Monday, November 27, 2006

Forgotten 45's: The Solid State

Here's a record by a group called The Solid State I've had since I was a kid. I got it in a box of 45's that belonged to my grandma, but I have no info about it or the band, nor can I find any. A really great psych/hard band sound on the A side "Suppose They Gave A War (And Nobody Came!)", an anti-war statement very relevent even today. The B side "Life's Confusion" is softer and features a different, more nasaly vocalist, and is more introspective. Both tunes utilize the then fairly new Wah-Wah pedal to full effect, in almost similar riffs. The label places this as being recorded in Flint, MI, close to my area, the year unknown I would guestimate as being somewhere between '68-'71, just judging by the sound and subject matter alone. A really great record and worth a listen for sure. When I first discovered it I played it to no end!

Jesse Smith: Vocals side A, Doil Smith: Vocals side B
Recorded by Bill Lamb Productions Flint, MI



Forgotten 45's : The Lake Valley Four

Here's an intriguing little artifact I picked up some time ago at an antique shop. I got two 45's and a promo photo of this band the Lake Valley Four. The back of the photo has this inscription: "Free picture with record. The Lake Valley Four back in the 70's years." Most likely very early 70's or even late 60's I'm thinking. Not sure where Lake Valley is, might be in Michigan, where I'm from, or might not be a town at all. But anywhoo this is an interesting listen. The female singer has a strange voice not unlike that of Peewee Herman or maybe Dylan in his country phase. The band isn't that great and the records are a little scratchy but I just think it's a pretty cool little find! My personal fave is their take on 'Everybody's Talkin".

Update: Since posting this on my old blog, Mark from Canton, Mi has given me some some usefull info on this group! Thanks Mark!

mark said...
I've seen this group many times! The Lake Valley 4 used to perform at a campground "Fitchburg Wilderness Park" near Stockbridge, Michigan every Sturday night. It must've been 1972-1974. The members, if my memory suits me, where" Jim Libey on guitar, Cindy Gadbury on vocals, Sue Libey on drums and Harold ____? on accordian. They performed country and soft pop for the campground crowd. I actually purchased their 45 with an original "Lonely Star". I think I forked over 50 cents for it. Boy! Did your post bring back an old memory!!! -Mark, Canton, MI

Disc One LV105: A) Gentle on my mind B) Everybody's talkin'
Disc Two LV106: A) Shoeshine man B) How do you mend a broken heart


Michael Hurley and Pals "Armchair Boogie"

In a way this is Michael Hurly's debut album. He had recorded an album for Folkways in 1965, but didn't return again for a few years, laying low and writing songs for the Youngbloods and others. In 1971 he signed with the Youngbloods' Racccoon label and recorded this great album with their lead Jesse Colin Young producing and playing on a couple tracks. An all around charming, warm album. Humorous and strange at times but very easy. Sound like it was recorded in a small room (I think it was), adding to it's hominess. The record includes a large comic book following the antics of two hick wolves, Jocko and Boone and is hilarious. Ripped from vinyl, Check it out!

1. The Werewolf
2. Grand Canyon Line
3. English Noblemen
4. Be Kind To Me
5. Troubled Waters
6. Red Ravagers Reel
7. Sweedeedee
8. Open Up
9. Jocko's Lament
10. Light Green Fellow
11. Get The Best Of Me
12. Biscuit Roller
13. When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano
14. Penguins


Friday, November 17, 2006

Dion "Dion"

This is Dion's great lost album from 1968. Dion is famous mostly for his work with the Bellmonts for great songs such as "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue" with their aggressive teenage snarl. But drug problems caused him to go on hiatus for a few years. When he came back with this album his sound had matured to another level, and his voice had softened into that great balladeer not leaving behind some of his stylistic scat singing though. I really dig this album a lot, its very easy going and soothing at times. His take on some of these covers is truly original, the best example being Hendrix's "Purple Haze". Also includes his comeback hit "Abraham, Martin, and John" and his own stirring war ballad "He Looks A Lot Like Me". Not sure if this is out on cd or not but here is a clean sounding rip from my vinyl copy.

Abraham, Martin And John
Purple Haze
Tomorrow Is A Long Time/Everybody's Talkin'
Sonny Boy
The Dolphins
He Looks A Lot Like Me
Sun Fun Song
From Both Sides Now
Sisters Of Mercy
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever


Marr'Del "The Mystery of Love"

"My music and poetry is an attempt to move you into the depths of your heart... beyond the thinking mind... deep into the flow of Love that is the Godstuff of which you are made... and when that happens, you will never be the same."-- Marr'Del, from the liner notes

This is it -- the notoriously unknown 1979 Ohio folk-psych classic The Mystery of Love by Marr'Del. Each side features three tracks that are slow, quiet, dreamy and sparse; 'Psalm to the Sun' and 'Lavender Thunder' with guitar, the other four dialogues or monologues with autoharp accompaniment. Atmospheric nature recordings pepper the album, but every other sound comes from Marr'Del herself. (As she wrote to me, "I had no musical training, was completely self-taught on the guitars and harp, and I just let it happen. I guess that's good we don't know the complexities of some of the things we accomplish, or we would never undertake the project/situation.") This is an incredibly brave and moving record that will enchant some and embarrass others in its spiritual intensity.

The Mystery of Love MSP-3001, 1979
1. Maria (12:18)
2. Butterfly Friend (4:54)
3. Psalm To The Sun (6:46)
4. Celestial Cathedral (7:43)
5. Lavender Thunder (4:29)
6. I Want To Be A Wave (4:18)

Thanks to for this great find.

Link here to download the tracks individually and read more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Glitterhouse "Color Blind"

Great psychedelic pop from 1968, with lush production from Bob Crewe. A great album that has yet to be remastered in CD form (although it is available on a compilation that includes most of the bands work, it is only recorded from a vinyl copy). If you've ever seen "Barbarella" you'd remember this group for doing the title theme ("Barbarella, psychedella.........")

The original liner notes from the Glitterhouse's "Color Blind" album, written by then popular NYC FM radio jock, Rosko:

I was a vacuum - I smelled a rose - that vacuum was filled. I was a vacuum - I saw a child - that vacuum was filled I was a vacuum - I touched my love - that vacuum was filled. I was a vacuum - I heard music - "The Glitterhouse" - expressing extensions of everything we feel; extensions of what we are - the reward of what we could be; dimensions of the folly and heroics of society; of fickle lady justice and the long nights she capriciously gives injustice a lay;.....extensions of words set to music effecting a union so complete that it becomes music set to words. I heard music - "The Glitterhouse" - and my vacuum was filled...listen and fill your vacuum. - ROSKO- WNEW-FM New York 1968


Monday, November 13, 2006

Larry Coryell "Coryell"

A repost from my old blog that seemed to be pretty poular.
This is Larry Coryell's second solo album, and it's a real mind blower. Coryell is often categorized as a jazz guitarist, but this one is a jazz - rock - funk fusion. The first track "Sex" is a mind numbing psychedelic groove complete with crazy leslied vocals. An all around good album to get down to, with some soft moments as well.

CORYELL - 1969 (VSD-6547)

Larry Coryell, guitar, vocals, piano (Beautiful Woman)
Bernard Perdie, drums
Albert Stinson, bass (The Jam With Albert, No One Really Knows Part 2)
Ron Carter, bass (Beautiful Woman, Ah Wuv Ohh)
Chuck Rainey, bass (Sex, Elementary Guitar Solo #5, No One Really Knows Part 1, Morning Sickness)
Mike Mandel, organ, piano (Elementary Guitar Solo #5)
Jim Pepper, flute

02Beautiful Woman
03The Jam With Albert
04Elementary Guitar Solo #5
05No One Really Knows
06Morning Sickness
07Ah Wuv Ohh

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Big Boy Pete "World War IV: A Symphonic Poem"

A psychedelic oddity from the warped mind of Big Boy Pete (aka Pete Miller), an entirely unreleased masterwork from his prodigious and endlessly creative 1966-1969 period. World War IV is labeled a "Symphonic Poem," and whatever that exactly connotes in pop terms is anyone's guess. It is certainly not a conventional song-based effort but a true epic, one that is segmented into extended classical-like sections with titles such as "Overture" and "Movement." One certainty is that the album is wide-lensed, a sweeping and ambitiously panoramic experimental piece of avant-garde psychedelia that shares numerous qualities with the equally idiosyncratic but still commercially minded psyche that Big Boy Pete had previously created, while transferring those qualities to a much larger, mural-sized canvas. As can be expected, the storyline (if it can be called that) is willfully obscure and far-out even by psychedelia's standards, loosely imagining a fourth world war peopled not by military personnel but rather a host of eccentric characters. While World War IV is not exactly designed to be accessible in the manner of a collection of Big Boy Pete's pop songs, it sustains both a painterly and literary quality that is every bit as enveloping. In fact, John Lennon loved the album and Apple Records nearly released it in 1969. Miller's uncanny penchant for wordplay is vaguely Beatlesque, although a more appropriate comparison might be that World War IV is a British counterpart of sorts to Love's Forever Changes, betraying the same kind of warped worldview shared by Arthur Lee. Demented observations and mad, darkly humorous puns often undercut the whimsicality of the piece. Miller imagines a world in which the crucifixion of Christ, Nazi Germany, Hansel & Gretel, Oz, Alice's wonderland, Barnum & Bailey's circus, mediƦvalism, and Wordsworth seem to coexist and intermingle in a freakish alternate universe in the countryside of England. Biblical imagery abounds, as do fairytale characters, gypsies, and armies of children straight from the "outsider" art of Henry Darger. Without immediately dating itself, the album contains embedded commentaries on war, spirituality, political power, and a great number of other subjects that were especially endemic to the era. There must be fragments of 20 or 30 individual songs spliced into the mix -- ranging in style from mindbending psychedelia to Baltic folk melodies -- including perhaps the most beautifully sustained example of backwards phasing (during the dirgelike fifth section, "Quietus") in the entire psychedelic canon. The cycle culminates in the stunningly ambitious "Finale." Prophetic, unpredictable, labyrinthine, and frequently disturbing, World War IV is just about as imaginative as pop music gets. It is ultimately impossible to follow the path that Big Boy Pete is trying to burn through the forest, but it is thrilling even when the listener gets lost along the way. The album, as one lyric during "Movement 2" has it, is "deformed so beautifully." Not the first stop for neophytes looking to understand the Big Boy Pete legacy by any means, World War IV may nevertheless be his definitive artistic statement, and the premier slice of "outsider" pop from the period. ~ Stanton Swihart, All Music Guide



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