Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Relatively Clean Rivers - S/T (1975)


Former Beat Of The Earth leader Phil Pearlman assembled this band in the early 70's. This is their sole and very rare album from 1975, and it's a long lost classic of US psychedelia. An overall rural West Coast vibe permeates an album that's filled with melodic rural songs, eastern jams, delicate drifting electric and acoustic instrumentals and backwards and electronic effects. Somewhere close to American Beauty era Grateful Dead, but with an added dose of New Tweedy Brothers styled fuzz and garage psych electronic experimentation, this is a release that deserves a listen by any serious US '60's psychedelic rock fan.


Shanti - Shanti (1971)


From San Francisco, this Californian-meets-India group played a very relaxed mystic blend of music, alternating instrumental cuts with vocal songs. Adding instruments such as sarod, dholak and tablas to their regular guitar/bass/drums line-up Shanti created an exotic, rootsy aura, never mind the spiritual lyrics. Zakir Hussain also played with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead on his Rolling Thunder album.


Erkin Koray - Elektronik Türküler (1974)


This is the second full length album by Turkish rock star Erkin Koray, originally released by Doğan Plakcılık in 1974.

Finally given the freedom to record an album instead of being limited to 45 rpm singles, Koray and his band created an album that reflected both his Turkish roots and his love of psychedelic and progressive rock. Elektronik Türküler is widely considered to be Koray's masterpiece by many critics, and many of his subsequent releases followed in this vein, with progressive and psychedelic influences balanced by Turkish folk forms.

Elektronik Turkuler

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blues Creation - Live 1971


Straight from the Japan Folk Jamboree Circa 1971 comes the mighty Blues Creation with their brand of electrifying bastardized heavy rock riffage. Your unworthy earholes will have an auditory orgasm as Lord of Hot Licks Kazuo "Flash" Takeda and his band of not-so-merry-men stomp all over those foolish notions you had about what comprised groovy Hard Rock.

They torch Muddy’s “Rolling Stone” and gobble, chew and spit out Loudermilk-by-way-of-Blues Magoos standard, “Tobacco Road”. The highlight though, is the fuck-the-overdubs, screw-the-subtlety version of “Demon & Eleven Children”. The boys positively rape their instruments on this one. Don’t get much better than this, kids.

1. Rolling Stone
2. Nightmare
3. Drinkin' Blues
4. Demon & Eleven Children
5. Understand (w/Carmen Maki)
6. Tobacco Road

Live 1971

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fear Itself - Fear Itself (1969)


A late sixties San Francisco outfit, whose album is full of fuzz-blues material sounding rather like a psychedelic Groundhogs. Its more psychedelic tracks included Underground River and For Suki. Only two covers are present, a bluesy version of The Letter and Born Under A Bad Sign, both were chosen for their 45. The album is now a very minor collectors' item and was produced by Tom Wilson.

The album was originally released in 1969 on Dot-Records but didn´t receive too much attention - maybe it appeared as a too freaked out heavy version of Jefferson Airplane or Big Brother & the Holding Co. The group started back in Atlanta Georgia in 1967 as a quartet with 2 guitars and played true psychedelic sounds, recorded at the Record Plant in NYC, and moved to Woodstock (NY).

Their 5 original tunes, 2 arrangements of traditional tunes and 3 others are electric heavy blues with a strong Hendrix feel with duelling guitarwork, an outstanding female voice/vocals/screams...lots of intense stereo effects. They performed at Woodstock Festival in 1968 (one year before...) and at the hottest locations of NYC such as Filmore East.

Ellen McIlwaine, the founder of the group made an international solo career as blues-singer and slide guitarist sharing the bill with Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro, Howlin' Wolf, Weather Report, Taj Mahal, George Thorogood, Tom Waits, Chicago, Bruce Springsteen and played a series of concerts with Johnny Winter. This release, is issued with stunning sound quality and includes a great booklet with pictures and biographical background. - For all 60´s collectors who are not familiar with this masterpiece - it´s a must - there a not many groups that were able to present the freewheelin´ live on stage feeling on their studio album!

Fear Itself

Stackwaddy - S/T & Bugger Off (1971/1972)

Stackwaddy were an English band discovered by Radio One DJ John Peel, who signed them to his own Dandelion label. They delivered gut-level covers with howling vocals reminiscent of Beefheart at his best. All tracks were put down live in the studio, mostly first-takes with no overdubs. The self-titled debut and 'Bugger Off' were released in 1971 and 1972 respectively, and soon became collectors items. Both are included on this CD, but unfortunately their version of 'The Girl From Ipanema' from the second LP has been cut due to lack of space. Otherwise a good package for fans of primal blues rock.


1. Roadrunner
2. Bring It To Jerome
3. Mothballs
4. Sure Nuff 'N' Yes I Do
5. Love Story
6. Suzie Q
7. Country Line Special
8. Rollin' Stone
9. Mystic Eyes
10. Kentucky


11. Rosalyn
12. Willie The Pimp
13. Hoochie Coochie Man
14. It's All Over Now
15. Several Yards
16. You Really Got Me
17. I'm A Lover Not A Fighter
18. Meat Pies 'ave Come But Band's Not Here Yet
19. It Ain't Easy
20. Long Tall Shorty
21. Repossession Boogie

S/T & Bugger Off

Susan Christie - Paint A Lady (1970)


Another groovy release from the Finders Keepers camp, this was never before properly released - apparently the label thought Christie was a liability, too experimental for their mainstream sensibilities, and only three privately pressed vinyls ended up leaking out into the world. One of those ended up being the 'mother' from which this release was procured, and listening to it today it's easy to see why the label became so worried when they heard it. The cover has a nice quote from Stones Throw man Egon who says it sounds like a dusty old folk LP as produced by Madlib, and he's not wrong - there's something deep and totally smoked out about the record which sets it apart from other folk records at the time. Delving into the murky world of psychedelia we find Christie in a drugs haze on the nine-minute 'Yesterday, Where's my Mind?' or lazy hotwired funk on 'Ghost Riders of the Sky' - it's quite simply breathtaking the foresight of the woman as she crafted a record which seems so intrinsically connected with the sounds the hip hop/crate digging world fetishises so much now. Really it shocks me that with all the current psych/folk music coming out we very rarely have anything that reaches such dizzy heights as this, we very rarely have albums that just seem to, well, get it right - here Susan Christie does exactly that, and all we have to do is lie back and take it in slowly. Beautiful!

Paint A Lady

Swampgas - Swampgas (1972)


Loose, rural psych/hard rock from 1972 with fluid guitar and masterful organ, produced by Artie Kornfield at A&R in New York. 8 powerful tracks with interplay that is similar to bands like (early) Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trapeze etc. Great songs like "Frolic Child" build from a gentle ballad into a beautiful guitar workout whilst "Trapped in the City" is a 6 minute bluesy workout with excellent phased Hammond work. Nice album.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Link Wray - Link Wray (1971)


Link Wray is the self-titled 1971 album by pioneer Rock & Roll guitarist, and Shawnee Indian Link Wray. The album was recorded in an old chicken shack on Wray's Maryland farm, and is a passionate blend of Blues, Country, and Folk rock elements. The music is characterized by the purposeful use of simplified sounds to reflect the then-current vogue of blues and other "root" music being used in many rock bands. The recording included the use of a shaken can of pebbles as part of the percussion on several tracks. Still, Wray's guitar-work, composing and vocals reflected modern rock influences.

Make no mistake, this is not Wray in instrumental surf-guitar mode, but the man handling all the vocals, belting out greasy, back-porch, rock & roll gospel-blues. Straight up groovy.

Link Wray
pass: rideyourpony

Also check out the Link Wray Tees my homegirl Jess designed @ Rotter and Friends.