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31.8.08

Reneé Austin




Reneé Austin - Dancin' with Mr. Blue - 1996 - Utr Music Group

Dancin' With Mr. Blue, her great debut CD demonstrates Reneé Austin's six-octave range and she covers everything from house rockers to ballads in a great "roadhouse soul" style. The album was honoured as Best Blues Recording by the Minnesota Music Academy. She also received additional awards for Best Blues Artist and Best Female Vocalist. The album enjoyed airplay throughout the U.S., and news of her electrifying performances began to spread. Unfortunately, Reneé is no longer performing, after an operation for a thyroid problem cut her singing career short. Buy her "Sweet Talk" and "Right About Love" albums.

RENEE AUSTIN'S CAREER CUT SHORT [ taken from www.bluesmatters.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1632 ]

It is with a great deal of sadness that Blind Pig Records announces that Renee Austin is ending her burgeoning career as a singer. A paralyzed vocal chord has forced her to abandon her profession. Austin's 2003 national debut CD, Sweet Talk, sparked critical raves and predictions of greatness, with many comparing her to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. It also led to a "Best New Artist Debut" W.C. Handy nomination and a slot on the PBS-TV film entitled Blues Divas. Her second Blind Pig release, Right About Love, impressed critics with her stunning vocal dynamism, her passion, and her remarkable versatility. Again, many predicted her sassy "roadhouse soul" style of music would soon land her in the mainstream. As Harp magazine put it, "If talent still counts in the music biz, she'll be an established star." Label executive Edward Chmelewski said, "We've been greatly impressed with Renee's immense talent since we first heard her. It's tragic that something like this occurs just as her career was taking off. We really feel for her and wish her the best. Besides being an incredibly gifted artist, she's a wonderful person who's been great to work with." In an open letter to her fans and supporters, Austin broke the heart-rending news, "I want to start by thanking all of my friends, family, fellow musicians, and fans for all the love and support you have given me over the years. As most of you know I released my second CD with Blind Pig Records Right About Love on August 16th. It is a piece of me that I am very proud of and a culmination of lots of hard work from many people. As some of you know I had to have surgery on September 13th to remove a lump on my thyroid gland. I feel blessed to be able to tell you that I am doing fine and the lump turned out to be cancer free. I regret to inform you all that as a result of the surgery my left vocal chord has been left paralyzed and is not working. The result of this is I can talk softly but I cannot sing. In the last couple of weeks after lots of medical opinions and various hospital visits my condition has been diagnosed as likely permanent. This means that I probably will never be able to sing again. I am working hard with a speech therapist to see if I can beat the odds and God willing raise my voice in song once again someday. Until that time comes I must say goodbye to you all as a singer and thank you again for all of the love and support you have given me. I thank God for the opportunities He gave me to live out my dream even if only for small window of time. I trust that He has a plan for my life and whatever that is, I will put my heart and soul into it just as I did my music. From the bottom of my heart - please know I thank all of you for your kindness to me and I will remember it always. May God Bless each of you."

TRACKS

Little Bit a Texas
Calling It Quits
The Accused
One Man
Lonely Road
Pillow
It's All a Game
Catfish Woman
Heartless World
Swing
Dancin' With Mr. Blue

All songs composed by Reneé Austin, except "Lonely Road" by Reneé Austin, & Al Larson

MUSICIANS

Reneé Austin (Vocals) , (Guitars)
James Walsh (Organ), (Piano), (Vocals (Background))
Charles Fletcher (Bass)
Melanie Moos (Vocals (Background))
Kenny Wilson (Guitar)
Catherine Battocletti (Vocals (Background))

REVIEW

You wouldn't ordinarily assume a blues-belting mama to hail from central Texas. Nor would you expect a move to Minneapolis to enhance a devotee's appreciation for greasy, Southern-fried, hip-shaking R&B. But give a listen to Reneé Austin for a lesson in how soulful pipes can effortlessly transcend geography. Born in San Diego, Austin actually grew up in Kingsland, TX. Moving to Minneapolis as a college student, Austin jumped into the thriving live music scene and released her 1996 debut, Dancin' With Mr. Blue, from which "Little Bit A Texas" is drawn. Blues guru Delbert McClinton became a mentor to Austin and the two recorded a duet, a signature event in Austin's musical evolution. With her sophomore effort, Sweet Talk, nominated for a W.C. Handy Award (as "Best New Artist"), Austin is poised to take the next big step into the blues/R&B mainstream. As the result of thyroid gland surgery, Reneé is no longer able to perform. © 2008 Texas Music Project



ABOUT RENEE AUSTIN
"When you first hear her voice - that voice - it makes the skin on the top of your head tingle and your ears take notice that here is something - someone - very special." - Blues Wax. Singer-songwriter Reneé Austin turned quite a few heads with her 2003 national debut on Blind Pig Records, Sweet Talk. Critics marveled at her nearly five-octave range, her stunning vocal dynamism, her poignant and insightful songwriting, and her remarkable versatility, comparing her to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Calling the CD "an impressive grab bag of original roots music," Blues Revue said, "Her stunning vocal range grabs the listener from first song to last...The auspicious Sweet Talk is a harbinger of great things to come for this talented and soulful vocalist." With her highly-anticipated follow-up release, Right About Love, Austin validates those early raves and predictions of greatness. Austin offers razor-sharp reinterpretations of American roots music styles and brings them to life with an arsenal of vocal twists - husky and swaggering, breathy and vulnerable, angelic and clear-as-a-bell. A multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter, she's been honing her craft since early childhood, and has nurtured her singing voice to astounding, operatic heights. Although Reneé could be most broadly categorized as a blues artist, her sound has been molded by an expanse of influences, and she credits that to her early environment. Born in San Diego, California, Reneé relocated to Texas by the time she was three. Growing up in the small town of Kingsland, Reneé immersed herself in Texas' spirited musical melting pot - one that has helped shape dozens of other seminal artists from the American Southwest. "In Texas, the older, more seasoned artists garner the most respect. So, I learned early on to respect styles by musicians of all ages, makes and models - there's a tremendous reverence for tradition," says Austin. Many critics noted this ability to sashay with ease from one style of music to the next. The Philadelphia Inquirer said Austin "embraces a deliciously wide range of roots styles: She belts the blues with sass, swings nimbly on R&B, and fires off some rousing gospel. For good measure, she also shows she can take it uptown with a sultry, soulful ballad." No Depression magazine said, "Ostensibly a blues singer, Austin is really more a genre-buster, alchemizing a variety of blues, R&B, soul and gospel styles while giving it all a country flavor." Added Hi Fi Plus, "Austin is an artist capable of covering so many musical bases and she does it all with a purr, a growl, a sexy moan and a throaty roar that constantly delights the listener." Living Blues weighed in with, "Categories like 'blues,' 'rock,' 'soul,' or 'neo-soul' seem too restrictive for her - if anything, she's a torch singer in the Bette Midler tradition, minus the camp and with a welcome dollop of backstreet grit. As of now, she's also a gloriously radiant diamond in the rough." "Austin's tough, husky growl can be as gutsy as Tina Turner or as tender as Maria Muldaur, said All Music Guide, adding, "her presence is so powerful that she's comfortable in a variety of grooves and, at least on the basis of this album, succeeds at all of them." Reneé has known she wanted to be a singer since the age of four, when she first performed the Andre Crouch classic, "Through It All," as a solo during a service in a tiny, hill country church. "I was too short to reach the podium, so they made me stand on a chair," laughs Austin. "That was my induction into the musical world." From then on, she never stopped - every hairbrush and curling iron became a microphone as she began putting on shows for her mom and dad in their living room. Reneé continued to sing in school and church, and, later, in college choir and cover bands. By 15, she'd written her first song and - as the numerous church groups traveling through her area gradually inspired her - it became ever more clear that she too wanted to tour, perform and record. Austin relocated to Minneapolis to pursue a relationship with her college sweetheart. Although the relationship fell apart, her music career began pulling wholly new opportunities together. She was able to assemble a whip-smart band, and in 1997 independently released her debut CD, Dancin' With Mr. Blue, which was honored locally as Best Blues Recording by the Minnesota Music Academy (MMA). She also received additional awards for both Best Blues Artist and Best Female Vocalist. The album enjoyed airplay throughout the U.S., and news of her electrifying performances began to spread. Soon, Austin was securing opening slots for heavy-hitters Robert Cray, Lonnie Brooks and Delbert McClinton, to name just a few. In fact, Renee specifically rallied with promoters to secure a show with McClinton, and their resulting two-night, two-city bill in March 2003 planted the seed that eventually grew into the duet ballad, "Pretend We Never Met," on Sweet Talk. Delbert witnessed the band's entire first night performance and was so taken with her voice that he immediately approached her at the foot of the stage after the show. "Girl ... you ring my bell!" he exclaimed. He offered her a prestigious performance spot on his annual Sandy Beaches Cruise in January 2004. Austin's camp approached McClinton's management about recording together. As Reneé puts it, "I bit my fingernails for a month awaiting a response while he was on tour in Europe." When word finally came, Austin was delighted to find that, not only was he up for doing it, but that his manager, "could count on one hand the number of times Delbert's been as excited about an artist as he is about Reneé." So it was off to Nashville for recording. "I was so nervous on the drive down," says Austin. "I've been a huge Delbert fan ever since my days in Texas. But as soon as I walked through that studio door, everything just melted away. He's so genuine - generous, funny, laid back. It put me right at ease." Although they'd not had any prior rehearsals, the entire session went almost effortlessly, with everything wrapping up in less than two hours. Austin was most struck during the first minutes of tracking, when McClinton suddenly stopped and said, "Wait a minute, Reneé, show me how you're singing it again - I wanna sing it how you're singing it." As she puts it, "already I'm thinking how blessed I am just to be standing next to him and recording, and then he asks for my input? It was like the master asking the grasshopper!" Said McClinton, "Reneé Austin gives me a lot of room to breathe when I sing with her; if you can't get her, you better get Tina Turner!" Sweet Talk and the critical reaction that followed put Reneé on the map. Downbeat magazine awarded it 3 ½ stars. The blues community took notice by nominating the CD for a W.C. Handy Award for "Best New Artist Debut." At the Handy Awards Show in Memphis she put on a memorable performance that generated an industry buzz. Another highlight was being invited to the Ground Zero club in Clarksdale, Mississippi to take part in the filming of a PBS-TV production called "Blues Divas." It was quite an honor, considering the heady line-up of the other singers in the program - Mavis Staples, Ann Peeples, Denise LaSalle, Odetta, Irma Thomas, and Bettye Lavette. Just as Reneé was spellbound as a child by the strength and determination of female artists like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Tina Turner, today she brings similar passion to her own songs - and undeniable physical grit to her live performances. She's become a commanding presence at major shows and festivals across the country, having shared the stage with Los Lobos, Jonny Lang, Charlie Musselwhite, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Keb' Mo, Vonda Shepard (Ally McBeal), Marcia Ball, and Sonny Landreth. And, Delbert McClinton has asked Reneé to open as many shows for him as her schedule allows throughout the upcoming year. Austin's new CD, Right About Love, delivers on the promise of her previous release, reaffirming that her dramatic voice is an instrument that commands respect and knows few boundaries, and that her talent is a force to be reckoned with. Right About Love also continues Austin's musical journey, mixing blues, roadhouse rock and gospel anchored by her formidable vocal prowess, emotional commitment to every note and evocative spins on time-honored American roots music. Right About Love finds Austin blossoming fully as a vocalist, writer, and co-producer. One standout tune is "Mouth of the Delta," which she co-wrote with David Grissom, musical director for the Dixie Chicks. Commenting on the CD, Austin said, "I approached writing for this project with the intent of making music that would again take the listener on a ride thru everyday life. When I sat down to create this disc, I wanted to focus in on one thing. Who is Renee' Austin? I came to the conclusion that my Texas roots are the foundation to my music. People ask me all the time 'What kind of music do you do?' I tell them Roadhouse Soul - blending Blues/Roots, Country and Gospel/Soul." Whatever genre of music she performs, she invests each style with an individuality that few artists can match. Whatever the song demands, Reneé Austin can deliver - with power, presence, and soul. © 2006 Blind Pig Records, a division of Whole Hog, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

BIO

While she's by no means a straight-ahead blues artist, vocalist and songwriter Reneé Austin has great potential to bring many new fans to the idiom. Attractive, intelligent, and a good showperson, Austin was born in San Diego and raised in Texas, growing up steeped in Texas roadhouse blues and soul-blues, as well as gospel music. Sweet Talk, Austin's 2003 debut for the San Francisco-based Blind Pig Records label, has been very well received. Austin grew up in Kingsland, TX, and began singing as a toddler. Encouraged to continue singing by her parents, by the time she was a teenager she'd written her first few songs. Austin sang at school and in church, and by her later high-school years she knew she'd like to try singing and recording for at least part of her living. She counts among her many singing influences the great female blues and soul vocalists, including Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Tina Turner. After moving to Minneapolis during her college years, she began performing in that city's lively blues club scene and released her first album, Dancin' With Mr. Blue, which won kudos from the Minnesota Music Academy and won an award for Best Blues Recording. She was also recognized as Best Female Vocalist and Best Blues Artist, and Austin began opening shows for Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, and Lonnie Brooks when they made tour stops in Minneapolis. Austin teams up with vocalist McClinton for a duet on "Pretend We Never Met" on her debut. The two hooked up in Nashville to record the track, written by keyboardist Bruce McCabe. Austin's debut showcases seven of her originals, Joanna Cotten's "When Something Is Wrong," and two songs by producer Kevin Bowe. Stylistically, it runs the gamut from slow, sultry ballads like "Fool Moon" to the more rockin' roadhouse blues-belting numbers like her duet with McClinton and "Pour the Sugar Slowly." While future recordings from this talented singer/songwriter may be more focused, its OK for this up-and-coming singer to show off on her first internationally distributed album, to show radio programmers and blues festival booking agents what she's capable of. She's already shared festival and concert stages with Jonny Lang, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, and Keb' Mo'. If she can avoid burning herself out with the grueling tour schedules that so many blues performers seem to keep, good things are in the offing for Reneé Austin. A second album, Sweet Talk, was released on Blind Pig in 2003, followed by Right About Love in 2005, also on Blind Pig Records. © Richard J. Skelly, All Music Guide

A.C. Reed




A.C. Reed - I'm In The Wrong Business - 1987 - Alligator

Good soul blues album with tough, original songs, often with sardonic and self-mocking, but humorous, lyrics, from the late, great Chicago bluesman, who was regarded as the Windy City's No.1 blues sax man. Not a household name, but A.C. Reed was a good vocalist and great saxophonist, and was a sideman for Buddy Guy and Albert Collins. He was hugely influenced by the great saxophonist, Gene Ammons. He played with many of the great blues artists, inckuding Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, and Son Seals. Reed was once labelled as "the definitive Chicago blues sax player." Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan were working hard to bring recognition to older blues musicians around the time this album was released. They make solid contributions to a strong effort by A.C. This is a good album by an artist who should be remembered for his huge contribution to the development of blues and electric blues music. Buy his great funky "Take These Blues and Shove 'Em" album. His two final solo albums – the 1998 "Junk Food" on Delmark and the 2002 "I Got Money" on the French Black And Blue label received critical acclaim and ensured Reed's status as a seminal Chicago blues figure. Give these great albums a listen and KEEP THE BLUES ALIVE!!

TRACKS / COMPOSERS (Where known)

I'm in the Wrong Business
I Can't Go on This Way
Fast Food Annie
This Little Voice [Reed]
My Buddy Buddy Friends
She's Fine [Reed]
These Blues Is Killing Me [Reed]
Miami Strut
The Things I Want You to Do
Don't Drive Drunk
Hard Times [Corthen]
Going to New York [Reed]
Moving Out of the Ghetto

MUSICIANS

A.C. Reed (vocals, tenor saxophone)
Bonnie Raitt (guitar, background vocals)
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Maurice John Vaughan, Marvin Jackson, "Triple Horn," Steve Ditzell, Larry Burton, Phil Guy (guitar)
Jimmy Markham (harmonica)
"George" (piano)
Freddie Dixon, Douglas Watson, Johnny B. Gayden, Nate Applewhite, Aron Burton (bass)
Casey Jones (drums)
Miranda Louise, Vicki Hardy (background vocals)

BIO

To hear tenor saxist A.C. Reed bemoan his fate onstage, one might glean the impression that he truly detests his job. But it's a tongue-in-cheek complaint -- Reed's raspy, gutbucket blowing and laidback vocals bely any sense of boredom. Sax-blowing blues bandleaders are scarce as hen's teeth in Chicago; other than Eddie Shaw, Reed's about all there is. Born in Missouri, young Aaron Corthen (whether he's related to blues legend Jimmy Reed remains hazy, but his laconic vocal drawl certainly mirrors his namesake) grew up in downstate Illinois. A big-band fan, he loved the sound of Paul Bascomb's horn on an obscure Erskine Hawkins 78 he heard tracking on a tavern jukebox so much that he was inspired to pick up a sax himself. Arriving in Chicago during the war years, he picked up steady gigs with Earl Hooker and Willie Mabon before the '40s were over. In 1956, he joined forces with ex-Ike Turner cohort Dennis "Long Man" Binder, gigging across the southwest for an extended period. Reed became a valuable session player for producer Mel London's Age and Chief labels during the early '60s; in addition to playing on sides by Lillian Offitt, Ricky Allen, and Hooker, he cut a locally popular 1961 single of his own for Age, amp;"This Little Voice." More gems for Age -- amp;"Come on Home," amp;"Mean Cop," amp;"I Stay Mad" -- followed. He cut 45s for USA in 1963 (amp;"I'd Rather Fight than Switch"), Cool (amp;"My Baby Is Fine," a tune he's recut countless times since) and Nike (amp;"Talkin' 'Bout My Friends") in 1966, and amp;"Things I Want You to Do" in 1969 for T.D.S. Reed joined Buddy Guy's band in 1967, visiting Africa with the mercurial guitarist in 1969 and, after harpist Junior Wells teamed with Guy, touring as opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1970. He left the employ of Guy and Wells for good in 1977, only to hook up with Alligator acts Son Seals and then the Master of the Telecaster, Albert Collins. Reed appeared on Collins's first five icy Alligator LPs, including the seminal Ice Pickin'. During his tenure with Collins, Reed's solo career began to reignite, with four cuts on the second batch of Alligator's Living Chicago Blues anthologies in 1980 and two subsequent LPs of his own, 1982's Take These Blues and Shove 'Em! (on Ice Cube Records, a logo co-owned by Reed and drummer Casey Jones) and I'm in the Wrong Business! five years later for Alligator (with cameos by Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan). Until his death from cancer in February of 2004, Reed remained an active force on the Chicago circuit with his band, the Spark Plugs (get it? AC sparkplugs? Sure you do!). © Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT A.C. REED

Born Aaron Corthen on May 9, 1926, in Wardell, Missouri and studied at Chicago Conservatory of Music. Moved to Chicago and took job in steel mill, 1942; began playing jazz and blues after work hours; performed in bands of Willie Mabon and Earl Hooker, late-1940s; toured with Dennis Binder's Rhythm All-Stars, 1950s; recorded numerous singles for small Chicago labels, 1960s; joined Buddy Guy band, 1967; with Guy and Junior Wells toured Europe with Rolling Stones, 1970; toured with Son Seals and Albert Collins, late-1970s; formed own band, the Sparkplugs; contributed four tracks to Living Chicago Blues anthology, 1980; released solo debut, Take These Blues and Shove 'Em, 1982; I'm in the Wrong Business!, 1987; toured extensively, early-1990s; released Junk Food, 1998. The saxophonist A.C. Reed stands out from the ordinary run of Chicago blues musicians in at least three respects. He formed and led a successful band of his own--something few saxophone players in the blues tradition have done. He was a classically-trained musician, having attended music school and aspired to a big-band career before he started to play the blues. And most distinctive of all is Reed's unique sense of humor. While many other blues musicians have incorporated humor into their music and stage presence, none has, like Reed, mined a comic vein rooted in a tongue-in- cheek dislike of blues music itself. Reed was born Aaron Corthen on May 9, 1926, in Wardell, Missouri in the state's southeastern boot heel; he took the name of Reed in emulation of his friend (and according to some accounts his cousin), Jimmy Reed. He grew up there and in nearby southern Illinois, and the family was musical; one brother played piano and another a handmade bass constructed from a wash tub. Reed himself was drawn to the saxophone after hearing records by swing saxophonists Jay McShann and Paul Bascomb. During World War II he joined the many thousands of other young African Americans who migrated north to take factory jobs. Landing in Chicago in 1942, Reed found work at a steel mill. He took his first paycheck to a pawnshop to buy a saxophone. A fan of jazz tenor sax player Gene Ammons, Reed set his sights on a jazz-band career and took courses at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. The rising style in Chicago at the time was not jazz but blues, however, and Reed began to sit in with blues musicians after a day's work at the steel mill. Saxophonist J. T. Brown of the Elmore James band showed him the ropes, and Reed, recalling Brown's influence in comments quoted on the website of the Alligator music label, offered a concise definition of the differences between jazz and blues. "The first thing he taught me," Reed said, "was to play less notes, play simpler and try to tell a story with my solos." It wasn't long before Reed was performing in South Side blues clubs with vocalist Willie Mabon and guitarist Earl Hooker. In the 1950s Reed toured with Dennis Binder's Rhythm & Blues All-Stars, performing for white college-age audiences across the nation's midsection in the same milieu that nurtured other rhythm-and-blues stars such as Ike & Tina Turner (with whom Binder had earlier been associated). Even Mabon had made a number of records that were rock and roll music in everything but name, and Reed was distinctly unimpressed by the rise of Elvis Presley and his cohorts. By the early 1960s Reed was an in-demand session player in Chicago's well-established blues recording industry, and, with a profusion of small record labels having sprung up in the city, was given a chance to record singles on his own from time to time. Recording for the Age, Nike, and T.D.S. labels, Reed enjoyed a modest hit with "Talkin' 'Bout My Friends" (1966). Some of his singles followed closely in the Jimmy Reed mold, but Reed began to find a voice of his own: in the words of blues historian Gérard Herzhaft, "'I Stay Mad' and the excellent 'My Buddy Buddy Friends' were pieces full of the disenchanted and caustic humor that was A. C.'s mark." In the late 1960s and 1970s Reed was an integral part of the electric blues scene that grew as an adjunct to big-name rock music. He joined the band of guitarist Buddy Guy--another likely source for Reed's subtle, self-mocking humor--in 1967, and when Guy and harmonica player Junior Wells joined forces as an opening act for the 1970 European tour of the Rolling Stones, Reed went with them. Reed remained with Guy and Wells until 1977, staying on the road after that with Son Seals and the showman guitarist Albert Collins, the self-proclaimed "Master of the Telecaster." Collins, who recorded for the Alligator record label, exemplified the beginnings of a third phase of electric blues that followed its homegrown Chicago roots and its phase of interaction with rock: blues as one of what New York Times writer Peter Watrous called "the rituals of good-time music." On breaks from tours with Collins, Reed began to see new possibilities in blues performances that were danceable and playful. He put together a band of his own, the Sparkplugs (the name referred to the popular AC automotive spark plug brand), and by 1980 had contributed four tracks to an Alligator series of releases called Living Chicago Blues that showcased emerging artists--which Reed, at the age of 54, had once again become. Reed's solo debut album, Take These Blues and Shove 'Em, released in 1982 on the Ice Cube label (co-owned by Reed), offered material that fit with the stage routine Reed had developed--that of a bluesman who had the blues about playing the blues, comically looking to more optimistic ways of making a living but completing the joke with virtuoso sax blasts that bespoke a veteran's enjoyment of what he was doing. Anticipating the hip-hop practice of releasing "clean" and unexpurgated versions of songs with raunchy or obscene lyrics, Reed released two versions of a single drawn from the album, "I Am Fed Up with This Music." That single earned Reed a W. C. Handy Award nomination for blues single of the year. With his 1987 release I'm in the Wrong Business!, Reed graduated to the Alligator label himself and enjoyed strong promotional support. The depth of affection that Reed commanded in the blues community was shown by the album's roster of guest stars, which included guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, vocalist Bonnie Raitt, and singer-guitarist Maurice Vaughn (with whom Reed also recorded a duet album, I Got Money). I'm in the Wrong Business! showcased Reed's own songwriting on numbers such as the autobiographical "These Blues Is Killing Me." For several years after the release of I'm in the Wrong Business! Reed was a fixture of the blues-club circuit. He retired briefly in the 1990s, but he kept writing songs and resurfaced in 1998 with the album Junk Food, featuring Albert Collins and released on the Delmark label. The album showed Reed in fine songwriting form as he neared the end of his sixth decade of professional music making; it mixed Reed's trademark themes with new observations on subjects ranging from the saxophone-playing U.S. president Bill Clinton ("The President Plays") to weight-loss entrepreneur Florine Mark ("Florine"). © James M. Manheim, © 2008 Answers Corporation. All rights reserved, www.answers.com/topic/a-c-reed-1

Far Cry




Far Cry - The More Things Change - 1980 - Columbia

In July 1973, Phil Galdston, a 23 year old New York songwriter met Peter Thom, a Montrealer, who had already released his solo album "Peter Thom" in 1972 on UA. The two talented musicians started songwriting together, and distributed demo tapes to various labels. One of their songs, "Why Don't We Live Together" recorded by Barry Manillow in 1975 was successful enough to get them an album deal. The album, "American Gypsies" by Galdston & Thom was produced by John Simon, and released in 1977. It received many good press reviews, but sold poorly.They eventually succeeded in getting Elliot Scheiner, the legendary record producer and engineer to produce " The More Things Change." Scheiner, famous for his work with Steely Dan , Bruce Hornsby, Sting, and Van Morrison assembled the "creme da la creme" of studio musicians, including Donald Fagen, Elliott Randall, and Bernard Purdie to produce this jewel of eighties pop rock. If you are into Steely Dan or good melodic jazz rock/pop fusion, you will love this album which is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Any info on the "American Gypsies" by Galdston & Thom would be most welcome.

TRACKS

The Hits Just Keep On Comin'
Eldorado Escape
The One And Lonely
Because It's There
It's Not As Simple As That
Fight, Fight, Fight
Ocean Eyes
Suddenly Strings
Tell Jack
Some Things Will Never Change

All songs composed by Phil Galdstone, & Peter Thom

BAND

Phil Galdston (Piano), (Piano (Electric)), (Vocals (Background)), & Peter Thom (Vocals (Background))

ASSISTED BY -
Donald Fagen (Vocals (Background))
Elliott Randall (Guitar (Electric))
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (Drums)
Steve Khan (Guitar (Electric))
Rob Mounsey (Synthesizer), (Piano), (Vocals (Background)),(Clavinet)
Mark Doyle (Guitar), (Guitar (Electric))
Jeff Mironov (Guitar (Electric))
Chris Parker (Drums)
Ed Greene (Drums)
Liberty DeVitto (Drums)
Ralph MacDonald (Percussion)
Marvin Stamm (Trumpet),(Flugelhorn)
Randy Brecker (Trumpet), (Flugelhorn)
Timmy Cappello (Saxophone)
Ronnie Cuber (Saxophone)
David Tofani (Saxophone)
Barry Rogers (Trombone)
Neil Jason (Bass)
Will Lee (Bass)
Tony Levin (Bass)
Doug Stegmeyer (Bass)
Patti Austin (Vocals (Background))
John Barranco (Vocals (Background))
Zachary Sanders (Vocals (Background))
Frank Floyd (Vocals (Background))

Produced by Elliot Scheiner

ABOUT THE ALBUM [ © Mark Doyle , www.markdoyle.com/themorethingschange.html ]

This record must’ve taken a long time to come out, because I distinctly remember that I was still in bad personal shape during the recording. Elliott Scheiner was the producer, and the two guys that made up Far Cry were Phil Galdston and Peter Thom. Phil has gone on to become a hit songwriter, although I’ve lost track of Peter. The connection with them came because they were managed by a guy from Robert Stigwood named Jeff Tornberg, who was also managing David Werner at the time. New York was a small world in those days. We recorded at AR Studios, and Phil Ramone was executive producer and would pop in from time to time. The session musicians who played with me were all great. I got to play with Bernard Purdy, one of the great drummers of all time, who had the most amazing shuffle I had ever heard. He had a little Premier kit with an 18” bass drum. Too much! But this was my first introduction to the Steely Dan school of recording. Everything was written out, even the guitar parts. I had been up for 3 days before the session and walked in completely disheveled. Galdston said “You look suitably dazed”, which was my natural state in those days. I was in no mood to read, but had to. I also gave Elliott Scheiner a hard time about his clean guitar sounds because I had been recording with Clearmountain for so long and was used to some dirty sounds with a lot of room ambience on them. Of course now I cringe when I think that Elliott Scheiner’s only memory of me is of the surly rock character that I was. Called in later to overdub my solos, it was more of the Steely Dan approach. You had heard that they would have four different guitar players in for a solo, punching in each note, even using combinations of different players for the same solo. Well, it was like that. I couldn’t get more than two bars into it before I would be stopped, hummed some phrase, punched in, hummed some other phrase, etc. Micro-managed into the ground, they’re not really solos that I think represent me or for that matter did them much good either. But that’s show biz, I guess.

26.8.08

P-Jay




P-Jay - My Everything - 2007 - Jubilee Records (Germany)

This is not the usual type of music found on A.O.O.F.C, but it is a very good album of funky, acid jazz, and urban pop-lounge dancefloor grooves. The album has genuine musical merit, and should not be discounted because of it's musical genre. So don't take life too seriously! If you need to relax and chill out, take off your Neu and Spock's Beard albums and give this album a listen, and GET DOWN, AND GET WITH IT !!

TRACK DETAILS

1.Exit (5:57)
Composed By [Additional Composing] - Steve Wettstein
Guitar - Thom Wettstein
Lyrics By - Fabienne A. Müller
Vocals - Caroline Chevin
2.Alive (4:22)
Acoustic Guitar - Steve Wettstein
Composed By [Additional Composing] - Thom Wettstein
Drums - Eddie Walker
Lyrics By, Vocals - Caroline Chevin
3.My Everything (5:23)
Lyrics By, Vocals - Ivy Rentsch
4.Sweetest Lullaby (4:56)
Acoustic Guitar - Steve Wettstein
Lyrics By - Thom Wettstein
Lyrics By, Vocals - Caroline Chevin
5.Tell Me What You Want (5:30)
Composed By [Additional Composing] - Thom Wettstein
Drums - Eddie Walker
Lyrics By, Backing Vocals - Ivy Rentsch
Lyrics By, Vocals - Sabina Stokes
6.Subrayado (6:01)
Composed By [Additional Composing] - Michael Allemand , Paul G. Jakob
Percussion - Jean-Pierre Wettstein
7.Right Place (3:55)
Lyrics By, Vocals - Caroline Chevin
Percussion - Reto "Fonso" Von Salis*
8.Summerfeeling (6:44)
Lyrics By, Guitar - Thom Wettstein
Lyrics By, Vocals - Ivy Rentsch
9.Feel Da Funk (4:21)
Keyboards [Additional] - Philipp Kuhn*
Percussion - Jean-Pierre Wettstein
Programmed By [Additional], Composed By [Additional Composing] - Steve Wettstein
10.Make Me Feel Good (4:54)
Lyrics By, Vocals - Robbie Hacaturyan
11.Ride With Me (3:47)
Drums - Eddie Walker
Lyrics By, Vocals - Sabina Stokes
12.Glistening (5:47)
13.Autumn Dance (7:11)
Flute - Michael Allemand
Percussion - Robbie Hacaturyan
14.Walking (7:03)
Lyrics By - Thom Wettstein
Lyrics By, Vocals - Gala Stohler
Percussion - Robbie Hacaturyan

CREDITS

Bass - Thom Wettstein
Composed By - Paul G. Jakob (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 to 14) , Thom Wettstein (tracks: 1, 4, 6 to 9)
Guitar - Steve Wettstein (tracks: 1 to 3, 5, 7, 9 to 14)
Keyboards - Paul G. Jakob , Thom Wettstein (tracks: 1, 4, 6, 8, 9)
Recorded By, Mixed By - Paul G. Jakob , Thom Wettstein
Saxophone - Michael Allemand (tracks: 1, 3, 5 to 14)
Trumpet - Paul G. Jakob (tracks: 6 to 9, 14)

BAND [ P-Jay / Real Name: Caroline Chevin, Michael Allemand, Paul G. Jakob, Stefan Wettstein, Thom Wettstein & Eddie Walker ]

Caroline Chevin - Vocals
Michael Allemand - Saxophone / Flute
Paul G. Jakob - Keyboard / Trumpet / Laptop
Stefan Wettstein - Guitar
Thom Wettstein - Bass
Eddie Walker - Drums

Rick Derringer




Rick Derringer - Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo, The Best of Rick Derringer - 1996 - Sony

One of the greatest American rock guitarists of modern times, Rick Derringer's amazing c.v is too long to list here. If you ever want to hear some of his greatest work, then buy his brilliant "Jackhammer Blues" album, and listen to his live album, the King Biscuit "Rick Derringer and Friends" which is simply outstanding. For an example of how blues guitar should be played, listen to his version of "Pride And Joy" on the "Hats Off To Stevie Ray" tribute album to SRV. If you want to hear some mean slide guitar, listen to Rick's playing on Steely Dan's "Show Biz Kids" from their "Countdown To Ecstacy" album. Rick also played on the Dan's classic "Katy Lied," and "Gaucho" albums, and on Donald Fagen's incredible "The Nightfly" album. He has also played with the great Todd Rundgren. We could be here all night talking about Rick Derringer's work, but suffice to say that "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" is a great compilation of Rick's most memorable tunes.

TRACKS

Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo
I Didn't Ask to Be Born
Time Warp
Teenage Queen
Let Me In
Still Alive and Well
Let the Music Play
Modern Love
Everything
Sleepless
Need a Little Girl (Just Like You)
Hang on Sloopy
Sittin' by the Pool
Don't Ever Say Goodbye
Teenage Love Affair
Beyond the Universe

All songs composed by Rick Derringer, except "Let Me In" by Derringer/Cynthia Weil, "Sleepless" by Derringer/Patti Smith, "Hang On Sloopy" by Wes Farrell,/Bert Russell, & "Sittin' By The Pool" by Derringer/Larry Sloman

MUSICIANS

Rick Derringer (Guitar (Acoustic)), (Bass), (Guitar), (Guitar (Electric)), (Guitar (Rhythm)), (Maracas), (Tambourine), (Vocals), (Vocals (Background)), (Guitar (12 String)), (Sitar (Electric))
Dan Hartman (Organ), (Bass), (Guitar (Rhythm)), (Vocals (Background))
Joe Walsh (Guitar (Electric))
Danny Johnson (Guitar), (Vocals)
Randy Jo Hobbs (Bass)
Kenny Passarelli (Bass)
John Siegler (Bass)
Donnie Kisselbach (Bass), (Vocals)
Kenny Aaronson (Bass), (Vocals (Background))
Myron Grombacher (Drums), (Vocals)
Jimmy Wilcox (Drums), (Vocals)
Vinny Appice (Drums),(Vocals (Background))
Chuck Ruff (Percussion), (Drums), (Vocals (Background))
Bobby Caldwell (Drums)
John Siomos (Drums)
Joe Vitale (Drums)
Bobby Ramirez (Drums)
Edgar Winter (Organ), (Percussion), (Keyboards), (Piano (Electric)), (Saxophone), (Vocals (Background))
Benjy King (Keyboards), (Vocals (Background))
Roger Powell (Organ)
Neil Geraldo (Piano)
Paul Harris (Piano)
Jerry Lacroix (Saxophone)
Jon Smith (Saxophone),(Vocals (Background))
Tilly Lawrence (Trumpet)
Mike McLellan (Trumpet)
Joe Lala (Conga)
Todd Rundgren (Vocals (Background))
Jerry Lacroix (Vocals (Background))
Kasim Sulton (Vocals (Background))
Tasha Thomas (Vocals (Background))
Carl Hall (Vocals (Background))
Allen Nichols (Vocals (Background))
George I. Isaac (Vocals (Background))
Emmanuel Riley (Vocals (Background))

SHORT BIO

It seems like Rick Derringer has been on the rock & roll scene forever -- actually, it's only been since 1965, which makes him one of the more enduring veterans of his generation. Derringer's work with his band the McCoys in his midteens, highlighted by the bubblegum anthem "Hang On Sloopy," gave him a claim to low-level rock & roll immortality, and his subsequent playing with Johnny (and later Edgar) Winter provided him with a degree of credibility that a lot of guitar players can only envy, especially after the release of the Edgar Winter live double album Roadwork. Derringer began getting production experience with the McCoys, but they were never able to overcome their bubblegum rock image, and by the end of the 1960s, Derringer and his brother Randy were recruited by Johnny Winter into his band, with Derringer playing guitar and also producing. He emerged as a solo artist in the wake of his playing with Edgar Winter's White Trash. Derringer first became popular in his own right during the early/mid-'70s, beginning with a new version of his own "Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo" (which Johnny Winter had covered for him a few years earlier) off Derringer's heavy metal-influenced debut album, All American Boy. Derringer soon had his own band, called Derringer, on the road -- although his guitarist and bassist, Danny Johnson and Kenny Aaronson, left in 1977 to form Axis -- and within a couple of years had established himself as a popular favorite. Derringer's recorded history was somewhat spotty, however, as his record sales never matched his favor with concert audiences -- a huge gap also existed between releases, which didn't bother him; even in the late '90s, Derringer played close to 200 shows a year. He spent most of the late '70s and 1980s, however, as a producer, working with artists as diverse as Bette Midler, Kiss, Meat Loaf, Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand, and Weird Al Yankovic. Derringer is known for his hard-rocking live shows, which don't necessarily translate well to recordings, or lend themselves to much originality. As he neared age 50 in the 1990s, however, he had mellowed, and this showed when he began recording again for Shrapnel Records in 1993 with the albums Back to the Blues and Electra Blues. Years of fair to average rock and adult contemporary albums followed, but in 2002 Derringer did an about-face and tried his hands at jazz with the adventurous Free Ride. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

25.8.08

Lacy Gibson




Lacy Gibson - Switchy Titchy - 1982 - Black Magic

Lacy Gibson has had a long and varied career, mainly as a sideman and/or musical director for bigger stars. An excellent instrumentalist, at home in blues, jazz, or rock, he has recorded with artists as varied as Sun Ra, Duke Ellington, Junior Wells, and Buddy Guy. He plays guitar with understated precision and rhythmic authority, very like the great Robert Cray. Although Lacy Gibson's recorded solo output is very sparse, "Switchy Titchy" is a well above average modern Chicago blues album, and a good example of Lacy's talents. The back up musicians are pure class, especially Abe Locke on horns. Buy his 1996 "Crying For My Baby" album.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Take My Love - John
2 Easy Woman - Gibson
3 Quaker City - Dogget
4 My Love Is Real - Gibson
5 Somebody Somewhere - Gibson
6 Come Back Baby - Trad
7 Switchy Titchy - Gibson
8 You Better Be Sure - McAdoo
9 Five Long Years - Boyd
10 Lucky Lou - Williams

MUSICIANS

Lacy Gibson (Guitar), (Vocals)
Snapper Mitchum (Bass (Electric)
Allen Batts (Piano)
Sunnyland Slim (Piano)
Abe Locke (Sax (Tenor))
Robert Covington (Drums)

REVIEWS

Lacy Gibson's Switchy Titchy is one of those compact discs that seemed unspectacular when it was first released on vinyl, but upon reissue proves to be a purer blues product than much of what initially overshadowed it. This 1982 session features the Chicago guitarist backed by a compact combo that included pianist Sunnyland Slim and reedman Abb Locke. Gibson's guitar style is rhythmic and chord-oriented, with rather hinky lead breaks. Anyone fond of the sort of playing that influenced Rusty Zinn and Rick Holmstrom will find him of interest. His voice isn't extremely strong, but it has an appealing burnish. Some cuts have a rock'n'roll zest to them, most notably "Somebody Somewhere," which is much in the style of Little Richard sans those trademark falsetto whoops. The opening "Take My Love" is similarly lively, with paint-peeling saxophone from Locke. The title track is too much on the cute side; better is "Easy Woman," low and slow, with appropriately mournful piano work from Sunnyland. Gibson's guitar break is jazzy, with a brief but tasty Wes Montgomery-type fillip in one of the choruses. Gibson also does two instrumentals, one a positively perky take on a Bill Doggett oldie, "Quaker State." It's good, but downright killer is his version of "Lucky Lou," an obscure but influential Jody Williams item. Otis Rush copied it rather flagrantly on "All Your Love," and it additionally foretold everything that ever happened in the genre of surf guitar. Gibson does it up in masterful guitar noir style, backed by rumbling tom-toms, speaker-rattling bass and sax that sounds like ripping leather. Sound quality is a bit bass-y, and the 36 minutes or so of playing time is a short count for those used to CD overkill. But all in all, it's good music from one of Chicago's seasoned sidemen in a rare role as bandleader. Liner notes by Dick Shurman are generous and informative. © Tim Schuller, © 1996 by Blues Access, Boulder, CO, USA.

Switchy Titchy is the best record Lacy Gibson has recorded to date. Gibson's variation on Chicago blues includes some horns pinched from Southern soul-blues records, and it's a little bit more laidback than the pile-driving sound often associated with the style. He makes up for the relaxed pace with his round, clean guitar tones and big, powerful vocals, both of which are spotlighted throughout Switchy Titchy. Best of all, that playing is married to a strong song selection, featuring a couple of originals and a lot of forgotten classics. That unpredictable song selection makes the entire album sound fresh and lifts the record above many of its modern blues peers. © Thom Owens, All Music Guide

SHORT BIO

Born 1 May 1936, Salisbury, North Carolina, USA. Gibson's family settled in Chicago in 1949 and he quickly became involved in the city's blues scene, receiving tips on blues guitar playing from musicians such as Muddy Waters and T-Bone Walker. Besides working with innumerable blues artists, he was also involved in the jazz scene. He recorded with Buddy Guy in 1963 and worked on many sessions. Gibson had two singles of his own on the Repeto label, and had material released on albums by the Alligator, Red Lightnin', El Saturn, and Black Magic labels. He is a strong vocalist and very talented blues guitarist who seems to be equally at home in small west-side Chicago bars or European concert halls. [ Source: Encyclopedia of Popular Music ]

MORE ABOUT LACY GIBSON

Slowly returning to musical action following major surgery, guitarist Lacy Gibson has been an underappreciated figure on the Windy City circuit for decades. Lacy and his family left North Carolina for Chicago in 1949. It didn't take long for Gibson to grow entranced by the local action -- he learned from veterans Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters and picked up pointers from immaculate axemen Lefty Bates, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and Wayne Bennett. Gibson made a name for himself as a session player in 1963, assuming rhythm guitar duties on sides by Willie Mabon for USA, Billy "The Kid" Emerson for M-Pac!, and Buddy Guy on Chess. Gibson made his vocal debut on the self-penned blues ballad "My Love Is Real" at Chess the same year, though it wasn't released at the time (when it belatedly emerged, it was mistakenly attributed to Guy). A couple of bargain basement 45s for the remarkably obscure Repeto logo (that's precisely where they were done -- in Lacy Gibson's basement!) preceded Gibson's inconsistent album debut for then-brother-in-law Sun Ra's El Saturn label. Ralph Bass produced an album by Gibson in 1977, but the results weren't issued at the time (Delmark is currently releasing the set domestically). A stint as Son Seals's rhythm axeman (he's on Seals's Live and Burning LP) provided an entree to Alligator Records, which included four fine sides by Gibson on its second batch of Living Chicago Blues anthologies in 1980. Best of all was a Dick Shurman-produced album for the Dutch Black Magic logo in 1982, Switchy Titchy, that brilliantly spotlighted Gibson's clean fretwork and hearty vocals. After he regained his health in the mid-'90s, Lacy Gibson entered the studio and recorded Crying for My Baby, which was released in 1996. © 2008 GetBack Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

24.8.08

Oblivion Sun




Oblivion Sun - Oblivion Sun - 2007 - MVD Visual

Oblivion Sun is the new prog band featuring Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker, founding members of Happy The Man. Their self-titled debut shows a band that can prog-n-roll and throw down the funk! Fanfare & Noodlepoint have all the bombast and majesty one expects from proggers, while No Surprises & re:Bootsy show a band which could just as easily share a bill with Kings X as they could Mahavishnu. For fans of Spock's Beard, Battles, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, etc. © 1996 - 2008 CD Universe


The music played by Oblivion Sun covers many genres, but remains faithful to their progressive roots. The album is ia great example of improvisational progressive jazz rock, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. For music in a similar vein, you should check out the following albums - "The Rotters Club" by Hatfield And The North, "Acquiring the Taste" by Gentle Giant, "The Polite Force" by Egg, Gong's brilliant "Zero to Infinity" album, and of course Happy The Man's self titled album from 1977.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Fanfare - Wyatt 4:41
2 Ride - Whitaker 5:07
3 Noodlepoint - Plummer 3:51
4 Catwalk - Wyatt 7:40
5 No Surprises - Whitaker 3:36
6 Re: Bootsy - Plummer, Smith 3:28
7 Chapter 7.1 - Whitaker 3:35
8 Tales of Young Whales - Plummer 5:53
9 Golden Feast - Wyatt

BAND

Bill Plummer - keyboards, Moog synthesizer
Chris Mack - drums, percussion
Frank Wyatt - saxophone, keyboards
Stan Whitaker - vocals, guitars

REVIEWS

Oblivion Sun is a new band formed by Stanley Whitaker (guitars and vocals) and Frank Wyatt (keyboards and sax), the founding members of Happy the Man (HtM), who after 25 years of silence released The Muse Awakens in 2004. Whitaker and Wyatt were still full of inspiration after the release of that album and they had more ideas for new songs. However it proved to be very difficult to get all the HtM members together because of personal schedules and proximity. So they decided to record them themselves. The project was called ‘Pedal Giant Animals’. They were accompanied on this project that was released early this year by guest musicians Chris Mack and Pete Princiotto. Pedal Giant Animal’ proved to be the birth of ‘Oblivion Sun’. Next to Stanley Whitaker and Frank Wyatt the band members are Chris Mack (drums; also in Iluvatar and Puppet Show), Dave DeMarco (bass) and Bill Plummer (keyboards, engineering and production; HtM sound man). What sort of music can you expect from a band that consists of two of the main songwriters of HtM (together with Kit Watkins of course)? As Frank Wyatt said in an interview at the end of 2005; “it’s a bit like HtM, but the songs are more loose and there is room for improv”. There is no denying that Oblivion Sun sounds a lot like HtM. There are some differences as well. Jazzy progrock is the main ingredient on the album but the songs are a little more jazz rock orientated than HtM. The songs are shorter with less room for extended excursions. And with Dave DeMarco, Bill Plummer and Chris Mack, Wyatt and Whitaker took some very talented musicians on board. Bill Plummer, as the engineering and production man, did a great job (as I had to do this review without a CD booklet I don’t know which keyboard parts were played by him). He gave the songs a very dynamic sound and that’s just what they need. It directly becomes apparent on the very strong opening song of the album Fanfare. It’s a very exciting jazz rock song that alternates between a very up tempo part with lots of moog fills and a quieter and moving part with Fender Rhodes and a beautiful guitar part. Bass player DeMarco has a short solo spot before a beautiful Moog solo takes over. Next up is the more straightforward rock song The Ride which is dominated by heavy riffing from Mr Whitaker and the saxophone of Mr Wyatt. It has a very strong chorus as well. It’s the most commercial song of the album. It’s also the first of two songs that feature the vocals of Stan Whitaker. Now, I always found that the vocals on HtM albums sounded a bit shaky as if they were hesitant to include them on the albums but on this album Whitaker really sounds self assured, especially on this song. Next up is one of best songs of the album. Noodlepoint is a very complicated song but they make it sound so easy. That is mainly down to the rhythm section. They give the song a very nice flow and make all the different up tempo and fast sections sound very natural and easy. They make the song a perfect environment for Wyatt's sax and keys work and Whitaker's guitar. Especially the part with the King Crimsonesk/VdGG sax solo is great with some brilliant percussion work by Mack. But also DeMarco shows some excellent bass work throughout the song. And all of that in less than four minutes. Wow! Catwalk is the last ‘vocal’ song of the album. A song about an imaginary journey of a man. He meets the Cheshire cat (the imaginary, highly philosophical cat of Lewis Caroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’?) that wants to walk with him (‘excuse me he said. Can I walk in your head?’). The man notices that the cat feels a bit low and decides to cheer him up by writing a song together. It’s the longest song on the album and again features some strong, but short and to-the-point solos. It’s one of the quieter songs on the album. There’s a really beautiful instrumental passage near the end of the song that has a moving melody. I wonder if that is the song they wrote together because after that part the cat feels much better and leaves (‘excuse me he said, for using your head’). The three songs that follow show us the versatility of this band and their efficiency. The rocky No Surprises, the funky Re:Bootsy and the progressive rock of Chapter 7.1 (an alternative version of Chapter Seven from the Pedal Giant Animals album) are all around three and a half minutes and show what this band is capable of. Especially Chapter 7.1 has a lot to offer in that short time. Moog solos, Hammond chords, exciting guitar playing and some great breaks. Tales Of young Whales seems to be a very nice and quiet song until Stan Whitaker gives the song an enormous kick in the butt with a truly amazing guitar solo! Closing track Golden Feast is one of my personal favourites of the album because it reminds me of At The Edge Of This Thought and While Chrome Yellow Shine off the Better Late third HtM album. It’s not that the song is an exact copy but the it’s more the feel and the atmosphere of the song with its prominent Fender Rhodes and its typical Wyatt chord progressions. It’s laid back at the start but slowly builds up. The build up is introduced by bass player DeMarco and then Wyatt kicks in with a Fender Rhodes solo followed by a beautiful Moog solo. Whitaker closes things with a short but heavy guitar solo before ending the album with an up tempo version of the main theme. It’s a brilliant song. This album was a great surprise. Especially the fun and pleasure these guys must have had during the recording process really comes across. Also, Oblivion Sun is more than HtM minus Rick Kennel (the other original HtM member who’s still part of the band). DeMarco, Mack and Plummer also shine on the album and deliver some great performances. If you are a HtM fan or simply like jazz rock orientated progressive rock you will really enjoy this album. Highly recommended! Conclusion: 9 out of 10, © LEO KOPERDRAAT, © 1995 - 2008 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page, www.dprp.net/reviews/200772.php

"Let’s cut to the chase: the music produced by Oblivion Sun for its debut release is as good, if not better, than anything Happy The Man ever produced, and leaves little doubt that this album belongs among the best releases of 2007. Formed by Happy the Man alumni Stan Whitaker (guitars) and Frank Wyatt (keyboards), Oblivion Sun retains the best elements of previous incarnation Pedal Giant Animals and fine tunes its fusion of progressive rock, jazz, metal and funk. The compositions are uniformly excellent, recalling vintage Happy the Man without succumbing to pure homage, finding a delightful balance between retro and progressive. The band explores various genres with great aplomb, from the crunchy Crimson-like delivery of “No Surprises” to a bouncy nod to William Collins on “Bootsy.” Magically working the keys alongside Wyatt is newcomer Bill Plummer, who fits the mold perfectly, while bassist Dave DeMarco and drummer Chris Mack give the music some needed punch. This is one crack band of musicians; they have, without doubt, created an instant classic." © Mark Newman Progression Magazine (spring 2008)

Around the year 2000, we received new signs of life from the Happy the Man camp. With their proper fusion of prog, jazzrock and light classical influences the cult prog act from the east of the U.S. had been well-known for years among insiders as the crème de la crème of their field. In a sense, they were akin to Gentle Giant: frivolous, yet more polished. Eight years hence, the group's resurrection at NEARfest is still fresh in the minds of many visitors. In addition, “The Muse Awakens” from 2004 was by no means a disappointing effort and it turned out to be the perfect follow-up to the band's magnum opus, “Crafty Hands,” which was released in 1978. For the next four years, the various band members worked on a variety of projects. Guitarist Stan Whitaker and keyboardist/saxophonist Frank Wyatt (founding members of the band) now present their latest project, “Oblivion Sun,” a group which further consists of keyboardist Bill Plummer (HtM's sound engineer), bassist Dave Demarco and drummer Chris Mack (of Iluvatar-fame). Originally, the band would be called Pedal Giant Animals, after that they renamed themselves Spirit Noise, but ultimately, they turned out their eponymous début album under the name of Oblivion Sun. Ah... but what to expect from a company who look so distinguished on paper? The answer is crystal-clear: just prick up your ears and enjoy the nine pieces which together make up almost forty-five minutes' worth listening. Once again Whitaker and Wyatt have managed to beautifully shape their guitar and keyboard sounds into stirring and melodic compositions. Fanfare, Noodlepoint and Golden Feast in particular are instrumental gems that show diversity without turning bombastic or too overwhelming because of ideas that are too 'hot.' The saxophone combines marvellously with the high-paced keyboard sounds and keeps the jazzrock-influences alive — as if little has changed since HtM's albums (just for fun: first listen to Steaming Pipes and then play No Surprises!). The end result is less strict, though, and it seems as if the musicians play their parts somewhat more loosely these days. The album effectively alternates between vocal and instrumental tracks, a juxtaposition in which the former stand out in their 'rockness' (such as, for instance, The Ride), but that is actually quite refreshing. In addition to Whitaker's vocals the guitar parts work out beautifully, especially in Re: Bootsy, which is a sort of refined progfunk that has the lovely tendency to lose self-control at times. Like a true madman, drummer Mack flies sublimely through the song, followed suit by bassist Demarco. However, Mack also knows when to hold back a little — top class! “Oblivion Sun” is without a doubt one of the progressive highlights of 2007, being an album that deals in an authentic fashion with melodic themes and which stays clear of musical clichés. The group may well prove to be a sensation on-stage — I really do wish that that is where things will lead. None of our readers will be surprised to hear that this record is absolutely compulsory for HtM-fans, while other people interested in Oblivion Sun can be assured that by purchasing this album they will be getting themselves top value American progressive rock. © 2008, Wouter Bessels, www.oblivionsun.com/progwereld_review.htm

ABOUT OBLIVION SUN

Oblivion Sun is the brainchild of Frank Wyatt and Stanley Whitaker, founding members of 70's Arista recording artists of Happy The Man. HTM reformed in 1999 to headline Nearfest 2000 and they released their first CD in almost 25 years, "The Muse Awakens" in 2004. Last year, Frank and Stan recognized the difficulty in getting together to work on new HTM music due to personal schedules and proximity. They had amassed an abundance of material that they feared would never get recorded if they waited for HTM to record it. It was out of this reality that they began recording the soon to be released duo project "Pedal Giant Animals". The PGA project, with guest musicians Chris Mack and Pete Princiotto, became the seed for a new band...Oblivion Sun. Oblivion Sun comfortably crosses many genres while staying true to their progressive roots. If the first batch of OS tunes are any indication, this is a band that's not afraid to get downright funky at times and throw down some serious rock grooves and even improv!. Expect a good deal of vocal content as well! Fear not, this is still prog and fans of HTM's lush arrangements will not be disappointed! The ensemble features the compositional and performance skills of all five musicians: Stan Whitaker on guitar and vocals, Frank Wyatt on keyboards and sax, Chris Mack on drums, Dave DeMarco on bass and Bill Plummer on keyboards who also offers his engineering and production skills. Together, Oblivion Sun have created a powerful, dynamic sound that is sure to satisfy all prog fans, young and old alike. The band is poised to quickly establish itself as a forerunner in the ongoing evolution of progressive music. The band members include Frank Wyatt ~ Composer, keyboardist, saxophonist, engineer and producer- founding member of Happy The Man, Frank has worn many hats. From his Crafty Hands Studio he continues to produce innovative and fresh new music. Recent projects include Pedal Giant Animals , and now new band Oblivion Sun's debut. Stan Whitaker ~ Stan is a founding member of Happy The Man, playing with them during their classic period in the '70s. After the band broke up in 1978, Whitaker formed a band called Vission. By 1985 he had moved on to his next group, One by One, and in 1992, Avalon. He has guested on albums by Ten Jinn, The Carl Hupp Project, John Palumbo, and others. Stan also works as a solo and duo artist with his wife LeeAnne. Bill Plummer ~ Bill has known Stan and Frank since the mid 70’s when Happy The Man was in its heyday. He started playing on a Moog Modular as soon as he got his driver’s license. A friend, Mark Roumelis from the band Facedancer, worked at Maryland Public Television and invited Bill to play the Moog whenever it was available. Bill soon found that a career in music as an audio engineer was a better move for paying the bills and started out by being the house engineer at The Bayou, a famous club in DC. Tours soon followed. He left the live touring part of his career after mixing Whitney Houston in 1989-90. Studio work followed and then moved into broadcast engineering. As chief mixer at BET Jazz, Bill had the great pleasure of mixing many of his childhood heroes such as Herbie Hancock, George Duke and more. While at BET, Stan called about a HTM reunion and he eventually became the FOH engineer for all but one of the reunion shows that the band performed between 2000 and 2004.Stan and Bill had played together a great deal over the years and was aware of his abilities as a keyboardist. When the decision was made to form a new performing band Bill was called by Stan and Frank. He immediately said yes and rehearsals began. When not playing with Oblivion Sun, Bill produces and engineers a variety of artists. He was nominated for a Grammy for BeBe Winans “Live And Up Close” and has also mixed artists including The Cure, Maroon 5, Diana Krall, Audioslave, Toni Braxton, and many more. Chris Mack ~ After honing his skills at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and paying his dues in L.A. for a few years, Chris moved back to the east coast and landed the drum chair with Baltimore neo proggers Iluvatar in Dec. 1997. He recorded "A Story Two Days Wide", Iluvatar's 4th CD release. Iluvatar went on to play Baja Prog in 1998 and NEARfest in 2000, as well as many shows in the Baltimore area in support of the CD. In the Fall of 2003, Chris played on "Pedal Giant Animals", a collection of songs written by Stan and Frank as a side project. He is also a member of Puppet Show, a well established progressive rock act from Northern California. Their latest CD, "The Tale of Woe", was released on ProgRock Records and mixed by producer icon Terry Brown (Rush, IQ, Fates Warning). In 2007, Chris was active in the prog festival scene playing both The Rites of Spring Festival (Rosfest) in April and CAL Prog in May with Puppet Show and ProgDay in September with Oblivion Sun. Chris is a well established drum and percussion instructor in the Baltimore area and plays frequently around Maryland with other rock acts including The Dave Demarco Band. Dave DeMarco ~ When Oblivion Sun's calendar allows, Dave maintains a busy extracurricular schedule as an in-demand session and freelance player. He appears on CDs with artists such as Frank Gambale, Brett Garsed, TM Stevens, Larry Fast and composes for film and TV. His playing has been featured on HBO, ESPN, MTV's Punk'd, NBC's Coastal Dreams and several FOX TV themes. © www.oblivionsun.com/musicians.htm

Little River Band




Little River Band - Live Classics (Greatest Hits Live) - 1993 - Blue Martin

The self-titled album when released Stateside was a critical success, producing "It's A Long Way There", which became a big hit. They are also remembered by many for their classic pop rock hit, "Reminiscing." However, despite having sold over twenty million albums worldwide, and still on the road after thirty years, albeit with numerous personnel changes, and a different name, the Australian band are still regarded by some music critics as too slick, too commercial, and imitators of the "U.S. west coast harmony and guitar sound." If you are into Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or similar bands, you will probably give this album a miss. However, this album should be heard and properly evaluated. A.O.O.F.C would recommend that you give the album a listen. Glen Shorrock is a great vocalist, and on many of the tracks here, the band proves that they can really rock. In reality, they are a great live band. Try and find the band's original ""After Hours" album, (Not the U.S version), which demonstrates just how talented rhe band could be without the over-commercialized or "slick" production.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1.Happy Anniversary (Birtles,Briggs)
2.It's A Long Way There (Goble)
3.I Dream Alone (Shorrock,Pellicci)
4.Skyboat (Housden)
5.Man On Your Mind (Shorrock,Tolhurst)
6.Lonesome Loser (Briggs)
7.Take It Easy On Me (Goble)
8.Reminiscing (Goble)
9.Baby Come Back (Beckett,Crowley)
10.Walk Together (Froggatt,Thomas)
11.The Night Owls (Goble)
12.Help Is On It's Way (Shorrock)
13.Cool Change (Shorrock)
14.Lady (Goble)
15.Summertime Blues (Cochran,Capehart)
16.Walk Together (Studio)
17.My Own Way Home (Studio)

MUSICIANS ON TRACKS

Peter Beckett - vocals, guitar
Richard Bryant - keyboards
Stephen Housden - lead guitar
Wayne Nelson - bass/ vocals
Derek Pellicci - drums
Glen Shorrock - lead vocals

BIO (Wikipedia)

Little River Band is an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne in 1975 and named after a road sign for the Victorian township of Little River, on the way to Geelong. They were the first Australian rock group to enjoy sustained commercial success in the United States. During their career the band have sold more than 25 million records and scored 13 American Top 40 hits. The band's original members were lead singer Glenn Shorrock, guitarists/vocalists Graeham Goble and Beeb Birtles, lead guitarist Ric Formosa, bassist Roger McLachlan and drummer Derek Pellicci. The group evolved from the harmony laden country rock group Mississippi in 1975. Prior to that, Birtles had been the bassist in 1960s pop band Zoot (which also included singer-guitarist Rick Springfield), and Shorrock had been the lead singer of leading Australian 60s pop band The Twilights and early 1970s country rock band Axiom. They found immediate success in Australia, but individual members had greater ambitions. Like many other Australasian groups of the period, both Axiom and Mississippi had tried to break into the UK record market without success. After Axiom disbanded after moving to the U.K., Shorrock sang for a short period with the more progressive rock outfit Esperanto before meeting and joining forces with Birtles, Goble & Pellicci in 1974. They agreed to meet back in their homeland by early 1975. Remembering the indifferent reaction they had received in the UK, they decided their new band would focus on establishing themselves in the United States. A key factor in their eventual success was a fellow Aussie they'd also met while in England who became their manager, Glenn Wheatley. Wheatley had been the bassist in the highly-regarded Australian rock band The Masters Apprentices. Wheatley's first-hand experiences of the rip-offs in the 1960s music scene, combined with his subsequent experience working in music management in Britain and the United States in the early 1970s, enabled him to help Little River Band become the first Australian group to enjoy consistent commercial and chart success in the United States. Fuelled by a very successful Australian hit single "Curiosity Killed the Cat", the band began making promotional visits to the U.S. in 1976. This resulted in a U.S. hit single, "It's a Long Way There" (edited down from an album track over 8 minutes long) , which broke into the Top 30 and galvanised the commitment of the band members. More concert performances in the US followed, and in 1977 "Help Is on Its Way" (an Australian number one single) and "Happy Anniversary" both narrowly missed the US Top 10. From 1978 until 1981, Little River Band achieved six consecutive US Top 10 singles with "Reminiscing" (#3, their biggest hit), "Lady" (#10), "Lonesome Loser" (#6), "Cool Change" (#10), "The Night Owls" (#6) and "Take It Easy on Me" (#10). During their career the band has sold more than 25 million records and has scored 13 American Top 40 hits. Just before they began touring abroad in the fall of 1976, bassist Roger McLachlan, apparently not enthusiastic about touring outside of Australia, left the group and was replaced by George McArdle, while lead guitarist Ric Formosa, who quit the band in order to pursue other musical interests, was replaced by David Briggs. However, Formosa remained in touch with his former bandmates and conducted and wrote string parts for several Little River Band songs after he officially left the band. From 1976 through 1985, the group maintained a constant touring schedule which kept them in the U.S. for long periods of time and may have contributed to much of the constant shuffling of personnel. For example: The band's schedule was so busy that when drummer Derek Pellicci was severely injured in a gas grill fire in May 1978, the band brought in a sub drummer(Geoff Cox) rather than cancel shows. Drummer Cox remained with the group through the summer of 1978 and even played alongside Pellicci after he came back until he was healed enough to continue on his own. A keyboardist, Mal Logan , was added in time for another U.S. tour in late 1978. Bassist McArdle left, after finishing a U.S. tour in the spring of 1979, to take up Bible study (He eventually pursued a totally different path as a minister). Barry Sullivan took over on bass until American Wayne Nelson joined in 1980(He is currently the group's lead singer). In 1981 he provided lead vocals for their top ten US hit "Night Owls" the debut single from their Time Exposure album and shared duties with Shorrock on the next single "Take it Easy on Me". Guitarist Stephen Housden joined the band in August 1981 replacing David Briggs(who left after musical disagreements) right as Time Exposure was being released. Housden currently owns the rights to the name Little River Band. He co-wrote the band's last hit in Australia "Love is a Bridge" in 1988. In 1982 Shorrock was forced out of the band as they were keen to try different musical directions. Keyboardist Logan was dropped as well. Shorrock went on to pursue a solo career but failed to make an impression in the U.S. He did, however, have a substantial hit in Australia with a cover version of Bobby Darin's "Dream Lover". "Man on Your Mind" (the third single released from Time Exposure, featuring Shorrock on lead vocal) reached #14 in the U.S. The pressures of success and constant touring took their toll on LRB and other members gradually left. John Farnham replaced Shorrock in 1982 and the first single with Farnham, "The Other Guy" (one of of two new offerings on their Greatest Hits album) reached #11 in the U.S., while the next single "We Two", from their album The Net, released in 1983, reached the peak of #22 in the U.S. That same year, "You're Driving Me Out of My Mind" became their last single to reach the U.S. Top 40. Subsequent singles were only minor charters. In Australia the band continued to be popular for a little while longer, and songs such as "Down On The Border" and "Playing To Win" were major hits. At this point the band sought to move towards a more "80s style sound", so they added keyboardist David Hirschfelder in September 1983. Birtles left at the conclusion of the band's U.S. tour in October 1983 because he did not like the harder, more progressive musical path the band was taking and he was not a fan of Farnham's onstage performance. Pellicci too was not entirely comfortable with the new direction and left in February 1984. Steve Prestwich (formerly of Cold Chisel ) was brought in as new drummer while Birtles was not replaced. Little River Band performed four songs for the 1985 Oz for Africa concert (part of the global Live Aid program) - "Don't Blame Me", "Full Circle", "Night Owls" and "Playing to Win". It was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US. "Don't Blame Me" and "Night Owls" were also broadcast by American Broadcasting Company during their Live Aid telecast ("Night Owls" was only partially transmitted). Farnham left upon completion of the group's short Australian tour(which featured drummer Malcolm Wakeford in Prestwich's place) for their 1986 album No Reins. He continued to be managed by Glenn Wheatley and his solo career took off almost immediately with the release of the phenomenally successful Whispering Jack. After Farnham's depature, LRB were pretty much in limbo until the following year when Shorrock and Pellicci returned. With Shorrock and Pellicci back in the fold, the group released two LPs on MCA, Monsoon in 1988 (from which the single "Love Is a Bridge" was a moderate Adult Contemporary radio hit in the U.S.) and 1990's Get Lucky. (MCA released a compilation of tracks from those two LPs on their Curb Records imprint in 1991 as Worldwide Love). Goble ceased touring with the group in 1989 and left altogether by 1992. Peter Beckett (formerly of Player) joined in 1989 to take Goble's place and the group went through a series of keyboard players: James Roche (a.k.a. Jamie Paddle) (1988-1990), Tony Sciuto (1990-1992, 1993-1997), Richard Bryant (ex-Doobie Brothers) (1992-1993), Adrian Scott (ex-Air Supply) (1998-1999) and Glenn Reither (1999-2004), before Chris Marion arrived at the end of 2004. Shorrock left again in 1996 and was offered the option to buy out the remaining members(He took a payment instead). Wayne Nelson also left in 1996. Hal Tupea then came in as bassist as new frontman Steve Wade was also recruited. This lineup lasted until late 1997. At that point everyone, except Wade, was let go and Derek Pellicci left again in early 1998, leaving Housden as sole owner of the band's trademark. Housden brought in new players: Kevin Murphy(vocals, drums, percussion), Paul Gildea (vocals, guitars) and Adrian Scott (vocals, keyboards) as well as Roger McLachlan, the group's original bass player, who made a surprise return after 22 years. But McLachlan's second tenure was short lived. Both he and Scott departed after a year, not used to the band's heavy touring schedule abroad. Wayne Nelson then returned and Glenn Reither was the new keyboardist, but the revolving door of personnel continued as Wade and Gildea were next to leave in early 2000. Greg Hind (vocals, guitars) then jumped aboard as Nelson took over most the lead singing from this point on. The lineup of Housden, Nelson, Hind, Murphy & Reither was stable for almost five years and appeared on three releases: Where We Started From(2000), One Night in Mississippi(2002) and Test of Time(2004). At the end of 2004, Glenn Reither and Kevin Murphy said goodbye to the band after over six years of service. Chris Marion was next to step up to the keyboard chair while Kip Raines took over drumming duties temporarily until Billy Thomas joined by early 2005. Housden decided to take a break from touring in 2006, though he retained ownership of the band's name. Rich Herring was called upon to take over lead guitar duties on tour. Mel Watts replaced Thomas on drums in 2007. Little River Band are considered to be among Australia's most significant bands. The "classic lineup" of the band (Birtles, Shorrock, Goble, Pellicci, Briggs and McArdle) were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame at the 18th Annual ARIA Music Awards of 2004. They performed "Help Is On Its Way" at the induction ceremony in Australia on October 17th, 2004. Three founding members, Birtles, Shorrock and Goble, continue to perform reunion concerts but due to the fact they lost the rights to the name Little River Band, they appear under the name Birtles Shorrock Goble: The Original Voices of Little River Band. "Reminiscing", written by Goble, was recognised by BMI as one of the most frequently played songs in the history of American radio, with more than four million plays to its credit. "Lady" has also accumulated more than three million plays, and Goble is the first and only Australian songwriter ever to win a Four "Million Air" award from BMI. According to Albert Goldman's biography, John Lennon named "Reminiscing" as one of his favorite songs. Little River Band continues to work in the US and performs around 100 shows every year.

BIO [ © Ed Nimmervoll, All Music Guide ]

When Little River Band formed in 1975, Australia immediately took notice. The key band members were already well-known to Australians. Lead singer Glenn Shorrock had made his name in mid-'60s group the Twilights, a Beatles-sounding pop group who scored a national number one record with their version of the Velvelettes' "Needle in a Haystack." When that group broke up in 1969 Shorrock became lead singer of Axiom, whose "A Little Ray of Sunshine" is still an Australian classic rock staple. LRB's Beeb Birtles had been the bass player for a popular Twilights-era pop group called Zoot (Rick Springfield was a latter member). When that group broke up, in search of musical credibility, Birtles auditioned as the bass player, but was instantly elevated to a front-line position alongside Graham Goble. Even LRB's manager was well-known. Glenn Wheatley had been the bassist with another of Australia's bands, and possibly its most legendary, the Masters Apprentices. Given all that background, when Shorrock and Birtles revealed they were forming a group with Goble, managed by Wheatley, it was major event in Australian music. They had all had a shot at international stardom via England, without success. Little River Band was formed to conquer the world from Australia via America. With that in mind they almost immediately went into the studio, even before the rest of the band had been consolidated. They were retaining Mississippi drummer Derek Pellici and were on the lookout for a guitarist and a bass player. A very early version of the group recorded the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" as a single, a recording that was shelved when Linda Ronstadt also happened to choose that song as a single. The blueprint for Little River Band was country-rock exponents like the Eagles. Their self-titled first album was released in November 1975. The following May they released a second album, After Hours, and in September of that year set off on their first trip overseas to support Queen at Hyde Park and the Average White Band in the U.S. to promote the release of the first album. Its eight-and-a-half minute epic "It's a Long Way There" had been edited down for release as a single and was starting to make quite an impact. Graham Goble had written the song about the long trip taking his laundry back to his mother in Adelaide from Melbourne. To an America in shock after the Nixon presidency the song took on a whole other dimension. LRB had made a big breakthrough. Their American record company decided that the second album After Hours was too dark, and put the band straight into the studio to record the next album, resolving to use some of the After Hours tracks and the best of what was being recorded for the band's third Australian album. In both forms the result was called Diamantina Cocktail, produced by John Boylan (Linda Ronstadt). To date LRB's success in Australia had been modestly in keeping with the band's place in Australian music history; respected but not totally embraced. The single from the new album, Glenn Shorrock's "Help Is on Its Way," changed that. Another important hit in America, in Australia it went all the way to number one. The album sold gold in America, the first time an Australian act had achieved such a feat. It was followed by Sleeper Catcher, again produced by Boylan, the first album recorded in Australia to sell over a million copies in the U.S. This time LRB's greater success was in America, with the single "Reminiscing" becoming a number three hit. This was the song John Lennon confessed he made love to during his "long weekend" separation from Yoko Ono. For the next four years LRB kept straddling the two continents, renowned for their impeccable live performances. Internally, relationships were not as happy. From the first album on, frontliners Shorrock, Birtles, and Goble recorded separately. On the road they traveled separately. Only on stage were they "together." Regular changes in the back line only contributed to the tensions. During one break between American tours, Graham Goble started writing and producing an album for Australian pop legend John Farnham. He then agitated the band to replace Glenn Shorrock with Farnham. Australia pricked up its ears, but America was in shock. This still-successful band was replacing the singer of all their big hits with an unknown! Farnham walked straight into the recording studio to record The Net. More lineup changes followed, including the departure of Beeb Birtles. In all, John Farnham recorded three albums with LRB over four years. The experiment never worked. Whatever Farnham's talents, America longed for Glenn Shorrock. At the end of 1985, while LRB was seriously contemplating its future, Farnham took the initiative of leaving to start work on another solo album, Whispering Jack, an album which completely rehabilitated Farnham as the biggest-selling artist in Australia. LRB regrouped in 1988 with new management and a new record label. Glenn Shorrock and Derek Pellicci rejoined Goble, with "new boys" Wayne Nelson and John Housden to record the Monsoon album and its single "Love Is a Bridge." In 1990, Goble left Little River Band as a touring member, and the band as we'd known it finally called it a day in 1991. And yet the story continues. For a while drummer Derek Pellicci mounted Little River Band tours with a lineup including Glenn Shorrock. When Glenn didn't want to meet one particular schedule due to other commitments, he was sacked, resulting in unpleasant legal action. Then Pellicci also gave it away, and today there's an LRB lineup living and working in America, still featuring those latecomers Wayne Nelson and Steve Housden.

Kit Watkins




Kit Watkins - Azure - 1989 - East Side Digital

A highly acclaimed album, including beautiful renditions of Jan Hammer’s I Remember Me and Philip Catherine’s Nairam. A great example of progressive rock, classical, jazz, world, and ambient electronica from the former Camel, and Happy The Man artist. Azure demonstrates Kit Watkins' great composing skills. It is a very good contemporary synth/keyboard dominated album. The music is adventorous and sophisticated, with odd time signatures. This album has been called "maybe too mellow for most readers" in a music article, but that comment does not necessarily have a bearing on the quality of the music, which is excellent. A.O.O.F.C would be interested in your comments on this album. Buy his great "Circle" album for more of the same contemporary world music. You should also hear the self titled "Happy The Man" album, and Camel's "I Can See Your House From Here" album, which both feature Kit Watkins.

TRACKS

1 Road To Orion (7:58)
2 Cirrus (6:57)
3 I Remember Me (5:27)
4 Ursa Major (3:02)
5 Innocent Adventure (7:23)
6 Nairam (7:28)
7 Sahara Sonata (6:28)
8 A Fragile Landscape (5:30)
9 Azure (6:36)
All tracks composed by Kit Watkins, except "Nairam," by Philip Catherine, & "I Remember Me" by Jan Hammer

MUSICIANS

Kit Watkins: keyboards, flute, drum machine programming, field recordings, engineering, production.

REVIEW

Kit was the main keyboard player in Happy the Man. Later he joined Camel for an album and a tour. Since then he's released several solo albums. All his albums are very different, some great, some fairly disappointing. The two Thought Tones albums are ambient releases of processed industrial noise (yawn!). A Different View is an album of very straightforward classical pieces (mostly Satie), nothin' special. Azure is a very low-key new-agey album with some nice moments and interesting compositions, but I think maybe too mellow for most readers. All of the the others are fair game: Frames of Mind features one side of vocal tracks and a second side of sequenced electronic sounding stuff. In Time is probably the best, most upbeat, and the one I'd recommend for starters. Sunstruck is good too, but has a few very mellow tracks in the Azure vein. Wet Dark and Low is fairly upbeat and is quite good. If you're still confused, get Sampler - it's very inexpensive for the CD and contains over 70 minutes of music. http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:5Y9DKjEVEwgJ:www.gepr.net/w.html+Kit+Watkins+Azure+1989&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=16&gl=ie
BIO (Wikipedia)

Kit Watkins (born 1953) is an American progressive-ambient-jazz recording artist based in Brattleboro, Vermont. Born in Virginia to classical piano teachers, he was a founding member of the American progressive rock band Happy The Man, formed in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1973. Contrary to popular belief, the band's name was not taken from a little-known Genesis song of the same name - a bizarre coincidence that amazed and surprised the band, who had no knowledge of the song until later. The band actually took its name from Faust by Goethe, who used the phrase "happy the man" often in the book. The band moved to the Washington, DC area in the summer of 1975 and developed a devoted following as a result of airplay on WGTB-FM (the Georgetown University radio station which no longer broadcasts) as well as live performances sponsored by the station, headlining the Pandemedia event of that year. The band was a regular act at The Cellar Door in Georgetown, DC. In 1976 they auditioned for singer Peter Gabriel for his touring back-up band, a role comparable to that of The Band for Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s. Watkins remembers the audition well. "The band with Gabriel sounded surprisingly like Genesis," he says. "I think he decided against us for that reason, although we never knew that with any certainty."The band wanted to keep its identity and not be known as merely Gabriel's back-up band, so when Gabriel declined, they were not entirely disappointed. A few months later, they signed with Clive Davis' Arista Records, which released their debut album, Happy The Man, in 1977 to a much wider audience. The album was a mixture of impressionist jazz fusion, progressive rock, and ethereal tone poems, and, like its follow-up, was primarily instrumental. The band released their second album, Crafty Hands, in 1978. Both albums were produced by Ken Scott, engineer from The Beatles' White Album sessions, who also engineered and produced albums by David Bowie, Supertramp, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the Dixie Dregs. Watkins worked closely with Scott as the band's representative in recording and mixing both Happy The Man albums. For Watkins, this was a crash course in recording technique which he later found invaluable in his solo recording endeavors. Throughout Happy the Man's tenure, Watkins' contributions figured prominently in the band's sound and incorporated his writing, playing, arranging, and producing skills. The two Happy The Man albums found a small but devoted cult audience for the band, but sales of both albums were disappointing, and the band was dropped by Arista in 1978. Concurrently, their drummer was replaced by French percussionist Coco Roussel. After about a year of label-shopping without results, the group's drive and commitment began to wane. Near the end of that year, the British progressive rock band Camel approached Watkins about replacing their keyboardist, Pete Bardens, and he accepted. The remaining members of Happy The Man then disbanded and pursued other interests, but reformed in 2000 with keyboardist David Rosenthal and Crafty Hands drummer Ron Riddle (later replaced by Joe Bergamini) complementing three founding members; Frank Wyatt, Stan Whitaker and Rick Kennell. (The band has been inactive following the release of its album The Muse Awakens in 2004, and Wyatt and Whitaker have resurfaced in a new band called Oblivion Sun) In June 1979, Watkins traveled to England to join Camel, and the band recorded a new album, I Can See Your House From Here for Decca Records, with Rupert Hine as producer. The band toured England, Europe, and Japan to promote the album. Watkins left Camel at the beginning of rehearsals in 1980 for their next album, Nude, because little of what he had written for Camel was accepted for inclusion on the new album. He subsequently launched a solo career and recorded his first solo album Labyrinth (with Coco Roussel on drums) in 1980. Even though Watkins was no longer a member of Camel, he returned temporarily for their two major tours of England and Europe in 1981 (Nude tour) and 1982 (The Single Factor tour). Watkins released his second album, Frames of Mind, in 1982 with Brad Allen on guitars and vocals. The album was a fun and quirky mix of new wave pop and hybrid world music, recorded at Watkins' home studio in Arlington, Virginia and released on his label, Azimuth Records. The duo created a music video of the song "My Telephone" which was shown throughout the United States on cable television. Azimuth also released demo tapes of Happy The Man produced by Kit Watkins and recorded during its last year, under the title Better late... On his next release Watkins again worked with Roussel, Happy The Man's third drummer and Watkins' sideman for the duo's live performances in the early 1980s. The album, Kit & Coco In Time was released in 1985]and delved into both new and familiar territory - a mix of progressive, jazz fusion, and contemplative styles - and was critically acclaimed by reviewers and fans alike. Additionally, Watkins briefly formed an improvisational trio in early 2001 called Tone Ghost Ether with musicians Brad Allen and John Tlusty. The group has released four CDs. The trio focused on recording "live" in Watkins' performance studio, in the tradition of jazz groups of the past, without overdubs (although looping machines were used). Watkins currently abstains from touring and devotes most of his available time to studio recording, except for the rare live performance. His ambient works have become staples on National Public Radio's Hearts of Space. Reviewers and fans have compared his work to Brian Eno, Mark Isham, Steve Roach, Harold Budd, Jeff Greinke, and others.