Friday, December 30, 2022

REPOST: Margaret RoadKnight - Living In The Land Of Oz (1984) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1963 - Present)
Margret RoadKnight (born July 1943 in Melbourne) is a renowned Australian singer. A unique and passionate artist, renowned for her powerful vocals and wide-ranging roots-based repertoire with lyrics full of wit and wisdom, Margret RoadKnight survives and thrives outside the mainstream music scene with flair and soul.
 In a career spanning almost five decades, she has sung in a wide variety of styles including blues, jazz, gospel, comedy, cabaret, and folk. In the 1960s and 1970s RoadKnight appeared on numerous television programmes including 'Folkmoot', hosted by Leonard Teale, Dave's Place, hosted by the Kingston Trio's Dave Guard, and the ABC national weekly current affairs program Open-End. In 1976 she released the single Girls in Our Town, which reached the Top 40.

Margret started singing as a hobby in 1963 in Melbourne during the local jazz-folk boom of the time.
She continued her interest in singing and by 1973 she was working on a current affairs program in Canberra, performing songs she had written relating to news events. Later in the year Margret recorded a live album at Frank Traynor's club called People Get Ready.
In 1974 she was given a grant, to study contemporary music in the US, by the Australian Council for the Arts for a period of six months. On her return she appeared at university campuses and headlined a series of her own concerts.

Her experience in America had developed her singing style to an international standard and late in 1975 she recorded a song written by Bob Hudson called 'Girls In Our Town'. The single was released in February '76 and became a national hit the following month. The record's popularity was also aided by the fact that it was considered, in part, to be a sequel to the 'Newcastle Song' which Bob had made a hit twelve months before.
In August, 1977 she left on a nine month working holiday to America, Europe, England and the Philippines.
Margret's long-awaited 'Ice' album finally came out in mid-1978. The album had to be re-mixed twice before she was satisfied with it. The record — which included one side on the coming of the ice-age — was described by reviewers as good, progressive jazz-folk.

Following its release Margret left for the US, and later in the year performed in China with an Australian theatre group. [extract from Australian Encyclopedia of Rock by Noel McGrath, Outback Press, 1978 p262]

Five decades into her career, she continues to tour extensively, singing riveting if under-exposed songs, either a-cappella or with her guitar and African thumb piano, solo or with accompanying musicians, always interspersed with informative and amusing anecdotes (and yes, she still reprises her fondly remembered mid-’70s Australiana hit “Girls In Our Town”).

Margret has recorded ten solo albums and been featured on thirty one others.
She has sung blues, jazz, gospel, folk, comedy, and social commentary songs in concert halls and cathedrals, clubs and campuses, from Broome to Hobart, Beijing to Memphis, Paris to Auckland, Edinburgh to Tel Aviv, New York to Seoul, Amsterdam to Dublin, New Orleans to London, Vancouver to Nuku’alofa.
May 12th, 2013 marked the commencement of Margret RoadKnight’s Golden Jubilee (celebrating 50 years of professional performance) and concluded in April 2014 with her Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Folk Festival. [extract from]

Margret RoadKnight - Yesteryear & Today

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'autographed' vinyl copy (see back cover pic below)
Full album artwork and label scans are included along with many select photos - some sourced from Margret's website (with thanks). Also included are 2 bonus tracks sourced from Phyl Lobl's website.- "Make Mine Music" and "Ship Of Fools" from her Wanderer album (a collaborative album).
Recently added bonus track  "Captain Jack" is the non-album B-Side of Margret's hit single "Girls In Our Town".
This compilation album is an excellent discography of Margret's career but if you are looking for something more extensive, then you might consider purchasing her Decade '75 - 84' CD, available from her website.

I particular like her covers of "Living In The Land Of Oz" (Ross Wilson), "I'll Be Gone" (Spectrum) and Doug Ashdown's "Winter In America" - on which she puts her personal spin. Not to be missed, so grab it now.

New Fresh Rip with extra Bonus Track
Track Listing
01 - Living In The Land Of Oz
02 - Girls In Our Town
03 - Waltzing Matilda (Blues Version)
04 - I'll be Gone
05 - Love Tastes Like Strawberries
06 - Love At First Sight
07 - (Bloody Well) Australian Through And Through
08 - Ice
09 - Winter In America
10 - Raw Deal
11 - Tears Their Toll Can Take
12 - I Ain't Never Heard You Play The Blues
13 - Masculine Women, Feminine Men
14 - Edna's Hymn
Bonus Tracks 

15 - Make Mine Music
16 - Ship Of Fools
17 - Captain Jack (B-Side Single)  JUST ADDED

Margret RoadKnight (Vocals, Guitar)
Judy Bailey (Piano)
Bob Hudson (Vocals, Noisemakers)
Ellen McIlwaine (Slide guitar, Organ, vocal)
Party Girls (Vocals)
Jo Trunman (Didgeridoo)

Margret Roadknight FLAC Link (283Mb)  New Link 13/10/2023

Saturday, December 24, 2022

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Air Supply - The Christmas Album (1987) plus Bonus EP 'Four Play' (1986)


Before things get too serious
here at Rock On Vinyl, thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

With their heavily orchestrated, sweet ballads, the Australian soft rock group Air Supply became a staple of early-'80s radio, scoring a string of seven straight US Top Five singles. Air Supply, for most intents and purposes, was the duo of vocalists Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell; other members came through the group over the years, yet they only functioned as backing musicians and added little to the group's sound.

The group evolved after Graham joined the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in April 1975 and began singing with fellow cast members Russell Hitchcock and Chrissie Hammond. The trio became a serious project during Superstar's New Zealand tour when they made some appearances at campuses and on radio and TV.
Chrissie left to pursue a solo career and went on to play the part of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar before becoming part of the duo, Cheetah. She was replaced by Jeremy Paul, who joined the show in Brisbane after performing in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Jeremy had also played bass with a Sydney band called Soffrok and therefore added additional instrumentation to the trio.

Early Air Supply
In September 1976, they scored a recording contract with CBS and subsequently released a single comprising two Graham Russell compositions, 'Love and Other Bruises' backed with 'If You Knew Me'.
"Love And Other Bruises" and "If You Knew Me", the first demos of Graham’s compositions were recorded on a tiny tape deck in a theatre orchestra pit. Everyone turned them down, but one - CBS Records who admired their unique style. They made a single in one afternoon and it shot to number one on the National charts. The duo found help from Frank Esler-Smith, Superstar’s musical director, and Air Supply’s future keyboardist. Graham and Russell settled on the named Air Supply.

For several years, the group gained no attention outside of Australia, earning one significant hit single, "Love and Other Bruises" (1976). In December 1976, they released their first album 'Air Supply' which is featured in this post, and it attained them a gold record three months later. Meanwhile their follow-up single, 'Empty Pages', was released in February 1977, and although it sold well, particularly in Brisbane, it just missed becoming a top forty hit.

The group's big break came hot on the heels of the release of their new single, 'Do What You Do', when, in June 1977, it was announced that they would be appearing at the annual CBS Convention in London with Chicago and Boz Scaggs. This was a fantastic achievement being the first Australian act to work at such an exclusive function.

Late June saw another step forward with the release of the new LP, 'The Whole Thing's Started' (which featured Graham's compositions and continued in their soft rock theme), and a tour of the US and Canada with their old friend, Rod Stewart. Air Supply's first stumbling block happened in August when it was announced that Jeremy was leaving and returning to Australia with no news of a replacement. This retarded their progress and was not helped by the lack of airplay and therefore chart success of their next Australian single, "That's How The Whole Thing Started', released in October 1977.

The group continued as a duo supported by their band and signed a record contract with Arista in 1980, releasing their first album for the new record company by the end of the year. 'Lost in Love', was a major success in the U.S., selling over two million copies and spawning the hit singles "Lost in Love", "All Out of Love" and "Every Woman in the World".

The following year they released their second Arista album, 'The One That You Love'. The title track became their only number one hit and it also featured two other Top Ten hits, "Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)" and "Sweet Dreams". With their third album, 1982's 'Now and Forever', their popularity dipped slightly -- it only had one Top Ten hit, "Even the Nights Are Better" and the other two singles, "Young Love" and "Two Less Lonely People in the World", scraped the bottom of the Top 40. Air Supply released a Greatest Hits collection in 1983, featuring a new single, "Making Love Out of Nothing at All". The single spent two weeks at number two while the album peaked at number seven and eventually sold over four million copies.

Two years later, they released another self titled album 'Air Supply' (1985), their fourth album. It featured the number 19 single "Just As I Am", but it was clear that their audience was shrinking -- the album was their first not to go platinum. 'Hearts in Motion' (1986) was even less successful, peaking at number 84 and spending only nine weeks on the charts. The duo released their 'Christmas Album' (1987) and after its disappointing performance, Air Supply decided to take a break. Russell started a solo career without any participation of Graham and released his first solo album, Russell Hitchcock (1987).

After a brief haitus, the duo eventually reunited in 1991 and continued to pump out more albums well into the new millineum.

The Christmas Album was the tenth studio album by Australian soft rock band Air Supply released in 1987. It was their last studio album to be released under Arista Records. The album featured recordings of classic Christmas songs plus the two original songs, "Love Is All" and "The Eyes of a Child." There is a short instrumental version of "What Child Is This" in the track "Silent Night".

So, here is another Aussie Christmas WOCK on Vinyl post for my wonderful blog followers. 
As a bonus, I'm also including a rare 331/3 rpm Four Play 7" EP that Air Supply released in 1986, which features 4 of their early singles. 
All of these Xmas 'Presents' are in FLAC format and come  wrapped in Full Album Artwork for your pleasure.
Stay safe on the roads during the festive season folks and have a Merry, Merry Christmas everyone.

Track Listing (Christmas Album)
01 "White Christmas" - 3:25
02 "The First Noel" - 3:23
03 "The Little Drummer Boy" - 3:07
04 "The Eyes of a Child" - 4:33
05 "Silent Night" - 3:08
06 "The Christmas Song" - 3:01
07 "Sleigh Ride" - 2:23
08 "Winter Wonderland" - 2:35
09 "O Come All Ye Faithful"- 3:14
10 "Love Is All" - 4:30

Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell - lead vocals
Linda Harmon, Russell Hitchcock, Edie Lehmann, Michael Lloyd, Patti Lloyd, Debbie Lytton, Jeni Lytton, Graham Russell - backing vocals
Jim Cox, John Hobbs, Michael Lloyd - keyboards
Laurence Juber, Graham Russell - guitar
Dennis Belfield - bass guitar
Ron Krasinski, Paul Leim - drums
Alan Estes, Michael Fisher, Ron Krasinski, Bob Zimmitti - percussion
Brian O'Connor, James Thatcher - French horn
Ernie Carlson, Dick Hyde, Lew McCreary - trombone
Stuart Blumberg, John Rosenberg - trumpet
Don Ashworth, Jon Clarke, Ronald Jannelli, John Mitchell - woodwind
Gayle Levant - harp

The Christmas Album Link (205Mb) New Link 04/09/2023

Track Listing (Four Play EP)
01  "Love And Other Bruises"  - 3:40
02  "Empty Pages"  - 4:13
03  "Do What You Do"   - 3:42
04  "That's How The Whole Thing Started"  - 5:18

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Joe Walsh - You Can't Argue With A Sick Mind - Recorded Live (1976)

 (U.S 1965 - Present)

Joseph "Joe" Fidler Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 20, 1947. He has been a member of three successful bands, the James Gang, Barnstorm, and The Eagles.

Though Joe Walsh had played guitar in a high school cover band and a popular Kent bar band while in college, he really came into his own in 1968, when he joined the Cleveland-based James Gang. One night in May, 1968, on the way to Detroit for a show at the Grande Ballroom opening for Cream, half the band quit. Needing the money to pay for gas to get home, the James Gang took the stage as a trio, and Joe was forced to learn on the fly how to carry rhythm and lead duties while now singing lead simultaneously. It proved a revelation. Permanently reconfigured as a trio, the James Gang quickly developed a huge following in the Midwest and landed a record deal, leading to a 1969 debut album, Yer’ Album, that became an FM radio staple.

Soon the American public caught up in a big way, as the James Gang scored hits with singles like “Funk #49” and “Walk Away” and gold certifications for the albums James Gang Rides Again (1970) and Thirds (1971) before Joe’s departure following the landmark 1971 live album, Live in Concert, recorded at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, which the James Gang were the 1st rock band ever to play.

Despite the band’s upward trajectory, Joe found himself at a creative crossroads: the music he was hearing in his head no longer fit the trio format. He impulsively walked away from a band with consecutive gold albums and moved from Cleveland to a former mining village high in the Colorado Rockies to pursue an as-yet-undefined sound with a new set of collaborators. In typical Joe Walsh style, he found out about a new studio being built nearby and arranged to record there for next to nothing in exchange for working out the kinks in the untested room. The album became the much-loved self-titled 1972 debut by Joe’s next band, Barnstorm, and the studio became the legendary Caribou Ranch, which has been used by many popular artists and bands, including Elton John and Chicago.

Barnstorm’s second album, 1973’s 'The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get', yielded the biggest hit of Joe’s career to that point, with “Rocky Mountain Way” eclipsing his James Gang output. Once again, however, despite another band on the rise, Joe was gradually getting restless.

He found a new sense of home—and a new manager, Irving Azoff—in the musical melting pot of Los Angeles, where Joe formed bonds with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Jackson Brown, Dan Fogelberg, and J. D. Souther, among others. The 1974 solo album 'So What' emerged from this period, and both that album and the solo live album that followed, 'You Can’t Argue with a Sick Mind', hit the charts, making Joe a bona fide solo sensation.

Joe's Barnstorm 1975

When the Eagles asked Joe to join, he jumped at the chance. He and the members of the band had already been jamming and writing together as part of the magically fertile LA scene, and now he was able to bring his rock edge to the vocal harmonies he loved so much in Eagles. The result was lightning in a bottle, and the new lineup of Eagles defined an entire era with 'Hotel California'. The album took the already-successful band to dazzling new heights: Hotel California went on to sell over 50 million copies and the title track won the band a Grammy for Record of the Year. Joe’s presence also transformed the band as a concert experience, adding his harder-edged solo songs to the live repertoire.[extract from Joe's Official Website]

Featured Live Album

This is a mid 70s live set recorded just before Joe Walsh joined the Eagles. Actually, a lot of this material has remained in the Eagles live set for years. The James Gang classic "Walk away" is still performed live by them in the new millennium, just like "Rocky Mountain Way" which is probably his best known solo song. The studio version of "Help me through the night" had the Eagles singing backing vocals, it was in the Eagles set in the mid 90s. Then there's also the great, long "Turn to stone" or the excellent "Meadows" from Walsh's masterpiece The smoker you drink, the player you get. Maybe the Eagles couldn't really rock, Joe Walsh certainly could. This is just one of the many Joe Walsh albums that I'd recommended to anybody interested in 70s American rock music.

Joe Walsh is backed by Willie Semanas on bass, a man who has played with an astronomical number of musicians.

Dave Mason of Traffic on electric piano, and Jay Ferguson ex-Spirit and ex-Jo Jo Gunne on piano and vocals. Emulating the Allman Brothers Joe Walsh went on tour with two percussionists: the great Joe Vitale and Andy Newmark. But with the incentive that Vitale is also a drummer, he is an excellent flutist, who has collaborated from CS & N to Zakk Wylde.
An excellent album from the golden age of music called Californian, the sound is quite poor and the duration leaves you with long teeth, but less gives a stone!

The question that remains in the air is: Why did Walsh decide to release a single LP live, instead of a double, or even triple, so fashionable at the time. I find it very odd that in Joe Walsh's long solo career, he's only released one live album, "You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind," released in 1976. And that was an unusually short one as live albums go, at only 34 minutes. So I set about to find a good bootleg concert from the 1970s, before he joined the Eagles in 1976.

It turns out I could only find one concert that has truly excellent sound quality. Coincidently, it turned out to be exactly the same concert that was the source of his live album (as featured here). It was an hour-long appearance on the "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" TV show, and the additional songs from this source almost doubles the length of his live performance and, in my opinion, makes it into a proper live album.

Specifically, the songs "Mother Says", "Welcome to the Club, "Get Back," and "Gimme Some Lovin'" have been added to this post. The last two tracks are covers of the famous hits by the Beatles and the Spencer Davis Group respectively. It's disappointing those two weren't included on the official album, since he never recorded them for any studio albums either.

I should also point out that Walsh had a number of prominent musicians helping out for this concert. Don Felder, who had recently joined the Eagle, was part of his band for the entire show. Two more Eagles, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, joined on vocals for the song "Help Me through the Night." Plus, Frey returned for the final song.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl (near mint) and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD formats. As mentioned above, I am also including four bonus tracks from the Don Kirshner's Rock Concert release  that were not included on this Official 1976 release of the same concert (thanks to albumsthatshouldexist)

It should also be noted that the length of Rocky Mountain Way is incorrectly annotated on the record label as 17:48, when in fact it should be 7:48.   I hope you like this live offering from Joe, and if you don't then you should 'cause you can't argue with a sick mind !

Track Listing:
01 - Walk Away (3:24)
02 - Meadows (7:12)
03 - Rocky Mountain Way (7:48)
04 - Time Out (4:24)
05 - Help Me Thru The Night (3:44)
06 - Turn To Stone (8:49)
07 - Mother Says [Bonus Track] (4:57)
08 - Welcome to the Club [Bonus Track] (4:29)
09 - Get Back [Bonus Track] (4:43)
10 - Gimme Some Lovin' [Bonus Track] (4:30)

Barnstorm were:
Willie Weeks : Bass
Joe Vitale : Drums
Andy Newmark : Drums
Don Felder : Guitar
Joe Walsh : Guitar
Rocky Dzidzonru : Percussion
Jay Ferguson : Keyboards
David Mason : Keyboards
Vocals on "Help Me Thru The Night" : Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder & Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh Live Link (262Mb) New Link 04/09/2023

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

REPOST: SCRA - Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly (1971) & The Ship Album (1972)

(Australian 1971-72)
The band's full title was Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly (S.C.R.A) and they were formed half-way through 1971. They were an eleven piece outfit with two singers - Cheryl Blake and Peter Martin.
This band was massive with 11 band members at it height and they came from the UK, Oz and NZ. The band also incorporated various styles of rock and pop. They could rock with big band tracks similar to Blood, Sweat And Tears and then take it down a notch to small quiet love songs.
Some of the original band members were from Levi Smith's Clefs which provided a valuable training ground for young players.

New Zealander, Mike “Mickey” Leyton became a member after leaving his band Sounds Unlimited (from Auckland). He married singer Lyn Barnett and they moved to Sydney in the late 1960s. In February 1971 Mickey had became a singer in a pub band called Small Chant (which over the course of 1971 was upgraded to become SCRA - Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly).
The Small Chant members were: Barrie Heidenreich - piano, Mickey Leyton - vocals, Wayne Ford - bass, Peter Martin – classical guitar and composer and Leon Isakson on drums. Peter was breaking his neck to play classical works after studies in Spain. Peter had also written a few songs including one called "Roly Poly", which they played live but never recorded as Small Chant.

By mid 1971 Peter Martin had finally secured a permanent gig at the Coogee Oceanic Hotel in Sydney, but by that time Leon Isakson had joined the Delltones. Peter’s band went into the Oceanic with the old line-up of the Small Chant plus a few changes. Barrie had other commitments and Peter replaced him with his star pupil on guitar, Jim Kelly. Russell Dunlop came in on drums with Ian Bloxom on percussion and Dave Ellis on bass. Greg Foster (trombone and blues harp), Mick Kenny (trumpet) and Don Wright (sax) made up the front-line. Michael Lawler’s girlfriend, Sheryl Blake, made up the 3rd singer with the band along with Mickey Leyton and Ian Saxon. And so SCRA was formed. It was a huge 11-piece band and it all sounded fabulous. Dig Richards was so impressed that he decided to use SCRA on his next RCA album, Harlequin.

They even did a considerable amount of recording considering that they had only been together for a short period, and by early 1972 they had two singles and one album to their credit. The single "Roly Poly" from December 1971, reached #19 in the charts by April, 72. They also wrote and performed a rock version of Snow White and released a sizzling take of the venerable hit "C.C. Rider". This is off their lesser known SCRA album on Metronome as opposed to their more popular Ship Album which came out in the States on Atlantic.
Meanwhile, at the end of February '72 the band left for England where they released an album entitled The Ship Album and a single from it, 'It's A Game'/'Love Is A Lonely Day'. The band eventually broke up in the later part of 1972 with three of the band members going on to eventually form Crossfire (Jim Kelly, Mick Kenny and Ian Bloxsom). For more information on Peter Martin, see his website [extracts from Tom Mix Oz Music and Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock p272].

Album Reviews
SCRA was a jazz-rock outfit from Sydney, who were popular on the local club/festival circuit. Their first album combined a big band sound with some progressive leanings and a few pop moments. The album spawned three singles; C.C. Rider, Roly Poly and Sydney Born Man, which along with To Whom It May Concern represented its rockier more upbeat side.
The remaining material was mostly ballads and the rather restrained effort didn't represent the power of their live act. The second was more in a bluesy progressive jazz-rock vein. Shades of Blodwyn Pig. It was mixed at The Hit Factory in New York during a U.S. tour. Their brand of 'big band' jazz-rock went down well in the States. This included the ten-minute, ambitious "Something Like The Feeling". The album inevitably got a U.S. release, though in a single sleeve, not the gatefold version which graced the Australian public. They released one further 45 It's A Game and then split. [extract from Dreams, Fantasies and Nightmares, Borderline Books, 2002]
My last post for 2013 and in response to a request made by a blog follower for some SCRA material.  
This post consists of FLAC rips of their two albums, taken from Vinyl and CD. Included is full album artwork for both media formats with some live bonus tracks. Thanks must go to Sunshine and RAM at Ausrock for their respective FLAC rips. 

Note:  There is some discrepancy as to whether the track "Love Is A Lonely Day" actually appeared on their Ship Album.  The Atlantic Label (Side 2) does not show this track displayed nor does it appear in the rip, yet the back cover lists the track.  "Love Is A Lonely Day" was released nevertheless, as the B-Side to the 1972 single "It's A Game".  It is also unlikely that the track would have been on the Ship Album as the 3 tracks that are provided have a combined length of 20mins (which was the max time for one side of an LP).

Stop Press:  Ozzie Music has saved the day with that elusive 1972 single "It's A Game" / "Love Is A Lonely Day" in MP3 format. Why not pop over to his blog and grab yourself a copy from his Post 515
SCRA /  Tracklisting
01) The Beginning
02) Sighin'
03) Roly Poly
04) She Would Not Fade
05) Bush Sunrise
06) CC Rider
07) Traveller
08) To Whom It may Concern
09) Hear The Falling Dew
10) Sydney Born Man
11) Roly Poly - Live (Bonus Sunbury 1972)

The Ship Album / Tracklisting
1) Our Ship
2) Live Today
3) Actress
4) 23 Skadoo
5) Freak
Love Is A Lonely Day??
6) Midnight
7) Changes
8) Something Like the Feeling
9) I Wanna Make Love To You - Live (Bonus Sunbury 1972)

SCRA Band Members:
Mickey Leyton, Sheryl Black, Ian Saxon - vocals:
Peter Martin, Jim Kelly - guitars;
Dave Ellis - bass;
Russell Dunlop - drums;
Ian Bloxsom - percussion
Mick Kenny - trumpet;
Don Wright - saxophone & flute;
Greg Foster - trombone & harmonica

Improved RIPS 
SCRA - Selftitled (291Mb)

Friday, December 9, 2022

Outlaws - Hurry Sundown (1977)

(U.S 1967–1971, 1972–1996, 2005–present)

In many ways this is a typical Southern rock album. the Outlaws employed the sub-genre's usual country influences and multiple lead guitarists but instead of the dual lead setup used by many Southerners they assaulted your speakers with a loud electric trio. Fronting the quintet were Hughie Thomasson, Billy Jones, and Henry Paul. They were supported by the rhythm section of Frank O'Keefe on bass and Monte Yoho on drums.

What made these Floridians, and especially this album, so outstanding? The boys from Tampa could rock with wild, reckless abandon and be tasteful at the same time. The trio were among the most melodic of Dixie's electric axemen. Add sterling three part vocal harmonies to the mix that were worthy of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the clean production of Paul A. Rothchild who became famous for producing the early Doors albums, and we were all treated to some of the best Southern rock 'n roll ever put on vinyl.

The Outlaws 1975

The opening track on their 1975 debut LP "There Goes Another Love Song," became the band's biggest hit, while the album closer "Green Grass & High Tides," a song that followed in the footsteps of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird.", became an arena anthem. It's literally 10mins of guitar-jamming, speaker blowing, head-banging, rock 'n roll.

The Outlaws never made a bad record but their debut was so phenomenal they were never able to top it. The album charted for sixteen weeks, peaked at number thirteen, and was deservedly certified gold in 1977.

Their follow up album, 'Lady In Waiting', contained "Breaker Breaker" a minor hit that took full advantage of the CB radio craze that was peaking around 1976. O'Keefe then left the band and was replaced by Harvey Dalton Arnold for 1977's 'Hurry Sundown'. The title track became a concert staple and fan favorite. Soon the band's lineup became a revolving door of personnel changes until they broke up in 1982. There was one more hit single, "Ghost Riders In The Sky" from the 1980 album, 'Ghost Rider'.

Unfortunately, only two of the original band members survive today. O'Keefe, a chronic alcoholic, died at age 44 in February 1995 and Jones was found dead less than a month earlier of unknown causes. Thomasson passed away from a heart attack in 2007. Paul and Yoho continue to play today in the most recent version of The Outlaws.

Interview with Henry Paul 
“The story of the Outlaws is a pretty familiar one,” Paul begins, in a leisurely paced voice that’s full of warmth. He’s calling from a plot of land recently bought and built upon in Tennessee. “Somewhere along the way, most bands [of note] get lucky. For dreams to come true, hard work and persistence will only get you so far. The Outlaws came along in the boom that followed The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and America’s explosion of folk rock. We were in the right place at the right time, in the wake of the Allman Brothers and the Eagles and the limited success of Poco.”

Like the Eagles, whose frontline members all sang, Thomasson, Paul and Jones were all accomplished lead vocalists, and the blending of the trio’s voices in three- or four-part harmonies, as well as rotation of who was at the microphone, soon became a trademark.

“Yeah, and that set us apart from most of the other bands. But what it really came down to was songs,” Paul states. “We not only had something to say, but also our own means of putting it out there. Compared to our contemporaries – for instance the Ronnie Van Zant approach to writing, which was simpler – our songs were rooted in a more poetic format.”

The Outlaws’ earliest gigs around Tampa were with The Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“Those were the four bands that we played with the most and really, really admired,” Paul says.

It was Skynyd’s Ronnie Van Zant who brought the Outlaws to the attention of their eventual home of Arista Records, forcing an executive to watch a support spot with Skynyrd in Columbus, Georgia in 1974. With typical bullishness, Van Zant collared label boss Clive Davis and told him: “If you don’t sign the Outlaws, then you’re the dumbest music person I’ve ever met – and I know that you’re not.”

“Ronnie was candid and confident and having his own good fortune, so he operated from a position of strength,” Paul reasons. “To Clive, his opinion meant far more than simply some guy from the audience. That endorsement was pretty much priceless. It was our ticket out of the bars and on to the bigger stages.”

After the Outlaws joined the roster at Arista, a self-titled debut followed in mid-75. Produced by Paul A Rothchild (who had worked with The Doors and Janis Joplin), its fusion of bluegrass, country and hard rock was an instant success, bringing them a gold disc and breaking into America’s Top 20 at the first attempt.

This was largely due to the success of the single There Goes Another Love Song, which was written by Thomasson and drummer Yoho. The album’s sign-off epic, Green Grass And High Tides, had begun “as a four-minute ballad”, Paul remembers, although after the song grew and grew it would become perhaps the Outlaws’ most recognised number. Almost 10 minutes on record, High Tides closed all of their future shows in jammed-out guitar-duel form, doubling in length on the 1978 live album Bring It Back Alive.

“That one became our big guitar rave-up,” Paul says with a chuckle. “It allowed us to blaze it up every night.”

Despite the titular ‘grass’, the song was not an ode to the joys of marijuana; a sober(-ish) Hughie Thomasson had conceived it while at a beach cookout after imagining Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Duane Allman and Jim Morrison all arose from the grave to play a personal show for him, and naming it after High Tide And Green Grass, a Rolling Stones ‘best of’ album.

Their third album, 1977’s Hurry Sundown, was co-produced by Bill Szymczyk, of Eagles fame. It saw the Outlaws, now with new bass player Harvey Dalton Arnold, add a more emphatic country twist to their sound, with Thomasson layering pedal steel guitar on to So Afraid.

The Outlaws performing in Los Angeles, California, February 1980

And yet despite the quality of Heavenly Blues, Holiday, Cold And Lonesome and the title song, the album didn’t even make the Top 50, stalling just outside. Then Henry Paul decided to follow Frank O’Keefe out the door, with a view to carving his own path.

“Looking back, Frank’s leaving the band and the breaking up of the original Outlaws was a big deal to everyone involved – maybe more than we realised that the time,” he explains. “It was a difficult set of circumstances for everybody.” [extract from LOUDERR: Classic Rock ]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my newly acquired vinyl (a diamond in the rough at a local Salvos) and includes full album artwork for vinyl and CD.  I nearly bought their debut album back in the late 70's when they were on sale at Brash Suttons in Geelong for $1.99.  Brash Sutton bargain bins were full of albums that never really hit it off in Australia due to lack of publicity and airtime on local radio stations.  Foresight would have been great at the time, as many of these albums are now collector items (Dragon's first 2 LP's, Kraan's Andy Nogger, several West, Bruce & Laing LP's and Eric Clapton's E.C Was Here to name but a few). 
Anyhow, I'm wrapped to find this gem and still paid the same.
As a bonus, I am also including two great tracks from their debut LP, "There Goes Another Love Song" and "Green Grass & High Tides".  This is a great Southern Rock album 

Track Listing
01 "Gunsmoke" – 4:18
02 "Hearin' My Heart Talkin'" – 4:11
03 "So Afraid" – 3:17
04 "Holiday"– 4:02
05 "Hurry Sundown" – 4:05
06 "Cold and Lonesome"– 3:19
07 "Night Wines"– 4:50
08 "Heavenly Blues"  – 3:47
09 "Man of the Hour"  – 6:12
10 "There Goes Another Love Song" (Bonus Track) - 3:04
11 "Green Grass & High Tides" (Bonus Track) - 9:51

Harvey Dalton Arnold - bass, guitar, vocals
Billy Jones - electric guitar, vocals
Henry Paul - guitar, vocals
Hughie Thomasson - acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitars; banjo; vocals
Monte Yoho - drums

Outlaws Link (318Mb)

Saturday, December 3, 2022

REPOST: Crossfire - East Of Where (1980)

(Australian 1974 - 1982, Present)

This jazz rock group was formed in 1974 and based in Sydney, Australia. The band originally comprised of Jim Kelly (guitar), Greg Lyon (bass), Ian Bloxsom (percussion), Michael Kenny (piano), Steve Hopes (drums) and Tony Buchanan (saxophone). Crossfire were of a high enough standard of musicianship to gather worldwide recognition, the band served a long apprenticeship in jazz venues, often as the backing band for other artists, with the various members still concentrating on session work. Early on the band showed a lot of blues influence in their playing probably due to members having played in R&B and soul bands previously. By the late 70s the band was touring widely overseas, spending time in Asia, Europe and America, having played such prestigious gigs as the Newport Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's in London and The Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1982. 

They recorded seven albums while together, including a live album with U.S. vocalist Michael Franks and produced Australia's first direct-to-disc LP in 1978. Crossfire also performed on collaborative tours with Lee Ritenour, Don Grusin, and Randy Brecker In 2007, ORiGiN released a collection of their best instrumental pieces entitled 'Hystorical Records'. A collectable item celebrating the bands music and also coinciding with a newly reformed line up of Crossfire who begun touring again in 2007 after a break of approx 15 years [extract from] . 

Guitarist, Jim Kelly has long been recognised as 
one of our finest guitarists and through the late Seventies and Eighties he was a sought-after session musician. After The Affair he became one of the scores of top musos who passed through the ranks of Levi Smith's Clefs, followed by a stint in Mother Earth, which featured a young Renee Geyer on lead vocals. In 1974, Jim and Mick Kenny formed Crossfire, Australia's most successful jazz-rock fusion band. In 1990, Jim moved to Lismore where he took up the position of Head of Guitar Studies at Southern Cross University. He has released five solo Albums and has written a guitar instruction book, The Dominant Seventh Chord and Then the Blues.

As well as being a guest clinician at teaching institutions throughout Australia, Jim remains a popular performer at major jazz venues and festivals. [extract from] . Tony Buchanan played saxophone & woodwinds and currently plays with the very talented vocalist Jo Jo Smith. Tony studied saxophone with Frank Smith in Melbourne, Graham Lyall in Sydney, Joe Allard, Eddie Daniels and David Leibman in New York. His musical career spans more than 35 years and was a long time member of Crossfire. Tony has played in countless bands and ensembles during his career and is known to many of his peers as 'The God Father of Sax'.

Tony has performed and recorded with musical greats such as: Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Lee Ritenour, Michael Franks, Ronny Scott, Maynard Ferguson, Mel Torme, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Maclaine, Tubby Hayes, Jo Jo Smith and many others. Tony has taught saxophone at: Sydney Grammar, Southern Cross University in Lismore, Conservation of Music in Brisbane, Melbourne Grammar (boys), Melbourne Grammar (girls), Box Hill TAFE nd Victorian College of the Arts. [extract from] . 

In this Crossfire posting, the band plays with some funk guitar riffs, rhodes and various woodwinds and brass, often with several instruments played through wah-wah pedals. Listening to it again now, more than thirty years later, I think I can hear what they might have been listening to - maybe some guitar work from Return to Forever, some Eddie Henderson wah-wah or the wonderful fusion played by Weather Report and Miles Davis. If you enjoy jazz fusion, then you are really going to enjoy this album. . Rip was taken from vinyl in glorious FLAC format and full album artwork is included for vinyl.. Another request for a REPOST in FLAC format.

Track Listing 
01 - Bob's Ya Uncle 
02 - Roll The Ivory Dice 
03 - Let Sco' 
04 - Parade 
05 - Malice In Wonderland 
06 - Where's The man In The Fat Suit 
07 - Away In D Major 
08 - East Of Where . 

Band Members: 
Jim Kelly (Guitars)
Michael Kenny (Keyboards)
Tony Buchanan (Tenor / Soprano Sax, Flute)
Phil Scorgie (Bass)
Ian Bloxsom (Percussion, Mallets)
Steve Hopes (Drums)

Crossfire Link (227Mb)  NEW IMPROVED RIP IN FLAC