Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dillards 1963-1973

The Dillards,one of the popularizers of bluegrass music in the 1960s,have become a touchstone in the Los Angeles music scene trough their influences on a variety of musicians , most notably various members of the Byrds and their folk rock successors.

The Dillard- Back Porch Bluegrass 1963/Live!!! Almost!!! 1964

These 2 records were made in LA after they headed west from Missouri to LA in 1962

The members were: Douglas Dillard-Banjo
Rodney Dillard-Guitar
Dean Webb-Mandolin
Mitch Jayne-bass

Dillards- Wheatstraw suite 1968

The group had been moving toward a more contemporary sound and this was their first opportunity to put it on a full length album.Before the band recorded Wheatstraw suite Doug Dillard left because he was unhappy with the group's direction.(He then toured live on electric banjo with the Byrds in 1968 and teamed up with ex Byrd Gene Clark to form Dillard & Clark).
Doug Dillard was replaced by Herb Pedersen,bringing along not only his " Nashville rhythm guitar(as it credited on the sleeve) but also his tenor vocals which fit in well with the group's harmonies.Pedersen ended up splitting the lead vocals with Rodney Dillard on the album.

Rodney Dillard-guitars,steel guitar
Herb Pedersen-guitars,banjo
Dean Webb-mandolins
Mitch Jayne-acc.bass
They were backed up by session players:
Buddy Emmons-pedal steel
Joe Osborne-electric bass
Jim Gordon-drums
Toxey french-drums

Wheatstraw suite was fated to be more of a cult album among listeners, and an influential recording among musicians, than it was a big seller.Nevertheless the Dillards had another change to continue moving into progressive directions on:

The Dillards- Copperfields 1970

Copperfields was a continuation of Wheatstraw suite's spirit but less of a groundbreaking landmark, it was still just as accomplished ,electic and enjoyable as its predecessor. Although the sound was pretty much in the same mold as that of Wheatstraw suite there were a few changes.
Paul York was now with the band on drums and the only session player was fiddler Byron Berline.
Copperfields was the last album that the Dillards made on Elektra and like Wheatstraw suite its commercial impact was modest, even if in hindsight the music actuallly sounds more accessible than some other country rock to come from Southern California in the 1960s and early 1970s.
The Dillards would experience their greatest commercial success with their first post Elektra album.

The Dillards- Roots and branches 1972

When they signed with Anthem Records in 1972 and released Roots and Branches Pedersen had departed to work as a vocal arranger ( on Trio for example) and was replaced by Billy Ray Latham. He was much more a bluegrass man( played in the Kentucky Colonels and founder member of Country Gazette).
Latham made the Dillards somewhat return to their rural roots,however Paul York was still there and the album sounds like an attempt to move further into the rock main stream,which worked because its the only Dillards album to reach the USA chart,almost reaching the Top 75.

The Dillards- Tribute to an American Duck 1973

Although is was not that dissimilar to its immediate predecessor it completely missed the chart.
Mitch Jayne was not much involved as a participant although he co-wrote six of the songs.Around 15 performers are listed including John Hartford.

Nothing much was then heard of the Dillards until the late 1970s when they made a few albums. In the 1990s the Dillards were still recording.

So here are the albums by the Dillards before the group retreated cult status.

And for the one's who just want to have a quick listen to the Dillards there is:

The Dillards- There is a time ( 1963-1970)

Extra: Doug Dillard- The Banjo Album

Jim Dickson tried to get A&M Records to finance and release a banjo instrumental album of Doug Dillard with some new ideas.
After A&M passes they independently recorded what was to be " The Banjo Album".

Musicians: Bernie Leadon-guitar
John Hartford-fiddle
Don Beck-dobro
Red Mitchell-bass
Milt Holland-percussion
Gene Clark-harmonica
tracks-1,6,9 Byron Berline-fiddle,guitar,mandolin
Roger Bush-bass
Billy Ray Latham-rhythm guitar
track 12 Vassar Clements-fiddle
track 15 Byron Berline-fiddle
David Jackson- bass
Rick Cunha-guitar

Douglas Dillard- Banjo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Update Stone Poneys

1967 Stone Poneys - Evergreen Vol.2 has been updated. It now is @VBR.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Linda Ronstadt - Canciones de mi padre

Linda Ronstadt's Canciones de mi padre (1987) consists of old Mexican classics, played by arguably the world's best mariachi group and sung by one of North America's greatest vocal talents. Everything clicks wonderfully here, but numbers that set a new standard include Tu Solo Tu an incredibly harmonic love ode; Por un Amor on the price of real love; and Los Laureles a song of declaration on which Ronstadt soars unbelievably high. Extras include performances by another world figure, requinto player Gilbert Puente, who made history when he led Mexico's Los Tres Reyes in the '50s/'60s.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Hannover Connection - Part 2

In the late 60's / beginning 70's there were three major forces coming out of a single town, Hannover-Germany, which in parts defined a genre known as krautrock these days. The bands came all three to great success throughout Europe. The bands itselfs named

The Scorpions - Eloy - Jane.

Here are some more releases from those bands and relatives:

Michael Schenker is a german guitarist first known from the Scorpions. With the Scorpions he released only 2 albums, 1973's Lonesome Crow and 1979's Lovedrive. In 1974 he left the Scorpions to join the british band UFO. After and between UFO he released a string of albums as Michael Schenker Group, McAuley Schenker Group or simply Michael Schenker as this one. Thank You is an acoustic album only played by guitar. No other musicians are involved here. Michael is the brother of Scorpions leader Rudolf Schenker.

The JP's (Jaypee's) were a band from Germany in the late 60's. They have released only this single in 1969 under this name. The JP's were Klaus Hess - guitar, Peter Panka - vocals, Wolfgang Krantz - bass, Klaus Zaake - drums. In the beginning 70's the members regrouped as Jane.

Guitarist Klaus Hess was a founding member of the JP's and Jane. In 1982 he left Jane to record his own material. Technodrome is his second solo release from 1992 and features electronic music.
This one were contributed by an anonymous user.

German drummer Fritz Randow was a longtime member with Eloy from 1971 to 1976, recording 5 albums with them. In 1976 he left Eloy and joined the german band Epitaph. With Epitaph he released this 1979 album Return to Reality. In the beginning 80's he rejoined Eloy (1981–1984), recording another 4 albums. In 1985 he left Eloy again to join heavy metal bands Victory, Sinner and Saxon. As of Summer 2007 Fritz is Peter Panka replacement in Jane.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Various: Bakersfield Rebels

File under: Bakersfield Country Rock according to the label on the cd.
This cd contains late 1960's gems featuring
Clarence White, Guilbeau & Parsons, Gosdin Brothers, Dennis Payne and many more.

Bakersfield Rebels
is volume 4 in a serie of 4 cd's documenting Gary S. Paxton's Bakersfield Productions, recorded between 1965 and 1970.
The other 3 volumes are devoted to Guilbeau & Parsons, Clarence White and the Gosdin Brothers.Not all of what is presented on this compilation could be considered country music.

Monday, November 24, 2008

... And he saw it was good.

Beginning in 1981 Chris Hillman, Al Perkins and Bernie Leadon had various projects to create some christian/gospel music.
In 1981 God Loves Country Music featuring well known artists from the countryrock style like Richie Furay and Gib Guilbeau.
In 1983 they teamed up again for Down Home Praise.
The lineup featured Steve Hill (Guitars, Vocals), Dan McCorison (Guitars, Vocals), Chris Hillman (Mandolin, Vocals), Jerry Scheff
(Acoustic Bass), Mel Durham (Acoustic Bass), David Mansfield (Fiddle), Bernie Leadon (Banjo), Al Perkins (Dobro), Tommy Funderburk (Vocals).
A Year later, in 1984 the third go, called Ever call ready was released. Ever call ready were:
Chris Hillman (Byrds, FBB and Manassas)-mandolin
Bernie Leadon ( Eagles,FBB)-banjo
Al Perkins (FBB, Manassas)-dobro
Jerry Sc
heff (Session bass player)-bass
David Mansfield (Alpha Band)-fiddle

Friday, October 31, 2008

Flying Burrito Brothers - Live From Tokyo

Have made a lot of references to this band, but I've never shared an album of them. So here is a late one, released in 1979.
After the dropping of the band by Columbia Rec, the Flying Burrito Brothers pressed on as a touring act. Gib Guilbeau, Joel Scott Hill, Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Mickey McGee reunited with Skip Battin and Gene Parsons (playing guitar due to a wrist injury) and began tour as the Flying Burrito Brothers again. By 1979, Greg Harris and Ed Ponder were hired to replace Joel Scott Hill and Mickey McGee respectively. During this time, Gene Parsons also left the group and was not replaced.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sloop John B - Beach Boys

This is a 15 minutes long Sloop John B. edit, sung by the Beach Boy's legendary lineup Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine and Mike Love. May the new Brian Wilson album That Lucky Old Sun become a worldwide success for him...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Al Jardine & The Beach Boy Family - Live in Las Vegas

This is a great live CD and more importantly, the best Beach Boy recording in decades. Even though the only original Beach Boy here is Al Jardine it is a record full of Beach Boy music done by Al's sons and the Wilson sisters. It is the most energetic sound of the Beach Boy music that I've ever heard and puts the sad 60 year old version of Beach Boy music put out by Mike Love to shame. When the Jardine sons and Wilsons sing they are actually excited to be singing these tunes and are not going through the motions. This makes Al Jardine's record outstanding because behind it is an energy about Beach Boy music.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Hannover Connection

In the late 60's / beginning 70's there were three major forces coming out of a single town, Hannover-Germany, which in parts defined a genre known as krautrock these days. The bands came all three to great success throughout Europe. The bands itselfs named

The Scorpions - Eloy - Jane.

Here are four solo recordings from four of their members.

1981 Hermann Rarebell - Nip In The Bud
Herman Rarebell is a German drummer, best known for his time in the Scorpions 1977-1995, playing on 8 studio albums. He was an important composer writing or co-writing songs like Another Piece of Meat, Falling in Love and Passion Rules The Game. In 1981 he released his first solo album Nip In The Bud. He remains the only member of the Scorpions to have released a solo project while still a full member of the band.

1983 Klaus Peter Matziol - Matze
Klaus Peter Matziol is a German bassist, known from the band Eloy. As a longtime member of Eloy he recorded 10 albums 1976-1984, 1994.
In 1983 he recorded his solo album Matze with german lyrics.

1983 Klaus Hess - Sternentanz
Klaus Hess is a German guitarist, known from the band Jane. With Jane he recorded 11 albums from 1972 - 1982. Much of the bands output in these Years are compositions from Klaus Hess. In 1994 Jane disbanded, but 2 different Jane's are still touring with a changed lineup(Peter Panka's Jane, Mother Jane).

1987 Manfred Wieczorke - Transfer
Manfred Wieczorke is a German keyboardist, who played with two of the Hannover bands. First together with Eloy 1971 - 1975 releasing four albums. Then together with Jane 1976 - 1979 releasing again four albums.
Amazingly, the albums with his involvement are the best of the two bands.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Richie Furay - Part 5

1964 Au Go-Go Singers - They Call us Au Go-Go Singers

The Au Go-Go Singers included Kathy King (who later toured with Bobby Vinton and appeared in the Broadway show, Oh!Calcutta! and currently works as Kathrin King Segal), Jean Gurney, Michael Scott (who afterward performed with the Highwaymen and the Serendipity Singers), Rick Geiger (who later was accepted into a light opera company), Roy Michaels (who later performed with Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, and toured with Jimi Hendrix), Nels Gustafson, Bob Harmelink, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. Gustafson and Harmelink had been in an earlier trio with Richie Furay, but quit show business after the demise of the Au Go-Go Singers. It was also at the Cafe au Go Go that a new folk group, The Company, was formed from some remnants of the Au Go-Go Singers: Geiger, Michaels, Scott, Gurney and Stills. While on tour, Stills first met Neil Young, who was performing with the Squires, an opening act for The Company. Stills, Young, Furay, and two others formed the Buffalo Springfield.

1990 Poco - The Forgotten Trail

In their own words:
The Forgotten Trail is that we discovered, just as you about to, as the listener. This trail of recorded performances was discovered by historical Poco scouts and devoted musical trackers searching through the musical treasures of the vast Epic Records vaults. We thank those professionals, who are devoted to the music of Poco, for reminding us that the original heart from which this music came has passed the test of time. A new generation stands side by side the old, and enjoys the songs and performances that still continue to inspire us today. Kick back, and enjoy some of the musical memories that we ourselfs had forgotten.

1989 Poco - Legacy

After years on the circuit, playing a country tinged West Coast type sound, Poco attempt to poke their nose into the melodic rock camp, and guess what? They do real well. This album Legacy has a few things in it's favor, namely the production camp of David Cole and Richard Marx and some of the friends who helped out, like Lee Sklar, Gary Mallaber, Jeff Porcaro, C.J Vanston, Joe Chemay and Richard Marx himself.
The lineup on this album harks bark to Poco's formative years, the late sixties no less(Furay/Messina/Young/Meisner/Grantham). So the gentlemen, have reformed and given us a reminder that no matter how old you are, if you've got it, you'll always have it. And so be it, some twenty years on, the Poco brigade is playing a melodic rock road. You could actually say that the material here is a pre-cursor to the stuff we're seeing in the new country arena now. So, lets have a listen..

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gib Guilbeau - On the way to Burrito Town, or was it Sin City?

1967 Gib Gilbeau & Gene Parsons - Louisiana Rain
Gib Guilbeau and Gene Parsons released a couple of singles in 1967-1968, and also recorded an album of material at the time that almost got released in 1968. It didn't appear in the late '60s, though, and eventually a slightly altered version of the original album came out, credited to Gib Guilbeau and titled Cajun Country, in the early '70s. This 25-track disc, has the album, the singles, a half-dozen previously unreleased Guilbeau & Parsons demos and outtakes and a 1969 Gib Guilbeau solo single. It's for a specialized collector market, for sure. But anyone seriously interested in the genesis of country/rock should hear this, both for its historic importance and for the quality of the music. Gib Guilbeau and Gene Parsons, as well as other musicians heard here like Clarence White and Wayne Moore (who played with Gillbeau and Parsons in Nashville West), were forging some country-rock directions on these recordings that anticipated the late-'60s work of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Later Gene Parsons and Clarence White were members of the Byrds, Gib Guilbeau was a member of the later Flying Burrito Brothers.

1968 The Reasons (aka Nashville West) - Nashville West
Gene Parsons
and Gib Guilbeau were hired for a recording session with the Gosdin Brothers' singing duo of Vern and Rex Gosdin. The session, being produced by Byrd Chris Hillman, included guitarist Clarence White, who had formerly played with the Kentucky Colonels. Parsons, Guilbeau and White then went on to play on sessions together. They became a band, joining with fellow session player, bassist-vocalist Wayne Moore, who played in the Castaways with Parsons and Guilbeau. The group was known by various names, including The Reasons, Gib Guilbeau and The Reasons, the Gary Paxton Band or Cajun Gib and Gene. Gene Parsons and Clarence White quit to be Byrds. The Nashville West moniker was taken from the name of the El Monte, California club where they sat as the house band. The album was reissued on CD by Sierra in 1997, and added four more tracks not included on the LP edition.

1970 Swampwater - Swampwater
Swampwater formed and started out as Linda Ronstadt’s backing group in 1969. In that time they featured Linda's first three solo albums. Eric White, Clarence’s brother was also in the band and prior to forming Swampwater had been in the excellent Kentucky Colonels. Swampwater made two distinct albums in the early 70’s. This album was different than many notable country rock acts of the time for adding cajun and swamprock elements. The album opens and closes with two certified country-rock classics, Louisiana Woman and Big Bayou. Guilbeau had recorded the classy Louisiana Woman with both Nashville West and on his 1970 album with Parsons, though the version heard on Swampwater is the best. Big Bayou is a hard rocking, white hot country song with pretty fiddle that has been covered by many popular artists including Rod Stewart. Other songs like the acoustic flavored Man From New Orleans are highlighted by beautiful harmonies and a tear in your beer ambience. Swampwater’s musicianship is high caliber and Guilbeau’s lyrics are always first-rate and thoughtful. Great songs like Kathleen, Desperation’s Back Again (an Everly Brothers homage) and River People are beautifully arranged and display superior craftsmanship. It’s really a wall of greatness, with each song just as good as the next. Swampwater mastered all the rural styles from cajun to folk-rock but just never received the breaks they so justly deserved. Their members were slugging it out in bars playing this sort of music years before anyone else had thought to do so. This album is a masterpiece and recommended to any true country fan.

1971 Swampwater - Swampwater
First, the album title is no error. These guys have two different albums with the same title!?
Their second album and another really good country-rock outing. This self-titled effort was released off RCA in 1971 and came packaged in a strange jacket. Swampwater’s lineup had remained the same since their debut.In comparison to that debut, there were a few more rock n roll tracks like the album opener Ooh-Wee California, the raw Dakota, and Ol’Papa Joe. These songs were good though, with well constructed guitar solos and strong bluegrass and cajun flavors. There were a few covers too but all were standouts like the excellent heartfelt version of One Note Man, a track with nice jangly Byrdish guitar solos and pretty fiddle, which gave the song real atmosphere. Guilbeau also resurrected Gentle Ways of Lovin’ Me, a track he had recorded on numerous occasions with many different bands. Swampwater turned in one of the best versions of this song which is highlighted by barrelhouse banjo and a delicate, sincere arrangement. Another great track, Headed For The Country, compared favorably with the country-rock era Byrds, and had beautiful, sad folk-like harmonies and fine guitar playing. All in all the album was strong, lacking any weak moments and showcased a great band that should have been at least as well known as Poco or Firefall.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bee Gees - Horizontal (Remaster)

Horizontal is the Bee Gees second real album. It was released in early 1968, and included the international hit singles Massachusetts and World. Other standout tracks include And the Sun Will Shine, a love song by Robin Gibb complete with psychedelic references to trains walking by and pastoral orchestral backing conducted by Bill Shepherd. Two other Robin-led tracks are worth noting. Harry Braff is a rocking story about a racing driver that is reminiscent Beatles or Kinks and the poignant Really and Sincerely. Psychedelia also abounds in the quirky Lemons Never Forget which without the familiar string backing and featuring guitar work from Vince Melourney as well as the piano and bass interplay of Maurice Gibb, shows a side of the early Bee Gees rarely seen by singles buyers.

This is the 2006 remaster with both stereo and mono mixes on one disc and a bonus disc of unreleased songs, non-album tracks, and alternate takes.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gene Clark - The Byrd that flew too high, too early

May 24th 1991 was a sad date for everyone who has a weak spot for The Byrds. One of the most beautiful voices in the history of rock and folk music sang his swan song that day and this bird flew up to somewhere, maybe high in the sky. Gene was one of the founders of The Byrds and their most prolific songwriter in the early days. Gene's well-known fear of flying – how unsuitable for a Byrd – and some problems with Roger McGuinn made him the first Byrd to leave the nest. Eight Miles High was his last contribution to the band. Since his departure Gene didn't make a huge amount of albums, but the ones he did were all monuments of sheer beauty, be it as a solo artist, or with Dillard & Clark, or Carla Olson.

This year his enormous talent got a well deserved recognition when Robert Plant and Allison Kraus recorded an album containing two great songs of the Dillard & Clark period: "Polly" and the titlesong "Through The Morning Through The Night", two heartbreaking duets by Gene and Donna Washburn found two worthy successors. Both songs are included on "Flying High", a career spanning 2 cd compilation and a must for everyone who loves The Byrds and all their spin-offs. Here's what AMG writes about it:

When someone mentions the Byrds in conversation, the names of McGuinn, Crosby, and maybe Hillman pop up, but hardly anyone mentions Gene Clark, the Byrds' first original songwriter and lead singer until a fear of flying caused him to leave the band and strike out on his own. With Flying High, all of that should be put to rest, because the spotlight is finally on Clark and his many contributions to both rock and country. Starting with Byrdscuts like "Feel a Whole Lot Better" and "She Don't Care About Time," this two-disc set moves through Clark's early solo career into his fine collaboration with Doug Dillard and onto more mature solo work while attempting to reunite the Byrds on "One in a Million" and "She's the Kind of Girl," which never quite got off the ground. Added here are some otherwise unreleased cuts, such as "Winter In," "That's Alright by Me," and Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant," which show that Clark had more talent than was released to the public in his lifetime. And while disc two does have waning interest and fewer cuts, it does show that Clark never gave up on trying to restart his career, even if the chips appeared to be down; of special note is his sensitive cover of Phil Ochs' "Changes." Compiled and re-produced for disc by Sid Griffin, Flying High is a fine spotlight on an underappreciated artist. With liner notes by Griffin and Chris Hillman, this has just about everything one needs to know about Gene Clark.

Gene Clark - Flying High 2CD MP3 @320
Full artwork included
Links in comments

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Golden Earring - The Fully Naked Truth

Our first Dutch recording is a really great one. As I'm a big Earrring fan for years now I simply had to post it.

Golden Earring is a Dutch band, founded in 1961 in Den Hague as the Golden Earrings. The s was dropped in 1969. They had international chart success with many songs. In their home country, they had over 40 hits and made over 30 gold and platinum albums. Current members of Golden Earring are Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone), George Kooymans (vocals and guitar), Rinus Gerritsen (bass and keyboard), and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion). Golden Earring have sold millions of albums worldwide, and are the oldest rock band in the world that is still performing. In March 2009 Golden Earring celebrates its comeback in the UK with concerts in London and Ipswitch. This triple CD is an outstanding unplugged live recording originally released in 1992 (disk 1), extended as The Complete Naked Truth in 1998 (disk 2) and again extended in 2000 as The Fully Naked Truth (disk 3).
I'm willing to post another Golden Earring album. Please comment which one I should post.