Ginhouse was a three piece band who recorded one album, played numerous gigs opening for more well known bands, and then broke up. The band consisted of --Geoff Sharkey-lead guitar/vocals, Stewart Burlison-bass guitar/vocals, and Dave Whitaker-drums, Anders Henriksson who produced the album is heard on keyboards. Their lone album was recorded at Abbey Road after the band won the Melody Maker Battle of the Bands competition in 1970. This reissue was digitally remastered but doesn't list the source used--usually master tapes. But the sound is very good--clean and spacious without any digital harshness. The booklet has an essay on the band, song information and uses the original album graphics.
Ginhouse (named from the tune "Gin House Blues") was a progressive/at times hard-rocking trio that could shift from progressive sounding music to crunching guitar-based rock at the drop of a hat. The drumming at times is reminiscent of early King Crimson. The bass was solid and deep and oftentimes kept to a song's melody. The guitars, depending on the arrangement, were either heavy or light sounding--both electric and acoustic. Sharkey could play fast when called for, but also used acoustic guitar to good effect. You'll also hear occasional judicious use of strings ("Portrait Picture") and flute ("Fair Stood The Wind") mixed in among some songs, which help flesh out the music The vocals are right out of the 70's British scene--nothing truly outstanding but (along with the lyrics) was a good example of progressive rock of the period. All the tunes save one (The Beatles' "And I Love Her") are by the band which helps give the band's overall sound and approach to the music more depth. With song titles like "Tyne God", "The Journey", "Fair Stood The Wind", and "Sun In The Bottle" Ginhouse is a good example of early 70's progressive rock.
Ginhouse was a good band that for whatever reason didn't "make it". Perhaps it's because there were so many other similar bands during this period--who knows? But listen to "Life" with it's short yet heavy guitar solo, a piano, and progressive style drumming. "Morning After" is another example of the band's hard-rocking progressive sound. But there's several good tracks here that make this album worth hearing--especially if you're (like me) a fan of this period of British music.
Why this album has never been reviewed is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it's because the band itself is a mystery. They recorded this album and then were gone. This album begins to grow on you the more you hear it--the guitars, the bass, the drumming, the strings and keyboards, the lyrics--it's all there. Fans of (sometimes) harder progressive rock should give this a listen, Ginhouse deserved better than to be almost forgotten.