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15.4.08

Barbara Keith




Barbara Keith - Barbara Keith - 1972 - Warner Bros

This album is a rare exception to the style of music normally found on A.O.O.F.C, but albums as good as this cannot be ignored. It's a forgotten classic folk rock album from the early seventies which could have been huge. Barbara Keith is a brilliant songwriter, with a great blues/gospel/country voice. She is a member of the cult band, "The Stone Coyotes ," who have a distinct aggressive style with songs grounded in rock, country, punk, folk and blues. A personal "dissatisfaction" with the musical style of this album led to the album advance money being given back and the newly released album being pulled tby WB. The album received hardly any promotion, but it remains one of the best folk rock albums of the seventies, and should have been a big commercial success. There are seven great Keith penned tunes, a song by Keith, & Doug Tibble, and one knockout version of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." All the tracks are based on country rock, folk, and blues styles, and even if you are not into these styles, you should hear this album for the quality of the songwriting alone, and the great back up musicians, including Lowell George, Jim Keltner, and Danny Kortchma. There is some great info on Barbara Keith, The Stone Coyotes, and this album @

http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/stone_coyotes.html

There is one album I have heard from The Stone Coyotes, "Fire It Up," which is a terrific rocking album, and is worth tracking down.

TRACKS

All Along the Watchtower *
Rolling Water
The Bramble and the Rose
Burn the Midnight Oil No More
Free the People
Detroit or Buffalo
The Road I Took to You
Shining All Along
Rainy Night Are All The Same
A Stone's Throw Away **

All songs composed by B.Keith, except * by Bob Dylan, & ** by Barbara Keith, & Doug Tibbles

CREDITS

Lowell George (Bottleneck Guitar on "Detroit Or Buffalo" : Electric Guitar on "Shining All Along" & "A Stone's Throw Away" ), Barbara Keith (Guitar), Barbara Keith (Piano), Barbara Keith (Vocals), Barbara Keith (Main Performer), Jim Keltner (Drums), Sneaky Pete Kleinow (Pedal Steel), Peter Asher (Piano), Max Bennett (Bass), Richard Bennett (Bass), John Brennan (Guitar), Nick DeCaro (Strings), Craig Doerge (Piano), Emory Gordy (Bass), Lee Herschberg (Engineer), Rudy Hill (Engineer), Milt Holland (Percussion), Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar (Guitar), Russ Kunkel (Drums), Henry Lewy (Engineer), Little Sabre (Vocals (Background)), Clarence McDonald (Piano), Larry Marks (Producer), Spooner Oldham (Piano), Tony Peluso (Guitar), Dennis St. John (Drums), Ron Tutt (Drums), Mike Utley (Organ), Tommy Vicari (Engineer), Shelly Yakus (Engineer), Ray Gernhardt (Engineer), Leland Sklar (Bass), David Bennett Cohen (Guitar)

REVIEWS

Although her band the Stone Coyotes would give Barbara Keith a second career, she was largely overlooked by the public when this album was released in 1972. She has always been an influence on other musicians, however, with her songs being covered by artists such as Barbara Streisand, Delaney & Bonnie, Valerie Carter, and Neal Casal. This album showcases her versions of many of those songs, and they easily hold their own. With a voice and writing style steeped in folk, blues, and country, her songs have an earthy, timeless quality. Along with the nine originals, there is an excellent take on "All Along the Watchtower." Though there have been countless versions of this song by countless artists, Keith manages to make it sound funky and vital, thanks in no small part to the skilled musicians featured. If you can track it down, this a valuable addition to any collection of singer/songwriter albums. © Rob Caldwell, All Music Guide
Barbara Keith dropped out of the music scene before anyone really had a chance to appreciate her work. Originally recorded for Warner Bros. in 1971, Barbara Keith was withdrawn when Keith, not completely happy with the results, gave the advance money back and walked away from the music business. With the re-release of the album 30 years later by Water, all of this will seem a bit odd, because Barbara Keith is a fine effort highlighted by great writing and solid production. Only one cover, Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," is included, which is surprising in that the original material -- by a fairly unknown artist -- is both strong and familiar. Delaney & Bonnie covered "Free the People" (so did Barbra Streisand), and singer/songwriter Mary McCaslin sang "The Bramble and the Rose." Keith's own versions, highlighted by country-rock and classic rock treatments, respectively, are equally fine. Keith's an expressive, soulful singer who sounds like she would've fit into Delaney & Bonnie's band, or passed for an American version of Sandy Denny. Other standout songs include the country-folk of "Detroit or Buffalo" and the rocking closer, "A Stone's Throw Away." The album is fairly short -- 35 minutes -- but it's not weighted down by filler or subpar cuts. Barbara Keith is an excellent album, and one hopes that its author is more inclined to appreciate it in 2004. © Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., All Music Guide

BIO

A singer/guitarist and folk-influenced songwriter, Barbara Keith's curious career began when she was discovered at Greenwich Village's famous Café Wha?. Her first appearance on record was in 1968, with her background vocals and one of her songs appearing on the self-titled debut from Kangaroo. Verve Records released the first of two self-titled albums in 1969. Some critics fell in love with the album but as far as sales the album went nowhere. Her second self-titled album -- released by Reprise in 1972 -- coupled Keith with producer Doug Tibbles. Keith and Tibbles married and soon became unhappy with the music industry. Deciding to focus on family and develop their art with a major-label influence, Keith and Tibbles gave back their Reprise advance, a move that caused the label to under-promote her album. Once again, the album didn't achieve much as far as sales, but Keith's songwriting skills were being noticed throughout the record industry. Barbra Streisand, Lowell George, Tanya Tucker, Delaney & Bonnie, the Dillards, and many others covered songs from the album, "The Bramble and the Rose" and "Detroit or Buffalo" being the favorites. Keith reappeared in the '90s with her "AC/DC meets Patsy Cline" band the Stone Coyotes with her husband, and son John Tibbles, rounding out the band. The band found a cult following of which writer Elmore Leonard was a member. Leonard included the band in his sequel to Get Shorty, Be Cool, and included five Keith songs in the text. © David Jeffries, All Music Guide

14 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great Barbara Keith album. What a cast of players! I saw Kangaroo open up for Hendrix/Joplin/Chambers Brothers in NYC many years ago. I always loved "Daydream Stallion." Of course John Hall was in group as well as ND Smart.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! anonymous. You are very welcome. I thought it was an exceptional album. I have the 1968 Kangaroo album. Is it woth posting?

FadingIntoBlue said...

A long time favourite of mine - I've picked up most of the Stone Coyotes albums on the strength of this one - they are quite different, but good too in their own way.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi!fadingintoblue. Thanks for comment. The only Stone Coyotes album I have seriously listened to is "Fire It Up" which I liked. I will have to give more of their albums a listen...Cheers, & keep in touch

Anonymous said...

Hello AOOFC. Been to a concert yesterday evening. The band played a Barbara Keith song: The road I took to you. Loved it! Found on your delicious blog her 1972 album. Near perfect: she can compete with Bonnie R. Thnx for sharing. Hans from Holland

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Hans. I hope you enjoyed the concert. It's great that bands are still playing her songs.Thanks a million for comment, and please keep in touch. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

a very nice and extraordinary album. can you tell me on what tracks lowell george is sitting in and what instruments he is playing?
hermann

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,hermann. I have no individual track details. I also would like to know Lowell's contribution. If anybody is reading this, please help! Thanks, hermann. Keep in touch

yeolde1 said...

Hi,

Just found your blog, and noticed this album posted, and thought I would add the back cover for anyone you might like to read the lyrics, credits, and underscores.

Here's the link...
http://www.easy-share.com/1912788035/bk-st-back-lg.rar

Enjoy, and keep on truckin'

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,yeolde1. Thats brilliant help. I always wondered what tracks Lowell George played on, as did other people. You've been a great help. Thanks a million, & keep in touch

yeolde1 said...

You betcha..! You too..!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,yeolde1! No probs!Very few people would go to trouble of sending that kind of info. I often spend ages trying to find out about album credits, and then some really helpful person like you provides answers. Much obliged! I've put your MUZCANS blog on my recommended list. ATB, & TTU soon

Dennis K said...

I remember back in 1973 I was listening to an FM station that played "All Along the Watchtower" and it blew me away. He said this was by a girl named Barbara Keith and If you are lucky you can find it in the marked down bins in some stores. I looked and found it and i have been a fan ever since. I have turned on many people to her music which all have agreed was uncommonly great. We always wondered what happened to that fantastic voice and tallent. I later found her music with the Stone Coyotes and I was so glad I found her again. I never understood how such a wonderful songwrighter was so badly overlooked by the music industry. I had to think that somehow she was blackballed for not playing the game they layed out for her. Thanks for the Music Barbara... the Queen of Rock and Roll