Savoy Brown – A Step Further (1969)

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With Kim Simmonds and Chris Youlden combining their talents in Savoy Brown’s strongest configuration, 1969’s A Step Further kept the band in the blues-rock spotlight after the release of their successful Blue Matter album. While A Step Further may not be as strong as the band’s former release, all five tracks do a good job at maintaining their spirited blues shuffle.

Plenty of horn work snuggles up to Simmonds’ guitar playing and Youlden’s singing is especially hearty on “Made up My Mind” and “I’m Tired.” The first four tracks are bona fide Brown movers, but they can’t compete with the 20-plus minutes of “Savoy Brown Boogie,” one of the group’s best examples of their guitar playing prowess and a wonderful finale to the album.

This lineup saw the release of Raw Sienna before Lonesome Dave Peverett stepped up to the microphone for Looking In upon the departure of Youlden, but the new arrangement was short lived, as not long after three other members exited to form Foghat. As part of Savoy Brown’s Chris Youlden days,

A Step Further should be heard alongside Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, and Raw Sienna, as it’s an integral part of the band’s formative boogie blues years. (by Mike DeGange)

Savoy Brown Live 1969

 Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums, percussion)
Lonesome Dave Peverett (guitar)
Kim Simmonds (guitar)
Tony Stevens (bass)
Chris Youlden (vocals)
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David Bellman (viola)
Eddie Blair (trumpet)
Des Bradley (violin)
Percy Coates (violin)
Raymond Davis (flugelhorn, horn)
John Edwards (trombone)
Bob Efford (saxophone)
Jack Fields (violin)
Bob Hall (piano)
Bobby Haughey (flugelhorn, horn)
Don Honeywell  (saxophone)
Don Honeywill (saxophone
Butch Hudson (trumpet)
Maurice Loban (viola)
Don Lusher (trombone)
John Meek (viola)
Rex Morris (saxophone)
Phil Reid (violin)
John Ronayne (violin)
Louis Rose (viola)
Louis Rosen (viola)
Lionel Ross (cello)
John Shineborne (cello)
John Tonayne (violin)
Mike Vernon (percussion)
Charles Vorzanger (violin)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet)

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Tracklist:

Studio Side:
01. Made Up My Mind (Youlden) 2.59
02. Waiting In The Bamboo Grove (Simmonds) 3.38
03. Life’s One Act Play (Youlden) 6.31
04. I’m Tired (Youlden) + Where Am I (Willie/Brown) 5.05

Live Side:
05. Savoy Brown Boogie (Youlden/Simmonds) 22.07
including
05.a. I Feel So Good (Willis)
06.b. Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On (Williams/David)
06.c. Little Queenie (Berry)
06.d. Purple Haze (Hendrix)
05.e. Hernando’s Hideaway (Ross/Adler)

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Harvey Mandel – Righteous (1969)

FrontCover1Harvey Mandel (born March 11, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan, United States) is an American guitarist known for his innovative approach to electric guitar playing. A professional at twenty, he played with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, and John Mayall before starting a solo career. Mandel is one of the first rock guitarists to use two-handed fretboard tapping. Mandel was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
His first record was the album Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band in 1966 with Charlie Musselwhite. Described in 1997’s Legends of Rock Guitar as a “legendary” album, it was influential in bridging the gap between blues and rock and roll, with Mandel’s “relentless fuzztone, feedback-edged solos, and unusual syncopated phrasing.”

He relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, performing often at a club called The Matrix, where local favorites like Jerry Garcia or Elvin Bishop would sit in and jam. He then met up with pioneering San Francisco disc jockey and producer Abe ‘Voco’ Kesh (Abe Keshishian), who signed Mandel to Philips Records and produced his first solo album, Cristo Redentor in 1968. Mandel recorded with Barry Goldberg on a bootleg from Cherry Records and recorded with Graham Bond. He cut two more solo LPs for Philips, Righteous (1969) and Games Guitars Play (1970), followed by three more solo albums for the independent record label Janus in the early 1970s, which included Baby Batter. (by Wikipedia)

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And this is his second solo-album for Philips Records:

Not as consistent as his debut, due to the presence of a few pedestrian blues-rock numbers. The better tracks, though, show Mandel continuing to expand his horizons with imagination, particularly on the cuts with string and horn arrangements by noted jazz arranger Shorty Rogers. Harvey’s workout on Nat Adderley’s “Jive Samba” is probably his best solo performance, and an obvious touchstone for the Latin-rock hybrid of Carlos Santana (whose own debut came out the same year); on the other side of the coin, “Boo-Bee-Doo” is one of his sharpest and snazziest straight blues-rockers. (by Richie Unterberger)

As Mr. Ärmel wrote in this blog a year ago: “One of the most underrated guitar players ever.” …

HiteMandelHarvey Mandel with Bob Hite (Canned Heat), 1970

Personnel:
Duane Hitchings (organ)
Eddie Hoh (drums)
Harvey Mandel (guitar)
Art Stavro (bass)
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John Audino (trumpet on 07.)
Mike Barone (trombone on 07.)
Buddy Childers (trumpet on 07.)
Gene Cipriano (saxophone on 07.)
Stan Fishelson (trumpet on 07.)
Victor Feldman (vibraphone on 07.)
Plas Johnson (saxophone on 07.)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Bob Jones (guitar on 02., 05. drums, vocals on 04. + 09.)
Richard Leith (trombone on 07.)
Lew McCreary (trombone on 07.)
Ollie Mitchell (trumpet on 07.)
Pete Myers (trombone on 07.)
Jack Nimitz (saxophone on 07.)
Earl Palmer (percussion on 02., drums on 07.)
Bill Perkins (saxophone on 07.)
Howard Roberts (guitar on 07.)
Ernie Watts (saxophone on 07.)
Bob West (bass on 07.)

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Tracklist:

01. Righteous (Mandel) 3.22
02. Jive Samba (Adderley) 5.56
03. Love Of Life (Mandel/Jones) 3.14
04. Poontang (Jones) 3.54
05. Just A Hair More (Mandel) 3.39
06. Summer Sequence (Burns) 4.12
07. Short’s Stuff (Rogers) 7.19
08. Boo-Bee-Doo (Hitchings) 3.55
09. Campus Blues (Mandel) 4.43

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Melanie Safka – BBC On Air (1997)

FrontCover1Ten of the 18 songs on this CD were recorded live in 1975, another four date from 1969, and the last four are from 1989. Thus, we get a glimpse of Melanie in performance across a period of 20 years, doing a variety of material ranging from her own originals (including familiar songs such as “Beautiful People” and “Baby Guitar”) to covers of Phil Ochs’s “Chords of Fame,” Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “Almost Like Being in Love” (from Brigadoon), and the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.” Her rendition of “Almost Like Being in Love” is a folk-blues style interpretation, and one of the most downbeat and interesting (if not necessarily successful) takes on the song ever done. There is a certain sameness to much of the rest of the material that works against too many people other than hardcore fans appreciating this disc, although some numbers, such as “The Nickel Song” and “Beautiful People,” always work. The version of “Ruby Tuesday,” like the other three 1989 vintage songs here, features a full band with synthesizers and drum machines, and is a bit jarring, though Melanie still throws herself impressively into the classic Rolling Stones song. (by Bruce Eder)

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Featuring a series of live recordings covering a period of 20 years this CD provides excellent sound and a unique record of Melanie’s live and session work for the BBC. The first 10 tracks feature a concert recorded for the BBC Radio One In Concert series in 1975. Track 5 is incorrectly listed and is actually a song called Here We Go Again. During this concert Melanie is accompanied by Barry Lee Harwood on guitar and mandolin. Barry played on Sunsets and Other Beginnings and As I See It Now but fails to be credited on the cover of the CD.

Tracks 11 to 14 are rare session recordings from 1969, just Melanie and her guitar. Visit My Dreams is perhaps better known as Deep Down Low from Melanie’s second album.
While all tracks have so far featured acoustic versions of songs, the last four feature Melanie with a full band. The tracks where recorded during a visit to the UK to promote Cowabonga. The musicians that accompany Melanie also accompanied her during two concerts at the Shaw Theatre in London in 1989. (by melaniesafkarecordings.uk)

And I confess … I´m a real fan of Melanie Safka … what  wonderful voice, what sensitive music and lyrics …

But … her 1989 recordings were not really good (especially tzhe Version of “Goodybye Ruby Tuesday is more than lousy …) … but …

… don’t miss “Rock An’ Roll Heart” — a song every baby boomer can relate to.
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Personnel:

BBC Radio One In Concert, November 1975:
Barry Lee Hardwood (guitar, mandolin)
Melanie (vocals, guitar)

BBC Session, September 1969:
Melanie Safka (vocals, guitar)

BBC Session, September 89:
Kay Langford (vocals)
Justin Myers (bass)
Neil Palmer (keyboards)
Alan Ross (guitar, background vocals)
Melanie Safka (vocals, guitar)
Chris Staines (background vocals)
Pete Thompson (drums)

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Tracklist:

BBC Radio One In Concert, November 1975:

01. Autumn Lady (Safka) 4.13
02. Chords Of Fame (Ochs) 5.14
03. Almost Like Being In Love (Lerner/Loewe) 5.09
04. Stoneground Words (Safka) 5.09
05. Here I Am (Safka) 2.37
06. Any Guy (Safka) 2.560
07. Do You Believe (Safka) 6.08
08. Leftover Wine (Safka) 5.44
09. The Nickel Song (Safka) 4.03
10. Beautiful People (Safka) 5.31

BBC Session, September 1969:
11. Visit My Dreams (Deep Down Low) (Safka) 3.51
12. Up Town And Down (Safka) 2.51
13. Baby Guitar (Safka) 2.49
14. Tuning My Guitar (Safka) 4.16

BBC Session, September 89:
15. Ruby Tuesday (Jagger/Richards) 3.50
16. Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart (Safka) 5.17
17. Racing Heart (Safka) 5.17
18. Apathy (Safka/Schekeryk) 3.50

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Savoy Brown – Blue Matter (1969)

FrontCover1Blue Matter is the third album by the band Savoy Brown. Teaming up once again with producer Mike Vernon, it finds them experimenting even more within the blues framework. Several tracks feature piano (played by Bob Hall, guitarist Kim Simmonds, and vocalist Chris Youlden, who even plays guitar here) as well as trombone.
This album featured a mix of live and studio recordings. The live tracks were recorded on December 6, 1968 at the now defunct City of Leicester College of Education because the band was scheduled to tour the USA and needed additional tracks to complete the album in time for the tour. The booking at the college represented their only chance to record the extra tracks in a live venue before embarking on the tour. An offer to perform the concert free of charge was accepted by Chris Green, the college Social Secretary, who had made the original booking, and the concert was duly recorded, a number of the live tracks being added to the album.
Because Chris Youlden was suffering from tonsillitis, Dave Peverett stood in as lead vocalist on the live tracks.
The album track “Vicksburg Blues” had first appeared as the B-side of Decca single F 12797 (released June 1968), fronted by “Walking by Myself”. (by wikipedia)
The third release by Kim Simmonds and company, but the first to feature the most memorable lineup of the group: Simmonds, “Lonesome” Dave Peverett, Tony “Tone” Stevens, Roger Earl, and charismatic singer Chris Youlden. This one serves up a nice mixture of blues covers and originals, with the first side devoted to studio cuts and the second a live club date recording. Certainly the standout track, indeed a signature song by the band, is the tour de force “Train to Nowhere,” with its patient, insistent buildup and pounding train-whistle climax. Additionally, David Anstey’s detailed, imaginative sleeve art further boosts this a notch above most other British blues efforts.(by Peter Kurtz)

Side One is marked “Studio”; Side Two is marked “Live” and was recorded at The City of Leicester College of Education, Friday 6th December 1968.

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Savoy Brown, live in 1969
Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums, percussion)
Bob Hall (piano)
“Lonesome” Dave Peverett (guitar, vocals)
Kim Simmonds (guitar, harmonica, piano)
Tone Stevens (bass)
Chris Youlden (vocals, guitar, piano)
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Rivers Jobe (bass on 01., 02. + 04.)
Mike Vernon (percussion on 01.)
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trombones on 01:
Terry Flannery – Keith Martin – Alan Moore – Brian Perrin – Derek Wadsworth

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Tracklist:
01. Train To Nowhere (Simmonds/Youlden) 4.12
02. Tolling Bells (Simmonds/Youlden) 6.33
03. She’s Got A Ring In His Nose And A Ring On Her Hand (Youlden) 3.07
04. Vicksburg Blues (Hall/Youlden) 4.00
05. Don’t Turn Me From Your Door (Hooker) 5.4
06. Grits Ain’t Groceries (All Around Te World) (bonus track) (Turner) 2.46
07. May Be Wrong (Peverett) 7.56

08. Louisiana Blues (Morganfield) 9.05
09. It Hurts Me Too (London) 6.51
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Papa George Lightfoot – Natchez Trace (1969)

originalfrontcover1Thanks to a handful of terrific 1950s sides, the name of Papa Lightfoot was spoken in hushed and reverent tones by 1960s blues aficionados. Then, producer Steve LaVere tracked down the elusive harp master in Natchez, cutting an album for Vault in 1969 that announced to the world that Lightfoot was still wailing like a wildman on the mouth organ. Alas, his comeback was short-lived; he died in 1971 of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

Sessions for Peacock in 1949 (unissued), Sultan in 1950, and Aladdin in 1952 preceded an amazing 1954 date for Imperial in New Orleans that produced Lightfoot’s “Mean Old Train,” “Wine Women Whiskey” (comprising his lone single for the firm) and an astonishing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Lightfoot’s habit of singing through his harp microphone further coarsened his already rough-hewn vocals, while his harp playing was simply shot through with endless invention. Singles for Savoy in 1955 and Excello the next year (the latter billed him as “Ole Sonny Boy”) closed out Lightfoot’s ’50s recording activities, setting the stage for his regrettably brief comeback in 1969. (by Bill Dahl)

One of the finest of southern juke joint bluesmen, Papa George Lightfoot’s music was totally untainted by the folk and blues revivals of the late 50s and mid-60s. Born Alexander Lightfoot in Natchez on March 2, 1924, the Deep South harmonica player and singer recorded for Peacock, Aladdin, Imperial and Savoy. His 1954 Imperial side papageorgelightfoot01Wine,Women,Whiskey was later issued in England in 1969 as a single on Liberty. Later that same year, Lightfoot was tracked down by Steve La Vere and recorded at the new Malaco studio in Jackson, Mississippi on 21st July 1969. The session was originally released as “Natchez Trace” by Vault Records of California and saw almost simultaneous release in the UK on Liberty Records. Among the sides is New Mean Old Train, an updated version of Mean Old Train, a song Lightfoot recorded earlier for both Imperial and Savoy. “Goin’ Back To The Natchez Trace” presents the earlier LP together with 5 previously unissued tracks and an extended spoken monologue. The recordings have been completely restored from original analogue master tapes, the sound quality vastly improved upon and the music totally remixed by Vie Keary at Chiswick Reach Studio, London, on valve equipment. If you previously knew this LP when it was available on either Vault, Liberty or Crosscut, you are in for a big (and pleasant) surprise. Papa George is accompanied by a fine little group including soul man Tommy Tate on drums, Carson Whitsett on piano, Jerry Puckett on guitar and Ron Johnson on bass. Following the album’s release he appeared at the famous Ann Arbor, Michigan Blues Festival in 1970 but, before he could capitalise on his turn of fortune, he died suddenly on 28th November, 1971 at Natchez Charity Hospital. “Goin’ Back To The Natchez Trace” stands as a testament to his music and to the kind of Deep South blues now long gone.

This is one of the blues harmonica Albums I´ve ever heard ! A real forgotten hero of the Blues !

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Personnel:
Ron Johnson (bass)
Papa George Lightfoot (vocals, harmonica
Jerry Puckett (guitar)
Tommy Tate (drums)
Carson Whitsett (piano)

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Tracklist:
01  My Woman Is Tired Of Me Lyin’ (Lightfoot) 7.08
02. New Mean Old Train (Lightfoot) 3.30
03. Love Me Baby (Lightfoot) 5.15
04. Goin’ Down That Muddy Road (Lightfoot/LaVere) 4.17
05. Ah, Come On Honey (Lightfoot) 4.08
06. I Heard Somebody Cryin’ (Lightfoot) 4.21
07. Take It Witcha (Lightfoot) 4.11
08. Nighttime (Lightfoot) 6.05

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Colosseum – Valentyne Suite (1969)

frontcover1Valentyne Suite was the second album released by the band Colosseum. It was Vertigo Records’ first album release, and reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart in 1969.[1]
Though the song “The Kettle” is officially listed as having been written by Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, a credit which is confirmed by Hiseman’s liner notes for the album, bassist and producer Tony Reeves later claimed that it was written by guitarist and vocalist James Litherland. (by Wikipedia)
One of England’s prime jazz-rock — or, more accurately, rock-jazz — outfits, most of the members of Colossuem had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both “The Kettle” and “Butty’s Blues” are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well in a grander context; in the latter case much grander, as a brass ensemble enters for the last part, drowning out everything but the guitar, an indication that this recording is in dire need of remastering. “Elegy” is a fast-paced, minor-key blues that stretches guitarist James Litherland’s vocal abilities. Things do get far more interesting with “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice,” which offers solo opportunities to organist Dave Greenslade and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith before re-emerging in what can only be called a proto-industrial style, all heavily treated clattering percussion.
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The album’s real joy comes with “The Valentyne Suite,” which takes the band out of their bluesy comfort zone into something closer to prog rock. Bandleader Jon Hiseman is a stalwart throughout, his busy drumming and fills owing far more to jazz than the studied backbeat of rock. Greenslade proves to be a largely unsung hero, his only real solo in the suite something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing. As to criticism, bassist Tony Reeves has very little flow to his playing, which severely hampers a rhythm section that needs to be loose-limbed, and Litherland’s guitar playing is formulaic, which can be fine for rock, but once outside the most straightforward parameters, he seems lost. In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable, and for much of the time, extremely enjoyable. (by Chris Nickson )
Without any doubts: This is one of the finest jazz-rock albums ever recorded and this is one of my most favourite Albums.
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Live at the Bath Festival, June 28th, 1969
Personnel:
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibraphone, background vocal on 03.)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophones, flute)
Jon Hiseman (drums, percussion)
James Litherland (guitar, vocals)
Tony Reeves (bass)

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Neil Ardley (conductor)
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Tracklist:
01. The Kettle (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 6.46
02. Elegy (Litherland) 3.14
03. Butty’s Blues (Litherland) 3.28
04. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Litherland, Heckstall-Smith/Brown, Hiseman) 3:55
05. Valentyne Suite Theme One: January’s Search (Greenslade) 6.20
06. Valentyne Suite Theme Two: February’s Valentyne (Greenslade) 6.57
07. Valentyne Suite Theme Three: The Grass is Always Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 3.37
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Beach Boys – Live In London (1969)

originalfrontcover1Live in London is a live album by American rock band the Beach Boys released by EMI in the UK in May 1970. When released in the US on November 15, 1976, the album was renamed Beach Boys ’69 via Capitol Records.

1968 was a very difficult year for The Beach Boys at home, where their reputation had soured considerably, yet their European success was still strong as evidenced by these confident performances recorded while the group were making their 20/20 album. After the surprise success of the Endless Summer and Spirit of America hits packages in 1974 and 1975, the Beach Boys enjoyed a resurgence of popularity at home, especially on the concert circuit. It was during this time that Capitol decided to strike while the iron was hot and issue a renamed edition of the album for the first time in the US. The reissue had art by rock artist Jim Evans, and a new title, Beach Boys ’69. Besides the fact that the live performance was actually recorded in December 1968, the LP’s appearance added confusion to the marketplace as the group had recently issued a new, live double album—The Beach Boys in Concert—on their own Brother Records label, as part of a distribution deal with their new label, Reprise. Despite this, the record became a small chart success in the US, following the Top 10 placing of 15 Big Ones, reaching #75 in the Fall of 1976 during a US chart stay of 10 weeks. The UK edition failed to chart.

It is believed that The Beach Boys owed Capitol one more album (this may have been it, instead of the Fading Rock Group Revival/Reverberation project), and so, this release ended their relationship with the record label, and with EMI in the UK. (by wikipedia)

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Though their studio output is the stuff of legend, the Beach Boys’ live performances aren’t as familiar to the casual fan. Live in London (also released as Beach Boys ’69) represented the second live set from the band, after 1964’s teen-scream Beach Boys Concert. By the turn of the 1960s into the ’70s, the group was finally rising to the task of translating its lush, layered sound into a live arena. Classics like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Darlin'” carry all of their original beauty, bolstered by the energy of the live setting and by swinging horn accompaniment. More unexpected cuts, such as the celebratory “Wake the World” and a bluesy take of “Bluebirds Over the Mountains,” fit in perfectly with staples like the tempo-shifting, musically precise version of “Good Vibrations,” just one crowd-pleaser among many on Live in London. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Al Jardine (vocals, guitar)
Bruce Johnston (vocals, keyboards, bass)
Mike Love (vocals, tambourine)
Carl Wilson (vocals, guitar)
Brian Wilson (vocals, bass, keyboards)
Dennis Wilson (vocals, drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Darlin’ (B. Wilson/Love) 2.14
02. Wouldn’t It Be Nice (B. Wilson/Asher) 1.45
03. Sloop John B (Tradotional) 2.20
04. California Girls (B.Wilson) 1.48
05. Do It Again (B. Wilson/Love) 2.15
06. Wake The World (Jardine/B. Wilson)1.48
07. Aren’t You Glad (B. Wilson/Love) 2.26
08. Bluebirds Over The Mountain (Hickey) 2.31
09. Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring (Troup) 1.47
10. Good Vibrations (B. Wilson/Love) 3.34
11. God Only Knows (B. Wilson/Asher) 2.27
12. Barbara Ann (Fassert)  1.57
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13. Don´t Worry Baby (B.Wilson/Christian) 2.57
14. Heroes And Villains (B.Wilson/Parks) 3.45

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