Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boxer - Below The Belt (1975 uk, excellent hard rock, 2012 remaster)

Approximately two years after the breakup of Patto, Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall reunited in 1975 to form Boxer along with Keith Ellis on bass (Van Der Graaf Generator, Juicy Lucy, Spooky Tooth, et al.) and Tony Newman on drums (Sounds Inc., Jeff Beck Group, Kevin Ayers, et al.).  

Keith and Mike were in Spooky Tooth together.  Mike left that band after a year and began working as a promotions man for Good Ear Records, owned by Mike's manager, Nigel Thomas.  Nigel would also become Boxer's manager and give them their name.  Ollie and Tony were playing together touring with Kevin Ayers, and when the touring stopped they got Mike to quit the record biz and form a new band.

This time the music Mike and Ollie brought to the table was straight-ahead rock that reflected little of their Patto past, except for possibly some of the songs on the unreleased Monkey's Bum album.  

The band released it's first album, "Below The Belt", in 1975.  "All The Time In The World" was released as a single with a great non-LP B-side titled "Don't Wait".  They recorded a great second album called "Bloodletting" that would for some reason not be released until 1979.  

Very little of the Boxer story seems to be documented, especially about the breakup of the original lineup.  Sometime in late 1976, Halsall is said to have quit the band.  But somehow Boxer's management ended up in possession of the band's equipment, including Ollie's guitars (as late as 1981, Ollie still didn't own an electric guitar of his own).  This is just hearsay, but the story is that the band was very deep in debt with Nigel Thomas, and he held on to all their equipment.  Then Nigel's company was liquidated, and Ollie's guitars were likely auctioned off by the official receivers.  Where is Ollie's white Gibson Custom SG now?

Mike put together a new lineup of the band to record one more Boxer album in 1977 called "Absolutely".  The new lineup band consisted of Mike, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Tim Bogert on bass/vocals, Adrian Fisher on guitar, and Eddie Tuduri on drums.  The album is not as raw and rocking as the first albums, but there are some fine moments of musicianship and songwriting on this album.  The Randy Newman-esque song "Everybody's A Star" was released as a single.  This album would be Mike's final release before passing away in 1979 with lymphatic leukemia (cancer of lymph glands).

They did some BBC sessions, and their tours, at least for the original lineup, were critically acclaimed.  Their first LP cover did get them some attention through controversy.  Many seem to remember their first album cover, even if they never did heard the contents.  But, as is typical of the Patto story, Boxer did not achieve a great deal of attention or success.  

"Below The Belt" established that Boxer would be a straight-ahead rock band. Ollie and Mike were writing together again, but the new music did not hark back to the days of Patto (you may notice that "Shooting Star" has a chord progression that was also used in "Time To Die" on Patto's first album, though).

According to the host for the BBC session the band did prior to the album's release, it was originally going to be titled "Round 1" or "Round One".

Their first album was produced and engineered by Richard Digby-Smith, an engineer for Patto's "Hold Your Fire" and "Roll 'Em Smoke 'Em..." albums.  Overall, the production gives the band a good, full sound, but as with many bands, it's been said that the album  failed to capture their impressive live sound.

All of the band's members were great players, but showcasing of their soloing capabilities was kept to a minimum, which shows that Mike and Ollie were more focused on the songwriting than the extended guitar/keyboard solos that were typical of the early to mid-seventies.  In fact, the "All The Time In The World" single does not feature any soloing at all. 

For the guitar fans, there is still plenty of great guitar from Ollie.  The slide work in "California Calling", the tasteful solo in "More Than Meets The Eye", the volume/echo bits in "Gonna Work Out Fine", and Ollie singing along with his guitar on "Save Me" are a few of the moments that come to mind

The album contains some great tunes.  "California Calling", "More Than Meets The Eye", "Waiting For A Miracle", and "Save Me" are my personal favorites.  "Waiting For A Miracle" is a great remake of Ollie's tune from the Tempest "Living In Fear" album (1974).  "Town Drunk" is a  slow, bluesy tune that features a great vocal from Mike -- it was written by Terry Stamp and Jim Avery for Terry's "Fatsticks" album (1975), on which both Ollie and Tony Newman played..

Unfortunately, the album cover received more attention than the music.  It featured a model named Stephanie Mariann.  The first pressings of the album had a full-frontal nude photo on the back cover, which caused the jacket to be banned.  The cover was redone covering her lower private bits with a Boxer logo.  The original uncensored covers are supposed to be quite rare.  Of course, in the United States, they wouldn't allow even her breasts to be shown, so they completely redid the cover using the band photo from the inside of the UK gatefold cover.  
1. Shooting Star (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall) - 3:59
2. All The Time In The World (Ollie Halsall) - 4:27
3. California Calling (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall) - 4:45
4. Hip Kiss (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall, Keith Ellis, Tony Newman) - 2:58
5. More Than Meets The Eye (Mike Patto) - 5:25
6. Waiting For A Miracle (Ollie Halsall) - 5:06
7. Loony Ali (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsalll) - 3:58
8. Save Me (Mike Patto) - 3:36
9. Gonna Work Out Fin (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall) - 5:57
10.Town Drunk (Terry Stamp, Jim Avery) - 5:17
11.Don't Wait (Single B-Side) (Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall) - 3:14

The Boxer
*Keith Ellis - Bass
*Ollie Halsall - Guitar, Keyboards
*Tony Newman - Drums
*Mike Patto - Keyboards, Vocals
*Chris Stainton - Keyboard

Related Acts
1967-69  Timebox - Beggin'
1969  The Koobas - Koobas
1969-70  Juicy Lucy - Juicy Lucy / Lay Back And Enjoy It  
1974  Tempest - Living in Fear (Japan issue)  

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Masters Of Deceit - Hensley's Electric Jazz Band And Synthetic Symphonette (1969 us, amazing psych jazz prog rock, 2001 hard sleeve release)

Masters of Deceit were an Indianapolis band that had its only release, “Hensley’s Electric Jazz Band & Synthetic Symphonette” on the highbrow east coast major label Vanguard Records.

Led by keyboardist Tom Hensley, who also handled most of the vocals, the band also included Steve Blum on guitar, Gary Campbell, bass and vocals, and Stan Gage on drums.  I believe the record was recorded in NYC.

Soon afterwards, Hensley relocated to Los Angeles and became a successful session keyboardist, playing with many big names, including Neil Diamond, Helen Reddy, Cher, David Cassidy, The Carpenters–to name but a few.

The Masters of Deceit LP is relatively obscure today.  Original LP copies can be found for less than $50 but are not common.

Musically, Masters of Deceit occupy an end of 60’s/beginning of 70’s transitional niche, drawing from psychedelia, jazz-rock and progressive rock.   If you’re a fan of such genres, you’ll likely find a lot to like here.
1. Shining (Tom Hensley, Cradoc Bagshaw) - 4:31
2. Boxes - 4:52
3. The Grand Illusion (Tom Hensley, Cradoc Bagshaw) - 3:34
4. The Long Hard Journey - 7:22
5. Mirror - 4:32
6. Pieces/ Together/ Pieces - 15:09
All songs by Tom Hensley except where noted

The Masters Of Deceit
*Tom Hensley - Organ, Clavinet, Piano, Vocals
*Gary Campbell - Bass, Vocals, Tenor Saxophone
*Stan Gage - Drums
*Steve Blum - Guitar, Bass

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Elephant's Memory - Elephant's Memory (1972 us, great classic rock)

More cohesive than their RCA release in the mid-'70s, the New York underground band who worked with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and David Peel finds themselves on Metromedia, the label which had hits with Bobby Sherman, unleashing eight originals written mostly by drummer Rich Frank and lead vocalist/tenor saxman Stan Bronstein. Guitarist David Cohen contributes to a couple of tunes, with pianist Myron Yules and guitarist Greg Peratori also involved in the songwriting, but it is Frank (listed on the credits as Reek Havoc) and Bronstein who are the major forces behind this well-known-but-not-often-heard group. 

Clearly it was Lennon's participation on an early disc and not the band's notoriety which made them almost a household name, but one hit record could have changed all that. There is no hit here, but there is some experimental rock that Frank Zappa should have snapped up for his Straight Records. A bubblegum label could only move this if they were called Crazy Elephant and had something akin to "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'." Rather you have the antithesis, "Mongoose," followed by "Power" and the revolutionary "Piece Now." The technical proficiency is traded in for angst and lots of rock & roll attitude. 

"Piece Now" could very well be MC5, and the music on all three of the first tunes is dense and noteworthy. "Tricky Noses" ends side one with a flurry of bullets stopping a country-ish protest song, making the point quickly and with uneasy ease. Away from their famous friends, the seven-piece group is at least interesting here, with "She's Just Naturally Bad" sounding like Blue Cheer when they abandoned the sonic onslaught for laid-back folk-rock. Flashes of Dylan and Lou Reed make their way onto the tune.

Pianist Myron Yules delivers the only song that Rich Frank and Bronstein aren't associated with, "I Couldn't Dream," a light Paul McCartney-style throwaway number."Damn" gets things somewhat heavy, a nice counterpoint to side one's "Power." This is where the band shines, solid ensemble rock with riffs and lots of not-so-quiet energy. For collectors who need anything by anyone ever associated with the Beatles, the Elephant's Memory's collection is not to be forgotten. "Ivan" is smooth New York rock a few years before Lou Reed would enter his Coney Island Baby phase, but definitely sounding like it could fit on that epic. Take It to the Streets is a true rock & roll artifact and holds some surprises worth rediscovering. 
by Joe Viglione
1. Liberation Special (Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 5:29
2. Baddest Of The Mean (Elephants Memory) - 8:40
3. Crying Blacksheep Blues (D. Price, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 4:26
4. Chuck'N Bo (Elephant's Memory) - 4:31
5. Gypsy Wolf (Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 4:07
6. Madness (Adam Ippolito, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 3:17
7. Life (Wayne "Tex" Gabriel) - 3:18
8. Wind Ridge (Gary Van Scyoc) - 3:22
9. Power Boogie (Chris Robison, Rick Frank, Stan Bronstein) - 3:52
10.Local Plastic Ono Band (Rick Frank) - 2:09

The Elephant's Memory
*Gary Van Scyoc - Bass, Vocals
*Rick Frank - Drums, Vocals, Percussion
*Wayne "Tex" Gabriel - Guitar, Vocals
*Adam Ippolito - Keyboards, Vocals
*Stan Bronstein - Saxophone, Vocals
*John Lennon - Vocals, Piano, Percussion, Guitar
*Yoko Ono - Vocals

1969  Elephant's Memory - Elephant's Memory

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Daughters Of Albion - Daughters Of Albion (1968 us, wonderful folk sunny baroque psych with jazzy shades, 2008 issue)

Everybody seems to agree that the black and white front cover is confusing, giving a much darker/weird psych related impression, while this is a, still seriously meant, lighter, much more happy sounding or at least more colourful pop related song album which has all the reflections of what I will call the sunshine pop colours, with the tendency of going towards more serious ideas, concepts or arrangements. 

The sounds created in the songs of this duo (consisting of Greg Dempsey and Kathy Yesse -later known as Kathy Dalton-) with band, fitted, except for a certain Beatles flavour (including all the small string and brass arrangements (with even weird analogue synth sounds on “Still care about you” for instance), would also fit very nicely to some of the Dutch bands that became more popular in those days (including Earth & Fire, Shocking Blue amongst even more pop orientated examples with harmonies driven female vocalist), and might have been one of the reasons why this album was also released outside the US, in Holland, the land of feeling free in that era. 

The arrangements aren’t easily defined, because from the surface, lots of them sound slightly public teasing, light pop-rock with lots of breaks and swinging movements aka Beatles, in a light and almost mainstream approach, but at the same time there’s much more individualism involved, and even some weirdness, especially when adding sound collages, which on “Well Wired” and on “John Flip Lockup”, reveal even an avant-garde approach within this pop context.

 While most songs remain pop song oriented (staying within the single-sized 3 minute approach), with this limitation, they have been played with infinite detail so that this alone makes it already a much more interesting album, a slightly hidden quality that used musical interconnections, lots of change, but with a hanging together coherency as well, a production lead by Leon Russell. 

The already mentioned last track, “John Flip Lockup” is perhaps the most exceptional cooperative approach, an over 6 minute visionary collage, but in fact the album is a real treasure for compositional surprises. The vocals sound pop attractive. The female part has a few times overdubbed female vocals, as if predating Abba’s approach, or are combined with close harmonies, also have a slight folk-pop flavour; other songs are led by male vocals. 

It is a special, interesting album, also due to its arrangements that conceptualize all that is inside into a coherent minor masterpiece.
1. I Love Her And She Loves Me (Greg Dempsey, Dave Luff) - 2:59
2. Still Care About You - 3:10
3. Yes, Our Love Is Growing - 2:55
4. Candle Song (Greg Dempsey, Dave Luff) - 3:00
5. Ladyfingers - 3:19
6. Sweet Susan Constantine - 2:34
7. Hat Off, Arms Out, Ronnie (Greg Dempsey, Dave Luff) - 2:34
8. Good To Have You - 3:16
9. Well Wired (Greg Dempsey, Dave Luff) - 3:09
10.Hay You, Wait Stay - 2:57
11.Story Of Sad (Greg Dempsey, Dave Luff) - 2:49
12.John Flip Lockup - 6:59
All songs by Greg Dempsey except where indicated

*Greg Dempsey - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Kathy Yesse - Lead Vocals, Percussion
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
*Leon Russell - Keyboards
*Carl Radle - Bass
*Chuck Blackwell - Drums

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kangaroo - Kangaroo (1968 us, amazing psych folk rock, 2007 edition)

As on so many obscure long-players of the late '60s, there's a salad of styles on Kangaroo's sole, self-titled album, running the gamut from redneck country-rock ("Frog Giggin'," "Happy Man") and sunshine pop-spotted psychedelia ("Such a Long, Long Time") to strident folk-rock ("Daydream Stallion") and avowedly sub-Beatlesque sounds ("Happy Man," "Make Some Room in Your Life"). There are also insertions of backwards guitars, San Francisco-type acid rock riffing, soul vocal posturing, descendants-of-Mamas & the Papas male-female backup harmonies, and a monologue about killing frogs and having sex at the same time.

Still, there are good things about the record, particularly the vibrato folk-rock vocals of Barbara Keith. They're reminiscent to varying degrees of Melanie, Judy Collins, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, though her own personality comes through, as showcased to best effect on the record's highlight, the strident yet haunting folk-rock-psych outing "Daydream Stallion." Fans of Keith should be aware both that this record is not similar to the ones she would subsequently make during her long career, and that her contributions are usually confined to backup harmonies. But when she took the lead vocal -- as she did on "Daydream Stallion," the slightly less impressive "The Only Thing I Had," and her wordless scatting on the opening jazzy section of "I Never Tell Me Twice" -- Kangaroo showed some glimmers of becoming something special. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Such A Long, Long Time - 2:13
2. You're Trying To Be A Woman - 2:15
3. Daydream Stallion (Barbara Keith) - 3:53
4. Make Some Room In Your Life - 2:42
5. Frog Giggin' (N.D. Smart) - 3:15
6. You Can't Do This To Me - 3:45
7. If You Got Some Love In Mind - 2:40
8. I Never Tell Me Twice - 2:28
9. Tweed's Chicken Inn (N.D. Smart) - 3:10
10.Happy Man (Teddy Spelios) - 3:30
11.The Only Thing I Had - 3:30
12.Maybe Tomorrow - 2:10
All songs by John Hall except where stated.

The Kangaroo
*John Hall - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Barbara Keith - Vocals
*N.D. Smart II - Drums, Vocals
*Teddy Spelios - Guitar, Vocals

Related Act 
1973  Barbara Keith - Barbara Keith (Japan remaster)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thoughts And Words - Thoughts And Words (1969 uk, beautiful warm folk psych, 2005 Issue)

Bob Ponton and Martin Curtis met at primary school where they formed the first band and later played around the youth clubs in Gravesend ,until they met Ray Jenns and Dennis Jenns .The brothers had a rock n roll band Bob and Martin joined Ray and Dens band which later turned into the Pandas. On the bands first record release they changed the name to Pandamonium after the demise of Pandamonium they formed the duo Thoughts and Words.

In mid-’68, five years and three singles into their career as Pandamonium, Bob Ponton and Martin Curtis were fed up. Their history, covered comprehensively in No Presents For Me (RRCD106) saw them at the epicentre of London’s psychedelic folk scene and hanging out with the likes of Davy Graham and Sandy Denny and the other Fairport members.The duo, fed up with the way they had been treated and supported by Denny and producer Joe Boyd, decided to go it alone. 

They’d built up songs and confidence, so Ponton decided to contact his old work mate, Andrew Lauder who was in charge at Liberty. After hearing the material, Lauder placed the duo in the tender care of rising producer and head of A&R, Mike Batt. The duo’s delicate, wistful songs gave Batt an ideal opportunity to hone his talents as an arranger and producer, as well as the album’s pianist.

Thoughts and Words is a largely upbeat collection of melodic, pensive songs, so unlike the psychedelic rock vibe that had prevailed in their late ‘60s output. The duo decided to name the album after a track on the Byrd’s album Younger Than Yesterday, but were surprised to learn that they had been given the name too! The sound is warm and soft - and so is the music. A great folk album. Thoughts and Words also released a single on Marabo records in 1974 titled Its Allright Baby a Bob Ponton song. 
1. Morning Sky - 3:34
2. And The Tears Fall Like Rain - 2:36
3. Friends - 2:14
4. Back In 1939 - 2:26
5. Today Has Come - 3:11
6. Give Me A Reason - 2:12
7. Go Out And Find The Sun - 2:15
8. Seven Years - 2:45
9. Father And Son - 2:45
10.Lifetime - 3:17
11.Annette - 2:30
12.Vision - 2:31
13.Charlie Gates - 2:58
All songs by Bob Ponton, Martin Curtis

*Bob Ponton - Vocals, All Instruments except Piano and String Section
*Martin Curtis - Vocals, All Instruments except Piano and String Section
*Mike Batt - Piano

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bloomsbury People - Bloomsbury People (1970 us, exciting psych prog, 2012 extra tracks remaster)

The Bloomsbury People was an important band in the late 1960's psychedelic/progressive music movement, playing to over 500,000 people at the Atlanta Pop Festival alongside Jimi Hendrix and other 60's icons. Bloomsbury People songs Now, after 30 years, this cult classic is available on Compact Disc. The CD includes three bonus tracks - "Gingerbread Man", "Madeline" and "Saga of the Red Sea" - never previously released. 

This seminal album is a must for anyone's Snopek collection, and for fans of the best on progressive rock. Original released by MGM Records in June 1970.
1. Birdsong - 3:36
2. Witch Helen - 2:36
3. Have You Seen Them Cry - 3:37
4. Lake Of Sand - 2:11
5. State Of Confusion (Jon Wyderka) - 3:32
6. Golden Lion - 3:02
7. Pioneer Saint Of Death - 3:38
8. The Resurrection - 2:30
9. Demian - 4:39
10.So It Seems - 2:35
11.Gingerbread Man - 6:29
12.Madeleine - 3:08
13.Have You Seen Them Cry - 3:30
All songs by Sigmund Snopek III excpet where indicated

The Bloomsbury People
*Jon Wyderka - Vocals, Percussion
*Sigmund Snopek III - Keyboards, Trombone, Vocals
*Ding Lorenz - Drums, Acoustic Percussion
*Paul Dujardin - Bass, Trombone, Vocals
*Greg Janick - Organ, Saxophones, Vocals
*Dennis Lanting - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Panhandle - Panhandle (1972 uk, magnificent classic rock with soul and funky vibes, 2016 remaster)

In the late 60s and early 70s numerous collectible LPs were made by studio musicians, or band members moonlighting from their regular duties. Examples include Hungry Wolf, Green Bullfrog, Ugly Custard and Rumplestitlskin.

The one off album released under the Panhandle moniker fits into this category. Somewhat surprisingly, its producer was Rodger Bain, then riding high as the architect of Black Sabbath's influential sound (as well as overseeing discs by Budgie, Indian Summer, Wild Turkey, Freedom and others).

Presumably recorded during downtime in Decca's West Hampstead Studios, it featured vocalist Jon Gobin (formerly of pop act the Selofane), guitarists Chris Spedding and Martin Kershaw, keyboards from Dudley Moore, bass from Herbie Flowers, and drums from Barry Morgan, as well as percussion by Dennis Lopez, and backing vocals by PP Arnold, Liza Strike and Kay Garner.

Spedding, Flowers, Morgan and Strike had recently contributed to Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection album, perhaps explaining the inclusion of his Amoreena here. They also tackled material by the Rolling Stones (a rare cover of Bitch), Creedence Clearwater Revival (Up Around The Bend and a rare cover of Penthouse Pauper), Sly & the Family Stone, Randy Newman, and other contemporary hitmakers.  The sole original cut is the curiously titled From The Film Of The Same Name, penned by the project's musical director / arranger, the prolific Roland Shaw. 

Engineered by seasoned Decca hands Peter Rynston and David Grinsted, the album received next to-no publicity or attention upon release in early 1972. According to Hi-Fi News ‘n’ Record Review 'A star-studded studio band work their way through rock and soul favourites with a combination of high gloss and enthusiasm. 

Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, Barry Morgan, Martin Kershaw, Dennis Lopez, P. P. Arnold, Kay Garner and Liza Strike are among the names involved. Jon Gobin handles the lead vocals, and the keyboard man is, rather surprisingly, Dudley Moore. Enjoyable, but no more.'Perhaps predictably, sales were dismal, and it was swiftly forgotten about.
CD Liner-Notes
1. Amoreena (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 4:25
2. Mama Told Me Not To Come (Randy Newman) - 2:14
3. Penthouse Pauper (John Fogerty) - 4:16
4. Dimples (John Lee Hooker) - 2:27
5. Bitch (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 3:25
6. I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) - 3:01
7. Susie (Dale Hawkins, Eleanor Broadwater, Stanley Lewis) - 4:29
8. From The Film Of The Same Name (Roland Shaw) - 2:54
9. Up Around The Bend (John Fogerty) - 2:38
10.I Want To Take You Higher (Sylvester Stewart) - 5:28

*Chris Spedding - Guitar
*Dudley Moore - Piano
*Barry Morgan - Drums
*Herbie Flowers - Bass
*Jon Gobin - Lead Vocals
*Martin Kershaw - Guitar
*Dennis Lopez - Percussion
*P.P. Arnold - Backing Vocals
*Liza Strike - Backing Vocals
*Kay Garner - Backing Vocals

Related Acts
1970  Hungry Wolf - Hungry Wolf 
1970  Chris Spedding - Backwood Progression (2014 remaster)  
1972  Chris Spedding - The Only Lick I Know
1975-77  Chris Spedding - Chris Spedding (audiophile 2013 issue)
1977  Chris Spedding - Hurt  

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Mom's Apple Pie - Mom's Apple Pie (1972 us, excellent brass prog jazz blues rock, 2015 remaster)

Chicago's enormous success with their horn-driven rock in the '70s was naturally followed by several other bands who tried to hit it big with the same sound and formula. But many of them would remain in complete obscurity, and the ten-piece Mom's Apple Pie were among them. Their self-titled debut had all the right moves: good tunes, massive brass-arrangements along with organ, guitar and overall solid musicianship. Still, the success they sought never came.

The record opens with a cover of Willie Dixon's well-known "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" that showcases the band's arrangements and musical skills very well. "Lay Your Money Down" has some spacey organ that is quite unusual to find in this genre, and also a nice jam where the bass has one of the main roles. My favourite here is probably "Good Days", a tasty ballad with lots of flute and gorgeous vocal-harmonies. And the beat and rhythm of the track is quite ballsy for being a ballad. 

Keyboardist Dave Mazzochi was obviously one of the main songwriters in the group, and also knew just how to use the right sounds on his organ. "People" varies between a quiet and mellow verse and over into a more powerful a rocking chorus, while "Dawn of a New Day" and "Happy Just to Be" are cheerful rockers very typical for this style of '70s brass rock.

The closer "Mr. Skin" is a song packed with so many catchy hooks that it really had deserved to be a hit for the band, and remains one of the very best from the album. If you're into bands like Lighthouse and the earlier mentioned Chicago, then "Mom's Apple Pie" will be just your thing. 
1. I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Willie Dixon) - 5:30
2. Lay Your Money Down (Dave Mazzochi, Tony Gigliotti) - 5:49
3. Good Days (Bob Fiorino, Dave Mazzochi) - 4:39
4. People (Bob Fiorino, Dave Mazzochi, Roger Force) - 4:29
5. Dawn Of A New Day (Dave Mazzochi, Roger Force) - 3:52
6. Happy Just To Be (Dave Mazzochi, Tony Gigliotti, Hartzell) - 3:01.
7. Secret Of Life (Roger Force, Bob Fiorino) - 3:29.
8. Mr. Skin (Jay Ferguson) - 5:33

Mom's Apple Pie
*Joe Ahladis - Guitar
*Pat Aulizia - Drums
*Bob Fiorino - Vocals
*Roger Force - Saxophone, Flute
*Tony Gigliotti - Vocals
*Fred Marzulla - Trombone
*Dave Mazzochi - Keyboards, Vocals
*Bob Miller - Lead Guitar
*Bob Pinti - Trumpet, Vocals
*Greg Yochman - Bass

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mason Proffit - Bareback Rider (1973 us, remarkable country folk roots rock, 2006 edition)

Mason Proffit's second major-label album and fifth album overall was similar in construction to its predecessor, Rockfish Crossing. Once again, the Talbot brothers and their supporting players turned in a combination of effective originals that touched on subjects from romance to politics with some enthusiastically performed country covers, notably a version of "Setting the Woods on Fire" that sounded like a deliberate attempt to impersonate Jerry Lee Lewis and featured a furious kazoo solo. 

The political element came out in "Black September/Belfast," with its reflections on Northern Ireland and Vietnam. You'd have thought that music this impressive could get a hearing, but Mason Proffit appeared at a time when music fans were more polarized than musicians, not only by music but by politics and culture. Despite the band's evident affection for traditional country music, their left-wing political stance and status as hippie rock musicians meant they could never be accepted in Nashville. And their music was too overtly country for them to score a pop hit. 

Thus, they were doomed to appeal only on the country-rock-oriented Los Angeles club scene and to some music critics. Bare Back Rider did a little better than Rockfish Crossing had, even scraping into the charts for a couple of weeks, but that wasn't the level of success a major label expected, and Mason Proffit was forced to hang up its spurs.
by William Ruhlmann
1. Lilly - 2:17
2. Cottonwood - 4:16
3. Setting The Woods On Fire (Ed Nelson, Fred Rose) - 2:52
4. Dance Hall Girl - 4:47
5. To Be A Friend - 4:10
6. Stoney River - 3:47
7. Black September/Belfast - 3:45
8. I Saw The Light (Hank Williams) - 2:55
9. Five Generations - 4:40
10.Sail Away - 3:10
All songs written by John Talbot, Terry Talbot except where noted

The Mason Proffit
*John Talbot - Guitar, Steel Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Vocals
*Terry Talbot - Guitar, Jewsharp, Keyboards, Fiddle, Percussion, Vocals
*Tim Ayres - Bass
*Art Nash - Drums, Percussion
*Bruce "Creeper" Kurnow - Keyboards, Harmonica
*Kinky "The Stinger" Schnitzner - Electric Guitar
*Bill Cunningham - Fiddle, Mandolin, Twelve String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Tom Radtke - Percussion

1969  Mason Proffit - Wanted (2006 issue)
1971  Mason Proffit - Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (2006 issue)
1974  Mason Proffit - Come And Gone

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