Eric Clapton – E.C. Was Here (1975)

FrontCover1.JPGE. C. Was Here is a 1975 album by Eric Clapton. It was recorded live in 1974 and 1975 at the Long Beach Arena, the Hammersmith Odeon, and the Providence Civic Center by Record Plant Remote during Clapton’s first tour since Derek and the Dominos in 1970. (by wikipedia)

Following Eric Clapton’s recovery from heroin addition in 1974 and subsequent comeback (announced by 461 Ocean Boulevard), the guitar legend retained his fine band and toured extensively, and this live album is a souvenir of that period. Despite having such pop-oriented hits as “I Shot the Sheriff,” E.C. Was Here makes it clear that Clapton was and always would be a blues man. The opening cut, “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” clearly illustrates this, and underlines the fact that Clapton had a firm grasp on his blues guitar ability, with some sterling, emotionally charged and sustained lines and riffs. A short version of “Drifting Blues” also drives the point home, with a lazy, Delta blues feel that is intoxicating. Aside from these standout blues workouts, Clapton provides a surprise with two songs from his Blind Faith period.

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“Presence of the Lord” and Steve Winwood’s classic “Can’t Find My Way Home” are given great readings here and highlight Clapton’s fine touring band, particularly co-vocalist Yvonne Elliman, whose singing adds a mellifluousness to Clapton’s blues vocal inflections. The market was a bit oversaturated with Clapton and Cream reissue products at the time, and this fine record got lost in the shuffle, but it remains an excellent document of the period. (by Matthew Greenwald)

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Personnel:
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Yvonne Elliman (vocals)
Marcy Levy (tambourine)
Jamie Oldaker (drums)
Carl Radle (bass)
Dick Sims (organ)
George Terry (guitar)
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Tracklist:
01. Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Myles) 7.52
02. Presence Of The Lord (Clapton) 6.44
03. Driftin’ Blues (Moore/Brown/Williams) 11.31
04. Can’t Find My Way Home (Winwood) 5.19
05. Ramblin’ On My Mind (Johnson) 7.29
06. Further On Up The Road (Medwick/Robey) 7.40

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Robert Hunter – Tales Of The Great Rum Runners (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgAlthough the Grateful Dead enjoyed a reputation for lengthy musical improvisations, their career was based on a solid core of songwriting craft. Robert Hunter, who has died aged 78, wrote the lyrics for many of their best-loved songs, and his work was vital in developing the mystique that earned the American band an extended international family of loyal followers, the so-called Deadheads.

A list of the songs that bear Hunter’s byline amounts to a road map of the Grateful Dead’s career. Dark Star (1968) and St Stephen (1969) were emblematic of their psychedelic beginnings, while Truckin’ (1970), Playing in the Band (1971) and Uncle John’s Band (1970) were imaginatively embroidered chunks of the Dead’s autobiography. Friend of the Devil (subsequently covered by countless other artists) had the feel of an old west fable, and like many other of their compositions tapped into the folk and blues roots that Hunter and the guitarist-songwriter Jerry Garcia had grown up with. Touch of Grey (with its trademark lines “I will get by, I will survive”) was an ode to the group’s longevity and earned them their only Top 10 hit in the US in 1987.

Although it is his work with the Dead for which he will be chiefly remembered, Hunter engaged in several other successful collaborations. An intermittent partnership with Bob Dylan began when he co-wrote the tracks Silvio and The Ugliest Girl in the World on Dylan’s 1988 album Down in the Groove, and he later shared authorship of most of the songs on Together Through Life (2009) and collaborated on Duquesne Whistle from the album Tempest (2012).

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He also worked with Bruce Hornsby (who played keyboards with the Dead late in their career) and Los Lobos. As Hornsby put it, after Hunter had written his song Cyclone (2009), “I’ve loved so many of the Garcia/Hunter songs. They’re just timeless-sounding to me, could have been written hundreds of years ago.”
Robert Hunter in the Grateful Dead’s rehearsal studio in San Rafael, California, 1977.

Hunter was born Robert Burns in Arroyo Grande, California, and later adopted his stepfather’s surname. “When I was nine my family split up,” he revealed, claiming that his father “was an electrician, an itinerant kind of a goldminer, something like that … I’ve only heard from him once in 20 or 30 years.” One of his earliest memories was his mother singing along to pop songs on the radio while she bathed him. He spent several years in foster homes before returning to live with his mother, who later married Norman Hunter, a publishing executive at McGraw-Hill, when Robert was 11.

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He had a band called the Presidents in Palo Alto high school, a Dixieland outfit in which he played trumpet. After a six-month stint in the army in 1959 (“It was an experience a lot of kids could probably benefit from,” he said), he spent a year at the University of Connecticut where he played in a folk trio, then moved back to California. He first met Garcia through a mutual girlfriend, and in 1961 they briefly formed the duo Bob and Jerry as well as playing in several bluegrass bands together. They parted company as Garcia pursued his musical ambitions while Hunter concentrated on writing.

In 1962 he volunteered to participate in a Stanford University programme testing psychedelic drugs (not realising this was run by the CIA), and was given LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. He considered that these experiences greatly boosted his writing skills, and he displayed a knack for expressing his altered state of mind. “By my faith, if this be insanity, then for the love of God permit me to be insane,” he wrote on one occasion.

However, a subsequent over-fondness for amphetamines prompted him to leave California for New Mexico, where he began writing song lyrics, including St Stephen, Alligator and China Cat Sunflower. He sent these to Garcia, who was sufficiently impressed to urge Hunter to come to San Francisco and become the lyricist for the fledgling Grateful Dead.

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Alligator appeared on the band’s second album, Anthem of the Sun (1968), while the follow-up, Aoxomoxoa (1969), was almost totally written by Hunter and Garcia. Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty (both 1970) found the group moving away from trippy experimentalism towards a more traditional, country-flavoured, Americana style, and between them added up to a trove of the Dead’s finest songs, Cumberland Blues, Uncle John’s Band, Casey Jones, Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil and Sugar Magnolia among them. American Beauty’s Ripple was solely composed by Hunter, and contained what he claimed to Rolling Stone magazine to be his favourite of his own lines: “Let it be known there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of man.”

Their working methods were elastic. Sometimes Hunter would listen to the band working on a new song and devise lyrics on the spot; sometimes he would listen to tapes of musical ideas and write lyrics to fit; or he would give the group lyrics that they would then build music around. “What we were doing was almost sacred,” he said in 2015. “I didn’t feel we were a pop music band. I wanted to write a whole different sort of music.”

RobertHunter05His partnership with Garcia lasted right through to the Dead’s final studio album, Built to Last (1989). Garcia died in 1995. “I didn’t get the feeling he intended to live very long,” Hunter told Rolling Stone. “There are things about Jerry I just don’t understand. Or maybe am not capable of knowing.”

Hunter also undertook collaborations with the songwriter Jim Lauderdale, with whom he wrote the album Patchwork River (2010), and the Dead’s drummer Mickey Hart, contributing lyrics to the albums Mysterium Tremendum (2012) and Superorganism (2013). He co-wrote four songs with Bill Payne on Little Feat’s album Rooster Rag (2012).

Hunter performed in his own right occasionally, undertaking his final solo tour in 2013 in part to raise money to pay medical bills incurred during treatment for a spinal abscess. He recorded several solo albums, including Tales of the Great Rum Runners (1974), Tiger Rose (1975), Flight of the Marie Helena (a poem read against a musical backing, 1985) and Rock Columbia (1986). He also published several volumes of poetry, as well as two volumes of translations of the poems of Rilke. In 2013 he was given the lifetime achievement award of the Americana Music Association, and in 2015 Hunter and Garcia were inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen, whom he married in 1982, and his children, Kate, Charlotte and Jess. (theguardian.com)

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And here´s his debut album:

On his debut album, supported by several members of the Grateful Dead and other Bay Area musicians, Robert Hunter demonstrated the musical and lyrical approach that had made his co-compositions with Jerry Garcia the best of the Dead’s original material. Hunter’s poetic language was redolent with a rustic Americana of roads, rivers, roses, and rain, and if his melodies lacked Garcia’s grace and the backup lacked the Dead’s cohesion, nevertheless this was identifiably music in the Dead vein. Hunter was an uncertain singer, alternately straining for a higher register reminiscent of Garcia and half-talking in a deeper voice that seemed more natural and advantageous to his lyrics. The album was overly ambitious musically, ranging from folk ballads to rockers and horn-filled raveups, along with barroom choruses and Scottish airs. But Hunter demonstrated he was more than just a lyricist. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Robert Hunter’s first solo album was released in June 1974 on Round Records. The album features Robert Hunter backed by all star guest cast of musicians including Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, John Cipollina, David Grisman, Barry Melton, Keith and Donna among quite a few others. The album was engineered and produced by everyone involved which also created a bit of a problem when the master tape was being prepared for cd. Jerry suggested to Hunter that he might want to use a cleaned up and digitized copy from the vinyl album rather than the master tape due to parts having fallen off the master. This was caused by somewhat improper engineering but Hunter wanted to use the master tape. As a result, there are places were certain overdubs are missing such as Jerry’s beautiful guitar fills on Standing At Your Door. The songs are all generally 5 stars while It Must Have Been The Roses would become something of a staple in Grateful Dead shows and I Heard You Singing would be recorded for Quicksilver’s Solid Silver. (by Grateful Jerry)

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Alternate labels (German edition)

Personnel:
Peter Albin (bass)
Rodney Albin (fiddle, background vocals)
Maureen Aylett (spoons)
Chrisie Bourne (castanets)
Buddy Cage (pedal steel-guitar)
T. Will Claire (background vocals)
Snookey Flowers (saxophone)
David Frieberg (bass)
Keith Godchaux (keyboards)
Mickey Hart (drums)
Robert Hunter (vocals, guitar, organ)
Steve Schuster (saxophone)
Markee Shubb (banjo, mandolin)
Rick Shubb (banjo, mandolin)
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Mario Cipolina* (bass on 04.)
Jerry Garcia (guitar on 11., 13.)
Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals on 02., 09.)
Barry Melton (guitar on 02., 03., 04.)
Jamie Paris (guitar, harmonica on 12.)
Hadi El Sadoon (trumpet on 13.)
Robbie Stokes (guitar, harmonica on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Simplicity 0.20
02. That Train 4.26
03. Dry Dusty Road 2.16
04. I Heard You Singing 3.34
05. Rum Runners 3.00
06. Children’s Lament 4.06
07 Maybe She’s A Bluebird 1:57
08 Boys In The Barroom 1:09
09 It Must Have Been The Roses
10. Arizona Lightning 3:32
11. Standing At Your Door 4.28
12. Mad 4.00
13. Keys To The Rain 4.13

All songs written by Robert Hunter

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Robert C. Hunter (June 23, 1941 – September 23, 2019)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGWelcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen is the second live album by the English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released as a triple album in August 1974 on Manticore Records. It was recorded in February 1974 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during the group’s 1973–74 world tour in support of their fourth studio album, Brain Salad Surgery (1973).

The album was a commercial success, reaching number 4 on the Billboard 200, the band’s highest charting album in the US.[1] In the UK, the album peaked at number 6. The album is certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 copies sold in the US. Following its release, Emerson, Lake & Palmer took an extended break from writing and recording.

The album was recorded in February 1974 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during the group’s 1973–74 world tour in support of their fourth studio album, Brain Salad Surgery (1973). Its title comes from the introduction to the show spoken by the show’s Master of Ceremonies (Pete Murray, the UK disc jockey) and the opening line of “Karn Evil 9: First Impression, Part 2”.

To record the album, staff and equipment were brought in from Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, including a 24-track mobile recording unit and a 40-input console. Peter Granet, one of the engineers, called it “the finest recording experience I’ve ever had”. The band used a Quadrophonic PA system on the tour, allowing a Quadrophonic mix of the album to be released on three 8-track cartridges. A four-channel sound LP, known as Quadradisc, was planned for release but it was scrapped due to engineering issues with master recording which prevented JVC, the manufacturer, from cutting a stable master to meet the format’s specifications.

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Most of the recordings on the album were first used for broadcast on the American rock music radio show, The King Biscuit Flower Hour. In 1999, the radio recordings were released on CD.

AllMusic gave the album a mixed retrospective review, saying that it “makes one realise how accomplished these musicians were, and how well they worked together when the going was good.” They praised the set for including all but one song from Brain Salad Surgery, and particularly commended the performance of “Karn Evil 9” as being far superior to the studio rendition. However, they noted that unlike most live albums of the era, Welcome Back did not incorporate studio overdubs, limiting the band’s ability to recreate moments from their albums and resulting in poor sound quality: “Even the most recent remastered editions could not fix the feedback, the occasionally leakages, the JapanAd.jpgecho, the seeming distance – the listener often gets the impression of being seated in the upper mezzanine of an arena.” (by wikipedia)

The year was 1974, and progressive rock supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer had just finished an unbelievable run of chart topping studio recordings since their inception in 1970, and headed out to a massive stadium world tour dubbed ‘Somebody Get Me a Ladder’, which was documented in this legendary live album Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends-Ladies and Gentleman. Originally released as the first ever triple-vinyl live rock album, this live set showcased the true musical powers of the band onstage, pulling some of the best songs from their first four studio albums and turning them into musical theater for their fans.

A band fully capable of not only writing their own fantastic songs, but also taking traditional pieces and recreating them in their own vision, ELP put both on display here alongside daring improvisations for a live prog masterpiece. The late Keith Emerson’s uncanny abilities on his array of keyboards (Hammond organ, Moog, and piano) are on full display throughout, highlights being of course the epic “Tarkus”, the upbeat romps “Hoedown”, “Toccata”, and his gorgeous “Piano Improvisations”. Greg Lake adds some stellar lead guitar and Carl Palmer drops in an acrobatic drum solo on the classic “Karn Evil 9”, while the band deliver powerful melodic prog in the form of “Jerusalem” and the yearning “Take a Pebble”, with the lovely Lake ballads “Still…You Turn Me On” and “Lucky Man” housed within for good measure.

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Bombastic, virtuosic, and most importantly, melodic, are just a few descriptions of what you are in store for on Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends-Ladies and Gentleman, quite simply a mandatory live album for any fan of ’70s rock … and a wonderful tribute to this legendary band. (seaoftranquility.org)

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Personnel:
Keith Emerson (keyboards)
Greg Lake (bass, guitar, vocals)
Carl Palmer (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Hoedown (Copland) 4.27
02. Jerusalem (Parry/Blake) 3.18
03. Toccata (Ginastera) 7.22
04. Tarkus 27.12
04.1. Eruption (Emerson)
04.2. Stones Of Years (Emerson/Lake)
04.3. Iconoclast (Emerson)
04.4. Mass (Emerson/Lake)
04.5. Manticore (Emerson)
04.6. Battlefield (Lake) / Epitaph (Fripp/Lake/McDonald/Giles/Sinfield)
04.7. Aquatarkus (Emerson)
05. Take A Pebble / Still…You Turn Me On / Lucky Man (Lake) 11.05
06. Piano Improvisations (including Friedrich Gulda’s “Fugue” and Joe Sullivan’s “Little Rock Getaway”) (Emerson) 11.52
07. Take A Pebble (Conclusion) (Lake) 3.14
08. Jeremy Bender / The Sheriff (Emerson/Lake) 5.24
09. Karn Evil 9 / 35.14
09.1. 1st Impression (including “Percussion Solo (Con Brio)) (Emerson/Lake/Palmer) 17.26
09.2. 2nd Impression (Emerson) 7.36
09.3. 3rd Impression (Emerson/Lake/Sinfield) 10.17

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Keith Emerson:
02 November 1944 – 11 March 2016

Greg Lake:
10 November 1947 – 07 December 2016

Leonard Cohen – New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgNew Skin for the Old Ceremony is the fourth studio album by Leonard Cohen. On this album he began to move away from the minimal instrumentation of his earlier work, with the use of violas, mandolins, banjos, guitars, percussion and other instruments producing a more orchestrated (but nevertheless spare) sound. The album has been certified silver in the UK, but never entered the Billboard Top 200.

For his fourth album, Cohen chose to work with John Lissauer, a recent college graduate and rising producer whose jazz background contrasted sharply with Bob Johnston, the Nashville-based producer who had been at the helm of Cohen’s two previous releases, 1969’s Songs From a Room and 1971’s Songs of Love and Hate. According to the Anthony Reynolds 2010 book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life, Cohen sat on Lissauer’s couch and played him his new songs on his guitar at the producer’s loft on 18th Street in New York City, and eventually cut a handful of demos at a CBS studio before moving to Sound Ideas studio in February. Reynolds reports that Lissauer had the impression that the whole Nashville experience, including the 1972 European tour with “The Army” (the touring band that Johnson assembled) had been a bit overwhelming for Cohen: “It was like a big wave picking him up, and while he had fun it didn’t quite have the artistic sensibility that Leonard needed. The focus then had been on this Nashville energy thing.”

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Lissauer assembled a new group of musicians to join Cohen in the studio, including double bass player John Miller, as well as engineers Rip Lowell and Leanne Ungar. Lissauer brought a European tinge to many of the songs, adding a depth and richness by employing woodwinds, viola, and strings. The album is notable for its very dry mix, with reverb and echo used very sparingly. The album features several popular Cohen compositions, most notably “Chelsea Hotel #2” (“Chelsea Hotel”, the precursor to “Chelsea Hotel #2”, was only performed live and co-written by Cohen and his guitarist Ron Cornelius). “Chelsea Hotel #2” refers to a sexual encounter in the Chelsea Hotel, probably New York City’s most famous Bohemian hostelry. For some years, when performing this song live, Cohen would tell a story that made it clear that the person about whom he was singing was Janis Joplin. Cohen would eventually come to regret his choice to make people aware that the song was about Joplin, and the graphic detail in which the song describes their brief relationship. In a 1994 broadcast on the BBC, Cohen said it was “an indiscretion for which I’m very sorry, and if there is some way of apologising to the ghost, I want to apologise now, for having committed that indiscretion.”

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According to Ira Nadel’s 1996 Cohen memoir Various Positions, the singer finished writing Chelsea Hotel #2″ at the Imperial Hotel in Asmara, Ethiopia and reworked an early song called “The Bells” into “Take This Longing”. Nadel also notes that several songs, such as “Field Commander Cohen”—about a surrealistic spy known for parachuting “acid into diplomatic cocktail parties”—were influenced by his recent stay in a turbulent Israel, and that the melody for “Who By Fire” (sung as a duet with Janis Ian on the album) is based on the Hebrew melody for the prayer “Unetanneh Tokef” sung at the Mussaf (or noontime service) of the High Holy Days. In an interview with John McKenna of RTÉ in 1988, Cohen discussed the idea behind “A Singer Must Die”: “There’s something I listen for in a singer’s voice and that’s some kind of truth. It may even be truth of deception, it may even be the truth of the scam, the truth of the hustle in the singer’s own presentation, but something is coming across that is true, and if that isn’t there the song dies. And the singer deserves to die too, and will, in time, die.”

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Cohen’s vocals on “Is This What You Wanted” and “Leaving Green Sleeves” are some of his most aggressive and confrontational, although for the most part his singing on the LP is quiet to the point of being almost conversational. The latter is a reworking of the 15th-century folk song “Greensleeves”; Cohen retains the chord progression, but changes the melody and takes the latter verses in a different direction than the original. The song, and in turn the album, ends with Cohen violently screaming the chorus as the track fades out. Cohen would express satisfaction with the album in an interview with Melody Maker’s Harvey Kubernik in March 1975:

For a while, I didn’t think there was going to be another album. I pretty well felt that I was washed up as a songwriter because it wasn’t coming anymore. Actually, I should have known better, it takes me a long time to compose a song…However, last summer I went to Ethiopia looking for a suntan. It rained, including in the Sinai desert, but through this whole period I had my little guitar with me, and it was then I felt the songs emerging – at least, the conclusions that I had been carrying in manuscript form for the last four or five years, from hotel room to hotel room…I must say I’m pleased with the album. It’s good. I’m not ashamed of it and am ready to stand by it. Rather than think of it as a masterpiece, I prefer to look at it as a little gem.

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Cohen would tour in support of the LP, beginning a thirty-three date European trek (his third) in the fall of 1974 followed by his first North American tour in November.

The original cover art for New Skin for the Old Ceremony was an image from the alchemical text Rosarium philosophorum. The image originally came to public attention in C.G. Jung’s essay The Psychology of The Transference (2nd ed.1966), where it is held by Jung to depict the union of psychic opposites in the consciousness of the enlightened saint. (by wikipedia)

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Leonard Cohen was a poet long before he decided to pick up a guitar. Despite singing in a dry baritone over spare arrangements, Cohen is a gifted lyricist who captivates the listener. New Skin for the Old Ceremony may be Leonard Cohen’s most musical album, as he is accompanied by violas, mandolins, banjos, and percussion that give his music more texture than usual. The fact that Cohen does more real singing on this album can be seen as both a blessing and a curse — while his voice sounds more strained, the songs are delivered with more passion than usual. Furthermore, he has background vocalists including Janis Ian that add significantly to create a fuller sound. It is no surprise, however, that he generally uses simple song structures to draw attention to the words (“Who By Fire”). The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds (“There Is a War,” “Field Commander Cohen”). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in “Chelsea Hotel No. 2.” This is one of his best albums, although new listeners should start with Songs of Leonard Cohen. (by Vik Iyengar)

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Personnel:
Leonard Cohen (guitar, vocals)
Gerald Chamberlain (trombone)
Lewis Furey (viola)
Ralph Gibson (guitar)
Armen Halburian (percussion)
Jeff Layton (banjo, mandolin, guitar, trumpet)
Barry Lazarowitz (percussion)
John Lissauer (woodwinds, keyboards, background vocals)
Roy Markowitz (drums)
John Miller (bass)
Don Payne (bass)
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background vocals:
Janis Ian – Emily Bindiger – Erin Dickins – Gail Kantor

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Tracklist:
01. Is This What You Wanted 4.15
02. Chelsea Hotel #2 3.08
03. Lover Lover Lover 3.19
04. Field Commander Cohen 4.00
05. Why Don’t You Try 3.51
06. There Is A War 2.59
07. A Singer Must Die 3.18
08. I Tried To Leave You 2.38
09. Who By Fire 2.29
10. Take This Longing 4.06
11. Leaving Green Sleeves 2.40

All songs written by Leonard Cohen

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Redwing – Dead Or Alive (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGEssentially, Redwing, Glad, and the New Breed are all the same band…sort of. As the band evolved and their styles changed, so did their name.

Actually, the story begins in Sacramento, CA in 1962 when Timothy (B.) Schmit, Ron Floegel, and Tom Phillips played together in a folk trio, appropriately named Tim Tom & Ron. In 1963, as high school sophomores at Encina High, the band added drummer George Hullin and switched to surf music. With this new change in direction and new member, Tim Tom & Ron became The Contenders.

Then the British Invasion hit, and the group jumped on that ship. Surf music was out and Beatlesque-sounding music was their new thing. By now, the quartet of Tim Schmit, Ron Floegel, Tom Phillips, and George Hullin went by the name, the New Breed.

In 1965, the New Breed cut a single, “Green Eyed Woman” b/w “I’m in Love,” which was quite successful as a regional hit in Northern California. The B-Side, “I’m in Love,” was actually a Lennon-McCartney tune that never appeared on a Beatles record. However, the New Breed’s rendition was extremely faithful to the Beatle-sound, almost sounding as though it was a track that could have been pulled right off of A Hard Days Night; production-wise, it was very much in the “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You” vein.

The New Breed next recorded an album’s worth of material. Most of the 11 tracks were cover tunes, but there were a few New Breed originals recorded. Due to problems with their label, the record was not released.

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In 1966, under their own label, World United, the band recorded a new single, “Fine With Me” b/w “The Sound of Music.” The band’s music mirrored the progressive changes that were happening in the music world around this time, and their follow-up single “Wand Ad Reader,” was, essentially, a New Breed re-write of “Paperback Writer.”

Around 1968, the band signed on with a new label, Equinox, under producer Terry Melcher, who had the group change their name to Glad. In Los Angeles, Glad recorded one album, Feelin’ Glad. The album, again, is very Beatlesque, but it is a highly produced effort, more so like the post-’65 Beatles. Apparently, the band was unhappy with the album due to the fact that they had very little control over it. Certain parts of the record were overdubbed with strings, horns, and fancy production against the band’s wishes. Furthermore, its been stated that Tim Schmit is the only Glad member that appeared on the LP’s track, “Shape of Things to Come,” and this was apparently a sore spot for the group. Regardless, the album, which is mostly Glad originals, is a solid album filled with great cuts and great singing and harmonies.

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Unfortunately, Feelin’ Glad did not sell particularly well, and in 1969, Tim Schmit, aka, Timothy B. Schmit was offered the position of bassist for Poco . He accepted it and went onto record some of the most under appreciated music ever with the band. He became ConcertPosterthe replacement for Randy Meisner, who, ironically, he would replace again in the Eagles in 1977. With Poco, Tim released 11 albums.

Glad, again, changed their name. This time, they became Redwing. Replacing Tim was Andy Samuels, formerly of Nate Shiner’s Band. Samuels was really another guitarist, and not really a bassist, although he would play some bass on Redwing’s albums and was–according to soon-to-be-bassist Dale Lyberger–quite accomplished. Although it seems that the band never actually found an “official,” long-term bassist, several four-stringers played with the group over the ensuing years–most notably Dale Lyberger, John Myers, and Buddy Harpham.

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Redwing did well locally, but, unfortunately, never made it nationally. Under the Fantasy label, they released 5 records–one each year starting in 1971: Redwing, What this Country Needs…, Take Me Home, Dead or Alive, and Beyond the Sun and Stars. Much like with the New Breed and Glad, each record reflected the band’s style evolving and incorporated new ideas. (More information is available on each record on the records page.)

By the time of the release of Beyond the Sun andStars, the band’s final record, the spark that originally defined the band had diminished. The end was not too far away, and the group disbanded not too long aftewards.

Although the 5 Redwing LPs remain unreleased on CD and long out of print, those who have had or have been able to find vinyl copies recognize that the group left behind some fine music. The members of the New Breed (including Timothy B. Schmit) still occasionally see each other, and have reunited for a few jams over the years: usually at high school reunions. After all, Encina High School was the place where it all started so many years back. (by desktop21.com/redwing)

And this is their 4th album …

… and if you like the sound of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Eagles, The Marshall Tucker Band or The Band …. then is this album for you.

And songs like “Rainbow Mountain”, “I’m Holding On”, “Two Brothers (Dead Or Alive)”. “Early Mornin’ Sunrise” or “Shine On Me” … stands the test of time ! Listen and enjoy !

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The inlet

Personnel:
Ron Floegel (guitar)
George Hullin (drums, percussion, fiddle)
Tom Phillips (guitar, slide-guitar, steel-guitar, dobro, banjo, harmonica, saxophone, vocals)
Andrew Samuels (guitar, bass, vocals)
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David Fraser (piano on 04., 08. + 10.)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin on 06. + 09.)
Kenneth Nash (percussion on 01., 05., 06. + 08.)
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background vocals:
Debbie Moore – George Hullin

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Tracklist:
01. I’m Holding On (Phillips) 3.58
02. You’ve Got It (Phillips) 2.47
03. Two Brothers (Dead Or Alive) (Phillips) 3.26
04. The Rhythm King (Floegel) 2.01
05. Early Mornin’ Sunrise (Phillips) 4.49
06. Foxfire (Phillips) 2.19
07. Shine On Me (Phillips) 3.12
08. Angel Eyes (Floegel) 3.01
09. Give Me A Song (Phillips) 2.59
10. Rainbow Mountain (Floegel) 3.38

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips today

Andy Fairweather Low – Spider Jiving (1974)

FrontCover1The seven million people who bought Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album and the countless more who saw the MTV Unplugged TV show experienced the work of Andy Fairweather Low, who served as Clapton’s backup guitarist/vocalist. But probably few in that giant audience knew that Fairweather Low had once been a teen idol and had an extensive recorded catalog in groups and as a solo star. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Fairweather Low formed Amen Corner in the mid-’60s, for which he served as lead singer. The group scored six U.K. hits from 1967 to 1969, the biggest of which was the number one “(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice.” Its success put Fairweather Low’s attractive face on the bedroom walls of teenage girls all over Britain. Amen Corner broke up at the end of the ’60s and evolved into the more progressive Fair Weather, which scored a hit with “Natural Sinner” in 1970, but broke up in 1971. Fairweather Low retired for several years, but returned as a solo artist in 1974 and made a series of albums through 1980, reaching the U.K. Top Ten with the singles “Reggae Tune” and “Wide Eyed and Legless.” Gradually, however, he began to work as a sideman to more prominent British musicians, notably ex-Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters, and with the ARMS benefit group in 1987. He toured Japan with George Harrison and Eric Clapton in 1991 and has since been part of Clapton’s backup band. Fairweather Low began touring with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and, in 2006, hit the road again with Waters for the Dark Side of the Moon Tour. (by William Ruhlmann)

Andy Fairweather Low.jpgAndy Fairweather Low spent a fair amount of the late ’60s through 1970 in the British Top Ten with the pop-R&B band Amen Corner, as well the short-lived Fair Weather, before taking a nearly three-year hiatus from recording. Shedding his teen idol image of previous years, the Welsh-born Low returned in 1974 with his first solo record, Spider Jiving. Here he delivers 11 self-penned gems that can be as laid-back as they can be funky, employing support from both Nashville and Memphis while retaining the sort of looseness found in an English pub band. With producer Elliot Mazer — known for his work with Neil Young — Low punches up tunes such as the acoustic-based title track with help from the Memphis Horns, while his rock & roll and R&B sport wry touches of banjo, fiddle, pedal steel, and Charlie McCoy’s harmonica. Lyrically, there’s a thread of frustration, steeped in the experiences of someone who’s had to sit back and watch others get rich from his hard work and success (Low and Amen Corner made very little money despite their success, and were actually in debt to their label following their breakup). And while lines such as “…and the sad thing is, that no one really cares” and “I’ve been abused too long…” may hint at singer/songwriter self-pity, closer investigation reveals a playfulness in the music, as well as a sense of humor and a sly wink in his delivery that keeps everything in perspective. Some of the highlights include the irresistible title cut; the dancehall ballad “Dancing in the Dark”; and the wah-wah driven “Reggae Tune,” which continued Low’s string of U.K. Top Ten hits. (by Brett Hartenbach)

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Personnel:
Kenny Buttrey (drums)
Vassar Clements (violin)
Andy Fairweather Low (guitar, vocals)
John Kahn (guitar)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Henry McCullough (guitar)
Weldon Myrick (steel-guitar)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)
Denny Seiwell (drums)
Buddy Spicher (violin)
Chris Stewart (bass)
Bobby Thompson (banjo)
Mick Weaver (keyboards)
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The Memphis Horns Horn
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background vocals:
Lea Jane Berinati – Dianne Davidson – Ginger Holladay – Mary Holladay

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Tracklist:
01. Spider Jiving 3.07
02. Drowning on Dry Land 3.30
03. Keep On Rocking 3.47
04. Same Old Story 3.47
05. I Ain’t No Mountain 4.06
06. Every Day I Die 4.33
07. Standing On The Water 4.05
08. Mellow Down 3.10
09. The Light Is Within 4.21
10. Reggae Tune 3.24
11. Dancing In The Dark 3.02

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Keith Jarrett & Jan Garbarek – European Quartet (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgFor a band destined to be so influential, led by a pianist who is certainly not shy of the recording process, Keith Jarrett’s so-called European quartet was parlously under-documented.

Two studio albums, Belonging (1974) and My Song (1977) and a single live recording, Nude Ants (1979) made at New York’s Village Vanguard, were all that Jarrett and producer Manfred Eicher saw fit to release at the time. But the studio albums in particular were of such a high quality, so totally original in their conception, so utterly, heart-openingly beautiful, they were enough to establish the quartet as one of the most influential acoustic units to emerge from the otherwise fusion-soaked 1970s.

Formed around Jarrett’s bravura playing and writing, the group featured three then little-known Scandinavian musicians: saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. The Europeans seemed to have a liberating effect on the Pennsylvania pianist.

Even now, with more than 50 other ECM recordings to his name, among them some of the most celebrated jazz albums of the post-Coltrane era, Jarrett stands out for his playing with the European quartet – joyous, exuberant flights of pure melodic invention, imbued with a bright-eyed romanticism that is rare in modern jazz.

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Also known as the Scandinavian quartet, Jarrett’s alliance with Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano sax), Palle Danielsson (bass), and Jon Christensen (drums) stood in smooth contrast to the American quartet’s restlessness. Common to both groups was Jarrett’s brilliant writing and a few free and ethnic tangents. Their first album Belonging was recorded in the heyday of the American quartet, but they only became a working unit after the Americans had dissembled. Considering all the compositions Jarrett wrote for both groups, it cements him as one of the most creative jazz artists of the 1970s, all without playing a lick of fusion.  (by jazzshelf.org)

And here´s a brilliant live recording from this “European quartet”… a broadcast recording, live at the Funkhaus, Studios 1, Hannover … recorded by the German radio station “NDR”.

Listen and you´ll know why I think and feel, that this is timeless music !

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
Keith Jarrett (piano)


Tracklist:
01. Introduction (in German) 0.35
02. Belonging 5.03
03. Spiral Dance 13.53
04. Blossom 15.50
05. Give Me Your Ribbons And I’ll Give You My Bows 7.53
06. The Windup 13.37
07. Long As You Know You’re Living Yours 17.13
08. Mandala 7.23
09. Solstice 14.44

Music composed by Keith Jarrett

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