quinta-feira, 30 de novembro de 2023

David Bromberg - Demon in Disguise 1972

A strikingly gifted multi-instrumentalist with an intuitive understanding of American roots music styles and a sly sense of humor, David Bromberg has earned a following for his many solo recordings and has served as a sideman and collaborator with some of the most respected artists in his field. He stepped out as a solo artist in 1972 with an eponymous album on Columbia that featured "The Holdup," a popular song he co-wrote with George Harrison. Throughout the decade he managed a hectic schedule releasing numerous solo albums for Columbia and Fantasy while playing everything from dobro to fiddle on songs by an array of acts including Gordon LightfootRingo Starr, and Bob Dylan. Taking a lengthy sabbatical from touring and recording, Bromberg spent much of the next two decades studying the art of violin luthiery. He occasionally appeared with a new album, including 2007's Grammy-nominated Try Me One More Time, while establishing a successful business, David Bromberg and Associate Fine Violins, in Wilmington, Delaware. In the latter part of the 2010s, he put together a large group, the David Bromberg Band, which made a handful of colorful and eclectic albums including 2016's The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues and 2020's Big RoadBromberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 19, 1945, and spent most of his childhood in Tarrytown, New York. As a teenager, Bromberg got hooked on rock & roll and began exploring the blues, folk, and country artists who informed early rock, such as Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Muddy Waters, Flatt & Scruggs, and Bill Monroe. When he was 13, Bromberg began learning the guitar, and after graduating from high school, he attended Columbia University, where he studied musicology and began playing Greenwich Village folk clubs.

While his early gigs didn't pay much, he struck up friendships with a number of noted musicians and began studying with his hero, Reverend Davis. Bromberg's guitar skills didn't go unnoticed, and he began accompanying a number of Village folk acts both on-stage and in the studio, including Tom PaxtonTom RushJerry Jeff Walker, and Richie Havens. Bromberg was playing guitar with singer Rosalie Sorrels when she was booked to play the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in Great Britain; Bromberg played an impromptu solo set after Sorrels was done, and he went over well enough that he was offered a deal with Columbia Records as a solo artist. Bromberg's self-titled debut was released in 1971 and featured the song "The Holdup," a radio favorite that Bromberg co-wrote with George Harrison. Between 1971 and 1976, Bromberg recorded six albums for Columbia and toured extensively as well as maintaining a hectic schedule of session work, lending his talents on guitar, Dobro, mandolin, and fiddle to albums by Bob DylanCarly Simonthe EaglesRingo StarrWillie NelsonGordon LightfootBonnie RaittDoug Sahm, and many more. (Bromberg also produced an album for Dylan that has yet to be released in full.) In 1977, Bromberg signed a new record deal with Fantasy Records, and issued his first album for the label, Reckless Abandon; three more records of new material followed, but in 1980 Bromberg decided he was tired of the rigors of touring and took a sabbatical from the road, occasionally playing sessions for friends and staging occasional live shows but devoting most of his time to studying at the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making in Chicago. It wasn't until 1990 that Bromberg released a new album, Sideman Serenade, and it was in 2007 when his next studio set appeared, Try Me One More Time, which earned a Grammy nomination as Best Traditional Folk Album. In the meantime, Bromberg had established a successful business building and repairing violins as well as dealing in quality instruments, and in 2002 he opened a shop in Wilmington, Delaware, simply called David Bromberg Fine Violins. In 2011, Bromberg returned with a new and ambitious solo album, Use Me, in which he performed new songs written at his request by some of his favorite tunesmiths, including John HiattGuy ClarkDr. JohnKeb' Mo', and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Riding the critical success of that release, he returned two years later with Only Slightly Mad, a diverse set of new originals and a handful of well-curated covers produced by Bob Dylan guitarist Larry Campbell. His next album, 2016's The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, offered tasteful renderings of tracks by Sonny Boy WilliamsonRay Charles, and many others. Returning in 2020, he again worked with Larry Campbell, who produced Big Road, a typically eclectic album featuring Bromberg and his band recorded live in the studio. AMG.

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Baby Washington & Don Gardner - Lay A Little Lovin' On Me 1973

Two older 60s soul stars team up in this early 70s album of sweet soul duets. Don had worked previously with Dee Dee Ford, and he’s going for a similar style here with Baby Washington – with both singers trading off vocals, and one usually dominating the song more than the other. The groove is kind of early 70s indie, and the smoother numbers are the best. Arrangements are by Bobby Martin, Burt De Coteaux, and Paul Riser. Thanks to "funkmysoul.gr"!

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terça-feira, 28 de novembro de 2023

Bacon Fat - Tough Dude 1971

Bacon Fat was a band led by harmonica player Rod "Gingerman" Piazza and featuring Buddy Reed (guitar, vocals), Gregg Schaefer (guitar), J.D. Nicholson (vocals, piano), Jerry Smith (bass), and Dick Innes, Jr. (drums). They were signed to the British Blue Horizon label and made two albums before breaking up in the early '70s. AMG.

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Charisma - Beasts And Fiends 1970

Charisma was an American progressive rock group from the early 70s. Charisma came about from diverging roots emanating from 3 directions. The core of Charisma was Rich Tortorigi (drummer) and George Tyrell (bass player). Both were members of a New Britain, Connecticut soul band called The Mantiques. In 1968, Rich Tortorigi recruited Tom Majesky to play guitar with The Mantiques. Tom then enlisted Bernie Kornowicz, former bassist of The Last Five, to share guitar and organ duties. The final addition to the group was folk singer Mike DeLisa to sang lead. Tom and Bernie brought the rock and roll element to the Mantiques and Mike brought the band an element of folkiness.

It was in 1969 that The Mantiques signed with Roulette Records as a convenient tax write-off to record an album. The album was produced by Ed Vallone and most of the songs were penned by Bruce McGaw. During the recording of the album, the band fought over a new name with their new management. Finally given an ultimatum, The Mantiques became Charisma, a name they hated. The album was recorded at Incredible Sound Studios in NYC.

During their career, Charsima ended up releasing two albums both sold better in Europe than they did in the USA. Charisma was offered the option to record a third album for Roulette Records, but let it pass by. Probably for the best, seeing that all the income from the two albums went to Roulette Records and the band ended up with nothing. In 1976, Charisma disbanded.

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Charley Pride - Make Mine Country 1968

With a warm, strong baritone voice and a knack for phrasing that gave his performances a down-home sincerity and believability, Charley Pride was one of country music's biggest success stories in the late 1960s through the mid-'80s. Most at home with relatable stories of love and life, with tuneful arrangements supporting his vocals, Pride racked up 36 number-one country singles and 12 gold albums in his 1966 to 1983 heyday. For a time, Pride was second only to Elvis Presley among RCA Records' biggest-selling acts, and he remained a popular live attraction long after his traditional style fell out of favor on country radio. Part of what made Pride's initial success so remarkable was the fact that he was the first African-American artist to break through to major stardom in country music. In the mid-'60s through the '70s, a time when race was a hot-button issue in America, Pride demonstrated that there was room for Black artists on the Nashville hit parade, and he was the most consistently successful African-American performer in country music throughout his career. Pride was born on a cotton farm in Sledge, Mississippi, where his father was a sharecropper. When he was 14 years old, Charley bought a guitar from Sears Roebuck and taught himself to play by listening to country music on the radio. Two years later, he turned his attention to baseball. Pride signed on to play with the Memphis Red Sox, a team in the Negro American League. After playing ball for two years, Pride joined the U.S. Army, where he served for two years. Upon his discharge, he intended to return to baseball, but he sustained injuries that affected his throwing arm. Discouraged that he couldn't qualify for the major leagues, Pride worked construction in Helena, Montana, while still playing in the minors. Eventually, he earned a tryout for the California Angels in 1961, but they turned him down; the following year, the New York Mets rejected him as well. With his career in baseball seemingly over, Pride turned his attention to music, and in 1963 he sang "Lovesick Blues" for Red Foley and Red Sovine backstage at one of Sovine's concerts. The veteran musicians were impressed and told Charley he should go to Nashville. Heeding their advice, Pride traveled to Music City, but he couldn't break into the industry. However, both the Reds and Webb Pierce kept recommending the fledgling singer to their associates and eventually helped him secure a management deal with Jack Johnson. Through Johnson, Pride met producer Jack Clement, who sent a demo tape of Pride's to Chet Atkins at RCA, who signed the vocalist in 1966. Later that year, Pride's debut single, "The Snakes Crawl at Night," was released but was issued without a publicity photograph, since the label was uncertain if radio programmers would support a Black country singer. Both "The Snakes Crawl at Night" and his second single, "Before I Met You," gained a small audience, but it wasn't until "Just Between You and Me" that Charley became a star. Released at the end of 1966, "Just Between You and Me" climbed to number nine and began a virtually uninterrupted streak of Top Ten singles that ran until 1984; out of his 54 singles issued during those 18 years, only three failed to crack the Top Ten. Though he was praised upon the release of "Just Between You and Me" and won a Grammy Award for the single, there remained resistance in certain quarters of the country audience to a Black performer. Nevertheless, the consistent quality of Pride's music and the support from his fellow musicians helped open doors for him. On January 7, 1967, he became the first Black artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry since DeFord Bailey in 1925. Over the next two years, his star steadily rose, and between 1969 and 1971 he had six straight number-one singles: "All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)," "I'm So Afraid of Losing You Again," "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone," "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore," "I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me," and "I'd Rather Love You." All of those singles also charted in the lower regions of the pop charts, giving evidence of his smooth country-pop crossover appeal. "Let Me Live," taken from his gospel album Did You Think to Pray?, temporarily broke his streak of number-one singles in the spring of 1971, but it won a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance. Directly after "Let Me Live," two of his biggest hits -- "I'm Just Me" and "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" -- arrived, earning him his greatest success on both the country and pop charts. Throughout the '70s, Pride continued to chart in the upper regions of the country charts, earning number-one singles like "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer" (1972), "She's Too Good to Be True" (1972), "A Shoulder to Cry On" (1973), "Then Who Am I" (1975), "She's Just an Old Love Turned Memory" (1977), and "Where Do I Put Her Memory." During this time, he remained loyal to his country-pop style, though he promoted new performers and songwriters like Ronnie MilsapGary Stewart, and Kris Kristofferson. Pride's success continued during the first half of the '80s, as he continued to have number-one hits like "Honky Tonk Blues" (1980), "Mountain of Love" (1982), "You're So Good When You're Bad" (1982), and "Night Games" (1983). During 1984 and 1985, however, he grew frustrated with RCA Records, which began to promote newer artists at the expense of veteran performers like Pride himself. He left the label at the end of 1986, signing with Opryland's 16th Avenue label, where he returned to working with his old producer, Jerry Bradley. Pride had a number of minor hits for the label, highlighted by 1988's number five "Shouldn't It Be Easier Than This," before the company went under. Pride moved on to Honest Entertainment in the early '90s, where he released My 6 Latest & 6 Greatest, featuring duets with the likes of Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt. Though he wasn't heard as often on the radio, Pride continued to be a popular concert attraction. On each of his shows, he was supported by his son Dion Pride, who played lead guitar. In 1994, Pride was given the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award. While staying busy as a live act, he continued to record occasionally in the 21st century, releasing Choices in 2011 and Music in My Heart in 2018.

In November 2020, the Country Music Association presented Pride with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, with the head of the CMA declaring, "Charley Pride is the epitome of a trailblazer." For the CMA Awards broadcast, he sang "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" as a duet with Jimmie Allen. It proved to be Pride's last major public appearance; he died in Dallas on December 12 due to complications from the COVID-19 virus. He was 86 years old. AMG.

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Barry Miles - White Heat 1971

Barry Miles was considered a child prodigy: he began playing drums when he was three and piano at five and joined the Musicians Union when he was nine. Miles played drums professionally from the age of ten, including sitting in with the Woody Herman Orchestra. At age 12, he recorded his first album as a leader on drums, leading a sextet that included pianist Duke Jordan. As a teenager, he studied classical piano and soon switched instruments. Originally a bop-oriented player, Miles leaned toward fusion by the late '60s, often playing electric piano and synthesizer. He led Barry Miles & Silverlight for several years (his sidemen at various times included Woody ShawJohn Abercrombie, and Al di Meola), worked as Roberta Flack's musical director from the early '80s to the mid-'90s, and became a studio musician in New York. Miles has led albums for labels including Charlie Parker (1959-1961), Venture (1966), Poppy (1970), Mainstream (1971-1972), London (1974-1975), Gryphon (1977), and others. AMG.

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Cheval Fou - Cheval Fou 1975

Cheval Fou gave the first whinny as a French rock trio around the frontman and a guitarist named Michel Peteau in 1971. Michel had got pretty impressed by the European Rock scene, especially the Who, and strove to make a similar impact by playing guitar, which could be crystallized as an incarnation of the Heavy / Psych / Krautrock movement by three talented underground musicians in Paris - Jean-Max Peteau (guitar, bass), Stephen Rossini (drums), and Michel (guitar, saxophone).

Cheval Fou had recorded some material from 1971 until 1975, that had not been released in their active days. Fortunately, a short-lived French independent label Legend Music compiled their material and released it in 1994 (and this compilation was reissued and rereleased via Psych Up Melodies in 2011). Michel announced he would reform the band sooner or later.

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This extremely well-crafted LP from 1970 is like a holy grail for sixties soul lovers. Just a few hundred promo-only copies were pressed on the Sundi label at the time and clean originals now fetch at least four-figure sums. Singer-songwriter Alexandra Brown has worked extensively as a backup singer with Ray Charles as a member of the Raeletts and Monk Higgins with whom she wrote and recorded many tracks for his albums and soundtrack projects. Higgins also arranged, conducted, produced, and co-wrote this amazingly great LP, incredibly Alex’s one and only solo album.

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Albert Ayler - In Greenwich Village 1967

During 1967-69 avant-garde innovator Albert Ayler recorded a series of albums for Impulse that started on a high level and gradually declined in quality. This LP, Ayler's first Impulse set, was probably his best for that label. There are two selections apiece from a pair of live appearances with Ayler having a rare outing on alto on the emotional "For John Coltrane" and the more violent "Change Has Come" while backed by cellist Joel Friedman, both Alan Silva and Bill Folwell on basses and drummer Beaver Harris. The other set (with trumpeter Donald Ayler, violinist Michel SampsonFolwell, and Henry Grimes on basses and Harris) has a strong contrast between the simple childlike melodies and the intense solos. However, this LP (which was augmented later on by the two-LP set The Village Concerts) will be difficult to find. AMG.

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Loadstone - Loadstone 1969

Formed in Las Vegas and released one album in 1969, Loadstone was a promising psychedelic brass rock band very much in the vein of B.S. & T and Chicago. Unfortunately, they never hit the chart and disbanded soon after.

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quarta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2023

Frank Zappa & The Mothers - Over-Nite Sensation 1973

Love it or hate it, Over-Nite Sensation was a watershed album for Frank Zappa, the point where his post-'60s aesthetic was truly established; it became his second gold album, and most of these songs became staples of his live shows for years to come. Whereas the Flo and Eddie years were dominated by rambling, off-color comedy routines, Over-Nite Sensation tightened up the song structures and tucked sexual and social humor into melodic, technically accomplished heavy guitar rock with jazzy chord changes and funky rhythms; meanwhile, Zappa's growling new post-accident voice takes over the storytelling. While the music is some of Zappa's most accessible, the apparent callousness and/or stunning sexual explicitness of "Camarillo Brillo," "Dirty Love," and especially "Dinah-Moe Humm" leave him on shaky aesthetic ground. Zappa often protested that the charges of misogyny leveled at such material missed out on the implicit satire of male stupidity, and also confirmed intellectuals' self-conscious reticence about indulging in dumb fun; however, the glee in his voice as he spins his adolescent fantasies can undermine his point. Indeed, that enjoyment, also evident in the silly wordplay, suggests that Zappa is throwing his juvenile crassness in the face of critical expectation, asserting his right to follow his muse even if it leads him into blatant stupidity (ironic or otherwise). One can read this motif into the absurd shaggy-dog story of a dental floss rancher in "Montana," the album's indisputable highlight, which features amazing, uncredited vocal backing from Tina Turner and the Ikettes. As with much of Zappa's best '70s and '80s material, Over-Nite Sensation could be perceived as ideologically problematic (if you haven't got the constitution for FZ's humor), but musically, it's terrific. AMG.

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Eric Burdon and War - The Black-Man's Burdon 1970

Eric Burdon's second and final album with War, Black-Man's Burdon was a double set that could have benefited from a bit of judicious editing. Composed mostly of sprawling psychedelic funk jams, it finds War mapping out much of the jazz/Latin/soul grooves that would shortly bring them success on their own. Highlights include the soulful vamps "Pretty Colors" and "They Can't Take Away Our Music"; the 13-minute "Paint It Black" medley reflects the height of their eccentricity, and there isn't one, but two covers of "Nights in White Satin." AMG.

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Linda Lewis - Lark 1972

The best of Linda Lewis' early-'70s output, Lark was cut before she broke into public gaze via her cameo performance on David Bowie's Aladdin Sane, and thus provided a point of reference for anyone induced to find out more about her. Built, again, around her instinctive musical (and personal) partnership with guitarist Jim Cregan, Lark is nevertheless light years ahead of her debut album, showcasing Lewis alongside a hard-hitting rhythm section that would, just a year or so later, be providing similar duties for John Cale, bassist Pat Donaldson, and drummer Gerry Conway. Only the absence of Say No More guitarist Chris Spedding spoils the party, but Cregan is equal to the task. The biggest difference between this album and its predecessor is in the presentation of Lewis' voice. No longer a wild weapon that can soar from childlike lilt to screaming dog whistle without a moment's notice, she channels her range to the emotions it demands, an economy most noticeable on the folky "It's the Frame," which finds her accompanied by her own guitar alone. Produced by Cregan and Lewis, Lark also finds space for some dramatic experimentation -- opening and closing the album, the gentle "Spring Song" and the poetic "Little Indians" find her working against a landscape of Emile Latimer's dramatic percussion (and muted guitars), with the latter recorded live at Croydon's legendary Fairfield Hall, in front of an audience that is clearly spellbound by the event. Also of note is the keys-heavy title track, a studio tour de force, conjuring up atmospheres as free and easy as Lewis' vocal gymnastics. The end result is an album that, even today, defines Lewis at her dramatic best -- and sounds as fresh to modern ears as it did to Bowie fans back then.

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Julius Victor - From The Nest 1969

A short-lived band from New York was obviously heavily influenced by the "Iron Butterfly". Their album with very eye-catching body and original material written by Lawrence "Zea" Engstrom (drums) using Kimball Lee (organ), produced by the famous jazz musician Ahmad Jamal.

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quinta-feira, 16 de novembro de 2023

Jonathan Kelly's Outside - ...Waiting On You 1974

In 1973, he formed Jonathan Kelly’s Outside, with Snowy White - on guitar and Chas Jenkel - on bass among the members. Snowy White went on to play with Pink Floyd, Peter Green, Thin Lizzy, and Chas Jenkel and was central to the wonderful British funk of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Led by Ledingham, this line-up made one album together, which was 1974’s ...Waiting On You.

"Waiting On You" was something Jonathan had always wanted, at heart he was always a bit of a Rock and roller.  This album cover was designed by Tim Staffell. However, this album wasn't as warmly received and Jonathan was hurt by some of the criticism of it, the music press wanted him pigeonholed as a folk singer. A single was also released to coincide with this album called 'Outside' backed with 'Waiting on You'. Jonathan was particularly fond of Outside because it encompassed the musicians and styles which he enjoyed and which had influenced him and the type of music they played covered rock through to jazz and not forgetting the soul influences! Thanks to Rckasteria.

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