Tuesday, July 3, 2012

American Blues - Is Here (1968 us, psych blues rock with pre ZZ Top members, Akarma edition)



American Blues is perhaps better known for its members than the music itself.... American Blues were a 1960s Texas-based garage band who played a psychedelic style of blues rock music influenced by the 13th Floor Elevators.

They are most famous for including two future members of the band ZZ Top in their ranks, ZZ Top and Frank Beard. From 1966 to 1968, they played the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston circuit and headlined in three clubs all called "The Cellar", in Dallas at clubs such as "The Walrus" on Mockingbird Lane, and in Houston at "Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine" on Allen's Landing, as late as 1968. Around 1968 the band (the two Hill brothers and Beard) decided to leave the Dallas--Fort Worth area, relocating to Houston. At this time, however, guitarist Rocky Hill wanted to focus on "straight blues", while his brother Dusty wanted the band to rock more. Rocky left the band, and was soon replaced by Billy Gibbons, of Houston psychedelic-rockers Moving Sidewalks, becoming the band ZZ Top.

As teenagers living in Dallas, Texas, brothers Dusty (guitar) and Rocky (bass) Hill played in a series of local bands, including The Starliners and The Deadbeaters. Their efforts attracted little notice until they formed The Warlocks, who managed to release a pair of unsuccessful local singles. By 1968 the lineup had expanded to include former Cellar Dweller drummer Frank Beard and keyboard player Dough Davis. Simultaneously, the band decided The Warlocks had run their course. Opting for a new name (The American Blues) and a new sound, the group was signed by the local Karma label.

Recorded at Robin Hood Brian's Studio, the quartet's 1968 debut "The American Blues Is Here" teamed them with producer Scotty McKay. Rather raw and ill-focused, the album found the band fumbling around for a style. Taking stabs at a variety of genres, including blues (check-out the weird reworking of Tim Harden's "If I Were a Carpenter"), psych and hard rock, the results weren't particularly ground breaking. Needless to say, sales proved non-existent, though the album attracted the attention of major label MCA.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. If I Were A Carpenter - 5:26
2. All I Saw Was You - 3:46
3. She'll Be Mine - 1:51
4. Fugue For Lady Cheriff- 2:14
5. It's Gone- 2:00
6. Keep My Heart In A Rage - 2:40
7. Mercury Blues - 4:15
8. Melted Like Snow - 3:15
9. Mellow - 2:08

The American Blues
*Dusty Hill - Bass
*Frank Beard - Drums
*Rocky Hill - Guitar, Vocals
*Doug Davis - Keyboards

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Eric Burdon And The Animals - Winds of Change (1967 uk, great psych rock, 2003 extra tracks issue and 2013 japan SHM double disc remaster)




Everything changes , nothings changed'....Eric Burdon former lead singer of 'The Animals '. A five piece r'n'b band from Newcastle . The group hit the big time with a cover of 'House of The Rising Sun', produced by Mickie Most. Other big hit's followed such as 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' and my personal fave 'We Got to Get out of this Place'. The Animals toured the US in 1964 as part of the British R'nB/Pop invasion .

A year later the group had split in two , boozers on one side , facing opposite Burdon and guitarist Hilton Valentine , Valentine first dropped acid with Brian Jones in New York. Soon after he introduced Burdon to LSD. The tension's in the group led to a split .. 1966. Burdon relocates to California .Putting together the 'new' Animals......'Winds of Change is the debut album. The title track is anchored by a fluid bass line with a repetitive violin and sitar on top . The song pays homage to musical icons past and present Robert Johnson to Jimi Hendrix circa 1967 .

I'm guessing Hendrix had blown 'em away at Monterey by then. Track two 'Poem By The Sea', the album's pivotal track , Burdon recites poetry over music drenched in echo and reverb. Very trippy . 'Paint it Black' is a great cover Burdon's r'nb roots are all over this one. 'The Black Plague' epic poem based on the Black Death , the story revolves round castle dwellers too scared to venture outside the walls, end up starving to death. ...'Yes I'm Experienced' is an affirmative reply to Hendrix. 'San Franciscan Nights' and 'Good Times' are two slices of timeless sixties pop psych.. 'Winds of Change' is a pretty good album .....All songs written by Eric Burdon, Vic Briggs, John Weider, Barry Jenkins, and Danny McCulloch. Produced by: Tom Wilson.
Reached #42 in US charts (released in UK in Oct'67 - did not chart).

While the two MGM LP commercial releases in the USA (SE-4484 and E-4484) and MGM's Special Disk Jockey USA version (also carrying the catalogue number E-4484) featured gatefold covers with inner notes by Eric Burdon, Kojak's copy of this LP is numbered SE-4484 and has "manufactured and distributed in Australia under licenece" printed on the back of the album sleave.

The New Animals: The new world different from the old with new jewels to be consumed, new frontiers to be won, and much more love to be given. The recognition of pain and ecstasy to know that they are both there in the pit of my stomach, and can be turned on or off as easily as a stereo colour TV set. I love you all, and want you to gain something from these new sounds as I gain from listening to my saints in past years. If you feel alone and confused and unhappy discontented, just know that I (and there are many like me) love you, and maybe you will know why I am happy contented and unconfused. The games I play are mostly games of children (not all) happy games, games of love, games of mystery, games of wonder, please excuse my games of fear and jealousy, I'm only human after all and still a student of life. Maybe the next production will be all games of love, but by then I could be in another world ... (from the front cover of the album).
by Adamus67
Tracks
01. Winds of Change 3:59
02. Poem by the Sea 2:15
03. Paint It Black 5:56
04. The Black Plague 5:55
05. Yes I Am Experienced 3:36
06. San Franciscan Nights 3:16
07. Man-Woman 6:02
08. Hotel Hell 4:12
09. Good Times 2:57
10. Anything 3:19
11. It's All Meat 2:00
Bonus Tracks
12. Good Times (Mono Single Version) 2:57
13. Ain't That So (Single B-Side, UK) 3:24
14. San Francisco Nights (Mono Single Version) 3:16
15. Gratefully Dead (Single B-Side, UK) 3:59
Tha Animals
*Danny McCulloch - Bass
*Barry Jenkins - Drums
*Vic Briggs - Guitar, Piano, Vibes
*John Weider - Guitar, Violin
*Eric Burdon - Vocals

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