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!