAfter1968_03In 1966, The Jaybirds moved to London to back The Ivy League. In the same year, Chick Churchill joined the group as keyboard player. That November, the quartet signed a manager, Chris Wright, and changed their name to Blues Trip. Using the name Blues Yard they played one show at the Marquee Club supporting the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. They again changed their name, to Ten Years After – in honour of Elvis Presley, an idol of Lee’s.[10] (This was ten years after Presley’s successful year, 1956). Some sources[which?] claim that the name was pulled by Leo Lyons from a magazine, advertising a book, Ten Years After The Suez (referring to the Suez Crisis).

The group was the first act booked by the soon-to-be Chrysalis Agency. It secured a residency at the Marquee, and was invited to play at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1967. That performance led to a contract with Deram, a subsidiary of Decca — the first band Deram signed without a hit single. In October 1967 they released the self-titled debut album, Ten Years After.

Ten Years After is the debut album by the English blues rock band Ten Years After. It was one of the first blues rock albums released by British musicians. The album is also low on original material in comparison to the band’s later works which were, in most cases, entirely composed of Alvin Lee’s songs.

It features “Spoonful”, a Howlin’ Wolf song (written for him by Willie Dixon) that the British blues rock group Cream covered as well (on their albums Fresh Cream and Wheels of Fire). (by wikipedia)

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Rare pic of Alvin Lee with a fender guitar !

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Melody Maker, October 21, 1967

Amazing. Where it all started. Almost completely devoid of all the blues/rock clichés of their later albums. Stylistically impressive. And dig that crazy cover. (by Emilio Gironda)

This was the start of one of the findest blues-rock groups from the late Sixties … listen to “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” and “Help me” and you will definitly know what I mean … !

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Personnel:
Chick Churchill (organ)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. I Want to Know (Sheila McLeod as pseudonym Paul Jones) 2.15
02. I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes (Kooper) 5.25
03. Adventures Of A Young Organ (A.Lee/Churchill) 2.37
04. Spoonful (Dixon) 6.07
05. Losing The Dogs (A.Lee/Dudgeon) 3.07
06. Feel It For Me (Alvin Lee) 2.42
07. Love Until I Die (A.Lee) 2.08
08. Don’t Want You Woman (A.Lee) 2.39
09. Help Me (Bass/Dixon/Williamson) 9.51

 

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After Tea – National Disaster (1968)

FrontCover1After Tea was founded in 1967 by Hans van Eijck (organ), Ray Fenwick (guitar) and Polle Eduard (bass/vocals) – all ex-members of the Tee Set – with drummer Martin Hage (ex-Don’t). The group produced three moderate hits in 1967-1968: “Not Just A Flower In Your Hair”, “We Will Be There After Tea” and “Snowflakes on Amsterdam”, all in a psychedelic pop style.

Ray Fenwick left shortly after the recordings of the first LP, “National Disaster” (his work permit had expired) and returned to England to join the Spencer Davis Group. He was replaced by ex-Just Colours guitarist Ferry Lever.

In the Spring of 1968, Polle Eduard was arrested for possession of marijuana and incarcerated for a few months. His temporary replacements were singer Frans Krassenburg (ex-Golden Earrings) and bass player Henk Smitskamp (ex-Motions, to Livin’ Blues). In the Summer of that year, the band scored a surprise hit under the pseudonym De Martinos with “Moest dat nou?” (recorded as a joke).

Martin Hage left later that year, replaced temporarily by Pierre van der Linden (later to Focus, Trace) and then permanently by Ilja Gort (ex-IQ 150).

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Early 1969, the most important songwriter in the band, Hans van Eijck, left to rejoin the Tee Set. He was replaced by German keyboard player Uli Grün (ex-Boots). The group then switched to a more rock-oriented sound. Yet in 1970, Ferry Lever left (also to join the Tee Set) and was not replaced. The band continued as a three-piece for some time, but in 1971 After Tea finally folded. Polle Eduard and Uli Grün were then joined by guitarist Frank van der Kloot and drummer Shel Schellekens, calling themselves Drama. They scored a Top 20 hit with “Mary’s Mama” which they subsequently refused to play live (as the whole thing was a concoction by producer Peter Koelewijn). However, in 1975, Polle Eduard, Ferry Lever and Ilja Gort reunited once more to record the single “Mexico” under the After Tea moniker. Polle Eduard continued his career as a songwriter by penning a few hits for Nico Haak and subsequently recorded an album of Dutch songs one year later, in 1976. Polle continued playing solo and in bands like The Rest (with Hans Vermeulen of Sandy Coast).

AfterTea02Ilja Gort worked as a producer for Basart Records before making a fortune composing music for commercials like the famous Nescafe tune. He now owns a vineyard in France producing his La Tulipe wines.

After his stint with the Tee Set, Hans van Eijck concentrated on writing music for TV and became a successful record producer (Danny de Munck, Marco Borsato). Ferry Lever became a music teacher and a session player. He still plays in the band of singer Rob de Nijs. (by Alex Gitlin)

Based on the success of their debut 45, Decca management wasted no time rushing the group into the studio to record an album. Produced by Bert Schouten, 1967’s “National Disaster” offered up a an entertaining blend of mid-1960s freakbeat, pop, psych, and rock influences. Largely written by van Eijck and Fenwick the song titles pretty much told you what was going on. If tracks like the earlier single ‘Not Just a Flower In Your Hair’, ‘ In the Land of the Bubble Gum Tree’ and ‘The Time Is Nigh’ weren’t a reflection of the age of love, peace and lots of illicit substances, I don’t know what was. Sure it was hopelessly dated (probably within a matter of months of being released), but hearing a lyric like ‘throw away your LSD’ (off of ‘The Time Is Nigh’) had to make you laugh. Equally good were the band’s occasional stabs at blue-eyed soul (‘National Disaster’), and more conventional rock (‘Long Ago’). Hard to believe, but in spite of van Eijck’s heavily accented vocals, the combination of trippy studio effects (phasing, offbeat tempos, etc.) and some surprisingly strong material made for an album that stood up well against better know UK and US competitors.  (by badcatrecords.com)

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In other words: This is a pretty good pop-psychedelic album from the Sixties … one of these forgotten pearls of this wonderful decade !

And “(We Will Be There) After Tea” is a classic song from the Sixties !

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Personnel:
Polle Eduard (organ, bass, vocals)
Hans van Eijck (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Ray Fenwick (guitar, vocals)
Martin Hage (drums, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Gotta Get You In My Garden Girl (v.Eijck) 2.53
02. A Lot To Do (v.Eijck) 2.04
03. Not Just A Flower In Your Hair (v.Eijck) 2.41
04. In The Land Of The Bubble Gum Tree (v.Eijck(Fenwick) 2.13
05. I’ll Push You For An Answer (v.Eijck) 2.10
06. Don’t Waste Your Love On Me (v.Eijck/Langenbach) 1.27
07. National Disaster (Renwick) 2.04
08. Long Ago (v.Eijck) 4.00
09. The Time Is Nigh (v.Eijck/Fenwick) 3.27
10. Play That Record (v.Eijck) 4.44
11. Been A Sad Day  (Fenwick) 2.53
12. It’s Too Late (v.Eijck) 2.29
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13. (We Will Be There) After Tea (v.Eijck(Fenwick) 3.02
14. Lemon Coloured Honey Tree (v.Eijck(Fenwick) 3.49

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Alexander’s Timeless Bloozband – Same (1967)

FrontCover1The information about the band is rather scarce, various sources mention Charles Lamont, Carl Lockhart and Larry Marks as founders, although, when they recorded their self-titled debut LP (1967) for private label “Smack”, they were five.

Their debut album (rather raw, “home-made” sounding) featured classic “Killing Floor” and unusual instrumental version of “My Favourite Things” (from 1959 musical “The Sounds Of Music”) (by Golovanov Alexey)

I guess, this is one of the rarest psychedelic blues Album ever … and I will  dedicate this entry to all These unknown bands from this period of music …  it was not the worst period of music … really not !

Recorded Live At The Brother’s Gallery in Goleta – August 1967

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Personnel:
Spencer Conway (drums)
Dennis Geaney (guitar, bass)
Charles Lamont (Keyboards, bass, guitar, french horn, harmonica, vocals)
Reed Lockhart (saxphone, keyboards, vocals)
Larry Marks (harmonica, trombone, vocals)

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Tracklist: 
01. Help Me (Williamson/Bass) 5.27
02. Killing Floor (Burnett) 3.02
03. Guitar Song (Lamont) 2.46
04. Favorite Things (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 5.13
05. Sloopy Drunk (Rogers) 4.09
06. #1 (unknown) 4.57
07. Swannoa Tunnel (unkown) 4.19
08. Sweet Little Angel  (King/Taub) 2.37

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Clifton Chenier – Black Snake Blues (1967)


FrontCover1As with the blues, my favorite zydeco is the early stuff. As one of Clifton Chenier’s earliest albums, “Black Snake Blues” falls within the classic era. While sources conflict, we know that it came out in either 1966 or ’67. Released through Arhoolie Records, the album opens with the fantastic title track. It appears on a few Chenier compilations and for good reason. As the title suggests, ‘Black Snake Blues’ and the entire album is very bluesy. That said, ‘Let’s Talk It Over’ is straight-up zydeco. ‘Walking To Louisiana’ is a great tune featuring Chenier’s glorious accordion work. ‘Things Ain’t What They Used To Be’ is a slow blues tune. In contrast, ‘Wrap It Up’ is an upbeat shuffle. As would be hoped, there are a few songs like ‘I Love My Baby,’ that are sung in French. Much of the album plays zydeco with a strong infusion of country blues. As a notable exception, ‘I Got A Little Girl’ channels Chicago blues. Near the end of the song, it even sounds like the King of Zydeco lyrically references Robert Johnson’s ‘Sweet Home Chicago.’ Featuring bass and smokin’ electric guitar work, the tune makes for one of the album’s highlights. Along similar lines, “Black Snake Blues” makes for a strong Clifton Chenier album. (by Delite Rancher)

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Personnel:
Felix James Benoit (guitar)
Cleveland Chenier (rub)
Clifton Chenier (accordion, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Joe Morris (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Black Snake Blues (Chenier) 4.19
02. Let’s Talk It Over (Chenier) 2.58
03  Walking To Louisiana (Chenier) 3.23
04. Key To The Highway (Broonzy) 2.52
05. Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Chenier)  3:05
06. I Got A Little Girl (Chenier) 2.55
07. Monifique (Chenier) 4.25
08. Johnny Can’t Dance (Chenier) 2.21
09. I Lost My Baby (in French) (Chenier) 3.20
10. Can’t Go Home No More (Chenier) 3.10
11. Wrap It Up (Chenier) 3.05

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