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Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London)

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Roebuck Man by Crudup Arthur (1992-01-01)
Roebuck Man by Crudup Arthur (1992-01-01)
Offered by FHL Store
Price: £62.52

4.0 out of 5 stars "…I'm Going Down That Sunny Road…" - Roebuck Man by ARTHUR 'BIG BOY' CRUDUP (1992 Sequel CD Remaster), 29 July 2016
Already 64 years old when he recorded this obscure and forgotten Blues album in early 1970 - Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup had cruelly seen 3 of his compositions covered by Elvis Presley (most famously “That’s All Right”) - but because of strange royalty arrangements – never saw any cash for them. But like Curtis Jones, Otis Spann, Muddy Waters and so many other black blues man of the time (who all complained of being ‘done’ by industry types) - they moved to Britain and Europe where their music was being listened to and appreciated by ecstatic white musicians and mixed audiences hungry for the real deal.

Working a small UK tour at the time (financed by The National Blues Federation of the USA) - Crudup stopped into a London studio to record this album. Produced by CHRIS TRIMMING and RON WATTS and engineered by MICK TAUBER, the whole LP was recorded in one day, 26 February 1970 and released in July 1970 on the Stereo LP United Artists UAS 29092 in the UK. Sporting a fetching laminate front sleeve, the album title came from a pub in Putney (featured behind him on the sleeve) where he received a none-to-enlightened reception and famously included an acidic reaction to it in the album’s title track. The LP also included ex members of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann and the newly formed McGuinness Flint - who were all big fans.

The line up was:
ARTHUR “BIG BOY” CRUDUP – Guitar & Vocals
HUGHIE FLINT – Drums (John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, McGuinness Flint)
BENNY GALLAGHER – Guitar, Bass & Vocals (McGuinness Flint, Gallagher & Lyle)
DAVE GELLY – Tenor Sax
TOM McGUINNESS – Guitar (Manfred Mann, McGuinness Flint)

This September 1992 UK CD on Sequel NEX CD 210 (Barcode 5023224121028) is a straightforward transfer of the 13-track album (digitally remastered at Abbey Road and subtitled “The 1970 London Sessions”). All tracks are Arthur Crudup originals and the sound is lovely throughout – warm and full (48:42 minutes).

1. I Don’t Worry
2. Needle Time
3. Room And Board
4. Blind Man Sees
5. Long Curly Mane
6. Roebuck Man
7. Old And Grey [Side 2]
8. Before You Go
9. Korrina Korrina
10. Boogie In The Morning
11. Get You In My Arms
12. What Are You Trying To Do?
13. Burying Ground

It’s immediately obvious that the band complimented his voice and songs – most are combo numbers, but “Blind Man Sees” is just him and guitar ala John Lee Hooker. The harsh “Roebuck Man” opens with “If you should have to come to England, please don’t go to the Roebuck man…” but things get more Chicken Shack with the stunning “Room And Board” – thrilling guitar work and the band digging it (lyrics above).

“Corrina Corrina” (not the famous Joe Turner track Corrine, Corrina) is just Crudup and John Lewis on Piano and is wonderful blues – simple and sweet. It then ups a notch when the band joins them on the Jerry Lee Lewis sounding “Boogie In The Morning” – with piano rolls and great sax work from Dave Gelly, if you heard it in a pub, your foot would be pounding the floorboards in glee. He tells “Katy Mae” he loves her in “What Are You Trying To Do?” and the band just chugs along behind him to such sweet effect until he shouts “Take it!” and they start into blues rocking. “Burying Ground” is a dark closer about death and women dressed in red! So - a great little album then and rare on original vinyl.

Arthur Crudup died in early 1974, aged 68. Blues historians often say that he gave a lot to the blues and an incalculable donation to world history via Elvis Presley and his 1st Sun 7” single in 1955 “That’s All Right” – it’s just such a shame the music business didn’t return the compliment. Still - there is this superb little CD to treasure and rave about. Seek it out…

Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw
Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw
Price: £101.24

5.0 out of 5 stars "...That's All Right..." – A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw by ARTHUR 'BIG BOY' CRUDUP (2016 Bear Family 5CD Box Set Remasters), 29 July 2016
First things first - a note about the content of this much anticipated Bear Family Box Set - more especially what's 'not' in it.

Born August 1905 in Forest Mississippi, Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup picked up the guitar at the late age of 30 and recorded prolifically until he passed in March 1974. However what the Box Set name "A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw" doesn't tell you is that despite there being 5CDs worth - Bear Family BCD 17352 is 'not' a full career retrospective but concentrates 'only' on 1946 to 1962 (it states this on the back of the box and not the front). Therefore albums like 1968's "Look On Yonder's Wall", 1969's "Crudup's Mood" (both on Delmark) or the last LP "Roebuck Man" released in the UK in 1970 with members of McGuinness Flint - are 'not' on the box set "A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw". Like their handling of Freddie King's catalogue - the later half of Crudup's career will undoubtedly follow in a forthcoming multiple disc set a couple of years from now...

So what do you get? Every Arthur Crudup recording from 1941 to 1962 on RCA Victor and its associated labels Bluebird and Groove, Trumpet, Checker, Ace and Fire - 124 tracks (12 previously unreleased) across 5 CDs housed in a 12" x 12" Box Set with an LP-Sized 68-Page Hardback Book with new liner notes and Discography by the award-winning R&B and Blues Historian BILL DAHL and Bear's own RICHARD WEIZE (with the vastly knowledgeable COLIN ESCOTT as a Consultant). Bear Family have used an Elvis Presley quote when he was being interviewed in that mercurial year of 1956 as their box's title - Presley happily acknowledging the influence and huge success he owed to a fellow Mississippi man - Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup.

For the time frame 1945 to 1962 - amazingly Crudup saw only saw two officially released LPs in the USA (other variants appeared in France) - the original 1962 Fire Records LP "Mean Ol' Frisco" and a retrospective put out in 1971 by RCA on their Vintage Blues Series of his 1941 to 1954 recordings called "The Father Of Rock 'n' Roll" (referencing and acknowledging his Elvis Presley tie-in with "That's Alright" - a song that changed musical history). Both LPs are here - as are all the 78s on Bluebird and the 45s on Groove, Trumpet, Fire and Ace Records etc. The Discography also notes LP and CD reissues and tracks that appeared in the 80ts, 90ts etc by Krazy Kat, Ace Records, Westside, Charly R&B, Relic, Document and Vivid Sound and P-Vine in Japan. Let's get to the nitty gritty...

UK and Europe released Friday 29 July 2016 (12 August 2016 in the USA) - "A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw" by ARTHUR 'BIG BOY' CRUDUP on Bear Family BCD 17352 (Barcode 5397102173523) is a 124-Track 5CD 12" x 12" Box Set with a 68-Page Hardback Book and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1, 1941 to 1948 recordings, 22 tracks, 67:50 minutes

Disc 2, 1947 to 1951 recordings, 26 tracks, 77:54 minutes

Disc 3, 1950 to 1953 recordings, 24 tracks, 70:53 minutes
Track 13 "Never No More (Take A)" and Track 14 "Why Did You Leave Me (Take A)" both PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Disc 4, 1952 to 1954 recordings, 28 tracks, 79:36 minutes
Track 16 "Help Me To Bear This Heavy Load", Track 17 "I Love You", Track 19 "She Ain't Nothin' But Trouble (Take B)"
Track 20 "Oo Wee Darling (Love Me With A Thrill) (Take A)", Track 22 "Nobody Wants Me (Take A)", Track 23 "Star Bootlegger (Take A)"
Track 25 "Goin' Back To Georgia (Take A), Track 26 "Mr. So And So (Take A)", Track 27 "Do It If You Want To (Take A)"
Track 28 "Nelvina (Take A)" are all PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Disc 5, 1955 to 1962 recordings, 24 tracks, 64:38 minutes

Each CD is a different picture disc and that picture is replicated on the inlay beneath the see-through CD tray. A team of four have carried out the transfers - CHRISTIAN ZWARG, VICTOR PEARLIN and MATT CAVALUZZA (Disc and Metalpart Transfers), BILL DAHL (Tape Comparisons) and final Mastering done by CHRISTIAN ZWARG.

BILL DAHL does his usual storming job of chronicling the ups and downs of Crudup's recording career (all those missing Royalties from the Presley years) and there are quotes peppering the text. There's a section called 'Impressions From The South In The 1940s' where we get Pages 12 to 17 filled with colour plates of images from that time - then another section called 'The South Side Of Chicago, Illinois In The 1940s' on Pages 30 to 35 with full plate black and white photos. But bluntly little of it has to do with Crudup himself and feels like filler. There are only five or six 'actual' images of Crudup for the whole 22-year period - most of which get duplicated in varying forms. The Discography pictures three tape reels - one a page - without anyone telling you in an aside what they are! You have to go deep within the Discography to find out that EDVB 3430 is "She Ain't Nothing But Trouble". The lone reference in the Discography to one of only two LPs issued during the period - and they get it wrong. "I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole" is on LPV-573 and not LPV-57 - and how does the untrained eye know what 'LPV-57' is anyway? I'm always amazing in these supposed scholarly Discographies that no one seems to name the actual Record Label or title of the LP they're referencing. It's actually a reason why I do a Discography myself.

Having said that - these are minor niggles compared to the images that crop up everywhere and delight every time to look at them. There are beautiful US 45 label repros of "Rock Me Mamma" on Groove, "Mean Ole Frisco" on Fire and those period evocative 78s of "My Mama Don't Allow Me" and "Dirt Road Blues. Key players like Ransom J. Knowling who played String Bass on the 1946 RCA session that produced the legendary "That's All Right" is pictured with other musicians on Page 10. There’s a rare black and white of Joe McCoy who was on Crudup’s very first session for "Black Pony Blues" in September 1941 as World War II raged in Europe (also pictured on Page 10). There's a handy 'Alphabetical' track listing on Pages 60 and 61 and a variant of the "Mean Ol' Frisco" Fire Records LP is pictured on Page 42.

The Music - Disc 1 is mostly the old Bluebird 78s and the Audio is accordingly crackly but hugely atmospheric. In fact there are moments on the 'three gold teeth' of "Black Pony Blues" and the identikit-sounding 'die before my time' of "Death Valley Blues" where he sounds like Robert Johnson with that Hellhound coming from the rear. There's incredibly clean Audio on Crudup's own "My Mama Don't Allow Me" where mummy doesn't want Arthur to stay out all night long - prey for those catfish who like a playboy on their line. "Mean Ole Frisco" and that '...low down Santa Fe...' has been taken by so many Blues Pioneers that it's almost turned into a standard (Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Eric Clapton all made it famous in their own way). Other highlights amidst the bare bones 78s are the 'what are you trying to do' of "Ethel Mae" and it 'cost me my baby' of "Cool Disposition". His guitar work on the 'my baby loves me right' of "So Glad Your Mine" is more gutbucket than virtuoso but there's a sameness to the melody of "No More Lover" that makes it less memorable.

The Audio on Disc 2 takes a giant leap forward as we reach September 1946 - "You Got To Reap" and "Chicago Blues" cooking - his Trio filled out by Ransom J Knowling on Double Bass and Judge Lawrence on Drums (the cymbals and Double Bass of "I Want My Lovin'" are startling). But then we're hit with the big daddy - a record that literally changed the fabric of the known Universe. Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right" was of course Elvis Presley's first Sun 45 in June 1954 - when the mighty Pelvis Rockabilly-fied that sucker into something extraordinary under the watchful eye of Sam Phillips. Even now it’s a thrill to hear this amazing slice of history – and sounding sweet too. A touch of that 'yeah man' Rockabilly/Rock 'n' Roll sound also surfaces on "Hey Mama-Everything's All Right". Clapton has done "Roberta Blues" and Arthur’s cover of Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" couldn't be more different than the hundreds of slasher guitar copycats that followed.

A hugely enjoyable Disc 3 opens with an Engineer naming the Take number (many track are like this) on a fantastic "Mean Old Santa Fe" - a 1950 Blues bopper 78" that had the slower "Oo Wee Darling (Love Me With A Thrill)" on the flipside of RCA Victor 22-0092. "Never No More (Take A)" starts the Previously Unreleased tracks rolling - a great shuffling Blues recorded April 1951 at RCA Victor Studios with his trusty duo of Knowling and Riley on Double Bass and Drums. "Why Did You Leave Me (Take A)" provides the second of the unreleased tracks and is similar to its predecessor. Take B of "My Baby Left Me" is the master used for the 1951 RCA Victor 78" (22-0109) and rare 45 (50-0109) - a track Jon Fogerty's Creedence Clearwater Revival covered on their 1970 LP "Cosmo's Factory" (Dave Edmunds even had a go on his 1977 Swan Song Records LP "Get It" too). Other slightly Rockabilly cuts (akin to Elvis' "That's All Right") include "Where Did You Stay Last Night" and "Goin' Back To Georgia". Uncle Sam wants words with the Big Boy on "Mr. So And So" and poor Arthur has had the Blues all night long on the mournful “Late In The Evening” (4 o’clock in the morning and still out in the street).

Disc 4 offers up a tasty 10 new Previously Unreleased cuts - best of which is the ivory roller "Help Me To Bear This Heavy Load" with Thomas Patten on Piano while Robert Fulton uses both Harmonica and Guitar and the sparse but wickedly good "She Ain't Nothing But Trouble" recorded March 1950 with his duo of Knowling and Lawrence. Take 8 is the unreleased version of "Nelvina" recorded January 1952 with Jimmy Sheffield on String Bass and N. Butler on Drums. The 1962 rare and original "Mean Ol' Frisco" LP on Fire Records and its incredibly productive sessions dominate Disc 5 - where Arthur cut new versions of his old songs with great effect and a rearranging nod to what Presley did at Sun. I swear but the "Mean Ol' Frisco" album and its superior audio/renditions is a bit of an unsung masterpiece - and I can see why its rarity value is clocked at a cool $900.00 or more in Price Guides (if you can locate one). The rest of the tracks turned up on varying CD compilations across the years and are largely outtakes from those early 1962 sessions (it's easy to hear why they were so popular with reissue labels - they were so damn good and well-recorded into the bargain).

A mammoth project and clearly not for the faint-hearted - nonetheless "A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw" is the kind of Box Set that only cements Bear Family’s name as the Box Set label. A hero of musical history finally given the treatment and document he's always deserved. Roll on Box No. 2...

PS: The Two LPs covered by the Bear Family Box Set (1941 to 1962)
[1/4] = Track 1 on Disc 4
[4/5] = Track 4 on Disc 5 etc...

1. "Mean Ol' Frisco" - May 1962 USA Mono Original LP on Fire Records FLP 103
1962 New York City re-recordings of older hits

Side 1:
1. Mean Ol' Frisco [4/5]
2. Look On Yonder Wall [8/5]
3. That's All Right Mama [5/5]
4. Ethel Mae [9/5]
5. Too Much Competition [6/5]
6. Standing At My Window [10/5]

Side 2:
1. Rock Me Mama [3/5]
2. Greyhound Bus [11/5]
3. Coal Black Mare [7/5]
4. Katie Mae [1/5]
5. Dig Myself A Hole [2/5]
6. So Glad You're Mine [12/5]

2. "The Father Of Rock 'n' Roll"
November 1971 Mono Reissue LP on RCA Victor Vintage Series LPV-573 (USA) and RCA Victor RD 8224 (UK)
Original Recordings from 1941 to 1954

Side 1:
1. If I Ever Get Lucky [1/4]
2. Mean Old Frisco [1/9]
3. Rock Me Mamma [1/13]
4. Keep Your Arms [1/14]
5. Cool Disposition [1/11]
6. She's Gone [1/18]
7. So Glad You're Mine [1/20]
8. Ethel Mae [1/19]

Side 2:
1. That's All Right [2/5]
2. Lonesome World To Me [2/14]
3. Shout, Sister, Shout [2/22]
4. My Baby Left Me [3/6]
5. I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole [4/24]
6. Mr. So And So [3/18]
7. Keep On Drinkin' [3/20]
8. If You've Ever Been To Georgia [4/15]

Groovin' The Blues
Groovin' The Blues
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Got A Key To The Highway...Goin' Back Home..." - Groovin' The Blues by VARIOUS ARTISTS (2016 Bear Family CD Remasters), 28 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Groovin' The Blues (Audio CD)
On Page 34 of this very cool Fifties Rhythm 'n' Blues CD there's the eye-catching cover shot of Atlanta's Zilla May distracting comedian Al Jackson with her 'shapely charms' and 'torso tossing' at the Royal Peacock Club. Full of fun, hip-shaking naughtiness and good time music – it visually sums up this first of two barnstorming CD reissues from Bear Family for RCA's 'Groove' label - "Groovin' The Blues" and "Rockin' The Groove". And I'm lovin' both big time...

RCA Victor's major label response to the dominance of the R&B genre by driven-independents like Atlantic, Modern and King Records was the fondly remembered but unfairly forgotten 'Groove' label inaugurated in February 1954. As a major player in the field - RCA had had a long and prestigious history with their 'Bluebird' imprint - pumping out pre-War Blues 78’s since 1932 that featured huge and influential names like Memphis Minnie, Big Bill Broonzy, Lil Green and Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup (to name but a few) - Groove was their attempt to take a new share of the burgeoning 45 marketplace.

Now with access to their vaults via a deal with SONY – BF have formulated two jam-packed compilations to celebrate Groove Records - "Groovin' The Blues" on Bear Family BCD 17411 (Barcode 5397102174117) and "Rockin' The Groove" on Bear Family BCD 17412 (Barcode 5397102174124). Both are released February 2016 and come stuffed to the gunnels with tasty unreleased tracks, gorgeous 80-minute-plus Remasters from award-winning Audio Engineer MARCUS HEUMANN and 60-page booklets courtesy of one of the best genre chroniclers in the business - BILL DAHL. There's a heap of mess to get

UK and Europe released February 2016 - "Groovin' The Blues: When Groove Was More Than Just A Habit" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Bear Family BCD 17411 (Barcode 5397102174117) is a 33-track single CD compilation (13 of which are Previously Unreleased) with an attached 59-page booklet and plays out as follows (84:25 minutes, all tracks Mono):

1. SONNY TERRY - Lost Jawbone (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0015, A - see 6 for B-side)
2. COUSIN LEROY (Leroy Rozier) - Goin' Back Home (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0123, A - see 19 for B-side)
3. CHAMPION JACK DUPREE - The Ups (September 1956 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
4. BUDDY LUCAS - No Dice (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0030, A, Instrumental)
5. SUE ALLEN and OSCAR BLACK - Hold Me Baby (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0012, B-side of "I'll Get By")
6. SONNY TERRY - Louise (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0015, B - see 1 for A-side)
7. CLAYTON LOVE - Love Blues (May/June 1956 Recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
8. MAYMIE WATTS - There Goes That Train (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0103, A)
9. BIG TINY KENNEDY - 'Taint Right (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0133, A)
10. LITTLE TOMMY BROWN - Don't Leave Me (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0132, A - see 26 for B-side)
11. COUSIN LEROY (Leroy Rozier) - 41 Highway (July 1955 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
12. SONNY TERRY - Tell Me Baby (September 1955 RCA Victor instrumental recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
13. BUDDY LUCAS - I Got Drunk (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0003, A)
14. ZILLA MAYS - Romance In The Dark (October 1955 recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
15. BIG TINY KENNEDY - I Need A Good Woman (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0106, A)
16. OSCAR BLACK - What Makes Me Love You So (August 1956 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
17. SONNY TERRY - Hootin' Blues No. 2 (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0135, A)
18. THE DU-DROPPERS - You've Been Good To Everybody (March 1954 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
19. COUSIN LEROY (Leroy Rozier) - Catfish (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0123, B-side - see 2 for A)
20. BEATRICE READING - Beantown Boogie (May 1954 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
21. COUSIN LEROY - Lonesome Bedroom (July 1955 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
22. CHAMPION JACK DUPREE - Lonely Road Blues (1956 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0171, A)
23. SONNY TERRY - Throw This Old Dog A Bone (November 1955 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
24. BUDDY LUCAS (Amelia Stewart Lead Vocal) - I Need Help (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0006, A)
25. SONNY TERRY - I Took You In Baby (February 1954 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
26. LITTLE TOMMY BROWN - Won't You Forgive Me (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0132, B-side of "Please Don't Leave" - for A see 10)
27. CHAMPION JACK DUPREE - Story Of My Life (September 1956 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
28. BEATRICE READING - I Wash My Hands (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0022, B-side of "Little Things Mean A Lot")
29. OSCAR BLACK and SUE ALLEN - I'll Live My Life Alone (1955 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0115, A)
30. SONNY TERRY - Juice Head Woman (February 1954 RCA Victor recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
31. SONNY BROOKS - Sentimental Blues (1954 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0027, B-side of "Champ Ale")
32. OSCAR BLACK - Into Each Heart (Some Tears Must Fall) (1956 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0168, A)
33. BIG CONNIE - Wait Till Next Year, Baby (1956 USA 7" single on Groove 4G-0142, B-side of "Mumble Blues")
NOTES: Tracks 3, 7, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27 and 30 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Produced by DANNY KESSLER and BOB ROLONTZ - the card digipak for "Groovin' The Blues" has a beautiful 59-page booklet attached to the centre with Artist-By-Artist biographies in Alphabetical Order from renowned genre authority BILL DAHL. As well as a newly researched Discography (Pages 45 to 57) - in-between the wall-to-wall factoids are quality black and white publicity photos of each artist as well as repros of rare trade adverts. It's both visually gorgeous and a great read about lesser-heard names in R 'n' B. A trio of trusted names carried the great-sounding transfers - RON SANTOS and BILL DAHL (Tape Research and Comparison) with final Mastering done by MARCUS HEUMANN - a name I've raved about before. Despite the massive playing time (nearly eighty-five minutes) - it Rocks and Rolls and pleases in every way.

Last time I visited the 'Groove' label was on reissue vinyl - "Groove Jumping" on the UK's De-Tour Records DT 33003 in 1984 and the follow up compilation 'Still Groove Jumping" on De-Tour DT 33006 in 1987. I used to twirl them along with all those Edsel and Charly R&B reissues and theta sense of fun is back. It's hard to imagine why something as witty and catchy as "The Ups" by Champion Jack Dupree could remain unreleased - Champion talking out his daily 'ups and down' while Teddy 'The Bear' McRae answers his protestations about his baby's mean lowdown ways with a growling voice. It's a blast and is typical of this compilation. Instrumentals come at you in the shape of Sonny Terry's Harmonica groover "Lost Jawbone" and the guitar driver "No Dice" from Buddy Lucas. Some of the tracks have a very homemade vibe like Sue Allen and Oscar Black's "Hold Me Baby" - a very rare and early 45 on the label. Clayton Love fits the same bill where the whole ghostly band sound like their literally going to drown in the sea of "Love Blues" they're singing about.

A genius discovery is the rasp and 'meow' of Maymie Watts giving it some seriously great Big Maybelle/Little Esther ache on "There Goes That Train" where some willowy strumpet has stolen her man and bunked on the 12:15. Big Tiny Kennedy sits down and drinks a cup of coffee to ease his aching head and warns that if his baby doesn't start 'treating him right' - this snake might have to bite back (oh dear). The mock weeping of Little Tommy Brown throughout the whole of "Please Don't Leave Me" will probably make you laugh out loud instead of empathising with this clearly deranged sucker (I can't imagine how many takes it took to get this down but it’s bloody funny anyway). Another witty winner is "I Got Drunk" where Buddy Lucas gets loaded and name checks more drink types than there are Juke Joints on Beale Street. Sauciness is never far from the surface and the truly fabulous ZILLA MAYS (the gal gracing the cover) gives it some 'touch my lips' on the wonderful piano-stroller "Romance In The Dark" where she urges her man to explore more than rhythms as they dance. Zilla's previously unreleased cover version of Lil Green and Big Bill Broonzy's "Romance In The Dark" was recorded October 1955 at RCA Victor's studios with both Mickey Baker on guitar and Sam 'The Man' Taylor on Saxophone and is one of many highlights on "Groovin' The Blues". If you want more Zilla - the B-side "Right Now" on her officially released lone 45 for Groove (Groove 4G-0127) along with a Previously Unreleased track feature on the companion volume "Rockin' The Groove" (I wish they was more photos of Zilla May - she passed in 1995 after a lifetime in music).

Seriously great slide-guitar boogie comes in the shapely form of "I Need A Good Woman" from Big Tiny Kennedy - immeasurably improved by the fretwork of McHouston 'Mickey' Baker (pictured in colour in the Discography on Page 54). DJs will dig the brass bopper "What Makes Me Love You So" by Oscar Black where he asks what makes a man do the things he does for his 'little girl' (let me take a year to explain buddy). And they'll also be able to use "Beantown Boogie" by Beatrice Redding - a shuffler with a fun vocal. Rock History has always had a special place for "Catfish" - a version of Robert Petway's "Catfish Blues" done here by Cousin Leroy (Leroy Crozier) and naughtily listed as co-penned by Champion Jack Dupree's wife Lucille (check out the blistering Jimi Hendrix version of Petway's song on the CD compilation "Blues" or Rory Gallagher's Taste from "Live At The Isle Of Wight"). Lucille Dupree also penned the unreleased "Lonesome Bedroom" for Cousin Leroy - a half-decent bopper with Larry Dale on Guitar and her hubby Champion Jack on Piano.

Sonny Terry begs his lady throughout a Harmonica shuffle to please "Throw This Old Dog A Bone" - but I think she's done cooking our hero breakfast even if he is on his knees howling like a hound towards the end. Almeta Stewart fronts a fabulous vocal for Saxophonist Buddy Lucas as she pleads "I Need Help" and should have received dual credit on the 45-label (she makes the song). Champion Jack Dupree gives us spoken advice on his 'lowdown and dirty' mistreatment by friends who used to turn up in Cadillacs - but now that his spondulicks have gone – so have his so-called friends. The big and sassy Beatrice Reading (great photo of her on Page 37) fairs no better on the B-side "I Wash My Hands" where she cries out convincingly that she's done with all things 'concerning love'. Sonny Brooks does his best Johnny Ray impression with the soppy "Sentimental Blues" - while the CD ends on a bopping winner from Big Connie who finds that the lady friend in his '56 Ford wants him to "Wait Till Next Year, Baby" and having spent all his dough and taken all that lip – the Big C is none too pleased (boo hoo). In fact what a great listen this whole package is...

It's a measure of "Groovin' The Blues" that I can't wait to rip open the shrink-wrap of "Rockin' The Groove" which arrived this morning too. Beautifully done, superbly presented and sounding as eager as Saturday Night at the Apollo - Bear Family have done it again. A shoe-in for 2016’s Rhythm 'n' Blues 'Reissue Of The Year'...
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Tim Rose/Through Rose Colored Glasses by ROSE,TIM (2002-02-15)
Tim Rose/Through Rose Colored Glasses by ROSE,TIM (2002-02-15)
Offered by FHL Store
Price: £24.35

4.0 out of 5 stars "...You Done Me Wrong..." - Tim Rose/Through Rose Colored Glasses by TIM ROSE (1997 Beat Goes On '2LPs on 1CD' Remaster), 27 July 2016
Tim Rose's November 1967 self-titled debut album "Tim Rose" did bugger all business chart-wise - but cast a huge shadow then and ever since.

Propelled by his gritty strangulated 'I gargle gravel for breakfast' vocals - (he sounds like the love child of John Kay from Steppenwolf and David Clayton-Thomas from Blood, Sweat & Tears) - the pre-LP 7" single "Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down)" from June 1966 clocked up covers by Love, The Byrds and of course most famously by Jimi Hendrix - the song practically launching his career. "Morning Dew" (written by Canadian Folk singer Bonnie Dobson) from February 1967 would be covered by artists as diverse as Lee Hazelwood and England's Nazareth - but again was made famous by Jeff Beck's supergroup for the "Truth" LP which featured the then relatively unknown Rod Stewart on Vocals.

More shadows came from the single released the same month as the album - November 1967 for "Come Away, Melinda" - an Anti-Vietnam War anthem written by Fred Hellerman of The Weavers with Francis Minkoff. In a very Phil Spector-sounding production - Rose caresses the song at first - but a minute or so into it and he lets rip with the rage of a whole country (it was a rendition that tapped into the national zeitgeist). In fact Rose and his music is like this – slightly angry – slightly macho – engaged yet still cool and aloof - like a man with a grudge against the world and his two-timing daughter.

Hell even Australia's Nick Cave has name-checked him as an influence and covered the 'Hey Joe' sounding murder song "Long Time Man" on his 1986 LP with The Bad Seeds "Your Funeral...My Trial" And yet despite all this peripheral activity and chart action for other people (as well as positive reviews) - "Tim Rose" steadfastly refused to ignite as a seller. Which brings us to this rather cool 'twofer' CD reissue. Here are the 'shot my woman down' details...

UK released November 1997 - "Tim Rose/Through Rose Colored Glasses" by TIM ROSE on Beat Goes On BGOCD 378 (Barcode 5017261203786) offers 2LPs Remastered onto 1CD and plays out as follows (72:48 minutes):

1. I Got A Loneliness
2. I'm Gonna Be Strong
3. I Gotta Do Things My Way
4. Fare Thee Well
5. Eat, Drink And Be Merry (For Tomorrow You'll Cry)
6. Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down) [Side 2]
7. Morning Dew
8. Where Was I?
9. You're Slipping Away From Me
10. Long Time Man
11. Come Away, Melinda
12. King Lonely The Blue
Tracks 1 to 12 are his debut LP "Tim Rose" - released November 1967 in the USA on Columbia CL 2777 (Mono) and Columbia CS 9577 (Stereo) and February 1968 in the UK on CBS Records S BPG 63168 (Mono) and CBS Records S BPG 63168 (Stereo) - the STEREO Mix is used for this CD. Produced by DAVID RUBINSON - it failed to chart in either country.

13. The Days Back When
14. Roanoke
15. Hello Sunshine
16. When I Was A Young Man
17. What'cha Gonna Do
18. Maman
19. Let There Be Love [Side 2]
20. Baby Do You Turn Me On?
21. Apple Truck Swamper
22. Angela
23. You'd Laugh
24. You Ain't My Girl No More
Tracks 13 to 24 are his 2nd studio album "Through Rose Colored Glasses" - released July 1969 in the USA on Columbia CS 9772 (Stereo) and in the UK on CBS Records S CBS 63636. Produced by JACK TRACY - it didn't chart in either country.

There's no card slipcase and the 8-page inlay has informative liner notes from noted writer JOHN TOBLER and Musician Credits for the "Tim Rose" LP but none for the follow-up (it came with no credits and no one seems to know who played on what?). There are no mastering/transfer credits - but the Audio is amazing – clear as bell and very powerful. Always a bit of a Phil Spector-ish belter - songs on the "Tim Rose" LP swoop up with huge brass and string flourishes then mellow down into Spanish Acoustic guitar plucks - and back again. This BGO CD sounds brill – a really clean and well-transferred set of albums. Engineered by Sy Mitchell and Jerry Hochman - the seconds sound even better (although the music leaves summit to be desired).

The 12-track debut features the 10-sides of five 45s Rose put out prior to the album - so much of the material was known to Radio. Six are Tim Rose originals - "I Got A Loneliness", "Fare Thee Well", "You're Slipping Away From Me" and "Long Time Man" with "I Gotta Do Things My Way" a co-write between Rose and the Bassist Richard Hussan. Written by the songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil - the cover "I'm Gonna Be Strong" was a hit for Gene Pitney in 1965 while "Morning Dew" is by Bonnie Dobson (despite Rose' duo songwriting credit which would cause legal consternation for decades to follow). The legendary Doc Pomus co-wrote "King Lonely The Blue" with Bobby Andriani and it was issued by the Bitter End Singers in August 1965 on Emerald 72469 (called The Emeralds in the UK) - while "Eat, Drink And Be Merry..." is written by Celia and Sandra Ferguson and made a Country hit by Porter Wagoner. I don't know who 'N. Martin' is – the writer of "Where Was I?" - but it's a gorgeous song and the audio on it is fabulous.

The 2nd album comes in for serious stick and after the eclectic and creative high of the debut - it's easy to hear why. Although most are Rose originals and songs like "Roanoke" is very Blood, Sweat & Tears circa the 2nd album - his cover of "Maman" is a big mistake. Penned by Edward Thomas and Martin Charnin in 1967 - it's a spoken poem said by the character 'The Young Soldier' in the musical "Mata Hari". Rose has rattling drums like a death march behind his strained vocals but instead of sounding contemporary or hip - it's sounds dated and preachy even. His cover of The Bee Gees "Let There Be Love" just doesn't suit him while convenience rhymes in lyrics like "...Angela called me last night...she wanted me to hold her tight...we made love for hours...then went walking in the flowers..." are just plum awful. Better is his quirky and even commercial cover of "You'd Laugh" - a song put out by French crooner Gilbert Becaud in 1965 called "Je T'aime (You'd Laugh)". It’s about a man pinning to touch a woman he worships but he’s terrified of her response – and Rose milks its angst as he rasps out the pain –very 60ts but also very cool. Along with "When I Was A Young Man" and the decidedly Tom Waits odd/violent "Apple Truck Swamper" (written by William Henderson) - they just about salvage the album from total reviewer savagery.

Very much a disc of two halves - a genius and exciting debut album "Tim Rose" - followed by a strange damp squid two years later - "Through Rose Colored Glasses". Yet despite the let down of LP Number Two – there's that amazing and influential debut which in 2016 still sounds so 'out there' still.

I've always thought Tim Rose to be impossibly special and just a little acid-dingbat in the cranial area. But I like my heroes that way – nuts in a good way...

Star Trek Beyond [DVD] [2016]
Star Trek Beyond [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ Chris Pine
Price: £9.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Star Trek BEYOND" - Finally Going Where 'Star Trek' Should Have Gone Before... - A Review of the Film, 26 July 2016
Closing in on the ripe old age of 58 in September of 2016 - I'm unfortunately old enough to remember the long soggy parade of film sequels (I think there was 10) for Gene Roddenberry’s creation – STAR TREK - films with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelly and his ageing buddies from the TV show of the 60ts and 70ts. Some were passable but many were plain God-awful and increasingly ridiculous.

Director and Executive Producer J.J. Abrams then successfully re-booted the series with the inspired casting of Chris Pine in the lead role of James T. Kirk., Zachary Quinto (from "Heroes") as the big-eared and big-hearted Vulcan 'Spock' with the brilliant Karl Urban as the cantankerous Doctor 'Bones' McCoy. Throwing in Zoe Zaldana as communications officer Lieutenant Uhura and Simon Pegg as the wisecracking Engineer Montgormery 'Scotty' Scott as well as John Cho and (the sadly passed) Anton Yelchin as Sulu and Chekov – the new casting worked like a dream. There have been two more blockbusters to add to the vast tally – both rocking and rolling for all the right reasons.

But on the new 'Trek 3' – the makers of these films have hit something of a zenith - the genuine magic of old finally returned for a new generation to lap up.

I've just come from the local Impact Cinema in E17’s Empire (Tuesday, 26 July 2016) with the sound of real applause and audience delight still ringing in my ears. Everything about 2016’s "Star Trek Beyond" rocks - the amazing visuals which at times can only be described as beautiful - the constant wit and comradery that made the original crew such a joy to watch – perfect casting in every single role – a nod to the old whilst embracing the new – and an ingenious script provided by (Scotty himself) SIMON PEGG and DOUG JUNG.

Add in a top baddie in Idris Elba (the reptilian Krall) and a stunning turn by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella as the face-painted kick-ass Jaylah – you get that rare combination of jaw-dropping visuals – wise-cracking one-liners that genuinely elicited laughs – and a feeling of fun and pride in what they were bringing to the screen.

Director JUSTIN LIN is to be congratulated on this – but my heart gives thanks to the real heroes of the piece – the writers Pegg and Jung – who delivered the best script this film franchise has had in decades. And the new cast has settled in so well that they seem not just comfortable in their roles but to the manor born. In fact I thought "Star Trek Beyond" was a lot better than the wildly overrated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in every respect and especially in terms of sheer entertainment value.

Trekkies will need to see it and then own it when it turns up on BLU RAY for Christmas.

And if Pegg and Jung write another script as good as this – then Star Trek will indeed boldly go...and go...and go...

The Notorious Byrd Brothers
The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I Think I'm Goin' Back..." – The Notorious Byrd Brothers by THE BYRDS (1997 Columbia/Legacy 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster), 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Gorgeous - forgotten classic - overlooked - ignored like a 'remain' flyer in a British mud-puddle - the Byrds' fifth platter is the kind of album that gives the 60ts a good name. But which version of it do you buy?

In the unnervingly hot summer of July 2016 you can nail this criminally forgotten nugget in two ways – the standalone March 1997 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy – or as Disc 5 inside the gorgeous and still reasonably priced 13-Album/15-CD Box Set from November 2011 – "The Complete Columbia Albums Collection". To locate the standalone CD on Amazon use Barcode 5099748675125 in the Search Line - or Barcode 88697873802 for the Box Set (I've also reviewed the Box Set in full - see separate review). Frankly frank - you're quids in either way. I’ll deal with the standalone issue for this review...

UK released March 1997 – "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" by THE BYRDS on Columbia/Legacy 486751 2 (Barcode 5099748675125) is an ‘Expanded Edition’ CD Remaster of the 11-track 1968 album with seven Bonus Tracks (one hidden) and plays out as follows (58:28 minutes):

1. Artificial Energy
2. Goin’ Back
3. Natural Harmony
4. Draft Morning
5. Wasn’t Born To Follow
6. Get To You
7. Change Is Now [Side 2]
8. Old John Robertson
9. Tribal Gathering
10. Dolphin’s Smile
11. Space Odyssey
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album “The Notorious Byrd Brothers” – released 3 January 1968 in the USA on Columbia CL 2775 (Mono) and Columbia CS 9575 (Stereo) and April 1968 in the UK on CBS Records BPG 63169 (Mono) and CBS Records S BPG 63169 (Stereo). The STEREO MIX is used. Produced by GARY USHER and Engineered by ROY HALEE and DON THOMPSON - it peaked at No. 47 on the US LP charts and No. 12 in the UK.

BONUS TRACKS (All Stereo):
12. Mood Raga - Previously released on the 1987 American compilation "Never Before" on Murray Hill Records
13. Bound To Fall – Previously Unissued Instrumental
14. Triad - David Crosby song previously released on 1990 4CD Box Set “The Byrds”
15. Goin’ Back – Previously Unissued Version 1
16. Draft Morning – Previously Unissued Version with an Alternate End
17. Universal Mind Decoder (Early Demo Version of “Change Is Now” – Previously Unreleased Instrumental Version)


The 12-page booklet is a pleasingly in-depth affair with properly knowledgeable liner notes from noted BYRDS authority JOHNNY ROGAN who authored "Timeless Flight: The Definitive Biography Of The Byrds". Amidst the black and white photos of the foursome looking all mean and moody (when the recordings started there was four - months later – Clarke left and Crosby was fired leaving only the core duo of McGuinn and Hillman) are publicity photos, a concert poster with The Doors and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band as well as repros of a few US Columbia 45s. These are sat alongside track-by-track examinations by Rogan on how such a varied and at times 'beautiful' album could have been be produced amidst the personal and musical toss 'n' tumble that surrounded the band (these notes are reproduced in the 40-page booklet inside the 'Complete' Box set - so you won't loose out on that count).

But the big news is the Audio – a remaster by BOB IRWIN and VIC ANESINI. Using the Stereo Masters (for all tracks) -these top engineers did the transfers and mixing at Sony’s Studios in New York and VIC ANESINI in particular is a name I've sung the praises of before. He’s handled very prestigious SONY catalogue – Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Nilsson, Paul Simon, Mountain, Lou Reed, Roy Orbison, Santana, Mott The Hoople and The Jayhawks to name but a few. Clean – full of presence and warmth – this thing is a joy to listen too – and when songs like "Goin' Back", "Draft Morning" and "Tribal Gathering" kick in - there's unlikely to be a dry Byrds eye in the house...

"Notorious" opens with "Artificial Energy" - a warning song about overdoing 'speed' - and I'm not talking about going fast on a Penny Farthing. It's slightly camp brass gives it a far more upbeat vibe and at 2:18 minutes is short and breathy. But that cool opener is trounced into absolute chemical submission by something so sublime that mere adjectives fail me - their truly breathtaking cover of Goffin and King's "Goin' Back". A hit penned by the mighty songwriting duo of Gerry and Carole for Dusty Springfield - The Byrds take this beautiful melody and literally make it soar - a pun I hate to use when it comes to this band of all bands - but in the case of this rendition - aptly fits. "Goin' Back" is beautiful stuff with sessionman Jim Gordon providing the drum roll at the end of the tune. Next up is Paul Beaver's Moog and Red Rhodes' Steel Guitar on Chris Hillman's equally musical "Natural Harmony" - another song with slightly drugged-up lyrics like "...head thrown back...arms open wide..." (reminds me of driving in my soft-top Porsche in Walthamstow in December).

Again another segue into a masterwork - the stunning "Draft Morning" which Rogan quiet rightly describes as 'one of the greatest and most bitter moments in the Byrds song catalogue'. Originally penned by David Crosby before he was unceremoniously chucked out of the band - both Hillman and McGuinn added more and therefore take the threesome songwriting credit (apparently its The Firesign Theatre who supply the gunshots in this anti-Vietnam winner). Another gem penned by Goffin and King - "Wasn't Born To Follow" turned up a year later as "I Wasn't Born To Follow" in January 1969 on the lone Carole King/Danny Kortchmar project LP "Now That Everything's Been Said" by THE CITY. It's also famous for its inclusion in the cult movie "Easy Rider" (The City version show sits prettiness - se separate review).

Other classics include "Get To You" where Roger McGuinn waxes lyrical about the mellowness of the English after a trip to Blighty and "Tribal Gathering" where David Crosby sings affectionately about hippies in San Francisco's Golden gate Park in January 1967 where the ensemble 'human be in' was taking all manner of trips (and not necessarily one needing a passport). I also love the clearly grumpy Crosby on 'Version 1' of "Goin' Back" in the Bonus Tracks with what sounds like a Mike Oldfield type Glockenspiel in the mix not present in the released version...and "Triad" is fantastic stuff.

The Byrds left behind a sizeable back catalogue where ridiculously shiny jewels like "Notorious" can get 'overlooked'. Remove that inner bummer and began your 'space odyssey' here. And remember kids – take a tip from a speckled Byrd and stay away from that 'Artificial Energy' speeding stuff (Red Bull, Snickers Bars and the like)...
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Price: £5.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Just In Time To See The Sun..." - Caravanserai by SANTANA (2003 Columbia/Legacy CD Remaster), 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Caravanserai (Audio CD)
The Latin-Rock of SANTANA took the world by storm back in the day - aided and abetted by a soaring appearance at the legendary Woodstock festival mere weeks before their debut appeared in September 1969 on Columbia Records in the USA and CBS Records in good old Blighty (see my review for "Santana: The Woodstock Experience"). September 1970's magisterial "Abraxas" soared to No. 1 in September 1970 and "Santana III" hit the top stop too in October of 1971.

But after patience stretching wig-outs with John McLaughlin and Buddy Miles in-between proper Santana studio albums - somehow the 'fizz' had gone off their sales by the time this deeply gorgeous and swirling Jazz Fusion LP arrived in October 1972. Even its eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing gatefold cover of far-away deserts and sun-drenched landscapes failed to get the public into a buying tizzy and it managed a more humble No. 8 on the US charts (No. 6 in the UK) compared to the genre-busting heights of its two predecessors.

But over the decades it's become a stone flower 'classic'. The trippy and largely instrumental "Caravanserai" has always been a fan's album – a less commercial affair than before and a sign of Carlos not wanting to rest of his laurels and stretch out musically – even if it meant fracturing his hugely successful band and the formula that won them those gold-discs. In fact I'd argue that in a long and amazing career that still clocks up huge sales to this day (2016) – their fourth studio set is something of an 'overlooked' nugget. And more importantly Bob Irwin and Vic Anesini's stunning remaster of it for Columbia has only made me slaver all over "Caravanserai" yet again. Here are the waves within (man)...

UK released October 2003 - "Caravanserai" by SANTANA on Columbia/Legacy 511128 2 (Barcode 5099751112822) is a straightforward CD Remaster of the 1972 album and plays out as follows (51:33 minutes):

1. Eternal Caravan Of Reincarnation
2. Waves Within
3. Look Up (To See What's Coming Down)
4. Just In Time To See The Sun
5. Song Of The Wind
6. All The Love In The Universe
7. Future Primitive [Side 2]
8. Stone Flower
9. La Fuente Del Ritmo
10. Every Step Of The Way
Tracks 1 to 10 are their fourth studio album "Caravanserai" - released October 1972 in the USA on Columbia KC 31610 and November 1972 in the UK on CBS Records S 65299. Produced by CARLOS SANTANA and MICHAEL SHRIEVE - it peaked at No. 8 in the USA and No. 6 in the UK LP charts.

The 10-leaf foldout inlay has excellent liner notes from HAL MILLER with quotes from original Producer Michael Shrieve – the 'Metaphysical Meditations' quotation that was on the inner gatefold of original vinyl LPs as well as track-by-track musician credits and a half decent colour representation of that gorgeous artwork. Even the Columbia CD matches the original LP label and there’s a picture of that distant camel train beneath the see-through CD tray.

But the big news is a new BOB IRWIN and VIC ANESINI CD Remaster. These guys did the transfers at Sony’s Studios in New York and ANESINI in particular is a name I've sung the praises of before. He’s handled very prestigious SONY catalogue – Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Nilsson, Paul Simon, Mountain, Lou Reed, Roy Orbison, Santana, Mott The Hoople and The Jayhawks to name but a few. Clean – full of presence and warmth – this thing is a joy to listen too – and after years of clicking through quite passages of tinkling cymbals and rattling congas on my trusty old vinyl original – the audio here is a welcome revelation...

"Caravanserai" opens with a crickets-chirping fade in – Percussion provided by James Mango Lewis and Carlos Santana as Hadley Caliman does those strangulated but Sahara-atmospheric Saxophone notes – Neal Schon (later with Journey) handling the Guitar. Then suddenly we get Tom Rutley on Acoustic Bass and Wendy Haas giving it some echoing electric Piano and we’re off into a different set of Santana waters. That segues into "Waves Within" where Carlos takes over the Lead Guitar and we become immediately aware of another integral hero of the band - Gregg Rolie's presence on Organ anchoring the whole soaring fusion piece. Things Funk Up big time with "Look Up (To See What's Coming Down)" - like Carlos has discovered his inner Sly Stone - a fantastic groove with the whole band cooking. Introducing unconvincing vocals into "Just In Time To See The Sun" kind of ruins an otherwise great groove - but all that is that is flattened by what has to be an all-time fave-crave for Santana fans - the magical "Song Of The Wind". Rolie's organ fades in six-minutes of sublime guitar work by the duo of Santana and Schon with stunning rhythm section support coming off James Lewis and Mike Shrieve. Even now it makes me weepy and reminds me of why I love Santana so much - that 'sound' he gets when he plays and really lets go. Side 1 ends with the Carlos Santana/Neil Schon penned "All The Love Of The Universe" where they and Mingo Lewis share vocals on probably the most 'boppy' number on the album (not the best in my opinion).

Side 2 opens with the spacey "Future Primitive" - floating keyboard notes are soon joined by a frantic Bongo and Conga combination from Jose "Chepito" Areas and James Mingo Lewis - whacking those percussion instruments like they're playing live at a festival and the crowd are cheering them on. Latin superstar Antonio Carlos Jobim wrote "Stone Flower" - the most overtly Latin song on the LP and a fabulous groove of guitars and keyboards. James Mango Lewis penned another fave of mine - the frenzied Salsa and Latin rhythms of "La Fuente Del Ritmo" - all musicians mixing perfectly with Carlos and Neal on dual guitars as James Mingo Lewis keeps it anchored with Acoustic Piano while Tom Coster solos on the Electric Piano - bit of a showstopper this. It ends with "Every Step Of The Way" - eight and half minutes of the Santana Band building up and then letting rip on everything - Guitars, Keyboards, Flute and Percussion. It's sexy and slightly dangerous rhythms are a perfect way to finish the LP...and along with "Song Of The Wind" is another instrumental highlight on an album that contains many...

In some respects it's kind of impossible to categorize "Caravanserai" - but isn't that cool – I loved it then for that and I love it still.

In the eternal caravan of repackaging (if you'll forgive the pun) - I'm quite certain we'll get yet another format in the future - another way to squeeze even more nuances out of this tasty desert-dish. But in the meantime - Legacy's superb CD Remaster of "Caravanserai" is available online for peanuts - cheaper than a camel train nosebag and highly unlikely to spit on you when things get a little hot under the collar as you air-guitar around your living room with a tennis racquet.

Enter here for the 'bosom of infinite joy' people...and as my wife well knows... I’m up for the 'bosom of infinite' anything...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2016 2:09 PM BST

Eli And The Thirteenth Confession
Eli And The Thirteenth Confession
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...A Little Magic...A Little Kindness..." - Eli And The Thirteenth Confession by LAURA NYRO (2002 Columbia/Legacy CD Remaster), 24 July 2016
A rare beauty and typically gone too soon. Laura Nyro's 2nd album - the wonderfully named "Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" scraped a No. 181 position on the US LP charts in August 1968 months after its March release (it was an improvement on the the total non-chart placement of her 1966 set "More Than A New Discovery"). And in truth I know people who can't bear her busy arrangements and that voice you either love or loathe. Yet you have to say that Columbia have done her memory and musical legacy proud with this elegant and beautiful sounding CD reissue. Here are the testimonials unveiled...

UK released August 2002 - "Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" by LAURA NYRO on Columbia/Legacy 508068 2 (Barcode 5099750806821) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with three Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (52:23 minutes):

Side 1: Part 1
1. Luckie
2. Lu
3. Sweet Blindness
4. Poverty Train
5. Lonely Women
6. Eli's Comin'

Side 2: Part 2
7. Timer
8. Stoned Soul Picnic
9. Emmie
10. Woman's Blues
11. Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)
12. December Boudoir
13. The Confession
Tracks 1 to 13 are her 2nd studio album "Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" - released March 1968 in the USA on Columbia CS 9626 (Stereo) and August 1968 in the UK on CBS Records S 63346 (Stereo). Produced by CHARLIE CALELLO and LAURA NYRO - all songs written by Laura Nyro.

BONUS TRACKS (all Previously Unreleased):
14. Lu (Demo recorded 29 Nov 1967)
15. Stoned Soul Picnic (Demo recorded 29 Nov 1967)
16. Emmie (Demo recorded 29 Nov 1967)

The CD Reissue is Produced by AL QUAGLIERI - the 12-page booklet features affectionate and informative liner notes (with a rear sleeve note from singer Phoebe Snow) - a photo of her at the piano with Miles Davis - lyrics to the songs and recording dates - a photo beneath the see-through tray and the usual reissue credits. It feels classy right from the off...

The last time the album has a CD transfer was in May 1997 on Columbia 487240 2 – an album-only reissue. But this new 'Expanded Edition' on their Legacy imprint from 2002 comes with a fresh remaster involving two very experienced Audio Engineers - MARK WILDER and SETH FOSTER. A pretty ballad like "Emmie" and "Lonely Women" have quite passages and the tape hiss is evident in places ("Poverty Train" too) - but nothing too much to detract. In fact re-listening to stuff like the brass arrangements on "Woman's Blues" is a stunning experience - the remaster is beautiful - as is the music (you can 'so' hear where Blood, Sweat & Tears got their musical signatures from).

Although she couldn't seem to get arrested with regard to sales of her own records - her songwriting prowess soon got noticed. Laura Nyro was one of those songsmiths where her odd melodies and tunes had a Soulfulness that others hooked into and could bring out – even make better. The 5th Dimension famously picked up on two songs – "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Sweet Blindness". Their cover of "Stoned Soul Picnic" hit the US singles charts in June 1968 on Soul City 766 and crashed the top ten - eventually settling at an impressive No. 3. They followed this success in October 1968 with their cover of Nyro's irrepressible and busy bopper "Sweet Blindness" on Soul City 768 (lyrics from it title this review). It peaked at No. 13. Later the following year those great interpreters Three Dog Night took "Eli's Coming" to a No. 10 slot on Dunhill/ABC 4215 in November 1969. Obscurities - Linda Hoyle of the British Jazz Fusion ensemble Affinity issued "Eli's Coming" as a British 45 on the Prog label Vertigo 6059 018 in 1970 - while Ronnie Dyson's debut September 1970 album "(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You" on Columbia Records featured a cover of the mellow vibes tune "Emmie" - probably one of the loveliest songs on the “Eli...” album.

Album highlights include the staggering hurt in "Lonely Women" where " one hurries home to..." these aching ladies - the fuzzed-up guitars in the brilliant and political "Poverty Train" and the piano/brass chug-and-stop of "Once It Was Alright (Farmer Joe)" - a song that starts out rocking but goes off into soaring vocals and different rhythm tangents. There's hiss on the beautiful "December's Boudoir" but its quickly forgotten as those gorgeous strings and plucked harp notes swirl around your speakers. Her vocals on this song are 'so' soulful. It ends on "Confession" - more vocal pyrotechnics and frantic arrangements that sound like no one else. In fact the whole album is like that...

But the big prize for fans is the three beautifully recorded demos - all recorded 29 November 1967 and Previously Unreleased. They feature Laura on piano with doubled vocals - and that's it. They sound and feel utterly amazing - and I'd push the boat out by saying that I prefer this 'piano and voices' version of "Stoned Soul Picnic" version to the finished result. "Emmie" has always been a ballad hidden in the bowls of the album. Here it's even more intimate with just her on Piano producing something that's Todd Rundgren/Tori Amos beautiful (if you know what I mean). Wow - what a find...

On the song "Time And Love" from her next album "New York Tendaberry" (September 1969) - Laura Nyro would sing "...nothing cures like time and love..."

Laura Nyro passed in 1997 aged only 47 from Ovarian Cancer. She was impossibly special and her music is a musical cure waiting to be discovered again and again...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2016 12:41 AM BST

Second Winter: Legacy Edition(2Cd)(Ltd.Release)
Second Winter: Legacy Edition(2Cd)(Ltd.Release)
Price: £73.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Been A Long Time Coming..." – Second Winter: Legacy Edition by JOHNNY WINTER (2004 Columbia/Legacy 2CD Remaster), 24 July 2016
Winter's third album – the impossibly cool "Second Winter" (a 3-sided 2LP set where Side 4 was left blank deliberately) was his second platter for Columbia Records and delivered on the Boogie promise of his May 1969 label debut "Johnny Winter" (both vinyl treasures I've had on my turntables for over 45 years). I never in my wildest dreams thought Sony would afford "Second Winter" a 'Legacy Edition' 2CD set – yet they have – and they've come up with a fan-pleasing barnstormer into the axe-wielding bargain. Here are the fret-burning details...

UK and Europe released 18 October 2004 (August 2004 in the USA) - "Second Winter: Legacy Edition" by JOHNNY WINTER on Columbia/Legacy COL 511231 2 (Barcode 5099751123125) is a 2CD Remaster housed in a Stickered Plastic Outer Slipcase and plays outs as follows:

Disc 1 - "Second Winter" (55:13 minutes):
1. Memory Pain [Side 1]
2. I'm Not So Sure
3. The Good Love
4. Slippin' And Slidin' [Side 2]
5. Miss Ann
6. Johnny B. Goode
7. Highway 61 Revisited
8. I Love Everybody [Side 3]
9. Hustled Down In Texas
10. I Hate Everybody
11. Fast Life Rider
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 3rd studio album "Second Winter" - released 27 October 1969 in the USA as a 3-sided 2LP set on Columbia KCS 9947 and January 1970 in the UK on CBS 66321 (Side 4 was left blank on purpose). Produced by Johnny Winter – it peaked at No. 55 in the USA (December 1969) and made No. 59 in the UK (May 1970).

BONUS TRACKS (Previously Unreleased):
12. Early In The Morning
13. Tell The Truth (Instrumental)

JOHNNY WINTER – Lead Vocals, Guitars & Mandolin
EDGAR WINTER – Piano, Organ, Harpsichord & Alto Sax
TOMMY SHANNON – Bass (except DENNIS COLLINS on “Good Love”)
"UNCLE" JOHN TURNER – Drums & Percussion

Disc 2 (72:10 minutes): "Live At The Royal Albert Hall 17 April 1970" – All Tracks PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
1. Help Me
2. Johnny B. Goode
3. Mama Talk To Your Daughter
4. It's My Own Fault
5. Black Cat Bone
6. Mean Town Blues
7. Tobacco Road
8. Frankenstein
9. Tell The Truth

MUSICIANS for the Live Set:
JOHNNY WINTER – Lead Vocals, Electric and Slide Guitar
EDGAR WINTER – Saxophone, Keyboards and Vocals (Lead on "Frankenstein", Co-Lead with Johnny on "Tell The Truth")

The 24-page Colour booklet features unpublished photos from the period, ANDY ALEDORT liner notes (Associate Editor for ‘Guitar World’ magazine) that include interviews with Johnny and Edgar Winter as well as the live band members who played the Royal Albert Hall show in April 1970 featured on Disc 2 – Bassist Tommy Shannon and Drummer John Turner. Each of the see-through CD trays features blue and white photos (in keeping with the original artwork) underneath the CDs. JERRY RAPPAPORT produced the Legacy Edition while JOSEPH M. PALMACCIO did the overall Mastering. BOB AUGER recorded and mixed the Live set - produced for 2004 release by JERRY RAPPAPORT.

Some album covers are so damn cool – and “Second Winter” is one of them. Richard Avedon’s double-imaged picture is the very stuff of something simple turned into something great – that flying white hair suggesting guitar ecstasy – something fluid – like his playing. The album opens with a Percy Mayfield cover version – the wonderful “Memory Pain” – a hit for Mayfield way back in 1964 on Tangerine Records. Right from the off you get huge chugging guitar and the Remaster starts to shine. Not to be outdone by old magic – his own “I’m Not Sure” is superb – and introduces layers of keyboards in a Funky Stevie Wonder “Innervisions” kind of way. Bassist Dennis Collins plays once on the album – accompanying himself on his own “The Good Love” which Johnny turns into a rapidly played Rocker. That wicked track is followed by two out-and-out speedball classics – a duo of Little Richard Specialty sides – “Slippin’ And Slidin’” and “Mary Ann”. The piano boogie intro to “Slippin’ And Slidin’” reminds me so much of John Lennon’s version five years later on his 1975 “Rock ‘n’ Roll” album. About one-minute twenty into the piano and sax old time Rock 'n' Roll - Johnny lets rips with the most brilliant guitar solo - fusing the song into something so 1970. His six-minute cover of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is a souped-up slide fest but I've never been particularly fond of it.

The immediately impressive "I Love Everybody" turned up on the "Fill Your Head With Rock" CBS Records Double-Album Sampler in 1970 – alerting many a budding kid to his amazing guitar playing and slightly druggy nature (love that giggle at the start). "Hustled Down In Texas" has always been a fave of mine - rip-roaring up and down the frets like an unleashed freight train (you can hear him grunt in the solo). The organ-jazzy "I Hate Everybody" is a rapid-fire hybrid between Georgie Fame scat and Winter's chugging rhythm and the last cut - the seven-minute "Fast Life Rider" is even more experimental - feeling like a Drums and Guitar for much of its duration. Better for me is a Previously Unreleased cover of a Louis Jordan classic "Early In The Morning". The remaster is remarkable - mixed in 2004 by THOM CADLEY at Sony's studios in New York. It's a raucous rocker that would have ended the album better than "Fast Life Rider". That boogie is followed by another cover – this time we’re given the R&B flavored instrumental “Tell The Truth” by Ray Charles – a song the band turns into a 9-minute celebration on the live set (lyrics and all). Both could easily have been slotted onto a Side 4 of the album with some quickly recorded covers thrown in...ah well...

Johnny asks the crowd "...what's happening..." as he begins the live set. Immediately you're hit by the sheer power of his band and that incredible playing. The drums and bass of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me" are spot on with the vocals maybe a little too far back. Things really start to jump with his Chuck Berry fave "Johnny B. Goode" where he assures the pleased audience that 'he played his guitar just like ringing a bell' - and indeed he did. J.B. Lenoir's cautionary tale "Mama Talk To Your Daughter" boogies even more - the band cooking by now. He brings it down to some real power Blues with B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" - eleven and half minutes of fabulous Rock-Blues from a master player. His own "Black Cat Bones" livens things up considerably with some sensational slide playing but that's as nothing to the brilliant Bo Diddley chug of "Mean Town Blues" that bops along like ZZ Top for a full eleven minutes. We get all jerky motion and Cream with their cover of "Tobacco Road" - a fantastic organ and guitar spectacle with rapped vocals from Edgar that very cleverly leads into the big one - a 9-minute "Frankenstein". The single would sit on top of the American charts in instrumental form in April 1973 (Epic 10967). Even though there are only four of them onstage - they seem to be making the racket of six. Drummer Turner gets his solo during "Frankenstein" which admittedly goes on a tad - but it ends on that huge riffage (no keyboards yet). They finish up with a crowd-pleasing "Tell The Truth" - a bopper that sees Johnny let rip while Edgar joins him on the verses and some rapid-fire scat.

Like many I suspect - I used to take Johnny Winter albums for granted. But since his sad passing I can't seem to get enough of him and his astonishing playing. Dreadful puns aside - there's no Johnny Winter of discontent here folks...

PS: If you want more - check out his late Seventies collaborations with MUDDY WATERS on Blue Sky Records which feature Winter producing and playing on all (see the 3CD "Original Album Classics" box set). See also my review for the "Woodstock Experience" version of "Johnny Winter" his debut for Columbia Records in 1969. It comes with a superb bonus disc of period live material and beautiful packaging including a poster (see reviews)...
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Moonshadows/Yesterday's Dreams/Spellbound by Alphonso Johnson (2015-05-04)
Moonshadows/Yesterday's Dreams/Spellbound by Alphonso Johnson (2015-05-04)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "…Moonshadows…" – Moonshadows/Yesterday's Dreams/Spellbound by ALPHONSO JOHNSON (2015 Beat Goes On 2CD Remasters), 24 July 2016
Philly-born virtuoso ALPHONSO JOHNSON was only 23 when he replaced Weather Report’s Miroslav Vituos on Bass in early 1974 and was soon after to also play with Fusion Giants George Duke and Stanley Clarke on their solo projects. By the time he got to 1976 - and with a little help from Weather Report stalwarts like Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter (Zawinul once described Johnson as "...disciplined…could lay down a groove that hurt…") – Columbia Records gave him a shot and he promptly popped out three Funk-Fusion LPs on their Epic Records imprint – "Moonshadows" and "Yesterday's Dreams" (both from 1976) and "Spellbound" (from 1977). The hugely revered first two were never issued in the UK (the 3rd was) and have been elusive on CD for decades. And that's where this gorgeous-sounding Beat Goes On 2CD Remaster comes in. Here are the funk-that-hurts details…

UK released 27 November 2015 (December 2015 in the USA) – "Moonshadows/Yesterday's Dreams/Spellbound" by ALPHONSO JOHNSON on Beat Goes On BGOCD 1220 (Barcode 5017261212207) offers 3LPs on 2CDs and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (40:48 minutes):
1. Slump
2. Involuntary Bliss
3. Cosmoba Place
4. Pandora's Box
5. Up From The Cellar [Side 2]
6. Amarteifio
7. On The Case
8. Unto Thine Own Self Be True
Tracks 1 to 8 are his debut album "Moonshadows" – released 1976 in the USA on Epic Records PE 34118 (no UK release)

Players included:
ALPHONSO JOHNSON – Basses, Electric Stick and Vocals
DAWILLI GONGA – Keyboards & Vocals
IAN UNDERWOOD – Keyboards & Synth Programming
ALPHONSE MOUZON – Orchestron Voice Choir Keyboard
GARY BARTZ – Soprano Saxophone
FLORA PURIM – Backing Vocals on "Involuntary Bliss", "Up From The Cellar" and "Upon Thine Own Self Be True" with Lead Vocals on "Amarteifio"

Disc 2 (71:34 minutes):
1. Love's The Way I Feel 'Bout Cha
2. As Little As You
3. Scapegoat
4. Show Us The Way
5. Balls To The Wall [Side 2]
6. Tales Of Barcelona
7. Flight To Hampstead Heath
8. One To One
Tracks 1 to 8 are his second album "Yesterday's Dreams" – released 1976 in the USA on Epic PE 34364 (no UK release)

Players included:
ALPHONSO JOHNSON – Basses, Electric Stick, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
RAY GOMEZ and LEE RITENOUR – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
SHEILA ESCOVEDO – Congas & Percussion
RUTH UNDERWOOD - Harpophone, Orchestra Bells, Marimbas & Vibraphone

9. Summer Solstice (First Movement)
10. Follow Your Heart
11. Bahama Mama
12. Nomads
13. Moonlight Conversations
14. Face Blaster [Side 2]
15. Feelings Are… (The Hardest Words To Say)
16. Earthtales Suite: Intro – Winter Solstice
I - Release From Bondage
II – Why
III – Voice Of Authority
IV Rushing Of The Wind
V – Sword And The Scepter
VI – Summer Solstice (Second Movement)
Tracks 9 to 16 are this third album "Spellbound" – released 1977 in the USA on Epic Records JE 34869 and in the UK on Epic S EPC 82197

The outer card slipcase lends the release a classy feel, the 24-page booklet is packed with album-by-album credits and new liner notes from noted writer CHARLES WARING – a regular contributor to Mojo and Record Collector. ANDREW THOMPSON has carried out the new 2015 Remasters licensed from Sony and the Audio here is stupendous – beautifully clear and reflecting the original top-class production values of Skip Drinkwater (Johnson did the 3rd set himself).

As you can see from the 'Players' lists given above – the guest names of talent featured for each record is astonishing – a virtual who's who of Jazz Funk talent with Johnson providing the Funky Bass backdrop. And they’re not just window-dressing either. The debut album opens with "Strump" and "Involuntary Bliss" – Funk workouts on a Jazz-tip that feel amazingly 'now' rather than 1976. Entering the territory of sublime Jazz/Soul/Fusion is the gorgeous sea-and-gulls ballad "Amarteifio" – the only song on the album with lyrics that Flora Purim slays in her path with her Soulful swoops and phrasing (lyrics reproduced in the booklet). It's a true highlight on a great album. It gets seriously funky with the bass-led "On The Case" where Johnson goes all slap stick wild in the first passage followed by Lee Ritenour letting rip on his axe for the second part (wonderful playing). It ends on a piece of joyous fusion that’s so Narada Michael Walden – Flora singing the title as a backing refrain while Dawilli Gonga plays a blinder on various keyboards.

Wisely trying for a more commercial angle - the number of vocalists increased for album number two "Yesterday's Dream" – released at the end of 1976. "Love's The Way I Feel 'Bout Cha" might as well be Con Funk Shun with Dianne Reeves and Philip Bailey on Vocals (lyrics in the booklet). Keyboard genius Patrice Rushen fills up both "As Little as You" and "Scapegoat" with her skills - while Grover Washington Jr. plays his horn. Jon Lucien adds his deep voice to "Show Us The Way" as Ritenour skilfully plucks the Acoustic Guitar. But my fave on here is the beautiful instrumental "Flight To Hampstead Heath" – a mid-tempo builder that feels more Prog Jazz than Fusion.

Prog dominates the opening "Summer Solstice (First Movement)" and for that matter much of the "Spellbound” album - sounding more like Jon Anderson has gone Jazz (but not in a good way). Guitarist Pat Thrall provides the Guitar Solos for "Follow Your Heart", "Bahama Mama", "Face Blaster" and "Feelings Are…" But it was a big mistake to forego the various quality vocalists that made the first two albums so good for his larynx on album number three. Johnson's voice is decidedly ordinary compared to what went before – and this is never more evident than on "Nomads" – a nice tune rendered impotent by his flat delivery. The short but pretty instrumental "Moonlight Conversations" features lovely playing from the other featured guitarist on the album – Kevin Shireve. It ends on the near nine-minute "Earthtales Suite" – a complicated but ultimately boring piece that unfortunately sums up the whole LP – virtuosity without any heart or tunes…

Jazz Fusion and Funk fans will love the first two albums – especially as neither received a UK release – but that third record rather lets the side down. Still – with its superb presentation and gorgeous Audio quality – this is a must buy for fans…and so good to see Johnson be given some well-deserved limelight at last...
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