Wynder K. Frog – Into The Fire (1970)

FrontCover1.JPGAnd here´s a real intersting story about a great session musicians from UK:

Mick Weaver (born 16 June 1944, Bolton, Lancashire, England) is an English session musician, best known for his playing of the Hammond B3 organ, and as an exponent of the blues and funk.

Weaver’s band performed as Wynder K. Frog and became popular on the student union and club circuit of the mid sixties. A brief merging of this band with Herbie Goins and the Night-Timers took his work to a higher level. Wynder K. Frogg—they are billed under this spelling—appeared on the bill at The Savile Theatre, London on 24 September 1967 supporting Traffic on their first U.K. presentation. Also on the bill were Jackie Edwards and Nirvana. The compere was David Symonds.

When Steve Winwood left Traffic to form Blind Faith, Weaver was recruited to replace him and Traffic became Mason, Capaldi, Wood and Frog, soon shortened to Wooden Frog. They played a few gigs before dissolving three months later when Traffic reformed. After this he recorded with solo artists such as Buddy Guy, Dave Gilmour, Joe Cocker, Eric Burdon, Frankie Miller, Roger Chapman Steve Marriott and Gary Moore as well as Taj Mahal and The Blues Band, also playing keyboards with Steve Marriott’s Majik Mijits. (by wikipedia)

MickWeaver01A.jpgThis is his third and last solo album … which at the time was only issued in the USA. The material on ‘Into The Fire’ once again is organ dominated Swingin’ London music, but it also includes funky moods and moves. (by shinybeast.nl)

This album by Wynder K Frog – a groovy Brit organist who’s probably best known for his work with Traffic, but who’s really opening up here, laying down some wonderfully jazzy and funky instrumentals with a fuzzy Hammond sound that’s really great!

Although the set was recorded in the UK, the best cuts have a soulful crossover sound that feels like it should have been recorded during one of the Cadet Concept sessions in Chicago at the same time. One cut has vocals, but the best are the instrumentals – like “Into the Fire”, “Howl In Wolf’s Clothing”, “Hot Salt Beef”, “Cool Hand Stanley”, and “Why Am I Treated So Bad” (by dustygroove.com)

Oh yes … this album grooves …  !

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Personnel:
Kwasi “Rocky” Dzidzornu (percussion)
Neil Hubbard (guitar)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
Shawn Phillips (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Rowland (drums)
Alan Spenner (bass)
Mick “Wynder K. Frog” Weaver (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Into The Fire (Mercer/Weaver) 4.11
02. Howl In Wolf’s Clothing (Weaver) 3.28
03. F In Blues (Mercer/Weaver) 5.43
04. Cool Hand Stanley (Mercer/Weaver/Hubbard) 5.40
05. Eddie’s Tune (Weaver/Hubbard/Phillips) 5.27
06. Why Am I Treated So Bad (Staples) 5.02
07. Hot Salt Beef (Mercer/Weaver/Hubbard) 4.54
08. Warm And Tender Love (Robinson) 4.12

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Coming soon, the wonderful Wynder K. Frog Box “Shook, Shimmy And Shake”
with lots of rarities and a gret booklet:

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Atomic Rooster – Death Walks Behind You (1970)

FrontCover1.jpg“Devil’s Answer” might be the record for which Atomic Rooster are remembered, but it was their second album that posted warning that they were on the verge of creating something dazzling — simply because the record itself is a thing of almost freakish beauty. With only organist Vincent Crane surviving from the original lineup, and John Du Cann coming in to relieve him of some of the songwriting duties, Death Walks Behind You opens at a gallop and closes with a sprint. The title track is effectively spooky enough for any Hammer horror aficionado, all descending pianos and Psycho-screaming guitars, while “Gershatzer,” a duet for organ and percussion, proves that new drummer Paul Hammond is more than a match for the departed Carl Palmer. It’s in between these dramatic bookends, however, that Rooster truly peak, with the stately “VUG,” the pensive “Nobody Else,” and the truly amazing “Tomorrow Night” (one of the scariest love songs ever let loose on the U.K. chart) all impressing. Crane’s liner notes, incidentally, remind us that the album packed a different version of the hit, with an extended ending that descends into unimagined chaos — a shocker for the pop kids, perhaps, but a fabulous bridge into the succeeding “7 Streets.” Possibly the best evidence for this being Atomic Rooster’s masterpiece, however, comes not simply from what’s on the album, but for what has been left off. An excellent repackaging and remastering job restores the original artwork in all its gatefold glory, but you’ll search in vain for bonus tracks — not because there were none to add, but because they simply wouldn’t fit. Sit through Death Walks Behind You, after all, and you really won’t need any more surprises. (by Dave Thompson)

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In the progressive rock community there is some controversy regarding the status of Atomic Rooster as a full-fledged prog band. Like many Seventies acts often placed under the ‘heavy prog’ umbrella (Captain Beyond and High Tide to name but two), in the eyes of purists they are little more than glorified hard rock combos with some hints of something more complex, yet more akin to Deep Purple and Black Sabbath than Genesis or Yes. In recent times I have happened to see Atomic Rooster labeled as a ‘dark’ band – a definition that made me think of the likes of The Cure or Siouxsie and the Banshees rather than any of the classic bands of the Seventies.

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On the other hand, as both the brilliant title and the iconic cover (depicting William Blake’s “Nebuchadnezzar” on a simple black background) suggest, Death Walks Behind You is a very dark album – a haunting, Hammond-drenched effort which sounds like a encounter between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple with ELP writing the soundtrack. In many ways, it can be seen as the blueprint for the heavier side of prog, a lavish feast for any self-respecting fan of the mighty Hammond organ, and a welcome respite from the pastoral soundscapes of Camel or Genesis, or the mind-boggling intricacy of Yes. Definitely hard-edged, occasionally oppressive, undeniably raw and unpolished, it possesses the kind of power that many more recent albums strive in vain to achieve.

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Alternate frontcovers

This is one of the rare albums that captured my attention right from the first listen. True, Death Walks Behind You is not perfect, but then very few albums are, even those normally hailed as masterpieces. Vincent Crane’s highly effective, aggressive playing style, perfectly complemented by the expressive voice and blistering guitar lines of John DuCann (formerly with proto-prog outfit Andromeda), is a real treat for the ears of every Hammond lover. The third band member, drummer Paul Hammond (who replaced co-founder Carl Palmer when the latter joined ELP), lays down a powerful backbeat, assisted by Crane’s skillful use of both keyboard and foot pedals to replace the missing bass lines. This idiosyncratic take on the classic power trio unleashes a massive volume of music that, while not as technically impeccable as what ELP or Deep Purple were producing at the time, is brimming with sheer intensity.

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Various single covers

A couple of tracks relieve the tension and overall dark mood of the album – namely the catchy, almost upbeat “Tomorrow Night” (originally released as a single), and the heavy rock-goes-commercial “I Can’t Take No More”. Neither are personal favourites: in my view, especially the latter could be scrapped from the album without doing a whole lot of damage. On the other hand, the slow, melancholy number “Nobody Else”, dominated by Crane’s piano, sees a remarkably emotional vocal performance by DuCann, providing a perfect foil for Crane’s despondent, foreboding lyrics (he suffered from mental problems and ended up committing suicide, as did Hammond).

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The real highlights of the album, however, are to be found elsewhere. The title-track is introduced by dissonant, menacing piano, then explodes into a memorably hypnotic organ riff punctuated by the obsessive repetition of the title, “Death Walks Behind You”. “7 Streets” is a more structured composition, based on the interplay between organ and guitar, while “Sleeping for Years” is in a similar vein, though with a slightly darker tone – both excellent examples of vintage heavy prog, somewhat influenced by Black Sabbath, but with better vocals and lashings of keyboards replacing Tony Iommi’s monstrous riffing. The two instrumentals, “VUG” and “Gershatzer”, are probably the most progressive offerings on the album, showcasing Crane’s skills as a Hammond player; the latter, which is almost 8 minutes long, has the slightly loose feel of a jam session, intensified by the presence of a short drum solo.

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US backcover

Though not exactly flawless, Death Walks Behind You is an impressive offering that is almost a must-listen for Hammond fans and anyone who likes their prog with a harder edge (though not necessarily metal). A fascinating, almost addictive album by an underrated band, whose long but chequered career ended tragically with Vincent Crane’s death in 1989. (by Raffaella Berry)

One of the finest album from the early prog-rock years in UK !

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Personnel:
John du Cann (guitar, vocals, bass)
Vincent Crane (keyboards, background vocals)
Paul Hammond (drums, percussion)
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Carl Plamer (drums on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Death Walks Behind You (Du Cann, Crane) 7.23
02. Vug (Crane) 5.00
03. Tomorrow Night (Crane) 4.00
04. 7 Streets (Du Cann) 6.44
05. Sleeping For Years (Du Cann) 5.27
06. I Can’t Take No More (Du Cann) 3.34
07. Nobody Else (Crane/Du Cann) 5.01
08. Gershatzer (Crane/Hammond) 7.58
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09. Play The Game (“Tomorrow Night” B-side 1971) (Du Cann) 4.42
10. The Devil’s Answer (Demo version 1970) (Du Cann) 4.00
11. Devil’s Answer (Single version) (Du Cann) 3.28

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Death walked behind them:

Vincent Crane: 
(1943 – 1989)

John Du Cann:
(1946 – 2011)

Paul Hammond:
(1952–1992)

Death walks behind you

Lock the door, switch the light
You’ll be so afraid tonight
Hide away from the bad
Count the nine lives that you had

Start to scream, shout for help
There is no one by your side
To forget what is done
Seems so hard to carry on

Luck is false, that it’s near
Bring yourself to understand
It’s your fate or what’s cast
Point a finger at yourself

Death walks behind you

Henry Townsend – Henry T. Music Man (Cairo Blues) (1973 – 1999)

LPFrontCover1Henry “Mule” Townsend (October 27, 1909 – September 24, 2006) was an American blues singer, guitarist and pianist.

Townsend was born Henry Jesse James Townsend, in Shelby, Mississippi, and grew up in Cairo, Illinois. He left home at the age of nine because of an abusive father and hoboed his way to St. Louis, Missouri. He learned guitar while in his early teens from a locally renowned blues guitarist known as Dudlow Joe.

By the late 1920s he had begun touring and recording with the pianist Walter Davis and had acquired the nickname Mule, because he was sturdy in both physique and character. In St. Louis, he worked with some of the early blues pioneers, including J. D. Short.

Townsend was one of the only artists known to have recorded in nine consecutive decades. He first recorded in 1929 and remained active up to 2006. By the mid-1990s, Townsend and his one-time collaborator Yank Rachell were the only active blues artists whose careers had started in the 1920s. He recorded on several different labels, including Columbia Records, Bluesville Records, and Folkways Records.

HenryTownsend01Articulate and self-aware, with an excellent memory, Townsend gave many invaluable interviews to blues enthusiasts and scholars. Paul Oliver recorded him in 1960 and quoted him extensively in his 1967 work Conversations with the Blues. Thirty years later, Bill Greensmith edited thirty hours of taped interviews with Henry to produce a full autobiography, giving a vivid history of the blues scene in St Louis and East St Louis in its prime.

In 1979, Bob West recorded Townsend in St. Louis. That recording was released on CD in 2002 on Arcola Records as “Henry Townsend the Real St. Louis Blues.”

In 1985 he received the National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of his status as a “master artist”. In 1995 he was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Townsend died on September 24, 2006, at the age of 96, at St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospital, in Mequon, Wisconsin, just hours after having been the first person to be presented with a “key” in Grafton’s Paramount Plaza Walk of Fame.

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On February 10, 2008, Townsend was posthumously awarded a Grammy, his first, at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The award, in the category Best Traditional Blues Album, was given for his performances on Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas, released by the Blue Shoe Project. Townsend’s son, Alonzo Townsend, accepted the award on his behalf.

On December 4, 2009, a marker commemorating Townsend was added to the Mississippi Blues Trail (by wikipedia)

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The Mississippi Blues Trail was created by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2006 to place interpretive markers at the most notable historical sites related to the birth, growth, and influence of the blues throughout (and in some cases beyond) the state of Mississippi. Within the state the trail extends from the Gulf Coast north along several highways to (among other points) Natchez, Vicksburg, Jackson, Leland, Greenwood, Clarksdale, Tunica, Grenada, Oxford, Columbus, and Meridian. The largest concentration of markers is in the Mississippi Delta but other regions of the state are also represented. Several out-of-state markers have also been erected where blues with Mississippi roots has had significance. (by wikipedia)

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And here is one of these hard to find albums by Henry Townsend:

Several related factors come together here to make this a particularly wonderful blues album, something in the nature of a sleeper that may become a listener’s favorite choice when it comes time for some blues. For one thing, there’s the surprise factor in that this is not one of the “star” names in blues, due to the fact that Henry Townsend mostly recorded as a sideman, or under a bogus name such as St. Louis Jimmy. His is a top-quality blues voice and he is a sharp and accurate blues picker on both the electric and acoustic model, in the Lightnin’ Hopkins and Skip James mode but with a harder edge. And he even throws in some decent blues piano, although the out-of-tune model he uses moves the whole thing into the rarified realm of microtonal blues.

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Over-familiarity can sometimes take the luster off a performance by a big-name artist, but that is guaranteed not to happen with Townsend because very few blues fans can say they have heard too much of him. Material was recorded over a five-year period, and the wandering and ever-changing sound quality also helps the album, as do the different instrumental combinations. The tandem guitar picking really sounds good, with that wooden back-porch quality that escaped most of the primitive recording machines in the old days, and couldn’t possibly be recreated in a modern studio. One track worthy of special mention — they are all really good — is the vocal duet performance with Vernell Townsend, a song entitled “Why Do We Love Each Other?” This has a sound that really sticks with you. (by Eugene Chadbourne)

And here I can offer the CD-version from 199 with two bonus tracks

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Personnel:
Henry Townsend (vocals, guitar, piano on 04. + 10.)
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Henry Brown (piano on 08.)
Andrew Cauthen (harmonica on 02.)
Mike Stewart (guitar on 03. – 06., 09. – 13. )
Vernell Townsend (vocals on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Cairo Blues (*) 3.27
02. Tired Of Being Mistreated (*) 2.57
03. Biddle Street Blues 2.52
04. She Walked Away 3.32
05. Every Day Of My Life 3.22
06. Sloppy Drunk Again 3.47
07. Why Do We Love Each Other? 3.23
08. Deep Morgan Stomp 3.07
09. Buzz,Buzz,Buzz,… 2.45
10. Heart Trouble 3.40
11. Doing Better In Life 3.15
12. Don’t You Remember Me 4.04
13. Now Or Never 5.06

All ongs ritten by Henry Towshend

(*) CD bonus tracks)

Recorded St. Louis, Mo., September 1969 (tracks 1 to 5), and April 1974 (tracks 8, 10, 13).
Recorded at Potomac, Md., August 1970 (tracks 3, 6), August 1971(tracks 9, 11, 12).
Recorded at Silver Spring, Md., August 1971 (tracks 3, 7).

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While Henry Townsend did not scorn his old recordings, he had no taste for spending his later years simply recreating them.
Blues, for him, was a living medium, and he continued to express himself in it, most remarkably in his songwriting.
(Tony Russell, The Guardian)

Various Artists – The Vertigo Annual (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgVertigo Records was the late 60s progressive rock arm of the Philips Records empire.

Vertigo Records is a record company, which originated in the United Kingdom. It was a subsidiary of the Philips/Phonogram record label, launched in 1969 to specialise in progressive rock and other non-mainstream musical styles. Today it is operated by Universal Music UK.

Vertigo was the brainchild of Olav Wyper when he was Creative Director at Phonogram. It was launched as a competitor to labels such as Harvest (a prog subsidiary of EMI) and Deram (Decca). It was the home to bands such as Colosseum, Jade Warrior, Affinity, Ben and other bands from ‘the “cutting edge” of the early-’70s British prog-folk-post-psych circuit’. The first Vertigo releases came with a distinctive black and white spiral label, which was replaced with Roger Dean’s spaceship design in 1973.

Vertigo later became the European home to various hard rock bands signed to Mercury in North America, such as Bon Jovi, Rush and Kiss.

Olav Wyper01

Vertigo is a division of Island Records in the United States and operates as Virgin EMI Records in the UK, which in turn is a frontline music group operation of Universal Music UK. In Germany, Vertigo has merged with Capitol Records and is mainly used for German rock artists. The label’s legacy artists include Metallica (outside the US and Canada), Razorlight, Rush (Europe) and Dire Straits (except the US). More recent signings include The Rapture, The Killers (UK/Ireland), One Night Only, Amy Macdonald, Noisettes and Thee Unstrung 2004-2005 and Kassidy in 2009. Black Sabbath returned to the label in 2013 (including the US and Canada for the first time via sister label Republic) until their dissolution in 2017 although former sister label Sanctuary Records Group acquired international rights to their back catalogue in the interim (the band were last on Vertigo in 1987). (by wikipedia)

And here´s a damn good sampler, the first sampler of the legendary Vertigo Label:

A two-LP label sampler from the nascent Vertigo label — Polygram’s answer to EMI’s Bookprogressive — psychedelic boutique, Harvest. Overall, for a label sampler, this was a better than average double slab of vinyl, with tried-and-true heavy cuts (from Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Juicy Lucy, May Blitz) jostling for space with lighter stuff (Magna Carta, Dr. Strangely Strange). Rod Stewart turns up as well, with an early solo outing on “Handbags and Gladrags.” (by Steven McDonald)

The title of this double label sampler leads one to believe that there were plans for an annual release, but Vertigo never got any further than 1970. Contrary to the ‘Heads together’ sampler, this one contains previously released material only and so serves quite succeedingly as an introduction to Vertigo’s miracles.The contents are chosen with taste: almost every track is among the best from the respective album and therefore this sampler comes recommended for anyone who wants to start to explore what the fuzz is all about.Red foliage surely is a favourite of Keef the album designer. This time a naked lady on a dotted hobby-horse fronts the landscape. A small boy dressed in parade uniform plays the drum and looks at her. Quite striking.

The lettering is chosen in accordance to the ‘annual’ idea and could have been taken from any children’s annual of the times.

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Inside the horse’s head is displayed in a coloured negative photograph and also proudly quotes underground magazine ‘it’: Vertigo is the least pretentiously and most happily married of the ‘progressive’ labels to emerge from ‘neath the wings of the large record companies.

One of those indispensable samplers, with so much going for it – label design, musical quality, rare tracks, top audio and alluring cover pics – it has become a collectors item by own merits. One cut each from the sixteen first albums realeased by the label. Most represented here didn’t sell a lot back then and the originals can sometimes be hard to find or afford. I haven’t had or heard all of those so I can’t compare, but get the impression they picked the better or best from each.

MC

Some compilations have at least one downer regarding track choice or audio. On here I can’t find one thing less than marvelous. From the happy-go-luckys Fairfield Parlour “In My Box” and Magna Carta “Going My Way” over the heavy Sabbath, Juicy Lucy and Uriah Heep cuts to the jazzier Nucleus, Colosseum and May Blitz it’s all tophole.

Vertigo was a highly collectable label . and this sampler is the best way to start with this cult label…

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Tracklist:
01. Colosseum; Elegy (from “Valentyne Suite VO1”) (Litherland) 3.10
02. Rod Stewart: Handbags And Gladrags (from “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down VO4”) (d’Abo) 4.26
03. Jimmy Campbell: Half Baked (from “Half Baked 6360010”) (Campbell) 4.43
04. May Blitz: I Don’t Know (from “May Blitz 6360007”) (Black/Hudson/Newman) 4.50
05. Juicy Lucy: Mississippi Woman (from “Juicy Lucy VO2”) (Hubbart/Campbell/Mercer/ Ellis/Owen/Dobson) 3.49
06. Fairfield Parlour: In My Box (from “From Home To Home 6360001”) (Pumer/Daltrey) 2.00
07. Magna Carta: Goin’ My Way (Road Song) (from “Seasons 6360003”) (Simpson) 2.55
08. Affinity: Three Sisters (from “Affinity 6360004”) (Hoile/Naiff) 5.01
09. Black Sabbath: Behind The Wall Of Sleep (from “Black Sabbath VO6”) (Ward/Butler/ Osbourne/Iommi) 3.41
10. Gracious; Introduction (from “Gracious! 6360002” (Kitcat/Davis) 5.56
11. Cressida: To Play Your Little Game (from “Cressida VO7”) (Heyworth) 3.22
12. Nucleus: Elastic Rock (from “Elastic Rock 6360008”) (Jenkins) 4.06
13. Manfred Mann Chapter Three: One Way Glass (from “Manfred Mann Chapter Three VO3”) (Mann/Thomas) 3.36
14. Bob Downes: No Time Like The Present (from “Electric City 6360005”) (Downes) 3.05
15. Dr. Strangely Strange: Summer Breeze (from “Heavy Petting 6360009”) (Booth) 3.42
16. Uriah Heep: Gypsy (from “…Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble… 6360006”) (Byron/Box) 6.57
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17. Catapilla: Changes (from “Changes 6360 074”) (Wilson/Calvert/Meek) 12.05
18. Gravy Train: Think Of Life (from “Gravy Train 6360 023”) (Davenport/Hughes/Barratt /Cordwell/Williams) 5.10
19. Jade Warrior: May Queen (from ” Last Autumn’s Dream 6360 079″) (Havard/ Field/ Duhig) 5.24
20. Mike Absalom: Frightened Of The Dark (from “Mike Absalom 6360 053 “) (Absalom) 3.25
21. Ramases: Life Child (from “Space Hymns 6360 046”) (Godley/GouldmanCreme/ Raphael ) 6.39
22. Patto: Give It All Away (from “Hold Your Fire 6360 032 ) (Patto/Halsall) 4.10

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Jimi Hendrix – The Rainbow Bridge Concert (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgRainbow Bridge is a 1971 film directed by Chuck Wein about different countercultural figures interacting on the Hawaiian island of Maui. He described it as “a kind of space-age Candid Camera. We’re going to place Pat [New York model Pat Hartley, the protagonist] in all kinds of real-life situtations, and film what happens. We’re going to shoot a lot of film and just see what comes out of it.” Harry Shapiro adds, “the idea was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider, showing the positive side of the youth movement.”

Filmed with non-professional actors and without a script, it features improvised scenes with a variety of characters. When it became apparent that it was floundering, producer Michael Jeffery brought in his client Jimi Hendrix to film an outdoor concert (July 30, 1970). Hendrix’s heavily edited (no complete songs) performance appears near the end of the film. Rainbow Bridge was a critical failure and has been re-released on video tape and DVD formats. Although it only contains 17 minutes of Hendrix performing, it continues to attract attention as his second-to-last American concert and the last one filmed.

TheRainbowBridgePosterFaced with a serious cash flow problem, Jeffery approached Reprise Records parent Warner Bros. with an idea for a youth film. He was able to secure a $450,000 advance with the promise of a soundtrack by Hendrix. While in Maui, Jeffery met Mike Hynson, star of The Endless Summer surf epic, and wanted to develop a film. With the proposed title Wave, it would be centered on the Maui countercultural community. Jeffery enlisted Chuck Wein, who had produced three Andy Warhol Factory films. Wein brought in Pat Hartley as the star, who had appeared in some of his films.

Wein and art director Melinda Merryweather “invited outrageous people to portray themselves in Rainbow Bridge. They included dope smugglers, priests and nuns, acidheads, gays, groupies, environmentalists, and a group who claimed to be from Venus”, according to Hendrix biographer Steven Roby.[6] Before long, Warner’s advance was used up with little to show for it.[7] Although there was no plan for a Hendrix concert, Jeffery decided that a filmed performance was needed to rescue his investment. Later record producer John Jansen recalled, “Jeffery had to talk Hendrix into performing. Up to that point, he had refused to write a note of music for the film.”

The loosely documentary-style film is centered on the experiences of a New York model, who travels from San Diego, California, to an occult center on the island of Maui, Hawaii. While there, “she encounters various devotees of surfing, clairvoyance, zen, yoga, meditation, Tai-Chi and the odd ufoloist”. As it unfolds, a free concert by Jimi Hendrix is staged in a former pasture in the upcountry region (2,000 feet above sea level) near Hendrix01.jpgOlinda, southeast of the center of the town of Makawao, on the northwest, upcountry slope of Haleakalā. A few hundred island hippies, surfers, and local residents show up to witness the event. Hendrix performed with the post–Jimi Hendrix Experience “Cry of Love” tour group, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. A group of Hare Krishnas chanted “Om” for a few minutes and Wein introduced the group. Although Hendrix played two full sets (approximately 50 minutes each), due to technical problems, only about 17 minutes of film footage was deemed usable.

Rainbow Bridge premiered at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood in the fall of 1971. The original length of the theatrical release of was 123 minutes. However, it was soon edited to cut down on the acting scenes, with one version lasting 70 minutes. The 2000 re-release by Rhino Video restored the original full-length version. Although Wein claimed that all of the usable footage of Hendrix was included in the film, full-length performances of “Dolly Dagger” and “Villanova Junction” (both from the second set) have appeared on bootleg videos.

The response to Rainbow Bridge is uniformly negative. Shadwick calls it “a snafu of impressive dimensions even for the hippie generation.” He adds that it was “so drug-addled, pseudo-mystical and stuffed with narcissistic, self-important onscreen hippies that the only hope of saving it indeed was to put Hendrix on celluloid”. Shapiro describes it as “a ludicrous farrago of pseudo-mystical acid babble devoid of sincerity … Overall, the best thing that can be said about Rainbow Bridge is that, after seventy-one minutes, it finishes”.[12] Writing for AllMusic, critic Bruce Eder comments, “Hendrix plays some superb music in the concert sequence that concludes this documentary—the rest is all devoted to pre-new-age mumbo-jumbo at a Hawaiian retreat”. Later Hendrix producer John McDermott calls it a “disastrous, embarrassing failure … Jeffery’s attempt to rescue his own personal finances via Hendrix’s memory was disgraceful.”

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Original front + back cover

A soundtrack album, also titled Rainbow Bridge, was released in October 1971. Although it contains some incidental studio recordings by Hendrix used in the film, the album does not include any of the recorded performances from the Maui concert. Hendrix’s performances are edited for the film. Complete recordings of both sets (about 20 songs) have been released on several bootleg albums, sometimes being mistaken for official releases. (by wikipedia)

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The originals labels from 1971

And here´s the best bootleg versin these two concerts in Hawaii:

This 2-CD set contains most of both of Jimi’s sets as recorded at Haleakala Crater in Hawaii, the 30th of July, 1970; the first set (as only partially heard in the film, but not the LP’s soundtrack Rainbow Bridge – Original Movie Soundtrack (Vinyl Record)) and most tracks of the never-released second set. This show, especially the 2nd set, was for years rather a “Holy Grail” amongst collectors. Minimally remastered, although unfortunately edited, this was Hendrix’ pentultimate U.S. show; it’s far from being an audiophile-grade recording, (especially the 2nd set, when the winds were blowing rather high) but Jimi’s performance still shines through. According to Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts & Sessions, three songs, “Midnight Lightning,” “Drum Solo,” and “Stone Free” finish the 2nd Set, but those tracks are nowhere to be found on this release. In 2008, the Mike Jeffrey estate put out an even more complete version with these tracks as “Complete Rainbow Bridge” on the Rock Of Ages Label.

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Jimi played great that day. It was an outdoor show and the wind detracts from the quality of the recording, but who cares, its Jimi playing his ass off. Mitchell redid the drums for the songs used in the movie, so those sound much clearer.

For the second set, Hendrix played new material exclusively, except for “Red House.” He also played a Gibson Flying-V instead of his near-trademark Fender Stratocaster, giving him a thicker guitar tone. Hendrix starts strong on “Dolly Dagger” and goes straight into “Villanova Juction” (here simply titled “Instrumental”). This is followed by one of the better live versions of “Ezy Rider,” with Billy Cox lending strong support on bass.

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After an excellent version of “Red House,” Hendrix loses his way a bit, drifting into “Straight Ahead” during “Jam Back at the House,” but finished the tune strong with all his effect pedals working nicely together. The set ends with an up-tempo jam tacked onto the end of “New Rising Sun.” This is quite an interesting live set, because the intimate venue and relative lack of commercial pressure allowed Hendrix to relax on-stage with a lot of his newer material. Sound quality is quite good, although the drums are a bit distant. Some critics have said that Hendrix’s playing declined after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but this set shows that Hendrix was always moving forward, incorporating new tones and effects as well as Spanish scales into his playing. There were certainly some lackluster performances during that time period, but the Rainbow Bridge concerts show that Hendrix still had some excellent playing left in him. (by jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)

And I include a very intensive interview with Interview Melinda Merryweather From The Rainbow Bridge Film as a pdf file.

Highly recommended !

Recorded live at Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii, July 30th 1970.

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Personnel:
Billy Cox (bass)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Lover Man 2.33
02. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) 4.36
03. In From The Storm 4.59
04. Message To Love 4.52
05. Foxy Lady 4.45
06. Hear My Train A Comin’ 9.08
07. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 7.17
08. Fire 3.43
09. Purple Haze 4:35

CD 2: The Late Show:
01. Dolly Dagger 5.09
02. Instrumental 5.28
03. Ezy Rider 4.54
04. Red House 6.47
05. Freedom 4.21
06. Jam Back At The House 7.00
07. Land Of The New Rising Sun 4:47

All songs written by Jimi Hendrix

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Hendrix02Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)

Quatermass – Same (1970)

frontcover1Quatermass were a British progressive rock band from London, active between 1969 and 1971. A related band, Quatermass II was active in the mid-1990s.

The trio consisted of bass player and vocalist John Gustafson, keyboardist J. Peter Robinson and Mick Underwood on drums. Underwood had previously played with Ritchie Blackmore in the Outlaws, while Gustafson had been a member of The Big Three and The Merseybeats. Underwood later became drummer with Episode Six, and was joined by Gustafson after Roger Glover left to join Deep Purple.[2] The band took its name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional scientist who had been the hero of three science fiction serials produced by BBC Television in the 1950s, and were signed to Harvest Records.

The group formed as a power trio with Hammond organ as the main instrument. Their first and only album sold itself through “…compactness, wealth of ideas, forceful lead vocals and complicated arrangements, enriched by pianist Robinson’s tasteful use of classical strings which are on display along with spacious keyboard passages at their height in the mold of The Nice.” One track, “Laughin’ Tackle”, includes 16 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 3 double bass, arranged by Robinson, and a drum solo by Underwood. Underwood remained in close contact with Blackmore, and visited Deep Purple in the studio while they were recording In Rock.

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The group split in early 1971. Gustafson formed a new band, Bullet with ex-members of Atomic Rooster.

The band’s song “Black Sheep of the Family” was the first track to be recorded by Rainbow, having been rejected for the Deep Purple album Stormbringer.
In 1994, Underwood, and founding Deep Purple member Nick Simper joined in a project titled Quatermass II. Gustafson contributed two songs on their album, Long Road (1997), which also involved Gary Davis and Bart Foley on guitars, with Don Airey on keyboards.

Quatermass is the only studio album by English progressive rock band Quatermass, released in May 1970 by Harvest Records.

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Despite the album had not performed well on the charts at the time of the release, it started to attract considerable attention in 1975, when guitarist Ritchie Blackmore covered the second track, “Black Sheep of the Family”, for the debut album from Rainbow. As a consequence of the revived interest, Quatermass was re-released and sold further 20,000 copies. Since then, it has gained a cult status  and has received favorable retrospective reviews. (by wikipedia)

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Quatermass’ only album is a must-have for prog rock enthusiasts, especially lovers of the keyboard-dominated style which flourished in the early ’70s. Although there are only three members of the band, their histories are just as colorful as the music they produced. Keyboard player Pete Robinson and bass man Johnny Gustafson met drummer Mick Underwood and founded Episode Six, a band which included Ian Gillan who later fronted Deep Purple. Underwood was also involved with the Outlaws as well as the Herd, only a few years before Peter Frampton arrived. When the band finally formed Quatermass in 1970, they had set their sights on a power rock format which would use Robinson’s keyboards to shape their sound. Both “Black Sheep” and “One Blind Mice” were released as singles which fell mostly on deaf ears, but the band’s sound was equally as moving as the Nice’s repertoire, for example, at around the same time. Quatermass’ sound is far from sounding hollow, isolated, or directionless, but all of the cuts are rather rock-sturdy and instrumentally voluptuous from all points.

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The string work that swoops in is encompassing, Underwood’s drumming exhibits personality, and the keyboard portions are remarkably striking and distinct. Even Gustafson’s robust vocals work well within the music’s structure, subsiding and ascending when called for, and all of the cuts result in worthy examples of well-built progressive rock, in both ballad and power rock form. Following this album, the band broke up, with Gustafson later doing session work for Kevin Ayers, Steve Hackett, and Ian Hunter, among others, while Robinson found new life within the jazz-prog band Brand X. Beautifully packaged with informative liner notes, Quatermass sounds as resounding today as it did in 1970, and upon hearing it, one can only wonder why it was so overlooked during its release. (by Mike DeGagne)

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This a very biased review from someone who is a Deep Purple fan. Now that that’s out of the way, it means that I’m a sucker for heavy keyboards a la Jon Lord. Look no further, but Quatermass delivers – big time. As mentioned from other reviewers, this is primarily a heavy rock album with some prog. rock flourishes. You won’t hear ELP here, but you might get a cross between Fields and Le Orme´s _Collage_ LP. Of note is the gut-wrenching vocal delivery of one John Gustafson of Roxy Music-fame. The vocal delivery on the track _Post War Saturday Echo_ rivals that of Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on “Child In Time”. Not so much in the high decibel range, just the delivery in relation to the build up of the song and the emotion. The emotional despair must have left this man exhausted after it was recorded. “Black Sheep Of The Family” was later covered by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Peter Robinson’s keyboard sounds nothing like his work as a member of Brand X. His sound is strictly in the Atomic Rooster, Graham Field, Jon Lord and Ken Hensley school of prog. rock. Bottom-end heavy duty organ. In the heavy organ category, Quatermass is an undeniable masterpiece which has few rivals. (by Gooner)

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Personnel:
John Gustafson (vocals, bass)
Pete Robinson (keyboards)
Mick Underwood (drums)
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on “Bluegaloo/Broken Chords-Scales” (live 1974 in Sweden)
John Gustafson (vocals, bass)
Pete Robinson (keyboards)
Janne Schaffer (guitar)
Barry de Souza (drums)

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Tracklist:

Part 1: Original album:
01. Entropy (Robinson) 1.10
02. Black Sheep Of The Family (Hammond) 3.41
03. Post War Saturday Echo (Robinson/Gustafson/Ross) 9.43
04. Good Lord Knows (Gustafson) 2.54
05. Up On The Ground (Gustafson) 7.11
06. Gemini (Hammond) 5.54
07. Make Up Your Mind (Hammond) 8.44
08. Laughin’ Tackle (Robinson) 10.35
09. Entropy (Reprise) (Robinson) 0.42

Remastered Deluxe Edition (2013):
01. One Blind Mice (single A-side) (Gustafson) 3.27
02. Entropy (Robinson) 1.11
03. Black Sheep Of The Family (Hammond) 3.41
04. Post War Saturday Echo (Robinson/Gustafson/Ross) 9.52
05. Good Lord Knows (Gustafson) 3.12
06. Up On The Ground (Gustafson) 7.09
07. Gemini (Hammond) 5.55
08. Make Up Your Mind (Hammond) 1.44
09. Was What That (Hammond) 5.59
10. Make Up Your Mind (Reprise) (Hammond) 1.03
11. Laughin’ Tackle/Entropy (Reprise) (Robinson) 11.31
12. Punting (single B-side)  (Gustafson) 7.21
13. Afraid Not (previously unreleased) (Gustafson) 5.25
14. Bluegaloo (Gustafson)/Broken Chords-Scales (Robinson) (live 1974) 6.30

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John Frederick Gustafson (8 August 1942 – 12 September 2014)

Mr. Fox – Same (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgMr Fox were an early 1970s British folk rock band. They were seen as in the ‘second generation’ of British folk rock performers and for a time were compared with Steeleye Span and Sandy Denny’s Fotheringay. Unlike Steeleye Span they mainly wrote their own material in a traditional style and developed a distinct ‘northern’ variant of the genre. They demonstrate the impact and diversity of the British folk rock movement and the members went on to pursue significant careers within the folk rock and traditional music genres after they disbanded in 1972 having recording two highly regarded albums.

By the late 1960s Bob and Carole Pegg were already well-established singers and musicians on the British folk scene based in Yorkshire. In 1969 they moved south and played London folk clubs, where they met Ashley Hutchings, who had recently left Fairport Convention and was attempting to form a new group involving members of the Irish band Sweeney’s Men including Terry Woods. They took part in rehearsals but the embryonic band soon broke up and Hutchings went on to form Steeleye Span with Woods and his wife Gay. The Peggs were approached by record producer Bill Leader. He secured them a contract with Transatlantic Records. For their first album they recruited Alun Eden (drums), Barry Lyons (bass), Andrew Massey (cello) and John Myatt (woodwinds) and adopted the name Mr Fox, the title of one of their songs and a nod towards one of the recurring figures of folk lore.

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The group’s first eponymous album released in 1970, was in some ways very similar to the work of Steeleye Span, but, consisted largely of original compositions, mainly by the Peggs, with a Dave Mason tune, ‘Little Woman,’ and the songs ‘Salisbury Plain’ and ‘Mr Trill’s Song’ with lyrics by Hutchings. The use of classically trained musicians and the wide variety of instruments used (including organ, melodeon, tin whistle, terrapin, fiddle, cello, flute, clarinet) made for very complex arrangements and sounds. It was well received by the music press and was made Melody Maker album of the year.[4]

Massey and Myatt left soon after the first album and the second, The Gipsy (1971), as a result, had less complex instrumentation, but more experimentation.[3] A more varied album than the first offering, it was also based around self-penned material, but included two traditional songs ‘The House Carpenter’ and the finale ‘All the Good Times’ on which the Gridley Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra guested.
Break-up and after

Single.jpgThe band had a reputation as an unpredictable live act, sometimes startlingly good and sometimes lacklustre. At the Loughborough Folk Festival in 1971 they were on the same bill as Steeleye Span and, while the latter put in a memorable performance, Mr Fox were on bad form and the band was heavily criticised in the press, an event often seen as a turning point in the band’s fortunes. Recordings made by the couple before the group was formed were released as He Came from the Mountain (1971), but by this point the Peggs’ marriage was already under strain. In 1972 Eden and Lyons quit to join Trees, and were replaced by guitarist Nick Strutt and Ritchie Bull on bass. When Carole left later that year the band dissolved.

Carole (as Carolanne Pegg) recorded an eponymous solo album in 1973, and briefly joined the band Magus before moving on to become a respected ethnomusicologist. Recordings of songs by Sydney Carter made by the Peggs before the band were formed were released as And Now it is So Early in 1973. Bob Pegg recorded two albums with Nick Strutt: Bob Pegg and Nick Strutt (1973) and The Shipbuilder (1974). He then made a solo album Ancient Maps (1975), before moving on to become an author, oral historian and entering theatre education. The band’s two albums were released as a double album set on vinyl in 1975 and on CD in 2004.

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Despite the comparisons with Steeleye Span, Mr Fox had a very distinctive style from contemporaneous British folk rock bands. They did not rely on electric guitars, but did use drums. They also used a very wide range of instruments, prefiguring some of the developments that would be undertaken by The Albion Band and Home Service. Carole Pegg had an unusual fiddle style, quite unlike Fairport’s Dave Swarbrick or Steeleye Span’s Peter Knight, based partly on what she had learnt from older Yorkshire fiddle players. They also used more complex, perhaps more staid, classical arrangements for their songs, leading one critic to note that their songs sounded, ‘as if they had been penned by Bartok’.

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The distinctive feature of their music was the dominance of self-penned songs drawing on the atmosphere and folklore of the Yorkshire Dales, often, like ‘The Hanged Man’ (the story of a lost fell walker coming to grief), sounding like modern day Child Ballads. One thing they lacked was an outstanding singer like Maddy Prior or Sandy Denny, with Carole Pegg’s vocals usually being perceived as eerie or atmospheric in their best moments, so much so that they have been described as ‘psychedelic’ (by wikipedia)

Mr. Fox was a septet formed in 1970 and started out with a self-titled debut album on Transatlantic that generated a massive amount of enthusiasm and controversy, over their mix of traditional folk forms and experimental touches in the rhythms and other embellishments. They were serious rivals to acts like Steeleye Span for a time.

Such a great album from the early days of British Folk ! Enjoy all the fine melodies and lyrics !

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Personnel:
Alun Eden (drums)
Barry Lyons (bass)
Andrew Massey (cello)
John Myatt (flute, clarinet, bassoon)
Bob Pegg (vocals, organ, melodeon, tin whistle, synstesizer)
Carole Pegg (vocals, fiddle)

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Tracklist:
01. Join Us In Our Game (B.Pegg/C.Pegg) 2.58
02. The Hanged Man (B.Pegg) 4.19
03. The Gay Goshawk (C.Pegg) 3.20
04. Rip Van Winkle (B.Pegg) 4.28
05. Mr. Trills Song (Hutchings) 2.56
06. Little Woman (Mason) 2.37
07. Salisbury Plain (B.Pegg/Hutchings) 5.22
08. The Ballad Of Neddy Dick (B.Pegg)
09. Leaving The Dales (B.Pegg) 3.36
10. Mr. Fox (B.Pegg) 4.40
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11. Mendle (C.Pegg) 7.12

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I got this rare item from Mr. Sleeve — and I had to say thanks again !