Monday, January 30, 2023

Baker Gurvitz Army - Elysian Encounter (1975) plus bonus live tracks

 (U.K 1974 - 1976)

Baker Gurvitz Army (BGA) 
were an English rock group. Their self-titled debut album featured a blend of hard rock laced with Ginger Baker's jazz- and Afrobeat-influenced drumming. The lengthy "Mad Jack" was that album's outstanding track, and the album hit the US Billboard 200 chart, and peaked at number 22 in the UK Albums Chart. The two following albums contained similar material, although neither charted in the UK nor the US. When Cream split up in 1968, Ginger Baker was invited to join Blind Faith, which formed the following year. This was not such a successful venture and following its demise, Baker put together his own outfit, Ginger Baker's Air Force, in 1970. Things did not go too well for Baker after the demise of that band.

Former The Gun and Three Man Army members, brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz were looking for a new way ahead after early successes, so they joined forces with Baker in 1974. In their first year they recorded one live and one studio album, following with two more studio albums, Elysian Encounter and Hearts On Fire. However, the death of their manager led to the band breaking up in 1976. In 2003, a compilation album, Flying In And Out Of Stardom, was released, including four new live songs.

Album Review
'Elysian Encounter' is Baker Gurvitz Army's second studio album. The recording of this LP saw the band expanded with the addition of vocalist Mr. Snips (Steve Parsons) and keyboard player Peter Lemer. Arguably the Band’s finest work, the album featured such classic material as People, Time, Remember and The Key.

This album has really grown over the years. When it came out in 1975 it got slightly lost in the wave of somehow similar rock albums, many at the time released by better known names. However, this one turns out to be a survivor that still sounds fresh and enthusiastic after so many years and after most competitors are forgotten.

Ginger Baker keeps things interesting, guitar and bass are great, keyboards add the necessary touches, and singer Mr. Snips was Steve Parsons of the Sharks, as unique as Roger Chapman.

There is no real highlight among the eight tracks as they are all on an equally high level of quality, making this a truly great album that should not be overlooked.  The album cover work is also a great drawcard that certainly catches your attention, thanks to the fine artwork and design by J. Petagno.

Paul Gurvitz and Ginger Baker

These five formidable musicians had enough talent between them to blow any band off the stage, which is clearly evident from what's enclosed here. Both Baker's drumming and Adrian's guitar playing is some of the best ever heard on record. This music simply refuses to fade out and remains to be vibrant and exciting. Play it loud!

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my prized, near mint, vinyl and of course comes with full album artwork and label scans. As a bonus, you will find two additional 'live' renditions of "People" and Jimi Hendrix's "Freedom".

Track Listing
01 People
02 The Key
03 Time
04 The Gambler
05 The Dreamer
06 Remember
07 The Artist
08 The Hustler
09 People (Live)  Bonus Track*
10 Freedom (Live)  Bonus Track*

* Bonus tracks from CD release 

Baker Gurvitz Army:
Mr. Snips - lead vocals
Adrian Gurvitz - guitar, backing and lead vocals
Peter Lemer - keyboards
Paul Gurvitz - bass, backing vocals
Ginger Baker - drums, backing vocals, percussion

BGA Link (336Mb) New Link 06/09/2023

Thursday, January 26, 2023

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Various Artists - The Cocoa-Cola Australian Music Day (1992)

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788.

With respect to Australia's Music Industry, we can be very proud of the contributions that our Aussie Musos have made in entertaining people from every nation with music and song, with many of our artists achieving world wide acclaim.

The following CD was released in 1992 with the support of Coca-Cola and Brashs record stores to help promote both new and veteran Australian Artists, some of whom have gone on to become stars in their own right.

Whether or not you still support Australia Day, in light of the recent controversy that has arisen with the validity of what Australia Day represents, I hope you will still support the spirit of the day, where we all come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian.

Westside/Phonogram - Cassette 864357-4, CD - 864357-2
This is their current single. Radio Freedom are Pehl and Brett O'Hara

2. GIRL OVERBOARD - "YOUR LOVE" (t. Schouw/R. Gist/B.McNaughton)
BMG 4321103547 - Cassingle 4327103572, CD Single
This is the first single from their forthcoming album "GO"

3. TALL TALES & TRUE. "WATCHING THE WIND BLOW" (Matthew de la Hunty)
rooArt, Warner Music
Taken from their album "Revenge" 903777992

Written by a friend. He thought I might like it... I did ... It's on the next album!

Big Stars/Mushroom D & C 1-7747
Taken from their album "Far King Great" D 24010 Power - injected, lunacy laced, musical mayhem.

6. THE SHARP - "DANCE FOR ME" (C. Rooke)
East West
Produced by The Sharp. From the EP "Spinosity" 450990501-2

7. BASS CULTURE - "LOVE YOUR LIFE" (James/Berntan/Gardiner)
Mushroom MXL Music D77754
Debut pop dance single from new Melbourne group.

8. SCARLET - "LOVE HATES STARES" ( Ryper/Gosling/Tobin/Stringfellow/Lyons)
EMI 8740032
This is a new, young four-piece band from Sydney.

9. ASTRAL PROTECT - "COME WITH ME (TONITE)" (Andy Van Dorsselaer/Arden Godfrey)
Vicious Vinyl MXL Music VV12006
Upfront deep house techno music - produced by Melbourne Club DJ's.

"Say It" is the first single from the recently released Clouds mini-album "Octopus" CD 5170892

11. CLEOPATRA WONG - "THANKYOU" (Amanda Brown)
rooArt/Warner MuSic
From the debut 6 track EP "EGG" 9031772962

12. IMAGES - "LOST tN THE CITY" (MM. Holmes/J.Green)
Nova/BMG Cassingle - 4327704484, CD - 4321104482
This is a talented young four-piece band from Sydney

13. THE HONEYMEN - "FELT LIKE A KISS" (Sennett/Field)
Westside Records/Phonogram. Cassette - 864357-4, CD - 864357-2
The Honeymen are Sean Sennett and John Field.

14. JAMES BLUNDELL - "THIS ROAD" (James Blundell)
James wrote this song about the life of a travelling musician - himself
Taken from "This Road" album EMI 7993292

15. SHANLEY DEL - "FUNNEL OF LOVE" (M'Coy/Westbury)
rooArt/Warner Music 4509901012
Sounds like new country music to me!

Mushroom - D&C 30840
Taken from the new Mushroom album "Let It Fly" D & C 16043

Mushroom D&C 11219
Taken from the new Mushroom album "Suitcase". C & D 30825

18. THE LOVERS - "THE RIVER" (Alsop/Doumany)
One of Melbourne's new contemporary acts. Currently unsigned!

19. MARK GILLESPIE - "FLAME" (Mark Gillespie)
Taken from the new album "Flame" C & D 30853
Mark describes this track as "an acerbic observation of the corrupting effect of fame"!

Australian Music Day FLAC Link (516Mb) New Link 06/09/2023

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Rénee Geyer - It's A Man's World (1974) plus bonus live track

 (Australian 1970 - 2023)

Rénee Geyer was born in Melbourne on 11 Sep 1953 to a holocaust surviving Slovak mother (who was consigned to Auschwitz) and a Hungarian father. Whilst still at high school she began singing for a jazz/blues band Dry Red in 1970 aged 16 and later joined Sun who released one, self-titled, album in 1972. She soon left Sun and joined R&B/soul group Mother Earth.

By 1973, she was signed to RCA Victor and released a debut, self-titled, album mainly of covers, on which she insisted Mother Earth, who had been released by the label, were to be her backing band. It was followed in 1974 by "It's A Mans Man's World" named after the lead track, a cover of James Brown's classic 1966 deep soul song, which she released as a single and both single and album where her first charting recordings.

Female R&B/soul icons were thin on the ground in the 1970’s in this country, Wendy Sadington, Alison McCallum, Marcia Hines, Linda George and Bobbi Marchini certainly had their fans, but Rénee Geyer had already won plaudits for her cover of James Brown’s It’s A Man’s Man’s World and she was a genuine soul diva at the tender age of 20. Later in 1975 she formed her own collective – The Renee Geyer Band, they were now based in Melbourne, and she moved from RCA to Mushroom Records, and Michael Gudinski’s partner Ray Evans became her manager, after she severed ties with Horst Leopold, her manager from the Sun/Mother Earth days.

At the time Mushroom Records and Premier Artists were part of the same corporate group, clustered together in a baroque -Edwardian property at 27-31 Dudley St, West Melbourne, where they neatly bundled up recording, artist booking and management, publicity and finance within one overarching business, and unsurprisingly the internal conflict of interests were extensive. Many performers who emerged from this era claimed that they never got a fair share of the income they had generated – including Rénee Geyer.

Ray Evans-Renee-Geyer-Molly Meldrum

In 1984, Rénee would sever ties with Mushroom and Ray Evans, the split was particularly acrimonious with Evans, Geyer alleged that he failed to properly account for and report her finances, deprived her of income earned and ultimately charged her for operating expenses of which she was unaware, lawyers were ultimately required to resolve the matter, and henceforth Rénee became her own manager for the rest of her career.

This is the first Rénee Geyer album I owned and is her 2nd solo album. "It's a Man's Man's World" is more infused with a classic RnB sound, with touches of blues, than her later more funk-soul influenced albums. Her cover of the James Brown song was a huge hit in Australia. Producer Tweed Harris, previously best known as a 60s soul musician, works here with a classic band setup augmented with orchestral and brass colourings. This is my favourite Geyer album and each track has its own unique appeal, particularly the title track and her cover of Isaac Hayes' "Do your Thing".

Her vinyl album was released on the RCA label, however the CD release was made on the Mushroom label in 1995.

VALE Renee Geyer

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Renée Geyer, Australian Jazz and soul singer died on January 17, 2023. A statement made by The Mushroom Group on behalf of the family of Renée Geyer confirmed the news. The statement read:

“It is with immense sadness that we announce that Renée Geyer has passed away from complications following hip surgery. While in the hospital, it was discovered that Renée also had inoperable lung cancer. She was in no pain and died peacefully amongst family and friends.”

“Renée is one of the most highly regarded singers in contemporary music – her unique vocal sound influences countless singers to this day. Renée was irrepressible, cheeky, and loyal and her musical legacy speaks for itself, with her performing and recording career spanning five decades.”

“She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005; in 2013 she was the first woman to be inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame; and she received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women in Music Awards in 2018.”

I would like to make this post a tribute to 'the best RnB / Soul female artist' that Australia has ever  produced.  I was gutted when I learned of her passing last Tuesday and as a long time fan, words fail to express the sadness that I feel.  "It's A Man's World" was the first song that I heard Geyer sing back in the early 70's and as an impressionable young teenager, I was instantly besotted. 

Ripped to FLAC, this CD presents a much better quality sound than would my well worn vinyl LP. I have of course included full artwork for both media. As a special bonus, I am also including a 'recent live' rendition of the title track, that Renee made at the ABC's Studio 22, Sydney.  

RIP  Rénee Geyer

01 It's A Man's Man's World - 3.34 
02 They Tell Me Of An Uncloudy Day - 3.42
03 Take Me Where You Took Me Last Night - 3.53
04 Since I Fell For You - 3.42 
05 What Do I Do On Sunday Morning - 3.58
06 Love The Way You Love - 3.15 
07 Scarlet Ribbons - 2.45
08 Do Your Thing - 3.44 
09 And I Love Him - 5.14
10 It's Been A Long Time - 3.23
11 Mama's Little Girl - 3.26 
12 Once In A Lifetime Thing - 3.33
13 Feel Good - 3.15
14 It's A Man's World (Bonus Live / Studio 22)

Renée Geyer: Vocals, Backing Vocals
Guitars: Phil Manning; Tim Gaze; Steve Murphy; Tony Naylor
Keyboards: Tweed Harris
Bass: Barry "Big Goose" Sullivan; Mike Kelly
Drums: Geoff Cox
Background Vocals: Julie McKenna; Wendy Reece; Bobby Bright; Mike Brady
Percussion: Gary Hyde

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

REPOST: Stevie Wright - Hard Road (1974) + Bonus Live Track

(Australian 1964 - 1992)
Stephen Carlton ‘Stevie’ Wright is an Australian musician and songwriter who has been called Australia’s first international pop star.
From 1965-1969 he was the lead singer for the Sydney-based rock and roll band The Easybeats, widely regarded as the greatest Australian pop band of the Sixties.
During his time with The Easybeats he was popularly and affectionately known as "Little Stevie". He co-wrote many of their early hits (including "Sorry" and "I’ll Make You Happy"), and was vocalist on their biggest hit "Friday on My Mind" (1967), which, in 2001, was voted the Best Australian Song of All Time and made the Top 20 in both the UK and the U.S. He was also renowned for his energetic stage performance which included acrobatic back-flips and mod dance moves.

After the break-up of The Easybeats in 1969, Stevie returned to Sydney from England. He spent a few months with a band called Black Tank which featured Stevie, Rory O'Donoghue (guitar/vocals, ex-The Pogs), Ken Firth (bass, ex-Tully) and Greg Henson (drums; ex-Levi Smith Clefs). That connection led to his later appearance with the Aunty Jack team of Rory, Graeme Bond and Garry McDonald on the June 1973 ABC TV special Aunty Jack Rox On, where he performed four numbers -- "Gypsy", "Drug", "Hard Road" and "The Other Side" -- backed by the specially-assembled band all-star group Cool Bananas. By the time that special aired on TV, Stevie was well on his way back to the limelight.

In 1972-73 he won national acclaim for his performance as Simon Zealotes in Jesus Christ Superstar. He then achieved solo success when his old Easybeats band-mates Harry Vanda and George Young (now turned record producers) returned from the UK in 1973. He formed his own backing band, The Stevie Wright band for live performances in this time.

In 1974 Wright released the single "Evie (Parts 1, 2 & 3)". Written and produced by Vanda & Young, it became a hit — irrelevantly the only 11-minute song to chart at #1 anywhere in the world — and is now regarded as an Australian rock classic. Two Vanda and Young produced LPs followed: Hard Road and Black-eyed Bruiser. Wright, however, struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, which ultimately de-stabilised his new found success [Extract from]
"When Hard Road was released in April 74', Stevie spent many days at Alberts' King Street office doing phone interviews with hundreds of radio stations and newspapers around the country. His comeback was greeted with enthusiasm throughout the industry and 'Evie' was added to more and more radio station play lists. To everyone 's surprise, several stations actually played the entire 11-minutes. As George Young had predicted, the softer stations were happy to play Part Two.
The Stevie Wright Band set off on a tour to promote the release of Hard Road. In the citrus-growing towns of Mildura, the same town in which The Easybeats had suffered their first rip-off ten years pior, Stevie and his band caused havoc and unexpectedly hit the headlines. According to a newspaper, the manager of the Sunland Motel saw the band members strip down to their jocks and parade in front of an open window in front of about a hundred teenage girls outside. The fans stormed the hotel and that at one point all of the band's six rooms were full of girls.

Stevie had been so young during his career with The Easybeats that as his comeback and success with Hard Road grew in Australia, he was able to engender himself to a new wave of young and hungry rock and roll fans. He was still only twenty-five. Much of his new fan base had little idea of who The Easybeats even were!"
'Evie' had reached number one in July and would remain in the charts for twenty-five weeks, making it one of the longest-charting singles in Australian history. The album Hard Road would peak at number five nationally and number one in Melbourne. Everyone at Alberts had hoped for a successful release, but no one predicted such a huge result. Sales were pushed along by an unrelenting touring schedule, much to the direction of Stevie's manager at the time Michael Chugg. [Extract from Hard Road by Goldsmith].
George Young’s brothers Angus Young and Malcolm Young went on to form AC/DC, for whom a couple of Steve Wright Band drummers also played.
The Easybeats reformed for a brief Australian tour in 1986, and Wright re-formed variations on the Stevie Wright Band during 1986-92.
Stevie performing "Long Way To The Top" tour
In later years he suffered debilitating drug and alcohol problems which were further exacerbated by his self-admission to the notorious Chelmsford Private Hospital in Sydney; director Dr Harry Bailey administered a highly controversial treatment known as "deep sleep therapy" which allegedly cured drug addiction with a combination of drug-induced coma and electroshock. Many patients, including Wright, suffered brain damage and lifelong after-effects. The scandal was later exposed, but Bailey avoided prosecution by committing suicide. Stevie’s substance abuse problems spiralled out of control in the 1980s and ’90s and he came close to death on several occasions, but was pulled back from the brink by his wife Faye and by 2002 was well enough to perform as part of the all-star "Long Way To The Top" national concert tour. His biography, 'Hard Road' written by Glenn Goldsmith, was published in 2004 and is an excellent insight into what caused Stevie's downfall from stardom and how he currently lives from day to day with his drug / alcohol addiction.
Wright’s meteoric rise and fall has made him a frequent media topic and he has been the subject of at least one book . Born in Leeds, United Kingdom, Stevie Wright currently lives in Narooma (rural NSW) with his wife Faye.  

On August 11 2006, Wright performed live at the Civic Hotel in the Perth suburb of Inglewood. His set consisted of five Easybeats songs and Part 2 of Evie. Some who attended say the gig wasn’t the most polished of performances but one had to give Wright full marks just for attempting the long journey to Perth and performing.

On February 10 2007, Stevie performed with Phil Emmanuel on Australia’s Gold Coast, in a concert celebrating blues music. [Extract from]
RIP  Stevie 'Carlton' Wright  (27/12/2015) 
Rip was taken from CD in FLAC format (New Improved RIP) and includes full album artwork plus a bonus live track of Evie recorded at the Concert Of The Decade in 1979 (ripped from vinyl). I have also provided a web link to a YouTube clip of Stevie Wright performing Evie on 'Hey Hey It's Saturday' T.V show.
Track Listing
01 - Hard Road
02 - Life Gets Better
03 - The Other Side
04 - I Got You Good
05 - Dancing In The Limelight
06 - Didn't I Take You Higher
08 - Movin' On Up
09 - Commando Line
10 - BONUS TRACK - Evie (Concert Of The Decade 1979)
Band Members
Stevie Wright (Vocals)
Time Gaze (Guitar)
Ken Firth (Bass)
Warren 'Pig' Morgan (Piano)
Johnny Dick (Drums)
Stevie Wright Link (328Mb) New Link 13/10/2023

Friday, January 13, 2023

Jeff Beck - With Jan Hammer Group Live (1977)

 (U.K 1965 - 2023)

I was lucky enough to see their performance at Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia on Feb 1st, 1977. I was literally Blow by Blown away! This album is a good representation of what I heard on stage and I was in total awe throughout the whole concert.

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer group LIVE is an astounding performance captured. It has a really good sound for a live recording, and a wonderful range of music. They seem to be having so much fun on stage together playing this music. My personal favorite is "Scatterbrain" on the B-side, followed by the powerful "Blue Wind". So wonderfully tight, hot, and full of nervous energy. I can only imagine what it felt like to be on stage playing together. Jeff Beck knows how to play as an ensemble player as well as a lead guitarist. This you will hear throughout the performance.

Jan Hammer's uncanny ability to simulate the pitch-bending qualities of an electric guitar on his Minimoog synthesizer made him an explosive duet partner with rock's Jeff Beck on this live album -- the third of Beck's successful flirtations with jazz-rock. While leaning toward the Mahavishnu Orchestra brand of jazz-rock, with the word "rock" heavily emphasized, this is a looser, less lock stepped variant. The song selection is split almost equally between Hammer and Beck's repertoires, with Hammer's remake of his techno/mechanized "Darkness/Earth In Search of a Sun" making the biggest splash.

No precise dates and locations are given for the live recordings. The 'Wired' tour began in June 1976 and ended in February 1977, with 117 shows performed in total.

A&R man Tom Werman suggested that the date at the Astor Theater in Reading, PA (31 August 1976) yielded the best performances, and was going to provide the bulk of the album at the time of his involvement in the project. Beck mixed this along with other recordings at Allen Toussaint's studio in New Orleans. Then Jan Hammer decided to mix the album himself, and did so with Dennis Weinreich at Scorpio Sound Studios in London, England.

The stereo spectrum of this album duplicates the stage set-up with guitar positioned center right, keyboards center left, violin right and drums and bass center.

RIP Jeff Beck  (10/01/2023)

Jeff Beck, one of the most skilled, admired and influential guitarists in rock history, died on Tuesday in a hospital near his home at Riverhall, a rural estate in southern England. He was 78. The cause was bacterial meningitis, Melissa Dragich, his publicist, said.

During the 1960s and ’70s, as either a member of the Yardbirds or as leader of his own bands, Mr. Beck brought a sense of adventure to his playing that helped make the recordings by those groups groundbreaking.

Jeff Beck married Sandra Cash in 2005, and she survives him.

To his fans, and to himself, Beck was so deeply identified with his guitar — particularly the Fender Stratocaster — that he seemed inseparable from it.

“My Strat is another arm,” he told Music Radar. “I’ve welded myself to that. Or it’s welded itself to me, one or the other.”

He once stated “It’s a tool of great inspiration and torture at the same time. It’s forever sitting there, challenging you to find something else in it. But it is there if you really search.”

Jeff Beck was a true legend, an amazingly talented guitarist, and one of a kind. Heartfelt condolences to the Beck family, so very sorry for your loss.

This post consists of FLACS ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD formats.  This album is one of my favourite jazz rock albums and was a clever release at the time as it complimented his Blow By Blow and Wired LP's.  It stands as a wonderful tribute to his amazing musical career and contribution to jazz / rock in general. He will be sadly missed.

Freeway Jam   7:22
Earth (Still Our Only Home)    4:38
She's A Woman 4:26
Full Moon Boogie   6:10
Darkness/Earth In Search Of A Sun   7:52
Scatterbrain 7:26
Blue Wind 5:47

Jeff Beck - guitar, bass guitar, special effects
(The Jan Hammer Group)
Jan Hammer - Moog, Oberheim and Freeman string symphonizer
synthesizers, electric piano, timbales; lead vocal on "Earth (Still Our Only Home)"
Tony "Thunder" Smith - drums; lead vocal on "Full Moon Boogie"
Fernando Saunders - bass, harmony vocals; rhythm guitar on "She's A Woman"
Steve Kindler - violin; string synthesizer on "Darkness"; rhythm guitar on "Blue Wind"


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

REPOST: Western Flyer - Live To Survive! (1979)

(Australian 1977-79)
An Australian blues legend, Matt Taylor has been playing his brand of Australian-twinged blues music since the mid-'60s. His first band, the Bay City Union, was formed in March 1966 and was one of Australia's first traditional Chicago blues bands. Taylor briefly sang with the Wild Cherries before forming the Horse, and then briefly stepped in as lead singer with Cam-Pact for a two-week tour of Sydney during early 1970. He then joined blues band Genesis in February, who released a collaborative single with Carson County Band, titled "Bad Luck Feeling"/"Back Home" under the banner the Meating. They toured until August 1970 when Taylor left to join Chain, the move proved fruitful with the hit single "Black and Blue"/"Lightning Ground" and the groundbreaking album Toward the Blues.

After their success Chain took a break and Matt Taylor moved to Western Australian in the 70’s. He played solo around Perth and realised Perth was a viable proposition for a blues player to make a living. Many local bands were working five or six nights then. He formed Western Flyer in 1977, released an album 'First Flight' to the open arms of blues fans and played to full houses across Australia.

Western Flyer toured nationally 3 times, did the "Countdown" thing, and released 5 singles. A late seventies release, this is a live album by this blues rock act with the occasional rural overtones. This is their second album, featuring Matt Taylor who brings the blues to the band and Brian Peacock (NZ ex-Procession) who brings a more rural pound, this is a pretty good live album. The playing is good and the band were either very experienced musos or went on to bigger things; Mick Elliot (guitar) had played with Sid Rumpo, Bandicoot and Jim Keays, Bruce Devenish (drums) was a jazz drummer who wrote and played with the jazz band that featured in Rock Mass For Love (see Bakery) back in 71 and played with Phil Manning in 75. James Gillard (bass) occasionally played with Skyhooks and went on to feature in bands such as Broderick Smiths Big Combo, Russell Morris and Mondo Rock.

The final gig for Western Flyer was at the White Sands Hotel in Scarborough. After convincing the hotel manager his new band would fill the hotel the following week The Matt Taylor Band featuring Dave Hole on guitar and Ric Whittle on drums pulled in the promised crowd. This was in the punk era and at that time there was one blues band touring Australia and that was The Matt Taylor Band. After two years Dave Hole left the band and Phil Manning, who was twiddling his thumbs in Tasmania, flew to Perth and joined Matt. The extremely successful ‘Oz Blues’ album was recorded under the name of The Matt Taylor And Phil Manning Band.

Standout track on this album for me is Matt Taylor's first hit single (as a solo artist from 1973) - "I Remember When I Was Young". The rendition on this live set is slightly different to his earlier version with a distinct groove and tempo that makes it a great addition to this recording.

This NEW IMPROVED rip was taken from vinyl in FLAC format and includes full album artwork (Thanks to Sunshine for the RIP)

Track Listing
01 - Throw Me A Line
02 - Nannup Tiger
03 - Sunburst
04 - Runaway
05 - The Promised land
06 - Again
07 - I Remember When I Was Young
Band Members:
Matt Taylor - Vocals/Harp/Guitar
Brian Peacock - Vocals/Guitar
Mick Elliot - Guitar
James Gillard - Bass
Bruce Devendish - Drums
Western Flyer Link (300Mb) New Link 10/01/2023

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The Blue Brothers - Live Unlicensed (1993) Bootleg

 (U.S 1978-1982)

The genesis of the Blues Brothers can be traced back to this moment in January of 1976. Shortly after joining the cast of SNL, Akroyd rented the Holland Tunnel Blues Bar, which quickly became the hangout of SNL's guests, cast, and crew members. With a jukebox stocked with blues songs and musical equipment available for anyone in the mood to jam, it was here that the Blues Brothers concept was born. SNL's music arranger, Paul Shaffer was enlisted to assist Belushi and Akroyd at assembling their own band. 
SNL band members, Lou Marini and Tom Malone, both horn section vets of Blood, Sweat & Tears, were immediately enlisted, as was SNL drummer, Steve Jordan. Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn, the guitar and bass powerhouse behind Booker T & The MGs and a long list of hits from Memphis' Stax Records label, were also brought on board at Shaffer's suggestion. Juilliard-trained Alan Rubin was brought in on trumpet and Matt Murphy, a veteran blues guitarist, who had played with Howlin Wolf, James Cotton, and other legends, was also brought into the fold. Bar-Kays' drummer Willie Hall, a close friend of Cropper and Dunn, was also enlisted, as was pianist Murphy Dunne. Once this stellar assemblage of musicians was outfitted with black suits and Ray-Ban sunglasses, the classic Blues Brothers stylistic image was in place.

John Belushi & Dan Akroyd (The Blues Brothers)

The group's repertoire was firmly based on R&B, blues, and soul classics, but with a distinct rock sound that appealed to younger audiences. One of Belushi and Akroyd's primary models was the Toronto based Downchild Blues Band, co-founded by brothers Donnie and Richard Walsh. The group specialized in a high spirited, bar-band-esque style of jump-band and Chicago-style blues, which the Blues Brothers would also pursue, adding several of Donnie Walsh's songs to their repertoire and adopting their arrangements on several others. With a horn section that excelled at the clean, jazz-influenced sound of New York City and the rest of the band reflecting the grittier blues of Chicago and the soul sounds of Memphis, Paul Shaffer began developing additional song arrangements to beef up their repertoire. 

With all these musical resources at their disposal, Belushi and Akroyd synthesized these elements into their own distinctive style, toning down their comedic flare and maintaining a strong reverence for the music. Quite different from the prevailing disco-oriented, vocal-dominated music of 1977/78, the Blues Brothers were a breath of fresh air amidst the formulaic music so popular at the time. The added television exposure on Saturday Night Live soon turned the Joliet and Jake Blues stage characters into pop culture icons of the day and even led to a full-length feature film deal. While opening for comedian Steve Martin at the Universal Amphitheatre in 1978, the Blues Brothers recorded their debut album, Briefcase Full Of The Blues. This live recording, which captured the raw energy of the group far better than any studio recording could have done, proved to be a very wise decision, as the album shot up to #1 and spawned two Top 40 hits, with covers of the Isaac Hayes/Dave Porter penned "Soul Man" and the Chips' "Rubber Biscuit."

Recorded several months later, when the Blues Brothers opened for the Grateful Dead on the monumental closing night of Winterland, this bootleg recording captures a full unedited performance of the group at their prime. With the help of Belushi and Akroyd's rapidly growing fame and an extremely receptive audience, this may be the most exciting performance they ever did. Although it is obvious that they take this music seriously, Belushi and Akroyd's innate comedic abilities at engaging an audience, balance their sincere reverence for the music with a boatload of fun.

Book-ended by a driving "Can't Turn You Loose," which serves as both intro and outro to this set, the Blues Brothers serve up nearly an hour of hot R&B and blues numbers at a rapid fire pace that never lets up. In additions to older classics like Willie Dixon's "Hey Bartender," "Soul Man," (made famous by Sam & Dave) and "Jailhouse Rock" the group add more esoteric fare, like King Floyd's irresistible "Groove Me" and "Delbert McLinton's "B Movie Box Car Blues." They also pay big homage to the Downchild Blues Band, by copping their arrangements of "Messin' With The Kid," "Rubber Biscuit," and "Flip, Flop Fly" in addition to playing two of that group's originals, "(I Got Everything I Need) Almost" and "Shotgun Blues," both written by Donnie Walsh. The combination of New Years Eve festivities, an historic event and the popularity of SNL among the Dead-head audience, combine to create a sizzling performance that will long be remembered as one of the most entertaining openers ever at a Grateful Dead concert. [extract from]

The Closing Of Winterland

After Billy Graham closed the Fillmore West in 1971, he ran shows at Winterland almost every weekend. The Rolling Stones gave four memorable shows at the rickety old hall in 1972. Peter Frampton recorded his blockbuster double album "Frampton Comes Alive" there. The Band filmed "The Last Waltz" and the Sex Pistols closed the band's U.S. tour at Winterland. But pieces of plaster were raining on the heads of concertgoers at almost every show, and Graham estimated the cost of repair at more than $350,000, which his landlords refused to deduct from his rent.

He made an emotional appeal to the Grateful Dead to play New Year's Eve and close the hall for him. He wrote a letter asking the band to rehearse for the concert and to play some old favorites that had been dropped from the repertoire. As a supporting act, he booked the great party band of the moment - - the Blues Brothers with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, at the height of "Saturday Night Live" mania. The evening promised a rich emotional subtext, even for the relatively unsentimental Dead.

Winterland Fillmore Interior

"This was home base," said drummer Hart, "Dead Central, longtime center for the San Francisco Dead universe."

Instead of a touching farewell, however, the evening descended into a deranged bacchanalia. The place was a cocaine speakeasy -- even the janitor was holding. "There was a bit of blow going around," said Weir. "The Blues Brothers brought mounds of it. I think they had it for breakfast."

The "Saturday Night" crowd -- Bill Murray, Father Guido Sarducci, Al Franken, Paul Shaffer (playing in the Blues Brothers band) -- mingled backstage with psychedelic bull goose loony Ken Kesey, NBA all-star Bill Walton, Chet Helms of the Family Dog and members of the Jefferson Airplane. After their set, the Blues Brothers moved their scene to an after-hours party at the Airplane mansion on Fulton Street that lasted through the night.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my Unlicensed Bootleg CD which I sourced many years ago at a record fair in Camberwell, Melbourne. This A grade soundboard recording comes from a concert held at Winterland, in San Francisco on the 31st December, in 1978 which featured the Blues Brothers supporting the Grateful Dead.  This bootleg has been previously released under many other titles, including 'The Closing Of Winterland', 'Live In The USA' and  'Winterland, San Francisco, CA. 12-31-78'

Full album artwork is also included, along with alternative bootleg release artwork.  You don't have to be a fan of the Blues Brothers to appreciate this music, but it would help if you wear dark sunglasses and shake your tailfeather while listening to it. LOL

Track Listing
01 - Intro
02 - Hey Bartender
03 - Messin' With The Kid
04 - (I've Got Everything I Need) Almost
05 - Band Intro 1
06 - Rubber Biscuits
07 - Shotgun Blues
08 - Groove Me
09 - I don't know
10 - Band Intro 2
11 - Soul Man
12 - Band Intro 3
13 - B Movie
14 - Flip Flop & Fly
15 - Jailhouse Rock
16 - Finale

Note: No song separation / single 45:36 track

Joliet Jake Blues (John Belushi) - vocals
Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd) - harmonica, vocals
Steve Cropper - guitar
Matt Murphy - guitar
Donald Dunn - bass
Tom Malone - trombone, trumpet, saxophone
Lou Marini - saxophone
Tom Scott - saxophone
Alan Rubin - trumpet
Paul Shaffer - keyboards
Murphy Dunne - piano
Steve Jordan - drums
Willie Hall - drums

New Link 06/09/2023