NB: (1) has been reissued on CD.
NB: (1) also reissued by Verve Folkways in l967. There's also a rare French EP with PS: (We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet/I'll Go Crazy/Love Seems Doomed/Tobacco Road (Mercury 126221) 1967.
This group came from New York's Bronx area, were originally known as Bloos Magoos and gigged regularly around Greenwich Village before Mercury offered them a recording contract in 1966. Their title is misleading, for they specialised in quasi-psychedelic electrical music rather than the blues.
Their best moments are on their early albums and (We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet from their first album was a U.S. No. 5 in 1966. It also contained a fine version of J. D. Loudermilk's Tobacco Road.
The second album contained a thin comic book full of all sorts of offers to turn you on whilst you played the album. Musically it was their magnum opus. The opening cut, Pipe Dream, had a good garage organ sound; There's A Chance We Can Make It featured some fine psychedelic guitar work; Life Is Just A Cher O'Bowlies had a gorgeous beginning followed by more guitar mayhem and side one also contained a discordant, extended cover of Van Morrison's Gloria. Side two was more restrained, although Take My Love was an uptempo song with catchy organ work and the penultimate track, Rush Hour, included a storming electric guitar extravaganza.
On stage they appeared in Vidal Sassoon hairstyles and specially designed 'electric' suits. The fifth album, made with a changed personnel, marked a downward turn however, which was not arrested by subsequent studio efforts. In their final days, however, Joey Stec from The Millenium joined the band which coincided with a resurgence as a live attraction.
When the group disbanded, Eric Kaz went solo and recorded two lame '70s pop rock albums. In 1976, he also formed American Flyer, a country pop group produced by George Martin, with Craig Fuller (ex-J.D. Blackfoot and Pure Prairie League), Steve Katz (ex-Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears) and Doug Yule (ex-Velvet Underground). He kept on working with Fuller in Fuller/Kaz (CBS, 1978). Cooker Lo Presti went on to play with Ringo Starr.
In 1967 (We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet was covered by England's Spectres who soon became Status Quo.
Compilation appearances have so far included: (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet on Nuggets, Vol. 1 - The Hits (LP); Excerpts From Nuggets (CD); More Nuggets (CD); Nuggets From Nuggets (CD); Battle Of The Bands (CD); Tobacco Road on Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Dble LP) and Nuggets Box (4-CD); I Can Hear The Grass Grow on Nuggets, Vol. 11 (LP); Dante's Inferno on Songs We Taught The Fuzztones (LP & CD); Jingle Bells on Turds On A Bum Ride, Vol. 1 (Dble LP); Who Do You Love on Turds On A Bum Ride, Vol. 2 (Dble LP); Jingle Bells and Who Do You Love on Turds On A Bum Ride Vol. 1 & 2 (CD); Let Your Love Ride on Turds On A Bum Ride Vol. 4 (CD); There She Goes and Rush Houron Electric Food (LP); and Dante's Inferno, Jingle Bells, Let Your Love Ride, People Had No Faces, So I'm Wrong, Who Do You Love on Filling The Gap (4-LP); The band also recorded a commercial for Great Shakes which was based around the riff of We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet. It has resurfaced on Psychotic Reactions and Great Shakes Shake-Out (EP).
(Vernon Joynson/Max Waller/Joe Foster/Stephane Rebeschini)
An unknown group with two late '60s platters on a Fort Lauderdale label - it has also been suggested that they were from Hollywood, Florida. High Wednesday, a strange acid-rocker with some Iron Butterfly moves, gets another airing on Psychedelic States: Florida Vol. 1 (CD).
NB: (4) and (6) also issued in France. (3) reissued on CD in Japan. (8) reissued on vinyl (Pickwick SPC-3657) 1979. CD releases include Reunion In Central Park (1973), '79 Reunion LP and a Best Of CD with five extra tracks. Anthology, a double set containing 36 tracks, was also released on Chronicles in 1996, whilst Rhino released The Best of The Blues Project (R 170165) 1989, which includes an interesting Al Kooper interview and one unreleased version of Wake Me, Shake Me. Finally, there's Bleeker Street Blues (Goldtone GT-015) 2000, a German CD containing 13 tracks recorded live at the Matrix in San Francisco on 7th September 1966.
NB: (4) unissued. (7) both tracks non album. There's also a rare French EP with picture sleeve: No Time Like The Right Time/I Can't Keep From Crying So Sometimes/Steve's Song/The Way My Baby Walks (Verve 519 905), 1967.
This white blues-band simply burst onto the New York music scene between 1965 and 1966. Group member Katz had previously played with The Even Dozen Jug Band, whilst Flanders had been in the Boston-based Trolls. In his early days, Al Kooper was a Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building production writer (This Diamond Ring, Who Wears Short Shorts, etc.) and was with Bob Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, playing the organ in a way that would influence many American and English groups. Kooper kept on doing sessions with New York based singers during his stay with the group.
The band were offered a residency at the Cafe A Go Go in Greenwich Village in 1966. Here, their first 'live' album was recorded and highly acclaimed. The band were one of the city's main live attractions playing three concerts in Central Park in the same year. Flanders left before follow-up albums Projections and At The Town Hall which also found the band in fine form. Incidentally, Projections was produced by Tom Wilson.
Unfortunately, friction developed in the band, with Kooper and Katz eventually leaving to form Blood, Sweat and Tears. Their next effort Planned Obsolescence, hinted at what was to become Seatrain, including one track entitled Nairt Aes Hornpipe ("Seatrain" backwards). After it's release Kulberg, Greene, Kretmar, Gregory and Blumenfeld moved to the West Coast to form the first Seatrain line-up.
1971 saw Kalb and Blumenfeld attempting to revive the group with Flanders, Kretmar and David Cohen (ex-Country Joe and The Fish). This lineup recorded the under-rated Lazarus in London, under the guidance of Shel Talmy. Guitarist Lussenden was added for the Blues Project album. The band eventually split in 1972, but were reunited in early 1973 for a one-off gig in Central Park which MCA recorded and released on an album.
The Blue Project are usually considered one of New York's finest bands and their first three albums (two of which capture their exciting 'live' sound) are recommended if you can obtain them.
Tommy Flanders left the Blues Project at the request of Verve Records, who wanted to pursue his career as a solo artist, but dropped him after his first recording, the splendid Moonstone (Verve Forecast FTS-3075) 1969. After the group finally disappeared, he moved to California and left the music business to pursue a career as a male model for catalogues and later worked for an advertising agency.
In 1969, Danny Kalb issued an excellent blues album with another ex-Even Dozen Jug Band member, Stefan Grossman, Crosscurrents (Cotillion SD 9007) and also backed the blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon on his Bluesway albums. Of fragile health (apparently reinforced by an involuntary "chemically induced" nervous breakdown in 1969), Kalb did not perform for nearly five years, only coming out of his hiatus to perform at the Live At Central Park Reunion, and record the two reformation albums. He stopped recording between 1973 and 1993, until the release of an acoustic blues album in France on Legend Records.
Roy Blumenfeld kept on doing sessions with Mark Spoelstra and many others. He is still recording with Nick Gravenites (Don't Feed The Animals, 1994).
Compilation appearances include: No Time Like The Right Time on Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Dble LP), Nuggets, Vol. 11 (LP), Nuggets Box (4-CD).
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini/Max Waller)
Their album contains garagey blues jams with some horns.
See The Powers Uv Purple entry.
NB: (1) reissued on CD by Gear Fab (GF-113) 1998, with two bonus tracks. Also reissued on vinyl (Gear Fab/Comet GFC 419LP).
This late sixties Michigan band came from the Rochester, a small town 30 miles from Detroit. Their album was a limited edition private pressing, and is now rare and sought-after. Quite a varied album, it is well worth searching out. The opening cut, Never Come Back, which features some line keyboard and guitar work, sounds similar to The Doors and Blessed End. Hard rockers, like the title track and I Think I Been Had, which include competent guitar work, appear alongside gentle, keyboard dominated ballads and soft rockers like You Tell Me You Love Me, Don't Go Away and Angelisa, the finest track on the album which boasts some unusual piano work.
Compilation appearances have included: Wrong Road on Gear Fab's Psychedelic Sampler (CD).
A folk duo from Baltimore with some psychedelic influence, who did not release any 45s for Vanguard. Their album was recorded with a Nagra recording machine in Searsmont, Maine and then at Apostolic Studios, New York.
Ben Syfu also played on the Family Of Apostolic album.
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini)
A British-influenced garage band who played in Dallas, Texas during the mid-60s. Please Tell Me Why can be heard on Shutdown '66 (LP).
An unknown group, whose music ranges between garage and white R&B.
NB: (6) released as by Bocky.
From Cleveland, Ohio. They are best known for Spirit Of '64 on which they implore The Beatles to 'move over, don't be so selfish... we did the twist and sang the shout long before you ever sung it out'! Later they say 'We're the spirit of '64. This is the beginning of the Twist and Shout War!
At the end of the decade Bocky was to be found in Wazoo.
(Max Waller / George Gell)
NB: (1) reissued (RCA AVL1-4243) 1978.
After the commercial failure of Grootna, Marty Balin formed Bodacious D.F. with the former Grootna members Vic Smith and Dewey Dagreaze. Their only album is an interesting West-Coast effort with excellent "acid" guitar parts and Balin vocals. Anna Rizzo (ex Grootna) guests on one track: Good Folks and the album is co-produced by Doc Storch and Bill Wolff (of Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Fusion, Sound Machine...).
Following Jon Keliehor's departure from The Daily Flash in June 1967, he briefly worked with an old Seattle friend and former Kingsmen bass player Kerry Magness in Pam Polland's band, Gentle Soul. Only a demo of one song was recorded before the project fell apart. The pair soon got picked up by Paul Rothchild who was auditioning musicians for what would become Rhinoceros. Also involved in the auditions was ex-Fantastic Zoo singer/guitarist Eric Karl. The threesome opted out of the auditions early on and met up with Lalor (who had disbanded The Daily Flash by this point) and David Brooks, who had met Lalor in San Francisco. The quintet decided to form a new band in early 1968 initially called Popcorn.
The group were active mainly in the Northwest and in early 1969 changed name to Bodine. Signed to MGM, the band recorded an album which has some fine moments. Produced by Bill Cowsill, he was obviously influenced by George Martin's work with The Beatles because the album contains some tracks that have a distinctive Beatle sound. Eric Karl was the main songwriter/singer although Magness and Lalor also contributed. Karl however, produced the strongest material. The highlights include the rockers, Short Time Woman and Into My Life.
From Seattle, Washington, both sides of their 45 were written by Beck and Trousdale, who went on to play in the acclaimed Brave New World.
(Darryl F. Riffero/Max Waller)
NB: There is also a 12" acetate of Ashbury Wednesday from the "Psych Out" soundtrack in existance.
From Colorado, this act later migrated to Los Angeles. Their first 45 was produced by Frank Slay and was a No. 1 hit in Colorado. The 'B' side is a cover of the Beau Brummels song, but both songs are basically horn dominated pop.
Boenzee Cryque also have one track, Ashbury Wednesday, featured in the classic cult hippie film "Psych Out", and on the associated soundtrack album. The track is featured in the movie where Jack Nicholson's Band "Mumblin Jim" are performing on some ballroom stage complete with oil lights a throbbin! It features an inverted Purple Haze riff and is a exploito-classic.
George Grantham and Rusty Young went on to form Pogo which later became Poco. Sam Bush was later in New Grass Revival and had a solo career.
(Stephane Rebeschini / Peter Principle / Max Waller / Ben Chaput / Mike Dugo / Joe Rein)
NB: (1) reissued on CD (Elektra AMCY-2830) 199?. There's also a retrospective CD: Misty Mirage (Poptones MC 5007CD) 2001.
An important figure of the Los Angeles scene, Curt Boettcher began in the early sixties with a folk group, The Goldebriars and then became a prolific songwriter, arranger and producer, founding Ballroom, The Millenium and Sagittarius; and working with The Association, Lyme and Cybelle, Your Gang, Friar Tuck, Michele, Eternity's Children and many many more.
His productions are generally characterized by their inventive multi-layered harmonies and imaginative arrangements. His only solo album is in the same vein and, if his sales were low, it is now beginning to be sought after by collectors of soft psych and Californian sophisticated folk rock with harmonies, indeed as are all the records bearing his name.
Curt Boettcher died in 1987, at age 43.
Misty Mirage is a retrospective CD, comprising unreleased session tracks from 1969, together with demos, outtakes and radio ads.
NB: (2) also released in the U.K. (United Artists UAG 29130) in 1970.
From the New York area. Their first album is essentially progressive rock and features some pretty good guitar work and keyboards. Their second album, however, is not as good. Both were produced by Steve and Eric Nathanson, who also worked with Omnibus and Music Asylum.
Larry Hoppen later formed Orleans with John Hall, Wells Kelly and Lance Hoppen. Keith Ginsberg played with the Blues Brothers in 1980.
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini)
From Charlottesville, VA., Boggs Water and Sewage (1968-71) were a consummate cover band. WUVA radio disk jockey Lovett's smooth vocals backed by the driving rhythm section of Howell and Hundley made the band popular at fraternity parties and mixers, playing dance favorites from the great R&B, soul and beach music artists of the era. Known as Charlottesville's answer to Chicago Transit Authority, BW&S added several jazz-rock covers to its repertoire before disbanding in 1971 when, remarkably, the core band members graduated.
NB: (1) contains four cuts from their LP.
This band's album was produced by the late Felix Pappalardi and includes N.D. Smart (of The Remains) on drums. Sparrow Time and Think Twice have good fuzz guitar but it's predominantly a soft folk-rock LP. Mottau, Colegrove and Blake went on to form the rockier Jolliver Arkansaw.
Jim Colegrove was originally from Springfield, Ohio, and was co-founder of Teddy and The Rough Riders, a rock'n'roll outfit who made three singles and an album for Tilt/Huron/Mega City labels in the early '60s. In '66 he was with the intrigingly named Thee Rubber Band, and the same year moved to New York to play with The Hobbitts (whether the same act as The Hobbits... is unknown). In '67 he switched from guitar to bass, and joined Bo Grumpus. Subsequently, he's recorded with Hungry Chuck, and The Juke Jumpers,. Jim's story also sees him play alongside Canadian act Ian and Sylvia, as part of their backing group Great Speckled Bird (also with N.D. Smart), Todd Rundgren, Paul Butterfield and Allen Ginsberg amongst many others. Anyone remotely interested, should check out his website, for more info: http://www.dfw.net/~coolg
Ed Mottau later played with Elliot Murphy, David Peel and John Lennon on his Walls And Bridges and Rock & Roll albums.
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini)