From Detroit, Dennis Coffey is a guitarist and producer, often associated with Mike Theodore (on Paul Parrish's Forest Of My Mind for instance). If his prolific solo production throughout the '70s is generally in the funk style and totally out of the scope of this book, his first album may interest some readers, as it contains ten instrumental tracks (including a cover of Whole Lotta Love) with three guitars, a sitar and percussions.
During the seventies, Linda Cohen recorded several instrumental albums combining folk and baroque/chamber influences, sometimes with psych sounds. Her presence here is mainly due to the involvement of several former members of Mandrake Memorial, notably Craig Anderton who played guitar and self-invented instruments and also had a hand on the production. Mostly suited for late night listening, her records will not appeal to everybody.
NB : (1) and (2) were also released in the U.K. by Atlantic. (5) was also released in the U.K. by Warner.
A Soul/Blues group with horns who was popular on the San Francisco rock scene, playing regularly at the Fillmore. Their sound was based on the bluesy vocals of Lydia Pense.
Their first album is notable for its fine Rick Griffin artwork but the music was rather uninspired and the horn arrangements quite messy. The same can be said of their following albums, which became more and more soul oriented.
You can also find Shop Talk and Too Many People on San Francisco Sampler - Fall 1970.
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini)
NB: (1) Issued with an insert and colour photo of the band.
A Texas group. Contrary to popular belief, the Rockadelic release above is not a straight reissue of an acetate. An acetate was found with several tracks by this group (only one known copy exists, now in a private collection) and through this acetate, information leading to the group was dug up. The leader of the band was found to have several tapes of sixties material and from these tapes the Dark Shadows album was mastered. Most of the material on the Rockadelic album does not appear on the acetate.
This release is well worth picking up - a genuinely psychedelic item with lots of superb and, often discordant, electric autoharp and sustained fuzz guitar and lots of fresh ideas. The vocals don't always reach the same standard but this album is recommended.
Bill Miller later played on Roky Erickson's 1981 album The Evil One.
(Clark Faville/Vernon Joynson)
From Florida, a mix of psyche, prog and southern rock which may interest some. Bobby Golden and Bob Spearman went on to form Stillwater in the mid-70s.
A St Louis band from the late sixties. Hey Girl followed the simple punk format with a droning farfisa organ backing and just a hint of progressivism in the brief organ solo midway through.
A nice psychedelic sleeve for a totally disappointing pop quartet.
This unknown group played a mix of hard psych with strange effects and some Middle Eastern influences.
Significant for containing pre-Orpheus members Jack McKenes and Eric Gulliksen, this is the group referred to in the liner notes for The Best Of Orpheus retrospective CD as The Wanderers. A tribute to the late JFK, the record was produced by Tom Zagryn and Eric Gulliksen, and recorded in the cellar of a fraternity house on a Webcor tape recorder. Eric recalls: "As we already had a relationship with the Swan label via The Blue Echoes, we trotted it down to Philadelphia and Swan jumped on it thinking they would make a bundle. However, no Kennedy records made it in the US; people (and rightly so) just didn't want to see someone make money from the tragedy of JFK's death. For many years, though, I received air play royalties (in small amounts) from the four corners of the earth".
The outfit came from Ventura, California and had a great constipated-sounding vocalist. All I Want later appeared on Pebbles Vol. 8 (CD), Boulders, Vol. 1 (LP) and Highs In The Mid-Sixties, Vol. 1 (LP).
(Vernon Joynson/Rich Strauss)
The cover of Smokestack is rather lightweight but includes some wailing harp and is laid-back rather than a bluesy rave-up. Their cover of the Zombies classic is rather insipid.
C-0-L-0-R-S can be heard on Pennsylvania Unknowns (LP) - they hailed from Philadelphia.
NB. (1) & (2) later reissued as double set (Paramount 81030).
English spelling for a U.S. group seems illogical enough, but the liner-notes from their first album tell us that they 'have the crystalline sharpness of the Beatles before they turned acid'. That seems a dangerous thing to postulate. The first track, though, completely lives up to these pretensions and must be reckoned among the very best attempts at an orchestrated psych sound. Easily switching from key to key and with disturbingly many time-changes, which at first sound completely innocent, this particular track conveys a sense of drama seldom equalled. Menacing harmonies and superb instrumentation underscore the sorry tale of a bored lad, who vainly tries to rob a liquor store - with a tragic outcome: Bad Day At Black Rock, Baby "I'm carving a gun from an old piece of wood, dip it in black paint, it looks pretty good".
Other tracks can't quite keep the standard that high, but feature several more highlights and very versatile playing, like the sitar droned Rather Be Me, the commune-song Brother Lou's Love Colony with bagpipes and later covered by Moon, and the eerie Cataleptic. Definitely an underestimated LP. Their second album is sadly not in the same class. Without any credits to other musicians than Dalton/Montgomery, this album takes in some progressive rock, some undigested country and also has a cluttered production. Only the very last track on side 2 You're High comes anywhere near the former style and intensity. This album is best forgotten. The first needs rehabilitation.
From Tulsa, Radle and Blackwell were close friends of Leon Russell. They both guested on Don Preston and The South's album and later enjoyed successful careers. Carl Radle was with Delaney and Bonnie, Derek and The Dominos, J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton. Chuck Blackwell played with Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker and Leon Russell. Rob Edwards has also previously played with Eddie and The Showmen.
(Marcel Koopman/Stephane Rebeschini/Brian Chidester)
Totally unrelated to the group on Dot, this one is a Texan folk group doing covers of the Beau Brummels, Dylan and Steve Stills.
A New York rocker, with a long cover of Dylan's Memphis Blues Again.
From Glastonbury, Connnecticut, a rare album with two totally different music on either side. The first has a mix of prog and neo classical music with dissonant effects and percussions, whilst Side Two contains short songs with female vocals, wah wah guitar, organ and flute.
The group is sometimes mistakenly listed as Glastonbury.
Whilst the extended version of Dead End Street from their debut album had a lot of exposure on the early FM stations on the U.S. East Coast at least, of more interest is the six minute intrumental Govinda which is a great hindiesque groove with mallets on the drums, soprano sax and electric guitar played like a sitar... (undoubtedly they had heard the new Butterfield Blues Band's East West). For the most part, the album consists of urban blues rock in the Chicago style, although there's no harmonica.
Possibly from Chicago or Boston, Cold Wind Blues was recorded in New York and produced by Bob Bateman. It has the written endorsement of Will and Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers on the back cover...
Definitely more of a progressive blues than a psych item, the cover is standard issue record company psychsploito smoke and double exposure band/nature photo that is actually quite nice... tinted lavendar even...
The group later released a rare live album before disbanding. In 1970, Tilton and Schroer were recruited by Van Morrison for his Moondance album and Shroer kept on working with Van the Man up until 1975. In 1972, Winfield and Tilton also worked with Martha Velez on her album Hipnotized and Tilton also played on solo albums by Ellen McIllwaine, the former Fear Itself singer. In the mid seventies, Chuck Purro went on to play with the James Montgomery Band, a blues band from Boston, along with Peter Malick from Listening.
(Peter Principle/Stephane Rebeschini)