Roxy Music – Same (1972)

FrontCover1Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry, who became the band’s lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. Alongside Ferry, the other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion), and other former members include Brian Eno (synthesizer and “treatments”), Eddie Jobson (synthesiser and violin), and John Gustafson (bass). Although the band took a break from group activities in 1976 and again in 1983, they reunited for a concert tour in 2001, and toured together intermittently between that time and their break-up in 2011. Ferry frequently enlisted members of Roxy Music as session musicians for his solo releases.

Roxy Music became a successful act in Europe and Australia during the 1970s. This success began with their debut album, Roxy Music (1972). The band pioneered more musically sophisticated elements of glam rock while significantly influencing early English punk music, and provided a model for many new wave acts while innovating elements of electronic composition. The group also distinguished their visual and musical sophistication through a preoccupation with glamorous fashions. Ferry and co-founding member Eno had had influential solo careers. The latter became one of Britain’s most significant record producers of the late 20th century. Rolling Stone ranked Roxy Music No. 98 on its “The Immortals – 100 The Greatest Artists of All Time” list, though it dropped the group from its updated list in 2011.

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The band’s final studio album was Avalon (1982), which became platinum-certified in the United States. In 2005 they began recording a new studio album, which would have been their ninth, and would have been their first record since 1973 with Brian Eno, who wrote two songs for it and also played keyboards. However, Bryan Ferry eventually confirmed that material from these sessions would be released as a Ferry solo album, with Eno playing on “a couple of tracks”, and that he doesn’t think they’ll ever record as Roxy Music again. The album ultimately became Ferry’s 2010 album Olympia. Roxy Music played a series of 40th anniversary shows in 2011, but has since become inactive as a performing entity. (by wikipedia)

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Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music’s eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock’s boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures. Although no musician demonstrates much technical skill at this point, they are driven by boundless imagination — Brian Eno’s synthesized “treatments” exploit electronic instruments as electronics, instead of trying to shoehorn them into conventional acoustic patterns. Similarly, Bryan Ferry finds that his vampiric croon is at its most effective when it twists conventional melodies, Phil Manzanera’s guitar is terse and unpredictable, while Andy Mackay’s saxophone subverts rock & roll clichés by alternating R&B honking with atonal flourishes. But what makes Roxy Music such a confident, astonishing debut is how these primitive avant-garde tendencies are married to full-fledged songs, whether it’s the free-form, structure-bending “Re-Make/Re-Model” or the sleek glam of “Virginia Plain,” the debut single added to later editions of the album. That was the trick that elevated Roxy Music from an art school project to the most adventurous rock band of the early ’70s. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Eno (tape, synthesizer)
Bryan Ferry (vocals, piano)
Andrew Mackay (saxophone, oboe)
Phil Manzanera (guitar)
Graham Simpson (bass)
Paul Thompson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Re-Make/Re-Model 5.12
02. Ladytron 4.13
03. If There Is Something 6.36
04. 2HB 4.32
05. The Bob (Medley) 5.46
06. Chance Meeting 3.04
07. Would You Believe? 3.48
08. Sea Breezes 6.31
09. Bitters End 2.03

All songs written by Bryan Ferry

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John Lennon – Live New York City (1986)

FrontCover1.jpgLive in New York City is a posthumous live album by English rock musician John Lennon with the Plastic Ono Elephant’s Memory Band. It was prepared under the supervision of his widow, Yoko Ono, and released in 1986 as his second official live album, the first being Live Peace in Toronto 1969.

Recorded on 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, a benefit concert for the Willowbrook State School for Retarded Children in New York, at friend Geraldo Rivera’s request. Rivera introduces Lennon and Ono at the beginning of the album, and he is referenced in Lennon’s impromptu revised lyrics in the opening song, “New York City”.

The benefit concerts, billed as One to One, also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na, although their performances are not included on this album, nor on the simultaneous video release.

Live in New York City captures Lennon’s last full-length concert performance, coming right after the release of Some Time in New York City. Backing Lennon and Ono were Elephant’s Memory, who had served as Lennon and Ono’s backing band on Some Time in New York City. Although the material Lennon performed was largely drawn from his three most recent albums of the period (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City), he also included in the setlist his Beatles hit “Come Together” and paid tribute to Elvis Presley with “Hound Dog” before leading the audience in a singalong of “Give Peace a Chance”. “Come Together”, originally in the key of D minor, was performed in E minor.

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Upon its early 1986 release, Ono was criticised by former members of Elephant’s Memory for using the first – and weaker – performance instead of the stronger evening show. They also took issue with the simultaneous video release of the concert, which it was alleged had been edited to show Ono as prominently as Lennon. However, on the album release, Ono’s vocal performances on such numbers as “Hound Dog” had been mixed out completely. Additionally, all of her solo performances, which included “Sisters, O Sisters”, “Born in a Prison”, “We’re All Water”, “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)”, “Move on Fast” and “Open Your Box”, were deleted from the audio edition of the concert, to create a pure Lennon album. The video release retained the Lennon complete set-list including Ono’s “Sisters, O Sisters” and “Born in a Prison”.

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Portions of the evening performance later saw release on the John Lennon Anthology.

Live in New York City reached No. 55 in the UK, and surprised many with its US appeal where it peaked at No. 41 and eventually went gold.

The concerts documented on Live in New York City were Lennon’s only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first – and last – formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966. Lennon never mounted a tour during his post-Beatles career. The concerts also marked the last time he performed live with Ono or with Elephant’s Memory. (by wikipedia)

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John Lennon’s concert appearances during his solo years were rare and scattered about, so any live document is worth hearing. Yet this one, the fabled One to One concert at Madison Square Garden, doesn’t live up to its legend, however noble the cause (a benefit for the Willowbrook School for Children). Much of the problem, one suspects, is that Lennon concerts tended to be quick, casual one-offs; this material might have really rocked if John had broken the tunes in on the road first. Also, the Plastic Ono Elephants ConcertPoster.jpgMemory Band is a fairly crude bunch of bashers, with Stan Bronstein’s flailing sax and surprisingly poor drumming, despite the support of Jim Keltner. So Lennon is pretty much left to his own devices. In the first few numbers he sounds distracted, not in full command, even disconnected from the band.

A core primal scream piece “Well Well Well” is given a perfunctory run-through; “Instant Karma” sounds stiff, with embarrassing drum breaks (“We’ll get it right next time,” John says); and he makes only one reference to his Beatle past with a heavy-handed “Come Together.” Things do improve later on when “Mother” and “Cold Turkey” work up a good lather, and “Hound Dog” is not bad, although the concluding “Give Peace a Chance” is limited to the brief excerpt included on Shaved Fish. Phil Spector was the original producer of the recording, and it’s one of his murkier jobs, not nearly as focused as his work on The Concert for Bangla Desh in the very same arena the year before. More from the concert, including some of Yoko’s numbers, can be found on the companion video cassette released at the same time. (by Richard S. Ginell)

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Personnel:
John Lennon (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Yoko Ono (keyboards)
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Elephant’s Memory:
Stan Bronstein (saxophone)
Richard Frank Jr. (drums)
Wayne ‘Tex’ Gabriel (guitar)
Adam Ippolito (keyboards)
Gary Van Scyoc (bass)
John Ward (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. New York City (Lennon) 3.39
02. It’s So Hard (Lennon) 3.18
03. Woman Is The Nigger Of The World (Lennon/Ono) 5.30
04. Well Well Well (Lennon) 3.51
05. Instant Karma! (Lennon) 3.40
06. Mother (Lennon) 5.00
07. Come Together (Lennon/McCartney) 4.21
08. Imagine (Lennon) 3.17
09. Cold Turkey (Lennon) 5.29
10. Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 3.09
11. Give Peace A Chance (Lennon) 0.59

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Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one

Jerry Garcia – Garcia (1972)

LPFrontCover1Garcia is Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s first solo album, released in 1972.

Warner Bros. Records offered the Grateful Dead the opportunity to cut their own solo records, and Garcia was released around the same time as Bob Weir’s Ace and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder. Unlike Ace, which was practically a Grateful Dead album, Garcia was more of a solo effort, as Garcia played almost all the instrumental parts. Six tracks (specifically those coauthored by lyricist Robert Hunter) eventually became standards in the Grateful Dead concert repertoire.

Some reprints of the album are self-released. “Loser” was covered by Cracker on their 1993 album Kerosene Hat. (by wikipedia)

This disc was a happy byproduct of the Grateful Dead re-signing with Warner Bros. It was mutually beneficial for Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) as well as Mickey Hart (percussion) and his criminally overlooked debut long-player, Rolling Thunder (1972). Jerry Garcia’s (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, piano, organ, samples, vocals) simply titled Garcia (1972) is arguably the most solo of all these projects, as only he and the Grateful Dead’s Billy Kreutzmann (percussion) contribute instrumentally. That said, Robert Hunter’s lyrics should not be underestimated as all six of his co-compositions became staples in the Dead’s live songbook for the remainder of their concert career.

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The infusion of new material can be attributed to the lack of any Dead-related releases since Workingman’s Dead (1970) over 14 months earlier. Although Garcia is the primary musician on the ten tracks, he has given each arrangement a wholly unique persona. These range from straight-ahead blues-based rock & roll (“Sugaree”) to the avant-garde (“Late for Supper”). Within those extremes are discerning renditions and solid performances of stone gems such as the noir folkie “Loser” as well as the lilting balladry of “Bird Song” and the cyclical psychedelia of “The Wheel,” the latter of which features some of the finest pedal steel guitar work to have come from Garcia’s brief infatuation with the twangy instrument. He brings an intimacy to the affective love song “To Lay Me Down” that was rarely equalled by the Grateful Dead. His prowess as an emotive pianist can be heard throughout not only that cut, but also on the trippy medley consisting of the previously mentioned “Late for Supper,” “Spidergawd,” and “Eep Hour.” Ever the self-effacing artist, at the time of release the guitarist overtly downplayed the album as “overindulgent.” Time has rendered that assessment utterly false, as Garcia is nothing short of a full-bodied artistic expression from one of rock & roll’s most multi-faceted musicians. Both initiated Deadheads as well as enthusiasts of the burgeoning early-’70s singer/songwriter movement will find much to cherish on this recording as Garcia redefines his immense talents and seemingly undiluted musical potential. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Jerry Garcia (guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, keyboards, samples, vocals)
Bill Kreutzmann (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Deal 3.14
02. Bird Song 4.27
03. Sugaree 5.55
04. Loser 4.10
05. Late For Supper 1.38
06. Spidergawd 3.26
07. Eep Hour 5.08
08. To Lay Me Down 6.18
09. An Odd Little Place 1.39
10. The Wheel 4.12

Music Jerry Garcia + Billy Kreutzman
Lyrics: Robert Hunter

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Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Glorified Magnified (1972)

LPFrontCover1The second album by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band to be released in 1972, Glorified Magnified is as solid a heavy rock album as you’re likely to find from that era, and it still holds up three decades later, mostly because these guys are smarter than the music they’re playing and don’t mind indulging their taste as well as their dexterity. They can romp and stomp through “Meat” or “I’m Gonna Have You All,” complete with a slashing guitar solo by Mick Rogers on the latter, or throw in a synthesizer interlude by Mann on “One Way Glass” that’s so quietly and carefully executed as to be worthy of a classical piece — and not skip a beat doing it. Between Rogers’ bold yet tasteful leads, Mann’s beautifully assertive yet virtuoso synthesizer and general keyboard work, and Colin Pattenden’s muscular bass playing, this is a consistently inspired group, even when their material isn’t as interesting as what they do with it, which is the case here.

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On “Look Around,” for example, Rogers’ playing on the break starts off as brief, fragmentary digressions off from a not too terribly diverting central riff that turn into longer progressions that eventually take the entire band with him — and just when you think you’ve got this band pegged in terms of what it’s about, along comes “Ashes to the Wind,” opening side two of the original LP, which includes room for an acoustic guitar amid the high-wattage excursions, all leading into a surprisingly effective synthesizer workout by Mann on “Wind,” before moving onto the acoustic guitar-driven “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” The latter, which adds instrumentation until it’s so totally removed from its opening section as to be a different song, is one of the best Dylan covers of its era, and is almost worth the price of admission by itself. And then there’s the title instrumental, a mix of rock and synthesizer sounds — with a choir in there somewhere — that sounds like mid-’70s King Crimson in rehearsal. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Manfred Mann (organ, synthesiser, background vocals)
Colin Pattenden (bass)
Mick Rogers (guitar, vocals)
Chris Slade (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Meat (Mann) 4.04
02. Look Around (Slade) 5.12
03. One Way Glass (Mann/Thomas) 4.15
04. I’m Gonna Have You All (Mann) 5.23
05. Down Home (Rogers) 3.19
06. Our Friend George (Mann) 3.04
07. Ashes To The Wind (Edmonds/Thompson) 2.15
08. Wind (Mann/Rogers/Pattenden/Slade) 2.02
09. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan) 4.28
10. Glorified Magnified (Mann) 4.36

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Bonnie Raitt – The Lost Broadcast Philadelphia 1972 (2010)

CDFrontCover1When Bonnie Raitt got her big breakthrough album, Nick Of Time, in 1989, the general feeling was that her time had come. After all, she had released her debut album back in 1971 and spent the time in between gigging and honing her craft. The Nick Of Time and Luck Of The Draw (1991) albums showed a matured Raitt with a commanding presence.

But even in the early years, she had the ability to stop listeners in their tracks. Sarah, writing at sheplaysmusic.com, posted: “My love affair with blues and the legendary Bonnie Raitt began in 1977 when I was 13 years old. I was in my bedroom listening to a local top 40s station when the tuner on my antiquated clock radio became stuck between channels. In tuning it I landed WMMR in Philadelphia and heard the most amazing thing. Bonnie Raitt’s Blender Blues was playing. It was a live recording from Philly’s Sigma Sound Studions from, I believe, 1972 or so. Bonnie Raitt became my hero and I listened to the radio often to hear that song especially.”

While Raitt was still promoting her self-titled debut album at this show, she also snucked in Too Long At The Fair and Under The Falling Sky from her second album, Give It Up, which would only be released in September 1972.

Fans who heard this show have raved about it – both for Raitt’s performance (she was only 22) and for its very good audio quality. Thanks to tranbert for sharing the lossless tracks on the net and to dan@am-dig.com for the artwork.

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No idea who penned these notes that accompanied the tracks but they make fine reading.

“Like any story passed on with some music this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Here what was told to me and this is what I know.

“An intern at WMMR in the ’80s recorded this show to an analog source. Being such a tremendous recording this individual longed to re-record the master reel straight to a digital source as they became increasingly popular in the early ’90s. At this point the intern had moved on and no longer had this type of access. However, he remembered periodically that the studio or the station allowed access to the ‘records room’ for research activity. Posing as a university affiliate doing research on ’70s radio advertising, this individual gained access to the master reels with a portable Sony DAT deck. The room was laid out with shelves with tables on the far end with cassette decks, reel to reel and ‘cart’ type recorders. Unplugging the cart recorder and connecting the DAT deck, history was then digitized.

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“At this time I was working at a mail order facility selling DAT tapes. Which at the time were very expensive, US$12 or more per tape. The individual with this Bonnie recording told us the story above. Is it true? Who knows but he use to buy DAT tapes from us regularly. He made us a cassette of this famous recording and we bugged him to make us a DAT copy for months. He did not have the means to do DAT to DAT. On a visit to the ’store’ in Stamford in 1992 we finally were able to make one DAT clone. I subsequently cloned that DAT.”

Also, thanks to WMMR producer Dennis Wilen for the feedback.

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Personnel:
John Davis (harmonica)
Dan (Freebo) Freeberg (bass)
Bonnie Raitt (guitar, piano, vocals)
T.J. Tindle (guitar, harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Mighty Tight Woman (Wallace) 4.03
02. Rollin & Tumblin (Morganfield) 4.23
03. Any Day Woman (Siebel) 3.39
04. Woman Be Wise (Wallace/Bench) 3.42
05. Thank You (Raitt) 2.58
06. Bluebird (Stills) 3.37
07. Finest Lovin Man (Raitt) 5.24
08. Big Road (Johnson) 4.42
09. Stayed Too Long At The Fair (Zoss) 2.50
10. Under The Falling Sky (Browne) 4.30
11. Walkin Blues (Johnson) 4.00
12. Can’t Find My Way Home (Winwood) 3.06
13. Richland Woman Blues (Hurt) 3.51
14. Blender Blues (Raitt) 3.32
15. Radio Jingle Promo 1.05
15. Since I Fell for You (Johnson) 2.50

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Dave Mason – Headkeeper (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgHeadkeeper is a 1972 album by Dave Mason. Originally released on Blue Thumb Records as Blue Thumb 34 (a subsidiary of Famous Music Group), Headkeeper was reissued by MCA Records as MCA 712, then reissued on CD in 1988 as MCAD-31326).

In late 1971, Mason began recording Headkeeper. He envisioned a double album with one disk containing new studio recordings and the other live recordings with his new band. The live tracks had been recorded at some highly regarded dates at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles.

Mason thought that since he was Blue Thumb’s most successful artist, they should renegotiate his contract. When they refused, he slipped into the studio and took the master tapes of the recordings made to date.

Producer Tommy LiPuma then assembled an album from two-track safety masters that Mason did not take which Blue Thumb released. Mason publicly denounced the release as a “bootleg”.

Mason eventually signed a deal with Columbia Records who bought out his Blue Thumb contract.

Blue Thumb issued Dave Mason Is Alive in 1973 with remaining tracks from the Troubadour set. (by wikipedia)

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Dave Mason’s solo career, which had started so promisingly with Alone Together in 1970 and taken an odd, but pleasant detour with Dave Mason & Cass Elliot in 1971, hit a speed bump in 1972, when he entered into a dispute with his record label, Blue Thumb during preparations for a new album. As a result, Blue Thumb put together the half-a-studio-album Mason had completed with half of a live album and issued the consumer-confusing Headkeeper, which Mason denounced publicly and asked fans not to buy! Heard today, it’s still a confusing album, though the first five tracks are enjoyable music in the manner of Alone Together and the last five are well-performed concert versions of such favorites as “Feelin’ Alright?” and “Pearly Queen.” (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Felix “Flaco” Falcon (percussion)
Rick Jaeger (drums)
Mark Jordan (keyboards)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals)
Lonnie Turner (bass)
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background vocals:
Rita Coolidge – Spencer Davis – Kathi McDonald – Graham Nash

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Tracklist:

In the studio:
01. To Be Free (Mason) 3.17
02. In My Mind (Mason) 3.15
03. Here We Go Again” – 1:56
04. A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime (Mason) 3.34
05. Headkeeper (Mason) 4.37

Live recordings:

06. Pearly Queen (Capaldi/Winwood) 3.35
07. Just A Song (Mason) 3.00
08. World In Changes (Mason) 4.47
09. Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving (Mason) 3.02
10. Feelin’ Alright (Mason) 5.44

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Hot Tuna – Burgers (1972)

LPFrontCover1Burgers is the third album by Hot Tuna, the Folk rock off-shoot of Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, and Papa John Creach. It was the band’s first studio album, the previous two being live recordings. “Water Song” and “Sunny Day Strut” are instrumentals composed for this album. (by wikipedia)

Burgers, Hot Tuna’s third album, marked a crucial transition for the group. Until now, Hot Tuna had been viewed as a busman’s holiday for Jefferson Airplane lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady. Their first album was an acoustic set of folk-blues standards recorded in a coffeehouse, their second an electric version of the same that added violinist Papa John Creach (who also joined the Airplane) and drummer Sammy Piazza. Then the Airplane launched Grunt, its own vanity label, which encouraged all bandmembers to increase their participation in side projects. Burgers, originally released as the fourth Grunt album, sounded more like a full-fledged work than a satellite effort. It was Hot Tuna’s first studio album, and Kaukonen wrote the bulk of the material, not all of it in the folk-blues style that had been the group’s métier. “Sea Child,” for example, employed his familiar acid rock sound and would have fit seamlessly onto an Airplane album.

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And “Water Song,” one of his most accomplished instrumentals, had a crystalline acoustic guitar part that really suggested the sound of rippling water. On the material that did recall the earlier albums, Hot Tuna split the difference between its acoustic and electric selves, sometimes, as on “True Religion,” beginning in folky fingerpicking style only to add a rock band sound after the introduction. The result was more restrained than the second album, but not as free as the first, with the drums imposing steady rhythms that often kept Casady from soloing as much, though Creach’s violin made for plenty of improvisation within the basic blues structures. All of which is to say that, not surprisingly, on its third album in as many years, Hot Tuna had evolved its own sound and music, and seemed less a diversion than its members’ new top priority. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jack Casady (bass, vocals)
Papa John Creach (violin, vocals)
Jorma Kaukonen (vocals, guitar)
Sammy Piazza (drums, percussion, vocals)
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Nick Buck – organ, piano on “True Religion” and “Keep On Truckin'”
David Crosby (vocals on 02.)
Richmond Talbott (vocals, slide guitar on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. True Religion (Traditional) 4.47
02. Highway Song (Kaukonen) 3.18
03. 99 Year Blues (Daniels) 4.00
04. Sea Child (Kaukonen) 5.03
05. Keep On Truckin’ (Carleton) 3.43
06. Water Song (Kaukonen) 5.19
07. Ode For Billy Dean Kaukonen 4.53
08. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here (Davis) 3-29
09. Sunny Day Strut (Kaukonen) 3.16

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