Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Best of Moog - Electronic Pop Hits

This compilation of electronic music starts out as a fun and highly enjoyable listening experience, and begins to drag a bit. A mix of classic and cheesy, it a fun quirky ride through synth land. It has some hard to find cuts -- "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Gil Trythall, and both of Electrik Cokernut's covers of pop songs ("Jeepster" & "Back Off Boogaloo") are here. “E.V.A." by Jean Jacques Perrey, which sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday, and "Bond St." by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade which, although it barely features any synthesizers, is a highly entertaining version of the Burt Bacharach tune. The remix by Fatboy Slim is pretty much filler. Despite its flaws, I would still recommend this to anyone interested in the origins of modern electronic music, anyone who wants the song "Popcorn", or anyone who loves Disneyland ("Baroque Hoedown" is the theme song with an electronically enhanced voice...."Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade!").

1. Popcorn - Hot Butter 2. Savers - Perrey-Kingsley 3. E.V.A. - Jean-Jacques Perrey 4. Look of Love - Richard Hayman 5. Midnight Cowboy - Martin Denny 6. One Note Samba/Spanish Flea - Perrey-Kingsley 7. Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Gil Trythall 8. Bond Street - Enoch Light & the Light Brigade 9. Winchester Cathedral - Perrey-Kingsley 10. I Apologize Mr. Rossini - Armando Trovaioli 11. Baroque Hoedown - Perrey-Kingsley 12. Jeepster - Elecktrik Cokernut 13. Kinky Peanuts - Armando Trovaioli 14. Back Off Boogaloo - Elektrik Cokernut 15. Shank - First Moog Quartet 16. Moog Power - Hugo Montenegro & His Orchestra 17. Give It Up Or Turn It Loose - Dick Hyman 18. Hey Hey - First Moog Quartet `19. E.V.A. - Jean Jacques Perrey (Fatboy Slim remix)


Canned Heat - Instrumentals

This beautifully packaged 15 track CD is mostly instrumental as the title implies. Track 1, Parthenogenesis is a visionary 20 minute blues suite opening with a modal jews harp and then moving through various sections. The sections of Parthenogenesis could all be separate songs in their own right, in this case though, the way they seamlessly blend together makes for a solid continuous composition. When Bob Hite's voice appears it is mixed way down and somehow seems more tasteful that way. It is similar (somehwhat) with Mayall's Bare Wires and Blues from Laurel Canyon, not so much in style, (although there are similarities and Mayall does plays piano on one of the sections) -- but in the concept of a blues suite. It is followed by Down in the Gutter but Free which opens with a delightful tongue-in-cheek blues shout by Hite accompanied by sizzling guitar, harp, bass and hammond B3. The call and responses between the various instruments nicely intensify during the long instrumental outro. Fito de la Parra's 2 drum solo workouts on this CD are anything but cliche boogie band stuff, he brings a definite central Mexican influence to a R&B timbral blues drum sound. Sometimes refered to as L.A.'s Coltrane, Charles Lloyd appears here on his blues outing 'Don't Care What You Tell Me', Lloyd's potent early 70s rock crossover work is often passed over, with his Wave and Geeta LPs/CDs still out of circulation, its a special treat to hear Lloyd's blues rock collaboration with the Heat appear here. The remainder of the CD is mostly upbeat Jump Blues, Boogie style stuff, track 12 Gorgo Boogie stands out with a rustic and potent duo of Fito de la Parra on Drums and Robert Luca on a toneful guitar that sings delta ghosts on and between the strings and notes. Although the Canned Heat and their fans were often having some good fun with all the lyrics of their original lineup's hits, this CD shows the serious and ongoing instrumental prowess of the band. There is no shortage of fun in this music too, but done by Canned Heat instrumentalists, who on these tracks again prove themselves to be blues-rock heavyweights.

1. Parthenogenesis: Nebulosity/Rollin' & Tumblin'/Five Owls/Bear Wires 2. Marie Laveau 3. Mi Huautla 4. Down in the Gutter But Free 5. Skat 6. Terraplane Blues 7. Hill Stomp 8. Don't Care What You Tell Me 9. Caterpillar Crawl 10. Hucklebuck [Live] 11. JJ Jump [Live] 12. Gorgo Boogie 13. Junior's Shuffle 14. Mambo Tango [Live] 15. Blues After Hours [Live][#]


Booker T and the MG's – definitive collection

This collection illustrates how Booker T & The MGs helped define, almost more than any other single factor, the spare, economical and groove-heavy sound of Memphis soul music. I am always concerned with sound quality and I like the mastering on this. The background noise is all gone, the instruments are all clear, and someone has finally gotten smart and not cranked the bass out of proportion as has been done on a lot of remasters of 60's and 70's music. This is an excellent compilation. I would highly recommend it for anyone just getting to know Booker T or long time fans.


1. Green Onions 2. Behave Yourself 3. Jellybread 4. Home Grown 5. Chinese Checkers 6. Mo' Onions 7. Tic-Tac-Toe 8. Soul Dressing 9. Con't Be Still 10. Terrible Thing 11. Boot-Leg 12. Outrage 13. Be My Lady 14. Summertime 15. Jingle Bells



1. Hip Hug-Her 2. My Sweet Potato 3. Booker-Loo 4. Groovin' 5. Slim Jenkin's Place 6. Soul Sanction 7. Pigmy 8. Red Beans and Rice [Live] 9. Soul-Limbo 10. Hang 'Em High 11. Time Is Tight 12. Mrs. Robinson 13. Slum Baby 14. Something 15. Melting Pot


Gary Hoey – Animal Instinct

Gary Hoey is one of the best “unknown” guitar players out there. This covers the spectrum of rock, from the hard-driving opening "Mass Hysteria" to the subtle groove of "Bert's Lounge" to the soaring blues of "Texas Son" to the the mellow tones of "Motown Fever" to the blissfully sad "Fade to Blue" to the Satriani-like cruising tune, "Drive" and a solid cover of “Hocus Pocus”. More listenable then either Satriani or Vai. What he does is makes music people like to listen to. It doesn't change keys a thousand times, it just has a beat and good melody you can sing. That's why I like Gary Hoey. The End.

1. Mass Hysteria 2. Animal Instinct 3. Hocus Pocus 4. Bert's Lounge 5. Texas Son 6. Deep South Café 7. Motown Fever 8. Fade to Blue 9. Drive 10. Jamie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dick Bartley Presents: Classic Oldies 1965-1969

Summertime was family vaction time when I was a kid and that mostly meant visiting my Grandparents and relatives for 2 months. So to keep from going totally crazy, I listened to A LOT of radio. Here is a summer post for you guys - maybe it will bring back some fun memories too.

Dick Bartley is THE master at playing "Oh-Wow Oldies"...Eric is the master at finding the highest quality source of them. This collaboration has yielded what may be Eric's best release yet! Bartley's "Classic Oldies 1965-1969" comes packed with many elusive tracks from the bygone MGM-Fontana-Mercury and UNI (MCA-Universal) catalog. New Colony Six fans-read on with glee...BOTH of their desperately sought after Mercury-era pop hits are here! Not since Rhino axed the "Colonized" compilation several years back, have "I Will Always Think About You" and "Things I'd Like To Say" been available on CD outside an inflated online auction. This collection includes essential British "Oh-Wows" from The Walker Brothers, Fortunes, Troggs, and Silkie that disappeared many years ago--again, courtesy of Rhino--when they discontinued the nine-CD "British Invasion" series. Also in attendance are several "delicious" out-of-print Top-10 tracks including: Desmond Dekker & The Aces' "Israelites" from the UK-Island label's prog-reggae period in the late 60s; A rare stereo mix of Shirley Ellis' sound-alike follow-up to "The Name Game"--"The Clapping Song"; and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown's #2-charting "Fire"--one of the initial introductions of R&R psychedelica to a broader Top-40 audience. While there are a few easily-available staples here, much of this disc truly meets the "hard-or impossible to find" standard, including: The Sir Douglas Quintet's final 1969 #27 hit--"Mendocino"; The Ides Of March first chart appearance in 1966--"You Wouldn't Listen"; and yes...Dee Jay & The Runaways' 1966 oldie from hell week--"Peter Rabbit"...Your frat reunion will thank you! Finally, as a nice bonus, the "extended intro" alternate take of The Righteous Brothers' "Soul And Inspiration", and a STEREO version of The Trogg's "Love Is All Around" are EXCLUSIVE to this compilation.

EVERY one of the 18 tracks on "Bartley--Classic Oldies 1965-1969" exhibits audio quality that is equal to-or better than any previously-released source material. The Gentrys' "Keep On Dancing" (never a protege amoung hi-fi master tapes) featured here, is the finest currently available. Only a long-unavailable version on Mercury's "45s on CD" series (1988) is comparable in fidelity.

1. (You're My) Soul And Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers (With Rare Long Intro) 2. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - The Walker Brothers 3. I Will Always Think About You - The New Colony Six 4. Bend Me, Shape Me - The American Breed 5. The Clapping Song (Clap Pat Clap Slap) - Shirley Ellis (Orig. Version Debut) 6. Israelites - Desmond Dekker & The Aces (Rare) 7. Mendocino - The Sir Douglas Quintet 8. I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight -Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart 9. You've Got Your Troubles - The Fortunes 10. Keep On Dancing - The Gentrys 11. Peter Rabbit - Dee Jay & The Runaways (Cd Debut) 12. You Wouldn't Listen - The Ides Of March (Rare) 13. Things I'd Like To Say - The New Colony Six 14. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - The Silkie 15. Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking) - Janis Ian 16. Love Is All Around - The Troggs (Stereo Debut) 17. A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum (Stereo Debut) 18. Fire - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

Lost & Found in the Sixties

Despite some flaws, this is a very satisfying collection of some of the biggest hits of the Sixties. First, let's examine the flaws. I have no problem with a sixties collection focusing on the post-British Invasion era. After all, when I think of the Sixties it means 1963 to 1969. With that said, the Tokens' 1961 hit "The Lion Sleep Tonight" seems out of place. In fact, only two other songs on this set predate 1966: Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" (1965) and the Swinging Blue Jeans' "Hippy Hippy Shake" (1964). In addition, Shocking Blue's "Venus" and the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" were chart hits in 1970. [This may be nitpicking, but these two songs could have been included on LOST & FOUND IN THE SEVENTIES.] The real puzzler is the inclusion of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "I'll Never Get Over You." While it was their highest charting hit in the U.K. (No. 4 in 1963), it didn't even dent the Hot 100 in the U.S. In fact, none of their singles charted in the U.S. A better choice would have been their earlier U.K. hit, "Shakin' All Over," which was later a stateside hit for the pre-Burton Cummings Guess Who. For a decade dominated by British Invasion bands, fewer than a third of the artists represented here hail from the U.K., but there are a few choice inclusions. "Itchycoo Park" is one of my all-time favorite singles, "Hippy Hippy Shake" is a classic rave-up of a Chan Romero song, and an 18-year-old Steve Winwood oozes blue-eyed soul on "Gimme Some Lovin'."

Like the previously released 70s volume, this collection focuses on the big hits. All but four made the top ten, and nine were No. 1 hits. Don't be misled by the album title though; these songs were never "lost," but it's nice to have them "found" on one disc.

1. Get Together - The Youngbloods 2. Summer In The City - The Lovin' Spoonful 3. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) - The Tokens 4. Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane 5. Itchykoo Park - Small Faces 6. Time Won't Let Me - The Outsiders 7. Different Drum - Stone Poneys (with Linda Ronstadt) 8. Venus - Shocking Blue 9. Spooky - The Classics IV 10. Gimme Some Lovin' - The Spencer Davis Group 11. Hippy Hippy Shake - The Swinging Blue Jeans 12. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies 13. I'll Never Get Over You - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates 14. Happy Together - The Turtles 15. Time Of The Season - The Zombies 16. San Francisco - Scott McKenzie 17. Monday Monday - The Mamas & The Papas 18. Dizzy - Tommy Roe 19. See See Rider - Eric Burdon & The Animals 20. Last Train To Clarksville - The Monkees


CBGB's and the Birth of US Punk

Nice British comp of American punk. Some of these groups never played CBGB's but that's a just a little nit. Otherwise, solid "hits" of the era in one place. Good stuff.

1. I'm Waiting for the Man - Nico, The Velvet Underground 2. Louie, Louie - The Sonics 3. Excuse, Excuse - The Seeds 4. Slip Inside This House - 13th Floor Elevators 5. Trash - New York Dolls 6. Tight Pants - Iggy & the Stooges 7. Agitated - The Electric Eels
8. Speed Queen - Suicide 9. Heart of Darkness - Pere Ubu 10. Blank Generation - Richard Hell 11. Friction [Live at CBGB's] - Television 12. I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night - Wayne County & The Electric Chairs 13. Rip Her to Shreds - Blondie 14. California Über Alles - Dead Kennedys 15. Sonic Reducer [Original Mix] - Dead Boys 16. Judy Is a Punk [Original Demo '75] - The Ramones 17. Born to Lose - Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers 18. Roadrunner (Once) - Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers


White Boy Blues V2

Just what it says.

1. Five Long Years - The Yardbirds 2. Bright Lights - The Downliners Sect 3. Telephone Blues - John Mayall 4. Can I Get a Witness - Steampacket 5. See See Rider - Eric Burdon 6. Little Miss Understood - Rod Stewart 7. Gin House Blues - Amen Corner 8. Snake Drive - Eric Clapton 9. Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Tony McPhee 10. Can't Quit You Baby 11. Draggin' My Tail - Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page 12. Don't Want You No More - The Spencer Davis Group 13. Spoonful - Canned Heat 14. Stormy Monday - The Graham Bond Organisation 15. Peter Gunn - Roy Buchanan


British Blues Breakers

Nice comp of early British white boy blues. A few rare ones and some favorites.

1. I'm Your Witch Doctor - John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers 2. Man of the World - Fleetwood Mac 3. I'm a Man - The Yardbirds 4. Baby What's Wrong - The Downliners Sect 5. Boom Boom - The Animals 6. They Call It Stormy Monday Blues, Pt. 1 - Chris Farlowe 7. L.A. Breakdown - Jimmy Page 8. Train Time - Jack Bruce 9. Tribute to Elmore - Eric Clapton 10. Steelin' - All-Stars, Jeff Beck 11. I Tried 12. Freight Loader - Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page 13. Look Down at My Woman - Jeremy Spencer 14. Cry Me a River - Steampacket 15. Dimples - The Spencer Davis Group


Rhythm Room Blues

Bob Corritore - producer, musician & club owner - delivers this single live CD by performers ranging from Delta blues to West Coast to Chicago! First out is Mr. Kim Wilson, harmonica ace and singer in the tradition of Smiley Lewis and Jr Parker. His cover of Sonny Boy's shuffle "Eyesight of the blind" sets the mood and tells everyone what this will be about: straight blues from the heart! R L Burnside plays Delta guitar with deep soul, Nappy Brown brings more of the swinging West Coast style and Henry Gray (from Howlin' Wolf's old band) gives us some the trademark Chicago big town blues. Despite the various styles on this CD it is an engaging listen, with top-notch musicians including Bob Corritore on harp and excellent sound. The final track, the often covered Eddie Boyd slow blues "Five Long Years" oozes out of the speakers with Rusty Zinn and Billy Flynn trading stinging guitar lines and on top of that Kim Wilson's killer harp tone and emotional singing! This is over 10 minutes of emotion - and you can even hear a couple of reeds in Kim's Chromatic harp buzzing of exhaustion in the onslaught. As a sampler of contemporary blues artists in a live setting this is a good CD, but it may be more of a memory to anyone who's ever been at the Rhythm Room or fans of a specific artist on the album. Either case, this is good music that definitely deserves to be heard.

1. Eyesight To The Blind Kim Wilson With Bob Corritore 2. Rollin' & Tumblin' R.L. Burnside With Bob Corritore 3. Livin' Too Close To The Edge Sonny Rhodes With Bob Corritore 4. Sinner's Prayer Henry Gray With Bob Corritore 5. How'd You Learn To Shake It Like That Sam Lay With Bob Corritore 6. Long Haired Donkey R.L. Burnside With Bob Corritore 7. Henry's Houserocker Henry Gray With Bob Corritore 8. In My Younger Days Mojo Buford With Bob Corritore 9. Nightmare Blues R.L. Burnside With Bob Corritore 10. Lemon Squeezin' Daddy Nappy Brown With Bob Corritore 11. Goin' Down South R.L. Burnside With Bob Corritore 12. I'm Gonna Shoot Her Sam Lay With Bob Corritore 13. Five Long Years Kim Wilson With Bob Corritore


Sugar in My Bowl – Vintage Sex Songs

Sugar In My Bowl gives us a great collection of eighteen songs from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. These songs all explore the theme of romance sung by some of the greatest female artists of the day. It's great to see how these songbirds used simple everyday words to convey romantic ideas to their public without being caught by the censors. The legendary Bessie Smith begins the track set with "I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl." Awesome! Bessie sings this bluesy number to a tee and she never misses a note! The piano accompaniment works well but it still lets Bessie's vocals remain squarely in the spotlight. "I Want A Tall Skinny Papa" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe sports a big band flavor with a great male backup chorus to make this number take flight! Sister Rosetta sings this with all her heart and it shows as you listen to "I Want A Tall Skinny Papa." "Just Give Me A Man" from Mabel Scott does indeed offer romantic hope to all men as she sings of how she wants to spend time with just about any--or all--of the men she can get her hands on! What a hoot! Mabel sings very well and the musical accompaniment enhances "Just Give Me A Man." Awesome! Some of the songs on this CD use certain words to be rather suggestive. Take a listen to "Sam The Hot Dog Man" by Lil Johnson with its great arrangement and "Hot Nuts (Get 'Em From The Peanut Man)." I think you can put two and two together for yourself. SMILE There's also an interesting early recording by Dinah Washington entitled "My Lovin' Papa;" we see Dinah showcasing her talents as a first rate jazz singer as early as 1945. Great! Sister Rosetta Tharpe returns to perform again; this time she performs "Rock Me," an excellent tune indeed. Love that guitar intro! One of the more recent numbers on this CD would be the superb "Rocket 69" performed so ably by Connie Allen with a backup chorus harmonizing to perfection! "Rocket 69" sports that early rock and roll flavor which works wonders for this awesome number. Give this one a listen and you'll love it--I am sure of it! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. This one's gonna be tough because the last number on this CD uses explicit lyrics to explore the subject of love. Lucille Bogan sings "Shave 'Em Dry (Version 2)" with great energy and you can tell she's enjoying every minute of this lascivious song! The sound quality is poor but you'll be able to hear every last word Lucille sings. M. Sherwin

1. I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl - Bessie Smith 2. I Want a Tall Skinny Papa - Sister Rosetta Tharpe 3. King Size Papa - Julia Lee 4. He's Just My Size - Lillie Mae Kirkman 5. Just Give Me a Man - Mabel Scott 6. Man for Every Day in the Week - Sippie Wallace 7. Sam the Hot Dog Man - Lil Johnson 8. Nobody in Town Can Bake a Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine - Bessie Smith 9. Hot Nuts (Get 'Em from the Peanut Man) - Lil Johnson 10. My Lovin' Papa - Dinah Washington 11. Rock Me - Sister Rosetta Tharpe 12. I'm a Mighty Tight Woman - Sippie Wallace 13. Garter Snake Blues - Victoria Spivey 14. If It Don't Fit (Don't Force It) - Los Enemigos 15. What's the Matter With Me? - Albinia Jones 16. Rocket 69 - Connie Allen 17. Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got - Julia Lee 18. Shave 'Em Dry [Version 2] - Lucille Bogan

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Civil Tones – Vodka and Peroxide

The Civil Tones are back! Their third cd for Pravda Records is a great continuation of their soul-groove, jazzy influenced 60's vibe that they have perfected on all three of their cds. Vodka and Peroxide takes sudden twists and turns in tempo, feel and style, all within a catchy groove and Hammond organ laced melody. Recorded in their home town of St. Louis, "Vodka and Peroxide" adds horn arrangements to the guitar stylings of Robin Allen and organ grooves of John Holt. The rhythm section of Dave Hilditch on bass and John Kosla on drums rounds out the sound that sometimes reminds you of an old record on Stax out of Memphis. The trademark Civil Tones sound has been heard on many television shows such as Sex In the City and the Osbournes. Pour yourself a dry martini and enjoy...

1.Vodka and Peroxide 2. Gin Soaked Olive 3. Wasabi 4. Papaya 5. Junior's Back 6. Pocket Watch Chain Gang 7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv theme) 8. Mole 9. Happy Feet 10. Swingster 11. Checkmate 12. Super Love Bomb


The Civil Tones – Soul Bucket

More good groove instro.

1. Soul Bucket 2. Tubed 3. Joe Flamingo 4. Sarcasm5. East Of East St. Louis 6. Papa Burger 7. Road Rage 8. The Return Of Sugar Dumplin' 9. Wings For Wanda 10. A Short Hello And A Long Goodbye 11. Billy Juarez 12. Strawberry Hill 13. Soul Bucket (Southside)


The Civil Tones – Rotisserie Twist

The debut cd for the Civil Tones out of St Louis, MO is an instrumental tour de force that combines the instrumental sounds of soul, R&B, rock groove, and jazzy surf, to create a cd loaded with catchy riffs and guitar-organ grinds. The arrangements are the kinds of style you may find on an old Stax or Hi-Records disc. Sudden twists in tempo, feel, and style make this an interesting listen from start to finish. The Hammond organ, guitar, bass, and drums are the key instruments here, with a major groove at every turn.

1. Rotisserie Twist 2. Onions Only 3. Hurricane 4. Trepidation 5. Jug-R-Not 6. Sensible Shoes For Barbie 7. "H" Is For Harlot 8. The Bailiff 9. Dia De Los Muertos 10. Mall Driver 11. Gin Rummy


The Mount McKinleys Stacked Up and Get it

The Mount McKinley’s have broadened their basic garage sound a bit to include theremin, organ and a horn section. Think the Stones meets garage punk, with organ and theremin. In stacked up, they move past their normal garage punk to make one of the most diverse and well written albums around. From pounding riffs like Think Twice and their amazing cover of Count Five's "Peace of mind", to instrumental tracks like "The Goat", this is a must have. This more adventuresome sound does not diminish their garage attack at all, it makes it more uniquely listenable.

1. Think Twice 2. The Goat 3. Outside In 4. Deep Shag 5. Empire State Yeah 6. Numbered For The Bottom 7. Straight Jacket 8. Miracle Mile 9. You Got Love 10. White Shoes 11. Stacked Up 12. No Last Time 13. Peace of Mind

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