Alan White – Ramshackled (1976)

FrontCover1Alan White is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all-time. With forty-plus years of performance experience and appearances on over fifty albums, Alan’s dossier reads like a who’s-who of rock legends. With his consummate professionalism and easy-going nature, Alan continues to be an inspiration to fellow musicians as well as fans.

Born in Pelton, Co. Durham, in northern England on June 14th, 1949, Alan is the only child of May and Raymond White. At the age of six, Alan began taking piano lessons and in time it became apparent that his style was very percussive. Noticing this, he was given his first drum kit by his Uncle Ken, also a drummer.

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young_alanAlan took to the drums immediately, and began performing publicly with a local band just three months later, at the ripe old age of 13. Throughout the mid to late 1960s, Alan continued to hone his craft in England and Europe with a variety of bands, including The Downbeats, The Gamblers, Billy Fury, Alan Price Big Band, Bell and Arc, Terry Reid, and Happy Magazine (later called Griffin) and Balls with Trevor Burton and Denny Laine.

In the summer of 1968, Alan was asked to join Ginger Baker’s Airforce, a new group being put together by the former drummer of Cream and other noted musicians from England’s music scene including Steve Winwood, formerly of Traffic.

In 1969, Alan received what he thought at the time to be a prank phone call, but was actually John Lennon calling to ask Alan to join the Plastic Ono Band. The next day Alan found himself learning songs in the back of an airliner en-route to Toronto with Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman. The ensuing album, Live Peace in Toronto, sold millions of copies, peaking at number 10 on the pop charts.

Alan White with John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band:
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Plastic Ono BandAlan’s association with Lennon continued, recording singles like ‘Instant Karma’ and the subsequent landmark album, Imagine, with Alan providing drums for the title song, ‘Jealous Guy’, and ‘How Do You Sleep at Night’. Alan’s work with Lennon led to an introduction to George Harrison, who asked Alan to perform on the album All Things Must Pass, including the hit single, ‘My Sweet Lord’, released in 1970.

In June 1972, while on tour with Joe Cocker, Alan got a phone call from his manager, Tony Dimitriades, who said that Yes wanted him to join the band. His current tour was ending so he flew back to England for a meeting with Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, who told him that he was joining Yes or “they were going to throw me out the third-story window,” recalls Alan.

Three days later, on June 30th, Yes, along with their new drummer, opened their US tour before 15,000 fans in Dallas, Texas. Alan and Yes gave each other three months to see if it would work out, and more than thirty years later, Alan is an integral part of the band, having played on every Yes studio and live album recorded since.

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His first studio endeavor with Yes, the 1974 release Tales From Topographic Oceans, saw Alan creating massive multi-rhythmic passages for the track ‘Ritual’. When it was performed on Yes’ 2000 ‘Masterworks’ tour, ‘Ritual’, which has nearly the entire band playing percussion together onstage, was a crowd favorite.

Far from just a time-keeper, Alan has written a large part of Yes’ music; from the chord sequences for the beautiful ‘Turn of the Century’, from the album Going for the One (1977), to many of the themes on Tormato (1978) and Drama (1980), to the hypnotic opening to ‘Mind Drive’, from Keys to Ascension 2 (1997).

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Madison Square GardenNever having lost his love for piano, Alan has recorded several keyboard parts for Yes as far back as 1974, when he tracked backing piano for the conclusion to ‘Ritual’, when Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman was unavailable. Alan continues to play piano to this day, and was featured on several tracks on Yes’ 2001 album Magnification, as well as live keyboard performances on the subsequent tour.

Time off from the Yes’ hectic touring and recording schedule allows Alan to pursue other projects as well. With longtime friend and technical guru, Reek Havok, he formed ‘Crash and Bang’, to provide music for the entertainment industry, including video games and television shows. “It also serves as a testing ground for new music hardware and software and new approaches to music and it’s psychological effects on the user and an excuse to plug the wrong things together just to see what happens!”, adds Reek.

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In 2005, Alan formed a new band, aptly called White, who released their self-titled debut album in January 2006. White performs regularly in the Seattle-area, when time permits.

In recent years, Alan has performed with a variety of artists, including Spencer Davis, The Ventures, Charlie Daniels and Eddie Money, to name but a few. In 2007, Alan played alongside Keith Emerson, Simon Kirk and Yes bassist Chris Squire at the Ahmet Ertegün memorial show, as part of the opening act for Led Zeppelin. He also conducts numerous drum clinics around the country and around the world to encourage and teach other drummers.

Alan and his wife Gigi are very active in the Seattle arts community, serving on the board of directors for Music Aid Northwest, Northwest Program for the Arts, and the Seattle Theatre Group. Alan is also a member of the Seattle Chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. (taken from the offical website)

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Ramshackled is the only solo album by Alan White, drummer for British progressive rock band Yes. It was released in 1976 on Atlantic Records, during a period when all five of the Yes band members (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Patrick Moraz and White) released solo albums. White only performed drums on the album and neither wrote nor sang any of the songs.

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White had worked with Pete Kirtley and Kenny Craddock in the Alan Price Set and Happy Magazine. White, Kirtley, Craddock and Colin Gibson then worked together in the short-lived Griffin in 1969.[1] In the early 1970s, White, Kirtley, Craddock, Gibson and Bud Beadle played together in unsigned band Simpson’s Pure Oxygen. Craddock was also in the second line up of Lindisfarne who released two albums between 1973 and 1975. For his debut solo album, White brought Kirtley, Craddock, Gibson and Beadle back together.

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Fellow Yes members, Jon Anderson and Steve Howe, guested on “Spring: Song of Innocence”. Gibson and wind player Bud Beadle also appeared on Steve Howe’s own solo album from the same period, Beginnings. Although he does not appear on the album, Patrick Moraz has a cameo in the promotional video.

Yes subsequently toured in 1976, with initial dates of the tour including material from the members’ solo albums, including “One Way Rag” and “Song of Innocence”, but these were soon dropped.

AllMusic’s Alex Anderson found the album highly uneven and noted that the album’s hodgepodge of popular styles failed to appeal to the progressive rock fanbase White had gained with Yes. He concluded “Although Ramshackled isn’t terrible, most of the Yes fans who bought it agreed that their money hadn’t been well spent.” (wikipedia)

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After reading Allmusic’s review I did not expect much, but the album turned out to be highly enjoyable. It’s a diverse set that touches on salsa, soul, fusion, blues, prog, reggae, classical, pop and more.

The album is not at all like Yes, but the high standards of musicality remain, with intricate brass, string and backing vocal arrangements. Such a varied set allowed the bandleader to explore a range of tasty and intricate grooves that he probably could not use in his day job, and he plays them all with his usual precision, skill and taste.

Avakak is the seven-minute prog/fusion centrepiece of the album. Intricate and creative, it is worth the admission price alone. Giddy is an excellent uptempo soul piece. The closer, Darkness is unusual, transforming from a smooth blues tune to a prog piece, like the love child of Pretzel Logic and King Crimson’s Islands.

The album is not perfect, with some obvious musical clichés and some distracting vocals in Ooh Baby and Silly Woman (the track titles suggest this), but the music is largely played with passion, skill and taste. (Greta Courtney)

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Personnel:
Kenny Craddock (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
Colin Gibson (bass, percussion)
Pete Kirtley (guitar, vocals)
Alan Marshall (vocals)
Alan White (drums, percussion)
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Jon Anderson (vocals on 04.)
Steve Howe (guitar on 04.)
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horn section:
Bud Beadle (saxophone, flute)
Steve Gregory (saxophone, flute)
Henry Lowther (trumpet)
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background vocals:
Madeline Bell – Vicki Brown – Joanne Williams

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Ooh Baby (Goin’ To Pieces) (Kirtley) 5.34
02. One Way Rag (Gibson/Craddock) 4.08
03. Avakak (aka Twelve Ways To Drink Meths) (Craddock/Gibson/Kirtley) 6.55
04. Spring-Song Of Innocence (Kirtley/Blake) 5.02
05. Giddy (Craddock/Gibson) 3.13
06. Silly Woman (Kirtley) 3.16
07. Marching Into A Bottle (Craddock) 2.00
08. Everybody (Craddock/Gibson/Kirtley) 3.15
09. Darkness, Pts. 1–3 (Craddock/Gibson) 5.34

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The offical website:
Website

Ry Cooder – Chicken Skin Music (1976)

FrontCover1Yesterday he celebrated his 75th birthday !

Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, record producer, and writer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in traditional music, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with John Lee Hooker, Captain Beefheart, Gordon Lightfoot, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson and The Textones (on record and film). He formed the band Little Village, and produced the album Buena Vista Social Club (1997), which became a worldwide hit; Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

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Cooder was ranked at No. 8 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, while a 2010 list by Gibson Guitar Corporation placed him at No. 32. In 2011, he published a collection of short stories called Los Angeles Stories.

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Chicken Skin Music is Ry Cooder’s fifth studio album, released in 1976, on the Reprise label. (wikipedia)

Ry Cooder has always believed in the “mutuality in music,” and this may be no more evident in his career than with his fifth album, Chicken Skin Music (a Hawaiian colloquialism, synonymous with goosebumps). Even more than usual, Cooder refuses to recognize borders — geographical or musical — presenting “Stand By Me” as a gospel song with a norteño arrangement, or giving the Jim Reeves country-pop classic, “He’ll Have to Go,” a bolero rhythm, featuring the interplay of Flaco Jimenez’s accordion and Pat Rizzo’s alto sax. Elsewhere, he teams with a pair of Hawaiian greats — steel guitarist and singer Gabby Pahinui and slack key guitar master Atta Isaacs — on the Hank Snow hit “Yellow Roses” and the beautiful instrumental “Chloe.”

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If Cooder’s approach to the music is stylistically diverse, his choice of material certainly follows suit. Bookended by a couple of Leadbelly compositions, Chicken Skin Music sports a collection of songs ranging from the aforementioned tracks to the charming old minstrel/medicine show number “I Got Mine” and the syncopated R&B of “Smack Dab in the Middle.” Also included is Appalachian songwriter Blind Alfred Reed’s “Always Lift Him Up,” complete with a Hawaiian gospel tune, “Kanaka Wai Wai,” woven into the instrumental section. As he explains in the album’s liner notes, Cooder understands the connection between these seemingly disparate styles. This is not merely eclecticism for its own sake. Chicken Skin Music is probably Ry Cooder’s most eccentric record since his first, but it’s also one of his most entertaining. (by Brett Hartenbach)

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Personnel:
Red Callender (bass)
Ry Cooder – bajo sexto, mandola, bottleneck guitar, french accordion, electric guitar, slack-key guitar, tiple, hawaiian guitar, vocals)
Chris Ethridge (bass)
Milt Holland (drums, percussion)
Jim Keltner (drums)
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George Bohanon (baritone horn on 02.)
Oscar Brashear (cornet on 02.)
Isaac Garcia (drums on 09.)
Hugo Gonzales (bajo sexto on 09.)
Atta Isaacs (slack-key, guitar on 08.)
Fred Jackson Jr. (saxophone on 02.)
Flaco Jiménez (accordion on 04., 06. + 09.)
Henry Ojeda (bass on 09.)
Gabby Pahinui (steel guitar on 08.)
Benny Powell – trombone on 02.)
Pat Rizzo (saxophone on 04.)
Russ Titelman (bajo sexto on 06.)
Frank Villarreal (saxophone on 09.)
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background vocals:
Jimmy Adams -Terry Evans – Cliff Givens – Laurence Fishburne – Bobby King – Herman E. Johnson

Inlet01Tracklist:
01. The Bourgeois Blues (Leadbelly) 3.25
02. “I Got Mine” Traditional; based on Pink Anderson’s version 4:28
03. “Always Lift Him Up/Kanaka Wai Wai” Blind Alfred Reed/Traditional 6:01
04. “He’ll Have to Go” Joe Allison, Audrey Allison 5:07
Side twoNo. Title Writer(s) Length
05. “Smack Dab in the Middle” Charles E. Calhoun 3:18
06. “Stand by Me” Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 3:38
07. “Yellow Roses” Ken Devine, Sam Nichols 6:11
08. “Chlo-e” (instrumental) Gus Kahn, Neil Moret 3:00
09. “Goodnight, Irene” Lead Belly, John Lomax 4:32

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The official website:
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The Rimshots – Down To Earth (1976)

FrontCover1The Rimshots were an American funk and disco band, popular in the late 1970s. The group started out as the house band for the labels All Platinum Records and in particular, Stang Records in the early 1970s.

The (then nameless) rhythm section recorded for the artists signed to the company (including Hank Ballard, Donnie Elbert, Shirley & Company, Chuck Jackson, Brook Benton, Solomon Burke, Brother to Brother, Eleanor Mills, The Moments, and Etta James).

Along with King Curtis, they recorded the original theme song for the 1971 hit television show, Soul Train.

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From 1972 to 1976, this studio band recorded over fifty projects for Platinum-Chess Records. The group also had the ability to accurately replicate rhythm tracks previously recorded by other artists. Joe Robinson, the company’s president, had the group reproduce an American hit, “7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)”, and released the single in Europe under the artist name ‘The Rimshots’; and that is when the rhythm section’s new identity was launched. The group became a reluctant new artist and began touring internationally as The Rimshots, appearing twice on the UK’s BBC Television, Top of the Pops, and other international venues. Despite their unwitting success as a disco group, their studio discography is unparalleled by their limited recordings under this name.

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Their original music tended toward a hard funk sound, mainly influenced by three musicians who formed the core of the group. Guitarist Walter Morris, bassist Jonathan Williams (5), and drummer Clarence Oliver (all from the Richmond, Virginia area) were the original stage band for Moments. Keyboardist, Bernadette Randle (St. Louis, Missouri), was brought to the studio by owner, Sylvia Robinson and the record producer, Michael Burton (“Pillow Talk” collaborators). Rhythm guitarist, Tommy Keith (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was under contract to the recording company as a writer and producer. Organist, Mozart Pierre-Louis (Haiti) performed with the group on stage, but did not record with them in the studio. In this six-man configuration, they toured as The Moments’ band throughout the 1970s. By the mid 1970s, however, the group became recognized as a disco band, due in large part to the European success of the “Blow Your Whistle” cover. They also scored a few chart hits of their original tunes. “Do What You Feel (Part 1)” (written by Walter Morris) reached #93 on the US Billboard charts, and “Super Disco” (written by Tommy Keith) reached #49 R&B, and #7 on the Disco Singles chart. When Randle left the company, she was replaced by Sammy Lowe, Jr. during the year or so the group remained intact. (His father, Sammy Lowe, Sr., was the Platinum-Chess orchestrator for over ten years.) (wikipedia)

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And here´s their second and last LP:

A pretty decent Disco/Soul Lp which sounds more or less exactly like you’d expect a 1976 Disco Lp to sound like, but unlike a great many Disco Lp’s from the era, this one is unusually consistent and listenable all the way through.

“Being Down To Earth” & the “Do What You Feel (Instrumental)” are the best tracks here, with maybe a nod to kinda dumb but catchy “7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (Blow Your Whistle)”, which was a top 5 hit (…in an arguably much better version) for the “Gary Tom’s Empire” a year earlier. The Rimshots version was also released as a 45 but I’m not sure if it made the charts too. (by Progrockasaurus)

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Personnel:
Tommy Keith (guitar)
Mozart Pierre-Louis (organ)
Walter Morris (guitar)
Clarence Oliver (drums)
Bernadette Randle (keyboards, synthesizer)
Jonathan Williams (bass)

Singles

Tracklist:
01. Now Is The Time (Morris/Goodman/Ray) 3.19
02. Do What You Feel (Part 1) (Morris/Goodman/Ray) 3.46
03. I Wanna Be Myself (Keith/Randle) 5.02
04. Super Disco (Keith) 3.29
05. Groove Bus (Ray/Goodman/Morris/Keith) 3.18
06. Walter’s Inspiration (Morris/Randle) 3.32
07. Being Down To Earth (Morris/Goodman/Ray) 3.16
08. Do What You Feel (Part 2) (Morris/Goodman/Ray) 3.17
09. 7654321 (Blow Your Whistle) (Cook) 3.16
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10. We’ve Got You Singing (Keith) 3.42

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Jean-Luc Ponty – Live At The La Paloma Theater, Encinitas (1976)

FrontCover1It has been a long, fascinating odyssey for Jean-Luc Ponty, who started out as a straight jazz violinist only to become a pioneer of the electric violin in jazz-rock in the ’70s and an inspired manipulator of sequencers and synthesizers in the ’80s. At first merely amplifying his violin in order to be heard, he switched over to electric violin and augmented it with devices that were associated with electric guitarists and keyboardists, like Echoplex machines, distortion boxes, phase shifters, and wah-wah pedals. Classically trained, with an unquenchable ability to swing when he wants to, and consumed by a passion for tight structures and repeating ostinatos, Ponty has been able to handle styles as diverse as swing, bop, free and modal jazz, jazz-rock, world music, and even country, mixing them up at will. Starting in 1977, he also pioneered the use of a five-string electric violin with a low C string. Undoubtedly, he rivals Stéphane Grappelli for the title of the most prominent and influential European jazz violinist. (by Richard S. Ginell)

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Jazz fusion by itself is already a vast field. Violin jazz fusion might narrow things down somewhat and Jean-Luc Ponty stands out among its practitioners. Ponty might have been trained in classical music but under the influence of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, he switched to jazz and for someone who has played on John McLaughlin/Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, he certainly needs no introduction. And anyone who is endorsed by Frank Zappa is certainly worth at least a listen.

The mid-’70s was a fruitful period for Jean Luc Ponty. In May 1975, he released Upon The Wings of Music. He recorded Aurora in December 1975 and got it out in February 1976; and before the year was out, he had released Imaginary Voyage.

Thanks to ledwhofloyd for sharing the show at Dime

Recorded live at the La Paloma Theater, Encinitas, CA; October 23, 1976
(Early Show). Very good soundboard

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Personnel:
Mark Craney (drums)
Tom Fowler (bass)
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin)
Daryl Stuermer (guitar)
Alan Zavod (keyboards)

PontyTracklist:
01. Imaginary Voyage 25.39
02. Passengers Of The Dark 10.21
03. Renaissance 8.51
04. Question With No Answer 6.09
05. Lost Forest 9.19
06. Wandering On The Milky Way 3.54
07. Aurora 13.18
08. New Country 4.01
09. Tarantula 3.05

Music composed by Jean-Luc Ponty

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George Hatcher Band – Have Band Will Travel (1977)

FrontCover1The George Hatcher Band is an American Southern Rock band formed by vocalist/songwriter George Hatcher (born March 8, 1947 in Bennettsville, South Carolina)  after moving to England in the summer of 1975. Between 1976 and 1985, the group released 5 studio albums and one live in-studio EP.

Their first three releases were produced by Tom Allom and issued on United Artists. After a hiatus, Hatcher reformed the band with new members in the 2000s.

Before forming the group, vocalist George Hatcher was a member of Asheville, NC band Flatrock who recorded two albums for North Carolina-based label King Records with producer Shadow Morton. Neither album was released and because of contractual problems, Flatrock broke up and Hatcher travelled to the UK. Arriving in August 1975, the first musicians Hatcher connected with were Curved Air members, drummer Stewart Copeland (later to co-found The Police) and violinist Darryl Way Hatcher joined their project, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, and played a few club shows before deciding to form his own band.

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Hatcher first met drummer Terry Slade, formerly of Renaissance, and then recruited guitarists Phil Swan, whom he knew personally, and John Thomas, whom he met in a club in Birmingham. Keyboardist Steve Wren and bassist Harris Joannou were recruited through friends and word of mouth.

While still unsigned, the group supported Man, Canned Heat and Dr. Feelgood around the UK. After playing a label showcase at Dingwalls at Camden Lock in London, they were approached by A&R executive Andrew Lauder who signed the group to a three-album deal with United Artists.  Through Lauder, the band was introduced to producer Tom Allom who expressed interest in working with the band. They entered Wessex Sound Studios in London in the summer of 1976 and recorded their debut album Dry Run with Allom at the helm. John McFee, aka John McSteel, later to join the Doobie Brothers, would play pedal steel guitar on “Sunshine (Shine Down On Me)”, with Tony Carr providing percussion. To promote the record, they supported label mates, Dr. Feelgood, on their September/October Stupidity UK tour[ and Continental Europe in November[5] as well as headlining their own shows.

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The band quickly turned to writing and rehearsing for the next album. On December 12, 1976, they decided to invite a few friends and record some tracks at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London with a live audience. According to Hatcher, some 250 people showed up by four o’clock in the afternoon and the band proceeded to record covers of Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues”, based on the version popularized by the Allman Brothers Band, and Loggins and Messina’s “Good Friend” (which also appears on Dry Run), as well as a pair of originals, “Rockin’ in the Morning” and “Drinkin’ Man”, the latter written on the spot and recorded on the first take.  These 4 songs would make up the 1977 Have Band Will Travel 10″ EP.

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Hatcher started off the new year with more live work, including a show with UFO in late January at Friars Aylesbury. After supporting Frankie Miller on March 26, 1977 at The Apollo in Glasgow, Scotland, the band headed straight into Wessex Sound Studios through the month of May to record their sophomore album, Talkin’ Turkey, with Tom Allom producing once more. Expanding on their sound, Hatcher brought in musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, returning guest players Tony Carr and John McFee, as well as McFee’s then Clover bandmate, Huey Lewis, credited as Huey Harp, on harmonica.  Talkin’ Turkey and Have Band Will Travel were released in short succession and the George Hatcher Band appeared on the popular BBC in Concert series, broadcast on June 18.[ They also played the massive Reading Rock Festival on August 27, 1977 with headliners Thin Lizzy topping the bill. Earlier that month, they had supported Ted Nugent during his 2-night stand at London’s Hammersmith Odeon and would return to the Hammersmith on October 25 as openers for AC/DC on their Let There Be Rock UK tour.

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Soon thereafter, Hatcher would dissolve the band due to members going in different directions in their personal and professional lives, with guitarist ‘Big’ John Thomas joining Welsh rockers Budgie. By 1978, Hatcher had put together a whole new line-up comprising guitarists James Morgan and Pete Gosling, keyboardist Geraint Watkins, bassist Vic Young, and drummer Mac Poole, best known for his earlier stints with Big Bertha and Warhorse. All but Morgan toured with Mickey Jupp on the “Be Stiff” Tour ’78 as Mickey Jupp & The Cable Layers, documented on Jupp’s 2004 archives release Live At The BBC. Signing a new record deal with German label Shark Records, Hatcher and his band headed to Germany where they recorded Rich Girl[18][19] with engineer and co-producer Manfred ‘Manni’ Neuner at Tonstudio Hiltpoltstein near Nürnberg. The album, a mix of originals and covers, was released under the shortened name George Hatcher and supported with a UK tour.

At the time, Hatcher began to contemplate a return to the U.S. traveling back and forth between England and his native North Carolina. In 1980, Hatcher assembled a new all-American line-up comprising guitarists Curt Stines and David Phelps, bassist Mike Parnell, keyboardist Tad Hough, and drummer Danny Howe. Reverting to the George Hatcher Band moniker, the group returned to Manni Neuner’s Tonstudio Hiltpoltstein in Germany to cut 1980’s Coming Home. They were joined by original GHB guitarist Phil Swan who made a guest appearance on 3 songs. The album’s epic 8-minute title track would become something of signature tune for the band as well as a strong fan favorite. Originally released on Shark and Kaleidoscope, respectively, the album was licensed stateside by The Goods Records in 1982. By then, Hatcher was firmly based in the U.S. again where the band would support major acts such as Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Cheap Trick, Billy Idol, Johnny Van Zant, Black Oak Arkansas, and The Kinks, often as the Charlotte Coliseum.

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The George Hatcher Band would record one final album for Trout Records in 1985. Recorded at the legendary Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith’s (of “Dueling Banjos” fame) studio in Charlotte, NC. Hindsight featured Hatcher, Stines and Howe in addition to newcomers Ace Philbeck on guitar, Joe Nims on bass, Ricky Kirby on keyboards, and Joey Dunlevy on keyboards and saxophone. Despite no longer recording new music, Hatcher would continue to tour through 2005, including playing in front of 80.000 people with 38 Special during Charlotte’s Speed Street festival in 2002, before putting music on hold and going to college to pursue a Masters Degree in psychology.  The band has since been re-activated and Dry Run and Coming Home were re-issued on CD in 2011 and released digitally.

Original GHB guitarist John Thomas passed away March 3, 2016 from pneumonia. Drummer Mac Poole who recorded the Rich Girl album with Hatcher died on May 21, 2015 after a long battle with throat cancer. (wikipedia)

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And here´s their live in the studio EP from the early days … this kind of fiery Southern Rock … just like I love it

Enjoy the power of the George Hatcher Band !…

Recorded live in Olympic Studio 1, Barnes. Sunday Dec 12th 1976
before an invited audience of friends, fans and free loaders

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Personnel:
George Hatcher (vocals)
Harris Joannou (bass, vocals)
Terry Slade (drums)
Phil Swan (guitar)
“Big” John Thomas (guitar, vocals)
Steve Wren (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Statesboro’ Blues (McTell) 4.24
02. Rockin’ In The Morning (Hatcher/Joannou/Slade/Swan/Thomas/Wren) 5.38
03. Good Friend (Messina) 3.47
04. Drinking Man (Hatcher/Joannou/Slade/Swan/Thomas/Wren) 6.24

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Jess Roden Band – Keep Your Hat On (1976)

FrontCover1Jess Roden (born 28 December 1947) is an English rock singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Roden’s first band was The Raiders followed by The Shakedown Sound which also included the guitarist, Kevyn Gammond, and keyboard player, August Eadon (aka Gus Yeadon).

In 1966, he joined The Alan Bown Set as their new lead singer. Although their records rarely charted, Roden and the band did pick up a considerable fan base in London, and belatedly became a minor star on the Northern soul scene, with the release of their single, “Emergency 999”.

He remained with the Alan Bown through to the late 1960s, but left after recording the album The Alan Bown! His vocals were re-recorded by his replacement Robert Palmer for the UK release of the album, although Roden’s original vocals remained on the US release. Roden later appeared as a backing vocalist to Palmer on his 1983 appearance on The Tube.

In 1970, Roden returned to Worcestershire and formed Bronco who toured extensively with Island Records’ label-mates Traffic, Free, Mott the Hoople, Fotheringay, and John Martyn but left after two albums to embark on a solo album. During this period, he also sang on Wildlife, the third Mott the Hoople album, and sang and played on albums by Carol Grimes, Jim Capaldi, Sandy Denny, and sang lead vocals on Keef Hartley’s 1973 album Lancashire Hustler.

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His solo album plans were sidelined when, in the same year, he was asked to team up with ex-Doors John Densmore and Robby Krieger in The Butts Band, together with Phil Chen (bass) and Roy Davies (keyboards). Their first album was recorded in London and Kingston, Jamaica and released in the United States on Blue Thumb Records and Island Records (rest of the world). The Butts Band played a short US tour including multiple dates at New York’s Max’s Kansas City, a handful of British dates including opening for The Kinks at London’s Finsbury Park Astoria, later The Rainbow Theatre as well as recording one session for BBC TV’s The Old Grey Whistle Test after which Roden, Chen, and Davies left the group.

Roden finally emerged as a solo artist in the mid 1970s on Island Records with his 1974 self-titled solo album. It was recorded at Olympic and Basing Street Studios (now known as Sarm West Studios) in London as well as at Sea-Saint Studios in New Orleans, Louisiana. This record included contributions from Allen Toussaint and The Meters from the US sessions and in London, John Bundrick and Mick Weaver (keyboards), Steve Webb (guitar), Richard Bailey, and Simon Kirke (drums).

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He then formed The Jess Roden Band (originally Iguana – based in Southampton). The initial album sessions were with Steve Smith (and featured Steve Winwood on Hammond organ), but these were eventually discarded in favour of producer Geoff Haslam, with whom the group’s first two studio album were recorded – Keep Your Hat On and Play It Dirty, Play It Class. A major touring draw, the band never achieved significant record sales and disbanded in early 1977. This was after the release of their live album, Blowin’, which was recorded during capacity shows at Birmingham Town Hall and Leicester University in late 1976. Their final show was, however, also recorded and later issued as Live at the BBC.

Following the ending of the JRB, Roden relocated to New York City and cut two further solo albums for Island (The Player Not The Game and Stonechaser) after which his association with Island ended. He formed The Rivits with Peter Wood (who had co-written “Year of the Cat” with Al Stewart), for one album Multiplay; the album was released by Antilles in North America and via Island for the rest of the world. The Rivits played two UK shows only; one in Stamford in Lincolnshire, the other at The Venue in Victoria, London.

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During initial sessions for a second Rivits album that had begun to be recorded at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, Roden sang back-up vocals for Grace Jones’, Pull Up to the Bumper. With the sessions incomplete (Woods had to leave to re-join Pink Floyd’s band of musicians for The Wall tour) and on returning to New York, Roden and Island parted for the final time.

He began a new career as a graphic artist while, at the same time, recording Seven Windows, an album that was produced by Steve Dwire (who had played bass on The Rivits’ album) and A. T. Michael MacDonald that featured the cream of New York-based session players / arrangers (including Elliot Randall, Mark Egan, Jack Waldman, Rob Mounsey, Michael Dawe, Lou Marini, and Paul Buckmaster). Just before the album was released, Roden returned to live and work in the UK.

Combining graphic art with music, he recorded two albums with a new band, The Humans (named by Jim Capaldi) with a line-up that featured Gary Grainger, Bill Burke and Nick Graham; the group also recorded with Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. Subsequent to the release of both records and due to work commitments, Roden’s live appearances became increasingly rare with occasional performances with the SAS band that featured Roy Wood, Roger Taylor, Brian May, and Paul Young.

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In 2009, Lemon Recordings (a subsidiary of Cherry Red) issued a ‘Best Of…’ and, a year later, BGO issued both Bronco albums as a single CD package.

During the winter of 2009, deep archive research began into a full-scale Anthology – designed to encompass Roden’s entire musical career. During this process, well over 800 pieces of music were logged (and in the vast majority of instances, digitised for the first time) from which a career defining Anthology has been compiled. The set, Hidden Masters: The Jess Roden Anthology, which includes over 50% of previously unheard material – was issued as a limited edition, first pressing of 950 copies, 6-CD set by Hidden Masters in 2013. (wikipedia)

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Jess Roden’s second solo album, the first to be credited to The Jess Roden Band was recorded at Island Studios in Hammersmith and features some quality musicians on nine well written tracks which are a mix of band member penned originals and covers. Roden is joined by guitarists Steve Webb and Bruce Roberts, bass player John Cartwright, drummer Pete Hunt and the horn section of Chris Gower and Ronnie Taylor.
The album kicks off with a cover of Randy Newman’s ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’. This version is perhaps a little slower than the Tom Jones one released many years later but is far better. The Roden penned ‘Jump Mama’ follows and keeps the tempo high and upbeat. Album highlight ‘Blowin’ follows and showcases Roden’s blues soul vocal ability. Very reminiscent of Free it places Roden in the same bracket as Paul Rodgers, high praise indeed but more than deserved. ‘In A Circle’ features a great horn arrangement by David Wadsworth and some stellar playing by Ronnie Taylor (Alto) and Chris Gower (Trumpet). ‘I’m On A Winner With You’ closes side one on a more gentle note but without lowering the quality.

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Side Two leaps out of the speakers straight away with the classy ‘Mama Roux’ from the pen of Doctor John Creaux. Once again Wadsworths horn arrangement is top notch. The following ‘Desperado’, a cover of the Eagles classic, is far superior to the original and Roden nails it as his own, giving it a soul and blues feel that the composers could never have managed. I was lucky enough to see Roden perform this song live without any accompaniment whatsoever to a packed house at his comeback gig in the nineties. To say you could have heard a pin drop would be an understatement. Billy Sherrill’s ‘Too Far Gone’ and another John Cartwright track ‘Send It To You’ close the album.

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Roden is in my opinion, along with Frankie Miller, the most under rated of British singers from the seventies. A style which encompasses rock, blues and soul to name but three he really should be mentioned in the same breath as Paul Rodgers and the like. A couple of years before this release Roden had been touted as Ian Gillan’s replacement in Deep Purple such was his standing amongst other musicians. Quite why he has never achieved the level of success his ability deserves in quite frankly beyond me. by….. Martin Leedham…..~

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Personnel:
John Cartwright (bass)
Chris Gower (trombone)
Pete Hunt (drums)
Bruce Roberts (guitar)
Jess Roden (vocals)
Ronnie Taylor (saxophone)
Steve Webb (guitar, vocals)

The inlets:
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Tracklist:
01. You Can Keep Your Hat On (Newman)
02. Jump Mama (Roden) + Blowin´ (Cartwright/Roden) 7.23
03. In A Circle (Cartwright/Webb) 5.3
04. On A Winner With You (Roden/Webb) 3.18
05. Mama Roux (Creaux/Hill) 3.32
06. Desperado (Henley/Frey) 5.22
07. Too Far Gone (Sherrill) 5.13
08. Send It To You (Cartwright) 4.06

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More from Jess Roden:
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Abba – Arrival (1976)

FrontCover1ABBA is a Swedish pop supergroup formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest. They are the most successful group to have taken part in the competition.

During the band’s main active years, it was composed of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with latter compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA disbanded, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage, while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers.[5][6] Ten years after their disbanding, a compilation, ABBA Gold was released, which became a worldwide bestseller.

In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. A sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018. That same year it was announced that the band had recorded two new songs after 35 years of being inactive.

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Estimates of ABBA’s total record sales are over 380 million, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. ABBA were the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. They had eight consecutive number-one albums in the UK. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin America, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. ABBA were honoured at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when their hit “Waterloo” was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2015, their song “Dancing Queen” was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.

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Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA’s most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Released as a single earlier the same year (in March 1976), the track “Fernando” was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions of the album. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album was first released on compact disc (CD) in 1984 and then re-issued in digitally remastered form a total of four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set, and again in 2006 (as a special Deluxe Edition).

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By the time ABBA began working on their fourth album in August 1975, they had achieved a modest level of success around the world. It was with Arrival however, that they would achieve global superstardom. The first song to enter the studio was a track called “Boogaloo” on 4 August. Taking inspiration from the current disco sound (and in particular George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby”), the backing track was laid down.[2] The group knew that they had something big on their hands, as member Agnetha Fältskog remarked: “We knew immediately it was going to be massive.” With re-written lyrics, the song became known as “Dancing Queen,” and would go on to be ABBA’s biggest ever hit. Work on the song continued intermittently until December 1975 as the group’s activities were increasing in the latter half of the year as they saw a sudden surge in popularity in the United Kingdom and Australia. During this time they also recorded a song (in Swedish) for member Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s solo album, “Fernando.”

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In March 1976, with “Fernando” re-written with English lyrics, it was released as an ABBA single, becoming the group’s biggest hit to date – hitting No.1 in many countries, including a 14-week stay at No.1 in Australia. It was featured as the brand new track on their Greatest Hits album which was selling in huge numbers around that time, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK (in Australia, it was featured on the “Arrival” album placed between “Why Did It Have To Be Me” and “Tiger”). In the midst of this success, the group finally found time to return to the studio in late March. The next song they began working on was “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” which was to become yet another major hit worldwide. Member Benny Andersson has said that it is “one of our five best recordings.”

By the end of April two other songs had been laid down: “That’s Me” and “Why Did It Have to Be Me.” The latter was reworked into “Happy Hawaii” before ultimately arriving back at its original title with completely different lyrics and member Björn Ulvaeus on lead vocals as opposed to Faltskog and Lyngstad (“Happy Hawaii” would later be released as a B-side). A similar situation occurred with the next recording when a song entitled “Money, Money, Money” became “Gypsy Girl” and then back to its original title. “Money, Money, Money” would also be released as a single and become a major hit some months after the album’s eventual release.

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In June 1976, a TV special dedicated to the group (entitled ABBA-dabba-dooo!!) was filmed. Around the same time they recorded a song called “When I Kissed the Teacher,” which would become the opening track on their new album. Late July saw the next two tracks, “Tiger” and “Dum Dum Diddle” recorded. Considered by biographer Carl Magnus Palm as the “complete antithesis” of each other, the former being a hard rocker against the pure pop of the latter, both Lyngstad and Ulvaeus have expressed dissatisfaction with “Dum Dum Diddle,” with Ulvaeus admitting that it was a nonsense lyric he’d come up with in desperation. The next song to be recorded was “My Love My Life.” Originally titled “Monsieur Monsieur” and more upbeat, the song soon became a lush ballad with backing harmonies inspired by 10cc’s hit “I’m Not In Love.”

The final track to be recorded was an instrumental piece entitled “Ode to Dalecarlia.” Featuring Andersson prominently on keyboards, the track was renamed “Arrival” – a word that had already been decided as the title of their new album. By September 1976 work on the album was finished just as “Dancing Queen” was topping the charts all over the world. The album cover shots were taken of the group posing in and out of a Bell 47 helicopter at the Barkarby Airport, northwest of Stockholm. The now-renowned “mirrored-B” copyrighted ABBA logo, an ambigram designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976 was also premiered on the album cover. Arrival was released on 11 October 1976.

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ken Tucker panned Arrival as “Muzak mesmerizing in its modality” and wrote, “By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to natter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression.”In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide” (2004), music journalist Arion Berger gave Arrival four out of five stars and recommended its Universal reissue to consumers.

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The album became a major seller all over the world, becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example. It housed three of ABBA’s biggest hits; “Dancing Queen,” “Money Money Money” and “Knowing Me Knowing You,” and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of “Fernando” (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). “That’s Me” was released as a single in Japan only.

The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Arrival re-entered the UK album charts at #94 for the week of August 3, 2018, for the first time since 1979. (wikipedia)

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Widely considered the Swedish foursome’s first classic album — and historically important as the first to use the now-famous mirror-B logo — 1976’s Arrival contains three huge hit singles, the dramatic “Money Money Money,” the downcast “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” and quite possibly the band’s finest four minutes, the absolutely perfect pop classic “Dancing Queen,” a combination of Spector-ian grandeur, McCartney-esque melody, and the indescribable vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The rest of ABBA’s fourth album is strikingly consistent and accomplished, from the sly, bouncy “When I Kissed the Teacher” to the atmospheric title track, making room in between for the three excellent singles and five other substantial pop tunes. Although three LPs and a greatest-hits compilation preceded it, Arrival is aptly titled, as this album announces the band’s move beyond bubblegum. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Benny Andersson (synthesizer, piano, accordion, chimes, marimba, background vocals)
Agnetha Fältskog (vocals)
Anni-Frid Lyngstad (vocals)
Björn Ulvaeus (guitar, vocals on 08., background vocals)
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Ola Brunkert (drums, strings)
Lars Carlsson (saxophone)
Anders Dahl (strings)
Malando Gassama (percussion)
Anders Glenmark (guitar)
Rutger Gunnarsson (bass)
Roger Palm (strings, drums)
Janne Schaffer (guitar)
Lasse Wellander (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. When I Kissed The Teacher (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
02. Dancing Queen (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus)  3.52
03. My Love, My Life (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.53
04. Dum Dum Diddle Ulvaeus (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.55
05. Knowing Me, Knowing You (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.02
06. Money, Money, Money (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus 3.07
07. That’s Me (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.16
08. Why Did It Have to Be Me? (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.21
09. Tiger (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.56
10. Arrival (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
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11. Fernando (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.15

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The perfect Pop song of the Seventies:

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for a place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come to look for a king

Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, oh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

Horslips – The Book Of Invasions (A Celtic Symphony) (1976)

FrontCover1Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs frequently inspired by traditional Irish airs, jigs and reels. The group are regarded as ‘founding fathers of Celtic rock’ for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts. They formed in 1970 and ‘retired’ in 1980 for an extended period. The name originated from a spoonerism on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which became “The Four Poxmen of The Horslypse”.

Although Horslips had limited commercial success when the band was playing in the 70s, there was a revival of interest in their music in the late 1990s and they came to be regarded as one of the defining bands of the Celtic rock genre. There have since been small scale reunions including appearances on The Late Late Show and RTÉ’s Other Voices. The band reformed for two Irish shows in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and the 3Arena in Dublin at the end of 2009, and have continued to play shows since then.

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The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony is the sixth album by the Irish Celtic rock band Horslips. It was a concept album based on an adaptation of Irish legends built into a complex story. It is named for the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a book of Irish mythology known as The Book of Invasions in English. Released in 1976, it is usually considered their best work.[citation needed] It was their only UK top-40 album, peaking at #39. “Trouble (With a Capital T)” and “The Power and the Glory” were released as singles.

The 30th anniversary of this album was celebrated at a small gathering in Dublin organised by Horslips fans and was attended by some band members. (wikipedia)

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The Book of Invasions is a twelfth century chronicle of the various pre-Christian colonisations of Ireland.
The race who occupied the country before our Gaelic ancestors were the Tuatha De Danann
-the Peoples of the Goddess Danann.
While their origins are unclear we do know that the Tuatha were a mystical race,
handsome and learned, elegantly dressed, expert in every art and science and supreme masters of wizardry.

In the Mythological Cycle their place is among the traditions of Immortals. In fact the Tuatha were so magnificent their existence embarrassed scholars who, when transcribing the legends centuries later did not know whether to regard them as men, demons or fallen angels.

Bravest of all peoples their leaders were wizards first and warriors second whose victories were gained more by superior
knowledge and magic than by warfare. The Agatha De Danann occupied the country and lived in relative peace from 3303 Age of the World until the coming of the Milesian warriors in 3500 Age of the World.

After their defeat at the Battle of Tailteann the Tuatha simply vanished from these islands. Tradition and popular belief has it that the Tuatha, through their esoteric powers, became the Sluagh Sidhe (Thc Fairy Host) and, taking their secrets and mysterious arts with them, entered an occult realm where they remain till this day. (taken from the original liner notes)

Horslips02Centering around the three strains of old Irish song; Geantrai, Goltrai and Suantrai, Horslips take on the task of recording a concept album around them. Each is given its own movement. Its a very ambitious work, with riffs and melodies that reappear at various points in each movement and incorporating elements from actual Celtic songs. For authenticity’s sake, they throw in mandolins, fiddles, flutes and an instrument called the concertina, which I’d never heard of prior to buying this record. Turns out its a basically an accordion. Its quite a feat, but not without its share of missteps.

That opening riff will stick in your mind well after hearing the album. Its fantastic, and makes a comeback a couple other times throughout side one. This thematic feel is in full effect throughout the LP, but there’s one thing I find rather detrimental to the overall experience; the vocal tracks, which at times can be downright silly.

After such an amazing and dramatic start to the album, the listener is met with “Trouble (With a Capital T).” Just by looking at that song title I expected it to be a goofy number long before the needle ever hit the vinyl. When the vocalist sings the song title, I find it hard to take the man seriously. Then there’s “The Power and the Glory.” Excellent instrumental work, ensuing silliness in the lyrics department: “see them bumping and grinding bareback on the wheels of the world,” and that chorus: “We’ve got the power and the glory, we’re gonna take it from here.” The man has a fine voice, but the delivery is very unconvincing. Which is a shame because that organ riff has this great medieval tone and the guitars truly are loaded with power and glory.

On side two, things get even cheesier with “The Warm Sweet Breath of Love” and “King of Morning, Queen of Day” which are two very corny love songs. Probably the weakest tracks on the LP. Between these two songs, my favorite instrumental passage makes its appearance, another awesome display of melodic guitar work. These guys are truly talented musicians. After “King of Morning, Queen of Day” another great instrumental appears, this moody atmospheric piece where the guitar, fiddle and electric piano coalesce to create the most beautiful moment on the entire album. Thankfully, the vocal number it leads into, “Sideways to the Sun” isn’t half bad.

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This is truly a strange record. I can’t recall any other concept LP that has such an odd juxtaposition between serious, accomplished music and the goofy. You know that goofy is not what the band was after, that their intentions were anything but. Still, this gives the album a certain charm that few others possess, which is commendable. (FjordCity)

Their best fusion of rock and celtic music. Many Horslips albums are unbalanced either too much rock or too much Celtic Music. However this one is the best in terms of balance. A concept album of sorts , it really doesn’t have standout tracks, the whole album just stands out as a cohesive piece of music mixing wonderful Celtic music with energetic rock. Fantastic! (by hawkfanatic)

The album is divided into three movements: “Geantraí” (tracks 1–8), “Goltraí” (tracks 9–11) and “Suantraí” (tracks 12–14).

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Personnel:
Eamon Carr (drums, percussion)
Barry Devlin (bass, vocals)
John Fean (guitar, vocals)
Jim Lockhart (keyboards, flute, whistles)
Charles O’Connor (fiddle, mandolin, concertina, vocals)

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Tracklist:

Geantraí:
01. Daybreak 2.31
02. March Into Trouble 0.51
03. Trouble (With a Capital T) 3.24
04. The Power And The Glory 3.57
05. The Rocks Remain 2.49
06. Dusk 0.38
07. Sword Of Light 4.56
08. Dark 1.38

Goltraí:
09. Warm Sweet Breath Of Love 3.26
10. Fantasia (My Lagan Love) 2.55
11. King Of Morning, Queen Of Day 4.33

Suantraí:
12. Sideways To The Sun 4.46
13. Drive The Cold Winter Away 0.36
14. Ride To Hell 4.08

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Charlie Daniels Band – High Lonesome (1976)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He was best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels was active as a singer and musician from the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the age of 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Nashville.

High Lonesome is the eighth studio album by Charlie Daniels and the fourth as The Charlie Daniels Band, released on November 5, 1976. Many of the tracks pay homage to pulp Western fiction and, with permission, the album’s title was named after the 1962 Western novel by Louis L’Amour. (wikipedia)

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Following Saddle Tramp by a matter of months, High Lonesome finds the Charlie Daniels Band retaining their focus on jamming — meaning not just long solos and improvisations, but a loose feel that brings in elements of a number of different Southern styles, blurring the line between country, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Compared to Saddle Tramp, which felt as wide-open and sunny as the plains or desert, High Lonesome is a little darker and denser, a byproduct of the Charlie Daniels Band playing harder as they up the rock quotient while simultaneously playing up cowboy myths. There are strong elements of the Allmans throughout the record, particularly when Charlie Daniels and Tom Crain trade off electric guitar leads and double-up on harmonies, and there’s a harder backbeat. Even better, there’s more of an emphasis on songwriting and tighter arrangements, which means that the Band’s improvistory fire is distilled into tight, concise four-minute bursts, which makes the record as a whole a more infectious, invigorating listen. Also, with Crain singing on “Tennessee” and a pianist taking lead on “Roll Mississippi,” this not only feels more like a band album, it has a welcome, loose, anything-goes feel, actually sounding like the work of a bunch of Southern renegades. If there are no true CDB classics outside of the title track and arguably “Carolina,” there are no bum songs, either, and the whole thing holds together well, perhaps because, unlike its predecessor, it plays as if it has a theme, thanks to the songs about cowboys and the Southern mythology, not to mention its focused arrangements and the muscular blues-rock guitar that ties it all together. All this makes High Lonesome a highlight in Charlie Daniels’ discography. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Crain (guitar, vocals on 08., slide guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, vocals banjo, fiddle, slide guitar)
Fred Edwards (drums, percussion)
Taz DiGregorio (keyboards, vocals on 06.)
Charlie Hayward (bass)
Don Murray (drums, percussion)
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Toy Caldwell (steel guitar on 07. + 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Billy the Kid” (Daniels) 5.50
02. Carolina (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.55
03. High Lonesome (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) – 5:03
04. Running With the Crowd (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 4.02
05. Right Now Tennessee Blues (Daniels) 3.37
06. Roll Mississippi (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.13
07. Slow Song (Daniels) 3.56
08. Tennessee (Crain) 4.43
09. Turned My Head Around (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.52

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CharlieDaniels02Charlie Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020)

Ian Hunter – All-American Alien Boy (1976)

LPFrontCover1Ian Hunter Patterson (born 3 June 1939) known as Ian Hunter, is an English singer-songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople, from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and at the time of its 2009 and 2013 reunions. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before joining Mott the Hoople, and continued in this vein after he left the band. He embarked on a solo career despite ill health and disillusionment with commercial success, and often worked in collaboration with Mick Ronson, David Bowie’s sideman and arranger from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars period.

Mott the Hoople achieved a certain level of commercial success, and attracted a small but devoted fan base. As a solo artist, Hunter charted with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside the rock mainstream. His best-known solo songs are “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, later covered by Great White, and “England Rocks”, which was modified to “Cleveland Rocks” and then later covered by The Presidents of the United States of America, and became one of the theme songs used for the American TV series The Drew Carey Show.

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All American Alien Boy is the second studio album by Ian Hunter. Because of management issues, Mick Ronson did not appear on this album;[3] instead, Hunter brought in keyboardist Chris Stainton to act as a balancing force in the studio. Unlike his previous album, the album didn’t feature any of his trademark rockers (apart from “Restless Youth”) and he opted for a more jazzy direction including bassist Jaco Pastorius. The album title is a play on Rick Derringer’s 1973 album All American Boy.

In 2006, the album was reissued with several bonus tracks.(wikipedia)

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After the relative success of his debut, it would have been very easy for Ian Hunter to continue in the glam-inspired vein that made that album so successful. Instead, he twisted his sound in a jazz direction for All American Alien Boy, a partially successful attempt to open up his sound from its traditional rock & roll routes. Since Hunter couldn’t utilize the producing and arranging skills of longtime cohort Mick Ronson because of a dispute with Ronson’s manager, Hunter took the reins himself and invited a diverse cast of session musicians that included everyone from journeyman drummer Aynsley Dunbar to jazz bass wizard Jaco Pastorius. The resulting album mixture of conventional Mott the Hoople-style rock and sonic experiments never truly gels, but does contain some fine tracks.

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The experiments are hit and miss: the title track is a funky, sax-flavored exploration of Hunter’s adjustment to life in America that works nicely, but the interesting lyrics of “Apathy 83” get buried in an uncharacteristically bland soft rock arrangement. The songs that work best are the more traditional-sounding numbers: “Irene Wilde” is a delicately crafted autobiographical ballad about the rejection that made Hunter decide to “be somebody, someday,” and “God – Take 1” is a stirring, Dylan-styled rocker featuring witty lyrics that illustrate a conversation with a weary and down-to-earth version of God. However, the true gem of the album is “You Nearly Did Me In,” an elegant and emotional ballad about the emptiness that follows a romantic breakup. It also notable for the stirring backing vocals from guest stars Queen on its chorus. In the end, All-American Alien Boy lacks the consistency to fully succeed as an album but still offers enough stellar moments to make it worthwhile for Ian Hunter’s fans. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

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Personnel:
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, piano on 02.)
Chris Stainton – piano, organ, mellotron, bass guitar on “Restless Youth”
Jaco Pastorius (bass, guitar on 08.)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Jerry Weems (guitar)
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Don Alias (percussion)
Dave Bargeron (trombone)
Dominic Cortese (accordion)
Cornell Dupree – guitar on 01. + 09.)
Arnie Lawrence (clarinet)
Lewis Soloff (trumpet)
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background vocals on 06.:
Freddie Mercury – Brian May – Roger Taylor
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background vocals:
Bob Segarini – Ann E. Sutton – Gail Kantor – Erin Dickins

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Tracklist:
01. Letter To Britannia From The Union Jack 3.49
02. All American Alien Boy 7.08
03. Irene Wilde 3.44
04. Restless Youth 6.18
05. Rape 4.04
06. You Nearly Did Me In 5.47
07. Apathy 83 4.43
08. God (Take 1) 5.44
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09. To Rule Britannia From Union Jack (Session outake) 4.09
10. All American Alien Boy (Single version) 4.04
11. Irene Wilde (Take 1) 3.52
12. Weary Anger (Session outake) 5.46
13. Apathy (Session outake) 4.43
14. (God) Advice To A Friend (Session outake) 5.32

All songs written by Ian Hunter

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