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Fraternity Years

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Big Beat UK
  • ASIN: 5551000583
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 16 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
With A Public Execution this American band led by one Ronnie Weiss achieved mortality when they were comped on the first Nuggets with a song which is like a Dylan outtake from Blonde On Blonde.
The single never rose out of the Bubbling Under section however and neither did the follow up Maid Of Spice.So Mouse & the Traps were no more than regional sellers in Texas where Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs would soon become charttoppers.
All the luck of the game really-some are fated to remain cults.
Here's a band with one of those great 50s type names that follow one word with a suggested on eg Bill Haley & the Comets.Their label had a pretty good track record and had first charted in 1956 with Cathy Carr.They seem to have landed big hits every other year-Bobby Bare (as Bill Parsons) and Lonnie Mack close to the time of Mouse & the Traps
This CD is one of around 3 which all include the same songs though here are maybe a few extras
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Amazon.com: 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The definitive volume on great East Texas 60s garage rock band 22 Aug. 2006
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This Tyler, TX band achieved their greatest international fame a half-decade after they first laid down the Dylanesque "A Public Execution" in the mid-60s. The exposure came from the song's inclusion on Lenny Kaye's legendary "Nuggets" double LP and revitalized interest in the group's entire catalog of singles. The resulting interest spawned early vinyl-mastered reissues on New Rose, and finally, this authoritative CD release drawn from the original master tapes.

Mouse is Ronnie Weiss, a singer whose normal singing voice is a dead-ringer for Dylan's nasal delivery. "A Public Execution," Weiss' 1966 kiss-off to an ex-girlfriend, found the sort of disjointed regional radio success that never gained the critical mass needed to chart nationally. The band developed fans in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio and Kentucky, but never graduated beyond their contract with the Cincinnati-based Fraternity Records. The single's B-side, the horn-lined "All for You" is perhaps more indicative of the R&B material the band turned out in live performances across oil patch towns in East Texas. Still, this was the mid-60s, and like Jim Sohns of The Shadows of Knight, Mouse lent a cocky edge to the band's blues.

The follow-up single, "Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice," sounds even more like the Shadows of Knight, with bedspring-twangs of fuzz guitar punctuating the mile-a-minute vocals and R&B band rave-up. It's a truly sweltering piece of mid-60s garage rock. The flipside, "I Am the One" introduced the band's proclivity for folk-rock, which also included the Byrds styled buzz and jangle of "I've Got Her Love" and the Dylanesque "Like I Know You Do." The latter was the flipside of a novelty (written by one of the label's investors) "Would You Believe," that's been omitted from this collection (and by all reports, to everyone's advantage).

Mouse tackled other styles, including the baroquely styled "Hand in Hand" and "As Far as the Sea," and the twangy production pop of "Promises, Promises." Even further afield, the record company's search for commercially viable sides resulted in the bubblegum "L.O.V.E. Love," the wistful "Sometimes You Just Can't Win" (also recorded by the band's studio mate, John Fred of Playboy band fame), and the 1968 organ-led psych sides "I Satisfy" and "Look at the Sun." None had much sales impact, but they did provide space for infectious B-sides like the rocking "Lie, Beg, Borrow and Steal" and the harmony laden "Requiem for Sarah."

Big Beat's 25-track collection sports seven previously unreleased tracks, including a ripping cover of The Yardbirds "I'm a Man," a funky, James Brown styled take on "You Are My Sunshine," the party-time arrangement of Dallas Fazer's "Mohair Sam," and the original protest folk-rocker "Nobody Cares." One might have hoped for the band's non-Fraternity sides (originally released on Hanna-Barbara and Epic), or the novelty "Would You Believe," but their absence is a nit. An introductory essay from the band's producer and detailed liner notes from reissue producer Alec Palao round out a solid package documenting a mid-60s Texas garage band that should have been more widely known in their own time. [©2006 hyperbolium dot com]
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Mouse & The Traps - 'Fraternity Years' (Big Beat) 4 1/2 stars 17 Jan. 2007
By Mike Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Until now, I have vaguely even heard of this psychedelic / garage band from Tyler, Texas. Apparently, the band put out plenty of good singles between 1965-69. But, no albums. No problem, this twenty-five track compilation says it all. Tunes I found myself playing over many times are "Public Execution" (sounds SO much like Bob Dylan, it's almost scary), "Maid Of Sugar,Maid of Spice", "I've Got Her Love", "I Am The One", the Monkees-like "Promises,Promises" and "I Satisfy". Line-up: Ronnie 'Mouse' Weiss-vocals, Doug Rhone-guitar&vocals, David Stanley-bass, Randy Fouts-keyboards and Don Garrett-drums. Should appeal to most fans of the Standells, Chocolate Watchband, Gentrys, Kingsmen and the Outcasts. Essential.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Dylan and Friends Sing Garage" 12 Oct. 2006
By collegemoney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first song, "Public Execution," delivers the predominant message in the music, Texas garage strongly influenced by Dylan's early electric period. Specifically, vocals heavily borrowed from the man himself and "Highway 61 Revisited" instrumentations, particularly in the organ and guitar. The police siren even makes an appearance later in the CD. The guitar licks in "Public Execution" are pure "Like a Rolling Stone."
To be sure, other influences abound, the CD is like a musical "Where's Waldo." Doors keyboards, psychedelic Donovan, lush pop arrangements ("Requiem for Sarah") and a James Brown treatment of "You Are My Sunshine" (!). The title "Fraternity Years" refers to the record label on which these originally appeared, not the maturity level of the performances.
Lots of material here, enjoy!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A weird blast from the past 6 Sept. 2008
By Curtis Newbury - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was 25 when this was released in 1967. I was a singer/songwriter with a record contract. I kept up with what people were doing, the recordings, the movies and press that drove the hippie culture. Bob Dylan was the fountainhead of sixties cultural movement whether he wanted to be or not.

I remember hearing on the radio a guy named Mouse, the lead singer on this album, singing his song Public Execution which owes a lot to Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, to many, Dylan's signature song. I only heard Public Excecution once on the radio but I was taken with it. My comment was that Mouse out-Bob Dylaned Bob Dylan. Mouse had every Dylan nuance down pat, accent, his soaring sharp, wailing refrains which defied musical convention, so distinctly Dylan. If you can imagine Dylan with a strong pop voice, this is it.

The album is of great historical significance. It features the guitar virtuosity of Bugs Henderson who, in my mind, is one of the top guitar players that ever lived. After all these years he's filling up some club and blowing minds. The record was cut at Robin Hood Brian's famous studio in Tyler, where everyone in or near Texas that was ever anybody recorded. James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, ZZ, Stevie Ray and many others.

I bought it for historical value and play it often for friends who don't know about Mouse. I always enjoy it. There are several voices dwelling within Dylan himself, from the brash Like a Rolling Stone Dylan to the tender Just Like a Woman Dylan. Mouse has them all down.

I wonder... There are many Elvis impersonators, some of whom I presume make a good living. Why weren't there ever any Dylan impersonators? You could say some like Petty, Knopfler, the Byrds made their bones by channeling Dylan. But no one did Dylan as well as Mouse.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
May be the best "garage band" of all time 12 July 2012
By wonder boy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Two Texas bands, Mouse and the Traps and Kenny and the Casuals were huge in Texas in the 1960's. It is a shame neither band broke nationally. Mouse (Ronnie Weiss) was a terrific vocalist (he wasn't a "Dylan" impersonator at all, that is his natural voice) and with a young Bugs Henderson on guitar this was garage rock at it's finest. Recorded at the legendary studio owned by Robin Hood Brians in Tyler, Texas (Brians recorded Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ TOP, the Uniques, James Brown and John Fred and his Playboy Band among others). The recordings are raw,ripping and sexy rock n roll. "Sometimes you Just Can't Win" was number one on several radio stations in Texas, Tennessee and in Kentucky. All the Traps could play, (they still can, unfortunately Bugs passed away recently)..Ken "nardo" Murray and Dave Stanley worked for Dolly Parton for almost 10 years. "Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice" and "A Public Execution" are two of the finest psychedelic rock songs of the 1960's.
Ronnie Weiss (Mouse) and Dave Stanley later did a great country rock album called "Rio Grande" which was also ahead of it's time.
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